59to60

My journey from 59 to ………

Archive for the category “Exercise”

Back On Track – Week One 

Tuesday 26/01/16

Braved the scales – important to face your demons!

Breakfast – black coffee then pineapple, banana, celery, almond & chia smoothie

Training – went to gym and did my full program but not in the right order because other people were on MY equipment! 😃

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Lunch – no time as had to go to a funeral. Had a kale, spinach & mango smoothie and a protein bar

Snack – almond bar, black coffees

Dinner – carrots, broccoli and bolognese

Snack – prawns

Happy with that!

Wednesday 27/01/16

Breakfast – Black coffee then pineapple, banana, kale, carrot, almond & chia seed smoothie

Lunch – crayfish salad

Snack – black coffee & vegetable crisps

Dinner – mince & mediteannean vegetables

Snacks – protein bar and a box of raisins

No exercise, always busy on a Wednesday so rest day

Thursday 28/01/16

Breakfast – black coffee, pineapple, banana, kale, carrot & spirulina Smoothie

Lunch – tomato soup (the only thing available without starchy carbs!) & eat well bar

Dinner – crayfish & anchovy salad with sweet potato crisps

Snacks – eat well bar & box of raisins

10.3 km walk in my boots, which are nearly 2lbs heavier than trainers. Need to get my leg strength back!

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Friday 29/01/16

Breakfast – Black coffee.  Chocolate protein powder, banana, almonds & chia seed shake

Lunch – Frankie & Benny’s ABC salad

Dinner – Lemon sole salad

Snacks – box of raisins

Trained with Darryl for the first time this year! Started using My Fitness Pal

 

Saturday 30/01/16

Breakfast – black coffee, pineapple, banana, kale, carrot, celery, almond & chia seed smoothie

Lunch – prawn salad

Dinner – crab stirfry

Snacks – protein bar, eat natural bar

Out all day with the man trailing dogs. 10.4 km plus time on my feet!

Loving My Fitness Pal, it’s going to help me make better choices

Sunday 31/01/16

Breakfast – chocolate protein powder, banana & carrots smoothie

Lunch – prawn salad

Dinner – butternut noodles & homemade bolognese sauce

Snacks – vegetable crisps, eat natural bar

Another day with the trailing dogs. 8.85 km today.

Monday 01/02/16

Breakfast – pineapple, banana, kale, carrot, celery, spirulina & almond smoothie

Lunch – a burger with coleslaw and side salad (didn’t enjoy it 😏)

Dinner – ham omelette with beetroot crisps

Snacks – eat natural bars, box of raisins

10.08 km walk

I’m pretty pleased with my first week back on track.

When I trained with Darryl (for the sake of any new readers he is my personal trainer and Jiminy Crickett – http://www.clubonehundred.com) on Friday he suggested I try My Fitness Pal, not for calorie counting (I’ve moved away from that) but to help with nutrition and portion size.

I am hooked! It’s already changed how I eat!

I get fed up with people telling me I need carbs (I never eat bread, pasta, rice and try not to have biscuits/cake!) but I’m easily meeting my carbohydrate target from fruit and vegetables

I’m loving seeing the ‘sugar’ record, it’s made me really look at the amount of fruit I eat and I’m going to change my snacks once I’ve finished my ‘stock’. I now eat the little box of raisins a few at a time, don’t just swallow them in one go!

I’m realising how good fish is for you (thank you Sally Osborne, big shout out to Osborne’s fishmongers for getting me to try new things!)

http://www.osbornes.fish

I’m on getting my fitness back and I finally seem to  have recovered from all that kidney stone nonsense!

From now on I’m screenshotting My Fitness Pal!

Tuesday 02/02/16

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Wednesday 03/02/16

Got the munchies tonight, typical the night before weigh in!!!

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And here’s the nutrition information for the week, aiming for less sugar next week!

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That’s 1.6 pounds off!!!!

 

Read more…

I don’t do resolutions …….

Aargh!!!!!!!!!

Did you hear the scream?

I trod on it, with both feet and not holding on to anything.

Poor thing appears to have survived, although I’m not sure that’s necessarily a good thing.

What am I talking about?

The scales 😱😱😱

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Now I’ve known I was going to have to do it.

I’ve known that I’ve been stuffing everything in sight down my throat. But I’ve also known that I will put a stop to it and that I will get my head together.

I’ve been targetless for a while and I haven’t been able to think of a new one.

I do best with big recordable targets as was proved by the 59to60 ones. I need ones that survive ‘bad’ weeks so that I can either plan for them in advance or make up for it afterwards.

Hang on, if I can do that with exercise why can’t I do it with food????

Anyway, last night it came to me …….

