My First Blog Post

Hello and Welcome

Thank you for coming to my blog!

Hello! I am a 33 year old single woman and I have been trying to lose weight for years. I have had some success in the past, and then gained back and thensome with Quetiapine, my medication that stops me from going manic.

I had a health scare back in the Spring and required a check up. This involved being weighed. I was shocked that I had gained a stone and a half since being on Quetiapine. But I knew I wasn’t happy with the way I looked in photos or the mirror. So I decided to start going to the gym more (I was a lapsed member) and cutting back on junk food. I didn’t see much of a result, so in September, I decided to invest in a personal trainer, and have lost half a stone since. I am still seeing him once a week and making a real effort with what I eat, cooking more food from scratch and cutting right down on sugar especially.

I am going to be posting regular updates on my progress as well as more information about my mental health and the traumas that led me here and how I have broken through them.

Please say “hi” in the comments if you’re new to my blog!

Thanks for reading!

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COVID-19 Poem

What’s on your mind?

Robbed of holidays, parties, places to go
Exciting plans, seeing friendly faces, seems so long ago.
Trying to keep a grip on my mental wellbeing,
Blocking out the bad news on TV I’m seeing.

Worried about family, the world and my friends
Whether that restaurant will open again
Hope I don’t get it, hope that one day,
I’ll have a chance of a weekend in St. Ives Bay

Kind of happy in a weird sort of way,
Less cars, less pressure, a more peaceful May.
Catching up with odd jobs, hobbies and books,
Making good use of my crocheting hooks.

Missing the freedom to wander and roam
But jolly grateful I don’t live in a care home.

Copyright Alice Mowse 2020

Lockdown Weight Loss Battle!

Hi everyone, sorry it’s been a while.

I’ve been struggling a lot with my weight loss battle during the lockdown. It’s been hard for me to motivate myself to work out at/from home. I’ve still been going for walks several times a week, but I don’t really enjoy running outside in my local area. My eating has also gone downhill a little. My birthday was last week and I indulged bigtime. Oops. I haven’t stepped on a scale as I don’t own one and I don’t wish to. I don’t want to fall into the trap of obsessively checking the scale every day. However, judging from the fit of my clothes and how my wobbly bits feel, I think I have probably gained up to a stone (14lbs to my American friends), which isn’t great.

The trouble is, it is probably going to be a while before gyms open again. The coronavirus crisis is unfortunately going to be with us for long time, and it’s just not safe for gyms to operate at the moment. It is a must to adjust. So, with that being said, I have started running outside, just a little bit. I have begun incorporating 1-2 minute runs in my walking. I am also doing planks and deadbugs and squats with my kettlebell. Next I need to add in some lunges and press-ups. I was doing so well with those before the lockdown!

As for eating, I have got into the habit of eating ice cream every night. My friend who is self-isolating with me, keeps ordering it from a local farm. It’s lovely but I don’t need to eat it every night. So I have told him not to order any more.

Here are a couple of obligatory pics!

A planner/journal to keep me on track with all my goals, not just weight loss, during the chaos. I love this one.

From one of my walks. A reminder that life goes on regardless!

How are you all doing? Is anyone else struggling? I’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments.

Stay safe and stay well!

Weigh-in, COVID-19…Staying on Track and Mentally Well While Self-isolating

Hi all,

It’s obviously a stressful time for everyone at the moment, what with worrying about everyone’s health and things being cancelled right, left and centre. I’m depressed about not being able to experience things I was looking forward to, my anxiety levels have been going through the roof and I’ve been struggling to sleep, glued to the news and statistic websites about the virus.

I haven’t been to the gym since Sunday in an effort to minimise risk to myself and others. Gyms are now closed in the UK as of today.

Wednesday night after my last crochet class (the course had to shut a week early) I was feeling fed up with everything, and I was very tempted to grab “just a small” chocolate bar as a pick-me-up. However, I was able to talk myself out of it, luckily. We all know that “just a small” this and a “little piece” of that soon adds up and can lead to spiral back to our old eating habits.

It’s tough with gym being cancelled and perhaps not being able to buy your go-to healthy food choices, but hopefully this situation will end soon, and gaining weight is not going to make us feel better.

I still have most of the food I like and have still been able to buy a lot of tasty, healthy things, so this morning I was happy and grateful to be making myself my low-fat pancakes.

