There will always be questions in life. You wouldn’t be human if you didn’t question stuff, be it yourself; others or just life in general
But I’ll tell you something; uncertain I am not. Never in my life have I been so sure of myself, secure in mind and body.
The stigma that is turning 30, particularly as a woman, I don’t know where it came from but I speak from experience when I tell you it is bullshit.
Yeah I have a couple of crows feet forming around my eyes but I adore them.
Because they are my battle scars; they are the hits I took and the will power I found to get back up. They are the reminder that everytime I’ve gone at something, I put everything into it, even if it did exhaust me, I gave it all.
They are all the times I laughed so hard I thought my lungs would collapse
They are all the times I cried, be it happy tears or sad ones. Tears mean you care. That makes you a warrior with heart.
They are all the times I’ve looked up and squinted through the sun to see things like the Eiffel Tower and Angkor Wat. Things that moved me.
They are all the late nights I’ve stayed up reading, talking to my loves about life on the phone, writing or just reflecting in general.
They are proof of a woman that backs herself.
I’d rather have stories about all the things that gave me those lines instead of crinkle free eyes that experienced nothing.
The story goes that once you hit 30, it’s all downhill. Honey, you have to know that this is just flat out bullshit.
My face now, tells a story of a rich life, one that I am proud of. My greatest fear in life never has been aging. My greatest fear is disappointing myself, looking back at my life as a old woman and wishing I’d done it differently. I just will not have that. I know at age 32, that just won’t happen. I am too experienced, I am too in tune to myself to ever mishear and ignore a desire when it arises.
I desired to travel. I travelled. I count 17 countries in just two years. SO FAR.
I desired a promotion, two months later, I got one.
I desired a freelance business, I did this whilst balancing my promotion.
I desired my relationships to be meaningful and loving. Every single person in my life knows how far I’d go for them.
In my 20s, I was a legal adult pretending to know how to adult. In my 30s, I care less about adulting and more about how I can get the people I care about still in their 20s to see just how brilliant they are, JUST as they are.
At age 32, I am fitter, healthier, wiser, happier, centred, fulfilled, driven and more self accepting than I’ve ever been in my lifetime.
You let go of everything you can’t control, everything that doesn’t serve you and you live by a set of priorities designed to centre your world and that of those around you.
If it disrupts the flow, you fuck it off, in the kindest sense possible cos, ain’t nobody got time for dat.
If there was anything I could tell my 20 year old self it would that “you were built to be tested. You’ve fucking got this”
Here’s to 8 more amazing years riding the big 3-0. If I can learn lessons of these proportions in just two years, I can’t imagine the type of wisdoms I will learn in the years to come. Fucking come at me bro.
Just stop breathing. Just stop doing it. Are you looking at me with an eyebrow raised now? Yeah? Good. Read on.
I haven't run for 4 weeks. Stress fracture. This is old news I realise but as far as my sanity goes, I'm seriously lacking because of it. Both physically, mentally and emotionally. I feel caged and trapped in a body that isn't working the way I need it to.
Today I woke up with a massive urge to hit the road and as I usually do when this happens, I hit the gym.
I walked in and seated myself on the lounges to rummage through my bag and get my shit together. The usual noises of clanging iron and cardio machines welcomed me however today, the thud of shoes and rotation of the conveyor belt of one of the treadmills were sounds that seemed louder to me today.
Looking up at the treadmills, I saw a guy around the same age as I racking up his KMs, headphones in, world off and I felt like an outsider to the only world I've ever wanted to be a real part of.
I sat and watched him for a few minutes, his eyes were focused, his stride was consistent and he had a fine layer of sweat building up, it was evident I was looking at a runner who was deeply submerged in the depths of the ever amazing "runners high"
Fuck I envied him. Being able to use his body for, what was once, such a basic movement for me and not give it any thought. A few weeks back, I literally could not even walk without pain. In my refusal to believe this was really happening to me, I kept running through the sharp shooting pain in my shin for too long and the condition ended up worsening. I ran 10km one day and then the following, I got out of bed and couldn't even put weight on that leg.
And the process with doctors has been even more of a nightmare than having the injury itself.
- Local GP: Refers me to Ultrasound. Finds nothing. Offers me drgs
- Refers me to CT scan. Finds nothing. Offers me drugs
- Refers me to Nuclear Bone Scan. Finds "evidence" of early stress fracture. Offers me drugs
- Refers me to Orthopeadic Surgeon for treatment. OS gives me an X-RAY (which should have been FIRST as they are least likely to see a stress fracture let alone a fucking early one) and THEN refers me to Sports Physician. Offers me drugs.
- I have waited three weeks for this SP to call me to make an appointment (I'm not even allowed to make my own appointment) as they prioritise patients on severity of injury. I'm gathering mine is low priority. Fuck off mate. Your face is low priority.
