Make or Break

Mindfulness-1-1080x675

2018 can well and truly do one. It’s only 3 months into the bugger of a year and I’m already getting these ‘testing times’ pelted at me left right and centre. Illness, job NONsatisfaction, the loss of a close relative and my relationship breakup are all trying my ability to not fall off the wagon at the moment.

I’ve somehow put myself together though and agreed to channel all of my emotions into focusing on myself – my physical and mental health…hopefully the two will come hand in hand.

With more free time on my hands, my aim is to not wallow in self pity but to jump into a new exercise class, my running or both. To occupy my brain I plan on focusing my thoughts on consciously eating healthier. This will legitimately take up most of my brain power. And well…let’s see how things go from here. As that head says (the one on the Knightbus in Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban) “It’s gunna be a bumpy riiide”.

I’ll try and make more of an effort to post on here too. I hope 2018 is treating all of you alot better! ✌Here is a cliche quote to end on..images

 

Advertisements

Mass Apology

So I’ve been known to say how easy Yoga is and how it only works by boring people to death but now I want to apologise to everyone who practices Yoga for even thinking that let alone saying it! 

The other day I decided to give it a go and see what all of the fuss was about. Hey, how hard can some stretches be that every hipster in the west practices? So I started with a beginner session. Wasn’t that bad, the pace or lack of pace in the moves did make me feel a twinge here and there but nothing too difficult. 

So I try another session this morning, more aimed at fat burning. 3 moves in and I’m full on yelling some extremely rude words at the lady on my screen…… Yeah………… (and that was still a beginner session).

So this post is dedicated to all of you Yoga’ists (?) out there. I am so sorry for saying/thinking crap about something I had never even tried or looked into properly and now have so much respect for all of you especially those who can actually bend in all of those paranormal ways and make even the beginner moves look like a piece of piss. 

I shall now be judging less, filtering my crap talk and try to get better in this discipline alongside my running. 

S.

Another Beginning?

1new-beginnings

I don’t know about you but it’s nearly June and I am -100000 steps where I wanted to be at this point in the year. Forget summer body ready, hell I am winter body ready…again. So, here I am again writing yet another blog post on ‘it’s been a while but I am back’. Only this time, I have no excuses not to be officially back.

I recieved an email this morning from WordPress saying that today is my 4 year anniversary with them. Looking back, I have achieved a lot and so little at the same time. The first year blogging on here I lost around 4 stone. A year later, I started university and managed to put on half of what I lost over those three years. You could literally use my chins as a hiding place in hide and seek. Today not only marks 4 years on here but also my first day of freedom from univeristy. IT IS OVER! I start my new job in a month and have June to do whatever I want – cheaply. This means that I have the next month to get my body and my brain back into gear and overcome the barrier of starting again.

Not only has my weight increased drastically but I have found that my mental health is starting to become effected aswell. My anxiety levels are through the roof. I don’t want to see family members or friends that I haven’t seen in a while as I know they’ll comment on my weight gain. I feel hatred towards myself for allowing it to happen. All very unhealthy stuff and I do not want it to spiral any further. I have a lot of social events coming up in June and over the summer, all of which I am excited for but also dreading so I really need to stop whining and feeling sorry for myself and actually do something about it.

Today, I took my verys first step – I went for a run. It was only two miles but it was a run. I haven’t been for one in a couple of weeks what with placement and exams (usual excuses). It felt like absolute hell I am not going to lie. 2 miles? More like sodding 10. My shins felt like snapping, my ankles felt like they were going to pop, my back felt like it was going to break, everytime I swallowed my saliva it felt like I was suffocating, my head felt like it was a tonne. I got home and needed a good amount of time sprawled across the garden floor trying my best to gain my breathe back and not to vom. Recovered, I felt a sense of hope. I did in no ways feel good, just glad that the very very first step was now over. I have booked another half marathon in October which I hope will push me to continue with my running along with maintaining some what of a healthy diet as I do not want to injure my knees like last year.

