Saturday, 22 August 2009

First week of Dips Dips

ANOTHER New Regime

Today was my 3rd session of my new weights regime as designed for me by personal trainer Dipesh Patel from Bannatynes. It was legs and arms today so I was really looking forward to it as I always love the feeling I get after pushing my legs really hard - it bit like being tipsy without the hangover and weight gain :-)

Dipesh had shown me, during my 'free' personal trainer session how I could cut down on the exercises I was doing and focus my routine into just an hour. Apparently I had been just repeating the same muscle stimulation with slightly different exercises and it wasn't necessary. My workout totally lived up to my expectation and with the exceptions of the dips which I carried out on a machine, the whole routine could be done at home with a Swiss ball and a set of dumbbells which may come in handy on days I can't get to the gym.

Spent the afternoon eating for England - I had a massive appetite today - and burning it all off while vigorously cleaning my kitchen with the help of my eldest daughter (bless her!). Sounds like a day of hell for some people but I've had a great time :-)

Thursday, 20 August 2009

A long long break.

Rest, reality and results.

I have not been blogging since my short break to Bruges - everything has been crazy busy since then and with my NUMBER 1 priority being my sessions at the gym - something had to give, and it was blog - I hang my head in shame.

Cycling in Bruges

Bruges was fantastic and I would recommend it to anyone who enjoys exercise, good food and a bit of historic culture. It isn't cheap, thats for sure but what a wonderful four days I had. The best day being (if I had to choose) the day myself and my OH hired trekking bikes for the day (12 euros each - bargain) and spent 12 hours in the saddle. Belgium is completely flat and so cycling is never too taxing though keeps you heart rate in a nice 'fat burning zone' - fabulous. It has totally got me hooked back in to road cycling (not static - I HATE that). Belgium is completely set up for cyclists with cycle routes clearly marked across the whole country and cycle lanes everywhere - the cyclist is king in Belgium, often the motorised traffic have to give way - how cool!!! Since being back I have been searching for the sort of bike I hired over there is was lovely, comfortable and very practical. I noted the name is was a Metro County Trekking bike (I think made by Raleigh) - so far no joy :-(


After arriving home on Sunday evening and trying to quickly catch up on a bit of washing and sewing up my eldest's new work trousers (thanks a bunch honey!!!) it was straight back to work and afterwards straight back to the gym. I had a bit of a stomach ache from eating off programme for 4 days and I found I just couldn't run on the treadmill, instantly got a stitch and had absolutely no stamina - decided instead to do several 10 minute sessions on various cardio machines and take it very easy. I was so disappointed with myself as I was looking forward to my run and it just goes to show that when you have trained your body to eat clean, not doing so is akin to taking poison (ok, so that is a bit dramatic, but you know what I mean).

Tuesday was the day of my new job interview. I was very excited and a tad nervous, though I do like interviews. I hadn't been looking to move but a friend had emailed me the advert and it is my dream job so I went for it even though I knew (and they would have known) I didn't have the qualifications or experience on paper! I wore my new suit, bought for the ocassion which looked lovely and made me feel very confident and powerful (nothing like a good pair of heels for that!).

Wednesday morning 10.10am - yes I noted the time. I received the phone call and I was offered the job - my heart leapt out of my chest. I am so excited, so flattered that they have taken a gamble on me and just thrilled with what will be my dream job - I've just got work to tell yet, but I can hang on a bit as timing isn't great.

AS and A Levels.

To add to my stress (the good kind) and strife (the ok kind) this week it was AS and A level results day yesterday. My youngest was awaiting her ASs and as a School Marketing Manager the results are very important to my job as well as obviously, good results make my job easier when selling the school. My daughter did well as did the school so I was more than happy and the nervous energy that has been running through my veins over the last few days was put to good use at the gym with great cardio and weight sessions.

Phew....... I feel out of breath just writing this all and remembering that it has been quite a week. I am off today to take my eldest to the hospital and I'm sitting here dressed and ready for the gym. A lovely quiet weekend is what is in order to re-group and spend some time smiling to myself and feeling that life is good with lots to look forward to.

Thursday, 13 August 2009

Off to Bruges with a spring in my step!

I'm Off

The train has literally just pulled out of St Pancras and I'm blogging from my Blackberry.

