JUNE IS BUSTIN OUT…

JUNE IS BUSTIN OUT…..

Good morning people…. so here I stand once more on the cusp of one more stab at the transition between Nearly Fit and Really Fit.

Yesterday I sat down and picked up my latest Diary that I had planned to use to record my efforts since 15th March 2019, giving myself 7 months to reach a 6 month Target….

All went well for about 11 days followed by a few distractions until April 22nd….. then nothing until yesterday 31st May!!

I woke up to the realisation that I had lost over a month and gone from doing so much to doing nothing…. Or had I?

I had in fact done so much in a short space of time, just not what I had planned or promised myself in the health and fitness department!

I had allowed myself to become distracted, enjoyed the process too much, made excuses that I could easily get back on track, but failed to make the necessary effort required on a consistent daily basis.

I lost my way, lost my focus, wasted time and became a procrastinator despite “knowing better”, but at least I gained some new experiences and memories as well as 2lbs.

But all is not lost…. in the words of my old friend Bill,

“Once more unto the breach dear Friends”…….

And so rather than beat myself up by heaping empty platitudes upon my never waning enthusiasm for life and the blatantly obvious, I instead set about starting afresh with a renewed list of outcomes for the not too distant future with the determination to make a commitment to once again recording my efforts in my hitherto discarded blog https://nearlyfittoreallyfit.wordpress.com from 1st June 2019.

The purpose of my blog was a double edged sword, intended to be a source of inspiration and material for a book I could and should write. But also to provide the incentive to persevere by making a commitment not only to myself but to any potential readers, in an attempt to provide and receive encouragement to succeed regardless of Life’s constant interventions.

Take a look back at my earlier stuff while you’re here and you might find some useful information as well as the new things I will be sharing.

So without further ado here are my initial Daily Goals in the exercise department to get myself back on track starting today….. despite the fact that in taking the time to write this blog at 8am has already detracted from my initial intentions lol.

But slow and steady wins the race…..

30 Day Goal for month of June 2019…..

Up by 6am every day and out walking before breakfast.

Resume healthy eating habits, totally eliminating snacks and treats that I have lapsed into enjoying on a far too regular basis.

Do Tens stretches twice a day, do Hip Hop Abs and 1 other exercise DVD everyday, do Jorge Cruise 8 mins a day and Vince Graham workout everyday for the 30 days of June initially then hopefully beyond.

I will be explaining the various workouts over the coming days just in case anyone wants to try them for themselves.

This equates to the following number of routines which I hope to achieve regardless of interruptions with the intention of documenting and completing any omitted activities on the next day if necessary.

Walks = 90 @ 3 times per day.

Tens = 60 @ 2 times per day.

Dvds = 60 @ 2 times per day.

8 mins = 30 @ once per day.

Vince = 30 @ once per day.

The above routines coupled with a healthy eating plan should result in a reasonable weight loss and more toned body comprising of less fat and more lean muscle, which in turn results in more fat burning capabilities with less effort required.

I will be taking my own before and after photos which will be revealed on this blog in October after my Birthday in exactly 20 weeks time.

Between now and then I will be updating my blog as often as I can (hopefully daily), sharing my efforts, experiences and results. Along with lots of Health, Diet, Exercise and Life Management tools, information and resources that I have accumulated over the years.

I hope you will enjoy reading my blog and share with me your own thoughts and experiences and maybe even join in the fun and work towards your own new version of you and go from being Nearly Fit to Really Fit…..

Michael xx

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IN DUBLIN’S FAIR CITY……

DUBLIN’S FAIR CITY

VACATION DAYS 7&8

So all good things must come to an end…. sadly I waved goodbye to my cousins as they headed back towards Dublin for their last two days obviously needing to be near the airport after the last leg of their journey.

Armed with my trusty directions and half a plan for the day they set off and decided to make Moneygall their first pit stop…. Ancestral home of Barrack Obama no less??

After refreshments they continued on to the Irish Stud and Jspanese Gardens at Tully near Kildare and the Curragh.








Finally they reached The Ibis hotel on the outskirts of Dublin, a reasonably priced hotel situated across the road from the Luas and a great place for anyone visiting Dublin to stay and leave the car.

Obviously I wasn’t with them for this leg of the journey so have no idea what they did next or in what order to a great extent so will just let the photographs speak for themselves……

That was their first night in Dublin getting their bearings… final day they visited the amazing Dublin Zoo.







