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There's something I should tell you. I'm not left-handed either.

Archive for the category “Weight Loss”

A Very Foodie Week

It’s become a bit of a tradition for me to make my birthday into a bit of a foodie thing, since starting off the whole “Eating on my own” thing with the Michelin-starred restaurants a couple of years back.

This year I’d taken the week off and booked a week in Northumberland, which made it even more fun.

So this year my actual birthday meal (well, the day after, but it counted) was at L’Enclume.  One heck of a drive across-country – two and a half hours each way – but still better than the five hours each way it would be from home.

Then during the week was an evening at House of Tides – which I love, and rarely miss taking the opportunity to go to when I’m in the North-East.

And finally, while I was in Manchester I visited a very new place, Mana, because it sounded interesting. (And it was!)

So it’s been a foodie week, and very enjoyable. But I might need to walk a lot over the coming week or so to make up for it…

Gutless

As part of my whole weight/fitness thing, I’ve been going once a week to a programme called Gutless for the last twelve weeks.

It’s been an interesting programme, basically one two hour evening session a week, which consists of one hour of physical exercise, and one of information and chat about food and nutrition.

For me, the exercise has been of more use and interest than the food and nutrition stuff (as I learned more for exercise techniques etc. than I did for the food/nutrition) but it’s all been a generally positive programme.

As with other things I’ve been trying this year, it hasn’t been as successful as I’d have hoped – for me, at least – but in general it appears to have worked well for the other members of the group.

For me, it’s given me extra ideas and stuff to do, as well as knowledge of better workouts and so on, I’ll take that knowledge and go forwards with it as well, so it has been a positive process.

I’m glad I’ve done the course – and the workout/exercise side is going to be continuing on as a separate programme we’ve worked out with the instructor from the programme – and we’ll see how things work out going forwards.

All told, I’m happy with how it’s been. I’d be happier if the weight loss had been better and so on, but I know that it’s also helped me make other positive changes, and right now that’ll do me.

Gym Thoughts

Following on from earlier posts this week, I’m back to figuring out a gym routine, what works for me, and what will keep me going. (If anything does)

At the moment I’m working first on “just” getting into the habit of going. Without that, it’s far too easy to give up again, so it’s my first goal.  It’s hard work, because I simply never feel that endorphin-rush that most people talk about when it comes to gyms and heavy exercise. That makes everything tougher, because the “rewards” I get for going are only statistical – reduced weight (hopefully) and improved strength (which I can track and see in an app or spreadsheet) with none of that emotional/hormonal/endorphinal backup.

Initially, I’m using a gym that’s very close to my office – even fewer possible excuses than usual!   On my first visits, I’m not hugely taken with the place, but we’ll see how things go.  It’s different to other ones I’ve been to, which may also account for my current feelings, but time will tell on whether I stick with it.

There is another gym that’s easy to access from my office – but it’s about a mile away. It’s the one I was using before, and is one of the new breed of “always open” gyms. (And also cheaper than the current one, but that’s less relevant)   I don’t know which one I’ll end up using, but for now it’s more about the routine, the habit, than anything gym-specific.

Ideally, once I’ve established myself a routine/habit, I’ll be able to work on a decent exercise regime as well. (I’ll be doing that from the start, of course, but the routine is the key)  I’ll be keeping track of that on the Fitocracy app (or some other equivalent, but I’ve used Fitocracy before)

For now, it’s all just a process, and I’m planning to work on it alongside other things (which will be written about elsewhere/elsewhen) so we’ll see how it goes.

Despite the evidence of this week’s posts, I’m not going to become some kind of gym/health/fitness obsessive – but there’ll be other posts on the subject over the next few months, as I see how things go…

Weaker

Before I made my decision to not do the Shine Night Marathon this year, I was working on losing weight and improving fitness.  (That’s another set of posts for later on, though)

There’s some stuff that has taken a long time to happen, and one of those things was getting my arse back into the gym. I stopped going nearly three years ago (October 2015, according to my Fitocracy tracking) because I wasn’t enjoying it or feeling any particular benefits, and I didn’t really regret stopping.  I haven’t been paying all that time without using it – I’m not insane! – although I did start a new membership a couple of months back, as part of the process of getting back into it. I just hadn’t actually been in. *cough*

With some other changes in the last week, I finally darkened the door of a gym again this week, to see how I do with it.

And as it turns out, it was OK. Not perfect – although I’m not going to judge on that, because it was just the first visit, and still a learning experience. So I’ll continue to see how it goes, and aim to get back into some kind of routine with it all.

