Monday, December 31, 2007

2008, I'm ready!


I hope everyone has a fantastic New Year and successful 2008.
I love the beginning of the New Year for the realm of possibilities it presents. I love making plans and even better, following through on them!
Right now, I'm gathering my thoughts about a few things -
a) when to have the repair surgery done (I am thinking winter as you do need to wear a compression garment for a good few weeks after), plus I want to be fully fit to help everyone backstage in the April/May comps.
b) whether I should consider a comp pre surgery - this will depend of course on the surgeon and other things - so no true commitment there yet.
c) Inspired by some of the other bloggers around here, I'd like to write a book...any takers?
d) Taking my RPM a little further, doing Proinstructor and hopefully getting more involved mentoring other instructors.
Ah, decisions! Right now an evening of eating curry and imbibing sparkling water awaits ;)
Before I depart, I'd like to thank all of my Blog readers and fellow Bloggers for all of your encouragement and support this year. I hope 2008 is wonderful for all.

Sunday, December 30, 2007

Thai Harder?


Don't you just love this Thai Green Curry of Veggies?

DH and I have decided to do a Thai inspired New Year's Eve bash - he thought of having family around and I thought that instead of the usual BBQ fare, that Thai would be fun. We are in the middle of making:
Massaman Lamb Curry
Thai Green Curry of Chicken and Holy Basil
Red Curry of Pumpkin and Eggplant
Various appetizers
DH has gone on a bit of a cooking bender and taken over the kitchen. I don't know whether that's a good thing or not, judging by the number of cans of coconut milk that are being used in our concoctions :)

I am taking care of dessert but going more Canadian and making a Saskatchewan style Bumbleberry Crumble. I fell in love with Saskatchewan pie when I lived there :), just not Saskatchewan itself.

I've had a day off training today. I'm continuing the "slug" theme!

Saturday, December 29, 2007

Sore wings and training for today

I know I said that I wouldn't do any strength training until next week, but I managed to slip in a run and some upper body training yesterday. Whoa, am I sore, particularly in the lat area and triceps - courtesy of some wide grip low cable rows for the back (excellent for developing overall posterior (back) strength in the upper body, plus shoulder friendly. Then there were the throatcrushers (say no more!) for the triceps. Ouch!

Last night I found out that I had to teach two RPM classes back to back today - firstly my Hi Performance class at 8.10am then the 9.30am class. I had a good laugh with the absent instructor telling her that I'd just polished off an enormous icecream in an equally enormous waffle cone (after eating all of my veggies of course), so that the second class would be just the ticket.

I gave it a good whack in the first class and then as there were three other instructors at the club who could take the second class, I decided to give it to someone else and participate (as she had my DVD). This served another purpose - one of my New Year's resolutions is to get around and participate more in other instructors' classes . I don't think I gave it my best effort after the pasting I got in Hi Performance, but it was lovely to hand the reins over and simply enjoy the riding experience.

After such effort initially, I've been a bit of a slug for the rest of the day. What are weekends for anyway :)

Friday, December 28, 2007

Nutrient Secret Bars are here


I've just received shipment of Slim Secrets latest bars, "Nutrient Secrets". I have been "trialling" them over Christmas. They are neat little bars, almost exact 40-40-20 ratios for protein, carb and fat and taste pretty good.
As far as I'm aware, The Fitness Solution is the only online store that has these in so far, yeah me!
I have six bars to give away for free - if you'd like one please visit my site ( www.thefitnesssolution.com.au ) and contact me via the store button. The first six of you to get in touch will get a free bar!
I'm still sharing the love.

Making my inner Exercise Physiologist jump for joy!

I am a big fan of the original book, "New Rules of Lifting" and imagine my delight, when a couple of months ago I found out that a Women Specific version was being released. I already know a bit about Alwyn Cosgrove and Lou Schuler but I didn't know anything about Cassandra Forsythe, the female contributor for this book.

Anyway, after a bit of Googling, I came across Cass' blog - she's got a degree in Exercise Physiology and is doing her Ph.D in exercise and nutrition. She has also competed in Figure comps and is one of those people that lives what she believes (Amen!). She has some great stuff in her blog, which she has given me permission to copy and paste.

The first post is about "Exercise Hyperphagia" (increased appetite with exercise).

Exercise what?", you ask?Hyperphagia = noun, Abnormally increased appetite for and consumption of foodIn Gary Taubes new book (with which I’m completely absorbed), “Good Calories, Bad Calories”, he suggests that exercise may not be the answer for weight loss because it increases one’s appetite.This statement is completely true. Exercise does increase your appetite. How many times have you had a totally hard workout, where you’ve almost completely lost all desire for food because you were so tired, to then feel completely famished only a few hours later? This massive desire for food sometimes just doesn’t seem to be satisfied to matter what you decide to eat. You’d like to keep on eating, but you knew that all your efforts in the gym would be negated, if they weren’t already.This phenomenon is exactly what Gary has presented and it’s more than just the thought of one author. Here in our exercise research lab at the University of Connecticut, we’ve observed the same thing. In some of our exercise & weight loss studies, especially those involving a lot of aerobic activity, many participants have a hard time losing weight because they’re always hungry. Interestingly, this occurs more often in women than it does in men.Now, this sexual dimorphism (i.e. difference between men and women in hunger response to exercise) may be due to the energy deficit women experience compared to their male counterparts. To explain, say you have Joe and Jane, both eating and exercising to lose weight. Joe’s body needs at least 2000 calories to maintain his metabolism (his RMR) and eats 2600 calories a day to see his abs. When he exercises, he expends 350-400 calories which leaves him about 200 calories over his RMR, but still loses weight and fat, and isn’t hungry. Now, Jane only needs 1500 calories to support her RMR, but, due to the silly weight loss advice she reads in most magazines, she’s only eating 1200 calories a day to minimize her thighs and make her waist smaller. When she exercises, she expends about 250-300 calories per session, which now puts her in a severe calorie deficit. She loses some weight and fat, but she can barely control her appetite because she’s basically starving herself. She can hardly stick to her diet plan and usually binges several times per week. Clearly, if Jane ate more, and ate foods that were more satiating, she’d have a better chance at meeting her weight and fat loss goals.The difference between men and women may also be due to the energy conservation mechanisms that are inherent in a women’s genetic makeup. Women are traditionally the child-bearers, which is an activity that requires plenty of energy (food). When exercise is thrown into the picture, the energy lost tries to be recovered by the body through an increase in appetite.Despite the fact that exercise can greatly increase hunger, especially in women, it’s still beneficial for body re-composition goals. When one is trying to change the way their body looks, exercise helps to diminish fat stores and increase muscle mass so the body appears firmer and more sleek. Exercise is also beneficial for the cardiovascular system, enabelling you to sustain activity for a longer period of time without feeling like someone kicked you in the lungs. Finally, it is well known for reducing risk of developing chronic diseases like cancer, diabetes and heart disease.So, if exercise makes you so hungry that you feel like it’s not even worth it, what should you do?Well, first, since you’re more than likely going to be hungry after you workout, have a plan in place of good things you should eat. Don’t hide cookies in your cupboard, with hopes that you won’t find them, because when your hungry strikes, you’ll reach for them for sure. Make sure you have easily accessible good protein, fat and carbohydrate foods pre-prepared, such as cooked chicken, or tuna in a can, raw nuts and avocados, and fresh fruits, vegetables and whole cooked grains like barley and brown rice. This way, when you come home after a long day and a hard workout, you won’t be tempted to order out for pizza, but instead have a healthy satisfying meal at home.
Then, always make sure you don’t wait too long after eating to engage in a serious workout. For example, if you usually workout at 4:30 pm, always make sure you eat a complete protein with some fat and/or carbohydrate no later than 2:30 pm. If you know your workout is going to be more than an hour and a half long, you should eat no later than 3:30 pm. As I’ve said before, you need this food to allow you to have an effective workout. If you’re concerned about fat loss, then just wait at least 30 minutes AFTER your workout before you eat to lengthen the fat-burning window. A good pre-workout food would be something like a scoop of whey protein, mixed with water or milk, poured over 1/3 cup Fiber One cereal + 1/3 cup Kashi Puffed Whole Grains, with 1 Tbsp of unsalted sunflower seeds.Finally (for now), since blood sugar fluctuations are a major stimulus of hunger, prevent extreme highs and extreme lows by eating slow-digesting, low-glycemic carbohydrates (such as spouted grain bread vs. a honey bagel) with a small amount of health fat (such as almond butter) and a complete protein (such as whey protein, chicken, fish, eggs, etc). If you let your blood sugar levels spike by eating food rich in sugar or refined starch, you’ll never be able to control exercise-induced hunger when it strikes.In my new book, the “Women’s Health Perfect Body Diet”, I write a lot more about why we’re hungry and how we can prevent it. Although the title of the book says “diet”, the book is more than just an average Jane diet plan. It comes complete with 75 original recipes that I created (that actually taste good and are easy to make) and 3 effective workout programs, that are specific to your body type. Also, in our book, "The New Rules of Lifting for Women", Lou, Alwyn and I emphasize over and over again that women have to eat quite a lot of calories or their bodies will revolt and halt their progress in the gym.(Note, this blog didn’t start out as an advertisement. I’d been thinking about this topic for a few days and just realized that the information tied into my new book. You don’t have to buy the book. I just thought I’d pass along the word).


