Wednesday, 3 June 2015

All about personal training - part 1

Why did I think of a personal trainer?
When I first started the gym I did not think for once I would train with a personal trainer and that worked out alright for me for a while mainly because I had so far away from being fit even exercises like walking, light jogging and other basic exercises worked well for me as I continued through this journey I felt like I was missing something in my training for me it was not being able to balance out my training, my upper body was crazy weak and I was only focusing on my strengths (my cardio and my lower body) because of which I wasn’t able to see improvements in my fitness levels as I expected
At that point I knew I had a choice of making a change on my own or hiring a personal trainer who would help me get to my goals. Working out with a personal trainer was scary for me so initially I tried doing it on my own I gave myself a few months but even though I changed my training a bit and started going for new classes I wasn’t really convinced with my training or my improvements so after struggling with the idea and a few honest discussions with T (he was the one who  first pointed out that I had to get out of my comfort zone if I wanted to reach my goals) I decided I had to give personal training session a chance

How did I decide who my personal trainer should be?
My way of narrowing down a personal trainer was simple 

Look at all the personal trainers in the gym when they are training their clients : 
they should be training their clients and not gossiping. I have seen/heard trainers and clients talking about their life problems during their session. If you want to talk and discuss problems go for a coffee…sessions are not for chatting!!!
they should focus on their clients instead of looking around for other potential clients when they are with their client again I have seen trainers talk to other members in the gym when their clients are working out, personally I would feel very awkward…(maybe it’s only me)

Find a personal trainer who is approachable : for me approachable would mean some one who smiles, who acknowledges the usual gym goers even if they are not clients. For a person like me even a small gesture like a smile will make a personal trainer lot less intimidating and it will be easier to talk about my goals and workout with somebody I am not intimidated by

Check Qualifications:
Most trainers in the gym are supposed to be qualified enough to train for generic purpose but some times if you have specific goals you should definitely look for trainers with qualification and experience that match your goals.

Am I comfortable with my trainer?
Ask your trainer if they are willing to do one trial session with you. Usually trainers are willing to do one free session (anywhere from half hour to 45 minutes) if not see if they take any other classes in the gym and go for that class. This is important because according to me it’s important to be able to tell your trainer what your goals are? how you feel after your sessions? are they too difficult? are they too easy? are you working out and maintaining your diet during the rest of the week…a trainer needs to know these things to help you reach your goals also if I am not comfortable with somebody I will find it hard to try new things with that somebody around so being comfortable with the trainer is very important.

Have you every trainer with a personal trainer? How do you decide which personal trainer to work with? 

Next post will be more about how to make the most of your personal training sessions
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Tuesday, 19 May 2015

A look into my week's food (with recipe links)

Rolled oats + protein powder + mixed nuts + (banana/apple)
Rolled oats + cottage cheese + mixed nuts
bounce ball + fruit bowl
repeated oats and cottage cheese for the remaining days

Tomato walnut pasta sauce 

I added chicken to this recipes and made courgette pasta for myself, mixed it with whole wheat pasta for T

coconut tomato mixed vegetable soup

I added shredded chicken to this recipe also

chickpea lentil salad


I added chicken to this recipe too

(For all recipes I played around with the quantity ingredients according to my convenience)

Frozen banana and grapes
greek yoghurt

bounce balls (usually I will have this only on days I have nothing else to snack on)

Now you know my few of my favourite recipe blogs, what are your favourite recipe blogs?

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Tuesday, 12 May 2015

How to be consistent with your workout

One question I get asked a lot is how can I be so disciplined? and I am always surprised because I don’t see myself as a very disciplined though I definitely am very consistent with my workouts. So I got to thinking about what makes it easier for me to choose working out over a couch

I genuinely enjoy my workouts:  All workouts I do make me happy when I am doing them. I don’t do any workouts that seems like a chore.  I enjoy HIIT training so I do a lot of interval training. If I ever use the treadmill I prefer sprints to longer treadmill runs. If I want to go for longer runs then I plan a run outdoors not on the treadmill...I make sure my workouts are fun for me.

