Bear's Bootcamp vs Life…

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

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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Week 2 2012

Week 2                                                                                                                                                 8th – 14th January 2012

Weight:    10st 6lbs

Status:     Who’s asking?!

Mood:      Slightly antagonistic

Ok, so I’m grumpy. I pre-empted this little emotional gem and planned accordingly by locking myself away, with my only link to the outside world being to growl at the postman through the letter box and the modern day wonders of social media, where I could pretend I was all smiley and smashingly lovely.

My diet last week was…  well, shit, for want of a better word.  I also expected this from previous years abstaining from the sauce.  For the first week, it’s like my brain says “so you’ve stopped drinking, you must eat more crap” and I daren’t argue with the highly sophisticated machine that is my… I’m sorry, I couldn’t even finish that sentence without laughing myself!  However, I have done better than previous years; it’s fair to say that the crap that I consumed last week was in moderation and through some clever distractions (thank you Helen for employing me to help you move!) I’ve managed to keep the snacking to a minimum and keep pretty fit (did I say thanks Helen?) which has aided the loss of my first two pounds!

Also I have to thank social media once more for the Facebook pages with WOD’s, nutritional tips and supportive blogs plus general tweets of encouragement doing the rounds from my fellow booty beauties to keep my spirits up.  They’ve really needed lifting this week and as I’m now the wrong side of 30, the constant scowl is more likely to cause permanent damage.  It might have something to do with the fact that I’m currently drinking Maté tea which tastes like it’s been strained through a worn stocking and drank through a toilet roll but I seem to be struggling with this year’s challenge.  It might also be because I set myself a much tougher goal this year of making it until the end of March, which may as well be 2015 for the distance away it feels.

I’m keeping in my head the target of the Spartan race – I’d been thinking I wanted to do something of value to raise money for my godson who has hemiplegia for some time and then the challenge of Spartan presented itself.  Was it the thought of ice water, barbed wire, fire jumping and camaraderie, yeah, sure… nothing at all to do with fit men in togas…

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Week 1 2012

Week 1                                                                                                                                                 1st – 7th January 2012

Weight:    10st 8lbs

Status:     At the start of my challenge

Mood:      Knowingly apprehensive

Has it really been a year since my last detox diary?  Oh yes.  This time round I know what’s coming and perhaps as a preparation for my detox (rather like a bear in winter) I have been, errm, storing food in my own personal cave of a stomach over the festive season and have put on a nice round 4 pounds to see me through my barren months of no alcohol and no crap.  However, it might be an honest time to admit that the no crap part only really kicks in for me at week two, as I’m aware from previous years of alcohol-dodging that my sweet tooth gets as large as a Great White’s but even more vicious if you try and hide the sugar…

My circumstances have changed drastically since last year and I find myself unable to attend the first Bootcamp session which has really knocked me.  I’d go into details of all the changes but fear I would bore the pants off you and from a health and safety perspective of possible drowning; we can’t have you nodding off over your home-made soup.  It’s been a tough year and even my, normally outwardly sunny, disposition has been tested to the limit but as ever, Charlie Wall (guru, ass-kicker and more importantly, now a good friend) has been a brick.  Brick Wall… see what I did there? [cue tumbleweed]

From a fitness point of view Cambridge Bootcamps has proven what I knew on my very first session; that it would be the first disciplined exercise regime that I was involved in to motivate, inspire and ultimately, work for me.  After gaining a large amount of weight over a short space of time and subsequently being diagnosed with an under-active thyroid 7 years ago, I was told by the ‘support’ group that losing weight would be like trying to walk up a hill with a piano tied to my back… I know right? Not exactly supportive!  I desperately tried fad diets, exercise classes and the gym and I confess, I was starting to get the feeling that they might be right, until I started surfing (not actual surfing; at the time I would have looked like the prime shark bait of a solid sea lion in a wet suit).  I came across Charlie’s website and I think it’s fair to say, that my smile started there.  Due to my thyroid or man gland as I like to call it (it’s lazy and f**ks with my hormones) it took longer than most, but finally in 2011 I dropped a dress size!   I’d noticed, along with most of my friends and family that my body shape was slowly returning to a recognisable hour-glass and not the sort of wobbly jelly mould it had become but to actually be able to buy a size smaller has knocked all the other negatives of the year out of the park and left me with a rather ridiculous grin.

