Chai gets swept up in life

Ever have one of those weeks where you think – I need to come up for air? Or, I need to put my focus into one thing and gain control of my sanity? This isn’t a diet or fitness post. To be honest, this blog is all about personal accountability, I haven’t been to the gym for a fortnight. I haven’t been to a boxing class. I haven’t been counting calories.

And I feel like a failure, so I continue. I need to break this funk. Life has been dragging me down.

I’ve certainly had some successes in the past fortnight. I played an integral part in running a large sporting event. I passed the hideous exam which I was certain I failed. I attended a series of workshops on leadership, public speaking and dealing with difficult people. Great.

But I haven’t lost weight.

But I haven’t gained weight.

So here is what I am going to do. Tomorrow is a new day.

Tomorrow.

Tomorrow I will go to the gym
Tomorrow I will count my calories
Tomorrow I will make smarter, healthier choices
Tomorrow I will meditate
Tomorrow I will take back control of my life
Tomorrow I will celebrate my successes and not beat myself down for my failures

And with good reason. As I start coming to the conclusion of my first semester of my degree, I’m going to get busy with academia. Also, it is our busy season at work. If I can just seize control and reach my mini-goal of 77.5kg by the 1st August, then I will be a better, stronger, happier person for putting that focus back in my life.

I would like to celebrate the NSV’s I’ve had in that fortnight. The comments from unexpected people made me grin on the inside. I’m wearing size 16 pants at work. Size 16. Oh. My. I haven’t worn that size since, 2007? In September, when I started this journey, last year, that was size 20.

I haven’t lost weight, but I’ve gained confidence and tomorrow, I want to wake up and feel unstoppable.

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Chai takes up boxing

This is a mini-post as I’m “offline” for the next few days – next weigh in will be 30th April as I won’t be home or near a laptop or scales to really do one proper one.

I cannot remember the last time I finished a workout and felt so relived that (a) it was over and (b) that I was still alive – until Monday night.

Boxslim was originally a West Auckland thing and I had been itching to give it a go. As they expanded, I hoped it would finally reach South Auckland and somewhere easy for me to drive to and on Monday night, they opened up about 20 minutes drive from home. I couldn’t resist. I love a challenge, so I booked myself in for three Monday evening classes.

If you want to get fit, burn calories – this is for you. It is tough. Tougher than 30 Day Shred tough. Even though I was pretty sure I was going to die and leave a sweaty corpse, an hour after finishing, I wanted to go back for more. Just as well I’ve got that 2nd & 3rd class booked! As I write this post on Wednesday, I’m struggling to walk as the delayed muscle pain is biting back and that is a good sign!

My only regret is that I didn’t wear my HRM as I did the class. I had the chest strap on, but the watch felt a little odd under the gloves. I’ll give it another go next week as I’m keen to look at my stats of average heart rate and calories burnt.

And if you’re not in Auckland – never fear – Hamilton and Wellington are opening up soon!

As for diet – it has been on track all week so far. I am keeping up with my Couch to 5k programme. I pulled this chart from Fitocracy and I love charts and seeing my progress! YAY! I had intended to do a 30DS workout this morning, but I woke up and couldn’t move so making it a ‘rest day’ from exercise today and tomorrow I’ll hit the gym for another run before I go for a 4km walk in the afternoon and then that is it for the week until I go back to Boxslim next Monday night.

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Pineapple focusing on 5+ a day

Last week my plan was to exercise straight after work and then cook a nice healthy dinner. The exercise department was a major fail, baring Thursday where we had netball practice I didn’t really do a thing. I could blame it on TTOM, or the weather but those would just be an excuses.

The healthy eating was not off to the best start with having chinese for my sister in law’s birthday and then a day trip to Wellington, I didn’t do too badly with the Wellington food though, and I decided before we left that we would be doing some kind of walk while we were down there. I enlisted the help of another violet who is on a blogging hiatus while she lives it up overseas. I decided on doing the Mt Kaukau walk in Kandallah, not too far from the city centre as it was only an hour-long and easy enough for us to get to and from.

This week I will be doing the 30 day shred at least 4 times, getting a walk in on Sunday and netball practice on Wednesday. My aim is also to increase the amount of fruit and vegetables I am eating during the day, my vegetables are generally limited to solely dinner time and it’s time to introduce them into other meals.

The issue I have with introducing more fruit and vegetables is that some of them are relatively high in calories and do not fill me up at all, apples for instance, MFP tells me that a Braeburn apple is 80 calories and it keeps me satisfied for about half an hour. This week will be a bit of a test to see what works for me and what doesn’t.

Another possible struggle I may have this week is the introduction of a coffee machine in our office, I have never had coffee nor do I intend to start. Just the smell is enough to put me off, however the machine does do Hot chocolate – which I was never a huge fan of but these ones are delicious! This week the plan is to only have them if I can fit them in my calories and no more than two a day (I want to get this down to 1!), the calories are not too bad with this brand and I don’t get milk from many other sources so as long as they fit in my calories I am not being too strict on these.

