Friday, 26 April 2013

Look for the Silver Lining!

This week at Weight Watchers I was up *gasp shock horror*. If I am honest with myself, it took me by surprise... but if I am really really honest with myself, the writing was on the wall... 

The previous Tuesday I sat down beside my other half and an opened box of chocolates and over the course of a movie, reckon I helped polish off the box. Last Thursday I went to the cinema. Last Friday I went for lunch in The G with a friend and then we scooted off to the Cupcake Bakery to sample some of their mouthwatering cakes. Over the weekend we were babysitting our nephews so I had a takeaway and numerous half eaten bags of buttons/fudge bars etc that were lying around after the kids had discarded them for something else which must have caught their fancy.

The aforementioned cupcakes from the Cupcake Bakery in Galway

Over the weekend we also visited a friends house who had cooked us a massive 3 course Indian lunch, which was followed by a visit to another friends house who had just taken macaroons out of the over (so of course I had to try one!). On Monday I was running late coming home from work so picked up another Chinese Takeaway and on Tuesday at work I resisted the temptation of cake which was being dished around for a colleagues birthday but had 4 chocolate digestives (10PP) and a slice of pizza which work had supplied us with in exchange for spending our lunch hour at training. (I didn't stay for the training but still managed to get my grubby paws on a pizza slice).

Now with all of that in mind... Did I deserve to be up? Totally...

The difference however between this time and other times I have been up in Weight Watchers has actually surprised me. Yes I had a great weekend. Yes I wasn't able to resist most temptations thrown at me and yes I did enjoy my cupcake, my pizza slice, my biscuits and my takeaways. So I am not and do not feel guilty about having been up in Weight Watchers. Yes it brings my 'Actual Weight' (the blue line) close to my 'Target Weight' (the dotted red line) as shown below - BUT... I am still on track (beating my target), I am still exercising, I am still getting faster, better, stronger and slimmer. Think positive! 

So for this week I have set myself a mini challenge - to go back to basics. I am tracking everything that passes my lips. I'm weighing my pasta/rice portions like I used to when I started WW last year, I am looking up points of things I already know but just to make sure I am right in my assumptions about the points in things. I was quite surprised how quickly my points go when you do track - and it helps keep you grounded in the moment and not let yourself spiral out of 'control' like I did last week. While a bag of crisps may be "only 2PPs" - having three bags over the course of a day without pointing them as you go can be dangerous as you don't know where you stand.

I've said it before and I'll say it again... If only WW points were like your bank account that would just 'Decline Payment' before you eat anything once you have spent your points, life would be so much easier!

This ISNT me... but I can identify with it :)

Tuesday, 23 April 2013

6 Races - 6 Weeks - The Galway 5K Series

I signed up to the Galway 5K series a few weeks ago and I can't believe its nearly here. I'm really looking forward to it. Over 6 Tuesday nights, a 5km race is organised by one of the athletic clubs across the county. One race number with one timing chip covers the entire series.

The 5K series sold out in 35 minutes this year which I think was the fastest time yet. The idea is brilliant - run six 5K races over 6 weeks where your only competition is your previous time! Can't wait to get started!

This year the dates and locations are as follows:
  • Athenry - 30th April
  • Claregalway - 7th May
  • Loughrea - 14th May
  • Craughwell - 21st May
  • Galway City - 28th May
  • Tuam - 4th June
I will post after each race to let you know how it all fares out! In other news... I got my 75lb Cert at Weight Watchers this evening - WOOOOOOP! Only another 28lbs to go to Goal *side-eyeballs WW Leader*

Monday, 15 April 2013

Half-way through April... Time to Review!

