Fitness Diary #3 Left-handed Triumph

I am currently on my #Unrelenting100 day journey back to a healthy, fit and happy lifestyle that started on July 31st 2017 and will be complete by November 7th 2017. My goal is to open up about my challenges (chronic illness, weight gain etc.) and hopefully inspire you to climb your own summits. I’m committed to this, grateful for you, and support and cheer you to champion across your own journey, as well as mine. From the Ground Up. Find Daily Updates on My Instagram: Nervebullet

Weekly Fitness Diary (Posted Every Sunday) Day 29-35

The shoulder pain did not let up. While warming up on the treadmill I decided to update my Instagram feed, being caught by juxtaposing emotions, the feeling of being pumped to train and frustrated by inability to let loose on the weights .Having a month under my belt surged me with a hybrid of confidence and adrenaline, yet I felt captive to my pain. I didn’t want to exasperate my injury, however I needed to get back to my routine. What am I able to do to appease this rightful balance?

Not wanting to lose momentum, I decided to do lifts that only require my left hand. For two days I carefully adjusted my muscle group workouts to accommodate this. Leaver Machines, Chest Flys, Tricep pulldowns, and the like were all done with my left side only. I know what you must be thinking. Muscle imbalance and what not right? Yes I agree, but a handful of exercises are not going to suddenly morph me into loop-sided deformity. I regained my sanity during those workouts and continued unleashing Cardio and Leg day sessions for the remainder of the week.

During this time, I did get my shoulder checked again, and will be taking my training towards a new direction, by working on my biomechanics to try and change the way my body works and attempt to take the load off my problem areas and balance my muscles out.

A lot of research, and a lot of sacrifice is going to be taking place. This needs to be a very calculated and dedicated move.

I don’t want to reveal all my cards just yet, but outside the gym, carb cycling has been amazing so far. After some adjustments here is how my upcoming week of carb cycling will look like.

Sunday – Low Carb Day

Monday – High Carb Day

Tuesday – Low Carb Day

Wednesday – Low Carb Day

Thursday – Low Carb Day

Friday – Medium Carb Day

Saturday – Low Carb Day

I will be carrying this out for at least the next two months, and get more aggressive with the carb cutting as my weight drops. Wish me luck!

As promised, this is a transparent display of my mental and physical state. I will openly discuss what worked and didn’t work for me. My hope is for you to use my experience as a springboard to experiment and adjust towards what will work for you (hey it might not even be fitness related). Fitness, Nutrition and Life is never one size fits all. Apply, Adapt and Attain.

Until Next Week…
From The Ground Up,
Nervebullet
Thank YOU for reading this. I understand your time is precious and I respect that. I am grateful that you have taken the time to read my work. Please do reach out to me and engage in my content (leave a comment below, on any of my social media feeds or email). Let me cheer you on your personal journey. Let me know what content you would like to see from me. With Love.


Nervebullet is….

currently playing : Life is Strange: Before the Storm Episode 1 on Xbox One
currently listening to : PVRIS – All We Know of Heaven, All We Need of Hell
currently obsessing about (but not having any) : Gummy Bears & Popcorn

Email : nervebullet@gmail.com

Stalk me on…
Instagram/Twitter/Xbox Live Gamer tag /Discord/Myspace (JK NOT Myspace) : NERVEBULLET

Click Here for My weekly 1 minute recap videos on Facebook!

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Fitness Diary #2 Cold Shoulder

I am currently on my #Unrelenting100 day journey back to a healthy, fit and happy lifestyle that started on July 31st 2017 and will be complete by November 7th 2017. My goal is to open up about my challenges (chronic illness, weight gain etc.) and hopefully inspire you to climb your own summits. I’m committed to this, grateful for you, and support and cheer you to champion across your own journey, as well as mine. From the Ground Up. Find Daily Updates on My Instagram: Nervebullet

Weekly Fitness Diary (Posted Every Sunday) Day 21-28

Workouts

Sunday Chest, Triceps, Abs

Monday Legs & Shoulder

Tuesday Back & Biceps Cardio

Wednesday Active Rest

Thursday Chest Triceps, Abs Cardio

Friday Back & Biceps Legs

Saturday Active Rest

(Dang Mo whats with all the crossing out, you pulling a fast one on us or what?)*

*First off parenthesis/brackets Mo , why are you always hating on me?

(Dang man, way to call me out like that. Technically we are the same person, I’m doing it out of love. Toughening you up and what not. *under breath* wuss.)

Inner Monologue aside, its been a tumultuous week (kind of like brackets Mo (woah! did you just use a bracket to diss me at my own game)) #bracketception. Last weeks posting was a clear indicator that I finished the week strong, however I started to feel my shoulder nag over the weekend. The impenged feeling didn’t settle and I was cautious during Sunday’s workout. At that time I even opted out of doing my Inclince Dumbell Press and used the time to stretch out and let the Tricep workouts take the brunt of it.

Whilst waiting for the Xbox One X Preorders to go live during Gamescom I decided to get a massage to help alleviate the pain. Unfortunately I was under what seemed to be unqualified hands (Won’t be going there again!). I realized that the masseuse was not well versed, as they tried to pull my arm out of its socket!! I stopped him after I realized what he was attempting however it was too late. From the onset instead of pressing the knots in the back he went from the front using his elbow which caused my bursitis to flare up severely overnight. The burning sensation is still with me as I write this post almost a week later. I did seek medical attention, however chose medication and rest over getting a cortisone shot. It was very aggravating to keep away from weight training, as I was just getting into my groove but it didn’t stop me from getting my work outs in, by letting Cardio substitute the vacancies. Its funny how I expected my knees to be the first major flare up due to my condition but ended up with the shoulder throwing a tantrum first. I havn’t figured out what I’d do if both extremities protest at the same time!

