Bear's Bootcamp vs Life…

Fun & fitness (& other words I never thought would go together…)

Week 12 2012

Week 12

19th-25th March 2012

Weight:    10st 3lbs

Status:     Just one more week!  (Who said lap of honour?! You better start running…)

Mood:      Unsurprisingly upbeat!

I feel great!  I feel alert, I feel focussed and I feel pretty darn proud of myself for doing this.  I honestly believed when I started the challenge that I wouldn’t make it; that I’d set myself a task just too ahead of my own abilities to say no – but proving myself wrong has to be the ultimate achievement.  I’ve handled the peer pressure (and there has been lots), I’ve fought the good fight with the cravings (of which there were tonnes) and I’ve survived the mockery (just too much to convey…)   So, care to join me in an ‘end of the Breakfast Club, fist punch into air whilst walking into sunset’ moment anyone?

Talking of arms in the air; I posted a picture on facebook this week in a shameless attempt at sympathy for my own stupidity (see below); where I mis-handled a rope and ‘literally’ felt the burn.  The interesting thing that came out of this posting was a couple of comments that I did not foresee.  I made a joke (I know, me? Shocker!) about my bingo wings, for which the last 7 or so years that I’ve been dealing with the effects of my lazy-arse thyroid have been a real sore point for me – even more so now (see picture again and give even more sympathy…)  The dreaded wings were something that always seemed apparent to me and a constant reminder of my illness.  As a writer, my unvarying pose is sat at a 90º angle with arms out-stretched towards keyboard with spare tyre waist tucked nicely under the desk and out of sight, but those arms sit in my line of sight and are a little harder to hide.  Even when heading out for an evening, your thighs and midriff can benefit from the elastic breath-restrictor that is Spanx, and the clever designs of a bodycon dress – but those arms… asides from shopping for your clothes in the tent department of Millets; they’re pretty hard to cover up.  My under-active thyroid and indeed, my own feelings, are often hurt by my over-active imagination as I pictured my wings flapping about like a boisterous spaniel’s ears or swinging so vehemently to have mothers pulling their children to one side through fear of them being wiped-out on the pavement.  However, my joke received some comments back that referred to my bingo wings in a new and positive light, which made me re-look at the picture and realise that my ‘wings’ had been somewhat clipped.

feeling the burn!

Ever since that day, I’ve been wearing short sleeve t-shirts and *staring at my upper arms – yes, that’s right people, upper arms – with a little smile. (*read working really hard and not stopping to vainly admire own arms…)

I’ve taken measurements and recorded weights, I’ve stopped to appreciate my healthier breathing (you know, breathing deeply without falling over unconscious) and admiring my overall feeling of improved fitness but I hadn’t taken the time to actually look at the work Charlie, Laura and the bootcamp ladies have helped me create.  As a writer, I love a sense of the dramatic; so it’s easy for me to say, my (now non-floor scraping) arms may be some of my best work yet!  :0) xx

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Week 11 2012

Week 11

11h-18th March 2012

Weight:    10st 3lbs

Status:     2 weeks to go…

Mood:      Just let me rest my little eyes for a second…

I’m now close enough to that end date, to actually start dreading it a little bit.  Don’t get me wrong, I cannot wait to open that nice bottle of Malbec I’ve had sitting on my wine rack for the last month but I’m worried now how the alcohol will affect me.  Will I have one or two glasses and say “How smashingly lovely that was…” (because in my mind, I speak like I’m actually really posh) or will I have 2 bottles and not be able to speak at all…?  If I hadn’t done this in the past, I might not be so apprehensive but the last couple of years detoxing, when the date came to start popping those corks, I attacked the demon drink like the Cookie Monster on weed and needless to say, didn’t feel very well afterwards…

Those little fears aside, I feel good.  Absolutely knackered, but good.  I’ve been so tired lately that I’m writing this with my head pressed against the screen with only my occasional drool on to my own hand keeping me awake…  I’m tired through work and some residual aggression from the emotional blackmail that families do so well, and I dared to think the other day what I would feel like if I wasn’t abstaining at the moment – the very thought terrified me so much I thought I might have to go skinny dipping in the River Ouse and run round the town drying off, just to remove the element from my brain – Did I do it?  Well, if the rozzers ask, you ain’t seen me, ok?!

