TransGranCanaria 2019 - 128km

TGC 2019 - A LONG VERSION OF EVENTS….

I’ll start by saying, what an experience! I’m overjoyed, on a massive high right now and truthfully I’m so proud of myself.

I write how I speak, sorry about that.

A little bit of background from me before going into the race details.

I came from hating running, didn’t enjoy it in the slightest. Did the GNR in 2016 after 4 months training on around 40 mile a month, an absolute joke really. Did a 1:43, and absolutely hated my life. Not even a bad time considering. (my cycling/football background definitely helped in mental toughness and aerobic capacity) but I told myself and everyone I was never to run again. ‘Couldn’t think of anything worse’ were my words. I didn’t train at all for a whole year after this. Nada.

Cut a long story short, I signed Kim up at the gym, she told me about ultra-running. I remember immediately searching google and delved into it. Fascinated by it, I would ask her tonnes of questions and explained how much I hated running, But admired people who could run.

‘I’ve cycled pretty far a few times.’ Her eyes lit up.
‘You could run far then.’
‘Don’t be stupid.’

She flew back home to Dubai in September and I thought maybe I can try a run. 

I went out and did a half marathon in September 2017 on zero training in 1:53 and ached for about two weeks. Not even joking. But there was something about not putting yourself through the lung busting pain that seemed to have more appeal to me, so I continued on.

‘be a turtle’ I call it.

Fast forward a little on and I began to fall in love with running, I’d continue steadily through Oct/Nov/Dec. I’m so injury prone so I generally pick up quite a bit, I still run through them but it is what it is.

Kim comes back in December 2017 enters me into Waterway 50K for the January. I’m shitting myself but I manage to squeeze in the Top 20 having only run 20 miles once. Bit daft, but I’m always game for a challenge. I was so buzzing after.

Next month we enter the CTS Northumberland Ultra 56K – Manage top 20 just, body breaking as per usual. Had a bit of a rough time there, i’m a complete novice lets be honest. But I’m really enjoying running. I keep feeling the need to continue testing myself.

Anyway trainings continuing on, I’m having a blast. It’s April 2018.  Kim entered the Tyne Trail 140KM and I pace her the last 55K, she wins the female category by over 4 hours and 2nd overall. Outstanding, I can’t tell you how much I loved seeing and helping her through it.

It had me thinking someday I’d love to be able to run that far!

And what happens next, June 28th. I come across TransGranCanaria on Instagram. I find out a bit more information about it and I blast across an impulse entry. (I’ve not even been running in the lakes or on hills ever at this point) and I’m here signing up for a 128km race with 23000ft elevation.

Some would say I’m a fucking idiot, others maybe more loving a challenge… There’s a fine line… 

So that’s how it came about. I started training, doing a little bit in the lakes etc. No I can’t read a map but GPS hasn’t failed me yet. I like hills, and I like to run. Don’t judge me. 


Finally persuade Kim to enter this race with me. She hates hills and has parental duties so that was always going to be a tough task. She signs up in December and it’s absolutely on. Flights and apartment booked etc. I’m running through a slight injury at this point, Stuart Scott fancied me to do a daft 100K challenge for ULTRA X over Christmas. I failed. 72K and I hadn’t eaten for 5 hours. That really opened me up however I took the positives. Imagine if that had happened in the race when I had no idea I had an eating issue, so super thankful it happened when it did. On the other hand it really made me doubt my ability. Maybe I wasn’t cut out for it.

That didn’t last for long, a couple of days moping around. TGC always on my mind. I’m absolutely bricking it. From there I’d carried some groin/hip injury so I really had to cut my mileage even going into the last month with only one XC on my strava activities. Embarrassing but I’d never let it stress me out. What will be, will be. My training was essentially done, it was just a question of how much grit, determination and fight I had in me. 

A fucking lot I can tell you.

THE RACE:

We arrive in Gran Canaria on Wednesday evening with the race beginning Friday evening @ 2300hrs. We’ve got the Thursday daytime spare to sort our kit, have a shake-out run & head to the expo to leave our drop bags for the 85k checkpoint at El Garanon and pick up our race numbers.

Friday was making sure you’ve remembered to pack everything then catching the bus to the start line.

Oh and plenty of nerves. Fuck loads of nerves.

The organisation, the marking and general management of the event is top notch. If I could change one thing though it would be getting to the start line later. The bus ride up is 8pm, meaning you’re sat around on the coast for 2 hours just mulling, waiting to start. Back and forth to the bloody toilet. Yep you know the one.

We’re in a café, having a last minute coffee. I leave Kim for 2 mins, she starts chatting up Damian Hall. Crikey. Fan boying or what! I strut by Pau Capell and Luis Fernando (1st & 6th) as they come in to use the toilet. Pretty sure Pau would have beat the bus to Maspalomas in the time he did. My days. There’s a strong field of elites here!

Kim’s a massive faffer so by the time we get to the start we’re right at the back of 800 runners. No dramas though, cause I just want to complete this race. There’s fireworks going off, some bloke on the mic going nuts. Everyone jeering. It was unbelievable and made for the best start! 11pm ticks by and we’re through the start line.

It’s a beach. 3km of the bitch. How did that slip me by, I’d been out here in November to Recce some of the course and I’d never even thought about the start. At least we were on fresh legs ey. We’re right at the back, just picking our way through trying to find a bit of space. Red flashing lights stretch along the beach and up the first climb. I’m not even kidding when I say we got to the bottom of the first climb after 15 minutes and the top flashing light must have been about 2 mile in front, at the top of the climb. It looked a nice steady one so we kept plucking away. Getting into a rhythm was suprisingly quick. Normally takes me a good while if i’m honest. We climb out of Las Palmas and all I remember was hitting the bloody riverbeds early. Pebbles upon loose pebbles. Pitch black. Just asking for a sprained ankle. It went on for some time, but it stayed fairly flatish up to checkpoint 1 (16km) in. Took on some pepsi (why no fucking coke?) and off we trotted straight into the next climb.

Km’s ticked by along with the elevation… Straight out of that checkpoint at 650ft we climbed up to 3050ft over the next 8km. I briefly remember Kim saying if her knee didn’t substantially improve she’s be forced out of the race, and I had a feeling she didn’t wanna see me when she did. Some pretty sharp climbs and people out cheering on folk made it that little bit easier. I made sure to eat every 30 wether that was a gel/clif blocks/chia charge bar. I just had to make sure I was eating and hydrating. This has been an issue of mine, So it was one thing I kept a close eye on. Steady descent and we stroll through checkpoint 2 (27.3km) 3hr 40. 


From here on out to the next checkpoint was a bit of blur, I had a fall on a narrow track which I cut my knee, then I remember climbing, and climbing some more, up some super steep trail with pine needles everywhere. 3400ft of it over the next 11.9km into Checkpoint 3 (39.2km) 5hr 38. I’d already decided before hand this was when I’d take on some hot food and fill my bottles/bladder. I was using tailwind nutrition, simply for the electrolytes & calories per serving. I picked up some soup, sorted my bars out. Took on a lovely nutella-like chia charge bar. Sorted me right out.


Kim was itching to get out of the checkpoint and I was unsure why, her knee was hurting, was she wanting to DNF without me being there or was she gonna run hard? I knew she was climbing really well and she’s got a mind like no other, so it was probably going to be the latter. I told her to go. ‘You’ll catch me on the next climb anyway’ she said. I’d out climb her most days, but I knew today wasn’t that day. I just kinda hoped she’d see me finish whatever the case. 


I moved out of that checkpoint about 5 minutes after Kim, Started the next climb pretty well, got into a good rhythm and moved past a few people. It was a fairly long climb and it went into a technical long descent, almost rainforest-like if that even makes sense (4km long and 1600ft or so). I really started hammering down it, passed 15/20 people and still all the while wondering where the hell Kim was. There was a 400ft climb before checkpoint 4, and I was starting to look forward to some more hot food…. I hit the checkpoint. It’s basically a 3 man tent with some nuts, fruit & fluids, but no hot food. Shit, I misjudged that one. with 13k to half way & the next pit stop this put me on a bit of a downer. It was windy in there, and started to feel a little cold. I took on a chia charge bar, and got my phone out to check where Kim was. She’d checked in 12 minutes before… I knew by this point she was going to push the pace cause I didn’t take that last part lightly. 


