You are currently browsing the monthly archive for July 2012.
What sort of blogger would I be if I failed to mention the Olympics, currently taking place and inspiring me all day long.
My absolute favourite event is the gymnastics. So much strength. So much balance. So much speed and power. So much potential for absolute catastrophe. I love that the gymnasts do things that seem impossible to the average human. Imagine being able to do a hands free backflip from a stationary start, on a balance beam! I can’t tell you how much I would love to be there to watch in person, rather than having to rely on what the BBC cameras choose to show me. I don’t need to watch a gymnast bandaging her foot, while hearing rapturous applause and gasps of delight from the audience who can see another gymnast performing!
I have also loved the cycling this weekend, congratulations to Lizzie Armitstead for winning a silver medal on Sunday, in truly horrible weather conditions. I probably only got to the gym on Saturday because I was so inspired by Fabian Cancellara who crashed during the mens road cycle race, and was clearly in a lot of pain, yet went on to complete the race. I was feeling a bit queasy after too much wine the previous night, and that somehow seemed a weak excuse to be idle, so off I went and did an excellent work out, and shook off the hangover in the process so a double win!
Although it hasn’t been long yet, I am already missing having a personal trainer. I was enviously watching people working with their trainers this morning, and even though I worked as hard as ever, I felt a little bit lost. I think it’s because I am unsure how to progress or shake things up for myself. on the bright side, I am managing to get to the gym during school holidays. And I think I have my next trainer sorted. I was chatting to the guy who owns the gym where my daughter does her kick boxing classes. It turns out that he does personal training, for less money than I was paying, and since he owns the gym he is fairly unlikely to leave any time soon. So come September I am going to try some sessions with him, see how they work out. Fingers crossed it will be perfect!
It’s been pretty hard to tell lately, but yes, summer is upon us. And right now the sky is clear and blue, the sun is shining. Oh, and its monday and I have a child In the house at 10am. That’s the biggest give away of all.
So this is the time of year when it’s really hard for me to get near the gym, and I am scared that all my hard work so far will result in nothing but memories and atrophied muscles by September. Obviously I can still exercise in other ways. We can go out on our bikes, we can go for walks in the peak district, and I can even resort to putting on an exercise DVD if I have to! And of course there is Wii Fit. But none of that is going to do a damn thing for maintaining all the work I have done to build lovely lean muscle. Oh well, I will just have to take what I can get and work twice as hard in September.
This particular weight loss journey began around the middle of August last year, during the school holidays in fact. I had a “little” 12 month goal in mind and now I have got to make a bit of an effort to achieve it. It may or may not be possible, from where i stand now it’s a challenge but I do like a challenge. Right now my total weight loss is 88lbs. I would love to say I lost 100lbs in a year. I think my anniversary date is 19th August, so that is my deadline. Whether I can go to exercise or not, that day I will pop into the gym and weigh myself….I’ve given myself butterflies in my tummy now, it’s a bit exciting! Luckily my motivation is as strong now as it was at the beginning. I wish I knew where it was coming from, I’d love to be able to sell the secret and live a life of luxury!
Right, I cant be wasting anymore of this gorgeous day sitting indoors. I’m going out to play!
Today I trained with Ian for the last time, as sadly he is leaving the gym. So this post is a tribute to him, because without him I doubt I’d even still be going to the gym, never mind enjoying it.
Ian taught me a lot. For a start, he taught me that I could lift things, that the free weights are not just there for the big scary testosterone fuelled men, they work for women too! And right there is the reason why I keep on going back to the gym, because I love lifting things, and making really visible progress. When I look in the mirror now, I can see muscles, especially around my shoulders. Not big hideous bulging muscles, but strong defined muscles nonetheless. Even though I still have a long way to go before I have the perfect body (whatever the hell that is!) I feel confident in myself now because I know that my body works well, although my balance still abandons me at times!
The second thing that I learned was that it’s ok to eat real food. It’s far better to eat real food than food with a “low fat” or “diet” label. I have spent countless years (yes I really am too old to count the years I’ve been dieting!) buying low fat yoghurt, diet drinks, low fat meat substitutes (that’s the biggest travesty right there!) and now I find that I not only can, but actually should, enjoy real food the way it is meant to be eaten. Fat is not the enemy. Processed, chemical filled, sugar laden food is the real enemy and is no longer a part of my diet. It was a massive leap of faith to do the opposite of what I have been taught my entire life, it was good to have someone there to encourage and reassure me.
Ian has spent a lot of time telling me about the effects of hormones on weight loss too, but really the only thing that has stuck with me there is that working nights causes a stress response in my body, raising cortisol levels and thus hindering my weight loss. Since that is not something I can change, instead it’s just something extra I have to fight against, and that’s ok. Hey, at least I can throw it out there as an excuse if I ever need to! Because of all the information Ian has chucked at me during my training sessions, I have gone away to do my own research and am therefore far more well read and informed than I was before, and I’ve enjoyed the process. Learning is always beneficial, and I have awakened my inner student I think. I suddenly find myself browsing the Open University website and wondering what direction I can take this studying in….
Finally, the most important lesson of all. Ian taught me that I can succeed. I believe that now in a way that I never have before. He has done more than change my body, he has changed my mind too.
Ian I wish you every success for the future, thanks for everything, you are a legend.
I felt a burning need to show that I have actually improved since the photo discussed in yesterday’s post. Yes, it is just me I am trying to convince! So here I am before heading out to the gym today, hence the lack of attention to hair and make up!
The top in the very original picture was, I think, a size 28. The top in this picture is a size medium. In honesty, I’d have bought the large if they had it in stock, but I’m happy that I was able to take the medium instead
Last night I was browsing through my archives, searching for a particular post that I wrote a few years ago. It was mainly a pretty cool meander down Memory Lane. It made me smile to read my excited posts when I was successful, it made me feel sad for the then me when things weren’t going so well, and it made me smile again to realise that the weight I was then is a long way behind me now!
But I landed on a page that made me recoil in horror. I saw the starting photos right back from the beginning and I was so so shocked. I never look at them, and therefore no matter what the number on the scale, or the label in my clothes say, I don’t really truly see how far I have come. My god, I didn’t realise what I looked like. I don’t even know how I got so big! I can remember a time when the thought of walking up my road filled me with dread because I knew it would honestly hurt. It would hurt my knees, it would hurt my chest, it would leave me exhausted for the day. Now I can trot up without breaking a sweat (I live at the top of a hill by the way) but when I get to the bottom of the road and look up, I still have a moment of fleeting panic. Somehow that hasn’t left me, no matter how much thinner and fitter I have become. Seeing those photos last night makes me understand just why it hurt so much. I was just massive. My body had no shape, it was just a big hideous mass of fatty flesh. I looked like the kind of super obese person featured on tv shows warning of the obesity epidemic.
I have lost something close to 8 stone in total since then, and these days I look like a normal person. Still overweight, but no one would be stopped in their tracks by the sight of me. I buy my clothes in normal high street stores, I have a feminine shape, and here’s a biggie – I can look at myself in the mirror at the gym! You have no idea how long it took for me to stop averting my eyes! If I don’t lose another single pound, I wouldn’t be devastated. I want to keep losing weight, obviously, and am continuously working toward that goal. But if it doesn’t work out, I am fitter, healthier, slimmer than I could have dreamed of 5 years ago.
The photo that inspired this post can be found here but is not for the faint hearted!