LMVG headed off to Killarney this weekend for AIMS - Irish Musical Societies Awards. On Friday night we had our annual pub crawl. As we had done The Full Monty as our musical , we went with the "police" theme.
Being the actress that I am (!) I got completely into character...okay, maybe I got a bit carried away.
But hey, the streets of Killarney are a safer place tonight because of me!!!
I've lost two pounds this week!
Wait....before you rush to congratulate me, might I just add that I've lost the two pounds that I put up over last weekend n Clare. So yes, I weigh exactly the same as I did last Friday.
So I can look at that two ways.
Firstly be annoyed that I haven't lost any weight this week.
Be a bit happy that I've lost that two pounds and am not two pounds heavier.
Yesterday I was talking to a friend on mine who said
"Do you know that you've motivated me?"
"Yes. I've been trying to lose weight with no success. I was just about to give up when I read your blog. The fact that you were so honest about putting back on weight but were determined to lose it again gave me the kick to keep going myself."
And do you know what? She motivated me right back!
i'd love to be able to say that I'll be totally focused this weekend....I won't! A gang of 1,000 of us musical heads are heading to Killarney for the AIMS weekend....kinda like the Tony Awards for Irish amateur musicals. It will not be a self-controlled type of weekend. Once again it's about damage limitation.
I do have my lunch ready for the train so I'm not dependent on the trolley food.However, after that, it's a mine field.
But I am not throwing in the towel. I'll be back next week, be it heavier or lighter.
The photo on the left was taken at my graduation from Carysfort in 1985. Look how young and innocent I was then!
The one on the right was taken at my graduation from Maynooth this year.
There have been many changes in those 34 years.Some for the better, some not so much.
The message behind those two photos is that it's never too late to learn, especially if its how to work a hair straightener!
Today was weigh-in day and I ......LOST 3 LBS!!! The reason I have no photographic evidence is because I left my phone/camera in school last night, so you'll just have to take my word for it.
Even though at 11st 0 lbs I'm still in the 11 st bracket, I'm delighted with how I did this this week seeing as it included
dinner in the Park Hotel with the Raharney women.
a night on the town in Galway
spilling rain, which messed with my exercise schedule.
My motivation is still at an all-time high so here's to the coming week. My target is still to get into the 10 st range.
Seeing as I'm heading to Co. Clare with the family for the weekend, it's not going to happen before Monday!
"Are you mad? Starting a diet on a Saturday.....of a Bank Holiday weekend!!!"
I've heard that a few times over the past few days. But I don't think I'm mad. And that's the first sign of madness!
Firstly,it's NOT a diet. It's a healthy lifestyle, and that's for every day, not just Mondays!
Secondly, I'm a real 1st person. So i'm most motivated on the New Year's Day, the first of every month, or in this case, the first day of 90 days of summer. If I waited til Tuesday 4th, it just wouldn't work for me.
So here I am, ready for a roadtrip to Galway. Yipee!
My friend Emer is dropping her son down to the Gaeltacht (Irish college) and then we're having a night out in Galway city.
I've no intention of eating lettuce leaves and sipping water all night but I'm taking steps for minimal damage!
I started off this morning with Cinnamon and yogurt pancake topped with berries and honey. Ymmm
I then retrieved my OT fitness kit from behind the couch where it was gathering dust, went on the Operation Transformation website where all the plans are still up, and got my ass in gear again!
And finally I got my snack ready for the journey down. Hopefully it will ward off the munchies.
So here's hoping I can have a whale of a time without ending up feeling like one!
Last week my brother Finian and I were bringing Mam to see the doctor. She was very worried about going there and she said something that broke my heart.
"I was trying to pray last night but I can't remember how to."
Mam still knows who we all are (in fact sometimes she remembers too much !) But out of the blue she will say something that will stop us in our tracks. There are ever widening gaps in her memory. The fact that she couldn't remember her prayers is a biggie. Irish Catholics of Mam's (and my) generation learned our prayers before we even learned nursery rhymes.If there's anything that is ingrained in our brains its a litany of prayers. But now they are locked away in Mam's memory and she can't get them out.
This morning I went up to her nursing home after breakfast to get her to come to mass with me. Now, I have had my issues with the Catholic Church for the past few years and am not a mass goer. But I figured if we tried to pray together then some of them might come back to her. Also Dad built the church in the nursing home and if ever I want to talk to him I go there not to his grave,
Mass started and Mam remained silent. However during several parts of the mass Mam joined in with the correct responses. Happy Days.
When mass was over the priest turned on the CD player and suddenly the hymn Queen of the May came blasting out. Mam was always a lovely singer and she began to sing along with gusto. There were four long verses and she knew every word of them. But what was every bit as amazing was that....
I KNEW EVERY WORD TOO!
I found myself singing along even though I didn't remember ever singing it before. But singing that hymn with my mam (even though I haven't a note in my head) is hopefully a precious memory I will have forever.
When mass was over we got talking to my old primary school teacher. I was telling her what had happened. She looked at me and said
"Noeleen! Every May in school ye all knelt down in the corridor, said the rosary and sang that hymn. That's how you know it." And that's about forty five years ago!
