Big Time

This week’s been fucking mental, it has.

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The 5 of 7 days with exercise is working out quite nicely: ideally I should break on Tuesday instead of Sunday, which is easily fixed going forward. Thus far, Fitbit has recorded 369 active minutes and we’re only at Saturday lunchtime. Steady momentum, meet consistency. I’ve today also exceeded the MEP totals of September and August: not combined, obviously, but this will put me back on track for real progress.

With 12 days left this month, I’ll end up doing summat for at least nine of them.

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There are a number of key moments to cover: the most important came on Thursday night. That block of eight minutes may not look like much to you, but it represents an important realisation that if I wanna push, it’s there. The key is wanting to do so: eating better is definitely helping. Rest is absolutely vital, and making Tuesday one of my two days will make a huge difference. The biggest shift undoubtedly is psychological.

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The other key change this week is strength, and actual muscle mass. One of my favourite coats is now simply too small to go around my shoulders: arms are being forces to sit back from my chest thanks to improvement in arm definition and bulk. I could do with a couple of leg days as a result, if I’m honest, and Sunday will probably be the right time to go flex the running muscles a bit. I’m back to leg pressing 100kg, which is great.

Lungs continue to be the major sticking point in stamina, and cardio will always be my Kryptonite. It’s not a problem: sometimes, accepting shortcomings is the means by which you are able to become better regardless. I’m not winning any sprints any time soon, but response times are undoubtedly improving. The equation is all wrapped around active recovery, and that’s an ability that is is undoubtedly getting better over time.

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It’s important to note that Thursday and Monday’s sessions (above) were both at 75% effort but the output was a fair bit different. Undoubtedly fatigue will have had a hand in events. Again, rest and common sense need to be considered… but most vitally, I need to think less. This is becoming genuinely enjoyable, not just in single session, but every fucking time I walk in the Gym.

When did I alter? That’s easy: in a hospital bed. Alone, lonely and desperately tired, I found myself being grateful for the fitness already built or else I would never have been let go in three days. There was a quiet and determined promise made, early on a Saturday morning, as a woman lay opposite me, crying her eyes out. As long as I am capable, there will always be exercise, because this not only keeps me sane but helps me cope with the World right now. Without it, I would be broken.

It’s great to be strong. I love being strong. Long may strong continue.

Every Day is Like Sunday

Once upon a time I’d have never seen 8am on a Sunday, but today I woke up and having realised I’d done my eight hours rest for the night, I just didn’t want to stay in bed. So, after getting up and admiring the brilliant iced cake my 11 year old produced on her own last night from scratch, I made breakfast, and because I’ve not yet had a cuppa I put a spoonful of honey in with my porridge without thinking. Taking the first mouthful, I may as well just have eaten the honey directly because that’s all I could taste, and suddenly comes the revelation that I’m done with sweetening a great many things. In fact as I sit here there is the understanding that somewhere between late December and here, something quite fundamental has occurred.

My body no longer craves sugar as fuel.

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That revelation comes from Friday’s binge, where my first port of call wasn’t to reach for cake, but to go buy brown sourdough. In fact it was a sandwich that was far more tempting than any amount of sugary treats that I had to hand. Normally after abstinence in January (I’ve done a couple of years now where I’ve given up the sweet stuff after Christmas) I simply slip back into the old habits like this morning and don’t stop, but that porridge tasted AWFUL. All the subtlety of flavour and texture was ruined by shoving the unprocessed sugar into a place where on reflection, it didn’t belong. If I’d have wanted that sweeter the answer would have been dried cherries, not raw sugar. Before I’d have simply dismissed the oversight and carried on, but not today, because this week I’m going to learn something and not just carry on as if nothing changes.

