Friday 26 February 2010

No trainer session

Today was supposed to include a catch-up session with my trainer, but the poor dear dislocated his finger and broke a bit of it as well and is still trying to get it x-rayed.  I bumped into him on the way out of the gym, looking all strapped up but very chirpy (he's just like that all the time, I think) despite having spent 5 hours in the local A&E waiting for an x-ray that still hasn't happened!  Anyhoo, I had a gym session anyway, by myself.  Which was kinda good as I was apprehensive about today's session and what it might entail.  I did increase one thing in today's session; I upped the reverse crunches to 3x15 interleaved with the Swiss Ball jackknives.

Tonight is my night in this week and I've got some lovely beef chilli with softened courgette ribbons, shredded onion and toasted pine nuts on the side to eat while I read "Men's Fitness".  Lots of fitnessy people I follow have said it's good, so I thought I'd give it a try this month seeing as there's a freebie with it as well.  Let's see, shall we?

Oh!  And we has kitchen scales again!  Muuuch better.  I didn't realise quite how much I rely on them for most meals until the old ones broke.  It was quite unnerving, guessing stuff, though some measures could be approximated using tablespoons, cups and mls.  It's just not the same as weighing though!

B - greek yogurt with 1 scoop, fruit compote and a sprinkle of grape nuts
S - Dorset Cereals bar; 3 berries and cherries
S - 1 scoop in semi-skimmed milk
L - salad; lettuce, sweet pepper, pomegranate seeds, celery, capers, cherry tomatoes, chicken fillet and lemon juice
S - tangerines
S - carrot and houmous
S - banana
D - beef chilli with courgette, onion and pine nuts
S - chunk of ciabatta with stilton (NOM!)

Exercise - 53 minute gym (HRmax - 184, HRavg - 159)

Calories (kcal)
[kcals to maintain weight (inc. exercise)
Protein (g) 150.6
Carbohydrate (g) 178.1
Fat (g) 46.7
Fruit & Veg 15.2

Catch up...


Exercise - nogym - no time!
Calories (kcal)
[kcals to maintain weight (inc. exercise)
Protein (g) 148.1
Carbohydrate (g) 148.4
Fat (g) 51.5
Fruit & Veg 5.2


Exercise - scheduled rest day, but was going to run, but it rained really hard
Calories (kcal)
[kcals to maintain weight (inc. exercise)
Protein (g) 139.3
Carbohydrate (g) 150.6
Fat (g) 48.8
Fruit & Veg 11.6

Thursday 25 February 2010

Not as bad as it could have been

Last night's event could have been a right old mess, but I had a plan and due to delays in travel between the wine bar and the venue, I drank a little less than I had anticipated which was even better.  I even laid off any carbs during dinner, but then endedup scoffing toast when I got home because I was so hungry by then!  Photos and details laster when I've had a chance to get them off my camera and if they're not all fuzzy and out of focus.

The down side of yesterday was that work was so busy that I didn't make it to the gym for number 2 weights session this week.  So I've had 2 rest days in a row and I'm very much not up to the cross-trainers at the gym near work (they're a different model to the ones everywhere else I've been/go and have a much bigger range of movement which is significantly harder work even at lower resistance level settings) so I'm going for a run when I get home.  I can't even do the "get of the tube a few stops early and run home from there" thing today 'cause I have to cart home all the stuff I left at work last night and the new kitchen scales etc.

Tuesday 23 February 2010

The best laid plans...

I was going to run part-way home tonight, but I got invited to an event tomorrow night which is black tie.  "How does that add up?", you might ask.  Well, I have one dress suitable for black tie events and it's needed dry cleaning since Christmas and I've not got around to it.  So, in order to be suitably attired tomorrow, I had to (ohyes, had to!) run out at lunchtime and buy a new dress.  Um, and shoes to go with it:-

Which meant that I had to get them home tonight as there was no way I was leaving them in the office overnight.  So, I wasn't going to cram them into a tiny rucksack and ruin them either, so no running this evening.

So.  The trick now is planning for tomorrow; I need to pack gym stuff, evening stuff and wear stuff during the day that I won't mind crumpling up into my desk drawer overnight tomorrow night.  Complicated!  Big gymmage session planned for tomorrow to help with potential excess in the evening, but I'm going to have to be very careful for lots of reasons; it's mid-week, I'm almost there with that 2lbs I wanted to finally shift, and my new dress is very figure-hugging, so not much room for scoffing anyway :oD

Also, we are sans functioning kitchen scales at the moment (they got a bit dropped and have been quite unhappy since), so breakfast was slightly estimating this morning, though I did look up the conversion for US cups to grams of yogurt, which helped.  I cajoled the scales into working long enough to weigh bits of tonight's dinner and the new scales will arrive tomorrow but then they'll sit in my desk drawer until Thursday evening as well as my office clothes for the day.

Today went like this:-

B - greek yogurt with 1 scoop, blueberries and flaked almonds
S - a pear
L - salad; spinach, sweet pepper, capers, celery, apricots and a chicken fillet
S - tangerines and a small handful of yogurt coated banana chips
S - carrot and houmous
D - salmon fillet with couscous, peas and sweetcorn

Exercise - none

Calories (kcal)
[kcals to maintain weight (inc. exercise)
Protein (g) 115.9 (33.2%)
Carbohydrate (g) 136.1 (36.5%)
Fat (g) 47.0 (30.3%)
Fruit & Veg 8.2

Monday 22 February 2010

Ain't nothing without a goal

And therein lies the problem.

I -do- have some goals for this year and the first one is coming up real fast now; first ever triathlon in 6 weeks time.  The problem is that that goal conflicts in some ways with the one I'm really keen on, which is losing body fat.

I need to pack in more cardio training than I have been, otherwise I am going to fail at the triathlon, but there are only so many days in the week, it's still dark in the evenings and I dont't want to drop down from 3 weights sessions per week and still keep at least 1 rest day in the week whilst also being quite fatigued around exercise at the moment.

Running practice can be fixed by getting off a few tube stops early on the way home and running the rest of the way.  Yes, that take a bit of planning, but it's not a big deal.  It also won't impinge on my weight training sessions at all.  Swimming, I can squeeze in at least once a week on either Tuesday or Thursday as a cardio session.  The problem is the cycling.  And as that's the longest part of the triathlon and one of my weaker disciplines, it's going to have the highest impact on my overall aggregate time.

