deflated and demotivated

It’s been a few days since I’ve written because I was away. I haven’t exercised since last week.

I had my period over the weekend. The change I was hoping for didn’t happen. I had thought that by adjusting my diet and exercising that my period pain would be reduced. That was not the case. And i’m still reeling from it. So many emotions. I really had expected results since that was one of the main reasons I’m doing this and also I feel like in the past i got relief from the pain this way. Maybe one month is too soon to feel a difference but it was upsetting to say the least.

Endometriosis sucks. It’s an understatement. I can’t begin to describe the physical, mental and emotional toll this disease takes on a woman. I’m smart enough to have perspective, and I’m sure that a woman with ovarian cancer would gladly trade places with me. But, we all know our own personal hell, and this is mine. Since age 13 i’ve been tortured with this disease. It went undiagnosed until the age of 25 and even then I was given ineffective surgery and treatments. I finally had a surgery that worked and helped me in 2009. For a few years I felt great. But, now I don’t feel great anymore. The pain is becoming unmanageable and disruptive again. There is no cure for endometriosis so it looks like it’s time for me to have another surgery. yey. I don’t want to write too much more about this because I already feel depressed about it and spent the day yesterday crying about it (the hormones just exacerbate that as well). Do you know what a mindfuck it is for the very thing that makes you a woman to make your life a living hell?

I’m feeling depressed and demotivated. It’ll pass i’m sure, but right now I feel like curling up into a ball and disappearing from the world and saying fuck it all. Yeah, yeah i can’t let it defeat me, blah blah. I’ve suffered with this disease for 25 years already. how many more years? and then the hell of menopause. great.

I’m also struggling with the fact that I’m not really seeing any results. It’s been more than a month and my body is the same as it was then. I’ve had faster results in the past by just doing exercise at home. what gives?

I was so exhausted from the weekend due to the lack of sleep and the fact that severe pain is just physically exhausting that I couldn’t manage any exercise yesterday. I’m not terribly motivated to do it today either, but i will. I guess if i’m going to need another surgery I need to be strong and fit to take that on.

Not feeling so badass today 😦


Bad-ass bitch


cardio, new programme, guilt

I need to update my last workout but I don’t have the info with me so I’ll need to do it later.

Went to the gym yesterday and worked with my trainer. It’s great because she’s showing me all kinds of different exercises I didn’t know. I think it’s good to have all of these in the arsenal. Last night I did about 40 minutes of cardio.

I really need to beef up my cardio. I know, most things I’ve read have said that weightlifting alone will burn fat and I believe it. But, right now I have so much fat to lose that I want to expedite that especially since I’m not lifting too heavy yet. Plus, I actually like cardio because it’s good for my asthma and I like how I feel afterwards.

At the gym we measured me on a machine thingy. According to that I have 36.5% body fat. Ugh. It’s actually what I expected. Apparently I have good muscle mass (i guess it’s all hiding under this fat). Funnily, it said that my arms were ‘over’ on the muscle measurements but also ‘over’ on fat. My trunk and legs were normal on the muscle front but all of them over on the fat. I didn’t really need a machine to tell me this, I can see how much fat is on my body, but I was interested to know the percentage and can compare in the future. My visceral fat level is over, again I knew;  I have so much belly fat it’s insane. This is the fat i’m most concerned about, not only for appearance but for health (this is the most dangerous form of fat). The amount of fat it suggested losing is 16kg (35 pounds)! It’s a lot, but i’m not going to stress out too much about this number.

The weight training programme I’ve decided to switch to is stronglifts5x5. Given that I’ve been feeling a bit overwhelmed with info, etc, i figured this is the best approach for me right now. It’s simple and extremely easy to follow. Also, the point of it is to get you strong so you can become a good lifter. I think this is perfect for me at the moment. I’m so busy at work and in my personal life that I really need something that I don’t need to think about too much. And if this gets me strong, that is hitting one of my goals. It’s a 12 week starter programme, in a way. I mean, it’s not a 12 week programm per se, you can keep on doing it of course, but the idea is that in 12 weeks you can improve your strength and that’s what i want to do. By building this foundation, it will set me up to take on more challenging and complex programmes or workouts in the future. Another benefit is that it really helps you develop good form and that’s important! At my next training session with my trainer I’m going to ask her to go through all of the exercises with me so when I’m not with her, I can do them on my own.

