Life in between goals…

This Summer, I set myself a bit of a vague goal:  Approach training with a ‘healthier balance’. I set this goal to avoid over-consuming myself in training and to make sure I don’t compromise too much from other important aspects of life.

But what exactly is a ‘healthier balance’? Was I not healthy before?

For 10 years, I have consumed myself in specific functional goals in preparation for “Race Day”. It is something I’m really proud of, but sometimes I struggle to find enough meaning behind it all… a reason to dedicate so much time to it.
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So this is what I was trying to accomplish by training with a ‘healthier balance’… less compromise to train and more time with friends and family.

It almost backfired! … I started questioning things way more than before.

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My Attempt to Debunk Calorie Counting

IMG_0003So, over the past month or so I’ve been counting my calories. I wanted to try it out because I have met a few people recently who LIVE by their calorie count and use it as a measurement to consider themselves having had a healthy day or not.

I set out to debunk this way of thinking as I don’t consider ‘hitting your calorie count’ an aspect of healthy living. I still believe this to be true but to my surprise, I discovered how apps like MyFitnessPal and MyPlate provide a really great insight to your eating habits and activity levels.

For me, it was a really good reminder of how active I have to be in order to eat what I want to eat! Which sounds little ridiculous maybe… but I’m serious. It poses the question: How lazy do you want to be?

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How to Execute an Active Holiday

I’ve always felt that exploring new surroundings is best done from ground-level.

If you’re a runner, put on your runners and run; If you’re a walker, walk; and if you’re a cyclist, grab your bike and ride.

As you may have seen on Instagram/ Facebook, Dan and I are currently in Mallorca!

Port (1)While Dan and Phil train for the Race Across America. Suzanne and I have been exploring the island.

I don’t want this post to spat out facts about the benefits of exercise, the mindfulness gained from travelling or the therapeutic benefits of being outdoors.

We all know these are good things.

I hope this post helps to promote active traveling and that you walk away feeling excited to execute an active holiday.

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Staying fit over the holidays

The days are short and there are loads of social engagements during the month of December. Between Christmas parties, family meals and gatherings the holiday period can leave us feeling overfed and sluggish.

In England, celebrating the holidays is a motion that lasts the entire month. It’s always difficult for me to find the right balance.

I have to remind myself that the priority during the holidays is sharing time and creating memories with people you care about. Time at the gym will have to take the hit and that’s fine. But I do have a few tips that will help you to stay feeling fit through the festivities.

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Crunchy Roast Chickpea Snack

Healthy Snack Live Loosley

I have a constant craving for crunchy and savoury snacks. I love everything about them. So when it comes to lunch at the office, I often prepare for this weakness. I know that no matter what I eat at lunch, I’ll still want a small bag of chips after.

Rather than exploiting my will power and feeling deprived of what I want… I take a different approach. The ’80/20′ rule. Be good 80% of the time and enjoy your cravings 20% of the time… eat 80% veg and 20% carbs… Make sure 80% of your day or your meal is healthy and well balanced.

Never deprive yourself of what you want, but make up for it in other areas. Being healthy doesn’t mean you live off of green smoothies and lettuce. It’s controlling your intake so you have a well balanced diet and ENJOY it.

I pack a light salad for lunches at the office. I do this so I can balance out my craving for a savoury snack… more often than not, chips.

Now that I’m not training as much as I was this Summer, I may need to get a bit more cleaver with fooling my cravings… So here is a HEALTHY crunchy and savoury snack that has helped me move away from my chip dependency.

This roast chickpea recipe is easy to prepare and is packed with nutrients like protein, fibre, calcium, iron and magnesium.

Prep: 5 minutes
Roast: 40 minutes

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Aquabase HIIT Class #Floatfit

Aquaphysical Live Loosley

Since Ironman 70.3 Zell am See, I’ve felt a little lost. This was my last race for the year and my main focus for months…. so now what?

It’s such an anticlimax when your ‘big race’ is all of the sudden over. You cross the finish line feeling motivated and excited for the next race, but then there isn’t one… I’ve experienced the same thing with rowing; all of the sudden the season is over and you have time and energy again. If only I knew what to do with it!

Before I jump back into goal setting and training towards something, I think I’ll learn to enjoy this thing called ‘time’ first. My true challenge will be finding a healthy balance without a race to work towards. This Aquaphysical class was the perfect kick start for me.

IT WAS HILARIOUS – a 30 minute HIIT class on water.

We were either laughing, smiling or sticking out our tongue trying to balance for the entire class.

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Cycling in the Winter

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I haven’t been out on my bike much this winter… mainly due to frosty roads and a busy schedule.

In the winter months, it is key to leave yourself enough time to set off late in the morning (when it warms up and the frost clears away). I clearly got too comfortable with all the warm long days the UK Summer and Autumn have to offer… as a result, I didn’t give myself enough time in the day to fit both a bike ride in the morning and something social in the afternoon.

Clear your schedule – enjoy the sleep in – and plan something social for the evenings instead!

Yesterday, Dan and I got away for a nice ride and ended up at Gail’s Artisan Bakery in St. John’s Wood. We had a lovely croissant and espresso just before heading home — a perfect start to getting back in the habit of cycling on the weekends.

Role on next weekend!

Goal Setting

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I have a lot of exciting goals this year — I honestly can’t even wait to start working towards each and every one of them. I’m listing them here to make myself accountable and to remind myself why I set these goals in the first place. When I get in the thick of things, I’ll reference this post to keep myself focused and energized.

Here they are… 

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Finding balance during the holidays

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At this time of year, it is tough to keep motivated. December is a month of Christmas perparation and celebration, dark mornings/ evenings, cold weather and social events gallor! A fun time of year, but a difficult one to keep on top of your healthy habits.

I have come to terms with the fact that you simply can’t do EVERYTHING… goals need to be adjusted and expectations reset.  My training has been cut down and shifted around social events, healthy eating has been a ‘best endvours’ type of approach (no use setting unrealistic goals and feeling guilty all month!) and as for the cold dark days… well, that is something you simply can’t dwell on as it is out of our control.

I hope everyone has been able to find their balance – it can certainly feel like a struggle, but placing effort on finding this balance makes all of the difference during the holidays.

Merry Christmas! Enjoy your holidays and remember — from today onwards, the days start to get longer again!

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