Monday, March 28

Leaping from the Precipice...

"Those who dance are called insane by those who don't hear the music."

- Eddie Vedder

The last week was a very up and down week. I only trained twice, coming off the back of a physically trying week prior, and an army weekend. Last week I saw some nights with little sleep due to a little girl who had a good share of illnesses and mishaps. So that didn't help the cause, and it left me feeling tired and a little out-of-sorts. When I have times like these, it's when I need to be most vigilant, because I leave myself open to complacency. And as I spoke of last week, I was still grappling with emotional issues which didn't see me doing my best in the nutritional stakes. Nothing major, but consistently silly nuts! Sounds trivial I know, but when it comes down to it, it's not about the nuts, but says more about my headspace and where I've been sitting...on the edge of a precipice.

So I've been thinking about where I am right now on this strange rollercoaster-of-a-ride in my fitness journey. I've reached a very important point, and I think I just didn't know how important. Theoretically, I know what I want, but I don't think I realise the significance, or the implications of what I want as far as my fitness goals go. Actually, it's not just fitness. It's more than that. It's in other areas of my life, and I've realised that I want to shake off those self-doubts I've had ever since I hurt my back, and lost my confidence. It's time to take responsibility for the goals I've set myself.

So here I am. I've done a recent review on how far I've come in the last 4.5 years (in one of my recent posts), and I'm amazed and thrilled at how far I've come. So it's only recently occurred to me (like today), that maybe, just maybe, I'm afraid of losing some 'wet blankets' (as my friend Peter Barr puts it) that have kept me protected and safe for like, 10 years or so now.

I think I'm also afraid of what I'm truly capable of and what the end result will be. Do you know why I'm afraid? As it is, people think I'm just a little 'obsessed'...a little 'driven'...a little too focused. Especially when it comes to my body - staying healthy and keeping fit. I recall someone saying to me the other day..."you don't want to be too fit". Crikey! What the hell does that mean? And how can anyone be too fit???

So, if people think that of me now, and I decide to up the ante, and really go for what I want, then how will I be seen? Yep...a real freak. And also...can I do it? Yes, all of us want to be accepted at some level. I'm a bit of a loner and I revel in doing things on my own and in my own way. No holding hands with another to go to the toilet for this chicky-babe. And some level, I, like everyone, still feel the need for acceptance.

This is where I'm at. I know it's time to leap from the precipice. It's time to move on and realise fully what's possible for me.

So anyway...Liz set me a task, so we can then look at a maintenance program. I'm to get to 56.9kgs and finish strong. I'm still sitting above the 57kg's mark and it's been up and down in the last week. I know it's not going to take that much, but you know, what it is going to take is that last step before I'm ready mentally to realise my next lot of goals.

I took these photos yesterday, because I wanted to see what I looked like in this dress (first 2 photos above). I went out on Saturday with a dear friend. We had a great evening listening to some wonderful musicians whose genre is celtic acoustic guitar. I'm pictured above with Alesa Lajana whom I first came across about six years back at the Woodford Folk Festival. I was delighted to hear how much her music had evolved since that time, and my friend and I commented about the interesting lives of musicians and how their life experiences are often reflected in their music, and evolves, just as they evolve as people. Their music often becomes richer and deeper - a reflection of who they've become.

And I was thinking that people's lives are like that, and depending on where their particular genius lies, it is often a reflection of if and how its' evolved. Artists' music is a simple way to understand this concept. But what about the rest of us? Peter Barr talks about different types of intelligence in his book, 'Born Genius'. It was a real epiphany to discover what my intelligence is. I think that really understanding where your genius lies, gives you permission to be who you really are and make the most of your individual life's journey. It's good to no longer feel guilty about being me and I no longer have the need or desire to compare myself to others. In fact, I have a deeper appreciation of people's differences and admiration for those who have discovered what their intelligence is (whether on a conscious or subconscious level) and are utilising it to achieve richness and happiness in their lives.

The 7 types of Intelligence, as Peter describes in his book are:

  1. Linguistic Intelligence

  2. Logical - mathematcial intelligence

  3. Bodily- kinaesthetic intelligence

  4. Spatial intelligence

  5. Musical intelligence

  6. Interpersonal intelligence

  7. Intrapersonal intelligence

I won't go into detail about them all, but as soon as I read the definition of Kinaesthetic Intelligence, I knew that was me. "People with this intelligence process knowledge through bodily sensations. They are often athletes, dancers or good at crafts such as sewing or woodworking. Consider Muhammid Ali, Michael Jordon, Mikhail Baryshnikov."

