Sweat Like A Pig http://www.sweatlikeapig.com Thu, 23 Mar 2017 09:28:53 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=4.7.5 34223326 A blogging break? http://www.sweatlikeapig.com/2017/03/23/a-blogging-break/ http://www.sweatlikeapig.com/2017/03/23/a-blogging-break/#comments Thu, 23 Mar 2017 09:28:20 +0000 http://www.sweatlikeapig.com/?p=7490 Hello? Is this thing on? If anyone was wondering, I’m still alive! 

In case you hadn’t noticed, blogging has taken a backseat for me lately. Having a proper job again, upholding my freelance journalism and online training commitments, and balancing a social life is no easy feat and, sadly, doesn’t leave much time for blogging. 

I thought that after I had finished writing my latest book and moved house, things would calm down a bit, but I seem to be busier than ever. I am not home very often and, when I am, I want to actually relax in my beautiful new house! 

I have small tasks on my to-do list that have been there for weeks. Writing a blog keeps getting pushed further and further down – and don’t even get me started on sending out a newsletter! Apologies to all my newsletter subscribers who have been waiting with bated breath  I also have very little time to check in on my blogger friends, so please accept my apologies for my increasingly infrequent comments!

On top of having hardly any time to write, I must admit that I have lost my blogging mojo. After almost six years of blogging, I feel like I’ve covered every topic under the sun! My thoughts on most topics haven’t changed, so it seems silly to update my posts simply for the sake of it.

My own training isn’t particularly exciting at the moment, as I’m still doing a mix of powerlifting (albeit at a much lower level of strength!) and hypertrophy work. Also, just to clarify as there was a bit of confusion: when I recently said that I would like to compete again (which is true!), I was referring to a strongwoman competition. I will never compete in a figure or bikini comp! I’m not saying there’s anything wrong with those that do such comps, but it’s simply not for me. 

Instagram Photo

Also, given that I’ve settled back in Australia for a while, I have fewer travel-related posts to excite you with. I love travelling and already have a European holiday booked for July, but my trips will be fewer and farther between.

Take me back to Italy!

I’m still offering online training but I am loving doing some in-person training once again. Lifting will always remain a passion of mine and I enjoy sharing that with others, but I simply have less time to offer it for free.

I’m not planning on shutting down my blog or anything like that (after all, I just forked out for another year of website hosting!), but this is just a warning that my blogging schedule will be pretty irregular going forward. When I decide to compete again, I will most certainly document my journey, but for now I just feel like my training is not worth writing home about.

Of course, if there is any topic you would like me to cover specifically, please let me know. Thanks for reading and all of the support over the past six years! 

Tara xo

]]>
http://www.sweatlikeapig.com/2017/03/23/a-blogging-break/feed/ 4 7490
Giveaway winner http://www.sweatlikeapig.com/2017/03/09/giveaway-winner/ Thu, 09 Mar 2017 02:55:47 +0000 http://www.sweatlikeapig.com/?p=7484 Today’s post is just a super quick announcement of who won my giveaway for a $25 voucher to Dick’s Sporting Goods… Ashleigh!

Congratulations, Ashleigh! I have emailed you.

I don’t have time to blog this week, as I’m still in the midst of moving house and I have a million other things going on. Thanks for the positive feedback about my photoshoot, by the way! As luck would have it, I actually did another one last night. Someone would think I’m a model or something haha.

Pre-shoot jitters!

Pictures – and a more valuable blog post – coming soon!

]]>
7484
Pictures from my photoshoot! http://www.sweatlikeapig.com/2017/03/01/pictures-from-my-photoshoot/ http://www.sweatlikeapig.com/2017/03/01/pictures-from-my-photoshoot/#comments Wed, 01 Mar 2017 10:20:48 +0000 http://www.sweatlikeapig.com/?p=7472 Hi, guys! Sorry for the completely sporadic blogging schedule of late, but I’ve been buried in book writing and house/life moving. Now that I’m almost finished with both of those things, I should be able to post more regularly once again.

Be sure to enter the giveaway I shared last weekweek, if you haven’t already!

Today I realised that I never shared the pictures from the photoshoot I did recently. I did this photoshoot for personal reasons and most of the pictures are a little too risqué for the ol’ blog, but I thought I’d share at least a few. I have no shame and I’m certainly not shy, so look away now if you don’t fancy seeing me half naked!