Off for 4 days in Bruges - no kids :-), no work :-), but no gym (boo).

Feeling much more positive about Bannatynes as I had THE BEST personal training session yesterday with Dipesh. He spent 2 1/2 hours with me and really showed me a fantastic 3 day split routine. He worked with me until my form was perfect and I was 'spent'. Can't wait to get going on my own next week. I was so tired I didn't do my running but felt more than happy with my morning.

Tuesday, 11 August 2009

A busy time

Taking my eye off the blogging ball

Getting ready for my trip to Bruges - very exited but it means that I taking my eye off my blogg a bit as I don't seem to have enough time to think of things entertaining enough to write. I wouldn't wish to bore people with my day to day trivia - oh, ok then I will JUST mention my MBTs.

Have a problem with my toe - long story, on going, very painful. I needed to get some shoes that would love my feet, not punish them so after reading many good things about MBT shoes, I went off to look at them and see whether they were worth the hype and the money. Well, I now believe in love at first sight - or first try on. They are fabulous with a capital F. The comfort - well they are heaven. I tried on the classic sandle (see first pic) but decided that a closed in toe version would get more wear through the winter and at £125 I wanted them to get the wear. Behaved like a 5 year old and told the shop assistant that I wanted to wear them and could I put my trainers in the MBT box.

I then proceeded to go suit shopping in pure foot heaven :-)

Monday, 10 August 2009

Holiday Week

6 Mile Walk

Yesterday my OH and I plus my cousin and her OH all went off for a 6 mile walk in the Chilterns. It was absolutely Fab! The map we had downloaded from the internet was hopeless and so we rather went off track but 3 hours and nearly 600 calories later we felt achey but proud of ourselves and we were more than ready to hit 'The Greyhound' in Aldbury where we had a table booked for dinner.

I had a gorgeous tomato and vegetable soup to start and then a feta cheese salad for my main. A glass of red and a creamy cappucino finished of a really nice day and it was all the better for the lovely weather.

You see, who says fitness isn't fun :-)

Leisure Time

How great is it, when you have a few days off work and just chillin at home, that you can get to the gym in the day with the rest of the 'off peakers'. I've been to do my run this morning at the gym and then I will be going back to do my shoulders/chest/abs workout, early evening. I've got to squeeze my workouts into 3 days as I'm off on a romantic break to Bruges in Belgium on Thursday. Really looking forward to it.

Personal Trainer

When I joined my new gym (Bannatynes) part of the welcome pack was a free personal trainer session so I've booked mine today. I will be seeing him at on Wednesday morning and I asked that we concentrate on free weights - lets hope he can improve on my experience with 19 year old Katie!

Friday, 7 August 2009

Good Day Bad Day

So Mad!!!

I had a great day yesterday. It was my 5th day of eating 5 meals a day instead of 3 and my energy levels are through the roof even though I sleep so badly and it was TOTM. I was excited about my run in the evening and just felt generally great - listening to UB40 full blast on the way to work helped as well :-)

Went shopping and bought my first ever pair of size 8 trousers - felt fantastic.

Then it all went pear shaped. I had my second induction at the gym and was looking forward to it as it was to be focused on weights. Because I have some knowledge I armed myself with some 'cable' exercises that I would like to be shown for form etc. I also wanted to know if the gym had certain machines (I know I could have looked around but I wanted to be shown). Well first of all my 19 year old (I know, I shouldn't go on about her age) had forgotten our appointment and had to be 'fetched'. She then proceeded to tell me AGAIN how not to bother with the cable exercises because all the man dominate the machine. I asked if the gym had the cuff attachments and she said they did but I'd never find them as the men toss them to one side and they get lost.

I was beginning to get cross so I asked about some hip adductor exercises and was told each one I asked about didn't have the available equipment. She got down on the floor and showed me some floor exercises, which, quite frankly, just wouldn't have been challenging enough for me.

She finished our 5 minute session with saying she had watched me in the gym and my form was 'perfect' and there was nothing else to say. WELL, maybe I should have been flattered but its just not true that I don't need any help and if she's been watching me over this last week I certainly haven't noticed. I get the impression she couldn't be bothered with my induction.

To make matters worse, my partner had his 2 hours later with a different member of staff and got a fantastic induction.

