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      Something Wicked This Way Comes...   10/09/2019

      The Autumn Supporter Giveaway!       Welcome to the very first of the seasonal BCF supporter giveaways! This month also marks one year since I took on the forum, so I want to say an extra huge thank you to all of you for keeping this place going. I have a little bit more to say about that later but, for now, let's get to the giveaway!     The Autumn Giveaway winner will be getting two Penguin Little Black Classics, The Tell-Tale Heart by Edgar Allan Poe and To Be Read At Dusk by Charles Dickens. Both of these little books contain three atmospheric short stories, perfect for autumnal evenings. The winner will also get Mary Shelley tea (a lavender and vanilla black tea) from Rosie Lea Tea's Literary Tea Collection (https://www.rosieleatea.co.uk/collections/literary-tea-collection) and a chocolate skull, to really get that spooky atmosphere .   and...   A special treat for a special month. The winner will choose one of the following recent paperback releases from the independent bookshop Big Green Bookshop:       The Wych Elm by Tana French A House of Ghosts by W.C. Ryan Melmoth by Sarah Perry The Familiars by Stacey Halls  The Dark Descent of Elizabeth Frankenstein by Kiersten White   The winner will be chosen via the usual random selection process in one week. Patreon supporters are entered automatically. If you aren't a patreon supporter but you'd like to join in with this giveaway, you can support here: https://www.patreon.com/bookclubforum.   I really hope you're all going to like this introduction to the seasonal giveaways. It's been a lot of fun to put together. Other chocolate skulls may have been harmed during the selection process…     
Kylie

Health and Fitness

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On 2017-7-15 at 8:25 PM, frankie said:

You could even video it! I wouldn't mind watching :lol:  For educational purposes.

 

Oh good grief, you wouldn't want to see that. :lol::lol: So, I managed to do about 11 days of yoga, with only one day off. However, last Thursday as I bent down to roll out my yoga mat I hurt my back. :lol: How's that for ironic??! :lol: I couldn't walk standing straight for about 2 days and it's only yesterday that I feel fully healed. I haven't done the yoga since, but will keep with it but I think I will do it every 2 days, instead of every day. I don't know if that had anything to do with hurting my back, but I'll take it a bit easier for a while now. :rolleyes:

 

On 2017-7-21 at 3:18 PM, Nollaig said:

 

Good luck with your yoga bobbly! I'm not into yoga, but I can see how its like a physical meditation that would benefit your mind. I'll stick to my mental meditations though I think, I'm not bendy enough for yoga! :lol:

 

Thanks, Nollaig. I'm not bendy either, and the yoga I've been doing doesn't require much flexibility but it requires you to hold these poses. And it is so difficult! :lol: The woman on the video (Yoga with Adriene on You Tube) makes it look so effortless, but I struggle like anything...and my muscles were so sore the next day. I'm talking about basic things like lunges which look easy, but are so hard to do when you have to stay in that position for a minute. :D I shall keep doing it and hopefully they will get easier....I mean, I can't even touch my toes while keeping my legs straight, so I have a long way to go. :blush:

 

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1 hour ago, bobblybear said:

 

.I mean, I can't even touch my toes while keeping my legs straight, so I have a long way to go. :blush:

 

 

I can't even *see* my toes unless I bend forward a bit, so don't feel too bad! :giggle:

 

I've been terrible (ish) with the health and fitness lately. I went on the exercise bike yesterday evening but only did 5km rather than my usual 7-10km. I hardly went on the bike at all last week, and we've had way too much unhealthy food in the last few days.

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2 hours ago, bobblybear said:

 

Oh good grief, you wouldn't want to see that. :lol: So, I managed to do about 11 days of yoga, with only one day off. However, last Thursday as I bent down to roll out my yoga mat I hurt my back.  How's that for ironic??!  I couldn't walk standing straight for about 2 days and it's only yesterday that I feel fully healed. I haven't done the yoga since, but will keep with it but I think I will do it every 2 days, instead of every day. I don't know if that had anything to do with hurting my back, but I'll take it a bit easier for a while now. 

