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confidence, goals, health, IBS, paleo, well being

The 7 Point Cycle

Have you ever heard of the saying “you can bring a horse to water but you cant make it drink”….well I have had a few conversations in recent times that makes this quote spring straight into my mind. I have had a few people come and chat to me about the physical feelings they get when they eat, and they suspect it is IBS. Some people I have talked to currently live with IBS. We all share similar physical reactions to certain foods, but more and more I hear about the emotional and psychological effects of IBS. Its a vicious circle….and this is how it goes:

  1. Ahhhh a little scoop of those creamy mashed potatoes wont hurt, because they are clearly delicious and nutritious.
  2. Spoons what can only be described as a large mountain of potatoes onto the plate
  3. Eats to capacity……1 minute, 2 minute, 3 minute, 4, 5 minutes, 6 minutes, 7 minutes more….BOOM. Congratulations, you are now the proud owner of a handsome balloon belly. You must be so pleased, its beautiful (said no one ever).
  4. Trousers are too tight, so only thing to do is go and get husbands tracksuit bottoms/pyjama bottoms/something with an elasticated waist to accommodate new circular disposition.
  5. Now this is where it gets real good: Step 5 in the list is what I call ‘The Guilts’. Yup, cue a strong feeling of guilt because you KNOW those potatoes were NOT delicious and nutritious. YOU KNEW your stomach would react like this….whyyyyyy have you done this again.  This is when ‘The Guilts’ turn to stage 6….
  6. Self Hatred. You are now going through the motions. You will start saying things like ‘I am so stupid’, ‘I am fat’, ‘Ugh my stomach is so ugly’, ‘I look like a beached whale’….any of this sound familiar???  Once you’ve criticised yourself enough, we can move onto stage 7
  7. ‘Feeling sorry for yourself’. Yup, get ready – this is the stage where you may get weepy, where you will go and get a blanket and a hot water bottle and curl up in a little ball, pulling your elasticated bottoms over your big bloated belly to pretend its not there. You will ask yourself “why is this happening to me, I am a good person”. Give it 10 hours, a nap and chick flick and you might be able to go put on those big girl pants I talked about in my last blog. ****WARNING also stay away from Instagram during the feeling sorry for yourself stage.  This is only going to add to misery because you want to look like the tanned, blonde haired, glistening and glowing babes you follow….knowing that right now you cant even stand up for fear of vomiting/causing more cramps/dear god knows what else.*****

Here is the cold hard truth about the above cycle…..its true. Very true. The amount of women I hear saying “it makes me feel so horrible”, “I look pregnant”, “I feel disgusting”. Heres another cold hard truth – IT DOESNT HAVE TO BE THIS WAY. I cannot stress enough how much you need to stop living like this – I did for years, was constantly going through the motions, and its nonsense.

But the biggest cold hard truth of all – you have to be serious about making a whole lifestyle change. I have had people saying “I am doing a 2 week juice detox”, or “I am fasting as I think not eating is going to help”…..stop looking for the quick fix, there isn’t one. It is going to take time, effort, moodiness, cravings, giving in to cravings, learning lessons, consistency and determination. Believe me, you will not regret it. I can give you this information, I can tell you my real life experiences….and that’s all. I am nothing special – I am not rich, nor famous, or anyone of any real influence over the world. I am an ordinary 28 year old girl, who goes to work everyday, drinks copious amounts of tea, has a strong unbreakable love for her two Labradors and likes coconut. Sure isn’t that most people?!

I am by no means trying to preach to you – if you want to juice detox, or fast, or eat a mountain of potatoes, or a family size bucket of KFC chicken, do it. But maybe ask yourself why your putting yourself through it. For me, it was because I wasn’t educated enough in food and IBS. It  has been a serious learning curve for me. Like I always say, sometimes I give in to cravings and sometimes  I go through the 7 point cycle, sometimes I just I just say to myself “AHHHH well, these things happen, what ya gonna do?!” in my best nonchalant tone. The thing is, I know what I am going to do….draw a line in the sand, get back on the right track and forget about it. Like I said in my last post – put your big girl pants on and get on with it.

FYI – I actually enjoy when people message me. Please feel free to do so. I will be honest, open and transparent about what I have found works and doesn’t work….what I struggle with and how I overcome it (if that’s what happens of course).

FYI pt.2 – coconut addiction still alive and well. I am now using a gradual fake tanner which makes me smell of coconuts and its wonderful. What a time to be alive.

Peace out!

