Jump to content

_riotgrrrl_ Gets Back In The Game


Recommended Posts

Hi everybody! This is my first challenge!




1) Stay on track with Strong Curves


a) My periods are very painful and can put me out of action for a couple of days. At their worst I take Co-Codamol, but I imagine I probably shouldn't do anything while on opiates. 

If anyone can share tips on dealing with painful periods and the guilt/anger of missing a workout, please do! I highlight this because there's very little wiggle room on the SC course - four days' lifting plus two days of cardio. Having said that, I suppose I could catch up with missed cardio after a lifting sesh.


b ) The gym is a ten minute walk away from my home and is open 24/7, so there really should be no excuse to miss a day in normal circumstances.


c) I need to forgive myself and move on if I do miss a session.


d) Sleep's pretty important, apparently. I need to observe bedtime better.


2) Active rest days


a) According to Bret Contreras, 'rest' = doing cardio like a nutter. I tend to gravitate towards the spin bike, but I'm trying to give the glutes a chance at recovering so I'm opting to follow the Lean Fit Nike Training Club app.


b ) Will have to look ahead and substitute any 'strength' workouts with the free HIIT classes my gym provides.


3) Log maintenance calories on MFP


This should be the easiest goal to achieve. I had a crazy-long streak in the past when I was losing weight with diet alone.


4) Stay in school (I'm not actually at school, just teaching myself at home)


a) Timetable study hours. With a new job and all those pretty sparkly weights to be distracted by, it's all too easy to neglect this very important and long-term goal (getting a programming job).


Long story short, I'm switching careers to a more sedentary one and in that time have also been super-poor, so no gym for me for the last year. In that time I stopped counting calories and put on a load of weight; I seem to carry an entire body's worth of fat on my belly (it's not fair). People don't believe I'm bordering on being overweight, as the clothes I choose to wear hide the belly well, but the stats don't lie. Someone let me know if I'm allowed to post pics of underwear here, and I'll show you damning photographic evidence. I also have a dry sense of humour, so please read what I write with that in mind...


I've recently joined the new budget no-frills 24/7 gym that's within walking distance of my house. I've also just got a short term contract job in my new chosen field, so 2018's been rosy so far. I was in two minds about joining NF, as I tend to go all-out on things - and I'm a little worried I'm going to spend all my spare time here and on My Fitness Pal (I use the same handle there if you want to be friends). Part of my New Year's resolution is finding that balance between brain and body and it looks as if I'll have to keep myself to a timetable to make sure everything's in check. I started Strong Curves on 1st January and started logging maintenance calories on MFP on 2nd. I'll do my best to post here and support you in turn!




Age: 36

Height: 5'4"

Weight: 63.1kg


Neck: 13"

Waist: 30.5"

Hips: 38" 

Thigh: 22.75"

Calf: 14"


BMI: 24.6

Est. Body Fat: 32.7%

Est. Body Fat Mass: 20.6kg


  • Like 3
Link to comment

First Week Summary


This is the only true rest day in the full-on version of Strong Curves, so I'm taking it. I read all the people who found the the abundance of bodyweight squats and bridges too easy, and expected it to be the case with me: though I was able to perform all reps I did feel it the next day. However, unlike past leg days I was able to walk or sit on the toilet the next day. The DOMs so far have been relatively mild and manageable, but I've never done so many squats in my life as I have done this week. Dumbbells were a little too light, so I've started adding 1kg per dumbbell in each workout. All the foam-rolling before takes a lot of time and I think I'm less self-conscious doing it at home than at the gym. Biggest shock was how little weight I was able to do with the rope horizontal chop - 4kg!? I once was able to deadlift 90kg! 


I have these awesome wireless headphones that Santa brought me:




They fit really tight on my head and are washable. I picked the colour because I can be a bit of a goth: my clothes are generally black - or grey if I'm feeling fancy...


The gym's been open two weeks and the assisted pull-up machine is already broken. Shame because I want to add it in as an accessory. Hope it gets fixed soon. I really like the vibe there - a great mix of ages, shapes and ethnicities - the way it should be. Long may it continue. Looking forward to starting week two tomorrow!

  • Like 1
Link to comment

Week Two begins!


