Wednesday 22 April 2009

First Night!

Well, yesterday was the first night of my play!

It was very exciting and nerve-wracking... I play a man, then a woman, then a man again, and the costume changes are very quick!

my legs were trembling when I tottered out in my high heels, but I soon regained my composure and actually enjoyed the whole thing tremendously!

Now I can't wait for tonight's performance, and that of Pride & Prejudice in the summer!

a brief update on how I've been getting on...

well, my serious training has been put on hold a little as I've been busy with the play and my OU course... but I have been managing to exercise, and eat less, with positive results!

I weighed myself on Saturday and was 11st 3lbs, which is a drop of 5lbs in the last couple of months. My waist size is now under 30" at last, which is just as well as I told the costume lady for P&P that it's 28"! It should be by that point anyway, it is if I hold my stomach in now, haha

The Appesat is definitely helping! My appetite has decreased quite substantially and I'm finding I'm just not as hungry in the day as I used to be.

It's funny how you can actually fit exercise in if you really try, regardless of how busy you are or how many commitments you have... it's all about how much of an effort you're willing to make!

For example, as I'm performing every day and saturday I'm not going to be able to cycle to and from work (I miss it already!) as I have to get the tube (pahhh!), so on Monday I walked from work to the theatre, which was 2 1/2 miles, and then yesterday I walked into work, which is 4 miles (took me under an hour, which is quite respectable I reckon ;-) )

I'm not sure what I'm going to be able to fit in today as I have to be at the theatre for 6pm tonight, but I'm sure I'll manage something. I was going to go for a run this lunch but I forgot my usual running shoes, my Asics Gel Kayanos, which have the special inserts that were made for me by the fantastic people at Profeet.

After I got my Kayano 15s I thought I'd try for a bit just running with the usual shoe liner instead of the orthotics. This was a little foolish to say the least and I've had shin pain ever since - so am loathe to train without them in!

I do have my walking shoes with me, however, and it is a rather beautiful day out there... so I may just opt for a long walk at lunch. I'm incredibly lucky being so close to the stunningly beautiful St James's Park as well as the River Thames :-) From my work, to the City of London Lion Statue and back, is 4 miles exactly :-)

Thursday 16 April 2009


I'm having a wisdom tooth out today, although this is not until later and the event is yet to take place, I thought I'd attempt to evoke as much sympathy as possible... to act as a cushion... of sorts!

the tooth hasn't grown through properly yet, and doesn't have the space to either... I'll spare you the gory details (unless you really want to know and then you can just mail me and I'll get graphic), but needless to say I'm going to be feeling rather sorry for myself later.

My other half, who's currently in the doghouse, is giving the whole TLC phenomena a go and will be bringing me back some soup tonight, bless! (he did offer ice-cream, which would be infinitely preferable... not least for the taste but also its cooling properties!) but I resisted - hurrah! Will now be having carrot and coriander soup for main and a maximuscle promax diet milkshake for dessert, splendid :-) (I'm thinking of mixing banana and strawberry powders... with ice and real banana too, should be tasty!)

Anyway, in preparation for tonight's butchery, and the subsequent inability to eat solids, I decided that a huuuuge main meal in the middle of the day was in order as I'll be slurping liquid slush later no doubt.

So I visited our canteen at lunch... and there went a little nuts. I bought a piece of salmon, half an avocado, some salad with pasta and olives, some chicken risotto, a few new potatoes, and... to top it all off... some roasted parsnips!

Now, you'd think that parsnips would be a healthy option, and generally they are; but not when they've been deep fried!

I thought they were lovely at first, all crispy, yummmmm... having eaten the lot I felt like I was going to barf.

I'm wondering if this is because they were actually a) revolting (although they certainly didn't *taste* that way) or b) just containing too much fat!

I've been on quite a low fat diet for a little while now and perhaps my body just couldn't handle the high lard content?! Either way I felt thoroughly sickened and have only now, almost 2 hours later, been able to start eating my risotto and new potatoes.

I think I might steer clear of the downstairs canteen in future. I just find that, when faced with a large choice, I make a large choice!!

I might start making my own lunches and bringing them in, that way I can accurately calculate the calories and fat etc in my online Weight Loss Resources diary (you have the facility to create recipes... which can be as simple as jam on toast, or as complex as...errmm... paella?)

