Walking Blogger Mummy

IMG_20170316_173219_233Hi Everyone

A year ago I was a diferent women. In mind and body. As a mum I was really self aware of my body image and my confidence was at rock bottom.

I use to travel everywhere on public transport even on a bus for a few stops.  My walking passion started when a local road closure meant I had to start walking as the bus diversion wasnt going anywhere near to where I wanted it to be so to get anywhere close I had to start to walk everywhere in the village.

Soon I realised hang on a minute just an hour of fresh air and excerise was actually making a difference to my life. I was 2 stone heavier than I wanted to be and carrying my pregnancy weight.

I am a mum to a goregous little girl called Gia.

One of my really close friends was like nat you need to get a pedometer so you can monitor you progress. I bought one of the cheap and nasty ones off the internet and realised it really wasnt for me. So as a christmas present I got a fitbit

What can I say about that product… it is totally amazing. For me it has helped me on the road of turning my life around. But I will go into the world of fitbit and that a later date.

So then. Why did I choose to walk 5000 miles in a year? I saw a post on facebook about walking 1000 in a year and thought that just seems easy why not push the boundaries to another level. Hence the 5000 target.

That is basically walking 13.6 miles for a whole year. Doesnt seem easy does it?

When my dad was alive he was a huge believer in charity work and fundraising and giving things back to people. So this year on his 2nd anniversary of his passing Ive decided to support 2 amazing charities Railway Children and Lions Club.

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Body Image ♥️

This week is Mental Health Awareness Week in the United Kingdom, and the area of focus this year is ‘ Body Image’

As I have written throughout my blogs previously is the positive impact that walking has had on my own mental health. There is nothing better than spending 10 minutes outside in the sunshine, looking up at the beautiful blue sky hearing the birds sing.

I am a Mum of two Children, I had my first child 13 years ago this year and for years I would always beat myself up and the fact I had stretch marks, I hated the fact my tummy was no where perfect. All this negativity meant all I was doing was attacking my own skin, beating myself up for no actual logical reason. I had become a parent this should of been seen as a positive.

In 2014 I fell pregnant with my Daughter Gia, and by 2015 I had gained a lot of extra weight, some of it was the natural pregnancy gain but some of it was comfort eating because I wasn’t happy again with what I saw in the mirror .

For a few years my mental health suffered, I felt low, anxious, my confidence and ablity to love myself for the women I am, truly went out the window. I remember that random day in November when I saw the post on Facebook, ‘ Walk 1000 miles in a year’

Then out of no where I thought to myself, ‘1000 miles won’t challenge you, 5000 miles will push you mentally and physically to the limit why don’t you just give it your all and see what happens’, around the same time, one of the roads in Freshwater was closed for a few weeks, so it meant that buses would not be going that way and if I wanted to get to where I needed, I had to walk!

Hello to the start of the rest of my life. It dawned on me when I was doing the maths for my 2017 challenge that I would have to walk a half marathon a day to stay on track. I just thought this is impossible, but we all know that my sheer determination and willpower meant I hit my 2017 target 6 weeks early.

When I began my 2017 challenge I had no understanding on nutrition and what it takes to the body to sustain marathon distances on a daily basis, It was a matter of trial and error. I felt so happy when I lost my first stone in weight. By the summer of 2017 I was now around a size 8. I was loving the compliments and feedback I was getting from people.

In 2018 I continued with some serious long distance walking which also meant that my body image would continue to change further, a year later I became a size 6. I was looking in the mirror and I could see the changes all the walking had done. I felt able to stand in front of my mirror and be proud of what I saw.

However in the world we live in, there tends to be a lot of negativity still flying around. I was getting a lot of harsh comments from people. ‘ You look thin’ ‘ Your too skinny now’ ‘ Don’t loose anymore weight’

The first few times it made me feel deflated, but now I just think I’ll take on board what you think, but it is my body after all and I am happy in my own skin, I am happy with the image of my body. In 2019 I finally after 3 long years of hard work hit a 3 stone weight loss, I have to remind a lot of people when doing a lot of long distance walking it takes inches of your waistline, and that has happened to me. I also explain to people that I actually weigh what I should do for my height.

The Positives of a healthy lifestyle, long distance walking have made me love what I see in the mirror, who cares if I’ve stretch marks, who cares if I’ve a few lumps and bumps here and there, in such a short space of time I have done the impossible, and I am glad I did it. I feel confident when I look at my body image, I am always working on staying healthy and physically strong. I no longer feel depressed and deflated, the world is my oyster.

