fitness, My Life

Current Fitness Plan

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As has probably become apparent over this past year or so, I’m kind of into exercise now. I’ve done a version of this at some point last year, but there were some changes to it over the course of the year.

And there may be some changes to it over the next few weeks as well. This is because over the past 5 or so months I totally dropped yoga and pilates out of my routine completely and added more cardio into it. I sort of forced myself to do a bit more cardio because I needed to overcome a mental hurtle and cardio was the way to do that.

I’ve reached a point with it where I feel good about it and I have fallen into a pretty easy routine, that I also remain not too precious about because that way lies madness. And obviously just as I have felt comfortable with it I now plan to make some changes to it so that my body doesn’t get too complacent with it.

However, I’ve yet to do that yet and so here I am talking about what I am currently doing.

It’s now 5 days a week, which I saw coming let’s be real. What I didn’t see coming was the order that things are now in terms of days on and days off. The rest days are now Monday and Friday, on Mondays I now wash my hair and Fridays I do nothing, but I may start making it a foam roller day.

So let’s start at the beginning of the week, Tuesdays are now legs and abs focused. It burns but it starts out the week right although it does make the rest of the week slightly interesting as sometimes my glutes DOM up and the rest of the week becomes a test of some sorts. Wednesdays are still boxing days for now which is my first big hit of cardio for the week. Thursdays are now weights day. It’s all about TUT which is a bitch I gotta be honest, but I’ve already felt myself getting stronger and I’ve only been doing it for a few months now. This also comes with a bit of cardio in it, so it covers a lot of bases

Saturdays are now also a cardio day. The class is called Rebounding. It takes place on a mini trampoline. It kind of feels a little bit silly, but also is a lot of fun and really hits a lot of bases. The usually the sweatiest I get all week and I love it. Sundays are then cardio barre, because the additions of gliders is a bitch and I can now no longer hear Sound of the Underground again in the same way. It also funnily enough gives a final hit of cardio before I transition into my second rest day.

The fact that I know work out of my weekends is the part that baffles me most. I was a person who would sleep until noon quite happily and over Christmas this happened quite a bit. I would just lounge about in bed for hours on end and it felt great to be honest. It was much needed, but that’s not the point. The point is that I know work out on weekends and feel great about it.

I’m pretty sure it will stay at 5 days because the idea of making it anymore does sound insane and also kind of not manageable. The way I currently have it set up works for me and it means that I get to have two complete rest days which come Friday by body needs and well I legit need a free evening to deal with my hair so that needs to stay where it is.

And that is my current routine with it all. It’s a lot heavier in cardio than it used to be but it also challenges me on a weekly basis and I definitely feel myself getting stronger and looking stronger as well.

Like I said at the beginning this is most likely going to change soon so that I can a bit more stretching involved and get a bit more toning in. Also cardio barre has already been switched out for regular barre, just because the timetable at my studio changed and this works out better.

But for now that is it what it is what it is.

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fitness, My Life

Activewear Faves

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You may have noticed that there is a new category on this blog, and that category is fitness. That’s because it has become an increasingly more important aspect of my life and so I am gonna start talking about it a little more, as will be evidenced by this little sequence of posts that is happening on here, tomorrow’s will also be similarly themed.

The thing about exercising is that you need to have the attire to do so. And if you’re me the outfits have to be complete and it has to be cute, because sometimes that is my only motivation to go and work out. To break in something new. It means that I have a lot of sportswear in my life, which is handy because I need them more days than not now.

I used to be pretty open to trying anything that was sportswear from anywhere but over the past few months I’ve realised that there is only one place that owns my heart when it comes to the shit I’m going to work out in. I’ll get to them. In the meantime here are some of my other activewear faves.

