How I got in good shape

How I got in good shape 1354 437 Galia Brener
This one is for the ladies and gentlemen who have asked me how I managed to drop 10 kg and succeeded at looking better, healthier and fitter. This article marks the 2-year Anniversary of writing my column, so I will open up to you today, and tell you how I personally managed my big transformation this year.

It all started on January 1st 2014, when I didn’t fit into my favorite jeans anymore. It was the day after New Year’s Eve, and I looked around the flat, disgusted by the fast food boxes from the nights before. I wasn’t happy with my body, excess fat and cellulite anymore. It always annoyed me to hear people talking about doing sports, getting fit and working out. Even worse were the people talking about eating healthy food, salads, less carbs, blah blah blah. I thought, “How pathetic, what kind of life is that?” I only had pizza and burgers on my mind. I liked to show off that I could eat whatever and whenever I want to. One day, my best friend showed me a bikini photo of us from the previous summer in Ibiza. I was shocked. My stomach was hanging over the bikini bottoms and the cellulite was all over my thighs. My upper arms were flabby and my bum was much more than what I bargained for. I know that happiness comes from the inside, and we should love ourselves no matter what we look like, but I wasn’t happy with what I saw in the mirror. I wanted to be fit and toned!

The very first thing I changed was not to eat after 6pm. I don’t mean no carbs after 6pm, but rather nothing at all! Of course I drink water and tea, but no food at all after this hour. I go to sleep around midnight, so that leaves me with 6 hours to digest the food I ate in the early evening. What I noticed right away was how amazingly flat my stomach was when waking up in he morning! I feel light, and sleep better – since the body is not working on digesting the food that I would usually eat at 9pm or later. I do have to warn you though: it was a living hell at the beginning. The first two weeks were horrendous torture. I would walk around my flat hungry and angry like a monster. What worked was to go to sleep earlier in order to avoid this feeling. After a few weeks, my stomach and body got used to not eating after 6pm, and it was completely normal for me. The nice thing is that I don’t have the energy ups and downs anymore, but rather a constant energy flow throughout the day. I make the rare exception and eat later if I’m out for dinner with friends, but try not to break this rule very often.

I start my day at 8am with a cup of coffee and a big glass of water. I have breakfast around 10am, and eat something light, like cereal, eggs or a small sandwich. I’m not a believer in the Atkins or low-carb diet. I’ve done them and the Ketogenic diet as well, but it’s not for me. Carbs make me super happy, and I can’t deny myself of eating them. Life is short and we have to enjoy! I eat my lunch around 2pm. For me, lunch is the most important meal, and not breakfast. For lunch I usually eat a large salad with chicken or turkey inside. I like Caesar salad, and I’m not afraid to eat the dressing that goes with it, and some bread too. Fish is also good, stuffed peppers, or roasted chicken with vegetable – even with baked, boiled or mashed potatoes. I also like steaks, and once in a while eat it with French fries. I don’t deprive myself of anything! I eat what I love, but all in healthy doses. I still eat burgers, but only 1 or 2 times a month. I eat Thai food, with rice, chicken and vegetables. What I really love is sushi. Soups, vegetable sticks and fruit are great snacks for in between. I don’t eat pizza or pasta – personally for me, it’s too heavy. I usually make a nice sandwich around 5 – 6 pm with fresh vegetables on the side. I don’t eat big things for dinner, mostly a soup, wrap, salad or sandwich. I don’t usually eat desserts, cakes or pastries, because I never liked the heavy sweet taste. However, I’m not afraid to eat a few small pieces of dark chocolate during the day, because it makes me happy.

