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Moved from New York City in search of adventure, I moved to United Kingdom. I married, had three kids and am currently trying to find myself. I'll let you know if I succeed.

Wednesday, 21 July 2010

Wii Fit Plus Check-In: 09 July and 16 July 2010


I missed a couple of check-in updates, so I’ll just post them now.

09 July 2010

Measurements:
Bust: 43 1/4" (108.12 cm) -7/8”    Height: 5'6"
Waist: 36 1/2" (91.25 cm) -1/2”    BMI: 32.00
Hips: 45 1/2" (113.75 cm) -1/2” 
Weight: 14st, 2lb (198lb)

Wii Fit Plus:
Centre of Gravity (COG)
L:  N/A       R:  N/A

Balance Test:  N/A

WIi Fit Age:  N/A

Hmmm…results for this week are negligible.  I lost the two pounds I wanted to lose, I lost 3/8 of an inch from my bust and waist, but I gained ½ inch on my hips.  So did I have a good, bad or indifferent week?

My work trousers are starting feel loose around my waist and upper thighs so, in the interest of staying motivated, I’m going to say it was a…decent week.

GOALS FOR THE FOLLOWING WEEK:
1) Do at least 2 work-outs at the gym
2) Lose at least 2 lb.


16 July 2010

Measurements:
Bust: 42 7/8" (107.18 cm) -1 1/4”    Height: 5'6"
Waist: 36 7/8" (92.18 cm) -1/8”       BMI: 32.60
Hips: 45 5/8" (114.06 cm) -3/8” 
Weight: 14st, 6lb (202lb)

Wii Fit Plus:
Centre of Gravity (COG)
L:  N/A       R:  N/A

Balance Test:  N/A

WIi Fit Age:  N/A

Disappointing but not totally unexpected results.  My period came on the previous week which always leads to uncontrollable cravings and voracious eating binges.  It’s the cross I bear.

But there is a silver lining in this cloud.  I kept up my work-outs at the gym.  If I hadn’t done that, the results could have been more disheartening.

GOALS FOR THE FOLLOWING WEEK:
1) Do at least 2 work-outs at the gym
2) Lose at least 2 lb.

Saturday, 17 July 2010

Completing the Master Plan

My next training session was geared towards completing my exercise programme.  My Consultant and I did more upper body work as well as adding some lower body exercise.

After the 20-minute warm-up, we went over the upper body exercises from the previous session, fine tuning as we went along.  My Consultant then demonstrated the Vertical Traction and the Chest Press machines.  These two devices are designed to work the back, shoulders and chest areas.  Now, to throw some lower body work into the mix.

Supervised physical therapy may be helpful to ...As my knee was still a bit tender, lower body exercises will have to be introduced slowly.  For now the only machine I’ll be using is the Leg Extension.  Although It’s primarily geared towards working the quads (quadriceps) it also gives the knees some exercise too.  Normally you would lift the weight with both legs working in unison like the girl in the picture.  But because of my weaker right leg, my Consultant advised me to work one leg at a time.  She recommended doing 10 reps with my right leg, 12 on the left.  As the right leg gets stronger, I could push it up to 12 reps.

My Consultant then asked me if there was anything in particular I wanted to work on.  'Abs,' I replied without hesitation.  She grabbed a large, purple exercise ball, indicated I should follow and we headed towards some exercise mats.  The exercise itself was simple.  While sitting straight up on the ball, I was to lift one leg at a time above hip level 10 times each leg.  It seemed insultingly easy but I went along with it.

And I was right...to a point. Lifting my leg was easy.  But lifting my leg and sitting on the ball and not rolling off was another story all together.  The ball was bouncier than I expected and seemed to have ideas of its own.  The key here was to lift the leg in a slow, controlled manner in order to keep the ball steady.  'The combination of lifting your leg while maintaining your posture will help build up your core strength.' she assured me.


(NB:  Remember, always, to respect the ball.  Don't do what this hopeless child did.)





After that was a five minute cool down on the reclining bike.

With my work-out completed, we went into the office where the Consultant inserted my key into the computer.  All the information about the machines I had used and exercises I had done was downloaded onto the computer.  A few minutes later, I was handed a copy of my very own tailor-made work-out programme.  I was ready to solo.


The final step was a fitness assessment.  I was pretty sure what the outcome of that wouldn't be pretty. But it had to be done.  I couldn't address my weaknesses until I knew what they are.