I'm using the Regimy app to log my workouts. Apple Music's Foo Fighters playlist complimented pumping iron rather wonderfully. Perhaps QOTSA tomorrow. Good thing I foam-rolled at home - the open space at the gym was packed with a rather dispassionate Body Conditioning class (one lady in her fifties was texting away while doing clamshells). Went to the changing rooms. When I came out of the toilet I spotted two male workmen fixing a broken locker. Checked the outside of the door, no sign saying they were in there, FFS. Went to the office to tell one of the on-duty PTs, who apologised. By the time I went back, the men had gone, but I don't think anything was done after I brought it up. If and when there's a next time I'll go straight to public shaming on Twitter... 


Stayed in the free weight section for most of my workout, though at this early stage it's a shame the open space doesn't have a bench - it has all the lighter dumbbells. Would save me traipsing up and down the gym... I'm being good and keeping bodyweight exercises as bodyweight only. I'm easily able to perform maximum reps - though I do feel it. Is it time to start adding weight to glute bridges and box squats? I did 20x3 Romanian deadlift with 20kg, which got my heart going but didn't fatigue me. I'm concerned I'm moving fast in some areas and lagging in others. I'm far off being able to do pull-ups too. Is it a good idea to do some assisted pull-ups at the end of the workout?


Got a Marks & Spencer next door to the gym. Managed to get some ready meal bargains - three meals, fish chowder and a mozzarella salad for £10 - not too shabby! Prawn and Chicken Laksa tonight!


Just about managed to keep up with emails from work. I said I'd do a half day, so why do I feel sneaky going to the gym and knowing my replies declare that I've sent them from my phone? My MacBook has a serious battery issue, and it looks like I'm going to have to buy a new one. Get this - it was a refurbished 2012 model, which now costs TWICE AS MUCH four years later. May have to ask a US friend to bring me a slightly cheaper newer refurbished model, but it's basically half my wages from this sweet contract job I've got. This leads me onto goal four: although everything's backed up from the sickly laptop, I'm using my partner's Macbook and don't want to fill it full of all the languages and dependencies that the other one had. But I need to code and make stuff... VERY annoying. Coding vids tonight, I think.


Walking someone else's dogs tomorrow, so that'll destress me significantly. Might finally get round to seeing Star Wars too (I KNOW). Looking forward to Workout B more though <3 Might even add some weight to bodyweight step ups - doing all 120 reps was pretty boring last time.





  • Like 1
Link to comment

Before I summarise: QOTSA doesn't work for pumping iron - it's far too funky.


Horrible sleepless night due to TOM so decided to sleep in, stuff my face with painkillers and work from home today. Without office distractions and battling Southern Rail I was done by lunch time... In-between bouts of debilitating cramps I made it to the gym during the post-lunch, pre-rush hour twilight zone (3 - 5pm). Managed to do the warmup for the wrong workout, so it took a little longer than expected... A man refused to share the cable machine with me (it's got two cables on it and he wasn't using both). I say 'share' as if he owned it: what happened was I started setting up an otherwise empty cable, dude shows up behind me saying "I was here" - there are no signs that he was. I say, "can't we work together?" He replies, "I'm using both cables" then proceeds to use just one. For the rest of my visit I see this douche do a single set on practically all the machines. The one legged bodyweight RDL is proving really difficult - I used to do this with kettle bells - could just be the period as my balance was horrible today. Did it in socks and noticed the ache in both my feet and legs. My left arch has been collapsed for some time, and I really felt a stretch there - not pain - so I hope this is all good for me! Started to work up a sweat during supersets, which was fun. Did big plié squats like every single other woman in there and felt for myself why they do it! Also added some assisted pull-ups, chin-ups and dips at the end


Afterwards I managed to find some chocolate whey in the supermarket at 30% off. And I've hit my protein macros for the first time in forever. I had a pre-workout shake, beef noodles and sweet and sour chicken with a beer, and I'll have a USN strawberry and chocolate protein dessert in a bit. Still got some calories to waste too. Hooray!


I know I've not posting every day, but then again I haven't really got an audience here... I haven't missed a single day of lifting, though I've only done one HIIT session as I've been tired and didn't want to overload my body at this early stage of this regime. MFP streak is intact. My weight seems to have stalled, but it usually goes up during TOM, so I'll be able to see what's actually going on with my weight in about a week. You'll have noticed I haven't mentioned goal 4: Macbook's at the Mac Hospital right now. I shall watch a Python tutorial tonight.

