Doing pretty good!

Naughty me for not posting the past week  *smacks hand*

So far the effort to lose 12kg in 8 weeks is on target.  Last week I lost 1.6kg and today I recorded a 1.9kg loss.  Target is 1.5 each week, but my first week was only a 900g loss.  I’m currently at 4.4kg total loss,  so basically on target.  My gym instructor warns me that weight loss is likely to slow in the second half of the program though,  so if I want to keep losing at this rate I’m going to have to step up the intensity.

So off to a good start.  I have been feeling quite tired lately, though I’m not finding it so hard to get to sleep these days.

Food has been good.  Recently I’ve bought a lot of fresh fish and cooked it on the grill with lots of vegies to go with it.  On weekends I’m getting sushi or Pita Pit, which I don’t feel bad about.  I’ve also done a couple of curries.  They use coconut milk which probably isn’t so good but I choc fill them full of vegies too.

Stair running last week was the same as the week before- short but intense.  The best thing is my calves didn’t hurt the next day. 

I’m managing to do my gym program 2 or 3 times a week.  It’s still tough and I work up a good sweat.

I also went for a run in my neighbourhood yesterday for the first time in a while.  I’m still very unfit.  I jogged for about 20 minutes before I had to come home.  I’ll try and do it again a couple more times a week and hopefully I’ll get better at it.

So overall it’s going pretty well.

Boxfit, Program and Stairs

Last night Box-fit activity was fun.  I was partnered up with another guy this time which helps.  I’ve found the toughest times are not when you have to punch hard but when you have to punch fast.  Keeping your hands up can be very tiring.

I’m still not sleeping very well.  Today I snoozed in til lunch time after finally getting to sleep at some ridiculous hour after the sun came up.  I still don’t understand why I’ve had trouble sleeping as soon as I started exercising 😦

This morning at the gym I went through our weight-loss routine for the third time, and today it seemed hard than usual (probably due to the lack of sleep).  I really struggled with dumbbell surrenders,  and could only last 5 minutes on the treadmill (set to 11)  instead of the target 7.  Still, I enjoy the Spin component at the end.  It’s non stop for about 15 minutes alternating between easy and hard, easy and standing hard.  Worked up a good sweat and I wasn’t left breathless throughout.

I only got a couple of hours rest in and home before I had to leave for a local stadium for Stairs with the group.  This was short but intense.  For 20 minutes we just went up and down the stairs (4 storeys) non stop.  I managed to do 11 climb and descends which I guess is the equivalent of 88 storeys travelled.  It started getting very tough at the end there and I needed to take moments between levels on the way up.  So next week I have to aim to beat 11.

Tonights dinner was a small piece of grilled pork, asparagus, broccoli and boiled carrot.  Not the best tasting dinner…  I have got to learn some tricks.

Weigh in Day (week 1 of 8)

My glutes and lower back were very sore over the weekend.  I didn’t work on as I worked long shifts both days, but did end up walking home both days as my bike had a puncture.  Finally the tenderness and pain started to fade today in time to get back into it.

l86550923Today I walked to the gym, which was about 30 minutes there and 40 minutes back (knackered). Today I tried the workout program issued to everyone for the weight loss program.  It’s just what you’d expect – cardio, cardio, cardio.  I rowed, ran, cycled and in between did exercises like burpees, pushups, step ups, kettlebell swings, dumbbell surrenders (pictured) and ab exercises.  Basically the idea is to keep your heart rate up the whole time, which it did.  I didn’t find it  it too hard.   Actually I’m surprised how easy it has been to get back into exercise this time round.  I would have thought over winter I would have lost it all and it would be as hard/painful as it was when I first started the year before.

My weigh in shows I lost 900g this week.  Not the 1.5kg  that would put me on target for losing 12kg in 8 weeks,  but not bad a start.  Hoping for a bigger loss next week.

Have relied on Pita Pit the last couple nights for dinner.  I love their pitas so much and they’re healthy so I don’t feel bad about it.  But now I have 3 days off so no excuse not to cook Smile

Workout, program show and stairs

My body is sore!  I’m having trouble sleeping at night and my stomach doesn’t know whether it’s hungry or full, but it sure feels funny.  The joys of starting a new diet and exercise program, huh?