Take home message? Fit girls need to eat to support their training! If you're going to cane it in the gym, eat accordingly!

Wednesday, December 26, 2007

Back on the Bike!

Today I taught RPM, yes, on Boxing Day. Apparently our Fitness First was the only one in Queensland to open on Boxing Day and I was fortunate enough to have a full house this morning. I really enjoyed the class this morning, and left the gym in high spirits. Had a bit of a chat with Miss R (hey Miss R, sorry I chewed your ear off with RPM philosophy!) - then it was off to pick up the paper, pick up plates from my parents and enjoy the rest of the afternoon.

I had a great Christmas - I was lucky enough to receive a gift voucher from DH from Sunglass Hut to replace my well worn sunglasses and I managed to score six (!) boxes of chocolates for Christmas. I'd best change my side bar - I think it is going to take me a long time to polish off those suckers, unless DH gets there first.

Tomorrow I may do some weights, but am planning to just cruise training wise until the New Year - I lost very few classes over the last two weeks, but dropped the weights - my lower body has been pretty sensitive and reactive. The DOMS I will have will certainly be no picnic.

Best be off to work out New Year's Eve celebrations with DH - we are going to have an Indian themed evening.

Sunday, December 23, 2007

Yearly wrap up and Christmas Greetings to all


I don't think I'm going to have another chance to post before Christmas, so I thought I'd do a quick yearly wrap up of 2007. I must mention Combatgirl, who has inspired the "what 2007 has meant to me" post - Thanks, Miss Combat.
If I had to sum up the year, 2007 has been one of tremendous personal growth, starting with the five months I had in Woop Woop before we moved back here. Living there taught me that I can put up with a lot more than I think.
In Woop Woop, the idea of developing myself as a fitness and lifestyle coach started to emerge and I officially began my website, The Fitness Solution, in April/May. This coincided with our move back to Brisbane, where I got straight back into my Group Fitness job at Fitness First, considered personal training and helped the kids adapt to yet another move.
My other goal was not to compete and learn to maintain my weight after such a big weight loss. The biggest thing I have solidified in my mind is that you cannot out exercise poor nutrition. Living lean means eating well most of the time for me (and 99% of the general population). My weight has stayed fairly stable all year :)
I got to try out new training techniques and methodologies thanks to Mike Robertson and I got a great look into the world of powerlifting, thanks to Lisa S.
I had the opportunity to enjoy two fantastic bodybuilding shows as Shannon C's coach. I think I almost enjoyed cheering Shannon on more than I enjoyed competing myself, it was a lot of fun - every time I see a packet of jelly snakes, I think of her!
It was great to be involved in the launching of Fitness First "Core" and to continue teaching RPM and Bodystep. Even though Group Fitness pays peanuts, it has taught me so much about what motivates and encourages others and myself - priceless really.
Hmm, what else - have been blessed to have unfailing support from DH and the girls (who help me with my RPM choreo and know the words to all the songs) and friendship from both my real life friends and internet mates. Thank you very much.
Finally, to wish everyone a very Happy Christmas and blessings for the New Year ahead. I chose this photo of the baby Jesus because babies represent so much about the future - the dreams, the hopes and possibilities that we all have. Plus I never cease to marvel at the sheer perfection of a new born.
See you after Christmas!

Friday, December 21, 2007

Slapping my Inner Princess


After many posts about positive thinking and powerful behaviour, I woke up this morning to a petulant Inner Princess.
This year I have been working hard at maintenance and had made the comment to a lot of friends that if I could nail the problem I have had with baking, then I could truly say that I have fully completed my journey. You see, every time I would bake, I would pick, troll, lick the beaters and do everything I shouldn't do even before the cakes, cookies etc hit the oven. Over the past few years, I've tried many different counters to combat the situation. Telling myself "no trolling for food" didn't sink in.
This had been bothering me as I could see that I had been dabbling in plain bad behaviour and the "I can't control this" attitude was creeping in. Of course I could "control it". I just needed a different cue.
Inspiration came to me in the form of a sentence. "Don't eat standing up". The penny had dropped. I've been so busy this week ensuring that I have been seated when eating and mindful of what I've been eating that I've not wanted to "fail" this particular challenge. So I roadtested the theory with baking. I baked twice yesterday, once in the morning and once in the evening and I am pleased to say I did not touch morsel of anything. I was more interested to see whether the "no standing" theory would work for me and I'm pleased to say that I've found the "missing link" to my own personal puzzle. And on looking in the mirror, it's also had a positive effect. It's only taken me a good two years to work out, so my advice to anyone that feels like giving up on themselves - just keep going!
After yesterday's victory though, my Inner Princess is really challenging me today - telling me that I can let the reins go. I know her well enough now to know that the negative talk is just garbage and that I can deal with her (by sitting on her crown...ouch).
In other updates on me, I did one of Mike's upper body programs this morning and taught "Core". Tomorrow I have a Bodystep/RPM doubler and RPM on Sunday and Monday, so this easier day has done me good!
I also have appointments to get my separation checked out early next year. Until then, life goes on as normal.

Thursday, December 20, 2007

More from my couch


I regularly receive email about this blog and of course email from clients. I'd like to share some of my philosophies with some questions and answers.

Why do I have to work so hard? Such and such a person is doing this and getting 'x' results!

Firstly, I want to ask you who you are taking the journey for - yourself or "such and such"? The truth is that everyone's realities when it comes to health and fitness are different. I have to work hard to stay healthy and maintain my weight, so does Craig Harper, yet you don't hear either of us bitching about how "hard it is". We just accept it, deal with it and do the best we can. I have other clients with extremely robust metabolisms but poor thought processes surrounding them. The key is accepting and understanding YOUR REALITY right now. Work with what you've got RIGHT NOW and start accentuating the positive (see below). Live your journey for YOU.

Why can't I eat just for the sheer pleasure of it?

Hell, I'm not stopping you!. It's called a "planned indulgence" - yes, that's right, something that you eat just because it tastes good. Life is too short to eat crappy food. Life is also too short to eat yourself comatose having a "free day". The only freedom I see is freedom from common sense.

"You made me keep a log and it triggered me to overeat."

Must have been a powerful piece of paper! I've never known anything inert to trigger certain behaviours. My advice: take responsibility for what you did and try to work out the situation that triggered it. If you still come back to a sheet of paper or a spreadsheet, you need a thicker skin, Tiger.

PS - many studies have shown that keeping a food log to be extremely beneficial with long term weight control.

"You eat perfectly all the time, but I can't over this time of year"

Hello, staying well isn't about being perfect all the time. It's about being consistent. Try substituting your can't with won't and re read the statement. Again, it's all about choice. It's commendable to be intuitive with your eating and being more aware of oneself. But it doesn't do you any good having no modicum of character and discipline in your life. Allowing yourself to "eat intuitively" does not mean "I can shovel heaps of poor quality crap down the old pie hole just because I feel like it". There are other overriding factors such as overall health and well being that factor in. Loving yourself and being intuitive sometimes means saying "no".

PS - I am far from perfect, but I'm pretty consistent.

"Isn't 'eating clean' just a pretty name for another diet?"

Depends how you define "diet". If you're talking caloric restriction, I'm in the "no" camp. Eating clean aka eating healthfully and staying away from highly processed stuff is beneficial to health and sporting/life performance.

"yeah, but" and "I can't"

This means a) I have an excuse for everything and b) I won't.

PS - I never saw this couch jumping episode but if I saw my kids doing this, I'd throttle em :)

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

What can you do?


