“Fitness” & Lifestyle Update [Sept 2016]

“Fitness” & Lifestyle Update [Sept 2016]

Hi hi!!

This entry, as you can tell from the title, is going to be a rambly, possibly pointless update.  A couple of years back, I wrote about my weightloss journey (I started back in Dec 2013, spent the whole of 2014 losing almost 20kg, maintaining it in 2015, and now here we are in September 2016).  Over 2 years on, how am I doing?   What long term changes have I noticed in myself?

Not quite sure how to organise this entry yet, I am just typing whatever comes to my mind.

I can share with you the most obvious benefits I have noticed about myself:

Eating ‘Healthy’ & Juicing – I am guilty of something.  Compared to 2014 and 2015, I haven’t been eating quite as clean this year.  But I am not going crazy eating anything I crave either.  I am still holding off the carbs 80% of the time, and I try to avoid fatty food.  I am not doing so good when it comes to sugary stuff (which is really bad I know) but my bad  funky logic is, having a sweet tea/coffee is better than having a whole plate of fried rice that most people eat as a meal everyday?  I try to do a juice cleanse every 1-2 months, a 3 day programme at one time.  This year I have juice cleansed for 3 or 4 times – I find that this is  good detox, not so much as a weight loss, I do lose 2-3 kg each round, but I do it more to reduce bloating and really just to clear my system.

Staying fit and growing stronger – One of the benefits which I think will stay with me for life, is making fitness a way of my life.  And among my close friends, we all do something physical regularly on our own.  We can yak non-stop about our workout sessions, we work out together and also perfectly fine on our own.  I used to only go on my solitary runs, but in the past year, I have grown to love practising yoga.  I have to thank the great yoga teachers along the way, starting with MABEL (@mabesyoga) who started us off the right way – to me the right way is to ease into it, learn the proper techniques and form.  She got my friends and I into yoga, and even though our sessions together have taken a  hiatus, we continue to practise on our own at various places – I usually stick to the same few studios only.  I may not be the most yoga-ry person – no contortions and inversions for me, but I think yoga is something that I can see myself doing for many many years to come.  I have experienceed greater strength and flexibility in my body, more toned limbs – my weight didn’t go down but I think I am more toned.

Because my body is stronger and I am going to different places to practise yoga, I am now more open to trying new forms of working out.  I tried out Pilates, I tried out a barre class, etc I don’t think I would have dare to try a couple of years ago.  And that confidence to try out a class is priceless.  

I still go for my runs, but the frequency has gone down from 4-5 times to 1-2 a week, usually weekend mornings.  I try to do yoga at least 4 times a week.  I have since switched from Kfit to Guava – read about my Kfit experience/ fitness update back in Feb 2016 here.

Guava is more expensive – I signed for a 6mth contract at SG139 a mth, but I need the unlimited classes factor.  The ten sessions per monthly cycle with Kfit wasn’t giving me enough sessions. I do enjoy the variety of places which I practise at, which is why I did not commit to a membership at one particular studio.  Besides, on Guava, I get to try out barre classes and pilates as well. If I had only sign on as a member at one studio, then I won’t explore other options or discover other great yoga classes.

Also, I think there is a difference between learning and practising yoga.  Some places (usually the big crowded classes) you only get to practise, but you won’t get to LEARN the poses as compared to a smaller more intimate setting – where the teacher is able to go around and help you. I am not saying that teachers in huge classes/ studios ‘dun teach’ but you just to be aware, the style and feel is different when you are in these huge classes of over 30 students.  So you might want to have a session a week where you LEARN, and 2-3 other sessions where you practise what you have learned.  There is no point in doing something if your form is wonky, you might hurt yourself, and you might be left wondering what the heck just happened after a class, and also you don’t end up working out the correct muscle groups.. or you end up thinking ‘oh yoga is just to stretch only right’… because believe me, a good yoga session (whether hatha or vinyasa) is all sweat and work, super enjoyable, you don’t have to be all panting and puffing, but your body feels great afterwards.  I hope this point about learning vs practising and small vs big classes isn’t too controversial… but it’s just my own thoughts.

