#walk1000miles Challenge Day 8

Sunday 21st June 2015

I did not do a great deal of walking today. Greg spent most of the day re-laying the flags on the drive, so he burnt off his calories with some heavy lifting and moving his arms around.  One of the quirks of the activity tracker is that it actually measures how much you swing your arm about, rather than actual steps that your feet take – although it classes them as steps.

I walked up into town, but did not do much else, so today my total was only 3.5 miles.

After all the effort earlier in the week, this ended up being quite a sluggish weekend.

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#walk1000miles Challenge Day 7

Saturday 20th June

Today was another sluggish day because I was not feeling at all well. I woke up full of the cold with a sore throat and actually slept until about 11am. I suppose I have released off a lot of stuff over the last few days and finally come to peace with the double glazing industry. I can finally look at my experiences of last year from a place a peace and gratitude, so that is a huge step forward.

I am actually now looking forward to going back to work and to starting to earn some money again. It has been a tough 6 months from a money point of view and my grand plan of winning the lottery and living a life of abundance, doing exactly what I want to do, did not quite come to fruition. My job will at least get us back in a place where we can do a lot of the things we want to do. I am starting to see positives and to look forward to the future with some optimism again.

Hopefully this might now start the winning streak again. I was quite disappointed with the results from June’s comping efforts, but then again, it was all a bit hit and miss as I was not very consistent with comp entries.

My body today felt very heavy and sluggish and it was a real effort to move anywhere.

We did go for a little walk around Pooley Nature Reserve and in total I walked 2.85 miles.

There were several cute duck families on the canal. One was on the water and came swimming rapidly over towards us when they saw us. I think we looked like ideal candidates for feeding them lots of bread, but unfortunately we did not have any.

Another duck family was on the canal bank and they were very keen to show us their best side for a photograph!

ducks at pooley copyright gregory goldston

From starting this challenges last Sunday, that has given me a total of 48.6 miles for the first week.

So, I am a bit ahead for the first week, however I need to keep that momentum going, to make sure that I stay over the 40 miles per week.

Have a great week.


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#walk1000miles Challenge Day 6

Friday 19th June 2015

Today was quite a sluggish day as I only ended up walking 3.60miles.

This was partly because I went for a job interview and got a new job and partly because I was feeling rather lethargic.

New Job

I was really pleased with to be offered a new job as a Sales Consultant with Everest Home Improvements and am looking forward to getting started. This is an industry I am familiar with and I am now working with the company that can legitimately claim to have the best products, as permitted by the ASA (Advertising Standards Authority).

Walk away your Troubles

This also goes to show how walking really can clear negative experiences out of your system as I have spent several days clearing out my thoughts, feelings and judgments about a previous company. I knew I needed to come to a place of neutrality with it, to take responsibility for my own decisions and stop blaming others.

Once I was truly able to come to a place of being grateful for that previous opportunity, the people involved in it and the money I earned, then I knew I was ready to move onto something new.

I realised how low my confidence and self-esteem had fallen over the last six months, which, when I had combined that with excess eating and lack of movement, had not left me in the best of places.

When I came back from the interview, Greg commented on how much more confident I looked. I felt better in myself, apart from the cold that was starting. I had suspected it was coming because my throat felt like I had “swallowed a cold.” It was probably also a case of the end of a chapter and the start of something new. This is also combined with quite an intense build up of energy for the Summer solstice on Sunday 21st June.

Short Walk Around Stationfields

We went for a short walk around the Stationfields today, but I really was dragging myself along. Greg lit the fire for me and I curled up on the sofa and went to sleep. I was in bed by 11pm and slept until 10am the next day.

3.60 miles today.

Have an awesome day.




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#walk1000miles Challenge Day 5

Amington Circular

Today I got up early, as Greg is at home and he needed to go to work, so I was en route for my walk by 8.15am. I think I am starting to get fitter as I walked for about 2 and ¼ hours and I covered around 5 miles. Quite a lot of this was through meadow areas where there was high grass and wildflowers. I was fortunate in that someone had obviously gone that way before me because there was quite a clearly defined path through the overgrown fields.

I walked along the fields past Stationfields in Tamworth and then headed towards Amington and the first possible place to cross the river. I then walked back on the other side, keeping as close to the river as I could, although the path sometimes came quite a way inland before going back towards the river.

