I’m Back!

After what feels like forever (it’s actually been a quick four months) I am back in the world of blogging! I may have taken a break from writing, but there has certainly been no breaks in my life as of recent… It’s been all go, since I was last detailing my journey through 100 days of health and well-being.

I learned a lot in those 100 days and it certainly was not the end of my story. I’ve stuck with my gym routine and continued focusing on my nutrition, having genuinely transformed my entire lifestyle in just a short 3 and a half months.

Here’s what I’ve been up to over the last 4 months whilst I’ve been away from blogging about my fitness efforts;

  • I completed my 10km Race for Life in 55 minutes (a PB) and raised just over £400 for Cancer Research UK. The race was on Father’s Day and I was crying at the start, thinking about how proud my Dad would be if he could see where I was and how I had changed my entire outlook on life! I found my fire!

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  • Brandon and I purchased our first flat together in the beautiful area of Stockbridge in Edinburgh. We moved in at the end of June and it’s currently a work in progress but our vision is coming together bit by bit.

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  • I signed up to my first Marathon in Edinburgh. Fast and flat is how it’s described! I needed a new challenge and I’ve got until May 2017 to prepare – so my blog will most likely shift focus to my Marathon training in the next few months.

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  • I’ve started a new meal plan and am now eating more than ever – and fueling my body for all the hard work I put it through. I’ll be going into more detail about this in my coming posts!

  • I’ve taken up Spinning in the gym and have a new-found love for the bike! However, it has yet to surpass my love for running.
  • We booked a holiday! Brandon and I are off to Tenerife for a week of sun at the end of October – I literally cannot wait! The all-inclusive buffet is calling my name…
  • I read a book which gripped me from the beginning and has stuck firmly with me since I finished it. It’s a must read – Finding Ultra by Rich Roll. It details his journey of neglecting the life of a typical 40 year old, overweight male to becoming one of the fittest men in the world; and all the challenges in between. Keep your eyes peeled for a full review to follow!
  • For my birthday weekend, Brandon surprised me with entry to Bear Gryll’s Survival Race 5km… and even signed himself up to do it with me! I bet he wishes he had a normal girlfriend who wasn’t obsessed with adventure! It was a tough slog of blood, sweat and tears – literally… but we got through it together and we finished!!

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Anyways, that’s all from me for just now.. I was just checking in!

See you all very soon,

L x

2 Weeks to Go!

In just 2 weeks I’ll be taking on my first charity run – the Race For Life 10km in aid of Cancer Research. I’ve already raised £260 and my training is going really well so I’m feeling pretty positive about it. I’m excited for the adrenaline of race day and looking forward to running alongside thousands of other women who believe in the same cause I do.

It’s been gorgeous weather all week and I took advantage of that last Sunday, dragging Brandon outside for a run with me. Most of my friends were out having drinks as it was a bank holiday, however I didn’t even feel like I was missing out as I could not have had a better day out in the sunshine on a scenic run. I had planned to run a full 10km but the heat and hunger got the better of me (it was pretty close to dinner time) and we ended up running around 5km. Brandon had also just trained legs the day before, so I kind of felt like I was torturing him by forcing him to run through that pain.

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I’ve been keeping up with my Body Pump class as well. Even though it was really sunny outside and I would have much rather been relaxing in the evening after work, I forced myself to go on Tuesday and I was glad of it. I love the class and I always leave feeling like I’ve worked all my muscles properly. My legs in particular (it burns!) are starting to take shape so I’m pleased with the results this class is giving me. I only attend once a week but I would highly recommend this to anyone looking to get in shape. It’s the perfect strength training if you’re not as confident doing it yourself in the gym.

My day off on Thursday was spent in the garden reading my book for the majority of the morning and early afternoon. I didn’t quite appreciate how strong the sun in Scotland is and I ended up getting pretty burnt. This unexpectedly altered my training in the gym on Friday. I set off with the intention of training my legs as I would be able to rest them over the weekend, but as my shoulders were so burnt I knew it would hurt a lot to hold the bar across my back to squat. This meant I had to re-evaluate. I was geared up for a big sweaty leg session but I ended up getting on the treadmill instead. I’ve been feeling a little bit held back by the treadmill recently as I’ve been setting times or distances and finding myself struggling a lot. I realised this was a mental game I had to beat so I got on the treadmill and decided not to set anything, I would just run. I found a good rhythm and I was able just to keep going. I ended up running my first 10km in 1 hour and 5 seconds. I now have 14 days to drop this time under the hour! Even if it’s 59:59 I’ll be elated!

