Category Archives: my journey

Do you want more motivation?

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If you want more motivation and to follow me elsewhere than here (as i dont update so often) You can:

Follow my IG: Itsahealthylifestyle

My Tumblr: eat-well-and-go-to-the-gym.tumblr.com/

My other blog: For those of you suffering with an eating disorder or other mental illnesses, you might prefer reading that blog:)

http://www.lifewithoutanorexia.com/

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Its all about the lighting

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Something which i think is important to bring up is the thing with abs….. most people now a days seem to want visible abs. Their main goal with exercise is to have visible abs. An obsession which i dont think is good….

But the truth with visible abs is that unless you have a very unhealthy fat procent and an unhealthy and strict, low calorie diet then you’re abs (if you have a low fat procent) will only really be visible in certain light.

Yes i do have a some what toned stomach, does it look like that all the time? Nope, i still bloat. Remember that the photos i post on my IG are the ones i think i look good, there is also a certain lighting in them (and lets not forget the posture… in some i flex, in some i dont!)

I dont post the photos to trick people, i am quite open about the fact that my toned stomach look is not how i look 24/7… it would be impossible to look liike that with all the meals i eat. Food  & water = bloating.

But i just want to show you how different lighting makes me look:

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Stop focusing on a flat stomach or visible abs

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Everyday i get between 3-10+ messages where people tell me their goal is visible abs. A flat stomach or defined stomach.

But why? Why is everyone obsessed with a flat or defined stomach… i mean really, most of the time your stomach is covered under a top anyway. And people bloat… its natural, its normal. DONT panic about it.

Bloating happens for many reasons: stress, anxiety, hormones(hormone changess), drinking water, eating food, eating too much food, eating too little food, over exercising, allergic/intolerant to some type of food, too much salt … and the list goes on. There are things you can do to minimize bloating, but it still happens.

Getting a defined stomach or a flat stomach isnt about doing 30 minutes core work everyday or doing 100 sit ups every evening. Its about a healthy diet and exercise. And it takes time… for girls losing fat on the stomach is usually the hardest place and takes the longes time. For some it craves a boring and strict diet and an unhealthy fat percent to have a toned belly. They live a miserable life just to have defined abs. But why…. you have 1 life to live. Why spend it hating yourself, miserable because you dont havea  flat stomach?

Instead, you could love your body for how it look… realise that bloating is normal and so is having fat on your body and on your stomach. Stop worrying about stomach rolls or stretch marks. Instead, focus on exercise you love and eating a balanced diet AS WELL as living a life. Dont forget about licing just because you are so focused on changing your body.

Flat abs/toned stomach doesnt happen over night… it takes time and dedication. And starving yourself isnt the answer neither is 100 sit ups a day.

My recommendation is strength training & cardio or HIIT and healthy foods. Mix up your workouts, try not to stress so much, get enough sleep, drink plenty of water and dont forget to be happy.

Who cares if you have a flat stomach or not? Be happy… love yourself!

I can also tell you from experience having visible abs doesnt make you happier or prettier or better than anyone else. Until you begin to love your body you will never be truly happy or happy with your body. Self love shouldnt just be if you reach a goal weight or goal body shape.

Why do i strength train?

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Why do I strength train?

Not because I want to be super muscular or lean.

Not because I didn’t want to gain fat and  just wanted to gain muscle. (infact i only started really strength training the beginning of this year)

 Not so that I can squat 200kg or bench press 300kg.

 Not because everyone is doing it.

But because it makes me feel good…. It makes me feel happy and powerful. All my life I have spent as the skinny, weak girl. But not anymore.

 I love FEELING strong. It’s the feeling of knowing I can run 10km,  knowing I can leg press X kilo or deadlift X kilo. It’s knowing that I can do things… not have to ask others to lift a box for me or not being able to run 1km.

 I strength train for myself and for life. Forget about looking a certain way or six pack abs.

 Ask yourself so you enjoy what you are doing? Is your only reason to strength train so that you don’t become fat or only have to gain fat in recovery?  Then I think you should rethink your choices.

Exercise should be fun, an enjoyment, not a punishment or chore.

I strength train because it makes my outside match me inside. Because it makes me both physically and mentally strong, something which i love feeling. Strength training helps build me up, it gives me endorphines and makes me happy. Its something i long and love to do. Its a part of my life and a part of my lifestyle!

So if you strength train… whats your reason for it?

Morning run

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Waking up this morning not sure whether i should take a rest day or not… i was half tired but also filled with so much energy! This week my training has been super spontaneous… it hasnt been so structured as normal. Technique training, running, a shoulder workout with no contact…. I feel my strength has decreased a little. However that is just because i have done so much cardio and running the past fwe weeks and havent focused as much on strength.

