Thursday, 26 September 2013

Getting heathy to feel happy update two....

So it's been early a month since I posted the original post about joining a gym and eating healthier in the pursuit of happiness, energy, and also to get a bit toned and healthier!
It's been six weeks since I started to go to the gym, and the changes have been noticeable all around, I feel more energetic, usually after a workout so no matter how tired I feel once I've hit the gym I've woken up and feel more perky than if I'd stayed in bed an extra hour.
I still feel more positive and except for maybe the occasional half hour once or twice in that time I haven't felt the usual depression kick in and instead seem to resolve myself to deciding to change things for the better, kick some arse, and not give up.

It hasn't all been easy sailing, I've been keeping track of how many calories I'm burning only to ensure I'm eating enough to level it out and stop my body from freaking out and storing weight but it's been a lot harder than I expected to find enough to eat while not resorting to junk food! 
I'm reading up a lot on healthy eating and exercises so hopefully I'll figure it out and it will get easier with time. But on a vegan diet I shall never give up my carbs!
I've also experienced the odd moment of water retention which goes away after a few days but means you push a little harder worrying that the toning affect is wearing off.

The worse thing recently though would be tearing a stomach muscle during a workout, it's a lot more painful than I expected and it forced me to take it easy at a time I didn't want to but with that happening on the Monday, I was filming with fellow cabaret folk for the upcoming cabariot video the next day, dancing in a club Thursday, and had four shows in one day on the Saturday! 
Luckily after a week I was back to normal and could start to resume where I had left off. 

This photo is after two weeks of working out regularly, my stomach had already started to tone and my body shifting all it's lumps around. 

This is now, after six weeks I've started to develop some muscle, my waist has started to nip in again and the "love handles" are shrinking. 
I'm working on my core, thighs, and arms a lot and seem to be gaining strength, better balance and a better posture. I still have a way to go yet but the change has become noticeable and had many comments from people I've known a long time.

I want to keep my curves so don't worry I'll never get super skinny or muscley, in fact part of the reason was to gain some weight and although my weight goes up and down each day I've gained nearly a stone in weight, from unhealthy underweight 7 stone to nearly hitting 8 stone in only six weeks.
My stamina has improved (not like that, dirty minders..!) but to explain exactly how unhealthy I was before when I started going to the gym a minute and a half of running on the treadmill would lead to a stitch and I would have to stop. After building it up slowly I can now do ten minutes of running without any pains, shortness of breath or stitches at all. It doesn't sound like much I know but for me it is a huge improvement as I've never been able to run without these problems since I was a child! 

I received so many messages, with support or saying how it inspired them so thanks everyone who got in touch, read the previous and this blog post, and for all the kind words over these past few weeks!

Wednesday, 18 September 2013

How getting older makes me feel like a teen....

I'm currently tucked up in bed cuddling a hot water bottle, and no not for the reasons you may be assuming but because of pushing myself too hard at the gym, and managing to tear a stomach muscle. it's rather irritating and fairly painful but also served as a lovely reminder that I'm not indestructible and that I'm also getting older...
I know I'm not that old yet, before anyone starts up reminding me I'm yet to hit thirty, or forty, or have any kids yet etc but the past year has bought about some strange, fairly frustrating and fairly odd body changes that no one warned me about.

I've spoken to many friends and family about it all who may be a little older than me and understand exactly what I'm talking about though I didn't have a clue till it started to happen to me. 
I hit a second puberty, in my late 20's. 

My body tried different weights again, shooting it up and down before finally resting on the shape I'm hoping it sticks with for a while. There were some good points, my boobs grew and changed shape to something I much preferred to their previous incarnation. It was like I received a free and painless boob job, and my "new boobs" seem still to get slightly bigger every passing week. 
This I could get in board with, I had absolutely no problem with this as someone who had previously been considering a boob job but feared the surgery and the costs.

There were also bad points however, mainly to my skin which started to resemble my teenage terrible skin trauma, but instead of suffering me with spots seem to settle on some under the surface red discolouration which looked like it could be spots or scars from acne but wasn't. Instead it was something I couldn't really do anything about at all!
I tried exfoliating, different moisturisers, changed my products repeatedly but settled onto having to apply more make up to hide them as they made me feel rather embarrassed and as someone who still gets regularly questioned for ID (even in clubs I may be dancing in!) I worried they made me actually look like a teenager once again.

The strangest thing I felt about this wasn't the teenage skin, the growing boobs as that's probably more monitored by my other half than me, or the change in figure but that when mentioning it to others of the same or slightly older age as me they knew exactly what I meant, went through it themselves, or still were and it was talked about in such an abrupt yeah that's what it is kind of a way.
But when talking about it to anyone yet to even hit their mid twenties they didn't understand what I was talking about and I worried I was being a scary oracle of the future to them. "You're boobs will grow and you'll hate your skin again, ooooohhhhh!!!" 
This makes me wonder why there was no warning, no tips, no advice, even google doesn't come up with any tips! So here I am going to share some things that have helped me in this second puberty of mine.

1. Get a pot of Lush's Dark Angels face wash, after a year of trying to hide the bad skin which stayed in the same area for over a year (!?!) which changed shades of angry to angrier red using this face was has actually started to fade the discolouration. It will still take a while to disappear completely but with the amount of products and things I tried this is the only one to have made a difference. 
It's inexpensive, vegan, natural, and works, but it is Charcoal black, doesn't rinse of brilliantly and you will find bits of its naturalness has stayed glued to your hairline and neck. 

2. Enjoy your new boobs, I treated myself to new lingerie after finding I'd gained two extra inches (the main change was on the shape so my older bras still fit fine, I just fill them better!) and enjoyed finally having cleavage, a more pleasant shape, and more to play with. Girls play with their own boobs, it's a thing, move on.

3. Don't freak out as your body decides to try and morph into new shapes, it usually just leads to fuller curves as it tries to remind you of your purpose to have children. Bigger boobs and hips? Really subtle body. But that process for me passed very quickly.

4. Talk to your friends and family, it would seem most of them have been there too and while you won't really get tips on now to deal with it, it does help to know you're not the only one and its actually pretty amusing as a conversation topic.

5. Lets all talk about this more, it's so common yet how did I not know it was going to come along? Women's body's go through many hormonal changes but I only knew of three...puberty, pregnancy and menopause. But why there is no information or openness about these in between changey times? Lets not keep it all secret, it's life, it happens, it's not embarrassing or worth hiding so lets relive our youths while we all age a bit....! Hurrah!!