Tyre flipping fun in the sun….

This weekend was great. It involved tyres, cake, curry, beach, family, presents and a Mother’s Day card from my youngest which had a “Failure in an Option” sticker on (which I am still trying to decide what she means by….).

IMAG1184

On Saturday morning it was strongwoman event training and as I haven’t posted here about training for a while I thought I would share some videos.

Tyre Flipping fun, boys (who used 330kg tyre) vs girls (we had the 220kg tyre)

Axle deadlift 110kg. 2 reps. Missed 120kg.

I hope you all had a great weekend. Let me know if you did any awesome exercise stuff.

this wasn’t what I was going to talk about but hey-ho

Bit of a bitty post this morning.

Firstly I wanted to draw attention to this blog post Adding not taking away  written by @mrsb_ldn who is a runner. It’s such a great idea, accentuate the positive. You are adding good things to your life, not, necessarily taking bad things away.  I think mentally this method is much more likely to work.

In January I did take something bad away, I gave up drinking. It was my husbands idea, let’s do dry January he said, ok I said. By the end of January I was converted and he was gasping for a beer.

I can’t believe the difference it has made in the way I feel. I would never class myself as a heavy drinker, I had one small glass of white wine a night which would stretch to 2 glasses on a Friday or a Saturday. I know I have low tolerance to booze anyway (anymore than 3 glasses of wine would give me a hangover).

Love my sleep...

Love my sleep…

This is what I found when I gave up wine. I slept better. I love my sleep. Love it. I need 8 hours not to be cranky. 8 hours uninterrupted with a 3yr old, 5yr old and my bladder the size of a goldfish doesn’t happen very often. Since giving up booze I sleep better when I do sleep and I’m not as tired the next day even if I am woken half a dozen times, even if I go to bed later than my usual 10pm. I can’t quite describe the difference this has made to my life.

Alcohol tends to have a depressive effect on me. Not at the time but the next day if I have had one too many (i.e. 3 glasses) then I tend to feel tired, depressed and withdrawn. Problems seem bigger, annoying children seem even more annoying.  So I’m not missing that at all.

There are many jokes and memes about 6/7pm, and when the kids are in bed over drinking alcohol and having 1 glass a night feels the norm. Of course you also get the articles telling us that wine can be good for you (I don’t drink red). However I am also lucky as a 38 year old if I want to say no thanks to a glass of wine I might get a raised eyebrow but I don’t get peer pressured into having just the one. I don’t get called a party pooper. I do get called designated driver.

Despite not being a heavy drinker (most weeks I wouldn’t have gone above the recommended weekly safe limit) alcohol was impacting my life, how I viewed my life.  I’ve not totally foresaken booze, I’ve drunk maybe 5 times since end of Jan. Mostly half glass of wine before thinking why am I doing this? and switching to grapefruit squash (yeah there are not a lot of adult sounding alternatives to booze). Right now I don’t see a point where I will go back to regular consumption (unless I win the lottery and can afford to drink champagne for breakfast, then all bets are off).

This blog post didn’t go anywhere near what I was going to cover today, I was going to start talking about positivity in your life and a mantra I heard this weekend that I really liked. Oh well, that’s what blogs are for :)

Do you drink?

To make-up or no make-up, that is the question.

Today’s post has nothing to do with exercise and everything to do with wearing no makeup and the #nomakeupselfies that are currently doing the rounds. I am going to ignore the reason people are doing it because that is a whole different discussion (but yes go check your breasts for lumps).

The model's skin doesn't look like this photo either...

The model’s skin doesn’t look like this photo either…

I don’t really wear make-up, I feel I should for work to feel and look professional so I have mascara and blusher on today. I don’t wear foundation as

  • I have yet to find one which doesn’t bring me out in spots
  • I am too lazy to get up early enough to put it on
  • My freckles are awesome and don’t deserve to be covered up (even when I hated the rest of my body I always loved my freckles).

I hate the fact more than two thirds of employers admit they would be less likely to employ a female job applicant if she did not wear makeup to the job interview, and I hate the fact more that Emma Leslie, Escentual.com beauty editor, said: “Whether rightly or wrongly, British bosses clearly think that keeping up appearances at work is an important factor for female staff if they want to get on in their career.”

“Whether rightly or wrongly?”      Are you shitting me?

