Category: Health

Running on Gu

 

Disclaimer: This is not a sponsored or paid-for post. 

One thing I noticed while training for the Two Oceans is how the runs were taking it out of me. I sweat a lot (overshare?) when I run – as in, I pour with sweat (more overshare?), and I realized that this could mean my electrolyte levels drop quite a bit, and need to be replaced. This could result in feeling tired, fatigued, and just plain sore. When you train around your neighbourhood, it is not easy to stay hydrated because there aren’t water points conveniently situated every 4km. I managed to work in two petrol station stops into my routes, but this is hardly sufficient for a 20km training run. (more…)

The (Long) Road to the Two Oceans

As you all know, I broke my foot last year October, but this didn’t stop me from entering the Two Oceans when entries opened in November. I knew it wasn’t going to be an easy journey, especially because I needed to take a decent amount of time off to heal. (more…)

Cape Town, Here I Come!

I have been wanting to participate in the Two Oceans marathon for a while now, and things have always just gotten in the way – work, finances, or entries just selling out too fast.  So, I soon learnt that by joining a running club, I could have access to entries a week earlier than the general public – thereby, greatly increasing my chances of getting an entry. (more…)

Way of Gray

It’s no secret that I’m becoming more and more health-conscious.  I’ve had many issues with my weight and confidence.  It’s a constant effort, but I believe I’m becoming healthier and fitter with each day that passes.

Someone who has had a big impact on me lately is Sophie Gray, otherwise known as Way of Gray.

She is a personal trainer, a holistic nutrition student (about to write her final exam), and basically a health nut.  She has a big passion for working out and eating well.

I follow her HIIT workout programmes, advice on eating and just general wellbeing.  There’s something about her that is so inspirational.  She is very easy to ‘connect’ with, and she just beams radiance and happiness.  Most importantly she has the most important message of all: love yourself.

Check out www.wayofgray.com, Way of Gray on Facebook, Way of Gray on Twitter and Way of Gray on Instagram.

wayofgray

A Revelation

Random. Something has been on my mind for the last couple of weeks, and it feels sort of like a revelation for me.

It’s no secret that I have always had issues with my weight and body issues. I am only slightly overweight (about 1-2kg overweight) but I am not happy with my weight nonetheless and I don’t feel comfortable in my skin.

I would like to lose 10kg. That’s the most weight I could ‘healthily’ lose for my height. Everyone tells me it’s too much, but having weighed that little before, I know that’s when I felt best about myself.

I’ve tried most ways of losing weight. I’ve been on Weighless a couple times – and guess what, the weight always comes back on (you cannot weigh food for life, and the concept of weighing-in in front of people made me more nervous about weigh-in, rather than inspiring me to lose weight). I used to dread going in and being judged if I had maybe had a small treat, and knowing it would show in my weight. You also tend to become too concerned over a silly number, and I didn’t want to get obsessed.

I’ve tried gymming a lot, which invariably led to me mistakenly thinking I could eat more, or not as strictly. I’ve learnt that weight loss and health relies on 80% diet, 20% exercise. So, just because you exercise every day, doesn’t mean you can eat whatever you want. Like Supersized McD’s meals. Been there.

I’ve tried Banting. It worked for two weeks, I lost 2kg, and then suddenly just started piling on weight. I was overcompensating and eating more than I should – the book pretty much says you can eat as much as you want of the ‘green list’ foods, but this is simply not true, and it’s not as easy as it sounds. The difficulty I also found with Banting was the fact that I exercise means I need an increased amount of carbs compared to someone who doesn’t. However, do you know how difficult it is to find that balance? I still couldn’t get the balance right after a couple weeks – I felt I had to resort to an all or nothing approach with regards to carbs, and it simply isn’t feasible to exercise regularly without some kind of carb intake (in my opinion – please don’t shout at me, Banters).

So what was my revelation? This has all been unnecessary. I’ve had to learn how to love myself (a very difficult thing for me) first and foremost – to be happy with who I am. I have come to terms with the fact that my metabolism is not nearly as efficient as it once was, and I can see that change in my body.

