Diet is out. Exercise is in. 8 stone to shed – bootcamp style!!! No pain, no gain (or loss in my case!) Follow me as I fight the flab on a beach-based bootcamp

Month 11 complete? Tick!

Operation Fit Test, Month 11, Week 4, Day 12, 0600hrs, North Bay Chairlifts

Another four weeks have whizzed by bringing us to Operation Fit Test again. After my “I’m melting” moment on Wednesday, I reverted to the summer wardrobe this morning … and it was flipping freezing! How typical is that? The temperature had dropped to 8 degrees and a really cold frosty sensation hung in the air. Brr!

I wasn’t quite as nervous as I usually am for Fit Test and I wonder if that was because I didn’t expect to smash my time this morning. I’ve had a really good food week. I haven’t been able to go to Slimming World for the last few weeks, but I’ve had a really good week. Hubby has been fabulous, providing me with a salad with prawns or salmon for my lunch and we’ve had a healthy tea. I haven’t eaten any chocolate, cake, takeaways or anything like that. Very proud. But we had a team meeting last night with work and went out for a meal. I had some bread and a dessert and, I have to say, felt really sluggish this morning as a result.

It was a long Fit Test this morning involving five runs up Lamp Hill so it was always going to be tough but I’m thrilled to say that I knocked 2 minutes and 11 seconds off my time from 10:49 to 8:38. Really pleased with that. Huge congratulations to Ava on her first month for knocking off a whopping 5 minutes plus. That’s absolutely amazing! I don’t know what newbie Leigh knocked off hers but I bet it was quite phenomenal so well done Leigh too!

Final congratulations go to Sarah T who got Top Sniper this month. Fabulous achievement 🙂 She was given the hoodie that matches the t-shirt I have for the month: the turquoise one with “guess what, burpees hate you too” battle cry on it. I didn’t realise that one came in a hoodie too. I’m now torn as to whether I’d hope for the purple hoodie (favourite colour) or the turquoise one (gorgeous colour and favourite battle cry) if I ever performed well enough to become Sniper of the Month. Might have to add one to my Christmas list instead cos there’s no way I’d be in contention for the accolade next month as I’m on holiday for part of it and will therefore miss at least 4 sessions. Although I’ll still be torn as to which one to ask Santa for.

I’ve made a decision. I’m not going to continue with this blog. Well, not in the way I have been. I’ve written a post after every bootcamp with the occasional double-entry if time has passed me by. But time is really of a premium at the moment. I’m massively struggling to fit in a full-time demanding job, Brownies, novel-writing, and keeping up with 3 blogs (I have an individual writing one and contribute to another as part of a writing collective called The Write Romantics as well as this one). Something has to give. I won’t write a post after each session anymore, but I’ll post entries from time to time. I will record each Day 12 Fit Test result as that’s a great way for me personally to track progress (and hopefully success). Other than that, I might do a summary of a week, I might report a great achievement (e.g. weight loss, Top Sniper, special event) but it will be intermittent posting from now on.

Thank you so much to everyone who has supported the blog and provided encouraging comments, particularly Liz, Sarah and Sue who’ve followed it religiously. I’ve really appreciated it. Thanks to bootcampers past and present such as Emma, Leigh and Luke who’ve also supported it. And thanks to the various Drill Sergeants who’ve read and supported me too.

It’s been a great year of bootcamp. I actually can’t believe it’s been that long. I remember my very first Sniper Fitness Bootcamp and how I thought I was going to die doing the warm-up, never mind the actual bootcamp. A year down the line, I sometimes still think that! I’ve massively increased my fitness across the year, although I still have a lot further to go. I’ve toned up and I’ve lost some weight but not very much. I’m not back at the point I was last time I did a bootcamp because I haven’t been controlling my food, but I will get there at some point. For me, the fact that I’m still rising at 5.20am and going to bootcamp is an amazing achievement because, if I didn’t do that, I’d be way fatter than I am now and unable to run for a bus. Thank you Nina, Chris, Daz, Laura and Mark for designing fabulous, challenging Operations, motivating us to keep going, and running a brilliant bootcamp that has me already signed up into my second year.