I started to slowly reincorporate meal prepping to make sure that my nutrition amplifies my fitness results. If you follow my Instagram you will know I’ve had plenty of Chicken Breast, Rice and Tabouli! By keeping it simple I am able to ensure that its easy to prepare and eat (no need to reinvent the wheel).

I’m thinking of using a food tracking app (myfitnesspal) and carb cycling starting this week. Lets see what happens!

As promised, this is a transparent display of my mental and physical state. I will openly discuss what worked and didn’t work for me. My hope is for you to use my experience as a springboard to experiment and adjust towards what will work for you (hey it might not even be fitness related). Fitness, Nutrition and Life is never one size fits all. Apply, Adapt and Attain. 

Until Next Week…
From The Ground Up,
Nervebullet


Thank YOU for reading this. I understand your time is precious and I respect that. I am grateful that you have taken the time to read my work. Please do reach out to me and engage in my content (leave a comment below, on any of my social media feeds or email). Let me cheer you on your personal journey. Let me know what content you would like to see from me. With Love.

Nervebullet is….
currently reading : Bannerless by Carrie Vaughn
currently playing : Sonic Mania on Xbox One
current gym power song : Betray & Degrade by Seether
currently a: little teapot


Email : nervebullet@gmail.com
Stalk me on…
Instagram/Twitter/Xbox Live Gamer tag /Discord/Myspace (JK NOT Myspace) : NERVEBULLET
Click Here for My weekly 1 minute recap videos on Facebook!

How I Lost 10kgs! 

Towards the end of January I set out a 28-day challenge to carry me through the upcoming month. (Click here to read about the challenge and rules I set myself). I was so happy with the results I extended it into March. By the first week of March was a total of 10KG down!

In retrospect I would like to outline the things that worked, and what I had to adjust to maintain the momentum throughout the month.

Due to strict (yet enjoyable) eating and consistent training I comfortably and safely lost 1kg per week. Reducing carbs meant I sometimes turn on autopilot by the time its 7pm but it was manageable. I’ve spent the last two years eating at sporadic timing and running on unnecessary carbs (combine that with minimal training and disaster writes itself). With that being said, it is reasonable for my mind and body to retaliate, and I just had to let fatigue take its course. My friends who visit Bossy Kitchen for dinner would tease me for being so quiet sometimes, but with time I regained my footing and my body managed to run efficiently with what I was fueling it with.

Secondly, my taste pallet changed for the better. I enjoyed more relaxed flavors and was happy just fueling my body with basic lean proteins and simple carbs like rice. Fortunately I live in a household and operate in an industry that allows me to experiment and spice things up without the need to add calories, therefore flavor and the satisfaction of crunch never had to be sacrificed. I honestly enjoyed my food baked, and if needed, crumbed in gluten free ingredients (even with quinoa).

With my physical condition, training becomes tricky, and what I originally set out to do was hindered by shoulder and knee flare ups (although the knee behaved rather well throughout). I had to cut out many training sessions that involved lifting (2 weeks in between, and the final week). I was able to surpass this by remaining consistent with my low impact cardio. I made sure I continually burned calories by power walking regardless of how busy my schedule was or any body alignments. Just because my shoulder was flared up, doesn’t mean that I cant sweat it out on the treadmill right?

After this program, I have decided to live a mostly gluten free and dairy free lifestyle. I miss bread sometimes, but the GF options are satisfactory, and surprisingly I don’t miss dairy at all!

Here are my 5 tips that I learned from this process

  • No need to sacrifice flavor. There are simple and clean alterations you can make to basic dishes that will enhance the experience so you don’t have the need to even go for a cheat meal or even worse binge in retaliation later.
  • Don’t let injury or workload be an excuse. This was a big issue for me and I had to learn that just because I couldn’t train at 7am, doesn’t mean that I cant sneak in a quick power walk before lunch, and just because my shoulder hurts, doesn’t mean I cant go for cardio instead of scraping the entire workout for the day or even coming days. Don’t fall into that lethargic trap!
  • Go through the motions. Your mind and body will retaliate. Heck people around you will do too! They will push dishes without you that you aren’t supposed to be eating during your weight loss period. If you have spent years accumulating bad habits don’t expect a single detox or kale salad to undo everything. You aren’t going to feel fresh out of a Gilette Ad on day one, so buckle up and let it run its course.
  • Understand your mind and body. Don’t go jump into crossfit just because its whats in. Once you lose your joint cartilage it ain’t coming back. I am living proof of the daily pain felt even at a young age, when you don’t carefully understand the biomechanics of your body. Go see a physiotherapist, do blood work.
  • You and only you are responsible for the outcome of your eating habits and training. Stop blaming your friends outings, or not being able to ‘afford’ a healthy lifestyle or gym membership. My mother always used to tell me “During electrical outages, some people would take their books and study under a street light if they had to.” It’s all about perspective. You can’t buy a 2bd salad, but you would gladly spend 2 bd on a supersized coke at the cinema, or an expensive latte with your name misspelled on it.  

You are the Preworkout

You are the Pre workout: finding your resilience when betrayed by the comforting lie of instant-gratification.

When faced with a calamity, its natural for negating words to ricochet across the vessel of our thoughts. This is evident when scaling trying business environments through testing relationships, fighting medical ailments or dietary trauma arraying from obesity to anorexia.

Regardless of the degree of how vocal we may be towards our own coming of age, sooner or later we all look inwards and are forced to critique ourselves, be it against society’s measuring stick or our own (Unless your a Disney pop star gone rouge, Miley whats good?). Nobody is immune to this, and evidently so it becomes more and more difficult to duck away from the gunfire of doubt. Our beloved parents might try to clothe us with bullet proof vests in our young age, however with time, the material will eventually allow something through.

