It feels good to be back!
Why I run by Salman KhanLifestyle
The beauty of running is kind of hard to explain. I guess the first question to be asked, is why do we even want to run? Weight loss? Image? Fitness? Is it a social thing? Is it for stress relief? You tell me. A mix of all of these things is probably the right answer, but for me it started very differently.
I have always loved playing sports and never genuinely liked running or working out. Football was pretty much the only physical activity in my life, and I didn’t really have a problem with that. With the worst possible combination of injuries, being overweight and lazy, I had become pretty obese (102kgs to be exact) and I was just feeling very tired everyday. I just felt tired no matter what I did. I felt tired even just after waking up. My body was not reacting to anything and I was feeling insecure and unhappy. I felt negative and I took it out on my closest friends and family. A change was needed. However, I knew I couldn’t change all my habits overnight. I was smart enough to understand that a real change in mentality and also my physical shape would only come with a serious amount of hard work and dedication.
So, in October 2011, I decided to start running. Now, to be totally honest I had no idea as to how I should run or what my objective was. Should I plan to train for a marathon? Should I go online and find running routines? Should I get a running partner? I was confused but determined. In the end, I decided to just start running alone at a slow pace on a treadmill.
THE TREADMILL DAYS
I never really used a treadmill regularly before. Yeah, I mean I did attempt to use it a few times in college and maybe once or twice in high school, but I wouldn’t really count those experiences to be meaningful. The thing about using a treadmill is that you have to beat your mind to keep the body going. It’s as simple as that. It is a mental issue, where you have to keep yourself entertained. It is monotonous and it can be quite a frustrating experience. 20 minutes can seem like 40 minutes, 3 km can feel like 6 km. One of the worst experiences as a treadmill runner is looking at the digital screen and seeing that the time has barely gone and you’re already tired, although you haven’t even broken a sweat yet.
Initially, I started with a goal for time and not distance. I wanted to run 15 minutes straight at a medium pace (I’m talking about 6.5 km/hr) and gradually build up to 5 minutes of fast pace (8km/hr). That was it. Just a 20-minute run and I was happy. I did sweat and I felt like it was a good work out at that time. I did this for about 3 to 4 months and I remember checking my weight every day and I was barely losing any weight. I did feel slightly fitter though. I was running 4 times a week and I felt as though I was getting used to this routine. This is when I realized I needed a change, so I moved to a goal for distance not just time.
I wasn’t training for anything. I wasn’t training with someone. It just seemed like a smarter decision and in retrospect, it was. My new goal was 3 km. I know it doesn’t sound like a lot, but for some reason I was really running well when I changed my goal from time to distance. It just felt easier on the treadmill and my mind was reacting to this new goal better. By April 2012, I was now weighing about 95 kgs. Ok, so it isn’t an amazing achievement, but it was a start. A start that was so important because it made me realize that it was working.
Along with the new goal for distance, I changed a few other habits. For a start, I changed my diet completely, moving away from carbs and eating in lesser portions. I was eating dinner by 8 o’ clock, which gave my body time to digest. I was going to sleep with a light stomach rather than eating very late and going to sleep feeling heavy. The other big change for me was having a light lunch, because I run at my best when my body is not heavy. I also changed my work out days. I was now working out 6 days a week, with one (and this is very important) ” REST DAY” and not a “CHEAT DAY”. It is very important to understand the difference. To be honest, the difference is already mentioned in the terms. I used to eat whatever I wanted on my cheat days and then spent the next week working that one single stupid cheat day out. Now, I moved to a rest day, where I would spend the day relaxing and resting my knees and other parts of the body, which needed rest. This was a huge change for me and I was slowly beginning to understand my body better.
It was around the summer of 2012, where the biggest change in my life came. It was time to say goodbye to the treadmill. It just wasn’t challenging me anymore and wasn’t working for me. I moved to running outside. I decided to start with my school field (AISD). It was a nice and quiet place and I thought it was the perfect place to start running outside. Once again, the key decision was to follow my own pace and let me understand my whole body. It is the most important thing for runners. You have to know your body and you have to know how it reacts to certain conditions. Summers in Bangladesh can be deadly hot, and I needed to know how far I could go in the heat.