In my last post, I spent a bit of time writing about how changing your thinking can change your life. Sounds good in theory - now how do you put it into practice?
The best thing you can do is give yourself some credit for a job well done. It may seem odd to everyone who knows me as an RPM instructor who loves to work really hard, that my first foray back into exercise was to ride an exercise bike I had hired from the local pharmacy for 5 minutes. Yes, on my first day of committing to change my lifestyle, I lasted on the bike for 5 minutes! Now rather than call myself a complete failure and imagine all these successful Lycra clad RPMers around me, I decided to simply say to myself, "nice work". This was then all I needed to hop back on the bike and try for six minutes the next day. As you all know, the rest is history!
I applied the same credit towards my changes in nutrition. I found learning to eat less carbohydrate and more protein daunting, but each time I got the balance right, I would tell myself that I'd just taken a step in the right direction. I'd praise myself for eating more vegetables - a few years ago you couldn't get me eating tomatoes and cucumbers but today, they feature in nearly every salad. I'm still working on alfalfa sprouts though!
I went back to the gym. I saw members I knew in my thinner days. Some told me I'd "gained weight" (duh!). I just put my head down and trained..."good job, another step, awesome ride.." - I would tell myself. Because, when the going got tough and I made mistakes or overate at points, I would tell myself, "this is tough, but I can do this. I'm just learning from my mistake, keep swimming!"
Then I started getting positive reinforcement from others around me. It was nice, but didn't really mean as much to me as learning to like myself the way I was at any given point in time. Sooo, don't forget to give yourself positive feedback for a job well done and remember fit, strong girls are gorgeous!
This morning I taught RPM which today was sheer hard work! This was reflected in my HR monitor stats telling me I'd burnt 550kcals in 45 minutes. Wowsa! I made a few mistakes into Track 7, but at that stage I was willing myself home (see more positive talk~) - think it's a combo of humidity and holidays :)
Best be off now. As our dear Rae says, "keep training hard and eating well!". Couldn't agree more really!

Monday, December 17, 2007

Save the Cheerleader, save the world OR..


Change your thinking, change your life!

Lately I have been doing a lot of reflecting about how your thinking affects the way you live, move and breathe. Over the years I've come to the conclusion that learning to think objectively is the cornerstone to success in the whole physique transformation process, and rest of life really.

Think about the messages you give yourself - if they are generally negative, they poison your heart, soul and spirit. I call it "poisonous thinking", Dave Greenwalt calls it "stinkin thinkin" - and as you can imagine it's pretty unhelpful. I cannot tell you how many emails I have had over the years where said client beat themselves up over their mistakes ..you know, how stupid and incompetent they are..they're failures...you get the drift..... and you thought I was going to beat you over the head?

Now imagine if in the same situation you began to look at your thoughts more objectively and made decisions based on these thoughts instead. What if you said "Hmm, what triggered this reaction. OK, I was feeling anxious about "x". What could I do to tackle this situation better next time. OK...a) b) c) d). I'll move on from this mistake now. Mistakes give us an opportunity to learn and grow". Bet you're already feeling better.

Another theme that is common is those seeking success is the "when I lose weight..I will then...". I was a victim of this mentality myself before I made changes. I would always say 'when I lose weight, then I will book the holiday, buy the clothes etc". I had to learn to live in the "now" and accept myself for where I was at that stage of the journey. Accepting yourself as you are is truly key. It doesn't mean that you're not wanting to seek self improvement, but rather your eyes are open to the possibility of what you CAN achieve versus what you CAN'T.

On that note, I'm off to "therapy"!

Sunday, December 16, 2007

What's your therapy?



Can you tell I need to give that bike a good thrashing in the morning!

Despite my weekend not getting off to a great start, I've been very productive today and done a lot of admin.

That's it for tonight!

Saturday, December 15, 2007

McMoney, Deep Fried Cheese and a Hangover (not mine)


You can just look at the title of this post and know that it's going to be a beauty! It follows on from the theme of "Christmas Madness" very nicely.

Last night, we went to DH's Christmas get together, which I was told was "drinks and dinner" at Alchemy on the Brisbane River. I was rather looking forward to a nice three course dinner (and a Diet Coke, as I have an allergy to alcohol - it makes me extremely ill if I ingest it, even in cooked meals- that is another story). I met DH there a little late and it appeared to me that they had already eaten plenty of appetizers (except for deep fried cheese that I tried with much reluctance - I was starving). Well our little group, sans me, drank and drank and drank. Apart from being completely disillusioned watching everyone drink themselves silly, I was beginning to wonder by 8pm whether we were actually going to eat or not. By 8.30pm I told DH that I had to leave and find something to eat. DH agreed and we decided to go to "Char Char Cha" which apparently cooks some of the best steaks in Australia.

I don't eat steak often, but every now and again I really love to eat a steak. We ordered and were chatting when, suddenly DH sits up straight, calls the waitress and cancels his order, telling me he suddenly felt sick. I did likewise and on leaving, I begin to realize that DH had drunk too much - out into the fresh air we went and I raced off to McDonalds and had a burger - it was 9.30pm and I was desperate!

We then got back to the parking lot to pay for the parking and nearly fell over when the parking total was $40.00. Then I started to get mad - I had just paid $44.00 for a McDonalds dinner and had a less than stellar evening with DH! DH started moaning about "why do these evenings always happen to us" - in my cranky state, I said "don't say us, say me".

I drove home and dropped off DH, who was profusely apologetic (I have only seen DH get drunk twice) , and then drove another 40 minute round trip to pick up the kids who were at the Outlaws house.

I came home to DH throwing up and generally being unhappy but I was so tired and cranky by this stage, I just wanted to eat and go to bed. So cornflakes and milk it was followed by the solemn resolution that Christmas parties revolving around drinking and blotto company rather than fine food and friendship are no longer on my agenda.

On a more positive note, I taught my beloved RPM HiPerformance this morning and got to ride with two mates, Miss S and Miss N (whose names I have abbreviated, in case after this morning's ride have had enough of me ;) ). Absolutely caned the living daylights out of myself and enjoyed a post RPM Diet Coke, water and Sumo Salad.

Needless to say, I went home after my workout and chit chat feeling like balance had been restored to the Force

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Christmas Madness


That time of year again when it seems like everyone goes mad with parties, functions, shopping and the like, only to pack out the gym in January! Actually numbers in classes have been quite positive - maybe not as many as usual but it is nice to see people looking after themselves and having a quick ride, run or session with the weights.
I forgot to mention all of the school break up parties which obviously have more impact if you have more children. Miss G finished today and big sis will finish on Friday. School break ups mean "bring a plate" - Miss G requested banana cake and Miss S asked for poppy seed cake - I will be surprised if her classmates take to all those little black seeds.
Taught RPM this morning and gave it a good smack. Off to parents-in-law for dinner. Seriously I will be glad to go hide under my little rock post Christmas.

Monday, December 10, 2007

RPM weekend!

I've had a rather busy weekend teaching RPM. I taught RPM Hi Performance (which Fitness First describes as a "one hour monster") on Saturday morning and then regular RPM yesterday afternoon - I taught RPM this morning and went for a run as well. I'm also teaching RPM on Wednesday (just for something different!)

It's little wonder that all of this cardio has found me extremely ravenous today. I've polished off a 500g bag of stirfry veggies already today in addition to all of my regular treats and will probably add another bag tonight!

OFf for another visit to the physio tomorrow - the clicky knee is slowly improving and we are doing more stability work and trying a magnet to help activate TA more. She has also been doing some research into diastasis repair and core stability, so I'm looking forward to more answers tomorrow.

Not much else to report. I'm tied up with Christmas preparations and this week should be head down, butt up!

Friday, December 07, 2007

All about the husband (for Kristy)

My DH and I met in 1985, when we were in Year 11. We both went to single sex schools and I met him at his Semi Formal - he was there with another girl :) Anyway to cut a long story short, we became great friends and used to catch the same bus home from school - much of our friendship revolved around joking about nearly everything that was fair game. We started dating in Year 12 and our first year of University , then the wheels fell off and we didn't see each other for about six years.

I had a few spooky premonitions about him though over the years - I had a sudden flash out of nowhere years after we'd called it quits that we'd end up getting married and I had a very vivid dream that he had left his Big 4 City job and had moved to a coastal location, after a holiday in Sydney - all of which was true.

One night when I was the ripe old age of 23, I got a phone call from DH out of the blue - he had been flipping through his address book, seen my number and called to see what I was doing. He travelled to Brisbane from Bundaberg and we spent hours catching up and again became very good friends. In the meantime I had planned a working holiday in Canada and was pretty oblivious in the excitement of going away that poor DH had feelings for me. He told me as I was leaving and I had to tell him that "I just wanted to be friends" (apparently the death knell to a lovesick male he tells me).

I went to Canada and got a great job doing personal training for the very rich and famous in Vancouver and a few months later got a fax from him on my birthday stating, "Happy Birthday! By the way I'm coming to Canada for a holiday, can you meet me at the airport?"

