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Everything posted by Madeleine

  1. I wondered if I could get any advice, as a non-bodybuilder whose fitness regime is comparatively very lax. I'm probably not posting on the right forum, but I'm feeling a bit overwhelmed. All I want to do is improve my physique. I have lost weight and my top half is probably as 'fat free' as you could get. However my bottom half has plenty of fat and so looks ridiculous. I've no idea of my body fat percentage and it probably wouldn't mean much considering the uneven distribution. The areas I am especially concerned about are my knees and buttocks. My boyfriend reckons I just need to 'tone' my bum, but I'm sure the poor shape is to do with there being fat and it is obviously wobbly and sags. Could working on toning possibly improve the shape or do I need to concentrate on losing yet more weight? I have tried exercises designed for the glutes (admittedly not for long) but they put a lot of strain on my thighs (already bigger than I'd like) and I don't feel anything in my glutes, so I have the sense that they aren't doing anything to them. Does just clenching your buttocks really do anything at all to tone them?
  2. Wow, it's been a long time since I last did this. Almost couldn't find my thread! For the past couple of months I have been really bad at getting myself to the gym. I now go to college as well as work, but that really isn't an excuse. I shouldn't be paying for it as I don't earn much anymore and keep going to cancel my contract but feel a pang of guilt about not continuing. I am more active in general than I used to be. I have managed to maintain the weight despite not doing as much formal exercise. I also made a conscious decision to stop running and I am sure my legs are slimmer for it, which makes me happier. I'm still very bony. My muscles have been neglected. I saw improvement in the tone of my arms which I think I still have a little. I need to work on my muscles more but am just not committed enough. I keep meaning to get my own weights and/or resistance bands because I would do it if I didn't have to travel for it. I have found that my belly size largely depends on what I have recently eaten. I am a nut fiend and was eating too many of all kinds and since I made myself cut back I have noticed it is flatter, though it is only truly "flat" at certain times. I generally avoid flours because I feel they may be a culprit, as well as gluten. entils also swell my belly but I love them and have them every so often. But there is still fat there, which I don't like. I don't know what to do to get rid of it as I already try hard not to eat more than I will expend. I have always felt most comfortable in a scrunched up position and wonder if that is causing fat to get 'caught' there. My posture is awful! If I could afford it I would have pilates or yoga classes, as well as some kind of dance class probably, for fun as well as fitness.
  3. Travel a little along the coast to Bournemouth and eat at Zoukinis. Yum!
  4. Thanks. It's interesting to know you've had a similar experience with regards to getting colds so maybe it wasn't preventable and not going to be the same forever. I've just realised though that I have been doing something differently. I used to have a full glass of orange juice every morning but stopped due to concerns about its high sugar content. I wonder if this change in the consistency of my vitamin C intake could have that much effect. Perhaps I'll start having it again but up my fibre intake. I'm someone who is quite excessive about washing hands. My boyfriend tells me I'm too hygienic and that's why I'm more susceptible but I don't know; I feel I'm washing all the bad stuff away and he isn't. I don't like that he is less clean than I think he should be but he does get less colds and eats pretty much the same as me. Hmm... Anyway, I'm glad you didn't say honey!
  5. Hi, I have just come down with a cold - my third this year as well as having the flu earlier in the year. It seems ridiculously frequent and I'm sure I never used to get them this often. I recovered well from the flu but the colds seem to linger more now too. Not good for my upcoming birthday! I just feel it's a bit weird. I've been vegan for nearly 8 years but didn't pay much attention to nutrition before but recently I've been eating healthier than ever so I don't understand why I keep getting colds while others around me don't. Is there something I could be missing? Does anyone know what foods can help the body fight off viruses, if any, or is it something not preventable by diet?
  6. I'm sure the body makes its own HDL cholesterol; you are not supposed to eat it but foods that can be used to synthesise it.
  7. I've decided to change my routine. Cardio only for three mornings a week and muscles on alternate evenings. I've only managed to do one muscle session so far (now on holiday) but I'm still aching from it. Wondering if the aching is good (means it's doing something) or bad (means it's not repairing?).
