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.

What am I doing?

I know I’m kind of all over the place a lot of the time. Situations change, minds change. But I thought it would be good to clear up, at the very least for future me, what I’m actually doing right now.

  • New Rules of Lifting Supercharged: started Basic Training II today. Training 3 times a week.
  • Walking: 8.5km every day, weather permitting.
  • Running: Started Couch to 5K again. Doing this every other day, integrating it into my 8.5km walking route. Weather permitting.
  • Diet: 1500 calories or around 6000 kilojoules daily. Focusing on protein, my macro split is 35% protein, 35% fat, 30% carbs. Also focusing on real meat and vegetables (non-processed, generally, so no Sizzler sausages or chicken nuggets), and the occasional bit of home baking. Protein powders and bars are okay though. Eating out once or twice a week, as long as it stays under my kilojoule limit.

More detail about food, as per my selfish desire to write about food

I’ve been eating things like burgers, KFC, sushi, and curries when we’ve eaten out recently. I’m not going to worry much about it, because I really enjoy these foods, and as long as I can make it work with my kilojoules, I can have them. Tony and I have finally discovered the amazingness that is Big J’s, which is a burger takeaway place a short drive away. It looks like a skody takeaway shop in an average suburb, but what comes out of there are the best burgers we have ever had. Basically, all I want to write about is the delicious crust on their meat patties – it’s dark, crispy, and flavoursome. I’ve never had a burger so masterful.

But I think this means it’s time for me to buy some groceries, because we haven’t got much fit food in the house right now and I am yet to have breakfast.

New this week

I’ve upped my kilojoules slightly and placed an emphasis on protein, from this week onwards. It’s hard, definitely, because carbs are so delicious, and I’ve been making a lot of feijoa jam and wanting to try it every day (you know, to make sure it still tastes like feijoas).

But to make things a little easier for myself and for Tony, I cooked a batch of meat slop. Most of us who frequent /r/fitness on reddit will be familiar with it: Basically beef mince and cabbage with spices, a good easy way to get some protein in you. I added in some onion, garlic, carrots and celery and fish sauce, and have a big bowl of it in the fridge that I have been chipping away at all week. As you may know, I absolutely love Korean food, and I’ve found that adding a drop of sesame oil, a tiny bit of soy sauce, and a big teaspoon of gochujang to a serving of meat slop transforms this otherwise average dish into something deliciously Korean-esque. Rather than having it for main meals, I’ve been having a bowl of meat slop as a late afternoon snack, and then preparing something more exciting for dinner.

The other new thing this week is my protein powder. I’m now lactose-intolerant, so my taste tests of 2012 aren’t of use to me anymore. I ended up choosing Nutra Life’s Whole+ protein powder in the chocolate flavour.

It does not taste like chocolate.

It does taste healthy. It is kind of gritty, a strange, fine grittiness, but as part of a smoothie it becomes quite enjoyable.

ChocPeanutBananaSmoothie

I kind of want another one now.

Gym-going is going well, but I’ll write a bit more about that in a separate post later.

Easter Sunday

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Trying hard for a minimum of 20,000 steps today. I think I’ll make it.

Today, on a whim, we decided to explore a park we’d never noticed before. We ended up two suburbs away from ours, and added nearly 3 km to our usual walk.

We didn’t really celebrate Easter this year, aside from enjoying the days off. Tony got an Easter egg from his work, and I just bought a Cadbury Creme Egg. I have to say that I’m quite disappointed with the current Creme Eggs. The fondant centre has nothing on the original caramel centre. It almost feels like a waste of my calories.

Speaking of calorie wastage, I chose to have a lamb pita from Habitual Fix for dinner on Thursday night. For a place that markets itself on being a healthy choice, that pita is ridiculously high in calories. I was pretty shocked when I looked it up on My Fitness Pal. A Big Mac is a much better pick when it comes to calories, and tastier to boot.
Another dish that has given me a nasty surprise in the past is Wagamama’s Chicken Katsu Curry. The meal by itself is twice my daily calorie limit! Shocking.
Aside from our big walk,  it has been a pretty chill weekend. We still have tomorrow left, and no plans yet aside from the usual dog park walk. Hopefully there’ll be some Border Collies around!

