Sceptically Fit


2017 Return

Filed under: Personal — Sceptically Me @ 11:51

So after a hiatus of almost four years it begins again. 

There is nothing like buying a house that needs a lot of work to make livable to kill your time to do any blogging. And it was a success – SO and I managed to renovate a dilapidated house into a lovely living space. Another major renovation last year and we are almost done!

I did make a roller derby team! So that was a lot of fun but seems my style of play keeps aggravating a shoulder issue so I’ve made the decision to switching to referring. Much more a mental game and leaves more time to explore other interests.

I did manage to get to ten pushups too!

Diet has been the most up and down. Living without a kitchen for four months started the downward spiral.  As well as some mental health related binges. This led to some terrible ibs flare ups. Switching to a stricter low carb helped and my doctor has suggested testing fodmaps. I tried tracking last year but didn’t get a clear idea, after an erratic Christmas I’m tracking again.

My health and fitness interest hasn’t waned over the last few years so hear I am again.


Reasons to have a smartphone

Filed under: Personal, Uncategorized — Tags: , , , — Sceptically Me @ 07:26

Instant recipe search!

So after an evening in the pub, SO attempted to be supportive of my healthy eating thing (Can’t you just eat around the pie crust? Lasagne is out too? Well, you have to pick something) and we headed to the late night mini-supermarket to pick up some meat to cook (my post-pub concession was we can have some oven chips to go with it).

The supermarket was out of lamb chops but had some nice looking Irish rump steaks. Which SO looked at and shrugged and revealed without peppercorn sauce what’s the point of steak. Imagine the wonder when I quickly looked up a recipe on my phone so we could a) determine it was easily made and b) grab the ingredients.

Went a little heavy on the pepper (SO thought the recipe didn’t look peppery enough) but tasty. And while I can’t consider it a truly healthy meal, and the beef stock cubes weren’t gluten-free,  it did show better options aren’t always more time consuming. In the time it took the chips to bake (ie same amount of time a pizza would take and half the time for a lasagne) I cooked the steak and made the sauce. And besides, four tequilas on an empty stomach, how healthy can you expect someone to be.

Learning points:

  • its just as easy and tastier to cook up something than to heat a pizza
  • Despite seeming to have normal or greater competence in life, SO continues to be amazed at the concept that food you buy can also be made at home
  • I can be motivated enough to stick to my healthyish diet even after a night out.

Also – more success on the resolution front. That’s two new recipes this year and I’m only in the third week!


2013 – New Years Goals

Filed under: Personal — Tags: , , — Sceptically Me @ 20:28

Ok so I’m a little behind on my new year resolutions but then, I feel like this years aren’t as momentous as I’ve felt previously. These all seem reasonably concrete – an identifiable goal to achieve but aside from studying for certification they are all developing on patterns I’ve already started to set.


  • Follow a Paleo/Primal diet strictly for approx 30 days
  • Keep a food diary to identify food intolerances – so far big suspects are wheat, apples, onions and brocolli.
  • Follow a paleo/primal diet 80/20
  • Improve my cooking – aim of a new recipe every fortnight.


  • Make a roller derby team
  • Be able to do ten full pushups, I’ve kind of dropped wanting to do pullups. I still want to but it seems the goal doesn’t match my motivation for it. I think the limiting factors pushup-wise probably parallel my limits pullup-wise. I also suspect pushups will be easier to achieve if only that I don’t need any equipment.

Lifestyle and Wellbeing:

  • Start sewing again – did a few repairs/modifications of clothes last year but would like things to work a bit better. Need to start making some of my own clothes and a better effort of making the clothes I do have fit
  • Sort my wardrobe – a big change in defrumping my wardrobe last year. Still working on it. I’d like to get rid of or integrate all ‘closet orphans’ and I’d like to purge or adjust all illfitting clothes.
  • Read more – progress was not as good as I’d like, still waste too much time on the web instead of picking up a book. As a goal – I’d like to read a book a month.
  • Get regular 8hrs plus sleep.
  • stay in contact more – sent out initial contact emails, and then didn’t follow up on the responses.


  • two exams for certification over the year (ideally by July)
  • keep cv up to date


2012 Goal Review

Filed under: Personal — Tags: , — Sceptically Me @ 01:00

I fell very short in meeting my New Year Resolutions for 2012 but I’ve made some progress in some areas, and in many ways I’ve improved my life in areas I didn’t think I needed to prioritise.

Overall WellBeing

  • get eight hours sleep most nights: I’ve definitely  lacked on this – my sleep patterns have been very mixed up. Yet at the same time, I think I’ve increased my awareness of my sleep needs. I’m still working on  taking the time to meet those needs but I’m definitely more aware of how I feel better about everything if I have decent sleep.
  • Complete a 30 day Paleo challenge Continue eating paleo most of the time – From a brief (mostly) paleo January the rest of the year kind of fell apart. I’ve been eating badly – especially a lot of processed food and wheat based food. I’ve been binging on chocolate (especially Cadbury wholenut) but overeating in general. The plus I can take away from this year is an increased awareness of the way various food makes me feel. I’ve been dealing with increasing IBS symptoms, and for the last month or so – GERD!.
  • Smoke less – this was actually a sucess
  • Move into my own apartment: two moves this year but I’ve ended up at a very nice share place in nice part of town
  • Keep my home clean and tidy: Getting there – I’m definitely the messy flatmate
  • Keep my houseplants alive: thanks to my moves – not even attempted
  • Email/Call/Skype more often with friends and family:  I’ve reached out, but still a work in progress.