TARGET ONE – in 2016 I will walk 2016 kilometres.

These will have to be recorded by GPS (or on the treadmill, boring!!!) but can be of any length (that covers any recuperation needed.)

As always, once I get ‘the big one’ the rest seem to flow.

TARGET TWO – average three training sessions per week.

Now this is going to be a ‘fail’ in week one as I’ll be in hospital and I know I’ll need some recovery time hence ‘average’.

TARGET THREE – to be leaner.

I know what the starting point is 😡 But you don’t need to. I also know what my targets are and I’ll set myself various ‘key dates’ on the way. I am not going to be the ‘fat client’!

TARGET FOUR – to qualify as a search technician.

I’m already part way through my training. Sadly this op may interfere with the throw line training and even the initial search course …… but I’m hoping not!

So that’s all sorted out then

Today my nutrition’s been good and I blasted my program at the gym 😃  And I now feel better than I have in ages, strange that.

Tomorrow I have my final blood test and ‘harvesting’ in case I need some back.

Wednesday will be my last gym session and then I’ve got a massage booked.

And Thursday is operation day :-/

Now I’ve never had an operation or a general anaesthetic before  so I’m ending / starting the year with new experiences!

I started by saying that I don’t do resolutions, but I do do targets.  I failed at the final stage of the belt notch target, but I haven’t forgotten it and it would be great if, over the course of the year I could meet that too!

My next blog post will almost certainly be about my operation

In the meantime, Happy New Year everybody and get setting your targets!

 

 

Kidney stones part 2 of 3 (or how to spend New Year!)

Remember that stone, no not Darryl, that other stone that destroyed me in a way that personal training, no matter how good, has never managed to do?IMG_0397

 

(Very quick recap, in September I was suddenly in horrendous pain, admitted to hospital and, after a couple of nights of serious painkillers I got rid of it.)

Well, one down, but there were still two more, larger ones, lurking about and I want rid!

Having had an outpatients appointment with my consultant I was put on the waiting list for surgery and, quicker than I expected, my turn arrived.

I was originally scheduled to be operated on on 11/12/15. When the appointment came through I checked my diary, the Club One Hundred party was the next night. Although disappointed I decided that it was more important to get the stones sorted but then I found out that the First Aid training for ESAR (Essex Search & Rescue) was that weekend and missing that would delay my going ‘live’ so I rang to see if I could postpone my op.

Spoke to a very nice lady who said that was fine but that it would be next year unless, short little laugh, I wanted it done on New Year’s Eve? I think she was somewhat taken aback when I said that actually that would suit me down to the ground! (Ever since Ray came out of hospital in 1989 we have stayed in on New Year’s Eve and I usually have to wake him up to say Happy New Year so this could be quite an exciting alternative! I’ve spent a Christmas in hospital with him, now I’ll see how they do New Year!)

So I was able to go to the First Aid training which included loading people into stretchers which could be winched up by helicopters (obviously I’m going for the most dramatic bit!)

And then on to the Club One Hundred party which was a great evening!

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Yesterday I went for my pre-op assessment. Now I’ve managed to avoid having any surgery before so this is going to be another first for me! I was told to report to Basildon Hospital at 1pm and to allow up to 3 hours for my visit. I resigned myself to the idea that most of that time would be spent sat around waiting to see people. I could not have been more wrong!

I arrived on time, met by a very cheerful, friendly lady in her Christmas outfit and was given the necessary stuff to provide a urine sample! Very shortly after that a friendly nurse called me in.

She explained what would happen, got me to provide my contact details, any dietary requirements (I felt asking for ancestral food may be taking the ****) and then took my height, weight, blood pressure, temperature and then I had an ECG, more about that later!

Back into the hallway, phone out to check Facebook and ……. I was immediately called in by the pharmacist who wanted to know my allergies and medication.

“None”

Well apparently that’s a very unusual answer! Think I made his day.

I showed him the supplements I take, carry on with the Vitamin D, Zinc and Magnesium but stop the Fish Oil as it can thin your blood.

Back out and a short wait in the corridor where I kept thinking about that ECG, it looked very pretty ……..

Called in by the Sister for a complete barrage of questions. An early one was did I have Alzeheimer’s, not yet ….. Now I know why it was at the start, I wouldn’t have been able to answer the questions!

Although there were what seemed like hundreds of questions they were not asked in a tick box way. She seemed genuinely interested in what was going on (the reality must be that she is bored out of her head asking the same stuff of people all the time) and I was able to ask questions at any point, which of course I did!

“I’ve just had a tetanus jab and I’m due to start a course of Hepatitis B ones, will that be OK?”

