A lazy girls journey to fitness – part 2

It’s been a while since I posted an update on my fitness journey, so, now is the time!

I’ve actually been working really hard, being consistent with my diet (for the most part, I still allow for a few G&Ts once in a while and a dinner out with friends, because life, my dear, is for living!), and trying to push myself in my workouts. I’m still inherently lazy, and it is still tempting to slack off and not try but I’ve set myself a goal and I’m a stubborn Capricorn. I shall not give up!

When I first started on this journey I couldn’t run for 10 minutes.  I can now run a 10k (in 63 mins – I am NOT built for speed), I can make it through a class without wanting to kill myself, and I am getting stronger in what I can lift.  These are all the things that are important: getting general levels of fitness up, eating better, and feeling better.

In terms of results:

In October when I joined the gym I weighed 68.9kgs and was 35.6% body fat.  Those are horrible figures for someone who is 5 foot 5 and 27!  Yesterday (5th July) I had a body scan with my fabulous PT and the results are looking good.  He kept saying figures to me and I didn’t really understand them! But he was smiling so I figured it was good.  These are the headlines:  I now weigh 60.8kgs, and have dropped to 22% body fat.  I’ve gone from a body fat mass of 24.4kgs to 13.8kgs – that’s a loss of 10.6kgs of fat! I’ve put on 2.6kgs of muscle too.

My progress is slow, but my progress is progress and that is what is important in the end. There is still a long way to go, lots to improve, more fun things to try, a lot more sweaty nights in the gym ahead!

If you are struggling with your journey to fitness, I’ve found the following useful to think about.  Be kind to yourself.  Don’t feel guilty or like a failure if you have a few bad days.  No road is easy, keep going, and remember you are doing this to make yourself feel better.  Cute workout clothes will make it less of a chore!


“Feed me Seymour…”

I recently posted about how I’d decided to go on a health kick and make some changes to my life. One of the biggest parts of this is working on improving my diet. It was terrible, mainly consisting of white carbs, chocolate, and cheese. I just didn’t want to make any meals in the evenings, and my lunches were just whatever was on offer on the high street. Very unhealthy and very expensive. Not enough of any of the good things, and much too much fat and sugar.

The new daily diet plans looks something like this:

Breakfast – one scoop protein shake with fruits and skimmed milk

Snack – nuts and raisins

Lunch – grilled chicken or salmon with spinach, veggies, avocado, and grains (quinoa, couscous etc.)

Snack – banana

Dinner – 2 egg omelette with sweet potato, spinach, red peppers

Snack – 50g dark chocolate (need chocolate in my life!)

If it’s been a particularly heavy session in the gym I’ll add in another protein shake, but the above comes to around 1750 calories which is what seems to be absolutely plenty. I don’t want to spend my days counting calories, so I’m trying to stick to a couple of new habits:

– no white carbs

– 2/3rds of the plate must be veggies

– make better snack choices!

– if feeling peckish drink a glass of water first before getting a snack (often I’m not actually hungry, but thirsty instead!)

I’ll keep you posted on how this all goes, I’ve been doing it for a few weeks, but that’s not enough time to test a new diet. But I can say I already have lots more energy and feel much less bloated! Hurrah!

A lazy girls journey to fitness

Despite my best attempts, you cannot survive on chocolate and gin alone.  I recently decided to go on a health kick, change my terrible diet, and start moving.  I didn’t realise how quickly you lose your fitness, and over the last few years my life has become increasingly sedentary and my body increasingly wobbly.

So, in October 17 I decided to join the gym – very much ‘all the gear and no idea’ – and was promptly told that I was 35% body fat (what!?) and that my metabolic age was that of someone 20 years older.  Eeek – not good at all.  I was actually really ashamed when I saw those results – how on earth had I allowed my body to get into such a way?  My family has lots of health problems and issues around food, and I felt terrible that as one of the few without these problems, I’d actually been doing damage to myself anyway.

At first, I have to be honest, I was half-assing it. Didn’t change my diet effectively and was quite relaxed about missing sessions.  Whilst losing weight and fat, I wasn’t achieving anything significant.  After checking in on my weight and body fat in Jan 18, whilst I had made some progress, it was clear it wasn’t going in a great direction.  I wasn’t really sure what my goals were, other than to lose weight, so my workouts were directionless and inefficient.

I now have an utterly wonderful Personal Trainer who is pushing me and making me accountable.  Every time I walk into my gym (which is much more regularly!) it feels like I have a support system there.  The gyms motto is ‘never train alone’ and they really deliver on that.  You know everyone by name and they welcome you as you pop in.  I still have the tendency to want to give up sooner than I need to, the knowledge that someone is watching you and actually rooting for you, seems to quickly help the motivation and gives an extra spurt of energy!

