Goodbye to the fat

So it’s been a while since I last posted. I reached my goal (I’m not sure whether it was in time or not) but I currently weigh ~67kg and I am over the moon. The only bad thing is that my jeans and work clothes feel a tad baggy and I have to keep pulling them up… it’s probably time to buy a belt.

So I came home for university and tried to only eat when I was hungry. I wasn’t really in the mood for food, though – I was worried and stressed after knowing I wouldn’t see my boyfriend for ages. This meant that I was concentrating on my mental health rather than weight loss.

I did see him less than two weeks later, though! This is when I weighed myself and I weighed about 69kg.

I applied for a job whilst staying with my boyfriend in Cumbria. I applied to work nights at Tesco. I got the job and my life has been bit crazy since…

I worked for about a month before checking to see how much I weigh and the scales read 66.6kg. I did have to take a picture of that number and send it to my friends. It means that I have lost more than 10kg since February! Here’s a few reasons as to why I think I lost weight.

You’re supposed to live like a night person when working nights but since I only work three nights per week I choose to live like a day person when Monday comes. The reasons for this include that it is hard as hell to get a good night’s sleep when the daylight is seeping through your blinds. It’s also very lonely to be awake during the night when the people you usually talk to are fast asleep. For me this means that I burn an extra couple of hundred calories just being awake for a longer period of time.

To get to work I have to ride a bike and part of the journey makes me sweat like never before. In other words I am exercising. My job also involves standing and moving boxes around to fill shelves which also burns the calories.

I’m not consuming enough calories for being a working woman. I normally eat about 1200 and I’m pretty sure I need about 2000/day for when I am working during the week. During my first few days/nights at work I felt sick just thinking about food, which was not good at all.

Lastly, I am hydrated. I drink about 1L of water at work which is often more than I usually drink in a day. This helps to keep the system moving and means I don’t collapse at work.

Luckily the job is temporary, it pays well (an extra £2/hr night premium), and it ends when I go back to university. Perhaps the weight will continue to drop off me. And if it’s not dropping, it means I am gaining muscle (I can flex now and I feel like Superman looking at my arms in the mirror). This gives me a head-start for when I go back to the gym at uni.

Note: since I’ve started working I’ve made the switch to Weetabix Protein so my muscles can repair and I don’t ache as much. It’s hard to get enough protein as it is and this I think has definitely helped.

Goodbye to the fat

My first class

I had wanted to go to a class that Puregym advertises in its ~£16/month membership for quite a while, but for so long have not had the courage.

So on Sunday I gave one a whirl. I knew that legs, bums and tums was a popular choice by many as it always seems to have no spaces available even though they have this particular class scheduled every day. I decided that this class was the one for me.

One of my worries was who I was going to be exercising with – would I annoy them with my lack of co-ordination and skill? How much better at this would they be? Would I look silly? Would I somehow kick them in the stomach?

The good thing is that no one paid attention to me apart from the instructor to check everyone was doing the exercises correctly (phew!). I was so embarrassed because of how much I was sweating and of course, my very red face.

LBT was packed full of lunges, squats, bridges and stomach crunches.

The class was very good. I enjoyed it, though I wish I had a friend with me for my first go. Afterwards, I was aching, and the following day was awfully painful – I could not walk and stairs immediately became my enemy.

I’m praying that the level of pain I’ve had to endure for the past two-three days was worth it.

Hopefully tomorrow I will have recovered and will be ready to take on the gym again.

Have you tried any classes? If you haven’t, why not? Let me know by leaving a comment below. 

My first class

Success and new kit

I’m very happy at the moment as I know I’ve lost 10 pounds. I wouldn’t be happy if I lost that much money, but I am happy that I currently weigh 71.8kg.

It’s been about three weeks since I hit up the gym prior to today’s workout, and that made me feel sluggish, but now I’m sat in the library in my gym kit and I’m working… I’m comfortable.

The session back at the gym involved 35 minutes on the treadmill, and I burned 250kcal during that time. It’s probably not a shocking amount to those of you regular gym-goers reading this, but it is for me.

See, I bought some new trainers last week because when I’d been working out before that I felt a lot of pain in my legs towards the end of my session which meant that although I could have ran for another minute or so, my legs brought me to a halt. Today, though, the only pain I felt was mild cramp and a bit of a sore neck, because I pushed myself because I wasn’t suffering from leg pain in my calf muscles.


This workout tired me out loads, and unfortunately I did eat an ice cream afterwards, but that was better than eating four whole chocolate eclairs yesterday! …To be fair though it was four eclairs for £1…

Success and new kit

My gym playlist


I tend to be super specific with what I can listen to, and I have to change my playlist frequently.

Below are some recommended songs:

Levels (Original Mix) – Avicii

‘Till I Collapse (motivational, explicit) – Eminem, Nate Dogg

Remember The Name (feat. Styles of Beyond (motivational, explicit) – Fort Minor

Sandstorm – Darude (What’s the name of that song?)

Wet Dollars – Redlight Remix – Tazer, Tink

Can’t Stop Playing (Original Mix, but Oliver Heldens’ good too) – Dr Kucho!, Gregor Salto

Can’t You See (Original Mix) – Shermanology, Grx

Check My Steezo – Blind Scuba Divers

Express Yourself – Diplo feat. Nicky Da B

When The Bassline Drops – Craig David, Big Narstie

Boomers – Extended Mix – Sagan

The One – Sander Kleinenberg, Felix Leiter

No! – CID

I hope those of you reading this agree that these tracks have great beats and lyrics to work out to. I’ll do another one of these of soon with an updated playlist. It may or may not include the YouTube videos because I know it can slow down some computers. I just hoped it would be more interactive this way.

Did I miss a song? What’s on your playlist? Leave a comment!

