July 13: Getting organised

I’ve been a bit slack on all fronts recently, and today was the day to sit down at the desk and get organised. I’ll only be working Tuesday and Wednesday this week, and took the chance today to reply to comments on the blog that I’ve neglected, send some emails to people who I’ve neglected (still many, many more to be sent!) and write some posts on this neglected blog.

There was also the chance to lie on the lounge by the pool and start a new book :). I thought about resurrecting Monday Runday, but that idea quickly faded. Too hot, too unmotivated, too many things to do … too many excuses!

The grass has turned from a rich green to a golden yellow/brown. Walking across it is like walking on hay. We certainly need some rain (but can it come at night, so it’s cooler to sleep?!)

fitfor15in15

Dry yellow grass

fitfor15in15

Hydrangea coming along nicely! It didn’t flower at all last year

fitfor15in15

The crocosmia is starting to flower!

fitfor15in15

The poor old blue delphinium isn’t as majestic as it was last year

fitfor15in15

The glads are nearly flowering. They’ll be white and orange

fitfor15in15

The snapdragons, which I thought were goners, have come good again

fitfor15in15

I didn’t plant this gladioli here, it just sprouted on its own

I did send a job application off today too, so that’s something. Fingers crossed!

And you know what else I did? Deleted the card game off my phone that stops me from reading books. Mum and I are addicted to card games, it must be in our genes, but today I decided enough was enough. It’s distracting me from doing things I want to do, like be in contact with people, learn new things, read new books, write some stuff, generally get moving and out of the twilight zone, which I seem to enter every time I open that app on my phone. Not good! Not good at all! Sure, there’s a place for some relaxation, but I was becoming way too reliant on it as something to do, when there are so many other wonderful things to be doing.

Nutritionally, I’ve been a bit naughty too. I’ve eaten ice creams. And chippies. But hey, all’s good. I’ve realised it’s incredibly hard to quit sugar, and I’m not quite ready to do it just yet!

Wishing you a wonderful day.

June 22: The wheels are falling off

fitfor15in15

Our house in the morning light

fitfor15in15

At long last, the Alps are visible again! Taken on the walk to the bus this morning

Ok, I’m going to be totally honest here. I haven’t done any exercise for a very long time. I’ll say that again, with em-PHA-sis, so I feel bad. A verrrry loooooong tiiiiime.

Walking to the bus and weeding the lawn for four days does not count (although I do think the lawn was the straw that ‘broke my back’, figuratively).

This blog is all about being fitfor15in15. Along with being mentally and nutritionally fit, I want to be physically fit with a minimum 15 minutes of EXERCISE a day. That was my mantra. That IS my mantra, but it’s all gone pear-shaped and I’m trying to work out why.

I’m surrounded by friends who are fit and healthy, who love to run or walk or go to yoga, and I know the benefits, yet I’m suffering from a severe lack of WTFC. Who The F*#$ Cares. I should care! I do care! So why is it so hard to actually get up and do it?

Freda from livesimplysimplylive has been totally succeeding in her 30-Day Challenge to do a ballet class every day for a month – she’s passed day 21! – plus, to top it off, she’s taking swimming lessons. I dip my hat to Freda for really sticking to her guns on this one. Some people love a challenge more than others and I’m in awe. I’m flailing!

Today should be Monday Runday. I came home from work (ahaha, how good does that sound) and had full intentions of putting on my sneakers. But first I sat on the couch. Then I lay on the couch. Then I fell asleep. Then Leo woke me up at 5.30pm. Oops.

Could it be a case of half-way mark burnout? In just over one week, it will be six months of fitfor15in15. I have no problem writing everyday (sorry for all the waffle) but for the past month I have had serious issues with actually exercising. Even for just 15 minutes. My brain says “neh”, which is a cross between “meh” and “nah”, so that just shows you. how. bad. I’ve. got. it.

It’s time to go back to the drawing board. It’s time to start again. There’s no shame in admitting a slight defeat – oh ok, a big defeat – and putting the wheels back on the cart. Or the donkey in front, instead of behind. Or a carrot in front of the donkey.

Light bulb moment! That’s it! I need a carrot … I’ve lost interest in my goals because they’ve been reached. Now that I’m happy with my weight, I’ve fallen for the age-old trap of becoming complacent. Why keep exercising when I’ve lost the weight I wanted to lose? Why keep going when I’m feeling healthy and more aware of what I eat?

