Here Goes…

I never thought I’d be saying this, but I’ve joined a gym!

When we lived in Dorset we were members of a David Lloyd health club – I thought this therefore made me healthy! I used to enjoy going there several times a week making good use of the children’s activity classes, the Costa, the Sunday carvery…

I did use the swimming pool too but as the children were very small, I spent most of my time keeping them afloat rather than exercising. I had a programme in the gym, but to be honest I think I genuinely did think I was being fit and active just by being a member!

My husband is fanatical about exercise and goes to the gym most days. I’m not, but if you follow me on Twitter or read my blog regularly, you will be aware that 2016 is the year I’m determined to get fitter, healthier and more active. Having lost (almost) 2 stone since the start of January, I am starting to see results a bit now and I’ve been walking and running on a regular basis. The trouble is, there are times when I have been motivated enough to do exercise (note how I didn’t say that I wanted to exercise!) but it’s simply been too cold or wet to make it viable. Add to that the weird allergy I have which has stumped doctors and ophthalmologists alike which cause my eyes to water uncontrollably from March through to September the moment I step outside giving me very unflattering eczema all around my eyes if I’m not careful, I know that my days of running outside are numbered, and having come this far I don’t want it all to go to pot!

So after thinking about it, we decided to upgrade my husband’s gym membership to a family membership as this will mean the children can swim for free too – they lost this right after they stopped their swimming lessons last year (a decision you can read about here).

This gym however is no David Lloyd – the closest one is 30 miles away unfortunately. This gym is just that – functional, good equipment but no Costa or Sunday carvery in sight!

I didn’t think I would ever find myself joining a gym, but although it’s more money, once we’ve factored in the children’s swimming now being free, I only actually have to go for 7 minutes a month to make it financially worthwhile – even I can manage that right?! Wish me luck!

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Getting There (The Dukan Way)… Month 2

I can’t believe that it’s already month 3 of the new, healthy eating, regularly exercising me! I wrote about my first few weeks here. I decided just before Christmas after stepping on the evil doctor’s scales (that’s the scales that were evil, not the doctor!) that enough was enough and that I was going to sort my weight once and for all.

Obviously the amount of weight I am losing is slowing down, but it is still happening. I’ve now lost 25lb in total, which is 14% of my body weight, and while I am very much of the opinion that the number on the scales is not the be all and end all, I now weigh 1lb less than I did on my wedding day 11 years ago (and pre children!) which is a very satisfying feeling!

The Dukan diet which I’ve been following is a high protein, low carb plan so lots of meat and veggies, but drinking water and regular exercise are also part of the deal so I’ve been having to be very disciplined as neither of these come naturally to me, especially the latter! I started off in January forcing myself to go out for a 30 minute walk every day and I managed to stick to it, but soon felt that I could probably push myself to a gentle jog. Very gradually I upped the exercise and am now running about 3 times a week, and this month saw me complete my first ever 10 mile run so I’m quite chuffed with myself on that front too!

This diet isn’t the best if you are eating out, as most food has at least some carby element but I survived a lovely Mother’s Day meal at Jamie’s Italian last weekend by completely indulging myself and just forgetting about it for a day – I had 3 courses and enjoyed every mouthful, because let’s face it, I wouldn’t be doing this now if it wasn’t for the fact that I like food! I was straight back to it the next day, but did I feel guilty? No I did not – life is for living! Next step – those size 10 jeans!

 

Getting There (The Dukan Way)…

I’ve never been someone who can eat what they like, and I’ve never been someone who is happy with what they see when they look in the mirror. I’ve had lots of success on various eating plans – I lost over 4 stone after I had my son, and have pretty much tried every plan out there in a bid to show the body I know I have underneath the rolls of fat!

I’ve also never been one to actually talk about it before – I’m quite happy to laugh at myself over the many hapless things I do, even turn my utter diet fails into a joke, but I’m far happier not speaking out about the actual process of losing weight.

