Tuesday, 31 July 2012

Body pump and the weigh-in!

Hey everyone.

After deciding I wanted to try out a new class again, I booked onto onto Body Pump. I wasn't really sure what to expect but yesterday I went, feeling a bit anxious. Much like I was when I tried Boot Camp the other week.

I knew the instructor as she also teaches Zumba at my local leisure center, so that was somewhat reassuring. As I arrived some of the other women were collecting various bits and pieces out of a room? A long bar, some different coloured weights etc... Hmmm. Rather awkwardly I followed suit and some of the women recommended that I get two yellow weights and two green, yellow being the lightest.

After collecting the various things, including a step, a mat and then going back to get some clips, to of course hold the weights on the bar, novice alert! I was finally ready to begin. Eek!

We started with a quick warm up e.g. side stepping and marching etc etc... After that, the class generally consisted of lifting weights in various ways. For example, we lay on the step and pushed the bar, with the weights on either side, up and down in varied ways, up for 2 down for 2, up for 3 down for 1, yada yada. That was a particular killer and I only used the yellow weights! I need to remember to look at the colour values next time for you really!. 

We also held the weights over our head so that the bar was resting a little on our shoulders. Then with this we did some lunge and squat/bend exercises. I actually really enjoyed this...but then again I am a lot stronger in my legs than I am in my arms. They get more use, I guess! Which is also why I'm aiming to improve my arm strength, equal it out a little. 

Another exercise that I liked, which I'd never have thought of doing myself, was to place a weight, this time I used a heavier green one, on the stomach whilst doing stomach crunches and sit ups. Brilliant! I also like working my stomach...again, stronger than my arms hehe!

Overall, I did enjoy the class. It was a very different kind of workout though. I'm used to high impact cardio with lots of jumping about and sweating like crazy! This wasn't as 'sweaty' or quick paced but afterwards you could definitely feel the work-out. This morning my arms were particularly achy, however nowhere near as bad as the ache I felt after my first Boot Camp sess!

All in all I'd def recommend people to give this class a try, especially if you're looking to get into using weights a bit more. The good thing about this class is that it shows novice's, like me, how to correctly use the weights and gives you ideas for the different exercises that can incorporate them, such as sit-ups! I may go and buy some weights of my own at some point...so I can continue using them when I have to return to uni and stop doing the classes. Not looking forward to stopping my routine, AT ALL! Guess I'll just have to create a new one!

Now...for the dreaded weigh-in! Well, sadly it wasn't great this week. Nothing happened! Yes, unbelievably I stayed the same. I still have no idea for why this is. I did everything right as far as my ProPoints were concerned and amazingly the only real thing I changed was 'up-ing' the amount of exercise I do. Last week I did AT LEAST 1 hour of intense exercise and unlike normal I didn't have a day off (usually Saturday). I got bored so decided to 'gym it'.

Doesn't make sense, right?! After speaking to some WW members they have suggested that I may have retained more fluid from the increased exercise or it's possible that I should have eaten a few more points to fuel my body for it... If anyone has any other theories about why I only maintained, then please share.

Don't get me wrong I was disappointed...seeing the scale go down every week is an amazing feeling. But, oh well...let's hope my next weigh-in will be more productive!

Onwards and upwards guys!

Stay stong this week ;)

Saturday, 28 July 2012

Does Slendertone really tone?

Hi everyone. Having a good weekend?

So I have one of these...

A Slendertone flex belt. And before you ask...no I didn't buy it! It was my mums but she let me have it a few summers ago. So mine is possibly an older version- perhaps the original?

Now, I actually get along with the belt quite well. The sensation is very strange and you can feel your stomach muscles contracting. Be aware that if you turn it up too high it can be painful! Lesson learned on that one!

If you can get by the weird pulling feeling, then it's important that you find the time to use it on a daily basis. But... does it work?!

Well, two summers ago I used the device on a daily basis, sometimes more than once per day, and I did feel it helped to achieve a flatter stomach. However, if you are looking for a magic quick fix then don't be fooled into thinking that this will give you one. In fact, is there any such thing as a quick fix? No pain no gain in my eyes.

However, saying that I have experienced some soreness around my stomach muscles after using this repeatedly (I suggest building up usage gradually to avoid this discomfort). The fact that you can feel where it's been suggests that it does SOMETHING?! Right?

I definitely think that the device is best paired with regular exercise to achieve optimum results. I personally feel that if a 'couch potato persona' is thinking that 30 mins of this a day, in front of the TV, will perform wonders, then they'd be wrong.

If something feels too easy and seems too good to be true then it usually is. However, my mum isn't able to do workouts or strenuous exercise due to back problems, yet she believed this to work. I can't help but think that this could be the placebo effect but she seemed pretty adamant so maybe, just maybe it does work to some degree on its own. Of course, she paired healthy eating or dieting with the device...and that's a whole different story ;)

So...I thought I'd give the belt another try for myself. In fact, I started using it on Thursday but forgot to put it on yesterday so I'm starting afresh from today. Obviously, I'll still be doing my exercise routine and following the Weight Watchers plan, so it won't be a test solely using the ST belt. But, I will have some idea of its results! I'll keep you posted on this.