So. I think I may have a bit of a plan to get me through the first triathlon, but it's all a bit muddy after that.

Nice, pretty salad today though:-

And because we went swimming...


Haagen Dazs Summer Smoothie that's separated a bit after being in the freezer for a good few months now.  Still rather nom!

B - greek yogurt with 1 scoop and Dorset Cereals muesli
S - banana
S - 1 scoop in semi-skimmed milk
L - salad; spinach, sweet peppers, celery, capers, pomegranate seeds, chicken fillet, walnuts and lemon juice
S - pistachios and tangerines
S - beef jerky
D - beef chilli with couscous, peas and sweetcorn
S - sorbet/ice-cream thing (Haagen Dazs Summer Smoothie)

Calories (kcal)
[kcals to maintain weight (inc. exercise)
Protein (g) 173.2 (37.9%)
Carbohydrate (g) 185.2 (38%)
Fat (g) 48.0 (23.6%)
Fruit & Veg 10.4

Sunday 21 February 2010

Another hungry day

It wasn't so bad this morning, but throughout the afternoon I've just been hungry all of the time. Lack of exercise (I did iron 5 shirts, 2 dresses, 2 jumpers, and two very complicated cardigans though and that has to count for -something- right?) means less food than on an exercisey day, and even though I'm over the number of calories I'd like to have had today, I'm still under maintenance levels. Then again... I'm still hungry. I won't even start cooking dinner for an hour yet as well.

That said, we've cooked up big batches of lamb biryani (with brown rice this time) and beef chilli, so there's been a smell of cooking food in the house all afternoon which probably hasn't helped.

I'm definitely feeling mentally fatigued around food and exercise both at the moment, which is a bugger 'cause I still want to shift that last 2lbs. I almost moved 1 last week, but as keeps happening, there are meals out, fancy meals with lots of wine in etc. Always some excuse to go a little bit OTT. Having bought lunch only twice since 1st January, making lunches is getting a touch frazzling and I'm bored of all of the evening meals I keep cooking. Some are a bit too time-consuming to do on a week night (chicken in black bean sauce, vindaloo, tikka masala etc.) and just end up with me feeling too tired afterwards. I need some re-vamping in the meals and to cook a bit less often; so weekend batch cooking is really helpful there.

I'd like to just go on maintenance for a while and stop trying to lose those 2lbs, but if I do that, I'll end up gaining, given all of the weekly excesses that keep happening. They are only once a week, and I am doing weights 3x a week and cardio once or twice and I am staying reasonably to well under maintenance on most days and definitely not going over maintenance on all days bar one each week.

So mentally fatigued with it all at the moment. For sure. But what to do to fix that?

Today went like this:-

B - greek yogurt with 1 scoop and some Dorset Cereals muesli
L - ham, lettuce and Philadelphia Extra Light on toasted granary bread
S - celery and houmous
S - a lunchies bar
D - pasta with salmon fillets, peas, broccoli and low-fat cream cheese stirred through

Calories (kcal)
[kcals to maintain weight (inc. exercise)
Protein (g) 122.1 (30.2%)
Carbohydrate (g) 172.9 (40%)
Fat (g) 53.6 (29.8%)
Fruit & Veg 3.6

Saturday 20 February 2010


For Valentine's Day, I bought last of the rabbits and pheasants in the butcher down the road from my work.  The pheasant was last weekend's noms.  Today, I'm casseroling the rabbit.  It's good stuff, very lean and tasty.  I've put it in a pot with some wine, celery, carrots, onion, honey, tinned tomatoes, thyme and butter and it's bubbling away as I type.  I did have to joint the rabbit, which resulted in quite a blood-splattering due to the liver, kidneys, heart and lungs which were tucked into the rib cage and entangled in membranes a little.  We'll be having half of it with some mashed potato and sweet potato and broccoli in a bit and I must say I'm fair drooling with anticipation...

Good gym today, despite having really not fancied it.  Though there was the usual annoyance of not having access to the equipment I need at the local gym to home and having to improvise.  Hey ho.

B/L - toasted wholemeal and seed bagel with ham, caramelised onion houmous and lettuce
S - carott and houmous
S - 1 scoop in semi-skimmed milk
S -  Dorset Cereals bar - 3 berries and cherries
D - rabbit casserole, mashed sweet potato and potato, and broccoli
S - banana custard (using Birds powdered custard :o))

Exercise - gym (HRmax 180, HRavg 154)

Friday 19 February 2010

Losing weight: complete deprivation is rarely the answer

One of the main reasons many people "fall off the wagon" is because they have placed extreme restrictions upon themselves in their quest to lose weight. How many times have you heard "I'll never eat cake again" or similar?

But diets usually dictate denial of some form or another. I don't mean just cutting down on the overall calorie intake, because that really is necessary to lose weight I'm afraid, but cutting out specific foods completely; diets that tell you to cut out all carbs, all fats and sometimes (but vanishingly rarely) almost all protein. These are just crazy and pretty bad for you if you follow them for any long period of time. But there are the ones that -seem- sensible, like not eating any chocolate, cake, biscuits, chips, red meat, bread, potatoes...

Intolerance-finding diets aside; the problem with completely denying yourself something you really like is that the cravings get stronger and stronger and at some point it's very likely that you'll crack, give in, and binge. Because we are only human after all and there's only so much And then, because you've binged, the common thought is "well, I've ruined it all now so I might as well give up" or "I clearly can't do this diet thing, I'm so rubbish, I give up", maybe not right away, but certainly drifting that way and all of the hard slog to date is pretty much for naught; if not worse. Having a little bit of what you fancy every now and then, plan to have it and plan to have a small bit of the best kind of whatever you really really like maybe once a fortnight or once a week or, if you're one of the lucky people who really like something that's not all that calorific, plan it in as even a daily treat!

For me, I thought it was going to be cheese. I LOVE cheese. Really. Lo-o-o-o-ooooove it. But, I didn't get cravings for it at all during my weight loss phase. What I really REALLY wanted after some time of not having it was bread. Crusty, fluffy, white baguette, to be specific. Having stopped having sandwiches for lunch; as I just couldn't keep my daily kcals down low enough and still have sandwiches for lunch and a meal in the evening that meant my partner at the time didn't waste away totally as I liked to have the same meal together in the evening (though he always had twice the carb portion as I had and still lost weight!); I changed to salads for lunch. The salads were tomato based with some tangy bits added for flavour. But no bread or crutons with lunch salads and no bread or crutons with any soup, as bread is pretty calorific for the portion size. After 3-4 weeks of that all I wanted to do was buy a whole baguette, or even just a baton, and stuff the whole thing into my face. Thankfully, I nipped that in the bud by having a small piece of baguette with salad or a soup at the weekends for lunch. Yes, I still wanted bread with a vengeance, but I got a little top-up of bread every weekend which I'm pretty sure helped me not to go nuts with a baguette at any point.