My gym playlist

Trying something new

I think we all know that change is, mostly, for the better. Whether it’s listening to a new motivational song, tweaking a workout or hanging out with a new friend, change is mostly positive.

This is why I tried something new.

My friend and I like chicken. It’s healthy, it’s tasty, it’s great. You can include it in so many dishes it’s amazing. We are, however, students… and we don’t have the money to try out hundreds of dishes a year.

Rice and chicken is a staple dinner for a lot of us. My favourite is chicken korma because it’s so sweet. We did start with white rice, but then changed it to brown rice when I started my diet and then a few days ago we tried couscous. We searched Tesco about a month ago but couldn’t find any. We have now, however, found it… and we’re now trying to locate quinoa.

I’m not the best when it comes to talking about food, but I’ll give it a shot. Pictures included.


Sam and I made chicken tikka masala with our new found couscous. Below is our way of doing things.

NOTE: We buy sauces every time we buy chicken because it’s the easiest thing to do.

  1. Add a few drops of oil to a pan. We currently use sunflower oil. Wait for a minute for that to heat up. Whilst you’re waiting…
  2. …Boil water in a kettle (if you’re adding it to a pyrex jug like we did), or on the hob. Once boiled add to a jug filled with couscous or to a pot of boiling water.
  3. Cook the chicken on medium heat (gas mark 4?), make sure you throw it around the pan so you’re not burning a particular side and so it ‘seals’ quicker (this should take 4-5 minutes).
  4. Once all chunks are white on the outside (all over, i.e. ‘sealed’), add your sauce and cook for another 8-10 minutes.
  5. Turn your heat down a notch or two when there’s a few minutes left to go.
  6. Remember to slice a chunk open when you think it’s done make sure it’s white inside.


You’ll know when the couscous is done because it’ll expand.


Sam gave me almost two servings of couscous. Your plate probably shouldn’t have this much food on it. Although couscous doesn’t have as many calories as rice, don’t think it won’t fill you up!

Like the pictures? Let me know. Give the post a like or if this post didn’t make you hungry then leave a comment and tell me what does!

Trying something new

Did I reach my first goal weight?

The answer is no, I unfortunately did not.

I reached a weight of 72.7kg instead, which is a bit of a way off, but it is steady, and I do weigh about half a stone less than I did at the beginning of February.

There are several reasons for this lack of success:

  1. I got lazy. I woke up late, went to bed late. I stopped going to the gym for over a week – that’s next to no exercise for me, prior to that I had been going every day consistently for about 8 days. In more recent times, I have been going every other day – but because of the long break, I had to lessen the intensity of my workout to get up to speed. Not good.
  2. I almost stopped my diet. My diet initially involved a 1500 kcal day, which I think I am just about sticking to, but I did drink alcohol, and I did touch unhealthy snacks. This doesn’t mean I failed completely, because I have changed what I eat for breakfast and if I do eat rice I will make sure it is wholegrain rice instead of white (my dinners usually involve chicken to get my protein). I’m also eating less fruit, though I did eat a whole melon for breakfast a few days ago…
  3. I have been stressed out. It’s been a mixture of uni and the idea of going back home. There’s so much that I have to do at home, like get a hair cut, and have my birthday… everyone seems to want to make plans to drink, etc… there’s also the fear of seeing exes and others you’re not fond of.
  4. My birthday and attending a launch party: I’ve been too busy to care about my diet. This falls into the diet section really, but also events/things I’ve wanted to do more than diet.
  5. Tesco has had some sort of shortage in quinoa. Fruit is expensive. And I don’t have the money to make changes to my diet. Once I make a change, I should keep it up. I will now look at different meals that I want to make when I get back.
  6. I didn’t drink enough water. Reaching my 2L water goal should be easier now that I’m home; it tastes nicer than up north.

Yes I’m disappointed that I didn’t reach my goal. Perhaps it was unattainable and too difficult. It might just be that it’s more difficult for those who are just about a healthy weight to lose the pounds. Having a goal does, however, help in motivating oneself.

My new goal is to reach 69kg by 17th May.

Did I reach my first goal weight?

My average gym session.

I usually arrive at about 8pm, but it can be as late as 10:45pm (Pure Gym is a 24hr gym), depending on my activities that day.

I’ll fill up a 600ml bottle of water. I’ll refill once during my workout.

Not a strict guide:

START with treadmill (running as long as possible).

0:00-0:30: brisk walk at 6.0, incline 1.0.

0:30-8:00: run at 8.0, incline 1.0.

These numbers are used on the Matrix machines in the gym.

The levels I talk about below on the bikes kind of match up with those of RPE: Rate of Perceived Exertion

  • Level 4 below would be RPE 4 for a beginner.
  • Level 5 below would be RPE 4 for an intermediate.
  • Level 6 below would be RPE 4 for an expert… I’m guessing? But you hopefully understand how it works.

THEN I cycle for at least 10 minutes on the bikes as my attempt at HIIT as a beginner.

1:00: I start on ‘Level’ 4.

2:00: Level 5.

3:00: Level 6.

4:00: Level 7 (I should be out of breath here).

5:00: Drop to Level 5.

6:00: Level 8 if I have the energy, 7 if not.

7:00: Level 6.

8:00: Level 5.

9:00: Level 7.

10:00: Level 5.

Minutes 11-13 (warm down)/END: Level 3. Level 4 if I’m still feeling strong. RPE 3.

I work out most days – at least four times a week. If I’ve worked out for more than three days consecutively I won’t be as strict with my workout, and I try to take days off here and there. These are often Thursdays and Fridays, sometimes Sundays.

Any suggestions/tips? Leave a comment. Questions? Tweet @vhowkinsfitness


My average gym session.