Friday, 28 February 2014

Week 8 - Weigh in

"Many of life's failures are people who did not realise how close they were to success when they gave up"

Ooooh I feel like I have so much to talk about today, limiting carbs, weigh in, what I've been up to... it's all been happening this week.

Like they do to keep the suspense building (even though I know you've ALL just scrolled straight passed this text and to my pictures ha ha), I'm going to leave pictures and stats until the end.

So first of all, the ol carbs. As I said last week, to get rid of that stubborn 'girly' 'hormonal' 'post baby' belly fat/muffin top, Esther advised that I cut out the carbs for a bit (not that I was eating 'bad carbs' anyway, but maybe the sugar from the fruit I was eating wasn't helping shift it). The difference from just 3 days (as I write this) is unbelievable. After the first few days of adapting, which involved being very weak at boxing and struggling to get up on Tuesday oh and craving chip barms (!) today has been great and I am no longer craving anything carby/sweet and feel full of energy (Leanne O'Connell, you told me so). I even had a tiny bit of brown rice on my plate today with my chilli and I didn't bother with it.  So here are the pictures of my tummy. First picture taken on Saturday, second picture taken today (Thursday). As you can see, the muffin top has pretty much gone, and that isn't even in a week.

 I personally don't think the low carb way is sustainable and I'm also not sure how good for you it is with such a high protein diet, so it's not something that I will be doing all the time. However, I think that I may continue with good carbs and have a week cutting down, or maybe one on one off. I've not decided yet or spoke to Esther as we are still in the weeks trial. I have to add as well that Esther isn't just making me do this, she is doing it with me, so with me every step of the way, which is fab because if I'm feeling weak at any moment, I just text her. 

Something funny that happened this week too was that during the tired phase on Tuesday, I really wanted a coffee while I was out and about, so I decided to drive to Costa. I wanted something tastier than an americano so decided to opt for a Chai Latte (not really knowing what it was, but remembering something about them being good for you or having some health benefits(!)). So, I got one, a skinny one mind. Had a taste and it was lovely. Trotted off and got in my car and thought, hmm best check my fitness pal to make sure I'm not messing anything up. I added it......47g of carbs!?!? Well, you can imagine my shock.... then my dilemma... do I continue drinking this lovely new drink I've just discovered (and paid for).... I looked up and saw a bin directly in front of the car.... then I did it, walked to the bin (while drinking it (I agreed to myself I would drink until I took all 3 steps to the bin)) then quick as winky, threw it in the bin!!!!! That, my friends, is commitment to the cause! I then ended up coffee-less and £3 down.

Anyway, if you want to see what I've been eating for the last couple of days, here is the link to myfitnesspal.

And here are the breakdown charts if you can't be bothered going through to mfp.

In terms of workouts, I will zip through these so we can get to the good bits...

Monday - Boxing Bootcamp in Ashton. This was day one of no carbs and boooooy, did I know it. I had no power and not sure how I got through it. Well, actually, I do know, Kate Whitehouse was my partner and kept me going somehow. I was shocked at how I felt, especially as I'd made sure I'd had carbs before the session. I survived though, just. Thanks Kate :)
Tuesday - PT with Esther. We did shoulders and chest. Again, felt weak, despite my porridge pre workout. The chest press was the hardest part and with a weight that wouldn't normally be so hard. I just felt like all my muscles were fatigued.
Wednesday - I had a rest day. There is a reason for this that I will share with you on my next blog (no, I'm  not pregnant).
Thursday - Normally a leg day but Esther mixed things up a bit today and we tried P90X2 (from the makers of Insanity). We did the core workout today and it was an odd workout, because you don't really feel like you are doing anything, but then all of a sudden the pain kicks in and you realise how much you're sweating, oh sorry, I'm a lady, 'glowing' not sweating. 

Now, onto the good bit, the picture gallery (cue Tony Hart's Hartbeat music)

By request, I will do Week 1 v Week 8 but also Week 4 v Week 8 too, so there are quite a few.

