Hello there!

Welcome to the confessions of this former fatty. If you’ve opened this blog expecting it to be a quick fix, answer to everything, all knowing guide to losing weight , then I think this blog will disappoint you, sorry! There is no quick fix, there is no holy grail and there is no magic to losing weight.

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

Sunday, 29 January 2012

For those who asked about my Cardio workouts...

I've done a little video.

Now you all know I RAVE about Turbofire.  I love it, it's possibly one of the best home workout systems for those who love the feel of an aerobics class that you can get your hands on and so without further ado, here is the madness that i love to do even after an lunchtime gym session ;)

This was round 6.  There was another round of this sequence to come. Rounds 1 and 2 were one sequence, 3 and 4 were another sequence all on the same format of madness.  My Heart rate peaked at 207 bmp, quite literally giving 110% (even though I loathe that saying but in this case it is theoretically possible).

Yeah it's a little vain and self indulgent but who'd have thunk eh, a former 17stone 12lb lard arse, can now do that?

Oh and a Non Scale Victory this week.  Although I think perhaps on this particular range Adidas may be slightly over generous (which I'm told is a rarity for them), I now own and can comfortably wear a pair of UK size 12 bottoms and top for the gym.  Not bad for someone who used to be a size 26.

I am still working on the new career, and will still be blogging, hopefully with more frequency.  It's all go as usual.  So best crack on with the website and the next blog to accompany it which will explain all about my new venture and what's happening with that.

As always thank you for reading my little corner of the inter web, and as always be kind to yourself.

Much Love


Saturday, 14 January 2012

'Normal'...there's that word again.

An interesting comment was made this week, when talking with workmates about weight loss. One said:  'You will never be able to eat normally again, or stop working out, because you'll put it all back on'.  That got me quite perplexed.

Let's look at that sentence in two parts. Firstly, 'You will never be able to eat normally again'.

No diets here, thanks!
When I said 'but I do eat normally.' The answer came back as 'But you won't be able to eat that chocolate bar after breakfast, or that chocolate bar after lunch.  What I mean is you won't be able to eat 3 or 4 chocolate bars a day, you'll be dieting for the rest of your life.' I almost choked.  Firstly, I don't diet.  I stopped dieting around 2 years ago when I realised that diets were setting myself up for failure. Secondly, three to four chocolate bars A DAY! That's excessive eating and that's what got me in to being obese in the first place, as well as being horrendously inactive.  As I mentioned to my workmate, you can have the healthiest diet on the planet, one of leafy greens, wholegrains etc but if you are eating 4000 calories a day and not moving enough you are over eating and will gain weight. Eating in excess will constitute a weight gain unless you are exercising enough to warrent the excessive calories and even with my intensive training (as I do like to train hard) there is no way I'd move enough to warrent eating four chocolate bars a day!

Part of your staple food? Really?
This got me thinking, have we become so ill educated about what is good for us that we see 3 or 4 bars of chocolate in our daily diet as the norm?  And the frightening conclusion is, yes, yes we have.  It's all part of the quick fix mentality that we see around us in the everyday.  We are now so ingrained in that 'must have/do/see/eat it now mindset, that we do not have the time to prepare and cook anything and we opt for the ready meal.  The ready meal although convienent is so packed with simple carbs that release energy quickly, caked in salt and smothered in sugar that come 3pm we suffer the mid afternoon slump.  The slump hits and we go for the most convienent source of energy which is a chocolate bar.  The old blood sugar spikes and then we get another slump as the energy quickly deminishes and we go for the next quick fix and so on and so forth.  It's a viscous circle and one that ensnares us far too easily, unfortunately.

To break that circle and to maintain a level of convenience in my lifestyle, I prepare everything well in advance.  I never have the need to venture near the vending machine for that bar of chocolate.  I chop up a bell pepper, some celery and some carrots in to battons and put them in tub in the fridge.  I buy the mini pots of Hummus to have with said batons.  I wash and chop all my fruit (except apples) and put them in tubs in the fridge as soon as I get home from the supermarket.  My eye level shelf in my fridge and cupboards are filled with healthy stuff and the sweet treats are up on the higher shelves (out of sight out of mind and all that).  It might sound like madness to some, but it's just utilising the same marketing strategy as the shops but geared towards my healthy lifestyle.  All the stuff I'm putting at eye level is the stuff that isn't going to have me craving sugar again in 2 hours time.   I'm making my healthy stuff convenient.  It takes me seconds in the morning to weight out a portion of mixed berries and some melon to take to work for snacks if the slump hits. And yes I still eat chocolate.  Only I'll take a square or two out of the fridge and not the whole bar!  It's really all about control. Who has it, you or your food?