After the zoo they missed their bus back into the city but managed to flag down a horse and carriage whose driver although finished for the day agreed to drive them into O’Connell street… what a nice man.

Pics

And so all good things must come to an end but what a fantastic amount they managed to pack in on such a flying visit…. see you again soon guys…..

Pics

Michael xx

2018 OFF AND……

Definitely not running…. yet?

Well 2018 is well and truly upon us and like everyone else with great aspirations for this year I’d love to be able to say I’m back on track but I can’t…….

Last night whilst watching my 60th consecutive episode of Game of Thrones (never seen it before) I started to experience severe pain in my left foot!!

Typical, woke up this morning and couldn’t stand on it and no idea why? I thought I was being clever taking it easy yesterday as it was a Bank Holiday and planning to relaunch my fitness goals from today the 2nd of January as opposed to the 1st.

I don’t drink, so had no excuse really but thought why not as the majority of the adult population are probably worse for wear after New Years Eve plus I still had a few treats left to dispose of before I kick start my new fitness regime.

Ah well, such is life and these things are sent to try us. I’m also a great believer in everything happens for a reason…. so despite excruciating pain leaving me feeling sick I forced myself downstairs and out walking the dog in the hope that movement was better that sitting still…. it helped to a certain extent but I’m in two minds about the benefits lol but that’s me.

No hope of me hitting the gym today as planned so the dietary changes are also out the window until I see if it’s just a temporary hurdle.

I hope you are all faring better than me thus far and persevering with all and any goals or New Year Resolutions you may have set for 2018…. I will endeavour to get back on track asap and look forward to sharing my success and failures with you very soon.

Michael xx

JUICY DAYS

Day 2

Here I am on a 3 day juice detox and just started day 2 with a nice cup of green tea followed by a brisk walk then the first juice of 4 for the day.

I must say despite having done this before a few years ago I’m still amazed at the lack of hunger experienced and the only desire I got for anything more substantial was down to cravings (which I managed to resist).

So the main side effects I noticed after day one were an extra urge to urinate, which was extra and definitely caused by the combination of ingredients, as opposed to extra fluid as I am normally fully hydrated.

The only other initial side effect was a slight headache which again I attributed to a combination of ingredients, increased fluid loss and possibly slight withdrawals from caffeine in the tea and coffee I was no longer drinking.

Apart from that I feel fine and according to my scales 4lbs lighter than yesterday, but I’ll take that with a pinch of salt as my weight does fluctuate daily according to hydration levels and solid food intake.

The real test results and measurements will occur once I resume normal food consumption. I only wanted to do this 3 day juice detox just to clear my system and my head of unnecessary toxins in readiness for next month and my 12 month challenge.

Speaking of challenges, I am still on track with my 30 day walking challenge despite having abandoned the gym again for a few days and have added a new 30 day squat challenge to my routine which I am incorporating into my daily stretches.

This is a great exercise that everyone should do. The Quads are the largest muscles in the body and when worked properly they continue to burn calories long after you stop exercising.

Trouble is I’m gonna have to up my other weight routines on other muscle groups to keep up if I succeed in doing 250 squats a day after 30 days!

Time for juice no 2 of the day, will keep you posted and update the day after I finish to see how I feel and what significant results I achieve if any.

Michael xx

DETOX, DIET & EXERCISE

DAY 1

So here I go again back to basics. To say I have been slacking recently is an understatement, but I have been getting a good mental workout in the process.

That said though, there’s no excuse for not sticking to my guns, my plans, or my Diet & Exercise routine which was the basis for this whole blogging crusade in the first place.

So first things first I decided to do a 3 day detox to cleanse my body of any remaining toxins ingested over the weekend (not much). This entailed a visit to Dunnes for fruit and veg, plus the need to eat the last of the crap in my cupboards last night……

Up at 6:30am I first went walking to warm up, made green tea upon my return and drank it whilst performing my stretches. Then I measured my waist and weighed myself to get my starting figures to monitor later.

Into the gym at 8am to do my hip hop abs routine and a few weights to get the week off to a good start. Nicely warmed up I hit the shower and then made my first Juice of the day.

DETOX SPECIAL 9am

3 Apples (Golden Delicious)

1 Carrot

2-3cm Lemon

1/4 Yellow Bell Pepper

2-3cm Cucumbet

1/4 stalk Celery

2-3cm Broccoli

2-3cm Raw Beetroot

1 Avocado

1 small handful Ice

Place all the ingredients except the Avocado and ice in a Juicer starting and finishing with an Apple and juice.

