Friday Focus

So…each Friday evening I have decided I am going to set myself a focus for the coming week.  Yes, I am alternative and my week begins with my weekend!  I figure this way I’ll be more focused on my focus during my free time and it will hopefully help to keep me on track at the weekends.

These Friday Focuses will be to better me and to help me to live a healthier, happier life (or at least, that is the plan!)  They could be to do with food, exercise, time management or relationships, or any mixture of those categories.

My first Friday Focus is going to be: to stop eating when I am full.  Being back at my parents this week and choking down massive meals I realised how frequently I eat (maily when I am with others) when I am not even hungry.  This week I want to really focus on stopping when I am full and then if I still have remaining food on my plate leaving it to pick at later when I get peckish, or for lunch the following day.  I am worst at my parents or eating out, but often at home I accidentally make meals too large for just Dan and I, especially if I am testing out a new dish and aren’t 100% sure on the measurements yet.

So, to recap…Less sizes like this…

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More sizes like this…!

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Norfolk bound

Today the plan was to head back to Norfolk until Friday and spend time with Mum/my high school friends.  Dan is back at work and I needed to get away for a bit before returning to work next week.

I offered to take Mum to her chemo session this afternoon.  Initally I had planned to get up at 6 and head out for a 5/6 mile run before getting ready to head back but the underneath of my left foot felt really bruised after my 22 miler on Monday and then wood unloading yesterday.  I decided to give the run a miss and caught up with a few emails over breakfast instead.  Boring standard half blueberry wheats/half Jordan’s strawberry crunch with semi-skimmed milk.  I’m getting bored of typing this now!  Need to come up with something a little more exciting next week!

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I ended up being a little later leaving than initially planned.  Mum’s appointment wasn’t until 1pm.  It takes two hours to get from mine to Mums and an hour an a half to get from hers to the hospital.  I left mine at 9am but received a call not long after leaving to say that Mum had been asked to go straight into the hospital then as her white blood count was extremely low from her last set of blood test results and they wanted to check that she could continue with the chemo today.  I offered to drive straight to the city hospital and meet her and Dad there but because she wasn’t sure how long they would be there for she asked me to head straight back to theirs and walk Blue for them.  Reluctantly I gave in and felt like a lost part most of the day.  I walked Blue for over an hour which he enjoyed at least.  I haven’t seen any primroses yet round where I live but there were loads down the lane where I walked Blue today.

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I kept the fire going, caught up with a few more emails/work things and washed up for when Mum and Dad got back.  I felt pretty poopy that I couldn’t go and break Mum’s day up a little bit.  I received another call early afternoon to say that her white cell blood count was just high enough to have a chemo session today so they would be staying in a few more hours.  I relaxed a little and threw together a salad of items I found in the fridge…some lettuce, a tomato, half a green pepper, some mature cheddar and a slice of bread and butter.

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I love the bread my Dad buys.  Proper bread straight from the bakery.  I could eat a whole loaf of this!  I followed my meal up with a Pink Lady apple.  I’ve really gotten back into my apple eating lately.

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Blue kept me amused all afternoon by rolling around infront of the fire!

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Mum and Dad returned about 6pm.  Dad threw together a quick meal for everyone.  I skipped the bacon the others had, but had beans and a fried egg on toast for dinner.

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NEVER tell my Dad you fancy another slice of bread…

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And after watching lots of You’ve Been Framed videos and Youtube clips with him in the lounge NEVER mention you’re still a little peckish!  Two double crackers with cheese…

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I did turn down a Magnum icecream he offered me earlier on though.   My Dad is the worst at over-feeding!  And I find it really difficult to say no to him as he goes to so much effort and means so well.  I feel my choices foodwise are getting really good when I’m out but when I’m at mine or Mums I pick at food too much, through boredom mainly, not actual hunger or desire for the food.  I plan on setting myself some mini healthy living goals each week, starting this Friday to try and stay focused in areas I slip up and get annoyed at myself for.

It’s just gone midnight.  Made In Chelsea is on TV in the background while I’m blogging.  It’s rubbish!  Does anybody watch this?!  Bedtime!

Wedding #2

Yesterday morning I woke up quite early, wolfed down a toasted bagel with peanut butter…

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I got changed into my running gear and pulled out a steady 2.71 miles (one lap of town).  Mile 1: 10:35 Mile 2: 9:24 Mile 3: 9:38 pace.  350 calories in total and a nice feeling before grabbing a shower to get ready for my friend Amy’s wedding in Birmingham.

