Don’t blame it on the sunshine Don’t blame it on the moonlight Don’t blame it on the good times Blame it on the boogie…
Don’t worry, I’m not channeling the Jackson Five, but I have rediscovered flat shoes after several decades in heels. I’m actually blaming this phenomenon on OBB – I’m trying to walk everywhere – it’s free, it’s healthy and in this lovely winter weather, utterly and painfully bracing. I do have some flat boots, albeit a tad on the chunky side for work, as well as a couple of pairs of lovely brogues, but I was missing some neat little ballet pumps.
My office wear usually involves a smart outfit and heels – as I’ve grown up a bit (i.e. turned 40) I’ve discovered wedges and they’re usually my heel of choice, but they are still a challenge to walk two miles in over uneven terrain and cobblestones. I do have a shoe cupboard at work with many abandoned pairs which are either too impractical or too uncomfortable to wear for any significant period of time (note to self, clear out required). And so I’ve been trailing the sales for some bargains.
Ta da 🙂
I’ve worn and loved the navy ones so much, I ordered exactly the same shoe in emerald which will give me a splash of colour for Spring – if it ever arrives that is. Interested shoe fiends can find them here
They are very very flat though – apparently nobody at work realised I was as short as I am.
There’s that small moment of “oh oh” when you notice that your pee is not part of the acceptable pantone colour chart for bodily waste. This thought is immediately replaced by “emergency doctor’s appointment” until my brain finally kicked into gear and settled on the correct answer, “too much beetroot for lunch”.
I love beetroot, I could eat an entire family-sized pickled beetroot jar in one sitting if I could ever get the bleeping lid off. Mr ShoeThatAlwaysFits recently caught me desperately trying to twist my way into one, too proud to ask for his assistance. He watched me for a second, then calmly wrangled the jar away from me and told me that there was only one failsafe way to open them on my own. He set the jar down on the kitchen worktop then picked up a large sharp kitchen knife before flamboyantly and rather violently stabbing the lid, effectively breaking the air seal and allowing the jar to open sesame.
That is now my second best kitchen trick. My favourite is saved for work. Never get between a demi-nerd and her coffee. I’m 5ft 3 and a hairs breadth tall – this means that reaching the top shelves in cupboards can be somewhat challenging. Our freshly ground filter coffee lives on the top shelf in our communal kitchen. I need coffee, the jar is empty, I can’t reach the refill bags – I could go and fetch a tall nerd to reach it for me, I could get a chair or a ladder to stand on. Neither is the most energy efficient way of dealing with this problem, I simply open the kitchen drawer and find the salad servers then pincer the coffee down to me. Quick and efficient and bypasses the smurf / hobbit / borrowers commentary.
Working in a technology company means a lot of sitting around eating cake and drinking coffee. We feel guilty about this, especially on Bacon Sandwich Fridays when we phone our breakfast orders into a local cafe and they deliver them to our office. This is honestly the highlight of some people’s week.
As part of our corporate responsibility initiative we’ve adopted a charity of the year and, feeling guilty about the cake, the bacon and the sedentary coffee consumption, we’ve signed ourselves up for a 30 day fitness challenge with all proceeds going to our chosen charity – this involves a yoga-esque pose called The Plank. This didn’t sound too scary – no running around and getting sweaty, you just hold one position for a set amount of time each day, even the Jedis amongst us could cope with that. Day 1 starts off easy enough, assume the position and hold for 20 seconds, by day 30 you should be able to plank for 300 seconds. There was a lot of over-confidence. The yoga practitioners smiled knowingly, everyone else went home and practiced before committing themselves to some public ridicule. I’m fairly fit, but I started shaking after about 40 seconds so I’m looking forward to the challenge. One of our business developers was openly honest – he had tried it and managed 4.7 seconds and informed us “he’s in it to win it”. Somehow, I don’t think so. One of our mega nerds asked if he could use some bricks or something to elevate himself as his tummy was still touching the floor when he assumed the correct position.
We’re starting tomorrow, 1st February, there is a betting syndicate already set up with an odds-on favourite to win. Will I still be hanging in there on Day 30 – I hope so!