Around February, I decided to add some fun physical activity again. I tried yoga years before and thought it to be horribly boring and hippie-infested. This year I decided to try it again, and chose a dynamic course. I loved it! It melts the daily stress away, leaving me relaxed and happy. I noticed my muscles slowly developing. It looked sexy, so I started doing yoga twice a week. In April I watched a movie from the 80’s and saw a woman doing some funny Jane Fonda moves at home. A silly thought came into my head, “Why don’t I do this at home?” So I started with sit-ups, push-ups, bum busters, squats and the side plank hip lifts. I started with a small amount of 20 times on each side, and 3 sets. Now I progressed to 50 times and 3 sets. Take your own time and start slowly. Getting in shape takes time and patience! I now also use 2kg weights, and do 30 curls on each side for my biceps and triceps, and also in 3 sets. Depending on my muscle pain the next day, I either skip a day or do these exercises everyday at home. It takes a total of 1 hour for me. I wake up earlier to do them, or in the evening after work. This with yoga 2-3 times a week does the trick for me! I’m not a jogger, and never liked it. It’s boring for me and tough on the knees. But if you like it, then it’s a great cardio workout. I walk around the entire city from appointment to appointment, which is my cardio each day. Sports really help to get rid of cellulite. I see a huge difference, and am so happy with the results!

Last but not least, my most important achievement this year was to quit smoking. Gone are the stinky, horrible, expensive and nasty cancer sticks! It’s been 136 days now, and I don’t plan to touch them ever again. I can’t believe how much more energy I have without smoking. Walking fast and climbing stairs is so much easier now. I gained 3kg as soon as I quit, but I compensated with more sports, and thankfully lost those bloody kilos again. Stopping to smoke slowed my metabolism down, but I noticed that my body is getting back to normal, and is digesting quicker without the nicotine again. It takes time. For those that say I look better now, it’s definitely the non-smoking. The skin heals and renews itself. Also the healthier food and sports help to regenerate the body. What also helps me is 8 hours of sleep, and not drinking much alcohol. I drink wine about 3 times a month, but only a few glasses, and no alcohol at home. Of course don’t forget the usual: drink lots and lots of water, blah blah. No seriously, it really helps. I also take multi vitamins everyday. I won’t lie to you, getting into shape is hard at the beginning. However once you start and see results, you won’t be able to stop. You will feel so happy and proud of yourself! You will be healthier and your clothes will fit you better, and of course this increases the self-confidence a lot. Now I’m one of those annoying people bothering my friends about health and sports, and guess what? I will never go back to the way I was before. New life, new Gali. Come and join my “New-Me-Revolution!”


Want to be happy?

Want to be happy? 1354 437 Galia Brener

Do you fantasize of the future, when you will have success in your career, a nice house, a wonderful partner to share your life with, that fast car that will get you all the fun and attention you desire, or the day you go on a warm holiday to Bali? Do you think to yourself, “When I will have this, then I will be happy and enjoy life.”? While you a dreaming of these things, life is passing you by. If you are relying on other people or things to make you happy, then you are making a big mistake.

My friend Gloria was in a relationship with a guy for three years. She told me many times how happy he made her, and how much better life was with him. To make a long story short, after the three years went by, he did not want to make a permanent commitment to her. He said he didn’t know when or if he wants to get married, or have kids at all. They broke up because there was no future for them. Needless to say, her world was shattered. She was depressed, horrified and overfilled with tears and pain for an entire year. She said, “Gali, he’s gone, and I will never be happy again. There is no one here to make me happy anymore.” This was a big statement that scared me very much. I tried to show her that this happiness must now come from inside of her, that’s the only way to survive this emotional pain. But she didn’t listen, and kept sinking lower into her depression. Last month she met a new man, and she is happy again, running around and singing. Can’t she see how dangerous it is that she can only be happy when having a man in her life? What happens if this one leaves as well? Then life is over again? Putting your own happiness in someone else’s hands is very volatile and risky. Happiness should be controlled by you, and not another person or new thing that you buy.

