Goodbye gym – hello kickboxing course!

Yes, that is right! I have cancelled my gym membership! And by the looks of it I’m not going back until I move back to Newcastle :3

The kickboxing class on Tuesday was fantastic! It was intense, it was new, it was very different!

The class started with a cardio/body weight excerxise warm up. Then our trainer did a recap/introduction to basic moves. Between each set of reps there was a set of body weight exercises. We started with punches then moved onto kicks. In the second half of the class the group was split into beginners and seniors and received appropriate training. It was like a group PT. I have thoroughly enjoyed it, sweat an awful lot and was exhausted by the end!

I have to admit that I thought it was gonna be just a general fitness class with kickboxing moves – well I was wrong. It is a martial arts school and the focus is on that. And for that reason there is no such thing as ‘pay as you go’. If you do it you have to be committed and sign up for a minimum of 6 months, where hey train you up to red belt – and hen you can carry on until black belt. This took me by surprise, but because I enjoyed it so much, I did enrol and signed up for a 6-month course (and got a month for free 😉). Even though it cost me a lot in one go, now I’ve got 1 class per week paid for until the end of the year. 

I also got a uniform! Love it!

Health and beauty: frizzy hair

Slightly off topic…

So, I don’t know if any of you guys has this problem, but I’ve been suffering from the dreadful frizz for a couple of years now, and I’m not sure what to do.

You have to know that I have a loooot of hair! It’s thick and wavy, which is great, I know a lot of people would be jealous of it, but the frizz makes it look like a gigantic bird’s nest. And I am not exaggerating.

When I was younger I never used any conditioners because all of them just weighed down my hair and gave it a horrible greasy look. I just used a regular shampoo and done – didn’t even need a hair dryer!

But for some reason (I guess it is ageing and living in a different climate) in the past few years the problem was just growing. Now my hair became so frizzy, that I need to either tie it up all the time or straighten it.

First I thought that my hair was damaged from straightening, so I stopped doing that and I bought and tried a few hair repair products, such as Aussie’s Miracle Moist Shampoo and Miracle Recharge Spray, and Tony and Guy’s hair mask. To be perfectly honest – they did not make any difference at all.

In the end I had a look around on the internet and found out that my best choice is to invest into a conditioner that is for frizzy hair and to use it with a shampoo that is also for the same purpose.

When I bought my Aussie shampoo I actually got three bottles – it was on offer, and to be honest I can only afford it then. I got three different bottles, Miracle Moist, Luscious Long and Frizz Miracle. Also, because I travel a lot between Newcastle and London, I have another batch of Frizz Miracle at home… So I did not want to buy any more shampoo.

TRESemme‘s conditioner for frizzy hair was on offer (it was the biggest bottle for £2.50) when I decided to buy some, I got that. Together with Aussie Frizz Miracle it seems to be doing a good job – except if I dry my hair! I have a Nicky Clarke hairdryer, which was also recommended for frizzy hair – well it does not make a difference. Same for the conditioner if I use it with any of the other two Aussie shampoos I have.

I am not saying that any of these products are bad – it just looks like I haven’t found the right combo yet…

Any ideas/experiences/advices?

Running update

OK so…

Since my first 5k at the beginning of the month I have only been running a few times, about once a week. The longest run I did was 3.5km, and I ran with my other half once, but that was it really. I find it a little difficult to find motivation at the moment.

Since my calorie and snack cut I was feeling a little weaker than usual (never mind PMS also getting in the way…) so I didn’t go to the gym at all. And it made me realise how much I didn’t like the gym I had been going to! I got bored of my routine, I started to hate treadmill running and I just missed fitness classes! The classes at this gym weren’t attractive at all – never mind that they were just in the corner of the gym… So I froze my membership, but I might cancel it completely later. It all depends on one thing:

I signed up for a free trial class at the local martial arts centre. They do a women only class, and I believe it is kickboxing. It sounds very interesting, I can’t wait to try it! The idea of a stress-releasing kick-ass group class at a martial arts centre that is closer to my place and more easily accessible than the gym makes it even more appealing! My class is on Tuesday, I will let you know how it was, I really hope it will work.

And even though it will be more expensive than the gym, I think it will work better for me!