I also felt the wonders of searching through the SMART women group this morning for a work-out to turn some of that aggression in to a positive.  Even when I’ve been feeling as tired as I have; the Bootcamps always help turn my mood around and pick me up for the day and so this morning, I turned to the marvel of the internet and the shared work-outs – what a god send!  Well, maybe not for my neighbours, who are probably writing to complain as we speak about the yelling and loud elephant-esque noises emanating from my apartment…

*Don’t forget it’s free trial week, commencing Mon, 19th Mar 2012 – tell a friend!* – sign up: MindBody

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Week 10 2012

Week 10 

4h-10th March 2012

Weight:    10st 3lbs

Status:     The Final Countdown!

Mood:      Pretty darn good!

“I guess there is no-one to blame, we’re leaving ground, will things ever be the same again? [drums] It’s the Final Countdown!”  Okay, so how many of you actually sang along?  I might have even thrown in a fist pump into the air at the end… however, I’m neither confirming nor denying my actions…

10 weeks!  I think people have served shorter sentences but I’m nearly there – I’m sooo close I can taste it!  You know what else I can taste? Sugar.  My sugar cravings are another little result of my thyroid problems but are consistently heightened whenever I abstain from the sauce and this week, my sweet tooth has been rife.  Plus, I had the embarrassment of admitting to Charlie that I hadn’t been following the nutritional plan that can clearly help manage these cravings.  I trust my fearless booty leader with my life as after 2yrs under Cambridge Bootcamps; I’ve never been given bad advice.  Unfortunately for me, it’s all the bad advice I had prior to booty that has somewhat tainted me & I need to move past that.  I think we all know that working with our booty plans has been an eye-opener with all the things we have been led to believe were good for us, ie. sweeteners in place of sugar or skimmed milk instead of whole (see, I was listening Charlie!), that our entire way of thinking has been conditioned by some very clever marketers in the financial gargantuan that is the slimming industry. My problem is that I’m also allergic to garlic and bell peppers which means I’m very limited on a lot of foods anyway, so it’s even harder to cut out the ones I like or can eat because it makes things a tad bland (You know, it’s that thought of walking into a nice restaurant and ordering 2 boiled potatoes or a plate of steamed broccoli).  However, I have promised to do better in the arena of cutting out sugars and I do actually mean it, because I want to stop craving what’s bad for me and naturally gain my energy without relying on the dreaded sugars and caffeine’s of the world (or the old quick fix of 20 cans of Redbull and a sherbet dip-dab).

From a fitness point of view, I didn’t do great at booty this week as I feel generally run down from all the hours I’ve been clocking up, but the thought that I’m almost at the end of my challenge combined with the sun shining at booty for our merry band of specials; my spirits have been happily raised.  As well as the extra Vitamin C I’m getting with all my fruit; I do tend to function better when that sun kicks out its lovely Vitamin D and when I’m surrounded by people that make me laugh, like the booty girls – are there better medicines than those in the world?  Well, maybe Lithium, but it’s a close-knit race ladies! :0) x

*Don’t forget it’s free trial week, commencing Mon, 19th Mar 2012 – tell a friend!* – sign up: MindBody

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Week 9 2012

Week 9 

26th February – 3rd March 2012

Weight:    10st 4lbs

Status:     Into the final weeks…

Mood:      flabbergasted: someone actually did add a day into the month!

March, March, how I love thee… Not only is spring on its way with just the thought of the sunshine giving me a ma-husive smile but it also means I’m on to the final furlong, the last lap, the… no, I’m out already.

I’m still outrageously busy from a work perspective, but I decided to combat last week’s problem of poor eating with a ‘big shop’ that provided some cracking snacks in the form of healthy eating, with my fridge now stocking more fruit than a Arcimboldo painting.

