Was lost now found…

A few months before Christmas (just gone) I became very lazy. With the season of goodwill…and chocolate and alcohol approaching I sacked off the gym and thought ‘f**k it’ it’s time to relax and enjoy myself. Well it’s April now and I have managed to put on a stone in weight…crap.

I have struggled to get myself back to the gym and despite the fact my clothes have felt a lot more snug recently, I have been reluctant to even do a quick gym session to work off any indulgences.

So here goes…my fiancé and I suffered a personal loss which I don’t want to write too much in detail about as it is still quite raw, but we are both strong and even stronger as a couple. Nothing could have prevented what happened no matter how many answers we try to find. We are both trying to think positively and focus on what is to come. We went away for a few days to get out of the flat to re focus and I was ordered to rest, which I did by having a fantastic Hot Lava Shell massage and some amazing food in the Lake District.

image.jpeg

Since coming back home it’s been a bit of eye opener as to how much my body has changed since last year. I know how much weight I have put on and my problem areas that I need to work on. I am now determined to get back to how I was and feel happier in myself which I think will help me move on mentally.

I have been researching a lot of meal ideas for my fiancé and I (as he wants to get fit too) and have started back on the Protein World program which I did really well on…so bring it on!

Advertisements

Gym newbie…

Today I started the gym. Not a big deal for most people but for me it was. I don’t know why but the thought of being in a gym and working out in front of complete strangers filled me with dread. I remember being extremely athletic in junior school and there is a photo of me in a rather fetching crop top covered in 1st place stickers. As I got to high school, I was heavier than most girls and I hated P.E as my face would be bright red and sweaty after a short period of exercising. 

I started running and I enjoyed it for a while. I tried switching my routes so I wouldn’t get bored, and when I went running with my boyfriend, we would run 3 miles at a time non stop. But I don’t get to see him that often, so we kind of slacked off and haven’t been in some time. A couple of months a go I tried running after a break. As I got around the corner from my house I was completely out of breath and felt very unwell…this was after 1 minute of light jogging. It put me off running completely. My blip was due to an undiagnosed virus, which I knew I had as I felt unwell, but I couldn’t get the motivation to start again.

So I decided to join the gym. My induction was at 1pm and I was joined by two other women. One was in her 40s and the other in her 60s. We were shown around the gym and given a demo of how to work the equipment. The two women had places to go after the induction but I hopped on the nearest equipment and started my gym journey…

 
I was there for about 2 hours and burned over 700 calories. I will be back tomorrow as my other half has his induction. 

Progress shot…

I really wanted to see some proper results from this Protein World program…

Although I do see a difference in my body shape and have lost weight, I’m starting to question my exercise techniques. I’m currently using Charlotte Crosby’s 3 Minute Belly Blitz, but it’s hard to find time to do it. It’s not an ‘excuse’ either. I live at home and there is usually always somebody in the house so I can’t get to the TV. I could do them in my room but it sounds like I’m going to crash through the floor. 

I have bit the bullet and decided I’m going to join a gym. My sister in law goes so at least I will have somebody to keep me company sometimes! I really want to see some toning now! 

So a progress shot if you please…

 

I used to feel so bloated all the time a few months back due to an extremely poor diet. I now feel a lot better in myself and I always reach for fruit and healthy snacks to get me through the day.   

The first picture was taken in January before I decided to start running again. I kind of lost my passion for running after I tried doing it with an undiagnosed virus. I ran around the corner and couldn’t get my breath back and I felt really run down. Since then I haven’t had the motivation to go out again. The second picture was taken as I was starting my Protein World Slender Blend program about a month ago and the last photo was taken today (15th June). 
I hope you agree when I say there is a definite change in my body. I would like to just go to the gym now a couple of times a week and enjoy keeping fit, alongside a varied and healthy diet. 

A new way to wake up…

This evening I decided to do a little bit of food prep. I have been seeing and hearing a lot of good things about ‘overnight oats’…supposedly the best way to have breakfast and lose weight. 

I would never start my day without breakfast. I always make sure I go up early for breakfast at work so I can re charge and wake myself up a bit more. Starting at 7am in the morning I often don’t have it until 9am or 9:30 at the latest. But it really gives me energy to continue my day and helps me tick over until lunch time. 

I used to be terrible for what I ate at breakfast time. When I was about 15-16 years old I would either have a bowl of heavily sugary cereal or a penguin chocolate bar…I know, I know. And up until about a month ago, I would have a can of cola every morning, followed by one at lunch and continually throughout the day. 

