Posted in #everydaysexism, exercise, feminist, fitness

Scrotes (Or Committing the Crime of Exercising in Public Whilst Being Female and Plump)

I think one of the major curses of trying to improve your fitness when you’re not in the first flush of youth, you have the audacity to possess female secondary sexual characteristics in a public place *and* you aren’t Jennifer Aniston is that every pillock has an opinion.

The people who love you are “Yay! Go for it! Good for you!”.

However the rest are, I regret to say, a bunch of cosmic wank hats.

Today, when I was out for the first run I have done in many a year (doing walk/run intervals – 2.98 km, go me!), some “yoof” who appeared to be trying to impress a teenage girl, starting giving it “Run, Forest, Run”, “You’re meant to be RUNNING” – Me “Er, no I’m not, it’s called interval training for a reason”, “Your arse is wobbling and so are your tits!” etc.

Startling, I say, startling powers of observation there, mate. Also I hope your harassment of a random woman in sportswear, whose face is so red that she resembles a match, alerts your young friend to the fact that you are a complete douche canoe, and that she kicks you, unceremoniously, to the kerb.

So here is my retort.

Firstly, fat shaming is so effective at making people lose weight….er, no, it’s not. (There’s sound on the article so switch off if at work)

Secondary, being 40-odd, rather overweight, and currently built like a busty prop forward, I’d be bloody worried if those areas didn’t wobble. On account of them being areas on the female body where fat is stored and because it would mean that I had become a slim bloke since leaving the house, and that, for me, as a cisgender woman, would be just weird. Either that, or I’d mutated into a gazelle.

I think we can all agree that that’s kind of unlikely.

Thirdly, I’m seriously pleased with myself, because I went out for a run and did not expire.

Fourthly, I’m seriously pleased because none of my broken bits are playing up.

Fifthly, I’m doing this because I don’t want my heart to explode, my bones to crumble to dust and maybe, just maybe, I might be able to wear dresses with an actual waist band again  at some point. You know, so I can hopefully have an existence free from being riven with pain, and potentially, free from premature death. That harshes one’s buzz somewhat.

Sixthly, I reserve the right to wobble, jiggle, ripple and even (if I’m in the fettle) undulate, where ever and when ever I bloody well like.

Seventhly, I possess a mirror and clothes therefore I possess enough self awareness to realise that I don’t look like Jessica Ennis.

Once upon a time this would have put me off, now it’s a challenge 🙂

Posted in exercise, fitness

30 day challenges

I’m giving the 30 day plank challenge and the 30 day arm challenge a shot. This is alongside the walking. I’ve bought the app and I’m ready to shufty.

The reason I’m going back to basics and body weight exercises….well, basically my back keeps saying no and I think this may be a good way of fettling my core once and for all. I’m also not fond of my arms and any additional strength that I can get into them, especially as the little fella seems to have grown a lot lately, the better. (He’s two, sometimes situations can get a bit “Judo” to stop him from doing things that are immediately injurious to his health!).

I do intend to return to the weights, it’s just I can’t help thinking that trying solely body weight exercises, then moving back onto the weights might be the way forward. Ultimately this is all trial and error. I don’t mind the trial, but does there have to be so much error?

Also do you think I can walk 25 miles by the 31st January…watch this space!
Posted in exercise, fitness, food, gluten free, gluten intolerance, rest

Back with a sensibly paced and measured minor explosion…

In preference to a bang as I’d probably put my back out! In fact I have, so it’s measured walking again, hey ho, that’s how my fitness life goes. Rest, baths, Diclofenac,common sense, and I’ll be back with the programme soon enough.

That said, it’s been a funny old year, not least because I’ve been dealing with a health problem for some time that effectively scuppered my exercise plans, drained all my energy and put me in a funny old frame of mind.

If you’ve read this blog before, you’ll know that I started another one called “Barley Free Living”. Well, as it turns out, I’m actually gluten intolerant and it appears that that’s been at the root of the IBS I’ve suffered from since 1996. Mercifully, I’m not Coeliac, for which I am very, very grateful.

When the barley problem really started to cause me a problem, (Allergic reaction – how wonderful) OH persuaded me that it might be a good idea if I consulted my GP to get some guidance, and to get checked out. As an experiment (and to eliminate the chance of cross contamination which actually caught me out once or twice) I went GF for a while. It was great. A number of grisly symptoms gone in a couple of days and the headaches and brain fog I’d had since my son was born (and before if I’m honest) went too.

What wasn’t so great was the dietician that I’d been referred to suggested that I have an initial Coeliac disease test and that I have to start eating gluten containing foods again in order to the appropriate antibodies to appear in my blood stream. This involved actually eating more gluten containing foods than I had previously been eating.

Gluten “rechallenging” (A mimsy term if ever I’ve heard one) is rank. If I had blogged about it, you, dear reader, would have had to endure 6 weeks of me whinging about the parlous state of my hoop, gassy gurgling like a lava lamp with a major flatulence problem (for the Whovians amongst you, the Slytheen are a good reference point) and with a permanent headache. It’s actually a good thing I was utterly devoid of any mental spring or energy, because no-one would ever read anything I’ve written ever again, so mired in self-pity was I. Never again. Gluten-free may be a major inconvenience (and I’m slightly bemused by people solely doing this as a lifestyle choice – one for people with more time on their hands than I have I suspect) but at least, I don’t feel like I’m on the verge of bursting anymore. Literally.

