A lot of people ask me, what do you actually do other than go to work and train at the gym? Which made me think, what do I actually do other than those two things?
Well following on from my first ever blog post, explaining the reasons for me stepping on stage in May, a lot of my time is factored around the gym and work, and in all honesty it is more like most of my time. It's a huge commitment, to decide to train for a Bikini competition, and you have to sacrifice a huge amount. Theres endless amounts of cardio, stupidly early alarms, weight training sessions, HIIT sessions and the dreaded food shop and food prep, all around running my own business full time and trying to have some sort of social life. Theres not a lot of time spare, unless you don't really like sleep.
So I thought I would write a little about the things I do to balance my work and my training, its not that they aren't both things that I absolutely love, because I do, but life is all about balance isn't it. For those of you wanting to get into training, but feel you haven't got the time, you have, you just have to make the time, and want to achieve those goals more than anything. So if you're really wanting to get yourself on that healthy training wagon, but want to ensure that it isn't going to take over your life in every way, shape and form, heres a few ways I balance my training, work and my personal life.
I love reading and its usually something I only really do on holiday, but I made a conscious decision at the start of January to get my head into more books. I go into my own little world and I'm even taking it that seriously that I bought myself a new lamp. Its from Next and its lovely.
Ive never been a big reader of crime novels, as I'm a bit of a big girls blouse, but my Mama is a big bookworm and shoved one gritty, pretty gruesome crime book at me one day and from then on I was hooked.
If you're looking for some good authors, with easy to digest writing styles have a look at the Helen Grace series by M.J. Aldridge, and the Tom Thorne series by Mark Billingham, I've read a few from each author recently and I haven't been able to put them down, even compromising an hours sleep for another chapter or two.
I tend to trail round charity shops for spontaneous finds or pick books up cheap from amazon if theres a particular title I fancy.
I have a few trips away this year, Sorrento in June, Paris in November and Thailand for Christmas, so there's plenty of planning to be done.
I love looking into the local history of areas and the sights to see, planning days around quirky bars in crowded squares, big tourist attractions then somewhere authentic and off the beaten track for food, nothing is better than planning trips away.
If anyone has suggestions for Paris or Sorrento they would like to recommend please don't hesitate to let me know! Due to the lack of variety, and albeit flavour, in my diet at the moment local and authentic food places will be a must when I'm away!
See last sentence above! If I can't have the food, I'll watch the food. I am however going to draw a line at bake off.
Walking my dogs can't be classed as cardio as they are the slowest walkers ever and decide to sniff every blade of grass or pick up ginormous sticks. But going on lovely little jaunts with my pups always puts me in a better mood, fresh air works wonders, and in the lovely northumberland there are endless places to go and wander and explore. I have a Sunday ritual of a dog walk and a pint with my Aunty and Uncle too, so regardless of prep, this still happens and I just have a pint of water and a protein shake, yay.
This isn't a regular occurrence but hey ho, its a treat every now and again, everyone loves a nap.
Audiobooks and Podcasts.
I only started listening to podcasts about a month ago, but its a sure fire way of killing two birds with one stone. I tend to listen to podcasts while I'm driving, so getting from A to B and more than likely learning something or taking in some valuable information in the process. You can listen to podcasts on more or less any topic, mine range from Health and Fitness to Russell Brand.
Audiobooks on the other hand are just delightful. Im a self confessed Harry Potter geek so HP is my go to for Audiobooks. Stephen Fry reads them to you too, could it get any better. If I've had a mental day and just need to switch off, the audible app has a sleep timer so you can just drift off to the sound of Mr Fry talking about Quidditch. Delightful.
Coffee is life, and the one thing I'm allowed endlessly on prep, saying that I couldn't drink it all day or i'd be positively wired to the moon. But yes, coffee shops, you can sit and relax and watch the world go by whilst enjoying a hot cup of energy. I like to take my laptop too and browse the web and partake in some internet shopping. I am dying for a Latte mind but that will have to wait till May, for now its the dark stuff.
I get two rest days a week, but other things seem to take over then, and I work to some degree every single day, so these said 'Lazy Days' are very few and far between. Since leaving my position as Sports Therapist at the Rugby Club I have found other things to occupy my Saturdays, but OH MY GOD, staying in my PJ's until 2pm has happened once and it was great. Breakfast in bed. Coffee in bed. Blogging in bed. Dog snuggles in bed. Masterchef watching in bed. More coffee in bed. My Saturdays are wild I know! But I'm 100mph most of the time so its nice to go at a snails pace once in a while. Rest is as important as training.
Its not about having time, its about making time for exercise. If exercise is already a priority, you need to make time for other things in life that you enjoy. Balance.