Weeks 23 and 24 walking progress

Week 23 walking progress:

  • Total for week 23 = 45
  • Average per day for this week (45 / 7) = 6.43
  • Running total = 818 + 45 = 863
  • Miles left to walk in 2018 (1050 – 863) = 187

Week 24 walking progress:

  • Total for week 24 = 47
  • Average per day for this week (47 / 7) = 6.71
  • Running total = 863 + 47 = 910
  • Miles left to walk in 2018 (1050 – 910) = 140

I’m very pleased with my walking progress and only have 140 miles left to walk in 2018 until I reach my target! Woohoo 🙂

The weather in the UK has been really pleasant throughout the last couple of weeks and several of these miles were walked near to my home… making an extra effort to walk extra miles and make the most of the lovely weather. The wild flower photos below were all taken on recent local wanders…

 

 

 

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June weigh-in

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Warm chocolate lava cake

I weighed myself the day after returning from my recent cruise and my weight is… 8 st 3 lb! Yay! This means I managed a 2 week holiday with a 9 day cruise in the middle and didn’t put on a single pound 🙂

Achieving this did take quite a bit of determination and effort which might not appeal to everyone as most people take holidays as an opportunity to relax and enjoy a little overindulgence. However, after 6 months of hard work to reduce my weight by 2 stones (28 lbs) I was keen to find a good balance of enjoying the trip but not regaining any weight. This is how I did it:

  • Rough calculation each day of the estimated number of calories I was consuming and the estimated number I was burning off which helped me to keep track and stay focussed.
  • Daily gym sessions… it was easy to be in the ship’s gym at 06:00 each morning as with the -8/-9 hours time difference I was always awake at 5 am!
  • Paying $69 for a gym pass for the 9 day cruise duration which meant unlimited classes such as pilates and cycling and suspension training.
  • Booking active excursions; each of the 4 shore trips I did involved hiking.
  • Never taking the ship’s lift… as my cabin was on level 5 and many activities were on level 12 I did a great deal of walking up and down 7 flights of stairs!
  • Walking several miles around each of the ports while I wasn’t on any of the excursions.
  • Eating healthy breakfasts and lunches but allowing a few treats each evening.
  • Not snacking between meals.
  • Throughout the day I drank black coffee, herbal tea (mint, cinnamon & apple, orange etc) and water. I mostly had just one glass of wine which was enough for me.

At each meal I opted for the healthiest choice. A typical day would be:

Breakfast (600 calories):

  • Half a bran muffin (consumed early in the morning with a coffee before any gym classes)
  • Small bowl of bircher muesli
  • Melon, grapes, pineapple
  • Poached or scrambled egg

Lunch (400 calories)

  • Mostly salad; steamed vegetables; vegetable curry and fruit from the buffet

Dinner (1300 calories)

  • Bread roll and butter
  • Starter
  • Main
  • Dessert
  • Glass of wine

For a 50 year old 5’3″ woman to maintain a weight of 8 st 3 lb my ‘My Net Diary‘ app says I need to consume 1650 calories each day. For an average food consumption of 2,300 calories (as above) this meant burning off an extra 650 calories each day. This was achieved quite easily as with daily gym sessions, walking, trekking and climbing stairs several times a day I often burned off more than this. Extra time in the gym gave me more ‘calorie credits’ to enjoy delicious food each night, such as the delicious ‘warm chocolate lava cake’ as in the picture!

 

 

 

Weeks 21 and 22 walking progress

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Alaska hiking

Week 21 walking progress:

  • Total for week 21 = 40
  • Average per day for this week (40 / 7) = 5.71
  • Running total = 711 + 40 = 751
  • Miles left to walk in 2018 (1050 – 751) = 299

Week 22 walking progress:

  • Total for week 22 = 67
  • Average per day for this week (67 / 7) = 9.57
  • Running total = 751 + 67 = 818
  • Miles left to walk in 2018 (1050 – 818) = 232

What an amazing couple of walking weeks! I did this during a fantastic Seattle break (week 21) followed by an Alaskan cruise (weeks 21 and 22). As well as several hours of wandering around exploring Seattle I decided to focus on the hiking excursions on offer while on the cruise.

And 67 miles in week 22! Wow… what an effort and the best walking week so far of 2018… and while on the cruise for the whole of this week! I must say I did push myself in the gym, walking around the ship and walking around at all of the ports of call mostly because I wanted to eat a bit more than usual and enjoy the delicious food and desserts without increasing my weight! (My big post-cruise weigh-in is tomorrow…)

 

 

 

 

 

Week 20 walking progress

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Beautiful day on Sunday walking through millions of buttercups!