The full journey so far

Week 1 vs Week 8

Week 4 v Week 8


Here are the measurements, which were the biggest shock for me. I'm not just saying this now, but I didn't feel like I had lost that much and was genuinely worried about measurements day. I can't say that my clothes have been feeling different, but I'll be honest, I think the main reason for is that I'm permanently in my gym clothes, which is lycra or my mummy uniform which tends to be leggings, leggings, leggings. Oh one item of clothing is definitely loose my bra's pah! Here's why....

So there you go, 8 weeks of hard graft is paying off. I am feeling great and ready for the final 4 weeks. As well as feeling good, another thing that is benefiting from the high protein, is my skin. It's so clear at the moment. I didn't even need foundation this morning, and that is rare for me. 

I am off to Newcastle this weekend (Sunday - Tuesday) and my lovely host, Vicki,  has been fully briefed on what to feed me (or what not to). We have however agreed that I can't go all that way and not have a drink (we will have four kids under 4 between the two of us, wine is a must), so we have agreed Sunday night only. So that can be my cheat day. I've tweaked my workouts too, so not having Friday as a rest day and having Monday instead so it shouldn't affect things too much. I'm also seeing Esther Wednestday/Thursday instead of Tuesday. It's all about the planning ;)

Right, I'll leave it there for now, Danielle Hodson will kill me if I waffle on anymore as she wants to see the pics.

Oh and before I go, for information of Esther's services, including classes and personal training, here is her website

Until next week peeps

Sunday, 23 February 2014

Week seven

"If you don't have what you want, work harder"

I better get this out there before I get going. I had another social event last night (Friday) that involved proseco and maybe pizza and a couple of other bad things that we don't need to dwell on too much. I just wanted to get it out there before I started. However, that is the last social event I have until I finish this challenge, I think. Oh actually, I may have one more but very close to the end but these abs better be out by then and I think after what is planned for the next week or so they will. More on that in a minute.

Back to this week. Well, it has been pretty positive despite the things that I've had to deal with. Firstly, we have the fall out from the weekend before. Monday after a heavy night out.... the last thing you want to do it exercise, right!? I reallllllllly didn't want to. I didn't make it to boxing again so decided I would do an Insanity session I hadn't yet done. I also thought, come on Kirsty, you need to kick ass even though this is the last thing in the world you want to do right now. So, I did (and more importantly survived!!) Insanity Max Interval Circuit........ Anybody who has done this will know what I'm talking about. It is INSANE (sorry) and I'm not even kidding. Imagine my face when I put it on and the time on the screen was 59 minutes rather than the normal 39(ish) mins, and as for the workout itself, just no!! You can ask Matt about the state of me afterwards (and during), I was nearly crying. I very nearly quit with 10 minutes to go and Matt (thankfully) pushed me and said just do that 10 mins and you've completed it, don't give up so close to the end. I did it! Bleugh.

The other thing this week (and sorry for TMI but I think it's important) mother nature was in the houuuuuse. Again, motivation does not go hand in hand with Mother N. She's a bitch. Lately (and this could be the age thing again which I keep harping on about), I am really feeling the affects of Mother N. The tiredness is evil. I am always a Tigger in the morning and get up easily, but not when she is in control. Bad skin, bloating, the whole kit and caboodle. Meh! I also normally feel bad the week before but this time, as I said in my last blog I didn't. Not sure on the reasons, different ovary maybe (that was my mum's theory, bless little Val).

Here in full are the workouts I've done this week:

