West Highland Way Part 1

I haven’t written in quite some time! I did mean to update everyone and post pictures etc but I have been busy. I cringe every time I write that as its like my catch phrase and will be put on my grave stone I think!

So, did I do the WHW? Yes… I started on a rainy Monday morning with apprehension and a bit of fear, I won’t lie. I couldn’t sleep the night before and had been at work until 22:00, where people had been wishing me well but also planting seeds of doubt in my head. No, they weren’t being nasty but they were concerned about my safety as I was doing the walk on my own. I am a feminist.. usually stuff like that doesn’t phase me but it was starting to this time.

I waved the kids, husband and dog off, got my stuff together, had my breakfast and bid farewell to a friend who was good enough to drop me off in Milngavie which is the start of the walk.  I have to say that I started to have doubts.. how was I going to deal with the alone time that I so craved since planning to do this, the time to think and just be on my own for the first time in a long time? Was I ready for such a big and momentous task with minimal training? Would I sleep at night in my tent and not be scared of the noises throughout the night? Only one way to find out…

Off I walked and walked, and walked… you get it… As I walked, my spirits and the weather lifted. I ran into two guys who were over from Israel and I think they took me under their wing. They wanted to give me their number in case I found myself in any trouble and needed someone in an emergency. I started to feel the camaraderie of the “Way” that I had often read about.  I was part of this amazing experience and it really  felt quiet empowering.

As I walked, I noticed that I would pass the two guys and catch up, they offered me food, chat and friendship and it felt like they were making sure that I was ok whilst doing this on my own.  I took pics on their phone for them and I really regret not taking their details. I wonder how they got on and if they completed it as the last place that I saw them was in Rowardennan Youth Hostel.

My first day got me from Milngavie to Drymen where I had the best steak pie in the universe at one of the most friendliest places in Scotland, called “The Clachan Inn“. I go here regularly an I always order the same ting because it is amazing and despite looking like a drowned rat with no reservation, they took me in, gave me warmth and provided fantastic hospitality.  At the end of the first day, I was tired and emotional and my bones were killing me. I had wanted to walk further but I just couldn’t manage it. One of the owners spoke to me as she could see I was full of self doubt and I called her when I came home, to tell her just how much her words meant. Her words made a difference as did two other women I met when finishing up and who were also doing the walk, (more about them later).

That night I decided to stay in one of the hotels, The Drymen Inn and I tried to get to bed early but I got restless legs and was tossing and turning all night. I didn’t mind as the bed was comfy, hotel clean, shower much appreciated and weather turned out nice again. I also decided to get baggage transfer which a lot of folk had told me to do but I wanted to do everything on my own. That’s just  who I am.. I am stubborn and I am strong but I knew that the walk would be much more manageable had I just done all of that in the first place.

I called up Greg from Baggage Freedom and he couldn’t have been more accommodating. He was resourceful, hilarious and his dog Spike, who was in the van with him, really cheered me up. I wish I had known about him before but thankfully I do now and I will be using his baggage transfer services this summer. He also transfers pets too so I can bring Allie , my border collie and she can explore the great outdoors with me.

New Challenge #18for2018

After thinking further about what I wanted to achieve this year, I decided to incorporate two goals into 1 .. or is is maybe 3 goals +? I’m not entirely sure! Either way, this one has got to be one of my biggest in terms of exercise, mind and body, as well as craziest of all. I think. I mean, there has been so many that its hard to keep track of the things that I have done over the years!

What is it, I hear you ask? Well I’ve just decided to finally pursue a dream of walking a whole 96 effing miles,of the West Highland Way! I have set a date for the 9th of April as its pre midgie season, not too hot (does it ever get hot in Scotland?), it won’t be incredibly busy and I have a chance of maybe staying in a B&B should I choose to go down that route, the kids are still in school and nursery and I have 6 whole days to do it which will mean an average of 15 miles or so a day. Easy, right?

I’m actually super excited, yet scared as well. I haven’t started training but tomorrow will be the 1st day of a long schedule of walking and meeting nutritional goals. I will probably re start the BodyCoach in this time as well but being careful that I don’t overload this mind of mine which already has a lot going on in it! I have been reading a lot of blogs from people who have done it, getting ideas, inspiration and tips. From taping areas where I usually get blisters as a preventative, to making sure that I walk my boots in, to best places to stay or camp.

