Saturday, November 15, 2014

Prioritising My Life

Hi girls! 

Firstly, I have to apologise because I haven't posted here since JULY 2014. That is just terrible but it's also a symptom of what has happened with my Tone It Up Journey. Basically, it halted, then it has gone backwards. I've gained weight and I'm miserable and inactive. The solution? Get back into the lifestyle!! 

So, I'm back and I'm ready to start living again.. I want to look forward, not backward, so I'm going to be meal planning, prepping and I'll be checking in again a whole lot more!!!! 

I've missed my Tone It Up girls! I want to reconnect with you all again and start feeling awesome again. 

I promise to do better!!

C xxx

Monday, July 21, 2014

Motivation Monday ~ Strive for Progress, Not Perfection!

It is already Tuesday! Monday has simply flown by!

I started my Monday with the Tone It Up Jump Your Heart Out workout - it is an HIIT workout that has you skipping / jumping rope and then keeping that heart rate up with lunges, squats and tricep dips. It was really hard! I managed to get through the three rounds and was definitely sweating by the end of it! I wish I had had my heart rate monitor, though because I'm sure I made a number of fat cells cry!!

I'm proud that I completed 3 planks. The first I managed to hold for 40 seconds, the second one for 30 seconds and the third and final one for another 40 seconds. I am really pleased with these results because I haven't done a plank since 2013 before my neck / disc issues started! By November, I really want to be able to hold a plank for 5 minutes.

Food was also bang en pointe today and I finished the day with a big green surplus! Any readers who are on MyFitnessPal will know what I am talking about! One of my friends on MFP showed concern that I wasn't eating enough to fuel the increased exercise and that I risked damaging my metabolism. I fully agree with the sentiment and was touched that this person cared enough to bring this to my attention. However, because I have Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome (PCOS), my Endocrinologist has told me that I need to drop my calories really pretty low (on average, 1000 calories per day, much lower than what is usually recommended) in order to combat the PCOS and to ensure that I am dropping weight. As you already know, I'm looking to have lost around 50lbs by the time November rolls around. The pressure is on!! It means that I need to lose about 10lbs a month. Next weigh-in day is Friday 1st August, so I will keep you posted on any changes! I'm pretty excited for August's weigh in because I really feel like I've been making progress through July. We will see if my efforts are rewarded by the scale... here's hoping!

There were so many opportunities yesterday when I could see an improvement in my fitness and my attitude towards this journey. I'm trying so hard to focus on enjoying the journey, rather than becoming hyper-focussed on the end goal.

My friend Amy and I went to the local leisure centre and did a 90 minute yoga class. It was hardcore! I was sweating so much!! It definitely made a few fat cells cry! Randomly, I had really sweaty knees... who knew that yoga could do that to a person?! 

Despite it being quite hard, I actually really enjoyed the class. It pushed me to my limits and then pushed me some more! The best moment was having a chance to do an inverted pose - downward dog into handstand against the wall. I only managed a couple of seconds because my arms were shaking like mad, but I did it. I didn't think I would have been able, but I ignored the negative self-talk and just did it. So proud of myself haha!

To recover from the yoga class, Amy and I took to the pool. We took turns using the pull buoy and I think we swam about 12 lengths each with the float and another 12 while the other person was using it. I'm really beginning to look forward to Monday night workouts with Amy! Consistency is key and now that we have been brave enough to sample one yoga class, I'm sure we will be looking for more!

What were your favourite moments from Motivation Monday? What Non-Scale Victories (NSVs) have you experienced lately?

My advice for this week is to take the proverbial bull by the horns, ignore the negative self-talk and get out there and do it. Challenge yourself physically and mentally. You might just surprise yourself - you can do so much more than you know!

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Making Progress and Loving It!

Last night my husband kindly helped me to check my measurements. The last time I had checked my measurements was 2nd July 2014. I'm happy to report that my body is changing for the better!

Following the Tone It Up Nutrition Plan and working out regularly each day is really working. I'm so excited!!!!


My left calf has gone down by 0.5cm, my left thigh has gone down by 1cm, my hips have gone down by 0.5cm, the largest change has been my waist, which has gone down by 2.5cm, my abs have gone down by 2cm and my right arm has gone down by 1cm. 

I'm so pleased to be able to see that things are finally working! I will be checking my weight and my measurements again on 1st August, so hopefully I will have more good news to report!

I think that banning the scale was a very good idea. It means that I am more inclined to stay on track because I don't want to inadvertently undo my hard work! 