So of course she asks why I’m having them and I say it’s because I do voluntary work in a prison and she’s surprised and we talk about that and then she goes to ask someone …….. and I sit and wait, and I think …. about that ECG …..

Back she comes, I’m not to have them two weeks either side of the op so I’ll just leave the vials in the fridge, something to look forward to later!

On with the questions, ooh your blood pressure’s good!

And then I ask …. “May I take a photo of my ECG?”

Stunned silence, nobody’s ever asked that before! Why would I want it? “Well I find things like that interesting and I write a blog and ….”

She couldn’t think of any reason why not but said she’d just pop next door to check. She obviously explained what I wanted to do and the other person asked what the ECG was like and was told it was excellent, not sure what was said next but it was followed by loads of laughter – they’ve now met me!

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She kindly made me a copy, without my distinguishing details, and I’ve taken a photo!

It appears that, physically at least, I’m in pretty good shape

More questions and I warn her my father had very bad reactions to anaesthetics …. just in case …..

More questions and then we get onto the details of my admission. One blood test now then another a couple of days before the op to confirm my blood group and ‘harvest’ some extra blood in case they need to give me any. What an excellent idea. Because of the M.S. I can no longer be a donor but at least that means that a) they can save other people’s for those that need it and b) people who could but don’t donate have to provide some for themselves!

On the day I can have a light breakfast before 8 am and then only water (that’s easy)  except for a sort of energy drink that I have to mix up until 12 when I arrive at the, I want to say departure lounge but some may think that’s in bad taste!

After that, nothing. I will be taken from there to the op and then put on a ward somewhere, they’ll ring my brother and tell him where!

Any other questions?

“Well I’m due to be doing throw line training on the 6th January …….”

TOSHIBA Exif JPEG

“Why????”

“I’m training to be a member of Search & Rescue!” Obvious really!

“I don’t think you’ll be up to that”

Will I be able to do the 2 day initial search course on the 16th Jan?”

There’s more chance but you need to remember that kidneys are delicate and that they may bleed …. Ask the Consultant and Anaesthetist when you see them”

“I hadn’t even got to the ‘When can I start training again’  bit ……”

Well done Basildon Hospital, keep up the good work and I’ll see you again soon :-/

 

 

This girl can …… And does!!!

I’ve just changed my profile picture on Facebook to this: 
I made this up a little while ago and it was used by This Girl Can, build displayed in shopping centres!
Now, though, it’s been more relevant to me as I’ve bent, I’ve certainly bent, but I have NOT broken!
It’s been a strange couple of months. I think the kidney stone episode affected me more than I realised.
My way of being positive is to drive forward through all obstacles blasting them out of the way to create a path.
Unfortunately when the path of any vehicle is muddy, with water filled pits and mounds of loose debris the strain put on the engine can cause it to start to struggle. If it is not given the right treatment it can overheat, burn out and stop working.
This happened to me at the end of 1992 or early 1993, I don’t know the exact date.
Ray had his stroke on 30/11/88, my mum died in August 1992, I kept pushing forward until one day I pulled the quilt over my head and didn’t want to come out.
So I know what depression is! I was diagnosed with ‘reactive’ depression, took some wonderful tablets that anaesthetised me until I worked out the problem (I’d lost ‘me’) and the remedy (find somewhere I could go on my own and not have any demands made on me, for me this was going back to doing my family tree).
Why am I talking about this? Because I was driving along recently, found my eyes had started to leak (crying is active, this was passive) and realised that I was on the verge of slipping into depression again.
People say that you cannot cure depression by telling somebody to pull themselves together.
BUT ……. you can tell yourself that! And, for me that is the only thing that works!
I had lost my way. It’s been a long haul with problems with my knee followed by the kidney stone to say nothing about the issues surrounding being a carer!
Ray had been hiding all the medical appointments from me. Once I found out we ended up with loads of appointments that I had to take him to and support him through. He hates things like that so it was not easy! It also meant I had to spend a lot more time at home :-/
My nutrition’s been rubbish, I’ve hardly trained, my emotions have been all over the place and I’ve been kidding myself about all sorts of things.
BUT …….. that doesn’t mean I have to stay there!
Reaching that moment was good for me! Time to tackle everything, I’m not good at doing a bit at a time!
Because I feel sorry for Ray, and for some totally ridiculous, inexplicable reason I feel guilty about his stroke (!?!) I tend to let him get away with stuff. There is a feeling (that I’m sure we both have) that we are stuck in this situation. Well we are if we want to keep living here but we do not have to and there could be alternatives! After I spelled that out very clearly there has been some improvement. Ray has even made me a few cups of coffee! Things are far from perfect but I gave toughened up and I’m not being quite such a doormat!
I talked the issues through with Darryl, personal trainers really go through it!, and we came up with a plan. He decided to give me a new program (if I’d tried to continue with my last one I’d have been fed up because I wouldn’t have been as good) but that it would only contain things that I liked!!!
This has really worked!
I never write my program in the blog but I’m going to just this once!
Dynamic warm up

