Archive | Fitness and Exercise RSS for this section

So, I did the thing…

You know…the thing where I had to walk, in a bra, overnight…

yeah…that thing…

OK…I sort of did the thing…

I am really annoyed and angry to tell you that I failed to finish the thing due to my stupid foot playing up and making it impossible to walk…

The foot that got plantar fasciitis…(I told you about it here) that put me on crutches last year…

Well guess what, it decided that this walk was a good time to return! I managed 13 miles, even though it started hurting in mile 2, I didn’t want to stop but I could hardly put it down 😦 I had a horrible feeling that if I carried on I would end up on crutches again. So I went to see some medics, who agreed with me…

I did wear a wonder woman bra in public, with a cape attached though, so that is a plus…and a huge step forward as I am definitely not in the “shape” I would have once said I needed to be in to wear a wonder woman bra in public!

Things I have learned from this experience:

  1. I have no idea what size bra I wear!
  2. I have finally learned to listen to my body…I am not injured but I would have been if I had carried on!
  3. Capes really do get in the way!
  4. Things wouldn’t be challenges if they were easy!

Body Positivity

img_6203

3 years of hard work…

I am not putting up that picture to show off… This is not a look at my weight loss etc post or picture…although to be completely honest it is good to remind myself how far I have come once in a while…

The whole point of this picture is it represents a fundamental change in my attitude!

When the first picture was taken I hated pictures, I wouldn’t look at the camera and I could barely look at the resulting pictures without being miserable for ages.

Now, believe it or not, I am willing to pose for photos, I mostly don’t hate them and I even have more selfies than is sensible on my phone! But this is about more than photos. It is about confidence and attitude. It is about finding the courage to stand up to the judgmental attitudes of today’s society. To stand up to the attitudes that say you have to be a certain size or shape to dress a certain way.

Even at the end of my first 365 I wouldn’t have dreamed of wearing the muscle shirt in the top picture without a second top under it. I still qualified every achievement with disclaimers about needing to lose more weight, or still having lots of things I needed to change. It was almost as if I was not allowing myself to be proud of myself , I couldn’t let anyone thing I was pleased with me the way I was. After all what would happen if they thought I was still fat…I felt I had to acknowledge it before they said something!

Just in case you are new or have forgotten this was the end of my 365 project…

me 365

day 365 😀 

This was me, I was happy because dancing, I was happy because 365 days of exercise is quite a big achievement, I was happy with my progress.

The one thing I couldn’t say I was happy with was my body.

Now the end of 365 me was a differently shaped me to the now me. Partly because I have been a little less dedicated to my eating, and quite a lot because I have been doing a lot of heavy lifting… but this isn’t the point, the point is…

We are allowed to be proud of ourselves. We are allowed to like our bodies and appreciate them for what they can do!

I know what you are thinking…what changed? and when are you going to get to the point and tell me what body positivity is?

Well first things first…what changed?

Well…obviously I did…but what made me change?

The first thing was this person…

whitney-thore

Whitney Way Thore click for more info

This is Whitney Way Thore, star of a show called Whitney Fat Girl Dancing, and a dancer who works to encourage people to accept their body and not body shame others. I don’t watch her show often, but I happened to catch an interview with her and of course she was being quizzed for promoting obesity and such like. and she explained she has PCOS  which made her gain weight and that she was aware that it could be unhealthy to be overweight but then she said “Appreciate your body for what it can do.” and that if it is stopping you doing things you want to it is time for a change. That one line started to change my outlook.

Then I found Grrrl Clothing, an amazing company run by Kortney Olson  I have told you about them before here they are all about body positivity and fitness at all sizes…which quite honestly is rare in a fitness clothing company! The breakthrough really came when I found their FB group Grrrls. This group is full of amazing women who all support each other and all subscribe to the Grrrl philosophy which comes handily written on the clothing tag.

IMG_0021

This is important. No negativity about yourself or others. As soon as you start to do this your outlook starts to change.

