Tag Archives: strong

Great Birmingham Run 2016

Wow sorry guys, sometimes life just gets on top.

Let me bring you up to speed. Since losing weight I’ve been naturally feeling a bit healthier, but looks can be deceiving, some of my friends are slim and slender and can’t walk up the stairs without breaking a sweat. I want to be fit. Not in ‘damn girl’ kind of way (though compliments are always appreciated) but in a ‘damn  I feel good’ sense.

I’ve been therefore working on building my fitness, cutting my body fat percentage and generally getting stronger and leaner. I’ve been spending a lot less time on cardio and more time in the weights section. It might look scary, it might be full of pumped up guys, maybe the mirrors freak you out a little but my gosh is it worth it. I’ve decided not to look at the scales for a while… so I can’t really tell give you an update on that. I’ve been concentrating on how I feel and how I look, rather than those little numbers followed by the kg/llb sign. If you want some ideas for workouts try these guys…

Emily Skye – https://www.emilyskye.com/ (her workouts can be found on her facebook/twitter/insta streams)

Clean Eating Alice – https://www.instagram.com/clean_eating_alice (super easy to follow workouts)

Rob & Ben @ TEG – https://traineatgain.com/ (look at the free stuff and then put together your own workout)

I signed up to the Great Birmingham Run back in January – as I needed a challenge. It came round really quickly… before the race (10k in total) – the furthest I’d ran was 6k. I’d been using an app on my phone from Zen Labs – Couch to 10k (http://www.zenlabsfitness.com/) but being the busy person I am, I’d been forgetting to track everything. Still it was a good marker.

Mostly I spent my time doing interval training – 1 min run 1 min walk, 90 seconds run, 1 min walk, 90 seconds run, 30 seconds walk etc. Some days I’d get carried away – I mostly blame Kano for that (I mean you can’t slow down when New Banger drops), and run further and harder, but never really beyond 5/6k.

Sunday just gone was race day, I was nervous, I felt a bit sick, could I do it? Could I run that far? What if I needed to stop? The first 5 minutes were the hardest by far, there’s a lot of people running at the same time, it’s tricky to pace yourself into your own race. However soon I was at 3k and it was going just fine. I managed 5k in 43 mins – fairly happy with that. 6k came and went, then oh my life, the hills, 2k of uphill running. The biggest incline I’d previously run at was 2.5% on the treadmill… I was unprepared, but I couldn’t stop now. Luckily I had a solid playlist, also huge thanks to the nice runners who patted me on the back and told me to keep going. The thing is with races/runs/events like this, part of your effort is adrenaline, the combined effort of the entire participant pack as a whole really does drive you further. Oh and when people have signs like ‘Pain now, Prosecco later’, yeah that helps.

I finished the race in 1hr 43 mins officially (I stopped at 4k for a toilet break – though I kept jogging on the spot in the queue out of fear my legs would seize up haha) so my iPod reckons I did it in 1hr 34mins. Is that good? It’s flipping fantastic for me. I’ve never run that far before in my life. I didn’t stop. I won my own race. So yes my personal best is pretty high in comparison to others, but I’m already looking forward to the next one, and shaving some time off.

Unfortunately my gym is shut for refurbishment today… guess I’ll have a little break till tomorrow, when the journey to fitness continues. Until next time…

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Kerry – x

 

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5lbs.

It’s Christmas… there’s a party to go to every night, a glass of wine to share with friends every lunchtime and there’s boards and boards of cheese just waiting to be devoured. Trying to shift these last 5lbs towards my 70lbs by Christmas goal is pretty damn  hard. I’ve mostly resisted the temptations so far; I’ve let my Niece open my advent calendar, I’ve offered to drive to avoid the booze, and I’m definitely counting battling through the bullring in the pursuit of those elusive final gifts as extra exercise.

The good news is even though the scales don’t seem to be budging at the moment, I’m noticing some changes in my body itself. It’s shapelier (is that a word?) than before, my waist is more defined, and my legs are less tree trunky than before. I’m still going to the gym, making the most of my PT sessions, and it seems to be paying off. Almost time for another new pair of jeans I think.

Most pleasing is the fact I can finally do my jacket up, rather than having it open.

