On Monday morning, I had my last Healthy Cooking on a Budget class for the term at Balla Balla Community Centre in Cranbourne East. It was a small class again with only the 6 of us but I was more than happy about that. Generally, the larger the group, the more anxious I tend to get. Today I worked with Di and Rhonda who were both easy to get along with. It kind of felt like I was cooking in the kitchen at Grandma’s house. That’s the vibe I got from them.
Today we ended up making a pumpkin, sweet potato and sage cannelloni, which is essentially these thick tubes of pasta filled with mashed up vegetables (pumpkin, sweet potato, red onion, herbs) and covered with pasta sauce and grated cheese. We also made a panna cotta which is an Italian dessert of thickened cream with gelatin and molded. And finally we roasted a whole cauliflower in the oven and added cherry tomatoes and bay leaves.
This course has been really beneficial for me in improving my cooking skills and techniques with chopping and slicing vegetables, frying, roasting and baking as well as learning basic hygiene and working with other people in the community. It has taken me a few weeks to few comfortable and not worry so much about making mistakes or being uncertain of what I’m doing. Jodie is an incredibly patient and helpful cooking teacher which is what I needed. http://www.ballaballa.com.au/progra…
On Monday night, I attended an RPM class at YMCA Casey ARC in Narre Warren. My thighs, calves, hips, glutes and groin were feeling particularly tight and sore today so this class was much needed. It didn’t take long before I could feel my knees burning either but I pushed as hard as I could on the pedals and switched up the resistance when needed. Listening to your body is really important in classes like these. Being a group class, nobody is going to criticize you if something is too much and you need to back off a little.
Tonight’s class was facilitated by instructor Claire who I’ve had in my previous RPM class. She mixed up tracks from release 60 and 76 including Rihanna’s Diamonds (Bimbo Jones vocal edit), One Republic’s If I Lose Myself, Bruno Mars’ 24K Magic and Tikki Taane’s Get Up Stand Up. The sprint sections were easily the toughest for me as my legs weren’t used to cycling that fast but thankfully there were plenty of recovery breaks and easy ride sections in between to balance things out. http://w3.lesmills.com/israel/en/cl…
On Tuesday morning, I went to a Pilates Mat class at YMCA Casey RACE in Cranbourne East. Funnily enough, it’s my first time setting foot inside the group fitness room at Casey RACE since becoming a member last year. The walls are all brightly coloured with motivational quotes (I may not be the strongest. I may not be the fastest. But I am trying my hardest), fitness related words and images of people exercising. It’s a very warm and inviting environment to be in which is exactly what I need.
Today I was thinking about how there’s been a major shift in gender stereotypes when it comes to particular exercises. For example, yoga and pilates are both female dominated whilst boxing and weight lifting are both male dominated. But in the past 5-10 years or so, those stereotypes have been broken and now it’s socially acceptable to participate in any sport or recreational activity regardless of whether you’re male or female. It’s never bothered me that much that most of my yoga and pilates classes are 95% female as I’ve always had a dominant feminine side and really it shouldn’t matter.
This morning’s class was instructed by Anita who I’ve also had previously at Casey Arc. I pretty much knew what to expect. Her classes are tough but in a good way…she really works your core muscles. We did a lot of poses and movements using the chi ball including single leg raises and lowers, mermaid, table top, arm and leg balance and wide legged forward stretch. The idea is to be as slow and controlled with your movements as possible. Whilst core strength exercises are really challenging for me, I feel like I’m steadily improving the more I do pilates classes. https://www.pilates.com/BBAPP/V/pil…
On Tuesday night, I went to a Body Combat class at YMCA Casey ARC in Narre Warren. It’s unusual for me to do two group fitness classes in one day but today I felt particularly tired and unmotivated. My plans got cancelled and I needed a backup plan. It’s been a little while since I last saw my fitness instructor Cinamon Guerin but it felt really good to be back.
