Conversations With The Funk Master #003

I talk quite candidly with my other half. Don’t we all? Anyway, we often have conversations about what I’m doing, how I’m getting on and how they make me feel.

This series of posts will share some of those conversations with you, 1) because they’re funny and 2) because, in years to come, I want to remember how awesome and supportive he has been.

Let’s go:

Scene: He’s getting ready to head up, wrapped up for the cold weather. I’ve just come out the shower and I’m parading in a towel.

Me: Does my breath smell?

TFM: Wooooah!

*TFM ducks well out of reach*

TFM: Does it what?

Me: Does my breath smell? Come back, you need to be close to smell it. Come on, come here. *breathes hard* Well? Does it?

TFM: Um, not overly. Not, like, minty or anything. Why?

Me: One of the questions on that Facebook group I’m part of asks ‘when you’re losing weight, where does all the fat go?’ A lot of the answers say ‘you breathe it out’ but then your breath should smell. I want to know if my breath smells.

TFM: Um . . . that sounds like . . . it’s not true.

Me: I dunno. Maybe it’s not, but it’s a good question. Where does the fat go? I’m going to Google it.

TFM: Right. Okay, well you know what I think?

Me: What?

TFM: Don’t worry about it.

Me: No?

TFM: Your breath doesn’t smell and you’re doing just fine.

Me: I guess so. K . . . okay, see you later.

da shared brain signature

Conversations With The Funk Master #002

I talk quite candidly with my other half. Don’t we all? Anyway, we often have conversations about what I’m doing, how I’m getting on and how they make me feel.

This series of posts will share some of those conversations with you, 1) because they’re funny and 2) because, in years to come, I want to remember how awesome and supportive he has been.

Let’s go:

Scene: We’re getting ready for bed, he’s already tucked up and comfortable, I’m wriggling about trying to get comfortable.

Me: . . . does my face look skinny?

TFM: *thoughtful* Yes, I suppose so. You lost a lot of weight in your face last time.

Me: Weird. It makes my head all tiny.

*I finally manage to get comfy. Ish.*

Me: Ugh. This is weird. I’m all soft.

TFM: What?

Me: My boob. Look at that. It’s all soft and floppy.


Me: In fact I could—wait—look, I can. I can get it in my mouth. Both of them, look!

TFM: Okay . . .

Me: Great. So you’re going to end up with a tall and slim girlfriend, that’s great, but she’ll have saggy boobs.

TFM: *laughing* Okay.

Me: But I don’t want saggy boobs. I need to hurry up with the ‘rich and famous thing’ so I can get a tuck and a boooooooooobie lift. What do you think?

TFM: You don’t need it.

Me: No?

TFM: No. You’re still beautiful whatever you weigh.

Me: . . . okay. G’night!

da shared brain signature

Weak As A Willow, Strong As An Oak

The saga continues! Both my boys are ill and I’ve had to keep them off school today. Worst part is, now I’ve dosed them up with Calpol, they’re running around the house like happy-go-lucky lunatics. o.O I take comfort in the fact that they have disgusting, chesty coughs and that, even though they’re cheerful, they probably shouldn’t be around other kids.

However . . . I did just have to cancel my second CBT appointment. 😦

It’s not the end of the world. Rational Me knows this and I’ve already spoken with my therapist to clear the rescheduling. However, I’m learning that changes to my plans, especially changes that I can’t control, throw me off balance in a significant way and often leave me raw and unsettled for at least half a week afterwards.

I knew this might be coming. I took precautions yesterday, such as planning ahead with meals and completing a 30 min run that normally would be happening now. I even figured out what my ‘treats’ would be, since my reflex to stress is still to turn to food. I feel I’ll have control and a much better chance of getting through this day unscathed.

oak tree
Credit: PolyLingua

I could have pushed on, stood rigid and tried to continue my day as I planned. I could have forced the boys to school, done my run and then cycled the two miles to my appointment. I could have stood tall, strong (like the oak) and immovable in my plans. I’m aware, however, that at any point in the day, a call from the school would have been likely, asking me to collect my miserable,  lurgy-ridden sons. I consider that scenario to be the gale-force wind from the north.

In that scenario, having change forced on me, interrupting work, possibly having to cut short my CBT, I would have been pissed as hell, stressed and strung out. Like the oak against those winds, my attempts to stand tall would have ended in a big fat crack in my trunk (mind). I may even have toppled over completely.

B&W willow outline
Credit: IggyOblomov

But changing, working with the things I can’t control and working around them has allowed me to avoid breaking and stay standing. Just like the willow which bends with the high winds. It’s supple and loose, ‘weak’ and yet, not.