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Enjoy yourself this Christmas… a life where you’re 100% good all of the time, would be awfully boring after all. See you all in January xox

 

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Quick Circuit Workout At Home

So I realise not everyone might be able to afford a PT or want to join a gym – that’s cool. Here’s a super quick routine you can complete at home (or in the park is fun – just make sure there’s steps). I adapted it myself, from some of my preferred exercises*. It’s not too intense, just a good 30 minutes of exercise to get your heart rate up a little, make it sweat baby. Where possible I’ve added a YouTube link for you to see the exercise in action – YouTube is wonderful by the way – personally a big fan of Emily Skye (thanks to my cousin).

Warm-up 5 minutes.

Run up the stairs as quick as you can and walk down at a steady pace x 30 seconds.

Burpees (go for whichever style you feel most comfortable with – I do intermediate) – use the bottom step to support yourself if you need x 30 seconds.

30 seconds rest.

Repeat 3 times.

Rest for a minute.

Phase 1 Circuit 10 minutes:

Step-ups 1st step (step up onto the first step with your leading foot, then the other so both feet are on the step, then step down with one foot then the other so both feet are on the bottom of the stairs) x 30 seconds

Press-ups – (if you can’t do full leg extension, then cross your legs, and press from your knees, suck your stomach in so it’s tight) x 30 seconds

Step-ups 2nd step (same as above but reach your leg up to the second step – steady yourself into a pace which is manageable) x 30 seconds

Plank – Rest on your forearms, in a planking position. Hold it for 30 seconds. Keep your bum down, don’t bend your knees.

30 seconds rest

Repeat 4 times

Rest for minute.

Phase 2 Circuit 10 minutes

Russian Twists
x 30 seconds

Grab a 2lt bottle of pop or a dumbbell if you have one, sit down on the floor – middle of the lounge is fine, make sure your feet are on the ground to begin, slightly spread legs – the V position, lean back, raise your feet off the ground, until you feel the pull in your stomach, suck it in. Holding your chosen prop to you chest twist your torso side to side, touch the floor space with your bottle of dumbbell. Don’t let your feet touch the ground.

Lower Leg Raises
x 10 full raises

Lie on your back, extend your arms above your head (this is personal preference you can have them alongside your body) and stretch your legs out – raise your legs to the ceiling, try not bend your knees during, keep your legs together, slowly lower them back towards the floor – much harder than it sounds, you’ll definitely feel it in your core.

Mountain Climbers
x 30 seconds

Flip over onto your front, get into a press up position, raise your knee towards your chest – one leg at a time.

Squats 
x 20 full squats

Get into squat position (watch the video – you want to make sure you’re doing it right) – go as low as you can – squeeze yourself into your heels – it’ll make more sense once you give it a try. No rush on this one, concentrate on getting the squat right.

30 Seconds Rest.

Repeat 4 times.

Rest for 1 minute.

Stretch – 3-5 minutes

I do something very similar to this – ‘How to stretch’

Enjoy.

*I am not a personal trainer, I do not have a degree in sports science, I just want to look better and feel good – I cannot promise lbs in weight loss or muscle mass increases nor would I want to. But feel free to give it a go, in my opinion it works.

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50 Pounds Down

Another small but exciting victory. 50 Pounds down now.

I use www.ilostwhat.com as a fun way to track my weight loss. Apparently 50 pounds is the same as small bail of hay – who knew?

I’m keeping to a steady rate of around 2.5lbs a week at the moment. I’m still using the Forever Lite Ultra shake – I mix it up and have 2 shakes and 1 600 cal meal on my rest days, and 1 shake, 1 600 cal meal and 1 450 cal meal on my activity days. I take the Aloe Gel every morning, when I don’t I feel sluggish so it definitely packs a boost.

A colleague said to me the other day ‘You just look better…’ I was like oh thanks, erm what does that mean? She said my face looked a lot slimmer. So I went back to look at some past photos and she has a very good point.

So erm here’s my face for the last 6 months or so…

KL Slim & Tonic Blog

The last one is a bit dark – I apologise. I guess she’s right though.