No unhealthy snacks challenge update

I have to say that it has gone extremely well. The reason I started this whole thing was because I felt like my office-snacking was getting out of control. I am not a biscuit person, but still, there was not a day when I ate less than four biscuits in the past couple of months. They slowly replaced my fruit and nut snacks, after a while I didn’t even bother taking any with me. I became lazy and consumed excessive amounts of useless calories.

I thought it was a great plan – I even accounted to the fact, that if I ban one type of snack I will just make up for the loss with others. I cut out all biscuits, chocolate bars, cakes, sweet pastries, crisps. I kept small amounts of soft drinks, savoury crackers, salted popcorn, and jam, so that I don’t shock my system with a total sugar cut out.

It worked really really really well!

In the first week I haven’t lost any weight, so I decided to ask count calories and watch my macros a little. I limited myself to 1850 kcal – which seems to be a lot, but I have a good muscle mass and I don’t have the usual sitting-at-a-desk-all-day job. Without the sweets and snacks it was super easy to keep within the limit – on most days I was below 1700 kcal.

The result: I have lost about 2kg in the past month! My lowest weight was 70.9kg, which took me so much closer to the magic 70kg line! I have only 1kg to go!!!

I have to admit, that I screw up with crisps twice… 😦

The first time was when I went to the cinema and got some nachos for myself – I didn’t even realise what I had done until I ate half of it! It just made me think: how automated are our choices of food? How much effort does it take to think and choose the healthy option if possible?

The second time was yesterday: I GAVE BLOOD! I gave blood for the very first time in my life, and I was feeling weak, so I had to grab a snack, and the choices were biscuits or crisps. But the whole experience was fantastic, it just felt so good to do something selfless. My sister used to be a regular blood donor before she became ill, and I know she helped so many people.

But I am still good on sweet snacks, and only two days to go 🙂 I know that is not going to be an issue 🙂

The verdict

I am perfectly fine without biscuits. I don’t think I will start eating them again. I missed cakes though – a lot! I had dreams in which I ate cake (then felt extremely guilty).

I know I can eat some in moderation. But it is more important that I feel good in my body and about myself.

Still shattered – but it was worth it!

I finally have time (and a little bit of energy…) to reflect on yesterday’s run.

In summary: it was absolutely amazing!

The weather was not very kind to us. I woke up at 5:22am to the rain! I must mention that I have a roof room, but still, it was very heavily raining. I had a short panic attack, given that I have done outdoor running only once in my training, but it was indeed a short terror – I went back to sleep almost immediately.

I took half of the day off work so I could get there for the start at 4:30pm. In fact I was there by 3:30pm. I got drenched on my way to the train station… I was worried that I had to run in that kind of awful weather and that I would catch a cold or some infection. But by the time I got to the Tower it was actually sunny! I collected my T-shirt (which you can see in the pictures in my previous post here.

We had a funny warm up and then off we went! There were soooooooo many people. My racing number was just above 15,000, but the highest number I saw was well over 56,000! I don’t know what the numbering system was (I doubt there were as many as 41,000 runners), but it was fantastic to see so many people. Kids, adults, elderly – even a mum with her baby in a pushchair! I was stunned and touched by the whole concept and atmosphere.

It was a very emotional day for me. I thought of my sister a lot, but at the same time I was distracted by the excitement over my first 5k race.

The race was indeed in the moat of the Tower. A 1km lap was marked out, and you ran as much as you wanted to between 1km and 10km. So it was 5 laps for me.

I managed to run the first km – I was impressed! I ran out of breath so quickly so I was very close to giving up, but NO. I kept telling myself that I had to run the first lap, and so I did. After that I did intervals of fast walking and fast running.

It was so good that I could count the laps. It was easier to keep track of how much I had done without getting my phone out of my pocket (which obviously had the run keeper app running to track my speed!). The first time I checked my phone was after 3.5km – and it was so good to see that I was doing well. At that point the timer was at 30:00, which included the 5 minute warm up, so I was at 3.5km and 25:00 minutes! That really powered me, so I ran even more.

