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Health and Fitness Update 07 - Exercise week!

Last Saturday, I made a decision not to carry on with the 5:2 diet that I'd been doing for most of May (I'd just concluded my fourth week of 5:2 on that Friday).  For those of you that don't know, the 5:2 diet involves two days of eating 500 calories, and the rest of the week you eat normally (and preferably healthily!) The chart in my 5:2 book said that for my height and weight I should be eating 477 calories, which is what I'd aimed for as normal on that last Friday when I had a 'fast day'.  That day I was on dog walking duty, so I got up and walked Bodhi for about 40 mins (about two miles I think).  I usually saved my calories for lunch and dinner so I skipped breakfast and had three ricecakes with light Philadelphia for lunch.  I'd had quite a busy day at work and where I work our site is spread out over six or seven buildings so I do spend a fair amount of the day on my feet.  By the time I picked up Tom from work that afternoon I was so hungry and weak that I could barely talk, and felt distracted, grumpy and tired. Our plans were to go shopping and then go and do a food shop and I found myself walking around the shopping centre in a bit of a daze, avoiding talking as my brain couldn't catch up and I could barely summon the energy.  By about 6pm when we went into Asda to do a food shop my blood sugar was so low I was genuinely afraid I was going to faint; I felt like my knees were going to give way beneath me.  I mentioned on Twitter that I was feeling really faint and got a great tip to buy some ice lollies, as they would give me a bit of sugar, and, still dedicated to the 5:2 cause at this point, were only 40 calories.  I felt a little better after an ice lolly and a Diet Coke but went to bed that night feeling a little shaken, and cross with myself that I'd caused it to happen.

The next morning I could barely drag myself out of bed, I felt totally lethargic and energy-less.  I'd planned to go for a long run but just getting out of bed felt like a huge task! I had the instant realisation that 5:2 was not for me - I wrote in my last health and fitness update that I'd been obsessing over what I'd eaten, counting calories and feeling guilty all the time, and that, coupled with feeling exhausted and unable to do exercise, made me realise that this new routine was not making a positive contibution to my life.  My priority has always been to feel happy and healthy - that, over any number on the scale or waist measurement or dress size is what is most important, and 5:2 was making me feel neither of these.  This isn't to say that it might not work for others, and please don't think I'm telling people not to do it if it's working for you (or you think it might) - it's just that it's not the right diet for a Rosie that is on her feet a lot, is enjoying exercise and can't avoid doing physical activity (which is what is recommended on fast days).


Because I do want to be more fit and toned (and lose a bit of weight in a healthy way), I felt like I was back to the drawing board in terms of getting into a routine that would help me meet my goals.  I realised however that what I'd been really missing in May with 5:2 was having the energy to do more exercise, and I thought that stepping up the exercise could be what's needed to help me kick start my weight loss again. As Roisin said when I was chatting on Twitter about a new approach - "Exercise makes me feel good, but restrictive diets make me feel guilty all the time". Her advice really resonated with me and I knew that stepping up my running and other exercise would help me get into a better frame of mind where I wasn't obsessing about food all of the time. When I do have a treat or snack on something that isn't massively healthy, if I'm not exercising I get really angry with myself, but if I know I've been for a long run that morning I feel like I can shrug it off, so it's definitely a better frame of mind for me to be in.

I started last weekend in earnest with two long walks and a run and felt so much better for it.  I've decided that if May was a month of dieting and calorie restricting, June is going to be a month of exercise and making good choices. I've logged the exercise I've done this week in my diary, and I've also been wearing my FitBit Flex to log my steps, km walked, calories burned and how many 'very active minutes' I've had (time running or fast walking, though this isn't always accurate).

Monday -  5 mile walk (1h 10m 'Very active')
Tuesday - 3.6 mile run (5.8km), 3 mile walk (1h 40m 'Very active')
Wednesday - 20min kettlebell workout (5m 'Very active')
Thursday - 3 mile walk (40m 'Very Active)
Friday - 3.6 mile run (5.8km), 7.8 mile cycle ride, 10 min kettlebell workout (1h 'Very Active')
Saturday - 10k walk (1h 30m 'Very Active')

I was given a gift card for Lululemon Athletica a few weeks ago and I feel it may be the start of a very expensive habit now! I bought a running t-shirt and running leggings and now I don't want to wear anything else whilst running, they are so comfortable and well-made.  The leggings have a pocket at the back (it is sweat resistant, very clever!) so I can stash my phone whilst running which is awesome as I don't have to run in a running jacket or gilet anymore (I hate bumbags and armbands). It's so nice being able to run in a t-shirt or a vest in the warmer weather.

