Monday, 25 January 2010

Back on the Wagon a.k.a Routine is my master!

It feels like ages since I last wrote, and looking at the dates of my last post, it is confirmed! Nearly a fortnight! Still I have been away since last Sunday on a course at the Defence College, Shrivenham with no access to the tinterweb so that doesn't surprise me that much. In my last post I wrote about my new tactic of using a food diary to help me monitor weight loss and also recovery to make sure I am meeting all my nutritional needs. For the first week in worked like a dream, I was sticking to the calorie limit imposed for my BMR whilst also eating properly to sustain my training. And it worked! That first week saw me drop 4lbs! :)

However, as I said I have spent the last week on a course which is residential and where Mess food is the only option. Bar the pub and the McDonalds at the end of the road - i'm not that bad!! Unfortunately I am a massive follower of routine - I did know that to be the case but this week really highlighted it for me. I am very 'all-or-nothing' in my approach to training and nutrition. I am not sure why that is and would love some psychological analysis to be done to explain why I can't be moderate in my approach. As I was forced to eat Mess food I had no control over my food choices nor could I properly monitor what was in then and though I tried to guess and write everything down so I could record it on Food Focus at the end of the week it was very difficult. I think controlling aspects of everything is very important for me. Again, psychological analysis would be fascinating here as I don't know the reason but as soon as I cannot control my environment absolutely I cannot stick to things. It is not so bad if I decide to have a small treat, a bit of chocolate, a tea cake, dessert etc. as I have made that choice and the next day can choose to go healthy again. On my course however, I had no control for the whole week and so I made very poor nutritional choices - almost with the attitude that if I couldn't be perfect in my choices to food then I may aswell be really bad! I had Costa cookies and carrot cake, Bounty and Milky Way chocolate bars and dessert every night. Suffice to say my lovely green tallies on Food Focus from last week have very much been displaced by disapproving red numbers. :( And I have put 2lbs back on. Oh dear! Still I am back in control and have a good week planned. Well, til Thursday at least when Adam and I are going away for two days - oh dear! I will try and be moderate and report back on how I do!

Training is still ticking along though. I haven't had a sports massage for a while and must get back in contact with Andrew McKenna (www.northants-sports-massage.co.uk) as I have had a few niggles which I really think I can only keep at bay through regular massage. I didn't have any problems at all with the training volume with Andrew treating me, I really think it makes all the difference.

At training is important! I have found out this week that both of the other women who were attempting the Arch 2 Arc before me have decided to withdraw from the race. Thus, I am the next in line to attempt the challenge! Whilst this is fabulous for my wonderful sponsors it is extremely daunting for me as it really does make the World Record a reality! Scary stuff! Speaking of sponsors, I have my first meeting with Herbalife this week. Adam and I are going to head down to their offices and meet with the team there and do some promotional shoots. It will be great to finally meet with the wonderful team who have chosen to support me on this challenge.

On the Friday I am also meeting with the team from Swim Therapy who have offered me 50% discount on their swim assessment programme. I will be having full stroke analysis and hopefully will gather some wonderful advice to start my year's swim training off on the right foot. The pool is, fingers crossed, open again on Feb 1st and I cannot wait to get back into the water and start on this abandoned area of training!!

Tuesday, 12 January 2010


So, the snow hasn't exactly been helping in the quest to get back into a routine. I am certainly managing to tick over and getting most of my key sessions in which is good but it is hard enough to leave the house in the dark in the morning without also having to scrap 8 inches of snow off the windscreen. Being the girl I am I set off the other morning without clearing the snow from my lights. No dramas in MK where the lights of the estate were as clear as day but hit the back roads of Bedfordshire and I seriously couldn't see a thing! Couldn't pull over to clear them either for fear of getting stuck in a massive snow drift so crept along the road (which fortunately I know like the back of my hand!) clinging to other people's tail lights where I could! NOT an ideal way to drive. Doh!

Christmas has also seen the return of the dreaded 11stone mark! Herbalife had me booked in for a meet and greet and photoshoot on 8 Jan which, somewhat fortuitiously it seems now, had to be cancelled due to the weather. We have rescheduled for 28 Jan which gives me a fortnight at least to try and shift some of the flab! It always fascinates me how I can be doing such a lot of training and still not lose weight. I average 10-12hours of exercise a week minimum which, assuming an hour of exercise burns around 600kcals), means approximately 7000kcal deficit a week. This is equivalent to 2 lbs of fat - therefore I should literally be shrinking!! I have logically decided the reason I am not is down to one of two things: Either I am eating way too much and therefore making up for that 7000kcals deficit OR I am not eating enough/regularly and thus slowing my metabolism right down and making my body 'cling' to kcals consumed.

So I have decided to use a food diary to accurately monitor what I am eating and try to stick to a fairly healthy diet. This week I am cutting out all wheat, alcohol and my Dr Pepper vice! I recorded everything I ate yesterday in what was a fairly standard healthy day and it came to 2056kcals! That is quite a lot for a day with measured portions, healthy food and no starchy carbs or junk foods! I did however burn off a good 1500kcals through exercising so yesterday saw an overall deficit of over 800kcals.

For those that are interested the food diary I am using can be found at www.foodfocus.co.uk which is fab and totally free. They have calculated my Basal Metabolic Rate (how many kcals my body uses just being alive) as 1800 which means to lose my 1lb a week target I have to consume no more than approx. 1300 kcals (500kcals x 7days = 3500 - 1lb of fat). For me this would be nigh on impossible unless I was literally lying in the house all day but obviously you can count kcals burned during exercise as extra food kcals. So yesterday I was allowed 1300 (Basal) + 1500 (Exercise kcals) for a total of 2800kcals to meet my 500kcal deficit for the day. I only consumed 2056 so was actually well under target. Need to monitor this over the week and make sure I am not under too often as that will slow the metabolism. I should be fine normally but yesterday was long run day which always burns a lot of kcals. Still I am recovering well using my new favourite shake, Herbalife Forumla 1, Cappuccino flavour! Love it, especially in the morning - like an actual Starbucks frappacino type thing but without all the fat, sugar and gunk!!

Anyway, enough on this - I'll keep you updated but you can follow my progress yourself by looking at the nifty weight tracker thing that is now embarrassingly attached to the side of the blog. No hiding for me! Any motivation comments gratefully received!