I really need to sort my eating habits out, I really do suffer from disordered eating!! Although employing the word 'suffer' is probably incorrect as it's less of a 'affliction' than an 'infliction' on myself. I could eat properly if I just sat down and thought more carefully about it... planned my meals in advance etc. But although I'm super organised when it comes to planning events and trips, I'm less so when it comes to organising my own life. I have a dreadfully short attention span and I get bored more quickly than anyone I know! Except perhaps my son, poor lad, dreadful trait to inherit!

ahh well, anyway, enough of the rambling...

I got let out of play rehearsals early last night - quite scared at the mo as it's next week that it's on!! - and considered going to the gym but ended up meeting up with neighbours to discuss a street party we're putting on later in the year (we're a sociable bunch us south-londoners!).

As my other half decided not to come home after only going to the pub after the club run to 'discuss his etape training', I felt too full of energy, and also moderately full of guilt at skipping the gym, so decided to do one of my many exercise DVDs that I have bought in a fit of good intentions, only to have them lie dormant on my shelves forever more.... ahhh

well, I did one of Nell McAndrew's DVDs. I love Nell, okay she's a former glamour model... and indeed does sometimes still strip off - but this time was for charity (can you spot which one she is? haha) - and, being rather well-spoken myself, I should find her accent a bit of a put off (as I know it grates on some people), but I don't, it's very sweet... as is she. She looks great, and is a bloody good athlete to boot, with a marathon time qualifying her to run with the elites!!!

I did her third DVD -
Ultimate Challenge - Ultimate Results in which she employs the use of her personal trainer again - whose name I've forgotten! - the format is much like the other one I've done... lots of leg raises, jogging on the spot and squats.... arghhhh! Painful!!

I liked this DVD for 3 reasons

- Although repetitive, this video was far from boring!

- You literally do all the workouts in a small area, almost on the spot, this means that if you only have a very small space to use then it's ideal for you! (as long as you don't have have any low-hanging light fittings as there is a lot of arm waving!!)

- the people in the video were *much* less irritating than last time, I abhor people, mainly guys I find, who dance around and bop to the music in exercise DVDs... like they're something special... YOU'RE NOT... YOU'RE JUST WALLPAPER, ACT ACCORDINGLY!!!
ahem, sorry, so where was I... oh yeah, and there were more people this time, in all shapes and sizes - someone for everyone eh? ;-)

- They all sweat!! HA! I love it... obviously Nell still manages to have the most perfect make-up, and she doesn't sweat in embarrassing places like I do (never again will I wear light grey pants to a pilates class!!!)

yes, okay so that was more than three, but still... definitely a thoroughly enjoyable workout

Right, better get on...

Monday 13 April 2009

Appesat - thoughts so far....

I received an exciting delivery yesterday - the Appesat I was expecting!

So, first impressions... well I was immediately impressed by the leaflet which accompanied the pills. I am instantly apprehensive to the point of being entirely put off, buy any product purporting to be a weight-loss accelerant, but not being clear and honest about its ingredients, or the effects it has on your body... and, importantly, exactly *how* it will facilitate any weight loss!

So, taken directly from the leaflet:

How does APPESAT work?
APPESAT must be taken with a large glass of water (around 250ml). It then swells in the stomach to a soft jelly-like complex which remains stable in the acid environment of the stomach over a long period. During this time the complex floats around in your stomach, coming into contact with the stomach walls and stimulating the sensors which tell you that you are full. On leaving the stomach, APPESAT reaches the bowel. Unlike the stomach, the bowel is a neutral to alkali environment and the complex dissolves completely and is passed naturally through the stool.

So there, you go. To quote the (much hated by me) phrase... it's not rocket science! Well, that's obviously not entirely true as I'm sure that the science and technology which went into researching, growing, harvesting and manufacturing this product in its current safe and stable form, will be pretty advanced. But nevertheless, this is indeed a mechanical, rather than chemical, product!

Now, me being me, has to know exactly what she's putting in her body and I was more than a little curious to see the soft-jelly substance described above so I chucked a tablet in a glass of water. Nothing happened for a while until I disturbed the tablet casing which had softened and broke away... from this broken case sprang forth a rectangular blob of gelatinous gloop (technical name). It's been sitting on a plastic lid for a while now and has started to break down, losing its form which it kept for rather a long time... I'm quite impressed! Being the geek I am, I photographed all this :-D

So there you go, pretty cool huh?! That's only one tablet, think how much more of a surface area the recommended initial dose of 3 tablets would cover!

