Friday, September 23, 2016

Out the door.

We had the principal of a local Secondary school in to talk to the senior pupils about choosing a school for next year. He led a very interesting discussion with my class about all the new and interesting things they would experience in their next step in education.
He then asked them what they thought would be the best part of Secondary School.

One eager fella had his hand up.
"Yes. What do you think is the best thing about school?"
Without batting an eyelid he said

Given that I am writing this on Friday afternoon after they have all gone home I cannot disagree with him!

Friday, September 16, 2016

A Wake Up Call

My alarm started to thrill and I slowly opened my eyes. I squinted at the phone screen. What I saw made me do a double take. My phone calmly told me
You can be home in 57 mins.
As I looked around the room at my familiar walls, curtains, lampshade and duvet I thought
SO, WHERE THE F*%$  AM I ?????

Wednesday, September 14, 2016

What a ride!

I wasn't hopeful.
Friday's weather was terrible, wind and rain. Saturday was warm and dry but Sunday was promised rain. Not very helpful for my first 60k bike ride!
When Cycle Ireland had approached me at the start of the summer and asked me to be their ambassador I jumped at the chance. After all I had loads of time to train. Summer came and went. Yes, I did get on my bike and had several 30k under my belt, but that was no where near the full mileage.
I slowly came to my senses at the ungodly hour of 5 am. Before I even opened my eyes I listened for the sound of rain on the roof. Nothing! That was a good sign. Before long I had loaded my bike on the back of the car and off I sped into the darkness.

Being a real culchie my major concern was not the bike ride...but parking! The gods were on my side I got free parking right beside the starting line.
Soon the sun came out and it was ready for off. Panic time again. They wanted photos of me on the starting line but I had visions of the 5099 other cyclists behind me taking off at high speed and Id be run over! Thankfully we were split up into 100k and 60k cyclists and I didn't start until Wave 3!
The first 30k went by without a hitch. The roads were closed for us and we coasted along the coast road! I have never seen Dublin looking so well. The stage was made even easier as I met up with fellow cyclist Laura and together we talked our way to the first stop in Swords.
After a fix of sandwiches, banana and energy bar we were on the way again. However we had been lulled into a false sense of security. I'm talking HILLS! We puffed our way up the inclines and then freewheeled down. But our exhilaration was short lived as we knew another hill was in our sights!

Eventually we arrived at the next stop in Santry.I was never so thankful to see another banana stall in my life. We thought we had done 15k but it turned out that it was really 20k!!! I don't think I've been so excited since the Christmas that Santy brought me a Sindy doll! And even better, we were told it was nearly all downhill.
That gave us renewed energy and off we sped. And yes it was downhill but one negative was that this time we had to stop at the traffic lights. Have you any idea how hard it is to keep restarting when your legs just want to fold?
But suddenly we turned the corner into Smithfield, did a lap of honour and it was all over.
I had done it!
Every now and again I do a double take when I realise how far I have come in the past nine months. I thought I was fit but now I realise that I was fooling myself with my thrice weekly strolls.Now I have my first 5k run, 10k run/walk and now a 60k bike ride under my belt. I feel fitter and healthier than when I was in my 30's, which is probably because I AM fitter now than I was then.
This medal is as precious to me as an Olympic one!
So now, what's my next challenge???

Wednesday, August 24, 2016

1/2 million views!!!

When I checked my blog this morning I saw that it had passed the half a million views.

Pageviews today
Pageviews yesterday
Pageviews last month
Pageviews all time history

Okay, so that's since 2010. But when I first started it I honestly thought that I would be the only person reading it.
Thanks to all my followers and to everyone who ever bother to click on the link and read it. I get great enjoyment from writing it but it's even better when there is a bit of an audience! Many thanks again.

Monday, August 22, 2016

Sinister Island.

I have just returned from a week on Inis Oirr, where I ate and drank my way around the island! Chocolate, crisps and vodka have never entered my head for the past eight months and now suddenly I couldn't get enough of them. It was like my brain had convinced my stomach that the fact that we were not attached to the mainland meant that calories wouldn't attach themselves to my body!
Boy, was I proven wrong when I stepped on the scales when I returned home???

I got a bit of a wake up call one of the days when I was going for my walk around the island.
I didn't fall completely off the wagon!
One of the locals was driving his horse and cart, full of tourists. I stepped into the side to let them pass.
Dam, those roads are narrow.
I had just stepped back on the road when I heard a shout from him.
"Are you yer wan from Operation Transformation?"
"That would be me!"

Anyway I had a great time and arrived back home. I left my days and nights of debauchery back on the island.......OR SO I THOUGHT!

Today I got a text from "the island"! It read
Hi Noeleen. U have won a prize in raffle that u entered. It is.....

Noooooooo!  It has followed me home. I'm never going to escape its evil clutches. HELP!

Saturday, August 20, 2016

Things only Irish people will get.

I went to Inis Oirr with three friends for a few days. We rented a house so we brought a few provisions.
When you travel with Irish people it is essential that you have both of these boxes.
And more importantly, when it's your turn to make the tea, you must put the correct teabag in the correct cup or there will be hell to pay!

Friday, August 12, 2016

The Plan

I was delighted to be invited to the launch of Aoife Hearne's new book "The Plan". Aoife is the dietitian on Operation Transformation and one of the main reasons for my new found health and fitness lifestyle.

People say to me
"Are you still following that Operation Transformation?"
I have to answer "No" even though I sit down with my print out recipes on a Thursday evening and work out my eating plan for the week, which is promptly pinned up on my kitchen wall.

But I'm not "following" anything. It's just my way of life now. It makes life so much easier. I know exactly what I need so I only have to do one shop a week, instead of popping into the shop every evening to pick up a red pepper....and a bar of chocolate!
Exercise has become a part of my life too. I'm still running, have gone back to the awimming and have started cycling. I'd miss it if I didn't do it.
Words I never thought I'd say!

As a result I've lost a further 12lbs since the show finished, bringing my total weight loss to 2st which was my target. However I've lost weight before and promptly put it back on....and more! I was determined that this wasn't going to happen this time.
I got in contact with Aoife who told me that as this was a low-carb plan I could add extra carbs in, maybe an extra 10-15g of rice at dinner.
I must admit that Aoife's idea of adding carbs and mine would be very different!
But I went with Aoife's advice and am glad to say that several months later I am still at my target weight!
My niece Emma is Publicity Executive with Gill Books and was involved in the book launch.

I got a sneak preview of The Plan last week and think it's brilliant.
All the recipes are in one place, very tasty and easy to follow!
Very important.
Even more important for me is the fact that there is a four week plan laid out so I don't even have to do that much!

I started on The Plan last Friday. It wasn't very different to what I have been doing all year. I'm not overweight now and as I was told several times, I'm in my 50's which people think it's harder/impossible to lose weight.
In 5 days I lost 2lbs!

I am NOT on commission but if you want to shed  some weight and/or eat healthier than I thoroughly recommend this book.

Proof that The Plan works!
January 2016

August 2016