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Fitness My story

Starting from Zero: Week 6

This week has been a real week of two halves. I worked last weekend so that always makes the week feel a bit strange but this week I had three days off in the week so I only worked Monday and Wednesday. However, I did manage to get quite a bit of activity in.

Monday

I was working a long day (from 8am – 6pm and then having to make dinner so I went for a 15 minute walk outside, just to get moving really.

Tuesday

Today I did run two of couch25k! I actually found it okay although I’m only running for a minute at a time at the moment so it’s not too challenging. I’m also enjoying it so the plan is to keep up with it.

Wednesday

I did a 15 minute walk at lunchtime. I was hoping to go for a longer walk but by the time I had made lunch and faffed around, this was all that I had time for.

In the evening I did Restorative Yoga #2 on the FIIT app, it’s 40 minutes long and I have to admit it was pretty relaxing!

Thursday

Today was my birthday. I was pretty determined not to get bored on my lockdown birthday and so I have to confess I did quite a lot of FIIT classes.

I started with morning mobility on the FIIT app with Gus Vaz Tostes, I have to say that this has been my favourite mobility class so far! I then did the 10 minute Pre Run Warm up With Adrienne Herbert. Following this, I went out for my run. This was the third run of week 1 of couch25k and I have to say that I loved it and felt ready to move on to week 2. When I got back I completed the Post Run Stretch #1 with Adrienne. In the evening I could feel myself getting a touch bored so I did the #5 Pilates Foundations with Lottie Murphy, I’m hoping that pilates will get my core nice and strong for all these runs that I’m doing.

Friday

I was off again today, I really fancied going for a run but I know that I have to be really careful not to over do it. So I decided to work on my running strength and completed Strength for Runners #1 with Sean Kazab. It’s only 25 minutes long so I didn’t think that it would be enough but it really was. It also got me super sweaty!

I also went for a very muddy 7.5k walk during the day. This took me about 90 minutes and some of the terrain was pretty slippy so I had to take my time. All in all it was a beautiful, chilled walk in nature – and it stayed dry while I was out which is always a welcome bonus.

In the evening I did the restorative yoga #2 on the FIIT app. I’ve decided that I really need to work on my flexibility and mobility if I want to run and not get injured so I’m trying to incorporate more yoga into my routine.

Saturday

This was run 1, week 2 of Couch25K. It was fun, I manage to complete all the running but I don’t like how out of breath I was getting! It’s going to take time to build up that cardio fitness though so I’m not going to worry about that too much. When I got back from my run I did the post run stretch with Adrienne. When I ran before I would always cool down but I certainly didn’t do a through cool-down routine like this. In fairness, I wasn’t a PT back then and I didn’t really know what I was going but I really think that a decent cool down routine should help to keep me injury free and in those trainers.

So my week was very bottom heavy but it was good so spend a few days off without the stress of work being able to concentrate on moving. How was your week?

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Fitness Fitness My story Uncategorized

Starting from Zero: Weeks 3-5

I don’t have any recent pictures of me that I can upload so I thought I’d add a lovely pic of this forest in Caerphilly – I love it up there.

Well I was meant to update weekly to hold myself to account….ooops! In truth it hasn’t been going well which is perhaps why I just didn’t get around to updating the blog.

Week 3

Well I started off well by doing a 25 minute Pilates Foundations class on the FIIT app but then I really wasn’t feeling well enough to train the next three days (bad headaches etc) so I didn’t. I probably should have at least tried to do a gentle yoga flow or some mobility work but I didn’t, couldn’t get motivated to do anything apart from a few walks so I’m not going to dwell on that now.

My next workout was Circuits #15 with Tyrone Brennand on the FIIT app, this app really is my saviour when I’m forcing myself to train. If I had to write a workout then there are some times where I just wouldn’t do it.

