Friday, June 29, 2012

Eat for Britain Thursday and Happy Friday

Do you ever have one of those days where you eat and eat and never seem to get full?

I did yesterday and it made me feel so down in the dumps - especially since I found myself with a spoon and this jar
It's delicious but I daren't even look at how many calories it is - I also couldn't because I have no idea how much I ate. I know I need to learn to be more accountable but I just don't want to look at the weight of what I ate because I'm pretty sure I'll feel sick with myself!!

I'm even more annoyed with myself because I was going to go to the gym last night but I managed to convince myself otherwise which in turn meant I was home for longer which meant I ate even more!! Damn you brain - sometimes I could really fall out with you!!

But anyways, today is another day and I'm going to try and do all I can to make up for yesterday's catastrophe. I'm sticking with my usual breakfast - porridge with a scoop of peanut butter (I've only recently discovered putting PB into my porridge and boy do I wish I'd done it sooner - Its delicious!! Plus I've heard it helps me get lots of the right oils into my diet along with a good boost of protein - bonus)

I'm about to eat an apple for my mid morning snack - I used to have it with my breakfast but since adding my teaspoon of PB into my breakfast, most days I'm not hungry for an apple after my porridge so I save it for around half ten in the morning and I eat it then instead!
I'm totally going to continue adding it to my porridge - for only 30 calories I figure you can't go wrong!!
Oh and BTW I make sure its the organic, no added sugar kind too so I don't throw my blood sugar out of whack (my Dad has recently been diagnosed with diabetes - we were very shocked because he's the most active, healthiest, cleanest living guy I know so I'm more aware of blood sugar than ever!!)

Then for lunch I'm going to have my chicken salad and another apple and then I'm definitely heading to the gym this afternoon after work before I meet up with Paul to go to the cinema - yey!!

I was also going to share some photos with you of my awesome dinner on Wednesday night (I was doing so well with my healthy, home cooked eating before last night!!)
So here it is

Lamb marinaded with a drizzle of olive oil, lime juice (I didnt have a lemon), chili flakes, garlic and paprika and then grilled
I actually used lamb chops here because my supermarket didn't have lamb steaks - I cut them off the bone and bashed them out a bit to flatten them - next time I'll try and get steaks simply because it's less fiddly.

I served the lamb with roasted vegetables (courgette, aubergine, red onion and cherry tomatoes) and salad (lettuce and cucumber for a bit of freshness and crunch) and some feta cheese (since I was going down the Greek route)
I then made up some of my own tzatziki (I'm not sure how you spell it!!) with some fat free greek yogurt, lime juice and mint and made myself a wrap with a seeded wholemeal wrap.
The lamb was pretty spicy from the chilli flakes so the yogurt dressing really hit the spot to counteract that. It was delicious and I'd definitely make it again - and if I had lamb steaks instead of chops it wouldn't take too long to prepare either. Put the lamb in the marinade and roughly chop the veggies for roasting, lightly drizzle with olive oil and balsamic vinegar and then roast until done (sorry I'm not a very accurate chef and don't tend to look at things like clocks when I put things in the oven so I never know how long things have been in for - ask Paul it drives him crazy!!)
I then chopped my lettuce and cucumber and feta to put on my plate, put a couple of spoons of the greek yogurt into a bowl with the chopped mint and garlic, gave it a stir and its done!!

And after that ramble I'm going to leave you in peace to get on with your Friday - I hope you all have a great weekend, good luck to everyone taking part in the MWLC for your Monday weigh in!!!

Han x

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Hump Day Downer

Just a quick one today because I'm at work and really should be working - I know, that should be a swear word!!

Firstly - I'm in pain, lots of it. My back is killing me (from the swim I think) my thighs are killing me (from the weighted squats on Monday I think) my arms are killing me (swim and gym combo I think) and I've still not slept properly since the weekend so I'm a crabby monkey today too!!

Also I had a sneaky weigh this morning and I'm two pounds up from Monday morning!! Which is two pounds up from last week!! What is going on!!!
Serves me right for being impatient.

Last night I said goodbye to my flatmate for four weeks - she is a lucky thing and is going travelling in Thailand with her boyfriend for four weeks!! Jealous much! The up sides to being teachers although you couldn't pay me enough money to spend all day surrounded by teenagers like they do!!

