Its a pirates life for me!

Or at least is has been – “Rum, Bum, Beer and Bacci”. Ive just had around a month of virtually no exercise – i have still tried to be fairly healthy where food has been concerned but on a few cases i have slipped; its been mostly because of stress at work – i haven't been properly motivated to do anything.

I decided to buck my ideas up though – and get back to it. Today i have been running again for the first time and i admit, it wasn't easy.

Couple of things i noticed – firstly in a month the weather has changed dramatically – theres no ice and even though i did have the forethought to not have on two layers of top, i still was getting fairly overheated in just one layer and a running jacket.

Secondly is my heart rate – it was fairly high again and it is amazing how much of a difference a few weeks off makes. After the last months orgy of food and beer i feel unhealthy – even though i have hit my goal weight a few weeks back.

it seems very easy to get back into bad habits but thankfully i think i have managed to avoid too much trouble this time. Now i will shift my goal – i want to be 75kg by October 1st – it shouldn't be a hard target to achieve.

 

A goal shift

It seems that i am forever rethinking and modifying my exercise and fitness goals, but in retrospect this isn’t necessarily a bad thing. Ive been a bit lax and in particular the last few weeks have left me so busy at work its been hard to get to the gym or running. I am getting back on track with the gym now.

Running however is a bit more challenging. I am abandoning the loose weight exercise program now because it says i should now be running 6 times a week, and thats just not possible for me. If i don’t quit it i will just get frustrated by failing. If i am realistic i can do 3 times a week.

My friend “Glen” (Names have been changed to protect the innocent – or at least would be if he was) hasn’t been making things easy either – we previously agreed that we would have a beer or a coffee once every two weeks – but in point of fact  have been going weekly. He’s organised a beer next week with a friend i would love to catch up with; i am close to hitting my goals; and “Glen” is the single biggest risk to that!

I discovered competition mode on runtastic today and beat my own previous record, which i am happy about. I am getting back on top but it takes time.

Special K – Breakfast of Champions

brekky

This is my breakfast – 30g of Kellogs Special K, Fruit and hazelnut i often have it for a couple of reasons; It tastes nice, and its quick to enter into my fitness pal – i sometimes vary the flavours but to be honest i am not a breakfast person so eating at all is a big deal. its quick to prepare and have. It may not be the best thing for me but its not the worse – much healthier than a full english breakfast.

Theres been a lot of publicity over here about muesli just recently – they took the most common brands and discovered there was a lot of sugar in them. So muesli isnt a healthy option. At the end of the day how far does it really matter? Right now i am loosing weight and building muscle – i have a good idea of how much protien i need and i know that if i have too much sugar it wont help me kill a beer belly, but there has to be a balance here – at the end of the day diets dont work, its a change of lifestyle. in general i eat better, have better quantities, and i punctuate healty eating with bad. Focusing your entire life on whats good for you is going to lead to a boring life – its way better to balance happiness with health – in the knowledge of the fact that a healty life is a happy one!

Running out of time

The last couple of weeks with work have been a bit hectic. This week its totally screwed my exercise schedule – i missed my wednesday running. Now because i don’t want a red mark on my fitness plan for a missed day so drastic action needs to be taken – this week i should have run Monday, Wednesday, Friday, Saturday – Now i will have to be late – I ran monday – but need to now run Today, Saturday, Sunday… and i will be running monday of next week as well of course.

My gym time has also been affected by work – mostly because I’ve had a lot of meetings but partly because my gym partner hasnt been around to make me feel guilty about not going.

I’ve also been missing out on my press-ups and sit-ups. I was talking to a friend of my claudette about how i should approach my exercise in relation to my diet in terms of calorific deficit. at the moment i can have 1520 calories per day. when i exercise whatever i burn – i will only eat half of the value – so if i run and burn 500kcal i will have 1770 calories.

Ive been eating bad stuff too – i need to cut the carbs, and the marshmallows….

Enough is enough. Today i will be back on schedule. Ive let thing slip a couple of weeks, and theres no real excuse for it. Today it will all return to normal.

Rethinking my goals

In retrospect my goals were a bit short lighted – I wanted to be at my goal weight of 80kg by April 1st – and I can easily achieve this if I want. But the question is do I ?

Whist a weight objective is pretty much a standard way to go, I find myself not caring so much about weight as fat vs muscle mass now. Just recently my fat levels have been going down whilst my muscle mass has been going up. Net result a slight weight increase.

This has only really started to happen now because I recently made some changes to my diet. I was averaging a protein intake of about 55g per day but in order to keep muscle as my weight drops need an intake of more than that. In order to promote muscle growth I should be eating approx 168g per day; the rule I follow here is take your weight in lb and that's how many grams you need.

Myfitnesspal was set up for a reccomended daily intake of 55g so I missed this before. I may well change my objectives and just haven't decided yet.

 

Running with rhythm!

So its a running day. I am on the runtastic diet running plan- its only the second week and I’ve not followed it too much – I’ve been running on the days specified but I’ve not been slowing down when runtastic tells me – and once or twice I’ve just ignored the end of the exercise period and kept on going.