So for me, my life story, my evolvement has always been through my health and my fitness. It has always been the one thing, the one link throughout my life, and when I've gone down different paths which have broken the link to this theme in my life, that's when I've lost my way and I've lost confidence. I stumbled upon this truth when just before I started my IBO program. I had this feeling, this intuition, that if I could reconnect with my health and fitness again, that all other areas of my life would fall into place. And that is exactly what has happened. Of course at that time I didn't have a name for it. It's nice to finally know.

So here I go....time to throw myself off that precipice.

Monday, March 21

Maintenance - the Ultimate Panacea?

This is an excerpt from a recent email from Liz, after admitting that I'd had emotional couple of days and basically went a bit crazy with the food at my cousin's engagement party last weekend...

"Hi Kerry,

Now that you're getting closer to maintenance and adopting more skills to be able to stay at your 57kg for life, it's worth talking a bit more about emotional eating and what triggers it.

For every bout of eating that's not planned or alternatively, food that is eaten when you're not hungry, usually has its roots tied up in emotional eating. It's important to recognize that we're all emotional creatures and rather than to try to be hardcore and pretend it's not happening, it's probably better to realize that we are nearly 100% of the time, emotional before we are logical. In fact, we'll use logic to justify our emotions.

For example - "I bought the little black dress because it was on special, and who wouldn't take advantage of a special - it seems the perfect time to buy".

"I supersized my meal because heck, every little cent counts these days and I want to find value"

When we emotionally eat, there's usually always an "Activating" Event.
From this event stems a "Belief" and from your "A" and your "B", there is usually a consequence.

For example:

A - not do so well with your Wing Chun
B - feel inadequate and frustrated
C - eat to numb the frustration and take the edge off - feel shitty.

It's what happens between A and B that is the most important - learning to change our perception of the situation - it's clear from the rest of the email you're starting to do this anyway.

From here it may be learning about yourself and your own personal eating print, that frustration or feelings of inadequacy drive you towards food - so rather than letting an emotional situation hurt you twice, you need to take your frustrations out elsewhere - this is called a COUNTERING technique
- a behaviour used to replace a poor or destructive behaviour with a good healthy technique - and pivotal to your long term success. "

So basically, I'm back at MAINTENANCE stage. It's good to be here.

It's the ulimate goal and place to be, but as most of you probably know, it's also one of the most challenging places to be, because that means that you've reached this goal. Fu*k! What do I do now? I mean, now that I'm here, I can't just say..."well I'm looking good, let's go crazy and eat all the shit I want and do sweet f*#all!"

But in actual fact, that's what alot of us do. We've put in all those months of hard, consistent work, and we tell ourselves that going back to eating shit, just for a little while, is our reward. WTF? (sorry about the swearing...armying on the weekend tends to put me in a 'take-no-prisoners' kind of mood...and we swear alot).

I've been down this road before, and I've lost sight of my goals. And you know, that's okay. You're not going to be perfect all the time. But in order to make this a 'life-long' thing and to stay here, feeling awesome takes just as much work, but it takes a different mindset.

So, as you can tell, I still have my emotional struggles. That's just life. Just when you figure you've got your shit sorted, some other emotional trigger comes to the fore, and you're left scratching your head and asking yourself..."where did that just come from?"

Though I do admit that I've just got better at overcoming those little 'emotional episodes'. I still fall in that hole, but these days I'm in it for less time and the holes aren't as deep. I don't overindulge to the same extent and I can't eat the same volume of food, i.e. the degree of shit I put in my body is not as bad and I can't eat as much shit as I used to.

So anyway. I'm getting better each time I do this. That's always my be better each day. That's all I can ask of myself. I'm not perfect...I'm work in progress.

Now the pics.

Sometimes we can amaze ourselves at the progress we make. I caught a glimpse of my reflection in the shower door. The lighting is different in there and it really shows more muscular definition. It was hard though to photograph, as when you have a whitewash of light, the muscles have less definition. So I don't look as lean in these photos, but it gives a fairly good idea.