Yesterday morning I met up with a friend at the gym and went through my program (which was put together a couple weeks ago as a ‘get back into it’ kind of program).  It was nice working out with a friend.  I worked up a good sweat, pushed myself quite hard and felt quite good having so much air flowing through my lungs

Dinner and lunch was left over chicken breast & capsicums – and lots of fruit in between.  Did have a few rice crackers last night as my tummy was feeling a bit funny.  Not sure how bad those are – seem to be light in calories.

In the evening I went back to the gym to learn the program that everyone in the weight loss group is supposed to do.  It seems okay – lots of cardio as you might expect with some dumbbell and swiss ball exercises.  Most supersets are about doing as many sets as you can so I’ll start doing about 3 of each and gradually increase how many I can do as I get fitter.

Today’s group circuit exercise was quite gruelling!  We got asked to pick up a dumbbell which is the equivalent of how much we are wanting to lose.  So I picked up a 12.5kg dumbell and ended up regretting it. The 50 minutes was full of running exercises with the dumbbell and a big part of that was going up the stairs (where the water slide is).  At the end I was outside my comfort zone,  I was pushed just a little too hard and felt a bit faint.  It’s a delicate line – getting the most out of it while not pushing yourself too hard – isn’t it?

Today’s dinner and lunch is a grilled chicken breast with a serving of brocolli and carrots.  I’m also going to meet a friend at Pita Pit soon.  I love their food!

The sleep thing is a worry – I just haven’t been able to get to sleep until the sun is coming up the past few nights.  Apparently it’s not too uncommon when starting a new exercise problem.  But I hope it comes right soon.

Boxing and Chicken

laughing_boxer_training_with_sparring_partner_pe0074637

Had trouble waking up this morning.  As expected, my body needs more rest to to cope with the new exercise regime.  I wonder if I’ll get used to it soon or always need more sleep for the next 8 weeks.

Tonight’s group activity was quite fun.  We partnered up, donned boxing gloves and mitts  and went through intervals – some rounds fast, others powerful.

In between boxing rounds we did intervals of star-jumps, step ups, running and planking.  Didn’t take long to work up a sweat at  all.

Tonight’s dinner was lemon chicken  (un-battered) with capsicums, carrot and jasmine rice.  My eyes were bigger than my stomach (think my stomach might be shrinking) and I end up splitting it into 3 meals.

12kg in 8 weeks– Beginning

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And so it begins!  I completely lost my diet and exercise mojo over winter.  Part of it was getting used to a new job and shift work, but mostly it was lack of motivation.

10 months ago my weight was at an all-time low of 91.4kg.  I had lost over 20kg since I was at my worst of 114kg a couple of years ago.  However, over winter I managed to put half of that weight back on.  I am pleased, though, that my weight appears to have levelled out half-way.  Putting half of it back on is definitely better than being back to where I started.  (note: this graph only shows the past year – not where I started)

weightgraph

I didn’t plan on starting another weight-loss program; I knew I had to get back into fitness but I prefer to do things at my own pace. But recently my gym issued a challenge I couldn’t refuse:

 

Lose 12kg in 8 weeks and you will receive a 12 month gym membership (worth $884).

 

It really appealed to the competitive streak in me, and losing 12kg would put me right back where I was at my prime.

Yesterday was the introduction and first weigh in. The program seems okay.  Lots of group activities and 4 included PT sessions.

For the next 8 weeks my days are as follows:
Monday:  Morning gym and weigh in,   (work in the evening)
Tuesday:  Morning gym, evening nutrition seminar.
Wednesday:  Morning rest, evening group fitness
Thursday:  Morning gym, evening group fitness
Friday: Noon group circuit, (work in the evening)
Saturday and Sunday:  (work all day), light jog in the evenings.

The program works on a points system and there are prizes for those with the most points.  You get points each time you attend the gym or a fitness class, weigh in on time and fill out food logs, and lose points for failing to weigh in, drinking alcohol or not attending sessions.

Getting back into healthy eating feels good.  It’s only been a couple of days but no cravings yet.  I’m having all bran with sultanas for breakfast, snacking on fruit and raw nuts during the day,  home made wholemeal bread with peanut for lunch,  sipping green tea and water throughout the day, and last night I had grilled fish cakes with broccoli and carrot for dinner.  Not a bad start if I do say so myself.

I also found this seemingly great product at the supermarket called Vita Sport Water Booster, which gives water a bit of flavour. It has an artificial sweetener so low in calories.  It has lots of B-vitamins but apparently that’s a bit of a have – most people have enough anyway.  But if it encourages me to drink more water at little expense, I’m all for it.

