So this week I have been clearing out my drawers of any hidden candy or chocolate. Finishing off the strawberries and raspberries in the fridge and emptying the last of my elderflower lemonade mix. Last week the cheeses, sauces and milk went. I am now 8 weeks out and that means serious changes to my diet. My only fat source will be almonds and the odd spoon of peanut butter. I will also remove all fruits apart from kiwi and any vegetables that contains a lot of sugar, like tomatoes and carrots. My main protein source will be chicken, salmon and tuna and of course my egg whites for breakfast. White fish is good but unfortunately I am allergic to it. Red meat I will eat occasionally. No pork meat but I never eat pork so that is nothing new. I love salt so I use Himalayan pink salt because it doesn’t retain liquid the same way as normal salt. But I guess in a few weeks that has to go too. The scales will come out tomorrow as I start weighing my food.
The question I often get is…Is it hard? Difficult question to answer. It is like a mindset for me. I don’t give myself any option. I just decide and get on with it. Its like fuelling a car. What I find most difficult is to keep the balance for the coming 8 weeks. Eat just right. If I eat to little I will be too lean and may lose muscles. All fitness athletes worst night mare is to peak early and get deflated for competition day. I have worked so hard on improving from my last competition season and I am not prepared to lose those leg muscles by cutting my food short during prep. It will be a few interesting weeks ahead. Thankfully I have been through this before so I hope to improve on previous mistakes and I also know how my body respond to the dieting. Determination mode is on.
When Davidson was given to me, only 5 weeks old, I could never have imagined how big part of my life he would be. For the past 12 years he has been my one firm point in life. People have come and gone, given me promises and expectations, disappointed me, hurt me and continue their lives but he has always been there. My little shadow. Wherever we are, even home, he still want to be able to see me and all is fine. He will limp after me to the bath room and sit on the bathroom carpet and wait for me. He comes along to the gym, and lies on his blanket, watching over me. If I disappear behind a pillar and he loses sight of me, the crying starts. My every day starts with his morning walk and ends with his night walk.
He has had quite a few health issues over the years but we have pulled through them all. He is so strong. He never complains. He is so kind. Everybody loves him. He has this charisma that I never saw in a dog before. People come up to us everywhere and just want to know him. The kids call him Scooby Doo 🙂
Now that he is weak and old, he still only cares about me. He tries his very best to keep me happy and his heart is still so strong. I look at him and his tail is wagging. It is painful. Who am I to decide between life and death. How will I be able to know what to do and when. Two more vet visits today, and what will be the outcome. I can see he trusts whatever decision I make. He is entirely in my hands. I want what is best for him. This is a shit position to be in but I must be strong, for Davidson, my best friend and the closest I have to a child. I owe him that. I just wonder, how do you prepare yourself. How will anything be normal again.
During my Stockholm visit, I went training at X-Force in Vasastan. As I had been once before last year, I kind of knew what was waiting me, but I still got surprised when I ended up with muscle ache for almost 4 days afterwards. Especially my abs where in bits lol.
The difference from the gyms we are used to is that their machines are built to increase the negative strain on the return movement. Sounds odd, yes, but it actually make sense. Basically the difference when training at X-Force is that you feel the weight resistance mainly when you go back as 40% more weights are added on, and you need to make the return movement very slow. Activating our negative muscle power for 5 seconds during this return movement gives such a big difference in result that you need only a one day work out/week to achieve the same results as from a traditional gym work out. Good eh?!! I absolutely loved it and just wish they will open a franchise here in Marbella soon:-)
Most people giving advise about fitness, forget one of the most important subjects- to rest! It’s all well and good to learn how to train and eat right but it is just as important to sleep and recover. There is a reason why it’s called “beauty sleep”. For example, did you know that you burn fat while sleeping? Not only that, but it also prevent aging, wrinkles and inflammations and it stimulates your muscle growth. As a normal adult, you should aim for minimum 7 hours good sleep/night. I have always slept a lot and I really think that’s one of the reasons as to why I have been able to eat a lot without gaining weight and when training I gain muscles easy. Without getting too scientific, basically we release insulin while sleeping that makes our fat cells remove fatty acids and lipids from your blood stream and prevent fat storage. Bad sleep or not enough sleep makes you more insulin resistant. Also your Growth Hormone (HGH) rises during deep sleep which often begins about 30-45 minutes after you have fallen asleep which is when the muscles growth is stimulated, especially in the muscles you have trained that day. So my advise is to prioritize sleep, not only to benefit more from the hard work you put in at the gym, but also you will feel happier in general!! Win-win situation 🙂
We all get that autumn flu that totally knocks us out. I was in bed for 5 days flat and on antibiotics. Do you feel it is hard to get back training again? I hear many people say: “I don’t feel up for it yet, let’s wait until I can give 100%. Yes, let’s start Monday again.” And so it goes. My trick is to start as soon as I am fit enough to go back to work, whatever weekday that may be. The more you wait the harder it gets. Why wait for Monday?
