Tag Archives: Goals


I’m making excuses.

If I want to lead a healthy life I just have to do it.

I know binge eating is a problem, but I can avoid my triggers.

I need to nap and go to bed earlier.

I need to mix up my food and exercise to avoid boredom.

I need to get engaged with my hobbies.

  • Look into triathlon training

  • Look into nutrition

  • Start crafting lists or thought journal – use tapes to make things pretty (not perfect)

  • Cycle and walk for fun – take camera out and enjoy the countryside

  • Take up headspace and practice mindfulness

I need to stick to my budget and that will allow me to save and spend on things I really want rather than chocolate or binge foods.

I need to make the food I eat for meals more appetising.

I need to make health a priority.

The number on the scale is just a number. It does not define me or success.

What do I want to live for?

  • See the world!

  • Go skiing all over the world

  • Try new activities

  • Meet new people

  • Sign up for events and be able to give anything a go

  • To experience life

  • To practice meditation and maybe take up tai chi or a martial art

  • To explore my local place where ever I am

For me life isn’t about people or things. It’s not about starting a family of settling down. It’s about experiences and exploring and learning. I don’t ever want to stop learning.

I’m limited in terms of money right not, but that doesn’t mean I can’t learn about health and myself. Let’s rephrase that – I’ve not got the opportunity to plan any trips right now so I can use this time to explore myself. This is an opportunity to not be distracted by grand plans and trip planning. This is an opportunity to get to know me on a daily basis. This is an opportunity to make great small decisions that add up to something amazing each day.

I’m going to tune into myself more often. I’m going to ask myself how I’m feeling. I’m going to ask myself what I fancy.

I’m also going to listen. To myself!

I would like to take the words – should, could, need, must – out of my vocabulary. I am going to replace them with kinder words of encouragement and listening.

This is a totally random post. It wasn’t started as a post. I was in work having trouble concentrating on anything that I opened a word document and kept adding to it throughout the day. It helped me get my thoughts out and I feel better for it. It might not make much sense to anyone else reading, but I wanted to share the struggle as well as the success.

How I Keep My Fitness Consistent

My Project Lifestyle Fitness workstream is by far my most successful to date. So I thought I would share how I make things work when it comes to fitness. Please not these are my personal ideas and I’m not a doctor or health professional!

So how do I do it?


  • This takes the thinking out of it for me. It keeps me consistent and planned. For me writing it in my calendar makes it an appointment, which can only be moved for serious reasons – such as being ill or a social event. Sometimes I have to force myself to go to whatever I have planned, so alongside this I go easy on myself and do what I can in that moment. I think moving and being active is better than not being active by staying on the sofa.

Have a Goal

I like to be working towards something. It keeps me motivated. Whether it’s a triathlon or a 5k running event, have it in your calendar and know how long you’ve got to reach it. Then work towards it – plan it out! Print off a chart and put a sticker against every workout you do. See your progress and reward yourself for it. Picture the medal you’ll get if you complete a race – always a good thing. Does anyone else hate races that don’t give medals?

Start Easy and Build Up

There is nothing worse than throwing yourself into something too hard and not being able to move for a few days. For example I just upped my gym strength routine and rather than heading straight into the weights I built up to in a previous circuit, I took it down a notch to make sure my technique was good and so I could learn the routine. I then built up the weights and the reps gradually. This motivated me to keep coming back. This goes the same for my running, swimming, and cycling – gradual build and enjoy it as you do.

Try Different Things

Take a different class every so often or get out on a nice sunny day and go for a bike ride or hike – something you don’t plan in. I like to go a couple of classes every week and don’t stress if the class changes because the instructor is away. It mixes it for me without me having to think about it. Look out for taster sessions at your gym and pop along to try piliates or boxercise, to give your brain and body a boost!

Get the Right Gear (once you know you like it)

I invest in good gear once I know I enjoy doing something. For example with swimming I have set swimming costumes and equipment I know if worth it. I am saving to get a new wetsuit (a proper swimming one) after a few years of using a surf one because I had it. I’ve only just invested in a new bike, as I had a perfectly good bike I could use to build a base. Running – get the right trainers and spend what you can afford, but definitely get them fitted!