Kerry — x

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40 Pounds Down

Just a quick post today…. I am now 40 pounds down. Huge thanks to the Clean 9 for a massive boost in getting me back on track. I can tick this one of my list. Next stop 70 pounds down for Christmas. Bring it on.

The left picture is from April and the right picture is from today. Feeling much healthier. A long way to go, but well on the way.

KL Slim and Tonic Blog

Kerry —x

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Clean 9

I have a confession. I’ve been very bad. I’ve indulged in the most luxurious of treats; Prosecco, Cider, Burgers, Hot Dogs, Cheese – glorious Cheese and lumps and lumps of Milka chocolate. Ooops.

Me & 3 of my best friends, set off on a little road trip last week. We drove to Dover, then to France, then to Belgium – watched a bit of Formula 1, then we packed up and drove through Germany and into Luxembourg, and back again. It was a wonderful trip. We laughed hard, danced lots, and erm drank and ate ourselves silly. I’m sure many of you can relate, you have a little taste of something nice, and suddenly you’ve ate it all. I felt angry with myself at first, annoyed that I’d let myself get lost in the excitement of the road trip. I’ve gained 6 pounds over the last 10 days, so not horrendous but I’m not happy.

Now a while back I noticed a post on Facebook from an old school friend, she’d recently joined Forever as a Business Owner and was talking about one of the products – the Clean 9. The programme is a 9 day cleanse, which flushes out all the toxins within and boosts your energy counts. I began researching the programme a little more – I am a research geek by the way, I had drawn up a list of tips, tricks, pros and cons by that evening. I decided I wanted to give it a go. The wedding was now only 2 weeks away, and I didn’t want to feel sluggish, spotty and bloated for the big day.

My box arrived (well I collected it) the following Sunday, I was all set to start the Monday but last minute tickets to The Libertines meant I opted for Tuesday instead. So here’s how it went…

Day 1 – I got up early and noted down all my measurements, and then packed my handbag with the Clean 9 components. The Aloe Gel I was expecting to absolutely disgusting – but it wasn’t too bad. I downed it in one and brushed my teeth immediately afterwards and yeah it was ok… feeling positive so far, I got this. I felt absolutely fine until mid afternoon – the office spent so good with everyone’s lunch lingering… so I went for a quick walk. I had a PT session booked for 8pm and was a little worried I wouldn’t have the energy to really push myself, but I was wrong, I felt fine. The hunger pangs I felt mid afternoon had disappeared and with the help of the shake I was ready to go. Thought I might have slept better after completing Day One and a heavy PT session, but nope, my mind has a habit of running in the most ludicrous circles come bedtime and today was no different.

Day 2 – Pretty much the same as yesterday except no PT session so I went for an extra long walk. Feeling kinda bouncy which must be good right? I heated my shake up today after I’d made it, and enjoyed it as hot chocolate style drink. Yummy. Also I had a plum mid afternoon – was nice to have something a little sweet.

Day 3 – Practically sprang out of bed this morning. Did my measurements – 7 & 1/2 inches off! Over the moon. The best thing about today? Actual food. I spent the whole day thinking about what I was going to eat haha! Somethings never change aye? I weighed myself at the gym – 6 pounds off. After my work out I went to M&S and grabbed some bits and pieces. I made Courgette Pizza and it tasted amazing. I mean I love courgettes – which you might think odd, I actually love a lot of vegetables, I never had an issue eating my 5 a day no matter what size I’ve been. But anyway I’ll put the recipe up for you all to try.

Day 4 – Not much to tell. Feeling well, content and less bloated. I had an omelette for dinner, tasty and nutritious.

Day 5 – Really getting into the swing of this now. The gel no longer bothers me. I feel good. Looking forward to the results tomorrow. For dinner I had stir fry – just a vegetable one – was scrummy – one of the best parts of this week so far has been seeing all the different meals you can make for 600 calories. I will continue with some of them after the cleanse for sure.

Day 6 – Drum roll please…. results so far – 13lbs off and 15 inches!! Absolutely gobsmacked, I had to do the measurements at least 5 times. Such a boost as it’s a tough one today – Villa v. Leicester Away. A challenge at the best of times. I switched up my meals today and had my 600 calorie grub for Breakfast. A wise choice. I got to the pub and proceeded to drink pint after pint…. of water. Less said about the football the better, but mission complete. I didn’t stray from the plan one bit.