Have a great weekend everyone xx

1 Comment »

I’m melting … melting!

Operation Pyramid, Month 11, Week 4, Day 11, 0600hrs, Open Air Theatre

12049427_504583003035329_8796414411999037837_nI missed Monday but I have a good excuse. I was up till 1.30am finishing off the edits on my second novel, Getting Over Gary. I knew it would take a while to switch off from that and actually fall asleep (it did) so there was no way I was going to be able to go to bootcamp on 2-3 hours sleep, especially knowing it was a revisit to Operation Omnium which would mean a heck of a lot of running.

I had a horrendous night’s sleep again last night but hauled myself out of bad and down to bootcamp. I’m glad I did because I hadn’t completed Operation Pyramid this month (must have been one of the ones I missed when I went away for my wedding anniversary) and I really enjoyed it.

The weather was really strange today. It was thick fog where I live and the fog continued into town when normally it clears. There was quite a bit of light drizzle in the air and I anticipated it being cold because it had been over the last few days so I converted to my winter wardrobe. I had my long leggings on and my long-sleeved skin. Boy did I regret that! It was 14 degrees this morning and the light drizzle lifted after the warm-up. And I melted. Completely and utterly melted. I felt like there was a furnace instead of a torso. I don’t think I could have sweated more if I’d been sat in a sauna! Yum. Very attractive!

We were at The Open Air Theatre and started the Operation in a circle. The idea was to run round in a circle for 40 seconds, then we’d do a series of four (isn) exercises for 5 seconds less each time. We’d then all run to lamppost two and back, then do another four (ish) exercises increasing for 5 seconds each time, ending with the circle run again. This whole Op was repeated starting at 45 seconds for the circle run, then again with 50 seconds.

11226170_504782366348726_5251552898959390932_nI really enjoyed the running part of today’s session as it wasn’t too long or too far, although I did start to feel a little on the dizzy side with the circle run as it approached the end! The exercise parts were a little tougher and my wrists were really hurting when doing the side planks so I gave up and did a normal plank. I wish I could crack the side plank but I’m still massively struggling and I really panic as soon as my wrists hurt because, as a writer, I can’t risk damage to them.

Thanks, Nina, for a fab operation. And congrats do the group for all getting Top Sniper.

It’s the end of the month on Friday and the Fit Test. I’m really not expecting good things with having missed 3 sessions this month. If I could knock just 30 seconds off my time, I’d be really pleased. Will let you know how I get on. After that, I’ve signed up for Team Squad during the break week again, and also booked myself onto Month 12 last night although I’m on holiday next month so will miss four sessions while I’m away.

Leave a comment »

A year down the line, and I’m still pants at this bootcamping malarky

Operation Under Fire, Month 11, Week 3, Day 9, 0600hrs, North Bay

I’m a day late in posting. I’ve got a deadline to submit my second book on Monday and I’m way behind on it so I was trying got take every minute last night to write. I’ve been to my dad’s 70th birthday do today and am too tired to write so I’m having a bit of a social media catch-up.

I’d completed Operation Under Fire on one occasion before and remembered enjoying it with one exception; we had to belly crawl along the beach. I hate sand! I grabbed a couple of old towels before I left the house just in case I was wet and sandy. I have to say, I was pretty relieved to see that the tide was in which meant no belly crawling on sand … although I dreaded to know what we’d be doing instead!

12039262_503301689830127_8627601354676550609_nThe premise of the Op was that DS Nina would run from us, separating herself from the group for a short, medium or long distance. We’d have to run to her and perform 2 minutes of reps of a different exercise each round before setting off on our run again. However, at any point during our run, DS CS could call “Under Fire!” and we’d have to drop and, instead of belly crawling, we’d have to do press-ups.

The problem with being fat and of advancing years is that I take so long to get to the ground and so long to get up again, that I massively fall behind with the running. Thankfully there was one more boot camper with the same problems as me, but it was a really tough Op again and I have to say I was a bit rubbish at it.

