Week One and Then Some

It was a bit of a funny Week One for me. I made the decision early in the week to change to the ‘Advanced: Lean and Strong’ program but had to sort out some gym membership stuff before I could properly start the exercise side of things. For anyone not familiar with ‘Lean and Strong’, we are encouraged to give up cardio for the first few weeks as it can affect the maintenance of lean muscle. It was a bit of tough decision for me as I have really found a love for running and have enjoyed training with the running club.

In the end however, I want to make the most of the opportunity I was given to be able to go to a gym through the two month Fernwood membership I received. I’m hoping to be able to save up during that time to buy a gym membership outright. Also, the closest Fernwood to my house is about twenty-five minutes away on the bus so I figure it’s a good excuse to wake up early and exercise, and hopefully this will help me to plan my days out a bit better.

A big thanks to Chelsea for answering my thousand questions about the Lean and Strong program this week.

I’ve decided to take a leaf out of Kate‘s book (I just want to call you Poppy, like all of the time) and plan out each week on a weekly calendar. I keep a diary/planner but I’ve been a bit slack with my study lately, and I keep forgetting what day it is, so having the visual of the week planned out on my wall will be helpful I think. I need to invest in some cooler stickers though.

photo (12)

There is so much more to update you all about, and it’s only been just over a week! Let’s see…

Running:

I joined the 4km run with the running club for the first time on Monday. I was determined to do it without stopping/walking and I ended up doing it in 22:54 mins, I had previously struggled through the 2km course so I was pretty happy with that. It was a great way to start the round, that’s for sure.

Following this, and after reading this post from CocoButter, I decided to sign up to Bridge to Brisbane, which is a 10km course held on the first of September. As previously mentioned, I’m not going to be able “train” for it but I know that I can run at least 4km now and I will have some good leg muscles by then. I’m determined to run the whole way. I’m pretty excited too, it will be my first real running event; I did participate in the Bridge to Brisbane last year but it was because my workplace at the time was paying for entry. I walked for most of it as I was fairly unfit at the time.

Bikram Yoga:

I finally tried Bikram yoga for the first time on Thursday morning. I didn’t really know what to make of it; it was hard but I made it through the whole set and felt pretty great for the next few days. First-timers pay $20 for unlimited attendance over seven days, so I went again last night, but this time instead of seven or so other people, there was more like forty people in the one, heated room. I ended up only getting through about half of the routine before having to lie down, and then I just couldn’t get my heart rate down. I think I was fairly close to either throwing up, passing out or having a panic attack at one point. I ended up being told to sit by the window (which had to be opened because there were so many people) because my arms, hands and lips were tingling. It was a bit crazy but everyone was really supportive and I re-hydrated with the tastiest coconut water of my life afterwards.

On Lean and Strong, the stretching day is on Wednesday so I’m planning to go back again tomorrow morning to make the most of my first week. I’m still really unsure about how I feel about Bikram in general, though strangely enough my experience last night didn’t really deter me from it. Either way, I don’t think it’s something I will be doing more than once a week, especially coming into Summer.

Oh, I had also just done my first weights session and the running club swim session that morning so I may have just overdone it a bit for the day. Oops.

Have you ever tried Bikram before?

Other news:

In other news, I tried on a pair of shorts that I guess you could have called my “goal shorts” for Round 2 and they fit really well.  I was fairly surprised as I’ve been struggling to see how much my body has really changed, despite all of the pictures and clothes fitting differently, etc. I wish I had taken “before” photos in them but oh well. Oh!! and my toes are still cherry red from finale (albeit, chipping a bit) and I wanted to mention that they make me feel like a total, certified woman. Weird, right?

Also, I was offered to have my fat percentage calculated at the gym, I’m really not sure how accurate it was, and I actually have fat-percentage-calculating scales at home now but I hope that it will be able to give me a good idea of the changes going on in my body throughout the program. I haven’t set up my scales yet but according to the ones at the gym, my body fat percentage is 23% which is is apparently fairly normal for your average person, but as an “athlete” I should be looking to get under 20% by the end of the round. Interesting to know. I would like to get a DEXA scan one day but they are a bit expensive.

I’m also thinking about changing my degree to start studying Nutrition.

Red Flag Days:

This weekend I will be heading back down to Sydney, which is officially where I fell off the rails last round. I absolutely know that things will go differently this time; I will have a glass of wine, I will eat some good food, but I will remain mindful and in control.

Goals:

I’ve been thinking a lot about this, and just from what I’ve written above I have a few for this round:

  • To have under 20% body fat percentage by the end of the round, I actually have no idea about the timing with these kind of results but we’ll see how I go
  • To run/jog/shuffle the entire 10km for Bridge to Brisbane
  • To do at least one unassisted chin up by the end of the round
  • Organise my week every Sunday
  • Be strong/confident enough in my weight-lifting to possibly join the (fairly male-centric) local gym in two months
  • Complete the whole 12WBT and remain active on this blog, no falling off the face of the planet this time

As part of the general “Welcome” gym stuff this morning I was asked to make a 12 month goal. This is just something that I always avoid doing but being directly asked the question made me really think. I ended up realising that my 12 month goal is to still be a fit/active/healthy person. I want to be someone who goes to the gym and runs and exercises in general because that’s my lifestyle, that’s what I love and enjoy, not because I don’t like myself or because I’m trying to lose weight again. I want to still be smashing personal goals and personal bests, being the very best version of myself and meet amazing, inspirational people (like you lot).