Reader, you’ve had a lucky escape!

Posted in exercise, fitness

Not so much back with the programme as redefining the programme….

I know it’s been a while since I’ve done a proper post, but I haven’t packed in this lifting-heavy-stuff, moving-about-more shizzle, but I have had to modify what I do to ensure that I can keep doing it.

As mentioned before, I have several injuries of the not-really-going-to-get-much-better type. They play up from time to time, and what I do is try to rest up, get better and…generally get squirrelly because I’ve worked hard for a while, and everything has been working…and then I have to stop. I’ve worked out that on an average non-pregnant, non-falling-down-a-hole year, I’ll still lose up to 3 months to aches and pains of some description which does tend to bugger the schedule somewhat. After all, I have to force myself to be careful, otherwise I start listening to gung-ho me and that’s when it really starts to hurt.

I didn’t write up while I was doing all this ruminating, basically because “went for a walk and ate a salad” isn’t very exciting. In fact I almost went to sleep typing that sentence, however it’s all been to the greater good. I have been boring the ears off my other half, but that’s a whole other story.

I think I might have found the way forward, especially where the strength training is concerned…

1. Limit myself to two sessions of weights a week, with one “big” session at the weekend and one smaller session in the week. Recovery time and all that.
2. Lots of walks whenever the rain gods decide not to try and wash this bit of Northumberland away. Short but lively. Also an apt description of me on a good day.
3. One full no exercise day per week.
4. Vibroplate/Powerplate once a week to shake out the aches and pains. 10 minutes, Jobs a good ‘un.
5. Eat more bloody protein.

5 is proving interesting…I’ve been tracking with MyFitnessPal and realised I was a bit low. I wasn’t even hitting their minimum, never mind the 0.5 – 0.75 per pound of body weight calculation for someone with my activity levels. Let’s see how that one goes…today I am at least 20% Cottage Cheese and 7-8% broad bean with some beef thrown in for good measure. Though I have discovered that Hazelnut butter on a Digestive biscuit is the dogs’ danglies. This low protein carry on could explain the long recoveries and occasional wet spaghetti arm problem….

I also discovered that I was really quite allergic to something I was eating all the time (and with 20/20 hindsight, now realise has been making me poorly for years. Now I feel quite well. Weird, huh?

I know the results will be slow this way, but I actually can’t be crazy, all the empirical evidence says “Ouch” and who am I to disagree?

*also I managed to make a 220g Bag of Haribo last a week. I’m practically the Zen Master of Jelly Sweet Refusal.

Posted in exercise, fitness

30th July 2013 – Gym day…feeling quite badass

As opposed to just bad.

I was at the gym today so wandered off piste a bit with the Beautiful Badass stuff…however bits of me were worked, I moved some heavy stuff and, despite the fact that I’m still barking like a consumptive seal, the cardio did not kill me. I am feeling incrementally better though, so all good in the end.

Today’s workout details:

30 Mins Recumbent Bike
So far, so sweaty, like a sweaty woman from Sweatoville.

10 Reps Leg Raises
Fair to say, I’ve still a way to go with the old “slice and diced” lower abdominals. I tried for 12 but by the 10th one there was trembling. And now there is light hurting.

3×5 plus 1×12 Tricep Extensions – 80 (lbs – I think)
Quite chuffed with this as I could manage far heavier than I’d anticipated. Limbs still feeling ok, so hopefully I won’t be typing this blog with my toes tomorrow.

3×5 plus 1×12 Leg Press – 90 (lbs – I think)
Slightly grumpy knee did not protest so I’ve got to be getting stronger (Thank you squats).

3×5 plus 1×12 Standing Dumbbell Bicep Curls – 8 (lbs – I think)
I must admit one of the downsides of doing this when I’m overweight is that when you’re looking in the mirror to check that your form is right, it’s all to easy to fall prey to the thoughts of “Oh joy, physically I’m a dead ringer for the Anti-Aircraft Battery at Blyth Beach“. I think they’ve got a picture of me in the dictionary with the definition of the word “Sturdy” underneath it.  Then again it’s not exactly like my skeleton can go on a diet. Hey ho.

3×5 plus 1×12 Seated Row – 60 (lbs – I think)
Must keep up the back work to balance up the ab stuff.

15 mins walking on treadmill at 3.5 mph.

I’ve also decided to set my calorie allowance at 1800, because while I do want to lose weight, I’m going to be better off in the long term ensuring that I’m giving my body enough of the right things to heal. Plus at least this way I won’t be hungry (even 1600 doesn’t feel enough – no wonder on that popular-weight-loss programme-that-shall-remain nameless, I was going around the bend, and I was trying to run on it too. Oh, the benefits of hindsight). Healing has to take precedence because for a start, because of the back problem, I’m already working at a disadvantage. Plus it’s better for the family and me if I don’t get hurt or poorly….18 month olds don’t go round lifting themselves into bed after all…

Posted in exercise, fitness

29th July 2013 – Start of week 3 – Time to get serious…

This is the start of the third week and after being ill, being on holiday and generally being a bit fluffy, I’m now keen to get some momentum behind a more sustainable exercise and health improvement programme.

