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Happy Birthday to me!

9 Jan

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It’s my Birthday tomorrow. In fact by the time most of you read this it will be my birthday today. Happy birthday me.

I’m turning 28. I’m a proper adult.

I go to work, I pay my bills on time. I go to bed when I’m tired and mostly get up when I have to.

It’s not too shabby.

I also make crazy decisions like running a half marathon and a full marathon within weeks of each other.

The training has fully begun and with some minor adjustments I am doing the following training plan.

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I’ve adjusted to make allowances for Run dem crew on Mondays and Tuesdays and the fact that a friend of mine has recently begun running. She is making such amazing improvements and is so much fun to run with that I can’t give up those lunchtime runs.

I’m making sure I get enough active and total rest.

So far so good….. Apart from the massive panic I had on Monday.

Run a marathon they said. It will be fun they said.

What if I can’t run the marathon? What if I faaaaaaail!

Then I went for a run and felt better. Funny that. Haha bonk.

I’m training well and I’ll run well and there is no way my family, friends and crew will not let me finish that marathon. So I’m cool now 🙂

I got me a marathon mentor. In fact I have many mentors all around me. So many kind offers and advice from seasoned pro’s. I’m lucky.

But I got me a mentor who ran his first marathon for London last year. And his experience is going to show me I can do this.

The Sue and Papa G clubbed together to get me a voucher for runners need. Two new pairs of runners, here I come! Thanks family!

No only do I have to train for this marathon, I have to fundraise for this marathon.

I need to raise ÂŁ2,000 for my chosen charity, The London Community foundation. And it ain’t gonna be easy. But once again my support network is coming through for me in more ways than I could imagine.

I’m also organising a series of fundraising events.

The first of which is on 2nd February.

An evening of cocktails and fun.

All my UK readers are welcome and it costs ÂŁ10 to come in.

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I’m also going to be holding a zumbathon, maybe two. Details to follow.

If you would like to donate any prizes to my raffle, please get in touch. Any offers gratefully received.

Sooo, today is the 1st anniversary of my Weightwatchers meeting.

To celebrate, I lost 3.5lbs and finally! Finally can say I weigh 15st exactly. So thats exactly 3stone i’ve lost in my meetings. biggest thanks ever to my Weightwatchers leader, Saz Back and all my supportive friends at the meeting.

Omg! I’m going to be under 15stone!

What? Naaaaaah. Over 18stone and now I’m going to be under 15. Totes amaze mate, totes amaze.

So, in summary.

Happy birthday me!

Sponsor me

Come to my event

Please!

http://uk.virginmoneygiving.com/Leeleegraham

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Bye Bye 2012, Hello 2013.

2 Jan

Wow. What a difference a year can make.

2nd of January 2012 I was upset and fed up. I felt angry and disappointed that I had allowed myself to become so unhealthy and fat. I was 18stone 3lbs.

I’d just spent almost two weeks eating and drinking myself in to a state of pure glutton.

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I decided to take action… I joined weightwatchers, I took up running and I set goals.

It’s been really, really hard. I’ve cried, I’ve had temper tantrums, I’ve been lazy, I’ve put on weight and I’ve eaten more pizza than I should have.

I’ve also laughed, bought clothes 4 sizes smaller than the size 20 trousers I was wearing a year ago, I’ve run 10k races, I’ve run over 10miles in one sitting, can feel bones that have been hidden for years. I’ve challenged myself and I have won!!!

People have not recognised me. People have been stunned my the change in me, not only have I lost weight and gained health, I’m so much more happier with life.

This New Year’s Eve, people who last saw me a year ago at my biggest stopped me and told me what an amazing change. I lost count of the people who looked totally shocked when they saw me. Is that the same girl? Yes darling, it’s me. People actually stopped me to say “wow”. My ego has been well and truly stroked, but it has also shown me that I can not go back to that again. I don’t want to be the “big girl” any more.

It’s very strange though. My face has changed a lot. There are times when I don’t recognise myself in the mirror. It’s still my face but the puffy roundness has gone. My cheeks and jaw line seem to have changed slightly. Maybe that’s my imagination.

