Operation Body Shape – Back on track now!!

After the blip last week I’ve managed to get back into the routine of exercise, managing 4 times at the gym (2 CV, 1 Weight and 1 swim) and also went rowing too, more about that later!!

Food wise, I’m getting there too; the small plate system is great as I don’t have to worry about over eating and I’m just being very conscious when I go into the kitchen about grabbing snacks.

I bought some Nairn’s wheat free biscuits (http://www.nairns-oatcakes.com/our-oaty-food/oat-biscuits) as a snack which I know are still biscuits but are much healthier than the normal biscuits you buy and as they contain oats they do actually fill you up. So I just have 1 or 2 when I’m peckish.

I have manage to get into lots of little routines to make sure I’m staying on track such as having some ProGreens when I get up,  a pear on the way home from the gym and oatcakes with peanut butter and banana before bed.  I take a number of nutritional supplements to make sure I stay in “optimum health” and will talk about these in the coming weeks.

The 2 that I’m going to mention today are:

ProGreens and Cherry Active

ProGreens powder – An all-natural blended variety of “Super Foods” including green grasses, sea vegetables, algae, adaptogenic herbs and active probiotics. I make a drink with this powder every morning, mixing it with water and orange juice. When made up in a drink it doesn’t look that nice, (well I would describe it as looking like pond water) but it doesn’t taste too bad; well I don’t think so anyway and have been taking it for years and I really notice a difference when I don’t take it.

Cherry Active – This is a concentrated cherry juice which you dilute with water to make a drink or you can buy it in capsule form, I use the diluted drink when I go to the gym. I find it very refreshing and not too sweet.  It contains very high levels of antioxidants which can help with sport recovery, joint care, sleep and antioxidant health (http://www.cherryactive.co.uk/index.html).

My alcohol draught finished this week when I went to London for an awards ceremony, and yes it did taste good after 3 weeks without any alcohol. But not good enough to make me go back to my old habits. I’ve made a pact with myself to only drink when I’m out or have company at home.  The fact that I know it affects my sleep and also that I go to the gym 1st thing in the morning helps me to give it a miss most nights.

Rowing this week was all a bit scary. I went out on the river in a 4 man boat, with 2 experienced rowers & 1 other beginner. This was only the 2nd time I’d been in a boat so found it hard to maintain my stroke pattern and I nearly made the boat flip over a couple of times, so my adrenaline was going crazy by the time I got back on dry land. We did manage to row up to Washingborough & back and when I got it right, I can understand why mad people like me get up and out in the cold, as it was just lovely and peaceful to be on the water. BUT I am having my doubts about doing this as I was petrified at times, and the more I think about, it the more scared I get. However, I’m not one for giving up on things as many of my friends will know, so I will just have to bite the bullet, swallow the fear and give it another go next week.

The good news is that I have started to feel that all this hard work is paying off as I do think that some of my clothes are feeling looser than they did at the start of the year. This is just fabulous and is much more motivating than figures on the scales but next week I will be weighing myself and taking my measurements to see if there has been any change in these. I will let you know my progress to date.

Have a good week and Healthy Regards,

Rachel xx



Motivation has disappeared this week

Well this week has been really tough, I started the week off well, getting to the gym both Monday and Tuesday, but then it all went pear-shaped!! I had a couple of early morning starts for work which meant I had to miss the gym session which just knocked my routine for six.

I also had other things going on in my head and life which meant that I didn’t stick to the healthy eating regime and snacked quite a lot. Whoops!! But at least now all the chocolate and crisps are now eaten!

It dawned on me that I’ve set myself quite a big challenge to do what I want to do and that at times I’m quite hard on myself and not good at showing some self-love.

So over the weekend, I gave myself a bit of a talking to. On one level it was to get myself back on it the next week but also to say that’s ok to fall off the wagon as long as you get back on it.

On Tuesday, I also went to Hurricane Sports (http://www.hurricanesports.co.uk/products-and-services/health-fitness-testing/) to be fitness tested as I mentioned last week. The results of the test were quite interesting.

My resting heart rate and peak flow are good, but need to work on reducing my percentage body fat currently at 45.1% which is way over a healthy level and a little embarrassing really. But I went back to see Hurricane Sports to redo one of the tests as I wasn’t happy with my performance last week and I’d actually reduced my body fat by 1% in a week so it now stands at 44%!! Still too high but least it’s moving in the right direction. I also need to work on my flexibility and core strength.

I’ve still managed to not have any alcohol which I’m exceptionally pleased about, knowing how my mood was at the weekend but I managed to not give in on temptation.

The other thing I’ve also learnt is that I can’t have any coffee at all now; I had 1 cup early on Friday morning and I have a massive come down from it during the day on Friday which was not a nice thing to go through, I knew it affected me but didn’t realise how much it affects me and my mood. It wasn’t nice to feel as I did, so now know that caffeinated coffee is a complete no-no.

