Simple Simons Goes To Scotland!

So a few weeks ago, Simple Simons received an invitation from one of our suppliers to be a guest at the Bioforce Uk Headquarters and receive training for two days! I was the lucky person who got to go and I was really looking forward to it as I love any opportunity to further my knowledge. Theres something about listening to someone talk, you seem to retain the information so much more than if you just read up on it.

On Tuesday morning bright and early a group of us met in Dublin Airport and although I didn’t know anyone before coming on the trip everyone got on really well together. When everyone shares a common interest its easy to find something to talk about and I spent a little bit of time getting to know a couple of people before we left for Glasgow!

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Outside the Bioforce Headquarters

When we made it over to Scotland our bus driver took us straight over to the factory where we were given a lovely welcome and served up a healthy tasty lunch straight away. The team had asked about any food intolerances or issues and there was a huge variety to suit any dietary requirements!

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First up was a tour of the factory and a basic insight into how everything works. You never really think about how things get processed and sometimes just assume they come packaged and ready to go in your shop; which of course is not the case! We got to have a little sneak peek at how some different products are packaged, bottled etc. Everything is so rigorously organised because there can be no room for error! We also got to see their set room where they do all their filming for their online videos and even got a quick snap on Eileen Durwards famous couch, where she does her Menopause Moments talks!

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After the factory tour we got the first of our talks on Digestion from the wonderful Ali Cullen. I’ve never listened to a talk from someone who came across in the way she did. You could tell her enthusiasm for the company and she spoke so well that I could have listened to her all day. I took down loads of notes because I find that the best way to retain information; even if you don’t read back over them much simply writing it down seems to make it stick in my mind so much better!

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Eileen gave us a quick insight into Menopause and the digestive system and how so often they are linked, without women really making the connection. She gave us a few tips on which products would work best and the best things to advise on.

After that we headed back to The Marine Hotel for some free time before dinner and drinks which again was hosted by Bioforce. The food was absolutely fab and it was great to spend some free time getting to know some of the other people on the trip! After a long day though I headed up to bed early enough but I know there were a few party animals that may have stayed up a little longer than me… The combination of a great meal and a couple glasses of wine on top of being up so early meant that I was just ready to sleep; plus I wanted to be fresh for the next day!

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A statue of Alfred Vogel, the founder…

The next morning we were down for breakfast early in order to get ready and checked out so we could be back at the factory for 9.30. Ali gave us a great Winter Remedies presentation, where she advised on the best things we could give our customers in this time of year when colds, coughs, flus and bugs are so rampant! Its one of our most common queries in the shop and people are always looking for an immune booster so it was great to gain some more knowledge in that area…

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Alfred Vogel

Afterwards Rebekah Towle came in to give us a presentation on marketing and social media and how to use social media to grow our businesses. I found it really interesting and although I would be quite savvy in the social media side of things there were a few great tips and tricks I hadn’t heard of before…

After Rebekahs talk and a brief recap sadly it was time to go… We thanked the team for having us and they gave us little goodybags on the way home, containing Echinacea tablets, Milk Thistle, Toothpaste and other goodies, that all tied in with their presentations; which was so kind after all they had already done for us!

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I had such a great time on the trip and was so glad to get the opportunity to go; it really was a brilliant way to learn and I will have much more confidence now in the brand due to my extended knowledge!

Thanks for reading, I know this post is a little different from my usual style, but hopefully I will be able to branch out into work-style blogging a little more as time goes on!

xx

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Easy Cheesy Protein Pasta Bake

Make your favourite meals and still keep on your food plan! A few simple changes here and there will make things much easier for you to stick to your food plan and still feel satisfied! Recipe below…

Makes 4 portions 

Ingredients: 

300g turkey/chicken breast 

180g chickpea fusilli pasta 

150g peppers and onions 

250g passata 

40g tomato puree

120g protein cheese 

Parsley and garlic salt tsp of each…

In a pan cook your diced turkey until browned, then add veg and cook until soft… In a seperate pan simmer the fusilli until fully cooked. Add passata, herbs and tomato puree to turkey and veg and cook for a few more minutes on a gentle heat. Strain the pasta then mix with the turkey and veg in sauce… spoon into an oven safe dish and sprinkle protein cheese over the pasta… pop under the grill until cheese is melted… Enjoy! It’s as simple as that..