Straight outta checkpoint 4 (50.8km - 7hr 45 / 10000ft climbed) and there was a 1700ft climb over the next 3km or so, I really wanted that hot food, and I started to feel a little bit ropey, but if there’s one thing I’ve learned from ultras, as long as you’re not in too bad condition you can eat/drink your way out of a situation. Just gotta give yourself a bit of time… It was a slow trawl up that climb, and after a few km more I recognised where I was. I’d been here previously for the recce in November. Now i’m not sure if that was a good or bad thing, because I knew what was to come for the next 40km. If you look at the graph at this point it looks like a small climb before heading into an equally small descent into the Artenara aid station. I can assure you it wasn’t. Graphs lie people, they lie so bad! It couldn’t be any more wrong. 

There was a nasty climb, but made better with the sunrise. I kept thinking i’ll take on some more food at the top of this climb, but sort of seemed to forget just how long it went on for. So I took a pugh on a chopped down tree and ate a sandwich from my pack. Fuck it, 10 mins here would make the next 90 mins a hell of a lot easier was my thought. Had some great bangers on the headphones so I whacked them on as a bit of a pick me up and cracked on to the checkpoint. Honestly check that sunrise, crikey!

I couldn’t be arsed to get my phone out and take photos, Just prayed that Kim had hers. Knew I could rely on her!

Trudged into checkpoint 5 (63.8km - 10hr 40 / 13200ft climbed). This was essentially the half way point, Big aid station with loads of food. I was feeling sick, so I took a good 20-30 mins, grabbed some soup/bread. Refilled, took on a gel and a bar. Text a couple of friends. Cheers Stuart ‘keep eating’ and drinking no matter what’. Appreciated the constant flow of messages. KimTracker was on - she’d gained 50 mins on me at this point, and was moving up the ladies field very smoothly. I knew it was pretty viscious outta here and into Tejeda for the next stop in 12km time. I’d gone regularly between these two when I was here previously. So I made sure I took my time, didn’t do anything stupid trying to rush the climbs and just tried to soak it all up. After the first 2k outta here I started to feel really good, really really good. Almost on cloud 9 just coasting up the climbs, having a whale of a time, music was on, I was happy. Watching the k’s tick by on my watch I never thought i’d say that and I knew you should always make the most of feeling great in ultras, because it can turn the other way so rapidly. It was a 2300ft climb followed by 2700ft of descending. A fairly nice descent in fairness, but the trails were starting to gather more traffic from the 64km race. It was midday by this point and the day was starting to heat up. Kim gave me a great tip of wearing my buff during the day to keep my neck from getting burned and overheating. There’s a freebie for yas. It definitely helped! I pass a fair few folks down past the mountain hostel I once stayed in and knew it wasn’t long before the Tejeda checkpoint. 

Checkpoint 6 (75.2km - 12hr 20 / 15500 ft climbed) There was a band playing, the atmosphere was good. Lots of people sat in chairs hanging out their arses mind, I thankfully wasn’t one of them, but I sure as hell knew what they were going through. A major error in this one was just filling my bottles and not my bladder. Roque Nublo was coming up (5000ft+ altitude) and I don’t know why I seemed to think i’d survive on 2 x 500ml bottles & a little bit of what was left in my bladder. Idiot. I’d climbed it twice before, both times on fresh legs in around a 80 minutes. What was I thinking. At least I was familiar anyway, that helped for sure. It just meant I had to be really clever with my fluid. Not ideal, but you just get on with it. The sun was baking down, i’d say 25/26c and there was no shelter. It was a 2700ft climb which involved scanning your number then going back on yourself to the next part, among the 64km race too. It’s a tight passage down there so it was taking a little longer than i’d have liked. Once I made it to the top the guy had told me 2.5km to El Garanon (85.3km checkpoint) where the drop bags are located… Yet again race volunteers lie, don’t ever trust them. It was about 3.7km, but you know when you’ve prepared yourself for 2.5km and not a single foot further. That was me, and I was thirsty. I had a fanta limon in my drop bag and my sights were on it!!

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There was a little bit of climbing into Garanon and a lot of people out cheering which is a massive pick up. ‘Vamos Renwick, Vamos’ as I climbed up the last part towards the checkpoint. It was kinda like a load of glamping huts and a big hall area which resembled a scene of zombies from the walking dead. Checkpoint 7 (85.6km - 15hrs - 19200ft climbed) Everyone knew there was a marathon left, and we’d all heard about the dreaded river bed at the end. The chairs were full of people with their heads in their hands, suffering. I got my drop bag and sat on the floor. Bad move. Fanta Limon was out, I had a pan au chocolat in there aswell, that went down a treat. I had a full change of clothes, but decided it was so painful to change, I only took my socks out. My initial starting socks (injinji long socks - best around for free little toes) had served me well, however I had some nasty blisters forming from the brutal terrain. I put a compeed on my little toe and a fresh pair of socks, left the other five blisters hoping they’d just go numb on the next part. It was painful just to lace my shoes up again. I went over for some pasta, looked a bit oily for my liking, but I knew it would help! Refilled everything to the max, ditched a few bits I wouldn’t need out my pack to lighten it up, took an extra 10 minutes and left. 

I found a dairy milk caramel in my bag too. So I was chomping on that as I started walking for the next 1.5km or so. I knew it was ‘mostly downhill’ from here. Fuck off. Race profile lied again… 

After that I finally got my legs moving again, face planted the floor in front of about 10 people. Nightmare, but found the funny side of it, i’d already bashed that knee up once today. Oh well. There was some super nasty downhill from here, and a few sharpish climbs still. It was 15km to the next checkpoint, and I knew it might take some time. The sun was still beaming down, and the terrain here was savage. Super rocky, if you’re a rhythm runner it would have been your worst nightmare. I’m pretty used to it and I enjoy it a lot, so I had to be super careful not to get carried away and kill my legs off. 

I picked up another runner named Julian around 90km in, a french cyclist as it happens, and we got chatting. We actually ended up sort of pacing each other over the next 20km after. We were running at a similar pace, and to be honest at this point I felt amazing! It seemed as if I had brand new legs at this stage. A feeling i’ve certainly never come across. I was sure as hell i’d be cramping by now, but nada. I was coasting by, in a really happy place. We chatted about the route, and a 64km runner joined in the convo as we took on what we believed to be a small hill, ending up being a 1300ft climb. The riverbed chat came up again, seemed like everyones favourite! I was looking forward to hitting the 101km checkpoint, I felt like I needed some coke by now and taking the race from checkpoint to checkpoint made life seem a lot easier. This long ass climb into that aid station seemed to drag on for quite some time, unsuspecting looking at the profile too.

Julian was feeling sick so we slowed it down a touch, didn’t wanna screw ourselves over. 

Checkpoint 8 (101.7km - 18hr 25 - 20873ft climbed) - Happy to have got into here feeling strong, another refill of tailwind and more coke on board. I took my phone out to check on Kim and I had a voice message. I thought it was going to be along the lines of 


‘just leaving the final checkpoint, I’m flying, see you at the finish’. 

It was anything but. ‘i’m fucked, i’m absolutely done Sam, totally gutted’. i’d checked her update before and could see she had gotten herself up to 9th female overall in a field of pro’s. She was inside the top 100 too with her predicted time being 19hr 30mins. Exceptional. 

My instant reaction was ‘are you fucking serious, what’s going on?’ People who know me, i’m definitely tough loving unfortunately. I swear a lot, it’s how I express my emotions I guess. 

‘Yeah i’m done, it’s my knee, I can’t move any longer i’m gutted. I’ve taken 2400mg ibuprofen and it’s not working anymore. I need to stay here until there’s a few more DNF’s then i’ll probably head to the finish’

‘christ almighty Kim, ok well i’m 10km away from you, so i’ll be a little while yet. So I may or may not see you at that station. are you sure you’re done?!’

