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Wednesday, 31 October 2012

FST Academy

...and a few other bits and bobs!

We'll start with my session at FST Academy, I got talking to Danny who runs FST Academy after the Carat Blog Shop event (write up still in draft form.....). He offered to assess my running technique and give me some pointers on improving it. I jumped at the chance, I've always been interested in having this done. I went down to the gym on Friday and was really impressed with the set up. First off the gymnastic rings... We'd hardly been talking for 5 minutes and I was like a kid in a new park... Oooooh they look fun... Can I have a go! Well.... not sure fun would be the right way to describe them... but they are a new challenge... one I intend to master!! Well.... not sure I'll manage to master it but I'd like to be able to do one!

Anyway back to the running for now, incidentally, if you like the facebook page there are instructions on there how to get a free assessment, not limited to people in Manchester. Well worth it in my opinion. His advice was a lot to take in even though he did keep it simple... sometimes the simplest things are the hardest to get right.... It made a lot of sense though, I can just see it being hard to put into place as it's basically altering something which is very drilled in to me as I'm sure most of you will be able to relate to.... He showed on the slowed down video just how much my trainers compress when I heel strike and also explained cadence and showed how I could better angle my legs and where my feet should strike for more running efficiency. It was really interesting, hopefully I'll manage to put it into place.

We also had a really good general chat about goals and fitness, he gave me some advice on my clean and press..... not sure I can call it technique as I now realise watching him I've not been doing it right at all. I was really impressed with his knowledge and attitude and decided to join the gym to do twice weekly strength routines. I feel I need to add that is not why he offered me the running assessment I just felt really at home there and as the weights I used to use were Mike's I no longer have weights to use at home and chatting to Danny I felt like I could learn a lot from him and also that we had similar opinions regarding training and goal setting. I'm really looking forward to going on today fine tune my goals, get some measurements done and hopefully start seeing results. (ETA this post has been in draft for too long, I went first on fri, back yesterday for a chat and I'm starting today... Sorry for any timing miscrepancies, I've probably forgot to edit some!!)

Right back to my workouts for the week! I had a pretty good week! I went boxing Monday, Tuesday and Thursday... The hill sprints on Tuesday battered my shins a bit and I felt like it was a bit risky to run on them again so I didn't do any separate running... So I've not exactly stuck to my plan but I'm pretty happy with my activity lessons since the gym sessions were really full on sessions and I'm still easing myself back in a bit!

I had some rest over the weekend my shins were still feeling a bit battered and both wrists, especially my right one were really sore... not sure why, maybe it's my tendons just getting used to the boxing again.. I did end up having an unplanned drinking sesh on Saturday.... Thanks vodka for reminding me how much I hate you, and hangovers!!

As I feel my diet needs some work I started doing a food diary on Saturday, with my past history this is something I'm going to be really careful with. I can find food diaries triggering but I think at the moment the potential gains from doing them outweigh the negatives, if they become triggering I will stop them straightaway. I'll have to be careful to look at the whole picture with the food diaries, I was disappointed that I'd had a bad day on Sunday... too many calories including crisps and chocolate... I completely ignored the fact that most of my food on Sunday had been quite healthy, if a little calorific, and that I'd majorly under-eaten on the Saturday due to ending up drinking instead of eating... I had also super-compensated for my perceived bad day on Sunday by not really eating enough on Monday... it had started to slip in today too and my calories weren't quite enough so I've just had an extra protein shake!

I had a really proud moment yesterday too :-) While I was chatting to Danny about my goals so he can write my plan up he told me I was the only non-professional athlete he's worked with who didn't have weight loss as one of their top three goals! I'm really mega pleased with myself about this, especially since I am the heaviest I've been in a long while and really feeling quite uncomfortable about my weight... It just shows how far I've got in recovery. I care about my performance and I know my weight will end up in the right place for me to perform best once I'm back into a fitness regime!

I'm going today to get measurements done and a few other assessments and start my program. We had a chat about whether I wanted measurements done and my body fat percentage done and I decided it will be a good thing to monitor it. Danny said I might gain weight as my muscle increases with the program so I feel like it's going to be a good thing to have that backed up with hopefully seeing my BF decrease so I can think logically about any potential weight gain and justify it. Also, I can't see this happening right now, but if my BF becomes too low I'll be under strict orders to go eat some cake.... and that seems like a win/win situation to me!

After I left the gym I popped back to town to get a gumshield (lost my old one then bought an unsuitable one.. ooops) and ended up spending far too much time (and money) in SportsDirect... Went in for a gum shield, came out with a new sports bra, 2 new tops, new running shorts, some capris, some compression socks and a pack of cards?! I am hopeless keeping hold of my money... I just love shopping.... I also bought some heels, a skirt and 3 new tops in Republic, spent £40+ in Boots on various essentials such as hairdye and a sandwhich... and spent a small fortune in GNC! Somebody take my card off me!

