Monday, 9 October 2017

Waking up at 5.30am

Challenge number 2 in my year long healthy habit challenge is to wake up at 5.30am every morning, including weekends! I decided to add this to the mix because I hear so often that it is good for me and below are the reasons I thought mattered to me most.

Benefits to waking up early
  1. Time to plan for the day - if I don't plan I just don't end up getting things done. 
  2. Self development - successful people wake up earlier. Early bird gets the worm.
  3. Exercise - its hard to go to the gym after a long day of work. Waking up early gives me time to do this.
  4. Morning routine - I like to take my time getting ready in the morning, have breakfast, clean my house etc
  5. Quiet time - waking up before the sun rises give you a psychological advantage over everyone else.
How did it go?


The first 10 days went well, I managed to wake up early without a struggle. It did allow me to get myself ready nice and slow before work, my house is clean before I leave for the day, I had a chance to film some videos and I can plan my day much better.

However...

After the first week I was so tired after work I would probably manage half an hour of TV before bed.
  I did start to notice my appetite for sugar and sweet treats went through the roof. Day 11-14 I was in London with my sisters and had late nights with eating and drinking lots which kind of messed it up for me. I really needed the sleep so didn't stress too much over screwing up the challenge for a few days and just started it right back up when I got back. My skin blew up with spots, mainly on my chin which is very unusual for me.



Unusual spotty chin for me


I think this is what frightened me the most. I just started looking unhealthy. I know my terrible diet contributed to the bad skin but I am also sure feeling so tired and wearing make-up didn't help.

Going forward?

I can definitely see the benefits to waking up early but think for me, as long as I am getting enough sleep (8hours) I will be happy, which means on a Sunday waking up at 8am for me is absolutely fine!

I will be more relaxed on weekends



Next challenge?

The launching of my next habit is going to be a bit different this time. Instead of me just picking what it is going to be. I have written down a number of suggestions for healthy habits and split them into 2
categories 1) lifestyle 2) dietary 
I plan to blindly pick the next one and will alternate which category I am doing each time to mix it up a bit.

If you have any other suggestions of habits you might like to adopt, please comment below as I am open to trying anything out.

Below are the videos relating to waking up at 5.30am every morning





Friday, 6 October 2017

Drinking 3 litres of water challenge

So if you read my previous blog you will see that I am doing a year long challenge of trying to develop healthy habits. Every 21 days I will be picking a new habit and doing my best to stick with it in order to become a healthier person.

I started this journey on 1st September and the first habit I attempted was drinking a minimum of three litres of water everyday. At the same time I started a YouTube channel as i hoped I could document the journey a bit better. I am so incredibly rusty on video though and don't think I really get across the true nature of what I am trying to achieve and hope the blog will help do just that.

YouTube- drinking 3 litres


I chose this habit as I know there are numerous benefits to drinking lots of water and find that it isn't a hard habit to get into but once you've got it it is easy to maintain.

Although I'm not the worst at maintaining my hydration levels, I did find it took conscious effort to drink so much every single day. On my channel you can see I listed a few tips on things I did to help me make sure I stuck at it.


Tip 1
Have a large glass of water as soon as I wake up- if it is the first thing I do, at least that starts me off right and that is a pint less I have to drink the rest of the day.

Tips 2

Add some fruit - this really helps when water starts to get a bit boring and drinking so much every day will start to get same old. I like adding lemon but you could add berries or cucumber

Tip 3 
Buy a cute water bottle - there are so many to chose from and buying a new one gets me excited about drinking water.

Tip 4
Measure out the quantity of water you are hoping to drink in the day - I fill up a 2 litre bottle and another 1 litre which I kept in the fridge with lemon slices in.

Tip 5 
Allow the water to get to room temperature - apparently it is meant to be the healthiest way to ingest the water but I like to do this so that it is easier to drink more. I find it hard to drink ice cold water.