I know by now if she said yes that meant yes, however if I could get that station I could 100% pick her up. 

I had to put my watch on charge in my pack, so was relying on Julian over the next 10km to give me a distance update. I kept my phone in my hand as we ran off out of that aid station down the trail. We had around 3000ft to descend over the next 10k on some horribly rocky trails. It was very stop start.. I was sending voice messages back and forth for an update. All I kept thinking was I can’t let her smash 110km and not finish this race, this is what we’ve been training for. We’ve put so much time, effort and money into this and it would have left me gutted if she hadn’t finished, nor would it be worth the headache of shit myself and her family would have to put up with for a good while after. Kim puts her heart and soul into running and she deserved this. 

I sent a voice note back 

‘can you walk?’ I thought fuck it, if she’s not running in, surely she could walk to the finish. ‘Have you actually DNF’d or not?’. 

‘possibly could walk, i’m not sure, no not yet’.

‘right, ok then, i’ll walk this in with you. Just wait for me there, I don’t know how long i’ll be, but we’re doing this, no question about it!’


I got a bout of messages saying how she didn’t wanna sabotage my race cause I was feeling great etc, and I was, but I just kept telling her to stay there and wait for me. Team work is the best, I don’t care what anyone says. You can be selfish in these races if you wanna be, but that’s not me. I bet you I got a better feeling out of finishing this race with her than the winner got from winning.. My aim was to finish this race, and regardless if I could have went 2-3 hours faster. So what. That didn’t matter. 

I remember getting a message from my brother at 105km asking how it was going, he could see Kim hadn’t moved and was a little curious. ‘Never felt better’ was my response to him. But all I needed to do was get to that next checkpoint and if Kim was there, she was getting death marched to the finish, no question about it. 

From 105km to 110km, I got a little frustrated! The sun was setting and there was two technical descents before heading into the checkpoint, the stuff I love and i’d have blasted down if it wasn’t for the traffic. There was about 20 runners in front and i’m not scared to say that some of them were shitting themselves trying to go down these rocks. It was frustrating the life outta me. Julian was also giving me the look as if to say are these guys serious. I remember one going to edge of a rock, took a look behind him and realised how many people were behind him. Then moved off to the side cause he couldn’t get down. It was a joke. I’m getting stressed just thinking about it. 

Checkpoint 9 (111.1km - 20hrs 21 mins - 21200ft climbed) I literally walked into here feeling a little pissed off from that earlier descent, welcomed in with open arms from Kim and floods of tears. She’d been here for almost 3hrs. I knew she’d been in a dark place, her dream race had been turned over, But I was here to chew her ear off about all the positives she can take from that. All of a sudden i’m feeling trashed, it was like the aid station full of people who were near the end of their limits, but weren’t quite ready to call it a day. I think me being there had helped lift Kims spirits as she filled my bottles and got me some soup. It was weird. I was pretty sure that’s what I was meant to have been doing for her. Just 5km ago I was feeling untouched. That’s ultras for you. She kept giving me shit about not wanting me to walk it in because she felt guilty. I wasn’t having any of it. ‘Kim we’re fucking walking this in together, you’ll be fine, if need be i’ll carry you. We finish this race’. I think she knew by the tone of my voice that was the last I was hearing of that one. I got more take away soup, slapped my head torch on and the death march commenced!

17km to the finish. 

Apparently it was a 3km climb of around 1000ft ascent, then it drops down onto the riverbed for 14km.

I sipped my soup and I felt in high spirits to walk this in, I knew it would take 3-4 hours and there was no doubt it was getting done. Not gonna cut this one short but the river bed was as brutal as they talked about. It was like running across those 6 inch loose pebbles you find on the beach for the majority of it. An ankle roll waiting to happen. I made sure Kim took her time on here, no accidents please, I knew she was just desperate to get to the finish. It’s a long way in the dark and by this point, you’re pretty done with it. We bumped into an english fella who won his race entry in an instagram competition. Huddersfield lad, he had a good bit of banter so that made the time pass a little bit quicker. 

Seeing 6k, 5k, 4k markers for the finish line is however brutal and from the previous checkpoint my watch decided to become non responsive. Cmon Garmin, you had one job. 

We’d started to head out into Maspalomas, but honestly didn’t have any clue where we were. The final checkpoint was 3.4km from the finish. Just that last push needed now. A take out fill up on coke and the final 2km of flat tarmac to finish off with, runners trudging past trying to give us a last push into the finish. Not having any idea Kim had absolutely stormed it and should have finished 5 and a half hours ago. 


We could hear the finish line chants and the commentator pushing people in, Finally. 

Finish line in sight, trying to hold my emotions back. It’d been a rollercoaster. A long day out.

Kim: ’lets run the last 200m, we go hand in hand across the line and that’s that’ Yes boss.


And that was all she wrote. 128.7km - 22900ft climbed.

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What an achievement, what a race. Ultras are full of ups and down. I’ve learned masses from this one, and I feel like it’s opened up another level I wasn’t quite so sure was possible. You can feel great one minute, and the worst of the worst the next. Never take it for granted. Keep eating and drinking no matter what and I guarantee if you’re not too fucked you can come out of it. Your body is an amazing thing, you’ve all been given this wonderful gift, now go out there and push yourselves. See what you’re truly made of. I promise you it will be worth it! 


I suffered like a bitch after this, it was as if the walking had given them time to seize up and realise what they’d been through. If you’d have had a camera on us in the apartment the day after the race, you’d have had the laugh of your life. I was using my sticks to get around and could have done with a chair in the shower. I realised after i’d actually pulled something in the calf through the race and never even noticed at the time. I couldn’t eat or drink properly for 3 days. All part of the fun though ey? Would I do it again for the same result? 


Absolutely. 



Working in the health and fitness industry, you get to meet some amazing people. Kate is a friend of ours, she works at Result Fitness in Durham City Centre. Having known Kate for a few years now, we asked if she would write a blog to share her story of training with Type 1 Diabetes. She very kindly agreed. Please read on to be inspired and reminded that no matter what happens in life, don't let anything stop you from doing what you love! If you want to follow Kate's continuing progress check out her Instagram @katie.siobhan

 Stop. Think. Assess. Backtrack. I’m right in the middle of a set – lunges, my favourite exercise. I’m sweating, heart is pounding, I’m shaking and feeling tired. All signs of a good workout right – it’s what we want; to know we’re pushing ourselves to the max and getting a good workout which leaves us feeling tired, but like we’ve achieved something. Perfect. I’d continue on and finish the set…however in the back of my mind little alarm bells start going off and I need to focus on the situation and consider many factors. Why? As a type 1 diabetic these signs are exactly the same symptoms I get when having a hypo. Is that a word you’ve never heard of? Welcome to the world of living with Type 1 Diabetes – where every day of your life feels like a science experiment.

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I was diagnosed with Type 1 Diabetes at the age of 6. My mother knew something wasn’t right from my behaviour - “You were tired. Very tired. Very quiet. Loss of weight. No appetite. Thirsty. Sweet tooth which you never had before. Sad. No energy. Night sweats. And you got even sweeter. Not grumpy at all” (I well up every time I read that) It was Guy Fawkes Day, 1993. I remember being in the nurses room, and her asking me if I’d brought clothes with me to stay in the hospital. Completely oblivious, I thought the hospital was having a firework display and we were staying over to watch it! I was indeed disappointed when what followed instead was being admitted to hospital with a blood sugar reading of 30.0 (A non-diabetic is usually around 4.0 – 5.9) and introduced to a world of needles, injections, blood tests and insulin. I can’t remember ever being upset, or it actually hitting me that this was now going to be my life – what sticks out the most is the green jelly and ice cream I used to get!


What is Diabetes?  Contrary to popular belief – there’s more than just one type. Type 1 and Type 2 are the most known of, and are therefore commonly mixed up. Say you’re diabetic, and 90% of the time people think its Type 2. Upon hearing it’s actually type 1 I have, 50% will usually respond with “Oh, that’s the bad one, isn’t it?” along with a slight grimace. Thanks.