Starting a new year I’m now hopeful of what I can accomplish in the realms of fitness, but I admit I am a little worried with not being able to attend a regular Bootcamp and have Charlie make sure I’m not slacking!  With that in mind, I’m thinking of sewing up my mouth to stop me snacking.  Fortunately for my vanity, I’ve been given a reprieve in the form of helping someone move, so I don’t have an all access pass to the local supermarket nibbles, plus all those dead lifts of heavy books could rival a burpee!  I will conquer…

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Week 6 2011

Week 6                                                                                                                                                 5th – 11th February 2011

Weight:    10st 7lbs

Status:     Yey!  It’s the final week

Mood:      Smug.  Who said I couldn’t do it?!

It started off as a horrible week but ended on a great note.  I had to miss Bootcamp again on Tuesday for more tests, prodding, poking and well, groping until eventually the doctors told me to get off and asked me to leave (two drum taps and a high hat – I thank you!)  Joking aside, I started Bootcamp last year under exactly the same cloud and recognise that I’ve now come full circle.  Luckily, all my tests came back negative and after spending a lot of time this year with brave women who haven’t had such positive news; I realise just how lucky I am.

Charlie has been top draw for me this last year, my Sergeant Major to give me a much needed kick up the ass, the provider of well needed hugs and a keen texter to check on me and see if I’m ok – thanks Charlie  :0) x

It’s been an interesting six weeks that has made me appreciate that all those times in the past that I’ve said “I can’t do it” (and there has been quite a few of those…) I’ve just been hiding.  I have a holiday coming up now and I’ve been apprehensive that I would undo all the good work I’ve done but I suddenly feel incredibly brave and I reckon I’ve got this whole control thing well under… well, control  :0)  My sobriety is at an end, yet I haven’t felt the need to drink like my usual Olly Reed self; in fact, I’ve hardly touched a drop.  Now that I can, I’m actually not sure that I want to…  My fridge is full of healthy food and I haven’t needed to devour a cupcake in under 2 seconds (it’s a skill).  I no longer pass the donut section of my local supermarket with scary visuals that I’ll dive right on to the shelf and start throwing them into my face like the Cookie Monster and Gollum had a love child and I even found myself really salivating, or should I say ‘getting fruity’ over an apple last night.  Things have definitely changed!

Seeing as I am my own worst enemy, I’ll be having some stern words with myself over the next few weeks (in private obviously, so they don’t lock me up), to make sure I stay on the straight and narrow; but I’m not worried.  Yes, my finger is usually hovering dangerously close to the self destruct button but right now it’s too busy peeling an orange and after that I suspect it will be well utilised making rude gestures towards the Danish (that’s pastries not people!) in Tesco’s :0)  Bring it on!

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Week 5 2011

Week 5                                                                                                                                 29th January – 4th February 2011

Weight:    10st 7lbs

Status:     Almost there!

Mood:      Seriously??  Come on!

First and foremost, I can’t believe how much weight I’ve lost and so quickly.  That never happens.  I have literally been losing a pound a week and I can feel it in my clothes and my general fitness.

It’s been a long couple of weeks and my resolve has been tested to the limit but I’m still not drinking, I’m still not eating crap and I’m still standing.  I had my first hospital visit this week which hasn’t been pleasant and it also meant that I missed Bootcamp which actually really pissed me off!  Possibly not the right positive state of mind needed but I do love my Bootcamp…  If my friends would have heard me say that a year ago, I would have been carting them off to the hospital from the hernia’s they got from strenuous laughing…

Bootcamp has made me a changed woman.  I may not have lost the 2 stone I was hoping for after just one session (I like to keep it real…) but I’ve changed shape – scrap that; I found my shape again, under all that excess baggage – I knew it was in there somewhere…  I find I have a focus and a purpose that I could never find in a gym.  Maybe it was the overwhelming whiff of testosterone or the over abundance of lycra and subsequent camel’s hooves that had me reaching for the sick bag… (and then a pack of chocolate digestives), but I never found the motivation from a lack of self belief that I belonged alongside the uber fit.  That feeling that you’re being watched and tutted at as you fail to master the cross trainer, pick the wrong fast setting and hang on for dear life like a cowboy in a rodeo.  What I notice now is that I could have written a whole book on the excuses I came up with to miss the gym but I’m now pissed off when I’m forced to miss one Bootcamp – interesting!

Bootcamp today with Alan has set me in good stead for a weekend of abstinence.  Mainly because my thighs hurt so badly, I can’t walk to the kitchen and get anything to eat or drink…  Those magical ‘active rests’ (if ever there was an oxymoron!) have ensured that by Monday, I’ll be looking like an emaciated Kate Moss!

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Week 4 2011

Week 4                                                                                                                                                 22nd – 28th January 2011

Weight:    10st 8lbs

Status:     Half way!

Mood:      Boring?