As for other Slendertone products, well...I stupidly went ahead and purchased...

The Slendertone flex shorts. At a overpriced £99.99 I was bitterly disappointed. The silicone pads inside the shorts (6 in total) made them really difficult to get on.

And after a good 5 minutes applying the shorts, I found them to be very uncomfortable with a cold wet feel to the pads. This literally made my skin crawl! So much so, that I had to physically stop using them! 

As for the sensation...it was similar to the belt, yet unlike that device, I didn't feel they pulled in any muscles as such. I never felt a difference after I'd worn them and often the pads would remain stuck to my legs when removing them. The process of peeling them off myself and reapplying them to the metal studs was tedious and frustrating and generally the whole experience was rubbish!

I assume, like many, I was drawn into buying these shorts by the fact that they appeared to tackle most women's main problem areas- the bum and thighs. However, sadly I never felt any 'tackling' was being done and after persevering with the shorts for a few months I put them in the back of my draw with no intention of ever wearing them again. Later, I sold them on Ebay...hope the buyer got on with them better than I did!

Of course these are only my personal opinions and not everyone will agree with them. If you have them and like them, then I'm pleased...at least you didn't waste your money! But, in terms of me recommending the Slendertone Flex shorts...it's a big thumbs down!

Any Slendertone experiences out there? I'd love to hear about them. Feel free to get in touch with me via Twitter also- @ellie1989

Bye for now!

Friday, 27 July 2012

Treadmill countdown

Hey guys...hope you are all well!

Ok, so I wore my impulsive buyer's hat and took the plunge and bought a treadmill! I know, I know. It was only yesterday that I started considering one!

I actually clicked the buy button last night after a very hard boot camp class. Guess I was feeling motivated?! In the end I went with one from Argos...

...It's the Reebox Pure+ Treadmill. I bought it for £319.99, down from £499.99. Bargain!

Now, sadly it's not being delivered until Friday 10th of August as this was the earliest date I could opt for. Hence my countdown title! But I am rather excited :)

This particular one had two 5* rating reviews, but it's little brother (the Reebok Pure Treadmill) had over 20 very positive ones. I figured they were essentially the same but the Pure+ would be slightly better, if only for the mp3 speakers. Yes, it has speakers! Big plus for me. There's no better motivation than music in my eyes!

Sooo...that's my news! When it arrives I will no doubt let you know what I think and do my own user review. To treadmill, or to not treadmill? I'll let you know! ;)

Bye for now!

Thursday, 26 July 2012

A wise investment?

Hey guys. How are you all doing?

So I wasn't sure I'd be able to blog in a while because I am laptop-less. I have one poorly computer. Not ideal. So it's gone in for repair and some much needed TLC! With a nice £35 bill for a total reinstallation. Again, not ideal.

However, taking advantage of my dad's computer (he won't mind he's at work!) I thought I'd share with you my latest idea for keeping my fitness on track.

As the weeks are drawing nearer to the end of my uni break I am starting to get a little panicky that my new found fitness will go out of the window and I'll go back to feeling unfit and crappy. Why is it that time goes by so so fast when you want it to go slowly, but when you're wishing time away it drags?! Typical.

Sadly, despite digging in my heels, I've reluctantly had to accept that I won't made a shred of difference and sure enough the weeks will continue to fly by, regardless of my digging! So, with this realisation I've come to the conclusion that I need to buy...

...a treadmill! Ok, so need is perhaps a bit strong. I mean, I have considered taking up jogging around the streets. But somehow I don't think that'll work for me. My new uni house this year is pretty much smack bang in the middle of the city and the nearest park is over 2 miles away. I think. Want, or desire, is probably a little more realistic though.

But, the price tag is enough to put anyone off, with a decent one being around £300. I definitely wouldn't be able to afford more than that! Then there's the model...what makes a good treadmill?! I've been reading a few customer reviews to gain an idea but it's still pretty tricky. I know that I'd require a fold down or fold away version- for reasons of space and also transporting it to my new house!

I mean, would I use it? I'd have to, right? Would it be worth it? If I kept my fitness up then, too right! I'd love to hear from anyone that has a treadmill or knows of a good make that would be affordable to me? Best place to buy from? At the moment Argos is looking like my best option...?

Still debating over whether I can afford it...hmmm. I'll have a long hard think whilst at Boot Camp tonight. Love that class...can't wait :)

Have a great day everyone!

Monday, 23 July 2012

Personal goal...achieved!

Hey guys. So, today was weigh-in day, just like every Monday. And like every Monday I always feel a little bit nervous. Granted, last week I was more anxious as it followed a rather large chinese, but still, the butterflies were there.

I'd been beyond good all week, with just under half of my weekly points left untouched. Says a lot for my social life this past week. Dull, very dull! And as you may know if you saw my post about Boot Camp, I definitely have been giving my all when it comes to exercise. Two high impact classes in one evening, hardcore. Or crazy!