Today I’m feeling a bit hungry and lethargic. Not sure why, as again I haven’t changed my diet. I’m eating the same way that I have been. Perhaps it’s the weekend catching up? I didn’t do anything crazy but because I was travelling to places with very limited food options and on tight schedules I didn’t eat the same way. I had more carbs than I’m used to and didn’t eat as frequently. I managed to get salmon though, but I did have a creme brulee. Oh well. I don’t feel guitly about it 🙂  I’ve decided to stop feeling guilty about food; it builds a weird relationship with eating. All I can do is acknowledge that it’s not healthy and will do better at the next meal. I think having feelings of guilt about food is very destructive. I don’t mean that i should go wild and live on a diet of junk food, i just mean don’t beat myself up if I stray.

Okay just finishing work, now on to my next job…


Bad-ass bitch



I think I’m going to change my training programme. I know, I know. I’m not that far into it, but I don’t feel like I’m getting a proper workout. What i mean by that is that this particular programme focuses on a different part of the body each workout. I’m a full body workout kind of girl. I think this type of progamme that focuses on one area each day is good for people who are already experienced with weight lifting and are in shape. I mean, it doesn’t take 7 days for muscles to recover which is basically what’s happening because, for example, on Monday i’m working arms and they don’t get worked again until the following Monday. So, I feel like the building of muscle is a little slow and in a way is setting me back. I’m going to look for a programme that focuses on the whole body so I get all my muscles used to weightlifting more evenly and perhaps later on can do a programme like the one I’m following now. I have seen several recommendations for Starting Strength so maybe I will give that a go. For today, I’ll stick to the one I’m already doing and maybe next week can switch to something new.

More on what I wrote about yesterday: yes I’m definitely more flabby. I’m less bloated than usual which is great because I have a tendency to bloat (this is in part due to the endometriosis, which affects bowels but also bloats my pelvic area, but also because of food–mainly refined sugar!) so i’m feeling less puffy. But, I’m more flabby. It’s really weird. There is definitely more fat on my face and around my stomach. I think I need to seriously re-examine my diet and nutrition. I am eating all healthy foods, hardly anything processed, but maybe I am consuming too many calories at this point. My goal right now is lose fat (and yes, get strong and fit). Most of these people who are already in great shape of course need to eat more because they are maintaining their bodies and what they have already achieved. I, on the other hand, need to get rid of fat. Especially this around my belly as I know this is the worst kind of fat to have. So, it doesn’t make sense that someone starting out with much more body fat than them should be eating so many calories. Right? Ugh! I wish i had the money to get a proper nutritionist to help me sort all of this out. But, I don’t so I need to figure it out on my own. There is so much conflicting info out there it’s nuts. I’m almost tempted to just go back to what I’ve done in the past because that worked for me. I ate 1200 calories a day (and I felt fine because I made good choices about what I ate) did a combo of cardio and weights (machines) and I lost fat/weight. Perhaps I should start there, though continue with the heavy weights, and then start to add more calories as I build more muscle and lose fat. I don’t know…lots of things to think about and to consider…

I’m feeling a bit discouraged and stressed out the past few days. Not just about this, about life in general. One of the things that’s a bit difficult is that I have so little free time. I basically work 2 jobs. I have a full time 9-5 job, then after work I’m teaching and not just in one place, i’m going here and there. Often, I don’t get home until about 20:00 or 21:00 and need to make dinner and prepare food for the next day. I have tried prepping food on Sunday for the week but it just doesn’t really work (I don’t have a microwave either). For some items, like a soup, then yes. But mostly I don’t want to eat food on friday that I made on sunday. Also, I don’t have a dishwasher and I feel like i’m constantly washing dishes with all of the cooking that I do every day. Work is really busy right now as I’ll be changing to a new position next month, and I will be away for the next 3 weekends (for work) so I’m a little worried about nutrition and exercise while I’m away. Once you leave this city, it’s even harder to find healthy food (in most restaurants the vegetarian option is fried cheese). Oh well, I will just need to adapt and try my best. I’m just bitching 🙂

Week 2, Day 2 complete!

