The difference between succeeding and failing

Warning; similarly to when I posted an entry about Australian guys, this entry might offend someone. Please remember that I’m often sarcastic, and don’t take everything I say deadly serious.

When it comes to being healthy, working out, and meeting our goals, some work hard and get results thereafter, others look for shortcuts, and see minimal results.

The difference between the one getting the results and the one barely getting results is that the ones with results never lie to themselves. They know if they’ve been eating bad or skipped a gym session, and will make further choices based on that decision.

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If a person getting results is out and about, and forgot to bring a snack/food, he/she will not go to the nearest fast-food joint to buy food, he/she will instead head to the nearest supermarket/health food shop/fruit shop to stock up on bananas, nuts, and other nutritious snacks. There is never an excuse for making poor food choices!

You will see a person getting results eating this

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not this

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when in need of a snack during the day.

Someone seeing results will find a way to buckle the cravings, i.e make dessert healthy, and therefore eat dessert every day. This person is also likely to have one bad treat now and then, because they know that one bad meal once in a while won’t hurt them. Treats 4 times a week, on the other hand, will.

A person with results will go for a run even when the legs feel like heavy blocks, just because it is Monday and Monday is the day to run. If the weather is bad, this person will find a way around it. There is never an excuse to skip exercise!

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The very same person is also likely to go for walks, happily take the stairs, and pay attention to the choices they make during one day. He/she will not make poor choices in the supermarket

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and will not eat a protein bar of 400 calories and a Boost smoothie packed with sugar and more calories than a normal dinner, after their workout, even if they want to. He/she will know that a banana and a proper meal is more than sufficient, and be satisfied knowing that they are nourishing their body properly.

He/she will also know that the fewer ingredients a product has, the better it is for you. And that the first ingredient on the list is what the product contains the most of.

It will be common knowledge that sugar, gluten, yeast and sodium are products we should try to refrain from to a greater extent, and that eating enough of the right food is important to be able to stay away from the bad food.

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The dedicated type of person, is also the kind of person to see results. My housemate has ankylosing spondylitis, in other words a chronic form (meaning she’s stuck with it for the rest of her life) of arthritis causing inflammation in the joint that joins the hip and the spine. She went from being super active to stuck in a hospital bed in no time, but is slowly learning to function again. Despite being very limited in terms of what she can do, she gets up at 5 every morning, rides her bike for 20 min to the gym, to either do rehab and stretch, go in the pool or do the limited amount of weights she is allowed to. If she can, so can you.ย 

A person with results will know his/her limitations. He/she will understand when to suck it up, and when to stay at home in bed. The rule is; if it hurts from the chest and down – stay at home, if not – sweat it out in the gym.

The person getting results will be ‘cheating’ with the food the person not getting results is eating on a daily basis. Your daily toast and bowl of pasta is my guilty pleasure once a month.

The successful person will know that dedicating time in the gym is only the start. Anything is always better than nothing, but the results most people want are not going to come unless a proper diet is acquired. Why waste your time on endless hours in the gym, only to come home and eat food that your body can’t use to rebuild what you just broke down?

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The person getting results will, however, also be the one understanding that everything has to be balanced. He/she will understand that it is all about the lifestyle change, not a quick fix or a temporary diet, that it is a journey in which he/she will fail, but learn from those mistakes and keep going. He/she will find a way to be healthy, get fit, but also ‘live’ their life. It’s never all or nothing, it’s about finding the way that works for you.

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Foodie talks

That incredibly sad moment when you grab the wrong lunch box in the fridge. This

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was meant to be cauliflower-crust pizza. Yes, I was very sad.

Prepare yourself for a little bit of a food ramble. My life is hectic, I swear every hour of my day is booked, and I have now had to skip a day of uni to be able to catch up with uni assignments – oh the irony.

Anyway, when life is so hectic that you pass out at 9.15 on a Saturday night, all you can do is cherish your body (yes, pun intended). I may not have the time to cook healthy food for hours each day, so I make sure that I stock up on fresh produce, lean protein and fruit when I actually have some spare time. The dishes created might not have a name, come from a recipe or even be remotely exciting. But it is healthy, it provides my body with energy, and most importantly – it never EVER comes from a can, a box, a frozen package or a fast-food place. Cook your own food, know what you eat – stay healthy. It is as simple as that.

