All posts for the month February, 2015

Do you know this soldier? Vintage portrait.

Published February 28, 2015 by Crystal

I bought this framed portrait.


I was drawn to him the first time I saw it but actually waited a couple of weeks.  Anyway.  He is note hanging in my hall way.  I would like to find out about him if I can.  Why was his portrait in an antique shop and not hanging in a family home?  Who was he?  What did he do?  What happened to his family?  This picture was bought in Cheltenham, UK, so is he a local man or did the picture travel? Please share this post.  I am really interested to see what we can discover about this gentleman.

A clearer picture of the cap badge was requested. But the nature of the picture means there is no clear picture. But here is a close up

Scrolling through cap badges and trying to find a shape similar I wonder if he might be one of the Hussars


Winter Fitspiration is ticking me off

Published February 26, 2015 by Crystal

This. Pisses. Me. Off.


Why does winter training have to be about looking good for summer?  Why?  Why can’t winter training be about feeling good in winter?  Why can’t it be about physical health?  I am sold now on the idea that exercise is great.  I have bought into it!  But I am not, now or ever, buying into the idea that running through snow and ice is important because my body will look better in the summer!  Screw that!
The image above isn’t encouraging!  It’s judging and criticising and questioning the person who decides they might give risking breaking limbs on black ice a miss today!  Summer bodies are bodies with slightly lighter clothing.  Winter bodies are bodies with slightly jacket clothing and more layers. 
Screw this crappy Fitspiration. Move because you feel good for it. 

Feeling supported. @ThinkingSlimmer

Published February 24, 2015 by Crystal

This is just a quickie.  In this,  #EatingDisordersAwarenessWeek it is keenly felt how many years my life has been enslaved in some way to control through food in some way.  Diets.  Deprivation.  Binges.  Purges.  I have felt a failure when the desire to lose weight hasn’t reaped the rewards I hoped for.  I have worked hard to avoid foods or food groups.  And then dreamt and inevitably binged on those forbidden foods.

I have also read many many books telling me the psychological effects of dieting.  How the mind works. How it wants what it can’t have.  How metabolism can be affected.  How self worth can be crippled under the heavy burden of conforming to the rules and regulations of the various diets.
And I have felt my self worth crumble.  I have experienced my self acceptance diminish when I have “failed” whichever diet or plan I committed to.

So it was lovely this evening to feel so supported when I hopped onto twitter to see Sandra of thinking slimmer telling me she was going to remind me not to diet! Not much can be said in 140 characters of tweet.  But it was enough, by a woman who knows enough and had met many people who have had experiences similar to mine.

I have decided the way to avoid dieting for now is to commit to it one week at a time.  To stop my impulsive self.  To keep listening to that lovely relaxing slimpod, and to let them do their thing. A week at a time I can manage.  And with the support of the group on Facebook I know I am not alone. 

It is odd to be trusting in a ten minute recording to help make changes in my life. 

But stranger things have happened. 

And at least it is a blessed release from weighing and measuring and all that jazz!

Stressed out, weepy Monday. But a diet isn’t the answer. Meal penning might help though!

Published February 23, 2015 by Crystal


I am feeling tetchy and anxious and weepy and miserable today.  I feel pain and discomfort from food choices yesterday, and I feel failings for not tuning in to me more. 
So of course the default setting of my life?  Look For some food plan that will help.  Because yet again I am doubting myself and my ability to take care of my own needs.  After all, so many messages out there are that we cannot trust ourselves.  That we need someone to tell us what to eat and drink.  And when.  And how much.  And with those voices come others alongside telling us to cut carb.  Or sugar.  Or meat. Or dairy.  Or chocolate.  Or wine. Or to eat more goji berries.  Or more spinach.  Or more raw food. 
Isn’t it tedious?  And is it any wonder I am confused and every so often fall for some of the flannel some of the time?
The realisation is that dieting does not work for me for any length of time. But a big thing that I have taken from the diet clubs is the phrase;

No one plans to fail, but we can fail to plan

It may be twee. It may be a little cutesy. But this weekend I can relate.  If I had been slightly more organised I would not have had quite so many bagels.  I love bagels.  But they don’t love me back. Along with the burger buns.  And the onion rings.  A lot of beige.  A lot of highly processed.  And as a result some gallbladder pain, intestinal discomfort, and horrid bloating.
But you don’t want to hear about that.  So instead I shall tell you my plans.  Cookbooks.  Not all the cookbooks I own.  Not by any means.  But my old faithful and a couple of new to peruse for inspiration as I try to plan a week that will leave me feeling vibrant.  Just because I am no longer following slimming world, or weight watchers, doesn’t mean I can’t take and tweak ideas from the books.  And The Hairy Dieters is a wonderful thing!  There isn’t a recipe I haven’t liked so far (except I don’t love the leek lasagne but I can forgive that for the pasties and korma! ). The Cook Yourself Thin books are also inspiring! The carbonara is heaven on a plate.
So I shall peruse and write a shopping list and menu plan.  And I shall put the weekend behind me.
I shall also keep listening to my slimpod and enjoy the gentleness of the voice and the calming it brings. 
This week is Eating Disorders Awareness Week.  And most definitely not the week to be harsh and self critical!  There is always a new day tomorrow.

Commitments to myself this week

Published February 21, 2015 by Crystal

1) I am not weighing myself.  I would like not to weigh myself until at least after April 26th now.   I made the mistake of hopping on the scales after loss of inches and clothes fitting amazingly.  Only to discover I am 6lbs up.  That’s enough to depress and demotivate anyone!  Screw that!  I will blame reintroduction of carbs after losing that weight going low carb. Screw that!  Again!