I completed the 21 days without any hiccups but do think I started this whole thing a little easy. The benefits I found from drinking 3 plus litres of water were incredible. my appetite shrunk which is the best thing that could happen to me. I lost nearly 10lb from just wanting healthier foods like salads and fruit.My skin was so much clearer and I had a ton more energy than I normally do.


It has been around 15 days since finishing the water challenge and I am proud to say it has stuck. I drink a lot more water than I used to. I am thirsty a lot more often and find it effortless trying to keep hydrated.

My next challenge I will be writing about is waking up at  5.30am every morning for 21 days. I need more tips and ideas on other habits- please comment below and go check out my channel. Any help and suggestions are welcome.

YouTube - waking up at 5.30am



Sunday, 17 September 2017

Healthy Habit Challenge

So on the 1st September I started a huge challenge which I plan on carrying ot for an entire year.


I have 2 weddings next year, one in August which I am a bridesmaid for and the second is in September and in Cyprus. So instead of me waiting for a month before and crash dieting, I have decided to start building healthy habits throughout the year which are going to benefit me in the long run.

They say it takes 21 days to make or break a habit. I am going to pick a variety of challenges and do a new one every 21 days for the entire year.

I started the first on September 1st which is drinking a minimum of 3 litres of water a day. It is now 17 days in and I can definitely see the benefits already. My skin is much better, I have lost body fat as I am naturally picking healthier options and I have an increase in energy. I have started a YouTube channel to document the whole journey Andy give tips on what works and what doesn't.

tips on how to drink more water

The next challenge which will start on 21st September is waking up at 5.30am every morning. This one is going to be very hard for me as I really struggle with getting to bed early enough. At the end of the 21 days, if it sticks great, if not I will just move on to my next one.

I am marking it on a calendar at the end of each day to give me a visual on my progress


I need help on picking other habits so if you are reading this, please put something down, whether it is something you would like to adopt or if you are curious on the changes/benefits to doing it and I will try it out.

A couple of examples of ideas I have are;

  • Go vegetarian/vegan
  • Try Gluten free
  • Go for a morning walk every morning
  • Call someone new everyday to reconnect and work on relationships 
Please give me more ideas. Thanks for reading 

Monteggia Fracture

Say what???

Exactly my thoughts!

On Sunday 16th July I did a very good morning Oly session (Olympic lifting) I felt great and very well worked out. At about 5pm that evening, Ryan began his very insistent persuasion to get me back to the gym for another session. The more I said no the more persistent he got... so I went.

I wasn't sure what I was going to do, luckily one of the girls, Vic was doing a De-load week and said I could do it with her. It was 3 rounds of:

400m run
10 KB snatch
10 box jumps
10 Paused Chest to bar.

It was going great until the last round. It was very hot at this point and I was sweating everywhere, including my hands. So when I jumped up to perform my last round of chest to bar (pull ups in my case) I knew it was coming!

As I pulled away on the 7th pull up, I slipped and landed on my arm, feeling the most sicking snap! Although I genuinely didn't feel much pain, I knew immediately it was broken.

You can see me in the back jumping and falling

I remember Vic grabbing me from behind and tucking my arm in, I looked down and saw a lovely bone sticking out (fortunately not breaking the skin). The whole box (gym) seemed to stop And people started surrounding me. All the while I think I was in shock and could feel or hear very much apart from my voice saying it's definitely broken.

Ryan drove my car into the gym so that I wouldn't have to walk far, the girls made me a sling and I started the slow walk to the car which which felt like 10minutes (even though the car was 10meters away). On the walk there it felt like everything was in slow motion and all I wanted was for someone to pull down my top which had risen up, showing my stomach.

On the drive to the hospital I really started to feel the pain, mainly in my head as a terrible headache started to develop. Poor Ryan was dead silent, clearly feeling bad for making me go to the gym in the first place but mainly scared for what this meant for me.


When we eventually got to A&E I really thought I would be there for hours. Pretty much 5 minutes
after sitting down I was taken into the X-ray room.

