TubbyPaul

One mans fight with his waist line!

Archive for the ‘Health and Fitness’ Category

#OpMassive Afghan Training!

Posted by Tubby Paul on November 22, 2013

Well I thought I best give you a little update on how I am getting on out here in Afghanistan! I have been training hard, sticking to my routine, and even though it is only 3 weeks in, I am sure I can see a difference in my shape already! I have had to get some smaller trousers, and the shoulders and arms on my t-shirts are definitely getting tighter! I am hoping that when I head home, I will actually have some shoulders I can actually be proud of, and then I’ll feel justified in treating myself to a Skinny Chimp vest to show them off in!

On the subject of Skinny Chimp, if you are on Twitter or Facebook, give them and the #ChimpArmy a follow, they provide inspiration and motivation every day, and the mixes they put on soundcloud I am sure help me lift more in the gym! I am not connected with the company, just a fan!

So what has my training been? Well I have been doing weights Monday to Friday, broken down to shoulders, chest, back, legs then arms, then Mondays and Thursdays I have been taking Performance Cycling classes, and running on a Sunday. Sometimes I have been squeezing in an extra run here and there, nothing big, just always about 5 km just to keep me ticking over!

I know, that made me chuckle, classing 5 km as “just” and “ticking over” oh how I never want to go back to how I was before, where I honestly believed I just wasn’t built to be able to run! The thought of running just a mile would fill me with dread! And now I am starting to think about preparing for my biggest challenge so far, the full 26.1 miles that is the Virgin London Marathon! Just like when I signed up for the Perkins Great Eastern Half, I am filled with a huge sense of awe at the daunting task ahead of me, but this time it is a little different, this time I am a runner already, all be it I’m no Mo, but I genuinely enjoy running now, to pound the streets gives me time to meditate, to clear my head, there is something primal about it, almost spiritual, so while yes, 26 miles does seem like a bloody long way, I am actually looking forward to the challenge!

I will of course be #RunningForRAFA again, the RAF Association do some brilliant work, but I will write a blog about why I run for them at another time! But if you would like to help me support this wonderful charity, you can do so here!

The trouble is, my work up for London is going to have to start while I am out here, for about the first 6 weeks of my training plan, which means I will have to spend more time in the hamster wheel in the gym, while I find running outside spiritual, running on a treadmill is the opposite, but unfortunately the outside running options here in Afghan are a little limited! I will still be carrying on with #OpMassive too, I’ll be wearing a vest in April as well! 😉

Right that will do from me for now,

See you in the gym!

Paul

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How to Measure Fitness Progress – NIH

Posted by Tubby Paul on October 26, 2013

More simple and effective advice from Tony, if you have started the journey to healthy living,congratulations,the first step is the hardest, by monitoring your process you will see just how worthwhile the decision has been!

See you in the gym,

Paul

One Regular Guy Writing about Food, Exercise and Living Past 100

Eat less; move more. Those are my words to live by. Now supposing you have chosen to try them out and you are actually moving more – maybe walking instead of cabbing it, or you have started exercising instead of couch-potatoing it. Now what? You want to know how you are doing and what is the next step. Is it time to exercise a little longer, or find an activity slightly more challenging?

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The National Institutes of Health has some worthwhile suggestions.

“These simple monthly tests are good ways to see if you are continuing to progress and need to update your goals. Each month, you will likely see an improvement.

*Endurance. Pick a fixed course and see how long it takes to walk that distance. As your endurance improves, it should take less time.

* Upper-body Strength.
Count the number of arm curls* you can do safely in…

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Family Time, Get It While You Can!

