Monday, 22 September 2014

I am Spartan!

Yep we did it! Yesterday we ran the Spartan sprint and yes it was we, it was most definitely a team effort and thanks go to the rest of the team for making it such a great experience.

Yep it was tough, there was mud, there was fire, there was lots of half naked men, which may have helped us girls round the course....

There were some truly remarkable people there and I feel very proud to have been part of it.

That me in the middle!
Ok so we conquered wall climbs, not easy when you are wee, thanks go to the boys for a leg up! We walked for, what seemed like, miles through a freezing river and deep is all relative to how tall you are. We climbed over stuff, we crawled under stuff, including barbed wire, up and down a hill! We tried (and I failed) to do the monkey bars and the rope climb, we tried to throw an arrow into a bale, so close but it didn't stick. We jumped over fire, we pulled tires, we hoisted the Hurcules Hoist and we did a whole heap of other stuff that I can't remember. But most of all we had an amazing time! And we did it, we finished it and we finished it with a smile!
For me I made it through with only dislocated toes and a heap of bruises so I am delighted! I think I am still functioning on adrenalin so waiting for the catch up exhaustion but it was all worth it. I met a fellow Bendy in the car park whose friend had been taking part and she was so happy to see someone doing it for EDS, really made my day! Yes I wish I'd trained harder and prepared more but am delighted with how well we made it through.
So that is it the challenge is done.......
What's next?
There is still time to sponsor me if you would like, please visit

Friday, 19 September 2014

Nearly there

Today is the last day of the detox. Yes I have stuck to it. No it's not been as hard as I thought. Tes it has made a difference.
I have definitely lost weight, official stats tomorrow. But I am half a stone lighter so happy with that. But more importantly my pain levels seem to have improved. So for me it's not a case of going back to 'normal' I might relax it a little bit so it fits with family eating but this is definitely something I am going to keep up. Going to try really hard to reduce sugar as a whole for the family.

It is also nearly Spartan day....... I'm a mixture of excited and terrified, not helped by an email warning of deep water on a river run!

Am I ready? Well I guess, I wish I'd trained more, I wish I'd started going to Bootcamp in January but hey life got in the way. I am ready to give it my all though.

Wish me luck!

Monday, 15 September 2014


Saturday was a cheat day. We could eat whatever we fancied either for a meal or for the whole day. I was apprehensive, I've been enjoying this healthy eating lark and not struggled anywhere near as much as I thought I would. even under extreme temptation my resolve has remained strong. but what if I started then couldn't stop??

I went for the cheat meal and a treat approach, so stuck with the plan all day. I struggled to think what I wanted, I had no major cravings so went the tried and tested bread, cheese and chocolate!
Tuna and cheese melt baguette, it was nice enough and I do love bread (and cheese for that matter) and yes I enjoyed it. However, it left me feeling bloated and overly full (even though I ate the same amount of calories as I have been eating). I stood for quite sometime at the chocolate counter deciding what to have, nothing really grabbed my fancy, but its chocolate it's all nice, right?

Went for a twirl and (I can't believe I am typing this) had one finger and to be honest that was plenty, it was a bit too sweet and sickly! Obviously I struggled through and ate the other finger - it was a cheat day after all, but I left myself feeling sick!

So it would seem that by cutting out the bad stuff, only a tiny bit will be sufficient to satisfy cravings.

Saturday night was also the first night in the past couple of weeks when I have been kept awake with EDS aches and pains. Now it may well be coincidence but I have noticed an improvement in the general pain levels while I have been on the 'detox'. Hmmmm this healthy eating might just be worth it.

Only 6 days left of the plan, then it is the Spartan Sprint (gulp) and then what? Watch this space.....

Tuesday, 9 September 2014

Nearly half way

I am on day 10 of the big detox. It is over a week with no bread, no pasta, no cheese, no chocolate, no potatoes... I could go on!

The weekend was a test, I was down at my mums and despite telling her before I was not eating sugar she still made a heap of cake, they all had a big gooey cheesy pizza, two lots of Mr Whippy ice-cream and all sorts of other goodies. I actually stayed strong and didn't cheat - not even a lick of C's ice-cream. All the foods 0 - Willpower 1.

So how is it going? Surprisingly well. I genuinely thought I would struggle, but I'm doing OK. I'm not saying I could do this forever but it has definitely shown me that I do not need to rely on those foods as much as I did. Once the 21 days are over (and I've stuffed my face after the Spartan race!) I think I am really going to try and stick to it 80% of the time. Although potatoes will no doubt make a triumphant return :-)

Here is the thing, I feel so much better. I'm a little bit disappointed as I wanted it to just be the same and then I could justify eating all the yummy foods but alas it is not to be. I am not as bloated and don't have that really full feeling after eating. I'm not hungry but not stuffed, can't move full. Now it has only been 10 days so it could well be coincidence but I have also not had as much EDS pain. It's still there, but has not been as bad. So it looks like eating well really is good for you!

