Day 40 The Joy Of The Moment 21/02/2016 ❤❤❤

Today was about learning and finding the joy of the moment.
 When you are making any kind of change in your life, I think it is important to understand the whys and wherefores. For me, this helps me to plan the way forward knowing that I have the knowledge and back up to cope. This can be anything from a technical skill to having people in my life who can give me solid advice. But it also means finding inspiration whether from literature, places or people. 

I was privileged to attend the 2017 Stone Lecture at Glasgow University tonight. It was given by Sally Magnusson the writer and broadcaster, and more recently the founder of Playlist for Life. This is an amazing charity who do fantastic work with those who have dementia and their families. They use music as therapy to help communication and as a way for families to help cope with the difficult times. 

The key messsge for me was when Sally described the importance of finding “the joy of the moment”. So often with dementia it is the small glimpses that keep families in touch with their loved one, and I guess it is the same for all of us.

When times get tough, think of that small piece of joy and focus on the feeling it gave. It really helps when you need to cope with the challenge that change brings. 

To find out more about Playlist For Life, click the link below 

PlayList For Life

Day 39 Things I Cannot Live Without 20/02/2016 ❤❤❤

Isn’t it funny how we have the weirdest things in our lives that we cannot exist without?

For me it is coffee, me without my morning mug/bucket/gallon of caffeine does not bear thinking about. The world is not safe believe me! Yet there are other things that at certain points in your life you find become necessities. I don’t mean essentials like water, air, food etc but the everyday bits and pieces you take for granted. 

This leather bag has seen planes, trains, automobiles and the floors of many offices, bars and buildings. It is a workhorse that I cannot live without. It looks smart for interviews and has Mary Poppins like capacity. 

Part of this next phase of my 150 Day Challenge is to clear out my life of the clutter and unnecessary physical and emotional baggage that I carry day to day. It is going to be tough because I am very bad at getting attached to things yet it is time for a spring clean.

More to cope with, change and challenge myself!

Day 34 Core Values

If I asked you to define your core what would you say?  Apart from fruit related meanings, the dictionary has it as “the part of something that is central to its existence or character.” Or as a friend once put it, “it is the bit on the middle of you that defines who you are”. Many firms and organisations use their core values as a means to promote who they are and what they do so I guess it is a pretty central message.

I have been lucky in the past to have worked with firms who do actually work to their core values and make them central to their message. During my time at 29studios I grew to understand exactly what it meant to “love what we do” and seeing it put daily into practice and  inspire others to follow where they lead. Even in day to day life I see coaches on the tennis courts and squash courts putting their core values to work to help inspire the champions of tomorrow to reach their potential using enthusiasm and encouragement to inspire and promote belief.

All this said today’s core values were of the more physical kind but at the same time all about belief. GymGuyMark has started free classes for members at Western Health and Racquets Club and todays was all about the core! Now at present mine is currently hiding under a nice layer of flab so when I started some of the moves and exercises, well it was not too happy. It was like the bit in Star Trek where Scotty yells at Kirk that the warp core cannae take it Captain. Meltdown time! Trying to find that mixture of balance and strength is tough and as GGM explained, it takes practice. Cue homework in balancing and strengthening! 

So to find your core in any part of your life takes focus, practice and belief, a great life lesson to be applied and to use as part of your own values. 


Day 24 Inspired ❤❤❤

Sunday, the day of rest! I wish!  

For some foolish reason I decided to get up early and instead of my usual long lie with many mugs of coffee and a good book, I found myself in my gym clothes and out walking. It was not the warmest of mornings but AC/DC in my headphones were working a treat. Now this would not be too bad if my brain had not then decided that I felt good enough to head to the Gym! Optimism on the part of my psyche, methinks???? 

 Well, 2 lots of ten minutes on the treadmill, 20 on the bike then my 10 minute rowing challenge and my psyche was no longer optimistic. Jelly legs and wimpy arms were struggling to even get me back to the Changing Room but after at least two pints of water and a breather, things got better. 

See my Facebook page for today’s short video 

My ten minute rowing challenge results, today on the left 

It was then onto Social Media duty as two of the Junior Tennis groups at the Western  Health and Racquets Club were taking part in workshops with Jeff, agreat sports   psychologist. He got the guys to think about how negative thoughts affect their tennis game and their lives in general. Sitting listening to the enthusiasm of the groups was inspiring and I have to say it made me think about a lot of negative thinking that I do. The groups had some great ideas and their feedback at the end was encouraging. 

