Month: January 2018

Personal Training

I know it has been a while since I updated about my weight loss goal.

Unsurprisingly Christmas came along being all busy and expensive plus a higher than expected bill came in which lead to Tim and I not seeing our P.T. sessions through December.

However, we have started them back up again. More importantly I made the push to do it and organise it! We have even changed the day and time, which has actually helped us both out mentally and physically, making our bodies come home with that natural ‘exercise high’.

Even when I had put the wrong date for the day on the message to Mike (our P.T) we double checked if he was still available to train us rather than slinking back home and cheating out of our first session back.

As always the dread kicks in about returning to exercise after Christmas break. However having known Mike from previous sessions I didn’t really have anything to be anxious about other than how my Christmas diet and exercise regime had affected my fitness.

We were put to work with a circuit we had already accomplished in November so again nothing new to fear. We both got through it and boy did we ache for the rest of the week! Mike had mentioned what our plan was for the next session and I said to not tell me as it increases the chance of me not turning up. Anxieties hit me and I feel I won’t be able to perform so I make up a lame ass excuse and cancel.

He told us we were going to attempt the 500 rep challenge. Now 500 is a big number for exercises (for me) so I shared my concerns but Mike was very good in remaining positive towards me, talking through my strengths and giving me tips on how to tackle the workout. The regime looked like this;

100 x sit ups

100 x press ups

100 x tricep dips

100 x lunges

100 x squats

The Tuesday workout slot came about again and we set to work quicker than normal as Tim and I wanted as much as time to complete the 500 as possible. Mike said that the rules are, you can do it in any order but you have to do the exercises in increments of 25. So if I did 26 I had to go on up to 50 and so forth.

What I liked about this was we could decide by ourselves what to tackle when. I have a lower amount of upper body strength compared to my legs its unreal so I made sure to tackle my press ups and tricep dips near the beginning and middle. I can be very determined when I put my mind to it. So I was in the zone and completed the 500 in less than 30 minutes. Mike complemented me and said I could probably tackle the 800 easily. He showed me the extra 3 exercises I needed to do but he didn’t say ‘go on then do those’ he more showed me each exercise and said ‘you give it a go’ so I would but then when I stopped he would check if I had done 25. Sneaky bastard! The other 3 exercises were

100 x jumping jacks (to clarify I didn’t need showing on how to do these)

100 x bicep curls

100 x chest press

I completed these also within our hour time slot with 8 minutes to spare! However I didn’t do all of the exercises in increments of 25. I split them into 10s and 5s. But that didn’t matter I had completed 800 reps. Tim was 75 reps away from the 800 – he hasn’t done much hard exercise for a good few years whereas I’ve been playing rugby and tae kwon do. He didn’t mind though as he was more worried on how much he was going to ache.

I left feeling even more pleased with myself and also a little silly that I felt any sort of anxiety towards the session. The next session is to complete the 800 rep workout properly (so increments of 25 per exercise) plus we can chose the order again (having to do 200 arm exercises when it’s my weakest area was tough).

I think what my ‘worst nightmare’ when it comes to exercise is not being able to complete what is asked of me. I remember in rugby training (when I was much younger and enthusiastic) that my coach would say ‘you’ve got 2 minutes left’ on a certain drill but he would actually carry it on for another 5 minutes or so. This would result in me burning myself out and nearly being sick. I completely understand that it can be a tactic to improve your fitness and I don’t criticise his techniques. But I have gotten into a habit of only being half arsed and actually finding I had plenty more energy left to give once any session was over. So I am putting my trust into Mike as he explains what is expected of me within the hour and no more. Either there are a number of reps or there are a number of rounds we need to do of the circuit. So far he has kept his word (ok not with the 500 turning into 800 reps but it was done in a technique I could deal with) so I plan to push myself each and every week.

In the sense of weight loss, I haven’t been on the scales because I don’t want to. But let’s just say I’ve probably still got a long way to go weight and food wise. But mentally and physically I’m winning.

 

Difficult Decision

Difficult Decision

I’m extremely surprised to be writing this but I have had to cancel my ultimate fantasy trip of travelling to Bolivia & Peru and hiking Machu Picchu.

My mental health has deteriorated again and I need to fund some therapy to get me back on track.

This will probably mean I need to adjust my challenges once again but I don’t need to worry about that just yet.

But for now I’m going to grieve about not going travelling just yet.

 

 

tenor

Anyone else had therapy before? What was your experience like? Any pointers?

 

Battersea – My Experience

Battersea – My Experience

A challenge for next year is Battersea Dogs & Cats Home event called Muddy Paws. A 5km race for you and your canine pal to take part in. Tim, Albert & myself have signed up!

The main reason for this is due to our rescue dog Albert. He is a Staffordshire Bull Terrier crossed with a Bull Mastiff. As you can tell by his face here he is all staffy in looks but mastiff in size and weight.

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He was 5 years old when we first got him on New Years Eve 2016. All we know about his background is that his previous owners were evicted and couldn’t take him with them.

I have grown up with dogs since I was born. I love their company and their funny mannerisms. So when Tim and I moved into our own place I missed Maille my family dog. After 6 months of me sending pictures of dogs to Tim he caved when I was scrolling through my phone on the Battersea website after watching Paul O’Grady for the love of dogs TV show.

The dog that caught his eye wasn’t Albert but a Sharpei. He started talking about visiting or how do we do the adoption process. I quadruple checked he was being serious before I put my hopes up as teasing me about this is just mean! So the next day 27/12/16 we drove to our nearest site in Windsor to enrol our details. We put down all of our personal info plus our experience and garden measurements. They then offered us to take a look round the kennels here, which we did. There was a beautiful boxer who was deaf. But I didn’t want to give Tim (a cat person – yuck) an bad experience of getting a dog. After I had managed to talk to all of the pooches we sped home to host a family Christmas gathering!

