Monday, 9 February 2015

February goals

Geez Louise, it's almost half way through February and I haven't even posted my goals for the month yet! Or even finished reviewing my January goals...timekeeping fail.

So let's quickly wrap up how I did with my last few goals for January.

- Throw away the scales. Check. And I haven't regretted it once. For me they're evil things, which lead to evil thoughts, which lead to evil behaviours. No thank you.

- Maintain a positive attitude. Epic fail. I did well for about the first 3 days...and then it all fell apart. Get me a new job please!

All in all I felt like I gave a pretty good shot at my January goals :)

February goals

I probably say this every month, but I LOVE the feeling of getting to set new goals! (Spoiler alert: since I'm posting these late...I've already told you about ticking some of these off!)

For fun this month I've set 3 goals:
- Celebrate my boyfriend's birthday and make sure he has a special day
- Enjoy going to see Wicked, and soak in the atmosphere
- Suck it up and deal with Valentine's day. I might not like Valentine's day, but I do like candles, so I'm making sure I light it up this V day.


- Stop nighttime snacking. I'm eating just before I go to bed for no. good. reason. I'm not hungry, I don't need anything to why am I doing it!? There's lots of other times I pointlessly snack, but I'm focussing on curbing this one time for this month.
- Minimise refined sugar during weekdays. I'm packing the grams of sugar in at the moment and it needs to stop. I don't want to stop completely, so this goal is simply about minimising sugar during weekdays and then being more relaxed at weekends. I'll do this through simple swaps such as having salty rather than sweet popcorn.


- Run at least 1 other 10k after the London Winter Run. I love this distance, and I want to keep it up. Sometimes I get a bit daunted by doing anything longer thank half an hour so I want to just relax and enjoy these.
- Do one yoga session a week. Things were starting to get a bit busy and yoga was taking a bashing. I prefer to do a couple of yoga sessions a week, but sleep is more important. So if I can squeeze one in a week, just for the mental benefits, I'll be a happy bunny.


- Run the London Winter Run. Events scare me. I don't know why. I've run for years, I know my limits, my pace, what I can do when I put my mind to it. Yet for some reason when you tell me I have to do it in a certain place, at a certain time, with other people I freak the heck out. And yet I know I love doing events - I love the sense of occasion and the atmosphere! (I know, my thoughts follow no logic!)...but guess what, I DID IT!

- Update my CV
- Sign up for job alerts
Can you tell I want a new job? These are the first basic steps. I don't want to rush in to anything kicking and screaming, yelling "GET ME A JOB, I'LL TAKE ANYTHING, PLEASE EMPLOY ME!". I want to make sure if I move it's in to the right thing, and therefore I want to do this properly.

What are your goals for February?

E x

Wednesday, 4 February 2015

January 2015 goals - Pleasure update

How is it already February?!

I had quite a few goals for January and I wanted to share with you how I got on with them all. I split my goals up into pleasure, health, fitness, fear and work, so today I'm just going to focus on pleasure. My goals were:

- Book theatre tickets. My boyfriend and I got vouchers last Christmas (yikes!) and have never got round to booking anything. We know we want to go and see Wicked, we just need to book it!
- Make the most of our week off at the start of January. It's already flying by, and I've spent an embarrassing amount of it sleeping, so need to get on with this one!
- Make sure my boyfriend has a wonderful birthday at the end of the month
- Write an email to a friend I've lost contact with
- Write all the online recipes I use frequently into a recipe's such a pain having to boot my laptop up every time I want to cook!
(I always tend to have a few more pleasure goals, as they tend to be more one off to dos, rather than ongoing challenges).

Book theatre tickets
I may have spent 30 minutes on the phone, getting passed between the same 2 call centre workers (!) but I got there. We're going to see Wicked this Saturday and I am psyched :)


Make the most of our time off at the start of January
I struggled with this one. I spent the whole time wanting to tidy or mope around. Still, we did get out to the Zoo (!), went for a wintery walk, and generally chillaxed. Lesson learnt though: staycations are haaaard.

Make sure my boyfriend has a great birthday

Urgh disaster. With all my tummy problems his birthday was an almighty car crash. I've got some serious making up to do and need to get a "fake" birthday put in the diary.

