Hi Everybody! (said like Dr. Nick from The Simpsons)
This blog is inspired by three wee bams in a certain gym on Bath Street.
So last night I went to a “normal” gym because Clanfit isn’t open on a Sunday. I used to be a member of this gym before I started doing Crossfit and I really liked it but always found the weights area pretty intimidating and I felt (as a woman lifting weights) some people looked at me as if I’d just taken a dump at the squat rack.
ANYWAY so there I was just working away at my front squat but I was also listening into the conversation of the three fellas next to me (this is a skill that I seem to posses along with all other Denovan women) Although the gym was relatively quiet they were complaining about the fact that the gym gets really busy in January because “people join as a New Years resolution but its ok because they give up in February and it gets quiet again” They all had a good little guffaw to themselves looking all smug.
It was this time about 3 years ago that I got my first gym membership. It was a New Years resolution to get fit/lose weight/improve myself and, fortunately, I stuck at it.
Sure, plenty of New Years resolutions get pushed aside pretty quickly and forgotten (“This year I will learn to speak French! Be completely T Total! Be more tolerant of people!” – just a few of mine that have gone tits up) but it is my opinion that January 1st is a better time than any to really make a change to your life whether that be in fitness, career, relationships, whatever.
It was exactly these guys attitudes that made me want to give up the gym when I first started and probably the same attitudes that make it scary for women to go near the weights room (but I feel that’s a whole other blog)
I’m a big believer in NYR’s, for me there’s something about having a big blowout on Hogmanay and then starting again with a “new you” in the new year (even if you do have a massive hangover)
Just don’t listen to any dissenting voices like those arseh*les in the gym and keep your resolutions up!
Have a lovely Hogmanay.
As you’ll know from my last blog I’ve been pretty ill recently. I tried to go back to crossfit on Monday. It was a pretty tough WoD with loads of thrusters (thanks Walex) and after a couple of minutes in I felt light headed and shaky and had to give up. I’m a bit embarrassed to admit that I might have had some angry and frustrated tears in the car home.
I tried again on Tuesday morning and managed to finish the WoD but had to take loads of rest and ended up with a rubbish time.
On Wednesday I was moving flat. One intensive day of lugging stuff from two flats into one meant that not only did I not have time to train, I had absolutely no energy to do it either.
Come Thursday and I was feeling pretty demotivated in everything. It’s such a horrible feeling when you can’t be bothered doing anything. I found it so difficult to drag my ass to Crossfit but I’m glad I did. I must have been back to 100% and I really enjoyed it.
Today I tried to get my rep max for back squats and I managed 60kilos at a good depth and then couldn’t get low enough at 65 (bodyweight) so I no-repped myself. I have managed 65 before at a good depth but haven’t worked on squats for a while.
I’m going to work towards 70kg and I WILL achieve this in four weeks.
I learned this week that you CANNOT ignore your body and you can’t force it to recover: you just need to wait, ride it out and look after yourself.
And also in other news:
Yesterday I had my squishy bits measured by a lovely man called Nairn. By that I mean I had my body fat percentage calculated. I figured that it would be a good idea to have the done at the start of my journey and I plan to do this again in about 6 weeks time to see how I’m getting on.
The whole process took about an hour and involved Nairn conducting two different types of test. The first one was the skinfold test where Nairn basically took a wedge of squidge and measured it with a set of calipers. He also took measurements of the girth of my bicep (normal and flexed which I enjoyed…) around my middle, bum and calf. He did each of these measurements two or three times so that he could get the most accurate measurement. A friend who had been before me said that the calipers hurt when they pinch but I think she was just being a wimp.
Nairn then conducted a “Bioelectrical impedance analysis” test. Four little wires were stuck to my foot and wrist and then a small electric current was sent through my body. It measures your fat by the resistance to the current (electricity passes quickly through water and fat doesn’t contain much water) I thought I’d feel the current passing through my body but was disappointed when I didn’t start involuntarily twitching.
So here are the results:
Nairn told me that the number we want to focus on and look at reducing is the total skinfold (mm) but my own little personal goal is to also increase the girth of my arms flexed because I love giving the lads a gun show.
I wasn’t really sure what 19.3% body fat meant. Was it good, bad or average? Then I found this delicious little nugget on Wikipedia:
To which I did this face:
For me, body fat is a good measure of success. I’ve learnt when it comes to improving your body and fitness there are two things to avoid:
1) Measuring your progress in terms of weight loss.
When someone tells you how good you look they haven’t checked what you weigh on the scales. If you are exercising then you could be losing fat but gaining muscle at the same time, so you weigh the same as you did before but look smaller
2) Looking at BMI
A few christmas’s ago, my family got a Wii Fit which can measure your BMI. Well we weren’t having a happy Christmas when the bloody thing told half of us we were overweight and according to it my brother in law Donald was obese! (He’s not)
BMI bases whether you are healthy or not on just your height and weight. It doesn’t really take things like muscle into consideration.