Today was definitely inspiring and full of thinking. As we go into Week 5, I can honestly say there is a difference. The physical signs will come but the mental strength is already there. 

Look out Week 5!

Day 18 Back on the treadmill ❤❤❤

After two tough days, despite the start of a cold, I had to get back to the Gym. I could really feel myself starting to stiffen up and the old legs definitely needed a stretch.

Facebook video
So after watching the thrilling Australian Open final, I wrapped up, hit the treadmill and then the bike. It was a real mind over matter workout, with my body telling me it wanted a lie down but my brain disagreeing. Lots of water, good tunes and sheer will hit me through 20 mins on the treadmill then 20 on the bike. 

So as we head into week 4 despite a few hiccups I feel like I am still on course. My eating is definitely better and even on Friday when I hit the comfort food, the good thing was that I got straight back to the plan. All those carbs and fat made me feel low and tired so today was good cereals and lots of veg. 

Next week will hopefully include another spinning session, a long distance walk and possibly a weights session. I have a lot on next week so balance will be key. Now I am off to bed with lots of vitamin C and a warming apple and cinnamon lemsip. 

Thank you for your support so far!

Day 14 : Spinning Time ❤❤❤

Finally today I went for an introduction to Spinning with Michael at Boiler Room Fitness, This dedicated spin studio is based at the Western Health and Racquets Club and caters for all levels and stages of Spinning abilities. I had had a bit of a frantic morning before I even got on the bike so as you can imagine calm, I was not! (Mobile died, three PPI calls within 20 minutes, the lace broke on my trainers and my alarm didn’t go off) 

The first thing Michael asked me was what did I want to get out of today’s session, and my aim was simply to try something new, challenge myself and to prove that if I can do it anyone can. Michael went through how to set up the bike and made sure that I felt comfortable on it. He did a basic intro to the gears and how a class works, but what I didn’t realise was that while he was talking me through all this I was already pedalling. Crafty!!!!! 

So off we went and if I ever thought that my legs moaned during PT with GymGuyMark they sure as hell screamed at the top of their voice with SpinGuyMichael!!!!! To be honest it is difficult to describe how I felt, my lungs and legs were pushed to their limit, the sweat was pouring off me but weirdly it felt good. The routine was a mixture of sitting and standing whilst pedalling and using the beat of the music to drive your speed. Michael, with just a bit of guidance, left me to work the tension and once I got my level I found myself really starting to challenge the battle of mental over physical. Once I stopped thinking about what I was doing and started listening to the music, I found driving myself less challenging. Michael switched tunes and during the “chorus” got me to stand and try to push myself not to sit back down. The old legs went wobbly and the old knees started to refuse to hold my weight but for a first go, apparently I did not too bad. 

Check the short video on my Facebook page for the dripping, red faced me!!!!


We are going to be doing two more sessions because Michael explained that the second is crucial and by the third you should really find your level. So Monday will see me back in the saddle again


Singularly Awesome

So today is the day when timelines are full of chocolates, red roses and fluffy pictures, well for some!!!! Mine is full of ads for dating agencies, speed dating evenings and advice on being single on Valentines Day. 


There are people who will cry to the bottom of a box of tissues and whinge about being single till that last square of a family size bar of Cadburys has departed. They will avoid the world because they hate being S I N G L E on Valentine’s Day! Don’t deny it you know who you are!!!! Our inner Bridget Jones is channelled and we write screeds and screeds in our diary ending the day by signing up to the “mature” dating site because actually the silver fox in the photo really could just be waiting to meet me!!!!!!!


Nope! All wrong guys! By all means have a whinge and a poor me moment but then, warning cheesy line approaching, remember that L O V E is all around! Family, friends, chocolate, gin, boxed set binges all love you and think you are awesome.

Swear word approaching !

So I say …   

You are awesome, amazing and fabulous! You struggle everyday to cope with life, balance the books and try to leave the house and not scare anyone! That deserves a spoil me day, so make it today.   

Me? I am spending the day celebrating the fact that I am part of an amazing family and I have a life full of people who love and support me. From the guys who supply my caffeine hit every morning at Gordon Street Coffee, the amazing bunch I work with at 29studios, my cinema buddy for life, good friends I enjoy a glass of bubbly with as well as those who drown me in gin, those who have travelled with me in good and bad times and even the Gym Guy who puts me through torture in the gym!!!!! You are my Valentines cards every day, what more do I need???? 

That is unless this guy rocks up on his bike, then you are all dumped!!!! 


The Return!