The evolution of communication and social media has shifted the provision of content from air-mail and telegraphs, to same day shipping and instant snapchats of where and what anybody is doing at a given second. We now expect and demand instant gratification when our business is tanking or when we suddenly realize we are carrying more weight than we should, either from witnessing the diminishing of our selves or through the glorification of business moguls and six pack abs, maybe both at the same time.

There is nothing wrong with the ‘instant’ processes. Many situations require immediate attention. However we have become so accustomed to this that we expect it to be relevant towards every whim as soon as it flickers on our mind.

When Im working on getting applications approved for work, the new e-government facilities have spoiled me. 80% of the process can be completed from the comfort of my office. It’s all groovy until a bored inspector rejects it 8 times (even though your no stranger to the process and understand the process), however that’s besides the point. Viewing my work through this lens is enough to make me walk around with a silver spoon towards any situation, expecting things like my weight to drop just as fast.

The process of opening Bossy Kitchen was completely new to both my wife and myself. We both had business and financial backgrounds, and a cumulative eight-year corporate experience, however the approval process from the ministry of health to municipality to civil defense departments let alone constructing the facility from scratch took us a grueling night months. No degree, work experience or feasibility study would ever be enough armor for our entrepreneurial ascendency.

The process tested our mettle and humbled us along the way. The same rang true for my Genu Valgum (Bone Deformity). I realized how fragile my own mind and body can be (good luck getting a Leo to admit such thing). I am extremely fortunate to grow up in a household that loves me and supported my academic career above and beyond what I can imagine. However I was not babied around or patted on the back for any jobs well done (don’t confuse this to be lack of emotional support, I received plenty, and its vital in my opinion). After any shattering achievement (in my eyes), my beloved father would always say to me “Whats next?”. His own athleticism and unrelenting work ethic has kept him healthy and hungry to this day. While I pursued rigorous training from running my own boot-camps, to 6am tennis court drills that justified my 6-month shoe insole warranty, my father would swim come rain, shine or freezing weather and fish during season (all before getting dressed and arriving at his office by 6:30am). My mother nurtured me from premature birth and remained beside me to pick up the pieces whenever I fell apart. My own sister coached me towards eventually securing two championships and a 7-month win streak until my surgery. My wife took a broken man both emotionally and physically and inspired me to amplify my life and dreams when my previous work environment and physical health took me to the brink of self-disbelief and crippling doubt. There is no way I would be where I am without my family and friends who show up at my humble matches, and support my initiatives time and time again.

Slogans such as “Get a beach body by summer” or “Own the car or your dreams Today!” can take advantage of our vulnerable situation and mind set. Heck after all my research in fitness I still do a double take at the counter when I see “Green Tea Weight Loss” or the “Hey look I’m Gluten Free, Vegan and loaded with Protein” bar. The FDA laws require that ingredients be written starting with the greatest quantity. Both of the above products have Sugar as #1. The Green Tea and other miracle components hide behind the protected “proprietary blend” writing, so you could be getting 0.000001 green tea and the rest is just sugar! – Dr.Jim Stoppani’s supplements shook the fitness world when he listed the exact quantity of each ingredient instead of hiding behind the proprietary blend label and exposing filler ingredients others use. – For this I completely commend the guy.

Way too often many put unbelievable dependency on supplements and max out their credit card on supplies even before setting foot in the gym. The Amino acids your ingesting aren’t going to lift the weights for you or justify the 300 BD investment you threw away at the gym, only to visit it once a month. Oh well Mohammed, the protein sure tastes good here on the sofa.

A support system is necessary; don’t give me this lone wolf facade. This by no mean negates the hard work you need to put in using your own two hands. Supplements are not compulsory. The effort you put in is the basis of your results. Nothing you drink or take will bring you towards your greatness. During your career, within your relationships or in training, you are – and will remain to be mother-natures pre workout. Whether you don’t say it or believe it. You are resilient, and have resilience within you. It is within our humanity to be resilient. You can’t learn it, and it may not be apparent. A given situation may appear to break you, however if you look within yourself you will experience your breakthrough and find your own resilience. No lack of knee cartilage or rejected applications should never stop you. From the ground up…

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Tales from the Treadmill: My Fitness Diary 1

Welcome to my weekly fitness update! I will discuss my food and workout routine (What worked/What didn’t) alongside my mental/physical/emotional state, in full transparency in hopes to motivate and inspire you as well as myself. Enjoy!

February 1st marked the first day of my intense 28 day food and fitness routine. I aimed to reduce carbs every passing week, and introduce high rep drop sets into my workouts. I would dedicate four days to lifting and three to active rest days involving cardio almost every single day. This is not something I plan on doing for the long run (you will understand once you see the restricted food intake), however I felt it was necessary to help kick myself back to former glory. Outside other blog posts, I will have a dedicated weekly write up to my fitness progress summarizing what worked, what didn’t, and any alterations I am planning on making to the plan.

My planned workout schedule

  • Monday: Back/Biceps/Cardio
  • Tuesday: Delts/Triceps/Cardio
  • Wednesday: Active Rest (Cardio)
  • Thursday: Legs/Cardio
  • Friday: Chest/Calves/Cardio
  • Saturday: Active Rest (Cardio)
  • Sunday: Active Rest (Cardio)

 

My dietary restrictions (don’t shoot)

  • No Fats
  • Lean Proteins Only (Grilled Chicken, Prawn, Egg Whites, Fish)
  • No Beef
  • No Dairy
  • No Soda
  • No Gluten, No Wheat (Pasta,Bread, White rice are all No)
  • No Ketchup
  • Brown Rice, Oatmeal, Quinioa, Sweet Potato are allowed
  • Basically Complex Carbs only, and mostly all by lunch time.
  • Supplements include Whey/Casein Protein Mix , Fish Oil, Vitamins
  • Turmeric Powder, Ginger, Cayenne and Black Pepper for anti-inflamatory properties.
  • Green, Oolong, Lapsang Teas

IMG_6227

A screenshot from my snapchat, where I share my food intake during the day and before and after my training sessions. Hopefully a source to give you ideas on what to eat to get or stay healthy. 

