My workout routine| June 2019

Recently i have been getting quite alot of questions regarding my workout routine and also people wanting different workout schedules/programs.

And well, instead of answering everyone seperatly, i thought i might as well do an update of my workout routine on here.

Regarding workout schedules and programs, i don’t personally do them… even if i have taken courses regarding exercise and planning exercise routines, i am more focused on nutrition and feel more comfortable with health coaching and nutrition plans. So for workout schedules, there are plenty of amazing people out there who have more knowledge in creating workout programs!

So how is my workout plan at the moment? Well …. my workouts go in phases.

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Sometimes i have lots of time to workout, sometimes i have little time to workout.

Sometimes i have lots of motivation to workout, othertimes i have barely any motivation to workout.

Sometimes all i want to do is lift heavy weights and other times i just want to run.

And other times all i want to do is go for walks.

After a phase of just wanting to run and go for walks, i am now back into my strength training phase and just wanting to lift weights.

It is kind of nice to vary and to be able to do different forms of exercise. Just going to the gym and lifting weights X times a week for 10 years straight doesn’t appeal to me. I need some sort of variation in my workouts so that i don’t just do the same thing over and over as that gets rather boring.

Recently i haven’t actually had that much time to workout, so i have gone to the gym around 3 times a week and other days just gone for walks. But typically i try to go to the gym every second day, so around 4 days a week works well for me in my life right now. And the days i don’t lift weights at the gym i go for walks – usually, unless i have a long 8 hour work shift then i am often too tired, as i am on my feet working for 7 of the 8 hours.

So what do i do when i lift weights/strength train? Well, i still do the typical “body builder” type of training where i workout muscle groups. I do personally think that workouts life crossfit or functional training is the most optimal… where you work your whole body and do both strength and cardio in the same workout or movements. Those exercises and workouts are more beneficial for health and function…. training biceps and triceps isn’t exactly what you need in everyday life unless you have a job where you need alot of arm strength. But typically a “Body builder” workout does build strength and muscle but is also about aesthetics.

However my goal is neither to get stronger, i.e i don’t always press myself to max to get stronger. And my goal is neither to have visible abs and boulder shoulders…. i mostly just workout for health and because i enjoy it.

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So my workouts are very much based on what i want to workout that day… i don’t have any set program i follow. Typically though in a week i would do 1 back session, 1 leg session, 1 upperbody session (i.e shoulders, biceps and triceps) and 1 cardio and abs session. And do a warm up/run/cardio when i feel like it. The schedule and exercises i do vary.. but if i just workout at the gym 2 times in a week then i would do an upperbody and lowerbody session as i like to workout all my muscle groups in one week anyway.

So that is pretty much my schedule at the moment. During summer this will change as i may be out in the sun more doing runs or walks, or if i have long work shifts i may not workout at all due to time/energy levels. I don’t usually plan my workouts beforehand either… i plan my workout when i get to the gym.

However i do usually try to plan what times/what days i can workout at the start of each week. Somedays it is early sessions before school and other days it is late sessions after dinner, all depends on what i am doing in the day. And somedays i plan to workout after lunch/after school but have things to do or am too tired and then i head home instead. And somedays i sleep past my alarm and miss my planned morning workout… that’s just life.

I make sure that my workouts are based on enjoyment and because i want to do them and never force myself to workout, however i do make sure to get some fresh air and move my body each day (as long as i am not super sick or injured). But i don’t have any minimum time i have to workout, sometimes a 20 minute walk is enough.

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So there you see my workout routine as of May/June 2019 🙂

I do want to get into more functional/crossfit style workouts again, because as i mentioned i do think they are the most beneficial, especially for health. Not to mention super fun. And in the future i would like to run some OCR/obstacle couse races such as tough mudder. And also to begin running more often/regularly and not just have it as a phase thing.

I would love to know HOW do YOU workout? What’s your workout routine? 🙂

New years resolution -start eating better and working out? | Making sustainable lifestyle changes

This new years eve, when i was celebrating with my friends we began talking about new years resolutions.

