Monday, 8 December 2014

Party Time

8 days in and two parties already done, I think I have at least one party almost every week of December. I love it, I love all the decorations, I love all the smiling faces, there’s nothing not to love. Suddenly everything makes me happy. That means I have to be extra careful so that I don’t lose track on the fitness front.
This is what I do to keep myself on track

  • I keep reminding myself I don’t want to start 2015 unhappy because I have put on weight. I want to start my new year being happy and that means I need to be healthy, that means I need maintain my lifestyle irrespective of the parties
  • On the day of the party all my other meals are lot more clean, so I stick to boiled eggs for breakfast, fruits for snacks, vegetables (boiled or grilled) for lunch.
  • I choose what I eat at the party depending on what I like, I don’t waste calories on stuff I don’t really like too much. I usually skip the starters that are passed around; if there are carrot sticks then I might nibble on those but otherwise no starters for me. Main meal I always have more of the turkey, very little stuffing, I love the chestnut salad and I have a little (a small spoon) of everything else.
  • Finally dessert, I share dessert I usually have a spoon from T’s plate.
  • My guilty pleasure is the mulled wine; I love it so that’s where my calories add up. The way I avoid too much of wine is by setting up a early morning workout date, If I don’t find a workout buddy then I make sure I tell somebody who will keep me accountable this keeps me from going overboard.
  • Just because I have a party to attend doesn’t mean I miss a workout, it means I add a few extra minutes to my usual workout for a few days (just a few extra minutes of running, or maybe an extra set for all my exercises)
    Till now this has worked here’s hoping these tips work for all the remaining parties. How do you handle parties?

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Sunday, 23 November 2014

What to do when I am really busy

For the past two weeks or a little more I have been really busy, working really long hours so my usual workout schedule was naturally affected. I knew I had a busy few weeks but I was very determined to stick to my usual workouts and very soon I realized I couldn’t keep up, mainly because I had very few hours of sleep most nights so I was already tired but that doesn’t mean I missed a workout just means I changed my workouts.
This is what I do when I am busier than usual

  1. First things first I tell myself I need to go easy on myself, If I have gone to bed at 4 am then a 6.30 am gym session would not be easy
  2. I tell myself I need to be flexible and do the best I can in the time I have. So I didn't have fixed rest days instead my rest days changed mainly depending on my workload and also my usual workout time changed (no early morning if I had gone to bed very late)
  3. I workout during lunch hour, sometimes I workout really late after my work and this meant I couldn’t make it to my usual classes (as long as I get my workout done..)
  4. I did shorter workouts and changed my routines 
  5. More sprints, intervals and I combined Weights and Cardio in one session 
  6. I created alternative workouts plans that I could do at home 
  7. I planned and prepared most of my food on weekends. I did more detailed planning because I knew once the week starts I wouldn’t have time and I did not want to be left in a situation where I would have to eat something unhealthy just because I didn’t plan properly.
All this helped me; I still managed my 5 days just different routines, I think I did alright . How do you keep up with your workouts when you are crazy busy?
Have you all checked out my new 'Food and Workout Details' page? I still have to start including my workouts. What you think :)

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Saturday, 8 November 2014

Different ways I track my progress

1.       Sticking to my plan :
This is my favorite way to see if I am moving ahead. I am a believer in hard work and for me consistency and persistence is very important. If I my plan is working out 5 times a week and eating a certain amount of calories so for every week that I am able to do this I feel like I am moving forward. I might not always see a change in my size or my weight but the longer I stick to my plan of living a healthy life the further I leave behind the unhealthy me.

2.       Running distance :
My focus on running keeps shifting, but whenever my workout plan includes running I have different markers to see if I am progressing. I usually stick to the same running path, so I keep in mind how I feel (do I need to stop, are my legs hurting, am I getting a side stitch) at these points. So if I no longer feel the need to stop at a certain point or if I can run even a little further that’s a progress.

3. Speed :
I use this only during interval training on the treadmill. I keep track of my sprinting speed on the treadmill.