So in the first week I kicked around on crutches on the advise of the GP who technically wasn't even qualified to diagnose me (and had to call another doctor while I sat in his office. I quote, "How do I treat this patient?" Fuck you and your crutches.
Its been 4 weeks, the fracture is healing on its own, there's no all-day, every-day pain and I'm not limping anymore. And with no medical help.
So I'm sitting in my gym today, watching this man effortlessly glide his problems away on the treadmill and I realise my own leg doesn't hurt anymore. I call my brother who is a massage therapist and I ask him, "If the pain has stopped, I should be ok to do a cheeky sneaky 15 minute gentle jog yeah?"
He isn't fully qualified yet in this field yet but he tells me it should be ok if its gentle and the only one for a few more weeks.
So I do it. I start the treadmill up, adjust my arm band, start my Nike Run app and start walking, gradually heightening to a jog. And let me tell you, fuck it was amazing. Mentally and spiritually, I confirmed to myself this morning that I am still a runner, my mind settled instantly as soon as I started zoning out.
But at 1.80KM, I realised my injury is still prevalent, I still can't run. So I reluctantly bailed, I have learned better than to train through an injury.
I don't know why I thought it would be ok to try again at 4 weeks when the recommended healing time is 8 weeks (according to Google, no actual doctor I've seen has actually given me any instruction as to what I should be doing)
And just like that, mentally, I'm back at fucking square one, emotionally tormented that my wings have been clipped and just sensing that I've lost a part of myself that means so much to me.
People don't get it. "Just stop running" they say.
Running was THE thing that flipped my whole world upside down and changed the course of my life 5 years ago. It saw me through the greatest changes of my entire life. Anyone that knows me knows this story, for those that don't, one day over coffee, I promise.
It might sound silly to you but the biggest doors that ever opened in my life, opened at the time I started running.
This is why I am struggling to "just stop running"
You know what guys, just stop breathing. There. Now you fucking get it.
iI ate like an absolute asshole today.
No clue what was up, I'm guessing my hormones are out of whack or something. Breakfast was half a protein bar nibbled on at work between 10am and 12pm so by the time lunch time rolled around, my body was literally screaming at me to feed it.
The funny thing is, I went to smash the home made chickpea curry i made (cos you know, veggie protein) and I got through 1/4 of it before my stomach was like, "Nuh bitch you're full" Serious?! You've literally eaten half a protein bar today.
Anyone that knows me would be like, "DAFUQ?!" I eat like an Ethiopian child that's been given access to a never ending packet of Tim Tams but today, my stomach wasn't having a Barr of it. I literally felt like I'd eaten 10 bowls of pasta. Weird.
I managed to get down half a protein bar, a handful of pumpkin seeds and a little bag of m&ms during the course of the day but as soon as I was faced with an actual meal my stomach again, "Nuh bitch, you're full"
I told my body I was going to "snack" on cheese toasties when I got home from work. But I lied to it; that was dinner. But it worked, I got three down! #cheesethough
What the actual fuck is wrong with my brain and its relationship with food today?!
It's legit like I have to trick my body into thinking it's just having a snack before it will let me eat anything. If I tell it that it's about to have a meal, it chucks a tanty and tells me I'm already full?! This coming from the girl that calls to order dinner and then calls back 5 minutes later to order another meal "for her housemate"...yeah both of those orders are mine. Sorry Alaina for using your name in a blasphemous manner.
It's 8pm and I've barely covered 1000 calories and I'm still not hungry. Im successfully entertaining the idea of eating a salada cracker or or two but actual dinner? Stomach feels like I've already eaten it.
Could be hormones or it could have something to do with my changes in diet? I just don't know enough about nutrition to be able to work this one out. I can tell you this much:
1) I've increased from around 20g of protein a day to between 100-150g
2) my carb intake has reduced (a tiny bit)
3) my calories have been dropped to 1500 from 2000 a day
4) I've increased my HIIT and cardio training to 3-4 times a week and I weight train every 2nd/3rd day.
AND I've had a violet crumble sitting in my fridge for well over a week...those are my favourite... no interest in eating it.
Bloody hell appetite?! Do you need a fucking tampon?! Calm your farm.
How good is being fit though? And I don't just refer to aesthetics. How amaze-balls do you feel after a work out sesh? It's certainly easy to fall in love with fitness, I know I have. Who needs a man when you got a gym membership...? AMIRIGHT?!
Love as you might those endorphins kicking around your blood stream, we fit chicks frequently struggle to find that happy medium between being a feminine, lady like flower and a raging beast unit. I know I'm not alone here so lets poke some fun at our perils shall we? Let us use these #firstworldproblems to unite us she-beasts!
