9th Jan 2015. STOP, BREATHE, START AGAIN

Standard

It’s been a horrible couple of days- crappy life admin, chores and paperwork suddenly appeared out of the blue to fill my time with tedious and time consuming, mentally draining horror. There have been so many set-backs and such frustration that it put a dent in my motivation so huge that I couldn’t even bring myself to work-out. That was a bit of a shock, since I’ve been so very disciplined; knowing that no-matter-what, the thought of how much better I will feel after my exercise will get me up and at it.

Not so this week, but I have emerged on the other side of my 2-day slump and junk-food marathon feeling…stronger. Yes, I cracked, but by the close of the day yesterday I could feel the motivation and positivity start to seep back and I knew that I had it in me to pull it back together and get back on the healthy-train TODAY.

Having overloaded my system with sugar ALL DAY yesterday, my thinking goes that I should have quite enough to get me through today with a gentle-on-the-tummy regimen of chia packed, dairy-free and low sugar (1/4 banana) green smoothies. Enough protein fuel for my muscles and calories to keep me from entering starvation-mode, but still nice and low to encourage burning all those delightful stored sugars from the last 24 hours. So my theory goes anyway. It’s a strategy that has worked well in the past: the liquid form helps break me from the comfort eating cycle that so often occurs on my bad days, my stomach gets a reset on digesting and I still have enough sustenance to stop me from crashing and burning out mid-afternoon.

A cheeky LesMills BodyPump class around lunchtime got me back in touch with my body too. It always helps after a bad day or 2 to be reminded that a little wobble on the health-front does not mean you have lost it all. I am still strong, I have not failed, and tomorrow I will re-emerge feeling stronger still: knowing that whenever I trip I have the will and determination to get back up and carry on.

 

4th Jan 2014. NOT MY FINEST HOUR

Standard

I often struggle to leave the house on time, I’m not generally LATE, but I cut it fine. No matter how on top of things I am, the final 10 minutes before ‘go time’ usually turns into a big old faff about: flossing my teeth, discovering my keys are missing, deciding to give my hair a quick brush…etc.

This morning was no exception as I scrambled to leave for my LesMills BodyPump class having mislaid my lipbalm, hat AND gloves. I usually cycle but, deciding I was late, I grabbed the car keys. Once I actually saw the car, I realised that if I took the time to scrape the frost off then I would be later than if I biked (it’s only a 10 minute ride), so back inside I went to grab my helmet and head out the back gate instead.

With an almighty speed-cycle effort I made it with minutes to spare, feeling a little frazzled but determined not to let it ruin my workout. I generally try to attend classes on weekday afternoons- they are less full and the attendees seem to take themselves a little less seriously (why this matters I have no idea, I take my fitness pretty seriously after all, but it feels like a nicer vibe anyway) than the evening and weekend crew, I don’t know if this is particular to my gym or if this is a universal peculiarity. Consequently though, it meant that this morning was my first experience of a FULL class and by the time I made my entrance there were only bars with faulty clips and no yellow 1.25kg weights left…oh no!

As the last person into the class I thought it probably served me right for being so scatty and just decided to do what I could; it would only mean using 2.5kg less than usual for most tracks and it would get me to focus on really perfect form. Nevertheless it was a scramble to get all my equipment together- trapping my fingers as I wrestled with those damn clips (does anyone else ever have this problem?) and feeling the rolling eyes as I dashed about to grab everything I needed, desperately pulling off my outerwear as I went, and trying not to get in the way of everyone else- who by this point had begun the warm up.

Deciding that I was already quite warm after my ride to class, I took an extra second to fix my hair back up (it does get a little excited if I rush about too much so, needless to say, it needed restraining by this point..). Cue my hair tie snapping and PINGING ACROSS THE STUDIO..gaah. Off I went on retrieval mission, ducking and weaving (note to self: must start carrying more than one hair tie), through the weights, steps and my glaring co-attendees.

I got back into the game for the end of the warm-up and managed to have a very satisfying class- the slightly lower weight meant I was able to concentrate on keeping my abs tight through every part of each move, and man did I feel it.

But the moral of the story- I may not always be able to prevent making a dick of myself and being that person in class (the day I had a broken step and fired one of the feet across the room is maybe a delightful tale for another time)- but I CAN minimise the risk, and be more considerate of my classmates, by a little more work on my timekeeping.

28 Nov 2014. DAMAGE CONTROL

Standard

I have been absent, not only from the online world, but from the exercise world in general. Despite the last cycle starting Strong (see what I did there?) it went downhill quickly after the arrival of my delightful boyfriend Tyler, who is Canadian and therefore needed showing around the length and breadth of England. We succeeded…and I failed in exercising…

I must confess however, that 6 weeks is too long to be on the road for (especially for a reluctant traveler like Tyler) and though we did have quite a lot of travel time, we did spend a few weeks at my home, a period in which I had hoped to get back into routine and limit the potential damage of a full 6 week hiatus from exercise.

It turns out that a loitering boyfriend is a seriously demotivating influence- apparently I find it incredibly difficult to work out to corny YouTube videos when there are witnesses present. My yoga practice has also suffered as I found myself- mid downward facing dog- wondering ‘Oh dear, I hope he’s not getting too bored.’ It would seem I have something of an overbearing mothering/suffocating instinct, God help my children should I have any…

But there IS a silver-lining to all this failure: in large part thanks to my new job at the Leisure Centre (I get off-peak free access) not just my desperation to get out on my own for an hour or two (!), I have discovered a love of group exercise classes. My competitive streak- against the other participants as well as my own past performances- means I work my butt off every time AND I also work-out for longer than I would at home where my attention is constantly distracted.  Furthermore, the set time schedules mean I cant procrastinate and keep putting off my workouts until 9pm. Result.

Let the new dawn of my public work-outs begin…next week- I am currently nursing snuffles so bad I fear they would send me home from a class with looks of disgust and fears of contagion.

In the meantime I shall yoga my way back to good health in time for BodyPump on Monday