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.

 

 

 

 

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Motivation to stay on track

Ever since I came back from Norway I’ve used my dad’s old heart rate monitor, as I sort of might have left my own at the beach when I was in a hurry going to a festival ….. As with music, I cannot function during a workout without my heart rate monitor. There are not many things I think people crucially need to exercise (part from a pair of proper running shoes, no one should run/walk/exercise with shoes not suitable for their feet), but a heart rate monitor certainly works as a huge motivational factor for me.

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It helps me knowing how fast I need to run during intervals to reach a level of 90-95% of my max heart rate, it tells me how many calories I’ve burnt and how far I’ve gone for a walk (GPS), and it helps me keep at a steady heart rate of 150-160 when I’m doing my boring cross-trainer cardio in the afternoon. So now that the Polar one I’m using (I prefer Polar, but there are tons of other probably equally great brands out there) is telling me I have a heart rate of 237 while doing sit-ups (the max heart rate can be averagely calculated by subtracting your age from 220, which obviously means something as little as sit-ups shouldn’t raise my heart rate that much), I’m kind of realizing it is about time to invest in a new one.

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As anytime I’m in doubt, I’ve asked my health/fitness-freak of a dad for help. I am, like most girls, easy to sell in terms of design, and it’s therefore easy for me to choose something because it is pink, rather than because it is made of quality. Like the Nike FuelBand, I’d go there. But does it really serve any of the purposes I need it for? Not so much. I’m currently considering the Polar RC3 GPS HR, but if anyone has any other tips, I’d be very happy.

I know people struggle to stay motivated all the time, and I can tell you that when I first decided that I wanted to drop body fat and really start taking care of my body and health, I made a massive motivational board with pictures of things that I needed to (and still need to) remind myself the importance of. Things such as what benefits healthy food and exercise has, how sugar affects the brain, how the oil from chips clogs the veins, things reminding me that ‘actually, I can’.  No pictures of skinny girls or things that would make me feel angry or upset/ugly/fat/all the stupid things girls tell themselves, only motivation.

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Buying new, colorful workout clothes is something I still do whenever my motivation is lacking. I can spend hours in the Nike store trying to pick out what I want the most. Sure, you can exercise in your mom’s t-shirt from the 80’s because that way you don’t have to spend money on new things – but seriously, the fact that I get to wear as much pink or neon yellow in the gym as I want, gives me a massive reason to go to the gym. Being blonde kind of deprived me of the allowance to wear pink on pink in public on a daily basis, but I don’t really care in the gym. The more pink, the better. And trust me, running intervals in my Asics that have drowned in like twenty different colours is so much more fun. Not to mention, people (and guys) talk to you when you wear a rainbow in a place where most people only wear black. It’s fun.

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I also made little goals within the big goal. Things like going for a walk in the park for 30 minutes 4 times a week because I know I highly enjoy that, or healthy recipes that I promised myself to try following, rather than eating lettuce leaves every day. Even things like running my 4×4 intervals within a time period of 30 minutes and making them become 5 kilometers, and managing to be done working out and eating breakfast by 10 on days I didn’t really have too much of a reason to even get out of bed. One thing I never did, however, was to say that by a certain date I wanted to have lost x amount of kg, because if I reached that date and ‘failed’, I would have been so annoyed. Trusting the process is so important.

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Another thing that proved important to me, was having my measurements done. The hip to waist ratio is way more important than your weight and BMI, as the ‘dangerous’ fat often is stored around your waist. BMI can tell you that you’re overweight even if you’re not, because it doesn’t consider what part of you body is muscle and what part is fat.

Now, I know you guys favor these before/after pictures, and I’ve gotta admit I find it a bit awkward. But anything to illustrate my point, right.

This is a Norwegian who works out 6-8 times a week, but has an ok diet.

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and this is one who got fed up of being annoyed when trying on jeans and decided to make a change.

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No matter what you want to do, it is important to remember that it doesn’t happen over night. Consistency is key. There will be bad times, and there will be better times. Baby steps. Keep it up, and you will get exactly what you want.

Inspiration

Unfortunately, taking a break from real life requires a bit of catching up when you get back. I’ve almost been sitting on my ass all day long, every day, since I came home. I’ve had headaches for the past.. 72 hours, my back is aching and I’m so tired my eyes are stinging and get teary when I close them. And that is why working out is SO important to me. In spending so much time sitting still, my body needs that little hour of doing cardio or lifting weights every day. 60 tiny minutes. 4% of the day. It also needs the appropriate nutrition. Otherwise, I would crash.

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I was constantly working at uni for 7 hours yesterday, with my weekly 24-hour pounding headache in the background and when I was heading home, I was very tempted to skip going to body balance and just go to bed, I did after all smash my leg workout in the morning. But my headache doesn’t really allow me to sleep anyway, and whether I choose to go to body balance or not, my headache will still be present. So I went. And it helped. Stretching my back and all other kinds of tight muscles is probably the best I can do when I feel like I just wanna hide in the dark. Line went to spin-class with a massive headache too, and when we were talking on the way home, we discussed how much harder doing things really is when you have twenty elephants on top of your head. I guess I’m just trying to say that sometimes you have to push through and motivate yourself, but listen to your body. If you’re like my other friend, Lillian, who’s stuck with crutches and half a finger missing, maybe stay at home – but if you’re just tired from sitting down and working/studying all day; go do something.

