week 21 : what have I been learning about this week? Plus the trials and tribulations of a Personal Trainer/Entrepreneur in training

Right let’s go…week 21…

Last weekend I was still home alone as my parents were away, so Sunday was just a day of catching up with work at the laptop after a couple of PT sessions and my own workout in the morning. I must have been exhausted as I sat down to just read for a little bit and woke up 30  minutes later, something which I NEVER EVER do. I can’t nap. I would much rather just go to bed earlier! But I obviously needed it, sometimes I forget to take it easy and slow down a little bit.

If I am at home I always feel like I should be at the laptop working, as there is always something which needs to be done. As a business owner I don’t have set hours. I just work until I do everything which needs to be done. This can mean really long days but the upside is that if I want to take days off or time away, then I can. Don’t get me wrong, I am not moaning about the fact I am self employed, but rather just reminding myself that it is important to take care of myself. I am my business and therefore if i am not functioning optimally, everything will start to suffer…

week 21 training

Training sessions have gone well this week. I wrote out a proper plan and have stuck to it. I am forever preaching the importance of going into the gym with a plan of action, you are much more likely to have a good workout, however it is something which I have been guilty of in the past few weeks. I did 2 lower body days and 2 upper body days, plus I jumped in on a couple of sessions with clients doing some treadmill sprints and then a full body conditioning circuit. You can see one of my upper body workouts in full over on my Youtube Channel here!

Like I mentioned last week I have been putting a lot of effort into my Youtube channel. It is an area which I really enjoy and hope that people find beneficial. It is so much easier to explain something on video as opposed to written down. It is a bit of a minefield though and I feel like a duck out of water when it comes to certain things, but with the much appreciated  help of a couple of people I feel like i am beginning to learn and implement a lot more.

abi durrant fitness

If you watched my latest Youtube video you will have seen that I was a bit down on Saturday. I put so much effort and time into planning sessions, coming up with content, recording videos etc etc, so when I get cancellations or not as much engagement on posts it really does get to me. Am i creating rubbish posts? Do people not enjoy it?

What am I doing wrong?

This self doubt is something which I have struggled with for a long time and know that I need to overcome. It hits me in waves and this is just a bit of a blip at the moment which I need to pull myself out of.

On a more positive note…

Laura visited and we booked our summer trip!! Finally!! This is something which we have been talking about for ages but just haven’t had the time to get together and actually sort. So on Friday night, armed with laptop, pen and paper and credit card, we got everything planned and booked! Can’t wait to share with you all where we are going and what we are hoping to get up to. It will also  mean I can tick off at least one of my #30B430 checklist! Travelling is a huge part of my life. I cannot imagine not being able to go and explore far flung places, experience new cultures, try different foods. It is certainly one of my major passions and I have a countdown calendar on the go ready!

abi durrant fitness

Hope everyone has had an amazing week 21 of 52. It maybe wasn’t the best for me mentally, but i am in charge of my thoughts and feelings so it is my choice to change them which i intend to do this week!

So what have I learn in week 21? You may be able to guess where I am going in summer from some of the facts…

4th: Approximately 10% of the world population is left handed, including Barack Obama, Oprah Winfrey and Bill Gates.

5th: almost 10 % of Croatia is made up of 11 Nature Parks, 8 National Parks and 2 nature reserves.

6th: In 1987 Dianne Abbott became the first black woman to be elected as a member of Parliament.

7th: The Pallof Press core exercise was introduced in 2006, and named after the Boston-based physical therapist, John Pallof.

8th: The capital of Montenegro is Podgorico. Montenegro declared its independence from Serbia on June 3, 2006

9th: Nike didn’t go public until 1980, its founder Phil Knight is now worth $25.1 billion. Nike means greek goddess of victory.

10th: Stari Grad means Old Town.

 

Love Abi xxxx

 

Week 18 update and what I have learnt this week!

