Ready To Go

And so 2017 begins. I’m too old to be phased by this shit any more, and I sure as fuck know that making any sweeping promises on Day One is just asking for trouble when the month goes to double figures. Therefore, let us begin with the small and attainable goals, right here on the table.

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HEALTH

I could be out there in the rain, suffering for my art, but I don’t need that today. What is more important at this point is laying the foundations for the real, hard work moving forward. This requires me therefore to ignore all sugar, processed or otherwise, for at least a 14 day period so my body remembers what it’s like to burn fat again and not derive all its energy from tea and sweeties. Tomorrow I have a meeting with my PT who will ask me if I want to go full-on hard bastard in losing the last of my weight, to which I am going to say yes. I’ve been running pretty much every other day since Christmas, and most days before, so this form of exercise no longer frightens or intimidates, and my chest is back to pre-infection levels. That means we’re going for it. I will need the cast iron will out, and to not give up because I’m tired and it’s hard. YES I CAN DO THIS.

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WORDS

Tomorrow I’ll send a sample of my words to a grown up who’s never met me and only knows me via Twitter, and we’ll see if I can begin a professional relationship with an Editor. The novel is now back in writing mode, with editing on the side. I’ve set myself a realistic timeframe to write a long-form essay, and I’m actively pursuing writing jobs. That means I have a CV now. Yeah, I’ve never owned one before, but that changed yesterday, and once husband takes a look at the last few edits, I’m going to start submitting job applications. Sadly, because I am not J.K Rowling, my writing career will not pay for itself on current subsistence levels: summat has to change. So, I prove I’m capable of getting work, and I can maybe afford a luxury or two going forward. I’d dearly love a new PC, for instance, and that’s not happening any time soon. The only way I make progress is with sacrifice, and if that means less free time, so be it.

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FOOD

Here’s a heading I’d not have considered could get use at the start of last year. Sure, I’ve cooked some things for myself before, but if you told me last month I’d be enjoying making my own breakfast the night before, I would have laughed at you. In good news this is not about to transform into a foodie blog overnight, because I know how my bread is buttered (^^) and nope, this is not my future. It is however, a necessary part of the journey where I can see what goes into my body because I put it there. I suspect there will be pictures, therefore, of what I do and how it arrives at the state I serve it in. I don’t make any pretensions at being Mary Berry either. There will not be brilliant cake or superb meals from scratch. I’m reading everybody else’s crib notes whenever possible. However there are already the beginnings of a desire to experiment, and that’s no bad thing.

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PICTURES

I got a new Sony Digital camera for Christmas. I asked for it with one desire in mind, to walk around with the lovely retro case my husband bought and show people that is what I’m doing. I’m taking pictures. I want to document the world around me better. One of the things I’ve done with the Mac Mini I use for mail and music is set my pictures from last year up as inspiration, to make me realise I don’t take a bad snap. I should use them as motivation and that is certainly the plan going forward in January. There’s a ton of stuff from New York I’ve been staring at and been stimulated by already. This will never be a bad thing.

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PERSONAL

Gonna try and post every day on Instagram, here and on the Warcraft blog. The writing one will get love too, but only when I’m finished with the workload. I might serialise summat again. There’ll be more non-fiction words there too. I’m getting more confident with personal pictures, and have changed my Instagram profile to reflect this. I love working in B&W. Need to smile more. Gotta be more confident in my ability to be capable. DEFINITELY need to run more and have a better waist. So much to do, and always so little time.


Better get on, then.

Life in Tokyo

I’m at the Gym, earlier today, looking at the people working on a Friday lunchtime and realising I’m the only one sweating. The women either side of me are perfect, thin specimens with co-ordinated clothing and beautiful hair and yet neither of them perspire at all. They run like mice, all scurry in the legs, yet neither appear to expend any calories at all. I’m dripping after my first 500 metres of running and it gets worse, I begin to smell unpleasant at 3k and decide to put in a 5 % gradient for the penultimate mile to give my legs some variety. As the pair get off I realise I probably pissed them off by taking the treadmill between them and preventing them from talking, and the look one throws back at me as she leaves is enough for me to consider giving the finger back. No, that’s not polite, but I can sure as fuck think it after the event.

My second major objective in 2017 is Persistence, which means running until legs ache and body drips. I don’t care what I look like in the Gym, I’m there to work, not win a beauty contest. Doing life properly is accepting that occasionally I do have to look decent, but at all the times in between it’s a frippery that’s not necessarily needed, especially not during exercise. I really don’t understand people who turn up, do the minimum amount of work and go home again. I do understand however that sometimes people do shit to make them feel as if they are making a difference to their own lives, and if that involves you never wearing out running shows or getting holes in the ankles of your leggings because you’re a fucking short arse and they’re always too long? Honestly, totally fine.

