First blog post in 2015!
I read back on my last post about running and can safely say I have FAILED that goal! Don’t think I even went for 1 run since writing it. I suck.
In December I did start doing a different exercise program though. It was called Blogilates/ POP Pilates by a woman named Cassey Ho. She has created a bunch of freely available YouTube videos in which she does certain pilates moves and routines and then has created different calenders based around these videos so you can follow a specific program. I started doing the ‘Beginners Calender’ and got about 3 weeks into before the Christmas/ New Year period and fell off the wagon. However in the time that I was doing those videos every day I felt great! The moves focused on different body parts and I found them to be challenging. I think I started to see some abs coming through too…
Anyway, in the time between me stopping doing the POP Pilates work outs and now, I have discovered a woman named Kayla Itsines and her 12 week ‘Bikini Body Challenge’. It sounds a bit gimmicky and lame but I am a total sucker so have decided to undertake the challenge. This one comes in the form of an e-book which is available for purchase from Kayla’s website but I am sure there are other ways to obtain it without the cost…
The idea of the 12 week Bikini Body Challenge is that for the duration of the program you do 3 strength training exercises (of about half an hour each) and 3 light intensity cardio sessions weekly with stretching throughout. The results that Kayla promises are that by the end of the program you will have prominent, rock hard abs and perfectly toned thighs and butt. Of course you have to ensure that what you eat is healthy and conducive to building muscle, which is equally as important (if not more) as the work outs too. The before and after photos that are on display on Kayla’s website and Instagram are pretty incredible and really serving as a huge motivation to me. I am on the second week of the challenge and today I completed the cardio & legs work out. Last week every single part of my body hurt for days and days so hopefully the exercises are working…
I think the main things I need to focus on with this challenge are:
1) eating more food – especially more protein
I normally don’t eat all that much food every day however I do have pig outs of junk food fairly regularly. I don’t really feel hungry that much so when I snack it’s generally because I’m bored. I want to focus on eating more good, nutritious food every day, especially protein since I want to build muscle. Hopefully as I exercise more my appetite will increase too.
2) making sure I don’t get bored/ distracted/ fall off the wagon at some point during the program
This is definitely a huge danger for me, as demonstrated through my history of running and my short stint of POP Pilates. I really, really want to succeed with this so I have to ensure I remain disciplined and find time every day to do the required work outs. They are bloody hard but I enjoy the feeling of success afterwards.
Is there anyone else starting out with the Bikini Body Challenge at the moment? Would love to have a read of your blog and bitch about how much the workouts hurt together!
At the beginning of this year I decided I should stop being fat and lazy (something I think very often), but this time I actually took action and started exercising (my main motivation at the time was not wanting to look like a fatty boomba in my Maid of Honour dress at my best friend’s wedding). I started the C25K program with the RunDouble app and actually completed it! I was doing really well and was really impressed with myself as I have never, ever been an athletic person and have always been very adamantly anti- sports (sporty people were always the antithesis of broody, cynical me). The program genuinely worked and I truly thought I was onto a form of exercise which I could sustain and continuously work to achieve more goals with. This was all well and good until winter when my then un-diagnosed exercise induced asthma came out in full swing and I just could not motivate myself to leave the coziness of indoors for the near- Arctic conditions of the Sydney winter (that’s what it felt like to me anyway).
During my second semester of uni I decided to write an article about running and sign up for an 8km fun run in order to motivate myself to get back out there. It was hard but I was doing well and I was continuously improving on my 5km time (PB – 33.30). After the 8km fun run (a tough 53:35) I lost it again and in the few runs I’ve gone on since I’ve performed dismally. It’s extremely frustrating to see how months of improvement can go out the window just from a couple of weeks laziness. One of the reasons I’ve started this blog is to track my running progress and to ensure I can make goals and stick to them. I really enjoyed running and got so into it. I’d be a fool to have made so much progress this year and to not continue with it. I’m thinking of joining a running club next year but for now I’ll keep going myself every second night.
I’m still unsure of what training plan will be best to achieve my goal but tomorrow I will scour RunnersWorld.com to look at my options.
Goal: to run a PB of 30 minutes for 5km by 31st December, 2014
Hunger – Knut Hamsun (1890)
My next book was written more than a century before The Road but coincidentally shares some similar themes with it; hunger and isolation.
My cousin bought me Hunger many years ago for a birthday or Christmas present and it’s sat on my shelf untouched since. I always feel guilty when I see how many books I own that I’ve never even attempted to read and yet I keep buying more so I’ve decided I’m not to buy any more until I’ve read my existing collection.
I started reading Hunger today and am already about a quarter of the way through it (thanks to jury duty summons). So far I really enjoy it. It’s set in Christiania (now Oslo), Norway in the late 19th century and told through the eyes of a young writer as he tries to scrap together some money by writing articles for newspapers or pawning his clothes in order to feed and shelter himself. I like the writing style – it feels very modern. I’ve also found myself relating to a couple of aspects in the novel – the protagonist’s hopefulness after he applies for a job, his utter deflation and anger as he gets rejected from jobs, writing something and thinking it’s amazing and later on second- guessing himself about whether it was even good or not. These points really hit close to home.
I look forward to reading more of this novel and experiencing the protagonist’s descent into madness as he attempts to keep himself alive.
Goal: Finish reading Hunger by the 15th of December, 2014
Today I finished reading The Road. It was a goal of mine to finish reading it by the end of the month and so I have, with three days to spare.
I really, really enjoyed this book. As I mentioned in my previous post, I was initially a bit bored by it and it’s lack of outward action but I soon changed my mind as I got to know the two protagonists, the man and his son. I found myself getting upset at the end of my bus trips where I would have to put it back into my bag and wait some hours to be able to pick it up again.
As I got further into the book I felt deeply for the two protagonists and really got a great sense of their despair and isolation. McCarthy’s writing was just incredible; his description of the destroyed landscapes, the grey, dead beach.
“Like the onset of some cold glaucoma dimming away the world”
I found his writing style was a great juxtaposition with the theme/ time/ plot of the novel. I enjoyed the way he would give us small glimmers of hope as the man and his son stumbled upon a cellar fully stocked with food, water, bedding and clothes, then would tear it away as they ran out of food again and saw no hope of making it to their destination. The naivety, innocence and kindness of the son was really endearing and the fierce protection the man provided over him was incredible. Their relationship was beautiful and just heartbreaking.
All in all I’m so glad I read The Road. Absolutely wonderful book.
The Road – Cormac McCarthy (2006)
I’m about a quarter of the way through reading this at the moment. I’ve been reading it on and off for the past month and have a goal to finish it by the end of November.
When I started reading it I had absolutely no idea what to expect from it. I didn’t know anything about the plot but I had heard so much praise for it so when I saw it in a second hand bookstore in Newtown on my birthday this year I immediately grabbed it (and made Gareth purchase it for me as a birthday gift).
Going in blind may or may not have been the best idea (I suppose I’ll find out when I finish it) but I think not knowing anything about the plot and thinking it would be a totally different kind of novel than it is was probably a hindrance initially. To be honest I found it kind of boring in the beginning. It was page after page of a man and his son traversing a road heading south (towards what, I’m not sure yet) with no apparent action yet. Just recently I’ve reached a part where some action does take place (I won’t say anything lest anyone reading this is spoiled) so it is gearing up to be a bit more exciting. Having said all this I will continue to read The Road as the reviews for it are pretty outstanding and also they made a film from it in 2009 starring Viggo Mortensen which I won’t allow myself to watch until I’ve finished the book.
Goal: Finish reading The Road by the end of November 2014