  • Like 1
Link to comment

Hello there and welcome! 


I have been working on my booty for 2 years now and I started Strong Curves this challenge cycle too so I am following to see how you get on with this. 

If it's not siesta or fiesta, I'm not interested. 

Profile picture credit : NF's resident super artist - NinjaKitten

Link to comment
1 hour ago, deftona said:

Hello there and welcome! 


I have been working on my booty for 2 years now and I started Strong Curves this challenge cycle too so I am following to see how you get on with this. 


Thank you! 


Will be interesting to see how an experienced booty-builder gets on with SC too!

  • Like 2
Link to comment
1 hour ago, bker1370 said:

How's it going?


Funny you should ask, I was just about to post! It was...






Seriously though, looks like day three of the period is peak _riotgrrrl_ BEAST MODE. Felt amazing doing supersets with little rest in-between (well, just under a minute). My lovely boss took us beer tasting last night (I'm no craft beer connoisseur - that stuff is STRONG) and it destroyed any chance of actually exercising safely. So despite some TOM/beer water weight this morning I combined today's lifting with my scheduled cardio. I'm not a fan of running, but my heart and lungs need a workout and a treadmill's much kinder on crappy low arches. I did the on the "First Run" with Coach Cory on the Nike Run Club app: 8 x 1min sprints at a 5K pace. I highly recommend it - the content has been meticulously recorded - it's not just a timer with a voice - it's like having your own personal coach with you. Here's my stats:


1.70 km  

7' 56"/km  



Since I'm not a runner I have no idea how I did! Seems much faster than I used to be though (I appreciate this is sprints, and not a steady pace).


Protein macros have been good for the last couple of days. Long may it continue!!!




  • Like 1
Link to comment

Well after doing a little number crunching,  that works out to a pace of 4.7 mi/hr (or 7.57 km/hr), not a bad starting pace.  May have to check out that run app myself.  I need to test my sprints a little on the treadmill here in a little when I get to the gym myself...  I did some sprints on it the other day for the mini but discovered that the speeds I had it set for were not really what I would call High-Intensity like I had planned them to be...  so need to check what my all-out sprint speed is so I can set it correctly next time LOL.

  • Like 1

B'ker Level 1 Half-elf Ranger  STR: 3  DEX: 3  CON: 3  INT: 3  WIS: 2  CHA: 2

Bker Survives December Challenge Tracking Spreadsheet

Walking to Mordor (2019) Spreadsheet

 MyFitnessPal | FitBit | Instagram

Walking to Mordor 1879.44 miles/1779 miles

Mini Challenge:  Week 1:  | Week 2:  | Week 3 | Week 4 | Week 5 |

Link to comment
On 13/01/2018 at 7:53 PM, bker1370 said:

Well after doing a little number crunching,  that works out to a pace of 4.7 mi/hr (or 7.57 km/hr), not a bad starting pace.  May have to check out that run app myself.  I need to test my sprints a little on the treadmill here in a little when I get to the gym myself...  I did some sprints on it the other day for the mini but discovered that the speeds I had it set for were not really what I would call High-Intensity like I had planned them to be...  so need to check what my all-out sprint speed is so I can set it correctly next time LOL.

For me, running's all about psychology so a helpful person in my ear encouraging me along is way more advantageous than trying to be self-motivated about it! Let me know how you get on if you try the app!






Link to comment



After seven days stuck at 62kg the period bloat's gone and I'm suddenly at 61.4kg!!!!!




Haven't missed a workout yet. Had to dial back the RDLs, as my forearms are way behind everything else. Kept on with the pull-ups and dips as accessories. I've got low arches - my left is a collapsed arch and fine to look at until I step on it. Found some exercises I liked, but need to build the habit.


I took some 'before' pics on the first day of SC, but the sight of me in a thong and ill-fitting sports bra is not only alarming, but also NSFW. Praise be for spandex. Bra by Sweaty Betty, leggings by Puma.




See? All the fat is on my gut. Those pants are very kind and disguising what otherwise looks like 3 months of pregnancy. No fat on the upper body at all.


