Monday, 16 December 2013

These are a few of my favourite things...

This post is all about things I love (other than fitness and writing). Little things that make me smile

I love having my entire family around. Having people I love around me (friends & family) makes me so happy!!!!
so many people are missing from this snap (my grand parents, my uncles & aunts, my cousins & my friends)
I love decorations and lights (when I see the entire street lit up I feel like I am in a different world)
I love listening to carol singers (sometimes I join in), beautifully lit street and good music can always make my day better
love the street decorations
I love when it snows (It makes me happy to see snowflakes, first time I saw snow was after I moved to UK)
I love when it rains (I love the earthy smell of rain and sipping ginger tea)
my first snowfall at university - 2009
I love coffee, I am always ready for a cup of coffee

I am always having coffee..
  I love cuddling with my teddy bear. Good mood - bad mood a cuddle is always a must
I actually carried my cutie all the way to UK
I love when people I don’t know smile at me
I love getting dressed up (not a makeup person but love heels and dresses)
I love posing for the camera (this is a brand new one), as soon as I see a camera I smile :)
dressing up and posing in the museum of costume - Bath

I have so many more things but I think I should keep the rest for another post, what are the little things that make you smile?
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Wednesday, 11 December 2013

The step after planning

Now that you have a great plan the final and most important step is making sure you can stick to the plan. The only way I can always manage to see my plan through when I am mentally ready. I might be great at following a plan on my usual days but the minute I go on a break or are in celebration mood suddenly I used to become a different person
Here is my reality check for the holiday season 
More than usual effort
I might have break from work, I might not have strict schedule to follow but that’s when I need to put in more effort for getting my workout done. Usually I have a very fixed routine but the minute I am on break I have noticed I have to take extra care to avoid pushing my work out ahead. Usually I know I can only workout really early in the morning before work or immediately after work but when I am on break it’s easy to get up late promising to work out later in the day and as the day ends I would often realize I had missed my workout because I would keep pushing it ahead.
So now I make it a point to continue sticking to my usual workout time whenever possible even if I know I could work out later during the day I still wake up early and finish it.  It’s also not easy to be the only one getting out in the cold for a run or getting out of the house in the dark when everybody else is sleeping or sitting with hot chocolate when you know you can do it later. I think I need more mental strength and I need to keep reminding yourself what is important and also of what makes me divert from my plan
Most of us avoid unhealthy food; we avoid buying chocolates, cookies, cakes...out of sight out of mind does not really work during festivals. This is when you actually find out how much you really want to change? This is when you might be surrounded by a lot of unhealthy food and you will have to happily look away. I always remind myself what is more important to me, I remind myself how bad I feel if I eat something I planned not to eat. I focus on my favorites and ignore the rest, I need to keep reminding myself to be strong, I need to be my own motivation so I can control my food.
Just you because you manage your workouts and eating well everyday does not mean you will manage them well during holidays be prepared to put in that extra effort

Believing in yourself is very important:
You might have a plan, you might be prepared but if you don’t believe in yourself, if you are not proud of the effort you put in for being healthy you will go off track the minute somebody judges you. This is one big obstacle in my life and to this day I worry about this. I am becoming more confident every day and I do stand up for myself more than I used to but I know it’s not easy to say no or to argue with somebody about your food choices when you do not feel good about yourself. I used to give in and eat if somebody forced me to because I was just not used to saying No; I would feel embarrassed if people would question me about my portions so I would eat what people expected me to instead of what I wanted to.
These days I make it a point to look back at how far I have come because of the choices I have made for the past few years. I think about all the things I have been able to do just because I started living a healthier life this usually helps me say No and it also helps me to confidently tell people why I will continue to live the way I do irrespective anybody judging me
Believing in yourself is always important but during this time its importance goes a bit higher
If I keep these two things in my mind I find it easier to stay on track, what do you think?
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Friday, 6 December 2013

Actual Planning

Now that you have an idea about how your days will be we can work on the next step that’s planning
I have two separate plans one for workout and one for my food. I always base my plans on my weekly goals for both my workouts and food. So for workouts my plan is based on how many days in week I want to work out and for I keep in mind my calorie count. You could decide some other benchmarks for your plans.
For my workouts I have a minimum number of days I want to workout, I usually decide a minimum of 5 days. On my usual days I have a very fixed routine, I have a few classes I attend, I go jogging and I do a little bit of weight training. But during this time of the year things change a bit because usually I am out visiting family, so I can’t stick to my usual classes or gym. T usually joins the gym when we go back but I don’t. If you think you can join a gym when you are on vacation good for you but if you are like me I use everything available and create a new workout plan for my vacation.