1) Dainty, girly outfits - Forget about it mate. That little strappy top looks super cute on the mannequin but around our delts...PFT. Unless of course you're planning on auditioning for the re-make of Priscilla - Queen of the Desert, Put it back God damn it. BUT show of hands over here as to who amongst us would still pick muscle over spaghetti straps any day of the week... AMIRIGHT?!
2) Lingerie - Ok so I still have a little collection of black racy bits from Victoria's Secret but lets be honest, none of those cheeky camis have ANY function other than making you feel sexy as fuck. How many of you own an ACTUAL bra, The type that actually holds up your boobs? I haven't owned a real one in 5 years. I either live in sports crops, bikini tops or bare breasted because there's NOTHING TO HOLD UP!
Whats the point right?! Our boobs were the first fat targets hit when we started getting fit...<looks down shirt, "that;s cool mate, I didn't need you anyway kaysseeyabye"
Whatever, I still have Booty.
3) Hair Washing - Trying to plan you hair wash days for the entire week around both sweaty gym sessions and your social calendar is a BITCH.
Some of you girls are REALLY good at planning your hair routine around your gym, me not so much. I'll let it go for as long as possible (2-3 days) and on the very last day when it's crusty as feck and could snap off like a twig, I'll chuck in one last dripping sweat session. If I REALLY have to wash my hair, it's gotta be DIRRRR-TY first. Cos once that hair is clean and blow dried, you best believe I aint going anywhere near a gym for a whole 24 hours that I am fresh! I am a delicate flower for today!
4) Fashhhhh-un?? - When you spend SO much of your life in Activewear that you literally forget how to dress in anything else? What's a dress? I could make that into a tent mate. Function.
If I go out, I wear cocktail shorts and wedges, not heels. Cos, you know, what if I have to squat for some reason?
I walk into my closet and the ratio of fit gear to casual is like 70/30. I'm not sorry. Whatever. My ass looks better wrapped up in spandex than it does denim anyway.
Someone should open a bar in which active wear is the dress code and people lounge on fitness machines instead of couches, the dance floor is a cardio class and they serve protein powder cocktails. And I still wouldn't go.
Peace out loves x
1) Women and weight training.
This one pisses me off the most! There are SO many of you girls out there that will not touch iron because you're scared of mutating into some looming she-hulk.
I will not judge you too harshly on this belief as it seems to be a recurring concern for women; myself included when I was first starting out on my own fitness journey back in the day.
I don't know who started the rumour, that's irrelevant at this stage however I have to 'educate you' so to speak because if I see one more bunny wander into the gym, run on the treadmill for an hour and then leave again, I will pull my own hair out.
Firstly; it's important that you girls understand from the get go that it is IMPOSSIBLE (again, IMPOSSIBLE) for your body to replicate the physique of the babe'n body builder you eyeball whilst racking up your KMs.
The difference between the boys and your build is hormones. Women simply do not naturally possess the levels of testosterone required to build the same amount of muscle as the grainier sex. It just won't happen.
And those rare women you do see on your Insta feed that look like they bench press The Hulk himself, I guarentee you they are aided by a certain nameless drug to be able to mosey up that kind of muscle.
The average girl boss (you) who picks up some weight heavier than her hand bag will never look like that, this I promise you.
What WILL happen is you will start shedding those layers of fat and that "toned" look you bang on about all the time, that WILL happen. "Toned" is just the girl was of saying "building muscle"
And guess what, BECAUSE you have more lean muscle, your body will begin to burn fat all on its own! Without the need for MORE cardio.
Incorporate weight training with HIIT sessions 3-4 times a week; followed by a balanced diet and I PROMISE YOU; you will love your reflection so much, you'll want to be naked 24:7!
I don't demonise cardio, I LOVE clocking the KMs; I identify as a runner but experience and time has taught me that if you don't incorporate some strength training too; you're just going to be skinny, with NO tone. We already looked like 12 year old boys before puberty, do you really want to look like again?!
Pick up those Dumbbells girlfriend; you look sexy as fuck holding them and you'll look sexy as fuck when you're done with them xx
2) CARBS are NOT evil!
Ugh. Ok. Let me break this down for you. Your body NEEDS carbs. And they are everywhere and in just about everything; cutting them out is not only un-necessary but also incredibly difficult. And I mean, WHY?! What about pasta go-go?!
I could bang on for ages about the varying levels of carbs and what they do for your body both good and bad but I won't because that needs a whole separate blog post.
Just like fats, there are both good carbs and bad carbs. Good carbs fuel your body and give it the energy levels it needs to function at various levels. For example, I used to carb load intentionally to fuel my long distance runs (AND because I liked doing it!), my body required more of them. Since transitioning to weight training I now need less carbs and more protein to repair the muscle I just smashed doing deaddies.