I will throwback to last weekend (I mentioned a little bit in my Week 17 update but I was tired and probably should expand more!!) when I went to Birmingham for the Bodypower expo at the NEC. This was the fourth year which we have visited and it is something which I really enjoy. I usually come back really motivated after being around other people in the industry and speaking to them; this year was no exception. I was able to network with and speak to people who I had previously only followed on social media which was great. The most beneficial chat was probably with Jamie Alderton, I follow a lot of his work on multiple platforms but it was so interesting getting to actually speak to him, bounce ideas and get a lot of invaluable information to help my business going forwards.

Week 18 - Jamie Alderton Bodypower 2017

I personally don’t think the expo was as good overall as previous years, and in fact think it may start to decline in coming years as number of big companies decide against going, including GymShark. But who knows, I may be proved wrong and I would hazard a guess that I will still be there next year!

I went with my sister and we stayed over Friday night and had the day in Birmingham on Saturday with the intention of going shopping, however it always happens that when you want to spend money you can never find anything!! We ate out at an Indian on Friday which wasn’t great, but then had a couple of good meals on the Saturday. In the last blog post I mentioned that we would hopefully be visiting Emporium Gym for a training session, and we did do just that. It was one of the best training sessions I have had in ages, there is something about a new gym with different people in it which I love! If you want to check out my full vlog from the weekend then head on over to my Youtube channel!  Abi Durrant Fitness.

Sunday, Monday and Tuesday were so busy I barely had chance to catch my breath, let alone speak to anybody! But one of the key things which I have been told by my mentors is to not neglect working ‘on’ your business, rather than just ‘in’ it. Therefore I am going to be making a concerted effort to try and take half a day each week in order to try and do just that. This week it was Wednesday afternoon, unfortunately all I managed to do was catch up on client plans, youtube edits, social media posts, emails, and didn’t get chance to do anything else! I know I need to develop a better system but it is just finding the time!

It was National Vegetarian week this week and I made an effort to choose more plant based meals. I made another youtube video with a full day of eating vegetarian which I would love you to check out too!

This weekend I have another exciting one planned as I head to Stockholm on Saturday for the night to see Bruno Mars in concert! Another new country to tick off my list as I work towards my #30B430. goals.

What have I learnt in Week 18?

13th: In America, the most popular baby names in 2016 were Noah and Emma.

14th: Sellotape was developed by the merging of glue and cellophane.

15th: It took 5,127 prototypes before James Dyson believed the technology was ready to go in the vacuum cleaner using the ‘new’ dual cyclone concept.

16th: KitKats used to be called the Chocolate Crisp.

17th: The UK’s biggest export commodity is Gold (9.8%), followed by cars (9.6%).

18th: Nootropics are substances that enhance or stimulate certain mental abilities such as cognition, memory, attention, concentration, motivation, learning and generally many of the functions related to intelligence. This word, derived from the Greek word “nous” means mind and “tropes” address refers, first, to natural components found in foods and plants.

19th: The most popular names over the last 500 years are Mary and John. Most popular names in 2016 were Oliver and Olivia.

Hope you have all had a good week!

Love Abi xxxx

 

Week 16 Update | What have I learnt this week

Once again week 16 has been a strange one, I lost all knowledge of what day it was with having football on a Sunday and then the Bank Holiday. No time off for me though and it has been a super busy week with clients! I have felt like I have been trying to catch my tail all week and get caught up but to no avail. Next week looks like it will be similar as I am taking a couple of days off to go to Bodypower in Birmingham, but I have promised myself that the week after I will try and sort my time management out a little better.

Football last Sunday was amazing to see us crowned champions at Bramall Lane, plus witnessing all the celebrations afterwards. It may not seem like much to some people, but after witnessing all the lows over the past few seasons (in fact the whole time i have been a supporter!) it was finally nice to have something to cheer and celebrate. I thought my weekends would now become a bit more free but doesn’t look like it for the foreseeable future!