Tonight’s class was mainly composed of tracks from the new release, number 73, with a mixture of side punches, high knees, jab boxes, uppercuts, side and front kicks. The most challenging parts for me was the push-up and plank with side steps sequence (power training 2) and the dynamic lunges (combat 3) but I just did the best I could. Sometimes I have to force myself to slow down in order to improve and work on my technique more or just because the fatigue is kicking in. But I also feel good after a combat class because I know that I gave it my all. https://www.siphilp.com/les-mills-b…
On Wednesday morning, I had my Strength Training session at Breakaway Fitness in Berwick. I found myself holding back at the start of the session which was a sign that I had a lot of personal stuff to get off my chest. It takes a great deal of courage to be open and honest with people but I feel like I trust my personal trainer Luke Davey enough to go there. I mostly talked about the effect and addictive nature of social media…comparing myself to others, social isolation, jealousy, feeling inferior and boring, being mentally drained. When my plans get cancelled and I’m stuck at home, that’s when I struggle the most with my mental health.
WARM-UP…Today I started my session with the flowing yoga sequence. I tried to remember the sequence without Luke helping me and I did it. It’s one of those things where I’m used to having a visual reference such as an instructor demonstrating the movement and so I can get easily confused and forgetful doing it by myself. I then did five minutes on the balance board and could see a significant improvement with finding the even weight through my feet. I also did 3 rounds of 15 glute bridges with a 10-15kg dumbbell.
DEVELOPMENT…Today I worked on my back squats, doing 4 rounds of 3 reps at 68kg with the last round being maximum reps. I was feeling pretty good today. The biggest challenge for me was keeping my squat depth consistently low and keeping my chest lifted. But otherwise, I was really pleased with my efforts today. I managed to get 16 reps in my last round which was really big for me. I noticed that I do begin to feel nauseous and a bit light headed when I’ve pushed myself to my limits but I stuck it out with the help of Luke.
WORKOUT…Today’s workout consisted of doing 3 rounds of the following: 200m run, 15 wall balls, 10 burpee box jumps and 20 kettle bell snatches. I still hate running even though I’ve had a few months of experience at it now but I’m learning to get that technique right. I was fighting with my inner critic a lot here as I felt like a “slow runner”. I reminded myself not too be so worried about how fast I was running. Keeping a good pace is key. And really I’m not a marathon runner or a sprint athlete but I do want to get improve in this area of fitness.
My wall balls were much better than my last workout. I was catching the ball higher and into my chest and I was also focusing more on keeping a rhythm going with the squats, throws and catches. The burpee box jumps were a little challenging in the physical sense. The more fatigued I got, the harder it was for me to get up. But I gave myself a second to prepare myself for the jumps. The anxiety of tripping of the box is still there but it’s effect is nowhere near as strong as it used to be. So now I’m feeling much more confident about it.
The kettle bell snatches were a brand new movement for me so I really needed to cut myself some slack. I found it hard working out how much power I needed in the swing and when exactly I need to snatch my arm up over my head. But I did my best and just did what I could. I was fairly slow doing them but again I reminded myself that it’s not a race, take your time and focus on getting that technique right. https://www.facebook.com/breakawayf…
On Wednesday night, I went out to see the IT movie at Village Cinemas Fountain Gate. Based on Stephen King’s classic 1986 novel, the film is set in Derry, Maine in 1989. The main storyline focuses on the friendships between a group of “loser” high school kids which range in personality and stereotypes. After an intense prologue involving Bill’s brother Georgie (Jackson Robert Scott), a sail boat and a sewer drain, we’re introduced to each of the kids in the “Losers Club”.
We have Bill (Jaeden Lieberher) who has an uncontrollable stutter. Beverly (Sophia Lillis) who is the high school sweetheart, has some disturbing Daddy issues and is a victim of sexual assault. Mike (Chosen Jacobs) who is forced to work in a sheep slaughterhouse. Eddie (Jack Dylan Grazer) who has asthma and has to take regular medication for his condition as a hypochondriac. Ben (Jeremy Ray Taylor) who is overweight, gets bullied constantly and starts off with no friends. And Henry (Nicholas Hamilton) who is the leader of a bully gang.
