All posts by gb-admin

healthy meal prep

Mid-year resolutions

So most people list off their to-do’s for the year on January 1st and, well, if you’re anything like me, they can be (FAR TOO QUICKLY!) long forgotten. Rather than look back on mine, I’ve decided to refresh from memory and tell you some plans for the near future:

More travel: I’m heading off to Bali this week coming for 17 days (incl travel obvs!) but am SO excited as I’ve wanted to go there for years. And it’s finally happening. EEEEEK! So far this year I’ve been to Marbella and Prague and I’m also going to head away for another few days to Sweden mid-October (to see Big bro) and MAYBE a few days somewhere sunny before then with my bearded other half.

More study: I’m moving between doing a PT course (not sure what the next step would be though?)  and  Nutrition course at the moment- not distance learning as I find I need to be in the room with people I am learning from and miss the colleague interaction from the current course I was doing online in Nutrition. I’m also looking at doing a short course in Neuroscience and Consumber Behaviour in September as they are both areas I find a little fascinating.

More work: I usually try and squash everything (blog or freelance related!) into Saturday afternoon after I train in the morning and have breakfast (of course) but have found the past few weeks I’m much more productive (could be the sunshine??) later at night- without compromising on my sleep or adding to stress. I only do the fun stuff.

More me-time: I’ve started to go for longer walks again and THIS IS LIFE for me. It’s where I clear my head and readjust the stress barometer. If it’s sunny I walk into and out of work and it’s bloody glorious. I’m also going to focus on getting regular massages/physio- I don’t really drink so I figure this can be my little guilty pleasure. (oh that AND facials!).

More family time: My little brother (who is basically my little child) is moving to Italy. My other brother (my older brother) lives in Sweden so it’s become even more important to take the time to visit and keep the relationships alive and kicking. My nieces and nephew are just everything and I need to focus more on them over the coming months, more calls, more photos, more trips. And instead of Christmas pressies this year we are all pitching in to bring the whole family home. BLISS. Pressies for the kids still obviously. Just none for the big kids. My Dad is now living in Kells so need to get my ass in gear and spend more time there too as he’s always the one visiting me.

More meal-prep: Believe it or not I’ve gotten super lazy in the kitchen- eek! Going to print out my e-books again and get cooking I guess :) Simples.

More cardio: YES I KNOW! Who am I? I’ve found it clears my head. AND I’m seeing some greater improvement in my legs more recently even from walking. WTactualF?!

More friend-time: Something I’m not always good at because I do tend to work a lot and I do like my own space too.  I find the best way for me to spend time with the girls is to plan a day out (I’m not a big drinker) like a hike somewhere. Time to find some new interesting places to go! If I plan time outside Dublin with the girls I find I really feel like I’ve had a break and a proper weekend :)

More skills/hobbies (non-work related!): Finally, this one is a little weird but is definitely an area I need more growth in. I’m toying with the idea of getting back to school to improve my Spanish again as I feel it’s slipping away slowly- I used to live in Barcelona and found that each year it’s slipping away. :( Time to grab the bull y the horns I guess! Another area with more than a little room for improvement is my driving. I just don’t need a car or to drive really, apart from the odd time with work. So, I tend to make excuses all the time not to do lessons. Anyways I’m ahead of myself and have two booked for after Bali- who AM I? Also thinking of doing guitar lessons but figure I’ll get my driving sorted first :)

Less stress: So I’ve taken up yoga at The Edge: Clontarf where I train and find it amazing for stress-relief. Once I get better I suppose I’ll start to practice more on my own too. Wuhu!

How about you guys? Any mid-year resolutions?

X

Physiotherapy

Physiotherapy- how to know when it’s time to go

SO, if like me, you’ve increased your intensity of sessions, increased volume etc..or simply don’t spend enough time on stretching, mobility and warming up properly, chances are you could do with a quick visit to see your Physiotherapist.

