Saturday, May 31, 2014

Shout Out Saturday - May 31st, 2014

Another week has passed and I hope you have had a great time like I did. But now, it is Saturday again and for me, it means it is time to spread some blogger love. It is Shout Out Saturday time!

Shout Out Saturday by Debbie In Shape

Thursday, May 29, 2014

Training Thursday : Running 10km again

Today it is holiday in Belgium and since the gym was closed, I took advantage of the nice weather to go for a run. The idea was doing it in the morning, right after breakfast, but I assume that I overslept, so I changed my plans to 3PM in the afternoon.

Last week, I did 9km indoors, on a treadmill without inclination. So this week I could not escape it. The time has arrived to go for a 10km again. And that is what I did!

Training Thursday : Running 10km again

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Tip Tuesday : Hydrate

We all love warmer days, the sunshine and the endless outdoor possibilities. With those great changes in temperature, we need to be more careful with hydration. 

Tip Tuesday - Hydrate

Monday, May 26, 2014

Move It Monday - May 26th, 2014

Hi everyone! It is Monday again! How is yours been so far?

I am joining Rana, Erin and Stephanie in their Move It Monday linkup again.

Saturday, May 24, 2014

Shout Out Saturday - May 24th, 2014

Wow! What a great week this one was. Since I was home for 5 days (Vacation!!! Whoohoo!), I had time to organize things around the house, read and write blogs almost daily. I had a great time!

Today, I want to take the opportunity to give some shout outs this week:

Friday, May 23, 2014

Fancy Friday - Cleaning make-up brushes

The definition of the adjective 'fancy' according to Merriam-Webster Dictionary is:
  • Not plain or ordinary
  • Very expensive and fashionable
  • Done with great skill and grace

That is what "Fancy Friday" is all about. I will looking forward sharing beauty tips, review of products and anything related to beauty and fashion. Because no matter how much we all love our trainers and leggings, at least every once in a while every woman has girly days.

Fancy Friday - Cleaning make-up brushes

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Wellness Wednesday : Runner Socks

As I started to run again recently and to get connected to other runners around the globe, I have been discovering a lot of new techniques and products that support performance and recovery.

One of the products I have been reading very positive reviews about are runner and compression socks. No matter how clean my diet is or how much water I drink, I experience frequent swelling. Since it has been proven that compression socks limit, it is already worth trying.

Wellness Wednesday

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Tip Tuesday : Planning Your Day

Noticing the success of my blog Five Reasons to Plan Ahead, I decided to put together some tips that will help you get started with your planning too. I will be mentioning work and home related activities because they should be treated the same way. It is your time that we are talking about, so there should be no difference whether you are wasting it in your professional or private environment.

Tip Tuesday : Planning Your Day

Monday, May 19, 2014

Move It Monday - May 19th, 2014

Another week is upon us and it is time to get some action!

Move It Monday - May 19th, 2014

My training plan for this week is:
  • Sunday (yesterday): quads and hams
  • Monday: chest and abs
  • Tuesday: quads, hams and calves
  • Wednesday: back, biceps and abs
  • Thursday: quads, hams, calves and abs
  • Friday: run
  • Saturday: rest day

Sunday, May 18, 2014

Summary Sunday

Hi there! How is everything on your side? I cannot complain about this Sunday. The sun is shining here (it should be National Holiday in Belgium every time we have such a beautiful day) and I killed it in the gym this morning.

This week, I am on vacation for a couple of days. The plan was going to UK to attend Body Power, but even though things did not go as expect, I am still making the most out of my days.

Friday, May 16, 2014

Friday Five : Five Reasons to Plan Ahead

How is your Friday so far? Even though I am on vacation for a couple of days, I woke up early this morning, went to the gym after breakfast, did some shopping, headed back home for lunch and now, I am writing this blog before starting some chores. 

Did the things I mentioned above just happen? No, not at all! Yesterday, I took time to carefully plan everything I wanted to do today. Since I am involved in many activities in addition to common responsibilities like work and family, I need to optimize my time as much as I can to be efficient.

Taking advantage of the lovely initiative from Courtney, Mar and Cynthia, I will be sharing my 5 personal reasons why I consider it important to plan your day in advance to accomplish the most out of it.

Friday Five: Five Reasons to Plan Ahead

Thursday, May 15, 2014

Better than ever

Last Monday, I turned 39 years old. It feels so weird though. It does not look like so much time has passed. It still feels like yesterday that I was in high school dreaming about attending college abroad.

I turned 39yo on May 12th, 2014.

But the fact is, I am 39 now. Nothing changed in me from May 11th to 12th, however, major changes have been happening throughout the past years. And the truth is that I have never felt so good about myself before.

After taking a break from Fitness competitions, I have been enjoying different alternatives to keep my body in shape and improve my overall conditioning. I still lift weight on a regular basis, but I restarted running and have plans for expanding my 'curriculum' soon.

Saturday, May 10, 2014

Running for starters

Running has become a major sport in the past years. I remember that when I participated in a race for the very first time, there was room for everyone and even for group pictures. By the second time I attended to it though, the place was packed and it only gets more crowded each year.

The great about running is that you can do it anywhere. You do not need much equipment and how fast or long you run is entirely up to you. You can run in groups or on your own at any time of the day, any day of the week.

Everything is simple and there are excellent plans out there for those who want to get started or improve. However, there are those small details that are hard to figure out on your own and less mentioned by experienced runners. I have learned some tips and tricks throughout the years that I want to share with you.


When running outside, one has to be extra careful when moving among vehicles and passers-by. If you are using on the road, make sure you run against traffic. Personally, I prefer to wear a fluorescent vest. It makes easier for drivers to see me in any weather condition.