4×8 bench press

4 mins rowing, 10 fast then 10 recovery strokes

4×12 walking lunges holding a ViPR overhead

3×20 kettlebell snatches

4×8 seated cable row

4 mins boxing ‘beat up the bag’

4×8 leg press

3×20 rope slams
I love it! Most are now being done with heavier weights / more reps or sets. Only shall problem has been the lunges, my knees are not very keen and I need them for my walking so we will be talking about this!
I’m alternating the program with walking. I used to walk a lot, but that stopped when the knee was bad. I’m now getting back into it though, but not in trainers, in substantial walking boots!
Why?
Well, as you know I’ve been acting as a ‘misper’ for the search dogs for about a year but I now want to take that a stage further and I’ve joined Essex Search and Rescue. Look them up on Facebook!


Everybody’s heard of Mountain Rescue, but people aren’t so aware of Lowland Rescue who operate over much of the country. Everybody is a volunteer but they undergo thorough training and have to pass an annual fitness test …… now do the boots make sense?

Don’t tell them but the fitness won’t be a problem, the first aid should be fine, but the navigation may be a bit of a challenge! Although I’ve always managed to achieve anything I’ve really wanted to do so it should be fine!

So, I’m tackling the issues, regaining control, the engine us purring nicely and I’m moving forward nicely 🙂
What?

Pardon?

Oh. The nutrition. Hmm.

Well, it’s improving ….. maybe I can do things a bit at a time after all 😃

2015 has started well.

Well here’s my first post of 2015, halfway through January.

Christmas and New Year are over, thank goodness. They are never a good time for us and this year was no exception. Once they are out of the way things can settle down (until Ray’s next major stress point, my birthday in March!).

So what about my new targets? I was struggling to come up with some for this year. Well, let’s face it, the last couple of years were pretty spectacular 😀 and how do you follow those?

But, after a lot of thought I came up with these:

1) To be leaner on 01/01/16 than I am on 01/03/15
2) To improve my PBs at upper body strength exercises
3) To do whatever the physios say is necessary to sort my knee out!

The first one may sound a bit odd, but let me explain.
I am NEVER going to be a naturally slim person. Yes, for the first time in my life, I have control of my weight, I still go up and down, albeit over a much smaller range.
Like most people, I start the year full of good intentions and with strong will but, over the course of the year it sneaks back up so I thought the best thing was to do was use that pattern to try and break it.
As you may have noticed, I do not like not meeting my targets so, hopefully, this will work!
I’ve just finished my two week detox and begun the year with a 7lb loss so that’s a good start.

Because of my knee (boo) I have been concentrating on upper body exercise, latterly strength work, for about the last 3-4 months so it makes sense to have a target in this area.

Again the knee …. I’ve now started the arthritis physio classes and, after one session, been promoted (or got rid of) to the functional exercise class!
Giving been given the ok to start doing some leg work I’ve been doing some gentle squats and lunges and I can’t believe how tight my quads are. At the moment it’s like I’ve never done legs before. I’ve been using the foam roller and tiger tail on my quads and IT band – it really hurts, but I know it has to be done! I can’t tell you how nice it us to have these feelings again though!

I am so busy at the moment. As well as training with Darryl, doing the program’s he’s given me at least three times a week, I’ve also signed up for two months of bootcamp at Club One Hundred! This means going out in Tuesday and Thursday evenings, breaking a pattern of sitting at home and eating! I have to say that I am loving it! The sessions are great fun and get me doing cardio!!!!

Today I was out fundraising with Search Dogs Essex. They are a great group of people, and dogs, who are all volunteers and give up their time to assist the police in searching for missing people. Not only do they give up their time to search, they have to do a massive amount of training. I have an easy role, I get left hidden in the woods as a ‘misper’ (missing person) and wait for the dogs to find me!

While we were there today I met Davina McCall! I gave always liked her on the TV and I was completely hooked by her Comic Relief Challenge. One amazing lady!
Well, we got talking (me? I know that’ll surprise you!) and she was interested in what I’d been up to!!!

Well, that got me thinking on the way home.

Darryl has got me listening to an audiobook called The Secret. It’s had a big impact on me. It stresses the importance of being thankful for the things that we have and, in trying to practice this, it has made me think far more openly and honestly about all aspects of my life and, today, I finally began to see why it may be that so many people have told me that I am inspirational!

