Tag Archives: exercise

Something To Aim For

I’ve been a bit non-specific of late in terms of my goals, and that probably hasn’t helped my cause, you know? It’s good to have something to aim for, I mean something tangible. I seem to remember the last time I mentioned any kind of goal I was planning to hit 215lbs by Christmas and clearly that didn’t work out too well. I went in the opposite direction and behaved like a right bloody ejit. But that was then, and this is now.

The Shitbird Scale rained on my parade a bit yesterday but as far as I’m concerned I’ve had a great week. With the exception of a close encounter on Saturday evening with a handful of Ferrero Rocher – which I don’t even like that much but they were there – I’ve closed out my first week off the white stuff and it’s gone well, so I was more than a bit pissed off when the number nudged up by almost a pound.

However, I reacted like a grown-up and wrote it off as a load of bollocks. I’ve had a good week therefore whatever weird shit is going on with the number, it’s not fat weight gain. Let it ride, see what it says next week and don’t sweat the small stuff. Granted, it was said with a face like a bulldog chewing a wasp, but it was still said. And that’s progress.

Anyway, speaking of goals…my first holiday of the year is now booked, for the middle of May. You know me, my feet were getting distinctly itchy and already I feel better knowing there’s a piece of the world just waiting to be explored. That gives me four months to get back to my lowest weight from last year, which also happens to be my lowest weight in years. That’s the challenge I’ve set myself, and it’s about 35lbs lighter than I am now so it’s going to take some doing but you know what, bring it on. The holiday’s my incentive to work hard.

That hard work started yesterday morning with a session in the gym. My friend Nic was there and egging me on…try the stair machine she said. Try the battle ropes. Try the TRX straps…it’s all good fun. And you know what, it actually was good fun at the time. It’s good to try new stuff. Well, all except the stair machine which was just undiluted torture after the first thirty seconds…I lasted five whole minutes, and I thought that was damn impressive.

It was later in the day when it stopped being fun and started being ‘I can’t fucking move‘. My bum cheeks felt like bowling balls and my arms felt like lead. On the upside, it stopped me from snacking my way though the evening because my arms refused to  follow the instructions coming down the pipe and my hand to mouth dexterity would’ve been a little shaky. I’d bought a kilo of cherries earlier in the day but I couldn’t even face the thought of lifting up the cherry pitter so they stayed in the fridge and I stayed in my armchair.

I tried to shake the duvet down when I went to bed last night but my attempt was so utterly feeble that I chose instead to sleep the night covered by a handkerchief-sized bit of duvet cover while 90% of my duvet lay bunched up in the opposite corner. To be fair, those battle ropes have probably put me out of any duvet-shaking activity for the next month at least.

However. It hurt, but it was supposed to hurt. My fitness has gone backwards in the last six months, and nobody said clawing it back was going to be easy, did they? Apparently though, my muscles have memory so they should in theory be able to get their shit together fairly quickly providing I turn up to workout and try hard. So I’m going to turn up at least three times a week, and I know once I’m in there I’ll be grand. Between that, and the swimming I reckon my goal is do-able.

Those fucking stairs though…

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Don’t Stop Me Now

You know, I look back fondly on the days where meeting up with friends involved coffee and cake. I mean sure, my arse was often too big for the chairs and I’d sometimes find myself wedged behind a table trying not to look as squashed as I felt, but there was always laughter and there was always cake.

The trouble these days is, I’ve managed to fall in with a band of hooligans who’ve turned their back on cake in favour of doing shit that hurts. And that’s how come I ended up earlier this week in a spin class. Yes, you really did hear that right.

I’ve not been back yet to the Kingdom of Pain. I will, but I’ve only just nicely been signed off as fit after my surgery and with mum being poorly and all I just haven’t had the chance to resume my classes. I’ve been swimming pretty much every day so I’ve still kept a focus on being active but it’s been a while since I did the kind of exercise that makes me want to go lie down in a darkened room afterwards.

My friend had been given a voucher for a different fitness studio, and she invited a couple more of us along to get in on the action, which is how we all ended up in the loft of an old warehouse on a wet and windy Wednesday night wearing padded shorts.

Now, I’ve never been spinning before, but I do know people who have. Most of them look like whippets, so to be honest it’s never struck me as a fat-girl activity. I suspected it might be quite hard. I allowed myself to get lulled into a false sense of security as we arrived because they were serving hot chocolate with marshmallows in a little cafe room with more than its fair share of cute, so what’s not to love about that? And the lady who runs it was warm and friendly and smiley so I mean really, how bad could it be?

Bad ASS. That’s how bad. Holy shit.

