All posts in the Health category

A Year of Sweat and Tears – and still not bikini ready

Published December 27, 2013 by iftheshoefits

I’ve tried quite hard to get myself bikini fit in my forties, but not quite hard enough.

There’s been a little too much of this:

Coffee, wine, ice cream




And nowhere near enough of this:

working out





And, if truth be told, I could have been a little more disciplined on the working out front.  However, all is not lost as I’m 24 lbs lighter than this time last year and I have a new target – become bikini fit by Spring, or Mr ShoeThatAlwaysFits’ birthday, to be more precise.  That’s a 14 week boot camp ahead of me, removing that last 14 lbs of excess.  I’m pleased at how far I’ve come, but I know that I could have done better – and that’s downright annoying.  I could have pushed myself a lot harder, but I didn’t – buggerations.

The truth is it’s always easier to do something other than a little bit of exercise. I’m absolutely fine if I’m in a routine, but if I lose momentum then it’s hard to get going again.  And with work commitments, breaks away, trips to see family etc, it’s really ridiculously easy to lose the drive.  Over these last few months I’ve not been working out enough and I’ve been been a little bit greedier than I should be – those pesky glasses of wine or two really do add up after all.  Not to mention bacon sandwich Fridays.  And the small inconsequential fact that I ate more than 2.5 times my calorie allocation on Christmas Eve alone – if you drinketh the wine, then you succumb to the cheese and crackers – true fact.

Therefore over the next few weeks I’ll propel myself back into my regime and stick to it come hell or high water (although I’d better not make jokes about high water at the moment).  I need to stay motivated and force myself to accept the truth that ‘nearly’ isn’t good enough this time.  MrShoeThatAlwaysFits inadvertently helped me out yesterday by absconding off to work with the last of the chocolate buttons, without as much as a ‘by your leave’.

On the plus side, I’ll get more than enough exercise on my walk home tonight leaping out of the way of fast car puddle-spray, navigating large deep puddles via a complex stepping stone routine, and running for my life between hailstorm showers.  Who knew that winter could be so invigorating?

Remember, remember, sodding November

Published November 21, 2013 by iftheshoefits

November sucks – there, I’ve said it, so it must be true.

I’ve barely blogged, barely shopped and barely slept.  And I’ve not managed to hit the gym quite as often as I should and appear to have hit the wine considerably more – definitely more beaujolais than bufftastic.

November is our silly season; clients want the impossible, employees need to use up annual leave; and the whole office is like a plague-ship, hacking coughs and spectacular sneezefests are compulsory.  Our nerds are praying for a zombie apocalypse or something that will destroy their need to meet a particularly imminent and immobile deadline; whilst the young ones are getting excited about the Christmas party and those that were born after the 1980s want to wear brash Christmas jumpers, those of us who lived through that decade shudder at the very thought.  There are lunchtime gaggles around monitors with ASOS shopping baskets filling up quicker than you can say, “can you really wear a bra under that?”

And then I stop and remember, it’s beginning to feel a lot like Christmas…roll on December.




Why indoor pitch and putt (rumble in the jungle) is good for the soul

Published November 2, 2013 by iftheshoefits

During my last post I mentioned that my parents were coming down to visit for a few days – there have been a few health issues with them both over the last 18 months so I wasn’t sure how fit they were going to be.

I needn’t have worried – we ate out a lot, drank a drop or two of wine, we shopped until we dropped, Mr ShoeThatAlwaysFits took us sightseeing and we even took in a round of pitch and putt when taking a break from all the shopping, eating and drinking.

The pitch and putt was hilarious – it brought out the inner competitor in all of us and there were multiple displays of childlike delight on achieving a hole in one and foot stomping frustrations at gaining a par five or more per hole.

My mother was particularly enthusiastic when driving off, with some of her shots ricocheting around the course.  Mr ShoeThatAlwaysFits won on the day, although he has the twin advantages of good eyesight and a sizeable amount of hand-eye coordination.  We would have stayed longer if they improved their wine list, but that’s a small complaint on an otherwise hilarious outing.

I also showed my parents around our new offices, however, I’m not sure I would recommend “Bring Your Parents to Work” – it meant all of my staff were trying to be super polite whilst my parents were intent on being mischievous.  Our R&D team really didn’t know how to respond to some of mum’s more pointed questions.  And I did find myself explaining some of the nerdier t-shirt designs because of it being dress-down Friday.

All in all in was a fabulous visit and I can’t wait until the next one.  If in doubt, pitch and putt, it really bonds a family together all the while bringing out the aeons old rivalries – a bit like Monopoly but less cutthroat.

On the up

Published October 20, 2013 by iftheshoefits

Last week ended reasonably calmly after all – I even managed to fit in three consecutive workouts – an absolute first. Although it did mean I felt every one of my 41 years by Friday night. How I miss the energy of my misspent youth!

