Results into Wk46 and beyond

What we do affects what happens to our bodies… and don’t I know it.

From drinking and eating lots until I was about 28… roll on near obesity and high levels of body fat, to giving up booze, and starting training for marathons mixed with strength training… roll on dropping two stone and becoming the fittest I’ve ever been from around 2014 to now.

Now I’ve put about a stone back on but my body composition is so different to when I started training to lose weight over ten years ago. I don’t really mind what I weigh anymore, as long as I’m still keeping fit and getting or running strong.

Now this year, I the numbers show a clear but very small difference in how what I have done has affected my body composition (but my overall weight not so much).

From June to September before a two week holiday I was mostly running between 4-21 miles a week. No strength work – my Garagym was abandoned in favour of the tarmac.

At the start of June, I was 139lbs, with body fat of 16% / 22.3lbs. Lean body mass of 80.4% / 111.8lbs. Here’s me in June.

Then 13 weeks later, at the start of September, I was just 2lbs lighter, 137lbs. With a drop in body fat of 0.5lbs and a drop of lean mass of 1.5lbs. Not much change.

I’ve learned to get a balance between what I eat and what I burn, hence not much change in my weight. I lost most of the weight from lean mass anyway. Here’s me in September … not much change, see?

In October I focussed on strength training and 100 miles running, 12 strength sessions in about 5 weeks. My body fat dropped from 21.6lbs to 19.2lbs – down 2.6lbs. And my lean mass went back up to 112lbs (up 1.6lbs). Still not much change, but heading in the right direction.

See what strength training does? Makes you stronger. Funny that. 😉

I like to see the numbers to show me how the effort I’m putting in is paying off.

The last two weeks I’ve take a break from it. Partially because I’ve been travelling but also to give my body a bit of a rest.

I’m back in the gym on Monday morning, for 5 weeks up to Christmas. Aiming for three sessions a week when I can, and regular running. I’ll also be a little more careful about what I eat (eat more like an athlete, and less like a greedy runner eating everything in sight).

Here’s what I did last week:

12: KB 80/20 Strength
13: Rest
14: 5k / Massage (ouch)
15: 7.2M effort
16: Rest
17: Rest
18: 4.4M easy

Not many miles, a wee recovery week after quite a few miles the week before.

Here’s my plan for November into December, plus some coaching sessions:

19: Full Body Strength 1
20: 5M + 5k (Coaching chat PM)
21: Upper Body 1
22: 9M incl 5k effort
23: Lower Body 1
24: Rest
25: Coaching 8M


26: Fully Body Strength 2
27: 5k + Coaching PM
28: Travel / Aberdeen
29: Aberdeen / 5M
30: KB 80/20
1: 7M Stonehaven
2: Travel

87M (85-90 for November)

3: Lower Body Strength 2
4: 5M + 5k
5: Upper Body Strength 2
6: Travel / Shetland
7: Shetland / Travel
8: 8M
9: Rest

10: Full Body Strength 3 / Coaching PM
11: 5M + 5k
12: Lower Body Strength 3
13: 6M
14: Upper Body Strength 3
15: 10M
16: Rest

17: Full Body Strength 4
18: 5M + 5k
19: Lower Body Strength 4
20: 6M
21: Upper Body Strength 4
22: 8M
23: Rest

So a few wee bits of travelling will mean I’ll mix things up a bit, but for the most let I’ll aim to get in the gym on Mondays Wednesdays and Fridays. Running Tuesday Thursday and one day at the weekend.

I’ll take my kettlebell to the north east with me, but I think I’ll maybe not take my trainers to Shetland…it’ll be dark a lot of the time possibly, late sunrise, early sunset.

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The words we use … need, must, should

I’ve written before about how the words we use can either motivate or demotivate us – See Reframing into positive words

The words we use can mean a lot, and can mean the difference between being motivated and feeling good, and being demotivated and feeling bad or guilty.

Need. Must. Should.

These are all words I don’t tend to use as I think they put undue pressure on me (or others). There are a few things we ‘need’ to do … eat, sleep, drink, care for ourselves and others … and quite a few other things. (See Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs for more info.) But when it comes to exercise or trying to be healthy, we don’t ‘need’ to do anything.

I think the better way to stick to something that’s healthy or good for us is to ‘want’ to do it. Or to have a goal or a reason and follow plan to make your goal happen.

Here’s some examples:

I need to go a run… I prefer – I want to go a run so that I have fun / maintain my fitness / work towards my next race.
(Sometimes we do ‘need’ to go a run, but I’d much rather ‘want’ to go a run).

