26 to 12 – another weight loss blog

One woman's journey to lose half her body weight


January 2016

Day 5: Recovering!

Yesterday I woke up with a certain amount of discomfort in my quads.  I suspect it is down to the squatting on Thursday (but I will keep doing that regularly anyway) and it made getting down the stairs an interesting experience!  I decided to go for a swim before work to try to ease my sore muscles, and I put in a lot more effort than I have been doing!  I swam 1/2 a mile in 22 minutes, which I haven’t managed for ages.  That is 50 lengths of the pool at my local gym, which I counted in sets of 10 i.e. 10x breaststroke, 10x alternating front crawl and breaststroke, 10x alternating back crawl and breaststroke, 10x alternating front crawl and breaststroke & 10x breaststroke.  I was pretty pleased with that, and I focussed on technique – which helped to improve my speed.

I did a lot of stretching afterwards, and even got help with stretching in the evening, but I am still sore today!   I haven’t done my workout today yet, I’m still considering what to do, but I’ll write it down when I’ve managed it!

I also went to Slimming World this morning for my first weigh-in since I got back on track, and I had lost 2.5lb, which I’m really happy with.  My group leader said she can see a difference in my outlook and behaviour, apparently I seem more confident that I can do this!  I am.





Days 3 & 4: Tell Me It’s Not Just Me…

Please tell me that there are other people out there who sometimes forget to take a towel to the gym?!!  That was Day 3; I went to the gym in the morning and then had to get ready for work.  Soooo disorganised!  Anyway, before the towel fiasco, I thought I’d experiment with some cardio to try and figure out where I’m at fitness-wise.  The answer is my fitness is slightly higher than I thought but nowhere near what I would like it to be.  I did 5 minutes each of:

Treadmill – mostly walking but I did have a little go at jogging, but I’m not sure I’m quite there yet…

Cycling – this actually went better than I thought, I tried to get some high and low speed intervals in which was pretty good, and I definitely worked up a sweat!

Rowing – I used to do this as a warmup when I was doing boxing training and it was a really good all over workout.  I had the resistance quite low for now, but I picked the speed up more than I thought I could.  Next time, I’m going to try to row further in the time before I look at moving the resistance any higher

Cross Trainer (elliptical) – I’m a fan of the cross trainer, although that might just be because I’m not used to feeling tall!  I did some higher and lower paced intervals on there as well, but I think I need to push myself harder next time, I was starting to flag towards the end.

For Day 4, I ventured into the weights section of the main gym.  It’s been a long time since I used barbells, but I was inspired by reading some articles on, which reminded me how much I used to love it.  I grabbed a gym bod to advise me since it’s been so long and he set me up for squats (hurray!) and dead lifts – even though I’ve done those recently I don’t think my form is very good, so I went for some advice.  I would always recommend getting help from the trainers at any gym – that’s what they are there for! – especially with weights, as doing it wrong can cause pretty bad injuries.  I did 3 sets of 8 of squats and deadlifts, both with 2x 5kg weights on the bar.  Then I took myself off to the weight machines (after I put my weights away – it really bugs me when people don’t!), and did 5 sets of 8 leg presses (120, 140, 160, 180 & 200lb) – that was supposed to be 3 sets but I got carried away!, 3 sets of 8 leg extensions (argh I can’t remember what the weight was!) and 3 sets of 10 lat pull-downs (62.5lb).  The last one really disappointed me; the last time I did it I was regularly doing 87.5, and working my way up to 100 so that’s a big step down.  But hey, onwards and upwards!

And now I’m over halfway through week 1 – I’m going to be so proud of myself when I get through it!


Day 2: Weights, Weights and More Weights

Today, I went to the gym before work to get some exercise time in.  For now I’m going to be alternating cardio days and weights/toning days until I get a proper routine of some description sorted.  So after yesterday’s graceful dancing, I went into the weights section and picked up some dumbbells.  I did a 5 minute warm-up on the treadmill and then 3 sets of 8 reps of:

  • bench press (4kg weights)
  • bent over row (4kg weights)
  • bicep curl (5kg weights)
  • tricep extension (3kg weights)
  • palm-in shoulder press (4kg weights)
  • upright row (4kg weights)

followed by 3 sets of 8 dead lifts (10kg barbell) and of course some stretches!

I might be a little bit achy tomorrow, I can feel it setting in a little now, and I definitely have to build back up to heavier weights, but I’ll get there.  I’m so out of practice that I had to look up some of the names, and I’ve just discovered a website specifically about dumbbell exercises, which I’m going to have a proper look at tomorrow.  All in all I feel pretty successful with day 2.



Day 1: Dance Like Nobody’s Watching

Oh and I really hope nobody was watching, I dance like an elephant in a tutu.  But it’s good for me and fun at the same time.  I normally go to the gym in a morning, but I haven’t really been putting the effort in over the last few months, working on the theory that “something is better than nothing”, but that has mostly consisted of drifting up and down the pool.  So, because I couldn’t go today, I dug out my Rosemary Conley salsa DVD and had a go.

I had it on the second section (the first is basically a walkthrough the moves) and the main thing I noticed is quite how bad my fitness is now.  I used to do this section as a warmup for section 3, but this had my heart rate well up and got me out of breath within about 5 minutes.  But I made it through, put my heart and soul into it and bounced around my living room like an idiot.  And you know what?  Next time I do it, it will be easier.

And because the dancing I did is only 17 minutes, and I vowed to do 20 minutes, I threw in 3 sets of 10 crunches and 3 sets of 10 squats (which, as previous readers will know are my faaaavourite (sarcasm there..)) to make the time up.  Day 1 all done!



It’s All About Me Me Me

Hi Again!  I’ve been AWOL again, but I’m making a pledge here and now.   I am going to make sure I have an hour a day to myself.  This is my time, it’s for me and me alone.  That may sound selfish, but the way I see it is that I can’t be the person I want to be and be there fully for those I care about whilst I am struggling with my own demons.

So what will I do with my hour?  It will be divided into 3: planning, exercise and writing.  All things that I want and need to do to improve myself.  Leading on from that and inspired by Nancy and Sam, I will be doing a minimum of 20 minutes of exercise every day for the next 366 days.  It seems like a random time to start doing this, but I want to start now and get moving.  Seize the day!



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