My body combat class experience

I have thought about going back to a kickboxing class but due to financial constraints this isn’t yet possible so in the mean time I’ve been on the lookout at the gym for a class that can give me the same release as kickboxing and came across the body combat classes. Plus side with the gym is that it is already paid for and fortunately my monthly membership isn’t extortionate as long as I go the gym every week. The class my youngest siblings and I attended was on Saturday morning, double bonus in the way that I get fit and I save money by then not going shopping and spending money on things I don’t really need. See how I am bigging up the positive points of trying out a body combat class on a Saturday morning? Now comes the evil part!

The class is intense, being my first time at this class I should have taken things a bit easier but with the music pumping and the instructor shouting out her words of encouragement you get caught up in moment until every part of body, inside and out, starts screaming at you to stop. But did I stop…person of course not! There were people in that class that were at least 10 years older than me and then there was my siblings who 10+ years younger than me, there was no way I was going to show weakness and give up.

e7e9c9e574890a90f57082e2a51fdb57--body-combat-les-mills afterFast forward as we come towards the end of the class, although I’m breathing deeply fortunately I’m still conscious. I thought when we were asked to use the mats to cool down I would have the opportunity to lay down, getting up would be a different story but laying down sounded good. Through my exhausted, sweat drenched state I was clearly getting this class confused with body balance where the cool down  involves laying down and closing your eyes. This ‘cool down’ involved sit ups and planks! My experience of body combat did remind of my first kickboxing lesson at a new club which I did have to leave early to go lay down in my car whilst I fought of the urge to vomit, I did go back again and went on to achieve two belts.
With the body combat class I felt like a part of me had died and my legs were feeling like jelly but I was able still able to drop my siblings off home and sit down for a bit before I drove myself home, by this point I also desperately needed a shower.

After shower and food I was good for nothing and spent the rest of the day on the sofa reading a book & my appetite shot through the roof, I kept eating what felt like every hour! It has taken my body nearly two days to recover and be able to raise my arms without the muscles in my upper arms and shoulders screaming in resistance. Crazy as it sounds, though my body was put through its paces and pushed to its limits it was worth it, I slept well that night and know that if I was to keep up with this class my stamina would improve as well as my recovery time. I’m being over dramatic but it does make for a good blog article.

All that said and done I’m no quitter and am aiming to attend the class again this Saturday, guess I’m just glutton for punishment.

Gym bunny?

bunny-eating-carrot-mdDue to circumstances and changes in my life, towards the end of last year I wasn’t looking after myself very well. I hadn’t exercised properly for the last 6 months and if you have been reading my blog for a while you will know even if I did nothing else I would still try and attend a kickboxing class. My diet eventually consisted of takeaway food or whatever I could grab on the go, mix in copious amount of tea with 2 teaspoons of sugar at a time it’s a wonder I haven’t put on an excessive amount of weight. Saying that my weight hasn’t increased to the point where I am at risk of obesity but to a level I am not used to. Hence the small steps I have started taking to try and improve my emotional and physical wellbeing.
Not only did my weight, energy level suffers but so did my immune system. Usually I can fight off a cold but over the Christmas and New Year period I was pretty much bed ridden and comatose due to germs and antibiotics.

As a child I had a very small appetite, I didn’t put on weight easily. Strange how a bit of weight gain and mum remembers things, hence this conversation with my mum;

Mum; Well Fozia, who would have thought you would put on weight from hiding your roti (chapatti) when you were younger (so it looked like I had eaten it all)

Me; Do I look fat?

Mum; No, you look healthier

If anyone one would have told me I was on the verge of becoming a chunky monkey it would my mum.

20140129_103646MugOfTea[1]Nevertheless, I am still embarking on a somewhat healthier lifestyle. I haven’t cut out certain types of food like crisps, white bread etc just reduced the intake of them. I am drinking more water, and although I do have to keep going to the toilet I do also feel less sluggish and feel like I have more energy. Haven’t noticed too much in the way how my hair and skin looks but then I have only been at it for about a week. I’ve reduced my tea intake or the caffeinated version anyway. I do like my tea, I do like herbal teas as well but you can’t beat a nice cup of normal, caffeine induced tea.