You cannot tell which type of diabetes a person has by looking at them. In general, people with diabetes either have a total lack of insulin (type 1 diabetes – that’s me!) or they have too little insulin or cannot use insulin effectively (type 2 diabetes). The causes and developments of each are different. There are many common identifying factors for each type however there are always exceptions. Diabetes.co.uk outlines the differences below, however still stating “differences are based on generalisations - exceptions are common. For instance, the perception of type 1 diabetes isn't strictly true: many cases are diagnosed in adulthood.”

Common differences between type 1 and type 2 diabetes

Type 2 Diabetes

Usually diagnosed in over 30 year olds

Often associated with excess body weight

Often associated with high blood pressure and/or cholesterol levels at diagnosis

Is usually treated initially without medication or with tablets

Sometimes possible to come off diabetes medication

Type 1 Diabetes

Often diagnosed in childhood  

Not associated with excess body weight  

Often associated with higher than normal ketone levels at diagnosis  

Treated with insulin injections or insulin pump  

Cannot be controlled without taking insulin 

Simply put, as a type 1 diabetic – my pancreas does not produce insulin. I pretty much have a useless organ floating about in my body. Why do we need insulin? Because it helps the body produce energy by allowing sugar (glucose) to enter our cells. Pretty important. Due to not having a functioning pancreas, I therefore need to inject insulin to ensure I maintain good control of my diabetes in order to not develop complications such as heart disease, nerve damage and amputation, and vision problems.

Since diagnosis, each day brings constant blood sugar level testing with my meter to make sure I’m in the desired range, numerous injections to correct the blood sugar levels (if needed) and also to cover the food I eat. (Why? Glucose comes from the food we eat!) Too much insulin and I’ll have a hypo (hypoglcemia – low blood sugar) and too little will cause hyperglacemia. Both are incredibly serious – an untreated hypo can potentially result in a coma or death, and prolonged episodes of hyperglacemia can lead to diabetic ketoacidosis which if left untreated can also result in death. I wish it was as simple as knowing exactly how much insulin to inject based simply on my current blood sugar reading, and as much as a massive nerd I am and really enjoy weighing out all the carbs I eat and working out equations of x being the required insulin dosage when every 10 grams of carbohydrates in food equals one unit of insulin added to what the correction dose is when y =current blood sugar reading take away 6 and divided by 3 - all in order to get the dose amount…. I have to think about SO much before injecting. The list of factors which affect your blood sugar is endless and all need to be considered to either reduce or increase the dose amount. Food. Stress. Sleep. Alcohol. Being Ill. Hormones. The weather. Time of day. And the biggest one for me? Exercise.

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There are many reasons why I love exercising - the ongoing challenges you can put yourself through, the variety of workouts you can do, the goals you can set, the physical and mental aspects of it, the nutritional side of it, the results of consistent hard work, and of course the happy endorphins! The benefits and rewards from maintaining a healthy lifestyle are vast and varied – for diabetics, this includes helping to increase insulin sensitivity and therefore not needing as much insulin to process carbs. However, in order to enjoy the exercises and benefits, and in order to reach those goals, for someone with diabetes it’s not so easy. It’s difficult. My doctor’s general advice of “Before exercising, if taking insulin – half your dose” was just a starting point. Different types of exercise have different effects on your sugar levels – that’s one thing I have to consider before a workout along with numerous others: Am I in a blood sugar range I’m comfortable with? When did I last eat, did I take insulin, if so – how much? Do I need to take more to counteract a rise or do I need to eat something first in order to prevent a hypo?

During my workout – how do I feel? Should I test halfway? Why am I sweating so much; are my legs shaking from this never ending leg workout or am I having a hypo? Am I lacking energy because my levels are now high or have I just completely tired myself out from the workout?

Afterwards - When will I next be eating? How much insulin do I take post workout to make sure my levels don’t drop too much as a result of the exercise? Over time, and through numerous experiments, trial and errors, review of my own blood sugar levels reactions before, during and after a workout; I’ve learnt what works for me and how to react to the answers to all the above questions. It’s not guaranteed the outcome is always the same (some random factor may come into play) but it’s made me 100% more confident in working out.

Starting out and learning how to make my diabetes and exercising work wasn’t straight forward. In fact, some days were down right exhausting (and still can be) but I did it because I love exercising.Because I don’t want Diabetes to stop me doing something I love and have a real passion for. Rather than fight against it, or ignore it, I’ve tried to learn as much as I can about it. Leading an active and healthy lifestyle definitely contributes to maintaining good control over my levels – the two go hand in hand.

One of the reasons why I started my Instagram account was to not only have a place to share my love for fitness (and food…there’s a lot about food on there) but to also raise awareness about Diabetes and to hopefully help anyone who has reservations or is hesitant to start exercising. Diabetics can work out and enjoy exercising just like everyone else. As a personal trainer at Result Fitness, I’m incredibly thankful that I have the opportunity to also work with diabetic clients. It is so rewarding seeing them learn, applying different methods to their regime, helping with trial and errors/experiment and watching them become more comfortable with the idea of exercising while learning what works best for them.

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There is also an amazing community on Instagram – other diabetics sharing their stories and their suggestions from their own personal experiences, leading to discussions to find the best way to apply or amend a suggestion to suit an individual as what works for one person may not work for another. It is definitely a good place to learn, educate, help and have a good rant now and then!

Exercising and Diabetes. Is it impossible? Of course not. Is it hard? Some days are harder than the others but I can’t stress enough how worthwhile it is. Diabetes does not control me; instead I look at it as a part of my life that I –thankfully -can control.  It shouldn’t prevent anyone from doing anything – especially when it comes to exercising and living a healthy lifestyle. Powered by patience, strength, positivity and insulin of course…anything is possible!                   

Maybe you've heard of flexible dieting, maybe you haven't, so first of all, what is flexible dieting? Essentially, it is a calorie controlled diet where you eat all the foods you like, as long as you stay within your calorie allowance. Simple as that! Now let's take a little look further into this.

Surely you can't eat what you want on a diet??

As a matter of fact you can! Every time I am asked this question, I reverse it and ask why not? Then I proceed to explain that everything in this world has a calorie allowance, you can eat 500 calories of chocolate or 500 calories of broccoli, it's still 500 calories. The difference is, there will be a lot more broccoli gram for gram and it has a lot more nutritional value.

Seriously, with this method of eating, nothing is off limits, you just have to consider portion sizes of foods to suit your calorie allowance.

How is this a diet then?

The term 'diet' is used as a negative all the time. However, a 'diet' is someone's food and drink intake, not just in the short term, but the long term too. So what I eat today, is my diet. I am not necessarily restricting anything, it is just the food and drink I put into my body. By slightly reducing/increasing particular portions in my diet, I don't remove anything, I just manage my diet better to reflect my goal to either lose or gain weight.

Now consider your own diet for the past week. Everything you have consumed both food and drink. And now imagine completely changing that to some other diet some weird person told you to do to drop a stone in ten days. Then what happens? You go back to your old diet and regain weight. Instead, how about we look at small changes to portion sizes and amounts of food that better reflect their calorie allowances in your current diet? Sounds better already right? That's because it is.

How does it work?

First of all, you need to know how many calories you can have. Each person is a little different. The most ideal way to do this is by wearing a heart rate monitor, they're in most smart watches now, you track and write down your total calorie burn at the end of each day for two weeks then figure out the average by adding them all together and dividing by 14. This is your TDEE (total daily energy expenditure). Alternatively you can find a TDEE calculator online but be cautious this figure may be less accurate so you might need to add or takeaway calories as you go.

Once you know this, you take away 20% to try and lose weight or stick at this figure if you want to maintain. We use the 20% rule so you don't damage your bodies metabolic rate. As a guide, 20% aims for a loss of around 1 pound per week. This allows us to lose weight steadily over time and the majority will be fat, not muscle wastage. This also means, when we go back up to maintenance calories, we won't gain weight we have lost because our metabolic rate shouldn't be damaged.

From here, you can eat whatever you like as long as you track your calories accurately. And accuracy is key! People underestimate their calories by approximately 50% on average. People who are tracking, fail to log around 600 calories per day on average. So you can already see the problem right? Anyone who says flexible dieting didn't work for them or calorie counting didn't work for them, has probably just fucked it up!

