Monday, October 20, 2014

New Beginnings

Well, I’ve done it.   I have signed up for a new round of 12WBT.  It’s something I walked away from a couple of years back – after completing six rounds, I was the fittest I’d ever been and felt amazing.

Then life through a whirlwind of a couple of years at me.  I was plagued with a number of health issues.  I was being emotionally abused by a friend.  My anxiety levels rose to the point I was in constant pain.  I’m not here to share a sob story though; I’m here to share my progress, my positivity and my goals.

2014 has been the year I have spent healing myself.  Healing my mental health.  Removing poisonous influences in my life.  Investing in myself.  And now I’m ready to get fit and healthy again on the outside.

This is actually a hard blog post to write because I’m not really sure where I want to go with it so I’m just going to start with setting some goals and hopefully over the next 12 weeks this blog will evolve into something coherent and into something that might help someone else too.

Goal 1: A few weeks ago I set myself a goal to run 200kms before Summer starts.  After a few false starts I’m proud to say I’m 43km in and am on track to make this goal by 30 November 2014.  I set this goal initially, because despite being a longer distance runner in the past, over this year my running dwindled back in both in frequency – from 3 times a week down to once, if that – and in distance.  My maintenance distance went from 9-10km back to about 5-6km.  Naturally, my headspace still told me I was a runner, and I ate like one, despite not really running all that much as all in comparison to 2011-2013 me.  So yes, the weight came creeping back on.

So I set this goal as a way to increase my running, get really tidy with that nutrition and of course, lose some of that weight I foolishly kid myself I wasn’t gaining.

Which leads me to Goal 2:

I don’t like to make weight based goals, but you know what, it’s about time I did.  It’s not a time based goal, but I figured if I could lose 10kg to start with my clothes will finally fit again (oh how depressing it is to have a cupboard full of pretty things that won’t zip up).  Running will get easier.  I’ll feel good.  I find 10kg as a thought overwhelming, so for now I’m going to break it into increments.  My first goal was to just get hit less than 90kg, which I have done and I have maintained for over a week now.  Yes, I really did gain a lot of weight, sigh.  I didn’t want to really put it out there, but it’s time to be honest.  So the next goal is to reach 85kg. 

I’ve achieved a lot this year, so I’m feeling like I’m in a really good position to give this round a red hot go.  For those clicking through from the 12wbt site, welcome!! Please feel free to follow me on Twitter @nikkimaloo – I’m pretty active on there, so if this blog drops off you’ll know where to find me!

Thanks for reading, and I look forward to sharing the next 12 (and a bit) weeks with you!

Thursday, June 6, 2013

Week 2,3 & 4 Round Up plus 50 Days No Sugar - the Aftermath!

Hi everyone!

I've been meaning to blog for weeks now, but study, training, work and life pretty much kept me on my toes and suddenly a few weeks have passed and I have a million things to catch up on.

Firstly, running training is going great.  My pace is picking up little by little and I've even got my longer runs in over the past few weeks.  Also started a new boot camp which focuses on skipping, shuttle runs and boxing - so happy to be punching stuff again!  My strength training has dropped right off though, so this week's goal is to do 2 x strength sessions.

I've lost 3kg over the past 4 weeks too, so I'm really pleased about that!

50 Days No Sugar ended not last Tuesday but the Tuesday before.  I have to say I am really pleased I stuck with it.  It really did help me beat the hold sugar has on me, and now it's under control - while I will allow sugar in my diet - I will be very mindful of how much I am eating, especially when it comes to hidden sugar in processed foods.  I may even do this again once I finish this round of 12WBT.  There were certainly a lot of benefits that were very noticeable - better sleep, stable moods, not feeling hungry all the time, no mid-afternoon slump just to name a few - all very worthwhile rewards!

This week's 12WBT challenge is to get to bed early.  I never feel like I entirely catch up on my sleep debt, so I'm taking this on.  Social Networking curfew from 8.30pm and then in bed with a book and lights out by 9.30 sharp.  This is possible most nights except Wednesday when I have a film preview to attend with Jake, but with careful planning that night I can be in bed by 10.30am.  I'm interested to see what (potentially) 9 hours sleep instead of 6 hours sleep will have.

Anyway, I'll keep this post short as I have a billion things to do today - thanks for reading!!

Happy Friday to you,
Nikki x

Monday, May 20, 2013

Week 1 Round Up

So..  Week 2 is already upon us and I haven’t even had a chance to blog about Week 1!

Honestly, it wasn’t a great week for me because I was still recovering from a bout of laryngitis and despite going to bed every night hopeful I’d be well enough by the next morning to run, I really didn’t have the energy – or the ability to stop coughing for more than five minutes at a time – until Friday.  I laced on my sneakers and took off for my first run in two weeks – 8kms later and I felt amazing.  It was slower than usual, but I was really happy with it.  I’m still so amazed that my body can just go out and run 8km on a whim if I want to.