Week 4

Week 4 went better! And that’s the thing with fitness, it’s a long-haul flight not an Easyjet short haul (other airlines are available), it’s all about what you do over time and consistency. Obviously, humans are conditioned to want the short-term fix and so we tend to go hard for a week and when we invariably fall off the wagon, because it is unsustainable, we give up completely.

Here’s how week 4 went:

Monday

Restorative Yoga #1 with Cat Meffan on the FIIT app. I’m loving the restorative yoga, it’s slower and you hold poses for longer which is good for me because I just can’t keep up with these fast paced yoga classes. It’s also relaxing and helps which recovery so when you are doing intense exercise (which is relative to your current fitness levels), it’s good to balance things out with something that calms the nervous system. The added bonus of course being that my flexibility is, frankly, poor so the yoga should help with that and will hopefully allow me to feel better in my body.

Tuesday

Tuesday was Pilates Foundations #5 with Lottie Murphy on the FIIT app. If you knew me a few years ago, you’d probably know that I used to go to pilates twice a week and that I credited it with growing half an inch in my 30’s. I used to think that it stretched my spine but in reality my posture was probably improved. I really want to get back into pilates again and with the lockdown the FIIT app is really helping with that. I know that I could get free workouts on YouTube but honestly, it takes ages to scroll through and find one that you think may be suitable. Unless you have a recommendation from somebody, you don’t know who the person is doing the class and whether they are qualified (and safe) to be doing it. At least with the FIIT app I know that the trainers have been vetted. Anyway, this was a 40 minute class and I then did the Mobility Foundations #1 class with Richie Norton which is 25 minutes long. I’ve been getting bored in the evenings if I have my dinner too early so I found that doing a longer session in the evening helps to pass the time. Plus, I think you’d really struggle to do too much mobility work.

Wednesday

I went a bit bonkers on this day I have to say because I did the 10 minute morning mobility #2 on the FIIT app in my 15 minute tea break – luckily I’m working from home! I wasn’t a fan of this one, I wasn’t overly keen on the trainer (I’m sure he’s a lovely guy but just not my motivation style) but I felt good for moving my body so early on and also smug haha!

After work I did the Circuits #5 class with Tyrone on the FIIT app, I love this class – I probably do it too much but sometimes you have to do what you know you enjoy! This is a 40 minute class and I then followed it with Mobility Flow #5 with Richie Norton which is a 25 minute lower body mobility session. This was good but there was one stretch where I couldn’t feel anything at all and I couldn’t figure out what I was doing wrong. It’s strange because my hips are so tight (so tight that an experienced PT that I worked with told me that he thinks that my slightly hunched shoulders may actually be caused by my tight hips).

Thursday

This was New Year’s Eve so I took my rest day, ate my body weight in cheese and watched a film. Cheese is good for recovery right?!

Friday

I started out the first day of 2021 with a 40 minute Pilates Foundations class (#5 is designed to be one that you can do daily) and the mobility foundations #1 class on the FIIT app all good fun and I was working all day so no long, bracing walks for me.

Saturday

I did take a long walk on Saturday! I rediscovered a trail near where I live and discovers that it goes up much further than I though. It is so beautiful, but unfortunately busier than I like (especially in these times) but it was fun to walk somewhere different! I walked over 7km and then did restorative yoga #2 with Cat on the FIIT app. I had planned on doing a strength/cardio workout but I was tired from the walk. Although this meant that I didn’t hit my 3 strength workouts in a week, I really if I’m doing it the next day instead. My body doesn’t know the difference between my training week running from Sunday to Saturday rather than Monday to Sunday!

Week 5

Well week 5 didn’t exactly go to plan! I did the circuits #15 class on the FIIT app that I had put off the day before on Sunday. I also did a 5km walk in the evening (on flatter terrain than Saturday) so I felt like I had a good week of moving my body. Monday I then followed up with a Pilates Foundations class. Apart from a few walks, I didn’t do anything until Saturday because again, I felt really unwell and could barely get off the sofa for three days and then felt wiped out on the Friday.

