Fitness & Health, Life

Creating A Healthy Relationship With The Gym!

Hey hey, good lookin’

The gym. Some of us love it, some of us try to love it, and the majority of us?

Hate it.

I personally, hated the gym when I first started working out. I hated that I didn’t know what I was doing, the sweat, the effort of going in and showering after, but mostly I hated the men in there.

I felt pressured to look like I knew what I was doing, to be faster on the treadmill, lift more weights, look better. But I now feel so stupid thinking back. How could I let myself think like that? Ugh!

I found a beautiful relationship with the gym over a year or two. It’s still not perfect. I do have off days, but the majority of the time I’m in there I do enjoy it.

I know from just talking to my friends and work collegues, how intimidating the gym is. I got lucky and did 2 years in college of a health and fitness related course, so I wasn’t totally lost.

But for you ladies who are in need of some help, keep on reading!

#1 Set (realistic) goals.

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OK, this one is the toughest for me, because I struggled with it too, and I see my friends every day struggle with it aswell.

A silly goal is, I want to look like Adriana Lima.

A realistic goal is, I want to lose 2 pounds by next month.

You see the difference? By creating stupid, unattainable goals is setting you up for failure. Nobody can look like Adriana Lima over night, and going into the gym thinking you are going to look like her in a week, is just mad talk.

My advice is to measure yourself. See what you weigh, look at yourself and tell yourself what you want to change, then break it down.

So you want to lose 10 pounds over all?  Start by trying to lose 1 pound a week.

You want to lose 2 inches off your bum? Try to lose a few cm a week or fortnight.

You want to run a 5k? Start by walking a 5k.

Everything you want is attainable. Just be patient and work it out reasonably.

#2 Get help!

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If you have no clue how the weight section works, or even looks like, then ask for help.

DO NOT, and I repeat, do no, venture into a section of the gym you are unaware of!

Doing so is asking for an injury, never mind the humiliation of breaking equipment. Gyms are full of gym junkies just waiting to tell you all they know. So ask one. If you are uncomfortable asking a guy, and if there is no female workers that day, maybe approach a fellow lady gym goer.

Do not have fear in asking for help, because it will be your biggest asset when you do!

#3 Do not be afraid of the men.

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I am speaking to the 99.9% of the female gym population that are intimidated by the hormone fuelled, sweating, grunting men around the gym. I still struggle to this day with my self – esteem around the guys.

I’ll let you in on a little secret though.

Half the men in there don’t even know what they are doing either!

Men are egotistical, and hate asking for help. I’m not being stereotypical here either, I know this because I worked in a gym for 2 1/2 years! I would see guys just asking for an injury or running the risk of injuring another person because they didn’t have a clue what they were doing.

And do you think they ever asked for help? 

Nope.

So just own it when you are in the gym around the guys. Just put in your earphones and do your own thing.

I’l let you in on another secret too.

Guy’s love a girl who knows what she’s doing in the gym.

Don’t believe me? Just go ask any guy friend. You will be amazed my love.

#4 Get a routine and stick to it.

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If you have a set schedule every week, sit down some night and work the gym around it.

If you have a less than set schedule (like me) then sit down every Sunday night and fit in the gym when you can.

For example my workout schedule is:

Gym 3 times a week

Swim 1 day

Run 1 day

Rest 2 days

And every Sunday I just stick in those days whenever I can. If you have a set routine, it is a lot harder to break. Same goes for the actual workout itself. Get a trainer or find one on line (a legit source) and make out a workout programme. Bring it with you to every session and stick by it. Not only does time go by faster when you are ticking it off bit by bit, but it also gives you structure, keeping your head clear and focused.

#5 Get a gym buddy!

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This one has helped me a lot! I hate working out alone now, even if I’m on the other end of the gym to my buddy, just knowing they are there is a big boost! If none of your friends like the gym, just ask them if they would like to try. None of my friends liked the gym when I started, and now they come in with me all the time because I just asked them to come one day!

Doing exercise classes is a big help too. You are not alone and it helps to know that other people are in your position too.

You can even make it into a weekly catch up thing! Go and grab a coffee after or go for a little shop!

