Operation Sleek-like-an-otter

I'd better explain that title really! We were on holiday in Cornwall in August for a friends wedding, and we visited the Cornish Seal Sanctuary while we were there. They have two beautiful otters and we spent ages watching them playing and taking photos.

When we came back, I was struck by how big I looked in photos from the wedding, and a horrific video of me dancing at another friends wedding a week later, and obviously remembering the otters said "I wish I was sleek like an otter!"

Silly I know, but there you have it, and Operation Sleek-like-an-otter was born!

Food plan


I know that the best way to lose weight is to eat less, and exercise more. I have been counting calories and watching macros for a while now, but I very often fall off the wagon and "treats" are my nemesis! So my aims are to eat more protein, less refined sugar and sweeteners, and eat proper real home cooked food. I love cooking anyway so not a problem.

Treats should be an occasional thing, not daily. Mostly quite easy, although work can be difficult as we're most definitely a cake office.

I have a sweet tooth, so I'm not cutting out absolutely everything though, so for example at the moment I'm eating Greek yoghurt with honey, porridge with maple syrup and individual malt loaf mini loaves as my sweet fixes. 

Exercise

I already do an hours tumbling class and an hour and a half all star cheerleading per week, but I've done this for years so my body is used to it. 

I've been running semi-regularly for a while, but am planning to make more of an effort to go to club runs, parkrun most Saturdays, and am going to enter more races, particularly 10k and half marathon distance. My first ever half marathon is next Sunday! Eek 🙈

Finally, after years of persuading by Andy, I've accepted that lifting weights will help me lose weight by building lean muscle to burn more calories, and also to sculpt a nice toned figure. I've joined a gym, and we did our first session together tonight. And I loved it!

 

Hopefully I'm going to enjoy my journey to being a fit bride!

Posts

  • Love that title!

    Just wanted to say good luck. It sounds like you are on the right track in terms of what you need to do to acheive your goals. Lifting is definitely a great option for most women looking to lose weight and tone.

     

  • SadSack83SadSack83 Posts: 1,700

    Love 'Sleek like an otter'.

    At the moment I am 'wobbly like a walrus' but have successful lost weight in the past going from 19stone to just under 9. 

    Weights will definitely help. Other things other than those you are already doing which helped me were

    - inspiration picture - mine was a sports star who looks amazing and healthy

    - other types of treats - nails, clothes, books etc depending on what you like. I didn't just get these gor milestones but money I saved on chocolate which is my nemesis! 

    - food diary. In the end I abandoned this but to start with I found it useful to know what was triggering me to eat and how my eating habits changed around the month. 

    - lots of walking. I walked everywhere that was less than 4 miles away. It was a habit that not only helped weightloss but kept me away from snack cupboard

    - relax your muscles too. Perhaps build in yoga. 

    Good luck. I plan on getting back on my own wagon after holiday!

  • Thanks Michelle and SadSack. I'm feeling sore but confident this morning, so hopeful I can do it. 

    I'm using My Fitness Pal and also a bodybuilding app called Bodyspace, which is like a fb for fitness. I've already uploaded Some before pictures there too.

    I have lots of inspiration - some famous people I find I think they look too skinny or too muscly or whatever, but I take inspiration in thinking how I might look in my dress, so sometimes it's the models in the adverts! I know in the back of my mind that's not realistic either! I have a friend who uses weightlifting as her way of getting into shape and she is a massive inspiration as I've twice watched her get beautifully toned and change shape relatively quickly so she's definitely my inspiration.

    I'm not particularly one to buy lots of chocolate or snacks, but if I don't make an effort to take a healthy lunch I end up with supermarket meal deal sandwiches and crisps! It's my office which is the biggest source of temptation - the amount of cake we get through is something else!!! My approach here is to let myself have a little now and again so I don't feel like I'm denying myself. Plus with the extra exercising I'm doing I can afford a little.

  • I agree with almost everything you've said! I'm also trying to get fit for our wedding July 2016, with healthy eating and exercise, it's slow progress but I think I'm getting somewhere (I've been making a bit more effort for going on6 months now).

    I found a gym membership helped loads, I much prefer the classes than trying to do it on my own. I try to go to yoga, kettle bells, and high intensity interval training every week, I enjoy these classes the most out of the ones I've tried and I think they give a good balance of benefits.

