getting buff

Saturday, April 29, 2006

Introducing chuck

So I got myself a Polar Heart Rate monitor, whom I have decided to call Chuck. When you think about it, Chuck is my closest training buddy and has the most intimate knowledge of how unfit I am.

As someone who used to be fit, I am shocked that my resting heart rate is up around 90. For crying out loud!! The upside is that it doesn't actually take much effort to get myself into training zone. Just dragging my lardarse around at a moderate pace pretty much constitutes cardio training for me at the moment.

Anyway, here's to Chuck and a long and beautiful friendship.

deege said this at 5:46 pm | 0 comments |

running scared

Now on week 2 of the couch to 5k plan and had a great run today. I got to the end and I was still feeling really good so I almost kept going for another couple of reps. But I know that I am really unfit at the moment so I would prefer to finish it feeling like I am on a high than keep going and push myself too hard.

I had had some shin soreness but tried some stretches and exercises that my sis recommended and kept off the footpaths and on the nature strip and didn't have any troubles with it today. Hopefully that will be the solution to that little problem as it is frustrating to be hampered by soreness so early on in the program.

It was my first run with my new heart rate monitor which was not at all uncomfortable. It is very helpful to know how I am going. I found that in the walks between intervals my HR was dropping lower than I thought so it was good to monitor that and try to keep it at the level I wanted.

Am joining Hub up to the gym tomorrow which should be excellent as we can both keep each other a bit accountable with exercise and good eating.

deege said this at 5:35 pm | 0 comments |

Thursday, April 27, 2006

progress (just)

Just as I was bitching to Hub that I haven't lost any weight on the scales despite my punishing regime, I pulled a pair of work pants on this morning and thought to myself "hey, my pants fit better than they used to". They are still snug, but they used to endanger circulation.

deege said this at 11:09 am | 0 comments |

Wednesday, April 26, 2006


It didn't take me too long to get sick of cardio at the gym. Hub says I should take the ipod along to listen and that would keep me on track, but the truth is I just just end up watching the clock and not feeling that I have achieved anything.

So I have taken to doing just weights, abs and stretches at the gym and doing my cardio on the "outside". I have started on the Couch to 5K running plan in the hope that it will get me gradually moving in a forward direction. As previously mentioned I have also dusted off the bike and am using it a bit to get around. At the moment merely riding to the gym and back is enough to get my heart rate up into training zone, plus it takes a long time as well. However, soon I will have to start doing some intentional longer rides to stretch myself.

I have started a cardio/training workbook so that I can keep track of what I am doing. I am doing pretty well at doing at least three periods of cardio a week. Most days I am doing cardio on the alternate day to going to the gym. The next step is to properly make sure that I am training at the right intensity so I am off at lunchtime to spend some my parents' birthday money on a heart rate monitor.

Note - the title of this post is because I am currently dealing with all manner of aches and pains arising out of my admittedly pissweak efforts at running. I hope that I will be able to work through these so that I can keep doing this, so I am trying to make sure that I stretch and warmdown properly so that I don't run into too many difficulties.

deege said this at 11:29 am | 0 comments |

Monday, April 24, 2006

WWI the third

Starting weight - 107.5kg
Current weight - 105.5kg
Total weight loss - 2kg
This week's loss - 0kg

At least I didn't gain. But it is frustrating because I did a heap of exercise this week and didn't eat badly, in fact I think I ate pretty well all told. Part of me says that seeing as I am doing weights sessions at the gym, the increase in muscle is likely to mess with my weight loss numbers. But if that is the case, it would be nice if I was noticing in other ways that I lost weight, like that my clothes were fitting better or something.

deege said this at 10:39 am | 0 comments |

Wednesday, April 19, 2006

bike postscript

I discovered last night that adjusting the seat properly makes biking a lot less difficult. Plus my friend taught me how to use the gears which was pretty good. My arse is killing me though. I have no idea how that seat manages to cause pain in the boney bits of my bum when I was fairly sure that I didn't have any boney bits on my bum.

deege said this at 10:12 am | 0 comments |

Tuesday, April 18, 2006

Who knew?

Am without a car for a couple of days so got the sister's bike out, shined it off, kicked the tyres and rolled it out for a spin. Who knew that riding a bike was so hard?

I remember riding a bike, I used to ride one all the time when I was a kid. And I have gone on rides once or twice with friends over the years (admittedly not recently, but still). And I have been using the exercise bike at the gym so I thought my bike muscles were getting into shape a little. But it turns out that I am both really crap and incredibly unfit. And that riding a bike on the road bears only a passing resemblance to riding a stationary bike in the gym.

By the end of my laughably short journey, I was wheezing along in first gear like a total loser. My sister is a freakin midget so the poorly adjusted seat probably didn't help. I was riding on a perfectly good bike track so totally smooth sailing but my breezy confidence in fooling around with the gears (still can't figure out how they work properly) soon evaporated in the face of my ineptness.