Now let's take the second part of the sentence; 'You will never be able to [...] stop working out'.  Originally when I started to workout I didn't do it to lose weight.  If you've read my fat story you might remember that I joined the gym because I have an addictive streak in my system and to stop me going back to cigarrettes I swapped my nicotein addiction for a healther alternative, getting a sweat on in an aerobics class.  And I learned quite quickly that working out gives me the best feeling in the world ever.  It's the one thing that comes closest to the feeling I get when I've bounced about on a stage for 40 mins singing.  (Singing is a great workout if you're in a band, get moving on that stage - it's entertaining for the folks watching and you can burn almost 700 cals in an hour! But I digress).

And I really do LOVE it!
I workout to feel good, not just to look good (that's just an added benefit).  If the morning has been particularly irksome in the office, I trudge down the steep hill my office resides on to my gym.  I run for 15 mins and do some resistance training.  I stretch for at least 7-10 minutes, stretching is SO important.  40 - 45 mins later I'm in the shower, but my headspace is cleared of whatever it was that was frustrating me earlier.  I LOVE working out, it is a joy in my life that I have rediscovered and I'm not going to give it up anytime soon.  Working out for me is not just a means to an end, it's a huge part of who I now am and is part of my normal routine.

You see, my mindset has changed so much from what it was in my teens and 20s.  I may be on a weight loss programme of my own design but I am NOT dieting.  I wouldn't restrict myself so grossly.  Why make this jounrey miserable?  I've have my headspace to sort out and that' was going to be hard enough as it was, why make it harder through choice?  No, no. No restricting anything.  If I want it I'll have it as long as I've earned it.

With working out, why would I workout if it was a chore?  What's the point in exercising in a gym if it makes you miserable. Getting exercise should be fun, so find fun ways to do it.  I can't wait for the summer when I can don my rollerskates and get down the beachfront skating up and down the promanade.  Heck I even have  retro 70s space hopper in the house and when I have a moment of something perplexing me, I jump on and hop around the house thinking the question through. Or I get the vaccum cleaner out and do some housework.  Anything that has you off the sofa and moving is a good thing.

So in answer to my workmate, what I eat and my exercise regime is normal. It's normal for me and normal is such a subjective word.  If normal meant that we all did the same thing, would;t this world be ever so boring?

Anyhow, enough of my rambling on today.  Time to cook dinner and while Mr K is out with the boys tonight, it'll be me, my weights and a workout DVD ;)

As always, be kind to yourself.

Much love

Monday, 9 January 2012

Six years and almost six stone.

You know it is hard work, this getting fit and healthy malarkey, after spending 14 years being a party girl, smoking like a chimney and eating my own body weight in food most days.

Knowing how it felt then
makes now feel amazing
It was easy to get depressed and down about body image and it was easier to sit on the floor sobbing uncontrollably when the scale told you what you weighed. I can still feel that punch in the gut that was seeing that scale at 17stone 12 lbs (250lbs).  I don’t think that feeling will ever really go away and to be honest, I don’t want it to.  That was such an important moment for me personally that remembering it reminds me that I now love working out so much I’m making it a career choice.  Remembering that feeling reminds me why it feels SO good to feel how I do now.  Remembering that feeling reminds me why I’m so passionate about helping other make that same feeling a motivator for change.

Time to reflect
Although we should never live in the past it is good to reflect on what you’ve achieved over the years, mainly so that you can sit back and go ‘yes I did that and ooh I did that’.  But be sure to make them all positive things to recall.  Picking on the positives will help bolster your positivity in the now and make you more determined to achieve the next goal.... if you’ve done it before you can do it again, type thinking.

Six years ago today I gave up smoking.  Six years ago today I decided enough was enough it was time to change my life.  Six years ago today I decided I was worth the effort after all.  (You can read My Fat Story here).