So, if your thing is cake and you're trying to lose weight and stay on the wagon; have some cake! Really! Just make sure it's a small piece of really nice cake and only do it once a week, tops. And savour it; enjoy every tiny morsel and lick the plate at the end! Doing that isn't going to ruin your overall progress and it is very likely to stop you wanting to buy a whole Victoria sponge and scoffing the lot then hating yourself and potentially convincing yourself you can't do this weight loss thing. But be careful that your definition of a small piece doesn't drift bigger and bigger ;o) (And make sure you log it in your food diary and that it doesn't put you over maintenance calories for the day.)

Really needed a quiet day

Curry and a couple of beers was planned last night. And I was pretty "good". I had 1.5 pints of beer, then switched to Diet Coke. I had a non-creamy and non-nutty curry with chicken and lots of veggies and chick pea and spinach daal on the side. No rice. No naan. However...




It was...



This morning when I got up, I couldn't move my rings at all. Yesterday, they were starting to get worryingly loose (close to thinking about perhaps getting them altered), but this morning I was swollen enough with retained water that I couldn't move them even a millimetre! And my stomach has felt quite acidic all day. It's such a shame, because apart from the saltiness, the curry and daal were delicious.

So, despite drinking in moderation, I'm still shattered today because no matter how little you drink, going out still means getting home and to bed quite late. After not enough sleep for a few nights in a row, I really needed a rest day today and thankfully that's what was planned anyway.

And I finally got around to making Rachel's muffins. They came out looking great, but then sank like souffles! I think I used too much baking powder and too much water; this one is mid-sink:-

B - greek yogurt, 1 scoop, blueberries and grape nuts
S - banana
L - lentil and bacon soup (from EAT)
S - tangerines
S - carrots and houmous
S - beef jerky
D - beef chilli, couscous, peas and sweet corn
S - 2x chocolatebananaproteinmuffins (thanks Rachel!)

Exercise - rest day

Calories (kcal)
[kcals to maintain weight (inc. exercise)
Protein (g) 136.6 (34.7%)
Carbohydrate (g) 191.4 (45.6%)
Fat (g) 33.5 (19.2%)
Fruit & Veg 10.6

Thursday 18 February 2010

Time to top-up the form

My trainer grabbed me (metaphorically) in the gym as I was heading out and reminded me it'd been 3 weeks since our first session, so it's time to hook up and see where things are at. Quick chat about the fact that I can now do 3x10 jack-knives on the Swiss Ball now and he was pleased with that seeing as I couldn't even do 1 when he tried to get me doing them in that first session. Anyhoo, he seems to espouse the "lots of reps with lower weights to 'tone'" idea as he mentioned he was in a cutting phase for summer and donig just that. But, you know what? I'm not pooh-poohing it at him because he's stacked, a sprinter and ohboy does he have definition so whetever he's doing is working just fine for him. I will just steer him away from that kind of thing for me :o)

B - greek yogurt, 1 scoop, fruit compote and flaked almonds
S - 9 bar (freebie, nom!)
L - salad: spinach, sweet pepper, celery, pomegranate seeds and leftover roasted pheasant
S - 1 scoop in semi-skimmed milk (much better than water!)
S - a pear
D - curry out somewhere with a beer or 3

Exercise - gym (HRmx 183 HRavg 158)

Calories (kcal)
[kcals to maintain weight (inc exercise)

Protein (g) 170.4 (28.7%)
Carbohydrate (g) 162.8 (25.7%)
Fat (g) 93.1 (35.3%)
Alcohol (g) 34.8 (10.3)
Fruit & Veg 6.0

Losing weight: why should I actually bother?

I have a theory. Losing weight is like stopping smoking. For some people it's easy; for some people it depends where they are with their life and whether they're "ready" to do it or not; and for some it's never going to happen no matter how much stress and pain they put themselves through.

For the last group, the answer to the question "why should I bother?" is probably "actually, you probably shouldn't". Even with the right support, education etc. for some people the stress and effort involved for them to lose weight and keep it off is probably more damaging to their quality and length of life than the excess weight could potentially be (excepting the obese to the point of needing a crane to get out of bed). The stress and frustration alone can be so psychologically and physiologically damaging that it's better to keep that little bit of excess. There have been recent studies that have correlation between slightly extended life expectancy in the elderly and being slightly overweight compared with the current recommended guidelines. Of course this could be related to having extra padding around joints, bones and organs so that bumps, knocks and falls have less serious consequences, but without having read the studies in any detail, I couldn't say.

There is a great importance, in Western Society mostly, placed on being slim; probably overly slim at that. Yes, there is a growing percentage of the population who are overweight and yes, there is fat discrimination (which I certainly experienced, first-hand, in the past). And yes, the pressure to be slimmer can be overwhelming and pretty much dangerous in some cases. But the dangers of being a bit overweight are surely outweighed by the long term misery, stress and daily difficulties around food and eating? I, for one, had it pretty easy losing weight (keeping it off is harder, yeah) but I'm sure that if it had been a lot harder, I'd've been psychologically better off staying quite fat and probably better off physiologically too. Stress does bad things to your body as well as your brain and, in fact, can contribute to higher fat gains for the same calorific intake and expenditure compared with an unstressed person. I was lucky. I was one one of those people who was "ready" to lose weight and in a position to spend the time and effort controlling intake and learning about food, nutrition and fuelling my body "properly".

For that last group of people... they're probably much better off staying as they are. Maybe not 100% happy, but happier than they would be struggling, succeeding, failing, getting even bigger, struggling and stressing again, succeeding, and being unhappy with the constant battle.


Was a cardio day and I really had to haul through it as I think I'm fending off the beginnings of a cold at the moment.

