Thursday, 12 June 2014

Ribble Valley 10K - 29th December 2013 (10K #3)

When I finished my second 10K I weighed 152 lbs. When I entered myself into my third 10K I weighed 159 lbs. See, I had moved to Japan in that time, which completely messed up my awesome routine that I had going for me in the mother land (England). I worked part time mind you, so it was easier for me to fit in all the workouts, whereas in Japan I had to be what's called a "proper grown up" meaning I had to work a 9-5 for 5 days a week. I came home feeling exhausted and in need of some serious slobbing. Needless to say, my inactivity meant I gained 7 lbs from my previous 10K. Enough was enough I said! The humidity had begun to die a glorious death so I felt brave enough to step outside and go for a run. I was still hesitant to run in Japan after work however...well, because...

© Copyright Oliver Dixon and licensed for reuse under this Creative Commons Licence

Let me paint a picture for you. We're in the English suburbs, ah...lovely already. We're standing on a small stone bridge that's built over a canal. Alongside the canal is a lovely trail, stony enough to get a good grip under a running shoe but every now and then the trail would turn into grass. What loveliness for my knees! Now, as we're running along this canal, there are glorious British fields of green, oh look! A swan and her signets swimming gracefully on the water. Hello you wonderful yet terrifying birds! I love how you swim in a line! We continue further into the countryside, where the trees are lush and the fields are vast with farm animals. Oh wow, we've come across a cute farm with a large piggy. Hello, Mr.Piggy! How do you do?! Wow, it's so wonderful to be running along such a lovely, quiet, beautifully scenic route. Do you hear that? Nature. Birdies singing, a sheep baa-ing in the distance, your lovely black Labrador bounding around near the water. How peaceful.

Now let me paint another picture for you. It's dark. You're in Tokyo. But you need to run or you will remain flabby forever. You venture out of your apartment. It's safe here, no need to worry about running in the dark as a young woman. But yet, you come from a city, so you can't quite shake the feeling like someone will jump out and stab you to death. No, it's ok, Japan is safe. It's safe. Who is that man and why is he just stood there under the street light?! Oh, that's just the weird guy who walks around picking his belly button and laughing to himself occasionally. Seriously, what's his deal?

Wednesday, 11 June 2014

Blackpool Beach 10K - 13th May 2012 (10K #2)

On the 13th May 2012 I ran my second 10K. I had finished sweating my arse off and throwing myself around my living room while Shaun T yelled at me to "DIG DEEPER!", so I was in a bit of a slump with what to do next. I always said that I SHOULD start running again, but lazy ol' me didn't just go out and do it. One day while I was at my old cinema job, the branch manager comes up to me and says "Do you want to run a 10K for charity?" I hesitated. Why was I hesitating? I'd ran a 10K before and I was lighter and in way better shape!! I said "...you know what? Yes. I will." He said "Great! You're the first one to say yes." Oh boy, what if it was just me and my manager running this race?! Luckily, a lot of people slowly but surely began to sign up. Phew, awkward situation averted.

I began my second round of 10K training. I had kept my old chart that I wrote my times on from 2011, so I decided to do the same thing this time around. Woah...I couldn't believe how faster I was from the year before! 2.5 miles took me 32:12 in 2011, but 2012 me did it in 28:36!! Insanity training had definitely improved my performance, all that squatting and jumping and general agony had paid off. 

I'm in the front row wearing the awesome bright pink shoes
On the day the weather was beautiful, albeit a tad windy since the race is right next to the ocean. Ahh, smell in that sea air with a hint of used condoms and general filth that litters Blackpool Beach. I'm just kidding, it's not that bad. Well, I've seen some awful things along that beach but I couldn't smell it during the race. My work team all gathered around for a group picture before we started the race with our charity T-shirts on. 

 Look how happy we are! Soon not to be... The race was the largest race I've run to date, almost 1000 people of all ages and sizes turned up. The atmosphere was fantastic, loads of people had lined up along the side of the road to cheer on the racers. There were also people dressed up in some pretty awesome costumes too to keep a smile on your face as you're on your way around. The race itself was up and down a road that loops around just near the Big Dipper at Blackpool Pleasure Beach. I was lucky with my timing of my halfway point loop because I got to see people on the roller coaster experience the plunge - it must have been a wicked sight to see all those runners at the top!

