Sunday, March 29, 2009

Challenge 1 - Weigh in 28th March - Andrew

This weekend has been a bad one, I've slipped a few times. Mainly because of the consumption of alcohol. On Friday night I was coerced (albeit quite easily) by my colleagues to go for "a pint" after work. This turned into a session in which I consumed a lot of beer, and at least 2 vodkas. All on a pretty empty stomach which lead, in turn, to junk food on the way home, as well as some little scumbag trying to pick a fight with me on Westmoreland Street. My stress levels from work are quite high with the pending audit and the preparation going into it, as well as relationship issues. all making me feel quite wound up.

It didn't help either that I went to the movies yesterday (was good at the cinema, just had a small scoop of sorbet and water) and then went out for drinks afterwards. A lot of empty calories this weekend, not good at all. On a more positive note, the weight loss so far has become noticeable to me, my confidence has increased, I'm walking taller, I was approached several times in the bars last night and though I didn't do anything about it, it WAS a huge boost to my self confidence.

Anyway, the lesson to be learned here is that drink is the devil when it comes to weight loss. So, lesson learned, while I might go to the pub after work again, I'll stick to non alcoholic drinks for the time being.

Weight: 154.3 kg / 24.29 stone / 340.17 lbs

The rest of the week was quite good in terms of both diet and workout. Skipped one day of the gym due to fatigue, completely overdid it with the resistance training on the Monday, was wiped out by the time that Wednesday came around. I'll take the weights down a little next time, I seem to forget that I've been out of the gym from that flu thingy I had and I can't really just expect to go back in, all guns blazing. My cardio on Monday was low enough but by Thursday I had it back up to normal levels. So that's coming along nicely!

Saturday, March 28, 2009

Challenge 1 - Weigh in 28th March - Dara

Good evening,
well, its saturday again... and I've mixed emotions today. After last weeks weigh in I was a little dissapointed that I'd only lost 1lb. Knowing I was hitting a plateau. So, I tried to shake things up a little with my workout and diet this week, but weigh in this morning, still placed me at same as last week. :(

Weight: 15st 4lbs. (214lbs)
bodyfat: 26%

I havea tanita scales which gives bodyfat %, but I don't know how accurate it is. Anyway.I'll include from now on and see how it progresses.

I had taken a sneak peek at my weight during the week and I though I had been breaking the plateau as I was down at 15st 3lbs and 22% bodyfat... so I was hoping for a better result weighin in this morning. Maybe its water weight or something.. hmm.. anyhoo I'm grateful all the same that it hasn't gone higher than last week. I just need to focus now on really doing a cross check on my diet and excercise. On the diet front I'm going to try Carb Cycling (zig zag method) I eat reduced carbs and increased protein for 3 days, then on the 4th day I increase the carbs & reduce the protein to normal levels. This zig zag method is meant to be great for sustaining weight loss and for plateau breaking. The reduced carbs are supposed to trigger weight loss and adding the higher carbs every 4th day fools the body that it isn't going to be without carbs for long time, and as a result you don't trigger starvation mode in your body (when body goes into fat retention mode).

Also, I think my body has got used to my cardio routine on the treadmill. So, I'm going to see what I can do there to shake it up. I have a skipping rope and a stepper, I may try alternating between the three and confuse my body!! :)

However, at begining of this post I had mixed emotions...I remembered some more 'before' shots I had taken at the end of 2007, when I first really started to look at trying to tackle my weight. I had taken some shots of myself when I was reading Paul McKenna's 'I can make you thin' program. In these photos I was 16st 12lbs. I didn't do so good on the Paul McKenna program, and i may have lost some weight (I can't recall) but in the long run I ended up by May 2008, weighing 17st +. (as per my post - the weigh I was - Dara)

I decided to post these photos along with todays weight in photos. And when I put them together, I really see the progress I've made so far in my weight loss goals. I still have some more to go on my own goals to get lean. But this gave me a lift as I can see ok, this week I may have hit a plateau, but in the long run, if I keep at it, I'll hit my goal and transform my physique.

So, here we go, here are current weigh in photos, with my November 2007 pics.

Well, wish me look breaking this plateau, and hopefully next week I'll have some good progress to report!! By the way, breaking this plateau of 15st 4lb is important to me, as I have got to this weight in past once before and I'm sure I plateaued at it, but my head wasn't in same place, and obviously put weight back on when I didn't see progress or gave up. Anyway, this time, No weigh back.. head down, keep going. :)

till next week

Dara :)

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

There's no Gym like home!

I Just wanted to drop in a quick post to the blog today. I was thinking about times in the past where I tried to lose weight and Gym memberships and all that wasted money!!! Anyhoo... one of the things that I've found invaluble to getting on top of my weight is our home gym.

We are fortunate to be living in a big enough house that we can devote a room to it. But equally a garage or similar space could do.