How often do you look in a mirror and criticise yourself, or tell yourself that you are stupid, or tell other people that you need to lose weight or are so fat or whatever. As soon as you stop this and start to look for positives, everything changes. Not instantly…it is not magic… you can’t wipe out years/decades of social conditioning in one hit but it starts to happen. You start to appreciate what your body can do whether it is lift heavy things, run a long way, make children (I have heard this can be a good thing but I remain unconvinced :-p), or just move you around through your busy day to day lives. You start to realise that you can be and do anything you want to do at any size and that the dictates of society are quite frankly rubbish…

Society says you have to be skinny to be attractive…well no actually the thing that makes a person most attractive is confidence. Society says women shouldn’t lift weights because they might get all bulky…well, bulky is unlikely in women and anyway…why shouldn’t women be bulky if they want…

Society says working out is for weight loss and for looks…well no, working out is for health and for whatever your own personal goal is!!

Before I go on any more I am going to show you some of the awesome women in the group who have inspired me to walk around with scary bright leggings on and muscle shirts with no vest tops under them…to walk around with confidence!

These are not the only inspirational women in the group by a long way but it just shows, no matter what size, what shape, what background we come from, there is no judgement! 😀

So here’s what body positivity means to me:

Body positivity is about believing in your own self worth, about believing that I am strong and capable and worthy of confidence as I am right now! It is ok to want to work on self improvement, it is ok to still want to lose weight but the difference is I am doing it for me and for health and to be an even better me rather than as a punishment for being a bad me!

I work out because I like it.

I wouldn’t mind losing some more fat, but I am proud of myself for who I am at the moment!

I can spend three days in a row dancing and walking miles and still walk the next day! I can lift 100kg (almost…) I can ride my bike for mile and miles I can swing a kettlebell about like nobody’s business and I can do all of these things right now.

I am fit and I am healthy and I still have chocolate sometimes and that is ok!

I am still mildly terrified of posting this without the caveats I mentioned at the start. I still have the fear of people judging me for being too fat or too weak or, now after writing this, too show-y off-y…

but you know what I am posting it anyway along with these pictures of the me that I am proud of right now!

Image-1

So be who you want to be, be who you are and don’t be ashamed of it! Don’t let “society” dictate whether you wear leggings or shorts or vest tops or giant hats covered in peacock feathers or what ever you like because at the end of the day it is not their business…it is yours 😀

 

Walking and walking and walking like a hobbit on a mission

So…remember when I said I had signed up for a thing?

you know this thing: Moonwalk 2017

The one where I have to walk a marathon and wear a bra…

Well…I thought it was time I updated you on my training. That’s right, training…I have actually been doing some! Probably not enough, or possibly I have left it a little late as usual but still!!

I have worked out that the best way from me to walk a long way, especially if I am on my own, is for someone to drop me off a way away from home and for me to walk back. That way I don’t spent the first half of the walk thinking about turning back and attempting to make myself go further…I just have to walk until I reach my appointed pick up point 😀

My first one of these was 14.4k  from Bramley in Surrey to Rudgewick in Sussex 🙂

 

The second of these was last sunday and was 18.5 km long from Bramber in Sussex to Southwater also in sussex.

I am doing so much walking at the moment that I am beginning to feel like a hobbit! But it is quite good, these one way long walks where I have a fixed destination feel like adventures! I am even beginning to enjoy it! I suspect this is helped a lot by the lovely sunny spring weather that has been happening while I have been walking 🙂

By the way…if you feel like sponsoring me for this escapade I would be very grateful! this is the place you need to go… https://moonwalklondon2017.everydayhero.com/uk/sam-19

 

Mountain bike mayhem

It has been a while since I have told you about a new thing I have been doing, so I am going to do just that now.

OK…technically this isn’t a new thing… it is an old thing that I haven’t done for a while…

By a while I mean about 8 years…

So it totally counts as new!  especially when you take into account the shiny new toys that have had to be purchased to make it happen! In case you hadn’t guessed by the title, I got a new bike. I had a bike but it was too big for me and I was quite scared riding it… I was ok going in a level straight line but any bumps, lumps, hills, corners or other sudden change in direction caused a lot of squeaking and squawking and on one occasion crying and getting off to walk…

Consequently, once I had decided that mountain biking had the potential to be fun, and decided that it would be fun to do mountain biking with Mr Mark without being scared at him and shouting, we thought it was time for a new bike 😀

Looky look new bike 😀 I love it! It has lovely wide handle bars and is not super massive so I can actually reach the floor…yeay!!

