The results from my sugar detox last week were… inconclusive!!! I actually was doing super well for the first 5 days. I was upping my healthy fat intake, exercising, sleeping well, all was great. And then came Saturday night. I was at a friends house with some of my best friends and I ate something with some sugar in it, completely forgetting about the detox! When I realized afterwards, I felt defeated that I was unable to go an entire week and essentially gave up. I didn’t go on a crazy sugar binge though (I had thought I might after a week of deprivation). Overall, I think I would do this again and hopefully, succeed. However, this is not sustainable for me. I love a bit of dark chocolate every now and then, I love honey in my tea in the morning, I reach for granola bars when I am in a rush; all of these have added sugar. I think a more sustainable option for myself is rather than completely demonizing and avoiding sugar, I need to just be conscious of how much sugar is in certain foods and be mindful of when I am eating excessive amounts of sugar.
My fitness the past couple of week has been fantastic. As I have said in previous blog posts, I have always, always, always loved exercising. Because I work at a rec center as a lifeguard and swim instructor, I actually get a free gym pass so that is a HUGE bonus. I find it really easy to be able to go up to the gym and workout whenever I’m at work. I work six days per week so it’s easy to prioritize my fitness and arrive at work an hour before my shift to go to the gym. Prioritizing my fitness is extremely important for my overall well being, including my mental and physical health.
I tend to go through phases of different workouts at the gym. When I was swimming very competitively, my workouts were mainly working on my shoulders and injury prevention as well as building lean muscle to sustain me throughout my races. Once I quit swimming, I switched to lifting pretty heavy weights and building bigger muscles. The problem with this was that I actually got a pretty bulky figure which for myself, I did not like. After this, I started just doing cardio and abdominal workouts as I was trying to slim down and get a 6-pack, I also was heavily into hot yoga. (I’m actually embarrassed to say this because I was so uneducated on fitness back then.) When I lived in Paris, I had a gym membership and a personal trainer and I tried to work out 3-4 times per week. My routine there consisted of lots of Pilates and spin classes as well as standard cardio but not very much lifting. I also walked SO much in my everyday life in Paris just because of my job and living in the city. Over the summer and first semester of this school year, I was doing a bit of a mixture of lifting and cardio which works well for me but I wasn’t seeing major results.
Recently, I have been doing loads of circuit training. My current routine has me doing 3 circuits per week. I do a legs/ cardio circuit on Monday, an arms/ abs circuit on Tuesday, and a full body circuit on Friday. These are actually all Kayla Itsinesworkouts (she’s a super popular Australian trainer). As an example, the circuits look like this:
2 circuits, done twice each for 7 minutes. So a total of 28 minutes of workout
- 10 Burpees
- 20 Jump Lunges
- 24 Knee Ups
- 15 Sumo Squats
- 100 reps of Skipping
- 24 Walking Lunges with 7lbs weights in each hand
- 30 Reverse Lunges + Knee Lift
- 15 Jump Squats
The weight on these exercises is almost all just body weight, so definitely a lot lighter than what I am used to. The number of plyometrics (jump lunges, jump squats, burpees, etc.) makes these SO hard. I try really hard to not take rests but these are so intense. I am usually dripping in sweat after finishing just the first round. I actually worked out with a good friend of mine, Bella, last week because we are both super into fitness and health. She got halfway through my arms and abs circuit and had to stop and do a different workout because it was too hard. The challenging part about these workouts is that they get harder each week for a total of twelve weeks of workouts.
On the days I am not doing circuits, I do cardio. My cardio is either LISS (low-intensity steady state) or HIIT (High-Intensity Interval Training). Sometimes I’ll just go for a nice long walk with my dogs and count that as cardio or I’ll ride the stationary bike at the gym for 40 minutes. I also love doing sprints on the treadmill at the gym or at my house as HIIT. I will usually do one-minute of sprinting and then 30 seconds of standing on the rails. I only do HIIT for a maximum of 25 minutes at a time and I try to make sure that I cool down afterwards. I’m trying to only take one rest day per week and even on my rest day I’m trying to at least go for a walk or do some stretching.
My second job is as a mother’s helper where I work with the cutest baby girl and her mama to support them a couple times each week. Typically I’ll strap the baby into the carrier and go for a good 80-minute walk with her for some fresh air. These walks are super hard work! She currently is 6 months old and weighs about 20lbs. So walking while having a 20lb weight strapped to your front is not easy. I also try to treck up some hills near their house to get a bit more of a burn in my legs.
My last little bit of cardio that I am trying to incorporate is swimming. As I’ve mentioned, I work at a pool and I used to be a super competitive swimmer. When I quit swimming, I was in a really bad place mentally and wanted absolutely nothing to do with swimming. Some time has passed through and I am starting to see the light of swimming again. I will usually swim with some of my friends for about 45 minutes on Thursdays between my split shifts. I have an app called Swim Coach (find it here) that I just put in the distance I was to swim and maybe something I was to focus on and it spits out a workout for me. I find it was easier to stay motivated if I have a workout written out. The only downside to swimming is that I usually love listening to music or a podcast while I workout and I don’t have waterproof headphones (yet) to swim with.
I’m trying to prioritize stretching and taking care of my body so I don’t burn out or get an injury. As a cool down after all of my circuits, I’m doing a ton of stretching and walking to get back to my resting heart rate. I also have been stretching in the sauna at work. I have always valued my sleep and am trying to continue to keep that up with a regular sleep schedule.
Overall, I would say my physical fitness is going great right now and I am feeling fantastic.