4 years – geez, time flies

Today is exactly 4 years since I started my weight loss journey and I’ve got mixed feelings about the time that has passed.

Looking back is full of emotions – sadness and disappointment that I was that way previously, but then I’m overwhelmed with happiness with how far I’ve come and what massive changes I’ve made to my life.

So many people have supported me along my journey, from my new fitness buddies, through to my trainer, my flatmates past and present plus the newest addition to my life, you are all very special to me and I’ll never take your support for granted. I know I’ve been the one doing the exercise and eating clean (mainly…) but without you, I wouldn’t have got this far. For those that have commented on my blog, cheered me on from the sideline or just listened to me prattle on about food and my latest adventure, I thank you for being part of my life.

Highlights include, and in no particular order…

  • Taking part in mud runs and other events with my equally idiotic mates
  • Being told I’m “looking awesome”
  • Supporting others on their journey
  • Dead-lifting my own body weight (recent achievement)
  • Realisation that that being a bit crazy is a good thing

Muddy Good Run pigsMuddy Good Run – April 2013

Mud Sweat & TearsMud Sweat & Tears – July 2013

 Muddy Good Run

Muddy Good Run – October 2013

CBD Stampede

CBD Stampede – January 2014

Kayaking

Kayaking – August 2014

I won’t stop talking or doing what I do, as I love it and I am fascinated by what happens when I make my body do things that my mind questions as achievable – I’m excited for my future and what awaits me around the corner.

No scales!

I’ve started my personal training sessions at Cave Fitness and at the first session I had my measurements taken. It was a flash back to my first ever training session back on 14th January 2012, except I felt more confident within myself. This time it included a jump on the scales, fully clothes and with trainers on. And then I was told “no scales or measurements for 6 weeks”. Cue the deadly silence.

This is the equivalent of ripping off my right arm. Minus the anaesthetic. And then letting it bleed… For someone who uses the scales religiously every week this was going to be a monster of a challenge.

So as soon as I got home I did this…

scales

I sent it to my trainer and she laughed. Which is good right?!? In the big scheme it doesn’t matter but I am a bit concerned about the long period of time without monitoring my progress. Naturally I will follow the rules and not do my measurements until I’m told that I can, as that’s the kind of person I am.

If you are keeping track of what I’m doing on a weekly basis, I’m doing 3 Zumba, 2 personal training, 1 Bridle Path hill run, plus a casual bike ride each week. That doesn’t include incidental exercise or extra activities that spring up when time allows.

My food is still paleo and I’m powering through the food. There’s a chance that a small percentage of my food isn’t paleo (I eat out regularly so accommodate the best I can) but none of the non-paleo food is on purpose. I get my meat, including paleo bratwurst, bacon and other goodies from Everybody’s Butchery which is a local specialist butcher here in Christchurch. This way I know what is in my meals that I cook at home.

My muscles are pretty sore so I’ve taken the plunge and getting a weekly hot stone massage and it’s proving to worth its weight in gold. Both my trainer and the masseuse recommend I do more stretching, which makes sense because I’m not doing any! So I’m going to schedule it in on a regular basis, or let’s be honest, it won’t happen.

Taking training to the next level

I’ve been saying it for many weeks about taking my fitness to the next level. Although my heart is in the right place, I’ve had a few life interruptions. Nothing major, but being self-employed means that sometimes you work long hours, it’s getting darker at nights and this week I’ve picked up a cold. I’m not complaining, just stating the facts.

But wait one moment, I have great news!! My personal trainer that I love so dearly (but also secretly hate just a teeny tiny wee bit) has set up her own studio and she’s nick named it The Cave. What it means is that in addition to the three weekly Zumba sessions with her, I’ll now be doing 2 personal training sessions each week.  One of those sessions is with my best mate and we were talking the other day about how we push each other to get fitter, all in a positive way of course…

motivate friends

While I love training with her (anywhere, anytime, doing anything), it’ll be the first time in over a year that I’ll be enduring the punishment and sense of achievement that comes with a one on one personal trainer. I am hoping my body isn’t weaker than it was, but if it is, I’m totally up for the challenge.  I might be a bit wacky in the head, but that feeling you get when you are physically knackered is wonderful.  It makes me feel alive, between the “I wish I was dead comments” and perhaps that’s what I’ve been missing.