I shot with Jeremy Phillips in Perth. He was recommended to me by a close friend and was really great. I started off feeling like a deer in headlights, because shooting in next to nothing is super nerve-wracking! Luckily, my best friend was also there to help calm me down.

I call this the preppy cheerleader look!

Jeremy was super professional and helped to calm my nerves as a first timer.

Sorry, mum!

He had some great ideas, and I particularly loved being soaked with water at the end!

I am naked or topless in the rest of them, so that’s all you get, haha!

As I mentioned a while ago, I had been thinking of doing a shoot like this for ages and I’m so glad that I finally bit the bullet and did it. I love my photos!

Have you ever done a photoshoot?

]]>
http://www.sweatlikeapig.com/2017/03/01/pictures-from-my-photoshoot/feed/ 15 7472
Free workout and giveaway courtesy of Pilates in Pittburgh! http://www.sweatlikeapig.com/2017/02/22/free-workout-and-giveaway-courtesy-of-pilates-in-pittburgh/ http://www.sweatlikeapig.com/2017/02/22/free-workout-and-giveaway-courtesy-of-pilates-in-pittburgh/#comments Wed, 22 Feb 2017 06:44:49 +0000 http://www.sweatlikeapig.com/?p=7468 I have a treat for you guys today! Be sure to keep reading for not only a free workout but also the chance to win a $25 voucher for new workout gear! 

I find there is a great divide between men and women when it comes to training legs. While many men happily skip leg day in favour of yet another chest and triceps workout, women who lift tend to hammer their legs and glutes on the reg. I’ve met women who train their lower bodies four or five times a week while only training their upper body muscles once a week!

Given the obsession with lower body training that most of us have, I’m sure you will appreciate yet another workout to try. (You can find more workouts on my site here.)

I’ve been dealing with a dodgy knee and shoulder recently, meaning that I haven’t been able to back squat anything heavy. I’ve hence been finding alternative ways of hitting my lower body. Here’s a workout I did recently.

Now, for the fun part. Thanks to Pilates in Pittsburgh, you have a chance to win a $25 voucher to Dick’s Sporting Goods for new workout gear!

To enter, comment on this post with your favourite lower body exercise. The giveaway will close on March 6, when I will notify the lucky winner.

Sorry, but this giveaway is open to US readers only. 

So, tell me: what’s your favourite lower body exercise?

]]>
http://www.sweatlikeapig.com/2017/02/22/free-workout-and-giveaway-courtesy-of-pilates-in-pittburgh/feed/ 17 7468
My whereabouts and upcoming (non)movements http://www.sweatlikeapig.com/2017/02/01/my-whereabouts/ http://www.sweatlikeapig.com/2017/02/01/my-whereabouts/#comments Wed, 01 Feb 2017 07:53:18 +0000 http://www.sweatlikeapig.com/?p=7458 I filled in my newsletter subscribers on Monday, but I promised a proper blog post with my big news: I’m staying in Australia!

I came back to Australia a little while ago to submit my French visa. My decision to come back was actually pretty rash. I had been planning on travelling in and out of France on a tourist visa (meaning I have to switch countries every three months) until I felt fluent enough in French to secure a work visa and find a journalism job.

One random evening in September, I spontaneously decided that I was ready and started making plans to return to Australia. However, things were far from simple. I had to jump through endless hoops to get all the paperwork required for my visa and it not only cost me a lot of money but time and energy, too.

My best friend and her family were absolutely incredible during this time and I would not have been able to get my visa without them. I headed back to Australia on a very expensive, last-minute flight and submitted my visa paperwork. I had a slight problem with my bank account and worried that they would not accept my application.

Home <3

However, the funny thing is that, when I submitted my visa, I had an unexplainable sinking feeling that I was making a mistake. I started thinking that France wasn’t the right place for me at this point in my life, and that I would be better off staying in Australia.

I had floated the idea of staying in Australia by my best friend, and she was obviously very enthusiastic for me to stay. However, I felt like I’d already put in so much effort and money into getting my visa that it would be a total waste not to go. I gave myself a three-week deadline to decide, but I didn’t even need that long.