But once the race is over this Saturday then it will be full focus on strength training for the next few weeks/months and cut down on cardio again!

This morning when i went thinking ill take a short walk or a 5km run, but once i began running i realised i had so much energy so i kept going and ran 9,4km!! Maybe not so good to run that distance 2 days before the race… but im hoping to recover properly, do some stretching and foam rolling and that i will be fine on race day!!! On days when i have extra energy i dont see why not to go that extra km or do that extra 20 minutes of workout 🙂

Premiar 10km run outside

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Since i twisted my ankle a few weeks ago i havent been running so much, infact something i miss alot is intervals and HIIT. Though at the moment i feel  that is too much pressure on my foot to sprint so fast so ive avoided doing it. But in the past few weeks ive gotten back into running again. And on Saturday i have a 10km race which i want to participate in. So today, i laced up my running shoes feeling a little slow, not thinking that i would run at all.

My thoughts went a bit like this….ill be lucky if i can even run 1km, ill most stop every 500m just to make it easier for me… maybe ill just walk. So in the beginning it was my mind against my body because once i started runnig i just flew forward!!

The first km was a little tough, but the second and third it felt like i was flying forward, but after that it got a little slow again. My lungs were stopping me, i couldnt seem to breathe deep enough and had to take a few stops just to get a deep breathe but then after 5km the next 5km was like nothing at all. No stops, no having to try to breathe properly…. it was just super easy. But thats usually how it is for me… it takes like 4km for me to warm up and get into the right mode of runnign. Thats why i dont like 5km runs because its like then i only really properly run and let go of the whole ‘running/struggling’ bit, because my legs just take over… my mind taking a step back.

The run went well and i finished in 59 minutes which i guess is a good time, under 60 minutes which is basically the only goal i have now. And also just as i got inside it started pouring rain…I always have luck with that 🙂


But on another note…. i am still undecided about actually running the race. My ankle started hurting a little during the run, it didnt stop me or anything, but it was an uncomfortable feeling. The fact is, my mind is 95% positive that i am going to run the race… but this isnt a decision my mind can make, its a decision for my body. Even if i can run the race with a little uncomfortableness in my ankle, its not a smart decision…. so i just need to rest my ankle the next few days, then take a short run on Thursday or something and then see…. i mean either i go or i dont, it doesnt matter so much to the people organizing the event as ive already paid and picked up my starter packet. So now its just to wait until the day before/day of the race before i make a decision…..Why must this be so tough?

 

Progress photo

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I put together this little collage, just to see how far ive actually come. Its so easy to see no difference, to feel like you are in the same position you were 2 years ago… feels like you’ve made no progress. Of course i know mentally i am very different!!! I used to do cardio 7 days a week, because i just didnt know any better and was still struggling.

But sometimes i look at myself and just think…i feel so skinny, now theres nothing wrong with being naturally skinny, alot of people like that look… but i guess you’ve figured that that isnt exactly my ideal body. I prefer feeling and looking strong.

Sometimes i just feel like ive made no progress at all… like im just standing in the same position all the time, and granted, i have hit a plateau with my workouts recently. Because i just dont know what i want… at the start of the year i decided to focus solely on strength training as i wanted to build muscle, and i did. However now that its summer im doing more cardio, running more, walking more and i love it… but my body type already struggles to have muscles… im not someone who easily gets stronger. Its alot of work and effort behind it. And then when i do cardio, it sort of negates that…And this is an ongoing struggle i have… because i LOVE running & walking. But i also love strength training, and feeling strong… And im sure i can do both, but then i need to make sure that i actually am eating enough.. i almost need proffessional help so that i know what and how long etc…

But anyway.. i feel i need to sit down and consider what my workout goals are. I mean im still going to workout anyway, because it makes me happy. It makes me feel good… but soemtimes its good to have a goal. I have my 10km run in August, so i really need to start preparing for that.. just havent felt motivated to it. But apart from that, i dont have any real goals…. Which i guess is why it feels like im standing still.

 

^^Hahah, just a little workout update, i guess?

But here is my progress picture, from 2012 (when i was first allowed to go to the gym) and then today 2014!!

 

About me

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So i got asked if i could write more about me, and not just my exercising or workouts. And i guess i really havent written that much about me, personally!!! Feels like no one is interested about that.

But who am i? The person behind the screen.

I’m 18 years old and live in Sweden. Im half irish, half swedish. And have moved back and forward from the 2 countries all my life, but have now been settled in Sweden for almost 4 years, and i love it!

