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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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Foodage 23 May 2013

23 May

Here’s the food! Yum (maybe)

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Empty porridge bowl. Sorry. Scot oats, banana and blueberries made with water

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Lunch: tuna and baked sweet potato with salad and low fat dressing

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Yogurt for sweet treat

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Morning Snacks. Only had some of the peas

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Afternoon snack before home time

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Dinner: grilled haddock and veg. Was gonna do couscous but I’m lazy

Over and out

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 🙂

3 More Sleeps

18 Apr

Laying here in bed, three more sleeps before quite possibly the biggest day of my life so far.

So many thoughts.

Collected my number and time chip today.

Came home and lounged in my race kit for couple of hours.

I can do this! Can I do this?

I CAN do this.

It’s only 26.2 miles. People keep telling me I am so calm about the distance but people run marathons everyday. Or do they?

Sometimes it feels special, sometimes it feels like I’m doing something loads of people do. What’s the big deal?

People asked if I would still run after Boston. I will run for Boston. No one is going to scare me off MY roads, OUR roads.

I also run for my younger brother and sisters mum who passed away on Tuesday after a long battle with Cancer.

Families are so complicated. My heart is broken for those two children and if what I’m feeling is just a fraction of what they feel then they are the strongest people I know.

I run for my charity, The London Community Foundation. I worked so hard to raise this money for them and I’ll be damned if I fall at the last hurdle.

I run for those who can’t run.

I run for me. This is just another part of my journey on the long road to being the best me I can be.

Three more sleeps and three million more late night thoughts.

Let the taper begin!

2 Apr

Let’s catch up!

I know I’m terrible at blogging at the moment. I worry that I’ll bore you all ha ha.

I’m officially in the tapering zone right now. Eating right and fuelling my body and mind for the 21st April.

The past few weeks have been filled with long runs and my last long run was on Easter morning. 20 miles. It took just under four hours. Feeling really happy with that time.

It’s really interesting how my body has reacted to these runs. I am finding the last one – two miles the hardest each time. But never unreachable goals. I think my body just knows that only 20 more mins or so and I’ll be at the end. It can see the finish line and it’s a bit of mind power to push to the end.

I think my hardest long run was my 15miler. I did it with my cousin the week after Paris. He is quite a lot faster than me and it felt like I pushed it quite hard for that run.

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Running 18 miles in the snow a couple of weeks ago was definitely challenging, mainly because I was trying to stay up right but this was the run that I feel helped me find my pace for Race day. 18 miles in 3hours 27mins. That’s what I like.

The last two miles up hill in to Highgate were something special. And not the good special, but ploughed through it and felt great afterwards.

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My final long run this weekend was of a similar pace. 20miles in 3hours 52mins. We took in a shortened version of the marathon route, doing a circuit of Canary Wharf and up in to the Mall. That took us to 17 miles; we finished with the final few miles along the Thames down to Tower Bridge.

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Man, the end of this run brought with it such relief! The taper has begun.

It’s now time to finish prepping and feeding my mind and body for the biggest physical challenge I have ever undertaken.

A lot of people keep telling me how casual I am about running all these miles. It’s not that I am being blasé, I just don’t think I have fully realised how far 26.2miles is, I’ve tried to comprehend how far I would get if I ran for 26miles outside of London, but it just doesn’t make sense. I was never good with distances at school.

I’ve finished with the fundraising part of the marathon a few weeks ago and having hit my target meant that for these last few weeks the focus on my running has been much less intense and with out worry. Thank you to everyone who donated and who continues to donate. You can add to my epic total here.

Weight wise, I have no idea how much I weight right now. My weight over the past month had gone up and down around the 15st mark. I am extra hungry and probably not making the best food choices after my long runs so therefore I am not seeing results on the scales and I don’t want to feel disheartened about this. So I agreed at the suggestion of the amazing Saz, my weightwatchers leader, that she would weigh me but not tell me the results. This has taken such pressure off let me tell you, but I do need to ensure I am eating correctly in order to be able to fuel my body properly.

