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Fruit Bat



Current sports...





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Name: Fruitbat
Age: 20
Height: approx 1.66m
Weight: approx 52 kilos (but have not weighed myself for about 6 months - broken that bad habit but too risky to go back to doing it again)

Hi I am Fruitbat - my nickname says it all really - fruity by nature and fruity by name. My friends can't believe how much fruit a single person can eat in one sitting. I am also nicknamed Pixie by some and Miss Soja which is the French word for "soy". Nutrition and fitness are my biggest passions - I read fitness, health, nutrition and vegan eating books like most people read novels. I am very anti -alcohol, smoking, drugs, fast and junk food, and laziness. Idle time is wasted time and I hate not being busy - this is why every free minute of my day is filled up with exercise. I exercise to a fault - I know I should rest more but I have yet to sort that out.

I love exercise because it makes me feel good knowing I am healthy, I feel more confident and assured especially when really fit, muscly people in the gym single me out as their friends, I like thinking I am stronger than the average girl and fitter than the average student, I like to believe that the time, effort and money invested in my body now will pay off in 50 years time. I also exercise out of vanity - and really resent those girls who look fantastic without trying. I miss gymnastics but I really look forward to starting free weights as I am bored with machines, and I feel it will give me better goals to set. Sport helps me too in every day life due to the feel-good factor, helps my concentration (academic marks remain excellent despite an extensive part of my revision periods being spent working out my body instead of my mind), helps me feel good about myself thereby boosting self-confidence especially when I get complimentary remarks on my fitness or appearance, keeps me busy and has made me loads of friends.

Picture of me 1 year ago:

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Ex-gymnast, I am used to working my body hard and regularly (used to train 17 hours a week) - I like self-discipline and a routine, structured life. I gave up gymnastics due to an Eating Disorder (anorexia) which developed from low-self-esteem and severe depression (please note that it was NOT due to gymnastics). I turned vegetarian after a year of my ED in the hopes that a healthier diet would help me to overcome my eating problems - but it helped very little and my weight kept dropping.  At my thinnest and weakest days it used to hurt to sit on hard chairs, lean against walls, lay in many positions on my bed; I was always cold, lost hair a lot, had very dry skin, was always tired and napped whenever I could and used to feel bad if I wasn't verging on hypoglyceamia between meals. I left home, became happy again and after 8 months managed to turn my life around the right way up. I overcame my ED for 2 very important reasons:
1. I realised that what I made me feel good about being vegetarian were actually vegan features of a vegetarian diet - so along with "Optimum Nutrition Bible" Dr Patrick Holford, and inspired by a vegan restaurant in town - I altered my diet to a pure-vegetarian / vegan diet
2. I became physically active again - I had enrolled in Lacrosse but my ED had prevented me from being much good at it - I was always too cold and tired - but I started improving with increased food and taking more interest - I started swimming daily, and I got inducted to the cardio and machines room in the campus sports centre.

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Current sports

Swimming daily
Gym cardio and machines - at home multiple and varied classes as well but no swimming available though I have to cycle to the gym
Mountain climbing and walking
Skiing (when I can which isn't often anymore)

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Vegan of course
Lots of raw foods and varied foods - lots of colours - so mainly salads really but a salad is anything from a few sodden lettuce leaves to a meal it for a king - mine include leaves, raw veggies, avocadoes, nuts, seeds, tahini, sweet potato, rice, quinoa, tofu, tempeh etc
I get my healthy fats from abundant nuts and seeds
I get my protein from pulses, nuts, seeds, quinoa and tofu or tempeh
I try to limit wheat to 2 portions a week just because I feel that we should rely on other complex carbohydrate sources as well as wheat such as whole rice, quinoa, oats, and rye
I try to limit my ready-made, processed soy foods to weekends and some weeknights only as I feel the high fat content can hardly beat the more natural tofu and pulses and nuts and seeds and also processed food of any kind - vegan or omni is not good in excess. Of course, vegan processed foods are about 10 fold healthier than omni ones!
I have fruit for breakfast always - and nothing but fruits until mid-day
Every week I include: tahini, nuts, seeds, mixed beans, chickpeas, lentils, tofu and/pr tempeh, vegan pesto, red pepper, avocado, watercress, sweet potato, organic carrots, broccoli, kiwis, and vitamin B12 yeast spread (a type of vegemite) in my diet.
I make weekends my indulgent days - after all you have to be naughty sometimes and it prevents cravings - so Saturdays I eat out at lunchtime and saturday evening and Sundays I make meals of whatever I fancy (Cheezly pizzas, Nut roasts, Spirullina pasta, Chinese "Duck Peking", Redwood "nuggets, schintzel or fish", burger, home-made sushi, home-made Mexican etc...) and I allow myself a treat dessert (soy yoghurts, soy icecreams, soy chocolate, cake or biscuits, vegan fudge, or Chocolate Soya milk)
If I am tired before a workout I sometimes allow my self a few squares of chocolate for an energy boost but this is a new development

