Update: travelling, weight loss journey and life in general

October as well as the beginning of November have been exciting. Because it was vacation time! I spent three weeks in Singapore and Malaysia backpacking with my BF. It has been a blast. We went to Kuala Lumpur and fell in love with the city. Also we went to the Cameron Highlands, hiked in the jungle and visited a tea plantation. We enjoyed the clash of different cultures in Penang, where we did not much else but enjoy Indian, Chinese and Malay food. A highlight was Langkawi, a beautiful island where we spent very relaxing hours at the gorgeous beaches.

Langkawi

If you want to experience Malaysia, you have to experience it with your taste buds. Unfortunately most things on offer came with little to no vegetables and very many things are fried. Also for my daily coffee fix I went for the Malaysian national drink iced kopi, which is iced coffee with a lot of sweetened condense milk, a real lot. But you can get fresh fruit. Mangoes, pineapples, rambutan, everything is in season all year round.

But although I came prepared (a sheet of paper with different exercises written down) I only worked out once after a lazy day on the beach, when I felt like I had to spend some energy immediately. And of course keeping track of my progress without a scale was really difficult, too. All the time I felt bloated from the unfamiliar food and like I gained a few pounds, but while on vacation I couldn’t confirm that.

Malaysia is a great country. Everything went smoothly. Next vacation will be somewhere in South East Asia again, I am toying with the idea of Vietnam in May or June next year.

Back home everyday life set in immediately as I took every single day of leave I still had for this year. So I went to work showing off my tan and caught a cold next thing. That means as I am still curing that I still do not work out. But I did take the chance and got my nutrition back on track after the vacation. Which basically means I am back to oatmeal in the morning, a healthy lunch with loads of vegetables and a salad in the evenings, a few cookies or dark chocolate for snack. And I had a chance to step on the scale. Yesterday I came in at 70.8 kg (which is 155.8 lbs), so I lost another 2 kg since the beginning of October. I am really happy about that and I feel great too.

I remember when I started back in March with 83 kg (or 182.6 lbs) my initial goal was getting fit and under 80 kg. Now I am not very far from being under 70 kg, which I was last time more then 10 years ago as a teenager. Apart from feeling great I also look great. Here is proof:

Image

I lost especially around my chest, tummy,arms and thighs as well as hips. Or in short around everywhere. I can wear horizontal stripes without them making me look bulkier.

Another success is, though I didn’t eat that well during my vacation and I didn’t work out except for the occasional hike in the jungle or swim in the ocean, that I am able to at least maintain my weight.

As this is already a very long post I want to finish up sharing what my next posts will be about:

1. 12 week new body makeover with Cassey from blogilates starting December 1st

2. clean eating recipes

3. weight loss updates

4. goals

That is my update. What do you think?

Weekends are the hardest and goals for June.

Weekends are the hardest days in a week to maintain a healthy diet because we all want to enjoy our free time. We spent them with friends or family or both. Last weekend I visited my best friend from Friday to Sunday. I didn’t make the healthy choices I use to make because I ate with people who don’t really care what they are eating and how much they are eating (how can they just be so slim then?). And although there are tons of advice out there how to eat healthy with company or when eating out, I just didn’t. Here are three reasons why:

  • my friend’s kitchen is not as healthily stocked as mine
  • eating with friends usually animates me to eat more because in groups it is totally a socializing thing
  • food choices for the weekend were already made before I arrived and I didn’t want to make it harder

A list of unhealthy things I munched on Friday evening through Sunday:

  • M&M’s with peanuts
  • salad with pasta and fatty mayonaise
  • a hot dog at IKEA
  • fruit salad with added sugar (what?)
  • salty crackers
  • small Magnum ice cream bar with caramel
  • some Kinder Schoko Bons (little German chocolate and milk thingys)
  • some more ice cream

I also ate regular stuff at too big portion sizes. The scale does not show a difference but my body does. I felt bloated from eating things I regularly wouldn’t eat and eating too much. I carried a food baby with me most time.

So what is left to say?

goals

I won’t beat myself up about it. I just will go back and eat healthy again. What will help me is all the good people doing the dietbet with @blogilates. They motivate me and inspire me although I don’t officially do the challenge. I want to try and do it on my own. The goal is to lose 4% of my current body weight until the end of June. For me that is about 6.8 lbs or 3 kg.

I took pictures of myself wearing nothing but underwear today. One from the front, side and back each. I’ll do so again at the end of the month to track my progress. To achieve my goal I’m going to follow Cassey’s June calendar the best I can. This month it is all about losing weight with focus on cardio training three days of the week to slim down. I’m happy Cassey provides this calendar which is really ideal for people who want to shed some pounds.