Last year, we went on the best holiday of our lives – 2 weeks in Turkey. Amazing weather, precious family time, and unlimited food! Everything about it was perfect, except the way I felt about how I looked, and let’s face it, when you’re living in a swimsuit, there’s no easy way of hiding the bits you don’t like is there?! It didn’t stop me eating all the nice food. Not much stops me from eating nice food – I guess that’s why I am where I am!

When we got back, I did my best to curb my eating habits, and lost a little bit of weight but before I knew it, Christmas was upon us! Just before Christmas I had to go for a check at the docs, and when I stepped on the scales, that was the moment I decided I had to sort myself out – somehow, my weight on the doctor’s scales seemed so much worse than on the scales in my bathroom – it’s just a number then and I kept telling myself it’s not about the number, but how you feel. The trouble was I didn’t really feel good either!

On January 2nd this year, I started following the Dukan Diet – as a vegetarian for nearly 20 years it had never been an option for me before as it’s a high protein diet – pretty much meat and veg forever, but I’d had a couple of friends from different social circles who had been really successful doing this plan. I was completely determined to lose weight but was unsure about following an actual diet – I’ve always been a firm believer in eating a healthy, balanced diet, but clearly it wasn’t working for me, so I gave myself 3 months to see what happened.

I bought the book and wasn’t sure what to expect, other than that it was probably going to be very hard and require lots of willpower! If you’re not familiar with the diet, it basically comprises 100 foods that you can eat – mostly meat and vegetables, with some fat free dairy products thrown in for good measure. With the exception of a small amount of oat bran, the plan is carb free – something I’ve never tried before!

This post is not a complete journey – I’m only 6 weeks in but I am 20lbs down, so it’s definitely working! That’s obviously the biggest positive, and I lost a whopping 9lbs in the first week – I know some will criticise this, but anyone who wants to lose weight will understand the satisfaction that this brings, whether or not it is the ‘best’ way to do things! The 2 other aspects that I feel this plan does well are the compulsory requirement to drink a minimum amount of water each day and move a minimum amount each day. I’ve actually started running again and managed to accomplish 37 km last week. If you know me, you will wonder if it is actually me writing after a statement like that!

We went out for a family meal this week and for the first time ever, I was so stuffed I couldn’t eat all of my dinner, which I hope bodes well for me changing my eating habits as this has never happened before! Luckily I had three willing individuals to prevent any wastage!

It isn’t an ‘easy’ plan to follow, especially at first, but the results I’m seeing are enough to motivate me to keep going. I know it’s not all about the numbers on the scales, but for now, they are a good measure of my progress. In another 3lbs, I’ll be the same weight as I was when I got married nearly 11 years ago and pre children – that’s my next goal so watch this space…!

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Not a great difference yet, but I’m hoping there’s a bit!

 

Fitness Friday: Week 3

I can’t believe how good I’ve been on this diet! With any other diet I’ve done before I’ve just lived for my Friday or Saturday night treat, but I can honestly say I’ve not had a single ‘naughty’ thing to eat since I started my diet on New Year’s Day, and given that I’m vegetarian and that meat is about the only thing you can eat on it, this makes me even more proud!

I did my third weigh in this morning, have now lost 10lb in total, and people at work today started saying my tummy looked smaller which is always a bonus!

I’ve also managed to keep up the exercise. Although I have only been managing to get to the gym twice a week instead of the three times I was hoping for, I have at least been consistent, and got up to 3.7km on my 25 minute run yesterday. When I first started I was running for 1 minute then walking 1 1/2 minutes, but now I can run the majority of the time. I also now just feel unfit when I run as opposed to feeling like there was no doubt I would keel over any second.

