Back to nordic walking.

Started this morning with some nordic walking in the nearby areas, it is a really nice way to wake up mind and body before breakfast. Ideally I would have loved to go for a proper hike in the national park but since it is gym day today it had to be a shorter walk instead. Went out for a run yesterday which was a lot more enjoyable than the former one so I am feeling great about my training at the moment. Though I had a bit of a break, I am slowly and finally able to ease my way back into a more active life again. Thumbs up for that!

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Warm oatmeal porridge and gorgeous American blueberries after the walk and now I have the fuel for a few hours of studying before heading off the gym. Really enjoying these two psychology modules at the moment, investigating the ‘theory of mind’ and animal minds. Incredibly to develop a better understanding of the similarities as well as differences between humans and non human animals minds. So far it has actually made me even more steady in my belief of staying away from eating meat even though that is not at all the aim of the course. However, wider knowledge  of animals emotional lives and ability to interpret their surroundings does make me even more humble towards all the beautiful creatures that we share our world with.

An afternoon hike in moody weather.

After casually checking the weather forecast I decided to head off out for a long hike today. As you will notice later on in this entry, that was a foolish mistake – or well, correction – it was a foolish mistake to not dress for a potential change of weather. It is Aprils fools weather after all and it can change from 20 degrees to 9 in a heartbeat. Nonetheless, rain or not – with views like these, is it really okay to complain? I think not!

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It is quite difficult to show how heavy the rain was, but trust me when I say that I was completely drenched upon my return back home. As such, this hike did not turn into a long one, which I had wanted  initially, but it was still absolutely lovely to get out in nature for a bit. Tomorrow my boyfriend and I will head off to a town nearby (2 hours train ride from where we currently live) to adventure a bit, imbibe some culture and have a few meals out – totally looking forward to this little get away of ours! As such I wish you all fabulous weekend, see you on Sunday lovelies! ♡

Enjoying the weather and changing focus!

Truly beautiful weather today and I have enjoyed it to the max! Started the day with a morning walk in moderate pace, enjoying the views, wildlife (I am obsessed with birds in case you did not know already) and gently waking up my mind, body and metabolism. Well, the latter a bit more questionable but one can hope right? More about this later on in this post, anyway, the weather you guys – stunning, simply stunning! Not much of a December feel to it, but the leftover cold from the night still managed to squeeze out -2 degrees at 10am and add to that perfectly clear air, I simply could not ask for more!

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Today I walked outside the Botanical Gardens and you see these cute signs making pedestrians but perhaps more important cyclists aware of the toads that every year risk their lives crossing the walk and cycle path to reach the breeding grounds. At some point I will record the toads ‘singing’ for you during the mating season, it is heartwarmingly beautiful! Perhaps not for everyone but then again, I am a wildlife nutter and easily impressed by things like that. Version 2Version 2

Despite enjoying the weather and the walk, I must admit that I have had a bit of a rough patch as of late. I saw my medical doctor the last week and found out that my thyroid levels were worse (which explains the horrible headache and “sore/tired” eyes) despite medication so I have now had to up my dosage hoping it will kick it back into the right gear. Admittedly it is a bit of a downer to struggle with under-function in my thyroid while at the same time trying to achieve a weight loss. Let us just say that it is more or less an impossible equation unfortunately.

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However, I prefer to view things on the positive side (I also have fantastic support from my boyfriend and family) and have therefore decided to forget about the weight loss journey for a bit and instead put all my focus and effort into increasing my fitness levels. It may sound a bit odd since one naturally leads to another, but not necessarily in my case due to my metabolism being more or less non existent. To give you an example, at this point due to my screwed up thyroid and metabolism, I would have to stay below 600 calories a day to achieve a weight loss and that would still be heavily dependant on me being quite active (hikes, gym, running etc). So no, I am removing myself from ‘hitting that very agonising and stressful wall’ again and again and instead shifting focus to fitness, cardio and muscle building. The idea is to keep my heart happy by keeping at the cardio (hikes, jogging, rowing) and build a strong muscle frame that eventually, when the medication dosage hit the right levels, will help my body to burn through the excessive weight in a heartbeat. That is my plan anyway, I refuse to give up and ‘wait it out’ because hitting the right dosage can take up to a year and I simply do not have that kind of time on my hands. Keep your fingers crossed for me pretty please, I have a feeling I might need it! ♡

Another day in the forest.