My sister came home for the game, which meant we went out to lunch in Malton as a family. Afterwards did mean a trip to Groovy Moos ice cream, and my willpower was in full force as I managed to only order a single scoop in a tub whilst everyone else got whopping 3 scoop cones! I tried Black Forest which was another new flavour for me to add to my list.

Considering it is now week 16, i probably need to revisit my #30B430 list and see how I am getting on. Feel like time is slipping by really quickly so much get some more plans in place!

Diet has been going really well, no late night binges or feeling hungry. I am putting this down to simply being so busy. Clients all seemed to have stepped up their game this week as well and my Facebook group has seen plenty of meal sharing ideas and photos, some of which look amazing!

Training has been enjoyable and I have been able to fit in all of my sessions this week which I am chuffed about. Next week may not be quite the same, but we will be training at a gym in Birmingham which I am looking forward to!

Right what have I learnt in week 16?

30th: Only 10 teams have achieved 100 points in an English football season

May.

1st: May Day was introduced as a bank holiday by then employment secretary Michael Foot in 1978. In other parts of Europe it is also celebrated as the start of spring.

2nd: The busiest lifeboat station in the UK is Waterloo Bridge in London.

3rd: Asparagus contains a sulphurous compound called mercaptan (which is also found in rotten eggs, onions and garlic). When your digestive system breaks down mercaptan, by-products are released that cause the strange smell when you wee.

4th: Investment in UK ‘fintech’ companies has fallen by a third since the announcement of Brexit.

5th: L’Oreal was founded in 1907 by a scientist named Eugene Schueller.

6th: Chris Brown owns 14 Burger King franchises in the US.

Week 16 down, week 17 looks like another busy one….

Love Abi xxxx

 

What I have learnt from 50 days of meditation using the Headspace app.

Headspace is an app which you can download to your phone if you would like to take up the practice of meditation. It is something which I became interested in after hearing so many successful entrepreneurs and people in general speak so highly of the benefits of meditation each day. A lot of people attribute their success and happiness to this daily practice.

headspace app review

I have had a few question on how this app has helped me, if it has even helped me at all. Therefore I thought it best to do a blog post on my experiences so far.

This morning was day 52 of using the headspace app, I am yet to miss a day since I downloaded the app.

You can download Headspace from the app store and get a 10 day free trial to see whether it is something you want to commit to doing and paying for. After the 10 days are over it is then £7.99 every month to have access to the full Headspace collection.

I have suffered from anxiety in the past, a feeling of not being good enough, my thoughts taking over everything so that I feel paralysed from doing anything at all. I get overwhelmed very easily with things I have to do, or things which I am told I should be doing. I get moments of panic pretty often where I just cannot focus on anything and want to retreat into my own little bubble.

After reading on how meditation and mindfulness had helped so many people I thought it would be worth a shot, I had nothing to lose from having a go at the 10 day free trial which Headspace were offering.

headspace app review

The Free Trial

The first 10 days are like an introduction as you would imagine. You are asked to sit down at roughly the same time every day as you are guided through some breathing exercises and though processes. When describing these to people it sounds so simple, somebody with a calming voice just telling you when to breathe, how is that going to help?

I cant explain fully how this helped but it did. I was able to use the breathing technique throughout the day during periods when I could feel myself getting stressed or anxious. In fact I started doing so without even realising it. 10 breaths and then repeat.

You are told to try and repeat this daily at the same time in order to create a habit.

Andy, the narrator, has such a calming voice, but not in an irritating way. You feel comforted by him and feel like you trust what he is saying to you.

I was still zoning in and out at this point, but rather than tell you off or aggressively get you to refocus, you are told to recognise that the mind has wandered and just bring it back to the present moment and focus on what you are supposed to be doing.

Signing up

I knew something was working but I couldn’t pinpoint what it was and therefore decided to stick at it and sign up for the full collection. It was doing any harm so why not keep going and see how I get on?

