Getting Fit For Fun- No. 7

Graeme Howell's blog charting his epic struggle to walk 5k.......positive steps

I think my brain has taken my body round the back of the sheds and explained that if it doesn't get with the program it's in for a bit of a beating.  At yesterdays weigh in I had lost 6.5 lbs in a week, total loss is now 1st 1.5lbs.  So what’s different I hear you cry, well a number of things, but the most significant is probably taking a week off work.  My day job can get a little manic at times and although I thoroughly enjoy doing what I do, it doesn't leave a huge amount of time to think about myself.  A week off has given me a real opportunity to be selfish.

I’ve used the week to try a different style of eating known as Alternate Day Fasting.  I’ve been aware of the 5:2 diet for awhile and ADF is just a simpler version of it, very limited calorie intake on a fast day and more, though still limited, on a non fast day.  I have rediscovered that I can cook and the wonderful ‘eggs in purgatory’ has made fasting days very tasty (see below for recipe).

My holiday has meant that I have had the time to head off into Shetlands' beautiful countryside.  With my intention to complete the 5k bit of the Mind Your Head Fun Run I’ve been warned that it starts with a bit of an uphill stretch.  I blagged a map from the MYH office and set off to see what I had let myself in for.  I decided I would head out for 15mins and then no matter where I was, or how I felt, turn around and walk back; this got me over the first lump and a little way down the other side.  Later in the week I did a 40mins round trip on the same course.  I am secretly feeling a little proud about that; at the beginning of Feb if you had suggested going for a 10min walk I would have been looking for my car keys.  I am realising that an important part of this adventure is about building my confidence.

Karen has also taken advantage of my holiday and inducted me into the Aspire Gym.  Imagine a testosterone filled windowless space, painted a slightly odd shade of green, with everything from dumbbells and squat racks to battle ropes, kettlebells and even a sledgehammer.  No mirrors for posing in, enter the space, work hard, go home.

Karen has given me nine exercises to do, grouped into threes, 30 secs exercise, 30 secs rest, rinse and repeat four times, a minutes break, move on to the next group of three. To be honest it is 39 hellish mins, I come out looking and feeling a little worse for wear, but I am really enjoying it.  We are meant to move and work hard physically and it is so good for your head, it is as if you have worn out whichever of your demons was planning on disrupting your day.

Weight 26st 12lbs

Total Loss 1st 1.5lbs

Notch Watch down 2

Eggs in Purgatory

I first cooked this dish it at University as a quick, cheap breakfast.  Called Shakshouka and originally from North Africa there are many versions available online, some with more complex spicing, some with bacon or cheese added.  This is my variation, the addition of spinach is a little unusual but I find it gives the whole dish more structure.  The amount of garlic and chilli added is up to you, but it needs a bit of a kick.




1 400g tin of Chopped Tomatoes


2 x eggs


Add a little olive oil to a hot wok or deep pan, chuck in the chilli and garlic.  After about a minute pour in the chopped tomatoes, get this mixture up to a gentle simmer and add a couple of handfuls of spinach.  Once the spinach has wilted down and combined with the sauce crack a couple of eggs into the mixture to poach and cover the pan.  After 3mins or so check to see if the whites have set and serve when ready.

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