My Typical Workout

I have finally got round to signing up to the gym which I can use whilst I am in my final year at university and thought I would tell you about a typical workout. I’m excited to get back into the gym again but if any of you have advice on anything I should add in or how I could get more from my workouts I would love to hear!

I should probably begin by setting out what I hope to achieve from going to the gym. When I first signed up the guy setting my gym program asked me what my goals were and I simply said to lose weight but I realise now it goes a little bit deeper than that. I would of course like to carry on losing weight, particularly around my chest, stomach, hips (love handles really) and thighs. I also have worried in the past that I would get excess skin from losing weight so if anyone has any advice on how to prevent this then that would be great! I think losing weight at a sensible weight and doing a range of exercises and weights should help to prevent too much loose skin but if anyone is more of an expert please let me know!

I would also like to improve my strength at the gym, in particular building muscle in my arms. It sounds silly but I think I already have fairly big muscles in my legs (at least in comparison to my arms) because I was carrying around so much weight when I was a lot bigger. But there is still definitely room to improve, and I would like to lose weight on my legs and build my strength – particularly because I sprained a ligament in my knee this year and it still sometimes hurts or aches.

So with that in mind my current workout usually consists of the following:

  • Warm Up – Walking on an incline for at least ten minutes, usually increasing the steepness as more time passes. Before I came to uni I was slowly beginning to introduce running, running for one minute, then walking for two which was hard work but wasn’t as bad as expected – I was worried about how my knee would cope. I like to get up to 100 calories minimum in my warm up (I know they are only guides on the machine but it’s nice to have something tangible to measure a workout).
  • Weights – After I’ve warmed up I then used a number of weight machines, two that focused on legs and six that focused on arms. I would do 15 reps in a set and make sure I did two sets on every machine.
  • Cardio – I would normally always use the cross-trainer to get my cardio in. I like that you get into a rhythm and it wasn’t too intense on my knee. I would generally do 200 – 400 calories worth depending on the time I had.
  • Warm Down – Walking on the treadmill, beginning on an incline and slowly reducing the steepness until I am walking on flat ground at a slow pace. I would generally do around 50 to 100 calories for my warm down.

As you can see I like to measure my workouts in calories so I can have an idea of how much I have burnt. I would generally warm up for just over ten minutes, spend fifteen to twenty minutes on the weights, twenty minutes to half an hour on cardio and then ten minutes warming down. I normally always like to make sure I burn at least 400 calories in a workout with weights on top – thinking about it I have no idea how many calories doing weights burns!

I haven’t been to the gym properly now in over a month but am excited to get back into it and begin my usual routine. I think I may also get another program set to see if the trainers suggest any new machines to try! If you have any advice, comments or even good gym playlist recommendations I would love to hear from you!

Also let me know if you enjoyed this post because I may include more posts like it in the future! In the mean time you may also enjoy Five Easy Healthy Alternatives or my most recent Healthy Lifestyle Update!

Have a great day!

My Clothes Were Making Me Fat

One of the best things about losing weight has been being able to walk into a shop, see something I like and buy it. At my biggest, I could only fit into a few certain shops and so I normally always avoided shopping because I knew it was pointless.

But one thing I have struggled to change is wearing baggy clothes. I never considered myself overly self-conscious even at my biggest – sure I didn’t like the way I looked but I didn’t let it stop me from doing anything. But looking back I suppose I was and still am to an extent because of how baggy my clothes were. I always thought having clothes that clung to my fat was horrible, yet when I think about it I was the same size regardless of whether my clothes clung or not.

I recently went through my wardrobe with the help of my friend and sister and threw out about 90% of my clothes, donating the good quality clothes to charity and binning the clothes that had seen better days. Even then I had very different opinions to my friend and sister about what was too big and what should be thrown away. But I’m slowly learning that wearing baggy clothes can actually make me look bigger than what I am and some clothes should be a tighter fit. When I go shopping I can still struggle to pick the right size and usually get a friend’s opinion to make sure it isn’t too tight or too baggy.

Hopefully I’ll continue to lose weight and learn over time what suits me! I thought I would finish this post with a small comparison of the size I used to be and a photo of myself and sisters at my sister’s graduation. I know the angles are slightly different and my sister’s robe hides me a bit but I am so pleased with the progress I have made so far!

