I've been absolutely loving Michelle's Fitness Friday posts and have found myself looking forward to them all week. I love her honesty about the difficulties faced when trying to lose weight, build fitness and enjoy life along the way. As I'm trying to lose weight at the moment too, I thought it might be fun to have a similar feature over here. Like my Foodie Thursday post yesterday, I don't know yet if this will end up as a regular feature, but I like to think having this as a feature would really encourage me to stick to my goals. And at least if I do cheat, I can share those mishaps with you!
Michelle's posts have a really great essay style to them, with tips included, which I really like, but for the time being (this week at least!), I'm going to keep it kinda goal-orientated, and I'd like to keep that structure every week. But of course, we'll see what happens!
So, onto this week!
So since I started with my diet and exercise regime (a week and a half ago) I've lost around 3 pounds. I'm one of those people who wants fast, instant results and obviously, this isn't going to happen. But as I'm trying to lose around 10 pounds, this is actually perfect and means I should be down to where I want to be in about 5 weeks, which is just in time for my graduation! I've been using My Fitness Pal to track my calories and have been sticking to its prescribed 1200 calories, but on days when I have worked out, I have been "eating" my calories. This is something I'd like to cut down on. While obvious I am going to have to eat more on days I have worked out, I want to avoid eating all the worked out calories. But as my exercise regime is going to be changing, this won't be a problem so much. Which leads to my next point.
For the past two weeks, the majority of my exercise has been walking, with the occasional swim thrown in. While this is great and easy exercise, it hasn't really been pushing me. However, walking has been a great way to get some exercise in. I tracked my walking on a few days when I was just rushing around and was surprised at how many I burned (I walk very fast!). I do enjoy my morning swim, but I have to go very early (morning swim is 6.30-8.30am and it's a 20 minute walk there) and it often leaves me very tired and hungry, especially after the walk there and back. For example on Wednesday I pushed myself to swim an extra 10 lengths more than usual and I ended up feeling a bit weary and faint all day. Probably not a great idea!
So today my 30 Day Shred DVD arrived and I decided to get back on Couch to 5K. I absolutely hate running. Really hate it. But I do want to be able to do it. Even day one, week one kinda killed me today. But I did the run which took me about 2 miles away, and then I walked back. While I won't always have the time for a 30 minute run and a 30 minute walk back, that walk home really got my heartbeat down and the endorphins started to kick in, so I hope I can do that as much as possible. Then when I got home, I wasn't hungry enough for lunch yet (which was definitely a good side effect of the work out!) so I thought I'd start the 30 Day Shred. I was a little apprehensive about it, but found it tough but manageable. My plan is to do the 30 Day Shred every day for a month, and do Couch to 5K three days a week. I also might add additional walking and rebounding. Although working out today was intense at the time, I feel so, so good now. However, I might feel differently in the morning! At the moment while I'm not working I do have lots of time for this, and my routine will have to adapt when I do get a job, but I'm definitely going to take advantage of this free time to exercise while it lasts!
Sticking to 1200 calories is actually a lot easier than I expected, and the key was a few key food changes. I try to eat a lot of protein, a lot of fruit and vegetables and good grains. Breakfast is nearly always this oatmeal, which I'm kinda obsessed with, which I have with some honey (I also use only 1/2 cup of oats and one whole egg. 2/3 of a cup kills me and I don't want to waste 4 egg yolks!), or I have poached eggs and ranchero sauce. Lunch is usually soup, salad or egg white scramble (yes you can get liquid egg whites in the UK now! They have them in large Sainsburys stores!), and dinner is almost always something I make from scratch with a vegetable and pulse base or fish. I always have my evening dish with lots of vegetables and occasionally some grain such as quinoa or brown rice. This week I've been cooking pesto and feta salmon, aubergine and chickpea tagine, quinoa and sweet potato chilli and thai coconut shrimp. I also love to snack on fruit, mini babybel and nuts and raisins, but when I want a chocolate fix I go for homemade nutella and apple slices, light hot chocolate and light chocolate mousse. I use a lot of Hungry Girl recipes as I have two of her books, and while a lot of the ingredients aren't available in the UK, I did find that Weight Watchers do 107 calorie tortillas, so I'll be using these to make some of her tortilla recipes that I love! Her Holy Moly Guacamole is also fab, and I had this amazing shrimp salad for lunch!
What I've Learned
- Exercise hurts at the time, but feels good later
- Walking is better than no exercise at all
- I am a little-and-often eater. For example, I might really fancy a banana after my morning oatmeal, but I know it will make me a little over-full and I'll still be hungry again in three hours. So, it works best for me to wait those three hours and then eat the banana.
- Snacking is good. And having them with me in my handbag is always a great idea
- But I should wait a while after eating a meal before deciding if I really want that snack
- Sugar free blackcurrant squash is a great alternative to water
- Running is tough for me, but hopefully worth the work
- Tracking my calories keeps me honest!
Next Week's Goals
- Continue with the 30 Day Shred every day and start working towards level 2
- Continue with Couch to 5K three days a week
- Try to fit in other cardio between these work outs
- Find more yummy, healthy food to enjoy!