Disqus for Where Are My Knees

Sarah - My Relationship With Exercise

Monday, 26 March 2012

Exercise has been mostly missing from my life for as long as I can remember.  My sister was the sporty one whilst I was the academic one.  Whilst she was competing at numerous sports I could usually be found on the sidelines with my face buried in a book.  I didn't have an ounce of fat on me though, I was a skinny little thing and stayed this way til I went to Uni and didn't have my Mum making sure I ate well.  I managed to avoid most exercise until I realised I really needed to do something about my expanding waistline.

In 2007 I joined my local ladies only gym.  It's independent but works in the same way as Curves or LadyPace.  You can find detailed information as to how it works on the Curves website.  Briefly it is a 30 minute circuit using resistance machines.  You do as many repetitions as you can in 30 seconds before moving onto a recovery station for a further 30 seconds before moving onto the next piece of equipment and so on.  You aim to maintain your target heart rate for the duration of the workout and in doing so burn more fat than a conventional work out.  They claim that one 30 minute circuit is the equivalent of slogging it out at the gym for 1.5 hours.  I don't know if this is true but I can vouch for the fact that it definitely works!  In six months I managed to shift a total of 20lbs and just over 20" - not bad hey?!  This included losing 1" from my neck - I had no idea I even had an inch to lose there.

Unfortunately I injured my knee whilst out walking and had lost my motivation by the time I recovered.  I ended up spending more time exercising my mouth chatting to friends than getting on and working out.  It all went downhill for me from there.  I joined a conventional gym so I could go swimming every morning and this gave me the boost I needed.  I became obsessed, I would swim before work and then go back in the evening to do a class or two and some cardio.  I even went some lunch times too.  I was overdoing it and completely plateaued. I didn't lose any weight or inches in the whole 6 months I kept up this routine.  Not once in this whole obsession did I ever enjoy going to the gym.  I didn't once get that buzz people talk about and it didn't get any easier for me.

I got fed up and quit which brings me to where I am today, zero fitness but ready for a challenge.  Two weeks ago I started walking and have tried to fit in an hour or so most days.  A week ago I started the couch to 5k and am replacing alternate days with 'running'  On Wednesday I rejoined the ladies only gym which will replace most of the evening walks.  I will not get obsessed.  I will not give up.  2012 is the year that I get to my target weight and make exercise part of my daily routine.

Sunday Summary #51

Sunday, 25 March 2012

Another week done and dusted!

Gemma - Another 1lb off this week, slow and steady! I've had a really good week and saved up all my points for lunch and a cocktail yesterday. I chose wisely and went for chicken with salad and went a little over on the vodka in the night but I think a few hours of dancing burned that off ;)

Sarah V - I've been away so much lately for work, I've been eating on the go a lot and dieting has totally gone out of the window. I have a week more of traveling to get through and then I'm going to hit this dieting thing hard. No more excuses this time!

Sarah - if you didn't catch my Jenny Craig post over on a million dresses last week I lost 1.5lbs when I weighed in on Monday. After discussion with my consultant we have increased my calorie in take to 1500 a day as 1200 was proving to be just too low with the exercise regime I have started. I have rejoined the ladies only gym I used to go to and have completed week one of the couch to 5k. I am exercising on average for an hour a day which is actually amazing when you compare it to the ZERO exercise I was doing before. I cannot wait to weigh in and measure tomorrow, a summary of my results will be over on my blog in the morning.

Lucy - I lost 1lb on my first week of Weight Watchers which is better than nothing I suppose. I think I messed up last weekend though because I went out on Saturday night and consequently spent the whole of Sunday hating life and eating everything in sight. Definitely a downfall. I think this week has been a little bit better but it seems everything is happening at once; I went out for a meal for my auntie's birthday on Tuesday and then last night for another meal for my friend's birthday. I've been good inbetween though so I'm hoping it'll show this Tuesday! We'll soon find out.

Next week will mark one whole year of Sunday Summaries. ONE WHOLE YEAR! Please drop us an email if you would like us to include your progress in next weeks summary, any loss is hard work so you should be shouting it from the rooftops. Be proud of your achievements, we are.

Sunday Summary #50

Sunday, 18 March 2012

Another week done! This year really is flying by. Clocks go forward next week and we are looking forward to the lighter nights giving us more motivation to exercise.

Gemma - -1lb this week, not amazing but I'm going in the right direction. This week hasn't been the best, far too much bread and a few meals out where I had to guess the points but I'm hoping to get back on track and drop a few more lbs before my trip to Manchester over Easter weekend. My best friend joined WW this week and I'm hoping she has a good loss on Tuesday, we will both be able to support each other and share tips and recipes.