Let’s do this thing.

~ energyandEmily

Advertisements

Playing Catch Up

Round 2 Stats Update

round2update

Click image for larger version.

Here are my very first pictures for Round 2:

My Week 4 pictures:

Finally, my Week 12 pictures from Sunday:

I’m actually really happy with my progress. It’s interesting to see my total measurement changes and pictures though, as I don’t always feel that much smaller than before.

I took a sneaky peak at the scales again this morning because I was planning to write this update tonight, and I am down to 63.6. I’ve lost 1.2kg in the last 6 days!!

News for Round 3

I’m going to really work on maintaining an active lifestyle overall, for a couple of weeks there I was really living some of the costs of not exercising/eating well. I’m not sure which video it was but I can remember Mish saying that as soon as she stops exercising, that’s when the mind games start and that’s absolutely what it was like. Now that I’m back in the swing of things I already feel stronger, healthier and more powerful, both mentally and physically, and I know how I will feel if I stop. However, I also feel like I learnt a very valuable lesson about not being too hard on myself.

I’m going to be ‘going it alone’ for Round 3 as Hugh has lost interest in the exercise. I think this will actually be the perfect opportunity for me to gain some of that self-respect Mish was talking about, and to really get in touch with who I am, my strengths and weaknesses, and what my goals are.

I have joined the running club at my university which conveniently meets on Monday’s and Wednesday’s. Running alone has been one of the hardest things for me to wrap my head around so this has been really helpful to counteract the mind games.

The club actually set up a ‘beep test’ for us yesterday and we will be doing one on the first Monday of every month which provides another opportunity for me to test my fitness. They also meet for one swimming session every Monday morning, and one gym session which I’m hoping to use for some proper weights training.

Additionally, this time I’m committing to this blog, and my fellow bloggers, no matter how hard things get. I love to blog but I also felt the most on track when I was posting here regularly. I have so much more to learn and to share and I’ve loved getting to know you all over the last 12 weeks, and I know I’ll enjoy getting better acquainted with new bloggers as well.

I’ve met some very special people through this blogging experience and I want to thank you all for being there for me and for continuing to inspire me through your posts.

Also! I am now the Secretary of the newly formed Doctor Who Society at uni!

Bring on Round 3.

~ energyandEmily

This Chick’s Week Six

It’s been a strange week. I ended up spending most of the first half of the week sleeping; one day I actually woke up at around 2pm, felt tired and annoyed, and went back to sleep at about 8pm, missing my workout for the day. I did do all of my other workouts though but they were pretty much the only productive thing I managed to do until Saturday, and I spent most of the week stressing about how little I was doing, despite all of my grand plans for the uni holidays. I think that exams took more out of me than I was expecting.

However, I do feel like I have really gotten my stride back over the last few days and Week Seven promises to be much more productive.

Also I still managed some big positives for Week Six:

  • I lost 1kg in the Wednesday weigh-in this week! This means that I have reached my halfway mark and then some, which seems like perfect timing. I now realise that I was probably a little bit too harsh on myself in Week Five.
  • I have worn my high-top Converse out twice without jeans covering my legs up and I felt like I was rocking it!
  • My Monday run.
  • We had dinner with my family early in the week and made the Meat and Vege Lasagne and everyone loved it! I did make two, and theirs had a little bit of extra pasta/cheese but I still thought it was a little win that everyone loved the flavours.
  • Hugh was away over the weekend and I did my first solo SSS!
  • I may have stopped halfway through said SSS when the song “Footloose” started playing and danced all around the lounge room. It was great.
  • Afterwards I had a bubble bath, and used a mud-mask for the first time. It was a strange feeling when it went all hard but the skin on my face is all nice now. Also I think it was good for me to have some alone time for a night.
  • We bought a couple of non-stick pans last week and oh my gosh! Cooking has never been so easy!
  • Hugh skipped breakfast one day and was starving by the afternoon, insisting that he wanted to have KFC. All good, he can do what he wants. He couldn’t even finish his burger he said that it was so greasy and yuck! Haha!
  • I realised that I’m proud of myself, like I know that I have worked hard for my body/health and I feel like I would happily take a compliment with a smile and a, “Thanks! I worked my butt off for this!”
  • I tagged along on a shopping trip with my mum and her friend, I wasn’t expecting to buy anything but then I found the cutest jumper:

1045174_10201400497755883_263967048_nThe Zebras have little fringes that actually move around!

In other news:

  • I remember that I was feeling so drained at the beginning of my workout on Thursday that I actually said to Hugh, “My body feels depressed.” It was tough to push through but I felt better afterwards, and I actually think that workout was the turning point for my week.
  • I’ve noticed that I’m swimming in my clothes a little bit, they still fit but they’re a bit baggy. This is a good thing but I don’t want to get too many new things yet!
  • I did exactly 1 minute and 30 seconds of the planking challenge and then promptly forgot that it existed. I haven’t really been focused on the challenges for the last couple of weeks; I would like to give the Week Seven one a good crack but we’ll see.