I also made a delicious dinner last night - I'm going to make it again tonight it was that good and I'll also try and slow my mouth long enough to take some pictures this evening!!
It was lamb chops marinaded in rosemary, chili flakes, paprika, lime juice and olive oil and then grilled on my George Foreman grill with a salad with lettuce, cucumber, bell peppers and feta cheese along with some roasted courgette, aubergine, red onion and tomatoes drizzled with a little more olive oil and balsamic vinegar.
I promise to have pictures for you tomorrow.

Tonight I'm going back to the gym - I'm not sure what I'm going to do - does anyone have any workout ideas for me?
I'm definitely going to try for a 5K but as for the strength side of things I'm still a bit lost without Tom :-(

On the plus side of my horrendous downer I'm on today - Its Wednesday which means it's Hump Day and it's all down hill to the weekend from here!!

I hope you guys are all having a better day than me.

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Tuesday Tiredness

I am so tired today!!
I think the weekend is finally catching up with me and the adrenaline is leaving my body so I'm on a bit of a slump today.
That and the disappointing realisation when I woke up this morning that it wasn't actually Wednesday!!

Last night I decided (like a mad woman) to go to the gym - I felt like super woman after my swim and felt like I could take on the world!! I also decided to get straight back on the wagon and get to the gym without letting myself slip under the pretence of 'having a rest after my swim'. I know me and I know that that particular 'couple of days off' would very quickly turn into a couple of weeks!!

I also needed to get back into the gym ASAP because it is the start of my time without Tom and I figured I'd try my best to workout on my own.

So I headed to the gym after work and got straight on the treadmill for a mile long run to warm up - I managed an 11 minute mile easier than usual - I didn't even have my mp3 player on!! I used my weekend's race as motivation - every time I thought I was getting tired or felt like I couldn't keep going - I thought about my swim and figured if I could do that I could do another 5 minutes on the treadmill. And it worked!!
I then headed over to the chest press machine to work on my arms for a bit - I think my shoulder needs a bit of strengthening so I'm hoping that will do it.
I then did some weighted squats with 20kg on each side - I might be going a bit too heavy there but I managed three sets of 10 so I was pleased with myself.
After that I decided to do some ab work - I took an 8kg kettle bell and did three sets of thirty sit ups (the usual kind) I then did three sets of 15 twisting sit ups (you sit up about halfway and twist your body to each side before lying back down again - the kettle bell stays held to your chest for both of these exercises)
I then did three sets of 15 lifting sit ups, this is where I lie on the floor and lift the kettle bell up above me until my arms are straight and then complete a sit up and then bring the kettle bell back to my chest when I'm lying back down again.
After that I went onto the rope machine and did three minutes of constant rope climb on the heaviest setting the machine had - my arms were pretty much done after that!!
I went back on the treadmill after that and ran for 1.5 miles
I really want to get my running up - as you probably know from my 30 before 30 goals I'd like to run a 5k, 10k and a half marathon so I'm going to try and push myself to run further each time I go to the gym.

It was very weird in the gym - I felt like I worked out, I was certainly sweating more than I'd like to in public  but I also felt a bit lost - I didn't know what to do next and I felt like everyone else in the gym knew that I didn't know what I was doing!! Which is ridiculous but it's how I felt. I don't think I realised just how much I went into auto pilot when I had my sessions with Tom! Doh! Should have paid more attention!!

Anyway today is another day and I'm going to take it as a rest day - my muscles are aching from last night and the weekend and I think it'll be beneficial to rest. I'm not sure how I'll feel tonight - I may get jumpy from not exercising and feel guilty for not doing so - especially after going to the gym and swimming non stop for what seems like months!!

Week two has started on my Lose Half a Marathon Challenge and I'm going to try my best to have a good result this week.
I'm back on properly planning my food on MFP user name hannahsmith1985 if you want to add me as a friend
Porridge and an apple for breakfast
Chicken Salad an apple and two Celebrations for lunch
An apple for my afternoon snack
I'm not sure what to have for dinner - I'm thinking a veggie burger and salad but I may change my mind.