I have really been focussing on my nutrition and really trying to get a hold on the bingeing. So far, I am on day 6 binge-free! I think this is because I am taking part in the July BED Challenge on MyFitnessPal as well as doing a Shoot Your Food challenge that has been set up by Brooke (a.k.a. CrazyRunningMom). I'm posting the foods I eat each day on my Instagram page, so come and follow me on there if you don't already!

This journey I'm on is one of physical, emotional and spiritual change and I feel so blessed to finally be able to show myself enough love to make positive changes. If I can do this, you can definitely do it too.

Friday, July 4, 2014

Mixed Bags

Happy 4th of July!

Today has been rather a mixed bag! This morning went well - I had the (absolutely delicious) apple & carrot muffins that I made from the TIU Nutrition Plan (I didn't have any cardamom, so I substituted mixed spice) for Meal 1. Meal 2 was non-existent because I was waiting for a hospital appointment. Meal 3 was a Tuna Salad courtesy of the NHS catering team at the hospital. Despite buying some very sensible hummus & veggies to have for my Meal 4, I (for psychological reasons yet to be analysed) I chose to ignore the hummus and veggies and instead opted for a binge on ham sandwiches, tomato soup, sensation crisps and chocolate...Erm, yeah. I am definitely paying for that now - my digestive system is punishing me for my stupidity. Meal 5 was a tiny bit of Turkey chilli because I didn't want to have to admit how rubbish I was feeling but...

...for the sake of accountability and being honest with myself... this is the mammoth amount of food I  managed to consume:
10 slices warburton's Tiger Bread = 900 calories
10 slices wafer thin ham = 100 calories
2 x Heinz Tomato Soup = 346 calories
1 x Yorkie = 299 calories
1 x Walnut Whip = 171 calories
1 x Thai Sweet Chilli 150g bag = 755 calories!!!! WTF?!
BingeFail Total Cals = 2571 calories oh my good goddess

In short, I think we can safely assume I shan't be losing any weight this week!  (Not that I'm getting anywhere near any scales, but still). 

It's a new day tomorrow and I will work harder to stay on track with my eating and with my workouts. I did do one cardio workout today, but fely really quite unwell (this was before the binge), so I only did one workout instead of two. If I had stayed the course, it would have been much better - not to mention, I might have avoided bingeing if I had stuck to the workout plan... that didn't happen. I need to stop doing this to myself.

Tomorrow morning I will be going for a run - I'm going to put my trust in Brooke, also known as CrazyRunningMom, who has been giving me some beginner running advice. I am going to take myself off for a morning run and start my day off right. If you aren't already familiar with Brooke's YouTube channel, then please check her out. Her videos are honest, informative, motivational and inspiring.

Another great running YouTube channel is TheGingerRunner - amazing videos, amazing and inspiring. Please go and show both Brooke and Ethan some love because they both have excellent channels which promote running and active lifestyles.

Never give up your dreams (even if you're the only person in the way of them becoming a reality)


Monday, June 30, 2014

A Good Day...!

Happy Monday lovely TiUers! 

Today's check-in: M1: oatmeal, cinnamon, apple = delicious (and I don't like oatmeal...), coffee with dairy-free milk, M2: Cinnabon Smoothie, decaff coffee with semi-skimmed milk, M3: 5 x Black pepper oatcakes, 100g wafer thin turkey, cucumber, tomato, carrots, pukka detox tea, M5: 2 x lamb loin chops, rocket salad, beetroot, carrot, spring onion, curly kale. Having my Meal 4 Nakd bar for dessert :)

Feeling really proud about today because food has been totally en pointe - no binge in sight! 

I have also worked out so hard, today! 

This morning I completed day 2 of week 1, couch to 5k. I did this on the treadmill at the gym and followed it with 30 mins on the elliptical and then walked home. This afternoon I did 40 mins of yoga (Yoga with Adriene on YouTube) then I did the Bikini Body Routine and the 4th July workout. I've racked up 9 miles towards my #250towedding (brother's wedding in November).

Good times. 

Today has been a good day.

Friday, June 27, 2014

The New Gym...

Today I was introduced / inducted to my new gym. I had an appointment with one of the trainers who put together a low-impact cardio and conditioning programme for me which I need to do at least 3 times at week. The programme consists of the following:

10-15 minutes on the treadmill, 1% incline, 2.5-3mph (all the machines measure in miles rather than kilometres).

10-15 minutes on the recumbent bike followed by 10-15 minutes on the elliptical machine, level 3

I then have some conditioning work to do...

3 sets of 15 reps each of the following:

Lower Back Machine, oblique work...

TRX reverse fly, TRX bicep curls, left and right, TRX tricep pushes, left and right.

