But it’s good for you!!

Well dear blog readers the panda has turned into a gym bunny. Note here i said gym BUNNY and not gym BARBIE!! 

My determination to lose weight and tone up has mutated into somewhat of an obsession and despite a minor back injury i have still been stubbornly hauling my butt down to the gym ( frowning is bad for you by the way it gives you wrinkles!). Perhaps this is some quirk in my nature but when i become very determined about anything i develop an almost crazy tenacity that keeps me going no matter what. Incredibly ,annoyingly stubborn, that is me. Imagine a 60lb Rottweiler with a bone and you would not be far wrong. Actually i confess i enjoy it yet had you said this to me three years ago i should have laughed like a hyena at the mental image it presented me.

So obsession in tow i have been hitting the protein bars to help along the weight training and give as much assistance to the gym body ideal i so aspire to. I have often seen the guys ordering protein shakes during and post workout and finding they were lower in calories i decided to give them a go and feeling rather gung ho i ordered one on my way home today. I was a little wary since i do not like milkshake and really was not entirely sure i would find this at all palatable but on assurance it did not contain milk i was rather mollified and decided to try it.

BIG BIG MISTAKE!!!

I guess the nearest way i can describe the taste of this is to imagine buying a banana milkshake from Mcdonalds and drinking all but a large mouthful in the bottom. Fill up the cup with water and shake it hard until you have a watery cloying banana scum and then drink it. Yup thats exactly the taste and consistency, watery with a chemical banana smell yet sickeningly sweet and i found myself gagging on the first swallow. A lot of people seem to like these ‘shakes’ and although i have never had an overly sensitive gag reflex, gag i did. Oh my it was SO gross!!!

Did i throw it away?? Well actually no, as i said i am stubborn and this is actually good for me so there was nothing for it but to hold my nose and tip it down. 

For those of you that do not know a fair portion of taste is not actually down to taste at all but infact is down to smell. Holding your nose while eating or drinking something unpalatable makes it often almost tasteless, try it and see. Unfortunately for me i also am possessed of an excellent imagination and whilst i knew i could not taste it my overactive brain was happily recounting the experience for me and waving a large banner reading  ‘ THIS is what it tastes like’

Memories came of being a small child with my mother holding my nose and shovelling in some disgusting concoction whilst cooing at me to open up because it was good for me. Really? YOU eat it then!!

How ironic that now as a grown up i am more willing to swallow the unpalatable simply because of being told that it will be of benefit. You would think that after childhood experiences i would be possessed of a stubborn refusal to ever consume anything that i had great dislike for again yet consume it i did.

MMMMMMMMMMm banana flavoured dish water!!

Oh trust me this really had better be good for me. Somehow i think i shall develop an intense dislike for that curved yellow fruit but in the meantime bring on the protein shakes!!

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Finally!!

If you’re a reader of my blog you will without doubt know of my weight loss and gym body journey. Most of you do not know that i started out 10 years ago weighing in at a hefty 284lbs which placed me firmly in the middle of the obese category as regards to BMI and wearing massive uk size 26 clothing.

I make no excuses for this, events i wish to keep private led me to need to be this way at that point in time. That is not to say i liked it, far from it but it served a purpose at the time. In hindsight i wish i had not abused my body so badly, it has taken a lot of hard work to return from that place and an older wiser me would have found a better way to achieve the effect. The plus side is i am so far from that person now as to totally appear to be someone else. These days i am a bit of a gym bunny and i do not care if i work until i throw up (and yes i have done this) but i fully intend to have that gym body and will do whatever it takes to get there. 

I guess the biggest change of all is being able to look in a mirror and not want to cry at the reflection looking back at me. Where once i would need to hide under oversized clothing now i know i am looking pretty good and can only get better and i find i can like the person looking back at me for the first time in my life. Today i weighed in and almost shrieked the house down when the scales settled at my lowest weight since i was 23 years old and more importantly i am now back into the NORMAL category for BMI. Yes me!! I am a normal weight for my 5ft10 height at at last. It seems hard work does pay off (thank-you weight training) and i really did want to scream like crazy and turn cartwheels on the front lawn. It might be a little helpful if i were actually ABLE to perform a cartwheel but you get the idea. Although i”m not sure what the neighbours would make of some crazy woman screeching and turning cartwheels in her pyjamas!!

114lb down since that fat girl 10 years ago and 7 dress sizes down!!

My journey is not over, i have a little way to go and am stepping up the weights and training to get there for i have a vision in my mind of how i want to look( Yes Jessica Ennis i want to look like you) and i WILL get there. But for now i can hop up and down with glee for at last i can shout out I AM HEALTHY!!!!

A weighty issue

So as you all know, if you have been following my blog, i’m currently being a typical woman fighting the weightloss war. Whilst by most peoples standards i am definitely not obese, by societies standards i am definitely bigger than i should be although i am very lucky that i am such a tall girl. Actually the only time i curse my height is when trying to purchase jeans and finding them flapping merrily around my ankles being far too short. 

