Day 1 Training for the WHW

For those of you who don’t know, I’ve decided to do the West Highland Way, and I’m going to do it for charity…. namely mental health.

Mental Health is something that I have struggled with in the past after I had my kids and still issues to this day with anxiety, but I always try hard to stay on top of it. However, not everyone can be proactive or do that because mental health can be extremely crippling at times.

As most readers of my blog know, I have applied to University to do Mental Health Nursing and I’m waiting to hear the decision on whether or not I’ll get in. I feel that there needs to be more people who have had lived experience, going into the field for many reasons. But I digress!

So, I was supposed to start training on Monday but I had volunteering and didn’t leave myself enough time to do the walk and instead, decided to do it today. I will be honest in saying that I was tired, I had zero motivation, and I’d been feeling quite down… but I did it. My watch failed me just at the end but I know I did a bit over the 5 miles that I had planned on doing.

I’ve chosen to do a bit around where I live as I think that some of the terrain will be similar in parts to the WHW. I had many thoughts when walking and at parts, running…. that actually 15 miles a day is achievable. I think I have given myself enough time but I really need to try and get a good pair of boots.

I think I’ve also decided to do things via B&B’s because I don’t know that I can carry all of the gear as I really don’t want to spend my money paying a company to do it for me. However, I’m going to start taking a backpack out with me and increase the weight just to see what I can cope with.

Tomorrow, day two, I’ll be training with my amazing personal trainer, Mark. He will help me with building up muscle and stamina etc. He will also help me with nutrition and making sure everything is balanced properly. I’m usually pretty good with creating dinners that are nutritional meals and I’m going to try hard to eliminate white rice and pasta, use quinoa and brown rice. But I’m not going to beat myself up if I don’t! I’ll be burning a lot of calories and I need to make sure the balance is right. Here’s what I’ve made for us all tonight, a vegetable curry and homemade leek and potato soup:)

Skin Care Review

As part of my self improvement, turning 40 and just really wanting to look after myself a bit more, I thought I would try out a new regime and in turn, teach the eldest about having a bit of a routine for when she starts (should she choose to), wearing make up.

I was lucky enough to be given two products to try out and I have to say that I really liked them a lot and will be using them in the future,especially after seeing the results and costing isn’t high at all compared to a lot of other high street brands.

I’ve been pretty lucky with my skin and apart from the occasional breakout once a month when due my period, water has been my saving grace. That’s it. I don’t buy into the heavy and expensive brands because to be honest, its a load of rubbish and a waste of money. In reality,  we are paying for the advertising costs and a life style that they want us to think we want. I got wise to that a long time ago and as a feminist it isn’t within my belief system.

One thing I do participate in though is a good face mask because I like to soak in the bath with the candles, have some relaxing music on, a book and have some time to myself. It’s one of the few things that I will indulge in because I like how it makes me feel. The coolness of the mask followed by the  softness on my skin thereafter, is a really nice feeling and my face does feel more firm as well. I think it might be something that I’ll be introducing to my clients when doing facial treatments because of how indulgent it is and the one that was sent to me was the Skin Republic Collagen Infusion, Mask which if you purchase in Superdrug, is £4.99

The other product that I was sent, was the really lovely Nouveau Lashes Enhance Mascara. It was so much better than getting fake lashes applied and as its completely natural you don’t look like you have spiders glued to your eyes! Although these come in at a cost of £18.99, it usually costs more than that to have lashes done in your local salon by someone who is very inexperienced and you end up removing them anyway! The great thing about the wand is that there are two sides where one separates for a much more dramatic look and the other side is used to apply the mascara.

These products are perfect for someone like me who doesn’t wear a lot of make up but does like to treat herself now and again, with minimal effort and likes the affordability, and the reliability of the products that I buy.

*disclaimer, these are my own opinions based on personal experience and I was not influenced, nor paid for my review. The only compensation received, were the products.

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?




I had mentioned in my #18for2018 that I wanted to start comping this year as a hobby for myself and I probably started entering round the end of December, possibly even just the start of January.  Guess what? I WON something today!

What is comping? Well its basically entering as many competitions as you want in order to win the things that you would like to have or do. Well that’s the definition in my mind and for the ones that I entered, it was really just liking or re tweeting on Twitter or filling out simple forms which only took a few minutes of my time when the kids were in bed. It’s really that simple.

I also joined a coupe of sites on Facebook which are fantastic and were recommended by one of THE most high profile competition winners out there and also award winning blogger, Di Coke.  I downloaded her book from amazon for some extra tips on how I could increase my winnings and I was embraced by her community of compers who inspired me to keep on going with entries. Its so amazing to hear of the wonderful gifts that they have all won with many amazing prizes both small and large.

Everyday I wait for the postman or an email to drop through to tel me if I have won any of the various competitions and was delighted to see one appear in my inbox this afternoon. I have won tickets to the NME Award Nominations Party in London, next Wednesday and I can bring someone with me. For a first win, this is pretty darn good although I do need to pay for my accommodation and flights so I’m still deciding if I will be going , not to mention finding someone at short notice to come with me because most folk work 9-5.

So it’s another tick on the #18for2018 list , and I hope to be able to update you all with even more wins this year!

Are you a comper? What have you won this year (and last)?

Fitness Target

I wasn’t going to reveal my new goal as of yet but since I’ve been training and about to start a new training schedule, I thought “why not”?.

I was out walking last week and an idea had come to me about what I can do differently this year to achieve my new goals as detailed in previous posts for my #18for2018. Although this thing that I’m doing is something that I have already done years ago, my fitness level isn’t as good and I’m carrying more weight. I’m also doing it with my trainer and a friend which will be challenging in itself as most things I do are solo.

The other thing that I wanted to do which I didn’t actually think of previously was to choose a charity. I have in the past done the race for life 5ks and 10ks in Glasgow but this year I’d like to do it for the Mother and Baby Unit which is based here in Glasgow. You may already know that I do volunteer work for them every week, I go in and do massage work with the Mims to help with anxiety and for relaxation.

The Mother and Baby unit and the perinatal mental health services were a great source of help to me when I was going through pre and post natal depression/anxiety with both of my kids and I’m always looking for ways to give back. They have also inspired me to apply to do mental health nursing this year (providing my application form is successful).

So what am I talking about? TOUGH MUDDER! Like I said, I have done it before but it was approximately 10 months after my son was born (I think), and if I was able to do it then, post Baby…. I should be able to do it again… right? (Pic above is the one that I did)

I’ll be setting up a go fund me page and I’ll be getting t shirts printed for myself via a wholesale t shirt printing company who are offering me a discount, and if my fellow team mates wish to participate in a charity of their choice, we will all be designing some crazy shirts to stand out in the crowd.

So what do you all think about this years challenge? I thought about maybe adding a 10k in there as well but need to look at work holidays and see what there is on offer as I currently work every weekend and if I can’t get a holiday, I’ll need to look at swapping… I’m already groaning at the thought of this…. can’t believe it was as much as 3 or so years ago that I completed the gruelling 10mile obstacle course.

Wish me luck… training commences this Friday….

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