Tuesday, 26 September 2017

OOTD: September Issue(s)

I am sitting in Makalonca (a beautiful coffee place in the center of Ljubljana), somewhere in between events. One done, one to go. My heart is pounding like crazy but I am used to that adrenaline on hectic days when I have to be in a constant rush. I am watching Lljubljanica making her path and a young girl just lit her cigarette. I want one so badly. The sum of this morning: ruined pants: 1, ruined sweater, because I didn't close the car doors properly: 1, fights with my boyfriend:3, unnecessary fights with my boyfriend because I can be a nerve-rack: also 3. Over-analyzing every stupid detail: gazillion. And then out of nowhere, here it comes. Stillness. For a moment, I just stop and look around. Suddenly, I remember a little girl who dreamed of being able to write on her computer, take photos of everything, travel a lot and is constantly surrounded by (new) faces, learning things every single day. And out of the blue (literally), everything is okay. All the grey moments are forgotten and replaced by a puzzle of new faces I saw today. That girl is me now. It is okay. I suddenly taste a world of difference in my coffee...

Photography: The Simons' Lab


Jacket: Clark
Bag: HM
Shoes: Deichmann
Top: HM
Pants: Primark
Watch: Quartz



Friday, 22 September 2017

Competition Prep Diaries 2: My New Training Split, Changes, Am I Lactose Intolerant?!

Welcome back! :)

This week was a really good one, I was on point with my training schedule and the diet went smooth as well. Yesterday, I was a bit cranky (the 4th low carb day is usually not a fun one; I will tell you more about what this means later), my mood started to alternate; I thought of something negative and that usually leads to another negative thought and that is when I fall off the wagon. I quickly recognized the pattern though, got my sh*t together and started working. When I was done, I cleaned the apartment. It sounds weird, but being busy often helps your mind not to buzz all the time about irrelevant stuff. Anyway.

This morning I had a training&check-in with my coach. Training with him is always hardcore and that's O.K., I really enjoy it (not at that time, of course;  but later, I am happy, I pushed through!); he is checking and correcting my form and I can really concentrate on pushing myself 100%. He also motivates me to be better;  when he brings like a heavy dumbbell and I say hell-I can't do that!, then he says-hell, of course, you can. And then I really can. Anyway, my form improved a little since our last check; I lost a little weight but we decided to make some minor changes in my diet and with my training because my legs and glutes are developing well (I train them 2x a week now) but my shoulders are a little behind. So, the new split will look like this:

DAY 1: Legs&Glutes (*glute focused)
DAY 2: Shoulders&Triceps&Calves
DAY 3: Back&Biceps&Abs
DAY 4: Legs&Calves
DAY 5: Shoulders&Abs&Chest

On top of that I do 4x40 min. cardio sessions/week  and 2x10-15 minutes of sprints/week and from now on, I will also throw in some additional ab exercises after cardio.

Today also marks the 5th day completely without dairy products (I mentioned this briefly on my instagram story). I really feel like a whole different person; I think, I might have been a little lactose intolerant because I saw major changes in ONLY 4-5 days! I don't feel as bloated and heavy, my tummy is flatter (not just in the morning), I feel great and I don't even miss dairy. When Mitja (my coach) said that there will be no milk, no cheese and other dairy product (except some cottage cheese or greek yogurt) on the menu, I dropped my jaw a little. How can I survive without my morning cafe-latte?! Well, surprise, surprise; now I drink my coffee black and I am still here. It is easier than you think, although there is some research on that cheese might actually be as addictive as some drugs and when people say, they don't think they can't live without cheese, they are too addicted, this might even be the truth. Anyway, I am staying dairy free; I feel good and I can fit into my good jeans even after a (dairy-free) meal. Win-win.

As far as my diet goes, I am doing one variation of carb-cycling; previously I had 4 low carb days and 1 higher carb day and then 4 low carb days again etc. From today on, I will be having only 3 low carb days and 1 higher carb day after that. I measure all my food precisely on the food scale (prep diet is very different than a regular diet; things have to be precise to work).  If you have any additional questions about that, let me know and we will discuss it. 

Today, I also earned one OFF meal but it has to be clean foods which means no ice cream or pizza; I will probably have a big bowl of some sort of pasta. In the beginning of next week, I will also tell you about my weekly results. When I will be that brave, photo material is also coming.