Back on track ❤️

When your a Single Parent and you work full time, it can be quite a challenge to be able to manage all the things we have to do as a parents. My 2019 walking challenge hasn’t been about how many miles I can do in one day, or how many steps I can do in 24 hours, it’s been about the rediscovery of the women that I am.

My life has been a rollercoaster of high’s and low’s, several little dramas that have knocked me off track but I’ve managed to dust myself off and get back on track. It’s funny when I look back to how I was a year ago, I was full on Adeline hungry, I was setting constant goals and I was constantly smashing them up to pieces, it got to a point last Autumn I became unhappy with how my life was going so I decided I needed to make the radical changes there and then, this meant getting a different job and approaching people for help with issues I was facing.

I had to a few months put the passion of high miles aside and focus on my life and the way it was going, my anxiety was starting to take over and I was having so many panic attacks, it was difficult to actually try and find a way forward. One of the downsides of changing my job was I lost my walk to work commute but I gained valuable time at home to do other things. I always think it’s important to always look for the positives in things even though the negatives are staring at you in the face.

A year ago, I was on my way to 2000 miles, popping 20 mile days out left right and centre, I just look back and think how on earth did I sustain it. This year I haven’t yet reached 1000 miles but I should reach it within the next week or so.

Just looking back at my journey, It has most definitely fuelled my love for physical health and the positive effects of mental well-being, this week I’ve still had meetings with the professionals who are supporting me and my daughter currently but I’ve been smart in the management of my time and how to get my marathon training in.

I’m currently doing distance learning education at college and On Tuesday I needed to hand my assignment in, I could like all normal people have taken the bus to Newport but no, not me, I opted for the 11 mile walk into Newport.

I kid you not walking and physical exercise are the best anti depressants on the market, they are free, and it’s unlimited. Just walking to Newport over the downs I could just switch off from the hustle and bustle of my busy lifestyle and just be myself out in the countryside, the one thing I really didn’t miss was mottistone down, that was tough, luckily I can get some incline training in at home but the terrain will always be something you need to be there to train on.

So Walk the Wight is coming up in a few weeks time, this will be my 3rd year of doing the walk, and I thought with any natural progression it’s time I involve a bit of running. I can dream about running the whole thing one day and we all know that I am a women that makes dreams reality but this year I will happily settle with walking and running some of it.

Now that I have started the training again, it’s meant the changes in my diet, I have a high metabolism and ensuring I have sufficient calories is vital. It is also important that I have enough protein in my diet to aid my recovery, I have found that Quorn is a good source of protein as well as the standard likes of egg and chicken.

It’s been great I must admit to walk 50+ miles In a few days, this usually takes me 7 days to do now.

♥️♥️♥️♥️

#its ok to not be ok

So it’s finally dawned on me that I really need to get into the mindset of actually getting some serious marathon training in. The one thing in life you can’t control is when you get multiple challenges hit you all at once. This will usually mean priorities change, and more pressing things take the centre stage of your thoughts process.

I think it’s been important these last few months to identify the areas of my life which I need to work on. This will mean I will be able to maintain the journey I am on at the moment. Over the last few weeks we have been really fortunate to have some rather beautiful spring like weather but it has just come a few months early, this has meant I have actually been able to get a couple of beautiful walks in. I managed to actually walk the most I’d walked in a long time a couple of weeks ago. It was a challenge I must admit because when you drop off from high intense miles, your body becomes accustomed to that new distance, so for me at the moment to be able to walk around the Isle of Wight in the Summer, I need to set the goals and targets and ultimately work extremely hard to be able pull it off again, I know what I have to do, it all depends if my life allows it, I know this year I will have to work even harder to be able to complete the challenge.

I wanted to write in this blog about something I am really passionate about at the moment and that is the stereotyping in society regarding Mental Health. So many people are so quick to judge the book by its cover and sometimes I wonder how can you get a true understanding of the book in that snapshot moment you’ve been given it? You can’t can you.

This is why talking about my journey is really important because I don’t want other people to suffer with respect to how they present when asking for mental health support. To hold your hands up and acknowledge you have a problem and you are asking for someone to listen to takes guts, it takes courage and it takes balls to realise that it’s time to actually lift the carpet up and see what’s being hiding under there.

Sometimes I get a lot of people say to me, ‘but you look ok’ ‘you seem fine’, or ‘your looking well’ . With the amount of cuts there is currently within the mental health service unless your at breaking point, and are literally on the verge of giving up. You’ve got to be able to physically stick your self back together to make yourself better and mentally get yourself out the black hole yourself, I am talking from experience where I am currently on another emotional rollercoaster created because of a situation which begun back in September last year.

