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Tag Archives: weight loss

Brace yourself – this is going to be a long entry. However I’ve seen countless twitter updates and blog entries about the bathroom scales and their lack of honesty or more accurately, just how useless they are in determining fat loss and I’ve been meaning to put together a piece for quite some time now, unfortunately for those ADHD sufferers – it’s not something I feel like I can brush over quickly…

Let me paint you a picture…

You’ve been training your tush off, yet according to your scales your tush doesn’t seem to be actually going anywhere. Say, you’re down to your last five kilos of fat loss to go and you hop on the scales one idle morning knowing in your heart of hearts that you’ve trained so hard and eaten the cleanest of foods but wait, WHAT THE FUCK?! You’ve gained weight?! How is that even possible? Why did this happen?  “How am I going to get through the day without actually losing my marbles”, you think.

And why wouldn’t that be your thought process; it’s depressing for even the strongest of us. You eat the right foods when everyone else is eating carb loaded processed garbage. When others go straight home after work to park their ass in front of their glorious 45inch plasmas and the newest episode of Gossip Girl, you head to the gym and train till you feel like you might collapse never finding out what actually happened with Blair and Chuck. On the weekends instead of going out drinking from Friday through to Sunday, like you used to do before your healthy conscience kicked your ass, you keep to the plan and you head back into that gym. In fact, you’re in there enough that your own family sees you less than the staff at your gym does.

So what in god’s name is going on with your body, huh? Better yet, what on earth is going on with your head? All these mind games can’t be doing you any favours; in fact they are almost enough to make you want to give up all together and go back to your old boozehound ways (Hello Friday night drinks and Saturday 3am kebabs). I mean, why not? You’ve put so much work into this and you seem to be getting nowhere fast. What’s the point?

Well, before you go to the nearest 7-11 and induce death by chocolate; ditch your fucking scales. Throw them from the greatest height and DO NOT LOOK BACK. Your scales are useless on your quest to transform and they are holding you back mentally in such a ridiculous manner that it likely will have a lovely side effect of holding you back physically too (We’re all guilty of throwing in the towel a little and having things to eat we know we shouldn’t or skipping training sessions if we just feel as though we’re not getting anywhere).

But don’t worry; you’re not alone in this – I am speaking from great personal experience here… The scales have been my best friend and worst enemy for many years; some times they are the same thing at once. I remember days when I used to weigh myself two or three times a day, and beat myself up emotionally when I was a kilo or two heavier at night than I was in the morning; even though in reality that would be exactly what would happen to anyone over the course of a day.

This is not a normal habit. This is something I was guilty of in the very worst of my days and it’s not healthy. We are not on a quest to be skinny; we are on a quest to be fit and healthy. If you think that playing mind games between yourself and the scales is a good idea, you couldn’t be more wrong. What’s the point in putting so much effort into bettering yourself only to be so demotivational?.

So why should you ditch the scales? Other than the reasons I’ve given you so far…Well we all KNOW muscle weighs more than fat. We also know that training in the gym is not going to get you to lose muscle, so the more you train – the more muscle you gain, now let’s put two and two together and that would explain a lack of decrease in your scale numbers. But for some of us that logic just isn’t enough to break a habit we’ve probably had since the day we learnt what the word calorie meant.

Let me tell you a personal story to prove a point…

I’d been saying to myself all year that I want to hit under the 60kg mark. If I didn’t get there; I was writing myself off as a failure. I started the year at about 67kgs and recently I actually got down to 60.5kg.  Exciting, right? ALMOST THERE. I was overjoyed. I loved what I saw when I looked in the mirror, everything fit better, everything suited me – I was smiling constantly. Until my next weekly weigh in (yes, I had enforced a once a week and no more rule) where I expected to be under the 60kg mark, but instead it clocked me in at 63.5kgs. You can imagine the fury, in fact I think you could almost see the steam coming out my ears and my eyes turning red the moment I stepped off the scales. I cried. I literally took one look in the mirror and decided that the body I saw was a totally different one to two or three minutes prior. I was now disgusting and embarrassed to leave the house. In my eyes I couldn’t see the difference between 63.5kgs and 105kgs. How could I be so massive suddenly? I put on the loosest clothing imaginable and headed into work deciding that I wouldn’t take these head games any longer. I just couldn’t continue to be so reckless and allow my thoughts to be dictated by a number.