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I couldn’t have done this with out the masses of support I have received from my friends, family and those reading this, my tweets and supporting me.
I want to shout out so many names but I’ll be here all day, so I’ll do those who with out a single shadow of a doubt I would, no scrap that, COULD not have done this with out.

Chris, Charlene A, Rochelle, Saz, The Sue, Papa G, C-Hoolz, Angel, Jane, Sabrina and so many more.

A big thank you to all of you who have shared the past year with me.

So, what now…?

· I keep going. Marathon/Half marathon training is in full effect. I have my plan and it’s time to get serious. I want to finish the marathon in under 5 hours. Erm, actually, I just want to finish it haha.

· I want to be the fittest I’ve ever been

· I want to hit my goal weight.

Tonight was my first weigh in of the year.
At my last weigh in I was 15st 3.5lbs.

Over Christmas I decided that I would allow myself from the 22nd to the 26th to eat what I wanted. With out being a total pig but to not stress about what was going in my mouth and to enjoy it.

I weighed on the 26th and was at 15stone 6lbs. Not the end of the world.
Where I am now is my new starting point for the year.

This is day one!

And on the 2nd of January 2013, I weigh back at 15stone 3.5lbs

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So let’s go, I’ve just finished one amazing year, I cant wait to get started on the second.

Thank you so much to all of you who have read my blog, who have commented, who have inspired me and have never let me give up. It’s amazing to have you by my side going forward…

Merry Christmas! Yay

24 Dec

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My plan is to full enjoy the next two days. I won’t be going mad but I will be enjoying myself and so should all of you.

See you in a couple of days for my review of the year.

Xxxx

The Run Dem Crew Gunfinger 10k

16 Dec

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I don’t know what’s wrong with me. I seem to be freely giving up my time to run.

Something’s changed inside. I hope it lasts because I’m going to need this to pull me through marathon training, but currently I’m actually enjoying giving up my time to run.

I’ve gone from want to sleep all day on a Saturday and Sunday to having my alarm set at 7am to be ready to run nice and early. Wonders never cease.

My most recent early rising was the the first official, unofficial run dem crew 10k.

A point to point race covering 6ish miles across the city of Landan town.

Ensuring I did as I said I would and actually turned up, I arranged to meet a fellow RDC west friend before the race and we said we would run together. Motivation and all that. Which led me to being at Old street at 9am on a Saturday morning.

The start point was Shutter bug, just off Rivington Place in shoreditch.

Even though this was a race I decided that thinking of it as a race would put a lot of pressure on me so I approached it like a normal Monday or Tuesday run, I was going to have fun.

I was aware that I was likely to be one of the last in. So a small group of us got together and hit the start line.

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The starting horn/whistle/I dunno went off and we were off.

The whole group started very fast.

One thing I’ve learnt recently is that if I start too fast then I’m doomed. So I tried to slow it down a little but it wasn’t happening. No time to moan though, just run init.

We hit check point after check point. Macdonalds Liverpool street, the millennium bridge, Waterloo skate park, Fabric night club, look mum no hands – a bike shop, and finally a sculpture called the button near shoreditch.

Knowing we were the last group to hit the check points we stopped and grabbed a picture at every point. Why not ay?

It was tiring. I was running faster than usual for this distance but I could do it, nothing hurt, or ached I was just out of breath. Keep it going Leeanne.

I had a slight guilt that I was slowing my group up but that went very quickly, they weren’t miles ahead of me at anytime, we were all running the same pace and I had constant support and encouragement for Lyric L and Ash. Thanks ladies.

After we reached the Button it was a sprintable distance to the finish line.

Lets push it we all said. My energy reserves were low but I pushed, I saw them zooming off ahead of me. I “sprinted” as fast as I could but man it was hard. As I came upon Rivington Place it seemed to be snowing. That was a but surreal.

I turned the corner and heard cheers! I was last but there, before the finish line was Lyric L waiting for me. She ran with me across the finish line. What a friend. I’ll never forget that.

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Last in, but first place in my head.

We did 5.91miles in 1hour, so faster than I’ve done before. Happy leelee.

The atmosphere after was of such triumph. I did have a little cry when no one could see.

Not only that, as I keep on finding out, it’s not how fast you go, but how you cross the finish line. I crossed with gunfingers blazing.

