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!

img_6893-1

  • 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.

img_7254

  • 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.

img_6870

  • 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!!

img_7391

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.

image.jpeg

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

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 Eighty – DOMS

I literally could not move when I woke up this morning after last night’s Body Pump class. I had every intentions of going to the gym but it just wasn’t going to happen so I slept in until 7am instead. I was so out of sync having broken my morning routine and I just wasn’t ready for the day so I won’t be doing that again in a hurry. I hate rest days. FACT. If I could work out 7 days a week without my body shutting down, I would.

My intake for today was pretty similar to days I do work out as I now have a much larger appetite. I need a lot more food to satiate me, particularly in the mornings; so I used today to refuel and recharge my batteries:

  • Apple
  • Muller Light Yoghurt
  • Nutrigrain Granola Bar
  • Nutrigrain Raisin Bar
  • Salad w/ Chicken
  • Salmon w/ Couscous and Broccoli

Despite my morning getting off to an unfamiliar and unproductive start I had a great day. Work was fun, the sun was shining in Edinburgh and after my shift I went for a well overdue sunbed. There’s nothing better than a tan to boost your mood and confidence a little. I am also starting to see my abs coming in which I’m totally elated about. My hard work is paying off. Now I need to start a mini-cut to increase the definition even further!

image.jpeg

We’re over the hump that is Wednesday.. Here’s hoping the next two days fly by. I’m looking forward to my weekend off.

L x

Day Seventy Nine – Transformation Tuesday

Usually these sort of posts contain a picture of someone who has lost a lot of weight or gained a lot of muscle and I have done both of those but I am more excited to document something I did today which is a total transformation from my old lazy self who hated exercise. I did TWO sessions in the gym! I trained my legs this morning and then went to a Les Mills Body Pump class after work. The class was really hard after already training this morning but it was an amazing full body workout. I’m completely knackered now but I feel on top of the world! I’m completely overwhelmed by the massive changes I have made to my lifestyle and truly hope that I can inspire others to do the same.

My go-to workout when I train legs provides a great burn and it’s really simple too. It’s easy to up the intensity by adding weight or increasing reps. I tend to repeat this 3 or 4 times. Here it is:

  • Medicine Ball Squats (I’m using 7/8kg at the moment)
  • Deadlifts (Bent Knee)
  • Lunges with Dumbbells (8kg)
  • Squat and Press using a Medicine Ball

I also like to experiment with my leg positioning whilst squatting. I’m trying to lose fat around my inner thigh (a classic problem area for many women) so a Sumo Squat (wide legged stance) is great for that! As always I worked out my core as well. I’ve found that through strengthening my core, my form in other exercises has also improved. You wouldn’t build a long-standing house on weak foundations and it’s the same with your body. Strengthen the base and you’ll have a better chance at working the other muscles effectively and correctly when performing other exercises.

My intake for today was:

  • Apple
  • Nutrigrain Granola Bar
  • Trek Cacao Energy Bar
  • Graze Veggie Protein Pack
  • Salad w/ Chicken
  • Leftover Turkey Bolognese w/ Wholemeal Fusili

I definitely needed the carbs after burning lots of calories today! Now I’m off to bed to get some much needed rest and I can only pray I’ll be able to walk tomorrow. I can’t promise I’ll be up at 6am to go the gym but let’s wait and see.

L x

Day Seventy Eight – Winning

I kicked Monday’s ass today and I’m totally shattered for it! I ran 9km this morning in the gym – the furthest I’ve ever ran. I could have cried I was that proud of myself. For someone who runs Marathons or 10 milers it’s nothing but all I think back to is 16 year old, overweight me who could not run 10 minutes on a treadmill without giving up. I have surprised myself constantly with what my body is capable of. Progress is as much a mental game as it is physical as well and I’m finally getting there! I’ve trained hard enough to know when enough really is enough and when I can push through. I feel like I’m ready for my 10k now and can use the next 8 weeks to work on shaving down my time, determined to run it in under an hour. I’m super excited for my first race and have a feeling I may have caught the racing bug!

image

My positive energy from such a great run continued throughout the day and I had a really productive and busy day at work, making time fly by. I love nothing more than to work my way through a monster To Do List, ticking each thing off as it’s done. It’s so therapeautic and I get a real kick out of knowing I worked hard.

My intake for today was:

  • Nutrigrain Granola Bar
  • Apple
  • Nutrigrain Raisin Bar
  • Rice Krispies Bar (this was an unnecessary 5pm snack)
  • Salad w/ Chicken Breast
  • Turkey Bolognese w/ Wholemeal Fusili
  • 5 Small Chicken Bites (again, unnecessary)

I really need to cut out snacking so much. I don’t really snack at all on my days off work but in the office I tend to graze throughout the day. It’s something I’m working on but for now I’m also happy enough with my progress in upping my calorie intake.

I think it will be a strength training session for me tomorrow to give my knee a rest. I can’t run more than 2 days consecutively so I’m going to try alternating my days; one day running, one day strength training and see if that helps at all. Fingers crossed.

I’m off to try get some sleep as my eyes are closing on me! Goodnight All.

L x