However, on Saturday, I did session 1 of week 1 of the couch to 5k plan! I’ve decided that I want to try and get back into running again and as long as I’m enjoying it I’ll do that. Obviously I’m pretty much starting from scratch despite having run (I think five) half marathons in the past because it’s been years since I would have classed myself as a runner. We’ll see how it goes – I’ll keep you updated! I ran at lunch time (I worked this weekend) and after work I followed the run with Full Body Stretch for Runners #1 with Adrienne Herbert on the FIIT app. I wanted to love this, I really did, but it was a bit fast moving for me and I didn’t enjoy it. That said, I can see the benefit so I am going to give it a few more tries before I give up on it. I followed this with a 40 minute restorative yoga session on FIIT so that I could get my zen fix!

Overall

Overall, not great honestly. On some of the days I was genuinely too unwell to exercise but on others I really should have tried something gentle. But to my credit, I haven’t thrown in the towel. There are always going to be times where we can’t train…life gets in the way, we get sick, we are travelling etc but the important thing is that we get back on it as soon as we can. You can’t really fail in this journey if you just keep trying.

I’d love to hear how consistent you have been with your training recently, have you missed any sessions? How are you dealing with it when you miss a session?

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Fitness My story

Starting from Zero: Week 2

Here is a picture of the Ocean because it makes me feel calm…and goodness knows we all need a bit of calm in our lives right now

Well what a 24 hours it has been in the UK. We were all looking forward to a nice Christmas with our loved ones only for millions of us to be told that it isn’t going to happen. In Wales we knew that we were going to go into lockdown as of December 28, but this has been brought forward to 12 am December 20 and we had a few hours notice.

I used my last few hours of freedom wisely and went to a shop to get the bits that we would need for a Christmas on our own and then packed up the car with the Christmas gifts and dropped them off to my family. People here are upset and frustrated at Christmas effectively being cancelled, but my approach is to just roll on through. It is really upsetting, especially as I spent last Christmas away from my family, but honestly with the year that I’ve had it’s like water off a ducks back. I’m just hoping that 2021 is the truly awesome year we deserve.

So fitness stuff…it’s actually going well. I’m still on track despite working long shifts this week 10.15 to 8.15. I’m chalking it up as a big success as I had to train before work and with finishing later, having to eat and then wind down the from the day the last thing I wanted to do was get up and train!

Anyway, here’s a summary of what I did:

Monday

Circuits #5 with Tyrone Brennand on the FIIT app. It’s great, it’s sweaty, its strength and cardio which works for at the moment!

Tuesday

Yoga – lower body stretch with Cat Meffan on the FIIT app. I also did half of another yoga session with the same instructor but I had some technical difficulties so I finished up with this session. I really enjoyed it and felt better after a little stretch

Wednesday

Circuits #5 with Tyrone Brennand on the FIIT app

Thursday

I realised that I hadn’t had a proper rest day for nine days (although yoga was a much gentler day). Rest is really important so I honoured my body and recovered

Friday

Pilates Foundations #3 with Lottie Murphy. Man this was tough! I lot of care work, pilates is not the easy option!

Saturday

You guessed it…..Circuits #5 with Tyrone Brennand on the FIIT app. I’m going to start mixing these up so I progress but it’s a good class that I found challenging so I wanted to do this for a couple of weeks before moving on.

Basically, the goal that I have set myself is to do three full-body strength sessions and two pilates sessions per week. If I can throw in a yoga session into the week then even better. This week coming up may be a little bit of a challenge because it’s Christmas week which means I may be driving down to Evesham one day and won’t have time to train and there may be a few hangovers. I’m feeling better in myself for training though so I’m determined that I’ll keep it up to some degree.I do think that you have to be a bit flexible at times so I’m going to do what I can and not add training to the list of things to stress about!

Are you guys going to train on Christmas Day?