Lateral pulldown: 35×8, 35×8, 35×8 (no increase)

Cable rows: 28×10, 28×12 (7kg increase)

Hyperextentions: 15, 15 (up 3 each set from last time)

Barbell curls: 12×15, 12×15, 12×15 (2.5kg increase. I wanted to try more weight for my last set but the next one up was 19kg so it was 7kg increase!)

Alternate dumbbell curls: 7×15, 8×12 (1kg and 2kg increase respectively)

Seated Calf raises: 5×12, 7.5×10 (2.5kg increase)

5 min cardio on bike (i will do some more cardio when I get home)

I had to go to the gym on my lunch hour, so it was a get in and get out kind of visit. But, I feel good and glad that I went to do it instead of waiting until tonight (I wouldn’t get there until 19:30) because at least it’s out of the way now.

I feel better with food today. Who knows what was going on yesterday but everything’s okay today.

After today’s workout, I feel more that I really should change the programme. My muscles feel good today, but even though i was able to increase some weight today it felt like I hadn’t worked these muscles in ages (i hadn’t really in about a week) so I want to do more of a total body workout so there isn’t such a long recovery time between workouts. If anyone reading has a good programme that they would recommend, please let me know. thanks!
Bad-ass bitch



Today was weird. I didn’t sleep as heavily as I’d hoped last night so I was a little more tired today, though still better than usual.

None of the meals or snacks I ate today could satisfy me and I ate basically the same things I’ve been eating the past week or so. I even ended up going a bit over my calories. I didn’t eat any junk, it was healthy food I just wanted to eat a hearty meal when I got home. So, I did. I don’t feel bad about it or anything, but I just wonder what was going on today. I didn’t feel as good as I have for the past few days. Though, I still felt better than I did before. It wasn’t a blood sugar issue, i don’t know I just didn’t feel full or satisfied. Oh well, tomorrow is a new day 🙂

I don’t know if i’m imagining it, but I swear I’m getting fatter. I don’t mean bulkier, but more flabby and fat. The first places I always notice fat loss or gain is in my face and around my belly. My face is fatter and there seems to be even more fat around my belly. I don’t get it. I hope i’m not eating too much. I mean, even though it’s healthy, calories are calories. Apart from today, I haven’t gone over. could it be because i’m having trouble meeting my calories for the day? But i’ve eaten less calories than this and lost fat.  Who knew proper nutrition would be so hard?

I didn’t make it to the gym today. The only time I could’ve gone would have been during work on my lunch hour but I ended up being too busy and could get away. It’s okay, maybe I needed another day of rest. Back at it tomorrow!

on deprivation

I often hear people talking about diet who still have this notion that diet is about being hungry and eating boring foods, but also about deprivation. In a way, it is deprivation;  you’re depriving yourself of unhealthy foods. But so many people look at this deprivation as something negative as if restricting the intake of harmful foods is a bad thing and it also suggests that junk food and rewarding ourselves in this way is something we’re entitled to. Well, we’re not entitled to that but this is part of the general public’s mentality.

I’m not saying that I never thought like that at one point, because a long time ago I did. I was of the mindset that treats like cake, pizza, ice cream, french fries, fast food, was ‘good’ and eating healthy was ‘bad’ because it wasn’t any fun. I learnt long ago that i was wrong and that healthy food is good and cutting out bad foods is not deprivation, but doing myself a favour (that’s also not to say that i’ve always followed these principles as I’ve been a yo yo dieter for a long time, off and on). I’m not passing judgement on anyone who thinks this way, because we have been programmed to think that junk food is a right and not a privilege.

