Thursday, 25 March 2010

Metabolic age, shrinking boobage and other stories…

So, by way of an update I have several things to discuss today.

Weigh In – On Saturday I was up by 1.5lbs to 9,12.5. Shocking. I know. Thing is, I went out Friday after training and drank rather a lot of wine with one of my wonderful friend Julia. This then led to much eating of pistachios (the roasted and salted kind, not the healthy kind), which then led to getting in at 1am and eating feta cheese on toast and going to bed at 3am after watching (bizarrely) The Magadalene Sisters.

Now, I realise this is not normal ‘me’ behaviour. But I had a bloody good time AND - this is one of the transformations of mind that I have undergone since getting to goal – is that it’s NOT THE END OF THE WORLD. After all the exercise I did last week and careful eating, there’s no way I gained 1.5lbs of fat. Sure, I properly overindulged Friday night (after a hardcore session of circuit training, I might add!!), right before weigh in – but before I’d got to goal I’d have been so scared to go out on a Friday night. Now, it seems as if there is less importance attached to that Saturday morning number on the scale – which is no bad thing.

Training last week was A-MAZING! I actually love it. We did circuits. I have been getting quite into the whole boxing malarkey of late – on the bag. It started off where Chris would choreograph me like a routine, so jabs and crosses, upper cuts and hooks, but now I have progressed onto ‘freestyling’ which means I go at it hammer and tongs while he times me in minute stints. Seriously good workout. Best of all though, Chris weighed me on the magic scales that calculate all sorts of interesting stuff about your bod. You may recall that the last time I had it measured, in November of 2009, it came back as 33, a couple of years older than my actual chronological age. Apparently you should aim for it to be under your chronological age. So the results came back. My weight was the same as on ww scales, my hydration levels are up considerably (hello! They bloody well should be after religiously chugging 3L of water a day!), by body fat percentage is down to 23% (healthy for my age) from obese levels a year ago, AND my metabolic age has decreased further from 34….to 19! NINETEEN!!! How great is THAT! I feel like Joey in the episode of Friends where he’s all ‘I could pass for 19’ hahaha! So, it’s official – Personal Training does, in fact, reverse the ageing process! J

So far, in all this weight loss and healthy living journey, I can see only 1 negative thing. BYE BYE BOOBS! Yes, they have shrunk to a mere shadow of their former selves *sob* so on Monday I had to go and get measured – which was a traumatic experience made worse by precipitating the necessity for me to then spend £30 on new freakin’ underwear! GRRRRRRR! So, padded bras are the new black for me. God it’s depressing…..but as somebody very wise quipped at me the other day ‘Better flat than fat’ HA! So, not only do I have the body age of a 19 year old, I also have the boobs that I had (or didn’t have) when I was 16. GAH!

In other news, the running is going good. Still slower than I’d like but I’ll get there! Attempted my usual 10k route on Monday afternoon…and completely failed. Had a horrendous pain in my hip flexor at the 6k mark, thought I'd knackered it again... and had to walk for a bit, then tried to run again but to no avail. I gave up. First time that’s ever happened! I’ve never stopped before. I couldn’t stand the impact in my hip. God I was annoyed! A massage Monday night and complete rest day Tuesday (much to my annoyance) seems to have done the trick, because yesterday I was psyched to run and felt good! We knocked out the 10k in 00:56:56 which is my best time yet, it was a much hillier route too so on the flat it’d have been quicker. I kept pace with Chris throughout and sprint finished – my recovery time is getting quicker too! The worst thing I find about running outside I have discovered, is that just when you’re struggling for breath and to take in air, you invariably run past some jackass smoker and get a lungful of disgusting, evil smoke. So inconsiderate.