For the second time in two weeks I’m off to the Gym with my Husband: he does a Spin Class, I’ll do 45 minutes on a treadmill, which is now roughly beneficial to doing 90 minutes if I was here a year ago. It is an opportunity to just relax (as I did last week) that then ends up with me pushing the limits of what I’m capable of, because it’s not being recorded or registered as an ‘official’ session. I now do my Push day on Wednesdays and a Pull day on Saturdays without a thought, though I will admit this week I didn’t Cardio ‘properly’ as I was recovering from the head cold my Son very gratefully passed on. However, all the weights were completed, and in many cases increased so I know I’m not skimping on physical effort. The scales have crept up simply as a result of the physical weight of food I’ve eaten, and that’s (hopefully) something I can deal with today with a largely liquid diet before I weigh in again tomorrow.

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There are days when you know you’ve gone backwards, and often these are the moments when you learn the most about yourself. The last three days have been mentally tougher than anything I’ve experienced for a while, and the revelation that I stuck in the writing blog last night was probably overdue. I can talk about myself now without issue, but the fictional side of things, which traditionally always suffered when there was mental issues to deal with, has been effectively sacrificed in order to get fit. This cannot be allowed to continue and so today, quite apart from the need to not lose impetus, I was up early to write what needed to be done so I can focus later on getting the groundwork done to move forward. Having identified the issue, it would be remiss of me to just ignore the work required to get that fixed. That’s why the personal stuff’s been done first, I can do the gaming stuff now in my sleep, and I have a cracking topic to start on when I get back from the Gym.

My friends have said, on numerous occasions, that I take on too much and can be quite hard on myself when things don’t work as I wish. I’ll happily admit this is true, but at present I know what I’m capable of doing, and that is no more than I currently have on my plate. The effort now must be directed into making sure the time I spend at a screen isn’t wasted, is better organised and has a tangible result. None of these things are impossible or require any changes in current schedule, except when it comes to the shit in my head. Nothing will ever get better unless I make the changes.

So, this is me up on a Sunday morning, doing just that.

New Life

You can, for a while, quite happily pretend that even as the World collapses around you, everything is fine. I watch people do this every day. The speed at which we adapt to change is, after all, as unique as eye colour and shoe size. However, I will admit that I’ve been loathed to accept that my body is changing: not in a bad way, anything but. This morning, even though I feel pretty shitty (sinus infection can nick off) I found myself accepting that what used to pass for tight jeans are no longer so. In fact, the more I look at it, everything is smaller. Not just waist, but arse and legs no longer fill out the bits of trousers they did. The top I’m wearing now stretches around my upper arms. Somewhere between Christmas and here, real change is happening.

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This process has taken 16 years, people. It has experienced myriad false starts. I’ve been lighter than this, sure, but I’ve never been this fit or indeed healthy, because before a sinus issue like this would have completely buggered my ability to function. Yesterday, however, I fought it. Even when I was out of breath and suffering on a treadmill I didn’t stop. I pushed to do extra stuff I wouldn’t normally have even tried. There was no consideration of ‘oh, not well, better stop’ because I grasp how important exercise has become in keeping me fit, both mentally and physically. I’ll grant you I’m having trouble thinking straight right now, but that’s more fatigue and getting a washing machine fitted last night.

Most significantly of all, the fat that had sat around my waist for what seems like forever is undoubtedly diminishing.

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I really miss cake. I realise I’ll never get used to certain teas without honey. I can hear my sweet tooth in my head, trying so very hard to derail my effort, and I will admit I sneaked a Graze Honeycomb Flapjack or two into the evenings this week simply because I was desperate, but as I’m still at least 90% virtuous on most occasions, it isn’t pushing back my cause. I’ve also lost weight again this week according to my scales, which interestingly have recorded my lowest BMI since I started this whole things seriously in May. I’m now genuinely curious as to what the ‘official’ scales will register on Monday. Last weekend’s normal Takeaway even got supplanted by a healthier alternative, and I’m now beginning to think I might have changed for the better.

These are exciting times ahead.

Little Things

Okay, lot to tear through today, let’s get to it.

