Wednesday, 31 March 2010

Biking in the garden shed

So ... there are a couple of girls at my Wednesday circuits class I'm kind of interested in.

Needless to say the first question in my head is - are they single? The second question (given the sort of town I live in) is "do they have 4 kids and an ex who is always coming round to cause you hassle?"

In a bid to find out the answers, I decided to do a second exercise class with one of them. In a garden shed.

It turns out that the personal trainer who organizes the circuits has also built himself a fitness studio at the bottom of his garden. In what probably used to be the garden shed.

I had thought naively there would be just me, the trainer and a couple of others (including this lovely girl) in the shed. Err no. Turned out there were about a dozen of them. All ready to go and pumping.

It was a spin class. Which - even after five months at the gym - I have never done before. Yes it took a woman to get me there :)

Believe me I got HOT. And I dont mean under the collar.Even though I was near to the ceiling fan in the centre of the shed it was still pretty tight in there. I tried pacing myself. But there's something about having driving music, twelve other people cycling as hard as they can and a red faced trainer bellowing out encouragement that ... well taking it easy becomes no longer an option ...

So by the end of the spin session I was whacked. Pouring with sweat. Not exactly what I was expecting - I thought I'd have a light session and then turn on my charm with the gorgeous young lady in question.

Unfortunately I also discovered that she did have a husband - and three kids at home. I should have known *sigh*

Still, it's not every day that you exercise in a garden shed. And at least I had some fun in the process!

Friday, 26 March 2010

Friday update

Weigh In :

Friday 26th March 210 lb (95.5 kg)

Bummer. The first time Ive gained weight on the current "journey".

Still : today I ran 30 mins on the treadmill @ 6.5 mph. After an hour of pilates.

It's great to know I can.


And I'll hold on to that :)

Monday, 22 March 2010

Tough times

Gack. What a week!

I succumbed to my first proper binge on Friday since the New Year. It started when I parked at the local supermarket. I went there just to use the parking, as it was a short walk from there into town. Unfortunately on the way back I felt "obliged" to use the supermarket itself. One of those stupid ideas I have about being "fair". I've used your car park : in return I should do at least some shopping at the store.

Now the store in question is Waitrose. Which is probably the most expensive supermarket chain in the UK. Most essentials there cost at least 25% more than at my usual store. So often when I go there I treat myself to the premium brand of something. If I'm going to spend more, my argument is, then I may as well go for quality, and get a brand that I cant usually get elsewhere.

It's not like I had anything I wanted to buy in the first place. So I was only going in because I felt I "had to".

Stupid stupid. In this case I ended up in the chocolate aisle looking at the posh Easter Eggs. And from there went on to the chocolate bar section. It went downhill from there...

(The binge :

1 posh white chocolate Easter Egg - yes I know - well before Easter..
1 large bar white chocolate with raspberry - obviously I was craving white chocolate
1 family pack cheese and onion crisps
6 chocolate Waitrose chocolate snack bars
-oh and later - 1 bottle of real ale ..


I was thinking yesterday what caused the binge. Apart from my weird mental logic.

I guess I've had a low level of depression going on this week. The joblessness seems to go on and on, and I have been less and less inclined to apply. I need to make decisions about what to do this summer. Mostly - should I sell/rent out the house and move on? So I was getting myself in panic mode and the binge probably became inevitable.

Another thing was that recently my body has been feeling pretty wrecked. Constant exercising since January has taken its toll. Last week I had really sore calves : before that shin splints. I didnt want to skip exercise sessions though. So I've been working on through the pain. Maybe again the bingeing was a way of telling me I do have to take it easier.

Since Friday I've had a few more binges. Hopefully as I become clearer about my future plans, I'll be able to stop them. But for now, all I can do is hold on tight and try to remember what I've achieved so far...