Another thing I like about Appesat is the fact that it is only meant as a temporary weight-loss tool... they recommend a 12 week plan (which my boyfriend and I worked out would mean over 500 pills, thus more than £300 outlay - eeek! [obviously some people pay a hell of a lot more to reach their goals... but still eek nonetheless!]) and after that, the idea is that you've trained your body to a) recognise when it is full and b) require less food to feel that way. I do deplore diet aids which recommend you basically use them for life as part of their 'maintenance programme' grr

So, yesterday I received my interesting package and discovered that it was the ideal day to try it out as it was my Mum's birthday and I'd booked a table in a rather lovely Lebanese restaurant called Levant. I love Lebanese, Turkish, Middle Eastern... North African... well any type of Mezze, I really love places where you can sit in a non-pressured environment and share dishes. When my partner and I go out and eat we always order something we both like the sounds of and then share both dishes :-)

I was planning to go for a run before we went out so hadn't eaten breakfast as was meaning to do so after I got back (can't run with *any* trace of food in my stomach, I just cramp straight up!). My boyfriend and I are pretty useless on weekends when we don't have to get up for work so I didn't end up surfacing with enough time to do that and by the time we left for the restaurant I was ravenous!!

I took three of the pills with half a bottle of water and was pleasantly surprised at how it totally took the edge off my hunger. Instead of wolfing down the most enormous starter, or filling up on bread (like I did last week when we went to Zilli Fish), I was able to show restraint and did actually experience filling more full than anticipated before even really tucking in - quite conflicting really as my head was saying "hmm, you really should still be absolutely empty" and my stomach was saying "whoa, hold it there, I'm started to feel sated already!".

So, that was positive indeed!

One observation I have is that these tablets will do little to reduce 'picking' and 'nibbling' as that is not hunger driven, more habit-formed and emotional in some respects! I did find it hard to resist the pistachio nuts afterwards... I wasn't hungry, but they were 'there' and they were so little and innocuous looking... ahh well, that's something I'm going to have to work on myself! The manufacturers of Appesat certainly don't promise to provide you with willpower, that has to come from you!

A few other sensible tips/pointers from the leaflet:

Don't forget, your weight has crept up over weeks and months, not just a few days so you need to give APPESAT a good few weeks to work In time, it will help you train your body signals and to listen to your stomach when it says it's full.

Crash diets are not recommended for sustained weight-loss - they lead to a decrease in muscle and can dehydrate the body. A lot of people eat too little to achieve quick results. It is very important to lose weight slowly but surely, i.e. approximately 2lbs per week. Any higher rate of weight loss increases the likelihood of putting the weight back on.

All sensible advice! I really hate those manufacturers who claim their product will guarantee you lose half a stone in a week, or a stone in 10 days etc... they really make my blood boil!!

Anyway, it's all positive so far, and I will continue to keep you informed as to how I get on with this.

Incidentally I did actually end up going for my run yesterday after all... very pleased since I had had a big meal earlier and also a significant amount of rather nice red wine had been consumed... which would usually render me sofa-bound for the rest of the evening!

Today I did a really good weights session and also some pretty damn awesome sit-ups with a medicine ball which I'll comment on at another juncture... I'm just going to see what the effects of said exercise are... if there's no aching tomorrow I'm going to feel cheated!

Also taking my son climbing tomorrow... I won't let him belay for me but he'll get some decent climbs in and I'll do a bit of bouldering... and perhaps also some walls if I can persuade a friend to come along and help!

I do hope you've all had a lovely easter, we had family round today and gave two tasty ducks, very happy homes in our bellies :-)

Wednesday 8 April 2009

Oooh, pretty...!

Oooh, Wiggle have a sale on... lots of lovely gloves reduced... I know I don't need a pair as my own Trek gloves are perfectly adequate, but look at these, and these also!

I'm such a girl, I really am! But I am really so pleased there's more attractive sports clothing out there nowadays :-)

for safety's sake (excuses coming in...!) I should really get a bright pair so that motorists see me when I'm indicating to turn round corners, need to find some with bright colours and reflective piping... I guess then just like these!! ;-)

Tuesday 7 April 2009

Appesat - pharmaceutical-free seaweed diet pill

Just read this article on a product called Appesat. I'm quite tempted to try it out!

Simply because, I don't actually have a problem with the type of food I eat, simply the quantity! I'm sure I have Portion Distortion... possibly because my Mum always made sure I finished everything on the plate! and also perhaps because my last boyfriend was 6'3" and very broad... he needed a lot more to eat than I did but I'm pretty sure I kept up with him!