If you want to find yourself at a state of constant equilibrium, you cannot place your happiness in the hands of anyone else. You cannot control what someone will do to you, yet your reaction to it is your karma! Buying new things and going on holiday is nice, but if this is the only way for one to be happy, then there is a big problem. Sometimes there are situations when money is not always around, or the big love has disappeared – and then what? Life is over? So how do you generate happiness from the inside? I went through some harsh experiences with my private and career life the last few years, and I can understand what it feels like to be at the bottom. We have two choices. We either let ourselves fall lower into misery and become victims, or fight out of the black hole and create happiness for ourselves. Here is a list that helps me to keep my happiness and positivity:

1. I wake up in the morning healthy and alive, and that’s already a huge reason to be happy. I get out of bed, and say thank you out loud with a smile everyday.

2. Even if you feel sad, force yourself to smile, because this action releases dopamine – the feel-good chemical. If you think it looks stupid, go to a place where no one sees you, and smile – in the bathroom at the office or on your couch in the evening. It’s a really amazing trick that actually works!

3. Sport relives stress, and makes you feel amazing that you did something good for you! You don’t even need the gym, and can do it at home like I do. After working out, I feel a rush of happiness and gratification that I’m treating my body well.

4. When eating, take the time to enjoy your food. Taste it, and try to eat slower than usual. Don’t forget how fortunate you are to have a healthy stomach that can digest the food, and a healthy mouth and teeth that can chew. I had a cold two weeks ago and couldn’t taste my food. When it was gone, I realized how something small like tasting food could be so wonderful!

5. Spend as much time with family and friends as you can. These are the people that love you unconditionally. Get rid of all toxic people in your life that harm you.

6. During the day take a small moment, look up at the sky and say thank you for being here, healthy and alive. And smile.

7. If you’re healthy – even more or less – be grateful because that’s really something that cannot be bought or earned. Health is something that you are blessed with, so try to do all you can to keep it strong and with you.

8. If you have a weak or sad moment, start counting your blessings and think of all the positive things that are in your life now. This tricks the brain to think of the positive rather than negative things.

9. No love in your life now? My grandfather always said that what one year doesn’t do, one minute can change! So you never know what’s around the corner, and coming towards you. Feel the strong faith inside that your special one will come – it might happen sooner than you think!

10. Find something that you like and enjoy. If it’s reading, writing, watching your favorite series, painting, masturbating, cooking or eating, do something once a day that you truly enjoy. Find a hobby that occupies your time, and which you really enjoy. This brings pleasure and joy.

11. If your brain sends you negative thoughts, counteract them right away with positive happy thoughts. Trick the brain to replace negative with positive as soon as they appear.

12. I like to play house music from the 90s in the evening or morning when doing my sports or housework. It makes me happy to dance around my flat and act silly. I don’t care who sees me from my windows. I’m happy in that moment, and I smile to myself as well.

13. Action and not inertia. If you have something to deal with, do it now! Don’t keep important things that must be done for another day. You will see that you will have a tremendous feeling of relief and happiness when you get your shit done now, and not procrastinate. You will sleep better.

14. In one ear and out the other. Be Teflon. If someone hurts you or gossips about you, let it roll off of you life Teflon. Who cares? It’s usually jealousy anyways. Smile and move on. Let them gossip, it means you’re important enough for them to think about you. Leave revenge to Lady Karma – don’t get your hands dirty. (Same applies for bad loves and jobs, exes, colleagues, etc)

15. Money, nice things, good sex and food, holidays, etc are all bonuses in life. Be satisfied with the bare minimum, and enjoy when these bonuses come, because they are not the true meaning of life. The good bonuses will be graced upon you, if you know how to be happy with the minimum.

If you are at a balanced and happy state, no matter what hard things life throws at you, you will always be able to deal with it, and not allow it to destroy you! Also if you truly love yourself, then you can properly love someone else. Being in a relationship with a happy person is the best thing that you can give or have. I’ve learned the hard way that true happiness is not an external factor, and can only come from within. Depend on yourself for the happiness, because only you can truly love and give yourself, what you expect others to give you. And if they do, see it as a bonus in life and don’t take it for granted. Do you want to be truly happy? So what’s stopping you? Start now, it’s your own decision and choice!

