My past two Christmas weeks

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My weeks in numbers:

 

Weight: don’t know (blind weigh in)

8 runs (including 4 parkruns)

2 body pump classes

2 aqua aerobic classes

1 metafit class.

 

My week in words:

So how were my weeks?  On the food front, I ate, a lot.  I didn’t get back on the wagon quick enough, to be honest, but I did enjoy myself and don’t have that many regrets.  But I am back on the wagon in earnest now.  I decided to do a blind weigh in as I wanted to be back in the rhythm before I found out what damage I did.

But I am pleased with the fact I kept up with my exercise routine.  In fact I missed taking part in some of my classes although the extra parkruns did make up for it.  Certainly without the regular exercise I would have felt a lot worse heading into the new year.  But it’s new year and the clock is ticking towards London.

All the best,

Woodyrunning spoon

New Year Resolutions!

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First of all, Happy New Year!  2013 was exciting in so many ways for The Wooden Spoon, i.e. we launched!  But I am hoping 2014 will be even better with me finally running a marathon and improving my general health and fitness.  So I wish you all a year packed with healthy eating, fabulous fitness and rare trips off the wagon!

It really is that time of year where New Year resolutions get made and even if formal resolutions are stated we are all encouraged to be healthier, stop smoking, drinking or sort out finances.  How many adverts have you seen already for slimming clubs or smoking cessation devices?

It probably surprises few people but whilst many start their new year off with good intentions and considerable enthusiasm most resolutions fail shortly after. Experts feel that the reason for the failure of these resolutions is that most people do not back their resolution with proper planning.

So how can we avoid falling into that trap?    Our resolutions need to be SMART.

Specific

Measurable

Attainable

Relevant

Time-Related

 

 Specific – target a specific area for improvement, not a general one. I.e. I want to get fitter is pretty general.  I want to be able to swim 10 lengths continuously or finish a parkrun is specific.

Measurable – measuring towards a goal helps to see if you are on progress.  Seeing yourself lose weight, seeing the numbers go down or tracking your runs will all fit into this.

Attainable- One of my NYR or goals is to run the marathon.  That is attainable if I put the training in. But it’s not realistic, and certainly unobtainable for me to aim to run it sub 4 hours.  Well, this year, lol! Make sure your NYR or goals are realistic and attainable.

Relevant-Is your NYR relevant to you?  If it’s not why are you doing it, and will you see it through?

Time-related – by adding a time frame, it can help focus you. I.e. how many people have said they have lost weight for a wedding or aimed to give up smoking before a grandchild arrives?  And done it!  Having that date in mind can be a great motivator. And by not being specific about a time frame things can just drift.

 

So onto my NYR and they are:

  1. Complete the London Marathon.  I am not giving myself a time goal, as it’s my first, completion is my goal.
  2. Get to my target weight by October 2014.  I really want to achieve this and think that October is realistic.
  3. Go sub 30 mins at parkrun.  This is a tough one.  I have a PB over 35 mins and I will be marathon training for the first four months of the year and then no doubt recovering afterwards!  And I am not a quick runner.  But I would love to achieve this and it will give my running focus post London.

 

So my NYR are SMART rather than just being airy fairy like my usual ones of lose weight and get fitter.  I have targets and I have plans in place to achieve them.  I am hoping that I will be writing this time next year of my success and setting further SMART ones for 2015!

I wish you all a happy, safe and prosperous 2014

All the best,

Woodyrunning spoon

 

My Week

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My week in numbers:

1lb ON

3 runs (including 1 parkrun)

1 body pump class

1 body conditioning class

1 zumba class

1 aqua aerobic class

My week in words:

1lb on-I’ll take that.  Two meals out and what with last week, I was fearing the worst.  But I kept up the exercise, my VMLM training started this week (can hardly believe that!), and tried to keep the plan up as much as possible.  I know next week will be hard but I feel I am better equipped to getting back on the wagon quicker.  I have also had several comments about the fact I have lost weight, which is also great to hear and makes all the hard work worthwhile.

All the best,

Woodyrunning spoon

Surviving Christmas

Merry-Christmas-from-Bloggertone

It’s coming up shortly to the time of year that all slimmers dread: Christmas.

Just as holidays mean a break in routine, so does Christmas, with the added factor that so much of this celebration revolves around food.

I am going to consider food and exercise separately when looking at how to manage over the Christmas period.

 

Food

I think there are four strategies when dealing with food.  Some will cause more weight gain than others, and as long as you realise the consequences of each action and are prepared to accept it, go for whichever one suits you.

 

  1. Stick to your healthy eating plan completely.  Ignore any extra treats, carry on as usual.
  2. Stick to your healthy eating plan but build in treats you have planned for.
  3. Go all out and enjoy yourself.  Forget about the healthy eating plan.
  4. This is very similar to 3.  Go all out but decide for how long.  Maybe just Christmas day and Boxing Day, or all of Christmas week.Each strategy has its merits and problems.  Be realistic.  Can you stick to your plan entirely when others are eating their body weight in chocolate?  If you go all out, can you regain control without doing too much damage?  How will you feel if you get on the scales and you have put on half a stone?

 Exercise

Many people have time off over the Christmas period but this does not automatically that extra exercise can be fitted in.  Gyms and clubs close or run skeleton services.  Families visit.  You find you have a lot more to do than if you were at work!  And for people who have no time off, all those things apply too!  Again there are different strategies you can adopt to get you through this period.

 

  1. Stick to your routine in its entirety.
  2. Keep doing aspects of your routine but at a reduced volume, or making changes to it.
  3. Put your feet up and forget about exercise until the New Year.