Posted by Tubby Paul on October 20, 2013

If you follow me on Twitter you’ll probably be well aware that I am a very proud father of 4 wonderful children. With my job in the RAF, I do have to spend a fair amount of time away from home, this is obviously time I cannot spend with my kids. When I am home though, spending quality time with my family is very important to me. Now however, I am taking my running more seriously, and I have to fit that in too, when I am at home, usually that involves running in the late evening once all the kids are in bed, and my dinner has gone down! While this is not cutting into dad time, it does cut into mum & dad time quite considerably, which is time I also value!1383714_312335162240076_402196483_n

Imagine my delight therefore when my 10 year old (and eldest) daughter asked the other week if she could come running with me! Of course I was delighted, yes I knew it would mean my run that day wouldn’t be an effective workout for me, but what it did mean is my example is working, my children are seeing a healthy lifestyle and of their own free will emulating that choice! That one question convincing me that when I began this fitness journey 2 years ago, I had made the right choice! 2 years ago, I was horrified watching my children pretending to smoke, now I am so proud that they still want to be like their dad!

So Saturday morning we pulled our trainers on, my eldest pulling on some old leggings and a top, and we went for a little run! We jogged a bit, and walked a bit, used markers like lamp posts to run between, smiling and laughing a mile and a half later we fell back in the door, my daughter sweating but happy!

After showers and banana,  I told her about Parkrun, which I had recently started going to on a Saturday morning, and she liked the sound of it, so we registered her on the computer as well, printed our bar codes, and for her 2nd ever run, attempted her first 5k!

I will admit I didn’t think she would make it, and about 2/3rds of the way round, without some encouraging words I think she would quite happily have quit, but she didn’t! And with a brilliant sprint finish, her first 5k was done!946405_10152303396621978_1008121442_n

That was last Saturday, I was so proud of her, and she of herself, but guess what happened this Saturday…….

Well to my genuine surprise she got up out of bed again to come with me! And once again, she found the middle difficult to keep going, but finished strong in the rain!

We are both enjoying this extra time together, and it really is quality daddy daughter time, I am so proud of her, she is asking Santa for pink running clothes for Christmas, and now wants to take part in the Perkins Great Eastern Fun Run next year when I do the half again, well if she keeps doing the Parkrun, she will ace it!!

Unfortunately I am now going away again for 4 months, and I will miss all my children, they are my universe, and the whole reason I am who I am, but Kids, I’ll be back before you know it, and we can all get some more quality family time!

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See you in the gym

Paul

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Mud, Rain & Fears – My First Half

Posted by Tubby Paul on October 16, 2013

Sunday 13th October 2013 – Perkins Great Eastern Run in Peterborough

4:45am – Look at clock, roll over and lay there quietly, trying to not wake anybody up, listen to the rain against the window, it sounds heavy!

4:55am – Look at clock again, has it really only been 10 minutes? The rain sounds even heavier, all I can think is I hope it doesn’t stop me getting round the 13.1 miles. I had started thinking of 2 hours, but not sure if I should even think about it given the weather!

5:03am – I’m certain that is the rain easing off, I am so going to smash this, and blast round sub 2 hours.

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5:05am – What am I doing, I can’t run a half marathon, I won’t make it round.

5:07am – Need to stop thinking, lie still and listen to the rain, the sound on the window sounds like footsteps, my footsteps pounding mile after mile after mile.

5:53am – Not sure if I snoozed or not there, but the sound of the rain is hypnotizing, relaxing, calming.

6:01am – The rain gets heavier on the window again, oppressive, aggressive, frustrating.

6:32am – Have I trained enough? I know it’s too late now, but it’s not stopping me worrying about it!

6:55am – Alarm due to go off in 5 minutes, so get up and go downstairs.

6:56am – Kettle is on and porridge is in the pan, porridge and green tea for breakfast, the same as most days, start to think if that was the right choice!

7:10am – Decide I can’t walk down to the embankment in my shorts, vest and an old jumper, mainly as the rain is absolutely torrential, so now it is panic time as I find tracksuit bottoms, my rain jacket and a bag to stash them in!

