On Monday morning, I had my Healthy Cooking on a Budget class at Balla Balla Community Centre in Cranbourne East. Today we discussed the many uses of mince from making dumplings to cooking a stir-fri and a san choy bau. We combined several vegetables with the mince meat including spring onions, bean sprouts, carrot, zucchini and ginger. Using gow gee wrappers, we placed a teaspoon sized portion of the mixture into the middle and folded the wrapper closed using a pleated pinch technique.

For the stir-fri and san choy bau, several sauces were added to the mixture while it was being fried including soy and oyster sauce plus sesame oil and lime juice. Once the mince has been cooked through, it can be served in a large lettuce leaf or just onto a plate. http://www.ballaballa.com.au/progra…

On Monday night, I had my Strength Training session with Luke Davey at Breakaway Fitness. It was my very time training at UFT PLAYgrounds in Berwick. I was really nervous and overwhelmed by the amount of trainers and clients running classes all at the same time. And of course Nick Bradbury was there. I was getting distracted by him the entire time. I recognised a few of his clients that I used to train with last year. I seriously thought I could handle being in the same room as him but obviously I could not.

My brain was like a non-stop running faucet with many negative thoughts (I’m a failure, I’m not good enough, I’m stupid, I can’t do it right). Mentally I just wasn’t strong enough to shut them off or push them into the background and so it really affected my performance tonight. I was also feeling socially disconnected and left out from everyone in the room. It was honestly tough keeping that brave face on in front of Luke but I didn’t want to make a scene and burst into tears. Not tonight. https://www.facebook.com/breakawayf…

WARM UP…Tonight I used a back extension machine for the first time, doing 3 rounds of 10 reps. It was really weird at first as I had to swing my body upwards from a hanging position. Eventually I found my rhythm with it. Next I did 3 rounds of 15 kettle bell dead lifts and did some hamstring curls into the wall. Sadly, I just wasn’t getting it and I got really frustrated at myself for not doing it right. Thankfully, Luke did demonstrate the movement and I finally got there.

DEVELOPMENT…This was probably the best of the bunch for me as I lifted my heaviest weight to date. Getting my form right was still a struggle at times but it gradually improved over time. I did 4 rounds of 3 dead lifts.

WORK OUT…Tonight’s workout involved 21-15-9-6-3 reps of the following exercises: Kettle Bell swings and burning calories on the Assault Bike. Sadly, I was getting really upset with myself at this point especially when I was failing to do my kettle bell swings correctly. I actually felt embarrassed that I couldn’t do it. Thankfully, Luke gave me a lighter weight which did make it easier.

It was also my first time using the Assault Bike. I was getting fatigued really easily though and just couldn’t go that fast on it despite Luke trying to motivate me. I just felt like shit both physically and mentally. It wasn’t my best performance at all and I just wanted to walk out. But somehow I didn’t give up and I finished the workout in just over 9 minutes.

On Tuesday morning, I did my first Slow Flow yoga class at Now, Yoga.. Honestly, I was still feeling mentally drained from last night. I’ve realised that I’ve been overthinking far too much and getting myself upset unnecessarily. I was also getting over being sick from last week. It was time to bounce back and be kind to myself again. What I really need right now is to love myself more and work on improving my emotional well being. http://nowyoga.net.au/timetable/

There was about 9 people in the class this morning despite how foggy and cold it was outside. We did several flowing sequences of poses including Sun Salutations (Standing forward bend, half lift, low lunge, downward facing dog, plank, cobra), Standing Poses (Triangle, Warrior 2, Peaceful Warrior), Balancing (Knee lift and hold, gentle twist) and a Pranayama practice (Viloma breathing). https://www.ekhartyoga.com/articles…

On Tuesday night, I went to my Body Combat class at YMCA Casey ARC in Narre Warren. It’s been about a month since I’ve done one of these classes so naturally I was a little rusty but slowly I started finding my rhythm. I was determined not to be too hard on myself and shift into a more positive mindset. I found the Muay Thai section to be the most difficult with complex step behind side kicks, forward step back kicks and tuck jumps. It was just too hard to keep up with but I did the best I could. https://www.lesmills.com/workouts/f…

I had to really good catch up with my instructor Cinamon Guerin after the class. We must have been standing out in the car park for 20 minutes or so. But it was really helpful. I find her to be easy to open up about my thoughts and feelings with. She always gives me positive and encouraging advice when it comes to training, maintaining a healthy lifestyle and dealing with my mental health issues. I’m certainly feeling better than I did yesterday. I just have to take it one day at a time.

On Thursday morning, I had my counselling session with Ruth at Piece Together Counselling in Narre Warren. Today I mainly focused on my strength training session from Monday night and all the issues I was confronted with. Hindsight and self-reflection are both wonderful things and I realise now that it really wasn’t as bad as my head was making out. It’s just going to take time for me to adapt and adjust to a busier training environment. I’m simply not used to it.

As for Nick, I’m just going to imagine that he’s covered in a giant black curtain. He’s staying in my past and I’m focusing on what I have now with Luke. Looking back now, I see Monday night as a learning experience for me rather than one full of regrets. I’m not going to give up that easily. Perseverance is a very important thing especially when it comes to exposure to challenging social environments and fitness training. I’m sure tonight’s session will be better. https://www.piecetogethercousellingnarrewarren.org/…

On Thursday night, I attended my Strength Training session at Breakaway Fitness in Berwick. I had a much better experience tonight than I did on Monday night. The obvious reason was because the bright pink elephant wasn’t in the room but that wasn’t the main reason for me. I was determined to be more socially outgoing and apply a positive attitude. I literally wrote a list of positive affirmations for myself as a reference to help keep my mind focused. It actually really helped me tonight.

It was also noticeably less chaotic which meant I could settle down easier and not get myself so worked up and overwhelmed. I had brief chats with Denee, Kane and Carlo before starting my session. I actually felt really proud of myself for not letting my brain get in the way. I could have easily thrown in the towel and allowed that one negative experience to prevent me coming back to UFT PLAYgrounds in Berwick. But I don’t give up that easily.

WARM-UP…Tonight I did some more sketches using the resistance band into the shoulders, arms and upper back muscles. Following this, I did some single arm rows on the bench using a 10kg dumbell. I did 3 rounds of 10 reps for each exercise.

DEVELOPMENT…So this was my second time doing bench press so at least I knew what I was in for. This time I was lifting a heavier weight and doing 4 rounds of 3 reps. I did struggle pushing the bar up but Luke was spotting me the whole time and I was still able to get through it. Watching him dance and sing to Chris Brown songs certainly helped to keep me entertained and motivated.

WORK-OUT…For the workout, I had to do increasing reps of push-ups and ring rows. Honestly, I’ve never really been that good at push-ups but I still gave it everything I had. I think the most challenging part for me was keeping my form as the fatigue made me drop to my knees. I managed to get up to 9 push-ups and 2 ring rows in a minute which for me is a huge achievement.

On Friday morning, I caught up with my support worker Ally at Colourfield Cafe Casey Central. It’s been about a month since I last saw her so naturally we had lots to talk about. The main topic of conversation was around Monday night’s training session. She pointed out that now that I’ve had those negative experiences, I’ll be better equipped mentally to handle it next time. And she’s right. It’s the basic idea behind exposure therapy. Gradually putting myself out there socially. Getting used to potential distressing experiences and my tendency to overthink. It all takes time and eventually it will get easier for me. https://www.dss.gov.au/our-responsi…

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