As for exercise, I am still doing my walks. Thankfully we can still access nature, which is having some breathing space from our pollution! I also have a kettlebell at home so I’ve been doing squats with those. I haven’t done a plank or deadbug since I was at the gym, so that’s my next home challenge for myself!

I weighed in on Sunday but I lost my slip. I am still 11 stone 5lbs but my body fat % has crept up to just over 38%. So not too bad, all in all.

Here is a picture from my walk yesterday. The world hasn’t ended, it’s still turning!

Hope you are all coping okay! We’ve got this!

Weigh-in Update, Chocolate Binge Mental Health

Hi all,

This week has been pretty up and down with good days and bad days. I’ve indulged a lot, AGAIN! During the week I was expecting to have a little slice of cake with friends, but that didn’t happen so I got mega cravings and ended up eating a lot of chocolate. I’m not proud of that, it was obviously a mistake and I need to think about what I’m going to do if I’m in that situation again. I don’t cope very well with interrupted/cancelled plans at the last minute and usually respond by indulging, especially if the plans included food! But I think next time I will whip myself up something slightly healthier.

Workout-wise, I got in my 3 gym sessions and some walks this week. I really had to talk myself up into doing it after the chocolate binge. I was feeling so demotivated but I’m really glad I pushed through. I’m now lifting a little bit more on the chest press – 18kg +2.3kg. On couch to 5k (I’m on the last “week” and have been for months, it’s about improving my speed now) I have got up to 8.3 speed for the last minute. I always try to build up my speed over the 35 minutes and really go for it in the last minute, and I really feel it!

But I haven’t had much time in the gym to work on my strength training. I would have liked to do more squats and burpees, so hopefully this coming week I’ll get that in!

On to the weekly weigh-in:

So shockingly I managed to lose another 2lb! I’m very grateful and relieved, although before my chocolate indulgence I did cook a few very healthy meals from recipes and was doing well. My body fat is up 0.6%. Hopefully that will go down again next week.

Hope you’ve all had a good week, speak to you soon!

Recipe, Mindset and Weigh-in

Hi all,

I’ve been feeling much better this past week. I’m back on track at the gym, I got up to 9.2 in speed on my HIIT treadmill sprints which I’m very pleased about. I’m doing press-ups on a 30cm soft platform and getting in 40 stomach crunches in one go, among other little things.

I had a trip to Tesco last week and decided to buy some ingredients for a little recipe experimentation. I think this is one of the great things about a serious weight loss plan/lifestyle change; cooking! I love trying new recipes and expanding my repertoire in the kitchen.

This week I mainly tried out new breakfasts. One was blueberry pancakes which were divine. I will share the recipe in the next post or the one after that, when I can get them looking fit for photographing! But for this post I want to share “Peach and Orange Yoghurt Pots with Ginger Oats” from the BBC Good Food Magazine. I bought the actual magazine – months and months ago :O – and have only just got around to reading it! But it is up on the website.

The recipe in the magazine instructs you to serve it in ramekins but I’m not posh enough to have ramekins yet, so I adapted the recipe for a plain old cereal bowl.

I think it looks pretty good! It certainly tasted amazing. Calories are 357 per pot, so were probably a little higher for me since I used a bowl. Fat 11g, carbs 47g, sugars 27g, fibre 5g and protein 14g. So a little high on the carbs and sugar, but full of protein and the healthy carbs and fruit are the perfect pre-workout treat of a breakfast.

Basically you grate an orange and squeeze the juice into a little pan, chuck in a chopped peach and nectarine, cook for a few minutes, then throw in your oats and a sprinkle of pine nuts, cinnamon and ginger and serve with greek yoghurt, and the recipe says sultanas but I hate them – yuk! So I chose dried cranberries instead. For the greek yoghurt, I used 0% Fage, as although it is very good for you, greek yoghurt can be surprisingly high in fat and sugar. I’ve loved using Fage for years. And it seems lots of other people do too. It goes very quickly at the supermarket when there’s an offer on!

Hope you enjoy trying this delicious breakfast.

Yesterday I was totally off-track foodwise as it was a dear friend’s big birthday. We went to an all-you-can-eat buffet and I literally ate all I could. Lots of chinese stuff (my favourite) so sweet and sour chicken, lots of rice. I tried to be good and add lots of vegetables too, but it was loaded with sugar. I also had lots of cake and a glass of champagne!