7:45am – Right, I am ready, I have paracetamol and Imodium to take about an hour pre race, just as precautions! I have a bottle of water, and I’m ready to rock and roll………..too early!

8:15am – Leave to walk down to the Embankment, the weather is horrendous, kind of wish we had picked a later time to meet friends, but I guess we weren’t planning on bad weather then!

8:30am – 2 hours to go, what am I doing, I’m not a runner! Oh well I will just plod round, get to the end and be done with it!

8:45am – Arrive down the embankment, it is wet, muddy, and pretty empty!2013-10-13 08.57.04

8:50am – Look at the weather, the mud, myself, try to work out why I am standing in the rain at this time on a Sunday morning when I could still be warm at home!

9:00am – Take paracetamol & Imodium, eat my banana.

9:10am – Meet up with some lovely people from twitter, chat, complain about the weather, pretend to be less nervous than I really am.

9:30am – The 5k runners are warming up, I am looking forward to seeing my eldest doing that next year! I jump up and down in time to the Zumba music too, as it is really cold!

9:50am – Still chatting away, have told everyone I am going to get sub 2 hours, and am now regretting saying that!

10:05am – Right, time to get the race face on, tracksuit bottoms and jacket into bag, bag checked in. Still wearing an old jumper that used to fit me at my fattest, it isn’t coming home with me today!

10:10am – Head towards the start, a little warm up jog, just to stretch the legs, it is cold this morning!

10:15am – Go into the holding pens, stand at the 2 hour sign, chat with a brilliant twitter friend who is also aiming for sub 2, and to others around.  See the 2 hour pacer, and determine to be in front of him the whole way!

10:25am – The tension is getting so strong now, 5000+ people all held in a cage waiting to be released, lot’s of “good lucks” and “see you at the finish” going around, the rain currently light!

10:29am – Fat me jumper comes off and gets thrown away, goodbye old Fatty me, I don’t miss you one little bit, and the next 13.1 miles will prove you are gone!

10:30am – After a countdown, the starter pistol goes, and………we don’t move! It takes a while to get this many people over the start line, which is why we have timing chips on our legs!PGEG0135

10:35am – I’m out, I’m doing it, I am a runner, I am loving the crowd cheering me on, I feel great, I am being careful not to get carried away with my speed, and try to settle into a rhythm.

10:45 am – Still going strong, running a little faster than I planned, but feeling great, keep looking back over my shoulder, no sign of the 2 hour marker, which means I am well in on my time.

11:00am – The rain has been really heavy, but actually quite nice and cooling, still going far quicker than I had planned to, but still feeling good.

11:15am – Starting to realize I won’t be able to make it all the way at this pace, keep trying to ease off, but keep creeping back up again! Think the average pace is bob on, just wish I could get it a steady state!

11:34am – Half way, in under an hour, I am so happy, and feeling strong!

11:40am – Getting very warm now, wish that rain would come back! right calf and ankle starting to feel a little tight, ignore it and carry on.

12:00pm – Right that’s it, I’m not going to make 2 hours, I am knackered, I drop back on my pace and then have to have a little word with myself,  something along the lines of “That’s right Fatty, it’s getting a little difficult, you might as well quit like you always have in the past, at least you can say you had a go, people will tell you there is always nexc time, but there won’t be a next time will there Fatty, as if you quit now you won’t put yourself in this position again, now come on you idiot, some things in life are not f*****g easy, now pull your finger out, man up and get your arse over that line in less than 2 hours like you know you can!”PGEI0202

12:01pm – Arse suitably self kicked, i pick up the pace again, not to the fast level, but enough to keep me in the race.

12:14pm – 2 miles to go, less than 20 minutes work to do, my legs feel like they are made of lead, they don’t hurt, it is just almost impossible to pick them up! Cheers from the crowd and shouts of “KEEP GOING AIR FORCE!” mean i manage to some how keep plodding, I keep looking back over my shoulder, dreading seeing the 2 hour pacer catching me up, I sooo want sub 2, and the only thing I can do is keep falling forward!

