I'm on the road to nowhere! by Ali Burden-Blake

Woohoo! She arrived, albeit on Monday, not Friday, in a blaze of 3 delivery-men glory :-)

It then took Andrew and I 4 hours to put her together, it's the 'putting-flat-packs-together' kind of stress that usually sees the pair of us get rather shouty, and defensive and just generally not nice to each other. However, this turned into 4 hours of epic laughter, joke mocking and other name-calling, and actually we were awesome by the end of it!

So today, while Andrew shot off to collect the child from school, I hopped on for an ifit workout with Jillian Michaels. Not much to report, except that it works, and I like the fact that I can use a treadmill in the privacy of my own home, because then I get to do funky dance walking to toons!!

So my journey to 175lb has begun in earnest. I started at 280lbs on 22nd May. Hitting that 20st was a huge shocker for me. Having eaten sensibly for the past week I'm down to 276.8lb as of yesterday. To be on course for my goal of 175lbs by 1st June 2016 I need to be losing 2.3lbs a week, which seems very doable. One step at a time.

My first goal is 270lbs by 23rd June.

Now, where's my herbal tea....

She gets here tomorrow!! by Ali Burden-Blake

Oh I am ridiculously over-excited about my gorgeous new treadmill that arrives tomorrow. Honestly, I know it's a little sad, okay it's a lot sad, but I get to work out, in my favourite way, in my own home :-) 

Slightly concerned about putting her together, but I'm sure one piece at a time it will be fine.

Bring it bitches, I'm 280lbs of ready!

Toys, a cold and a dump of snow. by Ali Burden-Blake

Not those kind of toys, drag that mind right back up here!! I was not long back into running when I felt the need for new shoes. My old Nikes, although not much worn for running, are currently my everyday shoes as I hurt my foot walking too much in unsupportive shoes. Doh!

Plantar fasciitis is a bitch, especially when it happens from an innocuous thing like being too heavy and walking in crap shoes. The thing is it doesn’t hurt when I run, only after, so it doesn’t seem like a good enough reason to not go.

So new dedicated running shoes then :-) Nikes again, because they’ve always served me well. Alas they no longer make Equalons, so I deliberated for a long time (I am a researcher at heart!), and went for a pair of Lunarglide 6. In bright pink. As you do. The jury is still out on whether or not I like them, but they seem to keep me heading in the right direction!

Also, I’m a numbers girl, so I wanted a way of keeping track that didn’t involve taking my huge iPhone 6+ out in my pocket. I found a complete bargain at Sweatshop of a Tomtom Runner with heart rate monitor. Sold! I’ve never measured my heart rate before. Truth be told I’m not yet sure what to do with that information. But I imagine I’ll research it when I get more miles under my belt.

Lastly, being heavy, I inherently knew that running everyday would be my fastest route to injury. So I wanted a way of being able to exercise on the alternate days that was non weight bearing. I was close to going for an indoor bike, but my back is not the greatest (for now), so I went for an indoor rower. I found a secondhand one locally on Gumtree. I love her, she’s beautiful and represents a lot to me right now!

The thing is though, shortly after the arrival of my rower, hubby and I both came down with stinking colds. Aarrgghh!! In the early stages, read first day or two, I went for a run and was okay. Then it really set in and I spent 5 days not exercising at all! Hey ho. As I thought I was improving I went for a run 5 days later and as I left the house it started chucking down with snow! Undeterred I continued. By the time I got home I was coughing my lungs up! Not a happy bunny!

I should also probably mention here that during the time I had the cold I quit smoking. That often happens when I’m ill, I don’t smoke while I’m not well, but this time I decided to add it to my list of self-improvements for the year. And I quit. Having not had a fag for 3 days I figured that continuing to avoid nicotine would be the way forward. A friend had mentioned that nicotine leaves the body after around 48hours. So I figured that getting patches would undo the work that I’d already done. As of today I think I’m 12 days smoke free. Woohoo. However, this may well have had something to do my horrible coughing fit during the run.

The snow continued. As I’m due on a once in a lifetime photography trip to Iceland this week, there has been no way in hell that I’m setting foot outside the door in a pair of trainers with the pavements covered in ice! Needless to say I’ve been rowing the crap out of our dining room! Frustrating. But breaking an arm or leg right before a bucket-list trip to Iceland would be more so!

So it’s been an eventful time of late, but I’m still on track to being a recovering fat girl!

It all changed that day. by Ali Burden-Blake

That first run on Boxing Day was awesome and awful all at the same time! I walked down the road to the park, knowing it would likely be dark, but not quite realising the path would be pitch black. Nevertheless I jogged all the way to the end, turned around and walked back to the entrance, then repeated, jog to the end, walk back, then home.

It was dark and cold and uphill, and I couldn’t wipe the smile off my face while I was jogging, in between trying to breathe.

Despite only walking home, I was out of breath when I got in. I looked at my phone app, a sum total of 0.7 miles. Wow, I had a long way to go.

But somehow I felt athletic. Nothing had changed. And yet everything had. Stood in the kitchen gulping at a glass of water, I felt different. I was a runner.

So I finally got my s**t together, I think! It’s weird isn’t it? by Ali Burden-Blake

I’ve spent the last couple of years not really bothered about the fact that I’d been steadily gaining a few stone. Well I say not really bothered, more like very bothered, but not actually doing anything about it, which in the long term makes you feel even more shit about yourself.

However, I knew that until my head was properly in the exercise and weight loss game there was no point in turning up to play.

Back in 2008 I got into running, I read a book called The Non-Runner’s Marathon Trainer and it was life changing. I was obsessed with all things running. I would even turn down Friday after-work drinks in favour of my Friday afterwork run. I dropped to 13 stone - still not what I’d call svelte, but lighter than I’d been in years. And my long runs were 12 miles on a Saturday.

Then it all fell apart. I wish I could remember and put my finger on what prompted the collapse of my running lifestyle, but right now I can’t. It may have had something to do with losing my job through redundancy, but I can’t be certain. I’ll do some more digging into my memory banks later.

Anyway, around October 2014 I topped the scales at around 19st 7lbs and I joined weight-watchers, mostly because a friend of mine was going and it was nice to do something with a friend on a Saturday morning.

But my head wasn’t in the game.

I wanted to exercise, but had no clothes that fit well enough to be able to go out the door. So I bought a pair of XXXXL - yep 4 x XL - ladies tracksuit bottoms that promised to be a size 22. They weren’t. When they arrived I held them up and I just knew. I did try them on for certainty, but the indignity of having bought size XXXXL bottoms and they didn’t fit made me shove them in the back of a cupboard and turn my back.

So I went back to ignoring my weight problem for a bit longer.

Then in December my friend in the States sent us a huge box of stuff for Christmas. From cycle shorts to jeans and jumpers, and a pair of thick stretchy leggings, and THEY FIT!!!! Woohoo!

I wish I could understand what flicks that switch in your head that makes you ‘all in’. But having read another very inspirational book called Secrets of a Former Fat Girl by Lisa Delaney, I was all in. I had just turned 40, and I guess something just said to me that if I didn’t do this now, sort out my life, my eating, my exercise routine, then I would likely still be hating myself at 50, and where the hell is the fun in that, another 10 years of self-hatred?

So I dug out my running trainers, my hat (vital for anonymity!), my new leggings, and my iphone and on the 26th December 2014, with 119 lbs to lose and not much else, I went for a run in the dark.