Session 9… The PT Diaries – Back in Focus

After my dismal performance the previous week – session 9 was all about getting back on track and focused!

What made this session even better was my friend Jen came along to take some progress pictures at Pure Fitness Gym, which I am extremely happy with! It’s great to see some muscle definition happening because I don’t really see that when I look in the mirror! This picture however has to be my absolute favourite! Boxing is a great way to get in shape and get rid of your frustration – I had many thoughts going through my head during that!

Pure Fitness Gym - Katrina Coming Clean

Pure Fitness Gym – Katrina Coming Clean – Boxing

This session covered the following and should take you about an hour to do – back when I first started I wouldn’t have managed to get through this and my sets would have only been 2-3 max so if you feel you need to drop the reps then do so, but try build them up over time.

Stretch

Warm Up

  • Watt Bike 3000m Level 3

Abs Circuit X4

  • Seated side rotations 10 each
  • Plank 45 seconds
  • Wall Sit ups 12
  • Leg raises 8

HIIT

  • Battle Ropes
    • 8 X 20s High 40s Rest

Resistance Training Super sets x3

  • Arms
    • Tricep Rope Push down 1
    • Standing Row 10
  • Legs
    • Leg Press 12
    • Walking Lunges 10e
  • Boxing
    30s on 10s rest
  • Bench Step Ups
    10e/8e
  • Core Board spins
    15s X 4

Finish

  • 500m Row
  • Stretch

And here are some more pictures!

Pure Fitness Gym - Katrina Coming Clean

Pure Fitness Gym – Katrina Coming Clean Watt Bike

Pure Fitness Gym - Katrina Coming Clean

Pure Fitness Gym – Katrina Coming Clean – Core Bag Step Ups

Pure Fitness Gym - Katrina Coming Clean

Pure Fitness Gym – Katrina Coming Clean – Plank

Pure Fitness Gym - Katrina Coming Clean

Pure Fitness Gym – Katrina Coming Clean – Weighted Lunge

I think we can definitely say it’s an improvement from the first session (its hideous that I have shared that with the world!)…

Pure Fitness Gym - Katrina Coming Clean

Pure Fitness Gym – Katrina Coming Clean – Session 1 Weighted Lunge

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Session 8… The PT Diaries – Results Day!

So session 8 has been and gone and what a session today was… within 10 minutes I felt like I hit a wall. It was such a come down after the high I experienced on Tuesday. After that session I felt all kinds of amazing and felt like I could do anything I set my mind to!

Today was another matter – I hurt, Tuesday was a hard session that left me with DOMS in practically every muscle – which is a good thing – it means you are working but unfortunately you do have to get back on the horse and get on with it! I did some yoga last night in the hope it would help stretch me out – it did but I felt so weak today!

However, today was also results day….

So here it is, this is what I have achieved in 8 sessions over a period of 4 weeks. Firstly my physical measurements.

A total of 10.7cm lost from those key areas that us ladies don’t love. There has been a gain in a couple of areas, but this is down to muscle mass and quite frankly for those areas in particular I am not too bothered. For me its all about the waist, hips and arms.

Measurements

Moving on to body fat – once again a reduction in measurements, particularly around the waist area which is my main pet hate area, especially after 3 pregnancies and just really doing nothing about it!

Body Fat

In terms of how much I weigh, I have gained 0.5kg since commencing personal training… am I shocked, disappointed? NO! Look at the results above!

Muscle weighs more than fat but takes up less room, therefore when you are undertaking a fitness regime you should not rely on scales as a sole indicator of progress – if I did that I would be sat rocking in a corner no doubt munching on a bar of chocolate and knocking back copious amounts of vodka wondering why with all my hard work nothing is happening and in fact why am I gaining!

