SUNSHINE20113's SparkPeople Blog SUNSHINE20113's Blog on SparkPeople, home of free diet plans and a healthy living community The best laid plans of mice and men (and pregnant women.....) On Wednesady afternoon during a walk / run an old injury flared up - foot pain. <BR> "Oh, hello, I thought, this is not what I want to happen". I got home, and knew that the only thing for it was to rest with my feet up, and, stop my walk/running plan until the inflammation had gone. <em>39</em> <BR> <BR> Nothing makes me sadder than a sore foot. I thought it would last a day, or so, but four days later and my left foot has joined in with the aching! So, with my husband fussing around m... Sun, 23 Aug 2015 04:16:56 EST Changing perspectives and preparing for jogging in the third trimester Weight at beginning of pregnancy: 54.5kg (120 pounds) <BR> Weight at 6 months: 61.5kg (136 pounds) <BR> <BR> I was just wondering as I was writing down my 6 month pregnancy weight, if this feels the same as when I was over-weight and at this mark on the scale, and I realised that it doesn't at all! I was reading a blog earlier about how some women see themselves as getting fatter, and describe themselves in that way, and, fortunately, at this point in the pregnancy, where such an evident "bu... Sun, 9 Aug 2015 02:46:59 EST Half way! Pregnancy update. Weight at beginning of pregancy: 54.5kg (120 pounds) <BR> Weight at half way point (21 weeks): 58.3 (128.5) <BR> <BR> This photo is from the early weeks of pregnancy: <BR> <BR> <img src=""> <BR> <BR> And this is me at 21 weeks: <BR> <BR> <img src=""> <BR> <BR> I've been doing a lot of travelling over the last two weeks, which alway... Wed, 8 Jul 2015 04:01:07 EST Running and my first trimester While I was running a few days ago, a little old lady stopped me asked if I do this regularly, I replied, saying yes, and she responded with "good, it's important to keep fit". <BR> <BR> Those words were like magic to me in that moment because keeping up with running during my first trimester has been hard. Mainly because my energy levels are so unpredictable. On Saturday I went out for a run, and ended up walking 3km instead, because I just could not get into the running rhythm. Fast forwar... Fri, 22 May 2015 03:22:18 EST I'm pregnant! Three years of maintaining a healthy weight and lifestyle can cause many changes. One of those seems to have been my fertility! <BR> <BR> For years I suffered PCOS and was of the understanding that if I ever wanted to have a baby it would take us a long time. Well, this Christmas we thought to ourselves that it was time to start trying. I thought it would take me about a year to fall pregnant, but, no, I'm now three months pregnant, and, so far, so good! <BR> <BR> What this means for my ma... Sat, 9 May 2015 18:49:18 EST Another lightbulb moment: it's not I can do this, it's I'm doing this! Firstly, I need to thank people for reading my previous blog and responding so warmly and with so much advice. The comments are full of so much amazing advice and I was truly humbled. <BR> <BR> So, what's happened since then? <BR> <BR> I wish I could say I have mastered my sugar cravings. I haven't. I tried lots of different things as advised by people in the blog, and I think I have settled with the fact that for me, I need to keep sweets and chocolate out of the house. I am able to be dis... Fri, 20 Mar 2015 05:07:10 EST Challenging the elephant in the room: sugar cravings I am a successful maintainer. I was able to lose weight quite steadily and have been fortunate to stay within a 3% range for three years now. <BR> <BR> BUT <BR> <BR> I still eat a lot of sugar. Whereas I feel I have busted my salty cravings and have developed a good self-discipline for saying "no" to those foods, chocolate, cookies, cakes, anything sweet really, are still a big weakness. <BR> <BR> As I've mentioned in previous blogs, I do eat less of them. A binge used to be an entire box... Tue, 20 Jan 2015 08:40:27 EST 3 Year Maintenance Anniversary 3 years! <em>244</em> <BR> <BR> Three years maintaining is quite a long time, and I've spent the last few days thinking about what is different now, compared to before I started with Sparkpeople, especially as now I don't track my food very much, so I am pretty much living a "normal" life. <BR> <BR> And I came to one conclusion: I don't eat as much. <BR> <BR> I still eat chocolate, chips and cookies - but not as much. If I do eat too many of any of those, I try to eat a smaller dinner ... Wed, 17 Dec 2014 05:08:24 EST New situation, new techniques On Saturday I ran a multi-terrain race, which included running for 2 miles on