I recently saw my friend who Is a photographer and we created a 1950s style photo shoot, you could say why is the 1950s as an era important to you when you were born in the 1980s. To me as a 30 year old women, the 50’s portray individualism, feminism, strength, and ultimately power behind the female.

This is one thing which is important in my own mental health recovery is being comfortable in my own skin, having my own individual identity and to not have any outside factors or people controlling my thoughts, or actions I might want to make.

There sadly isn’t enough resources available to support everyone out there with the vast amount of mental health illnesses and needs people have out there, and I have been one of those women who has gone through my life having to learn to self manage and take the self care of my mental well-being. I have learned sometimes to get your point across you need to shout a bit louder then you usually would, you sometimes need to strip things back to basics and say it as it is. We are all so busy with hectic lifestyles, I am one of those women who has the challenges of juggling multiple hats all at once, but you could say thrive from it.

It doesn’t matter who you are, male or female, young, middle aged or old, of a different religion or culture you should be allowed in society to still be well dressed, wear the makeup and the lipstick and still be allowed to say your struggling. I know makeup especially in my life creates the argument and debate on the ‘ mask’ however I believe sometimes you just want to make yourself feel better, I know two positive coping strategies people use when they have a bad day is chocolate and some women prefer the odd glass of wine here and there. Yet I think sometimes if you add that bit of lipstick on, it just promotes positivity. For me when I wear makeup it makes me feel functional I know you probably think how, but if you take my current situation of working with multiple professionals, it kind of adds an extra layer of skin on, which for me creates that extra layer of strength to be able to sometimes dig deep in an empty mental tank and ultimately get the positive results I want to be able to successfully keep moving forward.

Mental Challenges ♥️

I’m actually glad this week is over to be honest, challenging and mentally draining went to a whole new level this week.

I am under a lot of pressure right now with several factors and aspects in my life which actually need some work on, but I will get there.

I looked at my miles for this week and I just need to remind myself, these have been very difficult miles.

In the world we live in, Social Media has a big part to play in everyones beliefs and values.

So now I want to briefly talk about Life as Single Parent.

I believe in the value of work hard to achieve the positive lifestyle. The last 7 days have literally tore me apart, but somehow I’ve managed to find the energy and mental strength to be able to work this week. When your a Single mum you always have at the back of your mind, ‘ I don’t want my daughter to see me struggle’

You end up wearing the ‘ Positive Face’ yet inside can feel broken, exhausted, drained and well and truely warn out. Sometimes you just wish for a fairy godmother to appear out of no where and be like ‘ Here.. go make yourself a cup of tea and take 5’

You have to battle on eventhough your batteries are running on empty, you end up finding the mental fuel to continue even when the tank is empty.

Social Media has to many Negatives, and sometimes Positives should be embraced more!. I live by a couple of phrases. #thisgirlcan and ‘ I refuse to sink’

There are always positives everywhere in life, some are sat looking at you but some are a lot harder to find but with strength and willpower you end up finding them.

So back to walking, this week has been a bog standard basement week in the respect of miles walked, but I don’t care. The 39 miles I have walked this week have been all about determination, and the refusal of letting life and its struggles take away my passion of Walking.

I know… one day.. #Superwomen will make her entrance again ♥️

The Return of The Walking Mummy ♥️

Well it seems today might be a good day to blog. I can’t actually believe my last Walking Mummy Blog was back last Summer!

So 2019 marks the 3rd year of my #Walk1000 Journey and in a way, I have a feeling that this year might actually be the most important and most valuable.

I joined #Walk1000 at the end of 2016 where I had a simple goal and to be honest it was a scary prospect of telling the world, I wanted to walk 5000 miles within a year.

2017 was the year I dedicated to my father. This time two years ago the concept of walking a half marathon for an entire year seemed rather impossible yet as the months went on and the passion and determination grew, I proved to the world you can be a parent and you can walk 5000 miles within a year.

So last year was a year of change, becoming a single parent at 29 was a really difficult thing to adjust to. I put a lot of my emotions and energy into some serious walking. I looked back this morning at the month I walked over 800 miles and half of me thinks how the hell did I manage that.

I’ll tell you how, lack of sleep, a lot of food, and the determination to never ever give up! 2018 gave me some valuable walking lessons especially when it comes to Ultra’s. I was determined last summer to walk around the isle of wight yet there were factors I couldn’t control and that was the heat.