It was a bit of a journey of discovery, as I was not quite sure where I was going to come out. We have previously walked part of this route, but not all of it. I was curious to see where I would be able to cross when I came to the railway bridges. I ended up going underneath two very low bridges and walking along the river, heading away from where I wanted to go!

I soon recognised where I was as I had come out at a part of Tamworth called Bolehall. I shall be very glad to get a phone with maps on it next week, so I have at least got some idea where I am and where the path is going to lead me.

This was a 5 mile circular route, which brought me back past the shops, which was good as I needed to stock up on Chocolate to go with our daily latte later on today, when Greg comes home.

Arms and Upper Body exercises

Before I went out, I did some exercises to tone up my back and chest muscles, as well as the flab that has accumulated under my arms. I used the dumbbells we have, without any weights, and realised how much tone and strength I have lost since I stopped going to the gym, as I could hardly move the weight before my arms were hurting and I was puffing.

Base Layer and Leggins

I have a lovely, stretchy base layer top, with long sleeves and I decided I would see if that still fitted me. This was with the idea of keeping my arms separate from my body in my clothes, so that my arms would not rub against the fat under my arms. To my surprise, it still fitted me, although it is a very snug fit. I found that, as I was walking along and swinging my arms, that this “well-fitting” top started to ride up over my stomach. This was combined with my “well-fitting” walking leggings that kept riding downwards, so I spent most of the walk with a rather cold, exposed stomach area.

Yes, my clothes were reminding me that I have out on weight, as both of these items fitted perfectly when I bought them last year!

Husband Approval

All this walking does seem to be paying off and the results are starting to be noticeable, even after a week. My husband commented on my shapely legs and observed that my stomach seemed flatter and my bottom looked more toned – and he approved! So that is a good thing and an excellent incentive to keep going!


Greg had been trying to ring a man a tyre replacement place to book his car in to get the tyres changes, but he could not get hold of him by phone, so he asked me to walk down to the place and see if I could speak to the man in person. This was in Kettlebrook, which is just over a mile away from our house. I did this, only to get there and find the man was not there as he had had an altercation with a lawnmower and damaged his hands! Not much good for changing tyres.

By the time I got back I had already walked more than 8 miles for the day!

Further Walking for Greg’s Steps

Greg is also monitoring his activity levels and has two main goals for each day. These are to walk more than 10,000 steps and to cover more than 5 miles. In order to help him to achieve his goal for the day, we had another walk.

We went around the Stationfields again.

With additional moving around, I clocked up 12.45 miles today and 29,138 steps, so my little leggies are a bit tired!


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#walk1000miles Challenge Day 4

Around Tamworth

I got on the scales this morning before I went out and nearly had kittens!

My weight has soared back up to 15st 7lbs (217 lbs/ 98kg), which considering that the lowest point I reached was 12st 12 lbs (180 lbs/ 81kg), that is quite a substantial weight gain. I know I have been stressed over a lot of things over the last year, but I had not realised things had got quite so out of hand.

So it looks as if walking really is going to play a big part in my life. I also need to really cut back on my eating, especially junk food and chocolate (groan!!). When I lost weight before, the things that made a big difference were:

1) writing down everything I eat
2) having smaller portions and eating slower
3) not eating late in the evenings
4) cutting out snacking

So, I need to take this in hand.

I worked out that, if I lost 7lbs (half a stone/ about 3kg) every month until the end of the year, that would be a weight reduction of about 3 stone (42lbs/ 19kg ) by the end of the year. That needs to be my goal, if I am planning on walking up mountains.

Today, I walked up the hill out of Tamworth, towards Rawlett School and turned towards Coton Green, with a view to walking down the hill to the Fox Pub and back in a circular route.

You can see Hopwas Woods in the distance, so I thibk I might go up there again tomorrow.

When I got to the bottom, there was a path that went through the houses, so I followed that and it actually cut off quite a lot of my route. I found myself walking under power lines and felt a bit disoriented with the buzzing of the power lines directly above me.

This is the area where the main rail tracks run through Tamworth and you can see Tamworth’s famous blocks of flats in the distance.

It ended up being a shorter walk today, as, surprisingly it was only about 4 miles in total.

I have found that my skin is rubbing under my arms and on my sides. I know this is one area where I have really gained weight, so I need to start to do some exercises for those muscles. I shall try some Chest Press type exercises and Upright Rowing type exercises to see if that helps.