Image via Wikipedia
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Wednesday, 14 July 2010

Wii Fit Plus Check-In: 02 July 2010



My first week at the gym has paid off already.  While I didn’t lose any weight, I did lose a total of two inches.  Works for me.

Measurements:
Bust: 43 1/2" (108.75 cm) -5/8”    Height: 5'6"
Waist: 36 5/8" (91.55 cm) -3/8”    BMI: 32.30
Hips: 45" (112.50 cm) -1”             Weight: 14st, 2lb (200lb)


Wii Fit Plus:
Centre of Gravity (COG)
L:  N/A       R:  N/A


Balance Test:  N/A


WIi Fit Age:  N/A



GOALS FOR THE FOLLOWING WEEK:
1) Attend remaining fitness sessions with Consultant
2) Lose at least 2 lb.

Tuesday, 13 July 2010

First Training Sesssion at Impressions

Yes, I’ve been naughty again and fell behind on my posting. Although Michael Jackson counselled us not to blame it on the sunshine, I’m afraid the recent balmy, tropical weather is completely at fault for my lapse.

You may recall, I had scheduled a training session at Impressions Fitness Studio. This hour-long session consisted of a one-to-one talk with a Fitness Consultant and an introduction to a basic training programme geared to my specific needs.

We discussed my personal health issues, medical history and goals. She took my blood pressure, height and weight, inputted these details into a computer which in turn downloaded it onto a key. We went into the gym to start planning out my exercise regime.

The Consultant explained that the key held all the information I would need to get the best out of my work-out and that I needed to bring it every time I came to the fitness centre. She demonstrated how to use the key to record my daily work-out and then we began roughing out a plan.

As this was the first time I had set foot in a fitness centre for more years than I care to remember, we had to play this first session by ear. The Consultant started me off on a 20-minute warm-up consisting of five minutes on the reclining bike, five minutes on the cross-trainer and ten minutes on the treadmill. In order to use these machines, I needed to insert my key into the slot.  The key would download my specific details and programme the exercise machine accordingly. Without this key, the system would not be able to keep track of my progress.

Because of my balance and weakness issues, adjustments needed to me made to compensate for these.  For example, I’m only doing leg work on the cross-trainer.  This is so I can improve my balance as well as my cardio fitness. The arms will be introduced at a later date.

My left knee was painful while pedalling on the reclining bike so a seat adjustment was needed.  It’s a tad cramped but it is less stressful on my knee.  Once I was warmed up, we moved on to the free weights.

I attempted to do bicep curls and tricep extensions, but that proved painful as I had recently been diagnosed with tennis elbow. I could only manage front raises with 2kg weights.  But all was not lost.  The Consultant demonstrated how to work my biceps and triceps using a high and low pulley machine.

The Consultant then introduced me to the BOSU ball. This was to help me work on my balance.  The object of the game was to stand on it with both feet and maintain my balance for 10 seconds for five reps (repititions). ‘Oh really now,’ I thought, ‘I’m not that bad off.’  What the Consultant didn’t mention was that the ball was rather squishy and staying in place wasn’t as easy as I had naively thought. I found myself reaching for something to hold on to every two seconds to keep from falling off.  ‘This will help build up your core as well as improve your balance,’ the Consultant assured me.

Once I finally finished on the BOSU, the Consultant showed how to do single-legged free squats.  The trick here is to shift your weight back towards the heel as if you were sitting; all the while maintaining your balance.   It was challenging on my left leg but nearly impossible to do on my right.  This was going to take some time to master.

My hour session was up and the Consultant gave me a pat on the back for a job well done.  We went back into the office where the Consultant loaded all the details of this training session onto my key and showed me how to end the work-out session using my key.

My exercise programme was far from complete.  During this session we did the warm-up and some upper body training. The next session would pick up from there with more upper body work, lower body training and the cool down.

It was a good start.  I felt a bit awkward and clumsy at times but it's still very early days.  After all, it took me 3 1/2 years to get in this shape.  It's going to take some time to get re-shaped.


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Sunday, 27 June 2010

Wii Fit Plus Check-In: 25 June 2010



My stats make for grim reading this week, but I really didn’t expect any different. I haven’t been active for awhile and I slipped back into my old, unhealthy habits. Never mind.