 

Healthy Lifestyle Update #4

April has a been a mixed month in terms of pursuing a healthier lifestyle and weight loss. It was my birthday so that meant I gave myself some time off and enjoyed meals and drinks with friends and family to celebrate my 21st. I have only recently got back on track so am currently still feeling slightly guilty for all the unhealthy food and drink I have eaten. However when I reflect on the month as a whole, I have eaten healthily and managed to continue the low carb diet. My total weight loss is now 4 stone exactly which meant I hit my fifth bag of sugar this month!

Five Bags Of Sugar Ben Redgell

This month I got bored of my diet, particularly with dinner. Cereal for breakfast doesn’t particularly bother me as I’m normally in a rush to get to work so grab a quick bowl then head out the door. Lunch always consists of salad which admittedly is really boring some days. Usually it consists of lettuce, baby spinach, tomatoes and cucumber – sometimes I will add chicken if I bother cooking it the night before but normally it is just the four main ingredients. Generally though I don’t struggle too much at work because I know I don’t have unhealthy options in my bag or in the cupboard that I can go grab, which removes the temptation.

Although dinner gives me the most options as I have the time to prepare what I like, I was preparing the same few meals most days which got a boring. I didn’t look forward to dinner, it was more something to get out of the way and to satisfy my hunger. Whilst my meals didn’t taste bad I was getting bored of having the same thing over and over again so I went out and bought a load of different herbs and spices which I have been using on a trial and error basis. My current favourite is paprika and garlic chicken or turkey steaks. My dad has also been helpful in trying to get a range of vegetables for me in an attempt to vary my diet. I have also been having fruit with yoghurt and a bit of granola chucked on top for pudding quite a lot which I’ve enjoyed.

Unfortunately I haven’t been back to the gym. I’ve wore my knee support for a few weeks and was icing my knee regularly and it has started to improve. But if I still overstretch it, bend it or put it in a slightly different angle it tells me off. I fell up the stairs the other day chasing my dog because I was going too fast and must have been at a funny angle and it gave way leaving me to faceplant.  It’s frustrating knowing I am paying for a gym membership which I’m not using but I don’t really want to go to the doctors because I feel like they will just tell me to rest it and ice it which I already know. If anyone has any good tips on how to get your knee back to normal that would be great! I think I need to stop being lazy and walk the dog more because at least then it will be moving and hopefully strengthen back up over time.

A mixed bag this month really. I still feel fat and its hard knowing there is a hell of a long way to go until I hit my goal but at the same time I know I am making steady and consistent progress and just need to persevere. I’m sure everyone gets days where they feel like this sometimes when trying to lose weight so I’m not worried. Some days I feel a lot slimmer and I loved being able to buy my shirt for my birthday in a 2XL rather than a 3XL. Oh well, onward and upwards!

See you next month for another update!

Healthy Lifestyle Update #3

March has been a good month and I’ve carried4 bags of sugar on taking steps to a healthier lifestyle.
My total weight loss is now 3 stone and 3 pounds which means I have hit my fourth bag of sugar. The other day I was looking through old pictures and I found two pictures of myself and my friend Alice, one taken in December 2015 and one from the middle of March. I struggle to see changes but I think it is one of the first times I have noticed and was proud of the slight changes my body has made. Whilst I have a long way to go, I was surprised that my face looks slimmer. Hopefully, as I continue my journey I will lose weight off my bulbous nose too!

My third month of a low/no carb diet is coming to a close and I am still fairly happy. Having a treat meal on a Saturday has become a regular thing and involves some type of bread or pasta which is usually followed by a night of drinking with friends. Whilst I have
managed to stick to my diet I have struggled to satisfy my sweet tooth this month as sometimes fruit just doesn’t cut it.

I have been lucky enough to team up with Weight Watchers and try some of their new frozen products. I’m quite strict on my diet and often just assume that anything sweet will be bad for me. However these Weight Watchers Whirls boast being only 75 calories per pot so I was excited to try them. I personally loved the Toffee and Vanilla flavour as I found it rich and creamy whilst my sister preferred the Strawberry and Vanilla Whirl because it was sweeter. I’m glad I have found something that I can enjoy when trying to avoid Easter Eggs and other sugary foods which I don’t have to feel guilty about or do a big workout to justify the calories.

At the beginning of the month I got home from work and decided to stop making excuses and go with my sister to her gym and sign up. I kept saying to myself that I would join eventually but realised that I had no justifiable reason to keep putting it off. Whilst I can’t say I love the gym it feels great knowing  you have done some exercise that day and I think it also improves my sleep. I got a programme set which was helpful to show me that I shouldn’t only be focusing on cardio but should also be using weights too. Each session of cardio is followed by various weight machines whilst my heart rate is still high and I have already noticed certain exercises are getting easier after just a few weeks of going.