The change in diet has been a bit tough in that it means cooking different meals for the family, whereas we normally just all eat the same. So it has been time for me to really think about me and not everyone else, which has been a bit hard. But most meals we have managed to adapt a bit so everyone is happy. I have also committed to going to bootcamp at least once a week and really trying to make some time for me!

The fact I only have 11 days left, also means I only have 11 days left to the Spartan race, which is a little bit scary! However I have so far raised £250 for EDS which is halfway to my target of £500 so if you are able to donate a few pennies it would be greatly appreciated.
I know that more people are now aware of EDS than at the start of the year so I am happy about that.

Thanks to everyone for there support it really does mean a lot x

Tuesday, 2 September 2014

Giving up!

No don't panic I am still doing the Spartan - even after seeing the photos from the London one this weekend which have filled me with absolute terror. Take a look those monkey bars.............

But no I am not giving that up. However I am giving up sugar (not fruit though), wheat and dairy. You are also not allowed caffeine or alcohol but that's grand for me.

21 days from the 31st of August it is all about the good stuff and not being allowed any of the good stuff. So no toast, no pasta, no chocolate, no cheese!!!!! All of my default I am feeling rubbish, give me the stodge kind of foods.

I am hoping it will mean shedding a few pounds, which has to make those monkey bars easier right? But also to reset my go to foods. I'm not normally one for cutting out complete food groups, however, I have been spending much to much time having a slice of toast, a bit or cheese, a bar of chocolate and I need to get back to these being occasional rather than regular.

I am also interested to see if it makes any difference to my hypermobility. I know too much sugar can result in a flare up for me. I wonder if 'clean' eating will help at all? Is it wrong that there is a part of me that hopes not, I don't want to give up all this stuff completely, forever!!!

It is going to be tough, in fact I reckon this deserves sponsorship almost as much as doing the Spartan :-)

Tuesday, 26 August 2014

Fair weather blogging!

It would appear I am a fair weather blogger! I have been struggling a lot and if I am honest I am not good at admitting it. So the fact that I am here typing shows I am feeling better. I think when you have a condition that leaves you in pain pretty much all of the time you become really good at putting on a front and looking to the outside world that all is fine. It is hard to let that guard drop because if it does you might just not get back to functioning like a normal human again.

But actually this time it was not so much a really bad flare up, although I have been knackered and things have been popping it wasn't really any worse than normal. It was more of a mental thing.

When I started this the Spartan Sprint was very much the end game. That was what I was working towards, while trying to raise a bit of awareness (and money please feel free to donate about EDS. Within my circle of friends I have done that, people who have people I their family have been in touch and it has been great to feel like I have aided understanding a little bit.

So the Spartan, well I think that has been part of the problem. With less than a month to go I am not as fit as I wanted to be, although my expectations were perhaps a little unrealistic. I was genuinely concerned about making it round, both because of fitness and the fear of something dislocating. In my head I think I had convinced myself that if I got fit enough EDS would magically heal itself. Hmmmmm that isn't going to happen, you numpty!

So yes I have been struggling, I have still been plodding along and training, maybe not as much as I could have but I have been trying.

Yesterday I went to bootcamp. Now I would like to point out that this isn't a military style shout at you till you cry kind of bootcamp. It is a very lovely group of folk that just want you to do your best. I went. It was a struggle to get there but I went. First off it was blooming freezing, I had a subluxation of the shoulder after dislocating it on Saturday with a heap of muscle pain around it, my back is not 100% aligned and is refusing to go back in and I have the usual dislocating toes. I thought about not going. But I went. I told myself I would modify and I wouldn't do any shoulder stuff. But I was there and I thought well I just try and do as much as I could. I did it, I gave 100% and I completed everything. It might not have looked like it to anyone else but it was a huge achievement for me.

Not only did it get me through bootcamp but it has given me the confidence to believe I can get round the Spartan. I had visions of galloping round the course, leaping over obstacles, gracefully rising to the top of the rope climb. Yeah, there is going to be nothing graceful about me hauling my bahooki round, over and under to get to the finish! But I will get to the finish, dislocations, subluxations it doesn't matter I can push on through and I can do it.

And do you know what the Spartan isn't the end, I have a feeling it is just the beginning!

Friday, 1 August 2014

51 days......

51 days until the Spartan Sprint! 51 days! I feel a bit sick.

It has been a while since I have last blogged, now I would love to tell you that it is because I have been so busy training I have not had time to put finger to keyboard, but, well, erm, not so much.