Waiting in A&E - clearly in shock 

Once I got to the x-ray room and the radiologist opened the sling, he sent me straight back out to get morphine before he even touched me! Once I got back to the A&E waiting room, Julian, one of the coaches at Crossfit had turned up to support me. By the state of me in the above photo, I now feel pretty embarrassed!

Once the morphine kicked in and I had been for the x-rays, I was wheeled to a bed in the trauma unit and given plenty of painkillers, Oramorph and gas and air which really took the edge off the 
increasing pain I felt in my arm and elbow.


X-ray

While on gas and I air looked over at the nurses desk and could see them all crowded around a computer monitor, I then saw the x-ray and it made me feel so sick! I could see the brake but had no idea the damage I had done to my elbow as well.

They put me to sleep and tried to lodge my elbow back in place and when I woke up I was In A very fresh plaster and in the most excruciating pain I scream and made the nurse cut the cast off me. I believe it was sitting on a nerve. Once I calmed down they tried it again and once again I couldn't explain how painful it was but made them  open it again. By this time I think they realised I was going to need a plate for the brake as a cast just won't work.

I don't remember much until the next day. Apart from Ryan and Julian staying with me till about 3am.

The next day I was scheduled to have an operation to plate the brake. I don't know what happened between the times but Roy, Lynda and Ryan came to see me, they were there for a short time before I got wheeledover to theatre at 3pm on the Monday. The porters were brilliant and everyone in the trauma unit was very friendly and made the situation just a little bit easier. I asked for morphine and they all laughed (they knew I would be out in a few seconds).


The next thing I remember I woke up in a recovery unit which felt like a warehouse. The consultant told me everything went really well and explained that I now have a metal plate in my arm.

On oxygen 

I was wheeled back to the ward and given a gown to change out of my gym gear, I found it strange that they just left me to do this with no help. It is bloody hard taking off a sports bra when your at, is the size of a basketball and in so much pain! 

Lydia (best friend) was waiting for me. I was so tired and zonked on morphine but really wanted her to stay so I have her jobs to do Ike move the table around to my left side and tidy up for me.  Lydia kindly Took my clothes home to wash. When she left I fell straight asleep and didn't wake again till the next day.

The morning after the consultant came to see me, cut open my bandage and left me for 3 hours. The care really started going down hill from then.

Left like this for 3 hours

The nurses weren't great, very neglectful of the old ladies on my ward. Apparently they droppped the lady next to me and broke her hip! As it was a head and neck ward, they didn't seem to worry much with broken bones, nor the fact my temperature was high and blood pressure low.







Sorry it's a bit blurry
I had plenty of visitors during my three day stay and so many goodies brought in. Thank you Lydia, Lisa, Ryan, Julian, Vic and my sweet brother who arranged for a friend to delivery me gifts as he is in South Africa. Poor Guy didn't know what to say as I started crying.







After being discharged on the Wednesday, I needed to try and get my life back together. Lynda would wash my hair, clean my house and do my ironing which was a huge help!





 



It is now 9 weeks post op and I am feeling a lot more myself. Although I will need a lot of Physio going forward, my elbow won't fully extend and the nerves in my fingers were completely dead (coming back now). I have started back at work as of last week and really hoping for some normality. You don't realise how little you can do with just the left arm. My biggest gripe was that everything takes so long to do. Left hand just doesn't have the sensation of the right! 

 



See the difference in the elbow!

I just want to thank everyone for being so helpful and generous. All the hospital visits, My friends have really supported me through this, picking me up and taking me places to keep my mind off it.  My sisters have visited and helped a heap load. Veronica made a point of visiting to help me. The Crossfit girls were fantastic, messaging me daily and taking me out for lunch. Ryan for putting up with my emotions and feebleness. Lynda for keeping my house afloat and even Steph for being someone to talk to.