Heh. The willow has always been my favourite type of tree. I think I know why now.

da shared brain signature

Run From The Pain

I’m not having a good couple of days. Okay, week.

I try to identify triggers for low mood, so I can do something about it, but the only thing I can pin point close to when this mood started is the snow last week. It hit last Friday, remember? As a result I wasn’t able to do the last run in my Couch To 5k week one and it really threw me out. In fact, it mucked up my entire day. Then over the weekend I couldn’t find time to slot the run in, so it rolled around to Monday again.

So I started over.

But also, on Monday, I finally (FINALLY!) had my first session of CBT (cognitive behavioural therapy). I’ve been on the waiting list for this since I first got referred by my GP back in April (!!!) and I had thought I didn’t need it any more. Glad I still went in, but boy has it left me raw. And that was just an opening admin session. My therapist believes I have post natal depression (yeeeeey) and that, together, we can work on my behaviours to better cope with regular issues I’ll have day by day just through being a mum (yey – non sarcastic this time).

But I’m guessing it bothered me more than I let on. Then, come Thursday, I skipped into Slimming World expecting something amazing and came away with a measly 0.5lb loss.

aaargh text pain
Credit: dominiquechappard

Meh. A loss is a loss and I should be happy with that, but I was hoping for so much more. But if I’m truly honest with myself, I know that I’ve not been on plan as firmly as I have in previous weeks. So this shouldn’t be unexpected.

Anyway, this morning I woke feeling bleak and decided I would go for a run anyway. It’s the third one of the week which means the first podcast is now complete. I feel somewhat less bleak now, sitting here, having had the exercise. Still, the act of running can be compared to running away from pain/stress/anger/sadness, so from a mental placebo point of view, I do feel like I’ve outrun something. Not sure what though. o.O

But I’m still not myself. I can feel that. And I’m not sure what to do about it.

Unless . . .

My Slimming World Facebook group has been and continues to be super supportive even in an oblique way and many folk have been posting now and then photos. It made me think about this blog and the changes I’ve made since starting it so . . . it can’t hurt to do the same here, right? Just a quick side by side photo to see what’s changed?

Well, let’s see:

Oct 9 2015
Oct 9 2015
Me in my gym gear
Jan 9 2017

Hmm. -_- I can’t see much difference at all, but it’s my body, so that’s understandable. Maybe you can? I don’t normally ask for responses directly, but if you do look at these two pics and see a difference anywhere (beyond location! :-p) it would really help me to hear what you see.

For now, I think I’m going to head off and come up with a nice healthy lunch to take the edge off this made urge to snack I can feel creeping up on me. After all, I don’t want to unravel my knitting, right?

da shared brain signature

Conversations With The Funk Master #001

I talk quite candidly with my other half. Don’t we all? Anyway, we often have conversations about what I’m doing, how I’m getting on and how they make me feel.

This series of posts will share some of those conversations with you, 1) because they’re funny and 2) because, in years to come, I want to remember how awesome and supportive he has been.

Let’s go:

Scene: We’re getting ready for bed, he’s already tucked up and comfortable, I’m wriggling about trying to get comfortable.

Me: What . . . fuck! A lump, I found a lump.

TFM: Huh—

Me: A lump, come here, feel it. Feel it!

*TFM shuffles across the bed to investigate.*

TFM: There’s nothing there—

Me: No, here. Here, feel it?

*directing his hand to the appropriate spot*

TFM: . . . that’s your hip bone.

Me: What?

TFM: Your hip bone. Here, look, I have the same thing.

*directs my hand to the same place on his body*

Me: Oh. I’ve never felt that before.

TFM: *laughing* You’d better get used to that since you’re going to be tall and slim.

Me: The fuck . . . bone? How the hell do skinny people cope?

TFM: Dunno. Think you can tell me soon?

Me: *grumble grumble grumble*

Run Like The Wind!

Thanks, Sarai! ;-)
Thanks, Sarai! 😉

Okay, more like ‘run into the wind until your eyes stream with tears’ but I did it. Another run down, followed by 20 minutes of fabulous yoga stretching.

I’m having such a good time getting back to exercise the way I used to. Indeed it changes the shape of my whole day, either knowing I have exercise to come, or that I’ve already down 45-60 mins worth of exercise.

My goals are small for the moment, I just want to be sure that I do at least 30 mins every day, be that on the Wii or out and about. That should enable me to get my 10,000 steps in while keeping me in the habit.