the sand. I signed up for this race for two reasons: to give me some motivation to keep training as the seasons changed and to have something to look forward to after a big deadline in my Phd. I hadn't really thought about what running in the sand would entail. <BR> I told everyone that the race was just for fun - I wasn't looking for a PB, I said - I just want to have the opportunity to run. But, as soon as the ra... Thu, 23 Oct 2014 04:02:07 EST 3rd Half Marathon of the year, 3rd PB! The goal of my last half marathon was to do it in under 2 hours. As they had pacers there, I stuck to them like glue and made it past the finish line in 1hr58. When I went to thank the pacers, one of them said to me, "I think you've got a got ten more minutes in you. I think you could do it in 1hr50". He also suggested I run the Groomsport Half Marathon, which I did last night. <BR> <BR> Groomsport is the village up the road from us. In fact, part of the route I ran last night is one of the ... Sat, 16 Aug 2014 05:03:13 EST One year in Northern Ireland This last week celebrated the anniversary of our arrival in a small seaside town in Northern Ireland, and the beginning of a startlingly different way of living after five years in London. <BR> <BR> My weight started creeping up in about December. <BR> <BR> <img src=""> <BR> <BR> That is the graph of this last year. Since I started spark people, it doesn't look like too much, it is really just about a kilogram more: <BR> <BR> <img s... Fri, 15 Aug 2014 04:42:44 EST Developing habits I read a good blog yesterday all about developing habits. It's run keeper blog, so focuses on running, but, really can be applied to any habit that one is working on: <BR> <BR><BR>ke-running-a-habit/ <BR> <BR> In a nutshell, they talk about "habit loops". These are patterns that help develop habits which are: cue (a trigger, which will remind you of the habit); routine (the habit) and reward (benefit from gaining the behaviour). Sparkpeople help crea... Thu, 7 Aug 2014 03:27:29 EST Paris! My husband planned a surprise holiday for us - a long weekend in Paris! Oo-la-la!! <BR> <BR> I love Paris and have not been there since I was 19, so to be back as an adult was just fabulous. It's a city that to me is simply a place of dreams. I love the way people walk, talk, dress, and, just be. I love all the little cafes and ornamental architecture everywhere, and, now I've learned that there are also little parks all over the place where you can sit and relax. <BR> <BR> The aim of this... Thu, 24 Jul 2014 04:09:41 EST Stress and cookies Things didn't go well, yesterday. I sat in front of a computer screen for hours trying to get the words and the thoughts to flow, and they just didn't. Every so often I'd pop down to the kitchen for a cookie. By the end of the day I'd lost count over just how many of those cookies I had. <BR> <BR> At about 5pm I decided it was time to stop. I was not achieving what I was hoping to and with every minute I was getting more and more frustrated and angry with myself. I was not going to get the ... Thu, 17 Jul 2014 04:35:54 EST Knowing what to do, having the will power to do it The title is borrowed from a comment made by PMRUNNER on one of my previous blogs, where I was talking about needing to start tracking calories properly again. I've been thinking about this a lot over the last week as I've been getting back into the habit of tracking my calories. <BR> I've adjusted my spark people weight goal to be back at my goal-weight within a month, which then automatically adjusted my calorie range down by about 300 calories. For some reason when that happened, I knew t... Sat, 5 Jul 2014 15:57:01 EST Ards Half Marathon - first sub 2hour time! After all the drama with my foot a few days before the race, I ended up doing really well. <BR> <BR> 1hr58.46 was my finishing time and 1hr58.25 my chip time. <BR> <BR> I decided to stick right next to the pacers for this race, which was probably the best thing that I could have done. Their coaching and conversation helped me through the hills, prevented me from slowing down more than I needed to and also taught me the value of how going faster in the flatter parts of the race can help to ... Sat, 28 Jun 2014 06:51:21 EST Playing with the numbers I'm a kilogram heavier. There's no denying it now, especially as the Maintenance Challenge has my average quite firmly set there. I'm still within my weight range, but, I think it is now time for the reality check. <BR> <BR> I say this because last night as I was tracking my food I was not happy with the numbers and instead of accepting them, I found myself denying