Write an email to a friend I've lost contact with

Email written, and responded to - followed by a chain of emails. It was so nice to hear about her life and how she was doing. It had been almost 2 years since we'd caught up, and yet we used to live together! Proof that life can all too easily drive people apart if you take your eye off things. Hopefully we'll meet up next time she's in London.

Create a recipe folder

It's not fancy or pretty but all my recipes were written up and put in a folder to save me logging in to my computer every time I wanted to cook. Unfortunately my low FODMAP diet means I can't use most of the I need to add some new, low FODMAP friendly recipes in.

Pretty happy with how I got on with these. Bar my boyfriend's birthday (which was probably the most important one for me which is a bummer) I got most of the way there. Looking forward to Wicked!

What was your favourite pleasure goal you achieved in January?

E x 

Tuesday, 3 February 2015

January 2015 goals - Health and Fitness update

I'm pretty chuffed with how I did on my fitness goals! My health goals not so much...

They were:

- Focus on stabilising my blood sugar
- Keep as close to the meal plan when I'm back at work

- Run a 7k
- Do 10 proper push ups

Stabilising blood sugar
This did get better as the month went on, but I'm eating so many more sugary foods than I used to and it's not great. This is something I want to work harder at in February - need to define a goal that gets me a bit closer to blood sugar stabilisation.


Keep to the meal plan

This failed for 2 reasons. The first is that not having a kitchen, or any space to even cut vegetables, makes things almost impossible. The second is that all my stomach pain has thrown me sideways and I've been using the limited food choices I have as an excuse to eat rubbish. Sort it out, Emma!

Run a 7k

In the first week of January I smashed this and ran a 10k! That led me to signing up for the London Winter Run which was a massive fear for me. So this goal was well and truly ticked off! I love it when you set yourself goal at the start of the month, never thinking that you'll blow it out of the water :)

Do 10 proper push ups
Half tick.

So each week I added on an extra push up, starting at 5 in one go, and on the 31st January pushing it up to the final 10. And I did it, non-stop, without collapsing! However to say I'm properly doing them is a lie - I definitely don't go all the way down and up. Will keep on trying to improve these over February though :)


What were your health and fitness goals for the month?

 E x

Monday, 2 February 2015

Fuelled by a banana


And boy does it feel like there's a weight off my mind. 

I'm going to do a separate post recapping the event but there's a bit more detail below. 


This week was set to be a good one as it way my boyfriend's birthday. We had a lovely dinner with his family planned at the amazing Toto's restaurant in Kensington, and I'd organised a special day out on Saturday to celebrate properly. The reality was a lot of cancelled plans and a lot of time with me in bed in pain. 

Toto's - Source

I managed to get myself out to the family dinner but spent most of the time trying not to pass out. I haven't had pain that bad for a long time, even walking was a challenge. I probably came across very rude to his family (and to the staff at the restaurant since I ate about 2 mouthfuls...). Things weren't too bad for the rest of the week until Saturday when I woke up feeling nauseous and with stomach pains. I managed to make it to my therapy appointment, though struggled not to throw up when talking about food, and then went to a coffee shop where I sat very still as any movement made me feel in pain. When I met up with my boyfriend we got as far as lunch before he took me home where I spent the rest of the day asleep in bed.

I felt so awful. I completely ruined his birthday...twice in a week! And the worst girlfriend ever award goes 

I did make him a cake though (one that I couldn't even eat as it had wheat in it - sacrifice right there). One positive brownie point against a lot of minuses. So I've got a lot of making up to do. 

By the time it got to race day I'd only eaten a banana, 2 slices of toast and some popcorn the day before. Not exactly fuelling! So I scoffed a banana a few hours before the race and got the adrenaline going. Thank god for adrenaline! 

This would have been a particularly effective adrenaline stimulant.

But after a super cold start, and a shaky start, I did it :)

(Not the best photo...I may have accidentally temporarily broke my phone camera by smashing a perfume bottle over it. Lesson learned: never try and be fancy shmancy and take perfume with you to a race).