I listen to my body: people who know me might disagree but there are times when I don’t feel right and then I either change my workout or sometimes I change my workout day. I make sure I workout minimum 4 days a week and maximum 5 days but I am flexible about which day so if I have something on my mind or if I feel tired I will change my rest day or I will change my workout.I try not to force myself to workout when my body doesn't feel good

I focus on what I like about working out instead of what I don’t like:  workouts are not supposed to be comfortable, you are supposed to be sweating, you are supposed to be going out of’s not supposed to feel like you are relaxing but if you focus on the pain and always start/end your workout with how much you hate working out you are never going to like it. For me it is the feeling of being able to do something I could never do before, with every workout I look forward to doing something I thought was not possible for me to do and that feeling still keeps me going. I love feeling strong & challenging myself...

I always have more than one goal : Losing weight is how it all started but that’s not very reliable because weight fluctuates so instead focusing on my workout improvements helped, small things like increasing reps or increasing speed, any small improvement is worth being happy about and worth being proud of because that reflects your effort.

By doing all of the above I always end up having fun while working out and that makes it easier to be consistent. I think if you want to stick to your workouts you need to find out what works best for you and focus on the positives you will automatically find yourself being consistent. What do you think?  As usual I love reading your thoughts.

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Tuesday, 5 May 2015

Food preparation

Food and managing food is one of the most important changes I had to make when I decided to get healthier. 
Is it easy? No.
Is it manageable? offcourse…
Compared to many I have it a little easier because T and me both have the same food, I don’t need to make separate meals, we are both ok with repeating food and most days we have very simple meals.
Lot of people ask me how I do it and my answer has always been the same 'I plan'. Every Friday or Saturday morning I browse my favorite blogs for recipes for the following week. I usually plan only for Monday to Friday. I narrow down 3 main meals and 2 breakfast options and 2 snack options. I make my grocery list and usually Sunday morning we go grocery shopping. Sunday evenings are my cooking time. I will prepare our snacks, breakfast, sometimes I make stews & soups for the week. I even make the marinades, salad dressings for the week if I can. Then during the week all I do is marinade the meat/fish in the morning before work and bake it once I am back from the gym in the evening while my food is baking I prepare my vegetables, sometimes I bake/grill vegetables in bulk other times I make salads which barely take 10 minutes to prepare.
If my planning is done well then you will find me in the kitchen for less than half hour on a weekday not more.
Here is a list of things that makes it easier for me
My usual breakfast is baked oats with fruit and nuts, I make two different batches for the week. My usual snack options are protein balls and egg muffins again I make about 12 each. I always have Greek yoghurt, apples, oranges and bananas around for snacking.
If I don’t plan then my food becomes simpler. Sometimes I might not be able to make my food in advance then my snacks change to fruits and carrot sticks. My breakfast changes to cottage cheese with protein nuts and oats.
I know which recipe websites work for us so most of my recipes are from the same websites. I don’t waste too much time looking for my weekly recipes either, I know what works best for us and that’s what I stick to. I usually try new recipes over the weekend or when I really have more time on my hands.
I stick to recipes with similar ingredients: this is just so I am carrying less stuff back from my shopping trip and it's easier to manage. For example if I have sweet potatoes then my week will definitely include sweet potato mash, baked sweet potatoes and sweet potato patty. Finally for  my dessert I also chop and freeze bananas and grapes.

In short:
Step 1: find recipes (stick to tried and tested)
Step 2: Make grocery list (always keep fruits and carrots around for snacks)
Step 3: Shop
Step 4: Sunday evenings are for chopping, baking, breakfast and snack preparation
Step 5: Every day just do the finishing touches before eating (not more than 30 minutes in the kitchen)

 I don’t think it can get easier than this or maybe it can but this works for me. The only time you will really see me in the kitchen is on a Sunday evening when I am doing my food prep. I hope you find this post helpful, how do you do your food prep?
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Thursday, 30 April 2015

My guest post

Hi everybody,
Z from kickingkilos asked me to do a guest post, she emailed me a list of questions all related to my weight loss journey.

