Friday, March 29, 2013

Friday Five

I'm back! I've actually been back for a while now but I just haven't been able to bring myself to blog or get on the computer. I figure Friday Five is the best way to kinda catch up on what's been going on with me lately.

1) My Dallas trip - Flying to the States for only 5 days was quite a long journey to make. Still, the conference was really good and my presentation went well. I got to meet up with some friends -- including a friend of mine that I hadn't seen in 23 years (yes, that's right, 23!!!). We were separated during the 1990/1991 Gulf invasion/war ... and thanks to Facebook we were able to reconnect. Since he lived in Dallas he came to visit me. You'd think that after 23 years we'd struggle to find anything to talk about, but the 2 hours we spent together were great! It was quite a treat :)

I went to the gym only once while I was there, but I walked outdoors every single day. It was nice to take advantage of the fresh air and at least some greener/scenery - a good change from Kuwait.

I managed to stay on target with the Whole Life Challenge on all the days except for the last day which is when I was traveling back to Kuwait - no way to properly plan - a 10 hour flight, a 14 hour layover, followed by another 6 hour flight. I didn't eat badly (though I did have a slice of carrot cake in London when I was catching up with a friend; didn't finish it though coz' it wasn't that good) but I didn't follow the plan exactly. The challenge is about being aware of the choices you are making. Given the circumstances, I did the best I could.

Me in Dallas, TX (March 2013)

On my first day I ordered an egg white and spinach omelet (it came with mushrooms and tomatoes); when I asked them not to bring any bread they surprised me with 3 bananas! The bananas were my breakfast for the following 3 days :)

2) General Thoughts about Eating - There were 2 days in Dallas where I ate badly ... badly in the sense that because I wanted to stay on track I only had a banana and 2 dates plus maybe a handful of nuts all day; on one of those days I also had a plain grilled piece of salmon. I felt sick.

It was stupid of me to do that. I know the purpose of the challenge is not to starve yourself because that's not healthy. Still, I couldn't bring myself to eat anything that was off plan. It was stubbornness and stupidness on my part. I should have eaten.

Food = fuel. No food = no fuel = crankiness, dizziness, and general yuckiness!

As I said, it wasn't smart.

As soon as I got home I got back on track. Cleaner than clean eating; making sure I ate properly and ate to fuel my body. It's been much better.

However, before I got to that point, I hit a really low point. (This is kinda linked to #3.) I don't know if it was jet lag, the long travel, getting my period, or the general depression that I was feeling, but my body felt sick. My body felt hungry and starved for energy. I couldn't really put my finger on it and that's when I decided that I needed to eat something and I mean really eat something -- not a binge, not a treat, just food that I wanted.

By the way, upon returning from my trip, I weighed myself the morning I arrived and saw that I had gained 3 kg (6.5 lbs). Again, I don't know if it's because of all the factors I mentioned above, but those were the facts and it pissed me off. Could one day of bad eating really have caused that gain?

I went through a really frustrating few days. I was just feeling off ... and that's when I ate. That morning I had a coffee (with milk); I had an omelet for breakfast, a salad for lunch, another salad for dinner, but then I had 2 mini sliders, including the bread, plus I had a brownie for dessert. (The foods I underlined are the ones that weren't whole life challenge friendly)

I didn't feel guilty about it at all. In fact, I really enjoyed my meals and I felt good. It really felt like that was what I needed.

When I woke up the next day, I felt great. I think part of my funk was low blood sugar and general low blood pressure. In any case, after I ate that meal, I felt really good and I was ready to attack the last 3 weeks of the Whole Life Challenge.

Since that day I've been totally on point. I've lost the 3 kg; in fact, I've lost 4.5 kg (10 lbs).

 One of my latest salad creations - featuring grilled chicken, baked tomatoes, and French beans -- recipe coming soon, I promise!