Hands up, who knew, that one quarter turn of the tiniest knob could make your legs feel like lead? And who knew that saddles could be made of something harder than concrete? And who knew it was even possible to sweat that much?

I damn well loved it. The music was awesome, I mean there was none of this crappy modern stuff…she played Queen, and Abba at full volume and we all sang along at the tops of our voices as we were pedalling up hill after hill. It was a bit like carpool karaoke on two wheels. Don’t get me wrong, the class was really hard but I found myself getting so carried away with the atmosphere that I forgot to notice I was having a near death experience.

Walking down the stairs afterwards on rubber legs was interesting, but the only lingering after-effects have been the memory of that concrete saddle and the carnage it caused in my nether regions. Let’s just say I was perched sideways on my chair yesterday and even now, sitting down makes me wince.

Truth be told, I can’t wait to go back 🙂

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The Right Kind Of Fix

It’s about a month since I signed up for my second gym membership, which really only came about because I couldn’t continue doing my usual classes whilst my knee was recovering. I was really scared that if I got out of the habit of working out whilst I was getting over my surgery, I’d never go back to it, and swimming seemed like a good compromise in the meantime.

I’m not sure what happened, but I appear to have become a bit fixated with being in the water. With the exception my weekend away, I’ve done an hour’s worth of swimming every single day for the last month and you know what, for the first time yesterday I noticed that my shape is changing.

I’d gotten to the point, before I pressed pause on my workouts, where I was starting to catch an occasional glimpse of collar bone as I chucked the kettle bells around in the Kingdom of Pain, and that was exciting enough in itself because it’d been buried under a mound of flesh for donkey’s years. Yesterday, I noticed that my waist has started to become a bit more…well, waist-like. It sort of goes in, like a waist would go in on normal people.

Completely by accident, I found myself standing with my hands on my hips, and it dawned on me that I had this sort of curve down the side of my body, which somehow my hands just fitted into without a fight. When you’re really fat, you can’t do the hands-on-hips thing. For one thing it’s hard to be sure where your hips are because there’s so much body sitting on top of them, and in any event there’s nowhere for your hands to rest naturally. Not unless you tuck them into one of your spare tyres or grab a hold of your fat, you know? It’s not comfortable. But yesterday it just worked, all on its own.

Now, I appreciate that probably doesn’t sound like a big thing, but in terms of the way it’s made me feel it ranks right up there with being able to cross my legs for the first time. Or being able to cross my arms across my chest. Crossing anything when you’re the size of two people in one body is pretty damned impossible but as my shape changes, my body is slowly remembering how to do all these things that skinny folk take for granted, and I’m here to tell you it feels really fucking awesome.

It’s not very often I get fixated on something that’s good for me, but this swimming malarkey is definitely the right kind of fix. In the space of a month it’s become something I look forward to doing every day, and I find myself bending my plans around making sure I can fit it into my schedule.

It’s a bit like cycling…it doesn’t feel like a chore. And so it’s not on the Asshole Voice’s radar as something I need to be talked out of. I love it, simple as that.

I’m not sure whether discovering I have a waist has turned my head a bit, but I’ve got a good feeling about my conversation with the Shitbird Scale this week…just sayin’ 🙂


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Keeping All My Balls In The Air

Well despite the eye-bags, which by the way seem to have taken up permanent residence and have become a mini obsession, I pretty much survived my first week back at work. I can’t even tell you how glad I am to see the weekend though, I’m knackered. Actually now I think about it, that might account for my puffy eyes, but whatever the root cause is, I’m not taking this overnight ageing malarkey lying down.

The miracle face mask hasn’t arrived yet, but as I write this I have some under-eye gel pads doing their thing, and there are at least three pots of eye cream lined up for when these bad boys come off. I’m surprised I didn’t slide out of bed, I was that greased-up when I went to sleep last night.

I think my whole regime needs a bit of an overhaul to be honest. I’m on fairly solid ground now with the food side of things, but as I was busy patting myself on the back for reaching ten days of food sobriety I started reflecting on everything else I know I should be doing, and realised that I’m dropping balls left right and centre.  I’ve relapsed with my water intake again and although I’m getting a fair bit of exercise in, I’m definitely not getting enough sleep.

It’s not the first time that I’ve narrowed my focus to the point that I’ve seen the world through tunnel vision. It’s kind of the way I’m wired, you know? I get so focused on the job in hand that shit can be flying around my ears and I just don’t see it. Over the last couple of weeks I’ve been so focused on calories in and calories out, I’ve forgotten all about a bunch of other stuff, including staying hydrated.