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Fitness My story

Starting from Zero: Week 1

Well I’m pretty happy with myself, I competed my first week of getting my fitness back. It was not easy by any stretch, I’ve been so tired this week and not sleeping well at all so it really was a challenge to motivate myself to workout. In fact on no less than four of the days I very nearly didn’t do the workouts but the idea of having to confess on here that I hadn’t done anything made me get my butt in gear!

Here is a breakdown of how my week went:

Sunday

Circuits #5 with Tyrone Brennand on the FIIT app. This is a 40 minute strength session using body weight only. It is in the format of circuts so you get a decent conditioning work out in there too. It was tough, I sweated and was a bit sore the next day!

Monday

Pilates foundations #6 with Lottie Murphy on the FIIT app. This was a 25 minute full-body pilates workout. Unfortunately, it was very easy – too easy and I didn’t really feel the benefit of this. Because of this I followed it with Mobility Foundations #1 with Richie Norton also on the FIIT app. This was a 25 minute full body mobility session which I really enjoyed.

I also did a 30 minute walk at lunchtime.

Tuesday

Rest day – I’m not going to lie I was planning on doing the circuit I did on Sunday but I wasn’t feeling it so I took my rest day earlier than planned

Wednesday

Circuits #5 with Tyrone Brennand on the FIIT app.

Thursday

Restorative yoga with Cat Meffan on the FIIT app. This was a 25 minute yoga class and I really enjoyed it, it was good to stretch out after Wednesday’s class. I also drove on the motorway for the first time today so I needed some chill time!

Friday

Pilates Foundations #8 with Lottie Murphy on the FIIT app. This was a 26 minute full body pilates class and it was great. I found it challenging enough to be beneficial but not so hard that I couldn’t keep up.

Saturday

Circuits #5 with Tyrone Brennand on the FIIT app.

As you can see I’m using the FIIT app. I think half of the battle is deciding what to do, especially when you are tired and you can think of reason why not to workout. I did a 14 day trial of the FIIT app and I’ve decided to keep it. I got a Black Friday deal for 50% off for the year so it seems worth it for £72. I’m not sure that I’ll be using it for the whole year as once I get my mojo back I’ll be more interested in setting goals and writing a program but it’ll be nice to dip into on those days where I just want to be told what to do and not think about it. It’s also great at the moment because figuring out what to do is an additional barrier at the moment and it’s extra mental energy. I’ll do a review of the FIIT app once I’ve used it a bit more if you guys think that would be helpful.

How did you get on with your week? Let me know what you did in the comments below.

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Fitness My story

Starting from Zero

Starting from scratch is intimidating. Scary even. But you will never achieve the goal that you want to achieve if you don’t start.

Perhaps you don’t know where to start. Perhaps it seems like such an unsurmountable challenge that you do not know where to begin. Maybe you want to lose 20kg, maybe you want to run a 5k in 20 minutes or you want to take on the Ironman. All are incredible achievements and may seem out of your reach, but these are all goals that have been achieved by ordinary people.

The key is just starting. Just start anywhere. Make that first move, not matter how small and just keep taking steps onwards. Break down that goal and take it step by step. Make a plan, or plan to fail as the old adage goes.

For me I am starting from zero with my fitness. For various reasons, I’ve lost a lot of strength, conditioning and muscle. I feel weak as a kitten and I get out of puff when run/walking short distances or doing a beginners workout.

So I’m starting again, I’m going to build myself back up from the ground up. Yes it’s going to be really hard and there will be set backs and days that I feel like I can’t do it but I’ve been fit before and I built that from scratch so I know that I can do it again. In fact, I’m in a better position than I was before because as a qualified personal trainer, I have more knowledge and I can hopefully make less mistakes this time than I did last time.

So this is my invitation to you. To join me on my journey and to achieve your goals with me. I’ll be documenting my journey, tell me about yours!

Tell me what your goals are and what first step are you going to make in achieving them? We can do this together!