Chloe broke her arm and had to have an operation which combined with being busy at work, planning a party for my mother in law just left me with not much extra time. It is hard work trying to entertain a child who is used to being on the go ALL of the time when she couldn't.

Anyway, she was fixed by the end of June, then we went to Disneyland Paris (which was amazing!)and now all of a sudden it is the 1st of August and I have 51 days until D-day!

Now time is always a bit of a struggle, as a full time working mum it's always tempting to use any spare minutes just having a bit of a sit down.

I have been training, I have been out running in the mid-day heat (living in Scotland I'm not used to this big orange thing in the sky) but after a morning at the park with Chloe where we both discovered we are still rubbish at monkey bars I don't feel I am doing enough!

So here it is, no excuses, 51 days to get ready, 51 days to dig deep, build strength, build speed, build stamina.

My plan is to keep myself accountable by blogging DAILY what I have done. If I don't post please shout at me :-)

Thursday, 22 May 2014


My mini personal trainer is out of action. A fall out of a trampoline on Friday night resulted in 5 hours in casualty and a bright pink above the elbow cast. This is not great for a girl who never sits down but she is doing OK. It does mean that I have done no, zero, absolutely nothing in the way of training.

So I thought I'd tell you about another charity challenge I'm doing and gloss over the fact I've not moved my bahooki!

We all know how important water is, how good it is for you, how much better you feel if you drink plenty of the stuff. So I am taking the RNLI's H2Only challenge. From May 27th I shall drink nothing but water for 2 weeks. Now to be honest when I signed up I didn't think it was going to be that difficult. I drink a fair amount of water as it is, however in the two weeks I have: my wedding anniversary, a girls spa break, an awards dinner, a work night out...... hmmm it might be trickier than I thought.

I have fingers firmly crossed I do not need a medicinal cup of tea and my joints behave themselves.

So why am I doing this? Well not only do I work for the RNLI, I genuinely think they are a pretty awesome charity. Our lifeboat crews are volunteers that risk their lives to save lives at sea. Not only are they ready to respond to a shout when it comes, they give up their time to be trained to the highest standard. Please take a look at the Royal National Lifeboat Institution to see some of the work they do, read about our rescues and watch the footage of the crews in action. I would not do what they do for all of the money in the world. That is why I am passionate about helping to ensure volunteer lifeboat crews have the best possible training and the best possible equipment to keep them safe when they are putting their lives on the line to rescue others.

Are you up for the challenge, can you cope for 2 weeks with no tea or coffee or alcohol? Sign up for H2Only

Or if you can't give up your brew you could always sponsor me!

On average the RNLI rescues 22 people every single day - they can only do that because of the very generous support of the general public.

Thursday, 15 May 2014

Another year gone by.....

Today I turn 36. Yep I am officially on my way to 40 and it feels great! Now in the grand scheme of things 36 is not really very old, I'd go so far as to say it's pretty youthful. Obviously in my head I am still around about 23 :-)

I am genuinely happy to be heading for my forties because I am doing so fit (well maybe not fit but getting there), active, healthy, managing HEDS in the most without medication. Something that when I was 17 was not a given. I think I have mentioned on here before when I was first diagnosed I was told there was a good chance that when I was in my thirties I would struggle to walk, the word wheelchair was used......

In my late teens and early twenties I relied a fair bit on painkillers which resulted in stomach issues.

In my thirties I feel fitter and stronger than ever. I have a huge amount to be grateful for I have an awesome family, the best daughter (even if she is a little nuts), brilliant friends, a great job, in the grand scheme of things I am healthy. Yeah I have bad days where everything hurts but I also have days where I can run like the wind, ok, ok that is a large exaggeration but I can move at a pace that is faster than walking and for me that rocks.

This week came the sad news that #Stephensstory had come to end. But my goodness what an inspirational man. And do you know what his story hasn't come to an end, his story will live on, it will continue to inspire, to give hope, it will no doubt save lives.

So yes I am getting older and for that I am thankful. Let us stop worrying about wrinkles, grey hair, things going south and let us celebrate the life we have lived and the life we have to come. Take a look in the mirror - you are awesome!

Tuesday, 13 May 2014

Holding back

OK so last week was a rough week as you know. But, as always, it passed. Today I went for a run with the goal of beating my personal best. Now to be honest even calling it a personal best makes me chuckle a little because that sounds suspiciously what runners and crazy fit people aim for.

Anyway I did exactly the same run as I did last Monday with the objective of doing it a bit quicker. Before I share my times I would like to reiterate that I am not a runner, the route (5k) is a tough one, full of mud, tree roots, holes made by horse hoofs (perfect for a foot to drop into!), a bloody big hill and quite a few smaller ones. Monday last week I did it in 52.31 today I did it in 49.16. Yes still pitifully slow, pretty sure it wouldn't have taken much longer to walk it,  but still quicker than last week.

