Thursday, 16 February 2012

The Last Six Weeks

Before I came away to work in Hertfordshire for six weeks, I had a fantastic vision that it would be an opportunity to utterly embrace being healthy. Without the usual distractions I thought I could focus wholly on getting into training and make myself nothing but lovely, wholesome food.

If I’m honest, it hasn’t exactly worked out as I planned. I’ve felt quite de-motivated being away from my well-known running routes and only being able to cycle on the turbo. Throwing kettlebells around my room – whilst fun – just isn’t the same as going to a class or hitting the gym for a weights session. Not only that but the boredom of sitting about without the usual social interactions has led to the inevitable: massive overeating. 

Going to the supermarket hungry is a bad idea, we all know this. Going to the supermarket bored is far, far worse. At home, my evening schedule would have been: get home, make a quick stir fry, get over to running club, bash out a quick core session in the gym, gossip with my gym buddies for a while, chat to everyone before swimming, talk myself out of actually going swimming, get told off by at least one person, hang my head in shame and hit Swimwise for an hour, quick jacuzzi then get home, have a protein shake and go to bed. Here, this became: get in, look disdainfully at the turbo, think about going for a run, decide to go to Sainsbury instead, make a beeline for the hot meat counter and decide the only sensible option is hot and spicy wings, wander happily around the bakery inhaling the delicious aromas, gossip with myself about the new All-Bran breakfast biscuits and their merits compared to the more established Brevita breakfast biscuits, check if there are any offers on Jaffa Cakes or Ben & Jerrys, sigh loudly that I'm now going dairy-free and can't have them anyway, decide a box of cereal to go with my Almond milk is the answer.. and maybe some sweets for dessert, get back home, squeal with excitement that my portion of eight wings actually contains eleven, text some friends with that exciting news, feel guilty that I've done no exercise yet, swing some kettlebells about whilst watching something rubbish on the TV, pour out a rather generous bowl of cereal and shortly afterwards realise that half the box is gone, spend a bit of time calculating that I have just consumed approximately 9 portions of cereal which equates to 111% of my recommended calorie intake, then finally make a plan to "definitely go on the turbo tomorrow" whilst munching liquorice allsorts.

Obviously as a result of lackluster training in the week, it means I have done the unthinkable and been cramming at the weekends. I know in my head this is absolutely the wrong thing to do and isn’t really very beneficial but I’ve done it anyway in some kind of endorphin-grabbing exercise frenzy.

One thing has improved: the swimming. Having access to a decent pool where they let you play with whatever paddles and fins you like has made a big difference and I've been actually sticking to a regular swimming schedule for the first time ever.

Tomorrow - my last day in Hertfordshire -  is the 17th. That means that I now have exactly 4 months to get fit for Wimbleball, a pretty tough triathlon I entered last year whilst on some sort of post-race high. Whilst my last six weeks haven't exactly gone as I'd planned in terms of healthiness, I am certainly newly motivated to get back into a good regime as soon as I'm back home full time and if I can stick to the swimming when I'm back, it will have all been worth it!!

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