The rest of the Sunday was spent warming up on the sofa, eating carbs, and then going to support my boyfriend at an exhibition stand he'd organised for his work. 


As you can imagine, food has been all over the place this week with stomach pains. A lot of plain foods such as popcorn. A lot of low fodmap foods such as eggs (so many eggs). And a few spoonfuls of the amazing food at Toto's - melanzane parmigiana followed by truffle risotto. 

The more exciting meals included a quinoa stuffed pepper with pinenuts, spinach, mint and sundried tomotoes. With a side of THE BEST homemade gluten free bread and salad.

Banana, chia and nuts with the remaining peanut butter - best breakfast on the go!

HAZELNUT BUTTER! Oh dear lord, where have you been all my life? Obvs with banana because you just can't beat that combo. Oh, and raw cacao. Raw cacao makes chocolate at breakfast acceptable.


Zero yoga = sad Emma. But 2 5ks and a 10k (woop woop!) = super happy Emma!!


Most of my week was spent thinking "I hate my job" and "I hate my stomach". C'est la'll get better. Friday I'm probably heading back to the Dr. to see if they'll do any tests to rule out other nasties and confirm IBS. I imagine they'll send me away again empty handed, but I owe it to myself to try.

As for the job, I'm considering alternative careers. I wonder whether there's such a thing as professional duvet tester?


I've also been reflecting on my January goals. I'll be doing a run down of each goal in blog posts for the next few days, but I'm pretty proud of my achievements! I'll also be listing out my February goals to keep my accountable.

Have a great week everyone!

E x

What did you do this weekend? What's your favourite nut butter?

Sunday, 25 January 2015

Chillaxing in an armchair

Hello everyone!

As I'm writing this I'm sat in my freezing cold lounge, still dark outside, waiting to go for a run (no, this is not me chillaxing in the armchair - that comes later!). Next week is race day and the start time isn't until between 9.30 and 10.30 so I'll need something to eat before running. The thing is, I never eat before running! The only 2 times I've ever eaten before a run were for my 10k a couple of years ago and a 5k years and years ago. Both those times my ongoing digestive problems were either none existent or much less problematic, so I'm quite worried about tummy trouble next week! Therefore today I'm up far too early for a Sunday to eat something light and give it a couple of hours to digest before I set off, just to make sure my mashed banana, little bit of yoghurt and some ginger doesn't have me running to the nearest loo! I'm doing a loop fairly close to my house so if I need to nip back I can do...(these last few weeks of digestive problems have not left me feeling particularly confident in this department)!

I'm not going to lie, I hate this waiting around. I like to get up and go before I get too comfy on the sofa.


This week at work has been manic as usual, and as a result there's not much to rave about.

On Tuesday I got an email from one of my best friends. It had a link to a job advert, and simply said "I think you'd be perfect for this". Whilst the job advert closed the following day, and I wasn't in a position to be applying for jobs that quickly, it was a bit of a lightbulb moment. If I'm not enjoying my job, if it's taking over my life, and even stopping me from having a life, then I don't have to keep doing that job! (Yeah, I know, I should have figured that out myself!) Friends are the best!


My Saturday was just lovely though. It started with my usual therapy appointment (which once I again I was nearly late for because of somewhat unreliable London transport! There's nothing like a brisk walk/run to a different station 20 minutes away to wake you up!) where we talked about rule breaking. I am so not a rule breaker - I'm a miss goody two shoes, a teacher's pet, a do what I'm told kind of person! And my restricting period was a true example of this. It was interesting to talk about how rules were either achieved or failed, meaning everything was black and white. I need to be aiming for more of those grey areas - eating healthily and sensibly, but not going overboard on restricting the amounts and types of foods I eat. When we feel like we've failed a rule, we're more likely to think everything's gone to pot and we might as well fail completely - cue binging!

Afterwards me and the bf headed over to Shoreditch in East London. We had a wander round feeling ever so mainstream (Shoreditch is renowned for being super alternative and trendy, having excellent independent coffee shops, and being the home of quirky cafes such as the Cereal Cafe - that's right, a cafe that sells cereals from all over the world!) but I loved it! It's always so refreshing to be somewhere with so much independent character.

