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? 🙂

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!!! 

Trying a new gym – gym anxiety?

Along with my move of apartment i have also started going to a new gym. It is not a new gym brand, just a new location that is closer to where i live.

It is strange how i have been going to the gym c.a 6 years now and strength training 5 years… but still, whenever i try a new gym i feel like a newbie and like i have never been to a gym before.

I know i am not alone in feeling this way – many people hate going to a new gym, no matter how many years you have been going to a gym.

Trying to find where all the different equipment is, finding the lockers and the bathroom. Wandering around, looking lost even if you know exactly what you want and what exercise you are going to do, you can’t find the right equipment or location. Or maybe the gym machines are different to the ones you usually use and you can’t figure out how the new ones work, so you can’t adjust them accordingly. Yup, it can be frustrating, embarrassing and cause anxiety. It does for me anyway.

 

I have previously written some posts about gym anxiety: HERE and a post about being new to the gym/gym etiquette HERE

The first time i tried the new gym location there were SO MANY people. Granted, it was after Easter so i guess there were alot of people trying to burn off the calories as usual after holidays. So the first time i went to the gym location i felt flustered, awkward, anxious because i couldn’t find what i was looking for, the gym area was smaller than i was used to and it felt like people were standing 2cm away from each other. So i left thinking, “I am not going back to that location. I will just travel further each time i workout to my regular gym location.”

However… this is how i always feel. I like the comfort of my usual location, the “normal”. But i remember when i first tried the closest gym location where i lived at previously, i felt the same and left thinking the exact same thing that “nope, i am not going back here”. But then i went back and soon it became my favourite gym location.

So i decided to go back, and have tried the “new” gym location 2 more times and am beginning to like it alot more – especially now when there aren’t so many people. It is closer to home and more convenient than having to travel into the city each day so prefer going to the one closer to home, also realising that it has some gym equipment which my regular gym doesn’t have.

It is always the initial anxiety and nerves of being “new” – even if i know what i am doing. It feels like everyone will look at me and think, “wow, who is she… i have never seen her before. Does she even workout?”. I feel like i return to the 16 year old insecure me who began working out and had no idea what she was doing. However, once i actually begin working out my confidence comes back and i just zone everyone out. NOT TO MENTION that i am pretty sure no one even notices if i am new at the gym or not. And everyone is so focused on their own exercise and workout program that they don’t have time to focus on what anyone elses is doing.

So… my advice to all of you. DON’T be scared to try a new gym or new form of exercise. It may feel scary and anxietyridden at first, but it will pass. Also – give it a few times… don’t decide after the first session that you don’t want to go there/do it anymore… instead give it atleast 3-4 chances and if you still don’t like the form of exercise or exercise location – change. But give it an honest chance first.

I know that if i had listened to the anxiety of first starting a gym or trying a new gym i would never go to the gym right now. Instead i would most likely just be out running or walking because i would be too anxious to go to a gym and feel awkward or anxious.

Also trust me… nobody notices or cares – everyone is so focused on themselves.

However making a plan, having a good playlist and just trying to rock some confidence can help if you feel very anxious!!

Recovery question – exercise addiction/overanalyzing/always counting calories or exercise

Hi Izzy,
I have a question since I know you suffered from a severe exercise addiction when you had your ed. Im still not fully recovered, but I’m weight restored and live a normal life so I guess I’d say Im very close to recovery. However, I also had a very serious problem with excessive movement when I was at my worst stages in the illness. Today I’m quite sedentary since I study full time, and I don’t get anxiety for moving/not moving, but the problem is that I still think about how/when/how much I move and will move almost all the time!! I don’t know why because I doesn’t make me move more or less, it’s just like I’m always analyzing it even though it makes no sense at all and it’s completely unnecessary.. Its like “Now I’m sitting down, now I’m standing, now I’m walking, now I’m dancing etc..” and it is so frustrating and I just want to be normal like I was before my ed when I never had a though about the daily movement. Was this ever a problem for you? If so, how did you stop thinking about your movement?

Hello,

First off i am so sorry it has taken me so long to reply to your comment. Maybe you have managed to find some tactics that have worked for you to overcome this problem.

I never struggled with this exact problem, however i did have thoughts like “i am not moving/exercising enough”, i would compare my exercise/movement to others, if i saw others moving when i wasn’t i would feel anxiety – example if i was sitting on the train and i saw people standing i would begin to feel very guilty and anxious – as well as just trying to move as much as possible. At my worst i did count the hours i was activity and the hours i was still/sitting each day and only allowed myself X hours each day to actually sit or rest.