I'm very happy with my upper body. It's easier to lean out. It's my lower body that I find harder to lose body fat. That's just genetics. Though it won't stop me working toward my goals. So from here, I'll be concentrating a little more on gaining muscle and more definition in and around my glutes and quads. Of course, I still want to be fairly lean, so it's going to be challenging. But I'm relishing the challenge, and regardless of the results, I'll still feel good.

As far as my abs, well it's harder to see at the bottom of my abs, purely because I have excess skin. I have to accept that, and the only way to see more definition is to a) increase muscle size, and b) remove the excess skin.
Now the bottom two pics...

More photos of my front garden. We've had alot of rain lately and yesterday afternoon I got in some gardening time and planted some perennials and added some compost and fertliser to give the soil a much-needed lift. I find gardening very therapeutic and I'm always plotting and planning my next lot of plants to improve the look of my garden. I love cottage gardens, and I love the 'rambling' look.

Today is a rest day, and I'm just enjoying 'being' in the present and enjoying peace and quiet, as hubby is at work (the office for a change), and Phil is at school. I've been looking forward to today just to have to myself. To enjoy my garden, the lovely cool weather, and listening to the birds and watching them. And when I finish this post, it will be time to get stuck into some domestic activity, so I can relax and enjoy a nice, clean, warm and inviting home.

And tomorrow, it's back to the gym.

Wednesday, March 16

Another Fitness Journey Milestone...


Here is where I am on my fitness journey...AWESOME and getting better! :P

As of the last couple of days, I've nearly hit my lean goal weight of 57kgs. I'm sitting on 57.15kgs and guessed it...awesome!

I'm feeling confident about my body, and I'm wearing all those nice little 'short' items I've had tucked away for over a year. I'm just annoyed that summer is now coming to an end, and I will only fleetingly get to enjoy them before the colder weather is upon us. However...I'm really excited about what I'll be wearing come this summer. Who knows what another six months of hard work will yield. I'm so excited!

And I'm not just talking about what changes I can bring about aesthetically in the next 6 months, but from a 'strength and function' (as
Liz puts it) perspective, I'm getting a little tipsy thinking about the possibilities.

So here's a summary of the past 4.5 years up until present. I didn't start my
Ideal Bodies Online journey until July, 2008:

* 2006...Weight: 95kg's (just before Philomena was born). I was wearing a size 22 and borrowing clothes from a friend. I put on 20kgs in a space of about one month, due to fluid. I later discovered after the birth that I had a medical condition called Polyhydramnios. After Phil's birth, I eventually got back down to 75kgs (still overweight). I couldn't walk and went into hospital in a wheelchair. I had to wear blood clot stockings and have an electric bed because I was too big and swollen to move and was in a lot of pain. I also had separation of the Pubic Symphysis which added to the difficulty of moving. My daily exercise in the hospital, after Philomena was born, was using a walking frame to walk up and down the hall once a day. When I got home from the hospital, to have a shower, I had to use a step because it was painful to lift my leg into the shower/bath. I also had to use a sitting frame in the shower to be able to clean myself. My self confidence was at an all-time low.

* 2008...Weight: 75kg's...Confidence: still low. I cried alot of the time (usually at bed time), over my health and fitness that I had lost...As you can see, it would be 2 years before I finally decided to do something about my weight, and also my mounting health problems. My original back injury from 2000 (disc, due to incorrect technique in gym) hadn't improved, as I hadn't done anything about it. In fact, I discovered I had complications from a weak back...muscular imbalances, weak core, including a major imbalance on the RHS, especially my glutes. When I started my IBO program in July 2008, I had
hip bursitis, and couldn't run at all. My muscles in and around the hip/pelvis were so weak, I was constantly having to have chiropractic adjustments to re-align the spine. My muscles were in constant tension and the lower back was sore alot of the time.

* January 2009...Weight: 58kg's (Depletion weight: 54.55kgs)...Confidence: High...I don't know why, but when I started my IBO program, I made the decision and I burnt the bridges and threw out all those excuses. I appied myself 110%, and I worked bloody hard! Between IBO and my physio, I overcame the bursitis and got stronger, and was able to jog for the first time in over 6 years (because of my back). It was back in December 2008, I decided I would join the AR. I spent the next 6 months training specifically for the physical challenge of joining the AA with the help of Kristin from IBO who wrote specific programs for me to be able to achieve this end. It was also around that time I became a Personal Success Mentor for IBO.