 

:lol: I'm sorry but that IS ironic :D  Poor bobbly's back, though, that's no fun at all!! :hug:   Maybe it was because you'd been doing so much of it with almost no days off, that your back was like, 'I ain't doing no more of this, I want a holiday!' and snapped. Which is really annoying when you're trying to make all your body parts better and you're doing it to get fitter, and when you've found a rhythm and are keeping it up. Probably best to take it easy for a while like you said, but do keep it up! :)  (And well done, for sticking to the regime! I'm jealous :D

 

 

2 hours ago, bobblybear said:

Thanks, Nollaig. I'm not bendy either, and the yoga I've been doing doesn't require much flexibility but it requires you to hold these poses. And it is so difficult!  The woman on the video (Yoga with Adriene on You Tube) makes it look so effortless, but I struggle like anything...and my muscles were so sore the next day. I'm talking about basic things like lunges which look easy, but are so hard to do when you have to stay in that position for a minute.  I shall keep doing it and hopefully they will get easier....I mean, I can't even touch my toes while keeping my legs straight, so I have a long way to go. 

 

I can't touch my toes, either, never have. I have friends who are really flexible and I'm always in awe when I see them do stuff. Some are more flexible by nature, and some become flexible if they do the work, and some - like me - stay a plank because they don't do anything, and then they wonder. :rolleyes::D

 

I googled Adriene's videos and I think I might give some of them a go. Thanks for the pro tip!! :)

 

56 minutes ago, Nollaig said:

I've been terrible (ish) with the health and fitness lately. I went on the exercise bike yesterday evening but only did 5km rather than my usual 7-10km. I hardly went on the bike at all last week, and we've had way too much unhealthy food in the last few days.

 

5km is still good! :)  Just keep at it, try to find the motivation to do it again :)  And when you do it, you'll feel more motivated to eat more healthy foods and not ruin the benefits of the exercise by eating unhealthy stuff! :)  You can do it!

 

I went back to work on Monday and I was supposed to incorporate my jogging into a new routine, the timelines dictated by my work, but crap, I got sick on Monday evening. And now I think I have an ear infection as well. I'll have to go and see someone tomorrow. 

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I've had a lot going on at home recently, and although I've stuck to the diet, I haven't been able to do much exercise, but my situation has changed now and I've started swimming again.  I've only been once this week so far, but I'm going both Saturday and Sunday this weekend, and hoping that I'll be able to go at least three times a week, with the odd extra if I can fit it in.

 

As far as the diet is going, it's been slow for the last couple of months because of the lack of exercise, but I have lost 26lbs in total since the beginning of March. :) 

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1 hour ago, chesilbeach said:

I have lost 26lbs in total since the beginning of March. :) 

 

That's awesome!  Well done.

 

And the same to everyone else here; you all are doing so well with your individual fitness plans! :D  It takes work, sweat, and determination!

 

As for me, I'm now almost at my ideal weight.  It's taken an entire year, because it involved a lifestyle change -- which is the only way to keep off the weight in the long term.  Yoyo dieting really is a waste of time; the weight just creeps back on again, you know it.  To date, I've lost 36lbs.  It's nice to be able to look in the mirror and not recoil! :lol: 

 

(My blood pressure is still optimal, btw.  I'm super happy about that.  All hail, potassium!)

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An amazing job, chesilbeach! :smile2:  Well done!

 

Onion Budgie, all hail potassium! :D  Great job about almost reaching your ideal weight!! And equally importantly, having your blood pressure at optimal level still! :smile2. Happy days!!!

 

I've had a bad time what with the flu, and infections, and having to move. I'm now almost recovered and the move's over, so I'm not as stressed. As soon as I've fully recovered, I want to get back to jogging! 

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I've resolved to trey to do more walks with my walking group - have only done two this year shamefully.  We did one today in the local forest, just over 7 miles in about 3 hours, with a comfort/tea stop too.  Weather was quite pleasant, just warm enough to take jackets off after a while, and not too muddy (one of the bonuses of not having had much rain!).  Aching a bit now !

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I was a skinny kid until I was 9 years old or so. Then, bam, I gained tons of weight. It got worse, worse, worse and then worse. I was severely obese, but I always felt like there was nothing I could do.

