Monthly Archives: May 2015

Enjoy The Little Things

Often, as it is in a variety of aspects of life; the little things can be overlooked and sometimes; forgotten. This post is for them.

Over the last few weeks I have done the following:

  • Lost around 8lb (4kg) gradually & am maintaining it
  • Achieved above body weight on a machine in the gym
  • Didn’t lose my temper when I couldn’t lift the same weight (this is probably HUGE though)
  • My left arm tricep deficit looks to have caught up to my right, finally.

I also seem to have increased in skill level for baking:

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The are blueberry & chocolate blondies & they’re incredible!  

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I also made Protein cheesecake 🙂

In my training journey; I’m finally starting to see upper body definition – I’ve always had a really weak/inferior upper body, favouring my legs (I used to sprint, do long jump, cycle as well as relay when I was a lot younger)  I have pictures!!

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Oh, yeah….I’ve also got back in to deadlifting, now I have a stronger core/quads.

I have a crazy amount of happy going on inside me, it’s all kinds of wonderful.  Andy had some awesome words to say about me today:

EMPOWERMENT

I’ve always believed that to truly achieve long term change that we need to really explore things for OURSELVES.

Granted we all need the correct guidance and help, something I myself have been fortunate to be afforded over the years from some very good people. However rather than just being a dictator or having people do as I say, with everything I like to get people to really find out what it is they want not only from their training but how it will make the other parts of their lives better and other peoples.

There are times when we all need to be told certain HOME TRUTHS but also times when to be asked the right questions that lead to us really looking into and researching for ourselves what we really want to achieve and how to get there, rather than just to be told this is the only way etc.

I’m unbelievably PROUD that many people I train are not only making physical progress but really making GREAT progress with other aspects of what they do.

One GREAT example of this is Sarah Watson going from a chronic debilitating back injury and addicted to painkillers along with other serious issues, to her now helping not only herself but others with their own fitness journey. Sarah does this via her own fantastically written blog: goalsforgains.wordpress.com. that covers her journey in a style that is not typical of the fitness industry.

For Sarah Watson to do this from where she started from physically is a monumental achievement as is the way she has used this to help her mentally along the way. But even more importantly Sarah has used what she has learned and is constantly still learning to HELP not only HERSELF but OTHERS aswell.

For me to see someone achieve all of this with fitness being the driving force behind it is my true idea of a success story, as it’s not just 1 person that has gained from her achievements but many others. Sarah has INSPIRED these people through being EMPOWERED to follow what inner talent she has.

This post has been a bit of a ramble, for that I apologise, just wanted to get some stuff jotted down & all of this didn’t feel like it warranted single posts.

TL; DR: Everything is aweome!!


Dear You……

I know you see me a lot in gym gear, or zooming past you on my bike.  You sometimes see a status from me on social media talking about what I’ve been up to in the gym, or maybe you’ve seen photos on instagram of food I’ve made. You smile when you see me, tell me I’m getting smaller and in the next breath; tell me I’m obsessed with training.  You may look at me like I’m crazy when I tell you what time I get up to go & train, you sometimes tell me that I’m mad, or it will damage my health doing this.

You are not helping me.

You may think that your remarks, looks and comments are in jest or perhaps, somewhere deep down inside your heart that you are, in fact helping.  You are wrong.  You cannot seem to comprehend how damaging what you’re saying actually is.

Do I tell you you’re “obsessed” with whatever passion you’re pursuing? Do I just look at you & shake my head when you tell me something that you’re really excited about? Even if I don’t understand why your passion burns so brightly?  Why would I do that? You’re clearly extremely happy with where you’re going & what you’re doing, so why am I received with groans, looks of shock/disbelief when I tell you I did a 70kg deadlift?

My passion burns just as brightly as yours, even if you cannot see it or even attempt to understand it.  You admire how much I’ve changed, but then offer me chocolates & sweets; saying “it’s only one.  Go on, treat yourself” Do you know that I have issues with food? No.  Because I don’t talk about it.

A few months ago, your comments would have caused me worry. Worry if I was doing the right thing, worry that I’d develop Orthorexia, worry that I’d hurt myself, worry about whether it was all going to be worth it.  I don’t worry about your words now, but you should think more before you speak, even if you *think* you’re helping, reverse the situation:  If I said that to you, about something you love; how would you feel?

My own personal pursuit of aesthetics as well as being able to do general day-to-day tasks (that you may take for granted) have no impact on you & your life.  The way I choose to live mine; has no impact on you.  Doing what I do gives me joy & inner calm that I’ve not experienced for years – so maybe, yes I am obsessed.  I’m obsessed with being happier than I’ve felt, I’m obsessed with eating to fuel my body, not to gorge on garbage, obsessed with making an active decision to stop needing painkillers, obsessed with seeing if I can lift more, push more, cycle faster or cook something that tastes incredible, but doesn’t also want to kill you. Obsessed with being better & feeling better.