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The other day, I was talking to Nathan, the poor guy in the gym who’s had to listen to all my complaining every time we do measurements or every time I want a new gym program, and I realized how much of a transformation he’s gone through without me even noticing. First getting to know him, he knew absolutely nothing about nutrition and probably didn’t care too much either. He’s probably one of the pickiest people I know (he barely likes fruit……), and we’ve had some interesting conversations/arguments in terms of food, i.e. I believe kids shouldn’t get sugar at footy-practise vs he thinks it’s fine. Anyway, he’s quit eating chocolate every damn day, and is now monitoring his carbs, fats and proteins. He’s even looked up what his typical food contains and calculated his average daily intake. He was saying that it doesn’t really require too much work or thinking, once you sort of know what you’re doing. And that you can eat as much vegetables as you possibly want. And he is of course right.

IMG_4124Tip; stock up on fresh vegetables so that you’re forced to prioritize eating that before it goes off

I am so proud. Like, words can’t even describe how proud I am. He wasn’t really interested in trying anything new or caring about food in the beginning, and I can’t take all the creds for what he’s done, but I like to believe that deep down somewhere I did inspire him just a little tiny bit. Forcing him to try sushi was a big step for humanity. But for change to happen, you have to be interested and willing to try new things. Forcing someone to the gym or to eat things they think they don’t like is pointless if they’re happy the way things are.

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My goal with this whole thing is to inspire people. I don’t care how many I inspire, as long as there is a possibility for changing someones attitudes into something better. I get these little messages and emails from you guys all the time, and they make me happy. It boosts my confidence knowing that I can positively influence the choices you make. It is also important to me that you know I’m not always good with everything and that I have shitty days where I don’t wanna get out of bed, but that’s when good routines play an important role – you just do it, because you’re so used to doing it no matter what.

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What’s your excuse?

How did you do it? What’s the secret? And of course you’ve given up on so much, do you even have a life?

So yes, I have lost weight. A fair amount too. Yes, I spend plenty of time in the gym, and some of my daily routines do revolve around food. But I still have a life. I study. I have friends. I go out. I treasure my candy-Saturday and if I have to, then yes, I eat what I’m served. From January and until now, I have lost 13 kg, lowered my body fat and gained muscle. Not too mention my skin has changed, I have more energy and I feel happier in general. My workout routine has not been altered much, but my lifestyle and way of eating has.

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I have torn three ligaments since I came to Melbourne (both ankles and my lower back, tip; don’t try to be cool in the gym and don’t walk down stairs when drunk), I have a 2 x operated left knee not interested in co-operating, I have hypermobile joints, and for the past 4 months I have been unfortunate enough to suffer the annoyance and pain of inflamed shoulders. Being the slightly grumpy, but oh so compelling Norwegian that I am, I have managed to build some sort of a support system and I am lucky enough to argue with both my physio, my dad and the poor poor gym instructors every time I am in pain, but refuse to not work out. So what have I learnt? Work around it. There is always a solution.

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Not only am I banned from running outside, I can’t bench press, my don’t-even-think-about-it-list of shoulder exercises is longer than the approved list, normal squats are out of the question – as are lunges and leg extensions, normal ab-crunches hurt and I am stuck with rehab exercises for an eternity. But that’s no excuse, is it? If it is important, you will find a way, and if it is not important – then, well, you will find an excuse.

If you can’t run, you can walk. If you have a nazi physio who argues with your definition of complete rest, you can still eat the right food. And pull through your elastic band rehab exercises. And yes, the humble Marita also admits that there is no use in overdoing things. Know your limits. Do it the way it works for YOU. I have been fortunate enough to get a lot of help, and I now know what I can do – and what I can’t. I don’t own a scale, I don’t do my own measurements and I don’t count calories. Having somebody being responsible for that (not the calorie part, counting calories is out of the question) has allowed me to not go crazy and not obsess too much. And they sure let you know once you’ve gone too far – I got yelled at for my bodyfat being too low, and I am trying to put on some more muscle. But remember, even though you have a PT making your gym program or a nutritionist telling you what to eat, you’re the one moving your body and you’re the one preparing your food.

IMG_1971October 2012 – May 2013

Maybe doing some kind of physical activity nine times a week sounds obsessive and crazy, maybe buying more fruit and vegetables than you can carry looks weird, maybe choosing an apple with cinnamon and peanut butter when other choose chips is found silly, but that is the way I have chosen to live my life.  A chocolate bar may only be 100 calories, but so is a banana, and I’d rather eat the calories packed with good things for my body. That one hour I spend in the gym in the morning equals 4% of my day, planning my meals is fun – and by all means, I still live a very happy and social life. And I get an excuse to buy and wear the most colorful workout clothes.

IMG_3133And finally, August 2013.