Tag Archives: healthy-living

Swim a mile in her shoes

26 Aug

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Find out more about Swim Dem Crew here.

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!