Preston Chernobyl 10K - 14th August 2011 (My First 10K)

I wanted to use this blog as a record of everything weight loss related in my life. One of my biggest achievements during my weight loss journey was entering a 10K race when I began to take exercise seriously. Yup, I skipped the 5K and went straight for the 10. I wrote this post on my first weight loss blog but I wanted to move it here. Here is my account of the day:

Time of 1:11:20 (11:28 min/mi)
I feel happy (and sore) and want to scream from the rooftops that I completed my first ever 10k race!
There were about 200 contestants and let me tell you - these guys were not fucking around! I think I was one of the few who just looked like average every day people (and one of the few overweight people too). The rest were all part of running clubs, looked very much in shape and it was very intimidating. The track itself was rural which was nice, had good scenery to distract me. There were some challenging parts of it, including a few steep hills both up and down. When we started people went sprinting off and I felt very awkward just taking my time and jogging the first 2 miles. I was actually last for a lot of the race. The route was a loop, and there was a point where it crossed back on itself. Just past the 2 mile mark and heading up the rear I crossed with a guy who was in the lead heading BACK. He was so so fast it was crazy!
When I hit the 3 mile mark I felt like giving up - I felt a bit disheartened that I was in last and I just started to feel really sick and tired. But I quickly slapped myself metaphorically speaking - I didn’t want to give up on something I had been training 7 weeks for, I didn’t want admit defeat to my family who had come to support me and I didn’t want to come crawling onto the message board saying that I failed. So I took that little cup of water from the 3 mile water lady, I drank 10% of it and spilt 90% of it over myself and persisted through! I managed to come in
2nd to last with a time of 1:11:20 (on my watch, might be a bit different to the officials). On my way in a lot of the runners who had finished were applauding me and encouraging me to the finish line - which I thought was super awesome. I got my medal which I was over the moon about, I thought I might have got a t-shirt but wearing a medal just felt amazing!
I’m not too disheartened about the position I came in, because 90% of the contestants were serious runners and considering I did 5 miles during my training in 1 hour 9 minutes I’m proud of the time I did it in. Also, what really mattered to me was that I didn’t give up, even though I was seriously considering it, and I pushed through to finish what I had started. Now time to train for that half marathon! =D My Mum took a few pictures on her camera, but I took a picture of me with my medal. Happy times! 

Almost 3 years later and I'm still as proud as I was on the day that I completed this race. I look back and laugh at the fact that I was second to last, but then I recall the faces of all the finished contestants stopping to cheer me on. I remember I almost cried with happiness, I'm sure I had a huge grin plastered on my face as I sped up to cross the finish line. It was one of the proudest moments of my life. Most of the official people were clearing up, almost all of the people who were there to support were gone - but my family stuck around to show their support. They were all so happy of me and laughed at the fact that I was so far behind everyone! There was a woman there who kept saying "I didn't finish it" and being really hard on herself, I secretly felt elated that I wasn't in her position because I very well could have been.  I was on a runners high when I finished and jumped straight into half marathon training. It lasted about 3 weeks before I gave up. The weather was getting worse and I found it difficult to motivate myself to run the long distances on the roads (my usual scenic route was too muddy to run). I began Insanity training and lost 15 lbs with it, before returning to my love of running for a second 10K. 

At the time of finishing the race I was 177 lbs, I had lost 5 lbs in the 7 weeks I had been training. My diet wasn't perfect, it still is something I struggle with, but being in the 170's meant I was no longer obese. Click here to read about my second 10K, did I beat my time?

Tuesday, 27 May 2014

Weight Loss Update 28th May 2014 - I've been Weighing for 100 weeks!

Howdy ho!
I just wanted to write up a quick blog post on my progress. After last weeks post on my 2014 plan I thought it would be worth noting that IT'S WORKING! So far so good, I really feel like this plan has helped me ease back into weight loss in with a "no pressure" vibe. I'm 2 froggy stickers away from completing my first goal of working out 3 x a week for 3 weeks. Yesterday I did a strength training session, it was back, biceps, butt and (b)obliques. I was working up a real sweat, in my own bedroom! I really like that exercise is so free...you can do it anywhere. I think too many people associate working out with being cooped up in a gym, that you need some fancy pants gym membership to get into shape. I've joined 4 gyms in my life and I never felt I got my moneys worth from any of them. I was never pumped to run stationary on a treadmill, whereas I get excited at the thought of running along the canal near where I live. Nature man, you just can't beat it!

