5 easy tricks for people who hate doing cardio

hate doing cardio easy tricks fitness lose weight

I love fitness, but I must admit I like to pick and choose my favourite parts and I tend to avoid the things I hate. I have recently come to realise after taking part in several races that I was not made to be a runner. I also perform poorly in sports like netball, swimming and hockey and as a result you can normally find me on my own, happily lifting dumbells in a quiet area of the gym. When it comes to cardio, I understand. The struggle is real. Getting started is so bloody hard, so here’s a few sneaky tricks I like to use….

Try and improve your time

If you really despise doing cardio then a good incentive is to try and get it done a little quicker each time. So instead doing more to make it harder, just work more intensely doing the same amount of mileage. For example, if you normally run around the block in 15 minutes, try and do it in 14 minutes and so on. You won’t waste any more time on the thing you hate, but you will improve your fitness levels.

Listen to podcasts

I’m sure you’re fully aware that podcasts exist, I’m not going to take credit for informing you about that one. However, I think a lot of people assume that the best thing to listen to during exercise is fast-paced, invigorating dance music. Me on the other hand; I like to while away the hours listening to Dawn O’Porter talk fashion with her pals, Emma Gannon commenting on social media and Sword & Scale deconstructing true crime cases whilst I flail around aimlessly on the cross trainer.

Do HIIT

OK don’t get scared now. I promise you won’t die. The beauty of HIIT training is that you’ll feel certain that you’re going to die for very small segments of the workout, but then have time to recover, do it again and all the while you’re actually becoming superhuman! All jokes aside, I much prefer doing a 20 minute HIIT session to a 45 minutes steady state workout that burns around the same calories. It’s also better for building strength, increasing your metabolism and improving overall fitness in a shorter space of time. I would suggest running intervals to start you off, where you sprint for 30 seconds and rest for 1-2 minutes and repeat the cycle until you die, ahem, sorry I mean become a goddess.

Take a class

Cardio doesn’t have to be a lonely affair. If you prefer to be motivated by a fully qualified ball-buster then sign up for a class in your local gym. I find the time passes waaaay quicker when someone else is co-ordinating my workout, combined the the loud music and group setting a 45 minute session flies by and I always work harder than I would on my own.

If all else fails…

Get on that stationary bike and stick on Netflix. Get stuck into a few classic episodes of Always Sunny and before you know it you’ll be done, having successfully exercised like a boss and feeling like a superior being compared to those god-damn bitches from Philadelphia.

How to declutter your mind in 30 minutes 

declutter your mind destress relax anxiety

I spend so much of my life stressed out. Stressed out for reasons that are stupid and pointless for the most part; with my internal voice posing various questions such as “How many toilet rolls do we have left and will I remember to go to the shop for more?” I know, riveting stuff right? Sometimes, I worry about money, my health, how I treat my friends and how often I see my family. Other times I wonder if my life has been memorable. Have done enough good in the world? Then I think about the toilet paper again. So naturally, I need to find ways to calm the chattering voices in my mind, to find some serenity in the madness. Here’s how I do it…

Write a list 

Writing lists is a really straightforward way of offloading thoughts from my mind onto paper. I have an app, diary, journal and a notepad all on rotation depending on where I am and what kind of notes I need to take. I use Google Keep on my mobile to collect all different types of list from a basic ‘to-do’ to blog post ideas, useful websites, research to do, meal ideas and personal mantras. In my diary I can create bullet point lists for more pressing tasks and assign them to specific days which really helps me relax, because even though I haven’t taken care of ‘the thing’, said thing is now part of my grand plan so it will get done. My notepad is for more elaborate lists, or expanding on ideas and I often use mind mapping (I know, I’m a total geek but I’m cool with it) to come up with ideas for my blog. My journal is reserved for those times when I have a barrage of negative thoughts filling up in my mind. Like an overstuffed suitcase I need to take out the excess and discard it somewhere safe. In my journal I write completely honestly, knowing that no one will ever read it, and I often start without an idea of what I actually want to say. This can lead me down a rabbit hole, but a cathartic one nonetheless, that ideally ends in some sort of resolution or at least identification of a problem that can be worked on in the future.

