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My First Blog Post

Hello and Welcome

Thank you for coming to my blog!

Hello! I am a 33 year old single woman and I have been trying to lose weight for years. I have had some success in the past, and then gained back and thensome with Quetiapine, my medication that stops me from going manic.

I had a health scare back in the Spring and required a check up. This involved being weighed. I was shocked that I had gained a stone and a half since being on Quetiapine. But I knew I wasn’t happy with the way I looked in photos or the mirror. So I decided to start going to the gym more (I was a lapsed member) and cutting back on junk food. I didn’t see much of a result, so in September, I decided to invest in a personal trainer, and have lost half a stone since. I am still seeing him once a week and making a real effort with what I eat, cooking more food from scratch and cutting right down on sugar especially.

I am going to be posting regular updates on my progress as well as more information about my mental health and the traumas that led me here and how I have broken through them.

Please say “hi” in the comments if you’re new to my blog!

Thanks for reading!

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Another Mental Health Update and Weigh-in

Hi all,

So, I didn’t get to the gym when I said I was going to. My mood just got worse and worse! It was a vicious cycle. I was feeling too depressed and anxious to go out, so I just stayed in bed, and because I achieved nothing, I made myself more depressed and anxious! The weather here in the UK really hasn’t helped either. It’s been extremely windy and rainy and it really puts you off going outside.

However, on Saturday I decided to do an act of self-care for myself. I took myself off to a petting farm on a country estate and fed ponies, donkeys, alpacas, chickens, a calf and some goats. The behaviour of some of the animals had me in hysterics and really lightened my mood. Here is a photo of one of the funny ones!

I also made sure to do a mini walk while I was there through their nature trail. It certainly blew the cobwebs away! In fact, although I didn’t go to the gym after Monday last week, I did a little walk almost every day, so I’m proud of myself for that.

In weigh-in news, I finally made it to the gym today and managed my usual routine with HIIT running. Here is my weigh-in for this week:

So, as you can see, I have lost the last gain of 2 pounds plus another pound! And I have now lost a total of 2 stone (28lbs) in a year! And, my BMI is under 30 (just!) It is so good to see all those amazing numbers.

How is everyone doing on their weight loss journeys?

Weight Update and Mental Health

Trigger Warning: Death/Suicide

Hi all,

Getting straight into it, I gained 2lbs at my last weigh-in on Saturday. I imagine this was for a few reasons; bingeing on banana chips, having 2 desserts in the week and a particularly indulgent Wednesday. Whatever caused the gain, it brought me down. I am still trying to lose weight and working out, don’t get me wrong, but it’s very hard this week after that result. A part of me wants to say “screw it” and go and buy a big bar of chocolate. But I won’t because I know it’s a downward spiral from there.

So that affected my mood. Add to that some money issues, rudeness from others on social media and the tragic death of Caroline Flack, I’ve been pretty low these last few days. I’ve struggled to go on my walks, I talked myself out of going to the gym today and stayed in bed. Don’t worry, I’m definitely going tomorrow. I’m feeling despondent about my craft projects and the tidiness/cleanliness of my flat, my career, the weather, the lack of fun in my life and a few other things.

I wasn’t a fan of Caroline Flack’s. I don’t watch or like reality TV. But I remember her from Bo’ Selecta and Strictly Come Dancing, and reading of her death deeply shocked me. She’s one of those people that you expect to always read about in the news or pop up on TV in the background. The fact that she died by suicide is even sadder. I have to believe that suicide is always preventable in some way. It’s not an inevitability of mental health. I believe that she could have rebuilt her life. And I believe that her death could have been prevented by some sensitivity by others to her mental health. I’m not just talking about the actions of the press, eg the Scum newspaper who were unnecessarily vile towards her, and I absolutely believe that anyone who is violent should face justice by due process. What I am referring to is the fact that Caroline Flack was seen by an ambulance the day before she died, and they decided not to help her. That was a big opportunity to get her the support she needed. I read all too often of people who could have been prevented from ending their lives by the mental health services specifically paid to support them, but the snap decision of a clinician meant that those people did not receive that support, with tragic consequences.

Sorry for the sad post, guys. I didn’t really have much else to say apart from that. I’m okay but feeling down at the moment. Hopefully I will have a good weigh-in this week and be back on track for my goals.

Weigh-in and Workout Update

Hi all, sorry it’s been a while again! Last week I maintained (booo) and then I lost the slip.

I’ve still been struggling with my eating a little, having naughty things I shouldn’t, such as a biscuit and a slice of cherry cake made by one of the lovely customers at the charity shop I volunteer at. I really need to learn to say no there! What are your food pitfalls?

