0lb loss. 40lb in total, 7.5lb in 2015.
Last week we were talking about progress, and although it was huge progress, it was a one based primarily in aesthetics. Although, it was a very worthwhile outcome of the last 18 months, the primary motivation to change my life all that time ago was health lead.
Nearly two years ago I was suffering from chronic fibromyalgia, excessively low vitamin B and D levels, a fatty liver, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, eczema, undulating blood sugar levels and depression. Eighteen months since starting my new life, you can kind of see that I would be interested to see if anything had changed internally too. When the letter from the doctors surgery landed on the door mat inviting me to an old farts cardio-vascular health (including cholesterol and blood sugar) check, well it seemed rude not to really.
So, last Wednesday, freshly hot and sweaty from a beasting in the attic I landed in the surgery ready for my check. I was a tad concerned about my blood pressure and pulse since I’d absolutely buried myself in the spin earlier knowing full well that exercise is known to temporarily elevate both. But, there you go, I wasn’t going to miss spin and there was nothing I could do about it but focus on relaxing.
The nurse invited me in promptly and got to work pretty much straight away. The whole thing was pretty basic although I did have some fun when we got to activity levels.
Nurse: So, we need to discuss your activity levels.
Nurse: How much walking do you so?
Me: Errrr none really
Nurse: No problem, what about cleaning?
Me: Errr none at all!
Nurse: Right then, what about gardening?
<now very confused!>
Me: Well, I have raised beds so I don’t have to do any gardening, I just chuck it in and hope for the best
Nurse: Hmmmm, so the government recommendations are 5 x 30 minutes of exercise a week where you get out of breath, we need to have a look at what you can do, cycling is a good one
Me: Erm, yes, cycling is a good one but with respect, maybe you actually just need to look at your questions.
Nurse: So you do some exercise?
Me: Well, I did roughly 16 hours of exercise where I was ‘out of breath’ last week.
Nurse: Oh, right, so I can probably tick that box then?
Half an hour later, I was clutching a piece of paper that gave me a complete clean bill of health. Blood sugars were stable and consistent, cholesterol levels were down, good cholesterol levels were up and blood pressure was down (despite the spinning). Peter summed it up later when he wrote ‘So overall, you may be overweight but you have none of the markers that would normally be associated with being overweight’. Great news, but most importantly it was an absolute confirmation that the paleo lifestyle for me is a real choice and a good one.
The Sunday before, Pauline and I found ourselves with a few hours, some sunshine and an inclination to explore. There was a loose plan to follow our noses along the Badger half marathon route, but distracted but the clement weather and first hint of spring in the air, we opted for Crabtree Lane rather than the drag of the A24 and ended up in Norbury Park much earlier than expected.
Finding ourselves at the bottom of the path leading up to Crabtree Cottages we had the idea of linking up with the Bookham 10k route up to Ranmore Common and then heading back down into the valley to get back on the Badger route to Denbies.
The paths behind Crabtree cottages were beautiful. There was a real hint of warmth in the sun for the first time all winter. The birds were abundant, singing and flirting with each other. Prolific in number and variety as they went about their day. It lent the day a real feeling of spring and I could feel my heart soaring as we passed them and headed into the valley. Up vomit hill with the sound of blood and heart rather than birds in my ears. We heaved until the ground started to flatten and breathing eventually calmed. One chap out for a walk with his (one can only assume long suffering) wife quipped, ‘you’re supposed to be running’.
We plodded out of the path opposite Ranmore Church and turned right along the road to the car park.
The smell of freshly ground coffee lingered tantalizingly under our noses, drawing us both. We’re easily persuaded P and I, and so we stopped for a cup and a sit down and a rather random meeting of Laurie and Sarah, out for the day with the children.
With seven miles under the belt and a mercy call from Alan who needed a lift we opted for the short route back to Denbies along the North Downs Way. It was two miles back, all downhill, along one of the most scenic paths in Surrey. Fuelled by coffee (and maybe the need for a wee) P picked up the pace as we trotted down the hill. I went with her and she kicked again. The pattern repeated itself until we were flat out, flailing around the corners (including a spectacularly well held off piste diversion from P when a lady stepped right out in front of her as she was going full tilt round a corner).
It was so much fun, we giggled as we hurled ourself down the final slope, free, gleeful, unihibited, unrestrained until finally we turned the last corner and slowed down in front of the house. The garmin later showed us running at 7.30mm pace for that last mile. Blimey, not plodding, not jogging but running! It was fabulous and we went our seperate ways happy and satisfied after another beautiful run.