I’m excited to announce a new segment on the blog dedicated to sharing ideas for how we can all be more environmentally conscious in our every day lives. The best intentions don’t necessarily equate to the best choices; often simply due to a lack of education. For this reason, everything we share will be thoroughly researched and evidence based.
Let’s talk gut health. Not a sexy topic, but a relevant one. There is a growing body of evidence to suggest that the GI tract is not only important for the absorption of food, but it has links to mental health and overall well-being as well.
I have the calves of a Springbok prop. They are neither particularly feminine nor exactly suited to long distance running. Really, they are more of a curse than a blessing. And yes, I’m talking about shin splints. It’s an injury that plagues many runners, especially those who are new to the sport and looking to build up their mileage.
I’m on a mission to hit the reset button. I need to take a holistic view and make the necessary lifestyle changes to optimise my overall health and wellness. I’m super excited to be partnering with nutrition guru Patrick Holford to bring you an adaptation of his “Six weeks to Superhealth” program, in my attempt to do just that.
The most effective way for me to lose weight would probably be for me to be subjected to a public weighing in the town square where people could point, laugh and throw things if I didn’t achieve my weight loss goals.
A friend, also looking to make some changes in her life, had added a few of us to the group to see if we would be keen to join a weight loss and fitness challenge. I teased her that she had signed me up for Fatties Anonymous – and the name stuck.
Continuing with the general theme of my life that is “overcommitting myself” I signed up for my first trail event, The Drakensberg Northern trail 40K challenge. I should add that when I signed up I didn’t even own a pair of trail shoes and had never done a trail run before.
6am: Feed the one-year-old his cereal. His love of food is matched only by his love of new-found mobility. By the end of the meal he’s consumed about half the bowl. The rest covers his face from chin to hairline (“There’s Something about Mary” style) and is spread over various items of furniture in the lounge.
So, I’ve decided to take-up with some of the local mountain goats and take my running off road, which means I need to increase my hill training. With much enthusiasm, and little sense, I sought out some serious climbs, and paid for it.
The online platform gives you access to all of coach Parry’s programs. You can select which distance you are aiming to run and your target time/pace, etc. There are also programs for cycling, triathlon, strength cross training and more.
I quite like Australian comedian Tim Minchin’s take on happiness. His advice is, “Don’t seek happiness. Happiness is like an orgasm: if you think about it too much, it goes away. Keep busy and aim to make someone else happy, and you might find you get some as a side effect”.
The popularity of this app even proved problematic for the US military, giving away locations of US army camps in areas like Afghanistan, Djibouti and Syria by suddenly showing a hotspot of Strava activity.
So, my journey to younger looking skin as I trialed the Environ Focus Care Youth+ range has come to an end. Do I feel any younger? No. (But then I got very little sleep last night thanks to a teething baby so that could have something to do with it!)
Mom-guilt is corrosive. Literally. It breaks you down. If you don’t learn to grab hold of it and stop it in its tracks it can almost become a reflex! It does not appear to be some clever adaptation to make you a better mother and yet it is a burden all moms seem to bear.
I realised early on that only intense strengthening of the stabilisers around my hip joint would help to protect it and prevent me constantly re-injuring it. Contrary to my suspicions it turns out my butt is, in fact, a muscle - what a relief! And getting it working again was going to be the key to overcoming this injury.
By adding pre-determined walking intervals I was running faster during my run splits and walking faster during my “breaks” as well. I feel that this strategy is a safe and effective way to start running when you are starting from the couch. It allows you to build up mileage slowly while decreasing your risk of injury.
My objectives for the race were two fold; to follow a run/walk strategy, and to try to run equal splits in the first and second half of the race so I felt like I was finishing strong and not fading in the final kays.
So, how do you start, you ask? Well, you just start. You brush the cobwebs off your takkies, squeeze yourself into your spandex and try to make it out of the house without looking at a reflective surface!
Starting to run after giving birth to two kids- although gratefully not at the same time, as my sister-in-law did with her twin boys- is a strange experience. It’s like finding yourself suddenly driving a very different vehicle. You feel like saying, “There’s been a mix up, I didn’t order a station wagon, where can I upgrade to a sports model?”
I also considered titling this post "Pregnan-see-what-you've-done-to-me", but thought better of it. Pregnancy is HARD for me. I am not one of the “glowers”. I hug a toilet for 9 months straight. I choose food based on what’s going to be the least offensive when it’s on its way back up.