This blog is simply my story and the summation of the years of dieting, failing and researching that have finally got me back into shape and healthy. I have gone from amateur enthusiast to fitness professional during this journey. All advice here is my own from my own experiences, both amateur and professional, and where professional/journal/medical information is used I cite all references giving those who did the graft their due. Please feel free to have a look around and also check out the Official KrissieKirby.com blog
Thursday, 26 September 2013
Friday, 6 September 2013
So I thought I would post an update on how I'm doing with the challenge while I continue to write the information/routines/etc for the challenge proper as it has become known in my workings.
In my last post I said this was was going to be an interesting time for me personally, due to how manic it's going to get while I get the challenge up underway as well as go through it myself, and September has proven to be a bitch of a month already.
While I have yet to film any of the workouts, I have done the bare bones of the routines, and am fine tuning them ready to film them - plus I have the arduous task (not really but I like that word) of listening to reams of rock and metal to use as the background music to get the people who will be
The end of the first week of my personal challenge saw me attend my hobby weekend of live action roleplay and usually I partake in far too much alcohol, but this year I was very well behaved on that front. Also due to not being a staff member this year, I no longer have access to a kitchen so was forced to improvise as best as possible while still having to venture to the burger van in the evenings for dinner. Not ideal but when that is the only food vendor on site you have no other choice really.
The plus side of the hobby, is the amount of running around that is undertaken when in game. It can be none stop walking from game start at 10am to finish at 2am. I was thrilled to do a number of hill sprints and not have any niggles from the old IT Band. It feels wonderful to be back to full strength after a year and half.
Last weekend also saw the start of my Spartan season, with the Cambridge Sprint. I did full review of the race for those wonderful folk over at Mudstacle. Their site is well worth checking out if you fancy doing obstacle course racing/mud runs. OCRs genuinely put the fear of the gods into me. I have no idea what's coming up in the way of obstacles, I just know I'll be tested. I also know that the terrain can be damned tricky to run on and I'm always wary of turning over on my ankle. The race was good fun, it always is, even when I arrive with a knot in the pit of my stomach and all rationale telling me to get in the car and just go home. But if I listened to that voice, I wouldn't be doing the job I do now... so!
The one thing I do need to invest in somehow is a rope to climb, but my ceilings are low so it wouldn't work in the house gym. No I need a rope climb somewhere where it's going to challenge, so I may have to chat to the boys at the gym I attend. This weekend the band has a gig in County Durham, and the morning after we are racing in Yorkshire. So another busy weekend ahead. And while I am off on the road I thought I would do an update with where I am at the 'almost' 3 week mark.
So the 'almost' 3 week stats:
- Waist 34 1/4 inches (loss of 1 inch)
- Hips 40 inches (loss of 1 3/4 inches)
- Ratio: 0.85 (down from 0.87)
- Weight 159.4lbs (loss of almost 3lbs)
I'm not going to test my body fat until week 8 as I require the help of one of my fellow PTs to do the caliper measurements for me. But all in all for just under 3 weeks that's not a bad at all. I'm very chuffed with that. As I stated before, for me this challenge isn't about weight loss it's about fat loss and building my strength. So it's all going in the right direction, which gives me great hope for how my challengers are going to do if they work at it. And that, I suppose is the crux, even though I've had a weekend where my options weren't the best they could have been I've still maintained the programme I set myself for the most part, and the poof is in the results.
I will probably do a week six update, although I may just post my stats a week Monday when I return from Scotland to see how I'm continuing.
Until then, if you want more information about the challenge then please see the KrissieKirby.com blog and sign up to be the first to know when registration opens.
As always be kind to yourself,
|First of 4 mudpits, after a lovely barbed wire crawl!|
|Screw you, fire! \m/|
|Bring it, boys! Was in fact what I said here, for real!|
A small selection of pictures from the race on the weekend, with thanks to Epic Action Imagery.
Friday, 16 August 2013
So while I am undergoing the testing and planning phase of this challenge, before I launch it on 12 excited people, here are my 'before' pictures. In general I am pleased with where I am, but there is always room for improvement and I do feel that I could do with getting rid of some of the fat that I have around my body. I want to feel tighter and less floppy (as I told you before it is a highly technical term that...floppy). Also by being very public about my own trial of the challenge, I am forced to practice what I preach, as all of us personal trainers should to be quite frank. Why on earth would I have you pay me to offer something I wouldn't do myself? Just doesn't make sense. Also this is most definitely about what the individual wants/feels for themselves, so before any comments of 'but you look great' come through - thank you I feel great, I just want to feel even better and that's no bad thing :)
So here goes, these were taken on August 14th and I shall take the final pictures on Sunday 3rd of November.
