The advent of social media has put all kinds of questions on our lips. A common theme is: are we evolving or devolving? As a personal trainer, I think a lot about how fellow PTs train their clients through the lens of digital self-promotion.
Having worked in the fitness industry for over ten years (yikes!) I’ve had the privilege of witnessing many fitness trends and nutritional fads. They all promise the answer to the ongoing battle of striking a balance between work, play, fitness, and nutrition. The exciting news is, there may finally be a real answer.
Find out more about personal training in Portsmouth with Strong Living PT.
It’s that time of the year when everyone in Portsmouth begins flocking to the beach in their bikinis and swimming trunks when the sun occasionally shows its face, so naturally, we’re all thinking about looking good in our swimming gear! And that means diet fads are hitting their annual fever pitch.
Avoid the trends — instead, adopt these tips into your routine to cut our unnecessary calories.
Go black and don’t look back!
If you’re a coffee lover like me, there’s no need to cut it out completely — just do a simple swop. A standard latte and cappuccino can contain up to 250 calories, whilst a standard black Americana only contains 40 calories — that’s a huge saving!
If you find it hard cutting out the lattes, treat it as a dessert after dinner or a midday treat two or three times a week.
More veg, less fruit:
Though fruits are the healthier option when it comes to sugars, they still contain a lot of fructose, sending your blood sugar through the roof. That equates to calories. Swop your satsumas/bananas/apples for chopped carrots/cucumber/celery — a great alternative to save calories.
Oats contain more protein than wheat, bread, and starch, and thus, they contain less sugar. Make an oat alternative to all things where possible. Avoid the extra sugar and keep the hunger locked up for longer.
Less cream = fulfilled dreams
Ah, a dish full of healthy ingredients, with room on the side for the creamy dressing! Well, think again — dressings can include over 200 calories (mostly saturated fat). That doesn’t mean your dish needs to be bland — choose the salsa/balsamic vinegar dressing with no cream. You’ll enjoy it so much more, in the short-term and the long-term!
Mornings call for a smooth Nutri-Bullet shake filled with various fruits, protein powder, and milk — this can actually add to your daily calorie intake quite significantly. Choose a single protein powder product such as hemp or pea protein.
Adding water instead of milk will save you using a lot of calories. Throw in just one type of fruit and one type of vegetable (ideally spinach or kale). You’ll be cutting your calories for your breakfast shake in half.
Use your hands to portion
Eating nuts as a snack is a good idea, but eating whole packets of nuts isn’t so ideal. Very calorific. Measure out nut portions as handfuls, and go with almonds/pine nuts/soya nuts. Snack on a sensible amount throughout the day.
Preparation is key to avoiding unnecessary calories. Always remember that it’s not about completely depriving yourself. It’s about finding balance and moderation for long-term benefits. A treat is never bad as a one-off!
Day one: Pre op
Patiently waiting for the doctor to come down to give me the verdict which seems like a lifetime. He arrives. So two pins it is, these are to to be inserted into my medial and lateral tibial plateau to help regain a stronger knee joint. Another shock!, not going to lie many tears were shed when they said ill be on crutches for 3 months, 6 months to be weight bearing and a year till I can run. This is my livelihood, my passion, my life!. I found myself talking to myself "lets accept this", I know I'm strong mentally and physically but this will definitely challenge me.
- The first learnt lesson so far is patience and battle frustration with yourself. This can result in a whirlwind of negative thoughts equalling barriers to progression. Set them aside they are insignificant to what you are able to do.
Day two: Post op
The day is here, feelings of anxiety and excitability are significant. A thorough check through my health, risks of operation and after care. The most attractive gown on and I'm ready to go, eek!.
I come around feeling that I'm on another planet. An overwhelming rush of emotions making me cry relentless. The pain is incredible nothing I've ever felt before. But returning to my ward I see my Mother Bear which feels me with content and reassurance. That evening I get fed a concoction of pain relief, so still on another planet.
- Learnt lessons: keep positive. Progression will be with small steps. Train the mind to accept. Frustrated with yourself?. This can result in a whirlwind of negative thoughts equalling barriers to progression. Set them aside they are insignificant to what you are able to do.
