Tag Archives: Body

A Day In The Life Of

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Today I thought I give you a little insight into what life is like when preparing for a bodybuilding competition. I knew a few bodybuilders before I decided to do this and knew it would be hard. But oh boy was I not prepared for what I had coming. It is one thing to hear about someone’s struggles and imagining how they feel vs actually feeling it, believe you me.

So here it goes:

6 am I get up for my first session of cardio. Some of my friends have to get up at 3 or 4 am, so I consider myself lucky!

8:30am I will have meal number 1 – oats and lots and lots of egg whites, which I turn into pancakes. As it turns out, I can turn pretty much anything into pancakes. They are bland, but they look like pancakes, so I imagine they taste good.

10:30am time for meal number 2. Food? Again? Well, when you have 6 meals to get through in a day, you have to eat every 2-3 hours. This is quite time consuming. Although eating the exact same things at the same times every day means I can prepare a lot of it over the weekend and save lots of time during the week. And let’s be honest here for a moment: I never struggle to eat… ;-D

1pm – lunch (ah yesss, I was close to starvation)

2pm – gym for a proper weight session. We are talking bench presses, deadlifts, weighted squats and basically just lifting some heavy stuff. I grunt, I swear, I sweat. It is not pretty… But this part is the one I enjoy the most. Every workout counts and I push myself as hard as I can. Leaving the gym after a really good leg workout and barely being able to walk is one of the most satisfying feelings to have. I can’t deny that I feel a sense of disappointment when I wake up the next morning and am not sore ;-D

3pm – meal 4 straight after the gym to replenish my body. Ooh, that one always feels good!

5pm – meal 5. More food. Glorious food.

7pm – my second cardio session for the day. I get to walk through the local parks for an hour with a heavy bag full of water bottles strapped to my back.

9pm – meal 6, my final bit of food before heading to bed.

10pm – lights out! Sleep is such an important part of life. It is necessary for good health, something that I have chosen to ignore in the past. Sleep is also necessary for muscular development and so now I am making it a priority. I work too hard on my physique to jeopardise it with a lack of sleep. Besides, sleep tastes so, so good (I tend to dream of food… haha)

The cardio sessions are designed for maximum fat burn and so I wear multiple layers (3 pairs of long trousers, a thermal shirt, hoodie with the hood up and fleece on top plus a jacket for the session in the park). The layers ensure that I sweat. A lot. We are talking waterfalls running down my back and sweat dripping into my eyes and off my chin. This is one aspect I don’t love about the process, if I am very honest.

So there you go – a day in the life of… me! Living the rock’n’roll lifestyle 😉

I may be missing out on a social life right now, but it will all be so worth it when I step on that stage for Rosa UK.

If you are feeling generous after reading this, you can sponsor me here.

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To Determine Your Route You Have To Know Where You Are

Yesterday I mentioned the importance of taking one step at a time to achieve a goal. To know what a step is, you need to know where you are stepping from.

So let’s say you want to go to Leeds (don’t ask why, just stay with me here). If I gave you directions from Manchester but you are in Glasgow or London, my directions would be pretty useless. And this is what I feel some nutritionists and trainers do. They just make an assumption of where you are. I did try training with the help of a PT, but he just pushed me to work harder and harder without any previous chat on where I was right now.

And for me, knowing my starting point was not as easy. I would throw myself into exercise and good nutrition again and again, injure myself, get frustrated, give up, start again and so it went on and on. Only this was not a viscous circle but rather a downward spiral. I felt worse and worse and this came to a peak at the beginning of this year. For a while I accepted it but eventually went to see my GP who ran a few blood test to see why I was always so very tired. Many days I barely make it out of bed. Just getting onto the sofa is an achievement.

The blood tests came back within the acceptable range so my GP told me that I am ok. Oh great thanks. Now that I know that, I suppose I will just wake up tomorrow morning and all my symptoms will have magically disappeared? That is just awesome. Only they didn’t. I woke up the next day feeling just as shitty as I have done for months.

But what do you do when your doctor is not very helpful? My answer is: READ!!! You know your body best. You know how you feel. If you feel like shit, chances are something is wrong there somewhere. No matter what the doctor says. You have to trust yourself and your own judgement and remember that your GP gets 15 minutes with each patient. Everyone puts how they feel into their own words rather than textbook terms and even a doctor, whilst highly educated, is only human.

So educate yourself, read, search online. Whatever is the matter, chances are it is not unique and there are others who have been through it already. Establishing your starting point is so important that you should not allow anyone to gloss over how you feel just because they cannot find the cause easily.

Read, see what sits well with you and then try things out. This is all I am doing right now and what this blog is about. Every day I will write about my trials and mis-trials, see what worked and what didn’t. And hopefully, if any of it resonates with you, my journey can help you on your own.

Working Hard For Your Health – Not A Good Idea

So yesterday I mentioned that you have to accept your current state. But actually, before you can accept anything, you need to KNOW what is going on with yourself. The natural state is to be fit, lean, energetic and clear-minded. And while I am not there, I have been working really hard to get it back. Hard work is what I am used to, it is what gets the results, right? And if I am not working hard, if I do not feel exhausted and almost constantly overwhelmed, then I am just not working hard enough. That is the only way to achieve anything, right?  Well, not always.

In fact, in my case it is the very reason why, after 4 years, I am not back to feeling so gloriously uber healthy. By constantly pushing myself beyond my new, much lower, limits I only contributed to not recovering and continuing to feeling tired.

Yesterday I mentioned that feeling tired or being ill was not natural. So being awake, fit and healthy is natural. And if it is natural, then shouldn’t it be easy? HELL YES!!! The natural state is the easiest of all. This is why we call it dis-EASE when we are ill. We are not at ease. Stress causes and contributes to pretty much all illnesses in some way or another these days. If you work hard to be healthy, you are just contributing to dis-ease!

And so what I have learned over the last 4 years of continuously failing at regaining my health, it is because I was trying to force it, rather than easing back into it. If you want to learn a language, you will start with learning your first few words, then the first easy sentences,  a bit of grammar and some more words. You continue doing that and you will be fluent before you know it. But start yourself off in a debate club of your chosen language and you will feel pretty frustrated straight away and possibly give up. The trick is to do a little bit at a time. Take it step by step. Introduce one new thing, like a new vocabulary, and keep rehearsing it. When it becomes second nature, you can introduce more and more. But do it all at once and you have single-handedly put yourself into a position where it is almost impossible to succeed.

As I mentioned yesterday, I used to work out a minimum of 2 hours a day. Now I go to the gym for 15 minutes at a time. Failure? I don’t think so. I tried to push myself and ended up not going at all any more, because I felt so ill afterwards for several days. So I would say 15 minutes is a hell of an improvement. It is not a competition. It is your life. Do what you can and you will naturally be able to increase it over time.