February Fitness – Week 3

Effort in, results out continues to be the order of the day. I’m down another 2lb this week and feeling stronger all the time. More importantly I’ve fallen back in love with exercise. Where my workout mojo was absent for the entire 12 months of 2014, we’ve been reunited and it’s a beautiful thing to behold!

Here’s how I did on the exercise front last week …

Tuesday 11th February – PT session with Lauren involving Boxing drills.

Wednesday 12th – Friday 14th were gym free zones. As with last week this was mostly due to work commitments and the other half commandeering the car.

Saturday 15th February – Morning Spin Class. This was intended to be Double Spin, see the link for more, and that blasted bike still isn’t fixed as I went to Spin this lunchtime and watched a guy get off the same bike 5 minutes into class and move to a spare. After the nightmare Spin Class I completed 30 minutes speed intervals on the treadmill.

Treadmill Intervals

Sunday 16th February – Morning Cardio Conditioning Class with a stand in teacher. Oh my, this session nearly killed me. The guy that led the session has some learning to do (I found out later it was his first class). Although very pleasant and supportive, he had one setting and that was turbo. Instead of the usual small breaks for water and making up with your lungs he just kept going and going. About 3-4 times during circuit one he pulled us in a circle to do knee lifts, mountain climbers and press ups. He also called us out to spar with him in the centre. Holy moly. I was really pleased I kept going and pushed myself but Rich, mate, seriously remember not everyone is as fit as you.

Monday 17th February – Evening Circuit Training. This class us so much fun, seriously we all laugh a lot and the group is made up week on week of the same people. Nice relaxed, non judgemental atmosphere. All ages and shapes and sizes. It’s great having my Brother in this one as well.

Another consistent and positive week, yay!

Tuesday Eats #7, 2014 …

Welcome to the last ‘Tuesday Eats’ before I head overseas for a few weeks and am blocked from Blogging!

Another good week on the workout and food front with the exception of baking some rather good Flapjacks on Valentines Day. They were meant to be for Michael but I confess several found their way down my neck!

I’m still trying to keep the bread intake down. I’ll find out later if this approach is continuing to pay dividends.

In the meantime and in the tradition of being open and honest, here’s everything I ate yesterday ..

This week for Breakfast I will mostly be eating Peppered Mackeral Fillets, thanks to my Brother and Sister in Law picking me up a big bag of them in Costco. So hey, guess what? Yesterday breakfast was a Peppered Mackeral Fillet, Scrambled Egg and Wilted Spinach!

Breakfast

Mid morning I ate the last Cereal Bar in the cupboard.

Chocolate Cereal Bar

The power of a protein packed breakfast was evident by my very light lunch. This consisted of a Mini Babybel Cheese, Celery and Carrot Sticks and Moroccan Houmous.

Light Lunch

I was still full before heading out to Circuit Training so I didn’t bother with an afternoon snack.

Once back from the Gym I made myself Oven Baked Cod with a Lemon Breadcrumb topping, Roasted Cherry Tomatoes and a small (doesn’t look small in the photo!) Sweet Baked Potato.

Dinner

I ended the day with 2 squares of Dark Lindt Chocolate with Coconut, earned through good old fashioned hard work in the gym!

Dark Chocolate

I also drank 3 Litres of water and three Jasmine Green Teas throughout the day.

One more week of controlled, mindful eating then back to the less controllable scenario in Kazakhstan.

The Before …

On January 1st I decided enough was enough and set myself the target of dropping 2 stone in weight (28lbs) and to make a decent dent in my fat percentages. Starting 2013 on crutches and spending half of it overseas had played havoc with my eating, motivation, comfort level and fitness. At that time I decided to keep things realistic (yes, that word again) and not set too many date targets. The only interim target I set myself was to lose half a stone (7lbs) by mid February. I’ll find out tomorrow if that has been the case.

I need to shock myself into submission and I need to see results so here are what I hope will be some good before pictures taken on the first day of the year.

Front view, groan.

Front

Back view, oh the shame!

Back

Side view, yuk.

Side

Progress report to follow this week.

The Day I Tried to do Double Spin …

Today started off with me frantically running round the house trying to locate my Luluemon headband. It was a fruitless exercise as I have no blinkin clue where it’s got to. This disorganised run up and down the stairs saw me leave the house late and get outside the Spin studio just as the previous class was leaving, including my sweaty Brother.

I was armed and ready. 1.5 litre bottle of water, spin shoes, homemade piece of pick me up flapjack for the midway point and a towel, I was good to go.

Then, I started cycling.

I set the resistance to an 8 for the first minute or so to warm my legs up and thought “holy crap I must be tired.” My legs felt like lead weights and the 8 felt tough. Normally I’m sprinting on a 14 and standing sprint on a 16, so what the heck was going on. I had a look around and thought “nope, everyone else seems fine, must be me”.