Having a Protein World shake for breakfast at work is ideal as it is filling and cheap. I get a bit of milk from the canteen upstairs and it fills me until lunch time. On my days off I want to have something a bit more substantial and enjoyable…not that a shake isn’t nice…but to have something I have prepared especially for that morning will make my breakfast time a bit more rewarding. 

I started by stewing some rhubarb I bought yesterday. I haven’t stewed rhubarb in ages and forgot how amazing the aroma was.

  
  
I then found a recipe for some basic overnight oats. I mixed some Alpro soya milk and Quaker Oats rolled oats in a bowl, then moved the mixture in to a jar. In the morning I will add some flaxseed, crushed almonds or any other toppings I find tasty.

  

If it makes you happy…

You can’t love and make somebody else happy, if you can’t love or make yourself happy first….fact. If you revolve your time around your boyfriend/girlfriend’s life/hobbies and don’t find time to do something you love, it just won’t work. 

I found myself in that situation with my ex. Everything I did revolved around what he wanted to do/watch or where we wanted to go. I lost interest in my own hobbies and forgot who I was and what I loved. I remember my mum used to ring me and she would always ask…’have you made any Japanese food recently?’ The answer would always be no as the standard dinner involved pie, chips or anything with a carb percentage over 90% (and ideally from the frozen section).

When I got with my boyfriend he really wanted to understand who I was and what I loved doing. I said I loved anything Japanese related, food and photography. So we went to YO!Sushi on our first date and he really immersed himself in something I loved. We now share a passion for sushi, it is something we both love and if he didn’t, I would respect that and choose somewhere else to eat. 

Over the past year and a bit I have really focused on getting myself back to how I was. This has involved getting back in to shape, writing more and taking more photos when I’m out and about. I think making yourself mentally healthy goes hand in hand with making yourself physically healthy.  I have just purchased a wonderful Japanese tea ceremony set. I really want to have another relaxing hobby to go alongside my yoga and writing. I have also wanted matcha for a while as I haven’t had any since I went to Japan 3 years ago.
 So to round this blog up…do what makes you happy! Find something (or a few things you can take time out to enjoy. Exercising and eating well will give you more energy to do new projects! 

Cheat days…you need them!!

So today, I decided to have a cheat day. Anybody who is embarking on a weightloss journey needs them… Heck…everybody needs them from time to time. There are 365 days in the year and it is nice to spend a few of them enjoying food and drink with friends and loved ones. Restricting yourself and cutting out certain food groups only leads to binges or a complete end to any diet. 

To start me off on my weightloss journey I used Protein World’s Slender blend program…2 shakes a day with a 400-500 calorie meal in the evening. And it has helped me shed a few pounds. By my own admission, I wasn’t actually ‘fat or overweight’ but I had a few pounds I wanted to lose in order to look leaner, and then with regular exercise look more toned. 

I have reached a stage now where I can start to eat proper meals and replace one of my shakes with a proper nutritious breakfast or lunch. Depending on work will depend on which meal I replace with a protein shake. 

But back to my cheat day. My other half and I enjoyed some protein pancakes (recipe from the Protein World website). I added a few sneaky slices of bacon and chocolate chips. 

  
My snack actually wasn’t too bad…a couple of slices of soda bread with Italian style herb ham and pea shoots.

We then went to our favourite restaurant Wagamama where we had a starter, main and dessert each….

Do I feel guilty…?

Of course not! If you eat right like I have done for the past 4 weeks, then why not indulge yourself once in a while? I have spent so long comparing my weightloss and fitness to other people, it’s about time I focused on what my body wants and needs. Everybody is individual and unique! If you want a Mars bar then have one! It isn’t going to add 3 stone as soon as you finish it. Everything in moderation people! 

  
   

Finally…if you want a great free app to monitor your calories/protein/carb intake then download MyFitnessPal from iTunes. It’s a great tool to really tune in to what you are eating and will help your reach your weightloss target (in theory). I use it to make sure my meals are balanced and right for my body’s needs. 

Coconut oil…the possibilities are endless…

I bought this organic coconut oil from work the other day. I had read coconut oil is a great healthy alternative for cooking food…

 

BUT after I visited the website for ‘the groovy food company’ who produce the oil, they explained the various other uses for their product…

But the grooviness doesn’t end there; it’s also a beauty lover’s best friend. Smother it over your skin to keep it soft and smooth, or why not try applying it to the ends of your hair for a totally tropical hair treatment? Eyelashes benefit from a lengthening and strengthening application of the oil too, and you can even use it to remove make up. Is there anything it can’t do?

