A pop-princess-inspired progress check

Cheryl Cole is four years younger than me. Four years! And she’s already the queen of a nation’s hearts. She’s also about to take over America. How can I catch up? It’s time for a progress report.


I have been walking quite a lot, but I’m only nine days away from a marathon, and I’m doing nothing like marathon distances. Nine days! Till I have to walk 26 miles. My aim is quite simple. I want to finish the course before it closes. That gives me eight hours. To walk 26 miles.

The whole 26 miles thing was stressing me out. Until I remembered the summer of 1995. That summer, while at an Irish course in the Gaeltacht, I was living in Tigh Nóra Bn Uí Shúilleabháin in Cathair Bó Sine in Ventry. By her name and address, you can probably gather that the house wasn’t near anywhere. Anywhere at all. It was three miles from the house in Cathair Bó Sine to the Hall in Ventry. We used to leave after breakfast and walk three miles to school, walk three miles back for dinner, walk three miles to the hall for sports, three miles back for tea, three miles to the Céilí and then three miles back home. That’s a lot of three miles. It’s eighteen miles a day. Every day. For twenty-one days. If I could do that as a weak-willed, long-haired pimply teenager, then a marathon is no problem. None at all! Honest! Fingers crossed. Eek!

Also in exercise news, my hundred push ups and two hundred squats projects continue apace.


Food is generally going well. My freezer and store cupboard are being depleted, but are still quite full. It’s amazing how far €100 of food will take you. I am going a bit bats without bread. I miss the doughy wonderfulness, but I’m feeling healthier. I have cooked something every day this week, which is good going.

I have stopped raiding my bank account (mainly because there isn’t anything in it). I’m off to Sligo this weekend with €70 in my pocket. That’s hopefully enough to get petrol, pay tolls and feed myself.

I have now gone for quite a number of 48-hour periods without cigarettes, and it’s not that hard, other than the gnawing awfulness of horror, pain and torment. However, I am having the odd cigarette. When I haven’t smoked for a while, my first cigarette makes me feel dizzy and puky. I persist, and addict myself all over again. With the marathon coming up, I’m fairly confident, I can do a week without them.


You’ll probably have noticed that posts have been thin on the ground this month. I was full of cock-eyed optimism last week and had a great weekend. However, when I weighed in, I was so disgusted at the result that I didn’t post it. I determined to weigh myself on Monday morning and cheat the system. I have always thought that we’re lighter in the morning than in the evening. Incredibly, I gained three pounds overnight. I will post my weigh-in results for this week.

I had been using less-than-life-affirming slogans to motivate myself like “Suck it up, bitch!” These had been working, but I have decided to be more positive. I considered the sayings I learnt in Weight Watchers as a teenager, like “Nothing tastes as good as being slim feels” and “If you do the things you always did, you get the results you always got.” In the end, I settled for simplicity. There is now a sign hanging at the end of my bed. It says, “You won’t do anything until you do it!”

Cheryl had better look out. I’m on my way to the top!

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