Today (as it is 4-5 times a week) was all about working out. Luckily, Mr ShoeThatAlwaysFits was around to help. I’m a pear shape with hour glass aspirations – my upper body has snapped back into shape quite well and I can be persuaded to get my lady guns out without too much trouble, but my lower body always has been and always will be my nemesis.
I always find that my lower body workout is so much harder than my upper body one – the extra effort does work though – my butt is lifting, my thighs are getting thinner and my cankles are separating out into calves and ankles once again.
Operation Bikini Bod (OBB) has been a long hard slog, but I can almost see the end in sight. My confidence is up, my weight is down and my energy levels are on the rise. Not bad for a middle-aged leftie.
Operation Shop Til I Drop (OSTID) will soon begin – well, I will need some new clothes when all that blood, sweat and tears pays off. And if that doesn’t motivate me, then nothing will. Better start saving.
In my ongoing Operation Bikini Bod (aka OBB) motivated state, I’m upping the workouts again. This is doubly insane because I am somewhat of a medical anomaly – in 4 weeks of abstinence (yes, including alcohol – there’s only been one serious slip), calorie controlling, exercise and green tea quaffing I have shed an amazing 1 lb of body weight. You heard me – 1 lb.
Lesser people would weep in frustration, I however can pinch less than I could do on Christmas Day so I know what I’m doing is working. I weigh myself no more than once a month for this reason alone – our digital scales lie – well maybe they don’t lie, but they certainly don’t tell the whole truth. And that truth is I’m getting leaner, and building muscle. With 13 lbs still to shed, at my current weight loss rate of 1 lb per month, I’ve got a year to go. Go me! My goal is April so I require some additional motivation. I came home after a long day out on the road when I was too tired to workout and tried on my bikini (the middle ‘B’ in OBB) and asked Mr ShoeThatAlwaysFits to take photos of me in unflattering light from the front, the side and the back. I can almost live with the front and side views, but as I already knew, the rear view needs more work. Damn my pear shaped genetics. And more work means squats, lots and lots of buttock-lifting squats. It’s not known as the king of exercises for nothing.
Today’s workout needs a whole lot of help from Mr ShoeThatAlwaysFits, however, he’s off filming in the middle of nowhere with just an outside broadcast crew for company, so I have alternate instructions. Do the exercises I can do alone, but do more, and do a pyramid. This had me concerned and so it should – I can’t do squats on my own – but unfortunately, I can do lunges. And so I find myself gearing up for a 5 set marathon:
Set 1 – low weight
Set 2 – raise weight
Set 3 – heaviest weight
Set 4 – same weight as set 2
Set 5 – same weight as set 1
When you write it down it doesn’t look a lot, but when you add in the other exercises and the 45 min spin session afterwards, I may need some medical attention. Or at the very least, some gas and air.
I’m doing this for me – exercise allows me to clear my mind, it keeps me healthier and my clothes fit me better. It’s so easy not to do it – I didn’t do much of anything for 15 years, which is why it’s so hard to take 15 years of bad-living off. But it’s never too late to right the wrongs of your youth. I want to make the most of my life, and I need this body to do it, I just want to look good whilst I’m doing it.
I like the lull between back to back meetings. We’re in full scale planning mode for the year ahead and are trying to scope out new product ideas. Three different meetings, lots of personalities, ideas and noise. Those types of Friday afternoons need biscuits – it’s been a long old week and the troops are revolting – therefore it’s time to feed the nerds.
Just as I was about to tuck in with true abandon, one of my colleagues was talking about the sleepless nights she’d been experiencing since the holidays, now that her children were back at nursery. It involved a small child, projectile and copious vomiting and the 2am clean up attempt. It was not the kind of mid afternoon chat that ensures you enjoy your coffee and sugar rush, but it got worse, much worse. Parent #2 trumped parent #1 with a tale of woe so disturbingly disgusting that colleagues had to leave the room mid retch. It also involved a small child, but with double ended projectile missile blasting. Needless to say that no-one wanted the Cadbury’s Chocolate Fingers. Then there was a free for all amongst parents, grandparents and anyone who had a gross-out story to tell. Mayhem. Order was eventually restored but all sense of appetite was abandoned, some required nicotine to calm their nerves, others asked to be excused, permanently, from the rest of the afternoon session.