I’m pretty bloody proud of what I have achieved in just 4 weeks and this has been done with hard work and determination and a pretty awesome personal trainer. My diet is pretty good, I won’t lie it could be better and that is what I plan to work on over the coming weeks so I can really see some truly amazing results, but I achieve this from living a balanced lifestyle – exercise AND eating healthily. I haven’t undertaken any drastic juice fasts or attended slimming clubs where the focus is all on the weight. I have achieved this through pure hard work and do you know what I feel loads better, I have more energy, I am focused and determined and I am a lot more patient. Everyone can lose weight by undertaking extreme measures but what happens when you go back to your old ways? The time I didn’t have a kitchen is a prime example of going back to the old ways and I still have my work cut out to achieve the measurement loss I achieved over a good few months of attending the gym and classes.

I want to thank Barry for pushing me these last 4 weeks and for having faith in me. It was a slow start, especially as my fitness levels were unbelievably poor. My recovery from intense exercise was taking upwards of 2 minutes whereas now it is around 40 seconds, this is a major indicator in my level of fitness and something that we can continue to improve.

I’ll be continuing personal training up until my sisters wedding early April so I hope you will continue to follow my journey.

I would definitely recommend that if you don’t know where to start in a gym that you consider personal training and ladies – don’t worry about all those wobbly bits or looking like crap. They honestly don’t care – they are there to get you the results you want! So if you are in Huddersfield I definitely recommend you popping by to check out the gym and speak with the staff to see how they can help you.

So moving on from all that, this is what we did this morning!

Stretch

Warm up

  • X-Trainer 5 mins

Abs Circuit x4

  • Seated side rotations 10each side using a 5kg ball
  • Mountain Climbers 30s
  • TRX Knee tucks 12

Watt Bike 3000m level1

Resistance Training Super sets X3

  • Arms
    • Cable Push down x 12
    • Cable curls x 10
  • Legs
    • Seated extensions x 10
    • Walking Lunges 12 each leg

Row 500m Level 9

HIIT Training on Battle Ropes x8

  • 20 second High Intensity
  • 40 second Rest

Stretch

Total calories burnt 594 (total this week 1611)

Just to confirm my stats, I am 30, weigh 65kg and measure 163cm. Your calories burnt will depend on your age, weight, height and your health in general.

If any of you have tried following any of my PT session plans I would be interested to hear your thoughts!

Itsu tasty

I popped into my Sainsbury’s local and lunchtime and always like to have a look which healthy treats they have on offer.

Their healthy snacking range is certainly growing for a busy village and a few products by a company called Itsu really stood out to me – especially the dark chocolate covered edamames. I however opted for something a little lower in calories and went for the Wasabi flavoured Crispy Seaweed Thins (£1)

These were a perfect little treat for a mid afternoon slump – although I was expecting the seaweed to be slightly saltier – which is one of the reasons I purchased as I effectively had a salty carb craving!

Instead they did taste a little fishy with a hint of wasabi but after the first thin they went down a treat and I would eat again – although I would probably keep an eye out for them being on offer as £1 is a little on the steep side for 5 pieces of seaweed.

The brand however got me a intrigued so I did a little research on them and it would appear that they have some restaurants / shops in London that sell healthy meal options with an Asian influence so expect plenty of noodles, soups and interesting ingredients and flavourings. So if you are London pop by… if you are from Itsu, get opening up North (specifically Yorkshire)!

Additionally they have an online store where you can purchase various goodies – you can also purchase a mixed box which includes the snacking range, seaweed, miso soup and rice cakes. Additionally the prices are reasonable for a health food range with thai noodle pots retailing at £12 for a pack of 6 and with decent nutritional stats they certainly are worth investigating!

Additionally you can purchase Itsu products from Sainsburys, Waitrose, Whole Foods, Patridges and Revital so I will keep an eye out

Itsu Crispy Seaweed Thins

Itsu Crispy Seaweed Thins

Session 7… The PT Diaries

WOW! What a work out this morning!

Session 7 brings me into the start of week 4 of my Personal Training with Barry at Pure Fitness Gym and what a journey it has been!

Although I have been a member of the gym for over 18 months, undertaking personal training has been a real test of my fitness and endurance. Over the last 3 weeks my cardio levels are gradually improving and today was definitely my best session yet.