Turn off your phone 

It might sound obvious but how many times do you actually sit and relax without your phone nearby? I often find myself in the middle of something important, like writing this blog post, only to hear that familiar ‘bing’ that instantly lures my attention away to whatever is happening on social media. Is losing my train of thought really worth it to find out that someone liked my latest Instagram post? Probably not. If I’m feeling overwhelmed it can be really good for me to pull a curtain over the world of the internet and just be in my own space for a while. It allows me to really focus on one task at a time – surprisingly difficult for me –  without that niggling feeling that I might be needed elsewhere.

Exercise/yoga 

It’s no secret that exercise is my number one form of stress relief. I get cranky when I haven’t worked out for a few days and I feel instantly renewed when I finally do hit the gym, take a class or even just take a long walk in the fresh air. Not everyone thinks of high intensity exercise as a way to relax, but for me it’s like the fitness equivalent of ‘giving myself a shake’, realising that things aren’t as impossible as they seem and it can put pointless worries into perspective. Doing demanding moves like burpees and tuck jumps is a way of getting out of my own head. For an introvert like me it’s also a great way to socialise with others indirectly without too much anxiety. Since moving to a new gym I’ve also been doing yoga regularly and I can really see the benefits. Physically it’s an invaluable tool for relaxing muscles that you didn’t even realise were tense, and mentally it’s perfect for forcing those racing thoughts elsewhere whilst you focus on breathing and holding challenging poses. Although most classes last an hour, apps like Down Dog offer short sessions that can be done at home and act as an instant way to clear your head.

What are your tips for decluttering your mind?

Three reasons why you need to have yoga in your life

three reasons you need yoga in your life

If you follow me on Twitter you’ll have noticed my “in your face” updates about my recent foray into yoga. I’ve done it on and off for years and like bleaching your upper-lip hair or a visit to the dentist it’s one of those things you just wish you’d done earlier in life. Yoga is life-changing, invigorating and something I urge everyone to try at least once. Read on to hear my case for yoga!

Strength & flexibility 

Let’s talk about the physical benefits of yoga before I start to explain how much it has improved my mental state. My favourite thing to do in the gym is lift weights. I love the process, the sense of achievement and the feeling of power that comes with picking up heavy shit. The problem for me is that I do it for a hobby and as a result have obtained a few niggling injuries that could be helped if I had better core strength and general flexibility. I know what you’re thinking – yoga is easy, it’s just stretching! But trust me, when you wake up 24 hours after your first yoga class you’ll know for sure that it does effectively work your muscles! Yes, you’re only using your own bodyweight for resistance but the positions and the time held in those positions is a real test for even the most confident weight-lifter. Flexibility is something I have never had, but I’m assured it’s an ability I can refine with practice and a little time. Combined with some weight-training I’m still maintaining muscle but with a focus on functional strength.

Self-improvement

I have been a fitness freak for several years now, starting off with a cheeky Zumba class and quickly progressing to what others would deem unpleasant adventures like spinning, HIIT, weight-lifting and half-marathon training. The thing I quickly realised was that I loved the idea of trying something new and getting better at it over time. Unfortunately in my preferred area of expertise this often led to burn out, injuries and mental torture (running, I’m talking about the repetitive, lonely, painful torture of running). With yoga however, the scope for self-improvement seems wide and pretty welcoming. It’s not a case of doing more burpees than the person next to you, but more a case of pushing yourself a little further mentally and physically than you thought you could previously. The journey is ongoing and for me 100% internal which is a refreshing change of pace.

Motivation

There seems to be a common misconception that yoga is some sort of sleep-educing witchcraft designed to send you dosing off into the best forty-winks of your life. Don’t get me wrong, there have been times in the final moments of an hour long session where I’ve been lying flat on my mat, stretched out and could’ve quite happily lay there until the gym manager peeled me off the floor at closing time. But the general feeling at the end of a class is that of satisfaction, and for me a newfound motivation that filters through to other areas of my life.  Whether I held every pose correctly or long enough is irrelevant, because for that short period of time I concentrated on only one thing at that was my attempt at doing yoga. The ability to de-clutter the mind and work only on the physical task at hand is so beneficial, that I guarantee over time your stress levels will decrease, your daily focus will sharpen and your general motivation will improve. I find my motivation is at its peak just after I have practised, so I try to do classes early in the morning to get the most out of my day.

Do you practise yoga regularly, or are you tempted now?