As per usual, I have been out enjoying the lovely November weather and beautiful views. Cannot comprehend the beauty of this month, even though nature is rebooting and it is mainly brown leaves covering the trails – there is still something comforting in the knowledge that all life is ever-changing.

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I wore my new Asics which look fantastic but I have to be honest and say that it will take a bit of time to break them in, ouch! I was contemplating bringing my old pair in the rucksack but in the end decided against, bad mistake! I do think that the main problem was that I decided to jog a bit and the shoes were simply too “hard” around the heels (I have very sensitive and problematic achilles) since I had forgot my ‘gelpads’ at home, but it is all okay really. They will be perfect soon enough and that is all that matters!

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Misty mornings, a humble reminder of home.

First of November and as per usual at this time of the year the misty mornings are here to keep me smiling and make my morning walks all the more interesting. If you did not know already I absolutely love misty mornings as it reminds me of home. Having lived most part of my life by the coast in Sweden I miss the fog and the harsh chilly ocean winds tremendously. I am most certainly a bit of a ‘polar bear’ and thrive in the harsh climate, it simply does not bother me one bit. However living in the southwest of Germany, far away from any coastline I find both joy and comfort in these early misty mornings, a humble reminder of a most beloved home.

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Surprisingly enough, I have not had much use of my Garmin since I purchased it some time ago. Mainly because I am a bit disappointed with the connection, or perhaps I should write the lack thereof, between the pulse band and the watch itself. When running (which I don’t do at the mo) I quite heavily depend on the pulse to keep me motivated and going when my brain is telling me to ‘slow down’ but my heartbeat is singing a different song. Thus it is not particularly okay having to re-arrange the pulse band constantly due to it losing connection with the watch making me drop my focus on running. All in all it is quite infuriating, so let us just settle for the fact that the pulse band does not work very well for me. However, when walking or hiking I don’t depend on the pulse, and do not care so much about the potential benefits of knowing the pulse – as there are different challenges to focus on instead such as beating massive hills and enjoying nature and wildlife.

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I am a big nature and wildlife fan and absolutely love spending hours out in the nature park nearby my home. It is a huge privilege to be able to explore and enjoy nature and wildlife freely without disturbance or traffic. The solitude and silence in this massive forest is fantastic and despite being quite shielding from chilly winds, its tranquility cleans my mind from any potential negative thoughts and leaves me feeling completely refreshed and fabulous.

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Restarting and rethinking.

Restarting, once again. I have realised that reaching my goal of leading a healthy life – both training and food-wise, does not come easy to me. As much as I do not believe in excuses I do have a few, not to hide behind, but to further explain my reasons. The last two years have been the worst ones in my life when it comes to general health, it has not been easy to remain upbeat and strong both mentally and physically. For natural reasons I have also had to prioritise my studying (we pay a lot of money for me to be able to study this degree so I better excel. However, I did manage to score a distinction on my last year despite my life being upside down. Yey me!) and each examination finished have been difficult enough to balance and yet keep some kind of training going. I am proud of myself for keeping my head held high and not giving up on absolutely everything, but this pride is also shared with great disappointment of not having reach my training and weight loss goals as of yet.

Version 2Version 2Version 2Version 2However, I am not one to dwell on these things, it does not improve the mood or the motivation. Instead I pat myself on the back for the challenges that I have faced and conquered and now look forward and focus on the now. It is the best way to be in my opinion, it is important to plan ahead but equally important to allow yourself to be exactly where you are at, in the now. Dreams and goals are fantastic but it is easy to get stuck in wishful thinking of a potential future. It most certainly will not appear if I do no make it happen and work hard to get there. And here we are, and it is October and one of my favourite months of the year is soon coming to an end. I will only have a few days to fully enjoy its glory but it will suffice.

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I went to the gym yesterday for the first time in a months time and it was fabulous. I often ‘forget’ exactly how much I love it whenever I have a break from it. But every time I go back I am almost instantly hooked, there is something very satisfying with the feeling of ‘being strong’ or rather, in my case, training to increase strength. I am a mere beginner, and I still look with envy at the well-trained people in the gym that seem to know exactly what to do and which activities that are the most efficient ones. My goal is to know as much as they do, but I am not in a rush to get there – as with most things in life, I am rather cautious and want to know that I perform the various strenght-exercises correct and with the right technique before I go full speed ahead.