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Try reading the label of a can of iced tea, should only contain tea and water/ice cubes – guaranteed that the list of ingredients exceeds that, and it will be packed with sugar. What about a box of pre-made guacamole? For sure more than just avocado, lime, garlic and coriander. Or a can of tomato soup? High in sodium, high in sugar, high in preservatives – and very low in nutritional value and vitamins. Making your own soup takes about 10 minutes, search the internet, suck it up – and do it.

I normally never buy bread or crisp bread, but for the occasion of a tapas-night, I had to. Spent 30 minutes reading labels, trying to find a gluten-free bread with as little ingredients as possible, and boy was I surprised – the manufacturers add so much crap to bread! Most of us have tried baking our own bread, and we all know that there is no need to add apple juice or preservative A, B and C, to make a healthy bread. Just keep in mind that the food might not be healthy, just because it is labeledย gluten-free, sugar-free and fat-free. Something else has usually been used to substitute those ingredients.

It is also fully possible to have a completely healthy girl’s night in (okay maybe ignore the chips and the crackers, remember; no one is telling you that you have to eat the bad food on the table).

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Because I very rarely eat carbs like quinoa, rice, couscous, and bread, this night may have made me look slightly pregnant

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On the note of preservatives. I’ve been testing pre-workouts due to my lack of energy in the gym. Bad idea. Pre-workouts are often added ingredients that no one should ever put in their bodies. Pre-workouts are, in fact, banned in Norway. (And so is any candy that is coloured blue, but that is another story). Let me demonstrate

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These pictures don’t even justify what happened to me, or what I looked like. Already in the car (10 minutes after I drank it), I told my boyfriend that my heart was hurting, and I kept scratching my skin. Got to the gym, looked in the mirror, and my skin was covered in massive red patches, and I was all flustered and dizzy. Also had pins and needles in pretty much every limb of my body. Even though it made me look like this at the end of my workout

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And let me burn this many calories

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I just don’t think it was worth it. No more pre-workout for this little Norwegian.

I’ve had a few days where I’ve either forgotten to bring dinner to work, or been too lazy

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The important thing is to note that this does not happen often, I dare say that 3 out of 4 weeks are close to perfect when it comes to my food.

I am a blog-nerd, and I’ve been reading health and fitness blogs for years, but it is not until I realized that the food and suggestions that they posted to their blog was what they ate all the time, that I understood how I could change my own lifestyle. I can’t remember the last time I ate ‘normal’ pasta, pizza or burgers, or the last time I had anything canned (as in meals, I use canned tomatoes, beans etc) because that’s just no longer a part of who I am.

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I went to Yong Green Food on Brunswick St this weekend, and had this healthy little gem

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No bad ingredients, no allergens. Happy Marita. Everything on their menu is healthy (and cheap), so I suggest anyone who has the chance heads there ASAP.

I often get asked about protein bars, supplements, protein shakes etc. My only advice is; buy the ones with as little ingredients and sugar as possible. Nothing that the supermarket sells! The only protein bar I can personally approve of is the Quest bars (you can get them from iherb.com, or a couple of health food stores in Melbourne), as they never leave me bloated or feeling sick. But remember, this is still a chocolate. 200 calories – about 20 minutes on the treadmill. If you are trying to lose weight, consider where you want to get those 200 calories from, what’s going to fill you up the most?

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Favouriteย flavors; white chocolate raspberry, double choc chunk brownie and cookies and cream.

My client, Julijana, has started mocking the ‘just do your repetitions’ face that I give all my clients when they don’t want to do what I’m telling them to

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As if you wouldn’t do another set of squats to that face.

I’ve also made a Facebook page for this blog to make it easier to keep up with posts and motivation for you guys ๐Ÿ™‚

Should you not be sick of my endless writing yet, have a look at my article about Personal Training here.

Somewhere only we know

Thought I’d just show you why I love my job, and why I don’t mind 13 hour working days anymore. Getting up at 5 is all worth it when you get people like this to hang out with.

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Or when you have clients who swear at you for an entire hour, yet hug you and laugh at you as soon as the session is over. It’s for sure nothing like spending 13 hours in a supermarket, time flies!

Anyway, my lack of motivation has turned into a slight motivation again. A beach-weekend away and a killer hill-sprint session was all I needed.

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And should you wonder what a face in pain looks like after 10 competitive sprints with someone who beats you even when he let’s you get a head-start, let me enlighten you

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That was monday, my legs are still very much in pain. In fact, I have to physically move them with my hands when I sit down and want to get anywhere. Tough life.