Paddy, from Z10 Physiotherapy on Bath Avenue reached out to me a few weeks ago to see if I needed a treatment. Of course I said yes- My back was tight for weeks, felt bruised all around my mid-back; I constantly had to crack it for relief. In fact, it t got so bad I couldn’t sleep unless it was at a certain angle. And yes, idiot here thought ‘sure I’ll just foam roll a little more often and press the tennis ball into wherever hurts’. To no avail. What I needed was professional advise from a medical professional.

I tottered down after work one evening and met Paddy at his brand new office space on Bath Avenue. Paddy is very welcoming- simple, straight-forward and enough chat to keep you feeling comfortable, relaxed and very much at-ease. I began the session talking about what issues I had, any soreness, tightness, any issues with movement etc…He asked me to do a few simple exercises and then got to work. He started with my neck and then onto my back and hips- it turns out I had a series of muscle spasms and so he recommended I got a dry needling treatment done which he did there and then. It’s a little weird and not so comfortable but, in a few short seconds the sense of relief is overwhelming and therefore worth the marginal discomfort (note- not pain!).

Throughout the whole treatment, Paddy was talking to me about he was doing and why (which I’m interested in!) so for any of you who might be a little bit nervous about what to expect it’s all very relaxed. Ok, so it’s not like a massage in a beauticians where you feel all sleepy, it’s a functional session to fix or treat an ailment but it definitely makes you feel so much better afterwards. I wore shorts and a sports bra and a light vest as this allows for the Physio to work with ease and perhaps even see any obvious issues or strains.

I asked Paddy to answer a few questions too; perfect for anyone wondering whether or not Physio should be part of their regular health routine- just as important as a dental check-up, a health check up your GP or a smear test. I have to admit, I left my issue far too long and will definitely be back much sooner to keep my body in tip top condition. I work at a desk too so I’m sure the combination of leaning over a desk coupled with heavy lifting doesn’t lend itself too well to my poor back!

Q&A with Paddy

z10 Physiotherapy

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

How important is Physiotherapy to your overall health?

Physiotherapy is extremely important to overall health as pain and muscle tightness can inhibit normal muscle function and normal muscle growth. Dysfunction can put an abnormal stress on a joint causing early onset joint degeneration and arthritis. For example, weak gluteal muscles lead to destabilization of the pelvis. This causes over recruitment of the outside thigh muscle (Vastus Lateralis) which will pull the knee cap laterally (away from the mid-line) causing it to rub off the tendon and knee cartilage.

 
How do you know if you need treatment and should you go for a regular check-up?

You should consult with a chartered physiotherapist after any injury or pain that lasts longer than 4 days. The body is very good at getting out of pain but dysfunction may still exist after an injury. A common mistake people make is not getting an ankle sprain treated. A typical ankle sprain can cause instability of the ankle making it susceptible to a more serious injury including an ankle fracture. Also, an ankle sprain usually deceases dorsiflexion (the ability to pull the toes and foot up towards the body). Full dorisflexion is very important for normal walking and running and lack of it can cause the calf and hamstring muscles to tighten leading to all sorts of problems including calf tears, Achilles tendonopathy, knee pain and lower back pain.

Another problem we see in clinic is people taking medication to relieve lower back pain. Pain may go away but the stiffness and dysfunction may remain in the spine causing the body to move abnormally and leading to further back problems in the future.

Prevention is the best cure for any musculoskeletal problem and it is recommended that you see your chartered physiotherapist every 6-8 months to detect any problems and for exercises to combat the demands placed on the body by work, sport or hobbies.

 

Physiotherapy

What kind of symptoms/issues would benefit from a treatment with a physiotherapist?

Any muscle or joint that’s in pain for over 4 days or any areas that feel tight or restricted. Physiotherapists can relieve the majority of musculoskeletal conditions quickly and efficiently without causing too much discomfort. The earlier the condition is treated the quicker the patient will return to full fitness. As well as the typical injuries, physios can treat vertigo, tension headaches, wrist pain, hip and groin pain.
If you train 3-4 times per week or more, do you need to go more often or are there exercises you recommend?

