Tuesday, 30 October 2012

In need of a shake up!

Plateau's are something that are never welcome on a weight loss journey, but something that is inevitable. I've been up and down around 11st 3lbs-11st 5lbs for the last 6 months...it's getting a bit tedious now! I know I'm losing inches so I'm seeing some changes but when the number on the scales isn't moving it's a bit disheartening. 

So recently I've been thinking of a few changes, quite big changes, changes that involve leaving Weight Watchers! It will always be the best thing I have done, and I wouldn't be where I am today without it, but I feel like it's time to change things up a bit & something that will break this plateau.

There are a couple of options I have explored that if any of you have any tips/advice/comments about I would love to know!

1. Myfitnesspal
On the likes of twitter and blogging I have seen some great reviews of this app in terms of it's easiness to track & count calories on what you are eating. The thing that draws me to this is that I've never counted calories before, and I think the change would be a good boost.
Although, the thing that is letting me down at the moment is my tracking, but I think that's something I just need to get my head as with any programme I am going to need to track!

2. Slimming World! (going to the dark side!)
Again recently I have been seeing some great results with Slimming World, and after reading up online it seems relatively easy. Like weight watchers it has the support of weekly groups. Another motivating factor is at the moment they have the offer of a 12 week countdown course & you get 2 weeks free. I think this could be a push that I would need to stay on track?

Do you have any other apps/classes that you think I should consider?

Lots of love

Wednesday, 24 October 2012

10 Week Pledge. Week 1 Update.

Just a quick catch up from me today.

For weigh in yesterday I was a bit dubious. I hadn't tracked a full day all week, and I'd only tracked half a day for about 3 days. I just wrote "I've been so busy with work" but then what is the point in making excuses? I'd only be cheating myself. I'm not saying I had a terrible week, I'd planned my meals and made wise food choices, I'd done a couple of spin classes & kept my water intake high.

I lost 2.5lbs!!

It was such the spur I needed. Goal realistically isn't that far away and I can do this. It's all about being positive and learning from setbacks. 

"Believe you can and you're half way there"

Lots of love

Wednesday, 17 October 2012

Step away from the biscuit tin....

In order to achieve something we have to remove our selves from situations in which we are comfortable with and happy plodding along.

For those Weight Watcher members among us you'll remember a meeting topic a few weeks back about where we keep things around ourselves for example the kitchen; e.g the biscuit tin next to the kettle. (I my eyes exactly where it should be ;))

As you may or may not know I started my weight loss journey when I moved away to university, yup I know what you're thinking most people go away and live on pot noodles and fatty foods. Not me; well for the first 6 months I did then it all changed. I joined Weight Watchers. It's so strange I remember the day like it was yesterday. I was going to work in the afternoon and that morning I'd woken up and that thing "clicked" I knew I needed to do something & if I didn't do it today I never would. I knew the Weight Watchers plan worked & was probably the best for me as a student. So I researched classes close to where I worked and found one. As I was leaving for work I went into my housemates room & told her I'd be home late as I was going to join Weight Watchers. I don't think she really knows how much I was shitting it about telling her; and almost didn't! But from day 1 her & all my other friends have been unbelievable supportive. (Now she even gets in my "fat" clothes with me to see how far I've come!!)

Anyway I'm digressing from my point. Since being on Weight Watchers I've always been the one buying my food, cooking the way I want it etc etc. So when I go home I freak out completely. I'm no longer in control of what is in the cupboards (and usually lots of biscuits, cake etc etc). Now I'm not saying my mum shouldn't buy these when I'm at home because I should have enough will power to say no. But I don't. This is the place where I grew up, all those reasons for eating, usually emotionally happened here, and when I go home this all comes flooding back; and I eat. Now my mum is the most supportive person out there & always tells me how incredibly proud she is but why do I lose all of the tips & tricks I have learnt when I go home? Like mum will cook whatever I want, how I like it. But I always choose the fatty option; or I'll get her to cook something I usually would, but I won't weigh out anything and will have the same portion size as I used to.

This weekend at home really challenged me, I need to be so good at the moment with my struggle with the scales and my Where are my Knees 10 week pledge I can't afford there to sit and eat biscuits just because that's what I used to do at home. I'm not going to lie to you though, I did most days over indulge on biscuits & I feel so sluggish for it now. It doesn't help that I'm out of action for running due to tearing the ligaments in my foot. So frustrating.

