Friday Round Up: Stuck in a rut

I feel like I’ve been stuck in a rut (physically and mentally) for the past few months, and think it might be time for a big change. I’m thinking about 1) a new job or 2) some major interior renovations at home (ideally we’d like to move but our current house needs some major work to get it ready for the market).
And whilst these are longer-term changes, I’m starting to make some smaller changes now that I hope to help me get out of this little rut.

  1. Toddler time = no-tech time
    I try not to use my phone or tablet whilst I’m playing with the toddler, as I work full time so the hours/days we have together are precious. I’m also going to start limiting our TV time and do more crafting at home.
  2. Get Out!
    The weather in the UK (specifically North Yorkshire) has been rubbish.* We’ve had rain for weeks, cold temperatures and wind. It’s now looking like it will be a bit clearer for the next few days, so I’m going to make the most of it by getting out and about on walks and adventures!
    *UK weather isn’t really extreme, so apologies to everyone who really suffers from bad weather!
  3. Cut back on caffeine – the number of cups of coffee I drink whilst at work has been slowly rising and I can feel it making me anxious and jittery. I’m going to buy a high quality decaff alternative and some mint tea so I can switch up the hot drinks I have at work, reducing my caffeine intake.

This week I’ve managed three workouts so far (2 x Zumba sessions and 1 x lunchtime run) and whilst I don’t have any specific workouts planned for the weekend, its looking like its going to be very active with the toddler!

Look at the disco lights that we have on during Zumba…Such fun!
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This week a friend and I had girl’s night in with a healthy spread (just don’t tell anyone about the bottle of prosecco)!

Also – Joey the dog is my friend’s and he was super interested in the prosciutto-wrapped vegetables!

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As mentioned, I’m trying to get back into running at work again, so I’m making sure that I have all of my gear with me in the office so there’s no excuse!
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Also, this morning I weighed in at 160lb. This may not be fast weight loss but it’s achievable long-term #BOOM

Happy Friday everyone!
Have a great weekend xoxo

Progress Photos: February

Last month I started a new series of monthly progress photos. It’s never easy to post photos of yourself in semi-dress and opening yourself up to the judgement (positive or negative) of your friends, followers and general internet users, but it is a beneficial way to see the changes in your body rather than relying on the scale (although I use both).

Even though I’m a couple of pounds lighter than I was this time last month, there hasn’t been a great change in my body. Some items of clothing are still a bit snugger than I would like, but I’m getting there!

So without further ado, here’s my February progress pics!

Progress_Feb2016_Side Progress_Feb2016_Front

If you have any negative thoughts about these images, please don’t share them, we don’t need that kind of negativity here!

Does anyone else share their progress pics to help motivate them?
xoxo

Friday round up: hello weekend

Ah Friday, hello old friend! I’m ready for this weekend, with a girls night out and nothing else planned! I’m even hoping for a lie-in on on Sunday

Tonight we’ve had a nice bottle of wine (Picpoul de Pinet) and some pulled pork with veg.

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This morning I weighed in at 161lb whoop  whoop! All the e exercise and healthy eating is showing results, who would have thought?!?

Have a good at weekend everyone!
Xoxo

New Spiralizer

I decided to bite the bullet and purchase a spiralizer instead of using my trusty julienne peeler for my 2016 spiralizer recipes.

I knew that I didn’t want to spend loads and the product had to be light and easy to pack away when it isn’t in use.

In the end I opted for a spiralizer from Lakeland at £14.99. The product arrived a couple if days after I placed the online order and so far I’ve got mixed feelings, maybe I should have gone for the official inspiralizer?!?

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You can do all the usual foods (courgette, sweet potato, apple etc.) and my first recipe was courgette spaghetti, using a similar recipe to my standard courgette spaghetti recipe.

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My main issue with the machine I bought is that the size needs to be a certain width in order to reach the slicer, and I’m not sure if some vegetables will be thick enough, only experimentation will tell!

I’m gong to try carrot and see if the size will be a problem, I’ll keep you posted!
Xoxo

163lb

That was the number on the scale this morning, and that’s OK.

3lb heavier than I was the Monday before Christmas, but with a whole lot of memories to show for it.

I didn’t stick to my plan to be active as I had hoped I would, but with so many friends and family visits, I’m glad that I spent my time with them, rather than slogging it out at the gym or going running.

I also ate rather mindlessly, and am guilty of saying “I’ll start again in the New Year” rather than taking responsibility for my eating then and there. A few bottles of prosecco and Gin & Tonics might also have been consumed!

One of the reasons why I don’t feel too bad about this weight gain and my behavior over the past two weeks is because of this quote…

“What matters isn’t what you eat between Christmas and New Year, what matters is what you eat between New Year and Christmas”

Next year, I won’t be worried about eating more and moving less during the festive period, as I’ll have committed to a consistently healthy approach to eating and exercise throughout the rest of the year!

I’m going to start a monthly photo progress diary, so here’s my January photos.