My heart rate still reaches dizzy heights but the recovery is significantly improved which led to me getting much more out of todays workout. Last week it too me 12 minutes to do 4 reps of HiiT cardio…. today around 10 minutes to do 8 sets!

The weight is still hovering but I am putting that down to increased muscle mass. I found last year that for a good couple of months my weight stayed around the same but body fat reduced before the weight then started to reduce and I am happy with that. Although I will be testing body fat on Thursday.

So today involved the following, why not have a go and see how you get on!

Stretch

Warm Up

  • Watt Bike 4000m

Abs Circuit

  • Single leg Plank 30s on each leg
  • Seated side rotations 10e
  • Floor sit ups 12
  •  X3 20-30S REST

Resistance Training Super sets X3

  • Leg Press 15
  • V-sits 10/12

20-30s rest between sets

  • Cable rope push down x12
  • Dumbbell hammer curls x10

20-30s rest between sets

  • Seated Row x12
  • Standing Upright row x10

20-30s rest between sets

Cardio

  • Interval Sprints with resistance band (reebok)
    • x8 sets 20s Sprint getting HR 90-100% BRING DOWN TO 50-60% recovery
  • x3 Sets Bench Step Ups using 10kg core bag
    • 10 each leg make sure to raise your opposite leg to work the abs
  • x3 Sets Core board spins
    • 15s – 5s hold in press up position.

Finisher

  • 500m rower level 8 (big focus on using arms as opposed to legs)

Stretch

A great 1 hour work out which burnt 700+ calories and significantly improved my cardio levels!

Already looking forward to Thursday’s session and to getting my body fat results!

On another note all my blood results came back fine – my thyroid is normal. Next major test is the 24 hour ECG in February!

A roundup of 2013 & what to expect in 2014!

So 2014 is here… honestly 2013 I blinked and practically missed it! What a hectic but incredible year!

Firstly I completed my CAM Diploma in Marketing Communications – whilst thinking I may go slightly mad! We had a wonderful family holiday in Egypt, I got to travel to some amazing places for work (Chicago and Bangkok) and topped it off by creating an amazing new extension on the house that included a brand new kitchen (can you believe my husband almost made me keep the old one)! There’s a few pictures at the bottom of the post so you can have a nosey!

The downside to the latter half of 2013 is that my healthy eating and regular exercise took a massive hit – we had no kitchen for the best part of two months and my husband was also doing a lot of work himself on the house which meant I couldn’t get to my regular gym classes or do exercise at home as I had the kids to take care of and when we had free time it was to plan for the renovations or sleep. This was topped off with my husband getting made redundant at the beginning of December and us just thinking sod it let’s enjoy Christmas before we embark on the chaos of 2014!

We certainly enjoyed it – although my waistline certainly hasn’t and the last quarter of 2013 really ripped apart all my hard work that I had done with my diet (healthy eating) and ‘regular’ exercise.

As of now I weigh 64.8kg – at my lightest in 2013 (back in June) I was 60kg! I honestly cannot believe I have put almost 5kg (11lbs) on in that time!

Getting back into the swing of things has already started – I’ve already been to the gym 4 times this year and I start personal training tomorrow! Be sure to follow my blog to get some hints and tips if you are planning on beginning a fitness regime! The diet since the 2nd January is already much better (check MyFitnessPal), the amount of protein being consumed has increased whilst the fat and carbs has decreased (along with the alcohol)! So I am sure in no time at all things will be back to the way they were and more! I’m actually struggling with eating enough right now and trying to keep my macros and micros in check – if anyone has any input they can give on this it would be much appreciated!

Generally with a New Year come resolutions – I don’t tend to make them, I guess mine is the same each year… ‘try and be a better me’ that way I can focus on what I have achieved rather than what I haven’t. I feel that it is a much more positive way to think as it keeps you away from focusing on the negatives. If you have to set goals set smaller, more realistic ones that can be achieved slowly over time and gradually increase them.

