Although the weather has taken a turn for the worst I’m still doing my best to remain active.
It’s been raining on and off today and while visually I like this kind of weather I don’t have any waterproof clothes or a coat that currently fits me. I do have a golf umbrella – but it’s also been really windy and I don’t fancy the added hassle of doing a Mary Poppins impression half way through a walk.
When I awoke REALLY early before work yesterday morning I spent a few moments in the Apple app store and bought myself a GPS walk tracker (called Walkmeter) for my phone so that I could see how long it took me to go from A to B, what the distance was, and if I was making any improvement over time.
I set out at 6am for a walk around the block armed with this new technology.
About 3 months ago before I joined Slimming World I tried to walk this full circuit of my street and the nearby main road.
This loop was at the time not impossible, but during my attempt I pulled both of my calf muscles and developed a problem that still dogs me – chronic heel pain syndrome. Mid way through my walk I also thought my heart would explode in my chest. Even though I took a short cut through an alley when I began to feel like this I got stranded on a garden wall about 100m from home in the dark.
I remember at the time feeling scared and alone, and more than a bit pathetic.
Although I was close to home and my dad (who was visiting at the time) was sitting in my living room mere metres away I realised that if I had a heart attack in the dark alleyway in front of me that no-one would find me in time.
At the risk of engaging in melodrama (something I’m not prone to) I’d probably have died if this had happened. I played the potential consequences of this out in my head a few times over the following days and weeks.
The whole experience was sobering and worrying. On the plus side I had discovered what I could and could not do – but on the negative side I had injured both of my legs and made exercise even more difficult than it was prior to when I set out.
It made me very cautious the next time. Probably over cautious if I’m honest, and I didn’t do too much more for a while, choosing instead to focus on being alcohol free and getting through my mom’s funeral (although these were in many ways convenient excuses).
Yesterday morning I walked around the same block (without sitting down – but stopping to catch my breath approx. 5 times) in 11 minutes and 42 seconds. The added benefit of GPS told me the distance I’d walked was 0.47 miles and I’d burned 128 calories based on my height and weight.
This was half the circuit of the St Nicholas park walk (although I did more than a mile as I parked further away) but I crucially didn’t sit down and my chest wasn’t exploding, which was a massive improvement.
I also felt more spritely at work afterwards – and whereas I’m usually likely to remain seated in conversations with colleagues I found myself instead standing for more time than I was normally comfortable with.
My back hurt less and it took longer for my feet to ache and legs to tire.
Years ago at Weight Watchers the group leader did a weight visualising exercise with fourteen 1lb blocks of lard wrapped in cling film on a tray. The tray was really heavy and I remember wondering at the time what had possessed me to allow myself to get that out of control. What idiot would carry that tray (and others) around voluntarily?
I’m not sure why I lost sight of the feeling of holding that tray of lard but I did and for whatever reason many years passed and many more trays stacked to the brim were added.
Whilst discussing my weight loss yesterday with an intrepid and well-travelled colleague who talks in kilos I converted the 22.5 pounds I’ve lost so far and realised that what I was talking about was about TEN 1kg bags of sugar.
However – even more sobering is that I need to shed a further 127 bags.
It was this realisation that propelled me yesterday evening (and if I’m honest a fair degree of boredom) toward my exercise bike, which lately looks freakishly shiny and dust free.
My capability on the bike is also slowly improving and I can do 10 mins continuous time on the cardio setting before I feel light headed and my legs won’t move any more.
It’s all going in the right direction though and it’s encouraging.
Today I didn’t want to lose momentum, despite the inclement weather. Whilst sat at my comfortable desk at work I noticed that the rain had abated and the heavens, although grey, didn’t appear to be about to open.
Time for lunch.
I had previously failed to make my way around Arrow Valley park during my lunch hour but I felt sure that today I could do it.
Arrow Valley, like St Nicholas in Warwick is 1 mile exactly and has plenty of benches. Broadly speaking it’s a flat walk – although not quite as level as St Nic in some parts.
Well – I now know (having not made it back QUITE on time from my break and returning looking like a sweaty beetroot) that this is still a big (and painful) challenge, but crucially I made it all the way around, which I haven’t done for MANY YEARS.
So far this week (since my Saturday weigh in) I have walked approximately 4 miles. Although this is not much to some it’s more than I have done in a very very long time, and I am hopeful that it will help bolster my continued weight loss on Saturday.
Hopefully it will also negate the sneaky salmon and ham chunks I had last night as well. Damn M&S and their tasty treats!!!
The reason I lapsed a little was that I struggled to fill up my evening and consequently felt peckish throughout. This is a tough nut to crack. I can’t escape feeling like this occasionally but maybe I can pay penance with exercise.
I’m hoping I can do 6 miles this week Internet. Keep your fingers crossed.
I also have a blister and it’s a little badge of pride on my toe 😀
It’s so cute!