13 Weeks ‘til 30: Vicki Notaro takes on the the Hydrorider to slim down before her milestone birthday
Week two of Vicki's mission to overhaul her lifestyle ahead of her 30th birthday
Well, it’s been quite the week. As I write this, I’m sitting with a hot water bottle on my thighs to try and quell the DOMS (that’s Delayed Onset Muscle Soreness) that are ravaging my quads.
An unfortunate side effect of any new exercise regime, the pain is both satisfying and annoying, but thankfully it’s temporary.
When it comes to training, the first week is often characterised by pain, low energy and tiredness – one of the big reasons lots of people give up early on! But I knew to expect it this time, having been through it all before many, many times. The good news is, as I get fitter and stronger, they’ll disappear. And conquering DOMS can make one feel very smug!
Last Tuesday, I met my new trainer Mairead Kieran. She’s one of OneEscape’s most trusted and experienced pros, so I knew I was in good hands – plus she’s in pretty excellent nick herself! We discussed my goals and I was very honest with her – this is not the kind of plan where I’m going to eat clean 100% of the time and give up my social life, but I vowed to work really hard when it comes to exercise and to eat well the vast majority of the time. For example, I had a long arranged dinner party coming up on Friday, and I wasn’t planning on counting every drink that passed my lips. Of course, alcohol slows down the metabolism, but it’s just not realistic to expect that I’ll give it up altogether – I love my cocktails and Prosecco, and this is about fitting exercise in to my lifestyle, not changing it altogether. However, I assured Mairead that a night on the tiles wouldn’t turn in to a weekend of takeaways and lazing about – that’s one thing that really needs to change, and I need to prove to myself that I can have balance in my life.
One really important thing to get across in this column is that nobody is an angel 100% of the time when it comes to diet – unless perhaps it’s their job to be. One thing I definitely didn’t want to happen here was cutting out any type of food group – I’m not going Paleo, and I’m not eliminating wheat, dairy or sugar entirely. I’m going to eat a Low GI (glycaemic index) diet at least 80% of the time, not sweat it the rest of the time, and sweat my ass off (hopefully) in the gym. When I’m out for dinner I’ll choose healthier options, knock the midweek wine on the head and eat mindfully.
However I did get a fright on Mairead’s fancy scales. She used a Tanita Health Monitor that somehow measures body fat and muscle mass just by standing on it in your bare feet. I weighed three kilos more than my scales at home told me, and my body fat was apparently 41% - in the “obese” range. Mairead did say the fact that I have a 36F chest might have something to do with the high percentage, but it’s still way higher than it should be. This freaked me out, because you would never think it to look at me. But then, I do have a small frame and lots of fleshy bits.
Mairead assured me that once my muscle mass increased, my body fat percentage would drop. I was in the very healthy range for visceral fat, which lives around the waist and belly, so I’m not at risk of type two diabetes. Still, my body water levels were really low and my BMI in the overweight category. Lots to work on! We’re not going to take these measurements every week, because we don’t want it to be all about numbers, so they’ll be checked again before my column on November 16th.
I did four sessions this week; one strength and conditioning with Mairead, two weights sessions with my boyfriend Joe (who has also turned personal chef and has been making me incredibly healthy meals morning, noon and night), and a Hydrorider class. If you’ve never heard of it, it’s basically spinning in the water and it’s exclusive to OneEscape in Ireland.
I was concerned it was going to be really tough until I saw the woman next to me was seven months pregnant. You can go at your own pace, and I did push myself pretty hard – I was like a beetroot afterwards, and sweating in the water is a very strange feeling! I really liked it – it just feels nice being in the water, and provides lots of resistance.
So apart from the DOMS, I’m feeling very good and very optimistic. I had a great night out on Friday, and resisted the lure of a greasy brekkie and even greasier Chinese on Saturday. I’m drinking loads of water, the fridge is fully stocked full of healthy goodies and because I’ve got my fella on board, it’s going better than I predicted.
This week I’ve another session with Mairead, I’m trying out Bokwa in Tallaght with my best friend Nadia and I’m going to give OneEscape’s Yogalates a whirl too. Joe and I are heading to Copenhagen on Friday though, so that will be a challenge – I tend to think I deserve ALL the chips and chocolate when I’m away.
Thanks for all the support on social media, by the way! You can follow me on Twitter, Instagram and Snapchat under the username @vickinotaro, and the hashtag #13weekstil30.
VITAL STATISTICS – WEEK TWO
Height: 5’6.5 (172cm)
Weight: 12 stone 6lb (80.1kg)
Dress/jeans size: I’ve been wearing a 12, but I’m probably more like a 13.
BMI: 27.1 (Over 25 is overweight)
Body Fat %: 44pc