I must lose weight … I prefer – I’m going to set weight loss / body fat reduction goal, change things and work towards it.
(We mustn’t do anything, but we can have a goal, find out how we can work towards it, and achieve it).

I should be able to get to sleep … I prefer – I can’t get to sleep, but I’m not worried about it and I know what to do to get to sleep.

Or even other people saying – ‘you need to do this or that.’ – You don’t need to do anything someone else tell you, do whatever you want to do (within reason!).

I think we shouldn’t feel like we ‘should’ do anything … I think it’s better if we want to do it, are able to do it, or have a good reason to do it.

To be truly motivated if we have whatever it is as a part of us, part of what makes us us… that’s what can really motivate us.

I don’t think that I need to run, or I should or must run … I think I GET to run (how lucky am I?). I have the time, energy, health and fitness to be ABLE to run. Or strength train. Or look after or spend time with family / friends / kids.

For me, running, keeping fit and healthy has become a part of who I am. I’m a runner, an athlete, a coach. I’ve learned to train do that I can be the best I can be, and I coach others to hopefully be the best they can be too.

Believing in yourself, being nice to yourself and others and speaking kindly and positively to yourself and others is all a part of what I think can help make you feel good and feel motivated.

Whereas I don’t see the good in putting pressure on yourself or others using words like need, must or should.

Do the things you do because you want to, because you can, or because they make you who you are, or because they help you or others.

The next time some pressured or negative words are about to slip out of your mouth: Stop. Think. And change what you were going to say, into a positive, into a want or a plan to get what you want, rather than a ‘need’ or a ‘must’. You might surprise yourself about how good it makes you feel.

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Three years on …

If you don’t like my personal posts – stop reading now.

Nearly three whole years have passed since I got the unexpected phone call from my brother that would turn my life upside down for just over two years. I got the phone call at work just after lunch time, and I had a feeling something wasn’t quite right, as he never calls me when I’m at work.

There had been a big bright rainbow the day before, but not the day he phoned me. It was a cloudy November day, and he called me to let me know that my Mum has passed away. My world seemed to unexpectedly and tumble uncontrollably away from me in slow motion. I had thought about this day before, but nothing quite prepared me for it.

My brother knew the score, and he knew I hadn’t had her in my life for over 10 years. And that things had been challenging between us before then. So he told me she was gone, but didn’t expect anything from me. He’d already made three other calls to my siblings by that point – ever the middle child, in the middle of us all in more ways than one.

He didn’t expect anything from me, but knew that he needed to tell me she’d gone. I knew right there and then that I’d need to try to put any upsetting feelings and emotions I had about my Mum and the childhood I remembered aside, and be there to help my brother and my family. No matter what.

I put the phone down and immediately felt really uneasy. I didn’t know how to tell people, and didn’t feel like I should get their kind words or pity. But I knew that I would do anything required of me and do what was right, no matter how hard it was for me. My life had to stop for a bit, and I needed to do what was right.

When someone’s Mum dies, I’d imagine it’s probably and usually one of the worst things that can happen to them. But my feelings weren’t sadness or mourning. They were uncomfortable, and strange feelings – I felt like I was being pulled uncontrollably into an abyss that seemed never to be ending. Not knowing how to explain to people that she hadn’t been a part of my life anymore, and that I’d said good bye to her a long time ago.

After many attempts of trying to build bridges with her, I decided I was better off without her when I was about 25… then when I was 34 I made a final peace with my decision, and said a final goodbye to her when we were at my Aunt’s funeral in 2014. I knew I was better off without my Mum.

I had demons from my childhood and from our past, but I’d dealt with them and sent them on their way. Before my Mum died I was in a good place, settled, happy, fit and healthy. And when she was alive, it was hard enough saying to people I didn’t have her in my life, as it was such an odd thing for so many people, to (have chosen to)not have their mum in their lives.

Then when she died I was thrown into a world of turmoil. Bringing back horrible things I’d forgotten, and having to do things I never thought I’d do, because somebody needed to do them, and that somebody was me (or my partner, my brother or his wife).

I had a month off work to start to deal with everything. Setting up her funeral on my own, clearing her house, doing what I could to get through it. I lost a stone in weight. I was challenged more than I’d ever been challenged in my life.

A big dark cloud descended and didn’t seem to clear, for months and then eventually for a couple of years. It felt like walking through treacle or thick black oil at points, and it seemed to be never ending. I took each day and week as it came. I leaned on my partner, my brother and his family. I opened up to my Dad and I got counselling to talk my way through it.

But I also saw the light and the positives in it all,

One day about a year and a half later, when the estate was still seemingly endlessly rumbling on… my partner said to me ‘Why can’t you just be like you were before it happened? You didn’t even think about her then, and now she’s in your head all the time.’