Said that and thought of this picture...

Anywhoot, seeing my weigh in this week has left me feeling thoroughly satisfied, like a deer eating fine ass leaves. I'm finally seeing my weight go down since January!!

Weight: 163.5 lbs
Lost: - 2 lbs (Total 36.5 lbs)

I've lost 2 lbs since my last weigh in!! And it's still hump day!! I could end up losing more by the end of the week, but I will be at my boyfriends from Friday and he unfortunately doesn't own a scale. I'm gonna go on a run tomorrow, a 2.5 miler and hopefully I don't die in the heat. Thankfully the humidity has yet to kick in, but I still might set my alarm to make sure I'm out of the house before midday. Yes, being jobless means I wake up late in the morning, cue groaning from all those who are employed.

I have 4.5 lbs to go until I reach mini goal #4 - being 159 lbs means I'll be at the weight I was when I was 17. Even though I was only 9 lbs into the overweight category, I always felt a lot bigger even at the young age of 17. Now I'm rooting for myself to be that weight! I think I'm gonna dig out my old charts and add a "Weight Loss Progress" page to the blog. I STUPIDLY deleted my records online thinking I didn't need them, but I really wish I'd kept them! I have an app on my iPod but it doesn't go back to when I first started to seriously lose weight. That'll be my project for the day, keep a look out to see if I stay true to my word!

Whoobly whoobly time warp!

So I did it! I managed to find an old ticker I used when I first started to lost weight. I've been weighing kinda consistently for 100 weeks!! Check out my new page to see my weights over the years!

Sunday, 25 May 2014

My Weight Loss Plan: 2014 Edition

I've used many methods to lose weight over the past 4 years. MANY methods. I've gone all out psychotic "MUST WORK OUT EVERY SINGLE DAY" to "meh, let's just take it easy and see how it goes." Both of these extremes simply do not work for me. I applaud those who are strict on themselves with exercise and eating and can get the job done quickly. Me...well, I'm a different story. I find myself crumbling under too much pressure, but on the contrary I LOVE making plans for myself. So I decided to combine my love of planning with a new attitude to easing my way into healthydom slowly. I present to you, my new weight loss plan for 2014!



Tah-dah! Look at all those stick men go. So what you're seeing here is a visual guide to how many times a week I want to work out. It's quite simple really,

Monday, 19 May 2014

Yoga Beginner Reviews: A Deep Release for the Hamstrings and Lower Back by David Procyshyn

Continuing on from my last video review I was still in need of some lower back release. So I tried this video.
Pros: 
  • Excellent instruction, never confused about what to do like I've experienced with other videos.
  • Interesting scenery to look at - look at those ducks go! 
  • Easy to do, very calming. 

Cons: 
  • A few more positions would have been welcomed. 
  • Dude gets a bit weird talking about bones and muscles during my chilled out lay there like a corpse time.

Yoga Beginner Reviews: Yoga for back pain relief by Yogea ArtFlow Yoga

Recently I've been feeling some lower back pain due to an old injury. If I don't exercise for an extended period of time or I weigh a bit too much this injury can flare up. So I decided to go for a Yoga video this week that will help with back pain. I still consider myself a beginner and this video was detailed as an "open level" so I decided to give it a try.

Pros: 
  • Definitely works for back pain, felt my back releasing tension during the class. 
  • Variety of positions made for an interesting lesson that didn't drag.
  • Production was good, nice camera angles and sound.

Cons: 
  • Not enough explanation on what should go where for a beginner like me. I find I really need to be told with foot/hand/leg/arm should be where since I struggle to mirror the instructor.
  • Moves a bit too fast for a beginner, I found myself just attaining a good position only for the lesson to move forward once I had. 

