Buying a book called Racing Weight does not mean you will instantly be at Racing Weight, more’s the pity

So we have been reading a lot. What to wear. What to eat. Even how to pedal. Cycling magazines litter the house. What has happened to us? Parcels arrive at the house almost daily. Electrolyte tablets, gels, whatever. Most likely it is for me – arm warmers or other such ridiculous items. Packages from weirdly named places like Wiggle and the poor postman is a constant visitor.I found a fantastic blog called Sportive Cyclist by a guy called Monty. He offers all sorts of practical tips and recommended a great book called Racing Weight by Matt Fitzgerald. Sub title: How to get lean for peak performance. We need all the help we can get.

What a great book. Loads of practical tips for improving your cycling performance by improving the quality of your diet and effectively reducing your fat content while retaining your lean, muscle mass. 

Would have been even better if I had read it 5 months ago and not finished it a week ago. Ho hum. Meanwhile the Wayneybaby has been annoyingly determined and has lost 18 lbs (or 8 bags of sugar). Grrr. Good for him obviously. But grrrr nevertheless! For some reason I have found it really hard to train and lose weight at the same time. Although the scales do say that I have increased my lean tissue and reduced my fat content a bit, I had hoped that all this exercise would have shifted more weight. Nope. You really do have to address the diet too. In the last couple of weeks when we have ramped up the exercise the scales have finally started to move in the right direction. Can we move Sunday’s ride back to November? ūüėȬ†

Ah well, the super skinny cyclists will be whizzing past me up the hills for sure… but for now mwua ha ha I will have the benefit of gravity on the way down.¬†

Signing off now. Until tomorrow!

JustGiving link: 100 Miles of Pain

2 weeks to go: Hills, wind, rain and a puncture

It was Sunday morning. Again. And that could only mean a Prince’s Trust, Palace to Palace training ride.

This week, I was hoping for a¬†slightly easier ride. We were tackling the same hilly circuit as last Sunday. In terms of other training, I only managed a brief 13 miles on Friday night – late in the evening and it was dark! Very spooky through the trees and foliage. Unfortunately I came back with aching shoulders and back … and a sneaky suspicion something was not right on my bike set-up or my posture. Time for some research.

Cue to look for cycling magazines all over the house (Me? Hoard? I don’t know what you mean?).

Success! I found one called ” Cycling Weekly: Complete Guide to Bike Fit & Injury Prevention”. Perfect. Loads of helpful articles. So it seems that my seat is too far from my handlebars … so my personal and¬†favourite¬†bike mechanic¬†made some adjustments before we went out on Sunday. (Thank you, Wayne xx)

Where was I? Oh, yes. Home, Sunday morning. Porridge and bananas consumed. Drinks, gel packs and snacks packed (seriously.¬†someone invent a stylish bum-bag, please) and we were off. The riding position seemed pretty good and the weather was dry, but windy. So far, so good. Not for long. The heavens opened and it poured it down for about 2/3rds of the ride (ie 20 miles!). Luckily we were warmed up otherwise it would have been so¬†tempting to just turn around and go home. Right at the end on the last 100 or so metres from home, my bike suddenly felt very heavy and bumpy – like riding over lots of uneven ground. Oh no… a puncture! But thank goodness – it was right by the house.

Considering the rain, wind and traffic on the roads, the time was respectable (slow by most people’s standards but we ARE improving!) and virtually identical to the week before. We both felt reasonably okay for the rest of the day which is a big improvement on last year when the same 30 miles felt like total and utter torture!

Well, my dear readers, all this cycling is not just for the fun of getting completely drenched in the lovely UK summer,¬†it‚Äôs about raising money!¬†Three in four young people supported by¬†The Prince’s Trust¬†move into work, education or training. The Prince of Wales‚Äôs charity has helped 750,000 young people since 1976 and supports over 100 more each day.

Thank you, thank you, thank you, if you have already supported! If you’d like still like to sponsor me for the 45-mile ride, you can do so here.

Thanks for reading.

Yippity do-dah; Zara and size 12 Jeans!

Time to report in on the previously documented four-week push. So far, so good. A little wobble (involving a certain Mr Pinot Grigio, scrummy bar food and some 10-year old Port last week) but still managed to lose weight in the week overall. So just under 3 weeks to go now for the final push!

Super-busy at work with multiple deadlines. In the denial* days, I would have come home from a long day and hit the wine (I deserve it) and food (I deserve it) as some kind of instant gratification and my reward for getting through a long day, long week, blah blah blah! This time, I decided that I would just have some healthy food (which was on-hand luckily – the secret is in the planning) and that I didn’t need the wine – so I could stay true to my four-week final push. And – yippee! – I managed it.

I felt a little wardrobe update was called for, as I was last at this weight in 1995. So shopping, we went. Pre-‘project-Andrea’ I couldn’t shop in places like H&M and Zara. So I ventured in. Cautiously, I tried a couple of things on. Happy days – they fitted! I can’t tell you how nice it is to be free to shop where you like, because you are not restricted by your size. It’s extremely motivating. So a rather summery peach-coloured jacket was acquired and worn to work this week.

I also did some online shopping as I wanted some new jeans. Size 14s arrived (Size 10 USA). I tried them on straight away. They were too big. What? Surely I can’t be a UK 12? ¬†Re-order online. Size 12s arrive. OMG. They fit! They fit! Cue singing around the house! Now, I am not naive enough to think that all size 12s are created equal, some are obviously bigger than others, but I am so happy, happy, happy about this.

It’s funny,¬†I obviously know I have lost weight, but my brain hasn’t quite kept pace with my physical appearance – it’s like it needs some time to adjust to the new me. I have had some lovely comments from my friends and colleagues this week. I don’t know why in particular this week, maybe it’s the new jeans and jacket in the right size? Who knows? What I can say is that it does help that other people are noticing – and it makes me even more determined to keep getting closer to my goal and ultimately keep it off.¬†Thank you to everyone who commented – it really does help!¬†

And finally, gym this morning to kick-off the weekend in a good way –¬†which, shock-horror, I really enjoyed. So, it’s definitely been a good week overall, and I have a few key ‘lessons learnt’ from it:

  1. If you have a goal – document it, set a timescale and take the first step to achieving what you want.
  2. Pay someone a genuine compliment – maybe they are looking good or maybe they have been good to you – so thank them for being so nice – it really can make a difference to them.
  3. Recognise the small successes you are making towards your goal – if it your goal seems a long way off, one step towards it is better than one step away from it.
  4. And lastly, If you have a wobble, it’s okay, we’re all human and it’s just a wobble – just get back on track as soon as you can.

Have a fab few days and be good to yourself!

*denial = denial that there was a problem