Monday, 30 January 2012

Depression - exercise natural anti depressant

Well it certainly made interesting reading last night by debating if you would still go to the gym/exercise if you could stay the ideal weight without it & also eat what you like. I came to the conclusion that my twitter friends are a lot healthier than my Facebook friends.

Anyway I've been thinking about this topic a lot as Mitul (my good friend in Dubai) is convinced I would not go to the gym if I could eat what I wanted & stay slim! I'm 100% certain I would as exercise gives me so much more than staying slim.

Let me tell you a little more about me & hopefully from this you'll understand why the exercise is so important to me. All through my 30's I suffered being over weight (heaviest I was 13 11 & for a shorty like me I'm only 5 1 that is obese) I swapped my job on the road selling advertising for recruitment & found myself office based & not being very active. I used to accept offers from friends to go out drinking so would squeeze myself into clothes that would hide my bulky frame & paint a smile on face & pretend I was happy. Deep down I was so upset & would come home spend time crying about my weight & eating take aways, chocolate, cakes, crisps etc then on a Monday another diet would start only to end about 10 days or so later. I felt worthless has very little self respect & just generally negative about everything. The weight really got me down & I sank into depression. I decided on advice from a friend to see a counsellor so in 2006 I began to go once a week to talk through things with a lovely lady called Bernadette. We talked through lots of things & there were tears, laughter, thought provoking conversations. These sessions went on for approximately 18 months & it helped me gain the confidence to go for a new job which I'm pleased to say I got. In 2008 I lost the weight, see an earlier post for this story on how I did it.

Anyway after losing weight & then finding a love of exercise I no longer suffer from depression, I look at the cup half full rather than half empty & feel mentally strong. You see exercise makes me feel I can conquer anything. I feel in control of my life & am very happy. I am so happy that I found exercise I enjoy as not only do I look and feel better than I did in my 30's I no longer suffer from swollen joints, my back ache, what back ache? I look at food as fuel & eat lovely home cooked meals that I cook & freeze at weekends. Yes I still have a sweet tooth but I can control this now by allowing a couple of treats once a week.

So in answer to the debate I posted would you exercise if you could stay slim & eat what you want then it's a massive yes from me!

Yes I know there are others things you would love me to do like dating etc hon but I'm happy in my own skin being who I am & making my own decisions. Maybe this is a post for another time as I am sure it's something Mitul & me will debate at some point soon.

Thanks for reading guys. X

Sunday, 29 January 2012

Another week closer to the run!

Where is time going? How come the week goes so fast!

I was supposed to run on Monday but made the decision on Sunday not to go. Why? Well it was down to the fact I still felt exhausted from the exercise I had done last week & didn't feel I had the energy to do anything. I'm actually quite proud of myself for making that decision as think I'm finally learning to listen to my body & take rest when needed. I had my usual pt sessions on Tuesday & Friday & in Tuesday at the end of the session Kim got me on the treadmill to do 5x 30 second sprints at 12 normally when we have tried these before at no more than a speed of 11 I've felt like I want to die! Not this time I felt ok. Wednesday's run was good I did another 4k & it was a mix of walk/run but did some of this at 10 so completed in 30 mins knocking 4 mins of previous time. I've done a couple of pump classes this week to but had a rest from combat which was hard but needed.

Those of you that know me well & those of you getting to know more from reading this & following me on twitter/Facebook know I love exercise & what a big part of my life it is. I had a debate with a very good friend of mine who lives in Dubai who's convinced that I wouldn't spend so much time doing this if I could eat what I wanted without putting weight on. Sorry Mitul as much as I love you hon you are wrong on this I love exercise & experiencing new ways to get fit. I never thought I'd say it when I half heartedly used to exercise when I was big I really didn't enjoy it & saw it as a chore. I now see it as a drug that gets me high. Would I eat what I wanted if I didn't put weight on? I'd like to think my days of bingeing are behind me & that I'm more in control of emotions these days so hopefully I wouldn't. I also enjoy cooking now & eating healthy food & training is so much better when you fuel your body with healthy food to. No more swollen ankles bloating etc. I'm sure it's sugar & salt that cause these & I can eliminate them by preparing my own food. That said I am human & enjoy my treat day when I allow a couple of treats..

I went to see mum yesterday & my journey there is always spent wondering how she will be & if she will know me. Yesterday was a good day, she wss pleased to see me & we sat on her bed holding hands & I let her know all my news & what I'd been doing. Mum doesn't really talk much sense but I listen to her & assure her she is ok. I also found out that the home are doing a party for her birthday in April as she is 80 so they have banners already. Mum will like that as I'm sure therell be a sing song to which I hear she enjoys still.

So tomorrows the start of a new week & I'm off for a run/walk before work.

Here's to a great week for you all & thank you for reading & showing an interest in my blog. X

Sunday, 22 January 2012

Running & fitness progress

Well I intended to post Thursday but then slipped over on the way home from work so lay on the sofa resting up after it! Thankfully it was dark & I was outside the flats when it happened so not many people saw me & managed to scramble up with the help of a kind young man at the bus stop whilst another ran after my brolley for me.