LEARNING TO RUN
It was perfect. It was exactly what I needed; a big, beautiful astro turf field and myself and…. that’s it. It was wonderful to find such peace and quiet in Dhaka. I was also running quite well at this stage. My distances were slowly going up and my time was becoming faster as well. However, my performance was the last thing I remember from running at AISD. It was my mental state during and after my run. That is all I remember. I fell in love with running, while running at AISD. I don’t even know what it was exactly; I just remember everyday being perfect. After a hard day at the office, it was so nice to just go and run. Me, my iPod and my thoughts. Sometimes, I didn’t even bother counting how many rounds I was doing, or how long I ran. I just ran till I got tired and I went home as a different person. I felt light, both physically and mentally.
I ran at AISD for a year and a half and as you can imagine, a lot of things changed in those 18 months. I was now running 7 days a week. I ran on weekends, I ran with a hangover, I ran drunk, I ran with injuries, I ran when the weather was 45 degrees and I ran when the weather was 9 degrees. If I was in Dhaka, I went to AISD. I still remember how sad I felt when the campus was closed one day during Bengali New Year. So, why the change? Why didn’t I just continue running at AISD? It’s a combination of many things, actually. I felt as though I needed a new challenge. 5km wasn’t really doing it for me anymore. I had also reached my target weight of 80kgs by now. However, I wasn’t happy. I have a problem; I set myself goals and become almost obsessed till I achieve them, and then I want to go even further.
Losing 22kgs was fantastic, but I needed to lose more weight and the time seemed perfect to switch up my running style. I decided to start going for longer distances now. It was going to be hard, but I knew my body could do it. I was dedicated and determined. I was slowly running 6 -7km and by the end of 2013, I was running it at a good pace. It took me a while to adjust to a faster pace, but the rewards were tremendous. The last day I ran at AISD was towards the end of April in 2014. I remember this because it was during the T20 World Cup that Bangladesh hosted. We were terrible during that World Cup, but my running helped me through all the trauma. I felt that I achieved everything I could achieve from running at AISD. I was the fittest I had ever been and I was now weighing close to 72kgs — a huge improvement indeed. It was finally time to say goodbye to a field that has given me some of the best memories of my life in high school and also now because I found why I loved running and I believe I found out how to excel as a runner. I now understood the beauty of running and I was ready to challenge myself in the outdoor parks and streets now. We should always keep setting ourselves newer targets and challenges. So I did.
GOING THE DISTANCE
So, there I was in bloody hot May 2014, trying to run in the park. I had no idea about the distance. One of the first things I did in AISD was run with my iPod and my Nike Fuel watch to calibrate the distance per lap. This park seemed so enormous. Anyway, first day I thought I’d try to do a 5km minimum and 8 km maximum. I think it was the worst running experience ever. It was so hard and it was so hot. Also, there were so many people. Where the hell did they come from? “I am going back to AISD from tomorrow, where it was just me and the field”, I thought to myself.
I didn’t go back, but it did take me awhile to warm up to the park and its beauty. I am not a big fan of nature. Therefore, it took me a little bit of time to just get used to the surroundings. My performance was “ok” but I was slowly getting the hang of it. I decided to make some changes to my running technique and this is where I learned the most important aspect of running. I learned all about rhythm. I realized the importance of keeping the flow, the beauty of the rhythm. I was smooth and delicate with my feet. I was running and running and I kept on going. I was hitting the 10km distance regularly. I was running everyday and sometimes twice a day. I only stopped because of my knees and a lower back injury I have been carrying for years. I was never tired; I was never out of breath.