We are consuming insane amounts of sugar. Hundreds of years ago, it was not even part of the diet in the Western world and when it was first introduced it was a luxury. I saw an interesting programme called Hidden Killers in the Tudor Home (it’s part of a series, there”s one for Edwardian home and Victorian home as well) which included a bit about sugar. During the Renaissance, sugar consumption became much more widespread and people’s health and teeth began to suffer. In the programme they examined a medieval skull and the teeth were healthy, white and all intact. We often see this comical stereotype of the Medeival peasant who is filthy with nasty teeth. But, it wasn’t until the Renaissance that people’s teeth began to suffer. The skull from the Tudor period that they examined had several teeth missing and several more in terrible states of decay.

Yes, sugary sweet things taste good. I love the taste of sweets. But, by paying attention to my body and my health I have realised that it really affects my health and my body negatively. Cutting refined sugar from my diet is not depriving myself of delicious foods (okay they are delicious) but doing myself a favour. Sugar may taste good, but in excess it’s toxic for me.

A few years ago a friend of a friend visited this city and I was volunteered as a tour guide. One of the women in their group was quite overweight and could not really walk much so she spent most of the afternoon sitting in a cafe instead of sightseeing and waiting for us to come and get her hours later. We went for lunch (she chose hardrock cafe because when you visit a foreign country that’s where you should eat, right? ;)) and I watched her order ice tea after ice tea, and chow down on fried food served in huge portions and listened to her say things like ‘well i don’t want to deprive myself. I want to enjoy my life and eat what i want’.  I stayed silent but really wanted to ask her if she was in fact enjoying life when she couldn’t even go sightseeing and spent her vacation sitting in a cafe waiting while the others went off exploring (on her first time out of her native country).  I say all of this, not in a malicious or self-righteous way, but that was one of those moments that made me realise just how unhealthy we generally are as a society and we’ve been programmed in such a bad way.

Now i’m not taking a holier-than-thou attitude, don’t get me wrong. People are free to eat however they please and lead the lifestyle that they want. Also, sugar affects people differently and they may not experience the bad effects that I do. But, it’s just crazy how much sugar has become part of our food culture and lifestyle and that we are taught to think that making healthy choices and changes is a form of deprivation.

Went to the gym today for spinning class. I had about half an hour before class so I did some weights. I didn’t have a pen and paper to record it, but i did some cable rows, cable push downs, shoulder press (machine), abductor and adductor and some crunches. I took it easy and didn’t use crazy weight but enough to feel some burn. I haven’t been to spinning in about a month and a half and I found it quite challenging today. I didn’t go home straight away after class, i stopped by a concert then the supermarket and on the way home I started to feel weird. Kind of like that tired after swimming but not good. Maybe it was because i chugged my protein shake after the workout. I just felt so exhausted all of a sudden. After a shower i felt a bit better, and then i ate something and felt even better. I hope this means I”ll sleep well tonight!

I’m still not hitting my macros. My protein and fat is always under and my carbs are over. I’m not really eating starchy carbs, it’s mainly just from vegetables but I’m still going over. So, does that mean I need to cut vegetables? That doesn’t seem right. I don’t know what else to do to get enough fat and protein. I’m eating a lot and I don’t want to eat more than I want to eat to just to make sure i can reach the goals. But, I would like to have the right nutrition so I’m not sure what to do. I guess I need to do more research.

It’s 23:30 and I’m finally done with preparing food for tomorrow and cleaning up the kitchen. Ready for bed…..


Bad-ass bitch

new toy, results, and a carnival!

The high energy continues. It’s great but weird. I’m not used to it. Today I knew I had to meet friends at 13:30 so I was up out of bed by 8:00, made a delicious breakfast, then went to the gym to do my workout. I was tired when I woke up (not much sleep again) but as with the past few days, I came out of tired zombie mode much faster and didn’t feel tired at all. Workout was good, but it kind of felt like I didn’t work hard enough, even though I was lifting the most weight I could manage to get enough reps. Maybe I should add more sets?