Workout Options:

  • Cardio options: jogging (possible anywhere), climbing stairs, jumping rope (at home) 
  • Weight training : I am still a newbie so I have not reached very heavy weights as yet but I do have some weights at home (India), I use those and I do a lot of exercises using my body weight. 
  • Home workouts: I usually either do circuits or supersets (1 cardio + 1 weight) minimum rest in between intervals 
  • Time to exercise: Early in the morning before anybody wakes up, late at night after everyone gone. If I have a dinner party to attend or if I have plans for the entire day I usually wake up early, very early and finish my exercise. Even on Christmas there no one awake at 5:30 in the morning so I am done with my exercise before anybody else wakes up and once everybody is awake I am already done with my workout so I am more relaxed. There no excuse to miss the early morning workout, there is no place to go that early, nobody is around to entertain and there is no work that early. The only time I switch my early morning workout on vacations is when I am travelling or when I have people staying over because of which I have very late night. 
  • Rest Days: Normally I have one fixed rest day but when in holiday mood I change my rest day based on my other plans. So if I have a day where I am busy shopping, cooking and I am sure I will very tired that day I might use the next day as my rest day or if I am travelling that day becomes my rest days. 
  • Minimum Workout plan: 5 days workout + 2 optional rest days

Now you have no excuse to miss your workouts, what do you think?

Food Options:
My food planning is simple, log everything I eat and stick to my calorie count – no excuse
I believe in sticking to my calorie count, just because I’m celebrating does not mean I will let go. There are some things that my mom makes which I won’t get when I am back in London so even if they are not in my daily healthy food list I will eat them but I always make sure I control my portions then again the desserts which are always available or which don’t really matter much to me I don’t waste my calories on them at all.

  • How do I do portion control? I believe in two things sharing and eating bite size. I usually avoid eating one entire serving I will share it with anybody ready to share otherwise I cut the dessert into bite size pieces and have one bite.
  • Another important thing I keep in mind is to eat cleaner around the one meal. I don’t skip any meals just so I can keep all my calories for one meal because if I stay hungry usually I will have less self control. So I have a healthy breakfast, healthy lunch and even healthy snacks.
  • Next thing I do is fill my plate with the healthy options. There is always meat, there are always vegetables I fill my plate with these two things and then I do portion control for my favorite unhealthy options
Another important thing that happens during this festive season is people questioning my choices. I lost most of my weight after moving away from home so everybody is focused on what I eat because most people assume I am starving myself. They are usually very concerned, they try to make me to eat more. The one thing that helped me get stronger was being proud of my new lifestyle and sharing it with people. If I tell them exactly how much I eat and what I do they are less worried and usually leave me alone. I was not somebody who could ever say no easily so this was one of the most difficult things for me to manage and I am still learning to handle people. Initially I would give in, then there were times when I would not eat but I would get very upset with people judging me but now I think I have reached a point where I am happy with how I live my life and because I am happy I am not afraid to stand up for myself . I don’t get upset or angry instead I try my best to explain my point of view if they get it good for them if they don’t it doesn’t affect my choice either

I hope this helps you make your holiday plans, next I will share with you my actual workout plan :)

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Wednesday, 4 December 2013

The step before planning

Holidays, vacations and festive seasons are usually when a lot of us tend to put on a few extra pounds. This year I have joined the January Jeans Club 2014 to make sure that I maintain my weight, no weight gain for me this season.To know more about January Jean Club 2014 click January Jeans Club 2014
I love this idea because there are so many blogger who have joined in and so many different ideas that can help me and you keep the holiday weight away

January Jeans Club 2014: My first step
Even before planning know what you are planning for
Some of us might have a vacation planned for December, some of us might have family visiting, some of us might be visiting family, some of us have guests over for Christmas and some of us might be invited to many Christmas parties (office party, neighborhood get together, family dinner...)
It’s easy to say you will stick to your routine; I really try to do that but some days that’s not possible. There are days when I have people coming over for dinner so I can’t attend my 6:00 pm RPM class instead I will switch it for a morning jog or some other class but this is possible only when I know my day in advance.
So before making your plan make sure you know how many days are you really celebrating? How many parties do you really need to attend? And how many days will you be busier than usual. This is important because you can plan your workouts accordingly, sometimes early in the morning, sometimes a jog in the night, sometimes a workout in your room.
It is important to consider every small detail, I will be traveling so I know the day I travel I can manage an early morning workout because my flight is at night but because it is a long journey I will be traveling almost 12 – 13 hours (flight + drive home) I am usually tired the day I reach and can start only a day later, keeping this in mind it’s easier to have a plan that I can stick to instead of just saying I will work out on the same day..
Some days when I know I will have guests at home I will work out early in the morning, before anybody gets up that way there is no excuse for not having time and for days when I am a guest if it is only one day I will use that day as my rest day but if I am a guest for more than that I have an exercise routine that I could do in my room.
If you know your days in advance you can always find a way to include your workout 

All of us are different and different strategies work for us when it comes to avoiding unhealthy food. Some of us might prefer sticking to a calorie count, some might be ok with eating one day and adjusting the next few days others might prefer not budging from their regular plan. If I go for a dinner party I always fill my plate with salad and meat, nothing more...if there is something I like I cut it into bite size pieces and have one piece I make sure I stick to my calorie count. If there are two or more desserts I will pick the one I like, divide that into bite size and take my bite. Sharing is another thing I do. If I am hosting dinner my focus is always 70% clean (roasted vegetables, baked or grilled meat) the remaining 30% is optional (bread, fried stuff and dessert)
I find it is easier to plan when I know where I am going, if I know I have a dinner party to attend I will make sure I eat cleaner than usual around that one meal. Just because I will be celebrating in the evening does not mean my breakfast and lunch will also be unhealthy. I will take extra care for the rest of my meals.