Last Day of March

I’ve been fretting (to put it lightly) about my lack of progress in March. March has been a bad month for the scales, and a very bad month mentally.

In the past week I’ve seriously tightened my kilojoule count. EVERYTHING that doesn’t come out of a packet is weighed on my food scale to the closest gram. EVERYTHING I put in my mouth goes onto My Fitness Pal. FINALLY I am seeing a slight downward movement. Today I was the lowest I’ve been since I started my calorie counting: 64.2kg. It’s not much of a change as I’ve been sitting around 64.5kg for the past week, and before that had sat on 65kg for about 3 weeks. As I keep saying, I hope this is part of a downward trend.

Foodwise, I’ve decided to keep my favourite things like barbacoa, but instead serve it on cooked veg instead of tortillas. I am not really big on salady stuff, especially lettuce, but I bought a big bunch of silverbeet, spinach, portabello mushrooms, green beans and courgettes, which I’ll cook up instead of having the usual corn tortillas. The feijoas on the tree out front are becoming ripe too, and I look forward to adding them to my daily diet.

I’ve done a lot of flip-flopping on programmes, as usual. I have started Supercharged again, initially to support Tony, but now we have decided to sort out our fitness separately. I enjoy the Supercharged workouts much more than LiveFit, so hopefully I’ll actually stick with it. Thanks to Supercharged, and my inability to do squat jumps right now, I learned the kettleball swing yesterday. That might become part of my metabolic workout.

I also discovered that the dog park is a pretty good walk from home. A round trip, including a walk around the park, is about 8km. That is definitely making it into my regular exercise regimen. I managed to complete a full Supercharged workout yesterday (including the metabolic workout, which is pretty much interval training), and then later do the 8km walk and still eat less than my allotted 5024 kilojoules/1200 calories. My ankle is still in pain so when it’s better I’ll be able to do more – maybe even running again.

I suppose I should start thinking about goals for April now too. I succeeded in finally seeing my doctor, seeing my osteo, and joining a gym. What will the next steps be, I wonder?

Jamie Eason’s LiveFit trainer

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Like diets and university majors, the best way to choose a workout regimen is to choose one you can stick to. I’ve toyed with doing Jamie Eason’s LiveFit trainer since she published it, and I think that now is a great time to do it. I noted in the past that the workouts can take a really long time, but at the moment, I have plenty of time for the foreseeable future.

Unfortunately with my ankle still recovering, Supercharged isn’t viable for another few weeks, but the LiveFit split-style workouts mean I don’t have to put too much pressure on my ankle each time I work out.

I started today, at a whim, as you do. I initially intended to just do some HIIT training on the cycle, but, well, one does not simply walk into the gym and not lift anything. Thanks to the excellent Wifi service in the gym, I found the LiveFit trainer and completed Day 1. It was good. It was hard. But it was just what I wanted in a workout today.

The only thing that I will not be following is the diet plan. Too hard. I have a handle on my current plan, and if I need to, I’ll increase the kilojoule limit. Food and cooking is one of my personal interests, and I know I can make my preferences work for my limits. I guess I just don’t want to be told what to eat, especially if it means chicken breast multiple times a day. Srsly. Thigh and wings are where it’s at. I’d much rather enjoy what I eat, even if it’s only a little bit.

So tomorrow, Tony and I have planned to go to the gym, and I’ll do Day 2 of the LiveFit trainer.

I’m already excited.

Calories to kilojoules

Just to make things hard, I recently realised that food in New Zealand is packaged with kilojoules, not calories. I am not sure how long it took me to come to this startling conclusion, but it was an embarrassingly long time.

So, around the same time I got the new scales, I switched to kilojoule counting. Exactly the same goal as before, but in kilojoules. It has taken that time to get my head around eating 1000 kilojoules for each meal, with leeway for higher calorie items and some snacks. I’ve gone over my limit most days, but now that I have a better idea of what I should be aiming for, it’s time to get back on track.