Going through changes

Well, it’s happening again. Quads growing. Arms growing. Both my thighs and my arms are getting itchy. It’s weird, and also pretty exciting, growing my muscles all over again. I’m really hoping I can get fitter than I was before, which probably wasn’t very fit at all. I’m really liking Strong Lifts. I have the app on my phone, and it does all the thinking for me. The only things I have to calculate are the plates I put on the bar… I still get them wrong embarrassingly often.

There are a couple of difficult things though. Getting out of bed early enough to go to the gym, workout, and get to work by 7am is pretty hard. Sometimes getting the motivation to get up, and get my gym buddy up as well, is really hard. The workouts have left me feeling really good though, so it’s mostly a matter of just getting there and doing it.

After going through that terrible time back in Feb/March/April/May/June, I am sure it had a lot to do with me not eating much. I mean, the jobless situation was definitely the main driver. But then not eating much meant that I couldn’t do well at other things either – so my lifting was absolutely shit and it made me feel like shit when I couldn’t lift anything near what I used to.

So. Lifting again. Eating again. Drinking daily protein shakes again. Dis gon be good.

What’s been going on?

It has been a wee while since I last updated, and that’s because there have been a lot of changes in my life.

First change: I got a job!

Second change: I stopped exercising!

Third change: I started exercising again!

So that’s a pretty good summary of the last six months. Let’s get into the deets.

I’ve started StrongLifts 5×5, and have been seeing some encouraging progress with my lifts. My deadlifts are at 55kg at 1×5 now, so I’m pretty happy about that! I did push a bit too hard though… I’m pretty average at maths, and loaded the bar with 75kg instead of 55kg and tried to lift that. So I’m now sorer than I’d normally be.

I’m getting back on C25K as well. I’m quickly learning what is working and not working for me when it comes to running. Eating or drinking in the 3 hours beforehand? Hell no. Unfortunately I wore off some of the flesh on my ankles and my running shoes have been rubbing on the sores. No running today.

To go with my increase in exercise, I’ve increased my calories too. To be honest, I’m really scared that I’ll feel completely terrible like I did back in May if I try exercising with a big calorie deficit. And not making gains in the gym is very demotivating. So I’ll see how this goes.

My weight has been sitting at around 63.6kg since I started eating more and exercising more. It’s pretty hard to not freak out about gaining weight again. I have to convince myself it’s not a huge deal, especially if I’m getting fitter.

Disgusting knee injury update: It’s okay. I have some purple scars and I have most of the feeling back in my right knee. Thanks for asking.

Appendix site pain: Woop it’s basically gone! Not even squats affect it now. I just have to keep taking a fibre supplement, probably for the rest of my life.

And that’s probably it for now.

Unexpected side effects

Since I finished up the 20 Day No Cheat Challenge, I’ve not really been keeping track of my calories. It hasn’t been too bad though. I’m nowhere near as hungry as I used to be. In fact, I have to remember to eat regularly. I’ve since lost another kilo and a half without really trying to count calories, bringing me down to 61.4kg. I started on 68.1kg, so that’s not too bad. As long as I remember to eat, and eat enough.

I think it’s probably a good thing to not take gym-going as seriously as I did, and I’ve kind of moved my focus from fitness onto a creative side project. I still try and get out and go to the gym, but I’m not aggressively counting every gram of food, and I’m not pushing myself to my limits every time. Basically, I’m trying to enjoy myself when I work out. I still prefer running at the moment, but cold and rainy days are a bit of a deterrent.

Things are really looking up. Once I got started on my side project, things really started to turn around. I made another friend, this time a walking friend, which is really nice! We are both in similar situations and need a bit of time out to socialise and get out of the house, basically. So that’s nice.

And I guess no matter what happens on the job front, I have my side project, which I am extremely excited about. It’s in the works, I’ve got a website and a plan, and at the moment I am just waiting to hear back from potential suppliers before sorting out the finishing touches and launching for real. I think this is what I needed, a project to put my energy into, with the potential to make some pocket money. Best of all, the idea came to me when I was walking around the dog park… And every time I go, the ideas keep coming! I won’t say any more until it’s actually launched. But I want to. Haha.