I’d like to be able to tell that with this renewed desire to be healthier I am eating the recommended 5 pieces of fruit and vegetables a day but I would only be lying. I’m managing two maybe three pieces on a good day. Changes take time.

Gym bunny

gym-bunnyThe gym is back in play, I have noticed that I can’t run on the treadmill as much as I used to but am steadily building my stamina up. I also remembered why I strongly disliked going to the gym during January and some of February, it’s always filled with people who have made New Year’s resolutions to get fit and go to the gym. Until slowly that large pizza for one creeps back in and those people peter off by mid to late February. You may think me harsh, but I don’t think I am. How would you feel not being able to use the machines you want because someone thinks spending an hour on one machine at a time is going to magically disintegrate the fat to reveal the tight abs that were lurking beneath all along? No people, that is not how it works.

Exercise classes

My sister and I have been trying to go to an exercise class but something always jinx’s our attempts.
Tried to go to a Body Balance class last week, turned up at the time is used to run to find out the start times had changed, starting 30 minutes earlier. Nevermind, went to the gym instead.
Friday, thought we’d try a yoga class, then the blizzard hit Essex and there was no way I was going to drive when visibility was that poor.
Monday this week, we did make it to a Zumba class only for it to be cancelled because there weren’t enough people! Who knows if and when we’ll make it to an exercise class.
I haven’t gone back to kickboxing yet, the timing of the classes I used to go to don’t fit in with my schedule these days which is a shame but life sometimes has a habit of getting the way. I have a kickboxing exercise video that I do now and then but it’s not the same feeling that you get from a class and hitting pads.

Results

I haven’t been on this healthy trip for long so haven’t noticed any huge physical changes as yet. I think the weighing scales are evil, they just don’t like me and the feeling is mutual.  I’m not looking to lose much weight as I don’t think I look too bad as I am. It’s more about being at point of feeling better within myself which is half the battle.

Healthy = Grumpy

It’s amazing how quickly the weekend goes, come Sunday evening you realise that you haven’t actually done a great deal.

Saturday, the heavens opened up and rained constantly. Heading to the town centre was out of the question, in my mind Christmas is still a while away yet members of the public are already in a frenzy trying to find that ‘Christmas bargain’ whilst in the process forgetting all manners and etiquette. You know the type of people I mean; they come out en masse sometimes in packs to make the rest of us shopper’s lives a misery. Hence no weekend shopping at any shopping centre/complex. I did temporarily entertain the idea that I may brave a shopping centre one evening then woke up from that nightmare. Online shopping it is, shopping online isn’t necessarily cheaper but it is much safer and better for my health and wellbeing!

Slimming World

A few people at work have joined slimming world, one of them being the lady I sit next to. I have tried to be supportive and eat healthier, the fruit got eaten but the rest of the healthy eating and no crisps just made me grumpy. Dieting of any kind isn’t for me, think I’ll stick to trying to find a balance. I need to do something until I can motivate myself to get back into exercise which hasn’t happened yet. If anyone is curious the Fitbit is still in its box.

Some of the meals that are suggested by Slimming world don’t look too bad but then there are some that look like the person needs to paralyse their taste buds before tasting as the picture alone is enough to put you off trying it. I’m being unfair as many people have successfully lost weight through Slimming World and look great for it. To me it looks like it’s not only helping people to lose weight in a structured way but to also learn to cook more from scratch and forego relying on ready made sauces.

pixlr_201611141123386101Most of my meals are already cooked from scratch just not always by me. Sometimes the ingredients used can be considered a bit rich/fattening depending on which way you look at it. I had a very nice slow cooked lamb dinner over the weekend that was marinated in double cream and yoghurt, the marinate was also used to create the sauce and had a strawberry trifle for dessert; this was shop bought. Neither the lamb or the trifle would be considered healthy and would count as a lot of sins in slimming world but tasted really good!