The problem isn't about what I eat, I hardly ever eat chocolate, biscuits, cakes, sweets etc... I gave up alcohol before Christmas to see if it would have any effect on my weight and it didn't, so that's obviously not an issue either!

I know that in order to lose weight I need to exercise more, I have a very sedentary job stuck in front of a computer all day, and I have a very slow metabolism, so it's important for me to get some movement in! I ran on Saturday... a full 1 minute per mile slower than previous runs and enjoyed it *so* much more! I used the Cardio Wave machine at my local gym (this machine rocks!!) for 45 mins on Sunday (apparently burning 510 cals but for how little I was out of breath and how low my heart rate felt, I'd say closer to 350/400 cals), I climbed yesterday for over an hour and I'm cycling today to and from work.

I also went for an hour's walk at lunch today, down by the Thames. The rather excellent FetchEveryone running site (which is definitely worth a look at, as it has the most excellent tools to help you train, and is free!) tells me that my route was exactly 4 miles, which is nice to know :-)

anyway, going off topic there a bit, so yeah, my problem is not that I eat unhealthily or that I drink excessively (I have developed a penchant for low alcohol and zero alcohol lager, tastes nearly as good and has barely any, if any, alcohol and much fewer calories!!), I think I just eat too much over the course of the day, and particularly around dinner time!

Although the Thermobol definitely helped me in the way I now look a lot more toned, they did nothing to prevent my feeling peckish! If I could fool my stomach into thinking it's full it would definitely help me with my weight loss goals. I think I just need to use another tool at the moment to assist with controlling my food intake. I'm doing well with my exercise, and also with my maximuscle meal replacement shakes and bars (although I find I can't eat a whole Promax Diet bar in the morning as they're so dense and filling!!) - I've stocked up with enough to keep me going for a couple of months! - so I reckon I'll give these a go and see if they can help with my feelings of gastric emptiness!!

wish me luck!

Nicely Achy :-)

ahhhhh I have a mild ache in my shoulders, biceps, forearms and back, it's ever so slight but noticeable nonetheless - and very much welcome!

I went indoor rock climbing yesterday, for the first time in absolutely ages! We went to the Castle Climbing Centre a superior climbing wall, the exterior of which does indeed look like a castle! (well, you'd be rather disappointed if it didn't, I'll warrant!).

I first learnt to climb at The Westway Climbing Centre in West London. It's a really great beginner friendly place, an awful lot more of the routes are definitely less taxing than at the Castle! However, for whatever reason my friends and I all ended up at The Castle and have definitely not looked back (not least because there's a pub across the road that sells cheap yummy Thai food!)

I was very apprehensive about going back... not least because I was worried about getting into my harness again! But also because climbers, generally, have fabulous physiques!! (Take note girls!! ;-) ) From a female perspective, it's definitely eye-candy central (sorry, not trying to sound crude!), mainly because climbing is one of the best sports around that exercises the
entire body... and I'm including the mind in that generalisation too!! Apart from Triathletes, whom I consider to have the absolute best physique when at their peak (strong well-defined shoulders, arms and back from swimming, slender waist from running and swimming and awesome legs and also bottoms from the combined running and cycling... they really are perfect... that goes for the women too as you can see!!), but climbers tend to be smaller, leaner and with more obvious visible muscle. During the summer months all the men feel the need to remove their tops, which can be nice so long as they remember the anti-perspirant should not be optional in a closed environment!! However, this does mean that the women wear less too...though not *quite* as much less! This can be quite intimidating if you don't feel you want to expose your flabby bits and there can be quite a lot of comparing yourself against others going on!

Anyway, all that aside, I decided to brave the climbing wall, with my heavier frame... and was pleasantly surprised! Being heavier, i.e. having 2 extra stone to carry around, has meant my legs are stronger (also the increased running and cycling I've been doing has helped with that!), and climbing is definitely *not* just all about upper body strength, it's about balance, courage and technique too. I was a little disheartened to begin with at having to loosen the legs on my harness :-( and then at all the teeny-thighed women walking around (I carry most of my weight in my thighs, they're pretty substantial!!) and there were a couple of routes that I struggled on, but overall my boyfriend and I had a superb time! He said that he was so glad that I "forced him to go" hehe referring to his trying to bow out beforehand with excuses like "we need to tidy the place up because the cleaner's coming tomorrow" and "my legs are tired because I cycled 130km of hills yesterday"... okay so the latter excuse might have been somewhat more plausible but I wasn't accepting anything! (I'm a hard task-master me ;-) ) mainly because it's a) been so long and b) because me and the other committee members of our work climbing club decided that if we committed to just one night a month (in this case the first Monday of the Month), we'd be more likely to go as it's been a case of put-off-til-next-week-just-to-find-next-week-never-comes!