4.   Intensity:
I do a lot of circuit and interval training; many times my workouts are time based. So I will keep track of how many burpees I can do in a minute and if I can do atleast 1 more that’s a progress

5.  Strength :
From the time I have started doing weight training I have started to keep track of the weights that I can lift and the repetitions I do. Small changes like how I feel during my last repetition matters to me or if I can squat lower with good form even towards the end of my set that’s a progress.

6.  Last but not the least the weighing machine and how my clothes fit : Personally I am very keen on reducing the impact that both these aspects have on my fitness journey but as of now they are still tools for me to track my progress.

Having so many different ways to track my progress is  good for me because this way every week I see myself improve at least in one of the above which makes me happy. What do you do to track your progress? do you have any other tools?

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Tuesday, 4 November 2014

How often should you weigh yourself?

There is a lot said about how often you should weigh yourself when you are on your weight loss /fitness journey, some people believe in weighing everyday (same time), some people weigh themselves once a week (fixed day and time), some people weigh themselves after they finish a specific workout plan, there are a few who don’t believe in the scale and then there are a few who weigh themselves a few times in a day.
So many different points of view can get confusing, how do you decide??? I think just like each one of us has a different fitness journey, each one of us will have a different answer to how often you should weigh yourself and how important the number you see on the scale is.
Overtime I have realized the best way to decide how often you should be weighing yourself depends a lot on how the weighing machine makes you feel. The main reason we get a weighing machine is to see how we are progressing so if seeing a number is in any way hindering your progress stop weighing yourself as often
Now you must be thinking how can a weighing machine hinder your progress???? It’s simply how you react to a weighing machine decides if a weighing machine is going to help you or pull you back in your fitness journey. 

I decide this by simply asking myself : What happens when expectations are not met?
(By expectations not met I mean – maybe I don’t see the loss I was expecting or maybe I see no loss or worst I see a gain all this when I have been working out and eating as planned)

  • Sometimes you don’t care:  You just note down the weight and go on with your life, you go for your workout with your usual enthusiasm 
  • Sometimes you get upset:  you go through your workouts and your food just to make sure you are on track and if you find you have slipped you go back to your routine and are more cautious, there are times when going realize you haven’t slipped then you change your routine and push harder because you know hard work will get you closer to your goal 
  • Sometimes you get angry: you complain about all the effort not paying off, you cry over how other people lose faster but then after all the complaining you still go back to your routine
  • Finally sometimes you are both upset and angry: This is when you go and hide under your blanket instead of working out. This being the one scenario which noticeably makes you go off track but this happens after many days of being upset (many days when the scale did not show the number you were expecting). Basically you go in a negative mind space and that’s the one thing that can hold anybody back.
All this happens when expectations are not met but What happens when expectations are met?

  • Sometimes you don’t care: you just note down the weight and go on with your life, you go for your workout with your usual enthusiasm 
  • Sometimes you get happy: you have a jump in your step and  go to the gym with a big smile and workout smiling all the time and push harder because you know hard work is taking you closer to your goal 
  • Sometimes you get very happy and relax: You start feeling you can finally take a break and instead of pushing harder you either skip a workout or go but don’t put in the usual amount of effort. A gain this usually happens after many days of being happy with the scale.
So my conclusion is if I get too depended on the number displayed on the scale it affects me badly.  The minute you start to believe your weight is the only way to decide if you are getting fitter I believe you are on a downward slope. 

The scale is one of the tools that should be used just to track a progress nothing more, It is only one of the tools not the only tool available.

I have changed my decision so many times; overtime I have changed from being very scale depended to keeping the scale as one of the ways I make sure I am on track. I was somebody who weighed myself daily, there were days when I weighed myself more than once in a day and then I started weighing myself twice a week, then moved to once a week, finally now I have reached a point where I randomly check my weight because it is not the only way I measure my progress. I base my progress on many different things; this also keeps changing sometimes I base it on my strength, sometimes on my speed and sometimes on distance or ability to do advanced forms of exercises.

What do you think? How often do you weigh yourself? and how much does that number really affect you?

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