Abroad City: An American Living in Glasgow #8

It’s been about 6 weeks since my last Abroad City: An American Living in Glasgow post, so, to say it’s long overdue, would be an understatement.  There are a few rants that I must get off my chest and also it’s Thursday, so we’re all thinking out loud with Amanda at Running with Spoons!

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Again, I want to stress that I am completely aware that I’m the foreigner, and that I’m the odd one here.  There’s so much that I love about Scotland, and even things I prefer. (Um, Cadbury?) It’s still hard to adjust sometimes, that’s all!

So, with that being said, onto my expat woes!

7 Days of Summer

I don’t really need to get into too much explanation here, as I have profusely bitched about the summer we’ve been experiencing over here, but seriously, this shit has been whack.

The streets of Alyth after the burn burst its banks. Picture: Hemedia

We’ve had legit, like, 7 days of weather actually resembling the summer I know (which, incidentally isn’t the summer Scotland generally receives).   Apparently you get used to it, at least that’s what the doctor said to me when I asked for some Xanax to cope.

Luckily there are fake tanners a plenty here, so people can pretend they’ve got a sunkissed look.

Or forget to blend.  Which happens here.  A lot.

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Also, I found this funny sarcastic tribute to Scotland on BuzzFeed.  It’s worth a peek no matter where you’re from.

No Air Conditioning

Okay, so why do I care if there’s air conditioning if it’s not even hot here?  I generally don’t.  However, when you’re in a crowded place this time of year, it would make all the difference.  For example, this past Saturday, Luke and I went to see the play The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time at the King’s Theatre.

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It’s an old theatre.  Obviously.  We were actually warned by friends the night beforehand that if we were sitting in the balcony area we’d better prepare to suffocate.  My husband said, “our tickets are floor seating so it shouldn’t be too bad.”  So, Saturday night we both sported long sleeved shirts and were ushered up to the f’n BALCONY.

some like it hot, but this was just stuffy and from hell.
some like it hot, but this was just stuffy and from hell.

I’m not exaggerating when I say this, it must have been 90 degrees from all the bodies and breath up there with no air. I’m not even just bitching about the lack of air conditioning, I’m talking about the lack of air circulation.  By the time intermission happened I was just seconds away from a claustrophobic panic attack!  I get that it’s an old theatre and it would probably cost a fortune and ruin some of it’s authentic charm, but, in my opinion, it made me not appreciate the play as much as I would have liked to.

Mostly, because the woman next to me kept hitting my face whilst fanning the sweat off of her’s with her show programme.

What can I say?  We Americans LOVE us a sterile temperature.

Buttered Popcorn?  Computer says, “No”.

A few weeks ago, Luke and I finally went to see Jurassic World.  We don’t go to the movies (or cinema as they say here) too often, but we felt like this film was worthy of the “big screen” experience.  Whenever I go to the movie theater, I always indulge in movie theater goodies, because, why not?  I go SO infrequently and it’s part of the experience.  I always get a popcorn with butter, M&Ms, and a Cherry Coke.

Not this time.

I asked for butter on my popcorn.

The cashier was like…

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So, I was like…

 

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She wasn’t kidding. They mostly do sweet popcorn here, which, honestly, in any other situation would have been just fine. This was the movie theater though, where…

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My American friend, Jolyne, told me that they sell American movie theater style microwave popcorn at the Costco over here and that she’s learned to just smuggle it in with her.

It’s just not the same, though.

It doesn’t need to be the same, Erin.  You’re in a different place, with different magic.  On a serious note, I DO get over these things.  This is just a reflective rant.  In fact, by the time you read this, it will be all out of my system.

Until the next thing that makes me go, “hmmm”.

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Any thoughts?  Are you a buttered popcorn fan?  Ever seen a self-tanner fail?  Ever self-tanner failed yourself?

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A Day In The Life : Personal Trainer Edition

Good morning, Fitfam!  It’s been an entire week since I’ve posted anything, and besides the fact that you probably didn’t even notice, I’ve just been super busy.  As I’ve mentioned before, I am building up my own training and coaching business, and things are off to a great start.  I love being able to be busy, help people better themselves, and also never get bored!  So, this week’s topic at #TheFitDish with Jessica and Jill is “A Day In The Life:  A Photo Collection“.

First, a confession:  I have many weaknesses as a blogger, but one of the worst is my lack of photo taking skills.  My inability to take photographs is true in real life too.   I can visit a country and take 6 pictures!  Believe me, it infuriates many people!  So, with this week’s topic being a photo-centric post, I made an effort to take some photos to document what my Mondays look like!  Mondays have become a very busy day for me, I have different clients (and deadlines) at different places throughout the city.

So, without further delay, I give you…

A day in the life

5:30 AM — I’m up!  Getting in some water, stretching, and packing up the bag to head out the door!

6:30 AM — I’m on the train, on my way into City Centre  to meet my first client!