Favourite Meals

week6

Chicken Tikka Curry with Cauliflower Mash times one million! We added a bit of Cayenne Pepper to the sauce which gave it a really great kick but overall it was just an absolutely delicious dish. We literally licked our plates/spoons/wok clean… hey! We are two mature adults… and no one else was around! We have customised it into this week’s menu as well.

We gave the Apple Tart a try; it was a nice little dessert (that photographed really well!)

week6-5Due to my lack of preparation I was left to create Saturday dinner with a mixture of unused breakfast items. These scrambled eggs were absolutely gorgeous. I used the Scrambled Eggs with Asparagus and Garlic Mushrooms recipe but exchanged the ricotta with feta, and parsley with coriander. I also ditched the second piece of toast in favour of smoked salmon; we had used all of our mushrooms for the lasagne without even realising! It was delicious and I am looking forward to trying it again with the correct ingredients!

Finale Party

Earlier in the week we checked flight prices to Adelaide; they were cheaper than we were expecting so we decided that we were definitely going to be able to go, booking flights and accommodation. Surprise, surprise, the tickets came on sale days later! THEN… I found my outfit!! I was going to start looking for it much closer to the date of the finale but I found it when I was with my mum and her friend and yeah!! I love it. It was good too because I tried on the size 12 and it fit quite well but some bits here and there were a little bit too loose. I then tried on the 10, a much better fit but now tight in a couple of areas which means that there is room for me to lose the extra few kilos! Mostly off my little front pouch.

I’m nervous and excited but also need to remember that there is still a lot more work to do, we’re only halfway through!

Are you going to the finale? I’m really looking forward to catching up with some of my fellow bloggers. Please let me know if you will be there!

Week Seven stuff:

  • Giving the Weekly Challenge a good shot!
  • Picnic with Hugh, celebrating three years since “making it official”!!!
  • Driving to, and hanging out in, Sydney.
  • Completing all six workouts – even though we’re on the road all day Friday!
  • Finishing off and sending my Pen Pal package.
  • A bunch of other random things.

We’re taking Cupcake Quiches and corn thins with us on our roadtrip, can you think of anything else we should take?

Lastly, I have a request… some time this week put on “Footloose” and have a dance!

~ energyandEmily

Week Four and More

My priorities have been shuffled around a bit this week; exam prep > 12WBT prep, which means that I have been a bit less organised than usual. I didn’t not have time I just managed it a little less efficiently and had to work on getting the 12WBT to fit into my life (rather than the other way around) a little more than usual. There was a little bit of complacency still hanging around from Week Three at the beginning of the week but I’m feeling really good now. I feel like having to work things out on-the-go this week has helped me to realise that I have really taken on a new way of thinking.

My big positives this week:

  • I lost 700g this week! Bringing my progress tracker to a strange place where my stats are all in matching numbers… 4.4 loss overall, 6.6 to go and my weight is now 66.6.
  • Wednesday night meant watching State of Origin with my family; we’re not big into football but it was a good excuse to get together. I knew that they were planning to order pizza so I bought everything that I needed to make my Creamy Wholemeal Pasta Bake. I had accepted the fact that there would be pizza and that I would not be eating it but I had forgotten about soft drink, garlic bread, herb bread, apple pie, and biscuits with tea. I’m so comfortable around my family that I felt like I could have just joined them for a couple of slices, some garlic bread, and a drink and not even thought about. Nevertheless, I persevered, thankfully my pasta bake, while a little bit bland, was quite filling and that’s all that I had for the night.
  • Hugh was away visiting his parents for a couple of nights during the week which meant that I had to do my first partner-less work out session. I know, have a whinge, right?! Most of you probably exercise alone everyday; but I don’t, and neither does my “inner teenager” who pulled a bit of a tantrum. I decided to JFDI; I put together a little workout mix on the music-streaming website and busted that session out, singing (horribly) at the top of my lungs, and dancing between sets. It was actually crazy good to do a session by myself, it allowed me to realise how much stronger my body has gotten, have a bit fun and a bit of me-time as well.
  • This alone-time also lead me to try to do my first push up on my toes…followed by my second… then my third…
  • The Pen Pal Project sign ups closed last night with 20 participants!! Everyone will be getting an email with their pairing by Wednesday!

In other news:

  • We didn’t exercise on Tuesday; I came home from studying and made the mistake of casually lying down in bed. I fell asleep, Hugh joined me and we slept until 11pm, at which time we got up, ate toast and went back to sleep. Oh! But this meant that we could wake up at 5am to go on our first early-morning run before Hugh left for the few days! However, it also meant that I felt a little bloated for weigh-in, but if it affected the results at all it will all even out for next week. This time I didn’t make up for the exercise the following day because I figured that I must have really needed the sleep.
  • On Friday night Hugh was home again and was nice enough to make the Beef Fillet with Roast Pumpkin, Beetroot and Spinach for dinner while I was studying. He came into the study to let me know that dinner was ready, I quickly finished up what I was doing while he checked something on his computer, for literally 30 seconds. I walked into the dining room first and saw the cat (Hugh’s sisters but lives with us) eating something on the floor and I didn’t really think much about it until I looked up at the table and Hugh’s steak was missing!! The little bugger had jumped on the chair and stolen it! I actually still can’t believe it, I’ve never seen her do anything like that before. Thankfully, Hugh’s dad (who had come back with Hugh for the weekend) had friends over and they had just ordered pizza so he was able to have some of that instead but yeah, crazy!
  • Exams have officially begun so stress levels have been a little higher than usual but they will be over soon!
  • We didn’t exercise on Friday BUT…

