Progress Report – October 2019

I’ve decided to approach my progress reports slightly differently for the time being for a couple of reasons:

  1. I was finding writing weekly reports a bit tricky to keep on top of
  2. It’s probably not that interesting for you to read each week whether or not I’ve lost weight

So I’ve decided to try monthly updates instead. I think it’s important for my obliger nature to have the external accountability of letting you know how I’m doing, but hopefully it’ll be more manageable for me and less boring for you!

So, how’s my month been?

Weight – altogether in October, I’ve lost 5.5lb bringing me to a total of 1st 4.5lbs lost so far.

Inch loss – 12 inches lost in total and I’m delighted to see that my collarbone is beginning to reappear. I haven’t seen that for years!

Exercise – I’ve continued to maintain my exercise schedule, even when I went to visit my mum for the weekend, and I’m definitely seeing my endurance and strength improving:

Exercise Starting Point Current Performance
Plank 3x 1 min 3x 1min 15sec
Side Plank 3x 1min each side
Deadlift 3x 20 reps 16kg 5x 20 reps 24kg
Lunges 3x 10 reps 10kg 5x 12 reps 10kg
Chest Press 3x 20 reps 12.5kg 5x 18 reps 20kg
Bicep Rows 3x 20 reps 15kg 5x 18 reps 20kg
Upright Row 3x 20 reps 10kg 60sec recovery 5x 20 reps 10kg 30sec recovery
Lateral Raise 3x 20 reps 3kg 3x 20 reps 4kg
Lateral Pulldown 3x 20 reps 20kg 5x 18 reps 25kg

I’m really not a fan of having my photograph taken but I was pleasantly surprised to see the difference in a photo taken this time last year to one taken now.

My biggest challenge this month was having a 2 week holiday from work with the temptation to sit around eating biscuits and chocolate all day that that brings. Although I did indulge in a couple of treats, I generally made healthy food choices and rigorously stuck to my training plan and even added in a couple of walks.

Speaking of food choices, although I have generally been making healthy choices, I haven’t been tracking what I eat so that’s something I want to focus on in November as it’s very true that we often eat mindlessly and forget what we have actually consumed.

November is sure to bring with it some challenges as the nights get darker, we get closer to Christmas and it’s also my birthday month, but I’m just going to keep on trying to make healthier choices for the benefit of my future self and with the shorter term aim of looking as good as I can by the time my Christmas holiday comes arounds.

Thanks for reading,

FFF

I’ve been seeing someone.

It’s been going on for weeks. Mr FFF knows and is all for it. The ‘someone’ I’ve been seeing is a personal trainer and so far, it’s going well.

I made the decision back at the beginning of the summer. I have a personal training session once a week and then I go independently another 2 times. My reasoning for paying more on top of my gym membership for PT sessions is that I’m an obliger* – I find it difficult to meet expections that I set for myself but easy(er) to meet someone else’s expections of me. I don’t want to turn up to my PT session on a Saturday and have to say to my trainer that I haven’t been since I last saw him.

I’ve also chosen to go with a gym program for a couple of reasons, despite the fact that I’ve previously always found the gym to be mind-numbingly boring. Historically, I’ve always preferred to attend group exercise classes such as Zumba, Step and Body Pump. I love the music and find that I push myself harder when there is an instructor watching me (there’s that obliger tendancy again). However, my busy schedule during term time means that meeting or training sessions sometimes cause me to miss a class. The problem is, rather than simply going again the following week, this can be enough of an excuse to kick me out of the habit. Going to the gym, however, means that although I’ll still have scheduled times for attending, if I can’t make it for some reason, I can simply go at another time that day or during the same week as I’m not relying on a class timetable.

I’ve been going since the second week in July and so far haven’t missed a session, even when I was on holiday. Before I went, I also booked a PT session for my usual time on the day I came back from holiday to get me straight back into the swing of my healthy lifestyle rather than letting any holiday laziness continue until the following Monday.