I want to make sure that I am meticulous in all detail and plan for all eventualities because as weather goes here, we have 4 seasons in one day. I need to make sure that I have good walking boots, trainers, plastic bags to keep clothes dry, sun cream, first aid kit, compass and map, emergency battery for phone, a schedule left with friends so that they know what I plan on achieving if anything happens, and lots of other things too.

I have decided to train by walkig 5 miles a day and then doing a long walk 1 a week of 15 miles. I heard that this is a really good way to prepare and I hope that I can achieve this. The 5 miles a day won’t be difficult and for the long walks, I hope t do that on the actual trail itself, in order to get a feel for what I am up against. I have heard about bogs, and the likes so best to experience it now, right?

Another decision that I need to think about is, will i stay in B&B’s along the way or will i sleep outside under the stars, cook on an open fire, swim in the Loch… it all sounds so romantic yet the reality will be me in tears 10 mins into my long walk, cursing myself for what I decided would be my year of fitness! hahah

I guess having 6 days to myself will give me the space that I need to think about life, the past 10 years, goals and the likes. Its been a tough 10 years at times and I hope to channel that into doing something positive which will be raising money for the Mother and Baby Unit and Perinatal Mental Health Services in Glasgow who helped me through PND. I wont hassle people for money, but if anyone wants to sponsor me please feel free to, or even make a donation to a mental health charity of your choice. Mental Health to those that know me, is a huge passion of mine and I have submitted my application form to do Mental Health Nursing this year (fingers crossed, still waiting).

So, what do you guys think of this new goal? Do you think I’ll achieve? Have any of you done the WHW? Does anyone have any tips?

 

 

Progress!

I’m still plodding along but not following plan as it was causing me a wee bit of stress. I am going back to it but not for a few more weeks because I’m currently writing from my hospital bed, getting ready for a procedure.

Up to this point, apart from my birthday week celebrations and a wk after that, I was doing very well. My fitness has improved so much and my fitness goals are being smashed! I’m thinking more about lifting and I have a few ideas of what I want this year to be like with weights being a huge part of my regime. I love how I feel after doing them and how my body is changing. I’m also very lucky that I have such an amazing trainer who knows what he’s doing and guiding me properly in technique.

I don’t know if anyone has followed Instagram account Planking for Pizza or size 22 guru, but if you’re on your weight loss and fitness journey, I’d highly recommend both. They are motivating and inspiring not to mention absolutely hilarious and strong. I watch their stories every day and am amazed by all that they have achieved and continue to achieve. One of the biggest things for me is that they are real. They eat real food and they also have treats… no restrictions. How good is that?! They know that real life is about things which can and do crop up, they don’t say no but they plan for things such as nights out or other social activities or just wanting to have some shit food from time to time. This is why they don’t fail. They are accountable and they are sensible but they work damn hard too.

I think that when we set goals for ourselves, we also start a process of restriction which can lead to falling off the wagon. I didn’t want to use the word failure there because that’s such a negative thing to say and when trying to lose weight, you just don’t need shit words and connotations. I think the whole 80/20 rule is right, that we should also never see foods as good vs bad… that in itself can lead to disordered eating in my opinion and I’ve been in that place when I was younger… it isn’t pretty and you’re worth more than that.

So this wk as we approach Christmas, I plan on walking more if my body will let me since I’m still in a bit of pain, more water and more fibre and protein in my diet. Small goals which add up to achieving.

Insomnia,Sugar Withdrawal& Realisations

It’s Friday morning, 03:30am and I’m up…. I’m currently going through my Body Coach 90 Day SSS Plan and really reading it through. I went to bed last night around 21:00 and when I do that, I generally wake at this time before getting back to sleep again around 5am. Not good when you have a small child to look after and the school run to do but hey ho… it’s probably temporary.

I had a bad first day I of the plan, or should I saw half day? Yes, half day. I got up before my alarm and then did my HIIT with the dog as my faithful work out partner. I came home, had my build up bagel and then went for a sleep after prepping some pancakes.

About an hour later, I went to bed for a few hours as I was really tired which meant that I missed lunch and before I could have it, I needed to go and do the school run. I was “hangry”. It was then that I just started feeling dreadful… I found a group on Facebook and they kindly let me join and answered some questions that I had.

It seems that despite not having sugar much in my diet, I may be going through a bit of a withdrawal but also a codeine one as I was using it a lot due to pulling my back a few wks ago. This lightbulb moment only occurred to me a few mins or so ago.

