This year did not start in the way that many of us expected. I’ve seen so many posts about 2020 is over, 2020 is cancelled but I’ve chosen not consume content that is damaging to my mental health. We are all going through tough times right now, whether that is financially or emotionally, and protecting our mental health and prioritising our self-care is paramount.
Currently, I’m working my 9-5 job, at home, trying to cope with this pandemic. I had noticed that I had worked an additional 20 hours both in March and April and I needed to slow down before I burnt myself out. I don’t know why I had worked these extra hours, maybe I was trying to distract myself from the pandemic and my thoughts. Unfortunately, the stress of it all caused me to faint at the beginning of May. The time before I lost unconsciousness scared me. I was grateful that I woke up a few minutes but it taught me that I need to stop, take it slow and work on improving my overall health. I shouldn’t have reached that stage at all and lockdown has shown me that I wasn’t prioritising my self-care and protecting my mental health as much as I thought I was.
January is a long month for everyone. It’s the middle of winter, pay-day seems to be coming slower than usual, and if you are not an avid winter sportsperson, winter can seem like a never-ending season. Learning from my previous January experiences, snuggling myself in my blankets and preparing for hibernation, I decided to change that around and travel. I never travel during the winter but a thought of changing the status quo came to me during the last days of 2018. Here I was ready to snuggle myself in layers of clothing and go for a day trip to the little country of Liechtenstein.
One of my many goals this year is to travel to five new cities and/or five new countries. I’m sure that you’ve heard the cliché saying that “Travel is the only thing that you buy that makes you richer”. Whoever said that was not lying. I love travelling as much as I love training and food. Travelling is like art. It starts as an empty canvas. Each place you travel to is a stroke on the canvas unravelling the stories, the memories and moments that you captured through your eyes. That’s why I love to travel. I get to different parts of the world through my eyes and not through the lens captured by society.
If you are not a fan of travelling or hesitant to do it, start out small. Travel to a new city or town in your country. I hope that this post and the many travel ones coming this year inspire you to see the world through your own lenses.
If these first two weeks of January have been slow for you, raise your hand. It has been pretty chill at work for me. Attempting to get back into a schedule actually creating content across all the channels has been slow. Usually, I would want to be hitting it hard as soon as a new month arrives but I’m learning to embrace the slowness and serenity of January before the workload and speed increases. If you are feeling the same way, embrace it and enjoy it while it lasts.
I know lots of women suffer through cramps during their menstrual cycle. Cramps that leave them unable to move from the bed or do anything on that day. I have only experienced it a couple of times in my life and I do not wish it on anyone. I decided to do an experiment to see if I could curb the cramps from foods and realised that if I did not eat well the week prior and the week of my period, I suffered from cramps resulting to sleeping with a hot water bottle for the first two nights. However, when I made sure to eat well all the time especially during the week prior and the week of my period, I felt fine and I actually never realised it had started. I was mainly eating more but I was pain-free.
Through this experiment, I discovered that eating foods rich in magnesium helped curb the pain and reduced the cramping throughout my entire cycle. Not all women are the same but if this list of foods can help you reduce the cramps and pain just a little, I’m happy to help.
Let’s look back at 2018 with the warmest of memories and embrace 2019 with open arms. Happy New Year.
Over the past two weeks, I have taken a break from producing all kinds of content and enjoyed the festive season with family and friends. Now I’m back from my break, back to work and slipping back into training, and I feel refreshed. Though after a relaxing break, it can be difficult to start the year off a bang.
Something that I am known for is my drive and placing high standards in everything that I do, so finding motivation has never been a problem for me. Unfortunately, that isn’t the case for everybody. I’ve been wracking my brain how I would start the first post of the year. I could have gone for the cliché ‘set your goals’, ‘leave something behind in 2018’ posts that have probably saturated your social media feeds these last few days (guilty as charged), but I wanted to provide you with something meaningful.
Initially I had planned to write my blog posts for the first two weeks of January during my last working week. That was not realistic planning at all on my part. If you have made it this far, thank you. Here I am typing away during my last day before work starts up again with methods I believe that will help you start 2019 the best way that you can.
…And that’s a wrap! Meet day came by slow and went by fast. A lot faster than I expected. My nerves hit me right before I got on the platform and I didn’t get the results I wanted. I’m usually pretty harsh on myself but with my support team there with me and the support of my friends, family and social media community around the world, it made me look at the day in a different perspective.
Although I missed two bench and two squats attempts due to technique and jumping the commands, I still won. I competed for the first time and came back with lessons on how to improve. I know what I need to work on the next time because next time is coming and I’m going to own that platform.
Pushing aside all the other feelings that I had that day, I enjoyed myself and had a great time. Powerlifting is more than a strength sport and how heavy you can lift. It’s all about how you can control the weight you are carrying with good form and technique. It’s a learning curve. I may be at the bottom of that curve but I will dedicate the time and years to make sure that I experience it all.
On Monday 12th November, peak week training officially begun. I was surprisingly calm about everything which scared me quite a bit. I had looked over my progress pictures since starting this meet and I was blown out of the water. I had spent five and a half months dieting down for this meet and it is incredible to see how much body composition as well as other changes that I had achieved with my coach can be transformed via nutrition and training.
On the days leading up to the meet, I only had three training days. Volume decreased dramatically and my stress levels were low. I practiced 3 sets of 1 for squats, bench and deadlifts as well as practiced the commands in my head.
The excitement is real right now! I’m 2 weeks out and strength just keeps on going up. I’ll have to admit that I am feeling tired and my energy levels are not as high as they have been in the past. Focusing on dialing in, sleep, recovery and nutrition are my priority as I get closer to meet day. Ordering my singlet and deadlift socks tonight!
This has been the hardest training week for me ever but it will be worth it in the end. Working on my top singles for each lift and I know that these tough times are going to pay off.
I hope you are speaking your dreams into existence.
Again I’m behind on these posts especially as meet day is fast approaching (this Saturday). I will be posting the next two blog posts in this series this week and next week, I’ll post my peak week thoughts and my recap of meet day.
I thought that I wasn’t going to be competing in November because I was initially put on the waitlist. I found out at 6 weeks out that there was a possibility that I could compete. My coach and I had discussed it. Our plan was if I got into the meet, that’s great. If I didn’t, I would still prep as if I was in the meet and do a mock meet at my home gym so I got a semi-feel of how it would be on the day.
I know what some of you might be thinking when you read the title. I feel like I was deceived as a child growing up in the UK. People always told me that brussels sprouts were disgusting and horrible. As a child, I made the assumption that I didn’t like them either…without trying them. As my appreciation for vegetables has increased over the years, I thought that I would give them a try to see if I liked them and could grow to like them.
Accidents can happen anywhere to anyone and I’m not exempt from that. I’ve been fortunate enough to have not experienced any serious injuries in my nearly six years of lifting.
Two weeks ago on Wednesday, the bar missed the rack and fell on one side of my face whilst benching. Although I came away with a small scar and some swelling, I also left that session with lessons learned i.e. get a spotter & better positioning on the bench.