Orsii Date Night Selfie

On Friday I was taken out on a date which was very exciting for many reason!

We went to a recently discovered Freemason Temple in a forgotten part of Liverpool Street Station where we listened to a Duke Ellington tribute – super lush and lovely experience.

I love doing random little things like that – I had such a great night and weekend all together :)

This past weekend it was time to celebrate Midsummer again – a Swedish holiday and a new tradition to celebrate it together for my close group of friends (last years celebrations skipped the blog for some reason, but they looked a bit like this!)

After hosting the celebrations in London in 2013, we decided to take the party up to Aberdeen this year, visiting our good friend Martin who lives there.

Gin & Tonic at Gatwick

For me the party got started at Gatwick airport where I had two double gin & tonics in order to calm my nerves about the flight (I am a bit of a scared flyer).

Dave and Neil arriving in Aberdeen

I met up with my two good friends Dave and Neil at the airport, and we made our way into Aberdeen together to meet up with the rest of the crew. We dumped our bags and Martin took us to some cocktail bars in the city.

Cata

Ina and Martin

Dave and Neil

To make things fair we decided to pay one round each – which resulted in six rounds in total – with the last two ending up being a bottle of champagne between us and some super strong cocktail to finish the night off.

Celebrations

Dave, Cata and Martin sipping on Champagne

Neil, Ina and Orsi sipping on champagne

Having been forced to leave the first place in a hurry because they had to close, it was a welcomed surprise to have the whole back of a bar, including the dancefloor, all to ourselves as it resulted in lots of dancing and singing – just the way it should be!

Dave, Cata and Martin cocktail bar

Neil, Cata, Ina and Orsi Cocktail bar

Safe to say that we felt pretty rough the next day and it didn’t look like our official midsummer celebrations would live up to last years madness. After having some breakfast I opted for staying in bed for an extra 3 hours because my stomach and head just didn’t feel right.

The girls went over to Martins apartment to start preparing the food for the evening celebrations and I eventually joined them around 3pm.

Ina and Cata

Neil

Traditional Swedish Midsummer food

Martin really came through with the traditional food and drinks, and with a little bit of Cata’s help with food shopping and making meatballs and beetroot salad – we ended up with loads of amazing Swedish food and drinks.

Midsummer dinner ready

Starting from the left on the picture above, we had:

Gravad Lax (Dill-cured Salmon), Lemon Wedges, Gravlax Sås (Dill-cured Salmon Sauce), Rökt Lax (Smoked Salmon), Homemade Swedish Meatballs, New Potatoes with Dill and Butter, Homemade Beetroot Salad, Midsummer Herring, Tomatoes & Cucumber and Sour Cream with Chives.

Martin pouring the akvavit

A plate of midsummer

Midsummer Dinner

Martin had gotten hold of some Akvavit and Gammel Dansk for traditional Swedish shots, Dave brought some Jägermeiste,r and Cata and Martin had bought plenty of beers, cider and a big bottle of Gin the day before the rest of us arrived in Aberdeen to keep us going all night.

So even though none of us felt like drinking or thought we would when we started the day hungover, the good food, good company and a round of charades after dinner somehow helped us ease into it again.

Cata and Martin singing

Cata and Martin

Cata, Dave and Orsi LOL

Dave and Orsi
We ended up playing this hilarious game where you’re in two teams and write down around 20-25 different artists on pieces of paper for the opposite team.

Then you have one person per team per round singing songs from artists that he or she randomly picks out from a hat and in 60 seconds the rest of the team members need to guess as many artists as possible and get a score for each correct one.

The losing team for each round had to take a shot and more you lost, the drunker you got. It was boys vs girls and sadly the girls were not very good at the beginning of the night, but we got better as the boys got more drunk ;)

Neil and Martin

Orsi and Cata

It was SO MUCH FUN!! And I don’t know how, but we managed to get through ALL BOOZE apart from the beers and half the Gammel Dansk.

An amazing effort considering I was pretty sure the night would end up being a somewhat mediocre evening due to everybody being so tired to begin with.

Orsi, Ina and Dave very hungover

Silliest photo ever

Hangover Selfie

We were even worse for wear the next day, but we somehow still managed to cook up a lovely fry up and clean the entire apartment that we had rented. Of course it started raining as soon as we left the flat, so we decided to go and do some indoor activities – ie go bowling!

We went to Codona’s amusement park just by the beach in Aberdeen and after bowling for about 2 hours, Martin drove Ina to the airport and the rest of us decided to explore the amusement park a bit better.