I was so cross and frustrated I let it ruin my day. Got up this morning and weighed myself for the first time in a while and I am now 4lbs off goal so certainly, that has gone some weigh to cheer me up. I'm actually going to my old gym this morning to do my legs routine because, to makes matters worse, the Smith Machine at Bannatynes is broken - grrrrrrrrr.

The question is now, do I complain??????


A new goal

Thanks to SKATZ on WLR for pointing me in the direction of this fitness model's website. Skatz had her picture on her profile as inspiration and I have 'borrowed' it as mine as well. Now I know this girl is a model and probably VERY tall and it looks like she's had her boobs done (see post below :-)) but I can be a 5'4" version of her (ok, plus a few stretch marks). I think 'Jelena' looks absolutely fit and fab. If you want to see more of her pics visit her site by clicking here.

Losing the Fat

You know your fat percentage is low when........

Your heart rate monitor chest strap is more prominent than your boobs! No joke I was watching my self in the mirror at the gym (to keep form you understand) and all I could focus on was the little 'wedge' of my HRM like a third nipple on my chest. Now I have seriously lost my boobs since dieting but this is ridiculous. To add insult to injury when asking my eldest to take some shots of me in my underwear for comparison purposes she asked 'do you think you'll get a boob job mum?' Luckily I have a very positive body image and so can laugh as such things - but honestly you'd think they could make these chest straps a little less obvious for us less than 'endowed' women :-)

Thursday, 6 August 2009

A good start to the day

Swimming Sensations

2 things to make my day start in a good way.
1) The new googles worked a treat. Completely watertight and comfortable and gives great vision - much, MUCH better than standard goggles - my thanks to that anonymous lady at the gym :-)
2) I decided that I needed a focus for my swimmng. So far I had just been doing 60 lenths (of a 25 metre pool) in an hour and as long as I did, I didn't have any other focus. Now I have changed it to gradually increase my speed and distance. Current program:
Heart rate not to go below 60%
20 lengths - 5 x 4 lengths
26 lengths - 4 x 6 lengths
16 lengths - 2 x 8 lengths
10 lengths - 1 x 10 lengths
72 lengths in total.
I will look to improve on this possibly every 2 weeks - see how I go.
Feel great that I have done this - you see, goal setting is sooo important :-)

Wednesday, 5 August 2009

Disappointed Me

N N N N N N N nineteen!

I don't mean to be agest but I was so disappointed yesterday evening when I arrived at the gym, excited by the fact I was having an induction at the new gym which included a free fitness assessment to find out that my 'senior member of staff' was a 19 year old girl with less maturity and knowledge that my own daughter!! It was hopeless. She acknowledged that I knew my way around a gym and said 'we can skip that part' but I wanted to be shown a couple of cardio machines that I hadn't tried before and she proceeded to tell me what a waste of time they were and if that was what I wanted I should stay at home and run up and down the stairs - OMG! I also wanted to be shown a couple of chest exercises and she said 'I wouldn't bother, the time of day you come you'll never get a chance on those weights all the men are on them'. I felt very deflated and I also saw that my beloved Smith Machine had red 'danger' tapes across it so I assume that is out of action as well - woe is me :-(

The good part was I had my body fat measured properly and it is 18.8% which I am very pleased about as I have been working very hard on this. The machine they used, I was told, can be used anytime I like, so I think I'm going to check this every couple of weeks.

After my woefully inadequate assessment I was told I had to have another one on Friday to be shown the weights (apparently essential for H&S) but at least it won't take long. I then proceeded to get on with my first ever split body session with the exercises I listed yesterday. Afterwards it felt a bit strange not to have aching legs but my chest/shoulders/abs did feel tired and worked. I need to make a couple of adjustments to my routine as I found some things uncomfortable but all in all a good start.

Black Eyes and Swimming Goggles

I had been swimming yesterday morning and had suffered with black, puffy and wrinkled eyes for several hours afterwards due to my fantastic, but unflattering swim goggles. I thought that I must do something about it because it made me look so old/beaten up (I don't know which is worse :-)) and I felt very self conci0us. I made a mental note to look into some different types. By sheer coincidence. When I arrived at the gym changing room a lady in there was about to go swimming and had the exact style I was thinking of. We got chatting (I love a reason to start up a chat with a stranger) and she said she bought them at the gym and they were wonderful. £16.99 later (I know, a bit pricey) and I now have a lovely pair of goggles that I can't wait to try tomorrow.

