The struggle of coming back.

(This post didn’t turn out exactly the way I wanted it but I ‘d still like to publish it)

Anyone who has ever had any relationship to fitness know this… the absolute HARDEST part is coming back. Getting back on your feet and where you used to be before you got knocked down for the tenth time and lost your plot.

Come backs are absolutely terrifying for me. And it is kind of like a catch -22…the more you stay away the hardest it gets to come back both physically AND mentally.

Personally, I haven’t consistently worked out since late January, yup you heard that right. Nearly 7 months and nothing consistent. Especially after May I would safely say I haven’t worked out at all – nothing, nada… It was like I was completely negative even to the idea of working out. so, i just gave me what I needed, the joy of doing absolutely nothing, no physical activity of any sort.

Fast forward three months —->

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And this!

I decided I wanted to start again yesterday. Not for the weight, not for the looks just because working out is mentally good for me and my soul. It makes me feel happy and in control 🙂 So, this photo… well there might have been tears and huge amounts of frustration. You know that you are nowhere near where you used to be – i run a marathon for Crying Out Loud – but there is absolutely nothing to prepare you for how far away you actually are.

This is a 30 minute workout  (first day of pre-training from the BBG program) which is for absolute beginners. oh well, i swear it was HARD! 30 minutes of pure agony and hell… Knees were buckling, stomach was a mess, totally out of timing and slower than a turtle. BUT you know what, I did it, and I am totally NOT planning to beat myslef up for all the stuff I couldnt do. What I’d rather do is give myself the thumbs up for actually -finally- doing it.

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Because no matter what, what really REALLY matters is being happy. Enjoying whatever it is you do. I’ve seen too many unhappy people lately and i refuse to be one of them! This is why whenever things get harder -than usual 😉 – I always look at the pictures below and smile. I remember all the feelings ❤ …

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So, do what is good for YOU 🙂 Smile and be kind and always always try your best… Since a come back will never get easier, we might as well get the most out of it right? 😉

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Organic Cup Review (might be slightly TMI but totally needs to be shared!)

Hello everyone!

I hope you are doing well. So, let’s get it out of the way fast, shall we?

Today’s post is about women and their periods. Apologies to my male readers that might find this post maybe a little unrelated to them but I really – REALLY – want to share my experience with the Organic Cup hoping that other women can be helped as much as I was.

So, here it goes.

What is the Organic Cup?

The Organic Cup is 100% free of bleach, glue, perfume, lotion or indeed anything that doesn’t belong inside your body. It is a plastic vessel made out of organic medical grade silicon and women can use it instead of a pad or tampon (and it comes in a super cute little bag to store it when not using it).

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After seeing all the hype and being quite unhappy with the products currently on the market about menstruation I figured I should give it a go. So i put it to the test and here is my rating on it:

Health – well, we ‘ve all heard of TSS (Toxic Shock Syndrome) and it is a nasty business. Well, you can forget about that! Since the cup just collects and doesn’t absorb the blood it makes it healthier (and safer) for your body without affecting you or your body’s pH in anyway. Also goodbye sprint trips to the bathroom 5-6 times a day and uncomfortable odours. I have a super heavy flow and still for the first day or two I only need 4 changes during the 24 hour day period, while the rest of the days every 12 hours will happily do.

Environment – The amount of sanitary (NON – recyclable) products that a woman will use in her life time is insane. Just take a look…

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So, good for the environment and for your body – check!

Finance – The Organic Cup is at a price of £21 ($27) and it lasts for years. A box of tampons is anywhere between £3 to £3.50 ($4 -$4.5) and the majority of women use at least 2 boxes a month. That is about £100/year.

Placement & maintenance –  Ok, now here is the most interesting bit. I ‘ve talked to female friends of mine about the Organic Cup – every chance I get actually lol – and there are always a few of the same questions. “How?”, “Isn’t it going to get lost in there?“, “Does it fit?” Well, yes it takes a bit of practice – but dont tell me using a tampon for the first time was easy lol!! And no, it will definitely won’t get “lost” in there and it does come in two sizes. One for women that haven’t given birth and a slightly bigger size for women with kids 😉  To be honest, it will take a few times to get used to it but for me was totally worth it!

