Monthly Archives: March 2012

Why Me?

When I decided to start this blog I intended it as a way to talk about things that interest me and also as a medium to discuss how I am coping moving to a new place.  Today I am going to discuss something very personal that I normally would not on such a public forum; however, after much contemplation I decided to bring it up.

Yesterday for the first time in 6 months I found myself wallowing in self-pity questioning why me?  Why am in China and not Dubai?  Why am I so far away from all my friends and family? What have I done to end up here?  As I sat on my bed going over these questions in my head and making myself more upset something just happened and I remembered an excerpt my Mum made me listen to many years ago when I was going through a difficult time and just generally angry with life (my Granddad had just past away and I had to have an operation, which had a very painful recovery period and resulted in me having to miss ½ a semester of school in my final year).  It was a discourse given by Swami Swaroopananda of Chinmaya Mission.

Below is a few fragments of the discourse which were the main points that changed my outlook and for the first time made me understand why I am dealing with my situation in the wrong way.  If you are interested in reading the whole discourse you can find it on http://vnsgkhitesh.blogspot.com/

“When sorrows come, most people will sit back and ask Why this to me? People sit and question Asking Why? Why? Why? For scientific discoveries Why is necessary. But to live your life, it is not the question Why but How?. This is the science of higher management…  Life brings in so many different situations. Rather than sitting and crying Why this to Me, the one question we should ask is how I can solve this problem or how I can reach the goal… Life only brings situations. Never problems. It is only when you think you are incapable of handling the situation, it becomes a problem. So always call a situation as a situation and do not call it as a problem. It is a problem only when you do not know how to handle it. Secondly, if any problem or difficulty comes, do not sit and say Why Me?. Instead ask How? Thirdly, when any sorrow comes into your life, do not blame others for it.  If you blame somebody else for your sorrow, then you cannot do anything about it. The moment you give somebody the blame of your sorrow, which means you are not responsible or you are not in charge… Understand at that moment that God is giving you something which is good for you. Joyfully take it with the attitude – it is for the best. For those who don’t believe in God, nature has given us everything. What we do with it is our give back to society, to the parents, to nature, to God… What ever you have is God’s gift to you and whatever you do with it is your gift to HIM. Whatever you get in the course of your life is the BEST for you.

 After rereading the discourse I realized how silly I was to cry and get depressed when I instead should be trying to make the most of this opportunity.  Today this may not be my ideal place in the world to live but there is a greater reason Mr. Fabulous and I have moved here.  I may not know what that is today but I am pretty sure in the future the answer will be clear.

A little exercise I sometimes do when I am feeling sad or upset is that I try to make a list of things I am grateful for and this immediately changes my mood for the better.  Now I am going to leave you with my top 10 reasons I am lucky to be in China:

  1. I am happily married and living with the love of my life who really does everything possible to make sure I am happy and comfortable here.
  2. Hong Kong and Macau are 2 hours away – since both places are so nearby we always have weekend get aways which we never did before.
  3. Spa Heaven – Seriously!  It’s the land of pampering. Acupuncture, body massages, foot reflexology with warm herbal bath, blow-drys, facials and mani-pedis for the cheapest price.  There’s this one massage place that I frequently visit to get reflexology where the therapist spends the first 30mins focusing on the point pressures on shoulders, relieving all the tensions. It’s just blissfully relaxing!
  4. I am actually living a healthier lifestyle here.  Since most things are imported they are super expensive so I decided to try and make many things fresh at home.  Everything tastes so much better when it’s fresh and you get to monitor your sodium and fat intake.
  5. It’s safe – no matter where I am and if I am alone, I always feel safe here.  No one bothers you
  6. Multitude of markets – there is so much to see here whether you want clothes, teas, hardware, electronics, textiles or much much more.  A market exists for each item.  Each time I venture out and explore a new market (by market I mean large malls) I am just so amazed how much originates from China and what quantities is produced here.
  7. The Fruit Shop – five minutes away from my apartment there is a fruit store opened 24/7.  All the freshest fruit and accessible at anytime.
  8. Walking – growing up in London I was so accustomed to walking everywhere, which I really missed when I moved to Dubai.  In China its safe and clean so I love being able to leave my house and walk everywhere.
  9. There is absolutely no reason to drink or drive.  I’ve surely been taking advantage of being able to drink and not worrying about driving home at the end of the night.
  10. If I can make it here, I know I’ll be able to make it anywhere!!

I guess we all go through times in life when we wonder why we’re in a certain situation, but I truly believe there is a reason for everything and if we just have a little faith it will eventually become clear.

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Survived the Insanity

I made it!  On Monday I finished Insanity and I have such mixed emotions.  As much as I loved it, I am happy its over.  Towards the start of month 2 I began experiencing a lot of back pain and was getting really fed up with repetition of the program and not being able to listen to what my body was in the mood for.  Hurting my back put me in a difficult situation.  Part of me just wanted to give up and the other part of me felt that I’d come so far along that I should just keep going till the end.  I decided to go with the latter however I had to modify some of the press-ups with ‘girly’ ones so I wouldn’t aggravate my back.  I also had to take an extra rest day in the last week, which really made a difference to the amount I could push myself for the last few workouts.

I am going to do a Q + A session to go through my thoughts on Insanity and how it affected me.

