Onsens let’s get naked and talk body confidence

Advice, body confidence, confidence, Travel, weight loss

Firstly if you think I have body confidence you are mistaken. My pale chubby body is not a sight for sore eyes, even mine. I have gained a little weight since the wedding and I am not happy about it.

I do appreciate my body, don’t get me wrong, it is fairly healthy and fairly strong but it does look way better by candle light. I do believe in women loving themselves but I also understand that having body confidence is all in your head. And confidence grows from confidence so you can judge me all you want but my insecurities are not going away with a talk about how I should be proud of my body.

I was

Now I am not.

So let’s get back to Onsens. Onsens are like hot tubs but more like a the kids bathing pool. They are hot, they have to be a minimum of 37 degrees and have a minimum of 19 different minerals. Two of the Onsens we visited were 51 degrees

and were so hot we felt like we were cooking!

Getting naked

Most places will supply you with a kimono dressing gown cover called a yukata,belt, socks and the most uncomfortable flip flops ever. They are heinous but slow you down. This whole outfit forces you to take your time and relax. I loved it so much and you can sleep in them too if you want to. The yukata not the flip flops.

The men and women are divided so you only get naked infront of other women, few.

You go to a room full of baskets. Turn your basket the right way up and fill it with your bits. I left everything in the room so I just had what I was wearing.

When dressing women tie at the front and men tie at the back. Also the left lapel goes over the top. The right only goes over the top when you are dead!

It’s not out of focus it’s just that steamy in Here

Modesty

There is a modesty towel. It’s fricken tiny it barely reaches from boob to boob but it does cover your vagina so you don’t need to worry about your front. The whole rest of your body is on display. Oh boy…. I am not sure exactly what I was so afraid of until an American goddess with a perfect body entered the room. She was leaving and I was getting in so I hid in the loo till she left.

Because I had no confidence!

A few rules

The first Onsen I went to the lighting was nice and low so it helped me build my confidence. No it didn’t it just meant I didn’t run as fast to the Onsen like I did in the second one. After my fourth Onsen I was a bit less caring about what only her people thought of me and more concerned with how long I had been outside for!

It’s a hot bath which you share, this means you have to be clean going in. They have these tiny stalls with tiny stools you sit on and wash yourself. There is soap shampoo and conditioner but you don’t have to get your hair wet at all. You must clean yourself to keep the experience as hygienic as possible.

There are also shower heads, taps and a cute wooden bucket that you fill and splash over yourself. When I was alone I really enjoyed this process as the room is heated by the Onsens so you stay nice and warm. It’s a strange but pleasant way to wash and if I could get an Onsen in my garden in London I would, not a hot tub an actual onsen.

So far I have been in a Onsen alone, with a goddess ( she joined me the next night) and with a Japanese family and then a room full of Japanese beauty’s.

It was all fine no one cared.

I will go in again and again and get the most of the Onsens. We are in Japan at a quiet time of the year so I have been lucky that none of the Onsens have been full. I need to work on my confidence. I also need to work on my body. It’s not bad but it could be better!

Tattoos and Onsens

I hate to be the bearer of bad news but tattoos are generally not accepted in Onsens. I found one out of the five I visit were accepted and that was because it was a private Onsen.

I bought some tattoo covers with me and these are exceptable but if you have larger tattoos then you might face some issues.

From what I have read the reason Japan hates tattoos is because years ago prisoners used to be tattooed as a punishment. Then the yakuza decided to decorate the tattoos even more making this punishment a rite of passage instead. Yakuza had a lot of control in Japan so Japan decided to ban all tattoos from Onsens this making a huge statement to Japanese gangsters that they are not welcome.

Flash forward to modern times and things are changing but it is important to respect the traditions. You are not going to change anything by kicking up a fuss.