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My story

What I’ve been doing in June

This photo may give things away a bit!

I would apologise for the complete lack of posts in June so but for the fact that I have been so busy I haven’t physically had time to write – and those posts that I had drafted I didn’t have time to take pictures for and to upload my drafts into the format that they need to be.

In hindsight, I may have bitten off more than I could chew this month and there were times that I felt really overwhelmed. I hate asking for help, I’ve realised that it’s something that I really struggle with but this month I’m very grateful for the help that was forced upon me, offered and asked for- I wouldn’t have got it all done without you.

So what I have I been doing?

Well May ended with the Spice Girls concert in Cardiff with the lovely Kaye and her husband Mark. We danced, sang, ate and may have had a few cheeky drinks!

Kaye and I at the Spice Girls concert in the Principality Stadium

As you can see, in their wisdom the Spice Girls left the roof open so we got absolutely soaked through! But we didn’t let that dampen our spirits even if I did get covered in blue confetti and end up looking like a smurf.

Okay so smurf might be exaggerating slightly but it was difficult to get the confetti off as it stuck to me and I found bits of it in my house when I was doing my final house clean before I left.

So a lot of people were apparently complaining about the sound quality and I do agree that it was bad. It was worse when they were talking to the audience in between songs (you couldn’t really hear them at all) and it did affect the songs too. However, the crowd was singing and dancing, the atmosphere was amazing and I had the BEST night. The Spice Girls (in my opinion) never were the best singers and the production of the concert was amazing, the atmosphere electric. It was one of the best nights that I’ve had in a long time and the sound issue was a small blip. I didn’t see anybody looking like they weren’t having THE best time.

The end of May also marked my last day in work. It was a bit strange because I was in the hospital in the morning and then I went into the office and it was dead. Where I worked it was traditional to gather around somebody’s desk on their last day to say goodbye, I had this gathering on the Wednesday before I left on the Friday so it genuinely was a surprise! The reason why it was on the Wednesday is because hardly anybody in my department has been in the office on a Friday recently. It was just as well that it happen that way because so when I did go back to the office on the Friday it was pretty dead and very strange. I cleaned out my desk (this took ages!) and slunk off.

That evening, we went to one of my favourite place to eat (Wahaca) and then out for cocktails and dancing in Bootlegger – a prohibition themed bar in Cardiff. It was great fun and I danced the night away.

My friend Vera and I in Bootlegger for my work’s leaving do…I’m definitely not drunk…wink wink!

On the Tuesday I then flew out to Kefalonia in Greece. I had never been to Greece before and I wanted to go before I left Europe because it looks so beautiful. I am part way through writing a seperate blog about my holiday so I won’t say to much about it here but I will share the picture below:

The view from the hotel. You can’t see it very well in this picture because I don’t have a fancy camera, but in the distance you can see the island of Ithaca and is the home of Homer’s Odysseus.

While at the airport waiting for my flight home I got an email from the company who did my personal training course advising me that I had passed the course and that I would qualify as a personal trainer. Unfortunately, in the days that came, I received more emails and the sort of it is that the company has gone into liquidation and hasn’t registered me for the course. There was much back and forth but eventually I decided that the best course of action would be to qualify through another company even though it did mean resitting the theory exams again. It wasn’t a decision that I took lightly as anatomy and physiology is a lot of work and if I remember correctly I didn’t pass the exam with a big margin the first time around. I hadn’t studied A+P since February and frankly, I thought I would have forgotten most of it. The only day that I would be able to sit the exam was on on the Monday before I left Cardiff – the day that my shipping was due to be collected. I was pretty nervous about sitting the exams again as I couldn’t see that I’d have much time to revise but I decided that I had to try it.