Take note that you can use regular pasta and/or cheese but the protein content won’t be as high and the calorie count will also be altered… x 

What is balance to you?

Who do you know thats perfect? Is there someone you work with who has the perfect body? Is there a girl you follow online who looks incredible, makes amazing looking healthy food and has a figure to die for? Do you feel like no matter what you do you just cant get anywhere?

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There is a lot of pressure for girls to look good and look good all the time. From being someone who has a blog and is sort of known for being “the girl who lost weight” I find myself under scrutiny a lot of times. I’ve often been out nights and seen people look at me having a few drinks and letting my hair down. I’ve seen people give me a sneaky look in the takeaway if I’m treating myself to a burger; and lately while I’ve had to change up my training there are so many people quizzing me why I’m not out running… “havent seen you out on the roads lately!” Its hard not to feel judged sometimes…

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At the start it used to get to me and I’d be annoyed. So what if I am having a burger or maybe I missed a workout this week? I’m only bloody human! I used to care what other people thought and worry that maybe as someone who is meant to be “influential” that sometimes I felt like a bit of a fraud. Yes I lost a lot of weight but I still could be leaner, tighter, stronger. I still have loose skin and cellulite and stretchmarks. I still struggle with my relationship with food… I overeat sometimes, I have days in the gym where I don’t give it my all and I haven’t ran for seven weeks, although thats not by choice.
The thing I still struggle with the most is balance. I used to feel guilty if I went off track. I am an all or nothing person unfortunately and while I can diet with the best of them; after a few weeks motivation wears off and I crave treats etc. I used to spend every week eating SO well during the week but by the time the weekend rolled around I was mad for treats… Having restricted myself during the week I’d set myself up for cravings so when I DID have a treat I’d eat way more than I should have. I’d do the same thing until Monday when I’d swear to wipe the slate clean and start over… Then I’d be back to square one yet again…

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For the last 7 weeks I’ve been on a running ban. My plantar fasciitis wasn’t getting any better while I was running and it was starting to cause me real pain. As much as I didnt want to stop running I knew I had to. Ryan put me on a ban for a month, but when that was up he said to try another month off it. Its killing me as its the longest I havent run EVER since I started but I need to get myself up to top form if I want to run properly again.
For the last couple of months I’ve been doing a lot of calf raising exercises and stretches to try and strengthen the muscles. I have been getting regular leg massages and I have also been getting cupping therapy on them which I think is really helping. I also have a compression bandage that I wear to promote blood flow to the foot. I have bad circulation which slows down the healing process unfortunately so anything that helps to heal is good!
While I’ve been off running I’ve been doing a LOT of weight training instead to burn off all this energy I have. Since the start of the summer I have been working on building strength, first of all in PT sessions with Ryan and for the last few weeks by following the programs he sets for me. I also go to two fitness classes a week and at least one yoga class a week.

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For me the training is the easy part; even when I was running for over 3 hours at a time it was still the easy part. Some people shut down when they are stressed and retreat. Instead I pour myself into training, whether its running or weight lifting. It brings me peace and headspace and I use any negative energy I have to get the best out of my training!

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Also this summer I have been trying to work on consistency with my food. Food is the hardest part for me. I love it all; good or bad! I promised I would start hitting my macros and calories consistently; even at the weekends and apart from a couple of slip ups I have done really well and I’m happy with myself. I have definitely been lighter, and I’ve been leaner at times as well but I feel more in control of myself and my relationship with food lately. Whats the point of being lean if you are miserable? Whats the point of weighing your lightest on the scale if you dont feel good inside?

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I went to London last weekend and while I REALLY enjoyed myself I didnt go all out. I had donuts but I also went to Chopped. I had vegan pancakes for breakfast but then an ice cream for dessert. I tried a spinach falafel wrap but also purple rain cocktails. I didn’t train in London but walked over 50,000 steps between the two days. I didn’t binge eat, I ate what I ate and enjoyed it. I didn’t come back home and go on a mad restrictive diet. Balance is so so important but so hard to work on!

However, I’m happy with who I am and how I’m doing so far. Life is a journey and you can change things any time you want. If I want to be leaner I could diet down for a few weeks; but right now I love Sunday coffee and a brownie, I love Pawels scones at work and I love having the freedom to go out for lunch and truly enjoy it.