You know that ache in my muscles I used to talk about after a good workout? Well that’s back. Never thought I’d be so pleased to be in pain, lol. I can move far freer than usual and my flexibility is back too. Getting my hands flat to the floor with straight legs is my mini goal, but I can already tuck my fingers under my toes as far as the first knuckle, so I’m back to where I was before. Which is nice.

Bathroom Scales
Credit: tom

Tomorrow I have my next Slimming World weigh in. I’m actually really excited about it (weird, right?) but I have the same good feeling about this week as I did last week. And, I don’t know if I told you, but last week (so the week following new year) I lost 7lbs. So that recovers the 4.5lbs I put on over Christmas and then some. ^_^ I’ll take that!

Only 4lbs until my 2.5 stone award. Which I reeeeeeeeeeeeeally want! Wish me luck!

da shared brain signature

Back To Basics

Yep. It really is back to basics in terms of exercise. All last week I made sure to spend at least 20 minutes on the Wii Fit. Mostly yoga, but I also added a smattering of muscle and balance exercises. It’s not much, but it’s more than I was doing before and I’ve already seen an improvement in my balance and stride.

Me in my gym gear
Remember this outfit? ^_^

Then, this morning . . .

Yes! Back out in the wide world, not at the gym, but running! ^_^

It’s been so long—nearly a year—since I did a few laps of the park, but it felt so GOOD! I’m back on Couch to 5k, and I’m not crazy, so I’ve gone right back to week one of the podcast (I wasn’t kidding about back to basics), which alternates 60 seconds of running with 90 seconds of walking.

It was tough, I won’t lie, but the whole time, I kept reminding myself that this time last year, I was running for a full half hour. That kept me going and, towards the end, I barely noticed the 60 seconds passing. It makes me hopeful for the next few weeks. Imagine, by my birthday, I’ll back to 30 minute runs. Talk about an awesome birthday present!

da shared brain signature

I’m Back!

Yes, been a while, ain’t it? ^_^

I’ve been thinking about this blog for a long time, feeling awful that I let it slip. There are so many reasons why this blog was a good idea that I feel the need to pick up again.

So . . . this is me doing that!

Catch Up – Exercise

So what have I been doing since April? Hmm, it’s been a busy few months, that’s for sure. My freebie membership with the gym ended and left me happily running in the park, but of course, I hurt my ankle didn’t I, and was unable to go on? Well, I’m still doing physio for it and finding that I’m not keeping up with the exercises as well as I should be. As a result that ankle (the left one) is still incredible weak and prone to buckling under me at odd moments. I don’t need to be doing something complex, merely walking will do it. That’s something I need to work on.

Beyond that, I’ve found two things I want to try as soon as I gather together the peripherals: 1) hula hooping and 2) 20 minute HIIT routines that I can do in the living room. That second one shouldn’t be too hard (sure I’ll want some weights, but some bottles filled with water will surely be enough for now), but the first? Hmm.

But it looks like so much fun! And it’s something I can do while I’m watching TV. Y’know, stand there, watching Pokémon (don’t judge me!) and spend ten minutes hooping clockwise and the other hooping anti-clockwise.

Meh, I dunno. We’ll see.

Catch Up – Mental Health

Soooooooooooooo much better. I am taking meds now, nearly six months in. It’s great and I feel so much more like myself. I haven’t had any chance to speak with a therapist yet (I’m on a waiting list *grumble grumble*) but the fact that I can function and smile and work is so positive.

Catch Up – Eating Habits

Eeeeerm. Okay.

I’m doing well. I’m taking my time over saying this and doing so in a very public way because it’s necessary for me.

I joined a Slimming World group back in October and have since that date dropped 2st 1lb. Can’t complain about that. And it has all been through changing how I eat.

This morning, however, I had a very emotional moment and spend a good half hour chatting with other members of my group through our Facebook group. They did a great job of reminding me that I am doing well and that I should be more gentle with myself insofar as my expectations. Especially at this time of year.

line break

And that’s another reason why this blog has been on my mind. It’s the holiday season, Christmas (and a heap of other holidays!). A time of over indulgence, food, drink and everything else in between. No one would be surprised to hear how much people are able to eat and/or put on during December, but I don’t want to be one of those people. I’ve come a long way since October and it’s important that I protect that.

This blog was a brilliant way of keeping me accountable and measuring my efforts. So I’m going to keep it up.

No idea, at this point, how regular posts will be, but at the very least I’ll post after each of my Slimming World meetings which happen on Thursday mornings. As I work more exercise into my day (beyond running around chasing Pokémon, which just doesn’t count . . . don’t judge me! :p) I’ll talk about that too.