Lastly, the weight – I have put back on 3-4 kg over 2015 to right now.  But I am not so worried about the extra kilos…I still fit the same size clothes, but I think whatever I am doing now is more sustainable (I need to improve on my eating).  And if I need to cut back, I know what to do (eat cleaner works the best for me).  I still go for my accu once a week, and I don’t think I will stop that yet.

Other benefits?  Exercising is the best form of anti-aging self care!  Eat well, sleep well, workout regularly. FYI, ONCE A WEEK IS NOT ENOUGH – you got to keep at it at least 3 times a week, commitment and dedication is important.  Work is never-ending, that dinner date or event which I am invited to can wait or skip… I would rather turn up on the mat for my yoga then attend a beauty event these days.  I am already 37, and I know it is shameless to say, everyone who asks how old I am, or wonder to themselves how old I am, they always guess at least 10 years younger.  Then they ask, what do I do?  How?   And this is how – skincare, bodycare (not just slapping anti-cellulite creams mind you), eating well… it is all the whole package.  I don’t think I intentionally try to look younger… but everything I do regularly in my lifestyle helped.

I hope this sharing is helpful, and thank you for reading.  Leave your questions, comments below!

 

Ramble: When your workout gear is on point

Ramble: When your workout gear is on point

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Hi hi!!

This is one of those entries which I have been mentally composing for a few days, and while waiting for my camera battery to be done charging – so that I can take some pics for this entry – I shall start the ramble first.  I know some of you do enjoy my rambly posts about random stuff, so without further ado, I shall start!  🙂

This will be a workout themed entry – shudders, I know, and I do want to use the term ‘workout’ loosely because:

I don’t think I am a fanatic

I don’t want to come across as preachy

but I would like to think working out is something that is part of my lifestyle in recent years, I do more when I can, and I don’t beat myself up if I only manage a session or two in a particular lackluster week.

In the past couple of years or so, I have been running – and again by running, my speed is not exactly that fast.. I would say I average around 35-40 min per 5km.  I track my runs with my Nike+ app, I don’t really do the whole heartbeat tracking or whatever, I just try my best to clock in 3-4 sessions a week.  And with that, comes the workout gear, and if you follow me on my social media – I prefer to wear only NIKE, LULU LEMON and h&m t-shirts.  I enjoy the comfort and fitting of all my NIKE flyknit 4.0 shoes and epic run tights, my LULU crops (I like the Wunder Under crops and in the Flow crops), and also my h&m men’s dept grey tees.

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I am boring when it comes to colors – all my workout stuff are monochromatic – which is good when I have no time to pack my stuff, I just grab any top and bottom and they won’t clash.  It is a frivolous factor to consider, but for me… whatever that gets me motivated to workout, is important enough.

I also started yoga with Mabel (follow her on instagram @mabesyoga for a ton of inspiration!!) late last year.  Together with a group of my friends, we began our yoga journey with Mabel who was then undergoing YTT and we were her test students, it was a “win-win-win-win all kinds of win” situation, she got to practice her craft, we got introduced to a new workout with a familiar face, we got to spend quality time working out, the benefits are endless and long-lasting.  So much so that we are now committed to re-starting our yoga sessions with her next month, on a more structured programme than before. Seriously, for me, that was my greatest health & well-being discovery last year.  I was secretly intimidated by the idea of yoga (I think I am too inflexible, too fat, too weak, too everything) but all the introductions to yoga classes (flow classes at FF with Amy & Kim, and yoga classes with Mabel) last year really opened my mind to trying it out, and now I can say that it is something that I enjoy, I am still getting the hang of everything, and I am not good by any means, but I am proud of my little progress so far, and I am happy to keep going and improving – which is really the most important.