I have made more progress in this month than I have in any other since joining, and finally it seems that going to the gym has become my new habit. Rather than slobbing on the sofa watching another terrible film I’m pulling on my leggings and heading out the door.

I read a very interesting article in The Pool recently which was talking the complex issues we have today with being ‘skinny’, and it made me realise that at first my motivation to move myself was purely based on the way I look.  But now I’m feeling better and living better, I am considering the aesthetics of it as a positive side effect.  So here’s my rather messy progress shot:

In terms of how I’ve improved my diet, I’ll write a separate post on that, but as I say above, you cannot survive on chocolate alone!

I still have lots of work to do to get myself fitter, and I’m actually now very excited about the journey!

Living with Anxiety

The last few months have thrown my progress in handling my anxiety down a flight of stairs.  I’m not sure what the trigger was, perhaps the breakdown of a long term relationship, or increased pressure at work, or something else entirely.  But I write this after crying in the middle of Terminal 4 at Heathrow, on my way to Rome for a series of meetings for work.  As I write this, I have spent the last 2 hours panicking that I haven’t checked in correctly, despite 1) having printed out my boarding pass, and 2) gotten through security!

I have managed to convince myself that I have done this all incorrectly, and will not be allowed onto my flight.  I have in the last 2 hours – rang the airline to check (they say it is all fine!), asked the information people at the airport (they say it is all fine), found the airline information desk (they say it is all fine, and that I have picked a nice seat!) – and yet, here I am, sat waiting for the gate to be announced, panicking that they are all wrong, and I will not be allowed onto the flight.  I have been panicking to the point that I haven’t been able to stop myself from crying, my heart feels like it may stop at any moment, and I have the overwhelming urge to vomit.  I mean – I have now become *THAT* person at the airport!

I am not normally an anxious flier.  I have flown countless times, and on my own a number of time, with no problems what-so-ever.  But today has been different.  I’m not anxious about flying – I’m anxious about EVERYTHING, and this had been a catalyst.  I have noticed a huge spike in my feeling of anxiety in the last 3 months.  Sleeping is difficult, work is difficult – everything is difficult. Writing helps. Anxiety is a difficult thing to live with. But this too shall pass.

Peace begins with a smile

When I was around 13 I fell off of my bike (or perhaps more accurately, catapulted off my bike) and went face first into the curb.  I came off worst!  I’d fractured the roots of one of my front teeth, and done a fair bit of damage to a few others.  After many agonising trips to the dentist to have my teeth cemented back together and effectively glued back into my mouth, I felt lucky not to have lost any of my teeth.  One of the side effects of the fractured roots was that my front tooth became unbearably sensitive to temperature. Even walking outside caused a sharp stab of pain all the way up to the top of my head. So back to the dentists I went to have a root canal to remove the nerves and stop the pain.

I would not say that I was a vain person, but I do take pride in my appearance.  About 10 years after this incident, the damage I’d done was beginning to have a visible effect.  My front tooth was becoming much darker, and was clearly dead..   I started to smile exclusively with my mouth closed and cover my mouth when talking so to hide my now very notable black tooth.

They say that one of the first things that people notice about someone is their smile – and mine was making me incredibly self conscious.  I’m not really one to go in for cosmetic treatments (I haven’t the money, nor really the inclination), but after crying my eyes out after looking in the mirror one day, I realised that I needed to do something – and so off I went to the dentist to see what could be done.

I have a fantastic dentists surgery and they talked me through the options (removal of the root canal and then internal bleaching of the tooth, crowns, dental implants etc.) and recommended the best thing.  This was to be a crown.  I was scared!  Having a metal rod drilled into my tooth, then the exterior of the tooth drilled down to nothing then something glued on top!? Eek. But you know what?  It’s the best decision I’ve made in years.  The 2 appointments to get it done were a breeze – I can tell you honestly that I didn’t feel a thing!  They just drilled my tooth down, added in the metal rod, took some rather sexy photos (n.b: worst photos ever) and fitted me with a temporary crown whilst the real one was being specially made and colour matched! I must be honest in that I did request a few other cheeky changes so to improve my smile further.. 2 birds 1 stone and that..

2 weeks passed and the final crown arrived – I’m thrilled with the results.  It’s made a huge difference to my self esteem and confidence.  I now don’t think about how I should smile or if I should cover my mouth and I can now bite into foods and not worry about my tooth crumbling away or breaking.  What I’ve learnt is that if something like this is beginning to have the effect on your day to day life, and its easy enough to change – you should go for it. You will not regret it.

Was it expensive?  Yes

Was it worth it?  Immeasurably.