As for maintenance, all you need to do is boil it before using it at the beginning of your circle and then again at the end. In between, all you have to do is take it out, empty it and wash it with water (or wipe it if in public bathroom) and then in again. I have heard some people saying that they use soap but for this specific cup it is not recommended due to the nature of the silicone.

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Safety –  I have done EVERYTHING while on my period because of the Organic Cup. Long runs (over 30km), swimming, horseback riding, boxing, working out and never had an accident or felt in the least bit uncomfortable. It’s like I can forget i am on my period – when I am not in pain that is… – when I wear it.

So, overall, YES!! From the moment I started using it it has changed my life. I don’t feel like I have to miss out on things because i ‘m on my period. I can do anything and I am totally loving it!!

PS: I wasn’t compensated in any way and did not receive any free products for this review. I just wanted to share with as many women as I could my amazing experience with something that fundamentally changed my life.  ❤

Thanks for reading ladies (and maybe gentlemen) 🙂

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#10ThingsMonday – 5 things I wish I knew BEFORE I started running & 5 things I wish I knew AFTER i had to stop running…

Good morning beautiful people 🙂 I hope your Monday is going well. I have to admit I am a little too tired for a Monday morning since we stayed up till about 2am chatting with our neighbours last night – which are like the awesomest people ever!! But still tired/sleepy or not, I ‘ve been thinking about this post for a while now and since I started compiling it in my head has helped me quite a bit 🙂 #throwback photo from last summer hanging out with Grace the cat after my morning run 

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5 things i wish i knew BEFORE is started running

1.You know those photographs of women during/after their run where they look absolutely positively gorgeous and completely put together? You ‘ll never look like that! Totally unrealistic! After a run I always look downright discombobulated… #unrealisticmuch

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2.It is NOT EASY. No matter what you read, hear or people tell you, it will be hard BUT the feeling of accomplishment you get when you are through with a run is amazing. Still there ‘ll be pain and tears oh a lot of tears… #thestruggleisreal

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3.Get the RIGHT shoe size. Not your shoe size…. the right shoe size. Since your feet will get swollen during a race/long run you need a shoe that it is a bit larger than what you’d normally get other wise “oh the pain…” #nopainnogain

4.Getting on from #3 say goodbye to your toenails 😦 I ‘ve been training hard/running for the whole of 2016 and I swear I hadn’t had a full set of toenails for a full year #disgusting

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5.You will eat… A LOT! If you are training for something FORGET the possibility of dieting. Because after a 30km run the last thing you ‘ll thing of would be “oh that celery stick looks so appetising”… yeah… NOPE! You ‘l be like #ineedALLthefoodrightNOW

5 things i wish i knew AFTER I had to stop running 

1.I would miss it…the kind of “having a whole in my heart/ don’t know what to do with myself” missing. The kind that makes you super sad #feelinglost

2.I would gain weight (fast and a lot of it)… expected somewhere deep inside my head but totally unwanted obviously #bodyimageissues

3.Oh dear little green monster. The look on my face when I see runners pass me by… Yes, of course I am happy for them but still I can’t help that feeling of envy creeping in me e-v-e-r-y singe time. My Facebook feed is totally unrelated to my life at them moment. Scrolling down and only seeing photos of people running, their races, their bling… officially sucks! But on a happier note i am glad I get to a) cheer my friends and 2) just get used to the idea that it is what it is and … drum roll… move on! #envy2.0

4.All this free time and sleeping in… Not having to wake up at 4:45am on a Friday for a long run or go out for two hours 4 times a week every evening means that there are now enough hours in the day to do other stuff you ‘ve always wanted and never had the time too… it’s like a WOW moment there! #getanewhobby

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5. I would make AMAZING friends that would last me forever and ever and visit incredible places #friendshipgoals

And last but not least, and I really can’t put a number on this one… Some races will change you and some moments you will NEVER EVER forget and will shape you for the rest of your life and no matter what happens no one can ever take those away from you #marathonfinisher

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So here you have it. It really doesn’t matter if you are just starting out your journey, if you are mid-training or if you ‘ve made it to the end (like me) all that it really matters is enjoying the ride as much as you can because this is what will stick with you always – and of course all your amazing bling that you have every right to proudly display and have gained #bruggingrightsforlife 😉 

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Have a great Monday!

