No more, please!

I knew this dreaded moment would come. Last night I was lying in bed and I couldn’t sleep because my body was horribly tired and my muscles were still boiling from the Tabata sets. Every cell was screaming “Please, please, we don’t want to go training tomorrow!!!”

Obviously, that was not an option. Today was weights day and I wouldn’t want to miss that.  This time I made sure I train within a time frame. I managed to keep up the pace and I was out of the gym in 1h. Ok, plus the warm-up and 3×5 assisted pull-ups in the other room.

A lot of funny things happened today. The guy filming his squats probably got more videos of my feet. This time I stayed away from the camera while he was doing his sets.

At some point I helped a girl adjust the height of her bar in the squat rack. She had no idea how to do it and she was struggling to reach a bar that was at eye level!! I helped her put the bar down, adjusted the thing, then left. She called me to put the weight back. The bar was only 30kg so I assumed she can manage it. Oups! So I grabbed the end of the bar and pulled it up, then I realised she was seriously struggling with the other end. My bad, again! It turned out we should’ve set it a notch lower, but she said she’s fine  and started her squats with the bar high on her shoulders. I wanted to say something, then I stopped because I don’t want to baby-sit people in the gym and, in general, people in the gym don’t like baby-sitting. Two other girls showed up later on, but I didn’t notice what sort of exercises they were doing. One of them was training with a bunch of guys and looked really fit. Heh, good old days…

I’m definitely getting stronger, but I’m still far from the truth. So, in order to keep my balance, I’m doing all the single-leg exercises barefoot (actually, I wore socks with sheep if you must ask). I did my single-leg deadlifts, then spent some serious time setting up the rack for split squats. On my first set I managed to scrape my toe-nail against all the crevices on the plyo box. That didn’t feel good at all!! No blood was gushing through my socks, though, so I went on with the rest of my set. I wished I had my shoes on at that point and I noticed he guy next to me was wearing some that seemed more appropriate for weight training. I was a bit jealous, I admit.

While I was stretching between sets some fat dude that looked like a manager showed up with two other guys and started showing off all the stuff in the power room. I didn’t know what’s the policy of the gym regarding shoes, but I was pretty sure they shouldn’t see me struggling during split squats so I sat down quietly in a corner. Then I realised the guy next to me was supersetting deadlifts with pull-ups and wasn’t wearing his shoes anymore. Who knew I was a trend-setter?? 😀

I finished the day with my embarrassing inverted rows. Maybe my mind is playing tricks on me, but I feel like I’m getting closer and closer to the bar each time. Meanwhile, the rest of the gym is probably thinking “What the f is she doing??” Anyway, I think using the Smith machine for inverted rows is acceptable.

I should be cleaning up the house because we have guests this weekend, but all I want to do is sit on my ass.

Week no 2

Finally, I’m catching up. I’m still struggling, but the numbers are close to where I left them last November. I did a 55 kg front squat today and couldn’t get back up after two reps. Next to me, the nice instructor that I met during my induction was effortlessly squatting 80 kg. She’s awesome! I could barely deadlift 70 kg today.

I had a little chat with one of the guys in the gym. I walked into the room and left all my stuff in a corner while he was finishing his set. It turned out he was filming his squats and I stood in front of his camera the whole time. He now owns a video of my feet. Seriously, I’m a jerk.

On my way home I’ve decided it’s time to leave the earmuffs in my backpack.  Also, I’ve spent the entire afternoon cleaning up our garden. It must be summer now, British summer. I’m not ready for flip-flops, though.

Tabatas tomorrow!

One week!

I finished my sessions for this week. I was feeling brave this morning and even considered going for the 3rd cardio tomorrow. Soon I realised how tired my body was. For the next two days it’s all about recovering ligaments and cartilages. Probably not enough time, but my ankle is really annoying me and this is a sign to stop for a while.

Overall, I’ve lost an astonishing 600g or so. Yay, right? The goal for the rest of the week is not to gain them back.

Eggs and bacon, eggs and bacon!

So much pain

Those split squats are to blame, as usually. The bad pain didn’t get worse, which is good.

I increased the level on the bike today and still managed to finish the Tabata sets.

Last time I was watching the rubbish bin as if I would’ve been able to run to it in case I got sick. Today I focused on videos during the breaks (without any sound, because I can’t stand wires and ear plugs around me when I’m exercising). At some point a girl bit into an apple and all I could think about was “Oh God, apples!” like it was the most desirable thing on Earth.

I got home cheerful and made myself an enormous breakfast (or brunch). I had some berries with yoghurt and quark and figured the benefits of eating them outnumbered the carbs I’ve been ingesting. I also had an apple for my late lunch because, well, APPLES!!! I should behave for the rest of the day, I want the scale to lie to me nicely tomorrow morning.  At least I won’t be horribly hungry like yesterday. I had enough food for lunch, but ended up with an uncontrollable urge to eat everything in the fridge around 5pm. I took out eggs, bacon and cheese, then put everything back and had a shake with some peanuts. Best peanuts in my life!

