‘I Can’t Run’

I said these exact same words to myself around a year ago when I struggled to run for longer than 5 minutes on a treadmill without feeling like I required a full tank of oxygen to breathe. I said it to my partner over and over again meanwhile I’d be sat on the sofa gorging on my second packet of crisps of the day. Then I was unable to run as my body didn’t have any fuel from starving myself. These were all excuses, because running was hard. In fact, it seemed damn near impossible to me at the time. I’d see people out running and wonder how they were performing this miraculous act. Oh, how messed up this thinking was. In reality, I couldn’t run because I wasn’t in a good frame of mind to try, not because MY body was incapable.

My first piece of advice to anyone looking to get into running is don’t tell yourself that you can’t do anything. As I’ve discovered – the human body is capable of a lot more than we may even realise. It adapts to whatever you put it through! Everyone can run. You just have to get out there and remember that the first run is always the hardest!!

Don’t do too much too soon either. Even experienced runners make this mistake. It’s no use running six times a week on week 1 and then week 2 is non-existent. Start slow and build it up until you’re consistent week to week. This is where you’ll see your body changing and progress being made.

I’m about to enter into my training cycle for the Edinburgh Marathon in May after 3 weeks of being unwell. I’ll begin on Monday 6 February and train for 16 weeks. After recovering from illness I wanted to get myself back to a base-level of fitness before this begins and my first time back pounding the pavements was tough. I ran 2.5 miles (which was all I could manage) on Monday and then 3 miles on Tuesday – in pretty slow times compared to what I was doing prior to Christmas. It was difficult for me, mentally, to listen to my body and ease myself back in slowly. Yes, I’m a bit gutted I didn’t run a bit further or a bit faster but I would have done more damage to my body going hell for leather on those 2 runs. I made that mistake just after Christmas in going back to the gym too soon and it put me out for a further 2 weeks!

And… just after getting back into running, I’m off to Amsterdam this weekend for 3 days so I’ll be taking some more time off exercising. Hopefully all the walking we do whilst sightseeing will make up for it! I’ve also done a lot of research into healthy-eating hotspots in Amsterdam so I’ll be doing a post on where to stay on track whilst in the city, when I get back! Keep your eyes peeled!

Time to get my bags packed! Have a good one.

L x

 

Joe Wicks – Lean in 15

He’s pretty much been dubbed the health and fitness guru of 2016… so when Brandon bought me one of Joe Wicks’ books back in September for my birthday, I was excited to see what all the hype was about! At the time we were on a pretty strict cutting diet and as his recipes leave out calorie and macro counts, we decided not to put it to use straight away.

However, after a couple of months of more intuitive eating, enjoying the Festive season and recovering from illness it seemed rather fitting that we get started with Lean in 15 to get things back on track!

We picked out our meals for the week and did the food shop – which was not cheap! A lot of fresh ingredients means it can get pretty pricey but in my opinion, it’s definitely worth it. It’s much more satisfying to know exactly what ingredients are going into your meal and knowing that it’s all the good stuff! For us personally, another thing that adds cost (and previously put us off using recipe books) is the ingredients you have to buy just to use 1 tablespoon of it! Although the more we’re cooking, the more we’re building up our “store-cupboard staples.”

On Monday night, I was still feeling pretty rubbish so we decided to make the hearty-looking Chicken Pie first. I’d never made a pie until then- we actually had to buy a pie dish – so I was pretty excited for this right of passage in the kitchen! It was very simple to make, with ingredients that were easy to get hold of which is a bonus for a first-timer like me! It also only requires 20 minutes in the oven after all the prep is done – so it’s perfect for a mid-week dinner. As a pie-rookie, I don’t have anything else to compare it to, but if I do say so myself it was really tasty! Both Brandon and I wolfed it down and went back for seconds. This probably defeats the purpose of it being healthy but we’re both recovering from being pretty unwell the last few weeks and it was exactly what we were needing to feel a little better.


Next up was Tuesday night’s Asian Duck Salad! I love all things Asian when it comes to food so I was slightly underwhelmed when I didn’t have much of an appetite for it. Something beige and carby sounded far more like what I was wanting. Nevertheless, we’d spent the money on all the fresh stuff and there was no way that was going to waste, so we gave it a go! I was actually pleasantly surprised… We cooked the duck for slightly longer than the 1 and a half minutes recommended as it was still looking pretty pink at that point and other than that it turned out that it did in fact hit the spot and I was glad to be nourishing my body properly with ACTUAL GREEN VEGETABLES!

I was working late on Wednesday and was not feeling well at all so didn’t eat much. It was Thursday before we returned to Lean in 15. We were heading out to see Jack Whitehall performing at the Edinburgh Playhouse after work so we needed something that didn’t take long to prepare and cook. It was Lamb Koftas on the menu and they did not disappoint. I prepped them in just under 10 minutes and they didn’t take long under the grill at all. We’ve previously bought similar pre-made products from the supermarkets and I never will again! These were fresh, full of flavour and we got a lot more for our money by buying a big pack of lean lamb mince. I didn’t get a picture as they were not as aesthetically pleasing as the other dishes we’ve tried so far but don’t judge a book by its cover!

Friday night’s dinner was perfect and one the yummiest dishes of the week, Steak with Chorizo and Kale. Again, it was another really quick dish to make – especially if you like your steak rare like I do! I wouldn’t normally have paired steak and chorizo and I’d never actually tried kale before but I was committed to following the recipes by the book. As a result, I discovered I really like kale. I also felt fully satiated afterwards – which I was dubious as to whether I would with the lack of carbohydrates on the plate. 

I’m loving following Lean in 15 so far for 2 reasons; the meals are really tasty and I’m having a lot of fun in the kitchen! I highly recommend anyone looking to start following a healthy eating plan to get themselves a copy of one of Joe Wicks’ books. You won’t regret it! 

Has anyone else tried any of his recipes before? What did you think? 

L x 

January Gym Go-ers 

Just before Christmas, I was in a spin class at my gym – it was the 7am class with all the hardcore gym junkies I see day in, day out! I told Brandon this story and he said, “you’re one of them” and I guess he’s right. I have, over the past year, fully committed myself to and managed to sustain a healthy lifestyle… 

Anyways, back to my story… at the end of the class the instructor made a joke that we’d have to be fast booking our classes in January as the gym always, as we all know, gets a lot busier with new members. She then said, “It’s fine, I’ll give them until the middle of February at the most.” Everyone laughed. Except me.

I left that class without the usual elation of finishing a tough workout at that time in the morning. Instead I felt angry and disappointed in my instructor. She is the woman who is supposed to motivate me and everyone else in the class. Someone who walks through that door for the first time – she is the woman who is supposed to make them come back time and time again… but instead she exercised her snobbery amongst the supposed elite gym go-ers. 

I wanted to say – “hey, I started this thing last January and I’m still here” but I didn’t! Instead I kept my mouth shut and made a silent promise to myself that if I saw anyone looking a little lost, scared or unsure – I would smile or maybe even offer a helping hand. If everyone did the same, maybe more of the January “gym bunnies” would still be there by March. 

It’s important to remember that whilst we’re all in it for different reasons, we’re all in it together!

Can you all tell I’m on the positivity hype? I’m actually really sick at the moment, so I’m making up for my lack of training with positive thinking! Anyone got anything to share on the PMA front?

Happy New Year Guys!! 

L x