Isn't music magical. The words were locked away in both of our memories and all it took was a few chords to bring them all flooding back.
I consider this to be the first day of summer and before you jump on me to ask if I'm on holidays yet, the answer is NO! I still have four weeks of schooling to go. Believe me when I say it will be a LONG four weeks as the kids already feel that they are finished and it is nigh on impossible to reign them in.
Anyway, I digress! I figure I have 90 days of summer to live and I intend to do so. In my quest for health/fitness/weight loss, I dusted the cobwebs off my bike and headed for the open road.
I planned on doing 11k, as far as Ballivor bog and back. (well I didn't want to overdo it on my first outing. I might pull a hamstring or something!)
However when I got there I was only getting into my stride and decided to keep going. I might have been a bit ambitious as I was flagging on the way back. I spied these two little dotes and contemplated getting a bareback ride home butI figured my knees would be trailing the ground..... and I'm only 5' Feck all "
I made it back home in one piece, tired and thirsty but delighted that I'd taken the first step...or should that be, pedal.
Well here I am, back in a place where I swore I'd never be again...in the 11 stone weight bracket.
In 2016 I was chosen as a leader on Operation Transformation, the TV programmme that focuses on getting normal Joe Soaps off the couch and onto a healthier life's path, and in so doing, inspiring the rest of the nation to get off their asses and do the same. When I joined the show I was 11st 11 lbs, far too heavy for my 5' 3" height. Through healthy eating and exercise I got down to 10st 9 lbs when the show finished seven weeks later. It didn't end there. I continued on myself until I reached 10 st 1 lb. I think that was the first time in my life that I was actually happy with my weight, even though I would have weighed much lighter at times in the past. I maintained this for two years. Over the past year my exercise regime has dwindled off and my weight has crept back on. Of course I know exactly what I should be doing to get back on track, but pass me the box of chocolates while I plan it out! Well, enough is enough! I have been trying unsuccessfully to get back on track since the New Year. I'm good for a few days and then....WHAM! I lose the run of myself (without any actual running being involved!) I've tried doing it myself, joining a slimming club, taping my mouth shut (well, not quite, but it's an option!) All to no avail. I'm the type of person that needs to be accountable to someone for my actions, hence this blog. I feel that if even one person out there is vaguely interested/curious about how I'm doing, then I'll JUST DO IT!
So here goes. My first goal is to get back in the 10st bracket. Wish me luck!
In my quest to declutter my life, I went for a pamper spa day in Bloomfield Health and Leisure centre in order to detox my mind and body.
First up was a massage. I wrapped myself in my very fluffy robe and went into the treatment room. The very nice masseuse explained that I was to lie face down on the bed, over the patterned blanket but under the plain one. She then left for a moment to allow me to settle myself, which I duly did.
She came back into the room very quietly and explained that she was about to start.
"Have you anything on?" she inquired.
I had a moment's panic. Do I say "Knickers" or is that too common? How about "pants" or "underpants"? No, too masculine.
In the end I stuttered
"Just a pair of panties."
There was a moment's silence, followed by
"No, I mean, have you got a special occasion coming up?"
Needless to say, it took five minutes to get the massage started, as we were both in hysterics. At least she got a great story to tell her colleagues at lunchtime.
"Wait til ya hear what yer wan said to me today...."
I have decided to declutter my life starting with my house. I ordered in a skip to help me in my momentous task.
I consulted with Marie Kondo, the queen of organisation, in order to do it properly. She recommends holding each item in your hands for a few moments and if it doesn't spark joy in your heart then let it go.
And do you know what , it really works!
So far I've gotten rid of...
my alarm clock,
and the New Primary Language Curriculum!
A new day dawned, which didn't seem right, but it did. I'm old enough to know that even when the bottom falls out of your world, the world keeps on turning.
At eight o'clock the sun was streaming in my window, telling me to get up and not waste a single minute of my life. Time is precious.
I did have a mission in mind. I had to walk the 8km back to Nanny Quinn's Bar and Restaurant where I had left my car the night before, after Ger's funeral. We had given her a good send off, one that she would have loved. But it had resulted in me not being able to drive my car home!
So off I set. It was a bitter sweet walk as it was the same route that I had taken just over a year ago when I was trudging through the snow to meet Ger in the pub. Every step brought back memories of that walk. This time however, the weather was decidedly better.
Kilcolum cemetery looked less bleak.
Snowdrop season was over, but there were lots of primroses and purple flowers (that I don't know the name of!)
Buds were bursting into life.
Then I encountered some crosses. As it was Good Friday, there was a local procession to remember Jesus' final walk to Calvary. I said a prayer for Ger as I passed each one.
I came across the second most beautiful scene of the day......
The birds continue to sing. This lone swallow sat waiting for his companions. He can't make a summer on his own.
I continued on, my legs were beginning to scream by this stage. Finally I encountered the most beautiful sight of the day.......
...my car waiting patiently for me outside Nanny Quinn's, unvandalised and unrobbed!