No Scrubs

Everything is late, one thing is at least a day behind, but this is surprisingly good progress, all told. There’s a reason, and it is worryingly grown up.

Both son and daughter have a cashew nut allergy. The specialist this morning almost gleefully informed me this is almost a bigger problem than peanuts, that they sneak into a remarkable amount of processed food plus the prevalance of ‘healthy’ snacking has highlighted the issue even further. Daughter is now set for a raft of tests, will be issued with an adrenaline delivery device, and then begins a lifetime of being careful what she eats.

There is guilt manifesting in two ways: my genetics are partly at fault (asthmatic amongst other issues) plus really, truthfully, we should have had this confirmed as soon as it was apparent her brother was allergic. It is also not great that this happens in the period where obtaining medicines is becoming increasingly problematic.

I have not been a great parent: today all that came home to roost.

The Next Chapter Bar

A lot of things appear to be going backwards, or not happening at all. However, small victories are beginning to emerge. A historic back problem is finally beginning to settle down, strength is being gained in my legs, whilst sleep quality has definitely improved. The second bag of Huel is about to run out and so, this week, I’ll do a review, because honestly this is probably the most significant change in my life over the last month and honestly, it’s huge.

For now, however, all I want to do is sleep.

The Sun Rising

DAY 2: I’ll just leave this here.

Sugar cravings are non-existent. Sleep patterns are a lot less fraught after a couple of weeks off the routine, but as I miss order so very much, and without it everything suffers, it is time to be up at approaching ‘normal’ before cracking on with the plan. Yesterday went fabulously well: poetry’s already scheduled to archive, I have a month’s worth of Motivation stacked and ready to post, Short Story is already ahead of the curve.

Today, we’ll see if we can’t get the YouTube stuff organised too, remake some website headers, before creating a ‘form’ for scheduling so that I can cut down on the massive number of PostIt notes and random pieces of paper required to make each new month happen. Call it being overly picky, or perhaps just wanting to be more environmentally sound… but it should be doable now. The routine is set, but can still be flexible.

HOPEFULLY this will assist in making weight loss and meal times less stressful. I have my first recipe ready to go. It was either a) safe with burgers or b) risky veg and YES I’M GOING FOR B because nothing changes when you’re safe. This is a line in the sand, and it will go on being pushed and redrawn, but it won’t be walked away from. I’ve wanted to do this properly for decades. It will happen.

The other promise is to my husband, who’s been pushing me for years to expand my mind via podcasts. I’ll be honest, there’s normally just not been enough brain-space to process stuff like this between everything else that’s upended mentally over the last few years. Now, however, I feel comfortable enough to give it a go. I’m listening to 2017 podcasts, starting today, then we’ll do last year so I’m caught up to current.

After that? We’ll take a trawl through the archives and see what looks interesting. I’ll be back to you on how it all goes.

Oh, and I’m gonna exercise later, because I haven’t lifted a heavy weight since Friday.

Forget Myself

DAY 1: Let’s start the clock again. I had an Orange Club yesterday but, in my defence, there was a VERY good reason.

I wish the Blood people did a daytime session at the local church. Doing it during the day’s been a lot less difficult to cope with. Maybe it is because you’re fuelling over a longer period and not shifting straight into eight hours of kip. Perhaps this is just easier as body gets fitter. I will have to do some push ups tomorrow and schedule a bike ride after New Year’s Day nosh at my parents. It’ll be four days since anything was lifted, and that will never do.

As 2019 begins, I’d like to remind you why we’re here:

The epiphanies just keep on coming, and they’re all being written down, so that blog posts may spring forth from them. Remarkable progress has been made in the last 48 hours and although it is not exactly where I wanted to be, we are damn close. Give it a good push tomorrow, and there’s clear air for writing, and starting my cookery aspirations. I haven’t told you about that yet… Why else do you think the Instagram account was reactivated?


Happy New Year. <3

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.



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.



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.



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.



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.



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.


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.

The Master Plan

It’s taken a fortnight, but this morning I woke up horizontal and without a coughing fit, which means that YAY health is now returning to normal. However, there’s been some hangovers from the massive antibiotic use, including a couple of quite scarily painful bouts of heartburn. That means that today, I’ll be eating simply and trying not to stress. On that front, there’s been quite a lot of thought about exercise goals going forward, and how I’d like to continue in 2017 the good work I’ve managed this year.


This week, I made a conscious decision to get myself back into walking without aggravating my asthma, which is cold/heat triggered. That meant a drive to the Gym every day, which I’ll now replace with walking starting tomorrow. That in itself will tip me well over the 12k limit I’ve set for each day, and means I’ll be far less likely to be berated by angry cyclists as time goes on (that was an incident on Thursday I’d be happy not to repeat.) On the Treadmill this week I’ve been alternating light jogging and brisk walking, and yesterday I got up to a 400m jog without everything going terribly wrong. I’ve asked my PT to just do weights (again) tomorrow and I’ll spend another week getting myself back up to 100% fitness. Right now, I’d place myself at about 90%.


I need to be eating more vegetables and fruit. I’m consuming far too much tea, again. My weight is finally beginning to reduce and the muscle content is remaining. I can see now EXACTLY on my body what needs to change. What used to be vague, nebulous requirements are now solidifying into targetable goals and precise objectives, and it is time to work on the stuff that can be and not stress about the stuff that can’t. The New Year would traditionally be the period to do this but I’m going to restart the #50Kin50Days Challenge starting tomorrow, for no other reason than I should be doing more, every day, to improve myself mentally and physically.