Your problem sounds alot like how i was with calorie counting…. i was always counting calories in my head and would count the calories of other people’s food as well as my own food. I did reach a stage where the amount of calories i guesstimated my food didn’t bother me, i.e whether it was 300kcal or 600kcal didn’t matter, i would still eat it… but i couldn’t stop counting. It was frustrating… to not be able to get rid of those thoughts or stop constantly counting calories… always analyzing.

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However, i no longer do that and only ever talk about calories in food if i am asked questions regarding it or if someone asks me to guess how many calories are in their food (because they know i study nutrition. However i usually answer that it really doesn’t matter how many calories are in their meal.) So i believe that you can overcome that analyzing of exercising and moving you do everyday.

My best tip is to try to focus on living life and doing things you enjoy each day. The more you focus on living life or working on projects, school work, doing hobbies you enjoy the less time you have to sit and think and analyze. The more you focus on life, the less time and space your eating disorder thoughts have to take up.

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However, it might be at the end of the day that the analyzing thoughts creep in and take up your time. Then i would suggest maybe 1) writing or journalling, 2) maybe reading a book – something to distract yourself so you don’t just think. But also 3) maybe ask yourself why you analyze your exercise/movement everyday…. what does it give you?

Trying to change your thoughts. This is the most important, just like when it comes to eating disorder habits or behaviours, you need to change them…. you can’t just mask over the problem or try to distract yourself. But actually change the thoughts…. which does take time and only YOU can do it. Each time you begin to analyze/think about your exercising and moving, change your thoughts…. think about something else. Maybe think about things you are grateful for in your life, maybe goals you have or what you want to do in the future/the weekend etc or even just counting sheep if it is during the night time.  It is like all negative thoughts or habits, the more you allow them to take up space – the more space they will take up. (Or even like negative or manipulative friends… give them your hand and they’ll take your whole arm. It is the same with intrusive thoughts.)

If i am honest, i am not fully sure how i overcame certain thoughts or mindsets. Somethings just happened naturally as i began to focus on life, example with the calorie counting. It wasn’t that i actively tried to change the thoughts… i just didn’t have time or energy to count calories. I had school work to focus on, i had friends and family, i had my blog to focus on as well as doing things i enjoyed. So from time to time  i would catch myself sitting at the table counting calories in the food my family and my self were eating, but i would just stop those thoughts at once. Overtime those thoughts stopped.

Some thoughts may never fully fade, however if they don’t control your life or impact your life negatively then it is often ok that they just appear from time to time. But it sounds like the thoughts you have take up alot of time and energy and i would recommend you try to work on them…. to atleast make them lessen and fade so that it is not an everyday analyzing.

I really wish i could give you better advice or some more concrete tips, but what works for people is so individual. And the mind and thoughts can be complicated. However i do believe that those thoughts and analyzing can fade and lessen even if they may not be completely gone forever (or maybe they will!!), you just need to work on changing the thoughts and focusing on other things in your life.

 

 

(If you struggle with always counting calories then i have some posts HERE [from my previous blog] which might help you.)

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Gym Etiquette for Newbies!

Continuing on from my previous post, gym anxiety advice, i thought i would share some gym etiquette for both newbies and oldies as a reminder!  There are just some things which you should keep in mind when going to the gym – just to make it a better place for everyone!

1) Put away the weights, bars and plates when you are done with them. Don’t leave them lying on the floor.

2) Wipe away your sweat after you…. and even if you haven’t sweated it can be a good idea to wipe the machine/bench after you!

3) Don’t stare at others. Of course, sometimes you look at others for inspiration and that is ok… but try not make it blatantly obvious that you are staring at them.

4) Don’t just sit on a bench or a machine for 15 minutes or hoard weights you aren’t using. This is for both guys and girls – many people take up a bench or machine and just sit there using their phone (don’t do that!). Also some people take 5-6 different sets of weights and occupy them for 30 minutes even if they just do 2 set. (And i know there is a thing called drop sets, but then maybe you can just take the weights when you need them instead of taking all the weights so no one else can use them)

5) This is mostly for guys – but don’t make too much noise. No one wants to hear you scream, grunt and huff every 2 minutes. It’s ok if you are maxing out on a few lifts, but hen you scream and grunt for the whole 60 minutes you are there then it is disturbing to others as well as can make it very uncomfortable for some people.

