The Kingdom of All Kingdoms, The Tax of Luxury “Episode 10”

The Kingdom of All Kingdoms
The Kingdom of All Kingdoms

No, the Queen hasn’t been just sitting over there doing nothing. She has been observing and observing. She’s pretty curious and furious too.

Zoya, the Queen, noticed something long long time ago when she was a citizen, she noticed the tax of luxury, and knew long ago that the tax is high.

Some “citizens” down there strive to have a luxurious life, in order to have everything. They work hard, days and nights, start businesses, make them grow, hiring people to work for them as well. Running round and round to see big numbers in their bank accounts. They want to have the fanciest cloths, the biggest houses, the latest technologies and the most expensive cars. They want to provide their children with the most “effective” education, and take their families on trips for the most amazing places on vacations.

They are ready for everything, good and bad, just to accomplish their materialistic goals and their social statuses. This can be good of course, but not all the time. Rich “citizens” don’t have to go through this pain, or spend all these efforts, simply because they were born and going to die this way, having everything. In the contrary, “citizens”, who want a high life, want it all, but she knew also since she was a “citizen” that no one can hold all the apples in one hand.

And so, she observed them from above, taking all the stress, making money, and thereafter they had so much to worry about, they had to pay a lot in return, bank credits, massive house holds, expensive educations, huge health insurances, cars and properties maintenance, income taxes, employees salaries, families’ financial requirements, every big and small, etc, and above all that they pay their health to reach the summits. But hey! Time… Time passes by quickly, and people age sooner than they think, and why? Because they have been too busy noticing it, too busy to enjoy their lives, too busy to get to know themselves and their loved ones. They have been working so hard to enjoy things later, instead of enjoying things now and today. And later may not come. The Queen didn’t need to imagine, but wished for them to imagine, if one of them was on a vacation to enjoy their times with their closest people, and their heads are messed up with work and stress, with digits and numbers, with responsibilities and worries, what would that vacation be like? If one worked their whole lives, and did everything to have everything and once they had it, which is always less than they wanted, and suddenly their lives were over, how sad would that be? They wouldn’t have the chance to enjoy the results of their efforts and time.

The Queen, although wanting to help the kingdoms, didn’t do anything this time to change reality. Knowing how greedy “citizens” can be, and how miserably they live and later die.

Advertisements

BODYPUMP™ 89, My Personal Review!

BODYPUMP™ 89

BODYPUMP™ is the fastest way in the universe to get in shape; muscular tension, metabolic stress combined together to build strength, tones and shapes and burns body fat

This how Glen presented the new release; a great brief defention of what BODYPUMP™ is.

Let’s check the Warm Up: (Dane Rumble featuring Jupiter Project- Not Alone)

I like warm ups that hit with back and hamstrings; it’s too many muscles there that need to be taken care of before an actual great workout.  There is a very interesting thing here; triple rows twice then slowly going up with the lyrics : you are not alone! That moves to the shoulders, down to the legs, back to shoulders, then back again and shoulders. BODYPUMP™ family are making sure you are warm this time by adding push presses at the end of the warm up.

Squats: (R3hab featuring Bassjackers- Raise Those Hands)

Oh yeah! The music is absolute madness! Lovely Lovely choice! This sounds like engineering and creating new muscles.

We’ve got bottom halves, top halves, big singles, down and holds. The track is quite tough, controlling breathing is essential, and if you are the type of people who gets so invovled and taken away by music, this track will take care of you when you think you can’t go on anymore, the music is uplifting it’s all good.

Chest: (Fall Out Boy- Where Did The Party Go)

Important?

The A press is becoming the main subject here regarding the chest track, we are seeing this frequently recently. Besides that quality is over quantity.

Bar and plates: results, isolation, results, isolation and more results.

The music is not my type, but it’s okay, at least it’s a positive track 🙂 , I liked the track used in squats better.

Back: (Nero- Me & You)

Let’s work our posterior-chain; the gluts, hips and the hamstrings. high intensity interval training. NO CLEAN AND PRESSES?? That is cool! New is always cool!

Wide grip dead lifts, wide grip dead rows are perfect for your middle back, heavy single plates: squats and push presses (HIIT) will allow all your body to work, and changing the grip to under-hand grip activates your upper back.

There is some interesting change here, not doing any clean and presses doesn’t mean you are not working your back, in this track you are allowed to challenge yourself with heavier weight than usual. Glen while designing this track did focus on mixing the mechanical tension with the metabolic stress, please do check your choreography notes for more details, or watch the DVD where he explains it.

Triceps: (Lady Gaga-Applause)

four sets of work, very amusing and challenging. How does it start and finish? Triceps push ups, kneeling over head extensions, that applies to the first two sets. In set three the exercise changes to dips and we finish with seated over head extensions.

I generally like triceps tracks, since they exercises chosen usually hit the muscles right, isolates them and they are usually fun.

