Friday 7 August 2009

New home

In order to avoid boring my LJ friends who are disinterested, plus keep this all a bit quiet (I dunno why, but I just like to keep this kind of hing quiet until there are blindingly obvious results), I've decided to set up my nutrition and fitness journal here. Mostly for my own records, but if anyone else is even vaguely interested that's good too.

This month sees the 3rd anniversary of me finishing losing about 30kg. I've kept almost all of it off (though I did go through a phase of getting a bit too light and then swung back from here a bit too far again) and am now moving into a new phase where I'm including structured exercise. I lost the weight without exercise because I was worried that regular exercise would be something unsustainable for me as it takes time out of your day to acheive, whereas eating well doesn't. I know it wasn't the best idea as I lost a lot of muscle mass as well as fat - quite graphically illustrated to me when I tried to move some furniture by myself and found I was too weak to do it without massive amounts of bloody-mindedness and application of physics. So, having always been one to walk rather than take the car and starting cycling a bit last year, I joined a gym just over two months ago...

Well, the gym offered a "free" set of 3 personal training sessions (you pay up front and if you go to the gym often enough in the first month, you get your money back) which I took up. The first session was one where my measurements were taken and my goals assessed. I wasn't sure of my goals then, other than to improve my basic fitness levels, so that's where we started from. The next session set some basic exercises for me to do and I did them 3 times a week, along with my own cardio in between. The next set some horrible exercises that I couldn't complete by myself and I started to wonder what was the point. That said, I religiously went to the gym every weekday and noticed my general fitness improving - instead of my heart rate going up to 180BPM within 1 minute of getting on the cross-trainer set to level 1, I could now go for 15 minutes on the cross trainer at level 2 or 3 without my heart rate going above about 165BPM. I still didn't really see the point but carried on going every weekday. And then decided to try adding in jogging home from the penultimate station instead of walking.

Reluctantly, I agreed to a regular monthly session with my trainer (with a view to saying "thanks but no thanks" after a couple of those) and set the first one for a Monday morning. So, I showed up and she measured me all over again (except the body fat monitor was broken so we couldn't check that) and we went to work with the new routine she'd drawn up for me. Wow, what a difference! This new routine was two routines, one mostly cardio (with a choice of bike or cross-trainer), one mostly weights and I was to do two of each during the week and maybe three of the cardio if I felt up to it. The weights routine was -hard- and I felt it in truckloads the next day. The cardio included intervals, which was pleasing as I'd read a lot of good things about that and the bike option was so hard I had to reduce the intensity of bits of it so I could actually finish it! I was so happy with these new routines that the doubts ran away. I also started in on a "couch to 5K" running training programme at the 5th week (as I'd already managed to do a lot more than was in the programme for the first 4 weeks) which added another 3 cardio sessions to the week.

So. Now I'm doing 3 runs, 3 intervals cardio sessions and 2 weights sessions per week and my body is changing shape; visibly! I'm getting a bit heavier, but that's par for the course when wasted old muscles start to build back in a bit. Yes I am sure that my body fat percentage has dropped, but I won't know for sure or the exact amount until my next session with my trainer (and only if the machine is fixed! *whimper*). I've started participating in the WLR ( - the site I used to help me lose weight in the first place) forums a bit and come across a few really inspiring and interesting people and have taken an interest in altering my nutritional balance to assist fat loss and muscle tone/build. It's a new beginning...

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