This week’s biggest obstacle turned out to be confidence.  Blur once said “Confidence is a preference for the habitual voyeur of what is known as…Parklife” interesting take Mr Albarn but I’m going with; confidence, or lack thereof, is the ruination of many a great plan.  For this weekend’s bit of a do, I had a fab dress that I knew looked good but a sudden overwhelming dread of the evening ahead overtook any rational thinking and I found myself on a very last minute shopping trip to find something else to wear.  I knew it was madness but continued to act out my illogical fear and even stopped for a moment to admire the irony of life imitating art as the overwhelming trepidation of attending a party that would invoke childhood memories is exactly what my first book was about.  I was really frustrated at myself because the night wasn’t about me and my insignificant insecurities; it was about my fantastic best friend & her partner who struggle daily with their disabled child.  However, the takeaway is that (as expected, despite my lunacy) it was a great night and a tonne of money was raised for an amazing cause with the occasion proving that anything outside of focussing on the big picture of supporting the people you love is wholly without worth and leaves you feeling somewhat empty.

I’m now left with the embarrassment that I felt that way before going but also proud that I managed the whole night without a drop of alcohol, despite my comfort levels and some pretty heavy peer pressure.  At the end of the night, I was able to reflect on the night’s proceedings, remembering key moments that will now stay with me forever (or at least until my noggin gives up the ghost).  In addition, I was also able to stay on my feet even after a bouncing surge from the back pushed heavily (and sidewards) towards the dancefloor sweeping all in its path for a bit of Queen’s ‘Don’t Stop Me Now’…

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Week 8 2012

Week 8
19th – 25th February 2012

Weight:    10st 4lbs

Status:     56 days & counting – I thank you!

Mood:      yes, I’m still counting…

Ok, so a wee weight plateau at the moment but that might have something to do with the fact that I managed to display the culinary skills of a 4 year old this week.  I’ve been ridiculously busy working 12-14hr days, not stopping to get in a ‘big shop’ or make a proper dinner; so it really has been an interesting case of what’s in the cupboard… and apparently, that wasn’t a lot!

So after chewing on a dry crackerbread and sucking on an oxo cube, my body has clearly rebelled this week, and quite rightly so!

Despite my dietary lapse over the last 8 or so days or that I’m tired from the hours I’ve been chucking in and my tough dry weekend excursion back to my drinking homeland where I had to be fun ‘auntie Hayley’ as the kids trampolined all over me; it’s not put a dampener on my spirits as I’m still feeling pretty good about how far I’ve come.  56 days is a long, long, long, did I say long? long, LONG time but I’ve managed to avoid the seductive sauce!  I’ve dined with friends with whom I normally share a tipple (or to be honest, usually more of a ‘topple’) with, I’ve attended family gatherings and even a hoe down, but I have managed to remain totally sober.  Not that I was an alcoholic before, you understand, but I do feel like I deserve some kind of sobriety chip for what has felt like a monumental effort!

It has definitely paid off though, as next week I have a bit of a do and I can fit into my nice new dress.  Ok, so it needs some spanx, a giant shoe horn and a lack of breathing throughout the night on my part to fit into it, but I’ll take the win…

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Week 7 2012

Week 7

12th – 18th February 2012

Weight:    10st 4lbs

Status:     Half Way!!!

Mood:      Upbeat: Did I mention; it’s Half Way!!!

Jeans.  That’s all I need to say – jeans – and all the ladies reading this will know that it’s one of the hardest things in the world to buy. So many different sizes, dependent on brand, density and shape, that buying a simple pair of jeans is like climbing some bloody big mountain somewhere where there’s a range of bloody big mountains.  In the spirit of all things self-flagellating, this week I bought a pair of jeans.  Why am I harping on about jeans?  Because this pair is the size I once wore 7 years ago… chuffed?  I think so!  Ok, so for all those reasons above, it may not have been a true size, but I’m taking the victory and I’m running with it… I’m falling over because I wasn’t looking where I was going… and I’m up again and running with it!

