Thursday, April 23, 2015

Glimpses of Busan

Click on this link to the short video timeline glimpse of the city of Busan, South Korea, where my daughter is presently teaching. 

A photo I took of Gwangali Bridge when I visited Kate in September 2014

Sunday, April 19, 2015

Fields of flowers

My daughter Kate-Lynn visits the fields of flowers in Busan. Absolutely amazing beauty, and following on from the Cherry blossoms just a few days ago. You can see in the background how it's become a destination with the marquees selling products and other people wandering in the fields too.

Pretty as a flower..

Leonie and Kate in the fields of flowers in Busan, South Korea

Kate getting up close amongst the flowers

Friday, April 17, 2015

Hard working out

For the past 6 months my mates Dylan, Chris and Brandon, and Llewellyn have been giving me valuable help, advice, motivation and encouragement to take this tired and decrepit skinny body and breathe some new life into it. 

It's not easy at 56 to spend, or even find time to spend, at least 5 hours a week lifting weights and jumping around the room doing cardio and some crazy crossfit exercises. However in those months I have managed to increase my weight by 10 kgs and decrease my body fat percentage by over 3% and lower my resting and peak exercise heart rate. My aviation doctor says this is the fittest he has seen me. So big thanks to my helpers for showing me the ropes and training with me to push boundaries which exist largely only in one's head.  Chris said, "don't think about it, just do it." and Dylan said, "You managed to lift it when you believed you could". Check out the pics of the work in progress and for a sample of the action..

My workout yesterday.. the guy in the pics is not me (ha ha) but Dylan who trains in Amanzimtoti and is just completing his Personal Training course. He has given freely of his time and makes sure I train hard, whilst he lifts and does double what I can do... and leg press he manages 500 kg to my mere 160 kg. You're a machine Dylan!
High Jump

 I think the last time I jumped was in high school athletics meet, so I didn't think I could still get up there, but with a bit of focus it's possible, even if I look like I'm straining my foefie-belt ha ha. 
Box jumping at Toti Virgin Active

Chris got me started as he is relatively small in stature but has impressive guns and abs to die for and lifts weights like a beast. He encouraged me and gave me my new training programme which set the ball rolling in October last year and has been inspirational throughout and I catch up with him training once a week keeping me on my toes.

Dylan pushing half a ton!!

My mate Dylan manages half a ton leg press, and today passed his personal training prac exam, so will soon be able to offer his services on a professional level. Congrats man!! He is particularly keen on a programme for moms and their toddlers, showing how every mom at home can join the keep fit revolution whilst keeping her toddler entertained. He has started his own blog, Dylan's Way so be among the first to click on this link here and see how he develops the blog and puts into publication his brain-filled maze of ingenious ideas, nutritional advice, exercise tips and ways to better health. It's for everyone, including the ardent body builder and those just wanting to make better life and health choices. Thanks Dylan, I am sore for days after working out with you. It's great to feel progress!!

Thyme, Lemon grass and Sage tea
Herb Tea

Most of my mates are also non-smokers and non-drinkers, so whilst I have never smoked, I have been toning down my drinking habits. In fact, I now battle to finish two glasses of wine.. ha ha, and have been enjoying my new herb and green teas.. fresh out of the garden. You must check out the medicinal value of these herbs!! I was amazed.

Starting off small

I only started leg-training as well as a spinning class a few weeks ago and you have to be prepared to start small. In the pic below I think I was only managing 2 x 20 kg but over the next 3 weeks have increased that to my new record of 160 kgs. With dumbell bench press I also reached my new record this week lifting 2 x 30 kgs (60 kgs) for the last 10 reps of the set. I'm chuffed with that progress.
Leg press is a killer, especially for tender knees

These ropes are a killer and help develop your shoulders

Work in progress...

Trying to add some bulk to my arms which were always more like match-sticks. >>


By far the biggest lesson I have learned is that it is just as hard for fat people to lose weight as it is for skinny people to put on weight. The body has an amazing ability to confound your best efforts, slowing down your metabolism if it thinks you might starve, so cutting down with diets rarely works, and similarly if a skinny person eats more, your body just speeds up to compensate and out it goes as fast as you eat it... meals take careful planning and timing to achieve what you want to and for me it's eating much more than I used to, and eating the right kinds of things. 

Protein and fats are in

I have added a lot of protein to my diet to help build lean muscle and I have re-introduced some animal fats, which contrary to popular belief, are really very good, in fact essential for you. So double cream yoghurt is back in... omw have you tasted how good it is, whereas all this time I have been eating crappy fat-free yoghurts!! I have always eaten butter, not marg, so that hasn't changed, and I have always enjoyed the fattiest cuts of biltong.. yum. I have a diet plan that tries to balance the correct amount of carbs vs protein vs fats and the correct kilojoule amounts, but I do still struggle to find enough things to eat each day. Llew always said I eat to live, whereas he lives to eat. Food was never anything critical to me and I could go a full day without eating if I was busy. Now I am taking time out to eat and most days taking prepared food with me to the office. 

These are my boys Chris (left) and Dylan (right) - my mates, gym advisors and instructors; don't you love them!! I am training with the best.

Trolls' Croatian Vacation

Our group of mates have booked our own private yacht to cruise the islands of Croatia in September. The 12-berth catamaran is based at Trogir, near Split in Croatia, where we will board for an idyllic few days cruising the islands, preceded by a visit to Bulgaria and Montenegro (where the previous James Bond movie was filmed) followed up by a few days in the Greek Isles.

Here's a link to the Facebook group of the troll's Croatian Vacation where we will be posting more news and pics.

Pebble beach near Makarska  where we will stay for a night before boarding the yacht on our drive from Dubrovnik to Split
Our group got together for dinner last night to finalise plans and bookings... flights are already booked. For Llewellyn and myself 3 Sept to 28 Sept!!! We used our Voyager airmiles and the tickets/airport taxes cost us R7500 each, including the connecting flights from Durban, Jhb, Munich, Sofia (Bulgaria), returning Athens, Frankfurt, Jhb, Durban, inclusive. Thank you SAA.

The yacht we will sail the islands in

We will board the yacht in Trogir, near Split
For the first time in 35 years I will enjoy a whole month vacation visiting Bulgaria, Croatia, Montenegro and the Greek isles
We will be staying here.. list will be updated as we make the bookings:
Bulgaria - Borovets, Flora Apartments
Croatia - Makarska, Apartments Soline
Croatia - Dubrovnik
Montenegro - Hotel Astoria, Budva
Greece - Mykonos