Because it’s too easy to fall back into old habits. I don’t want those old habits returning – too much couch time, not enough active time. I can feel the lethargy creeping in after just one month. If I focus on how bad I felt last year, and how much better I feel this year, then the road to redemption will be much easier to handle.

Have you ever turned a positive into a negative then back into a positive again? Was it hard? Am I on the right track? Do you have any suggestions or handy hints to get the wheels, and body, in motion again? Should I set challenges, when I’m not very good at following them through to completion? Or should I just start with a fresh set of easy to achieve goals, rather than trying to bite off more than I can chew?

Wishing you a wonderful day.

June 15: Come again another day

Rain, rain, go away …

fitfor15in15

All day, rain and more rain …

No Monday Runday, no exercise, not much of anything really! It was gloomy and cold, so I applied for a job, watched the documentary about puppeteer Kevin Clash called Being Elmo (wow, hasn’t his career taken a nosedive since. What a tragedy for all involved), backed up my computer, let the real estate agent and potential buyers through the house (that was their fifth visit), re-potted the cherry tomato plant I bought last Friday, and cooked lunch and dinner. You know, the important stuff … πŸ™‚ Another day where the weather affects my general demeanour!

At least the lawn and gardens are well watered, and the pool is full for the expected sunshine at the end of the week.

I wonder how I can combat this weather-influenced down cycle? Exercise should be my go-to strategy, but for some reason I have fallen behind on the 15-minutes minimum per day.

It’s week two of the I Quit Sugar program – all fruit is banned for a while. This is going to be interesting!

Wishing you a wonderful day.

May 4: The force was strong on Monday Runday

Not only is it Monday Runday, it’s also Star Wars Day … May the 4th be with you.

The fourth, I mean force, was strong today on my 5km run. Apart from stopping to take the odd photo and having to walk 200m to get rid of a stitch (again!), I felt really good and was happy with my time. I think I’m so worried about being dehydrated and getting that weird pain in my ears, I overcompensate and drink too much water before I head out.

fitfor15in15

At the beginning of the run, one of these tracks was a little creek

fitfor15in15

Looking towards Sariswil

fitfor15in15

These calves looked so cute, I had to stop for a photo

fitfor15in15

So sweet – they ran over to say hello!

fitfor15in15

Maybe I smelt good, but I doubt it

fitfor15in15

In the end, they all lined up for their 15 minutes of fame

fitfor15in15

Saw a man using a strange machine in the fields, and waved … and maybe ran a little harder! Such a dag

fitfor15in15

Rape seed in full bloom

fitfor15in15

I startled this heron (?) in the puddle and it flew off majestically

I had thought about taking a longer route, but then chickened out at the last minute. Probably a good thing, as it was really humid (no wind too) and I ended up having to shed top layers and run in my tank top – first time that’s ever happened in Switzerland!

As part of my cool-down, I walked back to the tulip field (I measured it as 550m from our house) but the ducks from yesterday were gone. I bought a bunch of solid hot pink flowers as consolation.

fitfor15in15

Magnificent tulip with insects!

fitfor15in15

The bunch from yesterday, downstairs

fitfor15in15

The new bunch from today, upstairs

The tulips aren’t going to be around for much longer – I’m almost tempted to collect a bunch of beautiful white ones, with pointy tips, tomorrow!

This morning was rainy and pretty miserable, so while waiting for a break in the weather, I mended the split in the backside of my apple-green cotton trousers. Initially I thought my pants would only be good enough for garden work afterwards, but I think I did such a good job, and the thread matched so well, I can wear them out again. (Can’t believe (and am very thankful) a hotel sewing kit carried that colour!) Then again, I may have been without my glasses when looking in the mirror … And after taking this photo, I’m now having second thoughts. I’ll wear a long top. πŸ™‚

fitfor15in15

Maybe my mending effort wasn’t so invisible after all …

All this rain has made our next holiday plans a bit sketchy – from next weekend, we’re planning to walk the first third of the Swiss Camino, from Constance to Einsiedeln. It should take about five to six days of walking, and is only 93km long, but if it’s going to be too wet, maybe we’ll have to rethink our plans. We walked the second (middle) section from Einsiedeln to Thun in 2012 and hopefully we’ll complete the third and final stage from Thun to Geneva before too long.