I say it has been invaluble because of time constraints really, and having 2 kids to look after and busy lives!! :) And the accountability factor that I have absolutely no excuse that I can't make it to the gym...its right there!!!

Anyway, you might be thinking...ooh rich "Baxter" with his home gym...but the purpose of this post is to show you how we did it...and how little it cost us (when compared with gym memberships for 2 people).

Above is a rough panorama shot of our little home gym. Here's what you'll find!
  • Treadmill
  • Cross Trainer
  • Multi-Gym - weights machine
  • Stepper
  • Punch Bag
  • Dumbells
  • Skipping Rope

Anyway, what may be surprising is all that only cost us a grand total of €534
Here's the breakdown of each item and where we got it!

Between all those items we have enough for a real good workout, and again it doesn't cost thousands upon thousands to do and less than many gym membership fees that people are paying.

Anyway as I say, if you can find the space, I'd reccommend it!

Take it easy!


Sunday, March 22, 2009

The Weigh I Was - Dara

Over the last 9-10months approx, I've made some progress on my weight loss, but especially in the last month. I had seen Andrew's post here on his 'before' photos. So I started to dig out mine. There is one photo in particular that I had to put up here, because it was one of those photos that was a defining moment for me. Below is that photo. The picture was taken in our Kitchen 26th April 2008 when I was hitting my heaviest of around 17stone. The thing that got me most about this photos was that it was taken by my son Christian. I remember just looking at the photo and thinking, 'Oh god, is that how he sees me'. It was around this time Carla was starting to lose weight also. So that summer is when I made my first attempts to lose weight and I did lose over a stone.

However, here is that picture:

(note jeans in above shot are the ones in my last weigh in pics: see Dara - 21st March).

Below now, is some shots of me when i tried to get started with losing weight at the end of 2007.
These were taken on November 16th 2007. I weighed 16st. 12lbs in these shots. My attempt was short lived as I went on to weigh 17st+ my May 2008 (as per above photo).

Anyway, below I have a few other random photos from last year or two. My face is quite heavy and double chin quite noticeable. Anyhoo.. this might give you an idea for where I've come from so far.

So, I hope in maybe 6 months time I can get Christian to take a new photo of me which will be the complete opposite of that photo above he took.. Something we can both be proud of! :)

'No Weigh Back' to this.. :)


Challenge 1 - Weigh in 21st March - Dara

this week has been a bit slow on the excercise front for me. I let things slip a bit. However for the best part of the week I kept on top of my good eating habbits. This weekend being mothers day did present me with two meals out where I had to make the best choices possible for food (while still enjoying myself!!).

I'm writing this entry, sunday night, but my weigh in info is from yesterday morning.
So, Mothers Day is drawing to a close.. I went for lunch with Carla's Family and I managed to go for fairly healthy options for lunch.. Melon, Grilled salmon, and fruit salad! :)

Anyway..on excecise front, I had a busy week in work which had me up late a few nights. And usually I get my excecise before I head out to work..however late worknights and Alex being sick and not sleeping well (and us in turn), I favoured my bed in the mornings this week instead of the gym! So, I've no-one to blame but myself. I did get out though for 4km walk Friday night, and I was back training again this morning in my gym.

Having said all that, I did make a little progress on my weight loss!

This week I'm 1 pound down, not massive loss, but something.

weight: 15st 4lbs. (214lbs)

So, above, I know I'm seeing some results which is great, keeps me going. My hips/bum area is where I have bulk of my weight and where I can see in the 'lumpy' bits in the above photos! But I'm making progress nonethless.. bit by bit!
My sister in Law is helping me monitor my weight. She is a dietician and is performing skin fold test on me. I checked in with her on Saturday and my waist measurement has gone down by 1 inch in the last 2 weeks. My waist fat % is a bit higher than last time, and my arm fat % is still the same (above average fat%).

I have some extra photos today. I put on a pair of Jeans I used to wear less than 12months ago. They're 42" waist. I've another post going up tonight with my before picks, so you will see these feature a lot! They were my comfy Jeans. Now far too big for me. I'm wearing a 36" waist at the moment. It was nice doing this.

Anyway.. well I learnt this week I need my sleep, and without it, I'll throw things out completely, and B. I know that I can still keep on top of my good eating habbits.

I've been eating so much clean food, and with my juicing the other week, my pallette has become very sensitive. I haven't really had any wine in the last month. So last night when I was out for dinner with Carla. I tried a glass of wine. It tasted like pure neat vodka. I couldn't drink it. So, I guess in a round about way thats good news for my weigh loss that I can keep away from fattening alcohol. (also tummy felt a bit off after all the rich food last night, but it soon passed after the workout I had).

till next week


Saturday, March 21, 2009

Challenge 1 - Weigh in 21st March - Andrew

Still sick this week but the end is in sight, only need to blow my nose 100 times a day at the moment, instead of 1000 times a day! Got back into the gym too, pushed too hard on the first night even though I could only manage 25 minutes and felt terrible afterwards, the following day though I was there for 35 and felt better. So, next week I'll keep building it back up until I'm back to an hour of cardio and a few days of resistance training per week.

