I was going to begin this blog post on the 2020 review about the books that I wrote and my weightloss during lockdowns, with my good wishes for the New Year.
I was going to add some hopeful messages about 2021 being better than 2020. And then what we most feared here in the UK happened: we went into another national lockdown. That’s No3. Although there is good news regarding the vaccine, 2021 and especially the long winter months ahead do seem bleak.
And now there is terrible news from the US where the very foundations of democracy are being threatened. Let’s hope the situation calms down soon, because I, for one, am very scared about what migth happen next.
Happy New Year
Still, we must remain positive and hopeful that 2021 will indeed turn out to be better than 2020. The sun will rise tomorrow too. Right?
2020 Review: Books and Writing
What can you say about 2020? There are so many things I missed (and still do today): travel, family get-togethers, Finland in the summer and now in the snow, skiing, seeing my friends, fellow writers, connecting with my readers in real life. And hugs. Oh, my, how I miss hugging everybody!
Yet, there were so many things that I achieved in 2020, which I know I wouldn’t have done without the lockdowns.
Being forced to stay at home at my desk made me more productive and enabled me to complete difficult projects that I’d been putting off. They included updating my nonfiction title, WRITE YOUR STORY as well as my first published novel, THE ENGLISH HEART, Book 1 in The Nordic Heart series. I also managed to write two new titles, THE ISLAND DAUGHTER, and WRITE EVERY DAY. And I published the BOXSET OF BOOKS 1-3 in Love on the Island series. Whoop, whoop!
I am now knee-deep into the first draft of AN ISLAND SUMMER, Book 4 in Love on the Island series. This novel will be out on pre-order very soon, so watch this space!
2020 Review: Weight Loss
Something even more important than writing projects (yes, I KNOW!) happened in 2020, for which I feel a great sense of achievement.
I’ve talked a little bit here about my weight loss in 2020, although it has absolutely nothing to do with books. Oh, that’s not quite right. It all started with a book! I saw an article in a newspaper about a book on how, if you lose 15 kilograms, you can beat Type 2 Diabetes.
I’d been suffering from this condition for a few years and try as I might hadn’t managed to control my sugar levels with a healthy eating plan, vegan diet, or added exercise. Nurses and health professionals repeatedly warned me against ‘extreme dieting’, and I myself didn’t really believe that I could ever lose weight again.
Over the previous 10 years, I’d gained about 10 kilograms and just didn’t seem to be able to shift this extra weight whatever I did. I have to admit, I have never been very good at dieting, and haven’t really ever followed a proper program in my life. Before I hit 50, I was slim enough, and if my weight began to rise, all I needed to do was to eat a little less for a day or two. I did try Michael Mosley’s intermittent fasting diet a few years ago and lost a little that way. But when I got my Diabetes diagnosis I stopped that. Foolish, I know.
The Book That Changed Everything
The book that changed everything for me was Life Without Diabetes by Professor Roy Taylor.
This book gave me the confidence to go on a 700 calorie diet for eight weeks. I began losing weight very much as it states in the book, 4kg in the first week and about 1.5kg each week thereafter. I am now 17kg lighter than I was at the start of the diet in August and eating normally. Naturally, I avoid sugary things and white carbs, but occasionally I do have those too now. I gained 1.5 kilos over Christmas, but am now back to my ideal weight of around 70Kg. I also do regular exercise, as I did before the diet.
2020 Review: Pilates
Which brings me to Pilates. Before we moved to London some ten years ago (coincidentally?) I stopped doing Pilates. Before this, I’d been taking one-to-one lessons with Anne Moss for years, but just couldn’t get myself going to find a new teacher. I also had a health scare which meant I had to have a small operation, stopping core exercises for a while, and that was that. Apparently, it takes just three weeks to form a habit, and I guess the same is true backwards. I got used to not doing Pilates.
Lockdown in 2020 changed all that! I found out via Instagram that Anne (or Annie to her friends) was starting online classes via Hive Yoga in Bath. I was delighted! I’ve been taking classes three times per week for what must be nine months now and I am loving it. I feel more flexible again, and more toned and just generally happier with myself. The daily runs or walks help too. 😉
You can find more pictures from my daily writing life on Instagram here.
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