You can eat whatever you want as long as you fall within your allowance. This works because you quickly learn you can eat more if you eat more fresh foods and less processed. You don't need to starve, you just need to adjust. There's nothing wrong with having a chocolate bar every day, it just doesn't need to be a family bar.

To track, we use our own app but for anyone that isn't currently working with us, you can download MyFitnessPal for FREE. It has every food ever on their, just make sure the measurements are accurate for what you enter. Calorie tracking couldn't be any easier!

Steps to follow

This is flexible dieting, and you could go and have a diet of chips if you wanted, but it would do you no good nutritionally. So here are my steps to make flexible dieting a way of life forever allowing you to gain control of your life;

  1. 70/30 - 70% good foods, 30% bad foods. By this, your diet should be made up of fresh fruit and veg and unprocessed meats. Then topped up with the naughty stuff like a biscuit, a bag of crisps or a slice of pizza. If you can keep within this limit, you should still be getting plenty of good nutritious foods in your diet to keep you healthy.

  2. Calorie Banking - Lets say you have 2000 calories a day, but you know you are going to have a heavy Saturday night and maybe consume 4000 calories plus what do you do? Save some calories in the bank through the week. Spend 4 days prior with an allowance of 1500 to compensate. Think of your calorie allowance as weekly rather than daily if you are a weekend binge eater.

  3. Macronutrient consideration - Carbs, Fats and Protein. I will keep this simple, aim for a higher protein diet if you can. It is not essential, but proteins tend to fill you up, they have a high thermic effect, and best of all they allow us to hold onto our lean muscle tissue.

  4. If you slip up, NO ONE CARES! Just get back to it the next day. Don't beat yourself up over a slip up, it will happen at some point, just keep the bigger picture in mind. It's a marathon, not a sprint.

And that's it, flexible dieting works! Remember, all diets work on the principle of calorie deficit, so why shouldn't your diet just reflect this? It makes it sustainable because you will always be eating foods you enjoy so it will never feel overly restrictive. As always please drop any comments. Thanks for reading!

Steven

      Let me start by saying, losing weight isn’t easy. Don’t get me wrong, the science of weight loss is very straight forward, but the process can be both physically and mentally taxing.    So why is it this way? Why is it such a struggle to millions of people around the world? There’s no one answer to this, but I’m going to share some of the reasons I believe make it so hard for people to lose weight.   Note: I’m not getting into the science of body types and medical conditions. Just real world things that we can control.   We ALL Want Weight to Change  So that sounds stupid right? Of course we want weight to change. If that number on the scales isn’t changing nothing is! Right?...Actually, wrong!   Its just not that simple. A couple of reasons our weight might not change can be due to increased lean muscle, water retention through diet off the last couple days, and menstral cycles. So many things affect our overall ‘weight’. In reality, if you’ve been managing your calories, you might of lost a pound or two in body fat and that is the aim. The scales can’t tell you this though.  So we see the weight as a number hasn’t changed and go back to old habits as it’s demoralising!  What should you do then? Take photos of yourself once per month, test with tight fitting clothes to see if they’re fitting better and take body part measurements. This will give a much more accurate indication of actual fat loss.      

  

    
       
      
         
          
             
                  
             
          

          

         
      
       
    

  


        Unrealistic Expectations, or, Lack of Patience    We all want better bodies. Trust me, there are only a very small percentage of people in this world that are 100% happy with everything about themselves. And why is this? Celebrity profiles, social media and glam mags force us to be constantly wanting what they have. Even though 99% of it is shopped or tampered to make them look better than they really do. It gets in our heads from a young age and sits in our subconscious as an unrealistic dream so we are never quite happy with our image. We have unrealistic expectations.      

  

    
       
      
         
          
             
                  
             
          

          

         
      
       
    

  


     Linked directly to this, we find ourselves jumping on the old fad diet or workout. ‘6 weeks to a 6 pack‘ ‘lose 10 pounds in 10 days’ ‘toned legs overnight’ these are all typical tag lines of bull shit products or diets. BUT, millions fall for these every minute of every day because it promises fast results. I have spoken to hundreds of people that have tried these types of diet and they got initial results....however....a month later they were back to square one, or worse, they’ve put more weight on! These short term fads are not good for us and negatively affect our metabolism so fuck us up in the long run. They also start a potential cycle of depression and that can impact your whole life.  With weight, or rather fat loss, patience is key for long term sustainable changes. I would NEVER be happy with someone I worked with if they were losing more than two pounds a week (even that can be more than I’d like to see). If they do, they get told to eat more! This normally doesn’t go down too well but it is essential for long term weight maintenance.   Time is on your side, surely reaching your goal in a year or two is better than falling into the yo-yo routine for the next 20 years?    The Rise of Fast Food and Easiness of Ready Made Food    I’m 30 now, and when I was growing up most villages had one or two takeaways. A fish and chip shop and maybe a pizza shop. Sure the likes of Greggs and McDonald’s were everywhere, but the huge rise in private takeaways has had a large impact on people becoming overweight. It’s cheap, it’s easy, and it’s delicious. I love a pizza, Chinese, or Indian takeaway but I limit my intake because I know the calories they contain.   Unfortunately, most people have no idea or just ignore it due to the convenience.      

  

    
       
      
         
          
             
                  
             
          

          

         
      
       
    

  


     Exactly the same goes for processed and ready made foods. They’re quick, easy, tasty, and mostly very cheap. for these reasons, people tend to neglect the nutritional absence and dense calorie values of these foods.   Combine this with the marketing campaigns plastered everywhere from the bigger players, and you’ll find yourself regularly considering a takeaway because it’s in your head and just so easy.   In reality though, you can cook a nice nutritious meal or a healthier option of a takeaway (fakeaway ;-)) in the same time it takes to cook a ready meal or wait for delivery.    Lack of Education on the Basics   Did you get taught about energy balance at school? And I’m not talking about a one off session in Year 9. I’m talking regularly educated on calories for weight loss and gain. Most of us rely on the internet to try and learn a little about weight loss, but surely if it was drilled into us at school from an early age we’d have more control?   If you spent the time now to educate yourself on the basics you could gain control of your weight for the rest of your life.  No bullshit fad diets or slimming group crap, just the basics of calorie management. Do this and I swear your life can change forever!  Any good personal trainer will do their best to teach you this from the off.   There’s too Much BS  This is simple, everywhere you look, in magazines, on TV shows, in shop windows, there’s another miracle weight loss cure/workout/pill/diet. It’s just too much! And it confuses everyone! One day we will hopefully see more strict regulations on the advertising of such crap. Until then, don’t fall into their trap. These people just want your money.     Laziness    No one likes to hear this but it’s so fucking true! We are all too lazy. Consider being alive 100 years ago where everything you did was manual labor and everything you ate was freshly cooked. If you were lazy then, you’d probably die.   In our age, we sit at desks all day, we can get food in 20 minutes with a phone call, we drive everywhere and we can even turn lights on without standing up to press the switch. Then we complain we are too tired, too busy or have other issues that mean we can’t take care of ourselves in the most basic ways. I’m talking about cooking and movement. Yet we all find time to sit on social media for an hour or two a day and binge watch three episodes of stranger things every night after work.   Break your day down with me right now. 24 hours in a day, 8 hours to sleep, 10 hours to work and travel then on average 6 hours to do as you please. You can cook and amazing meal in 30 minutes and you can do a good level of activity in 30 minutes. We still have 5 hours left....     