If you train regularly in a sport or in the gym then you should see your physiotherapist every 4-5 months. Heavy training can lead to a release of Acetylcholine causing muscles to tighten and contain active trigger points. Treatments such as Dry Needling and massage can keep the muscle free of trigger points decreasing the risk of injury and improving muscle function and recovery time.
What happens at a session and what can people expect after one treatment typically? If a person is in pain the injury will be assessed and treated. The physio will treat the site of pain and also where he/she feels the pain is coming from which may be from a different body part. During assessment the physio will check how the body moves, the siting and standing posture, the range of movement of the joints, the soft tissue quality and muscle strength.

Treatment may include joint mobilization to improve mobility, Dry Needling to release muscle spasm, soft tissue massage to decrease pain, exercise prescription, stretches, advice on how to avoid pain on injury, strapping or taping ideas to offload a painful area or orthotic fitting.

 

 

How much is a treatment?

Each treatment costs €60 and €50 for students or medical card holders. Improvements are always expected after just 1 session with most injuries requiring 3 treatments or less.

 

How can people book an appointment or get in touch?

You can book an appointment online at Z10 Physiotherapy or call 085 7715481

 

 

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20 things about Me: Gym Bunny

So I’ve had quite a few new followers and tend to get lots of the same questions about what I am, what I love/hate, about my background and what I do!

Here goes- here are 20 things about me for any newbies to my social feed:

1. I am from Sligo originally but have lived in Mayo, Donegal, Galway, Barcelona and Dublin now. I’ve lived in so many houses due to my Dad’s job that I actually cannot keep count!

2. My degree was in Video & Film Production. I hated it. Except for a module in Production & Set Design. I now work predominantly in Content Production and love what I’m doing and video production plays a huge part in this! Funny how life turns out :)

3. I love, love health and fitness. I got into training a lot more after my Mum died of cancer in 2011. Her name was Lorna and she was the strongest person I ever met. She died from lung cancer and has taught me to only focus my time and energy into things I genuinely love. Nothing else matters.

4. I am a total perfectionist. I have had to learn that in working life you have to do things 80/20 as otherwise you’ll drive yourself to an early grave. My advice? Get done and fix it afterwards. No one can get angry if you try.

5. I adore my family and have the best relationship with them. We are open and honest about everything and I’d be lost without them.

6. I am obsessed with fat, wrinkley dogs. Their smell, their little smashed up faces. Everything. Sigh to living in an apartment, sigh.

7. I love the smell of bleach. Like LOVE it. I would bleach you all if I could to be fair.

8. I love long walks, beaches, sunshine and travelling. Combine all and I am the happiest little pig in the land. No better feeling that lying in the sun with good music, snacks and ending the day with sandy toes. BLISS.

9. I would spend every penny I have on healthy eating and travelling if I could. There is nothing better than investing in yourself (and loved ones too!).

10. I hate receiving gifts. I get socially awkward and almost angry. Especially if they are of significant value. I’m really stubborn so kind of feel like if I wanted an expensive gift I’d buy it myself- my poor boyfriend- I’m a bag of crazy!

11. I can be very negative and tend towards self-doubt. Despite being an outwardly very positive person, I can be quite negative when it comes to my own value and worth. I can doubt myself far too easily.

12. I am over the moon when good things happen to good people. I am literally the happiest person when things go right for my friends. My heart feels like it will explode and I cry with happiness when they are genuinely happy.

13. I don’t have TV channels. Yep, giant weirdo. It’s just such a waste of time. I only watch TV in my pal Siobhan’s house or at Christmas in my Dad’s.

14. I LOVE my food. I am ALWAYS HUNGRY. I get really bad moods when not fed regularly.

15. I would love to live in another country again for a year or two. It’s the most exciting feeling in the world to start from scratch.

