Spring is my favourite time of year. Everything is fresh, positive and smells amazing. Winter here hasn’t been as harsh as I anticipated. It got very cold but none of that post-apocalyptic, ‘when will this end?’ feeling. In the U.K. winter feels very long and draining. Day after day of grey skies and windy weather are the worst. I was preparing myself for a stereotypical Moscow-esque winter where it’s so cold and snowy everything looks black and white. Instead I was presented with generally dry, sunny weather but that doesn’t mean I missed out on a fluffy hat. It’s faux fur, although real fur is easier to find here, it’s awful. Actually we visited a shop the other day and I noticed a bolero jacket that looked so elegant, only to be told that it was real fur. The girl in the shop looked so offended when I recoiled in horror and said in Georgian how it was terrible. Ugh.
Anyway, after recently receiving my residency permit (a post will follow about that ordeal) I can finally get on with my plans here without fear of deportation. Alongside work and planning, I’ve decided from today that I’ll start a new healthy eating regime and a workout plan to build strength and tone up a bit. I don’t want to lose weight, I’m happy with my body and since I’m tall, losing weight looks quite dramatic on me and I don’t want to look ill. I was fortunate enough to have good genetics and inherit an hourglass figure (I’m 37 – 26 – 39) which I’d like to maintain although that means that weight around my bum and legs is hard to shift. Therefore I focus my workouts on lower-body toning generally. I started this HIIT training recently which was really effective and it’s great for those of us who get bored quickly since it gives you new moves every day.
I first heard of HIIT on Deliciously Ella‘s blog where her instructor explains HIIT in a simple way: HIIT is the process of bringing the heart rate up to a high % of your maximum, for a very short period e.g. 30 seconds, and then allowing it to drop by resting it for a similar amount of time. This strengthens the heart as a muscle. The stronger the heart the less times it has to beat to send the same amount of blood around your body. A heart that is strong, like most muscles, will be less likely to injure. HIIT also helps to reduce body fat levels, relieving vital organs of a huge burden. The great thing about HIIT is that it can be tailored to any fitness level. It’s about doing anything that gets your heart pumping! For some that may be speed walking, others sprinting. You adjust it to your fitness level. Heart Rate monitors can be a great way to check you’re pushing yourself hard enough.”
From today, I want to start this Ballet Beautiful workout twice a week because if I can exercise whilst laying down, I will. I’ve read some reviews and apparently it’s much more difficult than she makes it look, but it seems more relaxing for those days when I don’t want to jump around too much (it also means I don’t have to struggle with my sports bra!). Then around that I intend to do continue some HIIT since it’s so quick, and hopefully some jogging now the weather is improving.
As for a diet, I don’t diet. I love food and eat quite well anyway. It’s even easier to eat well here since fresh fruit and veg at the bazaars are so cheap and seasonal produce forces me to experiment with new ingredients too. I don’t eat much meat, if any at all. I’ve never particularly liked it but I am in a relationship with a bear, so he needs it occasionally. Also, when invited to friends’ houses for dinner/a supra meat is usually the focus, and veg is more to make the table look pretty. I like to try new foods but there’s only so much khinkali a girl can eat without exploding. I generally eat well when it comes to my meals but snacking is my issue. I have a major sweet tooth and can’t resist a Bounty here and there whilst wandering around. I don’t always want khachapuri and it’s hard to find something lighter (Itsu I miss you!). So because of this lack of willpower I have when it comes to eating an entire packet of biscuits or a whole tray of brownies, I’ve started using My Fitness Pal to visualise what I’m eating. I’ve been against calorie counting for as long as I can remember but this one is tailored to what is healthy for you and doesn’t let you log if you’re starving yourself. It also reminds you to drink water more which is always useful! I’ve set mine to not lose any weight so it still recommends me the amount of calories I’ll need to maintain my weight, just with an exercise log on top.
So wish me luck! I’ll be starting soon, straight after making these amazing brownies.