Swiss Ball work - squats with arm raises

10-15 minutes on moonwalker.

I am also planning on doing some classes and will be keep up with the couch to 5K programme, as well as the TiU workouts! I need to push through to keep mobile - my neurologist is pleased that I am prioritising my health and fitness. I am pleased too!

My nutrition still needs some work - like remembering no dairy or carbs after Meal 3 etc., and I need to make sure I'm not sabotaging my hard work.

When I write it out, it seems so stupid that I struggle to respect myself and yet I do struggle. Time and time again. This is a very interesting journey upon which I have embarked and I am learning so much about myself along the way.

I'm stronger than I realise. I have to remember that.

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

First Week of Summer!

The first week of summer is here! How quickly did that go?! I'm so pleased that summer has finally arrived and I get to spend more time outdoors!

Keeping myself active is one of the weapons I have in my arsenal from overeating / eating the wrong things. The more active I am, the more I get out of the house, the less time I have free to dwell on unhealthy ideas such as bingeing.

I have banned the scales from my house and I have decided to only weigh myself very sporadically. I'm not sure yet if I want to know the number on the scale or not. The reason I banned the scale was because I was weighing myself multiple times a day and I was getting so hung up about the number! I was missing the whole point of this journey, which is to build my health and fitness levels - the weight loss should actually only be a side effect of  me feeling awesome. The problem was, even when I was eating right and exercising well, the number on the scale dictated whether I felt awesome or rubbish. Sadly, it was usually the latter; so the scales have been banned.

It was actually very refreshing to begin my week completely clueless about my weight and to just eat well because it felt good! I stuck to my plan all of yesterday, only lean, clean and green passed my lips. It was a pretty heavy workout day though, so my calories did go over 2000. I'm not letting that worry me though, since I started my day with a little yoga, swam solidly for 30 minutes, then completed week 1 workout 1 of the couch to 5K programme (it was killer).

I want to spend this week focussing on making myself feel better - physically and emotionally and I think that removing those dastardly scales from my life may just have been the first baby step in a long journey.

Friday, June 20, 2014

Fitness Haul and Tone It Up Check-In

I wanted to catch up with you all and also show off the goodies that I bought this week at Cheshire Oaks - I thought a video with be a bit quicker than a long blog post - so here we are!

I will make a separate "What's in My Gym Bag" video with a review of the Nike gym bag I picked up as soon as possible. 

Have healthy days!

Clare x

Friday, June 13, 2014

Operation 50 - Staying Focussed and Reviewing My Goals

Hey TIU girls!

Operation 50 is well underway now - week one is almost over!! How did that happen?? It's been a rollercoaster type of week - I started strong on Monday and killed it with the Spring into Summer Cardio workout. I was really proud of myself and I ran on the treadmill for the first time I can remember, so that made me feel fantastic! I pushed myself out of my comfort zone on Tuesday and went to an Aqua Fit class, which I really enjoyed! It was a lot of fun and didn't feel like I was working out - I was just splashing about and having fun, so I will definitely go back to that next week.

I have been struggling with bingeing this week. So far, I binged on Monday, Wednesday and Thursday. Tuesday was thankfully binge-free and I am planning on today being binge-free too! It's so disappointing when I mess up on my nutrition plan because 80% of getting slim is going to come from nutrition and 20% from fitness. I've been working out really hard this week and my nutrition has been the tripping point. I now have 2.5 days to eat really well in order to try to bring things back on track before Monday's weigh-in and measurement day.

To keep me on track, I wanted to revisit my goals for #Operation50:

  1. Bring weight down to 199lbs or less
  2. Wear a UK size 16 or smaller (bust 102cm, waist 84cm, hips 110cm)
  3. Be able to run constantly for 30 minutes
November feels like it is so far away but the reality of it is that there are only 165 days away and I don't have any room to mess up. This is it. I must do this. I owe this to myself - this body is going to be with me for my whole life, so I need to treat it kindly and with respect. 

I also have some interim goals that I want to achieve along the way:

Family Barbeque
My little brother is finishing primary school on July 25, so my step-mum and Dad are hosting a barbeque to celebrate on July 26th. I won't have seen my family since my birthday (May 6), so I want them to be able to see that I'm shrinking! I also want to have a lovely outfit to wear and will take some TIU-approved goodies to have on the day!
There are only 42 days until the barbeque, so I really need to make these 42 days count! I would like to be below 245lbs by the time of the barbeque and I would like to have a new summery outfit to wear on the day. 

