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.

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