Running for the hell of it

THE NEW YOU

My number has arrived. 7492 to be precise. I am near the bottom of a long list of women who are running a race on Sunday June 5th in Glasgow and I’ll be the first to say I’m not a natural runner. I’ve trained for one 10k and one half marathon in my life so this will be the third official race that I have taken part in, and in those years I’ve struggled painfully with every sweaty inch, foot and mile I have covered in my cheap running gear and worn-out gutties. But when those glistening, svelte athletes protest that ‘running is all in the mind’ I actually agree with them. I have never had an easy mile without mentally having to convince myself that it was the case.

In the beginning I repeated phrases in my head such as This is so hard!, Why am I doing this? and Is it over yet?. Over time I realised I had to retrain my brain into say other more helpful phrases. Some people like to visualise themselves crossing the finish line, or grasping onto their gold medal. I have uttered a variety of sentences which were never pre-empted, but merely stumbled upon through hours and hours of having conversations with myself whilst out putting one foot in front of the other. The most important thing for me to remember currently is that I am choosing to run. I am not being forced to run to lose weight or hit a specific time. I am choosing to run because I enjoy the process (in small amounts), and because I can. I am blessed with the ability to run so why shouldn’t I just for the hell of it? I’m not running for speed.

In fact, for the first time I am moving at a pace which suits me and is honestly bang in my comfort zone. I’m not pushing myself to my limits. I’m not out to win prizes or impress anyone. I’m running for enjoyment goddammit and I want to be able to relax, breathe and take in the fucking scenery for once.

It’s not going to get any worse than this. That’s my current mantra. If you’re a runner maybe you’ll understand, that once you’ve got the first mile under your belt you’ve warmed up, set your own pace and if you hold it steady there it’s probably not going to get any worse.Unless you shit yourself of course.

The amazing mental health benefits I gained from exercise

 

mental health exercise depression help anxiety blogger

I stared blankly at my to-do list. This list had been growing steadily for many months since my department had lost two members of staff and I had naively offered to pick up the extra work in a bid for praise, more money or a promotion – looking back I can’t remember exactly why I thought it was a good idea.

Working weekdays meant I had every  weekend off for the first time since I was a teenager, and I tagged along to a Zumba class one Saturday morning with my mum out of sheer boredom and the hope of losing a few pounds. I had tried running and trained for 23 mile walk previously so I was surprisingly fit. As I bounced around my local sports hall in my mum’s old gym clothes I felt like I was at the weirdest, sweatiest party on a Saturday morning and although it was filled with a variety of ages and abilities I felt completely accepted as part of the team.

I joined my local gym and as the weeks went on I became more and more dependant on exercise as a form of stress-relief as well as a way to lose weight. When I was banging out burpees, grave-vines and planks no one could touch me. I was pushing my body to do things I never thought I would be able to do – simple things like running for longer than 10 minutes and doing full press ups – and it was all my own doing. The people at work couldn’t take that away from me, it was my space and I was owning it. I looked forward to clocking out at 5.30pm so I could head to the gym and let out all my anger and frustration in a physical way. It was an exhilarating and new form of expression for me.

As I became more proficient at exercise my ability to complete my ‘to-do’ list at work was seriously waning. After some time work became overwhelming for me and I was unable to work for 6 months whilst I got my mental health back on track. I am so thankful that during that time I was still in the early stages of my fitness journey, because my love for exercising undoubtedly minimised some of the damage that could have been done by my mental state.

Exercising got me out of the house when I didn’t want to do anything at all. It made me set an alarm and get up at a certain time, have a shower afterwards and eat something substantial to keep me going until my next session. When you are depressed these things are a daily accomplishment, and exercise seemed to kick-start that routine for me. Don’t get me wrong; there were many, many days when none of these things were accomplished but sooner or later the gym would reel me back in after a few days of endless sleeping.

It also forced my to interact with other human beings. I know, it sounds icky right, but in local gyms people actually say “Good morning!” and “Have you been to this class before? I’m new”. A lot of the time I stood right up the front of the room (where no one wants to be) because I was so focused on getting the most out of the class. If this seems like strange behaviour for someone who was depressed and anxious, I completely agree! The only way I can explain it is by saying that I was kind of anonymous in those classes. No one knew anything about my condition, my job or my financial situation so I felt like they couldn’t judge me. I was just that girl who showed up everyday for a workout and stood up the front like a teacher’s pet. That anonymity made me comfortable enough to make polite chitchat with complete strangers at a time when I struggled to even send a text message to my best friends.