A lot of new runners make the fatal mistake of starting too fast and then just dropping out and walking. The park is where I learned to pace myself. I learned to increase and decrease my speed with my heart rate and with how my body was feeling. We have to remember that our bodies will react differently everyday. Just because I am completing 9 km in 50 minutes today doesn’t mean it will be the same tomorrow. There are many different aspects to a good run and running in the park taught me that. I was going the distance too. I am talking about 15 – 18 km almost everyday for a month. I felt that, if I ran alone and not with a partner, I could run further and that is because I could run at my own pace. I have been fortunate enough to run with many different partners. Some faster than me, some slower than me. However, I can safely say that when it comes to distance, I am quite good at setting the pace and completing the distance.
The park has taught me to be patient. Even though your legs are ready to burst and speed up, I learned to let the other runners in front of me go, and not show off by running fast as well. The park has taught me that, when it comes to running, the mind is the most important body part. There is no greater feeling than completing a long run at the park. I have been lucky enough to run at 6:30 am and also 8:30 pm at the park; same location but vastly different experiences. However, I try to keep the flow and rhythm to myself and that is why I succeed.
There is no END!!
There really isn’t. Look, I mean yes I guess, I have now achieved my target goal for my weight (65kgs). However, I run and work out more than ever now. I have added High Intensity Interval Training and weight training to my everyday routine. I wake up early and finish a minimum of 8km before I go to work and I work out with either my trainer or friends in the evening. Hey, I even train my friends (who are just as dedicated as me) now. Who would’ve thought that was possible 3 years ago?
The hard truth is you won’t change overnight, but your attitude can. The results will only come if you really, really, want it. You have to fight yourself to prove to yourself that you can do it. This is your body and it is almost a sin if you don’t take proper care of it. I do diet, I do eat well but at the same time, I also enjoy myself and sometimes I eat what I want. I can work it out now. Running has been everything to me. It is my refuge and I have thought about everything when I run. I think about my life, my future, my friends, work, football and even when I will go for my next run. Set yourself a target and achieve it. There is no greater feeling than the feeling of accomplishing a target. We are all capable of greatness and we are already great. However, don’t just settle for great. I certainly don’t. I want to be the greatest. There are no limits, and as my hero Michael Jordan said, ” limits, like fears, are often just an illusion.”
I almost gave up!Lifestyle
The past two weeks were incredibly difficult for me. It’s safe to say you know what I mean when I say I was so close to falling off the wagon yet again.
My trainer, Gary measures our weight loss in terms of fat loss rather than overall weight loss on a scale. This is especially important because most of us are obsessed with the scale which takes into account muscle mass, fat mass, water mass etc! Who wants to lose muscle or water? Now I know I don’t!
Anyway, coming from DC I had lost 2kg of fat while I was on my ‘holiday!’ Every second of being cautious and calculated during that holiday had paid off!
That week we started training outdoors and I couldn’t wait to see how much I had lost at the end of that week! By we, I mean my husband and I, a male and a female. I lost 0.5kg and he lost 1.7kg!!!!!!!! I felt like my whole plan was crumbling down and I played every action, every meal in my head over and over again. What did I do wrong? I was stricter than he was, I pushed harder…what did I do wrong?
At that moment, I didn’t know but today I know that the answer is nothing. I didn’t do anything wrong. I’m a woman and he’s a man, we are built to function differently.
Women naturally store more fat whereas men are inclined to forming more lean muscle. Men have a faster metabolism than women. Read more!
It has been the best experience doing this with my husband, changing our lives together but that day I was shellshocked! I was this close to saying bye bye to all the hard work. I broke down and felt there was nothing more I could physically do. I know many of you are nodding along to this oh too familiar feeling but this time my mind was stronger. After that scan, I did my session! I killed it! No scale in this world can take away how you feel! I had never felt better in my life and I wasn’t going to throw it away because some electronic equipment generated some shocking result!
