Day 109- NEW HABIT: Find My 5k

NEW HABIT: Walk or run 5k every Saturday morning

Day 109 and I’m struggling to think up new habits. This is a good sign. It means I’m finally doing all the things I want to do to be a happier person. Now it’s just a matter of honing them and levelling up where possible. I still have a lot to come, what with my exercise and food habits but that’s all planned out and I’ll blog about them as and when.

As I’m struggling to come up with new habits I think it’s time I fill the gaps in between the current ones. Perfecting them and not leaving any moment wasted. I’m concluding that I should only need 1 hour a day to chill with Netflix, a cup of tea and a small chocolate bar but every other moment of the day needs to be productive and conscientious. The need to zone out and eat something crappy needs to be focused to that one hour a day. That will leave the other 23 hours maximised to the optimum.

So I previously said I’m looking to include 3 types of exercise; flexibility, cardio & strength-training. After reading an interesting article saying that interval training has a much bigger impact on age-reversal than strength-training, I’m going to add HIIT or interval training to my list. I may even make a weekly swim my 5th and final category.

Yesterday, I cemented my habits for flexibility. I’m committed to doing 5 yoga and pilates classes a week. I did a yoga class yesterday and once again, I was horrified at the fat girl starring back at me from the mirror. It made me think again about my urge for weight-loss and increased steppage and burning calories. It’s inspired me to get running again. The article also says running and walking are good for age reversal too. Now I have a new smartphone, I can track my runs on Fitbit and Strava, providing intense motivation and competition with myself.

I want to do ParkRun again. The last time I did it my time was about 49 mins and I was second to last. This just isn’t good enough for me. I want a sub 45 before I go back to the park. Besides, ParkRun starts at 9am on a Saturday and I have a yoga class at 10am. I envisage myself completing ParkRun with enough time to get to class by 10am.

So my first cardio habit is going to be completing a 5k every Saturday morning. ParkRun is my goal but for now I will just repeatedly run a 5k on the street until I consider my time is good enough. I really want to repeat a route on Strava because it automatically awards trophies and PBs and I’ll enjoy that.

This evening I plan to go out for a walk to find my 5k. I have a route in mind from when I ran 5-6 years ago. I will walk it again to check the distance and log my first time for the route. The plan thereafter, is to just keep doing the route every week to see if I can get faster. I don’t enjoy running on the treadmill at the gym because I get scared or bored. I may add another 5k in the week to provide me with two cardio sessions a week and then I will look at two spinning classes a week and some interval training in the park to cover that category. It’s all a long way off.

I’ve just logged into MapMyFitness and have been looking back at my runs from 2014/2015.

This is the the 5k route I’m going to revisit tonight and my fastest time I managed back in 2014. It will be interesting to see if I can ever achieve it again?

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My gym includes premium membership to MapMyFitness, which is a bonus.

Update: I’ve just been out for an hour’s walk to check the route I have planned and it is indeed 5k. Here’s my initial stats as a base start. I fast walked the 5k.

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“I will walk or run a 5k route every Saturday morning aiming for a sub 45 so I can do ParkRun again”

 

Day 105- REVIEW: Menu Plan

Just over a week ago I decided to join the gym and follow the vegan diet from the book, “The 28-Day Vegan Plan: Kickstart a plant-based lifestyle in just one month” by Kim-Julie Hansen. I was very excited because I hate making shopping lists and menu plans but this book had it all laid out for me. My youngest son and I have just managed the first week but I have to express how very disappointed I am in the book. Firstly, the ingredients in the shopping list don’t match the actual ingredients needed in the recipes, so I had too much of a lot of things. Secondly, some of the portions are over the top and excessively large. On one of the prep days it asked me to cook 200g of brown rice but it made sooooo much rice there was no way we would get through it. Thirdly, the meals are just not that great. Either tasteless or not tasting great. I can’t believe the kale salad recipe doesn’t request you rub anything into the kale to break it down first. Lastly, the prep is a nightmare. If the food tasted good, it may be worth it but a lot of the meals are just boring, dry or a bit rank. This is not a good book to endorse Veganism. I know there are plenty of delicious plant-based meals out there.

I have joined the gym for over a week and have been really embracing almost daily activity. The diet has also proved very awkward to follow now I’m busy with the gym. I’m spending way to much time faffing in the kitchen and making a big mess for quite nasty meals. Today was the first day I felt all my habits were getting on top of me. I never quite got all the housework done at the weekend, I still had 3 more chairs to build for my dining set and then there is all the pressure to prep lunches, meals and breakfasts.

It’s really important I feel back in control of my habits so tomorrow I am prioritising finishing the weekend chores, bringing the house back in order and completing all my habits, especially my evening beauty regimen which keeps being abandoned due to time restraints.

