Monday, 30 July 2012

Life! - I'm taking mine back!

Anyone that regularly reads my blog will know that my workout of choice has been 'Insanity'.
For the past 9 weeks Shawn T has been my daily date and I wanted to update y'all and let you know how Insanity worked out for me.

Well I got off to a great start.  I found myself amazed that despite how insane this workout is I was motivated to press play every day and dig deeper than I ever thought possible.
I took my before pictures so that I could claim my tshirt by the end of it, took my measurements and recorded my weight and got all excited at the prospect of a huge weight loss at the end of my 9 weeks.
Simple huh?
Well not so much! Insanity works! Believe me, this workout will enable you to get the body you have always wanted. Yes you'll have to dig deep, put in more effort than you ever thought you possibly could and you will most definitely cry at some point in the 9 weeks, BUT it will do exactly what it says on the tin.
So why aren't I showing off that toned, fat free body you may ask. Well basically there are 2 important factors to this workout - digging deep and eating healthily- and while I had bucketloads of digging deep I also fell into that trap of  "well, I earned this I can eat it". Yes a treat is perfectly acceptable but not every day and at every meal........and maybe in between meals too.
Nope there is no one to blame but myself. I may be fitter than I was when I started, I may also be heaps more flexible than I was but I aint no thinner and it's all down to that healthy eating.

So why do I think I'm going to change it?
Well, I missed the last 2 weeks of the program because life got in the way and today I started 'Insanity' round 2.
"ok but that doesn't explain why this round will be so different"
Well basically because I know how it feels to finish a workout each and every day that would see most fit people heading for the door and yet still not look any better by the end of it. I also now know  how much weight I could have lost if I had just focused and applied myself more. Plus I also now know 100% for sure that if I follow healthy eating alongside the workout then I will lose weight.  It may take another round or two to get where I finally want to be but hey.........................

Today I completed the day1 fit test all over again. I wasn't going to compare my results to last time but I couldn't resist a quick sneak peak and I wasn't terribly dissappointed.
As there is no workout after the fit test so early on I decided to do a stint of Yoga from P90X. I mean Yoga, how hard can it be right! It's just a load of standing and breathing isn't it?  Hmmmmmm, well that 1 1/2 hours soon wiped that thought from my head. I could hardly complete any of the moves and I was sweating as much  as I was during the workout. 
Seriously guys, Yoga is bloomin hard. So hard that I think I'm going to only do it on my day off from Insanity, it's too much to do on the same day.

So anyways I have new 'before' photos which I will share at some point (though maybe not on my main page, they are that hideous) and I even decided to have them show me in underwear this time instead of running gear like I did last time. I figured it was time I really faced this.


Wednesday, 25 July 2012

Habitual eating!

How many of us are guilty of habitual eating I wonder!
I do it and I've only just allowed myself to really think about that statement and what it means.
The last time I felt hungry - really hungry - was when I was a kid. We had 3 proper meals a day but you know what kids are like - hungry all the time lol, and we were not allowed to eat between meals so if we were hungry it was kinda tough crap! Until the next meal time of course.
Obviously this where my negative relationship with food began and it just escalated throughout my childhood and into my adult life. Now I can honestly say I do not know what it feels like to be hungry BUT is that a good thing? Not when I habitually eat to prevent myself feeling hungry it isn't!
I don't eat because my stomach is telling me it's empty or because I have a feeling that says I need to eat food. I eat because I can! The problem with this though is that I'm not mindful of the food I do eat, I simply shovel it in.
I've spent years trying to figure out why I eat the way I do and where it stems from and so it was strange for me to finally think to myself "does it really matter why?"  "Will it change anything?". The answer is No, it doesn't matter why and the knowledge will not change anything. The only way to change what I eat is to be mindful and aware of what I eat - my childhood food issues cannot be changed only my adult ones can be.

