A new low, but it’s all good news!

If you’re an avid reader of this blog, you’ll know all about my stubborn determination to get my body fat low and increase my muscle toning.

Last night we had a restart on the four week challenge due to a few lifestyle interruptions that destroyed my friends week. I stuck to the paleo guidelines as I’m thought it’s not an excuse to reset the goals just because he got distracted. As a result of the new weigh in, I got to get a sneak peak at how I was tracking (every opportunity to gauge changes!) and it’s proved an interesting exercise as he prefers to do measurements on Sunday night before eating dinner, where I prefer to do it first thing Monday morning before eating breakfast. Perhaps that a female vs male logic – I think the results are smaller as I’ll be empty and he thinks it’s more realistic at the end of the day.  It also got me thinking about perception, and how we view ourselves against what we really look like – and when I found this image I thought it was pretty accurate – what do you see when you look in the mirror?

logic

Since last week according to his ridiculously fancy scales, I’ve lost 800 grams overall but about 600 grams of that is muscle. This resulted in exchanging some blank and confused facial expressions and a few words like “hmmmm, interesting” and “that’s a bit odd”. I wanted to scream some profanities but wasn’t sure which word was appropriate!

We have now committed pen to paper and put down our targets to be achieved in four weeks time, and to be honest, I’ll admit it isn’t going to be easy but I think it’s achievable. I’ve got some strength bags, and found a routine (sorry, image quality isn’t very good but you get the idea) that I’ll attempt on days I’m not doing bootcamp or hill runs. I started with 10 reps of each and will increase that each time by increments of 5. exercisesOhhh, on a side note, my running buddy and I have created a new personal best for the hill run that we are competing in this weekend – and I’m so proud to run alongside her at this event, as she motivates me even if she doesn’t know it…

I guess the best news I had this morning was part of my normal measurement routine – I’m down to 60.2kg which is so incredibly close to that ‘magical figure’ that I’ve been striving to obtain. It officially makes me the lightest I’ve been on my fitness journey and I’ll admit it, I did a little happy dance (which is interesting to see in the bathroom mirror while not wearing anything!). I also got the tape measure out and I’m shrinking around my waist, hips and thigh.

And at the same time I’m very aware (and I say this so everyone stops nagging me, and that includes my Zumba instructor) I know is not about what I weigh on the scales. I get that – I totally and completely understand that it’s not about weight, it’s about how I feel about myself. I also know that my weight is likely to increase as I gain muscle, just as long as the fat drops off at the same time!

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Yet another challenge, sure ok, bring it on!

A quick update for you on what’s happened in the last few weeks. I’m a regular blood donor and get called up every 3 months to donate a pint of my finest B+ that clearly they can’t get enough off. However, when I visited a few weeks ago, my iron store was too low to donate. Normally I’m ok, but in the back of my mind I’m thinking maybe this is a result of all the cardio and change in diet. A couple of vials of blood were taken and sent away for testing, and the outcome was a visit to my local doctor.

Last time I went to the doctor was in 2007, which I think is pretty impressive, but did mean I was treated like a newbie and had to answer a zillion questions. Long story, made short, I had to supply a couple of specimens using these..

Specimen bag I’m still waiting the results and I don’t think it will reveal anything dramatic but it will probably eliminate a couple of possible issues.

Since I have an inability to say no, I’ve accepted a four-week fat loss/muscle gain challenge, and it is paleo related (no surprises huh?) and will push me harder than I’ve been tested before.  The friend who got me re-started on paleo before Christmas fell off his own food wagon. He contacted me with a simple challenge – eat clean paleo for four weeks, with a full measurement (using his extremely fancy pants scales) at the beginning and the end. My initial response “Ohhhhh shhhhiiittt!! The actual scales that will reveal *gulp* EVERYTHING…”, to which my next message was “Ok, yeah, I’m game.”

Donkey KongLast night was the dreaded first weigh in and if you have read my story from the beginning you’ll know how I reacted the first time around. I have come a long way from that first miserable day but I also know my journey isn’t over.  I am more prepared mentally for the physical challenges and my knowledge of food and exercise is growing exponentially.

Just so you know, I’m nearly at my pre-Fiji measurements which was my aim from going paleo this time around.  I promised some photos (before and after) but I’m going to wait until at least the end of this new challenge to get maximum impact!

