Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Good-Bye 2014

This year has been filled with many, many big changes. I still haven't fully processed the fact that I now live in England ... I keep thinking I'm on vacation and that I'll be heading back to Kuwait soon, but I know that's not the case.

I think for such a big move, I've done quite well adjusting to life here. It hasn't been easy, and I still have to figure out a good routine for me - particularly since I'm not doing any academic teaching at the moment - but besides that, I'm happy with how things have gone.

The end of the year in terms of food and fitness did not go as planned -- I was way too distracted with the onslaught of social events and treats that entered the house ... it has not been good!! I know better than that! It has been very apparent that the main thing I'll need to work on in 2015 is my will power!

In terms of my own life, I'm happy with how my year has gone. The only thing that still weighs heavy on my heart is my brother's health. He is not out of the woods yet in terms of his recovery and treatment ... and it looks like there will be a long road ahead ... still the most we can do is take it one day at a time and remain optimistic and strong.

Happy New Year everyone! Hope 2015 brings you good health and happiness!

Resolutions will be up tomorrow! 

Christmas 2014 - London

Friday, December 12, 2014

Tough Weeks

Last week was a really tough week for me - one of the toughest I've have since I moved to London. Very little went according to plan. A huge part of what was me working to finish my writing for a deadline. Writing is such a big struggle for me. More than anything, the thing that really throws me off with writing is that you can't plan when the ideas are going to start flowing. Even if I schedule 4 hours at my desk, there is no guarantee that my thoughts will come together in the way I want them to within those 4 hours ... and more often than not, after 4 hours at my desk, I'm just getting warmed up.

Since I had a deadline to meet, I had to make my writing a priority this week -- this meant everything else took a back seat.

That alone was annoying.

Add to that the fact that I wasn't feeling well at all - terrible symptoms as a result of iron-deficiency anemia which is all linked to my health history. It has been a terrible week -- pain, dizziness, and nausea topped the list of my symptoms ... and believe me, they were enough to make me just want to stay in bed and not come out at all.

I didn't hide away, but I definitely wasn't as active as I wanted to be -- when simply moving from a seated position to standing practically had me passing out, I knew that it would not be smart to push myself. Sometimes you just have to listen to your body! So, last week was very calm in terms of training -- I made it it a few Jiu-Jitsu sessions, but even then, I spent most of my time on the mats doing light drills and observing -- no sparring at all.

I started this week feeling better. I was taking an iron supplement and making sure to eat properly and drink lots of water ... I was back at the gym and everything was fine ... until Wednesday night when all of a sudden I had extreme chills - was shaking uncontrollably, was feeling nauseous and extremely ill ... it was terrible. It was shocking at how I went from feeling absolutely fine to incredibly ill.

I was in bed for the next 33 hours. I couldn't move. I had no energy whatsoever. I got up once and took a shower and made something to eat -- I thought that maybe if I tried to move about a bit and get some food in my system I would feel better, but no ... I had half a bowl of oatmeal which gave me just enough energy to crawl back to bed and that's where I stayed until Friday morning.

Today, physically I'm feeling a lot better -- it's just my head that's feeling a bit fuzzy, not really sure how to describe it. I'm going to try and make it as much of a normal day as possible and hope that whatever it was that affected me (I suspect it was a side effect of the iron supplements which I don't normally take because I've had bad side effects from them before) is no longer an issue.

So, lots of obstacles lately, but I know I've just got to keep pushing along and do the best I can.

Sunday, December 7, 2014

Don't Touch

When my little brother was almost 2 years old, he was incredibly curious. He wanted to get his hands on everything - and more than that, he wanted to put everything in his mouth! My mother was constantly running after him saying, 'Don't touch. Don't touch.'

One day, we saw my brother standing in front of my mom's dressing table, eyeing her glittering bottles of perfumes and clasping his little hands to his chest, shaking his head left to right muttering to himself, 'Don't touch. Don't touch.'

It was the cutest thing.

Those shiny bottles looked so tempting, but he knew better -- and all he could do was keep repeating to himself - 'Don't touch. Don't touch.'

It is with that mentality that I will be approaching this coming week. I've got a bit social weekend coming up ... and while I don't plan on 'going crazy' when it comes to the food, I know that there will be temptations. The best thing I can do is tell myself 'Don't touch' throughout the week so that maybe, if I feel like it, I can relax that discipline over the weekend.

My main goals for this work week are:

1) Eat clean - All meals should follow the whole life challenge guidelines and/or the Gracie Diet guidelines.
2) Eat every 4 1/2 - 5 hours -- no snacking in between.
3) Drink 3-4 L of water each day.
4) Exercise a minimum of 1 hour each day (3 lifting sessions, 2 HIIT sessions, 2 Jiu-Jitsu sessions this week)
5) Stretch daily
6) Track daily
7) Most importantly: Saying 'Don't touch. Don't touch. Don't touch.' to all those oh-so-tempting foods!

In addition to these tasks, I will try to do as many of my 'additional 50 Day Goals' as possible. The complete list is here. Let's see how many I can get done!

Monday, December 1, 2014

Hello December!

Here we are ... the last 31 days of the year. I can't believe it! When I look back on the past 11 months, a lot has happened. It's actually overwhelming to me to think of everything that has happened this past year ... but I am feeling truly blessed and happy.

Now that Thanksgiving is over and the leftover food is either packed up, given away, or thrown out, I am focusing on getting staying focused over the next few weeks. It will definitely be a challenge as there are many social events, in fact more social events over the next month than there have been in the entire time that I've been in London!! My focus on those occasions will definitely be on the company vs. the food. I've eaten enough good food. I have no cravings for anything ... and I think that's a great way to approach this food-focused festive season!

My goals for the month:
- Not gain any weight!!
- Continue to follow the basic guidelines of my 50 Day challenge -- I've been ok with most things but my tracking has been terrible. I need to refocus on that.
- I'm putting my muay thai on hold for the next 2 months while I focus on building a bit more muscle and improving my Jiu-Jitsu techniques.
- Blog and comment on blogs regularly.
- Work on my flexibility daily.

I'm starting the month eager and optimistic -- and I hope I end the month (and year) successfully!!