Tag Archives: weightloss

The Joy of Crossfit

21 Aug

I love it when my friends send me emails saying “let’s do this”. As long as I don’t see a giant price tag I have a tendancy to just say yes and suffer the consequences later (see me running the London Marathon in 2013).

So in July Claudette sent me a Groupon link to a 30 day trial of Crossfit at the Royal Docks Crossfit Gym in Custom House for £30. Well with a bargain like that, how could I say no.

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For those that don’t know, Crossfit is a brand of fitness which incorporated HiiT, Olympic lifting, power lifting, calisthenics and various other techniques to give an all round work out and help you get fitter and stronger.

Watch some of the videos on YouTube. It is hardcore.  Also check out this super inspirational story. super inspiration

I am not a strong person. I can’t do push ups or pull ups and I hate burpees with a passion so I wasn’t sure how well I’d do in these sessions but if you don’t try you don’t know.

The aim was to take full advantage of the sessions by going three times a week, which was the maximum allowed on the deal.

We started on a Friday evening with a mandatory intro session which included a warm up, an explanation of the move we would be using that day. This was then followed by a strength building segment and then the Workout of the day (WOD). The session ended with a stabilisation session. All sessions ran in this format and the WOD would always be posted up on a board so you knew right away what you were in for.

I was really impressed with how the coaches taught the sessions. If ever I was struggling they would be right there on hand to either sharpen my technique or give me an adjustment to help make it easier but just as effective.

David and Bart were the main coaches and their enthusiasm for teaching the sessions really helped when I was struggling or not really feeling it. Everyone was greeted with a high five and a big smile.

The hardest parts of the sessions were the WOD’s. It would be a circuit of anything up to 30 mins and would involved the technique learnt in the session, HiiT and bodyweight excerises generally for as many rounds/reps as possible or AMRAP. I must say there is an acronym for everything in Crossfit lol.

I feel these circuits are designed to push you to the limit. Many times at the end of the session I’d just want to collapse on the floor and sleep to recover, the doms were hell but I knew it was worth it.

Over the 4 weeks I found myself getting stronger. By the last week I found my burpees were much more controlled and weren’t as awful. I still can’t do a pull up but I found myself hanging from a bar at least being able to lift my legs up higher.

My biggest challenge during the sessions was in my third week when they introduced me to box jumps. I’ve always been in awe of people who can jump up on boxes with what looks like minimal effort. I could never do that. The box was 20 inches high, just over 1.5 feet. I looked at it and braced myself and tried to jump.  My feet barely left the ground. I just ended up with my knees slamming onto the box very hard.

It didn’t even hurt but in that moment I felt defeated. My mind was clearly in the wrong place that day. David rushed over to check I was ok and I just teared up.  He pretty much told me to fix up, albeit in a very kind way. Still can’t believe I cried. 😦

We sorted me out a shorter platform using weight plates. It wasn’t that much shorter but it was manageable and I completed the work out. I felt so useless.  I wasn’t special or the only one using a shorter platform but I was super hard on myself.

I wrote a very sorrowful facebook post that evening and im very grateful to the encouragement my friends showed me.

Next session I was in a better place and I don’t think it was a coincident that the whole session seemed to be focused around box jumps. I used the proper box, at the prescribed height and towards the end of the session I even added an extra plate which I think gave me an extra 2 inches. I did 110 box jumps by my calculations.

This was my face at the end of the session.

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Once again I proved to myself I can do anything I put my mind to.

It showed me that as well as a strong body, I need a strong mind and being in the right place mentally is so important. In my last session we did box jumps again and I stacked it very early on but because my mind was right I was able to just get up and carry on. The bruise is very sore now though.

I would have loved to carry on but full membership is just too expensive for me at the moment at over £100 a month it would be too much of a push right now. I’ll be back as soon as I can afford it.

Here is a link to the Groupon deal for anyone interested. It’s closed for the moment but hopefully they’ll run the offer again. It is fully worth it.

David and Bart, I’ll see you guys again soon.

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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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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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That’ll Learn Me…

29 May

So! I think I might be over the lazy bug…maybe. Managed a couple of 5k runs already this week. Have been written a toning plan by my lovely friend and things are going well.

Over indulged a little on the weekend. Pizza Express had a 3 courses for £12.95 – who can resist?? Not me haha

But I wanted to tell you what happened to me last night.

My UK readers will know we have had some awesome heat over the past week. It’s been amazing.

I knew I wanted to run last night but wanted to wait until it was a bit cooler, so I watched Hollyoaks yay!

Left my place around 19.50 it was still stuffy but nice and cool.

Took a new route and went past some Wisteria Lane type street, where people I passed greeted me with smiles and admiring looks. Was great.

Did just over 5.6k and got home starving.

Started to make dinner. Chicken in a tomato-ish curry sauce, with 40g of rice and lots of veg. I deserved this feast of kings

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But I was feeling sooooooo hot and a bit weak.

I sat down to eat, took two delicious mouthfuls and then sprinted to the bathroom where I sat on the floor for 15 minutes groaning and in awful nauseous pain. I’m going to be graphic now, I didn’t know if it wanted to come out the top or the bottom and was too scared to move in case it was both.

Dizziness and nausea passed and I thought “yay, time to eat”. Stood up and then projectile vomited, it was the worst thing ever. Those of you who have been long term readers or read back my posts will see I had this problem back in January. It wasn’t fun. This was worse than that.

It ended up in my hair, over my arms. I was all alone.

My boyfriend called me and I sobbed down the phone to him, then my mum phoned and after she had gotten over the shock of her youngest daughter wailing down the phone to her she laughed! (thanks mum) I sobbed for a good 5 minutes to her, then composed myself.

I was a mess.

Lol

I learnt a valuable lesson though. More sugar!!!!! I think my body just crashed in the heat. And no hot kitchens!

I feel much better today though and think its hysterical this morning. So thanks for letting me share with you.

See you in thursday for the Weigh In.

Xx

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