Walking update week 32

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Liverpool early morning walks!

I’ve had a busy week with a few days in Liverpool for work and a weekend with my family in Suffolk! Keen to continue with my walking mileage and also to spend a bit of time exploring I got up early 4 times this week and did 2 x 3.5 mile early morning Liverpool walks and a couple of early morning (1 x 4 miles and 1 x 6 miles) beach walks in Lowestoft.

Early morning is a beautiful time of the day when the sun is rising and there are hardly any people about.

Running total (to week 31): 1,232

Miles walked in week 32: 37

Total walked in 2018: 1,269

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Lowestoft beach

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Walking update week 31

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Norfolk beach walk

With a weekend in Norfolk I did couple of lovely walks in week 31!

Running total (to week 30): 1,187

Miles walked in week 31: 45

Total walked in 2018: 1,232

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Hickling Broad Nature Reserve

August weigh-in

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‘Before’ picture (Nov 2017)
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‘After’ picture (May 2018)

Comparison pictures! The top picture was taken during a holiday in Antigua in November 2017 where I was enjoying a pina colada and just about to tuck a pizza! At this time my weight would have been around 10 st 7 lb.

The picture underneath was taken in Montenegro in May 2018 shortly after reaching my (now) usual weight of 8 st 3 lb. I found these two pictures where I was wearing the same top… one of my holiday tops 🙂

One of the main reasons for this particular challenge began on 4th December 2017 when I had a health check at the gym at work. I was dismayed to find my weight had crept up to 67 kgs (10 st 7 lb) and my cholesterol was 5.67 which was bordering on ‘high’!

This kick started my personal health campaign and I was determined to start the next decade of my life as a fitter and more energetic 50 year old! I don’t want to get to the age of 60 or 70 and have to take medication because I hadn’t taken responsibility for my health by looking after myself now.

From 4th December I successfully lost an average of half a stone each month and reached my 9 st goal just in time for my 50th birthday in February. I continued with my exercise routine and watching my calorie intake beyond February and by the beginning of May I was 8 st 3 lb. I’ve managed to maintain this weight for the last 3 months and this is where I feel happy, healthy and comfortable.

Weight today: 8 st 2 lb

Losing this weight as a result of healthy eating and a considerable amount of exercise has been an incredibly positive experience. I’ve got far more energy, I’m almost always in a good mood, I’ve suffered hardly any annoying little minor illnesses and I’ve gone from a size 12 to a size 8. I am determined to stay at this weight and not allow my weight to creep back upwards again!

Eager to find out if all of my efforts have reduced my cholesterol levels I had another health check at the gym at work today and these are the results:

  4th Dec 2017 2nd Aug 2018
Diabetes (glucose) 5.2 mmol/l 1.5 mmol/l
Weight 66.8 kgs (10 st 7 lb) 51.8 kg (8 st 2 lb)
Cholesterol 5.67 mmol/l 4.47 mmol/l
% body fat 32.4% 18.9%
BMI 26 20.2
Metabolic age 43 35

Yay! I was really pleased with these results and particularly my cholesterol level! This is the first time I’ve had it checked since 4th December last year when it was borderline ‘high’ but now I’m within normal range. Achieving this with hard work and commitment will motivate me to keep up my healthy eating and exercise in order to retain good health and without the need for mediation.

The fitness instructor suggested I needed to gain a few lbs as my ‘ideal’ weight is 56.3 kgs however I am happy with my current weight and I’m still within the healthy BMI range (a BMI of under 18.5 would indicate an unhealthy low weight).

And according to http://www.nhs.uk the weight range for my 5′ 3″ (160 cm) height is between 7 st 6 lb and 10 st 2 lb… so I was definitely a bit of a chubster at the end of last year..

The glucose test is a blood sugar test for diabetes. Like the previous time I didn’t fast in advance of the health check (having had a bowl of muesli a couple of hours before). ‘Normal’ 2 – 3 hours after eating is between 4 – 8 mmol/l. However this time was much lower so this seems pretty good too!

Finally my metabolic age has reduced from 43 to 35! This is an indication of the speed your body is ageing and basically the lower, the better… woohoo…

 

 

Walking update weeks 28-30

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Evening walk with local walking club

As my personal challenge to walk 1050 miles in 2018 is now complete I’m going to up the ante and aim for 2050 miles! I love walking and pushing myself and having a goal is motivating.

This is an update for the last 3 weeks:

Total miles walked so far in 2018 at the end of week 27: 1045

Miles walked in week 28: 45

Miles walked in week 29: 41

Miles walked in week 30: 56

Running total in 2018: (1045 + 45 + 41 + 56) = 1,187

 

Bike ride

So, my husband Chris and I did do our 24 mile bike ride yesterday! While I am still up for a cycling weekend somewhere, as this is the longest bike ride I’ve ever done I’m going to tick this challenge off as being ‘complete’.

Much of the route was on dedicated cycle paths and bridleways and also fairly flat so the terrain was great for cycling. However as it was really windy we had to peddle hard! We set off in the sun but twice got soaked to the skin in a couple of heavy downpours! The second happened when we were only a couple of miles from home so we arrived back tired, hungry and soaking wet…

Note to self: take a rain coat next time…

We did both feel a sense of achievement and are keen to do more longer weekend cycling and continue our short evening cycle trips during the summer.