In the next post, I am planning to answer some of your questions. I know you have them because I have tons of them in my DM; now you have the opportunity to get them answered :)! Write them in the comment section below and you will get your answer in the next post:). Or you can just tell me, which one is your favourite Ben&Jerrys'. Haha.

yours truly (happy and carbed up today),


Travel: My 3 Favourite Chill Out Spots in Zagreb, Croatia

Last weekend was so much fun; I was in Zagreb on a business trip which I combined with fun a.k.a. exploring the city. We were invited to the Unusual Gin Weekend event which takes place at the Most Unusual Garden (click here). It was a blast. I took a lot of promo photos and did not really care about the gin but oh, well:). If you are a gin lover and an artistic soul, you will definitely find some magic in that garden. In the next few days we also visited Swanky Monkey Garden which doubles as a hostel (this place has a pool!) and one of my favourite coffee places ever, recommended by a lovely reader Bisous Fee, the Velvet Cafe. The Velvet Cafe is basically a very moody, beautiful, atmospheric Instagram-paradise and also-the first ever Free Reading Zone! Guests can log in into a virtual library consisting of more than 100000 books in several languages.

1. UNUSUAL GIN GARDEN, Horvaćanska cesta 3, 10000, Zagreb, Croatia.

2. SWANKY MONKEY GARDEN, Ilica 50, 10000, Zagreb, Croatia.

3. VELVET CAFE, Dežmanova 9, 1000, Zagreb, Croatia.

Which one of the 3 places do you find the most attractive? Do you recommend any good places to visit?

And one last tip from me, when exploring the city, you can, of course, do it the classic way (by foot) or for convenience purposes, you can use car rental service on this website. Specially, if you are tight on time or have to be right on time.

Ajde, vidimo se!


Wednesday, 20 September 2017

Competition Prep Diaries 1: Stepping Up the Game, My Journey So Far+Am I Going to Compete?!

This is probably gonna be a long one so go make a cup of coffee or tea, ok? All set?

Okay. Let's begin.
So, about 2 years ago I did an update on my fitness journey (you can read it here). Loads of things happened in between and I feel like I should give you an update. A few months later I went vegan (and gained like 10kg-don't freak out, I will do a blog post on that too!). That did not end well and so I went back and forth on binge eating (a post about this is coming your way), starving, working out (my concept of a good workout back then was very low weights, minimum reps and tons of cardio-boy, was I wrong). I looked and felt simply-meh.
Then I accidentally met a guy who was really into fitness and at that time I was looking for a really good coach whom I can work with. Little did I know that it will change my life completely.

We started working out 5 times/week. That was the time I realized what a GOOD workout is. It was a mix between wanting to throw up, crying and experiencing a drive that did not let me stop because it just felt too good. That was the time when I fell in love with working out; in fact, I will stop calling it a workout and call it a training instead. Because that's what it was. At that point, I was not working out anymore. I was training to be better. Seeing him being so passionate about it evoke something, that was asleep in me for a while. That pure passion and drive about something you deep down feel you are meant to do, you know? I can not describe it, you have to live it to feel it. It is something you can stop thinking about and your eyes sparkle every time when you think or talk about it. That's what fitness is to me. I did a classic "bro split" (I will write about my training split as well) then and 1-2 days were dedicated to some sort of "Crossfit"; I did not do cardio otherwise unless I really felt like it. What I liked the most about training with that guy was that I learned SO much: about the importance of warming-up and stretching (to this day I never skip my warm-ups! I do them as we did them and yes-they can be boring, but I did not have a SINGLE injury since I am training and that tells a lot), good form! (this is key) and some details I would never think of myself. I switched gyms back then and I met some new, awesome people who were very dedicated to training. In 4 months, I never skipped a SINGLE training. And for the very first time, I felt ALIVE.

Being in an environment like that, being surrounded by people who felt the same about training as I did I started to think about some projects. I knew, that I want to do fitness and nutrition professionally, so I enrolled in the AFP Course (a blog post about my experience is also coming per your request) and I got my Nutrition Consultant degree and in the winter I plan to do my PT exam.

I was getting really good results with my training, I was achieving what I once thought was impossible (I remember one session where I did around 450 lunges! I do not usually train like that, it was a challenge-thing, but you get my point!) and soon enough I started to get passionate about competing. I had NO IDEA about the whole thing: categories, where you can compete, what you need to even be able to compete; nothing, I just knew I want to do it; I want to go through the mental process that is needed in order to become a competitor. And when I want something really bad I don't stop til I get it. So I told that guy that I have competing ambitions and we started working towards that. Altough the trainings were AMAZING, he was not that experienced with nutrition and I really had a poor diet back then: I was in too big of a caloric deficit and most importantly, protein deficit and I was getting skinny, which was not my aesthetic goal, I wanted to build some muscle mass and look and feel fit:

I stopped working with this guy around February and I was looking for a good coach to help me with my competition prep. Even though I finished my Nutrition Consultant and PT course, a competitor needs an objective guidance, because this really is a tough physical and mental process and I definitely would recommend someone experienced. I asked around and it boiled down to 3 coaches; they were all really good at their area, but then I chose to work with Mitja Gabor (check him out here). I met him around April this year. I was about 2 months on my own previously, and honestly, I felt a bit lost. I just was not sure if I am doing things right (eating and training) for my competition purposes so that was a vicious cycle of binge eating and starving (I was in a hard caloric deficit for 5-6 months now and I think I went insane). I remember eating 2 BIG Milkas' (300g) in a row and feeling hungover the next day and I did not even drink at this point!