Anyway back to the progress it's been over a week since I've posted & I've 2 weeks running to tell you about. Monday before last headed off & climbed on the treadmill feeling terrible. I struggled to do 3k with walk 1 min run 3 & to be honest didn't really enjoy it. The Wednesday however went much better and this was down to taking headphones & tuning into clubland tv! It was an old school mash up & took me back to my clubbing days with Caroline & Jo at Shelleys in Stoke! I managed to run 7 minutes & walk 1 & did this 3x. Then on Friday I went even better than that by running a whole 3k without stopping again clubland tv helped me with a mix of old tunes & new & just sheer determination. This week I struggled again on Monday & I've come to the conclusion that it's down to not sleeping too well on the Sunday night! Hopefully tonight I'll sleep better & as I've reluctantly had a rest day today I'll run better in the morning. I also struggled with my run Wed this week to just tired with all the classes, running & pt & just about shuffled a 3k. PT Friday Kim worked with me on large muscle groups with weights then onto some hiit in a body weight circuit. We finished with a series of sprints on the treadmill & whilst they were only 30 second sprints x 5 i did this at a speed of 12 & didn't feel like I was going to die which I have previously felt when trying to sprint.

I also did the double whammy of pump & combat on Friday & Saturday & wanted to go today but as I'm in so much pain I reluctantly took a rest day! I k ow its needed but I miss my daily fix as its like a drug to me.

I'm feeling tired & aching today & wanting to go & sleep but if I do that I'll not sleep tonight so sat on the sofa in pj's watching more 4 which is nice as I dont get to chill much.

I hope it's been a good week from you all & you've had fun. The next blog I write will contain more information re my feelings & thoughts on exercise & fitness & would like to know your thoughts on why I've become addicted! X

Thursday, 12 January 2012

Do you really know me & why I'm doing the run? - this is a long one, sorry!

Ok not written anything since Sunday so this may be longer than usual.

I wanted to start this with a bit more about me & why I'm doing the run. Stick with me I'll fry not to bore you too much!

I've struggled with my weight over the years (apart from when I was in my 20's when I was out clubbing every fri/sat & non stop dancing!) as the years crept on I gained & lost weight on various diets probably the most successful being rosemary Conley one when I got to 9 10. Then I got a job in the city centre & I was office bound so sat on my ever expanding behind eating chocolate, drinks & meals after work & very little if non at all on the exercise front. Anyway as a very good friend will agree I think I lost & gained the same 6lbs a number of times a year every time I'd say this is it I'm losing weight blah blah blah never happened & I became more & more unhappy coming home from work with 6+ bars of chocolate & numerous bags of crisps & that was probably desert after fish & chips! No wonder at my heaviest I got to 13 11 clinically obese for my 5 1 frame! Big boned? Medications? (I have under active thyroid & crohns & blamed both of these for my size). Anyway after a particular bad binge I thought I have to do something I have to lose weight I'm wasting my life being so unhappy! You still with me? I'll get to the running I promise!

Ok you're all going to shout at me now I called lighter life got a dr note & went off to a meeting that very night. There I sat with 11 other women all miserable about our weight & all determined we would do something. Armed with my shakes I went to work the next day informing everyone yes I was on another diet (I swear I saw eyes role like oh here we go again) all I asked was my colleagues support me in however long this next diet lasted! Well I lost 8lbs that 1st weight in & although it was tough I thought I can do this. I didn't like the soups & the only shake I liked was chocolate so for 12 weeks I lived on chocolate shakes with he odd bar that I had in the evening. I understand there is porridge & chilli now! I lost 3 stone & went into management where I re introduced food slowly. All the way through this diet there was counselling & this helped me understand why I over ate so helpful for me.

From this I felt great I was still a little heavy for my height 9 11 I think? But feeling confident for once in my life I started to believe in myself & feel proud as I had actually achieved something because I'd stuck at it. I put a little back on so went to ww & it came off again & got to balance my weight & stay a steady 9 7 - 10 stone.

The years after this Mum was diagnosed with Alzhimers I'd noticed her behaviour had changed & she was getting very forgetful with things. The dr was brilliant & we were sent to the memory clinic & put straight on medication. This delayed the symptoms & we managed with me cooking mums meals for the week & leaving instructions of what she should eat each meal, each day & she would tick off so I knew shed done this. Obviously I was very upset with mums condition as everyone is when a family member/friend is ill & I became paranoid I would get it & stated looking for ways to keep busy. Hope youre all still following & I haven't bored you too much but I feel it's important you get to know who I really am.

So around 2&1/2 years ago I started going to the gym a bit more not working too hard though goodness I didn't want to sweat! That is until I stumbled into a spin class by default & bang something hit me like a sledge hammer I was hooked. My legs ached like mad but my head was buzzing & I had to go back. I became a regular & built up to around 5 classes + the odd body pump class to. Diet wise I still had the odd binge mainly when I saw mum getting worse & not being able to do something else.