Summer Holiday
I have only got 56 days until my summer holiday on 9th August. The hubby and I are going to France and Germany and are wanting to be as active as possible. I want to get down to 238lbs or less by the time of our holiday. We are camping and fitting a plus-sized body into a sleeping bag is a nightmare, so I don't want to have to squeeze myself in - I want some wiggle room!! I also want to be fit enough that I can go cycling daily with my hubby and I can enjoy our time away. 

October Break
In October, Phil and I want to go to London for a weekend to enjoy a short break with each other and to catch up with some old friends. We will probably go the first or second weekend in October, which means I have around 112 days until then. I want to be approaching my goal by October. I don't want to weigh any more than 220lbs by October 31st, which only leaves me 3 weeks in November to get to my goal weight!

What are you health / fitness goals? 

Wednesday, June 4, 2014

Operation 50 (Well, 67 really, but who's counting?!) Are you game?

On top of Multiple Sclerosis, I also have Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome. Basically, there are cysts on my ovaries and my hormones are messed up. There is some basic information about PCOS from the NHS here.

Some of the weight gain (not all, I have a poor relationship with food), is down to the PCOS and as a result, I see an endocrinologist every 6 months. I had my third appointment on Wednesday and the endocrinologist set me a challenge. To get down to 190lbs by my next appointment. My next appointment is on 26th November 2014. I am challenging myself to lose AT LEAST 50lbs (hence #Operation50). 

The support from the Tone It Up community has been immense and I really feel that I can do this if I continue to work with my TIU team and keep motivated. 

I think it would be really great if there were a group of us who took part in #Operation50. Obviously, not everyone is going to have 50lbs to lose - but we do all have our own goals. #Operation50 would be an opportunity to make a promise to ourselves to treat our bodies with the respect it deserves, to provide it with the fuel it needs and to work out, get fit, build our confidence and spur each other on as a team from now Monday 9th June until November 26th. 

Anyone want to join in? If so, we can start using the #Operation50 on Twitter & Instagram and maybe set up a group within MyFitnessPal / The Tone it Up Community? 

Let me know what you think! 

You are all amazing! 

Clare xx

Sunday, May 18, 2014

Menu Planning for Bikini Series Week 2

In a bid to avoid falling off the Nutrition Plan this week, I have decided to plan out my menu for the week and to post it here. All the recipes (except the Trout Salad, which is self-explanatory) are from the Tone It Up Nutrition Plan, which you can purchase from here!

What are you planning on eating this week?

Day of the Week
Booty Call
Meal 1
Meal 2
Meal 3
Meal 4
Meal 5
Meta D
Slim Down Scramble
Tone It Up Kale Salad+ mackerel
Slim Down Lunch Salad + 4oz lamb
Lemon, Spinach & Chickpea Salad
Red Lentil Bolognese & Green Beans with Cashew Nut Parm
Meta D
Slim Down Scramble
Tone It Up Kale Salad + mackerel
Slim Down Lunch Salad + 4oz lamb
Lemon, Spinach & Chickpea Salad
Red Lentil Bolognese & Green Beans with Cashew Nut Parm
Meta D
Slim Down Scramble
Slim Down Lunch Salad + 4oz pork
Lemon, Spinach & Chickpea Salad
Chicken Collard Wrap & Salad
Meta D
Slim Down Scramble
Slim Down Lunch Salad + 4oz pork
Canellini Citrus Salad
Trout Salad
Meta D
Slim Down Scramble
Slim Down Lunch Salad + 4oz chicken
Canellini Citrus Salad
Walnut-Crusted Salmon
Meta D
Egg & Veggie Breakfast Wrap
Slim Down Lunch Salad + 4oz chicken
Zesty Quinoa
Green Garden Pot Pie
Meta D
Protein Pancake
Slim Down Lunch Salad + 4oz chicken
Zesty Quinoa
Green Garden Pot Pie

Bikini Series 2014 Week 1 in Review (May 12-18 2014)

What to say about this week? There have been highs and there have been lows and lots of new things!

I want to remind you all that the 2014 Tone It Up Bikini Series officially began in the last week of April, so I am behind the Tone It Up website. My Bikini Series started on Monday May 12th and is due to finish on Sunday 13th July 2014.

Food-wise I have fallen off the bandwagon a fair couple of times this week, which is why I am not expecting a weight loss when I weigh in tomorrow. I am very much an emotional eater and I suffer from compulsive overeating;  something that I am hoping to be able to control better as I get further into the Bikini Series. The support on Twitter and at the Tone It Up Community has been amazing and I want to say a big thank you  to all the Tone It Up girls who have been cheering me on this week - particularly Lauren!