Our appointment to meet the Sharpei was on 31/12/16. We set off early to head into the middle of London and arrived as the gates were opening. I recognised areas from the TV show and just had an almighty sense of **OH MY GAWD HOW CUTE ARE ALL THE DOGS GOING TO BE** and **IS PAUL O’GRADY GONNA BE HERE**

We then got taken into an interview room to look over our credentials again. It turned out that because we didn’t have enough experience with the Sharpei breed they weren’t happy for us to see him. This was fine as we also had a few back ups just in case. But again these were all larger breeds than what we are used to. I got a bit disheartened but also didn’t just want to take any old dog home.

In hindsight what Battersea should do is kind of a ‘dating profile’ for re-homers. (Work with me here) People would put their experience, housing arrangements, working schedule, likes and dislikes of breeds etc. into a profile and then based on this, dogs profiles would appear. Only to reduce people’s disappointment levels. I even suggested this to the feedback team (not in the dating profile way) but he understood what I meant. Rather than letting everyone see all the dogs available. If my selection of choice was only 10 dogs for example I would have chosen what I thought would be ‘the one’ out of those dogs.

I digress; the lady mentioned Albert. He was one of our choices but lower down on the list. She said that he would be the best fit for us as he could be left for periods of time and was well trained. We got taken to a room and waited for Albert to come and join us.

My face lit up when I saw him. He was so full of energy. He bee-lined for us with the wiggliest tail and he went straight in with an almighty lick to our faces! The Battersea staff member left us alone with him for a while to sort out some paperwork and find out some more information on Albert’s vet records. Albert sniffed out the treats that were on a desk plus a tennis ball. He loves playing fetch. I had to take a phone call about Albert’s vet treatment and conditions. It was rather a lot of information to take in but I got the jist of it.

Albert has a condition known as ‘crocodile eyes’. This is where his eyelashes are in growing so causes him to have weepy and itchy eyes. Battersea had completed an operation a few weeks before we met him to correct this. The scarring is where he gets his eye markings from and the reason he had a ‘cone of shame’ on when he met us. What cause the eyelashes to grow inward are teeny tiny mites that live on his skin. This makes his skin sensitive and causes him to nibble at his paws (another sensitive area to the mites). These mites are microscopic and the vet even said that testing skin cells wouldn’t even guarantee any results on finding them. Due to this being a lifelong condition that could possibly need continual treatment we were able to adopt Albert for free.

After deciding that Albert was the one for us we received information packs, eye drops, food, lead, collar and the ‘cone of shame’. Albert was rather excited to be out of his kennel and loved meeting everyone else that was visiting Battersea that day. Once paperwork was all finalised, that was it! We were free to go.

Due to the long drive home I didn’t want Albert in the boot of the car all alone plus we didn’t know if he got car sick. So I sat in the backseat with him. It took him a while to settle, I think this was due to the cone around his neck and everything being new. I was feeling rather anxious as well as the reality had kicked in about owning a dog and being solely responsible for him! No mum and dad to save the day! But once Albert had settled, so did my nerves, next minute we are both asleep cuddling each other.  

As they say, the rest is history! Albert settled in straight away and was fine when I had to work 3 days a week. He still greets me with a wagging tail and it always lifts my mood. He has helped me with my mental health no end. I get up earlier in the morning to feed him and walk him on my days off. Plus I now have company in the house 24/7. Due to Tim working long hours I may not talk to anyone some days. His company has been a god send. Our favourite thing to do is to snuggle up on the sofa with a duvet and watch TV, he loves getting under the duvet! I’m also walking more now Albert is around. I’m gradually getting to my daily 10,000 steps every day! I have got to know a few new areas whilst walking and exploring with Albert too which has been great fun.

Rescuing a dog is a great experience. I still watch him now bouncing around on a walk, sniffing and sprinting and think to myself that I made the right decision. He’s just so happy.

So this is why we are all taking part in the Muddy Paws Challenge in September. We have a just giving page for any donations big or small!

https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/lydiabarber2017

How many of you have rescued a dog? Tell me about your story!

 

New Year

In a moment of organisational madness I wrote down how many items I achieved in 2017 and how many items I had left. I managed to tick off 7 items from my bucket list! This is great but then seeing I had 23 left to go I started to panic.

So I have divided up the items into 2018 goals and 2019 goals.

2018

  • Ghost hunt
  • Snowdon & Visit Wales
  • Say Hello in 30 Languages
  • 5km Colour Rush
  • Yorkshire 3 Peaks
  • Machu Picchu
  • Give Blood
  • Muddy Paws Challenge
  • Gain Another Qualification
  • Buy a drink for a stranger
  • Titanic Museum
  • Dog Agility
  • Cut my hair for charity

 

2019

  • Sky dive
  • Achieve Black Belt in TKD
  • Visit the Lake District
  • Be Vegetarian for 2 weeks
  • Go to a Silence Retreat
  • Learn Origami
  • Line Dancing
  • Disconnect for 1 week
  • NYC at Christmas
  • Lose Weight

 

I decided I could achieve more in 2018 as it is the year before wedding madness of 2019 (for my friends) so more money would be around to contribute towards achieving 30 before 30. I’ve technically already started the challenge of losing weight but I will give myself the full year of 2019 to achieve the best result.

I feel much more organised and under control of how I will achieve my bucket list now. Plus I have a lot of posting to catch up on I have 3 drafts waiting to be finished, I need to get on top of it!