Today's guest post was written by Danielle from @daniellefirth.
After being inspired by Where are my Knees (so refreshing to see a blog not featuring size 8 clothes and cupcakes!) I decided to get off my bum and do something about the weight I had been piling on over the last few years.
A combination of being settled in a relationship where our favourite activity seemed to be going out for stodgy meals, and getting a ‘desk job’ saw me put on almost 4 stone in as many years. I have a long way to go but I thought I'd share my journey so far.
The two main things that have helped me: The My Fitness Pal Calorie Counter, and something I NEVER thought I would do in a million years... Spinning class. My Fitness Pal is available online or as an app on androids/ iPhones etc and it is GENIUS.
Everything I eat, I log. And I never lie to my little calorie counting pal, if it's a bad day it's a bad day - the angry red bar just helps me make the next day even better. The app initially suggested that I consume 1250 calories per day, and if you exercise, you earn more calories. If I wanted to go out for tea and have a pudding, I just went for a little jog (read: wheezing power walk) first.
I've enjoyed curries, Sunday lunches and even a hot chocolate fudge cake - as long as it's in the 1250, anything goes - although I do try to stick to low fat foods, and get my 5 a day in. Where Are My Knees of course comes in handy for low fat meal ideas too.
Now - exercise wise. I am certainly not the fittest... In fact, think female version of Jim Royale. Going to the gym alongside lycra clad hotties with model proportions filled me with dread. So when I signed up to a 7 week summer trial, I was pleased to notice that 50% of the members were pretty much just like me. Yes, there was the occasional Paula Radcliffe-alike pounding the treadmill at 70mph, but there were also lots of wobbly bits like mine around so I felt less uncomfortable.
After researching (good old Google) how to get the best out of my membership, I discovered interval training and the idea of spin classes. The idea of spinning, and classes generally scare me. But no more than a lifetime of bulging out of dresses and hiding in photos. So I bit the bullet and went for it. And... It HURT. I was tired, I ached all over, and my legs felt like they were going to drop off. So. Clearly this works. I went straight to reception afterwards and signed up for the next 3 classes before I had chance to change my mind.
For those who aren't familiar with spinning, it involves cycling along to tracks and speeding up, slowing down, standing up and sitting down to the beat. Personally I hide (suffer) at the back and imagine myself in a bikini during the particularly grueling parts.
So after four and a half weeks of three spinning classes per week and 1250 calories per day, I have waved goodbye to 1 stone and 4lbs. And I've just had a Nandos to celebrate (rice not chips!)
A typical day:
Breakfast: 1 slice wholemeal toast and half a grapefruit
Lunch: Vegetable soup (homemade) or tuna salad with low fat dressing
Snacks: Asda crispbread with red pepper and chilli cottage cheese (and the odd jaffa cake!)
Dinner: Whatever I fancy – I just skip the pudding