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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.

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

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…

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!

Spicing it up!

1 Aug

It’s taken me three days to write this post!

So, bad week last week. No actually, not a bad week. I thoroughly enjoyed the week, but I did eat and drink a lot!
Last Friday I had a family party and saw relatives I haven’t seen in far too long. There was lots of finger food and wine to be drunk.

Saturday was my boyfriends birthday. I held a little party for him. More precisely a wings and cocktails party. This, as you can imagine, consisted of chicken wings and cocktails. – I should have been a bar tender, cos I made some seriously yummy cocktails.
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Sunday, lunch at the misters parents. A nice juicy roast

Monday, his actual birthday, dinner at Bodean’s a tasty rib joint. Super noms. Followed by dessert at Hagan Daaz.
Not forgetting birthday cake of course.

A truly indulgent weekend. and I didn’t track any of it. I hardly tracked all week. (smacks hand)

I did run a couple of times but nothing could counter all that food and I managed to gain a 1lb. I’m surprised it wasn’t more to be honest.

I also set a new running goal on my Nike+ running app. To run 3 times a week. So far I’m on track so good times. I really want to bring down my 5k time to under 30 mins. I currently hover around 32mins. frustrating.

And!!! I have managed to secure myself a bike. I am doing really bladdy well I tell ya.

This weekend was much more sedate and and less indulgent. I did go out, but didn’t really drink and more so, I tracked what I drank.
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Sunday!! What a fab day. The Mister convinced me to come along to this Spartan Family work out day in a park in Shoreditch. I was really dubious about it all at first. Leeanne is not a Spartan. Leeanne is lazy. But it was so much fun. Indeed, I had so much fun I didn’t even realise how hard I worked. Push ups, Squats, Wheelbarrow and piggy bags. Relay races and OMG, a tug of war. I’m still in pain now. But that good pain which leaves me knowing I did well. So I have now been convinced to join their sessions on Friday evening. These, I’m sure are going to be even harder but I’m looking forward to it. My favourite part of the day (aside from not coming last in the tug-o-war) was during the rain storm there was a massive thunder clap. The whole group just turned towards the sound and shouted “ahooo”. That was cool!

MONDAY!!!! Run Dem Crew (RDC). Mentioned in my earlier blog post by Angel Dee. This is a running crew which meet weekly and quite simply….runs. I met a lovely lady at the Spartan Day who managed to convince me that I would have fun and be looked after. So after work I headed over to Paddington Rec where the RDC West meets. Such a friendly group of people. Obsessed with taking photo’s but then so am I. So we headed out towards Hyde Park. Not once did I feel too slow. There was always someone looking after the back, motivating me on. And it was hard. I think because I’m used to running continuously on my little runs and here we stopped often and it felt a bit like interval training. We did about 6 miles I think. I forgot my armband so no phone to track. I slept like a baby that night I tell you.

Had a day off on Tuesday, as my whole body was in mega after exercise pain but I did watch some of the Spartan training videos to learn how to do pull ups and push ups. Had a little practice. Good times.

Tonight, I collect the bike. I’m so grateful to my Charlene for allowing me to take her bike and so excited. I’m going to be doing about 10k from Brixton to Lewisham. I have sorted out lights and my helmet. I’m a bit nervous but it should be fun.

I’ll be doing another blog post after this weeks weigh in so I’ll let you know how it went then.

Finally, with August being the carnival month, I wanted the share the below piccy with you.

The first shot is me in part of my carnival costume last year, the second shot is me on the weekend just gone. For me I can see a difference on my tummy area. I still look at my carnival pics from last year and regret how big I looked in them. Not doing costume this year but maybe next year when I’ll be maintaining at goal.

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Note to Self….

13 Jul

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Its been a while since I last blogged and this blog is a note to myself to remind that I should blog regardless of where my weight loss is at. Good or bad.

My last blog post I had lost 1.5lbs and my weight was 15st.11lbs. That was on the 14th June.

A month later lets see where I have been week by week.

21st June another 2lbs off, that took me to 15st9lbs

28th June, I stayed the same

05 July 1lbs on. Back up to 15st 10lb

This week, 12th June, another 0.5lb on

Current weight is 15st.10.5lbs

Not good enough really.