Wear Clothes That Make You Feel Good

Get some nice workout gear. It makes me feel good to change into some bright and well-fitting clothes. It makes me feel comfortable and then I’m able to push myself during the session without worrying my trousers keep falling down – this happened last year with running club – bought cheap trousers that didn’t fit me well and all I spent multiple sessions worrying that my arse would be showing! Not fun at all. I also think clothes allow that fake until you make it feeling to happen – if I don’t feel in the mood to run I put on my brightest top and head out the door feeling like a glowstick and come back with a glow from the workout.

Make it Social

My main social activities are through my running and swimming club. I’m an introvert by nature and hate hanging around without something to do. I loathe having people round my house as that is my space – it’s weird I know. So I put the effort in to make it to the club sessions to chat and laugh and push each other. I try to go to all the other social events, such as chilli night with running and curry night with swimming. I like being with people who are there for similar reasons as me. Also I know I can then go home to my own place. I’m not one for the pub or dinner parties and often feel like the third or fifth of seventh wheel with old school friends, but with my clubs it all about having a good time together with everyone who takes part. I need this side of it more than I realised before.

I am in the process of creating something like to this help with my eating. I need to find ways of making it easy for myself to be healthy and lose weight. So far I have some quite specific things I follow:

  • Cook chicken and eggs and keep in the fridge
  • Don’t buy sweets, cakes or chocolate
  • Have fruit and vegetables prepared or ready to eat (i.e. fruit not in the fridge cold!)
  • For my sweet tooth have bagels or hot cross buns cut in half or quarters  in the freezer, so they are ready for me but I don’t have the excuse of them being frozen whole
  • Have protein powder and bars in the house
  • Drink plenty of tea, coffee, and water
  • Don’t have cash at work
  • Batch make meals such as chilli, cassoulet, and fish pie and keep in the freezer for homemade ready meals
  • Take a packed lunch to work
  • Order my food shop online for collection (usually free to collect from the store and means I don’t have to go in and get tempted)

I suppose these are all rules for living. I struggle with the food ones because of the legacy of my parents and how they behave around food. I’m taking one step at a time and finding out what works for me. I know I like structure and routine fitness, so doing something similar for food helps.

Coaching in Reality

I’ve started helping out with my swimming club and it’s weird!

I’ve now done a bit more coaching of more people and it’s really good, but yes also weird. I have done a number of sessions helping out with the kids club with the competition and pre-comp squads. It is fun to watch them and get them engaged in the task at hand. It’s also great to watch the head coach do his thing. He has so much confidence the kids look up to him. He can grab the attention of the whole pool easily. He has so much energy. I am taking mental notes all the time.

I have found it’s not always about the technical side of swimming, but rather making sure the participants are getting something out of it, whether that is having fun or technical progression. It’s important to listen to them as well and challenge them to get them thinking about what they are doing in the pool.

The other groups I have coached recently have been the Masters Swim club who I swim with and the triathlon section of the running club. Adults are completely different to kids. They want to know why they are doing things and how it will make them improve and will challenge you back if they think something isn’t right. But you can have a laugh with them and getting things wrong isn’t a big deal. Whereas, with the kids, you need to be a bit of an authority figure in order to keep their attention.

I wish had more sets of eyes though! I struggle with watching each one and pass back feedback. I need to come up with a better strategy for this, such as watching a different person each time and then concentrating my feedback each time, or make my feedback general. Also I need to work on my timing! I put together a couple of the triathlon session plans for the masters’ session I coached and thought a couple of bit would only take 15 minutes each, whereas they took 30 minutes each. I miscalculated how long each bit would take to explain, carry out, and provide feedback for.


I’m glad I’m getting some practice in as my assessment for my Level 1 Triathlon Coaching qualification is at the end of the month and I really want to do well.

Project Lifestyle – February Review

Project Lifestyle Purple Cover


Please find my full review saved in Google Docs here.

Project update Feb



Overall February has been a learning experience. I haven’t lost weight, but I have lost centemetres from all areas of my body. I also feel better for making some changes to attitude to be more positive. I have decided to keep the project as amber as one fo the key deliverables is not progressing to plan, while others are.

The nurtirion workstream was focusing on continuing to use MFP and look at the foods I’m eating in more detail. I have really struggled to keep using MFP, but have changed my food intake to increase the amount of protein and fruit and veg I am eating. I am going to take this forward in March. I went a long to a couple of Slimming World meeting and they don’t feel right at the moment or fit into my budget, but I like the premise of the eating plan.

The fitness workstream focused on the strength aspect of my workouts and this was a great success. I changed my gym programme and now have two session, once for upper and one for lower body. It feels good and I need ot mix things up more often to keep engaged.