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12 things happy single girls do

12 things happy single girls do 1354 437 Galia Brener

I will be direct and not spare any feelings in this article. Life is short and you should live, enjoy and be happy while you can (single or not). Last night sitting on my couch, I realized that absolutely everything in life is pretty much temporary – either longer or shorter periods of time, but never forever. That’s why it’s time for us to wake the hell up and start living a happy live NOW.

1. Sports. Happy girls are balanced girls. I do yoga because it gives me peace at heart, and keeps me sane, especially when I have stressful and difficult situations to deal with. I enter the yoga school with thoughts about everything, and exit with an empty mind. It’s worth gold to just breathe and not think about your crap for a while. Sports help us stay healthy, beautiful, and allow our brain to rest from the constant mind fuck that we put it through.

2. Take care of themselves. Single does not mean dead. Happy single girls continue to shave their sweet parts, and take the best care of their hair, nails and skin. They take vitamins to boost their immune system, never miss a teeth cleaning at the dentist, and make sure they go to the gynecologist to get everything checked up. Happy single girls love and make themselves their own top priority. To be brutally honest, and what I’ve heard from people’s situations, is that nobody needs a sick partner.

3. Spend time with friends and family. Life is not only about romantic love, and having a partner. Single happy girls are grateful for every opportunity to spend time with the ones dear to them. They appreciate the true gifts in life – of having a best friend, and family that love them like no one else does. Remember my words: everything is temporary – and parents will not be here forever. Spend as much time with them as you can… before it’s too late.

4. Shopping. No boyfriend? No problem! Being single leaves you with more money to spend on yourself. Spoiling yourself is a privilege that you should get used to. However, also saving a bit every month is very important because it gives you financial freedom, which is a bloody amazing feeling!

5. Spend time alone. Spending time alone is very peaceful for me. I sometimes lock myself in for the entire weekend, and watch DVDs, write my articles, pig out on Russian pilmeni, sort out my closet, do some facial masks, sleep, rest, read, draw, and the list goes on. A single happy girl must be able to spend time on her own. Life is not over if you have no boyfriend, quite the opposite actually, it gives you time to relax and do the stuff you love – whenever and how long you want to.

6. Let go. Single happy girls let go of expectations and pressure to meet a guy. They know and have faith that the right man will come when the time is right, and not stress themselves and their friends about it. Single happy girls are confident, know their own worth, and are never desperate. They don’t take any shit from a man, and would rather be single than together with a schmuck.

7. Live in the present. Happy girls are not stuck in the past with thoughts of how amazing the time with their ex-boyfriend was, while shedding painful tears. They also don’t dwell too much in the future thinking how happy they will be when they finally find their true love. Happy girls live in the present, because they know that life can pass by in a blink of an eye. Living in the past in a crazy illusion – it’s not real, and a ridiculous waste of time.

8. Get enough sleep. A well-rested girl is a happy girl. Never underestimate the power of sleep! The body regenerates itself during sleep, which means better skin, rested calm nerves, no dark circles under the eyes and more energy. This all contributes to a daily happy-feeling. The great thing about being single is having the bed all to yourself. Plus there is nobody snoring beside you, keeping you awake and irritated all night.

9. Optimism. Happy single girls stay optimistic. No matter what hardship they have been through in life, they keep their strength and don’t let anything break them or kill their spirit. Nobody on this planet is worth your damaged nerves and health. The happy girl will see all bad occurrences as an opportunity to better herself, learn a life lesson and grow. Winners are able to create their own happiness – it’s your own choice!

10. Commit to goals. Happy single girls don’t have time to complain about how lonely they are, because they actually have goals to achieve in their life. Instead of wallowing in miserable self-pity, happy women get off their ass and achieve something! They complain less, and accomplish more.

11. Surround themselves with happy people. Happiness attracts happiness. Likewise negativity attracts misery. Get rid of all the energy vampires in your life. You know those people that always have dramas and complain about everything? They are toxic. No matter how much you try to motivate and help them, they never learn. Happy single girls stay away from these people, and have friends that are positive, successful and well-balanced.

