Suzie Does Aerobics…

I think I may have done something that I may possibly regret in the immediate future…

I’ve signed up for a low impact aerobics class.

Oh dear.

My weight has been a source of frustration for years. In my youth I exercised almost every day – I swam for a club, played on badminton teams, reached my brown belt in karate – and as a result I was strong, slim and could eat and wear whatever I wanted with little thought. Continue reading

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40+ Useful Ideas for Self Care

Useful ideas for practicing self care

Things have been a little on the stressful side recently, and those who follow the blog regularly may notice that I haven’t posted much of my own content. With wedding planning, a biopsy followed by stitches (everything is fine and all-clear thank goodness, but it was a little worrying at the time), a truly horrific day of supply teaching (without being melodramatic, I think it was the worst day in over eleven years of working in schools that I’ve ever had) and the general daily tasks that needed completing there has been more than a few occasions where I have found myself a little overwhelmed.

In an attempt to try and overcome the anxiety and general cloudiness that fills me whenever I reach certain panic levels, I have actively indulged in self care – any voluntary activity that helps to maintain my mental, physical and emotional health. This isn’t just ‘hygge’ – they have involved numerous things that I enjoy simply because they make me feel better and I have taken the time to be mindful of them as I am doing it. Continue reading

Three Weeks to Go…

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In a moment of madness I agreed to sign up for the Birmingham Half-Marathon in October and run 13 miles.

My physical state when I initially paid for my entrance fee in May was not exactly in brilliant condition. As someone who likes their food, along with the occasional cigarette and cocktail, my body has slowly increased in size to the point where I have easily gained 60+lbs in the last five years, and while I was fit enough to swim or run around for hours regularly in my youth, I could barely walk up the stairs a few months ago without feeling flustered and out of breath. Continue reading

Never Again

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I normally enjoy most things that I do, but one thing that I’ve never really warmed to is walking or hiking over long distances. My mother adores going for long walks and I remember having to participate in many of them as a child and young teenager.

It wasn’t that I didn’t enjoy exercise – I regularly played badminton, went to karate classes and I swam several times a week, but there was something about simply walking that I found boring and tedious.

One of my closest friends at school found an advertisement for a walking group and she begged and pleaded with me to join her. She was exercise obsessed, I was weak-willed and consequently one Sunday I found myself stood on the top of a hill with a group of strangers. We went through the introductions and polite conversation, and then we walked. And walked. And walked. FOR EIGHTEEN MILES.

What I had assumed was that ‘a walk’ would mean a leisurely stroll across the hills for a few hours. Instead, these people were machines. They set off at a pace that would have put them in competition with Olympians, and sometimes I almost had to jog to keep up whilst attempting to avoid an epic amount of goat poo. It was cold, it was windy and I returned home with blisters the size of two pence pieces from my mother’s hiking boots and an absolute promise to myself that I would never participate in anything like that again.

I’ve stayed true to that promise, and I can guarantee that the only time you’ll ever see me up a hill whilst wearing hiking boots is if… No, it’ll never happen.

What about you guys? Do you enjoy exercising or does the thought of having to hike up a hill make you reach for the remote control?

You can also find me on Twitter and Tumblr @suzie81blog, and don’t forget to check out my Facebook page http://www.facebook.com/suzie81speaks

Picture credit: The Great Outdoors.

 

A Reluctant Runner…

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After reaching my heaviest ever weight last week, I decided that I was going to stop blaming the scales and do something about it. I’ve cut back on the rubbish that I have been eating, substituting it for healthier options (I discovered quinoa – there’s a sentence I never thought that I’d say) and this morning I decided to go for a run.

A few years ago, just before my 30th birthday, I bought myself a stunning designer dress in preparation for the party that I had organised. I had never spent that amount of money on an item of clothing before (or since – my diabetic cat and her vets bills have seen to that) but I decided to treat myself. The dress was just a little bit too tight for my liking and showed all the wrong lumps and bumps, but it gave me the ultimate motivation to lose the weight that I had been procrastinating about for months. I bought some decent running shoes and several times a week I ran up and down my local park with my best friend, puffing and spluttering my way through it in a manner that closely resembled Phoebe from Friends.

I hated every minute of it, but over time it got easier and I discovered that after just a few weeks I could do 5k with relative ease. My plan worked – I managed to lose just enough weight to feel comfortable in the dress and I thoroughly enjoyed wearing it.

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Two years later, I’ve gradually slipped into old habits, and have not only put the weight back on, but I’ve added an extra 15lbs that snuck up on me and slapped me in the face when I stood on the scales recently. I’m pretty ashamed of myself. My dress now doesn’t even go past my hips, and this has prompted me to set a goal over the summer to change my lifestyle, lose the weight and wearing the dress again – it’s too beautiful to be just sitting in the wardrobe. So, this morning, I put on my running gear, set my Nike app, my 5K tracker and my playlist and did some warm up exercises. It was a glorious morning and the park next to my house was almost deserted.

Thirty minutes later, I arrived home. I had completed just 2km and burned 153 calories walking and running in timed intervals. Just like two years ago, I hated every single footstep – the only saving grace being the awesome playlist that I had set myself. My face appeared to have been replaced with a bright red, sweaty tomato with eyes, my legs were jelly, my chest was burning and I almost felt like I was going to be sick.

Gorgeous.

Still, everyone has to start somewhere! Here’s to a sweaty summer!

What about you? What’s your exercise of choice?

You can also find me on Twitter and Tumblr @suzie81blog.