I don’t actually have any new years resolutations – i have goals and dreams for the whole year, but no resolutions. However all my friends had the goal, to start eating better and working out.

I was actually a little surprised, i thought that that was just a stereotypical thing and that no one actually had that as a resolution anymore, but i guess i was wrong. And of course, there is nothing wrong with that resolution, it is great that people want to focus on eating better and working out more often.

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However, most people go about it the wrong way. In January they all decide to get gym cards – along with everyone else – and because they are so motivated they force themselves to the gym 5-6 times a week, which only really lasts a few weeks until they get tired, bored, unmotivated. They try to eat healthy and that means cutting out all junk food and anything they consider “Bad”. Instead they just eat a bunch of salad, bland and boring food and they are left feeling unsatisfied, tired and craving sweets and junk food even more than before. And eventually end up back to their usual eating habits.

Getting healthier doesn’t mean you have to run 6 days a week and eat salad. In reality, that isn’t sustainable anyway.

It is better to make small changes overtime and make it a lifestyle change, not a 6 week diet.

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I know that i am lucky and have grown up in a family where eating “Healthy” and exercising is just part of my lifestyle. It isn’t something i stop with or give up. Because even if i do have dips in motivation with working out, i know that eventually i will get back into and find my motivation and enjoyment again. I know however this isn’t the case for everyone and that many just can’t seem to stick with a “healthy” diet and workout routine, but i thought i would share some tips for those of you who have the new years resolution, “eat better and workout more”.

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My tips for making a healthier lifestyle change and sticking to your new years resolution:

  1. Try different forms of exercise. Try swimming, try gym classes, try running, try dancing, try yoga…. Also, try them atleast 2-3 times to see. The first time might not always ben fun because you may just feel awkward and lost, but you get better the more you do it!
  2. Try working out with someone else…. whether it is a friend, partner, family member or in a group. It can be a way to make exercising more fun and at the same you are social. Not to mention, you will *hopefully* be more likely to exercise if you make a pact with someone else. You can help motivate each other.
  3. Set realistic goals. Setting the goal to run 10km in 2 weeks if you can’t even run 1km yet isn’t a realistic goal… instead, focus on goals that can challenge and motivate you, but at the same time are realistic.
  4. Also remember that practise makes perfect! You may not start off as the best, but you can only get better. And the better you get, the more fun it is!
  5. Set long term and short term goals & have rewards for when you reach them. This can be motivating for some, and it is always nice to have something to look forward to!
  6. Don’t try to workout 2 times a day or 6 days a week when you first start. Instead, increase slowly. Begin with maybe 1-2 times a week, and over time you can increase if you can fit in the workouts.
  7. Priortize working out… why not watch an episode while on the bicycle or treadmill on the gym?

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What about changing your diet and eating healthier?

