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, 15 November 2012

A work still in progress....

A few weeks ago my dear friend and pole instructor posted on my Facebook wall that it was about time I posted some before and after pictures of my weight loss journey. I made the excuse that I needed to scan some photos on to the computer first. Truth is, I was still fat when digital cameras become the norm and, though I tried to always be the one behind the camera, there were pictures of me in that before phase lurking on my computer and various social sites.

No matter how hard I have tried to ignore her, she's always been there, lurking, waiting, a phantom of my past scratching away in the background, and I was desperately ashamed of her. I wanted her to disappear, to vanish into the digital ether, never to return and show me what I had done to myself.

I guess I just wasn't quite ready to look at that before picture and say 'I'm sorry' to myself for being that unhappy and for letting it all get so out of control. I'm not sure what I was running away from at the time, and at the time it must have been very painful and important. I suppose part of it was losing my Grandfather to leukaemia but this downward spiral had started way before Grampa became ill.  No this started before then, but now, over six years since the before picture was taken I'm hard pressed to recall what was making me so miserable that I had pretty much given up on myself. The only good constant at the time was (and thankfully still is) my solid marriage to possibly then most understanding person I have ever met, my beloved hubby. Everything else, well it's a bit of a blur and all a bit hazy.

However, yesterday I sat with my finger hovering over the post button on Facebook with the comparison before and after picture, shaking at the prospect of allowing the social network world see how I used to be, who I used to be, the mess I used to be. And here I sat, scared of the judgements that would be dished out.

I should, and do know better. There never was any question of people being judgemental. In fact, quite the opposite. The comments I received were amazing and I am sincerely grateful to everyone who posted.  As my American cousins would say, I was feeling the love. And then it struck me. I needed to say sorry to myself, for putting my 21-30 year old self through all that unhealthy behaviour.  I know I've often talked about not listening to that voice when she rears her head but have I actually, properly said sorry to myself? Not until today, I hadn't and I meant it. I sat here, looking at the 30 year old me in that before picture, struggling to fit her hands in her jeans pocket and said how sorry I am that I screwed our 20s up. How sorry I am that I didn't look after us, and that we have come out the other side smiling, happier and far healthier.  And Pandora and I have had a good sob. Yes she will have her moments when she creeps up with her self doubt and snide remarks at how rough I might look after a gig night, but she's/we/I am only human.

So here it is, the before and after picture.  The before on the left taken in Boscastle in April 2006, and the after (although I still have another stone I want shot of) picture taken in June 2012. There is still work to be done, inside as well as out, but everything is on the upward spiral, and life is good.

Be kind to yourselves, always

much love

Thursday, 8 November 2012

Knee Rehab... it's going to take time!

Apologies in being remiss in updating this blog over the last two months.  It's been a busy ole time on the music side of things with the release of the album and the first dates of the tour that I've not had a moment to stop and post anything.  I must do better ;)  However, when logging in today I found I had a post fully written ready to go that I had completely forgotten about regarding my knee and the rehab that I was under taking to get myself fit again.

Rest? Really?
So come back in time with me now, to Sept 9th, the Spartan Race had finished and I was in agony with my knee. So much so that I started to put in some serious research and time into how best to cope with IT Band syndrome and how to heal myself. In the end I consulted my physiotherapist as, to be frank, he's the person who is going to know best.  His advice, REST, acupuncture, REST, massage, REST, specific exercises and, oh yes, REST.

Me to a tee!
For those who know me well, you'll appreciate that me being told to take it easy and get some proper rest is like telling the sun to stop rising, it's just not going to happen. So to hear my physio say, 'you have no choice, it's rest, massage, physiotherapy and acupunture, or you seriously pose a risk of never being able to run more than 4km again, ever', was utterly heartbreaking to hear. Devastation set in and my entire mood took a downward turn.