As the class went on and my resistance and resulting calorie burn stayed low I became increasingly fed up. At this point the voice in my head kicked in. It went something like this “you are weak”, “thought you could manage a double spin, over reached yourself don’t you think?”, “you are not going to make it” and so on.

When the class came to an end I was so annoyed with myself that I didn’t stick around for the cool down. Instead I went to speak to my Brother who by this point was doing difficult looking things with weights, very high steps and Swissballs.

After I’d ranted and raved, had beaten myself up and used the term ‘epic fail’ more than once he said to me “that happened to me last week, what bike were you on?” I told him and he smiled and said “yeh, that was the bike I was on, they’ve set the resistance wrong, it’s the bike, not you!” Turns out he’d done double spin the week before, struggled through the first session (he’s extremely fit), had the same thoughts as me but instead of throwing his teddy out of the pram, he simply changed bikes for session 2 and was fine!

Ho hum.

So instead of the second Spin Class I did 30 minutes of intervals, walk, run, walk, run on the treadmill.

Treadmill Intervals

I’m now suspecting that I got a bl**dy good workout during the Spin Class and my burn was probably high. The experience also says to me my mind is weaker than my body and I’ve got some work to do to get it right!

I’m now off to clear out my gym kit drawer and turn the house upside down in a search for the missing headband.

REALISTIC Goals – February 2014

Snowdrops

As I mentioned in last months goals the only way I am going to get to where I want to get to in 2014 is by keeping things challenging but with an emphasis on REALISTIC.

I did a good job in January but things are about to get a whole lot more challenging as I head back to Kazakhstan in just over a weeks time. Just to make things even trickier on the food front, the Kazakh Government have just devalued the national currency by 20%, shops have been closing their doors and prices on imported goods are shooting up. The majority of fresh fruit and vegetables (when available) are imported.

Anyway, life throws these little curve balls to keep things interesting.

Here are my February goals, albeit a little late!

1) Workout at the gym or in my apartment at least 3 times a week.

2) Cook 2 new recipes and share them on Fit Foot.

3) Do a double Spin Class.

4) Buy an exercise mat and take it with me back to Kazakhstan.

5) Get carpet samples, new sofa, window blind and ceiling light for home office.

6) Sort out my Times newspaper subscription from my mobile phone provider.

7) Clear out my gym kit drawer!

8) Bake something as the oven has finally been fixed, hooray!

9) Sign up for a challenge.

All doable, no excuses!

“Here’s to always moving forwards”.

February Fitness – Week 2

At last the effort I’m putting in is starting to make a difference. Last week I lost 5lbs, yes people, 5lbs & I worked for every last ounce!

On the food front it was more protein and smidgin less carb. On the exercise front, whilst I didn’t get to the gym as much as I would have liked I worked out at a consistently high intensity to make a difference. You gotta love Circuit Training!

So here’s how I did last week …

She believed ..

Tuesday 4th February – PT session with Lauren involving the TRX, Kettle Bell Squats, Rope Work and Treadmill Intervals.

Wednesday 5th – Friday 7th were gym free zones. This was due mostly to the blasted strike by London Underground workers, meaning the other half needed the car more than me and secondly, by having to go the Kazakhstan Embassy to pick up my Visa for 2014.

Saturday 8th February – Morning Spin Class. I learnt a lesson that morning, NEVER judge an instructor by their cover. The normal instructor Tom had a weekend off so in stepped Julie. Now Julie looked to me like a kindly Auntie, mid 50’s at a guess, all friendly and smiley. At the beginning she said work to your own resistance and I thought “this is going to be dull”. Wrong! How many standing sprints can you fit into 45 minutes? Lots apparently! My red face and shocked lungs reflected how challenging her class was, phewee!

Sunday 9th February – Morning Cardio Conditioning Class with ex professional cheerleader, Kimberly. This really is a circuit class but one that gets progressively more on crack as the hours goes on. We started with a warm up followed by circuit 1 with 30 seconds at each station. Circuit 2 we completed 1 minute at each station. Circuits 3 & 4 were evil 20 second bursts at each station. I knew I was in trouble on the last 2 as it became increasingly difficult to spring back up if the station was a floor exercise to standing exercise. Abs and a final burst of cardio followed, before stretching and being reunited with my heart. Anyway, I survived .. pat on the back Fit Foot.

Monday 10th February – I walked into lunchtime Spin class to be met with my PT and Circuit Class trainer, Lauren. She just laughed a wicked laugh when she saw me. It’s the first time I’ve done Lauren’s Spin Class and I sweated buckets. In the evening I headed back to the Gym for Circuit Training. I could really feel the earlier class in my legs but gave it 100%.