I’m not going to promise to do x amount of runs a week or two stick to a certain diet or even to write a blog post daily/weekly. All I am going to do is to try to stick with it.

So, here are to new beginnings no matter how many you may have. Be proud to keep having to start over – at least we haven’t completely given up just yet.

S.

 

On A More Serious Note…

In most of my posts, I make a joke about my weight and constant struggles lowering it. This post, however, is just something a bit more serious that I would like to share with you all.

Of course, I would like to lose weight to enable me to feel good about myself. Be able to look in a mirror without utter disgust. Be able to look good in clothes that are a bit skimpier than a bin bag. The main reason I would like to lose weight, however, is to improve my health. Here are some of the observations that I have made recently with my rising BMI:

Mind:

Hardly exercising, drinking and eating constant crap is really having a detrimental effect on my mind. The main thing it is playing on is my anxiety. I have not been going with my family to see other family members because of my anxiety. Worrying about what they will think/say about my increasing weight – how disappointed they will be in me. Not only family members, but cancelling on friends too for the same reasons.

I have also noticed myself growing more and more depressed. I, honestly, have no nice things to say about myself. I can not look at myself in the mirror at all. A constant feeling of tiredness accompanies my little to no drive.

Hair:

My hair is ridiculously thin, constantly breaking and falling out quicker than North&South Korea.

Periods:

As some of you who have followed this blog from the beginning will know, I have Poly-cystic Ovaries. Before I lost weight a few years ago, I hadn’t had a period in over a year. When I lost the weight, my periods came back to being monthly and light. However, since gaining back the pounds I have noticed my monthly periods becoming less regular and even skipping months. This is not something that I would like to start happening again as it effects so much more than just my menstrual cycle.

Skin:

My skin is growing whiter by the day, massive circles around my eyes and I look generally unwell all of the time. I believe this is due to not having the right amount of vitamins through not eating properly and not exercising regularly.

General Health:

I’m not going to lie, in the past two months I have been seriously worried that I was going to have a heart attack – on more than one occasion! I have been feeling tight chest pains, unusual heart rhythms/flutters and experiencing very high blood pressure, something that I NEVER get. I have caught a bad bad cold more times in the past six months than ever before and I find it hard to breathe if I lay on my back due to my neck fat and humongous boobs crushing down on my trachea.

So there you have it folks, these are the main reasons why I am incredibly focused in losing the weight that I have accumulated and put back on over the past year or two and even more if I can. It’s not about how you look it’s all about health. I don’t want to get diabetes or risk dying young all for the sake of a few precious moments with some chicken nuggets, pizzas and chocolate etc.  I want to live life and live life full. As Renton said in Trainspotting “I choose Life”.

S.

Need Inspiring? I know Just The Person!

Interview-Acceptance-Letter1-400x400

Image:allthingswriting.blogspot.com 

Over the past two weeks I have been talking to a couple of people on Twitter who each have their own inspiring stories about their fitness journeys. (Yet others just wanted to sell me crap like magic fat busting tablets…take one and drop 5 stone that same day. That or get me to buy their mixtapes.)

One of those who I have been in contact with really stood out to me though, regularly tweeting me with encouragement and many others too. I asked if I could have an interview with her for my blog to give you guys some of her motivation and she gladly accepted. That person is Lisa Albert. Honestly, after talking to her throughout this informal interview, I grew the utter most respect for her. She truly is an inspiration for all of us on our quests to become healthy/fit and is my new hero. Have a read and see why….

Ok, so first of all, just a bit about yourself like where you are from, what you do?

I’m Lisa. I’m 28 years old and I’ve in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. I’m a full time mom to my beautiful 3 year old twin girls, but work casually as a Paramedic, Photographer and Fitness Coach/Trainer.

Wow that’s a lot of work, how do you manage to fit it all in including your fitness?