B - greek yogurt, 1 scoop, blueberries and grape nuts
S - banana
L - salad: spinach, goats cheese, sweet pepper, lemon juice and celery
S - 1 scoop in water (yick, I've got used to the milk now)
S - pear
S - beef jerky
D - chorizo, chicken and butterbean stew
S - 2x oat cakes with stilton smeared on top

Exercise 47 minutes gym (HRmax 190(!) HRavg 169)

Calories (kcal)
[kacls to maintain weight (inc. exercise)
Protein (g) 154.0 (33.6%)
Carbohydrate (g) 171.1 (35%)
Fat (g) 64.2 (31.5%)
Fruit & Veg 12.7

Wednesday 17 February 2010

Why is it so hard?

Why -is- it so hard for most people to lose weight?

And why is it so hard for most people to keep going to the gym for more than 3 months after joining?

To the second question; we'll come back to that one another time. To the first question; the answer is really very simple these days. Lack of responsibility.

Yep. Be offended. Be very offended. Because I'm not actually blaming individuals themselves here.

Mostly, people are just lazy and/or woefully under-educated about food and nutrition and want a quick fix and want to rely on someone else to give it to them. I don't blame anyone at all for that attitude in a world where you can buy almost anything to circumvent personal effort, why should you not be able to buy health and a fantastic figure as well? There's also the people who make money out of it all. The people who make diet pills, "low fat" foods, "diet" plans; the lifestyle coaches, the advertisers. They're all in the business of making money. Yes, it's making money out of selling people an unattainable (long term, in general, using their methods/products) goal, but nevertheless it is business and not a social service. Does that make it right? Does it matter that it's not right? Does any of it add up to eanough of a lifestyle change to lose weight and keep it off?

The thing with answers to questions is that they generally throw up more questions...

The plain and simple answer, for -most- people (with no underlying endocrine disorder etc.), to losing weight and keeping it off, is to re-educate themselves away from all that the media, "nutritionists" and manufacturers are pushing at them and simply eat appropriate amounts of as unprocessed as possible food and not skip meals (as that tends to lead to bingeing).


Except, it's -not- simple. Most people don't want to have to prioritise planning, shopping, cooking from scratch over convenience, immediacy, spontenaeity and dedicating time to "more interesting" things than dealing with the job of fueling their bodies appropriately. Also, cheaper convenience foods do tend to be more heavily processed and have added ingredients to make them taste better, last longer, look shinier etc. which, to be honest, aren't really what the human body is designed to digest and metabolise. Freely available foods have, in general, evolved significantly more quickly than the human body. And the availablilty and cost of producing, and this buying, of simpler, less processed foods has declined. For me to make a lasagne from scratch, using reasonably quality ingredients without going over the top, would cost more than buying a pre-made reasonable quality one from, say Marks and Spencer. Now, I choose Marks and Spencer with care here as M&S do tend to keep the ingredient quality reasonably high, lean towards free range and organically produced ingredients and lay off the added enhancers and modifiers, but they do add some of that stuff because there is a need for attractiveness of the product and reasonable shelf life after production and shipping to the shops. However, M&S are relatively pricey in the field of "ready meals" so it is a reasonably fair comparison with making from scratch. But still... I can't make a good lasagne more cheaply than they can sell one to me. And it certainly takes me longer to make one than it does to buy one and re-heat it. So why should I bother making one?

I bother because I like making food from scratch. I bother because I like knowing exactly what's gone into my food. I bother because these things are a priority for me. I bother because I've learned a lot about food and nutrition. I bother because it interests me. I bother because I don't want to get fat again. But that's me. And those are my priorities. And that was the mess I got myself into in the first place that means I need to do all of that bothering because if I don't it is all too easy for it to slide backwards again.

I get constantly frustrated by people who say that they "can't" lose weight and they do eat healthily and there must be some underlying problem with them that means they can't lose weight. Yes, there are conditions that can cause that, but they're not all that common at all. The far more common reason for being unable to lose weight (and let's just look at losing it, rather than keeping it off) is that people are not fully aware of what they're actually consuming and how much of it. In general, it's not their fault at all.

There are so many faddy diets and so many claims pushed through the media about various "superfoods" and suchlike that without proper education and really taking note of what's going in vs. what you need each day to live, work, exercise (if you do that), sleep etc. people really don't see that there may be a mis-match somewhere. What's worse is the huge number of "nutritionists", with no scientific training or research to go on, who believe in things like the cabbage soup diet, with absolutely no view to long term weight management as a much bigger issue. Moreso the idea of "good" and "bad" or "naughty" foods. Someone once said, "food does not have a moral value" and ohboy are they right. Cake is not inherently evil, nor is eating it on occasion. Celery is not inherently saintly, and if you eat your own body weight in celery every day for a week, you're going to want a bacon sarnie and chips straight afetrwards (and possibly be quite sick).

Why is the population getting fatter and fatter and unable to lose and keep off weight. Education. Education. Education. Not taxation, as some mad people are suggesting. "tax cake!" er, yeah, right, it already -is- taxed; oh, actually cake isn't taxed, chocolate covered biscuits are, but details aside, taxation will not help. How many people stil smoke? How many drink to excess? They're taxed heavily and have those problems gone away? Have they hell! Diets are not the answer either, as they are a;ll about short-term deprivation which is not re-education and invariably results in going back to the old habits that got you there in the first place and then some.

With proper education, right from the start at an early age, there wouldn't be the need to lose weight, mostly people just wouldn't get overweight in the first place; there wouldn't be a need to plan and think and obsess over this kind of stuff because it would be more ingrained into general knowledge. Yes, there would still be fat people, and conversely very thin people with the exact same problem manifest in a different way, but it would be far less common. But not just education around food and nutrition but cooking too. OK, I said it's quicker for me to buy and re-heat an M&S lasagne than cook one myself, however, there are a zillion things that -are- quick and easy to cook from scratch it's just that people aren't encouraged to cook simple, quick meals by the fact that that kind of cooking isn't sexy enough for TV programmes and if you can buy it ready-made more cheaply... and so what if cooking a meal occasionally takes a few hours, it's so satisfying, dammit!

So, there we go. Education and the media. Oh and it's so hard to lose weight because it's easier not to.

(if you're looking for a good place to start; I can recommend lots of resources, but here are two to get you started:- How Not to Get Fat and Weight Loss Resources)

Tuesday 16 February 2010

Still grumbly, but much better after gymmage!

Much as I hate to admit it, gymming really does make me feel better when I'm feeling grotty...