Week 1 update (Feb 1- Feb 7)

Weight loss tracker 

(2kg’s Down. Total Kg’s lost so far in 2016 = 7kg).

What Worked

My work schedule this week was so packed I actually never had the chance to stop and think how my stomach felt! I was going from one thing to another, driving all over Bahrain (Seef, Manama, Jau, Riffa) rinse and repeat for almost the entire week that I never realized the reduced intake. The only day I felt tired and craving carbs (bread specifically) was on the 5th day (Friday) at night. However after drinking my shake I felt satisfied. The feeling of triumph amplified when I weighed myself on the next Monday and noticed two kilos off the number.

What Didn’t Work

During my Chest and Calves day, I felt like the Rep count and drop set routine was over kill. I tried to adapt this from Chris Gethin’s * recommended technique. I normally wouldn’t follow his programs because the guy focuses on gaining mass and lifting super heavy, but I took the recommended high rep/drop sets to torch some serious calories. Specifically with the decline chest press (on a seated machine) I felt some serious burn on my right shoulder blade, and not the good kind. Luckily Saturday and Sunday marked active rest days where I have to do cardio sessions, so I didn’t really need my ailing shoulder. I didn’t let ego get the better of me, and reduced the weights and rep count, but at the time of typing this I still feel dull aches. Part of me is concerned that I may have irritated my scar tissue from tearing my sub-scapulares during one of  the best matches of my tennis career in 2013. Moving forward I will mostly only do 3 Sets with a rep count that will not exceed 15-20.

*dude has a funny name, especially if you google and see how big this guy actually is. Dude probably can eat my entire restaurant for his post-workout meal. 

 

Highlight of the Week: I got my 2nd Knee shot on Wednesday, and felt able to do my Leg workouts by Thursday. Although I’m limited with what I can do on Leg day (Abductors, Leg Press mostly) I left the gym so pumped that I was able to continue with my schedule regardless of having taken my shot! Lots of ice, and my knee behaved for the entire week thankfully!

If you would like to join my workout journey I will be more then happy to share my entire schedule for both my workouts and food intake via email.  Remember that I am not a nutritionist or instructor, so what I am doing might not work for you but it’s basic enough for anybody to get to (depending on how strict you are willing to be). You are more then welcome to email me on nervebullet@gmail.com

I hope this post was beneficial and motivational to you. More blog posts coming up, and a weekly update similar to this God-willing.

 

From the Ground Up (I’m taking you with me)

 

Mohammed

PS: This is are my social media links and what I use them for

My website: www.nervebullet.com for detailed blog posts regarding my health and fitness journey and other things I am passionate about including entrepreneurship, video games, music and poetry.

My instagram: Daily posts from the gym at work and everything in between. A brief look at my life as a fitness enthusist and an entrepreneur

My Snapchat: @nervebullet I mostly post my food intake on this, so you can see what I am eating during the day, and before and after my training sessions. Live accountability!

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My Twitter: @nervebullet My live thoughts mostly before and after workouts to pump you and myself up! I also post music from my playlist to share the tunes that fire me up before and after my workout. Expect anything from Heavy Metal to Pop (Sevendust, Bury Tomorrow, Lupe fiasco, Tori Kelly (WTH BRO DO YOU EVEN LIFT?).

My Facebook Page: www.facebook.com/nervebullet Updated more then my twitter, and also more detailed status updates on health and fitness. A great place to get links to my latest blog posts as soon as they publish.

 

How To Overcome Fitness Excuses and Pitfalls

Fitness and well-being seems to be a big deal. If it wasn’t this site wouldn’t exist and females wouldn’t be spewing the words Kale and Quinoa like they invented said vegetable and grain. Now before half the world’s gender start spamming the comments and unfollow button I also use those words. If you don’t believe me just check the @bossykitchen account. Plot twist! I write her posts! *Gasp* and you thought my wife was funny.

Ok so with cross fit, protein shakes and eye-sore leggings spreading like the plague, why do many aspiring fitness enthusiasts fall off the proverbial bandwagon? I’ll split these into three categories (Time, Money, Patience) and attempt to tackle them with honesty and applicable solutions. So to all the newbies this is finally your chance to chant Qunioa through to 2015.

ezio1
Ezio doesn’t like it when people tell him they don’t have time to workout

“I don’t have the TIME to workout”

The Problem: Life is all about priorities; just ask these new years revolutionists who are currently hogging the gym floor like it was a black Friday sale (great now I can’t use this metaphor for a future post).Towards New Years Eve we tend to reflect on the fleeting year as if a new line will be crossed on midnight. One of the most common thoughts are ‘Man, I really need to get into better shape’, unless your Ryan Gosling, then you seriously need to eat a Cheese Cake Ryan. If you can feel this strongly about your fitness on New Years Eve then you can work on doing so during the year. I understand life is very demanding (family, work, children who need a diaper change and bosses who need a diaper), but if you keep telling me your busy like the president of an ant farm, then I’ve got 22 CEOS that right here get their workouts before 6AM.

Quick fix: Look at your day as 23 hours long. I am sure you can get your sleep, work and other commitments done within those 23 hours. Cement that 24th hour for your workout and your golden.

