Mindfulness when away from home; food and exercise.

Last weekend I went home. I’ve lived away from home for over two years and don’t get to go back very often because of my dodgy nurse shifts, so took advantage of annual leave and went to spend some time with my family and friends. The absolute highlight was spending time with my nephew, who at 1 year old doesn’t really know who I am yet *sad face*.

Aside from the lovely family and friend time, I was very mindful of staying active and eating well. My main goal is the activity, but I’m aware that in order to do that I need to fuel my body properly. 


My mum has a cupboard on the wall in the kitchen that is essentially dedicated to cakes, biscuits and sweet treats. Anyone that knows me knows that I have a notorious sweet tooth and will always find room for dessert. When I lived at home I would sit in front of the tv with a cup of tea and devour a whole pack of biscuits in one sitting. Every time I go home I head straight for the cupboard. Not this weekend. I made a conscious effort to avoid it like the plague, and in all honesty the only time I struggled (as opposed to habit) was when I was bored. Well done me! 

Having pre-warned mum that I’m trying to eat a better diet she happily obliged and made sure that my meals were balanced and nutritious. Yes, I’m a 28 year old woman and can (barely) cook for myself, but my mum loves to look after people so I didn’t not feel guilty about being fed. She’d be offended if I said no! 
I also ate out a few times and was again extra-specially good. On an unexpected trip to Nando’s I had chicken salad, and at the park with my friends and their children I had a spicy chicken pasta salad. On Friday night I took my parents out to dinner as a late Father’s Day celebration and to break up the chicken salad party had a lovely steak with onions, tomato, peas and only ate half the chips. No dessert. 


Lately I’ve been hitting my 8000 step target most days so I’ve increased my daily Fitbit step goal to 9000. On days off work I find reaching my target much more difficult to achieve, with this weekend being no exception. 

Both Friday and Saturday I saw friends, and as the weather was nice suggested that we go for walks in the park with their respective dogs and children. Two birds with one stone. Saturday, being friends-with-children day, was slower on the step front, so at 20:30 while it was still light I went for an evening walk and added 3000 steps to my total. Goal met! 

Determined not to fall off the wagon I had packed some shorts and my running shoes  with the intention of actually walk/jog/running at some point. Then when I told one of my friends (we’ll call her T) about my pursuit towards 5k she confided that she can easily run 5k on a treadmill but is terrified of running outside alone. T had even worked out a route near her home but just didnt have it in her to do it alone. So, once I’d gotten her to agree to forgive my absolutely appalling lack of stamina, we decided to do it together. We’ve done a lot of things together in our 15 years of friendship but exercise is not one of them! 

I arrived at T’s house at 10am on Sunday morning and we got going. The weather was warm and humid already, and while T didn’t even break a sweat I found it really difficult. The intention was always to walk and jog but being with someone who doesn’t even break a sweat while I’m struggling to breathe and not throw up isn’t ideal. It did mean that I (she!) pushed myself much harder than usual. 

It’d say over the whole 5k I probably only jogged for about 1k of it – the rest of the time I spent puffing and panting and feeling nauseous. Had I thought about it properly I should have done less because usually I don’t go anywhere near that far so it was a big big increase in distance. 

I did a lot of apologising for holding T up so much and felt pretty embarrassed but she was great and kept encouraging me. Luckily we are good enough friends that we can say pretty much anything to each other, and I laughed pretty hard when she later said she thought I might punch her. 

Once I had composed myself I did feel proud of myself. 42:38 is now the time to beat. I checked my local parkrun times and the most recent slowest time was around 55:00. I’m certainly not ready for parkrun yet but I have a goal in mind.

As for T, she said now that she’s actually gone out and run along the road she’s not as afraid, and thinks might go out alone. I’m sure her time will be a hell of a lot faster than our joint effort and I’m very proud of her for it. Goals!! 


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