However, I could have done it quicker. Did I give it 100%? No I didn't, in fact if I was totally honest I would say I gave it about 80%. There is a big part of me that holds me back when I am running. And it is not my bahooki. It is fear. Yep there I have said it I hold back because I am scared I am going to hurt myself. Now this is ridiculous, I've entered a Spartan for goodness sake, that's just asking to be injured. Thing is I don't mind getting injured in the race, in fact I'm expecting it.

It is also ridiculous because ask me to do cartwheels, summersault on a trampoline, run down a beach with Chloe on my back, play 'dancing on ice' and throw same child around I'll  do it. I'll give 100% effort. I'll not worry about getting injured.

But running, I have the fear. Now I think it is because when I was first diagnosed with hypermobility I was told do not run. Running is not a good idea, you will injure yourself. I think I may have mentioned at the time this was fine with me. But I think it has stuck with me, in the back of my mind I don't want to push myself because it is going to hurt me. I need to get over this.

Now I am a naturally competitive person. Today I set myself the goal to be quicker and I will try using that every time, but will it be enough? I am tempted to join a parkrun but there is also a part of me that doesn't want to be that person hobbling in dead last.

Guess I need to Spartan up!!

Thursday, 8 May 2014

Trails and toast

I am a pretty much a glass half full type of girl. I like to be positive, up beat, enthusiastic, to the point of being annoying some may suggest. I don't like to sound like I am moaning, I know there are plenty people who are worse off than me. So it is hard for me to admit when the going get tough but the point of this blog is to raise awareness of EDS hypermobility so I guess I need to be honest too. To admit defeat even. Don't panic I'm not giving up. 

I had a great weekend down at Mum's, although I didn't do any proper training, thanks to the mini personal trainer it was non-stop and I was pleased to still be able to show 'em how it is done on a trampoline! we went to Whinlatter (which I would highly recommend) and walked, ran, jumped and played all day. We had a great time and I kept food in check!

Bank holiday Monday I got up, went out and ran (well with some walking thrown in) 5k, I felt great. it was a really good trail run, along the river with some pretty steep hills thrown in too. I love trails! Toe dislocated for the first 1k or so and my rib popped a bit but in the grand scheme of things I felt great. Went out for lunch made good food choices, I felt positive, strong and ready to take on the Spartan challenge.

Tuesday started OK, I had already decided I would have an easy day exercise wise. Food wise I did fine, but as the day went on I got tired, really tired. Now I am mostly tired, I blame the 5 year old sleep terrorist. But this was like that heavy cloud that comes down and makes you feel a bit like you are walking through syrup, mmmm syrup. Anyway that fog that makes it hard to concentrate, to think and certainly to do anything energetic!

By Tuesday night I was shattered and I hurt - everywhere. Now there are many parts of EDS that I dislike but I think for me this is the worst. Dislocations are horrible but you can say OK I dislocated by *insert body part here* and people understand. But it is hard to explain the severity of the hurt when you just hurt everywhere. I think the only thing I can compare it to is flu, possibly even man flu! Everything aches and stiffens up. Sitting still is agony. Moving is too much of an effort. My hips gave way as I stood up. I was in a proper grump with myself. My hands turned into claws, and while it was funny when it happened in Friends......

Wednesday I resorted to painkillers and toast a sure sign that I am sore! Food was carbilicious rather than nutritious. The pain (and then the painkillers) makes me feel sick. Thank goodness for computers because when I tried to write a hand written note I was very nearly reduced to tears. However, if you had passed me on the street you would not have known anything was wrong - I looked fine. Not particularly glamorous but fine. And I think that makes it so hard to admit how tough it can be because you look OK, but all you want to do is curl up in a ball and have a good cry. Of course, life goes on. I work, I have a family, I can't just curl up in a darkened room until it passes. So there I've said it out loud, it hurt, it was hard, I hate it, it makes me want to cry. Maybe I need to say it more and stop trying to fight it but I probably wont.

Happily it hasn't lasted long and today (Thursday) I feel loads better. Tomorrow I will run. And I'll smile because as tough as it gets on my good days I can conquer the world, as long as I can walk some of the way!

Thursday, 1 May 2014

Mojo lost......and found!

It has been a little while, I've not blogged because well I've not had much to blog about if I am honest. I had a good two, maybe three weeks of not much training at all. I was ill, it was the school holidays, work was busy, I had stuff to do, like you know going shopping, watching TV all the really important stuff that we do when we are not doing what we should be doing!

