An update of my goals

Nearly 3 months ago I posted my goals and it seems to be time to revisit them and see what I’ve achieved (or not…)

1)      Lose 10lbs by June   Well I’ve lost 3lbs since then, now just another 7 to go… 

2)      Run 5km in 30 minutes by September Getting there! I ran 5km in 34 minutes this week which is my fastest time yet. I’m doing the Hackney 5k on June 21st which will be my first proper timed race so watch this space

3)      Build my upper body strength This is definitely happening! I can now do proper push ups and my punches in boxing are getting waaaaaaay better

4)      Try a new exercise class every other week Yeah, I’ve been a bit slack on this one. Put it down to lack of time and money. Still, on my list are: Aerial yoga, some sort of obstacle race (any suggestions?) and paddle boarding

5)      Stick to the 80:20 rule (eat clean 80% of the time but have fun the other 20%!) I’m sticking to this pretty well! Although I might be stretching the 20% a little too far… 

And here are my new goals to add to the list:

6)      Work hard on my legs to lose some fat and build some lean muscle. Come at me baby giraffe legs….

7)       Attempt a Whole30 challenge – again, watch this space

8)       Get back into swimming at the London Fields Lido when the weather finally picks up

It’s time to get over myself

Last week I was taught a very important lesson.

I haven’t been back to the army boot camp class since I was upset about coming last on every single running exercise and I felt I had to tell Dean, the instructor, why I hadn’t been in a few weeks. I didn’t want him to feel that I didn’t like him or his class!

His response was: ‘I completely understand but you need to get over yourself. No one else noticed you were last, no one else cares and that’s completely not the point’. 

*verbal slap round the face*

This is something that I need to take on board. I need to stop comparing myself to other people; my progress is my progress, no one else’s. 

I’m 14lbs lighter, a hell of a lot more toned and much stronger and fitter than I was 4 months ago. This is huge progress and I have to remind myself to be proud of what I’ve achieved so far. 

Back to the grind

I’ve just spent the weekend in Brighton with some great friends and my lovely boyfriend and I completely relaxed my diet and exercise regime. I ate:

– Crisps

– Chocolate

– Biscuits

– Curry

– Bread

– Rice

– Ice cream

Oh and I drank rather a lot of prosecco in the sunshine…

But rather than feeling guilty about any of it as I would have done last year, I relished it and enjoyed every single mouthful. Sometimes you just need a blow out!

However, it’s back to the grind this morning with an intense 45 minutes circuit session at my favourite place in East London, London Fields Fitness Studio followed by some delicious chocolate protein oats with chia seeds and berries. It’s time to shift that last stubborn bit of weight and tone up for summer…

Rise and Shine Breakfast Recipes

One of the biggest things I’ve learnt over the last few months is the importance of having a good breakfast every day. It kickstarts your metabolism after 12 hours of not eating, it wakes your brain up and it gives you the energy to get through the morning. I can’t function without breakfast these days!

Here are 4 of my favourite recipes, all under 350 calories…

1) Bircher Muesli

– 50g gluten free oats

– 1 x grated apple

– Splash of apple juice

– ½ cup fat-free natural yogurt

– Fruit to serve

Mix the oats, grated apple, apple juice and yogurt together in a bowl, cover and place in the fridge overnight. In the morning add whatever fruit you prefer and serve.

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2) Simple Fruity Oats

– 25g gluten free oats

– ½ cup fat-free natural yogurt

– ½ grapefruit (or 1 cup of the fruit of your choice)

Mix together all of the ingredients and devour.

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3) Quick Berry Oatmeal

– 25g gluten free oats

– ½ cup frozen berries

– Teaspoon of cinnamon

– Teaspoon of agave syrup (to serve)

Mix the oats, berries and cinnamon together with enough water to make the mixture runny. Microwave for 1:30, squeeze on the agave syrup and enjoy.