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Thing #1. You people over there trying to pretend that the World isn’t going to shit, and that if you just ignore all this trauma it’ll just go away. Don’t you DARE start lecturing me. You tried that once before, remember, and look what happened then. I don’t need people trying to be ineffective and woolly right now. What is craved more than anything else is positive, affirmative action. Also, don’t be the person who tries to start a fight about something you know full well will set fire to me or my timeline. Have some fucking compassion, why don’t you. However, to the friend today who declared they were deleting Twitter because they couldn’t cope? You go right ahead. I absolutely do not blame you one iota for just walking away. In fact, I can see more people doing the same.

I’m sorry if I’ve driven people away too, and I know this has happened in places, but I can’t just stand by and say nothing or pretend this isn’t happening. I have to react to it. People need to deal with Extreme Twattery in their own way. This is my way.

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Thing #2. If you wanna make me feel better? You don’t tell me to shut up. You most DEFINITELY have no right to inform me of facts that I know are patently untrue. What I need right now are friends that are there for me, and don’t fuck off as soon as things get a bit difficult. Who gave you the right to start imposing YOUR rules on this shit show and that I should be following them because it will make things better? The only way this gets better is when I see someone else in Number 10 and the Americans find someone with a fucking spine to impeach the Orange Twat, because THEN you will take out the real troublemakers. Hey, you keep telling me what a horrible alternative Pence is as President but trust me, next to Bannon he’s a fucking saint.

Right now, I have enough shit to wade through without you adding any more. Maybe next time you dump all your issues on me and I tell you I’m not getting involved, you’ll actually listen.

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Thing #3. My weight hasn’t changed since last week. I’ve been working non-stop. There are no let ups and no cake days and in fact no bad shit AT ALL. Honestly, I even went up by 0.1 of a kilo :( There may have been tears, but it wasn’t because of my lack of progress, because if I took pictures now of myself without clothes I wouldn’t recognise myself. My arms are like, COMPLETELY different. Massively huge. My waist is becoming more defined with each session. I can run faster and further, for longer. I feel more energised after every gym trip, and the cold that my son tried to pass onto me has pretty much bounced right off my body. The sadness is that what I want I can’t get. However, when I weigh it up against everything I have?

It is time to finally forget the weight goal. Once and for all, it does not matter. What I have now is a better, stronger me. That matters far more than a statistic, and that’s what will matter most going forward.

Showdown

Weight went up at the weekend, but not as much as previous weeks. The reckoning is coming, body, and I am ready for both it and you.

Right now, I’m pretty much flat out exercise wise. I hit my 12k target 6 days out of 7 last week and exceeded it by some considerable amount. I’ve not had anything bad or wrong in my body in terms of excess sugars for coming up for a fortnight. There as a brief moment of regret in the Gym that I ate all those Belgium Waffles back before my daughter was born, because they’re what I see every time I look down at my stomach. However, I either equalled or exceeded all my previous times/thresholds at the Gym this morning, and know for a cast iron fact I’m getting stronger. I can see it. I can feel it. My PT has suggested a blood test to ensure there’s no underlying health issue preventing weight loss.

I’ll be going to the Doctors after I pick up the youngest.

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This is not going to beat me. I refuse to go backwards. There will not be depression or anger, simply a quiet determination to make things change, and they will. I’ll find a way to lose the weight, and keep it off, and there may yet be a waffle as reward when I get there.

For now, there’s gonna be a showdown. Hormones, you’d better be fucking ready.

Eat to the Beat

For the next two weeks, I am a slave to calorie counting.

I know where my starting weight is. I know what foods I shouldn’t eat, and what I should. I understand completely this is a temporary situation. I’m not about to start living my life via the medium of targets. I’m going to screen-grab for culpability.

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Starting here. let’s see how much changes in two weeks.

PS: For those of you concerned: I have a diet plan, only 14 days, know what I’m doing. Only temporary while I try and kick body back to burning fat. I GOT DIS :D