So anyway, you can imagine, I ended up in an absolute mad rush to get to the boxing gym! I had a pretty good session, we worked on technique alongside some explosive 20-30 second all out sprints on the bag and some freestyle rounds... I felt tonight like I'd forgotten how to box, it wasn't coming together very well and I felt a bit clumsy but I think this often happens when you deconstruct something and concentrate more on it... kinda like with the running.... Hopefully it will all click back together soon... halfway through when I was suitably red and sweaty I had some pictures taken by a reporter and I've forgotten what for now but she's ringing me for an interview to accompany them so I'll know then haha... you get quite a lot of attention being a female boxer and I always try and promote it as I think it's a great thing for women and girls to do for fitness and confidence so I like the opportunity to show there are girls out there in the gyms and let people know they're friendly places.... Anyway, I've digressed (again)... We finished the session with a rather brutal circuit!

20s press-ups (done on knees as speed was the aim)
20s boxers squats
20s burpees
20s tuck jumps
20s squat thrusts
20s sit-ups

x 3 rounds

The coach timed us for 6 seconds after each round so we could take our pulse then times by 10 for an estimate of our bpm, mine came out at 200, 210, 200.... Yep, it felt like that too..... I did a quick plank before I left then walked home.... oooooh the nights are getting cold... must bring more layers!

*Disclaimer... I've given FST Academy and Danny a glowing report, he has not paid me, and I will be paying my own gym membership there. All the opinions stated above, and in further blog posts, are my own!

Also a quick note to say my blog is hungry and it's eating the comments so if I've missed a comment I'm sorry, I usually get an email then it doesn't show on my blog... I'm working to get this resolved, I'm using intensedebate atm, any suggestions?

Wednesday, 24 October 2012

Birthday Food

Ooops... this post has been a rather long time in the making... Even without a job at the moment I struggle to get everything I want to get done done! Where do the hours go? Anyway, here's a little recap of my birthday eats. I turned 28...... 28?! I've no idea how that happened, I guess those lost hours from the day must be turning into years at a rather alarming rate... Anyhooo here's the food! I must apologise for the dreadful pictures, my digital camera broke beyond repair so I'm stuck with the blackberry!

For lunch on my actual birthday I walked to town to Barburito to claim my free birthday burrito... hey you can take the girl outta Yorkshire... This girl does not turn down free food, well, unless it's meaty!

As far as fast food goes barburrito is my favourite! I almost always go for a burrito with rice, spicy beans, mushrooms, hot salsa, lettuce, guac, cheese, sour cream and jalopenos and sometimes I like a little extra chilli sauce... no other combinations in there have quite lived up to this combo for me....

Please give me some mummy......

Oh fine you b*tch

Even this wasp wanted in on the action!!

For tea my I went to Gourmet Burger Kitchen... this was my first birthday in all my 28 years I didn't see my parents but my auntie took me here for tea which was lovely.

Monkey nuts while we were waiting... I actually put most of these in my handbag to eat later..... I've just realised, they're still there!!!
I went for The Billy, a panko coated slab of goats cheese served with relish and salad
We shared chips, onion rings and coleslaw... the chips and onion rings were great, I wasn't a huge fan of the coleslaw though, I was in the mood for a creamy coleslaw so although it was nice it didn't quite live up

Frankenstein Cheesecake
Birthdays must have dessert! Since I didn't have room after barburrito and correctly guessed I wouldn't have room after GBK I made myself some halloween themed cheesecakes... I didn't follow a recipe and my creation wasn't quite good enough to share the recipe but I will share the idea! I made a base with oreo cookies and the cheesecake itself had vanilla, matcha and lucuma in it. The flavours really went well and I loved the green colour! If I was more concerned with the aesthetics I would do a set cheesecake not a baked one as the green would be more vibrant but I fancied baked cheesecake!

ready for the oven

You could decorate these of course to make them more frankenstein-esque, I didn't prepare ahead so didn't have anything to decorate them with!

The weekend of my birthday week my mum and dad came to visit, they weren't going to arrive until around 2pm so when I woke up to a lovely note through my door from my neighbours I was really happy to be free for lunch! I must have mentioned I'd been having a bit of a rough time so the lovely American couple in my apartment block invited me round for lunch to cheer me up! It really did! How lovely and thoughtful. I truly appreciate it when someone does something they don't need to to brighten someone else's day! The lady's husband was out for lunch so it was just us two... While we were chatting she mentioned she had felt quite shy about inviting me round and I confessed I'd been quite shy about going round, but I'm so pleased I did, the food was lovely and we had a nice chat, about cooking, blogging, America... allsorts
Bean and rice burrito

Freshly roasted spiced pumpkin seeds, yummy!

And.......... The show stopper! My first ever taste of pumpkin pie!! I was most excited about this, I hope she didn't think I was strange for being so excited hehe It was worth the excitement, YUM!