We grabbed a coffee (fresh mint tea for me) in a great, small coffee shop with beautiful fireplaces. The tea was so good and my bf appreicated the coffee art! (The photo makes it look messed up but it was actually perfect).

We then headed off to the Electric Cinema to see Whiplash. The Electric Cinema is an independent cinema with 2 cinemas across London. Forget the hard, uncomfy seats you normally get with no leg room. Here you get armchairs (or sofas at one of the cinemas) with bags of leg room, blankets and small table lamps. It was amazing! The tickets are obviously much more expensive but as a treat (this was part one of my Christmas present to my bf of 12 dates of Christmas) it's totally worth it. If you're interested make sure you book well in advance - for a lot of the evening screenings the tickets go as soon as they're released (normally a week before the showing). Saying that, this 12.45 screening we went to was mostly empty, which was lovely!

As for the film itself - well I wasn't sure what to expect. I'd let my bf choose and hadn't given much attention to what it was about. Turned out to be a winner! The acting was amazing, and it was refreshingly different to the usual action/rom-com/sci-fi. Definitely recommend it.

The rest of the day was spent in front of a radiator under a blanket (SO COLD!) catching up on TV including new Big Bang Theory. LOVE that show!


Because I'm back to working away from home and living off supermarket food I've been really struggling with this whole lowFODMAP eating. EVERYTHING has onion or garlic in it, or the veggie salads are all with chickpeas or lentils or beans. The first day I was there I had a massive fail and ended up just getting an egg salad (even that had cold new potatoes and onions in) and added some extra cheese. It was so pathetic! I did get a lot better by the end of the week, but I have a feeling I'll be surviving off a lot of eggs!

My egg and cheese salad looking so pathetic
Egg fried in coconut oil, and cheese, on coconut bread with fruit - this was actually so good!
No eggs or cheese - hooray! Smoked tofu with spinach, sweet potato fries, and bell pepper

Just the usual this week. A very windy coastal run on Tuesday morning and a great run on Friday where my legs just felt so strong! Let's hope my run today is as good! Managed one yoga session (the yoga for runners online) as well.


Job and life satisfaction have been pretty much dominating my thoughts this week. Thoughts about whether I really do want to change my job, or whether I'm just having a tough project, or even being ungrateful. Thoughts about what I'd do if I changed job - I'd probably shift out of this particular career as it requires too much time away from home and too many hours. Thoughts about whether I even would want to work in London!

I'm not going to go head on in to job hunting. I'll probably sign up for a few job alerts and see what comes through over the next couple of months to help me get a better idea of what I want to do first. I don't want to rush in to anything!

Hope you have great weeks!

E x

What do you eat before a run? What's your dream job?

Sunday, 18 January 2015

Digesting my digestive problems

Oh dear, there's nothing like a cheesy pun on a Sunday to get things going..


This week's been a fairly quiet one here. Finished one of my ongoing projects at work and spent some time working from home. There really is nothing that beats waking up in your own bed, then spending the time you normally commute going for a run in the fresh air, and sitting at your own desk in peace and quiet with your slippers on!

On Thursday I headed to my GP to discuss some digestive problems. I've had problems for years and have done my best to ignore them (because that always works, right!?). When I was restricting my digestive system basically ground to a halt so I blamed all my digestive discomfort on that. When I started eating more I developed insensitivities to a number of foods such as oats and most recently wheat. But the digestive problems went beyond that - stomach cramps, bloating (so much bloating!), constantly changing toilet habits (enough said...)...and it was only getting worse. I tried to constantly try and blame it on unhealthy things I was eating but it was clear that wasn't it.


Since I started my meal plans with the dietitian I've been pretty much in constant pain during the afternoons and evenings. It shocked me how much how my stomach felt affected my self confidence. It was starting to get unbearable and I felt pretty helpless.

Whilst I was at home over Christmas I found out my Mum had been diagnosed with IBS when she was younger, and it made me realise I had to just face my problems and find out whether that's what my problems were. I don't know why I'd been pretending the problems weren't happening for so long - they clearly weren't going to get better, and a diagnosis was only going to help me find solutions.

I also read Roni and Sarah's blogs, and they've both been tackling their digestive problems recently. It gave me that added push to go and see the Dr. I love the blogging community!