With every day that passed, as I spent more and more time with my friends who I missed so dearly and had a glimpse of what my life could be like again, I became increasingly convinced that I should stay. I started weighing up the things that I love about Paris to the things that I love about Australia, and Australia surprisingly won.

Of course, I have friends in Europe but they have had me for five years, and I really miss my oldest friends. My life here in Australia is so cruisy and simple, and I’m lucky enough to have social events on almost every night of the week. I am genuinely the happiest I’ve ever been in my life.

I realised that a lot of my negative opinions about Australia were actually that of my ex, and not my own. As much as I have loved travelling all over Europe, I am also tired of living out of a suitcase and not living in one place for more than a month at a time.

I really want to buy a house in the next three years, and it’s just not possible if I live in Paris. Here, I can earn three times as much while my cost of living is less than half of Paris. I’ve decided to be a serious adult for once, so the decision was a no-brainer from a financial perspective.

My new house!

One of my dearest friends is moving to Europe in one month (sob), so I am taking over their house, car and dogs. It all just seemed like perfect timing. While I will always be a minimalist, I’m looking forward to actually being able to accumulate a few belongings once again.

My new babies!

My flight back to Europe is booked for February 14, but I will not be on it. What actually sealed the deal for my decision was imagining how I would feel getting on that plane, which was very sad.

I started hoping that my visa would be rejected (as you can only be accepted once in your life), but it was unfortunately approved. This means that I will have to find another way to get back to France.

I do not plan on staying here forever. My great dream of living in France is still there, but I would like to pursue it in another two to three years. I will still visit Europe regularly, although it is obviously a lot more difficult to travel from all the way down here.

I miss you already, Amalfi.

Some of my European friends have accused me of being rash, when this decision has been far from it. I have been thinking about this for months now. Over the past couple of years, I have successfully made the best decisions for myself, above everyone else. I know for sure that I am happier staying here than in Paris.

I was lucky enough that most of my visa components were refundable, except for one of my flights and the cost of the visa itself, as well as the frankly extortionate cost of travelling cross-country to submit my visa. I lost about $1000 but it was worth it if I was able to realise what would truly make me happy in the process.

As I alluded to recently, this means that I can also start competing again, now that I don’t have to deal with tragic Parisian gyms. I’m actually injured at the moment so not training at all but, hopefully, I can start building up to full strength soon.

I think that’s everything but feel free to hit me with your questions!

]]>
http://www.sweatlikeapig.com/2017/02/01/my-whereabouts/feed/ 16 7458
A week’s worth of workouts http://www.sweatlikeapig.com/2017/01/18/a-weeks-worth-of-workouts/ http://www.sweatlikeapig.com/2017/01/18/a-weeks-worth-of-workouts/#comments Wed, 18 Jan 2017 09:50:09 +0000 http://www.sweatlikeapig.com/?p=7451 Since I recently shared what I’ve been eating in the lead up to my first ever photoshoot, I thought I should also write about my workouts of late.

(The photoshoot was so much fun! It took me a while to ease into it and stop feeling like a massive dickhead, but I’m so glad I did it!)

Proper pics coming soon!

For the past year, I’ve been leaning more towards bodybuilding-style workouts. I have continued to train the main lifts in a strength-focused rep range (three to five), but I haven’t been putting in a huge amount of effort to becoming stronger. I have definitely lost a little bit of strength, simply due to other things in my life having taken higher priority.

Truth be told, and I’m sure this has been obvious to my long-time readers, I have fallen a little out of love with powerlifting. Don’t get me wrong: I love the gym and love feeling strong, but the desire to be stronger every single day has waned.

My life in the past year has been hectic, to say the least, and I just don’t have the time to spend 90 to 120 minutes in the gym anymore. I’m usually running on sub-optimal amounts of sleep and lucky to squeeze in a 45-minute workout while rushing on to something else. My motivation to simply be fit and healthy is greater than winning competitions and beating my old PRs.

That said, I am finally in a place where I might be able to train regularly enough to give competing another shot. More will be revealed in the next week or two, but you may see a competition in my near future 😉

Anyway, massive tangent aside, I thought it would be fun to share my whole week’s worth of workouts, seeing as I haven’t done that for some time. This is what I did last week, keeping in mind that my workouts were a little lighter and higher rep given that I had a shoot on Monday (even writing that makes me sound like a wanker, sorry).

