Tuesday, 4 November 2014

October Weight Loss Review: 1 day on, 1 day off strategy

It's been a while since I've posted, sometimes it's hard to know what to talk about! I've been meaning to make a Youtube channel and start vlogging about my weight loss experiences. Watch this space, I want to make one by the end of the week! It's kinda of intimidating looking into a camera and talking to yourself, but I thought it could be a fun way to stay accountable.

http://theoatmeal.com - funny and insightful comics
So in October I didn't manage to lose any weight from the previous month, but I feel like I've really got into a good routine and now it's November I'm starting to see some results. I've adopted a new work out strategy of working out one day and having one day off. If I am super busy on a workout day, I don't give myself 2 workout days in a row, I merely brush it off and start again. This "no pressure" style of exercise has really been helping. So far the only extra day off I've had is because I was travelling to Edinburgh - but I ended up walking 4 miles so it was sort of a workout in itself! I've started up 8K training (not my usual 10K!) and I'm doing T25 on the days that it's too miserable to run outside. A real runner would brave the elements, but I guess I'm not a real runner ;). Like theoatmeal says "[Run] Unless it's cold out, then fuck that shit. What am I? A Polar bear? It's hot chocolate time, motherfucker." I still need to buy his book about running, I like that he basically runs marathons so he can gorge of junk food without feeling guilty.



Although it's only the first week of November I've seen 165 lbs on the scale and it's heading in the direction day by day. I've turned on zombie chases during my short runs and it's really been helping me improve my running times. I've done 3 2 mile runs and each time I've been getting faster. I love seeing that improvement. I also need to get back into taking progress pictures. I used to take them every multiple of 5, so now I'm back at 165 lbs I should restart the picture taking again. It was always a great tool to see myself transform, it'd be stupid not to!

Saturday, 6 September 2014

Achieving a Goal: Learning a Dance

So I have an Impossible List, a list of goals I want to achieve. It's kind of like a bucket list, but the idea is to continually add to it and never fully complete it. On that list is "learn a cool dance routine." Since I have a lot of spare time on my hands now, I decided to begin this challenge. I didn't want to learn a routine that was too hard, you know the type with all the popping and locking and how-the-hell-do-people-move-like-that moves. So I decided to go with a routine that I thought was awesome the first time I saw it. It's by the Korean girl group Girls' Generation and the song is Genie. I was introduced to the Japanese version of this song by a friend who...let's say "admired" the dance moves in the video. When I saw it too I couldn't help but agree with him, it's sexy without being slutty and I fell in love with the catchiness of the song.

I salute those lovely legs, ladies.
I began my journey by obtaining the video, playing it at a 50% decreased speed and also editing the image so that it was mirrored. So far I've spent 3 sessions on learning this dance and I have the basic moves memorised. As for whether or not I look good doing it, well, I don't, let's put it that way! But I have an insane amount of fun doing it and I've started to add practicing to my workout routine. My hope is that I can one day put together a video that shows my progress as I learn to perfect it, kind of like the girl who learns to dance in a year.

For those interested in watching what I'm learning, you can see the video below!



I'm also starting Shaun T's Focus T25 to shift some of this weight. I've edited my Weight Loss Progress tab and edited the weights to show my weight loss over the months rather than the weeks. It's amazing how ON IT I was when I first started out. I know it's easier to lose weight the heavier you are, but dayum, I lost weight every single month. I need to be consistent again!


Saturday, 9 August 2014

Recovering from a Weight Loss Stall

It's been a while since I've updated this blog. A lot has changed in my life since I last sat down to write. The biggest thing being I've moved from living in Japan back to my parents house in England. The transition was difficult, something I'm still experiencing now. I flew back to England then 2 days later I was back on the road travelling to Spain with my family for 2 weeks. The holiday was not so great, I was insanely bored and not in the spirit of baking my skin in the sun constantly. I'm very much a shade dweller, my sister referred to me as a "vampire" because I hate sitting in the sun doing nothing. I would happily explore a city or climb a mountain in the sunshine, but say I have to remain stationary all day and I'll go bananas.

I've been back for real for about a week and it's been very hard to adjust to life back home again. To be a bit gushy, I miss my boyfriend who's staying in Japan longer to earn more money before we move to New York together. I keep thinking that I'll see him soon, that I'll jump on a train and end up at his station where he'll meet me past the ticket barriers and take me out for dinner. I have to wait until December until I see him again, but I have to thank the glory that is the internet since I am able to Skype with him daily.

During my remaining time in Japan my weight was around 164 lbs and just before I went to Spain I had gone up to 166 lbs. Since returning from Spain I've gained another pound putting my weight at 167 lbs. So...any progress I did make in Japan has been erased with my bad eating habits. For I do declare that I am a terminal grazer. I find myself constantly wanting to eat, rather than needing to eat. I need to gain the mental strength to be able to identify when I am hungry and when I am craving food. I easily give in to my cravings and being at home with a fully stocked kitchen this could cause a lot of problems for me. I am slowly creeping my way back into the 170's, somewhere I really don't want to be, it's bad enough I'm back in the 160's.

So here I am to admit that I have been slacking and that I need to do something because not only am I desperate to reach my goal weight but...

...I'm getting married.

It's not going to be a big affair because we can't afford it, but I want to be at a healthy weight by the time I say "I do". I probably won't be at my goal weight by then, but I really want to be healthy, which is anything below 150 lbs. Time to start sorting myself out and realising that weight loss is a lifestyle change not just something I can switch on and off and still expect to see results. So for now here are my goals:
  • Stay within my 1400 calories a day range. 
  • Exercise 4 times a week for 4 weeks.
  • Start saying no to junk food and opting for healthier options. 
That's it! It's not impossible, I can do this.

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. 

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