  

    
       
      
         
          
             
                  
             
          

          

         
      
       
    

  


    
 We’re just too lazy as a nation, this has happened through the rise and modern day reliance on technology, and most people won’t accept responsibility for their actions.  This is the way the world has turned and only you can change your habits. You’ve just got to start! Move more, sit less, start to prepare a few meals and then build on it.    Final Thoughts and Points   All of this stuff makes it hard to lose weight, there’s no one reason but on the whole, it’s just so fucking confusing with the mixed messages and false information we receive everyday. There’s an army of GOOD coaches out there growing every day trying to educate people. Hopefully, in the not too distant future, we will be able to make a great difference against the money makers.  At the end of the day though, it’s your life, you’re in control! You make your own choices on what you eat and do. Deep down, you have to take responsibility. So go now, educate yourself on how to actually manage your weight and give yourself at least 12 months to hit your target.  So to recap;   - Weight is just a number. Understand this doesn’t tell the story of your health or appearance. Photos and measurements are key.   - Losing weight is hard! It can be confusing, depressing and both physically and mentally draining.   - Don’t believe everything you see in the media and don’t try to be someone you aren’t.   - Be patient and realistic.   - Limit fast food and processed foods, don’t cut them out, just limit them.   - Cook more! You’ll enjoy your food and learn along the way. Keep it simple at first.   - Educate yourself on Calories and Energy Balance. Once you understand this you can stay in control of your weight.   - Don’t be lazy. It’s easy to think we’re all crazy busy and have no time. But when you reflect on your life and be honest with yourself, you probably have a lot of free time.   Thanks as always for reading, hopefully some of this info is helpful. Please post your comments and thoughts in the comments.   Steven         

Losing weight can be hard, but the science is simple, so let us take a look what we can do to make it easier.

So maybe you’ve watched the Great North Run on TV this year and you’ve decided to take it on next year, or maybe you just want to increase your fitness, drop a bit of weight! Whatever the reason you have for wanting to run, here’s a few tips on what I believe can help you!

RUN IN THE MORNING

Running in the morning has that feeling of accomplishment, you’re up at the crack of dawn (don’t snooze that alarm) and before everybody is out of bed, you’ve already smashed in a few miles, the endorphins released are incredible and you’re ready to kill the rest of the day!!  

run off the road for less impact

run off the road for less impact

 

MAKE IT ROUTINE 

Setting it as part of weekly routine is an absolute must otherwise you’re going to throw in the towel early, get in touch with us if you’re after a plan and we’ll fit it in each week for you.  

Decide how many times you’re going to run that week, how far you’re going to run and when. Then stick to the plan and execute it.

i’m not going to lie, you’re going to get those days when you’re thinking I can’t be bothered, those are the ones you just put your kit on, blast some music and go straight out and simply run. I guarantee you’ll feel great after.

A little tip that works for me, if i’m going to run in the morning, all my kit is set out the night before (shorts, socks, t shirt, bottle, headphones, gels). Whatever you need, this should help.

GIVE IT TIME

So when you’re first starting a plan or even starting your first run for years as a complete beginner, you’ll feel very unfit, sometimes like you’re trudging through treacle in fact. But stick with it, don’t lose sight of the end goal, keep putting one foot in front of the other and work through it, I promise you it will get easier. It doesn’t happen overnight unfortunately, but it will get better, you’ll become more effecient and you’ll really start enjoying it. Keeping track of your runs on a smart watch really helps to see improvement, which brings me nicely on to my next bit of advice.

BUY A SMARTWATCH (GARMIN/APPLE/POLAR/FITBIT)  

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Garmin Vivoactive HR

Grab a smartwatch. Trust me on this one, it’ll help keep you motivated and always keep a record of your running and how you’re progressing. They can be addictive particularly with steps and daily activity, you’ll see either how lazy you are during the day or even suprise yourself with how far you walk. Whatever watch you desire, i’d recommend a one with a HR monitor to keep accurate calorie count and it can help keep you in check when you’re out running. Most have the connection ability so you can add your friends and see how they’re doing too! Picking up a second hand one from eBay gives a very reasonable price too! 

FIND A RUN BUDDY

If you’ve entered an event, why not try and drag a friend along to do it, that way you can both train together and push each other through it. It makes it so much easier when you’re wanting to snooze the alarm at 6am if you know your friends waiting on you. It’s just a huge boost for both people, and for some reason it always feels easier when you’re running with someone, i’m not quite sure why!

Keep watching for more posts regarding Running/Cycling over the next coming weeks. If there’s anything you’d like to discuss then let us know.

If you need help with putting a plan in place or any other fitness advice, please drop us a message on our Facebook page and we’ll happy to help.

www.facebook.com/thesecretpt 

      An age old question that still always gets asked, 'How long does it take?'.   The answer to this is not so straight forward I'm afraid, and because of the impatient world we live in, no one is happy with the answer they receive. We all want to look like models now!!     

  

    
       
      
         
          
             
                  
             
          

          

         
      
       
    

  


     What we can give though, is a pretty good estimate of what you can expect to lose if you plan carefully and stick to your programme.   The main problem lies in the fact people want, and expect, to lose a stone a week (I'm exaggerating but you know what I mean) and this is totally unrealistic. To lose excessive weight quickly can cause lots of issues but the main one is a rebound where you throw the weight back on.  We never want that to happen.  The next problem is comparing yourself to others, particularly fake instagram posts of people who went from obese to shredded in 12 weeks. Again it is unrealistic, probably fake and certainly will of had 'help' in the form of some sort of drug. But as much as these can put you down, you also can't compare yourself to Jane down the road who has lost 1 stone this week off eating a turnip a day. It's not a real way to live and Jane will inevitably regain this weight.   There are many personal variables that may also control how fast or slow you will lose weight. This can come down to genetics and hormone levels. We are all different so must do our best not to compare to others. You're only trying to be a better version of yourself after all.     

  

    
       
      
         
          
             
                  
             
          

          

         
      
       
    

  


     Before I finally reveal what to realistically expect, let's discuss the final issue: the scales themselves. You go on every day expecting to see a change. And you know what, one day it's up, one day it's down and after a week it's stayed the same. The scales will change, I PROMISE, just be patient and work off body measurements rather than the figure on this depression device. It's much more accurate to monitor progress this way because depending on what you are doing, body composition may be changing dramatically too (more lean muscle which is dense against body fat).      

  

    
       
      
         
          
             
                  
             
          

          

         
      
       
    

  


    
 As we know (because we bang on about it all the time) being in a caloric deficit is the only way to lose weight. And what we like to aim for is a weekly deficit of 3500 calories as this equates to approximately one pound of fat.  So from this we can profile that to lose 5 pounds should take 5 weeks, 10 pounds 10 weeks and so and so forth.   If you use this as a rough guide, you can't go too far wrong to be honest.  Aiming for one pound per week is a healthy, safe way to lose weight and manage a realistic diet that should be maintainable in the long term.  Any questions, as always, get in touch!!   Steven

How long should it take to 'lose weight'? Let's find out... 

      So, first of all, lets state the facts, kids are expensive and spare time is non existent. I mean, what did you do with all that time before parenthood? I am also very aware of the hardship you Mam's go through. Us blokes have it easy! Your bodies go through a million changes throughout pregnancy to start with, then you have to deal with the recovery of labor. You're all amazing!      

  

    
       
      
         
          
             
                  
             
          

          

         
      
       
    

  


     We have had a guest blog from a real Mam, and touched on gym training as a new parent, but this one is for those of you that have no spare time, and maybe a gym membership isn't a luxury available to you right now.  You might be stuck in a rut and need a fresh idea to get you goin again. Hopefully the tips we discuss help you toward your goal.   No Gym, No Problem   You want to lose some weight, so you check out the ten gyms near you because that's what you need to lose weight right...a gym? No, you don't. I train in a gym, I love it! I won't lie. But I work there too so it fits my lifestyle and helps toward my personal goal.   If it's just weight loss you're looking to achieve though, a gym membership shouldn't be the first thing you look for. Exercise helps us create that needed deficit to cause fat loss, and you can exercise anywhere. At home, outside in the garden, in the park, anywhere!      

  

    
       
      
         
          
             
                  
             
          

          

         
      
       
    

  


     So what should I do I hear you ask? Anything you want really, as long as you're moving and your heart rate is up you'll be burning calories. It all depends on your time and ability. I use walking and short home workouts for people I work with. Because even in a time pressed world you can take your kids for a walk or find 10-20 minutes for some exercise, and you can involve your kid so they don't go wild.     

