I know it has been a long time since I last posted.
However, I do have a good reason! Since my last post, I have spent pretty much my entire waking life revising for my final qualification at work. I have succeeded in this, and can now spend a little more time relaxing and sorting myself out!
I have set myself back up, got into the mindset and have also taken time to rejoin Weight Watchers. While healthy eating is common sense, having the requirement to track each week and to write down everything I eat does make a difference! I have seen results before on WW, so hope they can help me again!
It may appear that over the last few weeks, I have ‘lost my way’ in regards to running. This is partially correct. I have found myself feeling a lot more “satisfied” from weights workouts, whereas my running workouts are often cut short by my lack of fitness.
I have found I can go for longer weight training, build up the same energy and see more progress. Conversely, while running, I don’t know whether this is because I am currently treadmill training, but I find myself bored quickly, clock watching and annoyed at my body’s inability to do what I want it to do.
This is why I am aiming to take my running outdoors over the next week. The difference in environment, the obstacles, undulating terrain and fresh air should definitely help in making it a lot more enjoyable. Reading this POP Sugar article, there are a few points to help enjoy running, which I actually want to do! Fuelling, hydrating, being realistic and being entertained all take away aspects which can harm enjoyment. I can manage these quite well, especially the entertainment side, with my meticulously selected playlist in combination with Zombies! Run!
Time for a quick update on my own training as it seems like a while since I managed to.
Last night, first night shift of my cycle, got in to work early and got to know the free weights. I am au fait with the weight machines, both in work and Bannatynes, but have always been a little bit afraid of messing around with the big boy toys. As it was nice and quiet (private gym, anyone?), I took a little time, and spent the lion’s share of my workout on weights. Don’t get me wrong, I still did a fair bit on the machines, but this was more to ensure that I didn’t miss anything out, as my knowledge of free weights is poor.
I also managed to set my benchmark for each of the exercises, giving myself something to aim for each time.
I warmed up, got my weights on, and warmed down on the step machine, before stretching out. Today… I hurt. Legs, which until now, I have classed as being stupidly strong due to carrying my excess-ness, hurt the most. Maybe the squats managed to do something! Shoulders, back and arms ache. The only parts which really got away with it were my chest and stomach. So that tells me where I need to work harder on!
I know it seems counter-intuitive for a guy who has a distance to run in November to focus on weight training rather than running. However, I personally feel that my biggest barrier to success on the track is my weight. If I can lose that, things will become quickly more straightforward, and I can actually enjoy my running workouts. Also, my legs will become a lot stronger due to deadlifting, and with stronger upper body I will encounter less fatigue from arm movements while running.
So win-win! I can lose weight faster (with a big change to my diet), build up strength and increase my chances of success! I have no plans to ditch the running workouts completely (after all, it is what I am working towards!), but I may increase my High Intensity Interval Training to work on speed.
My main reason for changing my way of life, adding in exercise and committing to self improvement is my need to lose weight. As I have read more and more about what I need to do, I have realised that although exercise is important, nay, necessary, it is not the prime factor involved in weight loss.
Time to throw a bit of maths around. I realise that these theoretical numbers are solely existent in a calculation, but they do provide a good comparison.
To start, lets look at what I eat in a day (calorie wise)
Breakfast – 1040 cal
4x Crumpets – 960 cal
3x Tbsp low fat spread – 80 cal
Lunch– 747 cal
3x Slices bread – 264 cal
2x Tbsb low fat spread – 54 cal
1x Tbsp light mayo – 90 cal
5x Slices thin ham – 175 cal
1x Pack crisps – 95 cal
1x Chocolate biscuit – 69 cal
Dinner – 1,003 cal
150g Steamed rice – 540 cal
2x Chicken breast – 256 cal
1/2 Jar curry sauce – 116 cal
1 Tbsp Sunflower Oil – 91 cal
Total Daily – 2797
Assuming that most days, this will be greater – round up to 3,000 (including snacks). I have taken a single day to extrapolate. All calorie counts taken from Calorie Counter.
Weekly Total – 21,000
Now, taking a look at what is burnt, I have used the Basal Metabolic Rate (BMR) calculator and it states that I currently burn 2259.32 calories per day, or 15,815.24 per week.
Add on to that my exercise total of approximately 2300 per week, I have a total of 18,115.24 calories burnt per week.
I know that this does not account for any incidental exercise, such as walking to the shops, walking up and down stairs, dancing or playing with my son, but does that account to just under 3000 calories per week?
I am currently showing an excess of 2884.76 calories per week. Again, using the BMR Calculator, I know that a deficit of 3,500 calories is equivalent to roughly 1lb of weight. The calculation isn’t great, as it shows that I should still be putting on weight, where I am actually losing. I think this is a combination of me overestimating my daily calorific intake, and the calculation underestimating my BMR (I have quite a lot of muscle mass due to carrying me around).
However, the point behind this post is clear. Of your weekly calorific burn, and in comparison to your intake, exercise really isn’t worth a lot. It can be enough to earn a drink, or a dessert, but is not the be all and end all to weight loss. True sustainable weight loss comes from developing a clear eating and exercise plan, and sticking to it.
Just as an aside…. If you burn 400 calories running, you have earnt…: