The journey to be a healthy mum leading a fitter life

Last week I signed up for, and started, a 6 week exercise program with EvoFit here in Doha.  It is the start of my journey to be a healthy mum, leading a fitter life.

With signing up I got access to 6 weeks of unlimited classes for 500QR.  Alongside a weigh-in, a body fat percentage measurement and my BMI recorded.

Weight stats. Weight 69.2kg Body fat 34.3% BMI 25.2

The idea?

6 weeks to improve my overall health, fitness and maybe lose a pound or two.

The method?

Exercise and diet.  You can skip down to my weekly evening meal plan here.  But I left that first class clutching a food group plan and a basic diet guideline.  I’ll be sharing what I eat in the coming weeks.

I don’t generally agree with the sentiment behind the “beach body” challenge.  Your body is a beach body when it is on the beach.  But I do agree with being stronger, fitter and improving my overall health.  Which is why I found myself here on my path to becoming a healthy mum leading a fitter life.

At the start of the year I found my fitter life through running.  Making it a habit. The problem with that is that as temperatures begin to soar here in Doha my enthusiasm for putting myself outside in 40 degree heat began to wane.  And my habit fell to the wayside.

As did my fitness levels.

Facebook came to the rescue.  A chance sighting of the beach body course I’m now signed up on flashed by me on my newsfeed.

And I signed up.

Off I trundled, jumped on the scales and got handed a diet sheet, and began my journey.

Sunday –  High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT) the first class

Then began the start of my HIIT session.  Partner work around the gym, 30 seconds on, 30 seconds off.  3 reps then moving on.  Chest press, leg press, pull downs, rowing machine, cross trainer, burpees, press ups.  Half an hour of more work than I’ve done in a long time.

Monday – HIIT the second class

Then again the next day, taking part in a MetaFit class, hailed as the original 30 minute metabolic workout that just keeps working.  I can confirm that it hurt.

Wednesday – HIIT the third class

Day off, back on it with circuits that were more like a rumble not sure what that means?  Trust me, it’s intense.  Three stations, 5 exercise sets, 12 minutes to complete 80 reps with your partner.

That’s 40 reps of each exercise to be done by me, in blocks of 10.  10 reps on, 10 reps rest.  Rinse and repeat.  Rinse and repeat.

The Bench

40 hurdles, 40 step ups (I couldn’t do the box jump!), 40 press ups, 40 dips, 40 bunny hops.

The Kettle Bells

40 squat lifts, 40 dead lifts, 40 swings, 40 sumo squats, 40 of something else that I have blocked from my memory…

The floor

40 Burpees, 40 sit ups, 40 donkey kicks, 40 tuck jumps, 40 scissor lifts.

That is one big HIIT work out.  And I didn’t even manage to do all of it, by the time I got round to the floor exercises I was crawling.  Our reps dropped from 80 to 60 between us and still then we struggled.

I left that class and I was walking as though I was drunk, it took 3 days for the feeling to come back in my legs!

It’s a pain that feels good.  But it’s a pain that made me stop until the weekend.

Saturday – Low Intensity Steady State (LISS) Exercise

After still walking like a dodgy cowgirl from the intensity of the workout on Wednesday my thighs begged me to reconsider doing anything.  They cried every time I sank down on the toilet and playing on the floor with the boys?  Well once I got down I wasn’t coming back up.

Still, they needed to be loosened and so it was time to face my mortal enemy.  The DREADmill.

As it really is too hot here to be running outside anytime past 6am if you want to do any kind of running or walking you are stuck on the treadmill of doom.

Armed with a new podcast to listen to, the very interesting Bryony Gordon’s Mad World and an interview with Mandy Stevens, off I set at a very modest speed of 8.3km/h for 30 minutes.

My TomTom Cardio Spark Fitness watch at the ready to monitor my heart pace and keep on counting those steps for me, off I went.

Heart Rate from LISS work out failure

OK so I failed MISERABLY at keeping my heart rate in the recommended zone of 120-130 but I kept myself slow and steady and ran for 4.01km in total.  A far cry from my parkrun 5km best of 28m57s last summer.

TomTom Cardio Spark

My ParkRun PB August 2016 as monitored by my TomTom Cardio Spark Fitness watch

80% food 20% exercise

As with any plan, it’s said that a change in your body is 80% food and 20% exercise.

Not much is going to change if you exercise 7 days a week but insist on eating McDonalds for every meal.

Personally I’m a big believer in everything in moderation and I also don’t agree with cutting out food groups such as carbs.  Especially when you are doing such high intensity work outs, you require energy.

I do believe in wholesome cooking, making things from scratch, and enjoying the food you put in you.

With that said here is what I am eating this week. It’s relatively short because we are off on a weekend break from Friday so I only need to feed us for 5 days YIPPEE! Which also brings me to my other point – I am going to eat exactly what I want while I am away. “Cheating” is perfectly acceptable and a normal part of life. In fact it’s not even cheating, it’s just living life.

Meal Plan

Sunday – Cottage Pie

Beef mince in gravy, topped with a cauliflower, butternut squash and sweet potato mash

Monday – Grilled Salmon with Avocado, Feta and Pumpkin Seeds

Tuesday – Roast Chicken Salad

Roasted chicken, served with a large green salad and quinoa

Wednesday – Creamy Slow Cooker Chicken Korma

Thursday – Slow Cooker Spicy Chicken and Rice

I’m also a big fan of my slow cooker inherited off my mother-in-law it’s been in constant use. Slow cookers don’t have to be fancy or expensive, they just need to be able to cook things slowly!  Which means that when my husband gets home from work we can all sit down at the table and eat together.

Yep, we are going to be the next fit family…

Check back in next week to see how I’m getting on.

The journey to be a healthy mum leading a fitter life

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