Hi everyone and a very happy Thursday to you all. The sun is shining here in Northern Ireland after some horrendous stormy weather yesterday. I have been pretty quiet here in the blogging realm for a few weeks due to some family circumstances but I thought today would be as good a day as any to make a return, plus I love creating doors posts on a Thursday so it’s perfect timing.
I hope you have all been keeping well and adjusting to these seasonal changes wherever in the world you might be. I have been trying to keep an eye on other people’s blogs, as a means to stay in tune with what’s happening here but also for some light reading as a welcome distraction.
I hope you enjoy my selection of local doors from around Northern Ireland and please let me know if you have a favourite.
My personal favourite is number five. I love the colour of the door, the glass panels on either side, the arch around the door, the wreath on the door, I could go on and on and on. I just love this one. How about you?
Never in a million years did I think I would become a lover of the gym. Yes I have been many times in my life but never on a regular basis. I always thought, maybe if I can stick it out with the gym for a few months, I will somehow get the gym bug…and guess what… I certainly did. It actually works. I had heard if you do something every day for 30 days, you can become devoted to that something. When I joined my gym Signature Fitness here in Bondi Junction, it was for a 30 day challenge. There were lots of us that joined together and we were participating in small group classes, working out in a combination of strength training and conditioning/sweat/high intensity training classes. I loved the classes from day 1 and I think when I started to see results, that became my drive to keep going. Always being a skinny guy, I was delighted to see results, even after a few weeks. Not huge results to anyone else but for me, it was impeccable.
Why did I love this gym so much? I think the fact that there is a coach telling us what to do in every single class. This was unbelievably beneficial for me as I almost didn’t have to think, just do what I was being shown. You didn’t have to worry about being bored either and thinking “what will I do today?”.
The coach would go through the programme with us and show us how to perform each exercise. If we weren’t doing the manoeuvre correctly, the coach would teach us the correct method so that we were getting the most out of the exercise and also not injuring ourselves. Furthermore, the fact that we had to book in online for every class, almost meant that we HAD to attend, so missing a class was not an option for me. I liked that accountability factor and that feeling of “you can’t back out now!”.
I loved and still love the small group training classes. There are just the right amount of people in the class so as not to intimidate but also the right amount to be able to converse and make friends. Every class could differ. You could have 10 people in the busiest class or just 2 people in a quieter class. If you were lucky/unlucky you could even end up with a PT session (lucky as you have the sole attention of the PT but also unlucky as you would have nowhere to hide!).
This gym is a safe space for learning and growing. There are no intimidating characters i.e. “muscle marys” taking over the weights section and there are no mirrors so there is no time for posing and hogging of the equipment. Everyone is extremely friendly, supportive and encouraging, constantly pushing each other to be the best versions of themselves. There is also some friendly competition, especially when we have the conditioning/sweat/high intensity classes 😅.
You meet the best characters, in this gym especially. I have made some amazing life long friends, who not only enriched my gym experiences but also had a huge impact on my social life and employment opportunities. I would say most of us love to come to the gym to train obviously but also to see our friends, catch up with each other and have a laugh whilst being in a “relaxed” environment, albeit extremely sweaty and red faced 🥵.
Other benefits of joining this gym are:
– weekly body fat scans
– monthly programme changes (great for changing things up and challenging your body)
– nutritional advice
– health education and training
– weekly check-ins with your own assigned coach
– challenges that can include the whole gym and help keep you motivated and accountable
– social events (great to see other members NOT in their gym gear and just fun to catch up outside of the gym setting and let your hair down.
I loved the gym for all these reasons. I can’t even put into words how much this gym has changed my life for the better. Not only do I feel better physically but also mentally, socially and psychologically. Sometimes I look at my progress pictures and can’t always see a big difference but the confidence in myself has grown tenfold. I wouldn’t have taken my top off easily in the past without fear and worry of judgement but now I really couldn’t care and I am much more confident in myself and proud of my achievements.
Don’t be afraid to join a gym, we all have to start somewhere and you honestly will feel so much better for it. You never regret a workout!! If you live in Bondi or nearby, be sure to check out Signature Fitness. I have tried many gyms in the past and have never found one as good as this one 😊.
Thanks for taking the time to read. I just wanted to share my gym experience with you all.
Most of you probably know this by now 🤣 but I love going to the gym, going out for a coffee and walking. Lots and lots of walking. Maybe about 20,000 steps along a coastal route would be perfect for me.
Now that Covid isn’t so strictly monitored and folks can go out and about again, are you into after-work happy hours?
Not really to be honest. As I’m a nurse, I don’t really have the time to attend happy hours. If I am free in the afternoon, I usually head to the gym. I don’t really drink during the week and they don’t seem to have happy hours at the weekends much. Don’t get me wrong, I love happy hours but they just don’t fit into my daily schedule.
What physical traits do you share with your relatives?
Wrinkles. The ONE physical feature I have from my Dad’s side is wrinkles on my face and lots of them around my eyes. Sad but true 😜 but at least I have my hair on my head.
