Boot camp? Really???

For the last two Sundays, two of the hottest days that Britain has ever seen (this may be a slight exaggeration…) I have spent the morning sweating ungracefully at a boot camp. Yes, that’s a BOOT CAMP.

We have managed to wangle some regular Sunday morning babysitting, and the lovely husband suggested I join him at his weekly boot camp.  I have seen the state he’s in after his Sunday morning beatings, and it’s not pretty. But I said yes anyway, because I’m not a wuss. (I am a wuss. But don’t tell anyone.)

I am  not a boot camp kind of girl.

I don’t like being shouted at. I don’t enjoy competition (unless I am really, really, really good at something, like Guitar Hero, or poker.) I hate burpees. Don’t know what a burpee is? Have a look at this video. It’s the most evil exercise of all. And even worse if you’re carrying a little weight. Ahem. At boot camp, they are very fond of burpees. They make us do the ‘expert’ version with the jump:

So, the first week, me, the lovely husband, and his little brother rocked up for our beating.  Me and the little brother were bloody terrified.  We stood around nervously chatting for a bit, and I had that horrible nervous-in-the-pit-of-your-stomach feeling that you get before an exam.  The trainer leading the session bounced up with a freakish and worrying amount of energy, and explained the warm up. Basically, a four mile run, in scorching heat. We all plodded off, muttering miserably, and I set up camp at the back of the pack.

I won’t lie, it was hard. Normally, a four mile run wouldn’t bother me, but I was comparing myself to all the other people in the class, and realizing just how much work I need to do to get up to a really decent level of fitness.  And I was sweating like crazy.

It was an out and back route, and once the fastest runner got to the furthest point, we all turned back, so as to keep the group together.   I made it back in fourth place because I never stopped running, when at least half the class wilted in the sun and ended up walking. Suddenly, I wasn’t feeling too bad at all.

The rest of the first class involved hill sprints and burpees and squats. In the midday sun. Evil, evil, evil. And yes, I was the slowest in the class, but I gritted my teeth and kept going when others melted and gave up once again. I ended up knackered, but feeling like I’d achieved something.

So, this week, I went back for more.

Today, we did a hilly running circuit of 1/2 mile, followed by a series of burpees. Followed by another lap of 1/2 mile. Then more burpees. Repeat ad nauseum, quite literally.

I managed 7 laps. I am still the slowest runner in the class, but completed an average number of laps, because I kept going, at my own pace, didn’t walk once, didn’t stop ever.  At the end, the instructor said that I was “amazing,”  “a warrior” and “an inspiration.” I was chuffed to bits.

Do you know what? I am a warrior. A sweaty, bloody minded, girly warrior, carrying a little baby weight, bringing up the rear of the class, and not letting it stop me.

Maybe I am a boot camp kind of girl after all.

Lazy blogger’s fitness update!

Right, I know I’ve been rubbish at updating my blog lately, so here’s a quick update on the diet/fitness/weight loss situation.

I am now 22lbs down from my January 1st weight, with 12lbs more to shift to get to my pre-baby weight! (Then another stone or two or three… we’ll cross that bridge when we come to it…)

I started doing Weightwatchers online about four weeks ago as I was plateauing and wanted to try something new, and it seems to be working! Hurrah!!! I’m finding it easy to follow, and I’m also feeling motivated to keep going, which is great. I like the flexibility of the new pro points system, and I do tend to use up all my treat points! Nom nom nom.

And the fitness? In a way, it’s going great. I’m well into my spinning and body pump at the moment and I feel much much better. But I did set out to do running… and it’s not happening. I missed the half marathon last week, because I had a nasty cold and couldn’t really breathe, but to be honest I was woefully undertrained anyway. Ah well. I blame winter. But huge congratulations to my husband who did make it round, I am very proud of him indeed! He is amazing, and has a lovely shiny medal!