I’ll fill you in on what’s been happening.
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1st July I did my 10k Race for Life. It was amazing. I beat my personal best and completed the race in 1hour, 5 mins, 27 second. Happy couldn’t even begin to describe it. When I signed up for the race it was because I needed incentive to exercise and help stay in track. It had been a long 6months getting to that point. A real journey.I’m so glad I did it. The question is, what next? More on that later.

The week after the run I was very tired and run down. I didn’t exercise at all and ate badly. I didn’t track, so having only put on 1lb I could handle that. I know that WW works and how to make it work.

This past week has been a different story. I was sick. I think it was food poisoning but the effects have lasted all week and In fact I haven’t been able to eat properly at all.

Some people close to me have said it might have been a virus as this thing really wiped me out. I was sleeping badly, waking up so nauseous and feeling so ill through out the day. No energy at all.
I thought having eaten so little, I must have lost weight, but nope, another 0.5lb on. Not really sure how or why but I don’t have the energy to challenge it.

So today! I am at day 1. Today is the day I go back to basics. track track track with a vengeance. Exercise starts again today and a new mini goal has been set!

The aim is to be under 15stone by 30th August weigh in. That’s 6 weeks to lose 11lbs. A safe rate to lose weight is 2lbs per week so this is a doable goal if I apply myself, which I absolutely can.

The aim after that is to be under 14stone by the end of October, but I’ll begin to cross that bridge when I get to the end of August.

The Saturday night before I got sick I was out with my friend who is one of the fittest, hottest girls I know. Coming up for 18 months ago now I found out about her journey and she is the person who made me realise I can achieve this and I know she wants me to succeed so I’m not going to fail her on this.

As always I am looking for people who want to run with me around the Lewisham/Blackheath area. Weekday evenings mainly and Sundays, but not Thursdays.

My next exercise goal is a half marathon. There is the Nike Run to the Beat half Marathon in October. I might give that a go, but I’m scared. 13miles is a lot more than 6. I would need a proper training plan. What do you all think?

Promise I wont leave my next post so long. I love it when you all hassle me to do more, so don’t be shy and if you think you can help me, I’m so open to ideas. Get in touch.

x

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The Big “Fat” Issue

8 Jun

Had to reblog this amazing post from my friend Angel-Dee.

run angel, run

I have been toying with speaking on this issue for a month now, but I have decided I would finally blog about this after a conversation with a friend.

After reading about Women’s Sport and Fitness Foundation’s recommendations to encourage more young women to remain interested in sport, I did go off on Twitter about it.

If you haven’t heard/read about it (article here) some of the recommendations included Zumba classes and rollerblading which made my blood boil. There was also mention that girls felt that being sweaty was not feminine. This rang true with what I remember the girls at my school feeling like which prevented them from participating in activities. But do you think Zumba and rollerblading are a way of changing those imo negative images of fitness? Because I don’t!!

There is already tons of terrible imaging for staying healthy in the industry. Photos of…

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Thursday, Thursday

31 May

Happy Thursday everyone!

Well Friday by the time most of you read this. Heehee

Sooooo. Weigh in day today.

Once again the nerves got me as the clock crept closer to 5.30pm

Going over in my head all the snacks and indulgences I’d had. Was the exercise enough to counter it?

Was I finally going to under 16stone. A whole new weight bracket.

I just knew I shouldn’t have had pizza express on Sunday. And what about that Tesco finest paella I had on Wednesday!! Eeeeek

I have been very naughty this week, I weighed myself in the week and didn’t like what I saw. Beth (flatmate) if you’re reading this, please hide the scales again.

So yes, very nervous.

Also, the deal I had made with my weight watchers leader was to be UNDER 16stone. Not 16stone on the button.

So I get to the meeting. I do the shop there. It’s something I really enjoy and allows me to talk to loads of members and find out how they are doing.

So I set up the shop.

It usually looks like this:

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And decided it was now or never. I didn’t want to look at the scales. Saz told me to take off my glasses so I couldn’t see. I felt so certain of disappointment. And then I heard my Leader say “sorry Leeanne”…….

JOKE

1lb off! 15stone 13lbs. A new official!!! Officially under SIXTEEN STONE!

Fricking ace!

Actual tears in my eyes. So so happy.

So hear we are. I’m in bed, smiling like a loon.

Also feeling a bit smug that I got up at 6am this morning to run a 5k.

Basically, I’m on fire!

The only thing that can stop me is me.

Please look out for a very special post on Sunday. Xxxx

I’ll leave you with this…

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