How long does it take you to decide if you like someone or not?
I normally make my mind up pretty quickly and I like to feel I’m a good judge of character. I like most people thankfully 😅.
Feel free to share some wisdom you live by.
Try to make the most of every day. Life is too short and you never know what is around the corner so go out and enjoy the little things in life and appreciate everything that’s good in your life 😊.
Thanks for reading and thank you Melanie for some more great questions.
What is your Saturday morning ritual? I work quite a lot of Saturdays, especially in the afternoons but I do have my Saturday morning routine, even if I’m working later in the day or not. I just happen to enjoy my routine even more when I know I’m not working later in the day.
I love to kick off the day with a gym session. A little lie in until about 8am and then hit a gym class. It may be tough at the time and you may wonder during the class “why did I come here? or “why do I do this to myself?” but believe me, you always feel better afterwards and are sure to have a spring in your step. It’s a great way to start the day and kick off your weekend.
Afterwards, I love to go out for a coffee and some breakfast. Nothing better than a good feed after a workout. This morning we were fortunate enough to be able to sit outdoors in the sunshine. It was a perfect winters day here in Sydney.
I normally then have to get ready for work but not today! Today I am heading into the city to meet some friends from home. Looking forward to catching up and having some beers in the sun.
What about you? What do you love to do on a Saturday morning or what is your normal routine? No matter what you do, I hope you enjoy your weekend.
Monday morning here in Australia but it is still Father’s Day in the UK and Ireland. I just want to write a little blog post dedicated to my Dad. Not many words are needed when I show you a picture of us below. I have a great Dad, as I’m sure many do but I am simply grateful for his existence as I know many of my friends whose fathers are no longer with them.
I cannot wait to see my Dad this year after being away from home for over 3 years now thanks to covid. It’s such a long time not to see your family. I am so excited just to have a beer together, have a big hug, have interesting conversations and take some new photos together. It’s good to cherish those we care for and make as many memories together as we can.
I read the most amazing, open and honest blog post this morning and wanted to share it with you all, especially, as for many people around the world, pride is being celebrated this month. We should be proud of who we were born to be and educate others who are still ignorant to what it’s like to be a gay person.
It’s LGBTQ Pride Month. I was struggling with what to write about that has not already been done, and better, by smarter, more talented people than …
Today I am flying solo. I am off from work and the sun is finally shining in Sydney. It feels strange but exciting to see blue skies after having so much rain. I am dying to get out and about so I take myself off for a really long walk, wanting to soak up as much vitamin D as possible and to increase my step count for the week. I can’t do the Bondi to Coogee walk as it will be packed on a Sunday. So I decide to walk to Watson’s Bay via the residential streets, hoping to encounter as few people as possible. I pass Macquarie Lighthouse and from there I walk to Camp Cove, just past Watson’s Bay. It’s a little beach that is not as well know, unless you live here in the eastern suburbs of Sydney. I take the South Head heritage trail to Hornby Lighthouse and return to Watson’s Bay. Here I take the coastal walk from the Gap Lookout and return home via Rose Bay.
As well as being a beautiful walk and a good distance for gaining the steps, it also gives me the opportunity to take many photos, most of which I can add to my future posts for my Doors of WordPress and my Friday Flowers ☺️.
I hope you enjoy some of the scenic shots from today. This is my happy place. Walking in beautiful weather, with stunning scenery and the chance to see what I can photograph.
All in all, my walk was about 3.5 hours with a lunch stop. My feet are walked off me but I feel great for having done it and I can now put the feet up at home.
I hope you all are able to have a lovely Sunday wherever you are. Take care and keep safe,
You look so fat!!!! Have you put on weight?? What happened to you?
Ok so these are questions and statements that I would never ask or say to anyone and hope that no one else would (unless seriously worried about a loved one’s health).
Yet, I receive the opposite of these questions and statements on a VERY regular basis. You look so skinny! Have you lost weight? Are you eating enough? What is happening with you?
Granted I have always been skinny and always received these questions for as long as I can remember. However, I have had three different people ask me this in the past two days! When does it end? As a skinny man, it has always been my goal to put on weight, possibly for this reason. I’ve only really been working on my weight gain for the past five years and I want to do this in the best way possible and in a healthy manner.
I train at the gym which I absolutely love and yes I have put on a good amount of weight when I increased my calorie intake by 1000 calories. However, I noticed that my body fat was also increasing. Therefore, my new goal is to put on weight that is muscle mass and not body fat. I want to train well and eat a healthy diet. This takes a lot of time and effort, there is no quick fix. This is fine for me, I’m in no rush. However, the constant questioning and statements about weight is both tiresome and saddening. Now, I know this is not intentional. These are lovely people saying this and they would be horrified to know if I was offended. However, I am honestly surprised that I don’t have more of a complex about this. I guess I’m a tough cookie, quite resilient and do not let comments bother me too much.