Fitness Goals

  • be able to do a full pull up – not yet achieve, oh well, can roll over again.
  • do the Survival of the Fittest and be able to get over the 6″ wall without help: This is the best fail – I had to pull out of the race because I signed up for a rollerskating course that started that day.
  • run a half marathon in under two hours in May : The worse run I’ve ever had. But I consider it a sucess – I finished the race. It was awful, it hurt every step of the way.

Creative/Lifestyle Goals

  • improve my paleo cooking – This got worse – for a while I was doing ok in that I was at least cooking comfort food for myself. Then I stopped doing that and just started buying ready meals. Obviously, a big part of my diet fail was how easy it was not to eat well when you aren’t cooking.
  • complete the beginners swing dancing course  – another fail. Marathon running took over, new job took over, sprained ankle, then success – interest replaced by roller derby! (still want to go back again though)
  • finish a book a month: Not this prolific but I’ve definitely read a lot more this year.
  • take the time to indulge my creative side at least once a week: I go my sewing machine out at least…


Other Success!

  • I got a new job
  • started learning spanish on my commute
  • started cycling more  – to skate class, to and from the office or train station
  • Roller Derby!
  • revamped my wardrobe – had fallen into a bit of a frump
  • International travel – Budapest!


How to manage the Xmas Binge

Filed under: Health and Nutrition, Personal — Tags: , , — Sceptically Me @ 18:48

A timely post from Charlotte: Cookie Detox on how to manage the sugar cravings and crashes that come with Christmas treats.

I’m feeling a little strange approaching the Christmas break. I’ve not had the most healthy diet by any standard over the last few months but I have been trying to pay attention to how the different foods feel. Not as aware as proper intuitive eating but getting there. Will I manage not to binge? probably not. But I do know from experience eating sugar with fat and protein helps me feel better.


Getting back into the Groove

Filed under: Exercise, Personal — Tags: , , — Sceptically Me @ 23:22

Starting to get my strength back, I’m going to have to venture into the proper free weights section soon
Tracked a Workout for 1,391 pts Today

  • Cycling:
    • 0:14:27.3 || 3.4 km || 14.2 mph || flat (+86 pts)
    • 0:11:00 || 2.7 km || 14.7 km/hr || flat (+22 pts)
    • 0:29:02.5 || 6.1 km || 12.6 km/hr || flat (+44 pts)
  • Running (treadmill):
    • 0:06:00 || 1 km || 1.5 % (+47 pts)
    • 0:06:00 || 1 km || 10 mph || 1.5 % (+154 pts)
  • Barbell Hip Thrust:
    • 20 kg x 10 reps (+27 pts)
    • 20 kg x 10 reps (+27 pts)
    • 20 kg x 10 reps (+27 pts)
  • Bent Over Barbell Row:
    • 20 kg x 10 reps (+30 pts)
    • 20 kg x 10 reps (+30 pts)
    • 20 kg x 10 reps (+30 pts)
  • Hang Clean:
    • 15 kg x 5 reps (+32 pts)
    • 15 kg x 5 reps (+32 pts)
  • Romanian Deadlift:
    • 20 kg x 15 reps (+45 pts)
    • 20 kg x 15 reps (+45 pts)
    • 20 kg x 15 reps (+45 pts)
  • Standing Barbell Shoulder Press (OHP):
    • 20 kg x 8 reps (+72 pts)
    • 20 kg x 8 reps (+72 pts)
    • 20 kg x 8 reps (+72 pts)
    • 20 kg x 8 reps (+72 pts)
    • 20 kg x 8 reps (+72 pts)
  • Barbell Squat:
    • 20 kg x 8 reps (+52 pts)
    • 20 kg x 8 reps (+52 pts)
    • 20 kg x 8 reps (+52 pts)
    • 20 kg x 8 reps (+52 pts)
    • 20 kg x 8 reps (+52 pts)
  • Cuban Press:
    • 2 kg x 20 reps (+24 pts)
    • 2 kg x 20 reps (+24 pts)


I’m Back!

Filed under: Personal — Tags: , , , , , — Sceptically Me @ 00:10

Woo! I finally joined a gym – I’m finally working out again. I haven’t been to the gym since July. I sprained my ankle quite badly at the very beginning of August. I moved house and quit my gym at the end of August. Obviously, I really did need to take it easy for a couple of months to heal up. I had signed up for roller skating lessons just before the sprain. The lessons started October and I’ve been too afraid to try my new skates until the lessons started in case I resprained by ankle.

So the closest I’ve come to any serious exercise for about three months is a gentle 10minute cycle to and from the train station (there’s enough of a hill, I’m counting it).