My skin feels itchy, I feel like I have the flu, my anxiety levels are high, I have a sore head and I just feel generally like shit.

However, I have thought a lot about my goals and what I want to achieve and why I signed up for this. In hindsight another revelation was that I achieve most of my goals because I’m an incredibly driven person and I fear failure. The things that I have set my mind to have been incredible and things I have put myself through both mentally and physically …. well there’s been a lot, but one thing I haven’t been able to master is my weight.

My weight gain came after my daughter was born and I was experiencing post natal depression. I did manage to lose a bit and I was doing well but the depression took over as did the increase of alcohol (I wasn’t an alcoholic but consumed probably more than I would normally), and with that, the poor food choices and the lack of energy to be active. I see this clearly now for what it is.

When my Dad suddenly passed away 3 years ago, the same thing happened… alcohol and food to numb out the feelings… also the so called “fun nights” with bad choices and what I thought to be self confidence. As I write this, I am shedding a few tears because things suddenly start making sense… I can and I will do this… I’m in the frame of mind and although I know there will be some “hiccups” along the way, it’s not going to be any worse than the rock bottom that I have experienced in the past.

So just to wrap things up before trying to get to sleep…

• I can do this, there is enough food (poss too much) and anyone reading this, YOU can do this!

• Sugar withdrawal is a bastard

• Food prep is good but don’t get the fear if you can’t! Even if it’s just a breakfast or snack, it does help.

• Swap! use the tool that allows for this because life is too short to be eating things you don’t want to eat!

• You will achieve your goal, and sometimes it takes some sugar withdrawal and insomnia, for clarification

• We are controlled by our emotions when making food and alcohol choices, more than we might want to admit.

• If you know that you don’t like a certain food, swap the ass out of it! I made a salmon ball thing and it was rank. To me. I fucking hate salmon with a passion. The dog got that.

So that wraps up day 1… I may not blog everyday but you can find me and my ramblings over on Instagram! I’m now off to wax the tache, shave my legs and go back to sleep!

My Plan Has Arrived

Yaay!!! I was so excited to hear the “ping” of my emails yesterday and the arrival of my BodyCoach Plan… It’s here, it’s here!!!

I couldn’t really get a good look at it when it first came through because I was doing my training for Oncology Massage, in the West End, so I emailed it to my husband and asked him to download and print it out. He actually hole punched it and added it to a folder which made it even easier to look through.

So, I had decided to go for the vegetarian option. I’m not completely veggie but I wanted to keep costs low and get as much nutrients into me as possible and I think that this is a really good way to do it. I will miss chicken most and there’s different types of fish that I wouldn’t normally eat but I knew this before I signed up, so it’s not at all a shock or disappointment. I did have my friend Jo send hers over and some of her meat recipes look great, but I know I made the right decision.

I like that there are a lot of amazing recipes to choose from, and I mean a lot in cycle 1. I was nervous that there wouldn’t be but safe to say that there is no chance that I’ll be lost for ideas. The only thing that I have to say is that there isn’t a lot of snack ideas but as it’s only cycle 1, I’m not going to complain and moan about it!

Now, the whole idea is 3 main meals with two snacks in between and at least 3 litres of water.. on rest days, all meals are low carb and in training days, I have a refuel meal at least 60-90 mins after my HIIT session. This is more than I am used to eating in a day but I think this is also one of the reasons why I have gained weight.

We decided last night that I could have a last take away and a bottle of fizz! Here’s what we had… chicken fried rice, chick balls, chips and egg rolls! Oh, and a bottle of prosecco.

Tonight I will go shopping and pick up the things that I will need for the next 4 days recipes. I’ll do my first HIIT in the morning and I’ll probably head on over to Instagram and YouTube for my very first impressions.

I have done a lot of HIIT in the past with @Gymguymark so it won’t be a shocker for me although I’m really not all that fit at the moment! I’m also used to having 1 hr sessions so 30 mins is going to seem really odd and almost incomplete for me. I do love exercise, but I just got so busy studying and caught up with starting my own business as well as having two young kids, that I lost myself.

I’ll post my “before” pics, and measurements, tomorrow… well maybe not the pics but my weight reading. I hope to achieve a lot in the next 4 weeks… it’s almost 4 weeks to the day that I turn 40!

Yikes!

Have you tried The Body Coach?

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