You are what you are, and this is what it is.

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As time goes on, I want to spend less time being something I’m not or will never be. There are better things to be doing, after all, than pretending to enjoy not eating. I fucking love my food, and despite trying my damnedest to lose half a stone (quite possibly more) and keep it off in January I am going full into cooking my own stuff and making more sensible meal and menu choices. I really would like, if I can, to cut out as much junk for as is conceivably possible going forward. It will be interesting to see how far I can take this and how much is achievable considering my current lifestyle choices. This is probably the biggest step in the dark I’ve taken for a while, but already it is bearing fruit.

Yesterday was a passable Chicken Casserole I’m already planning on making better. Tomorrow will be Pulled Pork. None of this will get me on Masterchef, but it’s a step towards further autonomy and helping make the most of what we have available. That’s all it ever has to be, one step after the other, until you’re not afraid to run.

I learnt how to do that in 2016. Now I can, there’s just so many new places I can go.

Your Game

Been a stupidly busy couple of days, all told, quite apart from the fact that I’ve had to be ridiculously grown-up since Sunday night. Yesterday was the only Christmas Party I do each year, and this time around, because I’ve lost some weight, I put on a frock. It was not totally hopeless.

There’s a lot of work to do but the fact this dress was tight when I bought it and is no longer so is a great step forward. In fact, when I got on the Gym turbo nutter bastard scales even after a three course dinner and two pints of Guinness, my weight was down :D

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I’ve done a phenomenal amount of time at the Gym this year: I can register my own sessions, and apart from August (when we were away for 10 days) my attendance has been pretty consistent:

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I think if I pushed for 20 days a month next year that would not be unacceptable. In fact suddenly there’s a whole new world that just opened up as potential, especially as I’ve managed ONE KM a day since Friday.

I’ll write more about that tomorrow.

 

King of Pain

Dear God, body, what did I do to deserve this? I coughed my way through the night and I’ve coughed my way through the entirety of the morning and yet, I feel great. In fact, this is the best I’ve felt for several weeks despite I did sleep in pieces, and I sweated so much that I could wipe myself down at 5am. So, I went to the Gym and I tried, but there’s nothing doing. However, I still did a kilometer, because there are now principles at play that require me to at least make an effort.

DAY #1 :: 1km (6.0 kph power walk)

Knew this would be impractical but having started yesterday I refuse to then give up because that fucking sucks. There was so much coughing and just inability to function that I’ve now come home and gone full-on self-care mode. Lots of heat in my throat, and just taking it easy in the hope I’ll wake up tomorrow and feel better.

Enjoyment Factor: 2/10. I however went and did it. I’m now sitting with a hot wheat wrap around my throat and honey/lemomgrass/ginger in a teacup, trying to get my body to stop stressing.

Let’s hope that this is the worst over with and I’ll feel better tomorrow.

Still Alive

Yeah, I’m still here. If you read the Words Blog you’ll know that I’ve done the NaNoWriMo thing a few days early because… well, I just want to write fiction right now and am not that fussed about keeping the World up to date. I still love you guys, but this cough will not budge and it is making sleep a bit of a problem, and it also making exercise or walking anywhere in the cold an exercise in pain. So, I decided to do something utterly stupid about it this morning, because I am mad, me.

#50Ksin50Days was born.

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It’s the most consumptive, consumerist 50 days of the year ahead of us, and the period where most people make resolutions and try and be fit. So, I think maybe I just cut through all the crap and forget the ‘oh I’ll wait until after Xmas’ bollocks and just get on with running 1k, every day, for 50 days. I might have to job some, there might be days when fast walking is involved, but the brief is simple. Even on Christmas Day and Boxing Day, I need to run one kilometre SOMEWHERE. What it then does is focus my mind on the process of how I run, and how it happens. It will be an exercise in persistence and application, and if you like, you can join me.

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Let’s face it, 2016 has been utterly shit, and I think it is time I took the whole fucking year by the balls and showed it who’s boss. So, here we go: I’m starting on a Friday, I have no ceremony, but for the next 50 days? I’ll have summat to write about.

DAY #1 :: 2km (mixed 7.0 kph jog and 6.0 kph power walk)

Okay, so I start with two, but as only one counts per day, that’s fine, but it gave me a chance to cough continuously at the Gym with an audience. Lots of asthma drugs taken. Did it on two treadmills as I swapped after warm-up to go and hack up a lung in the Ladies. My feet feel extra bouncy in new running shows, and even though I could not breathe, I had plenty left in the legs at the end.