Tomorrow is back to work day! After an amazing break, it is time to shift focus and balance out life. 2016 looks to be one that will be filled with passion, opportunity, personal growth and one almighty challenge in getting this poor old  neglected body back into shape.

The spark has been lit and the revolution continues!


G x

Back in the Saddle Again: The Return to the Western Gym!


I watched an old cowboy film the other day because it was one of those “I need to switch off and just chill” time. In the middle of the film there was the classic gunfight, the villain at one end of the street, and the sheriff at the other. As they walked towards each other the music started to build then suddenly they both reached for their guns and silence as a shot rang out and the villain fell. The sheriff had only wounded him and as he helped him up, he did that classic good guy thing of “let’s get you cleaned up and start a new life” speech. The scene came back to mind as I sat opposite the Doc waiting on my blood pressure being taken the other day. I felt like I was sitting in the OK Corral waiting on the gunfight to start and had to stop myself from saying “Ok, give it to me straight, am I dying Doc????”. But instead all I got was a shake of the head and  sigh. I already knew what was wrong, months of dealing with anxiety and depression, crap eating, medication and generally not looking after myself physically meant that all the hard work that had gone on before had been shot in the foot and left under a burning hot desert sun aka a rainy day in Glasgow to gain weight and head back to Unfitville!

How do you get back in that saddle again especially after you have fallen off many times before? Part of my problem was that my self confidence was shot to bits, I had allowed myself to believe that going to the gym really did not matter and that I would be able to cope and motivate myself to sort myself out. But what I had forgotten is that I am a recovering gymophobe and any excuse to duck out of exercise will be grabbed with both hands. As I have blogged about before, this is where the 5×50 challenge has really helped, the 30 minutes a day I hav to fit in made me feel so much better and of course after my Big Night Out I had, in my hungover state, told GymGuyMark I would be back.

So I found myself back at the Western Health and Racquets Club gym saying the immortal words to GGM, let just see what I can do! What I had forgotten was that since my last visit, the Western gym has been transformed with lots of new torture, I mean gym equipment and after a quick warm up on the treadmill, I was introduced to TRX and all the agony these innocuous looking bands bring.

gym 2

Very simple says GGM, grab onto the handles and lean back, then pull yourself up ( that is the simple version)! I have to say that after 5 reps I started having flashbacks to my first gym visit. My arms were giving me severe attitude and my brain was helping them. There was no mind over matter going on, the whole lot was working in sync and they were all desperately trying to get me to let go of the bands and fall on my backside. I am not even going to start on the squat exercise, my thighs are still not talking to me!

gym 1

Next the tubes of death or whatever they are called! GGM makes it all sound so simple. “Keep your bottom half ridged and using your waist, swing the tube up and over my arm”. “Can I whack you with this?” says I, “you can try” says he!!!!!! About six swings in I knew what he meant. These tubes of plastic are heavy little bu**ers! My shoulders and tops of my arms were now numb and I was in severe danger of never being able to lift a glass of gin again. I was starting to get into a very negative frame of mind, despite GGM’s awesome banter, and when those hateful words sit ups were mentioned I am afraid that was it for me. To be serious for second, the meds had started to kick in to try and calm the adrenalin down and it was not a pleasant feeling. GGM did not let me off though, after a one minute rest the TRX bands were back out. Again with “all you have to do is” start to the sentence, I had to hold on to the handles, lean forward and lift myself up and down. Now I have a terrible fear of falling forward, not off high buildings or anything but tripping up or being pushed. The reason why is not for on here but let me just say that this exercise took me far beyond my comfort zone and into outer space. But despite the fact that my entire body including my lungs were trying to escape my skin and run, well hobble, away little Miss Determination appeared and in spite of the horrendous images in my head, I managed to do the 2 sets of 15 reps. If I got nothing else from today, this was a huge victory.

So it was over, my first proper exercise session in over six months was done, and so was I. The last exercise had taken so much out of me, even the thought of kicking the saloon doors open for a shot of gin to recover was not appealing, I escaped and headed for them thar hills!

Skipping, yeh right, forward to today(Sunday) and my entire body is almost back to normal. I can sit up without making the oyah sound and I can finally feel my thighs and legs again. I have to say a huge thank you to GGM for getting me through the seven different exercises, I was by no means magnificent (get it) but apparently I am on my way back to awesomeness. I guess like the improvements going on at the Western Gym, we are both being remodelled to become new and improved.

Yeeeehaaaaa !!!!!!

 gym 4 gym 5 gym 6gym 7gym8