Monday – Legs
Squats: 20kg x 8, 40kg x 6, 60kg x 5, 85kg x 5 x 3 sets
Good mornings: 50kg x 12 x 4 sets
Standing single leg leg curls: 12 x 3 sets (per side)
Split squats holding 12kg dumbbells: 8 x 3 sets (per side)
Glute kickbacks: 15 x 4 sets (per side)

When I started warming up for squats, my left knee started cracking. It wasn’t painful but it was making a lot of noise and continued to do so throughout all my sets. So I cut my working sets short (I usually do 5 x 5) and tried not to do anything too strenuous for the rest of my workout. Apparently, that wasn’t enough as I had pain the next day. This is the first time I’ve had pain (I’m hesitant to call it an injury) in years! I’m really hoping it goes away soon.

Instagram Photo

Tuesday – Chest
Bench press: 20kg x 5, 40kg x 5, 50kg x 5 x 4 sets
Incline DB chest press: 15kg x 12 x 3 sets
Seated DB shoulder press: 12kg x 12 x 3 sets
DB front raises: 4kg x 12 x 3 sets
– superset with high DB lat raises: 3kg x 1o x 3 sets
Rope pushdowns: 15 x 4 sets
Cable crunches: 15 x 4 sets
Cable woodchops: 10 x 3 sets (per side)

I managed to convince my friend to go to the gym with me, so my workout was a bit all over the place. I never train well when I’m with a non-lifter!

Wednesday – Deadlifts
Deadlifts: 60kg x 8, 80kg x 5, 95kg x 5 x 5
Straight leg deadlifts: 60kg x 10 x 3 sets
T bar rows: 10 x 4 sets
Assisted pull ups: 5-6 x 3 sets
Single leg deadlifts using cable machine: 10 x 3 (per side)
Back extensions into glute ham raise: 12 x 4 sets
DB hammer curls: 10kg x 15 x 4 sets

If only me from a couple of years ago could read this, but I’ve actually been trying to lose a little muscle mass. As I’ve been getting leaner, my muscles are looking bigger, so I’ve cut back on the isolation work (except for the booty!) and upped my rep ranges. I normally only do direct arm work every two to three weeks.

Instagram Photo

Thursday – Shoulders
Barbell push press: 20kg x 8, 30kg x 5, 37.5kg x 5 x 4 sets
Arnold press: 10kg x 12 x 3 sets
DB lat raises: 6kg x 15 x 4 sets
Machine reverse flyes: 15 x 3 sets
Cable front raise (bar): 12 x 3 sets
– superset with cable upright rows (bar): 12 x 3 sets
Hanging leg raises: 15 x 3 sets
DB side bends: 18kg x 15 x 3 sets (per side)

I have lost the most strength from my shoulders. This isn’t really surprising, considering I didn’t do any kind of overhead pressing for at least six months last year. Oops. But they still look fine, so that’s the main thing 😉

Saturday – Legs
Squats: 20kg x 8, 40kg x 15 x 3 sets
Leg press: 15 x 3 sets
Cable squats: 15 x 4 sets
– superset with cable pull throughs: 15 x 4 sets
Cable straight leg deadlifts (facing machine): 15 x 3 sets
Paused leg extensions: 12 x 3 sets
Paused leg curls: 12 x 3 sets

Like groundhog day, I attempted to squat as I felt fine. However, my old creaky knee was back in full force so I didn’t even bother increasing the weight. I stuck to high reps and, thankfully, didn’t have any issues in the days afterwards. I tried leg pressing, too, but that was not much better.

I didn’t work out on Friday or Sunday, as I literally did not stop running around all day, but I think the stress burned plenty of calories. On top of these workouts, I did a couple of dance classes and went running twice.

That’s it! How have you been training lately?

]]>
http://www.sweatlikeapig.com/2017/01/18/a-weeks-worth-of-workouts/feed/ 3 7451
Dieting for my first photoshoot http://www.sweatlikeapig.com/2017/01/11/dieting-for-my-first-photoshoot/ http://www.sweatlikeapig.com/2017/01/11/dieting-for-my-first-photoshoot/#comments Wed, 11 Jan 2017 06:25:59 +0000 http://www.sweatlikeapig.com/?p=7435 I recently promised to share what I eat in an average day, and I figured now was an exciting time to do so. You see, I agreed to do a photoshoot next Monday with just 10 days’ notice.