them. I knew that my morning portion of milk was more than one glass, but I didn't put down two glasses, I left it at one so th... Tue, 24 Jun 2014 03:22:39 EST Tougher than I think! Yesterday I had my first running wipe out. I was fifteen minutes away from the end of my run and then suddenly "Splat!" I found myself falling instead of running. <BR> Who knows what it was, just a miscalculation of my footing. What I found remarkable was that within seconds I was up and running again. I caught myself in my fall (meaning my upper body strength must be better than I think it is), found my water bottle (which may have helped cushion my hand from being grazed) and carried on. I... Tue, 3 Jun 2014 03:40:39 EST I did it! The Castleward Half Marathon <img src=""> <BR> <BR> My time was 2.05.09, which I'm incredibly happy with as it was an off-road course which meant that if you weren't going up a hill you were going down one! So, not a course to set a personal best, but definitely one for outstanding scenery and endurace testing. <BR> <BR> The grounds of Castleward are amazing. We ran past farmland, through forests and along the Strangford Lough, with the race starting and ending a... Sat, 12 Apr 2014 11:41:41 EST Last training run before my half marathon I look forward to the week before my races. It's a little like rehearsal week before a performance. The hard training is done, and now it's all about being strong for the race. I know everyone does it a little differently; I do two slow runs of half an hour. I go as gently as possible, concentrating more on my posture rather than pace. This week, my husband (who does not run at all) agreed to go with my on my first taper run. That was quite wonderful. We ran just under 3 miles in half an hour... Wed, 9 Apr 2014 15:17:43 EST Of course it's hard!! I've been going through my blogs over the last few months and there seems to be a running theme: I'm finding it hard to stay on track. <BR> <BR> I've taken a moment to think about it and realised that I need to be a bit more honest with myself and a whole lot kinder- of course I'm finding things hard! I've just changed my entire lifestyle. Nothing is familiar!! Of course it's hard!! <BR> <BR> Even though I'm living a dream, so to speak, it doesn't take away that this dream is different to ... Tue, 18 Mar 2014 20:46:23 EST Sometimes saying "no" can be a good thing Thanks to a link in the "At goal and maintaining" team, I came across the Refuse to Regain blog ( ) last night, and something that struck me quite strongly was how the author was encouraging me to say "no". "Refuse" is not a gentle word. It's tough and it's quite stubborn, and, in my mind at least, not the most positive of words. But, here the author was pointing out that after all the hard work of losing weight (think about it: the hours exercising, deciding to... Thu, 2 Jan 2014 04:14:20 EST Two Years since reaching my goal weight! <em>244</em> <BR> Because, really, I am absolutely thrilled that I've managed another year in maintenance and that by reaching the two year mark there is my chances of gaining the weight back are now 50%. That's an odd I can beat!! <BR> <BR> The last month has been a tough one, but that is where spark people comes in. I started tracking again and being mindful of my food in-take and my daily exercise, and began to feel in control of my weight again. <BR> <BR> The change in lifestyle to ... Mon, 16 Dec 2013 19:40:58 EST The joy of food! Today, as an evening treat, I ordered a hot chocolate with marshmallows. I knew it was decadent, but I also knew I had that I would still be within my calorie range, even with this little indulgence. I hadn't had real hot chocolate for ages, and I really wanted one. <BR> <BR> The hot chocolate arrived and I popped the two marshmallows on top, leaving them to melt a little bit before taking my first sip. As I was putting the cup down after savouring my first sip, I noticed that there were two... Mon, 2 Dec 2013 15:47:11 EST 3 months since moving and still in goal range - Phew! In fact, I came third in the last maintenance challenge, so go me!! <em>104</em> <BR> <BR> This week has not been a good week. I came down with a cold that also managed to affect my ear. This meant that when I got out of bed in the morning, or made any sudden movements I got a sudden case of vertigo! Fortunately, I'm feeling much better today, so I think the worst of it has passed. <BR> <BR> The thing about colds is that it is harder for me to get out the door and exercise and much eas... Fri, 8 Nov 2013 07:01:10 EST Adapting to change This last week has been a tough one for me. This was