Day three: Freedom and Mobility
Im finally free to be discharged from Q and A. Kind of sad but definitely relieved to be away from relentless beeping, coughing, burping and farting. I arrive home. My life has been organised to a 'T' by my mum, so happy days!.
Today is time for some touch bearing exercises. I'm very cautious to ground my left foot as my knee is restricted due to the dressing and pins so bending it feels unnatural, but eventually I then begin to get my flow. I manage to go up and downstairs but with some balance issues, as my clients well know what I always "It's all in the core!". So, I need to ground myself with using my core strength. Being on crutches will definitely test my stability and core strength, so keeping this in check is essential.
- Learnt lessons: Keep grounded in the core when travelling and take my time.
Day four: Planning ahead
My sleeps are getting less interrupted, pain is becoming manageable and I'm feeling stronger. Theres nothing I can do now except let time be a healer and plan my comeback!.I've realised in life having a plan makes you work harder and gives you something to look forward to. Today, I am making a plan for business and a plan for new skills to learn. I'm hoping this will make me stronger and more determined. I want to be able to teach others that your mind is powerful, you can test it all all angles and it will work in your favour if you treat/train it right.
- Lessons learnt: Rev up your ambition and motivation for future plans
Day five: Nutrition
I finally slept through the whole night, and I feel amazingly energised. Now i have finally conquered the sleeping I need to now get my nutrition right. Having to completely change my workout routine I have to likewise with my calorie intake and nutritional content. I need healing foods. I naturally intake a moderate amount of dairy so my dietary requirements are needing to be full of protein which are rich in amino acids essential for an anabolic and regeneration response, polyunsaturated fats such as Omega 3 that has an anti-inflammatory response and antioxidants such as goji berries and blueberries to aid my immune system. I have made a conscious effort to order fresh greens such as spinach and kale, which go great with most dishes including a nutri-bullet smoothie. Also, on the list is lean white meat including turkey and chicken breasts and pulses to integrate not only high amount of protein by fibre and minerals too. So I'm being careful with what I eat I hope to make sure I have a balance of the above to aid me through this recovery.
- Lessons learnt: The body needs healing foods. Carefully consider nutritional content of foods to help stimulate regeneration
Day six: Functional rehabilitation
After some cries last night I needed to get up today and make the day positive and worthwhile. Being less mobile comes with problems namely becoming less flexible and atrophy. I am already seeing atrophy in my left quadricep, which worries me to see evidence of how this injury has impacted my body. I've worked so hard on these quads!. Anyway, lets get back to being positive. My goal today is to work on full body flexibility and mobility using the resistant bands. These have now become my best friend. The resistant bands are so versatile enabling me to do both stretch and strengthen my abled muscles. I manage to get out in the garden. Fresh air is a god send, I never realised the impact of this its only since I've been limited to these four walls that I reap the benefits. Here, I use the bench as an anchor point and complete a short circuit for my upper body.Finishing with floor stretches aided by foam rolling. I feel great another achievement, every little counts.
- Lessons learnt: Keep your body moving. Mobilise and stretch to your limits.
Day seven: Remember in recovery mode
After a crap nights sleep I'm feeling exhausted. I get woken up by my niece (can never get tired of that) who is being the best nurse I could wish for at the moment, and asked to come down for breakfast. But my body is saying no, I stay in bed for longer. I try to be productive but the body is still saying no. I end up staying in bed for most of the day, which makes me feel frustrated, all behaviours of which I'm not use to. Did I push my body too far yesterday?. I end up agreeing with myself to sign this day off. Rest and heal.
- Lessons learnt: Take it easy and remember your body needs time to heal.
Day eight: Make life easier
First thing this morning I got picked up by my nan, we were off to the British Red Cross. I am ordering my mobility aids. Never thought I'd see the day this was to happen. So, I've ordered a hostess trolley to help me move objects around the house namely food!, and a wheelchair for obvious reasons. I get to pick these up on Friday, quite excited.
Feeling energised and motivated, I focus on firstly making a great nutritious lunch (of course!), then down to business.
- Lessons learnt: Don't be scared to ask for help and play to your strengths.