At some point last month and earlier this month, I felt like I was flying and it seems to have fallen apart again. After a year of bootcamping (this time round), I may be a lot fitter, but I haven’t lost weight (because I’ve failed abysmally to control the greedy fat piggy in me at every turn) and I haven’t improved from my position at my back of the group. During that year, I’ve had highs and lows, fast moments and slow moments, I’ve become Top Sniper as part of a team on several occasions but only 2 or 3 times as an individual which is a shame given the amount of bootcamps I’ve completed. Just shows how pants I am at this! Eleven months of bootcamping at 12 sessions a month less time off on holiday, work and the occasional lie-in, I reckon I’ve completed about 110-120 bootcamps. That’s a lot of rises at stupid o’clock – one heck of a lot – so well done me for that! I just wish I was better at it all. I know I’ve improved a lot at running, and I’m not too shabby at certain exercises like squats and star jumps, but I still can’t do burpees, I can’t do anything that involves using my triceps, and I really can’t hold my body weight when doing a side plank. It takes me forever to get down to the floor for moves, and an eternity to get back up again so I’m slow to start and slow to finish any floor exercises. I therefore never really ace any Operations. It’s rare I get to the end and think I’ve done well, although it’s rare I get to the end and think I could have done better. Perhaps this is me at my level. I was always crap at sport at school so why should I be good as an adult carrying twice my body weight, knackered knees, and being the wrong side of 40). Yep, I’m not good at bootcamp. And I don’t think I ever will until the weight comes off. Will it ever come off? I threw a coin in a well when I went to the Lakes last weekend and wished that I could finally conquer it. I also wished that Searching for Steven would be made into a film. Here’s keeping everything crossed that both wishes will be granted!

Leave a comment »

Monty. In my case, not the full Monty but the half-arsed Monty!

Operation Omnium, Month 11, Week 3, Day 7, 0600hrs, Grass behind Indoor Swimming Pool

I’ve missed the last two bootcamps. I knew I was going to miss Friday’s because I was going away for a long weekend to celebrate my 10th wedding anniversary from Thursday. I intended to go to Monday’s as we were back but I suspected fatigue might take hold and it did.

Missing two bootcamps is effectively a week off and I paid for it this morning. I felt tired, listless and barely able to move.

It was a new Op and we knew from the picture and the links to Monty Python that it was something to do with the Ministry of Silly Walks. I worried that bear crawls might feature in there somewhere.

They did.

The premise was very simple this morning. We were to line up along a starting line and undertake some sort of movement to where DS CS was stood on the finish line then we’d sprint back to the start. Round 2 would be a different movement but the distance would be slightly shorter. However, we’d increase the sprints by one. Each round saw DS CS move a step closer but the sprints increase. I think the final round was nine sprints.

A few of the moves were ok – high knees with arms in the air, walking lunge, and a pivot squat move … but some were awful. We had a bear crawl to do which is difficult, exhausting and slow (if you’re me!) We had a crab walk and we had a rotating round the world where we rotated 180 degrees using our arms like normal but then did 180 by moving our legs. My head nearly exploded with that one!

The worst moves for me were burpees with a jump. I’m slow at burpees and I don’t cover much ground so I was still doing mine when everyone else was well into their sprints. Crab crawl was a non-event. I could just about lift myself up in a crab position with my arms squealing at me, but I absolutely couldn’t move. After being rooted to the spot for a while, I had to give up and run instead.

I was at the back for all but one of the rounds and the demons returned. I’ve not been able to go to Fat Club and I haven’t been dieting so I’m feeling all huge and fat again. I was aching from a big hill walk we’d done at the weekend and tired as usual. Always tired. I was feeling stressed (and still am) about a deadline I have on my second novel that I’m struggling to meet cos I have no time to write, and I was hating being at the back. Again. Being the slowest. Again. Argh! I jokingly advised DS CS that the session wasn’t generous to short people and I know my height (or lack of it) didn’t help. But my age and my weight were a bigger hindrance. I can’t do anything about my age, but I can do something about my weight. Yet I don’t. AGAIN!