the week when the University set down their expectations for Phd students and I spent a lot of time getting to know my (much younger) fellow students and getting to grips with what achieving a Phd will actually mean! <BR> <BR> More than the workload, I began to realise that my usual training schedule was going to need to change, too. I have always gone jogging in the evening, and, although I didn't realise it, seen it as something to look ... Sat, 12 Oct 2013 06:12:22 EST My First Half Marathon! <img src=""> <BR> <BR> There we are. My ever supportive DH and me. He has seen me progress from my first 5km in 2009 (at 148 pounds) to my first half marathon (at 120 pounds). At the end of the race he said, "your body has certainly changed since your first race!!" <BR> <BR> In spite of my IT band giving me a bit of trouble this last week, I managed quite well. I've learned that if I concentrate on relaxing my shoulder it somehow helps ... Sun, 22 Sep 2013 11:53:53 EST One week until race day!! And all I keep thinking is: 'don't get an injury now!!' <BR> <BR> I'm ready. My past two long runs have both been 21km in about 2 hours. I know I can do it, now I just need to taper for this week, get enough sleep and eat well. <BR> <BR> We've been away on holiday in Scotland and have not eaten as well as we usually do. I haven't jumped on the scale yet, so hopefully I haven't gained too much, but I do look forward to a week of balanced, healthy eating before race day. <BR> <BR> I'll be ru... Fri, 13 Sep 2013 17:49:52 EST Anniversary time: Two years of sparking! <em>408</em> <BR> <BR> Although anniversaries are frequently the opportunity to look back and reflect on what we've achieved over the last year, this time I very much feel like I'm looking forward to the future. Much of the reason for this is because I find myself preparing for a few things that have been on my goal list for just a little bit too long. <BR> <BR> Here's what I think has happened: <BR> <BR> When I started spark people, I was given a few simple ideas to keep me on track t... Fri, 6 Sep 2013 12:35:49 EST The real secret to weight loss Yesterday I watched a programme on the BBC documenting the various weight loss gurus over the years. Two of the diet programmes that were reviewed were Weight Watchers and the Atkins diet. The whole premise of the show was that diets don't actually work and that, statistically, people can end up gaining even more weight than they started with after dieting. <BR> <BR> This is not new information. The news really tends to be quite bleak for people who want to keep their weight off, so I got t... Sun, 11 Aug 2013 11:51:55 EST Running update Everything is looking good for my upcoming half marathon. I had signed up for a 15km race, but it got cancelled, so I created a virtual 15km with the team 'Runner Girls United' which was one way of giving myself a goal halfway towards the half-marathon time. <BR> <BR> I also decided to measure my long runs according to time as opposed to distance. Now I try to increase my long run by 5-10 minutes a week, depending on how I'm feeling. My last run was 1hr 37 (I was 500m away from hitting 17km,... Sun, 28 Jul 2013 04:19:00 EST Emotional over-eating It's just so busy at the moment. And when it's busy it's hard to keep up with exercise, healthy eating, and my newest focus: emotional well-being. <BR> <BR> This last week I became painfully aware of the power of emotional eating. As part of maintenance plan I allow myself small treats almost every day. Incorporating these small treats was one of the things that helped me break the restrictive dieting/ overeating cycle that I was once in, and I'm sure has been really helpful in keeping my w... Sat, 20 Jul 2013 11:39:55 EST The Countdown to our move do I do this without gaining weight?!?!? That seems to be my main concern. Not, will anything break? Will the journey be a safe one? Have we budgeted properly? No, no, no...... it's: can I do this without the ever familiar 10 pound weight gain? <BR> <BR> Moving and weight gain go together with me. Then once I'm settled, I manage to lose some of the pounds (never all) just in time for the next move. I don't want to go through that again. <BR> <BR> Fortunately, my support network for weight loss in on-line (which means I can take Sp... Mon, 1 Jul 2013 16:37:49 EST Is the first step the biggest step? <BR> Today I've found myself thinking about how small changes in life can eventually lead us to achieving our greatest dreams. The small step approach works, definitely, but as I've been thinking about it, I realised that when I started Sparkpeople, I didn't feel like I