Sarah - Am still on Jenny Craig and hoping for a better result when I measure and weigh in tomorrow. I will update my progress over on a million dresses tomorrow morning.

Sarah V - I missed my weigh in this week but think I've stayed the same. I'm still struggling with motivation but am trying to start this week anew with some better habits!

Lucy - I mentioned last week that I was starting weight watchers and my first seven days have gone alright. I fell a little bit off plan on Sunday because I was SO HUNGOVER I WANTED TO DIE, but I had my weekly points that I hadn't used so hopefully it hasn't changed anything too much. I've been told that it's best to eat all of my daily points so I have been trying to, sometimes it's a bit of a struggle and I feel like I'm over-eating! It's my first weigh in tomorrow so we'll see how I've got on - I'm excited.

Over to you lot, how are you all getting on?

my thoughts on jenny craig

Thursday, 15 March 2012

It's been just over a month since I finished my 1 month trial of the Jenny Craig diet programme. I posted about it previously (you can read the posts here) but basically, I got sent 1 month worth of Jenny Craig food to trial - including all breakfasts, lunches, dinners and snacks in the hopes to lose some weight.

I have a bit of a mixed opinion of the diet plan, lots of positives, but a few negatives too.

At first, I was loving the food. Most of the meals were really nice, particularly the lunches which included soups and little pots of mashed potato - total comfort food! The dinners weren't so good though, and probably the one thing that I didn't like about the diet was the fact that for the full month I trialed it, I only had a selection of 7 different main meals. This meant that I was eating the same foods every week. It quickly got boring and I found myself dreading dinner, hating the taste of foods that I once liked because I was sick of eating the same thing. I am vegetarian though, and a few other bloggers who have sampled the diet seemed to get a larger selection of meals - one getting a different main meal every day of their 2 week trial so maybe it's only the vegetarian options which are limited.

I did learn some great eating habits though. Jenny Craig made me realise that I definitely wasn't eating enough (any?) fruit and having to bulk my meals up with fresh veg made me fall in love with vegetables again. There's nothing better than a big bowl of your favourite vegetables, mmm.

Eating 3 meals per day, and snacks in-between, kept me from snacking on unhealthy foods, just as long as I had the healthy snacks that I was allowed by my side. I found that some days I wasn't actually needing to eat my snacks either because I just wasn't hungry. I learned that portion control was my main problem, and the portions from Jenny Craig were smaller than those I'd usually cook myself although they still filled me up.

I lost 6lbs in total over the month. For the girl who finds it extremely difficult to lose weight, even with a healthy diet, this was a great result. I lost a total of 4 inches across my body too and I felt a lot healthier, if that makes sense, and not bloated either.

I left it so long to post this review because I wanted to see how my new found eating habits would survive after the Jenny Craig food ran out. Although I haven't strictly been sticking to the meal pattern (breakfast, snack, lunch, snack, dinner, snack) I've lost a further 2lbs and continue to eat lots of fresh fruit and veg. Although I found the meals boring after a while, I did find it much easier sticking to a healthy diet when I had the task of picking what to eat done for me.

Overall I did enjoy most of my experience with the Jenny Craig trial, I just wish there were more choices for vegetarian food. If you're interested in trying out Jenny Craig they currently have a special offer on where you can get a 50% discount on a two week programme, which works out at just £38.50 a week/£5.50 a day for all your food and consultations which is an absolute bargain as I spend that on lunch alone some days!

Sunday Summary #49

Monday, 12 March 2012

Happy Sunday! How have your weeks been?

Gemma - Had a great result at the scales this week, -2.5lbs which takes me to a grand total of -5 stone! Really happy with this achievement and although it has taken a year it doesn't feel like it has been very tough at all. I really don't have a goal weight that I would like to get to so I'm just going to keep going until I'm happy with the way I look/feel. I've had a pretty bad week as far as tracking is concerned and I have gone over my points but it has just been 'one of those weeks' feeling inspired to push for another big loss next week and get to -6 stone.

Sarah V - I lost another 1.5lbs this week. I know that at the moment I could be better than I'm being but at least it's going down! I'm going to try and factor more exercise in this week, I think that's a big thing I'm missing. I'm only exercising once a week at the moment and I don't think it's making enough difference!

Lucy - I've slipped off the diet wagon this week, I haven't been stupidly bad but I have discovered chocolate Philadelphia - oops. I have joined Weight Watchers though so I'm going to be following that plan in unison with Maxitone. I intend to start that tomorrow, going to have weigh-ins on Tuesdays though so it'll be another fortnight before I can officially update with my first week's progress. Wish me luck!