Goal: Lose 1.45kg of body fat, gain 1kg of muscle which should result in me having about 22% body fat. No pressure on myself to kick this challenge into touch, but I’m a determined and stubborn individual. Wish me luck and please feel free to share your tips and advice – your feedback keeps me motivated.

Attitude change has kicked in

I’m starting to dread Monday mornings and it’s not for the obvious reason. For me it is weigh in and measurements in all of it’s glory and failure and this morning was pretty average results. But that is ok, as I’ve had an attitude change! Last weeks blog post was shared on my facebook page and I asked for feedback and advice. Wow, what a diverse group of friends I have, all with various ideas, tips and suggestions. It was a real eye opener for me as to how my friends see me and how much they are willing to support me.

This week I’ve eased back on the cardio, just 4 Zumba sessions, 2 bootcamps and 2 hill runs (plus incidental exercise) and this will be a standard week for me with all the events I’ve got scheduled. On Sunday morning I was out running with my mate training for A Run To Remember and we had a conversation while running freestyle down one of my favourite pieces of the track (the downhill portion)…

RapakiThe conversation was about how people think we are crazy for attempting all this exercise. I had a ‘light-bulb’ moment and said “nah, we were mentally crazy to let our bodies consume all the crap we used to love” and it was only then that I realised that I’m not crazy or mental. The old overweight fat unhappy me was off the rails and damned if I’m letting that happen. We also joked as the night before I’d had a moment of weakness and had eaten a Perky Nana, which at the time was absolutely lip smackingly good but it was short-lived. My stomach decided that it was poison and gave me horrific tummy ache and totally ruined my Saturday night – although I was only hanging out at home by myself, so it was hardly a tragedy in the first place.

Meanwhile my food intake has been pretty good. A few of my mates are now using myfitnesspal to track their calorie intake and we are comparing notes and encouraging each other. I’ve finally got some yummy chocolate treats that are homemade and look like this! Best flavours in my opinion so far are lime and chilli, and raisin.

Paleo chocolateWhat I’ve realised is I need to do some more strength/resistance training.  So I’ll be speaking to my favourite personal trainer and see what she can suggest for me to do, and it needs to be without joining a gym or heading to crossfit. It has to be activity I can do at home so I can fit it around my already crazy schedule. If I can continue with my current level of cardio plus add some weight resistance in the mix, I think I might see some good results. Let’s see what happens, eh?

A bucket load of exercise!

Bluergh. I can’t think of another word for it. Last week was, well, bluergh.

I’ll keep it factual as I can’t even fathom the words…

  • Monday night – Zumba and boot camp
  • Tuesday morning – Hill walk up and down Bridle Path
  • Tuesday night – Zumba
  • Wednesday morning – 12km hill run
  • Wednesday night – 2.5km bike to Zumba, Zumba, 2.5km bike home
  • Thursday night – Zumba and boot camp
  • Friday morning – 11km bike ride, hill walk up and down Bridle Path, 11km bike ride home
  • Saturday morning – 14km hill run
  • Sunday night – 11km hill run

Total activity: 4 x Zumba sessions, 2 x boot camps, 2 x steep hill walks, 27km on the bike, 37km of hill runs.

Bridle path

Food: 98% Paleo, but mainly because a stray sugar-free V and a coke zero found their way into my diet.

Result when I got out the scales and measuring tape this morning: A fat lost of 70 grams.  Yeap, that’s right, 70 tiny little grams. All my other stats are pretty much the same and it looks like I’ve gained about 200 grams of water and the same for muscle. So my face looks like this little guy…

sad kittyMy current thoughts: REALLY?!? That’s a shit load of exercise for very little reward. I know it’s about the big picture, but come on, that is pathetic. And before you ask, yes I’ve been lighter and smaller that I am at the moment, so no, I haven’t reached my limit.

This coming week: Normal schedule of 4 x Zumba and 2 x boot camp plus at least one hill run (got to keep training for A Run To Remember). I guess I’ll strip all my food back to super simple paleo foods, increase water intake and keep my fingers crossed. Unless you have a better idea? I’m open to suggestions…

Dragging myself up hills

I’ve started training for my next event, a 12km hill run. The course is a local one and as usual, I want to get some of the route under my shoes before race day.