2) I am going to do my long run in the week along with 3 shorter runs.  Yup, even after saying in my blog an hour ago that I needed to do my 14 miles today. The pain in my inner thigh is still there, and I would rather rest a little longer than risk damaging it and stopping exercise for even longer.  I will attempt, instead, to drag the family out for a walk with the dog today and get some gentle exercise that way!

3) I will continue to listen to my slimpod (and now fitpod when I can too) by ThinkingSlimmer

Positives I can take from this week

1) My clothes are fitting better.  I am wearing a top I haven’t been able to wear since I bought it!

2) Even though it is half term I have managed two runs and plenty of walking.

3) The after effects of anti depressants seem to be wearing off, gradually.

Sometimes I don’t ENJOY exercise. Sometimes I HATE my workouts

Published February 21, 2015 by Crystal

There.  I have said it.  It’s out there.  In spite of all my endomondo tracking, and end of workout smiles, and calories burnt, and physical exhaustion brought about, there are times when I absolutely do not want to go out and get my body moving.  I don’t want to get out of breath.  I don’t want to sweat.  I don’t want to feel my muscles ache.

All I want to do is stay curled up on the sofa, under a blanket, watching Doctor Who reruns, drinking hot tea, and smiling that I am not outside.

And I know it is absolutely fine to feel that way.  And I know it is absolutely fine to not go out and exercise every day.  I know rest days are important.  But I also know I can find reasons NOT to get out and move.

“My running gear is in the wash” this is quite a regular occurence while I am training for the marathon.  I had to buy more stuff to let reason be slightly less valid, and me less stinky on runs.

“I have pain somewhere or other”  Some are very valid.  I sprained my ankle in December.  It really did limit me.  I had a groin pain the last few days, and have consciously eased up on running as a result.  No point running and doing more damage.  But when I don’t want to run, I do seem able to magnify twinges.

“It’s too windy and too rainy” Wind is an issue.  I hate it.  Especially when it’s horizontal and directly against me on every road I travel.  Rain isn’t so much of an issue, it’s just wet.

“My phone isn’t charged up”  This is actually a thing!  I need my apps and I need my music to make my run complete!

“I haven’t eaten enough/have eaten too recently”  Being a novice runner, I sometimes get it wrong.  My body can feel weak if I run, I can feel sick if I run too soon after eating.

“I just don’t want to”  Plain, honest, simple.  And perfectly fine.

But sometimes, not wanting to is not enough reason not to.  And I have learned that for me, the benefits of exercising often outweigh all the reasons I can think of NOT to go.

Enjoyment is not just an in the moment sensation during the exercise session, but this seems to be something that has take me a long long time to grasp.  Enjoyment might not happen while I run.  Especially the longer runs (like today is meant to be 14 miles, hells bells) that are exhausting and relentless.  I find them hard. Very hard.

But then I finish those runs.  Then I feel that sense of relief and euphoria.  My muscles ache, my body hot and cold in only the way it can be during a winter run.  It is then that I enjoy the feeling that exercise has provided.  Satisfaction, accomplishment, amazement at my own achievements.  Impressed at my own goals reached and surpassed as the time has gone on.  Wonder at how my body is changing, and how muscles are increasing,  and my endurance improving.  I’m still a way to go on speed, but I am covering the distance.

In a live for the moment generation it can be easy to avoid the things we don’t want to do if they won’t bring us instant gratification.  But for me, as time goes on, exercise becomes something I am less able to compromise on.  The benefits outweigh all the reasons not to fat more often than not.

So, I better charge my phone, find some semi clean clothes and get moving, eventually, right after my food has gone down and I’ve had another cuppa.  Though in honesty it might not be 14 miles today.  The groin pain is still niggling, and so I will go as far as I feel safe to.


Poisonous Size Acceptance Troll, apparently, blogging again!

Published February 19, 2015 by Crystal

I was blocked on twitter yesterday by a certain “weight loss guru”.

Apparently, laughing at the odious idea that there should be a “Fat Tax” on clothing, and calling it the most ridiculous idea I think he had come up with, was a step too far.

Apparently, having a belief that every person on the planet deserves respect and acceptance is a poisonous idea.

Personally I believe wholly in health.  For me, and for my journey, size acceptance is about accepting my body as it is currently, and not criticising and ridiculing it, but also learning to love my body and value it, and discover ways to treat it more as the valued home it really is.


As I’ve blogged about here and here my thoughts on size acceptance are my own, and may be vastly difference to other Size Acceptance and Fat Acceptance believers and supporters.  But whether it is or it is, human decency, and respect for others, is not some utopian dream that is unattainable.  With more respect, and less hate, change is possible, on a personal level, and in the wider sphere of our lives.

I find it interesting that the weight loss guru never ever responded to any of my questions or requests.  He bangs on about success, but I asked for evidence of sustained success over the years.

I also didn’t name call.  I would call him out on things he was saying, and ask for him to actually look up Size Acceptance, because he missed a whole load of everything every time he used them in his attacks.

But then, you know what they say;


I have said before and I will say again, and again and again;  Real changes have come for me through acceptance of myself, through kindness to every part of me.  Sure I could punish myself slim.  But that never lasted.  The only long term changes, and I mean those that have stayed, have been in the last 2 years, when I really have embraced self/size acceptance.

Our journeys are all different.  One man does not have the answer to change the world, or “The Obesity Crisis” as he keeps calling it.  And you DO NOT need to call yourself all manner of nastiness in order to have a better life.