The mental health workstream went okay for this last month. I’ve been keeping busy and doing things and have also made the most of local amenities, like the library. I also volunteered at my work and for a running event and really enjoyed it. I also really enjoyed my coaching course and plan to see if I can help out with the swimming club more.

The social workstream also went well. I stayed to the running club socials that I could and also made the most of other events such as the marshalling and volunteering to chat to people and get to know more people. A few bonus events happened such as having a bike 101 session with some friends from running club and starting swim sessions with my friend Sian.

The career workstream was a difficult one this month. The aim of this workstream is to get to a position where I will be able to progress at the end and I am finding it difficult to see the progress I can make. Some though needs to go back into this workstream.

Overall this month has been a good month. I also took part in the first gala of the year and came away with a gold, two silvers and a bronze. The only event I felt strong in was the 100m fly, but that is more about endurance than speed so that is probably why.
Feb KPIsNext month I am continuing with what I have learnt and refining things that haven’t.

  • Nutrition Workstream will focus on giving up chocolate and upping my protein
  • Fitness Workstream will focus on getting my new bike and the training plan I put in place
  • Mental Health Workstream will focus on dealing with feelings of inadequancy
  • Career Workstream will focus on the report writing aspects of my job and attention to detail
  • Social Workstream will focus on events galore and coping with being busy

My Swimming Life

I love my swimming, but I don’t share much of what I do on here and I would like to change that.

I’ve always swam. I can’t remember a time when I didn’t. Childhood holidays were all about the pool for me. I pretty much remember spending most of my time underwater (and lots of ear infections!). I was part of the local swimming club since forever too and also had separate swimming lessons. I worked my way through the badges and distances without any trouble.

Then I hit about 13/14 years old and it was a case of doing lifesaving and/or comp squad. I have never been a sprinter and probably never will be. I don’t enjoy it. So I opted for life saving only, but gradually got bored. I quit the club at around 15 and started swimming on my own using some of the masters club section sessions. I also took the National Pool Lifeguard Qualification and starting working at the pool at 16. I kept on swimming and a former swimming teacher got me to come to the Tuesday night Masters session and then to the official club sessions at around 17 (they let me join early) and I haven’t looked back.

I swam with the club whenever I was home and gradually built my confidence and skill. I remember starting in the slowest lane at the back, feeling good swimming a mile of 1600m. I gradually overtook the ladies in my lane to lead the lane and then got kicked out up to the next lane as I improved. I then worked up that lane too and got to the top lane. I currently hover around the top two lanes, depending on who is at the session and how the lanes even out. I now swim anywhere from 2500m in an hour to 4000m in 90 minutes.

Last night was one of those rare times I hit 4000m with a couple of minutes of the session to spare!

So what are my sessions made up of? Basically something like this:

  • Warm Up – 500m to 700m
  • Pre Set – 500m to 700m
  • Main Set – 1000m to 2000m
  • Post Set – 300m to 400m
  • Cool Down – 200m

I swim every stroke. For example in last night’s 4000m, 800m was individual medley. An IM is made up of swimming Butterfly, Backstroke, Breaststroke, and Front Crawl, so is at least a 100m set. The majority of the session is front crawl or freestyle, but doing the other strokes adds to my skill and strength. I would also say confidence in the water.

My focus at the moment is tumble turns. I find them okay, but it is so much easier to do a touch turn (plus you get an extra breath!). So since November I have been doing all tumble turns on front crawl and back stroke and finally feel like I’m getting my speed back. It was discouraging when you try something new and slow down, but I had to get used to them and to begin with they wore me out, so I had to slow down or drop a couple of lengths off a set to keep up. Last night I noticed the different and it felt good. So if you decide to try something new don’t give up, keep going and slowly it will become the norm.

I find swimming quite meditative as well. Although I can daydream, I also focus on stroke, breathing, and counting lengths (I’m rubbish at counting strokes per length though) and become much attuned to the moment I’m in. It’s very calming for me, whereas running I am still caught up in how hard every stride is sometimes.

I now want to get faster and be able to swim further. This is a major reason where I know losing weight will make a difference in my life.

I’m thinking of doing more swim posts after I’ve completed my Level One Triathlon Course as I am not a coach, but would like to share what I’ve learnt and what has helped me with technique and skill.

Lastly his is my go to mantra when I struggle in the pool :)


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