I did buy some diet coke and a packet of individually wrapped mini dark-chocolate pieces for when I get cravings, though.  I don’t expect to turn to them often;  they should last a few weeks.

12kg in 8 weeks is going to be a huge challenge but I’m going to give it my best shot.  Bring it on.  I feel so good being back on track.

5 day workout

I now have a different workout for each work day (I work weekends and week nights).  Mon, Wed and Fri are cardio days and Tue and Thu are resistance training.

Monday

Warm-up:  Rower.  500 meters warm, 500 meters sprint.

Treadmill 200m sprint
Hands-up burpees x 5
swiss-ball-jackknifeDeep squat jumps x 10
Clap press ups x 5
V sit ups x 10
[repeat superset 10 times]

Swiss ball jack-knives x 8  (pictured)
Swiss ball pelvic raises x10
Swiss ball up downs 12 (vid)
[repeat superset 5 times]

 

Tuesday

Warm-up:  any cardio 5 minutes

DBFlyBarbell squat and press
Barbell deadlift and shrug [30kg x 12 each x 3 sets]

Barbell chest press 30kg x 10
Dumbbell chest fly  6kg x 6  (pictured)
Barbell bent over row  30kg x 10
Dumbell Reverse fly  6kg x 6  [x 4 supersets]

Adductors and Abductors   x 12 each
Calf raises and Toe raises  x 12/20  [x 3 sets]

Assisted pull ups @ 2/3 bodyweight x 8
Assisted dips @ 1/3 bodyweight x 8
Cable tricep extensions 36kg x 12
Cable curls  36kg x 12   [x4 supersets]

5 minute cardio cooldown

 

Wednesday

lying-leg-raises-topWarm-up:  Skipping 5 minutes

Treadmill 3km

Water grinder 2min sprint, 45sec easy x5

Lying leg raises x 8 (pictured)
Medicine ball Russian twists x 10
Lying back extension (supermans) x 12  [set x5]

Elliptical 20 minutes

 

Thursday

Skipping 10 min total

DB box step ups x20
corea15DB curl and press x12  [both at 10kg, 3 sets]

Cable hip flexion (pictured)
Cable hip extension  [3 x 12 each]

Shoulder rotation straight (little circles with dumbell) [3 x 12]

Deep squats x 12
Cable hip internal rotation x 10 ??
Cable hip external rotation x 10 ??  [x3]

Elliptical x 10min

 

Friday

tricepdipSpin bike  10 min

Tricep dips  x25  (pictured)
Burpees x25
V sit ups x25
Press ups x25
Treadmill 1km   [3 supersets]

Dude, where’s my weight loss?

Tuesday this week marked the end of the 8 week weight loss programme I’ve been doing, And no weight loss to show for it!  The Tuesday just gone was the final weigh in for the 8 week weight loss program I’ve been doing at the gym.  My net loss?  A whopping 900g.  I don’t know why, but EVERYBODY in the program had disappointing results.  Though there were about 15 people in the program, the total weight lost was 5kg (so I did about 20% of that!)

Though my result was unimpressive, it beats gaining weight, and I kind of feel that I had a genuine excuse.  I signed up for the program when I was unemployed, and had plenty of time to put into it.  Not long after, I found work, and going to the gym went from a 5-per-week thing to a twice a week thing, and my diet went out the window.

weight

I’m so close to my 90kg target, but I’ve been this close for a couple of months now.  90kg was a realistic target, but my ideal weight would be between 80-85kg.  So I won’t be resting any time soon, even though I’ve plateaued.  Just today at work I saw a book someone was selling called "Losing the last 5 kilos".  It motivated me a bit to keep going.

I booked in for a reassessment at the gym on Thursday.  My muscle mass has increased since February, and my percentage of body fat has also decreased (now 21%).  My visceral fat also fell from 8% to 7%.  So it was reassuring to see I’m still making progress, despite the weight plateau.  There was something else that was reassuring, too.  I had a fitness test.  I don’t really understand the science, but I was put on a bike for about 6 minutes,  and the resistance changed periodically while it monitored my heart rate.  My result was 51.9ml/kg/min which places my fitness at "Excellent"

fitness

 

It blows my mind that I’m considered fitter than most people.  Cos honestly, I still feel very big and unfit. 

The main purpose for the reassessment, though, was to refocus.  To get a new schedule to follow that will help me lose the last few kilos and get even fitter.  My trainer says the schedule he’s going to do for me will involve doing exercise 6 days a week; an hour at the gym Monday to Friday, and a jog after work one day in the weekend.  Sounds intense, but I’m motivated to do it.  I’m meeting up with him on Tuesday to go over the new programme.