Weight: 155.7kg (24.52 stone)

So, a good result! I bought a scales this week as I was convinced that the scales in the pharmacy must be wrong to be giving me these impressive results each week but nope, the new scales agrees with the pharmacy one. It's a pretty cool scales too, has a USB port in it, remembers your last 20 weights (including BMI, etc), you stick a USB memory stick (supplied) into it, upload it to the computer and their software graphs it all for you! Sweet!

Saturday, March 14, 2009

Challenge 1 - Weigh in 14th March - Andrew

After a week sick last week and various disruptions this week (won't get in to them!), I'm back on track. Weighed in yesterday and was pleased to see that despite the temporary reduction in exercise I've still lost weight in the last few weeks. Having said that, it's not as good as it could or should be so it's time to get back on track 100% and get back into the swing of things. So, back to proper work outs tomorrow, getting to bed at a reasonable time, nutrition I have maintained over the past few weeks -with the odd exception such as a staff night out and my Dad's birthday- so I'm pretty pleased with that.

Weight: 158 kg (24.88) stone.

The below pictures were taken today (15th) and as shocking as they are they actually help me to see that I have lost weight, am kind of glad I don't have pictures like these from when I was very overweight!

As embarrassed as I am by these pictures, there are good reasons for posting them:-
  1. Forces me to really see myself as others do
  2. Makes me see the progress I have made
  3. Wouldn't be fair to Dara to not match what he's doing
  4. Helps to keep me motivated!

The Weigh I Was - Andrew

Sorry for posting so late but I ended up working later than I thought today! I think that Dara has done a pretty excellent job of explaining where we are both coming from though, I'll write more myself tomorrow (including up to date pictures), just wanted to get started now before I fall asleep. I thought I'd start by posting a picture taken just about a week before Christmas, I would have been close enough to my heaviest at that point, 182.2kg was my weight when I weighed myself on 21/11/2008. So, here's where I am coming from!!

Yikes! So, as you can see a lot to go at that point, I'll post my weigh in for this week and pictures tomorrow, not sure I'll be as brave as Dara with the pictures though!

Muesli Smoothie Recipe!

Yummmy recipe for a smoothie I just had to kick off my day! You will need the following:

2 Royal Gala Apples

1/4 pineapple

3 Strawberries

2 tablespoons of Natural Yoghurt

1/2 bannana

Small Handfull of Muesli

ice cubes

To make:

Juice the apples, and pineapple. Add the strawberries, yoghurt and bananna, and the freshly juiced apple/pineapple mixture to a blender/smoothie maker, along with the ice and muesli. Blend for 30seconds until smooth. and YUMMMMMMMMMMMMMMm.

Nice filling smoothie.

Challenge 1 - Weigh in 14th March - DARA

Well, its first official posting of my progress to this blog. Photos 'n all. I'm on my last day of the 7lbs in 7days program I've been doing this week. I have made some good progress. I technically should be weighing in tomorrow for the final weigh in for that. However for this blog, here is my current status!!

Weight: 15st. 5lbs.

So I have dropped 7lbs so far this week! yay. A bit closer to my target weight, but still a bit to go, I put on a lot of my weight on my waist/hips/bum which may not be totally clear from photos below.

Friday, March 13, 2009

7lbs in 7days Personal Challenge

Well, as the title might suggest. I'm looking for some rapid weight loss!! Some might think I'm mad and some may think it unhealthy. But that's assuming for the worst! For the last 6 days I've been on Jason Vale's ( 7lbs in 7 Days program. (i stress this is not a diet!).
This is a total detox week for me. I did this last summer and was where I made my first significant bit of weight loss and how my wife kickstarted here transformation to lose a total of 48lbs.

Essentially over the 7days you only consume juices & smoothies, extracted from fresh vegetables and fruit. Creating extremly nutrient dense drinks which flush out your system, giving your body a break, nourishing your cells with the raw nutrients it needs to function. Jason Vale himself went from being overweight, smoker, and with Asthama & sever psoriasis, to a very healthy weight, clearer skin and his asthma under control once he got into juicing. It makes a lot of sense. I'm not starving myself, as I take one of these juices or smoothies every 3hours. Its an amazing detox experience as you come off all the artificial highs of caffines and processed sugars. You get tons of energy and feel very cleansed! And most importantly.. i'm slimming down.

