The Yes Woman

10 years ago my best friend and I embarked on a ‘life-changing’ trip to Australia, New Zealand and Hawaii. I say ‘life-changing’ because it was in a way, but not in an ‘I lived off air and good vibes in an ashram and now I know my soul’ kind of way. We basically partied and had fun for 6 months and learnt to say ‘yes’ (within reason) to lots of cool things. We were inspired by reading The Yes Man by Danny Wallace who said yes to everything in his life and even ended up getting his book about the experience made into a film. A lot of the crazy and memorable experiences we had were down to that book, thanks Danny Wallace.

Apparently underground tubing and caving requires some fetching balaclavas in New Zealand… 

Anyway, I was inspired to do this again recently as a way of keeping myself busy and man, has it worked… 

I’ve got a couple of incredible opportunities coming up in the next few months that I would never have been a part of had I not taken a deep breath and said ‘yes’. I can’t tell you what they are yet but I think it’s fair to say that they will take me hugely out of my comfort zone but also give me a massive boost. 

This isn’t meant to be an overly-emotional post but I just wanted to share the excitement that can come with taking a chance and having the confidence to put yourself out there. I’ve spent long enough closing myself off and not having the balls to give things a go so from now on I’m saying yes. 

Give it a go.

Goals for the rest of 2014

How the hell did it get to November and how is it only 7 weeks until Christmas?! This is scary. This woman has got stuff to achieve before 2015 sneaks its way into reality. 

Before Christmas I am aiming to:

1) Lose 5lbs of fat without losing any muscle or strength – it’s all about the definition… 

2) Run 50km – I’ve let my cardio slip somewhat in the last few weeks so it’s time to get moving again

3) Try to hit my macros perfectly at least 5 times – I’m still trying to get my head around the quantities of each food that I need to be eating to do this and it’s taking a while to figure it out!

4) Tri-swimming training once a week – I’ve signed up to the London Fields Triathlon Club, mostly for the swimming training so I can get used to swimming in my wetsuit and work on my breathing and technique

5) Get my road bike back on the road – it’s been in mum and dad’s garage since my last triathlon 2 years ago. The feelings of guilt are HUGE. I’m sorry my little Trek baby… 

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Now, who’s going to join me for one or all of these goals so we can keep each other accountable? 

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. 

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

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!