I guess you really do take for granted those around you, the suppport system you have without it being too obvious. These last 8 weeks have been a rollercoaster ride but without the help of everyone, I genuinely think it would have been the end of me. I have so many positive people in my life who really do wish me well and want the best for me. 

Thank you. 

Saturday, 16 September 2017

Trip of a Life Time 2014


January 2013 after my brother, Jonathan and girlfriend Lulani had come to visit us for Christmas - I really wanted to go back to South Africa to visit them, my dad and just experience the place I grew up again. Luckily it didn't take much to convince Ryan to come with me !

In my head I had planned this once in a life time trip - I wanted to go all out and do EVERYTHING. We booked the trip in March (as soon as we could) with Trailfinders. Ryan has a cousin living in Dubai and thought it was a good way to cut short the plane journey and make the most of our holiday to stop off there for a few days on the way to South Africa and on the way back. The plan was to leave the UK 8th January and arrive back on Friday 31st January. Long time hey?? You would think so but I could have easily doubled the time and not have had long enough there !

Our Journey begins...Dubai (8th-12th)

The run up to our trip dragged like crazy - I just couldn't wait! I packed and un-packed a million times wanting to take the right clothes, the right shoes, EVERYTHING had to be perfect! Of course it turned out I took far too much - didn't wear half of it and had such a big back to lug about!

We drove to Heathrow the afternoon of the 8th and parked with Purple Parking which I thought was very proffesional and orgaised (would recommend). Our flight wasn't until 10pm and we had passes to the VIP lounge so wanted to make the most of it and got there early.

The plane journey to Dubai wasn't too bad and we were both impressed with the Emirates flight. First impressions of Dubai were great. It was quite cool (15degrees) when we arrived but it was only 7.30am. 

Ryans cousin, Craig was staying in an apartment on the Marina - gorgeous area and the Dusit hotel was lovely! 
Buildings were amazing!

The

first few days we had in Dubai were lovely - Ryan abslutely loved the place! The buildings were spectacular and we found the people very friendly. The second day we went to the beach which was nice, even though a bit overcast!






The sea scared me a bit but I am a baby when it comes to sea monsters or anything I can't see. I wore goggles and looked into the water and FREAKED out - looked like something from Jaws! I was in awe of the camels on the beach though. They are so funny! We then took a walk around the marina and admired the amazing concrete jungle - it really is impressive!

On the Friday when we got here, Craig took us to an awesome steak house in town and every Friday, all the rich men parade the town in there pretty awesome cars! Every other car you see was impressive! The only police car we saw was a Mclaren!
Police Car

Rolls Royce
On

the last day Ryan wanted to go to the water park. I didn't as it was cold and I hate the cold! OK it wasn't cold but over cast and about 25 degrees. Still too cold for me and I don't like water at the best of times (I suck as an Aquarious!). I definitely did enjoy our day out though and was surprised at how impressive some of the rides were. The most thrilling rides I had ever been on! Ryan did have to bully me to go on most of them as I am a baby when it comes to heights and being cold the last thing I wanted was to get wet but I am glad he did now.

Had the best chinese ever on our way out

This ride ended in a shark tank - pretty cool!




Yummy frozen yogurt

A lot steeper than it looks
So that was our final day in Dubai (1st stop) And we both thoroughly enjoyed it! Next stop...CAPE TOWN.

Cape Town (Paarl 12th-16th)

Really this is the part I had been waiting for most. Seeing my dad again after 10 years I have missed him very much and I am sure I have changed an awful lot to him! Also this lead up to when I was going to see my big brother again and the place I once called home! I was ridiculously excited/nervous!


I suddenly got very nervous after we had landed and drove (hired car) out of the airport. The reality of South Africa really hit home and I am sure it scared the crap out of poor Ryan after just leaving the Luxury of Dubai and seeing the site below as his first impression of South Africa. Can't see so well in the picture but for about 10 minutes there is just a continuous squater camp!