The physical has always been the harder of the two disciplines to maintain, but now that might not be the case. I’m finding as I do more physical, it is making the mental so much easier to accomplish, and whilst that remains the case, I’m going to do my damnedest to maintain the momentum. So, let’s start before Christmas with something that will make all the difference over the Festive Period, and see where things go from there.

Lost in France

I’m back to the weight I was six months ago. However physically, I’m anything but the same. I ate my last chocolate before Christmas yesterday (with the reserved exception of my Birthday weekend, which is being planned out of my hands.) There will be the bare minimum of cake, crisps, bad junk or indeed excess sugar from now until December 25th. It’s not Draconian or unrealistic either. It is the only way to remove what I know is fat. I can see it, obvious and taunting in areas of my body that will soon become muscle, just like all those other parts of my body where the same is true.

It is time to truly redefine what I’m capable of becoming.


Ironically I’m becoming more used to protein as time goes on, preferring rice to pastry, brown to white. Yeah, of course I’ll still crave because I’m human, but it is surprisingly simple to just stop and say no. Listening to my body is becoming an exercise in revelation, too: I’m capable of a lot more than’s currently possible if I simply start feeding myself better. It is all, like it or not, a constant exercise in self assessment. If I allow myself to give into the demons, they can and will utterly consume the good work that I’m doing. I realise that maybe, in times past, this is why faith was far more important than it is now to so many people. With someone looking down, judging your every action, it was far easier to be the good person, or not allow ‘temptation’ to sway you from the righteous path. I’m always impressed with those who seem to have everything under control. I’m always wondering where the catch is.

I know my shortcomings only too well. That’s most of my problem.


The majority of the weight needs to shift from my waistline, which is traditionally the last place to ‘move’ through exercise, and so I’m going to start measuring myself in the same spot every week to see how things are progressing. I know what the number is, I’m not looking for a stupid reduction, or a set of stats that are hugely unrealistic. However, what this will do is give a notion of improvement away from actual weight loss, which I know now is completely irrelevant when fat is converting to muscle. I know I won’t go any higher than this ceiling, the question is now how far I can go back to what used to be the last consistent measurement before the kids were born.

My son is 16 on Saturday. This seems the ideal opportunity therefore to get serious with what gets eaten and drunk moving forward.


Reality checks are useful, and if you ever believe you don’t need someone else to read your fortune? You’re wrong. If you continually baulk at objective, critical appraisal, the chances are that it’s not the rest of the World with the problem. There are consequences to every action, and conveniently forgetting this does nobody any good. Today, in my case, this is the moment to concede that even I can’t do everything, all the time, and not suffer the consequences. It hasn’t helped that this week has been the most hormonally difficult for some time. However, once I grasped that sometimes there is nothing you can do but ride out the problem? It all got easier.

What I’m not doing well is factoring rest into the equation, plus considering what I drink.


I could have walked on Thursday had I not thrown myself into the task with such enthusiasm on Tuesday: as my PT likes to point out, every trip doesn’t have to be a Personal Best. I struggled on Friday to maintain the pace for a 7.30 kilometre, and it had nothing to do with physical issues and everything around the energy to do so. Recovery time is being dictated a lot by how my hormones effect sleep. I need to watch how this dictates my actions throughout the week and amend my exercise accordingly. Most importantly, however, and it will hurt when I type this, I gotta cut my excessive tea drinking. I don’t do cups, I’m a bucket or nothing kind of girl and when you shove milk and honey into this, it is beginning to be detrimental. As a result, I’m going to count every cup as 200 calories from now on, and there is going to be a limit. That means I’ll want to get some green tea into my diet that doesn’t compromise on taste and allows me a notion of freedom.


This week however there is an enforced change to my routine, because tomorrow evening I’m giving blood for the first time. I signed up after the weekend of the Miami Club massacre but it has been this long to get me an appointment. The venue is the Church I walk past every time I go to the Gym, so it’s as local as I can probably get. I hope this will be a regular event too, and I can start giving back and making a difference. My PT as a result’s been shifted to Wednesday, whilst on Friday I’m having a check up at the Doctor’s Asthma clinic. This will show how much better (I hope) my lung capacity has become since I started exercising.

This week, therefore, will be making sure I actually use My Fitness Pal to accurately log my calorie intake, and take an enforced break from excessive beverage consumption. After that, I’m hoping my hormones will play nicely and I can improve on the last seven days’ fairly woeful exercise totals.


Ladies and gentlemen, last night I fell in love.

Many of you will already know the Nando’s Churrasco Thigh Burger intimately, but it was my first time yesterday and actually, I may be slightly obsessed already. It didn’t look ANYTHING like this, I’ll grant you (and slaw was notably absent) but honestly, it was immense. AMAZING. Frankly, after 90 minutes in the Gym it was probably the worst thing I could possibly have done for myself but you know what? DON’T CARE. I went Mango and Lime, for the record, so you may stare dismissively at my inability to stomach Portuguese hotness for as long as you please. Even the chips were a bit like asking for trouble, because I am a wuss.

I can remember when Nando’s first hit the UK, and I was never really interested. It is only now that my eldest likes to live there whenever possible that I’ve been pulled into the fold, and actually I’m surprised at my own enthusiasm. I could quite honestly eat these all day and all night if given the choice, which is odd, because normally the notion of this kind of offering fills me with dread. The fact it is still meat is a niggle, because despite my love of the stuff there is a slow drift away from eating it all the time, mostly due to the realisation that the planet’s not going to sustain that kind of appetite long term anyway. Last night was 664 calories, if I believe the Internet, not including the chips and half a piece of garlic bread, so actually it is not disastrous in that regard either.

Mostly, I approve.