Thursday, 29 January 2015

Janathon Day 29 : Looking Back - Looking forwards

We're over the hill and on the home straight now. 29 days of #janathon completed and just 2 more to go.

Looking back ...... I've walked more often, further and faster probably since four years ago. I've lost 5 kilos in weight. I've learned to appreciate that exercise does not just have to be traditional "sport" type exercise. Other activities count too. For me that is working in the garden. I can lose myself for several hours, moving in different ways, using different muscles etc. etc and enjoying being outside.

Looking forwards ..... what comes next? A fellow Janathoner suggested a Febathon. I'm up for that, anyone else? The discipline of doing something every day, and writing about it (nearly) every day has helped me keep up the commitment. Now it needs to be long term, a change in life style not just a 31 day challenge. As another fellow Janathoner and #ukfitnessblogger pointed out to me

"It's a marathon not a sprint!" **

I need to stop focusing on the fact that I am unable (yet) to start including some running, and focus on the fact that at least every other day I'm walking 8+ km, pushing myself further and further each time.

I need to stop focusing on the alternate days when I can manage only 4k or 5k or some other form of exercise.

I need to focus on the fact that I am fitter, feeling better, clothes are starting to fit better and not on the fact that I still need to lose another 10 kilos.

I don't need to beat myself up because I had a few glasses of wine on one day. I need to pat myself on the back for being alcohol free for 23 out of 24 days.

It's about regular exercise not a competition.

It's about healthy eating not dieting.

"It's a marathon not a sprint!" **
Thanks ** Colin Chambers for the marathon / sprint advice and for the encouragement, thank you all for the motivation!

Today's effort

#janathon stats so far
walking             104.86 km
cycling                23.75 km
squats                510
gardening           18.0 hours

#alchohol free in 2015 - 23 days

#weightloss2015 5kg ( at the end of  four complete weeks )

Monday, 26 January 2015

Janathon Day 26 : Putting a line under yesterday

Putting a line under yesterday indeed, put it behind me and not let it put me off track. Apart from an hour of moving and stacking firewood .... I tried to put a little extra effort into it by "jogging" from the driveway and up the steps to the verandah each time .... there was very little exercise yesterday.

Days out are always danger zones for me, yesterday in particular, as it was a slightly belated birthday celebration with a friend. Pre-lunch champagne aperitivo, lunch in a meat-lovers heaven restaurant with an extremely good red wine. I think that says it all.

Onwards and upwards. After a really bad night's sleep (now was that the wine?) the last thing I felt like doing was braving the elements, but this is day 26 of #janathon and not the time to quit. The cold wind is back, fleeced up and gloves on, the wind blew away the cobwebs if nothing else. Having downloaded one of the many 5k running trainer aps I thought today would be the day I would begin something a little more adventurous than walking. Think again ... I couldn't even manage the first minutes jogging. Maybe the effect of yesterday's festivities, or maybe I am just not ready.

With #janathon coming to an end it's time to think about what will follow it. #MakeTheChange2015 may fit the bill.

#janathon stats so far
walking       83.98 km
cycling        23.75 km
squats          510
gardening   14.0 hours

#alchohol free in 2015 -  19 days

#weightloss2015        4.1kg ( at the end of three complete weeks )

Friday, 23 January 2015

Janathon Day 23 : Help, the munchies are chasing me!

Too wet to get out and with aching legs any thoughts of exercise were not welcome in my restless brain today. I did have a mission today though and that was to get the Chrome Cast key set up on the TV in the living room; it's been working fine in the kitchen so it should be no problem. Well, almost no problem. I thought I had done it - but could not get anything from the laptop "cast" onto the TV screen. Much scratching of head until the lightbulb moment came ..... TV on one wifi network, laptop on the other. Doh!

You may ask what this has to do with exercising. On a rainy day, quite a lot. Unable or unwilling to face the elements I needed to resort to my Leslie Sansone Walk At Home app. 24 minutes and two miles of more than just walking later and that's today's exercise done for #janathon Day 23.

Why is it whenever the wet weather arrive it is swiftly followed by the munchies and my thoughts turn to baking? I love Great British Bake Off, Britain's Best Bakery and such like ..... but my weight doesn't.

With a bag of courgettes in the fridge my thoughts turned to chocolate courgette cake. Swapping out the butter for olive oil and the sugar for half sugar and Stevia must have helped a bit. Rather than bake a big cake I made the mixture into muffins ..... downside, muffins cooked in 30 minutes rather than the 60+ for a whole cake. The result was that the courgettes had not cooked completely into the cake mixture and there is the odd courgette strand and a distinct vegetable aroma about the muffins .... but they still taste good. However as they come in at 174 calories each they will have to be a seldom treat. Off to the freezer they go .....

#janathon stats so far
walking       75.76 km
cycling        23.75 km
squats          510
gardening   14.0 hours

#alchohol free in 2015 -  17 days (today is day 18 ... not tempting fate by counting  until after midnight!)

#weightloss2015        4.1kg ( at the end of three complete weeks )

Thursday, 22 January 2015

Janathon Day 22 : From sluggish to buzzing

Woke up feel decidedly sluggish this morning .... but it was a beautiful morning and it Day 22 of #janathon and the beginning of week 4. We had errands to run in Torchiarolo so I walked back, and definitely picking up the pace now. 6.5 km in 1 hour and 3 minutes. I was really tiring as I got closer to home, very happy to see the sea again on the home stretch. Despite being tired I was really buzzing.

Followed up the walk with a little gardening...... thinning out and transplanting strawberries. We may have had some really cold weather but they are ahead of themselves again. Flowers and baby berries already. And tons of caterpillars, snails and slugs doing untold damage. It is war.