* June 2009...Weight: 57kg's...Confidence: High...I enlisted in the AA and in September 2009 was physically strong enough to do my basic training in Kapooka. I found the 4 weeks of training physically and emotionally challenging, but I made it through. I did however sustain a re-injury of the lower back in the last days of my basic training.

* January 2010...Weight: 61.5kg's...Confidence: Meh...I had finally joined
Crossfit, in the endeavour to become ultra-fit and to help me improve my strength and endurance required for the AR. I believed (and still do), that Crossfitters are the fittest people on earth. They amaze and astound me with their strength, determination and endurance - their physical stamina. However, I soon discovered that physically, Crossfit left me physically exhausted most of the time, leaving me with little energy for anything else. I also found some particular exercises extremely difficult due to my back injury and muscular imbalances. I also became frustrated and wondered why I wasn't doing as well physically as others, and was confident at the time that it was only a matter of time, and that with persistence I would see improvements.

* March 2010...Weight: 60.5kg's...Confidence: Low...This is when I discovered that I had the beginnings of degeneration in the ball (humerus) of my RHS hip. I also had a small bone spur in the RHS scapula. I was told no running, jumping, or impacting movements. I was still confident I could overcome, and I'd be back at Crossfit in no time.

* May 2010...Weight: 61.9 kg's...Confidence: Low... At this point I made the hard decision to let go of Crossfit. I hadn't made any gains. In fact, I'd actually gone backwards physically. It was a difficult thing to admit that maybe Crossfit wasn't meant to be. My confidence was dropping more and more. I was bewildered and confused. My injuries (back, hip) were still haunting me and it was at this time I looked to a solution as to why I was going backward. I had to do something different.

* June 2010..Weight: 62.3kg's...Confidence: Low...I discover what's actually wrong with me, thanks to
Liz Nelson, my exercise physiologist, who does a correct postural assessment for me and makes me aware of the source of my muscular imbalances (mostly through the RHS). It's from here that I begin to discover that all this time, I had been using my muscles incorrectly. No doubt, there had been alot of compensation going on since my original back injury, and that in order for me to move forward again, I would have to 'retrain' the muscles, and activate the correct muscles to work synergistically, to take me, as Liz says, from 'injury to performance'.

My assessment (original and developing) was: Lower lordosis of the spine, culminating in a weak core and glutes, leading to hip/pelvis instability, hence, over-reliance on lower back to take load; overdevelopment of traps and muscular tension in upper back/neck due to incorrect recruitment of upper traps. Since Liz's original assessment, through the tweaking of my program as I've become stronger, we also discovered that my hip flexors were doing more work than they should have, effectively cutting out the recruitment of my glute muscles.

Solution: work firstly on core stability and glute/ab co-ordination.

* 16th March 2011...Weight: 57.15kgs...Confidence: High...It wasn't until November that I really upped the ante. It was at this stage that I had Liz not only prescribe my exercise/rehab program, but to now include nutrition. So it's been in the last 4 months where I've made the most significant strength and function gains, as well as fat/weight loss, to bring me where I am today.

The most recent discovery, was that my hamstrings are dominant compared with my quads, which are being underutilised. Hence, the propensity to rely on my lower back, when my hamstrings became fatigued, and developing into lower back pain. So I had also been using the hamstrings, instead of using my glutes and quads to take the load. My hamstrings would tighten like hell and I had alot of trouble running with any type of intensity. Because the hammies were fatigued, the load would then immediately transfer to the lower back, so I'd be back where I'd started with lower back pain.

So at this moment, in my current program, we're still working on activitating and building glute strength, but Liz has prescribed exercises for me to now activate the glutes 'before' I activate my hamstrings. I'm also now working on building my quads, so that I'm spreading the workload more evenly and using the glutes, hamstrings and quads, and taking the load off the back. I am also doing more ab/stabilising work to continue building strength through the core, to support all these other areas.

Liz prescribes for me cardio (combo of steady state and HIIT) to get and stay lean, and also to improve my cardiovasclar fitness. In addition...weights/strength training (focusing on mainly compound exercises, i.e. squatting, deadlifting along with a little isolation work) and rehabilitation/activation work, ensuring 'correct form and technique' as the no.1 priority.

So what does that mean?

I'm the strongest and fittest I've been since before I injured my back in 2000!

- I currently have no lower back pain, and the tension has significantly reduced on RHS. So I'm starting to see improvements in the muscular imbalances on the RHS (which is where it is mainly prevalent).

