Tuesday, 31 August 2010

* Weekly update - Post Binge and Nominations *

Firstly I wanted to say a huge thank you to Lex  (please check her out, she has lost an amazing amount of weight) for nominating me for " The Versatile Blogger" award (I'm sorry it has taken me a while to post this but it really does mean a huge deal to me). It keeps me motivated knowing that people read and appreciate my blog. Thank you again!

So rules state that I had to share seven things about myself. And just because I love talking about myself this is pretty easy.
  1. I love holidays! I don't mean the type were you go to Spain. No, I mean Easter, Christmas, Halloween, Bon-fire night etc.
  2. I love anything scary - I love a good old scary movie and I love to read about crimes, mysteries and murders. Gore-tastic!
  3. I work full-time with children and I am also a full-time student of a degree in Special Educational Needs and Inclusive Education. I adore what I do and wouldn't change it for the world.
  4. I hate raw tomatoes with a passion
  5. I'm growing my hair with the intentions to have it cut off and made into a wig for a child who has lost their hair as a result of cancer treatment.
  6. I often get asked if I am of Italian or Mediterranean heritage - As far as I know I'm not. Put will keep you posted on this :)
  7. I have a passion for music and anything Rock n' Roll - I <3 Buddy Holly!
So there are my seven things about me. Now for my nominations...

Now don't get me wrong, I really do read a lot of blogs but my favourites are the ones that I can identify with. I don't want to leave anyone out so I suggest that you check out my "blogs that I follow" bit on my profile. However I did want to do a shout out to a few ladies that keep me motivated and make me laugh when no one else can. For that I thank you.

Moving on to my weekly update...

This weekend has all been about getting back on track. If you read my previous post you will know that I had a binge that lasted four whole days. The first thing I needed to do and my least favourite thing I had to do was weigh-in and find out the damage. So, it shows a gain of 6lb. I know what I have to do to change it, and as Abby said on the Biggest Loser as a reason for wanting to shift the lbs "I was to live and not just exist". I know I can do this.

My goals for next week are:
  • Track every single day - I've pre-tracked everything, setting myself a meal guide for the week. This should help to keep me on track
  • Work-out - I haven't worked-out for a few days due to being in a lot of pain but I can walk now so if it means I walk as my means of exercise I will. There's nothing wrong with that.
Have a great week guys.

Roo xoxo

Saturday, 28 August 2010

* "No One's in Control But Me" - Dealing With a Binge *

"No one's in control but me" - Shay

This quote couldn't be more useful to me than right now. I've had one of my lowest weeks in a long time in which I pretty much gorged on anything and everything I could find. I'm being honest when I say I binged so much that I was physically sick. Yes, that's right. I vomited due to eating so much junk. I ate and ate for a full four days straight. Admittedly this isn't the longest binge for me but I have never eaten so much that I vomited. Never. I felt pretty embarrassed of what I had done and shut myself off from everyone. After all who am I to say anything about weight-loss and fitness when I choose to eat such an substantial amount of food that I vomited.

But I'm over being ashamed of my actions and feeling like a failure! After all Jillian (Biggest Loser) said that to be successful you need to "redefine your view of failure. Its a learning process, you have to make a few mistakes to learn".

So logically the first thing I had to do was pin-point the reasons why I binged.
  1. I was home alone for ten hours a day and decided to take advantage of the situation
  2. I was in a lot of pain due to my chest and back and thought that the only thing that would make me feel better would be to feed my emotions (as you all have probably experienced this hardly ever works and you end up feeling worse, creating a never ending cycle).
  3. Due to being in so much pain (to the point where I could hardly move) I was unable to workout and thought it best I give myself the week off - WTF?
So now that I was able to pin-point the reasons for my binge I had to tell myself to stop. I had to kept saying out loud to myself "The binge is over. Its behind me and I'm going to move on.".