12. Happy single girls know how to masturbate well! They have perfect knowledge how to pleasure themselves and are not afraid to explore their own body. They know exactly where to touch themselves, how to do it, and what they need to reach an Earth-shattering orgasm. Happy girls have a great collection of vibrators, and are not afraid to use them!

So it’s really up to you… do you want to be happy or not?

Ho Ho Oh so SINGLE, and HAPPY for the holidays!

Ho Ho Oh so SINGLE, and HAPPY for the holidays! 1354 437 Galia Brener

The lights are hung in the city, and the festive holiday mood is spreading around like hungry mosquitos. Friends call to meet you at the Christmas market, which is already in full swing at the Römerberg in the middle of Frankfurt. When you arrive, you see the beautiful 28-meter tall Christmas tree decorated with magnificent bright lights, glittering in the evening sky. After a few minutes, you notice the many couples walking around you, holding hands, giving each other loving kisses, laughing, hugging – and all of a sudden, those tree lights turn into harsh blinking-blue reminders – making a mockery of your single holiday blues. The tree is not your friend anymore, and you escape to the next stall, in order to drown your sad thoughts with a few Glühweins.

Must the holidays be a constant reminder of how single you are? Does hearing ‘jingle bells’ every time you enter a store make you feel even lonelier? Let me shock you here for a minute… it doesn’t have to be that way! To be quite honest, being single during the holidays actually opens up a huge amount of possibilities to you. You are your own captain! You can accept or decline whichever holiday party invitations you wish, you can do whatever the hell you want to with your spare time, you can pamper yourself in a spa, you don’t need to buy your partner or their family any presents – think of all that extra cash you can now spend on yourself! Buy that sexy dress you saw in the store window, be the goddess that you are! You have more time to spend with your friends, or those you haven’t seen in ages, hang around more with your family, have extra time for your fun hobbies, take an exotic vacation during the holidays… basically, you have the freedom to do what you want, when you want to, and how you want to! That doesn’t sound so bad, does it? Actually, it sounds quite fabulous!

Dave, a friend of mine, was telling me that last year he organized the most amazing Christmas party for his big love, Julie, and her family. He showered her with beautiful gifts, and made sure that everyone felt welcomed and comfortable in their home during the holidays. Instead of showing a tiny bit of gratitude, Julie was complaining that everything is going wrong, how he is not good or respectful enough to her family, that she is under too much stress due to trying to be perfect and accepted by his family. The holiday season was a devastating disaster for both of them, even though Dave tried his very best. (The single people reading this are now thinking…oh, thank God I do not have to deal with this crap!) Am I right? The way that I see it is that there are both positive and negative aspects for being single or attached during the holidays. Being in a relationship can be wonderful, but there are also times of stress, fights, emotional overflows, attempts at pleasing each other and the families, and more chaos. Do not concentrate and fixate on the thought of how amazing it would be to have a partner now. This will only cause more emotional pain, which is not really needed right now – frowning causes wrinkles, and is not a good accessory to your New Year’s Eve outfit! So what, you’re single? Believe me, you’re not the only one out there. It’s not the end of the world, (Actually it might be, but we shall see in 2 weeks ;-) it’s just another year that some more holidays go by. So you see dear single boys and girls, being solo during the holidays is not so bad… instead of being sad, go and enjoy yourself, flirt, bake, dance, sing, work out, continue that stamp collection from childhood, learn Mandarin… there is so much to do!

The flirt-factor in December is quite high! The snowflakes are falling, and people want to have fun at the Christmas parties. So instead of wasting time and feeing down and depressed about being solo, take your fabulous self to a salon. Get a stunning new hairstyle, buy a seductive new outfit, and make plans with your dear friends for the next few weeks, including New Year’s Eve. You are fantastic and have no time for pitying yourself! You are a warrior of love, and deep down you know that the “right” person will come when the time is right! So why wait? Go out there, have fun and enjoy your life… good things shall come!

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