It’s something I’ve been thinking about for years, and one of my friends basically forced me into it (lovingly, of course). I’ve been putting it off, as I’ve never really felt “ready”, but I’m not getting any younger. Ha!

Of course, I’m not doing a crazy crash diet, as that would go against everything I believe in. However, I am being a bit more careful about what I’m eating – especially after pigging out on all the local cuisine in Laos and Thailand.

Please keep in mind that, for me, the following diet is restrictive and not something I follow or recommend on a daily basis. Once I have this shoot out of the way, I will share another, more realistic day of eating.

For breakfast, I have two coffees, three eggs and three dates. Yes, I’m still addicted to dates after my month in Morocco.

If I’m working out after, I also have a banana and peanut butter, usually combined with the eggs into a banana pancake.

Lately, because it’s so hot, I’ve been making smoothies with frozen banana, mango, berries, protein powder and almond milk.

Thick like my thighs!

Long time readers will know that my breakfast has been the same for almost the entire time I’ve been blogging. If it ain’t broke… (I call it “breakfast” as a formality, as I eat my first meal of the day anywhere between 11.30am and 2pm.)

Four days a week, I head to the gym after breakfast. I’m actually on a pretty regular training schedule at the moment, meaning that I can periodise my lifts once again. I always start my workout with a compound lift (squat, deadlift, bench or overhead press) and then do about 30 to 40 minutes of accessory exercises. These usually change week to week, depending on my mood, and are usually performed in a hypertrophy (8 to 12) rep range.

Post-workout, I have chicken, rice and veggies. Then I have another coffee and three or four dates. I told you: I have a problem.

For dinner, I’ve been cutting out carbs and just having chicken or tuna and veggies or soup.

Some days, I’ve been going for a run before dinner, while other nights I’ll do a dance class after dinner. I’m trying to also walk 10,000 steps every day.

Before I go to bed (any time between 2 and 6am), I’ll have some greek yoghurt or protein powder with a little granola.

This is as hardcore as my diet gets, and it’s still more food than some people eat. I do feel pretty hungry, but I just try to keep myself distracted as much as possible. Lots of coffee and Diet Coke help, too.

Mmm coffee.

From today onwards, I will be cutting out dairy to make sure I’m not bloated on the day of the shoot. I’m feeling pretty ready (hell, I’m not a bodybuilder and these will not be fitness photographs) but I’m sure I will see some more changes in the next five days. I will, of course, share some pics when they are ready!

Have you ever dieted for a particular reason?

]]>
http://www.sweatlikeapig.com/2017/01/11/dieting-for-my-first-photoshoot/feed/ 5 7435
Laos and Thailand http://www.sweatlikeapig.com/2017/01/05/laos-and-thailand/ http://www.sweatlikeapig.com/2017/01/05/laos-and-thailand/#comments Thu, 05 Jan 2017 09:36:08 +0000 http://www.sweatlikeapig.com/?p=7390 It’s been a hot minute since I shared some of my travels, so I thought I’d recap what I’ve been doing over the past few weeks.

In early December, I started travelling throughout Laos with my best friend and two other friends. We started in Vientiane, which is super chilled.

There are a couple of tourist sights but we mostly just had massages and ate some good food.

We learned about all of the unexploded bombies in the country. I had no idea that Laos is the most heavily bombed country in the world. From 1964 to 1973, during the Vietnam War, there were 580,000 bombing missions – equivalent to one mission every eight minutes for nine years straight. 30 per cent of the bombies (around 80 million) failed to detonate, and most are still out there. It’s pretty scary stuff!

I can handle my spices pretty well (I have been known to eat whole chillies and snort wasabi, haha) but Laotian food is probably the spiciest food I’ve ever eaten. One night, the food was so spicy we all had tears running down our faces and couldn’t actually finish the meal.

Food highlights in Viantiane were Naked Espresso, a totally hipster and western coffee shop…

…. and La Patisserie de Jeremy, an incredible bakery that seemed straight out of Paris. We went back every day.

Most tourists go to Vang Vieng, as that’s where the parties are. We all went too hard on our first night and were complete wastes of space for the rest of the time there.