Workoutwise it’s been a good week. I got up to level 9 on my HIIT running on Monday. Wow, was I struggling for breath! I had a PT session on Wednesday which was suitably tough. Was really happy though because I got to lift a barbell. I really want to do more weights. I also did romanian kettlebell lifts which was fun. Definitely want to do more of those. I also did sled pushing which was a real killer. However, we’ve got these new skiing machines there and I’m not sure how I feel about them. Do you get a good workout with those? It felt a little pointless to me. I’m not a big fan of cables at the gym.

Here is my weigh-in for this week:

So, as you can see, I have lost another 2lbs 😀 which means I am on the cusp of 2 stone lost in total! My body fat mass is down 11% from when I started, and my BMI is under 30! I’m feeling really good about that.

My weight loss has been really slow. Okay, I haven’t been perfect with my eating, but I’ve consistently eaten below 1600 cals a day and I put in work at the gym three times a week. I think most people would have lost weight quicker than me, but because I’m on Quetiapine, my weight loss is on a go slow. It sucks, but it’s good in a way because gradual weight loss is healthier and more sustainable long-term because you’ve had longer to get used to the change in lifestyle. At least that’s what I’m telling myself!

Oh, I did a 2 mile walk yesterday in Somerset, up hills and along some muddy paths. I want to do a lot of walking this year. It’s one of the most fun ways to lose weight in my opinion. It was amazing with the rare blue sky and seeing all the nature around me. This was my view:

Pretty amazing, huh?

Do you like walking for weight loss? Let me know your thoughts in the comments!

New Running PB and Weigh-in!

Hi all,

I had an eventful workout at the gym! The fire alarm went off halfway through my workout and we all had to evacuate the building. It was a false alarm and we were soon allowed back in. However, I time my exercises very specifically between the bus times, so this meant I couldn’t do everything I wanted to do. However, I did walk up 5 flights of stairs to get back to the gym! Dose glutes!

I managed to get to 2.46 miles in my 35 minute couch to 5k run. I really pushed myself today and got up to level 7.7. I was very short of breath by the end so I’m proud of myself for sticking through it!

Weigh-in News! :

That’s a 2lb loss which I am very happy with, and my body fat is down a bit too. I have been very careful with my eating since the lebkuchen incident, but I’m happy that didn’t have too much of an effect on my weight. I also had a slice of my favourite, coffee and walnut cake that same night! But the rest of the week I’ve been very good.

If you’re also on a weight-loss journey, I hope your weigh-in was good too!

New Gym Bag, Overeating, Running PB and Pilates

Hi all, I went to Sports Direct in my town earlier this week looking for a new gym bag and I was not disappointed!

As you can see it’s a grey Lonsdale bag with pale pink accents and I love it! Only £6.99! Before I got this, I was honestly carrying my towel etc around in a plastic carrier bag which isn’t a good look for me. So I’m very pleased with my bargain.

Lately I have been struggling a little with my eating. I baked some lebkuchen earlier in the week for a ladies’ lunch. They were lovely but I burnt some. I obviously couldn’t give those ones out to my friends but I didn’t want to waste them. So unfortunately I ate a lot of them, which wasn’t good, obviously! I’m trying to get back on track but for the first time since I started this weight loss journey, I’ve got a huge appetite! When I started last year, I was feeling full and even nauseous a lot due to IBS. But that seems to have subsided now and I’m feeling it! So I’m struggling with controlling my appetite and ensuring I don’t overeat. I’m trying to eat lots of vegetables to try and fill myself up but I may have to reintroduce a little more pasta into my diet to stop the risk of me eating something naughtier.

In workout news, I worked hard today at the gym! I worked very hard on Tuesday doing my HIIT running. I got up to 8.5 for my sprinting. It was a killer so I’m very proud I got through it.

Today I did my normal running after pilates. In pilates we do a lot of pulling in the stomach muscles and reverse crunches which is great because it feels like I’m getting a good abs workout while ensuring good form. With the running, I got to 2 miles in 29:30 which is a new PB for me, so I was very happy about that too. I now walk at level 5-5.5 for the first 5 minutes, run from 6.5, staying mostly at 6.8 and get up to 7.6 towards the end of the 35 minutes.

So I feel like I’m making real progress in the gym. Just hoping the scale is good to me at my weigh-in on Saturday. Wish me luck!

Easy Low Calorie, V. Low Carb Recipes

Hi all,

I did pretty good with my eating today and wanted to share some of today’s recipes with you. For breakfast I had what I call “Low Calorie Eggs Royale” which is scrambled eggs with some salmon and a few cherry tomatoes for veggies. Here’s what it looks like and it tasted amazing:

All it is is a small piece of smoked salmon, scrambled eggs and cooked cherry tomatoes. Here are the basic macros:

2 eggs 150 calories , 5g fat, 7g protein

Small stick of butter 72 calories, 8g fat

Semi-skimmed milk 100mls 50 calories, 1.8g fat and 3.6g protein

Small piece of smoked salmon 50 calories, 3g fat and 6g protein

6 cherry tomatoes 6 calories, 2g carbs, 0.5g fibre

Sunflower oil cooking spray for the tomatoes (optional) 15 calories, 1.4g fat

Total Macros: Calories 343 calories, 19.8g fat, 9.6g protein, 2g carbs and 0.5g fibre

And for dinner because I am a very good girl, I had Quorn chicken fillets with a whole broccoli. Filling and delicious!