Enjoyment Factor: Even with cough and bleurgh, this was an 8/10. Once upon a time I’d have gone back to bed after the start to the day I had (locked myself out of the house) but instead, I went out and STARTED A THING.

Here’s to the next 49 days.

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Running Scared

I’ve not mentioned exercise much this week, but it has happened three times, including walking to and from the Gym every time. I’ve also made a concerted shift on from my normal ‘routine’ and begun every session with the use of an Inhaler, before running 1K in the best time possible. Today, I did it in 7.19, which is an eleven second improvement on the start of the week. As I don’t do numbers, it is largely irrelevant, but the difference required to make up those eleven seconds is enough to push everything I do from now on further forward. Stamina is still an issue, I need more energy than I can currently command, and that probably will involve a further redefinition of what is eaten during any give day. However, there are distinct improvements to report not simply in times.

I’m able to not think about push ups now: every exercise I do requires at least some notion of mental as well as physical effort. Running especially currently involves me not panicking, concentrating just about being serene and not allowing my breathing to run away (^^), making an effort not to lose the plot. In the beginning I had to push my arms through every single repetition of a push up, but now the first set of 12 is an impulse, no effort at all. Once I get to 36 the thought needs to be reengaged, I have to push those last few, but this is new territory. There has never been a point previously where I could just drop and do it without the backup, and that is most definitely progress.

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My coat I bought last year, that was loose at the top and tight at the bottom, now works the other way. My waist is shrinking and the arms are growing, so much that pushing certain sleeve tops past my elbows is impossible. It takes considerably less steps to get to and from the Gym, which means making up 12k is becoming harder, despite me getting physically fitter. It will mean rethinking my trip to and from the Gym, and I’ll stick a longer way there starting Monday to make up the shortfall. Skin is suffering because of Winter weather and hormonal changes too, and I should make some time to try and address that. Finally, I could really do with some new underwear, because COME ON COMFY PANTS.

Oh, yeah, and that grand plan to write about NaNoWriMo went out the window when I grasped just how all-consuming this was going to be. 40k’s coming up and I’m probably a third of a way through my plot. I’ve spent as much time as I can writing and maybe I could have done more physical work this week but honestly, with my lack of sleep, it’s been just fine at this level. In fact, with my current state of fatigue now, more physical effort would probably have buggered me being able to write at all. Trying to balance all of this is not nearly as easy as I imagined it would be. I start things and radically underestimate exactly what will be required to complete them, every single time.

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However, most significantly of all things this week, the Bond is done. I don’t think I’ve ever been as proud of something as I am of that, even if it will never make me a penny. It is my attempt to counter gravity that is both inescapable and suffocating, that allowing a woman into this Boys Only club is never ever likely to happen in my lifetime, because Bond’s a metaphor for so much that people don’t ever want to change. I’ll be happy to stand by that story until I die, because I made a point, and I did it well. If you want to read it, it starts here, and I’ll have a PDF of it up next week if you wanna take it in one hit.

Even if I never better this, it is for me part of what I’ve promised to do moving forward. I work hard, it gets easier and maybe one day someone will notice that I did something great.

I can but hope.

Blue Monday

This week is a Deadlines week, and normally this would be accompanied by much wailing and gnashing of teeth, except today? Not so much of anything. In fact, if I get any more relaxed I think I’m gonna pass out. This is even after the start to the last two days when I have watched other people’s stupid do their best to derail me. I’ll tell you when all this started: I did a 5 minute meditation in the Gym. I just cleared my mind of everything, focused on the beat of the music, and switched off. It was incredibly simple, and I understand I’m now at a stage where I don’t have time to get annoyed about all this fucking pointless shit, because there are better things to be doing with my time.

You know, like living.

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I pretty much beat PB’s on everything yesterday. I have committed to run a Kilometre, at least three times a week, and possibly more if I can cope with the exercise. My arms are now totally unrecognisable from where I started in May. I have the beginnings of a notion of complete change, that didn’t exist before. I even have a favourite exercise, when the fuck did that happen?

The fact I couldn’t even manage four of these a couple of months ago and now I can knock off a set of twelve is fantastic news for the top half of my body which was sorely lacking in confidence. In fact, I’ll be found nipping off to the stairs when I get frustrated, between bouts of writing, to do a set of these when the urge takes me. The confidence this then gives elsewhere should absolutely not be underestimated or belittled. Amazing really, that if you do something long enough for it to become habit forming, it can be helpful. All that detrimental shit I used to rely on? Slowly falling away, but it does take willpower. An incredible amount of it, and the understanding that sometimes being hard on yourself is not the answer to everything. Yup, it works for some stuff, but not everything.

Do what you have to do, people, that’s how this gets better for you.