Best,

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My “London must-do” bucket list!

Hello everyone 🙂

I hope you are doing well! Here in London we’ve been enjoying an incredibly forgiving weather up until Saturday. Sunny and warm and oh so summery, even though it didn’t last for the full holiday weekend it was still pretty awesome!

So, a few days ago I was looking through different labs in the States and potential opportunities for after my PhD, and the it hit me “wow, i am finishing in just a little over a year…”. I can’t believe @mymamus and I have already been here for two years now. Time flies indeed!

This was the trigger for me to create a little “London Bucket list” with all the places I’d like to visit and all the things I’d like to do before our big move back to the States – no idea where yet though LOL…

See a performance at the Shakespeare globe theatre

Visit Kew Gardens

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Go to a terrarium building workshop

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Visit Brighton – which is totally classified as a coast gem in the UK’s top beach destinations (I know not exactly London but I really really believe this place totally deserves to be on the list!)

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Got to the War rooms museum – this are the real (almost unattached) bunkers from where Churchill was coordinating the British troops during WW2 :O

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Climb Snowdonia 😀 Totally can’t wait for that one but I do need to find some company for it – since @mymamus isn’t big on hiking and can’t really enjoy this together…

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Visit Convent Garden – which according to my best friend, who she is been in London for 16 years, is one of THE best place to be!

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Visit Camden market – again best friend’s recommendation 🙂

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So this is what I have for now and it’ll definitely grow of course! To any of my London based friends, any suggestions of must-see things would be super appreciated since I am sure that there are way more things for someone to visit/see/experience in London!

Have an awesome week everyone!! ❤

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Where have I been and here goes nothing…

So, here goes nothing…

I can’t run anymore.

Like ever…

And this is not one of those posts where I tell you how I can and will power through the pain and get my running back and all, no i am afraid is not. This is the kind of post where i tell you that my foot is so messed up that now even hurts without me even standing on it. If you don’t know what I am talking about have a look back in the post from last December…

After six months of trying everything under the sun I think it is time for me to let go of the idea of running more than 1-2 miles from now on.

So what happened? Well, apparently my foot didn’t agree with my marathon – like at all!! – and decided to give me a (huge) overgrown bunion. And in my case is not even that simple because the extra growth is pulling on my tendons on top of my foot and then makes that spot and my calf hurt… To respond to all questions the answer is yes. I have tried all the things that could potentially help (braces, physio tape etc) short of surgery. Which I even considered as an option but the doctors (and I did go to someone I truly trust) told me that I am to young for it, if I try running again it’ll grow back -stupid genetic shit!!@!@!- and also the amount of pain is incredible and my foot will be out of order for at least 3 months… All that for the stupid thing to grow back in 5-7 years IF i don’t run!

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So… what now you ask??

Well, I wish I had the answer to this one. I have to admit it has been a rough couple of months lately, with some family health stuff that have been going on (sorry can’t share more 😦 ) and me spending two months back home to help out my family, totally got me out of my routine but I am trying to get back into to things, blogging is one of them. I am not the one to moan and complain about things (usually) but life has taken a “funny” and super sharp turn after new years at this point!

I haven’t been on top of my game lately, with a bit of anxiety and low moods and being super physically tired but I am still try to try….that must count for something right…

So what is the outcome after all this? Well, about 15 extra pounds on me (since for the past 4 months I have been eating my feelings), almost started smoking again and I have never been in a worse shape than I am now. Like ever… My physical condition has probably hit rock bottom at the moment. I cant believe that this body run a marathon less than a year ago…

What do I do about it? Well I am (kinda) working on it. I have already started to eat healthy (no cake and sweets for more than a week now!!), try as hard as I can to stop smoking AGAIN and make myself get back to exercise. This is the hardest part of it all… When there is no mental strength to make yourself see that doing something would be good for you… I have made myself – due to circumstances – work super hard and do a lot of things I wasn’t keen on for quite a while and now my mind and body is totally averse to the idea of pushing myself…

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Totally tired selfie at work – late night microscope sessions are CRUEL!