 "Cats meow. Dogs bark. And whatever happened in your life that you aren't happy about...happened. No amount of thinking, hoping or wishing will change it.
So unless you accept it, you're just fighting reality."  My

Last night a strange thing happened, I got the munchies! The munchie part isn't the strange thing though obviously, the strange part is what I craved. Normally it would be chocolate (a craving I now have under control) or cake or something else sweet. But last night I seriously craved Melon! Of all things....Melon. I was salivating just at the thought.  But it didn't stop there. I allowed myself to imagine the Melon and what else I would like and I was piling Pineapple & Strawberries onto that image.  Of course I had to crave something I didn't have so I went to bed before I replaced it with something not so healthy but still..................Melon :)

So where am I actually going with this?  Well, that craving last night showed me what can  happen when I actually think about food. Instead of automatically reaching for the comfort food I asked myself what I would reeeeeeally like to eat and the answer suprised me so I am going to try to do that from now on. Instead of automatically saying Yes to whatever is being cooked I'm going to ask myself if a) I am hungry (I think this going to take some practice) and b) what do I fancy eating.

Monday, 23 July 2012

Taking care!

Carrying on from my last post about skin care products I thought I would share my favourite moisturisers with you.
I've really enjoyed researching the products that y'all recommend lately and am going to try a couple of new products to see how they work for me. However at the moment these are the products I use that I have found over several years are perfect for my skin type.

Liz Earles 'Skin repair moisturiser' is, for me, THE best moisturiser I have ever tried - and I've tried many!
Most moisturisers leave me with either spots or painful lumps on my skin, even on the dry areas and because I have combination skin I have different needs for different areas. This particular product can be used on my entire face and has never ever left me feeling greasy or spotty.
It soaks in immediately but leaves a feeling of suppleness to the skin.
If you're one of those ladies like me that can't understand why your eye/face moisturiser that you put on at night leaves you with puffy eyes in the morning, it's because your nightime moisturiser does not need to be as thick and rich as your daytime one. Because your skin is not under external influences at night the skin doesn't need to absorb it and use it quite the same as daytime and this is what creates those puffy morning eyes. For years I was using a different moisturiser for daytime & nightime but now I have found this one I can use it day & night and it's incredible.
With ingredients such as Wheatgerm Oil, Borage Oil, Echinacea, Vitamin E & Avocado Oil (among others) this product is full of natural ingredients and is not tested on animals. :)

L'occitane hand cream is also one of the best I have ever tried. I suffer from dry, chappy hands because I spend so much time outside in the garden and doing manual landwork.
This hand cream is one of the few I have found that soaks in and doesn't leave you with a greasy feeling afterwards. It's a thick cream /paste and the shea butter ingredient is well known for its moisturising properties.
My only concern with this product is that L'occitane do test on animals and as such I will not be replacing the tube I bought (that lasted me months longer than any other product) but will be trying other products and hopefully find one that works just as well.

Again, this is a L'occitane product and although it's not really a moisturiser it is a body milk. The smell is absolutely gorgeous (Rose) and it lasts in the body for a long time. I haven't tried the other scents in the L'occitane collection as Rose is my favourite scent.
This really is a milky consistency - maybe a tad thicker - and it soaks into the skin beautifully without having to use too much product.

So they are pretty much the only moisturisers I use. I am looking into replacing the L'occitane ones with another product that doesn't test on animals but it's such a shame that L'occitane cannot work this out for themselves as their products really are divine!

Sunday, 8 July 2012

Feeling good.

Lately I've been interested in reading about all the various skin and hair care products you guys use to help combat the stresses we put our skin under during outdoor exercise in all weather conditions.

Today I thought I would start sharing some of the products I use myself but I will do this over a few posts rather than just one enormously long and boring post.
I'll start with facial cleansing today.

As a teenager my skincare routine was nothing short of horrendous. I worked around horses daily and this often caused blocked pores and for some reason soap and water just never left me feeling clean - my skin felt tight but never clean - and I soon realised I had combination skin. That 'T' zone is a real bummer eh ladies!
I hate to admit this but for many years I used Surgical spirit to clean my face! I know, bad huh! But I liked the stinging sensation and honestly believed it was taking all that dirt away - which it was. It was just taking a layer of skin away too. And if I ran out of SS then good old fashioned nail varnish remover was the next step and we're not talking the accetone free ones either.
Eventually I came to my senses and stopped and then for many years I used nothing but water on my face - I am completely shocked that I did not do lasting damage to my skin through those younger years.