I have managed to do a few extra steps with just moving around. Perhaps that is the perpetual “Tea and Pee” cycle, where I make a cup of tea, then need a pee, then repeat the cycle.

Today I walked 6.23 miles in total.

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Inspiration Card of the Day – TRUST

This is a very appropriate card for me today.

I am looking at new opportunities and not sure whether they are right for me or not, largely because I have done something similar in the past and have gathered up a few negative perceptions and ideas.

Maybe that needs to be the focus of today’s walk. Let Go, open up to new opportunities and TRUST that the right thing will unfold for me.

Inspiration Card Trust by Gregory Goldston


Doorway to St Magnus Cathedral, Kirkwall in the Orkney Islands, Scotland. This catheral was founded in 1137 is 877 years old

Card Meaning

New opportunities around you and new doors are opening. Whilst you may not be able to see what is on the other side, trust your heart, take that leap of faith, be willing to let go of the old, accept the changes and move forward to a new and exciting place.

Trust in yourself and the intuitive wisdom that you are receiving. Trust in your heart and know that the steps you are being guide to take are the right ones for you and for your highest good.

Listen to those intuitive promptings and to that quiet inner voice and to the feelings in your gut and your heart. Trust that your Higher Self knows exactly the right steps for you to take. Check in with your heart that this decision feels to be the right one – and then take action.

Sometimes you can plan something so far and then it requires a leap of faith and a willingness to trust in the Universe and yourself that everything will turn out for the best.

Greg Goldston
Inspirational Photographer


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Walk1000miles Challenge Day 3

Fazeley Canals #walk1000miles

In Tamworth there is a little lake outside the Snowdome building, which extends towards the Retail Park. I have only ever previously noticed it when it has been flooded. Despite living in Tamworth for 12 years, I had never walked around it, so I decided I would do that today and then continue along the cycle path to Fazeley. There is a canal and a marina at Fazeley, so I decided to explore this area.

I was really surprised at the amount of wildlife around the lake. Many of the ducks and birds were really tame. As I walked along I saw a Swan family with some baby cygnets. When the parents saw me, they steered the little ones over to the bank, almost as if they were proudly showing me their lovely family.

I tried to apply some of Greg’s photography tips for taking pictures which were:
1) Look at things from a different perspective. Hold the camera horizontally, as well as vertically and see what different shots you can get when you look up at and down onto things.
2) Make sure that you have a comfortable stance when you take a photograph. Breathe deeply, so you are relaxed when you take a photo. I found that my photos are actually better when I am both looking at my subject, but also have my whole body pointing in the same direction, so I am not twisted.

I took some interesting photos yesterday where I had half the picture sharply in focus and half of it blurred. We have not figured out how I managed to do that!

I walked down to Fazeley and picked up the canal path, although it did not go where I thought it went. There are actually two canals in Fazeley and I did manage to get myself on the right one, going the right way back towards Tamworth.

It was a five mile route in total.

I am getting a new phone next week, so I shall be very glad to have one that has maps and GPS on it, as I am doing a lot of guesswork with routes at the moment.

I came home to a plateful of yummy, gorgeous, chocolate brownie that my daughter had made. I find it very hard to resist, so I have probably put back on all the calories I walked off during my walk. Hmm, I don’t think that is quite the idea behind the walking!

I am starting to feel calmer in myself. I feel less angry and more accepting of myself and my choices that have brought me to my current life situation. I am starting to feel more open to new ideas and less negative about previous working experiences.

I am taking deep breaths as I am walking along and trying to really swing my arms, not only to make sure the Garmin tracker properly registers the steps, but also to get more of my muscles moving in my body.

In total today, I walked 8.01 miles.

Have an awesome day.

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#1000mile walk challenge Day 2

Hopwas Woods

I decided that I would like to try some different walks for this challenge, partly because it gives variety to what I am writing on my blog, but also because it might help with some “FRESH” Thinking. I would also like to try to reach places without using the car at all, which means I am going to have to stretch myself further than I have done previously.

Today, I walked from Tamworth Town Centre to Hopwas, on the way to Lichfield. It is 2 and ½ miles to the Tame Otter pub in Hopwas.

