Saturday, October 26, 2013

Trying new things

Since my body decided to play tricks on me, I have been trying new things in order to both spot what is good (or not so good) for me and get my health back on track.

One aspect we tend to ignore is that there every person is different. What works for one, might not produce the same result for another. Genetics, predispositions, environment, work condition, family affairs, everything plays a role in who we are and how we feel.

"What you do, the way you think, makes you beautiful."

We all have role models and we all wish that our efforts were enough to transform our body like Xs and Ys within a certain time frame. Sometimes, however, our unique characteristics play tricks on us and things don't go exactly as planned.

When hitting a plateau, or even moving backwards, you have to revaluate your efforts and look for the root cause. This can be a tricky because we tend to be whether too hard or too lenient with ourselves. The key is being sincere! 'Am I really doing everything I'm supposed to?' 'Do I give it all while training?' 'How have I been dealing with the situations I come across?'

The struggle you're in today is developing the strength you need for tomorrow.

Maybe you are missing some small detail here and there like an extra spoon of peanut butter or taking long breaks between sets. Or maybe your body is getting accustomed to the routine you have imposed it. In this case, a change of habits make put you back on track.

Remember that no matter how experience or knowledgeable your coach, nutritionist or physician might be; unless you be straight forward with your feelings, impressions and perceptions, there is little they can do for you. They are not in your head. 

Keep track of yourself. Logging your workouts and diet is easy, but try keeping of your reactions as well. What is the impact of your relationships in your mood? Think of every single person you come across throughout your day! How do these interactions influence your day? What gives you energy and what drains it away? Can you pinpoint a day of the week, time of day, meal, food or activity that is frequently related to a certain emotion?

Everyday is a new beginning. Take a deep breath, and start again.

Don't be afraid of getting to know yourself better. Many times, the answer is within us, just waiting for our eyes to see it. Becoming your best friend is a lesson you can use not only in sport or other hobby, but in life as well. 

Sunday, October 20, 2013

The thing about priorities

In my blog "No, I don't write plans", I mentioned how important it is to know your goals. It is as important in fitness as it is in everything else in life. Women generally excitedly answer that they want to lose weight, while men want to get big. Most of the times, it stops there. There is no clear (and realistic) objective when it comes to the physique one wants to achieve. Sometimes because one did not take time to think about it, but also because people in fact, do not really believe they can reach their goals in first place. So why bother?

I know exactly how it goes because I have been there, done that. When I first joined in 2004, a forum member asked me what my goals were and I blushed behind my laptop. "What does she mean with that?!? I want to lose weight, that is all! This talk about fat percentage... WTH!". And sincerely, until I understood what she meant by that, I did not book any progress.

Once one determines what their goals are, they set a path and speed to achieve. The path for some it might getting a machine to train at home, while others get enrolled at a gym. There are those who want to look good in time for the summer or some celebration, while others have a show in mind.

"Success means having the courage, the determination, and the will to be the person you believe your meant to be."

No matter how clear your plan is, we all have a life outside fitness and external factors might get in the way and force us to some detour. If you are consistent though, you will do any necessary adjustments and keep on doing what you have to do, no matter what.

In my case, after years complaining of extreme tiredness here and there, my body gave up on me the last months. Unfortunately, I have not been able to spot what exactly is going on with me since traditional tests are normal. However, the truth is that I can sleep a whole day and night and still wake up exhausted the day after. On my worst days, I was running out of breath just by taking stuff out of my gym bag.

I have been slowly recovering by doing major changes in my training and intake with the help of Nicole Moneer Guerrero. I am also looking for a holistic doctor where I live so that I can get some medical opinion (other than: "sleep more" or "take hormones").

"Life isn't about waiting for the storm to pass. It's about learning to dance in the rain."

My priority now is cleaning my body and regaining health. I still want to go compete, but it is not my priority at the moment. If it will be in 2014 or 2015, I do not know it yet. I set my mind in going "Figure", so after healing, I will need to do a lot of working on leaning out and building muscle. The rush is gone, so I will take all the time that I consider necessary (Masters! Here I come!).

The thing about priorities is that we may need to review them sometimes. It is not that you are giving up on things, but it is better to make some calibrations than quitting. 

Saturday, October 12, 2013


It is going to be a slightly off topic entry, but since it is part of My 2013 Commitments (I'm not into the word "resolution"), I think it is worth writing about it.

We are already in October and for most part of the year, I did not work on inner self. I wanted, but did not really worked on it at all until really recently.

The trigger of me making this major change was my health. Even though I have been eating really clean for the last month, there were some triggers missing and I had to restart from scratch. I am still taking baby steps in reviewing my meals and workout routine, however the first positive signs are already showing.

Hormone free chicken & turkey. Real food!
So after setting my intake in a good track, it was moment to take another major weight from my shoulders: my lack of organization talent at home.

At work, I simply freak out with the slightest idea of having a messy desk. I do not bother cleaning things up every once and a while; changing places and reorganizing. But at home... It is like my brain cannot process information the same way when I cross the door.

Having chaos around me bothers me more than I can describe, still I had not found a way to work it out in a way that I could made this change permanent. I was so attached to the idea that I "couldn't"...

Browsing aleatory sites, I bumped into The fun thing is that it was the first time I felt comfortable with the approach (believe me, I have a collection of books on the subject, with different models that simply did not work for me). She writes for perfectionists, freaks like me who think that if they cannot do it all at once, it is not worth even starting. And so there is clutter.

I am taking one step at a time, not putting too much pressure on myself. There is only that much I can do with the 'free' time I have in my hands and not feeling 'obliged to' has also helped me so much with my training and meal plans that it is worth to expand it to other aspects of my life. 

You can't rush something you want to last forever.

Today, it has been a week since I started following this plan and since then, I have been getting rid of a lot clutter and I am excited about improving every day.

And you? How are your plans for this year ago?

Remember, there is still time to accomplish a lot before 2014 hits the door! Wishing everybody a lot of success.

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Changes are good

I believe that when things are not going the way we want them to, we have to do something. You cannot expect to achieve something special by doing the ordinary. You have to look for ways while keeping your eyes on the goal. And that is what I am doing these days.

Awesome Life Tip

For the past months, my body has been acting weird. It goes from upset stomach to headaches, including exhaustion and difficulty in breathing. I changed my routine, took extra rest days, slightly adapted my meals, however, without success.

When things are like that, the only solution is turning routine upside down. 

The time has arrive to question everything, go back to the draw board and restart from scratch. It is not easy to get out of the comfort zone, mainly for a Taurus like me. We move our buts only when there is no other way. I love routine!

One of the changes I am slowly implementing is going gluten free together with adding bio veggies and fruit to my diet. I have been eating 'real food' for the past year and it has already major changes in my body (not only what meets the eyes). Now I am taking a step further into this healthy lifestyle of mine.

Bio fruit and gluten free muesli

Today, I went to a local bio farm and got some fruit and gluten free cereal. Afterwards, I got some hormone free meat. The substitution will be gradual. As I need to buy new items, I will looking forward 'cleaner' alternatives.

There is a lot of information on the internet about the subject, including recipes. I am not the most skilled in the kitchen (that is my shy way to say that I cannot cook), but I am looking forward testing my skills soon.

And you? Have you introduced new habits in your life recently? Thinking about it? What would you like to change?

Whatever it is, if it is where your heart is pointing to, go for it!