- My hamstrings are no longer tight, and I can now run at a moderate pace without any subsequent tightness or lower back pain. My lower back and hamstring flexibility are starting to return.

- I can now run on hard surface at a moderate to fast pace without any subsequent hip stiffness, soreness or pain. I am now pain-free throughout both hips, especially in the RHS where my degeneration is.

- My pelvis has not dropped out significantly for at least 2 months, and I have only just visited my chiropractor for my normal monthly adjustment in the last week. Prior to that, I needed at least 2 adjustments per month to see me through the month.

- I haven't been to see my physio for at least 2 months. No need.

- I reached one of my 2011 goals last month, which is to do 40 push-ups at my BFA (basic fitness assessment) which is a sign that I've increased my core strength. I only improved my run time of 2.4kms by 4 seconds, but most importantly again - no hip pain or stiffness. And I'm still well under the time for females for my age group.

- Last Tuesday night was my first ever AR PT session that I have approached without one ounce of apprehension about injuring myself. It's the first time ever that I have not been stressed about what would be in store for me during an AR PT session. It was a fartlek (running) session, and I'd already done a leg workout and cardio session that morning. I was confident and I had no physical repercussions (apart from being fatigued the next morning for Zumba). This was a major milestone for me!

- I am now able to kick without any pain or restriction in the hip joints. I have increased flexibility and range of motion surrounding the hip joints. It's still tighter on the RHS, but alot better. I am also experiencing less restriction on the RHS, especially along the ITB.

- I have experienced a significant decrease in tension and neck/shoulder pain, improving my ability to train in Wing Chun, which is upper body dominant. This has been achieved by learning to activate the lower traps/upper back and relax the upper traps.

I cannot begin to explain what an epiphany this is.

I'm still working on the imbalances, but I've come a long way. And I'm moving forward with confidence.

I couldn't have achieved all of this without the help of certain people in my life. I believe that in order to progress, it's important that you find the right people to help you achieve your goals. And if you experience a stalemate in your journey, don't give up. Keep looking until you find the right person and/or the right solution for you, because your situation can change as you progress (or regress). I've always had the fortune of finding the best people to help me. People who have walked the talk and who have the knowledge, passion and skills to take me from where I am to where I want to be.

I've always found throughout my life and I'm still finding now, more than ever that, 'when the student is ready, the teacher will appear'.

Wednesday, March 9

"Don't Waste Your Potential"

"The greatest waste in the world is the
difference between what we are and what we could become."

- Ben Herbster

Lately, I've been reflecting on where I am today, where I was a few years back, and how I arrived.

I didn't arrive by accident. First I dreamed of the possibilities, then I drew up a plan of soughts (because a few years ago, I didn't really know where to start). I then systematically looked for solutions, recruiting the right people to help me carry out my plan, and then I put in the ACTION.

It took a while to find the right balance. I would make a plan, set a goal, reach that goal, and in the process discover what worked and what didn't. I kept what worked and I discarded the rest. I would then reset the goal, based on my previous findings and experience, and plan accordingly. All the while, listening to what my body was telling me. Some times it was harder to listen (to my body) than others. But when you truly desire change, your willingness knows no bounds.

I've taken the title of today's post from Craig Harper's new book, 'Stop F*cking Around'. It's actually a short book and very simple in its' message. But the more I read it, the more I glean from it. Today, I wanted to talk about potential. Sometimes I loathe that word, because it can be used as an excuse to why people haven't achieved what they've wanted from life.

Not everyone wants to achieve great things, though great things can mean different things to different people. My great isn't necessarily your great. It's a matter of perspective, and being honest about what you want from life, and then going about striving for what it is that you want. It's a matter of making the plan, then putting in the ACTION, and doing it over and over, until. It's about committing yourself to what you want, and persisting. It's not always smooth sailing. There will be challenges and road blocks along the way, but if you desire change, you will find your way back to the right path for you.

Here's an excerpt from Craig's book. The chapter is, 'Principle 25: Don't Die with the Music Still in You'...

"From a practical changing-your-life perspective, it doesn't matter how young, old, fat, fit, tall, small, genetically gifted, intelligent, qualified, skilled, experienced or inherently talented you are. All that matters in terms of creating lasting change is what you do with what you've been given.

Explore and exploit what you've got.