Biceps: (The Killers- When You Were Young)

New move?? Yeah! The open arm curl! 

So hammer curls, open arm curls, then using light bars to continue the work.

Honestly I didn’t like the song chosen! But the workout is a killer!

Lunges: (Ellie Goulding- Burn)

More and more changes, everyone love change, right?

In the lunges track this time BODYPUMP™ brings to us new tempos which introduces isometric holds, the holds at the end of each move brings the burn to the muscles, causing them to fatigue and eventually change. The holds here are so important and they are the core of the workout!

Shoulders: (Brooklyn Bounce & DJ Zealot- True Hardstyler)

Brooklyn Bounce became the band for our shoulders! I love that! Bring it down to the floor and get two sets of push ups! All the crazy upright rows, the top halves, over head presses, push presses, rotator raises, and rotator overhead presses to kill your shoulders! This one is certainly crazy and demanding! Good luck to those of you like me with relatively weak shoulders 😛

Good luck teaching it, and good luck attending the class!

Katia

The Kingdom of All Kingdoms, Useless? Fired! “Episode 5”

The Kingdom of All Kingdoms
The Kingdom of All Kingdoms

So in  the infinite “industrial kingdoms” hundreds of millions of “citizens” worked and worked all the time, on a single shift or on a double shift. They worked day and night. They no longer had names or identities, they had numbers, they were digits, yes digits that’s all they were.  So when they got into work they had to sign in using their digits and sometimes finger prints, and when they left work or got a break they had to do the same, no one trusted nobody, if one forgot to sign in it was their problem, there was no way to prove that they worked that day or that night. No one considered anyone’s circumstances, situations or position. So if they came they came, they signed in and it was going to show later, and if they didn’t they had to double their working hours later, or they had no chance to take a rest, or they got paid less,which is again about digits!

Besides that no one addressed anyone as a person, no one asked someone how they were doing, or how they felt, or what was up! no one cared for no one. All that mattered was to do and get the job done. And what mattered at the end was results, and results were also digits. How much of this we made and how much of that we finished, and how much are are going to produce of this item, and how many missing items are there, what are we exporting and how much of it has been requested, and what are we importing, when and how many, what’s the cost? what’s the income? That was briefly what was happening in  the infinite “industrial kingdoms”

So what happened if one worker couldn’t work anymore, if they lost some body parts while working, which happened frequently in places like factories and mines, some of these “citizens” lost some limbs? And what about those who ended up with serious sicknesses like cancers, especially those who worked in radiated environment? What happened to those who faced smaller problems like breaking bones or got seriously injured but by time they maybe had a chance to go back to work, because that all they had to do! They were not meant to have anything else to do or another life to live! What about those who simply died in some work accidents? So what happened to those?

You may wonder, right? I’m going to tell you nothing but the truth, those “citizens” who were just labor, lived and died at work. And what happened to those who became useless? and what happened to those who were useless for a while! They were fired, thrown away like used old rags, they were simply replaced. Everyone down there was used till totally abused. And when  the infinite “industrial kingdoms” needed some labor they simply requested more digits to do the work. And that happened either through the “Royal Educational missions” since they knew how to find people with low IQ, or letting some labor, in advance of course since it was all planned and designed to last for hundreds of decades, to make children, and those children were considered as the future labor digits. And of course to answer your questions, they were all brought up with the least resources and with no education, they were simply made to be nothing but non-stop workers, they were meant to grow up to work till they died. And those who died were burned and their ashes no one cared for. To bury all these it meant they had to sacrifice some space of land, which no one wanted to do, it can be used for industrial purposes.

That was the life cycle of a working “citizen”, it can be short, it can be long, but at the end it was all the same.

Katia 🙂

The Kingdom of All Kingdoms, Occasions! “Episode 4”

The Kingdom of All Kingdoms
The Kingdom of All Kingdoms

Christmas? New Year’s? Mothers’ day? Valentine’s? The Queen thought: oh really? When is this going to end?!

The “citizens” were always totally annoying a few days before a certain occasion, running around shopping for gifts, clothes, booking spots in restaurants to dine, hotel rooms, or booking tickets in theaters, buying big amounts of flowers, chocolates, decorations, foods and beverages, etc. Making the cities noisy, dirty and jammed. Besides that everything looked so trivial, cheap, and pretty much meaningless, tasteless and colorless.

The Queen was wondering if “citizens” actually understood the real meaning behind these occasions, but she surely knew they didn’t. She also understood the majority of them were shallow, and expressed their feelings in a materialistic way, they were too shallow to take a minute and read to find out the real reason behind any occasion. She thought it’s totally odd how people don’t get sick and tired of repetitions, when every year they had the same occasions and they did the same things over and over again till their lives came to an end, and how they made sure to teach the coming generations to keep that loop of repetition. She even thought these “citizens” would celebrate any occasion even if it wasn’t related to them or to their culture and beliefs, and funny enough they did celebrate that the same way the celebrated everything else. She thought low of those who ignored glorious honorable occasions and replaced them with silly ones, and how they didn’t mind to erase their identities and origins. It was absolutely stupid to her how they didn’t notice how they keep making the rich richer when they keep spending, or wasting she preferred to think, their money this way.

