Blood Pressure

16 Aug

I forgot to mention an extremely important thing in my last post. When I joined the gym, we also took my blood pressure and pulse rate post mile walk.  Whilst my blood pressure was ok, it was towards the higher end of the scale.

English: blood pressure measurement Deutsch: :...

This time, it was way down, right into a totally normal measurement, this is a great thing, as we get older and I can’t get away from being 45, you may never have been checked, especially if you’re not overweight and think you’re healthy.  I have friends who have found that they have high blood pressure and/or high cholestroral at my age or even younger.  High blood pressure can lead to stroke or can be an indicator or other things going wrong.

If you’ve never been checked, have it done, it only takes a moment.  And think about your general health, exercise and keeping active is always going to be a good thing.   Just because you’re not big doesn’t mean there might not be anything wrong?

My pulse rate was also blinking good!



15 Aug

I haven’t made too big a thing about my latest challenge, it seemed a bit more personal this time around, given the stresses of the last year, it was both physical and mental.

After becoming very unfocused about exercise, one of the key objectives was to get that feeling of really wanting to do it back again, I know the benefits – both body and mind so knew it was crucial to total well-being.

The new gym and personal trainer has been fantastic, at the beginning of a 12 week programme, we did all the usual measurements including body fat calipers. We also did a series of fitness tests, a mile walk, minute of sit-ups, press-ups and a plank to fatigue. We set objectives, I made a conscious decision not to include weight in these – for me it would be about improving fitness levels, strength and feeling good about what I was doing.

So how did I do?

Well I did lose centimetres all over, I lost 3% body fat – for me the real achievements came from the fitness tests, I took a whole 2 minutes off my walking mile, almost doubled my press-ups and plank!   I am immensely proud of my fitness levels now.

And we know how much fitter I am now, over the weeks, I’ve done things I never thought possible, from flipping tractor tyres, kettlebells classes, more weights, circuits, ropes, the list goes on and on. I also found I love the rowing machine and I’m even now found working out on my nemesis – the cross trainer.

From doing that comes that feeling of feeling pretty good about myself, it’s still difficult for me at times to know if what I’m doing is good enough, I’ve become very competitive with myself and I can be tough on me!

Being given things to do that I know are given to the ‘fit’ people has given me that boost – my fitness levels are very good for my age, the body fat still needs to come down but coming from being morbidly obese this is going to be my biggest challenge.

I’m loving being in a world where exercise is taken seriously, where my beliefs ‘fit’ and I’m pushed, today my PT told me I should try Body Pump as my weights work has come on and she thinks I am more than capable. I’ve ignored that class up to now as being way outside what I could do. Apparently I’ve moved on there.

I’ve signed up for another 12 weeks, the objectives are now around strengthening my core further, losing at least another 3% body fat and importantly enjoying it even more!

(And for those who were wondering, I have weighed myself and I haven’t lost a pound over the last 12 weeks – what I’ve gained far outweighs that though!)

My advice if you’re feeling de-motivated is simple:

  • try new things, don’t think you ‘can’t’ unless you’ve given it a go, you might be VERY surprised at what you CAN do!
  • move gyms, find somewhere that has new kit or classes to keep you interested, make sure it’s open at the right times
  • get a personal trainer if you can afford it, it keeps you focused and pushed, a lot of gyms have offers for new members, look at it as an investment for the future, make sure they keep records so you can pick up routines yourself
  • set goals and objectives – get competitive with yourself!
  • buy new kit – new trainers for me made a world of difference!


Trying something different! And having fun!

13 Jul

A while ago I wrote about how I was losing focus on my fitness – well it’s back!  Thanks in the main to a new personal trainer and a really good gym!

Over my relatively short time enjoying exercise being in my life, I’ve tried quite a lot of things – swimming, walking, climbing, hiking, pilates, yoga, weights, sailing…….I guess I was trying to show a couple of things:-  firstly there is always something you can find to get and keep fit that you enjoy doing, if you don’t, it’s likely you’ll give up – it must be fun! And secondly that its never too late, no-one is too old or too unfit to give something a go!  Even my mum, who is almost 66, has been diagnosed with Parkinson’s, gets on her exercise bike every day!!

So what I am doing now?  Well its not about losing weight, I’m where I want to be there, its about getting fit, strong and sorting out my body areas where there is loose skin to tone and fill with muscle if possible!

My trainer Kelly, is working on full body workouts together with concentrated sessions arms, legs, glutes etc. So far in 8 sessions not one has been the same, already my fitness levels are soaring, I’ve discovered I love the rowing machine, it feeds the highly competitive bit of me!

Last weekend was a turning point though, it was a gorgeous (very warm) day so we went outside with a nice circuit set-up involving a  tractor tyre, skipping ropes, big ropes, kettlebells, barbells and a speed ladder…..

My first reaction was ‘you have got to be joking!’ – the other voice said ‘bring it on’ and was a bit flattered that Kelly thought I could do it?

Anyway we started with 30 seconds with each, it also involved press ups and planks off the tyre, which of course I had to pick up and flip over……10 seconds rest inbetween each piece. I was buzzing, covered in tractor tyre, red, sweating like never before and so pleased with myself when it was done!  Ah but then after a 2 minute rest, we did it all again with 45 seconds on each exercise!

