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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 £2,000 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 £10 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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Imagine that!

14 Dec

Imagine this.

I’m sitting having lunch with my mummy. A rare treat especially as she paid for me and we’re having general chitchat and I say to mother how I am focused on my half marathon training and a bit over not getting in to the London Marathon.

LIES

Later that day I get an email telling me there are charity places for a fantastic organisation called the London Community Foundation. Who, amongst many other things, support charities and local initiatives arranging funding for charities, community groups and social enterprises of often miss out due to their size or resources.

They were offering 50 spaces to run for them in the Virgin London Marathon, on a first come, first served basis. I went in to overdrive. I wanted in!! and in I got.

I fired off my email and got such a speedy response. This was meant to be.

Long story short. I’m in! I will be running the Virgin London Marathon 2013.

I have to raise £2000. That in itself will be a challenge but like I said on the little application form I completed. I have no qualms making my self look silly to raise this money. Once my fundraising pages are set up. I’ll be circulating and promoting.

We all know charities and organisations in our communities which need our help and LCF do this, so please support when the time comes.

Oh yeah, I also lost 1.5lbs this week taking me back to 15stone 2.5lbs. one more meeting before xmas. Please let me drop this 2.5lbs!!! Pleeeeease!

December

8 Dec

Yo!

Here we are in December, almost a year since I restarted my weightloss journey.

I’m not going into all the amazing achievements I’ve had this year. That’ll be a new year blog post.

Today’s post is a quick update really and some pics haha yay.

After my terrible run a couple of weeks ago I feel I’ve come back even bigger and better.

I’m seeing my running improvements every single time I hit the road.

Running at work at lunch time I’ve found myself doing over 3miles each time and in less than the 3mins I give myself to get it done.

I’ve gone from feeling like I’m a 11/12min mile girl to pulling in the miles in under 10mins.

This, coupled with feeling like I’m not really pushing myself hard enough on my Monday and Tuesday runs has led me to decide to go up a group on Tuesdays. So as of this Tuesday I’m going to try the Fast Hares group. Push push push.

For the Monday runs defo time to try and push up the pace too but as we don’t tend to run in defined groups it will be about me pushing to keep up with those ahead of me.

This morning I pushed. I’ve never ever run further than 10k. Even though I know I can go further, I never do. Well this week I thought “no more” no more will I feel fear as I reach that 10k mark. I won’t stop. I’ll keep going.

So I planned to wake up early and do my home to London bridge run, this time with a difference. I’m gonna run back!!!! Whaaaaat? That’s right, run back again.

I really wanted someone to run with because I didn’t trust myself to actually run back. But alas people have lives and I don’t have a pack of people who are at my beck and call. So I set of a 9.30am on the dot and hit the roads.

My plan was to not tire myself out and to take it nice and slow. Harder than you think. I’ve gotten used to starting at a certain pace so going slower was really hard.

One shop stop for some skittles, loo break and a quick run by the river I reach the big L Bridge.

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Self taken shot at the big boat and then I was off on my way back again. I did have a quick thought of “lemme just jump on the train back”. But since I’d told the whole of twitter I was doing this run I couldn’t let my people down. I actually picked up the pace slightly. I wasn’t tired at all. But for me this was all about getting it in.

The run to L.Bridge wasn’t hard and neither was the journey back but by the time I got to deptford I was really feeling it. I didn’t walk any of the journey but took a little pitstop and when I started again my legs felt sooooo heavy. But knowing I was so close to home, onwards I went. I had no choice, no direct bus to home meant I had to move anyway.

I made it back into lewisham. 10.81miles, 2hours2mins later and the run was done.

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I can do it. I can put in serious distance.

I’m a winner! Whoop.

I had energy left so I’m sure that I can do the full half marathon distance.

Roll on March.

There is this 80milemonth challenge going on at the moment. Created over at the spikes and heels blog (found here). The idea is that you clock up 80running miles over the month of December. Sounds impossible right? I’m giving it a go anyway.