New Look

I got a lot of my tank tops from there for the most part because they went through a phase a couple of seasons ago where it was all about the racerback and they were all plain and it was great. I stocked up. And I’m glad I did because then they came out of rotation or something and I couldn’t find them, they are back though so if I need anymore then I know the option is there. They also have some cute slogan ones that sometimes catch my eye and draw me in, but for the most part I keep my tops plain

Nike

Two out of the three pairs of trainers that I own are Nike and I love them. They are firmly gym wear only. I own one pair of leggings from them, but they are low rise and I’ve recently come to the conclusion that high waisted leggings are the only way to go for me. They’re not squat proof though meaning that the occasions that I can watch it are minimal, the pattern is cute though.

Reebok

The pattern on their leggings can be hella cute sometimes and they are usually always high waisted, I have 4 pairs of leggings from them and only one pair aren’t but that’s not too much bother in the grand scheme of things. My issue with these leggings is that they are minimum compression and so they fall down quite easily which is mildly annoying.

Victoria Sport/PINK

My issue with these two is that they are expensive. However they do also always seem to have some kind of sale/deal going on and so I pick and choose when to buy them from here. What I love about them is that they offer ‘long’ options for their leggings which is great when you have 37 inch legs. The leggings are also super soft and offer a decent amount of compression which means that I hardly ever have to yank them up mid workout. The bras are also really good, also my PINK leggings have well placed fairly deep pockets, which I will tell everyone I know about whenever I wear them.

New Balance

My other pair of trainers is from here and I love them. They are full on from street to studio trainers and they do it well. If I could I would live in them, but then they would get worn down and become useless and then I would be sad. The ones I have were in collaboration with Sweaty Betty which brings me on to the next one.

Sweaty Betty

I only own one bra and a pair of leggings from there and they are good. The bra is front closing, which I’m sure is maybe better if you have bigger boobs than I. The leggings are kinda squat proof kinda not. It’s weird, how they work. I would get more stuff from there if it wasn’t so damn expensive. But there is one new set that is on the horizon that is honestly already tempting me.

And now we move onto my fave:

Fabletics

First of all I love that you can but complete outfits at a discounted price starting at £44. Secondly, the quality of the leggings is just sooooo good. I have so many pairs now and I get weirdly excited at the prospect of new ones coming out, because they come out every month and that is also real great for me because it means that if I so choose to I can scratch the itch to buy new stuff, which most months I do at some point I cannot lie. I am weak. But back to the leggings, they are so good, there are loads of options but over the months I have shifted over to high waisted only. They are also maximum compression, which I won’t lie, makes them a nightmare to get on and off, but when they are on they are on. And because this is a perk in these cold nights, they are thick. Everything gets held into place and most of them are squat proof. The bras are also pretty good as well, they offer a variety of support and also are hella cute. The tops are a bit hit and miss. I usually end up returning them, which gets added onto your account as store credit, which is nice. Also the outwear is super cute and so versatile and it really does feel like you can wear them from studio to street, which I do on the way to the gym but not after because sweaty sportswear is just naaatt good.

But they are my fave and at this point they are my go to for everything sports bra and leggings related. But it does also come as a slight relief when a new month’s collection drops and I’m not immediately drawn to any of the outfits because sometimes I love several and it’s slightly problematic for my bank account.

Because I am technically on a buying ban, I did it for the month of November and lasted until about mid-December before I caved due to a sale, but I’m now back on it. It is lasting for this month as far as I can tell, not that I can make that kind of assumption because it’s not over yet. I’m looking to try and keep it up for as long as I can as part of my goals for this year.

But those are my activewear faves. Fabletics is bae and the root of my obsession and I’m done talking about them now.

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fitness, My Life

In the Case of Protein

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Can I just say that I am very aware that the title of this post is kind of ridiculous, but as we all know titles are not my strong suit.

I’m talking about protein powders.

I use them.

Currently only on days that I work out, but as I mentioned the other day that is now 5 times a week.

I’ve used both whey and vegan protein and so I’m gonna talk about them because it just felt like something interesting to talk about…and also because there was a note in my phone about it.