1.    Did my diet change through Insanity?

I have truly come to believe what you fuel yourself with is much more important that the workout you do.  If your nutrition is on track the result you see through your workout will increase dramatically.

I did not follow the Elite Nutrition plan for the full duration of Insanity.  I did however follow it for few weeks and then something would always come up, either my hormones would be all over the place and I’d given in to the chocolate / dessert cravings, I was just unprepared with my meals and end up eating out and sometimes life just happened.  As much as I wanted to dedicate the 10weeks to Insanity there has to be a line between enjoying life and being a slave to my fitness regime.  Over all though I do try to stick to 3 meals a day and 2 snacks.  I also incorporate protein in all my meals and snacks to keep me fuller for longer and as recommended in the nutrition plan.

I think if I had been more stringent with my diet and followed the recommend plan I would have seen better results.  Next time I do Insanity I will follow the nutrition plan more closely so I get the most out of the workouts.

2.    Is there a difference in my body measurements?

I wish I could answer this saying ‘I lost five pounds and five inches all over’ but I didn’t get even close.  To be fair I didn’t have a ton of weight to lose prior to starting so I cannot be too upset.

After moving to China I made a decision to give up the weighing scale.  Hence, I am not sure if I lost any weight with Insanity.  I did take my body measurements and I lost 2cm’s on my hips.  I know it’s not a lot but I was thrilled with this because it is my biggest problem area and nothing I have done has helped my hips become smaller until Insanity.

My main goals when starting Insanity was to get more toned and feel comfortable in my own skin.  I can proudly say I did achieve both these goals.  For the first time in my life I feel secure in my own skin and am happy with the reflection I see in the mirror.  I am also more toned over-all and have been getting compliments about it from Mr. Fabulous, which makes the 10 weeks all the more worthwhile.

3.    Has my fitness level changed as a result of completing Insanity?

I’ll let the fit test results speak for itself here.  I improved in every category except one (switch kicks – my absolutely worst move of them all).  I was shocked to see how many more push up jacks I could do in a minute – 22 more!  This was huge for me since this time last year I could not even bust out one full push up.

The fit test was as hard the first week as it was the last week since you’re able to push yourself harder to do more reps within the minute.  As the weeks progressed I found I was taking less breaks throughout the workouts and able to keep up with them in the video.

I am sure my endurance will be higher once I get back to my other workouts and my stamina will also have increased.  Not sure how my body is going to react to weight training though since its been over three months since I’ve lifted.  Will have to wait and see after tonights body pump session.

FIT TEST RESULTS

                                                FIT TEST 1                        FIT TEST 5

SWITCH KICKS                        69                                    67

POWER JACKS                         53                                    57

POWER KNEES                        80                                   94           

POWER JUMPS                        31                                    42

GLOBE JUMPS                           9                                    12

SUICIDE JUMPS                       15                                    18

PUSH UP JACKS                       19                                    41

LOW PLANK OBLIQUE           37                                    55

 

4.    Where do I go now with my exercise routine and will Insanity feature?

YES! Insanity will definitely make a weekly feature in my workout routine, however; for the time being I want to take it a bit easier and do whatever my body craves.  My body needs a little break after pounding it for 10 weeks straight but that doesn’t mean I wont be working out.  I have missed weight training so I will be adding 2-3 weight sessions back mostly in the form of body pump.  I will also be doing some sort of cardio 2-3 times a week either in the form of HIIT runs or a workout DVD.

I don’t have a plan yet what I am going to be doing next.  I am contemplating Body For Life or 10 pound Slimdown Xtreme but I don’t want to make the commitment just as yet.  I’ve heard such great things about both these programs so I know both will be a good choice but for the next few weeks I am going with the flow and do whatever feels right.

5.    What have I gained from Insanity

  • I CAN DO ANYTHING!  Quick background – 16 years ago when I joint my first boarding school in England I had to participate in a race, ‘the Carson Cup’ on Sports Day.  All students between the ages of 11-13 participated and it took place in front of the whole student body, all our parents and staff.  To my embarrassment I came last.  Yes, I was that chubby girl who came last.  As I crossed the finish line I remember the tears of shame that started rolling down my cheeks.  I knew I was not a sporty kid but to finish last in front of my elder brother was the most embarrassing thing I could ever experience.  Today, 16 years later I am proud to say I have completed ‘the hardest fitness program to be put on DVD’.  Did I ever think I could or even would want to do such a thing? No chance!  Just shows anyone can achieve anything they put their mind to.
  • ALL YOU NEED IS 60 MINUTES for a great workout.  Insanity showed me that there are really no excuses not to workout.  In less than 60 minutes I was able to complete a full body workout and all I needed were my laptop, DVD and trainers.  Even during the 10-week program when I was away for the weekend I could complete the workouts in my hotel room.  Another reason I love Insanity, you need no equipment just yourself and the DVD.

So there you go, that’s my 10 week Insanity re-cap.  It was an amazing experience for me to prove just how far I can push myself and what I can achieve if I am determined.   As much as I am glad it is over I already miss having a pre-defined workout schedule where I can just put the DVD on and get going.  I will surely repeat this program within the year but for now I am looking forward to re-introducing old favorites like Body Pump.

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