Thursday, 28 August 2014

SCOTLAND THE BEAUTIFUL . . . PUCK'S GLEN!

I've been getting out and about in Scotland a bit recently. I've always been a city girl, by way of a big town, but being in the country, in the middle of hills and glens and surrounded by snow-topped mountains has become something I'm increasingly loving. Because Scotland is so damn beautiful, it really is.

And so I think it's about time I showed you some of it!

First up, let's head to a place I visited last Saturday - this is Puck's Glen, which is near Dunoon. We got the car ferry over (it's not an island, you can drive there but it just takes a bit longer - we drove back), and drove the few miles to Puck's Glen.

 It was a tiny bit magical, like being in an enchanted forest or something like that.


I immediately fell in love. It was so peaceful apart from the noise of the falls. And the occasional other person, of course. (Because you can NEVER escape people in my world.)


The path we chose to take took us past various small waterfalls and through pretty woodland.


And there were some steeper bits too, of course! Although mostly very safe. :-) (When I get to my Loch Skeen post you'll see what I mean!)



After walking past the waterfalls we ended up on higher ground, still surrounded by trees though. Part of me just wanted to head back the way we'd came though, it was just so pretty down there.


If you like waterfalls and pretty scenery, I would definitely recommend a trip to Puck's Glen... Further information can be found here: http://www.walkhighlands.co.uk/argyll/pucks-glen.shtml

Tuesday, 19 August 2014

PAULA'S STAGES OF DIETING . . .

As you all probably know about me, I am a bit of an enthusiastic "dieter". Well, sort of.

Here is the constant cycle I go through. I'm sure some of you can identify . . .

1. LET'S START A NEW DIET!!!
Diet means healthy (disclaimer: I know it does not necessarily mean this). Healthy means good. Good means acquiring the abs of Britney Spears when she's not mainlining junk food and the bum cheeks of Kylie Minogue in the "Spinning Around" era. Yes. I am going to do this. I am I am I am.

2. THE PLANNING STAGE
This is the bit I love the most. I love the internet, I love googling the different types of diet going, what the best way to exercise and lose the most weight is this week . . . I love looking at Instagram for inspiration. I like reading diet and fitness magazines. I especially like to do all of the planning while enjoying a bottle of wine and some pizza. And maybe some chocolate too while I'm at it. Because I'm OBVIOUSLY not going to be allowed any of these once I hit Dietsville.

3. EATING ALL THE BAD STUFF
This follows on logically from step 2. The bad stuff has got to go before I start the diet. It's got to go . . . in my stomach. Of course.

4. DAY 1
It all starts so well . . .I'm totally prepared and eager to get started. My breakfast has been made the night before, I chop up salad ingredients for lunch in the morning, I've allowed myself extra time to get the food prepared, if I'm REALLY organised I've even updated the calorie intake for breakfast and lunch into My Fitness Pal before I actually EAT anything. I'm good to go for the day.

5. THE FIRST HURDLE
Of course, my first day of a diet will almost always coincide with a colleague bringing in some sort of amazing home-made treat, or my favourite type of sweet in the world ever (I swear it's a conspiracy). It will also usually coincide with me having either an a) incredibly stressful day or b) an incredibly boring day both of which will make me want to eat junk. It also usually coincides with the unexpected arrival of my period. If I resist this treat, it's a miracle. If I give in, it's an early exit straight back to stage one to start planning (and eating junk) all over again in preparation of the next attempt. On the first day of my diet though, I'm generally pretty good. I'm feeling motivated. I'm thinking "this time I'm going to make it work", that I'm going to make my gym bunny sister jealous of MY stomach muscles instead of the other way around . . . I can beat the temptation. Go me. I AM STRONG!!!

6. HOMETIME
Off I go home, all ready to make a healthy meal. Two hours later I have dirtied pretty much every dish in my kitchen, and am actually so tired I can barely be bothered to EAT whatever healthy "mush" I have spent my leisure time creating. And why is my newly-emptied bin already full? Why does healthy eating involve so many dishes and so much RUBBISH???

7.BEDTIME
I must have a treat before I go to bed. Even if I've managed to stay good all day, I always need something at night, it's like rewarding myself for being good all day! (You KNOW it makes sense.) I try and force myself not to overdo it though. I congratulate myself for being good and go to bed. Where I can't sleep properly because my stomach won't stop growling at me.

8. REPEAT STEPS 4 TO SEVEN ON A DAILY BASIS UNTIL . . .
I step on the scale and realise I've lost no weight yet. (This is usually day 4 maximum and, yes, I know I have massively unrealistic expectations). Also realise I have no clean dishes or Tupperware left and therefore I should have chips and cheese for lunch followed by whatever treat is in work that day, followed by a pizza for dinner and a bottle of sauvignon blanc. Or two. Weigh myself the next day with trepidation only to discover I've actually lost two pounds since the day before. Decide dieting is silly and I should just stick to everything in moderation. Which obviously means eat EVERYTHING ALWAYS. Put weight back on, feel depressed and decide "Oooh, I know, I should go on a diet! What diet should I go on? What exercise should I do? Oooh, let's get planning.... where's that cava???"

9. REPEAT STEPS 1 TO 8 . . . OVER AND OVER AND OVER AGAIN.

Ah, fuck it. There's wine in the fridge. . . ;-)