It is def not easy, but I make it work. My personal fitness is very important to me so I make sure there is time daily for it. Most days I wake early to get to the gym for my morning cardio before my spouse even wakes for work. So I’m getting to the gym around0530 to start my day. When I get home I see my Spouse off to work and get the girls ready for the day! My heavy workouts come at night, after my girls are tucked in for the night. It’s not exactly ideal going to the gym so late to train, but my fitness is important. I always make sure I get my training in.

You are a woman with a mission! I think you have pretty much proved that “I don’t have enough time to workout” is a lame excuse if you want it bad enough! So have you always been into your fitness or did something trigger it?

Time is never an excuse! We all have the same 24 hours in a day, it is what we do with those hours that count. I’ve pretty much given up television because the time that would spend watching a mindless show could be time I spend working on my health. It is all in how we choose what is more important. And no! I have not always been part of the fitness scene! Through my childhood and teens I was always pretty fit and stayed active with sports. Weight was never a problem. Then I feel into a serious relationship which led to my marriage! Of course being active was the last thing on my mind. I was more concerned with date night and which movie we were going to see. So the weight started to add up. Then we became pregnant, with TWINS! After I had my girls my scale had hit an all time high. I hated my reflection. I am embarrassed and felt guilty. I knew something HAD to change. This is when I made the decision to turn to fitness. I wanted to take control of my life again and be proud of the person I was, not try to hide.

You seem to have a lot of will power more than me I must say. Does that come over time and what motivates you to keep going?

It isn’t always easy. There are plenty of days that all I want to do is stay in bed, and of course lazy days do happen, but I keep my goals in mind to help keep my focused. Honestly, the will power was a learned trait. When I first started everything I did was HARD. I struggled with everything, took frequent breaks, was always out of breath, constantly sore, but I kept pushing. Seeing my reflection kept me motivated because I knew that I did not want to stay this way; overweight, unhappy, and depressed. Seeing the changes each week helped really push me. Honestly, if it weren’t for taking photos every 2 weeks so I could SEE the change, I prob would have given up!

What are your goals?

My goals are to remain healthy, stay fit and keep on top of my healthy eating. What you eat is the majority of your results. Knowing what it feels like to be out of shape and over weight and now knowing what it feels like to be healthy and active, I never want to go back to my old life. Fitness changed my life forever and I have no plans on ever going back.

Pics are a fab way of noticing results, do you ever look back at them and think of how far you have come? In what way has fitness changed your life? Apart from being the busiest woman I have ever heard of?!

Haha! grin emoticon I look back at my ‘before’ photos all the time. They are a great reminder of where I started and WHY I keep so active. I am in the best shape of my life and I had TWINS! That is crazy! Thanks to fitness I have regained control of my life. I have energy again and can keep up with my busy 3 year olds! What I love most about it is that my girls see the healthy habits this family leads and are picking up quickly. Our children watch us more than we realize. One days I was standing in the girls bedroom door watching them play and they were having a toddler “boot camp”! They were telling each other exercises to do and showing how to do them. Picking up on these habits now will only carry into their life as they get older. That is something that makes me very proud.

Your girls sound adorable!! They will be leading you guys on a workout soon! Do they ever want to join in with any you do at home?

All the time! I am a PiYo instructor so I’m always practicing my classes at home. My girls LOVE to join in! I’ve never seen someone nail “Down Dog” like my girls! lol

No way I can never do that! I need to take lessons off your girls. Are you able to explain a bit about what PiYo is for people reading that haven’t heard of it?

HAHA! I keep telling people they will be leading my classes soon! Yes! I am completely in love with PiYo. It is a creative blend of moves inspired from both Pilates and Yoga. Trust me when I say I am not a fan of either Pilates or Yoga, but I am obsessed with PiYo. It is faster paced, you do not hold long poses. You are always moving and being challenged. There is no equipment needed, just your body and a mat. PiYo is a great way to make fitness FUN and burn a ton of calories while toning your entire body. I suggest everyone at least try it. I’ve never had someone not enjoy a PiYo workout.