– I taught, for ever, in a secondary school in one of the toughest areas of London (& loved it!)
– I survived a couple of pretty disastrous relationships!
– I’ve been the sole carer for Ray for the last 26 years!
– I lost masses of weight and have succeeded in keeping most of it off. I’m still more than 6 stone lighter than I was!
– I have been a non smoker, after being on 40+ a day, for over 4 years.
– My Multiple Sclerosis has gone from relapse & remitting to secondary progressive to benign (hooray, hooray!!!) I no longer need walking sticks or a Blue Badge!
– at the age off 55 I took up exercise for the first time and I am now completely addicted.
– Whilst I can no longer work I do interesting voluntary work including in a prison and with the search dogs!
– I’ve amassed a large collection of medals from different races including the London Marathon!
– I’ve built up a wide range of friends all of whom are positive (younger!) people!
– I am definitely the fittest and healthiest I have ever been and I think I am also the most positive and content as well.

For all of the above I give thanks.

Life is good! And there us no reason why it should not continue to improve.

Better stop now, I need to get to bed, I’m off to hide in the forest for the dogs tomorrow. 😃

How much difference can two weeks make?

All the difference in the world!!!

When I last wrote I was on the point of tackling my nutrition and saying how I had to get off some of the weight that had crept back on.

I got out my nutrition plan from Club One Hundred and really studied it, then decided to commit to doing the two week detox properly.

I’m not going to tell you what the plan says. that is part of their business after all, but I will say that it doesn’t involve calorie counting or weighing and measuring food. In fact non of the things normally associated with weight loss!

It is so true that, with almost anything, if your ‘head’ is not in the right place you are not going to succeed.

Finally, at long last, my head IS in the right place and I have followed the plan to the letter as well as doing all my programs.

Last Thursday I trained with Darryl and told him that I’d lost seven and a half pounds! I have NEVER lost that much weight in one week!!

I showed him my food diary and he told me it was the best I’d ever done (gold star for me!)

He gave me some advice as to how I could improve it further and then we went through my three new training programs. Total happiness 🙂

Week two began and my resolve was as strong as ever. I have completely stuck to the nutrition plan, and taken Darryl’s advice on board. I’ve been doing my new programs at the gym and loving them.

I’ve found that I have changed ……. yet again!

Somehow, over the course of the last two weeks I’ve found that I do not feel that I HAVE to finish food. For the first time in my life I have been able to reseal whatever I’m eating and put it away for later. I’ve been varying the foods I eat and trying out new stuff.

I’m loving my food, here’s a couple of  examples:

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              photo1

Friends keep posting pictures of foods like this:

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But I can honestly saythat I do not want it.

There have been chocolate biscuits in the house and I have not even been tempted.

I’ve been nibbling at food, rather than guzzling it, and found that I get fuller quicker. There are times when I have to tell myself to eat because I know I should rather than because I’m greedy!

Could it be that I am finally understanding that food is a fuel, not a comfort?

My new programs are awesome. All upper body and core because of my knee and no cardio. Happy times!

(Seeing the physio on Friday so I hope to find something out. Hope s/he doesn’t just say stop being a wimp and go and get on with it.)

I never ache, but these ones have really got me. Love that feeling.

Last Sunday I went to do the baggage for Ride London.

I was aching but it was due to be a rest day so no problem I thought.

People don’t half pack a lot of stuff in their bags! Steve and I had it off to a fine art though. Steve was on the lorry, I was on the ground and we threw the bags to each other. As always, as soon as I started exercising the eche went.

I am so proud to say that I did not drop a single bag! My throwing and catching have improved as well.

I had a great day but, as you can see, I did get exceedingly wet!

Although I was really wet and cold I did not stop to get a cappuccino on the way home. Every Costa in the South East is in shock at my change to green tea!

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Oh, and my weight?

This week I lost  2.4 pounds , my belly has shrunk and I’m getting definition back in my arms.

That’s 9.9 pounds in two weeks!!!!

i’ve never lost that much so quickly before, after last week I wouldn’t have been surprised to see no change.

It has NOT been hard, I’ve had no cravings at all.

I can do this and I will do this!

And, as always, remember that if I can, so can you!

BTW this is not and advertising feature but if you want to have a look at Club One Hundred and what they do go to:

http://www.clubonehundred.com/

There’s free stuff there and lots of people’s stories.

They train people all over the country, and abroad as well! I can’t recommend them enough!

Success breeds success!

I’ve put on weight.

There, I’ve said it. I’ve now faced up to it and I knew it was time to take it on again. Not a problem, done it before, just need to sort myself out and do something about it.

So I talked to Darryl (my trainer) about it.

We both know I know how to lose weight.

Darryl has told me, several times, that if I stick to the Ancestral Solution I can lose up to 3 lbs a week.