I’m lucky if I burn between 300-500 calories during a 1hr session with myself, but these sprints…. a 7 minute light warm-up jog and 10 hill-sprints aka 25 minutes all together smashed out 400 calories all by themselves. I guess I’ve realized that I work a lot harder around people that I either want to impress or people that I respect because they are better than me.

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Also had a proper body composition scan done, and I guess I should give myself a tap on the shoulder because I am way above average. Low fat, muscular body type, well hydrated, protein and mineral levels are optimal and my biological age turned out to be 20. All this has now given me motivation to keep improving my body, work on all the…inaccuracies that I know I walk around with, and fill out the low body fat with strong muscles.

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On another note

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No one has time. Ever. There’s so much other stuff that people tend to prioritize, but why would you not prioritize your health? You’re stuck with your body forever, and you might as well make the effort to make it the best version it can be. Imagine ten years from now, when that back-pain has worsened, when your spine is twisted because you didn’t strengthen your core and you walk around with headaches all day because the past ten years you’ve been sitting in front of your computer, your TV and your Xbox, eating crap, processed food because that’s where your comfort zone is found. MAKE THE DAMN TIME. I work at least 20-25 hours a week, I’m in the last year of my degree – and if I can make time, if Barrack Obama can make time – then so can you. Get out of that comfort zone.

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photo 2 (6)And for God’s sake – eat the right food. Stop poisoning your body. I’ve forced the boyfriend and my housemate to join my 8 week health-kick. No more frozen yoghurt every weekend no matter how sugar-free and dairy-free it is. Pick one bad habit that you have, and get rid of it for the next 8 weeks.

 

 

 

 

What are you exercising for?

Some Norwegian blogger has stated that anyone who exercises and eats healthy is only ever doing it for the looks. Girls to be skinny, guys to be muscly. And I can, to some extent agree. It all usually starts with the desire to look good, never really to feel better, BUT as you learn what your body is capable of and how it reacts to various types of food, I dare claim that you keep doing it because of the way it makes you feel on the inside.

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Sure, these past weeks I’ve been as little motivated as you can ever imagine, but because I’ve found a way of exercising that I like, and made it a routine, I’ve still been doing it. New after I started working is less exercise hours during the week. I no longer do 9 sessions, but 6, as the cardio I used to do during the evening has been swapped for running after my clients all day long. I know what it’s like not being able to do anything, when all you really want to is to exercise. Knees, ankles, back, shoulders – you name it, been there done that, and it sucked. 4 months of only walking because the upper body didn’t wanna co-operate, but I still got out of bed and walked. Every day. Because I like the way I feel after moving my body, and I don’t like the way I feel when I know I’ve been dodging what I’m meant to do.

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I also know what it’s like to be 15kg heavier and dreading putting on tight clothes, and I don’t ever want to go back there.

IMG_4666So yes, a part of me is exercising and eating healthy because I want to maintain what I’ve worked so hard for. But the bigger part of me is exercising and actually loving vegetables because of the way it makes me feel, all I want is a well-functioning and strong body that is injury and pain free. Sure, I’d love to be able to do pull-ups (veeeery slowly getting there), and other cool Instagramable stuff, but if that means that I’m gonna go back to not sleeping because my shoulder joints are inflamed, then no. I’ve found a balance in my life, and I like it that way. Having that said, I had 3 cheat days this weekend, so yes – it is possible to not be healthy, even for me, and I kinda freaked out, but it didn’t turn me into the Marita that I was a year ago – all it did was give me bad skin and made me feel like shit, but there’s nothing a little bit of fruit and vegetables can’t fix, right (yes, I’m joking).

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Anyway, my little sister requested a cookie recipe.

Mix 2 eggs, 1-2 ripe bananas, almond milk (other milk/water), raw honey (not necessary) and PB2 or peanut butter. Add rolled oats, baking powder, sesame seeds, chopped dried figs, almonds (or other nuts), dates, a sprinkle of sea salt, raw cocoa, chocolate protein powder, cinnamon, cardamom and ground ginger. Form the dough (it’s meant to be a bit sticky) into cookies on a baking tray, put them in the oven on 200 degrees for 10-15 minutes, and voilรก, soft, chewy cookies that probably won’t last more than a day because you will eat it all.

They see me rollin’

People often forget that exercise doesn’t only revolve around the actual workout that they do. What matters just as much, is how you treat your body pre and post workout, and what you do to further enhance your performance during a workout. I had never heard about trigger point release or foam rolling until I came to Australia. Probably spent my first 6 months in a gym here just rolling around and pretending I knew what I was doing, then I saw an exercise physiologist, and whoa my mind was blown.

