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.