Week 20 walking progress:

  • Total for week 20 = 54 miles
  • Average per day for this week (54 / 7) = 7.71
  • Running total = 657 + 54 = 711 miles
  • Miles left to walk in 2018 (1050 – 711) = 339

Hurrah! This is the most miles I’ve walked so far in a single week… probably ever… I did extra miles at the gym this week and included these… and I’ve done 3 x walks with local walking clubs (Wednesday evening, Friday evening and Sunday) all of which have really pushed my mileage up!

 

 

Pre-cruise weight

With massive amounts of exercise combined with eating as best as I can I’ve managed to maintain a weight of 8 st 3 lb for a few weeks. I weigh myself at the gym each week after breakfast and with my clothes on and these do seem heavy duty and pretty reliable scales.

In 4 days time I’ll be travelling to Seattle where I’ll stay for 3 nights before beginning a 9 day cruise to Alaska with Norwegian Cruise Lines. With a permanent abundance of delicious food and alcohol tempting you at every turn, cruises are notorious for causing passengers to gain weight!

The Telegraph suggests the average cruise passenger puts on 1 lb for each day of the cruise! In theory I could come back home and weigh nearly 9 stone again!

My previous 14 night South American cruise almost certainly contributed to the weight I gained during my 2016 global adventure… the weight I couldn’t shake off during 2017…

Anyway, things are different now and on this occasion while I want to enjoy the trip I don’t want to undo the good work of the last 6 months and come back with excess baggage about my person!

Thankfully I don’t have a bad lower back issue this time so I’m planning on a daily gym session, maybe a run around the ships running track each day and have pre-booked 4 x trekking excursions. I’m also planning on taking the stairs up and down the 14 decks rather than the lifts and will try hard not to eat or drink excessively.

I’ll weigh myself immediately upon my return and report back in a couple of weeks time, hopefully with positive weight news…

 

 

 

Week 18 and 19 walking progress

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Dorset’s beautiful Jurassic coastline

Week 18 walking progress:

  • Total for week 18 = 46 miles
  • Average per day for this week (46 / 7) = 6.58
  • Running total = 571 + 46 = 617 miles
  • Miles left to walk in 2018 (1050 – 617) = 433

Another good effort for week 18 with much of this being completed by trudging about in London, to and from train stations rather than getting the tube! Sunday of this week was unseasonably hot in England and I walked 11 miles in 28 degrees with one of my local walking groups!

 

Week 19 walking progress:

  • Total for week 19 = 40 miles
  • Average per day for this week (40 / 7) = 5.71
  • Running total = 617 + 40 = 657 miles
  • Miles left to walk in 2018 (1050 – 657) = 393

I had a week off work and crammed two trips in… the first part of the week was spent on a short solo break to Montenegro where I went for several walks around Kotor, Tivat and Budva. While in Kotor I climbed the 1350 steps to the San Giovanni castle which gives you spectacular views of the Kotor and its majestic fjord.

In contrast the second part of my week was spent in Lulworth Cove, Dorset where I had a brilliant weekend as part of a large group of friends. We did an energetic 9 mile hike along the gorgeous Jurassic coastline (past Durdle Door) on Saturday and a 5 mile hike past Lulworth Cove on Sunday. Both hikes were strenuous with steep ascents and descents along the wild and dramatic cliffs.

I’m also quite chuffed that I now have under 400 miles to achieve my target of 1050 miles walked in 2018… go me!!

 

 

May weigh-in

Starting weight (4th December 2017): 10 st 3 lb

January weight: 9 st 10 lb

February weight: 9 st 0 lb (weight on 1st Feb would have been around 9 st 4 lb)

March weight: 8 st 12 lb

April weight: 8 st 7 lb (119 lbs or 54 kg)

May weight: 8 st 3 lb

Total weight loss: 28 lbs

People have started to comment on my weight loss and I’m still losing weight… I don’t want to lose anymore so I’m trying to find the balance and understand how many calories I can eat against how many I’m using up in relation to the exercise I’m doing.

I have an app on my phone called ‘My Net Diary’ which has an apple logo and can help with weight management. I don’t use it although did check that for me to maintain a weight of 8 st 7 lb (I’m 5’3″ or 161 cm), I would need to consume 1673 calories each day. And this doesn’t include any exercise meaning that if I burn an extra 300 calories each day, I would be able to consume 1973 daily calories.

From past experience where I’ve lost weight and quickly become complacent again (resulting in regaining the weight) I’ve realised the only way for me to manage my weight properly is to roughly count my calorie intake each day. It is too easy to ignore the amount of food and as such calories you consume which quickly adds up and the pounds soon begin to reappear. So to stay at my current weight I really do need to tot up the calorie total each day!