Yesterday I finally managed to go to my long awaited hair appointment where my lovely hairdresser transformed me as always into an improved version of me – if somewhat neater than usual – and with some flame red attitude. Less librarian, more Florence and The Machine.

I’ve returned the inappropriately youthful clothing and have a lovely pair of boots on order instead – what can I say, you can never have too many pairs of boots – especially ones you could walk a few miles in.

I’m also looking forward to a visit from my parents who are south of the border from Wednesday through Saturday. Our family is scattered around quite a bit so it’s lovely to spend time together however infrequent it is. Let’s hope I can keep up with them – they could put an Olympic Athlete to shame at times.

And so I’m entering into next week full of my usual optimism and devil may care attitude. Wonder if I’ll make it to 10am Monday with that optimism intact?

It’s been a while (or when your life starts to read like the script from a disaster movie)

Published October 17, 2013 by iftheshoefits

I’ve been AWOL from these pages for a while – in part because on an open forum there’s only so much you can divulge and in part because if I write it, it must be true.

So, here’s the gist of things: work has been a little bit too exciting of late. I’m usually pretty sanguine and good at reacting to crises with a cool head and I’m known to be generous with my sage-like advice (that’s what I’ll be writing in my appraisal document anyway!!!) but October has totally sucked.

Some key members of staff have been hospitalised (now well on the road to recovery); one checked himself into A&E after a bad parachute landing (ok apart from cranial bruising), and a key nerd has spent more time at the Vet’s than at work – and that’s just the good stuff. One poor soul was stuck in the elevator for over 2 hours (we were in the process of collating emergency rations – bourbon, burger king, bucket) – before he was freed – he did have to climb out – all exciting stuff.

So, all of my energy has been spent trying to pretend that all of this is normal – and in sorting the anxiety dreams from the nightmares. And in believing that tomorrow will be better – it’s a good job that I’m an optimist.

But, you now have my full attention again. So await the postings and the shoes.

An earwig, a birthday and one too many bottles of wine

Published September 25, 2013 by iftheshoefits

Well yesterday was quite the day.  It all started off innocuously enough, I was awake before the alarm (always a good thing), my work outfit was already laid out from the night before – all I had to do was to make myself look presentable and head off to work as normal.  I was conducting my morning routine when I leaned down to scratch the top of my foot, as it had developed a bit of an itch, and to my horror I saw an earwig (aka a forkytail in my homeland) trapped under my tights.

I’m ashamed to admit that I screamed louder than was strictly necessary and proceeded to rip my tights off faster than the speed of sound, and then repeatedly jumped up and down on the sorry looking pile to ensure there were no forky-tailed survivors. Not very zen buddhist or even humane – but you try and hold back before coffee o’ clock when the adrenaline has kicked in.

I was still a bit shaky and itchy on my arrival at work and hurredly agreed to go out for lunch with a colleague.  There’s few things in life that lunch with a friend can’t sort out.  We were enjoying a lovely Italian lunch and over-zealously agreed to a second bottle of wine.  This is the point of no return – before you know it we’ve stopped off on the way back to the office to buy birthday cake and bubbly.  The next two hours were spent on concentrated bouts of sobriety before the office birthday bash.  There was singing, there was cake, there were cheese twists, there was champagne.  The bubbly ran out, the peanuts were depleted, it was 6.15pm and we all agreed that we should go to the lovely bar nearby for ‘just the one’ before we made our merry way home – it was only Tuesday after all.  My lunch had started with red wine, I was topped up with champagne and I decided to end the evening on gin and slim.  Not the worst move, but not the wisest either.

I was one of the lucky ones, I left before the heated debates about evolutionary politics and the crassness of Jane Austen and well before the bar bill ran into 3 figures.  It was a more subdued office this morning, with some flaggers heading out for early lunches.  I was a bit dry this morning, but I didn’t feel horrific, just a bit sleepy – in no small part to Mr ShoeThatAlwaysFits having a sneezing fit at 3am.

But that’s a whole other story.

… 28 mosquito bites later

Published September 22, 2013 by iftheshoefits

I have seven little bites, Mr ShoeThatAlwaysFits has twenty-one rather angry ones and this has turned him into Mr Itchy McScratchy.  I know he has twenty-one because I counted them after a mammoth scratching session. Most of them are clustered on his upper body, although he does have a particularly fruity one on his rump (and no, I don’t have any pictures of that one)!

You’d think that two Scots would know better, that an idyllic lake-side view with an open bedroom window is just asking for trouble.  But, as we weren’t on holiday on the west coast of Scotland, midge control was far from our minds as we went down to a wine induced sleep blissfully unaware of what we were doing to ourselves.