Monday - Insanity death circuit (aka Max Interval)
Tuesday - PT with Esther - Shoulders and chest then finished with M100 which we smashed out in 7mins 56 seconds. Beat my 9mins 55 secs from the week before.
Wednesday - Mummy & Baby Bootiecamp  which was all about the Kettlebells this week. It was brilliant! Such a good workout and surrounded by lots of cute babies. I can't recommend this class enough.
After this I went to meet my friend Liz and we decided to go to a tea room (yeah, one of those places full of cakes and loveliness!?) However, to get to said cake den, we had to walk 2 miles (so 4 mile round trip) and when we got there we were actual angels and not a single cake passed our lips. I had hummus and Liz had a greek salad. To say we were feeling virtuous afterwards is an understatement (how we resisted the vanilla slices I'll never know, but we did). 
Thursday - PT with Esther - Legs day. Today in particular I was feeling the tiredness and really didn't want to workout. I got to Esther's with bog eyes and my bottom lip tripping me up. However, after the workout, I  said to Esther that I really enjoyed it and was so glad I did it. Just goes to show, when you think you haven't got it in you, you probably have, and will definitely feel better after.
Friday - Rest day
Saturday - Today. I didn't make Park run after getting in at 1am last night. Made the most of the sunshine and walked to the park with the kids. That was my only workout today. I did have the intention of doing Insanity but poor Adam has his first tooth coming through and was inconsolable for most of the day so I couldn't fit it in. 

I must apologise as the last couple of blogs I haven't included the link for my food diary and my friend Karen alerted it to me today and asked me to add it so it's here 

Before I add the pictures I wanted to talk about my belly fat. I have been talking to Esther this week and we have reviewed my food as I am struggling to get rid of that 'girly' fat around by belly. Here is a close up to show you what I mean. It's the lil bit of muffin at the sides and the layer on top which is just hiding the abs.

Now, I know that I'm not FAT per se, but we want abs, well actually, they are there already, we just want to see them. SOOOOOOO, we have agreed to cut out carbs for a week to see how that goes as we think the sugar from the fruit I am having isn't helping. This isn't going to be fun for me, but exciting for you guys to see what affect that will actually have on my tum. Now, this isn't cutting carbs completely, as that would be insane with the workouts I'm doing, but I can only eat carbs when I've worked out, apart from that they are limited. This will be starting from Monday as I couldn't have done that this week with that aforementioned bitch being in residence. The absolute key to next week will be planning. Food planning is an absolute must because it's going to be so hard. I've told you I'm doing it now though, so I need to suck it up. Just avoid me this week if you see me. 

Here are the pics from this week. 

Next week is measurements again and you know what that means, comparison pictures. A few people have been talking to me about this and asked if I would do Week 1 v Week 8 and Week 4 v Week 8 so I will do that for you. We should also see the difference cutting out the carbs will have. Exciting stuff.

Right, I'm off to have a banana to say goodbye to carbs (I love my daily banana lol). Wish me luck!

Tuesday, 18 February 2014

Week 6 - Halfway There

"Believe you can and you're halfway there"

I'm at the halfway point already. To say it is flying by is an understatement, but with the return to work being at the end of this challenge too it's no wonder. 

This week has been so much better than last week, despite the weekend misbehaving (more on that later) and also a number of things trying to test me, like Isabelle being poorly for a couple of days and getting a puncture in Stockport in the middle of the storm... it'll take more than all that to stop me. 

I was also expecting that I would feel rubbish this week as this week in my lady cycle last month (week two) was the week that I was feeling rubbish and demotivated and fat (well, bloated rather than fat).  I thought it would be the same this month but it hasn't been so far.

So lets start with what I've been up to fitness-wise

Monday - Izzy wasn't well so I didn't make it to Boxing so did Insanity Pure Cardio
Tuesday - Despite being up with Izzy in the night, she felt well enough to come to Esther's with me to watch us workout. She joined in every now and then but spent a lot of time laughing at Esther and I grunting and trying not to swear as we did:- Alternate arm chest press on the ball, bent over rows, side crawls, cross upper cuts with weights, diagonal row shoulder press, then abs using the 30 day ab challenge (day 11).
Wednesday - TRIPLE workout day. Baby Bootiecamp with Esther at 10am in Stockport, then a crazy leg workout with Ricky Murphy at Elite Fitness Academy  at 1pm which consisted of squats, 8 x 8 reps of single leg squats, walking lunges, leg extensions and leg press. Just wrong! 
BUT THEN I think the tiredness from the night before made me crazy and I decided to do M100 at home. Anybody fancy doing this quick fat burning workout?? If so, 10 x burpees, 10 x mountain climbers, 10 x jump squats ALL X 10 =100 I did it in 09min 55secs. Go on, give it a go and see how you get on.
Thursday - Interval Training at Abney Hall in Cheadle with Esther. This was no mean feat after the day before. It involved 8 x 8 reps of 3 intervals. Jumping up the stairs at Abney call was interval 1. Interval 2 was sprinting up some hill steps and interval 3 was sprinting up a motorway bridge steps... vile. Have to say, I was VERY happy when it was over.
Friday  - Valentines Day. I just did Ab Challenge Day 14 before my romantic meal.
Saturday - Ab Challenge Day 15.... then, does dancing from 11pm - 5am count as a cardio workout? I think so.
Sunday - Rest Day/Hangover Day....basically a day of dying.

