Wednesday, 16 October 2013

Navy Jumper - Miss Selfridge, Shirt - Vintage M&S, Trousers - Closet Clothing, Bag - Baia Bags.


Tuesday, 15 October 2013

Trainers, New Balance, Made in UK

12 weeks ago I started a fitness programme (probs why I've been AWOL). I wasn't fat, I was lazy. My body has transformed, that little bit of podge is now lean muscle. I've somehow lost almost a stone, well I think, I didn't weigh myself before I started but I weigh a stone less than when I last weighed myself at the start of the year. My clothes all fit nicely and my body looks great. I've eaten clean and my skin, hair and nails all thank me for it. I wake up with a jump in my step. I have a ton of energy. The pro's of getting fit are endless.

It's reconfirmed what I've always believed and everyone says: there is no quick fix. If you want to get fit, just do it. It's hard work. It's not meant to be easy, you'll wake up aching where you pushed yourself maybe too hard, you will dwindle with motivation at the mid point, and when you first start every temptation will be heightened.

I've always fallen in and out of staying fit, but never before have I remained so dedicated to a single programme and seen results. I can run for upwards of an hour - probably longer, I haven't tried yet. I feel stronger, I can lift more. Every Tuesday when I climb the escalators in Holborn I can make it to the top without even a pant. 

It's retrained my mind in the way I approach food. I no longer get tempted by a quick newsagent Dairy Milk on my bus ride home. I am a lot more conscious about what I put in my body. But it's not a chore, it's an attitude. It is all about balance, I would've probably gone crazy if I didn't cut myself some slack and occasionally have the night off, but treating myself to the foods I thought I craved to start with actually made me realised I no longer wanted them. My treats now involve carbs, red meat and veg to refuel me (and cheese, oh cheese has been tough).

My exercise programme and clean eating has also been supported by protein shakes. I cannot recommend them enough. They help you recover so much quicker and aid the recovery of muscle. They are essential and I wouldn't undergo a programme without them. I've used a variety though and would say try a few for a few weeks to determine which is best. They're not cheap so you don't want to invest in one that won't be suitable for what you want to achieve. They are not just for bodybuilders.

Finally my programme has been intense: four times a week for twelve weeks. I've used a combination of cardio and weights to achieve my results - sometimes working out for up to 2 hours a day. I've adapted a programme I found online to suit my build and my goals. Although I have had personal trainers in the past and been gymorexic before (to no real result) - so I had excellent awareness on correct form and how I can push myself safely. Always get advice from a professional if you're unsure of what you can undertake.

Top Tips
I'm no expert. But this is what I've learnt and what has helped me:
- Find a buddy. You're only as strong as you're weakest link - don't pick your flaky friend if you actually want to make a change. I chose my boyfriend, we live together and it's good for us so it makes sense.
- Food = Weight Loss. Exercise = Fitness. Don't be naive in thinking you can do one without the other.  Both assist each other. Going for a half hour run means nothing if you're not supporting it by eating right and eating right without exercise won't miraculously get you fitter. 
- Go cold turkey. For the first month of your programme, be the perfect example of eating clean and exercise, don't drop a session, don't treat yourself to anything - just eat clean. It will take that long to get you in the habit and break all those secret eating sessions.
Don't weigh yourself. I don't weigh myself anyway. But I would say - don't even make it weekly, make it monthly - you'll only appreciate results if you can tangibly see a big change. You may drop 1lb a week but losing 4lb per weigh in is more significant. The age old muscle weighs more than fat is true too. I measure my success on my body fat % you can get this measured at most Boots I assume.
- Don't just do cardio. Weights are just as important as cardio. But unless you absolutely know what your doing ask a professional. Perfect form is equally important as the actual weight you are lifting - you could be over stretching or damaging yourself if you're not doing it right. And that's just inefficient.
Cardio needs to be dynamic. Yes slogging your guts out on the pavement is good. But it doesn't actually train your body to get any fitter. You do need to go interval training and sprints and vary the intensity of the cardio you are performing. It the one biggest change to my fitness I have noticed. Whether your cycling, cross trainer or running (or whatever else) changing the intensity of the workout is far more effective than doing a constant - so make sure there is a variety.
It can be free(ish) - so protein is expensive as is gym memberships and work out gear. I haven't joined a gym - I'm lucky to live with two boys which have built a home gym. I have everything I need to get the results - a dumbell set, a barbell set and a bench. I have a bike and I have a pavement. That's all I have needed. 
- It's for you. Who cares who's watching you run, don't feel self conscious and don't do this for anyone else other than you. Bullies or bitchy people or worse boys - don't give them the satisfaction. Make sure it's for you. It's my me time. I listen to my favourite music, I switch off from life and I get down to business. I exit gym on natural high and nothing can beat that feeling - it's addictive. 


Monday, 14 October 2013

Buying british has consumed my life. MIB is what I call it, Made In Britain. While I can still see the beauty of non-mib, for me, it's not worth my time or money. It was a question of basic economics in 2012 which lead me down this path. I have discovered a huge following of this mindset and it excites me.

Every time I discover a new (or old) brand manufacturing in the UK, I get excited, create my wishlist and obsess over it's possibilities. While I hugely celebrate British manufacture, I try not to too heavily preach about my beliefs, it's everyone's own personal choice. When I started it was a challenge, could I do it? But achieving it has made me question why I would ever go back. I never have. 

There are exceptions, of course, if the brand isn't British, it's unlikely they'll manufacture here. So Zara for instance, is Spanish, if they manufacture in Spain, I won't question buying it if I like it, might as well support all home manufacture. And shoes, we have a great manufacturing heritage, but other than Juju Jellies, they're all out of price range, I can't afford bespoke made to measure, luxury materials. As much as I want to. So I buy 'local', made in Spain or Italy, it doesn't bruise my conscious too much, whether that's an actual valid argument or ethical or infringes on my beliefs, is another question, one I'm yet to explore, I still need to pay bills more than I need shoes. But at least I am fully aware of the provenance of all the item's I buy. 

And then there's second hand or making it myself. I'm a average sewer, although I long to be as accomplished as Elisalex of ByHand. I collect fabrics and patterns for projects and never do them. Something to aspire to change. And charity shops, I've worked in one, I have no qualms with buying someone else clothes, once you've put them in the wash they're like new. Fashion is cyclical, if I want fast fashion, I seek out the original not the imitation!

I have ethics, I don't believe anyone or thing should suffer for the sake of my own materialistic desire. That being said, I am no vegetarian nor do I avoid leather. But buying British (or local) assures me that UK/EU law governs the manufacture and welfare enough for me not to regret buying.

Actually that's a bit preachy...

Andrea x
Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...
Proudly designed by Mlekoshi playground