I’m pretty sure the first 8-10 years of my life were pretty good – a normal family, living a normal life, but I don’t remember it. I know from photos I seemed to be a happy child, and I never wanted for anything.

Then things went a bit pear shaped and it turned into a bumpy and different childhood in it’s later years, leading to an independent adulthood. 16 years with her in my life, then intermittent attempts for me to get back in touch with her, being disappointed by her each time, until I’d eventually had enough and stopped trying.

As an adult I realised I didn’t like the woman she was, as harsh as that might sound. And each time she lied or disappointed me, I realised it even more.

I’d forged other relationships and had other people in my life who gave me the guidance I wanted from a mother. I realised I was better off without her, and had 10 mostly peaceful and fun years until she passed away in 2015.

I ended up thanking those who had been there for me, by giving them a glass rainbow each, something just clicked and I realised how much they’d been there for me (you know who you are) –

The estate was finally wrapped up a week after the second anniversary in late 2017, and the clouds were lifted to reveal the next chapter in my life. A new job in January, led to more purpose and achievement at work, and the last year had totally felt like a reward for all the sh!t I dealt with after she died.

My comeuppance, delivered as she said it would be, but maybe it’s just fate or karma, and the universe rewarding me for all of the uncomfortable and emotionally challenging things I had to do to close things off. Work delivered purpose and reward again for me.

This last year my work has allowed me to flourish. It’s had me helping hundreds of people, and meeting hundreds more whilst we recruit record numbers of staff for our new news programme on our new channel.

Last week, I was busy co-ordinating interviews and a Correspondent was walking up the stairs after she’d cycled to work. She rather nicely remarked to me ‘there’s the girl that fixes everything!’ I blushed slightly, smiled and went on my way.

But then that day, I did fix things – a lot of things, whilst making things happen seamlessly. In my element, and feeling very grateful to be doing what I’m doing at such and exciting time at BBC Scotland.

Just under a year since the estate was just about to be wrapped up and what a difference a year makes. What a difference three years makes. The numerous challenges I faced have made me a stronger person, able to deal with anything, just like my childhood did.

In the last year I’ve gradually got back to the person I was before she died. She was out of my life, then was abruptly forced back into every day for a couple of years. Now she’s gone again, and I’ve moved on again from the torment my Mum brought me. The wounds were rudely opened without my permission, but now they’ve healed again.

One thing I have noticed is that I really don’t like not being in control of things – I get quiet and a bit angry and upset. But as long as I know that, I’m fine. It’s something that didn’t used to happen before, but now it creeps up on me and can hit me hard. But I fix things, it’s what I do, and I’ll keep on doing it.

Three years on and Super Lorn has been on a bit of a rollercoaster ride, but I’m back at the top again, enjoying the views. Hopefully the good times and the good comeuppance / fate or good karma will continue. 🙂

And hopefully as the years go on, the 17th of November will become less and less significant to me, and more of a chapter closed, than anything else.

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Wk44 into Wk45

I’ll have done a bit of travelling in the last week…but I’ll have still managed 5 runs / 28 milesish, and one part Strength session. I did the first set of Deadlkfts @51kg, then did the second and third set and decided enough was enough (sets 4 and 5 and a finisher would have been the end of it).

After doing strength throughout October I fancied a week off it this week, and managed a half workout in Monday; then travelling kept me sticking to just running.

Here’s what I’ll have done in the last week:

5: Full Body Strength 4 / Coaching 3.2M
6: AM 5.7M wi Twinnie
7: Coaching 3.2M
8: Rest / Travel to Inverness AM
9: Rest
10: Wick / 6.2M
11: 5M wi Ewen

27.8M in November

I also met some very special 7 week old twins – my best friends new babies – Magnus and Finn. Gorgeous, and oh so tiny.
Then this weekend was spent as a fly trip to Wick to see some of my family on my nephew’s birthday (and some kite flying fun).

Here’s what I’m planning next week:

12: Upper Body Strength 1
13: 5M + 5k lunchtime
14: 6M / Massage
15: Rest / Travel Edinburgh
16: Lower Body Strength 2
17: 9.5M incl 5k Victoria Parkrun
18: Full Body Strength 2

I might not manage the three strength sessions, but I’ll take it as it comes.

I did a couple of coaching sessions with Susan and Audrey earlier in the week. They both worked hard with determination and grit, and set new goals for the coming 6 months or so.

