Tuesday, 26 October 2010

Weigh Day 5

Well, I am a bit late... I took the measurements on Sunday, as normal, but then promptly forgot to actually post them up. It was only when I was talking to my husband that I realised my mistake! I blame getting over the cold :).

Bust: 43 in/109.2cm (+0.5in)
Chest: 35 in/88.9cm (+1in)                   
Waist: 39 in/99.0cm (=)                   
Hips: 46.5 in/118.1cm (=)                   
Thighs: 27 in/68.5cm (+0.5in)                   
Calves: 16.25 in/41.2cm (-0.25in)                   
Upper arm: 15 in/38.1cm (+1in)                   
Forearm: 11 in/27.9cm (=)

Body Fat %: 52.4% (47.3kg/7st 6lb/104lbs) (+0.2%)       
Visceral Fat: 8 (0 Normal) =                    
BMI: 33.1 (Obese) -0.1                
Weight: 14st 2lb/90.2kg/198lbs -1lb           
By the looks of these measurements, having the cold knocked me back a bit. I just haven't had very much energy to do anything really, it wasn't totally unexpected as it usually takes me a couple of weeks to properly shift a cold. I am however starting a new exercise routine which should kick-start the progress again.

The comparison with the first measurements below are about the same, these last two weeks have hampered progress but never mind. Onward and Upward!

Bust: +0.5in/1.2cm
Chest: +0.5in/1.2cm                   
Waist: -1in/2.5cm                   
Hips: -0.5in/1.2cm                   
Thighs: -0.5in/1.2cm                   
Calves: -0.75in/1.9cm                   
Upper arm: +1in/2.5cm                   
Forearm: =

Body Fat %: -0.5%
Visceral Fat: =
BMI: -0.9
Weight: -5lb/2kg
It's a fairly short post this time as there's not that much to report, hopefully things should improve soon.

Sunday, 17 October 2010

Check it out...

Right, this is something that I've had a couple of potential scares with in my life. It's something I take seriously and although this is a fairly lighthearted post, the message is fairly clear.

I've spoken about different exercises you can do to get fit, there are some things that you can do extra to exercising which will improve health... checking yourself out! No, I'm not talking about posing naked in front of the mirror to marvel at your achievements, I'm talking about ladies checking your breasts and men checking your testicles. It is such a vital thing to do yet hardly anyone does, once a week - that's all you have to do.

Ladies, check your whole breast, be thorough. This includes the armpits, breast and upper chest. There are many cancer sites that use the 'TLC' rule: Touch, Look, Check. I'll include a list of helpful websites at the bottom of the post. The average woman's breasts are made up of mostly fibrous (fatty) tissue, underneath the fibrous tissue are ligaments and muscle that support them - effectively your 'Pecs'. It's good for women to keep their Pecs exercised well, the twin towers need a solid foundation to keep them up girls!

There should be no major changes in texture, no discharge coming from the nipples, nothing should be going crusty or weeping, the nipples shouldn't have inflamed or sunk in, and there should be no large lumps. That being said many women do have what is termed by Doctors to be "Lumpy Breasts", I've had a couple of times where I've gone to the hospital because I've found a lump and I've been reassured that it's not serious. There's no shame or a black mark on your medical record if you turn up every fortnight saying you've found something, they won't see it as a waste of their time at all. Also, if the Doctor does feel something they now have to refer you to the hospital for a scan, even if they don't think it's serious. I had this explained to me the last time I went. Nine times out of ten a lump will be nothing more than fibrous tissue, but if that one time in ten is found then DONT PANIC. It's ok to be scared, there are so many support groups and Charities out there that will help you. If it's caught early then the percentage of full recovery rockets up.

Family factors also increase or decrease the risk. One of the things they always ask is "Has your mother or grandmother suffered from breast cancer." If the answer is 'yes' then you're in a slightly higher risk category, but it doesn't guarantee that you will get it. (By the way lads, you can develop breast cancer as well.)

This brings me on to the men, you thought you'd escaped didn't you. "She's a woman, she's only going to talk about breast cancer and woman's health." Wrong! In my opinion it is even more important for men to check their testicles than for women to check their breasts, the reason for this is that nobody talks about it. It's not advertised, it's barely funded and it's not cool for a guy to check his tackle, it's also a social and moral roadblock as it's acceptable to have a breast on screen but not the male genitalia. It's not a 'sexy' cancer, I don't ever see anyone organising National Fun Runs, or trying to push a TV advertising campaign about it. You can’t put a happy, bouncing family on it, nor can you use the image of a cute, elfin, blue eyed, blonde child forlornly towing a drip behind her.