As mums condition deteriorated we got in carers to get her up & giver her medication & meals on wheels so at least she had a hot meal every day. This went on for around 12 months till mum quite clearly couldn't cope & she wss sectioned back in October 2010. This was very hard for me to deal with but it was needed we just couldn't manage any more. After a 2 month assessment mum was told she couldn't go home so I found a nursing home. Mum went into the nursing home on 23rd December 2010 & when I drove away from there on Christmas eve I felt relief wash over me as mum was now safe & getting the 24hour care she needed.

Bring on 2011 & I decided to take my fitness further & get myself a personal trainer. Bring on Kim Turner a professional ladies footballer. The 1st few sessions were tough, maybe I wasn't as fit as I thought I was? Oh well I'd have a go at everything she asked & over the months I felt my fitness & confidence getting better & better. I then started to do combat & pump on a regular basis becoming obsessed with exercise! Deep down I wanted to run but it did feel like had work so I always put this off.

In June this year I also changed my diet having seen 2 very good friends lose weight & feel great so bring on Tim Ferris the 4 hour body. It's all about protein & 1 cheat day a week. I loved it the minute I started it just meant a little more preparation & thought about meals which was fine I like routine & order so suited me. I also found eating this way with loads of spinach, beans, eggs, turkey, fish etc my training was better no more cramps or stitches, food digested well & my hair & skin improved to. I think initially I took treat day to extreme setting my alarm for 0630 so I could get up & eat as much as possible! Anyway I think I finally have a balance now tend to have a treat meal with a bar of chocolate or a desert & that's fine I think I finally have control now.

So why run? Finally I'm getting there. Well I want to raise money for Alzhimers & a run seems the best way to be able to do this. So after a few drinks with friends & a friend saying she had signed up I announced I'll do that to. Oh dear the next morning I wasn't quite as keen but I'd said I would so there & then I signed up. So with the deed done I had to take the bull by the horns & start my next journey!

So this is me & this is why I am going to become a runner & I am going to make my mum proud & I'm running this for my mum because I love her so much. Alzhimers is a cruel illness my mum is still alive & happy in her own little world but I've lost the person she was & I miss her so much.

I've gone on for long enough tonight so my progress for the week will have to wait for my next post which will probably be on Saturday/Sunday when I have time to sit down & put together the next installment.

I hope I haven't bored you with this lengthy post but it's important you know who I am & why I'm doing this.

Thank you for taking the time to read this post. X

Sunday, 8 January 2012

Catch up on progress

Well the last time I did running was Wednesday. This is nor because I have been lazy though. I had Thursday as a rest day & Friday before work I had a PT session. Kim who trains me is amazing, I've been training with her for the last year & I've seen my fitness & figure change for the better to. We did weights & so went to work feeling strong & powerful. After works I ent back to the gym for a combat class with Neil. He is a fabulous instructor works us hard but every class is great fun.

This weekend I did the double whammy of pump & combat on both Saturday & Sunday so I now feel exhausted! I think I may have to look at my classes & drop some with running to. I don't have a rest day till Thursday now & I think I'm going to struggle in the morning with my run. I doubt I'll attend my combat class tomorrow night as I think that may be a bit over kill doing it 4 days on the run, what do you think?

I'm going to look at posting some of my recipes as when I send photos people always ask me how I make them. I'm quite boring in terms of my recipe choices I tend to make the same things time after time. I do love spicy food though & most of my food contains chilli! I eat a high protein diet with lots of fish, turkey & beans. My favourite beans are butter beans and as with chilli you will find these appear in most recipes!

Anyway guys I'll sign off for now as cooking dinner, preparing lunch & getting the gym bag packed! That way I can sit down & relax for a few hours.

Hope you've all had a fabulous weekend. X

Monday, 2 January 2012

Run & spin today

Went to the gym & did my 2 min run, 1 min walk x 10. I ran at 8 & walked at 5.5. I know it's slow but went ok & I think I'm feeling more confident in my ability now. I moved on to do a few weights for my chest & triceps after this before doing a spin class. It felt good & as I'm back on track with clean healthy food I came home & had salmon with roast tomato, spinach & home made dahl.

I also read a very interesting article in one of the fitness mags I bought about how ever hard you train if you don't eat the right foods as well you won't lose weight. How true this is I'm so aware of this fact & I also train better to when I eat well.

Hope you've all enjoyed the bank holiday & are looking forward to getting back to some sort of normality tomorrow. X

Sunday, 1 January 2012

Happy new year, here's to a healthy one for us all

2012 is here & looking forward to another year of improving my health with clean food & exercise. My new year resolutions are to learn to run & no alcohol in January. What are yours? I'm going to stick these on a post it note on the bathroom mirror to keep focused on the them.

I've had a couple of days rest from exercise so tomorrow I am looking forward to another run. On the advice of a friend I am going to take the speed down even more so that I can build up the time. I think I will stick with the 2 minute walk, 1 minute run doing this x 10 & I also have a spin class to.

I'll report back tomorrow & let you know how I do. X