Posted in Diet, Exercise

No Exercise Nightmare?

As somebody who usually tries to interweave exercise into their schedule, the thought of two weeks without ANY exercise (even walking the dog) seemed like a nightmare at first. However, after having some keyhole surgery of the gynecological variety, this two week ban was absolutely what, just a week ago, I was faced with.

My initial reaction was shock and horror – surely I would turn into a blob if a didn’t keep up at least some attempt at exercise? However, the actuality has been far from the truth.

For the first few days I was, understandably, not too aware of eating or exercise; being topped up on a range of pain-killers and the aftermath of a general anesthetic put paid to any anxiety regarding those two concerns.

Once I’d come around enough to know who I was (a slight exaggeration), I began considering the fact that, without movement as an option, the only area I could really focus on was what I was putting in my mouth. This became a revelation because, of course, alongside not being able to move came a necessary absence from work. Without work came a massive reduction in stress and timetable occupation- thus creating the head space for me to:

a) really focus on an eating plan

b) implement it without distractions

One aspect that I felt was important for me was portion control. I’m not a fan of weighing everything out (who is?!) but felt like I needed to be aware of how much food was the right amount, especially if I wanted to lose a little weight. To help me with this, I decided to explore the Weight Watchers points allowance system. I had tried Weight Watchers in the past and found it really helpful. At the time, I became a fully paid up member and attended the weekly meetings. This time, I just wanted the guidelines rather than the support or the products, and found http://www.healthyweightforum.org/eng/calculators/ww-points-plus/ helpful as it allowed me to calculate the points that I would need, as well as giving a reminder of the general principles.

I discovered that I needed 26 points a day if I wanted to lose weight, with an additional 49 which can be taken on any day throughout the week, allowing for indulgence within parameters.

“But how do you know how many points each food has?” I hear you cry. Well, I found the Protracker app on my iphone (for around a £2 one-off payment) which offers a diary that lets you record your consumed foods and reduces your daily and weekly point allowance accordingly. To track the food, you can either input the dietary information manually or, if the product is already stored, scan the barcode of the food that you’re consuming and it includes the information for you. The brilliant thing about this app is that it is linked up to the WW Points system, so sticking to the system is simple!

To start with, it is a bit of a faff to scan or enter the information, but as you continue using it, I found that most of the foods I ate tended to pop up again in my menu at some point, so sourcing their information had already been done. Once a ‘bank’ of foods has been developed, it becomes a much more efficient process.

The end result has been that I have had ‘real food’, not processed, I have had a clear idea about the quantity that I should be eating and I’ve felt a sense of achievement in sticking to my points allowance.

Having the head space to decide on and begin to implement an eating plan has been such a bonus, and, with one week of recovery left, I am just left to consider how I ca gradually introduce exercise into life, whilst maintaining my eating, and going back to work…how hard can it be?

Posted in Exercise

Strength-aarrgghhh

So as I mentioned on my other post, I was inspired by Nerd Fitness  to try some strength training to reach my goals, and my awesome boyfriend was more than willing to write a workout program for me (he likes that kind of thing :P).

So on Sunday afternoon (after, I might add, driving 3 hours in total to visit a dog we’re hoping to rehome and feeling very tired- I was feeling very feeble and needed some encouragement) I went to the gym and undertook part one of the 3 sessions he had planned for me, it consisted of the following:

-squats just using the barbell to warm up (10 reps)

-squats using 10 kg on barbell (8 reps)

-squats using 20 kg on barbell (6 reps)

-squats using 30 kg on barbell (4 reps)

-squats using 35 kg on barbell (2 reps)

(the barbell weight 20kg , just FYI 😉

The whole time I focused on form; ensuring the movement was like sitting in a chair, pushing my bum back, keeping my back straight, keeping the weight in the heel of my foot (so that, should I feel the need, I was always able to ‘wiggle my toes’).

Then we did: 5 sets of 10 kettle bell swings (12kg), 50 Russian Twists using an 8kg medicine ball, the same pyramid set of tricep pulls on the machine as above (increasing the weight and decreasing the reps) and then I was done.

At the end I felt fine, completely different to a cardio or circuit session.  The surprise came the next day when my whole body ached, but in that good way when you know you’ve worked hard. I’m looking forward to my next sessions, which I’ll post about when they’re done, and then being able to squat more and more weight.

 

Posted in Exercise

Running

GT-2000 4 HOT CORAL/BLACK/WHITE 3

I went for the first run in about a month today. I’ve been struggling with a knee injury since mid July and have only just mustered the courage to brave it again!

We’re currently babysitting a lovely Border Collie, so he was a lovely companion. I only did around 2 and a half or 3 miles…I don’t want to push it too far too soon. But it did feel good to be back out there again. I’m going to continue with the short distance for a while and then begin to build it up again.

Above are the running shoes I would like to buy next…we’ll have to see how the accounts look by the end of the month 😛

Posted in Diet, Exercise

This is me…

I was listening to a podcast on a recent journey that was talking about the merit of setting goals. So, what the heck, here’s mine:

-Get down to , and maintain 9st 4lb in weight (allowing for general fluctuation of course!)

Now, I know the pitfalls with setting yourself a weight goal, but I’ve toyed with it for ages and it feels like the right thing for me, and here are the reasons why: first and foremost it is well within the healthy BMI range for my height; I will be eating healthy, clean meals in the process; it is a personal goal that I want to reach.

I’ve tried just focusing on healthy eating and exercise before, but without a tangible goal, one that weighing yourself undeniably gives you, I’ve found it hard to maintain momentum after around a month. Hey, that’s just the way I’m made!

Anyway, that was the ‘why’, and equally as important is the ‘how’. Below I’ll list a few of the things I’ll be doing to reach that goal:

  • Exercising 5 times a week, including; gym classes, running, walking, swimming, climbing, at home circuits
  • Drinking at least 2 cups of green tea a day
  • Drinking loads of water
  • Reducing carbohydrates from lunch/tea depending on level of exercise (eg. without being ridiculous!)
  • Increasing consumption of protein and vegetables
  • Recording my weight on a regular basis
  • Taking pictures to track progress on a regular basis

So there you have it, my steps to success. I’ll keep you updated with the journey!