I was Amy’s witness at the wedding.  I’ve been maid of honour once, bridesmaid once and a guest plenty of times but never a witness.  I’d never even thought about it before Amy asked me to be one.  Dan and I both commented yesterday we don’t even know who we would ask to be our witnesses if we got married but could reel of details of our bridesmaids and groomsmen!  (Nope, we’re still not engaged, and yes, we were asked plenty of times at the wedding yesterday!)

I hadn’t even thought beforehand about really what I had to do and when I was handed a fountain pen in the church suddenly panicked and thought perhaps I should have practised writing with a fountain pen as the last time I used one was probably when I was about twelve!  Luckily I managed to scrawl out my name in the three books and the vicar jotted down my details as the witness of the wedding, along with Brett’s witness’ details.

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This is the first time I have ever remembered to buy confetti before the wedding and I was really excited about throwing it!  :)

We weren’t allowed to take pictures in the church.  :(  Only the official photographer and then afterwards we were shepharded out of the church grounds so I didn’t get to throw my confetti at all!  Oh well, I have some in stock now for the remaining six weddings we have to go to!

After the ceremony we quickly checked in at our hotel and I took this picture of the hill outside…it was really hilly all around the surrounding area…I would not want to be running 40 miles a week around here!

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We were starving by this point (it was gone 3pm) so Dan picked us up a brownie from the Co-op before heading to the wedding breakfast.  This is what I had wanted to avoid and had planned on packing some fruit and Graze boxes but had completely forgotten in the rush of hair curling and makeup before leaving.  Weddings have crazy timings for feeding!  After getting up really early (5:30am when I was maid of honour for my friend Hollie in 2009!) you have breakfast and wait until 3-4pm before getting fed the ‘wedding breakfast’…that’s a long wait!  I need to prepare better for the coming weddings…

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Having snowed on and off for the last month it was really anyone’s guess what was going to happen on the wedding day.  Luckily, it was lovely weather, so sunny and warm.  So warm that people were even nipping outside to cool down between courses when the food started being served!

Amy will have some lovely pictures of the day.  The reception was held at a golf course in the outskirts of Birmingham and the backdrop for the pictures was beautiful.  Here’s one of me and Dan when we first arrived…

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And one I took of the NQT girls and Amy after the official shots had all been taken.  These are the girls that Amy had begun her Newly Qualified Teaching Training with when she got her first job.  I spent much of the evening sat on their table chatting to them.  I always find it odd that you spend so much time with new people in the build up to a wedding – engagement party, hen dos, wedding prep, then of course the actual wedding.  Then afterwards, it is quite likely you never see these people again!  Is it just me that finds this odd?!

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When we had returned our invitations we had made selections for our starters and dessert.  I had chosen the soup and profiteroles.  Dan had picked pate and profiteroles.  The main was still a surprise to everyone on our table.  When I asked the maid of honour at the spa day on Thursday what it was going to be she couldn’t tell me as she wasn’t sure!  It ended up being a beef roast dinner.  I didn’t eat the beef as I’m not a fan and Dan took a slice from my plate.

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The favours were cupcakes, so whilst they set up ready for the evening do Dan and I each took a cupcake and ate them outside whilst sat on a picnic bench in the last of the day’s sun.

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I did get through a fair amount of alcohol yesterday (whoops!) but I had a really good night and I’m pretty sure Dan enjoyed himself too.  I rocked out to plenty of songs on the dancefloor later on…I’m sure that burnt off a few alcohol calories!  I managed to get through a glass of arrival bucks fizz, a champagne toast, two large glasses of white wine on the table and two large glasses of rose from the bar…

I’ve known Amy since starting work at Frankies in 2007 and it was good to catch up with several ex and still current members of the restaurant crew last night.

Final picture of the night…I like this one, they look so happy!

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The deciding factor…

Yesterday I had to purchase a new swimsuit ready for a spa day today for a friend’s hendo. I headed to Tesco yesterday afternoon for some cheap deals, pulled out two bikinis and two swimsuits all in a size 12. Well…I looked horrific and crammed in when trying on all four outfits! I haven’t had to buy size 14s in the longest time but yesterday, I purchased a size 14 costume and am actually not really looking forward to the spa day at all.  It would be different if I knew the other girls on the hendo, but I really only know the bride.  The other girls going are all teeny tiny little size girls with flat stomachs.  This is my get serious moment.