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The body is connected by various lines, so let’s say someone has poor stability in their ankles, but also suffers from headaches. Could that be connected? Hell yes. Let’s consider me, myself and I in this case. I have the worst ankles (aka torn ligaments in both), one knee with 2x surgery that still isn’t fine and one knee that acts up all the time, one hip flexor is incredibly tight, I’ve got a winged scapula, and I’ve had weekly non-migraine headaches since I was about 12. I did my knee for the first time when I was 12, but no one has managed to tell me that it could be related to the headaches until about a few months ago. In other words, my spiral line is affected, and my body is compensating for the pain in the lower parts by giving me pain in other places.

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And this is where foam rolling and trigger point release comes in. The general rule is that you start at the bottom of your body and work your way closer to the heart and head. Find a point where it hurts at about 7/10, breathe into the pain, hold until the pain releases at about 4/10 and work your way up the body. Tip; inner thighs and front of thighs hurt like hell. Don’t resist the pain by tensing your muscles, as that will work against the purpose and make it worse. Also, when foam rolling or releasing trigger points, your body will be releasing and flushing out toxins that has been stored in your body for a long period of time. The first time I did it, I actually felt really sick, and my face kind of turned green and I felt like I was about to throw up… My point is, that it works. I feel better, I move better, and I don’t have to force anyone else to give me a massage when I can just release the pain on my own.

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I can’t believe I’ve worked as a PT for over a month already, time goes by so fast, and I swear I’ll probably be 25 (that’s when life ends) before I even notice. Anyway, what I’ve realized is that people tend to trick themselves. The amount of people who claim they eat healthy….. When they tell me what they’ve eaten that day, it’s typically sugar with sugar on top, with a little bit of sugar next to the sugar. Most people are generally good with their dinners, but let me just tell you – it doesn’t matter how many veggies you put on your dinner plate, if you eat crap for the other 3 meals of the day.

Be good with your food, do some foam rolling – and take care of your bodies!

New Year, New You?

You know you’ve been out of Norway a bit too long when you have to Google translate things from English to Norwegian when writing articles for your dad…

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Anyway. Happy New Year my dear little fitness freaks (and stalkers), a New Year – a new you, isn’t that what we all try to tell ourselves? I personally believe, that all you need is a new morning, to change whatever you’re not happy with, but now that we actually have 12 fresh months ahead of us, we might as well make the best of them, right?

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I’ve had a blast in Sydney, and whatever slight definition of abs I had before I left, is now gone. HOWEVER, I’m not crying. I know that all it will take is another two weeks of doing what I love to do, to get back to where I was before Christmas.Food has been left in charge of the hosts, but I have tried to keep some balance in there (if you ignore my day-long eating parties from Christmas Eve to..eh New Years Eve) and I’ve pretty much had oats and eggs every day, I’ve also aimed for my daily portions of fruit and chosen water, coconut water or a freshly squeezed juice (beetroot, apple, carrot, celery and ginger – get in me) over soda and wine (particularly after I discovered that Diet Coke contains the same chemical as that used to clean garbage bins..).

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There has been time for the occasional workout too, but I’ve spent plenty of time soaking the sun and laughing with my crazy fellow Norwegians. We should all remember that what matters is what you do for the rest of the year, not necessarily what you do for Christmas.

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As a result of putting my body through a lot of stress before Christmas, I have pretty much been sick ever since I left for Sydney. Eating food with sugar has for sure not helped my recovery, so I’ve said that there will be no cheats until I feel like myself again. This might, however, has happened yesterday when I was all by myself and very bored …..

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See, things don’t always go my way either. I did my first run of 2014 in Sydney, and it was bloody hard, I had to stop several times and my heart rate was abnormally high considering that I was running very slowly. I forced through a leg session Friday morning and even though I increased all my weights, I actually threw up before I left the gym because I had pushed my body too hard. Still sore from that leg session by the way. On Saturdays I always pick whatever exercises I like the most and do them without too much structure, and it’s usually fun, however this Saturday was a struggle and I left the gym drowned in sweat. New week, great start, I thought to myself this wonderful Monday morning. 30 minutes of 4×4 intervals, 15 minutes of core-exercises and 15 minutes of foam rolling later…

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HELL, is all I have to say. This is brutal. But I still do it. I love doing it. And I can’t wait to get back to where I was. Motivation is what gets you going, habit is what keeps you going. Make it a lifestyle, guys – all it takes is 4% of your day.