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Don’t let what someone else does dictate what you do. Those girls on Instagram are struggling too. Don’t forget that we only tend to put up the best pics of ourselves where we look our best. You don’t see many pics of girls when they are looking like crap. EVERYONE has those days though. Focus on moving forward and do what you have to do for you, without worrying about what others think xx

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Why drinking is not my friend.

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Before I start this post, I will openly admit that I still drink. This is not a post about me deciding to become a tee-totaller or anything like that. I actually had a glass of wine last night. And I have had my fair share of drinks over the years, believe me 😉

However, in the past year or so my desire to drink has become less and less. I don’t know if its the same with everyone but I’ve started to realise that while I may love a drink, drink doesnt love me.

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I did the same shit most people do when they are young; neck vodka before you go out so you could get drunk quicker; spend every Saturday night going out and getting wasted; being badly hungover and depressed on a Sunday. It was the same story every weekend a few years ago. Few drinks in the house Friday night with Jase; big sesh then on a Saturday night. Going out and getting wasted, throwing up on the way home; feeling wretched the next day. Spending the entire day lying around, eating everything in sight and feeling this impending sense of doom.

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I literally cannot handle that anymore! I don’t even mind the hangovers, but its the depression that gets me. I am a naturally positive person; I enjoy feeling good and happy and drink just sucks that right out of me! Someone once said that drinking alcohol is just like borrowing happiness from the next day and its SO true. How many times have you woken up feeling sick, feeling shame from making an eejit of yourself the night before, wishing you had copped on a bit more? Replaying all those cringe scenes from the night before and wondering if everyone noticed how drunk you actually were? I get loud and cocky and stupid when I drink and the shame kills me the next day! For the last couple of years I seemed to get a sort of amnesia when it came to nights out; I never actually remembered that horrible depressed feeling until it happened again. Now its crystal  clear and it actually puts me off going out now! People always say “oh you could just have one or two,” but once I get a couple of drinks into me I seem to forget how bad I’m going to feel again the next day, so its better just to steer clear!

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A lot of people hate Sundays, but those people are in jobs that they hate, living lives they aren’t happy with. I like my job, I love my life. It wouldn’t be suited to everyone and I would never try to tell anyone that the way they live is wrong. But I like nothing better than getting up early on a Sunday morning, heading off in the car for brunch, or coffees or adventures. I like going for a run on early Sundays while everyone else is still in bed. I like hitting the gym for a stretch session or going for a walk when the air is cool and crispy. I hate the thought of sleeping half the day away and then lying in a hungover daze eating all around me…

I’m not saying I’ll never go out again either, and I’m sure there will still be a few more drunken nights on the horizon; but I honestly can say they will be few and far between now… There are SO many other things I’d rather do with my time, things I’d rather spend my money on and so many Sunday mornings I want to make the most of instead…

Its hard in a country where if you don’t drink you’re a dry bastard; even though we have a worrying amount of alcoholics in our country, and theres practically one in every household. 1 in 4 people have experienced negative consequences as a result of someone elses drinking. Is it worth it? I don’t think so. What are your thoughts? For me I’d rather make the most of my days off, doing what I want with who I want; because thats the real me now; not some eejit who needs a few vodkas to have fun!

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xx

Changing From Who You Are To Who You Want To Be


A few years ago I did the same thing pretty much every weekend. Friday nights was a takeaway and a few drinks in the house with Jase. Saturday night was out on the beer again taking a big dirty burger home. Sunday was spent eating shite all day from being hungover and more than likely getting a big feed from the chipper again because I was too lazy to cook. I never went anywhere or did anything interesting; I never really was bothered. I might have gone on a small holiday once a year maybe and that was about it. I had no interests or hobbies except eating and drinking. I hated my life. I didn’t like my job so I wished the week away waiting hard on the weekend but when it came I didn’t do anything worthwhile with it! Every single weekend was like Groundhog Day, doing the same thing over and over. I always wanted to do things like take trips and visit places and learn to drive but I didn’t have any desire to save up for these things or find something to motivate me.

