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Mish’s preseason task 4 was about getting the gear you need, and sorting your routine out. Considering it’s week 4 already (and I am only just getting to this task) – it’s lucky I was pretty much sorted already!

Firstly, I am a loyal Les Mills member (oh how I love Les Mills) and regularly attack, pump, RPM, step and sometimes combat. Quite often I will just use the cardio machines as well, and when I am with my trainer Emma, we work out using strength bags and kettlebells and medicine balls and all those sorts of fun things!

Last week was a challenging week. We were heading away to the Coromandel for a week long beach holiday. However I was determined that “beach holiday” wouldn’t mean “exercise holiday” so I packed my shoes and gear, and worked out a plan.

Day 1 – I did Mish’s Week 3, Monday outdoor workout in the park (including the awful Turkish Getups, without a dumbell). I enlisted Jase’s help as ‘workout commando’ and we did a cool little warmup – Jase kicked his rugby ball around the field and I had to run to get it, and bring it back to him to kick again. Good way to make a 10min run fun!

Day 2 – I ran to the marina, along the main road, and back home again which was a distance of 4.8km. To round it up, I ran to the bus stop and back to make it 5kms.

Day 3 – I did my own outdoor workout on the beach. I ran 1km in barefeet along the sand (harder than it sounds), and then did reps of press ups, burpees, basketball jumps, tricep dips, crunches, double crunches, reverse crunches and plank. Repeat x 3.

Working out on the beach

Day 4 – I found the Whangamata Gym! I joined in with the 6 local ladies doing their morning pump class – which was a bit different but I definitely worked up a sweat!

Day 5 – 5km Running Route again

Day 6 – stretching on the beach

I was really proud of myself that I managed to make my workouts fit to my location. No Excuses! Just because I wasnt near my normal gym, didnt mean I couldnt put my shoes on and work up a sweat. Stretching on the beach as the sun came up was absolute bliss (and now I am wondering how I can make that permanently part of my life?!).

Mish also recommends getting a heart rate monitor to monitor your calories burnt, and your heart rate. Purely because of the cost I have been humming and harring over this purchase for weeks now (3 weeks to be exact). Finally I decided to do it. And so, I introduce to you…Harry (the hardout heart rate monitor). He is a spanky Polar FT7. I can’t wait to strap him on and see what he says after my attack class and dragon boating session tonight!

Harry "the hardout" Heart Rate Monitor

I feel totally geared up and ready for week 4! Bring it on!

Last week I recieved an email from a trainer at Les Mills that had taken me on various exercise programmes over the last couple of years. She was giving away 12 x 45min personal training sessions to someone who is “struggling with weight loss and fitness, and has the desire to work hard for me, but more importantly, for themselves!”

So I fired off a quick email, talking about my goals, where I am at with training, and how much I plan to stick to the programme. This is my entry:

I would LOVE to win your Gift of Fitness.
Despite ALL my good intentions and sweaty sessions last year, I still put ON 7kg. This is the heaviest I have ever been in my life and I hate it. I have written about my struggle with stress related weight gain on my blog here – it seems that no matter what I do, weight goes on.
I feel that I work damn hard in the gym, but I am struggling to shift the weight. I currently go to the gym 4 or 5 times a week (doing attack, step and pump classes), am training to run the 7km round the bays, and have signed up for the dragon boating team – but my weight is staying the same. I am a weight watchers member and track my food rigourously and go for weekly weigh in’s so I know I have the committment! I would stick to the programme 100%!!
2011 is my year of being free – free of the stress, and free of the weight. I have already started making some serious changes like giving up coffee completely, and trying to de-gluten-ify my diet as much as possible – and now I feel I need someone to help me shake it up workout wise to really get these kilo’s melting away. My goal is to lose 10kg by April 20th – that day is my last day at work (I have resigned to go off on my OE – and reduce the stress even more) and I have a week in Rarotonga booked. My dream is to be able to wear a bikini on the beach and feel good about myself!
Please help me with my quest for 2011! I would love to blog/ tweet/ facebook about the whole experience too!
All the best,
Leah 🙂

I hoped it was enough and hit send. I was so excited about the opportunity that I didn’t stop talking about it the whole way home. And the next day, Jason decided that he would also email the trainer, nominating me and reinforcing my entry. Now, I didn’t know what he was going to write or say about me – but when he did BCC me in, I was nearly in tears reading it. It was quite eye opening reading how he has seen me stuggle, and how he feels for me and the efforts I make. This is what he wrote:


Good Morning,  

My name is Jason and I would like to nominate my lovely girlfriend Leah Evans for your Gift of Fitness Competition.

When I first met Leah she was a lot smaller than what she is now, and although her weight gain makes no difference at all to the way I feel towards her, I have seen the effect that her weight gain has had on her appearance, her confidence, but most importantly I have seen her self esteem plummet. I have watched her do Look Better Naked, Look Even Better Naked, various other gym programes, weight watchers and visit various naturopaths and doctors and in our room at the moment are various books such as “Eat right for your blood type”, “I can make you thin” and “Get fit for life” to name a few – I must say that she has read and taken in everything that the books have to say.