To say I was stunned was the understatement of the century but life carried on as usual until I went to our Company Retreat at a spa in Whistler. My very French boss and I were arguing about "When Harry Met Sally" - one of my favourite movies - he insisted that guys and girls could not be just friends, whilst I was furiously pushing the other alternative. When I got back to my room that night, I thought about DH and thought "that man has the qualities of someone I want to marry, not just go out with".

Then it was a rather nervous wait to see what would happen - would DH just want to be friends or something else? I had to housesit my flatmate's cat whilst she went home to see her family and invited DH to come and stay - he was staying at the Youth Hostel and I wanted to save him some dollars. I told him that there was only one bed, that I was happy roughing it on the floor and then we both came to the conclusion that we were such good mates it wouldn't bother either of us. Except it did - after hours of tossing and turning I tapped DH on the shoulder and said "I'm so sorry if I'm keeping you awake" - he then turned over and kissed me. I said "thank goodness" and promptly fell asleep. We've been together ever since.

We got married in 1996 and we have definitely had our ups and downs. I have now had DH in my life longer than I've been without him. We are polar opposites in many respects - he hates the gym and has never been to RPM in his life. He can eat what he likes and it's not unusual for him to polish off an entire block of chocolate in one sitting. He has these gorgeous wide shoulders and reminds me of an Olympic swimmer. What holds us together so well is we are always finding something to laugh about - our latest thing is the email that's been going around about learning Chinese in 5 minutes - he keeps bellowing out "kum hiaaa" and I keep saying "fukin suppaaaaah".

Training and Updates

This is probably going to be another long post so bear with me.

Firstly - training yesterday - absolutely caned the treadmill with some "four stage treadmill intervals with incline changes". Many of my clients will know exactly what I'm talking about! I like to "roadtest" all of my cardio before I prescribe it. I did 6 x 5 minute intervals + 10 minutes of warming up and cooling down on either side. Then I hammered the elliptical for 15 minutes.
In there I also managed to throw in my lower body training - front squats, Bulgarians (these are my most detested exercise) and Romanian Deadlifts. I am quite the DOMS princess this morning.

Today I am teaching "Core" at Fitness First and training my upper body. Cardio, if any, will be pretty light as I want to be ready to go at full throttle when I teach RPM Hi Performance on Saturday morning.

Now onto the grittier stuff. I wanted to say how grateful I am to everyone's support about my belly issues. I don't know if I have ever mentioned it, but that is the reason I decided to compete - I wanted to see how far I could take my belly without surgery. Yes, the belly doesn't look as bad in some respects but as I got leaner and did my ab and thigh pose the diastasis actually became more prominent - as well as sporting a relatively nice six pack, I also sported a nice raised ridge along the midline of my abdominals, kind of like a Rhodesian Ridgeback and for some odd reason the diastasis has gotten worse, not better, despite lots of core work and clinical pilates. I also chose to compete because I wanted to prove to myself after being overweight that I had it in me to actually reach such levels of leanness. Then I did it another two times just to prove to myself that I wasn't a "flash in the pan".

What has been stopping me from having surgery is that I am scared of the potential side effects and scared that I would not be able to return to doing workouts just like the one I described above. Yet, I also know that I'm not at my best either. My pelvic instability makes progression slow. However I haven't got enough evidence to suggest yet that the pelvic instability could improve with repair. So I feel a bit of damned if I do, damned if I don't right now.

As far as competition aspirations go, I know that I am more than capable of competing in a Figure Comp, surgery or not - it is obvious I would place far higher without the belly issue, but placing has never been a concern for me when I've competed. I also know that my true talent where bodybuilding/figure is concerned lies in the coaching area.

I would be left with a pretty big scar but my reasons for surgery have nothing to do with competing. I could care less about what some Figure judge thinks of me. I just care about what I think of me. Apart from this belly, I'm pretty happy with my physical appearance and who I am :)

I think this one is going to take some time to figure out.

Thursday, December 06, 2007

Congratulations Lisa!

She's worked her tail off this year and made some stunning improvements so lets say....



Congratulations to Lisa on her achievements in the Commonwealth Powerlifting Titles in Christchurch, New Zealand.

Silver Medallist overall 56kg Division!

Gold- bench press!
Silver- squat!
Bronze-deadlift!

please feel free to visit www.power-preparation.blogspot.com to give Lisa your congratulations!

Wednesday, December 05, 2007

At a crossroads

Late last year I wrote a post mentioning that I was interested in abdominal repair surgery. I spoke to my GP who suggested leaving it a year and then deciding whether or not to go ahead with it. She thought that I would be a perfect candidate for it.

I've been considering it (a full tummy tuck) for two reasons:
a) I have a big diastasis (separation) which is affecting my pelvic stability. I broached the subject with my new physio today who was amazed by how much I can do physically with such a big separation. I have done five years of pilates and rehab work and whilst I have improved my pelvic stability greatly, I'm at the end of the road as far as repairing my diastasis is concerned. My physio thinks that repairing the abdominals will help my stability.

b) Secondly, I'm very self conscious about my stomach - after having a 10.5lb baby, when I perform an abdominal plank, a large amount of loose skin hangs down, rather like a pregnant daschund. People ask me all the time "when the next one is due". Unless I'm close to competition weight/leanness I get this all the time. It's something that has bothered me for years.

c) As this is classified as repair surgery, Medicare will cover a fair amount of the cost.

What's stopping me from doing it is the potential recovery time. I couldn't imagine not teaching RPM for 4 months - from what I've read, as the procedure is major surgery and I've been trying to locate others in the same position.

It's either that or compete again.

I really don't know what to do.

Monday, December 03, 2007

Experiments with my new blender


I have been lucky enough to score myself a new blender (Breville IKON) thanks my credit card rewards points (see not all credit cards are the work of the Devil!) and today I took it for my first test run with a variation of a Precision Nutrition Super Shake.
Here's what I had for breakfast this morning:
1 cup skim milk
1 scoop Ladybird Whey
1 banana (medium sized)
1-2 cups ice cubes
1 tsp peanut butter
I whizzed all of this together and had a beautiful banana smoothie - it made nearly 800ml of smoothie so I had no excuse to be hungry...yum.
I had Thai Satay burgers wrapped in Mountain Bread with salad for lunch
chicken mince tray 500g
1 large onion
3 slices Wonder White hi fibre bread
2 serves Taylors Thai Satay
1 egg.
Makes 8 burgers.
Then it was the old family favourite, meatloaf -with a twist. I did a semidried tomato and mustard crust for the top. This adds a lot of taste and few calories. That really helped me feel like I was eating "grown up" food. I served this with baby potatoes and steamed veggies.
My snacks today included some Easiyo yoghurt mixed with apple puree, rice cakes with spreadable tuna, cottage cheese and vegetables and a couple of juicy nectarines. I've just finished my day with a Diet Fruche (passionfruit flavoured).
People ask me from time to time what I eat - it varies every day - I think it really helps to make the effort to eat different food. That way your palate never gets bored!
Training today: Teach RPM and run easy 10 minutes (had a bit of a warm up pre RPM)

Saturday, December 01, 2007

I am so sore!

I cannot believe how sore I am today - I had a deadlift focused day yesterday and I am sore through my legs (hello glutes!) upper back and shoulders. This morning, I taught Hi Performance RPM, which is RPM with two extra working tracks added in. I certainly knew about it when I got to the end of it.

I've spent the better part of the day doing the ironing and taking the girls to the local pool for a swim. Eating hasn't been all that stellar today - I can attribute part of this to feeling exhausted, sore and extremely fatigued. The key is trying to make the next meal a good one and getting back on track. I've been inspired by a few recipe sites lately, so that is my next project - different food :)

I included the puppy pic as I think that once we've built we are going to add a canine to the family.

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

An addendum

I must admit, I like to use the elliptical machine and I don't mind a bit of long distance running either. Just wanted to highlight that strong women are beautiful women.

What did I learn today?

Today was Bodystep day and my first shot at teaching Tracks 7-12 - Tracks 7, 8, 9 were taught well but 10 and 11 were a total nightmare and I found myself leaving class today feeling really disappointed in myself.

I know I've said it before but doing a "stinker" class sometimes makes the next ones so much better because you stop, really go over your choreo/teaching techniques and try to learn from your mistakes.

That (and other reasons which I can't blog about) put me under a bit of a cloud today and it got me thinking about how important it is to be "emotionally fit". A dear email buddy from the US who I "met" before our two youngest kids were born and I have been having some great email dialogue about it. She's really been working hard at this aspect of herself and her last email really inspired me to focus on this area as well at the moment - I know I need to! Being emotionally "unfit" can open the door to being nutritionally "unfit" and physically "unfit". It is as if the emotional fitness part is the bit of string that hangs out of a woollen ball waiting for life to pounce - pull the string hard enough and the whole thing unravels.

