Tuesday, 23 December 2014

Week 12! Time for mince pies.

Week 12

Carrying the tree home feeling like Arnie in Commando.
So this it it, 12 Weeks done! Still doing my best for the 12th week but this close to Christmas there's going to be blips in the program, there's definitely been a few Quality Street floating around.  Spending most of my free time usually at the gym or at home makes the diet easy enough but lots of late nights out this week in the party spirit makes it hard. Here's the off-plan seasonal damage done in the lead up to Christmas.  Usually I'd be drunk this whole week, obviously.

Monday: Work Christmas do, cinema and dinner - 2 beers, gluten free but HUGE meal at Big Easy (some chips nicked from the next plate), also dessert.  Not a great start.
Tuesday: Screening of Ex Machina at the BFI - 1 beer.  Check this film out when it comes out next year.  Wow.
Wednesday: Ginger's birthday gig - No beers (Most years I have a colossal hangover the morning after this gig, result!).
Thursday: Christmas movie double bill of Gremlins & Die Hard - brought healthy snacks from home.
Friday: A needed night in and a chance to do some exercise, 50 lengths at the pool.
Saturday: Meshuggah gig. 2 beers. Not very a very Christmassy band it's true, possibly should have gone to see The Pogues again.

Note: I wrote the days in my blogger last week and filled in each day as I went expecting this week to get messy. It didn't go nearly as bad as I thought it might, partially because I knew I'd have to write my discretions down here.  Just goes to show that a bit of accountability goes a long way.

Not been in the gym as much as I'd like due to all this. Even slept through my early morning Wednesday weights session, gutted. I was all ready to go to my usual early Friday session too but the gym was closed due to the 12 Rounds Christmas shindig on Thursday night, a fine example! (and completely understandable).  Oh well, just show as much self control as possible to make up for it.

I always put a song in the opening of each blog.  I'm part of a music playlist group on Facebook so this week rather than one song here's my albums of the year (with track links) from that group on the off chance anyone's interested

1. Ginger Wildheart - Albion
2. Ginger Wildheart - G.A.S.S. 
3. Run the Jewels - Run the Jewels 2
4. Anaal Nathrakh - Desideratum
5. The Interrupters - The Interrupters
6. Job For a Cowboy - Sun Eater
7. Mastodon - Once More 'Round the Sun 
8. Killer Be Killed - Killer Be Killed
9. Devin Townsend - Z2
10. Bloodbath - Grand Morbid Funeral

Also, not a new album as such but the Guardians of the Galaxy Soundtrack CD has probably spent more time in our home stereo than anything this year, so much fun,

So that's it!  It's been 12 weeks on the 12 Rounds Boxing transformation program and where I don't exactly feel like a beautiful butterfly emerging from it's blubbery chrysalis the difference is notable.  13 weeks ago I was miserable, feeling huge and in a lot of pain.  Now most of the pain has gone or at least is much more manageable, I'm sleeping much better, I'm fitter & stronger, feeling positive, motivated and most importantly for the first time I'm starting to gain a real understanding of why I feel different, what I need to continue to do and what's required to take it up a step.

We had a session at the gym on Saturday that counted as the official end of the program.  Went out on a high with another personal best deadlift (140kg) and a decent boxing class followed by watching some sparring in Santa hats, my weigh in and final measurements (38lbs lost in total) and a long sit down with Kat to reflect on the last 12 weeks on camera.   Video coming in the new year.

This 12 week program might have started as a self-contained course but in reality it's been a primer. Starting 1st January I'm going to count out another 12 weeks and do it all again, but step it up, I'm feeling better than ever and just getting started.  Thanks to Laura and Femma who have been on the course with me and have been a great source of support and motivation both on line and in the gym and HUGE thanks to Kat who got me off the sofa in the first place, made me want to get in better shape and who can take the lion's share of the credit.  And indeed thanks to the whole crew at 12 Rounds Boxing who have always been brilliantly supportive.

So...  before and afters as promised in week 1.  Pictures on the left were taken on the 1st October and pictures on the right are from 20th December.  No I've not grown 4 inches, blame Diana's photo skills.

This makes me deeply uncomfortable, so no making fun of my Moobs.

Still have a way to go, but not a bad start I think.  Hope you all have a great end to the year, relax, enjoy yourselves, don't get too fat and hit the ground running in 2015.

Here's a cat showing incredible tolerance for a doucebag tortoise.

I'm going to go put my feet up for a week.

Follow me on twitter @savageless
Or instagram.com/savagelessx

Check out the brand new 12 Rounds Boxing website here
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Twitter @12_roundsboxing

Tuesday, 16 December 2014

Damage Control

Week 11

Or Week 11 and a half. I'm late I know, I do try and do these every week but with the festive season kicking in and Diana and I going to Amsterdam for the middle of last week my days are all over the place.  Here's this week's festive blog reading music, enjoy!

Amsterdam. You beautiful bastard.
Amsterdam was a pre Christmas break perfect for Diana's voracious appetite for museums and mine for Dutch apple cake.  This might not have been great for the diet, I'm going to justify it by saying I've been saving up most of my cheat days for the last 10 weeks, plus we had fun, and there were lots of cats, and we got lots of exercise walking about the city. In fact that's bollocks, I don't need to justify it, just know that diet-based misdeeds occurred (see left).