I never realised that eating carbs had such an effect on the way you feel. Cutting them out was a horrendous experience and although the plan claimed you’d feel terrible for the first three days, it took my body this long to wade through the excess Quality Street in my system and it wasn’t until 11 days in that the yuckiness stopped. I felt rubbish for the first 11 days: tired, headache, out of breath. I considered stopping but being stubborn and having a fridge full of especially prepared food, I decided to give it one more week. Then one morning, I just woke up and felt fine. It’s only occured to me in the last week or so that I haven’t been waking up feeling tired, I’m no longer irritable and have so much more patience with the children, both at home and at work, I’ve been sleeping better, and most crucially, I’ve not had a single carb craving, and haven’t even felt jealous when I’ve seen hubby tucking into pizzas or ice cream (my favourite treat dinner)! I only feel hungry when I am hungry.

So all in all I’m feeling very proud of myself, the weight isn’t coming off as quickly as it has on some diets I have done, but the inches are, and I’ve never felt so energised on a diet before. I’m nearly halfway through the first part of the diet and then I will start introducing some carbs back in, I just hope I don’t start cheating once I get the taste for them!

Hop on over to the Monkeying Around blog and find out how everyone else is doing on the Fitness Friday quest, and well done to all those New Year’s Resolution dieters out there!

Fitness Friday

I’ve been on a blog holiday over Christmas. I just love how Christmas is a valid excuse for everything – ‘I’m having a lie in, because it’s Christmas’, ‘I’ve left the ironing, because it’s Christmas’, or ‘I can justify buying all this unnecessary stuff with my nonexistent money, because it’s Christmas!’ I’ve used all these, but I think like just about everyone else I’ve committed the 2 most obvious ones of all: ‘I can skip the gym in favour of sitting on my bum all day’ and ‘I can eat whatever I want with no discipline whatsoever!’

Consequently, I’ve started to wobble, even when I just breathe, and yesterday, I got out of breath running up 14 flights of stairs! I’m so unfit and blubbery it’s disgusting, so when I stumbled across the lovely Beckickle’s post encouraging as many of us who are starting healthkicks tomorrow to join in together with Fitness Friday, I decided to end my blogging holiday a day early too and join in.

Here’s how it works (or rather, here’s my understanding of how it works, you should check out Beckickle’s post or Monkeying Around for the official ‘how it works!’):

You copy this questionnaire into your own post and fill it in, then link it up to the Monkeying Around page. There is also a forum on Beckickle’s site which you can join.

So why am I joining up:

Name: Michelle (@itsamumsworld)
Blog: itsamumsworld.wordpress.com
Twitter: @itsamumsworld
Starting Weight: 11 stone 4lbs
Target Weight: 9 stone
Amount Lost: N/A
Amount to Lose: 2 stone 4lbs
Dress Size: 12/14
Target Dress Size: 10
My Favourite Baddies: Chocolate, ice cream, pizza, cheese
My Favourite Goodies: Fruit and veg, water
Foods I’m Cutting (Cold Turkey): Carbs and nice things
Foods I’m Adding: More veg and healthy stuff!
Why I want to lose weight:
After I had my son, I tipped the scales at over 14 stone. I was so disciplined and lost over 4 stone through Slimming World, but never managed to shed those last few pounds. I think it’s because I am veggie and relied on lots of carbs on this diet, so I’ve chosen a plan that a close friend of mine was very successful with, which cuts out carbs for 6 weeks, then reintroduces them slowly, so you don’t suddenly put on all the weight again. Apparently the first 3 days are hell until your body adjusts, but then it becomes easier and you have more energy and feel good in yourself. This is my first goal, the second is to be able to get my size 10 skinny jeans on again, and breathe in them when the button is done up!
My Fitness Plan:
I have gym membership, but stopped going a while ago because my headphones broke (yes, I know, I deserve to be overweight if I use that as an excuse!) but I’m going to start going back a couple of times a week when my kids can do the free classes. I’m also going to dust off my cross trainer and restore it to its original purpose of being an exercise machine not a coat stand. What I’d really like to do is run, but I’m going to start small and build up!
I’m doing Sunday Weigh In on Twitter using the hashtag #1BabyElephant and keeping up to speed with the #FitnessFriday hashtag and the natter on the BECKICKLESIE Forum.
Top Tips to Keep on Track with Fitness Friday:
Follow the #1BabyElephant and #FitnessFriday Twitter Hashtag/s. Follow the Monkeying Around Blog. Join the BECKICKLESIE Forum to ensure you’re up to date with Fitness Friday news. Add the Fitness Friday Badge to your blog for easy access to the link up, you can get the code and instructions from theBECKICKLESIE Forum. There’s also a Group on British Mummy Bloggers to join – check it out here.
Good luck, I wonder how many stones we can lose between us in the first week?!