As a 50 year old woman I am at the age of the dreaded menopause… I’m not sure if I’m there yet or even if I’ve had the perimenopause (which can start in your early 40’s or even in your 30’s) and is the time leading up to the full menopause. Other than difficulty sleeping most nights I haven’t really had any symptoms (although this might be due to my birth control implant which might be masking things…).

Anyway… the point of this is that getting plenty of exercise and eating properly can help with menopause symptoms by improving your mood, boosting your energy and helping to keep your metabolism faster. One more reason to stay fit and healthy!

 

 

Gym update

Today is 1st May and I’ve now been attending the gym on a regular basis for 5 months (having joined during the first week of December 2017). This is probably the longest I’ve kept up a gym membership for… ever…!

I am still attending the gym 2 or 3 times a week and have got into a routine of spending an hour each time before starting work in the mornings. I vary my routine slightly and haven’t yet missed a session.

I am feeling incredibly fit now and the buzz I feel when I’ve completed each session is huge meaning I feel positive and ready to face anything throughout the day!

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Week 17 walking progress

Week 17 walking progress:

  • Total for week 17 = 33 miles
  • Average per day for this week (33 / 7) = 4.71
  • Running total = 538 + 33 = 571 miles
  • Miles left to walk in 2018 (1050 – 571) = 479

A fairly average week of walking to and from work, a bit extra at the gym and 10 miles with my local walking club on Sunday.

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Lovely bluebells on Sunday’s 10 mile walk!

 

 

Vegan verdict

Conclusions on vegan diet…

For my last day as a vegan a little reflection on the last month is in order. What has this month taught me?

I do feel incredibly healthy and positive in both mind and body. I have a little personal turmoil at the moment but that’s for another post.

Throughout the last month I’ve managed fairly well to stick to a predominantly vegan diet. Unfortunately I’ve not managed to be a 100% vegan…

  • Chris and I visited a local pub for dinner one evening. There was no vegan option and the only vegetarian option was mushroom risotto… I’m not keen on mushrooms or risotto so decided to have fish and chips.
  • During my recent trip to Oslo with my vegan daughter Zoe, we were able to follow a vegan diet without too much difficulty. The hotel had a massive choice of breakfast enabling me to have soya milk on my cereal, beans on toast, smoothies etc. Oslo has several excellent vegan restaurants including Nordvegan and Funky Fresh Foods. However on the last night we set out to look for something to eat but at 8.30 pm on a Sunday most specialised vegan restaurants had closed. We found an Olivia restaurant but the only vegan option was a bowl of olives! So we had to get a vegetarian pizza…

Lessons learned:

  1. I have no issues with preparing vegan food at home; there are thousands of tasty vegan recipes and I never get fed up with curries and soups. I don’t miss meat at all.
  2. Many restaurant chains now have specific vegan menu’s which is great. However this doesn’t apply to all and going to the two restaurants mentioned above has meant breaking my vegan pledge.
  3. Having discussed veganism with my daughter Zoe she now refers to herself as having a ‘plant based diet’ rather than calling herself a vegan.

Conclusion:

Following a vegan diet throughout April and March’s vegetarian lifestyle have encouraged me to think carefully about my approach to food and eating.

Giving vegetarianism some careful thought I don’t feel its much more ‘animal friendly’ than people who eat meat. It could even be considered worse… I am not an expert but I would assume that killing a cow for its meat means the animal suffers less than a cow who is milked for its entire life. Therefore if someone decides to become a vegetarian and as a result consumes more cheese rather than eating meat, are they in fact being more harmful to cows?

I also believe that a predominantly vegan lifestyle is a healthy lifestyle choice and that eating meat isn’t really necessary.

Taking all things into consideration this is what I am going to do from now:

  • I will cook vegan as much as possible at home although I will revert back to having fish occasionally.
  • I will order vegan food as a priority if it’s available on restaurant menu’s. If it isn’t I’ll go for the most healthy choice.
  • I’m not keen on the way animals are used to produce milk (which is meant for baby cow’s) so I will continue to have oat milk or coconut milk rather than cow’s milk. And have occasional cheese but try to get vegan cheese where possible.
  • I might very occasionally have chicken but only if it’s free range and organic. And the same applies to eggs.
  • I won’t eat pork, lamb or beef again. The only exception would be if I am invited as a guest and someone has kindly cooked it for me without realising my food preferences. This would be extremely rare and might occur less than once a year. However I wouldn’t want to make a fuss or offend my host.

So following my vegetarian and vegan months and discussing the terminology with Zoe, from now I am going to follow a primarily plant based diet!