At Body Pump class this week, there were 2 guys there taking the class for the first time. You may have heard me refer to them as ‘hot gym boys’ in previous posts. They’re the ‘weights’ dudes that hang in the free weights section huffing and puffing and straining and getting ridiculously big traps muscles trying to lift the equivalent weight of a small car….yep, those guys. (really nice guys, not meatheads) So, they swanned into class, got all the heavy plates out and stood a little behind me and to the right – so I could completely see them in the studio mirror. They loaded up their bars for the warm up and off we went. By the time it got to the squat track they were feeling it! Haha! Every time I changed my weight s on the bar I caught one guy checking it out and going heavier on his own bar…and then having to stop half way through the track and lighten it! By the end of the class (shoulder track) I was still doing full push ups on my toes and they were lying down, gasping for breath! It was so funny! I’m not one to laugh at people in the gym – god knows I’ve felt insecure enough in that place in the past, but it was just funny how they were so cocky initially and completely cabbaged by the end! On the way out I got chatting to one of the guys and he called me ‘Superwoman’! he goes ‘You were lifting double the weights I was! I kept trying to go heavier but couldn’t do it!’ I was like ‘I KNOW!’ Dead funny.

And so here we are at Thursday. Might have to have a rethink of workout tonight – possibly just yoga. This girl is tiiiiiiiiired today! And I can’t stop eating! Anyone else get that? All’s I have done all day is graze graze graze.

Hey ho, that’s enough nonsense from me. I’m off to catch up on your worlds.

Lovelove L xoxo

Tuesday, 16 March 2010

Spring? Is that you?!

Currently sitting on a bench in the middle of the town square where I work, in glorious, glorious sunshine, cool breeze, cloudless blue skies above me, and life is good. Not quite warm enough for bare legs or no coat BUT as I sit here - in my winter coat, black tights and suit- I am toasty warm! Oh it's so beautiful out here! Definitely sunglasses weather! The clocks go foward soon (I think) and my most prominent emotion about this is the fact that I'll be able to run in the week during daylight hours! Who'd have thunk it?! This time last year I'd have been more excited about being able to sit in a beer garden at the pub! Hahaha!!!!

Good week thus far. There are exciting things on the horizon, which I want to be a bit more concrete until I reveal on here but suffice it to say that life is sure gonna get interesting!!! (And no, I'm not pregnant before you ask, good grief!)

Having a bit of jip from the old knees this week, which is so very annoying! Had an amazing sunshiney 7 mile run on Sunday- all by myself- it was sooooo good and just what I needed. First time I've run that distance on my own, and managed it in just under an hour so I was very pleased!

Weigh in on sat took me to 9,11 which is great, and still within goal and whatnot so can't complain.

Eating wise all is good- major food comas over the weekend due to a date night with my hub and dinner with the 'rents to celebrate Mother's Day and my brother's birthday. All's I'm saying is my dear mummy MAY have made her legendary lemon drizzle cake, and I MAY have eaten approximately 4 slices of it. Oops. So, straight and narrow it is this week!!!

That's it in a nutshell, time to get back to the grindstone but just wanted to touch base with blogland on this most beautiful of days!

Happy Spring time peeps!

L xoxo

Tuesday, 9 March 2010

Hill sprints, chippy chips and the need to stretch...

So, that was the weekend, that was! Where did it go? Time seems to be flying by! Lots to catch up on, so here goes.

How was my week?

My week was good. I ate ok, bit same-y as I said last post. So thinking I need to shake that up - but that means being organised and planning ahead - 2 things which are in short supply in my life right now! I'm too busy 'doing' life to actually plan stuff - which is weird and a rare occurrence for me, given my perfectionist tendencies, but there you have it - true story! Tonight though will be a planning evening as - Ta Dah! - I have already got my workout in today! I was up with the larks at 6:30am and ran a quick and speedy 3 miles before work! Don't quite know what came over me but the weather is so beautiful lately that it's inspiring me to get out there and run - I am making the most of it before it starts chucking it down or snowing again or some such nonsense, and I am relegated back to the gym!