I’ve clocked up 20miles since the beginning of the month.

It will be a great way to keep me on track during the festive period, since I’ve already started on the quality streets at work.

I put on 1.5lbs this week. Back up to 15st4lbs. Oops.
I expected it to be honest, but it would be nice to be under 15st by the new year so no time to slack really.

Here are some funny pics.

See ya later 🙂

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Hill Running

26 Nov

This post isn’t about actual hill running but the mental hill running.

This evening I have done I think my hardest run ever, mentally.

I love going out with RDC West on a Monday. It’s now part of my routine.

5.30 comes and the BF texts me to ask if I’m running and I find I’m feeling a bit “meh” about it all.
Raining, I’m tired after smacking an actual hill run on Sunday and generally feeling a bit lazy.

He tells me to “do da damn ting” and I think of course he’s right.

Head over to Paddington Rec and my excitement starts to build.

Get there and I can tell right away it’s going to be a small group.

We were only 14 today. I think the weather kept people away.

My heart sank when I saw the ladies I usually run with weren’t there and I was surrounded by the runners who are all a lot faster than me.

Speed ain’t everything but when you are only as fast as your slowest runner, who is me, then it can be a bit anti climatic.

The route was simple enough and we set off on a “gentle jog” and my heart sank even further, I was already behind and we hadn’t even begun. It felt like they raced away with out me.

I probably ran my fastest mile this evening in about 10mins but already in those first 10mins, as I couldn’t see through my glasses and the crew were 50m in front of me I felt a lump grow in my throat. I felt utterly useless.

After a mile we split into two groups the faster group and the slower group and the amazing Ellie really kept me going from here on out. She talked to me the whole time. She encouraged me and made me know that I could do this. Her upbeatness never wavered. She spoke when I couldn’t. We pushed forward still at a faster speed than I was used to but she made me believe.

We took a break at chalk farm station and I felt a bit more positive. Then went on towards Camden and my mood plummeted again. I just felt so slow.

Once again I was way behind and it was a real struggle.

Eventually it was just Ellie and I pounding the roads as the rest ran on.

We took a little detour as we missed our turning and came in back to paddington with a total mileage of 6.2m.

I never doubted I could do the distance but my head just wasn’t there. Not at all.

I’ve never felt like this before. I cried when we got back to base, I cried on the tube home, I cried when I saw my housemate who greeted me with hugs and I’m crying now.

I think it’s bed time but before I go I have to send soooo much love to Ellie who really pushed me through today. She didn’t let me give up and I’m so grateful. Thank you Ellie and I know tomorrow and next week will be better.

Thanks to the rest of the crew who greeted me with hugs and cheers of well dones. It wasn’t easy knowing that they all knew how much I struggled today but they still told me well done.

Thanks guys. Thanks to Sanchia who gave me such a great hug at the end and some really kind words

And thank you to me for not giving up.

Today in my mind was one giant hill and i just don’t feel i made it to the top and over the other side. I was running but I didn’t get anywhere. It was painful.

It’s bedtime now and i need to get over it ready for tomorrow when I do it all over again with Run Dem Crew East.

Bad move leelee, bad move

23 Nov

I wonder what it was that lead me to do the following last night?

Had to pop to Westfield in Stratford last night to collect something. I went into Marks to get some dinner.

Thought I’d treat myself so picked up a chunky chocolate cheesecake slice. “I deserve this” is what I told myself.

Stepped out the shop and saw a Greggs. “Mmmm, I really feel like a Yumyum”…..”and a jam donut”.

I said to myself I’d save the cheesecake for tomorrow.

Instead what I did was eat the Yumyum on the way to the shop I actually needed to go to.

Ate the donut on the way to the DLR and ate the cheesecake slice whilst waiting for my DLR to leave.

Then hid all the wrappers and rubbish so Chris wouldn’t know when I got home.

Got home and made and ate dinner as usual.