When on sidewalks or trails, stay on the right, including when sharing the path with bikers and skaters. This can be a tricky one if others are not aware of it, which happens a lot to me. In this case, timely move to the other side after checking oncoming traffic. Sometimes, you will be able to force your way, but watch out for kids, elderly people, large groups and animals.


Mainly when you are working on improving your performance, be careful not to be sloppy with your posture. The same way as we tend to sit badly in our chairs at the office after many hours, we also get loose when tired during a workout.

In short, keep your head high, shoulders relaxed, hips facing forward, torso slightly lean forward and land using the area between your heel and midfoot. Your arms should remain on the side of your body swinging in rhythm with your stride.

Four simple steps to good form


Whatever sport or physical activity you incorporate in your routine, it will require more energy from your body than you used before in your sedentary days. Therefore, you will need to have in mind that your eating habits have to changed a little bit.

Running (or jogging) is an aerobic exercise. Many use it as support for weight loss because it allows burnning more calories during practice. Reaching deficit is the ultimate goal of those who want to lose some extra pounds. However, you still need energy to train and perform your daily activities. 

The solution in this case is to use and abuse of slow carbs such as vegetables, legumes, whole grains and nuts. They will support your training as well as stimulate your weight loss. 

Proteins are a must. Meat in general, (low-fat) yogurt and fish are great sources of protein and accessible to various doctrines. I also incorporate protein shakes to my diet because of their fast absorption and I do not get sick during training as I would after a full pre-workout meal. 

Tilapia Burgers


Water has to become your best friend, if not already. There is an endless list of great beverages that promise (and some deliver) fast hydration, performance improvement and whatsoever. Still, nothing beats a minimum of 2 liter water for me. On the days that I need some extra minerals, I add some Celtic salt to the mix. Note that my longest race was a 10km. If you are going anything above that, other rules apply to speed up recovery and avoid health issues.

Note that I do make use of BCAAs during my training with weights, but when I run, I try to stay away from sugar. I have seen some alternatives out there recently, but I have not tried them yet. Time your water intake so that you have enough reserves during a race and hydrate again as soon as you are done.

These are very basic tips. I hope they can help you quick start, but be aware that the more you progress, the deeper you may need to go for efficiency. If there is anything else I can help you with, please let me know it.


Sunday, May 4, 2014

Breaking the rules

Whenever people ask me about my job, mainly when they know I am a fitness freak, many get surprised when I say that I work in IT. It is common sense that IT workers are geeks who do come out in the sun and have no life. I am not here to say that it is a lie, but one has to be careful with stereotypes.

In spite of all the changes in our society, there are still those who think you are doomed to do or become something because of your profession or hobbies (in some extremes, because of your origin). I could not disagree more with that.

The second you limit yourself is the second you fail.
Now tell me: why do you "have to"? Who said that you must do this or that to be right? Who has set these rules? And why can't you be more?

Look around you. You are unique! Act like it. What do you like most in life? What dreams do you want to achieve? What are you doing at this point to reach your goals? What do you need to do to achieve them? Think carefully about it. Visualize accomplishing that dream you have inside of you that many times, you do not even dare sharing because you are afraid of what people may say or of being laughed at.

We live in a world without frontiers. With the internet, you can "be" anywhere at any time. You post something, it goes viral, BOOM!! You are the next big thing. And if you are smart, you can make it last much more than Andy Warhol's fifteen minutes. So even if your burning desire has nothing to do with becoming a celebrity, why not giving it a shot?

There are many stories out there about those who pursued careers, but never really took off. I am in no place to question their efforts however, there is no success without failure. Look back at the story of those who started from scratch and became standards for generations.

Famous Failures
Luck is a word frequently used to describe the events that lead to success. It is true that, a lot of times, we hear about something "impossible" happening and changing the course of things. However, do not let yourself be fooled by that. Unless you have done the work and you are prepared, a chance can still be lost, no matter how good it was.

So let's go back to your dreams... What was it again? And what are doing to accomplish it? If the answer is nothing, it is time to get off the chair and kick-off. 

Luck is what happens when preparation meets opportunity.
Start by putting things on paper. It can be a text or a scrapbook. If you have room for a visual board, it is even better! At this point, let's not filter any thought. Set free all those incredible ideas you have been hiding from the sun. Forget about limitations of time, money and abilities. Let it be a constant work in progress for you. Whenever you discover something new or learn more about a certain topic, add it to your sheet.

Invest time of rising this dream. Break up with the misconceptions you have been attaching yourself to. Believe with all your heart that it can be done and do not accept excuses, mainly from yourself. It will be tiring; it will suck up energy out of you like you never thought possible; you will hate yourself for the investments you will have to do (I am not talking only about money here); you will feel like giving up... But don't! In spite the hardship, you will only know how close your are to victory once you cross the line. 

Never! Never! Never Quit!
With this said, let me share a little about my dream. Yes, it has to do with fitness. My life has changed so much, for better, since I put health in the spotlight that I became addicted to it. It is so much more than just looking good and fitting in small sized clothes. It is having more energy, almost never experiencing migraines (and when they come, they are nothing compared to the ones I used to have) and doing something that makes me happy. It is about self-esteem and appreciation.

There is still a lot I still want to accomplish for myself and you can follow my progress here and on social media*. And I also want to be able to help others who like me, have doubts, fears, are lost and who do not know how or where to start.

I hope I could inspire you get started. If there is a specific topic you would like me to write about, please let me know it. I would love to be of help!

Thanks for stopping by.


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