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.

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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!

 

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!

Taking a break

I’m a bit worried. I’m going on holiday for a friend’s wedding and not only will I be tempted to eat foods that don’t really fall into the healthy category but my exercise routine will be thrown into the bin.

I’ll be packing my trainers and naturally hope I can do a few exercises either in my room or at the resort. Apparently there is a pool and a beach, well there better be, I’m heading to Fiji and apparently the pool looks like this…

fiji-luxury-hotel-pool

My body desperately needs a break and I haven’t got any hardcore workouts planned until I get back, which is a whopping 9 days away.  Sometimes it’s possible to burn out and I’m pretty sure I’m right there, right now. My body aches, I don’t feel like I’m getting enough sleep and I feel a bit ratty and short-tempered.

Bruises are appearing on my body and I can’t remember how I got them. My memory is like a sieve and things I would normally remember easily are being forgotten. I feel like I’m on a never-ending ride of chaos and exhaustion.

Sometimes no matter how much effort you want to put into exercising, it’s completely possible to plateau on both weight-loss and enthusiasm. Maybe a week in Fiji doing other things is exactly what I need.

As for the scales, yes I’ll jump on the scales and measure myself before I go. I’ve mentally prepared myself for a small gain. But that’s ok. I’m going to go on holiday and for that week I’ll still be careful, I’ll still watch my food and drink intake but for this one week, I’m going to allow myself to do what my body tells me. Rest, rest, rest.

What tips or advice have you got for me? Any last-minute words of wisdom?