Gross knee update

There’s one question I know everyone wants to ask, and that question is: how is that disgusting knee injury going?

It’s going okay.

wpid-wp-1431665646573.jpeg

There must have been a significant bit of flesh ripped out. Parts of it still feel like touching my raw flesh. It’s much too sensitive to shave, so it’s gross and hairy. Otherwise, it has healed, and hasn’t really changed in a couple of months (the accident happened on 1 Feb).

My ankle is mostly better. Some exercises make it hurt sometimes, so it’s kind of trial and error. Squats and lunges are the main instigator, so I’ve held back a bit from pushing myself on those. Though, all squats are a big push. Hah. Surprisingly running is mostly fine. There’s an occasional slight twinge, but otherwise, good to go.

So, still gross-looking, still sensitive, unlikely to change much anytime soon. That’s the gross knee update for today.

Protein bars

I’ve been trying a few different protein bars over the past couple of weeks, and here are my findings.

  • Aussie Bodies make the best-tasting ones so far. Their Protein FX mini bars were on special at the supermarket, so they were the best choice last week. Every flavour I’ve tried (choc mint, choc raspberry, choc caramel) has tasted exactly as promised without that weird flavour that protein bars often have.
  • Quest bars are seriously overrated. I tried the most popular ones, which were double chocolate chunk, chocolate cookie dough, and the peanut butter cups. Double chocolate chunk was the best, because it was literally like eating blu-tack with bits of chocolate. The cookie dough one was just okay, it did taste a bit like cookie dough, but it had that weird protein aftertaste. And the peanut butter cups were just foul. I have a packet left, and I am definitely not eating them. Because they are bigger than the other two bars, they also have a higher calorie count.
  • Horley’s Carbless Delight were okay, not as bad as the Quest bars, but definitely some flavours were better than others. The chocolate coconut and the raspberry shortcake ones were probably my favourites, but it still tasted very fake.

This week I’ve got a couple more ProteinFX bar flavours, Choc Honeycomb and Rocky Road. Can’t wait to give those a go 😀

Currently sick

I never really feel compelled to eat boiled eggs unless I’m sick. Then it’s game on. My favourite are when the whites are solid and the yolks are still a bit runny – thicker, but runny. It’s a tricky business getting them perfect, and today, I didn’t succeed.

Never mind. My excuse is that I’m sick and I shouldn’t really be boiling eggs anyway. But arroz caldo is not quite the same without them. Arroz caldo literally means hot rice. It looks slightly better than hot wet rice.

It involves ginger, garlic, onion, rice, chicken, and chicken stock in a delicious medley that is pretty much the only food I want when I’m sick. Think of it as chicken soup in risotto form, but with extra goodies like boiled eggs and lemon juice. I got pretty close to my protein goal a couple of days ago thanks to my unholy cravings for eggs.

My big plans for the rest of the week have gone out the window. My old plans involved daily gym training, daily walking, and running every other day. My new plans involve a couch, a duvet, a constant stream of hot drinks and a subscription to Netflix. And probably a pile of snotty tissues which no-one wants to know about. Where does it all come from?

Disgusting pondering aside, it’s now time to finish watching Chef’s Table.

First!

I’m coming FIRST out of my Fitbit friends!

Screen Shot 2015-04-28 at 18.25.54

I’d like to take a moment to write a ridiculously silly thank-you speech.

Firstly, I could never have done this without the lure of the dog park. Without all the cute doggies in the park, I would never have had the motivation to go walking so regularly.

Relatedly, I’d also like to thank in particular the dogs who’ve taken a particular interest in me: The tiny schnauzer. The chunky black labrador. The grey mottled Great Dane. The black mutt by the dog pond. The uncontrollable shitting Jack Russell. The overexcited poodle pup. The joyful mud-covered blue Staffy pup. The red and white short-haired collie with the hiker. And most of all, the black and white border collie who came to me twice to give me a reassuring nose and lick on the hand when I was feeling really down. I remember each of you.

My osteo, whom without I’d probably still be in pain. The nurses and doctors who looked after my gross knee after my big fall in February.

My Fitbit friends for the competitive challenges.

And lastly, Tony, my husband, for encouraging me and helping me out with the cardio side of exercise, which I’ve never really liked until now.

Thanks.