So like normal, I went to my Spinning class and worked my butt off! Tonight's session was perhaps unusally hard due to the humid warm weather cast down on us East Midlands folk today. I can't comment on anyone else's forecast. Don't get me wrong, I like sun and after the buckets full, or rather ocean's full, of rain we've had lately it was appreciated. Just not a fan of the sticky, 'hot and bothered', air. However sadly, England doesn't tend to do any other kind of warm weather... Rant over!

Drenched, I got on the scales. I've used the same scales since I started Weight Watchers and always worn my trainers, so it stays fair and consistent. Result! Definitely -1 lb !

Now, it's quite difficult to get a completely accurate reading on the scales as I have to try and stand straight, whilst also leaning over to read the damn things. And they aren't digital. I repeat this a couple of times to double/triple check my results. At one point I thought I'd lost 2 lbs but it was hard to be 100%, so I went with the definite -1 lb.

I can't help but be a little dissapointed that I couldn't say that I had lost at least 2 lbs, as losing the most weight you've lost in a week is always a desire. But I shouldn't be greedy, hmm ironic really and should be happy with the loss!

I then also realised that this in itself is a personal achievement. When I started exercising this summer I weighed roughly 9st 10lbs and was seriously pushing the overweight territory at just 5ft 3ins tall. When I started Weight Watcher's I had dropped to 9st 7lbs but still felt seriously unhappy and unfit.

Recalling that I weighed around 9st when I started university 3 years ago, not a huge weight increase I guess unlike some that plonk on a good few stones, I told myself that it would be great to get back to that. I set myself the unspoken goal of dipping under that 9st mark. And...here we are! One personal goal, ticked and counted for at 8st 13lbs!

I am very proud of how far I've come since May...any of you out there that have achieved either weight loss or something similar will understand how much it means. However I did think just under 9st would be enough but I'm nowhere near as supple or as toned as I was before university. And so my next goal is underway...My WW goal weight of 8st 7lbs.

Of course I am only too aware how addictive weight loss can be and I know that when I reach that goal I'll probably give myself a new goal. But I will not be stupid. Healthy is what I aim for, perhaps defined too, definitely not ill! For my height, to be within the healthy section of my BMI I can weigh a minimum of 8st 1lbs. I doubt I will ever reach that to be honest but if I did I'd make sure I didn't go lower...the emancipated look isn't for me guys!

Hope all my WW family did well this week...let me know?! And I hope everyone is keeping up with the motivation?! I find some cracking inspiration on Twitter. This one made me chuckle:

Think of sweat as your fat crying.

It's surprisingly motivating! But they aren't all silly...there is some good tips floating around such as:

Reminder: Skipping breakfast won't make you skinny. Skipping ANY meal won't. It actually puts your body on defense and it stores fat!

I retweet many of the motivational ones, sometimes the funny ones to keep me focused for the day. Why not follow me on Twitter @ellie1989 ... I'd love to hear from you!

Stay strong peeps. New day tomorrow! Good night.

Sunday, 22 July 2012

Butternut chips?!

Hello. Hope you are all well. I'm still a little stiff from Thursday's classes...see the Boot Camp post! ;)

So a friend also following the Weight Watchers plan recommended that I try butternut squash. Yes, in my 22 years I haven't tasted the vegetable...I take it it is a veggie?! Haha. Given that the thing is propoint free I figured that it would be worth a try!

Hunting these suckers down was tricky...it seems only larger supermarkets around me stock them! And after it being out of stock at one big store, I located it at another. Finally.

It cost me £1.13 to be precise...I got a large one it seems. When I got it home I realised that I didn't actually know how to go about preparing it?! So I called upon my trusty pal, Google, and discovered that cutting it in half then peeling it is advisable. Brilliant, I am the world's worst peeler...no joke! :/

Eventually, after a massive struggle peeling the damn thing, it was prepared. I stored what I didn't need in these plastic containers and put them in the fridge. By the looks of it I'll be having butternut squash for the forseeable future! Let's hope I like it.

 I chopped some of the butternut squash into quite large chunks, as apparently it shrinks when cooked, and put them into a oven tray/dish. I then lightly sprayed them with Fry Light cooking oil (no propoints) and put them in the oven, preheated at 200 degrees.

I left them the oven for a good 20-25 minutes, turning them over half way through. I didn't get a picture of them fully cooked but they didn't look much different to the above picture. I tested them with a fork to see that they were soft. Their texture resembled chips or potatos and I was surprised to notice that they also tasted akin to chips. Result. I lightly salted them and added them to my dinner of chicken and baked beans.

I definitely cooked too much and left about a 1/3 of the chunks. I found the butternut squash really enjoyable in a small quantity but it did become a little sickly after a while. Next time I would perhaps leave them longer in the oven to crisp. But yes, there will definitely be a next time!