For now, thanks for reading, I’m glad to be back. Hope you’re up for joining me on this continued journey.

da shared brain signature

Weight Loss/Management Is In The Mind

Experience is teaching me the truth of this thought. Yes, there are physical things that need to be done to manage weight, but so much of the ‘fight’ for want of a better word, is mental.

Take yesterday. What I call a ‘low day.’ I woke up feeling terrible about myself and my efforts and went to bed feeling the same way. I ate terribly, all day, including a heft wedge of Stilton and half a pot of Pringles. I followed that up with a trip to the cinema (Civil War is AMAZING by the way!) during which I ate a little bag of pick’n’mix and a couple of Minstrels.

This is significant because by the time I reached the cinema (7.30pm) the worst parts of my day were over. I felt calmer and more in control and, as a result, able to make sensible decisions guided by my brain rather than my stress. I bought a third of the pick’n’mix I might normally buy and made them last into the last half hour of the movie. By the time I got to the Minstrels, I didn’t particularly want them and only ate a handful before re-sealing the bag.

Today, another rough morning, but the act of stepping out of the house, sitting down and thinking calmly took me to my favourite coffee shop. There I ordered a single pot of fruity tea and no crisps or cake accompaniment. 


The trend is easy to see the more I look. The calmer I am, the less stressed I am, the better I become at steering clear of those troublesome foods.

I’m sure I’ve said this before, but the battle is up in my head and I only lose it, when I let myself get tired, run down, or over stressed. I’m not entirely sure of how to do away with the stress aspect (I’m not able to relax in the same way I once was, and I’m also not sure of what soothes me these days—beyond snarfing a bag of popcorn) but again, as I always say, being aware of the facts makes it easier to deal with. Being vocal and public about it is also a help.

I’ve decided to make one change at a time. As small as possible. Small changes lead to big results (eventually) and the biggest challenge here won’t be the changes themselves but the patience to let them take hold. I’m not known for my patience . . . ask the other half.

These are the things I want to do in very broad terms:

  • Eat less in general
  • Make more sensible food choices in general and in particular in times of stress
  • Exercise more
  • Sleep more
  • Be happier

Yes, that last one is a big vague and wishy washy, but knowing what I want, even in those terms is more than I did yesterday.

I’ll probably break these down into actionable SMART goals another time, but for now, I’m going to focus on just one. Sleep.

We all know how important sleep is and yet it’s the one thing that drops off the list of priorities pretty darn quickly. I’m going to see what happens with a concentrated effort to get more sleep each night and work from there.

Next time . . . an actionable list of goals and/or checkpoints.

da shared brain signature

The Benefits of Personal Training

Today I had a consultation with one of the personal trainers at my gym. His name is Umar and he’s a six foot fellah with broad shoulders, a tiny waist and a bit of a cheeky grin. He’s also very, very good.

He approached me last week and said he’d like to talk to me about what I’m doing on the machines and, of course, I agreed. Earlier this week he showed me one of his clients and explained that he could give me a free consultation to talk about what he offers, how he works and what he could do for me in terms of fitness and body transformation.

. . . well, you know I’m all over that sort of thing, right?

So today, in I go and spend a good 40 minutes with him, doing a mini version of one of his full sessions. Lunges, squats, tricep-pully-things (can’t remember the actual name) and pull ups (fuck, that was tough!). I’m sitting here now, feeling the ache across my thighs, knowing that what I did in those 30 mins (the last ten was us chatting about prices and meal plans) was far more effective than the entire 90 mins I spent in that place on Monday.

So, personal training; what does it give you, just from what I saw today?

  • One on one, tailored support and exercise plans.
  • Encouragement and support (the amount of times I thought I had to stop doing those pull ups and yet I got to the end).
  • Accountability (not only do I know that there’s someone else waiting for me at the gym each session, but there is a cost involved too)
  • Structure (someone who knows what they’re doing in place to offer advise on reps, sets and weights is bloody helpful)
  • Measurable inputs and outputs (Umar’s meal plans all have weighed food and he ensures clients have before/after photos to look at)

So . . . yeah. All in all, the idea of a personal trainer is very attractive to me. Previous to this, I had thought that PTs were only for celebrities or other otherwise rich folk and I won’t deny that cost is a major factor here. But the fact that he and the other trainers frequent my local gym means that they are always accessible and not as aloof as I may otherwise have considered.

Basically, this is something I need to do a lot of thinking about, because it isn’t cheap. On top of finding the money to use the gym in the first place, this would be an additional wedge of cash to book the sessions. Balance that with my up and down relationship with food (more on that another time) I’ll have to think long and hard about whether or not this is something I can pursue.

For now however, the knee-jerk reaction is, ‘hell yes, that would be a great thing to try.’

da shared brain signature