29th July 2013 - Start of week 3 - Time to get serious...

This is the start of the third week and after being ill, being on holiday and generally being a bit fluffy, I'm now keen to get some momentum behind a more sustainable exercise and health improvement programme.

Last week - more croak than Croak Park and The Frog Chorus combined...
I've actually achieved my first set of real results already, after the hideous scar tissue pain in my core after doing 30 second planks that I suffered initially, I no longer get any discomfort, which means I need to up my game. This chuffs me to bits :) I've also lost a bit of pouchiness around the elbows, and as I've never been terribly enamoured with my arms, this is also very good.

Anyhow, in the name of getting serious.....

I've decided to start using several iPhone apps to underpin what I'm doing:
MyFitnessPal (for it's food/exercise diary function)
Runkeeper (for walking and other exercise logging)
GymPact (Incentivising working out)
Sleep Cycle (To make sure I get enough sleep)

I've managed to lose some weight using MyFitnessPal before but I think I've had my calorific requirements set a bit low because I've wandered off piste after a while. To be honest, one thing that has underdone me with traditional diet programmes is the fact that, because I'm small, the allowances were never quite high enough to stop me from feeling hungry, and the slightest "error" would knock my confidence out of the park. Also after partaking in a particular points-based-system-that-shall-remain-nameless when I got married some years ago, I got to my target, but was so sick of being hungry (for 6 months) that I gave up, promptly had a back "crisis", put a load of weight on, and just as I was starting to get running again, had a really bad ankle sprain...and thus was back to square one. Instead of thinking it's just me being weak, I can now say to myself, "Actually Christine, it's not you that's 100% at fault here".

I'm working on the principle advocated at GoKaleo (link to the relevant article here) with regard to the number of calories to consume in order to achieve my weight loss goal (something I intend to do in 2 stages). Basically this principle is to eat the number of calories that will sustain the weight you want to be, but also being aware that as your muscle mass increases, you'll be burning your calories more effectively so not to fall into the trap of restricting your calorific intake more to lose the last bit (I'm paraphrasing but I highly recommend reading Amber's blog).

I think most people with a smartphone will be aware of Runkeeper, but I've added an extra layer of incentive by linking up Gympact. Bascially it works be rewarding hitting a certain exercise target (min 3 times a week for 30 minutes) so that I also do regular cardio. The reasoning behind this is, because like most parents with a full time job, exercise can be the thing that gets shoved out of the schedule, and now, thanks to the fact that you are rewarded for working out, and pledge to pay if you don't, I'm sufficiently tight not to want to have to pay when I don't!

I also know I need to get more sleep so that's where Sleep Cycle comes in....odd that....

I'll let you know how it goes....

(Please note all apps, websites and blogs I mention, I'm using of my own volition and I am not receiving anything from the companies and people concerned).