Two things pushed me through:
1. I wasn’t gaining weight or plateauing, I had lost 0.5kg which is better than nothing! I was becoming too greedy!
2. Only I am the judge of how I used to feel and how I feel today. I choose today’s feeling!
So ditch that scale and listen to your body. Follow your progress by measuring your body or trying on clothes that didn’t fit you, if you really need to visualize it. You know yourself better than anyone else and you should be the judge of your progress!
At my last scan, I had lost a total of 7kg of fat in 3 months. I felt great but not as great as I did when I crossed that finish line completing my first 5k at under 39 minutes! That was the real measure of how far I had come! From a couch potato to running a 5k!
As I head to Bangladesh today for my brother’s wedding, I know another test is ahead of me. This time I actually get to test out my new lifestyle in the place where I will eventually live! Of course it will be challenging but it is so unbelievably worth it!
Set yourself realistic goals, listen to your body and remember this is your journey, when you give up you end up back to square one, instead push yourself on the hardest days because those small steps are the ones that really matter. Everyday you come out stronger, empowered and happier with who you really are! You owe that to yourself!
Celebrating our birthdays!Lifestyle
This week was extra special! It was my birthday followed by my husbands. The person that I am I had to celebrate it to the fullest!
It’s really easy to dread any upcoming celebration when you are trying to lead a new lifestyle. I was brainstorming for weeks trying to figure out what to do for our birthdays, the healthier way!
I had a lunch party for my cousins and really also a way for me to show them that healthy foods can be just as delicious!
Honey Dijon citrus whole roast chicken
Seafood salad with chili, lime and coriander dressing
(I simply cooked the seafood with the sweet chili sauce and added in lime and coriander. Tossed that with salad greens!)
Cilantro brown rice
( Warm brown rice + 1 tbsp olive oil + salt + coriander + lime)
Sweet and spicy ground beef lettuce wraps
Fresh salsa and guacamole ( one of my friends made this!)
Cheese platter and flavored waters
Brownies ( I will add this recipe at a later date as it did not turn out exactly as I wanted, some liked it some didn’t so…..)
Every dish was wiped clean! YAY! I also gave the sweet chili sauces as birthday party favors 😀
Since our birthdays were on a weekday, well mine was, I had the lunch party on a Sunday before. I felt so pleased being able to feed my family what I was eating on a daily basis and what was making us feel so good! It wasn’t a no carb thing nor was it a huge table full of death warrants, it was something I could feed my guests, guilt-free!
Moving onto the mandatory midnight cake cutting ritual, I was really hell bent on not eating a cake at midnight!! I mean I know it was my birthday but c’mon it just didn’t make sense! I have recently discovered my love for unsweetened fat free greek yoghurt and I thought why not a parfait? My husband and I put it together and it looked as great as it tasted!! We scrapped it off! It was full of goodness rather than refined sugars and butter. I didn’t think it would do the job but it clearly did as I repeated the same parfait for Zayed’s birthday, candles and all!
You can layer is however YOU want! Add any fruits YOU want! So no sieving through prepackaged yoghurt bowls of the things you don’t like! It is also a great mid day snack!
What do you need?
Unsweetened fat free greek yoghurt, you can also use natural yoghurt
Sugar free granola or any sugar free muesli or cereal
Fruits of choice
Acacia honey or any good quality honey
Easy to make, full of nutrients and great for your body!
I know this is getting quite long but here’s the last part of the ‘homemade’ birthday celebration! I made my husband brunch in bed!
Whole wheat banana pancakes and fruit platter!
It was the perfect weekend brunch and it allowed us to ‘cheat’ without feeling devastated about it! I mean if you call 1/2 cup of flour cheating! 😉 He was ecstatic saying that he wanted to eat really slowly as he was afraid to finish it! Success!
There’s no reason to be scared about falling of the wagon during a celebration nor is there a reason to make yourself believe that it is okay to fall of the wagon because it’s your birthday! I worked out twice on my birthday and went to my favorite japanese restaurant for the the miso black cod! I couldn’t be happier with the way I felt, this isn’t a fad diet or a crash diet, this is my life!