So to sum my binge up - I have not failed. Nor do I believe that I have taken a step back. Yes I made a mistake but I have learned from what has happened because after all this is a learning process. And like another blogger recently wrote I don't believe that "I know or have heard of anyone that has got to goal without making a [mistake]", whatever the mistake may be. I'm happy and I'm ready to move forward.

Roo xoxo

Monday, 23 August 2010

*Food as Fuel - Part 1*

The concept of "food as fuel" is something that I don't feel I can sum up in only one post so for now I will detail how I have finally realised what the concept is all about

I never really latched onto the idea of "food as fuel" at the end of the day I always believed that no matter what I ate it was always going to "fuel" my body so that it functioned. I have read book after book, website after website, been to meeting after meeting and seen show after show about how energy or sugar levels can affect our choice of food, our mood and our overall thought processes. I believed myself to be somewhat of an expert on what should be eaten. After all the majority of us know what should be eaten but its the doing it that makes the difference but its also about what works for us. We are all unique. Our bodies function differently to our friends and families and thrive off of things that some people may not.

Finding what works for me is a step towards the realisation that this isn't a diet, this is a lifestyle change and something that I will have to continue for the rest of my life. Understanding that it is a lifestyle change could and should be a topic of its own but I feel its the one thing that connects all the little things (realisations, doing's,) together. As knowing what works for me is inevitably going to make my journey to goal and through maintenance better, as well as fueling my body so it functions to its peak.

The concept of "food as fuel" has been mentioned time and time again but I finally realised what it was about. A great example of this was during my workout's this week. For breakfast I normally eat cereal with soya milk or soya yogurt with fruit, however one particular day I ate toast for breakfast. No big deal right. Wrong! I waited for my food to settle and got ready for my workout. By about ten minutes into my workout I felt light headed and as if I was going to pass out. I literally had no energy. I decided to stop, take a breather and collect my thoughts. I couldn't work out what had changed. I had done everything like I normally did and yet I felt so weak. The only thing that I had changed was my breakfast, I had eaten toast rather than cereal or yogurt and fruit. I ate my lunch and went back to my workout of which I managed to complete. Thinking that it could have been the toast I decided to try it out again.

The next day I tried the same thing. Again I felt really weak and lightheaded. Believing it was the toast that was making me feel the way I did and affecting my workouts so much I decided to see how I would feel the next day if I ate my normal breakfast. I did this and had an amazing workout. I didn't change anything apart from the food that I consumed and I had totally different results. Since then I've stuck to my normal breakfast and I have never felt weak or lightheaded.

Now this may seem really small and insignificant to some but for me this is a huge deal. I finally got my head around the idea of eating to fuel my body. I can see that my body functions better on certain types of food than others. Don't get me wrong, I'm not saying that I'm going to stop eating bread altogether because I'm not but what I will say is toast is not something that I could eat on its own, it doesn't fuel my body in the way in which I need it to and I have found better "fuel" for my body to help it function to what and how I currently want it to function.

Like I mentioned previously, "food as fuel" is a topic that is more than what I have written in this post and so have decided to spread it across a number of posts. Food as fuel isn't just about picking cereal and fruit over toast in the morning, but it is defiantly a start!

Roo xoxo

Friday, 20 August 2010

*She's a Maniac - Jogging Journal*

Shes a maniac, maniac on the floor. If your familiar with the song you will know its in reference to dancing but whilst pounding the old treadmill I realised how the lyrics really summed up my journey.

Jogging is something that I always hated as a child. Although I played a lot of sports which involved running around, the idea of jogging just for the sake of it did not appeal to me what so ever. In fact when it came to participating in cross-country at school I always made sure I got my laps double ticked by a friend so I completed my laps in half the time. So it came as a pretty big shock when I suddenly became interested in jogging and running.

I read a lot of blogs and one in particular comes to mind of a beautiful young woman named Tricia who has lost over 120lbs through eating right and initially walking which later turned into running. Whenever I read her blog I always come away with the urge to run around the block. So I thought that I would just put my trainers on and do it. What am I waiting for?