I’m not a parent, not a prude and empathise with those sleepless nights, but stories like that need to be “saved” for families and friends.
Well, it is, isn’t it? It’s a month of reflecting on the past and being excited about what lies ahead. It’s the time when our clothes feel a bit tighter and our skin looks a heck of a lot grayer due to epic over-indulgences.
It’s also time to embrace winter and all of its layering opportunities. This week alone I’ve rocked an artic explorer look , an ice-skating princess ensemble, and tried out being a russian spy for the day. All good fun.
January, aka the month of good intentions – of being good to our bodies and our minds. I started well, but failed on wine-down Wednesday. It turned yesterday a very long day indeed. This first full week back in the office has been long – we were all knackered by mid week (hence the afore-mentioned wine-down) as everyone is used to working in small, concentrated bursts. I’ve had to lure people into meetings with the promise of biscuits. But it’s now Friday and the energy levels are rising appropriately, we can smell the weekend coming, and it smells of duvet.
I’m in the midst of hatching a grand master plan for 2014, and that’s what I love most about January – I make the first in a series of plans. Compulsive list-making session imminent.
‘Tis the season for detoxing, the five-two diet and abstinence. Well, it certainly is here in nerd land.
We all know that I’m on OBB (Operation Bikini Bod) so none of the above applies to me – I’ve been on a healthy(ish) binge for the best part of a year – although I have ramped up the pace recently as my hamstrings and glutes can testify. I am in constant and chronic pain, but as with L’Oreal products, I’m worth it.
It’s the 8th of January and what we’ve learned so far this year is this little pearl of wisdom, don’t leave your green tea teabag in your cup. Unlike herbal tea, where the fruity or therapeutic infusions improve with a good stewing, green tea has the opposite effect. In one disciplined colleague’s own words, “Oh my god, I’ve got the green tea heaves. Niiice.”
And so the moral of the story of today is, caffeine is good, red wine is better, but if you absolutely have to drink the detoxing and anti-oxidating caffeine-free green tea goodness, only leave the tea bag in for a couple of minutes or your body will reject the goodness. It must be true, we’ve done scientific experiments and everything.
Well, it’s day 4 of OBB and I’m sweaty, hungry and a tad taut (cue pained expression when bending down to put my shoes on). I’m now cursing myself for taking about a month off both the exercise regime and the healthy eating front, and for not listening to Mr ShoeThatAlwaysFits to start off slowly, only doing one set of each exercise. I grew up in the era of ‘no pain, no gain’ and just can’t get my brain around anything else. My hamstrings may be tighter than Halle Berry’s catsuit in Catwoman, but at least they’re working.
I do feel better for the healthier approach to life, but this next week is going to be hard until I get back to being match fit. It’s a lot easier than it was a year ago at least, and I’ve slotted back into the healthy eating notion. There’s no point in working your ass off in the gym if you put rubbish into your body – it just makes everything harder – this message is finally starting to sink in. It turns out after the age of 25 you can’t work out on toast and cookies alone. And there’s another benefit from being fit, you don’t get ill as often as other people. I’m the only person in my immediate family over the festive season who didn’t get a bad chest infection and needs antibiotics – my poor Mum has been the worst affected, but both my nephews along my brother and sister-in-law have needed medical assistance and my Dad has been suffering from a prolonged cough. I spent 48 hours in their company and didn’t catch a thing. Maybe it’s just luck, but that green tea must be good for something.
Anyway, today is a day off from the gym so we’re having a special dinner and some wine and champers later it being Hogmanay and all – back in the gym again tomorrow though, and strangely, I’m looking forward to it. My biggest struggle today will be in trying to stay up until midnight – I’m more of a morning type if truth be told, so the green tea is on hold today. Bring on the caffeine, by the bucketload if necessary. OBB is still a go.