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Anyway, as autumn really does provide the most perfect temperature to do any kind of exercise outdoors, I have also re-started my walks. I love being outside in the crisp autumn air and the gorgeous colours, and today I did a rather moderate powerwalk of 5 km. I decided to start out with a shorter one compared to the 10 km/day that I used to do during the summer. I know that I will be back to the former distance in not too long, but till then I am going to enjoy the journey to get there. As per usual I prefer to take it a bit easier to start with and then a few weeks in I tend to go a bit nuts and cannot constrain myself anymore and constantly chase better time and distance each and every walk. So this gentle start is lovely as I can yet enjoy the nature and feel that it is okay to stop to take a few photos and not only remain focused on walking forward and racing my former achievements. Yes, I am that competitive when I want to be.

Still enjoying the outdoors.

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I am still enjoying the warm weather, spending as much time as possible outdoors. It certainly does not hurt to live in an area of Germany where the nature is absolutely fantastic. I do not think that it has ever been this easy to find motivation for long walks! However, I do miss going to the gym which isn’t possible at the moment due to it being too warm (no air condition) meaning that I am left to my own devices to keep up the strength training. As I have limited knowledge about strength training and I also do not want to strain anything, I do my best with free weights at home and own body weight exercises. It is going to be interesting to see how I feel when I get back to the gym and the machines.

Wishing you all a lovely Thursday!

Through the woods we ran, deep into the mountain sound.

I am certainly spoilt with beautiful views and surroundings, it is a blessing that I do not take lightly. This feeling even though I am very much of a city girl at heart and I love the buzzing life that a city represents, but I also adore living and being here at the moment, at the footsteps of a gigantic forest that later on transforms and joins the enormous and majestic Black Forest. In particular when it comes to training and being active, it is absolutely wonderful to live in the middle of all this nature (except for the pollen I suppose) where the possibilities for walks, longer hikes, mountain biking or jogging is endless and the scenery and wildlife will never let you down no matter if you follow a road, path in the forest or go off trail. I must say if you have never been in the south of Germany and never seen the Black Forest with your very own eyes, if you have never experienced its silence, its magnificent birds of prey circulating high up in the heavens above – well then you have not really lived, yet. Honestly. I love being a part of all that is here, but most of all I love the solitude, the outdoorsy way of being and living and the love of nature and everything it so humbly give.

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Come along and enjoy some of my views from my walk earlier today, normally I don’t bring my camera when I go out for walks since I try to focus on the walk and don’t really want to stop and take photographs every now and then. But since I haven’t shared much from my everyday before I suppose it is about time. I did a lovely 7 km walk along the fields on the outskirts of Schönbuch forest, unfortunately due to pollen I do not dare to wander into the forest as of yet. But normally I do and it is one of my favourite things ever, absolutely fantastic to be surrounded by green in various colours and be able to listen to the birds singing without interruptions by the busy world outside.

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Just like many others I have a special relationship to fields, maybe it is Eva Cassidys fault when she borrowed the sound and words from Sting and sang about Fields of Gold a version of beauty that still gives me the tingles. But more likely it is related to childhood memories of running through the fields in the south of Sweden outside my grandparents farmhouse. I loved my grandparents dearly and spent every summer at their farm helping out in the kitchen garden, bicycling on gravelled roads and enjoying walks along the fields arm in arm with my now much missed grandmother. But most vividly and lovingly I remember running through the fields, open arms and palms feeling their way through the golden surroundings. The boundless joy and feeling of being so very alive, the warm earthy ground underneath my bare feet – my body meeting the loving arms of barley as I threw myself backwards into its embrace. Childhood memories, some of the strongest emotions we carry with us into adulthood and one of many keys to the development of our personalities, loves and continued way of being. And I carry these memories very, very close to my heart, they are a huge part of who I am.

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Even when the green meet asphalt and roads, the beauty of this place remain breathtaking and impossible to ignore and even if you may not be like me and fully enjoy nature and its magnificent wildlife – I suppose it is hard to deny the positive vibes and boost of energy that a beautiful surrounding contributes with when you are exercising. To be able to rest your eyes on the Swabian Alps in the distance gets me every single time and is one of the views that I will miss dearly when we will be leaving this place in a couple of months from now. Life is all about experiencing various things and I am happy that I have had the opportunity to begin my journey towards a healthier lifestyle here in this beautiful place.

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The picture below is from the road that leads to our house and every day that I walk down this road I fall in love, even though I may not always want to but I cannot help myself. The peaks in the distance speak their loving language to me, the never-ending skies send me kisses from above and all the wonderful colours of this place, they pop – right into the very core of my heart.

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