There will be lot of people who will have a problem with how you live your life, they might really be concerned, it might be an old habit either ways I know for sure that being prepared helps me. Usually you meet the same people so you have an idea. I know who will point out about my eating habits, I know who might try to feed me more than I want to eat so I think about how I could handle this. It’s good for me to have an action plan, different for different people. You can either be stern or just avoid them every time they get food anywhere close to you or change topic (More about this later)

Once you know all of this (busy days, food and people) we can start planning (next post)

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Tuesday, 3 December 2013

December Posts

Week 1 : This week will be about everything related to January Jeans Club 2014
 I Pledge to *NOT GAIN WEIGHT*  During the Holiday Season!
(how I will make sure I fit in the same jeans after all the festive celebrations and my long break)
  1. Steps before planning
  2. Planning
  3. Facing obstacles 
Week 2: This week we will discuss my actual workout and food details
  1. My December workout 
  2. My December food strategy  
  3. Not missing out any fun
Week 3 & week 4 : This week we will do a Recap of 2013
What do you think? email me or comment below if you can think of anything else :)
I am looking forward to this month
Keep Reading I will Keep Writing 

Friday, 29 November 2013

Weight training - Part 2

It’s been a while since I last wrote about weight training. Most of you know I am still new to weight training. The first time I actually gave weight training a serious thought was after reading Marion 's & Ayesha's blog...those ladies are really strong, they got me thinking about a whole new side to fitness
Before I started weight training I was doing lots of Cardio and lots of circuit training (squats/lunges/planks/..). As I got more and more inspired I wanted to get stronger so started focusing on weights. First thing I did was join a body pump class (click on the link to read about my body pump experience). I think it’s a good place to start because you usually use lighter weights in this class and you learn the correct form which is very important.I think for the first few months I just got used to doing different exercises, entering the weight section in the gym and trying all the machines but I still did not have a good plan for my weight training.
For me my upper body has always been a challenge, I have a terribly weak upper body. I can’t increase my squat weight because I can’t carry a heavy enough barbell so my focus is to improve my upper body strength.
Now that it’s been a few months I have been doing my body pump sincerely I decided to take the next step.I sat down with a trainer in the gym and got a plan ready for my upper body, I have two workouts for half hour each. I plan to initially start training when T is around just because I want to make sure I am not doing anything wrong, I think two weeks and I should be good on my own.
This is how my workouts look
Arms & Shoulders

Chest & Back
If you notice my repetition and the weights are low but for me this is difficult to get through as I continue I will increase my weight and my sets, hopefully I should be able to share with you some exciting things along the way.

Keep Reading I will Keep Writing 

Tuesday, 26 November 2013

Reality Check - part 2

This is a continuation from Reality Check
Being open to a new way of living is very important
Most of us know if we want to start this journey we need to be willing to change but by being open I mean you have to be willing to try things you never thought you would, give up things you always thought you can't survive without, you need to be willing to re-prioritize things in your life.
The old me never ever ate bananas I did not like them but as I got healthier I realized banana was the best form of healthy dessert for me...I had to be willing to try the banana pancake, the banana-oat cookie, I had to be willing to have frozen banana as an after meal dessert
Being open is about giving these new ideas a fair chance not trying them with a preconceived notion about how weird it is to swap ice-cream for frozen banana
I think this is important because from what I have noticed people who start with the idea that certain things won’t work usually don’t manage enjoying the journey because at the back of their mind they still miss their old life but if you give it a fair chance I believe most of us will find a healthy replacement that will keep us happy..

If you are not willing to give healthy living a fair chance you will find it more difficult to make it a lifestyle

Weight loss should not be your only goal
I know most of us start this journey to lose weight I am no stranger to this...but the problem with weight is that it is not reliable enough to judge your progress. The amount of weight you lose in your journey will always vary, there will be days when you lose more than expected and sometimes you might not lose even a little and if weight loss was your only aim it’s gets difficult to carry on. Another reason I feel weight loss cannot be the only goal because your weight is not the most reliable marker of your health. Just being within the healthy weight range doesn't always mean you are fit...
I am not saying ignore the scales all I am saying is find measurable goals, like sticking to 4 days of workout or maybe doing a certain number of squats or running a certain distance. This way you are always moving towards your goal and resulting in you becoming healthy

Focus on more reliable goals to keep going
Keep Reading I will Keep Writing