The next implementation at work this week is reinstating our snack box, being one of the active social club members this week I will be doing the purchasing of the junk that is the snack box. My aim here is to make sure I don’t purchase the lollie and chocolate that I really like so I won’t be tempted to eat them. Last year I managed to only purchase from the snack box once during the whole year – a big cookie, and logging the calories for that hurt so I know I can do it.

So without further ado here are the stats;

SW; 61.5 (Officially, Highest was at least 63.5)
Last WI; 53.9
CW; 54.6
Change; Increase of 700g (I thought the last WI was too good to be true!)

Posted in About my plan, Burble, Stats, The Last 5kg, Weigh In | Leave a comment

Chai kicks her challeges up a notch

Last week, I brought you a brief review of social networking fitness site, Fitocracy. Just before that was published, another site, Slim Kicker came to my attention. This site looked promising at first glance – a cross between the levelling up like Fitocracy and food/nutrition tracking of MyFitnessPal. The Slim Kicker website says that its goal is to sustain motivation.

 “You start by tracking your diet, where whole foods are worth more points than processed foods. It’s similar to Weight Watchers, but in reverse”.

On the subject of foods, I tried for one day to log what I ate into Slim Kicker like I would with the very well established MyFitnessPal and found the database lacking. However I’m confident that will change in the future – I’m one of the first 1000 members to sign up. Early adopter! That’s me!

Slim Kicker promotes itself as diet neutral – able to work with Weight Watchers or whatever else you could be using. What does look promising is the recipe section, sorted by diet type – Dukan, Medifast etc. It is just a tad empty at the moment.

Their website says that most people don’t learn the habits to maintain their weight loss, so it sets challenges & goals with a view to forming good habits. Samples of these challenges are:

The exercise section seems fairly well padded however – includes most stuff you’d find in a gym workout, running etc and some you wouldn’t – like martial arts. One thing I don’t like is that I can’t edit the calories I’ve burnt, say, from my Heart Rate Monitor.

For the tech enabled among us – there is an iPhone app as well, so you can track while on the go as well! And I’ve also included some website screen shots down the bottom of this post as well!

So, where do I see Slim Kicker fitting in to helping me reach my goals? Until the food database has grown and you can edit your calories for exercise, I’ll be using Slim Kicker to challenge myself. I’ve signed up for the In Silence Challenge for a healthy mind to go with the healthy body and challenged myself to put my sneakers on for 10 minutes a day, every day. Both challenges run for 7 days. Keen to see how that goes!

If I could pick bits from Fitocracy, MyFitnessPal and Slim Kicker – I’d be on to a winner. At the moment, I’m using all three – tracking what I eat, what I burn and challenging myself to a better way of living.

 The week that was plus the weigh in

Monday started off with an impromptu house-warming with bubbly, cheese, crackers. All the bad stuff you shouldn’t really have in those quantities. I didn’t make it to the gym on Monday, or Tuesday as I had a full diary with appointments and then out late at a meeting. I managed to get myself to the gym on Wednesday, Friday, Saturday and Sunday. Four times in a week!

My food choices for the week can best be described in one word: average. Dinners were varied and interesting, but I seem to be living on Rice and Chicken from the sushi bar right now. While its low-cal, it isn’t cheap or interesting. Once I’ve got this weekend’s job out-of-the-way, it’s back on track for me. Salads and wraps made fresh at work!

This week been however, I set myself a couple of new health & fitness goals. The first being to complete the Couch to 5km challenge in 8 weeks and do it with a view to running a half or quarter marathon in 12 months’ time. I have completed week 1 already, so I have 7 weeks to go. I am in no way a natural runner, but that can change. I’m feeling enthusiastic about this.

SW : 100kg
Last WI : 86kg
CW : 85kg
Change : 1kg (still haven’t got new scales, so stuck at 0.5kg increments for now)

This coming week I plan to hit a boxing lesson and I know I will well and truly fall off the diet and exercise wagon as I relocate cities for a week to work in an incredibly stressful role for a major event! So the focus this week is to stay on the wagon and exercise as much as possible to counter all the bad that is coming this weekend. I’ll also keep up with my Slim Kicker challenges as well.

 What challenges have you set for yourself?
Do you find having a challenge or mini-goal helpful in your overall weight loss attack?

Posted in Burble, Diet Tools, Exercise Tools, Weigh In | 1 Comment

Pineapple is trying new routines

I found that exercise and healthy eating got thrown in the too hard pile over the weekend, and to be honest the couple of weeks leading up to easter as well.

These stages come and go for me, all of a sudden it will all get too much and I let the exercise and healthy eating take a back seat and just go with the flow for a week or two. While I don’t necessarily think this is bad I do want to make this a lifestyle change and not something that I do just to drop a few kg.

Another struggle I’ve come across this year is the fact that I don’t have a lot left to lose – between 4-6kg depending on where my weight is fluctuating on any given day. It is easy to be ok with your body and decide that a caramello egg is a good idea even when you didn’t particularly enjoy it all that much. Whilst I am definitely not jumping into a bikini any day soon I don’t cringe every time I look in the mirror.