While I’m coming clean I also baked these oat biscuits and drizzled some dark chocolate over a few of them, I did share them at work.img_05701

I am trying to get the lamb recipe down on paper but I mostly assisted. The oat biscuits I can help with, this was the recipe I used from Allrecipes, the biscuits are quick, easy and only uses four ingredients!

 Christmas Bazaar

Guess who has a biscuit stall next month?

Meee!

These is a local school where since last year I have had a biscuit stall at their summer fete & Christmas bazaar, I must be doing something right as each time a member of the PTA has contacted me to ask me if I’d be interested in coming back each time. The baking does usually take me a day and it is a bit of hard work as I want the biscuits to look visually appealing and then creating the decorate your own gingerbread person kits but I do also have a lot of fun on the actual day, I get to dose up kids with sugar, send them home with their parents who at times are equally dosed up on sugar and caffeine, and I make a bit of pocket money.

Speak soon!

Miss me?

I know it’s been a while since I last posted, with starting a new job, then Christmas then getting back into the swing of things come 2015 time just got away from me.

The new job is local so instead of the 45 minutes up to over an hour my morning commute is now down to 20 minutes. At the moment it is a contract role with some potential to go permanent but lets see what happens, whatever will be will be. At least I’m no longer sitting on the A130 / A12 in stand still traffic wondering if I should set up camp on the side of the side of the road!

I’m working in a small team and have been fortunate enough to once again be working with a nice group of people.

Kickboxing

All the extra classes and bruises paid off, I got my red belt. I’m not going to lie the grading was tough, I gave it everything I had, by the end of the grading I was completely exhausted and sweating buckets! The next belt is brown, there are a lot of requirements for this grading and at the moment I can’t dedicate the time or money, so for now I’ll be content with being a red belt.

I still love kickboxing but think I may cut back on it for a little while, I want to try and get back into wall.

Game Consoles

Over the Christmas break I unpacked the Wii console I took from my brother, he didn’t want it anymore. I am hooked, the boxing is good fun. I’ve bought a second hand ‘Just dance’ game and a Wii fit board plus game. Not sure how long this new found interest is going to last for but for now it is a lot of fun.

I also took my brothers Playstation, I highly recommend Mortal Kombat and Tekken 4, although I keep losing at Tekken 4 when up against my friend!

Baby

Back in November  I made some baby shower cupcakes for a pregnant friend. Baby Rahaan came into the world Monday 5th January 2015 weighing 7.5 lbs. I got to see him after a few weeks, he is as cute as a button and slept most of the time I was there until he was hungry! Both mother and baby are doing well, the new dad is just as laid back as he was before baby Rahaan came along.

I have been baking but I’m going to save that topic for another post, seeing how long it has taken me to write this one I have no idea when that will be!

Bring on the weekend!

Hello peep-a-roos!

20140407_MondayMorning[1]We all have those Monday morning looks, you know the ones where you look at least presentable but glad you’re client facing. To be honest this is how I look most days at work lol. Feel free to share your work looks so we can make each other feel better for not looking like a goddess at the beginning of the week 🙂

This week has been a fairly normal one…shocking I know. I have managed to keep out of trouble, no knocking anyone’s glasses off in kickboxing, been baking muffins which is always a pleasure to share and eat especially with ice cream. 😉 though there has been more sharing than me eating this week anyway.banner-blue

There is nothing wrong with my weight it’s more to do with shape, I will not ever have small thighs it is just one of life’s mystery’s but that doesn’t mean I also want thunder thighs! I would like to say my thighs are mostly muscle but I would be lying, if they were then I would have some strength to clamber up the climbing wall like spider man, but I don’t. So I have been on a ‘lifestyle’ change, reducing the cr@p intake replacing it with not so much cr@p intake. As in cut back on crisps, chocolate and tea with two sugar and anyone who knows me will know I really like my tea! Replacing with water which my skin is happy with and some foreign substances known as fruit. I wanted chocolate for a mid afternoon snack, instead I have this.banner-blue  Next time I’m drizzling Nutella on it 😉

In my mind I’m at least 10+ years younger but my body has other ideas. It could have been the way I slept but my back is in agony to the point I have had to take tablets and I haven’t had to do that for at least a year! I think some stretching exercises are in order!