Exercise last week was good - I managed to cover over 15 miles during the week and got some weights in too, in the form of BodyPump classes. I kinda miss my sessions on my own with the free weights working through a programme though. Must try and fit one of those in soon. Also been a bit slack on the old swiss ball of late too. There's so much to remember! Might watch last night's Glee later whilst kneeling on my Swiss ball and doing lateral arm raises!!!

The triumph of last week was that big run on Monday and then on Wednesday - I am still buzzing off it! I know is wasn't a loooonnnnng way but to me it's a big run! Also triumphed on Friday with the what-to-eat-and-when-to-eat-it on days when I have PT sessions. Lately I've been so paranoid about not having enough energy to get through the Friday night torture session that I've panicked and overloaded so that I feel heavy and sluggish by 6pm and thus not as effective in training. So last Friday I ate the bulk of my food for the day at breakfast and early lunch so I had time to digest it! Worked a treat - felt much stronger and able to train by 6pm. Such a mad learning process but interesting nonetheless. Sunday night we caved and had chip shop chips - oh-my-god divine, but so very, very wrong. The way I see it though, now I CAN have them once in a while because 90% of my eating and exercising is bang on target these days AND I still have to have a life! So I had a chip butty - made with brown bread, I still cannot eat white! With real butter and chippy chips and mushy peas. SERIOUS. FOOD. HEAVEN.

Weekly weigh In?

Well, this was something of a conundrum. I ate over points all week, but still within my maintenance allowance, worked out (for me) minimally and still managed to lose weight. I now weight 9 st 12.5lbs which is 138.5 lbs which is 62.8kg. Weird. It's only 1lb loss, but still takes me 1.5lbs under goal. Hmmmm….I perhaps need to get Chris to re-measure my metabolic age, body fat and lean muscle and whatnot to see if anything's changed.

How did I do on my goals for last week?

My goals last week were to work out every day -FAIL (but this was because I went for a massage on Thursday so was not able to work out after that!), maximise veggies - FAIL(although the first half of the week was amazing!), minimise carbs - SUCCESS, no alcohol - FAIL (a counted and pointed glass of wine in bath on Tuesday), No bread - FAIL (1 slice of counted and pointed toast with a boiled egg for breakfast on Tuesday - I was starving after that mega 11k run Monday night!), minimise processed food intake - SUCCEED (but I don't eat a lot of processed stuff anyways), stay within points each day - FAIL! (But I was never OVER my maintenance allowance so that's ok! Still getting used to being able to eat more!)

So, all in all, not a bad week at all. I am only human!

What will I do this week?

I still need to get a grip of the weekend. I am fabulous all week long and then Saturday arrives, I get weighed, I heave a sigh of relief and all hell breaks loose! I usually take Saturday as a rest day from exercise, but maybe I should switch that to Tuesday (my late night to work each week) so that I can maximise the potential of the weekend? I dunno. This Saturday just gone I got up early and ran 3 miles before 9am and then went to ww. I've never done THAT before but let me tell you IT FELT GREAT! Totally set me up for the day as I was whizzing around setting up at my aunt and uncle's for the party, cooking for said party and getting ready! Definitely going to try that again this weekend - because it gets a workout out of the way, it doesn't take up a lot of time, I don't have to go to the gym and spend hours there and thus, it means my Saturdays are freed up to actually see people!

But back to this week, I will be just carrying on really - nothing especially different. One of my top priorities is to get to yoga. Ha!

NSV of the week?

Being super good with the vino and champers at the party on Saturday and consequently not being hung-over on Sunday! Hurrah!! AND getting my arse outta bed early on Sat morning to exercise.

What working out will I do this week?

This week is 'Beast it' week. This means a week of working out every day and challenging myself just that little bit harder.