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4) 3 Ingredient Pancakes 

– 1 x ripe banana

– 2 x medium eggs

– ¼ cup berries

– Teaspoon of cinnamon (to serve)

– Teaspoon of agave syrup (to serve)

– 2 x rashers turkey bacon

Mix the banana and eggs into a lumpy batter and stir in the berries. Cook like a normal pancake in a greased pan (I use 1 cal olive oil spray), flipping only when the top side starts to cook as well. At the same time grill the turkey bacon. Serve sprinkled with cinnamon and agave syrup. 

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Thank you

I started this blog as a place to keep myself accountable to my fitness and health journey and to start writing again. 

Suddenly, it’s become so much more than that.

At a close friend’s wedding yesterday, 6 different people came up to me and said that they’d been reading my blog and had been motivated to make a small change. 

I didn’t realise that:

a) People actually read my blog

b) I was inspiring anyone

c) Anyone else was finding it hard as I was

So this is just a quick post to say thank you to all of those people who took the time to let me know that they enjoy my blog. You’ve all inspired me to keep plugging away, keep trying new things and keep writing about it. We can get there together! 

The siege is over

It’s been 5 weeks. 5 frustratingly demoralising weeks.

But finally I have taken a step off my weight plateau and lost my first pound in 5 weeks. I’m still 6lbs away from my goal weight but I’ve accepted that these last few pounds are going to be the most difficult to lose. I’m trying to focus more on how I feel and look which is helping but after spending my entire life looking at numbers on the scale it’s tough to step away from using that as a measure. 

To remind myself of how far I’ve come, I made this:

That’s 14lbs (1 stone) down and 2 dress sizes *dance of pride*

To blitz this last bit of weight I’m ramping up my exercise do include more cardio and hiit workouts with my trainer. I’m also going to up the amount of protein I’m taking in by trying out Maxitone Sculptress protein powder to replace 1 meal a day (probably breakfast) accompanied by some fruit. 

Wish me luck! 

Sometimes it feels like you’re running backwards

I’ve been flying pretty high for the past few weeks because I feel like I’m getting stronger, my 30 day paleo challenge has been going well and my body shape is noticeably changing.

But even with all of that, I suffered a bit of a setback yesterday.

I went back to Dean’s Boot Camp at London Fields Fitness Studio last night which I’d been loving before I went to India. There’s a lot of running and cardio involved in this class which takes place outside in London Fields. 

Now, as you all know, I’m not the strongest runner, but I am getting better. That said, mixing burpees and push ups with laps around the park was a real struggle. 

I was getting back to base last on every single run, often quite a way behind everyone else. As much as I wanted to run faster, I realised that I couldn’t have completed the reps at that tempo so I stuck to my slow and steady plod. 

However, shuffling along by myself started to get to me. Everyone else seemed so much fitter, faster and stronger. I started to feel like a failure which I haven’t felt for a while. I’ve come such a long way already but the huge distance that I still have to go suddenly seemed like a step too far.

The only thing that picked me up was a massive high five from Dean at the end of the circuit and some encouraging words from him to tell me to maintain my tempo and that I was doing well. 

Following that class I’ve added a new aim for 2014: to not come last in every running circuit. 

It’s something to aim for and I’m going to start getting there by going back to Dean’s class on Saturday morning and running my little legs off. 

Photo credit: http://www.motivationblog.org/running-inspirational-posters/#.Uyxpnz9_sVA

Mash Up – circuits and boxing all in one… ouch…

This week’s new class was Mash Up with Kate from Form Fitness at my favourite place in East London, London Fields Fitness Studio.

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Picture credit: Kate Stewart (http://www.formfitness.co.uk/about-me/)

It’s an hour’s worth of circuits, boxing and some core work. Now, I like circuits because you get to work lots of different muscle groups and just when you think you’re about to pass out from effort, it’s time to move on to the next exercise.

I’ve always been a bit sceptical about boxing because my upper body strength is largely non-existent. However, that is one of my aims for 2014 so along to the class I went.

