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Sharing my beginner get-fitter lifestyle regime for city girls.
Along with hoards of people, in January I resolved to get fit this year. I also said it last year and got to about August before ‘life’ got in the way, that’s what I like to attribute it to anyway. Nevertheless, I'm determined that 2015 is about getting back into running and for fitting in at least 3 workouts a week.

I’m actually half laughing at myself whilst writing this, but I like to get these things written down and I couldn’t tell you how many (or where they went) Post-it notes I’ve lost to the battlefield that is my apartment. After a few Tweets and WhatsApp messages, I thought I’d share my current after-work regime so if you’re just starting to consider fitness, you can have a nosy! And it means I can reflect on this in 6- and 12-months time to see my progress. FYI, I’m mostly doing this to return to my ‘comfortable size’, tone up and feel stronger overall.

Things to note: I don’t use my colleague gym membership. I live in a tiny high-rise apartment with a yoga mat and weights for company. I also spent anything between 12-16 hours out of the apartment per day. Consequently, this routine is well-suited to the working girl – or guy – living in cities, towns or villages with minimal time, space and previous experience. If I can do this, anyone can.

Exercise
My workout routine is oh so simple at the moment but it’s one that I can get on board with and one that leaves me feeling pushed yet A-OK.
  1. Start with light stretching to warm up. (5 mins)
  2. Do my Squat Challenge of the day. (Usually between 5-12 mins)
  3. Complete my core, abs or legs challenge. (Usually around 15 mins)
  4. Follow with Nike Training Club ‘Get Lean’ programme. (Between 30 mins-1hr)
    1. OR
  5. A Yoga with Adriene video. (30 mins)
    1. OR
  6. 2x Blogilates videos to target trouble areas. (30 mins)
To be honest I switch and swap between this combination at the moment depending on my tiredness levels from work. Monday is all about the yoga, while by Wednesday I quite fancy some hardcore Nike time, then Thursday/Friday is usually dedicated to Blogilates for a smoosh of fun. I also get 30 minutes of brisk walking in per day (a.k.a. half-running for my bus because I’m late then half-running home because I want to be in comfies).

Diet
Food is a hazy subject alongside fitness routines. I just know I’ll never be a kale-crunching, protein-shaking kinda girl, but I’ve also never eaten super unhealthily either. What I have decided to do, however, is to amp up breakfast and lunch and downplay dinner.

Breakfasts now consist of fruit (for sugar) and granola (for substance) or dim sum (4x pieces). I do also sneak in a sweetened tea or coffee at this point, but with the whole day to work off something that I don’t see myself going without, it’s fine by me.

In Hong Kong, I have discovered a newfound appreciation for lunch. When I worked in England (both in and out of London), I rarely made time for my lunch break. I’d skip it altogether if I was busy – #freelanceproblems – or eat something convenient and small. Small lunches doesn’t equate less calories. Here in Hong Kong, I take my whole hour and I make sure it’s a protein packed lunch – we can go for protein-packed lunch or protein packed-lunch here ;) – along with vegetables AND more fruit. My workplace actually provides us with free fresh fruit which is a bonus! Some of my current lunch recipes include:
  • White rice, soy chicken, and pak choi;
  • White rice, lemongrass and ginger marinated pork, and broccoli;
  • Raw avocado, red pepper, cherry tomato, sautéed onion and smushed boiled egg pasta salad with sesame miso dressing;
    • OR
  • Butterleaf lettuce with cucumber, tomato, red pepper, chargrilled chicken and egg salad with wasabi mayonnaise prawns.
In the evenings, I am currently restricting meat in my dinners. I tend to go for eggs and ‘something’, or a grilled vegetable wholemeal pasta with nutty pesto, but of course I add in meat if I really want to! (I.e. run days.) It’s worth noting at this point that the done thing in Hong Kong is just to eat out, so it’s very much worth it to go healthy when I’m cooking for myself.

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PS. If anyone has any tips for slimming calf work, please let me know in the comments in exchange for some avocado on toast ;)

36 comments

  1. I feel you! I spend a fair amount of time alone but rarely feel lonely. It feels good to be able to depend on yourself <3

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  2. You do so well with this, finding nice and healthy lunches can be tricky but as an egg fiend they are often a key part of my meals!

    Maria xxx

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  3. I lived on my own for at least two years and I loved it, I think finding who you are alone is great. It proves that you can rely on yourself, that you are independent and I think every girl needs that head space to improve who she is and who she actually wants to be. You are so brave and inspirational. Not everyone could just up sticks and follow their passion and keep all their shit together, so go you!! xx

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  4. Sounds like a great routine - I love Blogilates for quick at home workouts, living in a small space with downstairs neighbours means I can't really risk doing the 30 Day Shred anymore which I used to love! x

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  5. Ohh pretty trainers are the best motivation. I need to get back in yoga though!

    Annabel ♥
    Mascara & Maltesers

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  6. I'm pleased I've got into a routine! Ah I could never do that - Chinese gal through and through I'm afraid! (:

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  7. Thanks! I think if I decide to stay longer in Hong Kong, I'll join a gym also, but for now I'm finding this is a good routine alongside thrice-weekly runs. I actually add an extra 2 routines to the above at the moment!