So, in conjunction with the juices, you also have to MOVE! Excecise every day. This wasn't too hard for me this week, as I'd already made the decision to excercise everyday, prior to this. I'm up most morning with my Sons, so I hop in to the home Gym, myself and Carla created last summer and work out before work. Managing to do 40mins on the treadmill and weight training also. So happy with that at the moment.

So, 7lbs in 7 days, is it achievable? Yes. Last summer I did it and I lost 9lbs in the 7 days. I know some of this will be water weight, some lean body mass and fat combined..and not pure fat loss. But I know for me it will kick start me on the road to getting to my target weight of 13.5 stone.

Tomorrow is my last full day of the program. I'm not meant to weigh in until day 8 according to the book. However Saturday is our weigh in day, so I'll be weighing in tomrrow morning anyway, for a sneak peek on my progress.

Last Sunday Morning I weighed, 15st. 12lbs. Lets see how I progress this week. Noticing the difference already, so is Carla. My stomach is a lot flatter, and my tracksuit pants were starting to slip down me this morning when training on the treadmill. Yay!

So, I plan to finnish reading Burn the Fat, Feed the muscle, by Tom Venuto, and look at how I can incorporate his methods into my lifestyle going forward and to get into shape past these 7days.

keep you updated on my juicing progress!


Challenge 1 - Deadline April 25th

So, to give you a little background on the first challenge and how it arose. Well, Andrew and I had been good friends for many years, but in the last 5-6 years we had drifted apart for one reason or another. I was off married having kids, and had moved down the country out of Dublin from where I was originally from. Andrew stayed in the City. This year, we got back in touch, and we've both been following a similar journey, where we are both on the path to end being overweight.

I'll allow Andrew post his story seperately, but here is an overview of my where my weight has been. I had always been a bit overweight (which I accepted), but in the last few years after the kids were born, I really started to pile on the weight. At my heaviest in May 2008, I was over 17stone (238lbs). Like many of you, in the past I'd made many failed, or average atempts to lose weight, each short lived, and weight put back on. Over the same period my Wife had also gained weight, especially after having 2 kids. But in 2008 my wife made some great leaps forward when she knocked her weight on the head and lost a staggering 48lbs in less than 6months. This inspired me to lose weight, and I made some inital progress last year to lose weight. I managed to get down to below 16stone by September 2008, but by Feb this year I had gone back up to 16stone, 4lbs, and I was letting things slide again.

For me though, I'd been listening to Anthony Robbins Audio books recently, and it finally clicked with me what I had to do to lose weight, which I'll discuss in more detail in another post, but I set my mind to burn my bridges and lose the weight once and for all.

So, Andrew and I hadn't seen each other in over 5 years. We'd talked briefly on occassion. But now that we were back in touch and knew we were on a similar path and mindset for losing weight, we decided to set eachother a challenge, and a goal. To finally meet up again, but we couldn't do so, without having lost a certain amount of weight first. And this has become 'Challenge 1' of this blog!

Ok, The first challenge. Andrew and I have set ourselves our first challenge. We started this blog after the challenge was set, so some progress has been made so far, but essentially, here is the details of the challenge. Both of us have set a weight loss goal for a set date. We will meet up on that date (as we will with every challenge deadline we set), and we must meet that weight loss goal.

Dara's Weight loss goal:
Height: 6' 1"
Starting Weight (Feb 21st 2009): 16stone 2lbs (226lbs)
Target by April 25th: 13stone 7lbs. (189lbs)
Total weight loss goal: 37lbs

Andrew's Weight loss goal:
Height: 6' 7" (yes he's one tall fella)
Starting Weight (Feb 21st 2009): 25stone 10lbs (360lbs)
Target by April 25th: 23stone 5lbs.(327)
Total weight loss goal: 33lbs

Can we do it... track our progress here!!! :)

We weigh in every Saturday, so we'll post our progress photos and stats weekly, though we may post on this blog more frequently that weekly.

No weigh back... only forward!!

Dara :)

Welcome & About this Blog

Hello all who may stumble upon this blog of ours.
My name is Dara Walsh, and I'm here with my good friend Andrew Reynolds. We're here to share our journey with you as we aim to shed the extra weight we have been carrying with us for many years. We've finally 'snapped!!', this is, this is the time we once and for all lose it. Get fit, and get the bodies we deserve. In this blog we will be setting out mile stones/challenges for ourselves, weighing in and photograping weekly and posting it here, and sharing the ups and downs of the process as we make our way.

So what is the purpose of this blog. Primarily Accountability. To keep each other motivated, but to also know that people may follow our story and see how we get on. And in doing so, we'll be accountable to you, our followers (if there are any!!!).

We'll also be sharing our thoughts/mindset, nutrition & recipes, excercise routines, and as mentioned above our weigh ins & challenges.

So, we look forward to this journey, and I hope you will join us on the way.

Dara & Andrew