After I'd been to lunch with my neighbours my mum and dad arrived in Manchester to see me and take me shopping and for some food... We had a quick snack in M&S before starting.... I had some cake! Despite not feeling too good about my body right now I'm also trying to continue to enjoy my food and hoping that once my fitness returns my figure will too.... Anyway enough of my body image woes... I know I'm not overweight but having struggled with an eating disorder that started 12 years ago and currently being the heaviest I've been in about 11 years I feel alien, it's very strange!

Tiramisu mocha

Chocolate orange cake

We did lots of wandering round the shops, I tried on some boots I liked in M&S... can't afford them, yet... Tried some beautiful Kurt Geiger stiletto platforms in Topshop... they were reduced, I had a gift card... They were 30 seconds away from being bought when my oh to sensible mum made me try the other foot on.... they only fit on my right foot.... GUTTED!! I did get a lovely jacket from Soul Cal though, a present off my mum, dad, gran and grandad, love it!

me and my mama

me and my papa

We wandered around for quite some time deciding on somewhere to eat for tea... It can be tricky, my mum is a very picky eater, nothing spicy, with garlic, doesn't really eat pasta, rice or noodles... and I'm veggie so it can be tricky to find somewhere we're both happy... especially since I love spicy garlicky food haha... aaaaaaaaanyway, we settled on Giraffe.

My dad and I shared the bruschetta to start...

tomato, cheese and pesto

tomato, cheese with a pepper and olive tapenade

Sweet potato fries with chipotle aioli.... WOW

and, tbh... rather terrible food blogger, I forgot what this was called but essentially it was a falafel salad on naan, the falafels were described like something else though so it wasn't what I expected....

Passion fruit cheesecake... I gave most of this to my dad... food defeated me!

All washed down with one of my favourite lagers, corona :)

Food Goals
  • More wholefoods
  • More veg
  • Up the protein
  • Maintain a healthy outlook on food
  • I want to lose a bit of weight but carefully, through eating cleaner and exercise

How do you cope with weight gain? I hate feeling unhappy about my weight... the past few months I've felt huge every single day.. I'm so fed up of it but trying to sort it in a healthy way... it's hard isn't it!

Friday, 19 October 2012

Fitness, or Lack Thereof, and Some Goal Setting

Weekly Fitness Round Up!
Well, I'm jumping back in the deep end feet first... I think I've caught the fitness bug back... least I hope I've caught the fitness bug back!


Steady jog with Roxie I liked this run as I got that feeling afterwards that reminded me why I train! No stats unfortunately as I am without garmin :'( gutted! I need to buy a new one but losing my job makes that a little hard!


I attended my first session at Moss Side Fire Station Boxing Club, my first impressions are I like the place and it's within walking distance from my apartment, or cycling distance! I can't remember exactly how the training went, I didn't have my blogging head on, more my oh my goodness it's been so long since I've been in a gym and this really hurts why do I do it head on... It was something like this...
Structured bag rounds interspersed with core rounds and sprints with squat jumps.... just as painful as you're imagining.....

I went to the Manchester Aquatics Centre on Thursday before I attended the brilliant Carat Blog Shop event (more on that to come), I wasn't really sure how much I would be able to achieve I aimed for ten lengths and did it.... Slightly disappointed absolutely gutted the waterslides were closed... that was gonna be my reward for completing ten lengths.... Yes, I am a 28 year old child.....

Fitness Goals
Running - go twice a week and gradually increase my distance again... I'd like to be back up to around 6 miles by the end of November
Push-ups - Just tested my max... I bashed out 8 that's a far cry from where I used to be but I should expect that I suppose.... I want to be doing 25 in a row by the end of November... I think that's a big increase but I'm hoping to have some good muscle memory.... don't let me down muscles!
Gym attendance - go boxing at least twice a week
Swimming - go once a week, be doing 20 lengths a session by the end of November - also consider signing up for diving lessons if I can afford it and if it will fit in to my training.. may have to reconsider length goal once I know.

And tonight I've just been doing a few push-ups and plyometric holds whilst organising my wardrobe and watching Taken... What a sensible Friday night!

Wednesday, 10 October 2012


Is there anyone still out there.....?

My word, it's been almost exactly a year since my last post!

I've missed blogging.... I've had a whirlwind of a year... Had some huge mental health problems, struggled with breaking up with Mike (we didn't get back together), partied far too hard and ditched my healthy lifestyle trying to get over said break up, got an amazing job opportunity, lost amazing job opportunity through mental health problems and partying too hard to mask those and found myself turning 28 wondering who the hell I was..... I remembered being happy training and enjoying healthy food and I realised, it's up to me and only me to get that back! So here I am.... trying to find the me I lost somewhere along the way.... Can't wait to catch up with you all and hoping some of you are still out there....