Good day my bats,
Having a nice Monday so far?
I want to start this week by writing on a subject that is completely different from most of my posts but what is a big part of my life: health. In particular my experience on the Glamour Health Challenge last Saturday and my thoughts on the entire fit girl hype… is it a good thing? Give you something to think about during the rest of this week.
Last Friday we shot the new lookbook shoot for Attitude Holland at the office in Edam. Since Edam is very close to Amsterdam I decided to book a hotel for the night and visit the Glamour Health Challenge the next day… Some friends and family did think I was crazy, but I like a good challenge from time to time. And I just wanted to see what it was all about, it was free so if it wasn’t meant for me I could just visit Amsterdam and go home on time again.
Hotel Jaz Amsterdam
Before I write hundreds of words on the challenge I just had to share some photos of the hotel with you. It was such a great place! It’s called Jaz Amsterdam and it’s located right next to the Ziggodome and the entire hotel matches the dome. So much music references and everything is high tech and fancy lights and stuff, I loved it. And it was well isolated and the beds were very nice. Normally I barely get any sleep in a hotel because of the horrible beds and the noise, but I slept quite well over here. On my way over there I already checked in on my phone and when I arrived at the hotel I could use my phone with bluetooth to open the door to my room. And for my fellow caffeine addicts: each room has a Nespresso machine. To quote some Killstar: “Fancy as fuck”.
The only downside, I forgot to bring my swimwear. Sometimes I’m just a bit to chaotic. So I couldn’t try the sauna and steam cabin, maybe next time.
Why did I visit the Glamour Health Challenge?
As some of my regular readers might know by now; my body and I aren’t the best of friends. I’ve been struggling with my health as long as I can remember. The last year adding even more trouble. I won’t bother you with my entire hospital history but it comes down to getting new diagnoses every two years and trying many different ways of becoming healthy, which all seemed to work for a short time, but after a while something new develops and I have to get back on track over and over and over again. Since the doctors still think my body is some sort of mystery I just try some stuff myself, eating even more healthy than I already did and working out, but keeping my own limitations in mind all the time. Which is something I did definitely learn over the past years, no single way of life or any diet is healthy for everyone, it all depends on the way your body reacts to it. But I will come back to that later on.
When I saw the Glamour Health Challenge was coming up and that Mary Helen Bowers from Ballet Beautiful would be there I decided I should give it a shot. I’ve always been attracted to Ballet but practicing it just isn’t meant for me… but this workout seems do-able and what’s better than trying it out in real life with coaching from the one and only Mary? Since it isn’t extremely high intensity on cardio and muscle strength I figured I might be able to follow it. That was mainly the reason I wanted to go. And Glamour said there would be a health market with all kinds of healthy food and gadgets who knew what I might come across.
I do have to admit I was in doubt for a while. I’m often quite insecure about my body, not because I think I’m really fat, but just because of my health, and because I always feel like I look unhealthy. It’s something that developed over the past years, I don’t feel really ‘ugly’ but I don’t feel pretty either. Not because of my weight or my eyes or mouth or something that isn’t symmetrical, but because I already have these permanent wrinkles in my face and other marks on my body as a result of the lack of energy and fluctuating weight I had for so long. That’s the main reason why I always take selfies with big sunglasses or cut my head off the photo… I just hate looking ‘sick’. It’s something that most people don’t even notice anymore, but I do. It does slowly improve and the wrinkles do start to disappear a little so it does make me feel better, but going to a health event with so many women that actually are “fit” and healthy and beautiful seemed a bit confronting and I wasn’t really sure if I could deal with that.
Hell my muscles are soooo sore, I didn’t want to get out of bed this morning, but I’m so glad I went! I even joined all the workouts! Which is something I never expected I could do. And I did feel like quitting, but it was so motivating to workout with hundreds of women at the same time and seeing that a lot of them were struggling with the workouts but fighting and continuing as well. It wasn’t at all like I expected… of course there were lots of really fit women, but there were also a lot of women that weren’t sport heroes yet. And it feels good to be surrounded by some many people that just try to become a better version of their selves, (whatever their motive might be) and to see that it was hard for them as well, and that I wasn’t the only one for whom these kinds of workouts aren’t part of a daily routine. It wasn’t confronting at all it was only very inspiring and when you finally finished the workout it feels so good to have succeeded. Even if you did take some breaks in between (sssh don’t tell the trainers).
