The body awareness

I’d always taken for granted the (limited) things I’m able to do with my body.

But now I’m meeting people who find it hard to do things like isolate their core muscles or sit in a manner that will not hurt their lower back.

Little wonder so many people have back pain – they don’t understand where the pain comes from and keep aggravating it by sitting too long or improper lifting.

Making it a point now to move every 20-30 minutes at work. Stretch, stand up, breathe. Part of it is helped by the iPad actually – it sucks at multi-tasking, forcing me to do one thing at a time. None of the multiple window distractions of my laptop.

I find myself really bone-achingly tired at the end of a day, which is good really. Though my inner thigh muscles and my calves are screaming bloody murder. Have decided that weighing myself will be a weekly affair and not a daily one – it will just depress me to obsesses about scales. Fitness is a long-term goal, not a short one.

Cheated a little by having McDonalds for supper yesterday. Was just really hungry but far too tired to cook. But the weekend’s coming up fast enough, if I let it and then I can cheat all I want.

Day 3:

Breakfast: Bun

Snack: One kuih cincin

Lunch: Rolled oats with fish floss

Dinner: Risotto (shared plate with BFF) and 3 chicken wings

Exercise: 24 minutes of interval training (run/walk alternates)

To Grete Waitz, a running inspiration

Cover of "On the Run: Exercise and Fitnes...

Cover via Amazon

Found out last night the woman whose writing is guiding my running died. Grete Waitz, first winner of the NYC marathon, who ate healthy, lived healthy…

…and died of cancer. At 57. Life is cruel and unfair.

But man, she lived one heck of life in that time. Setting marathon records and even having a race named for her, one just for women. Women athletes found it hard to get ahead at the time but she forged her own path. Women are where they are because people like Waitz blazed ahead to make a way where there wasn’t one.

Learning of her death has actually made me resolve to stick to the 10-week plan she outlines in her book “On the Run: Exercise and Fitness for Busy People”. The goal of the plan is to gradually work up to running 3 miles or roughly 5km at a time.

To be honest, I hate running. Hate, hate, hate. Growing up, I was sickly and badly anemic, easily winded and found running a painful ordeal. But I did have one exception, though. Running on the grass in the early morning just before dawn – that I loved. The feel of grass under my feet, the cool air, the slow arrival of light; there’s a kind of magic for me there that I don’t feel at any other time, in any other place.

But I’d finished up to 3 weeks of Grete’s program before real life got in the way and had dropped weight fairly quickly to 57kg from 61. That was of course along with severe diet modifications.

My goal is simple: to finish Grete’s program. After that, well, we’ll see. I’m not the type who’s keen on marathons and runs as am quite claustrophobic. What I want right now is to get fit after an appallingly sedentary lifestyle for the past six months.

And the fitness update, as always.

Day 2:

Breakfast: Chicken sausage floss bun

Snack: Some kuih

Lunch: Instant noodles – too tired and not hungry enough to prepare/buy food

Snack: Chestnuts (from friend) and cup of tea

Exercise: Beginner’s Back Rx yoga/pilates combo for 20 mins

Wearing the boots from hell – tight boots that required a lot of effort to walk in the 8 mins from home and back.

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Getting physical

Being ill for 2 weeks taught me something – immobility is not fun.

The good bit is I lost weight – my target was to get to 52kg by my birthday (Feb 22) and I had been making slow steady progress – 1 kg or so a month.

So now I have just 4 kg and 3 months to go. My sedentary heart rate is now an uninspiring 90 beats per minute when it used to be a decent 70 or so. Not good.

To figure out your maximum heart rate during exercise, the formula is simple:

205-half your (age in years) = 205 – 16 = 189 for me.

The healthy heart zone = 60-70 percent of MHR (builds heart strength)

Aerobic: 70-80 percent (endurance-building/good for respiratory system)

Anaerobic: 80-90 percent (enhance athletic performance)

Basically I need to work out 3-5 times a week at aerobic level to improve my stamina. 132-151 bpm approximately.

For my first week, will take it slow and push for 20-25 minutes a day, Monday to Friday. Since I’ve been sedentary so long, it won’t be a good idea to push myself too hard starting out. Likely will play it safe and run around the nearby basketball court three times a week and interperse that with yoga/Pilates at home.

Wish me luck!

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Operation New Diet – Day 00

So I’m starting a new diet tomorrow. Of course Greg thinks it’s ludicrous because I’m trying out the Blood Type diet. 

His prescription would require him to eat lots of veg.
Anathema for him since he’s a man who likes his meat, the way I do.
I’m at a nice healthy weight right now so why am I attempting this lifestyle change?
It’s because after reading Live Right for Your Type, I think the plan would make sense for me. Have been constantly fatigued, plagued with stomach problems and weathering my ever-constant-friend, clinical depression.

So it’s important I start looking after myself now. I’m tired of being and looking tired. From what I’ve scoured over the Internet, Type Os like me seem to do particularly well on the diet. Probably due to it cutting out things I have problems with digesting, such as gluten products and dairy.

Basically, I can eat red meat, certain vegetables and fruits, oily fish but must avoid gluten or wheat, pork, potatoes, tomatoes, sour fruits like oranges and strawberries.  Oh, and no dairy.
I do love me some whole milk and cheese but my body doesn’t love me for it. Have always preferred red meat and had an aversion to most of the ‘avoid’ foods on the list. It also encourages me to eat romaine lettuce, which I love as well as root vegetables such as carrots.
No coffee, chocolate or alcohol either. Bummer.

The hardest thing about the new regime is the grueling exercise it insists I need. I like telling people the only exercise I get is getting in and out of bed. But blogging about it should be fun!

Progress Day 00

Went to Cold Storage for groceries. Have brought tuna, herring, beef, plums, bananas, romaine lettuce. Should do me for the week. Had a nibble of herring and am chewing  on a raw carrot as we speak. Will have a plum  a little bit later.
Tomorrow the plan is to run a fartlek route tomorrow. That will require me waking up at 7am, argh.
Current weight: 60kg
Enthusiasm levels: Meh

Progress stymied

Fitness progress has been halted due to an upper respiratory infection. Just got off the meds and though my lymph nodes don’t hurt anymore, I’m still fatigued. Have just been feeling exhausted since Saturday to the point I don’t feel like eating or exercising or doing anything but lie in bed.

Hope I get my mojo back by tomorrow.

Sitting on your behind all day is bad for you

…as if you needed to be told that.

After the start of my mission to lose weight, I’ve lost 3kg, gained back half of it and discovered a few things.

1. I get bored easily

2. I have precious little stamina

3. I do better with more frequent but shorter workouts than longer, less frequent ones

Two times a week just doesn’t work for me, because if I miss one session then that means I only work out once a week which won’t help much with Mission Remove The Gut.

So it’s three times a week for 20-30 mins. Eating more frequently, but with smaller portions.

Sometimes, though, you also need a little help from your friends.

Take this little convo I had:

“Don’t kill me but you need to lose a liiiiitle bit of weight.”


“Hey, at least you’ll always have someone there to remind you!”

I like the sound of always.