Mon - Body Pump and run
Tues - Run and free weights
Wes - Run, BP, swim
Thurs - Run, BP, yoga
Fri - training
Sat- early am run
Sun - BP and Combat

I was also going to do a pilates class on Monday night but instead went running outside with Chris again and did punishing hill sprints over a 50 minute period - basically sprinting up a hill between 2 lamp posts as markers, as fast as you can, then jogging back round the block to the bottom of the hill and doing it all over again. By the 4th rep I was completely cabbaged. Handy hint…when you're speed running and you get fatigued, focus on your arms and pretend you're pulling a rope each time you stride forward. Sounds daft but totally works!! I managed 6 reps of the dreaded hill sprint and then we did a little 4k-er to wind down. Much more fun than pilates but I NEED to prioritise yoga on Thursday because I can feel my legs caning to be sttttretttchedddd……!

Any Other Business

I got an email from Women's Running UK magazine yesterday! They are a fairly new magazine here in the UK and they wanted emails from readers saying why they loved running. I replied and their editor contacted me to ask if they could print my email and a picture ! HAHAHA! How funny is THAT! I am famous.

And with that, dear ones, I will leave you. Keep blog-a-loggin'!

Heaps of love

Lizzie xoxo


Friday, 5 March 2010

"You're going to put your elbow WHERE???!!" and other news....

Happy Friday! So, I survived my mega-run with Chris my PT on Wednesday. We were laughing a LOT because Wednesday morning it was soooo flipping cold! Thankfully by 2pm-ish, the sun had come out and by 3pm we were ready to rock. I was so nervous! This man runs half marathons like they’re 5k! We set off – him at a sprint, me following - utterly dismayed, thinking wtf have I got myself into? - behind. Mercifully, he was just winding me up, and he slowed down to a much more comfortable pace. We had a great run – the route was HARD, and involved lots of hills! Chris took charge of the route so all I needed to focus on was not falling over and breathing! Honestly, roads and pavements around my neighbourhood are so uneven. Shocking. To my surprise and delight, I was able to keep up with him and match stride for stride, although he did slow his pace to run at mine, but not by too much. I even managed a couple of hill sprints and a sprint finish! All in all we did 7 miles in an hour. Not too shabby! I was well buzzing! Another big indicator for me of my increased cardio vascular fitness level was that I was able to chat to Chris throughout our run, rather than wanting to pass out from not being able to catch my breath! IT WAS GREAT and I am really psyched to go out again. I never ever thought I’d be able to sling my runners on and get out there for 7 miles – it’s hard to explain but the very fact of being ABLE to do that totally amazes me. And remember, I haven’t been at this for ages, it was only January I was able to work my way back up to the 5k mark and I never thought that running for in excess of 30 minutes would become par for the course!! Just shows you what you can do if you set your mind to it (and get a bit clued up on how to do it by someone who know what they’re on about!)

So, yeah, suffice it to say I was pretty darn pleased with that little trot around the neighbourhood!

However……..then it was Thursday. Erm….OW!!!!!!!!! Dear Lord above I was in SO MUCH PAIN!!!! I have no idea HOW I managed to exercise before I knew about my IT Band! They were both super-tight the morning after and right into my hip flexors and even my knee caps too! I am decrepit! I stretched LOADS when I got in too, and Thursday morning! Gah! Thank God my PT is also a sports massage therapist. I went last night for a good going over on my legs. The pain is like nothing I have ever experienced. I know it's beneficial because this morning I feel GREAT but, seriously, the pain is intense...but kind of in a good way? That weird fine line between pleasure and pain? Just me?? haha! I dunno :) – I don’t know if you’ve ever had a sports massage, but ‘massage’ doesn’t seem to me to be the correct term for it. Massage should be all relaxing and chilled and indulgent. Perhaps a better term for what I experienced would be ‘torture’. At times there were tears in my eyes as elbows were prodded around various parts of my anatomy. Good grief. There is absolutely no room for dignity or prudishness either! Not when your trainer’s elbow is in your glutes. Howwwwww embarrassing! YIKES THAT HURTS! At one point I had to bite on my own hand, it was that intense. But totally worth it, because as I said, this morning I feel fine, and like I can run again which is good!