Can't see so well.
Finally we turned a corner (long road and lots of turns haha) I started to actually get goose bumps squealling like a baby - I started to remember the place, and it looked BEAUTIFUL! We decided to stop off at B n B to shower and change before going to see my dad but I couldn't wait!

Excited like a child!
Then

we headed off to see my dad :)
Ah this sight made me want to cry!
My dad was waiting for us to have a braai (BBQ) and the welcome we had was great! All the dogs, horses, chickens and even the pig came out to say hello.

Oprah the pig




Those bloody thumbs up!! Ryan and my dad
After the Braai - Ryan, my dad and I took the quad bikes up to Paarl rock, with the intention of having a drink up there and enjoying the view. However it was quite cold and getting late so it was just a quick drive up and back but was beautiful!
Its been 10 years since we last saw each other!





The seconds day in Cape Town we took a drive to Cape Town, had a meal by the beach and Ryan being a silly British guy thought it was a good idea to take a dip in the Atlantic - He was on his own on this one!




Loving the sunshine!
Poor Ryan looked like such a tourist! He had people chasing after him to buy their stuff - He even bought me an African painting thing which they claimed to be genuine. Since then we have seen hundreds of the same haha! We then took a drive to Camps Bay where we met Michelle who was filming a commercial for a Swedish Railway. The view was unreal and I thought it was a nice experience for Ryan too.
Check this out for a view
The commercial required a horse to be a unicorn - this is BLUE and he is stunning! We met a friend on the top of that cliff. A pigeon which followed us around for hours!





I was very excited for the following day as we were meeting Jonathan and Lulani at the airport! In the morning we took the quads out and went for breakfast at Rhebokskloof restaurant. That was lovely and it was so hot!





We then hit the airport to collect the brother. They both looked great with incredible tans after just coming from a week in Mozambique.
I love their fashion sense so bright and colourful!
That evening we went for dinner at a Pazza restaurant Amy raved about when she went over and it didn't fail. Was a really lovely restaurant!




The following day we did the most amazing hike. It was 14k long and along a river but was spectacular! 










Bus Tour - 4 day Garden route trip 26th-30th

The following day we headed off on our little adventure. The Bok Bus tour. We were greeted at the Airport by our guide, Benjamin. He turned out to be a wonderful man who really left an impression on all of us and he was a great guide! We started our 5 our bus ride dreading it but it seemed to go really quick! Had some stops on the way where we could take photos and enjoy the view. Ronnie's sex shop was our first stop.
It was just a bar but to get people to stop they called it a Sex Shop - it works!



The Cango caves were next up. Very fascinating - the story behind it was cool too. The bush men lived their lives at the very entrance of the caves as the couldn't see any further in and didn't know if there was anything. After explorers went in years later, they found an entire mantion inside the cave. With lots of tunnels and halls. It was a privilege to see!







We spent the evening in the Backpackers Paradise which was actually alright. We even had Ostrich meat for dinner.





The next day was all about the Ostriches. And probably turned into one of my favorite days in my entire life. It was awesome! The morning started off with a talk on Ostriches then a walk around the farm. We then had a chance to sit on them and Ryan and Jonathan actually rode them.

Lu sitting on an Ostrich




After a fairly long drive we stopped for lunch at Knysna.




Then it was the decision of whether or not to do the Bungy jump. Everything in me said absolutely NOT.
 It took a lot of Ryan's persuasion to get me to even concider doing it but in the end I thought - if I don't I will regret it and now I am so glad I did!

When we were all strapped up ready to do the jump, we all had a shot and a drink before hand for some dutch courage.


....
Absolutely gutted! Today is 16/09/2017 - 3 years after I wrote this post and I am kicking myself for not finishing it!!! The bunjee was the best bit!
This has given me fuel to start up blogging again as well as the YouTube blogging - Sarah Mey
















Waking up at 5.30am

Challenge number 2 in my year long healthy habit challenge is to wake up at 5.30am every morning, including weekends! I decided to add this ...