I'd say, if you're looking for something healthy, propoint free if you're a WW member/follower or something to resemble chips without any of the guilt, then give this a try! It won't be everyone's cup of tea, so to speak, but you won't know until you've tasted it!

Pleasantly surprised :)

Friday, 20 July 2012

Boot Camp! ...Yes Sir!

Ouuuuch!!!...I mean hello.

So I'm a little bit sore today...ok, I'm stiff as a blinking board! Eek! It seems that perhaps trying out Boot Camp and then following it with another exercise class (Step n Core) was probably quite ambitious to say the least! However I felt I gave both classes 100% and at the time I had a blast :)

What was Boot Camp like, you may ask? Well, surprisingly enjoyable. There was something very motivating about two 'fit' men, shouting at you to do more and push harder!

Prior to starting the class I was a little nervous, I have to be honest. But I made sure I spoke to some of the women waiting, afterall they are the experts after clearly attending the session each week.  I was somewhat assured by their postivity towards the class, but I still had no idea what it would consist of. One member said it was similar to circuit training and I nodded as if I knew what that was. I've never done that either!

We were told to stand, abruptly, by the instructors. One poor lady was talking, although standing, so she got a very loud shout in her ear! Was pretty funny really though, perhaps not so much for her burst eardrum haha!

We started by running in a long line around the room. I should mention that there were 15 of us doing the class, so not a bad turn out! And I was 1 of 3 whom hadn't been before. We added various arm movements in, as instructed, as we ran. We were then briefed on what numbers 1 to 4 would mean, whilst still running around. Getting pretty tired now! 1 meant touching the floor with the left hand, whilst 2 with the right hand. 3 was both hands and 4 was a jump and change in direction. The leaders fired the different instructions, speeding it up towards the end of the run. Thankfully after probably 5-10mins we did stop running!

Then I think we stretched a little bit and were told we could get a drink. It was strange that we had to be told when to drink, heavens for bid if you just went on your own accord! But weirdly I liked this setup.

We were then devided up into two groups. One group was standing in a line, whilst the others were on the mats. Both groups were facing one another. The instructors also spilt to lead one of the groups. I was on the mats first and we were shown 3 different types of floor exercises. For example, a basic sit-up, touching the heels whilst on the back, and lowering the knees up and down etc. We then had 3 minutes, 1 minute for each exercise. In which time the group opposite had 3 standing exercises to do. After the 3 minutes were up, we swapped sides and did the standing exercises; a lunge using only the right leg, a lunge using only the left leg and a bend with both legs. During the exercises the instructors would shout to encourage you to push and to not give up. It worked. Again we were instructed to grab a quick drink.

Next we were put into pairs. As I didn't know anyone this could have been a bit awkward. However, my partner was really nice and it wasn't too bad. I'd say that she was one of the fittest there so I did joke about not being as 'good' as her. Person number 1 had to lie down on their backs ready for full sit-ups whilst person number 2 had to hold their partners feet. Boy could my partner do sit-ups! It was a bit weird at first holding a strangers feet down, but it became normal. No.1's did 1 mintue then it was swap time. Luckily I've never been too bad at sit-ups and as my stomach hadn't been worked in a while I found the minute relatively easy. I think we repeated this process again, before grabbing a drink.

Still in our partners, No.1's were told to head for the mats, whilst us No.2's were told to line up. My partner had to hold a 'plank' for as long as it took me to run the length of the hall and back, twice. Great, planking is my weakness! For any of you that don't know what a 'plank' looks like...

This woman clearly makes the plank look easy, but try it out and you will soon discover how hard it is to maintain! The key is, is to make sure your bum is down...if it's up in the air then you're cheating and it will feel easy!

Anyway, my turn. Like I say, I had a fit partner so she ran quickly. Thank god! And I found the first plank surprisingly easy. Perhaps after practicing the plank so often in Aerobics and Core, I'm actually getting the hang of it?! Unfortunately we had to repeat this process 4 times! Although I still was feeling strong at this point.

Another drink stop and then we again spilt into two groups, with like before, one group allocated to the mats whilst another group standing. We were given 3 new 1 minute exercises and this time they were definitely much harder! The hardest one on the mats was basically a sit-up but your legs also had to come up, straight into the air. I'm getting tired now! The standing exercise were harder still I thought, with a lot of getting down onto the floor and jumping up. Ouch. Finally drink time.

Now, I'm not sure if this came next or before the previous activity but again we had to hold feet down and do full sit-ups but with a twist to each side, before repeating the process. This was a killer! Luckily we only did this once though, before starting the plank/running activity again. By this point the plank hurt big time and I was shattered. My stomach muscles have never been worked so hard and I was starting to feel it. We repeated the planking/running a total of 3 times.

After a much needed drink, we began to start the cool-down part of the class. In a line we followed the instructor; jogging, side stepping, weaving in and around the hall in whatever direction he chose. We gave our arms a good stretch, still following the line and then gathered in the middle. We lay down and did some floor stretches and then stood back up to further stretch the legs. Done...oh wait, only another 1 hour class to attend! But who's fault is that?! I have no one else to blame bar myself.