I just thought I would share this fantastic post from John Gilson of http://www.againfaster.com/ about fit beautiful women.

I were feeling a little more lawless, I’d gather all the copies of Cosmo and Seventeen, douse them in kerosene, and strike a match. I’d throw in reams of print ads from Calvin Klein and watch with delight as Kate Moss’ stick-thin image was reduced to carbon. I’d add copies of Shape and Runner’s World until the flames reached toward the heavens, and then I’d crank call the editorial desk at Muscle and Fitness until they stopped publishing pictures of women on steroids.I’d get the master tapes of America’s Next Top Model and dub over them with “Nasty Girls”, broadcasting the results on every television station in America. I’d skywrite “CrossFit.com” across the Boston skyline, and gently admonish the hoards of long distance runners trotting along the Charles River—with a bullhorn.I’d take every woman with mass media-induced ideals of beauty, and I’d show them what it really means to be beautiful. Beautiful women are strong and powerful. They are athletes, capable of every feat under the sun. They have muscles, borne of hard work and sweat. They gauge their self-worth through accomplishments, not by the numbers on the bathroom scale. They understand that muscle weighs more than fat, and they love the fact that designer jeans don’t fit over their well-developed quads. They know that high repetitions using light weights is a path to mediocrity, and “toning” is a complete and utter myth. They refuse to succumb to the marketers that prey on insecurity, leaving the pre-packaged diet dinners and fat-burning pills on the shelf to pass their expiration date.Beautiful women train with intensity. The derive self-image from the quality of their work and their ability to excel. They don’t wear makeup to the gym, and they wouldn’t be caught dead with a vinyl pink dumbbell. They move iron, they do pull-ups, they jump, sprint, punch, and kick, and they use the elliptical machine—as a place to hang their jump rope. They spend their weekends in sport, climbing walls, winning races, and running rivers. They laugh as they sprint circles around the unschooled, turning the image-obsessed into benchwarmers. Beautiful women don’t care if they’re soaked in sweat and covered in dirt, if their nails are chipped or their hair out of place. They care only about quality of life. Beautiful women are happy, healthy, and strong, and they’re right there beside me, tossing conventional beauty on the ever-growing flames of what used to be.
Be beautiful.

THank you John

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Buffet anxiety

It's another post about life and learning today - I was wondering if anyone had ever experienced what I am going to call "buffet anxiety"? As part of our holiday we were fortunate enough to stay at a 5 star hotel, thanks to DH's conference and part of the stay included buffet meals at breakfast and dinner.

"Buffet anxiety" is what I call being totally overwhelmed at the choices of food available, coupled with stress of how you feel if you overdo the eating, mixed in with the sensation of "entitlement" - ie there are 10 types of dessert here, it's imperative I try them all....

I started the week feeling rather anxious about what foods lay ahead of me in all their glory. Being full of PMS didn't help my cause either but then I decided to stop and analyze the situation. There was no way I would know *exactly* what I was eating, so being anxious about what the meals comprised of was not worth my worry. Rather it was time to bring in the more intuitive side of my eating - I told myself that "I could have it if I really wanted it, but did I really want it?" I really listened to my body. Surprisingly it didn't take long to feel satisfied at all, though I had a few hits and misses along the way - some dishes I had taken a mouthful of and had decided that they weren't the taste sensation I was seeking . I was perplexed for quite a while to be hankering for fresh Vietnamese Pho Soup rather than dessert. I had tried a dessert or two and had been underwhelmed. I was worried that DH would think I was crazy to be craving Pho instead of smoked salmon but by the end of the week I had embraced my inner "Pho" princess and left feeling inspired to grow more coriander etc.

Training wise I did a rather sharp 40 minute run and trained my upper body Mike style. Mike refers to the actual strength training as "iron work"- he's not wrong - I upped all of my weights today and actually face pulled the entire cable stack, yea me :)

Monday, November 26, 2007

Catching Up


I have been missing, but I haven't been in action - rather I have been having a holiday with hubs and the girls on the Gold Coast, specifically the Surfers Paradise Marriott Resort. Hubs had to attend a conference there for Thursday and Friday for his work and we decided to tack on a few extra days and have a family holiday.
I got to have a few great workouts on the beach - to me exercise is as natural as brushing my teeth, so I partook in some runs along the beachfront, finishing with a few strength moves in the hotel gym. The only day I didn't do something was Saturday - which was a good thing as we had Les Mills launches yesterday.
It was definitely back into the swing of things today - taught RPM this morning and have been slowly moving through a mountain of paperwork. The coaching journey is as interesting as the competition journey and I'm learning to develop a thick skin. Today I was set upon by another trainer because his client decided to end their training relationship and come and work with me.
I must say that I was surprised by the vitriol and found myself getting rather upset, even though on reflection I had really done nothing wrong by this person. It is no secret that clients change trainers quite frequently until they find the right "fit". This doesn't bother me and if someone ends up working with someone else and the "fit" is better, well I am geniunely happy for them. This is when I am surprised that others think so differently to me sometimes and it throws me off guard as I would have originally thought that most would agree with me.
Lessons and thoughts from today:
a) Everyone has their own way of thinking, saying, doing
b) You don't like everyone, so why should everyone like you?
c) Celebrate diversity and celebrate other's successes, even if they're not your own. After all we are all reaching for the same goal to become a little bit better every day.
d) Sometimes the only thing you can do is "breathe and reboot' (thank you Lisa - I love this quote).
Back tomorrow with the strength training report~

Thursday, November 15, 2007

on men, female only gyms etc

Many posts about men made by women are made out of frustration but today's post is one of gratitude to all the men in the gym that help me reach my training goals. Mike's program currently involves working in the 6 rep range and under and this means starting to lift some very heavy weights. Often I ask a guy who is training at the same time to spot me. All of the guys I have approached to help out have been nothing but courteous and supportive of me in my desire to improve my strength. On the other hand I cannot count on one hand (except for Anne) the females that have spotted me in the gym and have been happy to do so.

Having men in my RPM classes have added another dimension to my training as well. Sometimes I have more men than ladies in my RPM classes and their work ethic is amazing. This was the case with a recent CBD class I taught - once the lights were dimmed it seemed as if we forgot about our differences and focused on the task ahead.

Over the years I have noticed a number of different women's only gyms opening up and whilst I believes it makes the gym accessible to those who are perhaps rather self conscious, I don't think they're really a good idea. Even when I was overweight, the men in the training room were a vocal and steady support throughout my journey - it was "go for it" and "good on you" the whole way. In a female only gym you lose 50% of your potential support base!

I think we women sometimes create our own insecurites. The men in my life are rather uncomplicated. They don't worry about whether you look fat or whether you're good enough -they just want to go to RPM and have a good time. You trained hard? Awesome! You like sport - even better :) - I've had my best Australian Open conversations with my male training buddies.

My two cents worth to any potential gym goer is to embrace what men can offer you when you are training hard - you may just reach your goals that much faster!

To sum up then, today's post is a thank you to all the men I know and don't know who support me in my quest to be the best I can be. Thanks guys :)

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Muscles..and best of luck Lissa!


Firstly best of luck to Alissa Carpio who is competing in the National NPC Fitness Championships this year in Dallas. Alissa narrowly missed out on a ProCard last time she did Nationals, may 2007 be her lucky year!
Back to me: today was taken as a "mental health" day and I decided to go dress shopping. Mind you I wasn't after anything glamorous, I was after something a bit more sporty to take me from the gym to the supermarket. Every dress I tried on seemed to accentuate my muscles in a less than flattering light - however when I got to Lorna Jane, I found a nice casual dress and realized that I have gained some muscle over these past few months. I definitely have cyclists quads going on there and I was surprised by how thick my upper body is looking.
I am in the process of taking a little bit of action and reducing my weight by a couple of kilos. I think then I will be able to better assess what my muscles are truly doing.

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

5 Random Factoids about myself~

I was tagged by Leslie for this one. The key to add five random facts about yourself people may not know about. Here goes....

1) I am a really messy disorganized person - I will stay on top of what needs staying on top but the rest of my life (and the house!) is a disaster zone. I am married to a neat freak and I drive the poor man nuts as I lurch from one disaster to another.

2) I don't have a full set of adult teeth. I still have my baby molars in the bottom jaw - I'll have to get a bridge put in when they fall out. They've been going strong for 38 years so hope I keep them awhile longer.

3) I have dreams where I see a plane crashing. These happen to me quite often and I often find myself looking in the skies for possible imminent plane disasters. I know they're only dreams but they sometimes bother me.

4) Even though I am in the science area, my best subject at school was English and I got the top mark in my Senior year.

