Monday, 30 June 2014

My struggle (excessive training)

This weightloss/fitness journey is not easy, it’s not easy for me too. If I say this everybody around me will be shocked because I enjoy my workouts and I enjoy the food choices I make. I have no issue with eating a fruit for dessert or planning my day around my issue seems to be the other end of the spectrum I cannot skip a workout. I used to work out 6 days a week now finally I have cut it down to 5 days a week after being forced to by Michelle but all 5 days are intense workouts even though I don’t do the same thing every day. I know a lot of people who will think this is perfect and it is perfect if everything else in my life goes as planned.
There have been days when I have not eaten enough because I was busy with something else but still gone ahead and done my workout. I know without fuel either my workouts will suffer or I will get injured but I have still gone ahead and done it. When I am injured I can’t take a break. I might reduce my intensity change my workout days but it is a struggle for me to actually skip a workout.
Last week I pulled a muscle in my back and I had to be forced by Michelle and T to not working out. I was really miserable, I was cranky, I was moody...I knew what right thing to do was but it was very difficult.
Finally over the weekend I sat down to handle this problem after an argument about all this with T

Why is extensive working out harmful?
1.   My muscles are always sore because of which I pull my muscles very easily.
2.  My maximum intensity keep dipping that’s because I cannot physically keep up when my muscles are not really getting time to repair
3.  For the time and effort I put in the results are not as expected.I feel like I am stuck at the same level.My fitness level is not really improving.

Why I do what I know is harmful for me?
The first thing that comes to my mind is fear!!! I get scared of going back to who I used to be. I get worried about going back to not enjoying exercising, going back to not being able to run and going back to my starting weight. I feel I have finally reached a stage where I don’t have to force myself to workout instead I workout because I enjoy it but I know I was this person who would cry to enter the gym what if I go back to being that person??this fear stops me from taking breaks.
The other thing that stops me from ever taking a break is the feeling of not yet being good enough. Over time my goals have changed but somehow in my mind I can only see my new fitness goals which are very far away at this point and I blindly believe hard work, consistency will get me to those goals so I feel if I stop I will not reach my goals...

What can I do to keep moving forward?
To overcome my fear of slipping into bad habits I am going to be accountable to somebody (T specifically) so if it looks like I am overdoing it or at any point I’m making an excuse, skipping my workouts for no valid reason I will have somebody point it out immediately before I go spiralling down and reach my starting point.
I am making a very detailed goal list. So I no longer have a list which says being able to run, instead I will break it down to being able to run 20K in a specific time. This way I will see my improvements and tick them off before moving to another random goal.

Most importantly I will keep reminding myself :  The reason I workout is to get fit and healthy. If I keep working out even when I am tired at some point my hard work is not going to be helping me move forward instead it could be one of my biggest obstacles.
Working hard is good but working hard in the right direction is important
Hopefully keeping these two things in my mind will help me get my exercise level to a point where I am improving and not getting injured so frequently.

If any one of you have faced similar problem I would love to know how you handled it? I hope answering these 3 questions can really help you decide your workouts too