I was focused again, all the previous sessions and the hard work meant at 45 I was doing this!  4 years ago I was morbidly obese, unfit, desperately unhappy – it still amazes me that I can do it.  I will be forever grateful and never take my health for granted. It does take work to keep the weight off and as I get older it is starting to feel harder however by staying focused, mixing up the exercise and trying new things, it remains something I enjoy.

This week we took the circuits indoors for an early morning session, more core work, this is key to avoiding injury and making the most of working with weights – I do enjoy a good heavy weight!  Kelly mentioned something about the Olympic bar as an aim very soon!

So if you’re bored with what you’re doing, find something new, change your gym, your trainer and get moving, make it fun and sweat away!

So excited!

4 Jul

A quick update – I’ll write more very soon when I have more time!
I’ve been working with my new personal trainer for 3 weeks, I am loving her sessions, we’re mixing it up with weights, ropes, kettlebells, core and cardio. I’m feeling stronger, relaxed & focused. However most of all I am excited about trying these new things and how it’s helping beyond words to cope with the stresses of my job, I’m being more assertive & I’m back in control because I’m seeing results, challenging myself physically and surpassing what I thought I was capable of. Never underestimate how powerful exercise can be for you – not only for your body but your head too!

Too Big?

20 Jun

I was reading a new article this morning, a morbidly obese man had been involved in a serious car crash, he needed to be cut out of his car, it took 36 emergency workers, cost an estimated £20,000 and due to the length of time it took to organise put his life at risk.

When you’re big, it’s easy to just think about the day-to-day health issues, the problems with finding clothes, the mundane things. However what if the worst happened, would you want it to be worse because you’re big?

I can run now, if I need to move fast I can, when I had surgery a couple of years ago I didn’t need special equipment. I recall a time when the standard blood pressure cuff didn’t fit, it was incredibly embarrassing, I worried about sitting on chairs in case they collapsed, hearing the car suspension creak when I got in, getting on a plane and having to ask for the seat belt extension, every day was filled with feeling anxious about something that for most is never an issue.

It’s worth thinking about, being big will have health implications, but it could cost you your life or your health in more ways than you’ve probably thought about?  What if you need to be lifted, cut out, or you need to make a quick get away?  Is your size likely to make that more difficult?

Finding your motivation

2 Jun

As you’ll know from the last few posts I’ve had to work a bit harder to get motivated lately. I use lots of things to boost this when it gets tough going.  Firstly I don’t beat myself up about feeling this way, often we’re just a bit too hard on ourselves. we focus on what we’re not doing rather than what we are doing. For me there’s just been a time of more learning about what was important and I just needed to go through it and come out the other side.

The other thing I use is looking at ‘before’ – while I was big I ignored it, of course I wasn’t really, I was though pausing my life while I wasn’t ready to do anything about it. Focusing on it now, reminds me of the way I felt about it, how unhappy I was and how hard it was to give this ‘I’m perfectly ok’ persona to the outside world.  A friend found a rare photo of me from then, I don’t recognise me then, that person is well and truly gone, she’s used that time to learn and grow and become who I am today.  Never be afraid to look back, for me it just rubber stamps why there is no going back – then I focus on what the work has achieved and what that has brought me, it’s so worth it.


Trudy Mandy's wedding









Good for my age (again!)

2 Jun

So last weekend I went through a whole load of fitness tests as part of the induction at my new gym, today I saw the results and I’m a bit pleased with myself. The ones I was worried about – the press ups and sit-ups were ‘excellent’ for my age. The plank was perfectly acceptable (thanks to the yoga and pilates) and my walk test is ok and I know I can and how to do better.

My new personal trainer has left me a new regime while she’s on holiday, lots of new stuff – this is what challenges me and gets me motivated. This time around it’s the rowing machine, I’d not touched it before but I kinda like it!  It’s going to take me a while to get used to all the new things and where my levels are. The really good thing is that I have three very different schedules, it’s very unlikely that I’m going to get bored and it can all then be mixed up.

I’ve signed up to a three-month challenge called ‘Get Results’ – we’ve done body fat and all the usual measurements so together with the fitness tests there’s a good line in the sand so lets see what happens.

And as its summer I’ll be walking, doing a new core class and signing up for a new yoga course. So let’s talk yoga, over the last few weeks I’ve been doing a foundation course, just to see if I wanted to continue, its great, its different to a lot of the other things I do, I am a solitary person, it gives me that, I’m focused on me, it combines the physical challenge and also brings in the head space thing I like and need.

Yoga Class at a Gym Category:Gyms_and_Health_Clubs

Yoga Class at a Gym Category:Gyms_and_Health_Clubs (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

After a few weeks of feeling a bit low and unfocused, it feels like its coming back together. I underestimate how much of an effect being active has on my body (and head), when I don’t do it there is now something missing. It often makes me think about the past – how for so long there was so much inactivity and how depressed and low I was.

So if I can get to a stage when my fitness is at a good level for my age I’m happy, if I can do it, anyone can. The one thing I hope I’ve shown is that you can do it, it’s never too late to start, it doesn’t matter how old you are, how big you are, how long you’ve done absolutely nothing, what your levels of fitness are, that there are limitations – you can do it, there’s always something you can do to get active and fit.

For me being active isn’t a phase, it’s not something with an end date, it works because its part of my life now – that’s the key to keeping the weight off!

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