I will be doing a bit more riding over the next couple of days so hopefully I will either get better at it, or at least be able to ride for 10 minutes without suffering a heart attack. I am a sucker for appearances and I am not keen on walking into the gym about to collapse before I have even started my workout.

deege said this at 10:54 am | 0 comments |

WWI the second

Starting Weight - 107.5
Current Weight - 105.5
Total weight loss - 2kg
Weight loss this week - 0.5kg

Hem. Not too disappointed with this, happy to have a loss. Being easter my food wasn't as under control as I would have liked. No chocolate but I tended to snack a bit. Plus family came over and insisted on fish and chips, which didn't help. Will try to keep it under better control this week and see if that translates into better results.

deege said this at 10:48 am | 0 comments |

Sunday, April 16, 2006

Still working... out

So after four days with sore boobs and sore legs, I went back for my second weights workout. Hub had to return from our weekend retreat for a couple of hours work today. Instead of taking the opportunity to laze around and relax, decided to drive back with him and go to the gym. Total of three hours travel for a 90 minute workout. I rawk.

Think I have convinced Hub to accept a gym membership as a gift from me - too hard to be healthy when someone else in the household is not on the same kick. Enjoyed the workout this morning. Muscles already complaining but improved on everything except the stupid side dumbell raises (hate them). Weekly weigh in will be delayed until tomorrow because not in the place with the scale.

deege said this at 10:48 am | 0 comments |

Thursday, April 13, 2006

Food diary

This week I have homework from my gym trainer to complete a food diary so that we can work on improving some healthy eating habits. I am just trying to be a bit sensible about my eating, so avoiding junk and fried foods, trying to eat in moderation etc. And he also strongly emphasised the importance of having healthy snacks and meals throughout the day (eg breakfast, morning tea, lunch, afternoon tea, tea, supper).

This is one of those things that I know intellectually - eating snacks and smaller meals throughout the day makes you less likely to pig out at dinner time just when you are going to bed to be totally inactive for 8 hours. But I suck at it - I often skip breakfast because it requires that I get up that little bit earlier and therefore interferes with my precious sleep. Plus I hardly ever have decent snacks during the day, simply because my situation working in an office etc. Anyway, I am working on that at the moment, and hopefully I can be a bit more consistent about my eating so that my body gets the picture that it is not going to starve to death and that it would be okay to burn off some of that fat.

Keeping the food diary is not too bad. I have tried to be pretty honest while attempting to be well behaved. But it shows that there are some things that make it hard. Once a week I have dinner in a pub with friends which is my church worship. All lovely as an open welcoming environment, but very hard to find something that is not too fried and disgusting on a pub menu. On my first day of the food diary, I had a marketing lunch with some people we were trying to schmooze as clients. In a way it is good that this was in the diary because it is a fact of my life that from time to time I have to eat out with clients and while I can try to make decent choices, often my ability to make a pain of myself in that environment by insisting on healthy choices is limited. So that is something that I have to work around with my diet and try to be realistic about.

deege said this at 10:47 am | 0 comments |

First goals

Okay, I think that it is important to have some goals to work towards. Globally I have some big goals. For weight I want to get to about 70ish kg. From there I will be inside a "healthy" BMI so while I will probably want to continue losing weight from there on in, I won't make a particular number an ultimate goal in that regard. Once I reach 70kg I would prefer my goals to be much more based around fitness and those sorts of acheivements than a particular weight number. I don't want to be one of those normal sized people who obsesses over the scales. So my steps towards achieving this are joining the gym and taking a more healthy look at my diet.

Fitness wise I have an overall goal to become fit enough that I can get back to running for pleasure. In my late teens and early twenties I was a fun runner. I would run two to three times a week for about 5km a time and was a participant in the fun run circuit. While I am the first to admit that I often hated it while I was actually running, I loved actually being a runner and particularly the feeling after just having completed a run. One of the things I have always wanted to do once in my life is complete a marathon. I would still like to do that one day. A couple of times when I have tried to get back on a fitness kick it has been to start a running program or similar, but I am just carrying too much weight and am too unfit to make this practical at this stage and I ended up getting majorly discouraged. My birthday is coming up and my sister is going to get me a subscription to my favourite runners' magazine from back then (Australian Runners' World). Of course it will just be fitness porn for the next little while, but I am hoping it will inspire me to keep going.

My short term fitness goals are going to be tied up with my gym program. I want to complete at least 20 workouts within eight weeks, by the 7th of June. This is more or less the number of work outs that I have to do before my next fitness assessment. To complete 20 workouts, I will have to go an average of two and a half times a week, which I think is achievable. I want to make sure that I steadily improve my results, so my aim is to do better each time on my weights (even by one rep). My reward for accomplishing this goal is to get a massage from my sister who is a Myotherapist. I haven't had a massage for years and I figure after doing that much work in the gym, I will be ready to have some kinks worked out.