 

A diet? I was sure that even if I followed one and it worked, I'd never be able to stick to it for the rest of my life, which would be needed to prevent gaining the weight again. I was also that guy who is severely overweight, but still ate very badly, because "I'm fat, but that one extra crisp won't make the change". Only there were loads of extra crisps. I just ate too much as well.

 

Exercise? I weighed so much and my physique was so bad I couldn't run for half a minute. I was convinced I'd just be making a fool of myself. I convinced myself taking my bike to work would have to be enough.

 

Then, when I was 23 and at my heaviest, I took the bull by the horns. I'd lost 2kg being sick and told myself I'd not allow those to come back. Also, a colleague of mine who lives a fair distance from work talked about how she goes running twice a week. And I told myself, "Alexander, get a grip, if she can find the time to go running after work when she lives so far away, you definitely can!" (I live only 10 minutes from work).

 

I started with exercise. Running twice a week. I did Start 2 Run, hadn't really invested in case I wouldn't go through with it, so I wrote the schedule on a small piece of paper I kept in my pocket while running and had to check my watch all the time. I could barely run for a minute. In week five, I got stuck. I couldn't run longer than required at that time and did week five for about three months.

 

I'd always go to the running track and this one guy, a complete stranger, talked to me in November 2014. "You run too fast," he said. "You have to run slower - the ideal measurement is you have to be able to talk while you run. If you can't, you're running too fast."

I felt awkward, thought to myself he should just mind his own business, but was too shy to really say anything but "Oh. Okay."

Then he said: "You know what? I'll run with you, so you can get the pace, feel it." I was too shy to stop him, and he ran with me, very slowly. That was the first time I ran 600 metres. I felt like the king of the world! 

 

That really got me on track (no pun intended). I ran longer distances on end, until I could run an entire tour around the track - which is 1,337 metres. For a while, I ran one full tour, then another tour in Start 2 Run. In april 2015, I ran my first 5k. I was so happy, so proud. My time was of course absolutely ridiculous - I run the 5k in 11 or 12 minutes less now than I did then.

 

I'd started losing weight as well. This motived me to watch my eating habits. I didn't follow a diet - I just ate smaller portions, causing my stomach to shrink and my body to want smaller portions. And I allowed myself candy, chocolate, the works - but not as often as I used to. As a special treat.

 

Now, in September 2017, I've lost a total of 69 lbs. I want to lose 14 lbs more. At this moment, I go running twice a week, spinning twice a week, badminton at times and I intend to bike more now that I got a new bicycle. I want to be able to run 10k with ease - at first, I never knew beforehand whether I would manage 10k, I'd only know once I started running. Now I can run 10k whenever, but I want to run it in a better time. I've been doing 6k to 7k most often lately, and also interval runs, but in light of getting to the better 10k I upped my distance to 8k this morning. And it felt really, really good.

 

The last kilos/pounds are taking their time and while the weight flew off faster than a certain kind of lady's knickers/certain kind of gentleman's boxers, every pound is a battle now. But I'll get there. I quite simply have to.

 

The best part is - I like the healthier food, and sometimes I'll want to reward myself with a snack, open the cupboard, then go for a healthy snack anyway, because I crave it more. And I love running, spinning and badminton. I need it or I become Mr. Grumpy. I'll keep doing it even after I lost all the weight - and that will probably make it much easier to keep the weight.

 

Life is so different already, but I'm often still not used to it. I still go for the large sizes first - how odd it is that I actually have a size small in some brands!

 

Edited by Alexander the Great

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8 hours ago, Alexander the Great said:

I was a skinny kid until I was 9 years old or so. Then, bam, I gained tons of weight. It got worse, worse, worse and then worse. I was severely obese, but I always felt like there was nothing I could do.

 

A diet? I was sure that even if I followed one and it worked, I'd never be able to stick to it for the rest of my life, which would be needed to prevent gaining the weight again. I was also that guy who is severely overweight, but still ate very badly, because "I'm fat, but that one extra crisp won't make the change". Only there were loads of extra crisps. I just ate too much as well.

 

Exercise? I weighed so much and my physique was so bad I couldn't run for half a minute. I was convinced I'd just be making a fool of myself. I convinced myself taking my bike to work would have to be enough.

