Sunday thoughts

It’s so strange, I had a day off this week and yet the week seemed to last forever! Maybe it’s because I had such a relaxed weekend that all of a sudden any activity was too much activity? Who knows. I feel like I really need to do this Sunday blog post to pull out some highlights from this week, because otherwise I have to say it was a week I was just quite eager to put behind me – and that’s not a healthy way to live your life.

So here’s why this week was worth waking up for:

New things I have learnt this week

  • Not complete news to me, but I experienced first-hand what I had learnt about overtraining. Being a qualified personal trainer I obviously knew the signs and symptoms, and I believe I have overtrained once before and had to take the best part of a week off (full-blown overtraining can take several weeks to recover from). If anyone had reported the symptoms that I experienced, I would have told them to take some time off – but I had a different feeling about me this time, I couldn’t quite put my finger on it but I knew I hadn’t fully overtrained. However, on Thursday I decided to do an upper-body session to give my legs a rest, and on Friday I felt as good as new (well, apart from the chest DOMS)! So I think this time, I experienced specific overtraining of the legs, or even specific overtraining of a type of exercise – I had been doing a lot of 1-5min bursts of effort at a fairly high intensity, so although I did finish off my session with some cycling which is obviously pretty damn leg-heavy, I think the fact that it was a 30min steady-pace effort was just the change of scene my muscles needed. So although I knew about diffeent types of overtraining on paper, I think I really gained something by experiencing it and by learning to work around it.

New things I have eaten this week

  • Upon coming home on Wednesday night feeling totally drained after a fairly average training session, I was craving crunch and substance above all else, and getting that jittery feeling I get which usually means I get really unproductive because I try doing everything at once. It was the perfect combinationg for me to finally break open the packet of Tortas de Aceite from Christine’s UK Vegan Food Swap package. Even better was that not only were they delicious, but they totally hit the spot! Crispy, sugary but with a fragrant note of lemon and cinnamon wafting through each bite, they are refined enough that you don’t need to smash an entire packet. One or two, neatly wrapped up in their individual little greaseproof wrappers, will make your tastebuds tingle – and they put my mind back in the right place long enough for me to make a proper dinner.
  • I finally tried plantain chips! I have only had plantain once or twice, but I love it, and when I saw these chips at the supermarket I got really excited. But like many things I buy, they sat around for ages waiting for the right moment. This week it hit – that need for a crunchy desk snack to pick at. I was initally a bit disappointed, as I think part of me was actually in the mood for a banana chip, and I was surprised at how much they tasted like a thick-cut potato chip. But by Friday (the bag lasted a couple of servings) I was thoroughly tucking in, and the only thing that could stop me was the emptying of the bag! Possibly not the most diet-friendly of snacks, but I like to think the fact that I chose the Jungle Chilli flavour will have given my metabolism a bit of a kick (that, and the fact that I didn’t wait until bedtime to gorge)!

Other highlights this week

  • A Monday off; meaning a lie-in, croissants for breakfast with Ben, tea with a friend at Yum Chaa, followed by some shopping and then coffee and muffin at Le Pain Quotidien, then some ooh-ing and ahh-ing at stationery (yes, stationery), before parting ways and then going to training.
  • After a week of really average training sessions, I felt like things finally clicked back into place on Friday night and I had two really good rounds of grappling. It’s mainly by comparison with the rest of the week that Friday’s session stood out, but that’s all I needed to put me in a better mood!
  • Visiting Karma Free Pizzas again – I am obsessed with this place at the moment, and once again my pizza did not disappoint. They are using a new vegan cheese too, which I really liked, so my meal was even better than I had been looking forward to.
  • Although I haven’t slept overly well this week, with housemates getting up early and clattering around the house, I got two really really good, long nights of sleep on Friday and Saturday, leaving me feeling much better.
  • Eating toast with vegan spread and marmalade in bed… it was a slightly more decadent and civilised change from my usual porridge, and as I never normally bother using spread this was all quite exciting to me. Felt like a real nice Saturday morning (well, afternoon) thing to do.
  • Taking my time on Saturday, browsing the shops for goodies to send Steph for this month’s UK Vegan Food Swap – I am always amazed at how much I actually enjoy buying treats for someone else (particularly someone I don’t know), genuinely as much as I enjoy receiving them.
  • Taking baby steps towards finally officially launching myself as a fitness instructor!

I don’t normally “do” quotes – especially not since they have become the realm of the Facebook newsfeed – but I have come across a couple recently that have really given me that “lightbulb-lighting-up-over-your-head” feeling, so I thought I would share them.

“Great art is clear thinking about mixed feelings.” – W.H. Auden

“People are not lazy. They simply have impotent goals – that is, goals that do not inspire them.” – Tony Robbins

I particularly like that second one. The phrase “can’t be bothered” demonstrates the validity of this statement perfectly – it signifies not that you don’t have the energy or the willpower to do something, but that you just don’t care enough to do it. This is so relevant to both fitness and veganism – there are so many facets to both of them, and yet so many people attempt to use one that doesn’t apply to them; people telling me they can’t lose weight because they hate going to the gym, people telling me they can’t go vegan because they just can’t spend time reading labels on everything, people arguing that vegans aren’t going to change the world, and the old can’t-afford-to/don’t-have-time-to. My piano teacher taught me one of the most valuable lessons I have ever learnt in life when she looked right into my eyes when I protested that I didn’t have space for a piano in my university room, and affirmed, “You will find space“. And she was right – I did. Unfortunately, so many people still need to learn this lesson – that you can make anything happen, if you have the right reasons to want to make it happen.

So on that note – have a great week!