    I like your snack tips, I really struggle when there's cake in the office too! I also try and take carrot sticks and humous to work, and also rice cakes to graze on through the day.

    Good luck! :)

  • Thanks Sarah! Snacks are essential. I'm going to roast some mixed nuts in the oven tomorrow with some spice as another option. Popcorn is another face of mine, one of the "skinny" varieties then I don't feel so bad about it being salt and sweet! 

  • Ugh!!! DOMS!!! Started weight training on Friday, with a strength test. Andy (my H2B) and I are doing the same programme he found in a book he's been reading, which involves finding out your "1 rep max" and then doing 75% in 3-5 reps in week one, 80% in week two, and 90% in week 3, over 12 weeks. To find your 1 rep max, you do a series of strength tests in your chosen exercises by increasing the weight and aiming for 5 reps in each before you can't manage 3 or more "comfortably". So we did this on Friday. I have never lifted weights, never mind done deadlifts, squats or overhead presses, but I really, really enjoyed it.

    Anyway, as I said before I'm also doing my first ever half marathon next weekend, so yesterday after parkun I did an extra 10km to ensure I was ready for next weekend.

    And now, I can barely move. The bath is my best friend, and radox bath salts may be in short supply in my area for the forseeable future... 

  • Emma236Emma236 Posts: 215

    DOMS is a killer but push through the pain and keep at it with the weights.  Your body will get used to it and DOMS won't rear it's ugly/painful/strange-walking/can't-get-off-the-loo head for much longer. :)

    I've been doing weight training and Body Pump classes for a couple of years now and simply by cutting down my portion size and still eating what I want (in moderation) I've managed to lose 5 stone.  It really does burn fat and tone you up without bulking. 

    Best of luck with your half marathon - invest in Compeed, lots and lots of Conpeed!

    E x

  • Thanks Emma! I actually ended up with a sore hip until this morning which I'm putting down to squiffy running technique. Dead nervous about my half on Sun, so taking it easy the rest of the week with a bit of a jog Thursday night but that's it. 

    It's great to hear others have had success so thank you and I'll keep you posted! 

  • Keep up the good work. I did CX works and Body Attack last night and couldn't reach up my back to unhook my bra when I got in from work today! My arms feel like lead. But its a good kind of sore that you will learn to appreciate because you know it comes with results! Been a bit naughty on the food today though and its first dress fitting time on Saturday! Oops!

     

  • Emma236Emma236 Posts: 215
    Michelle1985 wrote (see post):

    Keep up the good work. I did CX works and Body Attack last night and couldn't reach up my back to unhook my bra when I got in from work today! My arms feel like lead. But its a good kind of sore that you will learn to appreciate because you know it comes with results! Been a bit naughty on the food today though and its first dress fitting time on Saturday! Oops!

     

    Yes, this Les Mills character has an awful lot to answer for!!!  Luckily for him, all the classes work and the pain eventually subsides or he'd be getting smacked into next year - jumping lunges, I mean WTF?!?!  I've just starting going back to Body Combat and Attack classes too after 6 months off so I completely empathise with your bra situation - I couldn't hold up my hairdryer on Sunday and had to get H2B to help out and ended up looking like a bouffant poodle.  I'm hopeful next week won't be as bad.

  • Ha! I'm at Pure Gym which has the Les Mills classes, but they all look horrible lol! Think I'll stick to my weights programme with h2b, cheerleading and running. Think that's enough to be going on with!

  • Emma236Emma236 Posts: 215
    MichBee2B wrote (see post):

    Ha! I'm at Pure Gym which has the Les Mills classes, but they all look horrible lol! Think I'll stick to my weights programme with h2b, cheerleading and running. Think that's enough to be going on with!

     

    Body Pump is excellent - I can't rave about that enough.  It's not cardio, all strength training with weights and you can load up your weights as much or as little as you like and it works every single muscle group.  My shape has changed completely and I put it down to Pump mainly.

    Body Combat is hilarious! You just punch and kick the utter [email protected] out of thin air.  I like to imagine I'm making contact with certain people's faces at this point.  A great stress reliever!

    Body Attack - you've got to have a screw loose to find this enjoyable I think!  I need to work on my cardio to make it through an hour of this class.  I can often be found sweating profusely, wheezing, swearing under my breath and whimpering at the back of this class. :)

    As horrendous as the classes are at first, they do get easier (and the hour flies by) and the results are quick if you go 2 or 3 times a week.