Since then I’ve lost almost six stones (82lbs) in weight;  I’m currently at 12 stone 3lbs (79lbs lost). I’m so very proud of that fact.  I’m a different person to the Krissie back then.  I can give you all the excuses under the sun as to how I ended up almost 18 stone in weight, but excuses are all they are.  I drank too much alcohol and sugary drinks, ate all the wrong foods in excess and hardly moved my body except to get to the fridge/oven/car/bar/pizza place. I was lazy, end of. Although studying full time didn't help it wasn't an excuse to be lazy.  That's the crux of the matter, I was lazy as a lazy thing on a lazy day.  And though we went through the heartbreak of losing my beloved Grampa to leukemia and watched my Father in law's health deteriorate due to his diabetes, I still sat on my lardy arse doing nothing.  And if anything they should have been HUGE motivators.

I can admit all this now because this journey takes a lot of soul searching when you have that much weight to lose. Something valuable I’ve discovered is that lifestyle change begins with the mind.  This is something I learned from the ever lovely Steve Miller.  You can do all the diets you want but the lifestyle change doesn’t happen until you programme the mind.  And that either takes hypnosis or a long time to change your habits.  I took the long option because I didn’t know these things were available to me, hypnosis to lose weight, really?  Yes really. Why not? We use it to give up smoking, biting our nails, why not use it to remove the blockade we’ve set up surrounding our fragile self image to allow us to progress on to being the best we can be?

Another valuable thing I’ve learned, and this one I learned only this year, stop comparing yourself to other people.  Even identical twins are unique; the shape of the eyes are slightly different, or one’s a little taller than the other... you get the idea.  This one came courtesy of the fabulous Chalene Johnson. Why compare yourself with others?  What are you ever going to achieve?  And that was a major flaw in my approach to many things.  So and so has done XYZ, but hang on I’ve been doing that so why are they getting all the plaudits and success??  Why because they weren’t concerning themselves with what others were doing, they weren’t comparing themselves to others. And that’s something I was doing in abundance, hiding in my little office in the house and looking with envy at others succeeding where I was plateauing.  Silly isn’t it?  You can be this positive motivator and still have days where you go ‘urgh’. It happens to us all. Even Steve and Chalene I bet.

So looking back on the last six years, what have I achieved? These are in no particular order, just as they come to me while writing them down:
  1. I gave up smoking
  2. I started a fitness regime
  3. I rediscovered what foods my body really needs to function
  4. I came to like sprouts (who’d a thunk?)
  5. I gained my Masters in literature
  6. I got a promotion in my job (even thought here are days I wonder if it's been worth it)
  7. I met some of the most amazing people I have ever known
  8. I have (along with the guys in the band) written and recorded not 1 but 2 albums and an EP
  9. I performed at a number of heavy metal festivals and gigged up and down the country countelss times
  10. I strengthened my marriage with the most wonderful man I know.
  11. I bought a brand new car (only a little one but still brand new off the production line)
  12. I set up my blog
  13. I realised what my long term career will be 
  14. I returned to Greece for a holiday with my best friends and hubby.
  15. I qualified as a fitness instructor.
  16. I lost almost 6 stone in weight
There are more but I would end up making this post HUGE if I carried on.  Those are the biggest ones on the list.

Losing weight is relative, Einstein!
Now I embark on a new chapter.  I have 21lbs left to lose. Alas this is the hardest part.  You see most people think the more you weigh the easier it is to lose, and initially that is true.  If you weight 300lbs it’s easy to drop 5-10lbs a week when you first start your new lifestyle regime. But as you lose more your body adapts.  And you switch things up to get your body back into fat burning mode and after a few months it adapts again and you plateau. So you switch it up again and by the fifth or sixth time you do that your body has sussed you out.  So if you only had say 14lbs to lose, you start by changing your diet cutting down your simple carbs and sugary processed foods and in the first week you lose 5lbs.  You now only have 9lbs to lose and at half a pound/a pound a week on average (as your body will naturally slow to that) it takes you 9 – 18 weeks.  Now translate that to the person with 50lbs to lose, they may drop 8lbs in that first week, then 4lbs, then 2lbs and then it slows to the half/pound loss a week.  It’s now going to take them around 36-72 weeks to shift the remainder. So losing weight is relative.  So I’m looking at 20 – 40 weeks to lose the rest of this weight, that’s even with shaking up the gym routine and trying new things.  It would be nice if it came off quicker but I’m in no rush.  I’m comfortable where I am at the moment, not happy per say but not unhappy either.  I’ve done well, and I’m fiercely proud of that fact. But there is always room for improvement ;)

Six years, and finally I’ve cracked my mindset. Pandora is very quiet of late, I think she may have finally admitted defeat.