How did I feel about my tattoo

Well, honestly I felt like it was a hindrance. I had the stickers and I had to buy more but I was more worried about being kicked out for having a tattoo which came with a certain amount of shame that I had never felt before. I felt better when I had a cover up or I snuck in when there was no one around! But I did feel like I was sneaking.

I am sure if you search for them there are plenty of places that have no care for tattoos but like I said, 4/5 did. And we traveled a nice amount.

An Onsen life for me

We squeezed in as much Onsen action as we could and I swear it helped with the jetlag as we never suffered any!! These baths are open air relaxation and I enjoyed them immensely. In Zao Onsen they hawks closed off the open site but bit you could see the piles snow, it was beautiful but we weren’t allowed outside.

Fitness update three weeks since I joined the gym, getting up early

body confidence, confidence, Fitness, weight loss

So I thought if you are not too bored of this newbieish gym goer then you may like to read this.

I am actually on my fourth week now and I am loving it. I am loving the feeling of improving my body. Every time I go I push myself and improve. The results are immediate in so far as the next time I go I can do it. When people say that fitness is all in your head they mean it. Because every time I think I can’t do it, the next visit I can!

I recently watch Jamie Genevieve fitness vlog and she said this gem of wisdom

” No one ever regrets going to the gym”

And she is right. I feel good when I leave the gym. I have energy that lasts me till about 3.30 and then I flag a little. My body looks better.

I feel better!

I still have work to do and a few more patches of skin to tone but I am happy about my body. I just need to keep it up.

Early mornings

I love my bed so much, so getting up early, like 5.45am is pretty god damn early.

I look like crap but yesterday even the sun wanted to go back to bed!!

But I have found that I need a gym buddy! I miss Jon laughing at me and introducing me to new exercises and machines. I asked Gav if he would join again but he doesn’t fancy it!

So I aim to go 3-4 times a week and so far I have done it! But I have to go early. Yesterday I came home and had a quick run around the park with Frank and he loved it!

I have to get up

I have to go

But when I get there I love it and it’s worth it. Most of the time I say I am definitely going the next morning. Then that morning I decide whether or not to hit the snooze button.

So this is my little update for my gym fitness. I hate getting up early but the benifits are paying of. I need the motivation of the gym and the support of my gym buddies. I have also started running back from the gym. Not a massive distance but I will lengthen it each week.

There is a park run on Saturday and I should really see if I can do it.

But we will see!

Gym nightmare: my forgetfulness is becoming an issue!

Fitness, weight loss

So this week I have been pretty crap! Went to the gym on Monday did a good workout mixing everything up and then I left my trainers at the gym.

I am generally forgetful but they are bright pink and I normally check my locker!

Not good

So I didn’t go to the gym Tuesday or Wednesday and realised that I needed a gym buddy. Someone to motivate me to go, to challenge me to push myself.

And just to turn up at the bloody gym.

So I set my alarm for 5.30 and went to the gym.

5.30 is an ungodly hour.

It was still twilighty, that’s how early it was and I had to dig out my old Adidas trainers so I could work out.

My face was like thunder when I hit the gym. But I turned up worked out and my body is a lot less sore this time.

We tried a few different machines!

this was I found a little scary as I challenged myself with the weights. Jon is taking them off for me! I don’t think I got heavier then 60k but next time I will.

It was a challenge.

I have forgotten my towel a few times.

My day clothes

But loosing my trainers really annoyed me.

My forgetfulness is pissing me off but I have so many things on my mind it’s not going to change any time soon!

Don’t get stuck in a fitness rut: Gym tips I still need to listen to!

Advice, body confidence, Fitness, Uncategorised, weight loss

I used to go to the gym 3 times a week which looking back wasn’t great but something is definitely better than nothing!

But I was stuck in a rut!

When they ask to introduce you say yes!

I never went upstairs and I never really explored the machines when I should have. Gyms always ask you if you want a walk through and actually you should take them up on that offer!

I should have walked round and learned about all the machines.

I also should have walked round and understood that I need more than a few exercises to see results!