  

    
       
      
         
          
             
                  
             
          

          

         
      
       
    

  


     If you find that's not enough or you can't fit it in, what else can you do? Every day daily activities! These are your secret weapon to weight loss. All day long you have the potential to be more active. Using the upstairs toilet instead of down. Walking to the shop instead of driving. Doing 20 squats waiting for the kettle to boil. Running up and down the stairs whilst the bath runs. Get creative! These small activities burn a few extra calories each time and these soon total up to hundreds of extra through a day.   How can I eat healthily, I have no time to cook!   To me, this is one of the biggest (and worst) excuses people use to enable themselves to have fatty foods. Pizza and chips in the oven takes 30-40 minutes. A fresh chicken breast in the oven takes 30 minutes and to prepare a salad takes 5 minutes. You can spend a lot of time cooking, but it isn't essential for eating healthily. Boiling or steaming some vegetables takes 10-20 minutes, cooking a stir fry takes around 30 minutes with preparation time included. Realistically, you can make healthy, fresh meals within 45 minutes max. But that means boring foods right? Wrong! There are hundreds of vegetables to try and thousands of seasonings to create new flavours. Breakfasts could be sugary cereals or pastries, but in the same time these take you could scramble some eggs or make porridge and add some blueberries. And lunches tend to be a huge downfall for most. Either eating fast food or under eating leading to binging on a night. Why not prepare extra food from the previous evenings meal and put it to one side ready for the next day? And I'm not talking about cold pizza!      

  

    
       
      
         
          
             
                  
             
          

          

         
      
       
    

  


    
 You just need to be smart here, shop for what you intend to eat and don't buy the easy foods so you have to cook fresh. Within a week or two this will be normal for you and become a habit. Your body will thank you for it too!    MOTIVATION    Losing weight whilst training at home as a parent is easily achievable but what a lot of people struggle with is motivation to be more active and managing to stick to new ways of eating. So here are a few ways to help motivate you;  1- It's not for you, it's for your child. This is my biggest motivator at the minute. I want to be fit, strong and healthy to spend as many years on this planet as possible and be as active as I can with my son.   2- It's for all the naysayers, the people that think you'll never do it. Prove them all wrong.   3- Get a buddy, someone to go through the journey with you and be accountable to each other. This can really help you stick to a plan, especially if it's your spouse.  4- Get some help! If you can afford it, there are some great online Personal Training services that aren't too expensive. This can hold you accountable and if you pay for something you are more likely to stick with it. Do your research though as there are, unfortunately, plenty of bad online PT's too.   5- And finally, listen to some music. If it's on in the background or you are doing some planned exercise, music will make you move more and moving burns calories. It also helps entertain the kids.  One last note, remember, weight loss comes down to energy balance. The ONLY way to lose weight is be in a calorie deficit, there's no two ways about it.  As always, if you have any questions get in touch!    Steven            

Weight loss and parenting can be tough so here's some help and advice on how manage it.

Fail to plan, plan to fail

The average wedding planning takes place over around 6 -12 months. If losing a little weight for the big day is on your agenda this can be incorporated as part of the actual wedding plan, quite easily. Many brides often leave it too late and by consequence don’t reach their goal, or, nearly kill themselves trying to reach their target weight. In the final preparations for a wedding, no one wants to be doing bootcamp workouts 7 days a week and eating 500 calories a day – it’s not healthy and just adds to your stress. Set realistic, small but achievable goals, and get going from the off which will keep you motivated in the long run! Exercise is recommended in moderation – little and often with a few short bursts of high intensity effort which will get your heart rate up and prolong fat burning for while even after you have stopped exercising. Even 20 minutes 3/4 times a week will make the difference. A healthy weight loss is around one pound per week, so keep this in mind when you consider how much weight you want to lose.

Monitor your calorie intake

You must be in a calorie deficit each week, burning more than you consume, it really is that simple! You need to be in a deficit of approximately 500 calories per day to lose one pound per week. Fortunately, in this age of technology, we have a range of wonderful apps to help! I’d advise MyFitnessPal (it’s FREE). Enter all of your details and it will give you a daily calorie allowance that is specific to your goal and daily lifestyle. Log everything you eat and drink and you will quickly learn where your diet needs to improve. A lot of our clients thought this was going to be a chore, but once you are logging, it takes around 5 minutes out of your day, and you quickly start to educate yourself on what foods you can enjoy in sensible portions. Nothing is off limits, you can still enjoy a treat, as long as it fits in your calorie allowance!

Don’t drink your calories

You do need to be in a calorie deficit to lose weight, as established above, and we don’t want to starve ourselves, so why waste our allowance on sugary drinks?  Enjoy water, drink as much as you like, it has NO calories in and is crucial to the wellness and functioning of your organs and natural processes. If you want a little flavour add a slice of lemon or lime (or other fruit). Unfortunately your favourite alcoholic tipple is one of the biggest culprits for high calorie intake and is almost detriment to any weight loss without moderation and caution.  A bottle of cider has 200+ calories where as a vodka and diet lemonade has around 50 – make the smarter choices to balance your allowance.

Increase your daily activity

You don’t need to go to the gym more and you don’t need to do insane workouts. With the modern day busy lifestyle, this isn’t always achievable to fit into your schedule. What you can do, however, is move more every day. A 20 minute walk on your lunch, always using the stairs, and if you’re stuck at home, get up and walk around or do some housework? You’ll be amazing how many calories hoovering burns. Moving still burns calories, so whenever you can move just a little extra, do it. These ‘extra’ calories you burn total up to hundreds per week!

Reduce processed foods as much as possible

If you can cut out the manufactured foods that fill up your fridge and freezer, you will be on to a winner! Always cook fresh and keep your fridge stocked up with lots of colourful fruits and veggies. Include lean protein sources such as fresh fish, chicken, turkey, lean beef and legumes/beans with each meal. Eating these sort of foods works because they have no additives and less calories in them. This makes it easier to get into that deficit and see the pounds drop off. None of these foods have to be bland either. Get experimenting with your favourite herbs and spices like fresh garlic, coriander, ginger and chilli.

WHAT IS BASAL METABOLIC RATE (BMR) & TDEE

So, we mention BMR & TDEE a lot. You might be a little confused if you haven’t Googled these terms before, so I’m going to explain it in simple enough terms so it’s easy for you all to get your head around & start putting it into action.

Let’s start with BMR (Basal Metabolic Rate). 

Now that term alone just sounds confusing, but I’ll break it down for you:

In order for your body to function every single day (and for each organ and cell to do their jobs) it needs a specific amount of calories. Each person is slightly different, mainly because it depends on age, gender, how active somebody is, how much lean muscle they have, and how thermogenic their body is.

So, every single day your body uses these calories when you’re doing absolutely shite all. Even if you’re laying in bed all day doing NOTHING, your body will burn this many calories. People with a sedentary lifestyle, such as sitting as a desk all day, will have a lower BMR than someone who is active on their feet all day. 

How can you calculate this? Well there are stacks of calculators you can use online. I’ll link one before to work out your BMR & TDEE. This will give you a very close estimate.  

Let’s use myself as an example here. At this moment, according to calculations, I burn 2221 calories everyday, regardless of what I do. Now this will change in proportion to how active I am. If, for example, I sit at a desk all day and skip training, overtime, my BMR will decrease because my body is not requiring as many calories to operate. The exact same principle applies if I become more active, start hammering 3 hour daily sessions and pack on lots of lean muscle. My body will then require more energy to keep it running! You starting to see the picture now?

Ok, so we’ve got 2221 Calories = MY BMR.

Now that I’ve explained BMR in it’s simplest form, we can move onto TDEE. 

This is Total Daily Energy Expenditure. 

Let’s look at EE (Energy Expenditure) :

Energy Expenditure is simply how many calories you burn from doing whatever. This can be literally ANYTHING. Getting out of bed to make toast, Walking to work, walking the dog, jumping on the spot, gym, running, cycling-I’m sure you get the picture. Anything you do on a day to day basis counts towards this. Which means that this number will vary every day.

Unlike BMR, which will more or less remain the same, your EE varies daily. Which is why we always advise to look at your changes over the course of the week as oppose to each day.  

