Friday, 31 May 2013

Fun Fridays (unhealthy - healthy together)

I was always overweight, T on the other hand was normal...
 then we ate and ate a little more....

Finally we decided to stop, I started with eating healthier and T started with exercising, we did our own thing,what ever suited us the best. No drastic changes just small changes...

Finally last year we both became more serious and now I can confidently say our workouts are regular and our eating is 95% clean
we still have a long way to go and hopefully we will keep up our good habits :)

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Thursday, 30 May 2013

The "I am fat mentality"

When I was fat I would doubt myself a lot, for me being fat meant I was not good enough. I have missed opportunities just because I felt disappointed in myself, I have feared meeting friends because I was scared of being photographed, and I would avoid trekking trips, running games because I believed I would slow everybody else...
For a long time I thought it was only me, I thought I was alone but recently I noticed a close friend of mine changing, she has put on a few kgs and suddenly she has started questioning herself a lot, she has changed from a girl who loved being photographed to somebody who avoids it or deletes most of her photos, dressing up to go out is a huge stress in her life, she believes every joke anybody makes and it breaks my heart to see her go through what I struggled with for so long in my life...
I feel this is just the first stage when you worry only about looking fat but if you don’t get a hold of yourself you will go down a wrong path where you will not only hate the way you look but also hate the way you think or the way you feel and that is not the way to live life..
This is what I want to tell my friend  and anybody else who feels the same way

Don’t let being fat be the reason to doubt yourself and get scared
Scared of going to the gym?
The gym always has people of different sizes and fitness level, lot of the fit people in the gym at some point could have been unfit, fat or unhealthy so most of the people in the gym understand what you go through and 99% of the people in the gym appreciate the effort you put in..Personally when I see somebody regular do better in there workout it motivates me to do better, I don’t focus on how fat or overweight the person is but instead I focus on how much effort a person puts in to improve and that is admirable

Doubt you can ever complete a workout?
Even if you are overweight if your doctors say you can do a workout, you surely can. You might not finish in the same time as a person who has been doing it for longer than you and remember most of the exercises can be done both at beginners and advanced levels. So next time before you give up on a workout just because you doubt you can do it try the beginner’s version at least once...

Worried about being the slowest runner ever?
Even if you are slow you are moving, you are stepping towards becoming better and that’s what matters. I have noticed people encourage and appreciate you if you put in the effort..I remember one time when I was struggling to jog a person jogging past me smiled at me and said to me ‘doing good ..keep it up..’ at the exact moment I was thinking of quitting and going home because I was embarrassed but after that I was motivated to complete my round.

Don't let being fat decide who you are as a person
Just because you are fat or overweight does not mean you are not beautiful and smart, this is difficult to understand I know because I still struggle with this but the fact is if you are confident, happy with yourself you look beautiful.You might not always be able to wear the clothes that you love but that still does not mean you don’t look beautiful .Many times I have noticed girls bigger than me looking so pretty and carrying off clothes that I was worried to wear just because I was fat. Feeling good is never about size it is all about being happy with yourself
I feel if I associate my worth based on my size or weight I will constantly be evaluating things in the wrong way. I love talking and meeting people but I avoided people, at university I avoided participating in presentations because I was afraid everybody would laugh at me not because I can’t present well but because I was fat...that’s just wrong!!!

You are not alone
Go online you will find so many people in the same boat, even in the gym there are so many people who understand and go through such feelings, people who have managed to change, people who are struggling to always find somebody who is in the same journey with are not unique at least in facing this problem, you will always find company.

In conclusion...

Please don’t let your weight decide how you feel about yourself, let your weight not decide what you should do in life. Being fat or overweight doesn’t mean you are not good enough, beautiful, smart and loved.
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Wednesday, 29 May 2013

Quick Smoothie

I have too many apples so this was the way to go...smoothies for the week
2 apples
1/2 lemon juiced
2 cups fresh baby spinach (or other leafy green)
1 whole carrot
1/2 cup of water

1 apple
1 cup red grapes
1 whole carrot
2 cups fresh baby spinach (or other leafy green)
1/2 cup water

1 apple
1 banana
1 pear
2 cups fresh baby spinach (or other leafy green)
1 stalk of celery
1/2 – 1 cup water

Blend and ready to go :)

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(P.S. I found these recipes here

Friday, 24 May 2013

Fun Friday (new jogging path)

Usually I jog on the streets but the other evening I decided to change my path and enter a park, I'm so glad I did, it was beautiful and look who decided to give me company on my jog..
Holland Park - about a mile from home :)
This is what I do when the tubes are empty ;) and then a good lunch - baked salmon with salad and ice tea

I love the rainbow of colours on my plate, that's healthy, yummy and far from boring
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Wednesday, 22 May 2013