BIG POSITIVE: This one deserved its own section. I was ready to write this post, tail between my legs, and tell you guys that I had only exercised three times in Week Four, but it was okay! I had an exam on a Saturday, I was tired, I had been studying, I was stressed, and I took some days off to get myself back together. All good! On the bus on the way home from my exam I decided that, no, it wasn’t all good, and that I would JFDI. I did my Friday session alone at home while Hugh was at work (second session by myself!!) with my singing and dancing, then we smashed out our SSS together when he got home (minus the hill intervals though) and went to bed feeling tired and sore but happy, and with my head more in the game than ever.

My Stats Update

I did my very first fitness test the Saturday before the round started so I decided to do my Week Four fitness test yesterday rather than earlier in the week as I wanted to properly capture the changes over the four weeks.

Firstly! Here are my updated stats:

stats

I ran for the whole 1km! I was so happy, and now I get to have a massage sometime this week for completing my Mini Milestone! I don’t really know what else to say, I’m really happy with all of my time trials and still can’t believe that I can even do one push up on my toes, let alone 6! Also 6cm smaller on my hips and 5cm on my thighs is pretty awesome too, right? I don’t know really how to read these numbers but I can see that they are dropping.

Here are my first pictures from four weeks ago:

And here are my pictures from yesterday:

I’m really happy with the results so far and I can see lots of changes.

Week 4 Challenge: Try a NEW food!

I’ve already told you how much of a foodie I am and I loved this challenge; I loved reading about what everyone was trying, and what they thought about the new foods, as well as trying new foods myself. I really enjoyed the new learning experiences even if I didn’t love all of the food.

This week, for the first time, I tried:

  1. Quinoa
  2. Pineapple with Cottage Cheese
  3. Short black espresso
  4. Dragonfruit
  5. Okra
  6. Lobok
  7. Persimmon
  8. Fresh pomegranate

And technically I also tried apple/strawberry puree, the combination of curried egg and peanut butter, peanut butter with cottage cheese on toast and tinned salmon for the first time too.

Oh! And the massive, purple thing in my photo last week was a Banana Flower, I was excited to try it but they go off very quickly and we just didn’t find the time early in the week. I tried to find them again at the markets but to no avail!

Here’s the photo evidence:

foodweek4-7299So Quinoa, or as I like to refer to it: “KeenWAHHHHH” (with accompanying karate hands) was interesting; I had a little bit of trouble cooking it at first and it tasted like… porridge, sort of? A little bland but nice as well. Also, overall the dish was nice but I might heat up the milk next time.

foodweek4-7315

foodweek4-7332

foodweek4-7336I’ve tried both Cottage Cheese and Pineapple separately before but through my research for the Week Four challenge I re-discovered a little list called ‘100 Foods to Eat Before You Die,’ give it a Google if you’re curious! Pineapple and Cottage Cheese, of all things, is on this list along-side foods such as Eggs Benedict, Haggis and Honeycomb. I thought that I had better give it a go.  My pineapple was a bit tart which I think threw it off a bit but it was nice enough. I might try it again one day with a sweeter pineapple.

foodweek4-

foodweek4--3I spent a few days this week studying at my favourite cafe – Ltd; a small espresso and brew bar in Fortitude Valley. My espresso was good, you could really taste the flavours in the coffee but at the same time it was like a punch in the face haha. I think I will stick to my usual flat white in the future.

foodweek4-7391-2

foodweek4-7402Firstly, I was surprised by the red centre as I was expecting it to be the white-centred variety, also I really couldn’t tell if was a little bit over-ripe or not but I gave it a go. I would really like to try it again to get a better idea of how the flavours change but it was like the texture and taste of a watermelon crossed with a pear but not sweet, and then so much like kiwi fruit because of the seeds. Really interesting but a bit weird.

Side note: Observe the glory that is socks with thongs! Judge all you want, I have warm feet, and I don’t get stuff stuck to my socks!

foodweek4-7441

foodweek4-7450-2

Okay so we stir-fried the Okra and Lobok together in the Hoisin Beef Stir-Fry with Spring Vegetables, I wish I had taken prep photos of the Lobok but oh well. It’s those two, translucent semi-circles hanging off the Snow Pea under the Okra in the first picture. Also I honestly couldn’t taste anything when I ate it so I might have to give it another try sometime. The Okra however… someone told me that they hate it and that it’s slimy but I quite liked it. Imagine a red chili, sliced thick and cooked but with no spice. It had that same background flavour and a similar kind of texture but without the heat. Really interesting.