 

goals, health, paleo, well being

744 hours to go…

I have just realised it is just over four weeks until bikini time arrives….that is 31 days. 744 hours if we want to get really precise.  So as you all know #OperationAbs has been in go-go mode for the last 12 weeks and my last blog post highlighted just how difficult it can be.  Not all sit ups and HIIT sessions. More like Air Bikes, Arnie Presses (which I just love the name of because Arnie is a legend), hanging knee raises, flex arm holds and serious amount of sweat. And I don’t mean sweat like those insta girls who look all glistening and shimmery – I mean red faced, blotchy, and look like I’ve been trailed through a hedge backwards. Gorg.

I have calculated that I have 20 sessions left in the gym – 20 hours to get my abs to drag their sorry ass to the front of my body. My coach has been telling me that abs are made in the kitchen….well let me tell you, I have searched and searched my kitchen, and I cant find them anywhere….cue tears running down my sweaty post-searching face. To be fair, I see where Fionn is coming from, theres really no point busting your backside in the gym just to go home and eat all of the food in your house in one sitting. I saw a quote from the guys at Barbell Shrugged (if you don’t know who they are, google/youtube them – they talk sense!). They said that we should “focus on the long-game rather than the instant gratifications.  we know this can be a hard pill for some folks to swallow, but its the truth. We’d rather you know the truth rather than try to sugar coat it”. DAMN RIGHT.
I keep lifting up my top after a workout and expecting a set of abs to have magically popped up, bobbing to the surface like a plastic bottle floating in the ocean.

So believe me when I say you gotta seriously stick at it…..I have been training for nearly a year now – it will be a year on 13th July. I have been training like a demon for 8 weeks now in persuit of my bikini body, and let me tell you its not for the faint hearted. You have to be training and eating right – doing just one or the other isn’t going to cut it. I have really been struggling with my chocolate cravings (especially for us women when our hormones like to play a little game of “eat all the chocolate in sight” for a few days out of the month, girls you get me, right? whilst the guy reading this awkwardly shuffle in their chair). The other thing I genuinely struggled with was actually understanding how to eat for my goal. I ended up asking my coach to write me down examples of the food I should be eating for each meal, because I just couldn’t wrap my head around it.  The struggle is real.

So heres an example of what my food day has looked like:

7am – butter coffee – this sounds stinking but OMG, if you don’t drink this currently, youre missing out.  I know you are probably screwing up your face and thinking I have lost the plot, but seriously try it….(1 cup of coffee put in a blender with a teaspoon of good quality grass fed butter)

10(ish)- meat, eggs, spinach, tomatoes and/celery, half an avo or some halloumi

2(ish) – meat, big ass salad

handful of nuts about 4ish to stave off any hunger for gym sesh. Fionn told me to go for macadamias (they are king apparently), but dear god, they taste like chalk.

7(ish) – meat meat and more meat, sweet potato (only on training days), spinach, roasted tomatoes or some sort of veg. I got a veg spiralizer and I am UBER excited to use it…courgetti here I come.

I have been advised to keep my 90% dark choc to after din dins instead of after lunch is when I was having it!

Don’t get me wrong, I have eaten some treats that aren’t exactly sticking to paleo life / healthy treat life (marks and spencers chocolate chip shortbread is TOO GOOD to say NO to….I don’t even regret shoving it in my face with a large mug of tea).

At the end of the day, I am 100% committed to the goal, but I am human and not a robot…sometimes cravings get the better of us and we just need to draw a line under it and move on. So to finish off the blog post, heres the things I have learned through this process, especially in the last 8 weeks.

  1. Set a goal and decide whether you are truly committed to it. Don’t do a half arsed attempt at it.
  2. Ask questions, no matter how stupid they might seem in your head. I have my coach TORTURED.  But I am not going to assume I know something, because that usually turns out not so well.
  3. Don’t listen to others who don’t get what your now about. You will get opinions from people who all of a sudden have turned into a personal trainer within the last 2 minutes and believe they know better than your own personal trainer. Nod along and smile.
  4. don’t be super hard on yourself.  If you have a treat or two, even if you eat your own body weight in kebab on a Saturday night, just get back on it again. Don’t spend the next days crying over it. Draw a line in the sand, put on your big girl pants and get it done.

Hope this has been helpful for your guys and you can relate somehow. And do you know something, no matter what shape I get to when bikini time arrives, I know I will be happy because I’ve worked hard and made serious progress.  If I don’t have the abs of my dreams then so be it – I am a work in progress and I this is how I shall always be.

