Monday, July 24, 2017

Me Vs Me

Is it me or does time fly for everyone? I just realized I have been in Lebanon for a whole month. It feels like we have just arrived.

I am trying to keep on track with my fitness goals but somehow my diet has taken a hit. Not that I put on weight (I hope! My old school scale is not very accurate here) but I am definitely stuck on a damn plateau. This has got to be the most annoying phase of a diet. 

Source: IG

I have switched from EMS to Personal Training here, mostly for practical reasons. In the little town where I am spending my summer, choices are limited and the nearest EMS studio is 40 minutes away. It seems a bit ridiculous to drive an hour and a half in scorching heat for a 20 minutes session. 

And what better motivation than to have your workout brought to you? It is not like I can escape my own home. 

Source: IG

Jokes aside, this has been hard: a whole hour, five days a week. I feel like I am getting fitter, obviously, but unfortunately, this is not reflecting on my weight yet. 

However, I have decided to stop obsessing about the scale and find new ways to motivate myself to stay fit. Because unfortunately, working out still feels like a chore. Whoever said the first 20 days are the hardest is an idiot. It never gets easy! But I guess this is where commitment comes to play. You need to want it, bad. 

New Challenges

The first time I stumbled upon Spartans on Instagram, I was floored. Who on Earth would ever do that? As my dear Vani would say: "There aren't enough wet wipes in the world!"

Then I realized these psychos were actually doing something fantastic: Special Spartans! And I told myself, one day I would race with Jad. What a monumental way to show support and raise awareness on Autism, right? That was a while ago and back then, I was very far from where I stand today and the idea of racing to something other than a cup of coffee seemed surreal. 

A few days ago, I stumbled upon a post from Spartans Arabia and decided to contact them and ask about the next race in the UAE. It turns out it is happening soon: November 10 in Hatta. If that is not the universe telling me it is not hearing my lousy excuses, then I do not know what that is!

Source: Spartan Arabia

BRING IT SPARTA!

I am so ready for you! I will train like a mad woman and I will race and... I will not die. Hopefully. It would be very unfortunate. Those races take place in the mud and all kinds of crazy, dirty holes. I am not sure anyone would pick me up if I would happen to collapse somewhere...

So this summer is like a pre-training program right now. When I get to Dubai, I have about two months to kick my butt into shape. 

Then, it's mud time baby! ;)

(Hopefully I will follow through.... LOL) 



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Sunday, July 9, 2017

Winter Girl Looks For Summer Purpose

I was born right in the middle of winter. I’m not sure if this has anything to do with my utter aversion to summer but one thing is certain: I hate it. 

I cannot stand to be in the sun, heat drives me insane and I am disgusted with the feeling of being hot and sweaty and sticky human skin. I have never enjoyed the beach or the pool and the idea of spending hours in scorching heat just to get a tan revolts me. (Yes, I know, what better place to live in than Dubai?) 

I begin to stress and nag before the season starts, just thinking of what is to come. 

And even though I am in cool Ehden right now, where the clouds are literally underneath us, I still find it difficult to enjoy my time. It is not hot nor humid and a lovely fog has been visiting us for the past few days which makes my heart smile. But still, I cannot bring myself to be content with the blessings of spending the season 1500m above sea level.

So I decided to look for reasons. A sense of Summer Purpose if you will.

Every time I am in Lebanon, I stumble upon objects from the past which make me smile. An old diary. Photographs. Books. Cassettes. They take me back to a place of serenity and calmness. If I want to be honest with myself, they were anything but calm when I lived them. But I guess, looking back, they seem quite peaceful (thank you selective memory)

However, I will attempt to find new, current reasons to enjoy (read: tolerate) my summer. Romanticizing the past will not shorter my days nor bring more fun. The whole process might make the present even more depressing.

Since very few things seem to work these days, I should probably stick to a simple exercise. Maybe find one good, positive summer attribute for each of my senses. Come on, I can find five little things right?  

So, here we go:

Summer Purpose through the senses

Sight 
That one is quite easy. Our home overlooks one of the most stunning views in Ehden. The clouds are literally underneath us and the sunset is breathtaking every single evening. The moon sits rights in front of our swing and if we tilt our heads a little, the stars are almost at hand's reach.

Source: IG

Hearing 
I guess I could mention the crickets or the sounds of happy people celebrating weddings near us but I guess my most favorite sounds are those of Mia and Jad laughing their hearts out in the garden. They are so small and the little things makes them happy. And this alone blesses my soul.