foodweek4-7476

Persimmon tasted like apricot and mango mixed together, and was quite mushy. I read somewhere that you can make nice preserves out of Persimmons, I’d like to give that a try one day.

foodweek4-7456

Pomegranate was really nice! You can only eat the juicy bit around the outside of the tiny seeds so there wasn’t much to taste at first. However, a good table spoon of juice was squeezed out of them when I scraped the seeds out with a spoon. It was like Cranberry Juice but sweeter and less dry.

foodweek4-7352Breakfast Crumble with Cinnamon Yoghurt. I just used regular muesli but I think it would have gone really well with a bit of a crunch. Nice, simple little breakfast.

foodweek4-7343Satay Egg, Carrot and Cucumber Corn Thins.

foodweek4-7371Late-night dinner concoction. It wasn’t bad but it mostly just tasted like Peanut Butter.

week4I really wasn’t looking forward to the tinned salmon after reading a few reviews; in the end it was like tinned tuna… but salmon. We decided that we liked the meal but that we would rather have tinned tuna.

foodweek4-7405Also! We finally managed a runny, boiled egg!!

Favourite Meals

There wasn’t any one meal that stood out as a favourite this week but I really enjoyed trying the Satay Egg, Carrot and Cucumber Corn Thins, Grilled Lamb with Pumpkin and Pine Nuts, Corn Thins with Mexican Tomato Salsa and the Beef Fillet with Roast Pumpkin, Beetroot and Spinach (sorry Hugh!).  Also the Breakfast Crumble with Cinnamon Yoghurt was nice for a quick and easy breakfast.

My goals this week:

  • Finish my exams!
  • In bed by 9:30 every night for the Weekly Challenge – I’m not as excited about this challenge, I am honestly one of those people who just functions better at night but I will give it a good shot!

Can you tell me about some of your positives and negatives from Week Four?

Have you ever tried Dragonfruit, Persimmon, Pomegranite or Okra before?

What were your favourite meals this week?

Let me know!

~ energyandEmily

Week Three and Me

At the beginning of Week Three I was feeling… complacent, I think for the most part I just felt like I couldn’t be bothered exercising. From browsing the forums and other blogs I know that I’m not alone in feeling like the sparkle has started to dull a bit. Regardless, I’ve pushed through, I did all of my workouts, ate all of my good food and I’m feeling a bit better now and ready to keep pushing forward.

A few tidbits from the past week:

  • 100g loss on the scales this week, I wasn’t too worried as I know that I have been sticking to the program but I did have to chase just a couple of niggling, negative thoughts away with a big, pointy stick.
  • It’s been a pretty rainy week here in Brisbane so we have done all of our exercises at home, surprisingly we didn’t even have to change to the “home” program. We have a good pole to do towel pulls on, stairs for low steps and a table for step ups, so yeah.
  • Subsequently, we discovered the motivational powers of music. Normally the only soundtrack to our workouts is traffic or my beautiful voice blabbing on about this or that thing. Exercise makes me really chatty for some reason, probably a combination of fresh air, energy and lots of thoughts. Doing the exercises at home we just had a “popular” soundtrack playing from a music streaming website and “Lose Yourself” by Eminem came on as we were about to start planking, an oldie but a goodie. About 30 seconds into our plank Hugh comes out with this gem, “Are you even planking? Oh, you normally complain more by now,” to which I replied “Sorry I’m just too busy singing.”
  • I found out that when Hugh was younger he called pickled onions “pickled yum yums.” Adorable.
  • Excuse me but when did we start doing 5 minute super sets? I do not approve!
  • We didn’t do any exercise on Thursday, it honestly just kind of happened. I don’t even have an excuse for it but we ended up doing both Thursdays and Fridays exercises on Friday.
  • I went to the movies on Saturday night to see a special screening of Doctor Who. I popped my own popcorn and packed a punnet of cherry tomatoes to snack on! This was a big positive for me even though I had to use our super weird dinosaur popcorn maker:

IMG_7279

  • I jogged non-stop for 5 minutes during a warm up! Up hills and everything. The program said that I could take breaks but I just wanted to keep going. Mind you, I was “jogging” at a snail pace at some points but still. I didn’t think I would be able to do it without stopping.
  • Hugh and I have started laughing and winking at each other during Sumo Squats – Pulses and Hamstring Curls – Bench. This has been highly amusing.
  • I visited Nandos for the first time since starting the program for my treat meal (my “last supper” for the program was Nandos if that gives you any indication of how I feel about it). I had a Classic Chicken Pita (Extra Hot – 326 calories), no drinks and didn’t even have one chip! It was ridiculously satisfying.
  • No Food Photo Friday for Week Three! Overall we enjoyed the meals for the week but they just weren’t overly photogenic (Dhal, anyone?). Not to worry though! I already have quite a few snaps for this week.
  • I set up a Pen Pal Project for 12WBTers!
  • I had my hair cut to clean up my messy little mane that you have all seen previously, I ended up with a new style that I quite like.
  • I finally got my hands on Mish’s One Active hoodie (and proceeded to take selfies)!! I also picked up a new training bra/crop top, the red one, I really like the black one but this one looks so nice.

Week 3 Challenge: It’s time to STEP UP!