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I go running Mondays, Tuesdays, Thursdays and Fridays - (Tuesdays and Fridays I carry two 0.5kg dumbbells) but these are very short little runs (or jogs probably more than runs) as a wake-up and warm-up exercise. I follow this up with a 15 minute Bum workout (glute-raises, abductor raises and squats) and a 10 minute Tum workout (crunches, obliques, curls and bridges) which I vary slighty in a 2 day pattern
During my lunch break before eating every week-day I go swimming at the 25-yard pool - I usually swim 60 lengths in a pattern of 15 x 4 (1 breast, 3 crawl) - it usually takes me between 25 and 35 minutes depending on how tired I am and how crowded and therefore "choppy" the pool is. Wednesdays as I do not run, I have a morning swim and I swim 100 lengths in the same pattern - usually Wednesdays I am a little tired and this is hard work but I feel good for it. I have been known on some rare afternoons when I am free to do as I want and I have already visited the gym in the morning - to swim 160 lengths with a 2 minute pause at 100 - but for this the pool must be empty or have only 1 or 2 other quiet swimmers (as in people who don't make waves or splash around or "bob up and down").
Every evening after work I go to the gym (more or less willingly) and I usually workout about 1h15 to 1h30 - more or less strenuously depending on energy levels and the previous days. I always have a pure cardio day on Mondays, Tuesdays I usually concentrate on upper-body; Wednesdays I try to do general body workout, Thursdays and Fridays a workout of my choice - but Fridays I try to take it easier because Saturdays I always workout hard.
Weekends I go to the gym and follow it up straight away with a swim - I usually workout 1h30 to 1h45 and swim my usual 60. Saturdays is an intense day with hard cardio sessions intersperced with short mahine resistance exercises. Sundays I tend to do a very intense upper-body workout.
I know it is good to workout a part of the body one day and rest it the next so I try to repect this in my workouts


I want to start doing free-weights but am awaiting an induction session. When I start free-weights my plan is to do weights every other day and have cardio days in the gym in between.
I want to have broader shoulders and stronger arms (always been a weakness even in my 13 years as a gymnast)
I want to tone-up my tummy and bottom - both of which will never be quite what I want but which I am learning to accept now.
I am considering getting involved in Triathlons but my swimming is not in good form (even though I do lots of it) and I am not keen on outdoor cycling (don't have a bike most of the time and I hate the weather and hills - a legacy of all those indoor years as a gymnast!)

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Xmas Update (9/12/2004)







Well I have been hitting the weights room since September and let me say I LOVE it - I also love man-watching hehehe - all those fit, muscly men and me the only female - it's great. By befriending one of the most serious and popular and hard-core bodybuilders, I have been easily accepted and I have a free personal trainer as well as a fantastic friend and cycling partner at the end of our workouts. My improvement has been amazing. I feel fantastic!

I have modified my workout routine now. I swim every morning as ever - usually try to get a minimum of 3 "long" swims in a week (=100 lengths) though my record has been 800 lengths in 8 days and on a separate occasion 140 lengths in one swim. I have been taught how to swim properly - i.e. head-down crawl with a breath every 3 strokes and extending my arm well in front. My time records are 22 minutes for 60 lengths and 45 minutes for 100.

Gym workouts. Until recently I have been doing 1h cardio (Xtrainer, treadmill, rowing) , then 45 minutes of weights then 45 minutes cycling. I usually do 3 sets of 12 reps unless very hard then I do 8 reps. However the past 2 weeks I have reduced the cardio to 20 minutes to put more accent on the weights training and I usually do 20 minutes cardio, 20 minutes abs, 1h15m weights and then 45 minutes cycling. I also do 1 or 2 spinning classes a week which are a novelty for me and I LOVE them. I occasionally go running on weekends.

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Swim (am)
(pm) gym: cardio; abs;
Weights -biceps and chest:
chest press (olympic bar with up to 10lbs weights) or (10kg dumbbells)
pec flyes (10kg dumbbells)
bicep curls (10kg dumbbells but I struggle with those)
cable cross-overs (15 each arm and they are fairly easy but followed by forced dips I usually get sore trapezoids)
forced dips
45 minutes cycling with gym partner (chance to chat absolute nonsense for 45 minutes)

Swim (am)
(pm) gym: cardio and abs if time before spinning class
Spinning class 45 minutes with gym partner
horizontal leg press (120kg)
calf raises (160kg)
I sometimes do squats (10kg on olympic bar) and/or leg extensions (30 easy) and/or leg curls (30-40) and/or deadlifts (15kg barbell)

Swim (am)
(pm) gym: cardio; abs; biceps and back
Pullup station with ONLY (5kg counterweight) for 3 sets of 8 reps and they are starting to get easy enough for me to consider doing them with my full body weight - unfortunately I must go home next week which will interrupt my progress.
Lateral pulldowns in front and in back
Spinning class 45 minutes