So with my I-Pod in one hand and my heart rate monitor strapped on, I decided to warm up by power walking and told myself that I would jog and walk on and off. I used markers on the clock to tell me when to stop and start running. Now I walk a lot and for long distances but my lungs and throat felt as if they were on fire, but it was so worth it. I ran a lot further than I thought I would or could. I was so overcome by emotions (pain, excitement, nervousness, joy) that I could barely hold back the tears. I must have looked like a maniac!

I really did jog (dance) like I've never jogged (danced) before.

I had so many things just race through my head. I was seriously on a high. It was the most amazing feeling. So I want to thank Tricia for inspiring me to go and pound the streets (in my case the treadmill).

"Maniac" really is a thought provoking song for me and I will also associate this song with my first real run that wasn't against my own will...

A few other lyrics I love...

Its push-shove world but there's always a chance, if the hunger stays the night. - This really sums it up for me at the moment. I have a chance and will succeed if my hunger for my goal is there.

Struggling, stretching for the peak, never stopping with her head against the wind. - Never stop, no matter how hard it gets.

So thank you Tricia for being such an amazing person and mother, you have inspired me to start running. I only hope that my relationship with running will continue to be that of a positive one!

Have a awesome day!

Roo aka Speedy Gonzales xoxo

Wednesday, 18 August 2010

*Recipe - Blueberry Hot Cakes*

This is easily my favorite recipe to date. Its low in points, super easy to make and extremely quick.

Again this was taken from September's issue of "Cook Vegetarian".

Ingredients: (Like always I modified the recipe to suit my taste)

100g Blueberries
175g Self Raising Flour
1/2 tsp of Bicarbonate of Soda
2 Eggs
Zest of 1/2 an orange
150ml Soya Milk
Total = 12 points

You could also add...
Sugar or Splender to sweeten if you desire.
The recipe states to add yoghurt (as pictured) however I decided against this mainly because I forgot.
Maple syrup

After weighing out my ingredients I added the flour, bi-carb of soda and eggs into a mixing bowl.

I whisked these together adding the milk bit by bit.

Once all the lumps had gone I stirred in the blueberries and orange zest. (If you decide to use sugar/sweetener, now is the time to add it - or alternatively you could add this at the end or replace it with maple syrup)

After the mixture has had a good stir heat up a pan and spray it with your choice of oil (please remember to add the points of your chosen oil to the overall amount at the end if you are not using Fry Light) and allow to heat.

I worked out that 2.5 tbsp was enough mixture to make a reasonable sized hotcake. Once the sides of the hotcake have firmed slightly turn the hot cake over and cook the other side.

Ta Dar!

These really do taste absolutely amazing and please the toughest of critics (my dad).

All together this recipe makes 12 hotcakes and comes to 12 points in total, which = 1 point per hot cake. (Don't forget to add extra points dependent on your choice of oil, sugar/sweetener or maple syrup)

These store OK for a day but I'm not sure past that as they have never been around that long in my household.

Enjoy guys!

Roo xoxo

Monday, 16 August 2010

*Weekly Update - Accomplishments*

This past week has definitely been one to remember for all the right reasons. I recently blogged about my revelation thanks to Jillian Michaels book titled "Winning by Losing" and have enforced my positive thinking throughout the week.  I'm really hoping that this eventually becomes a habit rather than a conscious decision. However at the moment I am thankful that I am capable of just viewing my appearance, actions and overall mentality, positively. This has undoubtedly made a huge change on my whole outlook.

Not only did a have a mental revelation but I also had a clothing one too. My previous weekly update detailed how after losing 11lb I was having difficultly finding clothes that fit me. My size 22 trousers were huge (around 3" too big) however when I tried on the next size down the trousers were too tight. So when I went clothes shopping at the weekend I wasn't expecting to find any bottoms that fit me. So it was even more of a surprise when I tried on a skirt in a size 20 (a size smaller than normal) and it came up to big! It kept falling down. I nearly screamed with delight in the changing rooms but held it back instead by jumping up like a deranged person. If you haven't guessed dear blog readers I eventually (after much jumping around and waving my arms) purchased a size 18. Yes that's right. A size freaking 18! Get in there!