It made me realise it is ok to quit, your not a failure if you dont reach the final line. You gave it your all, you put in 110% and thats what actually matters. Getting a shiny medal and the glossy certificate is just an added bonus!

Somehow I still can’t actually believe it but I walked over a 1000 miles more in 2018 than I did in 2017.

Three weeks into year 3 of this life changing challenge and the goal posts have changed. Last year I set out with the goal of completing 1000 miles very quick and I achieved it at the end of Febuary.

My focus so far this year has been the journey of moving forward in my life but doing this my mental health has been a rollercoaster. I now fully understand the importance of baby steps. Who cares what miles you walk, at least you are making a difference to your physical and mental wellbeing.

I still have my dreams of a third time around the Isle of Wight but its a matter of actually being realistic when it comes to the training type of thing. Yet I as a women think sod it.. I have my anxiety, I have my wobbles yet walking and a healthy lifestyle is the positive image I want to show the world.

So never say never to the 3rd time around the island.. maybe not within 24hours.. but never say never!

Goodbye Comfort Zone

Waking up on a morning with that ‘ Lets Go’ Attitude is so important to me. We often wake up on the wrong side of the bed or with little or no motivation to kick start the day.

This Year, I haven’t had half the outdoor walks I would like and I have found myself inside on my Treadmill or ‘ Stepping’ on the Spot.

Until a few months ago I had little or no understanding on Cardio Fitness but I decided I would just go for it and throw myself right in the deep end. After spending the last 18 months building on my general fitness and stamina I thought its time to take things to the next level.

Why stay in your comfort zone? When there is more out there if your prepared to put maximum effort in. Right now, Comfort Zone is a boring place. I just love seeing what I can make my body do, and how Strong I can make it. I’m no way a pro yet at ‘ Cardio’ but there is plenty of tools out there to get the knowledge and understanding on how to improve.

When I started to work my heart a bit more, all I could manage was 15 minutes as it totally wore me out. Yet I’m one of those people that understands the importance of mental strength so gradually I just told myself baby steps, build the time up slowly. Get use to Hard Work, You will see the rewards. If you want something so bad, work hard and make it happen!

I’m not where I want to be just yet, but I am happy I can maintain a Workout for just short of an hour. Hard work doesn’t come without its aches and pains. Some mornings I’d wake up feeling sore and sluggish but I always tell myself, ‘ No Pain.. No gain’

Pain is temporary, Achievement lasts forever. One Important thing I have noticed is how it makes me feel mentally. Life can sometimes be challenging and stressfull and it will often lead us to a bar of Chocolate or a Bottle of Wine however 1 hour working hard makes me feel like a ‘Marshmellow’ I just end up feeling so relaxed and my whole body just feels so soft and full of fluff. Its the perfect feeling to go to sleep with.

It has also meant my sleep quality has improved because I have gone to sleep feeling relaxed.

Round The Isle of Wight ♥️

What Can I say, this year by far was a million times harder than last year without a doubt. Last Year one simple thing was different and that was the weather.

To attempt a Marathon in 30 Degrees, takes every inch of strength, mental control and determination you can ever think of. When you attempt an Ultra Marathon in those type of conditions take guts!

Its all well and good creating plans, training for Marathons and Ultra’s but when your walking on open ground with no cover and shade you are exposed to the sun more.

You can’t mentally train for Walking in this type of heat because its impossible to recreate the heat.

I have no regrets what so ever this year. I am a single mum at the end of the day, I owe it to myself to be sensible and put my health 1st. I know because of the level of training I have put in I can walk that distance, I have trained and sacrified a lot to be able to.

The Positives out way any Negative this year.

I can walk around The Island whenever I want, I am proud of myself for reaching 36 miles this year. The mental challenges you face when your hot are something I can’t describe, all of the prep you do goes out the window. It was by far important to have self control this year, is there any point making myself ill? Is there any point pushing my body when youve put it through more than you can imagine because of extreme temperatures?

This year’s Experience has shown me more about myself as a Women. 6 months ago I’d of been selfish and carried on but it wouldnt of got me anywhere If I dropped down and collapsed, I wouldn’t be able to look after my daughter or go to work.

The One thing I noticed this year was my average pace had improved since last year, my general level of fitness has changed also. I took Control, I put myself first. Theres No point winning Social Challenges at the cost of your health.

Your Health is one thing you must never ever abuse. You have One Life, One Body use it correctly! Don’t be Selfish, love it!

This Blog is pretty special because It’s my 100th. I never dreamed it would be a blog talking about Withdrawing from a Walk but at the same time, I’m glad it is because it shows how my journey this year has changed my life ♥️