Seeing as we are nearly half way through September I thought it was about time that I wrote how I got on with my fitness mission for August. I can't believe that I have stuck to exercise and (relatively) healthy eating for eight months now. I still get a fair few emails and messages saying I have inspired people to take up running, and I still can't believe that anyone would actually find me inspiring- I have never kept up regular exercise before now.
At the risk of sounding like a broken record, it really has changed my life. I have bad days, or bad weeks, and I have phases where I feel really unmotivated, but it is like it is a part of me now, and I don't think I will ever go back to being unactive again.
The main thing that happened to me exercise wise this month was that I ran and completed my first ever half marathon. A HALF MARATHON. I cannot actually believe it. On the 17th August I ran 13.1 miles round the local area where I grew up alongside 437 other runners. I hadn't done that much training before hand in the form of long runs, bar two 10 mile runs a couple of weeks before, so to say I was nervous was an understatement. I wanted to run it in under two hours, but due to the fact that the course was quite hilly and I hadn't prepared properly in terms of fuelling, I wasn't holding out much hope. However my official time was 1:58:36 which I was so unbelievably happy with.
It was so tough and there were points in the last mile where I honestly didn't think I could carry on, but I did it in the end. My wonderful husband saw me in the last quarter of a mile and could see I was struggling and because he knew I wanted to get in under two hours, he ran the last quarter of a mile with me. It sounds cheesy, but it was just so kind and supportive and I don't think I would have done it without him.
I learnt a few things from doing my first half marathon. First is that crossing the finish line is such an incredible feeling, and now I know what people talk about when they say you get a runners high. The second is that throughout the race I said I wouldn't do it again, yet as soon as I crossed the line I was already thinking about the next one. And thirdly, I really need to train more and learn more about fuelling, I didn't experiment with any gels before hand and therefore was reluctant to take them during the race, and by the end I was really weak. Overall it was an amazing experience though and I have another one to complete in October.
Other than that my fitness wasn't that exciting in August. I ran probably once or twice a week, mainly 5k runs as they are the easiest to fit into my busy life. I have still been doing my kettlebells in the evening, only for about ten minutes about twice a week, but I definitely have got something resembling abs trying to poke through my wobbly tummy!
I think I am always going to struggle a little with food. After being really good at losing the initial weight, slowly month by month I have started to let more treats and 'bad' things creep back into my diet. I think the fact we have been away a lot over the Summer has meant it has been hard to resist meals out and sweet snacks. I haven't been great in August, but yet at the same time, I no longer need to lose weight, just maintain the weight I am at now and I need to remember that. I don't believe in denying myself treats, life is too short, but I definitely need to get back into more of a healthy routine again.
We are still being pretty good with evening meals, eating relatively healthily and not eating such big portions, but I do find that when we have sweet treats in the house I cannot help but eat them. For years I couldn't stand banana but because they are so good for you I have been eating them in the morning with greek yoghurt and honey- it's a delicious breakfast and keeps me full until lunchtime. For lunch I will have chicken in a wholemeal sandwich thin (they are great) with either some fruit and either wholegrain crisps or some popcorn. We are pretty boring when it comes to our evening meals, but they are usually pretty healthy bar fajitas once a week (my weakness- I usually eat four!) and the occasionaly family pizza night. I still am terrible with drinking water so I really need to work on this, diet coke is still my biggest weakness.
I just measured my waist and I thought I would have put on some weight after a month of not being as careful about what I eat, but in actual fact I am exactly the same, meaning that overall I have lost 6.5 inches from around my tummy area since I started my fitness mission in January. My tummy is still a little wobbly and the bottom area still is a little rounded , especially in the evening when I am bloated from the day. I think I will always have this though due to the fact my skin stretched and my abs separated so much during pregnancy. I am loving that I am starting to see ab muscles in the top half of my stomach though and this is definitely from kettlebells and running.
Unfortunately when I lose weight, the first place I lose it are my boobs and bum, and so I definitely need to do exercises to make my bottom more pert. Overall though I am happy with the fact that I am maintaining my new shape, yet also not letting it take over my life. I think I have hopefully found the perfect balance.
It poured down with rain before my half marathon which just added to my nerves.
Yay first ever half marathon completed in 1 hour 58 minutes, and a shiny medal to keep.
What did we do before we instagrammed our food? If you haven't tried the Pizza Express Superfood Salad you must immediately- so healthy and good for you!
And the not quite so healthy. We went to The Breakfast Club for brunch and I may have eaten both of these. Oops.
(You can check out the rest of my fitness posts here)