12:29pm – I know I am close, but my legs are grinding to a halt, I can’t really hear the cheers now, not really aware of my surroundings, just know I have to keep going.

12:31pm – Get overtaken by a guy with an emu outfit! Well done on your effort mate, but you did proper crush my soul at that point there!

12:32pm – Not only have I been overtaken by a Rod Hull impersonator, I can now hear the 2 hour marker shouting behind me, there is no way I am letting him past me now!

12:33pm – I can not look behind, I know he is there, I can hear him shouting, I feel like I am in a horror film, trying to escape the zombies, only this particular zombie is a lot fitter than I am!PGEB3522

12:34pm – I’m on the home straight, the crowd are cheering, I hear the commentator make a joke about the RAF, I raise my arms in triumph, I cross the line, hit my watch it says 1:59:55!!!!!

12:35pm – I see my family leaning over the railings, they look so proud, I am so happy, I can barely stand, but I’m happy! A lady takes my chip off for me, and a man gives me some water, god it tastes good!

12:36pm – I go trough the conveyor of people, more water, a goodie bag, a t-shirt, a banana, sooooo good! I nearly kiss the man with the bananas, I don’t think he would have been impressed!

12:37pm – Get my bag, then manage to get out to my family! Lots of cuddles, lots of congratulations, now home and food!post run!

Later that afternoon, I got the email confirming the time on my watch, 1 hour, 59 minutes and 55 seconds.

I would like to thank everyone involved with the organisation of the Perkins Great Eastern Run, every single one of the volunteers, and everyone who stood out in the rain cheering us on, I genuinely enjoyed my first ever half, and the rest have a lot to live up too!

Ladies and Gentlemen, I am now officially a sub 2 hour half marathon runner, and I will never EVER again be the fat unfit person I was before, This is a true lifestyle change, and it is working, my children are choosing to exercise, they are choosing to eat fruit and vegetables, yes we still have treats, but it is all in moderation, what ever changes you make, they have to be sustainable, and the biggest change I have made is not to give up when things get difficult!

And remember, I am running to raise funds for the RAF Association, if you would like to show your support, you can here.

See you in the gym

Paul

 

 

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Sorry!!

Posted by Tubby Paul on October 15, 2013

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Post Run Exhaustion!

I owe you all an apology, I must be the worst blogger ever! Seriously, those of you who can fit in working, exercising, family time AND blogging I am in awe of you and have no idea how you do it!

Right, well since I last posted, I have changed from being someone who was hoping they could drag my arse around 13.1 miles to a sub 2 hour half marathon runner! (Yes you read that right!)  I will do a proper post about the Perkins Great Eastern Run 2013 soon!

I have now taken part in a few ParkRuns at the beautiful Ferry Meadows in Peterborough, and I am really enjoying it, the last time I went, I was a lot slower though, as my eldest came with me, and bless her she made it, she finished the 5k in 45 minutes, with me as a very proud Dad! She is now planning her training routes and working out when she can get out running at her Mums house too, I am well proud of her!

Oh I ate all my sample box of absolutely brilliant Quest Nutrition bars, again, I will get my review written soon, but safe to say white chocolate & raspberry is heavenly!

Sad to say that with all my running training, plus my shift work while I’ve been up at Lossiemouth, I haven’t taken a single indoor cycling class for ages now, but I’ll get to put that right soon, with regular classes while I am in Afghanistan!

I didn’t tell you about that you say?? Well yes, for the last few months I have been doing the 1000 mile round trip commute up and down to Lossiemouth in North East Scotland, where I have had the pleasure of working on 617 Sqn, the Dambusters, and now I am preparing to deploy as part of this historic squadrons final deployment operating Tornado!

