Tag Archives: history

A Detailed Progress Post – Number 1

So. 5 months in from when I vowed to stop being a lazy/easy option out/take all the painkillers kinda person. Let’s see where we are….

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Me. August 2014 First day back at the gym. So happy!

Wow.  I’ve not looked at my “starting” images for a long, long time.  I’ve mostly used the “month 1 progress” image, I’ve just looked.  Wow.  Er, wow.  I know I’ve progressed, but wow.

I’m gonna attempt some detail about my progress, but I’m not sure what I’m going to add, so I may ramble.  Anyhoo, first up I thought it’d be good (read: heinous) to have a starter image with a recent one, so here you go:

Holy Shit! I mean, I know I’m smaller than I was, but O_o  I’m kind of appalled with myself for accepting how I was for as long as I did.

*A quick calculation gives me around 13″ total loss – but I’ve gone up in certain places due to muscle growth*

I’ve been told to be more accepting of praise, positive comments & to accept that I am actually an inspiration.  I’m gonna try to accept it, my before & during snap shot is probably gonna help me to take the encouragement head on instead of shirting around it.

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Possibly the most surprising about my “fitness” journey is how much has gone from my hips; around 5″ so far.  The trousers I’m wearing in the above images I bought in April 2014 & when I did they fit just below the natural waist line.

I never actively sought weight-loss, but it is a pretty big side effect of lifting weights & cycling over 100 miles a week, most weeks.  However, I guess it’s kinda contradictory in terms as I *did* change my eating habits, which then has helped the weight loss.  Although that might be a little weird as I eat more now than I have in years! Don’t get me wrong; there are days where I won’t have prepped food, or I’ll give in to a craving. However I can reign it back in….I’ve never really been “overweight” not in the morbidly obese sense anyway.

Part of my desire to change my eating habits was down to being told that under eating can have a worse effect on your muscles and can in-turn make you flabbier than you were.  That was new information to me, I’m not sure how I thought it worked, but I never thought of working out could lead to less definition – but this is why there are trained professionals out there to be able to guide the clueless………..

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Perfect examples of what I eat, steak with grilled courgette & Teriyake Chicken with cauliflower “rice”. Most of our food is prepared on the day, but I will make things in advance – especially for work as rushing out to find something to eat can be disastrous, even if you think you’re choosing the healthier option, you might not be.

*I think I’m losing my point….hang on*

Oh, yes.  Here we are:

IMAG0838One of my favourite images of me, I use it as my profile pic on Fitocracy & The Neila Ray Forum – both insightful, and both extremely different websites; worthy of a look though.  I’m not overly active on them, but they’re there, as well as xxfitness on Reddit.

What I adore about that image is the way the lighting in my bathroom seems to capture the new definition in my back.  It’s pictures like this that help me to get up at 05:30 every morning & cycle to the gym….I say every morning; 3…sometimes 4 mornings a week.  Mostly three, but it’ll get to 4 more regularly.

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My PT commented the other day that my progress pics are usually of my back, but I do sometimes take pics from other angle, however I hate them.  This post is supposed to detail my progress though, so I’ve added them. Er, Images with grey leggings are from about September, black leggings images are November.

Today (February 2nd) I whacked the leg press on 93KG & managed a decent amount of reps, I remember it wasn’t too long ago that I struggled to do 50KG….I *did* try to go over 100KG, but I didn’t move! Then there’s also the fact when I started cycling I could just to say cycle stood up – cycling today was predominantly stood up.  I have to keep stopping to blow my nose though cos me & cold weather don’t get on.

I *think* that is it for this post……………..

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OMG! You’re So Inspirational!!

**Just a quick note, this has taken me the better part of three days to write**

Mmmmmmmmmm.  Inspirational.

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When I hear that word I think of Marie Curie, Florence Nightingale, Mahatma Gandhi, Martin Luther King, and Pope Francis.  You know? The greats that have influenced change in the world.

Not me.

I don’t see it.  Am I humble? Perhaps. Some may think I’m wrong.  That’s ok too.  I’ve searched the web, asked some friends & gained a little insight about inspiration; who knows.  I might convince myself by the time I reach the end of this post!

Inspiration; in its most layman sense is seeing something that drives you to want to do it yourself.  I’ve been told I’m inspiring, that I’ve made others want to change their lifestyle because of what I do, that because of me they want to lift and that’s great!

I know my trainer uses my transformation to help motivate others; which is still surreal to me.  Maybe I’m modest? I don’t wanna push my love of training on to others, so maybe I’m not wanting to accept that some people really are inspired by what I’m doing. Maybe it’s a mind thing? (before I started going to the gym regularly, the “fitspo” posts drove me mental. A lot of motivation/inspiration quotes still rub me the wrong way….that’s for another post!)