A Weighty Issue!

I love food! Making it and eating it are both hobbies of mine, so it comes as no surprise that I am constantly watching my weight. I’ve been overweight since I started secondary school, but it wasn’t down to comfort eating from peer pressure. I did get bullied, but really it was  just kids being kids. It was horrible at the time, but lets face it, when you’re 11, ginger, brace-wearing, glasses-wearing, overweight and with the largest boobs in your class by a country mile, you’re not going to excape a rather large amount of ridicule are you?

So although my bad eating habits began at secondary school, it was more because I was able to by yummy doughnuts and pizza twice a day plus more if I wanted. My mum always gave me a healthy packed lunch, but I would supplement it freely without thinking about it. I never really did any exercise unlike most of my friends as all my extra curricular activities were musical, so I never burnt anything off. Consequently as I went through school the weight increased gradually so that by the time I went to University I was nearly 11 stone. At 5′ 5″ that was definitely more than I wanted to weigh.

University and all those happy hours meant that the weight went on even more. Most of my friends lost weight at Uni because they couldn’t be bothered to cook, I was the opposite so I ballooned to over 13 stone over the three years.

My first proper attempt at dieting was at the end of my Uni course, when I moved back in with my parents for the summer. My mum had been going to Slimming World and the idea of losing weight while eating unlimited pasta sounded good so I went along. It was a fab experience for me, supportive, nonjudgmental and most importantly, successful. Over the summer holidays I lost about 2 stone, taking me back to the weight I was when I started Uni.

However, I then began my teacher training with 5:30am get ups, 12 hour work days and then lesson plans, evaluations and marking to do when I got home. I found it almost impossible to maintain my student lifestyle with which I had become so accustomed! Consequently ‘Beer and Burger’ became a regular part of my routine and all my hard work was wasted as the weight piled back on again. I stayed with me until I finished my NQT year, when I got together with my now husband. It’s suffice to say that my weight has continued to yoyo since then. I lost weight for my wedding, put it on again, lost it again, you get the idea.

On the morning I had my son in 2009, I weighed myself (as every labouring woman does I’m sure!) and I tipped the scales at 14 and a half stone. Despite the fact that some of this was baby, it was enough to make me determined to never see that number again, so as soon as I had the all clear, I began dieting, swimming and going to the gym as often as having 2 children under 2 enabled me. By Christmas last year, I was lighter than I had ever been. I was 10 stone and had managed to lose 4 1/2 stone. I did this by signing up to Slimming World’s online service, and it was brilliant.

The trouble is, I’m one of those people who is never happy. For the first time in my life, I’m able to do up size 10 jeans, but I’m determined that I now want to be able to breathe in them too, so I’ve been doing everything to try and lose that last stone. Nothing seems to be working, I’m not gaining weight, I’m just not losing it, despite how religiously I stick to a diet. I’ve tried Slimming World more, low GI, Weight Watchers, the lot. Nothing. And given how much I love food, I’m not sure if there’s any point in dieting this much for no gain, so today begins my new plan. It’s plain and simple – I’m going to eat less! I’m going to follow my normal diet, but I’m going to half all of my portions. My breakfast was 20g of porridge not 40g, lunch was a sandwich made from 1 slice of bread not 2, for a snack I had 1 clementine, not 2. I’m hoping that if I’m only eating half as much, I must lose weight, mustn’t I? As long as I don’t continue my eating habits from this weekend, otherwise next weekend I’ll be consuming 2 pizzas not 4!

I’m sure I’m not the only one who is struggling to lose that last bit of weight, I’d love to know how you managed it so please talk to me!