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Body Failure

9 Oct

Just over a week ago I started feeling some discomfort in my jaw, I couldn’t open my mouth very wide and it felt like my teeth were unaligned. The following day I was off balance, dizzy, feeling sick and had a head ache like never before. I ended up at a walk in GP service. After waiting for two hours (which included a nap) I was seen by a GP who after an examination told me I had a throat (hadn’t I seen the spots on my throat?) And ear infection. I was told to rest and given  10 days worth of antibiotics. That ruled out my last long run on the Sunday. I was drained in pain and exhausted.

A few days later I was feeling more human but started sneezing. By Thursday (yesterday) it had transformed into a full blown cough and cold. So bad that I thought I was going to suffocate on Thursday night as I was so congested.

I’ve just left work earlyand with less than 48hours to go before Royal Parks Half Marathon I’m not quite sure if I’ll be well enough to run on Sunday.

I need to get in maximum rest and recuperation but I just don’t think I’ll be fit enough.

I’m so angry at my body for failing mw this way. I was speaking to my friend and cheerleader, Sarah, and told her how angry I was and she remarked that it sounds like my body is also angry at me.

I think she is right, I’m doing so much at the moment; wedding planning, trying to keep house, leaving one job is the midst of a stressful office move whilst getting ready to start another and trying to train to be as fit as possible.  I think my body and mind have just decided I need a break.

I’m writing this feeling pretty tearful on the underground. I’m trying to stay hopeful for Sunday, I’ve raised a nice chunk of money for Starlight so let’s see how it goes. If I can’t run, I’ve found another half marathon a week later which I’ll do instead. 

Keep your fingers crossed for me.

Xx

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Bye bye summer.

1 Sep

Hello Autumn.

Today is the 1st September. I can’t believe where the year has gone.

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August was a good month. Since restarting the blog I’ve stayed on track and done well on and off the scales. But as we head into a new season it’s a good time to reflect and renew.

I finally hit my 2 stone weight loss thanks to a mild bout of food poisoning. 2 more lbs and I’ll be ready to get my new Pandora charm.

I’ve seen some great physical changes in my body. Some shape to my tummy which makes me think there might be some abs under there. I’m looking at photos and starting to like what I see. I ended up on TV last week. HD and live on BBC and I remember just feeling so thankful I didn’t look like a round lump.

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My face is changing shape too. My jaw is looking sharper.

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Old clothes are fitting again. Jeans and trousers are wearable again. My arms have a bit of work to go but there is one blazer I’m keen to get into again and it’s just a tiny bit too tight on the arms but I think another couple of weeks and I’ll be good to go. My old bras are fitting again and my newer bras are too big. Bin or keep?

It was carnival this weekend and I hit the roads in the shortest shorts ever and I felt comfortable. For the first time is such a long time.

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Exercise wise, I’ve been injured for a couple of weeks now and been advised not to do any impact exercise until my leg is no longer in pain and the bruising has gone. This is no good for someone training for a half marathon, so I’ve been keeping up the swimming and doing circuits at home. It’s helping me feel active even if not in the way I want. I think I should be good to hit the roads again in about a week or so.

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In the coming weeks I’m going to try and share more recipes with you.
I made a fab banana “ice cream” and my own version of Nak’d bars. Both were so easy to make and relatively quick too.

So I’m going to end this post with my renewed goals for the next month or so. Feel free to share your September goals with me 🙂

1. No alcohol.
2. No refined or added sugars.
3. No processed foods with added junk. 4. Exercise 5 days a week.

If I am in a situation where I can’t control what goes in to my food then that’s fine but I need to be conscious to make the best possible choice for me.

There are no weight goals in here because yes, I do want to make my 30lb and 40lb weight loss targets but they are not date defined and living healthier is more important to me than dropping weight fast.

Catch you on the flip side my lovelies.

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Swim a mile in her shoes

26 Aug

Swim swimmer, who got the keys to my bimmer.  Lolz! I’m going to try and fit a few swimming puns into today’s post.

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I started swimming again about a month ago. At first I felt like a fish out of water. I only learnt to swim in my mid 20s and only really the basics. So although my arms can do the right thing, my breathing and legs are lacking some of the techniques needed. I’m no water baby.