This year I set a goal that I would like to lose 10kg. In truth, I would like to lose a lot more than that this year, but I figured that I wanted to make my first goal achieveable even if I never got around to doing anything about it until later in the year (it was a New Year's resolution thing). So my immediate weight goal would be to lose 10kg (which would bring me down to 97.5kg from where I started). My reward for this one is to get myself a pair of crocs. I think that they are cool and have wanted a pair, but I couldn't justify the expense. But once I am 97.5kg, I will be marching around in my fantastic funky shoes.

So those are my goals and rewards. I kind of half wonder whether it is healthy to give myself rewards for achievements but bugger it. It is not like I am planning to reward myself by eating a tin of pringles. I figure as long as I keep my rewards pretty modest and as long as they are things that are not counter-productive, then I should be right.

deege said this at 10:46 am | 0 comments |

working the weights

Last night was my first night on my new gym program and I certainly noticed a difference. I joined the gym a couple of weeks earlier and until I was able to have a fitness assessment and program done, I was just doing basically cardio trying to improve some aerobic fitness prior to getting into it seriously.

I feel like I have totally lucked my way into a great gym. I joined a local meathead iron pumping gym even though it was a little seedy because it was damn cheap (less than half what I paid the last abortive time I joined majorly intimidating fitness first - more about that later). The other reason was that it is close to where I live (under one minute in the car). This means even if I don't have the car (which happens from time to time), I can easily get there on the bike (which would admittedly be the first time that I have actually used the bike since I volunteered six months ago to look after it while my younger sister was in Japan).

The day after joining I came down with a cold which knocked me out for four days. So the first time I turned up for a workout, I found out that the gym had changed ownership. So in the last couple of weeks they have reorganised the place, built a new aerobics room, cleaned out a bunch of crap and have even started redecorating. It looks like it is going to be a really nice place and plus I got the cheap deal from the evidently greedy ex-owners who were trying to encourage as many people to sign up and pay up front before settlement. Smiles all round.

The gym owners are really lovely. It makes such a difference to walk in a place and have people know your name and ask how you are going. Plus because it is all new they are mega keen to treat everyone really well and create a fantastic environment. Which is all very nice as well. As part of my membership I get a fitness assessment every 6-8 weeks and a new gym program. I am really pleased about this because even though I am happy to self motivate, I do need a little bit of guidance as to what to do to get the most out of my sessions and not get too bored.

My first program is a "beginner's" program. I have four (or five) exercises with weights (machines or free weights) and then 30 minutes cardio with particular instructions for the heart rate to aim at. Last night I pushed myself pretty hard on the weights (even doing some grunts and groans trying to get those last couple of reps out). So by the time that I got to the cardio I was already pretty tired out and my heart rate was already well up there. So even just doing the same intensity of cardio as I was before, by the time I finished, I was absolutely cactus. Of course then I had to go and do more killer cool down ab and back exercises.

As I was walking out my trainer said that I looked like I had had a good workout. I responded with the frank assessment that I felt like shit. He said that was a good sign and was very encouraging about the heart rate that I had acheived in my cardio work. It doesn't take much to make me feel pretty happy with myself. So even my sore muscles today are a bit of an internal sign of achievement because I know that means that the muscles are rebuilding themselves from the workout that they got last night. Woot.

deege said this at 10:45 am | 0 comments |

Wednesday, April 12, 2006

In the beginning

Okay, so here is the beginning. This is a journal mainly for me to keep a record of where I have been and how I am trying to be accountable. If you do happen to come across this, then welcome.

The story so far is that my latest challenge is to get fit and lose weight, both by introducing a new exercise regime and by improving what I eat. I work in a professional capacity in an office environment. Long hours limited the amount of time I had for exercise, and put paid to the eclectic but effective exercise habits I had during university.

So now I am back, with the aim of being healthier, slimmer and engaging in some much needed stress relief by doing some exercise semi-regularly. The stats are

Starting weight - 107.5kg

Current weight - 106kg

Goal weight - 70ish kg

Starting dress size - 18-20

I aim to weigh in every Monday with the results in my weekly weigh in category. I am not really motivated exclusively by weight, so I will try and include some other indicators of how I am doing. Hopefully over time I will see some changes.

I have joined a local gym and had my first fitness assessment (results - unfit) and program preparation last night. My first program comprises about half an hour of cardio and about 4 or 5 different machine exercises. I am due for another assessment in 6-8 weeks. As a part of the assessment as well as a weight reading, I also get measurements of legs, arms, waist, hips etc. I will only be checking these when I do fitness assessments, so this is a less frequent check of my progress in these regards.

This week I am keeping a food diary for my trainer. My primary goal this week is trying to make sure that I eat breakfast, morning tea, lunch, afternoon tea, dinner and supper every day, whilst trying to concentrate on eating decent food.

deege said this at 10:42 am | 0 comments |