Today was interesting. I met friends at a carnival which is a nutritional wasteland. After I got back from the gym I had a protein shake and a snack of avocado, cherry tomatoes, hardboiled egg whites, crisp bread (Knackerbrot) to fill up before going out. In the past, I would’ve been drinking beer, getting candy or popcorn, or eating whatever other carnival junk was there. I didn’t have any of it. And i didn’t have to try to resist, I just didn’t want it. I was there for about 6 hours and didn’t eat anything. I felt a little hungry, but not the type of hungry that makes me feel like shit. My blood sugar remained level and my energy up. My friend and I managed to convince a guy to sell us 2 bananas. At first he said no, that we had to buy the bananas dipped in chocolate, but then relented. So, I still had a snack at the carnival but it was nice and healthy 🙂

Look what I got:


Isn’t she a beauty? It’s very simple but does the job and i love it! Now I know exactly what I’m eating. Even though in a way it’s controlled because everything is being measured, it feels liberating instead of having to guess and estimate and constantly convert (i track on myfitnesspal). I love it!



Breakfast: avocado, cherry tomatoes (squeeze of lime juice), scrambled eggs (4 egg whites, 1 whole egg), sweet potato, peppers, onions, mushrooms, balkan cheese, fresh grated parmesan. Yum!



Day 1 (Week 2!)

Dumbbell bench press 8(kg)x10 (reps), 9×12, 9×12

Incline bench press: bar (no extra weight added)x10, barx8

Decline bench press: (okay I still am not sure about the bench. I know that sounds stupid but I don’t know where the feet go haha. i forgot to google before i went. So, i just repeated incline bench press barx8, barx7

Cable pushdowns: 20×10, 20×10, 20×9

Overhead extensions: 8×8, 9.5×8

Crunches: 20, 15, 15

Extra stuff: calf raises 5×8, 5×10

abductor: 50×10 (3 times)

adductor: 55×10 (3 times)

cardio: 5 min spin bike, 8 min tae bo

I’m an impatient person. Even though it’s not realistic, I want to see results already. But, it occurred to me today that I already have results. I was able to increase weight today slightly, but most importantly look at how good I feel. I even feel a little paranoid about feeling so good 🙂 This is a great result!! Of course I’m not going to lose a ton of fat and get muscles immediately;  I’m rational enough to know that it’s too early to see a difference in my appearance. But, a difference in how I feel is a big thing. Also the change in my mentality is a big one too.

Here’s to a new week!


Bad-ass bitch


I’ve noticed that my energy levels are improving. I struggle with fatigue. I think mainly because I don’t sleep well. I’m lucky if I get 5 hours and it’s always interrupted. I used to sleep like a rock but when they started me on hormone ‘therapy’ which put me into medical menopause I suddenly lost my ability to have deep and restful sleep. I’m no longer in menopause but my sleeping never returned to normal. I’ve tried every method and natural remedy in the book to get better sleep and nothing works. I do not want to go down the road of sleeping pills so it is what it is. Maybe this will improve. That’s yet to be seen.

But, I’ve got more energy throughout the day and in the morning I seem to come out of tired zombie mode faster. I’m not ready to bound out of bed and hit the gym just yet, but I’m feeling better in the mornings so that’s a step.

So, I’m not sure if this is due to the improvement in diet, or because I am eating at smaller intervals throughout the day (or a combination of both). Today I’m up out of bed and ready to go out and do something. Usually on Saturdays I’m so tired that I lay around in bed and sleep on and off. I know that’s not good, but i’m usually so exhausted by the end of the week that my body is grasping at whatever sleep I can get.