Day nine: Treat yourself
Today I'm having my hair done, and I'm so excited I haven't been able to wash it in weeks. Just one issue transport. Im having to consider logistics of getting round a lot more carefully, and feeling a little anxious about going to the hairdressers. Whilst writing the latter sentence I'm slightly in shock, I never get anxious!. I guess what I'm anxious about are peoples reaction and potentially getting stuck in a situation that I would otherwise not think twice about. I keep talking myself through the plan so ill become more relaxed about it, 'Chill out Shell!'. I order a taxi for 2pm, here I go.
The salon is so accommodating which definitely helped my with my nerves and enjoy the experience. Im only having my hair cut which seems so average, but for some reason it is quite a big deal to me today. This is first encounter on my own with crutches, and I hate people fusing as I feel that I'm capable but I'm learning to allow others to help me out more. The stylist works her magic and I feel like a new woman.
- Lessons learnt: Be true and good to yourself. Your body is your machine, fuel it, support it and see its longevity.
Day ten: Time to reflect
Day ten, I can't believe it already. I've completed three laps of the Close so far in my new wheels (wheelchair) it's a great endurance workout for the upper body. However, lets not overestimate my ability look what happen last time. It's given me a new lease of freedom but still quite anxious to go out on my own, mainly due to drop curbs. But it will be interesting to see the response of others
I feel things have changed since my operation both physiologically and psychological with challenges that's for sure. Over this time I have found myself battling with positives and negatives as anyone would, almost like having an angel and devil on each shoulder in any decision making or testing situation. 'Give up!', or 'keep going'. But I'm proud of how I have managed to turn around situation's to become more positive. I'm not sure where my inner strength comes from but its there and I've learnt I can rely on it, which is comforting. I still cant come to terms with the duration of this recovery (at least 3 months) you may say I'm in denial. Nothing this traumatic has ever happened to me before and I guess my body is a machine, following the orders and I'l heal in no time. but taking it day by day certainly helps. And of course with support and encouragement around keeps me strong and motivated, Thank you!.
Believing and loving yourself can be hard, but the more and more I go through this journey I ask why?, your body has never done anything to deserve this surely, work together, team work, become stronger and wiser, body and mind.
From here I'm setting myself milestones to achieve, but all short term to keep momentum and not get lost in the whirlwind of negativity. This has given me a whole new outlook on how disabled individuals deal with accessibility and exercise. I would love to explore this more, helping to educate and hopefully inspire how these barriers can be diminished.
- Lessons learnt: Don't get lost in the drawbacks. Draw on your achievements, use these as your driving force. Live your life!. What's next.....?.
An 80s girl who was blown away by my sister's brand new bright blue Nokia mobile phone. The coolest kid on the block. Two years junior a mobile phone was not in my reach. I couldn't contain the excitement of the thought of one day owning one. The day came, I shrieked! ”How do I word this sis?", "Should I include grammar?", "Nah jus say how it dis". I was one of the cool kids, but still such a novice!
Into the social world I go.....
Having seen how this digital world has fast tracked through the eyes of teenagers I work with in further education (16-19 year olds), there are many reasons to suggest we are becoming more consumed in our own bubble. A bubble of online friends, stimulating videos, so called inspiring role models, and comparisons that escalate unnecessary anxiety within us. We've never been so busy. Is this generation falling into the trap of an isolated media driven cloud?
Walking head down for a purpose, watching the clock, ticking off tasks — completing a productive day.
Strolling along, watching the waves crash in, deep breaths of fresh sea air, wishing passers by good morning — an enjoyable day.
Two different lives.
I sit back in my chair on a South West Train to Waterloo, admire the countryside, my eyes glance to the time. Only 30 minutes of this journey left! Lets crack on, the devil and angel yet again battling. These two have a dance off every day, and at least five times a day, why? What are we worried or stressed about? Is this insignificant? Probably.
I'm just a Personal Trainer, Sports Therapist and Sports Lecturer, no rad business idea or earning mega bucks, why do I earn the right to blog?
I'm a supporter, a healer and teacher, wanting to educate the young generation to 'Mind the gap' and to avoid falling into a self consumed world.
'See your life through happy eyes and a happy life will follow'.