The full introduction period is actually 30 days long, therefore I had a further 20 days to go through before actually gaining access to the different collections. This wasn’t a problem to me as I still felt like a newbie so wanted to continue this process before exploring the other areas.

I did it one morning whilst on a weekend away in Harrogate with Laura next to me. She agreed that it was calming yet thought it would send her to sleep if done whilst tired. I was

I was still struggling to remain focused for the full 10 minutes, you find your mind wandering and thinking about your day. What clients did I have in, had I done everything in preparation, what did I need to get at Morrisons. But as soon as I realised my thoughts had wandered I could bring it back rather than just giving up.

Choosing a series

Once the 30 days is up you can choose a series to follow from the Headspace collection. These include FOCUS, SPORT, HEALTH, RELATIONSHIPS, PERFORMANCE, FOCUS. I chose focus as this is an area I know i struggle with.

This series has definitely been more of a struggle for me in terms of remaining present for the full 10 minutes. I find my mind wandering a bit more. I don’t know whether this is down to the choice of series, or whether I was simply not ready to leave the introduction stage.

In this series of meditations you are told to find certain points throughout the day to practice little things, but I just completely forget until it is mentioned the next morning so that is something which I need to work on.

I will continue though and reach the end before selecting a different series to concentrate on.

headspace app review

What have I learnt?

Do something everyday and you will create a habit.
I practice my Headspace app every morning at 5am. I make my first coffee of the day, do the 10minutes, and then get on with my day. I made a point of doing it every day, no matter whether I had other things which I knew needed doing. Now I feel like it is just a habit and I don’t think about it. Even whilst travelling I have been able to keep it up – not at 5am – but I have still made a point of completing the 10 minutes.

You do have a spare 10 minutes in the day.
No matter what you think, you can find 10 minutes out of your day. Those 10 minutes you spend aimlessly scrolling social media, or watching crap on TV, or catching up with the latest celebrity gossip online? Use those 10 minutes in a more productive manner and you will feel so much better for it. They say that if you don’t think you have a spare 10 minutes then you need it more than most!

Taking time to breath is so important
When I feel myself getting anxious or stressed during the day, I have automatically paused to breathe before reacting. I have done this without even thinking about it.

10 minutes goes by really quickly
You would think that 10 minutes just sat listening to an app with your eyes closed would go on forever. It doesn’t, before you know it Andy is telling you to open your eyes and get on with your day!

Do what works for you
There are lots of ways to meditate and become more mindful. This is one way which I have found to help my daily consciousness and I feel like I am able to commit to it.

The benefits of just showing up
Not every day has been a success. Some mornings my whole 10 minutes has been spent worrying about the day ahead, or flitting between thoughts and not being able to concentrate at all on what I am being told to do. But I still feel good for showing up and trying instead of just giving up or not even attempting it. This idea of showing up no matter what can be transferred over into other life occurrences.

Something has worked
I cant pinpoint exactly how it has benefitted me but I feel different in some way. I have found that I am less reactive, for example instead of snapping at my sister or Mum for doing something I have consciously been able to stop myself and think before speaking which has avoided negativity and fallings out. Like i mentioned above, even just focusing on my breathing throughout the day has helped.

Meditation doesn’t mean sitting on a floor with your legs crossed chanting
Meditation and mindfullness will mean different things to different people. Some people can do it for an hour, some people only 5 minutes. It is about what works for you. For me, Headspace has just been about taking time out to reflect and breathe before getting on with my day.

Will it work for you?

I don’t know. All I can tell you about are my experiences and how it has helped me. But don’t just take my word for it, do some research and hear about what other people have to say:

Huffington Post Review

Forbes – 7 ways meditation can actually change the brain

10 Outrageously successful people who practice meditation

5 of the best Meditation Apps

There are other apps available, I know a few people like the ‘Calm’ app too. But you have nothing to lose by giving the free trial a go and seeing how you get on.

If you have any questions at all feel free to ask and I will do my best to answer them!

Love Abi xxxx