Apart from that I’ll start a new job with H&M next week. I’ll surely face some time issues this month, because I will have to learn how to make time for workouts and food prepping. Working in a big shopping mall with lots of food stands will be a temptation to eat unhealthy and just because. Goals for June will include time management and staying on track with clean eating.

Have you joined Cassey’s diet bet? Or do you follow her June calendar? What are your goals for June?

Third Weigh-In after not working out much but eating clean and healthy (5-31-13).

This month went by so fast. Nonetheless I want to share with you how I got on with my goals to live a fit and healthy life and my weight-loss journey. As you can imagine from the title I was not able to work out that much this month as I would have liked. I wanted to follow Cassey’s May calendar but due to a cold and feeling weak I only completed 11 out of 31 workout days. Pretty bad result indeed.

I caught a bad cold at the beginning of the month. I didn’t do any workouts for one and a half weeks and concentrated on eating clean and healthy instead, as this was all I could do. I dropped weight very fast (about 2kg). After that I picked up the workouts. The objective of the May calendar was to make the POPsters muscles pop, I experienced some strange things happening to my body. I really developed a lot of muscles in only a few days time. I worked out six days straight and felt the muscles being all hard beneath the fat I still want to lose. As a result I put on some weight (about 1.5kg)  instead of losing some. I felt angry. Shouldn’t workouts support the weight-loss, I wondered. As I was still eating clean, the diet could not be the problem. My mindset shifted, I felt like working out was bad for me making me weigh more instead of less. I stopped working out then. And hallelujah, my weight dropped again.

Nonetheless it was hard for me to experience something like this. Because I wasn’t able to think about working out as something positive and healthy. I had to think about my goals again. Yes, I want to lose weight but I also want to get fit and live a healthy life in general. Workouts are very important to make that happen. Weight-loss I decided should happen with it not without it. As a result I just recently picked my workouts up again, concentrating more on cardiovascular training than on strength training.

Here are some pictures of me in March (the two on the left) and May (the two on the right). I wore the same clothes.

weigh-in 31stMay

In terms of weight-loss I reached my goal for May. I wanted to shed another 2 kg and I did. Actually I was at 78.6 kg in April and now am at 76 kg (or 167.2 lbs). Which makes a difference of 2.6 kg (or 5.7 lbs). In total I lost 7 kg or 15.4 lbs since Mid-March.

Other May goals included to keep a food journal at MyFitnessPal. I wanted to track my food intake for about two weeks to get a feeling for how many calories I am actually consuming, because I read oftentimes it is much more than what one would think. But I think I am doing fine. Eating about 1400 calories a day, sometimes a little more and sometimes a little less. It’s okay having in mind I still want to lose some pounds.

How did you do this month? Have you met your goals for May? I for one did and that is possibly also due because I set some realistic goals. Seeing that weight-loss is finally really happening for me is great. And as it is ongoing for more than two months now. I might as well think about what I want to reach in numbers. More on that in another post about goals for June.

Belated goals for May.

I am running late with this post. On the one hand that is because I had not made up my mind about my May goals and on the other hand because I got a cold and my mind was too foggy to blog. I am better now.

goals

My goals for May:

First thing I wanted to do, was to change the appearance of my blog. This was due to the wordpress theme I was using (Reddle), which didn’t let me include a tabs bar at the top. You have now access to my About me page and a contact page. More are to come. I also made a new blog header with Picmonkey. This is because I wanted something more minimalistic, less colorful, more to the point. As you can see I already did that.

Second I set up an account at MyFitnessPal. I am taking a coursera class about nutrition, health and lifestyle. It’s totally free and I hope to learn about proper diets and insights in nutrition. Basically after completing the first week’s course material, I get that my approach at clean eating is pretty much what is considered a healthy diet. This goal is about staying on track with the coursera class I’m taking. This includes tracking my food and exercises with MyFitnessPal for about two weeks and see how I am doing.

Weight-loss is also on the agenda again. I think I aim for a 2 kg drop in weight this month.

I also wanted to include the blogilates May calendar. But I am already behind because of my cold. I missed four days of workout. Still I will follow the calendar as best as I can, seeing it made me shed some pounds since I started.

Have you made up your mind about your May goals?

Second Weigh-In after April Calendar and getting used to clean eating (5-2-13).

I already pointed out that for me leading a healthier and fitter life is also about weight-loss. This is because I am overweight. I started this journey at 83 kg (that is only a few kg short of obese for my height).  On April 1st (after only two weeks of workout and eating clean) I already noticed a drop of about 2.2 kg.