Today my new exercise mat and carry bag turned up ready for its trip to Kazakhstan the week after next. The gym, residents of my apartments can use is a walk outside to another building. With snow, ice and temperatures of up to -47 with windchill lets not kid ourselves that I’m spending two weeks visiting said gym. Indoor exercise in my apartment will be the order of the day.

Very positive week, yay!

Tuesday Eats #6, 2014 …

I have one very tired body.
I’m writing this post having just returned from Circuit Training, which on its own would be energy sapping but I squeezed in a lunchtime Spin Class as well. My workouts were a bit patchy over the last 7 days so two sessions in one day was an example of me trying make up the deficit. It feels good to know I’ve got back to the point in just over a month where that amount of activity is possible. Yay!

I’ve had a pretty good week on the food front. I cut out the Turkey Sausages (boo hiss) and reduced my bread intake by a fair bit. Time will tell if it helps me drop some lbs, here’s hoping!

In the meantime and in the tradition of being open and honest, here’s everything I ate yesterday ..

I started work early to prep for an important meeting. As soon as I logged on however, I found the meeting had been cancelled. Oh the joys of managing a 5 hour difference. Breakfast consisted of 3 turkey rashers (26kcal each), scrambled egg (2 whites + 1 yolk) and some wilted Spinach.

Turkey Rashers

I have to say the Turkey Rashers, albeit low in fat and calories, are pretty dull. I need to find another source of breakfast protein that’s a tad more exciting.

Mid morning, about an hour before Spin I enjoyed 10 almonds and an orange.

Orange & Almonds

As soon as I got home I mixed up, and downed a chocolate protein shake.

Protein Shake

About an hour later I had a wholemeal roll with chicken breast and salad, a mini Babybel cheese and an apple.

Lunch

Just before heading out to Circuit Training I grabbed a cereal bar …

Chocolate Cereal Bar

Once back from the Gym I headed straight to the kitchen and threw together a Niçoise salad using up left overs, ‘waste not want not’ as the saying goes.

Niçoise Salad

I also drank a ridiculous amount of water and three Jasmine Green Teas throughout the day.

Pretty good day I think, so please fat stores, do one!

Spiced Indian Potatoes with Pan Fried Cod …

On the hunt for low fat recipes I stumbled across this one in a Slimming World Curry Cookbook. If you want a healthy meal that packs a spicy warming punch, this is the one for you.

Ingredients

1lb 12oz of new potatoes
1 onion
4oz green beans
Sachet of Bombay Potato spice
400g tin of chopped tomatoes
4 x Cod fillets
Fry light or olive oil

Ingredients

1) Cut the potatoes in half, place in boiling water. Cook until tender and drain. Peel and slice the onion and halve the beans. In a frying pan stirfry the onion for 3-4 minutes. Add the Bombay spices and beans and fry for a further minute. Add the tomatoes and potatoes, cover and simmer for 5-10 minutes, stirring occasionally.

2) Meanwhile in another frying pan, fry the cod fillets for 2-3 minutes each side, until cooked.

Cod Fillets

3) Divide the potato mixture between 4 plates and serve with a cod fillet on top of each.

Spiced Indian Potatoes

February Fitness – Week 1

I am enjoying my workouts.
I am enjoying Circuit Training a lot!
Things got a little Spin heavy this week.
I am worried about heading back overseas in a couple of weeks time and the disruption to my routine that it will inevitably cause.

In the meantime here’s how I did on the exercise front at the end of January, beginning of February.

Motivation

Wednesday 29th January – Lunchtime Spin session

Thursday 30th January – Lauren the PT was ill so I fended for myself in the gym and completed a fairly hard 45 minutes of resistance work (TRX, Kettle Bells, Planks etc..) followed by 15 minutes of intervals on the treadmill.

Saturday 1st February – Morning Spin Class (over 400 kcal burned, nice!)

Sunday 2nd February – I was shattered so I cancelled my planned Circuit Training in the morning and instead headed for a late afternoon Spin Class instead. I’m pleased I did something.

Monday 3rd February – Circuit Training. The first circuit we worked individually. It included lots of press up combinations (plank to press up, press up to tricep press up, mountain climbers to press up … Ouch!) as well as the usual suspects, shuttle runs, squats, step ups etc.. The second rotation was completed in pairs. I paired up with my super fit Brother and had a right laugh while still training hard. I am loving this class!

So there we have it, five workouts in total. Next week things won’t look so great, the Tube Strike in London has meant the other half needs the car and I’ve been stuck at home. I anticipate 3 workouts next week … unless I decide to do a double Spin on Saturday!