I go to school and have 1 more year left  (missed 2 years of school due to my eating disorder, so had to repeat a year.) before i plan to become a health coach. To help others with their fitness goals!!! Exercising, nutrition and health is my passion. Its what i love to do 🙂

So what do i do besides working out?

^¨Pretty much me 🙂

Well most of my days are spent in school where i have long hours, between 8-4 most days, so it leaves little time for other things. Also my school is a very tough school, lots of assignments, essays, tests and homework pretty much all the time. So its tough and has a high pace, but i love my school (maybe not all the work though!)

When im not working out i am often at home studying, but i also love baking and cooking! I usually spend a few hours a week baking and cooking things, though recently there has been little time for that, but hopefully i will get my motivation back to start creating new recipes and food soon 🙂

I also love reading, when i have the time for that. I have read most teenage series that there are, but i also love authors like Jodi Picoult 🙂

 

I live with my mum, step dad and older sister & my dog (who i love going for walks with!)

And some random facts about me? 

I am a morning person! I would rather get up at 5am and get lots of things done, than wake up at 11am and do things in the afternoon/evening.

I am 176cm, but am the shortest in my family 😦

I pretty much live in workout clothes!!

I have 2 tattoos!

If you have any questions, feel free to ask 🙂

Starting to strength train

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A common question which i get is how I started strength training/ how to start strength training.

 

I love strength training! It’s one of my passions in life.. However it wasn’t always that way. I’ll admit, I will always be a cardio girl! I mean I lpve running, walking, hiking, swimming etc but I also love lifting weights 😉

Building muscle is great for many different reasons. And it can also help you to improve your body image.

It helps strengthen bones, build strength and muscles and helps boost your immune system etc

So how did I begin? I began by doing body weight exercises, mainly doing sit ups and some abs exercises. Then I got some more confidence and began to use weights. And I did things like bicep curls… using 3kg which was heavy for me at the time! In fact I remember the moment when I realised I could use 4kg for bicep curls. I was so proud of myself and felt super strong!!

 

 

Then I began using the gym machines, I went to the gym one day in the mid morning and there was practically no one in the gym. So I went and tried all the machines, some I couldn’t get to work which I found very embarrassing or was too weak to change the seat or height!!

I then began doing research of exercises… exercises for each muscle group. I began using more weights. Testing myself and my limits and getting more confidence!! When I first began I used the ‘ladies section’ of the gym, where all the dumbbells are coloured and there are pilates balls etc ( that’s where I go to stretch now) but I go to the ‘manly’area now when I strength train 🙂

It’s scary to begin strength training because you’re worried of what people will think, or your not strong enough or dont know what to do. But it’s all about confidence. Go there and do your own thing. Most people are so busy with themselves that they don’t  care about what you are doing.

Also research is important!! Find new exercises and learn the technique. Don’t be scared to test new things or to ask for help.

You are at the gym for yourself. So don’t care about others.

And remember, everyone starts somewhere.

 

 

 

 

I mean when I began I didn’t even know what a squat was… and now I can leg press 100kg and squat my body weight etc… that might not be alot for someone else. But for me it’s alot. And I am happy with my progress. I dont compare myself to others because I have only been seriously been strength training for less than a year!!

Be confident!!

If you have any more questions, you can email or comment 😉

But remember to eat more when you exercise!!

 

 

My fitness/exercise goals

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I often set up small exercise goals for myself to achieve… mainly because then you have something to really work on… or you know, in the back of your head that there is this goal you are working to reach. But i am never so strict with them… i’m sure i would reach the goals faster if i really worked towards them, but for me, exercise is just fun. So i do what i feel like at the time!

 

My goals are never anything like – have six pack abs, or lose fat because to me that isnt why i am exercising, yes my body may be changing, but i guess thats just a bonus!!

 

 My goals at the moment (March 2014)

 

  1.   To be able to do a handstand (and then without a wall!)
  2. To be able to do the splits again (could do it when i was 12, but then of course i wasnt allowed any exercise or to stretch so became less flexible!)
  3. To be able to do proper pull ups and proper dips!
  4. To use 10kg+ dumbbells for bicep curls…. (Now that i think about it, i most probably can. Its just that i havent tried… gotta do that sometime soon!) -> When i first started strength training  i could only use 3kg dumbbells… so remember, everyone starts somewhere!!
  5. To partake in several races – this year…. (Me and my step dad have been talking and both of us are planning to start running again, and both want to run races. So hopefully we will do it this year, because ive wanted to run these races since 2012, but just never signed up)