Happy birthday to us!
My daily everydayLifestyle
It’s good to be back home, rejuvenated from a month long holiday! Even though I followed my London routine while I was away, it’s simply not the same.
I used to be pretty much like a sloth before; I went to school, ate whatever, sedentary mostly, sleeping at strange hours (with sleep aid), woke up past noon. Oh! It was a mess!! And by the way I was always tired or felt sick just ask my husband or sisters.
Looking at my everyday now, I must say I have come a long way in just a few short months. Remember it takes 21 days to form a habit!
My day starts with me craving for the fruit smoothie. Blitz the fruits with some spinach and kale. Add in matcha green tea and then stir in some chia seeds.
Why matcha green tea? Why chia seeds?
I drink half of the smoothie an hour before training.
Train with Gary for an hour and half. By that time I am dead beat!
Within 20 mins of training, I drink a whey protein shake with water followed by multivitamins that’s when your body is craving for all that goodness! Then i head to work feeling quite full. At some point before lunch, I take the remaining portion of the smoothie.
I take lunch around 12:30 pm which consists of carbohydrates + veggies
Between lunch and dinner, I have 2 snacks.
Snack # 1: Either apple with nut butter or seeds or porridge. Anything that is slow releasing. Fruit or milk chia puddings are great too.
Snack # 2: Another whey protein shake with water.
Then I take dinner by 7:30 pm which consists of proteins + veggies
Why this food plan?
Around 9:30 pm I drink some chamomile or herbal tea
By 10:30 pm, I am already dying to sleep. This is so unlike me but I love it!
And all day I drink a lot of water (4 liters) in many forms and keep nuts and seeds handy. You never want to feel hungry thats a sign of your metabolism slowing down.
You just have to make it work around your schedule. Everyone’s life is different and there is no template to getting it just perfect. You devise your own plan and make it work for you! Just remember to add in all the goodness so each day you are one step towards your goal. Everything you put into your body should have a reason, when something doesn’t thats when you toss it out!
You decide what goes into your body, it deserves the best!
The honest truth : The 411Lifestyle
We are fighting a battle against the world just to lead a healthy life. Most governments have relaxed food regulations simply because of the lobbying that takes place by the largest companies in the world, the ‘low fat’ products are tweaked with higher sugar contents, the ‘heart healthy’ label is just a show and the foods that are the worst for your health are the cheapest and most easily available! So really we are up against the world to help ourselves just to lead a healthy lifestyle which we should be taking for granted.
When someone is overweight, they know it. They live it everyday, struggling to decide how to reach their goal or the body they once had. The journey to living a healthier lifestyle is definitely not only physical, if it were you could train as hard as ‘physically’ capable and there you’d have it. Its 80% mind and 20% body, take it from me! A person who has tried numerous fad diets and exercise routines relentlessly till I fell off the wagon and realized I am back to square one. This time when I made this decision, I knew conditioning my mind would take priority over training ‘really’ hard for these short bursts so I decided to look at the reality of it all.
How the hell did this happen to me?
Before I began to drown into the self-loathing side of thinking this is all my fault, I looked around me. I wasn’t born craving a brownie or other complex carbohydrates, these addictive toxins were introduced to us from an early age. Our parents became the first victims of the ‘fast food’ era and at that time with limited information and understanding, whatever was branded well, worked! It was almost thought of as a luxury to serve Coke during dinners back when we were toddlers or eating a happy meal at McDonalds when you went on vacation. Our bodies which were like well oiled machines built to fight the harshest of weathers had now gotten a taste of the sugars and complex carbohydrates and thus the beginning of the end!
I get it, most people blame the overweight person for reaching where they are but what about the alarming rate of obese children? Are they heading to the grocery store feeding themselves junk food? I don’t think so. As the new generation of parents/ parents to be or the parents will be, you have all the information in the palm of your hands to save your children! Our parents weren’t so lucky but we are, so there’s no excuse! Speak up in school, get together with other mothers, speak up to the people who might be introducing these toxins to your children; I’m sure you would if someone was providing your toddler drugs!!