With the realisation that I have less than five months to the Spartan and I am still nowhere near ready, I thought I'd best get back to it. Me and the mister had a night out in Glasgow on Saturday and I got up to go to the hotel gym at 8am on Sunday morning - I know check me out! I spend a lot of the day thinking how easy training would be if I could just get up and go downstairs to the gym, then it dawned on me. I can. Well OK not to a nice air-conditioned fancy pants gym. But in my garden I have a bike, I have a skipping rope, I have a trampoline, I have roller skates, I have hula hoops, inside there are more workout DVDs than I can to mention and at the front door (which leads to a whole heap of running options) there are my trainers. I can go downstairs and go straight to the gym, its just a different kind of gym. Unfortunately I doubt I will return to a delicious breakfast buffet but a girl can't get everything.

So Monday I went for a run, Tuesday I did a DIY circuit mash up in the garden then I went for a run. This was a tough run. First off it was hot - don't worry the situation was quickly rectified and we are back to cold and rain. More of a pain was my lower back and right hip being really unstable for the majority of the run. Meaning my muscles, especially my core had to work a whole lot harder to keep everything in place, it was hard going, I am not going to lie I struggled, I really struggled. As I neared home my left hip, obviously not happy with the amount of attention the right one was getting, decided to protest by popping out, thankfully after a little attention and reassurance it was just as important it popped back in - but I was sore for the rest of the day.

Not one to be deterred Wednesday I went for a run, five minutes in and my toe dislocated and would go back in through wiggling alone. As I sat on the pavement putting it back in, I question what I was doing, is it really worth it? Maybe I should just not bother. But I gave myself a good Man The F**k Up talking too, remembered all the people who are a lot worse off than me, all the people who inspire me (this lovely lady for a start and I popped my toe back in, put my trainers back on and did it. I was faster, I pushed myself further, I felt good, I think I can do this! Don't get me wrong, I hurt, I was falling asleep by 8pm, I am still slow but I can and will do it.

May is EDS awareness month - I hope this blog is telling a few more people about EDS and giving a small insight to what it is like (remember I am pretty lucky with my symptoms) take a look for some more info

Thursday, 3 April 2014

Sitting down, standing still, moving forward!

So sometimes it hurts to move but more often it hurts more not to move! Last week I had a two days of sitting in one position for long periods of time (work conference) then a day of standing still (PTA fundraiser) and oh my did it take its toll. I am a fidget, I can't help it, it is all part and parcel of HEDS. Sitting still kills me! I am aware that for other people this is extreemly annoying and do try to minimise it, especially in conference type situations. However, by the end of the three days I was in agony. It hurt to move, it hurt to sit still. So rather than run as normal while Chloe was at swimming I went for the rest option and planned to keep it that way. So thank goodness for my mini personal trainer. We made it until about 14.00 untill she could be contained no longer (she had already been swimming that morning) so a bike ride it was. Except my finders were not working and my bike needed a new saddle. Not one to be easily deterred, little miss declared I could run, and she promised not to go too fast! So an hour later, she kept true to her word and I walked most of it, with the occassional run thrown in I much better. If it hadn't been for her then I would have lazed around and probably still felt rubbish on the Sunday. So moving is the way forward.

I did however get up at 6.30am, when I was staying in a hotel without the sleep terrorist, to go for a run! I feel like I am dedicated :-)

Got really quite excited as my EDS running vest arrived - you will definately be able to spot me in a crowd! Just need to get it back from the little lady now.

But for now I'll just keep on moving forward!

Tuesday, 18 March 2014

Frustrations and fears

Last week I was away with work and missed running. Not just didn't manage to run but actually missed doing it! I may have become one of those people who gets tetchy when they don't exercise......

Mostly I am plodding along and pleased with how things are going but on Sunday my shoulder kept popping out. It blooming hurt and it made me feel sick, the rubbish feeling is nearly done over 48 hours later. I am not sure if it is because I had not done much the week before, because I did a bit of strength stuff the day before or just because. I suspect it is just because.

Now I know that this is going to happen, it is part and parcel of HEDS. It doesn't make it any less frustrating. The pain is, well, a pain as is the general feeling rubbish which goes with it but just now a couple of days being completely out of action is making it worse. I am really enjoying training and not being able to do it is getting me down a bit. I'll be back running tomorrow though :-)

Luckily I had Chloe to keep me on the straight and narrow food wise so didn't just survive on toast!

It has also reminded me of the fear of something dislocating or just having a general flare up on the day of the race or just before. Logically I know there is no point in worrying, if it happens I'll just need to deal with it. I hope that training will make me stronger and flare ups happen less, but this may be wishful thinking......

Thursday, 6 March 2014

Making progress

So I am quite enjoying this running lark, don't get me wrong it is still being mixed with a good chunk of walking. On Friday I covered 5k in 50 minutes, now this is not fast but it is a start. My toes went early on so I was pretty proud of myself for pushing through. Yesterday I did 5k in 47.33 really happy to see the time come down. If I can do it in 30 mins by Sept I'll be happy.