We went tubing one day, which led to me unfortunately contracting a parasite. I must have had a cut somewhere on my body, and I was exposed to the parasite by entering fresh water. For the rest of the trip, I had itchy skin, a fever and an upset stomach, but I just put it down to the usual joys of travelling in Southeast Asia.

The day we left Bangkok I noticed I had two nasty gashes on my leg, and the following day I developed one on my mouth. I saw a doctor but there’s nothing they can really do for another six weeks at so, when the parasite will start laying eggs in my liver. Lovely! Treatment can take anywhere from a few months to a few years (!) and I still have a horrible infection on my face. It’s just my luck that it happened to me and none of my friends!

Damn you, Vang Vieng.

We found an awesome burger place there called Whopping Burger. That cured everything.

Then, we headed to Luang Prabang. My bestie and I were chucking our guts up the whole bus journey. Later that evening, when we were walking through a food market, I looked at a mango – of all things! – and it set me off again!

Luckily, I got over it and was able to enjoy lots of yummy market food. A whole fish was $3!

I was pleasantly surprised by how cheap everything was in Laos. An hour massage is about US$7 and a meal for four is about US$20.

So. Much. Papaya. Salad.

We all got hooked on these chocolate and banana pancakes that were soaked in oil and fried in butter. Mmm.

We also went to the Tad Sae waterfall. It was beautiful but too cold for swimming!

One of our friends bid us farewell in Laos, and the remaining three of us flew over to Bangkok. Clearly, we didn’t learn our lesson the first time, as we went too hard on the night we arrived.

Eight buckets later…

We were staying in a beautiful, insanely cheap brand new hotel. It was still partly under construction, which meant I woke up to someone drilling the wall next to me, when I was dealing with what was possibly the worst hangover of my life. I lay on the floor of the shower, actually crying.

Catherine and I got pretty sick after that so the rest of our time in Bangkok was spent getting massages, manicures and pedicures.

Fried rice in a pineapple!

We stayed on Khao San road, so right in the very thick of it.

My favourite restaurant was a vegetarian place (!) called Ethos.

Our hotel had a rooftop pool, which was lush in the heat.

We went to a Thai cooking class, which was super fun. It was a lot of food, even for me.

We also had some bomb Indian food.

And loads of coconut ice cream.

The final highlight was buying all this knock-off make-up for less than $50.

It was my first time in Laos and Thailand. I’d definitely go back to Thailand but the whole parasite thing soured my experience in Laos. Oh well. It was not a bad place to spend December, especially considering everyone in Paris is currently freezing their butts off.

Have you ever been to Laos or Thailand? Have you ever done a cooking class?

]]>
http://www.sweatlikeapig.com/2017/01/05/laos-and-thailand/feed/ 8 7390
Holiday judgement http://www.sweatlikeapig.com/2016/12/28/holiday-judgement/ http://www.sweatlikeapig.com/2016/12/28/holiday-judgement/#comments Wed, 28 Dec 2016 10:04:31 +0000 http://www.sweatlikeapig.com/?p=7383 I hope everyone had a great Christmas! Lately, I’ve seen a lot of criticism on blogs and social media of other people’s diet and exercise regimes (or lack thereof) over Christmas. While I would have joined in the debate in the past, I’ve now learned that others’ own personal choices do not concern me.

Personally, I hate Christmas. Maybe I’m a huge grinch, but it’s never been a big deal to me. My best Christmas ever was two years ago, when I spent the day alone. I did whatever the hell I wanted to and didn’t have to deal with family politics, screaming children or gift-related anxiety.

Christmas in Norway, 2015.

I have been travelling for five out of the last seven Christmases, but you can bet your ass that I would go to the gym if I could. It doesn’t mean that I am gym-obsessed (heck, at the time of writing I haven’t stepped foot in a gym for 18 days and counting) but, if I have a day to myself with no other obligations, I love taking the time to work out. It is genuinely something I love doing.

On one of the years I wasn’t travelling, I suggested to the owner of my gym that he open on Christmas and Boxing Day, if there was enough demand for it. I got attacked by the other members and told that I needed to get a life outside of the gym. While I might technically have been “home” in London, I had no family to celebrate with and my friends were busy, so Christmas was just another day to me.

Source

If you have a big family who you only get to see once a year, then sure, perhaps you should spend time with them rather than wasting time trying to find an open gym. However, for many people, Christmas can be a tough time of year and the gym can serve as a welcome distraction.