I hope you’ve all also had a great week in and out of the gym!

L x

Reflecting On My 100 Day Journey

I went into this challenge as a pretty weak individual – I don’t mean physically, but rather I had lost my way in life. All I cared about was losing weight and logging hours of cardio meaning I completely lost sight of all the things that really matter – like my friends, my family, my boyfriend, my job and just generally life outside of exercise and calorie counting. Ironically, I now pretty much live in the gym but things are completely different for me.

So what did I expect from this challenge?

Firstly, I thought I’d eat completely clean for the entire 100 days. I thought I’d have 0 cheat meals and eliminate all sweet treats/crisps etc from my diet.

I didn’t anticipate that I would skip any workouts. I went into this with a plan that I’d work out 5 days a week, every single week and I’d achieve my dream body.

I also thought I’d completely change as a person. I saw myself leaping out of bed, excited to take on the day and eating acai-bowls for breakfast.

What did I actually achieve/get out of completing this journey?

I found a healthy balance in my diet. I eat well 90% of the time but I do allow myself a little treat when I want it, knowing that if I’m working hard, I deserve it. A cheat meal keeps me on track – it satisfies cravings and reiterates to me that I much prefer eating well and my body feels a lot better for it.

I have come to love exercise and no longer use it as a form of punishment. In particular, I have found a passion for both running and lifting weights. I discovered a class at my gym that I love and now attend regularly. At just a mere 22 years of age, I’m in the best shape of my life and I’m  finally happy and confident with my body. I work out 4 or 5 times a week because I WANT to, not because I feel I HAVE to and that has been one of the biggest changes I have made.

I have completely changed as a person. My previous expectations were unrealistic and were formed in a very unhealthy mind. I have come to realise that noone is perfect and life does not always play out the way you want it to, no matter how meticulously you plan things. Life is not how you see on Instagram. No-one posts when they are ill, tired or just having an off day and we all have those days. I am now living my life, rather than just existing in a world of restricting myself. I listen to my body and I am learning every day what works for me in terms of my health.

Going forward, I am 100% committed to continue on this journey to improve my health and happiness. I am learning from my own mistakes, creating and overcoming new challenges all the time and I’m really growing up.

I know what I want from my life and I am determined enough to get there. I have realised that the things we want/dream of don’t just all fall into place but rather I am putting them in place. I can’t stress enough the impact that getting my health in order has had on the rest of my life. I am much happier in my job, I have a better relationship with my boyfriend and I enjoy time spent with my friends a lot more now. I put it down to the fact that I am more focused and I’m in a good head space.

I won’t be posting every day as before purely because I’m a lot busier now, both in work and my social life but I will be continuing to update this blog with my progress. I hope to post more about my workouts, nutrition tips and recipes!

Happy Reading!

L x

 

Day Ninety Eight – A Massive Cheat Day

Today we visited Mimi’s Bakehouse (a family run bakery in Edinburgh) to celebrate Brandon’s Mum’s retirement. I had never been before but it was a cake lovers paradise. I think I may now actually be a converted cake lover. I think about cupcakes on a pretty much daily basis nowadays! I didn’t hold back at brunch either – I’m nearly there, right?

My intake was:

  • Ciabatta Roll w/ Pork and Caramelised Onion Sausages
  • Mars Bar Chocolate Cake (this was out of this world!)
  • Chinese (I gave in to the cravings!)

After brunch we went into town shopping but I could hardly move from being so full so it was good to walk it off. I am coming towards the end of my challenge but I don’t feel overly guilty as I’m allowing myself a treat whilst eating healthily 90% of the time. We then had a Chinese for dinner which I did regret immediately afterwards. I wasn’t even really that hungry and I allowed my cravings to take control of my choices. I also wolfed it down at 9pm, so I’m off to bed feeling full and awful. I need to get back on it tomorrow (and stay on it this time). I’ve been far too lax and I feel like I’ve let myself down right at the end.