Better sign off and crack on with that “difficult second novel” again. Back on Friday xx

Leave a comment »

Run, run, as fast as you can …

Operation Omnium, Month 11, Week 2, Day 5, 0600hrs, Park, North Bay Cliffs

I’ve done this Op once – maybe twice – before, but many months ago. It takes place in the park are where we complete Operation Track. We’re divided into two teams and one team starts at either side of the middle of the park. The idea is that we complete 1, 1.5 or 2 laps running round the track then straight into an exercise on completion of the lap(s). However, the winning team is the first one to get all members of the team back and exercising based on the selected category which could be everyone in a certain colour t-shirt, or everyone wearing a certain brand of trainers, or all the girls etc.

11082584_423326257827671_406569843126193288_nI really like Operation Omnium but it’s an absolute killer because, being one of the slowest, I have to run so incredibly fast and hard to try not to let the team down. Exhausting!

We had 3 rounds where I really had to push myself – first team to get all members back, the girls, and then the person who’d done the most bootcamps. This put me up against Rachael who is a great runner. We only had to do one lap but it was about six rounds into the Op and I was already pretty tired. However, as one of my teammates pointed out, Rachael was tired too having run a lap or too not that long before. With Graham by my side pushing me on, I have never run so fast in my whole life. It actually felt quite amazing for about half a lap, then fatigue set in. I’m just relieved I only had one lap to do and not 1.5 or two because I don’t think I could have run further. I’m exceptionally chuffed that I didn’t come in that far behind Rachael; something I’d never have thought was achievable.

Thank you Graham and thanks also to James for encouraging me round the girls only lap. A great way to start the day although fatigue seriously set in around late afternoon!

Leave a comment »

One blog post, two operations

Operation Musical Chairs, Month 11, Week 1, Day 3, 0600hrs, North Bay Chairlifts

I didn’t get a chance to write up Friday’s Op so I’ll do that first. It was Operation Musical Chairs which basically sees us running in a circuit and, when the music stops (i.e. when DS CS gives us a 15-second warning), we’re “safe” if we haven’t made it to the starting point but we need to keep running if we’ve gone past it. This can mean a full extra circuit.

I’ve done this Op twice before. The first time was a circuit that included running along the beach, the second time involved running up lamp hill, but this time was on the promenade which wasn’t quite as challenging. However, the exercises we did between running rounds were harder. A particularly proud moment for me was managing to do side planks for the first time. We were meant to do one minute on one side then a minute on the other. I couldn’t hold it that long so I changed sides a little more often, but I did manage to hold it and was well chuffed about that.

Enjoyable Op 🙂

Operation Slalom, Month 11, Week 2, Day 4, 0600hrs, Training Area, North Bay

The reason I didn’t get to type up Friday is that I participated in a team-building event with my new employer that went on all afternoon and evening. It was a secret event that turned out to be held in the grounds of one of our colleague’s farms and it was a-may-zing. We were in 2 teams and had a series of exercises to complete. I participated in a bungee run race and sumo wrestling in giant sumo fat-suits. I haven’t laughed so much in ages but I also haven’t ached so much in ages. I think a combination of holding the side plank and then these two exercises had me limping around like an old biddy all weekend. The day after the day after (Sunday) was the worst and I was still aching this morning!

Today’s Op was Slalom. I knew I’d done it before but couldn’t remember what it involved until we started heading around Marine Drive at which point I realised we were heading for the training area where there are various wooden pieces of kit.

We were divided into 5 groups to work round 5 difference circuits twice over. It’s quite a long time since I’ve done this Op. Two of the exercises involved running up hills. I managed to properly run up them and I seem to remember that last time I struggled to do that so another small victory.

Great to see Graham back again who moved to SAS but has joined us while a back injury recovers. Hi Graham!

Back on Thursday xx

Leave a comment »

Back to school with a maths lesson in prime numbers

Operation Prime, Month 11, Week 1, Day 2, 0600hrs, North Bay Chairlifts

I’ve done this Op before but I couldn’t remember what it involved other than something to do with prime numbers. It soon came flooding back. We stood in one line in the chairlifts area and were given a number of exercises. The idea was to do reps in increasing prime numbers i.e. 2 reps of each exercise back to back, then a quick pause, then 3 reps, pause, 5 reps, 7, 11, 13, 17 etc. When each person finished their reps, they’d get into a half plank position and, when the final person did that, a count would start (30 seconds I think, but I’ve already forgotten after a very long day!) This meant that the fitter/faster ones planked for a lot longer.