Food-wise I have been doing really well still, apart from the weekend. To be fair, I didn't eat that bad on Valentines day as I was good in the day. The meal we had was T Bone Steak, Veg and Parmentier potatoes... it just went worse for dessert which was my mums homemade Victoria sponge and a few (ahem) Thorntons chocs oh and half a bottle of Proseco which I was drunk after (first time alcohol has passed my lips since I started the challenge).

Saturday wasn't great food-wise, but mainly because I was so busy I didn't have time to eat. Swimming lessons, hair appointments and make over appointments all meant when I checked in to the hotel I was starving so I shared a pizza with my fabulous friend Zoe. As for what I drank that evening... in the hotel...couple of bottles of proseco... in the club my poison was vodka, lime and lemonade (cannot confirm number) and a couple of shots of sambuca.... 

Hangover food wasn't too bad on Sunday, I'm one of those that doesn't eat when I'm rough. Piece of toast and a Sunday dinner at my mums, which to be fair, I struggled to get down and mainly eat the meat and a bit of the veg. So although not great overall this weekend, not too damaging (I hope).

So pictures... these were taken on Thursday (I take them on the same day every week) so it will be interesting to see this Thursdays pictures and see if the weekend had any impact.

I think the abs are coming along nicely. Unfortunately, I can't continue the 30 day ab challenge as I can't do crunches or sit ups anymore on doctors advice. I can plank so I am going to start the 30 day plank challenge instead. 

I really need to step things up a bit now for the final half of this challenge. I think when you don't have lots of weight to lose it's so much harder to change your body. I have also noticed that despite the early changes, age isn't really on my side anymore and now I'm on the wrong side of 30, you really do have to do so much more.

One of my friends who lives local to me (who shall remain nameless) has now started PT sessions with Esther after reading this blog. She has an event she wants to get fit for so is doing two sessions a week. If anybody wants more information about personal training with Esther please go to her website or contact her on 077 0356 9645.

The next blog I will be doing is going to be about body image and is one that I have been thinking about doing for a while. Make sure you tune in as I think a lot of people will have thoughts and comments which I would love to hear about. It's a subject I get on my soap box about, especially now I have a daughter so should be an interesting read.

Until next time.... GO PLANK..

Sunday, 9 February 2014

Week 5

Don't let one bad day stop you from reaching your goal

This week has been a funny ol week. I think it was a bit of a comedown from the high of week 4 and the absolutely amazing comments about the progress so far (thank you so much for all the feedback and comments) but I also think that I have been battling a bit with muscle fatigue and tiredness which everybody will know, doesn't help with staying on track.

So what have I been up to and what has happened. I think I wrote the blog last week on Friday night. I had parkrun the next morning. Now, everybody who knows me will know that I used run, throughout school I was the one who was always winning cross country and 1500m/800m was always my thing. but when I was 16 I had to have surgery on my knees which pretty much ended my running there and then.