Unfortunately over the weekend I hurt my knee so am having to have a week off from the gym to let it rest and get stronger. I never thought I would be annoyed that I can’t exercise but it is really frustrating because I don’t want my progress to slow down. I’m quite suprised with how my attitude towards the gym has changed. I thought I would be self-concious of looking stupid or sweating like crazy but from my first time going I realised everyone is there for the same reason. Who cares if my face is redder than The Incredibles’ super suits or I’m weezing more than Weezy the penguin from Toy Story. I think the gym can be daunting for a lot of people but go for it. Everyone is in the same boat and focusing on their own machine or exercises. If anything, people will be impressed you are doing something to improve your health and fitness.

See you next month for another update!

I was sent this product from Weight Watchers but all opinions are my own. 

Behind The Blog: Becster

Please introduce yourself and your blog
Hi *waves*! I’m Rebecca (aka Becster) of becster.com I’ve been blogging on and off for years… I think my first blog started about 15 years ago but this current version of the blog has been going since August 2013. I haven’t got a focus niche but if you want to put me in a specific box then I guess I’d be lifestyle/parenting. I blog about pretty much anything that comes to mind… and inspiration can come from anywhere. For example I published a post about what I’d put in a Time Capsule after watching an episode of Peppa Pig. Who knew?! My favourite topics are family days out for example seeing Thomas the Tank Engine or my Photo Days posts.

What is your favourite thing about blogging?
The community! I love the interaction between bloggers be it on Twitter, Facebook or simply by commenting on each other’s blogs. I’ve made some great online friends via blogging and I’m hoping to meet some of these great people soon!

What is your least favourite thing about blogging?
Sometimes it can be a bit stressful to try and keep up there with numbers etc. I’m guilty of putting pressure on myself to try and improve stats and comparing to others when really, I ought to focus on enjoying the blogging!

What have you learnt from blogging? Has it shaped any of your goals for the future?
I never know how to answer this question! I’ve improved my photography skills (I hope so at least!) and as for shaping goals… I don’t have goals other than have a happy life – blogging may or may not help that!

What advice would you give to new bloggers? Is there anything you would do differently if you were to start again?
I wish I’d have known about Twitter chats before now. Even though this blog has been going since August 2013, I didn’t start Twitter chats until March 2015. I now host the 1pm #ltbloggers chat every Wednesday and I’m currently looking for chat topics! So any suggestions give me a Tweet!

Do you have any favourite blogs that you read?
I read so many blogs that I feel like I shouldn’t single any out! But if I have to then today I’m stalking Sian at Cakey Dreamer because she’s into the same sort of thing as me – food, fitness and Disney!

Want to see more of Rebecca’s content?
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Behind The Blog: Amie Hayward

Please introduce yourself and your blog
My name is Amie and I am the creator of thecurvaceousvegan.com. I would say my blog focuses on a lot of food, fitness, veganism and lifestyle posts, but I do a lot of beauty and fashion too! I’ve been officially blogging for a year in February, however, I have been blogging for around 5 years now.

What is your favourite thing about blogging?
My favourite thing about blogging is I get to share my thoughts with the community. The blogging community is such an incredible thing to be part of, I’m so grateful that I have the opportunity to be part of it!

What is your least favourite thing about blogging?
I think my least favourite thing about blogging is negativity, people have said my blogging isn’t good enough when I think we should try to support each other rather than bring each other down!

What have you learnt from blogging? Has it shaped any of your goals for the future?
I think it has taught me to think outside of the box, there is so much creativity around, think outside that box and push through, it’s worth it! I think it has really helped me to see where I want to go with my life!

What advice would you give to new bloggers? Is there anything you would do differently if you were to start again?
Talk to people within the community, it can be daunting, but honestly the community is a wonderful bunch of people who are so supportive and if anyone needs anything I am always more than happy to help others, been there and done that. It’s hard work but it’s worth it! I think I would have thought more carefully about how I wanted to lay my blog out and focus a little more on bloglovin.

Do you have any favourite blogs that you read?
Oh my gosh so many to count, I  don’t want to miss anyone out, but I love to read so many different types of blog it would be unfair of me to single ones out! I love reading personal posts because I think it is important to get to know the person behind the blog, that way you can relate a lot more to the person. I also love a lot of fitness, healthy living, cooking, lifestyle posts too, I think as long as someone is passionate about their post, and it reflects in their posts, I will absolutely adore it!

Want to see more of Amie’s content?
Blog | Facebook | Twitter | Instagram | Pinterest | Bloglovin