Tag Archives: Learning

I am a Tough Mudder!

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It’s taken me a week to want to write this post. I am so proud of myself for completing this event, but it was a lot tougher than I thought it would be for me and I’ve struggled to work out what I feel about it. It’s a mixed bag for me – high, low, happy, sad.

This was at the start – happy face!

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Taking the pledge!

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Just to remind you what you’re signing up for!20130928-204731.jpg

After the first obstacle – also the point where i lost my trousers. So glad I wore tri-shorts under neath, otherwise it would have been awful!

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This was at mile 3 after the ice jump/bath. I wanted to give up. I struggled through the first 3 miles and then panicked in the ice water and had to be pulled out. I was so disappointed at this point. Disappointed in myself and scared about what was still to come. Somehow I kept going after this. A big shout out to Joe, who I’d only met the week before who helped me through and the whole way round the rest of the course!20130928-204818.jpg

This is where the course then went off through the forest and spectators couldn’t follow (also I can’t sneakily copy the official photos). So there were plenty of obstacles – monkey bars, buddy carry, log carry, 10 foot walls, climbing walls, crawling through tubs, crawling under cages in water, water jump, everest, mud, mud and more mud!

There were plenty of water and banana stops. Also first aid if required! This event was really well organised and one I would love to volunteer at.

I struggled with the running. I have built up for my half marathon, but had not done enough  HIIT trainingI  think. I felt sick at mile 7, but Joe forced me to eat a banana (probably the only time I have hated the sight of one). I had to walk loads, especially through the mud and up the hills. I also needed to do more trail running – the uneven surfaces were super hard to run on.

The biggest fear I had to overcome was that of being lifted/allowing others to pick me up – basically give my whole body weight to someone. This is something that honestly had not crossed my mind beforehand and getting to the first wall I also had a panic attack and just thought I would not do those obstacles, but my friends wouldn’t let me not try. Having always been a big girl I’ve been made to feel ashamed of my weight and haven’t been picked up since I was a kid, so allowing this to happen was huge for me. This is probably why I’ve delayed writing this post too. I felt ashamed during the event, but proud at the same time. Dealing with that mental struggle all the way round probably made it even harder than it was. Getting over the 10 foot walls by having complete strangers lifting me up is not something I’ll forget. Also having tried everest and failed then the guy with the microphone getting the guys on top to get ready and telling me exactly what I needed to do to get me in their arms was so hard, but I did it. I got the headband!

But I did it! I got through. It was mentally challenging in more ways that I expected. The team at the finish line – I was shaking slightly!

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The view of everest from the finish!

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The final obstacle to get to the finish line – electric wires and running through them!

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Me at the end so happy to be sat down after 3.5 hours of Tough Mudder!

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Me at the finish and cleaned up feeling super proud!

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Me and my friend Sam, who I talked into joining me who went through her our journey and fears to finish like me!

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My Tough Mudder headband has pride of place on my medal rack!

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Bonus photo of my bruises for you 🙂

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I honestly don’t know if I’d do this again. If the right team got together then maybe. I would train differently – more hill runs, circuits and HIIT. I would also want to have lost weight, just to not go through the mental fights again.

I would recommend anyone to do this though. If you want to challenge and push yourself this is the event to do!

Things I Miss

I’m dwelling on things at the moment. There are things I miss doing because of time and money constraints. I want to make sure I remember them so I can work on changing things so I can do them or no longer miss them.

  • Going for coffee and sitting in coffee shops for any length of time either working or not.
  • Going to the cinema on an afternoon on my own or in the evening with friends
  • Browsing bookshops with the ability to buy books guilt free
  • Being able to spend money on socialising without worrying about finances
  • Doing exercise before work
  • Having time to go for walks that aren’t about exercising, but just wandering
  • Feeling a sense of contentment with who I am and what I do
  • Time and energy to spend reading for hours and hours if I want

I miss all these things. Some I have adapted to suit my current situation, but others I need to change my current situation to enable me to do these things again.

Sometimes it’s the smaller things in life that make us feel worthwhile and that life is okay. I’ve explained I currently feel stuck in my current situation and am doing what I can to change it. It’s stressful and frustrating and too easy to get pulled down into everything that isn’t going the way I want it to. So I am looking at the above list and thinking what I can do to, to do what I can.

I think my aim for right now if to get to a place I feel content with whom I am. Sounds easy, but I know it’s going to take work. I know this is where I need to get to. That doesn’t mean I’ll stop making changes, but they will be purely because I want to make them.

Things I’m Loving… Moodscope

I haven’t written one of these posts in a long time. I’ll be the first to admit I haven’t been having the best of times lately. Low mood and frustration have featured heavily, although determination has been there in big amount too. Turning determination in motivation and action has been extremely hard.