I think it’s important to indulge yourself on special occasions, otherwise you could quickly grow to resent being on a “diet” and fall off the wagon. I’m back on track today which I’m proud of myself for. I did have to give myself a pep talk this morning, but I was back at the gym and I’ve eaten very well today. Here’s the weigh-in!

As you can see I have stayed the same, but I’m down 0.1% on my body fat and 0.1 on my BMI. I was debating with myself over whether to weigh in today after yesterday’s indulgence but I decided to face the music and I’m glad I have. A lot of people say that much of weight loss is in the mind and it’s so true. You need to keep giving yourself pep talks and making the right choices for yourself.

I’m going to continue working hard and hoping for a loss at my next weigh-in.

Thanks for reading, guys! How is your weight loss journey going?

Another Mental Health Update and Weigh-in

Hi all,

So, I didn’t get to the gym when I said I was going to. My mood just got worse and worse! It was a vicious cycle. I was feeling too depressed and anxious to go out, so I just stayed in bed, and because I achieved nothing, I made myself more depressed and anxious! The weather here in the UK really hasn’t helped either. It’s been extremely windy and rainy and it really puts you off going outside.

However, on Saturday I decided to do an act of self-care for myself. I took myself off to a petting farm on a country estate and fed ponies, donkeys, alpacas, chickens, a calf and some goats. The behaviour of some of the animals had me in hysterics and really lightened my mood. Here is a photo of one of the funny ones!

I also made sure to do a mini walk while I was there through their nature trail. It certainly blew the cobwebs away! In fact, although I didn’t go to the gym after Monday last week, I did a little walk almost every day, so I’m proud of myself for that.

In weigh-in news, I finally made it to the gym today and managed my usual routine with HIIT running. Here is my weigh-in for this week:

So, as you can see, I have lost the last gain of 2 pounds plus another pound! And I have now lost a total of 2 stone (28lbs) in a year! And, my BMI is under 30 (just!) It is so good to see all those amazing numbers.

How is everyone doing on their weight loss journeys?

Weight Update and Mental Health

Trigger Warning: Death/Suicide

Hi all,

Getting straight into it, I gained 2lbs at my last weigh-in on Saturday. I imagine this was for a few reasons; bingeing on banana chips, having 2 desserts in the week and a particularly indulgent Wednesday. Whatever caused the gain, it brought me down. I am still trying to lose weight and working out, don’t get me wrong, but it’s very hard this week after that result. A part of me wants to say “screw it” and go and buy a big bar of chocolate. But I won’t because I know it’s a downward spiral from there.

So that affected my mood. Add to that some money issues, rudeness from others on social media and the tragic death of Caroline Flack, I’ve been pretty low these last few days. I’ve struggled to go on my walks, I talked myself out of going to the gym today and stayed in bed. Don’t worry, I’m definitely going tomorrow. I’m feeling despondent about my craft projects and the tidiness/cleanliness of my flat, my career, the weather, the lack of fun in my life and a few other things.

I wasn’t a fan of Caroline Flack’s. I don’t watch or like reality TV. But I remember her from Bo’ Selecta and Strictly Come Dancing, and reading of her death deeply shocked me. She’s one of those people that you expect to always read about in the news or pop up on TV in the background. The fact that she died by suicide is even sadder. I have to believe that suicide is always preventable in some way. It’s not an inevitability of mental health. I believe that she could have rebuilt her life. And I believe that her death could have been prevented by some sensitivity by others to her mental health. I’m not just talking about the actions of the press, eg the Scum newspaper who were unnecessarily vile towards her, and I absolutely believe that anyone who is violent should face justice by due process. What I am referring to is the fact that Caroline Flack was seen by an ambulance the day before she died, and they decided not to help her. That was a big opportunity to get her the support she needed. I read all too often of people who could have been prevented from ending their lives by the mental health services specifically paid to support them, but the snap decision of a clinician meant that those people did not receive that support, with tragic consequences.

Sorry for the sad post, guys. I didn’t really have much else to say apart from that. I’m okay but feeling down at the moment. Hopefully I will have a good weigh-in this week and be back on track for my goals.

Weigh-in and Workout Update

Hi all, sorry it’s been a while again! Last week I maintained (booo) and then I lost the slip.

I’ve still been struggling with my eating a little, having naughty things I shouldn’t, such as a biscuit and a slice of cherry cake made by one of the lovely customers at the charity shop I volunteer at. I really need to learn to say no there! What are your food pitfalls?