I hid the rubbish cos I felt shame.

I feel like I need to get this off my chest this morning.

The yumyum and the donut tasted like rubbish by the way, or was it just my guilt?

Bad move Leelee, bad move.

Aside

Proudness!!!

21 Nov

Look at this, another post and only a week to wait this time. I know, I spoil you all.

This week I am feeling proudness, (I dunno if that’s even a word to be honest, but it’s how I’m feeling).

Coming out of one’s comfort zone is never easy and a lot of people don’t know it has taken me many, many years to over come my shy side, 98% of people who know me now have never even seen that shy side. The person who would walk in to a room and be crippled with fear to even talk to any one, let along be a leader.

Over the years I’ve taken massive steps to over come this. When I left school I went to a college where none of my school friends went in order to force myself to meet new people.

I saw a life coach, I went on a confidence and assertiveness course.

I’ve worked really hard to put that shy, scared person away. I do jobs which require me to deal with people. I love people, but I often worry what they think of me, I’m too tall, they’re going to call me a giant. I won’t have anything worth saying. etc, etc, etc. I’m sure you have all been there.

But yes, the point of this is, on Tuesday evening, my second week of Run Dem Crew. Head Honcho, Daddy Dark, asked me if I know the way to the Emirates and will I lead my group. I froze and 6billion thoughts go through my head in the space of about 30 seconds.

I even did that thing when you don’t actually believe someone is talking to you and go “who me?” ha ha

Then I just put all of that aside and said yes.

so yeah, 10 minutes later, I’m leading a group of 6 amazing ladies on the mean streets of London. Man, I was poohing my panties lol.

We did 5 miles. We didn’t quite make it to the Stadium; we ran a pace that was comfortable for us, got back in good time and most of all, had fun.

Maaaaaaaaaaaaaaan, I feel proud of me.

I’m so grateful I was given that opportunity. Well and truly out of my comfort zone but loving it.

Me and the RDC ladies

I’m also proud of the way I gave it my all at Run Dem Crew West on Monday. We did track. I don’t even think I think I did track at school, so for me this was virgin territory. 10x 100m at 60%, 5 x 200m at 60% then the last 50m full pelt and finally 4 x 400 metres at 60% then the last 100m at full pelt.

I actually, almost vomited. That shizz was hard. But for me, I knew that I had to at least try my best. How am I ever going to do a half marathon unless I push myself. I know I’m a plodder and I really need to step out of my comfort zone and push hard. Push hard I did.

I think this pic says it all!

that’s me!

I wasn’t expecting too much at weigh in this week. It’s that time all ladies hate and after all the free cheese and booze  samples at the Ideal home show – Xmas edition I was going to be grateful to stay the same. Amazingly I dropped another 1lb and a half.

Roll on the tears. I not only smashed my 15%. That’s right, I have lost over 15% of my totally body weight, I have finally hit that 3 stone marker.

One massive hurdle overcome

Most of you know that the past few months have been really hard for me and I wanted to be at this point two months ago. 11months later, 3 stone down and it feels great. I’m welling up as I write this.

I don’t think anyone can know how I feel at this part of my journey. I know people have done the same before me and people will do the same after, but no one else is me and I am not them.

11 months ago I couldn’t imagine that I would be 3 stone lighter.

So yay me, but the hard work isn’t over. To get to the top of a healthy weight range according to my BMI I need to be 12st12lbs. Yes I know I’m very tall and very curvy and all that. I am talking medically here.

My next goal is to get to my 20%. 14.9lbs. I’d love to get there for my year anniversary of being back on track, 2nd Janaury 2013.  From there I’ll look at my 25% and so on.

I still feel overweight and until I feel comfortable I will continue to get the weight down.  and that’s the main thing, how I feel.

Paris and running will keep me motivated. As will all my inspirational and supportive friends.

I ain’t done yet peoples. Proudness won’t let me finish yet.

Big loves

LeeLee

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.

smooth
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.

high

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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