Actually though, although fairly tired, after a half an hour break I feel quite 'up' for Step n Core. And even though I definitely found the class harder than normal, I find some hidden energy from somewhere and I complete the class well.

I begin to ache after I've showered and I have a feeling I'll be sore tomorrow....Correct! Ouch! Turning over in bed this morning I felt like I'd been beaten in the night. And actually getting out of bed I felt as though I'd aged overnight and awoken to a 90 year old's physique! Hmmm, not ideal. However it is nice knowing I've really worked out. I mean I can feel I've really worked out.

As for Boot Camp, I shall definitely be going back. Infact I booked on for next week after I finished both classes. Luckily though, Step n Core isn't on for the next two weeks, meaning I'll only have one class to attend on Thursday! I mean, I know I could just do one anyway but because I like them both I know I'd end up doing two every week.

I'd love to hear about any Boot Camp experiences out there?! ...Did you feel the pain the next morning, or is it just because I did two classes? I'm intrigued!

I guess I'll find out next week, if Boot Camp is the root cause of the aches or whether it's just a combination of both, though!

Hope you're all having a motivated week.

Thursday, 19 July 2012

Brave or stupid?

Hey again!

So as you may know if you've been following my blog posts...I do like my group exercise classes. Infact, I can't get enough of them! So much so that tonight I am taking on, not one but, two classes!

Yes, I've plucked up the courage to try Boot Camp, after hearing about how scary it it...yeah, I probably am stupid haha!

I heard that last week during a Boot Camp session, a lady who had never attended the class before went to get a drink. She was asked "What do you think you're doing?!"...."getting a drink"..."Err, no you're not!?" was the response. Yikes! Best remember to do as I'm told, hadn't I!

So I shall be starting the Boot Camp class at 6pm sharp, I should imagine. It is supposed to last for 45 minutes, however the 'regulars' told me it runs over, finishing around 7pm. Then, I shall have a probably much needed half an hour break. I've finally decided on taking a change of clothes, after deliberating about how sweaty I'll be all week. This way I figure I'll be relatively fresh when I start the Step n Core class at 7.30pm. This finishes at 8.30pm...so I have a long workout ahead.

Now I have to say, the Step n Core class is high impact, imo, and I do have to fight to keep up...so doing this class after having done another is quite ambitious! However I will succeed! Or rather I will try my very best to!

Have any of you attended Boot Camp?...Any tips, advice? Let me know before 5.30pm! Afterall, I'd hate to think what the late punishment would be!?

I am a little nervous but I'm sure that once I'm there I'll be fine! How bad could it be?! Anyway I shall report back tonight...or maybe tomorrow if I'm in a fragile state!

The right footwear

Hey guys, I hope you are all doing well this week!?

Recently during some of my exercise classes I've found that I've been getting blisters on my third and fourth toes and my feet just weren't feeling particularly great! I can't actually recall when I bought my trainers but I know I made the mistake of choosing based on looks rather than purpose.

You can see that the trainers are very flat and have no support as such for the feet. However, I did find them generally comfy and also bought a matching white pair. Yet at the time I don't recall doing anything particularly strenuous in them so they have been more than adequate until now!

So, I decided to go to a store where I knew they would give good adivce on what footwear to go for, based on the activities I do. I had an idea that I needed some sort of 'running' trainers as I've heard these tend to be the most supportive when exercising. My dad, a jogger of around 5 years, has always been a fan of Asics trainers for running...but I wasn't sure about the reasoning behind this. What's the difference, right?

I arrived at the footwear section and noticed a treadmill beside the serious trainers. I was surprised to find that I would infact have to run on there, to determine what footwear I needed! How embarrassing! My dad didn't make things any better by announcing that I "run like a girl"...hmm I am a girl, Dad?!

So the woman/assistant brought me some trainers to wear whilst on the machine. I'd sensibly come in dolly shoes ha! I usually take a size 5 in shoes, such as heels and ballet pumps etc, but I guessed I'd need a bigger size in trainers. I opted for a 6, yet ended up in a 7 after my toes touched the rim in the 6's. Big feet or what?!

Attractively, after being told to pull up my jeggings so she could see my ankles, I got on the treadmill. I only had to run for about a minute but I felt ever so self conscious knowing that I was closely being watched by the special camera! It was hilarious to see my feet running in slow motion on the screen... and not so funny seeing the rest of me wobble. Nice!

The woman pointed out how my left foot can be classed as normal in terms of the way it lands and remains fairly neutral. However, my right foot isn't so well behaved and overpronates. I asked her what this means and basically pronate is when the arch of the foot flattens to land. To overpronate the foot rolls slightly inwards. Apparently it can be quite serious and she was surprised I hadn't felt any discomfort before. Eventually she said it would have caused pain behind the knee and shin pain, in the wrong attire. In more serious cases it can cause shin splints which is extremely painful, forcing you out of exercise for quite some time. My Dad said that he had shin splints before and it was excruciating! It turns out that both of his feet overpronate which is the reason for why his trainer choice is important. Asics allow for overpronation in their footwear, which is why my Dad selects them.