  1. Eating healthy doesn’t mean never eating sweets or chocolate or ice cream again, it just means eating them in a more balanced way. I.e not on a daily basis.
  2. Also choosing when you eat them… i.e just because you are offered doesn’t mean you have to eat it.
  3. The best way to start is to look at your diet as it is right now… then identify what you think needs to be changed, and why. You don’t need to make all changes at once, and you don’t need to go from 100 to 0. Instead say to yourself… Maybe instead of eating chocolate 5 days a week i can eat it 3 days a week? Maybe instead of regular soda i can drink diet soda? Maybe instead of drinking alcohol every weekend i can cut down to 2 weekends each month, or have one weekend alcohol free?
  4. Also focus on what you CAN eat and what you should increase, instead of what you should cut down and take away. I.e eat MORE fruit and vegetables. Eat MORE homecooked. Eat MORE plantbased. Eat MORE vegan/vegetarian option. This is a much better mindset and you focus on what you can eat, not what you “shouldn’t” eat.
  5. Set small and realistic goals. I.e is it realistic for you to go from 5 cups of coffee to 0? no, maybe not so focus on just cutting down. Also setting 1-2 goals each week maybe be better than trying to do everything at once. Such as the first week you try to eat 3-5 fruits a day and drink more water. The next week, along with those other two goals you also try to increase your vegetable intake the whole week. The week after that you try to eat less chocolate and use less salt etc etc This will create more lasting and sustainable changes and it won’t feel too overwhelming.
  6. Don’t jump onto any restrictive or fad diets. Really this should have been the first point. One sure way to set yourself up for failure is to do a FAD or very restrictive diet. It is not sustainable or enjoyable, you will just feel tired and deprived. Not to mention, don’t fall into the marketing trick of fatburners, appetitesurpressants etc… they don’t work and are just a waste of money.
  7. Focus on primarily plantbased/whole foods. And try to think of the 80/20 rule. I.e 80% of your diet is wholefoods/plant based and 20% of your diet can be other food.
  8. Make “healthy” food delicious. I.e forget boring lettuce and tomato salads, and instead fill your salads with lots of tasty and nourishing foods such as tofu, beans, sweet potato, avocado, make some type of dressing. You don’t have to eat boring or bland food just because it is plant based or healthy. Use spices and seasoning, try different methods of cooking, find recipes to try.
  9. Don’t cut out whole food groups – i.e you need carbs, protein, fat and fiber. So don’t cut out fats or carbs just because it is a trend-diet.
  10. Eat foods that make you feel good. But also focusing on how you eat can be a goal. I.e don’t stress eat, don’t eat mindlessly, structure your meal times and if possible, eating without distraction can be good for some. And if you are someone who gets alot of stomach pain and digestive issues, then focus on feeling relaxed when eating and don’t stress eat or throw the food into you. Instead take your time to eat and relax when you eat – this can help with digestive issues.

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Focus on making lifestyle changes and the aim of exercising more frequently and eating better is to make you feel better overall, physically and mentally. So if you aren’t feeling better after some time, then rethink what you are doing and eating!

And if you have weightloss as a new years goal – this goes along with finding a workout routine that works for you, and a healthy diet that works for you. When you have the goal weightloss, you do of course have to eat a calorie minus (unless you plan to workout several hours a day). But you can still eat alot of delcious food, even if you have to eat at a calorie minus. Also focus on a slow weightloss instead of trying to lose 5kg in a month – it will be alot more sustainable.

Also.. .let’s not forget those that actually have the goal of gaining weight or getting stronger. Once again, having it a long term goal can often be better than trying to gain strength or lots of weight in a short period of time. And focus on eating at a surplus, adding example drinks to your meals if you find it hard to eat enough, and snacking onn nuts and dried fruit 🙂

Learning about exercise with a past of exercise addiction?

In the past i have made posts answering the question of, studying nutrition when you have a past with an eating disorder, which you can read more about HERE.

But this term i am learning alot more about exercise, infact this whole term is primarily focused on exercise. Which of course is super fun to learn about, and to get a better understanding of exercise and different training programs and what happens in the body etc

However, there has also been a sort of internal conflict of learning about exercise – where we of course learn about the importance of exercising – and also having a personal history and background with exercise addiction.

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In the course we are reminded of how important it is to be active, but also to get in your daily steps as well as to limit the amount of time being sedentary and still. Of course i already know all of this, and also the rational part of my mind reminds me that it is ok to rest, sit, relax and be still. The recommendations are mostly aimed at those who are extremely sedentary and barely get in a any steps – then it can be recommended for them to think about standing, getting up to move and to really try to get in some daily activity.

For those who already are active, i.e walk, have some form of extra activity as a hobby, and are somewhat active, they may not have to think as much about trying to fit in even more exercise. However, it is recommended for everyone to try to get up and move/stretch after atleast 2-3 hours of sitting and being still – not just for your brain and better concentration, but for your whole body – muscles, heart, blood, oxygen flow.