The solution: The solution here is applying more time management skills to your routine. Do your best to sleep the same time everyday so you can iron out your daily schedule without erratic changes due to oversleeping or sleep deprivation. Find classes that work with your work timings (either first thing in the morning or after office hours). Instead of ramping up the calories by going out with friends why not make fitness a social activity by teaming up with a partner at a gym or meeting new friends at a fitness class. Working in teams or meeting like minded fitness enthusiasts keeps you committed and more willing to etch these workouts into your schedule.

ezio2
A friend admitting to Ezio regarding his lack of Florians to join the local gymnasium

“I can’t AFFORD to workout”

The Problem: One of  the most common responses I get is that eating healthy is too expensive and that it puts them off. I believe the issue here is that its often very easy to fall into gimmicks and diet myths that may lead you towards products or training sessions that might seem too costly. I must admit it is certainly scary to walk by the segregated ORGANIC section at the local supermarket. Some of those prices are so high that I’m expecting that aisle to be paved with gold soon enough.

The Reader’s perceived solution

Reader: oh great, he is probably going to say something cheese like ‘if you don’t make time for health you will be forced to pay with sickness’

Nervebullet: No not really *double plot twist** (Nervebullet is the M Night Shyamalan of fitness!)

Reader: Hey I’m the reader you can poke fun of yourself but not me!

Nervebullet: I’m sorry here is a picture of some uncooked Quinoa to make up for it.

The Solution: Now I do have quite a few points to cover with this issue however I want to also tie in the matter of perception again but at a different angle. I don’t want to beat a dead horse, since I’m actually quite upset that the guard killed mine in Assassins Creed Brotherhood so no joking about horses. I must point out that I find it ironic that it’s easy for many to claim that eating healthy is expensive however they are more then willing then to shell out a premium for fizzy drinks at any restaurant and do so on a regular basis.

  • If gym membership is too expensive, or too far or maybe you don’t enjoy the gym environment look into working out at home with a dvd. These have developed over the years so you no longer have to worry about staring at Richard Simmons in spandex if that’s not your thing. I’ve tried a variety over the years and my personal favorite is P90X. There won’t be a trainer to check on your form however Tony Horton really breaks down each maneuver to leave no room for mistakes as long as you concentrate and he even has modifications for those with injuries. One of his team members has a prosthetic leg so no excuses! Also the great thing with these workouts is that you don’t need to have expensive equipment for your home gym. Just a few dumbbells, a pull up bar that you can put up on your door or resistance bands, yoga mats and a towel to wipe your sweat. I will be covering the various products currently available in the market at a later post so hang tight! The beauty of these workouts is that they can last from 25 minutes to an hour depending on which product you go with and that time includes stretching and warm up. Some of these are great especially for people that have demanding jobs that require you to travel.
  • The healthy foods section probably requires a dissertation to cover so for now I’ll give you simple tips and will continue to tackle this with upcoming posts. Many of these so called healthy foods are expensive due to importing costs and advertising, and most are deceiving with the exact amount of nutrients that they include, amongst other marketing traps. To keep both you and your wallet healthy I strongly encourage a visit to your local farmers market. The price difference in comparison to store brought may shock you! Once I discovered the vegetable jackpot I hardly spend any money on fresh produce at the supermarket anymore.

Quick Fix: Go for a walk. I know it sounds simple and may seem unintuitive but if you do this six times a week you end the year having walked 9630 minutes. Now other then proving that I still have some math skills intact from high school *minimizes calculator app*, small steps like these will take you a long way, even if you end up just walking around your neighborhood. My awesome mother, whom I gain my inspiration and determination from has insane knee issues but still manages to go for a morning walk even though its indoors so regardless of the weather she is still committed. Little workout is better then none.

My horse before he was killed by the guard. I should have stuck with Barbie Horseriding...
My horse before he was killed by the Borgia guard. I should have stuck with Barbie Horseriding…

“OK so I put down the time and the money, Where is my six pack?!”

The Problem:

  • Your lack of patience
  • Your perception of a healthy body
  • Your understanding towards your dietary requirements and metabolism.

The Solution:

  • Putting on that blubber didn’t happen over night so don’t go feeling up your stomach for abs after one sit up (cc:Rthompson94) and one brown sandwich. When friends with personal fitness goals approach me, many surprise me at how little time they are giving their bodies to change ‘I want to lose 10 kilos by X date’. Their X date happens to be their wedding. And their wedding happens to be next month. You need to give your body time to adapt to the changes both at the gym and on the dinner table. Imagine if you stuck with this since January 1st 2013, how different would you be today?
  • If you commit to your workouts for long enough you begin to realize that it is not just the physical aspects that change. Endorphins and dopamine start whizzing around your body and you didn’t even have to resort to drugs*. Your energy levels spike up, you are more productive at work and you are more attentive in preventing guards from killing your virtual horse.      One of my inspirations is Rick Wyckoff, who runs the instagram account @can_rick . Rick battled extreme overweight issues and although he currently has loose skin, he openly describes the mental and emotional benefits after eliminating the excess weight and acknowledges that his current condition will always triumph what he once was. 

*Nervebullet discourages the use of drugs. Unless said drug is made of Qunioa*

**Nervebullet regains the following of the females that unfollowed him previously for mocking their love for Qunioa

  • Have you ever starved yourself only to eventually binge and gain the weight you lost and then some? Or have you decided to jump on the gluten free fad, only to overeat gluten free substitutes that are high in calorie,sodium and fat? These actions hold your metabolism at gunpoint due to the extremities of either choice. This does not just apply to fitness newbies. There are many bodybuilders (especially those that enter competitions) who destroy their metabolic rate by insanely decreasing their calorie intake and end up suffering in the long run. If you have a variety of fitness accounts on your social feed you will see many former ‘clean eaters’ who struggle with unexpected weight gain during the off season due to a stint in their metabolic rate. Spend more time understanding nutrition and don’t rely on fads or quick fixes on your way to a healthier you. The ideal diet would be the one, which we don’t end up feeling that we are on a diet.