So, I had my first training with him and he set me up with my new training plan and diet. Although the diet was set up perfectly, I started gaining weight: because of my binge eating and even though it seemed like a deficit, for my body, it was probably a surplus because all of a sudden I started eating "normally" and my body was smart and started storing it. I was really discouraged at this point and wanted to do some things my way, so for months it was a trial and error game-and at this point, I really want to thank my coach for being so understanding. He let me learn from my own mistakes and waited patiently til my ego shut down and I started listening to him. A few months later, I realized everything he said on our first few meetings was nothing but the truth. I wanted to do a whole philosophy around it but it boils down to one thing: keep it simple and listen to your coach (but first make sure he is a professional and you can trust him).

The Summer went by and for me, it was not a great Summer. Actually, it was one of the worst. I just haven't felt myself, I was constantly on the go, traveling and stuff; I was allowed to relax a bit on my holiday but that was a major setback; I could not bounce back on track for the hell of it. And the whole trial and error thing really stressed me out, although I learned a lot (mostly from what does not work) so I take it as a good thing. I also decided to eliminate some people, who are only holding me down. The whole shallow thing is not for me, I want the real deal. I distanced myself a bit and that gave me a lot of space to stay focused on my primary goal. I also made some friends with people who had gone through this journey and that helps me a lot. Because at the end of the day, they are the only ones who truly can understand me and my passion. I also have a few (really, a few!) friends who understand that my goal is important to me, and NEVER mock me and they understand so well if I sometimes can't eat when we go on a dinner date or that I have to carry around a bag full of meal prep in the centre of Budapest. You are golden <3.

At the beginning of September my coach told me as fall comes, we will take things next level and the whole prep becomes more serious from now on. On the 18th of September I decided, that I am gonna document my whole journey and share it with you. So this will mark my official start of my prep (in bikini fitness category) here on social media. I don't know yet which show I will be doing, it depends on how well and fast my prep goes. I am taking measurements and photos and will keep you updated, introduce you to my diet etc. I will write a sort of Competition Prep Diary and I really hope you will stick around! I have a lot of fun things planned and as always, you can leave your questions in the comment section below.

I want to finish my post with my why. Why do I even want to do this. First of all, because it scares the sh*t out of me. I find it intimidating and I was convinced, it was impossible for me to do it. But if other people had done something, NOTHING is impossible. But do it for yourself first. Not for your coach, not for your mom, not for your friend. I am mostly doing it because I want to prove myself, that I can conquer my mind in order to build a certain physique. I want to be confident in a bikini and not constantly have to hide my stomach rolls with unflattering clothes or stand a certain way so I look good. I want to show to every girl and boy, who ever felt like sh*it growing up, that it is possible. I want to leave my past behind once and for all. The whole mental process is just too intriguing to me. Because no matter how hard it gets (it does and it will become 1564x harder), at the end of the day my legs are tired, the diet is hard but my heart is happy. I am happy. And that is all that matters. Never give up on your dream. No matter how slow you are getting towards your goals, the important thing is, you can't and should not stop. Because believe me, you are not slow. You are right on time.



Sunday, 17 September 2017

Men&Women Fall OOTD: Streets of Zagreb

This one will be a bit different. I spent my weekend in Zagreb with The boy (we went on a business trip which I will tell you about in one of the next posts). We were exploring the streets of Zagreb and decided to take some shots along the way. Now, you might have a question: HOW. How did I convince The boy to quit his Instagram husband job for a second and stand on the other side of the camera for once. Well, let's compare the whole thing to weight loss. You might not like the journey, but you are quite fond of the results; heck, you are crazy about the end result. And he is patient when he wants to be. So when I was ordering him around (look down, tilt your head-NO! the other way!) he obeyed because he trusted me; he knew he will like the end result. And when I quickly stopped a young girl, pushed my phone into her hand, uttered a nice "Please, can you take a photo of us?"-boy, they were both in shock. For a brief second. Then they started smiling and the last photo in this thread captures that in an amazing way. When we take a trip down memory lane and scroll through old photos we are both glad I am that kind of crazy. He assumed that 10 years ago and for sure he is convinced now. Well, if you want something in life, all you have to do is ask. Ask yourself, the universe, the source, or a nice girl on the streets of Zagreb and you will get it. But make sure to be nice and don't forget to have some fun along the way. Oh, and The boy already asked when can we shoot something again. Hell yes!

My outfit:

Coat: Bershka
Shoes: gift
Skirt: Pull&Bear
T-shirt: H&M
Lipstick: Kylie Cosmetics

Simons' outfit:
Sunglasses: Ray Ban

All the photos are taken with iPhone 7+

Until next time,

© Sindiana Jones

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