Unfortunately our society is also built on helping people be lazy and inactive. It’s easier to take the elevator than the stairs. It is easier to take the bus than to cycle or walk. Meetings, school, lectures… everything includes sitting. For the majority of people it’s not easy to do their work while being active – you need to sit infront of a computer or sit and study or sit and take notes in a lecture. It is weird if you stand up.

The biggest problem in our society is that far too many people are inactive. Far too many people don’t reach the recommended 150min/exercise per week. Far too many people are sedentary their whole day.

However, there is also a small amount of people  who exercise far too much than is healthy. People who abuse exercise and overexercise. This is also a problem.

And one of the big problems is that the exercise recommendations and guidelines – the fear of being inactive and the negative health consequences of not exercising – is only being taken in by those who are already active. Whereas those who need to follow the recommendations don’t actually listen to the recommendations.

I can personally say – and this is why i am writing this post – is that it is hard to not want to begin exercising alot more than i am already doing. To begin doing 2 workouts a day. To try to walk more than 10 000 steps a day. To stand and be more active. Slight feelings and thoughts of “not doing enough, not being active enough”. And it doesn’t help that i have already cut down alot on my exercise recently due to lack of time and lack of motivation, so i am already feeling like what i am doing is inadequate and so little compared to what i used to once do. And then to be reminded of that more exercise i better (to a certain extent.)

Also the reminder of how bad being sedentary and being still is, is something that is really getting to me. During my type of exercise addiction, i was so incredibly scared to sit down and would stand (or be active) pretty much all the hours that i was awake. And i would even limit my sleep so that i wasn’t still while sleeping (not to mention i thought i wasn’t burning enough calories while sleeping) – that’s how bad it got for me. So to be reminded that being still – and sedentary isn’t good – is slightly bothering me.

Of course, the rational part of my brain reminds me that daily activity and going to the gym/running a few times a week is ENOUGH for health. And the recommended is 150min a week, i.e c.a 30 minutes moderate intensity exercise 5 times a week (as well as daily movement such as walking, taking stairs etc).

Why am i writing this post… well to be honest and to share my thoughts. I do find it slightly triggering in some sense – not triggering enough to affect me negatively, but it does get me thinking and feeling slightly inadequate with my exercise. And i am writing this, so that maybe if YOU are in a sensitive place or have/do struggle with exercise addiction, then maybe learning about exercise or training to be a PT or something isn’t the best thing to do. Not until you are in a better place mentally anyway.

I know personally that if i had started studying nutrition while still sick in my eating disorder – it would have been done for the wrong reasons. As well as been incredibly triggering, whereas now i am not triggered by learning about nutrition or how food is digested and absorbed. And neither am i triggered by testing different diets, counting calories or making meal plans for others.

I do also want to mention that in my course i am currently tracking my steps for 2 weeks, and i don’t find this triggering. But that is because i already have a step counter on my phone so i already know my average step count – but i do think it could be very triggering for someone who has had a past with exercise addiction/obsession with exercise.

Learning about exercise and exercise physiology and nutrition is very interesting, and a great compliment to all the nutrition knowledge i have. Because exercise and nutrition usually go hand in hand. And i am going to remind myself that i am doing enough exercise to be healthy and don’t need to do more or stress myself to do more when i already have so much else going on in my life.

I would love to know what others think about this, or if you have been in the same experience/situation 🙂

(Also, please don’t interpret this as i am sick/falling into old behaviours – it is just me sharing my thoughts and maybe able to help others!)

 

Posts about exercise addiction:

The importance of rest and my exercise addiction

Struggling – life with a chronic illness: Cystic Fibrosis

I have been unsure whether i wanted to write or share this post, but i felt i wanted and needed to share my thoughts.

After Mondays appointment at the hospital with my CF doctor it just sort of clicked for me how much i have been struggling. I have tried to suppress the feelings and thoughts i have had, but on Monday i realised i can’t. Especially not if i want to make a change.