It turns out that none of the laimos from my work went (okay so some had legit excuses like being ill, out of the country and at Ski Club AGMs, but the rest were just plain lame!)! So I climbed with the boyfriend, our friend from our running club (who is scarily lacking in any body fat whatsoever, but at the same time really quite muscular!), and 3 other lads. Very disappointed with the work lot, tsk tsk... smug superiority points pour moi I think though ;-)

So good to get back, a couple of the routes really made me stop and think and plan my next step, it's an exercise in logistics and a great mental, as well as physical workout to boot! I'd highly recommend to anyone, can't wait to go back, unfortunately it won't be til May now as I've got play commitments, but still... that's a little less time elapsed than previously, hehe... I've well and truly been re-bitten by the chalky wall bug!

Thursday 2 April 2009

How rubbish am I?!

I've just looked and it's been over two weeks since I last wrote anything on here! Not quite 'capturing my progress' eh?! ;-)

I have been very busy with work, family, social life and play... it's amazing how much of a commitment I've had to make to that, every Wednesday night and all Sundays are taken up with rehearsals! Well the play is showing in the West End at the end of April and, although looking forward to performing and very proud of how well we've all done, I'm quite looking forward to having some time to myself... well, until rehearsals for Pride & Prejudice start, but the weekday ones will be on Tuesdays so I'll get my Wednesdays back and can rejoin my running club on their night :-)

Work's been busy, our head-of left last week, I have a lot of time for our new guy, but there has been quite a substantial shake-up and we've just learnt that 5 years of system changes are expected to be delivered within just ONE! going to be busy busy for a while!

So, in terms of weight progress... not gone too well I'm afraid, in fact, it's stayed stubbornly the same or just over for over a month!

however, the good news is, with the increase in exercise of late, my legs are starting to look a lot better, they have a much nicer shape to them and my waist looks better too :-)

exercise-wise... for the last week:

Friday 27th March
Ran 3.65miles a little too quickly, well a lot too quickly really. I was running just over 9 1/2 minute miles... which doesn't sound fast at all, but when you consider that my long run pace is 11+ m/m and my usual pace is over 10 m/m, it's quite substantially different!

It's also quite daft, as articulated by Anita Bean, (who I will consider my *official* authority on sports nutrition for the foreseeable - due to the amazing straightforward yet comprehensive and scientific qualities of her books!) in her book Sports Nutrition, if you run for a sustained period at quite a high effort... all you're burning off is muscle glycogen, not fat! It's the sustained lower intensity exercises that burn fat... I just need to remember that and slow down!!

Friday night I was with friends in Brighton, I danced quite a bit, does that count as exercise? Probably not as any benefit dancing may have had to my waistline would have been countered by the enormous amount of alcohol I put away!

Saturday 28th March
Felt dreadful, managed an hour's hack on a lovely horse, Brighton is very pretty indeed

Sunday 29th March
Couldn't walk very well due to said hack on horse as not been on one for nearly a year - I just don't use those muscles ordinarily!!

Did cycle to rehearsals and back though which is 10 miles

Monday 30th March
cycled to work (4 miles)
walked home (4 miles, quite fast, took less than an hour!)

Tuesday 31st March
went for a run at lunch, same route as Friday, went even faster this time, will I never learn!! my quads seized up a bit, felt like cement blocks... tsk tsk... silly girl

cycled home

Wednesday 1st April
cycled to work and back (8 miles) I'm thrilled by how much easier cycling is getting, I'm on a higher gear now but legs are still spinning (relatively) quickly... not likely to beat any road cyclists just yet but it is encouraging!!

legs still sore from horse riding!

Thursday 2nd April
walked home from chelsea, very leisurely, in the sun, with brand new teeth (well parts-of) thanks to super new Cerec 3D ceramic modelling... very impressive! (approx 6 miles, maybe less.. it was a breeze though, very pleased at how fit I'm getting!)

Friday 3rd April
well, I was meant to walk in but my dreadful influence of a boyfriend decided to open a rather lovely bottle of red wine, followed by another... I have no willpower!

I'm off now to a friend's birthday bash... drinking shall ensue... will be punishing myself (in the nicest possible way of course) for it in the gym tomorrow

though got a fancy dress party in the evening too... oh dear!