(My cute size 18 skirt)

And just because everything comes in three's I have had some amazing workouts this week with a mixture of resistance bands, Wii Fit steps, dance and my new favourite "Biggest Loser" for the Wii. I will do a whole post dedicated to this new purchase but I absolutely love it! It has definitely added something new to my routine.

So to sum it up...

My accomplishments this week:
  • I tried a new recipe which I stated I wanted to do in last weeks goals.
  • I drunk plenty of fluids
  • I tracked 5/7 days - I'm getting there
  • I stayed the same on the scale
  • I worked-out 6 days this week - This included taking Patch for a walk/jog at our local forest
(As you can see he is totally cream crackered)

My aims for next week:
  • Track 7/7 days
  • Keep up the fluid intake - I'm sure this is becoming a habit rather than a conscious decision
  • Work-out
  • Try a new recipe
  • Continue with my positive thoughts
And just to start the week off well regarding my aims for next week... I love this photo because not only am I smiling but I feel super happy mentally too. What more could someone ask for!

Have an amazing week guys,
Roo xoxo

Friday, 13 August 2010

*Positive Thought Processes*

If you follow me on Twitter you will know that I recently purchased "Winning by Losing" by Jullian Michaels (the no nonsense, kick-your-butt coach from the Biggest Loser). I will do an entire post on this book in the future however I wanted to share a few things while they are fresh in my head.

Positive thought processes or positive thinking is something that I really did believe I used on a daily basis. I always reminded myself that the glass was half full and not half empty (this doesn't mean that I always believed it, I just tried to reinforce that attitude) but after reading the first section in the book entitled "Self" I have realised that actually I am really negative person. Not in the aspect of negative towards others or to certain events but towards myself. I have really put myself down and have attached very negative thoughts and emotions towards my appearance, my health, my capabilities and to be blunt my overall self-worth. Now I'm sure this is the case for the majority of people and not just those who are battling with their weight and fitness. But why? Why do I perceive myself so negatively?

I thought that was a pretty simple question to answer, but in actuality its not. As a child I always knew that I was bigger than the other children my age and even more so when at the age of seven I was bullied the whole way through primary school. As I got older I compared myself even more to my friends and people from magazines, resulting in me abusing my body through food and then starvation. But Jillian probes at more questions than just  bullying and images from magazines, she questions whether previous relationships (romantic, friendship or family) have made you feel inadequate. All of these I have endured at some point.

To some degree I still question whether these are contributing factors to my weight issues or whether they are excuses for my inability to control what and how I eat. However whether that's the case or not Jillian states that to be able to move, think positively and adopt a healthy lifestyle the person in question (me) must forget about previous points in my battle with my weight such as when I was at my thinnest, and think about now. Right now. Today and the future. Yes, its hard to do and I'm still getting my head around it but logically it makes sense. I'm setting myself up to fail if I constantly compare myself to how I was. I am a different person now to what I was when I was at my thinnest.

Jillian also states that to perceive yourself positively you must change your negative thoughts about yourself and concentrate on the things about you that are positive. For example today I had an amazing workout and I really pushed myself like I haven't before and found that I am actually a lot stronger than I thought and my stamina and endurance also excelled my expectations (I actually tweeted that I felt super strong). Previously I would have been caught up and thinking that I wasn't doing certain exercises right, my leg wasn't high enough or I didn't dip as low as everyone else when doing lunges. And to be totally honest I really couldn't careThe positive feelings far out-weighed the negative.

So next time rather than thinking what I did wrong I will think what I did right. Whether it be choosing an apple over a cake or pushing myself harder rather than getting caught up on what others are doing.