Oh : and my weigh in this week (before the bingeing) was no change. That didnt help ;)

Weigh in : 19 Mar 209 lb

Friday, 12 March 2010


Weighed in today :

Last update : 13 Feb 216lb
Today's weigh in : 12 Mar 209lb

Under the 15st I set myself in Jan! F-A-N-Tastic!

Im going to do weekly updates from now on as that's what I work by anyway.

I also usually rate my performance using the ABC criterion ie

A for Activity (Exercise)
B for Behaviour (Mental outlook etc)
C for Consumption

A - Activity- this has been excellent. Have added a new circuit training session this week so I am now doing 2 circuits a week (Monday and Weds evenings). And though it may be weird to say, I love this type of exercise! Circuits rock!

B - Behaviour - not good. Got really obsessive past couple of weeks about getting to the 210 "target". Havent looked for work hard enough. Have got nervous about doing ANYTHING stressful that'll make me tired and predisposed to binge. I think to be honest Im pushing it too hard and I need to take it easier in the next few weeks.

C - Consumption - excellent. But then I can eat at home and dont have to eat on the hoof. Which goes back to B - Im nervous if I change anything about my current lifestyle I'll go back to binging.


My new weight loss target : Get down to One-Der-Land by May 20th (going to see my cousins that day who live across the country from here)

That's over 2 months away so I think it's more than realistic. It's also a less demanding goal so I dont have to be obsessive about trying to lose "extra" weight through exercise. Hopefully that will help me get away from that mindset.

I do NOT want to binge just because I've reached my initial goal. Hah!

I'm also going to have to create some new goals for the next few months. My Jan ones were really all about the weight. Time to round out things a bit more :)

Friday, 5 March 2010

Workouts Version 2

When I started at the gym I got a brief intro to the CV machines and the weights. My program was to do either 60 minutes cardio or 10 stations on the weight machines. Simple and error free. And that was OK for about the first 3 months.

About 3 weeks ago though I reached the dreaded "plateau". I was still going to the gym 5 or 6 times a week and sweating buckets after a workout. But my weight just wasnt changing. It seemed an insult. I started taking a day or two off between workouts. I could tell that I wanted to make that two days between workouts. And you know where that can lead.

Then last week I was having a chat with Lloyd, our gym's PT. I'd just finished an hour of cardio and was as usual sweating profusely. He said to me , "Well, you've just been on the elliptical for half an hour. After 25 minutes you shouldnt have been able to complete a sentence without gasping. Instead we were having a chat. You're just not working hard enough".

My first reaction : "What do you mean, not working hard enough. I'm sweating buckets here". His response "Just because you're sweating doesnt mean that you're working efficiently. I see this all the time. If you were really giving it your all, then the weight would still be coming off".

I was doing the cardio using each machine's Random or Hill setting. Assuming that would give me the benefit of interval training. "Well yes", Lloyd said, "That's OK for beginners. But what you really need to do now is to put the machine on Manual. And then alternate between moderate intensity and full out sprint."

His three suggestions :
1. Warm up 2 minutes : then do 15 second sprint, 45 rest : 30 sec sprint, 30 rest : 45 sec sprint, 15 sec rest, then a full minute sprint. Repeat as many times as able. If you can do 6 reps, raise level.
2. Warm up : 1 min slow, 1 min moderate, 1 min flat out : then repeat. Same process.
3. Warm up : 1 min slow, 1 flat out : min 20 minutes.

I've now been doing this for the last week and a half. And believe me I'm really feeling the difference. Particularly on option #1 where you transition between the 45 second sprint and the full minute. That is one serious beasting :)

I've now lost another 3 lb in the last week and a half. And I reckon the cardio is the backbone of that success.

I guess what Lloyd is saying is this : that you might think it's better to pace yourself through a long workout, but its not. It is in fact better to thrash yourself , rest and then repeat. You'll make your workouts much more efficient that way.

I'm also applying the same principle to my resistance training/plyo workouts. In circuits on Monday I thrashed myself from the start. After 15 minutes I was dead. It felt like a whole new level of pain. But boy did I feel good the day after ...