The first workout was given by Nike and some fit bloggers and it was so intense. One hour of pure hell, but we survived. I’m only used to do some fitness in the gym and Body Balance lessons, but I’m not the jumping lunges, push ups, mountain climpers and burpees kind of girl. Big muscular upper legs just aren’t meant for me. Sorry Nike. I’m proud that I did it though, but I’m not planning on doing those kind of workouts at home as well. Second workout was given by Fajah Lourens, personally I disagree on a lot of what she said and made us do but there was one thing that she did say that I found really good. She mentioned that everybody can get their Killer Body, but that you do have to consider your own body type. Which is something a lot of girls seem to forget from time to time.
The last workout and the one I came for: Ballet Beautiful by Mary Helen Bowers, and she even brought the Victoria’s Secret model Maud Welzen with her, she was so stunning in real life. The work out was a lot heavier than I thought, that probably also has to do with the fact that we already had two very extreme workouts earlier on the day. But I loved it, I felt so feminine and at the seem time you did feel your muscles burning. Like some sort of yoga on fire combined with some cardio and strength training. I’m definitely signing up for the online program, you can try it out for only $4,99 the first month now when you enter the code BBGLAM16. I normally prefer offline classes but I’m going to give it a shot because I really like this type of workout. Mary herself was such a graceful women, very inspiring.
Besides the workout there were some lovely food stands, I prefered the sushi one by Meneer Temaki where you could choose all the ingredients, yum! And the fresh coconuts by Juis-z, coconut water for the win. Whenever I’m dizzy or trainsick it always help to drink some coconut water, I don’t know why because nothing else helps but this does.
We also got a water bottle by Zalando and a small goodie bag from Maybelline with the new Baby Lips (love it!) and a mascara, haven’t tried that one yet.
Zalando had this very big ball pit filled with white balls and a couple orange ones, and if you found the orange one you could win some goodies. I didn’t try it but it was so funny to see all this women diving into a ball pit as if they were children again.
And my personal favourite: the skippy ball race at the Avanca stand! They make wireless earplugs and to see if they would stay put in your ear you could do a skippy ball race, very funny. Didn’t win the race but the plugs were still in my ear at the finish.
All in all, it was a great experience, very inspiring and I would definitely visit it again next year! The people were lovely as well, even though I’m not your typical Glamour girl.
Some thoughts on the #fitgirl hype
One thing I would like to note, since this challenge is actually based on the entire “fit girl hype”: I’m not a big fan. Don’t get me wrong, I think it’s very good to be healthy and find out what works best for your body. But that doesn’t mean following food and work out trends, and feeling the pressure that comes with this hype… I myself am intolerant to super foods, buckwheat, kale, whey powder and lots of other things called healthy. I’m not intolerant to gluten, but I’m actually intolerant to every grain there is, even the ones without gluten. I don’t believe that any premade diet, juice detox or workout schedule is truly healthy for everybody. It could actually do more harm than good. Of course certain foods and drinks are generally more healthy than others based on the amount of vitamins, fibers, proteins, fats etc. but in the end it all depends on how your body processes things. It is a good thing to be fit, but you should figure out how to be fit yourself and not feel ashamed if you haven’t tried the latest juice detox yet or when you eat some fries or whenever you don’t have a six pack belly. And the trend has it’s effects on the entire country and food industry as well. In good ways, that all ingredients have to be on the package etc. And in bad ways, a lot of people see every diet and intolerance as a hype or weight thing right now instead of a real health problem and they treat it less serious than they should (especially some horeca places).
Why can’t it just be a hype to be the best version of yourself in your own way, whether you prefer to eat gluten or not, or do burpees and squats or yoga or football, or maybe just eat whatever you like and don’t sport at all if that is what makes you feel good. I also prefer a bag of crisps from time to time, I can’t function without my cup of coffee in the morning and whenever I’m with my boyfriend we binge eat very salted pistachios, healthy? Not that much, but damn it feels good.
What do you think of this hype?
I hope you enjoyed this extremely long, different post, I would love to hear from you.
All the bats,