Not all the time…I still have to lean my bike to the side a little to put my foot down when I stop, but that is ok because that no longer makes me feel like i am going to land on the floor in a heap when I do it 😀

Since getting my new bike, I am able to go up and down lumpy bits and through muddy bits without feeling like I am taking my life in my hands, so that is an improvement…

I haven’t tried it on a really hilly ride yet so I am not sure how that will be, but on the short hills I have done so far it seems ok if glad that i have a) gears and 2) strong legs from all the lifting 😀

We have been on quite  few rides now, some of them featuring my Brother in law, Sister in law and my awesome (crazy) nephews :-D, some of them featuring cake, some featuring both.

Some of them also featured my awesome comic book superhero leggings and my dubiously coloured 1980s looking mountain biking jacket, which looks odd…but is very comfortable and doesn’t end up around my middle when I am riding 😀

I had forgotten how much I like kettlebells!

kettlebells

I love my kettlebells…have I told you that?

If you have read my blog for a long time, you may remember a little while ago I was obsessed with kettlebells! those up there are my own lovely lovely kettlebells.

I confess I have been neglecting them, I have been won over by heavy weight plates and barbell goodness!

Well…this morning with New Matt the new trainer, I did an entire session of kettlebells. I swung everything from a 16kg right up to a 24kg and cleaned and pressed 12kg and 16kg 😀 I had forgotten how blooming hard work they are.

It turns out…I still love kettlebells!!

I have every intention of adding them back into my regular routine 😀

I might need to invest in a heavier one soonish mind you…

I did spend half of this afternoon trying to figure out why I had bruises on the back of my wrists mind you…this heavy kettlebell buisiness is dangerous! 😀

Another New Paddington Day

paddington

woohoo New PB 😀

And…not a deadlift one this time!! My deadlifts have pleataeued, which is annoying but not surprising considering the amount of lower body injuries I gained at the beginning / middle of 2016!

This time it was a bench press PB…yes, thats right I am finally attempting to address the imbalance between my upper an lower body strength. I am getting there too but slowly!

so…

New Bench Press 1RM 47.5kg!! 😀 this makes me very happy! and quite surprised!!

This isn’t a picture of that day… but I love the leggings so I am putting it here!!

This was the day I discovered that the incline bench press is not made for people as short as me!! 

A new thing!!

I tried a new thing the other day!! It is an awesome new thing and I am going to do more of it 😀

Yeay! New thing!!!

willow-yeay

yeay!!

Ok…I’ll tell you what it is. Although I was super tempted just to leave the post at that and press publish 😀 )

This new thing is Geocaching!

I know…not a new thing as such…more a really well established thing that I had only vaguely heard of and never tried…until now 😀 so new thing to me 😀

image-1-1

Look…it is such a well established thing that it has made it into the OED…and my copy of that is 6 years old!!

This begs the question why haven’t I tried it before! It is such fun 😀 It also begs the question, why did I suddenly decide to try it now. We…first of all there is no limit to when you are allowed to try new things, but that is not the point. What actually happened was I was reading a blog written by a lovely lady in Wales who not only finds geocaches, but has some of her own which she maintains… and by some I mean lots!! You can read about it on her blog 😀

Go here and look!!

She mentioned it a few times and I was intrigued…so I on her advice downloaded the official free geocaching app and had a look around to see what was near me! It turns out there are a few near my work 😀 some are fancy ones that need you to solve puzzles or some such thing but you need the premium app for those, I am going to wait until I have got the hang of it on traditional ones first…

So one lunchtime last week, armed with my tracking app (just like a tricorder on star trek…honest…) I headed out to see what I could find…

Which turned out to be nothing… I found the locations of two but not the actual cache… I was slightly disappointed…but undeterred and I got a nice walk in the sunshine 😀

Look there I am looking pretty conspicuous searching for things in the sunshine…I really tried to look nonchalant but it is hard. It didn’t matter anyway, Horsham’s dog walkers are too British to ask what I was up to and probably just classified me as too odd to remember!