My little jeans adventure and keeping up to date with the three booty girls that are currently undergoing the nutritional challenge and the amazing and inspiring progress that they have made; has had me really thinking about size and, in turn weight, this week.  One of the things that I’ve loved about Bootcamp is the simple lesson that it taught me about losing weight.  Before I joined I was so obsessed by it that I would weigh myself every day; you know hoping that the fat fairy would come in the night and take away half my body weight or she would just give-in and replace it with a newer model.  It was a while after joining before I realised when I was cleaning one day that my scales had started to gather dust…  I’d stopped obsessing about why I’d put a pound on here or not lost any there and started focussing on how I felt.  I’m currently weighing myself once a week, purely for this challenge of not drinking, as seeing the number lessen does help as a motivational tool but I can’t believe now that I used to be so weight-absorbed because that’s a battle you will never ever win.  It’s not about tipping the scales, it’s about getting to know the body you have and starting to treat it better and when your breathing becomes less laboured, your step acquires a spring and your shape starts to change to reveal all those lovely curves you used to have; that’s when you know you’re winning.  I know girls who have lost ‘weight’ through unhealthy fad diets of basically not eating by sucking on a grape for two days and their shape is weird, their frame is weak, their colouring is grey and their fitness is non-existent.  So, here’s to the body you deserve for the work you put in and two fingers up to the fat fairy I say!

< Although I won’t be throwing my scales at her just yet, as I need them to inspire some even more offensive comments towards the alcohol fairy :0) >

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Week 6 2012

Week 6

5th – 11th February 2012

Weight:    10st 4lbs

Status:     Why isn’t it half way yet?

Mood:      WHY isn’t it half way yet??!!

Rather bizarrely, I still want a drink. By this time last year, I was well and truly past any cravings and I think that my continued pining is more to do with the extra long time-frame I set myself, knowing that I’m not even half way yet… damn!

The thing that’s keeping me going is those measurements from last week.  They had me wondering if I got them wrong and I was that big to start with but I’ve been digging out photographs from a couple of years ago and I can’t believe the difference.  It’s flooded my usually empty brain with memories of all the parts I was desperately unhappy with and now I remember that I used to have extra pockets everywhere even when I wasn’t wearing clothes.  I could have started a lucrative business smuggling electric cars in my back fat and a few small immigrants behind my knees and now I’m feeling somewhat streamlined… and obviously in need of another money making scheme!

My focus is well and truly back and my brain is buzzing with ideas and it’s been like a scene from ‘A Beautiful Mind’, making me write into the wee hours of the morning again.  It might be because I’ve missed booty this week, which I’m not too chuffed about thanks to the snow so I’ve nowhere to channel the energy.  Also, I know that next week is a week off, so I’m forfeiting 2 whole weeks of my much needed booty.  Will I go crazy in the interim? I’m not ruling it out :0)

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Week 5 2012

Week 5

29th January – 4th February 2012

Weight:    10st 5lbs

Status:     One month down; two to go…

Mood:      Suspicious: who’s adding days in the month?

Tum te tum; so one month in the bag but the thought of another two…?  I’m sorry, I just zoned out thinking of painless ways to put myself in a coma for the coming months to wait out the next 60 days!

My concentration levels have now increased which is what I’ve been waiting for and I’ve had an incredibly productive week.  In fact, my brain has quite a lot of excess energy; if only my body were on the same page then I’d be feeling super-fit right now.  The physical energy levels are a thyroid thing but I’m trying to work out a diet around that but I AM losing weight steadily, which is normally a really tough thing for me to do.  I can feel it massively in my clothes, so for the first time in 2 years, I had the courage to take my measurements.  I first took them 2 months before I started Bootcamp and I have felt a difference in my shape but I didn’t want to take them again as I was terrified of being disappointed, in case my perception was wrong and there was no difference; mentally, that could have put me back to square one.  However, I did it and I’m really glad I did.  From head to toe I have lost:

Tops of arms: 1in off (each)

Chest: almost 2.2in off

Waist:  1.2in off

Hips: 1.6in off

Tops of legs: 1in off (each)

Knees: 1in (each)

So all in all, that’s 11in in total over 2 years!  Did I hear a ‘whoop whoop’?  – not bad for someone who ‘supposedly’ can’t lose weight!

