Tuesday, 29 April 2014

Watch, Weight and See.

For the last few weeks I have noticed my joint pain increasing considerably considering the lack of stress on my body. I couldn't figure out whether there was a specific cause, or whether it was a bad spell, or what it was. After all, I was sitting down more, putting less pressure on my joints, and very rarely stressed (except for this week and a few weeks ago, but we'll ignore that!). What was causing it?!

Then I stepped on the scales... And then I realised what was causing it. Since I've left my retail job, and taken on an office job I have gained one and half stone. Quite a bit of weight that is. Quite a bit to have gained in only 11 weeks. Oops. Maybe sitting in an office where there is frequently free chocolate, crisps and cakes isn't such a good thing...

So, I came to a decision. I've got to do something about it, and I've got to do something that is realistic long term and achievable, and will mean the weight will slip off quietly (hopefully with the extra half stone I've been trying to shift for a good year or so now) and will stay off. I need to make a lifestyle change, not a drastic one, but something reasonable.

The first thing to go; snacks unless they are fruit or vegetables. My partner can eat for England and not gain any weight, and one of the difficulties with this is that everytime he goes for a biscuit (or 10), I get tempted to go for a biscuit or two. Never seems like much at the time, but it soon adds up. Add to that bowls of Frosties when I get sugar cravings, numerous alcoholic beverages of an evening, blah blah blah. It all adds up. So, yeah, I now keep a constant supply of apples and carrots and such like around me.

The next thing I realised is my drinking. Not just my alcoholic intake (and lets be honest, I'm never going to lower that drastically, I enjoy it too much), but my general liquid intake. I'm terrible for not drinking enough, and when I do drink it's usually fizzy drinks or coffee and occasionally fruit juice. Definitely not enough water. So now I have a 750ml bottle at work that I keep filled; I aim to drink one before lunch and one through the afternoon. I also have taken a leaf out of the fitness freaks books and made this water:

It's cucumber, lemon and mint. There's supposed to be ginger in it too (to aid digestion), but I haven't braved that yet, and I couldn't find any at Sainsburys. I'm only making up a litre of it, and drinking it in the evening. It's not the worst thing I've ever tasted so that's good. And by keeping it refrigerated it also apparently helps to burn more calories as your body has to work harder to warm it up as you drink it. That's what the internet says anyway, and we all know we can't trust that always!

Anyway, now I just need to get an exercise routine sorted that is achievable, and then hopefully, just maybe, I'll get back to a comfortable size and my joints will go back to aching less.

Thursday, 10 April 2014

I'm Rubbish, I Know

Life has felt truly hectic of late, it has to be said; what with the holiday to New York, dramas at home and trying to get to grip with a new job that I don't really like. Fun times.

So, as promised a long long long time ago, I thought I'd pop a couple of my New York pictures up. And when I say a couple, I hereby give you a warning that this is an incredibly picture heavy post!

Right, so here we go. The first thing we did when we got there was dump our stuff and go straight out to try and minimise the risk of jetlag.

We were so close to time's square it was unbelievable, and it looked pretty awesome even in daylight, I did take lots of photos of it, but once you've seen one lit billboard, you've kinda seen them all.
I love the fact that even on the first day we saw a policeman on a horse. I guess this is such a novelty because in the UK the horses only tend to come out for big events and when shit is going down....
Gotta have a good old cheesy grin. I'm stood up the Rockafeller Tower looking across at the Empire State building. I made the effort to centre in the picture I took of my brother, but he wasn't so thoughtful. Bless.

I don't have a huge number of pictures from our first full day it seems, but we did go to Central Park. It wasn't quite what I expected but maybe that was just because we were there quite early in the day, and it was still a bit chilly. This is a place called "The Castle", and the lake between me and it was frozen, making for a very Disney-esque seen.
Whilst we were walking round the shops I saw this beautiful sight below, so of course, I had to take a picture. Zebras for the win.
And I had the obligatory cocktail, that was, quite frankly, to die for. UK appletinis just are not up to this standard.

On the next day we went down to the bottom of New York, and saw the Statue of Liberty, went to Statton Island, and did a massive walking tour. The picture below Lady Liberty is from Statton Island, where they have a memorial to all those who lost their lives in 9/11, as hundreds of people did from the island. If you look closesly, you'll notice each face carving is slightly different. The walking tour was one of the biggest challenges I took on as a zebra, but I made sure I took my medication properly, and was careful not to rush off, an it actually went surprisingly well. We walked about a mile and half over the course of 2 hours, with lots of breaks to get told about different sites. If there was the opportunity to perch some where I took it, and I think this really aided me in being able to do it.

This picture below is one of the sights from the walking tour, That globe in the background was between the twin towers when they came down. They managed to salvage it and have done little repair to it. It's amazing how well it survived considering the hideous events that day. The holes etc are all where falling debris has melted and smashed through. It's certainly enough to make you think.
This was another sight on the walking tour, I was just astounded that amongst the skyscrapers, you can have a beautiful, old, classic building, just nestled quietly in there.
Another obligatory picture of Times Square, this time at night:
We went to catch a show on Broadway, we saw Matilda, and by god, if you ever get the opportunity to see it, do go! It was amazing in every single way.
On the last full day we went to Grand Central Station. I got a few pictures, but none were oh-em-gee amazing like I hoped, so I thought I'd just sling this picture of a clock from there in here...

And that was it, my trip to New York. I did a lot of walking but I survived with minimal issues. I made sure to wear reasonably sensible shoes that I knew beforehand were comfortable for walking in. I made sure I religiously took my medication at the times I was supposed to take it. And my family, considerately, booked in breaks every hour to two hours to make sure I could sit down and have a rest somewhere. Turns out I wasn't the only one who needed the rests, which made me feel much better.

I think what I learnt from this as a zebra, was that it is still possible to do holidays like "normal" people do. You just have to plan a bit more. One thing I found with New York was there seemed to be a lot more stairs, and a lot less disabled access. This was one thing that we did have to account for a bit more, and meant planning in where I would do stairs, and making sure that if ramps/escalators were available, that I used them to ensure that if there was a time later on when the same option wasn't available, I would still have a bit of energy to cope.