5) I am one of five kids - the eldest and get on well with my parents.

I tag Livy, Rene, Kerryn, Michelle S and Michelle M

Tag-a-Rama


I've been tagged TWICE, well three times actually by Rene, Livy and Leslie.

First the FOURS.

FOUR DISHES I LIKE TO COOK:

1) Veal proscuitto wraps cooked in Italian tomato puree served with sweet potato mash and steamed greens.

This is always popular with our guests.

2) Gourmet Pizzas - from scratch, dough and all!

3) Mango Chicken Salad with Asian Flavours -this has become a Christmas institution.

4) Donna Hay's Choc Chunk Cookies, yum!

FOUR QUALITIES I LOVE IN PEOPLE!

Honesty

Integrity

Compassion

Enthuisiasm /joie de vivre

FOUR PLACES I HAVE BEEN

Vancouver, Canada - lived there for a year and worked as a personal trainer for the very rich and sometimes famous, but mostly rich. My favourite client was a lady named Penny Perfect - we used to laugh about her name, she was pretty much perfect in every way.

Seattle, USA - DH and I went on an unforgettable salmon bender whilst travelling there - bought two salmon steaks EACH for dinner as well as seafood entrees.

Hong Kong, China. Loved the culture, loved the contrasts, loved the pace.

Whitsunday Islands - I went bareboating for 2 weeks and did a lot of snorkelling, fantastic.

FOUR THINGS IN MY BEDROOM

Reading lamp and books - on my table is a copy of "Julia and Julia", the latest Oxygen US magazine and my Precision Nutrition folder.

The ironing board: I never get enough ironing done to put it away completely and it accumulates all sorts of things.

My ear plugs: DH is a snorer.

Workout clothes laid out for an am workout.

FOUR DIRTY WORDS I LIKE TO USE:

Brothel (as in "the place is so filthy it looks like a brothel)

Crap!

eeewwww (though that's not a word)

I can't think of any more.

Have I burst your bubble yet?

Monday, November 12, 2007

Monday - what an original post name

Pretty busy Monday here - taught RPM, had a little run on the treadmill and just about to do my golf ball exercises.

I've eaten well, worked hard and I'm going to bed happy :)

Sunday, November 11, 2007

Eating Out

Weekend nearly over and I'm just about to roll into another very busy week ahead. I don't think I have mentioned that DH and I are going to build a house! We bought some land about two years ago which has a view of the city (albeit - it is far away, but still!) and now that we are back in Brisvegas, we've decided the time is right to build.

We have spoken to various designers and the last few weekends have been spent trawling through display villages. We have two homes picked out that may fit the bill, but as our block has a slope, some of these project builders may not be too keen to work with us.

Today we looked at homes from Metricon and Adenbrook and by about house 4, I had already had enough! We decided to go out for lunch and we went to the "Coffee Club". I ordered a Chicken Tandoori Wrap with salad and when my meal came out, I reckon it could have served two for lunch quite easily. As someone who has been brought up to clean my plate, it was initially difficult to immediately request a doggy bag for half of it - but once I had eaten all of the salad and half of the wrap, I was glad I had made the decision.

Which leads me to the issue of how our eyes are bigger than our stomachs and is it part of the human condition that we're lulled into thinking "more is better" and "better get a Value meal" etc. However if we stop for one moment and think - "am I pleasantly satisfied?" half way through a meal, especially like the one I described, the answer will be "yes". I think the "clean plate brigade" have a lot to answer for - I don't know how many times I have cleaned my plate, just because the food was "there", but I'm slowly becoming more discriminating!

Exercise wise, it was double-RPM this weekend, Hi Performance on Saturday morning and my regular Sunday afternoon class. I particularly enjoyed Hi Performance and went in feeling a bit nervous about what expectations members have of a one hour sweatfest - some really want to smash themselves and others are apprehensive - so I really went to town on workload versus recovery - which worked really well.

Today's class was also fun and I got to hang out with a friend who has done her RPM course too. We got a chance to practice our new choreography and I swear that girl is a demon on Track 3~ ouch and double ouch!

Friday, November 09, 2007

Cheered and where to from here?

As I mentioned in a previous post, I've been having trouble with my left knee and as I was not 100% convinced by Monday's physio explanation, I decided to seek out a second opinion at the University of Queensland Sports Medicine Clinic. I am so glad I did as the physio that I saw was fantastic. I do have popliteal and VMO issues but I'm lucky that I've caught this one early - the root cause of this problem is my wonky pelvis. I can still continue on with my normal training load and I have been given more pelvis homework. I am feeling so much better now about resolving this issue - what a relief.

Sam asked me about what my own plans were for the future. As you know, I have been doing some online work with Mike Robertson (www.robertsontrainingsystems.com )and I have been really happy with the programs I've been given. There are obviously limitations in working with somebody on line - how can they check technique etc, but since I've been doing Mike's program, a lot of my lifting has improved out of sight. My squat and deadlift technique is much improved and I've learnt a lot from Mike's perspective. In the upper body department I've been lifting a few PBs too.

The online business has been really busy and I have quite a few people to prepare for competitions next year and ensuring that their preparations are hassle free is my top priority. I could almost now get away with just training athletes, but I like a variety of people to keep me on my toes. That said, I'd like to don the bikini and the heels again in 2008 - however this depends on how I balance my own training, my clients, my hubby and children and life in general. All of these goings on however are no excuse to drop the ball nutrition wise or training wise - I try and live what I believe every day.

I am loving my classes at Fitness First - I have picked up a Bootcamp style class (Xtrain) on Wednesday mornings and now have a weekly RPM HiPerformance class to teach as well. I taught CORE today and really enjoyed it. It is such a change of pace from RPM and Step and I've really improved with the exercises as well.

The Lindor ball experiment unfortunately didn't last for long - it was not of my doing however. Poor Hubby, who is a chocolate fanatic, couldn't help himself and scoffed them in one sitting when I wasn't looking! He owes me a box of Lindor balls :)
Well that's about it from me for today. I have to feed Miss G - she tells me she's hungry :) (not unusual in our household!)

Tuesday, November 06, 2007

Coming Up for Air



Wow, it feels like forever since I was able to catch up but I've been on the run pretty much since Friday, with the Les Mills Quarterlies, a pharmacy locum on Saturday, Sunday RPM and my current coaching commitments.

In the middle of this, I have done something odd to my knee - something is rubbing against my meniscus as I internally rotate my tibia (this means that when I squat deep my knee is clicking as my tibia is rotating). I visited the physio, who didn't know quite what was going on, but when he palpated my popliteal muscle and hamstring tendon, I nearly went through the roof. I then had the most excruciating trigger point therapy...ouch.

A new program from Mike also landed on my desk today. Progression from my original plan which is nice. My deadlift technique is definitely improving, though I'm finding single RDLs hard going.

Teaching RPM tomorrow and really looking forward to it :)

Thursday, November 01, 2007

Gene Elite results



A few months I posted about how I have started offering Genetic Profiling for clients and I recently decided to take up the genetic challenge and find out more about my gene pool - the good and the bad.

The GeneElite test looks at 16 different genes and their positive or negative variations. For athletic and fitness purposes they are divided into four groups - Bodyfat metabolism, Lean Body Mass Development, Recovery and Nutrition (how well your liver processes and removes toxic elements).

I scored poorly for Bodyfat Metabolism and "average" for Lean Body Mass Development - specifically my negative variation have to do with cardiovascular risk rather than muscle development. My recovery is good and my liver works better than most ("excellent" for toxin removal).

The downside of being me - without attention to proper nutrition and training, I am a "heart attack waiting to happen". Coupled with my poor body fat metabolism I have a very high potential to develop Type 2 diabetes if I am not careful. I have to be more careful with keeping my weight down than most of the population. Whilst I felt disappointed in such results, I'm not surprised - I have PCOS, everyone who has passed away in my family has had cardiovascular issues. I need to maintain my cardiovascular fitness to help my heart health, I need to be particular with my nutrition. However, cardio as a tool for fat loss is not effective for me. Greatest fat loss for me comes from heavy lifting, according to my profile.

On the positive side - I recover particularly well from training, which means I can tolerate high exercise load without too much trouble. I also have an excellent liver which removes all sorts of junk. In my own experience I know I respond to good nutrition and healthy eating.

To sum up, I'm going to look into having some bloodwork done and check out what's going on with my heart health. I will supplement with folate and B Vitamins (this is specific to my gene variation). I will continue to maintain a healthy lifestyle - for example - whilst eating food with trans fats is not recommended, in my case eating food high in trans fats eg Nutella, is akin to poisoning myself ) and I will continue to keep working at keeping my weight stable.