 LuluLemon Running Gear

I'm already feeling happier and better after a week of exercise than I would have done after a weekend of counting calories and weighing myself every day.  I expectantly took my measurements on Friday hoping there may have been some kind of loss but I know really it's too early to expect that (as the measuring tape confirmed!) I'm now only weighing myself once a week which I think is going to be much better for me and will hopefully stop the scales-induced guilt.  I haven't lost anything this week but it's still early days and I know that when you're exercising more the scales aren't always the best indicator.  I'm unnoficially doing 'Juneathon' (exercise every day in June) and I've also been doing the 30 Day Ab Challenge so here's to abs of steel by July - ha!

I've mentioned my FitBit Flex, which you can see on my wrist above, which has been really helpful for motivating me these last couple of weeks.  I'm excited to also now be roadtesting the Polar Loop to track my daily activity, so I'll be reviewing that over the next few weeks once I've put it through its paces!

I hope you've all had a great start to June - I massively appreciate your support and feedback on these posts so if you feel that way inclined do share your advice and thoughts with me, and let me know how you're getting on with your health and fitness goals.


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12 comments

  1. Lululemon stuff is amazing.... Went to one of their shops in America and bought LOADS. It is brilliant gear and yep, once you buy from there you're hooked! It is also supposed to make u look great while ur exercising!

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  2. Well you know how much I think you are doing the right thing here! Health and fitness that leads to you feeling miserable misses the point for me, just trust your body and it will respond. I can't wait to do a huge workout clothing shop after the baby is born, love the t-shirt!

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  3. I've never tried the 5:2 diet, mainly because it just doesn't sounds healthy to starve yourself 2 days a week! Being healthy is a lifestyle, and if you want a treat, then just try to be more active to compensate. Everything in moderation. I have massive respect for how active you are, I never have to motivation to drag myself out for a run! Your running gear is nice, love the headscarf x

    Sarah// A Sunday Smile

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  4. Lulemon stuff always looks ace! I think exercising is the way to go, I get far too obsessed with calories and numbers if I start doing that!

    Maria xxx

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  5. I actually kept putting off trying the 5:2 diet because I knew there was no way I'd be able to make it through long, active days on 500 calories! It's just ridiculous. I think it's important more people are honest about the real effect these diets have on everyday lives though, it's just not worth it to keep augmenting the emotional worth we place on food! xxx
    Lucy @ La Lingua Italy

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  6. Looking good!!!

    Would you like to follow? Let me know & I follow right back!

    Kiss,
    PERONALBLOG|G+|BLOGLOVIN’|FACEBOOK|INSTAGRAM

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  7. I've heard about the 5:2 diet and I've always been cynical about it as it doesn't sound like a healthy lifestyle choice and isn't sustainable in the long term.

    Morag x
    moadore.co.uk

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  8. Keep going Rosie! It's all about how you feel, and in comparison with my relatively sedentary lifestyle your active approach is AMAZING, totes inspirational. I don't think I could do 5:2 either, I'm too full of beans! <3 Claire @ Jazzpad

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  9. Good for you to realise that the 5:2 wasn't for you, I don't think I could do it! It's so inspiring reading about how motivated you are and I'm totally looking forward to more updates! I'm doing the 30 day shred right now and am trying to eat better, but I definitely don't want to restrict myself completely from the foods I love. Good luck with your progress Rosie! x

    What Rachael Wrote

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  10. It's good that you decided to stop 5:2 diet. I can't imagine how i could anyone stay on only 500 calories all day and go to work and do everything in his normal life.i don't think that is healthy to stay hungry 2 days in a week. Good for you that started running it will give you more results :)
    End of tenancy cleaning in Wimbledon

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  11. Kudos to you for keeping up with the 5:2 for so long - I couldn't even do it for a week. Have you tried the Slimming World 'diet' ? I've been doing it for a year, and have seen the weight fall off and stay off. I've only lost 1 stone 4lbs, but that's 1 stone 4lbs more than if I hadn't started. It encourages eating lots of fruit and veg, carbs (!!) and the odd treat here and there. It's so sustainable as I'm never hungry, can still go out for meals, and still enjoy a drink or two. I go to class, but you can find all the information to get started on their website. I haven't counted a single calorie since I started... xxx

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  12. When the 5:2 diet came out it made me so angry - encouraging a ridiculous, unhealthy diet which involves essentially starving yourself - it's so dangerous. Of course everyone would get obsessed with calories and restricting. It's just awful.

    I was gifted a Lululemon giftcard but just can't bring myself to choose something, it's all so £££! Although I've heard that their leggings are brilliant. I'm tempted by one of the jackets, they look pretty nice. I've also been doing the 30 day ab challenge, and am loving it so far! Not looking forward to the final few days but can already seen the difference so am looking forward to seeing the results at the end of the month.

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Thank you in advance for your lovely comments, they mean the world to me! If you have a question or want to get in touch, tweet me at @rosieoutlook.