We chatted a lot about sports nutrition too (in between me yelling in agony and him laughing at me), and I have been reading about this a lot this week in my spare time, just trying to educate myself a bit more about what I need to put into my body to get the best out of it. You all KNOW that I adore ww, and that this way of eating and counting points and tracking suits me down to the ground. However, sometimes sticking to points means I don’t eat enough to fuel my runs/weights. And when I get in from 7/8miles I don’t want to cook a big meal but instead crave things like cashew nut butter on oatcakes – a big ww no-no because the points values are so high. So part of my adjustment into maintenance is going to be about looking more closely at the quality of what I am eating, and knowing how it will fuel the work outs, not just eating something simply because it’s low in points. Whole new world, people, a whole new world.

Whilst we’re on the subject of maintenance, allow me to update. I think it’s going ok. As I said, I’ve gained a pound since 13th Feb. Rachel says this is ok and that it’s all about experimenting really – trial and error. I think the main thing I have noticed is that I am bit bored with my food this week. I wonder if my system is getting too used to what I’m eating? Can that even happen? I feel the need to shake things up a bit so have pledged to do that next week. I tend to have the same ‘go to’ foods when I’m busy or distracted or focussed on something other than eating (rare!!) plus the fact that I am a creature of habit and routine so I get stuck quite a lot. Time to shake it up I think! This week, for example, I have eaten a lot of pineapple where before that I have been in an apple phase. Even such a little insignificant change has made it more interesting and changed my eating habits a bit.

This week in my office (where there are 4 other women, all of whom are in their 40’s and 50’s so, older than me) one of my colleagues had a birthday. So she bought in cake. Not just any cake. Carrott cake. THE cake of ALL cakes. To me, at least. I REALLY WANTED SOME! And because it was Sainsbury’s organic range it worked out that ¼ of it was only 1.5points – sounds crazy but is nonetheless true! I really enjoyed it. Before I hit goal I would have denied myself that pleasure – a sacrifice for the scale gods in anticipation of weigh in, but at maintenance it’s a different story. I feel that I CAN be less strict with myself these days. So, when my lovely husband bought me a glass of wine and small bowl of popcorn on Tuesday night as I was in the bath(TMI??!!!) trying to ease the post-run DOMS, I gladly accepted, whereas before I would have totally got mad at him and refused the treats because I HAVE TO LOSE WEIGHT AND DON’T YOU KNOW ME BUT AT ALL YOU GIANT DOOFUS STOP TRYING TO SABOTAGE MEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE or words to that effect.

All in all this is a much nicer way to be. And now that I have learnt to control my eating, a small treat is entirely different from a giant binge. It’s as if, I dunno, my perspective has shifted? This is the biggest deal about maintenance to me.

I have noticed too that my perception of what is beautiful has also changed. By this I mean that I have long been a subscriber to Vogue (UK and US if you must know). I get the whole health argument about not more size zero models, really I do, but you know what, in my head, a skinny girl is always going to look more beautiful than a bigger girl. I KNOW THIS IS WRONG PLEASE DON’T HATE ME! I AM TRYING TO CHANGE IT!! I have been conditioned (not solely by the media, before I get sued by Vogue!) to think that skin and bone and angles equates with beauty. Now that is shifting as I watch my own body transform and muscles become defined and my shape alters yet again and yes I fit into smaller clothes and I am more streamlined but toned and defined and almost athletic looking! It’s really REALLY weird! During the back track in BodyPump class on Weds (only done one class this week – go me! Not being obsessive! YAAYYYYYY!) I was mesmerised as I watched myself clean and press 6 times in a row. My arms look fabulous (even if I do say so myself!) sure, they’re skinny, but toned and defined NOT waif-like! Weird.