Birthdays especially turned the Queen sarcastic and ironic, when she saw “citizens” joyful about their birthdays. She thought how can any of them be happy to lose one more year of their lives! But anyway there weren’t all that important to live forever.

She wasn’t pleased to see how the rich didn’t teach their kids to try and be creative but instead took them to shops to buy gifts and taught them nothing sensual but rather materialistic.

She was only happy to see how some kids down there tried to make gifts by themselves, drew and painted some cards and wrote actual letters, picked flowers from the fields, and crafted simple things that reflected their feelings and innocence. The poor of course had no chance to buy things, but rather made their own desserts, foods and drinks. They exchanged simple gifts they made themselves, or exchanged last year’s gifts. But those made her smile, when she sat on her throne above there and watched the life of these “citizens” passing by.

The Queen decided for 10 “citizen” years to ruin these occasions for the “citizens” trying to lessen the bullshit happening down their by making the weather totally icy, or absolutely  hot and dusty. She Enjoyed seeing icicles, and mirror like reflecting roads, and loved the seen of the golden sands flying aggressively in the air in tornado shapes. She loved that power of nature and loved more her power of control.  For 10 years in every occasion that people turned commercial and materialistic she used ice and extreme heat with dust to ruin their plans and their fake joy.

The Queen needn’t know what they thought, she knew exactly how they felt and what they thought. She laughed at some when they lost their temper over it, and how they smashed things and fought against each other, it made her laugh when she saw people getting depressed and letting themselves down, and how their bad moods were so strong and affected others, these were selfish she thought, selfish they had no consideration whatsoever. She was proud of these “citizens” who didn’t care and had enough brains to think nothing mattered but safety, good health and took care of their loved ones during the bad weather. She liked taking a look at those who took the chance to rest their bodies and brains, and those who took the chance to do the things they didn’t have the chance to do in regular days. She mostly enjoyed watching little kids running around indoors still playing and laughing, inventing new games every day to play and kill time.

And although 10 years passed of no actual “citizen” celebration, nothing changed afterwards, the Queen stopped making the weather horrible for them, but still the moment things went back to normal they went back to their old habits and their old ways of doing things. She thought “citizens” will never ever change, the majority never wanted to change or make any difference and progress, instead 10 years of no celebrations made them hungry for more trivial ways of celebrating. And so the Queen decided to remember all those who did their best during these 10 years and decided to rewards them with inner peace and rewarded them with more wisdom and smartness. Although she loved the kids the most, and protected them every chance she had, she still kept an eye on them to see how they are growing up and what direction they were to choose for themselves as they started to mature a bit. She knew they are not going to be cute, innocent and lovely kids forever.

Katia 🙂

The Best Destination for a Crazy Vacation

Parapanting
Parapanting

“Hi Katia! I’m going to a remote island for work in October, and if you don’t join me, you’re going to miss it!”

That was my friend Alex’s text on Facebook. At that point of the year I was in a desperate need for a vacation, I was drained and worn out from work and life in my city. I immediately said I’m in before asking where she was going.

The big frame of my life is simple; work, training courses, and travelling for fun. The other things to me are considered small things I do on daily basis. Now that I’m hooked on travelling, I make sure to do it at least once a year, and I always hope for more.

La Réunion was the destination in October 2012!

For those of you who don’t know La Réunion, it is a French Island located in the Indian ocean, east of Madagascar, southwest of Mauritius.

I was taken over by excitement, because Alex’s suggestion meant that I would be on an island for the first time, that I would experience the longest flight in my own history and that I didn’t know exactly what was waiting for me there. Although Alex contacted me later telling me that she had bad news and worried that I might changed my mind, but as soon as I heard them the excitement was doubled! “This year Shark attacks are the worst the Island ever had, and some people died during summer vacation.” But I thought “why would a shark choose to attack me? I’m not a very lucky person, but not that unlucky!” I know, I know! This is the stupidest thing to say to yourself!