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I couldn’t see it at the time but I was stuck in a major rut. I wanted to change but I didnt know how. I get messages from people all the time who ask me how I turned things around and how I get the motivation to get up early to work out and eat healthy (most of the time). There is no easy way and no short cut. It takes hard work, dedication and consistency.
For the first few months when I started to lose weight and get into training I was still only working out mostly in the evenings. After about 6 months Ryan asked about doing some 7am workouts. Even the THOUGHT of it exhausted me. Why the hell get up that early? He insisted so we started doing some training in the mornings. It took a few weeks to get the hang of it, but once I started to experience how great it felt to get your workout done BEFORE work I was hooked. Now I train 99 times out of 100 in the morning! I’ve been known to get up at 5.30 to get a workout in and was regularly finishing my long runs before others had even got out of bed. The early mornings are still early. Its still hard to get up sometimes. But I bloody love it!

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If you want to change your life you have to change the things you do daily, and build your habits from there… I never skip a workout unless I am injured or sick. To my knowledge I have never skipped one just because I wasn’t bothered or motivated… Newsflash: most of the time you are NOT going to be motivated to train. I just go ahead and do it anyway. Afterwards I never regret it. Never. Thats the secret; just go do it anyway! I promise after you will be so glad you did it! Training to me is just like brushing my teeth in the morning; its an automatic thing. It didn’t happen overnight but if you keep working at it soon it will become second nature.

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This weekend I got up at 7am to head for a walk before driving to Sligo with my besties for breakfast, shopping and to get tattoos… I only learned to drive in the past few months so this is still a huge novelty for me 🙂 Still have to pass my test but hopefully it won’t be too long! I’ve always wanted a tattoo before but never got around to it so I picked something that was really meaningful to me and signified my greatest achievement; my first marathon.


Sundays are my “lazy” day. I usually try to pick it as a rest day, maybe only heading to the gym for a stretch session or going for a walk just. Then I head into town with Kelly for a coffee, go visit my family and then the rest of the day is for me and Jase 🙂 … Usually we just chill out or sometimes we go for a wee spin somewhere.
Last Sunday I was hungover so I spent a little too much time lazing around and even though I was allowed a cheat meal I probably ate a little more than I should! I don’t drink much anymore because the hangovers wreck me. Its not even the feeling sick or anything like that, but the day after drinking I always feel SO low! Its just not the way I usually feel any more and it reminds me of the old days when I used to spend every Sunday feeling like that and I hate wasting a day off now! I still enjoy an odd night out and I can get drunk with the best of them but its not who I am anymore.

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When it comes to food those are even harder habits to build… But even more important ones. Its great to be active and train well; but if you are looking to lose weight, “tone” or build muscle then you need to get your eating under control as well; otherwise you will never get anywhere! When I started with Ryan we went in 6 week cycles of eating very healthy, then having a treat day and then getting back into it. Obviously I slipped up from time to time but for the first year I would have been 90% consistent and thats how I managed to lose all the weight in the first year. Portion control was a huge problem of mine and still is from time to time! I love ALL food, good or bad and too much of anything will mean theres no calorie deficit so that means you won’t progress. Every time I put a few pounds on or start to feel sluggish its because I haven’t been eating well enough. It usually only takes me a day or so to get back on track then and start feeling like myself again. I take breaks on holidays or around Christmas, or say my birthday, but after a couple days of eating crap I be craving to eat well again.

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People go on about how much you have to give up to lose weight but really with a bit of sense you can still have a life you love. Obviously you can’t eat takeaways every night and lose weight and somedays you have to have a chicken salad when really you’d love a cheeseburger but all these little things add up to a more positive lifestyle. Recognise when you need to be tough on yourself but also realise that an occasional curry chip and a big bar of chocolate isn’t the end of the world either! I’m doing a 6 week plan at the minute which is helping me drop a few pounds but I need to have the next goals locked in then because its consistency that makes the most difference over time! A year feels like a long time but if you kept up a few healthy habits for that long you will be absolutely blown away by how far you can come! The thing that motivates me now is the WANT to be healthy, to be fit, to get up early to make the most of the day and to reach my goals… I don’t want to look back and regret not doing the things I wanted to when I was still able to do them… “Hell on earth is meeting the person you COULD have been…” Don’t put off any dreams or goals you want to achieve for a single day longer ❤
Thanks as always for reading xx

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Any questions you can email me on angiemcglan@gmail.com or find me on Snapchat “angiemcglan”