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Wednesday, 25 June 2014

How to make meal plans work

  • All of us are different (Copying won't work) : just because I like mushrooms doesn't mean everybody else will, I need coffee everyday doesn't mean everybody needs coffee. When I plan my meals I make sure I am happy with my meals. I choose my favorite vegetables, fruits and a lot of things are a repetition in my meals because they make me happy. I always make sure I have a variety in every meal. I love when my plate looks colorful.You need to make your own food plan based on your personal needs, your own likes and dislikes such that you are happy with your meals.Your meal plans should satisfy your hunger and not make you feel deprived. It should be such that you are eating enough to sustain the workout you plan.
  • Different situations means different plans: I make my own meals and T usually has no problem with the simple food I make so I don't have to make two separate meals...I am OK with making certain things in bulk over the weekend but when I go to India things change I don't usually I change my meal plans. From eating baked or grilled everyday I eat homemade Indian food but I make sure I still always make healthy choices. I know friends who can't eat soups and salads everyday but that doesn't mean they don't make healthy choices. You can switch your favorite recipes to make them healthier, you can reduce portions of things that are unhealthy and increase portions of the healthy options when you feel you have no's always possible to make a meal plan that works...all you need is a little bit of creativity.
  • Details details and more details : it's easier to stick to healthy eating when you plan everything and your kitchen is stocked accordingly. If you plan your breakfast, your snacks, your pre and post workout food, your lunch and dinner you don't have the opportunity to make a mistake or go off track. Even when I go out for work meetings I usually check the menu before I reach, I carry my snacks...I always know what I am going to eat I avoid surprises as much as I can...this takes some effort initially but at some point things fall in place and it becomes very easy now a days I even know which aisles in the grocery store I need to go to and I know what to order when I eat out .
  • Don't get overwhelmed and make things complicated : making healthy choices is not as difficult as you think. Start with switching things you feel are unhealthy in your daily food..then move to reading labels and reducing processed food. My food plans are always based on fruits, vegetables, egg, meat, fish, yoghurt and natural/homemade protein bars. I avoid buying canned or processed stuff, I stick to homemade whenever possible and when I eat out I stick to grilled/baked with dressing on the side. This is easy and works 95% of the times for me because most of these are basic, simple and readily available.
I hope this helps you make your meal plans :)

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Friday, 20 June 2014

Recipes of the week

Aubergine pomegranate salad
  • 1 aubergine
  • 1 courgette
  • olive oil (just enough to coat the vegetables)
  • 1 large handful mixed salad leaves
  • 1 dessert spoon full pomegranate seeds
  • 2 tbsp plain yoghurt
  • pinch smoked paprika
  • juice of half a lemon
  • 1 tsp honey
  • small handful each of parsley and mint, roughly chopped
  • chopped walnuts

  1. Pre-heat your oven to 200 degrees centigrade. Chop aubergine and courgette and mix in a large bowl with the olive oil
  2. Spread on a large baking tray. Season with salt and pepper
  3. Roast on the top shelf for 30 – 40 mins until golden brown.
  4. Mix the yogurt, paprika, honey and lemon juice together in a bowl and season to taste.
  5. Serve the cooked vegetables on a bed of salad leaves. Drizzle the yogurt dressing over and add the pomegranate seeds. Garnish with your herbs and walnuts

 Avocado mango salad
  • lettuce, torn into small pieces 
  • 1large avocado, diced
  • 1 large mango, diced
  • 2 tablespoons slivered almonds, toasted
  • 2 tablespoons dried cranberries or dates
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil and 1 tablespoon white vinegar for the dressing

  1. Combine chopped avocado, mango, lettuce, almonds and dates in a bowl  
  2. Whisk together the oil, vinegar, salt and pepper for seasoning  
  3.  Add this dressing the salad bowl. Toss to combine

Banana coconut oat muffin
The only difference in my recipe is that I switch the flour to oat flour. T loves it for breakfast

My easiest breakfast (no recipe needed)

Check out my Instagram (top right) for more regular updates & lots of fun photos

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Monday, 16 June 2014

Lower Body and Cardio Circuit

A few weeks back I was approached by Priscilla Liang from for sharing a post about my workouts. She shared with me their circuit workout which looked very interesting to me. Here’s the workout she shared with me.

 and now my work out. I change my workouts every few months.  My latest circuit is a combination of weights (not very heavy) and jumps

  • Squats with 24 kg kettle bells 
  • Jumping squats 
  • Lunges with 10 kg dumbbells in both hands 
  • Jumping alternating lunges 
  • Sumo squat with 24 kg kettle bells 
  • Alternating narrow and wide squat jumps 
  • Dead lift with a 20 kg barbell 
  • Burpees
20 repetitions each and 5 sets of each

Cool down – stretches (I do a few more, but these are my favourite)
  • Downward dog 
  • Child pose is my favorite
Usually all this takes about 50- 55 minutes and all those jump exercises always get my heart rate up. This is one of my circuits; I have other circuits for my upper body and core. I will share that with all of you soon J
What kind of circuits do you all enjoy? 

