Walking Away

Lynda in a rickshaw on Kathmandu

The lazy way to get around Kathmandu

It’s been a difficult week with pressures of work preventing me from walking at lunchtimes. But I still managed a two mile walk at the weekend despite the horrible weather. What kept me motivated was realising that with each step I take, I am walking away from the extra person I’ve been carrying around for years.

That thought, which popped into my head about half way through my second mile, has got we thinking about what else I’m walking away from.

What else am I walking away from?

Shaking off that extra person (should I think of a name for them?) may well be extending my life. I’ve heard somewhere that one of the ways the ancient Romans used to punish murders was to strap the victim to the perpetrator. The consequence was that, as the corpse rotted, so did the flesh of the murderer. They would die a horrifying and terrible death. The person I’m carrying around may not be rotting away, but it certainly isn’t helping my health.

I may be walking away from Type II diabetes. I was diagnosed a few years ago and half been told it is possible to reverse the diagnosis by losing the weight, eating better, and exercising. I’m not holding my breath on that one as my Dad has the same condition but is not overweight, eats sensibly, and walks several miles everyday. Not bad for a man in his 80s.

What I am certain of, is that I am walking away from an appalling self-image. I don’t like seeing the rolls of fat, I feel terrible whenever I hear news articles about obesity. I’m ashamed of how I have let myself go. I used to play hockey for the school. I used to run 3 miles a day, every day. I feel now that people judge me as a person based on how I look, not the person I am inside. But I am already feeling better about myself.

There may not yet be much of a change in my appearance, but I am achieving, and cutting down the sugar content of my diet means I feel more alert and more alive. Not only am I walking away, I’m walking towards a new me.

The Reckoning

The reckoningThis week has been a week of reckoning. Having to run around after family has made it difficult to fit in the exercise. Motivation has been really low too.

Despite this I have determined to keep going. And I’ve increased the walking time to 22 minutes.

The reckoning with nursE Shirley

On Friday I went to the local surgery to be weighed for the first time since I started on this adventure. I got to see the lovely nurse Shirley. She’s one of those people who loves caring for others. I always feel comfortable seeing Shirley. She’s such an encouraging person and she never judges which makes it easy to be honest with her.

Well, now I’ve sung Shirley’s praises, I’d better tell you the outcome of the visit.

So, I have a lot of work to do. But while it was a bit disappointing to get that news, it has actually made me more determined to succeed and get fit enough to do that half marathon in 2018.

Today I started with a series of strengthening exercises for my legs. I plan to do this weekly. For my walk I decided to time myself around a mile circuit. I know it’s a mile because I’ve driven around it in the car. I was surprised to find it only took me 20 minutes. I expected it to be longer. So I’m really pleased with myself.

I’ve also enjoyed making soup today. It’s so easy:

Spicy parsnip soup: 4 parsnips from the short dated veg in the local supermarket, half an onion, garam masala, chilli powder and water, simmered until the parsnips. Then blitzed.

Mediterranean vegetable soup: pre-prepared roasting vegetables, again from the short dated veg counter. Again, boiled and blitzed.

Before I sign off, I want to share a great little app I’ve found for keeping track of weight, exercise, calories and so on. It’s called My Net Diary and you can find out more at www.mynetdiary.com

It’s not over until the fat lady runs.

Singing and Walking in the Rain

walking in the rainThis week has been full of weather. We’ve had sleet, snow, high winds, and rain. It’s enough to put anyone off. But I have been sticking to my plans and been walking in the rain.

My mother used to love walking in the rain. And to be honest, I don’t really mind the weather. It’s the consequences of the weather that I have a problem with.

It’s coming across this barrier on the footpath and having to go round it on the squishy ground. It’s walking along muddy footpaths and slipping around. It’s having to take your glasses off to clean them because no-one’s invented windscreen wipers for specs yet.

But these are tiny obstacles in the scheme of things. So I resolved to be positive and enjoy myself – not singing and dancing, Gene Kelly style, but…

singing and walking in the rain


That was part of my 20 minute weekend walk. In the coming week I shall be stepping it up to 20 minutes each day and a 25 minute weekend walk. I’m also going to be using the exercise bike to add some variety. Last week I did 2.5 km for my first session on the bike, when I couldn’t walk at lunchtime.

 

Going live

The Fat Lady Runs going live

Warm ears on a cold walk (read the story of this crazy hat at the foot of the page)

If I had any fears about going live and telling the world about FatLadyRuns, they’ve been completely blown away.

Almost everyone I’ve told has been really positive and encouraging. There’s the work colleague who’s already done the London Marathon and the friend who’s offered to do my first 5K run with me when I’m ready.

There have also been lots of helpful suggestions about mobile apps, diet, and how to build up my training. One friend even told me how they’d overcome a fear of heights to do a parachute jump. That seems such a big challenge compared with what I’m attempting. But it helps me to believe I can achieve my goals.

So I have no regrets about going live.

Here’s a short video about my progress:

Going live on fundraising

It’s too soon to start fundraising but I have decided which charity I’m going to run for. It won’t be a surprise to anyone who know me well. I’m going to raise funds for the International Nepal Fellowship, the charity I work for. More about that another time. For now I just want to give you the bare basics. It’s an international (clue is in the name!) charity that does health and development work in Nepal.

A couple of years ago I had the privilege of going to visit some of our projects there. I saw the impact of leprosy and spinal cord injuries. I saw how people can be helped to help themselves in their on communities. I saw the beauty of the country and met some amazing people. But the need is enormous.

The story of the rainbow hat

While I was in Kathmandu, Nepal’s capital city, I had breakfast in a little coffee shop called Higher Ground. They are part of a charity which supports women and helps give them a fresh start in life and gives them skills to support themselves. Above the coffee shop they sell crafts made by these women. I saw the rainbow hat and couldn’t resist buying it. I haven’t had the nerve to wear it in public until this week. But this traditionally-styled Nepali headwear was exactly what I needed when the wind was biting at my ears earlier in the week.

The fat lady will run

Hi. I’m a middle-aged fat lady with Type II Diabetes.

They say it’s not over until the fat lady sings.

Well I’ve decided:

It’s not over til the fat lady runs

It’s my goal to run a half marathon in 2018. There’s a lot that has to change before that can be achieved. I’m very overweight and extremely unfit. But I’ve put together a plan and it’s not over until this fat lady runs.

I plan to run the half marathon for charity and I’ll let you know more details once that is firmed up.

Are you mad?

Perhaps!

I’ve done diet and exercise plans before and they’ve worked … for about 6 months. Then I fall off the wagon. And, of course, I end up unhealthier than I was before I started.

It’s because the goal isn’t big enough. It’s just about me feeling better about myself. I need a bigger goal, and I need bigger consequences if I fail.

So my big goal is to raise £500 for charity. If I fail, I’ll be letting other people down as well as myself.

And I’m making it public because it will help keep me motivated. I really don’t want to fail in front of the whole world.

Starting on the right foot

I used to run 3 miles a day, every day. That was about 30 years ago. I’m not going to make excuses for why I stopped.

But I do know that an overweight, middle-aged woman should not just put on some trainers and start running. I’ve planned a fitness regime with the help of some really good advice HERE and I will be working with the team at my local GP practice.

I’m also working on an improved diet because I have to get my weight down as well as get fit. I’m not going for the latest fad, I’m just going to eat better – more fruit and veg, fewer bad carbohydrates, and plenty of water.

And, it’s not over until this fat lady runs that half marathon.