Being benevoLent

Wednesday, 18 February 2015

I’m not an actively practicing Christian but the idea of giving something up for Lent really appealed to me this year. I’m aware of how fortunate I am in that I rarely have to deny myself anything. It really sucks to know that there are parents in the UK using food banks to feed their families and I’m actively choosing to cut back but that’s why it’s important. I think that the act of giving something up during Lent is a really great way to remind yourself of how fortunate you are. Not to mention that spring has started to arrive in the last few days and there’s nothing like a bit of sun peeking through the clouds to make you want to prepare yourself for summer.

I’m giving up sugar.

I’m giving up sugar as an ingredient – I won’t be eating anything that has sugar, glucose, fructose, dextrose or any other word ending in “ose” on the label. I’m giving up things that are mainly sugars, like honey and maple syrup, and I’m giving up things that contain a lot of fructose in them. I’ll still be eating some natural sugars but by cutting out the added sugar and naturally high sugar foods my overall sugar intake should be less than 3-4 teaspoons a day. To put that into perspective, the average person consumes around 14 teaspoons of sugar a day. I’m doing this because I have a sweet tooth and eat too many treats. I also eat a lot of added sugar in food because I don’t take the time to check what I’m eating. Giving up sugar will require me to give up foods that I like a lot, and eat more consciously.

I used the Children’s Society Lent calculator to calculate how much I’ll be saving by not eating a chocolate bar every day - £33.60 – and I’ll be donating this at the end of Lent. I've signed up to the benevoLent challenge to help keep myself on track. I've also signed up to 40 Acts to get daily prompts on being more generous during Lent.

40 days is a long time but I’m excited. It’s a fantastic opportunity for reflection, to make some important lifestyle changes and practice generosity in a more deliberate way.

Babies and Blankets

Thursday, 21 November 2013

Some lovely ladies had some very cute babies this year so I made some baby blankets to keep them warm:

Emma's Baby Blanket

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How to set up a running club

Monday, 19 August 2013

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Following on from my successful completion of the couch to 5k running programme with a group of friends I am sharing how I set up a running club from scratch.

1. Identify a group of people
By definition a club consists of people so you’ll need to recruit some other people. I started with my work friends because we’d all been threatening to start exercising and I knew that we were all at the same level – absolute beginner. You only need 1 other person but the more people there are the greater accountability you’ll have.
I had 5 people join Team Scrambled Legs and it is a great number as it means that even if some people cannot make the run, there’s always at least 2 people hitting the road.

Within a few weeks, Sam joined in and it's great to have another motivator for the weekend runs.

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2. Identify a time you can run
If you haven’t got the time to run you simply won’t do it. I wanted to run at lunchtime so as not to eat into my own time before and after work. Pick a time that works with your schedule. If you’re not a morning person, don’t plan to get up at 6am to get a run in before work.

3. Get a running plan
I cannot recommend this enough. As an absolute beginner to running it was easy to pick a plan and there are loads of couch to 5k running plans to follow. I picked the one from the NHS website and we followed it to the letter. I think it is important to start slowly and build up at an appropriate pace. Having a plan meant we always knew what we were looking to achieve and I don’t think that we could have dragged ourselves out of the building if we’d have been aimlessly jogging along. Mentally ticking off each run of the programme is hugely rewarding and a motivator to keep going.

4. Set a goal
I personally need a goal to work towards and get me lacing up my trainers no matter what. The obvious goal for our running programme was a 5k race at the end of the 6 weeks. Seeing our progress towards the race was a real motivator.

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5. Put it in your diary
Once you know when you’ll be running, get it booked in everyone’s diaries. Make sure everyone knows when they are to be where.

6. Send text reminders to members
Running at lunchtime at work meant that we all needed to remember to bring our running kit in the mornings. To prevent people from forgetting their kit I sent them a text either the night before or the morning of a run.

7. Run!
Enjoy it and have fun!

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New goal achieved: Started running!

Sunday, 18 August 2013

One of the many reasons why I haven't had as much time to devote to Project:Lorna recently has been a new hobby in my life: running.

For those who know me well, they know that the news that Sam and I ran a 5k race this morning will be a crazy shock:

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About 7 weeks ago the unbelievable words "we should start a running club" came out of my mouth and today we did our first race.

Sam and I crossed the line together, well within nine tenths of a second, and at 34 minutes and 22 seconds I'm pretty delighted to come in under our target time of 35 mins.

Team Scrambled Legs achieved something great today and it feels so good!

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