Bit of a blip

Just a mile today…

…which will probably be the case for the next three days too, as I’m trying to have a bit of a rest week before doing a half marathon-length run on Sunday.

So far during lockdown, I’ve not really felt in control of my diet, and I’m starting to worry about it a bit. I am still ‘attending’ Slimming World by paying the reduced lockdown rate, weighing myself on Thursday mornings and texting the result to my consultant, but I’ve not been doing the Zoom groups or anything because I hate teleconferencing (largely due to my hearing difficulties) and the idea makes me really stressed. I have been trying to get in as much exercise as possible, but having less to do in life means I think about and want food more often, and generalised situational anxiety means I sometimes don’t have the energy to cook healthy meals. As such, I’m hovering about a stone above my target weight, and I’m having real difficulty getting it off.

Last night Geth and I ordered takeaway pizza… again. This was justified by having done a lot of exercise and it being a bank holiday and me being out of sorts. However, it made me feel ill all night, and I still feel ill today, and I just don’t want to feel ill and unhealthy like this anymore.

As such, I’ve identified some acceptable lower-calorie options for ‘easy’ meals that I can just bung in the oven when I can’t face cooking. Most of them are not really ‘on plan’ in a Slimming World sense, but will at least allow enough of a calorie deficit that I can hopefully start losing the excess weight again.

Anyway, today has largely involved making graphics for my current game project, which I’m really enjoying. I’ve got extra motivation now to finish and release it by the weekend, because it was announced yesterday that a new Adventuron jam starts on Sunday and so I will want to focus my energies on the game I’m making for that!

Hoping to have time to work on it tomorrow as well.

Pixel graphic
This graphic is black and white for now, but will have some colour soon.

Today’s earworm playlist:

Michael Land – ‘Firing The Cannon’
RingFit Adventure – ‘Battle Theme’
The Midnight – ‘Memories’

Keeping going

Another morning, another mile…

…because I’ve still got quite a lot to do this week, and also I woke up slightly later than I would have liked. I think that for the next few weeks, long runs will be a weekend thing, with maybe a middling one squeezed in on a Wednesday if possible. This would be a return to my marathon training pattern, which is no bad thing, given that marathon training is currently scheduled to start again in just over a month.

I’m happy to report that I weighed in this morning and lost 4lbs! I’d been struggling a bit for the last few weeks, as I’ve not been getting nearly as much exercise in as I did before the lockdown (when I was marathon training and doing a lot of walking in addition), and yet my marathon training appetite has not gone away. This last week, I’ve been a lot stricter and have reduced my portions. It’s obviously working, and I’m going to keep doing what I’m doing, because I would love to be back at my target weight by the end of lockdown. I’m currently paying a reduced Slimming World fee so as to maintain access to the website – I also have the opportunity to attend group on Zoom if I want to, but I’m not sure if it’s for me, because being hard of hearing has always meant that I’ve found teleconferencing difficult in the past. (I could write a whole post about my anxieties about social distancing as a hard of hearing person – and I probably will at some point!)

It’s nice to be getting back to writing at the moment. I’ve got a small number of competitions to submit to over the next few weeks, and I’m also going to be spending May deciding which novel project I’m going to finalise over the summer, so that I can start querying agents again in the autumn. For various reasons relating to my career plans, late 2020/early 2021 is probably going to be the last substantial chunk of time for a good few years that I will be able to dedicate to writing, so I want to make the most of it.

I feel that being stricter about making sure my evenings are downtime-only has really helped with my productivity as well, because I don’t feel quite so burnt out. This is definitely something I’m going to continue with, even after lockdown has come to an end.

(Oh, and as promised: the link to the video of the group poem we did for poetry night, read by Pantisocracy Poetry founder Charlie. The first verse is mine!)

Getting to target at Slimming World
31st May 2018: with my brilliant and much-missed first consultant Katie, on the day I first got to target at Slimming World. I can’t wait to have that feeling again.

Today’s earworm playlist:

Roxette – ‘Dangerous’
Tight Fit – ‘The Lion Sleeps Tonight’
Roy Zimmerman & The ReZisters and Sandy Riccardi – ‘The Liar Tweets Tonight’

Walls

After my midweek run…

…Mum and Dad came round again, and Dad and I had another go at the old laptops. Putting Linux on them was a little more complicated than expected, so Dad is going to take them home and keep experimenting.

