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 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 “” 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


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

First the FOURS.


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!





Enthuisiasm /joie de vivre


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.


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.


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


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 ( )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 ;)