Size wise, I was at my tiniest during my degree, when I spent what little money I had on getting into night clubs for a four hour dance session instead of buying things like food of any substantial value. Needless to say, I wasn’t exactly the healthiest bunny but I didn’t care because I was young, I was having a laugh, and I was doing it all in a size 10. Fast forward a year or two and instead of living on the floor of Celina’s dorm room and trying to scrape together change for a jambon, I’m living in a reasonably cushy apartment with himself, working full time, eating (half price) Ben & Jerrys and discovering which red wine goes best with Phish Food, and which goes best with Cookie Dough.
It is fair to say I’ve become a little…cosy…over the past few months. About two weeks ago I caught myself drinking coffee, eating a crisp sandwich and searching for Spanx on the internet. When I realised the absurdity of my actions I decided I had to do something. Pulling myself away from BoyersOnline I headed to WeddingsOnline.ie, to the Health & Fitness forum. I decided I didn’t want to lose half my body weight, and I didn’t want to spend my day counting points, but after scouring through tickers and weight watchers recipes I was feeling tired and to be honest, a little hungry. I want to get moving and get myself toned up, not be left feeling confused and deflated. That’s when I found Power Plate. I contacted Bodysmart studios and set myself a target to see if I could get in shape: one 20 minute session, three times a week, for four weeks. Here’s how I got on…
Wednesday, November 17th
So, it’s half ten on the morning after my first Power Plate session.
I’m sore. But enough whining, let me tell you about last night.
My ‘training’ started at 8pm, I was introduced to Paul Hurley and
shown the Power Plate studio. It wasn’t my finest moment when I
admitted to Paul that I haven’t engaged in what he calls ‘exercise’
in about two years, and that for me, ‘exercise’ comprises mainly of
1. Negotiating cobbled streets in platforms and 2. Jogging down
Abbey Street to catch the 41C. I’m not proud of myself but Paul
assures me he has a workout to fit every fitness level, I wonder
if mine involves lying down and closing my eyes for 15 minutes
while the Power Plate works its magic. Boy, am I in for a surprise.
A 20 minute workout session comprises of about 15 excruciating
positions that work your leg, bum, arm, chest and stomach
muscles to the extreme. I did about 45 seconds at the lowest
vibration level for each of my positions -and given that by just
getting into position I feel strained, holding it is near agony. At one
stage I gave up, I literally couldn’t get my body to ‘crunch’ anymore.
But Paul was there beside me, egging me on to get back into
position and hold out for ten more seconds. I finished the ten and
collapsed in a little heap.
This is my first lesson in Powerplating, if it hurts, you’re doing it
Friday, November 19th
This morning while foraging through gym gear to find my cleanest
cardy I stumbled upon a pair of jeans I bought about three years
ago. They’ve never fit me. I try them on. They still don’t fit. In fact
it will be a miracle if they ever fit. These will be my miracle
Anyway, back to the job in hand… I was feeling
stressed when I got home from work last night,
managing a grunt to himself before making a
beeline for my chilli nut bucket. I had commuted
for three hours in total, it was raining, I was
hungry and Celebrity Jungle was about to start,
needless to say I wasn’t super excited about getting
into workout gear and jogging up Pearse Street
against the howling wind. But I did it.
The class was tough and I managed to break several
sweats while Beyoncé sang about getting a ring on it
in the background. I’m sore, but I’m good sore. After
the 25 minute session (which flies by) I promise the
girls I’ll return and I hot foot it out of there for the
downhill jog home. After my hot shower I sit down to
a roast chicken and grilled vegetable dinner. My body is a temple.
Saturday, November 21st
I’ve lost two pounds! My family will hear about little else this
Monday, November 23rd
Diet-wise I didn’t do too well this weekend, let’s just say that Mr.
Edward Rockets and Sir. Superquinn sausage featured throughout.
Lunch today will be an underwhelming affair.
Tuesday, November 24th
Last night myself and two other Power
Plate girls confessed that we indulged in
a few beverages over the weekend. Paul
told us not to berate ourselves and gave
us a few tips for nights out (diet mixers,
light beers, sneaky water and laying off the
pints) he then punished us with a curiously
difficult workout session. I like his style.
Wednesday, November 26th
So I’ve been having a little think about this whole working out
thing. At the moment I’m feeling pretty happy with myself.
I’ve lost about 3lbs in just over a week combining working out
with healthy eating. In terms of nutrition (which Paul says is the
most important aspect of weight loss) I have taken little steps to
improve my over all diet (my weekday diet that is, I’m finding the
weekend thing a little more difficult). For lunch I have soup and
salad, and for dinner I have chicken or beef and a vegetable stir
fry with about a quarter of the rice I would usually have. I can mix
up my dinner a bit by having grilled chicken with Mediterranean
vegetables or asparagus and parma ham with a poached egg
and rocket on the side. Mainly I’m trying to keep down the stodgy
carbs but keep my meals tasty. And I’m not missing them at
all (this is coming from a girl who would take a pot of mashed
potatoes over a Prada tote any day).