16. I am 33, 158 cm, size XS and have 36.5 feet with long brown hair with balayage at the end (usually a total mess) and my eyes are bluey greeney grey I guess.

17. I love everything digital, social media and photography. I confess to using my phone far too much but I draw the line at meal-times and when out with friends. Put your phone away you rudie!

18. I am looking to buy a house but am struggling to find something suitable. I also don’t want to grow up so it’s a delicate process.

19. I don’t yet have my driving license. I know. I did my test once and failed, got grumpy and kind of gave up. Ekk. Time to get back on the saddle I guess.

20. I want to go back and study properly. I’d love to do a tonne of courses- Nutrition and Life Coaching, Consumer Behaviour in the digital landscape, Spanish ( I speak it but it’s gotten worse since I moved home to Ireland), Make-up artistry- I know!- and maybe a few others- I just love learning!

That’s me in a nutshell :)

Orla X

debloating yoga sequence

Simple tips to feel leaner in just a day

Losing body fat takes time and dedication, but these simple tricks can help you feel a little bit ‘lighter’ in just one day. Ideal for that time of the month when you feel bloated and puffy and very meh…

1. Start your day with a cup of warm but not boiling water with lemon- add a green tea bag for extra brownie points!

2. Avoid bread or dairy in the morning- For most people this leaves tough decisions as to what to have for breakfast- instead think high protein, high fat. Avocado and eggs is an ideal start to your day, for example. Have your first coffee about an hour after your first meal. Experts say your ‘ideal time’ to have a coffee is about 9:30 am.

3. Start your day (before you leave the house) with some stretches or a simple beginners yoga routine. Even the most basic stretch routine can aid digestion. There are some SUPERB yoga sequences here for even the most novice yogi.

debloat yoga

4. Swap your regular tea and coffee for a lighter herbal tea- peppermint, raspberry and dandelion are all great to ease any bloat!

5. Get up and move. Try and take a little walk every hour or two or if stuck at your desk, try and stretch your feet under the desk and your spine too. I do this ALL the time as my mid-back is very tight. Instant relief! :)

So there you have a few simple tips to get started. Other obvious ones of course include drinking more water, eating less processed foods and limiting your sodium intake if in excess. But we all have to start off small…

X

meal prep example

How To Stay on Track At Work

Offices and workplaces can be so difficult when it comes to staying on track with your new healthy plan! Every day (or at least in my office!) someone brings in a different cake, box of biscuits or bag of sweets. t can be tough to stay away from the sugar fix come 11am or 3pm when the slump hits, but here are my top tips to avoid the sweet temptations at work or play!

healthy meal prep

Have a Sneaky Food Drawer or Stash

Always, always, ALWAYS, Have healthy snacks on hand. I always have snacks in my day bag/handbag such as almonds, dried fruit, fresh fruit and possibly some greek yoghurt. In the drawer I might have green tea, rice cakes, nuts/seeds and protein bars. vWe are also lucky in my office in that we get fruit trays delivered each day or so, so there is always a fresh option if you get stuck. Otherwise keep an eye out in Lidl or Aldi and stock up! It ’s so much easier to turn down pizza/cake/sweets when you know you have a healthy alternative close by; except when Heather brings in her amazing short bread- Not one human alive can or should resist that. It’s just too good :)

 
Stay Calm

Work colleagues are always going to be inquisitive about your eating patterns; it’s just another conversation starter, I guess. Try not to get too defensive when questioned- this can be hard. In previous roles, people have been quite aggressive with their teasing about eating patterns (not just my own experience but also other colleagues) and it comes across that perhaps they are guilty about their own choice so they feel that have to shoot you down for trying. Just explain what you’re trying to do and why. What I’ve found is that often they start to mimic your healthier choices, which is always a good thing!

healthy treats in the office
Listen to the little voices!

