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Saturday, July 28, 2012

Historical moment: Meta finished!!!!


Today I triumphantly finished the Tracy Anderson Metamorphosis! I LOVED IT!!! The workout went great, I had a great mood, and I am so so so happy! I will start Continuity shortly, but right now I just want to celebrate! YUPPIIII!!!!! Today I am celebrating!!!!!
Our last day in Switzerland. The last day of Meta too. I'm ecstatic and deserved a little celebration!

I DID it!!!! Yey!!!! Honestly - never thought I would be here. But I am. It is a real reason to be proud of yourself.

Just look at those muscles!!!!............ 
Results will be a little later. As we are travelling tomorrow (and packing today), I don't really have time. But soon folks! :)

PS All my little funny photo session in a video :):

Friday, July 27, 2012

Summer snacks

You know, I love summer. I really love it. I don't like when its hot. and actually prefer summer with cool-ish weather, and sometimes don't even mind rain. But. What I DO like in summer are the veggies and fruits. They taste so good, and maaaaan - so much better than the tasteless things of winter. I am now addicted to strawberries and blueberries, and tomatoes, and apricots... Boy.
My wonderful summer snacks...

We played tennis today for two hours. Then swam for half an hour... Then I did abs a little. But really I was too dead to do Meta... I mean c'mon - nearly three hours of sporty activities!!!! So I took a bath and started working :)

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Day 89 and a half....

Quick update: I am still not done with day 90. I don't know if it is psychology or really just destiny that it takes longer than I thought it would... Well I did make it to aquagym today (which is good) - it was rather pleasant... I can't say it was extremely hard, but some of the moves were a little challenging. It was nice to be in the water and move around. Was pretty funny as my bf decided to join as well and he ended up being the only guy in the class. Haha! It was pretty endearing. My brave man in the clutches of 15 or so women :) 

Well after that we had brunch, and I have to be honest - I either ate something bad, or I ate too much strawberries and blueberries as snacks later, or drank too much tea (which has never been the case for me!) or... well I don't know actually. But I'm feeling like shit. My stomach hurts, and I have a headache. Boy. I even took a bath to try to relax a bit, calm down the tummy and ease the headache, and while it relaxed me, it didn't help much. 

Talking about bath - got this new bath oil today. I try to take baths with moisturising stuff in them, so that skin takes the water better. And up to now I tried lots of stuff - using creams and milks, and oils after shower, and taking bathsalts... Buying gels for sensitive skin. And I found two best and easiest ways to keep skin moistured: scrubs and gels with natural oils, and oils for baths. So, one of the best scrubs and gels and all sorts of bath and shower cosmetics I discovered so far for myself is Bomb Cosmetics - a UK based company of handmade and natural bath and shower goodness. I have this wonderful scrub - which smells like candy (and they have lots and lots of stuff for bath which looks like cakes and candy - love it!).

And here in Switzerland I discovered the Kneipp company. It was formed originally in the 19th century in Germany (how didn't I know about it before??!!!) by Sebastian Kneipp. They also have tons of goodness for body and soul and all natural mmmm! Today I tried an almond-flower oil for dry and sensitive skin - which you just put a little in the bath and enjoy. You don't even need a moisturiser after that!!!! Great feeling! And they have really lots of stuff! I'm tempted to order half the store. :)

Anyway, going back... I gave up on working out more today. Simply can't. Tomorrow is tennis at 8 in the morning... Tomorrow is also my last working day in Switzerland. :( We are leaving on Sunday to travel back to Prague and then Germany. Sigh. I don't wanna leave. Going back means going back to the office as well. Working not in the relaxed atmosphere of the Alps with your man looking after you... It means sitting till 10pm in the office, eating whatever you would get on the way, having tons of people bothering you and interrupting work, having lots of meetings, missing my bf... 

Ah. Sigh.

Off to bed early today - long day tomorrow, and then packing and driving a lot again. Have a good day people!

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Day 89!!! Almost there!

You know when you have this feeling of separation duties in a relationship...? Well, I definitely now know who is the cook in our little family. Seriously. And it is NOT me. I mean I can cook. I know how to do dishes - and pretty well, I can follow a recipe, I can even make something pretty... But I never enjoy it as much as my bf does, and I never get the food to be SO yummy. During this one month stay in Switzerland my bf was spoiling me by cooking good and yummy. I can't say it was always super healthy, but I tried to keep the unhealthy part to the minimum, and my bf tried to comply with it. But some of his dishes were absolutely amazing!!!!
Spanish tortilla. Absolutely delicious!!! And probably the least healthy dish...