The most rewarding thing about exercise for me has been the feeling of doing something I thought I was previously incapable of doing. I ran a 10k after years of trying to run without any success. I pushed myself further and ran a half marathon, and lets be clear I do NOT have the natural ability for endurance running! I love lifting weights and seeing the number on the bar steadily creep up over weeks and months, or completing an extra set when you’re sure you can’t do another single rep. I started my first spin class feeling like Bambi on a bike and within 40 mins I was increasing my RPM to a respectable standard and within weeks I felt like a pro. I don’t feel like a particularly strong-willed person, I get easily stressed and anxious but when I’m tearing it up in the gym I honestly feel like I can take on the world. I am focused, hard-working and excited there and it’s where I feel at home and that’s why I keep going back, regardless of the number on the scale.

 

 

Mind games and Hob Nobs

 

intuitive eating mental health

Getting back into the swing of things has been taking longer than expected. When the rest of the UK was squeezing into their just-bought spandex leggings and doing the obligatory Facebook check-in at the local gym, where was I? Well, you could find me eating Oreos for breakfast, watching Netflix for 10 hours at a time and throwing away vegetables to make room for more cheese in the fridge. I made a few feeble attempts to visit the gym but most workouts were cut short with various excuses, some of which genuine and others left a little to be desired. I was suffering from a cold, but also dealing with some stress in my personal life which meant I was eating for comfort. We had to spend a few days travelling, and normally I pride myself on seeking out the healthiest food options and spending a little extra to get fresh food on the go. This time I used it as an excuse to eat big bags of chocolate, several meals from McDonalds and lots of other junk. This all happened in the middle of January, and all of a sudden I realised I had missed the New Year momentum that normally keeps me motivated. It was the end of January and I was worse off physically and mentally than I had been in December.

Then the mind games started.

This is when I start to have internal conversations with myself about how things needed to change. The kind part of me is telling myself that it’s OK to eat emotionally, and that I can learn from this and move on. The panic-stricken part of me is screaming to start eating no more that 1000 kcals per day and to limit all carb intake, possibly even omit all sugars completely. The no-nonsense boss in me is telling me to shut up, get my ass to the gym every single day and stop thinking about food as anything other than fuel for workouts and daily life. I start thinking about how I looked and felt a year ago, and how I wasn’t even happy when I was almost 2 stone lighter… Oh what I would give to be even close to that weight again!

Hold on a minute. This isn’t right at all. Yes, I was thinner but I am only remembering the number on the scales. What my brain conveniently manages to forget is the fact that I was stuck in a cycle of eating mostly vegetables all week until I got a few pounds off, followed by a day of making myself sick with all the junk food I’d been craving. I have forgotten that when I didn’t eat at the usual time (every few hours) I got the shakes and had to eat urgently. I got extremely irritable but all I would allow myself was vegetables or a low-calorie cereal bar, curbing the shakes for only an hour or so until it happened all over again. I have forgotten that most nights I went to bed with a rumbling belly, dreaming of breakfast the next morning.

So I’ve been trying to fight my mind games. Instead of pushing myself to go to the gym with the usual idea of exercise as punishment, I’ve tried to remind myself that I do actually enjoy working out. Truthfully, I feel uncomfortable in my gym clothes after putting on some weight but I might as well be in there doing something about it than lying flat-out on the sofa eating Hob Nobs. I’ve been tricking myself into doing cardio by catching up on my latest audiobook or watching my favourite You Tubers for 20 minutes and it seems to work as a good distraction for that short amount of time. It’s particularly inspiring to watch fitness You Tubers but whatever floats your boat I guess.

I’ve also been tracking my calories on My Fitness Pal which I was unsure about at first, as it has encouraged bad habits in me before whereby I will save calories to eat chocolate instead of real food (I’m only human!) I settled on the “calories in vs. calories out” is the most reliable method for weight loss and is not to be scoffed at. I’m not sticking to a low-calorie plan (I’m working on around 1600 kcals at the moment) and if anything I am just using it as a way to judge portion sizes and focus on getting an equal balance of protein, carbs and fat with the aim to hit my protein goal consistently.

