Music and Mind over matter…

It seriously is just that.  Mind over matter.  I’m not pretending to be an expert by any means BUT, I have discovered that I do run better to music and to certain songs, which help kick in the endorphins.  I complied a running list on my Blackberry.  I will be investing in a mind mp3 player because when I run outside, I find holding my phone quite distracting.

My good friend Dave, who is a coach too and was a biology teacher (and a bloody good one) reminds me of a mantra: “Patience, patience, patience…”  In fact, when I am struggling, I imagine him and his kind face and moustache encouraging me to be just that.  It’s the getting up to the gym that is the issue…and then the first ten minutes of running.  Then it becomes easier, well, more bearable!

I have quite an eclectic taste in music – my ‘running’ list consists of everything from variations of songs from ‘Glee’ to David Bowie to Led Zeppelin.  Some pieces put me on an absolute high, whereas others slow me down – this does depend on the mood and the time of day that I am running.

Psychologically speaking, I am not quite there yet.  I am training myself to run for longer periods but it is bloody hard.  And all in the mind!  Really in the great scheme of things, I am not pummeling my body too much because my recovery time is quite fast.  I feel that I have run the next day but I am not dying.  So, I think that running is really 80% mind and 20% body.

The thought of running without music terrifies me.  I think that if the music isn’t there, then I won’t be able to trick my body into running a bit faster or a bit longer.  I think it is worse on the treadmill.  Outside, there are things to look at.  I have to say that I am so excited about staying with my Mum and being able to run outside.  There are some terrific woods, walks and paths near where she is which I intend to take full advantage of.  I will be taking my yoga mat and blocks, tennis rackets and balls and Ms Jillian with me so that if for some reason I cannot get out, at least I will be able to do something inside.

It has taken me some 15+ years to really enjoy exercise.  After having been bullied at school and at home to participate, my views on exercise were skewed.  The thought of it sickened me.  Truly.  I was embarrassed to do anything in front of anyone because I thought I wasn’t good…or good enough.

How things can change.  This is MY year, this is MY time…without force, or bullying or dispute.  I am free to live my life and to make it better.  I exercise now to be a good example to my daughter.  Sometimes she sits in her pushchair and watches me on the treadmill.  How patient she is.  When I am told that when she is taken to the gym for a little run around upstairs with her nanny and she tries to climb on the treadmill, I feel proud.  When she sits and watches me, full of patience and curiosity and kicks her little legs in the chair, trying to mimic my running, I know that I am doing a good job.  When she joins my yoga class and climbs all over everyone, much to their amusement, I know that she is seeing and experiencing something good.

My project at the moment is me – but what an effect it will have on her!



“The world is a book and those who do not travel read only one page.” – St. Augustine

My husband has worked for an airline for the past 4 years, and we have not taken advantage of this at all!  We get flights very cheap globally and really, we need to abuse this!

So, we are hoping to go to the Maldives for a few days in October – not to anything fancy – just a simple hotel on the beach.  I am so excited!

And then, come December, we go to Prague to spend Christmas there – hopefully to meet my mother out there too!

More to follow…

“When you travel, remember that a foreign country is not designed to make you comfortable. It is designed to make its own people comfortable.” – Clifton Fadiman



I miss my cat.  When we moved back to England after years in Hong Kong, Mum always promised to get us a cat.  So, one day, my two brothers, mum, my two friends Helen and Sarah and I moseyed down to the R.S.P.C.A in Southport, which my 4 year old brother read as ‘recipe’ to select a cat.

We were shown all different kinds of cats and kittens and settled on a tabby mackerel, who my littlest brother wanted to call Jerry and my other brother and I wanted to call Pepper on account of his flecks of black through his colouring.

He ended up being called ‘Mush’ – in fact, he didn’t really end up with a name at all.  Sometimes we just called him ‘cat’.

He was generally a friendly creature, but always made an attack on your ankles as you came down the stairs.  Especially after we had left him to go on holiday or something.  He used to lie on his back, legs a-kimbo baring all and caring none.  He was downright lazy.  But oh so cuddly.  You could wrap him around your neck like a scarf.  He just didn’t care.