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Swim (am)
(pm) gym: cardio; abs; weights - shoulders
Shoulder press (olympic bar with 10kg OR 10kg dumbbells)
Military shoulder press (olympic bar + 10K)
Lateral raises (improving with the 5kg dumbbells though I do still need a spot) I tried a triple dropset (5;3;2.5) for the first time with training partner and it was really good.
Front raises (25k) - I am surprisingly strong at these - my training partner is amazed.
Shrugs (olympic bar +90) - only tried these for the 1st time recently
Vertical rows (15kg barbell)
Cycle 45 mins with training partner

Swim (am)
(pm) gym: cardio, abs
Weights - back and triceps
Bent-over row (olympic bar + 20lbs)
Single-arm row (10kg dumbbell)
Tricep press-downs (20kg)
Tricep extensions (10kg dumbbells)
Tricep overhead extensions (not sure how much my partner put on)
Cycle 45 minutes with training partner

I am not quite as loyal to my training on weekends as I used to be - but I do workout very hard all week so I often skip the gym and only swim at least one day(often extended long swims though of 140 lengths!). I use weekends to do only cardio workouts so if I do workout both days:

25 minutes interval training on treadmill
12 minutes cycle
15 minutes Xtrainer

17 minutes cycle
12 minutes run (12k/h)
12 minutes interval training Xtrainer (levels 7/8)
5 mins gradient brisk walk
1km row
1km sprint
sometimes easy jog on running track on the afternoon (5k)

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Although I don't look hugely different - I know I am much stronger and my arms are slightly musclier but only I can really see the difference physically. I am ever increasing my fitness and strength. I like my body more - though still room for improvement! Most importantly I have gained so much confidence - whether this is due to the actual weights or the weird friendship I have struck up with my training partner I don't know. We make a funny sight BIG man and little girl with respectively sized weights or on the spinning bikes in the corner bantering cheekily.

During the summer I was trying to eat raw alot but I decided this was not best suited to me. I was quite often tired and I felt like I was missing nutrients - I reckon I have a bit of a weak digestive system as it is easily upset so I have decided the way forward is by half raw and half cooked veggies. Thus my eating plan is as follows:
Mornings: until 11 or noon: only fruit (usually kiwis, pears and apples as the winter season has little to offer for variety that is affordable)
Noon: 3 x a week I have 1 sweet potato with avocado and tomato; 2 x a week i have a watercress, sprouted seeds and pulses salad with a red pepper.
Supper: 3x a week I have Veggie mush [Carrots Cabbage Mushrooms Peas Kale cooked together and then blended with the cooking water into a thick mash; I add UDO oil supplement (prefect EFA's) and miso and lentils or chickpeas or pulses of some kind] and 2 x a week I have 200g of tofu with steamed broccoli. Every day whilst my dinner is cooking I dip raw carrots in a pot of tahini ( I get through a jar a week). I have a seaweed salad with my dinner once a week also. I sometimes have soy yoghurts for dessert and I usually have soy milk for soy cocoa when I want.

Earlier in the year I used to have every day the following snacks: an apple and nuts for snacks or for dessert; dried fruit pre-gym session; and 1 banana smoothie with 3 bananas and 400mL soy milk and UDO* oil mid-morning or afternoon but I did not feel I was benefiting from the food because it made me feel too full all the time esp during exercise and I find with less food I am able to work out better - though I have reduce the cardio considerable so maybe the appetite decrease reflects the reduced cardio - though I have increased the weights.

Weekends I have my treat day at least once if not both days - every Saturday I have soup, a main course (often veggie burger with wedges and salads) and a gorgeous unctuous dessert at the organic cafe in town which are great for vegan-labelled foods and choices (up to 75% can be vegan). Saturday evenings I often treat myself to anything though sometimes I am just naughty and eat rubbish and then don't feel hungry. Sundays has become treat day in my student house when I make myself and housemates a vegan baked treat so we have had pancakes (lemon and cranberry, choc chip, apple cinnamon) and choc-coated doughnuts; banana chocolate muffins, chocolate coconut walnut fuge cookies. Sometimes we have a nut roast.

I go out pubbing once a week or every other week and usually have a great time. I don't know how I feel about this because I am not sure the alcohol is vegan and being a health puritanical person I don't approve of pubbing, clubbing, drinking or smoky atmospheres and yet I do enjoy myself and don't like people to think me a boring, obsessive or boring person. I find going out gives me a boost of energy and motivation for academic work and workouts the days following.

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This term has been very hard for me personally and academically but sports-wise it has been amazing and I have also learnt also of life-skills. I love weights and love being able to surprise people with the strength hidden in my tiny puny little arms.

I am going home for Xmas and I do not look forward to the interruption in my workout routine just as I am getting myself established in the gym and figured out good workouts and seeing progress. The gym at home is different and I wont have my training partner to spot me but I will continue with weights of course. I wont be able to swim though. I do do classes for the fun of working out to classes and to music. I have to cycle to the gym and I may try running again. After Xmas all gym may cease for a week whilst I go skiing.

Merry Xmas to all - eat-well, exercise-well and above all be animal and eco-friendly in this season of good-will when everyone is good to themselves but rarely to animals or the planet.

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