I am now running/walking 3 times a week, doing a different workout 3 times a week and having one rest day. And do you know what? I am really enjoying it. Today is an enforced rest day (one of my vertebrae has gone out slightly) and I'm a bit frustrated at not doing anything!

I'm enjoying it so much I've signed up for another run in June a bit more of a fun thing but still with mud and obstacles involved, for our local hospice.

Not listening seems to be working, although it is hard to ignore dislocated toes which at the moment my biggest problem. But food wise it is making a big difference to have everything planned out and just eating what is on the list. Not just to stop eating to much and unnecessarily but to eat well. Today the pain in my back is making my feel sick. All I want is toast but I went ahead and eat my planned lunch as it is what my body needs. I'd still kill for a slice of hot buttered toast though :-)

Back and toes aside I am feeling so much better, already I am experiencing less of the achy kind of pain that is always in the background.

Next week will be tough I am away with work quite a lot but will be packing my trainers and will do what I can!

Wednesday, 26 February 2014

Run for it!

I don't like running, I've never liked running. I fully accepted it when I was told not to run because of HEDS, and on the odd occasion I've tried running, I've not really enjoyed it, it hurt and well it's just a bit boring.

However, the whole Spartan thing requires me to run. This is the bit that worries me the most. Climbing ropes, scaling walls, crawling under barbed wire and running through fire have not stressed me out as much as the running part of it.

Turns out I love running! If it's along muddy paths, jumping over stuff, sliding down hills and risking losing your trainers. Today I ran just over 4k in under 35 minutes. I probably could have run a little bit more and walked a little bit less but I pushed myself to run for longer times and I ran up all the hills so I am happy.

My trainers are not fairing so well!

I think that running on the sodden ground, it is really muddy, takes away a lot of the impact and that's why I'm finding it more enjoyable. I also know I'm concentrating on my stability and core to ensure I don't fall so I'm not hyper extending. Good job it's not going to dry up any time soon!

My aim is to build up to 5k in 40 mins then try and get the time down to 30 mins. I never thought I'd be confident in saying that.

I'm also feeling the benefit of just eating what I have planned, I'm making healthier choices, not over eating and not feeling bloated and sluggish. I'm not weighing or measuring until the end of March so I don't get disheartened if there isn't much progress. Although to be honest, I feel so much better I don't really care if I've not lost much. For me this is all about being healthy.

It's been a good week!

Sunday, 23 February 2014

Just do it?

I have been rubbish. There I've said it. Training has not happened, food has been rubbish!

I have always been a firm believer of listening to your body, but it would appear my body has been talking rubbish and mostly convincing me to eat toast and sit on my bahooki!

But I have had a slight revelation, thanks to a hypermobilty post on Facebook. So, as hypermobilty sufferers we are stretchy that's our thing, so what if our stomachs are stretchy too? I have a very bad habit of eating until I feel a bit sick, I don't get that comfortably full feeling, I go from hungry to totally stuffed. Hunger also attacks rapidly I don't tend to get a bit grumbly I proceed directly to ravenous. Now it may well just be that I am a greedy little piggy but there was a number of people who has the same issues. Could it be that a hypermobile stomach doesn't communicate properly with the brain? Or maybe like everything else it just stretches a bit more than it should. There is also the issue of getting light headed and dizzy if you don't eat regularly.

I have also been listening to my body when it says it is to sore or tired to exercise with the result that I have done nothing. Now it has been a bad couple of weeks, C had chicken pox so I was getting a couple of hours of sleep a night then I was away with work quite a bit. But nothing, well some walking ans swimming and bits but nothing proper. Because well it was just such an effort. So either I need to stop being so hard on myself or I just need to man the f**k up (sorry mum)

So I have made the decision to stop listening, I'm going back to planning my week out and eating just what is on the plan, no more no less, eating at regular intervals and most importantly eating well. I am going to push myself, no pain no gain and all that. Tiredness is not an acceptable excuse for not training, training will only be missed if I'm at a pain level of 7 or more.

So the answer is man up and just do it!

Friday, 7 February 2014

The fog

It is not the fog outside that is hampering my progress, although going out in the freezing fog is not that appealing! But the brain fog. One of the issues with Hypermobile EDS is tiredness. Which sounds a bit pathetic doesn't it? I mean everyone gets tired. I have a 5 year old sleep terrorist so I am permanently at some level of tiredness but when EDS tiredness hits it is on a different level.

This week it hit, I can only describe as being a bit like when you have flu, you  know when everything aches, and you are just so exhausted you could happily cry. Even the thought of actually walking upstairs to go to bed is a bit much of an effort and you think twice about having a drink of water because lifting the glass just seems like an impossible task. So once C has been in bed this week I have barely moved off the sofa, tea has been drunk and not much else has been achieved.