 

 

 

July gym progress

Just a short progress update to mention that I’ve completed a session at my work gym every day that I’ve been in the office so far this year. This means getting up at 5:30 am each time I commute into London in order to do my gym session before work. I work in London 2 – 3 days a week so other than when I’ve been away I’ve kept this up and am on track to complete this challenge by the end of 2018!

My hour long gym routine hasn’t changed much as follows:

  • Cross trainer: 20 mins
  • Rowing machine: 10 mins
  • Weights (shoulders and arms): 10 mins
  • Treadmill: 20 mins

I usually burn 450 calories each time and this, together with an average of walking another 6 or 7 miles each day and swimming once or twice a week is really helping me to maintain my weight!

 

 

Dusting down the bike…

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Having done a huge amount of walking and trekking this year I was keen to do some cycling and get some practice for a more lengthy bike ride later on. Chris and I hadn’t ridden our bikes for about 3 years and they sat forlornly outside under a cover slowly rusting away and getting covered in spiders webs!

We recently dusted them down, oiled them up and have spent some of the recent gorgeous summer evenings out and about exploring our local countryside. With our mountain bikes we always stick to tracks and try to avoid roads as much as we can.

One of our favourite expeditions is a 4 mile trip across the fields where we stop and dine in a fabulous local Indian restaurant before cycling the 4 miles back across the fields again!

We are hoping to go further afield later today with a 24 mile round trip to a larger town! I say ‘hoping’ because we are currently experiencing the first rain in about 3 months on this Saturday morning. In contrast to most years the UK has experienced an ongoing heatwave with many records being broken for example, the hottest London Marathon in April, the hottest May Bank Holiday and one of the driest Junes and July’s, as explained by Wikipedia.

I’m happy to hike in the rain but I don’t fancy riding a bike for a rainy and possibly thundery 24 miles not when more sunny weather is forecast for the next couple of weeks into August!

 

 

 

1050 walking challenge complete!

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Image courtesy of Google Maps

Hurrah! I completed 1050 miles of 2018 walking yesterday, Monday 9th July! 

The final mile was completed during a fabulously warm 30 degrees summer evening during a short local walk near to my home. As Google Maps (above) shows, this is almost as far as walking from London to Rome!

Here are a few stats:

Average miles per day: (1050 miles / 192 days) = 5.5 miles

Average miles per week: (1050 miles / 27 weeks) = 39 miles

Average miles per month: (1050 miles / 6.3 months) = 167 miles

Keeping a record of all of these extra miles walked has been really motivating and has encouraged me to walk more miles each day and has definitely helped to keep my weight down… I’m planning to continue totting up my daily and weekly mileage and will post updates from time to time… maybe I can reach 2000 miles within these 12 months?

 

 

July weigh-in

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A delicious Cuban meal including spicy prawns, rice and beans and pumpkin

Having just returned from a week of all inclusive indulgence in Cuba I was a bit anxious about this month’s weigh-in… however… I have managed to maintain my weight of 8 st 3 lb!!! Yay!!! How did this happen???

I spent last week consuming numerous cocktails each day, lazing around reading books on a sunbed and doing virtually no exercise… on the basis that any excess calories over the 1650 necessary to keep my weight at 8 st 3 lb, and given I was probably averaging a calorie consumption of around 3000 a day, in theory I should have put on about 3-4 lb… but no! I didn’t put on a single lb!!! Hurrah!!!

I’m not sure if this is a delayed reaction and I’ll suddenly expand at some point this week so I’ve gone back to my usual routine of not over eating and doing lots of exercise… all is good so far… and this was my gym weight this morning i.e. on heavy duty ‘proper’ scales, after breakfast and with my clothes on…

Given that I’ve managed to stay at 8 st 3 lb I’ll soon amend this challenge with the aim of sticking to 8 st 3 lb throughout the rest of 2018. This is a weight I am comfortable with and while I either have to stick to 1650 calories each day or do a large amount of extra exercise to enable me to eat more, it is all manageable at the moment…

 

 

 

 

Weeks 26 – 27 walking progress

Week 26 walking progress:

  • Total miles walked in week 26 = 52
  • Average per day for this week (52 / 7) = 7.43
  • Running total = 981 + 52 = 1033
  • Miles left to walk in 2018 (1050 – 1033) = 17

Nearly there… I did quite a bit of evening walking this week… the lovely warm summer evenings continue in the UK which makes it a real pleasure to spend them walking!

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Jurassic Park scenery on Cuba hike

Week 27 walking progress:

  • Total miles walked in week 27 = 12
  • Average per day for this week (12 / 7) = 1.71
  • Running total = 1033 + 12 = 1045
  • Miles left to walk in 2018 (1050 – 1045) = 5

So close to reaching my target but only around 12 miles walked for the duration of this week… I was on a relaxing holiday in Cuba! A couple of these miles were walked during a short guided hike from the hotel (above pic) and another couple were walked in the gorgeous Havana… I did a local walk on the Sunday evening when I returned but the rest of the time my walking consisted of to the pool; to the beach and to one of the numerous dotted bars around the hotel!