We did however manage to get a couple of things put up in the downstairs bathroom that I’d been meaning to do for two years. Every little helps!

We also had a lovely meal out with cousins Douglas and Freya at our favourite tapería in town. As such, I won’t be going to Slimming World weigh-in tomorrow – might make it to the Friday session but we’ll see! I need to digest a lot of tatties first 🙂

Bathroom decor
Like the rest of the house, it still looks very beige and boring, but it’s nice to have the cabinet and mirror up.

Today’s earworm playlist:

Vera van Heeringen – ‘Riverside House’
Jason Donovan – ‘Too Many Broken Hearts’
David Bowie – ‘Ashes To Ashes’
Ed Sheeran and Justin Bieber – ‘I Don’t Care’
Animotion – ‘Obsession’
FM-84 and Ollie Wride – ‘Running In The Night’

And a bonus track that Geth was humming earlier:

Nena – ’99 Red Balloons’

Computer management

After my Tuesday recovery mile…

…Mum and Dad arrived (it’s Dad’s birthday today). Dad and I then spent the afternoon experimenting with a couple of old laptops that Geth and I want to put Linux on, as Windows 7 is slow and less supported these days. It looks like we’ll be able to get that finished tomorrow hopefully!

We then went out to the Redhouse in Newcastle for Dad’s birthday meal out. I hadn’t been there for more than three years, since before I started Slimming World, because I have no idea how many syns are in one of their pies! Just have to estimate it this week… The pies are amazing though.

More house-sorting to do (and nice food to eat) tomorrow.

Pies at the Redhouse
Pie-eating at the Redhouse! Photo from Dad.

Today’s earworm playlist:

Bill Conti – ‘Gonna Fly Now’
Justin Timberlake – ‘Can’t Stop The Feeling’
The Midnight – ‘Collateral’

A dreary Thursday

Short run today…

…and a bit of a disappointing result at Slimming World – only half a pound off despite working really hard for it this week 🙁 Still six pounds away from target range. I really had hoped to get there by the end of February but it’s looking unlikely now.

I’ve spent the afternoon working on house stuff and admin. Other than my counselling appointment, it’s looking like tomorrow will be similar.

Snowdrops
At least the snowdrops are out now! Always appreciate these early signs of spring when the weather is still miserable.

Today’s earworm playlist:

The Midnight – ‘Jason’
The Midnight – ‘Collateral’
The Midnight – ‘Vampires’
Soft Cell – ‘Say Hello, Wave Goodbye’
FM-84 and Ollie Wride – ‘Running In The Night’

A quiet Wednesday

A midweek-length run today…

…and a fairly good afternoon of admin before I headed off to ukulele class this evening. We learnt (-ish) a new song, so I’ve got lots to practise over the half term break.

It’s weigh-in tomorrow, and I’ve had another good week, so fingers crossed…

Keeping warm, 1985
Winter layers in 1985! I wasn’t quite as wrapped up as this today, but it wouldn’t have been a bad idea – it’s really nippy out there at the moment.

Del Amitri – ‘Nothing Ever Happens’
Frankie Miller – ‘Caledonia’
Sacre – ‘The London Marathon’
Carl Orff – ‘Gassenhauer’
Vangelis – ‘Chariots Of Fire’
The Midnight – ‘Collateral’
Justin Bieber – ‘Love Yourself’

Increments

A short run this morning…

…before heading to Slimming World, where I lost another pound on the scales this week. I’m impatient to get back to target range, and so one pound feels a bit measly considering the effort I’m putting in at the moment, but I suppose five and a half pounds in three weigh-ins is not bad. Just have to keep plugging away.

Geth and I are heading out to a synthwave gig tonight, so I’ve made sure to get all my work done during the afternoon. It’ll be really nice to have a night out – it only happens once in a while these days!

OOTD 6th February 2020
Revenge of the OOTD: it was a bit soon to announce the death of the ‘outfit of the day’ shots! All dressed up for a synthwave night out. Necklace Claire’s Accessories (2003), jacket unknown brand (estimated vintage 1990s, bought at vintage shop 2003), t-shirt The Midnight (2019), skirt Calvin Klein Jeans (2004), tights Primark (2017), trainers Reebok (2017).