I have stuck to my 30 minutes a day but this has mostly been walking and I really need to up my game. Food wise has not been too bad have resisted the extremely strong urge to survive off toast and toast alone.

On Monday I did venture off the sofa and have a clear out of clothes - I have a vac pack of stuff that is a wee bit too tight, it will be opened at the end of April and my word it had better fit!

So the moral of the story is I need to man up, I genuinely think if I can push myself to be more active through the day I will be less tired at night, if I can strengthen my muscles it will not be as much of an effort to hold everything in place. That's the plan anyway - I'll keep you updated!

Please give me a kick and make sure I move my bahooki!

Wednesday, 29 January 2014

And so it begins

Well I am now signed up to do the Spartan Sprint! Although having a slight issue getting the team set up but am sure we'll get there.

It is not until September 21st so I have plenty of time but I have a lot to do. The challenges are actually not phasing me too much - yes they are going to be tough. However, the thought of running 5k (I know it is really not far) makes me want to cry a little.

So I am starting gradually, I will do at least 30 minutes of exercise a day. This may be anything from Insanity to a brisk walk, dancing with C (which is more of a workout than you would think, there are a lot of lifts involved) to, gulp, going for a run. But I will do it. Everyday.

Everyone struggles to get motivated to exercise, there is always something better to do, like I don't know, waiting for facebook to update. however, it is extra tough when you are already hurting, the sofa seems like a far better option. After all when you ache all over why would you want to add to it? But, really what is the alternative? Yes sitting on the sofa is and immediate relief but in the long run being fitter and stronger can only be beneficial. So, for now I will be doing my 30 mins a day, by March when I am in the habit and it is, hopefully, second nature, I will start regularly running. yes, me running. Remind me again why I am doing this?

There is no point in getting into the regular exercise habit if I do not eat right. Now overall my diet is not that bad. I don't drink alcohol, mostly drink water, cook most of our meals from scratch, watch sugar and fat intake. I'll not lie sometimes this just means watching chocolate go from packet into mouth :-)

One of the reasons I am doing this crazy race is to show C that you can do anything you set your mind to and to be a positive role model to her. It occurred to me the other day that we do a lot of moaning about advertising aimed at kids and the amount of junk that is sold solely with kids in mind. While I agree there is way too much rubbish out there marketed at kids, actually we are more influential than we know. C helps us decide what to have for dinner when we plan meals and when it is just me & her she gets to pick dinner. Her choice for the past few weeks (except tonight when she went fro haggis) has been salmon, boiled egg, veg and a wee dollop of mayo. This came about because I had it one night when she'd already eaten. As I have been thinking about it if I eat chocolate or MrF has a packet of crisps she will ask for them, but if just asked what she wants she will go for fruit 9 times out of 10.

So as much as I owe it to myself to eat a healthy, balanced (I'm all for the occasional treat) diet, I owe it to my daughter to show her that I make healthy choices.

Linking up with the lovely Autismmumma and #wobbleswednesday

Monday, 27 January 2014

Flexibility over determination

I should know all about flexibility right? I mean after all that is the one big advantage to being hypermobile, flexibility is my thing. However, I have realised I need to apply this flexibility to my training not just to being able to put my leg behind my head!

Today was my day to really get back on to the training, I started the workout DVD Insanity at the start of January and did a week of it, I would go so far as to say I really enjoyed it. But then I had a flair up and was out of action for two weeks.

If I'm going to be a Spartan I need to train, and I need to train pretty hard but there is a fine balance because overdoing it will just mean weeks, potentially months, off training.

So today when I started Insanity and had popped my ankle and my hip (went straight back in so no drama) before the warm up had finished, I had a decision to make. Carry on and run the risk of injury, stop and have a wee seat on the sofa or do an alternative, lower impact workout.

It took a fair bit of effort not to be engulfed in the sofa's comfort but I went for the lower impact workout. Step in Davina McCall! The thing I love best about her workouts is the amount of time devoted to stretching. I find it makes a huge difference to being able to walk the next day :-)

The moral of the story is while I would love to have a really structured workout plan to get me where I am going, the reality is that just isn't going to work. I would need to miss a session and then get demotivated. I will be flexible and do what I can when I can, I have the luxury of time so can build up slowly. Doing the best workout for me is more important than doing the hardest workout for me.

Friday, 24 January 2014


Well first off I want to say thank you for all of the messages of encouragement and support - it really means a lot.

Something occurred to me last night and a quick poll - with the husband and lovely MFPers - confirmed it.

Not everyone is in pain every day! Well obviously, you may think. But I genuinely only thought of it like that yesterday. We just assume what we are is normal don't we? (doesn't everyone dance round Asda? Oh OK maybe I have a lot to work on!) The last day I can remember having no pain was when I was pregnant so a good 5 and a half years ago. Being pregnant rocked - my body loved it. I was quite scared as I'd a fair bit of hip pain since my teens and figured a big old baby may make it worse. But it was amazing, I had so much less pain being pregnant.

