I'm literally counting down the days that I will leave for VA, there are many nights I can't fall asleep because of overwhelming excitement/ anxiety and a lot of unknown emotions. But anyway the night is pouring away and I finally garner the courage to write about what I have been not talking about all these time; the main purpose of my blog. I started this mainly because I was in the stage where I discovered clean-eating and also in the phase of executing whatever I learnt, and it was a fun journey - seeing the changes your body has in according to your daily exercising regime and eating lifestyle (lifestyle, not diet).
But as some of you would have known, I started www.thecakeissue.com and running everything alone has intervened with my exercising regime tremendously. Every morning I wake up, the only thing I remember is to fill my empty stomach with some food so I have the energy to work on my baking, my sugar flowers crafting, and by every meal time all I thought was, any food that can fill my hunger will work. It didn't have a lot of impact initially and I didn't feel the whole impact until it struck me a few weeks back when I look back at my old photos and see how different I was. I don't stand on the weighing scale for who-knows-how-many-years but I decided to stand on it one day because I could feel my body wasn't like before, I can't stretch like how I used to and I realised I have gained a whooping 4kg. The first thought I had was; WHERE FROM??? I know I always tell myself that the numbers on the scale only determines the gravitational force between you and the centre of the Earth, but if I haven't been keeping up to my weight training sessions and cardio work outs, this 4kg will definitely NOT be muscles (obviously). oh yes, and I think its ashamed to say this but I got to face the truth - the abs i have worked so hard for are gone (at least not visible under naked eyes), been replaced by an extra layer of fat, yes it saddens me a lot knowing all the hard work I have put myself through can vanish into thin air so easily when I didn't keep up with what I have done. Fitness is indeed a life-long career and not a 6 months project.
We all have down days/weeks/months, but how you handle accepting it and coming back from it determines who you are, and differentiates those who stay on their fitness journeys and those who give up. A progress is a progress no matter how small it is.
So for the past few weeks I took a step back and see where I went wrong, compare it with what I have done in the past and I am glad to say I am slowly adjusting back. I'm not seeing any major changes of course, but I can feel its improving. I'm finally getting all my greens and fruits back in my eating and it never felt better. After going through such roller coaster - I have been a fat kid when I was younger, grew very thin through my teenage years due to wrong dieting (please do not do that, I regretted because it pretty much spoilt my digestion system now), then working it back through the right exercising regime and eating lifestyle & then abandoning it again due to bad time management at work - all I can say that eating correctly does place a big role in keeping fit but it also all depends on your body structure, your genes, and the exercise you do. Some people grows fat easily and some lucky people get to keep their fat % at bay, they only need to focus on gaining muscles which helps to burn more even when you're not working out (yay! good news about training them). I'm not the lucky one and I think it may be good as it serves as a reminder to never take things for granted. Good things never come easy.
I don't know how many people can feel me, but it is indeed stressful that we have to 'look good' in this line, and also be our 'best' but what does all these truly mean actually? Thigh gap? Flat tummy? Skinny arms? I don't know and I don't want to know, because nothing feels better than feeling YOUR best with the right lifestyle. I'm thankful that I am not a sweet tooth, although I crave for chocolate once in a while, I don't drink (heavily) or party, which I think it took a load off my shoulders. Positive comparison, which some call it inspiration can be good, but when you over do it, it strips you off all your self-esteem and it can be very, very detrimental.
Currently I am sticking to at least 3 times cardio a week (sometimes more, having a stationary bike at home makes it so much more convenient, sometime less when my body needs rest - my old knee injury serves a good reminder) and some light weight training whenever I can slot in time. My brothers always remind me that if exercise if important to you, you will make time for it, if exercise is not important to you, you will just make an excuse not to do it. At the end of the day, you are responsible for how your body will be like; not only the visible body parts you see everyday, but also what goes on inside your body. Many young adults like us don't see it until age starts to creep in and make us see what we don't want to see. What I cannot stress on more is:
- A good balance of good 7-8 hours of sleep,
- right amount of water everyday (2 litres on average),
- rest if you need, always listen to your body
- & also the right lifestyle you choose for yourself to make yourself feel at your best.
Of course, occasional indulgence is also perfectly normal, just do it in moderation. So do whatever is needed to get you back on track, if it means to flip through the magazines on hot bods and learn about how they get it, then do it. If you need a buddy to work out with and to push you on, then get it. If you need to.. i don't know, whatever you need, do it! This bowl of quinoa (pronounced as keen-wa) contains a good portion of protein, veggies and healthy grains, all the nutrients you need for a healthy, balanced meal! I'm back on track, are you? :)
Rainbow Quinoa Bowl
(Recipe partially adapted from damndelicious.net. Feeds about 6 pax)
3 cups cooked quinoa
1 cup corn kernels
can of tuna in water
1/2 cup petite diced tomatoes
1/4 cup crumbled feta cheese
1 Red onion
3 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro leaves
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1/2 teaspoon chili powder, or more to taste
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
Cook quinoa in a ratio of water to quinoa, 1:2, or if you like it more crisp than watery, 1:1.5. Rinse quinoa well thoroughly before cooking. Place water and quinoa in a pot and turn on medium heat, until the quinoa has absorbed all the water.
In a large bowl, combine cooked quinoa, tuna, corn, tomatoes, cheese, cilantro, garlic, and chilli powder, salt and pepper, to taste. Stir fry it if you'd like it more warm. Serve immediately.