3) My Mental State - I have not been in a good state mentally. I really feel like I've been in quite a funk since the end of February when my kickboxing trainer went on vacation. Without a routine and with a 10-day holiday, I just didn't seem to be able to find my own footing. I was exercising daily, and I was sticking to the Whole Life Challenge, but my body wasn't responding ... and for sure my mind wasn't focused at all. There were a lot of things going on in my mind - partly to do with negative self-image, stress about what to do with my training, stress about my upcoming trip, wondering what to do next with work ... and then most of all, an upcoming 'anniversary' of a really traumatic event in my past. I don't like to give the date any significance and I try not to think about it ... but inevitably it seems like around this time of year, my mind really takes over my body and I just start to shut down. My insomnia was back. My stress levels were through the roof. My anxiety was out of control.

I was miserable. I really do think that was part of my weight gain. Not that I was eating out of misery - in fact, I didn't touch a single thing during even my worst bouts of depression. I exercised daily and I ate right ... but my body just seemed to be holding on to my fat - perhaps as a type of insulation against all that shit that was surrounding me.

I don't know. All I know is that once things started settling down in my mind, the weight started to come off and I was feeling lighter - lighter in the sense of no burden on my shoulders as well as physically lighter.

I think sometimes it just happens that way.

4) Getting Back into It - I landed in Kuwait at 7 a.m. on Thursday (March 21), came home from the airport, showered, changed, and went straight to work to teach my 10 a.m. class. That day I was totally shattered, but I made sure not to nap. My main task was to go to the grocery store and make sure my fridge was restocked with all the necessities. I did my minimum 10 minutes of stretching and 10 minutes of workout as needed by the challenge and that was it.

I thought that I the jet lag would really drag me down (given that I was dealing with an 8-hour difference) but I think I've just been so crazy busy lately that I didn't suffer from any jet lag at all!

Here's what I've been doing:

Friday: 3 km walk
Saturday: 1 hour yoga on the beach; 1 hour spinning class
Sunday: cardio, MMA training, & weights in the morning; 1 hour spinning class in the evening
Monday: 100 burpees plus other conditioning exercises in the morning; CrossFit in the evening (yes, I restarted CrossFit)
Tuesday: cardio, MMA training, & weights in the morning; 1 hour spinning class in the evening
Wednesday: Day 2 of Week 7 of C25K which means 26 minutes straight of running (felt awesome!!!); CrossFit in the evening
Thursday: cardio, MMA training, & weights in the morning; 1 hour spinning class in the evening
Friday (today): 2 hour outdoor bootcamp (featuring yoga, Zumba, core/conditioning exercises, and some fitness challenges)

So as you can see, I have been BUSY and I feel great. The exercise has helped elevate my mood and of course it's also helped me drop the weight. I actually wasn't exercising to lose the weight. I was just enjoying getting back into a routine and being active. I'm feeling much, much better. Whew!

Here are a few fitness pix from throughout the week:

MMA training - working on my elbows and right crosses & testing out my new UFC 4 oz. gloves - love them!!

I was very proud of my 3 sets of 10 reps of 50 kg (110 lb) front squats

Tire Flips at CrossFit Q8 (so good to be back!)

My prep for this morning's boot camp & a few pix from the workout (that's me in the front with the light purple top - shakin' my ass!) :) 

5) My Goal in terms of Moving Forward: 

(I'll be visiting your blogs and commenting soon!!)


  1. Congratulations on your successful presentation in Dallas. Glad you had a safe journey:)

  2. Ah so glad to hear you're back and well, I'd actually been worrying something was up due to your lack of posts. Well done for pushing through, you look great in those pictures and well done on that squat!

  3. Welcome back. I would just be getting used to the time change in five days, but you are young and strong. :)

  4. I've been in similar situations in which there is no WLC friendly food (or paleo or whatever)and have opted to eat my weight in nuts or fruit and that's it all day instead of eating a grain or whatever. And like what happened to you, it usually does backfire.

    Glad your presentation went well & that you are feeling better. Let me know if you ever make your way back to the states & the NY area - we can meet up!

  5. Love the pics!

    I think I've been having a similar thing, I've eaten rubbish at times but not enough to justify the gain I've had, now I'm less stressed I've started losing again. Weird.

  6. I'm so glad you are back in the blogging world :) the cross-fit pic is amazing (I can only dream of being able to do that)


Thanks for stopping by and leaving a comment! I can use all the support I can get :)