So, I had to convert to vegan protein recently, and by recently I mean in October and so that is where I’m at with this now. Still on the vegan protein.

This is mainly because I forgot that whey protein is a form of dairy. I have to keep my intake of dairy to as low as I can because it doesn’t sit right with me in ‘large doses’. I can have 2 flat whites a day and am fine, if I have 3 it all goes tits up. I eat cheese on pizza and I’m partial to a bit of feta. Plus at Christmas time I go in on the Baileys. But for the most part I keep it to a minimum.

Which is why it explained so damn much when I was reminded that whey was a form of dairy, because while the protein powder was doing it’s job it was also making me feel a little bit less than great. I mean I was still feeling fine once I got some food in me and because I drink so much damn water the effects weren’t so bad that they ruined my life or anything.

But it was a dairy product that I was consuming 5 times a week when I got back on protein powder come September/October time and so I needed to cut it out because I’m less inclined to give up my second flat white.

Anyway, now I’m on vegan protein and I guess it has made a difference in terms of sitting better with me but that doesn’t mean that I don’t still miss my whey protein. Oh by the way, these are always chocolate flavoured, natural just sounds unappealing and I’m not a huge fan of vanilla flavoured products outside of ice cream (and I don’t like chocolate ice cream all that much, go figure).

Strpped – Whey

This was my very first protein powder and I didn’t hate it, but I also didn’t necessarily love it. I only bought it once and then I moved on to one that got the better reviews and seemed more trustworthy and so I switched. I’ll be honest, I don’t really remember much about it, I think it tasted chocolatey enough and it blended well enough, but I don’t have anything else to offer about this.

Neat Nutrition – Whey

This was the one that I switched to. And I loved it. It had a great flavour, it blended well. It was creamy. It was nice. I loved it. I am still so sad that I had to say goodbye to it. I went through 2 or 3 bags I think before I had my realisation.

Neat Nutrition – Vegan

When I had to make the switch it made sense to me that I should just stick with the same brand. And so I did. I hated this after the first few times because it didn’t blend properly and it tasted sooooo different to the one that I had come to love. I think because I just had to jump straight into using it quite frequently I got used to it quite quickly. It blends better now actually, it’s honestly just a case of how long I leave the damn shaker to dry the night before. Not joking, it happened with the whey as well. My main issue with this one is mouth feel. It feels earthy or something in my mouth, as opposed to creamy. Most of the time it’s fine and to be honest it’s gone within about 5 minutes once it’s fully shaken so I don’t notice it that much. Sometimes I notice it though and it’s gross.

VITL – Vegan

Okay, this shit is legit. It blends like a whey and I loved it. I got a free sachet of it over Black Friday and I kind of didn’t expect much of it. It has a lot of other vitamins in as well so it’s more enhanced than my Neat one which probably helps with the blend of it and also the creaminess of it. The taste of chocolate was also sooooo strong and good. The problem with this one is that it’s significantly more expensive than my usual one. The biggest package you can get this in is 500g and I can get 1kg for £34 of the Neat stuff and that lasted me about 6 weeks. A 500g pouch cost £29.95 one off or £24.95 if I get it monthly, which might not actually be enough meaning that it would be an expensive supplement to keep. However, this is my treat yo self protein, so when I finish my current bag I will get a bag of this. I love it so much. It’s my favourite.

Can I just say that I probably won’t change from my Neat one until I can maybe find one that I don’t mind drinking 5 times a week and I’m not about to spend money on one that turns out to be awful and then get stuck with it for weeks, the one I currently have is fine. So I’m in research mode for that anyway, I heard things about Awesome Supplements and how their vegan protein is good, so that might be a potential in around about a month’s time when I am looking for a new one.

And that’s me talking about protein powder for nearly 1,000 words.

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My Life

The Crop Top

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As the title probably indicates things haven’t gone quite back to normal yet in that today I’m gonna carry on rambling about something random as opposed  trying to churn something creative out, because as the time in which this post is coming might suggest I am still annoyingly in some kind of slump and so doing that would be like pulling teeth.

