Monday, July 29, 2013

Monday Motivation

"If you believe in yourself and have dedication and pride - and never quit, you'll be a winner. The price of victory is high but so are the rewards."
Paul Bryant

Saturday, July 27, 2013

New York City Update Part 1

I arrived in NYC late at night from LA. I think the excitement of being in the city plus a touch of jet lag kept me from sleeping too well, but I did make sure to rest as things have been super busy.

I had no real agenda while in NYC. During my 7 years of living in the States, I made many, many trips to the city. It kinda felt nice not having any set plans. I was in no rush to go sightseeing or do any touristy things. Instead, it was the perfect opportunity to enjoy NYC in a more resident-like fashion.

It was terrific. On my second day in the city, I found myself exiting an MMA gym in Brooklyn at 8 pm and I thought to myself ... Who am I? What am I doing here? Did I really just take the subway and come here? Did I really just spend 2 hours training in an unfamiliar gym, among unfamiliar people, in an unfamiliar area? Is this me?

Damn right it is!!

I was so proud of myself :)

I also ventured into a CrossFit Box. I almost didn't go in, but I knew that I should - I don't want to feel intimidated. I know that I can do the workouts, but venturing into unfamiliar territory is still intimidating.

In any case, I went and had a fabulous workout, including a move I had never done before - you start in push-up position and walk your hands towards and your feet up the wall until you're in a handstand position. So I couldn't reach a full handstand position, but I tried my best and did pretty well.

Again, I felt happy and proud.

Other than working out 4/6 days, I've been walking around a lot, enjoying the general NYC atmosphere, reuniting with a lot of my college friends, and doing my best with my eating.

I was supposed to meet with a couple of bloggers here, but that didn't work out. Maybe another time.

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

San Francisco Update Part 1

I've been away from the blogging world for a while now. I miss both blogging and reading/commenting, but things have been really busy.

My week in San Francisco was nice. It was my first time visiting the city. I definitely liked the vibe, but I was not happy with the weather - it was way too cold for me. I ended up buying a jacket but even with that, it was too cold, which made walking around etc. less enjoyable. Still, I did have a good time. Whenever I visit a new place I ask myself whether or not I could live there -- I could definitely live in San Francisco ... However, I did prefer Los Angeles.

I worked out 4 out of my 6 days in SF, including one boxing training session at a nearby gym. My food was still so-so.

The gym at the hotel had a weighing machine. I hesitatingly got on. I was 'relieved' to see a gain of only 1 pound. I say relieved because I knew I ate too well in Las Vegas. I can definitely feel the impact of having been eating out for the past 4 weeks. I know that if I had not been working out, that gain would have been a lot higher! I'm not happy that I gained - I'm still working on trying to leave the States with a weight loss ... It's proving to be a challenge! 

Monday, July 22, 2013

Motivation Monday

"Mastering others is strength. Mastering yourself is true power."
Lao Tzu

Monday, July 15, 2013

Monday Motivation

"Our greatest weakness lies in giving up. 
The most certain way to succeed is always to try just one more time."
Thomas Edison

Monday, July 8, 2013

Las Vegas Update Part 1

I really wish I could post pictures off my iPad onto blogger but I can't so all the photos will have to wait until I either get hold of a computer or get home.

There's so much I have to say about my Las Vegas experience.

This is my first time in Las Vegas and I have to say I have mixed feelings about this place.

I had always wanted to visit this city but in my mind (images from movies flash through) it was totally different. I can totally understand why this place got its nickname Sin City. Parts of LV are really crass and vulgar - people trying too hard to be sexy but coming off slutty - and really sad - zoning out in front of slot machines, bleary eyed at 8 am with a beer in hand.

Of course there were also groups having a good time - laughing and enjoying themselves, just having a go on the casino floor, and girls who definitely managed to pull off that super sexy but not slutty look.

The first group indescribed dominated though. I think I'm just too old for this type if scene.

That being said, I will be back. Wanna know why? The UFC Fan Expo and Fight Week was AMAZING. Having a focus for this trip made me love almost every minute of my time in this city. The events were really well organized. I got the opportunity to train with some top athletes in the field. Plus watching UFC 162 from the 3rd row live and in person sure did beat trying to watch it live on TV at 4 am in Kuwait.

It was fantastic. The best part about training with such professionals is that it really gave me a new focus to my training. It's given me an extra drive. Although I'm happy to be on vacation, part of me can't wait to get home and put it all in motion.