Work parties used to be drunker that this
At least it's low carb.
Getting home from the break my ankle hurt from walking cobbled streets for 3 days so stayed away from the gym and went swimming, got to do what you body tells you and I know I've got to do what I can to offset the damage done while away and the damage that's bound to happen at Christmas which means making good choices in the gaps.  Which means at the time of writing there's 9 days left 'till Christmas and many of those days are filled with  goings on - dinner out with my girls from work, festive trips to the Prince Charles Cinema to see Trading Places, Die Hard & Gremlins, all Chrimbo classics (Christmas wouldn't be Christmas in our house without a visit the PCC) a couple of gigs including the annual, amazing Ginger Wildheart's birthday bash and last but by no means least, Diana's birthday! I'm even too busy to get to 12 Rounds Boxing for the Christmas Social.

So where these events are invariably going to include rich food and a degree of boozing and I'm certainly going to indulge (I just am) it's again about making good choices in the gaps.  There will likely be beer had at the Ginger gig - it's an annual year end pissup - but that doesn't mean I'll be having all the beers and greasy sandwich to help the next morning as I may have done previous years.  Busy evenings and a sore ankle are keeping more out of the gym more than I'll so make up for it by getting to swim before work or doing something at home.   Meals out tend to be filled with temptations and harder to make healthy choices, (especially when we're heading out somewhere special like this for Di's birthday!) so I'm making sure my other meals at home or work are on point, can't let it slip on all fronts even if I'm going to a little on one front.

Gluten free almond pancakes, fruit and Greek yogurt.  
Lean protein, green veg, low GI carb.  Feckin' outstanding dinner.

 It's important to be realistic.  I'm not going to enjoy this holiday period eating the same way I have for the last 11 weeks but I am going to go right back to that way of eating on New Years Day, the gaps between the indulgences until then are going to be healthier than ever and I'm even going to keep getting off the sofa over the next couple of weeks and get the exercise in when I can.  Next week is week 12 of the 12 Week Transformation....   can't let it all go to pot now!

Thanks for reading, here's a couple of Dutch cats as your reward

Living exhibits at the Cat Museum www.kattenkabinet.nl

Shi Shi joined us at our table for dinner.

Follow me on twitter @savageless
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Check out the brand new 12 Rounds Boxing website here
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Twitter @12_roundsboxing

Wednesday, 3 December 2014

Work harder! Take a load off.

Week 10

Here's this week's blog reading music.  Guardians of the Galaxy came out on BluRay this week so myself and Diana sat down to watch it again like the utter geeks we are and this song's been filling the house ever since (My ipod on the other hand sounds a bit more like this this week, not really blog reading music for most of you I'm sure but one of my albums of 2014).

Doesn't feel like it's been the most successful week this week.  My shoulder problem from earlier this year has been giving me a bit of grief and I turned my wrist over in an awkward way hitting the bags so that's been hurting too, plus a few other aches and pains.  Nothing horrendous but things that get in the way of working hard in the gym the way I'd like too.  I know my trainer, Kat from 12 Rounds, has been dealing with similar frustrations and she's making a real effort to pay attention to her body and do what's right for it, so I'm doing the same.

As ever, the cat leads the way in relaxation techniques.
I have an chronic problem with my Achilles tendon due to the fact that years ago I tore it while running and never got it seen to, I only found out what I'd done to it when I had an MRI this year and it turns out that's really not the kinda thing to just work through, so now I can basically never run. A year ago a pain in my body when training meant I should grit my teeth and make it through the exercise/round/session and that approach ended up with me eventually on the sofa, miserable, in pain and hardly able to move.

These days I'm making an effort to have a different approach and recognise the difference between something being difficult (WORK HARDER!) and something not being right with my body (STOP NOW!) and also the difference between being lazy and just not going to the gym and taking time off for a few days to rest when it's needed.  It's not easy when you automatically find yourself behaving in ways you always have but recognising you're doing it is half the problem.

The Prince Charles, home from home.
In that spirit I took the weekend off the gym and a friend and I went along to the wonderful  Prince Charles Cinema for a John Carpenter all-nighter on Saturday night.  Great fun and I swapped the M&Ms, fizzy drinks and popcorn we usually survive on at these nights for dried fruit, nuts and protein bars but skipping a whole Saturday night's sleep and hitting the caffeine when you've mostly given it up do not help when it comes to getting your already worn out self into the gym on Monday morning.  Sitting on one's arse for close to 11 hours while you're supposed to be sleeping is not really that restful it turns out.

Only a couple of pounds lost again this week but as long as it's not going up it's still a win. Still, got another personal best deal lift of 125kg.

Thanks for reading.  As a reward here's some home baking instant hedghogs

Work colleagues being supportive as ever.  I've not had one.

Follow me on twitter @savageless
Or instagram.com/savagelessx

Check out the brand new 12 Rounds Boxing website here
12 Rounds Facebook page
Twitter @12_roundsboxing