Week 4

30 Jan

Unbelievably we are half way there. That can only mean one thing – half way to go!

This week probably was the hardest for me so far – all the motivation I was hoping for last week was absolutely gone and I just constantly felt tired and sorry for myself. I blame all of that on the weather – nothing else!

When I was going for a weekly weight in I honestly thought I would have put some weight on – there was no way in hell I could get any good results after skipping gym two days in a row, but surprisingly – I am still on my target and that cheers me up. To make up for my slacking I have introduced some new exercises to the routine and basically kicked my own ass. Yeah, that’s how we do it! Diet is still going great, I am coming up with some cracking dishes (not every day must admit – don’t try to make stuffed peppers with quorn beef, complete disaster).

I will be definitely buying a new sports bra this weekend, because all the weight seems to be dropping from the “wrong” places, when the “right” places, like my stomach, will require a lot of work. I haven’t lost any inches this week, but I will be pushing for an extra inch off my waist by the end of the challenge and…that’s about it!

On an unrelated, but positive note – I am having a treat day(s) this weekend as we are going away to celebrate our wedding anniversary. I don’t believe in a cheat or treat days as all you do is ruin your hard work by slobbing on the sofa and stuffing your face; I believe into having some fun and doing (eating/drinking) what you love from time to time so you don’t go insane on the broccoli. It will be our first “day off” for whole 4 weeks and I think we deserve it:)

Measurements 4th week of the challenge: 35/27/38, 142 pounds.

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What do we eat?

27 Jan

It’s Sunday – so it’s time to talk about food.

Diet plan which I have created for myself after a couple of days of internet research could not have been easier (and also has been approved by “Men’s Health” magazine, which I have downloaded yesterday). It’s quite simple – buy fresh, cook yourself, forget about carbs.

What do I eat:

  • Breakfast is an easy one and I am lucky to be able to eat the same thing every day and not get bored of it. Every morning at work I have a bowl of quick flavourless porridge with semi-skimmed milk and some berries. At home I have 2 Weetabix with the same “sides”. When choosing a pre-made breakfast it’s very important to look at sugars – I would love to have golden syrup porridge, but difference between 1g of sugar and 17g is a big one, so “original” flavour (which is no flavour) it is.
  •  Lunch used to be a really big problem for me pre-diet. Whether I was lucky enough to remember and make myself some sandwiches or if I had to buy something from the canteen   – I always felt tired and sleepy after, because heavy, quick release carbs were doing their evil work. Now I opt for a good, light healthy option of a salad. I try to put every single fresh vegetable I have in the fridge – lettuce, tomato, cucumber, sweet pepper, radish, spring onion, parsley, little bit of corn. Then all we need to do as add favourite protein – I go for tuna, sea food mix, chicken breast. Or from time to time – leftover pork or beef, but these days leftovers don’t really exist in the house.
  •  Dinner is my favourite time of the day. Which might sound sad, but once you have limited yourself in terms of food – meals become very special. Cooking a healthy dinner is also very easy – it takes less time, less ingredients and more spices (chillies are magical for weight loss). I use silly moto “meat and at least 2 veg” when I prepare my food, but as most root vegetables were taken out of my diet due to nasty amount of carbs, same as rice and pasta – finding original side is sometimes tricky. Every day I try to cook unique dish, because even if you are on healthy diet your food shouldn’t be boring! I check new recipes every day and sometimes create my own. It has been whole 3 weeks now, so I am running out of ideas, but it only means – old dishes need new exciting twists! Some of my dinner options are: steak and salad; chicken skewers with veg and home made salsa; pork with poached egg and asparagus; quorn sausage and hot vegetable salad; grilled chicken breasts and stuffed aubergines; baked fish with cauliflower rise and list goes on and on and on – you just need to get creative.Things to remember about meat – the leaner the better and no fat or skin should be included. With vegetables – more water vegetable has – more of it you can eat.
  • Snacks and drinks will vary depending on the reason behind your healthy diet.  Because I am trying to loose some weight and gain some muscle I eat berries instead of fruit as sugars are much lower. I have 1 oat bar a day as a treat, but you have to remember not all “breakfast bars” are good for you – if it’s covered in chocolate and has a cartoon animal on the packaging – put it back, it’s not good for you. Go for organic, low sugar options, they taste even better. I also have 1 yoghurt, same rules as above apply – I either go for Total 0% or for Weigh Watchers options. For savoury snacks I only have 2 options – nuts or fresh veg and low fat Philli, but even with things like that always think about moderation, because 100g of innocent peanuts can carry around 60g of fat. I also had to include a lot of water into my diet – I drink it day and night, just because. Water helps to clean your internal organs and make sure that liver and kidneys are running as intended. Also I have at least 2 cups of green tea, which helps with metabolism and gives injection of caffeine in the morning. I also try to stay away from the alcohol as it’s unnecessary empty calories, but if I want to have a drink I would go for vodka+diet lemonade, but yet again – everything in moderation.

