Saturday, August 23, 2014


I joined MyFitnessPal about 1 month ago (you can add me: PlumpetalsFit) and I have to say, I quite like it. I don't completely rely on the numbers they give in terms of calories consumed (I overestimate) and especially not on calories burned (I underestimate), but I do like the fact that it is easy for me to track and I can get an approximation of how many calories I have consumed.

My main meals have been good; however, I still struggle with snacking. Even if I snack on 'healthy' foods - such as nuts or dates, they still have a lot of calories and are ranked high on the GI index. I really need to get a hold on that.

As I prepare for both the upcoming week and the Whole Life Challenge (which starts on September 13th and I urge you to virtually join me for the challenge - read more about it here), my main goal is to avoid snacking and divide my proper meals into smaller portions. When I was on the challenge, I was a lot better at doing this. I would make a bigger portion of lunch or dinner and then I would divide it into two. I'd eat one part for dinner and the other part the next day for lunch - sometimes even for breakfast!

Adjusting the way I thought about meals, e.g. a snack doesn't have to be carrots and hummus or some fruit, it can actually be a smaller meal, helped me eat in a way that was more fulfilling and gave me longer-lasting energy.

It sounds so logical when I typed that out -- why haven't I followed the strategy?!

The thing is, at this point, I really do know better. It's time for me to stop being lazy and just do the things that need to be done.

I know that working out is not enough - I've got to eat right. Eating right 85% of the time isn't cutting it for me. I've got to ramp it up to 95-100% of the time. I know I can do it -- I've just got to get on with it!

So I guess I'm back to my old good habits -- planning, tracking, eating, exercising, drinking water, and sleeping. Gotta get to it!

Friday, August 22, 2014

Right Back into It

I think my jet lag has worked in my favor this time -- well, slightly.

I did not get much sleep on the plane, so I was more than ready to hit the sack soon after I got home (just before midnight). I slept so soundly that I woke up refreshed at 6 a.m. and I was ready to go.

I mainly took care of a few errands, did a ton of laundry, and got in my workouts.

I was debating whether or not I should lift weights. In the end I ended up doing just over 3 km on the treadmill before MetaFit class. As exhausting as all that jumping around was, it was the perfect way to get right back into my fitness routine.

Although I started to get more tired towards the evening, I powered through and got to Jiujitsu class in the evening.

I am so determined to make the most of each day in terms of my workouts and food -- I just feel like no matter what kind of routine or plan I set for myself, inevitably something will come up. With that in mind, I want to focus on the day ahead and give it all I've got.

Speaking of giving it all I've got ...

Another round of the Whole LIfe Challenge begins on September 13, 2014. I've done the Whole Life Challenge several times over the past 2 years and I've always been so happy with the results. Aside from the 8 weeks of the challenge, I've found that the results are long lasting because the good habits you develop over the course of the challenge become part of your routine. It's been the main thing that has helped keep me from straying too far from my goals.

The big question I have for you is -- are you brave enough to try it out?
For more information, you can check out my blog post:

And if you feel like you're ready to join, then copy and paste this link: -- and follow the prompts to complete the registration process.

(Early registration $39/GBP 24; regular registration feel $45/GBP 27.5) The official website has answers to many frequently asked questions (

Thursday, August 21, 2014

Return from Bangkok

I'm back from my two week trip to Bangkok, Thailand where I went to see how my brother has been doing. He's been in the hospital there for a month now. In fact, he just came out of a second surgery this  morning during which the doctors have been working to remove a tumor from his spine which has compromised his movement.

There are still many unanswered questions in relation to his condition. For now, all I have to say is that he's recovering and the doctors are working to help him regain his mobility.

The trip was a rather stressful one. It wasn't at all like going on a vacation as it was filled with worry and endless hours at the hospital.

I stayed in a hotel very close to the hospital, just a few minutes walk. I was lucky in that the hotel served a breakfast buffet every morning and it had a cute little cafe that served the most delicious salads. Although I did snack a bit, my main meals were pretty much the same each day and I returned with a 1 kg loss. The hotel also had a gym, which I took advantage of. Plus, since I was in Thailand, I had to check out some Muay Thai training. I would have loved to have done more, but at least I got in a few lessons. My Muay Thai coach in Kuwait actually has an affiliated training center in Bangkok so he hooked me up. The gym held a fight night while I was there so I even got to see my first live Muay Thai fights!

Now I'm back in London and really hoping for some uninterrupted time to establish a routine! The biggest distraction now is my worry for my brother, but we are continuing to stay positive and hope for the best!

Pretty much what I had for breakfast each morning - scrambled eggs, raw veggies, smoked salmon -- I had the occasional slice of bread -- oh and fruit each morning

I had this delicious Nicoise salad almost every single night while in Bangkok. 

I had to walk through this ancient Chinese cemetary to get to Fighting Spirit Gym for early morning (7 a.m.) Muay Thai training. It was creepy but also beautiful.