Now in terms of my feet, obviously only one of them requires attention, so to speak. Therefore she suggested that I buy insoles, wearing only the right one in my trainer.

She suggested these insoles. You can see the support in the heel with the gel like material. She showed a normal insole of a trainer, which was flat and cardboard looking. Apparently they cost around 50p to make and are the cheapest part of a trainer. No wonder they aren't very supportive!

Next I had to choose my new trainers. This was heavily dependant on what would be best for my feet, and insole. I was surprised to see a lot of them were about £60-£80, and with the insoles being £20 it would be expensive! Lucikly though the trainers I had been wearing to run on the treadmill had been reduced to £34.99, and as I'd found them comfy, I was happy to go with them.

So the colour wouldn't have been my first choice. I'm more of a pink sort of gal, but hey ho. Funnily enough they are Adidas brand, again. What is it with me and Adidas?...but make really didn't matter to me so long as they were a good fit and comfortable.

I figured I would try them out at aerobics last night, without bedding them in. A slight mistake...they were generally comfy until about 40 minutes in and then the insole in my right foot began to rub a bit on the side of my foot. I'm hoping that this will go away once the trainers have been worn a little more! But, on a plus, no blisters =)

So, all in all I was very happy with my purchase. I'm extremenly glad that I decided it was time to get some new trainers because I hate to think what could of happened if I had kept overpronating in the wrong footwear! Weirdly she said that it can also cause headaches!...not what you want whilst working out really is it!

After my experience I would recommend going to test your feet out and getting the right footwear if you do a lot of activity. It will serve you well in the long run! ( No pun intended, haha!)

Monday, 16 July 2012

The verdict!

Hey...so if you saw my Chinese takeaway post you'll know that I was unsure what the impact would be on today's weigh-in. And it wasn't brilliant. I lost 1/2 a lb.

So it was a loss which is something but it was disappointing. I guess I wanted to have my cake and eat it, so to speak, and lose at the rate I have been.

However, although I'm putting my pityful results down to the intake of chinese I do have to question whether other things also came into play.

* Last week was the only week that I ate just my daily points and didn't dip into my weeklies until it got to Friday/Saturday (where as you know I ate them all!). And as I do daily exercise classes that are quite intense I know sometimes my body requires some weekly points on top of my dailies, especially when I am earning 7+ activity points. By not doing this I may have been not eating enough on those days, perhaps causing my body to hold on to, as opposed to lose??!

* Another thought, one I would rather not accept, is that my body may be getting used to my eating and exercising causing my weight loss to plateau. Eeek! I really hope this isn't the case!! Although I'm pretty sure if you follow the WW plan, then you are supposed to see losses each week and I suppose I did, even if it was minute!

Regardless of my theories...when it comes down to it, I was truly right in saying that chinese should be seen as a treat! I feel like it's fine to indulge every now and again, but I guess if you do then you've got to be prepared for its effects!

I'll definitely enjoy it again, but for the time being I'm going to stay clear of it. I guess I've had my fix for now so I'll be able to go a while without! I know, I've just made it sound illegal or something haha!...but literally I cannot be trusted around it. If I was strong enough to fight temptation, then I would just order a chow mein dish for myself when other's are ordering, but I don't quite have that amount of willpower! It makes me weak. Good job it's not something part of daily life, I'd be doomed!

I feel sorry for the chocoholics out there...how do you do it?! Any tips & tricks?

I'll be back on track this week! Wish me luck and I'll send some your way.

Bad veggies!

Hey :)

Now, generally fruit and vegetables are free on the Weight Watcher's plan and I've been enjoying fruits such as; strawberries, cherries, apricots, bananas, nectarines, plums and melon. You'll notice I tend to prefer the finer fruits- apples and oranges just aren't my thing! However, bar enjoying the ocassional corn on the cob (these are actually around 2 points) I haven't been finding veggies easy to fit in. I do like the quick to grab salad bags, cuecumber and tomatoes (actually a fruit, I know) but in terms of cooked veg, it hasn't been happening.

So, I picked up some mushrooms, peppers and frozen veg bags that you microwave. I also bought the Fry Light oil spray so I could enjoy the first two buys fried for nil point! When it came to pointing the veggie bags I naturally assumed that these too would be 0 points...WRONG!

I couldn't believe it...3 PROPOINTS for a bit of frozen veg!!!

I mean look at it! The picture might not show the size, but these things are tiny. And on a daily 26 propoints...I would be crazy to deduct 3 of those for this! Now I'm not entirely sure why they are so high but someone told me that they are coated in something, which would explain their silly pointing!

Something I am fond of, is the WW Toffee and Honeycomb Sundae...

These are truly delicious and you get a rather generous portion. Brilliant for a treat after lunch or dinner. And funnily enough these sundaes are pointed at 3 PP each...