After that, I’ll enforce a new diet plan. I want to create my own personal 12-week plan, based on the things we like and the recipes I know are easy. I should also mention that after a week of gym and a vegan diet I gained 1lb. I just couldn’t believe it. It may be I have to count calories to lose this stubborn weight.

I want to print out a 12-week food diary and fill it with all the meals we know and love. Making meals regular just like my habits. I want to return to my recipe flashcards too. Write out my favourite recipes on them a long with the needed ingredients.

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MY EXPERIENCE: The Mircobiome Purifying Programme by Synergy

This is the account of my experience completing the Microbiome Purifying Programme by Synergy.

I currently weigh around 165 lbs. I’m often tired and suffer regularly from sinus pain. I’m prone to acne breakouts especially at the back of my neck.

Day 1: For the next 5 days I am required to start taking the magnesium tablets, 2 a day,  and cut down on sugar, caffeine, alcohol, dairy and processed foods. The diet I have planned for these five days is very healthy. I’ve planned a plant-based protein shake, or porridge, made with fruits and hemp milk for breakfast. Salad and protein like fish or chicken for lunch. Protein, vegetables and brown rice or potatoes for dinner. I also have almonds, apple and satsuma for snacks.

I’m having an okay day, eating the foods I’ve planned to. But I’m having trouble with cravings. I’ve eaten 2 biscuits, a few crisps, a cream cake and a cup of tea. I’ve got 5 days to wind it down and prime myself for shake week. I’m hoping the magnesium tablets will conquer the anxiety and cravings it promises to. Tomorrow, I will try and have at least half the amount of crap I ate today. I might even go to bed early tomorrow to help avoid temptations.

Day 2: Today was much better for the most part. I had a chronic headache half way through the day which felt like a combination of sinus pain and caffeine withdrawal. But my food cravings were much more tolerable than yesterday. It didn’t stop me pigging out on some Emmental on toast and a few chocolate cookies but on the whole it was more manageable. Tomorrow I am aiming for no caffeine and no giving in to cravings. I’m aiming for 100% the right food. These 5 days are about cutting down and priming the body so continuing to include these bad foods is not beneficial to the cleanse.

Day 3: Today has been the easiest so far. I got a grip on my cravings and went the whole day without a deviation. I slept terribly the night before possibly due to Synergy’s caffeine alternative, E9. I just couldn’t fall asleep to past 3am. Now I’m over half way through the priming phase I can’t wait to start the shakes and find out what everyone is raving on about.

Day 4: Getting a bit fed up with this part of the plan and my boring dinners. I’m excited to start the shake week because I’m dying to find out what I will experience. I had another bad headache today but hard to tell if it was caffeine withdrawal or sinuses. On the whole, a good day with very little temptation.

Day 5: I’m so happy to have reached the end of this part of the journey. I battled some temptations and withdrawal headaches but now I’m just eager to start the next stage. From tomorrow I will be taking several supplements; probiotics, pre-biotics and a protein shake for breakfast and lunch. All of this should flood my body with good bacteria and vitamins and I should start feeling the promised benefits. I’ll be having a healthy protein dinner and the shakes for 7 days. At the end of that I plan to follow a plant-based vegan diet.

Day 6: Today was the first day of shake week. That means I have taken lots of probiotics and supplements today. They don’t taste as bad as people say. I expected to experience some digestion sensations but really I haven’t. In fact, if anything, I think I may be constipated even though I’m drinking lots of water. I’m not adhering completely to the diet and allowing some naughty things but I’m comfortable with my choices and still think I’ll see results.

Day 7: Day 2 of the shakes and I’m not noticing much happening. I have constipation, probably from the protein shakes. I’ve done many strict diets and I usually can feel the health entering and manipulating my body but with this regimen I feel nothing. I’m still getting cravings and finding it really hard to adhere to the rules.

Day 8: The cleanse is going really well although I’m not being a saint and still craving chocolate and crisps and indulging a little. My meals are healthy though. I had my first interesting ‘elimination’. I could really tell I’d consumed a lot of greenery!

Day 9: So far, apart from decent eliminations, I can’t feel anything interesting happening for me. I know it’s early days and I have consumed the odd inappropriate food, but I did expect an experience. I’ve done so many diets and cleanses and this one has had the least impact or interest. The shakes just replace my meals and the supplements appear to improve elimination but nothing else of interest is happening. I will probably keep using the shakes for more than 7 days because of all the cheating I’ve done and the fact I have a visit to Amsterdam coming up.

Day 21: This marks the end of my 21 day microbiome cleanse. If it has done me any good, I’m oblivious to it because I’ve experienced nothing remarkable whatsoever. No improved sleep, no renewed energy, no clearer skin. I did eat the odd microbiome unfriendly food but not enough to outweigh the amount of supplements I was consuming. In fact, I’ve been eating vegan for 4 days and already I can see the benefits from that. I’m really not sure if I would do it again unless I had £200 floating around and I’d been eating clean for a while.