Felt great for about 10 minutes this morning, then the stomach cramps came back a little. Bleh. Pushed through, had a nice yogurt breakfast for the first time in 4 days and on into work where things were crappy and intensely annoying, which didn't help. There was no question of not gymming today, so ass was hauled and a session was done. And lo! It was GOOD.

I've upped the kettlebells on the walking lunges to 16kg and now the reps are back up to 14 x 3. I've realised I need to do more reps as that's really only 7x3 on each leg, which isn't enough and although I'm really feeling it in my quads, I can definitely do more reps without killing form. The only problem is the space to do it in.

A usual gym session at the moment consists of 1km on the rower, then the dual-arm lat pulls in the main area of the gym. Then I set up the rest of the session by carting a 9kg dumbbell, a 16kg kettlebell, two mats and one Swiss Ball into one of the studios with the Kinesis machines and one weights bench for the doing of dips thereon. This is mostly because there is a section in that studio, separated out into a long thing room, where I can leave the ball and it won't roll away and I can do my reverse crunches and swiss ball jack-knives without getting in anyone else's way and I can do the walking lunges along the full length of the room. Except, today, some dipshit nicked my 2nd mat and Swiss Ball while I was doing my Kinesis flyes and hogged the end of the room to do planks and pressups. So, I had to get another ball and mat and be totally in the way for anyone needing to get to the water fountain or the rest of the space in the narrow room as I span the width while doing the Swiss Ball and crunchy stuff. *sigh* I don't get why people assume that stuff that is set out, with a routine printed out, a sweat towel and a bottle of water all left with that equipment is fair game to make off with for their use while there are plenty spare of that kind of equipment where they're all stored. Meh!

A good session overall, though; however I am still finding the Kinesis flyes really hard at 2kg(!), so I'm going to have to push through much much longer before upping the reps there; I'm barely managing 3x8 at the moment and the last 1 or 2 are pretty much failed on the final set. So, changes for the next session are to up the walking lunges to 3x16-18 so I'm getting at least 8 reps per set per leg.

And after all of that, plus some cross-trainer cardio and Power Plate stretches at the end, I felt a whole lot better than when I started. AND there are PANCAKES later!

B - greek yogurt with 1 scoop, fruit compote and grape nuts
S - banana
S - 1 scoop chocolate in skimmed milk
L - salad; spinach, sweet pepper, capers, celery, chicket fillet, pepper and lemon juice
S - tangerines
S - carrot and houmous
S - pear
D - beef chilli with sweet potato and butternut squash mash
S - pancakes with lemon juice and agave nectar

Exercise - 52 minutes gym (HRmax 183, HRavg163)

Calories (kcal)
[kcals to maintain weight (inc. exercise)
Protein (g) 144.0 (36.4%)
Carbohydrate (g) 196.0 (46.4%)
Fat (g) 29.2 (16.6%)
Fruit & Veg 15.8

Monday 15 February 2010

Sub-optimal day

Well, it never was going to be a great day, given how it started at 05:30, was it? And to top it off, I've just started to get a sore throat and hot/itchy eyes. Having not had more than a niggle of a cold in god knows how long, I really don't want to start again now.

B - huge bowl of porridge with raisins and chopped banana
L - ham, Philadelphia Extra Light, mustard and tomato sandwich on toasted wholemeal granary bread
S - carrots and caramelised onion houmous
D - salad: chicken fillet, lettuce, cous cous, sweet pepper, honey and mustard dressing

Exercise - none, enforced rest

Calories (kcal)
[kcals to maintain weight (inc. exercise)
Protein (g) 82.4 (24.5%)
Carbohydrate (g) 194.5 (54.3%)
Fat (g) 31.6 (21.2%)
Fruit & Veg 8.0

Feeling like tepid poop

Something I ingested yesterday decided to disagree with my lower digestive tract at around 0530 this morning. I'm not about to over-analyse it, but I feel horrible. Much less horrible after a long sleep, covered in kittens and a huge bowl of fruity porridge. But I'm very glad that it wasn't me who discovered the "present" from the kittens this morning. Poor little mousey-thing looked very deflated, apparently.

Yes, yesterday was very indulgent and my stomach probably can't cope with that sort of thing any more, but it was all delicious and we had a fantastic day from start to finish:-

(roasted pheasant with potatoes, broccoli, baby corn, sugar snap peas and a Madeira sauce - ate almost none of the potatoes and there are lots of pheasant leftovers - starter was a trio of different cures of smoked salmon on granary toast and dessert was a feather-light, calorie-laden chocolate souffle)

And I got unexpected fabulous presents at the end of dinner:-

My HRM watch is reminding me that last week was quite productive on the exercise front, so I'm not feeling in the slightest bit bad about doing none at all today and taking it easy at home... more nappage to come as I can feel the need again and my guts are about to crest another wave of feeling horrid.

Last week:-
Exercise count: 5
Exercise time: 04:57
Exercise kcals: 2,810

Since 15th June 2009:-
Exercise count: 205
Exercise time: 118h
Exercise kcals: 65,631

Saturday 13 February 2010

Good gymmage week

So I'm terrible; awful. Competitive as all hell. There was a pink-lycra clad woman in the gym today, with gym gloves on and amazing definition in her back and shoulders, on the assisted pull-ups machine. She looked like she was probably 6-8kg lighter than me (definitely shorter and less heavy). I was keen to find out what weight she was using so slipped over after my 12 minutes on the Wave for a look at what the machine was set to. I was expecting 20-30lbs, given her height and definition. Well, blow me, when I checked it was set to 60lbs! (remember, the weight is how much assistance you're getting, not how much you're lifting, so lower numbers are harder and it works as a % of your body-weight as to how heavy you're lifing) So I absolutely -had- to prove something to... well... nobody really as nobody would care and nobody would notice except me; and I knocked out 3 sets of 10 military grip pull ups. Satisfying. Silly. And ultimately counter-productive as I worked my back and arms yesterday.

Sometimes it just gives me/you/one a bit of a boost to show you can do something as well as someone who is smaller, lighter and -looks- stronger than you. And damn the sensibility of it!

2810kcals in exercise this week; 2 mad intervals sessions with hubby as well as the normal 3 weights ones really added up. The second intervals session was today and will result in being 535kcals under maintenance. It's a good thing really, given the plan for tomorrow is pretty outrageous fo0d and drink wise. Well, actually, the food's pretty good overall, it's more the drink. 2 cheats on Tuesday this week with a dinner out and a couple of beers, 1 cheat right now with 1 beer, but it's gonna be waaaay more than 3 cheats tomorrow. So, sometimes it's not quite 80:20. Sometimes it swings the other way. 2lbs to go and tomorrow is a bit special, so.