  • Physically Fit: Monday Runday – 5km jumping across the muddy puddles
  • Mentally Fit: Walking to the tulip field again and talking to the calves
  • Nutritionally Fit: Sixth day of fasting (500 calories) on the 5:2 Diet (and start of the final week perhaps?)
  • Minimalism: Mending the green pants

Have you been out wandering in your neighbourhood recently? I’d love to hear about what you see when you go walking or running.

Wishing you a wonderful day.

April 27: Monday Runday … or Runday Monday?

Mondays have been run days for the past few weeks, with mixed results, so I’ve decided to rename Monday as Runday Monday, or Monday Runday. Which one do you like best?

Either way, I’ll continue to run every Monday, mixing between 4km and 5km paths for now, and who knows, maybe I’ll be on track to meet my goal of 8km by the end of the year – if I can curb that head-splitting pain in my ears enough to actually run.

It’s cool and windy here today and I’m nervous about heading out (because of what happened last time in these conditions). I’ll wait until this afternoon, when I’m completely hydrated and feeling warmed up. Hopefully the wind will have died down a bit too.

So to keep you amused until I’ve exercised, here is a new series I’m starting (please excuse my immaturity) called

Funny German words as heard by a native English speaker

#1: der Dudelsack

The bagpipes. When I first heard it, my brain spelled it doodlesack, which takes on a whole different meaning. *crying right now* Try saying it loudly five times without smiling or laughing.

#2: Wankdorf Stadium

Where Bern’s top-tier football team plays its home games. Try saying that loudly once without smirking. Visitors see the signs and ask, “Is that real?” But the best part? The name of Bern’s football team. πŸ™‚ Oh you’re going to love this … Young Boys. Young Boys play at Wankdorf. Nearly four years here and that never gets old. πŸ™‚

Ok, enough college humour, how did the run go? Well, I wish it took me as little time as it did to tell those gags!

Inspired by yesterday’s London Marathon, and the efforts of my friend Ellie (read her hilarious training routine here. She did it in four hours and 23 minutes! Go Ellie!) I thought I’d tackle the 5km circuit (yes, how big of me – she runs 42km, I do five).

This circuit has no Big Ben views or wandering tourists, but a short steep incline after 700m, then it’s relatively flat for the second kilometre, with a slight decline during the third, then a slight incline on the fourth, then a slight decline on the fifth. And guess what … I got a stitch at the bottom of the third, and top of the fifth (sounds like a baseball game) … right after the declines. So I had to walk for about 500m total, to get rid of that bitchy stitchy. Here are some tips for pesky stitches.

It seems my cardio fitness is really suffering at the moment – too much yoga and not enough prolonged sweating, perhaps? Maybe I need more Jillian Michaels when the weather’s crappy, and running more than once a week when the weather’s good? Hmmm … On a positive note (there’s always a positive), I didn’t get the pain in my ears. The wind was warmer than expected, so I think that made a big difference.

fitfor15in15

Who cares really, but here’s today’s run!

I walked the first minute or so as a warm up, then jogged, shuffled and walked my way through the rest. Tick, but not a big one. Huni, Liliane’s friend, was in her garden again, but I didn’t stop this time. She shouted out “Hop! Hop!” (which means Go! Go! in Swiss German) as I waved on my way past.

  • Physically Fit: 4.5km run, 500m walk
  • Mentally Fit: Listening to more of Cary Elwes book about The Princess Bride movie
  • Nutritionally Fit: Fifth day of fasting on the 5:2 Diet – 500 calories. Breakfast smoothie 280 calories (37g raspberries – 20 calories; 300ml coconut water – 72 calories; 80g strawberries – 26 calories; 182g banana – 162 calories (whoa, I had no idea the banana would be so much until it was already in!). Dinner 220 calories – mixed salad with tuna, sniff of olive oil
  • Minimalism: I went through my t-shirts to see if any could be turfed, but kept them all

So, another Runday Monday, or Monday Runday, is done and dusted. It’s time to get serious about cardio fitness. Despite Ellie saying she’d never do it again, maybe, just maybe, I’ll run a marathon one day too.

Wishing you a wonderful day.