Positive Thinking Roo

Wednesday, 11 August 2010

*Recipe - Apricot and Almond Bars*

I recently purchased September's issue of "Cook Vegetarian", I've always thumbed through the magazine but never actually bought it, got it home and used it. Although some of the recipes aren't really for the weight watching person I thought I could adapt the recipes to lower pointed substitutes or those particular ones out altogether.

When I got it home I immediately notice how informative it was and was exposed to lots new and different vegetarian alternatives there are - before this I only ever used four different brands. So thumbs up to the people over at "Cook Vegetarian" for a excellent piece of information, I can't wait until the next issue.

Moving on to the recipe...

Apricot and Almond Bars-

Ingredients: (I changed a few of the ingredients as I either didn't have them or could not find them at the store)

3 Oranges
225g Chopped Dried Apricots
125g Dried Apricots
70g Almonds
225g Porridge oats
13g Baking Powder
112g Plain Flour
25g Sunflower Seeds
100g Light Marg

First I blitzed the almonds and marg to make a paste. I then blended the peeled oranges and whole dried apricots together with the almond and marg paste.

I then added the mixture to my flour and baking powder, as well as the remaining ingredients.

I mixed them all together (I did try to use a spoon but found it best to use my hands)

I spooned it into my baking tray and smoothed it down.

I baked my mixture for 25 minutes on 170c fan assisted (if not 190c) until golden brown.

Whilst still warm I cut my bar into 16 pieces totalling 3.5points each.

I did think they were nice however I will be baking these again but changing the ingredients slightly.

Amendments will be:

  • Leave out the sunflower seeds
  • Use sultanas rather than apricots (and less of them)
  • Use flaked almonds and don't blend them
  • Either use brown sugar or a sweetener
If I made the changes the recipe would calculate to two points per bar (if cut into 16)

Have a try and see what you think. Would you make any changes?

Bye for now,

Roo xoxo

Sunday, 8 August 2010

*Weekly update - The Difference a Few Pounds Make*

I have felt like a totally different person this week. If you follow me on Twitter and read my previous post in which I broke the 18stone barrier (I had struggled to get below this number for several weeks) you will know that I upped my game and managed to get into the 17stones / 240's. I'm still on a high over this and was so even more when I saw another loss only a few days later. It showed that my weight had gone from 17stone 11lb / 249lb to 17st 8lb / 246lb.

Now, like I mentioned in my previous post, I was unwell for nearly a week and suspected that my weight-loss may have been a combination of both a stellar week of tracking and exercise as well as my ill health. So being realistic I stated that to maintain that weight loss would be my aim for this week. When I weighed myself a few days later and saw a loss of  another 3lb I knew that I would more than likely not be able to maintain the extra 3lb loss and kept concentrating on maintaining the 17st 1llb. Well I'm please to say that upon my normal weigh-in  I had managed to maintain that weight, which I'm honestly super happy about.

Even though I am only 11lb down (3lb until a whole stone) I have noticed a huge change in the way in which my clothes fit and feel. Some of my size 22 trousers are now huge on me and embarrassingly enough I nearly lost my trousers when running down the stairs. Not the most conservative sight when I realised that if I did lose my trousers my partner would have noticed that my underwear was on back-to-front. Mental note to self - make sure knickers are on right way and belt done up tight.

So I decided, to rid myself of the embarrassment again I would go and purchase some new clothes. Shockingly the size 20's were extremely tight and so resulted to trying on size 22's. But as you can see they are still a good three or so inches too big. No luck

Note- that isn't my crisp packet on the floor :)

So for now I'm stuck between trousers that are too big and ones that leave me with a muffin top. Very attractive.

(However tops were a lot more successful and I think I look much slimmer considering.)

So moving on to my achievements and goals...