To get to La Réunion I had to fly to Paris first, which is not a long flight, it is around 4 hours, and I planned to have a 13 hours transit because I’ve never been there and I wanted to explore the major attractions of the city. To be honest I didn’t like Paris all that much, at the back of my head i favored St. Petersburg, Rome and London. I made sure to keep myself warm in Paris, but October wasn’t kind, it wasn’t extremely cold, but since I was in the streets all the time I felt the cold air creeping into my body. They say Paris is not France, and I can’t judge because other than Paris I haven’t visited yet. But here is the funny part, people working in train stations, bus station and in “Info” booths don’t speak English, and some of them were not willing to help as I wanted to secure my luggage somewhere and hang around freely, and others weren’t willing to help showing aggressive attitude!! That was super odd to me, if someone works in such a place its their job to help people, otherwise they should go home and cook some soup and enjoy a TV show. On the other hand those who helped me and I helped in return in all the cases were anyone but French! And since I have seen a few European cities this one didn’t capture my attention all that much, I was not astonished by anything I saw. I’m sorry Paris, you are not my type! But that was okay, and I was very happy to meet a very nice girl called Nora, an Algerian girl living in Paris, with whom I hope to meet again, we met at the bus station making our way to the airport, she was going to London and I was making my way to St. Denis/La Réunion!

Here are some pictures I took when I was in Paris.

Paris-France

Paris-France

Paris-France

Paris-France

Paris-France

Paris-France

Paris-France

Paris-France

Paris-France

Paris-France

UN Buddy Bear, Palestine, Slovenia, Russia, Germany

UN Buddy Bear, Palestine, Slovenia, Russia, Germany

I didn’t expect that the 10-11 hours flight to St. Denis would be easy on me, But it was very easy, since it was a night flight, it was easy to plan; watch a movie, have dinner and sleep! I woke up when the plane landed and because it was really warm!

What do you look for in a cool vacation? Beaches? Clear ocean water? Hiking? parties? beach parties? Live music? Nice people? New food? Outdoors running tracks by the ocean or sea side? Parapanting? Diving? Adventure? New culture? Amazing weather? Relaxation? Exploring? Whale watching? History? That is La Réunion; you easily have fun and make friends!

The pictures will tell you a lot than my words about my trip to La Réunion!

St. Denis

There is no way to Swim in this city, the ocean is there of course but there are no beaches in the capital city, and fun is not big there, I would say only during the weekend pubs and clubs which are not to be compared with the night life of other cities. St. Denis is the place where everyone comes to to work. But to walk around and explore the history of the place is a great thing to do, and the grand market there is beautiful, old fashion market, the atmosphere is lovely.

St. Denis

St. Denis, from left to right (Caius, Alex, Jérémy, Katia)

In St. Denis you can find Christian Churches, a Muslim Mosque, as well as  Hindu and Buddhist Temples.

St. Denis

St. Denis

St. Denis

St. Denis

St. Denis

St. Denis

St. Denis

St. Denis

St. Leu

For me the whole fun and good memories and the bad ones were in St. Leu! I love this city, it’s almost always sunny there and the beach there is the best. Me and Alex met a girl called Lamia, a Moroccan/French girl, who was hitch hiking as we were going to another city one night and we gave her a ride, we got to know her during the ride. Lamia knows enough people in St. Leu and that was why we had a great time there. I made sure to go there often, meet the new friends, spend time on the beach till sunset, enjoy live music played in some beach bars, or go for a party. People in St. Leu are the most chilled people I have ever met in my life so far. If you have a problem everyone would say “Never mind, Life is short, problems will be solved, and live the moment”. Life on this Island is a little bit different than what I personally know, so what is mine is yours and what is yours is mine, especially in St. Leu. They learned to share everything together, you may wanna move there and have fun for a while or find a job, you just need to meet cool people like Lamia and her friends and you may end up having some furniture, electronics and things you may need to start a life. If you don’t have money for a day or two you are covered, BUT you gotta be nice enough to do favors for others when the time is right.

St. Leu

St. Leu

St. Leu

Lamia and her friends

St. Leu

St. Leu

St. Leu

St. Leu

St. Leu

St. Leu

In St. Leu you can visit the crocodiles park and the turtles reserve, here are some pictures. That was my first time to see actual crocodiles and I was not sure how to feel about seeing them.

Croc Park & Turtles Reserve

Croc Park & Turtles Reserve

Croc Park & Turtles Reserve

Croc Park & Turtles Reserve

Croc Park & Turtles Reserve

Croc Park & Turtles Reserve

Croc Park & Turtles Reserve

Croc Park & Turtles Reserve

Croc Park & Turtles Reserve

Croc Park & Turtles Reserve

You can also try this!

They call it "Parapanting"

They call it “Parapanting”

Beaches

Let me show you around, this island has amazing places to play and tan

PhotoGrid_1390743538903

PhotoGrid_1390743658316

PhotoGrid_1390743802803

Please note that not all the beaches are human-friendly, some people did actually get attacked by sharks, not in front of me, but I have seen a man without a leg and an arm, it was a new accident. People were prohibited to surf and probably still prohibited. Beaches without lagoons are the scariest, but I still did go there for the sake of the thrill and to enjoy the beauty of beaches open to the ocean. These beaches are usually aggressive, as the waves are powerful and can take you away even if you are a good swimmer. You might be just standing on the shore very close to the water and a big wave may surprise you with a shark inside it waiting for you to smile and say good bye lol! Is that possible? what a thrill!!!

