Monthly Archives: May 2011

Running 5k (away from peanut butter!)

Since coming back from holiday in April half a stone heavier, (all that lovely American food was worth it!), my fitness regime has taken a bit of a nosedive. I haven’t had the desire to get back on the Weight Watchers bandwagon yet, so I’ve been relying on sporadic gym visits to get me back on track.

Peanut butter on toastAlas, I’m only human, and I’m not working out enough to combat the speed I can eat peanut butter on toast! To spur me on, I’ve signed up again this year for the St Albans Race for Life. The thought of running a 5k where I MUST BEAT last year’s time, is enough pressure to get my trainers back on!

Being a great fan of ‘The Biggest Loser USA’ and MTV’s ‘I Used To Be Fat’, I’m mortified to see people weighing twice as much as I do, running 5K in half the time it takes me! Ok, so these people work out for 6 hours every day with a personal trainer by their side but even so, I was feeling pretty inadequate.

For all you treadmill junkies out there, I usually run on a 7.2km speed and build up slowly to 8.5km by the end. If I complete the 5k (because sometimes I haven’t got the stamina to run more than 3k), it takes around 45 minutes. To up the ante, my speed is now 8.5km for most of the run with a quick sprint right at the end, in desperation to get finished! This takes about 35 minutes.

I’m never going to break any Olympic speed records at this rate, but as long as I can run the whole way AND beat last year’s time, it will be a great achievement for me! Why not donate the cost of one cup of coffee to a great cause? £2.50 can help to make a world of difference in cancer research… If you’d like to sponsor me, follow this link

Thanks to for the image!

Super-size, American style!

Anyone who knows me is familiar with my love affair with America – it’s the holiday destination of choice for Other Half and I (every year if finances allow!) One of the reasons we love going is to sample the different foods on offer but, one thing never fails to amaze us – the portion sizes are out of this world, but not in a good way!

Whilst in Florida, we visited Olive Garden – a popular Italian style restaurant chain. We went in for lunch and ordered a pizza for me and a pasta dish for Other Half. The waitress asked whether I wanted soup or salad and I politely declined either. She looked at me wide-eyed in shock and said, “But it’s free?!?” To keep the peace, I agreed to a salad and Other Half chose one of the 4 soups on offer. We had delicious warm, fluffy garlic breadsticks left on the table to occupy us while we waited.

Less than 10 minutes later, my super-sized salad arrived…
  Olive Garden Salad

I’m not sure if the photo conveys how big this 1 person salad is, but it’s no exaggeration to say I could have worn the bowl as a hat! We also heard from the customer behind us that the soup and salad can be replenished at no extra cost, as many times as you like. This is all before the main course has even arrived…

This is the norm in America. I often wonder what the Yanks think when they visit Britain – are they astounded that you have to order and pay for a separate starter? When the main course arrives, are they startled by the average sized portion?

I love America and its wonderfully hospitable people, but they are literally killing themselves with kindness…