Don’t get stuck in a rut

This is what Jon taught me. He said when you come to the gym there will always be a certain amount of people who are there all the time but you never see a difference in them.

This is because they don’t change up their routine enough. They get stuck in a fitness rut of comfortable exercise and can’t get out of it.

Now there is no harm in this. Maintaining your weight and fitness is important but unless they change up there routines and add different elements to it there body it going to stay the same.

I am a hundred percent guilty of this. I am definitely a creature of habit. I like the running, rowing and bikes. I may through in a different machine if I am feeling brave like the CrossFit or step machine but most of the time that it’s.

Plus I run home.

So my muscles are doing the same thing all the time which means although they are getting stronger and I mean a bit more toned I haven’t seen that much difference.

I didn’t want muscled arms so I stayed away from weights.

Now I want to introduce them into my routine. On Monday I did bicep curls and upped my weights each time. This will help work on my arms and bingo wings which I do need.

You need to do a bit of everything if you want to see improvements.

I am still working on a fitness plan that I can follow without being a slave to it!

Preparation is key

Pack your bag the night before! If I don’t do this I waste 5-10 minutes every morning when I could be at the gym. I have forgotten my locker key, towel (twice) shoes, you name it.

My skincare and shower bag now live permanently in my bag so I have to get them out on weekends.

When it’s hot it’s easy as I can just pack a dress! But as it’s a little cooler this week I have to focus on outfits.

If you are showering at home the. This doesn’t apply to you but I go straight to the gym then to work! Preparation is key to this and here is where I really need to listen to my own advice. I need to plan my outfits and check I have my towel with me!

Gym tips

I can’t give you any real fitness advice because I am just starting out and it would be wrong to do so! So if someone talks about your fitness at the gym listen to them. Ask for advice book a PT everyso often.

Keep it fresh!

Also you don’t want it to become boring! You need to challenge yourself! Up your game each time. But mostly you need to do this for the right reasons. You need to do this for you, not to get in your wedding dress, not to look Instagram ready.

Do it for you

I am doing it for me. The goal was my wedding but I want this to continue for my body to be a healthy happy place.

Survival of the fittest, well just give me time and more training!

body confidence, Fitness, Uncategorised, weight loss

I did it! Jon survived my whining for 5 days straight. I literally upped my game so much. My weights got heavier on all fronts.

I ache all over.

I can sleep so I am not too worried.

I am taking the weekend off and starting again next week. I aim to do a minimum of three visits this week but I hope I fit in more.

Fluidity is key

I am going to miss having instruction from someone who knows what they are doing and give me advise and just tell me what to do. Yes, I know I can pay someone £40 a n to do this but I cant afford it. Instead I am going to try and write out a plan of machines and exercise reps that I can do. This won’t be a rigid plan just an idea of say 6 ideas I can do per session.

I have learned so much about muscles and strength training. My bingo wings are still there but I can feel them tightening. I need to work on my diet a bit more and keep up with all the ab exercises and arm training.

I also need to get back to my running and training for the half marathon.

Now I have ventured upstairs in the gym I can use the machine that have gradient training and work on my rhythm, breathing and stamina. I also need to start running home from work. Now that its cooler I don’t have an excuse.

Perhaps now that I am more focused on my health and fitness, I will actually start to see results.

With running the main thing I noticed was just how my fitness improved. I have less energy in the evenings ( I am a lazy toad after all) but by training in the morning I have been fine. Work has been full on this week so I really haven’t stopped.

I am working Saturday but I am just doing wedding planning on Sunday.

The strange thing is I am looking forward to my gym session on Monday I just hope I am confident enough to tackle the weights by myself. I wont be able to do any of the barbells as I do need someone to spot me but I can definitely can do the bicep curls and other bits.

5 days of fitness

Next week I will just try to go as much as I can and focus a bit more on my diet!

