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, 6 January 2013

That's one off the Bucket List

Last year when OH's cousin Jim passed away at the very young age of 36, it really brought it home that life is short.  Yes it really is, if you stop and think about it for a few moments.  How quickly has 2012 gone by?  Have you noticed that as you are getting older, the time seems to move much faster?  Have you found yourself remarking that 'crumbs, 2013 came around awful quick'? That's life being short, that's life moving fast and if we're not careful there will be things we wanted to do but 'didn't find the time for'...I really dislike that excuse.  So it frustrates me when people say, oh life isn't short at all.  In the grand scheme of things, yes it is, we are here for a fleeting moment so let's make the most of it!

Sorry, getting on my soap box again, aren't I?

Where was I? Oh yes, so after Jim passed away, I decided to finally make a list of all the things I wanted to try, and to carry on adding to it.  I have started to put them on a board on my Pinterest account (feel free to have a browse around my mad pinnings if you're a Pinterest pinner).  One of the ones on my written list was rock climbing.

I have a very rational fear of falling and hitting the ground as a sloppy mess, I dislike heights for the most part as well but this is something that I know I can get over with some work, the fear of falling though I'm not so sure.  CJ and I were looking for something different to do as part of my belated birthday treat.  The downside of having a birthday so close to Christmas is that it's usually difficult to get everyone together to do something, as we're gigging or there are office parties, or a myriad of other things... oh and Christmas itself of course.  So I tend to not really bother celebrating my birthday, but this last year I decided it's worth doing something to mark the occasion, even if I have to leave it a month or so.

So we had decide we would try rock climbing, and as luck would have a coupon for a sizeable discount appeared in our inboxes from one of those coupon companies the very next day.  I rang the climbing centre and instead of £12 for a taster, it was £5 each.  Wonderful, it appears the Universe agreed that we should go and give it a try. (I love little signals like that, coincidence or not, it doesn't matter I still take it as a sign it's the right move).

Three of the walls we climbed.
Off we went to Boulders in Cardiff to have an hour and half taster session of indoor climbing.  And you know something it wasn't as bad as we anticipated.  Neither of us froze on the wall. Neither of us screamed to be taken down. And although some of the climbs were more difficult than others, we attempted them all and did the best we could. And that's something to be very proud of, by both of us for both of us. We didn't give up, we didn;t stand hands on hip looking blankly at the wall thinking 'there is no whay we can do this'.  Oh no, we took the walls on and no matter what we were going to keep giving it a go.

It's the first 'done that' on that bucket list. And why not? Life is meant to be lived, enjoyed and filled to the brim with the good stuff.  In my last entry, I talked about celebrating the little things, and this is one of those things that I can now look back on and say 'I did that, I took on a fear of mine and I proved I can do anything'.  We celebrated as only we girls know how, with a coffee anda small slice of cake for me and a panini for CJ, and talked about all the other stuff that we want to do together and with our respective OHs.

Sometimes we have to go out of our comfort zone to truly know what we are capable of, and you may surprise yourself at how strong, determined, and daring you can be. So the bucket list is filling up with the crazy, the cool, the scary and the silly and I'm looking forward to ticking more off.

Until next time, be kind to yourselves

Saturday, 5 January 2013

Celebrate the little things...

Happy New Year. I hope you all had a wonderful festive season?

So this entry started as a Facebook update, but I soon realised I had more to say than a status update will allow, as usual, so here is a quick blog.

I had a great session in the gym last night.  After all the trouble with my IT band irritation and all the recovery I've done for that, then hyper extending my hamstring before Christmas, I was very worried that I would have lost a lot more strength than I have.  As a few of you may have read, when I developed IT band irritation and it persisted, I was told to rest by my physio and to cease with heavy lifting in favour of body weight exercises in what is known as active recovery. Knowing very well that all I would be able to do is maintain cardio fitness by swimming and easing back into running, I took his advice and knew that it would be better to return with a lower weight and rebuild my strength back up as I would have lost quite a bit of strength over the 9 weeks of recovery that I eventually took.

The deadlift
So, walking into the gym last night night, I approached the  Smith Machine with the intention of working out my 1 rep max for all my free weight exercises (for those of you who are unsure what that it, it is the maximum amount of weight you can lift in one repetition, with good form, but know that you can't lift that same weight for a second time without sacrificing form).  I would have preferred a free bar that you can add plates too, but my gym doesn't have one, only pre weighted barbells that stop at 40kg which are brilliant for when I do my sets. Working out my 1RM is important.  It helps me gage where I am in my strength but also allows me to set my weight correctly for the style of resistance system that I use on a given day (there are many styles in setting your sets believe it or not). Imagine my delight that, even though I have dropped all my heavy lifting down to almost half of where it was when I took time off to recover, I was still able to dead lift more than my own body weight.  I thought I was dead lifting my actual body weight, when I tweeted my delight last night, but actually looking at my weight chart this morning (I'm doing a body analysis thing which I'll explain in my next blog), I am dead lifting over my body weight and weight less than I though (cue huge grin). I am also back to almost my heaviest in the back squat.  To say I'm thrilled is an understatement.  I admit I high fived the OH and then did a very girly jump and dance about the gym, much to the amusement of everyone else.

A very girly dance
For you numbers people:  I weigh 74.8kg and I lifted 77.5kg in plates on the bar (not including the bar weight as it's not marked so I have no idea how much that weighs, so I'll just go solely on plates until I move to a gym with a 10 or 15kg free bar).  I am beyond delighted.  I honestly thought I would have lost far more strength than I have. It also means that I can now increase my weight correctly for the sets I want to do, and ensure I'm not cheating myself in going too light.  I love lifting heavy, it gives me a real sense of accomplishment and makes me very aware of how my body functions through the movements and how strong the human body is.  Now I am fully armed, once again, with all the details to make my workouts as effective as possible.

Stop being a slave to the scale.
It's a guide, that's all.
It's reminded me that no matter what life throws at us we are always much stronger than we realise, body and mind, and that sometimes we need to just go all out to remind ourselves exactly how strong, focused and determined we can be. Little achievements and successes should always be celebrated, they make everything else shine and put all the nonsense we subject ourselves and are subjected to, each day, into perspective.  In the weight loss world we call a success like that an NSV (non scale victory) and I think these are the more important victories.  The scale is a guide and should only be looked on as a guide, it is a number, it is not lord and master.  Or clothes are also a guide, and give us a better understanding of where we are than a number. And our achievements in any movement should be cause for a celebration of sorts. For Example: can you reach your hands further to your toes? Can you finally touch your toes, where as you couldn't 6 months ago? That's success, and a guide of improvement of some kind.  And they should be celebrated because when you have that day when that voice says something negative, or self defeating, you can say 'maybe but I can touch my toes and I couldn't do that last year.' It's a positive for your attitude arsenal. Use it, own it, celebrate it and throw it back in that voices' mug when it rears it's ugly head.

Look at what you've achieved.
Celebrate it.
These little things change your perspective from one of self defeat to one of self acknowledgement in how far you've come.  There are times we need to look behind to move forward. But don't look at them with negativity, those past things, look at them with a sense of achievement and celebrate that achievement no matter how small.  My celebration last night was to jump around the gym like an idiot with a great big grin on my face.  Yes the boys in the lifting area looked at me daft, so what?

So celebrate all your little achievements, no matter how small. They are the very things that make you remember why you are doing it in the first place.  And  if you're in the gym ask one of the trainers about working out your 1RM, ask them about lifting and techniques and they will be more than happy to chat to you about it, they may even offer you a free taster session if you are lucky.

As always, be kind to yourself

Much love