My overall goal will be achieved through getting back into the swing of it eating and exercise wise and additionally I have signed up to complete a further CAM diploma – this time in Digital Marketing with a focus on Metrics and Analysis. I just love putting myself under pressure! BUT I’ve done it before and I can do it again and interestingly I came across a book called Spark that highlights the benefits of exercising whilst studying in order to retain information – it might explain why I got an A on my last and final assignment of my previous diploma!

The husband will also have a new job (yet to be confirmed where) but it is likely that he will need to undertake commuting which will be a big change for all of us – I expect we’ll get cranky with each other whilst we adjust, but we’ve been through much worse so this will be nothing in comparison!

2014 is also a significant year for us as it marks our son’s 10th birthday. I honestly can’t believe 10 years have passed since we lost him part way through my pregnancy so this year I want to do all I can to raise awareness as to babyloss along with raising funds for my chosen charity, Tommy’s! My husband will also be taking part in a ‘ScumRun‘ in May across Europe of which the beneficiary for the whole event is Tommy’s! So if you are a brand aimed at men who fancy providing some products to pop in some goodie bags or are interested in sponsoring the car please get in touch. Otherwise, if you are a reader of my blog and fancy sponsoring my husbands team it would be very much appreciated!! You can find the link here!

So here’s to 2014, I’m looking forward to taking you on!

kitchenKatrina Room

Katrina Beams

Katrina Room 2

 

 

Counting Calories – Yes or No…

I recently read how counting calories is a bad thing, do a search on Google and you will find numerous posts all stating the same thing.

I disagree!

I have been using MyFitnessPal since late January (2013) and what it has done is open my eyes to not only the calorie content of products but also the nutritional breakdown of a product too.

When I started out I was consuming around 1000 calories just in a morning! This was just a bowl of cereals early on, I have to eat within half an hour of waking up otherwise I am starving, this was usually followed by some toast mid-morning after doing the school run and settling down to read my emails. I always thought my choice of breakfast was relatively healthy, that is until I started counting calories and realising that I was not only consuming far too many calories, but that reasonable diet I thought I had was in fact the complete opposite. To some extent it was reasonable, much more reasonable that the diets of many other people as I pretty much cook all meals from scratch, rarely have processed foods and even less often than that get take out or eat out!

You will have heard me mention before how that ‘suggested serving’ of cereal that you pour is in fact more likely to be 3 times than what is quoted on the box and I couldn’t believe how much calories there are in butter and marmalade!

Cue some changes…

It all started out with a lot of trial and error but rather than submit to the suggested serving of cereals, I now vary my breakfasts and feel much fuller for longer. I might have poached eggs on wholemeal toast (no butter) or perhaps protein pancakes topped with fruit. I still have cereals occasionally, but I rely on my scales to ensure I don’t have any more than double the ‘suggested serving’. I also try to have a protein packed breakfast where possible to ensure a steady release of energy as opposed to something that will give me energy for a limited period and then cause me to come crashing and reach for the nearest snack… again usually bad!

A lot of the concerns about counting calories were how it would lead people to make negative changes i.e. not eating foods such as nuts due to their high calorific content even though they are good for you. I have to say in my case this is untrue, I actually eat more nuts than I used to do because I have come to learn that they are an essential part of my diet.

Some also voiced their concerns how you can become obsessed with counting calories. I admit in the early days I would plan what I was eating meal wise so I knew how many calories I had left for snacks and treats and you could perhaps say this was obsessive, in my case I don’t think so, it had such little impact on my day. We have to take care and pay close attention to other aspects of our lives, so why not tracking your consumption? As time has gone on and my diet has become progressively better sometimes I don’t even log what I have had until the end of the day. The reason for this is that I have generally learnt what is high / low calorie and what is good / not good for you.

Another also felt that people would instead turn to diet products that are quoted as low-fat, low-cal and various other items in a bid to keep fat and calorie content down. Again not me, I have tried diet food in the past, mainly as one offs if they were on offer. But generally I found that they all tasted bland and I would then be reaching for something to satisfy me, not only that but if I knew I couldn’t make that particular meal from scratch for those amount of calories then I knew something wasn’t quite right and that meant processing!