April has two goals, to top March's figures and run 15K in a single run. Seen as we are half way through the month (Day 15 of 30), now is a perfect to time to re-evaluate and see how I am getting on:

So, let's see where I'm at:

Goal 1:
  • Target Time (at half way): 4 hours 30 minutes
  • Actual Time (at half way): 4 hours 40 minutes
  • Target Distance (at half way): 45KM
  • Actual Distance (at half way): 49KM
  • Target Pace: Better than 5'55''/km
  • Actual Pace: 5'42''/km
Goal 2:
  • Run 15K in a single run.
  • Furthest Run in a single run: 12K
  • I'm actually not too bothered about being at 12K as my plan was to add a KM a week this month. I ran 11K last week (6th) and 12K yesterday (14th). To reach this goal I need to hit 13.5K this coming weekend (20th) and 15K the last weekend in April (27th).
Overall I am delighted with my progress so far this month. It should also be worth noting that since joining Bootcamp last week, my Monday's & Wednesday evenings are filled with lunges, jumps, running and push-ups. So those gaps in my run planner from Mon-Wed are to be expected! 

Bring on the second half of April!

Wednesday, 10 April 2013

My first dabble into Bootcamp

Last week I saw a Groupon for a Bootcamp starting up close to work and at a time that suited, so I signed up. (Myself & money are so easily parted - I'm allergic to keeping it in my bank account!). So on Monday after work, I disappeared off to the bathroom after work finished and got changed - running from the bathroom to the car in case a work colleague caught me in my civvies.

My manager checking me out in my trackies

Monday nights bootcamp was fun and different - lots of push-ups, press-ups, belly-ups. I left feeling slighly smug that I didn't think it was *that* bad... How wrong was I? Yesterday and today I have been walking around like this:

My shoulders, my arms, my chest & my stomach ACHE!

So now it's Day 2 of Bootcamp and it's raining out... Can't wait to see what happens tonight!

Monday, 8 April 2013

If not now... When?

Motivation... She's a cruel beast. I have been lucky enough to channel her for the past few months on my weigh-loss journey but I'm afraid she has left me high and dry in other areas of my life. This time last year there were two areas of my life I wanted to change - One was my weight, the other I'm not willing to mention here but I'm sure anyone who knows me can guess what it is (probably because I have been going on and ON about if for the past... three years?!)

I need to lit a fire under my ass and start making some changes! At the beginning of the year I had a plan. Planning has helped me stay focused in terms of my weight-loss and running goals, however now I find myself three full months into the year and those plans I had made have slipped by the way-side.

I was sitting the the car with a friend last week talking - and I was said 'It's bloody April - how did that happen?'. It's time for me to listen to my own advice and start believing in myself. I have had the power to change my weight, my fitness, my body - surprising myself so many times along the way. I need to have the same level of self-belief in this other area of my life. I need to focus... I need to cop on!

Why is it so hard to get started? Instead of thinking about getting started... I am just going to get started! No more thinking about planning, no more thinking about starting. Now is as good a time as any to get started. 

(I understand the irony of writing a blog post about getting started instead of just getting started but similar to my weight-loss, I find writing about it helps me stay accountable to myself). I'm off to start doing things... In my last blog post, I used the quote: Accomplishment creates confidence, which creates effort resulting in more accomplishment.

I need to swallow my own advice!

Saturday, 6 April 2013

Single (5, 7), Double (10, 11, 13, 27, 72) & Treble (222) Figures...

I have been a Weight Watchers member for the past 222 days. I cannot begin to describe how much of my life has changed in the past 30+ weeks. I have surprised myself so much with my motivation, determination and focus. I wish someone could have sat down with me a few months ago and told me how easy things would become & how much happier my life would become.

I was given my 10th Silver 7 at class on Tuesday... TEN SILVER 7s! Even I have trouble grasping at that - Although my goal was weight-loss, I never even thought that this was possible.

Me - July 2012 (Left) vs Me - April 2013 (Right)

I have used micro-goals to get me to where I am now - each goal has been a move in the right direction but set differently to get me to where I am now. For example, my current (March/April) set of goals are as follows:

  • Weigh less than 200lbs
  • Get 10th Silver 7
  • Have a BMI under 30
  • Get my 75lbs Certificate

I am still using my Excel Chart, updating it weekly with my weigh-ins to remind me of both how far I have come from and where I am going. The red dotted line indicates my target weight (set at a 2lb loss a week) while the blue squiggley line shows my current weight at each weigh-in since the start of the year.