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And with yoga, comes another round of workout gear browsing, suddenly, tanks and longer tights came on my radar, and now I can almost never leave Lulu Lemon without buying something.  I like to check out their sale rack every once so often, cos I get to save $20-30 off a pair of long tights… I am just glad that I only stick to my monochrome colour scheme, so there are only so many options available to me.  Also, I only prefer a certain type of fabric.. those which are rather thick and stretchy (not those smooth Lycra type..) you got to feel them to appreciate them.  My fave style of tights are the Wunder Under high waist/foldover – those cinch in your tummy and waist, make you feel compact and fit. I also tend to wear long tights for yoga because I like how my legs are ‘hugged’ and it feels better when I do my stretches and downward dog.  The crops are better for running because I just need my thighs to be ‘hugged’ during movement while the long ones might get too warm. And because mine are all so grey and chic (lol) I don’t feel weird wearing them out, throw a sweater over and they can also double up as comfy warm travel outfit.  My friends and I can go on and on discussing about our workout clothes.. and shopping together with them can be a dangerous thing… cos we will come up with the most ‘reasonable’ reasons to buy something new.  And dare I say, I am more excited getting a new workout clothing than getting something from Zara or Sephora.

[disclaimer though] I don’t think anyone needs to spend a bomb on workout gear.  The gear is just the gear.  What matters most is your desire and discipline to KEEP DOING IT.  No point in buying fancy shiz and only have the interest fade away after a couple of sessions and/or letting lame excuses take over your life. Anyone can start working out/ exercising in whatever suitable comfy gear they like.

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One of my go-to bags, Festival Bag, I have it in the striped pattern too, but I cannot pass on this one with the neon strap.  I am thinking I need a plain black one too!

Of course spending all that moolah on workout gear is not all just for that one single session of yoga a week for me.  These days, my running frequency has dropped to about 1-3 times a week.  But I am increasing my yoga frequency to about 3 -4  times a week. Twice on weekday evenings, Twice on weekend mornings.  Because I now have some basic idea of yoga, I signed up for K-Fit (again, thanks to Mabel for introducing it to us), I paid a flat sum each month, and I have access to 2000 over workout sessions, ranging from gym facilities to yoga/ Pilates to kickboxing classes. But I only stick to yoga sessions, and I think after trying out 3-4 places, I think I have found a good mix to rotate and practice for each month.

 

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As I am still quite new to the practice, I stick to the basic classes available on K-fit, and also some of the gentle flow classes.  These are good to keep me practicing, while I will have my regular session with Mabel to work in a more precise and focused manner. Overall, I find this a good balance of practice and learning. Clearly, I am not sponsored in anyway, and you know me long enough, I just really want to share what really works for me, not because I am trying to promote XYZ fitness programme just because I am paid to (like some bloggers out there, you don’t see them working out, and all of a sudden, they are paid to mention some gym, or appear on some show, or endorse some event…. it is sooo zzzzz cos it is soooo not them, but they have to say it cos they are #sp #paidtoblogaboutit bullshit).   It is totally fake, totally fail, and totally insulting to those people who really take fitness seriously, if you ask me.  Again, I digress….

So, this whole K-fit thing is really quite legit.. I think there are similar fitness apps like K-fit (passport? guava pass?) so do consider these as they give you some flexibility and also options to explore. Or like me, not sure where to start and not sure if you are ready to commit to one place.

So just to sum up my current fitness ‘routine’

  1. yoga: 3-4 times a week (mon, tues, thurs, sat and/or sunday)
  2. running 5-10km: 2 times a week (usually wed and/or sunday evenings)
  3. eating: I try to eat clean 70% of the time
  4. massage & accu: yes I am still continuing! I go on Sunday mornings.
  5. juicing: yes! I try to go a juice cleanse every 3 months? These are pricy, but a good kickstart to my system.
  6. FRIDAYS are FATDAYS… I mean… TGIF…so I just have a good time on Fridays.

Again, I just want to stress that I am no fitness guru, I am just a normal girl trying to get my ass moving, I have blah days when I just want to lie in my bed and do absolutely nothing, the struggle is VERY REAL. I hope that my sharing is useful…I am going for my first mass run (shock horror, and I guess that’s why they say never say never) but it is just a 6km run (and truth be told, because I am signing up with my sister as a pair and the race pack is too cute).  I highly doubt I would take part in future mass runs.  The idea of waking up at unearthly hours, slap on a running tag, and jostle for space to move forward really isn’t my idea of fun.  I reckon I am still anti-social when it comes to running.

I have a few beauty entries coming up soon, a foundie entry, and maybe a round of current faves to share with you.

That’s all I have for this entry, I think… and thank you for reading!  Do share your fitness tips and stories with me in the comments below!