Sarah - I have just completed week one of my Jenny Craig trial.  I am doing it from a Weight Watchers point of view and am pointing everything I eat.  I am writing a weekly update over on my own blog, the first of which is up now.  If you want to read more about Jenny Craig check out my first post or read about Charlene's experiences.

Maxitone diet trial

Friday, 9 March 2012

I'm sure most of you are aware, but for those who aren't: I'm currently taking part in a three-month diet trial that is sponsored by Maxitone called Hello New You. Involved are me and five other bloggers and we've all been blogging my progress over on the Maxitone blog that can be seen here. I thought it'd be nice to update here though with a little bit more about the diet. In a nutshell, Maxitone are a brand who create meal replacement shakes and bars; the difference with these compared to others though are that all the products are nutritious and high in protein and everything they do promotes healthy weight loss.

Between the six of us who are involved, two are doing it for weight loss purposes, two for improving their wellbeing and two want help toning up. Prior to starting the diet I had to keep a strict 3-day diary of everything that I ate and drink over that time which would then be sent to a Maxitone nutritionist, who would then talk me through the diet, tell me which range she thought would be best for me and just a bit more about the whole trial itself. After speaking to a Maxitone nutritionist, something I was initially quite nervous about, I began to feel positive about the whole experience and couldn't wait to get started.

I was sent enough protein shake powder (strawberry flavour, of course!) and meal replacement bars to last the three months - and probably longer - and, as advised by the nutritionist, I was to have either for breakfast and then as a snack if I got peckish throughout the day. For lunch I'd have something pre-prepared yet healthy so things like grilled chicken, tuna, any lean meats or other fish and salad and then for dinner I learnt that half my plate should be filled with vegetables or salad, a quarter carbs (mmm, my favourite) and the other quarter should be a source of protein.

Sounds easy, huh? Well, essentially, it is. It was definitely a lot easier to be in control when I was in London and had an actual routine. For breakfast I'd have a bar or shake, that would keep me going until lunch when I'd have an egg sandwich or salad and then for dinner I'd have what was recommended to me - usually chicken and salad. Alongside that I made sure I drank 1.5l of water per day too - something that I find really easy to do when I'm sat at a desk all day.

I do feel as though I've learnt a lot about the way I eat and the sorts of foods I should be eating too, a lot of it is also down to portion control and sizing which is where a lot of people tend to slip up. I'd definitely recommend Maxitone, before the trial I was wholly against any sort of protein shakes. I didn't see, and more importantly, didn't understand the benefits of them and had no idea they could be used as part of a healthy diet. Naive, perhaps, but I thought they were just for people who were severely underweight or for people who pump iron in the gym and want bigger guns!

To carry on tracking mine and everybody elses progress you can find Maxitone blog updates here.

Have any of you lot tried Maxitone or any other type of dieting aids in the form of meal repalcements? Would you ever try them?

Puy Lentil, pepper and goats cheese salad

Thursday, 8 March 2012

Fed up of boring sandwiches for lunch? Bored with the same old lettuce, cucumber and tomato salad? You really do need to try this, it was so quick and easy to make (especially because I bought pre-cooked lentils) and I made if for a group of friends who all cleared their plates. After being on a diet for over a year and avoiding cheese the goats cheese felt really indulgent and the lentils meant that it was a very filling lunch.

This recipe serves four people and has a pro points value of 25, 6 points per serving.

You will need:

1 red pepper
1 yellow pepper
175g dried puy lentils, rinsed.
2 tablespoons low fat balsamic dressing
4 spring onions sliced
100g goats cheese, diced
50g of rocket (I used a lot more and threw in whatever salad leaves I had in the fridge)

1. Pre heat the oven to Gas Mark 7/220/200 fan oven. Place the whole peppers in the oven directly on the shelf with a tray below to catch the juices. Roast for 15-20 minutes until the skins of the peppers start to scorch.

2. Place the peppers in the bowl, cover with cling film and leave to stand during which time the skins will loosen.

3. Meanwhile bring a pan of water to the boil, add the lentils and cook for 20-25 minutes until they are tender.

4. Peel the skins from the peppers, remove the seeds and flesh, Cut the peppers into small strips.

5. Drain the lentils and mix with the balsamic dressing then stir in the spring onions, goats cheese and peppers. Gently stir in the rocket before serving.