What else, oh yes, well I may have got a little carried away, but as I am enjoying my running so much, I asked the RAF Association if they would allow me to run the Virgin Money London Marathon for them, and they said yes! It is a scary prospect, running for roughly 4 and a half hours non stop, I have a lot to do to get ready for it, including how to fuel myself around the run! I am going to experiment with gels I think, if anyone has any brands or flavours they would recommend, let me know please!  I am hoping to raise a lot of money for RAFA, so please support if you can.

Right, that’ll do for now, I’ll TRY not to take so long for my next post, but I’m not promising!

See you in the gym,

Paul

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Superfoods: Science or Marketing?

Posted by Tubby Paul on August 11, 2013

“A diet based on a variety of nutritious foods, including plenty of fruits and vegetables, remains the best way to ensure a balanced nutrient intake for optimal health.” says it all really!

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What Food Cravings Really Mean

Posted by Tubby Paul on August 11, 2013

Interesting stuff!

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Holiday Training – Running at Sea Level

Posted by Tubby Paul on August 9, 2013

I am just coming to the end of 2 wonderful weeks on the Isle Of Wight, where I have enjoyed a brilliant family holiday with my clan, but most importantly, I have managed to stick to my training programme! 🙂

Okay my diet has not been perfect, but I have not indulged as much as I would have historically, I have been having plenty of fruit and fibre, and little alcohol, so all things taken into consideration I consider I haven’t been too bad on the food front.

As for my training, well I am very proud to say I have stuck to my 12 week training plan to the letter, and have also discovered that I now enjoy a little cross country running, which I hated at school!

I really am proud of myself, mainly because I doubted I would do it, normally a holiday would be just the kind of excuse I would use to skip my training plan, then of course I would take a week or 2 to get back into it, meaning I would have lost 4 weeks of my training, and would be a lot less likely to be ready to run the half marathon I am training for, meaning I would be more likely to fail, and I really do not want to fail! I think the support I have already had on twitter, and the fact that sponsorship money has started coming in would mean I would be letting people down if I fail, also I would be letting myself down, as I am really starting to enjoy my new healthy lifestyle, and sticking to it on my holiday has proven to me (and the family) that it is more than a whim, it truly is a way of life!

Have I missed the booze? Not really, no hangover when you have 4 kids is actually a bonus, and have I missed the huge meals out? If I am honest, no! When I do eat too much now, I am left feeling bloated and horrible, which is not a feeling to enjoy at anytime, let alone while on holiday!

This holiday has taught me a couple of things though, cross country is actually quite fun! Getting off the tarmac and onto the footpaths and tracks around the Isle of Wight have shown me a whole new opportunity to my running, although I will need to invest in a new set of trainers, as my zoots as much as I love them are not up to cross country! Another thing I am loving is ending my evening run on the beach, me doing my best Rocky impression in the surf!

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So all in all, my holiday has been brilliant, yes I might avoid the scales for an extra week or so, but I know I am well on track with my training for the Perkins Great Eastern Run in October!

See you in the gym,

Paul

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Healthy Greek Yogurt Mini-Cheesecake Recipe

Posted by Tubby Paul on August 4, 2013

I am so going to try this recipe if I can find the ingredients here in the UK! Healthy cheese cake! 🙂

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I’ve been wanting to make these for a loooong time. First, the problem was I couldn’t find one ingredient anywhere. Then, it was that I was prepping for the contest, so I stayed away from dairy. Finally FINALLY, both those problems are over. I found the ingredient (Green Mountain Farms Greek Cream Cheese) at Wal-Mart (unfortunately) and this past Monday, my contest was complete!

I can hear you saying, HEALTHY cheesecake?! Give me a break! Sure, it may not be better for you than a protein shake, but hear me out. This magical ingredient cuts half the normal fat of a cheesecake and deals twice the protein. Can you say SERVE ME ANOTHER?! I thought so. I got this recipe from here and cut it in half. It was very easy and so so good. Creamy, delicious, and light—and it…

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