Now, sometimes it’s okay to target one hundred percent of the available effort on one thing. It’s a bit like a laser beam, right? It’s specific and intense and accurate. And it gets the job done although it’ll burn you if you leave it switched on too long. I really needed that intense light shining on my food plan because I was out of control, and it’s worked in so much as I’ve wrestled control back and I’m feeling calmer. But now my body’s thirsty.

Which, according to Doctor Google, can cause all manner of havoc, including giving me puffy eyes…well, go figure. I pounced on that nugget of information immediately and today’s two litre minimum is already measured out and waiting for me.

I also stayed away from home on Wednesday evening, so I could have dinner with a friend of mine and wake up nearer to where I needed to be for some meetings yesterday morning. As I opened my toilet bag, out fell my little packet of Thyroxine pills, which I take for my underactive thyroid. Whoops. I packed them when I went into hospital for my surgery and haven’t thought about them since, because they were tucked out of sight.

Which might account for me being so tired.

Ya think???

What a dumbass. I’d be the first to admit I’m often guilty of not fitting in enough sleep but I stack the odds of being knackered even higher when I take away the only thing that drives my metabolism. Add that to the fact that I’ve been trying to squeeze  in around an hour of swimming every day as well as building up my walking, doing my physio, pulling all the stuff together for this writer’s workshop next week and easing myself back into work, not to mention running around after my mum…there’s no fucking wonder I’ve got bags under my eyes, right?

So. Food plan, check. Water, check. Exercise, check. Pills, check. It’s practically the weekend…time to relax. Catch up on some sleep. Get my shit together.

I’m on it! 🙂



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Moving Forward With Belt And Braces

So I went back to see my surgeon on Friday, and he’s delighted with my progress. I’m on target for a 100% successful outcome which is the stuff that dreams are made of, right? Especially when you consider that for the last four years I’ve had a red-hot poker residing inside my knee. He showed me some before and after pictures which were taken during the surgery, and you’d never even know from the inside that it’s a fat knee. It’s a thing of beauty.

And now it’s my turn. My part of the deal is to strengthen my quad muscles by committing to physio and lots of exercise. And I’m all over that, even though when I proudly demonstrated to him how strong my knee was getting as I straightened it out, he looked me in the eye and said do more, like I’d barely even got started. I wonder if he’s related to the God of Pain?

I feel like I have worked really hard, this last week. I can’t manage the usual off-road walk that I do with Charlie dog yet, but I am up to almost three miles on even ground before anything starts feeling sore, and that’s awesome when you think it’s only actually a shade over two weeks since I had the surgery.

One thing he did say, was that my kneecap has been pulled off-centre because the muscles are slightly more well-developed down one side of my leg. Apparently that’s because I’ve been limping for the last four years and favouring a certain way of planting my left leg on the floor. Who knew! I mean, I know I’ve hobbled a bit when it’s been really sore but it must have been subtle but constant and I didn’t even realise.

Which, when you think about it is a lot like living a really fat life. When I look back, there were things I used to have to do to compensate for being fat, like rubbing moisturiser into one foot using the other foot, because I couldn’t reach down that far, or doing my ironing sitting down because it hurt too much to stand up. It became the kind of normal that I adapted to and stopped noticing, even though it wasn’t normal at all, exactly like my wonky walk.

I can go back to the Kingdom of Pain in another two weeks, but in the meantime I’ve taken out a second gym membership which gives me access to a network of leisure centres, where I can swim as often as I like and do aqua-fit classes, as well as a bunch of other stuff. I’ve done loads of water-based activity over the last few days which has really helped my arse to disengage from the armchair.

I can generally only manage three sessions with the God of Pain over the course of a week, because the fixed schedule of his classes and limited weekend opening times together with my long commute to and from work make it difficult to squeeze in more. This way I get the best of both worlds, because there’ll always be something going on somewhere that I can do.

It’s a kind of belt and braces approach, but I’m ready to take the last quarter of 2017 by storm…I am on it. I’ve got five days’ worth of food sobriety under my belt and after snatching victory back from the jaws of defeat I’m feeling great. I’ve evicted four and a half of those re-gained pounds from my pants this week, which was exactly the boost I needed.

I was gently reminded that not having a specific goal to strive for makes me drift a bit, so I’m planning to hit 215lbs by Christmas. I badly wanted to say Onederland by New Year but I think that’s a stretch too far…26lbs by Christmas feels do-able.

So…let’s crack on, there’s work to be done 🙂

Talking of Onederland, if you follow Nic’s Shitbird Page, you’ll see she sashayed into Onederland on Saturday, just before she flew out to Greece for her holidays…that’s 151lbs lost and I am so damn chuffed for her!

And don’t forget, if you’d like your own Shitbird page, all you have to do is tell me…the accountability definitely helps to glue your feet to the sweet spot!!

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