So I’m looking to reduce the measurements of the total skinfold and the body fat %. I’m not sure what to aim for in terms of body fat but won’t drop any lower than 15% because I don’t think that would be healthy or enjoyable for me.
If anyone wants anymore information about the body fat test and to book one yourself, click here to contact Nairn.
Firstly, let me apologise for the cheesy name of this blog. I’ll blame Angie Kay for that. But the idea is to document my journey towards two goals:
1) To be a successful working Actress.
2) To have a strong, toned and lean body like Jessica Ennis (maybe with bigger arms)
Obviously the first goal is going to be the larger and more difficult of the two but they both will require the same dedication, hard work and perseverance.
I’ll let you know a bit about myself and where I am in terms of achieving these goals:
Goal 1 – When I left school at 17 I knew I wanted to be an actor but knew I wouldn’t have a chance in hell at getting into drama school when I was that age. So I went to Uni and studied theatre to try and gain “life experience” (I’m doing the fingers) which for me meant being a fanny and doing silly things while drunk. I didn’t really use the time well in that I didn’t get any acting experience which I could then use to get into drama school. This wasn’t for lack of trying. I tried (6 times) to get into the Uni theatre group and I won’t bad mouth them because I have class but they were a bunch of cliquey arseholes 🙂
When I left Uni I tried to get into several drama schools with no success. I was going to try again the following year but the whole experience was so expensive that I thought, fuck it, I’m just going to start typing up CV’s calling myself an actor and hopefully someone will believe me. They did! For the last year I have worked consistently for a theatre company. However, my goal isn’t to maintain this. I don’t have an agent yet. I haven’t been on television yet and certainly haven’t been in a film.
So the measures of success for the first goal will be 1) to have an agent, 2) to be on television or film.
Goal 2 – Growing up I was never into exercise or sport in the slightest. It wasn’t really encouraged at school unless you actively sought it. I was a chubby youth theatre kid. When I went to University to study Theatre it wasn’t until I was looking at myself in the mirror while I was in 3rd year, that I decided that exercise might be in order. Too many pints of fosters and chips n cheese had taken it’s toll.
I read on a forum that lifting a weight or two was good for girls and so I went to the Uni gym and asked for an induction of the muscle suite. I was weight training at a gym for a couple of years until I started Crossfit in June this year. I’ve also started to get my diet in order and researching nutrition to help me achieve my goal. I’m no expert in fitness or health but I’m sure this blog will also document the trials and errors I have along the way.
I occasionally work for a company as a mentor for teenagers helping them with study skills, motivation etc. When talking about studying I get them to write down the obstacles they will face (ie distracted by computer games, not enjoying the subject, noisy younger siblings) and then we tackle each one and discuss how we will over come them so they cannot be used as excuses. I’m going to do the same for my Goals.
“You haven’t trained at an accredited drama school”
I’m not going to let this barrier get in the way. Many successful actors haven’t trained and I feel that my training at Acting Coach Scotland is making me a much better and truthful actor anyway. Plus I know I’m good 😉
“We decided to cast someone else on this occasion”
Rejection is shitty but it’s part of the territory and I’ve been rejected soooo many times that I’ve learnt to just suck it up and start sniffing out the next job. Challenge it into motivation rather than dwell on it.
“Our books aren’t open at the moment”
Those damn agency books are never open but it’s not going to stop me writing to them. It’s tricky to get that balance between being keen, having a brass neck and being annoying but I try to live by the motto of “If you don’t ask, the answer will always be ‘no'”
“Hendo’s making *insert massive tasty dinner* you want some?”
My appetite is halfway between a Labrador puppy and a worlds strongest man competitor. I could easily out-eat my huge rugby player boyfriend and his equally huge flatmate (who is a really good cook) I love everything that is bad for me, pasta, pizza, chocolate, chips etc. I also LOVE a pint and am partial to a wine and gin. All these things will get in the way of my goal and I will have to be disciplined and always think about making the right choices when it comes to eating. It’s true when they say that abs are made in the kitchen.
“7.30am WoD? But it’s raining outside!!”
The gym I go to is a bit… Rustic to say the least. It’s a huge, cold, dirty warehouse and when it rains, water pours in through the ceiling. Not the nicest place when I’m not in the mood to train. Whenever my finger waivers over the snooze button and I consider an extra hour in bed instead of training I will just think how good I’ll feel after my workout.
“Intermittent fasting? Cutting out dairy?! I should be deadlifting which way?”
It’s easy to get bogged down and intimidated by your own lack of knowledge. As a lover of fitness blogs I’ve learnt that everyone works differently and one method which works fantastically for one person can be a complete failure for someone else. This will be a long process which will have ups and downs along the way as I learn about what works for me.
So there we have it. First post done and it’s a long one. I hope you enjoy reading my blog and hopefully it motivates you to achieve some of your own goals.