The circuits were a great combo of squat jumps, skipping, punching with dumbells,  slips to tuck jumps (yeah, I had no idea either) and some core-activating downward dogs to plank moves.

By this point everyone was glowing nicely and I was sweating heavily. As usual.

We paired up, put on the gloves and pads and got down to some serious padwork. Kate paired punch combos with sprints and core work which was great for hitting some cardio as well as conditioning.

By the end we were all glad to lie down on our mats and do some quick core blitzing.

Overall this was a great class. As it is split into sections the time flies by but you’re working hard all of the time. Kate helps to count down the sets and keeps everyone laughing and encouraged.

The most important things that I learnt were that I punch like a baby, I have less than no strength in my puny left arm but I bloody love boxing!

Details

When? Mondays 19:30 – 20:30

Where? London Fields Fitness Studio, Railway Arch 379 Mentmore Terrace, Hackney. E8 3PH

How much? Only £5 for a right a**e-kicking!

Goals. No, not the football kind

When I started on my fitness journey, I wanted to look like this:

That’s it. That was my goal.

I soon ran into problems though because:

a)      My genetics will probably never allow me to look like that

b)      It’s discouraging when you don’t look like that within 1 month

So I realised that I needed to set more realistic step-by-step goals and learn to notice each small change, whether anyone else can see it or not.

Having already lost 10lbs and run my first non-stop 5km, I’m feeling incredibly proud of how far I’ve come in terms of taking control of my weight but also of building my fitness and changing my lifestyle.

So proud in fact that I’m going to do something that I never thought I’d do. I’m going to post a ‘before and during’ photo of myself. Here goes…

Making comparisons like this help me to remember how far I’ve come and to motivate me to go the distance.

My 2014 goals are:

1)      Lose 10lbs by June

2)      Run 5km in 30 minutes by September

3)      Build my upper body strength

4)      Try a new exercise class every other week

5)      Stick to the 80:20 rule (eat clean 80% of the time but have fun the other 20%!)

I’m determined to stay motivated, even if the scale is giving me a number I don’t like, or the mirror isn’t showing me any progress. True dedication is not seeing any progress and putting your trainers on and going for a run anyway.

Let’s do this!

The truth about running

Running and I have a turbulent past but we’re mending old issues and becoming friends again. Here’s how…

Way back when, in my school days, I was very sporty. I represented the school at lacrosse, tennis and athletics but as I got older the puppy fat started to appear and I lagged behind everyone else. The final straw was not making it into the top 30 of the cross-country run and therefore being dropped from the lacrosse team when I was 15. After that I pretty much gave up.

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I played football for my university and struggled through every single fitness session, only ever coming on at half time as I wasn’t fit enough to play a whole game. I half-heartedly tried to improve my fitness by going on a few runs but together with the prodigious amounts of alcohol I was drinking and my weakness for Chinese takeaways, I didn’t get very far.

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Jump forward to mid-2013 and I’d been working at a desk job for 4 years. It had taken its toll on my fitness to the point that walking a couple of miles felt tough. It was time to get in shape…

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I started going to classes at the brilliant London Fields Fitness Studio, doing Pilates and yoga to strengthen my muscles and eating properly (most of the time). But running was still a pretty major mind block for me.

I started small and slow, 10 minute runs down the road followed by 20 minutes of walking. Everything hurt, I sweated and swore but vowed that I would get better.

Gradually, I started running the short route home from work (1.75 miles) at a crawlingly slow pace but eventually I could do it without having to stop and walk.

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Fitness and eating clean began to be a major part of my life. I was exercising 6 days a week and eating healthy and nutritious food. As boring as it sounds, the difference it’s made has been amazing.

I can now run 4km without stopping which is a major achievement for me and my little short legs. My goal is to run 5km in 30 minutes or less this summer and I’m working up to this by doing some steady runs combined with interval and strength training at various different classes. It’s a big challenge but I’m determined to do it.

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And the strange thing is that I’m actually starting to enjoy running!

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