So, what I’ve learned in the last month or so, is that staying realistic is a good thing. It’s not a good time for me to be taking on huge challenges, so I’ll do the small things well instead. At first, I was gutted that I couldn’t do the half marathon- but I didn’t realistically have time to train for it, due to illness and general life and busyness. But I have kept up the exercise and stuck to my diet. I have lost weight steadily, and and I feel happier in my own skin. So that’s a huge success! Bring on the next few weeks of sensibleness, reasonableness and gentle moderation! How very British.

And the result for January is…

Woo-hoo, I’ve lost 13lb in January!!! You can read all the other Fitness Friday entries at the Monkeying Around blog.

Name: Laura
Blog: Cake and Tea Blog
Twitter: @cakeandtealover
Starting Weight: Loads. That’s all I’m saying.
Target Weight: Lots less!
Amount Lost: 2lb this week. That’s a total of 13lb overall.
Amount to Lose: Now 1st 7lb to get to pre baby weight! Then somewhere in the region of 2.5 stone to get my BMI down to where it should be. It sounds better split in two!
Dress Size: 18
Target Dress Size: 12/14
Why I want to lose weight: Lots of reasons…. I have a wardrobe full of nice summer clothes that I would love to be able to wear this year. I worked so hard to lose weight before I got pregnant, and I am annoyed at myself for gaining again. And I didn’t reach my final goal last time, so I have unfinished business! I want to prove to myself i can do it. I want my fitness back. And I want to look amazing!
Changes To My Fitness Plan: More running. I really need to be doing some longer distances to get round this half marathon alive. I have started with two 10k runs this week, and will build up my distances over the next month… hopefully!
How I Feel This Week Went:

I’m a bit out of synch with Fitness Friday because I do weekend weigh ins. But today I am covering the last two weigh ins, which brings me back up to date.

Weigh in 1- I put on 1lb! I was gutted! I’d worked my arse off in the gym, and looking back at my Livestrong.com entries, there wasn’t much wrong with my diet either. If I had to put the gain down to something, then it could be any of the following-

– Not drinking enough water

– Starting on the mini pill, which sent my body a bit nuts

– Stress and sleeplessness (Cub is feeling much better but still not sleeping well!)

– Still having cold. That does weird things to my body too!

Nonetheless, for whatever reason the result wasn’t great. But what I have learnt is that sometimes you can do everything right and not get the result you want. At those times, you need to take an honest look at what you have done that week, and see if you can do anything differently. And if you really, honestly, truly think there was nothing wrong, then you need to accept that sometimes the scales are bastards, take it with a pinch of salt, and keep going- losing weight is a mental battle as much as it is a physical one, and keeping the motivation going is everything.

So, I had a sulk, dusted myself off, and kept going.  Right up until…

Weigh in 2 – I lost 3lb! Yay! Now, the second week was, on paper, far worse than the first. It included an immense all you can eat Pizza Hut buffet, where I managed to eat 7 slices (I still see “all you can eat” as a competitive sport…) I only managed to exercise 3 times too, which is less than the week before, but somehow, I lost weight this week. Gods of the Scales, I will never understand your freaky little ways.

This left me a total of 13lb down for January! I am so happy with this result, but unfortunately it wasn’t quite enough. My husband lost 14lb and has won the January weight loss challenge! Well done to him for an amazing result! You can read about his week here.

(Can I just point out that I had a bigger % weight loss though?)

Tips I Would Like To Share:

– Scales are evil. Sometimes you do everything right, and they give you a number you don’t like. Prepare for that to happen, and stay focussed when it does. Don’t let it set you back.

– Setting small goals works best for me- setting a weight loss goal for a month is always good, or setting yourself a goal of losing the next half a stone is another good one. Small steps all add up to a big success!

Fitness Friday: Week 3

Time to reveal the result of my first weigh in of the new year (drum roll)….. 8lbs loss! Yay!!! It’s being a tough week with a sick child and not much sleep, but I haven’t fallen off the wagon. I am giving myself a big pat on the back for that!