was taking a small step at all. In fact, it took me about two months to just get myself to sign-up for the programme!! <BR> <BR> That was my big step - taking a chance at something that I wasn't very sure would work for me. ... Tue, 18 Jun 2013 17:44:58 EST Half marathon training: Things are looking good! After listening to the advice from folk here on Sparkpeople, I set off for a long run with two goals: to keep myself at a 6min/km pace (about 3.5 miles, think) and to run for 70 minutes - my longest distance so far. I knew that would get me to about 12km (7.5 miles, I think). <BR> So, off I went, and I loved every minute of it! I reached the 60 minute mark with no leg pain and got to 70 minutes feeling quite strong, which was wonderful - quite a difference to the last time I tried it! <BR> Al... Fri, 7 Jun 2013 11:52:49 EST I just ran in a 10km event with Mo Farah - he beat me!! <em>334</em> Of course he did!! As I was crossing the finish line, he was receiving his trophy for coming first, but at least I got to see the Olympic 10km champion in the flesh and know that I ran in a race that he was competing in. <BR> <BR> He finished the course in 29 minutes. I finished in 47.44. It still astounds me that people are doing a 10km course at double the speed I am - how do they do it? <BR> <BR> I'm very happy, though. I achieved a new personal best and I managed that w... Mon, 27 May 2013 12:41:20 EST Increasing my jogging distance - some questions I'm a comfortable 10km distance runner and am now training for a half marathon. Today was my first 65 minute run and I need a bit of advice. <BR> <BR> Do I need to take water on my run? <BR> <BR> I have not taken water with me for at least a year now, but never run for longer than 60 minutes (until today). If I'm on the road for over 60 minutes, should I be hydrating while running? <BR> <BR> Should I be slowing my pace down? <BR> <BR> My easy pace for a 10km is 5,30/km (give or take) whi... Fri, 10 May 2013 11:58:06 EST There are the big dreams....and then there are the even bigger ones! I'd say this has been a serendipitous week for me. One of those 'everything is coming together ones', and, after such incredible support and attention from the 'At Goal and Maintaining Team' it seems only right to follow on the progress of those ninja antics in my mind! <BR> <BR> For many years I've said that I have wanted to further my studies and get a Phd. Although I've applied for a few programmes, I've never had any luck with them. <BR> <BR> At the beginning of this year, my husband... Fri, 3 May 2013 10:49:09 EST Injuries happen, but recovery does come (eventually!!) Jogging is a journey. Truly. <BR> <BR> My injury in December meant I needed to cut back quite drastically and then once again build myself up slowly to the 10km distance. Time has taught me that I have to take it slowly after an injury. Time has also taught me that injuries happen and will keep on happening BUT recovery happens too. <BR> <BR> I've been back at the 10km distance for three weeks now, and, yesterday began increasing my distance to 11km as I have signed myself up for my first... Sun, 28 Apr 2013 15:58:48 EST Destroying my negative thoughts, one karate chop at a time!! Around this time last year I started buying cute little Spring dresses that were a size that I hadn't ever imagined would fit me. I was nervous about these purchases, mainly because I still wasn't feeling skinny and was so nervous I'd just end up putting all the weight back on again, and these dresses would end up staring at me in the wardrobe reminding me of the few minutes in my life when I was thin. <BR> <BR> Well, anyway, it turns out that I was wrong. I've been at a fairly stable weight... Tue, 2 Apr 2013 12:50:13 EST My biggest weapon against emotional eating Tracking. <BR> <BR> Yes, tracking my food intake. <BR> <BR> When my head is so full of if's and but's and, as a quote I recently read, my greatest judge is living right inside me, the best weapon is to track. <BR> <BR> Tracking makes eating objective rather than subjective. It takes food away from the emotional monster and turns it into a simple game of numbers. <BR> <BR> The monsters says 'you're too fat', but the numbers show me I've eating within my range. <BR> <BR> The monsters ... Fri, 8 Mar 2013 09:20:38 EST What a difference a week makes! After my last blog, I went and bought a lot of fruit and veggies and then spent most of the weekend cooking (Somehow a lemon meringue pie ended up as part of the cooking plan, and all I can say in my defence is that I got excited about using fresh lemons!!) <BR> It's really hard to tell if it has