January Photo Face On_cropped January Photo Side On_cropped

 

 

 

 

 

 

I’ll post photos at the beginning of each month to track how my body changes as I get back on track with eating a more balanced diet and exercising regularly.

Are you using photo diaries to track your progress?
xoxo

2015 Year in Review

As 2016 beckons, I wanted to take this opportunity to review 2015 in terms of my journey to a healthier version of myself, to learn more about what works and what doesn’t, and how I can improve next year.

Fitness

At this time last year, I weighed around 158lb, and by the New Year that figure had reached 162lb. I’ve fluctuated between 161 and 154 for most of this year as I’ve gone through spells of intense exercise and complete latency.

During those times that I was committed to a steady exercise regime, I noticed my body was firmer, and I was less conscious of my arms (the one area of my body that I’m self-conscious about). After having Jessica my stomach has taken on a new shape, with the lower ‘tyre’ more prominent than ever, even at the same pre-pregnancy weight. There’s not really much I can do about the shape (and I’m not that bothered by it to consider a surgical alternative) but eating less processed food and having a consistent level of activity in my life definitely reduces the prominence of the shape.

I actually aren’t that unhappy with my body, and I think I look better naked than in most clothes! Of course I would like to tighten up, and so my goal for 2016 is to consistently add some toning exercises for my arms, abs and arse as well as running.

2015 Lesson: Consistency is key.

2016 Goal: Exercise at least 3 times a week (running, Zumba, bodyweight toning) but try to squeeze in some mid-week lunchtime runs when the weather improves enough.

Food

There’s no question about my love for food, and whilst I have my quirks (I don’t like ‘wet’ food such as mashed potatoes, but could happily eat a jacket or new potato) there isn’t much that I don’t like.

The upside to this is that I can experiment with different vegetables and grains, the downside is that I also love me some chocolate, and cake, and bread with lashings of butter. I’ve even developed a fondness for whipped cream this year, which is something that really cannot be considered healthy!

I also don’t really have an off switch. I could quite happily polish off a family size bar of galaxy chocolate or grab bag of crisps, especially if I’m watching TV or bored.

During the last few months I’ve been playing with the idea of vegetarianism. Animal welfare, global warming and the cost of meat are all factors. I don’t think that I’ll be turning into a strict vegetarian in 2016, but I’ll be trying to reduce my meat and fish intake and instead find alternative protein sources.

2015 Lesson: Keep things interesting

2016 Goal: More meatless Mondays (but not just Mondays)

I’d like to take my ‘healthy journey’ to the next level in 2016 by reaching 153lb and maintaining that weight (or under). I’ll be discussing my 2016 goals in more details in my next post, and how they’ll help me to kick it up a notch and make some proper progress!

Happy New Year everyone, and thank you for following 21lb Challenge this year!
xoxo

Staying Accountable

Last week I set myself some exercise goals and I stuck to them! I wanted to exercise 3 times, and I did.

On Monday I did the Beach babes Tone It Up arms workout using candlesticks as make-do dumbbells.

On Wednesday I ran a little over 4km – the first time running in over a month but it felt so good to be out on the road again!
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On Thursday I attended the last Zumba before Christmas, sob! We cooled-down to Christmas songs, it was very festive!

This week I’m going to try and get in three sweat sessions again. I ran last night (just over 5km), and want to fit in some at-home body weight exercises on Tuesday and hopefully an early run on Wednesday or Christmas Eve.

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I’ve also been trying to limit the amount of Christmas food I’m eating before the holidays even start, so I’m going to try and plan some meals between Christmas and New Year so that I have something healthy on stand-by.

My biggest indulgence at this time of year is alcohol. Look out for my Christmas Cocktail recipe later this week! The prosecco will be popping, the champagne fizzing and the gin doing whatever gin does!

Here’s some photos that I remembered to take this week!

Pulled pork with a chipotle glaze with roast veg and cranberry bread. I had this fresh on Sunday and then for leftover dinner on Monday night after my run.

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Friday night in with a friend with Marks and Spencer snacks and Lanson Black Label Champagne (a gift from a client at work) watching the new season of Scandal!

M&S and champagne

 

 

 

 

 

Some of the best courgette spaghetti I’ve made in a while!

Courgette Spaghetti

 

 

 

Roast veg (cauliflower, brussels sprouts, new potatoes, leeks and baby courgettes) with a fried egg and some bread and butter.Roast veg and egg

 

 

 

 

 

 

I love all of the vegetables that are in season at this time of the year, and my love of eggs is not abating one bit!

Weight Update
I weighed on Monday morning at 160lb. It’s a higher number than I’d like, but I know why I’m there and not in the 150s. My weight goal is that I am no heavier than 160lb on Monday 4th January. To succeed. I’m going to keep my activity levels as high as possible and make sure that I’m filling up on said veggies above, and not gorging on too many chocolates. Wish me luck!

Happy Christmas Week!
xoxo