Jump back three months prior to this; I had had a Dexa Scan… I’d read about them online and I was interested in a method that would accurately gauge my weight loss as I deep down never really trusted those nasty scales (yes, I’ve always been aware they are stupid – yet for some reason have always aloud them to dictate my moods and self confidence). For those of you that aren’t aware, a Dexa scan is an x-ray which determines exactly what your body is made up of, it will show you how much of your body is comprised of bones, what your bone density is like, how much is of you is made of muscle and how much is (insert cringe) fat. But more than that, it takes into account water retention; it shows your symmetry (ever wondered which leg is bigger than the other or if your right arm has more muscle than your left? Wonder no more). I went into see Dr Jarrod Meerkin at Measure Up in Sydney where he politely asked me to jump up on this very modern looking bench which would scan over my body as I lay still and a few minutes later gave me a detailed description of what was actually going on. Easy. He would even give me an idea of how many calories I should consume a day and what my macronutrients should be according to my goals.

So when three months later I had my princess moment with the scales I decided enough was enough; if I was gaining fat I needed to know and I needed to change whatever it was that wasn’t working.

Luckily for my sanity, Jarrad had availability that day at lunch for a follow up scan, I held my breath, crossed my fingers and pray to God, Allah and Buddah that there was something wrong with my scales and my efforts had actually resulted in a loss not a gain.

What I found out that day was that my weight had in fact gone up, KILL ME NOW, right? No. My weight had gone up but my body fat had decreased by several kilos and a total of 4%. The increase in weight was caused by a significant increase in muscle mass (well, what do you know? All that weight training and I’d gotten bigger muscles – one would think I could’ve put that together on my own).

Not only that but my body had evened out and become completely symmetrical when before I was holding a lot more fat on the right leg and arm.

So essentially what I had been doing was working, and working really well. My goals were to increase muscle mass and decrease fat, which I had done and very successfully over the course of 12 weeks. Not only that but as I had increased muscle, my body was burning a greater number of calories daily all on it’s own (this is why you want to weight train ladies; muscle BURNS fat. It’s like the Rock/Paper/Scissors of body sculpting).

At the end of the day we need to realize that the number on your scales is not going to really indicate what is going on with your body at all. If you’re like me and you have 5kgs or so left of fat to lose then you aren’t really even going to see these numbers shift at all; you might spend months training weights and cardio and stay at the same weight and yet completely decrease your body fat percentage and your actual shape will change all together.

It comes down to remembering that your health and peace of mind is more important than your body fat percentage too though. More importantly than your quest for weight loss is your health, and that includes the way you perceive yourself in the mirror and inside your mind. What my experience taught me is that patience is a virtue and whilst I have very little patience, I need to work on developing that as at this point in my journey, things take a long time. I will likely not notice results in the mirror that I look at EVERY day and the way I feel, be it grumpy or elated, will always dictate the reflection that I see staring back at me.

So let’s all make a pact now to get rid of those bathroom scales because they lie more than your ex-boyfriend. And let’s spend time enforcing positive affirmations and working on body confidence. Make your goals about training rather than about your body, aim to achieve a faster time in your running, or a greater weight lifted… and let go of your weight loss nonsense but remember to eat clean and train hard and rest in the faith that you are doing ALL that you can; because when push comes to shove, that’s exactly all you can do. Be your best and be patient and in three months time, then look at your results. They might surprise you.

 

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So we all know I love to train. Train, train, train, eat and sleep. That’s pretty much the epitome of happiness right there for me.

But why do I train so hard? Awwh, man don’t ask big questions… 😉   I don’t exactly know. At first I enjoyed getting in shape, then it became about being able to mould my body and the science behind fitness and nutrition being able to totally change your shape. Now I think one day, maybe, I’d like to do some fitness modelling – No, I don’t mean that I would like to be some hot shot model, I just mean I’d love to be comfortable enough with my own body and proud of my accomplishments through training so hard that I want to show it off.  So for now that’s the goal. I’d like to push myself to my limits and train like an actual boss always overloading and progressing further to see where this takes me but I’d really like to do some kind of amateur photo shoot stuff in about three to six months.