Speaking of pain my wrist has a tendancy to decide when it’s happy and when it wants to be a pain in the booty. One KB instructor advised drinking Kombucha mushroom that isn’t a mushroom tea, it’s meant to have plenty of health benefits that will also help with bruises, aches pains and a fountain of other ailments. Click here to see what a kombucha mushroom that isn’t a mushroom looks like. Seen it? Can you can see why I’m still very much undecided whether I want to take the next step and buy this thing that looks like something out of a sci fi movie, turn it into a tea and drink it! I’m going to read a bit more about this ‘mushroom’ before taking the plunge.

Not sure if I mentioned it before but a KB friend went for her grading and passed, I was sooo pleased for her. Her hard work and channeling her inner ‘she-bear’ paid off with her gaining her green belt.

Remember operation Fort Knox? There have been some updates, the person who attempted to break into my house has been arrested. They were caught for another crime, burglary I think and also confessed to trying to break into my property. The case is going to court but who knows what the outcome will be, fingers crossed they get some kind of jail time.

I’m going back to my tea, savouring it’s warmth and taste as I probably won’t be having another one till this afternoon / evening-I. have. will. power…I do, honestly 😉

Me and Kickboxing

pink-kickboxer-mdLast night we did rounds of 2 minute sparring sessions for the entire hour class. I sweated and slogged my guts out to my heart’s content. I felt my lungs where burning and my arms were ready to give up the fight but I hung in there…just about. The fear of getting hit in sparring is fading as I’m getting in there a bit more instead of shying away, I definitely got in some hooks and uppercuts last night 🙂  My instructor has said I’m like a little Jack Russell LOL. Once I was able to breathe again I felt good. I know for many people it’s hard to believe that anyone could feel good after this type of exercise, for me kickboxing isn’t just about the physical aspect and trying to attack/defend myself. It’s also my way to relieve stress and improve my confidence plus I’m meeting some excellent people. It’s something that I really enjoy and oddly enough is something that makes me happy. I know my parents, especially my mum would like it if I found something less aggressive and didn’t gain bruises doing but bruises heal. 🙂  I would absolutely hate it if I had to give it up. Climbing is becoming something that I also love to do but it is still in second place to kickboxing.

I was raised in a predominantly non-Asian environment so am not phased about being the only Asian girl in the class. It would be nice if there were a few more Asians in general but the other girls in the small Asian community where I live have no interest in this type of thing.

The older of my two nephews though only 4 does Kung Fu. It was a bit touch and go with him as he enjoyed it then he didn’t, but he’s just done his first grading. My other brother does Thai boxing.

I have asked my mum before why she didn’t put me and my sister into martial art classes when we were younger but our brother did Ju Jitsu, her answer was ‘we didn’t think it was the type of thing for girls’. I think for many families during the time me and the older siblings were growing up that was probably the general attitude. colorful-boxing-gloves-vector-icons_21-84791325I’m glad for many girls this attitude is changing, my youngest brother and sister did kickboxing when they were younger but have no interest in it now.

I don’t care much for what other people in the Asian community think, I’ll leave them all to worry about when I’m going to settle down and make babies and roti’s while I carry on trying to remember to keep my guard up in sparring!

Kickboxing

pink-kickboxer-md

I tried out a different kickboxing class this week. It is run the same person I buy my kickboxing equipment from. His classes are longer than the usual class I go to, 2 hours and slightly more in price, but it still works out cheaper if I went to two separate 2 hours classes.

With the extra time, this class focused a lot more on the warm-up. Stretching in particular, my body is being ‘encouraged’ to move in certain ways that at the moment is refusing to comply with! If I want to improve my round kicks then I am going to have to stretch more.