made any difference after only a week. I certainly felt a little bit more energetic, but still have this niggling cough. I did try making smoothies, but it wasn't as exciting as I thought it would be... Fri, 1 Mar 2013 03:33:51 EST Winter blues!! Well, I'm still listening to my body and it is telling me that it is cold!! Colder than it has ever been!! <BR> I have been trying to get myself out jogging again to get back into shape for a 10km race in May and then for a half marathon in October. But, something is not working. I get out, jog, and then the next day have the sniffles. Then, the next day it gets worse and then I'm sick. So, my training pattern is: jog for thirty minutes, spend five days recovering, repeat!! <BR> It's not wor... Thu, 21 Feb 2013 13:18:03 EST Paying attention to my body It has been a very relaxing and easy holiday this year. DH and I have been working on being more accepting with each other and with events in our lives and the result has been a holiday where we have found ourselves doing very little, but loving every minute of it. We slept a lot. At first this was unnerving, but, seeing as our mantra was acceptance, we just went with it. We found ourselves thinking more carefully about what we actually wanted to do, so when we did go out it was always a plea... Sun, 6 Jan 2013 11:44:10 EST One year maintenance anniversary today!! <em>244</em> I'm overjoyed!! <BR> I decided I needed to lose weight two days before this photo: <BR> <BR> <img src=""> <BR> <BR> Every time I look at this photo I remember how awful I was feeling about myself. My desire to change was extremely strong - strong enough to join spark people!! <BR> <BR> My first goal was to fit into my wedding dress again: <BR> <img src=""> <BR> <... Sat, 15 Dec 2012 13:46:16 EST Sometimes maintaining is just not giving up! I've been unable to jog for about a month now. A year ago, this would have been the signal for me to completely give up on the habit, but I've now learned that a setback doesn't mean the end. It just means a brief pause before starting again, and doing a bit more yoga in the meantime!! <BR> <BR> It's the same with food. Eating too much chocolate on Friday (yes, I did that) doesn't mean I have to eat too much chocolate on Saturday and Sunday too. It was a little setback, not the end of the ro... Sun, 9 Dec 2012 13:47:45 EST Calling all gym instructors: fat bellies work differently to thin ones! Since injuring my foot, I have been revisiting some old exercise DVDs, one of which is a power yoga DVD that I've been using for years and years. <BR> This instructor frequently says 'hollow your belly' and it has always been a bit of a mystery to me. How do you do that? <BR> For the most part I would just tighten my belly and hope for the best, but this week as I was tightening my belly, I noticed something: As I tightened my belly, and my belly moved itself closer to my spine, it curved in ... Fri, 30 Nov 2012 12:34:15 EST When everything falls in place Tomorrow is my birthday. I remember my birthday last year so clearly because the challenge was not too eat too much food! It's funny how a year later eating only one cupcake to celebrate my birthday feels perfectly reasonable, when last year I was freaking out because it seemed like too little. How perceptions change. <BR> <BR> This week I had an exciting interview for a phd scholarship. It has been a dream of mine to be able to go back to school to complete a Phd, but the practicalities of ... Fri, 23 Nov 2012 04:41:12 EST Clothes, clothes, clothes!!! Yesterday, I planned my entire outfit. I spent time wondering about how clothes would work together and even what kind of impression I would give the world by what I was wearing. <BR> <BR> This is something new for me. <BR> <BR> As I was walking down the street in my skinny jeans, chunky sweater and leather jacket, I found myself thinking that I felt ten years younger! But, after a bit more thinking, I realised that it wasn't that I was feeling ten years younger, just that I was now dressi... Sat, 3 Nov 2012 08:34:53 EST Some new goals: Project cookie monster Project cookie monster! <BR> I managed to conquer the chocolate binges by allowing chocolate into my life everyday, but in very limited quantities. DH and I have one chocolate every evening after dinner and then give the chocolate a score out of ten (It's from a company called 'Hotel Chocolate'. They have these tasting boxes - only two chocolates in each flavour and if you have one a day the box lasts for about a month). This works because the chocolates are delicious and very rich, and there... Fri, 5 Oct 2012 02:55:26 EST