So yet again morning finds me at the gym stepping up the effort as much as i can since to date all dieting and exercising has produced no results. I do not mind being proud that i work very hard at the gym doing both weight training (real hard training not pink barbie weights) and doing hard cardio to help with the burn. But all to no avail as the pounds cling grimly to my curves stubbornly refusing to move. Curse you darned pear shape!! 

Now i have to add into this a moment that made me giggle. Imagine the scene, myself and another woman both training hard plus half a dozen serious body building guys putting in some super effort when in sashays another woman. Sashays is definitely the right word as she wiggled in walking primarily on her toes with perfectly curled pony tail bouncing as she went. Wearing designer Sweaty Betty gym trousers and matching crop top with sweat bands around her pretty little head and wrists to keep the sweat from her perfectly made up face. This doll like creature proceeded to lie on the floor and wave her legs in the air two or three times before sitting up to ‘rest’ then wiggled her way over to the nearest machine. Setting it at the lowest weight she pulled delicately at it whilst admiring herself in the mirror no more than five times before skipping back to the mat and repeating the leg waving. 

This pretty little barbie was in the gym no more than twenty minutes and did not break into so much as a sheen let alone a sweat and i did have to grin for the guys gave her barely a cursory glance before turning their attentions to their training. I think my face must have betrayed me for as one guy observed my amused grin he caught my eye and shook his head, raising his eyebrows in her direction. 

Lack of effort is definitely not my problem so i felt a change of approach was much needed. After speaking to a fellow dieter i learned about Intermittent Fasting and i admit this really interested me. Basically intermittent fasting means you only eat within a certain window of time per day and then fast, drinking only fluids for the rest. Most women usually do 14/10 (14 hours fasting/ 10 hour eating window) but since i weight train like the guys i figured the 16/8 would be better for me. Since we are sleeping for on average 8 hours per day this covers a fair portion of the fasting period.

WHAT DOES THIS MEAN??

Well essentially it means that in my case i do not eat before 12pm and never after 8pm which actually suits me very well. I’ve never been a breakfast fan and pretty much only ever eat breakfast when i’m on a diet so this really was no hardship.(Yes i can hear people gasping in horror up and down the country, how can she not eat breakfast!! )Allotted calories for the day are then eaten between the hours of 12 and 8. Exercise is always done in a fasting state and must be done when the stomach has been empty for at least 5 hours. I admit i was a little worried about this figuring i would have zero energy but i was amazed when my body responded and i actually had loads. Afterwards i felt fantastic which really did surprise me!

WHY MUST I TRAIN ON AN EMPTY STOMACH??

Well the reasoning behind this is simple, if you train having eaten then your muscles will first use up the Glycogen stored within them and then your body will begin to use the food as a source of fuel to maintain your workout. Training on an empty stomach forces the body to use its own fat reserves in the absence of any food to fuel itself therefore essentially increasing weight loss. Nothing is to be eaten for a minimum of an hour after training to allow the body to carry on burning fat instead of latching onto post workout snacks.

Yes it probably sounds like you are going to starve but this is not true for you are still getting your daily calorific needs but within a shorter fixed period of time rather than grazing and eating throughout the whole day. How effective this will be remains to be seen and i shall update my progress.

We shall see…

On gaining a little motivation

Well it just had to be done, i finally got frustrated enough to get my behind back down to the gym and sign on the dotted line. After yet another day of dieting yesterday i hopped onto the scales this morning and they hadn’t moved, not one single gram!! I actually got off, reset them, took off my pyjama top and climbed back on but no, still the same. I then got off again and got back on standing nearer the front but still no change and then resorted to jumping up and down on the darned things which resulted in a 1lb gain followed by a 1lb loss. Definitely not impressed i jumped off, scowled at the scale and growled ‘stupid bloody things’ at them before tossing them into a corner. 

It was all so much easier when i was younger but now the love handles are definitely in there for the long haul, aptly named they hug my hips tightly crooning ‘i love you’ Yes well i dont love you, pack your bags and leave!!  Well there was nothing for it but to head back to the gym and become a gym bunny again, so trainers donned, grown up daughter in tow we headed down for a torture session designed to shift even the most stubborn of inches.  I was actually relieved to see the guy on duty wasn’t some buff tanned pretty boy guaranteed to make me feel like a 90 year old nellie the elephant but instead a guy of around my own age who certainly seems to know what he was talking about. 

It seems much has changed in my absence and emphasis for girls is on reps rather than weight as it was when i was there before. I was slightly disappointed by this for i confess i did take a rather gleeful delight in sitting next to guys on the benches and easily pressing more than them and watching them slope off to pick up something heavier to struggle with and retain manly pride. Aren’t i terrible??

So as we launched into new training programme i was pretty pleased that i didnt struggle too much and hadn’t had to drop weights too far although trust me i’m pretty sure i’ll suffer for it tomorrow and will be walking like a 90 year old. Two hours flew by and although i emerged half dead it was with that strange kind of exhilaration you get when you’ve been training. I’d actually forgotten how much i love the gym although i think i’ll tone up a bit before i resume training with the guys. Biggest surprise of all was surveying myself in the full length changing room mirror and realising i wasnt quite as big as i had been mentally picturing myself although there was plenty of room for improvement. 