If you are interested in learning more about the 12 week Challenge which will be starting on Monday September 30th 2013, and you'd like to register your interest, then please visit the Official KrissieKirby.com Blog
Until the next time, be kind to yourself always
Wednesday, 14 August 2013
I know some of you may be thinking that there is nothing I could/need to change about my current habits but rest assured there are and most trainers fall into a habit of sorting plans and nutrition for their clients while sacrificing their own regimen. Well, I have fallen foul of that in the last few months since I started the business and it's starting to show. I feel lethargic, lacking in energy, motivation and my discipline has gone out the window with the chocolate wrappers that once held the bars I've been vehemently scoffing.
It's time to reset and get myself back in order, after all I am my product and I can't expect anyone to buy my services if I look all loose and floppy (these are highly technical terms, honest 'guv!).
When I started KrissieKirby.com the idea was not only to have the physical face to face side but also a virtual arm, where I could take on a small number of clients and give them something structured but with a degree of flexibility and be adaptable for their particular circumstances, as no two people are the same. Of course this virtual system has to be put together and tested, tweaked and perfected, and so far it's taken a bit of a back seat to the rest of the business while I concentrated on getting Forest Fitness and Pole Port Talbot up and running. At the same time, my own training schedule fell by the wayside even though I have had runs and OCRs to train for. I have been more than lackadaisical.
So today I put out the initial feelers for the first 12 week programme. The idea is that for 12 weeks, 12 participants will follow my plan, with some minor amendments to personalise the plans to each participant and for me to help them get back on track; with a view to really seeing a change in their lives in general, not just in their waistlines. But as with all things I do, I'm not prepared to let someone do something I won't. So instead of a focus group I've decided to do the challenge myself and blog, vlog and log about it to show how achievable it is. Yes, I am putting my name to the test and why not? I believe so much in what I do that I'm willing to put my own journey out there (or on here) for everyone to see, similar to when I first started this blog. I'm just going to put this here, first as last, that there will not be any meal replacement shakes, or 'nutritional' shakes included in this plan. I firmly believe that with the correct planning and education you can maintain a well balanced diet and a single multi vit tablet is just as good if you are defitient in any nutrients and aren't able to get them from your food. Just to be clear :)
So here goes!
I believe that the weighing scales are purely an indicator of our relationship with gravity. Most people don't believe that I am over 11 stone in weight when I tell them, but it's true. I've got good muscles ;) but I do have a higher than I would like body fat percentage (currently at 28%) and my waist to hip ratio is slightly higher than the recommended number. So this is where I want to focus my attention and fat loss is what we're always aiming for. There is a phrase I've just used that is key to this, 'higher than I would like", this is important because fat loss and healthy living is about the person on their journey and how they feel. So I'm really not bothered what happens on the weight side of the issue, for me personally it's more about the hip to waist ratio and body fat percentage going down. If I lose a few pounds in the process, I'm not complaining but I don't want to lose muscle, as muscle is most definitely the fountain of youth.
My starting stats:
Weight - 162.2lbs
Waist - 35 1/4 inches
Hips - 41 3/4 inches (giving a waist:hip ratio of 0.87)
Body fat percentage - 28.30%
I will be on week 8 of the challenge when it officially launches, so as I work towards the launch I will do an update of my stats every fortnight as well as blogs and vlogs in between, so you can see how I get on. It's going to be an interesting experiment and one that I hope will inspire 12 souls to embark on and let me help them show them what they can achieve.
Thursday, 6 June 2013
The day before, I had developed a knot in the pit of my stomach, one that was threatening to flare up to the point of debilitation. It's been a long time since I felt that sick through nerves. As a rule I tend not get nervous of many things, but for some reason this had me in pieces. It's very strange, you'd think after 3 years of being a member of the fitness industry, having been through all the various courses I've done, not to mention performing on stage regularly, that going to a training day for obstacle course racing, well.. that would be a walk in the park, right? Nope, something was really playing on my nerves. And I know what it is. It was that 'I'll be find out' feeling, found out that I'm not as good as these other people I'll be with, not tough enough/strong enough/small enough/fit enough.... Silly? No. Natural? Maybe. But Pandora (remember her, that negative voice that creeps out of her box) she was back with vengeance.
After a quick chat in a lay-by with the hubby (he was on his way home from a Krav Maga workshop and we passed each other on the road), I got in the car, woman-ed up, and drove to my hotel near Gatwick. After a rather restless night, due to the hotel having had a hen party in residence who decided in their drunk state that loud was the only way to talk and to hammer on each others doors at 2am, I drove to Pippingford Park, an MOD training ground; still with a knot in my stomach and still hearing Pandora in my head giving me all those old thoughts. I first met Annie (phew, I wasn't the only woman, a huge relief), then Fiona, Lauren and Alexandra. Five girls, thank goodness for that. Also joining us were some of the guys that are regulars on the Mudstacle forum and other mud running websites, as well as one of the guys who heads up Obstacle Racing Magazine UK (if you fancy doing OCRs, subscribe to the mag, it's free and has great articles and offers).