Generally I’m feeling quite well. The amount of refined sugar is almost nil. I’ve never had a problem cutting sugar and once I do cut it I don’t even crave sweets. Last weekend I had some friends over for dinner, so I bought us a bar of chocolate (Lindt dark chocolate with sea salt) but then we forgot to eat it! It’s been hanging around and I’ve treated myself to a sqaure here and there. I’ve found that one is enough whereas before I would just devour the whole bar in the course of a night. The fact that a bar of chocolate has been hanging around my apartment for a week is a good sign! Yesterday, I was in the supermarket and I passed the bakery (we have such good fresh bread and pastries here) but the smell of the sweet pastries actually turned me off. This is what usually happens. And if i were to eat something sugary I will feel terrible afterwards. So I just need to make sure I stick with it. My bowel habits have improved too (because of endometriosis on my bowel I have troubles here as well) and I’m feeling much better in that respect and not like my intestines are being assaulted. I’ve long suspected that refined sugar has exacerbated my problems here. (I need to record stuff like this because I have to keep track of my endo symptoms 🙂 )

Later I will do some cardio (HIIT) but will rest from the gym today.

So, I’m up, I’ll have breakfast and go out. It’s a nice, sunny day so I might take my nice camera out an get some photos of the trees in bloom. Spring, yey!

I hope your Spring is as lovely as ours 🙂


Bad-ass bitch

Day 3 (week 1) new gym bag yey!

The day after my last workout my calves weren’t sore at all which really surprised me. My other muscles weren’t necessarily sore, but felt like they’d been used; like i was really aware of having biceps. I certainly felt it today when I had to carry a 10kg bag of cat litter up the steep hill to my street then up the stairs to the 2nd (US 3rd) floor. Phew!

I’m ovulating now so that means I have a lot of discomfort in my lower back and it feels like someone’s poking my ovary every time i move (yey endometriosis!) but even though I kind of wanted to just lay around, I was active anyway.

I met with my trainer today, and originally i was going to ask her to help me with my programme but then decided to do her workout because she always shows me new things and it would be good to have new exercises in my repertoire! Coincidentally some of the things she had planned fit my programme anyway 🙂

After our workout I did the rest of my weight programme. Results below!


Day 3 (week 1) complete!
Legs, shoulders and abs

Cardio: 20 min spinning bike

leg  extension 20(kg)x12(reps), 20×12

hamstring curl 20×12, 20×12

Leg press 30×12, 30×15

Shoulder press (barbell) 12×10, 12×10, 12×12

side lateral raises 5×10, 5×10, 5×10

rear lateral raises 5×8, 5×8, 5×8

lying leg raises 12, 12, 12

Exta stuff:  15 pushups, 30 crunches, 30 mountain climbers, bodyweight hamstring curls (using that thing that looks like half an exercise ball on a disc. It kind of reminds me of half of a giant pogo ball, remember those? I realise i’m dating myself here…), cable rows 12×10, 12×10, 12×10, calf raises (i just had to have another go on it!) 5×10, 5×10, 5×10, dumbbell rows 5×10, 5×10, 5×10

I can’t wait to see those weight numbers go up 😀

I had a nice sit in the steam sauna after all of that 🙂  I’m going to do some major stretching tonight.


( I had some help with my notes today)

I’ve noticed that I’m having trouble hitting my macros, even though I’m eating quite a lot and very healthy and ‘clean’. I’m not hitting my calories either. I’m not sure how to remedy this. I’ll write about it next time.

I was extra excited to go to the gym today because I now have a real gym bag! I’ve never had one before. it was quite serendipitous how I came by it. In this city there are lots of expats who are moving away and have apartment sales, often selling off stuff quite cheaply to get rid of it quickly. There’s a facebook group for this and i happened to see a post where someone was selling a bunch of stuff including a gym bag. I wrote to them and it was available and super cheap so i claimed it. I went and got it and it’s the perfect size! It even says Reebok on it. Not that I care about brands at all but i feel like it makes me look more sporty or something haha 😉

Okay stretching time!! Can’t wait for the next workout


Bad-ass bitch