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7:15-8:30 AM  — My first client of the day!  We did some suspension training and cardio — woot woot!

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8:40 AM — I head to the subway to head over to the West End to meet my next client!

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9:15-12:00 — I headed to Loch Lomond ( about 20 minutes outside of Glasgow) for an outdoor workout and walk with a client who just wanted to get out of town and be in nature!  It wasn’t as sunny over there, but it sure was beautiful!

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12:00-12:30 PM — Caught the subway back to City Centre to start my venture home!

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12:30-1:30 PM — I decided to walk back to my apartment from City Centre!  Whilst on my way home, I took a shameless Instagram #OnAQuest photo of my S’mores Quest Bar!

@questnutrition S'mores on the Clyde #glasgow #Scotland #cheatclean #onaquest

A photo posted by Erin Campbell Thompson (@beetsperminute) on

1:30-2:00 PM — LUNCH TIME!!  I had a chopped salad:  Spinach, cucumbers, carrots, broccoli, corn, and chicken with chili lime dressing and a couple of pickles, because pickles…

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2:00-4:30 PM — I am working with a nutritional therapy client, so I spent some time reviewing notes and getting together some food lists for our next appointment.  I also took this time to go through some emails, and to get together my assessment paperwork for a new client consultation at 6 pm!

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4:30 PM — Time to get back on the train and head into City Centre to pick up some items at Holland and Barrett and a quick stroll outside, because the sun has actually been shining in Glasgow the past few days!

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6:00 PM — Up the giant flight of stairs, to meet with my new client and perform fitness assessments and get her started!

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7:00 PM — Met my husband for a ride back home (seriously, my legs were jelly)!

7:30-10:00 PM — Dinner (spiralized butternut squash noodles and slow cooker tomato sauce), a MUCH needed shower and some quality time with the hubby.  *Sigh*.

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10:30 PM — Goodnight moon!  I am exhausted and I have a client at 7 am tomorrow!

What did your Monday look like?  Are you one to always take a photo?

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3 Steps For Finding A Silver Lining In Any Situation

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Happy Tuesday!  I am linking up with Jessica and Jill for #DishTheFit and today’s optional topic is, “An Attitude of Gratitude”.  I had to participate, because I am in the process of getting my Life Performance Coaching certification as well as completing the Robbins-Madanes Strategic Interventionist Program (who doesn’t love Tony Robbins??)  to help enhance my personal training and nutritional therapy certifications.  I believe that all of my specializations go hand in hand, and I want to be able to help my clients break through whatever barriers are keeping them from being healthy and happy.

What’s an attitude of gratitude, really? It’s living your life from the perspective of being grateful for everything that is. This includes finding gratitude in things that are less than what you believe you would like them to be.  

Basically, your attitude of gratitude is finding your silver linings on a grander scale.  

A major lesson I am learning in my life coach training is finding a way to utilize all of my failures as a way to clear the path for the greater things that I am working towards.

We’ve all had times in our lives where something we’ve put a lot of ourselves into didn’t work out.  There are not enough words to describe the negative emotions we feel when this type of rejection occurs, not to mention what it does to our motivation and self-esteem.

The truth is, we can learn to reprogram and internalize these negative experiences and transform the energy associated with them into positive choices and directions.

3 Steps For Finding A Silver Lining In Any Situation

  1. Ask yourself, “What can I learn from this situation?”  Maybe you’ve lost your job, ended an important relationship, or found out some crappy news in general.  Regardless of which end of the spectrum an event is perceived to be on, there’s always something to be learned — whether it’s about yourself, another person, or situation.  Maybe the lesson you learned is that you have to be more or less trusting.  Maybe the lesson you learned is that you didn’t really ever feel happy in the job you lost (I’ve so been there on this one)!  Maybe the lesson you learned is that you need to take better care of yourself or start making your well-being a priority. Choosing to take a bad situation and turn it into a lesson learned will enable you to grow emotionally and spiritually.
  2. Ask yourself, “What am I able to do now that I wasn’t able to do before?”  In any situation, your opportunities will change.  Try to focus on how this opportunity will give you the ability to do something (or many things) you weren’t able to do before.  What skills did you gain from your last job?  If you’re out of a relationship or toxic friendship what time — more importantly energy — do you have to now devote to something that will make you happier, stronger, and more fulfilled?  Maybe now you’re more able to speak up for yourself and communicate what you do and don’t want out a relationship/friendship.  There is no way that you have not gained the ability to do something bigger and better today that you couldn’t have done yesterday.  Discover this, rebuild and go forward.
  3. Ask yourself, “Do I have perspective?”  This is not to belittle yourself or your struggles, but if you can step back from any situation and answer yes to any, some, or all of the following, you’ve got a lot to be thankful for:
    Do I have my health?
    Do I have a place to live?
    Do I have clothes on my back?
    Do I have food to eat?
    Do I have a support system and people whom I love and that love me?