Tuesday, 4 August 2009

Tonight's Routine


From my list of exercises I put together last week I have slightly jigged them around before I started this week as the beginning of my split routine training. I have put together tonight's schedule for Shoulders/Chest/Abs. Whilst looking for good quality photographs of each exercise I came across a new website called 'FitTracker' and its got great colour photographs, a comprehensive list of exercise for each muscle group and good text explanations to ensure good form.

I'm off to my induction (again) at my new gym and apart from a couple of cardio machines I wouldn't mind demonstrating I would like 'Natasha' to show me the cable weights as I haven't used these before and you will see below I have one included in my routine tonight:

Dumbell Flyes
Barbell Bench Press
Cable Crossover
Push Ups
Incline 2 arm deltoid dumbell raises
Seated twisting dumbbel presses
Standing military press
Lying rear deltoid raises
Leg pull ins
Leg raises
Swiss ball ab crunches (legs on ball)
Swiss ball ab crunches (laying on ball)
Barbell oblique side bends

I put all this info using 'FitTracker' onto a sheet with space to write the weights I use with the photograph and explanation taken from the site. I've made a pdf of this file and was going to post it here but I can't find anywhere that facilitates uploading pdfs :-( I think I will be sore tomorrow - wish me luck!

New regime has started - yippee

A Rutt No More

I had got myself in a bit of a rutt. I had a dose of the typical holiday blues when I got back from Mallorca and needed to shake things up a bit, diet wise, exercise wise and work wise. I had devised my new split routine for my weights, I had started my new 5k-8k training and I just had my diet left to sort out. I decided to go for the 5 meals a day - I know I'm a bit late doing this 'common sense' approach to eating but I was just LAZY in having to think about 5 different meals/snacks as I'm not a big fan of meal replacements/shakes. So this weekend I've done a lot of reading, shopping and planning and I think I have the bare bones of my new diet sorted. Today's diet (yesterday's was a variation on this) is as follows:

1 codliver oil capsule, 1 wellwoman multi-vit & min.
'All Bran Porridge' - made with 50g All Bran. 25g Impact Whey Protein (choc this morning) and 160ml water. 1 Starchy Carb 1 Protein
Mid-morning snack

Tuna, peas and sweetcorn. 1 Fibrous Carb 1 Protein
'Risotto' - made with Brown Rice, River Cobbler and Red Peppers. 1 Starchy Carb, 1 Fibrous Carb, 1 Protein.
Mid-afternoon snack
Sweet potato chunks & cottage cheese. 1 Starchy Carb, 1 Protein
Turkey breast, Courgettes and Broccoli. 2 Fibrous Carbs, 1 Protein
2L Water
1 de-caf tea
5 de-caf coffee (I know but I can't give it up!)
200ml skimmed milk (for tea & coffee)

Now this is all very plain at the moment (though I love this sort of food) and my plan is to use this as a frame work and start adding different foods and being a bit more creative with my presentation and mixing. The big step - getting it all nutritionally balanced and calorie counted to as close to perfect for me as I can make it, is now done - yippee! My big challenge to cut out sugar completely. I'm a real 'sweet sucker'. Only a couple a day and often in the car but I can't claim to be eating 'clean' if I'm still sneaking the odd sugar fix so I'm going to stop doing it. I have a pot of travel sweets in the car and a bag of gums at home and I'm going to throw them out tonight.

5k to 8k

I'm on my second week of my 'Gateway to 8k' training (Podrunner Intervals). The music this week is supposed to be 'house' and I definitely didn't enjoy it as much as last week. Here is a printable version of the training program. It was my first run at my new gym and I LOVE their treadmills. They have a leaver on each side of the machine that you can just tap up or down to increase/decrease the speed and incline. So much better than having to try and tap a touch sensitive screen when your running full pelt. Week 2 sees you running for 8 minutes and walking for 1 x 4 with a 5 minute warmup/cooldown. The idea is to keep your pace in time with the beat of the music so that you are covering the correct amount of distance, though I think, I have such short legs surely I don't cover as much as someone who is 6ft odd with long legs. Still, I continue to enjoy.....