I have realized that all I need to aim for is health. I need to put myself and my health first – weight loss is just a bonus. So, I have started making healthy decisions. For example, I bought wholewheat pasta and brown rice, instead of white pasta and white rice. I am being sure to drink plenty water, and to incorporate plenty veggies, and a reasonable amount of fruit in my diet. Most importantly, I am more aware of portion sizes. Dishing up onto a smaller side plate, measuring my protein sizes with the palm of my hand, that sort of basic concept. I’m avoiding alcohol within reason. I’ve stopped obsessing. Do I want a cupcake? Yes, I do. It’s not the end of the world, and I’ll just be sure to go for a run at the end of the day to compensate for it. Should I have the entire box of cupcakes? No, I shouldn’t, and I won’t. If I know I’m going out for dinner, I’ll be sure to have a small lunch so that I don’t have to restrict myself. Likewise, if I go out for dinner, I aim to eat half of what is served on the plate – the other half will be lunch the next day.

It’s as simple as that. Just doing this resulted in me losing 4kg in two weeks. Sure, some of it will be water loss, but either way, that to me is proof that you don’t need to do anything fancy, or try any magic remedies. More importantly, I’m going to focus on measurements rather than weight alone – especially seeing as I do incorporate weight training in my exercise schedule.

You just need to be healthy, and your body will love you in return.

P.S. Sorry for waffling. ;)

A New Year, A New Fitness Challenge

The year is starting off with a bang.  I really feel this is the year to get my A into G, and get strong, fit and healthy.  Working such great hours (07:00-15:00) means I have quite a bit of extra time on my hands which I plan on devoting to my health.

In February, I’ll be running the KFC Randburg Harriers 10km Valentine’s Race.  I’ve never run it before but a couple of people have told me it’s a very hilly race.  This is something I really need to get my head around and work on – I loathe hills, so I reckon it will be good practice.

In March, I’ll be competing in the IMPI challenge – this consists of a 12km run with 18 obstacles in between.  Hard work.  I don’t have a lot of muscular strength, so I definitely need to train for that.  On top of this, I have never run more than 10km, so I’m going to have to start running longer distances to get ready.

In April, I am hoping to be running the Two Oceans Half Marathon (21km).  There are so many entries for this race, that they have entered all the entries into a draw.  Fingers crossed I get selected in the draw – I think this would be an incredible race to run, despite the big distance.  If I don’t get into the Two Oceans, then I’m going to consider doing the Knysna Forest run which is also a 21km.

In order to get ready for these races, I’ve drafted another training schedule which gradually sees us increasing our running distance.  On top of that, though, I have included weight training at the gym, in order to build strength and burn fat more than running does.

I must remember to buy some trail shoes for IMPI – somehow, I don’t think my roadrunners will hold up for that.  It’s going to be a lot of work, but I’m excited.  I also like drafting these training schedules because it ensures I stay committed and stick to the plan.   Another new challenge for me is to train without music – more and more races stipulate that you can’t use earphones during the run, and this is usually something I rely on to keep me going.

At the end of the day, I just have to buckle down and just run.

justrun

Would You Like Some Food With That Diet?

I’ve been doing the whole ‘Eating Clean‘ thing for 7 months.  I’ve lost 7kg, and quite a few centimetres.  But, I’m tired now, and have admittedly fallen off the wagon a little bit over the last two weeks.  I’m feeling fed up, I get annoyed when I watch skinny people eat all the delicious food while I nibble on my Ryvita and Cottage Cheese.  I need some inspiration, and I need to not give up, but at the same time, I just want to be fat and happy!  I have 3kg to lose still which is not that much, but it is taking FOREVER.  I just cannot shift these last few kilos.  I have been eating so well, and still I don’t lose weight, and so I’ve gotten a little bit over it.  On top of this, I am craving everything and anything.  You name it, I want to smash it in my face. And before you tell me to exercise, I run quite often.  I admit, I could probably exercise more which would involve waking up at 4AM to go to gym, but I’m not a fan of gyms.  Excuses, yes, I know.

These cheered me up, at least..

seafood ants baby icecream noregrets regret rememberdietThese pictures all sum up me at this present time.  NEED. STRENGTH.  Just as I’m about to give up and take another a spoon of peanut butter, I remind myself:

skinnyAlthough, I’d like to categorically state that nothing feels as good as Lebkuchen tastes.