Derry has a dark and sinister history for children who go missing every 27 years and now it’s starting to happen again. All fingers point towards an evil clown named Pennywise The Dancing Clown (Bill Skarsgard) who hunts each of the kids down one by one with many temptations and disguises. Eventually the kids discover that working together as a team and being able to face their individual fears is the key to defeating Pennywise aka IT.
This is a horror movie with a lot of depth and substance. It is really well balanced with funny moments between the kids, references to classic 80’s music and movies, some romantic elements and of course plenty of creepy scares. I honestly believe that Stephen King would be proud of this adaptation. It far surpasses the original 1990 TV mini-series in terms of character development, pacing and horror elements. And the fact that the credits have “IT Chapter One” hints that there may be a sequel in the works that would focus on the kids as adults, 30 years later. http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1396484…
On Thursday morning, I went to the morning melodies social function held at the Trios Sports Club in Cranbourne. It’s been a really emotional time for me, dealing with the burden of financial debt and have multiple expenses due all at once next week. I was on the verge of losing the plot in front of Mum. But thankfully this function really did take my mind off things for a while, Sometimes all you need is a laugh to forget about your own problems.
Today’s performance was by a Mauritian musician named Marcel who played a mixture of Caribbean, classical, reggae, blues and ragtime music and wore Mexican-styled outfit with puffy sleeves and a tied crop top (Don’t ask :P). The thing that really impressed me with most was his diversity of musical styles and languages from Italian and French to Mexican and also being talented enough to play guitar, saxophone, violin and a clarinet.
He played many classic songs from artists including UB40 (Kingston Town, Red Red Wine, I Can’t Help Falling In Love With You), Louis Armstrong (What A Wonderful World), Luis Demetrio (Sway) and Giuseppe Verdi (La Traviata aka The Drinking Song).
On Friday morning, I had my second Strength Training session with Luke Davey at Breakaway Fitness in Berwick. Today I had two choices: I could either put on a fake smile and pretend that everything was okay. Or I could unload everything that’s bothering me onto Luke. I wisely chose the latter. Unfortunately, the down side of that is my tendency to get easily frustrated, really hard on myself and be on the verge of another emotional breakdown.
Part of me worried that Luke wouldn’t be able to handle my shit anymore but honestly it was so liberating to just open up to him and let all that negative stuff inside go. He’s stuck it out with me this long. Again it was just my fear and anxiety playing tricks on me but today it was just more intense than usual. I could have thrown in the towel before the end of the session but I was determined to stick it out, emotional wreck or not.
WARM-UP…Today’s warmup started off okay. I had to do three rounds of the following exercises: 20 scorpion stretches, 15 pull aparts and 20 walking lunges. By the second round, the fatigue was hitting hard and I was struggling heaps during the lunges. Why was I finding this so damn difficult? Yep there goes the inner critic again. I was already in a pool of sweat before I even started my deadlifts. This wasn’t a good sign.
DEVELOPMENT…Today I did 4 sets of 3 deadlifts at 89kg with a last round of maximum reps. It was pretty clear that my levels of frustration were beginning to rise rapidly. Even putting the plates on the bar was a challenge for me in this state. Luke was doing his best to get me to calm down and relax, to get out of my own head. But it was just too difficult for me today. Even at 60kg, I was having a tougher time than usual. I thought “Oh shit! Am I going to have to pull the pin on deadlifts today?”
But somehow I stuck it out. Lifting 89kg today took an enormous amount of energy for me today and this is where I was getting really hard on me. Whilst Luke was trying hard to reassure me about it, it didn’t make me feel much better considering I’ve lifted 105kg in the past. But I just did the best I could. During my maximum reps set, I was starting to feel nauseous and getting up to 6 reps seemed impossible but somehow I managed to pull 8 reps out of the bag. After that, I was physically and mentally done.