“Yeah, right”

As I’ve told him, this may be true for a young person but not for me. It gets much harder as you get older. Weight loss slows down. My weight loss plateaus all the time. I lose weight, but slowly.

But I decided I’d give sticking to the plan religiously a go. I’ve been eating ancestrally for well over a year but ive been eating more and more other stuff too!

Week One
Stuck to the plan about 80% of the time. Result? I lost 3 lbs 🙂

Week Two
Stuck to the plan about 95%. Result? I lost another 3 lbs! 🙂 🙂

Week Three
Stuck to the plan about 95%. Result? Lost yet another 3 lbs! 🙂 🙂 🙂

I have NEVER lost weight like this before!

And how does ‘Success breed success’?

Every time I’m tempted to eat something that’s not ancestral I think of how well it’s working ….. and I don’t want it!

So it’s not a question of self control or will power, I don’t want it.

There are sweets in the house that I’d normally shove down my throat as fast as possible, but I don’t want them!

Can’t believe it, but I like it!

There is a downside however. Darryl is right ………….. again.

The Ancestral Solution combined with the right supplements and exercise program works!

I want to be right. I like being right. But then, if I was right, I’d be 9 lbs heavier!

If you want to know more about it visit their website:

www.clubonehundred.com

There’s a free book you can download!

And have a look at their blog:

www.clubonehundred.wordpress.com

How did I upset him?

Do you remember all these different challenges that I’m doing this year?

Do you remember that Darryl is setting me a random challenge each week?

Well I think I’ve upset him! No idea what I’ve done that’s wrong …. but it must be pretty bad!!!!

Got to training this morning and, as usual, we started by talking about stuff including my progress towards my goals and my last ‘random challenge’. That was walking out to Two Tree Island and scavenging for apples, pears and blackberries. I went …….. but they’d gone. Maybe next year.

So what was to be my next random challenge?

“There are two possibilities,” he says, “how do you feel about living without any technology for a week?”

“AARGH …………. NO ………………. I LIVE WITH RAY (I actually remember squawking this !!!!!) …………. I CAN’T”

May have given the impression I wasn’t keen!

Fortunately Darryl is also constantly attached to his iPhone, spends time on the computer, sees the benefits of lights and heating so he laughed and said “Never mind, there is Plan B”.

Time to breathe a huge sigh of relief …….. or is it ………….

“Plan B is a core circuit”

“I do NOT like core exercises!”

Which leads to a string of questions until I finally admit that I don’t like core exercises because I am no bloody good at them and, yes, I do know that that means I need to do them 😦

So into the studio we go.

There are only 5 exercises, how hard can it be???

Now I love the Rocky films, especially the training sequences. Do you remember this:

Well, OK, perhaps he doesn’t actually expect me to be able to do quite this, but you get the idea!

Can’t find a photo similar to the next one but basically it’s lying on my back, arms above my head holding 4kg, then sitting up while rotating the weight to the side. This is the ONLY one I can, sort of, do!

Don’t you just love this picture:

Of course I look exactly like this as I hold the plank on tiptoes and rock backwards and forwards!

Then came disaster!

Now I think the ultimate version of the next exercise looks something like this, although probably with the back further off the ground.

Ha, ha, ha!

This was a nightmare. Darryl kept reducing the difficulty ……… I kept being completely unable to do it. So frustrating!!!! I’m getting cross because I can’t do it. Darryl’s laughing saying he’s never seen me have this much trouble with an exercise before.

Cast your mind back, time for YOU to remember where I started from!

We finally reduced the difficulty to something like this:

I can’t even make a picture of something like it appear. AAARGH!!!!!!

Well it’s lie flat then sit up and take elbow to opposite knee. And I still can’t do it ……….. YET!

The final one involved a side plank (with one leg providing a bit of support cos I’m crap at these too) whilst rotating the other arm up to the ceiling then down, through the gap, under the body.

Of course I look exactly like this while I’m doing it!

Well actually I probably looked more like this:

So, two weeks of doing this circuit every other day …….. or give up technology??????

No choice really.

Tonight I wrote the following status on Facebook:

Sometimes I wish I could just say ‘no’ rather than being bloody minded and determined to succeed in a challenge!

So far Darryl and 7 others have ‘liked’ it ……………. but only he knew what it meant!

UPDATE: It is now Saturday night (60 hours later) and my core still aches. Should have done these exercises today but was out ………. not looking forward to tomorrow!

The not so secret progress of Gill aged 59¼

So, I’m now 3 months into my challenges and it’s time for an update.

I’m really surprised at how quickly the time has gone and, despite some pretty atrocious weather, I’m slightly ahead of target at this point!