1. When and how I decided to lose weight?
2. How did I manage to lose weight?
3. How do I handle social gatherings
4. My advise to anybody starting their journey

I did my best to answer these and loved all the wonderful comments her readers wrote. If you want to have a look you could read my post 'WW#2 Guest Post From Tanvee'

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Friday, 24 April 2015

Six weeks program with Michelle

I started my 6 weeks program with Michelle mainly because I wanted to see some changes. I can safely say I am gym addict and eating healthy is a lifestyle for me but even then I wasn’t seeing the results I wanted so I turned to Michelle. After a little bit of discussion I decided to give her 6 weeks program a try.
The 6 weeks program had two parts:  Workouts & Healthy Eating.  I had 5 workout scheduled per week, 1 with Michelle and the remaining workouts were designed by Michelle but I did them on my own. From my first workout to my last session I was always sweating buckets and my muscles were always sore in a good way.
This was very surprising because it had really been a while since I felt so sore. One of the main reasons for me being sore was the fact that she kept changing my workouts so I did not have even one session which was easy. All my sessions pushed my limits which for me is a plus, I loved it because I surprised myself every single time.
In the 6 weeks I mostly did simple exercises but it was the combination of exercises, the weights, rest between sets and the repetitions that made a huge difference to my workouts and the biggest difference was I was not given an option of doubting myself. I had to lift whatever weight Michelle thought I could. My mantra was no questions asked, I believed her blindly which worked out very well for me because I managed to do things I always thought I couldn’t.

Before I started my 6 weeks challenge I was constantly injured, either my knee would be in pain or my back but in the 6 weeks even though my training intensity definitely increased I did not injure myself even once thanks to Michelle who made sure to add mobility exercises as warm ups and lots of stretching after each session.
At the end of 6 weeks I was lifting weight that I had never lifted in my life without help, I was injury free, I was doing a decent negative pull up (Initially I would drop like a dead fly, my arms had no strength) and I felt better about myself.
On the food front it was easier because I usually eat clean but because I wanted to be super clean I even started making my own protein bars and snacks. Over the 6 weeks I think I got used to planning my meals, snacks , pre-workouts in more detail. My food prep was suddenly a lot more detailed and fun because of all the kitchen experiments. 
I still have to work on a lot of things to work on so the obvious choice for me was to add another 6 weeks and keep going. I am already excited about how the next 6 weeks turn out to be will keep all of you updated

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If any of you want to know more about my 6 weeks or in general training with Michelle checkout her instagram page Michp_t

Tuesday, 21 April 2015

Running after the idea of perfection

Exactly a month and not a single post from me which is very disappointing especially because as usual I have so many things to share...this is not a fitness related post but just a general thought as most of you have noticed my blog updates have become fewer overtime, last I mentioned to you all about working on a creating a website and I am still doing that but it’s not turning out to be as good or as perfect as I want it to be, the result was fewer blog posts and my absence from the blogging world which is really the opposite of what I wanted to do. I wanted to become more regular, share more often and connect more but running after what I think is good enough for my blog has made me actually neglect my blog completely. 

 In my want create a perfect website I ignored the real reason I wanted a new website. I am missing out on sharing my new fitness adventures with all of I have decided I am back and whenever I manage to finally finish my website I will launch it till then this blog is the place to find me, get ready to see more of my posts and my comments!!!!

On the fitness front I am doing my second round of 6 weeks with Michelle, I am still enjoying my Mauy thai classes, Negative chin ups are still regular in my routine and I am back to hill sprints.

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Friday, 20 March 2015

A little update

Hiiiiiii :)
Hope all of you are doing well and each one of you is still keeping with your fitness journeys. I have been busy doing lots of new and exciting things. 
On the fitness front I have switched up my training I do lots of weights, body weight exercises, muay thai and sprints. For the past few weeks I have been training with Michelle

I am tracking everything, my workouts, my food intake, measurements and new recipes. It's been a tough challenge but as you can guess I have been having fun there's no denying that. Once I am done with 6 weeks I will share a detailed post with all of you
In the few weeks that I have trained with Michelle I have definitely improved my strength,. My life long dream of being able to do pull ups looks a little closer now because finally I can manage a decent negative pull up :)
Food wise in these past 6 weeks I have collected lots of healthy recipes because I was determined to stick with 100 % clean eating....I have managed about 95% (maybe even more)