Swimming is a great whole body work out and I find it quite relaxing and a nice way to start the day. It’s never really feels like work.

I started off testing the water by doing 30 lengths in about 40mins and my current norm is 40 lengths in about 40mins.  I haven’t  really pushed myself further than that. I’m not really sure why, I just feel like 40 is enough.

A few things have been inspiring me to swim over the past weeks. Mostly they have come out of a spin off from Run Dem Crew, a group called Swim Dem Crew. Like RDC, Swim Dem encourages and nurtures those who want to learn and grow through swimming. They’ve taken guys and girls who can’t even tread water and had them swimming in open water and competitions. This has me star struck.

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The Swim Dem guys are so amazing and have really made a splash in my life, so as I watched all of their achievements from a far I wondered what I could achieve for myself.

A few weeks ago I had a bad experience at the pool, which I’ll tell you all about in another post. This left me not wanting to swim in the mornings. So a couple of a Friday’s ago I grabbed a friend and we went in the evening. We ended up doing 50 lengths that night in about 50 minutes and I still felt I had mileage in the bank. So I found myself thinking if could do 50 lengths  which is well over half a mile, surely I could swim a mile?

In my head this felt massive. It would be 66 lengths my swim hero Peigh told me. But in true LeeLee spirit my brain just said “Challenge Accepted”.

Friday 19th was the date. I actually found myself feeling really nervous. What if I got bored,  or just couldn’t go on after 50 lengths. The mind is such a funny thing. Fear is such a funny thing. Logically I knew I had nothing to worry about but still, I was scared.

I shouldn’t have worried though.  Got to the pool and saw a familiar face in my friend Priya who cheered me along as she did her laps.

I took stock every 20 lengths. Tried not to worried about how long it was taking me. Telling myself using the words of Dory from Finding Nemo “Just keep swimming”.

At around 60 lengths I started to get cramp in my right foot and left calf. I could feel that I was reaching my limit. 

After just about an hour and 10 minutes I did my 66th length. I then did another two just to make sure. Victory! 1 mile. It felt like such a small distance compared to running where I know I can quite easily run 10 miles without much thought.

It was a great challenge to myself and some thing to really get my feet wet. I really don’t think I could have done it without the encouragement from Peigh, who from the start has been encouraging and gently pushing me with his words, as well as all my other lovely friends.

I dove in and went to my first Swim Dem session on Monday evening just gone and my new challenge is to get myself comfortable in a 50m pool. It’s so much harder to swim lengths there. I have to take a break every length. 😦

I’ll keep you updated and let me know how many of my swimming puns you found 🙂

Find out more about Swim Dem Crew here.

What do you do…

31 Jul

When you’re training for a marathon but have absolutely no inclination to run?

Run anyway? Lets see if I can pull in 10miles from work to home this evening.

Was talking to a friend on twitter yesterday about lack of focus. The conclusion was reached that we need a military style commando to kick us up the bum. Any takers?

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Sabotage!

29 Jul

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What is Self-Sabotage?

Behaviour is said to be self-sabotaging when it creates problems and interferes with long-standing goals.

The most common self-sabotaging behaviours are procrastination, self-medication with drugs or alcohol, comfort eating in the face of weight concerns, and self-injury such as cutting.

These acts may seem helpful in the moment, but ultimately undermine us, especially when we engage in them repeatedly.

That is all.

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Battles and wars!

16 Jul

Lets not talk about my last blog post and the epic failure of that challenge I set myself.

Let’s talk about a different challenge I set myself and succeeded at!

Back in May I tweeted about White Collar Boxing and the fact that I was going to train for 9 weeks and then get in the ring.

Since then I have trained so, so hard. Three times a week I hit up the gym in Star Lane and trained with some of London’s finest boxing trainers and fighters.

I was the tallest and heaviest lady so I did wonder if they would need to match me up with a guy but they found a “close” match for me. At least based on ability.

We were both rubbish haha.

Training consisted of hot evenings in a boxing gym in East London, shadow boxing, practise against the bags. Core work galore. As the weather for hotter the sessions got harder. There were times I would come out of a session wanting to cry from the intensity. Feeling sick and tired, but perseverance is the key.