Place a few ice cubes and the flesh from the Avocado in a blender, add your juice and blend until creamy and smooth.

I forgot to take my own photo so the above will suffice for now…

The benefits of this first juice is amazing. It contains Vitamins A, B1, B2, B3, B5, B6, C, E and K, calcium, iron, magnesium, potassium, pectin, boron, ellagic acid, beta-carotene, folic acid, phosphorous, selenium, riboflavin, and anti-cancer phytonutrients.

Also contains amino acids ( the building blocks of protein), essential fatty acids and a good source of carbohydrates.

HOW WILL THIS HELP?

Well Avocados alone provide nearly 20 essential nutrients and also contain about 250 calories, which when on this mini juice only plan, I will be very grateful for. The good fat also helps to regulate the appetite. Celery helps to flush the body of excessive Carbon Dioxide and reduce acidity in the system. Beetroot is extremely good for cleansing the bloodstream and is excellent, along with Lemon, for cleansing the Liver and Kidneys.

Beetroot is also one of nature’s finest blood builders. The high levels of beta-carotene in this juice help mop-up harmful free radicals and strengthen the immune system.

There is an amazing array of juice recipes available online, in books and apps for your phone and they are an amazingly simple way to get those all important vital nutrients into even the most reluctant of participants (including yourself).

As I mentioned earlier, I am doing a basic 3 day detox which I believe everyone should try occasionally as it’s relatively easy to do and manageable without getting into the realms of seeking the medical advice required for the longer more intensive programmes out there.

I have my starting weight and waist measurements to hand plus I will be stepping onto my Wii later to get my BMI etc and using my trusty Fitbit to chart my activity levels on a day to day basis.

I’m not intending to dramatically lose weight over the next 3 days, that’s not what a detox is about. It’s to kick start my metabolism by providing key ingredients whilst at the same time eliminating any build up of toxins in my system that could steer me back into old less supportive habits and poor food choices.

Let’s hope the results speak for themselves.

Michael xx

DE-STRESS!

Today is Saturday and once again I awoke to yet another storm raging outside my window and thought hooray here I go again… me versus the elements.

I set out walking my dog (Max the Husky) and the two of us equally enjoyed the fresh air and beauty of Mother Nature for individual reasons whilst both reaping the benefits.

Back home an hour later totally soaked I dried him off best I could with his towel and had a nice warm shower resigned to the fact that I needed to get my blogs up to date this weekend at the expense of my gym workouts in order to succeed properly next week in achieving my personal goals.

For some this could be viewed as a source of stress and adding to mine but coincidentally today’s topic of discussion (which has taken over my Health Blog) is how to De-Stress.

Ok so here I am on Day 7 of my Healthy Habits Quest to create an environment not only in my body but also in my mind that supports me not only physically but also emotionally and consequentially Mentally.

These 8 Healthy Habits if focused on consistently not only have the power to improve the quality of our own lives, but also the quality of life for those around us as well as everyone we come into contact with.

Just think about it, who would you rather be around, a happy smiling vibrant you or a sad depressed grumpy angry you? At times….. I know that sounds very simplistic and easier said than done, not everyone can be happy and upbeat all the time because shit happens!!

But we could all work on it and ourselves couldn’t we to try and change our outcomes….. so here’s the next phase with a few ideas from yet another endless list of possibilities to explore.

7. DE-STRESS

Stress equals fear. Fear is built into your DNA and stems from our ancient fight or flight response mechanism. It’s physical, it rushes from your brain to your heart and lungs to your gut then every muscle and fibre in your body controlling not only your physiology but also your immune system.

The quality of your life is the quality of your home, not the house you live in but where you live emotionally every day in your mind as a result of the various demands placed upon you by your individual circumstances and to a large extent circumstances beyond your control.

It’s how you choose to react or respond to these external stimuli that determines the levels of stress you will continue to experience and whether or not it will consume you and ultimately control and define you.

Angry people will always find a way to get angry, even when things are going good in their lives. Sad people will always find an excuse to feel sad and Caring people always find a way to be more caring and nurturing towards those around them.

You need to identify where you’re living right now in your life, what’s your personal identity, how do other’s view you and what’s your most stressful habit and how to change it.

Here are 5 ways to begin to reduce the stress in your life by prevention rather than cure. Stress is automatic, it will always be there, just as Fear is automatic and so are the majority of the ways we react on automatic pilot. The trick is to be ready, to be able to recognise the signs and do something about it that places you back in control.