The weather seems to have turned around again here in the UK - especially after all the rain this weekend, it's definitely not warm here but it's warmer than it was, if that makes any sense! I'm feeling like I want more fruit in my life - I might go to the supermarket and see what is available, I've been eating nothing but apples for months which I love but I'd like to be eating berries with Greek yogurt and maybe a cheeky meringue nest crushed into it, strawberries with a small scoop of frozen yogurt, even pomegranate seeds in some cous cous with grilled lamb - mmmmm I'm making myself hungry now! I may need to pop to the supermarket tonight for dinner too, the veggie burger can wait!

The mini challenge for the MWLC this week is to make sure to drink the right amount of water - using a calculator Jess gave on her newsletter I worked mine out to be 108 imperial Oz so I'm going to try and make sure I drink plenty this week. During the week I find it quite easy to get my water in, I have a litre mug at work that I make sure I drink at least two of while at work (70 imperial Oz in total) that means that I only have to drink two pint glasses (20 imperial Oz each - totaling 40 Oz) at home - I'll admit that I always drink one pint glass of water at home but I need to up my efforts to get that extra pint glass in before bedtime.

Any ideas for a marinade for lamb steaks to go with cous cous or even in a wholemeal pitta bread with some salad and Greek yogurt?

Monday, June 25, 2012

Great North Swim Overview

Sorry for my absence this weekend - I hope you all had a great one.

I'm finally back in the real world after my Great North Swim weekend.
The weather this weekend was terrible - so much so that my swim on the Friday afternoon was postponed until Sunday afternoon - the weather was so bad that the Saturday races were cancelled all together so I'm very glad that mine was rearranged and I actually managed to get my swim over with.

The weekend didn't get off to the greatest of starts as we managed to burst a tyre on my car on the way down to the Lake District and Paul was a star and managed to change it in the pouring rain while the car was stranded on a hill!! We were both soaked after that especially since the roads had turned to rivers in the rain!

Me ready to go...

I managed the two mile swim in 1 hour 39 minutes and 22 seconds
This, I'll admit was longer than I'd have liked but my aim was 1 hour 30 minutes so I wasn't too far out of that and considering the conditions I'm just glad I made it round!
The water was, according to a board on the shore, 14 degrees so my feet and hands were freezing all the way round and the water especially on the outward leg was very choppy and the waves seemed to batter me back to the start on every stroke!

The start was a bit hectic too - someone managed to kick me in the shoulder which knocked me a bit and I swallowed and choked on more water than I want to think about at the moment.

The cold also made catching my breath hard too - I felt like my lungs wouldn't open up enough for me to get enough air to do anything and I felt like I was going to be sick after one particularly large gulp of water.

The course - to give you a bit of perspective, if you look really closely in the distance you can see a tiny triangular orange speck - that's the half mile buoy. I passed that twice!!

The outward leg had us going out into the centre of the Lake which is where the water was at its most choppy and the buoy that marked 1/4 mile didn't seem like I was getting any closer to me - I honestly thought I was going to have to call it a day but I decided to try to make it to the quarter of a mile before I quit. That allowed me to see the half mile buoy in the distance and I figured I would rather quit at half a mile than a quarter of a mile and the half mile buoy was closer to the shore so I figured it would be easier for the safety canoeists to pull me out over there too!! After I passed the half mile buoy the water got a bit calmer and my breathing levelled off enough for me to put in a few decent strokes and before I knew it I was at the 3/4 mile buoy so I figured I'd do a mile and then get out instead of heading back out to do my second lap.
However something happened and I found myself turning around to head back out again and that's when the reality hit me that I'd have to face those dreaded waves again!! Also because it had taken me just over 45 minutes to complete my first mile, I was surrounded by new swimmers from the race behind me too just starting their first lap of the course.
Once again I got battered by the waves and this leg felt like I couldn't go on again - but I reminded myself that I'd been here before and being more used to the water my breathing was better this time around. The knowledge that the water was a lot calmer on the other side of the half mile buoy also kept me going and before I knew it I'd reached the half mile for the second and final time and I was heading to shore.
This seemed to take forever - I once again kept reminding myself that I'd been here before and I'd gotten past it because at one point I felt like I was swimming but not getting anywhere!!
My goggles also kept steaming up and I kept having to stop to rinse them out so in the end I stopped wearing them all together - this didn't do my eyes very much good but it meant that I could go for longer than five minutes before having to de-mist them.