Monday: 200
Tuesday: 100
Wednesday: 200
Thursday: 0
Friday: 0
Saturday: 0
Sunday: 0

Total: 500/800

We really came out all guns blazing on this week’s challenge; at first we weren’t sure what the height of the steps were meant to be so we did our first 200 on park benches which hurt like crazy. Both of us were thinking “now THIS is a challenge.”  By Wednesday we were feeling pretty cocky about our numbers “300 more to go? What a cinch.” The no-exercise Thursday came and went, we were knackered after our big Friday and Saturday and we really wanted a proper break on Sunday. Excuses, I know. I’ll bust out those extra few hundred this week. We’ve also been avoiding those park benches, opting for this table on the deck which I’m surprised hasn’t broken on us:

table-7176

In the meantime, I’m really excited about the Week Four challenge! We were secretly hoping for a non-exercise challenge this week but also I’m a total foodie so I’m jumping at the chance to try new things. At first I thought it would be a little difficult to find things I haven’t eaten without resorting to eating brains or something but one trip to the markets on Saturday morning fixed that right up! Here’s my loot:

jumper-7189

You probably recognise a few of these things, “Is that pineapple?” I can hear you asking… I don’t know, is it? I have a few non-vegetable/non-fruit things to try as well. This is going to be a fun week!

Stay tuned!

Favourite Meals:

The stand out for the week for me was the Hoisin Beef Stir-Fry with Spring Vegetables, I ended up having it twice and I definitely plan on having it again soon. I was pleasantly surprised by the Apple Muesli, it wasn’t *amazing* but it wasn’t bad and it kept me full for ages after breakfast. We both really liked the Dhal, I noticed that there have been mixed reviews about it but yeah, the only thing I could say against it was that it really sits in your stomach for a while after… not necessarily in a good way. We had it with a warmed pita pocket both times which was nice, like having our own little naan bread. Lastly, we really enjoyed the Spinach & Two-Cheese Omelette on Saturday morning. However, due to our lack on non-stick pans at the time it was more of a “Mess of Spinach, Two-Cheeses and Egg” but it was still really nice.

I’ve mentioned it before but corn thins really are the best snacks, I was happy to see them featured a fair bit on this weeks meal plan.

My goals this week:

  • Keep on studying away – first exam this coming Saturday!
  • Try at least seven new foods for the Weekly Challenge!
  • Take lots of photos.

How was everyone else’s Week Three?

Do you have any favourite work out songs? Actually, if you run and listen to music you should look up Basshunter – Now You’re Gone. It has a great rhythm.

Have you taken your own snacks somewhere?

How did you go with the step up challenge?

Are you excited about trying new foods in Week Four?

~ energyandEmily

Week Two in Review

Week Two was a weird week; firstly, it feels like I just blinked and now it’s over. I think between the week starting on Monday, weigh-in on Wednesday, new plans on Thursday, Food Photo Friday, SSS on Saturday and rest day on Sunday there is always something happening and something to look forward to (sorry Tuesday, I guess you’re a bit boring). Also, this week something in the air changed, last week I was pumped, nervous, anxious, unsure about whether I could get through 6 days of exercising and unsure about how my 12WBT experience would play out. This week, well… I had already done it. I had already survived six workouts and seven days of eating from the meal plan, what was there to be scared about? It was still hard, it was still tiring, but it felt sort of normal, “Work out time? Let’s get going.”

My big positives for the week:

  • I’ve recently mentioned my love for baked beans and I’m still pretty happy that I get to eat them so often. Baked beans on toast with baby spinach has probably been my favourite 12WBT breakfast so far.
  • I lost 2.4kg in the Wednesday weigh-in this week, bringing my weight down to 67.4!!! As a result, I have changed my goal weight to 60kg and I have finally been able to decide on my mini-milestones which I will talk about below.
  • Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday workouts. What can I say? I like cardio.
  • I managed to not injure myself this week, always a plus.
  • The one thing that I have been craving this week can only be bought from the corner store on the far side of my uni campus; positioning win.
  • I’m still not sure if this is all in my head or not but I’ve found that I’ve needed my glasses less this week. I was only prescribed glasses a couple of months ago; my eyes are misaligned and I was finding it really hard to focus on things, especially text, which was making me really tired and straining my eyes. The other day I decided that I might just leave them off until I felt like I needed to wear them (thinking that would take half an hour or so), before I knew it, it was the end of the day and I hadn’t thought about them. Normally I would start to really struggle to read things on the computer because the words would all start to mush together. It’s weird but there’s a possibility that being fitter/healthier has had an impact on my vision. Interesting to think about.
  • Oh! You will be glad to know that my glutes have settled down and I have been able to resume my usual toilet-sitting gracefulness.

I had a particularly nerdy moment at uni this week that I really want share with you all. I was in my Marketing tute and my teacher was telling us that he had already finished marking our assignments but that we probably wouldn’t get our results until next week. He told us that everyone has passed (always good to hear), and that there were a lot of 5’s, a few 6’s and one 7. We’ve all been here. “I wonder who the over-achiever is that got the 7.” Class continued and at the very end my teacher asked me to stay behind for a minute. I was the one 7. The assignments get cross-marked so it might not be my final score for the assignment but I WAS THE OVER-ACHIEVER WHO GOT THE 7. Eek!