Steak with red-wine-mushroom sauce, salad and raclette - another traditional Swiss specialty.
Another variation of steak and raclette...

And yet another variation... With mushrooms, tomatoes and the Swiss potato pancake. 

Workout. Well, I did day 89 yesterday, and was supposed to do day 90 today. But... I simply didn't want to finish. Don't get me wrong. I would love to finish Meta, but I like it so much, I feel like I don't want to say bye to it. And besides, I have been keeping really busy by working - I started writing up my thesis intensively, so I don't have much time. (Though again - to be honest - we procrastinate longer I think than we work out... so it is not an excuse - I know it!) Anyway, day 90 tomorrow. I'm going to do aquagym tomorrow morning, and then head home to do MS and DC. So I will have a nice and refreshing start of the day! Wohoo! Results soon soon soon!

Monday, July 23, 2012

My UNhealthy addictions

I know I am trying to encourage healthy eating, and working out, and generally leading healthy life style. Well.... I am not judging when you don't lead a healthy life style... So I expect not to be judged by anyone as well. I am only human, and of course I am far from perfect. The fact that I WANT and ASPIRE to lead a healthy life does NOT mean that I always DO lead it. 

So, today I wanted to make a little confession. I wanted to talk about my little addictions which I have... Everyone has weak sides, I know it. And I have to be honest: I am not precisely trying to fight them too hard. I am simply trying to slowly reduce them, but I do NOT even WANT to live without them. So here we go...

1. M&M's. I know it is silly. I know. But when I have a pack of those yummy chocolated peanuts with probably artificial colouring, I just go peanuts! I ask my bf to buy them ONLY in small packs, because I end up finishing the whole pack anyway - regardless of the size. 
This is a pretty big pack.... And I still ate it in like 2 days...
So as you can guess, lots of my calories almost every day come from the M&M's. Sigh. But I am planning to go a little bit down on them.

2. Raffaello's. Yes, I love the coconut filling and cream... And I know, it is again lots of sweet calories, but I can't resist when I have an open pack of them in front of me. Though it is easier than M&M's.

Finally and the worst...

3. Wine. I LOVE red wine. I didn't use to, but I love it now. We sometimes have wine with dinner almost every day. And I know it is not healthy at all, it is not a bit too much chocolate, but when the good bottle of wine is open and on the table, boy I need one more glass of it. It tastes sooo good. So we decided not to drink anything alcoholic during the working week, and go out on the weekends, it works most of the time. And starting in August I am quitting drinking and going dry for 30 days. Need to clean my body. :) So that's a good step forward, I think!

Sunday, July 22, 2012

A bit of French cuisine

As we are in the French-speaking part of Switzerland, we experience a lot of French culture as well. Particularly French type of cuisine... Yeah, it is famous all over the world, and as an absolute fan of food, I like it here too. The portions are small, but oh so pretty. :)

A little starter with salmon:

Mozzarella and tomatoes starter:

Salmon and aubergine starter:

The very real foie gras:

Main course: pork with mashed potatoes and mushrooms (sounds very simple, but the taste was exquisite!)

Main course: cod with mashed sweet potatoes and zucchini

Main course: calf meat prepared "basse temperature" (cooked for about 4-5 hours at only 18 degrees) with cream risotto, bacon (which I didn't eat) and cheese

Main course: beef steak with potato pancakes and veggies

Dessert: chocolate cake (I have no idea what the golden things were made of, but it looks beautiful)

Dessert: apricot cheese cake

Dessert: pineapple tortellini

Dessert: apricot sorbet with apricot liqueur

If you are not getting hungry just looking at all this, you are a very strong person! :)

Just to make sure there are no misunderstandings: I have NOT eaten all of these by myself, and not in one go :) It would be waaaay too much food. This is simply a summary of some of the food we had so far. Yum. I love Italian cuisine, but French is not so bad either!!! :)

Friday, July 20, 2012

Day 86 (AAAA!!!!) of Metamorphosis

Boy, it does feel like a home stretch!!! I get excited every time I am doing the workout! 

Today was awesome - I jumped with energy and smile on my face, then MS was tough, but I went through it  in high spirits. The first move still kicks my ass and the supporting leg... But I manage. Arms are still tough, but I am managing now at least. Might start adding weights on day 87 or 88... For at least a couple days. After MS I had nice breakfast, took a shower, signed some post cards to send to friends, and now am off to work. Sigh. Nothing exciting on my side today - no sunrises or hiking, just the beauty of the mountains. 