In this context, my nieces’ school in London has implemented such guidelines to help the parents and children. Ultimately your child spends most of their time in school so its the perfect place to start! They are taught which ones are ‘good’ foods and ‘bad’ foods, you can’t give sugary goodies for lunch and when its a child’s birthday, you treat all the other kids to a variety of fruits! This way my niece tells her mother what she wants to eat and as a 4 year old has enough knowledge to decide to eat more ‘good’ foods than ‘bad’ foods. I know you are probably thinking you can’t deny your children chocolates all of a sudden and I’m not telling you to either, start replacing it with fruit sugars and take it from there. Become the first parents to have healthy foods at their birthday party, talk to the schools to introduce such guidelines and imagine the difference you can make for all these children. It’s the best for your baby!
So back to understanding how I got to this point, I realized now that being raised with the constant availability of such ‘bad’ foods had resulted in this and when I went to boarding school there was no one to control my eating and the body adjusted to taking in larger amounts of these toxins. From then on as a 16 year old, I remember my struggle had already started. The crash diets, the short burst of working out and then giving up. My body wanted to lose the weight but my mind was addicted and it would convince me that it was okay to have whatever I wanted. The mind is a powerful authority.
As I got older, this vicious ‘yo-yo’ cycle continued because I had always tried the short cut diets and workouts which are fed into society by companies minting money off of people’s self loathing attributes. You lose water, maybe half a pound of fat and lots of muscle and you are in awe because you’ve lost 10 lbs in a week! Believe me, I was a victim every time. It’s funny because while it’s difficult to feel good carrying all that extra weight, you adjust to loving temporary moments of happiness to compensate like wearing expensive bags or shoes. Start investing in your health because honestly, if your body isn’t there who’s going to wear the expensive bags and shoes anyway? What will those bags do when you can’t run around with your child? Nothing.
Today, I am in a much happier place because I have accepted the fact that it will take time to undo what I have done to my body over 10 years. At least I am closer to my goal today than I was 3 months ago. I will be honest with you, the first month was absolute hell. It’s like someone in rehab trying to get over their addiction; my skin broke out, I was cranky, moody, etc. etc. but today? My skin has a healthy glow, I naturally don’t crave any sugars, my doctor told me my blood work looks like a sample of the healthiest people, I sleep through the night and my mindset is so much stronger than yesterday! Let’s help each other and our children and their children and their children’s children so they never have to fight this battle. A battle which we can tackle!
I’ll share my daily day with you so you can see if it works for you. It’s not about body image issues, its about being healthy firstly for yourself and then your loved ones. Be smarter about your investments, invest in your health today!
Practice what you preachLifestyle
I loved cooking, I still love cooking. At a time when I feel I am actually making a realistic change in my life, the past and the future really haunts me. The past, because I remember the terrible eating habits, sedentary lifestyle and most importantly the buttery sugary goodies I would create! The future, because eventually I will be moving back to Dhaka in December and I’m scared that this displacement might throw me off along with a couple of ‘societal pressures’.
I have realized two things: people love to feed ‘fat’ people and secondly people love to feed their guests delectable foods that they would dare not eat themselves any other day of the year/month/week!
Believe me, I was the biggest culprit!
I used to cook these feasts for my friends and family with endless additions of butters, sugars and obviously it tasted like heaven! (If I may say so myself) but I wouldn’t eat those foods myself in general then why was I unintentionally harming my family/friends? Or why was I making a doggy bag for the person who is clearly struggling with their weight? It wasn’t like I had these evil intentions, it just happens to be an innate mind set in most cultures unfortunately.
