After setting myself a goal to do one un-assisted pullup and starting a new coaching plan, this week I’ve started to do eccentric-only pullups – slowly lowering myself down from the bar for 4 seconds, without doing the ‘up’ part of the exercise. Just lowering myself in the direction of gravity sounds easy but after a few reps it’s one of the hardest exercises in my routine.
My fitness learning has been focused on understanding my new coaching and nutrition plans, so I’ve been watching a lot of ‘how-to’ exercise YouTube videos. Having a new workout plan has introduced me to exercises I’d never heard of before, and small modifications of my regular ones (such as a three-point single arm row). Small changes can work muscles which you don’t even realise you have – prepare for serious DOMS the day after trying anything new!
I’m still following Hannah Mills’ #SummerSweatChallenge, albeit a couple of days behind. The workouts and yoga moves have been great to follow, but the best thing I’ve learnt is to take time to relax – having Hannah command me to take 30 minutes for myself has been the nudge I needed to put everything down and enjoy some candle and bath bomb time!
My nutrition plan doesn’t start until next week, so I’ve used the past fortnight to focus on relaxed, intuitive eating to find true balance. Some days I’ve craved veg and have piled my plates high with courgetti and raw slaw, roasted squash and cauliflower rice (my ‘record’ last week was 18.5 portions of fruit & veg in one day, and I wasn’t aiming for a set target!); on other days I’ve fancied something a little different and even indulged in my first takeaway in almost a year. Finding balance means feeling confident enough to understand whether you’re feeling cravings or genuinely want a treat, and being able to enjoy a moderate amount of delicious, less healthy foods (tuna and pepperoni Domino’s in my case!) without bingeing. I added a mountain of raw slaw and some roasted garlic broccoli to my plate not because I felt I had to, but because I absolutely love veg – healthy greens don’t have to be plain and boiled.
I’ve also been enjoying non-food activities, proving that summer life doesn’t have to revolve around a beer garden! I visited the incredible Electric Cinema for a date night. It’s a fantastic place to visit – the decor is more like a theatre, with a bar serving gourmet food and wine. All the regular seats have cashmere blankets and individual lamps, but my favourite seats are the two-person ‘beds’ at the front where you can spread out, relax and enjoy an indoor picnic. When the sun’s out I’ve rushed outside the make the most of London’s parks – LISS doesn’t feel like exercise when you’re exploring :).