Friday, 26 September 2014

When I am disappointed in myself

I am sad..
I am Frustrated..
I am disappointed in myself...
I can go on with a long list of negative words/sentences that a lot of people who are trying to lose weight use very often. I get it; I have had those days too, today being one of them. I am not very impressed with the progress I have made but instead of crying over it (I did cry for sometime) here’s what I did

I asked myself if I am ready to Give up? if I am willing to accept that I won’t be able to do more. If I am willing to accept I can’t improve or change then what use of crying over something that I believe can never be changed?  If the answer to this question is ever 'Yes' then you will not be reading my blog anymore.

The next thing I asked myself was have I really given my best?
Have I really put in the effort I had planned to? Have I really eaten everything as planned? Or have I slipped without realizing, like sometimes I might not do as many hill sessions as planned replacing them with longer runs which are more comfortable for I might be working out but not at the planned intensity which my body needs to see a change. If I have not given my best I am not going to be seeing the best results either.

Next question to be answered is How long has it actually been?
I started training with weights quite a while ago but I was not very regular at it, I was more focused on body weight exercises and cardio so for me to expect any noticeable changes based on those few weight training sessions was foolish because I was not consistent. But for the past few weeks I have started including proper weight training sessions. If I want to see any change because of weight training I need to start tracking from the time I started doing it seriously not when I was just playing around in the weight room, the same goes for any other training and progress.

Final question – am I overdoing anything?
I am very good at overdoing stuff; a very bad quality of mine and sometimes over training is a reason for not seeing improvement. I have been told time and again to reduce my training by trainers I have reduced it a bit but I find it very difficult and I know that is one of my biggest obstacle that keeps pulling me back (I need to figure out a way for this)

Usually after I answer these question my mind is a more clear because I know I am not ready to give up on myself and when I look at my work out details I realize it is usually too early to expect results. Next time you feel frustrated or discouraged try asking yourself these questions maybe they help..

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Tuesday, 23 September 2014

Only 1 in class

Have you ever been the only one attending a fitness class.? Usually my instinct would be to turn around and head back it would have been the easiest excuse especially when you have somebody else to blame..anyways from the time I have started enjoying working out I have stopped looking for excuses so the first time I found myself alone for one of my regular classes I hoped the trainer agreed to continue with the class even though it was only me...luckily for me the instructor  was happy to conduct a class with only one person..
Being the alone in class was so much fun, she pushed me a lot more during each of my circuits, before this I always thought this class was intense but being the only one training changed the intensity to a completely different level.  I had never in my mind thought my Saturday morning class could be this tough.. Why did the same circuit suddenly become tougher??? Because I was not allowed to take the easy way out even once.

  • She made me always start with the advanced version of even the tough exercises. Before that day i would always start with the easier version because in my mind I assumed I could only keep up with the easier version for a complete minute
  • If a drill was supposed to be for 1 minute there was no stopping before 1 minute was up. There have been times when I have stopped at 50 seconds because I believed that was my limit
  • If I messed up she made me do burpees. for every mistake I made or for everytime I find not give my 100% I had to do 10 burpees
Just these 3 changes and my workout was so much better, I did things I never thought I could do, I pushed my limits to more than what I thought would kill me and I did many burpees :)
If you ever get a chance to be the only one in a fitness class I suggest you take the opportunity for me being the only one was an eye opener because I realized even though I always thought I was pushing myself self doubt held me back, that trust Michelle showed in me made me reach my actual potential and it made my workout so much tougher and effective.

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Saturday, 20 September 2014

Natvia - natural sweetener

I don’t add sugar or any sweetener to my coffee or tea and I have been able to replace sugar with fruits, dates in my desserts but T can’t survive without it so I always get worried when I see him add sugar to his coffee or his porridge I have tried a lot to get T to reduce the amount of sugar he has and I have managed to reduce it a bit but not as much as I would have liked to.
So when Nativa got in touch with me I was very happy because they said it was a 100% natural sweetener, the word natural made me happy :). The next step was to actually see if Natvia was really a good enough replacement for sugar.  I distributed a few samples to my friends who use sugar in their coffee to get their feedback and I also used it for a few of my favorite breakfast recipes for T. 
I loved their packaging :) :)