The instructor is nearly 65 years of age and as flexible as an elastic band! According to the instructor, I have strong punches but weak legs, if I go regularly he thinks I’ll be more flexible in a few weeks, I’m not yet convinced.

By the end of the class I had worked out, if I stick with this class by the time I have kids I’ll have been stretched ever which way possible, giving birth should be a doddle! :-s

Regular kickboxing class tonight. I’m a bit sore from the other class but not so sore that I can’t move without crying 😉

If I continue to go to both classes then I may get rid of my gym membership. I’ve only been about 3 times this year, not very good considering how much I pay a month.bunny-eating-carrot-md

I’ve also been on rabbit food for the past two weeks in a bid to fit comfortably in a particular pair of jeans. Think I am going to have to accept as I get older my body is changing…so far nothing is heading in the wrong direction, my cooking is improving and as far as I can tell I am eating and feeling healthier. However…it doesn’t matter what anyone says rabbit food cannot be made interesting and it does not fill you up no matter how large the portion is!

Staying healthy at work

Over indulged over the holiday period? Your goal is to become healthier inside and out, something that is not always easy to do whilst at work.

Dehydration

Reduce your caffeine intake. Swap the caffeinated drinks for water, herbal teas.

Surroundings

Keep your desk space clean. Germs can breed on your keyboard, mouse etc.

Food

Eating healthy balanced meals is good for your body but eating the right foods will help you function better.

When you’re in a rush to get out of the door it is easy to forget to eat breakfast. Your body has gone without food and water and will need food to kick start your metabolism.

This doesn’t mean grabbing a fried egg and bacon sandwich on your way in or a fry up in the canteen.tasty-fry-up-thumb8631576

Think about the alternatives healthier options that will suit your lifestyle such as cereals or smoothies load with fruit or veg.healthy-fiber-cereal-thumb26371796

At lunch and dinner it is easier to slip into old habits. If you are unable to bring in a healthy lunch from home think about what is available to you and opt for the healthier options.

Snacks

Eat healthy snacks throughout the day such as healthy bars, fruit, nuts and seeds.

Take regular breaks.

Doing repetitive work, spending lengthy periods of time at your desk will weaken your muscles.

Taking regular breaks and stretching will loosen up your muscles.

If possible get some fresh air. Go for a walk during your lunch break.

In the office

Make sure you are sitting at your desk correctly with your feet flat on the floor, or use a footstool.

Use a chair that supports your lower back.

Make sure your computer monitor is at the correct height; eye level.

If you are daring enough to try an alternative to sitting on a chair, you could try sitting on an exercise ball to strengthen your core muscles and improve posture.ExerciseBall-Red-19b35nq

The other alternative is a standing desk. 

Sleep

A good night’s sleep will boost your immune system and energy levels.

You can also view this article on www.jobserve.com.

References

http://upstart.bizjournals.com/resources/executive-forum/2012/12/31/new-year-tips-to-stay-healthy-at-work.html?page=all

http://blogs.hbr.org/hbr/hbreditors/2013/01/to_stand_or_to_sit_at_work_an.html

http://www.abc.net.au/health/features/stories/2012/07/11/3542918.htm#.UOcHZW9LNvF

So the year begins….

Not really sure how 2013 is going to pan out yet but a fair bit has already changed.

I’ve been to my first kickboxing class of 2013. I was partnered with someone the same height and a female! The class went well and I emerged less bruised than normal and have just about regained the use of arms. Though my tenants are keen to try out an exercise class and are going to try a different kickboxing class on Tuesday this week. One of the main reasons we are going to try out this class together is because the first lesson is free and would be a good taster session. I’ll still go to my usual class, if tenants want they can come and give that a go as well.