So you might not even like cake that much (thankfully I’m not a fan at all really!) but still you feel the need to have some when it;s offered. Listen to yourself. Make a treat worthwhile, not something you just needlessly plough through because it’s at arms’s length. Try to keep your sweeter or saltier choices for your cheat meal and make it EXACTLY what you want, rather than just having a treat for the sake of it.

 
Don’t give up, don’t give in

If your work colleagues or friends tease you for your choices, just take a moment to BREATHE. You have to remember that this lifestyle is not for everyone. Some people are not interested in their long term health and just want to treat themselves all the time, regardless of the state of the mental or physical health. This is none of your business. I find this very hard with family as I always want to push my opinions and knowledge on my poor Dad, but have to understand that, at the end of the day, each to their own. Thankfully he is learning a few tips and tricks along the way though :) With friends it can be awkward too; how much information does someone ACTUALLY want when they ask for a program/plan or tips for same? I get asked for lots of advice on cleaner nutrition plans- is it always followed through? No, not always and that’s ok too! I do try and explain the difference, however, quite strongly, about low kcal diets and how dangerous they can be and likewise the long term health effects of following a plan like Slimming World which annotates olive oil as a ‘syn’. Shocking stuff altogether.

 
Balance, moderation and GIMME THAT CHOCOLATE NOW!!!

If you really really want a sneaky reat then go for it; just maybe not EVERY day! Ultimately, life is for living and food is to be enjoyed. Little indulgences here and there are fine for most people (note not ALL people) and you can still make progress. Following a plan that has a balanced outlook with plenty of whole foods, fresh meat, fish, veggies, fruit, seeds, nuts, pulses, milk, yoghurt, lots of water, green tea and the odd few squares of chocolate- well a healthy lifestyle that’s easy to maintain will last you long into the future…

Enjoy X

 

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5 at-home HIIT programs for rainy days

Pretty tough to motivated when the weather takes a nasty turn to be honest, so I’ve compiled some of my favourite little at-home HIIT programs so you don’t even need to leave the house. WIN WIN! I’ve also been bullied by my little brother to post more exercise programs in general as he follows them all -awwww!

So, stay in your jammies (but perhaps put on a sports bra and some trainers!) and get your sweat on in just a few minutes and better still, why not get your kids/flat mates involved too :)

3 Minute Lazy Workout

BW Squats x 15

Pushups x 5

Jumping jacks x 20

Crunches x 20

Pushups x 5

Stretch x 2 minutes

 

6 Minute Workout

Jumping Jacks x 30 secs

Wall-sit x 30 secs

Push-ups x 30 secs

Crunches x 30 secs

Chair Step-ups x 30 secs

BW Squats x 30 secs

Tricep dips x 30 secs

Plank x 30 secs

High Knees x 30 secs

Lunges x 30 secs

Plank get-up x 30 secs

Side Plank x 30 secs

 

girl exercising at home gymbunny.ie

10 Minute Workout

High Knees x 30 secs

BW Squats x 20

Mountain Climbers x 30 secs

Lunges x 30

Jumping Jacks x 30 secs

Fast Feet x 30 secs

Rest x 30 secs

BW Sumo Squats x 10

BW Squat Jumps x 10

Step-ups x 30 secs

Burpees x 15

Repeat x 2

 

15 Minute Workout

Burpees x 30 secs

Plank x 60 secs

High Knees x 30 secs

Lunges x 60 secs

Rest 30 secs

Mountain Climbers x 30 secs

Leg Raises x 60 secs

Squat Jumps x 30 secs

Wall-sit x 60 secs

Rest 30 secs

Jumping jacks x 30 secs

Tricep Dips x 60 secs

Rest 30 secs

Repeat x 2

 