I finished the morning with a fantastic crepe and peppermint tea care of Shutterbug. Do pop in if you’re in the area. It’s right by Cargo.

And I got a medal. I win! Haha

Thank you Charlie Dark and the Run Dem Crew. Keep on pushing me!

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The Highs, the lows, the rough and the smooth.

14 Nov

Almost 3 months since my last post. Three months.

So much has happened.

But mainly I’ve been seriously fed up.

Lets do this high and low/rough and smooth at a time.

high
Started a new job in October. I’m now PA to the CEO of the leading third sector organisation and I’m also their office manager. It’s an amazing role and I’ve been there just about a month now. Only downside is the free food every afternoon. Temptation at its finest.

Pluses – more relaxed atmosphere, progression a great team. So many up parts.

Today I did a lunch time run with my long, lost school/teenage friend who happens to work in building next to mine. We did a nice 3km up the canal and back again.

Having the flexibility to do that is fab.

low
I’ve lost pretty much no weight.

I still haven’t reached my 3stone. I’m 1lb off my 3stone since 2nd Jan goal. What the poop. I lose a lb, I gain half, I stay the same, then I lose two, then gain one. It feel’s never ending. Every time I get close it disappears. It doesn’t really matter what I do week on week. My results don’t corroborate with any work I have or haven’t put in.

Part of the reason I haven’t blogged is because so many of you will tell me to switch it up. I do! I really do.

And yes, I love all the feedback and advice you give me but switching it up ain’t working. Or maybe it is but more later on that.

The pic is my weight chart for the past however many weeks. What’s also disheartening is all my measurements have stayed the same. Although again, there may be change on the horizon

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high
I signed up for the Paris half marathon in March 2013. Very exciting. Never been to Paris, never run more that just over 10km. It’s gonna be fun. Training has begun. And I can’t wait to build my distance. I hope to update ya with lots of training updates.

The amazing Angel who has featured in my blog before is training for the 2013 London Marathon and has started getting a group of us together each week to run various distances. It’s hard but worth it. Always encouraging and gently pushing. Thanks Angel (NMRK).

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rough

I’ve decided not to continue with the Spartan Fam. I enjoyed the sessions and met some fab people but training in the mud in winter is not for me. I like warm, dry and mudlessnesxs. But have learnt lots of techniques that I’ll continue to use in my training.

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I really feel like a part of Run Dem Crew West. Man, I love those guys. And as part of my marathon training I am committing to running with them every Monday. They push, encourage, reward and are a thoroughly amazin bunch of people.

The pic is of me (obvs) and RDCWest founder, leader and all round cool guy, Cory (@bitbeefy).

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I also decided to pitch and join RDCWest’s big brother, Run Dem Crew. Operating out of 1948 in shoreditch. Around 100 runners take over London on Tuesday evenings and do the ting.
Warmly welcomed, I was nervous at my first session this week but in true RDC style was welcomed more than warmly. Supported on my run across various city bridges even with my extreme stitch that I just can’t shift. I loved every second.

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New job equals new clothes. My size 12 dress! What whaaaat! See pic init.
I also got a size 14 in another dress which is a bit too big.

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It was whilst wearing this dress and on the way to RDCwest that I met this fine specimen of a man, Mr David Haye. Yum.

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low

Still can’t fit in to size 14 trousers. Annoying

rough
I put on 3lbs last week. The most I’d put on in one week for a very long time. I crie and actually at that point had really had enough.

I’m very tired of tracking and watching what I eat. Please someone allow me to binge and be fit. Not gonna happen is it ??

I got Chinese n my way home. Vermercilli noodles and salt &pepper prawns. I tried to hide the rubbish. It’s an illness I swear. (Lies)

But on to my next smooth

I lost that 3lb this week. And I’ve lost an inch on my waist. It’s currently a 30inches. It feels good.

My week in exercise went like this.

Friday MMA class
Saturday diva dance and street dance classes
Monday 9km with RDC west
Tuesday 9km with RDC
Wednesday 3km run with Krystal

Tomorrow, Thursday will be a rest day. I’m going to the ideal home show. Boom. Lets hope I don’t buy too much crap.

Right, I’m out!