My inspiration for this blog came from finding meditation at Boddhisattva Buddist Centre, Brighton (I won't preach!), and taking time to appreciate 'living the now'. Give yourself balance, it's hard to achieve and effort is needed, but your body and mind will thank you!
Win the battle.
Live life .
Today, I hopped on the Gosport Ferry from Portsmouth to meet Shelley Buxey, a personal trainer and sports therapist. Shelley has recently moved back home to Gosport from London to settle down, and has created a new style of gym workout right here in Portsmouth!
Shelley went to school in Gosport at Bay House, where she discovered her love of running! Bay House didn't just nurture her academically — they nurtured her specialist interest in sport, too, so she was in good hands. Shelley ran for the county from the age of 13 through to 15.
While we talk, Shelley reminisces about her father and sister, and remembers that from a very early age, when her friends’ parents would take their kids down the pub, her dad would take her and her sister to the track and make them run and run and run! Her dad was a great runner himself, but his family was too poor to help him with starting a running career, so he did everything he could to stop this sad history repeating itself, and trained his girls and cheered them on from the sideline.
Shelley made it through school — academia didn't come easily to her, but she had her heart set on going to Fareham College to pursue a BTEC National Diploma in Social Science. The day her GCSEs landed on her doorstep, she opened them to find she didn't have the grades she needed to get onto her dream course. But Shelley got on the phone to the college and pleaded with them to enrol her — and they did, because they could see how determined she was, so girls, don't take ‘no’ for an answer! There's always a way to jump each hurdle.
Shelley worked three jobs during college — as a shop girl in Burberry in Gunwharf Quays, at Domino’s Pizza, and at a local caravan park. She planned to save enough money to go travelling for six months, during a year-long break from studying, while being sure that she had a secure place at the University of Brighton for the following year.
She packed her backpack and headed off to Thailand, Australia, and New Zealand. On her travels, she lived life to the full — snowboarding, skydiving, and a canyon swing! This is apparently a fun thing to do: they strap you to a massive pendulum and swing you over a canyon — terrifying if you ask me!
Shelley made it back to ‘Ol Blighty in one piece, and began her university course in Brighton, studying Sports Science. This degree in turn enables you to become a sports exerciser and sports physiologist which, in a nutshell, means you can train top athletes to improve their technique and be the best that they can be in their field, or become a sports lecturer.
Shelley took on the latter role, landing a job as a sports lecturer at Sussex Coast College, which wasn't the best of jobs, as the students were mostly of a poor background. Every day, she would have to deal with students coming into class drunk, and sometimes homeless. On top of teaching, Shelley worked as a personal trainer and class teacher at her local gym.
A couple of years later, London was calling. Shelley landed a job at Premier Training International in Islington, teaching classes, personal training, and sports massage. Again, alongside her teaching job, Shelley coached personal training at her local gym and taught spin classes. This is when she had her lightbulb moment.
Shelley had her team of ready eager students wanting to get jobs in sport, so she thought, why not put all of her knowledge and knowhow to good use and open up her own gym and offer it out to the public for HIIT classes. And so, Hackney HIITsters was born.
Shelley hunted down the perfect venue — she wanted an airy warehouse feeling, and found an artsy space, which she filled with key pieces of equipment to aid her HIIT classes: battle ropes, power clubs, TRX, etc. With a Facebook ad campaign kicking things off, HIITsters got busy pretty quickly, but Shelley still worked her teaching job, ran her other gym classes, and worked as a personal trainer and sports massage therapist.
This year, for family reasons, Shelley has moved back to Portsmouth. Luckily for our kids, she very quickly got offered a job at Portsmouth College teaching sports massage, and of course, with her incredibly hard-working ethic, she has plans to open up her HIITsters gym right here in Pompey! Again, she’ll be encouraging students to work and run it, and will carry on teaching fitness classes, working as a personal trainer, and giving sports massage therapy.
As of 31st October 2016, Shelley offers one-to-one personal training sessions and sports massage treatment at the Coastguard Studios in Clarendon Road, Southsea. It's a great space for functional exercises: no gym nonsense, just the use of body weight in both cardio and resistance exercises.