Name: Laura
Blog: Cake and Tea Blog
Twitter: @cakeandtealover
Starting Weight: Loads. That’s all I’m saying.
Target Weight: Lots less!
Amount Lost: 8lb this week!!! Hurrah! That’s the first weigh in, so a total of 8lb overall.
Amount to Lose: Now 1st 12lb to get to pre baby weight! That sounds do-able. Then somewhere in the region of 2.5 stone to get my BMI down to where it should be. It sounds better split in two!
Dress Size: 18
Target Dress Size: 12/14
Why I want to lose weight: Lots of reasons…. I have a wardrobe full of nice summer clothes that I would love to be able to wear this year. I worked so hard to lose weight before I got pregnant, and I am annoyed at myself for gaining again. And I didn’t reach my final goal last time, so I have unfinished business! I want to prove to myself i can do it. I want my fitness back. And I want to look amazing!
Changes To My Fitness Plan: None this week, still trundling on with 4 sessions a week of running, spinning, body pump and kettlebells, in whatever combination suits.
How I Feel This Week Went: Another tough week. The cub has had the bug of doom. Stress levels have been high, sleep levels have been low. Nonetheless, I have stuck to the healthy eating and exercised. I definitely feel fitter already, and spinning is feeling much easier, which is a good sign. The downside is that my thighs are aching so badly I have to limp down stairs, and I make weird moaning noises when I sit down!

I have roughly been doing Weightwatchers, but I think I need to be stricter about writing things down, so that bad habits don’t creep in. Also, I need to start making my own lunches, because I am at the mercy of whatever they decide to serve in the staff canteen at the moment! Sometimes that’s fine, sometimes the food is either gross, or fried. It’s all very school dinners!

I am chuffed to bits at losing 8lbs, and I’m still feeling really motivated. I don’t expect to lose much at all next week because of the big loss this week, so I will just aim for a 1lb loss.

Tips I Would Like To Share:

-Weigh stuff. Maybe not everything you eat, all the time, but make sure you know what a portion of rice, breakfast cereal or pasta looks like. I am crap at portion control, and I usually pour three or four times the suggested 30g serving of cereal if I’m left to my own devices! If I want a bigger serving, that’s fine, but at least I’m not kidding myself that it’s 100 calories if I’ve weighed it!

-Avoid diet foods. Most things labelled low fat are either full of sugar, or come with extra fresh air. Either way, you’ll be starving after half an hour!

You can read all the other Fitness Friday posts at the Monkeying Around blog.

Fitness Friday: Week 2

Here’s my entry for week 2 of Fitness Friday- you can read all the other entries at Adele’s Monkeying Around blog.

Name: Laura
Blog: Cake and Tea Blog
Twitter: @cakeandtealover
Starting Weight: Loads. That’s all I’m saying.
Target Weight: Lots less!
Amount Lost: I weigh in on Sundays- the first is this week so I’ll update a week behind. But after a quick mid week peek at the scales, I’m hoping for a good result!!
Amount to Lose: First of all, 2 stone 6lb to get to pre baby weight, then about the same again. It sounds better split in two!
Dress Size: 18
Target Dress Size: 12/14
Why I want to lose weight: Lots of reasons…. I have a wardrobe full of nice summer clothes that I would love to be able to wear this year. I worked so hard to lose weight before I got pregnant, and I am annoyed at myself for gaining again. And I didn’t reach my final goal last time, so I have unfinished business! I want to prove to myself i can do it. I want my fitness back. And I want to look amazing!
Changes To My Fitness Plan: I think I should aim for 4 exercise sessions a week instead of 5. I don’t want to feel like a failure for exercising 4 times!  And I need to be a bit more focussed with the running, that half marathon won’t run itself.
How I Feel This Week Went: I am very proud of myself! It was my first week back at work this week after maternity leave, and the Cub’s first week at nursery. Considering I’ve been in tears quite a lot at the idea of these huge changes, and we have had some truly dreadful sleepless nights, I have eaten well and managed to exercise. Normally I would have had my face in a bucket of ice cream! I feel really positive and motivated. Looking forward to posting my Sunday weigh in result next week!