Here are the macros:

3x Quorn chicken fillets: 150 calories, 2.4g fat, carbs 3g, protein 20g, fibre 8.5g

Vegetable stock: 14 calories, fat 0.3g, carbs 1.4, protein 0.3g

Broccoli: 90 calories, carbs 6g, fibre 7g, protein 4.5g

Sunflower oil cooking spray (optional): 15 calories 1.4g fat

I also add some oregano to the stock.

Total macros: 279 calories, 4.1g fat, 10.4g carbs, protein 24.8g, fibre 15.5g

I hope you liked those recipes and maybe give them a try yourself! These are true staples for me now. I’ve been having Quorn chicken fillets for years because I just find them so delicious. I had eggs royale for the first time at a B&B last summer and thought it was amazing. I really enjoy making my own version. And doesn’t that scrambled egg just look divine?

Thanks for reading!

Weekly Weigh-in and Running Update

Hi all,

I had my weekly weigh-in yesterday and…I lost a pound! So it’s still not that big loss I was hoping for but it’s still a loss, so I’m happy about that. Sorry I don’t have a picture, I lost my slip 😦 but I weigh 11 stone 12 lbs now. However, my body fat has crept up to 39.5%, so it’s up 1%. So maybe I only lost muscle mass! I don’t know. But what I do know is that I worked really hard in the gym so I deserved the number on the scale going down!

On Monday, I decided to switch up my running and do HIIT. I did 5 minutes of walking, then jogging at 6.3 for 2 minutes then running level 8 for 1 min, then continued that until I had got to 25 minutes total elapsed. A killer, and I’m going up higher on my next HIIT on Tuesday. I’ll be jogging at 6.4 and running at 8.5!!! Wish me luck please!

I did my usual couch to 5k week 9 on Friday, and hit some new PBs. I hit 2 miles in 29:57, so just under 30 minutes, and by the time I got to the end at 35 minutes, I had run 2.4 miles in total. So I’m getting there! And I’m proud of myself.

I’ve also been pushing myself more with my walking. I walked 37 minutes today with a few steep hills, and I intend to walk tomorrow and Monday as I won’t be going to the gym until Tuesday.

I also intent to work on my eating more this week, to really improve the number on the scale.

Hope you’re all doing well with your nutrition and fitness!

Weigh-in Disappointment, Body Fat and Workout Playlist

Hi all! I went to the gym today, worked out and weighed in. I’m very pleased with my workout. I did planks, deadbugs, sit-ups, step-ups, single-leg raises, dumbells, bosu ball burpees AND press-ups on 40cm platform all on my own, plus 10 minutes on cross trainer and 35 minutes on the treadmill (5 minutes walking then 30 minutes running) and got to 2.39 miles at 35 minutes. So hopefully my arms are pumped full of muscle right now! Well, they’d better be, because…

I weighed in and I’ve stayed the same 😦 I’m trying not to be too disheartened about it because it could be down to a few things; muscle gain, women’s issues or hangover from Christmas indulgence. And I know a maintain is better than a gain. But it’s hard to see the same number on the scales when you’ve been working your a$$ off in the gym and denying yourself food. Don’t get me wrong, I still like what I eat now. Most of it is delicious while being healthy, but there were a few things I could have eaten this week but said no to. Anyway, here is the print-out:

So as you can see, although I am still 11 stone 13 lbs, I have lost body fat. I’m down nearly 3% from last week. So it could very well be muscle gain. It’s not all bad news. It’s important to keep checking that body fat, guys. You could be missing some important NSVs.

I need to remember this because I don’t want to get off-track and think “sod it, I’ll have a binge” as a reaction and then give up. I’ve come too far this time and my goals are too important to me. The reason for my STS (stayed the same) could still be food. Maybe I’m still not eating healthy enough. I have been having a tablespoon of peanut butter every day to ward off the chocolate cravings. I also did kind of binge on those delicious banana chips. But both things although high in fat and carbs respectively, also have protein and fibre respectively. So I don’t know. I did have *some* chocolate too, but nowhere near as much as I would eat if I wasn’t trying to lose weight. Surely you can still have a little of what you like as part of a healthy diet?