I currently weigh 165.5 lbs so not even any weight loss. Thumbs down.

 

 

 

Day 98- NEW HABIT: The Gym

NEW HABIT: Try to go to the gym twice a day on weekdays for 3 months

The good news that my job role is to develop into something more professional from the 1st April means I am more inspired than I have been for a very long time. I want to dress more professionally for the role and feel good about myself. It has inspired me to join the gym because we have a new one recently opened right between my home and work. My sons go to it and my eldest son has been saying for a while that he could easily train me to lose weight and gain muscle if we went together. Impulsively, I went to the gym after work on Friday and signed up for 3 months. Thats two months before my role starts and one month after. I should think with commitment I can lose the 30+ surplus pounds I’m carrying around. 10 pounds a month is totally doable. I have joined an Anytime Fitness gym. It’s about £40 a month and you can only join for 3 months if you pay it all up front.

The gym is really nice with lots of stuff available. I’m chuffed that the showers are like individual bathrooms so I can lock the door and get on with my beauty regimen. Fingers crossed they are not too popular and busy. There are also a variety of classes I can attend, included in the price. I’m excited because there are lots I’m interested in, like variations of yoga. I can book the day before. There are even classes at 6am and I’m sure if I get addicted I would attend them, use the gym and then go to work.

I want to make the gym part of my daily routine once or twice a day so I have had to review all my habits and their timings for the entire day. Here is my revised plan for my daily weekday habits.

0645 hrs- Get up & put on gym wear

0650 hrs- Make bed

0655 hrs- Dental routine

0700 hrs- Finish packing for work

0705 hrs- Do any washing up

0715 hrs- Go to gym

0730 hrs- Gym session

0830 hrs- Shower & beauty regimen

0900 hrs- Breakfast at work

1600 hrs- Return home

1615 hrs- Change into gym wear

1620 hrs- Put laundry on

1625 hrs- Prep dinner and tomorrow’s breakfast & lunch, and have snack

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1800-2100 hrs- Gym classes

After gym:

Dinner

Head to bed routine

Beauty regimen

Pack for tomorrow

Netflix for one hour

Go to sleep

“I will aim to visit the gym at least once in the morning and once in the evening on weekdays for 3 months and then review”

 

 

 

 

Day 96- NEW HABIT: Plant-Based Diet

NEW HABIT: Start eating a plant-based diet

Monday will mark the end of my microbiome cleanse and then I will publish my results. I had always intended to move on to a plant-based diet after it so today marks the start of a two-week trial. I bought a great book in Waitrose after Christmas which has the shopping lists and menu plans all laid out and that makes success for me far more likely.

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Yesterday I had all the food delivered and oh boy, it’s a lot of fruit and veg! The daily plans are about 2,000 calories a day. Today I organised my food around the kitchen to make preparation that bit easier for me.

Today I weigh 165.5 lbs and I am 39.1% body fat.

“I will follow the plant-based diet in this book for two weeks”

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Week 8- WEIGH-IN

Even though I have done nothing out of the ordinary to obtain a weight loss this week, I’ve still weighed myself and lost a little.

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Thankfully, the consequences of Christmas appear to have started to dissipate. I have one week left before I embark on my Microbiome Gut Cleanse and when that is complete I will transition to a plant-based, vegan diet until the 31st December 2019.

However, I’m still heavier than when I started trying to lose weight.

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Week 7- WEIGH-IN

Last week was Christmas week. It was never going to be easy. I did eat a lot but no more than is expected at this time of year. In fact, I’m finding that I cannot put away as much as I use to be able to.

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As you can see, I have gained enough weight this week to be heavier than when I started 7 weeks ago yet my body fat percentage has still gone down a tiny tad more. I think this probably means I’m just bloated and heavy from the quantity of food. However, I’ve being thinking an awful lot about the changes I have made and the very little impact it has had on my weight-loss. I’m just fooling myself to think I can lose weight from eating meals and cooking from scratch. Whatever I do, I must end up eating the same amount of calories and maintain this weight of 30 pounds over. In a couple of weeks, I will do the Synergy Microbiome Purifying Programme and I have been planning what healthy foods I will eat when I’m on it. I keep coming back to justifying meat or some dairy etc, but simultaneously conclude that a plant-based, vegan diet is the only way to eat to assure optimum health. I’ve been going back and forth for so long, trying to cheat my way to keep tasty things included but doing so means optimum health is compromised or delayed. I think it’s time to bite the bullet and commit to an organic, plant-based, vegan diet when I start my programme, and for the indefinite future, until I’m in a place where I can safely make any new decisions. Right here, right now I’m going to commit from the 14th January for 1 year and blog about it. I’m doing it for weight-loss, I’m doing it for beauty and I’m doing it for health. I need to find out if this diet can heal all my symptoms of dis-ease. So I’m not going to blog about my weight-loss until I start my programme on the 14th January.

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