Having been matched with my opponent we no longer partnered up in any of the sessions. She was a nice enough lady but in total honest her style baffled me. She struggled to find her natural stance as orthodox or south paw. I felt like she jumped in to her punches, not thinking them through, just reacting to my height and weight. It worried me.

It seemed to me that boxing should be about control and thought. Not just hitting the person in front of you.

I found that I felt much slower than her as I was thinking about my moves and where I could hit her. (she may have been thinking this too but obviously I’m not in her brain.

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Fight night arrived and fight music chosen, I rocked up to the Troxy in East London in suddenly felt very nervous. Even though I had 100% improved over the weeks, I was still very basic in my training. I don’t think the word Novice covered. But I had to believe!

I was very lucky that a friend of mine and an experience MMA fighter and trainer was acting as corner man to one of the other fighters, so I took advantage of him and he became my corner man too. He warmed me up, took me through techniques and gave me the belief.

I was due to fight at 8.40pm and once the event had started I took some time out to watch some of the friends I had made during training take on their opponents. Having all the fighters come from one pool meant it was hard to pick sides in but some cases I had really bonded with one of the fighters so my allegiances were clear in my cheering.

If I’m honest I don’t really remember too much of the fight. I was in the zone. There are photos of me looking like I’m ready to end someone. Chris had found me the perfect song enter the ring to. It started of with Gangnam Style and then went in to a grime mix. I had someone message me saying that track made them sit up and take notice.

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So Round one went by in a flash. The mantra was to get the first hit. I don’t know if I did. I remember I knocked her off balance though. Then she knocked me off balance. That might have been round two.

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Round two I was a mess. She had me up! I just remember feeling really angry towards her and I forgot all my training. Then during a flurry of her punches I heard the ref call for a stop, but she got one more hit in. This p*ssed me off no end, so I saw red and then punched her. All I heard was lots of boos and then the ref put my in my corner counted to 8 and told me not to do it again, I knew I had done wrong. I was so angry with myself.

On to round 3, I felt more in control, the advice my corner man gave me was to jab, jab, jab. That’s what I tried to do. I think I got a few more hits in and she seemed a bit more on the run.

The fight ended and She was declared the winner. I was so disappointed, mainly in myself. I should not have lost control like I did. Where did all my tactics go? I was in tears, but tears of anger.

I got back up to the changing room and to be honest, every one seemed surprised I lost. I had the skills to win but I let emotion take over.

But the love I got from everyone when I went to meet them after was immense. I had a great turn out of family and friends.

I didn’t win my fight but I’m bang on a rematch. I also feel that this is something I might just be good at. I loved the training and I loved being in the ring.

So now that the initial part of this challenge is out of the way, what’s next.

More training!

Goals don’t stop after just one phase. Next up between now and the end of the year is another half and full marathon, to begin to get a real handle on this boxing thing. Not to mention some half naked prancing around at Notting Hill carnival just weeks away.

I didn’t win the battle but the war ain’t over just yet!

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Accountability

23 May

So, I have a confession to make.

I eat. I eat a lot. Mostly I eat good food. Whole grains, high protein, low carbs etc., etc. but sometimes, more often than I should, especially when snacks are involved, I eat poop.

We all know the saying “Abs are made in the kitchen and not the gym” and so really I cant be surprised that I’m not getting the 100% results that I want when I am not putting in 100%.

And yes putting in 100% all of the time is hard but damn it if I want to be fitter and healthier and no longer overweight then I need to work hard at it.

So I was thinking back to the reasons I started this blog. I knew that if I put it out there and made it public then I would be accountable for what I was doing. People would look at my blog and be like, “hey, she is working hard” or “boo, she isn’t putting in the effort”. I rave a lot about the exercise and sport I undertake but not the food I eat.

Therefore, in the interest of transparency I am going to trial something for a couple of weeks.
Once a day in the evening I will post up pictures of the food I have eaten through out the day. And maybe a little description of what it is (in case you can’t tell).

I do a lot of my eating in secret!