I know which one I'd prefer!? I say...put in a little more effort with your veggies, buy fresh ones and prepare them yourself. Fill yourself until your hearts content with a 0 point total and then tuck into a mouth melthing dessert like this one with those 3 points you've saved! =)

Safe to say, I won't be buying the microwave veg packs ever again.

Have you found anything naughty, hiding behind a 'healthy' disguise? Let me know!

Sunday, 15 July 2012

Chinese takeaway...EEEK!

Hello. Hope everyone's feeling fit ;) Now, I have a dirty confession... Saturday night I had a chinese take out! But, before I get shouted at I need to mention that it was all above board and was within my Weight Watcher's ProPoints!

To be honest I was a little concerned because it has been said that you should avoid your danger foods. Danger foods meaning the ones that you can't just have a little of and end up stuffing yourself to bursting! Chinese is my major danger. I know many are choc-a-holics or cheese fiends but no, I have been known to eat my body weight in ribs, rice and spring rolls! OOPS haha.

However the way I see it is, if this WW plan is basically for life (perhaps not always AS regimented but still) then I can't cut out something I love so much completely. Where's the enjoyment in that?! =) So I decided that, rather than it being contraband and perhaps only eaten when 'cheating' (which, let's face it, this would definitely end up happening eventually), I would allow it as a treat every once in a while. Seems fair to me, and boy did I have fun! ...

So I scrutinised the menu and despite being encouraged to choose the 'healthier options' by other WW users, I decided I would select things that I really wanted. I mean what is the point in having chinese and ordering something totally different to the stuff you like?! So, I went with:

Crispy aromatic duck with pancakes (I shared this starter and had 3 rolls in total)
Egg fried rice (Half of a container)
Szechuan Chicken (Less than half of a container)
Chow Mein (Less than a quarter of a container)
Spring roll (I had 1 as they came as a freebie!)

The portions vary on the different dishes literally because I ate until I was full. I thought that this might be a challenege though, as I find it difficult to resist chinese and usually end up eating until I'm uncomfortably full... just through pure greed! So the fact I managed to resist dipping into the leftovers meant I was quite proud, if I do say so myself :) The Chow Mein was probably a bit ambitious as I ordered too much but I saved the remains (basically a full dish) and had it for lunch today. They point Chow Mein at around 9 so I counted it as 7. As for the total points for the chinese meal, I generously calculated it as 59 using my remaining daily points and all the weekly points I'd worked so hard to save all week.

As I've said previously, I usually find I lose the most weight when I've used up most of my weeklies so I'm hoping this will be the case tomorrow when I do my own weekly weigh-in! To be honest I am a little apprehensive about whether the massive meal will impact on my progress, but given that I also had 34 activity points aswell I should be ok, fingers crossed.

They say that when dieting your body eventually adjusts to what you're eating, so eating more every so often is supposed to give your metabolism a kick up the behind! Well, I will soon see tomorrow. Wish me luck!

I'll let you know how it goes...I'd love to hear about your progress this/last week?? What is your danger food?

Friday, 13 July 2012

It's all about exercise!

Hey again, so I've had a couple of YouTuber's ask me about exercise. Please note I am NOT an expert, nor do I claim to be. I'm just saying how I see it.

Now, firstly I believe the most important thing is to find something you enjoy and that can also fit into your weekly schedule. If at the start of exercising you are literally having to fight yourself everytime into doing it then it probably isn't going to last and eventually your willpower will be lost.

I suspect most people aiming to get fit will start with one of two methods. Either, joining a gym if you have the cash, or starting up running, cost-free. Personally I have fallen victim to the first option. Over the past 4 years I have become a gym member four times, in which two of those I definately did not get my money's worth nor did I actually keep going! In my case the times I failed were when I joined a gym purely to use their equiptment. In truth I am not overly a massive gym fan. The times I succeeded in using my membership were when I used it to attend group exercise classes with instructors telling me what to do. For me, I like that extra incentive of being yelled at sometimes and often I feel the competitve nature of the group means I push a lot harder than I would if I were on my own.

However, group exercise isn't for everyone. I know a lot of people may feel embarassed at the thought of others 'looking' at them working out. But honestly from experience, people are so into the class that nobody has time to look at other members.

It may be a good idea to go to a class with a friend for some moral support, afterall making a mistake and laughing about it with someone is probably a lot less daunting! And besides, even the intructors make mistakes... so I know everyone else must do so every now again! Don't worry just smile it off, cause you're there and that's what counts :P

Now in terms of what types of exercise classes you go for...well that depends on what you prefer and maybe also what your 'problem areas' are. The good thing is, you can try out a class and if you hate every minute of it then you are not oliged to ever go back!

I like to attend different types of classes e.g. Spinning, Zumba, Aerobics and Step n Core, just so I can work a lot of areas and mix things up a bit. However, I would say that if you find one you enjoy then stick with it. Don't worry if you do something like Zumba and don't get half of the moves after 1 or 2 classes. The more you keep with the same class, the better at it you'll get and most likely the more you'll start to have fun doing it. And of course the more you can put into a class the more you'll reap the benefits!