I trialled exercising early in the morning and getting up earlier each day last week (I do not do mornings) and it didn’t work that well by Wednesday I was shattered! This week I am trying getting up early in the morning (Only 7am but given I usually roll out of bed around 8.15am this is early for me), getting ready and heading to work to do some overtime (Earning me a tropical holiday that I really want to lose the bulk of this weight for), and then straight after work doing the exercise (30 Day Shred, Netball, Run or Bike). And then cooking a nice healthy dinner – This is the hard part!

I was a naughty pineapple and completely forgot to weigh on Friday as we were travelling, so let’s see what this week brings.

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Chai levels up with Fitocracy and survives Easter

A fortnight ago, I joined a local gym. Like most things when I exercise, I need them to appeal to my inner geek so they hold my interest. I had a variety of options available to me to log my workouts into – Runkeeper, MyFitnessPal or the new Fitocracy which has just come out of private beta and is now available for the general public.

What is Fitocracy? It is like a social network, for exercising. I know another one!! You use it to log your exercise. It doesn’t calculate calories burnt or anything flash like Runkeeper or MyFitnessPal would, but it gives you experience points (xp) for your exercises.

These points accumulate and allow you to ‘level up’ and gain badges. As you record stuff, people give you ‘props’ (like virtual fist bumps?) for logging or achieving badges. You can also go on quests (run 1.6km in under 12 minutes anyone?) etc. So if you’re really competitive – think of Fitocracy as your online fitness game-come-social network.

The one thing I really love with Fitocracy is that it lets you now when you’ve achieved a new personal best. You can also pull up graphs like this one below, comparing time spent on each activity, or distance (ignore my blip of 5km – I couldn’t remember how far I had gone and needed to put something in) and it is for this sole reason that I’ll continue to use it!

This weekend, a competitor to Fitocracy was brought to my attention, called SlimKicker. I haven’t had a chance to check it out yet. But from what I’ve read, it looks to be pretty similar to Fitocracy, but with a diet component where you can challenge yourself to salad days or a soda-free day challenge while also earning badges etc.

I’ve put a little gallery together – which is at the bottom of this blog post! YAY!

Surviving Easter

Do I get a Fitocracy badge for surviving Easter? I wish I did!! I’ve found it easier to watch what I eat when I have the same breakfast (blueberry and banana smoothie) every morning and lunch is usually a salad or Teriyaki Chicken on Rice from the local sushi bar and dinner is whatever I make to use what is left of my unconsumed calories.

I’ve always bought blocks of chocolate instead of eggs at Easter. I didn’t see why I should pay $10 for a quarter of the chocolate weight. So for Easter all I purchased were two blocks of chocolate and a bag of 10 marshmallow eggs for the two of us. But for my sins, I went to the gym every day over Easter for at least an hour and ended up having a fairly even week, as you can see!

When I look at the bigger (weekly) picture, it wasn’t that bad, so I’m proud to report a loss! Wohoo!

SW : 100kg
Last WI : 87kg
CW : 86kg
Change : 1kg thereabouts (My scales only go in 500gm increments, so on the shopping list is a new set of scales)

Next stop – mini-goal of 80kg and a loss of 20% of the old Ms Chai Latte!

What tools/techniques do you use to keep yourself interested in exercise?
Did you survive the Easter Break –how??

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This isn’t cinnamon coated : My Stats

Hello! Allow me to introduce myself – I’m Ms Chai Latte and I’m new to The Shrinking Violets. While I’m certainly shrinking, until recently, I was shy about it. And then when I realised how much I had already accomplished, that shyness went away and here I am!

September 2011 marked a new beginning for me in more ways than one. It marked the beginning of a new career, study path and to go with all that, I decided that I needed a new ‘ME’ to go with it all.

I left the stressful job, the horrible commutes and started working all of 2km from home. Something most suburbanites would dream of. With this change, a few other things also changed. I was no longer sharing a company fridge with 10 others and the strange science experiments. I no longer had to drive to the bank or the post office, I can now walk. So I started walking everywhere.

When this life change happened, I tipped the scales at 100kg. I was at the heaviest I’ve been. I felt kicked in the guts and I only had myself to blame for it getting to this point. At high school, I was the skinny girl – the weed. Through illness, I had to leave school and I put on weight. Just a few kilos. By the time I was 20, I weighed 70kg. Through various diets, that would go away and come back. At the age of 22, I’d managed to get down and stay at 63kg. That is when I first joined Weight Watchers.

Throughout the next couple of years, I didn’t really stick to it. But I did get active with kickboxing, working out at the gym most nights after my hideous commutes from the city and when I met my husband, I was pretty smoking in a size 8 and weighing in at a very ideal 58kg.

Fast forward through six years of marriage and two years of dating to now.  So here are the statistics as of today for the purposes of this blog:

Height : 160 cm short
Weight :  87kg (Started at 100kg on September 14 2011)
Waist : 84cm
Hips : 113cm
Neck : 35
Total Body Fat : 67.08% (As calculated here)

So I hope you don’t mind following me on this journey as I inch my way to my goal of being back at 63kg. What is my one regret on this journey so far? Not taking measurements when I started.

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