The roller skating lessons are hard work. Its Roller Derby style skating so lots of low ‘derby stance’ skating which is killing my thighs. And my lung capacity seems to have diminished quite  lot! It was definitely time to get back to the gym. It turns out not having a current gym membership is a bit of a demotivator. Who’d have thought? So five weeks of roller skating lessons – each week I must join a gym and work on this.

And this weekend I did. I am tired and have that somewhat comforting soreness from a good workout. I didn’t go too crazy – need to ease myself back into it. And I didn’t do enough stretching… but otherwise. I’m back!

Workout for 1,086 pts

  • Cycling:
    • 0:13:13.8 || 3.4 km || 15.6 mph (+98 pts)
    • 0:13:08 || 2.9 km || 13.2 km/hr (+21 pts)
    • 0:12:59.6 || 3 km || 13.9 km/hr (+23 pts)
  • Cuban Press:
    • 2 kg x 20 reps (+24 pts)
    • 2 kg x 8 reps (+21 pts)
    • 2 kg x 20 reps (+24 pts)
  • Barbell Squat:
    • 20 kg x 6 reps (+49 pts)
    • 20 kg x 6 reps (+49 pts)
    • 20 kg x 5 reps (+46 pts)
    • 20 kg x 6 reps (+49 pts)
    • 20 kg x 6 reps (+49 pts)
  • Romanian Deadlift:
    • 20 kg x 15 reps (+45 pts)
    • 20 kg x 15 reps (+45 pts)
    • 20 kg x 15 reps (+45 pts)
  • Standing Barbell Shoulder Press (OHP):
    • 20 kg x 8 reps (+72 pts)
    • 20 kg x 5 reps (+64 pts)
    • 20 kg x 6 reps (+68 pts)
    • 20 kg x 5 reps (+64 pts)
    • 20 kg x 5 reps (+64 pts)
  • Bent Over Barbell Row:
    • 20 kg x 8 reps (+29 pts)
    • 20 kg x 8 reps (+29 pts)
    • 20 kg x 8 reps (+29 pts)
  • Running (treadmill):
    • 0:02:00 || 10.6 km/hr || 1.5 % (+14 pts)
    • 0:03:55 || 10.6 km/hr || 1.5 % (+32 pts)
    • 0:03:55 || 10.4 km/hr || 1.5 % (+31 pts)
  • Stretching:
    • 0:10:00 (+2 pts)


TMI – Typical…

Filed under: Personal — Tags: , , — Sceptically Me @ 14:24

Oh the joys of running.  The half-marathon that gave me a lovely under-the-nail blood blister was in May. The blood blister is long gone, but it lifted my nail off the bed enough that today when I clipped my big toenail – suddenly most of it is no longer attached to my toe. So now I have half a nail – vertically. And not only is painting my nails out and it looks awful, I’m now afraid it going to catch and tear off the part that is still attached.  Maybe I shouldn’t have clipped anything but too late now. Do I wear a bandaid over it?



Comfort Food – Doing it Right

Filed under: Personal, Recipes — Tags: , , — Sceptically Me @ 20:20

Taking time to relax on my approach to food does feel like its working for me. I think my diet is settling into a more natural pattern – being aware of when I’m hungry as opposed to needy. Trying to keep wheat out of my diet as much as possible – my food journalling has made pretty clear that wheat has an unpleasant effect on how I feel physically and has suggested quite strongly a negative effect on how I feel emotionally. It seems there might be something to the intuitive eating theory that becoming aware of how something affects you will change your interest in eating it. I’m not trying to deny myself although I do need to ‘fight’ the urge for some wheat products. And fail at time although I the donut I ate at work was so unsatisfying I don’t think I’ll be tempted again for a while. I’m not trying to ‘diet’ or lose weight, but I am trying to feel good. So that means working towards a healthier diet, one that meets my emotional and physical needs.

A long day at work, and still nursing a badly sprained ankle, I was hungry and in need of something particularly comforting today. Part of me wanted to stop off at the shops and grab something – a big bag of crisps or something else equally snacky, a nice easy fix to the desire. But it wouldn’t really. Somehow, for the first time in a while, I was able to recognise that. Instead, I made myself sweet potato fries. And they were tasty:


Sweet Potato Fries:

  • pre-heat oven to 200C
  • cut up a large sweet potato into sticks
  • melt a tablespoon of coconut oil
    on a tray
  • mix a generous amount of paprika, a little sprinkling of cayenne pepper to taste, and a little ground black pepper into the oil
  • roll the sweet potato in the oil and bake for approx 20min turning once.
  • sit down with a good book and enjoy


Should you listen to your body?

Filed under: Personal — Tags: , , , , — Sceptically Me @ 21:19

Its idea I struggle with as I don’t really believe that I can trust my body.  And maybe its because I had labradors as the family pet, but I don’t really buy the argument that animals naturally know how much to eat either. That said, I’m intrigued and hopeful for the ideas of the paleo diet and intuitive eating. The question is, how to get there?
If I was a more egotistocal sort, I’d be thinking the universe is answering my questions. But for whatever reason, the blogging world has been helpfully dealing with these very questions.

Older Posts »

Create a free website or blog at