Aimee Horton

Getting Fit, to Feel Epic and win a Fitbit Zip and Fitbit Wi-Fi Scales

Jan
28

Last year I started off January getting fit.  I’d discovered running in 2011 and after a knee injury and some decent trainers I got back on it.  I loved it.  Not only  was it the perfect way to get some “me” time without having to deal with the perky chatty people at the gym (NO I DO NOT WANT TO DO ZUMBA IN HALLOWEEN COSTUMES THANK YOU), I loved the air in my lungs, the rhythm to my songs, and that feeling of adrenaline when I came back home.  I even ran UP A MOUNTAIN WHILE ON HOLIDAY!

I felt good, not just health wise, but confidence wise too, suddenly wearing a bikini on the beach didn’t have me quivering like a wreck, my jeans fit better, and all was good.  I even signed up to the Lincoln 10k which I ran last March in aid of Julia’s House for a VERY special boy. Sam gave me the motivation to keep going when I was at my most tired, when my legs wanted to fall off, and when I thought that pizza and wine was better.

So fast they couldn't get a non-blurry photo of me *cough*

So fast they couldn’t get a non-blurry photo of me *cough*

But after I’d done the race, after I’d recovered, after I’d been proud, I became slack.  I’ve not run properly since June time, and you know what, this makes me sad.  You see, I’m a tad competitive, I can’t just go out for a run for the love of it, especially when it’s been a while.  I forget how much I enjoy it, I use being exhausted as an excuse, and suddenly “tomorrow” becomes next week, next month, next year, so here we are.  It’s next year, in fact, it’s nearly February and I’ve not even attempted to update my running play list yet.  My competitiveness is getting in my way, I don’t want to go out for a run ’round the block and not even hit the 2 mile mark before I have to walk. I CAN’T DO THAT!  Oh, and before you say it, I KNOW IT DOESN’T MATTER, but that’ doesn’t change a thing, because I’m that arrogant.

However, just as I was starting to compile a plan, the lovely Jo made me aware of the “Get Fit Feel Epic competition from Moneysupermarket.com” and I thought it would be the perfect oppertunity to give myself a kick up the backside.  They’re giving away two fab prizes, a Fitbit Zip Wireless Activity Tracker, worth £49.99 and Fitbit Aria Wi-Fi Smart Scales, worth £99.99.  Both of which I’ve investigated, considered but not got ’round to purchasing yet.

 

The Fitbit Zip tracks your steps, distance, and calories burned – and syncs those stats to your computer and select smartphones.

 

The Fitbit Aria tracks your weight, % body fat, and BMI over time with a host of online graphs and mobile tools to help you reach your goals.

So what is to be done? What will break the cycle, increase my motivation and fitness levels and give me the boot to go for a run?  Well, I’m currently shredding.  That’s right.  That 20 minute work out where the annoying lady shouts at you.  Oh and can I just say Jillian I’d be more impressed if you did it rather then wandering around while the other two girls do it.  I KNOW THE AB’S DON’T COME FOR FREE, AND NO I WON’T PHONE IT IN OK?

*sigh*

After that, after I’ve completed it and been on my 3 day all inclusive holiday where inevitably I will do nothing but eat I should technically be fit enough to run at a decent level again.  I MAY even enter the 10k again…

Wish me luck folks, my tins of beans are waiting for me, and Jillian doesn’t appear to be a very patient person..

 

 

When you get to think about “A Grand Adventure”.

Jan
14

I’m not really one for adventures.  Not in the traditional sense.  Even as a child, playing Famous Five on my own with the cat as Timmy (how tragic), I was always Anne.  Not because I was traditional 50’s housewife wannabe, not because I wanted to be the little wife, but because she never got her hands dirty.  All she had to do was stick a few eggs on to boil and while the others were out playing at being men she could kick back with a book and a sneaky bottle of Ginger Beer.  Sensible girl I say.

Anne - Famous Five

Good, Clean, Sensible Fun.

So when Money Supermarket approached me to blog about A Grand Adventure I had to think long and hard about my response.  After all, the only time you will get me anywhere which has no plug sockets, shared toilets, and only the “good old fresh air” in place of air-conditioning would be when hell froze over.

