You know that expression - put your money where your mouth is?
Well at Fort Regent we are doing just that.
When I tell people I work at Fort Regent they think I must be a
gym bunny but in truth I really dislike exercise. The
personal trainers in the gym are so friendly and I feel guilty
refusing the offers of help, but kids, work and life just gets in
the way. They don't need to but it's a good excuse and I'm
sticking to it.
My colleague Tom on the other hand, child free and having extra
leisure time, loves and is really into his fitness and has an
amazingly healthy diet (I know we all hate him already!).
So when he suggested that I join the annual Fort Regent Weight
and Fat Loss Challenge you can imagine what I said and you'd be
right, I said 'No'. In actual fact I think I fell of my chair
laughing and then I said 'No'.
But then I had a rethink. I remembered not too far back
posting an article about how to keep resolutions and one of the
major contributors to success is to let other people know what you
are up to. It was time to put your money where your mouth
So I signed up.
In all 23 staff members took up the challenge and on
11th January we began with an official weigh in with
Exercise Referral. The girls, very coyly, going in
separately, the guys, bravely, going into together. I believe
there was some friendly banter and outraged men on discovery of
I've always wondered (and been slightly jealous) about how
people stay motivated, what's their secret! Most people can
stick it for a week but how do you keep it going?
In an effort to discover my own secret and remembering that
another road to success is to 'Write down your goals' I let Tom
talk me into a one on one competition which I would blog.
It's also a bit of an experiment to see what happens. So here
it is; I will be discussing the apps we are using, diet, fitness
and how we getting along.
Tech seems to promise to make us all better at everything so Tom
and I are using the following apps and websites:
Apps: Myfitnesspal and FitBit - both apps are free.
to eat (annual charge of around £10) and Calorie Count - free
Both Tom and I received FitBits for Christmas, which depending
on your model, tracks sleep, steps, calories, movement, heart rate,
exercise and tells the time. It links into
Myfitnesspal is a type of health journal where you log what
you've eaten and it works out how many calories you have left - if
you have it on your phone it can also log steps but I haven't found
this to be very accurate. It also has forums and advice.
The info from myfitnesspal magically appears in your FitBit
dashboard and works out how your doing - including how many
calories you have left and because your FitBit watch is more
accurate you usually get a couple of bonus calories! Yippee.
Plan to Eat: An online meal planner making it
easier to plan and stay on track.
Calorie Count: Works out how many calories in a
meal (accuracy not confirmed!)
Diet method: Emma: Trying to stick to
1200 calories - no cheat days. Tom: Balancing calories in to
calories out and sticking to a percentage of food groups, ie,
protein, fats and carbohydrates plus one cheat day.
Exercise method: Emma - working out at
home. Tom: playing sport, walking home from work, weight
training, 3-4 times a week, including some sessions with Harry
Zambon from Zambon Fitness.
Results after the first two weeks:
|#TeamEmma - Starting
|After week one
|After week two
|#TeamTom - Starting
|After week one
|After week two
Fortunately we are both down but here's what we did and didn't
Good: managed to log almost all my food in myfitnesspal, stayed
on track with the 1200 calories, only went over on two days.
Could do better: Midweek week two I was having an emotional
moment and comfort ate! I also only exercised twice the
entire two weeks.
#TeamEmma - The Low Down
Counting calories is very dull and time consuming.
Myfitnesspal is mainly American foods and even though there are
items I have most days (ie, mint tea) it doesn't seem to save them
as frequent foods - all the scrolling through lists of food is
frustrating and when I'm busy I don't bother so it's easy to lose
track of calories consumed; I need something simpler. From
this week I am converting over to 5:2
diet which promises me five calorie free counting days and 2
days of starvation! I'm nervous as I don't want to put on
what I've lost.
FitBit is really helping especially when you achieve a goal and
you get a little vibration on your wrist to celebrate!
Exercise: I have no solutions! We have a new Curve machine
so I'm going to check it out - maybe the novelty will persuade
Good: I have been training hard and managed to gain
strength on my big lifts (deadlift/squat/bench press) as well as
playing sport to get my cardio in. This has allowed me to
consume about 3,250 calories a day and still cut weight.
Could do better: Last weekend I overindulged on my cheat
day sinking a few pints of lager, eating sushi, a 3 course dinner
followed by a muffin and biscuits all in one evening. I then
woke up and treated myself to a full English breakfast! It was a
special occasion so I can live with the consequences of a small
weight gain in week 2 after a positive first week.
#TeamTom - The Low Down
Myfitnesspal is a God send for me as I have a monster
appetite. As I prep my lunch the night before I can input all
my meals a day early so I don't have to worry about not recording
data accurately or missing anything out. This also stops me
from being tempted to visit the vending machine or grab some fast
food from the café as I have already prepared my food for the
day. Breakfast is easy to record as it is the same most days;
either overnight oats, Weetabix or salmon and poached eggs on toast
with avocado. You can save regular meals in myfitnesspal so
you don't have to constantly search for individual
ingredients. This gives me more flexibility in the evenings
to eat tasty home cooked meals without worrying too much about the
nutritional value as I have already eaten well balanced and "clean"
meals all day.
I love my new FitBit, It has encouraged me to get more sleep and
start to walk when I can. The app you get for your phone
allows you to compete with fellow FitBit wearers to get the most
steps in a week. I am trying to keep up with some Personal
Trainers and PE teachers so I have started walking home most days,
which has also saved me in petrol money! Wooop!
I have really upped my training recently. I already had a
good base fitness, however my PT Harry has really pushed me hard to
increase my strength and ensure I stay on track with my
goals. My technique has also improved on my big compound
movements. I hate running on a treadmill or plodding away on
a cross trainer as I get bored very quickly. Instead I get my
cardio in through sports. A game of 5 a side for an hour can
burn a good 700 calories and be very enjoyable at the same
So there's the background - from now on we'll be posting
snippets on how we're doing - you can follow our progress on this
blog, Facebook, Twitter and
Instagram! #TeamEmma and