Dear Dominos Pizza

I originally wrote this on my Tumblr account, but I figured since it's pretty much a weight loss related rambling i.e. a struggle with junk food, I'd move it to this blog. 
Dear Dominos Pizza
I hate you. I hate that I crave you. I hate that it’s so easy to succumb to you when you’re just a few clicks of a mouse away. I hate that no matter how many times I order you, I always remember you to be tastier than you actually are. I ordered you today, Dominos pizza, and as I sat with my half of the pizza in front of me I knew that I was going to regret consuming you. As I raised a slice to my mouth, a large mass of topping slid onto the box. It formed itself into a strange indistinguishable mass that I scooped up to inspect. I was confused at what this congealed glob of cheese, sauce and “meat” was in my fingers. It certainly didn’t look, smell or feel like any of the ingredients I listed in the last sentence. The worse and most humiliating part of my inspection was the conclusion - that I shoved it into my mouth and ate it. 
You know what Dominos pizza? I think I’m done with you. In fact I KNOW I’m done with you. The stomach cramps that I experienced after my shameful consumption of you was my body screaming “have mercy!” I am going to listen to the pain and finally make a pledge to quit you. So there it is. I quit! I have ordered a sinful amount of pizza from you, Dominos, but I have the strength within me to walk away. I won’t say I’ll miss you, because that would be a lie. No, don’t you try and win me back with your coupons that make an extortionately priced pizza become a stupidly expensive pizza. 
Goodbye forever.
Love,
A girl who’s going to spend a long time on the toilet later.

Sunday, 18 May 2014

Hippo To Hot Got a Makeover! It's Totoro-tastic!

Well, as I mentioned in my previous post I went ahead and gave this here blog a makeover. I slimmed it down, combined my 2 columns into 1 to make the blog look less cluttered and installed an awesome background of a wonderful Totoro pattern. I freaking love Totoro!

I also went back and edited a few posts, edited my pages (looks very bare right now!) and I'm still in the process of tweaking this blog so I think it's a true representation of what my weight loss means to me. "About the Hippo" got a makeover too, it's got brand new pictures and looks a lot nicer. I also updated it with information about the last couple of years with pictures too, so please have a look!

First things first though, this is purely for me, but I just want to clear some things up. I find myself repeating various facts about my weight and it's bumming me out that I keep feeling the need to bring this stuff up. So I'm just going to say this to myself now for the very last time...

Yes, you regained 16 lbs in the last 2 years. You were doing very well with weight loss but moving to Japan completely screwed you over in relation to your healthy routine. It's time to accept that you gained that weight and not carry the burden each time you step on the scale. So consider this your restart moment. No more "oh...I used to be __ lbs" and no more feeling of self pity. The important part is that you're back and you're trying and you WILL reach your goal. You've redesigned the blog, you've got your new plan and you're going to kick some serious fat into oblivion. You are, at this moment, 165.5 lbs. It doesn't matter that you USED to be 149 lbs, what's important now is who you are today and what you're doing to achieve your goal. Consider this your final warning, missy!

Pardon my crazy ramblings to myself, but I felt I needed to get that out in the open. From here on out I will accept who I am, where I've been and appreciate the progress I make each day rather than carrying the past around with me to mock my present. Besides, I should be using my past to inspire my present, I reached 149 lbs...I did that! So if I can do it once I can surely do it again.

I lied...I'm back to Blogger from Tumblr for my Weight Loss Ramblings

So I've decided to stay with Blogger and the Hippo To Hot blog for my weight loss ramblings. I figured that Tumblr can be my "anything goes" blog where I post my pictures and the such and my weight loss confessions will remain here. Take me back, Blogger, I didn't mean it!

I like Tumblr, don't get me wrong. I think the Dashboard is infinitely better to view the posts of those you are following, all topped with an easy to use posting tool bar that makes posting a breeze. But, I really disliked the "like" feature for Tumblr...I felt it took away a sense of intimacy between my words and those who view them. There's nothing like the feeling I get when I get a notification saying someone has taken the time to write a few words on a blog post I've wrote. But Tumblr really discourages that...I found that even the most popular blogs had barely any comments!

I came back to Blogger for my weight loss rantings because I really do believe in the power of support. Giving and receiving words of encouragement, advice and sometimes a slap around the face is what keeps me going! I will probably take some time to give this page a bit of a makeover, as another thing I preferred over at Tumblr was how easy it was to create a cute layout.

My weight today is: 165.5 lbs.

It's really difficult to know how to comment on that, because a part of me wants to say HOLY FUCK YOU'RE STILL IN THE 160's?! GET THE HELL OUT OF THERE ALREADY! Simply because I reached an all time low of 149 lbs a couple of years ago. BUT I really need to treat my weigh-ins from now on in relation to a smaller time frame. In that case, I'm down from my 166.6 lbs weigh in last month, huzzah! A 1.1 lb drop. Slow progress, but still it's something.

I'll be back Blogger, back when my boyfriend is not snoring next to me since he's working tomorrow and I'm going to give you a makeover! Peace out.

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