 

goals, health, paleo

When you bring your own broccoli to Nandos…

So #OperationAbs is well under way, 7 weeks and 2 days to Morocco. So how am I getting on I hear you ask….well….heres the honest truth. Its brutal. I did not expect it to be this difficult. I thought we would just do a little more core work in the gym, maybe a few home workouts and cut out the sweet treats and boom – abs-ville here I am.

No. This is not the case. First of all, I thought I was pretty en-pointe with my food. Well Deborah – no you were not. DISAPPOINTED. So I am back to the drawing board with the aul food situ….if theres one way to make yourself feel stupid, confidently write a food diary, hand it to your coach and wait to have it scribbled all over. Of course, I know this is the best way to learn – from your mistakes. So onwards and upwards folks.

Exercise is a whole other ball game. I used to always say that exercising was difficult but eating was even harder…..right now I genuinely do not know which one is more difficult. It is both physically and mentally demanding and requires a lot of concentration and pulling some sort of inner strength out of your backside when you just wanna give up. Heres the difficult thing for me too, I am not a competitive person…I never have been. I don’t really have that spark in me others have that drive them to do better than the last time. I wish I did. Maybe I need to carry a picture of my bikini’s around with me to remind me that I have to get into these pretty little two pieces in 7 weeks.

Anyway….#OperationAbs is going along nicely, with 7 weeks to go. I am currently working out with my coach 3 times a week and 2-3 homeworks per week ontop of that. I am taking this mission very seriously. So seriously that I went to Nando’s yesterday and brought my own carton of broccoli….no this is not some sort of metaphor for something, I actually went to Nandos, ordered chicken and a salad and brought a carton of broccoli with me. For a minute, I considered caring about what other people thought….and then I decided nothing good would come from that. Here’s the thing – opinions are like assholes, everyone has one. I understand that people don’t get the whole paleo thing, I get it they don’t understand why I wouldn’t just go all out at Nandos because I am out with my friends. I used to one of the people that laughed at people like me……but as my lovely friend Ashleigh said last night, ‘they only laugh because they don’t have the will power to go what you are doing’.  I have a goal and I am sticking to it….question my broccoli antics if you wish.

So  listen up folks, getting toned, muscular, defined, bikini-body-ready (use whatever term your want), is not easy. And I seriously mean that….I have left the gym feeling on the verge of tears because I am just tired and its taken a lot of mental and physical strength to get me through (yes I am weepy when I am tired – deal with it).  My advice to you is seriously commit…just get shit done, I don’t think you will regret it.

P.s. – Val drags are the devil. Nothing good comes from these apart from the ability to save yourself if a zombie apolocypse happens.

 

goals, health, paleo, well being

Operation Abs

Hi all,

Hows it going? I hope that you are all well and enjoying this start to a new week. Easter is over and I (think) that I behaved quite well over the Easter break….I for once did not eat my own bodyweight in chocolate eggs.  I got one egg, and didn’t maul it until Easter Tuesday….and for once I didn’t get the guilts afterwards. Bonus.

So the reason for writing this blog is because I have a mixture of excitement and anxiety…because my lovely friends, its bikini time in 8 weeks and 5 days (big gulp). Myself and my good friend Kirsty are heading away for a few days in the sun – Morocco. Now I know what you are thinking, Morocco is a conservative culture, which may not leave room for bikini time – however you would be wrong. In your Riad, bikini time is acceptable…and our Riad just so happens to have a lovely pool and sunloungers, where I expect to soak up some Vitamin D. There’s no point in me saying I am going for the suntan, because I could live on the sun (and I mean the burning ball that is in the sky) and still come back like Casper the ghost.

Anyway, suntan aside, I do get freckles which I am uber excited about, but for most girls, bikini time equals anxiously buying pretty bikinis that have been modelled on abtastic models online….then guess what happens, you get them…put them on…and stand looking in the mirror in dismay that you have love handles.  well well well, disappointing ain’t it?! Now, 99% of the year I am all about being fit, healthy, strong and body confident, but there is something about holiday time that makes me a little vain. So, once I booked my holiday, I went straight to Fionnbharr and told him I was on a mission – we call it #OperationAbs (the hashtag is to just make it a little cooler ya’know?!). So for the next few weeks I am going to write about my workouts in the gym, and at home and talk a little about how the diet is going also.