I’ve got a long way to go to get to where it is I want to be. But where was I before? Well that’s the interesting part.

I used to weigh 85kgs. Lovely and fit. *Rolls eyes* I used to live off junk food, Maccas and KFC twice a day would not be out of the question. Not to mention numerous lovely sugary and salty (I was not exactly prejudice) snacks in between meals. I smoked like a chimney from the age 13 to December last year, that’s 13 years in total. I used to drink tequila like it was going out of fashion (I’m not kidding, binge drinking was my Tuesday/Thursday/Friday and Saturday night favourite to-do’s) and I wasn’t exactly above abusing illicit substances.

It’s been a couple of years now since I’ve lost majority of my weight, I was 70kgs at some point toward the end of 2010 and that’s when I really started my training. I didn’t lose all my weight from training like a gym beast, I wish I could say that I did but the amount of yo-yo dieting, diet pills and stupid fucking choices I have made to shift that weight only made me more determined these days and more understanding so when I do start Personal Training. I figure there will be hardly anything I don’t understand when it comes to why people are the way they are and the lengths people go to to shift weight. I’m also now keenly aware of how much better life in general can be with fitness and nutrition being a big part of your day to day life. I even advocate fitness over anti-depressants. Having suffered a ridiculous strain from depression that medicine never did one 1000th of what working out can do for your mind, body and soul.

After a couple of months of running consistently every morning (I’m not even kidding when I say I had to start with C25k app to even get running in the first place) I then suffered an intense knee cartilage injury that I wrote about earlier this year on here… For quite some time I couldn’t walk properly, let alone train and my doctors performed ultrasounds and x-rays and told me it might be appropriate to prepare myself for the reality of not training anymore. That was January this year. At that point I was about ready to give the fuck up. It was all so hard. It wasn’t until about mid-March that I was able to make the move back into training and so realistically I’ve only been doing this since then. My progression feels so slow but looking back on how far I’ve actually come in the space of about eight months, I have to really pat myself on the back.

I had a Dexa scan when I started to get really serious about training three months ago and have since dropped 4% body fat percentage, dropped kilos of fat mass and I’m building a great base of muscle mass. I am pretty proud of how quickly it’s coming along, though now I’m really wanting to lean out and further drop my body fat. That’s the goal.

So, without further adieu; here’s an old photo of me a couple of years back with my Dad over the holidays, it’s not the best quality photo and probably doesn’t emphasise just how big I was – but I’ve made damn sure there aren’t many photos of me at this size floating around, this one happened to have slipped in amongst some family photos my grandma was busted showing my fiancée (Yes, thanks heaps Grandma)….

And here are some current pictures of myself, as I’ve noticed that I frequently post about my progress or my fitness goals without actually holding myself accountable or even posting pictures of myself for you (whoever you are) to see…

Hopefully over the next few months I can get a little closer to this amazingness, which is my goal body…

I know that this is barely brushing the surface of my journey with fitness and why I do this stuff and what I want to do in the future but I hope it helps you to understand me better and possibly inspire you to push yourself and more than anything I hope being open about this inspires me to push myself even harder than before…

You just do what you can.

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High End GymSo the other day on Twitter I asked people to suggest what they would like to see more of on my blog, the lovely Jessie suggested that I supply details of my training schedule.

It made me realise that the reason I love reading blogs like MeVsTheBulge (Amanda’s weight loss blog and in my opinion, one of the best blogs around) is because of the familiarity surrounded her entries. The way she makes herself very easy to connect with and the complete and utter exposure she undertakes to see through her goals. I’m not of that nature, I envy the ability she has to really strip down bare (literally, if you see her latest bikini post) and tell the world of the internet exactly what her goals are and her current situation. Part of me thinks that it would be very helpful when attempting to reach targets, but I’m a very private person in certain aspects and the gusto that I need to post bikini shots of myself on the internet does not exist within me. I have decided however that I would like to post something about my training and my goals in a much more generalised nature.