If anyone has any questions about any particular classes I do e.g. what they consist of, or what they are like then feel free to ask...obviously classes will differ depending on the instructor....And that's another thing, the instructor does make ALL the difference in my opinion. If there's a couple of different slots for something like spinning, more than likely there'll be more than one instructor. Trial them both out and go with the one that suits you. I usually like to go with the instructor that appears to work you the hardest but I am a sucker for pain haha. I very much like the moto, NO PAIN NO GAIN :)

And if group exercise classes aren't for you and you too aren't a gym fan...what about swimming? I like to go at least once a week for about 1 hour of laps. Depending on how I'm feeling I'll swim slowly or speed things up. I find swimming quite theraputive and it's perfect for those days when perhaps I'm lacking the energy to do a class or gym session....Yes, although I dislike the gym I still go once a week...the once doesn't seem too bad!

Now there are lots more exercise options out there... I mean housework is a killer! Serious cal burner! So if you can't find any exercise that you particularly enjoy you probably do some form of it with daily chores like cleaning or even walking the dog?! They say try to do 30 mins a day for at least 5 days of the week. If you're serious about getting fit though you will probably want to at least meet it or increase that.

Why not try out a new type of exercise this week?

Good luck! Keep that motivation.

Thursday, 12 July 2012

Weight Watcher's & update


Ok, so I've just posted a video on YouTube called A guide to Weight Watcher's. If you're interested in joining and want to find out how much it costs and basically how to use the propoints system, along with foods I've found to be good (or bad in some cases) check it out at: http://youtu.be/EdQ0FltOdr8  **Please note I am not affiliated with Weight Watcher's nor am I paid to advertise it. Just a user with 100% honest opinions :)

So, now the formalities are out of the way...let's get down to the results. I've been thoroughly impressed with my weight loss so far!

Week 1: -2 lbs
Week 2: -1 lb
Week 3: -2 lbs
Week 4: -1.5 lbs

Total (to date): -6.5 lbs!!! YAY =D

For me, it seems I lose more weight when I use up the majoirty of my weekly points but everyone is different so you will have to trial out what is best for you. I'm guessing it is also something to do with the amount of exercise you do during the week.

Now, I've never been one of those people that can just cut down on my food, add a little exercise and see great results. It's always my argument that if you don't eat masses to begin with, it's hard to cut down on your food without any help! I've never been someone that will eat piles of food but I guess I do eat the wrong foods. I would go so far as to say...I'm Ellie and I'm addicted to junk food!

However, since starting WW I feel I've managed to overcome my junk food obsession and actually change my outlook on fatty foods. The feeling I've had from adjusting my diet from takeaways to more healthy alternatives has been quite remarkable. I feel a lot more energised and my skin is reaping the benefits. I do suffer with spots/ pimples on my face regardless but in terms of the cellulite on my legs and stomach...I can definitely see an improvement! Yes I said CELLULITE! I'm pretty sure I'm not alone on this?!

Obviously the exercise I've added to my schedule will also have impacted, yet without the improvement in the food I'm eating I don't think I'd have physically have had the energy to do it in the first place!

Now I don't suppose WW will be everybody's cup of tea! You do have to literally live and breathe ProPoints and track track track what you eat. So if you're not one for calculating or are not prepared to religiously track your food then this maybe isn't the way to go.

I've heard a lot of people get on well with Slimming World, including my mum who had great success when doing this diet on her own. I'm not fully uptodate with SW but I grasp that the general concept is that you either eat foods high in protein or alternatively eat carbohydrates. BUT, I have a rather strange phobia...(well maybe it isn't that strange? You can decide)...but basically I cannot touch raw meat. I cannot touch it with my bare hands, with gloves or with any utensils FULLSTOP. It's something to do with the blood and texture of it that I just cannot stand...So I do not deal with meat unless it's the processed type. (How healthy right?! hehe). So anyway, this ruled out the protein diet for me and the thought of a lot of carbs just didn't sound brilliant...too stodgy!

Most important is to find what works for you and something that isn't just going to be a fad e.g. lose some weight then come off the plan and put it all back on and maybe more. It's my goal to keep Weight Watcher's going so that it isn't just a quick fix diet but more a lifestyle change. Obviously when I reach my goal weight I'm guessing I will be allocated more ProPoints and aim to maintain.

If you watch the video above you will see that WW definitely isn't about denying yourself of chocolate or snacks completely, but it's just about finding the balance. To be honest I sometimes feel like I'm eating more on this plan than when I wasn't following WW but I guess not eating enough can be a downfall in itself. The plan is carefully calculated for you as an individual so it will ensure you are getting all the nutrients you need, so long as you are eating all of your daily points allocated.

I would absolutely LOVE to hear from any WW follower's out there, whether you're new to it or perhaps an expert now :)

Hope you all have a successful week...keep that motivation ;)