B - toasted bagel with Marmite and scrambled eggs
L - toasted sandwich on wholemeal granary bread; ham, Philadelphia and tomato
S - smoothie: banana, raspberries, blackberries, yogurt, milk and agave nectar
S - 1 scoop chocolate in semi-skimmed milk
D - chicken in black bean sauce with green peppers and buckwheat soba noodles; with 1 beer

Calories (kcal)
[kcals to maintain weight (inc. exercise)
Protein (g) 145.5 (32.2%)
Carbohydrate (g) 199.2 (41.3%)
Fat (g) 39.7 (19.8%)
Alcohol (g) 17.4 (6.7%)
Fruit & Veg 6.3

Friday 12 February 2010

Really hungry again

Maybe I'm going through one of those phases? It's happened before. Sometimes I go through a few days where I'm just hungry all of the time and I just have to accept that I'll eat up to maintenance and not only up to loss. Today, I'm hoping I can make up for a couple of days early this week by having done a good gym (there were no 14kg kettlebells, so I had to go up to 16kg ones from 12kg and drop the reps from 14 to 12 per set - it wasn't too heavy to do the walking lunges, but it was tricky to carry to the studio where I do most of my routine, whilst also carrying a 9kg dumbell and a mat and rolling a Swiss Ball along ;o)) and keeping it veggied up and portion sized down.

I did try the other flavour of "lunchies" today, but I can't help feeling they're a little bit too indulgent. Yes, they're "only" 100kcals per bar, but this one has -chocolate- on it! And it's not even 70% cocoa solids or or anything, it's bog-standard milk chocolate. I think that, overall, they're less satisfying than the Dorset Cereals bars, but they're very very tasty and have good tang factor to offset the sweet.

Having discovered that sweet potato and butternut squash mash is really really smooth and sticky and delicious, I'm very much looking forward to dinner tonight...

B - greek yogurt with 1 scoop and frozen blueberries
S - banana, apricot and milk chocolate "lunchies" bar
S - 1 scoop chocolate in semi-skimmed milk
L - salad: spinach, sweet pepper, sugar snap peas, capers, chicken fillet and mustard dressing
S - tangerines
S - carrot and houmous
D - sausages and sweet potato & butternut squash mash

Calories (kcal)
[kcals to maintain weight (inc. exercise)
Protein (g) 140.8 (36.3%)
Carbohydrate (g) 141.8 (34.3%)
Fat (g) 50.6 (29.4%)
Fruit & Veg 10.1

Thursday 11 February 2010

Hungry hungry day

The problem with rest days, apart from occasionally really wanting to hit the gym (not today, though, I really felt like I needed a day off), is the hunger. I'm still aiming for a bit of deficit at the moment, 2lbs to shift to be happily in the middle of my preferred range but it'll take a few more weeks to get there as I'm taking it slowly but it stall means that on rest days, the total is a bit low and I do get a bit hungry. I am careful to keep eating little and often, but sometimes it's a bit difficult.

There were a couple of new things I wanted to try today; my mid-morning snack came from a "kiddies" range by Eat Natural, called "lunchies". There are two flavours that I can find at the moment and today I tried the yogurt, strawberry and mango one:-

...which was absolutely delicious! There are very tangy berries in there that counteracts the sweetness of the yogurt; the only problem is that its over too soon! I guess the point is that it's a small portion for children. But at around 100kcals, it should be fine for an adult snack too. 5 bars in a pack, so it's a good thing that I like them.

The next trial was an afternoon fruit hit:-

...which also comes in a variety of flavours and is simply a mix of pureed fruit. No added flavouring, colouring, sweetener, water, juice... nothing. Not very filling, but it works out as 1.5 portions of fruit & veg and this one was certainly really nice. 2 other flavours to try and I think they may work -really- well as a Bellini purée with sparkling wine.

Having been a bit hungry all day, I opted for some comfort food for dinner in the form of a chorizo, chicken, courgette, butter bean and tomato stew with cous cous:-

Spicy (added smoked paprika) and garlicky. Very warm and filling. Hunger beaten :o)

Back to the gym tomorrow though!

B - greek yogurt with 1 scoop and fruit compote
S - yogurt, strawberry and mango "lunchies" bar
L - salad: lettuce, sweet pepper, capers, chicken fillet, lemon juice and black pepper
S - "pulp", Apple Strawberry and Blueberry
S - beef jerky
D - stew: tinned tomatoes, courgette, butter beans, leftover roast chicken, chorizo, garlic and smoked paprika

Calories (kcal)
[kcals to maintain weight (inc. exercise)
Protein (g) 132.6 (39.7%)
Carbohydrate (g) 138.8 (38.9%)
Fat (g) 31.7 (21.3%)
Fruit & Veg 9.8

Wednesday 10 February 2010

Accidental curry last night you do. It was very very nice (and resulted in an insane amount of protein yesterday - 204g!), but the resulting fluid retention is a touch disheartening. It'll probably be gone by tomorrow, if not Friday, though.

Goodish gym today; Kinesis flyes got a bit hard so I failed with sloppy form on the final 2 reps (though I have increased the weight and dropped the reps recently). Might think about upping the kettlebell weights on the walking lunges on Friday as I'm only really feeling the burn in my thighs right on the last few reps.

B - greek yogurt, 1 scoop, fruit compote, no crunchies
S - banana
S - 1 scoop
L - salad; lettuce, sweet pepper, capers, salmon fillet and lemon juice
S - beef jerky & tangerines
D - lamb biryani with peas

Exercise - 53 minutes gymmage

Calories (kcal)
[kcals to amintain weight (inc. exercise)
Protein (g) 165.3 (41.8%
Carbohydrate (g) 138.7 (32.9%)
Fat (g) 44.5 (25.3%)
Fruit & Veg 8.4

Monday 8 February 2010

Don't eat the beans

A while back, I used to buy a mini-salad from M&S that had edamame beans in it, and sometimes a stir fry mix with them in. They were really tasty. So I recently decided to have them in my salad at lunch time. The first time, I didn't feel great afterwards but today I felt so bad that 3 hours later and I still feel like I'm going to be sick (tell you what, the tube journey home was NOT fun, but I'll spare the details), despite having snacked on a few things that kept the nausea at bay for a while.