Just another side note – unfortunately this is not people saying I’m skinny in a good way. For example, they could say, you’re looking slim or you look very toned…instead of saying skinny with that look of worry and disbelief in their eyes. Another point to note is, my weight very rarely changes on a daily basis. Therefore, I think people must forget how slim I am and when they do see me after a few weeks, they have forgotten and assume I have lost weight or I am not eating enough. People who know me well, know that I am always hungry and always eating. I love my food and am extremely grateful that I don’t need to worry about putting on much weight. Good genes I guess 😜.
Anyway, thanks for reading. That is my rant over. What are your thoughts on people’s own weight? Would you comment on someone’s weight? I don’t think people realise that being called skinny is just as bad as calling someone fat, which I personally would not do. Therefore, it really baffles me 🤷🏼♂️.
I feel I have many things that make me feel strong. My family, my friends, my partner, my environment and my values in life make me feel strong on a daily basis. I feel, with their support, I can take on most things life has to throw at me.
On a more personal level, I think my fitness journey over the past five years makes me feel very strong, both literally and figuratively.
Literally, I am the strongest I have ever been. That’s not to say that I’m super strong by any means but I was seriously weak and unfit before I found my love for the gym. Physically I feel good and my fitness is a constant work in progress. I love feeling fit, strong and healthy and that takes me onto feeling strong also figuratively.
My fitness journey has helped my confidence to grow from a geeky little skinny kid to a less skinnier looking man 😆. By looking after my body and pushing myself I am becoming a better version of me and one that I am proud of. I am not hoping for a quick fix with my fitness and body goals. I am on this journey for the long haul and I absolutely love it. I never thought in a million years I would become a gym lover but once you commit for a few weeks and see results, it grabs a hold of you and you start to really love it, to the point where you miss the gym when you cannot go. Plus, even though I have never struggled with my mental health, I can really see how fitness can play such a positive role in helping to maintain your mental well-being.
Thanks to my fitness journey I feel strong literally 💪🏼 and figuratively 💁🏼♂️.
First of all, can I just say, congratulations to everyone who has it made it through the first week of the blogging daily challenge 🙌🏼. Is anyone else really enjoying it? This blogging daily thing is really good actually. Luckily I have some distance to travel to and from work and fortunately I travel by train. This gives me plenty of time to get my thinking cap on, switch off from the world and write a simple blog.
What makes me laugh? Anything really. I laugh a lot. I love when you laugh for no reason. It could be something silly someone said or you said, or an action or a memory. When you laugh so hard that you cannot stop. Even if you want to stop. For me it often happens at the most inappropriate times. When I really shouldn’t be laughing. It’s never ending, tears are tripping me and my stomach hurts, sides splitting 😆. Even then I cannot stop.
My friends normally end up joining in, even if they don’t necessarily want to. Laughter is so infectious. I used to get into trouble at school for laughing so much, especially in the library when we were supposed to be super silent. I can’t count the amount of times that I was told to leave the library or class room for laughing so much and distracting others. Even through my university days and studying nursing, I would have many outbursts of laughter. I have one friend that just makes me laugh so much and vice versa. When we are together, it’s just a laugh fest. Not very good when you’re trying to learn or be productive.
I also think I laugh when I’m nervous or stressed about something. It’s almost like a coping mechanism. Have you ever heard the saying, “if you didn’t laugh, you would cry”.
However, I believe laughter is good for you. Good for your health, good for the soul. We need laughter. Especially when times are tough. Laughter is a good outlet to let negative things go and enables you to reset. It’s the best medicine. Unless of course you have just had abdominal surgery. Then I would suggest not to laugh too hard 🙈🤣.
We made it guys! After 106 days we are now officially out of lockdown. Boy it feels good…but also a bit nerve wrecking. It’s so nice to have our freedom again, seeing people out and about, hustle and bustle everywhere. However, you can’t help but think, the virus is still out there. I’m still in favour of social distancing and trying to be as safe as possible. Although I’m double vaccinated, I’m still keen to avoid contracting coronavirus 😬.
People of Sydney, or anywhere in the world that has lived through a lockdown (I’m sure everyone has), what was the first thing you did when the lockdown was lifted???
For me, it was work as usual. Being a nurse, we didn’t have any time off during lockdown. Yes I am forever grateful to have been in employment and have some sort of normality. At least we could see our work colleagues and chat about the ever changing pandemic days whilst still earning an income. However, I’m sure I speak for many nurses, it would have been lovely to have a couple of weeks off at home. Not annual leave or being off sick but just days at home to chill out and reset. Alas it wasn’t meant to be and that’s ok.
Finishing work, it was really amazing to see people out on the streets, seeing people sitting through cafe windows enjoying their soy caps and shopping malls with shop doors finally opened again. There was a real buzz around Sydney today and it felt good, albeit a bit strange. The first thing I did was go to the gym. As much as I was slightly nervous, I couldn’t wait to get back to training and seeing friends. Finally I could lift a heavy weight again 🏋️♂️ and maybe feel the burn the next day 😅.
I hope you all enjoy the next few days/weeks of having no lockdown. What are you excited to do/see? I personally can not wait to be able to travel again ✈️.