Today’s earworm playlist:

The Beatles – ‘I Am The Walrus’
Del Amitri – ‘Nothing Ever Happens’
Robert Parker and Miss K – ”85 Again’

Open day

After this morning’s run…

…I spent the afternoon at the Newcastle University Postgraduate Open Day in order to find out about doing a Masters in creative writing. It was odd sitting in lecture halls and listening to talks. Other than the odd occasion when I’ve sat in on Geth’s evening lectures, I haven’t been in lecture halls since I graduated in 2008!

It was a really interesting afternoon though. I spoke to a few students who are currently doing the course, went on a tour of the facilities, and attended a couple of general talks on studying at Newcastle and funding sources. I went away with a huge amount of bumpf to read and a lot of things to look into over the next few days!

I then headed to ukulele class, which was as fab as ever. Really enjoying the songs we’re doing this term.

It’ll be another busy day tomorrow, as I need to catch up with day job work in between going to weigh-in and the gig that Geth and I are attending in the evening.

Tote bag
I also got a free tote bag to carry all my open day bumpf in. I don’t really need any more of these, but I always appreciate a nice goodie bag!

Today’s earworm playlist:

Vangelis – ‘Chariots Of Fire’
Stinx – ‘Why Do You Keep On Running Boy’*
Del Amitri – ‘Nothing Ever Happens’

*For the uninitiated (i.e. those who weren’t living in Scotland around the turn of the millennium), this was a parody of Britney Spears’ ‘…Baby One More Time’ that featured in a legendary HEBS (Health Education Board for Scotland) advert from 2000, aimed at discouraging teenagers from smoking. The advert was renowned as being absolutely genius (I did a day of work experience at the BBC during this period and they were all raving about it), and I sang the song in the school corridors every breaktime with my pals for about three months solid.

Didn’t discourage me from smoking, though.

Worth a watch if you’ve never seen it, if only for some prime nostalgia:

Winning in a happy non-competitive way!

So I followed up my first sub-31 parkrun since 2018 with… my first Slimmer of the Week award since 2018! Two and a half pounds off this morning. Just a few more weeks of consistent effort and hopefully I will be back in my target range!

On a less happy note I’m sad to see our latest temporary Slimming World consultant, Julie, moving on. Our group has had six different consultants in the last year for various reasons, and it sounds like our seventh will only be temporary as well. Fingers crossed we get our ‘forever consultant’ soon – the ladies have all been lovely, but it’s much easier when you have someone who’s followed your journey for a long time.

I was planning to get out for a walk this afternoon to make up for the pizza that Geth and I had tonight to celebrate the end of his marking, but I was a bit tired after this morning’s run so will be getting in some extra exercise over the next few days instead. I’ve got lots of work to get on with anyway.

Tomorrow is quite busy, so I’m really looking forward to the weekend!

Slimming World fridge magnet
Not an OOTD: also, our group gets fridge magnets for being Slimmer of the Week nowadays! When Katie (our original consultant) was running the group, you only got them for Slimmer of the Month.

Today’s earworm playlist:

Ed Sheeran and Khalid – ‘Beautiful People’
Duran Duran – ‘Winter Marches On’

Midweek miles

Still battling various aspects of winter weather while running. High winds in Newcastle meant that this morning’s four-miler felt like a bit of a struggle! However, my overall pace was consistent with what I’ve been doing recently, which is great.

I did some day job work and admin this afternoon, and then headed out to poetry night this evening. It was good to get back into the habit of reading for a room again – I’d only missed one month, but November in some ways feels like ages ago now. I got some good comments on my poem, so am feeling motivated to keep writing over the next few weeks.

Other than that, will just be keeping fingers crossed for another good result on the scales at Slimming World tomorrow! Geth and I have been really good this week so here’s hoping…

Night walk
Not an OOTD: the dark nights can be quite pretty, but I’m getting a bit sick of them now.

Today’s earworm playlist:

Duran Duran – ‘Tel Aviv [AIR Studio Version]’
Sugababes – ‘Hole In The Head’
The Midnight – ‘Explorers’