I then ended up having a really busy few days of packing. Not only did I have to pack/get rid of everything that I own, but I also thought that I had to itemise everything that I packed. This made the process so much longer and so much more difficult. Then on Friday morning when I came to put the wooden crate together for my TV, I had a complete meltdown. I thought that I had to nail the crate together but it came with screws! I managed to borrow a drill from one of my neighbours but it was still somewhat of a disaster with screws breaking and me getting them half stuck. I also was trying to nail the tea cartons together in a way that was basically impossible so my neighbour came to the rescue and basically sorted it all out for me – move saved!

After my shipping left, I turned my attention to the rest of the house but also my family came down to Cardiff for one last weekend together. The plan was that we’d do lots of nice things together with the kids but they actually ended up helping me to sort out my house…oops! But when you’re as busy as I was at that time and there is only one of you, then it’s all hands on deck, and actually, I wouldn’t have got it done without them.

We did manage to get up to Forest Fawr and Castell Coch but the weather was bad by the time that we got up there so I didn’t take any photos. The rest of the time I was too busy so that was a little disappointing. Still, I had a wonderful time and managed to teach my nephews naughty things such as throwing sticks as high as you can in the woods. I also tried to teach my four-year-old nephew how to climb trees but it backfired on me when a whole branch fell down and hit me square on the head!

I was a little emotional when the family left, but that was mainly because both of my nephews were in a mood and refused to say bye to me! I thought that I could rely on the littlest one as he says goodbye and blows kisses to random cats and trees but no!

On the following Monday, I had to make my way down to Cardiff Bay to resit my anatomy and physiology and nutrition exams for my personal training course. I was worried about this as I’d only had time to do three hours of revision in total and I didn’t think that it would be enough. I’d just gone through practice papers to ascertain where my areas of weakness were (basically all of anatomy and some physiology haha!) and then read through the section in my revision notes where I was struggling. I decided not to study anatomy too much because few pure anatomy questions seemed to come up and it would be a lot of work for just a few marks.

I made it down to LA Fitness and I met the guys there (who are lovely) and sat my exams in a local Costa as the quiet room was already being used and I wouldn’t be able to concentrate in a loud gym. To my surprise I passed anatomy and physiology with 90% (higher than my initial score after months of studying) and nutrition I passed with 86% – I’ll take that!

I then went back to do more packing and paperwork and met some friends for dinner and drinks in the evening. The highlight of the whole day was probably cleaning my oven drunk when I got back.

My beloved cat who is staying with my ex-boyfriend (his best friend) for the time being

Tuesday was the big day in a lot of was as I left Cardiff on this day and headed to London where I would be flying out. I had visions of my dad arriving and everything being ready but it was total and utter chaos. I was so stressed and it took hours. We headed out at about 4pm and I left Shiva, my 12-year-old cat, with my ex-boyfriend (who he loves a lot and lived with for 7 years). That also felt quite emotional.

On the Wednesday, I had a nice activity to take my mind off all of the stress of the previous couple of weeks. I went for lunch with my best friend from uni and her baby who I hadn’t met. They are both gorgeous and doing so, so well and we had the most lovely catch up over tacos. In the evening I went out for dinner with my dad and his partner in Welling. There is a fantastic tapas bar there (whose name translates to something rude in Mexican Spanish!) and we had a delicious three-course meal and some wine. When we got back to my dad’s place I then opened a delicious Crianza that I’d been saving.

And along came the big day!!!!! I all felt a bit strange and surreal on the day because I’d been doing so much in the build up to it. I was also half worried that when I got there immigration would turn me away at the airport on some technicality.

I had a lovely breakfast in the airport and a couple of coffees while I finalised my shipping lists for customs. We were then called to the gate on time but got caught up in traffic on the runway! However, although were were over an hour late taking off, we still managed to get to Halifax at the same time.

Not your standard queue (or line up as I’ve learnt the Canadian lingo is!)

Once I landed, I had to do immigration. I thought that Id’ be questioned in a small room for at least an hours Border Patrol style but it was very quick and simple. The Border Agent was lovely, had a good sense of humour and welcomed me to Canada. Next was customs. I had to line up a wait a little while to do this but again the staff were very pleasant and it was soon over.

