Be Brave. Have Courage. Keep Going

Be Brave and Courageous
Success is not final, failure is not fatal, it is the courage to continue that counts.” – Winston Churchill

Be Brave. Have Courage. Keep Going.

I stomped back home with a big scowl on my face the entire way.  I had only left the house less than 10 minutes earlier to complete my final run/walk of the week and was delighted to have gotten myself mentally in gear to get out the front door in the first place (always a tough one).  I had already jogged on the spot in front of my mirror to gauge how clingy my gear was and how much of my stomach would be on display through my clothes, jiggling about in public while I was running and had come to terms with that (be brave, have courage, no one is going to be looking at you anyway!!).  My right foot had started to hurt only a couple of minutes into the warm up and then when I was about to start running a message appeared on my Garmin informing me that the battery was nearly empty!!! I had thought I was deadly connecting it up to be charged the previous night in anticipation of needing it the following day but evidently had neglected to actually plug it into the wall.  I was fit to be tied.  I really didn’t want to complete the run without the Garmin as I really thrive on the progress reports and was loathe to use my phone to count up the intervals so the stomping ensued back to the house with a big petulant head on me to charge up my running watch.

Now here was a spectacular opportunity to plonk myself on the couch under that crocheted blanket to watch a movie or read a book as I marched back in the front door.Let yourself be brave  Sure hadn’t I make the effort? Sure didn’t I lace up the runners and actually get out the door?  But sure 10 minutes in and it all fell apart so at this stage now I deserve a treat and sure it just wasn’t meant to be?  It was that kind of thinking that had me near 18 stone in the first place so I warned myself that if I wanted to keep losing the pounds to reach a safer and healthier weight that I needed to keep my attitude steady and focused.  So I chose to pull myself together, plugged in the watch, had my lunch and launched myself back out there an hour later.
It felt tougher out there than the previous runs this week and no wonder as I miscalculated in my head and ended up running a 7 minute interval instead of a 6 minute interval! GO ME!

This week I’ve completed Week 6 of Hannah’s running plan so that meant I’d to increase my running intervals from 4 minutes to 6 minutes.  For the first of those runs I was not brave, quaking at the thought of the exertion to keep going for longer but more so I was anxious of making a pig’s breakfast of it and failing. What if I couldn’t do it?  What if I had to stop? But then, nearly worse, what if I succeed?  What if I CAN do it? What then? I decided that when I’d reach minute 4 that I’d just keep going.  I was feeling very sluggish at the start of the run and it felt like I was clip clopping around the pitch in big clumsy wooden clogs.  When I hit the first 4 minutes and kept going I was ecstatic and could feel butterflies in my stomach.  When I passed the 5 minute mark and kept going, I really started to believe that I CAN DO THIS!!!  When I was running for 6 minutes my eyes started watering and I starting sobbing. Thank Christ there was no one else there to witness this snivelling mess!  I think it was right about then that Katie Perry was singing in my ear, “Do you know that there’s still a chance for you/’Cause there’s a spark in you/You just got to ignite the light and let it shine….. you’re a firework …. show them what you’re worth….” and sure I lost the run of myself altogether then, sobbing my heart out on the other side of my comfort zone.  I had to stay going though, that was only the first interval!  I was brave, I had courage, I kept going!!!

“Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate.
Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure.
It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us.Be Brave
We ask ourselves, who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous?
Actually, who are you not to be?
You are a child of God.
Your playing small does not serve the world.
There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won’t feel
insecure around you.
We are all meant to shine, as children do.
We were born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us.
It’s not just in some of us, it’s in everyone.
And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission
to do the same.
As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others.”

– Marianne Williamson

What is so terrifying about making progress and succeeding? Why do we sometimes fear stretching what we are capable of, excelling our expectations of ourselves, growing beyond our comfort zones? Why do we sometimes (or all the time!) shy away from standing up in our own space and allowing ourselves to truly shine?
I am an absolute divil for stepping back, for keeping my head down, not rocking the boat, not causing any ripples, staying in the shadows.  I have woken up to myself now. I want to hear my own voice and I want to listen to her, to stop suffocating her existence by stuffing her with food.  For the longest time I have felt myself to be a disposable character in my own life and treated myself as such.  What was festering away within me was manifesting itself without in how I looked, how I carried myself, how I horsed on nearly 10 stone.  I forgot I had choices.  I forgot that I could choose to be brave, choose to have courage, choose to keep going.  I want now to shake my own world, to step up, to take responsibility and own the gifted capabilities that I have been bestowed with.  I am choosing to allow myself to unfurl within, to unwrap myself gently.



My Dieting Update

I have lost a fantastic 4.2lbs this week, bringing my total weight loss over the last 16 weeks to 2 stone 11lbs.  Only 94lbs to go!!!  My BMI reading has also dropped from 46.8 to 39.5.
Please find below a selection of recipes I make at home for my family that we enjoy and which help keep me on track!  Enjoy!


Red Pesto Smoked Salmon Sambo

The grocery shopping needed to be done so pickings were slim and I was starring into the fridge on Saturday there, wondering “What can I make for lunch?” and this lovely tasty sambo was born!
It was delicious and the whole plate was only 336 calories!