Most people were pleasantly surprised and thought it was a good substitute for sugar, I had one person who said she needed a little more of Natvia as compared to sugar and another who said she needed a little less either ways both said it did the job, both were happy about no after taste, no calories so till you can’t give up sugar completely Natvia sounds like a good replacement.
For my experiment I decided to make two batches of T's favourite breakfast recipes one with sugar and one with Natvia, then I asked T for his opinion and surprisingly he could not differentiate between the two which was such a relief (so now I have something natural that T could switch to)
I tried Natvia in the following recipes

Oat pancake
  1. 135gm of oats flour 
  2. 1 tsp baking powder 
  3. ½ tsp salt 
  4. 2 tbsp Natvia 
  5. 130ml milk 
  6. 1 large egg, lightly beaten 
  7. Olive oil for cooking 
  8. Chopped fruits
  1. Lightly whisk together the milk and egg 
  2. Sift the flour, baking powder, salt and Natvia into a large bowl 
  3. Pour the milk mixture into the flour mixture and, using a fork, beat until you have a smooth batter.       
  4.  Heat a non-stick frying pan and make your pancakes 
  5.  Serve with a mix of fruits

Overnight chia seed and oats
  1. 1 cup of oats 
  2. 1 cup of almond milk 
  3.  2 red apples 
  4. 5 teaspoons of chia seeds 
  5. 3 teaspoons of raw agave syrup (I replaced this with 2 teaspoons of Natvia) 
  6. 1 heaped teaspoon of cinnamon 
  7. 1 teaspoon of vanilla bean extract (I skipped this, didn't have any)
  8. 1 cup of strawberries 
  9. handful of almonds to sprinkle on the top for crunch
  1. Peel and core the apples, then cut them into small chunks and boil until they become nice and soft. Once the apples are cooked, drain them and then mash them with a fork 
  2. Place the strawberries in a food processor and blend for one minute 
  3. Place the oats, chia seeds, almond milk, vanilla, Natvia and cinnamon into a bowl and mix. 
  4. Layer the oats mixture, mashed apples and the strawberry in a glass. Top it with a few nuts 
  5. Leave in the fridge overnight for a yummy breakfast

Both these recipes turned out well so I am going to go ahead and try a few more in the coming weeks. I would love to know if any one of you has used Natvia or any other natural sweetener.

*This product was provided to me at no cost. All opinions mentioned are my own and of people with whom I shared the product

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Thursday, 18 September 2014

Gym Fears

If you know me you know I have loads of fears. Naturally the gym also came with a set of its own fears. From my first day in the gym to today I have conquered a lot of my fears and I am slowly moving towards getting over the last few.

My very first fear was about being the only fat one in the gym and being stared at because I was so unhealthy:  I have said this before and I will repeat myself nobody cares!!! People are focused on themselves and their workout.Nobody will bother to look at you or your size. Everybody is there to improve themselves nobody pays gym membership to judge others

Flying off the Treadmill: Even now I get worried about this one so I take as much precaution as I can, I always manually set my speed, I have my hand very close to the stop button and I don't talk or watch anything when I do treadmill sprints. If you are new to the treadmill you can read my post starting cardio machines for newbie

TRX : I always make sure it is fixed properly before using it. TRX training focuses on body weight, balancing and slows controlled movements. I always start with one set of the easiest form of exercise that means I don’t use my full body weight in my first set. Example if I have to do bicep curls I will do first set with one leg bent and at a higher  angle  because this way I am more in control than when both my legs are engaged and I am at a lower angle. I change to the difficult form only once I am comfortable with the easier form.

Stability (Balance) ball: This was one of my latest fears to overcome thanks to a friend of mine who was very persistent. First step in this was just to get comfortable with using the ball. The best way to do that is to sit on it, again don’t start with your entire body weight. Also try to position your self next to a wall for balance and make sure your feet have a good grip on the floor to avoid slipping. I did not start with any exercise initially I just got used to balancing; I am still in the playing with the stability ball stage but now I don't fear using it. 

Pull up/Chin up bars: I am still not using this mainly because I am not strong enough for it yet. .but I did try it and once when I was trying my hands gave away and I fell on my friend who was helping me...This was one of my fears coming true falling/tripping, embarrassing myself, hurting myself but luckily after that fall we were both OK though I decided not to do it again because I was lucky not to get injured but I don’t want to risk it.  It was not as embarrassing as I had expected it to be, we laughed, trainers around asked us if we are ok and we continued with our workout, 2 minutes after the fall it was as if the fall had never happened.

These were a few of my gym fears, I am sure as I continue my fitness journey I will have to face many more. Do you have any gym fears? How do you handle them?

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