Tips I Would Like To Share:

-Tell lots of people what you’re doing, so you know you’ll feel like a right loser if they catch you with a plate full of chips.

-Keep a food diary. If you are forced to admit to eating leftover fishfingers, you’re more likely to avoid them! It helps you to see what your trigger points are too (stress, boredom, etc)

-Have sugar free jelly in the fridge, and something like Options hot chocolate in the cupboard. they are great low calorie quick fixes if you need something sweet.

-Find someone to have a proper gamble with on who will lose the most weight- I have a bet on with my husband on who will lose the most in January, and the loser has to buy the winner a lovely present! Now I just need to decide what I’ll ask for… any suggestions???

Weight loss pics! Before and after

I thought I’d post some pictures here, to give myself a big kick up the bum. Between 2007 and 2009, I lost 7 stone, and was 2 stone (ish) off my goal weight when I got pregnant. The lovely Cub was born 9 months ago, and I am carrying an extra 2 stone of baby weight.

Here’s me at my biggest, dress size 26.

How did I feel about myself then? A bit shit, to be honest, I don’t think many people enjoy being overweight. It wasn’t something I dwelled on a lot, but I knew it wasn’t healthy and I knew something had to be done, I just never got round to it.

But one day, something clicked, I joined a gym, sorted out my diet, and 18 months later….

Here’s me at my smallest, dress size 14/16. I would love to be that size again!

As you can see, not at all what you’d call skinny, and I still had a fair bit of weight to lose, but the fact that I dare to wear a strapless dress speaks volumes. (I want that tan back too, does anyone want to take me on holiday??) I was confident, really happy with my level of fitness, and still losing weight in a really healthy way… right until I got knocked up. Damn you, husband, damn you! Of course I wouldn’t change that for the world but I do wish I had laid off the cakes while I was pregnant.

Now I’m a size 18, so closer to picture 2, but nowhere near as confident or as fit. I was going to post a picture of what I look like now, but I have no full length photos at all- just shows how camera shy I have been for the past few months!

I am totally focussed though, I know I can get back to where I was, and then carry on down to my ideal weight. Bring. It. On.

(PS, I must confess to nicking this idea from my husband- his before and after photos are on his website here . Check it out!)

Run, Fat Girl, Run!

Last night I went out for my first run is absolutely ages (not good when there are half marathons looming.) I was dreading it, I had been making excuses not to go for days. Excuses like “I haven’t charged my Ipod” “it’s cold” “I’m tired” “I’ve just eaten” blah blah blah.

At 9pm last night, it looked like I wasn’t going to do any exercise at all that day… then I read all the inspiring comments on twitter from #1babyelephant, #newyearnewbody, and lots of other lovely people. And I thought to myself, fuck it, stop being a loser, sort it out. Squishy sofas do not make firm buttocks. Oh no.

So, I dashed into the bedroom , quickly squeezed into my kit, and got out running. I didn’t give myself a chance to argue. Must have taken about 3 minutes from sofa to pavement.

Outside, it was snowing, that horrible slushy snow that sort of settles and sticks to your face, and it was freezing and windy too. The lycra running tights were stretched so tightly over my festively massive bottom that they gave no protection from the cold whatsoever, and within minutes I couldn’t feel my rump at all.

I went slowly, I whacked my iPod up high, and I just ambled along, with no particular destination in mind.  And you know what? I had an absolutely brilliant time. The cold was invigorating, my body moved freely, and breathing felt easy. At one point I even let out an involuntary “Whooooo!” to Pat Benatar. Thankfully, I don’t think anyone heard!

I ran for about 40 minutes, and stopped while I was still having a great run, way before I had a chance to get tired and miserable. I finished with a sprint and went home with a massive smile on my face. I can’t wait to do it again!