Mount Everest – I’ve now climbed 3924 feet (27.1%) which is more than Mount Snowdon. Makes you realise just how big Everest is!

I’ve walked 394 miles and cycled 88 so I’m past Lands End and heading up through England. (27% done). Have to admit that I’m probably more surprised by this than anyone else could be. Blue Badge? Walking sticks? How has my life changed!

59 miles of the River Thames (27.5%) has been covered, fortunately there’s no wave machine on the rowing machines at the gym. I used to hate the rowing machine but now I can keep going on it for ages. Shows how my fitness levels have changed.

I’ve lifted 272456 kg which is 42,904 stones!!! (27.2% of my target). Wow!

I’m now in a pretty good routine. I do my resistance training (the weights) every other day and I’m to be found wandering the streets clocking up the miles, climbing the steps and sculling (?) the rowing machines in between. I’ve invested in waterproofs so the rain isn’t going to stop me!

Not the most flattering photo but at least it kept me dry!

So the targets I set myself are going fine and there’s not that much that even I can say about them! I could tell you the routes I walk, I could say which rowing machine I prefer and why …… but it’s not very interesting!

Regular readers (lol!!!!) will remember that when this all started Darryl said he’d be setting me random challenges to stop me getting bored. They’ve certainly succeeded! Not only have I enjoyed doing (most of) them some of them have continued to have an impact.

I think I’ve changed quite a lot over the last 3 months.

For the first time in over 40 years (aargh) I am riding a bike. I’ve now reached the point where I could probably survive without stabilisers (if they’d ever made them for people my size) and I will go on quiet roads. But, I’m too scared to do busy roads …… tend to end up on the pavements but I think everyone I meet understands why and doesn’t complain.

I’m now a better / more considerate driver. Everybody should be made to go for long walks or cycle rides on roads without footpaths. You can tell the drivers that have. They slow down as they approach and then pull round leaving you space. Other drivers seem to speed up and try to keep as close to the kerb (and me!) as possible.

If I meet up with any Chinese people coming to the Olympics I’ll be able to say ‘Hello, my name is Gill Castle’. I can smile and they will feel very welcomed and happy. If, however, they answer in any way or ask me any questions it will become completely obvious that I have no idea what is going on! But the thought’s what counts, isn’t it?

I’ve met so many new people and learned so much about what other people are doing and the reasons why. There are so many interesting people and stories out there and walking slows you down so you see and hear things. I love hearing little, out of context, snippets of conversation as I wander about. Lets my imagination run riot as I make up all sorts of backgrounds and scenarios for the people I see.

Remember I was challenged to try yoga for 2 weeks? Well I’m still going. As I’m a bit of a bull in a china shop it’s really good for me to do something that slows me down, makes me concentrate and really makes me work on my balance. I love the relaxation / meditation aspects and I’m getting better at shutting off. I even think I may be getting a little tiny bit more flexible.

I do my resistance program before yoga and I’m really interested in seeing how high my heart rate goes then and how low it drops in yoga. Current record is 165 and 59, but I’m working on it.

I always wear my heart rate monitor when I’m training. I know it’s ridiculous but it doesn’t feel like I’m doing it unless it’s being recorded. My latest fascination is seeing how quickly my heart rate drops when I stop training. I’ve always been a bit of a data geek! I started by looking at it after 30 seconds and then again after a minute. Might tell you more when I’ve got more data. I love the graphs of my heart rate that I get from my Garmin, it’s great how I can pick out exactly what exercise I was doing at each point.

Nutrition. 3 weeks ago I was challenged to stick to ‘The Ancestral Solution’. See my last blog. I am still eating like that, I really like it! We’d agreed that I’d now do 85% Ancestral but, at the moment, I’m doing much better than that. I haven’t eaten anything not on the list (apart from a protein bar when I woke up because I was so hungry) but I have had skinny cappuccinos and I’m more than happy with those. I’m eating far more frequently needing food every couple of hours and I now seem to carry food with me wherever I go. I am a bit worried about what I’ll do when I go to the Olympic Park though. McDonalds and Coca Cola? How can that be healthy? The thought of it actually makes me feel a bit ill now ……

I’m halfway through this week’s challenge of using a foam roller for at least half an hour a day and I can already see and feel the difference.

Well obviously I can feel the difference because foam rollering hurts! People who know me know that I don’t do ironing but foam rollering is like ironing but instead of heat, pressure is used to sort out the bumps and knots. It hurts, but it works and the more you do it the easier it gets. Have a look on You Tube for foam roller exercises. Now I’ve used a foam roller before but the first exercise Darryl’s given me to do is a new one for me, lying on the roller so that my head is supported and my spine is on the length of the roller. Then I have to relax and let my body drop either side for 5-6 minutes. This seems to have made a huge difference to my posture.