My favourite run this week was running in Wick on my own. Running around the streets of my childhood, knowing every twist and turn, street, hill and stairs. Seeing all the sights from over 20 years ago, noticing much more than I did when I was a kid. It was pretty windy, but a good run all the same.

I love the big skies, and the raging seas. (And the wind for the magic kite flying!).

I’ve got a bit more travel coming up… Edinburgh next week, Aberdeen the next… then Shetland has been confirmed at the start of December. I wonder if I should take my trainers and running gear with me?

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Our work running group

At the end of September I got in touch with some people in work who I knew were runners, and asked if they wanted to join a private running group on Facebook… mainly as a way for me to be motivated and get out and run, but also for me to get to run with others, and get others out running too.

We’d meet in reception of our work, at 12:30 in Tuesdays and go a run. In October we ended up running about 7 times at lunchtime – Tuesdays brought the biggest crowd, of about 5-7 runners. And on other days a few people ran.

I used the small group of people we had to test out the Facebook page – put simply – BBC Scotland Runs, making it a private group, and encouraging people to post on it if they fancied some company.

It got me motivated to run, and ended up helping me get to 100 miles running in October, when I’d planned 85 miles. Most of the runs were easy, and we did one speedwork session mid month.

We mixed our routes up, one around the Clyde, one to the transport museum and back, another up to Kelvingrove Park and back. Half an hour ish, easy done in lunchtime, and in the daylight.

It was nice to see others motivated too, and we all probably met people we hadn’t known before we ran together.

Then on Friday, our wee group got communicated across our work… in an interval comms … I was away from base on Friday but all of a sudden in the afternoon, I started seeing member requests come through.

Great! The membership grew to 50 people… and then today around 11 people turned up for a run. Unfortunately I couldn’t make it as I was really busy with work (and I’d run in the morning too), but I popped down to reception to get their photo and suggest a route which some of them knew anyway. (A couple missed the photo opp).

They ran up to Kelvingrove and back, just under 5k, and a couple of runners did a flatter route around the Clyde.

So that was BBC Scotland Runs #8 with 11 runners. I hope the group will grow in membership but also in the days and times that people run. I’ve set up the group, but I’m keen for people to post on there when they would like to run, and for others to Jim them.

At the moment it’s just in Glasgow, but there’s nothing stopping other runners from other sites posting on there too. And I’m saying it’s a group rather than a club, so people aren’t put off joining the Runs, but it’ll hopefully develop into whatever the runners want it to be.

So if you work at BBC Scotland, and you want to come along on some runs, search BBC Scotland Runs and join in the fun and the runs. 😃

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Wk44 into Wk45

This last week I got to my 100 mile goal on Wednesday, and felt I needed a rest day in the Thursday and Friday.

I was back up for a run on Saturday, then had a good rest day on Sunday – plenty sleep this weekend, and a nice walk in the West End today.

29: Lower Body Strength
30: 8.5M + 5k lunchtime
31: 4M easy
1: Rest
2: Rest / Travel
3: 4.5M
4: Rest

I only did one Strength session, but I feel good that I’ve given my body a bit of a rest from it all. After 4 weeks of strength training, I’m going to ease off it a bit and get back into it after next week. Another regular 12 sessions coming up soon.

This week I’ve done on average 15k steps a day, and I feel like I’ve had a balance between work, life and training.

Next week, here’s my plan – quite a bit of travelling, and seeing friends and family … so the end of next week will have less training as well.

5: Full Body Strength / Coaching
6: 5M / 5k
7: KB 80/20 / Coaching
8: Rest / Inverness AM
9: Rest / Friends
10: Family / 8M
11: Rest / Travel

Let’s see if I can get up early in the mornings this week and get training, better aim for an early night!

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Getting about a bit…

I’ve realised that November is going to be a bit of a busy one for me, with a lot of travelling… some for work, some visiting family and friends. I’m really looking forward to all of it. 

Last week I was in London co-ordinating interviews for one of the many jobs we’re hiring. The day in new broadcasting house went smoothly and so did the travel. 

Then today I’m in Edinburgh for another set of interviews. And back to Edinburgh in the middle of the month. 

Next week I go to Inverness with work, then up to Wick to see some family. 

And at the end of the month, Aberdeen with work and Stonehaven to see my Dad. 

In and around all of that I’ve planned my training for the month, taking rest days around my travel, and fitting in my running and strength training around working away and visiting friends and family. 

3 runs a week including some coaching in November, and 2-3 strength sessions a week. Picking socialising / being with friends / family over exercising. 

December might hold another trip even further north (to Shetland maybe), but we’ll wait and see if that happens. 

Feeling rather fortune right now. 🙂

(The last post didn’t work, but this one hopefully will).

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