I definitely need to try it out! I keep seeing all of your posts about it! Ok, last question as I know how busy you are….. What are your 5 biggest tips to people just starting their fitness journeys?

Hmm… Good question. There are so many tips I could give others looking to get into fitness. I made so many mistakes starting, but they have only helped me help others!

My top 5 tips would have to be:

#1 Set a goal with a deadline. Without setting a goal and a time that you would like to reach it, there is really nothing pushing you to work hard.

#2 Take photos. No one likes to take ‘before’ photos, trust me. Taking a photo every two weeks will help you SEE the physical changes that you won’t see in the mirror because they happen slowly and steadily. Seeing even small changes over the course of two weeks can be a huge motivation to push harder.

#3 Forget about the scale. The number you see can be so deceiving. Your weight can fluctuate anywhere from 3-6 pounds a day. This is mostly due to water retention. Plus, as you train you gain muscle. Muscle weighs more than fat. So you may drop a jean size but not see a dramatic change in the scale. This is because you have dropped body fat, but gained muscle.

#4 Take measurements. These will tell you more about your loss than any scale. You may not see the numbers on your scale move, but you could notice that you dropped 4 inches in the last month. WIN! Again, this is because you have dropped body fat and gained lean muscle. I swear by measurements (and avoid scales lol).

#5 This may be the most important tip is tell people. Get a buddy. Fitness is not easy and trying to do it alone is hard! There is no one to share you struggles or success with. No one to understand what you are going through. No one to PUSH you when you are feeling defeated. Doing it with a friend is extremely motivational because you feed off each others energy. Having that constant source of motivation can be the most important part of your fitness journey. You do not have to do this alone. You are not the only one to struggle, I have struggled more than my share. Being able to talk about all this with others really helps relieve the stress and allows you to press forward.

*End

I would just like to thank Lisa, once again, for taking the time out of her BUSY schedule to talk to me and give such detailed, insightful answers. It was a pleasure to speak with her and get to know her a bit more.

If you would like to know more about Lisa or get more tips and daily motivation then check her out on the following social media sites and web pages:

Twitter: @MedicGirl22

Instagram: MedicGirl22

Facebook: Lisa Albert

YouTube: Lisa Albert

But…more excitingly, Lisa has just started to make her own WordPress blog so keep your eyes peeled for when I shout out the details. 🙂

My Resolutions

image

Hello all.

I’m not one for resolutions normally. I usually say something ridiculous like “I won’t eat any carbs at all for the whole year and go for 3 runs every single day”.  Needless to say, I bugger it up after a month.

This year though, I have decided to set myself reasonable small resolutions, all be it, still challenging. Maybe it’s me growing old or maybe it’s my subconscious mind telling me to get my act together about food. (Basically I have been having more or less the same dream on and off for the past couple of weeks where I am, either, the weight I was when I first started or even heavier.) I definetly do not want that to happen!

So here are my resolutions and reasons why…….

1) No more Beer.

Since I moved to London, I have been drinking Beer by the barrell full. Normally I don’t have it but down there I just live on the stuff especially as there are so many quirky free houses near me.

2) No more pastry!

I have been eating sausage rolls like a mad woman. I prefer savoury than sweet and these things just fill that craving I always get. Naughty Sophia.

3) No more white bread.

I have cut down a lot already, but I have been plain lasy for the past 3 months and just eaten whatever is in the house.

4) No more crisps.

Whenever I am in a shop I always add a packet of crisps to my basket. No idea why but I need to stop this immediately!!!

5) Get back into running.

I miss going on my regular runs and I really should start it up again. My aim is to sign up for a couple of sponsored ones to motivate me more and then start training. Notice no fixed amount of running.

You could also say I need to learn to count too as I missed out a number in my previous post but sod it.

What are your resolutions for the year if any? Do you think you will actually stick to them for the whole duration? I’d love to hear from some of you!