20 Minute Workout

Jumping Jacks x 60 secs

Side Lunges x 30

BW Squauts x 30

Jog on Spot x 60 secs

Rest 30 secs

Burpees x 30

Lunges x 30

Skipping x 60 secs

Mountain Climbers x 30

Rest 30 secs

Jumping jacks x 60 secs

Side Lunges x 30

Pushups x 30

BW Squats x 30

Rest 30 secs

Plank x 60 secs

Sit-ups x 30

Burpees x 30

Rest 30 secs

Repeat x 2

 

Enjoy guys :)

 

* Please note- I am not a qualified Personal Trainer and do advise that you speak to your doctor or trainer before trying any new exercise program. A little discomfort is normal when starting a new program- pain is not. Be careful and listen to your body!

before and after vivienne

Vivienne- before and after transformation

My fitness journey really began about three years ago, midway through my second year in college, studying nursing. It began really when I saw a photo of myself with a group of friends on a night out. To be honest I was shocked, the person I was looking at in the photo was not me. I knew I had put on a few pounds since moving away to college, but I didn’t realise how much I had let myself go. A year later of drinking and eating rubbish had got the better of me.I had never felt so uncomfortable in my own skin. I continuously wore baggy, dark clothes but when it came to the occasion where I had to wear an outfit for a dress up for one of our rugby socials, that’s when I realised how much weight I had put on.

That Christmas, I wasn’t in a good place mentally. I felt so insecure and horrible. Every time I looked in the mirror I wanted to cry because I was so disgusted with how I looked. Everyone had recognised it. The last straw for me was when I was working over Christmas. I was working in the care home, where I had worked before I left to go to Bristol for my nursing. One of the staff members said ‘you have put on so much weight’. I wanted to cry there and then, as harsh as that was, it was exactly what I needed to hear. I knew in my head straight after Christmas, this weight has got to go. Leaving Ireland to go back to Bristol, I was weighing in at just over 14 stone.

I remembering buying Vicky Pattinson’s 7 minute workout because I felt too intimated to go gym, so blasted out some workouts in my apartment everyday. Growing up, I had never been a gym goer, I just played a lot of sports and found whenever I went to the gym, I didn’t have a breeze what I was doing and like every other person, didn’t want to look stupid.

Eventually I plucked up the courage to go into the gym. I remember just seeing the treadmill and thinking OK well grand at least I can manage that contraption. One of the trainers in the gym came up to me and introduced herself. Later did I know this woman would be responsible for the majority of my weight loss, my ankle rehabilitation and my motivation. She offered me personal training, and looking back now, it was one of my best investments. Not only because she pushed me but it so important to get professional advice especially when you’re a beginner.

A few months went by and the more weight I lost, the more it strived me to keep going. I felt great, and had so much energy. Don’t get me wrong I had my bad days but overall I was consistent. Until about August 2015, when I was diagnosed with anxiety/ depression and the gym took a back burner. Attending cognitive behavioural therapy regularly for a couple of months, taught me a lot about myself. Highlighting, not only the importance of what’s on the outside but how you feel on the inside too.

before and after vivienne

As hard as it was I forced myself to go to the gym. Luckily, I had the support of so many people and have an amazing family. That old feeling of routine started to set in and I was no longer forcing myself to go gym and do normal day to day things. I started taking my training serious and counted macronutrients, I know this may not be for everyone but I saw it as a less restrictive diet, which allowed me to see results and living a balanced life.
Looking back to when I started ‘trying to be healthy’, my mindset has changed so much. At the start it was all about losing weight, just to feel nice in clothes. Now Ive learned the positive impact exercise and looking after your health can have, not only on you physically but mentally.

 

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Mike- Before and After transformation

So Mike popped up in my news feed on Instagram a few months ago as a suggested image/video- I can’t actually remember and it was a before and after photo.

