Week 4: Carbohydrates are not your enemy

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In the time leading up to my next session with my personal trainer, I admit that I did have a moment of: “Do I have to do this?”

To see my previous 3 weeks, read ‘Getting back to my fitness: Finding my fitness doula

It is normal and fine to get these thoughts when you are in the early stages of developing a new habit. The big secret is to still keep going, maintaining the momentum.

Why it is good to listen to your body

I am a person who is prone to sometimes getting low haemoglobin, which sometimes results in me getting anaemia. To prevent this I do try to add iron into my diet by eating lots of “the green stuff” like spinach. I do love it and sometimes add it to my meals, along with tomatoes or some feta cheese every now and then. The only thing I find with spinach is that it does expire very quickly. So I would advise you to freeze it. You can also add it to smoothies. Another green that I enjoy is Brussels sprouts – one that sometimes is excluded from meals by people who have children, because they mostly dislike the taste of it. But the key to greens tasting good is always in the preparation. [I will talk about preparing vegetables in another article].

Before my workout I decided to make a change in my diet that I soon found out was not right for that day. I decided to have black pudding, along with a ciabatta roll. Yes, I do eat carbohydrates. Black pudding is not only rich in iron, but also in potassium, zinc and fat. It was not a heavy breakfast. And I tend not too have fried food very often.

I did notice during my workout that I was full of energy at the beginning, then it spiked when I got was ¾ through. I knew that there was something wrong. According to my personal instructor, I did not get enough energy from the food I had taken.

I had almost forgotten the importance of certain food types. I am referring to carbohydrates, the food group that is sometimes given a bad name by people who want to lose weight.

What are carbohydrates? They are an important source of obtaining energy. 

carbs are good

The typical food where you will find them are in pasta, wheat, quinoa and even in fruit. They convert into glucose. A sugar, which in turns fuels the body and gives it energy. Energy is which is needed, especially when doing a workout. Think about athletes. They would be collapsing if they didn’t get their carbohydrates. This energy is actually used doing these exercises, so it does not convert into fat. It’s clear why people may avoid carbohydrates, because there is a risk that the sugar can end up converting into fat. But if you are doing enough exercise, there is no need to worry about this happening. It’s all about maintaining a healthy balance. My trainer also reminded me of the benefits of eating low Glycemic Index (GI) food. This is food like whole grains that take time to slowly release glucose into the blood. So you are unlikely to get a sugar high and then suddenly crash. Often I hear people say when a person’s blood sugar is low to eat something sweet. It may feel good at first but then it will spike, then go back down. Have you ever had breakfast then felt hungry mid morning? One way to prevent this sudden burst of hunger is by altering your diet. Eating porridge like I do is good. I sometimes add fruit. This may be blueberries or even piece of a banana. Protein is good for helping your blood sugar. Like nuts and even eggs. I had one friend who used to feel hungry mid morning, I recommended she eat a boiled egg at breakfast. Guess what, she felt fuller throughout the morning. So going back to me, I realised that I needed the right amount of energy.

As I already mentioned, usually I have my fruit in the mornings with my porridge or on its own. Although fruit is good, it should be eaten in moderation. For example if you are diabetic and like bananas it is good to have half a portion to begin with and then eat the rest later on . In my family, there is a history of diabetes, so I do need to be careful. During the training, Annie, my personal trainer, did observe how I was drinking a lot of water, which may be a sign of diabetes. In the past, I have had issues with my blood sugar level. So I will be looking into this further by going for a check up. It is good to have check ups at regular intervals. This is also part of staying in tune with your body.

Moving – finding something that you find fun

One of the things that I enjoyed about this session is that I was introduced to boxing. I admit that when I was younger, my father would watch fights on the television – and even do an invisible/air jab every now and then, getting caught up into the match – however I was not taken with the sport myself; what is great about punching into someone? This view changed when I got my gloves on. I did say to my personal trainer Annie, that boxing may be fun. I enjoyed it! I am now a convert. I’ll tell you the reasons why:

1. It’s great for the body – It is a good form of doing cardiovascular training; it really gets the heart going. This will help reduce the risk of heart disease. You also burn calories so you will lose weight.

2. You’re working different parts of your body. It’s very good for your muscles, I myself was doing some moves which focus on muscles in the arms. It is also great for flexibility.

3. It’s fun. Fun is important in the fitness journey. You need to enjoy the journey.

4. It’s great for mental focus. You are using your hand- and eye co-ordination, which is good for balance.

5. It’s a good way to release out tension and even negativity. I got to punch out all the residual frustration buildup of the week. It’s só good as a stress buster.

6. It doesn’t feel like a workout when you get into it. Unless you get burnt out like I did due to my energy levels depleting when I did my second round.

me doing boxing

boxer me

boxer me

My big take away, which I always promote, is to incorporate moving into your lifestyle. During the week I was also doing my squats, which have been incorporated into my fitness plan. I made it fun by doing lunges up seven flights of stairs quite a few times.

This week’s exercise tip– Find something that is good for your cardiovascular exercise that you enjoy. If you like to dance, dance. I now like to incorporate boxing, what about you? I would love to hear about it in the comments below.

 

 

Meet Annie – the official LoveHappyBody personal trainer

Meet Annie, a lady who loves movement. She is a certified fitness instructor who enjoys dancing as well as running marathons for charity. She is an in demand personal trainer, who not only helps her clients to achieve their results, but she makes it fun. Her current clientèle includes high profile people and celebrities. You can find out more about her here.

She is currently working with Sophia Husbands of SophiaWorld, who is on her own lovehappybody journey into getting fitter and healthier. Follow Sophia’s progress each week, as she gives you an honest and candid account of her road towards getting fit.