I AM A SECRET BINGE EATER. I binge. I can’t eat just one biscuit. I have to have 5 or 6 or more. I went and brought an M and S wrap the other day, one of their summer ploughman’s sausage rolls, then went to costa and got a Belgium chocolate tiffin, I ate all of those before I got on the train back to work.. When I got to Kings Cross I went to Leon and bought a halloumi burger and some popcorn. That was my lunch on Tuesday! Everyone saw me eat the halloumi burger, no one knew about the stuff before.

I have food issues. Maybe I should see someone about it. What is really going on here? Why do I sabotage myself like this? Who knows? Anyway the buck stops with me, so yeah starting this evening a daily blog post of my foodage.

Lemme know what you think 🙂

Mama said knock you out!

21 May

So in my perpetual quest to get fit or die trying, I have taken up a new sport.

Sitting on the train a few weeks ago, reading me free Metro newspaper and I came across an ad looking for competitors for a new round of White Collar Boxing. Basically, a bunch of office workers beating each other up! Talk about fight club.

They train you up for 12 weeks and at the end you get in the ring to have a nice little punch up. Exciting or what.

Now the running has calmed down for a few months, I have a bit of time to add in some extra body work. This seemed perfect. My dad used to box in the army and reading this advert took my back to childhood when he used to try and teach us the moves – and a couple of weeks ago he did the same thing when I told him I was starting training.

Now in my second week of training. I’ve got my gloves and my boots and I’m suffering from the worst DOMS (delayed onset of muscle soreness) ever.

The classes are 1 hour up to 4 times a week and minimum 2 times a week at Trad TKO boxing gym in East London They are pretty intense. Lot’s of shadow boxing, using the bags and core work. Skipping!! Something else that takes me back to my childhood. That shizz is hard! I’m really sweating with each session but I feel like I might be getting the hang of the basics. A lot of work to be done though.

So far I’m loving it. I’m the biggest (height and weight wise) girl in the group, so I am apprehensive about how they will match me up, but we’ll soon see I’m sure. Hopefully I’ll be able to drop some more weight with this as well. I even met and had my photo taken with a prize fighter (Wadi Camacho).

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I’m looking forward to the 12th July when I will step in to the ring and show everyone what I have learnt.

Feeling totally disillusioned with my weight loss at the moment. It’s just not happening.

Need to get back on track and eat well but the past few weeks it’s been so hard. I’m tired of watching what I eat. Feeling guilty for having something indulgent then eating more and then feeling more guilt.

I wonder if it’s even possible to drop this last two stone and do I really want to? Cos surely if I did, I would have.. Wouldn’t I?

My progress over the past 6 months and longer even has been super slow. My body has changed a lot but my weight is just staying the same. I’ve had a couple of suggestions that this is just where my body wants to be and with out starving myself part of me does wonder what will it take to get in to the medically healthy weight range.

Having not taken the Weightwatchers plan seriously for the past couple of months, I have considered taking a break from it. Re-establishing my mojo, seeing that I can do on my own and then taking it from there. But I know I would miss the support of my leader and fellow weightwatchers. Made a great bunch of friends in that lot. There is also pressure on me though, lots of people in the group have seen my success and I was to admit I feel a bit disillusioned and then left I can imagine the response. Not my burden to bear perhaps but I feel it is.

Until the scales start moving down again I will just have to focus on those non-scale victories. Hope I continue to tone up and get healthier.

Work on increasing strength, agility and stamina. I will become the fittest I have been, even if I’m not the slimmest. This isn’t a quick fix trip down the road, it’s a mammoth road trip and the journey is going to take me a long, long way from home and a long time to get there. I need to make sure the vehicle is up to the job.

Ain’t nothing but a (grey)hound dog!

15 May

So, just before the marathon I was running my 5k runs in 27 mins. Since then I haven’t quite gotten the speed back in my legs.
It is definitely time for me to start pushing myself so within Run Dem Crew I have moved up from Fast Hares to Greyhounds.

Hare pace is about 10/10.5min miles – which it felt like I was doing easily. I was leading the groups and we seemed to be getting faster.
Greyhound feels so much faster than that at 8-9min miles.
The definition of a greyhound on the RDC website is:

Greyhounds: 8-9 min/miles

You own a lot of Lycra but like to take your runs at a slightly more leisurely pace than our Cheetah friends. You take in the sights as you run with a nice sprint finish at the end just to make everyone know that you could out run a Cheetah if the need be. Your family think you are a bit odd but appreciate the effort needed to run a 4hr marathon or a sub 50 minute 10k. You’ll never forget the early days in the park when your heart was about to jump out of your chest, but now you can’t imagine life without running a solid 6 miles on a Tuesday night.