I headed back to my home town in Essex this weekend for an action-packed 3 days.  It wasn’t fully loaded due to my continued sobriety; it was more ‘half-cocked’…  It was great to see family and friends, catch up and tell them all about my challenge and after I waited for them to stop laughing and offering me donuts (thanks Mrs C & 2 friends who shall remain nameless), they were actually interested, and I think secretly impressed, at my resolve.

Although judging by some of their faces, I fear I have become a bit like that Fun Bobby dude off of ‘Friends’ who only has good stories to tell from his drinking exploits and suspect I have turned a tad boring.  If my new wardrobe from my new weight loss includes polyester with pleats then I may have to take drastic action!

It’s been a tough time as I have a parent who is unwell and dependent and I had some bad news of my own early this week which has rocked my sobriety and I’ve majorly fought to stay on the path and off the moors.  My want for a drink this week has seen me battle on a whole new level and I confess, I briefly retreated to the realms of chocolate but that was to stop me chewing off my own arm – and although one arm press ups can be done (I’m thinking Sly Stallone in an 80’s themed Rocky montage here), I fear I struggle with press ups using the two I have, so I thought it best to have a Twix instead!

My saving grace has been this challenge and its evident results in my shape, fitness and weight loss, which have literally saved me with yet another pound lost this week.  I realise now that my normal practice would have been to drown my sorrows and stuff my face but I have thus far resisted (give me a break with the Twix already!) and take a little pride in the effort.  I WILL make it into that new bikini – without being taken out by a passing Japanese whaling ship as I partake in a dip…

Bootcamp this week saw us introduced to a new workout from Charlie called ‘Chaos’.  I’ve always loved the names our fearless leader gives to our torturous pleasure and although some have obvious meaning, I’ve often wondered what inspired the choice for some of the others.  However, following the aftermath of my abode as I’ve crashed into things trying to walk after Tuesday, I’ve now realised where the name ‘Chaos’ derived from!  Charlie, you owe me a new lamp  :0)

Suggest we also throw names in a hat for names of future workouts.  I’m going to take my inspiration from the animal kingdom and start with ‘Cheetah’ – its very name suggesting stealth and speed but also covers my childish need to cut corners when Charlie’s not looking.  I’m also thinking ‘Giraffe’ is a good one – a bit of cockney rhyming slang for those “you are avin’ a laugh??!!” moments when burpies are combined with… well, anything!  Then there’s my personal favourite of ‘Elephant’ – a special set of exercises that work on the posterior for those ladies like myself, with a little too much junk in the trunk…

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Week 3 2011

Week 3                                                                                                                                                 15th – 21st January 2011

Weight:    10st 9lbs

Status:     Rounding a corner?  Fighting the good food fight.

Mood:      Easily distracted

The weekends are the toughest and I’ve found myself working for the last two to keep my mind off of certain social beverages.  What’s kept me going?  The fact that I’ve already lost 2lbs!  I never lose weight quickly, so I’m feeling a smug smile start to creep on to my face.

I am finding my levels of concentration to be way off though, which is proving interesting for work.  Indeed, as I’m supposed to be working while writing this!  This is a bit worrying for me, as I normally have the attention span of a cocker spaniel anyway, often being compared to a goldfish by teachers in my younger years – but I wasn’t emotionally scarred by it, as 2 seconds after they said it, I’d forgotten…

I do feel like I’ve turned the proverbial corner, as I no longer feel the need to pace the room, nor kick old ladies as they pass by and steal ice creams from small children as I did last week; which is just as well, as I was soundly on my way to getting my first ASBO.  My cravings for the ethanol infused liquids have considerably waned and I no longer look like a vagrant in a subway tunnel; which is a shame as the busking was pulling in some extra cash.

I am getting a bit bored of lunchtimes though; trying to avoid eating wheat has been a lot harder than I thought.  I’ve read through the Nutritional Smart Plan which might actually score me some points with Charlie as up until a few weeks ago, I didn’t know there was one and when I confessed to Ms Wall, she rolled her eyes but then nodded, realising it was me.  I also joined the ‘food porn’ site which I was really pleased to find had really useful recipes on it and not dodgy 70’s music with a slideshow of carrots that look like phallic objects.  Only problem is, I’m an absolutely shite cook.  The daughter of a chef, I should know better but I’m quite well known for burning soup as ‘said’ low attention threshold distracts me from such mundane tasks as stirring.  Although, cracking open a bag of baby spinach, crumbling over some feta and chopping up a red onion…?  Just try and stop me!  Charlie and her band of merry Booties will make a culinary goddess out of me yet  :0)

Met a friend for lunch on Wednesday and hadn’t taken into consideration the minefield of navigating a pub menu when you’re on a detox!  Needless to say, the healthiest thing on there was a cheese sandwich…!  Still, has put me in mind to prepare some form of packed lunch/ingredients to take with me when I visit my friends and family at the weekend.