This post isn't really intended to sell this product, rather share my experience of how I feel about finding out about my genetic makeup but if anyone wants to know more, they can contact me through my site.

I must say that given my poor fat metabolism, I've done a pretty good job of prepping for competition ;)

Wednesday, October 31, 2007

If I thought 2007 was a big one, look out 2008!

I cannot believe the amazing year I have had with starting my coaching business, teaching classes and moving back to Brisbane.

My general coaching and Figure Prep books are full and I'm really looking forward to what 2008 will bring. I must say that I am enjoying this aspect of things immensely. There is nothing better than to see people "bloom" as they progress with their training and nutrition. No two trainees are the same which means there is no set formula I use with people. It may sound hokey, but getting fit can be a life changing experience. I see the same thing in my classes - I have met such great people through teaching classes at Fitness First - I can see myself teaching classes for many years to come.

There are some other big plans in the works which I'm not quite ready to talk about (and no that doesn't include having more kids so rest easy).

I taught two classes today - RPM and Bodystep. I am definitely feeling a little cardioed out. I had to have a Lindor ball to bring me back into balance :)

Monday, October 29, 2007

Busy busy and the "off season" look



Here's a great pic of Alicia who is almost at the peak of her "off season" training. I'm particularly proud of Miss Alicia because she has totally turned her whole training and eating regime around in the past few months ... and as you can see from the pic, she is living lean and loving life as well as putting on a good whack of muscle - this is evident by the fact that she can do many many unassisted pull ups! Doesn't she look awesome?

I managed to put in a fairly decent week training wise and was absolutely thrilled to hit a PB on my dumbell press yesterday. I gave the girls a good thrashing in RPM yesterday.

Today, though, the traffic was so bad that I missed half of my class, my fantastic GFC stepped in and taught the first half - though my legs certainly weren't happy about starting at Track 5.

It will be a busy week with 6 classes to teach and 4 strength training sessions to complete. I am now looking for more progression from Mike which will be interesting. But first it is off to prep for Bodystep tomorrow at Toowong.

Friday, October 26, 2007

"befores", on post comp nutrition


I have finally managed to work out how to get Shannon's before pic up so you can see where we started from in April 2007. There is quite a difference there, don't you think?
Shannon and I have been working on post comp nutrition and have been focusing on gradually gaining weight in a healthy way. In our photo shoot, she is a kilo heavier than she was at the comp 10 days prior. Being around to support Shannon post competition is extremely important to me as many athletes, myself included often experience "post competition let down" as the goal you have worked so hard to move towards has been achieved and moved past. Celebrating the achievement, working through the natural lull that occurs afterwards and resetting the focus is another journey in itself!
Despite being saddled with really horrible TOM - I don't know why some months are worse than others but the old Nurofen are being treated like Smarties here - I did Lene's RPM class and then taught "Core". Brutal is the only word I can use to describe Lene's class - Track 6 was 3 x 90second repeats at close to 100% - I was cussing at him under my breath today.
Looking forward to hopefully seeing Anne and training lower body tomorrow morning.

Thursday, October 25, 2007

Trying on a different hat!





Yesterday Shannon and I did our own "photo shoot" at Fitness First, Indooroopilly. We had been searching around for a good photographer to take some shots (unfortunately Jadey has been booked solid). Then we came up with the brilliant idea of doing them ourselves - so we got down and dirty to "Fergalicious" (what's a photo shoot without pumping music, right :) ).

I have to say that as a rank amateur, I'm thrilled with these pictures! I tried to remember my own photo shoot with Jadey and tried to work with the different textures and colours in the room/gym. Often Shannon would move into a certain position and the Gestapo in me would take over and yell out "Stop! Hold it right there!"

I'll be posting more pics over the next few days, but just wanted to give you an idea of how we did.

Today I did a cardio only training session - I can't remember the last time I got on the treadmill and I did what I call a "creep" run, steady state elliptical and these evil "row n race" intervals. I then blasted my legs with defensive squats off the step - 3 sets. Those who read my blog and are also clients know that I have a real penchant for giving my workouts different names. I think it's so much more interesting than "ride the bike for thirty minutes", names like "Bike Smasher" workout sound way more intriguing.

I'm off to send a few emails and watch "Bionic Woman".

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

quick catch up

Busy times as per usual! Let's see, yesterday Miss S was unwell and my dearest hubs came home early so I could go and train - I trained lower body and did some cracking "acceleration" work on the bike. Ouch! Unfortunately I slept weirdly on my shoulder last night and my neck/shoulder area is giving me trouble now. Not good when you do a lot of computer work~ it will be the wheat pack treatment and gentle mobs. tonight and physio if no better in the am.

This morning I taught Bodystep (did 5 Tracks from Bodystep 47!) and did upper body. My shoulder was not bothering me at the time. Then Shannon and I met for our own little photo shoot. Our first choice of course was Jadey, but she has been super busy - so I assumed the role of photographer and took 100 shots of Shannon - now I will have a pic of her for everyday of my blog - but she looked fantastic and well, she's worth it :). We put on some great music (think "Fergalicious"!) and got down and had a bit of a groove.

I'm still on an asparagus bender. I knocked off two bunches today - one with lunch and one as a snack with some of my Thai Chicken Rissoles - who said eating well had to mean eating bland, boring food? I obviously need an intervention!

The other thing I meant to mention is that Cathe's new DVD arrived. I immediately did the kickbox/Bootcamp workout - 53 minutes of sheer heart pumping madness. Woohoo!

Monday, October 22, 2007

Balance, Brilliance and Finding Success


I have been reading an interesting post by Peta today all about the subject of "balance" and what it's concept could possibly mean - might "balance" be a concept invented by the winners to trick the losers into claiming a false sense of dignity?" Peta then dances around the topic of obsession - looking at an article by a sports psychologist named Jeff Bond which basically states that " focus and motivation aka mental attitude is 90% responsible for successful results", and suggests that Bond is saying is, "how do you become obsessive (especially when everyone tells you otherwise)?" I think Peta is trying to point out here that sometimes you need an obsessive streak to achieve your goals, fitness or otherwise - a good point IMHO, and yes, I think you do need to have some "fire in the belly" to get the job done.
I'm leaving out the details of the rest of the post which you can check out by clicking on "Peta's" name on my side bar to check out the rest of it. I like Peta's posts, she is a real thinker and challenges the status quo.
But back to me..
I think the concept of "balance" doesn't have to be banal, neither does it need to be boring. Rather I think in some ways it could be called perspective. I don't believe you have to shackle creativity, passion, achievement or most importantly inspiration to achieve "balance". Balance/perspective is different for everyone. If your passion, calling or goals is blighting you physically, spiritually and mentally, it may be time to have another look. Passion, brilliance and heady madness can coexist with peace.
If your passion makes you thrive and dance the dizzying heights and is energy giving - chances are that you're also balanced. If what you're doing sucks the life and energy out of you and possesses you like the Ring did to Gollum, then you're out of whack. You could call it positively or negatively "obsessed". Wow, I think I may have just gone around in a massive circle. I need to work more on my writing skills I can see.
Today I have had Miss S sick and vomiting. Luckily my parents were able to watch her whilst I taught RPM this morning. I am guessing that tomorrow won't be much better either. Time to break open Cathe's 4 day split - arrived today.

Saturday, October 20, 2007

I've been on an asparagus bender!


I love this time of year when asparagus is in season. I chomped through two bunches today. I just steam it for a minute or so, then dunk it into icy water and it makes an awesome snack. I don't know what my work mates thought today as I did a pharmacy locum for the first time in months but they all commented on how much food I could put away. As well as all of the asparagus I had put together an absolutely gi-normous turkey salad for lunch and I munched on a Slim Secrets bar, smoked salmon and a small banana. Yum :)

However, I am not always perfect when it comes to eating and as Rick Kausmann writes in his fantastic book, "If Not Dieting, Then What?", everyone will overeat at one stage or another due to a multitude of different factors. Last night, it was all about the food. A dear friend of mine from Fitness First (who is Indian) made me a curry - a beautiful lamb biriyani with exquisite saffron rice and vegetables and nuts. DH and I fell on it like we had been deprived of food most of our lives and it was "game on" to see who could scrape out the casserole dish first! It felt good going down, but I definitely felt uncomfortable about 20 minutes later. It was just another thing to chalk up to experience - watch out for the orgasmic rice I say !

I managed to get in a third strength training session for the week - I am extremely proud of myself - upped the weights for all exercises, quite the thrill really and I am sitting here with DOMS from head to toe.

Definitely looking forward to some R and R tomorrow - slopping round the house and reading the paper.

Thursday, October 18, 2007

I twang mai fu king glootes!