What this means is that I’ve completed six hill walk and runs in seven days. Twice up Bridle Path, once up Bridle down to Lyttleton and back, and then three runs on the actual course I’ll be running in 22nd February for Run To Remember which was started as a practical and healthy way to acknowledge the tragic event that rocked my city (and how it impacted my weight loss journey).

My food has been pretty strict and although I’ve been experimenting with paleo recipes – this gal had got a sweet tooth – I’ve only slipped once. Being out with my teenage nieces, we ended up at one of their absolutely favourite restaurants, Strawberry Fare. They specialise in desserts, so I took the opportunity to relish every last morsel of this lip smacking combination…

Strawberry FareAlso, I’ve also gone out for three meals and have been the annoying one at the table by modifying what was on the menu to be as paleo as possible. Most restaurants can be tweaked to 99% paleo, which is close enough for me. Best food to order is the steak or fish of the day. Normally they come with sauces (which you can request for it to be on the side), and either salad or veges. Nearly all of the dishes come with potato fries of some description, so I’ve been cheeky and asked if I can have salad AND vegetables but no fries. All have complied at no extra charge, which was a pleasant surprise.

So when I jumped on the scales this morning to take my measurements, I felt completely deflated. I’ve put on weight and it wasn’t just muscle. My body fat percentage has gone up and I’m a bit stumped. All my other measurements have remained the same, except my thigh (it’s gone down 1 cm). How is it possible when I’ve been watching everything I’ve eaten or drunk. To say I feel flat is an understatment.

Don’t worry, I’m not about to bury my face in a pile of chocolate and wash it down with a bottle of bubbles. As tempting as it might be for about 5 minutes, I think I’d throw up and feel worse than ever. The only thing I can think of is the quantity of fruit that I’ve been eating, or perhaps it’s something else that I’m not aware of. Zumba starts back tonight and combined with some more hill runs, I’ll reduce my fruit intake and see what happens. Wish me luck!

Week Two of Paleo

Hmmmm, bit of an odd week.  I’ve got the food under control, although I think I’m eating a few too many kumara, eggs and stone fruit – but that will change in the coming days. Gosh I love stone fruit, apricots, cherries, nectarines, peaches… I salivate at the thought of it.  I grew up in Central Otago and I’m pretty sure they grow the best stone fruit I’ve ever tasted and if possible I’d eat it all day everyday. But too much stone fruit has an adverse effect on me, if you know what I mean!

I’ve come across some amazing recipes and that’s something I really enjoy about Paleo as it makes you think differently about your food. While it’s easy to have meat with salad, it gets a tad boring. And if you call upon your favourite meals all the time, they quickly become your least favourite as you eat it all the time.

As for the exercise, last week was a bit mixed and although I tried to do cardio each day, I had two rest days (which I honestly can’t remember when that last happened). It’s partly because I was in final training for my first event of 2014 – the Christchurch CBD Stampede – which was an 8km run around the city with 40 obstacles (under fencing, over shipping containers, under cars, over barriers and some cargo nets over diggers.

So you probably want to know my updated weight results – well, it’s not as impressive as last week. My measurements have slightly increased and my body fat has increased by a teeny tiny amount. Not exactly what I wanted to see this morning but it’s ok.  I know I’ve stuck to the paleo way, but I’ve got to reduce the fruit component. However, I’m going to eat what I have in the fruit bowl and fridge and not purchase any more.

As for doing more cardio, I squeezed in a bit of active recovery this morning with a short hill work and tonight I’m walking with perhaps a small jog of my next event which is in 7 weeks.  Some days I feel like I spend equal amounts of time sleeping, training, eating and working (thank goodness I’m self-employed!).

Right, it’s lunch time again, so it’s BBQ leftovers from last night. Yummy!

Results…

As promised, here’s the shortest blog entry I’ll do, as it’s late and I’m tired.

This morning I did my weigh in, and I’ve lost 1.2kg in a week. I also shrunk my belly by 2cm, hips by 1.5cm and 0.5cm of each of my thigh, calf and bicep.

As for body fat loss, this morning it was a loss of 0.67kg, and if you are interested the evening result was pretty similar – which surprised my friend as he thought it would be different. He’s now doing a double weigh in tomorrow…

My next blog will be at the end of my strict Paleo journey, thanks for reading!!