My achievements this week were:

  • I was able to maintain my weight of 17st 11lb

  • I kept to my upped water intake- To which I have started to see an improvement in my skin

  • I tracked 3/7 days this week - Not fantastic as my previous week however I was conscious of my food choices.

  • I made time for extra activity by using my amazing new resistance bands.
 My goals for this week are:

  • Track, track, track.

  • Keep drinking H20

  • Schedule in extra activity

  • Try a new recipe.
Have a great week everyone.

Roo xoxo

Friday, 6 August 2010

*Exercise Find - Resistance Bands*

Now I've been hesitating whether to purchase a set of resistance bands for around four months now. That all changed one weekend when I decided enough was enough. Whats the worst that could happen? I either purchase them and they turn out to be a load of crap or alternatively I could purchase them and wonder why I didn't do so earlier. I had already done a lot of research into resistance bands and decided that Ripcords were the ones for me.

So I received my bands and couldn't wait to try them out. I purchased the Power Tension 5 Pack which ranges from 3-42lb of resistance (I found that I could tell the difference in resistance when I moved from the thinner cords to the thicker ones). I tried out a number of difference exercises which are suggested and shown on the provided information leaflet and found that I liked these even more than normal free weights. I can think of many pros of using these:
  • They are compact and can easily be stored
  • They are actually light to pick-up and move around- Unlike free weights
  • I don't hurt myself with them - When I previously used free weights I would constantly bang them against my legs which often led to bruising. Also, when I used certain exercises I would often hit myself in the back of the head with a larger weight. 
  • They come with a life time guarantee
  • They are relatively cheap- Compared with a gym membership
  • The cane be used on a tight schedule- At present I don't have the time (nor the finances) to pay for a gym membership so these are fantastic for sneaking in a workout between my job and degree.

It's still early days but I can honestly say that I am in love with them already and wish that I had purchased them months ago.

I will have arms that Madonna would be jealous of! Watch this space.

Pop-eye armed Roo

Sunday, 1 August 2010

*Weekly Update - In sickness and in Health*

This weeks post will be pretty brief however I know I haven't blogged for around two weeks and I have been desperate to do so.

Firstly, apologies for my lack of breath taking photography of late but I some how managed to break the adaptor for my laptop and are waiting for a new one to become available. I do have some fabulous photos to share but you'll just have to wait I'm afraid.

I never mentioned previously as I was hoping to blog before I left but I have not long returned from my annual holiday to visit the Grease Monkey's family, so pointing would normally be the last thing on my mind. Nope. This was not the case at all and I chose wisely and worked in extra walking; which was more like hiking due to the hills being so steep, as well as running on the sand and in the water at the beach. Lets just be blunt and say if it involved walking I was there, I literally walked my butt off.

Then it happened... I got struck down with sickness and couldn't move for the remainder of the holiday. I gritted my teeth and managed the 6-7 hour journey home, damn the M25. Luckily I'm feeling much better today. Finally!

The first thing I did this morning was weigh myself. Although I know this is not a true reflection of my weight due to being ill. As some of you may remember have have stayed the same weight for a number of weeks now and no matter how much I tried and stuck to the plan I couldn't move go below 18stone or 252lb. I was super excited when I saw 17stone 11lb/ 249lb. I finally did it! I broke the barrier of 18stone!

So this week I will be working super hard to maintain that 3lb loss.

What I accomplished this week:
  • I definitely drank enough water this week as I reached my 8 glasses of water a day (suggested by Weightwatchers) and as recommended by my local GP my pee was a good colour :)
  • I stuck to plan and tracked 7/7 days even though I didn't eat much if at all for 4 days.
  • I scheduled in extra activity prior to me being unwell.
  • I broke the 18stone barrier!
My goals for this week are:
  • Maintain my loss
  • Continue tracking 7/7 days - I know I do best and feel best when I do this
  • Work in some extra activity 
  • Continue drinking the clear stuff - H2O
Have a awesome week everyone. Hopefully I will be able to add pictures soon!

Roo xoxo