Had my second training session of the week - I started off with a 20 minute treadmill run - it feels like the longest time since I did this and then it was down and dirty with Mike's program, firstly using a foam roller to mobilize and stretch all my stiff bits (and there are a few of those), glute firing exercises and hip openers - yeah I was the crazy girl doing a "Walking Spiderman" up and down the gym. I got a few stares - I'm sure a few blokes thought I was going to spin a web and fly into the RPM room but it just didn't happen.

Instead I squared up in front of the mirror and did 5 x 5s of conventional deadlifts, finishing strong with my glutes. Then I gave my glutes the treatment with plate front squats - I did these side onto the mirror and as Mike predicted, my squat technique is so much better - here I am getting my butt lower than my knees, my shoulders lifted and the best part - my feet are solidly on the ground. Yeah Mike!

Then it was onto Single Leg RDLs - can I tell you how much I suck at these - had to use no weight in the end and focus, focus, focus on technique and not losing my balance. Jen Hendershott makes these look so easy in Oxygen Magazine....ugh!

Then onto lunges - on the third set, my tired glutes gave up on me and I felt a "twang" in my left glute - so I stopped, stretched, did my Woodchops and called it a day. I'm just about to get a heat pack to sit on. Ouch!

Shannon and I met up yesterday and we had Vietnamese - totally yum. We had a great time reliving our comp moments and having a good laugh and importantly coming up with a post comp nutrition game plan. She gave me a great box of Lindor chocolates and a gift voucher from Pure Indulgence (to treat the tan-hands: ) ) and I gave her the beginnings of where we are heading post comp. It is great to be able to take someone to a competition in great shape but it's even more important to get back on an even keel nutritionally afterwards and regain weight in a healthy way.

That's about it for me today - teaching CORE tomorrow at Toowong - I learnt last week that short shorts and BOSUs don't mix well - you have to watch out for "BOSU bum".

One for Lia!


Here is another photo of Shannon showing off her awesome back. I promise I'll stop soon, but I just can't help myself :) Somebody stop me ;)

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Here she is!



Now honestly, who do you think has the best make up here? I certainly know who had the best body, that is for sure. Here is Miss Shannon, looking amazing again at the ANB titles last Saturday. Her upper body is sublime but look at those legs - they came in full, shapely and not an ounce of fat on them! I'm particularly proud of them because we both worked our tail off to bring this area on par with the upper body and I think that together we totally nailed it! Results is equal to commitment, trust and plain hard work! Yay Shannon! As you can see I was wearing my "Competition Brown" T Shirt - you can go out anywhere and nobody notices all of the Dream Tan marks on it!

This week has not gone according to plan so far. My poor Miss G has been ill with vomiting and diarrhoea - which has meant putting my training plans on ice for the week. I am certainly finding Mike's program challenging as it is forcing me to think outside the square more and to get away from what I call "bodybuilding mentality" ie training a muscle just to get bigger - sure you can train all of your muscles to get bigger - but if it's not done in a functional progression you end up bigger with all sorts of imbalances which hinders training in the long term, meaning that you may achieve "results" in the interim but they won't be near as good as the results you get from taking a long term view of the situation.

So here I am plodding along, slowly getting better at what I'm doing!

Sunday, October 14, 2007

Tired and tanned!

Phew, another busy weekend with Shannon competing in the ANB Queensland Titles at the Tivoli.

It was another early start with my sister, who is a hair genius, doing Shannon's hair (and giving me a trim at the same time). We then headed off to the Tivoli for the Competitor's meeting which was a rather casual affair - then it was down to the business of applying Shannon's Dream Tan and helping her to "pump up", all the while promising her a jelly snake if she behaved herself!

She actually came in a little tighter and leaner than last weekend and we had the symmetry and muscularity rounds in the morning and the routine for the night show. We were able to get up close and cheer very loudly - it was great fun.

The evening show was a riot - I ended up helping out a few other competitors with their tanning and pumping (that sounds so funny written as is) - just loved the music that a lot of the other competitors were using for the routines and started making a few of my own up out the back. I'm sure Di and Jo are very relieved that I just do the training and conditioning for competitors, NOT the routines.

It was great to see Di and Tara (who looked considerably tighter this week too) at the show - the camraderie between all of us is what makes it all so much fun.

RPM this afternoon. I hope I don't fall asleep on the bike, I really do :)

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Busy days!

Whew, it doesn't feel like I've stopped after Saturday, but here's a brief run down of my activities.

On Monday I taught 4 classes and did Mike's upper body program - 2 RPM, 2 Bodystep - absolutely caned it. Naturally on Tuesday I didn't feel up to doing too much at all, so I took it easy and today I did RPM with John - it was so nice to sit back and concentrate on my own ride and I paid particular attention to using my hamstrings in my pedal stroke today. I dipped out on my weights though - I simply couldn't face the thought of doing deadlifts after RPM, so I have them on the schedule for tomorrow morning instead.

I think I am definitely improving with all of this glute and hamstring work - I haven't paid too much attention to my physical appearance lately, rather I have been focusing on really putting the effort in with my training and ensuring good nutrition. I caught a glimpse of myself in the mirror today - I think I may have put on some size in the leg department -but if it means I can thrash my class that little bit harder in RPM then who am I to argue?

In other news, Miss Shannon and I are doing the ANB on Saturday. This is such an awesome fun show to watch and we are going to have a ball (as long as I keep drip feeding her those jelly snakes of course )

Monday, October 08, 2007

Stage pics one


Pics!

Even had some time to flash those triceps~
This photo was taken just before Shannon went on stage - having a bit of fun pumping up and popping out those muscles. We were really well organized with everything and had time to take these photos.

Saturday, October 06, 2007

Ding! Ding! Ding! We have a winner!

I have just come home from the INBA titles, exhausted, but happy! I am so proud of my client, Shannon, who won the Novice Figure Division in a tough line up of 14 girls. I am so proud of her for being consistent, training hard and listen to her coach ramble on. That she got a big fat trophy, well that's the icing on the cake really!

We took heaps of photos and as soon as I can get some sent to me, they are going up on the blog!

I also had the pleasure of meeting Tara, whose journey has been nothing short of incredible. That back shot of her on the blog does her no justice....and Tara's routine, put together by my beautiful friend Di Broeren was amazing. Actually all the routines Di put together were awesome and it was great to see all those red "Fabulous Figure" girls running around and having so much fun together.

Bring on 2008 I say :)

Thursday, October 04, 2007

I am getting fat..ooops I meant "phat"

I've decided I'm going to go to Phat Camp next year in Melbourne! I'm looking forward to it already!

Have had a great day - DH has joined the gym so I decided to inflict a "Liz Style" workout upon him. I easily outperformed him in doing some push ups on toes. I am going to enjoy this whilst it lasts as I'm sure it's not going to last for very long. Once DH gets going, he'll be unstoppable!

We then had to run a few errands in town and had "Sumo Salad" for lunch - as far as takeaway food goes, this is the bomb - I had Moroccan Lamb Salad and a small capeseed roll - I was laughing to myself as the salad maker asked me if I'd like a bread roll - after a hard training session and feeling a little carb depleted? Come to mama!

Wednesday, October 03, 2007

personality and the internet

I was reading LIVY's post about loneliness, social contact and the internet. I felt for her as I know only how awful I felt about living in Woop Woop - and Livy's personal "Woop Woop" is a lot more remote than mine was.

Some of you may laugh but underneath it all, I'm a rather introspective introvert (does that make sense). I love to hang out with like minded people, but on many days I liken myself to a crab - love a moment in the sun, but also enjoy scuttling back under my rock for a bit of solitude. I find the Internet a real haven for my INFJ (check out the Kiersey Temperament Sorter!) nature - I can interact with others in all sorts of deep and meaningful ways at my pace, my place.

Some people make the mistake of thinking that introverts don't like hanging out with others. I don't like hanging out with large groups of people I don't know. I am no party starter (OK, except in RPM), but with people who I know well and within small groups, I am passionate and intense!

To sum up, I think the friendships you can make online are really worth it. I've met so many great people in the Figure/bodybuilding area and have been lucky now to have met many in real life. That's why I'm contemplating Jen Hendershott's Phat Camp in Melbourne next year - a chance to get together and be passionate about what we're all interested in :)

Figure/Physique Preparation 2008


Just wanting to let anyone who has any interest in competing in 2008 and wants Figure or Physique preparation coaching that I have two spots available for potential competitors in the first half of the year. I cover all aspects of physical preparation for competition and have access to excellent posing/bikini resources here in Queensland. If you are interested, please contact me via the "Store Contact" form on my website.
In other news, today was all about RPM - poor John is unwell, so I taught RPM and the half hour technique class before it.