I’m working on ways to increase my stamina levels and calorie content, as by the end of the class I feel like throwing up. I have a small stature as is and tend not eat much which is not helping when it comes to high cardio intensity activities such as Kickboxing which burns off whatever I’ve eaten much quicker than if I was just working out in the gym. I have cut back a bit on the tea, OK I’ve managed 1 day so far with an increase in water and juices and started taking some vitamin supplements. Time will tell how long I stick to them, I can already hear the bag of crisps calling me! 😉

I got a health grill for Christmas so as to encourage me to cook meals for myself instead of copping out and having dinner at my parents. At 34 I suppose I should fend for myself more but when my parents live 10 minutes away it is tempting to stop in on my way home from work. 😉

I have moved seats at work so I am sitting with the rest of the IT department. It’s not that I don’t mind change, it just takes me some time to get used to it. I’m still near the air con vents but am not feeling the cold so much, where I was sitting before I would be bundled up in layers and looking like the Stay Puft Marshamallow Man! (GhostBusters!)300px-Stay-puft-marshmallow-man

My television died over the Christmas holidays, it couldn’t slip away in silence instead decided to make an odd piercing noise followed by smoke coming out of it. The television was very old, we are talking about the chunky, brick style TV’s, but it did the job.  Since then I have brought myself into the modern world of televisions and purchased a flat screen TV. A television is a television right? Wrong, hook them up to the internet, plug-in USB’s and away you go!

I’m still working on the cupcake ideas though have been a bit slack, OK lazy, with the baking and ordering packaging etc. I am going to be proactively getting my booty into gear and getting back on that cupcake wagon 🙂

Healthy bug no more…until next time!

As I tucked into my Nutella on toast for breakfast I can honestly say that my healthy phase has run its course and I am back to eating food full of sugary goodness whilst vegetating in front of the TV or better still whilst in bed. 😀

I did try to be more healthy and stick with the gym and the kickboxing which I have been attending if somewhat sporadically. Family wise it has been a difficult month so far which could be a contributing factor to my lack of enthusiasm to jump up and down and sweat. Add germs, a cold that I can’t shift and baking cupcakes to the mix then really vegetating is the logical option. A cupcake and a mug of tea is the way to go. Speaking of tea, I don’t understand the need for tea cups. You get half the amount of tea and it goes cold whilst ‘brewing’ in a tea-pot! You can wrap up your tea-pot in a tea cosy but honestly why would you want to do that?  No give me a decent MUG of tea every time. I have to shamefully admit that I did nearly invest in a tea set that included the whole caboodle – a tea-pot, tea cups, saucers, a milk jug and sugar pot. Then I came to my senses and walked away. I have no need for a tea set, if you come to my house I’ll make you tea maybe once or twice then your ‘guest’ status will cease to exist and you can make your own tea, and make me one while you’re at it 😉

Even though my level of physical exercise does not seem to be increasing any time soon I have decided to cut back on the junk food and tea with two sugars. Mostly because my skin was suffering a major break out. Think back to the dot to dot pictures you used to do as a child, that is what my face was beginning to resemble! 😦 As a teenager you know there is the chance that you will have an acne break out but as you get older your hormones will settle down and your skin will clear. Well it’s all lies, as a female our hormones do not ever ‘settle’ down. for at least 7 days of the month we can be an emotional wreck and our darling hormones will continue to wreak havoc with our skin. I’m 34 now and I’m just getting over my recent spot outbreak, all I will say is thank goodness for makeup!  What I meant to say before my little diversion is that I think the red bush tea I’ve substituted normal tea for and sticking to a skin care routine does appear to be helping my skin, but I won’t be ditching the foundation just yet.

I briefly mentioned that for me and family it has been a difficult time, we unexpectedly lost a close family member. Not necessarily blood related but people who I still call auntie and uncle have been coming round to my parent’s house to pay respects. That’s all fine as it’s polite and a comfort, if you like all the aunties and uncles..but I don’t and begrudgingly will make tea for them if I have to. I’m not sure if it’s a diversionary tactic but focus of attention has on at least two occasions now been on me, with two aunties highlighting how old I am and isn’t it time I got married. Hmmm find me someone who doesn’t trigger my freak radar then I’ll think about it. Wrong answer! Two aunties whom I do like are now on the lookout for me, worst yet one auntie wants me to learn to cook more than beans on toast…help!