Today was a bit different though – ive been really hungry, am tired and had pretty much eaten my daily calorie allowance and theres still an evening supper to go. I looked at my running schedule and it was an easy schedule – 2 mins run, rest 1 min, 3 mins run, rest 1 min – all done 5 times. I didn’t want to go out, but did anyway.

Its -7c, i loaded up a running tracklist in spotify – not one of my usual, a random one i found and head off out into the dark and the snow. My running route doesn’t take me past many people – its a lit track through fields. I was intending originally to do what i usually do and ignore the rest intervals but instead i thought i would run fast through the run intervals and rest as directed. First thing i noticed was it is easy – i and when i do the rest intervals (walking rather than running) my heart rate slows down a lot quicker than it did, which made me happy because it means i am getting fitter.

As i continued to run it got easier. my lethargy shaken i ran to the beat of the fast music… started to almost dance, my shoulders rolling in time to the music, my hips, occasionally hopping from side to side, only breaking my rhythm once or twice in time to music – where at one point i actually hopped backwards. If anyone had actually seen me i would have looked crazy.  It all uses energy, and i felt i had plenty by the time my training plan had completed. I even ran another 10 mins, and couldn’t help but wonder If anyone else does this!!

Technically Press-ups..

pushupsOK – because i couldn’t get to a gym over xmas for my strength training i resorted to more traditional means – press-ups and sit-ups. Now you’ve probably guessed at this point i don’t do any exercise unless i have an app, and some kind of training objective – enter more apps from Runtastic…. Pushups Pro, and Situps Pro.

They are fairly good as motivational tools – they set up your daily objectives and you get badges when you hit milestones. I like that stuff, although i can understand its not to everyones taste. Now sit-ups i found to be fairly easy, the trick being not to do them too fast, but there was a surprising amount to be said about doing push-ups. This is what i learned, and the rules i will follow for now:

Pushups on your fists

i saw a few people said pushups should only be done with your fists because the tendons and nerves in your wrists are weak. Now i am not sure about that – doing pushups on your fists hurts, and pain is your body telling you it doesnt like something. Doing them this way may not be so good for all the bones and muscles in your fists. Ive seen a lot of pro athletes that use the palm of the hand, though some note that the part of your hand that you are using is important. I don’t pushup on my fists.

Spacing of your hands

Secondly spacing of your hands in relation to your shoulders is important – depending on where you put them depends on which muscle groups your exercising – and moving your hands too far from your body is more likely to cause injury.

Body curves

The body should be straight. if you push out your ass your not doing a full push up.

Body building wonkiness

If your looking to do real body building using pushups and maybe even one of those rubber bands, then you need to also do reverse pushups to build your other muscles.

Doing a full pushup

Nose touches the ground in the down position, in the up position lift until your arms and shoulders make an arch.

2 Second duration

2 seconds up, 2 seconds down… any faster than that and your using gravity to help you make a controlled fall. Thats cheating.

Beginners can cheat…

Doing pushups from the knees – i.e. not the feet. its less to lift.

… i am interested in what others have to say on this, and developing my technique.

 

 

Fitbit

IMG_1307So XMAS is over, and i am getting back to exercise – I’ve lost most of the weight i put on over xmas – thankfully it seems as if the literal weight of the extra food was having a fairly radical effect.

So i have a new toy – a Fitbit one, and its fairly cool. I switched it on for the first time last night, connected it  it into myfitness pal, and went through myfitnesspal to allow negative calorie adjustments. Ive pretty much told myfitnesspal i lead a sedentary lifestyle – which is what it uses to base my calorie requirements on. My fitbit one is a pedometer and basically allows me to adjust this base estimate – if i am extremely lazy during a day – and stay in front of a tv then obviously my calorie requirements would be lower – at this point Fitbit would put in a negative calorie adjustment. I got the thing last night and because it had only been switched on an hour or two it gave me a negative value for the day.

Its really important that i get to understand this value because if i under eat during a day because i am getting more exercise than i thought i could end up screwing myself over – Ive heard some people who talk about the body going into starvation mode, if you eat too little but they are really talking about the metabolism slowing down. I want my metabolism to be fast.

So far the Fitbit seems to be a sturdy piece of kit, and there are a lot of reviews out there. Its discreet and easy to forget you are wearing it which is perfect.Ive not had it long enough to really have an opinion on it yet though.

A very merry xmas

I had a very merry christmas, which can be evidenced by my weight gain – since 22nd december i have put on 2.7kg! Now is a new year, and time to return to normality. It kind of surprised me that i could put on quite as much weight as this so fast -i didn’t control my calorie intake at all and i knew i would go up in weight, i had no idea by how much – this is probably a bit more than i expected.

Ive now got to start taking this weight loss fairly seriously if i am to reach my goal weight of 80kg by april 1st – i know how much i need to be at now – on my graphs there is goal line- which i have to stay below to meet my objective – i am now perilously close to that line for the first time, so i will knuckle under.

I hope this new year is a good and healthy one for everyone. Enjoy 2013 🙂

New year objectives

Walking

This new year i have a couple of health and fitness objectives i was thinking about – they are:

  • Run a minimum of 60km per month – minimum 3 times a week
  • Start the Runtastic weight loss running program
  • Be at 80kg by 1st april.
  • Wherever possible go to the gym twice a week
  • Situps and pressups once a day.

More than that is unrealistic.