Someone said on their facebook timeline ” Are you brave enough to go bare?”  Wearing no makeup should not be seen as a brave step.  A woman shouldn’t think she looks blotchy without makeup (she might look blotchy without makeup but that’s because what she, and many others, look like without makeup, this is not a bad thing it’s (and I know I’m repeating myself here) what we look like).

We are so used to seeing faces smoothed over by foundation in real life and photoshop in magazines/adverts/photos that we have lost touch with what women actually look like. We compliment people on their looks when they do wear make-up (which is actually pretty weird as you can flip it and say do you mean they are ugly without). Our brains are conditioned to think that with make-up = healthy looking, without make-up = ill.

I don’t want my daughter growing up thinking her work prospects later in life are dictated by whether she wears make-up or not.  That wearing make-up is what women do, part of the picture which includes shaving her legs and plucking her eyebrows. I don’t want my son growing up thinking for a women to be pretty she has to be wearing makeup.

This isn’t an anti-makeup rant and I don’t think feminists shouldn’t wear make-up. However I wish wearing make-up wasn’t the norm. I wish we had the choice not to wear makeup and our career prospects wouldn’t be affected. I wish wearing makeup wasn’t seen as such a big deal that we post photos about it.

Do you wear make-up? Will you go out without makeup? Do you just do it for habit?

(Just adding this now as it ties in with the photoshop issue for women believing that’s what skin should actually look like. Also because it’s a great post. On Thigh Gaps and Photoshop)

“Image courtesy of marin/ FreeDigitalPhotos.net”.

Running. Sometimes.

As you probably know I advocate doing exercise you enjoy, you are much more likely to stick with it that way. However there is one exercise I don’t enjoy which I still do. Run. Let me count the ways I hate running……<several hours later>…..but I have this thing in my head about being able to run without stopping for 30 minutes. It’s kind of a baseline for me  for my health and fitness. Probably because after both children I had to start at the beginning of coach potato to 5K and it wasn’t fun or pretty getting back to the running for 30 minutes stage. To be honest I might be able to run longer than that. I could possibly, if one of my children’s lives depended on it, run a 10K and I have in the past run a 10 miler and been known to do triathlons (well 3 but one was Olympic distance!) However baseline for me – 30 minutes without stopping. On a Friday I have a very convenient 30 minutes where I could run after dropping my daughter off at pre-school and getting ready to go to my class. However it rarely happens weekly and this is why:

Run or Not Run? That is the question.

Run or Not Run? That is the question.

I have a very high skill level when it comes to finding excuses not to run.

I don’t enjoy the running process, I don’t get into the zone, I don’t find a rhythm, I don’t go to my happy place. I lumber along until the 30 minutes is up (skillfully timed to arrive back at my front door) and then collapse in a hot sweaty mess. However then the magic of exercise kicks in and I feel amazing and wonder why I don’t run more.  Until the next Friday of course when I wake up and…..well see above….

Do you have an exercise you hate but persist in doing for personal satisfaction?

 

 

 

Why I won’t be talking about weight loss.

So I’ve made the decision to try and drop 5/6 kgs so I can compete in the U75kgs. However I am not going to write about my attempt at weight loss. I am going to tell you why I’m not going to write about it however.

Firstly, good God it’s BORING. I’ve been trying to track macros on myfitnesspal for 2 days now and I’m already OVER IT. How can people spend time WEIGHING their food? Or counting out sprouts? Surely this obsession with nutritional value is as bad as eating nothing but crisps?  Healthy food tastes nice but the focus seems to rob some of the joy from food. It’s like the calorie counts on all the food choices in a restaurant. Part of me understands why they are there but the other part of me just screams PLEASE WOULD YOU JUST LET ME ENJOY MY FOOD IN PEACE.

It’s weird, for years I thought I was the one with eating problems, I can quite easily eat a packet of biscuits or a whole tub of Hagen Daz (actually I seem to have lost that talent with age :( )  And then I see all these people tracking what they eat to the last spear of asparagus and I start to think well actually maybe eating 2 cream slices in one sitting isn’t any more bizarre than that. A friend on twitter said to me “IMHO it’s not disordered eating if you can eat a packet of biscuits & not care about it….”  and I think she has a point.  Yes I can eat a packet of biscuits in one sitting but I can also run 5K, eat a punnet of strawberries, pick up 100kg, skullcrusher my 3 year old and eat corn on the cob until they run out at Tesco. It’s all about context and how you feel about your body. (Again it’s still ok if you eat a packet of biscuits and don’t do any of those things, as long as YOU are happy with it and don’t make yourself feel shit because of it).