The last 10 days I have been writing a food diary for Fionn which I am going to give him today, which again is anxiety inducing….I shall await the giant circles round my chocolately treats 😦 …… and then take it from there. Last week I was at the gym 3 times and my workouts have been a little longer than usual, by about an extra 15/20 minutes, which doesn’t seem a lot, but when you are feeling like your body might explode…believe me it feels like a year. I have also completed two home workouts, which include a mix of mobility and kettlebell work, which only takes about 15/20 minutes. Sean walked into the room, mid workout on Saturday – think he was a little surprised by his wife red faced and sweaty, flinging a kettlebell in the air like her life depended on it. I told him one of the exercises was called a “goatbag swing”, to which he has been calling “goat hops”, which has really made me chuckle. When I corrected him, he told me “goat hops” were a different exercise and then showed me a video of a hyper goat, hopping about and doing 360 spins ontop of other goats. Yea right honey, I believe ya.

So – #OperationAbs is live – wish me luck!

 

 

health, Uncategorized

Push on through

Hi all, sorry i have been a little MIA lately, but once again I’ve been a busy little bee enjoying life and having some fun. I was recently away having too many laughs with friends and family in London (see above picture of an awesome cocktail I drank, one of many to be fair). I would like to take a little moment to all my friends/fam-in-law for making it so awesome. I also want to give an extra special little thanks to the lovely Siobhan Caslin, for seeking out menu options to suit my paleo life, I really appreciated it – eating out can be a little bit of a nightmare with me…just ask my husband!

Tonight I want to talk about a session I just finished in the gym. Last week I set myself a goal, an achievable goal (i think) but it’s gonna take effort. Like 99.9% of my female counterparts, we have a body part that we just can not stand. Like I am talking a deep rooted hate that can be all consuming…one of those hates that puts you in a bad temper because you have looked at it. Yup, like alot of women, my hatred is towards my stomach. Is it really too much to ask that it is flat?? Throw IBS into the mix (where everyday you face a good chance of swollen pregnancy belly popping up that really adds to the hatred of this particular body part)  Come on mother nature, gimme a break.

So I set myself a goal – by my 29th birthday (26th June – you can send me presents or a cake if you wish) I want a stomach to be jealous of. I want ‘lines’ of definition and there to be little to no wobble. Nowwww I know what you’re thinking, this probably takes years to achieve, not 11 weeks….but god loves a tryer (or trier I’m not sure on the spelling here).

Tonight at the gym, things really stepped up a notch. It was my 4th night this week in the gym and I was feeling good but my muscles were starting to feel it. My coach switched it up a little which I’ve really enjoyed, doing some flex arm holds and started some barbell lifting which made me feel really strong (even though it was only like 15kg haha) theres just something about thrusting that metal barbell up on the air like your Irelands Strongest Man…but one thing I have started doing was the rowing machine….

Well after a few goes on the rowing machine, my coach set me the task of beating my last time of 2 minutes 29 seconds to row a hypothetical 500m . So, baring in mind I’ve already completed 500m in 2 minutes 29 seconds as a warm up, completed suitcase carries, 60kg hip thrust, rows and deadhangs to name a few I was up for the challenge but also pretty tired by this stage….however those abs are waiting to greet me, all toned and ready for a bikini.

So, I sit on the seat, strap my little size 4 feet in, and start to row row row my boat, gently down the streammm….sorry i got carried away there. I was really giving it my all, but then that all familiar burning in my muscles starts, and the little voice in my head starts telling me my legs might blow up if I don’t stop (which would be super dangerous for all involved)…but there’s also another little voice telling me to push through, don’t give up and just get it done. It’s the little devil on one shoulder and a little Angel on the other, both lycra clad and giving their own opinion.

So – how did this end. Did I listen to the Angel or the devil? As tempting as it was to just stop rowing and declaring I can’t do it (in a dramatic fashion) i wasnt going to give in. It probably helped that my coach was there telling me to keep going and I could do it, although there was a point I was close to telling him where to go (i refrained and it would only have been awkward afterwards lol). But towards the end of those very short minutes, which is incredibly long when you feel like you are about to explode, there’s a moment when you literally zone out,  where you pull on some weird inner strength and get it done. So, yes you guessed it – i beat my time and rowed my hypothetical 500m in 2 minutes 14 seconds . Boom.

Have faith in yourself,  have faith in the process, have faith that you aren’t going to explode into a burning ball of flames. Tonight I am feeling good. Small victories and all that.

 

Fyi – coconut addiction is alive and kicking. Coconut can make any fish instantly better, don’t doubt it.