So my new goal for April was to lose another 3 kg. Did I meet my goal? Well, not quite but I still managed to lose some weight. I am now at 78.6 kg. That means I lost another 2.2 kg. I am happy about that, although I did not make my goal. It is already a big deal for me to finally weigh under 80 kg again. And a 4.4 kg total in only 6 weeks is a lot (9.7 lbs for everybody who is not as familiar with kg).

weigh-in 2So I promised some pictures. And this time I’ll give them to you, although I am a bit uneasy about them. This is of course because I am ashamed of how I looked like November last year, when I was in South East Asia. I would have preferred pictures like the one from today as souvenirs. I pulled out the same clothes as I wore in Laos. And no doubt one can see the difference. The trousers do fit better and my belly does not bulge over like last year. There is still so much fat to lose but I am proud about the change and all the beautiful muscles I have beneath the fat. I look taller, too. But maybe this is because I am taller in the right picture. 😉

So how did I do this? People who have read my past posts know that I follow Cassey’s workout calendar. And the one for April was REALLY challenging. You don’t know Cassey? Well, she is the most inspirational and bubbly person I know, she is a certified Pilates instructor and shares workout videos on you tube, she is my personal workout buddy, she is a motivator and health advocate. She is doing Pop Pilates at Blogilates.

About the workout calendar. Cassey posts one for each month on her page. You can then follow along her workout routine. It’s about 5 workouts per day that usually take me 1 to 1 1/2 hours to complete. And afterwards I feel so pumped. It’s just great. In April Cassey challenged us (the Popster community) to do all of her 127 workout vids. Well I did about half of them. Again I did not meet my set goal but nonetheless I feel great about what I accomplished. You can see the change, can’t you?

I also wanted to get to know the fitness and health community out there. I did so reading other people’s blogs and commenting there. I follow people with the same interests in Twitter and tweet about my progress. I think I accomplished something here this past month.

Have you got a blog I might be interested in? Let me know in the comments.

Now as this post is already pretty long, stay tuned for my May goals and another Health Bite where I share how I get along with eating clean and what to do to stay on track. Also check out my first Health Bite, where I talk about how to stick to your healthy resolutions.

Have you accomplished your goals in April? Let me know.

Is this scoop of ice cream gonna make a difference?

Summer is finally here. With it comes the time I am usually grabbing some delicious Italian ice cream while being out with friends. Only this year I don’t know how to balance my goals with eating ice cream and having fun with my friends. I am determined to keep eating clean. And that means no white sugar which ice cream surely has. So what am I supposed to do. Give in because eating 80% clean is still eating clean and thus deprive me of my goals. Because surely it must then take longer or more exercising to get what I want.

Actually I don’t think that it is really about eating the ice cream or not. It is more about what my best friend said to me recently. It was something like this: “With your new diet you won’t be as much fun as all the other summers, seeing you won’t eat ice cream anymore.” And you know, that somehow hurt. Obviously reaching for my goals made me suddenly not fun. And it hurts because of inconsiderate opinions like this I question what I do, although I was determined that what I do is right for my body, not so long ago. Other than that I see a lack of willingness to help me reach my goals by just being supportive of what I do. And that makes me kind of sad.

I am positive that you know that this is not only about ice cream but all the other delicious sins I want to bypass, be it cake or chocolate or whatever. It’s hard for me that my friends think I will deny me any pleasures. Because in the end working out, being fit, healthy and in the future lean is a pleasure for me.

I am glad that at least my BF gets what this all means to me. He is very supportive and I am thankful for that.

How do you deal with things like this? Do your friends bring cake when visiting or offer you chocolate when hanging out?

Goals for April.

ImageMarch is gone. For me it was all about a makeover of myself. I changed the way I eat by adopting to clean eating. And I started to exercise regularly which I didn’t do at all before. My exercises include to take all the stairs that cross my path in daily life and to do Pop Pilates powered by Cassey Ho at blogilates. I improved myself and already was able to see some results.

In April I want to set more detailed goals than just saying I wanted to live a healthier life. Don’t get me wrong, this has been successful. But now that the stone is rolling I feel like I could use more of a plan. I thought about what I want to achieve this month and feel like I should go with five explicit goals for April.

1. I want to keep the good habits I picked up in March. That means I will keep clean eating, exercising regularly and walking all stairs I come across.

2. I want to follow Cassey’s April Calendar closely. Cassey dares the Popsters to do all of her workouts available on you-tube. I say closely follow as not every single video is available in my country because of the Gema, which is Germany’s state-authorized performing rights organization. I can’t watch every video because of some music that is played in the videos.

3. I want to lose at least 3 more kilograms this month. There is a wedding at the 31st of May me and my BF are going to attend. I want to look gorgeous, as healthy and as lean as possible.

4. I want to keep blogging. I’m going to write about exercising, healthy recipes and other tidbits I think worth sharing. I also want to work on the blog, making navigation easier and giving it a still more personal touch.

5. I want to get involved in the fitness community out there. I want to read your blogs and comment on them. I want to get to know you and why you are all into healthy living and fitness.

So my question for you is: Have you committed to some specific goals in April? And what are you doing to actually achieve them?