Changing the subject, I thought I would share with you guys my Spotify workout playlist. I’ve called it “Motivation” – the first track I added was Normani’s “Motivation”. It’s got a lot of crackers on there! I don’t play it when I’m working out because I prefer to listen to the gym music and be able to hear my breathing, but I listen to it after the gym for my post-workout high on the way home and I listen to it when I do my non-gym-day walks.

I’ll be back with another update soon. Thanks for reading!

Zumba, Money Issues and Weigh-In Goal for Tomorrow!

Hi all! How are you doing?

Yesterday I did Zumba for the first time in months! I love dancing and I love Zumba. It always feels like such a joyful, friendly atmosphere, especially for women, although I know some men like to go to, and respect to them! I feel like at Zumba we get to be silly, a little sensual, let our inner Shakiras out and have fun.

But I hadn’t been to a class in months, so my feet were really aching and I was struggling to keep up! My feet ache a lot when I’m learning new dances. It’s a problem I’ve had since doing line dancing as a teenager. However, I noticed I wasn’t out of breath like I usually am at Zumba! This must be thanks to all the training I’ve been doing at the gym over the last few months. So that’s a NSV – non-scale victory! And I really enjoyed it, so you heard it here first – I am going again soon! If not next week then the week after, brownies’ honour! Also, I managed to do 5 minutes of cross trainer and my 30 minute solid run beforehand. I’m hardcore, baby. LOL.

Changing the subject, I’ve been having money issues lately due to Christmas slow-down of work. I’m a freelancer in the publishing industry. Therefore, I have to cut down my personal training sessions from once a week to once a month 😥 sad times. So I will be flying solo at the gym most weeks. This is also a positive though, as long as I manage to keep myself motivated. It’s an opportunity to grow in my self-discipline and spend more time choosing my own workouts. Wish me luck!

In other workout news, I am running 2.34 miles in 35 minutes, reaching 2 miles in 30 minutes and 40 seconds, and getting up to 7.5! All on a 2% incline. My goal is to climb Glastonbury Tor without having to stop to catch my breath 3 times like I have on the last few occasions! I’ll allow myself one breath break!

Tomorrow is gym and weigh-in day. Last week I weighed 11 stone 13 lbs. My goal this week is to weigh 11 stone 10 lbs, so a 3lb loss. It’s a big ask, but I’ve really been putting in work at the gym this week and trying hard with my food, so I want a good result. I’ll be happy with 1 or 2 pounds though. Stay tuned for the results soon!

Interesting First Weigh-in and Personal Training Session of 2020, Plus Health Food!

Hi all,

How is 2020 going for you so far?

I’ve just had my first personal training session of the year, followed by my first weigh-in of 2020!

The training session went well, probably because I practiced a lot over Christmas. Today I did planks, deadbugs, single leg balancing, TRX, step-ups (which I am really beginning to LOVE), pull-downs on the weight machine, dumbells, oblique cable pulls, goblet squats and ball-wall squats (where you bounce a big heavy ball up against the wall, catch it, squat then repeat – a killer!). I don’t know what it is, but I still don’t like squats very much. But I did a lot of arm work today which is great, I really want to get definition in my arms.

One good or bad thing about Quetiapine, depending on which way you look at it, is that it makes you drowsy. I’m only on 50mg a night, and I take the modified-release (MR) version of it, which basically means its effects are drawn out over 24 hours, rather than giving you all of the effects at once. I am basically always a little tired, and I really felt it today. I felt soooo comfortable on the bus to the gym. When the journey ended I felt like I could have slept forever. I’m sure I would have a lot more energy if I wasn’t taking Quetiapine, but I can’t take the risk to my mental health of stopping it. It’s a quandary I’m sure a lot of people with a history of psychosis deal with.

Yesterday I went to the Grape Tree shop in my town. It’s like a slightly cheaper and friendlier Holland & Barratt, with lots of yummy health food. I ended up buying banana chips which I have been slightly bingeing on because they are delicious and moreish, almond flour for carb-free pancakes for breakfast and pistachio nuts. Over Christmas I was treated to some amazing Turkish baklava made of pistachio and syrup. It probably had a lot of sugar in, so I’ve decided to make myself a healthy version; a baklava yoghurt using Fage 0%, pistachios and a dollop of maple syrup. I can’t wait!

My weigh-in today was interesting.

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So, I am down to 11st 13lb YAAY! 2lb from a week ago. However, my body fat is up by almost 2%. This most likely means that I have lost muscle mass, which I can kind of understand as before today, I haven’t had a personal training session since a week before Christmas. It’s still weird though, right? But I’m very happy to be under 12 stone finally. I’d love to lose at least another 2 pounds next week. It’d be great if I can lose 2lb a week until May. That would mean I’d hit my goal in time for my birthday 🙂

How are you getting on with managing your mental health and fitness so far this year? I’d love to hear about it in the comments below!