Have a great weekend all. 🙂

Tips for New Year Newbies

image

So New Years is just around the corner full of resolutions to leave your old self behind and to, this time, get fit and healthy. Promises of no more junk food just heaps of succulent salad (You WILL like it). No more slouching on the sofa after work but going to the gym everyday and getting a six pack by April.
As lovely as all of this sounds, the sad fact is, most don’t last until March.

If you are serious about keeping your resolution this year though, here are my
image

1) Set a reasonable target.

There is no use being 15stone with a huge pot belly saying that you want to slim down to 9stone by May because it just won’t happen. Well, not unless you want to do yourself some damage. You need to set regular, workable goals each month. If you start by working towarfs losing 3ibs a month, see how you do…if you are finding that too easy…up your game by a couple of pounds. Or vice versa, finding it too hard…drop a couple of pounds. The main thing is not to dishearten yourself. I find that if I keep reaching my goals, I stay in a positive attitude and I make sure I reach my next goal. If I don’t, I always have a lapse and have to work double as hard next time.

2) Don’t think you can live on 500 calories a day.
image

Yes, if you only eat 500 caloriea a day for a month, you will drop a considerable amount of weight. However, no only is this seriously unhealthy, you will put it all back on as soon as you start eating regular meals, you will not enjoy your new ‘healthy lifestyle’ and last but not least if you are actually excercising as well… You will probably collapse and make yourself ill.

All I will say is cut your calories by a HEALTHY resonable amount. I think for women it is around 1200-1300 but you will have to research it depending on your sex, current weight and how much weight you want to lose. Once you start tracking your calories, you finally realise how little 500 calories is and also how much you have been eating before. Which brings me onto my next tip…

4) Download a fitness/food diary app.

Now days in the ‘techno age’, we are fortunate to have a million and one apps to help us track our progress with our eating and our fitness. The beat thing to do is download a couple, try them out and see which one is best for you. Most of the best ones are free so you don’t need to spend loads.

If you are at a stop not knowing where to begin, why not ask friends or even google what everyone else is using. I myself use ‘My Fitness Pal’ for tracking what I am eating and to work out my calorie intake. For my running, I use ‘Run Keeper’ just because I have found it to be more accurate than others.

5) Be truthful with yourself.

What exactly do you think you will achieve if you fool yourself you are doing well when really you are scoffing your face when no one is watching. Reactions from people are what will really tell you if you are doing well.
There are many a time I go for a run and then go to reward myself with cake and sausage rolls. In my mind I feel I am doing great and brag to people about how much running I am doing and then not getting any reaction from them. However, when I started getting into my regime properly with no cheating, I did start to get postive feedback from people without bragging to them and that is the biggest confidence booster. So don’t pop in your calorie app that you have only eaten an apple as a snack when really you have had a Mars bar too.

6) Find some competition.
image

It’s the New Year, a gazillion people have just eaten 10 years worth of food in the past 2 weeks, most of them will be wanting to lose weight. Find someone who you can ‘compete’ and compare your weightloss with. Of course, everyones weightloss journey is their own individual experience but it does help if you have a natural competitive side. Seeing someone else do well at something you want to do will make you put that extra effort in and do just as well as them, if not more.

7) Enjoy yourself.

I know, I know…. Weightloss is not the most enjoyable thing to do. Well, you may be wrong. It feels like torture to begin with, I am not going to lie, but after a while you start to feel so much better about yourself for doing it. Don’t just eat lettuce everyday…. Learn some new recipes, there are loads out there. Explore with food.
Don’t just think you have to go for a boring run or gym everday… Visit new places and go running or walking in beautful scenery or join up to clubs or sign yourself up to fun runs and obstacle runs. Spice up your exercise a bit (in that way too if you want!) If you don’t like a certain exercise, stop doing it and find something you do like (and not just because it is easier).

Good luck to you all in the New Year. You will have to let me know how your journeys go.

I hope 2015 is filled with laughter, love and light. Chin Chin! 🍸