After describing my symptoms the Dr said it probably was IBS. She explained that it's highly linked to stress and mood, and that the amount of stress my body has been under over the last year has probably made it worse.

She wasn't particularly great in providing any useful information for how to improve my symptoms, other than "try to relax"...gee, thanks. I've got an information sheet, and have already done quite a lot of research into things like the low FODMAP diet which I'm going to give a go. If anyone's looking for a great book to introduce the FODMAP diet I highly recommend this one. I'm hoping to go back to my dietitian so that she can provide some advice and help with my meal plans.


I took a bit of a break from running as I had some foot and knee pain from my 10k the other weekend. I managed to get out for a 9k though this morning and things felt nicely healed!

Other than that, lots of walking and the odd yoga session.


Salads and healthy snacks to avoid uncontrolled eating whilst working from home.

Some hot water and lemon to start the day.

Post run waffles made with eggs and coconut flour. With sides of caramelised bananas in date syrup and warmed berries.

Eggs fried in coconut oil with a side of frozen berries. Breakfast low FODMAPs styley....oh yeah. And can I please drawer your attention to the size of that grape! It's almost the same size as the egg yolks!


The whole IBS thing has kind of thrown me sideways. When you've had an eating disorder and you get a good way down your recovery you kind of think, "great, this is it, we're back on track! I'm now going to be perfectly healthy for the rest of my life". You start enjoying food and trying all the things you've disallowed yourself from eating for years. You get interested in nutrition and remember that food is there to nourish us. You start getting to know your body again, and appreciate all the things it can do.

IBS is being a bit of a party pooper on my new life and I'm not a fan. It's making me not want to eat because of the pressure in my abdomen, it's making me have to start restricting the range of foods I eat (hello all my high FODMAP vegetables), and it's making me hate my bloated body. And that's not to mention the fact that my stomach is painful all. the. time. which makes me want to crawl under a duvet away from society and live a life of consistent drinking of peppermint tea with a cat on my lap.

I know things could be soooo much worse, and I'm grateful for all the ways I'm healthy and that I'm well on my way to recovery and eating the amounts I should be doing. But it is so frustrating when you're eating healthily and trying to nourish your body, and you feel like your digestive system is punishing you.

I'm really hoping that this low FODMAPs diet takes me a step in the right direction!

Hope you've all had great weeks!

E x

Wednesday, 14 January 2015

Seeing yourself in someone you didn't expect

Just wanted to drop in because this was playing on my mind.

Quite often I'll see a characteristic of myself in someone else...I think we all do. Sometimes it grates, and sometimes it makes us feel warmer to that person.


But today I saw myself in someone I didn't expect to.

I'd had a rough morning of a bit of a binge and decided I needed to remove myself from my flat and get out to break the eating mindset. (Best idea: sunshine + gentle exercise + buying flowers = much less panicky, must-continue-binging Emma).

On my way home as I was trying not to beat myself up about the binging and calming myself down about the many extra calories I'd consumed I was approached by a man. He looked a bit rough and my automatic reaction was to take a step back since there was no one around and didn't want to get grabbed.

He was actually really polite and explained that he had alcohol problems and needed £10 to do his round trip to his therapist. I'm not going to lie, I'm always dubious about these stories and I never ever give cash. If someone is sat begging I'd much rather buy them food rather than give them cash. In this situation I would have apologised and walked away. But I paused.

If what he was saying was true then he wanted to get help and see a therapist. I think back to when I was desperately trying to organise to see a therapist and how lost and helpless I felt. And I always knew my parents were there to help financially, and I had a secure home life. He clearly didn't have this, and I felt so sorry for him.

I had no cash so even if I'd wanted to I couldn't have helped. In hindsight, I should have given him my Oyster card - he couldn't have bought alcohol or drugs with it, but if he'd needed to he could have got to his therapist.

It reminded me that sometimes we see people on the streets and we judge or we don't relate with them. Inside they're the same people as us, with more problems and more struggles. We could have been them in a very different life.

Anyway, random post, but I needed to get my thoughts down in writing.

Hope you've all had a good day.

E x