Using this chart has helped me keep my eyes on my weight in lbs, kgs and BMI. I use one of these three interchangeably to reach a micro-goal. As I said previously, my micro-goals aren't always about losing weight and getting a new Silver 7, some of them help me feel accomplishments looking back at what I have already done. Taking 'Weigh less than 200lbs' for example - I set this back in February when I was still in the teens. It incorporates all of the work I have done before the time I set it as my goal. 

This is what has helped me stay on track & keep my focus on short micro-goals while working towards the bigger picture. I read something recently which said:

"Accomplishment creates confidence, which creates effort resulting in more accomplishment"

I know for a fact this is what works for me as once I complete a mini-goal, I immediately feel good about myself for having achieved a goal, that it fuels me to reach my next goal - whatever that may be. Another problem area that I have also gotten better with is rewarding myself after completing a goal as in general, I tend not to reward myself or appreciate my own hard work in achieving it. 

Looking at my recent goals, you can see they are spaced out in such a way that I am achieving goals every few weeks as opposed to waiting for longer periods of time with no reward/prize/sense of accomplishment.

  • Weigh less than 200lbs - Achieved 26th March
  • Get 10th Silver 7 - Achieved 2nd April
  • Have a BMI under 30 - Achieved 2nd April
  • Get my 75lbs Certificate

That is why the post is a tribute to all my goal numbers: 5, 7, 10, 11, 13, 72 and 222:

  • 5 - The number of stones I have lost
  • 7 - Silver ones
  • 10 - The number of Silver 7's I have earned
  • 11 - My furthest run to date
  • 13 - My weight in stones right now
  • 27 - The number of lbs I have to lose to 'Gold'
  • 72 - The number of lbs I have lost
  • 222 - The number of days I have been on this journey

Have you thought about your numbers?

Monday, 1 April 2013

March Review & Setting Goals for April

I had set myself the following goal for March:

  • Specific RUN 100km this month
  • Measurable - Using the Nike Running App for runs ONLY
  • Attainable - Of course it is :)
  • Realistic - Considering I am running between 5k & 10k - It is
  • Time-sensitive - 31 days (March)
  • Evaluation - Aim for 25k / week (at my pace = 2 hrs 30 mins commitment a week)
  • Reward - A big f*ck off Easter Egg on March 31st :)

Which I didn't hit:

Does 91% of a Goal count?... I hope so! Because I had my Easter Egg yesterday and loved every bit of it :)

While I 'only' hit 91K in March I am still rather pleased with my progress. I have ran two 10K races this month, and if I hadn't gotten man-flu last week (see that gap from the 17th-21st), I would have totally hit my 100K goal.

Also, this didn't account for any walking I did in the month, which if I look at my RunKeeper app amounts to... 72.7K

When you throw in all the Level 1's of Jillian Michael's 30 Day Shred, I think my Easter Egg was well deserved yesterday! I savoured every bit of it :) I'm also 8.5lbs lighter than I was at the beginning of the month so it's Win-win really!

So where does that leave me for April?

I'm going to set two goals - One straight-forward, one multi-faceted (I love the word multi-faceted, I've just been waiting for the right time to use it in a Blog Post).

Goal 1:
  • Top March's figures:
    • Run for longer than 9 hours
    • Run further than 91K
    • Obtain a better average pace (5m 55s/km) 
Goal 2:
  • Run 15K in a single run

If I apply my SMARTER goal setting strategy to April, I get the following:

  • Specific - Run further, longer and faster than March (as specified above) with at least one of those runs being 15K
  • Measurable - Use the Nike Running App
  • Attainable - Of course it is :)
  • Realistic - Considering I am running between 5k & 10k - It is
  • Time-sensitive - 30 days (April)
  • Evaluation - Aim for 25k / week (2 hrs 30 mins commitment a week)
  • Reward - Haven't thought of one yet, but something LUSH!