I was rudely awakened at 4am by Mr ShoeThatAlwaysFits apologising as he switched on lights and morphed into The Naked Mosquito Hunter.  It was quite the sight I can tell you.  The walls were soon smeared in our own blood as mosquito after mosquito fell to his dextrous hands.  We thought we had got them all and tried to settle down to sleep once again, but I was buzzed once more and leapt shrieking from the bed.  And there we were, Mosquito Massacre part deux.

In the morning, we were comparing bites to blood-smeared walls and believed we must have got them all.  Alas, this was not the case.  Some sneakily smart blighters went commando on us and waited until we were asleep the next night too as we awoke to more bites than we’d gone to bed with.

Luckily, I had packed enough anti-histamines for both of us which managed to reduce the itching if not the bites themselves.

The very last hotel we stayed at had fly screens on the windows so you could sleep with the windows open without being feasted upon – talk about too little too late.

Note to self for next trip, pack some insect repellant.

Cranking up the pace (aka getting ready for a holiday)

Published September 1, 2013 by iftheshoefits

Lots of folks are coming back from their summer break rip roaring and ready to go.  I’ve certainly noticed a renewed energy from those returning to work anyways.

But spare a thought for those of us who haven’t taken more than a few days off this summer – those of us who have battled on through the heat waves, the monsoon rain and the thunderstorms that have defined this epic summer.

But don’t feel too bad for me since we’re heading off for a 10 day break in less than 2 weeks time (hooray). However, it does mean more stress at work trying to get everything done before I go (and that’s quite the list).

I’ve compiled my holiday packing list too, but in doing so have realised that I need a new pair of trainers as I’m only taking 3 pairs of shoes with me – wearing one pair and packing two more.  I’m taking the lovely yellow wedge sandals, some khaki Birkenstocks that go with everything but I also need something a bit more practical – a pair that are both supportive and good looking for some more strenuous activity.  I was going to take my walking boots, but they’re just too ugly and only look good with some suitably outdoorsy clothes.  So this weekend has been spent trawling the internet for something practical and stylish – and that’s easier said than done.

I’m also getting in those last batch of workouts and have averaged 3-4 a week at the moment which is pretty good for me.  I may not be quite bikini fit yet, but I’m not that far off from where I want to be.  So I’ll continue hitting the gym with gusto knowing that it’s doing me some kind of good – all the while getting rid of the muffin tops.

So off I go to have one last look and fill that online shopping cart, I need to do it soon so that I can break them in before we go.  Well, that’s my excuse and I’m sticking to it 🙂

Switching Off

Published August 25, 2013 by iftheshoefits

It all started with my spa day on Friday.  I left my phone in my locker, and allowed myself to switch off, completely.  This is usually very difficult for me – someone is usually texting, tweeting or emailing me and in this modern world we live in, I feel driven to respond almost immediately, because otherwise it’s rude.

Is it any wonder then that we burn out, or find it difficult to switch off and sleep? I’ve become programmed to deal with everything as it happens and constantly amend plans already in place to deal with the latest event.  It’s not just me, it’s everyone I know.

But I know that I was run down and on the cusp of a burn out and so I begrudgingly booked myself in for the spa day.  A day of total retreat and relaxation, with a 90 minute massage and a reflexology session thrown in for good measure.  And I realised how good it was to be switched off from technology for a while.  An unexpected delight came from the tea room menu – toast and marmite 🙂

So good in fact that it’s now Sunday evening, and I’m only just reading through emails, texts and tweets that have come in over the last 72 hours.

Instead I’ve spent my time listening to music, reading, exercising and have even managed a marathon ironing session.  It’s been good for me.

I’m now ready to switch back on.  Maybe I should ease my way in via online shopping?  There’s worse ways to spend one’s time!

Relaxation – a subtle and elusive art

Published August 19, 2013 by iftheshoefits

Don’t get me wrong, I can relax with the best of you – as long as it’s on my own terms. Snuggled indoors with a good book or film, Mr ShoeThatAlwaysFits, and (perhaps) a glass of wine or two.

But, when someone tells me to relax I respond in exactly the same way – I clam up and do exactly the opposite. I’ve frustrated hair dressers, manicurists, beauticians, masseuses – and those are the very people who are attempting to soothe away my worries. Imagine my reaction to dentists, doctors and those people who have to inflict pain for the greater good.

“Just relax” are words to instill me into a state of rigidity normally only seen in tantrum riddled toddlers. It’s a defensive mechanism brought on by youthful excursions to A&E; treatment of split heads, torn ligaments and pretty much anything else always started with a “Just relax” statement before things got prodded, pulled and strapped back into shape.

It doesn’t help that health professionals still use these words today; recent experiences include root canal dental work, cortisone injections into both hands, and the poor practice nurse that swabs your cervix with alarming regularity.

Little wonder then, that my instincts ensure that my body hears “Brace, brace” every time those two other words are uttered.

I am going to a spa day on Friday and have a couple of treatments booked – let’s hope they don’t say those two little words.

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