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

Thursday, 17 May 2012

We're all prone to injury and stupidity....

For those of you who follow my madness on myfitnesspal, you'll have all heard me mention that I've been exceptionally intermittent with my trips to the gym.  The reason for that is that I aggravated my iliotibial band a few weeks ago.

A few factors have added to the aggravation but the main reason that my knee joint was slightly out of kilter is that I clattered my foot on the steel frame of my piano stool when practicing a move on my pole at home. I badly bruised the outside of my right foot and in doing so I then started to compensate for the pain in my foot by what is called over pronation. In other words instead of walking naturally, I unconsiously placed more empahsis on rolling the foot inwards so the pain on the outside of the foot wouldn't be felt.  It's something we all have a tendancy to do - you've hurt your elbow so you rest your arm slightly over in the other direction to stop it hurting, but you often don't realise you've done it. Having no idea that this is what I'd done I carried on training and also started running outdoors.

Great read - recommended
A few weeks later I started a new training programme and one that I recommend as it's full of great ideas for excercises that you don't necessarily need a gym for. In this programme there are lots of compound exercises, such as romainian single leg dead lifts (you have a dumbell in one hand and your stand on the opposite leg, you then bend from the hip and touch the dumbell to the floor) and Bulgarian split squats (you have one leg up on a bench and you squat to drop the back knee to the floor - tough little blighters). There is also the overhead squat, and this was where my stubborness came back to bite me on the arse. As I back squat 35kg, I in my finite wisdom thought 30kg for overhead squatting would be fine! WRONG! Instead of dropping to 10kg and perfecting technique, I went all guns blazing with wrong form and did 8 reps at 30kg. Needless to say I soon dropped the weight down (to 20kg, i should have gone lower) and did another 8 reps. I honestly thought my shoulders and knees were about to implode. I instantly did what I do when something doesn't feel right or I don't like it, I decided I couldn't do it and settled on omitting it permenantly from my programme. (Have I mentioned I can be stubborn and obstinate?) I'm also happy to admit when I've gone too far or done something daft, and going that heavy on a new move was just plain stupid.  What I should have done is researched the move on youtube before I tried it in the gym and dropped the weight to the lowest barbell of 5kg and worked up as I have done with everything else - and that is something I recomend to you if you are doing any strength training without a PT (I'd advise you get a PT first as last as they are worth their weight in gold but if you can't youtube is an amazing tool and perfect your form before you move up the weights)

After that interesting take on squatting, I resumed with my split squats, deadlifts etc, a 3km run, used the foam roller, stretched and ended my session. I felt fantastic, overhead squatting dissapointment aside. The following weekend I was at one of my LRP events and on the first night of lots of walking up and down sand dunes etc a searing pain encompassed my right knee. I've not felt pain like that ever. On the flat I was fine, but walking uphill, downhill and attempting to run, I was in utter agony.  The pain eased after the event was over and things went back to normal. I decided that I would give my limbs a rest form the gym for a little while and concentrate on pole for the performance and as life was getting in the way.

I got back in the gym at the end of April and did a 2km run. Towards the end of the run my knee started to aggravate again. Two days later I purchased a pair of new shoes and it was by wearing these flat shoes that I realised that the outside of my right foot was a little painful, and that's when I thought that I had possibly been over pronating my foot. I looked up over pronation and true to form there was the symptom that proved the fact, the lower end of the IT band being caused aggrivation but the knee joint being slightly out of place. Having done heavy weights, ran and treked all over the sand dunes of South Wales while turning my foot in slightly had added to the irritation that was leaving me in agony.

So having made the concious effort to realign my foot and walk correctly, ensure that I foam roller every day and have had my IT band seen to it's all looking good for a full recovery.  I got in the gym yesterday and did a 2.5km run and not a niggle in sight.  This pleases me immensely as I have my annual Race for Life coming up in Juy and I'd like to best my result of 30mins 30seconds for the 5Km from last year.

So the programme restarted on Tuesday, I did a cardio intensive programme on Wednesday and I'll be strength training on Friday (tomorrow).   Must remember that slow and steady wins the race, and if i'm injured I can't run for charity or attend my pole dancing class. Must stop getting too over excited by the new shiny things ;)

Anyways, be kind to yourself always
Much love

So I faced my fear....

I know I've been harping on about it for the whole week over on my Facebook page but this is something huge for me, well I suppose it's something huge for anyone who has battled with their own self image.  But last Saturday my pole dance school put on a Birthday Showcase to celebrate the studio having been open for a whole year.  Students, seasoned performers and our instructor all put on a show to raise money for Ty Olwen Trust (a hospice for palliative care in Swansea).

We raised the amazing amount of £600.  I am so very very pleased to have been a small part in that.

Getting your legs out in tiny Daisy Dukes for all unsundry to see isn't my usually idea of fun. As you all know from reading this blog I've battled with my own insecurities when it comes to my body and how I (and vainly how others) perceive it. I think it's fair to say we all do, make and female alike. So to not only wear revealing (for me) attire and then to pole dance in said attire to an audience of almost 100 people?? Yep that's a scary prospect. Armed with Rainbow's Lady of the Lake, and adopting the stage name Annie Rage Dio (yeah I know, I couldn't help myself), I donned the denim hot pants, my slashed Iced Earth T and with lots of hair flying about the place I danced a fairly ok routine for 3 and half minutes.  And I actually enjoyed it.
Yep that's me on the pole giving the horns

I am exceptionally proud that even though nerves had rendered me a wreck for the best part of 3 days on the run up to the performance, I still sucked it up and did it.  It was remeniscent of taking that first step into the gym and fearing that everyone was looking at and judging you.  Only difference is this time everyone IS looking at you. You are on your own, it's just you and a 50mm thick, 10 foot tall piece of steel on a platform. As I had said to my fellow students, you can put me on a stage in jeans and a tshirt with mic in hand and I will feel the utterly at home, it's MY stage and you will pay attention. But this, this was something else. 

On the pole you are exposed, there is only your body and how it moves to wow the audience with. There is only your strength and poise to gain approval.  BUT and this was the thing I learned the most from doing this, there is also confidence. Attack it as though it's something you do everyday, and suddenly, what nerves? They flew out the window and I realised, 'hang on I'm enjoying this, and the crowd are whooping and appluading' and I didn't fall off. (Thankfully).  Things I have learned from the day are: if you forget the moves just keep moving and flicking that hair; point your toes more; straighten out the legs for a smoother line; and build on upper body strength further. But I am very pleased with how it all went.  And I am exceptionally proud of my fellow students/performers and of Dawn for being an inspiration.

As for the new target well, I didn't hit my weightloss target but I have lost 3 inches all over in the last month so that has pleased me and I haven't put on an weight either.  I have started a new training routine which I've only managed to complete 4 sessions of end of March and then ended up with a sore knee (due to something else not the new routine) but that's a blog for another day.

2012 for me is all about embracing the fear; fear of those things that sit in the back of the mind; those things that you look at others doing and think 'if only'. This year I've been making it my mission to say 'why not?' Why not me to be the one to take the bull by the horns and start learning a new skill, why not then take that skill and run with it at a performance level? And that's exactly what I did. I have many people to thank for helping me embrace the fear on this the first of my challenges that I've set myself and they know who they are.

So hello personal acceptance with my body, hello new found confidence about performing in public and not solely relying on my voice, hello to the me that I've been looking for for quite some time.  I always knew you were in here somewhere.

So what's next in my challenges for this year.  Well.... I'll tell you more on it another time ;)

Until then, be kind to yourself, as always
Much love