What is interesting though – and is purely a facet of those records with Fitocracy – is how much strength I’ve lost in that three years. For example, when I left the previous one, I was able to do leg-presses at 325lb for 5 series of 50 repetitions. (Yes, my legs are/were monstrous. I know)  On my first visit back, I was only able to do 110lbs for 4 series of 20 repetitions.  That’s a massive reduction in strength (I can’t even work out the percentage drop)

[Updated : I’m also a massive fucking idiot. Turns out, the weights in the new gym are in Kg, not Lbs.  So I’m still weaker than I was, but a lot better than I thought I was doing. That 110lbs? Well, 110kg = 240lbs. Still less than before – but I’m happier with things again now]

I will see how it all goes, and it’ll be interesting to see what progress I make, both with the gym stuff, and the other odds and sods that are going on at the same time.

Aging – Making Improvements

Following on from my general feelings of being flattened and feeling old, I’ve also been doing some stuff to try and alleviate it a bit, or at least to give myself better information.

The first part of that was a general health review, a visit to the GP to get basic information, as well as booking myself in to get blood tests and so on. (I try to do that every couple of years, as there’s a family history of stuff like underactive thyroid, type two diabetes, heart issues and the like.) As usual, that all came back fine.

The blood-tests were more of a pain in the arse – mainly because I live right on the border of two health authorities, and my surgery refers me to the authority that’s not the one for where I work. So it took me a couple of weeks before I could be bothered to go that way and get them done.  But again, once it was done and I’d bothered rinnging up to get my results, everything was fine there too. A couple of figures that aren’t perfect, but everything’s still well within acceptable range of ‘normal’. Which is enough for me. I’ll probably work on them a bit, but it’s nothing that’s even important, let alone urgent.

As usual, they all say I’m too heavy – file under “Sherlock, Shit, No” – but then when they see the figures, and the speeds/distances I usually walk at, they seem to worry less.  I’m still working on losing some again, but it does somewhat lessen the urgency when they pretty much shrug and go “Oh, OK”…

Following on from that, I got the aforementioned eye-test, which was also positive.  Small changes, but nothing major, and the optician said that my eyes are a lot healthier than those of most people who have similar levels of vision correction to me.

Oh, she also worried me by telling me that people with my level of vision correction are at risk of detached retinas – something that has never been said to me before! – but that mine were OK.  (I mentioned this to my parents last weekend, and they added to it by saying ‘Yeah, there’s a family history of doing that, too”)  So that’s been great, being told all of a sudden about a potential future health issue I wasn’t even aware of.  Joys.

Anyway, all told I’m actually doing OK.  Now if I could just get my brain to follow the same path, things would be wunderbar

Aging

One of the reasons (I think) for the current phase of my feeling somewhat flattened is relating to me feeling a bit old currently.

That’s not as in “Oh my God, I’m old” and so on, it’s more just some realisations that I’m no longer the age I am in my self-image. Mentally – and many would say emotionally – I’m nowhere near 46.  But this year so far I’ve been feeling older – the fun stuff like new aches, just generally feeling rougher than I have previously.  It’s all just a bit wearing, no fun at all, and quite demoralising.

Alongside that, over the first three months I put on some weight, which wouldn’t then easily shift in the usual ways I use. Also quite demoralising.

The final bit of the jigsaw was getting an eye test a couple of weeks back. While the prescription hasn’t changed much, it’s changed enough, and we’re looking at my next set of glasses being varifocals.  So yeah, I’m feeling a bit old at the moment.

I’m working on it – and that’ll be a follow-up post to this one – but at least I am working on it, and so far that feeling of being flattened is at least lessening as a result.

Health Check

It’s been about two years since I last darkened the door of my GP for a health check, so a couple of weeks ago, I made the appointment. That day was today.

I’ve done about half the stuff for now – I apparently now need to go to the local hospital in order to get blood tests done, among other things – but everything so far is apparently ‘very good’, and even ‘puts a lot of our patients to shame’. I’ll take that, to be honest.

  • Blood pressure hasn’t changed, and is 130/80.  Slightly high (according to charts I’ve then looked at since) but well within acceptable limits
  • Blood sugar was perfectly fine – on a “random” check (I had eaten within the time-span, so couldn’t do a fasting blood-sugar etc.) it came back as 7, so the proper fasting one should be lower, and well within limits
  • No idea on pulse-rate, but the nurse said it was absolutely fine, so again, I’m happy enough with that.
  • Weight, as always, is too high. I’m still working on it, and getting a couple of referrals to other departments to see what they say, or can help with.

So, we’ll see how it goes with the other stuff – I’ll get it lined up to be done this week – but for now I’m feeling pretty content with where things are.

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