L x

 

Day Ninety Seven – Steak Night

I was working so unfortunately that meant I couldn’t fit in my workout before work. I really must start going for outdoor runs when I am restricted by the gym opening hours but there is something in my head that goes ‘nope, it’s the weekend, NO workouts!’ I definitely tend to be a lot more relaxed at the weekend, with my diet as well. I also find that because Brandon is home and off work, I like to make the most of this time with him, often eating out. However, I’m hoping to get back into a workout routine on the weekends once I am settled in my new flat and find some new local running routes.

I was really craving a Chinese takeaway but I didn’t want the steaks we had planned to go to waste and Brandon managed to talk some sense into me. I had a really nice night in and even managed to stay awake through an entire movie which I haven’t done for a long time. We watched End of Watch for the second time (I fell asleep the first) and I’d highly recommend it! It was a lovely night in chilling with some red wine to accompany.

My intake for the day was:

  • Nutrigrain Raisin Bake
  • Graze Snack Pack
  • Steak, Asparagus and Tomatoes
  • 4 Ferrero Rochers (woops)

The chocolates were a gift from a colleague in work and they are really hard to say no to! I can’t believe how much of a sweet tooth I have developed.

Anyways, we’re up early to go for brunch tomorrow. Enjoy your Saturday nights!

L x

Days Ninety Four To Ninety Six – Bedridden

I feel exceptionally guilty about abandoning my blog this week but I have a good excuse. I have been bedridden with either a sickness bug or food poisoning – I’m not sure which. It’s been total hell for me the last two days. I got home from my class and I was absolutely fine, had my dinner, watched some TV and went to bed. Then I woke up at ridiculous o’clock on Wednesday morning and that was me up the entire night being sick. Up and down, up and down. I got no sleep that night and I ended up having to take Wednesday off work. I spent the day in bed with no energy and no appetite. I could barely keep down water. In 2 days all I managed to eat was some toast and an ice lolly.

I also missed out on Brandon’s sister’s birthday lunch on Thursday, at a restaurant I’ve been desperate to go to so I was pretty gutted. I still couldn’t face any food and only began to feel hungry later on on Thursday evening. I ended up having an awful meal – a packet of Pasta N Sauce as it was all I fancied eating at the time. It was stodgy and sat in my stomach making me feel even worse! Bad idea.

Needless to say I haven’t been in the gym and it’s been driving me mad. I woke up this morning and I knew that evening going to work would be a struggle given how little energy I have had, so I didn’t even attempt to go work out. I’ll get back in the gym next week once I’m eating properly again, get my strength back and I’m feeling 100%.

My intake for this not-so-fabulous Friday was:

  • Nutrigrain Granola Bar
  • Graze BBQ Pistachios
  • Salad w/ Chicken
  • Salmon w/ Couscous and Asparagus

I’m glad to be feeling semi-normal and can’t wait to get back to my training. I’ll be taking it easy this weekend as I’m working tomorrow and have some plans with family on Sunday. It’s a great chance to give my body the opportunity to recover fully and I’ll bounce back pretty quickly from this I hope!

L x

Day Ninety Three – Trek Tuesday

I have a new love in life – the Peanut Protein Trek Bar. If you haven’t tried it already, drop what you’re doing and do so immediately. They are absolutely delicious and perfect to fill me up post-workout at the office. I’ve just ordered a box of 16 from Amazon to save me some money as I was buying them individually.

I hopped on the treadmill in the gym for 45 minutes this morning and managed to run just over 7km in that time. It was a great workout and I felt really strong afterwards, especially as I’ve had a few days off running. I had been desperately needing to get a good run in. As much as I’m loving my strength training, I do need to keep training for my 10k in June as it’s creeping up on me faster than I realised. I’m excited to get some good outdoor runs in before the race as well!

My intake for the day was:

  • Nutrigrain Granola Bar
  • Trek Peanut Protein Bar
  • M&S Sweet Chilli Lentil Curls
  • Chicken w/ Salad
  • Baked Potato w/ Low Fat Cheddar and Coleslaw

After work I went to my Body Pump class again this week. I love my double sessions on a Tuesday and even after only going twice, I’m obsessed with this class! It was a different instructor this week and I loved it as he pushed us to the limit (he reminded me a little bit of Mr Motivator in his persona). My legs were on fire, I couldn’t feel my arms, my abs hurt so bad but I enjoyed the entire hour of pain and I left feeling on top of the world. (In reality, I could hardly walk to the bus stop to get home).