Day 7 – I sent Amiee (the girl who sold me the C9) a message today saying ‘I can actually see my waist, like it’s really there’. Stuffed peppers for dinner. Plan feels like a breeze now, I’m so in the zone.

Day 8 – Final dress fitting today, and thank goodness the Bride has opted for straps – the top is falling down. Which is great news, but I don’t want to steal the show by flashing so best hoist it up. My stomach is flat, my skin is glowing, and I feel great. I’ve decided I’m going to continue with the shakes and the Garcinia tablets after the Clean 9 is finished, I’m in a routine now and the results are so pleasing.

Day 9 – Results Day: 15lbs & 18 Inches Down!!! I am over the moon. Any skepticism I once had, has dissolved, I feel lighter, energised and happy. Roll on the wedding tomorrow.

Wow. I am so impressed by the programme and it’s results I’ve signed up to as a Forever Business Owner. If you’re interested in trying the Clean 9 – drop me an email on kerry.lenihan1@gmail.com or visit my FB page here >

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Joining A Gym

I’ve spent the last 2 weeks trying out various gyms, with different free passes – mostly found on the web. Here’s some of my favourites:

Nuffield Health – Free 1 Day Pass

Fitness First – Free 1 Day Pass 

LA Fitness – Free 1 Day Pass 

In the end however I opted for ‘The Gym’ – it’s on the high street in the City Centre, just opposite the big M&S. There was no joining fee and it costs just £12.99 a month, with no contract. The gym itself is huge, it has two floors, all the machines you need, and a huge studio. However it has no luxuries – no steam room, no pool, no sauna, just pure and simple gym equipment. I worked out even if I manage to go just once a week it will cost me around £3.25 – a bargain. If I go twice a week, it’s ridiculously cheap.

I know gyms can be daunting when you’re worried about your size, but everyone is there with similar goals. To maintain a fit and healthy lifestyle, to lose weight or get stronger. Don’t be afraid to give it a go. If it’s not for you then you might be interested in this new initiative from Coca-Cola Life – Parklives – loads of free activities in parks around the area. Anything from Tai Chi to Buggy Bootcamp to 5k training. Take a look.

Kerry —x

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The Time Has Come…

Hey.

Let me introduce myself. I’m Kerry, 25 years young, I live in Birmingham, for the time being, I’m not very good at staying in one place for too long. I never sit still for too long either, I guess I’m a member of the ‘forever busy society’, I much prefer to have a diary packed with appointments and outings than a blank one. I don’t even have a TV in my bedroom at the moment, nor have I for years now, there’s just so many other things I’d rather do. My friends would describe me as a social butterfly, whereas my Dad would say I’m continually running myself into the ground, I much prefer the former… Time has a way of escaping around me.

So it was only when I moved back to Birmingham this February in an attempt to find a better life balance, that it struck me just how crazy my weight gain had become.  I mean sure I had sort of noticed, my clothes I’d packed up when I first moved to London didn’t fit anymore, I’d developed an irrational fear of sitting down at bars/restaurants/on the tube for fear of breaking the chair or getting stuck (this was perhaps an extreme phobia – I admit), I avoided having my picture taken in social situations, and began to dread meeting clients/new people as I believed they’d judge me on my ballooning figure, I even turned down a nights out as I was ‘working late’ so I didn’t have to find something to cover my lumps and bumps, I hated the way I looked and often found myself getting upset over it. However I’m pretty sure no-one really knows any of the above to be true. I’ve always been very confident, the life and soul of the party, I’ve never had trouble starting conversations up with people or making friends, in fact I’ve always been fairly popular. But deep down beneath my bubbly exterior I knew it was time for a change. The final decider came when my Best Friend asked me to be her Chief Bridesmaid – we went to try on some dresses one day, I felt and looked awful. I didn’t want to be the ‘fat bridesmaid’ so I made some changes, and this blog is going to act as a diary of those changes and my journey towards a healthier lifestyle.

I hope you find it interesting to read, and hopefully helpful.

Kerry — x

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