Once again each has its merits, although if you combine no exercise and lots of food, you may be undoing a lot of your good work, as well as starting the New Year feeling rough.  There are many factors to consider and family is a huge one.  Going out for a run as Christmas dinner is being prepared may not be your smartest move, but an early run on Boxing Day may not disrupt the household at all.

 

As for me, I plan to keep to an exercise plan as much as possible, but I know that it will be affected as many classes have been cancelled over the Christmas period.  And for food…my plan is to go for what I want but for a few days, and certainly not until the New Year.  I would like to start 2014 feeling fit and healthy!

Have a wonderful Christmas.

All the best,

Woodyrunning spoon

 

 

 

 

My Week

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My week in numbers:

1 1/2lbs off

4 runs (including 1 parkrun)

1 body pump class

1 body conditioning class

1 zumba class

 

My week in words:

You could have knocked me down with a feather when I stepped on those scales.  I was convinced that I had gained weight.  Real life meant I missed aqua and metafit and it also meant I went out for three meals.  Yes three!  So I was convinced that I had gained weight.

 

Whether it’s a reprieve for one week only, I don’t know.  But I did stick to the plan for the rest of the time and haven’t indulged in treats apart from the meals out.  And I did what I could in terms of exercise.  So I will see next week, but what amazes me the most is that I am gymming and slimming in December!

All the best,

Woodyrunning spoon

My Week

calendar

My week in numbers:

1 1/2lb off

4 runs (including 1 parkrun)

1 bodypump class

1 body conditioning class

1 zumba class

1 metafit class

My Week in words:

Pleased again with another weight loss and keeping up with the exercise regime.  I planned to do aqua but the class was cancelled which was a shame but I certainly worked hard in the other classes, especially body conditioning and metafit.  However with lots of events and Christmassy things occurring, I know that there may be some not great numbers to come in the next few weeks!!

All the best,

Woodyrunning spoon

 

My Week

calendar

My Week in numbers:

2 1/2 lbs off

4 runs

1 Bodypump class

1 body conditioning  class

1 zumba class

1 aqua aerobics class

1 metafit class

My week in words

I am obviously pleased about my weight loss but this week I am very excited about the fact I have done so much exercise.  it’s the first time I have done five classes in a week and after last week’s stress-fest at work, it felt brilliant.  My mileage has been increasing too and I ran a solid (although windswept) parkrun.  So happy days!

Hope you have had a good week too.

All the best,

Woodyrunning spoon

To Gym or not to Gym…

gym

It seems incredible but it will shortly be 2014. And with the New Year comes New Year resolutions, and many of them revolve around getting fitter. And already in my gym there are advertisements about the offers for the New Year. And how many of us join the gym in January, get our money’s worth for a few weeks and then end up paying many month’s subscriptions and not going near the place. Oh, so not just me then? So here are my thoughts on choosing a gym. I am hardly a wonderful role model. I have been to several and not used them to their full potential, and they’ve ended up being very expensive. So I know what not to do!! But at present I am a gym bunny, so I hope you find these ramblings helpful.

Do you really need to join a gym?

Examine your reasons why you are thinking about joining the gym. Can you achieve your fitness using other mean, i.e. running or joining a sports club? If you think that you won’t be a regular user, what about pay as you go or finding exercise classes run in halls?

What do you want from your gym?

Gyms come in all shapes and sizes with price tags to match. Think about what you want from your gym. If you love swimming and aqua aerobics it makes sense to join a gym with a pool. The more facilities the gym has the more expensive it will be, but enquire whether they offer different memberships, such as swim only or off peak membership (My dad and step mum have this and it saves them a fortune). Have a look around the gym and talk to gym users. You can get a feel for the place, and whether it will suit your needs. Check out the classes it offers and what else is included in the price. Ask about the induction and what support you get. It certainly varies. One gym I went to you got five sessions with a trainer. My present gym (which is comparable in facilities and price) only offered one.

Location, location, location

This is the key. If you want the gym to fit in with your life, the more convenient the better. So think about when you will exercise. Depending on when this is will depend on where the best place for gym is. For instance if you exercise during your lunch break, a gym near your work place is ideal. If you’re an early bird then a local one will be better. If you are a long suffering parent of a sporty child it could be that wherever they do sport has a gym and rather than sitting around, use the gym (I did this when my eldest was at a different swimming club, very convenient). This will help ensure you use the gym and it fits into your life.

A gym can be an inspiring, friendly place where you can achieve your goals. But it can also be an expensive luxury. If you take the plunge, a little bit of time thinking about your requirements and being realistic can save you pennies and gain a wonderful tool in your fight against the flab!

All the best,

Woodyrunning spoon

My Week

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My Week in numbers:

Stayed the same

1 Bodypump class

1 zumba class

3 runs

My week in words:

Not the greatest week with regard to exercise due to pressures at work.  And food wise it was ok.  My shoes are fab and am running longer stances more consistently (relative of course!).  And I really missed my other classes.  I am really hoping that I can do a full house this week and keep on with the healthy eating.  On the plus side I have had several people commenting on my weight loss, which is a real boost.  So Yey!

All the best,

Woodyrunning spoon

 

Metafit

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A few weeks ago I read a Gaby Logan tweet where she extolls the virtue of metafit.  A quick google of it told me it was a bodyweight class that used interval techniques.  It’s 30 minutes and I found my gym ran a class.  So off I went to try it.

 

WOW! Writing it down it doesn’t seem so bad, but it involves doing exercises such as the plank, squats, lunges, squat thrusts etc for a short period, and then having a very short rest and then going again.  You repeat the exercises until you finish the round and then it’s different exercises that take over.

 

By the end I was dripping in sweat and I ached considerably. I am so pleased it’s half an hour.  But I can really feel the benefits and it’s become a firm favourite and a class that I intend to do as much as possible.

All the best,

Woodyrunning spoon