 Quite possibly the most heartbreaking aspect I have noticed is how hard and how determined she is at the gym, she consistently goes to the gym 4-5 times a week and I’m not talking about just sitting on a bike or socialising (Like I tend to do most of the time), I’m talking either Pump, step, attack or RPM classes or running on a treadmill training for the 7km round the bays run. I also notice the incredible attention to detail in selecting the food that she eats, when she eats, what she eats and how she eats it to ensure that she is not putting on weight.

But the weight still keeps coming on and not going away and it has been like this for a couple of years now.

2009 and 2010 were nightmare years for Leah, 2009 was the 1st year she had lived in wellington and I was sitting my PCE 2 exams (which are proberly even more stressfull for the partners than the people doing it) and in 2010 it got even worse with her Granny passing away in an absolutely horrible and inhumane fashion, she had to sit APR, and had to deal with her work getting on top of and treading all over her. Through sheer determination she got through it all and after various blood tests and doctors visits she realised that the weight gain was stress related and to do with her very high cortisol levels and how her body reacts to it. SO no matter hard she tried, due to events beyond her control, her body just would not respond to all the fitness and nutrition efforts she was putting in.

But all that is over and behind her now, and she has our incredible OE coming up and 3 holidays between now and April to look forward to, the stress of the last 2 years is behind her and I KNOW that she is ready to take on 2011 with even more guts and determination than ever before – that is why I believe she is the best candidate for your wonderful prize, she is ready to train harder, eat even better and do whatever it takes to get herself back into shape for all our holidays and OE coming up.

Whatever you ask of her she will do and more, she blogs about her weight loss progression, she has started a “Shrinking Tweets” group on Facebook and is determined to ANYTHING she can to get back into shape.

As you proberly know yourself the Number 1 problem most people have is their attitude to weight loss, I don’t think you are going to find anyone else that has the attitude that Leah has, she doesn’t fit her training and nutrition around her life, she fits her life around her training. Together with my support and encouragement I know that she can reach her weight loss goals, I also think that you will find it most rewarding and enjoyable in being a part of and watching her transform her body back to way she was.

I thank you for your time and wish you good luck with your Gift of Fitness Competition.

Kind Regards


Aren’t I just the luckiest girl in the world?!

The best part about it was the email I just recieved – saying that I had WON!

The trainer said that the email I had sent her, followed up by the one from Jase, had her from the start. I cannot WAIT to get started – and will keep you all updated with the training sessions and how I am going. I want to completely maximise this amazing opportunity and get the very best results from it. BRING IT ON!

2011 just got SO much better!

The lovely Les Mills is offering a 10 week Shape up for Summer challenge, starting this Saturday. The challenge runs until Saturday 4th of December – and for the grand total of $10 (all money to the Heart Children) I get:

  • two weigh-ins (eep)
  • two free RPM (spin) rides
  • a free 45 min consultation to get you on track
  • a weekly motivational email to keep me on track 
  • a food and workout template to track my progress
  • access to a team training work out of the week (which I have signed up for) – to train with others who are on the challenge
  • prizes! spot prizes & an overall prize for the biggest loser & the biggest money raiser for Heart Children

All that for $10 seemed like a great deal so I have signed myself up, completed the first weigh in (sorry, not ready to share this JUST yet) and filled out my planned training diary.

Stay posted for the updates – one a week for the next 10 weeks. I want to shape up for summer! YAY!

Anyone want to join me?  😉

Fine print: you need to sign up by Saturday 25 September at your local Les Mills

Day 9 of the 30 Days challenge calls for something we are proud of in the last few days.

I guess for me it’s every time I get off my butt and exercise. I don’t enjoy doing it (despite being a loyal Les Mills member for 3 years and generally averaging 2 to 3 visits a week) I never find it easy, fun, or really that great at the time.

But its after I have been that I get filled with that warm fuzzy proud feeling. And as I have mentioned before – my cool down song is even called Proud. Listen to it, it’s awesome. I always have it on my ipod walking back to the office, sometimes I lipsync the words in the elevator (so long as no one else is in there with me!). It’s like a little “GO ME”.

In the last week I have RPM’d it (thank you Les Mills Extreme for FINALLY getting new RPM bikes. The ones you had before were ass & it was the sole reason I sounded like a whiny JAFA when I said “I don’t want to be one of those people who compares everything to Auckland…but…Les Mills in Welli really needs to up their game!”). Anyway, new RPM bikes. Loving it.

I also frequent the step classes (Monday nights to kick start the week), a couple of lunch time pump classes (depending on who I can drag with me from the office), combat, and occasionally I will run on the treadmill. I am trying to get my running up to par, so doing a bit of that at the moment. I used to love Jam as well, but have kinda stopped going to that since I moved to Welli. What can I say, I save myself for Gandalf 😉

And on that note – here’s my stats from yesterday’s run. I stupidly decided to run in the rain along the Hutt river trail, ignoring the signs about maintenance/upgrade/work blah blah blah. I ended up ankle deep in mud, and thinking it would get better soon I kept going at a strange half run, half hurdling over puddles & mud pools pace…after about a K I realised I was covered in mud and the track wasn’t going to get any better, so I turned around and half ran, half hurdled my way back. Hence the slooooow KMs this time. Meh, I was still getting my puff on for 30 mins, so that’s all good – no matter what the speed 🙂

Yeah. Exercise = proud.

What about you guys?

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