I still don’t know why I was doing that but I do know that I will stop and it’s time we make a change. If I am trying so hard to attain a healthy lifestyle, my loved ones should reap the benefit from it too. Show them how tasty vegetable fried rice (recipe coming soon!) or vanilla chia pudding (recipe coming soon!) can be. 🙂
Society is a strange thing, you will notice families and friends coming together to help a relative suffering with let’s say a drug addiction. They will arrange support groups, rehab facilities and anything to ‘cure’ him. But do you realize that that overweight person is suffering the same way? The sugars and fats are his addiction and it’s time we open our eyes to it. According to the WHO, more than 1.5 billion adults, 20 and older, were overweight!
I know it’s easier to avoid it because it is such an incredibly emotional and personal thing, make fun of it or simply feed his addiction but then what? Maybe it’ll be too late. The sad truth is that you will come across many ‘pseudo-caring’ people who will be the first to say you are too fat or too thin, first to ask you how you have become this size but when you need someone to really push you and help you, there’s no one. There are scores of silent judgers and no one to really help, so become someone who helps today or ask your sibling/friend to help you.
So, let’s change, even if you are overweight or at the peak fitness of your life, there is something you can do! Be sensitive, starting with ‘I think you need to lose weight’ isn’t probably the best introduction because believe me they know it and live it everyday! So make it fun, join the gym together or play a sport together. Follow each other on fitness apps so you can monitor your food intakes. Challenge each other to see who can lose more weight. Find healthier alternatives together. Just because you have a gifted super metabolism, don’t suggest eating the greasy fatty stuff, eat healthy together!
It’s time we acknowledge this epidemic and do our part. If every person reading this helps just one person, imagine what difference we can make.
I will begin posting recipes this week giving alternative options for people in Dhaka. Try these recipes out, make them with your friends who are struggling. You have no idea how much pain they are in. They need you more than you need them. I would love to hear your stories.
One small step at a time.
PVSD Post vacation stress disorder; there’s a cure!fitness, Lifestyle
So you have had the most fabulous vacation, you ate the best foods and relaxed to your hearts content. Now that you’re back home, we are all too familiar with that horrid feeling of, ‘what have I done?’ ‘Did I really eat all that food?’ ‘I am going on a strict diet now’ ‘I am never eating again!’
At least I know I have been a victim of those traumatic post vacation feeling all too many times. Again, don’t do that to your body, it takes 21 days to form a habit and for your body to accept the new great changes you have made. So treating your body like a trash can for the duration of your holiday just doesn’t make sense!
We traveled to Nassau, Bahamas for 5 days which was the first holiday where I tried to stay true to my routine and thoroughly enjoyed myself, guilt-free.
Start your morning the same way by having that delicious morning smoothie.
1 banana | 4 strawberries | handful of blueberries | 1/4 cup water
Then I used the beautiful setting to inspire a good work out because I’m the type of person who just cannot control my food intake during holidays! 😛
I started with a 5 minute jog in place.
The resistance band is your best travel companion. It’s light, takes no space and allows for a killer workout! I used a band which resists 15lbs
So this was my routine after 5 minutes of jogging.
3 sets of 12 bicep curls
3 sets of 12 triceps
3 sets of 12 shoulder press
3 sets of 12 front rows
3 sets of 12 lateral raise
3 sets of 12 alternate extensions
3 sets of 20 squats
3 sets of 12 lunges
3 sets of 12 side lunges
3 sets of 20 sit ups
3 sets of 20 leg extensions
Stretch it out and enjoy your day! Drink your protein! Take your multivitamins!
I ate lots of seafood and really enjoyed our vacation and best of all it felt great having none of those post holiday feelings! I successfully had no post vacation stress and this is just the beginning!
If I can do it, believe me anyone can!
There is nothing called a full cheat day!fitness, Lifestyle
My normal schedule in London begins with a fruit smoothie, I literally wake up dreaming of it. Followed by a 1.5 hour session with my trainer, Gary Ousby where we do HIIT (high intensity interval training).