While none of these things may seem like much to celebrate, take some time to appreciate each and every item. Being able to truly appreciate all that you do have going for you is really the biggest silver lining of all.

Practicing an attitude of gratitude is all about really appreciating everything for what it is, and sometimes that means having to search for that silver lining, appreciate it, and be content with life right now as it is.

Do you look for the silver lining in bad situations?  How do you practice an attitude of gratitude?

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Great Scottish Run

Monday Funday!  I hope you all had a fantastic weekend!  I sometimes talk about my husband, Luke (okay, maybe a bunch), but he’s super great.   There are many reasons why my hubby is fantastic, but today I want to talk about one way in particular.

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Luke, is participating in his first half-marathon EVER and he is going to be raising funds for Cancer Research UK in honour of my late father, Alan Campbell, who passed away from colorectal cancer in October 2011. Glasgow is host to the Great Scottish Run — a half-marathon and 10k — where runners can participate for their own personal record, fun, and to raise money for charities of their choosing.

My father was a very charitable man and his giving nature wasn’t limited to holidays or once or twice a year events — he gave to others in need whenever he could.  So, it’s wonderful that Luke is going to honour his memory and run to raise money for a very good cause!

Since Luke is going to be raising funds for charity, it would be great if he could receive support and sponsorship!   Even though this is a UK-based event, you can still donate in other currencies, and every bit helps!  I am going to place a link on the right-hand sidebar for people who are interested in donating (whatever you can) to Luke for the big day on October 4, 2015!   Or you can donate today by clicking here!

I am very proud of Luke, he’s been training hard for this run and it’s wonderful that he’s chosen to raise money for a cause that is very near and dear to our family!

Thanking you all in advance for helping out, and please tweet this link to help us spread the word and help Luke to raise the most that he can for Cancer Research UK.

Also if you’re a runner (and in the US) you should check out ShoeKicker — it’s basically the Kayak.com of running footwear.  ShoeKicker reached out to me to let me know about their site (which just launched last week), and while they don’t have worldwide shipping yet, they are still worth checking out!  They have some REALLY good prices and they are a really great shopping resource!

Thank you so much!!!  See ya soon!

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Intuitive Exercise Fueling

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Is it Thursday again?  Of course it is, and this means I can TOL with Amanda at Running with Spoons.

Okay, truth be told, I am an “intermittent” intermittent faster, so I don’t always eat pre-workout.   I also prefer to exercise in the morning, so the way I fuel my workout is less about food and more about how I’m going to get moving.

However, there’s nothing wrong with people who prefer to eat pre-workout, and for some folks it’s the best thing for their body.  This post isn’t about when you fuel your workouts but HOW you fuel them.  I like to fuel intuitively and I call this process “Intuitive Exercise Fueling”.  

The intuitive fuel is all about listening to your body and giving it what needs to get you through and beyond your exercise sessions!

 

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When I’m FINISHED working out I’m all about getting the right food into my body asap.

In the past, this post-workout feeding could get a bit scary

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I have been on just about every eating plan there is, and none of them ever worked for me.  The one way of eating that does work for me (and I highly recommend for anybody recovering from an eating disorder) is intuitive eating.

As an intuitive eater, I tend to refuel my body after workouts with what my body is craving.  As long as you’re getting in your caloric needs and base macros, your body will be able to recover, build, and maintain muscle. Typically, after my exercise session, I crave protein.  This makes sense — especially after exercise — as the body needs to replenish amino acids from protein to promote muscle repair and growth.

Protein powder is a great way to ensure you take in the correct amount of protein and a great option for adding to smoothies and snacks for your pre/post-workout refuel.

A typical post-workout meal for me could be:

  • Fruit and plain unsweetened yogurt mixed with protein powder
  • Protein shakes with hazelnut milk, frozen berries, protein powder, rolled oats, and PB2. 
  • Quest Bars or homemade protein bars
  • Gluten free protein pancakes with fruit and agave

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I try to not be too strict with my pre/post-workout meals.  If my body is craving something sweet, I usually will add some cocoa powder or dark chocolate chips to add that bit of sweetness and satisfy my sweet tooth.

It’s important to give your body what it needs and to really listen to it when it calls out to you.  This is the basis of eating by intuition.  Eating well after exercise also replenishes your glycogen stores and helps to keep your energy levels high and your body functioning optimally.

Even though I use the power of intuitive eating pre/post-exercise, I don’t use it as a free pass to make unhealthy decisions.  To be honest, once I’m done sweating my ass off, the last thing I really want to reach for is a processed and highly refined food product.  

I just eat the macros I need and let my body take care of the rest!

***************This post was inspired by ETB Fit.  For more information on their energy sources please check out their Pre-workout Energy page!**************************

Do you fuel pre or post-workout?  Do you use protein supplements?

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