The boyfriend met me at the airport…just as all my bags were falling off the trolley – somethings never change!

Have you ever moved abroad? Let me know if you’ve actually done it…I’ll take ALL the advice!

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My story

Pretty Huge Life Update

Soooooo this is happening!

I’m writing this blog to let you know of a rather huge life change that I am making. Even as I’m writing this I’m feeling really nervous but what doesn’t challenge us, doesn’t change us and frankly, I haven’t really challenged myself for many years!

Those of you who know me IRL know that I have a Canadian boyfriend. We met in Mexico in April 2016 (playing volleyball in the pool haha!) and essentially fell in love over WhatsApp with me going over there in September 2016 to see him and decide whether or not this was the ‘real’ deal. Well it turns out that it was and I’m moving over to Canada at the end of June! It’s been a long and fairly stressful process (although not as stressful as most immigration processes so I have been very lucky) but it’s finally happening.

On Friday the 31st May, I am leaving the job that I’ve been in for eight and a half years to pack up and dispose of a lot of my belongings (most of them sob!) and make my way over to the New World. I’ve given myself just under a month off to sort everything out, but then me being me I’ve also booked myself a lovely holiday to Greece in the meantime because I’ve never been! I have to say that although I’m really ready to leave my current role, and this is part of the reason why we decided that I should be the one to move, I’m pretty anxious about my last day in work because it makes it all feel pretty real!

When I arrive in Canada, I’ll be moving in with my boyfriend, who is a lifelong batchelor so he’s going to have some adjustment too. I’ll also be on the job hunt in Canada. Although Canada is very similar to the UK in a lot of ways, it is also pretty different and they don’t have the same social security system (or even similar) to what we have here so I’ll also be taking a new career path. I’m hoping that I will soon qualify as a personal trainer and that I’ll be able to do that. I love working out and I also really feel the need to work in a job that helps others (as this is what my whole career has been about to date) so I’m hoping that working as a PT will be a really good fit for me.

Aside from leaving my friends and family in the UK (including my gorgeous, cheeky, young nephews), I’m also leaving my cat, at least for the time being. I really want to bring my cat over but he’s 10 years old, really anxious and he’s pretty territorial. My boyfriend has a cat (and his friend who lives upstairs has a dog) and I’m really worried that the flight will stress him out and then when he gets to Canada he’ll have the ordeal of having a step-brother who he fights with. The whole ideal of sorting the cat out was adding to my stress levels so we decided that he’s going to stay with my ex-boyfriend who he knows and loves very much. I’m intention is to come back and get him but it gives me a bit of time to work things out and to decide what is best for all of us.

But basically that’s it! It’s very exciting and very terrifying at the same time. On the other hand, my boyfriend and I have done the long-distance thing for three years and it really is time to see whether it works on a full-time basis. So it’s a huge risk, but I feel like I’m at a point in my life when I need to go hard or go home.

What’s the scariest thing that you’ve done?

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Food

Easy High-ProteinYoghurt bowl

This is a delicious yoghurt bowl which is ideal for breakfast or as a delicious snack

This is a yummy yoghurt bowl which is a really good way to start your morning, or it’s a nice way to end the day. It’s really handy if you’ve got to the end of the day and realised that you haven’t managed to squeeze enough protein in. If you make a batch of the jam the night before, then it’s a super quick, healthy breakfast. You could even add some fresh fruit if you fancied.

To make the compote

Ingredients:

  • 1 big bag of frozen, mixed berries
  • 1 generous glug of maple syrup (you can always add more to taste later)
  • three tablespoons of water
  • three teaspoons of chia seeds

Method:

  • Throw all the ingredients into a pan and heat on the stove;
  • mash up the berries with a fork;
  • leave to cool.

