Monday, 5 December 2011

My fitness and diet plans

As I said in my first post one of my main goals with this blog is to keep track of my fitness and weightloss, I've been overweight most of my life, when I was younger and played a lot of rugby I was still fairly fit even tho I was overweight and at one point at university I lost a lot of weight due to health issues but soon put it on after and my weight steadily rose from then. I've tried dieting or signing up to a gym since but laziness and temptation have gotten the better of me. Since joining up with the rugby club my fitness and stamina have noticeably improved however I've still kept some bad habits and have skipped training from time to time. All this has to change, my long term goals are to reach a healthy weight, be fit and strong enough to give rugby my all and play competitively and above all to look and feel better.

Mid term goals are to slim down my stomach, I want to fit into clothes I wore a few years ago when my weight didn't really bother me at the time. I'm looking at losing about 4" on my waist, although with my beer belly it may actually be more like 6" or more until I feel I'm back "how I was". In addition to this I want to be strong enough that I'm fully comfortable in scrums and lifting in lineouts but also to have the stamina to keep them up for a whole game and not feel like crap the next day. Currently I have adequate strength for a scrum, but lineouts are problematic, but my stamina is pretty aweful. Finally in my mid term goals is to be able to jog for a decent length of time, not looking to break any speed records but just get myself able to run for 10-15 minutes at a steady pace and work on it from there.

How do I plan to achieve this?
First of all I've signed up to a local gym which holds regular classes, from talking to other guys from the rugby club and couple of other friends I decided to try Kettlebells, for those of you who don't know what they are, in essence they look like a cannonball with a fixed handle and are used almost as a cross between freeweights and a medicine ball. So far I've just had one half hour instructed session with them, but they seem to suit me more than free weights or resistance machines do and give a good amount of cardio work too. The downside of this is 24 hours after my first session I ache like mad! It was only a beginner session but worked my upperbody, core and legs more than a 2 hour rugby training session and I'm going back for more next sunday.

Until I am more comfortable using kettlebells on my own I will be using some resistance machines once or twice during the week as well as using exercise bikes, rowing machines and cross trainers to try to improve my fitness, these sessions will fit around rugby training and any matches on saturdays. I probably won't push myself as last thing I want is to be too sore and stiff for rugby training. Which of course will be the second main element of my fitness, rugby. My team has an excellent coach and a great bunch of guys who have really helped motivate me at training. First time I went there I wanted to collapse after 5 minutes, but they kept pushing me to my limits, and considering the majority of the team are far fitter than me, I try to keep up but when I am starting to give up they give me the push I need to power through and give it my all. I'm hoping as my work at the gym pays off training will get significantly easier and reward my efforts. In addition whilst I don't have my car I will be doing a lot more walking. I honestly don't think I would stand a chance at my goals without rugby.

Now all this would be useless if I ate junk, I've really struggled with diets in the past and tell myself my diet isn't too bad, but obviously I'm going wrong somewhere. I mentioned earlier I lost weight due to health issues at uni, I actually had gallstones and an infected gallbladder, before I could have surgery I was put on a very restricted diet to stop my gallbladder working too hard and prevent "attacks" which basicaly banned any unhealthy food and the threat of agonizing pain was the best diet motivation possible but at the time it felt like torture and once recovered from my surgery I got into bad habbits eating all the banned foods. Now I will try to take parts of this diet and use them again since I know I've stuck to it in the past. Specifically I will cut out any high fat foods, avoiding any food with higher than 3% fat, try to include lean high protein food in main meals and plenty of fruit and veg. Unlike when I was on the gallstones diet before I will be allowed spicy and acidic food. One other advantage is my girlfriend Leanne has magazines and recipe books from slimmingworld and the majority of their recipes would be suitable and the ones we've made in the past have been pretty tasty.

To begin with I am going to stick to these rules and not "count calories" as such, however if I start to slip or aren't getting results I will be forced to be stricter and set myself limits on fat and carbs. Now I understand it probably seems a bit counterproductive to post a blog on weightloss and fitness without including my weight and measurements, but I'm not comfortable sharing them on the internet, instead when I post updates I will state the changes, for example "so far I have lost 2inches around the waist and 8 pounds" this may change in the future.

Tonight I relax and rest my aches, tomorrow I'm walking into the city centre (about 3 miles) and to go christmas shopping with my great aunts.

Who am I and why am I writing this blog?

Hi, to anyone who reads this, writing blogs is totally new to me so I'm just going to dive right in and start with a brief introduction and why I'm writing this blog. My name's Josh, I'm 25 from England and the main reason for me starting this blog is that I am just taking a big step towards getting fitter and healthier and want to use this blog to help track my progress. Before you stop reading, I am planning on blogging about a variety of my interests and every day life, but my fitness progress will feature regularly.

I am a fan of rugby, I first started playing when I was about 12 and played regularly until I went to university when I just couldn't get along with the university team and had too many other commitments. However back in August I found a local team who welcomed me into their squad, which was the first big step into my fitness drive, but now over 3 months on my progress has been slow and I need to commit to training, going to the gym and eating healthy.

One of my other main passions is classic cars, I own a 1971 vw beetle that I've owned for 7 years now, which is sadly off the road until I get a full time job, but I still plan on attending classic car events and trials. My mate from school Nathan, who is far more into cars than me got me interested in trials 4 years back when he invited me along to an annual boxing day trial held in dorset and I loved it and I've been back every year since including last year in the snow. This year I'll be a passenger in somebody elses car, but fingers crossed should get to drive still! Also in January I will be a passenger in Nathans car for the Exeter trial, starting at around 10pm friday it doesnt finish til saturday night, but more on that nearer the time.

I am also a huge fan of music and I play bass guitar (quite badly) I've been in bands in the past, but at the moment I pretty much just mess around on my bass when I get free time. I also love seeing bands live when one that interests me tours nearby, bands I've seen in the past include Foo Fighters, Motorhead, Queens of the Stoneage, Greenday, Jimmy Eat World, The Stranglers (possibly best  present ever from Leanne <3), Reel Big Fish, Skindred, Bloodhound Gang and Bowling for soup (plus more I cant think of right now). I have quite varied tastes mostly consisting of classic rock, punk, ska or metal, but there are many bands in my playlist that dont fit those genres and a few from genres that I normally dislike.

Just realised I've already written quite a bit so I'll wrap up my interests a bit quicker, I also play computer games, although grown out of them a fair bit they're good to unwind sometimes, watching films and reading, especially fantasy or sci fi books, but put any book infront of me and theres a good chance I'll be hooked by the end of the chapter and wind up finishing it as fast as possible. I also love animals, my family have bred cats and dogs for decades so pets are a big part of my life, but since I'm sharing a small flat with my girlfriend cats and dogs are out of the question, but we have a pet rat called cider and two baby marginated tortoises called squirtle and sheldon who are immense fun to watch and have far more personality than you would expect.

Anyway I've written enough for an intro, I'll leave you with a photo of my beetle in my trials last year and of the tortoises. Hope you enjoy my blog.