Some time ago I borrowed some strength bags and while they’ve had some use (foot stool, chair and the occasional proper use) it hasn’t motivated me as much as I’d hoped. I guess that comes with the territory and the reminder that no one can do this by themselves – we all need to be held accountable, to a friend, a loved one or to the trainer that pushes you to do better.

Some motivation requiredSo here goes, the next chapter in my fitness. Once I’m focussed on something, I don’t stray and I give it everything I can. All the things I need are lining up and are set for me to achieve – fingers crossed it comes together like a dream…

 

 

 

A few months of paleo

I guess I’ve officially been a paleo eater for four months now. There has been the odd slip up (some accidental and some that I knew full well as I was stuffing the non-paleo item in my mouth). Slap the hand that feeds me!

cookie monster 2It’s been an interesting experience and I’ve had to rethink my relationship with food. Food is, and I guess, always will have an emotional attachment – I just need to manage it better. If I’m having a bad day I want to eat (even if I’m not hungry), and my will power is weak so I give in. I know it’s wrong, and that it only fuels the bad feelings. Pretty nasty circle isn’t it! Is it a female thing or do males experience this too?

I’ve made a handful of new friends recently, mainly paleo eaters, and those wanting to ask questions about what paleo is, how to do it and most commonly “what do you eat for breakfast?”. That’s an easy answer – bacon and eggs!!

eggs, bacon, spinach, avocado - paleo breakfast

Ok, so not every day but certainly on most mornings. I attend two or three business breakfast meetings a week, and the venues have been very accommodating. If you are cheeky enough to find what you want scattered throughout the menu, then ask for it. Most restaurants or cafés are willing to help with specific food or dietary requirements, as it’s becoming more mainstream.

The type of exercise is changing too. Only 2 or 3 Zumba sessions a week, bootcamps have dropped to 1 a week, and I’ve increased my low impact cardio. A casual bike ride, a walk in the Port Hills and at least once a week I’m going up and over Bridle Path. Even if it’s been torrential rain causing damage to the track, which turn into mini mud runs…

mud run

I’m still not happy with my results (even though I’m still under my new threshold) and my weight seems to fluctuate on a weekly basis. The measurements are variable but slowly trending in the right direction. I honestly thought I would have less fat by now – even though I know it’s a slow journey from here. I need to be a tiny bit more disciplined and perhaps I’ll get there eventually. One snack, one meal, one day at a time.

Slow and steady!

Looks like a few tweaks to my exercise and even relaxed a bit regarding my paleo eating and it’s had positive results.

This week I can safely say I’m finally under that mental hurdle of 60kg.  I was 58.8kg as of this morning. And before you go all crazy and give me a lecture that it’s not about weight, I know, I know, I bloody well know.  My journey is not to become a waif, trust me, I love food too much.

What I don’t know is what the body fat or muscle is doing in my body. The evil scales that my friend uses, well, I haven’t seen them in 3 weeks. My measurements have shrunk again, and that is generally a good indication of what is going on with my body. I put on my skinny jeans today, only to find they are baggy, and particularly around my butt. Less junk in my trunk huh?

I’ve also spent more time changing my exercise – downgrading on the running and cardio, which as you know isn’t easy for me. More casual bike rides, a few more walks up Bridle Path (even showing a new friend the track – even if he had some leg trouble the next day…), and generally trying to chill out more.

bike

Bridle PathI have experienced a bit of insomnia recently and I’m not sure what’s causing the issue. A few people have given me their two cents worth, which while is great, isn’t solving the issue.  Nothing like lying awake at night to reflect on your entire life!

Part of the paleo lifestyle is to make sure you eat clean and get sunshine on your face – and if I’m lucky enough, I get to combine the two together – eating in the sunshine!

Feet

Salmon

I’m not sure where I’m going to head from here – more of the same and see what happens… I guess that’s the fun part, not knowing where you’ll end up! I really enjoy writing this blog and am getting more followers all the time, as well as some great feedback, so please keep sending me your love, it really makes a difference.

And yes, I still owe you the before paleo and after paleo photos – perhaps that’ll be my next blog post!