The first days, it is important to not over do it. I start by doing 2 exercises for each muscle group with many reps and less weights. I stick to that for the first 3 times and then I get back to my normal training routine again. It is also really good to take some Probiotics after having taken antibiotics. It will get your immune system back on track. Another good thing is to powerwalk. A nice walk along the beach or in the mountains makes wonders for both body and mind!
In Sweden, eating ecological food is nothing rare and you find it everywhere. In Marbella it used to be almost impossible but slowly with the demand, ecological fruit shops, restaurants and butchers are popping up around Nueva Andalucia and the Golden Mile. So great 🙂 I never use to think a lot about eating ecological but with my competition diets, I noticed how important good nutrition is. Now I only buy my fruits and vegetables from the new fruit and vegetable shop, La Freshquita in Nueva Andalucia. Yes, it is more expensive but both taste and quality is different ball game.
Working as much as I do, it is important to have a relaxing lunch break or some nice home made food to take back to the office. I love picking up my lunch box from Nellies Deli in Aloha Gardens. Always freshly made with different quirky spices and unusual combinations that even inspire me to cook a bit myself 🙂 It is also nice to sit at Nellies homey atmosphere with “picnic” table cloths watching the owner Karin cooking, so sometimes I just bring a magazine and relax. As I don’t eat bread myself, the smell of home baked bread is hard to resist. On my cheat day, I might take home a Swedish pastry though;-) They are to die for!!! And one thing I am looking forward to trying, are their new selection of fresh juices! For the next coming week, you receive a 10% discount at Nellies Deli if you say you read my blog, so why not make a visit? Enjoy 🙂
Nellies Deli Open hours: Mon-Fri 9-17 Sat- Sun 9-15 Tel: 951 319 439
The other day I wrote about how I got back to the gym and how great it makes me feel. So to continue from there, I want to tell my story of starting to compete in bikini fitness at the age of 38. Many of you probably ask yourself: “What the hell got into her?” I actually don’t really know myself to be honest 🙂 I know that among the amazing new friends I met at the gym , two girls were competing in fitness themselves and they both encouraged and motivated me. They made me feel like I could do it too. I like achieving goals and that is probably what made me go for it. At first it was just a thought but once I decide to do something, I do it 100%. I was introduced to a well known Spanish trainer, Hector Defez and he set up a 3 month training program including cardio along with a tough diet plan. I have a very strong upper body but my legs and bum were lacking size so the training program included leg training 4 days/week. The following 3 months were really tough but mainly fun 🙂 It was so amazing to see my hard work pay off! It was like fine tuning a car haha, every little detail matters. Each meal is carefully measured and weighed. One thing I must say is, I wasn’t really hungry. I ate 5 meals/day of just the right quantities. It was just like fueling a car. The problem was the munchies, omg, haha, I was dreaming of cakes. We measured my body fat with calipers and I went down from 8.5 mm at the front belly and 19 mm at the back on the 7th February to 4.5 mm belly and 8 mm back the day before competing 1st of May 2015. To give you and indication, the fat on a normal hand is aprox. 3 mm. Another important part is the posing. Presentation is everything and the posing is very hard. Belly in, bum out, straight back and a relaxed and effortless smile to go with it.
You need to have a strong will power and while prepping for competition you focus only on that. You need a lot of sleep and the mood is not the best haha. But on competiton day, when the blingy bikini and the tint is on, I look myself in the mirror and think: Wow, how proud I am for standing here now. I did it!