Skinny Carbonara

Who doesnt love carbonara right? Its so delicious but often drowned in cream and cheese… Which don’t get me wrong is yummy but its not great for the diet… I made this with goats cheese and it tastes unreal! Recipe below…

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50g uncooked spaghetti

4 bacon medallions, diced

1 cup of mixed peppers, onions and mushrooms

30g goats cheese

2 cloves garlic

Splash of almond milk

Cook the spaghetti in boiling water. While its cooking, saute the bacon and when its cooked through add the veggies and garlic and cook for a few further minutes. I add a splash of water to cook the veg instead of oil which works but you could also add oil or Fry light spray if you wish! When the veg is fully cooked add a splash of almond milk and the goats cheese; stirring for a couple of minutes. If you need to thicken the sauce, add a teaspoon of cornflour into the liquid and mix well! Drain the spaghetti and toss through the sauce. Easy peasy!

*To make this low carb swap the spaghetti for courgetti*

*You can use extra light philadelphia instead of goats cheese to lower the fat content further if you wish*

 

Whats the best diet for weightloss?

Whats the best diet for weightloss? Theres a lot of conflicting information online about weightloss. Everywhere you look theres another “expert” who claims they have found the secret; that their way of doing things DEFINITELY works. There are people who say you don’t need to count calories if you are eating healthy. There are people who say you should always count calories to reach your goals. There are those who swear low carb is the way to go; while others swear its Paleo that worked for them.

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The correct answer is the number one diet that works is the diet that works for YOU. If you can only eat fish and broccoli for 3 meals a day but you get super lean is it worth it? For me it wouldn’t be. Whats the point in looking great if you’re a miserable bastard then? Equally, whats the point in eating what you want all the time if it makes you overweight, self conscious and unhappy? There are people I know who tell me I take my diet too seriously but they are also people who have an aura of negativity around them all the time; so tell me whos happier? Does that Friday night takeaway REALLY make you happy or is it just a habit you’ve gotten into that you think you can’t do without? You need to do whats right for you…

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After I finished the marathon I was so happy with myself for my acheivement but I’d let myself go with my shape. I felt self conscious and lacking in strength. I’d put a lot into the running but I neglected other areas of fitness so I wanted to work on that. I also wanted to drop some weight, build some muscle and lean out a bit. I’m back on a 6 week plan that I did last year with great results… So far in 2 weeks I’ve lost 9lbs and I am getting stronger and leaner by the day… SO many people have messaged me to ask for my diet plan and what my calories are and what training I’m doing. People seem to think its the food plan that makes the difference; when really its the adherence TO the food plan. When you are following a plan you don’t usually stray from it much. This means that you stick to the calories you are allowed, day in and day out. THAT is the secret to weightloss. Its calories in vs calories out. Simple as! Yes I am doing quite a bit of training but I still have 2 rest days per week and I am still eating 5 times a day; I’m not on a stupid “cleanse” or crash diet, surviving only on shakes or any other stupid shit. How often do YOU really stick to your guns while dieting? Do you give in the odd time, or more often that not thinking you deserve a treat?

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Over these 6 weeks I have planned a treat meal next weekend for the halfway mark, and a couple of drinks on the Saturday night as theres a festival on in town… Apart from that I’m aiming for 95% consistency over these 6 weeks. That means hitting my macros perfectly for the 6 weeks. That means staying off the foods I’m supposed to avoid and including as many of the foods I’m supposed to eat instead. That means no crisps, no takeaways, no bars of chocolate. It doesn’t really bother me as I know my results will be great at the end of the 6 weeks.. After that I will take a more balanced approach, leave some more room for a couple of treats but I still will try to track what I’m eating, because otherwise I’ll go back to the way I was..

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Do you really want to lose weight? Like I mean REALLY? Are you prepared to do what it takes to get the weight off? Would you be able to say goodbye to takeaways, to chicken fillet rolls, to biscuits with your tea, to pizza Fridays? It doesn’t have to be forever; but you won’t ever be able to go back to the way you used to eat if your diet wasn’t good. I will NEVER be able to just eat what I want; because when I did that I was hugely overweight. Even when I was marathon training I was still eating better than most people I know but the weight was slowly creeping up because I wasn’t keeping it in check! Theres always room for treats in your diet but you need to learn and be honest without yourself when you have been treating yourself a little TOO much!

