Claire's Corner

Join me and get fit (for free) this summer!

Posted October 4th, 2013

For those of you who've been following my Weight Watchers' blog, you'll know this year it has been my mission to lose the extra weight I've gained over the past few years (about six years ago I lost 25 kilos but regained about half of it). Well, I'm very pleased to say that I'm very nearly there - I've lost over 10kg since March and I'm feeling fantastic! Just another 2-3 kilos to go and I'll be back to my all-time low

I'm also really pleased to tell you that, although I have joined a gym recently, the majority of my weight loss and fantastic feelingness is due to my favourite free activity - walking. And I'm not talking power walking or hill climbing or tramping tens of kilometres a day, nup. I'm talking a walk around the block at a pace that often sees me overtaken by the elderly, small children and people on crutches. Seriously, sometimes I'm puffing along thinking I'm burning rubber and then an octogenarian with a walking frame will speed past me.

But it's been enough to help me kick those stubborn kilos to the curb. I do make an effort to walk every day - even if it's just a short 20 minute walk. I love having that 'quiet time' away from interruptions and distractions. I actually get 20-30 minutes to think! And most often, I think about how I'm going to stay on track with my eating for the week ahead. It did take a little effort initially, but now I look forward to my morning walk.

As I mentioned, I did join gym recently. Now, I'm not a fan of gyms. I prefer to be outside, plodding along at my quiet walking pace, enjoying the peace and not paying for it. But I also accept that the reason I plod is because I'm woefully unfit. I can't run to save myself and a good coughing bout will leave my abs crying in pain. So when our local boxing gym offered up a great online deal ($30 for a month of BoxFit classes), I decided to give it a go. Actually, let me rephrase that - my DD15 begged and whined and pestered me to join us both up because she wants to get fit and needs me to transport her. So I decided to give it a go for a month and see if I could handle it.

I discovered that BoxFit is not for the faint-hearted. Basically, it involves a seriously fit trainer yelling "Harder!! Faster!!" at you while you box, jump, push-up, run, press-up and try not to throw up. It's seriously hard work. In fact, several times I have come very close to throwing up, or passing out. Or throwing up then passing out. On the first session we had to do a prone hold for three minutes. So I'm thinking, "three minutes? yeah I can do anything for three minutes". Hah. I couldn't even get myself into the right position! Meanwhile DD15 is proning away like a pro. However, I persisted and now I can prone for over a minute which I'm pretty pleased with.

Yep, I've come a long way all round. My arms and legs are looking a little 'slenderer' and I'm feeling quite a bit fitter. And, it's also nice having an activity that both DD and I can enjoy together. Even if she does make it look easy! It's a great class - the ages range from young kids to 'more mature' oldies. And there are all shapes and sizes giving it a go. I've never ever had an interest in boxing, still don't really, but this class is really fun. The $30 voucher was great value, and I've noticed a lot more of these sorts of deals available online. But getting fit doesn't have to involve forking out loads of dosh, nor should it. And while my BoxFit phase will come and go, walking will always be my mainstay (I just need someone on the side-line yelling HARDER!! FASTER!!).

Slimming down and getting fit seems to be the theme of my life at the moment. DS19 is half-way through his course to become a personal trainer, so it's great being able to tap into his knowledge. Although he still needs to 'refine' his eating habits (he spends hours at the gym and comes home with a bottle of coke and a fried rice!! Grrr!).

At work, a chap who weighed 180kg has lost 23 kilos over the past eight weeks and has started a 'Biggest Loser' group. There are about 25 of us who have all joined him. On Friday, a personal trainer from the local gym came over to talk to us about the basics of weight loss and fitness. His key message was that resistance training is the best option for burning calories. Apparently, doing cardio (such as running, biking and such) will burn calories while you're working, but then when you stop, so does the calorie-burning. However, if you do resistance training (working with weights, push ups, jumping jacks, squats and such), your body keeps on burning calories for days afterwards. I love the idea that I can do some exercise and know that my body is still burning calories afterwards!

We all weighed in on Friday and we'll be checking in each week or so for the next 12 weeks (just in time for summer!).

So if you're thinking about getting 'summer-ready' and you're wondering how to get started, I'd really encourage you to put aside 20-30 minutes a day and head outside for a walk. Don't worry about breaking a sweat or walking at top speed - just put one foot in front of the other and repeat (and keep repeating!). And if you want to add a little resistance to the mix, put together a little circuit for yourself that includes push-ups, squats and sit ups. You don't have to be good at them, but do make sure you know how to do each properly so you don't hurt yourself!

Another tip is to make use of the local primary school - grab a basketball and a friend (or child!) and hit the courts for 30 minutes. You'll be surprised how much energy you use and how much fun it is. Or, if your child has a trampoline, get bouncing! I've heard that 'trampfit' is the next big exercise trend. I know the kids make it look easy, but it will get you puffing!

You've got three months until Christmas - so why don't you join me? Get those walking shoes on and get out there!

Blog Posts by Claire S

January 2013