Doing this however, will come slightly more naturally.

I have a slight issue when it comes to buying clothes in that I buy too many of them on impulse and don’t necessarily think about whether or not I will actually wear them or not. Or more accurately, whether I have the confidence to wear them or not.

The item in question is, as you could probably guess, is the crop top. I’ve bought a lot of them over the years as their rise in popularity has increased. I’ve even worn them but I never at any point felt even remotely comfortable wearing them up until recently. I would pull them down even though I knew they weren’t going to get any longer due to their very nature. I would sit with my arms firmly wrapped around my waist just to hide the gap that existed between the hem of the top and the top of whatever I was wearing on the lower half of my body. I would just sort of curl into myself and pretend that I was okay with it but never really being okay with it.

And then at some point over the past few months I stopped caring about all that. I reached another level of being okay with what my body looks like. I’ve hated it for so long and I’ve put it through hell (and still have my moments when I do that) but I’ve had this epiphany over the last few months that I should really stop doing that. My body is stronger than before and it’s looking leaner and I’m not terrified of it and I’m not worried about things as trivial as stomach rolls. I don’t feel weirdly self conscious as I walk around baring a strip of my stomach, I mean yeah I hold my core tight but that’s not out of self consciousness that’s out of trying to have better posture (and yeah, maybe on some level it helps knowing that in the right outfit I looked toned as hell, sue me, I work on this shit).

The Crop Top
The Crop Top

But I don’t buy them anymore just because they look nice and I want to convince myself that I have the confidence to wear them. I buy them (and wear the several that I already have) because I’m excited to wear them. Because I’m not terrified of them. I know on some level that they look good. I know how to wear them to make them look best on me and the best way for them to make feel good wearing them.

I mean I should probably hold off on buying anymore of them because the weather here isn’t that great and so the opportunity to wear them isn’t that frequent, but when the weather is good you can pretty much guarantee that you will find me wearing a crop top, a pair of high waisted jeans and some kind of jacket (for now, although hopefully I can shed the jacket at some point).

The Crop Top
The Crop Top

It seems like a weirdly trivial thing, to just feel confident enough to wear a smaller version of a piece of fabric that I wear every day, but it’s something. It’s a clear change in a part of my mindset and it’s a step in the right direction to making my brain less of a volatile place to reside.

And that can never be a bad thing, right?

Speaking of which, what are some of your clothing fears? Dia & Co is all about embracing those fears and being badass whilst doing so!

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letters to spring

Letters to Spring 11

Dear Spring,

I did some cardio last night for the first time in nearly 2 weeks and it wasn’t totally awful. I mean it was, but it was also rewarding in some sense and I got through it. It was an hour, my glutes burned for about 75% of it as did my abs. There were a lot of planks involved and plank variations, it was the first time I had done something like that since I jacked up a muscle in my wrist and it was pretty much fine. It felt a bit like riding a bike in some way if that makes sense.

It’s also the beginning of what has now become a very exercise heavy week. It’s like I’m making up workouts for the fact that I went 10 days without doing anything more than walking. It’s pretty much all low intensity and it’s just gonna leave my thighs and abs burning like there is no tomorrow (if I do it right anyway). And I’ve slowly become the kind of person who think it is totally not abnormal to exercise 7 out of the next 8 days…and do it over a long weekend which I usually use to just sleep for hours and be generally quite lazy (can I also just say that come next week I am most definitely going to calm it down because I’m not completely crazy).

But not this time. Which has reminded me that apparently that there is something about Easter weekends, and the prospect of eating all the chocolate (for which I have acquired a lot of now), that strongly encourages me to work the fuck out. Last year (whilst also nursing a legit hangover) I made the crazy decision to join a gym in the first place and then this year I’m doing this crazy shit. And because it has been pretty much a year since some part of my brain broke (for the better) I’ve been getting a tad reflective and have realised that although there have not been massive changes with me physically (like all my clothes still fit, I don’t think I’ve lost a huge amount of weight blah blah blah) there are definitely some changes. Liked there is some toning that has gone down and I can say things like doing cardio for the first time after two weeks without it felt like riding a bike and I act like it’s perfectly normal to go into burning and aching glutes, thighs and abs with my eyes wide open and just accept it as an event that will occur in my life.