So there you have it…! Who would have thought you could get so much use from oil? At £5.99 it is quite expensive, but can you put a price on your health? 

A bit of healthy food porn…

My new found love of eating healthily continues. It has made me feel better physically and mentally. I do have to go back to the doctors for some blood results I had taken a few weeks ago, but I do feel fine in general. Fingers crossed it is nothing serious and just routine. 

Anyway, I have been progressing with my Protein World shakes and I feel great for the weight loss. I now weigh 8 stone 6lbs! My aim now is to tone up as much as possible with my Charlotte Crosby 3 Minute Belly Blitz DVD and my own researched ‘at home’ exercises. 

Here are some nutritious and delicious dinners I have done for myself and my other half…enjoy!

   
         

I do probably have more than the recommended 400-500 calorie food allowance sometimes, but I walk to and from work (25 minutes each way) and I am on my feet all day due to the nature of my job. My snacks are healthy (fruit and water). 

That advert…

I think it’s safe to say we have all seen the following advertisement…

 

Image from the dailymail.co.uk
 
I think we have also heard the uproar it caused since it was first revealed on the London Underground. A number of the posters have been defaced with apparent ‘anti body shaming slogans’ and thousands of people signed a petition to get the posters removed indefinitely. 

I had been following Protein World on Twitter for several months and was astounded by all the positive and happy results people were getting from using their products. These customers wanted to feel good about their bodies for their own personal reasons. Holiday or not, Protein World’s customers want to feel and look good…and with nearly 70k followers on Twitter that’s a lot of support for a supposed ‘sexist and anti feminist company’. 

Not long after the advert hit the news I went on holiday to Center Parcs where I wore a swim suit for the first time in years, and I wore it for a week around the pool and spa. But personally I didn’t feel as confident as I wanted to. Having had body issues all of my life I gritted my teeth and did everything I could to feel good in a swimming costume. I personally wasn’t beach body ready. Don’t get me wrong, there were lots of women there who were larger in size compared to me and plenty who were slimmer than me…all of whom were wearing swim suits and even bikinis. But I was aware of my thighs and my sugar belly and was determined to try and shift it when I got home.

 

On holiday I braved no tights…but I didnt feel confident in a swimming costume
 
What has since been highlighted by the beautiful Renee Somerfield who features in the controversial advert is: aren’t all these angry and disgruntled people body shaming her in response? Protein World asking ‘are you beach body ready?’ is supposedly a poke in the eye to every woman who isn’t the same size as Renee, and saying if you don’t look like her you can’t go on the beach unless you are covered head to toe in kaftans and sarongs. I couldn’t agree less! Asking people ‘are you beach body ready?’ is asking do you feel comfortable in your own skin? If not, do something about it with Protein World’s products. If you feel fine as you are…great. This advert is speaking to the people who want to change and improve their bodies, whether it is shifting a few pounds or building themselves up. 

I think social media is rife with individuals who find it easy to kick up a storm over nothing. It is so easy to hashtag everything and label things for effect… 

As a woman, I do not find this advert sexist or anti feminist. I find it liberating that a healthy and strong woman can advertise a company’s products, and inspire thousands of people to feel great about themselves. I am a massive advocate for strong and healthy women who work and strive to be the best they can be, and hopefully in a few weeks I will be ‘beach body ready’…confident in my own skin.

Then and now…

I mentioned in my first blog that spent a lot of my time in baggy clothing as from my early teenage years to my early twenties I was on the larger size. For my height at 5’4″ and 10 and a half stone I was classed as overweight on a standard BMI chart. I carried a lot of weight on my thighs, stomach and arms and I was always conscious to buy clothes that covered these areas as much as possible. I never went to the gym to try and shift the weight and so I carried on being unhappy with my body. 

The next two pictures were taken at my highest weight of 10 stone 7lbs. You can’t really tell (as my clothes are hiding my body) but you can see from my face how bloated I look. The white dress below now hangs off me, and the red dress in the bottom picture is now loose on the back.

   

The next picture was taken in the middle of 2013 when I trimmed down to my lowest weight of 8 stone 5lbs through running and watching what I ate. This photo motivates me now to get back in shape and really tone up. I would ideally like defined abs, but that will come in time through training and eating healthily. I still had a little bit of a tummy but my hips were slimming out and my body was definitely changing. 

  

After another week of Protein World and exercising at home I will upload a current progress shot. I can see my body changing a lot but I want to post it when I am extremely satisfied with my figure.