Well…. That was a post and a half! Hope some people can find an inspiration and opt for a healthier way of eating, because it’s much easier than it seems!

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Week 3

23 Jan

2 weeks down 4 to go. That’s what I keep telling myself in the moment of doubt.

Moments of doubt – somehow a common thing this week. There is nothing wrong with the diet or exercise, there is a lot wrong with my head. If not for my amazing willpower (even if I say so myself) I would be sat here right now covered in chocolate cake from head to toe, sipping on a nice cold beer. The head is my biggest enemy this week, it does not want me to succeed – one day I wake up with stomach flat and strong, other morning I feel fat, bloated and, well, fat! Weird passive aggressive depression is trying to sneak into my life, de-motivate me, feed me cake and beer.

But somehow I am still going. Eating right and exercising more. “Body shape” progress has slowed down a little tho, but it won’t stop me. I often feel tired as I come from the gym very late and still feel wired for hours after, but I know the energy will come back soon and I will be jumping up and down.

On other hand I can already feel great progress fitness wise – I am flying through my sit ups and was able to increase them by a set of 10, which I don’t think is that bad for a person who was indulged in bad foods, drinks and ass-sofa combo for the whole year. Also circuit today was amazingly refreshing and I didn’t roll on the floor in pain even once. Yesterday I was freaked out by a discovery of my first belly muscle, it feels weird, but it’s there. Progress – will be key motivation for the weeks to come.

I will have a full detox day this Saturday, which is my gym day off, and I will be only drinking fat free yoghurt as my stomach is not feeling too well and I want to give it a little push. Also this wek I will be posting a little more about my diet as I have received a number of messages regarding it.

Measurements 3rd week of the challenge: 35/27/38, 144.5 pounds.

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Week 2

16 Jan

First week of my challenge has gone. And do you know what? It’s easier than I ever expected. Change in the diet going swimmingly – I learned to spread my meals and snacks through the day so that I never feel hungry and always have enough energy to exercise. In fact, I feel full more often than if I would be eating normal “bad” stuff. I still struggle with the breakfast a little bit and often have to force myself to eat my porridge, but not because I don’t like it, it’s just my body is very well trained not to ask for any food in the morning. But I have not skipped a breakfast yet and a little bit proud of myself for that.

Biggest food trial was last weekend, when we spent whole 2 days at our old house which is currently being re-decorated. As the result of building works it’s near to impossible to cook or even eat due to lack of furniture. But I have managed – couple of packs of salad, pre-cooked chicken breasts, berries and nuts and no cheating was necessary. There is no excuse to be made when shops are full of cooked healthy food!

As per exercise – I am not completely happy with the amount of it. As I said – weekend was absolutely wasted, but I still was active with the decorating, so it’s not so bad at the end of the day. I have not once woke up with muscle pain, which I believe is down to magical post-workout shakes. I am not so sure how I will feel tomorrow morning as today was our first circuit training and, well, I was the second unfittest person in the group.

The hardest thing for me was finding time. Any free time. Even time to write this blog, hence it’s 2 days late. Balancing work-home-family-gym-fun is much harder than I thought,  but I am lucky to have a very supportive husband, who I am also very proud of as he has lost massive 7.5 lb this week!

To sum up the  first week – it was awesome and next 5 weeks will be even better 🙂

Measurements 2nd week of the challenge: 37/28/38, 147 pounds.

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Pain. Loads of pain.