I then walked up the hill to St Chad’s Church. This is one of the oldest churches in Tamworth, being consecrated in 1879.

It is a very pretty building. Over the years we have attended many functions in there, as our daughter, Jacqueline, was part of both Hopwas Brownies and Hopwas Guides. St Chad’s Church has always been very involved in the community and has been a great supporter of activities for young people.

As Greg, my husband, had been teaching me about photography, I thought I would practise some of my new found skills and take lots of different photos from different angles and perspectives. I need to get myself a camera with a front facing lens because my trusty GE video camera (that was a prize from a competition on Sixty Plus Surfers Website) does not have the capacity to take selfie shots! Or, if it does, I have not yet figured out how to use that function!

I walked down through the woods and along the canal in front of a disused quarry and along to a Bridge, where I was able to cross over and walk back to the Tame Otter Pub at Hopwas.

I walked back to Tamworth Town Centre. In total this was a 7 mile walk and over 17,000 steps. This is not including the rest of the steps and miles that I might do during the rest of the day.

My legs and my bottom were really aching when I got back and I was very glad to take off my trusty leather walking boots as my feet were beginning to hurt.

So that was the physical journey.

As I was walking along, I began to ask myself, “Why am I really doing this Challenge and what can I make it mean for me?” Apart from losing weight and getting fitter, what do I really want to accomplish?”

Mental, Emotional and Spiritual Journey

Walking for Healing and Releasing Blocks (especially money)

Yes, my aim is to use my walking as a way of releasing off all the old emotional baggage that seems to be blocking money from flowing into my life. I want to use it as a way of opening up new creativity and ideas and to create a more nourishing mind-body connection than I currently have. I want to get physical, mental and emotional toxins to clear out of every layer, including down to the cellular level.

What stops money flowing into my life?

According to some personal development material I have been reading recently, money can be blocked by holding onto old negative thoughts, feelings and beliefs about myself and others. Some of these emotions might be things like anger, jealousy and resentment, or things like shame, blame or guilt. There might be some fears mixed in there and maybe somewhere, deep down, the judgement that money is bad or that I am not worthy to receive it, so just enough comes into my life, but not enough to live the life of my dreams.

I have come to the decision that I am truly sick of carrying all this negativity around with me. It all needs to go, so I can open myself up to receiving new and good stuff, especially money, into my life.

Street Healing

As I walked past shops and businesses today, I thought about my experiences with those companies and the people that run them. Far from wishing them abundance and prosperity, I found myself recalling negative experiences and reasons why I did not like those people and the things that had gone wrong in the business relationship, which were a mixture of my “fault” and their “fault.” Some of these incidents were more than 10 years old!!!

Why was I still holding onto this stuff???? It is all long gone! Why I am still giving it space in my mind, body and energy field? Why am I still holding onto in my cells in my body? No wonder there is no space for me and my current dreams in there!!!

I began to repeat a forgiveness prayer called Ho’o’po’o’pono, which consists of only four lines:
I am Sorry
Please Forgive Me
Thank You
I Love You

As I chanted, I imagined the negativity leaving my body through my feet. I imagined that the Earth was taking all this negativity and dissolving it. As I breathed in, I imagined my body filling up with energy and power. I actually began to feel physically lighter.

So, by the time I have walked 1000 miles over the next 6 months, I should be physically fitter and emotionally lighter!

In total, I covered 9.43 miles today.

Have a sparkling, pleasure-filled day.

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1000 Miles Walk Challenge


I have just come across this challenge to walk 1000 miles during the course of a year and I thought that it is perfect for me.

I am starting it today, 14th June 2015, which, incidentally, was my paternal grandmother’s birthday (Happy Birthday Nanny Ridd), so I am already half way through the year.

This means I need to walk around 40 miles a week, from now until the end of the year, which is just over 6 miles a day.

I think that is actually quite achievable.

I have my Garmin VivoFit on my wrist, which I won from a competition run by wave 105 radio  a couple of months ago. This is brilliant because it tracks my steps and also tells me how many miles I have walked in a day. I have discovered that 13500 steps equates to around 6 miles for me, so that is a great gauge as to what I am doing.

Garmin Prize win from Wave 105 Radio

Garmin Prize win from Wave 105 Radio

So why do I want to do this?