The recurring theme through all of these pitfalls seems to be a matter of perception, and if tackled with more persistence and equipped with greater knowledge of how nutrition affects your body you can raise your fitness and health levels to new heights. It’s a shame that some may never get to see how much their body is truly capable of accomplishing. Learn to enjoy the process, as it is a very telling and humbling journey, one that solidifies the test of the human spirit. Being healthy, fit and happy requires you to remind yourself of your capabilities by accepting yourself as you grow and forgiving yourself when you fall short, and that this lifestyle is not reserved solely for athletes.

Do you have your own fitness pitfalls that you would like to share? If so comment box below, or tweet me on @nervebullet and I will do my best to push you through it! 🙂

Relapse

This is probably one of the hardest articles I’ve had to sit down and write, one that required immense reflection and complete honesty.

Weight loss is a battle and health will always be something that you fight for, be it trying to fend off the unnecessary cravings or pushing yourself trough a new routine especially when the rest lure you in with the sentence “Come on Mo, its just one bite!”. Looking at the earlier stages of my weight loss journey, one would think that the struggle would be trying to eliminate 25 kilos. However I’ve discovered with career threatening injuries and to some extent disability, its no longer just a battle against lethargy, but trying to prevent weight gain and reclaim your physique against the limitations stopping you from sweating it off.

My journey began in 2007 during my sophomore year of college. I still remember my first semester where I used to have Chinese food for lunch from the university hall and pizza for dinner. Although I was in an English school for most of my life, I still had trouble adjusting being on the other end of the world, away from my parents and my sister (my best friend). I remember driving home every evening and after finishing my studies I’d engulf an entire pizza while watching an episode of friends. I think I reached the 6th season towards the end of the semester before meeting locals who today are my closest friends in the world. No spoilers please I still don’t know if Phoebe ends up with Joey.

During the second semester I enrolled in the local gym however didn’t really know what I was doing. It was a process of trial and error as I began to tweak my food and seek assistance with the types of exercises that would help me attain my goal. During spring I remember driving past ‘Bike Line’ after class and called up my friend Semo saying, “Bro, we should get mountain bikes!”. This paired up with a tennis racket and I was on the road to newfound strength and unearthing undiscovered passions.Fitness became a staple of my life so much that I built everything around it. I researched every nutrient possible and delved into as many training techniques possible from gyms to boot camps, from muddy terrain to tennis courts.

My dedication to fitness was tested in 2012 when I suffered a serious injury that threatened my tennis career and the ability to pursue a healthy life style. Experiencing people pass you by at normal speed as you try to maneuver in a wheelchair seemed spirit breaking at first, however ended up being a lesson in humility. I remember holding on to my physiotherapists shoulder, fixing my gauge and learning how to walk again. The injuries piled up as I forced other parts of my body to compensate for the damaged areas. My wrist and elbow flare up especially during the winter months. I began to doubt the ability to reclaim my place in the tennis circuit and fitness world.

I fought hard and made it back for a short stint on the tennis tour this past winter, however my body paid the price. I suffered a shoulder tear during an epic three-hour battle at the semi finals. My training was again limited to swimming however a recent large cut in my feet meant that I couldn’t swim. Bit by bit I watched doctors eliminate activates from my list and the winter just made it more inviting to wrap myself up in a blanket and eat anything that was in front of me.

Since my surgery my weight fluctuated however I managed to reduce it back down in September just before tennis season. I struggled from the first round, and with the clear bulls eye aimed at my knee, opponents had no trouble in aggravating it with drop shots forcing me to move back and forth from the baseline and net. Since then I’ve gained 6 kilos, each equal to 4kg of added pressure on my fragile knees.

For the first time in five years I returned to emotional eating, ordering pizza frequently. I became everything I spent years fighting against. I am writing this because I want those who seek a healthy lifestyle to see all forms of struggle with trying to get in shape be it weight, injury, disability or whatever the case may be. I share my physical, mental and emotional state because I am discouraged by the fitness accounts that show you nothing but six packs and one-liners that lack advice and serve nothing but ego boosting. I am by no means playing a victim, and I assure you that I am not clumsy with the injuries that befall me (although I’ll take credit for the drum stool falling my foot, I could have been more careful with that). My goal is to show you BOTH the up’s and down’s of the pursuit of fitness. I remain candid in my accounts and although the terrain has changed for me this year, I hold on to the spirit that has been building since my journey began in 2008. The cut in my foot has healed meaning that I can get in the water, and I am just waiting for the fibers in my shoulder to hug it out, and although I have missing cartilage and deformed bones I’ll keep the pursuit alive.  Raw energy from the ground up, I’m taking you with me.

An exaggerated reenactment of my relapse
An exaggerated reenactment of my relapse

The Protein Article

Protein Shakes. With some of the questions I’m getting one would start to think of it as ashes spawned from a mythical creature buried deep within ancient wreckage in the ocean. I’ll answer your questions in more detail but I will start of this. Its protein powder, so relax.

Before you run off to any of the following…

  • Parents
  • Concerned wife
  • Insert someone else concerned about you engulfing white substances

…Lets start with understanding what protein actually is and why it’s so vital.

What is Protein?

Every cell, tissue and organ in your body right now contains protein that is constantly being broken down and replaced.  The protein in our food (chicken, meat, fish, eggs, milk, evil white dust etc.) is digested into fun stuff called amino acids1 that are used to replace the protein in our bodies.

1Amino Acids: Building blocks that join together to make different types of protein. Our body cannot make some of these amino acids so we need to get them from our food. Since these dudes are all fancy we call them ‘Essential Amino Acids’.