My initial reaction was “New York, Me and Him, BISH BASH BOSH DONE”.

NEW YORK, NEW YORK

My favourite city in the world

Then I felt a little guilty.  After all, adventures are perfect for children aren’t they? <Insert long suffering sigh here>.

Thing is, as I tried to decide on an epic adventure I began to realize, we try too hard these days don’t we?  We are so caught up in the whirlwind of “stuff” that sometimes we forget that kids don’t always need STUFF.  Memories are far better.

So what do I remember?  Laughter, fun, sun.  Long lazy days.  Making a lion on the beach.  Sand stuck to the sole of my feet, lollies that taste of watermelons, ice creams with whistles instead of sticks, diving for my dads watch at the bottom of the pool, BBQs, sliding into the paddling pool with the hose down the slide, jumping over bushes in the garden.  Of the smell of sun cream, ice cold lemonade.  The feeling of security that at the end of the day, you could snuggle up in bed and do it all again tomorrow.

A lot of this was experienced in the UK, we stopped going abroad when I was about eight years old for many reasons, but that didn’t matter, because while I was at school I remember long summer days in the garden, running between to my friends house and back.  I remember holidaying in Devon, sitting on boat soaking up the heat before jumping into the sea.

These days, the weather in the UK is unpredictable.  The likelihood of a hot week in the summer is small, and often you end up spending more in the rain to compensate for lack of days on the beach.  So, in order for my children to enjoy the adventure of the sun, we’re going to take our adventure abroad.

People seem to think you have to spend thousands and thousands of pounds to take your family abroad.  Well you don’t.  Not when all you’re looking for is some sun, sea and fun.  So where am I taking my three boys?

To Spain of course…well to Nerja to be more specific.  A beautiful town on the Costa del Sol, two beaches close by, back and side streets to explore and the Balcon De Europa perfectly placed in the middle for some people watching, see gazing, and sipping a gin strong coffee whilst listening to the local musicians.

Nerja

Balcon De Europa

No matter what the rep always says at your welcome meeting of the package holiday, you don’t need to spend £220 for a family of four to go on a 4×4 Jeep Safari to make your holiday an adventure, £150 abseiling down a mountain. Nor do you need a free bullfight ending up with the purchase of a juicer.

Bullfighting for your excitement?

An adventure can be made out of anything, from finding a different (if slightly precarious) path down to the beach, sneaking down for a sneaky early morning swim in the pool when the sun is still rising and the grass is still damp from the overnight sprinklers.  Watching fish that you’ve chosen be cooked on the BBQ, covering the burning hot patio with water to keep your feet cool, and chasing treacherous waves and jumping over them, digging a hole so big you lose your armbands and have to dig them up.  Baths in the sink and laughing (in hindsight) at big waves coming and washing away your towel and sunglasses!

And baths in the sink

Eating paella which you’ve witnessed being made in a massive tin in a beachside restaurant, attempting to eat an ice cream bigger then your head.  Chasing a beach ball which is blowing away in a sudden sea breeze.  Picnics with crunchy bit of sand in your sandwiches, coco pops outside in the sunshine, swimming with a ridiculously large, pointless blow up creature.

Paella on the beach

 

Swimming with the local wildlife

Ice creams bigger then your head

Holidays in the sun for a family don’t have to expensive, and they don’t have to be stuffed full of activities.  Sometimes the best adventure catches up with you when you least expect it.

So how do I spend my virtual £1,000?

We’d rent a little two bedroom villa.  That’s right I said Villa.  This one  which is just a walk away from the beach is £580 max in the peak months, meaning that even though we have to go in the summer holidays, we still have £420 to play with to aid our adventure.   It doesn’t have to be posh, just pretty, private, safe and secure.

Villa Tetuan

Having just done a quick travel insurance quote on MoneySupermarket.com we can easily cover ourselves for less then £20 (£15).  Worth it for a few memories…

Thinking about the days adventures

Flying

The rest would be split between food,

All you need is prawns...

All you need is prawns…

something to dig with,

The sand between your toes

something to relax on…

Relaxing

…and perhaps a bottle of gin or famous Spanish brandy – both €5 a bottle – to recover from another epic day.