I am proud that I have worked out every single day this week - if even just for 30 minutes. I have been particularly en pointe with my workouts and even on those days when my nutrition was far from perfect, I still made sure to exercise.

The Tone It Up girls have challenged us to achieve #100bysummer (or #150bysummer for TIU veterans). Each 10 minutes of cardio exercise you do counts as 1 mile towards your #100bysummer. This week's exercise breakdown is as follows:

Monday 12th - 64 minutes
Tuesday 13th - 97 minutes
Wednesday 14th - 164 minutes
Thursday 15th - 61 minutes
Friday 16th - 31 minutes
Saturday 17th - 225 minutes
Sunday 18th - 26 minutes

Total Week = 668 minutes

668 minutes divided by 10 = 66.8 miles towards my #100bysummer !!!!

I'm amazed that in one week I'm already past the halfway mark! 

Even though I'm assuming there will be a gain on the scales in the morning, I'm really hoping that my measurements will have gone down because I really have tried hard all week long with the exercising!

I've done my first ever pilates workout! I've done the Bikini Body routine twice this week! I've tweeted more this week than I think I have ever done!! There are so many amazing women out there who are empowering each other to live better, happier and healthier lives and I really am loving that aspect. 

I've also vlogged a couple of times this week over on my YouTube channel:

What are my goals for Bikini Series Week 2 (May 19-25 2014)

  • Minimise bingeing / Give it 100% to stick to my food plan
  • DRINK MORE WATER - minimum of 3 litres daily
  • Be grateful for every day!
  • Exercise every day for at least 30 minutes
  • Daily Wii Fit Body Tests
  • Compliment someone every day
  • Carry out at least one random act of kindness
  • Follow the TIU and Blogilates Workouts and calendars
What are your plans for the week?

Thursday, May 15, 2014

Slip Ups and Roll Ups

Today has been a funny old day and I'm writing this post after midnight, so maybe that should be 'yesterday'... whatever. The past few waking hours have been strange.

I started off really strong and had the original Meta D and made myself an omelette (2 whole eggs) with tomatoes, mushrooms and celery. I had my meals planned out. All was well with the world. 

I showered. My husband left for work.

"Aha!", shouted my brain. "You're alone. You've given up smoking. What else can you do that is rebellious? EAT. EAT like you've never eaten before. Literally".

I am a slave to my brain. Eat I did. I don't want to call it a binge, but yeah, it was a full on, total knockout BINGE. Gah!

If you want to avoid the list of food... then scroll now!

I consumed:
1 chip shop chicken breast
2 spam fritters
1 chip barm
1 small bar Bourneville chocolate
1 can diet Coke (oh, the irony)
1 can Fanta
1 bag salt 'n' sweet popcorn

With all those fizzy drinks, I think my subconscious was plotting a binge-and-purge session, but I am pleased to report that there was no intentional purging (although my body did get its own back somewhat later). 

I have decided not to freak out about this. I decided that instead, I would plan out my meals for the rest of the week and plan in my workouts for the remainder of the week and the weekend. So, I buried my guilt, got out my planner and PLANNED. I checked this afternoon's Tone It Up workout and it was supposed to be the Cowabunga Routine. After reviewing the video, I realised that there were quite a few moves I'm not yet able to attempt, due to my neck, so I went hunting for something more suitable. I opted for Blogilates POP Pilates for Beginners - Total Body Workout. I had watched the video a few days ago and thought that there was no way that I would be able to get through it. Tonight, though, motivated by the Guilt of the Binge, I gritted my teeth and pressed play. 

As a side note, I have a Sony Experia and it means that I can use the YouTube app on my phone and route it to my TV via the Playstation. I hadn't realised that I could do that, so that was quite the revelation! 

Anyway... I pressed play. I swore at Cassie Ho. I did some more. I swore more. I sweated. My abs started to shake, my legs started to shake... I swore more at the TV, then... then it was over. I had done it! I'd only bloody well gone and finished the 26 minute beginner routine for the first time. 

Oh, glorious days - I am now writing this in a state of pure elation, whilst drinking my Detox Tea and taking my evening medication. 

Upon reflection, I think I may have actually enjoyed the Blogilates video. Given that I desperately need to work on my core, it may be worthwhile incorporating pilates into my routine as an opportunity to improve core strength and flexibility. As I have Multiple Sclerosis (more about that here), pilates may be very useful for combatting any muscle atrophy. 

So there. Like I said, it's been a funny old day.

Tomorrow is Friday - the day of love; so tomorrow I'm going to learn to love myself, my body and my foibles.

Good night xxx