I live for exercise. It regulates my hormones like nothing else, it staves off the red mist that descends (far less frequently than it used to), it stops me reaching for the snack jar because it keeps me in a happy, positive frame of mind, it actually surpresses my cravings for sweet things (which is great), and it generally makes me feel good.  Everything in my day is made much more positive and joyous by the inclusion of exercise. Plus I love it. I enjoy getting all sweaty after a good cardio session. I love lifting weight and seeing if I can push myself harder.  I love doing plyometrics and seeing how far I can really take my anerobic threshold. I just plain, flat out, LOVE to exercise.

But that week and the week after, I spent much of it in a low funk. I even cried. I'm woman enough to admit it. I cried like a baby, at the prospect of not being able to compete in the Zombie Run that was coming up at the end of October.  I cried at the thought that my new found love for mud and obstacle course racing would be over while still in its infancy.  I cried at the thought that it might put the block on my dream to become a top class personal trainer in the UK.  I cried, a lot.

BUT, after my first session of acupuncture, my knee seemed to feel, well, normal.  Now I know after one course of treatment that it isn't going to be cured (and there is a distinct possibility that this IT band irritation will never be wholly cured), but my god what an amazing difference.  Seeing these weird little needles sticking out of your leg is a little..hmm..odd. And feeling them being twisted or stimulated every 5 minutes, again just plain odd. But my physio was right on two counts, 1) I slept like a baby the night of the treatment and 2) the pain comes back excruciatingly but only for a few hours and then you feel like you could do a marathon.

However, I was a good girl and I took his advice. No running at all for 4 weeks, which was hard, but eventually I didn't run for 7 weeks.  I was not allowed to do any weight bearing exercises other than body weight and no sqauts or lunges were allowed in the 4 weeks rest period.  Anything to decrease the repetative strain, as essentially that's what it is. OK so that meant TurboFire was out as well, likewise Insanity. So only the upper body portions of P90X? Yep that was good.  So what else could I do to maintain exercising and fat loss, without being tempted to get on the treadmill and squat like my life depends on it with a 30kg barbell?  Well, said my physio, get in the pool and swim! So back to swimming I went.  I haven't been swimming since I did a severe sprain of my ankle back in 2007.  So I sucked up my pride and  reinstated my membership at my old gym.  This serves two purposes anyway, as once I had the all clear I was able return to my old pump, combat and attack classes that I love so much and I have missed them.  And also pole dancing was still allowed (Get In). Add to that pilates to continue to strengthen my glutes, frequent sports massages, foam rollering and more acupuncture, and the path was well set for a full recovery. *crosses everything and prays to whoever is listening*.

So having had 5 courses of acupuncture, regular massages, lots of foam rollering, and no niggles when I eventually made a combat and some pump classes, I decided that I would now test the knee with a 5km cross country obstacle course race being chased by zombies....because that's what you do to test if you've recovered of course.  But more about the Zombie race in the next blog.  Thankfully the knee, although it did irritate and the searing heat of the IT band inflamation started at about the 4km mark again, the recovery period afterwards was far quicker.  Straight on with the ice patch after the race, knee elevated for the rest of the night at home and the next day no pain when decsending the stairs.  After the Spartan Race it took almost a week for things to go back to normal, now it's taking less than a day.  This is serious progress.

Last night was the real tester.  I hit the gym for the first time in now almost 9 weeks (I ended up with a very bad cold after the Zombie run so thought it best not to train especially with gigs the following weekend - play it safe).  I decided to go straight back into my old routine (but adjusted my weights down as I've lost some of my strength), just to see how I'm doing in the recovery stakes and thankfully I ran for my full 10 minute cardio blast on the treadmil (doing just over a mile) without a twinge.  I did some weighted squats, lunges and single leg deadlifts and still no twinges. So all in all, the rest did me good.  There is still some way to go as I'd like to do the Super Spartan next year and if my knee allows the Beast as well so that I qualify for my Trifecta. But we shall see, something this injury has taught me is that if I want it badly enough then I have to be patient and let my body heal properly.  So for the interim I'm sticking to the 5k races, but it feels SO good to be active again. It's been a hard lesson to learn.

Anyhoo, until the next entry! 

Be kind to yourselves,
Much love