Eating keeps the nausea down for a while, but I can't keep snacking all afternoon.

It's all a bit annoying after such a good session at the gym earlier (upped the reps on some bits of the routine, weight on one). Hey ho. I'm sure it'll all calm down in a few more hours and I'll be fine by the morning.

•Warm up rower 1km in 04:20 (L7/10)
•Walking lunges (kb) 12 kg 3x 14 reps
•Squat clean shoulder press (db) 9 kg 3x 10 reps
•Dips (3x10)+ planks with lift to palms 3x 10 reps
•Dual arm lateral pull (machine) 2x12.5 kg 3x 10 reps
•Reverse fly(kinesis) 2kg 3x 8 reps
•Reverse crunch (abs) 3x 12 reps
•Swiss ball tuck/roll - 3x10 reps
•Cool Down on a cross-trainer 12 minutes (L7/25).

B - greek yogurt with 1 scoop vanilla, fruit compote and grape nuts
S - banana
S - 1 scoop chocolate in skimmed milk
L - salad; spinach, capers, sweet peppers, edamame beans, leftover roast chicken
S - toasted wholemeal pitta and caramelised houmous
S - toasted wholemeal pitta and caramelised houmous (yes, twice)
D - beef chilli, baked beans and a toasted wholemeal pitta

Exercise - 52 minutes gym

Calories (kcal)
[kcals to maintain weight (inc. exercise)
Protein (g) 157.3 (30.9%)
Carbohydrate (g) 217.9 (40.1%)
Fat (g) 64.7 (28.6%)
Fruit & Veg 10.2

Sunday 7 February 2010

Weekly roundup (boring stats)

This week... ohboy!

This week:-
Exercise count: 6
Exercise time: 05:20
Exercise kcals: 3094

Since 15th June 2009:-
Exercise count: 200
Exercise time: 113h
Exercise kcals: 62,821

OMG! Vacuuming!

I knew I did it pretty vigorously, I get really hot, break quite a sweat and get achey back and core, but... 415kcals for 49 minutes of it!

I decided to wear my HRM and find out just how much I get out of vacuuming and was amazed to see 415kcals after pretty much 50 minutes of scrubbing at the cat-hair encrusted carpets. And that was after a 708kcal cardio gym session earlier today. Not bad really.

Late getting up after very early to bed meant 12 hours sleep(!) and no morning snack today...

B - toasted onion bagel with Marmite and a poached egg
S - 1 scoop chocolate in semi-skimmed milk
L - toasted ham, stilton and tomato sandwich on wholemeal granary bread
S - an apple
S - toasted slice of banana, walnut and raisin malt loaf
D - roast chicken, potatoes, carrots and broccoli with wine
S - little bit of dark chocolate

Exercise - 71 minutes cardio plus core, and 50 minutes hardcore vacuuming

Calories (kcal)
[kcals to maintain weight (inc. exercise)
Protein (g) 122.3 (23.3%)
Carbohydrate (g) 207.1 (37%)
Fat (g) 64.4 (27.6%)
Alcohol (g) 36.0 (12%)
Fruit & Veg 6.3

Friday 5 February 2010

Oh, and...

I took my body fat reading this morning and I've clawed back Christmas/New Year and a little extra. Down to 26.1% :oD

Change of plan

With all of this weight maintenance, fat loss and staying fit there's a lot of planning involved. It's not just plain, simple and effortless you know! Anyway, the plan today was to head out to a birthday thing in a bar after a quite long and hard day and have a couple of cheats in some wine and a restaurant chicken Caesar salad. Except the bar was just far too difficult after today. So abominably loud that any conversation has to be yelled, plenty of places to sit if only everyone wasn't standing up and they serve food, but you can't eat it due to the aforementioned everybody standing up around the tables.

So I came home instead. And had a beef chilli and a bottle of wine because A. I'd planned for it as a mega-cheat and B. it's actually been quite a tough day.

B - greek yogurt with 1 scoop vanilla, fruit compote and flaked almonds
S - Nakd bar - Berry Cheeky
L - salad; lettuce, sweet pepper, celery, capers, chicken fillet and honey&mustard dressing
S - a pear
S - beef jerky
D - beef chilli, couscous, peas, sweetcorn and a bottle of wine

Exercise - 49 minutes gym (HRmax 184, HRavg 160)

Calories (kcal)
[kcals to maintain weight (inc. exercise)
Protein (g) 175.2 (33.3%)
Carbohydrate (g) 194.2 (32%)
Fat (g) 27.3 (11.3%)
Alcohol (g) 73.3 (23.5%)
Fruit & Veg 9.0

Thursday 4 February 2010

Aaand rest

My shoulders are really rather sore, but legs and butt are good. I can only thank the Powerplate I think. Rest day today, so not a lot to tell other than for the first time in almost 4 weeks, a bought lunch instead of making it - EAT's Hungarian Goulash, which is meaty and warming and filling and tasty and not heinously expensive either:-

It was planned, so.

B - greek yogurt with 1 scoop vanilla, frozen blueberries and grape nuts
S - banana
L - EAT, Hungarian Goulash
S - tangerines
S - beef jerky
S - Nakd bar; Berry Cheeky
D - salmon fillet with couscous, peas and sweetcorn

Exercise - rest day

Calories (kcal)
[kcals to maintain weight (inc. exercise)
Protein (g) 131.8 (38.1%)
Carbohydrate (g) 143.4 (38.8%)
Fat (g) 35.4 (23%)
Fruit & Veg 4.7

Wednesday 3 February 2010

Won't be making that again

Second run through the new weights routine today and this time I had my HRM. Very good burn and amazingly high heart rate during the squat, clean and presses and Mike caught up with me during those, so that was cool. Not the longest routine and the cool down is shorter but the burn is about the same in total.

I am quite impressed with the Powerplates for stretching afterwards; it really seems to make quite a difference. But. It gives me terrible cramp in my feet when I'm doing the quad stretches. Not sure what to do about that. I shall ask Mike about it at my next session.