Not giving up yet

I felt the need to record my progress here. Sometimes I lose track of my training and this blog helps.

I’ve started a new cycle, again actually, on Friday and I plan to continue without interruptions this time. No major trips planned until the end of May, so it should happen.

This week I’m doing three weight sessions and two Tabatas on the bike. So far, I managed to stick to the plan. I hope I’ll be able to recover quickly. I’m in moderate pain and, unfortunately, it’s not all good pain. My right wrist, which was the good one, the one I could rely on, hurts (probably from carrying suitcases around Greece). I stopped doing side planks because of that and I do hope it will heal at some point. Also, my left ankle hurts, probably from some hops or split squats gone wrong. I did my split squats barefoot today and had to break the 10 reps into 5 reps sets. Still, I barely managed to finish the exercises. I wouldn’t blame that on the ankle, though.

I’m not stopping – Tabata tomorrow! There’s this dress and this party at the beginning of June which really motivate me.

The low-carb saga continues

I made another bread experiment. This time I used coconut flour only because I was curious how it behaves. I’ve read about it and found out it’s very dry and you need to add a lot of eggs. So I beat 6 eggs, added some salt and 3/4 cup coconut flour. Before even mixing everything, I turned around to grab the baking powder. I didn’t look at the dough for 10s and when I got back to it everything had turned into a massive lump stuck to the whisk. I had to knead in the baking powder – not a very efficient thing to do. The dough was crumbly and soft, but smelled nice. I baked it for 40 min or so and it didn’t puff up much.

IMG_9189I probably should’ve baked it in a different tin, but I don’t own any and won’t be buying one soon due to storage problems. Also, I like the flat bread, it’s really good for sandwiches.

IMG_9195The coconut bread is very dense and heavy. It tastes nice, but you can’t enjoy it on its own because it absorbs moisture very fast. It is a good vehicle for hummus, though.

IMG_9201I’m not sure I can toast this. I used the almond flour bread in the sandwich maker and it behaved well, but I had to make sure the crust didn’t burn before the cheese melted. I also put a slice in the toaster and it turned out softer in the centre instead of drying out. The crust was nice and crunchy, though. I will see if I can use the coconut bread similarly.

I think the baking time needs to be adjusted. Both breads had a nice crust, but the inside was slightly too moist. Or maybe there’s another problem, I can’t really tell.

I prefer the quark based bread – tastier and much more satisfying. I will probably increase the amount of coconut flour in that recipe. On the bright side, they were both edible.

Low carb bread

There’s this annoying social pressure to eat carbs. Because potatoes are full of vitamins,  aren’t they?! And rice is full of fibre. Or from time to time your friend just feels like eating something sweet. Also, this is tradition, we’ve been eating like that for ages!! How about we have some pasta tonight? And so on and on… There are moments when you can’t say no and moments when you’re too weak to say no.

Or the worst conversation possible – “I want to eat tasty food and be happy.” Yeah, I used to say the same thing and I hate myself for that. That’s not an excuse to indulge in crappy food that makes you fat. It’s only a good reason to choose your meals carefully. Now I want to be pretty and healthy. And by pretty I don’t mean anorexic model skinny. I mean strong and lean and looking gorgeous in that Karren Millen dress I found on sale and never got to wear because I started eating carbs again.

Since my meals have turned into something social, I have to be prepared, because the people around don’t seem to give a damn about low carb. The favourite pastime is pita and hummus so I’m looking for a bread recipe.

I found some interesting ideas on the T-nation forum and the peanut flour recipe seemed very appealing. I didn’t have any peanut flour, though, so I had to improvise. I am going to write down exactly what I did for future reference, but the recipe still requires some improvement.

  • 250 g quark/cream cheese
  • 4 tablespoons olive oil
  • 4 eggs + 1 egg white (I happened to have that lying in the fridge)
  • 1 1/2 cups almond flour
  • 2 tablespoons coconut flour
  • 2-3 tablespoons ground walnuts ( or as much as your hand can grab from the container)
  • 1 teaspoon flaxseed powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • salt

I mixed the quark (I used this brand because it doesn’t taste like cream cheese spread or thick yoghurt.) with the oil and added the eggs one by one. The mixture looked nice and smooth and this gave me hope. Then I added all the dry ingredients. I used a nonstick baking tin so I brushed it with a little bit of sunflower oil and added the dough. I baked it for 50 min at 160°C (fan oven).

It smelled great and looked really nice. I should’ve taken a photo as soon as I got it out of the oven because by the time I ran upstairs and grabbed the camera, the bread collapsed a bit.

IMG_9162

I was afraid to cut the first slice. It looked too nice to be true. The texture turned out a bit spongy and moist for a bread. It would be perfect for cake, though. A bit of xylitol and some blueberries could turn this into a real treat.

IMG_9177I’m definitely making this again. I would like to adjust the quantities and play with the consistency of the dough. The taste is very similar to bread and you can’t feel the cheese or the coconut.

The best part –  the carb lovers liked it too. Although my housemate ate it with condensed milk. 😐