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Its easy for fitness professionals to say that you don’t need to worry so much about food to keep your body in check. For a lot of these people they weren’t obese. They may never have had a bad relationship with food; with binging or overeating. I see people every day who make poor choices but they still manage to stay thin. I’m not one of those people. I’ve got to work HARD to keep my weight off; theres times when it creeps up and I have to cut back on the calories and junk then. The thing is, I always know WHY the weight is coming on. Its because I am eating too many handy foods, not enough veg and enjoying too many treats! Weightloss is simple, but not easy. You all know what to do to get weight off; but putting it into practice is easier said than done!

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It doesnt make it any easier when there are so many conflicting opinions around as well! What works for one person may not work for you. If someone asked me what worked for me and what I would recommend it’d be 3 very simple rules…
1. Count calories/macros… You don’t have to do this for the rest of your life, but when you are starting off you probably have NO idea what or how much you are eating. Steady weightloss that will last can be acheived by counting cals/macros and educating yourself about food!
2. Portion control… This is huge! When I was heavy I was eating the same size dinners as Jason and wondering why I was so big… Even recently in the last few months I was eating too big meals and a little adds up to a lot over time.
3. Discipline… Weightloss WILL NOT come without sacrifice.. Focus on what your goals are! You don’t have to have a biscuit every time its offered to you. If you’re out for lunch you don’t need to get chips with it. After a few drinks you dont NEED a curry chip and a cheeseburger. Sometimes we all need a treat and there are treats I almost never turn down but there are a LOT I don’t bother with. Its not going to be the last time you ever get something nice… So don’t mess up all the hard work you put in all week for the sake of a big chocolate binge on a Sunday then…

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There is no magic answer when it comes to weightloss; unfortunately for proper sustainable weightloss it requires dedication, hard work and discipline. The question you have to ask yourself is do you want it, and are you willing to work for it? If you put in the time and effort you can reach your goals! What have you got to lose?? The rules are simple; work hard, train hard, eat well and enjoy a proper balance… Have that pizza when you want it but eat veggies when your body needs it! It might be tougher at the start but when you start to make real progress you can include more of the things you love and you might find you are so happy that you would never want to go back to your old ways!

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Thanks as always for reading! Any questions you know where to reach me xx

What about AFTER you achieve your goal?

Last week I ran my first marathon. It was the best day of my life and so worth all the weeks and months of training and hard work! This goal was almost 2 years in the making after having trained for a marathon last year but having to pull out due to injury. It was one of the proudest moments of my life when I crossed the line but I did wonder how I would feel when it was all over! Would I be disappointed that I didnt do better? Would I never want to run again? Or an even scarier thought, would I want to do ANOTHER marathon??

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The day after the marathon I could hardly get out of bed… The pain actually blew me away because I’d never been as sore as that! After every long run during training I’d been sore and stiff yes but usually the day after I was fine! This time when I got out of bed my calves were so tight I could barely stand up straight! Once I got moving it wasn’t so bad but every time I sat for any length of time I was pure stiff and sore when I tried to move again… Fortunately I’d had the sense to book the week off work for some well deserved rest and relaxation! Jase and I headed to Kilronan Castle for a wee spa break and I spent most of the first evening just lying in bed eating chocolate and drinking wine because I was too sore to move haha! It was most definitely worth it though…

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The next day the pain had eased a bit but my legs were still in bits! I don’t think I quite appreciated the strain I had put on my body until then… Usually I would bounce back quite quickly and I also have a high pain threshold so to be still so sore was unusual for me! Jase and I went off to Lough Key Forest Park for a wee adventure and spent over an hour and a half out walking which did help loosen the legs up! Ryan had told me I’d have to take a week off with no training whatsoever and in the second week only weight training; no running! I’d agreed at the time because my legs were in agony but I have to admit now after a week without running I’m starting to get a bit antsy!

I had already planned to have a new goal for after the marathon because I am the sort of person that NEEDS something to focus on to keep me going. If I have too much downtime I tend to just eat all around me… To be completely honest over the last couple of months I have been enjoying FAR too many treats! I knew I was doing it but I sort of couldn’t help myself or I didn’t want to… The marathon training took SO much out of me both physically and mentally that I found I just couldnt give the same amount of effort to my food prep… I was still eating quite well but eating too much junk at the weekends and I wasn’t tracking my macros properly either. According to the scales I have only put on 4lbs since Christmas but I am still quite far away from a weight that I am happy with. Its not all about the scales and they wouldn’t be normally what I go by but I also got before pictures taken yesterday and oh my god was that a wakeup call. You don’t really notice the weight creeping on when it happens gradually but when I saw those pictures I cringed so much!