Ingredients for the Yoghurt Bowl

  • Three tablespoons of Greek yoghurt;
  • 30 grams of protein powder of your choice – I used salted caramel (Bulk Powders – it’s soo good!)
  • Granola (I used the high protein stuff)
  • Compote from above

To make the Yoghurt Bowl

  • Mix the Greek yoghurt with the protein powder in a bowl;
  • spoon on the compote (as much as you want – it’s delicious);
  • Sprinkle on a small handful of granola;
  • Add whatever toppings on that you want – half a banana would be lovely (freeze other half for smoothies!)

I hope you enjoy this recipe – let me know if you try it and what you use as your toppings! Enjoy!

Categories
Fitness

Progressive Overload in Weight Training

If you were training for a marathon you I’m assuming that you wouldn’t just go out and run 26.2 miles, you’d train for it right? You’d probably start with an achievable distance like 2 miles and work your way up by adding a mile a week. If you were sensible then you’d probably schedule some deload weeks (weeks where you reduce your training volume). This principle transfers directly to resistance training too but for some reason people tend to ignore this.

It’s no good going into the gym and deciding to deadlift 100kg in your first session. Equally, you’re not making the best of your time if you’re just picking up the same weights and doing the same exercises week in, week out. Instead, you should be striving to ensure that you are making your workouts harder so that your body doesn’t get used to them and plateau. The progressive overload principle tells us that in order to get stronger or to grow our muscles, our bodies need to be stressed (by lifting weights) beyond what they are normally stressed by.  You can do this in many ways but the simplest ways to incorporate this principle into weight training is to:

  • increase repetitions (reps)
  • increase sets
  • increase training frequency
  • increase weight

You can also do other things like supersets, pyramid systems, eccentric training and forced reps. However, these are more complicated and they aren’t really necessary as adjusting the elements above will get you there. 

Let me know how you get on and if you have any questions, post them below. Happy training!

Categories
Food

Potato and Spinach Curry

So the other night I came home from the gym and realised that I had a few potatoes that were on their way out and a HUGE bag of spinach which I was never going to get through in my salads alone. I looked through my store cupboards (which to be fair are very well stocked) and I came up with this delicious curry. Not only is it really tasty, but it’s packed full of vegetables and it’s vegan too!

It’s delicious served with brown rice but you could also add a cheeky naan bread on the side if you fancy it!

Now, this list does make it look like you need a lot of ingredients (I tend to avoid recipes like that), but it was genuinely all stuff that I had in my cupboards – and you probably have most of them too.

This recipe is going to make about four servings if you have it with rice, or two to three servings if you have it on it’s own.

Ingredients

  • 4-5 largish potatoes chopped into cubes
  • 4-5 handfuls of spinach (washed)
  • 1 medium onion chopped
  • 1 tin of chopped tomatoes
  • 1 tin of coconut milk
  • 1 teaspoon of mustard seeds
  • 1 teaspoon of cumin
  • 1 teaspoon of coriander
  • 1 teaspoon of chopped chili (I used lazy chilly)
  • a good chunk of ginger (grated if fresh or a good few strands of lazy ginger if using that)
  • 3 cloves of garlic
  • 2 teaspoons of curry powder of your choice (I used Madras)
  • 2-3 teaspoons of coconut oil

Method

  • Heat the coconut oil in a large pot (I used a cast iron one) and add the mustard seeds, wait for them to start ‘popping’.
  • Add the onions and sauté for about five minutes. When nearly done add the garlic and the potatoes.
  • Add the spices, ginger and chili then stir well so that the onions and potatoes are covered. Cook for a minute or so.
  • Add the chopped tomatoes, swilling the can out with a small amount of water and pouring into the pot.
  • Stir in the coconut milk and simmer for 20-30 minutes, until the potatoes are cooked through.
  • Stir through the spinach and allow it to wilt on the heat for a minute or so.
  • Enjoy!

Let me know if you try this recipe and don’t forget that you can mix it up. Adding chickpeas would be a good addition and you could always add other vegetable too!