 

Concerned friends

Recently I’ve had several friends and family ask me some odd questions and make some strange comments.

The latest one was today after I had lunch with my wonderfully talented hairdresser. We were talking about his latest adventure and both enjoyed a paleo vege salad with a chunk of salmon on the top (it was pretty darn tasty!). I knew him prior to the start of my weight loss journey and we’ve shared much gossip over the years while I’ve been getting highlights and a bit of scissor action.

He’s also part of one of my BNI chapters so sees me fairly frequently. On our way to the car park he says “I can report back that you do eat food”. My reaction “of course I eat food, geez man”. It wasn’t his fault nor was he personally indicating that I had an issue with food.

It just struck me as odd. But here’s the kicker, it’s not the first time people have made similar comments, and I know they only say this out of concern for my well-being. My question to them is “I’m eating healthy, well-balanced food, exercising regularly and feel great. Why the heck didn’t you show concern when I was eating crap food and lazing around?”

less-crap-more-food

Has society gone mad? Why don’t we tell those nearest to us that we are worried about their health when clearly they are overweight/obese? Yet they feel completely happy to question our heathy eating and the side effect of fat loss. Arrrrgghhhhh!!! Makes me mad. So mad that when I got home I ate not just one avocado chocolate mousse but two of them! Don’t worry, it’s a homemade paleo treat, not an everyday food. Pretty yummy too…

Is anyone else having the same issue or am I overly sensitive to it as I’ve heard it frequently over the last 3 years? Do you have any suggested responses that I can use for my concerned friends?

Oh, for those that are interested, I had the weigh in on Sunday for the four week paleo challenge. I lost 400gm of fat, 1.2kg of muscle resulting in 1.6kg loss overall. I know I need to keep an eye on the muscle loss, only one week was my new routine so I’m hoping it’ll sort itself out soon. Not sure that double serving of mousse will make any difference!

muscle lossAs for other measurements, 2cm smaller around my waist, 2cm smaller around my hips, 1cm smaller around my thigh and another 1cm smaller around my calf. Which is a bugger I recently purchased some more clothes and they are already too loose. On the flip side, I’m officially at my smallest since goodness knows when. Perhaps that’s prompting all the questions?!?

Spare time and how it messes with my head

Part of my new fitness routine is to do less cardio and more strength. While I’m ok with the concept, I’m finding I’ve got more spare time and I feel incredibly lazy doing nothing with chunks of my weekend.

lazy teddy bearI previously used the time while I was biking or running to ‘escape’ and now I’m not doing that, I’m in a weird head space. I threw myself into longer, harder and more demanding exercise to cope with life and all its stresses, and now this spare time is messing with me. I’m far more emotional than I’ve been for ages and yesterday was particularly bad.

There’s nothing major going on and I’d had a great day up until mid afternoon. I woke up refreshed, spent the morning with some fellow paleo eaters, then delivered some flyers for my Zumba instructor. Then when I was innocently sitting outside pondering what do to with the rest of my day, BOOM, it hit me like a tonne of bricks.

I flicked a text to my current accountability buddy on this challenge and said I was doubting everything I was doing. I just felt flat, sad and just generally bluergh. Luckily for him he was on the end of a flurry of messages rather than in person as I’m sure it was an unpleasant image. Tears, blubbing and a massive pout, which is all very unlady like and there is no way I can be proud of how I was feeling or looked.

Here’s the best bit – he told me to snap out of it. Well, his exact words aren’t suitable for this blog, but the gist of his message was the same. And that’s why it’s important to have a reliable yet completely blunt friend to tell it like it is. At the time all I needed was a hug and perhaps a couple of tissues, but I got the next best thing – a slap in the face.

high five your faceFollowing his advice, I went and apologised to my butt (I had called it fat in one of my text messages) and then proceeded to get rid of this “cardio hangover”. I’m not saying my head space is completely clear, but I’m certainly not as down in the dumps or likely to burst into tears if someone asks me how my day has been.

Has anyone else had this? Is it an endorphin low or perhaps I’m having cardio withdrawals and it’ll pass in time. In the meantime, I’ll carry on with my strength training and push on like I always do. Got no choice right?