My workouts here have been good.

I drove up from LA on Wednesday. Thursday I did some cardio, a mini WOD, and some stretching.
Friday - 6 hours of Jiujitsu training
Saturday - 4 hours of Jiujitsu training
Sunday - cardio + weights + stretching -- felt like a normal 2 hour workout
Monday - cardio, weights, plus some Kajukenbo drills is my intention.

Food: Definitely my problem area still. I had no idea so many of my favorite chefs have their restaurants here. I've been trying to be sensible - grilled fish, salad, vegetables, but I know that the preparations are a lot richer than I should be eating.

I don't believe in exercising just to allow calories to eat but at the moment I'm trying to keep it as balanced as possible ... But to be honest, I could be doing better.

I have to keep my intention of losing 2 kg (5 lb) by the time I get home in about 4 weeks in mind.

So that's my first update from Las Vegas. Having a great time & still working on keeping those jeans fitting loose!

Monday Motivation

"Nothing will ever be attempted, if all possible objections must be first overcome."
Samuel Johnson

Tuesday, July 2, 2013

LA Update Part 1

I've been in Los Angeles for 4 days now, and so far it's been great. Jet lag has definitely been a bit of a struggle to deal with (Kuwait is 10 hrs ahead of LA) but other than that, things have been awesome.

I used my jet lag to my advantage and hit the gym around 6 am on Friday. Although the hotel I'm staying at is fabulous, the gym left much to be desired. Still, a few cardio machines, some weights, plus some room to do some ab work and stretch ...those arethe basics, right? Can't complain. Got a great workout done and I started my vacation off feeling fit and strong.

On Saturday instead of doing my cardio in the gym, I hit the pavement and walked 6.5 km. Although Kuwait gets hotter than LA, I don't walk around in that heat for 6.5km! So, the heat definitely got to me. The last 200m was a steady uphill climb and that totally got my legs burning!

I was wiped out on Sunday. The jet lag finally really caught up to me and I slept for around 10 hours! Needless to say, it was a rest day!

Today was awesome. I headed into Tarzana to train at Jean Jacques Machado's Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu Academy. It was AMAZING! I was the only girl there. On the drive over to the academy I was really nervous, but once I hit the mats, I was fine. Everyone was so welcoming. The training was challenging. Since I'm still so new to BJJ everyone was sharing techniques and tricks and helping me practice. About one and a half hours on the mat and I was drenched in sweat! I just can't get over how awesome everyone was. Grappling with such advanced jiujitsu practitioners (purpl,brown,and black belts) was a terrific experience!

Ok so that's the exercise front. The food front has been pretty good.

The breakfast buffet at the hotel is 85% healthy so I've been enjoying smoked salmon, poached eggs, and lovely fresh fruit. There have been a few things that I've tried that haven't been diet friendly but overall I'd say I've been eating quite healthily.

Lunches have been fresh salads with either grilled chicken or shrimps.

I've actually only had 1 proper dinner since I've been here. It was at Gordon Ramsay's restaurant. For years I've been wanting to try his beef Wellington -- I finally got the chance. It was divine. It was rather heavy, and even though the puff pastry really does enhance the flavor, after I got a taste of it, I removed it and just ate the meet. It really was a terrific meal.

On Saturday I went to the annual LA Street Food Fest. Just the title alone kinda made me cringe, but I went because a college friend of mine who I had not seen for almost ten years invited me. I went for the company, not the food! It was quite an event to attend! I was amazed (horrified) at the amount of food people were eating. OMG. Thousands of calories!! I actually had no interest in the food, but I did have a cevice, iced watermelon, a vegan tempeh something or the other, my first kale shake, and 1 empanada. All the portions were bite sized or smaller. I might have been the only one who left the festival hungry, but I was totally fine with that. It was great to hang out with some friends. Plus it was my first time going to the Rose Bowl so that was pretty cool!

For some reason I can't upload pix on my iPad so I'll have to do that another time.

Four days in and I'm lovin' LA (and my jeans are still nice and loose). :)

Please excuse any typos. Doing this from my iPad is going to take some getting used to!

Monday, July 1, 2013

Monday Motivation

"Strength does not come from winning. Your struggles develop your strengths. When you go through hardships and decide not to surrender, that is strength." 
Arnold Schwarzenegger