St. Pierre

This city is the second biggest after St. Denis, has a massive port for the island. I have been there twice during my visit to La Réunion, the first time didn’t register in my head as I didn’t realize I was in a different city since we were just passing by, sorry I’m very disoriented and when I’m not the driver I don’t usually pay attention to things. And the second time I was in St. Pierre

was in order to meet a man with whom I had a car accident in St. Leu! As I was driving to find the turtles reserve I made the car accident and it was my fault. And funny enough the car I had was rented by Alex and I wasn’t listed as a second driver, we completely ignored the importance of doing that. And Alex trusted me enough to drive. On my way to the reserve I was by myself, and when the accident occurred I knew I was in a big trouble since I don’t speak french, and only a minority on the Island speak English. The accident wasn’t huge as no one got hurt, and the guy was completely angry, I have no idea how I managed to calm him down without knowing French. As we fill the accident papers I was trying to call Alex to inform her and wanted to ask her what was I supposed to do, but she didn’t answer me, she was busy at work. Later I talked to Alex and she was nervous, because as I wasn’t registered as a second driver it meant I was in trouble with the police there. Alex called this guy and he agreed to meet us to change the info in the accident papers, and use Alex’s name and details as if she was driving. We had to drive to St. Paul next day. It is a beautiful city, but we were not in the mood to enjoy anything, because we still had to go to the car rental office and report the accident and change the car, and there we were informed that we had to pay 600 Euros as a car insurance. That was not a happy day! But we did learn to laugh about it later. In the picture bellow the three of us after changing the papers.

St. Paul

St. Paul

One weekend day we decided to go for a long trip to discover the island. This Island has an active volcano “The Piton de la Fourniaise” ,on the eastern end of Réunion Island, rises more than 2,631 metres (8,632 ft) above sea level and is sometimes called a sister to Hawaiian volcanoes because of the similarity of climate and volcanic nature. that erupted more than 100 since the 1600. I was really hoping day and night that it was going to erupt while I was there, because it would have been absolutely a new experience to me. There are three main calderas over there: the Cirque de Salazie, the Cirque de Cilaos and the Cirque de Mafate. The last is accessible only on foot or by helicopter. The island is full of greens, waterfalls, springs and mountains. Please enjoy the pictures.

Trip, Hiking, Exploring

Trip, Hiking, Exploring

Trip, Hiking, Exploring

Trip, Hiking, Exploring

Trip, Hiking, Exploring

Trip, Hiking, Exploring

Trip, Hiking, Exploring

Trip, Hiking, Exploring

Trip, Hiking, Exploring

Trip, Hiking, Exploring

Trip, Hiking, Exploring, Lava volcanic rocks

Trip, Hiking, Exploring, Lava volcanic rocks

Trip, Hiking, Exploring

Trip, Hiking, Exploring

Trip, Hiking, Exploring

Trip, Hiking, Exploring

Live Music

People of La Réunion are captivated by music, and they like to party, play live music and listen to it and enjoy it. The culture there is a mix of African and European, so they speak French and Creole mainly. The Africans from Madagascar, to me at least, are the natives of this place, since they have been brought long ago as slaves to the island. They do have the best music I’ve heard so far, it is all based on percussion instruments and interesting African dance. If you let this type of music sink into you while listening to it can take you away in a sortof a trip,  it did feel euphoric to me. I enjoyed their music besides their love for Jazz. People of La Réunion don’t need an occasion to party and dance, they are so chilled they party almost every day.

Live Music

Live Music

Whales Observation

We went for a boat trip to see whales, we were lucky enough to spot one. But we were also sad because that baby whale was lost from his tribe. It was also not easy to take a picture of that while jumping and showing off, but we did manage to ask someone to send us the pictures they have taken since we met a group of people with a professional camera. It was actually a very beautiful experience; we were not the only ones waiting for something to appear in the ocean, other boats were also sailing, and amazingly everyone was super quiet, but every time the whale showed itself to us “WOW, WOOHOO, OOOH, and AHHH” were heard.

The Blue Whales of La Réunion

The Blue Whales of La Réunion

Food

I’m not always big on food when I travel, usually I’m not keen on trying new foods, but I had some Creole food there once, it was mainly made of rice and beans, they use lots of curry and spices. On the Island you can find a variety of sea food. I’m not the right person to talk about food lol I’m happy with grilled chicken breasts. And we had enough grilled chicken made on the spot near some beaches for lunch.

We were day and night buying fresh pineapples, papayas, lychis, bananas and passion fruits, . I used to have Pineapples day and night as breakfast, snack, lunch, snack, dinner, snack. I had Pineapples with everything, with cheese, with bread, with chocolate, with sushi. I did abuse it, but it helped me shed a few hundred grams off lol.