I'm now back in Bristol in my little flat although there's no food in the fridge I will be planning my meals later and going shopping tomorrow for lots of nice healthy goodies.

Do you have any tips for living at home and saying no to the biscuits?

Lots of love

Monday, 15 October 2012

Ten Week Pledge!

So today marks 10 weeks until Christmas, doesn't time fly?! It's crazy how much has changed since this time last year. 

Over at Where Are My Knees they've created the 10 week pledge. You can pledge to do what ever you like; something that is achievable and personal to you, whether it be weight loss related, eating related, exercise related etc. 

My Pledge

I'm pledging to lose 10lbs, that's only a 1lb a week and doesn't seem like a lot but recently I've really been struggling with the scales. There just up and down around the same couple of lbs, but I have been taking my measurement so I know I'm loosing inches but I want the scales to move!!! 

So today works out as a good day to start as I'm at home I'm going to  Weight Watchers this morning, so nothing like a fresh start on a Monday morning. 

I'm not too sure what the scales are going to say as I was having such a good week. Both exercise & food related. In my exercise post I mentioned how I was going to try aerobics and so I did. And loved it. But having my lack of coordination; which didn't matter as the class was all ladies, mainly older ones which was quite nice as I didn't feel like I was being judged. Any way I turned awkwardly on my foot didn't think I'd done any serious damage as although there was a niggling pain it wasn't anything excruciating, so as you do I went for a 3 mile run afterwards. Note: if you hurt yourself do not go running afterwards! 

An afternoon of shopping, followed by a 9 hour day & a spin class I was in crippling pain & close to tears and couldn't actually walk. So a trip to A & E and 4 hours later turns out I've torn the ligaments in my foot! Rest is how to make it better. Now I'm not one to sit there and do nothing (I used to be, but these days I just can't) So I went to work the following day, did an 11 hour shift followed by a 9 hour shift the day after and a night out for my best friends birthday; I did however wear flats as I thought going for heels was a step too far!

I will be doing more of this over the next couple of days. 

I'm now still in pain, when I hoped it would have been better so will be resting properly for the next couple of days. It's so frustrating not being able to exercise. I actually missed my 7am spin class this morning. Who am I & what happened to the old me?!! 

With yesterday's hangover day the scales will say what they want to. But yesterday I wore a size 10 jumper so I'm not too worried. It's a new week & a fresh start.

Are you going to make a 10 week pledge? 

Lots of love 

Wednesday, 10 October 2012

Bristol Half Marathon!

If you'd have told me 3 years ago I'd be writing a blog about my experiences of running a half marathon I'd quite frankly have laughed in your face! But here we are; yes I ran a blinking half marathon!!!

So it all started back in May when I was studying for my finals, struggling with a plateau and needing something to focus on other than theories of criminal psychology!! In a moment of insanity I ran downstairs (shocking pun I know!)& asked my equally insane housemates if they fancied running Bristol Half Marathon which was at that point about 6 months away...which seemed like a lifetime away..and they agreed! 

Now I still don't class myself as a "runner" when I signed up we were running a couple of times a week but only about 3 miles each; I'd done a 10k run for Cancer Research about a year before but that was it. Running 13.1 miles was going to take some serious commitment. I don't think we fully understood quite how far 13.1 miles is when we signed up to this! 

My first training run I think we tried about 4 miles; with a bit of walking but I honestly thought there was no way I was going to get around the half marathon route without dying. I kept getting stitches, couldn't breathe and generally looked like a beetroot! But we persevered and slowly  built up our times, distances & routes. Before I knew it we were running 10k (6 ish miles) with "ease". I say with ease as physically I knew I was capable and building myself up I had it in my legs & lungs. The hardest part to overcome was my mind. I never imagined running a half marathon would be a mental challenge as well as a physical one. I'd get to a point; usually around 5.5 miles, and tell myself I couldn't run any more, that I was too fat, that I wasn't a runner, that people are looking at me & thinking she can't run. So I'd stop. Just like that. This is where I have to thank my amazing friends Hannah & Sarah (the insane ones who agreed to run the half marathon with me) if we weren't running together we were texting, tweeting or face-booking to see how each others training was going and the competitive part of me knew I had to keep pushing myself as I didn't not only want to let myself down, but I didn't want to let them down! So thank you girls; you are amazing and will never know how thankful I am for you pushing me when you probably didn't even realise.