  • 1 x Pat the Baker Multiseed SlimboRed Pesto Salmon Sambo
  • handful of rocket leaves
  • 2 cherry tomatoes
  • 10g Good 4 U Super Sprouts
  • 2 slices smoked salmon (mine was 34g)
  • 50g half fat creme fraiche
  • 1 tsp red pesto
  • 50g red seedless grapes
  • 20g blueberries
  • sea salt & freshly ground pepper


  • Lightly toast the slimbo.
  • Mix the red pesto into the creme fraiche and season a little with sea salt and freshly ground pepper.
  • Start layering the ingredients upon the bottom half of the slimbo starting with the rocket leaves and following with the tomatoes, the sprouts, the salmon and topping with the red pesto creme fraiche mix and finally the lovely seeded top of the slimbo.
  • Serve with red grapes and blueberries.

Parmesan Chicken

This is one of my absolute favourite chicken recipes and I love cheese (giving thanks every
day that I am not lactose intolerant or allergic!) so this combination is very tasty.  The Parmesan chicken itself here is 273 calories on its own but including the salad and fruit brings the plate to 331 calories in total, a very light meal. Enjoy!


  • Parmesan Chicken with leaves, berries, melon1 skinless chicken breast (above was 168g)
  • 22g approx. grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1 egg white, whisked
  • handful of salad leaves
  • 80g Cantaloupe melon (edible part)
  • 45g blueberries


  • Preheat your grill to a medium heat.
  • Whisk the egg white and place on a plate. Sprinkle out the Parmesan cheese on a second plate.
  • Remove any sinewy bits from the chicken breast.  Place between two sheets of cling film and bash with a rolling pin until it’s roughly the same thickness but not too thin or the chicken could break up.
  • Dip the chicken over and back in the egg white ensuring all the chicken has been covered.
  • Place the chicken then onto the bed of Parmesan and keep turning it until it is evenly covered in the cheese.
  • Gently place on the grill rack and fill in any patchy parts with remaining cheese.
  • When first side is cooked and golden (about 5 mins depending on your heat) turn over and cook the second side, again filling in any patchy parts with remaining cheese.
  • Serve on a bed of salad leaves with the blueberries, melon and apricot.

Savoy Colcannon with Smoked Bacon

I spotted a lovely recipe for Colcannon in the Easy Food Magazine’s Cookbook and have
adapted it here to suit our tastes at home and thankfully it was a hit with my two boyosSavoy Colcannon with Smoked Bacon! An uneasy look passed between them at the sight of dark green bits in their potato but they were troupers and lashed into it.  Although for future reference it’s been kindly suggested to me to remove the bacon pieces for one of them before serving 🙂 I’ve tried making colcannon before without butter and honestly found it lacking so there is real butter in
here but I’ve cut it right back to 8g per serving and have used a low calorie spray oil to cook the bacon.  I had tried using some of the butter to cook the bacon on initial attempt but the butter started to burn before the bacon was crispy so I used the spray oil on the following occasion. You could cook up some
chopped onion too along with the bacon instead of using onion granules like I have but I know my chaps would refuse to eat it if they felt the texture of an onion in their mouths so the onion granules are a great alternative for this house! The recipe below is for 3 servings at 259 calories per serving. Enjoy!


  • 500g potatoes, peeled and chopped into roughly same size chunks
  • 3 smoked back bacon rashers, chopped, all visible fat removed
  • 24g real butter
  • 1 large leaf of savoy cabbage, shredded (about 50g, central hard stalk removed)
  • 100ml low fat milk
  • 2 tsp onion granules
  • sea salt and freshly ground pepper to season
  • Frylight spray or olive oil spray


  • Place potato chunks into cold water, bring to the boil for about 20 mins or until tender enough that you can easily prick with a fork. Drain and leave aside still in the saucepan, covered.
  • Cook your chopped rashers until crispy using a few sprays of oil, remove from pan and set aside.
  • Add the butter and the shredded cabbage to the same pan and cook until the cabbage has softened.  This takes about 5 minutes and I’ve timed myself! Stay with this, stirring, and keep an eye on it so the butter doesn’t burn. ( I had tried “shredding” the cabbage by using a cheese grater but that so did not work so just pulled it apart into small pieces.)
  • Add the milk to the potatoes and mash together.
  • Stir in the onion granules to the mash, season with salt and pepper and back on to the hob to heat through.
  • Now stir in the buttery savoy cabbage and crispy bacon bits and it’s ready to serve.

As yummy as this colcannon is I still had other additions running through my head as I was enjoying it, “God wouldn’t a portion of baked beans really be gorgeous with this or … MELTED CHEESE!!! Enjoy!
Before I sign off for this weeks blog we need your help. We have been shortlisted in the Blog Awards Ireland and as part of the judging, 30% of the final judging score will be down to you. We need to show that people do actually read our blogs 🙂 As we have been nominated in 2 company categories we are up against companies that have a lot of staff so every vote counts.
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Thank you to those who have already voted for Why Weight Ireland

Mary & Hannah xx


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