11998799_498262687000694_5897262560124714_nThe first exercise each time was shuttle runs. I find it hard to get speed up when running a short distance but I was quite proud of my running today because we got up to and completed 17 reps of each exercise as a team. I seem to remember that we got to a similar level last time and the running absolutely killed me so I’ve definitely improved there. Mind you, doing 13 and then 17 burpees in a row, and also inchworms with a star jump was pretty tough. I had to break the exercises down into small numbers e.g. do 7, then 5, then another 5 so that I didn’t find it too scary!

Well done to everyone on conquering a tough Op.

I had my first Fat Club weigh-in tonight. I’ve had a bad week in that I have been so snowed under with work, a return to Brownies, trying to hit my deadline on finishing my second novel, and a library talk, that I really haven’t had a chance to look through the book and work it all out. I was doing well but it lost its way somewhere. However, I still managed to lose 1.5lbs which I’m pretty chuffed about. Hopefully I can get my act together for next week and do something decent. Watch this space! xx

Leave a comment »

And they’re off … Month 11 of bootcamp, here we come

Operation Fit Test, Month 11, Week 1, Day 11, 0600hrs, North Bay Chairlifts

I’m drained! What a busy day so far and it’s not over yet! The day started with what has to have been the toughest fit test yet. It was a longer one with lots of running. Make that lots of uphill running. And the exercises in-between the running were pretty full on ones that didn’t give much breath recovery opportunity.

12006149_498086213685008_5213898312358434133_nWe were at the North Bay Chairlifts again this morning after a slight deviation to the Open Air Theatre for last month’s fit test. The format was simple: run to lamp 1, do x20 reps, run to lamp to, do x15 reps of a different exercise, run to lamp 3 and so on until we ran to lamp 5 and did 1 x round-the-world.

We were introduced to a couple of new exercises which are going to feature this month. One was a big energy move like a starburst. It was called jumping jack (I think) and involved starting with feet together and arms in the air then a jump out to the side to land in a squat with hands at either side touching the knees. Pretty tiring stuff. Another move was very tricky if you’re rubbish at side planks like me because it involved side plank, squat thrust, side plank on the other side, squat thrust and keep repeating.

I’ve been intermittently running up lamp hill for 10 months worth of bootcamp now and I STILL find it takes it out of me. Despite my lungs feeling like they were going to burst, I still managed to stick to my rule of no walking. To be fair, my running pace wasn’t exactly leaving streaks of fire in my wake, but it was still a run … ish.

I was right at the back initially, but I managed to move forward part way through the exercise when a few of the others struggled and did a bit of a walk. By the end of this month, they’ll be faster than me again as is always the case but I don’t mind that as long as I improve my time. Somehow I managed a sprint finish today. Although my lungs were struggling, I had the energy in my legs to do a sprint downhill on the last run (and the bravery to do it as the ground wasn’t wet so I didn’t foresee a slip risk!)

I love my new t-shirt. It’s turquoise and the battle cry is: Guess what? Burpees don’t like you either. Genius! And very appropriate for me given the love lost between me and that particular exercise.

12006291_10153717292059073_2813299575419794276_nI went to work this morning for half a day and had the afternoon off to do a library talk at Eastfield Library. This is the second one I’ve done and I had a lovely audience who asked quite a few questions which was great. I loved seeing my book in its plastic casing when I arrived. Wonder if it will be borrowed very often.

Came home from that and I’m now catching up on some blogging before going out to Brownies for the start of the new term. I’ve already got a headache and have just guzzled some paracetemol. Hoping it goes before Brownies or it will get pretty horrendous as they’re always a tad excitable at the start of the autumn term after a huge break.

Hoping I can get an early night tonight. I barely slept last night again. This is becoming a Sunday habit. I don’t know it this is apprehension about bootcamp (especially the fit test), my mind becoming active about the week ahead at work, or simply going to bed too late but it’s driving me mad and making me so tired for the rest of the week.