On the blog front I know I haven't posted for over a month but that's because I am working on trying to create a nicer website with my own domain, that's taking a while because I am doing research on different platforms, trying new things but very soon I am hoping I have a nice new blog ready for all of you.
I am usually faster at updating my instagram so if you are interested in seeing how my life is going you will find all the fun stuff there..
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Wednesday, 11 February 2015

Muay Thai

Lots of Fun
Lots of Punching and Kicking
Lots of Combinations
As mentioned in my last post I chose kick boxing session for my free training session and you cannot imagine my surprise for really enjoying it so obviously the next step was to look for a class. My new gym has lots of combat sport classes so for the next few days I just kept an eye out for which class looked interesting to me and finally I narrowed it down to Muay Thai.
Being nervous and not very confident as usual I started with doing a little research about the class, then I even wrote to one of the instructors asking him if the class was suitable for beginners he said all levels were  welcome. Next step I went borrowed boxing gloves, learned how to wrap the hand wraps and then booked a class on Sunday. I had a friend with me (Who does individual kick boxing sessions regularly) so I was thankful to partner with her because I did not want other regulars to be frustrated with me for not being able to keep up 
The class started with a little bit of warm up, then we moved to punching bags which involved lots of punching and kicking and finally we had to partner up and do a few combinations. This was fun, it was very very exciting for me. Constantly kicking or punching is painful but I was really enjoying it. I remember telling myself to stop smiling so much when I was kicking and punching but I couldn’t wipe that smile of my face. Then we switched places I was supposed to be defending and I found this more difficult than actually punching or kicking, holding those punching pads killed my arms and I also got hit in the face twice. The funny part about being hit in the face was both times it was my hands that hit my face because I was not holding the pads correctly. I had no idea you actually meet your opponent half way lesson learned :) :)
As you all must have guessed by now I am planning on going for this class regularly, I really enjoyed it and had fun hopefully soon I won't be so confused with all the different combinations.

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Tuesday, 3 February 2015

Unpleasant flashback

I debated a lot before actually writing this because I don’t usually like to discuss negative stuff but after a bit of thinking I realized the same situation can be looked as a learning point (everything has a positive side you just have to look)
Like I told you all I changed my gym with my new membership I was given a free session with any trainer and I chose somebody who specialized in kick boxing. My session was fun, I really enjoyed kick boxing more than I had imagined (I will write another post all about kickboxing and my new Muay Thai class). Anyways the session was good and then we sat down for consultation which was also OK he told me I would need to lose around 6 kgs the minute I heard that number I was in shock.  I know I am not perfect and I have a long way to go in terms of my fitness journey but I was still shocked to hear 6kgs...anyways I told myself that could be one of my new goals but it cannot be my focus because personally I don’t like focusing too much on the weighing machine just because then I tend to move away from actually improving in my fitness and only focusing on that number...
So after this consultation though I was not in a very happy frame of mind but I continued my usual training and then I had the same trainer come up to me when I was training with my friend/fitness buddy (she is definitely more fitter than me) and he compared us which was a big blow to my confidence. In my mind I know my fitness level and I also know my fitness buddies are way ahead but when somebody else comes and compares you it’s a completely different feeling..I didn’t know where to hide. It bought back very unpleasant memories from when I was a fat kid and was compared to my much thinner friends by other instructors
I couldn’t believe that even after coming this far in my journey somebody could make me feel the same way I felt when I weighed my maximum...for some time I didn’t know how to react, I was angry, I was upset, I was really frustrated with myself..I didn't feel good enough...finally after lot of thinking I decided I wasn’t the same person anymore the old me would never go back to face the instructor the new me will go back, I will focus on my goals and not let somebody's opinion stop me...

I am going to keep going back, I am going to give my best and I am going to reach my goals even when some people doubt me...I am going to do what I set out to do!!!
How would you handle such a situation?  or would it not really affect you?
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