To be honest though, the toughest thing I’ve had to change in
my diet has been my alcohol intake. Don’t get me wrong I’m no
George Best, but I do like a few glasses of red with himself to break
up the week. Also, living in the centre of town and this being my
favourite launch-party season, turning down invites to Smirnoff,
Jameson and Heineken launches has been heart breaking for me
-and they’re just the ones going on this week!
Wednesday December 1st
Right, it’s December, and after a very bold weekend of wine and
festive cheer (as it will be known until February) I’m getting back
on the power horse. I haven’t been to my classes since Thursday,
and have blamed everything from the dentist (fair enough) to the
weather (no excuse) so I’m expecting a few disappointed groans
from the girls at the studio. But I don’t mind
that, I refuse to let my motivation dissolve
this time. If you don’t hear from me, send
in the clowns. Eight
sessions to go…
Sunday December 12th
I don’t need roast potatoes… I don’t need roast potatoes… I don’t
need roast potatoes…
Tuesday December 15th
Instead of Christmas shopping today I subjected himself to an
extended fashion show featuring the clothes I never thought
would swing on me. It’s fair to say I’ve dropped about a dress size
since I started… I say this with caution because I fear it may have
been a fluke. There’s no possible way I’ve dropped a dress size in
four weeks… But it’s looking likely. My legs feel like bricks (I’ll chalk
that down to muscle memory and ten years of Irish dancing),
my arms have a shape that doesn’t resemble a calzone pizza and
my sides have found a way of not overshadowing my wrists. The
belly could do with some more work however but I’m told my nostodgy-
carbs-five-days-a-week regime will come good in another
little while. I’ll hold my breath (and suck in my stomach).
Wednesday 17th December
Last night was the first of four temptations of the festive season
-those evenings that strike a myriad of emotions in any dieter and
test them to the extreme; the office Christmas party. Not content
with being the most alcohol-fuelled event of the year, the powers
that be at WeddingsOnline.ie (ie tradition) decided the best place
to set employees free would be a Chinese restaurant. Needless to
say I was on the Health & Fitness forum to find out the nutritional
content of Asia’s culinary history for the whole day. The consensus
was chow mein. Luckily for me Daniel worked our bee-hinds off
on Tuesday night so I felt a little more confident about the yuk
sung starter. I didn’t quite bury my head in it but I chomped along
without too many cares. Keeping the wine to a minimum and
having chicken and mushroom with lots of veg meant I didn’t do
too much damage. (Saying that I did borrow my sister’s favourite
maternity dress to wear for the night…ouch) Karen 1, Christmas 0.
Tuesday 22nd December
I may have spoken too soon. If you take a quick glance at my post
date you’ll see that it is officially Christmas week, and boy is it in
full swing. This weekend celebrations continued and only that I
was struck down with the mother of all head colds I would have
eaten Santa’s little helpers one by one. Today we have a Christmas
lunch at work which can’t be avoided (support your local canteen,
people) so I have arranged two Power Plate sessions before
Christmas Eve. I would like to remind people that on Christmas
week we had highs of -1, HIGHS.
Thursday 24th December
I’m not working out! It’s Christmas Eve for Heaven’s sake!
And just like that I’m done with my first 12 sessions of Power
Plate. I say ‘first’ because I’ve decided in January to return to the
studio for another 12… The time seriously flew by but I think I’ve
found my ideal workout -one that gives me the feeling that I’m
actually getting somewhere with my effort, one that doesn’t take
two hours to get through, one where I have a pseudo-personal
trainer who knows my name, what my ‘problem’ areas are, how
far I can be pushed, and one that I know is thinking where is she?
when I laze it up and don’t come to class. I’ve realised I need that
discipline otherwise there’d be no getting me out of the house.
That’s not the only thing I’ve taken from the past month however-
the most important thing I’ve learned to do is to look at my
nutrition. I’ve realised over the past year or two, I’ve really been
taking the proverbial, and I mean really.
But it’s not about dieting per se, it’s about thinking. I’ve found
common sense at last: fruit is better than crisps, wraps are better
than bread (in fact anything’s better than bread), fizzy drinks are
just horrible and a full bar of chocolate simply isn’t necessary to
get a ‘taste’.
I’ve dropped a dress size and it feels awesome. I don’t get
phantom pains in my stomach anymore. I’ve energy to run around
after my 16 month old niece and I can spend the money I’ve saved
on alcohol on handbags! To be honest I can’t wait to get back to
classes and get down to toning. I’ll be in those miracle jeans by
next month for sure, Spanx or no Spanx.
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Former editor, current contributor, (she just can't let go!) Karen enjoys writing fashion but is known to dabble in decor from time to time. Her favourite section on the site is the Real Wedding section, followed closely by the Health & Fitness forums.