6) You may tune out everyone and everything when you are at the gym but it can be good to be a little aware of others around you so that you don’t end up walking or standing too close to someone else. Example if someone is doing kettle bell swings or deadlifts you don’t want to stand too close to them. Or if you see someone is doing a superset it can be a good idea to skip the machines they are using or give them some space if they need it. It is just common courtesy according to me. However it has happened far too often that people stand right infront of me when i am doing deadlifts even if there is plenty of other space for them to stand. Not to mention creepy men who stand 10 cm behind me when i am doing straight leg deadlifts, hip thrusts or deadlifts and that just makes me uncomfortable and considering i was the first one standing there it shouldn’t have to be me that moves.

7) Don’t interrupt people in the middle of their set. Maybe you want to ask how long they have left on the machine/weights, maybe you want to talk to them or maybe ask if you can use the machine inbetween their rest…. but wait until they are done with their set before talking to them. Also, don’t flirt with someone or try to hit them up… instead if you really want to flirt/talk to someone maybe catch them when they are leaving.

Also, don’t give unsolicited advice unless you are a qualified PT.

Just some tips and advice to make the gym environment for everyone! Of course there are other things such as using clean gym clothes and deodorant, not wearing too much perfume, wearing appropriate clothing, not using your phone too much etc but those don’t matter as much. But it depends on which gym you go to… i.e i don’t personally care if a girl workouts in just a sports bra or if a guy takes off his short, but if it was a 50 year old man at my gym who decided to just workout in shorts and no top i would be a little creeped out. But also sometimes people have SO MUCH perfume/spray on them that i can’t breathe and have had to move to another part of the gym/away from the person, and that isn’t really right. But these things might be obvious hopefully, haha!

 

Less workouts, more health?

During winter when it gets colder and darker my motivation for most things dwindles alot. Everything is harder and takes alot more motivation to do compared to in the summer, not to mention that i feel more tired and more anxious and when it is 4pm and it is dark and cold outside all i want to do is go to sleep. I know i am not alone in feeling this way.

However with the dark and cold and with the tiredness and anxiety i have also lost my appetite which of course leads to even less energy along with sleeping problems so my energy levels are not where they should be. All of this has left me working out, or atleast going to the gym less than i usually do. But you know what, i actually feel stronger and healthier even though i am working out less. Because when i do go to the gym it is because i feel fully motivated to do it and not just “because it fits into my schedule”, but because i have actively chosen to take myself to the gym because i want to lift weights. But also i have alot more recovery time between my workouts as it is not an everyday thing.

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Whenever i write about finding health and balance i mention that you need to find YOUR balance. But also be aware that balance can vary during different life stages… that sometimes you have more time to workout and other times you have less. Sometimes you have more time to plan meals and eat nutritious and other times you eat out more often. Sometimes you can sleep 8-10 hours each night and other times you only manage 6-7 hours, but you need to find YOUR balance at the stage in life you are in right now.

And for me, my balance with working out is going to the gym 3-4 times a week and then trying to go for walks the rest of the days. For me it is important to do some form of daily exercise not jus for my mental health but because it is therapeutic and for the sake of my CF. If i do no exercise at all my CF health decreases rapidly which was noted when i ended up sick with 2 different bacteria and had no energy to workout or even go for walks for c.a 2 weeks and that affected my CF health ALOT, and only now… weeks later have i managed to increase my lung function from those 2-3 weeks of no/little exercise.

Daily exercise is something i recommend to everybody as long as you are physically capable of it anyway. However physical exercise doesn’t have to be going to the gym everyday or going for a run everyday, it can infact be going for a walk or doing yoga or stretching or playing tennis with friends. It doesn’t have to be an intense and sweaty session each time which many think… just moving and using your body everyday is what is recommended.

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Some times in your life you have more energy, more time and more motivation to workout and then you workout more often and other times you have less time, less motivation, less energy and then you workout less. But trying to do some form of exercise everyday is recommended even if its just a 20 minute walk during your lunch break!

At the moment going to the gym less often is what is healthiest for me in my current life situation. Instead i feel like i need to save energy for other things in my life and like i usually say, if you can’t eat enough for your exercise level then you either need to eat more or exercise less… and well, when i have no appetite that results in exercising less as i don’t have the energy to do more. But that’s ok…. that’s how it is during autumn and winter!

Does anyone else feel this way during winter and autumn?

Also, do you listen to your body and workout less when you don’t feel motivated or do you force yourself to the gym anyway just out of habit?

I can say from experience that sometimes the best thing you can do for your health – if you come from a history of eating disorders and exercise addiction is actually to rest more! Don’t underestimate the importance of rest!!