Lastly, my sister takes a lot of photos at family events; I take photos of food, she takes photos of people (and our dog). It’s how we roll. The first photo below is from Mother’s Day this year and the second is from yesterday. Photos will always be a bit different but I think you can really tell a difference in my face – and Mother’s Day was only two weeks ago, right?

946096_10151413112524397_1791167638_n

965008_10151434515564397_1559476960_o(https://www.facebook.com/laurenlostblog?fref=ts )

In other news:

  • There is an unfortunate side-effect to eating baked beans. I don’t think I need to say it, we all know. I’m not going to blame this just on my baked beans as a few people on the forums have been experiencing the same problem.  I imagine it’s something to do with the fibre/exercise as well, I’m prepared to ride it out.
  • On Thursday I was really weak and fainty during the workout. I got through it all but I felt really odd.
  • This week it was my arms that were sore, they were on fire on Friday. Damn weekly challenge!
  • I slacked off on study a bit this week. Exams are in two weeks Emily!!
  • Some nights after a hot dinner and tea, I just feel a bit fat. It’s okay though, it’s probably good to be reminded that I’m not quite there yet.

This week a few things have fallen into the in-between category:

  • My mood has been improving, I would like to report that  I have not had any hunger/tiredness/12WBT-related bouts of moodiness this week. However, earlier in the week I was a feeling a bit off and might have started a fight with Hugh. Nothing major, we never really fight about anything important but I just ended up getting really upset and I cried harder and longer than I have in a long time. From what I’ve been reading on other people’s blogs/in the forums, I think that this week was emotional for a lot of people, just our bodies trying to figure things out I think. I’m glad to report that since then I have been feeling really good, better than I have for a while. Let’s hope things stay this way.
  • I’ve noticed that my muscles are behaving more this week, as in, when I’m working my abs, my abs hurt, when I’m working my arms, my arms hurt and so on. In addition to this, I think I actually understand wall slides now… and they actually hurt.
  • I have a bit of a love hate relationship with the Core and Flexibility day. I’ve heard a few people saying that it’s the easy day, are you kidding me? Core stuff hurts and all you can do is hang out there, holding yourself up and thinking about the pain. However, I really like the stretching, it hurts about as much as the exercises for me but I love that during the sixty second hold you can actually feel your muscles release. I think it’s a great time to really stop and stretch properly.

Week 2 Challenge: Do 300 Push ups!

Monday: 0
Tuesday: 0
Wednesday: 75
Thursday: 75
Friday: 50
Saturday: 0
Sunday: 100

Total: 300/300

I told you guys last week how much I dislike push ups so this challenge was either just what I needed or just what I didn’t haha. We procrastinated doing them over Monday and Tuesday then I realised that the least painful way to get through them was to, y’know, start already. I wanted to get them done before Sunday so that we could have a proper day off but we were so tired on Saturday that we ended up not doing any at all, and then doing 100 on Sunday. I’m really proud of us for getting through the SSS, even if we did come home, eat and nap afterwards.

I still don’t particularly like push ups but I think that my technique and resistance have improved over the week. My biggest problem is that when I get too low my elbows kind of pop and cause this dull, uncomfortable pain. Has anyone else experienced this?

I will be keeping track of my current Weekly Challenges in my side bar (if applicable), and I will be making a “Weekly Challenges” page soon to keep all of the results in.

Red Flag Days:

Today we had a family lunch which turned out to be a bigger red flag than I had anticipated. My mum is overseas for work so I made sure to get there a bit earlier than usual to help my aunty with chopping/cooking, etc. As the morning progressed I got to see everything slowly coming together and realised, “I can’t really eat most of this.” My family is quite healthy but most things that weren’t salad either had cream, or sauce, or pastry involved. I also realised just how much I normally would have eaten. There would have been a little bit of everything on my plate, plus sauce, plus my sister’s famous rocky road, and cake. Nothing too excessive, but a lot of extra calories.

In the end, I was never going to calorie count everything, I just tried to make the best decisions possible with what was in front of me and go for small portion sizes. I ended up having two types of salad, a piece of quiche and a sausage. I avoided the homemade sausage rolls, potatoes with cheese, deviled eggs and having seconds.

I feel like I should feel guilty about the following, but I don’t, nor do I feel like I need to defend myself but I’m going to anyway. Staying accountable and all that. I shared a piece of mud cake with Hugh, I had about a third. It was a birthday cake, and yes, to some extent it was probably because of the habit of having cake at birthdays but I know that it wasn’t because I needed dessert, it wasn’t because “I have been good, I deserve it,” nothing like that. I wasn’t craving the cake, I wasn’t breaking out in a sweat, I simply said to Hugh, “I would like to have some cake, can we share a piece?”

I know that it’s only two weeks in so it doesn’t fully apply here but I watched Michelle’s mindset video when I got home and she mentioned that eventually we will get to a point where we can be happy to have a piece of pizza with salad as a treat, not a whole pizza and a half. I feel like the cake was sort of along those lines. I didn’t have a whole a whole piece, just a few bites and I wasn’t tempted by other desserts such as the aforementioned rocky road or my cousin’s caramel, macadamia, chocolate slice.