All in all there were 15 of us, including assistant coach and Spartan Sprint champ Thomas Blanc, and Head Coach Michael Cohen, heading off to attack the 4 hours of training; training that would make us Spartan Fit, Spartan Safe, Spartan Ready.
|Pre-training brief with Head Coach Michael Cohen|
First up we were introduced to our new best friend: a 6 foot log that we had to keep hold for the duration of the training session. Taken on a warm up jog, with postural reinforcement, general centre of mass explanations, and reminders to swap shoulders to maintain balance and work our weaker side, I soon realised that my fitness levels were going to be really tested, more so than they have been in a while. I have to admit to all my geek friends, I did utter the immortal line, 'Spartan come back with your log, or on it'. Well, it had to be done!
|Head Coach Michael Cohen with his friendly log|
With our logs back on our shoulders, we were off again through the terrain, until we came to an area with logs secured up in the trees and a low line. Here we were to practice our hanging and leg raising skills, all to help with core work and to get us used to the different types of grip we would probably need in different situations. We also were showed how to roll safely in case we tripped whilst on course.That was tricky to get the correct technique for after so much learning to roll for pole dance.
|Crab crawling - get those hips UP!|
Barefoot running is interesting and something I quite enjoyed. Granted the area of ground we were on wasn't as treacherous as it could have been, and apart from the ants and spiked chestnut casings, it was actually quite nice underfoot. We then practiced more various animal movements, (these are all things that I am looking forward to doing on my Primal Move course later this month so was good to have a practice in the wild as it were). We did frog leaps up a small incline, monkey hops and then pressed our way down the hill starting in standard press up position but then moving hands and legs in to varying positions so that we forced more lateral movement.
My favourite part of all mud runs/OCRs tend to be the water obstacles. I feel very much at home in the water, probably comes from growing up close to the sea. I was thrilled that we had river crossing obstacle practice.
After a small run and some more technique practice with our shoes and socks back on, we lifted our logs back on our shoulders and took them across the river. Some followed Michael's example of taking the log across on the two rope crossing, others got in the water and walked across. With more running through various terrain and getting up and down slopes, we then did throwing practice with the logs up a small incline to get used to different ways of throwing, more grip practice and how to safety lift a 6 foot log for throwing, always keeping in mind not to hit the camera man who was furiously taking pictures of the day.
Our second water obstacle was the river walk, which I loved doing at the Spartan Sprint last year. And with some simple technique instructions from Michael, we were all keeping upright and not sinking in the very muddy and rather soft river bed. The water was a little colder this time but still not unpleasant after you got over the initial chill and reminded your body to regulate it's temperature. After the river walk, to dry off came the last push back up to the base camp. I'm not quite sure how long the run was, I would guess around a kilometer, but it was all up hill and with the log on your shoulder we were close to the end of 4 hours. Our simple instruction for this part: No walking, no stopping, you have to run and if you have to drag your fellow Spartan with you, you do so. We leave no one behind! At this point every muscle in my body was begging me for more glycogen. I had very little left. My runny buddy, Jon had been awesome in support all day and once again stepped up to help. With a constant 'one foot in front of the other Krissie, you've got this' on the left side and a helping hand from Michael in that he grabbed my hand and started running faster pulling me along, I got a little further, I didn't stop. Next thing I realise my log is being taken off my shoulder by Jon for the last 400m and I'm hearing that 'one foot, keep going' - I still owe him a pint or six! Thank you Jon :)
|Jon, on the right, being a goddamn hero!|
I am inspired by the people I trained with that day. They proved that you can do anything when you put your mind to it. The great thing about the day was that there was no judging of anyone and their abilities. Everyone helped everyone else, we all pitched in and were supportive of each other and complimentary on each persons different sets of skill strengths. It was a joy to be in the company of such like minded people. I felt quite at home.
After a quick towel off and change, a very welcomed slug of coffee and a flapjack, we all hung around the cars talking about the day and really having a good geek out over mud races. It was at this point I found out that not only were most of these people seasoned runners, most were elite obstacle course racers, and a few were world class competitors in their previous field, including our very own World Champion Triathelete. And you know what? I kept up with them. I may not have been the fastest, or the most agile but I held my own. And Pandora was once again firmly put to sleep back in her box.
Just over seven years ago I weighed over 18stone and smoked 30 a day, and here I was keeping up with elite athletes who had been training for far more years than I had. I realised that I was that much stronger than I gave myself credit for, was far fitter than I gave myself credit for, and that my stubbornness is a positive. All those worries over not being good enough had dissipated by the end of the first hour. It was tough, it was insane, my shoulders still haven't forgiven me and the bruises are something else (but then with pole bruising my skin is getting used to it) but it was so much fun. The other added bonus, not one twinge from the knee all day. Looks like I have nipped the IT Band issue in the bud finally.