One of my local running paths - love that you can find these
little pockets of green in the inner city!
Nutrition on the other hand, was spot on.  I lost 900 grams for weigh in one.  Very happy with that and looking forward to seeing what tomorrow’s weigh in brings.

On another note, I’m now 44 days in 50 Days No Sugar.  Wow, I can’t believe it’s been this long.  I won’t deny, there are still days where I’d love something sugary to eat but it’s rare and it’s pretty easy to resist now.  I think I’ll keep going on minimising my sugar intake wherever possible after the 50 days are over.  The benefits have been really worth this little experiment.  I think it’s also helped me nail my nutrition through the first week of 12WBT too.

Now Week 2 is here, I might put my training goals out there to remain accountable. 
Monday: Cardio interval training (done)
Tuesday: Boxing Boot Camp
Wednesday: 8km Fartlek Run
Thursday: Strength
Friday: 8km Run
Saturday: Strength
Sunday: 16km Run

 I want a throw a Bikram yoga session in there somewhere, but I’m not sure where I can fit it in with all my other non-training commitments this week, it might have to form part of my SSS.

 Anyway, that’s it from me – thanks so much for reading!

Nikki Maloo x

Saturday, May 11, 2013

Round 2 2013 Pre-Season Tasks

Hi Everyone!

I'm going to keep it brief here, as a lot of what I have worked though I plugged straight into the 12WBT site, but I do want to take the opportunity to put a few things out there.

First lets look at excuses.  Going through them I found the one that popped up the most was being too tired or too busy.  So I'm going to make a commitment to myself right here, right now, to start planning much MUCH better.

I often have evening commitments due to J's work so planning the training in the morning is a no-brainer.  The evening meals are where it starts to get tricky.  But with a bit of extra planning I can work around it, I've made it work in the past previous rounds, I can make it work again.

Next - Goals & Commitments.  I've had a few specific goals I've been working toward for a few months now, and others which as I mentioned, are pretty much just nice ideas.  

Running.  So, starting with my Half Marathon goal - well that's definitely one that's firm and works.  I'll be following my running plan, running three times a week.  The goal is to finish 21.1kms in less than 2:25 minutes at Run Melbourne in July.  

Weight loss.  I try not to make weight loss my goal anymore, but this round I am.  I want to be at a lower weight by Run Melbourne.  I'm going to lose 5kg between now and July 21.  By the end of the round (two weeks after Run Melbourne), I'd be happy to cap it at 6kg down.  

Core strength.  After the finale workout, I was pretty smashed from all the core work and it became very clear this is something I need to work on.  I'm pretty sure I've been saying forever "I have GOT to work on my core strength".  Well, why haven't I?  Exactly.  So this round, I will incorporate at least two core strength exercises into each gym session, and I will back this up with a Bikram yoga session each week.  Once I get into this week's diary (that's next!) I'll find a place to fit it in.  

So I think those are some pretty great goals to work towards.  Only a couple, I'm keeping it simple and achievable, because I don't want the old "Ugh, I've got too much on!!" getting in my way - I'll also be finishing CIV in Health and Fitness, attending MIFF and working during this round!

Anyway.  Kick off is tomorrow!  I'm really excited! 

Thursday, May 9, 2013

I'm still here!!

I have had a really crazy couple of weeks and really haven't had the time to update, but here I am, better late than never!  

There's a few things I want to touch on so I'll try and keep it all brief and then I'll do my darndest to be a little more regular in the blogging department. 

Firstly, Wednesday saw me cap off one whole month sugar free - 30 days into 50 Days No Sugar already!  Some immediately noticeable changes are better sleep, I can handle stress  and anxiety a little better, and - thank goodness! - not constantly thinking about food.  Sometimes I find my stomach rumbling and realise it's lunch time but thinking constantly about when I'll snack and what's next to eat seems to be gone.  I never realised what a heavy load constantly thinking about food is.

Also, over last weekend I attended the 12WBT workout and finale as a plus one and was inspired by the crazy 12WBT machine once again and here I am signing up for my SEVENTH round.  

So I guess I need to have a look at my goals.  One of the things learned in my CIII was that goals need to be very specific, and mine have been quite "negotiable" lately -  some of them are more like nice ideas than measurable goals.  So a new post to follow over the weekend with some 12WBT specific goals.

Also, got what I thought was my CIII done - and passed everything! - to find I'd missed a whole module!  I was pretty upset to be honest, but there is nothing I can so but get on with the job.  So over the next few weeks I'll charging my way through the left over work so I can finish my CIV on campus.  I'm pretty excited about it to be honest!

Anyway, I'll leave it there, because there is bound to be a couple more posts this weekend as I work through my 12WBT pre-season tasks.

Onward, onward, onward!