So far, it seems to be working and I’m seeing small steps of progress. I’m already lifting heavier weights than I was when I started and finding it easier to do so. The thing I am most proud of is that I can now do 3x 1 minute planks. Previously, I’d always struggled to get to 30 seconds when doing them in a group class, but when there’s someone sitting right next to you with a stopwatch in hand watching only you, (that obliger tendancy kicks in again) you dig that bit deeper.

The real test is going to come now that I’m back at work and have to exercise afterwards rather than getting it done out of the way first thing in the morning. I’ll update you in a few weeks and let you know how I’m getting on.

Thanks for reading,

FFF

What are your top tips for keeping to your exercise routine when you’re busy with work? Let me know in the comments section.

(*For more information on obligers and to find out whether you are an obliger, upholder, questions or rebel, visit Gretchen Rubin’s website to find out about her Four Tendencies Framework.)

Don’t Stop Fat-Fighter!

I’ve had a bit of a mixed experience when it comes to exercise this weekend.

Image courtesy of jesadaphorn / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Image courtesy of jesadaphorn / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Firstly, I went to my normal spinning class on Friday despite me not being that keen on the music now that there’s a new instructor.  When the class started, she announced that she’d be doing a couple of extra tracks at the end of the normal class but gave people the option of leaving after the timetabled 45mins.  I firmly decided “No! It’s Friday night.  I’d only planned on doing the normal 45mins.  At soon as possible, I’m out of here!”.

However, as the class progressed, I started to think, “I’m here now, so I might as well do a little bit extra.  It’s early on a Friday evening after all so I still have the rest of the weekend to do other stuff.”  To my own surprise, I stayed and worked really hard for the extra 13mins.  I left feeling very pleased with myself.

On Saturday morning, I was back to Parkrun after a break of a couple of weeks.  I was running it with two of my cousins – one of whom left her house at 4:45am to drive 140miles to take part (yes she is a bit mental but we love her!).  It was a nice sunny but cold morning so I was thinking it was going to be a lovely run.  However, about 1mile in to the 3mile course, my hip-flexor started to pull.  I tried to ignore it and focus on my music thinking that as I got into my stride a bit more it would probably loosen up a bit.  It didn’t.  By about mile 2 it was really hurting and all I wanted to do was to stop and walk.  But I didn’t.  It took a lot of positive thinking to keep me going including: the amazing challenge completed by Davina McCall for Sport Relief that I’d watched  a programme about last week (Davina: Beyond Breaking Point).  If she could keep going for all than distance, I could manage to complete a 5km run; all those who managed to complete the Coventry Half Marathon last week; and thinking about writing this blog post!  Despite my hip being sore and this having the knock-on effect of making my lower back sore from my altered gait, I managed to keep running all the way around and still run a little bit faster over the last 100 yards (not my usual sprint finish but hey).  I was surprised, and not a little proud, that I managed to dig-in mentally and keep going.  Even more surprisingly, when I checked my time this morning, it was actually only 47 seconds slower than my PB!!

During the run, and reflecting on my mental attitude towards it post-run, I started thinking about how the mind-set needed to complete a physical challenge is mirrored in the challenge of losing and maintaining weight: sometimes it is unexpectedly hard to keep going and obstacles that are not of your own making can slow you down.  But if you keep a positive mental attitude, dig in and keep going, you can achieve your goals.

Thanks for reading.

PS How do you keep going when the going gets tough?

 

Getting Off My Lazy Backside

Last week I was on half term holiday following an extremely challenging and emotionally draining 6 weeks.

Image courtesy of Stuart Miles / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Image courtesy of Stuart Miles / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

On Sunday, I woke up nice and early, had a nice lie in whilst finishing my book and thought to myself ‘I really can’t be bothered to go to the gym today.  I just want to have a lazy day and enjoy the last day of the holidays’.  I even voiced this thought to Mr FFF who replied smugly ‘Well. I don’t really need to go ’cause I did an 8 mile run yesterday’.