Level 2 for your Legs

I have already covered basic exercises for the lower body, in this post I'm listing a few tweaks that you can do to your basic forms to make the same exercise a little more challenging. You can read more about the basic forms (here) and adding weights (here)
(As usual all the exercises listed have links for you to get an idea of the form)

Squats with side crunch
Squat with cross crunch
Squats with lunge (or leg strech and jump)
Go down into your final squat level in 3 stages and come back up in 3 stages (hold at each point for a few seconds)
For every squat Hold your squat position for 15-30 seconds
Squat pulse - hold in you lowest position and repat 10 pulse
Reverse Squat
Jumping squats

Lunge and crunch
Lunge pulse - hold in your lowest position and repeat 10 pulses
Alternate Jumping lunges
Go down to your lowest lunge level in 3 stages and come back up in 3 stages  (hold at each point for a few seconds)
Lunge and lift leg

On the floor
Hip Bridge with leg raise
Donkey kick with leg strech
Fire hydrant with leg strech
Mountain climbers (start with 30 seconds and increase your time as you get comfortable)
(If you can try to add ankle weights for all these exercises)

I would  like to point out I'm no fitness expert these are things I learnt along the way of my weight loss journey by surfing the internet and going for fitness classes.
Let me know how you liked these exercises? Did you find them useful?
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Monday, 20 May 2013

Facing the truth (Body fat %, Calorie intake and Complete Body workouts)

I told you all I was going to have a chat with a personaltrainer at the gym this post is all about the surprises during my session with the trainer. I had an appointment first thing Saturday morning, as soon as we met the first thing she asked me to do was get on the scales!!! I have not done that even once in front of somebody else naturally I was terrified, I check my weight regularly but I had not let anybody look at it so when she asked me to get on I just said a silent prayer and hopped on, luckily for me that went was as expected and it was in the normal range so I was happy, next she checked my heart rate again this was also good because I have been working out regularly. Finally it was time to check my body fat percentage. I have never got this checked so I had no idea what to expect, I was actually terrified because I expected this to be high, I had read in many articles that even if your body weight is in the correct range your body fat % might not always in the correct range and this was one of the most important numbers, so you can understand my fear...
Here comes the surprise my body fat % was very low, it was actually lower than normal I was so surprised. My trainer said said that it was not good for my body fat to be so low, surprisingly in the half hour that we were taking my measurement she also asked me if I have problems with my body image, this question also surprised I never in a million years thought my body image issue would be so transparent to a third person. So basically I went in expected everything to be high/more but the situation turned a complete 180, I’m actually supposed to increase my food intake and my body fat %. She has decided to increase my food intake and my micro nutrition ratio should be 40% good fat 30% proteins and 30% carbohydrates.
After this we went in for a 40 minute workout session, squats, lunges, burpees, mountain climber circuits all with different weights, again this went well she said my fitness level was good but I need to increase my upper body strength. All in all through this session I realised my fitness levels were good but my calorie intake was really low and I had major issues with my body image both these things were unknowingly hindering my performance.
Lessons to remember (from my first session)
  1. Fuel is as important as the effort you put in: Personally I was noticing less improvement in my workouts, I expected to be able to run longer or lift heavier weights because I was putting in the effort, but somehow I couldn’t so I pushed myself by working out harder but I realised it was my calorie intake that was pulling me back. 
  2. Should focus on a complete body workout: When I started out I focused on my lower body, I did a lot of cardio, squats, lunges but I ignored my upper body for a long time, now when I want to get more fit this pulls me back because I can’t lift heavier weights even for my squats and lunges. If I would have worked out on a complete body workout I think my fitness level would have been better now. 
  3. Decide your calories based on your workouts: I always thought I was eating well, I don’t feel hungry but as mentioned recently I have started feeling tired faster and I have noticeably less energy levels but I could have never guessed I was eating less or I was close to starvation mode. I stick to eating 3 meals + 2 snacks but I realised my portion were too small and my calorie count was too low for the amount of exercise I was putting in. 
  4. Good Body image is very important: I’m so surprised that my body image is still bad and it is so obvious, I know I have come a long way but I still see myself as a fat unhealthy person, it is so difficult to see myself in better light. I noticed that it is also pulling me back, the reason I avoided trainers for so long was because I was scared they would call me fat!!! I actually had a dream that people in the gym were laughing at me because I was fat..I still have no idea how to work my way out of this one but I know I need to because that is one thing which will pull me back from getting more fit and healthy
If you see yourself making any of the above mistakes please STOP!!! I can sincerely tell you from my experience they reduce productivity and just spoil your health
(I will be starting sessions with my trainer from mid June will keep you all updated about how that goes.)
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Friday, 17 May 2013

Fun Fridays!!

First things first- my meeting with the trainer :) that went better than expected, she made me feel comfortable and I have a session with her on Saturday, I will give you all the details soon.
Now to the Fun Friday!!!

You all know how much I love posing for I have decided I'm going to start including a few more snaps on the blog..will start with only on fridays,  lets see how it goes..