Big loves, share and comment xxxxx

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It’s Carnival

26 Aug

Today I had an amazing reminder of how far I have come.

Me last year

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I remember feeling like a super star that day. People say I looked great, but looking back I just think “yuk”.

And I know by the time the year was up I was even bigger.

I won’t be doing costume this year mainly because I can’t afford it but also because I don’t want to look at another set of pictures and think “I look fat”.

I went to carnival today with the Spartan Fam.

I cropped my t shirt and really had very minor body worries. I’m far from where I want to be but so much closer than I was.

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I’m pretty sure there is even a hint of abs visible. Lol

Next year, I’m gonna find the best costume I can and rock it like a super model.

Also, in a moment of blatant showing off… I went out last weekend wearing this:

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And I’m pretty certain I managed to wow a couple of people who I haven’t seen since New years. What a difference 8 months can make aye.

The reaction from one person almost reduced me to tears.

Anyway, bedtime now because after 8 hours walking around west London I am exhausted.

Xx

Spartan Family Sunday Collaboration with Nike Fly Knit

20 Aug

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I’ve been attending the Spartan family work-outs for almost a month now, so when Chaka told us about this special event Spartan Family Sunday in conjunction with Nike I knew it was going to be an epic day.

Up until just a few days before it was a complete mystery how the day would run. All we knew was there would be food, Vita Coco and hard work happening!
On arrival at Aske Gardens in Hackney on Sunday 19th August, the vibe was already electric. The sun was shining and I knew we were in for a treat. The small gated greenery had been transformed with music and giant trampolines. In the shade of the trees were massive bean bags ready for us to chill out on after our hard Spartan work outs.
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As more people arrived T-shirts and training gloves generously supplied by Nike were handed out to us. We were now one! In our Spartan uniforms the community spirit was out in full force. A brief downpour of rain wasn’t going to stop us and as soon as the sun reappeared we were ready to roll. Spurred on by the enthusiastic and encouraging MC for the day, Rapper, Ty, we began.
The first work out started and we took over the tennis court. Chaka had been installed with a microphone and as his voice boomed out we knew there was no messing.
The gentle warm up soon turned in to a powerful body working session of core, abs and leg work, Push ups, squats and planks. Let us not forget the dreaded burpees.
I suppose that some of us thought, well since this was a “fun day” we might be given an easy time. Nope, this was as brutal as our Friday evening sessions. Perhaps even a little more so, since we were hear to prove to the people of Hackney that we are Spartans and this is how we really roll. The “games” followed next. Piggybacks and wheelbarrow races. Crazy hard work but so much fun. We cheered each other on with our mantra of “Ahooo”. The session ended with the traditional tug of war. Always a fierce competition with epitomises team work and joint strength. Every one was worthy competitor.
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A sweaty hour or so later (and when I say sweaty I really mean it. It was approximately 30degrees and our bodies knew it) we ate. Amazing grilled chicken with salad and roasted veg. Insanely healthy and sooooooo nutritious. The adults replenished ourselves whilst the wonderful Spartan babies did their thing.
Kids aged between 4 and 14 showed us that it doesn’t matter what age you are, Spartan is within you. Supported by the Spartan family training team. They did almost the exact work out we did. They went hard and showed up so many adults. We have a new generation of Spartan superstars coming to get us.
ImageThe kids loved it. They felt grown and powerful and they certainly learnt a lot about what they can do with their bodies and health and team work too. So important in the kids of today. They too finished their session with the tug O war and it was amazing to watch. My nephew’s team won both rounds. I might be biased but they certainly did da ting.
During the break before the next adult session, everyone got to know each other and relax together. Soca music poured out over the gardens, early carnival vibes spread through the area and everywhere you looked there was a smiling face. One of the Spartan Family philosophies is that We are a community and Chaka stressed that when we left we should know the names of at least two people we had never met before. I think I went home with about 6 new names.
Most people who took part in the first session stayed and took part in the second as well as quite a few new faces. No time for apprehension or worry that our bodies wouldn’t hold up for a second session.
In we went, much like the first session, core work, cardio, abs and legs. Straight in to the games which continued along the same competitive themes. leapfrogs and more piggy back races and relays. People sprinting their hearts out.
Again the session finished with a smashing Tug O War match which was worthy of being televised it was so fierce. We lose as a team and we win as a team so at the end of the match we all dropped to the floor to do 20 burpees.
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We ended the day with the traditional group photo and the call of “Spartans, what is your profession” The booming “Ahooo Ahooo Ahooo” I’m sure could be heard for miles around.
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With thanks to all the Spartan Family team for setting up this great collaboration between Nike and the Fly Knit Collective, who gave us space, food and love as well as Vita Coco who kept us truly hydrated.