This week I got to the gym 4 times, and went for a 5km run this evening.  It was reassuring to know I can still do it; I thought my fitness might have declined since I last did it.  My right foot is still going numb at the 4km mark, though.    I will see another podiatrist soon.

Sorry for the lack of updates recently.  Now that I’m on top of my new job and have re-gained my work/exercise balance, I’ll endeavour to post more.  Rock on.

Gained weight – time to refocus

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Eeek, I gained 1.5kg this week.  I’m finding it quite difficult to balance full time shift work (sometimes crazy hours) with getting to the gym and getting enough sleep.  Since I started this job I’ve gone from hitting the gym 5/6 times a week to 2/3 times a week, and I’m buying bad food on my meal breaks far too often.  This weigh in just highlights the need for me to get back into good habits. Perhaps I’ll stop putting my hand up for extra work if it means I can’t look after myself so well.  I’m no superman!

Today I had a flu vaccination so was advised against my PT session today. I used it as an opportunity to talk with my trainer about last weeks physio appointment.  He’s being really good and is going to rework my program to address the tight muscles on my torsos right side.  He’s also recommended I see a masseur that has just started working at the gym to loosen those muscles and work out the stiffness.  Can’t hurt to try it a few times.  

So yeah…. just really need to refocus and be disciplined again about everything that goes into my mouth and getting out for exercises.  I went to the gym twice last week and a 5km run on Friday night.  Although I finished the 5km in under half an hour, I found it difficult… though I know running is all about good days and bad days.

Hoping to have a better week this week.

My first ever physio appointment

Today I had my first ever appointment with a physiotherapist.  A few things had been bugging me about my body at the gym and during my runs – things that seemed to go a bit beyond the knowledge of gym trainers.  I’d been wanting to go for a while, but hadn’t been in a position to afford physiotherapy until recently.

The first thing that struck me both when making the appointment and when turning up to it was that they seemed to think I was crazy for making an appointment when I didn’t have an injury and wasn’t paying with insurance.  "You… don’t want me to treat you?" the physio asked, stunned.  I explained to him that at this stage I just wanted some advice on a few things.  I was genuinely surprised that this was apparently uncommon.

I explained my situation to him. A year ago I had seen a podiatrist because I felt I had been walking funny; I’d felt unsteady on my feet and my right foot seemed to turn out gel-heel-wedge-spurmore than my left.  That podiatrist concluded that I had a leg length discrepancy; my left leg was one centimetre shorter than my right.  She gave me a heel wedge to put in a new pair of running shoes I bought at the same time.  I’ve been wearing that heel wedge for a year, since. It genuinely has made me feel more steady on my feet, but I’ve had a problem with my right foot going tingly and numb during my runs.

Physio-TreatmentSurprisingly, this physio concluded that I don’t have a leg length discrepancy at all.  He discovered that the reason my right leg was turning outwards was because of tight/knotted muscles down the right side of my body, including the right side of my lower back, my buttocks and my calf. To prove his point he pressed in on where the knots were and I felt pain.  He pressed  in the same places on the other side and there was no pain. He also got me to try a short calf stretch, and while I could stretch the left leg fine, my right leg was too stiff and rigid.

reverse_crunchThinking that some other problems I’d been having might be related, I told him that I find it almost impossible to keep my torso upright when I squat (I lean forward) and that my hip clicks painfully when I lower my legs in a reverse crunch.  He said the former was probably related, but the he couldn’t explain the latter at all, only to say that the exercise was beyond my ability. Odd, because other people don’t seem to struggle with reverse crunches and they’re used even on easy mode of EA Sports Active 2.  My pelvis was tilting to far forward where my back should remain on the floor.  Hard.

After the appointment I wanted a second opinion so went round the corner to an orthotics place that I know gives free friendly advice.  The guy there confirmed my leg lengths are the same, so "the physio is probably right".  Hmmm.

How do physiotherapists work out long-term muscle spasms/knots?  The physio said it wouldn’t be easy, and that it would hurt and take multiple visits (once per week).  The last time a professional told me that (a chiropractor), it simply wasn’t an option for me.  But just cos I have a little more money now doesn’t mean I want to be spending that kind of money.  Sigh… I’m not good at making decisions.  If anyone reading this has a decent knowledge of muscles or physiotherapy, I would totally appreciate any opinions or advice.

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