To be honest this is a fairly hard post to write, I am really not looking for sympathy. As I have said I am happy with my lot and I really am pretty lucky. But the whole point of this is to raise awareness of HEDS (Hypermobile Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome) so I guess I need to 'fess up and be pretty honest.

Today walking C to school my toe dislocated and on the way home one on the other foot did the same, it's fine they went in when I got home but unless I told people they had no idea. I think when being in pain is the norm you don't really show it to the outside world.

I have a scale of 1-10 for pain. Pain is pretty objective, what is agony for one person is mild discomfort for another. I think I have a fairly high pain threshold, I did the whole birth thing with no drugs (not choice just ran out of time) and it was fine.

 So here are my definitions:

1- A wee niggle, barely noticeable
2 - A wee niggle that is a bit more annoying
3 - Need to stretch a lot to try and move the pain
4 - That achy feeling you get when you have flu and everything hurts
5 - Every joint throbs constantly - you are not really sure where hurts, just everything
6 - A cup of tea is required, along with a hot water bottle, feel a bit sick with the pain
7 - Jings that really hurt, it is a struggle to move and to sit still
8 - Strong painkillers required to function
9 - Uncontrollable screaming in agony
10 - Passed out!!!

I hover between 3 and 6 most days, a 3 is a really good day, I can conquer the world on a 3 day! There are then spikes of pain if things pop out. I can usually judge how a day will go on if I can squeeze the shower gel out with one hand or if it has to be a more complex two handed manoeuvre!

Now as I've said it was only yesterday it registered that this is not normal. It's fine and I manage it without too much moaning although the husband may disagree on that. But it just sometimes makes things a bit of an extra effort. To get up and dance with C when I've just found a comfy spot. But there is no way I will not join in just because something is a wee bit sore. Even if it means collapsing with a hot water bottle once she has gone to bed.

Exercise is essential to me, I know that, but it still takes that little extra push to get off the sofa, ignore the creaks and clicks and just do it!

So again thank you for your support it really does help.

Tuesday, 21 January 2014


So where to start, I am a pretty normal 35 year old working Mum. I'm a little pudgier and a little squishier than I'd like. I don't have enough hours in the day or cash in bank but on the whole I'm fairly happy with my lot.

I also consider myself to be very lucky, I have a lovely husband (don't tell him I said that though) and a gorgeous daughter (C) who means the world to me.

I am also not in a wheelchair. This may seem like a strange thing to say, but at 17 I was told there was a good chance I would be in a wheelchair by the time I was 30. So I am very grateful that I can still run around after C. I was also very lucky to be diagnosed with EDS Hybermobility fairly quickly, after a couple of years of my GP dismissing my chronic pain as growing pains. I was also very lucky to be referred straight away to a great physio who encouraged me to build my strength and use exercise to manage my condition as best as I can. I am also very lucky that I do not have it as bad as a lot of people and have a lot of good days that make me forget the bad days.

So I hear you all ask, what on earth am I talking about?

Hypermobile Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome, sounds fancy huh? There is a bit of variation in terms of symptoms and severity between people but this is the general gist:

* Hypermobility with the joints having a wider range of movement than usual.
* Loose, unstable joints that can lead to dislocations and subluxations.
* Joint pain and fatigue.
* Easy bruising.
* Gastrointestinal dysfunction.
* POTS (postural orthostatic tachycardia syndrome) causing fast heart rate, dizziness and fainting.
* Mitral valve prolapse, a heart valve abnormality which is usually only mild in HEDS.
* Uterine, rectal or bladder prolapse.
* Urinary dysfunction.
* Varicose veins.

Please visit for more information (I have pinched this from there, I'm sure they will not mind!)

I am pretty sure C has it as well, although she has not been officially diagnosed as yet. She is a big part of why I am doing this. Yeah it sucks, especially the tiredness (oh and the pain!) but it is also pretty cool to still be able to do the splits at 35 right? I want her to think she can do anything, not to be afraid, to be strong and healthy. In the world that we live in which is so obsessed about being skinny to know that skinny isn't important. That being happy, healthy, fit, kind, energetic and brave is what is important.

So here I am about to sign up to the spartan sprint (a 5k obstacle course), I hope to raise some awareness, hopefully raise some money but most of all I want to show myself I can do it. It will be a slow process getting fit and strong enough, I hope you will stick with me through the next 8 months - I am going to be totally honest about it, but I will try very hard not to moan when I can't train because my knee has popped out!

Thanks for reading and remember just because someone doesn't look ill doesn't mean they are not in pain.