Again as he points out, for some people his transformation might not look the most ‘extreme’ but he reckons it will give the ‘average’ Joe a good kick into 2017 to get on track and stay motivated- by finding what works for YOU. Take a read…

isibefore

I don’t think I was ever severely out of shape, but I put on weight pretty easy in noticeable areas – my face and thighs mostly. From my late teens, some of my best mates were professional athletes, so I was always a little conscious of how I looked. Instead of eating properly and doing the kind of workouts I do now, I would literally hit the treadmill for over an hour at a time. That led to marathons, long distance triathlon and then ultramarathons, but I’d get fierce sloppy looking between races. You’re so used to carb loading for events, when you cut back on the miles, but not the calories, the pounds soon follow.
When I took up MMA I probably looked my worst. I was about 85kg with huge legs from the running, but no real definition in my upper body. I signed up for a fight and the weight flew off me, ultimately getting my body fat down to 6% for the weigh-in. But even then I wasn’t carrying a huge amount of muscle; I was lean, but far from shredded.
Since then, I’ve hit the weights pretty hard and mixed it up by continuing to train in MMA. I’ve never done any classes in the gym and would generally get my cardio from the 3 mile run there, but there’s no truer indication of my fitness level than when I spar or grapple with the guys in SBG Charlestown. No one gives a sh!t how they look with their tops off, they are there to get rounds in and it always pushes me that bit harder than any gym class ever could.
fitmag
Right now I hover around 81/82kg and train probably 6 days a week. Some days are obviously more intense than others, but, at 34 my body tells me when I need the break – I’ve just had to learn to listen.
beforeafter1
You can follow Mike on Instagram/Twitter/Snapchat: @ImMikeSheridan
gym-bunny-new-year-new-you

GymBunny Goals for 2017

So things start to get altogether FAR too official when you write them down/type them down, don’t they?

Well as an avid and total nerdy list-writer to beat the band, I’ve decided to write down mine in detail. Some are cringey as they have been on my list for quite some time. Others probably wouldn’t even make other people’s list…

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Why don’t you do the same? I promise- it’s totally theraputic…

1. Train 3-5 times each week, no matter what. Despite what you might think, I don’t always get time to train, or should I say I don’t always give myself the time to train. I put other things first. Training for me is therapy and health and both intertwined. Therefore this year it’s a personal goal to stick to it..

2. Be more dedicated to my blog. I get so many mails about where I am and why I’m not posting as often, why don’t I share more etc…There are a myriad of reasons but mostly because I am so busy with my full-time job. I am not a ‘full-time’ blogger (wouldn’t that be the dream!) and with this in mind I have to prioritize, but perhaps time to push the boat out a little more in 2017?

3. Relax more. Although my first two points above are to do more, I perhaps need to just learn to be a little better with my time in general. This includes making more of my down-time to make it actual PROPER down-time and not just scrolling my way through instagram in bed- yikes!

4. Stretch and work on mobility. So last year I wanted to do my first hand stand and I DID IT! But did I practise and evolve it? NOOOO! Shame on me! I was so excited to do it that once I reached my little goal, I stopped. After a little injury on my back this year, I’m ready now to rebuild and readjust the focus wheel and take time to do the not so fun stuff in the gym just as much as the fun stuff.

5. Travel more. On my list this year so far are; Bali, Marbella, Gothenburg & Stockholm and perhaps the US too- maybe San Fran or NYC! Or Thailand?! Gah!

6. Study more. I started an online nutrition course last year and never finished it. Perhaps me and online study just don’t go well together. I find that when I know the content I stop reading so perhaps I need a more advanced course or a more in-depth method of learning and a tutor I look up to! I also want to learn more about the psychology of buyer behaviour and why we do what we do online- I’m such a nerd I know :)

7. Finally get my driving test. I’m 33- yikes!- and STILL I don’t have my driving test agh!! I failed it last year and got really annoyed with myself as I made a stupid mistake of driving out before someone on the roundabout- who knew kids who knew…- so I need to allow myself the time to get back behind the wheel, without harming anyone in the process- eek!