So that is all I have for today ladies! I hope I do help and if you need any advice or have any questions please leave a comment below I would love to help!

Thanks for reading! x

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Fitness & Health, Life

Getting Your Head In The Game – Weight Loss

Howdy.

Getting your desired body shape is something we all think about, but not all of us act on it.

It is hard, there is no denying that, but impossible?

Hell to the no, sister.

As soon as someone finds out that I have a personal training background, they want to ask me every question under the sun.

‘Should I eat carbs after 7pm?’

‘How do I use weights?’

‘Will protein make me big?’

Some of the questions make me want to laugh because they are so stupid. But who am I to judge? I was there before too. I didn’t know a carb from a protein to save my life, (and if you don’t know either, don’t sweat it) and I was so afraid of using the weight’s, I couldn’t bare to ask for help, even though I knew they are good for you.

So I am here to give you a few pointers and tips on getting your head in the game for getting that body you always wanted. It is easy to go workout but it is hard to be prepared and mentally ready.

Numero one.

Always ask for help. Always.

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Are you a member of a gym? Have an older brother/boyfriend/gym enthusiast friend? Ask them whatever you need to. Just get help because knowledge is the key to being successful when working out.

I drove my boyfriend nuts before I gained experience. I am naturally curious and I always need to know the way things work. It wasn’t enough for him to tell me to go use the weights because they are good for me, I need to know how and why they are good for me. As soon as I understood the logic and physical reasons behind the weights I was hooked.

It’s that simple. 

The less you know the less you are willing to try. If you don’t know why you are told to drink 8 glasses of water a day, you won’t stick to it too long because you don’t have the benefits motivating to keep you going.

Numero two.

If your not 100% don’t waste your time or anyone else’s.

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The journey of weight loss or toning up is not a walk in the park, it’s a marathon. You can’t walk into the gym or go for a run twice a week and expect to see results in a week.

Results come with hard work and hard work means dedication.

Don’t go asking for help from a friend or gym instructor if you are going to throw it back in their face. You don’t just decide to change your life,

you commit.

Changing your body is changing your life, end of.

Numero three.

80% Diet 20% Exercise

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This is the hardest thing to get through to people, and it was the hardest part for me to accept myself. You cannot out-train a bad diet, the same way you can’t eat well and sit on your bum and expect your body to be amazing.

The two work hand in hand, but diet is the leader.

You need to perfect your diet before you even think of stepping foot in a gym or outside to work out. If you are serious, I would suggest investing in a tailored personal diet from a trainer. These work best and are 100% guaranteed to work if you stick to it right.

Work on perfecting your diet and eating clean first, then slowly introduce the gym. It is a fool-proof method that works great.

Numero four.

Don’t be afraid to commit.

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I know this is a big issue with women in particular. We ladies see ourselves as ‘manly’ or ‘unfeminine’ if we commit to the gym 5 days a week. I know because I fought with it myself. It is very easy to fall in love with working out but you have to let yourself first.

I would suggest becoming comfortable with your gym first. Go in on a quiet day and get to know the machines and equipment. If you don’t know yourself, get a tour, trainers in the gym love to show people around and ask them as much as you want, they don’t mind at all!

When you are comfortable in there just do your thing. Put in your headphones and do what you need to do. Don’t look at other people and certainly don’t feel insecure. Don’t be afraid to talk about your new found love to your friends, they wont see you as manly they will envy you. Believe me, I had this issue with my own friends, and you know what? They have followed me and are now new found gym lovers too!

Numero five.

Invest in a proper work-out.

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Your work-out is your key to your new home. When you go into the gym you need to know what you are doing and how to do it. Don’t take some silly workout you found on pinterest and think it will get you instant results.

Not saying all workouts on pinterest are crap, but the majority are. Just saying.

When you have a regular workout that changes and improves with you every week then your journey feels so much easier. The hour you spend in there will fly by and you will feel accomplished. It always works, without fail.

Numero six.

Once you have committed, it is your responsibility.

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You have to tell yourself when it is getting a bit tough, that this is your life, nobody else’s.

Do you think anyone else cares if you stay overweight or out of shape for the rest of your life?

Of course they don’t.