If you are seriously considering a mud event, be it Sparatn, Tough Mudder, Rock Solid, Zombie Evac etc, I would heartily recommend you get to one of the training days that Wild Forest Gym host. It will give you a great insight into how the OCR mentality works and how to get around a course safely and they even do one to one and group sessions. Do check them out.
Huge thanks to my fellow team mates from the day, it really was a pleasure to meet you all and spend the day training. And massive thanks to Jon, Michael and Thomas. See you some of you in July! AROO!
|June 2nd Advanced Group! AROO!|
All photographs courtesy of Matt Bradshaw and Spartan Race Training UK. AROO!
Wednesday, 8 May 2013
I currently have a mix of PT and Pole clients and all of them are at different points in their progress, which keeps me on my toes to make their workouts as fun and as interesting as possible. The last I thing I want is for their hour with me to become samey. So I'm continuously researching ways to keep things interesting and it keeps it interesting for me too. I tend to try all new exercises out on myself first, so I can really feel what's working where, which in turn helps me to explain it better to my clients. It's a win win really. I am also very blessed that my clients are enjoying it, and keep coming back. They work hard and they make me very proud indeed. Suffice to say, this is the best move I ever did and I love my job so much that it's really not work any more. There is no, 'oh god I need to do this that and the other', it's more 'ooh right, that could be interesting, let's give that a try'. Everything is brighter and generally more positive.
My eating patterns have been a little squiffy of late, and I have fantastic sweet tooth cravings again but I think this is due to the increase in my own training. I am now able to train three times a week on pole techniques etc so my strength gains there should improve no end as well as regaining my confidence with tricks and inverts. I have also fallen back in love with running, probably helped by the fantastic weather we've had the last two weeks. On top of that I'm doing some strength training (either at the gym or at home) three times a week and I've also added in 20 mins of flexibility every day while doing vocal exercises which is something I had been meaning to do but could never justify the time with the pressure of the day job. It is amazing the sense of freedom I now feel.
So with the running comes the challenge that is in the title of this 'ere blog. My bestie decided that, with all this running I'm now doing, he would throw down the gauntlet and challenge me to join him in the Nottingham Half Marathon in September.
I will be running the Nottingham Half for Breast Cancer Campaign in honour of my cousin Mads who is doing well from her fight against breast cancer. And as usual I'll be running the Race for Life in July (this is my 10km race, possibly with CJ again or if she's unable to make the same race she'll be running the Cardiff 10km RFL) and I'll be posting the links to the sponsor pages soon.
As for life in general, all is good. I love my new career and have had a great session with one of my new clients this morning. She's done exceptionally well and was happy to give everything a try once. I absolutely am in love with life at the moment. I have some pole niggles I need to work out, still having issues with my confidence in my inverts that I really need to punch through and get to grips with (pun intended). But otherwise, I am having a ball. Next step is to start the bootcamp training sessions up in my local area, although I have since discovered that the seafront is awash with people doing bootcamps, so forest based bootcamps for my clients it shall be, should be fun either way. And hopefully I'll be doing some cover of classes for my local leisure centers.
As always, be kind to yourself, you rock!
Friday, 5 April 2013
I was going to title this blog 'When one door closes...' but to be honest, it's me who has closed the door to open a great big french window on a brave new world. So to say when every door closes another opens would be slightly misleading in the context of this post.
|Farewell desk job!|
While the job has been great in terms of money and experience within the office and the Higher Education environment, it has also been slowly sapping all the joy out of the bulk of my day. I have to be honest, I had come to seriously dislike the person it was turning me into. I suppose I have learned that to be happy, I do not need material things that a well paid job will bring. I have more spring in my step now that I know I will be helping other people change their lifestyle habits with food and exercise; that hopefully some of my passion for fitness and activity will rub off on those who employ me to beast them in the gym/outdoors on a regular basis.
|Here's to making it memorable :)|
|That still makes me grin like an idiot|
I start officially on Monday (April 8th) when the final website goes live (only 16 months after I purchased the domain) but I'm already excited. I have 3 clients already, and a few more that are meeting me to see if I'm the trainer for them. And while I have been offered jobs at gyms (and big gyms at that), I don't think that is the path for me. I joke a lot about wanting KrissieKirby.com to be a global brand name.... but what if it was? I may as well give it a shot, because what do I have to lose? Nothing really, but everything to gain. And I have never been one to live by 'what if'.
So the door on the office has closed, and here I am, hands on the push plate, ready to throw open the french doors on a brave new world.
This should be fun, hard work and long hours, but fun.
Be kind to yourself, as always