It mainly affects younger men weirdly, between the ages of 20 and 55, it affects white men more than black and doctor's aren't entirely sure what causes it. The symptom that is mostly picked up is a painless pea sized lump or swelling in the testicles, as with breast cancer there are other less common symptoms. They include a dull ache in the scrotum, a feeling of heaviness in the scrotum, collection of fluid in the scrotum and feeling unwell and tired. Very rarely in the later stage symptoms can include breast tenderness, back pain, shortness of breath and coughing up blood.

It's fairly rare, only one or two in 100 of the cancers in men, it's also the most treatable of cancers with 95 in 100 men making a full recovery after treatment. Usually the treatment is the removal of the offending testicle, this doesn't mean that you can't then have children "The Gods have seen fit to grant you a spare..."

As with breast cancer family inheritance is a biggy, the main causes as far as doctors can make out are being born with undescended testicles, having a brother or father who had testicular cancer and fertility problems. Seriously guys, check them. Hey, even get someone else to check them 'While they're down there!' It's most often your partner who discovers the obvious symptoms anyway, they're a bit tricky to get into your own sight range. I really hope you'll take what I've said here to heart, just once a week for ten minutes max. If you find anything for God sake go to the Doctor fast, it could save your life.

Handy websites:

Breast Cancer.Org
Breast Cancer Care 
Cancer Research UK
Maggies Centres

Tuesday, 12 October 2010

Weigh Day 4... ish!

Well, it has been two weeks since my last confession... This post is two days late because I've been in bed since Friday night with a horrible head cold, with a headache that wouldn't shift for a while no matter what drugs I was taking for it. These measurements were taken in my lucid ten minutes yesterday morning before I went back to sleep again! I can think well enough today to put them up on the interwebs so here they are:

Bust: 42.5 in/107.9cm (+0.5in)                   
Chest: 34 in/86.4cm (-1.5in)                   
Waist: 39 in/99.1cm (=)                   
Hips: 46.5 in/118.1cm (+0.5in)                   
Thighs: 26.5 in/67.3 (+2.5in)                   
Calves: 16.5 in/41.9cm (=)                   
Upper arm: 14 in/35.6cm (=)                   
Forearm: 11 in/27.9 (=)

Body Fat %: 52.2% (47.1kg/7st 5lb/103lbs) (-0.2%)
Visceral Fat: 8 (0 Normal) (=)
BMI: 33.2 (Obese) (-0.2)
Weight: 14st 3lb/90.3kg/199lbs (-1lb/-0.2kg)

As you can see, everything's pretty stable and I expected as much. Something that has surprised me is that the Fat Percentage/Overall Weight pattern has been broken. They have both gone down in these two weeks which is great, I'll just have to make sure they don't both go back up again over Winter.

Below is the comparison with the very first set of measurements taken, I'm really pleased to see I've almost lost 1% of my Body Fat since starting, even though my weight is stable at 4lbs lost:

Bust: =                   
Chest: -0.5in/1.3cm                   
Waist: -1in/2.5cm                   
Hips: -0.5in/1.3cm                   
Thighs: -1in/2.5cm                   
Calves: -0.5in/1.3cm                   
Upper arm: =                   
Forearm: =

Body Fat %: -0.7%
Visceral Fat: =
BMI: -0.8
Weight: -4lb/1.8kg

I believe this set of measurement marks two months since starting up this little adventure, I must admit recently I haven't done as much as I could have. At the moment I'm working up a new routine, trying to do different - and slightly more organised - things. We're recently re-discovered a very good site that has concise videos teaching you how to do weights routines here, once again most of the site is supplement-tastic (Although their anatomy model looks like the Thing from Fantastic Four! :D ). I'm amazed at how hard I've found it to do anything since the weather has changed over the past month, I know the Human Animal is a warm weather creature but why is it so different in my head?

Something I've found helpful is keeping a little folder of exercises, sometimes there are bits and pieces in newspapers and magazines with exercises and healthy eating tips, sometimes there are hints on the back of cereal packets. If you also print everything out from the internet that you, personally, find interesting then you can build up quite a tome in a relatively short space of time. I will log off for now, but once I've got over this cold properly I will re-start my fitness drive.