So fast forward a couple of months; I'm now in full swing of training; even when I could have stayed in bed cuddled up with my electric blanket I dragged my ass out of bed to pound the pavements. Running about 4 times a week usually 3 "shorter runs" of about 5-6 miles and one "long run" a week; these long runs are the ones where I gradually built up my distance. The feeling of getting back from a run & checking Map My Run to see how far I'd gone & how quickly was rather exciting; having to walk up three flights of stairs to my flat wasn't quite so! 

Sponsorship started to roll in; I ran for The Meningitis Research Foundation which is a charity rather close to my heart; with people giving money there really was no backing out now. With 4 weeks to go I went on holiday & even took my running gear with me (another thing if you'd told me 3 years ago I'd be running on holiday I again would have laughed in your face). I then started to get excited about running this half marathon; something that kept me going whilst out training apart from music like "Don't stop me now" was imagining that feeling of crossing the finish line, being able to tell people "I've run a half marathon" I couldn't wait for that! My friend Hannah and I had run some of the route to get a feel of how it was; not to hilly which is always good for running! I was raring to go!

Then disaster struck; I started to get a cold so dosed myself up on decongestants, you name it I took it. But nothing worked. With only a week to go to the half I needed to get better, I wasn't going to let a little cold come between me and crossing that finish line. A trip to the doctors later (it turns out I actually had a sinus & chest infection) and a course of anti-biotics later I was on the way to getting better....until I had an allergic reaction to the anti-biotics and thew my guts up for a couple of days! (sorry about the gory details). Another trip & another dose of anti-biotics I finally started to feel better (now just 4 days to go!!) My last long run before the Sunday didn't happen as I didn't want to push myself, I was now absolutely pooping my pants. I hadn't completed my training as I'd wanted to & didn't know what shape I'd be in to run!

Fast forward to Sunday; it was D-Day. I was SO EXCITED. I'd hardly slept with excitement, got up early had my breakfast of porridge, bananas and blueberries (power foods galore) and we were ready! Got down the the starting pens (it makes me laugh they call them pens; like we are all animals or something) then queued for ages at the portaloos, there was NO way I was stopping on the way round to empty my bladder! 

And we were off! We started off at a steady pace; I didn't want to run off to fast and it come back to hit me later on. By about mile 2 I needed a wee; I hadn't even drunk anything! I didn't stop and by about mile 5 the need to wee had passed! A quick stop at mile 6 to unstrap my toe and I was still feeling in really good shape; we hadn't stopped once and I started to think I could actually finish this! Stopping again quickly at mile 7 for my friend to re-strap her foot up and we were good to go again. 

The way the course was miles 1-8 were along the Portway which was quite far out of town (where most of the spectators were) so when we got down to mile 8 the atmosphere changed and it was incredible. So many people cheering you on & willing you to finish. At mile 9 we saw Hannah's mum & then my Dad which gave us such a spur. We were still running at a really good pace and I knew we'd definitely finish in under 2 hours 30, I was just hoping we could carry on at this pace to hopefully finish around 2 hours 20.  

Miles 10-11 were so physically & mentally challenging, I nearly cried, until we saw our friends screaming our names and I knew I could run the hill that was in-front of me. I wasn't sure whether everything over whelmed me there; the fact of how far I'd come, losing almost 6 stone, running 11 miles and was so close to finishing, something I could never have imagined or the fact my shins were in so much pain I didn't think I could finish. 

When the finishing line came into sight I think I broke into a slight smile, I tried a sprint finish and pushed my legs as much as I could. I had no idea what our time was but we did it. I'D FINISHED THE HALF MARATHON. Me & Hannah had a massive hug at the finish line and I welled up, if I'd seen any of my friends & family at that point I would have cried! Walking through the runners village collecting our t shirts & medals made all the pain worthwhile. 