Days of our lives

Or my life, at least. Thought I’d give you a little look into what my oh so glamorous life looks like these days, simply to prove my point of how easy it is to exercise and eat right if you prioritize it.

This picture pretty much sums up my predicted future.

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But let’s talk about right now. Planning is the key. I always make sure I buy enough vegetables and fruit, this is what last Sunday’s shopping looked like. (I also got eggs, and I’ve got turkey, chicken and fish in the freezer).

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I’ve been starting my day at 5.15 to either go to boot camp or to the gym, looking feisty and fresh as I do so well. Week 7 of boot camp was hell, and my body felt so heavy, I was worried it was gonna stop moving at one point.

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I’m then typically in a hurry and have about 45 minutes to do all that necessary girl stuff before I have to leave the house again. Breakfast at 7.30 (usually eaten whilst putting make up on or packing food for the rest of the day) – porridge of rolled oats, water and cinnamon, topped with a banana, peanut butter and whatever else I can find in the kitchen, a boiled egg, and omega-3 and magnesium pills swallowed with water. Oh, and some green tea – if I have time.

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After a couple of hours at PTA Global, I’m hungry again, and it’s snack-time. My go-to-snack these days have been cookies made by mixing an egg, pb2, almond milk and a ripe banana with oats, coconut, almonds, a couple of vanilla stevia drops and chopped figs and nuts. And I’ve gone carrot-crazy, pretty sure I eat about 5 a day, if not more.

Followed by more information about the world of exercise comes lunch. This week has been full of salads as I roasted sweet potato, normal potato, pumpkin and carrot and a couple of chicken breasts in the oven to keep in the fridge when quick fixes for food was needed. Never a meal without dessert, I always keep fruit nearby.

IMG_5165That lunch box was topped with spinach, avocado, mango and cucumber after the picture was taken.

At PTA Global we do a lot of exercise throughout the day (duh, it’s personal training, can’t demonstrate or learn without moving the body), which requires a little bit more energy for the body to make it to the afternoon gym session. Coconut water (the ones without added sugar of course) and another piece of fruit has been my thing the past week.

Considering that I’m already wearing workout clothes (and if I’m not too tired to function from the morning session), I travel directly to the gym again. Push through a sweaty cardio session, and straight home for dinner.

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A sweaty Marita means a hungry Marita, and the tuna-crust pizza I tried the other week has for sure become one of my favourite dishes. Try mixing a bit of curry powder in the pizza base. No tuna flavour, guaranteed.

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After a bit of showering and stalking people online, I do of course need dessert (yes, again), and a protein smoothie is never wrong. Frozen blueberries, banana, protein powder, almond milk, cinnamon and coconut – can never go wrong with all of that in one mix.

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I also make sure I drink about 3L of water a day.

Rather than my 9 usual gym sessions this week, I ‘only’ did 7. By the end of friday my body felt like a heavy bag of sand, and I figured there was no point pushing it beyond that. I also shortened down my evening cardio sessions, and sadly missed going to body balance. My leg session on friday before my fitness instructor practical assessment was, however, magnificent. I haven’t done a high-rep leg day in ages, and it was good to be reminded that light weight and many repetitions kills too – I’m still sore.

Oh, and I’ve had a few dinners looking like this ..

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I guess I’m once again trying to prove that it doesn’t have to be difficult to stay healthy. No one has to go as crazy as me, but I know that I don’t like doing weights in the afternoon, so I’d rather pass out at 9 every night to be able to get up early and get my usual morning session out of the way. Yeah it’s been tiring, and yes it has required me to pre-pack my lunch the night before, but I feel so much better when I eat right and exercise.

Right around the corner from PTA Global, they have Prahran Health Foods, and that place is like heaven. They have everything! Even the wraps I’ve ordered my dad to send me all the way from Norway! I’m not an advocate of protein bars, but everyone keeps talking about the famous Quest bars, and I’ve never bothered ordering them from iHerb because you have to order like 12, and I’d sort of like to taste one and see what they are like before ordering an entire box, but I’ve never found one in Melbourne. Prahran Health Foods had pretty much every flavour, and I’ve gotta say, I’m impressed. I hate the whey protein taste, and I do in general not like protein bars, but the Quest bars actually taste nice. They are the best protein bars I’ve ever tried, and the ingredients are a lot better than that of what you’ll find in a normal supermarket. Having that said, I still think you should reach for a banana or another type of fruit when in need of energy. There’s a reason why they’re referred to as proteinย chocolates.

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