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  8. It is difficult! I just say everything in moderation though. I'll never be super healthy but I'm figuring out what works with my lifestyle and routine. Fast-paced HK life means things are a little different from my old UK routines and habits!

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  9. 'With a downstairs neighbour' haha ;) story of my life here! I haven't Shredded in ages now, I think HIIT is more effective for me as 30-DS never pushed me? x

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  10. I guess it's kinda expected when, for example here in Hong Kong, it's so densely populated that you're technically always going to be surrounded by people. Actually I find that there's a pretty even divide of my parents wondering why I'm 'always out' and also why I 'have no friends'. You just can't win ;) I just really enjoy my own space hahah.

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  11. I get both extremes, if I'm out then my parents are all 'you're always out', but if not then they wonder why I have no friends. Don't get me wrong, I do still head out with friends but I like to spend a LOT of time alone to mull things over. I completely get what you mean about feeling like you'd be terrible company. I think it's also a case of finding the outings that you're comfortable with!

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  12. Definitely! I think we're super alike in that way (along with plenty of other ways!) I think it's a case of finding the different occasions and activities that suit you, as I genuinely don't hate going out, it just depends what I'm doing. And on the basis that I don't bump into crazy strangers ;)

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  13. Firstly, thank you Rachel!


    I think we're kinda similar in that way (: I'm semi-productive with my alone time at least. I really prefer to mull things over than be crazy active. I think that's why I adore writing so much, it allows me to think a little beforehand.


    High five for dedicated Dads!!

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  14. I miss my family so much but I adore living on my own (: ah you would have missed more had my MacBook not broken! 15+ posts coming your way once it's back and fixed!

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  15. I wouldn't even say I'm very shy anymore, I'm just super quiet unless I know people very well. I often feel awkward and anxious around new people as I'm sure many people do, and being so introverted, I overthink and then don't want to go/be out at all!

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  16. Me too! Sometimes I drive myself crazy being home alone so much actually!

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  17. Yes to 'recharging'! I've had to do that this week after many an outing!

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  18. Ah thank you so much Yvet!! Maybe we're just secretly social media addicts ;)

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  19. Aw thank you so much for your comment Connie - what a lovely thing to say! Only an email away if you ever feel too lonely. x

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  20. Thanks Jennie! Sassy independent ladies ;)

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  21. (Still can't open jars or bottles on my own though.)

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  22. 100%. I wasn't so sure if I was going to cope but I'm learning plenty about myself nowadays. I think I've become a little more headstrong - in a good way hopefully - and it's done me the world of good. Waa Gem <3

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  23. hahaha. I need a honey pot emoji stat xx

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  24. Totally feeling you right now. Despite living in a house with three other people and working 9-5, I've been very much going solo since moving out and I weirdly feel ok with that.
    Also lol about the comment about Chinese Dad times, feel like this is more like an Asian Dad thing in general ^_^ Xxx

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  25. Who woulda thought that emoji would actually come into use?!

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  26. It's kinda cool right? That inbetween independence feeling? Haha Asian Dads ftw ;)

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  27. You are beautiful, I love you, I like your blog. amazon coupons coupons...

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  28. So much 50 Shades of Grey ads on your website haha! I really want to get fit this year too! Fingers crossed! Great post! Would love to be able to follow each other on our blogs so let me know, so I can follow you back!! xx http://ashaopryhirsi.blogspot.co.uk/

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  29. This is such a good post! I live in Singapore where even in our twenties, we'd still live with our parents (because we're still pretty conservative and most of us won't get married till 25 at least) and my parents still nag at me when I come home late despite already being in my twenties (ikr). I've always wanted to know what it feels to live alone but the cost of living is ridiculously high here. But anyways, really love this post :)

    http://whuddupartix.blogspot.sg/

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  30. I am very relived that I am not the only one who runs home to put on my pyjamas.

    Also, I am very relieved that amidst 'sugar is bad' gate my mentality on tea is one which you share.

    Good times.
    xoxoxxoxoxooxoxoxoxoox
    xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx

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  31. Haha really?! Oh gosh, my apologies in advance ;) best of luck with your goals Asha, if I can semi-do it, you can too!

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  32. Tea without sugar is like Daisyb without Faz </333

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  33. Thank you! That's exactly what it's like in Hong Kong and how I was raised at home. When I lived in the UK - where I was born and raised - I lived with my family too and I probably wouldn't have moved out until I got married. But yeah, living alone because I moved here to work is quite something ;)

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  34. "Because if you can’t rely on yourself, who can you rely on?" True that! I love this post and I relate to it. I'm 26 and I've always been a single girl. I don't complain, but some people keep on interrogating me about my status and wondering if it is or isn't normal. I have friends and I know I can count on them, and that doesn't mean I have to be with them 24/7. People should learn on how to be alone, on their own, every now and then, and not depend on others' company. I've felt the loneliest when I was in a crowd, so... Oh, well.

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