Sunday, 4 January 2015

Fitness Blender - An Introduction

I have mentioned Fitness Blender once or twice here in my blog, and I have a link to their website in the right sidebar, but I've never actually talked about them in depth before. A proper introduction is something they completely deserve, though, as they've become a huge influence on my fitness life, so here goes.

Fitness Blender is a wonderfully sympathetic and down-to-earth team of two personal trainers, Kelli and Daniel, wife and husband, that provides effective, varied, fun free workouts and other fitness- and health-related content. Their website can be found here, and they also have a Youtube channel here. I stumbled upon them one day as I was googling for something fun and effective to vary my workout routine with, and now their workouts are my main source of exercise.

As to the whys and hows behind what they do, I think it's best to let Kelli and Daniel themselves tell you about them:

I love Fitness Blender workout videos because they are not only free, incredibly diverse and effective, but also very unpretensious. As the workout progresses, you can see Daniel and Kelli get sweaty and red in the face (just like you!), and hear them make various comments on how their muscles are starting to get tired (just like yours!). You really get the feeling that they are working out with you, not just showing you the moves. This may sound like a small thing, but trust me, it makes a huge difference in terms of how much I enjoy the workout and how much the video motivates me to do my best and push my limits with every exercise.

Another great thing about Fitness Blender is that it is so clearly visible that both Kelli and Daniel are very enthusiastic about their work and not just in it for the money. This is evident on all their videos, but especially on the one they published back in December on which they tell us about all the new content and features they will be adding to their website during this spring:

And that concludes this introduction to Fitness Blender. Now go on to their website and start trying out their workouts - they're all completely free and very good for you!

Friday, 2 January 2015

Darkness and Light

This Holiday season, I've felt a really strong need to spend time by myself and shut everything and everyone else out for a while. And that's what I've done for the past couple of weeks, as much as I've been able to. I feel a little guilty about that, but at the same time, I know that this has been the right thing to do.

You see, I am not as grounded and confident as I may seem based on the texts I write in this blog. Part of me is, yes, and that is the part I choose to share here, because isn't it better to radiate light instead of darkness? Yet, just like everyone else, I, too, am a little more complex than that. In addition to this light that I choose to share with people, I also carry a bit of darkness within me. This darkness is made of self-doubt, insecurity, guilt, and disappointment. It keeps growing with time, and needs to be fully analysed and dealt with from time to time to prevent it from getting out of control.

I don't go to professional therapists - does anyone else have a strong dislike for the word therapist, the-rapist, or is it just me and my linguist's training? - I am a very introspective person and prefer the do-it-myself approach with these matters. Not that there's anything wrong with going to therapy if you need to, I know that it can be very helpful and in some cases even a life-saver, I just feel a personal preference for working on my issues by myself. This is not surprising when taking into account my introspective, analytic introvert nature.

So, for the past couple of weeks I've made sure that as many days as possible have been schedule-free with an empty to-do list. I've turned my attention to the darkness within me, invited it into the light, looked at it and listened to it and felt all the emotions that it consists of and tried my best to trace them to their sources. It's been exhausting and all-consuming. When I do this kind of intense examination of my own psyche, I can't just turn it on for a little while and then turn it off again to return to it later. No. When I really commit to it and get it started, I can't stop till I'm done. The memories and emotions just keep coming, one after another, until everything's been dealt with. Some days, I've stayed in bed well into the afternoon, too tired to face the day as well as my own inner darkness. But it's been worth it. I feel lighter, more grounded and more sure of myself than I have in a while. Of course the darkness is still there, but it's smaller and no longer threatening to take over. I have dealt with its causes as much as my present circumstances allow, and made actual, detailed, concrete plans to deal with the things that can't be dealt with right now as soon as the circumstances allow me to. Even though I can't fix everything right away, having a real plan to do so as soon as possible helps too.

Starting the new year like this, all freshly analysed and my issues dealt with as much as possible, feels good. Perhaps I'll make this a habit. Christmas holiday doesn't have to be a time of fest and feast and cheer and socialising, it can instead be a time of peace and quiet and introspection and therapy, right?

I didn't make any New Year's resolutions. It's not something I'm in the habit of doing. I do plan to lose the rest of my excess weight by summer, though, and continue the healthy eating and exercise throughout the year. And I also have one wish. It's the same one I've had for a few years now. That, finally, this year, someday, someplace, they'll want to hire me. I apply for jobs constantly, and always get rejected. This is quite tough for the psyche, not being wanted anywhere, and definitely the biggest cause behind the darkness inside me. Perhaps this year, it will go away. It's hard to keep believing though, hard to keep convincing myself that I'm good enough to get hired, when all the evidence is to the contrary. Despite that, I haven't yet lost the ability to wish for a nice job. That's good, because sometimes, on rare occasions, wishes do come true. Perhaps this year mine will.