Recently i have been struggling alot with my chronic illness – Cystic Fibrosis. I feel like i am 13 years old again and want to scream that i am normal, just like everyone else. I feel like the 12/13 year old who sat on the stairs crying because i didn’t want to be abnormal. I didn’t want to have this illness. I didn’t want to have to take medications everyday and do inhalers that take time each day. Most of all… i wanted to just be normal and like everyone else.

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Of course, now when i am older i know that so many people have different illnesses, and i am lucky that i have a rather mild form of CF. Some people with this ilness spend their lives in hospital, so i am lucky in that way. But it doesn’t take away my struggle or my feelings.

Recently it has gotten alot harder to breathe. Both due to the extreme heat which has made it hard for me to breathe deep and has limited my capability to exercise, which in turn makes my breathing and CF worse. So it is a dark circle where if i skip exercising it makes my CF worse and that in turn makes it even harder to get back into doing cardio.

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Recently it has been a real struggle to breathe. Imagine having a belt around half your lungs so that you can’t breath all the way in, and at the same time breathing through a straw…. that’s how it feels for me all the time. For the first time in my life i have begun waking up coughing in my sleep, and for the first time in my life i can actually sort of relate to the feeling of drowning from the inside, which is how some people describe Cystic Fibrosis. Because that is how i feel at the moment.

Instead of this dip in my health making me motivated to make a change and really focus on getting back on track and improving my health, it has made me less motivated. I have just felt like… “what is the point?”. Why even bother – it most likely won’t make a difference. So instead of taking my medication and doing my inhalers i have decided to be like my 12 year old self who began to rebel and just think ” f**k it”.

That of course has made my health and breathing decline and it does scare me to not be able to breath. To constantly be coughing and have people at the gym tell me i shouldn’t workout if i am sick (when infact working out is one of the things helping me and that my coughing isn’t contagious.)

Sometimes i wish i could just put a label on my head that says i have CF and have an illness so that people would know… and wouldn’t just think i am walking around coughing and being contagious.

On Monday i got my results back from all the various tests i did in May/June, and the results were as expected…. not as great as they have been or could be. A slow decline in health and lung function. My bone density being affected, which could also be due to hormones. My blood tests did come back good though and no deficiences, which is a good thing.

For a while my CF doctor has asked me if i want to talk to a psychologist which is part of the CF team, and each time i have declined. I don’t want to talk to someone, i don’t need help.

But for the first time i decided to say yes….  to say that yes, i do infact want to meet the psychologist. I don’t know when. I don’t know if i will go. I might cancel just like i have done many times in the past… but maybe, just maybe i will go and get help.

I am struggling with my illness. Both physically and mentally. My decline in health and breathing is affecting my mentally and physically. I feel tired. I don’t want this illness anymore, i just want to be able to breathe like everyone else and not have a constant struggle with one of the most basic human things.

I know i am not alone in having a chronic illness – everyone has their struggles. But we all have our right to struggle and find that sometimes our struggles are just too much.

Part of me just wants to continue saying “f**k it” and disregard everything with medication and inhalers, and the other part of me is thinking…. what if i try to do my very best for the next 3 weeks before my next appointment. What if i could just turn things around and make things better? Just like with recovery from eating disorders and depression, it is about making the choice and the change. Breaking the negative cycles and habits you have gotten into.

I need to try to find my motivation – which of course should be increased health and better well being. But i might need to find some type of outer motivation as well such as a holiday or a new tattoo if i can manage to turn things around with my health and get back into healthy habits and routines with my CF.

I may study health and promote health and healthy habits, but i don’t always do things according to the books. Motivation and changing behaviour isn’t always easy.

I am struggling at the moment and feel extremely low on energy and just low on motivation and life motivation. But i hope that i will turn things around that with improving my physical health i can also help improve my mental health.

Being strong doesn’t always mean being alone and fighting in silence, sometimes you need to reach out to others and just tell them how much you are struggling so you can get help from others.