My point is that I am incredibly strict with myself during the week. I do not cheat and that really helps develop my self control in the subconscious level. I used to really look forward to the weekend as this were my cheat days! No training and eat whatever! The first two weekends I did just that but it made me feel like hell at the Monday morning training session! I wondered why!
Here’s the reality, you can’t just get off the wagon for 2 days and expect to jump right on after that! Yes, the human body is amazing but not that amazing! You are essentially confusing your body and that’s when it starts to store/crave the things that you are working so hard to eliminate. It’s up to you, which day do you food-cheat and which day do you train-cheat? 😛
So, maintain your intense training sessions and strict food plan during the week, give yourself the 6th day to rest your body. When you are giving your body a rest, keep your eating/drinking in check. On the 7th day, do something fun! Go for a walk, run with a friend, just do anything active which is not your regular regime. That night go to that new restaurant or eat that food you’ve been constantly craving! It’s all about that balance and really thinking about your body, keep it moving and constantly remind it that you won’t sabotage this new lifestyle as this time it is the real deal and not just another crash diet.
That’s exactly what I did today, I got a root canal and was very groggy from the numbness and pain. I realized that going outdoors during this beautiful weather in Great Falls,VA ( where i am on holiday now) would be the perfect pick-me-up! My sister and I went to the backyard and together we did a bit of running, core exercises, shared tips and played a game of basketball! It was so much fun, easy and a great way to spend time with my sister!
It takes about 21 days to form a habit, imagine what happens inside your body when it tries to adapt to this amazing lifestyle for 5 days then gets thrown off! This analogy might put things in perspective, imagine you have a huge ugly blister on your arm and to heal it you ought to clean it with antibacterial wipes, cover it and absolutely no touching. So you follow that routine for 5 days then for the next 2 days you don’t do any of it and just let it be. Will it ever heal? Think about it! Just because we cannot see what’s happening on the inside it’s much easier to avoid it. Don’t avoid what’s inside, it is what’s keeping you alive!
Keep at it! Enjoy the transformation! Enjoy your cheat days, don’t let that temporary euphoric feeling ruin your permanent goal!
Food Plan : Not a diet planfood, Lifestyle
So I used to be obsessed with counting calories, I had every app ever to count my daily intake! I didn’t realize while I was focused on the overall calorie count I was avoiding the ‘real’ information i needed to monitor. Sugars sugars sugars!!!!
A low fat yoghurt that I was happily eating on my ‘diet’ contained about 45g of sugar/ 8 fl oz while a full fat whole milk yoghurt contained 12g of sugar/ 8 fl oz!!!!!!!! Mind blown! Read your labels! Most countries (if any) DO NOT regulate the addition of sugars so while there maybe no fat, it is getting compensated with a huge chunk of sugar!
Basically our bodies respond to sugar like any other euphoria enhancing drug, I’m sure we are all guilty of that great feeling while eating our favorite bar of chocolate but ever notice the absolute hell-ish feeling afterwards? That’s the crash! Now you need more chocolate to make yourself feel better. Thus begins the vicious cycle!
Here’s a way to curb/cut off your cravings for refined sugars:
Eat fruits till lunch, fruits contain fructose which does not abruptly cause sugar fluctuations in your body and takes it’s time to digest unlike sucrose in refined sugar. So your body gets that dose of sugar you are unintentionally craving and slowly you will lose your dependency on sucrose and turn to fructose! It took me a whole month! (morning smoothie recipe to follow)
So once that’s covered, here’s the simple plan:
Do not mix carbohydrates and proteins!
Eat the carbohydrates for lunch like brown rice, whole wheat pasta, grains, quinoa, etc mixed with vegetables.
Eat lean proteins like chicken, turkey, fillet, etc mixed with vegetables for dinner.
Take minimal oil by using the spray.
Snack on seeds, nut butters and never ever let yourself feel hungry! That’s the sign of your metabolism going down a notch!
Lastly, water water water is your best friend! (Flavored waters post to follow)
Give it a shot! It is super easy especially when eating out! Just think before you eat!