So about them Protein Shakes?

Whey Protein is no longer exclusive to body builders. Athletes and everyone else that enjoys any level of exercise has begun to incorporate this powdered goodness. There are other kinds of protein shakes (such as Casein) and I will go over the differences towards the end of the article however I will talk about Whey because it is the most commonly used.

What is Whey?

Whey protein is *drum roll* a liquid byproduct of cheese production. Doesn’t sound so bad now does it? Half the questions I got made me think I was dealing with anthrax. Whey is a complete protein source. Which means it contains ALL of the essential amino acids previously discussed.

Lets get Whey-sted!

Benefits of Whey Protein include

–       Decreased recovery time from training (prevents fatigue and promotes healing)

–       Increases endurance, energy levels and improves mental performance

–       The glutamine in the Whey boosts immune system function, maintains muscle mass and prevents muscle breakdown

–       Enhances glycogen storage (this is a form of energy muscles use)

–       Arginine increases your GHL (growth hormone levels), improves poor circulation, lowers blood pressure.

–       Helps suppress appetite

–       Instant ‘like a boss’ feeling when consumed in a locker room

–       Fat Free

–       Low Cholesterol (make sure you read the label from the brand you choose)

–       High in Calcium

–       Absorbs fast

Other Questions

Q ‘Mohammed, I want to take protein shakes but I don’t want to bulk up, I’m a lady.

Um okay good luck with that! Bulking up is one of the most difficult things to do. Mass takes time to develop so don’t worry, it isn’t going to happen by gulping down some protein.

Q ‘Mohammed, I want to start taking protein shakes but I’m so afraid of the side effects.

 Side effects? Its protein POWDER!! Some of the risks that I will outline actually have nothing to do with the whey itself but additives (depending on which brand you choose) and your tolerance to Lactose and the health of your kidneys.

Lactose Intolerance: However any issues that may arise from protein shakes would be due to digestive issues. This is due to the Lactose or sweeteners used in some Whey Proteins rather then the Whey itself.

Kidneys: If you are diagnosed with Kidney diseases, a high protein diet in general may exacerbate preexisting conditions.

Q Why can’t I just get all my protein from chicken or other foods?

You can, however after murder on the gym floor your body is begging to be replenished. Especially if you drink Whey mixed with water it absorbs much quicker in your system then the piece of chicken your going to have later on. I mean look at the list of benefits I outlined above. فن لا؟

Q If I stop taking protein will I lose all my muscle?

Simply put, if you keep working out with sufficient intensity to break down muscle tissue and not eat enough protein to repair then yes you will lose some muscle mass. At the end of the day you need to give yourself the suggested amount of protein intake (ill cover in the next question) and if you don’t hit that target, your not giving enough for your muscle to work with, regardless of it being from Whey or not.

Q How Much Protein do I need to take?

As this article is focusing on Whey Protein ill answer this briefly but will continue to write more articles on protein, as I know more questions may arise and other areas need to be covered also.  This depends on many factors. Age, size and activity level play a role in this (e.g. athletes obviously need more). The general recommended Protein intake set by nutritionists is the following

Your body weight (kgs)  = grams of protein you need.

Side note: A serving from the Whey protein I am currently taking gives me 25g

Types of Protein

–       Whey Protein Concentrate: This is the Jayid Jidan جيد جداً of Protein shakes. Don’t get me wrong it has low lactose that is tolerable by those that are sensitive to it and is more affordable but if you can for Isolate, do it!

–       Whey Protein Isolate (What I’m taking): Virtually fat free, lactose-free and totally awesome.

–       Casein: Takes longer to digest. Much better for drinking at night before sleep. Some are even using it during Ramadan to keep you full longer.

NB Recommends

Currently I am using ‘About Time’ Whey Protein Isolate. It not the best tasting Protein out there to be honest, however it doesn’t have added artificial sweeteners etc. Just look at that label (picture below) doesn’t make a dominant health freak parent just want to shed a cheer from joy? I think even Aliya will say OK to her kids for this stuff.

About Time Whey Protein Isolate
About Time Whey Protein Isolate

Unfortunately this is unavailable in Bahrain so I recommend the following.

Isopure Whey Protein Isolate
Isopure Whey Protein Isolate

Isopure tastes great with water or milk and I’ve used it for many years prior to switching to about time. It is available in Bahrain at GNC for about 35BD for 3lbs. I’ve tried Vanilla, Fruit Punch and Choloate. All good. Stay away from the cookies and cream one (bleh)!

ON Gold Standard Protein is available at Olympia for about BD26 if you are looking for something cheaper. I never used ON’s products so cannot comment on their quality.

Shake this!

 Try the following with your next protein shake: Vetal Milk + 1/2 cup of blueberries 1/2 banana + some of your whey protein (vanilla goes good with this) + 6 ice cubes and blend it up!

I hope I have cleared some of the misconceptions and given a greater understanding to why we use Whey to help more then just our muscles but the rest of our body. I will write more about Protein including a detailed food diary of my daily intake of Protein and how you can reach your daily goal. With that being said, don’t be afraid, its totally fine to get Whey-sted 🙂

Suhoor tips (pre-fast meal)

So you had your first suhoor eh? Did you

a) Stay up late and take your time eating like a boss or

b) sprintlikeheckdownthestairsandeatsomethingrealquick

I’ll admit I did catch some shuteye and ended up waking minutes before the Athan (call to prayer) this morning so was forced to reenact the chase scene from one of my favorite action movies.  Unfortunately I’m not blessed with silky hair donned by Tom Cruise, and my beard does cause for poor aerodynamics. All this including the groggy look, I give myself a B-action flick at most. With no minutes to spare I mixed up the following concoction.