The most important part for me has been not feeling like a failure. I ate a flapjack yesterday, I am not a failure. I didn’t make the gym today, I am not a failure. I ate more calories today than yesterday, I am not a failure. To any regular person this probably looks like the most f****d up mantra ever, and I agree it’s not the most memorable quote. But to anyone with food issues and more importantly guilt relating to food, I hope you get me.

 

 

I’m not thin and that’s OK…. I think

 

ok with being fat not thin

I’ve used this blog as a way to document my health & fitness journey. I’ve focussed a lot on losing weight because this has always been my primary concern, and I just assumed that everyone else was worried about that too. I know there are some people who just don’t gain or lose weight, they just happily maintain a healthy shape, but they must be the minority right? Surely at least 80% of the population is in the same boat as me and makes every mealtime decision on the basis of their future dream body? It seems that maybe I’ve been wrong this whole time. First of all, there are a lot of people who’s bodies I seriously envy, but they themselves feel fat and ugly. There are also a lot of women who are considered overweight and don’t give a fuck. They feel confident and look damn fine. I mean, they look proper good (and by ‘good’ I don’t mean they are actually a size 12 in real life but by comparison to runway models they appear to be ‘plus size’ or ‘curvy’). There are women out there of every shape and size who are killing it right now by being sexy, stylish and above all themselves.

If you haven’t seen any of these women you aren’t looking hard enough

Grace Victory is a British blogger and You Tuber who is brutally honest about her struggles with eating, depression and body image. She has her own style and offers a healthy perspective on mental health, relationships and working in the media.

Emma is a breath of fresh air in the blogging world. If you’re sick of looking at twentysomethings in Topshop bralets and American Apparel disco pants then walk this way. She will swither about spending £30 on a Tesco coat and swoon when she sees Hugh Jackman on the red carpet. Finally, real humans on the internet! She has won an awards for her You Tube channel thanks to her efforts in plus-size fashion, although I feel her appeal isn’t specific to plus-size ladies. She’s just your everyday woman who’s comfortable in her own skin and I find that fantastic.

Katie H Willcox started out as a plus-size model who was encouraged to gain weight to stay suitably appealing to clients, but found no happiness in an industry that forced her to be either stick thin or overweight. She now runs a successful agency called Natural Models and Healthy is the new skinny which aims to spread the message to young women that their value is not defined by how they look or how sexy they appear. Whenever I feel shit I look at the organisation’s Instagram account and I literally feed off of it’s imagery. Go look. Now.

This general message has been chipping away at my brain for the past year or so; No one else cares what you weigh, and obessing over it is a waste of your time. It’s a waste of your life.

Fiona & Joseph-77

When people say that it’s not money that makes you rich, they know their shit. I recently got married and realised how many kind and generous people I have in my life. I’m not just talking about people giving gifts (although we did receive some wonderful things) but instead other ways in which people show love. One of our friends played piano during the ceremony, even though afterwards he told me how nervous it made him. My uncle’s baby was born literally days before the wedding but he flew up to be with us for just a few hours. Many of my husband’s family and friends travelled for a day and told lies to get out of work just to attend the wedding. A few of our guests brought professional cameras and took photographs all night so that we could have lots of images once our main photographer had gone home. Some of these things cost money, but a lot of them just took time and effort – and I am dumfounded that so many people care enough to do that for us.

I looked around the room at our wedding and thought how lucky we were to have so many wonderful people in our lives. It made me realise that I value a person based on their personality traits (obviously) not their job, salary, dress sense or how many notches they need on their belt. At that moment certainly wasn’t looking around judging how people looked physically in their outfits of choice. So why on earth do I define myself by a different standard?

Another thing you don’t go looking for at a wedding is abs. Is it just me or is everyone obsessed with having abs these days? OK actually it might just be me. I did have a fascination with ladies with abs for quite some time. I told myself that I too could have those square, washboard muscles if I simply ate well and dedicated my life to the gym. After researching further I realised that those Instagram pictures are of ladies who have less that 10% body fat and have purposely dehydrated themselves for the photoshoot and they will most likely lose those abs a few days later, and crave Ben & Jerry’s like mad after sticking to a low calorie diet. Those abs are beautiful but they are not the only kind of beautiful. I also realised that I can eat Ben & Jerry’s whenever I want because I live in Scotland and don’t ever have to bare my stomach unless on holiday. I recently went on holiday and did bare by stomach to a resort full of other British ladies who all had lovely soft midsections just like me. Maybe I can have my cake and eat it.

