Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Positive Attitude Required

Sense of humour and positive attitude are even more important in the middle of all the frustration than when you're getting good results and the training goes really well. Anyway, I thought I'd gather some motivational and funny pictures and quotes to keep myself smiling and to boost my motivation a little.

Some of these have been shared on Facebook by my friends or I have found them on Google search, so unfortunately I don't necessarily know the sources. Let me know if you do and I'll add them here.

Keep smiling! And keep exercising!

Monday, August 27, 2012

PROGRESS UPDATE (week 8) - Frustration Overload

Gutted. Frustrated. Annoyed. Dangerous times for my motivation and determination...

It was time for another Body Composition Analysis on Friday before another training session with the PT. I tried to stay realistic but I really had my hopes up, considering the amount of exercise I have done in the two months' time and also sticking to my healthy (enough) eating routine. Anyway, remember my first progress update? Yeah well, forget about that one. Completely. The time of the month (if you know what I mean) and the bloating it causes made the analyzer think it was new muscle tissue, not just some extra fluid in the body. ARGH.

So, the two actually comparable Body Composition Analysis results showed that I had lost 1,4 kg from the beginning of July. Woo-frigging-hoo, that's 1,4 kg in 9 weeks or so, miserable 156 grams per week. Oh yeah, and get this: according to the results I have only gained 1 kilo of muscle tissue in the same time. 111 grams per week. *The crowd goes wild* And get this: while I had lost 1,9 % of body fat and gained 200 grams of muscle in my arms I had lost 100 grams of muscle tissue from my legs! What the hell? I have done a gazillion squats, I have walked and jogged... and I get this? I mean... seriously?! What the hell does my body want me to do to let go of the fat and build more muscles? Is it punishing me for treating it so badly before that now it has decided to hold all the fat as hostage or something? Dear body, I'm really really sorry, my deepest apologies. Let's cooperate now, please!

Considering the disappointing results it was time to bring out the big guns. Sanna made a new gym programme for me in more or less five minutes and informed me that some weeks I'll need to hit the gym as many as four times. Bring it on! After the initial disappointment and feeling somewhat depressed I'm now more determined than ever. Extra jog or walk some evening? Sure. Add more weights at the gym? Got it. Do some additional abs training at home every morning? Why not. Let's make this happen!

I am an "I want it all and I want it now" type of person so I was hoping to see proper progress in a very short time. Ha. Ha ha. Yeah right, as if that would even be possible, considering the total fat mass I'm carrying and also wanting to complete this project in a healthy way, not by starving myself for 7 months. The slow progress and my non-existent patience are not a good combination, but I'm trying my best to keep my motivation up and just push myself even more.

Let's end on a more positive note - my overall fitness level has surely improved, otherwise I would have not been able to jog a full hour yesterday, including steep uphills. And - I have gained 800 grams of muscle tissue on my mid body and 100 grams per arm. So... are those... muscle outlines?!

(Apologies for the blurry picture.) 

Back to the gym to pump that iron!

Monday, August 20, 2012

Exercise vs. Excuses

I'm a major sports fan in general and the past few months have been busy for someone like me. There's been the IIHF World Championships held in Finland and Sweden in May, UEFA Euro Cup held in Ukraine and Poland in June, European Championships in Athletics held in Finland in June - July and the Summer Olympics held in London in July - August. Exhausting stuff, especially since Finland is in the Eastern European time zone, meaning that the broadcasting for example from London 2012 continued until the early hours of the next day... In 2016 the Olympics will be in Rio de Janeiro, now that will be challenging!

After the 400 metres qualifying rounds there were pictures shared on Facebook of Oscar Pistorius, a truely inspiring South African Olympian. Oh yeah, he's also a double-amputee, in case you didn't know.