This is your body, your life and your responsibility. If you decide to pack it in half way through, then that is your issue, don’t blame anyone else, and when you succeed and come out looking amazing, it was you who did it, nobody else.

So I hope if you are looking to embark on a life changing journey (that sounds deep) then I hope I helped! Please leave a comment or email me if you have any questions. I have gone through this myself so I would be more than happy to offer advice to you if you need it!

Also, click below for some fun!

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Fitness & Health, Life

Learning How To ‘Ditch The Monkey’

Welcome back, Princess face.

So if you live in Ireland, you might have seen the new ‘Ditch The Monkey’ campaign for mental health awareness. Personally I think it is a great idea and I struggle with ‘The Monkey’ every single day too, as well as probably 100% of women in Ireland and world wide.

What is ‘The Monkey?’

You know that voice in your head that tells you stuff like,

‘He will never like you’

‘You are never going to be good enough’

‘What if he didn’t even mean to look at me? What if that was for the girl behind me?’

‘I look huge in these jeans’

That, my love, is the monkey.

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We ALL have a monkey sitting on our shoulder telling us things we don’t need to hear, and the scary thing is,

we are the one controlling the monkey.

That ‘Monkey’ can do serious serious damage to us. If we let it get out of control it can spiral into a disaster leaving us un-confident, scared and feeling useless.

So in spirit of the ‘Ditch The Monkey’ campaign, I am going to contribute, and share my ways I like to ditch that stinky monkey and enjoy my life the way it was meant to be enjoyed!

*Links to the ‘Ditch the Monkey’ campaign Youtube videos will be down below, give them a watch and you will be amazed!*

#1. Trust your instincts

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All women have extra strong instincts. I don’t know what it is or why it is, but we always know when things are up, or when things are about to go wrong. But why don’t we channel them and know when things are right, certain and good for us?

For example:

If you are walking towards a cute boy, and the first thing you do is light up and smile, but your ‘Monkey’ tells you to stop you are not good enough and you look down and walk past without a notice, well you just gave in to your own instincts. Your own body told you to smile and interact with this male and your own mind told you not to.

Let your body take control every now and then. Your brain knows what is good for you before you even realise it, and through hormones and chemicals, your body will react accordingly, but when you allow your ‘Monkey’ to talk over it, you are denying your body and suppressing it, and in time your body wont even make an attempt to make you happy.

Same way when you touch something hot, your body pulls back your hand before you even know it was hot in the first place, and you certainly don’t let your ‘Monkey’ tell you otherwise then.

Trust yourself, and allow your body to take control. It may take some time and you may not like it, but with practice, it will come.

#2. Learn to accept nothing less than happiness

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This one is something I am currently struggling with. The key to being happy and mentally healthy is denying the negativity in your life. Learn to turn away from that toxic friend you have, or that work colleague that takes advantage of you.  When the news is on and a murder storey comes on, turn it off. If someone tells you you are wrong, prove them right.

This is YOUR life, nobody else’s, and do you think they are going to care if you spent your life being trampled on and surrounded by negativity?

Of course they won’t.

The only person who will care, when you are 80 and have lived your life, will be you.

So remember that when you are telling that annoying  ‘friend’ that takes advantage of you, to take a hike, or when you are being told that you can’t do this or do that.

If you take the negativity out of your life one by one, the happiness will come in by the dozens, trust me, I know because I am doing it right now.

#3. Just do it.

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Nervous about quitting your job for a career nobody though you could do?

Want to start up a new hobby?

Want to wear that neon orange dress that your friends said was ‘hideous’?

Just do it anyway.

Nobody is being dragged behind by your insecurities. Nobody else is suffering because you can’t do what you love.

Only you are.

So when you are presented with a massive opportunity, DO NOT even give the ‘Monkey’ a second to think, just do it! Learn to embrace new beginnings, opportunities and uncertainty.

Start off small and learn to move up and onto bigger things.

Start off by buying those heels your mother told you you would never wear.

Apply for that job you didn’t think you were good enough for.

Go see that movie alone because nobody else wants to see it.

In time and with consistent practice, you will learn to love your own decisions and become more confident in who you are.

#4. Learn to accept compliments, and take the hurt.