11 Jan

It’s Friday! Nearly end of the first week of my 6 in 6. I am still very pumped and determined.

Or so I was when I arrived at the gym today around 7:30 just to discover it closes at 8. Short 30 seconds of panic while gym manager looks at the watch and shakes his head. “I can’t give up, I can’t slack, I can’t skip, I have a challenge, I am on a schedule, I need to do this” I was saying to myself as a plan formed in my head. Ok, instead of 20 minutes treadmill, 20 minutes rowing, 20 minutes stepping and 40 sit ups I will just do 20 minutes treadmill and go home. At home, while still warm, I will jump on Wii and run a 30 minutes “Just Dance” workout. Then I will go out and do 150 jumps with the rope, followed by 40 sit ups.

It seemed like a great plan until I got back home. I was so excited to get Wii started, because, as in most childless households, it only gets used when you have a drink or two with your friends. Things I have learned tonight: 1) I can’t dance 2) if you can do it after a couple of beers it doesn’t mean you can do it without 3) Wii is a secret weapon of torture. After 20 minutes of latin sweat workout mixed with popular hits I wanted to die. My head was pumping, my heart wanted to jump out and my legs started shaking. Yes, I did give it all I had, otherwise what’s the point of working out? After barely making it to the end of the last song, I headed out with my jump rope (just so I can embarrass my neighbours of course). 120 jumps is all I could get out of myself after that unnecessary ass shaking in front of the TV. Sit ups? Don’t even go there, you will make be blush.

Moral of this story? Check your gym opening times before you get there.

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So it begins…

8 Jan

Challenge started! I am buzzing! I am ready to go, rock and roll, jump, dance – you name it.

Diet started yesterday and the hardest thing I found is to eat enough and often. It is often suggested that you need to have 5 small meals a day, but unfortunately I am one of those people who only can manage 2. Never breakfast, shame on me!

To make my own life easier I have decided to start with 3 meals, 3 snacks, 1 shake, 2 cups of green tea and 1.5 litter of water. First day we had some hiccups and I completely forgot about breakfast, but day two was total success: Actimel in the morning followed by unflavoured porridge with semi skimmed milk; fresh “empty veg” salad with sea food mix for lunch; oat bar and no fat, low sugar yoghurt for snacks; pork tenderloin, asparagus, grilled tomatoes and a poached egg for dinner; banana and blackberry shake post workout. Feels great, no hunger, light body.

So here I am, prepared and happy to move forward to achieve my perfect 6 pack.

Measurements at the start of the challenge: 37/29/39, 149.5  pounds.

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Diet

3 Jan

Most of us have really weird relationship with the food – some of us will give anything for a greasy kebab, some wouldn’t touch the stuff and believe to have a “healthy” diet, but somehow still piling on pounds. I personally love all the food, I love my burgers and I love my salad, but I wouldn’t go out of my way to indulge myself. But  at the end of the day – whatever makes you happy is the right way forward.

I have tested many different diets through the years, some just for sake of being skinny, some to keep myself healthy, fresh and energized. Diets are something that women love to start, but rarely stick to. When you begin a new diet you are full of excitement and believe that this one will give you results you desire, whatever they are, but the novelty wears off as the hard work starts. It took me some time to realise – a diet is not for a month, a diet is for life – it’s a whole new life style, which you need to accept and enjoy. A diet is not starving yourself until your ribs stick out, it’s a balance in food which is right for you and only you.

I’ve spent a couple of days researching  diet options for “6 in 6”, trying to find the best and easiest solution. To achieve the results I want it will require for me to shed some stomach fat and keep muscles trim.  It turns out, all I need is low carb, low fat, high fiber, high protein diet. Fabulous! Majestic! And quite…possible. A couple of years back my husband and I tried and succeeded at low cab-low fat, all I need to do now is introduce some more protein by choosing right vegetables and meats. Also, a  lot of sites suggest to use slow release foods before a workout and high protein and sugar shakes after, which I will have to tweak for my own needs as I don’t have much body fat and they might slow down my progress.

I will expand more on meat, vegetables, fruit and nuts which will be included into my diet in the future blogs. Hope you are all getting inspired and excited 🙂

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