Sisters with Blisters

On Saturday, I partook in the annual Sisters with Blisters walk hosted by 1st for Women insurance.  It is a walk to raise awareness about Women and Child Abuse, and we kept repeating the motto, “There’s no excuse for abuse!”

Most people dress up for the event – there were fairies, and babies, and men in fishnet stockings and heels.  Quite a few people walk in high heels (I’m not brave enough for this).  There is an 8km and 4km walk, and we had entered to do the 8km.

It didn’t all go according to plan, as the journey that should have taken us 15 minutes max to get there, took over an hour.  Traffic was badly backed-up (mostly because it was a single-lane road suddenly filled with thousands of cars).  At one stage, we literally didn’t move AT ALL.  This of course, made us exceptionally late and we missed the start of the 8km walk.  Needless to say, I was not impressed.

We were there in time for the 4km, at least – so I suppose it’s better than nothing.  The walk was very easy, but it got pretty hot seeing as we started so late.  When we finished the 4km, we found a massive crowd of people that had all arrived late, waiting to walk the 4km which had to be started all over again.  It really was badly organized.  Luckily, we parked in an area which meant we could leave quickly – but my friend Lani was stuck in the parking lot for almost an hour!

If you know me at all, you’ll know that I love dressing up.  We decided to go as literal Sisters (aka Nuns).  I had a major career fail, as I didn’t even think to dress up as a Nursing Sister, but anywhooooo…

photoCheck out www.sisterswithblisters.co.za for more information.

Cravings

Despite my healthy eating and lifestyle, I still have cravings on a regular basis.  This in itself is weird, because you’d think that you’d eventually get over cravings after a while.  Who knows, maybe I still will.

I don’t crave chocolate as much as I used to, which is surprising because chocolate used to be my crutch.  I crave it every now and then, so this showed a definite improvement.

The big craving I have on a regular basis is for chewy, sugary sweets.  Think a mix bag from Sweets from Heaven, or those little plastic boxes of gummies that you buy at Woolies.  The other thing I crave regularly is liquorice – not All-Sorts sweet liquorice, but actual salty Dutch liquorice.

It’s very seldom that I crave anything savoury, like chips or anything like that.  My sweet tooth always commands my cravings.

I recently found this diagram showing what each type of craving means.  I’m not sure how true it is but I’m definitely going to try up my intake of the relevant nutrients to see if that helps.

www.healthy-happy-weight.co.uk
www.healthy-happy-weight.co.uk

Thai Massage

One of my birthday presents was a Thai Sports Massage voucher which I finally got a chance to use this past weekend.  I’ve had this massage once before and it is incredible.

A Thai massage is also known as Nuat phaen boran in Thailand, which means ‘ancient/traditional massage’, they use a mix of Indian and Chinese massage techniques.  It is a deep, full-body massage moving from the feet upwards while focusing on energy lines throughout the body.

A Thai Sports Massage takes it a step further and is an extensive form of massage using a number of techniques: European massage (kneading), chiropractic techniques (manipulating skeletal parts) and acupressure (applying deep, constant pressure to certain ligaments, tendons and nerves).

Massage is proven to:

  • Improve blood circulation
  • Boost your immune system
  • Relax muscles
  • Reduce the heart rate, as well as your blood pressure
  • Improve your range of motion (especially after injury)
  • Cause the release of feel-good endorphins, as well as the release of serotonin

I love hard pressure massages, and this is exactly what they do (you can, of course, request a softer massage if that suits you better).  I have massive knots in my shoulders which have nearly been worked out.  They are literally the size of golf balls.  When I am stressed out (aka, every day), I tend to get very tense in my shoulders, neck and jaw, resulting in these knots.  I reckon another massage or two, and they should be gone.

My favourite part is towards the end of the massage, as your masseur climbs onto the massage bench behind you, puts their knee gently against your back and then twists you backwards and around them causing a ripple of clicks through your back.  You can literally feel the tension release.  I walked out with a dumb smile on my face, glowing, feeling amazing.

Next time I go, I’m just going to ask for the full 60 minutes to be spent on my back, as opposed to the full body.

I go to Reflexions in the Buzz Centre for my massages, and would really recommend them.  Check them out.  They have many other options, over and above the Thai Sports Massage.  I’m really keen to try out the Thai Yoga Massage next.  They also aren’t badly priced at all.

P.S. Ask for Oai (pronounced Oi).