1. FEED YOUR MIND.

The best way to begin is to feed your mind, view it as a muscle and give it a mental workout.

Before the internet I used to go to the library to feed my mind,now the world is at our fingertips. There can be no excuse for inaction.

Feed your mind every day for a minimum of 30 mins a day reading something positive to stave off the weeds of negativity that will grow in the absence of cultivation of a positive mental attitude.

2. STRENGTHEN YOUR BODY

Stress is physical, so is the fear it generates inside of us. So is stagnation, so is numbness, so is rage, so is sadness. Stress can control you but it can also serve you.

Movement gets your blood pumping and feeds your brain as well as your cells. Your mind and body work together to change your biochemistry, to change the way you feel.

Exhilaration from the intensity of a workout or a run or even a vigorous walk changes your focus and reduces stress levels dramatically.

3. FIND A PURPOSE

Finding a sense of purpose or a mission bigger than yourself, bigger than your pain, can give you something you can aspire to. It can be anything from your family to your work or even a community project.

4. FIND A ROLE MODEL

Find someone who is doing what you want to do and succeeding, to give yourself a paradigm shift. Someone that makes it real and puts your stress into perspective.

By this I don’t mean fame chasing and dreamboating (unless that serves you). But someone who has overcome adversity to succeed in their life that you can relate to.

Get a plan and a goal to work towards in your own life, we all need role models and mentors just as we can be a role model for others, especially our children.

Taking massive action is the best way to beat stress.

5. HELP OTHERS

There’s always someone worse off than you that can put your life into perspective in an instant.

Remind yourself that life is not all about “ME” it’s about “WE”…. together everyone can achieve more.

If you can help someone else feel better about their lives on a consistent daily basis then you can and will automatically feel better about your own life.

The secret to a great life is that the secret to living is giving.

It doesn’t matter if you suffer tremendously if you lost your legs or a loved one or suffered financially if you can still find the courage, determination and resolve to continue to give of yourself to others then your life will be more meaningful and ultimately less stressful.

Yes there are many stress relieving techniques on the market like Mindfulness and Yoga and meditation, but the best form of stress relief is the knowledge that you are in control.

You just have to make it a Healthy Habit.

Michael xx

HEALTHY SNACKS

6. FIND HEALTHY SNACK ALTERNATIVES

Although it’s sixth on the list this Healthy Habit could and should be the number one priority for a lot of people. We all like to snack from time to time and depending upon your lifestyle, diet and level of activity, snacking should be an integral part of your daily calorific intake.

But for the majority of the population snacking is not a conscious part of their normal healthy food choices.

For most of us snacks consist of poor choices like Taytos, Chocolate, Soda and Ice Cream to name but a few sugar dense processed products.

Worst of all are the times that we tend to snack on the wrong things. After we skip meals, reaching for the wrong things as a result of the chemical imbalance created in our brains, which in turn gives us a quick fix creating a sugar spike that then drops dramatically leaving us craving another fix, which inevitably leads us onto a lesser nutritionally sound spiral.

This combination of consistent poor choices leads us to possibly the worst case scenario at the end of each day where we end up irritable and hungry just before bedtime craving yet another snack because we have failed to provide our bodies with the nutrition that they need.

It doesn’t have to be this way. The list of alternatives are endless, far cheaper and nutritionally better. The health benefits are obvious not only to our diet, but also to our overall physical and mental wellbeing.

Dieticians and Doctors all advocate the need for eating little and often, which comprises of the three main meals plus at least two healthy snacks in between.

A good rule of thumb is to never skip Breakfast and don’t eat cooked foods after 8 O’clock at night.

These both have to do with the digestive tract and its effect upon our organs, nervous system, brain function and energy levels.

Nothing beats a piece of fruit to bridge the gap during the day and every household should have a bowl of fruit out in plain sight to create visual cues when hunger bites.

But again it all comes down to Healthy Habits instilled from an early age versus learned helplessness imposed upon us by clever marketing strategies employed by manufacturers and supermarkets.

With a little bit of effort and willpower we can all regain control of our lives and more importantly our Health without experiencing a sense of loss or deprivation caused by the strain placed upon our nervous system by constant sugar overload.

There is no need for anyone to be constantly snacking on junk food and running the risk of Obesity, Diabetes, Heart attack, Cancer and Joint pains caused by weight issues.

All it takes is 30 days to create a new habit. Once it becomes automatic you can allow yourself the occasional treat, safe in the knowledge that your Healthy Habit will keep you on track to a fitter, healthier you.

Michael xx