Me and fighter Zidov Akuma


One of the fights during Fight Night at Fighting Spirit Gym

I only had time to exercise in the mornings, so I'd get up at 5:30 a.m. and hit the gym -- it wasn't always easy, but it was definitely always worth it!

Thursday, August 7, 2014

Moment by Moment

I'm writing this post from Bangkok. I'm here to support my brother during his treatment/recovery. We received an initial diagnosis 2 days ago ... But there are more details to work out.

When I first heard the diagnosis, I immediately went online to start researching the condition -- but then I stopped. There was just too much info out there and I didn't have enough details to really know what I was looking for. There were good statistics and scary statistics -- I thought it was best to hold off on doing more research until I had more answers ... As of right now, we're still waiting.

It's been hard to stop my mind from wandering. For the past two days I've just concentrated on things one task at a time. Wake up. Work out. Errands. Pack. Cook. Eat. Sleep.

The fact that I'm here in Bangkok feels strange. I think it's because I'm not on vacation. People ask me - business or pleasure? Neither really.

It felt strange seeing my parents sitting outside the hospital waiting for me. The last time I saw them was when I dropped my brother off in Bangladesh for treatment -- and that was just a couple minutes of tearful hugs.

Now here we are.

I don't know what to make of all of this -- seeing my brother in a hospital bed; tubes attached to him; unable to move his legs -- though a tiny bit of sensation has started to come back.

We're all trying to be strong. Trying to stop our minds from wandering. Trying to take it one moment at a time.

Monday, August 4, 2014

Progressing despite Disruptions

My acceptance of chaos as the default status of my life has been the only thing that has helped me keep pushing forward over the past few years. I still make plans. I still have the intention to do certain things -- but then life happens and it is just chaos.

I've said it many times before, I don't function well without a plan. I like having a routine (not just for food and fitness, but for everything), and I like being able to stick to it. More than anything, the plan helps me measure my progress. Did I get things done? Have I accomplished anything within X amount of time? Or did I waste the past day/week/month/year sitting on the couch waiting for the perfect circumstances.

Not having a plan/routine stresses me out. I don't feel like I have any control over my life -- and the temptation to just say 'Fuck it' is really high. Things aren't going my way now so why bother?

Luckily, I those silly tantrums only last a short amount of time and I can move on. Some days it's easier to move on than others. Still, I move on.

My whole plan for the end of July (after returning from vacation) was to spend my days eating right, working out, and planning a good routine for August. I talked about gathering my tools for success - joining Weight Watchers, joining My Fitness Pal (I'm PlumpetalsFit if you want to add me), making sure to wear my FitBit every day. I also talked about researching food plans and trying to come up with some sort of eating program that will help optimize my training and break through this wretched plateau I'm stuck on once again.

Of course after all that, I am not preparing for yet another trip abroad. I do love to travel - however, this trip was unplanned and isn't really for pleasure. I'm anxious about it as I am worried about my brother's condition and I do hope that some breakthrough will be made while I'm there.

In the end, it's family first.

So, that's life. I'm getting on with things as that really is the only way. Of course I will plan (hahaha) some sort of fitness regime to follow while I'm abroad, but in the meantime, an update on how things have been progressing after my move to London in terms of my fitness.

I really have not had a proper weight lifting session for almost a year. After dislocating my wrist in November and going through a long healing period, my weight training recently has been more about recovery rather than increase in strength.

After moving to London, I set up a program to cover some basic lifts. My goal was to work towards rebuilding the strength I had when I was doing CrossFit regularly.

Today was my last training day of my program, and I'm quite pleased with how I've done. Given my circumstances (moving to London, going away on a 2 week vacation, then a 3 day weekend, and dealing with family stuff), I am happy with my progress.

Here's my chart (these are not all the exercises I did nor are they listed in the order of my program) --
4 sets x 10 reps each

London Fitness Progress
7 weeks 

Start Weight
End Weight
20 kg
70 kg
Deadlift (quads)
20 kg
55 kg
Deadlift (hamstrings)
20 kg
50 kg
Chest press
20 kg
30 kg
Cable chest flies
Low row
13.5 kg
31.5 kg
Incline chest press (db)
5 kg/hand
11 kg/hand
One point row (db)
5 kg/hand
8 kg/hand
Push press
20 kg
30 kg
One arm shoulder press (db)
5 kg
9 kg
10 kg
25 kg
Lateral pull
31.5 kg
Cable pull downs
13.5 kg
40.5 kg
Row (db)
5 kg/hand
9 kg/hand

I still haven't reached the heaviest weights that I lifted before, but I really am quite happy with my progress, especially because I confidently completed all of the reps in excellent form but with some difficulty. I know that I was pushing myself, but I also know that I'm ready to move on.

I'm looking forward to continuing to build my strength.

After today's gym session of lifting, boxing, treadmill, and stretching -- loving my new Nike leggings - the color cheers me up :) 

Sunday, August 3, 2014

Saturday, August 2, 2014