Yet, it wasn’t his gloating that made me change my mind.

I got to thinking about how I haven’t had a great week food and exercise wise (although I do feel lovely and relaxed) and how good it had made me feel to make the healthy choice when faced with a weight loss dilemma on Saturday night.  I also thought about how I’d feel if I didn’t go to the gym (guilty; annoyed; that I’d wasted my day) compared to how I’d feel if I went (virtuous; smug).

So, I chose not to ‘Wait until after my weigh in on Monday and then get back on track’: I got up, got my workout gear on and went to the gym.

And you know what?  It really did feel good 🙂

Stepping Up The Exercise

Image courtesy of Idea go / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Image courtesy of Idea go / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

So it’s half-term week and I thought that I’d use the extra time to increase the amount of exercise I’m doing.  I’ve already taken part in my first parkrun event and now tonight I’m going to step things up another gear with a new Zumba class.

If you’ve never tried Zumba before, you ought to find a class and give it a go.  It is a dance-based exercise class based on Latin/Salsa/Merengue/Cha Cha dance steps.  It’s great fun and a great work out that’s easy to adapt for different fitness levels.  I used to regularly attend Zumba classes at my old gym.  However, on joining my current gym they didn’t run any at a time to suit me.  But now they’ve started a new class and it’s on right before the Body Pump class I’ve been attending for the past 6/7 weeks.

I didn’t want to give up the Body Pump class as Mr FFF has been enjoying going to that with me, but I do really want to take up Zumba again.  So I’ve decided to go to both.  This will not only earn me more activity points and boost my weight loss, but it will also increase my stamina and overall cardio fitness.  And I’m pretty certain to sleep well tonight!

Wish me luck!

Run, Fat Fighter, Run.

Despite it being the first day of the half term holidays yesterday, I dragged my weary backside out of bed and went and took part in my first parkrun event in a bid to help me move more and boost my weight loss.

image courtesy of www.parkrun.org.uk

image courtesy of http://www.parkrun.org.uk

The weather had been shocking over the previous 24hours with howling wind and rain.  I’d been half hoping that the rain was going to be torrential as there’s no way I was going to attempt it in that weather.  But the other half of me really wanted to have a go and I found myself lying in bed yesterday morning, listening to the very strong winds and hoping that the rain held off.  It did mainly: there were a couple of showers but I was already at the park by then.

My main aim for the run this week was to actually do it and not be bothered if I didn’t manage to run all the way around as I’ve not run properly in several years. However, when we got there, I decided that as I’m reasonably fit and can cope with 45min spinning classes, there was no reason why I shouldn’t be able to run all the way round if I paced myself.  So I went for it and was delighted with my time of 33min 12sec.

What was even more surprising was that I really enjoyed it and I can’t wait for next week’s run!

Parkrun events are free and held all over the world.  If you fancy taking part why not checkout http://www.parkrun.com/ or http://www.parkrun.org.uk/

On Your Marks, Get Set…

Well, I’ve taken the plunge.  In an effort to bank a few more activity points prior to going out with my work mates on Saturday night, I’ve registered for parkrun and plan to take part in my first one this Saturday morning!

Image courtesy of stockimages / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Image courtesy of stockimages / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

If you’ve never heard of it before, parkrun is an organisation that arranges free, 5km runs across the country (and indeed the world!) every week.  Your time is recorded and logged online so that you can track how you’re improving.

I must say, I’m a little apprehensive: I’ve never been a massive fan of running and I haven’t run at all since September.  And even then I was only doing 1 mile daily.  However, I’m reasonably fit and I hope that being in competition with myself will help to spur me on to make this a weekly occurrence and so give my exercise and weight loss a boost.

Here’s hoping!

PS – If you’re interested in taking part in a parkrun event, take a look at their website http://www.parkrun.org.uk/