I have since tried to train for a half marathon (2009) and during training had a problem with my calf muscles which ended up with a consultant saying I needed surgery, so I stopped running again. As a result, I pretty much hate running now. I don't think it's because of the problems as such, but I just fell out of love with it, so doing it now is a real effort for me, mentally more than anything. So last week I did my second run since having Adam and it was the 5k park run... in the freezing cold....and wind.....bleugh! Mentally it was a struggle getting round and I had to stop/start towards the end.....Now, everybody that knows me, also knows that I am a competitive mare (mainly with myself, not so much others) and I also have an overly competitive dad, where I have to say, nothing is ever good enough and he tries to push me to the extreme, especially where running is concerned. As I'm running, I hear in my head 'pick people off Kirsty', 'stamp up those hills like you hate them', 'sit on your bum(!) when you are coming down hills', 'get through that wall'. 'don't listen to your bloody music' 'JUST WIIIIIIN'. All pretty good advice (apart from the second to last one, I can't run without music), but advice I've  been listening to since I was 12, constantly. But as a result, I always want to do well for my dad.

Anyway, I did the 5k last week and it was bloody awful and I did it in a shocking time and came in a shocking position... so much so I didn't want to tell my dad. And I know, I know, third run since Adam (actually, since July 2012) and all the other factors, but I think after that my head went down a little. I also think it absolutely tired me out (and made me CRAVE carbs like a crazy woman for the rest of the day).

On Sunday it was Get Ripped at Elite and I was in two minds whether to go or not as every part of me felt fatigued. But I went. Then Monday was the same, everything was aching and I felt really tired and a bit meh and I wasn't sure if I was going to go to Boxing, but I did.
And then of course I get into my hardcore 3 days with personal training with Esther Tues/Thurs and a session at Elite for 6 week challenge on Wednesday. In hindsight and after typing this, I should have listened to my body and had a rest because Thursday was when my food started going downhill and when the real tiredness kicked in. Not so much eating really bad (although I'll say now there was oatmeal & raisin cookies involved, and not just one) but not eating right or regularly, so getting hungry, but being tired, so just wanting to have something for that (mainly sugar) high.

Anyway, enough of that week, it's over now. Where am I today, well firstly, I was in bed last night (Friday) at 8.30pm to try and get some energy and I did Park Run this morning, and I knocked nearly two mins off my time and didn't stop, whoop! Still not where I want to be but I have to say, I was buzzing after the run this morning as I really put everything into it. I'm also feeling back on track and planning my food. I think it's safe to say my blip is over.

Workouts this week:
Monday - Boxing Bootcamp
Tuesday - Upper Body workout. I didn't have a car so Esther sent me over my upper body workout and I did it at home. Check out my otterman bench in my bedroom (below). I have to say, I could really tell the difference without Esther. It's only when I workout without her that I see how hard she really does push me.

Wednesday - Chest & Shoulders at Elite
Thursday - Leg Day with Esther. By eck, this was a toughie! We were doing some jump ups on Esthers steps outside and they were a little bit wet so when I went to jump I totally got the fear and jumped, without my legs lifting off the floor! Very bizarre. I then passed that fear onto Esther so I got a impromtu ab workout from laughing so much. The rest of the workout included squats, single leg deadlifts, step ups, body weight wall squats (VILE).
Saturday - Parkrun

Onto pictures, I'm having a few issues with my tum this week where it's quite swelled (no, I'm not pregnant). I don't know if it's the time in my cycle, or if it's the oatmeal & raisin cookie(s) but it's noticeable. However, my shoulders and arms are really changing now, although you can't see that much on these pictures.

My main focus for the next couple of weeks is really getting my body fat down so I can start to see those abs. This is going to involve eating a lot of protein, brown rice and veg and not much else. Oh, but there may be one teeny weeny pre planned blip (if I say it's pre planned does that make it ok?)... I'm off out next Saturday, for the first time in aggggggges, which will involve alcohol... but it will also involve dancing, so that's a workout yeah?

Oh and before I go, I know I said thank you earlier, but this blog has had over 2,500 views and has been viewed in so many different countries, it's unreal. I never ever expected 100 people, never mind over 2k, so again,  thank you for both reading and keeping me motivated.

Big hugs (really tightly, because I'm all strong now innit)