I’d like to say a massive thank you to all of you who read my blog.  The journey is far from over, and in many ways it’s still just beginning. I hope you’ll all stick along for the ride, and thank you for reading my random ramblings.  I can't wait to share the next chapter with you.

Here’s to the next six years, and continuing to be the best you, and me, that we can be.

Be kind to yourself, always, you rock and then some.
Much love

Sunday, 1 January 2012

Happy New Year 2012

Well a new year is upon us already, where the heck did 2011 go?

So Christmas wasn't the big wash out and saboteur to my weight loss that it could have been.  Thankfully I have only put on 3 and half pounds over the entire 2 week period (I could have done better but hey ho I'm not going to bust a blood vessel, it's Christmas after all).  I continued to log in to my online diary and although wasn't as strict about logging everything, I did log most things and every day I was over and easting into my deficit.  However, I did manage to get in a number of workouts to really stem the tide of my hardest habit to break.....sugary treat snacking.  One day I will crack it, like everything it takes time and after 30+ years of sweet treat snacking, I'm not going to break it overnight.  This year though will be the year, oh yes.

So what does the new year bring.  Well if your neighbourhood is anything like where I live, then it brings an influx of weight loss product placement on the TV and umpteen flyers through the postbox of this diet and that diet. 

What is it about the New Year that sees lots of people start their resolutions with such vigour only to see them fall by the wayside within a matter of weeks? These resolution makers head to their local gym, sign up for membership with a contract that sees them tied in for that entire year, usually on an inflated price that they're unaware of until they speak to people who joined in August of the previous year, which for the vast majority turns out to be money wasted as they let the gym slip by the way side within a month. They join diet programmes such as Weight Watchers or buy the Atkins Diet book, and go gung ho for the first two weeks.  They see the weight drop off for those first two weeks then the third week they lose a solitary pound.  Disappointment sets in, doubt about the programme takes over (rightfully so if you ask me but that's an argument for anther blog), but with it doubt about their ability to maintain any weight loss indefinitely, the 'I want Kate Moss's body now' syndrome kicks in and they throw all their diet books and gym clothes out in a fit of frustration and anger.  The new resolution is broken within a month, two if they are really determined to begin with but the plateau gets them in that second month.

The thing with the New Year Resolution is it's a fleeting, ill thought out, set of unattainable goals set up with failure in mind.  How often do you hear people say, 'This is my resolution, let's see how long it lasts this year?'  Instantly defeatist.

Throw the New Year's Resolution idea out first as last, go on be daring.  Get rid of that list of resolutions and start a list of goals that you really do want to achieve.  Things that you've been putting off and thinking 'oh I'll get around to it one day'.  Well make that day today but don't make resolutions. Make a plan. Goals are only attainable if you research your plan of attack, break the goal down in to manageable chunks and set yourself realistic benchmarks that you can happily achieve. Get yourself an A4 jotter book, something where you can keep all your goals and plan in one handy place and grab a pen.  Write down everything you want to achieve this year (no matter how crazy it is) and then plan your goals so that you can actually achieve them.  

For example, you want to lose 28lbs - ok so what do you need to do to do that.  You'll need to look at your eating habits, so you'll want to get a food diary.  You need to look at your exercise regime and the time you can fit it into your lifestyle. So you need to look at your weekly schedule and you need to find a time that it's non negotiable.  You can't lose weight through diet changes alone.  So you need to figure out if a gym is worth the cost or if you are determined enough to workout at home.  On the food front, you'll need to look at ways to ensure you stick to your calorie deficit that you will work out through simple maths (instead of wasting money at a diet club). And you'll also look at realistic goals.  Don't think 2-3 lbs a week is going to happen every week.  Aim for a loss of say half a pound to a pound.  Anything above that is a bonus.  Look at things you can do at home and work to aid you in your new regime. And so and so earth.  write this all down in your jotter, then on the next page put the plan into a timeline of achievements. 
You see, the resolution is all very well and good, but the planned goal is a key for success.  So don't set yourself up to fail, set yourself up to succeed.  And that's something it's taken me the best part of the last year to learn.  It's a habit that has to be formed and it won't happen overnight.  It never does.  But the thing is that anything worth doing will take a little time and a lot of effort, it makes the end achievement all the more sweet. 

So go set your goals, research your plan of attack and go get 'em.

Here's to you continuing to be the best you that you can be in 2012.  Happy New Year and let's do this.
Be kind to yourself

Much love, as always.


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