The atmosphere was so incredible on the day, when people say the crowd keeps you going it really does. There's something so humbling and encouraging about complete strangers cheering you to keep running, telling you how well you've done and that you're nearly there. 

My official time came in at 2:19:41. I bloody done it in under 2 hours 20!! HELL YEAH!!!

If any of you are thinking that you'd like to start running, DO IT. It's not easy at first but build up your pace, distance and time slowly and you'll be amazed at what you can do. When I was almost 17 stone I'd have never thought I'd start running, let alone run a half marathon. I guess this makes me a runner?

Despite the pain the day after I've already signed up to my next half in March! 

A massive thank you to everyone for your good luck messages, those who have sponsored me and generally everyone who supported me!

Here are some photos from the day:

Anything is possible. 

p.s sorry for the long winded post;)

Lots of love

I'm also entering this blog post to a competition from over at Where Are My knees So thanks Chris! (http://www.moneysupermarket.com) 

Monday, 8 October 2012


I'm not going to write this post preaching that I'm an exercise lover and can't wait to go to the gym and that you should all do it. Too be honest most of the time I hate going and it usually takes me a good half an hour to convince myself to go; but once I've gone I feel so much better! And running which I kind of enjoy has proven to be rather therapeutic so much to the point that I ran a half marathon! 

It's pretty common knowledge that exercise goes hand in hand with weight loss. Going to the gym takes a lot of balls when you're almost 17st like I once was; the fear of walking in to all these fit bodies in their Lycra outfits not sweating a bit. Yeah that's not what it's like at all but what I used to and still do sometimes think that's what it's going to be like! 

When you actually go in everyone is too caught up in their own workouts to care who has just walked through the door; unless like me you like to look for a bit of eye candy ;) 

The same can be said for exercise classes, walking through the door into a small studio full of all the keen beans at the front raring to go in their professional gear; the people at the back hiding so they don't have to see themselves in the mirror; which is exactly where you want to be; placed in the back corner so no body knows you're new and have no idea what you are doing but there's no where else to go apart from in the middle where everyone can see your ass wiggle! 

I've been going to spin recently; which as hideous as it sometime is; it's actually really fun (sort of!) and really good for you! I even go to 7am classes now which for someone who is absolutely in love with their bed is a major achievement (it may have something to do with the rather fit gym instructor!). I go by myself and all though I plucked up the courage to go, the first time I went I was terrified; I now even talk to people there every week & have the same bike like all the other "regulars"! I still want to go to something different though; maybe something like body pump or aerobics but I'm still a bit wary about going on my own. I've booked an aerobics class for Wednesday so hopefully I won't get hounded by the keen beans and I'll come out alive! A friend from work goes to the same gym about me so we are planning on organising some gym sessions together as a bit of motivation for each other. The good thing about going on your own I find is that it allows you some "me" time; time to think & reflect about where you are on your journey; how far you've come; or even what you're going to have for dinner like I regularly do ;) 

Do any of you have a gym buddy or prefer going by yourself? Or even have any tips for getting over the fear of going to classes by yourself?

Elle xx

Saturday, 6 October 2012

Coming out of hibernation

Wow, I can't believe it's been 9 months since I've last blogged. I've always thought I need to get back into it as it keeps me on track in a weird way; even if no one reads this I think I've got people that I have to report back to & therefore I'm less likely to eat the bar of galaxy (like I have done tonight; although I did point it!) And after something potentially exciting that I was asked about tonight; I thought now was the time. As the saying goes "there's no time like the present". Plus I'd run out of galaxy ;) I wish I could say I've done something exciting in that time like have a baby (actually that wouldn't be exciting for me the thought of giving birth makes me want to cross my legs so tight it hurts!)

So this is going to be my touching base post with many more to follow over the foreseeable future.

I'm now officially a graduate with a 2:2 BA (hons) Psychology and Criminology. That doesn't mean I have any clue of the direction I'm going in with life. I'm at the 80lbs lost mark with Weight Watchers (will touch more on this later). I've just run the Bristol Half Marathon (again a later blog will cover this). Living as a "grown -up" with my housemate in Bristol, working full time. 

So with a new look & needing some new focus, I'm back blogging! Enjoy

Elle xx

Here's a recent photo update of my weightloss

*it's choice not chance that determines your destiny*