Doing the dance of joy…

…and someone’s just seen me doing the dance of joy – now hiding the face of shame as I’m crouched behind the window until it’s safe to get back up again…

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Week 4 2012

Week 4

22nd – 28th January 2012

Weight:    10st 6lbs

Status:     God, I need a drink…

Mood:      Inquisitive – Is there alcohol in paint thinner?

Last year, one of my toughest test’s was heading back to my home town to see old friends and family, where it’s like a scene from ‘Cheers’ where everybody knows your name, and its generally the people hanging out in the pub…  Did I face up to this challenge this year?  Hell no, I ran in the other direction and avoided everyone like the plague.  What a hero!

Normally, my yellow belly would bother me, but I must admit I don’t feel as bad as I thought I would.  Do I miss my friends and family?  Sure.  However, my need to stay on the sober path without all those pesky drink-related and fatty food enticements has to be my main priority at the moment.  I think it was Oscar Wilde who said, “I can resist anything except temptation” – I hear ya man.

As some of my fellow booties already know through Facebook, I’ve been coming up with a reason each day as to why NOT drinking to excess is a good thing but I’m starting to think of a reason ‘for’ per every ‘against’ which is a small concern.   Plus some of my ‘drinking buddies’ seem to be getting a bit defensive over their right to sup the golden nectar – sorry I meant devil’s broth…  which I must admit is making me smile.  Am I smug at not drinking for the last 4 weeks, you betcha; am I saying no-one else can drink, not on your nelly!  Why would I do that?! I’m not giving up alcohol for life, I have far too much fun on it and the aftermath stories generally aid in my fictional writing… but why is it that people get so defensive?  As I’m pretty sure the lovely booties when trying to eat more healthily will attest; it’s the people that are closest to you that are often the worst offenders.  From past experience of giving up smoking, I think it might be your will-power to refuse that makes them somehow feel guilty?  When I told people last year that I had stopped drinking for a time and was trying to eat more healthily, people laughed and wafted drinks under my nose and kept offering me cakes.  Also when I stopped smoking, I once made the heinous mistake of trying to fan someone’s smoke away from my eyes – that person then purposely blew the smoke in my face and asked if I liked it!  Had that person not been the woman who birthed me, I would have connected my fist with her face and asked her the same thing! :0))

In short; ignore or smile at the non-believers – [in Yoda voice] your persistence shows up their weakness it does, hmm-mm…

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Week 3 2012

Week 3                                                                                                                                                 15th – 21st January 2012

Weight:    10st 7lbs

Status:     Still counting the days?  Oh dear…

Mood:      Grumpy pants

Has anyone else noticed how many people drink on TV and in films?  No?  Just me then… damn!  Everywhere I turn, someone’s pouring a nice glass of red, supping on an ice cold beer, throwing down a fiery shot… throwing up a fiery shot… come to think of it; they can have that.

I am very grumpy this week and I’m hoping it’s more to do with ”women’s things” than not drinking.  Don’t like ”women’s things”?  Me either, sounds so patronising.  How about *devil belly? Satan’s painters? Aunt Flo is visiting? Flying the red flag? Shark week?  *delete as applicable

The best news this week is that I’m back baby; back at Bootcamp and ready to take on the world!  Ok, maybe not the world… or large groups because that wouldn’t really be fair – in fact, if you could just queue up one by one and I’m sure we could talk it out…

I haven’t worked out my diet properly yet and just the same as last year, I suddenly have lost the ability to recognise when I’m hungry and keep missing meals or eating at the wrong times.  I’m not over-eating; on the contrary, I’m not eating enough.  Missing lunch or eating it late, means I don’t want a lot for dinner and so have been having lunch-esque meals in the evening, which isn’t good.  I’ve had a very unhealthy relationship with food in this respect in the past, so I need to figure out how to combat the lack of routine.

It’s probably worth pointing out that my concentration levels have been appalling the last few weeks, which I know from experience will change but I’m just waiting for…

What was I saying?

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