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Wednesday, 26 October 2016

the mid afternoon office slump

salad lunch

I know I'm not the first person to say it and I definitely won't be the last, but working in an office really doesn't help with my attempts at sticking to a healthier diet.  It's rare that a day goes by without someone buying a packet of biscuits, cakes, chocolates, doughnuts, sweets to share with everyone, and they're always placed directly in my eye line.  I can practically smell them while I sit at my desk typing away.

I was reading Women's Health earlier this week, and there was an article about how to avoid putting on weight while at work...I don't mean literally putting on weight while you're sitting at your desk, starting the day weighing 10st and leaving weighing 14, but all the things that contribute to a those muffin tops within the office.

The article mentioned various 'fat traps' from things like being too busy to take a proper lunch break, being stressed, and apparently even being too cold can have an affect (who knew being chilly makes your body store fat...on goes the heating!).  I'm generally pretty good at taking my lunch break, if I can, I'll even squeeze in a yoga class, I'm not usually too stressed, and in the main, the office is pretty toasty.  

But the one that did leap out? 'The Food Bully' - this is that person that always encourages you to have a slice of cake, a cheeky doughnut, an extra chocolate, because it's someone's birthday, it'd be rude not to, it's the bake off tonight, you catch my drift! And apparently, I quote WH, 'if just one of your team is obese, your own risk double's'.  Now there's no-one in my office that is obese, in fact, I think we're a pretty trim team as it goes, but I do sit on a bank of desks with two 19 year old guys (yes, I feel old every day!) who eat whatever and whenever they want.  So trying to tuck in my lettuce leaves and plain chicken while they're chowing down on a Maccy's D and a chocolate muffin for pud isn't always so easy.

Over the years, I've actually got pretty good at food prepping, and taking in my own lunch (just take a look at my Instagram to see what I'm usually eating at my desk), but recently I've relaxed my diet, and the treat table seems to be piled higher than ever.  The fact we take part in our game of Bake Off doesn't help the situation, and it would rude for me not to sample the competition.  Our office Bake Off came to an end last week, so I'm determined to try and get back into eating better, my meals are generally good, I just need to curb my snacking.

drawer snacks - wotsits and cereal bar

I can't be the only one that hits 3pm and hits that wall.  You know the sort I mean, the sort where you're struggling to keep your eyes open, all the numbers in the spreadsheet in front of you are jumping about and the thought of concentrating for another 2 and a half hours is enough to make you get up and walk out there and then? Ok so maybe that's an exaggeration, but you catch my drift.  

And it's true, I'm not that only one who feels like that,  when my dad was still working, he was very much an advocate of the 3pm banana, he believed it's what got him through the rest of the afternoon, I should take note.

carrot sticks and cucumber

Anyway, the good people at GoToMeeting have come up with a list of snacks that are not only healthy, but also boost energy and productivity, something that I definitely require when I hit my 3pm slump.  

So it's goodbye to the stash of chocolate covered cereal bars and low calorie crisps I've got hiding in my top drawer, and not to reach out for crackers and houmous (high in protein, iron and antioxidants apparently) and yoghurt and banana smoothies (lots of fibre to maintain fullness, and full of magnesium to help maintain energy levels).  Despite the benefits of eating hard boiled eggs, I'd still like my colleagues to be my friend so I'm not sure I'll be whipping those out mid-afternoon any time soon, but I'll definitely start thinking about reaching for a handful of trail mix before I crack open the biscuit tin.

Ok, that's a lie, I'm not a big nut fan, so I'll definitely be thinking about the biscuit tin when I open the trail mix packet, and let's be honest, the raw cacao at the top of this list of 15 energy boosting snacks is definitely the one that's got the most of my attention...

raw cacao
*sponsored post

Wednesday, 19 October 2016

a 'hate-hate' relationship with running


If you don't already know, (then that's a miracle as I moan about it often enough across ALL social media), I have a 'hate-hate' relationship with running, but there is some crazy determination within me that means I won't completely give it up.

Over the years I've given running a go, and when I say I've given it a go, I head out for one run, manage about ten minutes, of which nine of those are walking, and I've headed home vowing never to do that again.  Until the next year, when I repeat the above.

In January, I set myself a New Year's aim to take part in Total Warrior, and with that came a target to be able to run 10k by July.  And somehow I did it, in April, 3 months ahead of schedule.

I committed to running at least once a week, every week, and I stuck to it, gradually increasing my distance.  Now I wasn't fast, but that wasn't my aim, I just kept plodding on, and somehow I did it.  I still didn't enjoy it, but I'd developed a more neutral, shall we say, feeling towards it.

6 months on, and it's all gone to pot.  I had a couple of months of not doing any running post Total Warrior, as I had zero motivation, but didn't want to lose what I'd built up. So I set myself a new goal.  To run every week a minimum of 5k, not a long distance, and no pressure on time or speed, just to make myself keep it up.

Well, that hasn't been going quite to plan.  It's been more like 5k every fortnight, and on Sunday? Maybe we shouldn't talk about Sunday.  I ran 1k, yep a whole 5 minutes before giving up.  Ok, I'm even exaggerating with that, it was a little longer than 5 minutes.  I got a stitch, I sat down on a bench for 10 minutes, then I walked home.


I was reading Char's post yesterday 'Thoughts I have when I'm running' and it really made me smile, I've been there, I've felt all those things, and it's good to know I'm not the only one, so I thought I'd compile my own list:

1. You can do this
2. You definitely can't do this
3.  You haven't even ran 1k yet
4. Ok, you've ran 1k, but that's not enough to now stop
5.  I wonder how many calories I've burnt
6.  I wonder if it's enough to eat a burger when I get home
7.  Hrmm, maybe I should just go home now
8. How far is home? Can I even make it home?
9.  I can't breathe
10.  I think I'm dying
11. I'm really hating every second of this
12.  Like, every single second
13.  Try to think about something else, like appreciating this lovely view...
14.  I'm so tired
15.  2k? I've only done 2k? 
16.  Ok, so 2k is like a third of what I want to do, so two thirds to go
17.  Maybe I'll just run 3k today
18.  Hrmm, if I go that way there's a big hill, maybe I'll just do a second loop instead
19.  I hate hills
20.  Hills are the worst
21.  3k, I'll head home now
22.  Just. keep. going.
23.  I've stopped, why have I stopped?
24.  It's definitely time to go home, my legs won't work anymore

And then, I give up and walk home.  This is basically how every run goes, it's like having a devil and an angel on each shoulder, and I know, if I could just stop thinking like that, and try to just focus on running then I'd probably do better, but the reality is, I don't think I'm ever going to enjoy running.


But, I am determined to stick with it, and me and the mr have agreed, the next time I run 10k, we're going to treat ourselves to a dirty Maccy D's for lunch.  Yes I know, it's ridiculous but occasionally in life you just gotta visit those golden arches.

So if there's any runners out there who can offer me some suggestions, do let me know, because I'm not giving up...

(I said that last time!)

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