    You have got a lot on the go at the moment so I agree, maybe best not to load up your plate with any more torturous activities for the time being. :)

    Best of luck with your half marathon though - I'm going to attempt to get back into running so might try and work towards a half marathon for next year....or maybe be realistic and start with a 10K! Baby steps....

    E x

  • Haha Emma I definitely have a screw loose...I love Attack! But I've never managed to get into combat. I gave up after nearly taking someones teeth out with a rogue back kick!

    Definitely second the Body Pump recommendation though. That is absolutely my favourite of the Les Mills series and makes a massive difference to body tone.

     

  • Hello, i've been thinking about attending the body pump classes as our gym dont do many of the other ones but have been too nervous before! With all your recommendations i think i will give it a go! X

  • Go for it Miss A! Honestly I find that people are so friendly at the classes and I much prefer this to trying to motivate myself in the gym.

    I would juat recommend that you start out light on the weights on your first class and see how you feel at the end of each track then you can gauge how heavy to go next time. It is different to lifting heavy weights in the gym as each track is about 5 minutes so its about muscular endurance rather than strength

    Honestly give it a go it is brill!

     

     

     

  • Emma236Emma236 Posts: 215

    Michelle - how do you do it?!  I swear when it comes to cardio, I'm as unfit as a morbidly obese, chain smoking pensioner!  I really need to up the ante and get back to Attack - as much as I hated it, it clearly was working as I could hardly speak by the end of the class and the sweat was pouring off me!  I used to bring H2B with me to make me look better until he cottoned on to what I was doing, I've never in my life seen someone so unco-ordinated...hilarious!

    Combat, I've yet to kick someone but I have successfully managed to punch myself in the face in the early days of going.  Hahaha that was quite an achievement! I'm also really quite scared of the instructor in this class (think of Jean Claude Van Damme in female form ) so I work pretty hard so as to avoid being shouted at but as the months have passed, I've grown to love it.  It really is the best stress reliever.

    Miss A, you should definitely give Pump a bash!   The people are all really nice in these classes and very encouraging of one another, I found.  Everybody has had to start somewhere so don't think people will be judging you at all - everyone is focussed on their own thing.  It is tough at first but persevere and work up to the bigger weights and you'll soon see the benefits.  It's much better than slugging it in the gym and I tend to work harder in these classes too when there is an instructor keeping an eye on me.  Let us know how you get on. :)

    E xx

  • I've done two weeks of body pump now and really enjoyed it (well usually half way through I hate it as it hurts!!)

    Now I just need to eat better but I keep eating out which doesn't help.

    x

  • Emma236Emma236 Posts: 215

    Excellent Miss A!  Keep it up!.  Honestly, it's such a shape changer.  Might take 4 - 6 weeks of going 2 or 3 times a week but you'll soon see the difference.  

    I still end up cursing the instructor under my breath on certain tracks but it's only an hour to grit your teeth and it's always a case of mind over matter!


    E x

     

     

  • MichBee2BMichBee2B Posts: 726

    So, I haven't updated you in a while. Suffice to say doing weights didn't last.  We just couldn't get motivated to go together (me and H2B that is) and I couldn't face going on my own. Then our birthdays hit in November, and then we were into busy season for Christmas.

    I could feel myself putting weight on, but then I discovered Joe Wicks - The Body Coach on Instagram. Wow does his programme work!!! So, I pre-ordered the Lean in 15 book for my kindle and on January 2nd off I went.

    I haven't signed up to the plan because it's £150 over 3 months and I have so much to pay for this year that I can't afford that at the moment, so I'm using the principles to have a go myself. This involves adding two HIIT sessions (High Intensity Interval Training) first thing on a Monday and Friday morning before work, and eating a reduced carb diet on the days when I don't do any exercise. On days when I do exercise then I'm allowed some refined carbs after exercising. It's so yummy. 

    I also got a shiny new pink garmin running watch for Christmas from my lovely H2B which is motivating me to get out running more, so I've made sure I go to club run on Tuesday and parkrun on Saturday when I can. 

    Btw I smashed my first half marathon at the end of September in a really respectable time and had a blast doing it. I'm going to do two more this year - probably Rock N Roll Half in Liverpool in May, and Manchester Half in October, plus fill the spaces in between with some 10k races too.