 

Then, when I was 23 and at my heaviest, I took the bull by the horns. I'd lost 2kg being sick and told myself I'd not allow those to come back. Also, a colleague of mine who lives a fair distance from work talked about how she goes running twice a week. And I told myself, "Alexander, get a grip, if she can find the time to go running after work when she lives so far away, you definitely can!" (I live only 10 minutes from work).

 

I started with exercise. Running twice a week. I did Start 2 Run, hadn't really invested in case I wouldn't go through with it, so I wrote the schedule on a small piece of paper I kept in my pocket while running and had to check my watch all the time. I could barely run for a minute. In week five, I got stuck. I couldn't run longer than required at that time and did week five for about three months.

 

I'd always go to the running track and this one guy, a complete stranger, talked to me in November 2014. "You run too fast," he said. "You have to run slower - the ideal measurement is you have to be able to talk while you run. If you can't, you're running too fast."

I felt awkward, thought to myself he should just mind his own business, but was too shy to really say anything but "Oh. Okay."

Then he said: "You know what? I'll run with you, so you can get the pace, feel it." I was too shy to stop him, and he ran with me, very slowly. That was the first time I ran 600 metres. I felt like the king of the world! 

 

That really got me on track (no pun intended). I ran longer distances on end, until I could run an entire tour around the track - which is 1,337 metres. For a while, I ran one full tour, then another tour in Start 2 Run. In april 2015, I ran my first 5k. I was so happy, so proud. My time was of course absolutely ridiculous - I run the 5k in 11 or 12 minutes less now than I did then.

 

I'd started losing weight as well. This motived me to watch my eating habits. I didn't follow a diet - I just ate smaller portions, causing my stomach to shrink and my body to want smaller portions. And I allowed myself candy, chocolate, the works - but not as often as I used to. As a special treat.

 

Now, in September 2017, I've lost a total of 69 lbs. I want to lose 14 lbs more. At this moment, I go running twice a week, spinning twice a week, badminton at times and I intend to bike more now that I got a new bicycle. I want to be able to run 10k with ease - at first, I never knew beforehand whether I would manage 10k, I'd only know once I started running. Now I can run 10k whenever, but I want to run it in a better time. I've been doing 6k to 7k most often lately, and also interval runs, but in light of getting to the better 10k I upped my distance to 8k this morning. And it felt really, really good.

 

The last kilos/pounds are taking their time and while the weight flew off faster than a certain kind of lady's knickers/certain kind of gentleman's boxers, every pound is a battle now. But I'll get there. I quite simply have to.

 

The best part is - I like the healthier food, and sometimes I'll want to reward myself with a snack, open the cupboard, then go for a healthy snack anyway, because I crave it more. And I love running, spinning and badminton. I need it or I become Mr. Grumpy. I'll keep doing it even after I lost all the weight - and that will probably make it much easier to keep the weight.

 

Life is so different already, but I'm often still not used to it. I still go for the large sizes first - how odd it is that I actually have a size small in some brands!

 

 

Alex, you have done so amazingly well! You can be absolutely proud of yourself for what you've achieved.  It's really hard to form new habits and stick to them, but you're a shining example of what can be done if you're really determined.

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3 hours ago, poppy said:

 

Alex, you have done so amazingly well! You can be absolutely proud of yourself for what you've achieved.  It's really hard to form new habits and stick to them, but you're a shining example of what can be done if you're really determined.

 

Thank you! I know I have several advantages - I'm young, so it's easier for my body to adapt. I'm single and living at home, so I do have more time than someone who has a family. And I'm lucky that it only took exercise and changing my eating habits. I know it's not that easy for everyone, that this wouldn't work for everyone. But I feel much happier now. Especially in the small things - being able to crouch for a minute when needed, being able to participate in physical activities without feeling ashamed, fitting into the seat in the cinema - or on a plane, and having no trouble closing the belt. 

 

But as I said, I know I got lucky and if someone asks me how I did it, I tell them how - but I'll never say that because I could do it, everyone can and if they don't succeed with this method, they have themselves to blame. Every body's different, every situation's different. But I really never thought I could do this. At first, I didn't set out to lose this much weight. I just started and kept going, then after about six months I had to be at the doctor's and asked him how much I could lose without it becoming unhealthy. So that's my goal now. If you'd told me three years ago I would look like this, have this weight, I'd never have believed it.