I can climb back on the wagon easily enough.  I’ve got a fitness plan in the pipe Iine and once I get into this new routine, I can begin addressing the other issues that are keeping me from achieving my goal.  So, let’s see what what's happened…

Measurements:
Bust: 44 1/8" (110.03 cm)    Height: 5'6"
Waist: 37" (92.50 cm)          BMI: 32.30
Hips: 46" (115 cm)               Weight: 14st, 4lb (200lb)


Wii Fit Plus:
Centre of Gravity (COG)
L:  N/A       R:  N/A


Balance Test:  N/A


WIi Fit Age:  N/A


GOALS FOR THE FOLLOWING WEEK:
1) Attend Fitness Sessions with Consultant
2) Do at least 3 work-outs at Impressions
3) Lose at least 2 lb.
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Thursday, 24 June 2010

Impressions…So Far So Good

Impressions Fitness Suites was nothing like what I had feared it would be.  It is actually just one section of a much larger facility called One Leisure.  In addition to the Impressions Fitness Suite, there is a swimming pool, outdoor tennis courts, football pitches and basketball hoops.  In short, a total fitness experience.  Not just for adults, this centre caters to children as well as the more mature adult.


The centre has branches in five other locations and access is included in the membership fee.   It opens at 6:30am and closes at 11:00pm which makes it very easy to work into my schedule.

Upon my arrival, I received a friendly greeting from a staff member and given a tour of the facility.  It was like Dr. Who's TARDIS; bigger on the inside than it looked on the outside.  In addition to  the swimming pool and weight room, there are several rooms where a variety of fitness classes, including circuit training and spinning, are held daily. There are also Sports Halls if you fancy a game of badminton or squash.  The last stop on the tour was Impressions.


I had a really good feeling about Impressions Fitness Suite I stepped in.  While the room is smaller than what I was used to, it is well laid out and the numerous, large windows lets in lots of light giving the impression of space.

I was greeted by a very friendly and welcoming Fitness Consultant. Yes, she is in good shape but not in a 'Miss Universe' sort of way. She looked just like a regular person; someone I could relate to.

The facility has a good range of circuit equipment to work the various muscle groups as well as a wide spectrum of free weights. Treadmills, cross-trainers, stair masters, rowing machines and stationery bikes are also available for those interested in cardio training.

While the facilities are more than adequate, it was the staff that really won me over.  The lady I spoke to was so down to earth and genuine; enthusiastic, but not overwhelming.  She listened, really listened, when I talked about my medical history and what my goals were without interruption. She answered all my questions and at no time did I get a sales pitch thrown at me nor did I feel pressured into signing up there and then.  At the end of our chat, I was giving an information pack and encouraged to think it over before I committed to anything.

A day or so later I returned with my oldest daughter and we both joined.  We paid a one-time joining fee which included the price of five training sessions with a Fitness Consultant.  The membership conditions are very flexible.  We pay monthly for as long as we wish. There's no yearly fee. Or you can pay for one year in advance which works out cheaper; it's up to you how you want to work it.  Use of the pool is included as are the fitness classes.  (Depending on which membership scheme you choose, there may be an additional fee for the classes.)


My first training session was scheduled for the next day and I couldn’t wait.  Check back to see how it went. 


Photo of Impressions Fitness Suites*

*This is not the facility I visited.  This photo is merely to illustrate the range of equipment available.


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Monday, 21 June 2010

Step One: Making The Call

The day following my revelation, a serendipitous event occurred. A local magazine popped through my door and inside was an advertisement for Impressions Fitness Suites.  What a coincidence.

After my last doctor’s visit, I started thinking seriously about joining a gym. But frankly, it just didn’t appeal. Not that I didn’t want to get back in condition; it’s just that I’ve always found gyms a little overwhelming.

Well, not the gym itself, but rather the atmosphere. There’s something about exercising while surrounded by perfect ‘Baywatch’ bodies that can be…disheartening. (You simply couldn’t go to a gym looking like you needed to go to the gym.)

And if that's not bad enough, there are the teen-agers trainers ostensibly employed to help you achieve the body beautiful.  I don’t know which I find more off-putting:  their unnatural exuberance, their perfectly sculpted physiques or the patronizing attitude they adopt while you’re huffing and puffing to do a sit-up. (I’m sorry.  Was I ranting?)

Still, I couldn’t carry on the way I was.  So I dialled the number in the advert and made an appointment for the following day to view the facility.



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