First full week back at Bootcamp!  God, I’ve missed it – wind whistling up your trackie leg (must be those extra veggies!), rain in the face and mud in your hair… no, really, I have actually missed that.  Having purposely and purposefully excluded myself from societal functions to avoid liquid temptations; I was starting to go a little stir crazy.  The great outdoors and the lovely Booties, what more could you want.  Tuesday, I was paired with the ultra fit Elena which pushed me to at least attempt to keep up but I struggled through a few exercises and while attempting to cut corners, tried to distract Charlie with the old “Would you look at that lesser-spotted red-nosed pigeon up there” manoeuvre, but she didn’t fall for it, far too savvy – maybe I’ll pretend I’ve seen some ultra shiny jewellery or a pair of Jimmy Choos hidden in the bushes, that might do it!  Friday was the ‘no pain, no gain’ Alan.  Alan pushes us to the outer limits because he also wants us to achieve our goals… and when I say outer limits, I mean across the channel, through Europe and into China.  Attempting to distract Alan would land me in the ‘drop and give me twenty’ school of punishment, so I soldiered through the dreaded assault course and as always, I’m glad I did!

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Week 2 2011

Week 2                                                                                                                                                 8th – 14th January 2011

Weight:    10st 10lbs

Status:     Is it only Week 2?  Shit.

Mood:      Slightly irritable…

Ok, so the first week’s optimism has buggered off and left me with no junk food in the house to console myself… and oh yeah, a little bit grumpy!

So I know I can do this, but I’m now questioning why?  Why, why, why?  No alcohol?  Am I mad?  Quite possibly, as I appear to be having a one-sided conversation in this diary; pants!  I’ve still got my cold although my taste buds have returned with a vengeance and I’m now missing my nightly tipple.  I tried a few cocktail recipes with cough mixtures instead of alcohol but I found that ‘Sex on the Beach’ with Night Nurse was sadly lacking…

I appear to have a constant headache and I think it’s from a bit of withdrawal.  The plan of eating small amounts 4 to 5 times a day was common to me but suddenly, I’m finding it difficult?  I’ve forgotten twice this week to add in my afternoon healthy snack and I’ve also eaten late twice, so my brain/stomach balance is not quite functioning as it was.  As I work from home, I’ve really no excuse to miss or delay meals.

My meal planning has been a bit poor in general I think.  I found a few recipes that I’m ok with but I can get too samey with food and I’m pretty sure it’s not cool to repeat the same procedures every day, so I need to maybe set an alarm to stop work, leave my desk and sort out dinner.  The fridge is stocked with plenty of healthy ingredients; I just need to get my ‘Ramsey’ on.  Although by some of the vocabulary that’s left my mouth this week, I’ve already f**king done that… damn.

I’ve done a lot of pacing so far this week, realising the extent of my unhealthy relationship with alcohol as I’ve tried to keep myself busy.  I’ve thrown in the odd ‘sit-up’ for good measure too, although that’s making me feel depressed as my stomach is getting in the way of actually sitting up, so I really should call them a ‘slight gravitational inclines-up’ instead.

Fortunately, I just had my first Bootcamp of the year which has seriously lifted my spirits.  Damn, now I’ve thought about spirits… and optics… and Tia Maria – and I don’t even like Tia Maria?!  Focus!  Right, yes, Bootcamp – top draw!  I realise today just how much I’ve missed my Bootcamp.  It started off great, with a surprising burst of energy from me that actually had me doing extra activities and completing tasks ahead of the class, which was duly noted by my fellow Booties by the appropriate level of support it deserved, such as the rubbing of one’s nose to suggest mine was brown and coughing into fists while uttering words like “teacher’s pet”.  I took pride in the moment as I’d never been top of the class before!  My euphoria and pleasing, healthy glow in the cheeks lasted a good few minutes before Charlie set forth a chain of exercises that left me looking like a flailing beached seal as I attempted the dreaded burpies followed by press-ups, while my mountain climbers looked more like a salted slug negotiating some gravel.

So, to say that I’m aching after Bootcamp would be like saying that losing one’s leg is a mere flesh wound…  The undertaking of basic tasks has become quite momentous as I was laughed at for a full 5 minutes as I attempted to put on some socks.  I’m also considering a reversing beeper that you get on lorries for the more regular bathroom breaks that are needed now I’ve upped my water intake.  I find backing in there to be the best option, as my thighs are now the ones screaming obscenities – although, thinking about it, a crane to help lift me off would also be useful… hmm, I’ll bear that in mind.

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