Source: IG

Taste
My mom's cooking, real kebbe and home-made sahlab. My dad bringing us kaak from Abou Arab every week on his way from Beirut. All of those but maybe also the iconic mshabeshle or even Salem's Arabic ice cream? Or is it biscuits with raha? So many delicious treats that I can only find here. This is not helping at all. I am still struggling with my diet so I probably should have skipped that entire part...

Source: IG
Source: IG

Source: IG

Source: IG

Source: IG

Smell
The other day I woke up to smell of freshly made sahlab and I swear I was in heaven for a few minutes. I just love it and even though I have made it a few times in Dubai, there is nothing like having a fresh cup in the garden, looking at the mountains and taking deep breaths of crisp air. (Looks like I am back on food. Great).


Source: IG

Touch
Well that is a tough one considering the husband is not in town. (mwahahahaha)! I guess this is a constant in my life: holding my kids' tiny hands while they sleep. Thank God, they are still small enough to let me do it. They keep growing bigger and somehow, when I hold their little fingers, they seem so tiny. They give me so much warmth and in that moment I can actually see the immensity of my own love. I never thought a heart could expand so much but it does. Bigger than the universe and more.

Baby Mia & Mamma Mia

Baby Jad & Mamma Mia+Jad

Tiny humans. Giant love. 




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Tuesday, June 27, 2017

EMS: It's a wrap! (for now)


Sunday was my last day of EMS for the season. 

I am now in Lebanon, ready to take on something new, but that is a story for another time. 

Right now, I would like to take a moment to wrap up this first experience with EMS and just show with clear numbers how successful it actually has been.

So let me start with the beginning: My food addiction has been a problem for years. I have talked about it extensively in my previous post. Without going over the whole story again, I will just say I had tried so many diets and trainings in the past, I had lost hope I would ever get fit.

Then I saw an advert for EMS on Facebook and decided, what the hell, why not? After all, what is one more try, right? 

As a mother of two constantly on the run, I always found excuses not to exercise. But EMS seemed like a good alternative because it promised to be 20 minutes only, once or twice a week.

After a couple of trials at various studios, I ended up at Fit Express. It instantly felt different and welcoming. The atmosphere is fun and relaxed and the trainers are fantastic.

If I want to be completely honest and transparent and show the changes I have been through, I have to share the (very embarrassing) first weighing we took at Fit Express:

Weighing & Measurements at Fit Express

Date: February 13, 2017
Weight: 81 kilos (yes, I know!!) 

Full disclosure: when I first started, I did not want to diet (don't ask). On March 29, we went to Italy for the holidays and came back on April 4. At the next EMS session, I took my weight and was 83 kilos! 

It was shocking because we spent our time walking in Italy and although I knew I would not drop in size because of all the food we ate, I did not expect to put on weight. 

That is when I decided I needed to start dieting seriously because this whole thing was getting out of control. 

So to be clear, when I first committed to the program fully (workout + diet), I was:

Date: April 5, 2017 
Weight: 83 kilos (yes, I double know!!)

The next weighing on May 24, 2017 showed immediate and drastic changes (see image above). In a few weeks only, I had dropped 10 kilos

Date: May 24, 2017 
Weight: 73 kilos

I had intended to take my weight and measurements on my last day but I completely forgot. What I do know, is that the last time I weighed myself at home a few days ago, I was 69,6 kilos.

June 2017

So far, a total loss of 13,4 kilos.

As far as wrap-ups go, this is not bad at all. 


But it is not just about the weight loss. It's about this new lifestyle that I am really enjoying and loving now! It's about being healthy

This transformation has changed my whole life. I know it sounds cliché and it probably is but it feels good to be able to look at yourself in the mirror and not get so angry, tears just start rolling down your cheek for no apparent reason.

It feels fantastic to go to mainstream stores and try on clothes that actually fit and look decent on a body you are used to hating. Even if you are still trying on the sizes at the larger end of the spectrum.



The bottom line is simple: It is LOVE

It is more than just looking good. It is about feeling good and learning to love one's self.


The discipline that EMS kick started made all the difference. The commitment of the trainers to push while keeping it all light and fun and free from judgement really worked. The technology clearly is efficient (as far as I can tell). And of course, my commitment to change was and is still necessary to this whole process. It is not easy. The temptations are there, all the time. But trust me, it is worth it.

So if you're thinking of getting healthier or trying EMS, swing by Fit Express and give them a try. And let me know how you find it ;)




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