Sunday, April 14, 2013

One Week Sugar Free


So when my head hit the pillow tonight I'll be concluding my first week of being sugar free as part of my 50 Days No Sugar challenge.  That's certainly a milestone so I thought I'd do a quick round up of my findings.

Sleeping better - BIG bonus.  Sleep is so important to me at the moment because it really effects my ability to cope and my state of well being.  So being sugar free has already paid off, on that point alone.

My moods have been less of a roller coaster, and I'm not getting that mid-afternoon slump quite as severely.  I still feel tired, but I make a cup of peppermint tea and it seems to perk me back up and I'm fine for the rest of the day.  

I'm hungry all the time!  This isn't anything unusual, but I'm really hanging out for the promised reduced appetite.  This week, since I've been really truly sugar free I have been ravenous!  I stopped counting my calories and just ate when I needed to - go to snacks were pretty much some pistachios or a few slices of chicken I had pre-cooked handy in the fridge.  

Frozen fruit has been pretty much my saviour in the evenings.  I've been cutting mangoes into squares or slicing kiwi fruit and freezing them ahead of time so after dinner when the sugar monster makes an appearance, I grab a small portion from the freezer.  Why have I never done this before?!  Seriously so much flavour - I am converted for life on this one. 

Half a mango, frozen & delicious & only like 60 calories.  
My other big sugary vice was drinking iced tea.  The Liptons ice tea is only about 135 calories for a whole 500mls, so I was being pretty lax with it and drinking it pretty regularly, only a bottle a day but still, when I consider the ingredients are pretty much water, tea and SUGAR, I really was kidding myself that this was ok to drink so often!  I seriously wouldn't have even a portion of that amount of sugar in a cup of normal tea - in fact, I don't take sugar in tea or coffee normally at all.

So now I've done something I really should have done ages ago, and started making my own iced tea - with not a hint of sugar or artificial sweetener.  So good!  This particular one was made using a berry tea with a squeeze of lemon.  Perfect!  

Iced Tea - Sugar Free!
The other big surprise was yoghurt - seriously, I consider yoghurt pretty healthy for a snack or breakfast, and nearly every single brand I looked at had sugar in it!  Finally settled on Jalna yoghurt and adding my own fruit and some nuts and seeds instead of muesli for breakfast.

So now I seem to have  the sugar cravings under control, and my body's constant demand for food seems to have subsided a little, this week I'll be able to ramp my training back up and really tighten things up on the nutrition side.  

I've already written out my nutrition plan, my training for the week is locked in and I'm feeling really positive.  With one week sugar free done and dusted, the next 43 days don't seem as daunting as they did this time last week!

Sunday, April 7, 2013

Trail Mix: Update, Running and Sugar

Hi All,

Well it's been a couple of weeks since I had a moment to blog about everything that's been happening, but since today I commenced a 50 Days No Sugar challenge (found over at PT Natalie Carter's site), I wanted to put it out there to mark the start of this new project.

I'd really been noticing a steady increase in the amount of sugary foods I was eating - without even taking into account the sneaky sugar we get in lots of products we don't even think about - and also noticed it effecting my moods, my energy levels and more than likely, my  sleep and my weight.

I'd been talking a few people about the benefits of kicking the sugar and when I stumbled across #50daysnosugar, I asked for some tips on Facebook and Natalie simply replied "Nikki, do the challenge! Simple- you'll get rid of sugar if you WANT to get rid of sugar." 

And it really is that simple, so I'm in.  I'm not looking at this as a weight loss activity, but more an experiment to see where I'll find myself in 50 days time.  But moreover, I DO want to get rid of the sugar.  I am sick of constantly being on the hunt for something sweet to eat or drink, and having noticed the difference just kicking diet soft drinks has made over the last few months, I decided this was a no brainer and 100% worth doing.

I'm really excited that a few of my gorgeous Twitter friends are also joining me.  I am under no illusion that this will be a challenge, but as someone who generally makes most of their food from scratch, I am feeling quietly confident.  The real challenge is all the extra treats I throw in here and there, which have got completely out of hand.

That aside, a few other quick updates:

Held a "practice" group training session at the end of March - had a ball, and got some great feedback from those who came to train.  I know there are a few things I'll need to improve on but I was really happy with how it went.  

I ran a Tabata session - here's a shot of my group in one of their 10 second breaks.  They worked so hard!!

Just returned from a whirlwind trip to South Australia - had a blast!  The trip was so busy though, I really didn't get a chance to fit in any training other than walking around, a hike through a winery or a dip in the ocean.  Without running or training for 3 days I was feeling so sluggish by last night!  I was pretty glad to be back into it today.

And with that, I think I'll wind it up there because this post is getting lengthy and I really want you all to keep reading!  

Have a great week everyone!

Yours in sugar withdrawals,

Nikki xx