8. Balance my work/study/training/friends/boyf/family time better. I probably need to plan things a little better to make sure I have time to see everyone without burning out or trying to do everything at once. I have friends living all across the country as have moved a lot since I was a kid so need to reach out to my favourites a little more and spend more quality time with family and boyf too!

9. Make more weekend plans for exploring. My boyfriend works most weekends so I tend to use Saturday and Sunday mornings as work days too which ends up being a very long, foggy week of kind of-kind of not working. This year I want to visit: Cork, Belfast and surroundings, Donegal, Mayo and Clare in a little more detail!

10. Walk more. After all my talking about moving more and stretching more and training more, I often end up driving or taking the bus or a taxi instead of getting out and about and walking like I used to. Bad habit and one that needs to change. Such a simple trick to look and feel so much better almost instantly.

 

What are YOUR #lifegoals for 2017 and beyond?

X

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Ryan- Before and After transformation

Ryan reached out to me only yesterday to say how motivating he found my blog- Little did he know that I also found HIS story really motivating…and he is still on his path to reach his goals and smash 2017 as best he can. Read his own words here. A lesson for us all- take it slow and act consistently. THAT is the only way to ensure you do not fall down at the first hurdle…Well done Ryan- you should be so so very proud!

I was not an overweight child, although I absolutely loved snack food: I always had a craving for savoury snacks like crisps and sausage rolls etc. I was not active though, I used to play a bit of football but wasn’t that good so always got left out of the team meaning I eventually lost interest and just stopped playing.

 

I began to gain weight at college, drinking too much cider and not having a good diet; it wasn’t sudden but it was significant over a number of years. I suppose I was in complete denial. I would just buy bigger clothes until the only shop I could get clothes to fit was Debenhams as they carry the bigger sizes. The tipping point came when I was around 29 years old. Clothes shopping was a nightmare, nothing would fit! I would leave the shop empty handed close to tears. I couldn’t fit into a pair of 46 inch waist trousers and they did not sell anything bigger and the shirts had a 21 inch neck or were 3XL.

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Initially I joined Slimming World, on my first weigh in I was 22 stone and 13 pounds! I managed to lose a couple of stone over the period of 6 months, not linearly, but it was coming off. I was still inactive so I heard of these spinning classes starting in our local town. I signed up and found that although it was extremely difficult I quite enjoyed it and my weight started to drop more rapidly. I did not have much of a clue about nutrition so thought if I don’t really eat I won’t gain weight. While this was true I dropped to 16 stone and looked awful. I felt pretty awful too, I had skinny arms and legs, no strength and still had a significant belly which would not move.

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I began to put weight back on and actually went back up to just over 19 stone. I tried to educate myself on nutrition and exercise and learned that I had to gain some muscle, lift some weights and do less cardio than I was doing (7 spin classes a week!). The weight began to come off again, but this time it was proportional. My arms grew in size as did my shoulders. The fat began to come off my back and my abdomen and my legs were strong with good muscle development.

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I am currently at my lightest weight on the scales, just over 15 stone. I wear a size 34 trousers and a size 16 inch neck shirt or just an L and on occasion a Medium! I started feeding myself properly and preparing my meals for every couple of days. I set up an Instagram account to track my progress, to view what other people were doing and to motivate myself to do a better job. I post mainly food photos and occasionally gym shots. I am never hungry apart from post workout where I can be starving. I eat 5 times a day and take a lean whey protein shake once a day. I buy some protein rich snacks just to replace the biscuit or chocolate I would have with a cup of tea, and I drink a lot more water than I used to.

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I am not the finished article. I am still carrying too much body fat but I know what i have to do and 2017 will be an important year for me; it is the first time I have got the nutrition part of my lifestyle right. Some weeks I gain and some weeks I lose, I feel it in my clothes. I am comfortable in the knowledge that I am going in the right direction. Hopefully, I can re-visit this a year from now and give another significant update. I don’t recognise the guy in the photos before!
You can follow Ryan’s journey on Instagram: rpm_fitness.goals