Having focused so much on outdoor running this past few weeks, I am really missing my gym time. So next week is going to be a ‘beast it’ week. Not OVER training, but pushing myself to workout everyday and put in some good solid hours at the gym, with my new programme that involves running a very fast kilometre in between each super set that targets a specific area. I am going to be cabbaged, but conditioned! So that’s next week – all the more reason to eat right over the weekend. I am going to try an early morning run tomorrow before weightwatchers to see how that feels - watch this space! And do a couple of classes on Sunday to kickstart my week. I checked my proposed schedule out with C last night and he doesn’t think it’s overdoing it so I’m gonna push on and see what happens.

I am so glad it’s Friday! The sun is shining, I have training tonight, and people over then Saturday I am catching up with my gorgeous friend Julie and her equally gorgeous baby, Bethany and then going to a fabulous party! Bring on the weekend!

Hope you’re all good, wherever you are, and that you have a lovely weekend indeed!

Massive love

Lizzie x

Wednesday, 3 March 2010

I heart running....

I gained a pound this week. I actually thought I would be more annoyed than I am. But, turns out, I’m actually not that annoyed. I know what to do to pull it back and that’s what I’m doing this week!

Today I want to talk about running. I absolutely love it. On Monday I could not wait to get home, throw on my running gear and get out there. The weather was so gorgeous. Don’t get me wrong, it’s still full on freezation BUT the skies were blue, cloudless and the sun was just gorgeous! The promise of Spring is within our reach and I just felt…..amazing. I’m so glad I can move. I so glad I have legs. I’m so glad that I’ve found this thing that I never thought I’d be able to do. And I am astounded at how much I love it!

Monday was my personal best so far (and only about the 10th time I have EVER run outdoors in my life) I ran 7 miles in 67 minutes, which is way faster than my treadmill pace, for some reason I didn’t think it would be! I never thought I’d be able to give up the treadmill, it fits so comfortably with my need to control, but running outside felt so freeing and challenging in a completely different way. My biggest challenge on the treadmill is to ignore the clock and zone out, focusing on putting one foot in front of another, and getting to the distance goal I set. Running outside is not like that – I tend to work in stages rather than distance, it’s rather helpful not having a neon display in front of you at all times – even when I cover it with my towel I am still sorely tempted to peek! The regular route I’m running now I am getting to know the surfaces, the hills, hard bits, bits where I can speed up, where I need to slow down, and unlike on a treadmill, it’s much more ‘organic’ running – by this I mean that I am not ‘sitting’ in my hips and letting my legs propel me forward in the manner of Road Runner, it’s more of a whole body engaged thing. There’s things to look at, and actually it’s hard to let yourself daydream away because you might trip or get run over or have any one of a whole host of potential hazards happen to you! On my ‘final stage’ of my route, I run down my road, which is a nice gentle hill. The pavement on either side is quite uneven so I tend to run on the actual road (in my glow-in-the-dark stuff!) and about half way down there is a gargantuan pothole in the middle of the road and I always make sure I look to avoid it! If I were daydreaming away you can bet your butt I’d end up sprawled all over the show having tripped! I am a clumsy-ass at the best of times!! Especially since it was dark when I completed the route!

I’ve pretty much done all my long runs (well, long for me as a beginner anyway!) on a treadmill – those 10k I was doing once a week were all treadmill runs, but yesterday I wanted to see if I could match that in the real world. So when I set off at about 5:45pm it was light, sunny and gorgeous. I tried not to set myself too big a goal and just pay attention to my body and how I felt. It was hard, don’t get me wrong, but I definitely feel as if I am getting fitter – and more able to pace myself and breathe and actually enjoy it rather than it being a total slog and not fun at all!

The 3rd lap was pretty tough, about mile 4/5 and I slowed down, but as soon as I caught my breath I was able to push it again. I felt tremendous when I’d finished!!! Knees sore, IT band on BOTH legs sore but I stretched and stretched and got in a hot bath and massaged the pain away. Day after, I felt like an old woman but repeated my treatment last night and today I’m fit as a fiddle!

Chris the PT and I are going running today at 3pm *gulp* ‘I know a good 10k route’ he said……I’m slightly scared!

I’ll be back with an update. Wish me luck!!!!!