I guess what this post is saying is don’t always believe the hype (especially in the trashy mags!) – find what works for you and you alone! I personally could not live off diet foods or severely restrict my food intake. Instead calorie counting has taught me to find better foods to consume and I now actually eat far much more than I used to eat before calorie counting. Secondly, do your best! Don’t let people put you down or try take you off course. Remember a diet is a temporary fix, one that you are likely to fall off from, learning about what you consume is something that will change your life and it is exactly what I intend to do! Slow steady progress means you are more likely to see continued results.

As always my diary is open to view on MyFitnessPal. You will see some days are better than others, in fact I had a bag of crisps today (Monday) but the rest of the day was pretty impressive! Well I think so anyway and it is a major improvement from 7 months ago!

This is what I ate…

Breakfast

  • 65g Serving of Fruit n Fibre
  • 125ml Milk

Lunch

  • Mushroom omelette using 2 eggs including yolks, cheddar cheese and semi skimmed milk cooked using Flora Low Cal Spray
  • Homemade Juice – Pineapple, Jalepeno Pepper, Spinach, Kale, Celery

Dinner

  • 175g Diced Turkey Breast in a Creamy Mushroom Sauce (using Cream Cheese, Gia Garlic Paste, mixed herbs and chestnut mushrooms) and cooked in Coconut Oil served with 75g Brocolli.

Snacks

  • x2 Nairns Oatcakes with 12g Peanut Butter
  • 50g Total Greek Yoghurt with 18g Granola
  • 30g Peanuts (I had these as I was low on fat intake for the day… our bodies need healthy fats to aid the absorption of essential nutrients!)
  • 1 Bag Salt & Vinegar Squares

I also drink lots of green and peppermint tea and water!

Total calories consumed 2087, with a pretty perfect nutritional split across carbs, fats and proteins. I did however burn 667 from exercise.

MFP Nutritional Breakdown

See… told you I ate a lot!

Choc Peanut Butter Fudge / Spread

I’m always trying to come up with ways to get little treats into my diet. My motto is never deny yourself. I strongly believe in this and this is why I do not class my weight loss journey as a diet. I do not want to restrict myself from anything, I just want to learn how to be a little more self controlled and make healthier choices.

So I decided to make some fudge.

Using the ingredients below I almost achieved fudge! But I just don’t think it has a chewy enough consistency to be classed as fudge, but I will continue to experiment to see if I can crack it.

However, even better I realised this actually makes a pretty awesome spread to go on Protein Pancakes and much healthier than shop bought chocolate spreads too!

So you need

  • 125g Peanut Butter (I used The Protein Works Super Crunchy)
  • 60g Coconut Oil (I used KTC but once run out will probably try other brands)
  • 4tbsp Cocoa Powder (I may consider using chocolate protein powder in future)
  • 2 tbsp honey
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract

Mix all the ingredients together and put into a container lined with grease proof paper. Alternatively you can put into tiny individual cake cases if you want a posh little treat.

Sprinkle with a little dessicated coconut if desired, then pop in the freezer until it hardens. It is likely that you will need to continue to keep the fudge / spread in the fridge.

I have been enjoying these as a little individual treat (90 calories per serving) when I have fancied something sweet. But having made some up in a pot with the aim of cutting into squares, I have established it is much nicer as a spread on protein pancakes!

Choc FudgeAltogether this mixture made approx 18 little sweets (see my choc peanut butter cups for sizing).

Don’t forget that if you are a new customer of The Protein Works you can use Referral Code KC18322 in the Registration page (not checkout) to be gifted with a free pouch of protein powder! Perfect for trying out new flavours!

Nutritional Information (per sweet)

  • 90 calories
  • 7.1g fat
  • 4.3g saturates
  • 1g polyunsaturated
  • 1.5g monounsaturated
  • 4.1g carbs
  • 0.5g fibre
  • 2.3g protein