I’m not content with my body. I don’t look in the mirror and admire my flat stomach,perky breasts and toned legs, but I don’t think there is anyone in this world who does. I keep reminding myself what I admire in other people; beautiful skin, an infectious laugh, the confidence to not wear make up, loyalty and the ability to remember other people’s birthdays are a few things that come to mind. So here is a photo of me in a bikini to prove that although I’m not thin, that’s OK.

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AWAKE

wake-up-and-liveI’ve been struggling with my diet since Christmas, although I didn’t realise it. I’ve only put on about 3lbs, but it feels like a slippery slope if you can’t rein it back in, especially as I am getting married in November. If I was getting married tomorrow I’d be perfectly happy with my body, but the fear of putting on more and more weight uncontrollably between now and the big day is one that plays in my head constantly. I’m so proud of how far I’ve come with my health, weight and muscle tone but I am terrified it’s all going to be snatched away from me again.

So anyhow, since Christmas I’ve put on a few pounds and although I’ve been calorie counting as usual there seemed to be an underlying problem. I realised that I was always hungry. Not only that, but I was always tired, falling asleep on the couch at 7pm and struggling to wake in the morning. I was also sore from working out at the gym, sore from being on my feet all day at work, and my head was always aching from wedding planning and juggling that with day to day jobs like remembering to pay bills and post letters. One of the things on my to-do list was renew my mobile phone contract, and when I did I got a new phone with amazing battery life. At first I thought this would be great as I could guarantee enough power in my phone to listen to music at the gym, but what I ended up doing was rediscovering podcasts. I listened to a few celebrity interviews like Lisa Kudrow and Tina Fey (I have a thing for inspirational women I think) and then remembered that I had enjoyed listening to Ben Coomber a few years ago, and started listening again.

Ben is a personal trainer/nutritionist/entrepreneur as well as general geek about all things health and fitness. When I listened to his first podcasts there were about 30 available, now there are 125 and still going so I have plenty of 50 minute bursts to get through on my walks to and from work. Listening to him talk about losing weight, getting fit and more importantly getting healthy has kind of knocked some sense into me. A few years ago I was eating mainly Paleo but fell off the wagon as my weight plateaued. I cut out healthy fats and meats due to their high calorie content and ate mainly low-calorie, low-fat foods including lots of fresh fruit and vegetables but not much else. I also adhered to the rule that ‘all calories are equal’ which I knew wasn’t true, but it helped me lose weight so I didn’t care. And so although after a year this diet has got me to my goal weight, I realise now that it is unsustainable. This is a word which I hear Ben say a lot, and it certainly has rung true with me. I would deny myself foods when I was hungry, knowing that after I saw the weight loss when I stepped on the scales for my weekly weigh in I would then allow myself to eat some of the things I had been dreaming of all week; cakes, scones, takeaways, chocolate, all in one day til I felt ill and seriously guilty. This diet was unsustainable as I was living week to week, literally counting down the days until I could stuff sugar in my face.

I’ve not made any drastic changes to my diet or exercise routine, but I feel amazing. I feel awake. Here are some of the things I have learnt and applied to my daily life after listening to lots of Ben’s podcasts:

1. Drink more water
Everyone will look at this and say ‘Duh, we all know we should drink more water, tell us something new!’, but its a basic requirement for life. Yes, we all know we need water but do you actually try to drink more? I was drinking no water whatsoever but I was drinking at least one coffee, a few teas and a few sugar-free fizzy drinks throughout the day and I thought that was OK. Now I actively try to drink at least 8 glasses of water a day and as a result I have given up tea, coffee and fizzy drinks without even trying. Now I actually crave water whereas before I was craving caffeine and sweetener which created a vicious cycle and serious dehydration. I don’t get that afternoon slump, and my headaches have disappeared.

2. Protein is king

I have never stopped believing that protein is a good energy source, I just thought that they represented too many calories on my plate which could be substituted with tasty sugar. I decided that my carb heavy breakfast of porridge or fruit was not working as I was still hungry afterwards, and tired too which can be a result of eating carbohydrates. I thought I would eat a protein rich breakfast as Ben suggested and see how I got on. I’ve been having eggs for breakfast and find this fills me up nicely until lunch, and I’ve been also incorporating more protein in there too, by having a tuna salad followed by fruit and seeds. I now feel that although eating protein with every meal is not ideal from a cost or convenience perspective, the positive results in terms of energy levels are really great. So I’m trying to have protein at every meal simply because it makes me feel amazing. I save carbohydrates for dinner, as this is when getting that sleepy feeling that comes afterwards can be beneficial. It’s not enough make me fall asleep at 7pm but it sends the signals to my brain to relax and helps me get a better nights sleep.