But hey - just 4 more workouts and I will finish META!!!! WOHOOO!!! I will have to celebrate and get myself something really special. ;)

Thursday, July 19, 2012

Day 85 of Meta and the sunrise to remember...

Today is day 85. I feel like dragging it all. I really do. Because I don't want Meta to finish. And no, I am not doing it on purpose, it happens, but I do have the feeling that I want to stop time for a while and hang in there - in that last level. Is it because I am not completely satisfied with the results? I might have been eating a bit too much, I can't check my weight as there are no scales. I have been having problems sticking to the workouts every day, because there is always so so so much to do.

But anyway. Enough of self pity :) The good news - I did day 85 today! 5 more days folks! Just 5 more days! It has been a great wonderful time! Today I did the workout in the evening, but it is still kicking my ass. Some of the MS exercises I can repeat after Tracy, some I really have to stop every 5-10 reps and rest for some seconds. It is tough!!!

But today was a great day. It actually felt too long and may be even as if it were two days. In the morning (well, at night) we woke up at 3:30 and went to see the sunrise on top of the mountain. Well guess what? If it is 15 degrees C here during the day, it was 0 up on the top. But boy was it so worth it!!! We went with 3 (!!!) ski lifts to the very top (where the skiers are even not normally allowed) of Mont Fort. We even saw the Mont Blanc - the highest peak in Western Europe (we don't count the Russian Elbrus, which is higher hohoho... :D) But all in all, guys, judge for yourself - it was even more beautiful in real life!!!

Most of these pictures - simply no comments... We were too frozen to really appreciate it all right there. But after doing this great trip, having these pictures.... We definitely will remember this for a lifetime. 

Do you know what it is like to go from about 15 degrees to 0? This is what it is like... And a hoody doesn't help! There was snow! In the middle of July. Boy was I freezing! 

There is Mont Blanc behind me...  Yeah!

A leisurely ride on a ski lift is nice when the sun is already out and the air is getting warmer. :) 

How big is the difference when you go down... and note - not all the way down! 

All in all, great day! We had a small breakfast after the sunrise and crashed for a nap. Then Liuba did a lot of "window-shopping" online, tried to work and workout. Well, the day was good anyway. :)

Enjoy your surroundings people!

Wednesday, July 18, 2012


I did day 84 yesterday - I think, but today we went off for a hike... 

I mean we ARE in one of the most beautiful places in the world, with countless opportunities for outdoor activities, like hiking, cycling, picnicking, etc. etc. So, we decided to take advantage of that. And we did NOT regret it! But to leave some energy for me to work afterwards, we decided to do an easy-ish hike - mostly flat-ish and downhill. So we took a ski-lift to the top and then hiked across the mountain-picks for 1.5 hours, and then started the descend,  which took us another 1.5 hours. It was absolutely and totally beautiful!!! And folks, this time I was all prepared, and even though we both were tired by the end, it was doable and I didn't complain once! :) 

We didn't regret our decision to hike. Not for a second. The views were magnificent, the weather - warm, and I managed not to burn. I loved the exercise, and truly after 3 hours of hiking, we both were exhausted, but in a good way. I did want to do the MS in the evening, but then I got too tired. So, we are off to the mountains tomorrow again - to see the sunrise!!! And I will try to continue the MS. It is indeed hard to do, when you are travelling and are not in a consistent routine. Sigh. :)

Just some views on our way :) 
Just a view... You get used to the beauty of nature so fast... It was at 2400 meters, my head was spinning a bit,a nd it was getting hard to breath. But magnificent still!

Little mountain river... Beautiful and refreshing... :)

Yes, cows. Just like that. We are in Switzerland after all... There were lots of them!

The water of this mountain lake was really cold!!!! :)))

All in all, we saw everything one should see in Swiss Alps (in the summer at least): mountains, snow, lake, mountain rivers and small waterfalls, pastures and cows, forests... Great day!!!

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Laugh laugh laugh: be healthy, live longer!

My joke of the day: 

My bf is hugging me and slowly starts checking out my bottom. I ask “Anything you like?” (cheeky!) Well he really surprises me then when he says “Mmmm yeah. Before I had to look for your ass, now it is right out there”.

Hmmm if you think I was pleased, you don’t know me :) I was furious… And then he had to explain for about half an hour with the puppy eyes of his that it was meant to be a compliment – of my workouts… You can’t imagine how hard I laughed after that. :)

So, I don't know if you heard, but laughter is good for you! GOOD GOOD GOOD! There is a lot of research on it too - and I mean, being a PhD student, scientific research!

