Winter travel treats

Whenever I go abroad, I look for a Starbucks. It was in Starbucks caffe at Munich’s Central train station where I first tasted a Chai Latte, and I can still remember how I liked the surprising sweet and spicy taste, although it was almost a decade ago. Ever since, when I have a chance, I do my best to grab a cup of Chai latte to keep me company on my travels. Interestingly, on my way to Innsbruck I accidentally passed another caffe, Coffee Fellows and saw a Chai Latte on their menu. I decided to risk it, skip a Starbucks and give a chance to the Coffee Fellows. My afterthoughts, it was well worth it. Less sweet Chai in a combination with a blueberry muffin was a perfect snack to continue my train ride. I was only too slow to take a picture of the muffin, so there’s only a picture of two nicely decorated paper cups to enjoy.

A visit to Amsterdam

As I’m getting ready for my next business trip, I realized I haven’t finished my post on the last trip. I spent 5 days in Amsterdam, the Netherlands, in early September.  I didn’t have much time for sightseeing, but since this was my second time there, I simply enjoyed the scenery and warm weather. I discovered some interesting bookshops, and brought home lots of new books to read in the near future.

Before I go to sleep

Since I can remember my going-to-bed habbit was reading a book. Lately I’ve been either too busy or too tired to even open a book, so the feeling of holding a book in my hands after approximately 2 months was great. Even more so, as I finished the book in three evenings. James Patterson’s NYPD Red might have around 350 pages, but being a true page-turner it’s a perfect book to take your mind off your busy everyday. Not to mention the cup of tea and home-made chocolate cookies with the book.

Time to relax and a fresh start

In the last year, the nearby botanical garden (Arboretum Volcji potok) became a place I visited weekly. Not every day, but still many times a week. Despite this many visits, it’s still a great place to relax, enjoy a walk, or run after our toddler on the children’s playground. The changing nature does the trick, there’s always something to see.

Changing lifestyle…

…back to normal or how it should be.

I won’t lie. My life was pretty different 10 years ago, and I never even imagined myself in a life I’m living now. On top of it, I was doubtful I’d like it as much as I do now. To start at the begining, about 10 years ago I was fresh out of university with a bachelor degree, eager to start my professional life in two opposing fronts, science and sports. In those early years, some wonderful memories were made in the sports part, and I soon became a workaholic in the science part. My weekdays were spent in the lab, and on the weekends I was involved in my favourite sport, spending time on basketball courts all over our country, and also in some of the neighboring ones meeting interesting people and good friends.

Somewhere on the way I hurt my knee and was forced to stay out of the sports for an indefinite period of time. It was my stubbornness that made it all worse, as I continued running even though I knew I should be careful and take it easier. But I couldn’t, and first I was off the court for 2 months, then back another 2 months, and so on. Too soon, I was out of the game, moreover I couldn’t walk or run without the pain which made me rather stationary, and a bit depressed as I had no idea how to spend all that extra weekend time if I couldn’t be on the court. It got so bad, I actually steered away from even watching the games on the TV. About a year later, I thought I should start some ”stationary” workout and I tried a Pilates class close to home. I figured it wouldn’t hurt if I gave it a try, although I was doubtful I’d like it. Surprisingly, I started to enjoy the Pilates class, partly also because of the great instructor and friendly attendees. On top of it, my knee slowly got better, although I had to be careful not to over do it. I even attended a specialized Pilates class during my pregnancy, and maybe that was the reason I felt so great those 9 months. Although my belly was growing, I didn’t feel big, and I had no problems seeing or reaching my toes.

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Another twist in the story was the end of maternity leave, and going back to work. I was eager to start working, but there was one tiny detail I didn’t expect. With long working hours my partner has, I couldn’t take the pilates class anymore, as I had to babysit our so. I thought I could continue with some exercise at home, but I’m obviously lacking self-discipline, and I didn’t keep to the proposed schedule.

All the while I unknowingly became more stationery, my muscles lost some of its strength, and flexibility, and I slowly gained some extra 15 kg weight, although the change in weight was not so obvious in person, just the scale’s number got larger. One of my new year’s resolutions was also to improve my lifestyle, mostly to make me feel better, not so much as to lose weight. I never was dieting, and I was sure I couldn’t really lose any weight. Luckily, I didn’t gain much weight during pregnancy – I lost those 10 kg in a month after giving birth with ease surprisingly. I started looking for some workout classes that would fit my schedule, and when I found it, I had yet to convince myself I was capable of doing it. The biggest problem was the time – 6 in the morning. Well, I made it. I admit I still struggle with the getting up on time at 5.15, but at 7.10 I’m showered and energized.

In the last weeks, I introduced another change in my daily habits. I made a bet with my partner to omit sweets from our diet and see how can persist longer. The plan was to keep the 40 days of sugar fasting before the Easter. Although I managed to limit the sweets intake before, I never really excluded them for a longer period. The closest I was during pregnancy, when I had no cravings for sweets. But then again, my sweets craving gets stronger during the PMS period. Since the pregnancy, I don’t have any PMS symptoms, and I guess that also helped me stay focused on the fasting.

Stop sweets

 

Today, it’s been 7 weeks since I started the new workout routine and 24 days since I’m off on the sweets. The biggest change I noticed is the weight loss. I lost 4 kg in the last 7 weeks since I started the new workout routine. Additionally, although I think about the food I’m missing, and even make plans for baking when the 40 days will pass, I don’t find the sweets fasting that hard. It also helps we don’t have any sweets at home. As for the workout, my muscles are no longer sore, and I feel stronger. The workout seems easier, although I probably just got stronger. My belly looks flatter, I feel better and even skinnier. And I have more motivation to continue with the workout routine.

Motivation