It’s also important to note that some people, due to religious reasons or otherwise, don’t celebrate Christmas at all. There was a petition circulating in the UK before Christmas to stop shops opening on Boxing Day, which I think is so stupid. Sure, some people would rather spend the day with their family, but some people (like me!) who don’t care about Christmas would jump at the opportunity to earn double time.

Whether you want to train every day right through the festive season, or stay out of the gym for the entire week between Christmas and New Year, it’s your choice. You shouldn’t be shamed for it either way.

What you eat on Christmas day is your choice, too. I personally treat it like any other special occasion. If I’m an event with friends and/or family and there is lots of delicious food on offer, I enjoy a little of everything (or sometimes a lot, haha) without feeling guilty. When I’m travelling, I typically order or make something a little extravagant to celebrate.

This year, I made these insanely delicious brownies.

I went for a 20-minute run in the morning, before eating myself into a food coma in the afternoon. I never stopped for a second to think if I should or should not be eating something.

An Instagram account I follow posted her entire line-up of tupperware meals she’d prepared for Christmas day… which she was spending with her family. This girl does not have any competitions or photoshoots coming up, so I personally think it’s a little overkill for her not to fully enjoy the day with her family.

If my friends ever saw me bust out the tupperware during a group celebration, I’d get so much shit that it wouldn’t be worth it. And I would never want to isolate myself like that for no reason.

Even so, it is still her decision. I don’t know the exact reasons she chose to bring her own food to her family gathering, so I can’t automically assume that she has an eating disorder. As long as you are truly happy and comfortable with your decision, that’s all that matters.

Do you work out on Christmas Day? Do you watch what you eat or go all-out?

]]>
http://www.sweatlikeapig.com/2016/12/28/holiday-judgement/feed/ 6 7383
The importance of meal prep http://www.sweatlikeapig.com/2016/12/21/the-importance-of-meal-prep/ http://www.sweatlikeapig.com/2016/12/21/the-importance-of-meal-prep/#comments Wed, 21 Dec 2016 08:37:54 +0000 http://www.sweatlikeapig.com/?p=7377 As I’m on holiday at the moment, I’m taking the easy way out and recycling one of my old newsletters. Enjoy!

If you’ve ever scrolled through Instagram on a Sunday evening, you’ve likely seen the posts from fitness accounts that showcase carefully-portioned tupperware containers for the week. On one hand, this may inspire you to be organised about eating healthy, but all that monotony and pre-planning may equally depress you.

My beliefs on food prep fall somewhere in the middle. If you have any physique- or performance-related goals, I think it’s very important to be organised about your food intake. If you leave it to chance, you will just reach for the most convenient option – which isn’t always the healthiest choice. It can also help during the holiday season, as when you already have prepared your food, you are less likely to gorge on the party buffet all night.

That said, I think preparing an entire week’s worth of meals at once can be overkill. I can promise you that by the time you get to the end of the week, you will be gagging when you have to eat five-day-old chicken breast.

It’s important to allow room for flexibility within a diet plan, whether that means eating out in a restaurant, grabbing a take-away lunch or accepting a gift of food from a friend occasionally. Unless you are mere weeks out from a bodybuilding competition, it is unnecessary to lug tupperware with you 24/7. It is possible to eat on the fly and make healthy choices that won’t negatively affect your progress.

I personally like to prepare a batch of meat and vegetables every three days, which I eat for lunch and occasionally dinner. Each prep session takes about 30 minutes, and a lot of that time is idle baking time.

I prefer to make my dinner fresh when I have the time. However, it’s not always possible – and that’s where food prep is a lifesaver. Although it is tempting to just grab something on my way home, I would pile on the pounds given the amount of delicious food available in France (where I live most of the time).

I make my breakfast fresh every day, which takes me a maximum of three minutes if I’m having eggs or about 30 seconds if I’m having yoghurt and granola. Dinner usually takes 15 to 20 minutes.  Lunch is always eaten out of tupperware. No shame here.

In conclusion, you will feel more motivated and see better progress if you plan at least half of your meals for the week in advance, but you won’t revert backwards if you occasionally save your next tupp meal for later.

Do you do a weekly meal prep?

]]>
http://www.sweatlikeapig.com/2016/12/21/the-importance-of-meal-prep/feed/ 2 7377