Shocking!

17 Aug
Shocked. That’s people’s reaction when I tell them I’m currently 15 and a half stone, or that I used to be over 18stone at the beginning of the year.
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I’ve never looked as heavy as I am. It must be due to my height. Being 6ft means I do carry it well. Whilst I understand the shock I need to tell you all, I’m not lying!! Why would I?
I also need to say that although I have another 3 stone until I get to goal. That 3 stone is not too much. I know some people are worried that I’ll be too slim. I am still a size 14/16 now and when I started I was an 18/20 so its not like I have dropped 6 dress sizes with the weight I have lost. My body is not like that.
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I have thighs a bum and some very lovely jubblies. Yes they have all downsized slightly but they are never going to disappear.
I remember when I was 21/22 years old, I was a size 12/14 and I weighed about 13 stone. Back then being one of the first times I had weighed myself and being just into the “overweight” category. I was happy with how I looked so I wasn’t too bothered.
But thinking about it. It is improbable for me as an adult to be smaller than a size 12… and I don’t want to be. What I want is to be super fit and super healthy. Nothing is going to get in my way.
So all you people out there super shocked at how much I currently weigh because of my immense gorgeousness, don’t be. We all have different bodies and shapes and metabolisms. This is mine!
So, what been happening over the past two weeks. Well, I finally had a decent loss on Thursday the 9th. 2.5lbs off and last night a loss of another 1lb. So once more officially at my lowest weight of 15stone 7lbs. Since January the 2nd. That’s 38lbs/2stone 10lbs. I just have to say… That shizz is cray.
Unless I do something off-key I wont lose the 7lbs by August 31st but never mind. I will be under 15 stone in early September.
Not that I can change it but I got slightly annoyed last night when I looked at the data on my weight loss chart.  July 5th weigh in I was 15st10lbs. August 2nd weigh in I was 15st10.5lbs!! I did so much bouncing around during July that I didn’t actually lose any weight. At one point in the month I was 15st8lbs but then went back up again. Do you know how frustrating that is? Can you imagine? But hey ho. got to keep it moving.
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August has already improved and as always I just have to keep that momentum going.
I have been doing my Spartan homework as well as my running and cycling.
The cycling is hard as I live in such a hilly area but nevertheless I will keep it going.
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Last Friday in Spartan training the name of the game was pull ups! I don’t care that it was my first time attempting it, All I could do was hang there. Not even with my legs time and arms bent. Hang there like some crazy dead weight.. I felt like a proper loser but it has made me determined to win. I hit up the outdoor gym near my this week and spent time time on the pull up bar there. There was movement I swear. I still hung like a dead chicken in a butchers window but I’m sure I managed half a cm lift. I’m certain of it. SO that my friends is progress!
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RDC West. This is the hardest running I have ever had to do. but I love it so much! Sprints. SPRINTS! I am slow but I tell myself just keep running. I think I will get better and I already feel a difference in my lone running.
I love my new regime! 🙂

I’m Giving Up!

7 Aug

 

 