Funny Incidents

  • In the first couple of days of my vacation I burned my foot by stepping on charcoal.
  • I ran out of slippers, as I had 2 pairs, one slipper was lost I don’t know where so the other was useless, and once one slipper was torn apart during walking on rocks and so the other was useless.
  • During parapanting  my snot was running from the cold cold air up there! I remembered how to use my sleeve as a tissue.
  • I was made to swim in the mountain cold water, I thought it was not that cold, but staying in it as i was trying to reach the end of the lake that was created by a waterfall made me unable to breath, something weird happened to my lungs, there was a shocking feeling inside my chest that felt like my lungs suddenly shrank and i panicked, soon I calmed myself down to swim back to get some oxygen. Funny is that I thought I was gonna die away from home.
  • The damn car accident.
  • One evening Alex dropped me off in St. Leu to catch up with the friends there to party, and as she left I remembered that I left my wallet in the car! I was without a money for 24 hours. I felt like a hopeless child although the friends there made sure I don’t feel that way. They even gave me tickets for the next day bus.
  • I was bitten by a bed bug on my thigh, that was awfully itchy and looked scary, it looked like a mountain on my thigh, We ended up washing all our beds covers and sheets.
  • I slept a whole day without knowing although the church bells jingled loudly every hour and half an hour. And as I woke up I felt like shooting myself in the head for not doing anything cool! Alex and Adriana came home from work and I said i feel like chocolate, they said i shouldn’t go out then, it was dark, I didn’t listen and went out for a run, and that was a damn long run in the dark to find a Total gas station opened, I ended up buying all the chocolate, bread and eclairs they had.
  • One day we spent lots of time on the beach till sunset in St. Leu. Later Jérémy told me about some live music gig happening, He lost his slippers somewhere and couldn’t find them, He was the one and only barefoot dude walking around.
  • I used to go for a 5 km run in St. Denis in the morning after I dropped Alex and Adriana to work. I noticed many people go out running, since in St. Denis there is a very cool running track side by side with the ocean, random guys asked me for my no. although they didn’t speak English. I pretended each time not to understand, and they ended up giving me their numbers. I guess this is how they find girlfriends??!!

I think I gave you enough reasons to go check this place out by yourselves.

 I would like to thank the people who made my trip unforgettable: Alexandra, Caius, Adriana,  Jérémy and his friends, Lamia and her friends, Laurent, Emilie, Thierry, Zana, Alexandre and Nora.

Katia 🙂

C4 Extreme, Pre-workout Supplement, Personal Review!

C4 Extreme
C4 Extreme

Happy new year to all of you out there! I hope this year brings all good to all of us.

As I said earlier, I have been experimenting different diets, supplements and exercises since early 2013. There is no better way to know what’s best for you other than trying, right?

Being a group exercise instructor (GXI) means teaching lots of classes. My classes vary in between cardio and resistance training. It is possible to live without pre-workout supplements, yes it is! But let’s face it, on days when I have 5-6 classes where am I supposed to bring energy from? And I’m not big on coffee or energy drinks like Redbull, etc. So I’ve decided to ask my friend, who happens to be an excellent personal trainer, him advice on a good supplement and he said “C4 Extreme, It Is!” and honestly I can’t wait to see him, since I was away during Holidays, to thank him for this great suggestion.

Here I’m attaching for you a picture where you can see facts about C4 Extreme, the product is brought to us by CELLUCOR.

C4 Extreme Facts

C4 Extreme Facts

What does it do?

This supplement boosts your energy physically and mentally for a long time after taking it. This supplement is made to last in your system for a good while, helping you to finish your workout steadily, It not only amplifies your energy but it also makes you mentally focused and it pumps your muscles in a nice way.

When I first took it, I still remember that day, when I was already fatigued and I had two classes back to back(120 minutes) plus I was stubborn enough to think about doing my own weight lifting training afterwards, and I thought to myself: “This thing should work! Other wise I’m dead!” And it did! My body and mind were wide awake, I didn’t feel any sorts of imbalances, as other pre-workout supplements might cause. I was even surprised that not only I didn’t feel fatigued but I also felt powerful and my performance was better than usual. Due to the power I had the members during those classes obviously received some vibes and energy, they all went crazy as we all motivated each other to finish each and every track. I also did my own training later and it all went well.

I hear people saying pre-workout supplements cause their hearts to pump too fast and it bothered them. So far I didn’t feel that way, yes it beats faster but It didn’t knock me out, not even close.

It takes a few minutes after taking it to feel it, the feeling is describable but it makes you feel ready to crush!

So think about it, a scoop of C4 Extreme enhances your power and gets you going helping you perform and beat your personal records, and of course it does take your heart rate up so the blood flows faster in your body, if that means anything here then it means you will be able to burn  fat, fat, fat, fat, fat, fat…

What is NO3?