Just perfectly normal things.

Love,

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My Life

Fitness

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This post seems quite fitting given that I am sprawled out on my sofa with the ends of my hair occasionally dripping down my back after I took a shower when I got back home from exercising and my muscles already settling into the aching mode.

Because that’s a thing I do now (and have done for a while now). I have gotten to a stage where I can actually do things like talk about my fitness routine. There is still a part of me that is surprised at myself that I actually get up and do it after being at work all day. I am usually really good at making all kinds of excuses as to why I don’t want to work out and I go through them all on an almost daily basis and then go and do it anyway. And that’s mainly because I have gotten to a point with it where my body is kind of used to the routine that I have somehow built up. A couple of weeks ago I ended up going 10 days without doing anything more strenuous than walking and although that first work out back hurt like hell my body pretty much knew what it was doing and could go way further than my mind thought it could.

The routine is simple and it has recently been built up to go from 3 days to 4 days which means that at some point in the next couple of months I imagine I will inch that up to 5 days out of 7. Oh these are also consecutive days, when I tell people that they always seem mildly concerned that I don’t have rest days. I do, they’re the weekend…which doesn’t currently mesh quite right with my diet at the moment. Because that is also something that I am slowly modifying as well, but I’ve mentioned that a couple of times in my intentions posts (for which there will be another update for in a month or so) and had a whole post sort of geared towards it. But basically I kind of just eat way more (both good and not so good food) on my rest days than I do on the days that I actually go and burn a shit ton of calories off, but I digress.

My actual routine is pretty simple to be honest. It’s also repetitive which means that I am going to have to maybe shake things up at some point soon (because apparently you have to do that with workouts…why is this so weirdly complicated?). And it’s a good combo of cardio, low impact and the all important stretching. It all means that come Friday, although I feel great because I don’t have to lug my gym bag into work and I know that I have done all my hard work for the week in terms of exercise, I also feel like I have worked every inch of my body and it hurts to laugh and usually it aches when I go to sit down. Friday is kind of when it peaks because delayed muscle soreness is real, and sometimes it gets worse on Saturday…

The routine is simple, it’s Monday night cardio, Tuesday night yoga, Wednesday night boxing and then Thursday night barre. That’s it. It’s all class based because it’s just easier to get motivated when there are other people around for me than if I was just going through the motions on my own in a gym. It also means that I have a higher level of focus, because none of my procrastination tendencies  get the chance to interfere there. Come Thursday night everything does start to burn a lot quicker and that makes things harder, but for the most part it is a routine that I am on top of and am good at up keeping.

I’m not gonna lie I do kind of feel like I need to up the amount of yoga classes that I do in the week (there we go, there’s the 5th that will eventually come) just to really make sure that I stretch it out and stop things from getting a bit too tense. My body craves it in some ways, which is why of all the classes (all 4 of them) that I do in a week, that yoga class is kind of the one that I try and avoid missing as much as possible.

I then supplement it with a lot of walking, which isn’t hard because I do loads of that anyway.

Oh, also I don’t get super fussed if I miss one (I mean I went 10 days without one recently and was fine with it) and I don’t make them up (to myself) either. If I don’t do 4 out of 7 then I don’t. It is what it is and that’s fine. And also I’m sensible about it, I don’t push too hard if I know that a twinge in my body isn’t just muscle soreness and is maybe a bit more in need of rest. I am really good at resting.

That’s the one thing that I remain good at from my previously minimal exercise times. I take those rest days very seriously. Especially Sundays. I hardly move on Sundays…

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