I was so happy to get out of the water - it was one of the hardest things I've ever done and by no means any reflection on pool swimming - I think I'd be lucky if I managed a quarter of a mile in front crawl the rest of it, because of the waves and not being able to catch my breath, was done in breaststroke.

Finished!! My face was so cold that it went all wonky when I tried to smile!!
Although I said that I'd never do it again to my Mum and Dad and Paul when I got out, looking back on it I wouldnt rule it out. As a perfectionist I'd would like to 'master' open water swimming and I'd like to better my time although I think the 1 mile event might be enough for me!!
I'm very proud of my accomplishment especially for not quitting when it was the only thing I wanted to do and good time or bad time - I'm pleased to say that I made round.

Everyone that finishes gets a goody bag with lots of yummy treats and a finishers badge in it.
This is currently being proudly displayed on my bedroom wall

The goody bag also included a t-shirt but I was so tired when I got back last night (about quarter to eleven) and I have work today that I didn't have the energy to get the t-shirt out of its wrapper!!

I also bought a hoodie that had this embroidered on it - while in the middle of the swim I'd have given anything for walls, lanes and chlorine and it was anything but 'the great outdoors'!!

I thought I'd also include some photos of me doing the 1 mile race three years ago - not to be too big headed but the difference in me is crazy!!
I didn't think I was that fat when I did the swim the first time around - now when I look at myself I just looked like a big black rubber ball!!

Me on the left looking shocking next to my beautiful work collegues Laura (middle) and Carole (right)

Me and Laura after we finished

Me, Laura and her husband Dave on the way to the swim

Marathon Weight Loss Update

So as a bit of an aside to the above excitement I weighed in for the Marathon Weight Loss Challenge
I'm a bit upset to say that I have put on two pounds :-( although I think (no excuses just trying to find an explanation) this might be due to carb loading for the Friday race that didn't happen and then again for the Sunday race. I knew leading up to my race that I wouldn't be looking at my calories too hard because I just wanted to give myself enough energy to get round the course (which as you can read above I barely did anyways!!)

So I'm still hopeful for my 13 pound loss and I'm glad that this race came at the start of the challenge when I have time to make up this hiccup.
I'm feeling positive today (and tired) and I'm going to make sure that I'm good with my diet and exercise from now on.
I have my gym bag packed ready for tonight at the gym - my first session without my trainer Tom so wish me luck for that!!

How is everyone else doing on their Marathon Weight Loss Challenge?
How do you get back on track after a gain?
Is there a race / event you would really like to take part in?

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Lose Half a Marathon Challenge

So I've decided to sign up to this challenge.

I'm sure a lot of you have either heard of it already or have even signed up for this half or the full marathon.
If you have then I wish you all the best with it - lets try and make this summer a lighter one all around!!
If you haven't heard about it and want to sign up you can read about it here. It's been setup by runwithjess and you still have until the 25th June (Monday) to sign up so you haven't missed the boat don't worry.

As my monthly goals were going to be to lose a pound a week I decided that the half marathon would be the best for me and the most realistic - I'd love to be able to say I've lost a marathon but to be honest I just don't think I've got it in me and I'm not a person who plans to fail!!

The challenge will also include mini challenges and prizes (I'm all for a pat on the head every now and again!!) and I'm hoping this will help me keep motivated in the important transition period between having my personal trainer and finding my own training schedule.

The weigh ins for the challenge are on a Monday morning so I'm going to change my weigh ins here to Mondays too to make it more consistent.
I'll be honest and say I'm a bit nervous about this because I, like I'm sure most of you too, often fall off the wagon on a weekend and my Monday weigh ins might not be too pretty. But Tuesday is only a day away from Monday and I've been doing OK so far so I'm sure that my Tuesday weigh in security blanket was fictional.

I'm going to create a new Half Marathon page on here too to track my progress - this will include measurements and weigh ins and general comments / feelings of how I'm doing.
Another thing Jess asks is that you send a new healthy recipe and a photo of it as often as you can so I'm going to make it my mission to try something new every week which will conveniently tie up with me needing to cook more often and get a bit more adventurous!!
I'll warn you that this might not happen this week due to it already being Thursday and I'm away this weekend and not able to cook but I promise to start the cooking next week.

Seriously its almost like Jess jumped into my head, had a rummage around and thought 'I know what to do to give Hannah a helping hand!!'

Good Luck everyone!!