  8. Just weighed myself and I am down to 52 kilos so the gym and healthier eating is paying off (so I've lost about 3 since starting) but that must mean I'm not gaining any muscle. :/ I haven't really noticed a difference in my figure. I don't know what more I need to do to tone up. I really ached after last time and I've been taking protein supplements. I suppose I should be doing a lot more. It's just finding the time (and energy!). It just seems hard to know what to do when my priorities are both losing my excess fat and gaining muscle in the areas where there is very little fat and muscle.
  9. Thanks. Burnt 500 calories today (apart from whatever doing weights burns). However as I tried running again my ankle now hurts again. I think deep down I knew I should have waited longer but I was desperate to run again. Really must find someone to show me how to use free weights. I don't feel some of the machines are hitting the right places.
  10. I bought a vegan protein powder yesterday, as it seemed like I haven't been eating enough protein. It's 100% sprouted raw brown rice and is 80% protein and 0% sugars. I'm really hoping it'll be the boost I need but I've felt tired today and yesterday which seems too coincidental. I'll keep taking it and see. At least it tastes quite nice which I wasn't expecting. I'm wondering if I can ever get a decent figure having a sit-down job. My bum is so horrible. I'm sure I just need to lose weight off it but it just seems so hard. It's going to come off there last and I already seem to have a deficit. I feel like a freak that normal human biology laws don't apply to!
  11. I read an article from the main page of this site about abs and the author said her cheat was coconut water. I just don't get how something that is generally considered so healthy (only available in health food shops, at least here) could be considered bad and to be avoided. It makes me feel like I'll never get the results I want because I'm not prepared to restrict my diet even more than I already do (my mum and boyfriend are frustrated as if they cook they find me far too picky with no sugar, no wheat or refined carbs as well as being strictly vegan). I'm generally pretty good at not succumbing to temptation when at home or shopping but now there is so much choice for vegans I find I can't resist a cupcake or similar treat if I'm near a vegan shop (fortunately I don't live near one!).
  12. Don't seem to be able to quote but just had to respond to the above post. One link of many on the gross inadequacies of non-human animal testing: http://independentsciencenews.org/news/the-experiment-is-on-us-animal-toxicology-testing-science/
  13. I feel like I pushed myself a lot more today. I tried heavier weights and improved my 1km rowing time by about 30 seconds. My legs were shaky and I was properly out of breath for the first time - I thought that would have happened at the beginning. I still can't run. My ankle seems to be getting worse. I think I'll have to see a physio. Although I can burn just as many calories walking I don't feel it's enough. I think I can see differences in my body but I'm not sure if it's wishful thinking. My arms seem more muscular and less ugly and thin (but still not nice: I need to do something about the bits that join my shoulders if I can). I think I've lost fat on my face and my abdomen. I was thrilled to find I had a 24" waist. Just a shame about what's above it and below it. I'm wondering if I'll ever have nice enough knees to wear a skirt. I wanted to try free weights but there was no one there today. Why are free weights better than the machines? I do worry that I'm doing the wrong movements. I often feel in chest/back/shoulder exercises that my arms are doing all the work.
  14. Thank you That's really helpful. What you say about the noticeable changes in your body after relatively little time gives me inspiration.
  15. What do you mean by "to failure"? Not being able to do another lift or does something more obvious happen? If it fails will I be able to use it afterwards for everyday things?
  16. Hi Steffie I like stir fries for quickness and (I think!) healthiness. The one I have is a ready pack of veg (edamame, broccoli, red onion, cabbage, carrot, beansprouts) with tofu pieces and a satay sauce, all from the supermarket. I get brown rice noodles from my local health food shop to mix into it. It all takes 5 minutes. I love it. Whether or not that is a good meal by this forum's standards I have yet to learn!