3. If it makes you feel rubbish, don’t eat it
It can be hard to analyse what exactly has a negative affect on our bodies, but the easiest way to start is by eating whole foods as much as possible. As I’ve been doing this I realise that Greek yoghurt was making me feel really bloated, and thought that maybe I should avoid dairy for a while. I did this for roughly a week and I felt good. So no, I’m not lactose intolerant, I’m not allergic to dairy but if I feel better without it then why consume it? I don’t miss it enough at the moment so I’m steering clear. I celebrated pancake day by eating a massive crepe filled with Nutella and marshmallows, and I literally had to go home for a lie down to recover. Not because I was sick, but because my blood sugars were so low that I physically couldn’t stay awake! Don’t get me wrong, that crepe was amazing… but I had stuff to do that day and it was kind of inconvenient! If I am eating before exercise or before a busy day at work I now realise that processed sugars are going to make me very sleepy to are best avoided.

I hope you’ve found some of this helpful, its just a general round up of some of the positive changes I’ve made recently and I felt like they were good enough to share. If you are interested in reading or listening to Ben Coomber you can find him at http://bencoomber.com/

Update: July fitness goals

 

fitness goals I can’t believe July is over, its been such a busy month and I’ve barely had time to keep the blog updated, so please accept my apologies! With regards to fitness routine, I think I’ve done well considering I was on holiday for 10 days, and a rest is always helpful as part of any keep fit plan anyway. Here’s a quick round-up…

  • Stick to my new routine – My new routine was made up for me by my local gym instructor. I’ve been doing it twice a week which has been perfect alongside at least one Metafit session and one Pilates class. I’m enjoying doing a bit more cardio as well as a full-body weights session. I actually can’t wait to get to the 5-6 week mark so I can start a new plan as well. All good here!
  • Improve my stretching – Truth be told I have been a bit scared to use my newly purchased foam roller; it’s just so blimmin’ sore! But as that gathers dust in the cupboard I have been attending Pilates religiously, stretching for 20 minutes after every workout and doing some yoga at home too. Who’d have thought it eh?
  • Squat – I’ve been squatting as part of my gym routine twice a week, but have yet to increase the weight substantially. My quads are pretty firm already and I don’t really want them to get much bigger but I am definitely up for seeing some improvements in the booty area! I’ve been showing up and doing the work so I’m sure I will be able to add on a few kilos to the bar by the end of August.

Did you smash your goals in July?

July fitness goals

 

fitness goals

For most people July is holiday time; lying on a beach eating ice cream and not doing much else. Unfortunately I had my summer holiday in May and am doing a city break to London in a few weeks, so I won’t be seeing any beaches this year. Not to worry, gives me plenty of time to make plans to get next year’s beach body underway whilst the gym is empty! Check out my June goals and progress made in this post. Here’s the plan….

  • Stick to my new routine – OK I’m not really one for a ‘routine’ as such, but I have had a new gym programme made up and I’m hoping to do that twice a week to compliment the classes I go to. I really enjoy Metafit so I’d much rather to that than try to burn 500 calories in the gym which would probably take me the best part of an hour. So I’m going to get my Metafit fix twice a week, do my new weights/cardio gym session twice and also do Pilates once a week for good measure.
  • Improve my stretching – Yes, I’m obsessed with stretching now. But the pain I’ve experienced as a result of not stretching has put the fear into me, and I can’t handle the thought of being unable to exercise in the future because of injuries I could have prevented by properly warming up and stretching effectively. I’m planning on using the Power Plate to do more intense stretching as well as use my new foam roller to do some massage too.
  • Squat – I know I will squat between now and the end of July – a girl has to go to the bathroom don’t you know – but I’m aiming to really squat twice a week. At the moment I can do 26 kilo on the max rack (for 3 sets of 10) but I know I can improve on that quite quickly. I don’t have a figure in mind (apart from my own better looking butt) I just want the weight to increase. I can’t wait to get stuck in!

What are your goals for July?