R. Morgan Griffith writes:
We change physiologically when we laugh. We stretch muscles throughout our face and body, our pulse and blood pressure go up, and we breathe faster, sending more oxygen to our tissues. 
People who believe in the benefits of laughter say it can be like a mild workout -- and may offer some of the same advantages as a workout.

"The effects of laughter and exercise are very similar," says [Steve] Wilson. "Combining laughter and movement, like waving your arms, is a great way to boost your heart rate." 
One pioneer in laughter research, William Fry, claimed it took ten minutes on a rowing machine for his heart rate to reach the level it would after just one minute of hearty laughter. 
And laughter appears to burn calories, too. Maciej Buchowski, a researcher from Vanderbilt University, conducted a small study in which he measured the amount of calories expended in laughing. It turned out that 10-15 minutes of laughter burned 50 calories. 
While the results are intriguing, don't be too hasty in ditching that treadmill. One piece of chocolate has about 50 calories; at the rate of 50 calories per hour, losing one pound would require about 12 hours of concentrated laughter!
Source: Give Your Body a Boost - With Laughter. Why, for some, laughter is the bestmedicine.

But then again, it is not exactly certain whether it is just laughter, or also the general optimism and active social life which usually come along with laughter, which are more important.

Laughter, [Robert R.] Provine believes, is part of a larger picture. "Laughter is social, so any health benefits might really come from being close with friends and family, and not the laughter itself." 

In his own research, Provine has found that we're thirty times more likely to laugh when we're with other people than when we're alone. People who laugh a lot may just have a strong connection to the people around them. That in itself might have health benefits. 

Wilson agrees there are limits to what we know about laughter's benefits. 

"Laughing more could make you healthier, but we don't know," he tells WebMD. "I certainly wouldn't want people to start laughing more just to avoid dying -- because sooner or later, they'll be disappointed." 

But we all know that laughing, being with friends and family, and being happy can make us feel better and give us a boost -- even though studies may not show why.
Source: Ibid, page 2.

All in all, laughter won’t reverse the death and make us live forever. It is NOT a bad habit though, it might give some positive effects both on our physical and social health – so why not go for it?!

Some links:
  • I loved this site on laughter and benefits of it: Laughter is the Best Medicine (you can also see where to start there). And one of the things that anyone can do – is smile. Smile when you workout, smile when you work, smile when you rest. It can NOT be bad for you. :)
  • 8 benefits of laughter

Monday, July 16, 2012


So if you are in Switzerland, you can not NOT try and eat cheese... And what is the famous promoted Swiss cheese specialty? FONDUE!!!

So we had fondue today. The recipe existed around the places here since about 17th century... And the basic idea is that it is grated cheese with some wine - all melted together with some spices, and then you dip the bread pieces into the melt. And enjoy! (read below all about it - with tons and tons of pictures!)

Sunday, July 15, 2012

Day 83 of Meta!!! Ah, so close!

Guess what am doing?!!! 

HA HA - I'm doing dance cardio!!! :) How does Tracy manage to look so elegant when she is doing it? :)

Today I asked my bf to take some pics while I was jumping DC. And to be honest, I was a little shocked. :) I look sooooo funny. God, couldn't stop laughing. I don't look like I am working out, I look like I'm a child jumping on a trampoline... being silly too... And then look at the video.... OMG!

So, all in all, I have to say, I look ridiculous... And it is on day 83 of Meta - so I am supposed to be quite good in DC by now... But I still look like a little hippopotamus in training leggins jumping away :) Funny. :) But still, you have to agree - the view behind is breathtaking

Enough of making fun on my account... Let's get serious :) After overall three classes of tennis, I finally was able to return to every-day TA work outs. My muscles are still sore a little, but not too bad really. Tennis was fun, but returning to Meta feels good. I think I will try to combine it all now - I just needed my muscles to stop aching so much after every time playing tennis.

The MS in level 9 still kills me. I actually found arms quite hard - can't say I had that feeling ever since level 2 or 3... So, that is still a surprise: day 3 of level 9 and I still can hardly do the arms, and start screaming by the end. At the same time, abs seem quite doable - easier than in level 7 or 8. But the legs section. BOY!!!! 

The very first exercise, which started in this position
... and then you have to kick your leg up...

So, my working leg actually didn't feel too much - but the supporting leg on the mat was killing me after 5 reps already!!!! I was shocked!!! C'mon - first exercise and in level 9 and it kills me?? Grrrr!

The rest of MS feels more doable - tough, but doable at least... 

Off to work now again. Sigh.