Last week – more croak than Croak Park and The Frog Chorus combined…

I’ve actually achieved my first set of real results already, after the hideous scar tissue pain in my core after doing 30 second planks that I suffered initially, I no longer get any discomfort, which means I need to up my game. This chuffs me to bits 🙂 I’ve also lost a bit of pouchiness around the elbows, and as I’ve never been terribly enamoured with my arms, this is also very good.

Anyhow, in the name of getting serious…..

I’ve decided to start using several iPhone apps to underpin what I’m doing:
MyFitnessPal (for it’s food/exercise diary function)
Runkeeper (for walking and other exercise logging)
GymPact (Incentivising working out)
Sleep Cycle (To make sure I get enough sleep)

I’ve managed to lose some weight using MyFitnessPal before but I think I’ve had my calorific requirements set a bit low because I’ve wandered off piste after a while. To be honest, one thing that has underdone me with traditional diet programmes is the fact that, because I’m small, the allowances were never quite high enough to stop me from feeling hungry, and the slightest “error” would knock my confidence out of the park. Also after partaking in a particular points-based-system-that-shall-remain-nameless when I got married some years ago, I got to my target, but was so sick of being hungry (for 6 months) that I gave up, promptly had a back “crisis”, put a load of weight on, and just as I was starting to get running again, had a really bad ankle sprain…and thus was back to square one. Instead of thinking it’s just me being weak, I can now say to myself, “Actually Christine, it’s not you that’s 100% at fault here”.

I’m working on the principle advocated at GoKaleo (link to the relevant article here) with regard to the number of calories to consume in order to achieve my weight loss goal (something I intend to do in 2 stages). Basically this principle is to eat the number of calories that will sustain the weight you want to be, but also being aware that as your muscle mass increases, you’ll be burning your calories more effectively so not to fall into the trap of restricting your calorific intake more to lose the last bit (I’m paraphrasing but I highly recommend reading Amber’s blog).

I think most people with a smartphone will be aware of Runkeeper, but I’ve added an extra layer of incentive by linking up Gympact. Bascially it works be rewarding hitting a certain exercise target (min 3 times a week for 30 minutes) so that I also do regular cardio. The reasoning behind this is, because like most parents with a full time job, exercise can be the thing that gets shoved out of the schedule, and now, thanks to the fact that you are rewarded for working out, and pledge to pay if you don’t, I’m sufficiently tight not to want to have to pay when I don’t!

I also know I need to get more sleep so that’s where Sleep Cycle comes in….odd that….

I’ll let you know how it goes….

(Please note all apps, websites and blogs I mention, I’m using of my own volition and I am not receiving anything from the companies and people concerned).

Posted in exercise, fitness

That bloody woman…

It’s very difficult to talk about Katie Hopkins, primarily known for resigning from The Apprentice and engaging in al fresco sex with married fellas, without resorting to schoolyard jibes about her appearance and kicking all the furniture and pets within reach, while simultaneously frothing at the mouth and spitting obscenities.

Well that’s the effect she has on me.
Her latest zinger is claiming that Kelly Brook is “a chubster” and that any working woman “can be a size 8” just like her, and that they should just “eat less and move about more”.
So far, so simplistic.
I’m not tall, but even at under 6 stone 13lbs/97lbs at one point in my life, I was never a size 8. What I’d like to know, what would she recommend doing in my case, as I am blessed with a sturdy frame? Is someone going to come out with an all new bone-slimming diet? Should I grate myself on a full length sanding block to get my body down to achieve the necessary proportions? Or can I narrow my shoulders and ribcage purely by force of will?
Yet again, we see this lining up of slimness being passed off as virtue, or “if only they can exhibit the same amount of will power as me, then they will be perfect”. Virtue is being kind to people, virtue is not the ability to get into a dress size. If the world is full of tactless TV trolls like Katie, I’m moving to Mars.
Posted in exercise, fitness

Soo…yesterday…

If my lower abdominal muscles had a voice, the noise they would have made would have been the noise when two cats successfully achieve sexual congress.

YEEEEOWWWWWLL.

More or less.

However, that was just because I’d had a decent sleep, and fortunately things did improve immensely.

Problem is it’s 10.50pm and 25 degrees C. I feel as much like writing as wearing a gigantic rug. We Northumbrians just aren’t used to this carry on….

Posted in blogging, body image, fitness, ouch

New blog

One of the things that I tend to bang on about a lot is body image.

So I’ve decided to do something about mine and take up a challenge for 8-ish weeks and I’ll be blogging about it here The 40 Ouch 8 Week Challenge. Weird that, not that the title isn’t a giveaway.

At the moment, it seems to be me whining about the parlous state of my core muscles…