Anyway…as I said…undeterred I tried again the next day!! It was less sunny but more successful…partly because I read the instructions more carefully and discovered there was a hint as to location…that helped…

Look I found a thing!! It had small things inside and a little tiny notebook which I was apparently supposed to sign…however the instructions for that cache didn’t say I needed a pen…so I didn’t have one. It turns out, after some further investigation that it is quite common for little caches to not have a pen so you need to take one with you….well I know now 😀

The app gives yo a little smiley face when you tell it you have found it which is cool! I am definitely going to do more of this 😀 It feels a little bit like I have been let into a secret world…

Oh and it turns out that the little square colourful thing was a calling card from another geocacher…I might make some up at some point 😀

I think I might have to restart January…

Well, the January challenges anyway…as I don’t think the universe will let me have a redo for the whole month…

Anyway…my Janathon and my 31 days of yoga fell by the wayside a little… and by a little, I mean a lot… there have been some extenuating circumstances involving some crazy stuff, which I am not going to go into, and I got hit by The Cold!

you know The Cold…the one that is going around that comes with such a bad sore throat that you think you have regrown your tonsils just so you can have tonsillitis…

Yes I know…it sounds like a bucket of excuses…but it isn’t…and I haven’t been idle, I have still gymmed and danced and walked, I just haven’t followed a rigorous  every day plan…

look…here are some things I have done…

Hehe sorry about all the selfies…only I am not really sorry because they are actually good for self esteem and suchlike!

Ok, time for the positive… 3 years ago, even last year probably, not completing this every day challenge would have me worrying about failing, it would have me apologising on here and worrying about losing all the fitness I have built up. However I am not doing any of that.

I have realised that I have come so far in this lifestyle change that a “failure” to do yoga every day or to post on FB in the Janathon group is not going to derail me. I am not going to lose what I have gained just by taking two rest days in a row…especially if they are rest days due to illness!

I am still going to go to the gym and walk and dance and generally be active because it is part of me…it is not what I do it is who I am. I genuinely love it too much to just stop!

I don’t need 30 day challenges to keep me on track, that doesn’t mean I won’t do any ever again because I genuinely think some of them are beneficial… I just don’t rely on them any more 😀

That being said, I am going to restart the Yoga challenge because I really believe yoga will do me good!

Look at me…I developed a grown up attitude O_O when did that happen!!

Oh and in other news…I started a new blog… one full of the adventures of our little red VW van…so apparently i am a travel blogger now too…

Go look and follow me!! (shameless plug…sorry)

https://wordpress.com/stats/day/redvantravels.wordpress.com

 

 

2017 Janathon: 31 days of yoga…

OK…it is the start of a brand new year…

Traditionally I am supposed to do a round up of 2016 and a goals and whatnot post for 2017…well I am not going to yet..or possibly not at all…I will tell you goals as I set them…but new year is not the only time you can set them…it is just the time people seem to.

I had just got through telling myself that I didn’t need to sign up to do 30 days of this and a month of that because my lifestyle incorporates a lot of exercise and suchlike when I saw a FB post about Janathon so I thought ooooh maybe I will do that again just because I can…

Then I went and looked at the Yoga with Adriene YouTube channel, and noticed that she is doing a new 31 day yoga program which started on 1st Jan called Yoga revolution. It is 31 days of yoga (obviously) but also something about mind body connection and getting them working together and suchlike…

so I thought what the hell…I’ll do that…it might just do me some good…

so…I have done Day 1: Ease and day 2: Intention so far 😀 I have so far remembered that I like yoga…and that it is hard, even when you think it will be easy!!