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The only thing is those pictures will serve as great motivation for me! I’m starting tomorrow with a bang and I am so ready to get my head back in the game. Last year I followed the same diet plan, one that concentrates on balancing the hormones in your body so it can function at its best ability! I got incredible results from it last time and I also felt amazing so I can’t wait to try it again… There are quite a few components of it and its quite strict but structure and discipline is exactly what I need right now to get myself back on track!

Along with a proper food plan I’m going back to two PT sessions a week, back to fitness class and weight training and I’m also gonna sneak in a wee run or two in there as well… I have lost a lot of upper body muscle tone while marathon training and have packed on quite a few pounds of fat as well due to eating too much junk, so I’m looking forward to leaning out again. I’m aiming to lose around a stone to get back down to the weight I was last summer which should be easily achieved if I stick to the plan.. I’m looking forward to having more flexibility with my training and being able to swap out one workout for another if I fancy trying something different! Yesterday I attended an 8am yoga class in Sligo followed by a lovely brunch and it was such a nice experience! When you have to run for like 3 hours on a Saturday morning you don’t really have much opportunity to head away and do nice things like that!

During my week off I headed away for a few days, got to have dinner and drinks with my bestie, went away shopping, got my hair done and had lots of fun wee adventures! The next few weeks are going to be strict but I will really enjoy getting back to my old healthy self! A new goal is so important to focus on so you don’t lose your way. So often when people reach their goal; be it a fitness one like a marathon or perhaps reaching their target weight they think that thats them done then, which is SUCH a mistake to make… You need to have something else to focus on to keep you going… Thats the secret to keeping weight off, to keeping fitness levels up, to staying “motivated…” As soon as you achieve one goal move straight on to the next!

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In 6 weeks time I hope to be back with another blog post detailing on how I’ve done on this challenge and then I will be focusing on the next thing then! You just got to keep moving forward!

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Thanks as always for reading and any questions you can comment below or catch me on Snapchat: username is angiemcglan

xx

 

My first marathon: anything is possible! 

Yesterday was the probably the proudest day of my entire life! In the past few years I have turned my life around and started working hard to become the person I am meant to be. I have set goals and reached most of them! I have had lots of failures but always tried again. Yesterday I ran a marathon. I actually can’t even comprehend it yet but I wanted to write this all down while it’s still fresh in my head! For anyone that hasn’t been following me I will give a quick catch up to how I got here from where I began! 

5 years ago I was a smoker, binge drinker and weighed around 230lbs. I had absolutely zero fitness levels and was miserable. I started with a trainer to try lose some weight for my wedding but fell in love with looking after myself! I lost 80lbs in a year and have kept it off (except for a few pounds here and there) for over 4 years now! I started running a few months after I started losing weight and did my first 10k within a year but I never thought I’d get much further than that! At the end of 2015 I decided I wanted to run a marathon so signed up for the Belfast one in May of 2016. I trained for it but had to give up 3 weeks out due to an injury. Afterwards I wasn’t sure whether or not to try again, I was so afraid of getting injured and having to give up AGAIN after putting so much work in! I did get struck with plantar fasciitis 3 weeks out (what is with the 3 week thing like? ) but decided I would go on. I spent my taper resting a lot, icing my foot and trying everything I could that would help. There was still a few niggles but in the last week it did improve a good bit.


The morning of the marathon I was petrified! I knew that I was being silly and that I had done the work but I just couldn’t help it! My stomach was churning, I could barely eat breakfast and I felt so worried. It never entered my mind that I wouldn’t finish the marathon because I know I am a tough cookie but I was afraid of running the last few miles in pain. My longest run in training, a 21 miler had been a really tough one because of my foot and this was an extra 5 miles!