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Thursday, 12 June 2014


I promised I would tell you all the new things I have been doing these of my new experiences was attending a yoga class
Even though I always do my warm ups and do my cool down stretches my muscles were starting to feel very tight and I was constantly getting cramps...not a good sign. I knew I had to change my workout plan and a trainer at the gym suggested I try yoga.
The yoga class I attended was longer than all the other classes in the gym; it was close to 2 hours long. This was the first time where I was entering a class with no expectation from myself; otherwise usually I have a plan. I know how much I want to push myself in all my other classes but this class was different because my aim was only to stretch my already strained muscles... (So no pushing myself)
Anyways as soon as I entered I introduced myself to the instructor told her I was new and that I had never done any yoga. I positioned myself in the front row (this was also new- first day and in front row, if you know me you would be equally surprised but I didn't want to end up doing something wrong and hurting myself so front row it was)
The class was very interesting. The atmosphere was different, lights were dimmed, no shoes, everybody looked more relaxed and less pumped up.
We did a lot of different asana each focusing on slow and controlled moment. Slow and controlled is very difficult. Holding a position even for a few seconds requires strength. In the 2 hours that we had I also managed to make a fool of myself because I could not coordinate my hands and legs for some of the asana. I would always get confused even when the instructor would point out my mistake I would still be confused till she would come to me help me get into the correct asana
The thing I loved most about this class was the atmosphere it was very calm but at the same time every position needed effort which was very surprising. It was like I could feel the effort I was putting in but I was still relaxed. We finished the class with a 10 minute meditation session which I could not do properly because I was worried about falling asleep
For those of you who haven't tried yoga you should definitely try at least one beginner’s class. It’s different to the usual high intensity classes but it still does amazing things to your muscles and strength. I am planning to keep going back whenever I can :)
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Monday, 9 June 2014

Food vs Exercise

''Weight loss is 70% diet and 30% exercise''  Have you heard this before?
I feel if you want to get fit you need to introduce both a healthy diet and a good workout routine in your life. They do go hand in hand but food definitely needs to be more in check and here's why...

Unhealthy Calories add up quickly
I usually burn around 350 calories in a 45 minutes  spin (RPM) session, this session is very intense and I am usually very very tired after my session. So to burn 350 calories is a lot of hard-work and lot of time.
If I plan to eat unhealthy just because I can workout and burn it off it is not going to be possible for me to workout that much. Consider a scenario where my snack choices are not very healthy. Just eating one chocolate muffin will add 465 calories which is more calories than how much I can burn in one workout session...
If I add a frappuccino to my muffin my calories go up to 600, then after lunch if I add a chocolate bar my calories go up by another 150. So just 2 unhealthy snacks in a day add up to 750 calories which will need me to workout for 2 hours at high that really possible??? What happens if my other meals are equally unhealthy ? Will I ever be able to keep up?? think about it will you ever have that much time and energy to be able to cancel out all your unhealthy calories??

Food is the fuel that helps you workout better
How much effort you can put in your workout depends a lot on what food you eat. If you are calorie conscious and choose an unhealthy option for breakfast you will need to balance those extra calories either through your workout or by replacing your other meals. The problem is even if I manage to maintain my calorie range the unhealthy options are not very filling and the second problem is a lot of times the unhealthy options don't give you enough energy to workout at the same level as you could have with a better food choice.
So if don't choose proper food to fuel your body you will be either hungry or tired or both and that's never good for a workout.
No good food = hungry/ tired = not a good workout = less weight loss 

So does this mean you can never eat your favorite chocolate ever? Or never have a pizza in your life? No it just means you should understand the consequences of your choice instead of blindly believing your gym session will handle all the junk you eat

Hopefully this will make you think twice before you choose to eat unhealthy. knowing all this helps me make better decisions

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(I am sorry about not replying to your comments on my previous posts, will get to that this evening.)

Monday, 2 June 2014

Long time no see

Hi everybody,
I hope all of you are doing well. I am so sorry for not being in touch with all of you. I have been very busy (work and learning new things). Things are going well but I am struggling with my time management. The two things I have managed to keep up with even through my hectic schedule is my healthy food and workouts (no comprise there).
I have tried new things, I have changed my workouts a bit and I am having fun as usual (more about this later)
I hope all of you are also keeping up with your fitness journeys. I promise I am going to get more regular on the blog. I got to go back and read all the blog posts of my favorite people and I got to get back to writing :) 

I hope you haven't forgotten me

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