21-28 November 2014
In the past week, I haven’t been quite as active as I probably should have been. Between work and rain, the fact I haven’t been out running isn’t entirely my own fault. Ok, I don’t have a similar excuse for why I haven’t been to the gym- I just haven’t. However, unlike last week, I did actually make it swimming.
Last Wednesday, I invited my friend round for a TV catch-up session before going swimming. Unsurprisingly, we didn’t make it off the sofa after I dropped into the conversation that The Apprentice was on. This week, she was on to me. After some attempt at delaying, we were out the door and on the way. The evening lane-swimming session at my local leisure centre, where I used to take swimming classes as a kid, is between 9pm-10pm. My friend tried to get us there so we’d be in, paid and changed by the time it opened but, thanks to my desire to watch as much of 27 Dresses as possible, in the end we made it into the pool by 9.15pm.
In case you haven’t twigged, I get distracted really easily. I always tend to go swimming with friends- if they’re determined to go, the guilt motivates me to actually go- but if they want to stop for a chat then I’ll take full advantage of that. This time, however, I swam almost continuously for 30-35 minutes. I know I should probably keep count of the number of lengths I do but I never do- it makes me feel like I’ve done better than I probably have.
Motivating myself to go swimming isn’t always easy. At the gym, I can watch whatever sitcoms are up being played up on the TV screens. When I’m jogging, I can stick my headphones on and listen to motivational running music. It’s pretty much impossible to do that whilst swimming. Having said that, I’ve always loved being in the water. In fact, if I had to have a superpower, it would be a tough call between being able to breathe underwater and being able to fly. For someone with a huge fear of heights, I do have a weird love of being in the air: sky diving, bungee jumping, abseiling, rock climbing, wall climbing and flying a plane are all in my little box of experiences. When I was little, the Little Mermaid used to be my favourite film- to be honest, it basically still is- so I obviously used to pretend I was a mermaid when I was in the pool.
Swimming monotonously up and down isn’t quite the same as playing on floats and splashing around like I used to do but I still try to see how far I can go underwater before I have to come up for air when I start my length. No, that’s not exactly smart, I’d come up completely out of breath, with less energy for actually doing exercise, but it’s the only way to make it a bit fun.
Today (Friday) I ended up working from home. Since I felt like I needed to clear my head, I was surprisingly eager to go for a run. I even set up interval training app at a higher level than usual- for about 8 minutes, then I went back down. Without thinking, I had just eaten my marmite toast breakfast and it was not happy with me for attempting immediate exercise. Once I got into my stride though the time passed so quickly I forgot to take my customary photos. Sorry.
That’s my exercise quota for the week, now lets turn to the food. Last week, I stopped keeping my food diary after Wednesday. I realised I felt less bad about eating junk food when I could forget it afterwards. This week, I’m trying to do better. At the weekend, I did go again for my standard weekend curry. I know it is calorific but it’s a dish eaten regularly in large parts of the world as part of a healthy diet- so I’m going let myself have that one. At work, I’ve finally found a healthy dish I look forward to: falafel salad with pickled chillies. The healthiness may have been diminished by the slathering on of french salad dressing and garlic and herb dipping sauce but at least the latter was half-fat. When I was in Berlin, I became obsessed with falafel and halloumi wraps from 1001 Falafel, with salad and garlic sauce. Now that I’ve managed to make something not really as good but not far off, I’m not going back.
I’ve actually been eating out quite a lot this week- an amazing bacon sandwich at the London Particular, Sunday roast dinner at my favourite pub, dim sum at Ping Pong followed by carrot cake at Le Pain Quotidien, a tuna melt at a cafe down the road, a mozzarella salad followed by chicken and vegetables at a conference I attended and a snazzy dinner of duck scotch egg and pumpkin and ricotta ravioli at The Don in London. There will also be Mexican tapas tonight. It’s been a good week and actually not that unhealthy, all things considered. Win, win- just not for my wallet.