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Wow Alexander, how good for you you changed your life around so much! Well done on the weight loss and getting healthier and fitter.

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Alexander, you've raised probably the most important points when it comes to improving health. One, you can't think about a 'diet', it has to be a lifestyle change and something that you can maintain forever, and 2, consistency is the key. There is a phrase that I read many years ago which I always try and come back to. 'An average workout/nutrition plan done consistently will always beat the perfect workout/nutrition plan done occasionally', For years I got stuck in a loop of planning and waiting for the perfect time to sort my health out and it just didn't work.

 

Well done on you achievements, it's something to be very proud of.

 

I ran a 10K race in Milton Keynes this morning for the NSPCC, They announced at the start of the race that they had raised something in the region of £500,000 pounds all of which goes directly to the charity which is pretty impressive I think.

 

A little photo can be found on my instagram page.

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I've managed to keep up the swimming, although a little erratic and sometimes only once a week, others upto three times.  Went this morning, and decided to increase my distance from 24 lengths (600m) to 32 lengths (800m), which has taken me up from about 35 mins to 45 mins.  I've improved not having to stop so often and for so long between lengths, and also have moved up to alternating between front crawl and breast stroke, instead of mostly just breast stroke.

 

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On 29-10-2017 at 7:21 PM, chesilbeach said:

I've managed to keep up the swimming, although a little erratic and sometimes only once a week, others upto three times.  Went this morning, and decided to increase my distance from 24 lengths (600m) to 32 lengths (800m), which has taken me up from about 35 mins to 45 mins.  I've improved not having to stop so often and for so long between lengths, and also have moved up to alternating between front crawl and breast stroke, instead of mostly just breast stroke.

 

 

That sounds great! I really admire you for swimming, and it's awesome that you're getting better without pushing yourself too hard.

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Just discovered that I have a Vitamin D deficiency, hmmm guess that comes from a) being stuck inside for most of the week and b) living in a country with a rubbish climate.  Will have to move somewhere warm (but not too warm though).

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3 hours ago, Madeleine said:

Just discovered that I have a Vitamin D deficiency, hmmm guess that comes from a) being stuck inside for most of the week and b) living in a country with a rubbish climate.  Will have to move somewhere warm (but not too warm though).

 

It's a common deficiency, according to a lot of health articles that I've read.  Vitamin D is the one supplement that I take every day -- speaking as a fellow shivering Brit!  I guess we'll next see the sunshine some time in June!

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Yes the website I looked at (Boots so not a dodgy one!) said the same thing, I suppose it's inevitable with our notoriously grotty climate. 

 

Thanks for your help!

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With Vitamin D you need to make sure you take a good quality supplement, many of them are synthetic and just create expensive urine! I take a natural D3 supplement and my Vit D levels are excellent now.

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Thanks for that, I'm taking the one prescribed but bought it over the counter as it was cheaper than paying for the scrip (as advised by the pharmacist).  apparently you can OD on supplements though!

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On 29/10/2017 at 6:21 PM, chesilbeach said:

I've managed to keep up the swimming, although a little erratic and sometimes only once a week, others upto three times.  Went this morning, and decided to increase my distance from 24 lengths (600m) to 32 lengths (800m), which has taken me up from about 35 mins to 45 mins.  I've improved not having to stop so often and for so long between lengths, and also have moved up to alternating between front crawl and breast stroke, instead of mostly just breast stroke.

 

 

After this post, I had a few things going on that meant I didn't keep up with the swimming, but a couple of weeks ago, I ventured back into the pool, and I've managed seven swims in two weeks and my fitness had not deteriorated much, so after my first return to swimming of only 24 lengths, I'm back up to 32 already.  Now I'm getting back into a routine, I'm going to add a couple of lengths to each swim, and aiming for a total of 50 lengths per session eventually.  I'm still alternating between front crawl and breast stroke, and don't need to stop for a breather too often either.  I'm also thinking of moving from the slow lane to the medium lane as my speed is picking up too.

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