Well, I have put on a bit of weight recently, with doing a lot of sitting and eating and not much moving, so I want and need to shift the extra stones/pounds that I have allowed to take up residence around my stomach and my bottom.

I have been doing a lot of thinking recently as to what I want to do with my life and I would love to spend my days walking in the mountains of Switzerland, and showing other people the wonders of the mountains, so in order to do that, I need to be a lot fitter than I am right now.

I want to go on more walking trips within the UK to explore the beauty of the English countryside, especially mountains, and then share that awesomeness with others.

I also find that walking is a great healer and a great way to release old, negative emotions. I find myself very tearful at the moment, which might be my age or my hormones or some other quirk or nature, so walking 1000 miles might just be a Journey to a whole new, happier me!

Day One – Walk around StationFields in Tamworth

This is right on my doorstep and is about 3 miles as a round trip, although there is a lot of scope to walk much further. I like to walk up and around the top of the first field, from where there are some great views back towards Tamworth.

Tamworth, as a town, was once the ancient capital of Mercia and has a long history going back thousands of years. When I stand on the top of the hill, I often imagine the Knights of Old galloping down over the open fields, and heading towards the castle in Tamworth, which is almost in a straight line.

This is a very pretty area, especially when the fields are awash with crops. There has been talk of building houses here on these fields, which would be a real shame, although I wonder whether anyone from the Council has been down here when it has rained heavily and seen the extent of the flooding in these fields!

I walked around to the fields by the river and then tried to follow the path up to the fields at the top. They were very overgrown. It was gorgeous to see fields of meadow land, with tall grasses and wild flowers but it was very difficult to walk through.

Part Two – Pooley Nature Reserve

When I got back, my husband Greg asked me if I would like to go to Pooley Nature Reserve with him to take some photographs. I thought this would be a great idea, as it would help improve my photography skills and also help me to cover a few more miles.

We did not walk as far as we normally do when we go to Pooley because we were focused more on taking photographs.

It was a fabulous afternoon out, and, by the time I had finished, I had walked over 5 miles in total.

Daily Updates

I shall be keeping track of my daily miles and steps in my Garmin VivFit.

So, the journey of 1000 miles has begun today with the first steps.

According to my tracker, I walked 6.03 miles and 14,205 steps.
With abundant blessings.

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Direction – Inspiration Card of the Day

Choose Your Direction

Direction - Top of Porlock Hill, Exmoor North Devon, ©2015 Gregory Goldston

Direction – Top of Porlock Hill, Exmoor North Devon Direction – Top of Porlock Hill, Exmoor North Devon ©2015 Gregory Goldston


The top of Porlock Hill, Exmoor, Somerset, in the South West of England, UK. This is looking towards Minehead. From this spot you can see for miles across the Moorlands of Exmoor and out towards the waters of the Bristol Channel. The scenery is stunning.

I grew up in this part of the world and absolutely love it

The difference is height from top to bottom is appropriately 1300 feet (or 400metres) over the space of about 2 miles. The gradient is as steep as 1 in 4 in places with hairpin bends. There have been a few burnt out brakes by the time vehicles get to the bottom and a few speeding vehicles has made use of the conveniently located emergency stopping places on the way down!

Yes, I have seen cyclists coming UP the hill and have had to admire their endurance and calf muscles!

One of the best parts of this hill has to be the ice-cream van conveniently located about half way up, that sells some of the most yummiest, locally made ice-cream known to womankind (and children).

 Inspiration Card Meaning

Decide where you want to go, make your plans, take control of the action steps that YOU need to take and set off in the direction of your dreams. Take one step at a time and the path will unfold for you. There is a lot of energy in moving forward.

As you set off on your journey, you are likely to encounter obstacles and challenges. Take them as they come. Take the time to think each one thorough as you encounter it and take appropriate action.

Most success comes from following the steps, to the sign posts (or even the white lines in the road), one step at a time.

There is a huge amount of energy and power in knowing where you want to go. Set your goal, your intention and your destination and start.

There are also endless ways you can get to the same goal. Pick one route, get started and if you need to make detours around obstacles, those other paths will open up to you.

As you find a direction of where you want, or need to go, remember to enjoy the journey and to appreciate the amazing experiences and people along the way. Go at a speed that is appropriate for you.

Trust in the process and don’t worry too much about what might be ahead.

Have a fabulous day.

Amanda Goldston
Life Alchemist

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