Your individual requirements are going to vary depending on your goals and lifestyle but what I want you to realise is that
"If I cut carbs; I'll lose weight"
Is utter bullshit. Much like my next point....
3) "But I went for a walk today..."
I'm going to try not rant here. Yes you need to get your steps in, that admirable; and yes, it's hard for some people.
But I hate to break it to you; I really do wish it was this simple, BUT, going to the gym, walking on th Le treadmill or cross trainer for an hour is going to do jack shit.
For exercise to be effective, you need to break a sweat.
Again, the exact need of each person varies but if you're not pushing yourself; why even bother? I tell you fact: you're going to burn more than triple the amount of calories engaging in a 20 min HIIT session than an hour of power walking. Once you've done your HIIT, yeah cool, get on the treadmill and go for your walk...AS A COOL DOWN method.
Which leads me to my next point:
Slim pills, fat burners, Skinny teas, waist trainers, vibrating boards DO NOT make you lose weight. Some of these things are designed to ASSIST with a regular training program, like fat burners for example but simply taking them on their own... the only thing you burned was a hole in your wallet kid, sorry.
Don't be gullible. And please, stop being sold on a fantasy. If this shit worked, EVERYONE would be wandering out with their kit off, rigs out.. And please stop kidding yourself, you're just over complicating something that is basic math really.
Caloric intake VS Calorie expenditure. If you're using more than you consume, you lose weight, if you eat more than you burn; you gain weight. Simple.
KISS (Keep It Simple Stupid)
I say it all out of love, I promise.
I thought I'd start off my first blog post with an answer to a question I'm asked frequently. When it comes to cardio, which form is best for weight loss, HIIT or LISS? Well there is many an argument within the industry about which is best but the truth is both HIIT and LISS are effective in their own ways.
Stands for High Intensity Interval Training. Basically this involves short bursts of exercise at full exersion followed by a short break or less intense exercise recovery before another short burst. For example:
Sprint for 1 minute
Walk for 2 minutes (or rest completey)
Complete in intervals for 15-20 minutes
This is ONE basic example, there are thousands of ways you can put together a HIIT routine.
HIIT uses your anearobic system (the opposite of aerobic). This means your body's demand for oxygen exceeds the supply available and relies on energy sources that are stored in the muscles. As research suggests, HIIT is a little better for burning fat than LISS because when we train at this level of intensity, our bodies create the "After Burn" effect AKA: EPOC (excess post-exercise oxygen consumption) in which calories continue to burn at rest for up to 38 hours post exercise. And then there are some other benefits:
Stands for Low Intensity Steady State which is where you perform at a medium level exertion for an extended period of time. For example, a 45 minute jog at a consistent pace.
The most fat is burnt in this form within the "fat burning zone" which occurs when you work at around 60-65% of you maximum heart rate (MHR).
While there are some fat loss benefits from this form of cardio training, it does not have the same after burn effect of HIIT. That said, it's other benefits are still strong within it's own rights::
Here's a little personal comparison for you. When I first started my fitness journey I was running every day and averaging weekly distances of 25-40km in conjunction with weight training 3-4 times a week. I was slim and lean yes but I was suffering from repetitive stress injuries and I couldn't gain the level of muscle I wanted because my aerobic system was literally eating away at my muscle to fuel my runs. I had your typical runner's physique and had no clue why I couldn't get the shapely, muscular curves I so desperately wanted.
As I learned more, I transitioned a little bit away from running (LISS) and added HIIT to my routine and I very quickly gained 5kg of muscle. I still run 2-3 times a week but now I do it to keep my cardiovascular system conditioned and to zen out or stretch out my aching muscles. I do enjoy a long beach walk in the sun with a coffee the day after leg day!
I personally recommend a combination of HITT, LISS and weight training because, like all things in life, it's about balance. But when it comes to choosing what's right for you, it really just boils down to your preferences, current health status and your fitness goals.
And like always, if you need any further info or would like to discuss your fitness goals, I'm happy to help!
Well hi there!!
This is all a bit exciting!! Well, for me anyway! A little bit over a year ago, I started studying health and fitness...I blinked...and now I'm qualified and sitting at my desk building this website, addressing you beautiful people!
HIIIII!!!! I'm so excited you're here!! I'm so excited I get to share this with you!!
This is the blog part of my website, I'm going to think of it as my online journal. The website has enough professional hoo-ha, so I'll dedicate this section to saying WASSUP to you guys, jotting down cool things I think you might like, and whatever else!
I realise this website is still new and resembles an empty, baron desert wasteland but like any other journey, its going to take time to fill it up with content and anyway, And I want to fill it with stuff about you guys! So hit me up! With anything, whenever, however!
Here's to step one!