NO3 is Nitrate, an advanced compound that promotes unbelievable muscle pumps and amplifies the effectiveness of C4 Extreme. CELLUCOR is utilizing a new compound where NO3 has been fused to create Creatine Nitrate. Increased water solubility promotes better absorption and reduces the chance of the traditional side effects of Creatine supplementation.

Is it that good?

C4 Extreme has received the highest honors in the supplement industry, including last year’s (2013) Pre-Workout Supplement of the Year and Best Product Innovation from the top retailers in the world, including Bodybuilding.com and GNC.

Taste and Flavor?

I really don’t usually care much about taste, since first diets make you just eat whatever you have to eat without the need to enjoy your food, second who cares anyway? It’s just a supplement. Do you agree? I don’t think so! some of you want the taste first then everything else!

So the one that I have says “Orange” on it, it does taste like many orange juices you get to buy from supermarkets, I think the taste is good, good enough to make someone forget they are taking a supplement. CELLUCOR made sure to make a variety of flavors; Icy Blue Razz, Watermelon and Green Apple,  Pink Lemonade, or Pineapple and Orange. So what more could you ask for? I’m personally looking forwards to try the Watermelon and Green apple.

Any Side effects?

I started using C4 Extreme few weeks ago and I don’t take it on daily basis because I don’t want to depend on it. The only thing I noticed, although I’m not pretty sure it is a side effect of C4 Extreme, is some small red spots on my arm right under my shoulder, they don’t look like pimples but rather red spots. It could be something else, it could be an allergic reaction to the supplement. They don’t ache, they don’t itch, so to me whatever.

How do I rate it?

Well, well, well! Excellent is the word to use to rate this!

Important Notes?

Yes please, before you consider buying one, make sure to consult your physician, because I’m not one. And make sure whatever ingredients this supplement has don’t stimulate or contradict with medications and other supplements you might be taking. Don’t risk your health please. SAFETY FIRST and on top of everything else.

If you chose to try this make sure to drink lots and lots of water since it makes you sweat and you need to compensate the loss of water and minerals in your body.

Enjoy your workouts, stay fit and fight to be a new you!

Katia 🙂

Gym Hinders!

I can, but I won't
I can, but I won't

I was a gym member for about 7 years, then a group exercise instructor for the last 3 years, as I decided to make it my career. That allowed me to meet lots of people who come in and out of gyms all the time. Some commit and make it part of their life style, and the majority sign up for a month or two or even a few months, and then they disappear. That made me question it, and I decided to interview random people I got to know from different gyms, some I managed to interview personally, some over the phone, and others through text messages and Facebook chat.

I was curious to hear what stops them all the time from coming to the gym, some reasons of course I did imagine by myself, but I surely didn’t want to write my personal point of view here, I wanted to be very objective in this post and represent these people and what hinders them all the time from achieving their fitness goals, So here is what they had to say (Gender here doesn’t matter):

  • The majority blamed the lack of time, believing that they have a very busy life, running around in between work, housekeeping, socializing and taking care of their kids.
  • Financial issues, was the second biggest reason, as many people set their financial priorities to other more important things in their lives and responsibilities.
  • The third biggest reason was the fact that there isn’t a gym facility in every residential area in Jordan (we are talking about Jordan in the Middle East, of which Amman is the capital city) and these people explained that they either have no cars, or find it difficult to drive every time to go to the gym.
  • lack of confidence and self-esteem, was something i didn’t think about at all by myself, is an issue to many people I spoke with, whoever had this as a hinder explained they feel shy and intimidated to work out in front of strangers, since they think they don’t/didn’t look fit enough to step into a gym.
  • Laziness is sadly the biggest people’s enemy in my country. I don’t think I need to explain this one since we all know what laziness look and smell like.
  • The lack of patience to seeing results got many votes here. As some people aren’t realistic enough in setting their goals, they think in a month or two they were going to have figures of models or movie stars, so a month or two passed and none of that happened, frustration hit them and they quit and stop trying.
  • Frustration with self fitness level. People compared themselves with others who were fitter and found it depressing to catch up with them, so they stepped back at some point and quit.
  • a few gym members explained to me than many people they know don’t see going to the gym or doing any sport is not a necessity, and they explained that this is related to the lack of physical education.
  • Some thought whatever gym they tried didn’t have the services they expected and accordingly didn’t renew their memberships.
  • Unavailability of fitness buddies! Some didn’t feel motivated to go alone. Working out alone seemed to bore some people and left them unmotivated.
  • One more; some people hate to workout indoors. And in case they were living in a country like mine they have a tiny small chance to workout outdoors, due to lack of public parks and proper sidewalks!

I took some time thinking about these reasons; the only thing that made sense to me is the financial limitations, since not everyone lives comfortably. The rest for me wasn’t very convincing, but still I can understand all of it.