So I finally did some proper 45 degree back extensions. We don't have the ham developer machine at our gym, so I've been directed to this modification:




The way the benches are constructed at my gym, I have to turn my knees all the way out to get my heels under. It feels really dangerous and when I was finished one of my knees felt weak, and my back was very warm, for want of a better word. Next time I'm thinking of doing this with a Swiss ball, and squeezing a heavy dumbell between my ankles.


Got this beauty in the discount aisle for £2.25 today. It's now in my belly.






Just look at the stats on that, and brush up on your French and Dutch too! 500 calories and 44g of protein!!!


Got 102g of protein today, right on track!

  • Like 2
Link to comment
5 minutes ago, deftona said:

Your picture doesn't show up for me (but it might for others?) and how was the shepherd's pie? M&S ready meals are the only ones worth bothering with! 


Pie did its job - would've been nicer with a beverage, though. Saved my calories (1582) for a post-dinner Jameson and Coke. Squeaked under my calorie goal with 6 to spare! 


My workout gear's cute, so any excuse to post again... How about now? The pics loaded when I logged out and reloaded the page...





Link to comment

On overhearing a conversation between me and my weightlifting colleague comparing our macros on the way to lunch, our pescatarian boss called us "protein fascists who spend all their spare time at the gym."


He gets me!!!




Also, maybe don't offer to take us all out for a slap-up Turkish meal and expect me to just order halloumi and salad (which was also delicious, btw)?


He has a dry sense of humour. Like me. It's all good.








  • Like 3
Link to comment

They say "don't exercise with a head cold". They should add "and don't leave the house either".


I'd already committed to dog-walking a new charge today, so out I went. Lost my balance twice: once going over my ankle when I got off the bus, and the second time I slipped in mud in the park.... Met the dog. Wasn't expecting was an underexercised, leash-puller. The owner was out, so it was up to the flatmate to let me in (which she did, once the owner called her). "How long are you going to be out?" she asked. "An hour", I replied. The surprised look on her face told me she's not walking the dog anywhere near that long. What confirmed things was when the poor dog immediately peed and pooped in the street as we left the flat. THEY HAVE A GARDEN, FFS. It's a three-day assignment, so I thought I'd let this one go as I don't know the flatmate's life, this could be a one-off, etc. But I may well ask the dog booking website for advice on how to bring this up with the owner if this happens again tomorrow. Good thing I've been lifting - I was able to keep an over excited two-year-old English Springer Spaniel bitch under control for the 10 minute semi-drag to the park. Just. Doggie not only went into muddy water, but retrieved a massive shard of glass, which broke as she dropped it at my feet. Then she decided she wanted to eat it. She didn't respond to LEAVE or NO so I just had to get between her and the glass. I feel really bad for leaving it on the grass like that, but with her poor recall, and my total absence of balance today I was concerned that at least one of us would end up in a bloodbath. I tired her out a bit. And then I slipped in the mud. At least I legit lost my balance, and not because she was on the lead (I'm trying to claw back any pride I can)... Left the flatmate to towel off the dog. Nonchalant owner now knows about the muddy water, decides to tell me the dog has loads of toys that I wasn't given. Good thing I asked for treats or I might've lost her completely. Of course, even after saying all this, she's a very good girl. She's desperate to please and just needs some obedience training, more exercise and the odd toilet break....


Thank you for reading. Here is your reward:




So bouncy I had to weigh her down with a big stick...







  • Like 2
Link to comment
1 minute ago, deftona said:

That dog is cute but wow, what a handful! 


Yep. I think the owner believes the behaviour's "sweet"...


Saying that, it may have felt worse because of the cold. My head is like a bowling ball and my skin hurts. I would've stayed in bed all day had I seen this coming!

  • Like 1
Link to comment
1 hour ago, _riotgrrrl_ said:


Yep. I think the owner believes the behaviour's "sweet"...


Saying that, it may have felt worse because of the cold. My head is like a bowling ball and my skin hurts. I would've stayed in bed all day had I seen this coming!


:( I hope you feel better soon - rest and sleep as much as you can! 

  • Like 1

If it's not siesta or fiesta, I'm not interested. 

Profile picture credit : NF's resident super artist - NinjaKitten

Link to comment

Got rested and woke up this morning with blocked sinuses but no fever. Hooray! Not going to gym today because I can barely breathe and I think the strain of weight training might make it worse. Got my cardio in though!