Right now I still feel like my heart is about to jump out of my chest.

My first week in Greyhounds I wanted to cry. It was my first proper run after the Marathon. We did bridges and about 5.5 miles. The crew helped me out. I can do the distance and I can pretty much do the speed but it is such a challenge.

I haven’t felt like this in such a long time. It leaves me feeling unsure, inadequate and lacking confidence. I’m used to be upfront and I hate feeling like I might be slowing the pack down.

My second run, last night was still very tough but felt just a little easier than that first week. We ran to the Emirates which was mostly uphill and I think that was what I found the hardest. I was at the back of the pack again but I did it. I never know if people are just being polite but everyone assured me I was running really strong.

Coming back downhill was much easier but I gave myself food for thought on the mind over matter stuff.

Up until the last mile I knew the route and then we diverted away from it on to a path unknown by me. Because of this I found that last mile really hard even though I was feeling quite good until that point. But as soon as we got to the part of the route I knew again I was off again. Ready for a sprint finish.

What I’m also learning is that at the end of the run I’m not on the floor and I’m recovering pretty darn quick which means I can definitely give more. I just need to gain the confidence and belief and if I want to start running my marathons in under 5 hours then I need to be getting the speed in.

This weekend is the Nike/Elle We Own the Night women’s 10k race in Victoria Park. I am hoping for a PB in this race. I am desperate to run it in under 1hour. Even if it is 59mins59seconds. J Im going to be running with my usual ladies and I’m sure we will push each other to success! 6.2miles of amazingness!

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I did it!

14 May

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What can I say.
So much yet so little has happened since my last update.

I ran a fricking a marathon. What a journey it was.

6 months ago I hadn’t run more than 10k. I cant believe how quickly the tide has turned.

What started as a journey for me to lose weight has turned in to what in which all I want to do is better myself and try new things.

When I signed up for the Marathon I was faced with two daunting tasks. Raising £2000 for my chosen charity and actually running the marathon.
So many people have encouraged and help me do both these things with such amazing success. I barely recognise the person I have become.

So many times people thought I was being blasé about the amount of miles I was running each week, but it was only because it was normal because I was training with an amazing bunch of people/

Run Dem Crew has spoilt me. They made me feel that the impossible is possible and that its no biggy. If I could run this marathon then it cant be a big deal. Because I’m the safe person. I don’t really push my boundaries. I quit a lot. I get scared.

On the 21st April I ran a marathon! It was hard but it was also the best fun I have ever had in my life. I got cramp at mile 16 and it stayed with me the whole time. I cried for 2 miles, but at mile 18 I got over it. The pain was there but damn it I had a race to run and failure was not an option. I chucked my desired time out of the window. If you look at the pictures of me on Marathon foto, I am beaming in all of them.

Seeing my family at mile 11 and mile 19 was just what I needed both times. Mum had chips on hand and yumyum!

Hearing people call your name as you “zoom” past them is just amazing. I felt like everyone who called my name had come out to cheer me on personally. Its really keeps you going.

There was epicness at Mile 21 which was the bestest blur of my life. When probably about 100 members of Run Dem Crew cheered us runners through with drums, chocolate and love.
I saw a video where I almost fell to the floor with the explosion of love I felt.

I wouldn’t have gotten through it at all if it wasn’t for Be! I partner in marathon crime who really pushed me when I needed it. We ran miles and miles together in the run up and sang our way for every mile point on the day. To any one who heard two crazy girls belting out “I’ve got 20 more miles to go” So Solid, 21 seconds stylee at the mile points, that was us!

I completed my first marathon, The London Marathon in 5 hours, 38 minutes and 22 seconds. Thank you all for believing in me and supporting me. Giving me hugs and cheers and love

With that now under my belt I’m already signed up for the Bournemouth marathon in October. I really want to prove to myself that I can get under 5 hours.

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