Ryan made me swear to take it easy at the start and I knew that it would be tough to hold myself back but for the first 3 miles I ran at a really slow and steady pace… it paid off for me in the end because I managed to run for the entire duration of the marathon except for one twenty second period where I slowed to a walk! There were a lot of people taking walk breaks right even at the start but I wanted to try keep moving at a steady pace for as long as I could! I went in to the course sort of blind because I don’t know Derry at all and had no idea what the route would be like. . People had told me it was hilly and that there was a big hill at mile 25 but I honestly thought the course was amazing.. the few miles where I really struggled was all flat so it was more the distance rather than the course that made it tough.. I ran up every single hill and I am so proud of that!
The first few miles were a breeze! I picked up my pace a little bit from the start but still didn’t push myself too much, I was trying to conserve as much energy as I could! There was so much support from everyone around every corner, little kids holding out sweets and bottles of water, really picked up my spirits a few times!
I knew I wouldn’t make it around the whole course without stopping for a pee, I just don’t have that sort of bladder; so at mile 10 I made a pit stop, because I didn’t want to have to wait until I REALLY had to go!

I made it to the halfway marker and still was feeling pretty good! I had started to pass out a few people just by holding my steady pace and my foot was holding up well.. I could feel a slight pain in it but I was sort of detached from it! Probably all the adrenaline lol…
Around the 16 mile mark I told myself I only had 10 miles to go and that I could do it! I was starting to slow down a little at this pace but I was still doing alright. A few more hills and then we were on a flat again heading for the Peace Bridge..

I knew that wasthe 20 mile mark so I told myself it was only 6 miles to go, roughly around an hour or so of running left! The Peace Bridge was beautiful and lifted me up for a bit but after mile 21 I started to struggle. My hips were hurting, my calves were seizing up and the end seemed so far away! Mile 22 marker came along and I tried to tell myself it was only another 4 miles but I was really starting to slow. I never hit the wall which I couldn’t believe but it did get very tough for me then… 

Coming up on mile 23 I looked up and saw my Auntie Nonie on the side of the road cheering for me. I couldn’t believe it as I had no idea she was coming! She came alongside me and ran with me until mile 25, and only for her I would have been so miserable. She picked up my spirits and distracted me just when I needed it! I’ve never been so thankful for something in my life. .


Mile 25 meant Fahan hill, the one everyone had warned me about but Ryan was there waiting for me and he ran up it with me. . He told me to keep looking at the ground and to just lift the legs until I made it. It really was nowhere as bad as I thought it would be or maybe it was just because I was so fucked by then that it didn’t matter haha!


The rest was all downhill and I was feeling so accomplished by then. I knew I was going to make it and I felt absolutely euphoric coming down the hill, I managed to speed up and the last mile was great, I finished really strong which was my ambition! I finished in a time roughly between the time I said I wanted, but maybe a little slower than I thought. I figured I’d be disappointed but in no way was I. I couldn’t believe I’d done it, that I’d run for so long and made it through! To come from where I started to get this far is such an incredible feeling that it hasn’t even really sunk in with me yet. It was amazing to finish and have Jase and my favourite people there to celebrate with me and cheer me on! 

I have never been as proud of myself as I was yesterday and still cannot believe that I ran a marathon… a few years ago I couldn’t have even dreamed that I’d do that and now I can proudly say that I have achieved yet another goal. It was the hardest thing ever but the most rewarding! Every little bit of training was worth it ❤

Thank you to everyone who messaged me over the past few days there was literally hundreds of messages and comments! To date I have raised over €1300 for Pieta House but a few people have asked can they sponsor me this week and so I will leave it until Friday before I send off the donation! Please message me if you wish to make a donation, either on Instagram: @angiemcglan or on Snapchat: @angiemcglan
Thank you so much for taking the time to read this. Don’t ever think you can’t do something because you are wrong. I am so proud of myself and cannot believe how far I have come in a few short years.. who knows where I’ll be in another 5 years? 
xx 

Why is the exercise you do better than anyone elses?

We’ve all seen the posts havent we? The fit, toned gym girls who look amazing, so lean and strong… They get this way by lifting weights in the gym… Thats the ONLY way to lose weight and be healthy and fit, didnt you know that? :/

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There are so many people on Instagram, particularly “professionals” who diss any form of cardio. This drives me mental because it puts people off doing any then, particularly girls who are new to training and perhaps don’t know any better. One particular post someone put up a picture of them when they were doing a lot of running, beside a picture of them after a few months of weight training. They also openly admitted that their diet was 100 times better now than when they were just running. Did they ever think maybe THAT was the reason they were more “fit” looking?

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