That’s right, I’m giving up, but it’s not what you think.
I am giving up certain vices which I feel might be hindering my progress.
I have come to the realisation that yes, I am losing weight but am I making enough significant changes to improve my health.
I may stick to my points allowance, but I eat more chocolate and sweet snacks these days then I did before Weight Watchers. A weight watchers Chew toffee Popcorn bars (one of my faves) is 2pro points per bar and I’ll often have one of these or a sister bar in the afternoon. The Honey Oat Morning Breakfast bar is another favorite. I  might have one of those a day as well. Over all I use about 6 – 8 pro points a day on chocolaty/sweet WW snacks.
It’s time to stop that. So I’m quitting the snacks. I already eat quite a bit of fruit daily but now I will be replacing these snacks with more fruit and more water.
I must say though, I am not giving up the cake completely, I do believe that its cool to have the odd treat or nice bit of cake but this daily sweet snacking is stopping!
I’m quitting!!!
Again, it’s not what you think.
I don’t drink a lot anyway, but I have decided to quit the booze. Last night, popped into a bar with the BF and some friends to watch the amazing Men’s 100m Finals. Went to the bar and thought, hmmm let me have a drink. I’ll be good. No wine (about 4pro points), a rum and diet coke (2 pro points). Got back to the table, took one sip, 30 seconds later managed to whack the glass off the table. A sure sign that I should not have been letting that booze past my luscious lips. I didn’t bother to buy a new one. I made the decision right there to stop drinking.
I’m walking away!!
It’s not what….oh, you get the gist.
I’m walking away from red meat. I find even buying lean products there is still a lot of fat in there and think I would benefit from leaning towards getting essential fats from fish and a more white meat based diet. So I’m walking away from the red meat. I’ll give it a go for a month and see what happens. To be honest I don’t eat much red meat anyway so this won’t be too hard.
So those are the changes I have decided to make diet wise which I hope will really really boost the next phase of my journey.
Now, let me tell you about my first Spartan Fam work out on Friday. I had so much fun. I was really nervous beforehand. I arrived at 1948 in Shoreditch (Shoreditch is way too cool for the likes of me) very early and was greeted by the lovely Alicia Creates. She told me to take a look around the shop and chill. People started flitting in one by one and every one was ridiculously friendly. I gained a real sense of community from them all. They were so excited to be there and really took the time to make me feel comfortable and welcome.
The leader of the Spartan Fam arrived and dished out free VitaCoco. I’m quite undecided about this stuff. The original flavour is not to my tastes but the pineapple one was divine. So hydrated and refreshed the group set out to the spot where the work out commences. A little park up towards Hackney. We took a leisurely jog over to get us warmed up.
In the park, people looked at us in amazement. A massive group of us took over the play park and set to work. I say took over but there was plenty of space for us and the kiddies already using the fun stuff.
Circuits commenced, using the play park equipment as our gym and our bodies as our weights. Squats, lunges, pull ups, press ups, planks, sit ups and dreaded burpees. We partnered up and there was no messing. It was hard. I have no upper body strength so found it a real challenge, but I was encouraged by the long timers and the newbie’s also looked out for each other as well. Sympathy glances and nods of encouragement. It was ace. Once that was over, we headed to the adjoining field where the cardio section began. Unfortunately, I managed to pull a muscle in my quad, which ruled me out of running but whilst the rest of the team did sprint circuits and what I feel was also a good bit of team building, I had one of the Spartan Fam organisers showing me how to do press ups and doing ab work drills with me, I might have been injured but the work out didn’t stop. I loved every second of it.
Work out done every one headed back to 1948 for a quick stretch and cool down and some exciting news updates.
Then like a true community we feasted! A hardcore group of us headed to Nandos where yet again that community bond was made tighter.
Bad leg aside, I really enjoyed myself, come Sunday I couldn’t fully extend my arms, so they definitely got a work out.
Chaka warned the group during the cool down that we have to do our homework. Of course, the hard work doesn’t stop just because we aren’t in class. Chaka is a man who wont suffer fools gladly. Be prepared to work hard or go home. His homework videos are a way of continuing to build on the Friday sessions.
He has a youtube channel full of fantastic videos which start right from the beginning. Introductions to pull ups and squats amongst over things.
There are 13 homework videos. I’m obviously starting at number one as I have been warned they get progressively harder as you go on, but I don’t want to go to class on Friday and be the one who clearly ain’t been studying.
I’ve come to realise over the past few weeks, that my journey is not just about losing weight because my doctor told me too, it’s about getting in to the best shape I could ever possibly be in. It’s time to step up my game.
Below is my new “before” photo. This is now the one I will be comparing all future photos to. It’s no longer about seeing less fat, but about getting stronger, fitter and being a better me!

My New before photo! yay

There are no excuses, so as the cool kids say… Leggoooooo!