Sadly I had an awful toe cramp towards the end of my 4th lap – it was sooooo painful… But I just kept going, I knew there wasn’t an awful lot left, so I just forced it. With a hindsight: yes, it could have gone wrong and I could have ended up with a more serious injury, but hey, I didn’t 🙂

The weather was actually fine in the end. It was overcast and a little bit of rain every now and then. It was very windy as well, but I could only feel that in one side of the moat only, the rest was OK. Running on grass? It was very gentle on my knees, not so gentle on my toes. The ground was uneven and the gravel parts were very wet and a little slippery – but it was a better experience than the treadmill, never mind all those other people running with me…

And crossing the finish line… It was amazing! I was given a medal and lots of ‘well done’ and it was just great!

In summary: It was absolutely amazing 🙂

Would I do it again? YES YES YES!

Would I do more than 5k? No. The maximum I can run in one go is 1km so far – I know I can train to do more than that and to do it fast, but I just can’t see myself doing more than 5k. I want to be able to run that in one go first, but I’m afraid that will take me a long time.

Will I swap the gym for outdoor running? Hmmm I am actually thinking about it. Now that I know how amazing it can be to run outdoors… There are lots of things for it and lots of things against leaving the gym… I’ll let you know how I decided! 🙂

Running – fresh air vs. treadmill

Sorry, I was meant to post this last week:

So last night I went out for a run with my other half – I’m in Newcastle for the weekend and I have no gym membership here, and I thought it would be really useful to do some outdoor running. 

Needless to say that I was struggling. Like really struggling. Fresh air, hills, roads – it had such an impact on my body that it’s difficult to describe. I didn’t manage 5k – even walking home was just too much. I was aching in places I didn’t think I could ever ache from running – like my inner thigh muscles omg…

On the other hand, it was such an amazing experience. I managed the first 900m running, and it was uphill! I was very impressed that I made it that far, especially because I only started running a couple of months ago. 

And it was so nice to run with T. He’s a good long distance runner, and even after a very long gap he was a lot better than me. It was very motivating to keep up with him (and probably also the cause of my aches 😅).
I’ve been to the gym twice since that run, and sadly I didn’t manage to run another 5k. Slightly worrying as the run is next Wednesday, but now I just want to rest, so that I can actually run it. On the good side: I ran my best time for 3k on Wednesday, which was 7:03/km! I couldn’t run any further sadly as I was very tired from work. Hopefully an energy gel will power me through my 5k on Wednesday!
Thanks for everyone who donated to the British Heart Foundation supporting my run – we have raised over £100 in less than a month! I am very fortunate to have such amazing friends and it is good to do something for a great and important cause.

There is still time to donate, follow this link to my donation page:

I’m back!

Hello dear followers!

Long time no see! Sorry for the absence, and thank you for your faithfulness 🙂

Tumblr just didn’t work for me – I realised that I really missed WordPress and my fitness blog!

Big news: I’m running a 5k for the British Heart Foundation in less than two weeks’ time! 

Training was tough, but I managed to run 5k for the first time, which was an amazing achievement! I’m really glad I signed up for this. 

If you want to support my run, please donate to the BHF via this link:

Every donation is greatly appreciated!
Again, thanks for following – and stay tuned, this blog is back!

Insanity fitness test and day 1

Hello dear readers!

I am very sorry about the long pause again, but I have been really really busy recently. There are a lot of changes in my life.

First of all I have got a new job! I will be working for Historic Royal Palaces as an assistant cataloguer! And this means that I will be moving to London!!!
I am so excited about this! I’ve always wanted to live in London and now I have the chance to work there! This is amazing I still can’t believe it!

In terms of my fitness life this means an awful lot of changes. I had to cancel my gym membership here at Gateshead, and I had to cancel my monthly PT sessions with Erika as well. I had a look at what kinds of gyms there are in the area of where I will be living, and there are quite a few, but they are rather expensive. I don’t think I will be able to afford that, but I will see. It all depends on my accommodation.

So I was looking for a good home workout. I tend to be rather easy-going with home workouts, but I like a good sweat. So I had the crazy idea of starting Insanity!

Yesterday I did the fitness test and it was tough. Today I did the first workout and it was even tougher. It is no wonder it is called insanity!

But to be honest, I absolutely love it!!! I never ever sweat so much in any kind of gym class! I believe it will be very good for my fitness levels because I believe I am strong, but if I have to run I don’t last very long. Although I’m fitter than a year ago I still run out of breath quite quickly.

I will definitely carry on! Even if I skip or delay the days when I actually go to the gym before my gym membership expires, but I will do it!

Wish me good luck!