No _riotgrrrl_ log today, so here's another dog log instead (I mean, it's kind of a cardio log?). Last night I watched some dog obedience videos on YouTube, which gave me some ideas. I'm incredibly stubborn, which has the side effect of giving me enough patience to train a dog out of undesired behaviour... Flatmate confirmed she never walks the dog - occasionally letting her out in the garden to relieve herself -  so it looks like she's getting a maximum of 1 hour per day, as opposed to the 2 hour minimum this breed needs. She also said the owner's highly-strung, and that the dog picks up on it. I'll say (I've seen this before, when the dog's as good as gold with me, but goes nuts when back with the owner). Took some toys with us - turned her into a completely different dog. Still a bit hyper, but actually made eye contact frequently and came when she was called. Nothing like yesterday. Even distracted away from a bog by using a ball, and she was only mildly curious about passing dogs. She made sure she was always within eyesight and followed if I walked in the opposite direction. And I didn't fall over either. All in all, it was a rather pleasant experience!


Here she is, after bouncing in some mud:




Evidence of her paying attention to me: a slack lead on the way home!!!!




I'm really glad I now have the maturity to give the benefit of the doubt and to sleep on things. After yesterday's experience I was ready to quit this three-day assignment. And I kind of understand why people give up on certain dogs - they don't have the stubbornness needed to persist with training until the desired behaviour's expressed. I tried something and it worked much faster than I thought it would. I still need to talk to the owner about the fact her dog is only getting half the amount of exercise she needs; timetabling toilet breaks with the flatmate: "I let her out last night" is not something I want to hear at 12pm the next day... Doggie isn't 'crazy', she's curious and super-intelligent and will absolutely co-operate once she understands the rules. And unlike yesterday, instead of bounding off when we got back home she sat very submissively as me and the flatmate towelled her off and talked about what a good girl she was. She even looked at me as I said goodbye. 




I'm probably going to write off this week and go back to Strong Curves on Monday. I only missed the second Workout A of the week, so it's not the worst thing.


In other news, my electronic kitchen scale's been going mental. The numbers sort of wander up and down and never settle. I replaced the battery and tried to troubleshoot, but to no avail. We got it about four years ago, and it's got a 15-year guarantee on it, but my partner lost the receipt. It's the only way I can reliably count calories on My Fitness Pal, so I was a little upset. He's only gone and secretly bought me another one!




He's assured me he'll keep the receipt this time...


Having a new Aldi next to my new no-frills gym, next to a new M&S that has to reduce lots of items to stay competitive is turning my little corner of SW London into a socialist paradise. Got some proper maple syrup, mackerel, protein bars, fresh juice, fruit and high-protein cereal for half price from Aldi today. Basically everything's half price all time. Have been told to stay away from their ketchup, but read about how many of their knock-offs beat the real thing in blind taste tests. It's a tough job, but I'm prepared to do it.




If anyone in has tips for UK Aldi I sure would appreciate it.


I'll be back on the wagon on Monday.

Link to comment

I'm back on the wagon!!!!




That rest did me much good. Much stronger form overall, and each 20 rep set of the bodyweight exercises went a lot faster and smoother. Will have to stay on 12kg dumbells for RDLs this week, as it's still fatiguing my forearms.


Some of this for breakfast,




and a post-workout protein shake with quark and a ham sandwich has given me enough protein macros to allow for a veggie sausage and puy lentil casserole for tonight.




Nice big bath with a podcast. Floof quotient fulfilled too. Looked in on maine coon siblings: the boy's just been neutered and is sporting a cone of shame :( Now off to see a friend's 18 month golden retriever. 


Actual work, learning, tax returns will have to be done at some point tonight...

Link to comment
5 minutes ago, _riotgrrrl_ said:

I'm back on the wagon!!!!


Some of this for breakfast,





That looks delicious, where did you get it from and do you recommend it?


6 minutes ago, _riotgrrrl_ said:

tax returns will have to be done at some point tonight...


Phew, someone who left it even later than me ;)

If it's not siesta or fiesta, I'm not interested. 

Profile picture credit : NF's resident super artist - NinjaKitten

Link to comment

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

  • Create New...

Important Information

New here? Please check out our Privacy Policy and Community Guidelines