When I’m walking along, wearing my rucksack, I’m very aware that I tend to tense and hunch my shoulders so, at regular intervals, I make a deliberate effort to lift my shoulders then drop them back into the correct position. Since doing this exercise on the roller I’ve noticed that when I’m walking and try to ‘put them back’, they are already there!

I’ve also noticed that I’m sleeping better, I’m calmer (most of the time!) and my body shape is continuing to change (oh I love discovering a ‘new’ muscle!)

This week several other people have commented that I’ve lost weight – so it’s not just me thinking it!

So 25% down, 75% to go. How do I feel about this? Excited and looking forward to it. I’m loving pushing myself and making myself go out there and get on with it even when I don’t feel like it.

The random challenges amuse, entertain and push me out of my (increasingly wide) comfort zone. They really do help stop me getting bored.

Now I know that I am chronologically considerably older than most of the people who are reading this post, although I very much doubt if I am in many other ways, but I now believe that everybody should have a goal(s) that they are trying to achieve.

What’s your next milestone?

What’s your next challenge?

Leave a comment telling me, I really want to know.

If I can do this …… and I can, and I will ……… what can you do???????

I wasn’t trying to lose weight!

The latest random challenge was to completely follow the ‘Ancestral Solution’ for two weeks.

This is a way of eating recommended by the trainers at Club One Hundred. http://www.clubonehundred.com/ancestral_solution.php

This was a real challenge for me because I’d relied on calorie counting for such a long time but this was completely different.

I’ve followed most of the principles for a while but not gone for the full works before but, you’ve got to give everything a go haven’t you!

On my long walk to training that day I’d paused at the bottom of ‘those steps’ to check my phone and read Darryl’s latest blog on breakfasts http://clubonehundred.wordpress.com/2012/05/24/introducing-the-alternating-ancestral-breakfast-for-ultimate-wellness-11/ and thought I quite fancied trying that. Didn’t realise that I’d be changing everything!

So my challenge was for two weeks to only eat what my ancestors could have eaten i.e. foods that would have been available locally in season or foods they would have stored. And only to cook ‘properly’, no microwave!

First some research to find out what would be available.

Fish, meat, eggs, nuts, berries, seeds, apples, strawberries, asparagus ……. Asparagus? I’ve never had asparagus? What do you do with it? I’ll find out!

Next thought was that most of these things are very high in calories and fat. Yes, it’s ‘good’ fat but even so ……

But then I decided this was my challenge and I was going to do it. Sod the calories and fat, I’d ignore them.

Another concern, would I get constipated? I’ve been nut bound in the past and didn’t like it. But …. read the line above!

So, off I set to do my shopping …….

I also bought bags of different nuts and seeds plus vegetables and set off home.

I’ve discovered that the secret to eating like this is to be organised. I always have small bags of seeds, nuts etc in my bag for when I am out. When I cook the steak, for example, I cook more than I’m going to eat so some is available for the next day. I wouldn’t say friends have got used to it but they’re not that surprised when I pull a bag of cold steak and a load of nuts out of my rucksack and proceed to eat it!

OK, I haven’t stuck to this 100% for the two weeks, but I wasn’t far off it. I’ve actually enjoyed eating like this and I feel better for it. My belly has shrunk and I’ve lost weight, even though that wasn’t the plan, I was doing it for fitness! Nearly 2 lbs in week 1 and another in week 2. I’m sure that would have been more but there was a jaffa cake incident and a penguin problem!

Downsides? I missed my skinny cappuccinos. My digestive system has become very efficient, almost too efficient, but D assures me this will settle down!

After talking it over with Darryl I’ve decided I want to continue to eat like this. I’m eating mega amounts and really enjoying it but I need occasional treats. We agreed I’d go for 85% Ancestral with 15% treats. That’s taken the pressure off and the last 2 days have been completely Ancestral with one skinny cappuccino each day. Now that suits me perfectly! The rest of the time I drink hot or cold water with the occasional green tea.

I’ve had some lovely meals, here are a few examples:

Sorry about the photos but I’ve got fed up trying to line them up!

Oh, and I’ve had to learn to cook! I’ve discovered that steak does not need to be incinerated, in fact it tastes better when it isn’t. It does however need to be cooked and a plate full of blood doesn’t work for me. I did eat it because I was in a hurry and was ravenous but I had to keep my eyes closed!

So, I’ve got no idea how many calories I’ve eaten, it must be squillions with stacks of fat but I’ve lost weight, my belly fat’s reduced, it’s fuelling all my exercise (haven’t had sugar cravings) and I feel great! Already looking forward to tomorrows meals!

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