I daydream about being able to get more fitness in; what the healthy weight me looks like; the attitudes and behaviours I need to adopt – but I then struggle to put them into action at the right time. I get caught in the though trap of thinking I don’t have enough time, then not using the time I actually have to pursue what I want – craziness!

The only thing getting in my way at the moment is me!

So I’ve been using a site called Moodscope to monitor my thoughts. You sign up for free and then score yourself against different emotions/feelings from ‘not at all’ to ‘extremely’. There are both negative and positive prompts and I find it really interesting to see how my overall score varies over time. You have to score twenty prompts so I never remember exactly what I put for each one (and that would be something I think I would find even more interesting than the overall score) which get translated into a percentage score.

The longer I’ve kept my scores (you do it every day) the more interesting and useful it is to me. I can watch my score go up and down over time and spot the trends. Also if I have a low score I know I need to do something to stop it reducing further by the next day. It is a check on how I’m feeling, in which there is no point lying.  It has become the first thing I do when I get to work as it’s a really good stop and check for me before getting drawn downwards. If I acknowledge how I’m feeling I can put actions in place to help myself. If I don’t I can make myself worse without realising.

Dealing with depression or low moods is unique to everyone. What works for me, might not work for you. I am a data person. I like to see trends and monitor things over time. I’ve been trying a lot of different tools with CBT, but find them time consuming and not always easy to do on my own. That is my main worry about when I reach the end of my sessions through the NHS. I need to make this a change in my behaviour too – to make time for the things that are important for my mental health.

I like snappy little tools that I can access and do quickly. The one thing that would make me like this a lot more was if they made it into an app for smart phones. I think I would then do it more often as find that there are times when it would probably good to take a second to score my mood, but am not able to access the website.

Sometimes it’s the little things that remind me there are a lot of things that do make me happier and content and stop me dwelling on the things that make me low.

WW Week Three

A very short week this week as I got to weigh in on my preferred day – today!

I lost 2lbs, which was a lovely surprise. I was hoping to have lost the pound I put on last week, but didn’t think I would lose anymore as I haven’t been active.

This week my focus is sticking within my daily allowance and only using my weekly for Friday. I’m not going to get much activity in this coming week, so I need to focus on my points. I bought some snacks from my meeting for the long weekend. I’m also getting my eyes lasered, so know I might be feeling sorry for myself again.

I really enjoyed the meeting topic this week. We didn’t stick to the proper one about family dining, but rather made it applicable to those of us where that isn’t the main focus.

Instead we talked about spinning plates. 5 to be exact. Planning, Sticking Within Points, Activity, Tracking and one more I cannot remeber as I write this. We talked about which ones we need to give a bit more attention or has a tendency to wobble or fall. For me that is sticking within my points! But remebering that it is okay they they fall every now and then as we aren’t perfect and that isn’t what we want to be striving for. Also they are plastic, so won’t break. They can be picked up and be backing spinning in no time.

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Others are easier and require less attention. For me activity and planning are the easiest. I’ve got this into my life and they are habits. I don’t have to force myself very often to do these.

Also some can go hand in hand. Planning and tracking could be. For example I could improve my tracking by putting my meal plan into my tracker at the start of the week, rather than wait until the day. That way I don’t have to think as it’s already been decided and I know what points I still have left for whatever I fancy in the moment. I am going to try this!

It really got me thinking this week and I feel positive and motivated to keep going and enjoy the long weekend 🙂

I’ve also just signed up to s few events later in the year so am going to put together a summer training plan!

Food Tracking and Me

I think the key for me to lose weight is to track my food. I said last week that was going to be my focus for the week, and I started off well, but got distracted when the weekend (Friday) arrived. I would like to find a way to reduce the impact this has on me.

My friends Linz and I have been trying to use My Fitness Pal and she is doing fantastic! But I am not so much. It’s frustrating and disappointing. I know it’s my choice to ‘forget’ to use the app or the website. They make it so easy to track everything, especially now you can scan the bar codes of everything!

But I am not doing it. I know lots of people don’t agree with tracking or counting calories, but for me it provides order and structure and stops me over eating in an uncontrolled manner. For me it is about building awareness and becoming conscious of my eating habits and changing them to support the life I want to live.

Talking with Mara has made me think I need to add to my food tracking by adding how the food makes me feel when I eat it and some time later. This could allow me to become aware of more than just the immediate hunger and build up a better picture of what foods allow me to be the me I like. I’m not sure how to connect this to MFP, but I think I will try somehow, even if it’s just writing in the notes each day.

I forgot to weigh in this morning, but I don’t feel I’ve lost any weight. I don’t think I’ve put any on either though. My fitness for the last week was great. I didn’t exercise on Thursday and noticed how tired I was on Friday as I didn’t sleep as well as I would have liked. I think exercise tires me out and allows me to sleep better, so I am going to try and do something every evening this week to test that theory.

My goal for this week is to track everything on MFP and make it a habit to do so!

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