Rowing also didn’t happen at the weekend due to the blustery weather as the river in Lincoln was too choppy for beginners and I didn’t fancy going for a swim, but I’m still going to go back next week and give it another go.

Right, as you can see it’s been a bit a rollercoaster of a ride for me doing “Operation Body Shape!” I know that I want to achieve my goal more than ever now. And I just have to accept that there will be some days that I just don’t feel like doing the right thing….

Until next time, have a good week

R :0) xx

Operation Body Shape – ARGH habits are so hard to break…

Second week into OBS and I’ve got into a routine with exercise; I managed to get to the gym 4 times this week (2 swims, 1 CV & 1 weights). I basically do 3 days on and 1 day off, usually in the order of CV, weights, swim, rest, CV, weights, swim, rest…. This might seem intense to some people but it seems to work for me.  And if I can fit it in, a couple of sessions on Just Dance too!!

My body is slightly protesting at this routine especially as I took it up a gear too, no rest for the wicked; but in a way that’s good as I think it’s good that your body should ache slightly after exercise as it means that your body is going to adapt and therefore make you fitter, stronger, faster.  So if you see me around walking slightly funny you know now why!!

I also overcame my nerves and braved the -2°C temperature on Sunday morning to make my 1st trip to Lincoln Rowing Club. When I arrived there were loads of cars but no people which meant I was getting more nervous than I was when I left the house. I needn’t have worried as everyone was really friendly. Another lady called Sam arrived just after me; her 1st time at the club was last week so it was nice to know I wasn’t the only beginner there. Once all the other members of the club had got boats out and onto the river, it was time for me to have a go. First of all I was shown all the different boats and equipment (the narrowness of some of the racing boats shocked me a little, I thought if get in one of those, my hips and bum would be firmly wedged in!!)

Then it was time for me to get going; I used a rowing machine first to make sure my technique was ok and then it was time for me also to get on the water – now I definitely was getting nervous. Thankfully the boat I would be using had stabilisers on so NO chance of it capsizing, but this made it all the more difficult to actually get in and out of it. But I managed to master manoeuvring the boat to turn round and slowly got used to the rowing technique. Jimmy my instructor was very patient with me and I neglected to tell him that I was dyslexic and got confused between my left and right… but eventually I managed to do 3 or 4 good strokes!! There was so much to think about, so before I knew it the time had whizzed by and it was time to come in and back onto dry land. It’s going to be a steep learning curve to pick up all the different things I need to remember but I’m looking forward to the challenge of it, so I will be back there next week to carry on from where I left off, and  hopefully it might be slightly warmer!!

So as you can see I’ve got the exercise bit sorted, but the diet and food is the bigger issue; I am consciously eating less I think and have taken to eating off a side plate, which actually gives me a nice amount of food and if I’m still hungry I can have seconds, but as it stands I haven’t felt the need to eat more. My main issue is the picking of food during the day.

I work from home and have done for 5 years now so the habit of just going down stairs and picking at food in the kitchen is all too easy, especially at the moment as there is still chocolate in the house from Christmas. Now I do love chocolate, well who doesn’t?  But I don’t tend to be able to eat much of it at a time, just a couple of squares of a bar; I can’t remember the last time I ate a full sized chocolate bar in one sitting. But just being in the house, it’s so easy to grab it and eat it before you realise what you’ve done. Knowing that I’m writing this blog and sharing OBS with you is helping me hesitate at times, but the habit is so ingrained it’s hard, so think I might have to resort to signs around the house!!

The other habit with food I’m trying to break is having something sweet after my lunch and evening meal. Now I know this will be an even harder thing to crack than the picking as it’s something that’s been happened ever since I was young; my parents are both chefs so we were lucky enough to try lots of food, and this is where my passion for food has come from. We always had dessert after our meal, so it just feels right to do it now, but I know that actually I don’t need this extra course, so am resisting as much as I can or trying to find alternatives such as plain yoghurt with some berry compote (homemade of course!).

On a positive note, I’ve managed not to have a single cup of caffeinated coffee or alcohol since New Year, which is a massive achievement for me. The main reason for removing both of these from my diet is that I have problems sleeping and these two things make it a lot worse. Over the weekend I did have a craving for a lovely Gin & Tonic but decided that I didn’t actually need it, and had some elderflower cordial with sparkling water (in a wine glass) instead.

Last week I mentioned that I was only going to weigh and measure myself once a month to see how I’m progressing towards my goal and I’ve been thinking about this more. Not only do I want to change my body shape but also get fit, so unless I know where I am how do I know if in 6 months’ time I’m any fitter than I am now?!?! Well after a few tweets to @hurricanesports I’ve booked myself in to be fitness tested; I’ve asked for as many tests as possible to give me a clear idea of my start point.