If you want to join me it isn’t too late you could catch up I am sure!! just click here:

Yoga revolution 

A complexity of complexes

I don’t think there actually is a collective noun for complexes, I feel sure that if there were it wouldn’t be a complexity… maybe a difficulty of complexes or a confusion of complexes…

Complexity would likely be the collective noun for puzzles or some such thing…

Anyway-David-Tennant-Doctor-Who-So-Anyway-GIF

Anyway…

Back to complexes…

A complex, in this context, is a series of lifts or exercises that is done back to back without putting the bar / dumbbell down. For example, 8 reps each of: deadlifts, cleans, OH presses and back squats then rest and repeat

This has the advantage of being super efficient, a combination of lifting and cardio, not super boring and does all that good stuff like boost muscular endurance and metabolism and suchlike!

It has the disadvantage of being super hard and making you want to fall down!

In case you hadn’t guessed where this was going…I have been adding these into my workouts recently…

I was looking for options as I had got into a very samey pattern with lifting, which I still love, I just thought it is good to mix in some more heart-rate-raise-y whole body fun stuff!

I have been doing a mixture of barbell and dumbbell complexes, and a couple of times I have worked them as a superset as I was training with another person so we did one complex each then swapped… this, when it gets right down to it, is pure madness!

8a3e45cb-b9af-4dd3-a872-1276b66e6b26d7a0a092-b0af-4289-a0e7-62297b2d88b6

I had to play with the number of reps because I can lift a lot more on a deadlift than I can on a military press… so I upped the reps of the deadlift so I could use the same weight for all of them…switching weights sort of defeats the purpose!

I can highly recommend them 😀


 

 

 

lifesfinewhine

Life isn't about finding yourself. Life is about creating yourself.

Mama G's adventures

If you can't fly with the big girls....stay off the broom

Touch Of Cinnamon

There are words that kiss us as if they have a mouth

Trenton Babbage Enterprises

All you'll ever need, if you're only looking for stuff that's specifically here

Art Journal

Art inspired by life

Red Van Travels

Let the ad-van-tures begin...

The Cocktail Challenge

Our attempt at mixing, drinking and tinkering aka getting drunk and feeling fancy

Living Out Loud

With my feet on the ground and head in the clouds...

Who Shot Tony Blair?

In a post-Brexit, pre-dystopian Britain, the people really are in charge. Which is what we all wanted, right?

Building Belaquis

Bodybuilding | Meal Prep | Ramblings

Dinata Misovec

Has Senior Adventures

kirilson photography

the stories behind the pictures, and vice versa

Awkward Bouncer

GB Trampolinist, Sheffield University Graduate in Biology

eyeonberlin

from the pretty to the gritty

Fit Life Focus

Meal Prep, Lifting Weights & Fitness Motivation

heavy barbell

Sex, weights and protein shakes. Mainly weights though...

My Curls

The blog of MyCurls.co.uk

Burpees to Bubbly

Because good workouts deserve bubbly rewards!

Squat University

The Ultimate Guide To Finding Your True Strength

Running While Fat

I'm fat. I run. And lift. And yoga. And swim. And...

Lifting My Spirits

A lifelong dream deferred no longer- transformation from fat chick to bodybuilder after age 50.

My Bucket List

Live For Today

The Gym Bug

Follow my mission to catch the "gym bug"

Clumsy Runner Blog

Sunshine, Smiles & Happy Miles

Matthew James Naylor

Horsham Personal Training and Sports Therapy

cogitjoggett

blogging about Janathon and Juneathon running challenges

hayleymorcom.wordpress.com/

simplifying a happy healthy lifestyle

bloominolive

never perfect. always progressing. keep bloomin.

The Warrior Project

Become the modern warrior in what ever you do.

imamotherrunner

My journey as a mother and a runner

Fatty to Janathon Fitty

Operation couch to 10k

Annesmiles

Finding Happy & Healthy

Not Your Normal Health Blog

Fun Fitness. Yummy Health Food. Spoil-Yourself Spas. Barely Any Kale.

Idaswears's Blog

Just another WordPress.com site

Straight Talking Fitness

A site dedicated to helping you become stronger across the board; physically, mentally and emotionally.

Hell Or High Water

staying strong.

Hold 'x' to run

A journey from 0 to 26.2 miles

Athena's Antics

A blog about nothing

Flight of the Fat Girl

Soaring to new heights in body acceptance, and taking back the word FAT one outfit at a time.