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Healthy set point |If you have to restrict yourself or overexercise to maintain your weight – then it may not be your healthy weight | Weight

I often get questions asking me how often i workout or how i dealt with overexercising and learning to rest.

I have quite a few posts about these two topics HERE: (Overexercising & learning to rest).

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An important reminder, which i think many of my followers may need, and this advice applies mostly to people who have an eating disorder or struggle with body image or have a negative relationship to food and exercise. And the advice is….

If you need to restrict yourself, deprive yourself or if you struggle with restrict-binge-purge cycle to control your weight, then your weight may not be healthy for you.

Or if you need to spend hours exercising everyday, or compensate eating with exercising to not gain weight – then maybe your weight is not healthy for you.

This advice doesn’t apply to everyone, because in some cases such as if you have been very overweight or obese in the past, then you can have hormones that make you feel constantly hungry and you need to portion your food out and may not be able to eat as much as you want to stay a healthy weight (because you have been overweight in the past). But also if you have a past of being overweight then it can be easy to slip back into old habits if you don’t have some type of control over what you eat and regular exercise.

HOWEVER i know that many in recovery from an eating disorder, especially when they are half recovered. Or people who constantly yo-yo diet, end up going to all forms of extremes to try to maintain a weight that isn’t healthy for them.

If you have to restrict yourself and deprive yourself or still feel hungry after eating, or you can’t take any rest days, just to maintain your weight then you need to rethink if your weight is actually healthy for you.

Picture on the left was when i was in half recovery and said that i was a healthy weight and couldn’t gain anymore. Vs 2016 (i.e 2 years ago) but i am still the same weight as then 2 years later, and a healthy weight that my body naturally maintains even if i eat more/less or exercise more/less.

If you have reached your healthy set point, then your body will regulate your weight (up or down 2-4kg depending on hormones and water weight as well as food intake). If you can’t take a few days off from working out and eating like usual without freaking out or gaining weight then your weight may not be healthy for you.

Of course, i don’t promote weighing yourself, and especially not everyday. But the fact is that if you are using unhealthy behaviours to maintain your weight then your weight isn’t healthy for you.

In the past when i was in half recovery i used the excuse that i had CF as to why i couldn’t gain weight, but the truth was that i was still using sick behaviours and unhealthy habits to maintain that weight. I was exercising more than was necessary or healthy. I was restricting carbs and was still hungry after eating. I wasn’t eating as freely as i wanted to, instead i still only stuck to safe food. I didn’t have a healthy relationship with food or exercise and would freak out if i ate something that was different than usual or was more than usual. As well as i couldn’t take any rest days, or only 1 active rest day.

Whereas now i have stayed mostly the same weight for the past 4-5 years – apart from a dip when i ended up with an inflamed pancreas as well as severe depression which caused me to lose my appetite completely and lose weight rather quick. As well as have gained more weight from strength training, but my weight has been stable otherwise even the times i don’t exercise as often or times i eat more. My body balances itself and keeps me at my healthy set point. (Note, i don’t have a scale at home but i get weighed once a month when i have to visit the doctors and there i see my weight.)

What am i trying to say with this long post? Well… if you are always hungry or restricting yourself or need to exercise alot to maintain your weight or body fat, then maybe that isn’t your healthy set point and infact gaining a few kilo would make your body more healthy. Your body might find its healthy set point and you can find a more balanced relationship to food and exercise.

This may or may not be something you need to think about. It may apply to you.. it may not, weight and healthy set point is very individual. But from my past experience i know that i tried to convince myself that i had a healthy weight – that was still underweight – when i was infact using unhealthy habits and methods to keep me at that weight.

Most important though – LIFE IS SO MUCH BETTER WHEN YOU STOP WEIGHING YOURSELF AND STOP CARING ABOUT WEIGHT. Focus on healthy life, healthy habits, healthy lifestyle and happy mind. When you begin to focus on life and inner health and balance rather than appearance and weight!!!