So next week I will be sharing with you my results. If you’ve got any questions around food and nutrition, then let me know and I’ll do my best to answer them.



Week Two of Operation Body Shape

Well it’s a week since I started Operation Body Shape, and things have started off well.

Have managed to get to the gym 5 times (1 swim, 2 CV and 2 Weights sessions) also done 1.5 hours of Just Dance on the Wii!! Whether this is sustainable is anyone’s guess but right now I’m feeling good and enjoying being active.

On the food front, it’s been harder- not to eat less but to cook less!! But I’m sticking with it and not feeling hungry at all and when I do get peckish, I’ve got lots of fruit and raw veg to snack on.

PJ asked in my last post what foods am I eating to keep my energy up, well I’m just trying to eat foods that keep my blood sugar balanced so that I don’t get any sugar highs or sugar lows. These foods are mainly whole-grains; it’s harder for the body to break them down so gives you lots of slow release energy, and the other rule I always stick to is to make sure I have protein at every meal.  Again this helps to slow down the digestion process to give you longer lasting energy and also it keeps the hunger pangs at bay.

So for example for breakfast I have a small bowl of porridge with berry compote and some live yoghurt, then on top of all that I sprinkle some nuts, usually either cashew or pecan, but it doesn’t really matter as long as it’s a small amount of protein.

Other suggestions are:

Oatcakes with peanut/nut butter

Oatcakes with hummus

Vegetables sticks with hummus

A small handful of nuts

Sprinkle of seeds on your salad or cereal/porridge

I’ve also decided to clear out my wardrobe, there are so many clothes in it which don’t fit me now but might do when I’ve changed my body shape, but will I want to wear them? Maybe and maybe not, but it’s all about moving forward and looking to the future. No matter what people say, I feel there are lots of memories tied up in clothes, some of these are good and some aren’t, so getting rid of them feels like I’m letting go of the past.

In the first post I said that my goal was to change my body shape and not necessarily think about my weight; this is still true, but I have weighed myself this week as I feel that I need to know my starting point, and I have to say I was shocked when I did find out how much I weigh. I’m totally embarrassed by the figure. I am only planning on weighing myself once a month as I don’t want to get hung up on it.  I am also doing my body measurements as another way to measure my progress; again I will only do this once a month.

The main way I will know if I’m moving towards my goal is the way I feel about my body and the way my clothes fit me. That is really all that matters for me. Weights and measurements are just figures and don’t really mean anything.

So the plan for week two is to continue with the exercise/activity and to continue to eat smaller portions. I’m also going to the rowing club this coming Sunday, so next week will let you know how I get on.


Operation Body Shape Starts Now…

Hello and welcome to my blog

I’ve been toying with the idea of writing a blog for some time and finding it hard to think of content for said blog.

Then I had a brainwave!! Operation Body Shape…

For many years I’ve struggled to be happy with my body shape, a lot of people compliment me on my curvaceous figure but to me it’s just too curvy for my liking. And I guess I’m not alone in feeling like this.

As a qualified personal trainer and nutritional therapist, I have all the knowledge I need to be able to help me to change my shape.

So, the idea I have for the blog is to share this journey with you. I am now 34, with my 35 birthday in July 2012; I am determined by this date to be in the shape I want to be.

I’m aware that this journey will have lots of ups and downs but think that sharing these with you will help me stay on track and also help you achieve a goal that you might have set yourself for the future.

You may have noticed I’ve not mentioned weight in this blog so far; this is because I don’t really care how much I weigh as really its irrelevant! I just want to be happy with my body shape, if this involves some weight loss then so be it, but I’m more interested in getting fit and being generally healthy rather than focusing on the weight.

I’m not going to go on a “diet” per say, as I don’t think they work, it’s more about changing your habits and mind set.

The plan to do this is to try to eat a little less. On the whole my diet is pretty good; I’m blessed with the ability to cook, so generally I cook all my meals from scratch, so by doing this I’m not putting the local takeaway out of business! I think my main problem is that I just eat too much of what I cook.

The other action is to be more active! I’ve always loved going to the gym but in the past few months I’ve been a bit slack at getting there, so I am going to make a real effort to get up early in the morning and get to the gym; when I do go, I feel so much better for it!!

I’m also going to join the local rowing club; it’s something I’ve thought about a couple of times in the past but never really got round to doing it.  Since leaving school I’ve played hockey for a club, which I really liked but for the past couple of seasons I’ve haven’t played for many reasons, but now feel ready to try a new sport/challenge.

I’ll keep you posted on how I get on with this and Operation Body Shape.

I will also be on the lookout for interesting articles around health and nutrition.