It is a lot of effort, but that doesn’t mean my choices can be something for you to poke fun at.  I get you don’t understand, I do. I get that.  I know you’re not interested enough for me to be able to eloquently explain why I do what I do & that’s fine.  I don’t want to bore you, however please, please, please don’t interpret your not wanting to know as an excuse for telling me that I’m “obsessed”.

Regards,

Passionate, not obsessed.

Train-Eat-Sleep-Repeat-Gym-Hoodie


A Month With The FitBit Surge

So, it’s been a month since I just got my Fitbit Surge & have wanted to write a review about it for a while.  However, felt like I needed to use it for sometime first.

Initial Impressions:

When it first arrived, it was apparent that this is the Flagship Device for Fitbit, the attention to detail in the packaging outweighs the packaging on other devices, including other Fitbit devices. It has a small button to depress to push the watch from its housing & the overall feel of the box just exudes quality.

I was eager to try it, installed the app on my phone & pulled the watch out of its cradle, & fastened it to my wrist. It’s big. It feels big, like I was surprised at how big it felt compared with my previous smartband.  You DO get used to the size & I have dinky wrists, so anything on them usually feels pretty big!

It feels secure when it’s on due to the watch style strap; which was a must for me after I lost a previous band due to a flimsy closure.

App Layout:

I use my Fitbit Surge with a HTC M9, which works by pairing through BLE 4.0 (bluetooth low energy) there is an option in the menus to change it to support legacy bluetooth 2.0 – which I’ve never seen on a smartband before. It also comes with a USB dongle to pair on your PC – The device can store information so you don’t need to sync it every day.

I’ve added some screengrabs from my phone, the first one is the dashboard; which gives a rundown of your day, tapping on each one will give you more information, either for the day, a week, a month and so on. It makes for very easy tracking of your progress.

Recently, my Fitbit updated to include GPS tracking of cycling, before this update I used “spinning” as a way to track my cycling. You can choose additional activities to track, ranging from circuit training to golf to martial arts, as well as running, weigh training etc.

You can also pair it with other apps, such as Endomondo, IFTTT, & My fitness Pal. I’ve yet to try it with the apps as have only recently discovered IFTTT & use MFP on it’s own.

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There is also a dashboard on the web, after downloading the software to pair via the dongle if you’re not wanting to use a phone – this will be an amazing resource for you.  There’s also the option to chat to your friends & see their step progress on the app & the web dashboard.

General Use:

Overall, the Fitbit Surge is a handy device – you can even control your music from the iOS version! A feature I’d love to see in the Android one; I can dream!

I have alarms set on my Fitbit, which helps wake me sometimes – only if I’m partially awake does it help. It alerts me to texts & calls – which is great if my phone is on a low volume/out of reach.

Another great feature is the heart rate tracker – perfect for not wearing a chest strap. It calculates when you’re in cardio & fat burn zones as well based on your height & weight it knows when is optimum times for you.  I quickly learned most of my training is in the fat burn zone over anything else. I’ve also seen my heart rate drop over the month as my fitness levels have increased; something that I was quite surprised with; I now have an average BPM of 52.

Personal Feelings:

I love my Surge. Once I got used to the bulk, it now feels odd if I don’t have it on. I don’t get the 7 days battery life from it, but I do have it using the GPS function twice a day, 5 days a week – which is going to cut the life between charges.

I did recently suffer the skin irritation reported by a few users, however since being aware of this I’ve moved my watch a little further down my wrist & the slight rash I had is gone.  I wear it watch face down as my cycling gloves were hitting the pause button on the screen & I hadn’t noticed which meant I lost valuable tracking time for a few days.

The fact it doubles as a watch is a massive plus for me as it means I no longer have to wear two devices on my wrist.

It’d be nice if the apps could pair with more, as I used to use Strava to track my cycling – which is an awesome app, as it tracks parts of your route & tells you when you got a faster time in sections. A feature that I loved.

I wonder if I can get IFTTT can do it for me?


Something Profound Happened….

The past week or so things have thwarted me in one way or another from training as much as I’d like. Some sound like awful excuses; so I’m not going in to it. It’s made me feel quite shitty & I’ve had to get back on the codeine.

I’ve been looking in to my diet & have made some changes- hopefully I’ll get to blog about it in greater detail later.  For now, I’ve added BCAA’s to my morning routine & have had some minimal success with Beta Alanine pre-gym.

Today, once I’d finished my set I weighed myself.  It’s not really something I want to make a habit of, but I do like to know where I am.  I’ve lost 3 kilo’s (6lb) this is the most I’ve lost for a long time.

Anyway, while I walking to work I was thinking about that 15kg – I use 14kg kettlebells to do squat warm-ups.  I used to carry that weight EVERYWHERE.

Although my journey to being fitter has never been about weightloss, I find it quite profound that what I lift (& couldn’t a few months ago) was the extra I used to weigh. I’ve never looked at it like that before.

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