For me personally what stops people and pushes them back all the time is that they didn’t give themselves a chance to get addicted to any kind of sports, fitness, or physical activity, as after all this time I spent, and still spending at the gym, made me a gym addict, I remember myself now in every vacation I had, I always thought: “oh yeah finally!! I wanna rest, I wanna be lazy, I need a break” and after three days I find myself wearing my running shoes and looking for an outdoor nice area for me to run and jog, because there is nothing else an addict can do other than satisfying their addictions, right?

There is a motivational quote that I read the other day, as I was supposed to write my own fitness profile and I wanted to get inspired,  that grabbed my attention, it says:

“It is supposed to be hard; if it wasn’t hard everyone would do it. The hard is what makes it great”

I really am looking forwards to hearing from you all, as I still think whatever reason stops you from trying or others around you is interesting to know! Share this with your friends and loved ones, maybe they can relate themselves to this subject, or maybe they can motivate others to start working out.

Thanks to everyone who helped me write this post!

Stay fit and chase your dreams!

Katia 🙂

One Day Rice Diet, My Personal Review

One Day Rice Diet

In the last 11 months I have been experimenting different types of diet, fitness programs and supplements. I stumbled upon a one day rice diet recently, and I decided to go for it, since I had no desire to go through a long term diet at that point, so before I read anything about it I decided to try it myself as it was discussed on a Russian health and life style TV show called (ЖИТЬ ЗДОРОВО),

The diet is very simple, the only thing you can eat is rice cooked with water, no oils, no salt and no spices. So you fill a cup with raw rice , it can be absolutely any type of rice of your choice, and you cook it with water or steam it, you must eat every 2-3 hours until the end of the day and you should also finish all that rice, drinking enough water is very essential.

I was honestly worried before I decided to try it, since I’m a group exercise instructor, I teach classes on daily basis, it’s an average of 3 classes per day. So i was wondering how that diet was going to make me feel, I was mostly worried about getting hungry, and hunger can lead to lack of energy, which I certainly need, it’s my body’s fuel. So before I started I told myself: come on!! It’s just a one day experiment.

Starting the day with rice might seem a bit weird to some of you, but for me it was alright because when I make my own sushi at home for lunch or dinner sometimes, some sushi remains as leftovers and I enjoy them the next day as a breakfast. Rice fills you, like any other type of carbohydrates, you do feel good right afterwards, but at the same time you do indeed get hungry fast, and you feel extremely in need for some food in 2 hours time, that’s why if you are a full time employee or work late you have to take some of that rice with you wherever you go that day, because you have no other choices of food, I know it may sound nasty 😀 but it’s not. Every time you get hungry it might get frustrating if that rice wasn’t easy to reach, because your energy level starts to drop, and If you get to eat that last bit of your rice late at night there is nothing wrong with that. I did feel good that day, I felt light in my stomach, and I didn’t feel physically weak or unfocused, and thankfully I didn’t suffer any low blood pressure issues, since the rice wasn’t salted  at all. On the other hand if you don’t drink enough water you will feel thirsty and dehydrated, so make sure to keep a bottle of water near you.

So In order for me to see what that diet does, weight-wise, I did weigh myself first thing in the morning before i started my class, and the scale showed 51.6 Kg, 7-8 hours later i decided to weigh myself again, and here is the surprise: 48.8 Kg. I honestly was in denial, and decided to weigh myself later that same night again and it was even less 48.5 Kg.

So how does this actually work?

As they said on the TV show unsalted rice helps you get rid of the extra water and salts in your system, which means it helps you get rid of any water retention, because it’s a low-Sodium good-Carbs diet which has fibers in it, and it’s recommended for people who suffer serious obesity problems. As I mentioned before this diet can be followed once a week maximum, because it lacks all the other elements we need to maintain our health and keep things balanced, carbohydrates alone are not enough on the long run.

Next day I did my own reading about the subject, and I was actually surprised to know that this diet is not a new idea at all, as it started in 1939 by Dr. Walter Kempner and it’s called “The Rice Diet Solution”.  It wasn’t meant to be a one day diet, it’s a long term diet plan, but people who decide to follow it must eat ingredients besides rice, like vegetables, fruits, dairy products and animal protein in certain amounts. This sort of diet is supposed to play a detox role and fighting diseases, as well as controlling blood pressure. The diet is not recommended for anyone who has had a colon resection or impaired kidney function since it causes loss of water. People who follow this diet are noticed to lose 9-13 Kg during the first month, then an average of 2 Kg every week.

Here’s one last thing I would like to add; such long term diets, if you choose to go for one, must be monitored and recommended by a physician, since not all dietitians are doing their job at its fullest, and I recommend that you also do your own research before you decide to try one. I see no harm if you chose to try it every now and then as a one day plan, it is actually a quick solution to see your bloating belly shrink.

Good luck to those of you who want to give a shot 🙂  your feedback matters to me, as I believe we all have different opinions.

Katia