I know some people who blog about weight loss do it to provide motivation to themselves and other people, it’s obviously a subject they are passionate about and that’s great. Some people have the personality type where tracking their food is no biggie and that’s great. I’m talking about me and my blog here.

Basically I don’t want weight loss to be so important in my life that I blog about it.

And the sun came out…

(I actually wrote this yesterday evening and then my internet did a funny and I couldn’t post it. Today – not so much sun :( )

Oh boy, I don’t know about anyone else but when the sun comes out my whole life seems different. I love the sun, I love being outside, I love making my children be outside. OUTSIDE IS WHERE IT’S AT.

It was a lovely weekend that started with some competitive event training on Saturday. A fellow Strongwoman from the gym is doing her first competition on the 16th March and she wanted to get a baseline number of reps for the competition events. Here’s how I did

  • AMRAP 100kg axle deadlift 60 seconds – 5
  • AMRAP Floor to overhead press, 40kg oly bar 60 seconds -10
  • AMRAP Atlas Stone 40kg floor to shoulder – 7
  • 5kg Crucifix hold – 38 seconds

The 5th rep of the deadlift was UGLY but it went up, I am looking forward to smashing those results in a few months. Recording progressive is always motivating. My children were also there and I liked the fact that on International Women’s Day my daughter (and son) watched me get sweaty whilst lifting heavy weights.

Sunday was all about being outside. We played crazy golf, went for 2 walks (or scoots if you were under 3ft) and gambolled on the beach.  (Yes I just used gambol, that’s because gambolling is awesome, much more fun than walking)

Funny faces in the sun

Funny faces in the sun

Leaving you with 2 great blog posts to read on a Monday evening

Feminism is optimism

Loudly Vague

Did you make the most of the sunshine this weekend? (How’s that for a guilt inducing question?)

 

 

Do what you love…..

 

I don’t know where this is from originally, I’m guessing from someone else’s blog so if you recognise it please let me know so I can credit you.

This is my idea of fitspo

Do what you love.

Do what you love.

 

 

Manifesto

 

I read this great post over at Green Mountain at Fox Run the other day about creating your own manifesto. Your own personal commandments so to speak. I started to think what mine would include:

1. Sing loudly and who gives a damn if you are out of tune.

2. Don’t be afraid of showing emotion, whether that is rage or fear or love.

3. Enjoy your exercise, it’s not a punishment.

4. What someone else thinks of me is none of my damn business

5. Do a handstand once in a while, I swear you can’t be cross when doing a handstand.

6. Make sure you can’t see your pants (knickers) thru your leggings or yoga pants

7. Hug, kiss and tell your children you love them as much as possible. Even when they are mid-tantrum.

8. Value your friends and make sure they know how much they mean to you.

9. The women in the magazines don’t look like the women in the magazines

10. Change will happen when you are ready for it.

In Strongwoman news a competition has just been announced that has a TRUCK PULL event in it!?! How freaking cool would that be?

If you would like to see some true badassery in play have a look at Alanna Casey winning the 2014 Arnold Strongwoman Fitness Champion.

What are the commandments you would have in your manifesto?

 

 

 

 

 

 

Back to life, back to reality.

I’m BACCKKKK!!!

Yeah I’ve had a hiatus. I lost my mojo, I bumbled, faffed and coasted throughout January and February. I cursed the rain. I trained but didn’t have any goals after deciding I was just not going to hit the targets for Britain’s Strongest Woman (and lack of gumption).

Of course life continued. I worked, I volunteered, I kept the children alive, I occasionally had a conversation with my husband.

Then I was ill for 2 weeks. God I hate being ill. My butt started to hurt from sitting down so much and doing nothing.

Suddenly it was MARCH 2014. 2 months just gone from my life.

Therefore I have dragged my motivation kicking and screaming from out from behind sofa where it has been hiding like an escaped hamster. I am reining in my nutrition to get to under 75kg category and stop using my history of disordered eating as an excuse.

The rest of 2014 should be QUAKING in fear.

Hello 2014, come and have a go if you think you are hard enough.

Morning.

2013 rocked and I was awesome. That’s not to say it didn’t have it’s low points and sometimes I wasn’t the nicest person and on occasions my parenting sucked but in general it was a good year.

2014 is going to rock even harder and I am going to work at graduating from awesome to actual badass in being a mother, a strong woman, a feminist and a business owner.

Happy 2014 everyone.