B - greek yogurt with 1 scoop vanilla, fruit compote and flaked almonds
S - Nakd Bar (Cocoa Loco)
S - 1 scoop chocolate in skimmed milk
L - salad; spinach, edamame beans, sweet peppers, capers and roasted chicken fillet with lemon juice
S - one incredibly ripe pear
S - carrots and houmous
D - omlettey thing with mushrooms, cheese and chopped ham
S - toasted banana and raisin malt loaf

Dinner was horrible. It was an experiment and I can report that it gave a negative result. Yick. It was just waaaaay too dry. 6 tbsps egg white [was supposed to be 3, but I forgot I froze it in 6s], 1 whole egg, 1 scoop natural, black pepper:-

Even spread with Philadelphia and a few chunks of Pie D'Angeloys as well as the mushrooms and ham, it was dry as all hell and just unpleasant. So. I won't be making that again. Perhaps less egg white, or topped with a generous smear of yogurt and it might be nice. But this just wasn't. Nope. Very unimpressed.

Calories (kcal)
[kcals to maintain weight (inc. exercise)
Protein (g) 181.0 (42.1%) !!!
Carbohydrate (g) 139.3 (30.4%)
Fat (g) 52.4 (27.4%)
Fruit & Veg 7.5

Tuesday 2 February 2010

Heh. I has a DOMS.

Yep. Them there kettlebell walking lunges really got my hams, glutes and quads yesterday for sure. :o) It'll be interesting to see how I feel after tomorrow's session. I usually ache only after the first time I run through a routine, or if I dramatically increase a weight, but I get the feeling that I've not done lunges for a while now, so this time might be different.

I decided on some porridge for breakfast as it's a cold day and a girl needs -some- variety in her breakfast; oats, water, raisins and a splash of milk, cook for 3 minutes in the microwave, add 1 scoop chocolate and 1 chopped banana. Nom:-

Mid-morning snack was one of those really yummy Dorset Cereals "3 berries and cherries" whole nut and fruit bars and then lunch (spinach, sweet peppers, celery, capers, roasted chicken fillet and lemon juice):-

Beef jerky for an early afternoon snack:-

and then pre-gym snack of an apple and some cashew butter:-

Cardio gym with leg DOMS. Hah. Fun. Or something. Followed by a shake of 1 scoop chocolate in semi-skimmed milk ('cause we don't do skimmed at home :o)).

Dinner was the old favourite of beef chilli topped with vegetable (sweet potato and butternut squash) mash, finished off under the grill with a slice of Leerdammer:-

So warming and comforting. I love it!

Exercise - 58 minutes various: 04:30 rower (1km, L7), 10 minutes wave (L7), 33 minutes cross-trainer (some intervals), some stretching and a little bicep work as it got missed yesterday.

Calories (kcal)
[kcals to maintain weight (inc. exercise)
Protein (g) 165.2 (38.2%)
Carbohydrate (g) 184.6 (40%)
Fat (g) 41.0 (21.3%)
Fruit & Veg 11.2

Calories (kcal)
[kcals to maintain wieght (inc. exercise)
Protein (g) 157.1 (38.5%)
Carbohydrate (g) 177.5 (40.8%)
Fat (g) 36.6 (20.2%)
Fruit & Veg 10.8

Monday 1 February 2010


So, the run through of my new routine last week with my trainer took 47 minutes and I did 1 set of everything and no cool down on the cross-trainer; that earned me 370kcals. Today's full session of 3 sets of everything took around 45 minutes, but I worked hard all the way through it rather than yapping with my trainer, so I reckon I must have burned through another 60kcals at least. So, guesstimate for today's exercise is 430kcals, but then subtract the background kcals to give 374kcals.

This is what I was given:-
•Warm up rower 5 minutes
•Walking lunges (kb) 8-12 kg 2x 10-12 reps
•Squat clean shoulder press (db) 8-10 kg 2x 8-10reps
•Dips+ planks with lift to palms (body) 2x 15-20 reps
•Single arm lateral pull (machine) 6-20 kg 2x 10reps
•Reverse fly(kinesis) 1-3kg 2x 8-12reps
•Reverse crunch (abs) 2x 15reps
•Swiss ball/Bosu core work - 2x 15 reps
•Cool Down on a cross-trainer 5 minutes on a low intensity.

This is what I did:-
•Warm up rower 1km in 04:20 (L7/10)
•Walking lunges (kb) 12 kg 3x 12 reps
•Squat clean shoulder press (db) 9 kg 3x 10 reps
•Dips (3x10)+ planks with lift to palms 3x 10 reps
•Dual arm lateral pull (machine) 2x12.5 kg 3x 8 reps
•Reverse fly(kinesis) 1kg 3x 10 reps
•Reverse crunch (abs) 3x 12 reps
•Swiss ball tuck/roll - 2x 8 reps _ 1x 5 reps
•Cool Down on a cross-trainer 5 minutes (L7/25).

It was a good routine. Oh yes. Really got my heart pounding and my legs felt worked hard with the walking lunges.

Yesterday was a bit of a train-wreck with regard to eating. Having had a couple of cheats on Friday with lots of wine, yesterday was at least another 3, what with the Chinese takeaway and a couple of (smallish 4%) beers. Actually, I reckon I probably could say it was pretty much all 7 cheats between those two events. The week ended at 400kcals under maintenance, so not the end of the world, but it could have been better. And, to be honest, yesterday was a bit stressful so I can be excused not being saintly. I just can't have these excuses every single week. I need to focus on getting body fat % down to target and that means a bit of hard work right now.

I've been looking forward to today's dinner for a few days now; it's hard work to make but ohhhhsogood - lamb vindaloo with ribbon courgette, onion and toasted pine nuts:-

Exercise - 45 ish minutes weights (HR unknown)

B - greek yogurt with 1 scoop vanilla, frozen blueberries and flaked almonds
S - banana
S - 1 scoop chocolate in skimmed milk
L - salad - lettice, celery, sweet peppers, chicken fillet and honey & mustard dressing
S - 1 pear
S - leftover egg mayonnaise from yesterday
D - lamb vindaloo with courgette, onion and pine nuts

Calories (kcal)
[kcals to maintain weight (inc. exercise)
2176 (est.)]
Protein (g) 144.7 (34.9%)
Carbohydrate (g) 126.7 (28.6%)
Fat (g) 67.3 (36.5%)
Fruit & Veg 13.7


Today was going to be a first full run through of my new weights routine. But idiot here forgot her HRM watch. I have the strap and transmitter but not the damned watch. Meh. Cross.

I'll still go to the gym today but I'll have to guess the burn (and take a proper reading on Wednesday when I do it again, with the damned HRM watch). And I don't have last week's stats to hand now either. Double meh!