And regardless of the scales, I am now pretty firmly into a size 14 clothes wise with a few size 12 dress choices. So I can’t complain.

I am starting to like what I see in the mirror and as a result I am finding myself taking more and more pics of me in my new purchases and sticking them up on instagram. I started to feel a bit narcissistic but then I remembered how I used to feel. Big and bloated and now I don’t. I’m so happy with my progress and I do want to show it off a bit. People keep telling me I need to look at how far I’ve come and I’m starting to believe that.

A friend of mine this morning asked me to post some “top tips”. I can’t really say I have many, apart from this. If you really want to become fitter and healthier and slimmer then you will do it. No matter how hard it gets.

You will eat better, you will train hard. You’ll set your goals and you’ll make sure you hit them because you’ll be so sick of how you currently feel that you’ll have no option but to change.

Seeing and feeling the changes. Feeling unstoppable is the most gratifying thing.

I’m currently reading A Life Without Limits by Chrissie Wellington, as suggested by one of my blog readers the other month. Sitting on the tube reading this book has reduced me to tears thinking about all the things I can push myself to do. I suggest anyone who has goals, reads this book. You just don’t know until you try.

I’ve recently been wondering how I will feel after the Marathon. Will I want to continue running marathons? I do know I want to really push my body to see what it is really capable of. I also know I want to see how many miles I can run in one day. I’m not talking about racing, but if I was to take a long leisurely run with gels and water etc. how far could I really go?

We’ll see aye!

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Throwback Thursday

7 Mar

There is a trend in social networking site “Instagram” where by people post old pictures of themselves and hash tag them #TBT or #throwbackthursday.

Thought I’d do a little throwback Thursday here.

Enjoy 🙂

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And back to today….

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Halfway point!

26 Feb

Well, it’s been a while. I had a little blogging break. Had a bit of brain freeze and wasn’t really sure what to put in this space.

First things first, I want to say thank you to everyone who commented and emailed me and checked up on my after my last blog post. It really means a lot too me.

I want you to all know that I’m fine. That post was exactly what this blog is about, me getting my thoughts, fears, happiness, anxiety and realisations out to you all.

My journey is long and hard, it’s about health, weight loss, running and most importantly, succeeding.

Over the past few weeks since my last post I’ve achieved a lot! My fundraising is going epically well. But that’s a separate post for you all.

On Saturday 3rd February, I actually ran half marathon distance. Say whaaaat?

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A small group of us headed out from Blackheath, across the Thames to East London up to Tower Bridge and back down the other side. It was meant to be 12 miles but by the end we just thought, “what the hey” and carried on.

2hours and 26mins later I had done it.

Now, no matter what, I know I can take on Paris and win! There is no doubt.

My times are getting faster. On the 12th February I ran my fastest mile. 9mins 40seconds.
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I honestly couldn’t see myself running under 10min miles. But that night two of my miles were under 10mins and the rest (bar one) were all faster than any previous run.

I cried when I got back to the RDC HQ. it was a tough week. I had fallen out with a friend, I was feeling unwell and that run broke the emotional barrier for me.

Sometimes things happen which make you ask “what’s the point?” I didn’t want to run that night, but I knew it would do me good. And Good it did.

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I haven’t run since then. The little head cold turned into a full blown viral infection. Anti-biotics for an ear, throat and sinus infection. I barely got out of bed for 5 days, the following 7 days after that I had such a sticky cough that walking up stairs killed me.

I had to reach in to my faith pocket that I’d be well this week before Paris and after a successful 4hour Zumba marathon, I can say I feel I’m back on form.

I really missed running but I knew I had to have this week of rest or I just wouldn’t feel healthy.

So here we are at the halfway point of my marathon journey and I feel right on track!

So now me and the mister in are in super excited “Paris here we come” mode. I keep googling the area and looking at the Paris Semi website to see what we need to do, where we pick up our bibs.

Medical certificate signed off (legitly) I am on my way folks!!

Update of the race on Monday or Tuesday next week, pics and all!

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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

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