Ideally I would like to lose about 2 stone which would take me down to my lightest and happiest weight.  I know it’s down to me to do and that I need to really focus on what I am putting into my body.  I workout plenty, it is down to the food and making better choices.  I am improving with my choices, but not as much as I need to.  Expect a typed up plan of action over the next few days…!…

My day started off with a 7:30am get-up and a toasted bagel with smooth peanut butter on.

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I then took ages to gear myself up to go running even though it was quite sunny outside.  I didn’t leave until 9:40 and when I left Dan was still in bed.  This made me feel a little guilty as this is the last chance for us to really enjoy a lay-in together this holiday and if I’d have left straight away I would have been back before he’d even woken up.

The aim was to complete 9 miles at a steady marathon pace and I really wasn’t feeling the run this morning.  At mile 3.5 I could feel my little toe rubbing the toe next to it and told myself I would stop when I got to mile 4 to sort my socks out.  Fortunately by the time I got to mile 4 my toes were no longer rubbing so I carried on.  This run was all about mind games.  As I got to mile 6.2 I realised that I had not kept to the rule of ‘bring water if running over an hour and bring fuel if running over an hour and a half’.  Fail!  This then also meant that my head kept shouting at me for being so stupid and demanding that I stop.  I ignored my head and decided to run to mile 7.  I convinced myself by that point that I would be so dehydrated I would have to stop before I collapsed in a heap on the side of the road.  Of course that didn’t happen so I told myself that there were only two miles left to go.  I didn’t have to run them fast but I would be back in 20 minutes, hardly any time at all.  Luckily, I managed to control my thoughts and ran the whole 9 miles without stopping.  An entirely mental thing today and I proved that I could overcome it.  Splits as follows…

Mile 1: 10:23

Mile 2: 10:45

Mile 3: 10:33

Mile 4: 10:27

Mile 5: 10:26

Mile 6: 10:31

Mile 7: 10:20

Mile 8: 10:01

Mile 9: 10:09

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Of course, afterwards I had two glasses of water and my post-run glass of semi-skimmed milk!

I grabbed a quick shower and crawled into bed with Dan afterwards who was working on his laptop from bed.  I felt really exhausted and actually fell back asleep for a few minutes before getting round to making lunch.  I grabbed a Graze box (Strawberry milkshake) as Dan had only just had breakfast and I knew he wouldn’t want lunch straight away.

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I’ve been nagging Dan to mow the lawn as it’s been so sunny the past couple of days.  Luckily he finally took my *subtle* hints and got out there today after requesting a stuffing and chicken sandwich for lunch.  This I made for him, and added cranberry sauce to my version of the sandwich.  When I nipped to the shop to grab some stuffing I passed the bakery, which still had lots of cakes left in the window, so I grabbed a top-hat for us each.  These are my Dad’s favourites and he can never resist getting some of these when he comes to visit!

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We had arranged to go to The Dogs with our friends Vick and Alex last night.  On a Wednesday night you get entry and a meal for a £1.  We’d been with them before and really enjoyed it.  I was a little nervous about the food choices as last time it had just been hotdog and chips, cheeseburger and chips, chicken nuggets and chips, etc.  This time though, they also had jacket potatoes, so I grabbed a jacket with cheese and beans and a side salad (that I added way too much mayonnaise to!) with half of a Strongbow.

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The queue for food was ridiculous and the people serving were moving incredibly slowly.  Despite being one of the first let into the racecourse Vick and I queued for over 45 minutes!  When we were nearly at the front I felt somebody push into me and the larger lady that had been stood behind me fell across both Vick and I landing across my shoulder and pinning me to the stools.  I lowered her to the ground.  Another guy in the queue ran over all panicky and kept shouting out what could he do?!  I told him to go get some water and asked anybody if they had a jumper to put under the lady’s head.  Another queueing customer was a paramedic so she took over and snatched a magnum icecream from the icecream stand to give to the collapsed woman who hadn’t eaten anything for a while.  We had been stood upright for a long while and that was probably what made the woman collapse.  Luckily she was fine by the time we got served and all colour had returned to her face.

Here’s some pictures of us pre-race…

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And one of Dan deep in (posed) thought choosing his dogs…

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And some of our winning tickets!  We won four times in total over 11 races.  (Only about £3-4 each time.)

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Afterwards, the others were still hungry so went to grab a McDonalds.  I’m not a fan of McDonalds at all, and wasn’t hungry anyway but knew I needed something sweet to nibble on to keep me awake for the drive home so grabbed a chocolate muffin.

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