One text on Facebook read: "I am Oscar Pistorius... 2012 Olympian. I just made it to the semi finals in the 400 meter run with a world class time of 45.44. BTW... I have NO LEGS. So... what was your reason you can never make it to the gym??" (

Another one read: "No you're right; it's too cold to go for a run today." (

Isn't it true that it is so easy to come up with so many excuses for not going to the gym / run / walk / do any sport at all? Trust me, there are so many that I have used myself! I think the most common have been:

Excuse 1. "I don't have time." (Yet I seem to have time for Facebook, randomly surfing the net, etc.)
Excuse 2. "I'm still sick" or "I think I'm getting sick." (Even if I have actually been sick I don't really know when it's safe to start exercising again and my motivation goes out of the window while waiting.)
Excuse 3. "I'm too tired." (Even if I have slept well, I'm constantly tired - maybe it's just called laziness or boredom)
Excuse 4. "I'm on a holiday and it's OK to be lazy" (luckily this only happens couple of times a year)

This battle of Exercise vs. Excuses is where having a Personal Trainer is most useful for me: 

Solution 1. PT tells me how much of what exercise I need to do on each day or how many times of what exercise per week - and I simply schedule it to fit my daily/weekly plans. And stick to it, since I have to report it to her.
Solution 2. PT asks me for how long I have had fever, tells me until when I should not exercise and then tells me when to start and on which activity level. Back training in no time!
Solution 3. Scheduling the training PT wants me to do right after my workdays - no time to hit the couch - or the computer chair - at home in between.
Solution 4. PT gives me a training schedule also for holiday weeks. No slacking off!

Speaking of no slacking off and the Olympics... Jessica Ennis, I salute you. And your abs.

 That's it, back to gym for another session. Gotta get me those abs!

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Holiday (Part 2) - Sun, Sweating And Friends!

Back home after a wonderful holiday spent in sunny and warm Spain/Catalonia - and a bit less sunny and warm Norway. It was amazing to see dear friends again and to meet two small princesses for the first time, too. I'm such a summer person so the week in Barcelona was like a therapy trip for me since the summer in Finland has been so miserable. And Norway was so relaxing, our friends took such good care of us during the weekend. Loved it, so much.

Since the holiday was expected to be quite tricky training-wise we got a programme of just two 60 minute walk/jog training sessions (heart rate 112-132) and two 45 minute walk/jog training sessions (heart rate of 132 - 160) for the week. Fair enough, we thought. And what happened? FAIL.

I blame my hubby for the failure, as he was the one going *SIGH* "Can't we do that tomorrow or something?" after walking for hours around Barcelona with achy feet... I know, I could have gone by myself too, so no use blaming him. Anyway, the two walks/jogs we did do were hot and sweaty, which wasn't a big surprise considering temperatures of 30 °C and more, but they were also a nice way to see the Sarrià neighbourhood a bit more. Excellent views over Barcelona from the hills! Walking briskly uphill got my heart rate going, only needed to jog when the route took us down the hill again.

I received an e-mail from the Personal Trainer warning me that the week after our vacation would be tough. We had agreed that the next meeting at the gym is on the Monday right after our return, to stop the slacking off as soon as possible. And believe me, I think I saw some devil horns poking out of her head. She really wanted to punish me for the nice holiday week I just had! Not one or two gym training sessions, but three. Oh, and of course some endurance training too, so throw another 60 min and 70 min jogs/walks/Nordic walks in there too. Unfortunately my body didn't appreciate it - come Sunday afternoon I felt completely exhausted and shivering of cold. Fever of 38,1 °C and I had to crawl under the duvets. Why... does... my... body... hate... exercise??!! Frustration overload! Luckily the fever went down sooner than I expected, so I should be ready to rumble again. Just have to take it easy for couple of days.

Oh, I have to show you what I bought in Barcelona: my very first purchase especially for Brazil! I fell in love with the colorful prints at Desigual and just had to buy this dress, with a summer sale price and all. It fits me already now, but I'm hoping it to be more loose by February. So looking forward to showing my best samba moves in my new pretty dress while watching the carnival parades in Rio!


I'll let you know how returning to training will go after my little "sick leave". I seriously can't wait! What's wrong with me? :)