  17. Just jotting some stuff down... I'm Madeleine; I live in London, England. I've been vegan for nearly 8 years now and vegetarian for 18. I cut out animal products for ethical reasons only, but since then have learned a lot and truly believe that it is the healthiest, most correct diet for human beings. I'm 26 and I haven't really done anything with my life. I've suffered with depression and anxiety and I've found going to the gym has helped a lot with that. I hope I can continue and get better and better. I only joined a month ago and was surprised by what I could achieve. I started running 5km three times a week, amongst other things, but after going out on the road one day ended up injuring my ankle somehow and I haven't been able to run for the past week. Instead I've been using the cross trainer and rowing more, which doesn't affect it. I'm frustrated at not being able to run though as it felt like more of a workout. I have lost about a kilo in weight since joining the gym. I think of this as a good thing as I can tell my stomach is flatter and I want to continue losing fat. I really despise everything below my waist as I carry pretty much all my fat there. I want to get rid of it. I particularly hate my knees but I think I'll be stuck with them. The problem is I also despise everything above my waist! I have virtually no fat on my upper body from what I can tell, and no muscle tone either! I am basically flat chested and I want to work on my pecs to improve how I look. I am hoping I can get a figure I will not be ashamed of by continuing at the gym and getting tips off here. How can I find out my body fat percentage? I am a complete novice and don't really know what I'm doing! I'm struggling with knowing how much to eat. As I want to lose fat, it makes sense to me to cut down my calories, but I don't know if that will have an impact on my muscle development. I feel that eating my usual amount negates the hard work I've done in the gym. This is what I currently do, due to hurting my ankle: Monday, Wednesday & Friday before breakfast 5km cross trainer (before it was running on the treadmill) - burn ~220 calories 2km rowing - burn 100 calories Chest press (two different ones) Seated leg press (for bum) Shoulder press Back thingy where you pull the weight towards you horizontally Leg extension Sometimes I do other things and some cycling if I have time. I'm wondering if it's enough. Probably not.
  18. Ooh thanks for that. Very interesting. I've been unsure what to do about eating. I've been cutting calories and limiting wheat and sugar to try and get rid of the fat (I've been mainly concentrating on cardio) but I don't know if this can be helpful for muscle toning. I'm more inclined to prioritise fat loss than building muscle, though as I said I do want to become visibly toned. Can these two things easily go hand in hand without causing a huge headache? I currently do 2 sets of 15 on each muscle machine that I want to do (this is because my boyfriend said that was the 'correct way'). I do a light weight (5-15kg depending what it is) as that is all I can do having never done any real hard work before! Should I force myself to do heavier weights? I feel like I should be aching after a workout, but I don't. I also worry I'm doing things wrong if a different muscle to what's indicated is strained. I don't feel like the gym staff are that knowledgeable to ask them and get a response I'm confident with. I go every Monday, Wednesday and Friday before breakfast and do the same things each time (except now I'm not able to run due to injuring my ankle ). I suppose I will need to adjust then and not do the same muscles so soon after. Should I expect to see results quite quickly? I'm not too worried if it will take a while, but I'm keen to know.
  19. I found this link which may explain: http://www.veganhealth.org/b12/int Hope you feel better soon.
  20. Hi all, I'm new to the gym. I've spent my whole life until now being a vegan/vegetarian weakling. Now I want to change that. Apart from losing the fat off my bum and knees, I'd like to build the muscle on my shoulders and my upper body. I am a 5'8" 26-year-old female and I currently weigh just under 54kg. I have basically NO muscle on my shoulders and poor lifting strength above shoulder level. How should I begin? Push myself to my absolute limits or build up gradually? How many times a week/reps should I be doing? Sorry if this is basic stuff but it's a completely different world to what I've known. I wish you could see how weedy the tops of my upper arms and my shoulders really are. I've never seen anything like it on other people!
  21. Have you been consuming foods fortified with B12? I've heard it is linked to mood and energy levels.
  22. Oops I didn't notice! Thank you for the welcome. I'm really excited by this new chapter of my life.
  23. I hear maple syrup is good as sweetener alternatives go. I definitely prefer the taste.
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