What a great day and I’m aiming for another productive session tomorrow! This week is getting off to a good start.

L x

Day Ninety Two – I Made It

When I got up this morning I was feeling a little unsteady but as I was home, in my bed early and got a good enough sleep it wasn’t as bad as it could have been! I was up at 6am and despite knocking over a glass of juice and having to clean it up, then forgetting the bus times were different due to the bank holiday, I made it to the gym and got a pretty decent workout in. I wasn’t quite up for a run (that could have been chaos with my fragile stomach) so I opted for a full body workout. I pushed myself until I seriously could not handle any more. I was really proud of myself for going. I used to party a lot during my time at university and I’d never work out the morning after a night out – well actually I’d never work out period. This is a massive step in the right direction for me and I’m learning that my fitness and health means a lot more to me than having a few too many drinks. I care more about fitting in my workouts than nights out and I have been criticised for that but each to their own right? I’ll have the last laugh I’m sure. I’d much rather be drenched in sweat in the gym than lying in my bed hungover.

My intake for the day was:

  • Nutrigrain Granola Bar
  • M&S Sweet Chilli Lentil Curls (this felt like I was eating crisps – ideal!)
  • Harissa Chicken and Couscous Salad
  • Risotto w/ Chorizo and Peppers

I got home from work and Brandon’s Mum had prepared our dinner for us. I was massively grateful for this as it meant I could just hop into bed afterwards and chill out. After a long day at work it was exactly what I was needing.

See; Monday’s are not so bad!

L x

Day Ninety One – The Wrong Kind of Sunday Session

So I went out for lunch today with Brandon to celebrate our offer being accepted on the flat and things quickly escalated. We ended up at a day party and I had far too much to drink.

Our lunch destination was lovely. We dined at newly opened The Printing Press, in the centre of Edinburgh. It was grand and the interior was a stunning setting for our little romantic meal. We both had Sirloin Steaks (with chips, sorry!) and shared a bottle of red wine. The food menu was amazing and the dessert menu was completely irresistible. I had a Dark Chocolate Tart (it’s healthy because it was dark chocolate, right?) and Brandon had Apple Pie that looked equally as delicious as mine.

After the day party and a few more drinks down, I knew I had to go home as I had to get up for work. Unfortunately by this point (around 9pm) I was hungry again and we opted for pizza. I hate making bad drunk decisions but it was really good pizza!

My intake for the day was:

  • 2 Slices White Toast w/ Jam
  • Sirloin Steak w/ Chips
  • Diavola (Spicy Sausage) Pizza

Let’s hope I make it to the gym hangover-free tomorrow morning! Wish me luck.

L x

 

Day Eighty Eight – Sweet Tooth

Today was a rest day for me as I was off work and had a pretty busy day planned. It was also a good chance to let my knee and hip (it’s giving me problems now too) recover so I’m not overly disappointed about not going to the gym.

I ran lots of errands in town; returning clothes, picking up birthday presents for family, picking up my prescription from the doctors and attending an appointment at the bank. This was all before it even hit midday. I was in the zone and super productive after an early start! I wanted to get everything done before I went to my hair appointment and I did! This meant I could get there and not have to worry or stress about having to run around afterwards trying to get things done before the shops closed. I’m never able to plan much around my hair appointments as I have so much hair and I’m usually in there for around 3 or 4 hours. I got lots of blonde put through the ends of my hair as I’m trying to get it lighter for the Summer. I was really pleased with the result, as always! My hairdresser is amazing.

My intake for the day was:

  • 2 Small Slices of Seeded Toast w/ Jam
  • Leftover Turkey Bolognese w/ Wholemeal Fusilli (this was actually lunch at 5pm!)
  • Onion and Chive Bagel (Dinner)
  • Carrot Cake – Brandon’s Mum made this for a bake sale at work and I couldn’t say no!

After my big lunch, I had a little sleep and when I woke up we watched an episode of Grey’s Anatomy. There was so much drama and I now can’t wait for next week’s episode.

I’m back to work tomorrow so I’d better get myself organised.

L x