I can do this

I can get nice and healthy for me, for my body and be proud of myself on my wedding day.

But more importantly, if I ever end up in a horror movie I can do a pull up to get away from the baddie!

Thank you for joining me on this challenge. As you can tell even though I am tired, my body is sore I really enjoyed it.

Thank you Jon! You are a super star.

Day 5 a friendship ruined

body confidence, Fitness, weight loss

Kidding. There is no drama. My body from top to toe is taught like a bow string.

I am tired and was bit grumpy today.

Biceps

We started on my bingo wings again! I started on a 4Kilo and worked my way up to an 8. Jon encourages me to push till I can’t left any more.

I had to lie back and push them to the ceiling. My last weights were a little too heavy and I managed to push and relieve them twice but the third time I lost control and have a small brusir in my chest to prove it.

Then I tackled the barbell again. Hands ina different place push up. Again I struggled but I did more then last time.

Calves

My carves are strong and defined but Jons are puny and he needed to work in them. So this time we used the weight machine to push and strengthen our carves. It burned so much I thought my skin was melting but they recovered quickly.

He asked me so it was my fault.

Some bingo wing pulls machine. Pulling towards myself and working on my arms. It didn’t feel like I was doing much but apparently it does.

I enjoyed this one until he told me I should stretch my body. I had to jump up and hang like a monkey!

Abs again

It was my choice. Plank for 1 minutes I managed 15seconds and giggled through the rest of it!

then I had to lie down and pull my legs up! I hate this bit but I did well compared to last time.

Then I had to lift my feet, twist my body and tap a weight either side. Again I wasn’t great but I had improved since last time.

Then we finished with him showing me how to use the ski pully machine which was fun!

5 days of gym over

Was it worth it, of course!

My body hates me at the moment and it is making it know my reminding me of every muscle in my body.

It’s sore.

I could sleep straight after work I am that tired but it is not just the gym it’s work as well!

My body will thank me! As it already is starting to look better.

My knowledge of my body and the gym machines has been all thanks to Jon. He has been patient, challenged me and also laughed a lot at my incompetence!

I am not a flexible, agile nor strong person but our friendship survived thank god!!

Pull ups I will defeat you, just maybe not today

body confidence, confidence, Fitness, weight loss

I was late

This is not good

I also forgot my towel which resulted in a very awkward towel and a very damp journey to work.

I also didn’t turn on my Apple workout so I have no stats for today which pissed me off.

Today was a challenge but I was ready for it!

more squats

I had to do kettle bell squats. I can’t do squats as we all know but I just can’t bend low enough. I had already warmed up with some dumbbell squats so I think Jon was just punishing me for yesterday’s lame attempt.

He made me do a weird thing where I had to tuck my elbows in and push a big barbell from my forehead up and then behind my head whilst lying down.

It was weird and I was slightly afraid of dropping it on my face and breaking my glasses. I didn’t really like it but it worked on my bingo wings so I was happy to try.

The ropes

He made me bounce a 5 kilo medicine ball over my head then on each side of me. The coordination guru in my was obviously amazing at this. Or not. But I could barely lift the 10 k ball. So I tried and have massive room for improvement.

I am still confused how I can pick up certain weights in some shapes but not in others!

Is it just me?

Jon forced me to try the ropes which I couldn’t do in the light ones but was fine with the heavier ones. Again why is that!

Finally we finished

Although it makes me a bit sad when we leave because I am getting into the rhythm of going to the gym.

I also had to do pull ups.

I told you guys I can’t do this, and it’s an aim of mine to be able to do it with me. I do find the women in the gym inspiring. There bodies are amazing and you know it’s hard work rather than just good genes, starving yourself or help from the knife.

So the pull ups! It was okay yes I was assisted. Yes I struggled but I did 3 reps of 10.

One day I will do ten by myself for now I am in training.

I am really enjoying learning.

I do need to push myself a bit harder but to me that is all about the learning curve.

Happy gym day