You know how in the circus the lion tamer usually puts his head inside the lion’s mouth?  Well my littlest brother tried it the other way around.  Once day in the morning room, he was trying to put our cat’s head in his mouth.  So funny.  Another time I remember was when my middle brother and I watched a TV show where they hypnotised rabbits for a few seconds by blowing up their nose.  Needless to say, we tried this on our cat – I don’t really remember if it worked.

Our cat was curious and was not a killer by any stretch – why bother when you’re getting 3 hots and a cot daily?  We were in the garden one summer and cat was scrutinising this field mouse.  He patted it with his paw – nothing aggressive, just cos he could.  And would’t you know it, the mouse pounded him right back on the nose!  It was so funny!  They played tit for tat for a while and finally the mouse just got fed up and ran away.

Our cat looked like the kind of cat you see on traditionally set Christmas cards.

As the family split up and went their separate ways, our cat began to feel it.  I remember returning from Dubai one Christmas and noticed how incredibly thin and immobile our cat had become.  I urged mum to take him to the vets.   Turns out that he had severe kidney failure which could not be treated so we put him to sleep.

Mush was with us for almost 12 years.  I miss him.


So,  I have been trundling along with my exercise routines and am feeling faster and stronger with my running, which is great.  It is still mainly treadmill based as it is far too hot to be running outside at the moment!

I am really excited about returning to the UK for a few weeks to spend some time with the family, to go to my graduation for my masters (yay!) and to spend some time training outside, even if it is wet and windy!

I notice that my appetite has suppressed a lot which is fabulous and my tastes are changing.  This Dukan diet is working for me at the moment and I feel that I respond much better to high protein and low carbs – but everyone is of course different.

I am quite tired though – I think it is ‘endofyearitus’ as opposed to anything that I am doing with my diet and exercise.  I take multi-vitamins daily for good measure and omega 3 oils – since having the baby, I noticed that I became quite forgetful!  Those of you who know me will know that this indeed is very strange – my memory is usually excellent!

A few days ago a friend told me about a boot camp that has recently been set up in Dubai.  We are going to the free beginner class on Friday.  Here’s hoping I don’t die…lol.  Another friend told me that if I decide to go into the course when I get back from England, I should be prepared to throw up.  A LOT.

Let’s see how the free class goes first, shall we??

Still playing tennis with the husband, although it is quite difficult for him as he is back on the night shift now, which absolutely blows.  I am really praying that he is put back onto days.  Even though he started really early in the morning, we had a lot of time together in the afternoon.

Anyway, I have a day off today from exercise, well, a day off from running.  I am running on non consecutive days at the moment but when I lose more weight I will up the ante with the running.  I am very excited about the summer as I will be able to do more things during the day, even with the baby daughter in tow!  Think I will do some gymball tonight – although my 30 Day Shred, Gillian Michaels DVD has finally arrived from Amazon…it was caught up in Saudi Customs for over a month!  I quite like her, so we will see how our relationship progresses after a session today! lol.

Will keep you all posted.  Mwah xx

No exercise today.

I have been exercising like a demon recently and today I have decided to take the day off.  I was meant to go and play tennis with my husband today but he has been awake all day (he works nights so usually sleeps during the day) and finally managed to get to sleep just as I got home from work.

I felt very guilty about not doing my bit but I am so physically tired…my body needs a rest.  I am quite excited about crawling into bed in an hour or so…but after Casualty and Dharma and Greg.

I am wishing for the weight to come off quicker, especially since we have a break to the Maldives in October.  I need to look fine on the beach!  I am looking forward to the end of school so that I am able to double up on the exercise front and hopefully shift a good lot of weight during the summer.

I looked at myself in the mirror today.  I am doing ok, but my arms – ugghhh!!  The hardest place to lose weight.  And I know that the only way to lose them is with fat burning exercises.  So I will continue with my lovely running.  But not tonight.  I am yawning my head off just typing this!  A demain! xx