I did miss blogging but to be honest, I didn’t know what to blog about. This little corner of the internet for me was always about sharing my training and running and fitness struggles – it was never a lifestyle blog or anything like a journal… And now I really feel like I have nothing to say!

Hopefully I’ll get my groove back soon, because I did really – REALLY – enjoy hanging out here and connect with all of you guys.

For now, I think I have to try to get my life back in order and take control of things. 🙂

Thank you for hanging around for so long even if I ve been in completely radio silence mode for over two months!

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“Just take a minute” – Ways to relax and recompose.

Hi friends 🙂

I hope you are all doing well and that this week has been treating you great so far. Things here are quite hectic the past few weeks (as you can probably tell from my “radio silence” mode…)

Work has been pretty insane – i know… i know … when isn it, right?? – and there have been quite a few changes going on. Since life happens, and very rarely asks you if it is convenient or not (LOL), all you can do is just roll with it. So, there is been quite a change of plans for me lately. You ‘ll notice that for the next couple of months I’ll be going back and forth between Athens and London quite a bit – some personal stuff going on – and also my fitness routine has changed a little bit – more about it soon! – in order to accommodate my current “country hopping” lifestyle.

I have to admit, even though I am quite flexible, all these changes were a little bit challenging. And it took a few nights with wine, good friends and heart to heart talks to make some sense out of things and get some much needed perspective. Where am I going with this mammoth introduction here? Well, if there was one advice that really hit me was, what my friend Eileen told me.

“Just take a minute”

You ‘ll probably think, what kind of advice is that… well that was all it took to get me thinking. Did I ever stop for a second? Did I give my self literally a minute of mindfully taking a break? And I don’t mean just blankly starring at your feet on your train journey… So here are a few ways that I found really worked for me to HONESTLY and TRUTHFULLY just “take a minute”!

1.Have a shower – ok ok no brainer right? Well, next time just try and take a few deep breaths. Enjoy the quite and the water.

2.Sit on a bench for a while. Sounds silly right? So, just try it out. Sit there, and again, breath…

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3.Wake up, and cozy up on the couch with a blanket for a bit – stay away from your phone and SM. Starting my day like that some times, just made me able to put my thoughts in an order and really think about things that were just laying dormant in my head for a while.

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4.Write down anything that you have to remember. I am a planner person and trust me when I tell you, it doesn’t have to be planning, just unload your mind/memory of things that a phone or a diary can remind you. Liberating! So much free “space” in your brain for things that really matter 😉

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5.Give yourself some room for error. I struggled a lot with that one… seeing how I really  REALLY – like things to be (if not perfect at least) my way… but what I’ve learnt is that life has tons of ups and downs and sometimes things will work sometimes things wont and we have to learn to be OK with that.

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6. BREATHE. Most of you who know me, know I am not a “zen” type of person. Yes, I love yoga but for its restorative effects not the meditation. But what i have found super helpful lately is to literally just stop & breath. No matter what I do or where I am if I get that feeling which says “its getting a little too much/ i need a break/ WTF” I just drop everything and literally breath for a minute… sounds weird/silly/indifferent? please try… I thought exactly the same before I took my friend’s advice and made it work.

What is your way of “just taking a minute” when you need it? I’d love to hear your ways of relaxing and recomposing!

I hope you have an amazing week everyone 🙂 Talk soon!

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Cheese & Wine- Had an AMAZING time with the ladies :)

Hello 🙂

Just wanted to to pop in and share a few snippets of the amazing Saturday Cheese & Wine night with the girls!! After some really intense time with work and life the past couple of weeks it was great to relax and just have some fun.

So, since it is a Monday morning and i have sooooo much work to do, I ‘ll keep this one short. But I promise I’ll check in later in the week ❤ Have an awesome Monday and a great week everyone 🙂

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