You can't change your genetics but you can change how you use them. You can't change your chronological age but you can change what you do at your age. You can't change other people but you can change how you behave and react around them. You can't alter your level of natural ability but you can determine how much of that ability you use. You can't change much of what happens to you or around you but you can change the way you react, cope and manage. You can't change your past but you can change the way you let it influence and impact on your present and your future.

Don't allow your self-limited, over-thinking, fearful mind to stand between you and your best life. You are good enough, talented enough, courageous enough and definitely worth it."

"You are definitely worth it!"...Amen to that sister!

I say this, because I have a few friends and people who tell me that they feel less than who and what they should be, and I wonder why. I see the wonderful talents and gifts they have and the potential for what their lives could be, if they were only courageous enough to commit to their dreams and put in persistent, consistent action to achieve them.

Sometimes, it's just the fact that we've begun working towards our dreams and goals that can make the difference between being happy or not. You see, it's not about arriving, it's all about the journey. Somehow, not just by starting but persisting in our endeavours, a multitude of possibilites begin to appear in our lives and that's when life truly becomes magical.

Our confidence grows as we see that we...yes we created the possibilities, and that's when we get excited about our lives and that our lives are truly successful - whatever success means to us individually. When we use our latent potential to transform our lives from what they are, to what they would become, it's pure bliss. Who needs alcohol or drugs when life is your drug?

And no, our lives are never going to be perfect, but who cares? It's the imperfections...our imperfections...the mistakes and the failures, that make it the more interesting don't you think? It's what makes a great story...your story! Be proud of it.

So get off your arse and stop wasting your potential (if you haven't already)! And if you don't like the story you've created (your past), then go out and create a new story!

Thursday, March 3

VLOG...What I Do When Nobody's Looking...

Most of the time I'm guarded about putting the 'real me' out there. But today I'm feeling AWESOME!

So I thought I'd share with you what I do when nobody is looking. :P

* BTW...this post was inspired by Frankie.

Wednesday, March 2

Mixing It Up

We all know the saying...'Variety is the Spice of Life'. I couldn't agree more. But have you considered variety when it comes to your exercise and your nutrition?

I was actually thinking about this (not very long though) during Zumba this morning. And reading Liz' recent post, also got me thinking about it, as someone said..."mixing-it-up".

This period of my training and fitness has been a very different one for me. It's one that I've experienced just about nil pain. I've felt stronger and felt my technique improve. I'm feeling really good and feeling lean, yet my nutrition is more varied and more exciting. I'm gaining more clarity on everything in my life and I'm feeling mentally sharper. I'm also much more relaxed. Still achieving alot, yet feeling more relaxed.

I've put this down to what I'm doing currently. My training is so much more varied these days and I've said before, it's become more intuitive. And it's working! Wow! Awesome!

My training regime kinda looks like this...strength training + cardio 4 days a week, and cardio on the 5th day + martial arts training 1-2 times per week (when I can fit it in). Now it seems pretty boring, but in actual fact I'm doing...strength training; cycling; cross-trainer; treadmill; Zumba. Some weeks the mix sees me doing rowing, pilates; boxing; bodybalance; etc. And the great part is, that I can mix and match my cardio with strength training, depending on what's happening in my life, i.e. army, recovery, holidays, etc.

So at the moment I'm really loving the variety with my training. It keeps me fresh, and on days like Wednesdays where I've had to work late the night before, the Zumba class is just what I need to get motivated and lift my spirits and put me in the g-r-r-o-o-o-v-e.

And something most people don't realise is, that with variety you're moving your body differently. You're using different muscles and getting stronger and progressing in ways you don't realise. And they can be little things which might be quite subtle, that over time, can make a huge difference to your overall performance and increase your skill sets.

For instance...doing Zumba each week, I've become alot more relaxed and less stiff when I move my body and I've become better co-ordinated, especially with my I've just started doing single leg romanian deadlifts, and I've found that my balance is improving.

And as far as nutrition, I'm finding it much easier to lean out when I'm being disciplined with my food, whilst still enjoying variety in what I eat (even though I do tend to eat the same things over and over).

So why not look at doing things a bit differently and 'mixing-it-up'? You might feel a little out of place and uncomfortable to begin with, but as you do this more and more, you'll find that you'll actually pick up new things much easier and you'll enjoy your exercise alot more. Who said that exercise has to be boring?

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