I had a piece of vegemite toast for breakfast and the Beef Fajita with Capsicum & Red Onion without the fajita for dinner. If I went over on calories today it wasn’t by much and I definitely don’t feel like I’ve cheated myself or “fallen off” any bandwagons.

Anyway, there you have it. On we go.

Mini Milestones:

Now that I have changed my goal weight down to 60kg and had a good think about some rewards, my milestones/rewards are as follows:

If I can run non-stop for 1km in the upcoming Mini Milestone week: A massage.
When I reach 63kg (original goal weight): New pair of jeans.
When I reach 60kg (goal weight): Buy a custom digital portrait from one of my favourite artists who has recently started offering them @ http://www.etsy.com/shop/MeganLaraArt
When the 12WBT finishes: A photo shoot with my sister.

That’s it for now, and I’m fairly happy with my little list.

I would like to go to the 12WBT finale party but I’m not yet sure if we will be able to.

Favourite Meals:

I had this part all neatly planned out and then we had those beef fajitas, even without the fajita it was delicious. If you’re into beef and haven’t tried them yet… they are wow. Other than this, Hugh loved the Laksa, though we substituted the seafood for chicken, I thought it was really nice. We did the same with the Cajun Fish Stew which was tasty, hearty and a good portion size, I liked this one more than Hugh did though. Also… baked beans (have I talked about them enough yet?).

My favourite forum topics from Week Two:

  • C’mon people, time to embrace your secret ‘shallow’ reasons for wanting to lose weight
  • WEEK TWO!!! The No Scale weigh in!!!! Add yours here!!!!
  • Old habits

If you want to check them out just go to the forum page on the 12WBT site and type the above titles into the search bar.

Overall it was another good week for me, I hope it was for you too.

My goals for this week:

  • Study!! Exams are two weeks away!
  • 800 step ups for the Week Three Weekly Challenge.

Can you tell me about some of your positives and negatives from Week Two?

How did your Weekly Challenge go?

Any Red Flag days?

Are you eating baked beans?

Let me know!

~ energyandEmily

The Week That Was

Week One is definitely, officially over; I can’t believe it!  I have gotten through six workouts, at least twenty-one calorie-balanced meals and have managed to survive the week relatively unscathed save for a couple of minor injuries involving failed attempts at over-bench jumps. It’s Monday night, Day One of Week Two and I wanted to post a short overview of my first week on the 12WBT, the week that was.

There have been some big positives, including:

  • I’m already noticing improvements in my fitness and I was able to pull some higher numbers/better times as the week progressed.
  • I actually enjoy running and leg-based workouts.
  • I lost 1kg in the Wednesday weigh-in, seeing my weight drop in to the 60’s for the first time in a couple of years (even if it was only by 100g).
  • I have been loving the food, and I have managed to keep hunger-related bouts of moodiness to about two (okay, maybe three or four… should I move this to the negatives column?) occurrences for the week.
  • I have been really enjoying meeting new people around the blogosphere and participating in the forums.
  • Capsicum. I’ve never really been crazy about the crunchy, bitter, little vegetable, and Hugh hates it so we have generally avoided it in the past. Now, for the most part, I’m adding capsicum to my meals where instructed and finding that it really lifts mild flavours and is very satisfying.
  • On Friday I realised that my outfit was matching!

IMG_0418Shirt, shoes and the sky.

In other news:

  • do not miss my Wednesday thighs, my quads were absolutely burning all day, between that and my sore glutes (read: bum) on Saturday I have been unable to sit down on the toilet properly all week, even today. I just have to wince and kind of flop down, not very graceful but hey, who am I trying to impress in there? Really?
  • Thursday was my really, really hungry day.
  • Push ups. End of story.
  • My shin is bruised from a failed over-bench jumping attempt. It is vaguely heart-shaped though so… yay?

I’m not sure which category to put this in but I had a couple of dreams during the week about cheating on the diet. Both times I woke up feeling guilty only to realise that I had just been dreaming, thankfully neither of the dreams was about marshmallows and my pillow was left uneaten.

Favourite Meal: Neither of us could decide but we have agreed that the tastiest was the Chicken Noodle Soup, the Beef Stroganoff was great for a hearty meal with a generous portion size, and we were both really impressed with the Roast Cinnamon Pumpkin and Feta Salad – if you haven’t tried it yet you should give it a go.

For the 12WBTers following me, some of my favourite forum topics from the week include:

  • Stroking the strog dog (beef stroganoff)
  • The surprising power of grunting
  • Before and Afters for the Newbies! Return members add yours here!
  • TIPS for keeping the food costs down
  • A list of things to do instead of binge eating

To view these just go to the forum page on the 12WBT website and type the above titles into the search bar.

Overall I had a really good week and I’m feeling positive. I hope that everyone is happy with their progress so far and ready for another week!

My goals for this week:

  • Get on top of exam prep – only three weeks to go!
  • Complete the Weekly Challenge of 300 push-ups for the week on top of the weekly exercise plan.

Can you tell me about some of your positives and negatives from Week One?

~ energyandEmily