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Some people are mean, some are nice and some are deceiving. That is just the way the world works now, and there is nothing we can do about it.

We need to learn to adapt and work with what we got. When someone compliments you, don’t shy away and play it down, accept it thank them. You can be damn sure that ‘Monkey’ will be there telling you,

‘They’re only saying that so I will do that work for them’

‘They’re fake anyway’

Do not let the monkey take control of your compliment. The person was nice enough and brave enough to say, appreciate that much and be happy that they appreciate you.

When someone gives you not-so-nice criticism, take it on the chin, pick yourself up, and move on. Insults and bad criticism can really damage us, and knock us down a few pegs, so allow yourself to take it in for a minute, then scrumple (is that even a word?) it up and throw it in the bin.

Simple.

And when you feel that little monkey agreeing with them, you shut it up and tell it that it’s wrong!

So if you are struggling with ‘Ditching the Monkey’ just know you are really not alone. This topic is close to my heart because I lost a family member to depression, and no doubt he had a Monkey too. So keep this trend going, share, tweet and blog about it, because it is about time we stood up to mental health!

Ditch the Monkey videos:

http://spunout.ie/ditchthemonkey

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Fitness & Health, Life

Running Tips For The Beginner!

Hi there.

Do you ever see those annoying tweets, facebook posts or instagrams,

‘Just back from my run!’

‘About to set off on my daily jog!’

‘I love running!’

and the only reason why you hate them so much is because you want to be running too!

But it’s so hard, right?

WRONG!

Running is simple. If you have 2 legs, then there is no excuse. The problem with most beginners is they think that they will be able to run miles in no time.

That unfortunately, is not the case.

Running takes time, energy and a lot of will power, so get reading these tips to help you become that girl everyone envys on Facebook or twitter!

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  • Accept yourself. Nobody is born with the ability to run 10 miles with ease. You have to accept where you are and how much you can do. If you can only run 1/8 of a mile, so be it! Just accept where you are at, and work on it. Everyone starts somewhere, even Usain Bolt himself couldn’t run 100 metres in under 10 seconds!

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  • Practice, practice, practice. Set a goal and stick to it. 5k is a good place to start. Either map it out on your phone or do it on a treadmill, and run. Run as far as you can for as long as you can and when you have to stop walk the rest. The next day, do it again and try and beat where you stopped the last day. Keep going until you can do a full 5k, and then start timing yourself and try to beat it!

Always try and better yourself, you are your biggest competitor. 

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  • Change up the terrain. So when you have mastered your distance goal, change up the running route. Running on a treadmill can be a massive change to running outside in the open air. Try doing your 5k on a hiking trail or up a hillside. The ups and downs will really challenge you, and don’t worry if you can do 5k on a treadmill and not outside, just work on it!

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  • Fuel yourself. Fuel is the power to all runners. Make sure you eat 2 hours before running and no less. Let your food absorb and let your body take in the nutrients and energy. Stay away from fatty foods before running and stick to healthy carbs, like brown pasta, breads and rice.

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  • Hydrate! Water is essential to keep the muscles moving well. Drink plenty of water all day before and after the run to flush out the toxins you built up from exercising.

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  • Take care of your body! Injuries are not fun at all for runners, especially when they keep you from training because that is when you have to start all over again! Always wear proper running shoes.

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  • NEVER run in flat shoes, such as converse or Vans! Nikes are a great investment and will really help with your stride and keep your feet healthy and happy!

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  • Always stretch after and go for a hot bath that night if you feel a bit stiff.

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  • Do not run out  in sub 0 temperatures, or on super hot days! The heat or cold will damage your body more than help and you could end up with hypothermia or heat stroke! Use the gym instead!

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  • Refuel after you run. Take a quick and easy snack like a banana or a protein shake straight after your run to refuel the muscles and help them heal, and always eat a meal one hour after.

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  • Spice it up by running on the beach to really feel the burn!

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  • Music is the key to staying tough and mentally stable! Make a playlist on your ipod that you only listen to while running!

 

Well there ya go! I hope this does help if you are starting off or even a regular runner! I used these when I was starting and they really make a difference. Get out there and get moving sister!

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