So, a perfect example of fitness inspiration:

“My brother-in-law has a spinal injury caused over in Afghanistan after an explosion he was left with 2 crushed disks and 3 slipped disks, Physio didn’t work for him and they wouldn’t operate as the risk and damage was too much, he’s now in training for mid July to complete a 30 mile bike ride and his spine and nerve damage seems to be improving with his training. We are talking gone from not being able to walk without aid down the hall way to being able to ride 10-12 miles a day.. The change is amazing…. Made me want to challenge myself.”

Is that like me?  No.  Am I an inspiration? Well, I didn’t think so.  I visited a friend this morning & she reminded me where I was last year, pain & level of activity wise I am now a different person.  I am that way because I chose to change, so if people know my history & that prompts them to want to better themselves, the so be it.  I’m no where near the level of inspirational greatness, but if one person decides to strive for a better way of life because of me, then I guess I’ll accept the fact I can be inspirational.

It’s still odd though!!

I’ll leave you with an image that is inspirational to me:

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Progress. Detailing The Last Six Months:

I promised to detail what I do & how I’ve achieved my progress.  So, here we go.  Feel free to TL;DR if the history is boring…..

History

OK, so I won’t go too far back.  Er, about 2 years ago I was told I had a crushed L4 & a crumbling L5 disc in my spine – they’re the two bones right above your sacrum.  It was also causing nerve issues at my SI joint, I was asked if I wanted surgery (I said yes) to be told, No. Surgery might not be the best option, lets try Cortisone injections.  Fast forward to February 2014 & I got my injection.

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MRI of my spine. Blue line shows where the damage is.

Prior to this I’d had SPD during pregnancy, two lots of physio as well as Diclofenic, Ibruprofen, Naproxen, Codeine, Tramadol, Gabapentin & Amitriptyline. Mmmmm!! That was over the course of around 5 – 8 years. 

Everything was fine, until July.  I went to move from a seated position at work to standing & I have no idea how I did it, but I caused myself a pretty intense injury; which resulted in me being immobile for the better part of a week. I was miserable, I relied heavily on my Husband to do everything & I promised to do something about it.  I’d gotten nowhere with Physio, so decided I needed a trainer, someone who was versed in strength as opposed to micro movements that may, or may not help.  I already had a gym membership (OK, it was *quite* dusty from non-use, but it was there)

TL;DR: Back hurt a lot, needed to do something.

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Going back to the gym. Happy Face.

So, I went back to the gym.  Met Andy, a Trainer at the gym.  I told him what had happened, gave him a brief history about my back & that I wanted to improve my core.

If I’m completely honest, I’m not really able to detail how we’ve done it (I say we, because without Andy, I wouldn’t have progressed to this level) most sessions I’ve had with him have varied AND we’ve moved to a new gym (He got a new job, my membership was up so I went with him) what I can tell you is we’ve gone from resistance machines to more free weights.

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Left – August. Right – September.

Spending time with Andy helped me to learn that my left hand side was weaker than the right – we’re still in the process of attempting to get them to a similar, if not same level but I have progressed with it.  Some things are now easier with my left than they are with my right.

A lot of our sessions have focused on different muscle groups.  I’ll *never* forget our first leg day.  Never known pain like it! I hated warm up & cool down as well though because cardio.  Cardio can do one, I hate cardio.  When I first met Andy, I smoked – around 10-15 a day, I knew there’d become a time when I knew I’d have to stop, as I’d lose out on a lot of the benefits of exercise due to my smoking. It took me 6 months to stop, but I did.  Finally.

I now do my cardio outside of the gym, it maximises my time with Andy, but it also helps me boost my fitness.  I cycle to the gym, I cycle to work – from home to work is 9KM, from home to the gym is 8KM. I hated that too, but I pine for my bike when I’m not on it.  Even if I’ve smashed my face up, I *do* still miss it.

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Left- August. Right – November

**Important Information**

When I started, I mostly hated it.  There was always something new, a stronger weight, a longer run time, circuits, spinning, squats, lunges, back extensions, kettlebells, assisted pull ups.  EVERYTHING was hard. Everything has been a struggle.  I’ve wondered if it was worth it, why I was doing it, how long it was gonna take to enjoy it/feel better/get stronger.  Then I had a week off as I was healing from getting tattooed.  I went back and had lost so much progress.  I’d gone from 35KG on the pull-down to 20KG, 5 minutes on the Vario machine instead of 8-10.  I was angry.  Angry at myself, I’d come so far & lost so much really quickly.  It did make me see how far I’d come though, which spurred me on to get back to where I was.

I still hate parts, but I do them as I know there is a method in the madness.  One of the best things though?  There are things that I LOVE doing.  I’m not overly bothered with PB’s but there are things that I’d happily do over, and over, and over again.

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December