    So. My plan is:

    Monday = HIIT (and possibly open tumbling session at cheer)

    Tuesday = club run  

    Wednesday = tumbling class and cheer training

    Thursday = REST DAY!!!

    Friday = HIIT

    Saturday = parkrun or REST

    Sunday = REST

    Hopefully this plus reduced carb diet will see some results. We will see. 

  • Jenni8Jenni8 Posts: 3,202

    I've heard about this Lean in 15 book - let us know what it is like! Tempted to buy it myself. Next time I am near a Waterstones I might pop in for a look 

  • MichBee2BMichBee2B Posts: 726

    So then. Eating "Lean in 15" didn't quite work out for me - I put ON 10lbs!!! Not good. 

    So, I've started Intermittent Fasting, or IF. This is a very scientific plan which is exciting lots of nutritionists and academics, and is basically fasting for 16 hours eating for 8. You eat a healthy diet in those 8 hours, with the science being that the body burns stored fat during the 16 hours you're not eating.

    Its tough going at first, but three weeks in and I'm steadily losing weight of 1-2lbs a week! Using My Fitness Pal to track calories and macros but still eating the odd treat here and there too. Perfect!

    I'm also considering getting a fitness tracker to see how active I really am. I walk abiut 30 mins every day, but I don't think that's quite enough, although I'm still running at least once a week and doing my cheer training too. My fiancé has a smart watch tracker and gets a little reminder if he's not moved as much as he should, and it's really helping him. For now I'm just going out for a walk when he does which is ok. I'll see.

  • Jenni8Jenni8 Posts: 3,202

    Wow IF sounds good. What hours in each day do you eat? I am prob not that far away from that pattern anyway! I'll steer well clear from lean in 15 then - 10lbs! Over what period of time was that? 

    At the weekend my H2B signed us up for a half marathon.....is he f**ing kidding me?!?! Better get my running shoes on!

  • MichBee2BMichBee2B Posts: 726

    Hi Jenni - I'm doing 12-8pm as I tended to skip breakfast anyway, but you can change the times to suit. For example at the weekend we sometimes eat an early lunch anyway so we just have an early dinner instead.

    10 lbs went on in about 6 weeks when I wasn't paying attention to my weight. To be fair I wasn't exercising enough but it's put me off high fat high protein!

    Which half have you signed up to? I did a 10k at the end of Feb and got a new pb, then did another one two weeks ago and smashed it again! Got my best ever parkrun time on Saturday too so I'm absolutely LOVING running at the moment. Am having a small operation in April tho, so my plan to do the Rock n Roll half in May has gone which is especially gutting as all my running friends are now signed up to do it.  I'm now looking at doing the Greater Manchester half in October as my next half.

  • Jenni8Jenni8 Posts: 3,202
    MichBee2B wrote (see post):

    Hi Jenni - I'm doing 12-8pm as I tended to skip breakfast anyway, but you can change the times to suit. For example at the weekend we sometimes eat an early lunch anyway so we just have an early dinner instead.

    10 lbs went on in about 6 weeks when I wasn't paying attention to my weight. To be fair I wasn't exercising enough but it's put me off high fat high protein!

    Which half have you signed up to? I did a 10k at the end of Feb and got a new pb, then did another one two weeks ago and smashed it again! Got my best ever parkrun time on Saturday too so I'm absolutely LOVING running at the moment. Am having a small operation in April tho, so my plan to do the Rock n Roll half in May has gone which is especially gutting as all my running friends are now signed up to do it.  I'm now looking at doing the Greater Manchester half in October as my next half.

    Yes that's what I am thinking I never really eat breakfast and prefer a late lunch so dont usually eat until 1 at the earlest, and usually have dinner about 8pm so I guess I am already doing IF? Sometimes I nibble on chocolate just before bed so that'll have to stop! 

    Ive never run more then 5k haha so I ave a lot of work to do. But 5k is fairly easy for me so my fitness isn't TOO bad! It is the Cardiff half marathon in October. H2B, his brother, sister in law and dad are all doing it too (they have all done it before numerous times though). 

  • MichBee2BMichBee2B Posts: 726

    You've got plenty of time, but the first time I did one I just measured it in 5k, or parkruns! So by the time I got to 15k, I knew I only had one more parkrun. And it's dead easy to measure as the water stations are usually at each 5k point. I really enjoyed it.

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