This was a weekend when we went walking all around London :) as usual I posed everywhere possible ;)
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Thursday, 16 May 2013

Overtraining or Undertraining

This is a question that has crossed my mind a number of times and I’m not sure how to figure it out. Recently I have increased my workout sessions. I have 3 workout sessions in a day (used to be 2); I do a cardio session in the morning (45minutes) then weights early evening (90 minutes) and finally a class (spin or interval training – 45 minutes) later in the evening at the gym.
I’m sure if you look at my workout plan you would expect somebody who is very fit but these days I find myself in pain almost every day and I know it is not the good kind of pain, My knee hurts, my lower back hurts and I’m so tired. I know when muscles hurt that’s a good sign but this does not feel like the right kind of hurt to me and the worst thing is I’m scared to reduce my workout, the only thing my mind is willing to let me change is increase more intensity..
Initially I thought it was my eating but my calorie count is what it is supposed to be, I usually stick to healthy food options, when I look at other blogs I feel I eat more than them makes me wonder where I’m going wrong??
I notice so many blogger lift a good amount of weight trust me when I say after my dips I feel like crying each time :( and I’m not proud of the weight I lift either it’s not much .I’m nowhere close to how fit I want to be and I feel my current workouts are tiring me more than making me stronger. suddenly I feel like I have no idea if I'm doing too much or too little. I know I need to get out of my comfort zone (listen to my own advise), I need to leave behind my losing weight mindset and move towards getting fit, talk to a trainer to figure out if all the effort and time I put in are in the right direction I’m so scared to see their reaction.
I worry they will still think I need to lose weight
I worry they will say I’m doing it all wrong
I worry they will tell me my stamina and fitness levels are horrible for my age
I worry so much....
I have to get over this fear because I want to change, become strong and fit. I have to focus on my goal and not on all the negative thoughts that cross my mind...
I had already done research for a trainer, will call her today let’s see how it goes from there.
Has any one of you gone through this? How did you handle it? Any advice as usual will be appreciated :)

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Tuesday, 14 May 2013

Running/Jogging Outside

Running outside for me was very intimidating, I was never a runner, not once in my life was I a part of any sport so when I started jogging outside I was so worried, I started running with T but he was good so it was one round of me dragging my feet or T waiting for me every few minutes and dragging me along. I would be so embarrassed to even go to the running track because everybody there was good I felt I was the only person struggling so much so I gave up on running but it was always on my mind. I always wanted to become one of those people who can run so comfortably.After a few months (it could have even been an year) I went back to give running a second shot, I still had no stamina and I think 30 seconds was all I could jog before I felt like I was having a heart attack, again I would run with T and another friend of mine both would go ahead and wait for me but this time I pushed myself and did not give up.
Finally it was time for me to run on my own because everybody has different priorities and it was not right for me to depend on anybody for my daily run, so the first day I just went for a walk in the park, the next day I started jogging/walking, my stamina was better than when I started but still not very good, slowly I got used to jogging in the park and then we moved to a place where there were no parks close to home so I had to start running on the road and now a days that’s what I do. I have come a long way from where I started and I have a long way to go. I have listed a few things that helped me overcome my fear:
You will improve fast
You might not have great stamina but if you are consistent you will see a change really fast. You could start with the couch to 5k plan or just make your own plan and stick to it.
Only till the next lamp post
This was my secret to increasing my distance. I would always aim to reach only the next lamp post not a step more, but when I reach the next lamp if I feel ok then I would continue till the next lamp post, no stopping in between lamp posts. This way I did not feel the pressure of running long distance just till the next lamp post which never felt too much.
Taking walking breaks is fine
If you are just starting don’t worry or feel bad about your walking breaks, cover your planned distance. Walk whenever you feel the need to and get back to jogging as soon as you can, you will notice your walking breaks will reduce with time
Nobody cares
I would always get intimidated by other runners, then I realised when I’m jogging I barely remember other runners, they pass by I do notice them but then the next runner passes by I don’t really give anybody a second thought the same why would anybody else give me a second thought. If you feel embarrassed about your stamina or speed always remember nobody knows how far you have come (it could be 1k or 10k) or for how long you have jogged (it could be 5 minutes or 5 hours).
Comfortable shoes, clothes and a bottle of water
It’s very important to wear the right outfit and be comfortable; you don’t want to stop running because your shoes are too tight or because you are feeling too cold. I always carry a small bottle of water, I might not drink that much but it is good to be hydrated.
Cell phone and Music
I always carry my phone (not to talk while jogging) but for emergencies and no workout of mine can be complete without good music (if you are jogging on the streets/roads don't forget to keep your volume low. I prefer to be aware of my surroundings)
I personally like jogging/running outside because I find it more entertaining and fun. This is one exercise that you can do anytime/anywhere :). Hope you find this post useful. Are there any other thing you do? As usual I would love to read about your ideas.
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