Workoutwise it’s been a good week. I got up to level 9 on my HIIT running on Monday. Wow, was I struggling for breath! I had a PT session on Wednesday which was suitably tough. Was really happy though because I got to lift a barbell. I really want to do more weights. I also did romanian kettlebell lifts which was fun. Definitely want to do more of those. I also did sled pushing which was a real killer. However, we’ve got these new skiing machines there and I’m not sure how I feel about them. Do you get a good workout with those? It felt a little pointless to me. I’m not a big fan of cables at the gym.

Here is my weigh-in for this week:

So, as you can see, I have lost another 2lbs 😀 which means I am on the cusp of 2 stone lost in total! My body fat mass is down 11% from when I started, and my BMI is under 30! I’m feeling really good about that.

My weight loss has been really slow. Okay, I haven’t been perfect with my eating, but I’ve consistently eaten below 1600 cals a day and I put in work at the gym three times a week. I think most people would have lost weight quicker than me, but because I’m on Quetiapine, my weight loss is on a go slow. It sucks, but it’s good in a way because gradual weight loss is healthier and more sustainable long-term because you’ve had longer to get used to the change in lifestyle. At least that’s what I’m telling myself!

Oh, I did a 2 mile walk yesterday in Somerset, up hills and along some muddy paths. I want to do a lot of walking this year. It’s one of the most fun ways to lose weight in my opinion. It was amazing with the rare blue sky and seeing all the nature around me. This was my view:

Pretty amazing, huh?

Do you like walking for weight loss? Let me know your thoughts in the comments!

New Running PB and Weigh-in!

Hi all,

I had an eventful workout at the gym! The fire alarm went off halfway through my workout and we all had to evacuate the building. It was a false alarm and we were soon allowed back in. However, I time my exercises very specifically between the bus times, so this meant I couldn’t do everything I wanted to do. However, I did walk up 5 flights of stairs to get back to the gym! Dose glutes!

I managed to get to 2.46 miles in my 35 minute couch to 5k run. I really pushed myself today and got up to level 7.7. I was very short of breath by the end so I’m proud of myself for sticking through it!

Weigh-in News! :

That’s a 2lb loss which I am very happy with, and my body fat is down a bit too. I have been very careful with my eating since the lebkuchen incident, but I’m happy that didn’t have too much of an effect on my weight. I also had a slice of my favourite, coffee and walnut cake that same night! But the rest of the week I’ve been very good.

If you’re also on a weight-loss journey, I hope your weigh-in was good too!

New Gym Bag, Overeating, Running PB and Pilates

Hi all, I went to Sports Direct in my town earlier this week looking for a new gym bag and I was not disappointed!

As you can see it’s a grey Lonsdale bag with pale pink accents and I love it! Only £6.99! Before I got this, I was honestly carrying my towel etc around in a plastic carrier bag which isn’t a good look for me. So I’m very pleased with my bargain.

Lately I have been struggling a little with my eating. I baked some lebkuchen earlier in the week for a ladies’ lunch. They were lovely but I burnt some. I obviously couldn’t give those ones out to my friends but I didn’t want to waste them. So unfortunately I ate a lot of them, which wasn’t good, obviously! I’m trying to get back on track but for the first time since I started this weight loss journey, I’ve got a huge appetite! When I started last year, I was feeling full and even nauseous a lot due to IBS. But that seems to have subsided now and I’m feeling it! So I’m struggling with controlling my appetite and ensuring I don’t overeat. I’m trying to eat lots of vegetables to try and fill myself up but I may have to reintroduce a little more pasta into my diet to stop the risk of me eating something naughtier.

In workout news, I worked hard today at the gym! I worked very hard on Tuesday doing my HIIT running. I got up to 8.5 for my sprinting. It was a killer so I’m very proud I got through it.

Today I did my normal running after pilates. In pilates we do a lot of pulling in the stomach muscles and reverse crunches which is great because it feels like I’m getting a good abs workout while ensuring good form. With the running, I got to 2 miles in 29:30 which is a new PB for me, so I was very happy about that too. I now walk at level 5-5.5 for the first 5 minutes, run from 6.5, staying mostly at 6.8 and get up to 7.6 towards the end of the 35 minutes.

So I feel like I’m making real progress in the gym. Just hoping the scale is good to me at my weigh-in on Saturday. Wish me luck!