Leave a comment »

A week of Team Squad? Tick. Loved it

Team Squad – Operation The Long & The Short Of It, Between Month 10 & 11 of Bootcamp, Day 3, 0600hrs, North Bay Chairlifts

11149476_496813947145568_500549793419872537_nFinal Team Squad this morning before Month 11 of bootcamp starts on Monday. It’s been a fabulous three sessions with DSNS but they’ve been tough! My thighs have been absolutely killing since Wednesday’s session so I knew I was going to hurt today.

Operation The Long & The Short Of It had three different running distances:

  1. Short – along the prom, down the steps, back along the beach, and up the ramp
  2. Medium – past the chairlifts, up the small steps, and along the lower path
  3. Long – past the chairlifts, up the small steps, up the big steps, along the top path and down the slope

We’d be told which run to go on and then had two minutes of exercise to do, although the clock started from when the first person got back so those who were slower (like me) didn’t exercise for quite so long.

There was a good mix of exercises including ab-jacks (on your back with legs slightly raised, crossing them back and forth), squad kicks, tricep dips on the wall and step ups on the wall. Unfortunately burpees made an appearance too. Grr!

There were eight of us again this morning. I love the smaller group size; very cosy. Will be strange going back to a big group on Monday.

Congratulations Michelle on coming up with some great titles for the Ops this week and congratulations to Nina on coming up with three amazing Operations 🙂 xx

Leave a comment »

Team Squad – To Hell & Back really was!!!

Team Squad – Operation To Hell & Back, Between Month 10 & 11 of Bootcamp, Day 2, 0600hrs, Open Air Theatre

It was my second ever Team Squad this morning and there were 9 of us today which was another nice cosy group.

We think Nina has been taking lessons from Dr Evil because this morning’s session was truly evil, hence the name Operation To Hell & Back. Having said that, it was actually really enjoyable (thank you Nina) … just VERY hard work!

We started outside the security huts at the Open Air Theatre and the premise was very simple. We did 10 x reps of one exercise whilst at lamp 1, ran to lamp 2 and did 8 x reps of it, ran to lamp 3 and did x6, lamp 4 for x4, lamp 5 for x2 then turn around and run back to lamp 4 for x4 and so on until we ended up back at lamp 10 doing x10 reps. There were about 9 or 10 exercises we went through. I think the total was that we’d end up doing 600 reps across the Op.

11986367_496182963875333_1462228084892281486_nThe first exercise was burpees which was an absolute killer. Starburst were also thrown in there for good measure! Decreasing reps is ok but increasing them again is exhausting.

Rachel who was a newbie last month joined us this morning and has been finding bootcamp tough but has shown amazing perseverance in keeping going. This morning was one of those occasional Ops where it’s very conspicuous if you are at the back and I was very conscious of Rachel being that person; a position with which I’m so familiar. As a team, we all cheered her on and counted down her last reps, but I dropped back on a couple of the rounds to run with her and count her through the reps. I’ve really appreciated people helping me in this way in the past and wanted to support Rachel. It’s really tough settling into bootcamp when you haven’t exercised recently or regularly and it’s easy to let those demons bring you down. I didn’t want Rachel to leave bootcamp having them screaming at her like they often do at me.

We had a chat on the way to the cool down about how diet is the key to success yet we both massively struggle with it. Rachel said she was going to join Slimming World that evening. I realised I needed some structure and routine back into my diet so, when she asked if I’d like to join her, I said yes. So we went along together and registered tonight. My slight challenge is that, as this was quite a last minute decision, I don’t have the right food in the house so I may have a tentative start, but I will work this out and conquer it with Rachel by my side. I have a holiday in October and my goal is to get a stone and a half off before then. That’s very possible, especially if I have a good weight loss of 6-8lbs in my first week. I’ll keep you posted as to how it goes.

Thanks Team Squad for your support this morning and to Nina for two great sessions so far. Looking forward to Friday. Ish. Because my knees are creaking and I have been struggling to move today! Could have done with work installing a Stanna Stairlift to get around the building! Owwwwww

Leave a comment »