Now, you can roughly calculate your own TDEE via this calculator link HERE <<<. However, if you want a more accurate report, use a fitness tracker (fitbit, garmin, tomtom). I use GARMIN VIVOACTIVE HR. There’s a million and one these days, you don’t have to use this one. 

Look at the image below which shows my BMR on the LEFT & my ACTIVE CALORIES (EE) through the day on the right. 

 


This is calculated from the Heart Rate monitor in my watch and gives me an accurate reading for the whole day.

BMR on the left is added to the active calories to give me my TDEE for the whole day. 

So basically BMR + EE = TDEE 

Now you have the total calories for that day. 

If you track your total daily caloric expenditure over a 7 day period, you can then work your total calories expended for the week. Mine is detailed below:

You can see that on average, in a week, my TDEE is 24394 calories. 

If you divide by 24394/7 = 3484 calories, this is my daily allowance. 

In order to lose fat, it’s paramount that you eat below those calories. Don’t be a dick and eat stupidly below that amount. We advise you eat only around 500 calories less that your TDEE per day.

There’s a reason for this. Dropping back to BMR again, if you start to eat significantly lower than your BMR (if for example, you follow the stupid 500 calorie a day bullshit diet), then, it’s going to fuck you up. Your body will undergo massive stress, metabolic damage will occur, and you may not be able to recover. This means that your body’s BMR drops significantly. So, instead of it being 2221 calories for me, it could drop to say 1900 for example. READ ON

Now this may not seem a lot, but is significant. There comes a point where you’re happy with your weight loss-you’ve lost 2 stone and you just want to maintain and keep that weight. 

All well and great, except that you may not realise that you’ve fucked up your metabolic rate. So even though I may still think my BMR is 2221 + EE (600 calories) = 2821, it really is 1900 + EE (lets say 600 calories) = 2500 calories. So basically, every single day I’m eating 300 calories extra per day, and 300 calories x 7days = 2100 EXTRA calories PER WEEK. Now you can see where you’ve gone wrong in the past on your crash diets!

REMEMBER 3500 CALORIES IS 1LB of FAT!!!!!

The weight gain might be slow and you may not notice it straight away, but 3 months down the line when you’ve put on 1 stone, it will be upsetting and the whole process starts again.

 

I hope this has been of some help for you guys. 

 

I’ll do a video on this at some point, but give us a shout if you’re completely stuck with this and we’ll try our best to explain it in depth to you. 

THESECRETPT’s

      What is it then?&nbsp;  Online personal training is a product offered to help and support someone through an online platform. It removes the standard 'one hour' session for £25 plus and gives support day in day out to get results.  So how does this work?&nbsp;  Well it's pretty simple. With us, you'll get an email with a link to go through a quick form and then to access our app. Through the app, you get full access to the workouts we design for you and access to an instant messenger where you can ask anything you like! We are able to monitor all of your progress and make the workouts tougher as your ability improves.     

  

    
       
      
         
          
             
                  
             
          

          
           
              Alyson has lost over 2 stone with us in just 12 weeks. This was done by managing diet and exercise around running a small business.   
           
          

         
      
       
    

  


     Why would it be for me?&nbsp;  I'll be honest, it's not for everyone. But, it works for the majority. Some people need someone next to them to shout at them, but what happens after that? Once they leave the session? Who helps them then? For those who use us, we help and support you every step of the way. We'll educate you on how to manage your diet, what exercise is good specifically for you and why you should be doing what we tell you. If you don't use a gym, no problem! You can still reach your goals. Having an online trainer makes you much more accountable every day rather than for that one hour per week.  If you're the person that isn't comfortable going to a gym, works crazy hours and shifts or has a family and struggles to find time, this service is for you. Everything is tailored around your lifestyle to make sure excuses aren't available.  So what's the catch?  Here's the funny thing, there is no catch. It sounds too good to be true, however, it isn't! Online training is taking off. There are lots of well established people running online now, (anyone ever heard of Joe Wicks 90 day SSS plan?&nbsp;) but the service they provide differs massively from one to the next. Fact is, this works!! And is quickly proving to be an extremely effective method of lasting results.  To Conclude...  Our service is second to none. With online personal training we are able to remove barriers to thousands of people that can't get to a gym or are too busy to train. It enables accountability day in day out to make sure you are always heading toward your goal. For a minority, it doesn't work, but for the majority, the results come thick and fast.  If you have any questions about how it might work for you, get in touch today  info@thesecretpt.com    

How does online personal training work? 

Now these tips may be hard to implement because I guarantee you've been working hard in the gym and eating pretty well to look good for this holiday. So eating and drinking whatever you fancy is going to be high on your list. 

As a trainer, I completely understand that when you’re away, you simply can’t be bothered to train and would much rather chill and have a few drinks. 

However, if you plan on continuing your training when you return, keeping up with your workouts, even if they are only 20 minutes long, will make all the difference. It doesn’t have to be too strenuous either; the main thing is to keep your body moving and keep the muscles active. 

‘My hotel doesn’t have a gym so I can't train’ is the most common excuse when on holiday. Errr now lets not kid yourself, you’ve got multiple options. Early morning, around Sunrise, or Late evening, are the best times to go for a run. Get yourself out, whether it’s on the beach or a few small laps around the city you’re in, Get out there! If, like me, you don’t enjoy running, the double room you've got in your hotel has more than enough space for you to move around. 

So let's look at a hotel workout for you. This is going to be full body workout, aiming to burn maximum calories and hit as many muscle groups as we can.

20 minutes long. No excuses. GET IT DONE! 

Lets start with a 5 minute warm up: 

ankle rotations > shoulder rotations > arm circles > wood chops > side lunges > forward lunge & stretch arms out > squats > on the spot knees up > heel flicks > quicker sprints > relax.

Now for the main workout. The circuit below is 15 minutes. Complete it as many times as you can, with a 45s rest after each circuit.

Use perfect form, take your time to work through every movement correctly before increasing the speed. Your form may suffer towards the end; when this happens, slow it down and adjust your pace. We’re always trying to keep the heart rate high without compromising form.

 

20 bodyweight squats (advance to squat jumps if you can)

10 push ups (drop to knees if you need to)

15 reverse crunches

15 jumping jacks

10 superman planks (go single arm or single leg if need be)

10 reverse lunges

20 high knees on the spot

10 tricep dips on your bed or chair

20 mountain climbers

 

If you aren’t able to complete the amount of reps in here don’t be afraid to drop them down.

So there we go, a workout done in 20 minutes. No interruptions to your holiday.

Now for the diet, and this is the worst part by far because when you’re away on holiday you will want to eat ANYTHING & EVERYTHING. I get it. 

But, i’m going to try and convince you otherwise. So that again, when you’re back, you have the ability to fall back into the better ways, a lot faster and it’s not so harsh on your body. After all, once you get into a rut of eating shit, you’ll come back and continue it on. Trust me.

 

TIPS (take them or leave them, but we’re just trying to help you)

> If you can roughly plan your day out, have some idea of where you’re going to eat. For example, if you know you’re going to have a huge dinner like an all you can eat, then have a lighter lunch & vice-versa. Whatever you do, don’t skip food otherwise you’ll end up cleaning the restaurant out when you’re faced with eating later on.

> Try and follow the same discipline in which you do at home. By this I mean try avoiding fried food, and eat plenty vegetables and good meats. Try keep your sugars to a minimum, even though I know ice creams can be tempting…

> There’s a good chance you’re very close to a beach, which I guarantee will have some good fish close by. Super tasty and a great source for your macronutrients as well as being low in calories!

> Remember, you don't have to sample every item on offer, eat everything on your plate, or go for all three courses. So either have a starter or dessert, but not both – and vary your combinations every day so you don’t feel you're missing out. And if you’re on an all-inclusive holiday, remind yourself that just because it’s all paid for, it doesn’t mean you have to pile as much food onto your plate as you can

> Be careful when you order salads. It may seem like you're having the healthiest option on the menu, but they may be drowning in dressing. Don’t be afraid to ask the waiter for it to come with dressing on the side.


If you would like any more advice or help with anything to do with your diet or training, please click HERE to drop us a message.