Today is also weight check-in day after the first three weeks, another 1.5kg down. I know the loss rate is going to slow down soon - just have to try not to get too demoralised when it does, I'm well on the way to where I want to be.

#janathon stats so far
walking       72.56 km
cycling        23.75 km
squats          510
gardening   14.0 hours

#alchohol free in 2015 -  16 days (today is day 17 ... not tempting fate by counting  until after midnight!)

#weightloss2015        4.1kg ( at the end of three complete weeks )

Wednesday, 21 January 2015

Janathon Day 21: And the Rains Came

Torrents ...... but once again at night. Are we in Camelot? Sadly the leaves don't sweep themselves up and the wind does not blow them into neat little piles.

Day 21 of #janathon. It's kind of hard to believe that the first three weeks of this year have rushed by already, and I am still on the #janathon bandwagon. After my "rest" day yesterday I was determined to get a good walk in. All the coastal paths are either flooded or mud-slippery - time to stick to the road, and even that was flooded in places. Endomondo hiccuped on me a couple of times and broke my walk into three parts, so three routes/stats below. Not sure why ... is it because I am on the free version?

Feeling good .... feeling motivated. Spring is in the air, the air is soft and warming up, summer is around the corner waiting for the new svelte me (I hope).

#janathon stats so far
walking       66.06 km
cycling        23.75 km
squats          510
gardening   12.5 hours

#alchohol free in 2015 -  15 days (today is day 16 ... not tempting fate by counting  until after midnight!)

#weightloss2015        2.6kg ( until tomorrow - end of week 3 weigh in )

Monday, 19 January 2015

Janathon Day 19 : Agh - Boiling over

Boiling over and not from the excercise ..... but as this is my #janathon exercise blog, first the exercise. An emergency trip to the bank in Torchiarolo due to the failure of another bank to execute a transfer was called for. Out came my trusty steed, the promised rains came in the night in the form of a massive thunderstorm but have gone away for now,  ... and set off for Torchiarolo. It's definitely time for a new bike, mine is nine years old and feeling it's age. The gears are stiff and take forever to react to a change. When they do it is with a big clunk. My first bike ride into Torchiarolo for quite some time.

And back again ....

I'm happy with that .... it was quite an effort. I think my self-awarded prize to myself at the end of this month, if I complete the #janathon challenge, is going to be a new bike.

After that two hours in the garden completed my efforts for today.

Boiling over? If you live in Puglia, and probably other Southern European countries as well, you know a visit to the bank can take a long time. I thought I had got lucky when I arrived at the bank and there was only one other customer. Sadly after he left the cashier decided he must do something else urgently before he dealt with me. So I waited, and waited, and waited. Until eventually another cashier came along. All I wanted to do was pay 150 euros into my account. You would think I had robbed a bank or something to get the 150 euros. My account name and details were all written down on a piece of paper which I handed over, saying I wanted to pay the money into my account. "ID" she snapped. I handed over my identity card. "This is your first time in the bank." was the next comment, all in Italian of course. Um .... I have had an account at that bank for nine years! "Well it is the first time I have seen you." Probably due to internet banking which, thankfully, works extremely well and avoids the need to go into the bank except on rare occasions. "I can't find your account." To which I politely pointed out that all the details were on the piece of paper. "It's not your account - the name on  your ID card is different." Oh bum .... this is due to the Comune di Torchiarolo insisting on including my maiden name with my married name to make my surname. They just cannot get to grips with the fact that in the UK a lot of women take the husband's surname. I explained this ..... and waited while, with much sucking of the teeth and long sighs, the cashier tried to get to grips with it. In the end I  handed over my UK driving license with only my married name on it .... and eventually she gave in and got on with it. Oh Puglia I do love you, but sometimes .............

Time for a much needed Italian coffee, something they do very well here, and at 0.80 euro cents for an Americano, a positive bargain.

#janathon stats so far
walking       58.51 km
cycling        23.75 km
squats         460
gardening   12.5 hours

#alchohol free in 2015 -  13 days (today is day 14 ... not tempting fate by counting it until after midnight!)

#weightloss2015        2.6kg

Sunday, 18 January 2015

Janathon Day 18 : Foiled by geography.

Day 18 of the #janathon challenge and I was off to an early start this morning, full of beans. It's much milder here in Puglia (good) but the winter rains look like they are about to arrive (bad - except the garden needs it). Yesterday my excercise session was barrowing 15 quintale of firewood (olive) down a steep slope the basement. In case you are wondering 1 quintale is equal to 100kg. A tone is 1000kg, so one and half tons of wood. That'll do. Certainly it stretched different muscles, mainly the core and arms.

Once again I struck out along the coastal road and paths heading north through Torre San Gennaro and onwards and upwards. Or so I thought. My goal, as you may remember, is to follow the coast path until I reach Lido Cerano. I pushed on past my last turn around point ready to give it my best. Then I was foiled, the path petered out and I was standing on the edge of a cliff looking down at a small cove and the sea. Ah well, change of plan required, it seems next time I must first head inland and get past the inlet, if at all possible.

My stupid phone seized up on me at the turnaround point. It seems Endomondo, Music Player and the Camera altogether were just too much for it. So I lost all my GPS tracking data from the walk. When I mapped it manually, although I went further than Friday, the distance came out as less. Go figure.

#janathon stats so far
walking       58.51km
cycling        11.00km
squats         460
gardening   10.5 hours

#alchohol free in 2015 -  12 days (today is day 13 ... not tempting fate by counting it until after midnight!) I'm feeling good about this as it includes one lunch at friends, one lunch out and entertaining friends to lunch here today.

#weightloss2015        2.6kg

If the rainy weather is really arriving I guess I will be using Leslie Sansones Walk at Home 5 mile Fat Burning Walk. It worked for me four years ago; maybe time to break it out again.