Alot of people have asked me lately what I’m training so hard for. I guess I don’t have a deliberate answer for this. I would love to move into the Fitness industry, but to be the best I can be in that industry I’d need to feel as though I practice what I preach, that I can hold it down with the clients I would take on. I also am really keen on running a marathon soon, but with my knee injury from early this year my fitness levels had depleted and in all honesty, I am not sure my injury is repaired enough yet to sustain such distance events. What I do know is that I long ago stopped training to get a killer body, and started training first and foremost to improve my athletic abilities. I think I’d love to be able to compete one day, but I’ve got to reach my first goal and take it from there.

Don’t get me wrong, I’ve got a current goal with weight loss and body fat percentages, this is a vain activity on it’s own. But I do exercise to push myself to limits and test myself each day as opposed to doing it because I think my stomach is not flat enough.

So here it is, my goals, my training schedule and my nutrition, in brief… I will go into it in more detail over the next few weeks as I work towards this goal. The plan is to regularly update and speak more freely about what I’m working towards so please try not to get too sick of me.

Goals:

  • First point:      
  • -4.06kgs
  • Second Goal:
  • -5.99kgs

This isn’t because I want to be a skinny little thing, this gets me to a certain body fat percentage that should be exactly right for my frame and keeping me totally toned at the same time. This goal means nothing to me if I reach it and have no muscle definition. The idea is to strip down this body fat in order to look as toned and tight as possible.

 How I’ll reach this:

Timeline

I have allowed myself 12 weeks time to reach this point. This should be more than sufficient amount of time.  

Nutrition:

Calories:

I’m aiming to stay below 1500 calories a day. I’ve tried going lower and it’s not maintainable in reality, nor is it something I can sustain when I’m working out as often and as hard as I am. I get sick really easily so restricting calorie intake below 1500 usually just causes trouble.

Macro-Nutrients:

The 1500 calories are made up of:

Protein: 146grams

Carbohydrates: 131grams

Fat: 43grams

This section probably won’t interest anyone too much, it’s really hard to get exact numbers of course – but I try to plan as much as possible. If I get a little muddled I lean towards a higher protein measurement than that of fat or carbs. As far as carbs go I never eat anything ‘white’ (bread, pasta, flour), always wholemeal and preferably with grain/seed, I chose low GI foods. Oven baked sweet potato is one of my very favourite things so I don’t find it hard to choose wisely.

Training:

I’m in the gym 6 mornings a week. I’m not going to list all my workouts in detail, just how I section things off. I try to do as much compound exercise as possible, really restricting the amount of isolated work that I do when lifting weights. Basically this means that I try workout more than one muscle group at a time, it has far better results for me.  That said, I structure my days so that I’m working on a particular muscle group each day, leaving plenty of time for recovery.

Day 1: Glutes, Hamstrings, Abs and Cardio.

Day 2: Back, Yoga and Heavy Cardio.

Day 3: Arms, Chest and Abs. No cardio.

Day 4: Quads, Calves, Abs and Cardio.

Day 5: Shoulders and Heavy Cardio.

Day 6: Pure Cardio.

I have a Polar FT7 which I basically couldn’t live without, it tells me my calories burnt per session. I have a target calorie amount, but honestly I don’t always hit it. It’s hard to reach when you only have an hour and after that you have to go to work. If I could just stay home all day….. *dreaming*

As far as cardio is concerned I switch up between the treadmill/rowing machine/exercise bike or just running outdoors. Heavy cardio signifies days where I will use a heavier resistance or interval training. On full cardio days I will go for a long run.

Alot of what I do in the gym is weight lifting, I started off lifting decent amounts at higher reps, but I have changed things up and am currently lifting heavy on lower amounts of reps.
This plan isn’t neccessarily for everyone but lifting heavy is something I really enjoy and I’m getting closer and closer to being able to lift as heavy as the Boy (even if he tells me that is ‘uncool’ I’m pretty stoked on the idea).

So there you have it. That’s my little plan. On top of that I fit in 40 hours of full time work and 12 hours of study minimum a week. As you can imagine, I’m pretty fucking tired by the end of it.

What is your training schedule like ? Do you have goals / targets? Please share.

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