Vital Laban + Whey Protein + Berries

I also downed 0% Fat Greek Yogurt, Banana and some Water just before the call to prayer sounded.

You have about 16 hours of daily fasting this time round so you really need to start on the right track. Many have the misconception that you need to fill yourself up to the brim before the fasting starts but that is extremely counterproductive! Your hunger mechanism kicks in every 3 hours regardless of how much you’ve eaten. This is one of the main reasons why athletes eat often to keep their metabolism revved up.

For Suhoor don’t go for foods covered in salt like Fish(Ghabga people I’m looking at you). The sodium is going to end up making you even MORE thirsty during the day.

The Greek Yogurt/and Laban I had last night are excellent sources of protein and both are low in fat. If you add the berries into the mix (great source of fiber) I still feel satisfied and its an hour before we get to break the fast right now.

Go for:

  • Yogurt (Greek Yogurt is my favorite)
  • Laban (Go for Vital as it has added benefits)
  • Oatmeal
  • Fool (Fava beans)
  • Chickpeas

Stay away from:

  • Fried foods
  • Salted Fish
  • Ilgaimat (I saw you sneak some out of the ghabga to take home for your ‘mom/kids/puppy/self’. Who the HELL EATS ILGAIMAT AT 3 OCLOCK IN THE MORNING?!
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Both of these are creamy without the fat. Highly recommended!

If you want something light and soothing go for more of the yogurt based options I’ve outlined, but If you wanna shut that grumbly belly up then make sure you hit the oatmeal and fool/chickpea combo up

Remember you are gearing up for the day ahead. Make sure your tummy is well equipped to suppress the ‘grumpy-at-work-itus’

Happy Suhooring!

<<النبي صلى الله عليه وسلم قال: <<تَسَحَّرُوا فَإِنَّ فِي السُّحُورِ بَرَكَةً

Start Here

We have all been there, that first day in Ramadan where we are set on making it a beneficial month and convinced that this time around you will finally lose weight, that is until you are 12 hours down and Mommy dearest shows up with dripping machboos*1 and sugar loaded Vimto, all of a sudden all your plans go to hell. Does this version of your new moon resolution sound about right?

*1Machboos: Extreme portion of oil*2 on a dish enhanced with spoons of rice specifically designed to induce the phenomenon known as Balloon Belly.

*2size proportionate to create a swimming pool, that is if you like swimming in corn oil. I’m sure there is a new concept for tanning lotion in there somewhere.

This article will outline simple tips for starting out your weight loss process on the right track while helping you avoid the common pitfalls faced during this challenge.

Your tools

  • Dedication:

Getting in shape can’t be just a whim after seeing a shirtless dude run around in one of your favorite TV shows. You need to evaluate your reasons for getting yourself into this. The first thing I ask anybody is why they are doing this, and I make sure that they are aware of it, because this may be the only factor that will keep you going so make it a good one.

  • Good Support Team:

You are changing the very fabric of your being, or at least the blubber surrounding your beautiful aura. Therefore you need to get your closest friends involved so they can cheer you on to the finish line. So go on call your gardener and tell him your plans. If you don’t have a garden then go talk to the dude at the cold store I’m sure he will be more than happy to stop selling you Coke and Twix.

  • Do Your homework!:

Some of the diets I’ve heard of really make me laugh as they are nothing but torture and yield zero results. Someone (I won’t tell them its you Aunty) once actually told me that their breakfast was a bunch of dates and a cup of coffee. Excellent, you’ve gained absolutely nothing by doing this. You might as well have dressed up in pink fuzz and plastered ‘energizer’ on you on your way to work, but it’s a shame you will only be that way for about 10 minutes. Some of these myths are absolutely ridiculous!

Mistakes

  • Peer-pressure:

There is no way you will get effective results if you keep listening to your peers who insist that you should have ‘just one bite’ of something they are trying. That’s why the good support team highlighted above is required. These little cheats add up, and alter your insulin levels, metabolism and everything you’ve ever worked on. Working out to pig out on junk simply doesn’t work. This is a new you, and those around you need to understand that and accept your seriousness in adapting this new lifestyle.

  • Giving up too quickly:

You are going to be doing things you normally haven’t done before, so of course your body is going to rebel at first. Excuse me if the healthy sandwich you just had didn’t trim your waistline but your going to have to do this more than once if you want to see changes. It irks me when people tell me “Jee Mo, I tried going to the gym in the morning once before work but I just can’t do it”. Results don’t happen overnight folks, so you need to be aware of this and once you start, charge forward and ignore the signals that are telling you that this isn’t for you.

  • Setting the Bar too high:

 Easy there tiger. Just because the ‘steroid man’ sitting on the bench beside you is benching the weight of your bosses ego doesn’t mean that its okay for you to lift that much just yet (or ever, depending on your goals). This links to the crazy diets I mentioned above. Starving yourself is counter intuitive and only induced your body to go into catabolic state (bad for your muscles, metabolism and ends up dumping all your efforts in the trash can. Progression is key if you want to keep the weight off safely and forever (wedding vows much?)

Final thought:

Sometimes your gardener just isn’t around to cheer you through the last set. This is when you need to say “Hey (say your name here minus the explicative) get off your butt and do this!”. It is a human instinct to desire self-improvement*3, and two things usually happen when we want to make a change in our lives. We start with the highly inspired feeling when the resolution is first made, however when pressed against the wall, we begin to look nervously at the future and begin to doubt if we can actually attain our goals. It is at this moment that you need to be self-motivated as ever and keep moving forward. This is a journey where you need to distinguish the difference between excuses and results because you can’t have both.

*3grown men living in their mother’s basement*4 playing warcraft do not apply to this rule

*4 do we even have basements in Bahrain?

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