Ferris Wheel Aberdeen

Cata and Dave on Ferris Wheel

Ferris Wheel view

Ferris Wheel Selfie

We went on the Ferris wheel and I was super scared every loop going upwards. Not sure what it is with me and heights, but I just don’t like situations where I feel like Im dangling in the air with no real control (I know, it doesn’t make sense, but that’s just the way it is).

Rollercoaster

Orsi and Dave on rollercoaster
Then Cata convinced us to go on this mini rollercoaster called The Crazy Train – I wasn’t convinced that it was a good idea to do this when we were all so hungover, but I am so happy we did!

I ended up in a proper laughing fit throughout the entire ride and was laughing so much I was crying. So much fun!!

Then the rain came back and we ended up having a takeaway pizza before headingout  to the airport to take our flight back to London.

Aberdeen Airport

It was such a fun weekend and a great reminder that I am incredibly fortunate to have such amazing friends.

The one thing I took away from Aberdeen was that it is very grey and rather depressing, not sure how Martin stands it!

Can’t wait for next year now as rumour has it that we might be celebrating Midsummer in Singapore (!!).

 

 

My 11 year journey that only really started 12 weeks ago

Apart from taking a bit of a fitness break between August 2013 – January 2014, I have been relatively active and healthy since I was asked to join Team Bangs on the Run back in December 2011 and train for my first half marathon in April 2012.

It’s fair to say that 5-6 months I was inactive in 2013 resulted in me gaining about 1½ to 2 stone and even though I knew that I would lose weight when I started exercising again, it’s worrying me that I’m not getting as lean as quickly as I did 2 years ago.

Nike-We-Own-The-Night-Launch-Event-me

I’ve gone through quite a big lifestyle change when it comes to training and eating the last two years. Because of the added issue with my stomach, I would say that 85% of what I eat & drink is very healthy and at the moment I most likely exercise more than your average person (running approx 30 miles a week, plus strength training 1-2 times a week & swimming once a week) – so why am I not seeing any significant results yet?

I know that change takes time and that I have to be patient. I also know that I was around a stone thinner two years ago when I started running, and doing exercise was so new to my body that my rapid changes in how I looked and felt probably came from that – but what is holding my progress back now?

Roast sweet potato, butternut squash and beetroot

These days I don’t count calories (which I used to do & lost weight from it maybe 10-12 months before I started running) I just try to eat 3 home-made meals a day at roughly the same time every day consisting of 50% protein/30% complex carbs/20% fat, with 2 small snacks in between (usually fruit/nuts/ricecakes).

I usually stay away from liquid calories like juice/fizzy drinks/alcohol during the weekdays, I stay away from things like cakes, sweets, biscuits, chocolate, crisps and so on as much as I can, and I very rarely eat takeaways or ready made meals.

I even do my best to drink a lot of water too, which I admit hasn’t been a strong side for me, but I really am working on it and am trying to drink 2 litres a day!

Realistically speaking, due to my food allergies and sensitivities, I can’t eat a lot of “bad food” and even though I sometimes do, I don’t think I eat it frequently enough or in such large quantities for it to have a major effect on my fitness progress overall.

I have 2 rest days a week when I don’t do any exercise at all and I get at least 8 hours of sleep every night most days of the week (if not more!)

So what am I doing wrong?

Orsii Gun Finger

Am I doing too much cardio and not enough weight training?

Is my metabolism just annoyingly slow? (actually, I can already tell you that it’s been tested and it’s not below average for my age and gender)

Am I eating too much food? (I mean, COME ON! Marathon training makes you hungry!)

Do I have to start counting the calories I eat vs the calories I burn and go down that painful route to see a proper change?(its something that I think is silly because it just makes you fixated around calories in a way I don’t find healthy)

Or am I maybe eating the wrong type food?

Does anybody have an answer or some sort of explanation?

Orsii

I am NOT a secret eater  and I exercise A LOT – so why is it taking forever to see results? I don’t want to “lose weight” – I want to be strong and lean and fit. I want to look and feel as good as I did 2 years ago and not being where I thought I would be at this time in my training is really battering my confidence.

Maybe 10 weeks is too little to see significant change this time around, but if that is the case, how can I be sure that I am doing all the right things to aid my progress & actually be successful in my transformation?

It’s quite disheartening not to see the same changes that I saw before when I initially started my fitness journey, and I am not sure what to do to improve my situation.