Sunday Summary #48

Monday, 5 March 2012

Gemma - Another 1lb off this week, very happy with my results the past month. I went to London yesterday to meet up with some other lovely blogging ladies including my fellow Where Are My Knees member, Sarah. I ate burger with cheese on, chips, cocktails and cupcakes! I got home, went to a house party and had a mix of chambord and vodka with regular lemonade so I did a lot of damage in one day. Dreading hitting those scales but I promise I will try and behave next week. I'm looking to lose another 7lbs by the 6th of April for my trip to Manchester.

Sarah V - A pound off this week and I've managed to stay on track for most of the week! I'm still finding resisting bad food hard, but it's getting easier. Next step is to work some more exercise in...

Bio Synergy Skinny Water & Skinny Bars

Thursday, 1 March 2012

We were all sent a bottle of Skinny Water and a vanilla flavoured Skinny Bar from the people at Bio Synergy. Both of these products are supposed to help curb hunger and the bars are packed full of protein so help keep you fuller for longer. Gemma has also been sent some Acai Berry supplements that are designed to help aid weight loss.
Here's what we thought:

Lucy - I tried the Skinny Bar as soon as I opened my parcel, it was about two hours before I was due to start work I was a bit peckish but didn't really want to eat before I started work. I still felt slightly peckish afterwards but then I sort of forgot about the hunger pangs and didn't even really feel hungry when I got my break at work - three hours after starting. I really enjoyed the bar, it tasted nice although at first I found the texture a little bit weird but I'd definitely buy them myself, I'm not sure if it's more of a psychological effect they have or not but I think the bar really worked in terms of keeping me satisfied until I was able to have a proper meal. As for the water, I didn't really enjoy it and I didn't feel any effects of it. Perhaps I was being a little too adventurous for it but I had the water before I started a four hour shift, a couple of hours after breakfast, knowing full well that I wouldn't get a break whilst at work. However, by the time I'd finished work I was absolutely ravenous and could have quite happily eaten a scabby horse. I didn't enjoy the taste of the water either, it was nice at first but the more I had the less I seemed to like to somehow. If it's available in other flavours and is reasonably priced then I'd probably give it another chance but after my first try of it I'm not impressed!

Sarah - I really did not like the bar. It has a really strange consistency and reminded me of a vanilla flavoured chewy rennie tablets. Yuck. I had it after dinner before I went out with the girls (I was driving so no further calories consumed) and can't really say if it worked. I could have quite happily have eaten but being in the pub meant that there was nothing available. If I had of been at home I know I would have reached for that chocolate bar. The bars work out to 5 syns on the Slimming World plan. I also didn't like the taste of the water. It is meant to be Pomegranate flavour but all I could taste is the artificial taste of the sweeteners. Having tried both of these only once I could not comment as to whether they do what they claim but personally would not buy either of them based on the taste.
Gemma - I received the skinny cola, I enjoyed the taste and it contained zinc which helps to metabolise the fat in our diet. It also contained l-carnitine which is found naturally in the body where it assists turning fat into energy. I only really drink tea or water so this made a nice change for me. I quite liked the vanilla Skinny Bar, it had a white chocolate flavoured coating and was more than 30% protein. I always feel fuller for longer when I eat a protein breakfast and I found that this bar had a similar effect. I ate it on my break at 10am and it kept me full until lunch at 1.00. It was only 3 pro points on the Weight Watcher plan which is the same as a Breakaway or Curly Wurly, not bad at all. I think these bars would be great for those who run long distances or who work out a lot. keeping you full and giving you energy.
I have also been taking the Acai Berry supplement for 30 days. The capsules contain Acai berry which is the most nutrient-dense berry, and studies have shown the fruit to boost energy and stamina, increase your natural immunity, and boost your metabolism. In 2011 I was losing 1.3lbs a week on average, this year that has increased to 1.5lbs a week so far. I'm not sure if this is down to the supplements or the new year drive to lose weight but I'm happy with the product and I'm going to order another 30 capsules.

Sarah V - I really disliked the taste of both the water and the bar! The texture of the bar is very odd, a bit like nougat and I'll be honest, I couldn't finish it. The calorie count was about 100 calories which isn't THAT amazing, considering there are lots of other tastier products out there for about the same. But it's all down to personal taste I suppose and I know some of the other girls liked the bar!

Charlene - I enjoyed the bar I received, it was the Vanilla flavoured one. I was running late for work and it was on the kitchen worktop, so I grabbed it knowing I wasn't going to get breakfast for 2.5hrs. It has a strange chewy texture, and tastes almost like white chocolate. It's very sweet so I only managed to eat half of it, but I didn't find myself getting hungry until my break 2.5hrs later. It's hard to tell whether this was a coincidence or not after sampling 1 bar, but I'd probably try one again if I saw them in the shops.