For the last few years I have used 3 different products:
For general cleansing through the day I use Distilled Witch Hazel. This is a natural astringent and is fabulous on greasy or combination skin (I wouldn't use it on dry skin) and is brilliant on spots.
This is a cheap product at about £1.79 from superdrug and lasts a long time as you apply it with a cotton swab. Even if you think you're skin is clean this product will find dirt.

Another cheap product I use is Cuticura and I use their Cucumber facial scrub a few times a week and their Cucumber facial wash everytime I bathe or shower.
Both products are about £1 from the Factory shop.
These products have a lovely Cucumber fragrance but it's not overwhelming. The scrub needs a pea size amount and is very gritty. The wash also needs a small amount only and lathers up really really well. My skin always feels clean and refreshed after using these.

Finally, my favourite facial wash of all time is 'Liz earle's Cleanse & polish'.
I only have this product if I've been given it as a gift for xmas or birthdays etc due to the cost of it (about £27) but when I do have it it's the only product I need to use.
The cleanser is used with a muslin cloth and warm water and I have yet to find another product that cleanses and refreshes like 'Cleanse & Polish' does. It leaves no tightness just soft, clean skin and best of all it is for all skin types and can be used around the eyes PLUS it contains all natural ingredients.

So there you have it. These are the products that I use regularly / daily for facial cleansing. I hope it encourages you guys to give them a go if you don't already.

Thursday, 5 July 2012

Oh my!

Been a while since I've posted. I've been kind of feeling sorry for myself because every bone, joint and sinew in my body has been bloomin hurting of late.  In fact I have all the prowess and agility of a 150 year old at the moment.
I'm guessing this has been a Fibromyalgia flare-up and because it's so debilitating the Black Dog takes advantage and has subsequently been biting and snarling away, heck even my meds for Narcolepsy haven't helped and these are supposed to be happy, brain alert pills.
On Monday I physically could not do Insanity and it was the hardest admission I've had to make in a long time - I so wanted to press play!  The problem was my joints and knees but also my lower back, I ususally know how to work around the back pain but I just couldn't do it on Monday.  Tuesday I felt better and managed Insanity fit test and a whole new workout for month 2 (I thought the first month workouts were hard but these new ones had me on the floor within minutes). Wednesday I was still ok but my knee joints were seriously starting to seize again - I was fine walking but sitting down and getting up were impossible.
Today I should have done Insanity recovery but I decided to rest the knees ready for tomorrows workout, I'm not taking chances with these knees because knee problems/replacements are genetic in my family!
So there you go, I feel like shit BUT the Black Dog is back in his kennel courtesy of a lovely day outside in the sunshine doing the gardening (albeit with geriatric movements). He's watchful but at least he's in the damned kennel and I'm looking forward to pressing play tomorrow and being worked to the point of crying - seriously, who knew!

On another note I finally came to a decison about my next insane workout. I was going to  do another round of Insanity but I want to give my knees a break from the high jumping, then I thought of Turbofire and pretty much had settled on that but again that involves alot of knee impact so I finally settled on...........................................P90X.
Yep, the Tony Horton mentally and physically challenging workout that is P90X. I have the workout DVDs ready and will be starting it on approximately 6th August - can't wait!
I've had a quick glance over some of the workouts - I'm going for the Lean option - and at first I was a bit concerned by the lack of Insanity involved lol. Honestly, after Shawn T and his manic workouts P90X just seemed .......tame! Yes I did just say that!
However after watching a few more workouts and really studying what they were doing I could see just how demanding the moves are. Tony's happy and relaxed but encouraging chatter will also be a welcome change from what I'm doing now. I'm not saying one is better than the other, they're just both different.