So once again i am a gym bunny panda and hopefully middle age spread will be well and truly banished. Watch this space!! 

She cannae take much more gym!!

Okay excuse the terrible pun, what can i say i’m a trekkie of the worst kind. So today a very kind friend sent a donation of a cross trainer in my direction, probably an affectionate kick up my ample derriere to help with my never ending weight loss see saw. You’d never believe that only two years ago i used to nigh on live in the gym, getting screamed at by a sadistic personal trainer friend was very much part of the routine 7 days a week. Actually having a personal trainer who is a friend is probably the worst thing because they tend to take great delight in being mean and pushing you even harder than a normal trainer would. 

I admit i loved the weight training and trained with a couple of body building guys, loved the treadmill although despite my trainers best efforts he never could turn me into a runner. I seem to have some short circuit between legs and lungs which leaves it impossible for both to work at the same time. Trust me you could put a 90% sale on at monsoon and i still wouldn’t manage a run!! 

But as is always the case in any gym i had my nemesis, the cross trainer!!

My trainer knew this and would paste on evil grin, clap me on the back and say ”Right then Amanda time for the cross trainer i think, twenty minutes to start”

To start?! Oh yes he meant it too, setting the timer for twenty minutes and barking out a speed. Even trying to distract myself with the huge screen tv did little to help and as my legs turned to jelly my lungs waved a white flag and grabbed frantically at my inner ribcage trying to reach daylight and more air. Just when i thought my lungs would explode the ritual slap on the back would come and crazy non stop yells to kick up the speed and hold it for a minute. WHAT??? are you trying to kill me?? Hello..barely breathing here!! Oh there was no getting out of it because you werent getting off that machine until you’d done your twenty minutes and kicked your heartrate up to a level that satisfied the demon trainer. 

Actually i confess i expected to see the heart rate monitor dialling 999 and paramedics coming to my rescue for i really did think i was going out of there in a box and ohhhh seriously its hard to remind yourself that this grinning torturer is your friend and i dreaded every minute of that torture chamber.

So it really seemed the perfect thing to do when a friend offered me a cross trainer. Of course i said yes…. in the three seconds before my brain connected to my mouth! So some time later determination set in, i switched on the latest episode of The Biggest Loser and hopped on thinking thin thoughts. 15 minutes later my thighs are singing their way through a song and dance routine chirping burn baby burn and the rest of me is hallucinating it’s in the Sahara desert, gasping out croaks of water…i need water!!

Well i guess this all just goes to prove im really not that fit any more despite how much i walk and perhaps its just as well i accepted this after all. But i’m determined to do it even if i do have to stop every 10 minutes, i’ll just get right back on again. But if sometime this week you dont hear from me it’ll be because i’m mid crawl halfway up the stairs since my legs gave out and the desert came and swallowed me up. Roll on when i’m 70 and it wont matter any more, i can just eat chocolate to my hearts content and be as unfit as i like. In the meantime i just need to get my butt moving to make sure i actually make 70 but just incase i’m putting emergency services on speed dial….

emergency can i help you

I have to confess spending my birthday on a training course for work was not exactly what i had in mind and as the dreaded annual ageing event approached nevertheless Emergency Life Support it was to be and i truthfully admit i had no true notion of what this entailed. Two hours later lying flat on my back on the floor, paired up with the only guy on the course i was trying to stifle my giggles as the instructor bellowed across the room at my companion not to be so gallant and ‘watch her chest man, watch her chest’ . Poor guy i expect after a lifetime of being taught not to openly stare at womens bosoms being now openly berated for not doing so was disconcerting to say the least and more than one sheepishly apologetic glances were cast in my direction. i cannot help but find that there is something rather endearing about a man who still has the ability to blush but once the instructor again ordered my now pink cheeked guinea pig to keep watching my chest this was all too much for me and i collapsed into helpless giggles most unbefitting someone who is meant to be having breathing problems of a nature requiring resuscitation. Thankfully things fared a little better when the roles were reversed although my compatriots dramatic touch extended to him holding his breath almost prompting the scenario to take on a more realistic turn. Poor instructor i feel for him greatly, as is often so with a group of women we managed through quips and comments to turn what should have been a most sober occasion into something worthy of a carry on movie and i expect the poor man despaired of ever being in a situation that would ever require one of us to come to his aid although for all intents and purposes we do actually know very well what we are doing and were most competently able to demonstrate this when required. Ending the morning with my lips firmly locked with a silicone dummy really was the icing on the cake as that was far from the birthday kiss i had been imagining and shortly after, tunelessly anihilating a version of heart of glass as i performed cpr on my little plastic friend, i concluded that maybe any victims requiring resuscitation might suddenly make a dramatic recovery if they saw me running to their aid. Bring back Nellie The Elephant thats what i say!! Image 

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