Saturday, March 29, 2008

Haven't been abducted by aliens...

I've just been on holidays!! DH and I decided to take a five day break with the girls before I have my surgery.
We left last Monday, after I taught my usual RPM class - it was full and pumping! I just felt like I had energy to burn during the class - a fantastic feeling.
We spent the five days in Hastings Point and stayed at a Big 4 Family Park which has had great reviews on "Getaway" - we took the girls swimming in the pool, into the indoor play centre, went for a couple of very long walks on the beach (and had lunch in Byron) and went kayaking on Wednesday morning. This took me back to me back to my Outrigging days when we were first married and lived on the Sunshine Coast. In outrigging, there are usually six to the craft and I was always in position number one or two - the pace setting positions. DH was most annoyed as I was sitting in the front of the kayak and had set off at a blistering pace, yelling at me that "we weren't at the Olympics!" Of course, I eased off somewhat but I wasn't surprised that we easily made it to the end of the designated course and back within two hours. DH has been nursing sore forearms and my lats and abs are sore from the twisting.
I had plans of getting up every morning and going running, but it just didn't happen. Instead I slept a lot and slopped around watching the swimming. I seriously can't wait for the Olympics - I find them inspiring! My body seemed to need sleep - but now I'm raring to go and looking forward to the next two and a half weeks of training pre op. I've had raging PMS this week and ended up having a sugar bender this afternoon - yes, everyone has moments where they overeat or bomb out with their nutrition but getting back on track feels even better! I'm really going to focus on eating well and then gradually switching up to a higher protein diet as suggested by the surgeon. Apparently it's helpful with healing.
Monday is going to be a shock to the system - two RPMs to teach and upper body weights. I guess that is why taking a complete break every now and again is so good for you!
PS - you may be wondering why I chose the "Aliens" movie poster - this was one of the first movies I saw with hubby when I was, gasp, seventeen. This movie is one of our classics and between us we try and find as many situations in life where we can apply a movie line! We also do this with "Star Wars". Tell me I'm not the only tragic who does this!

Saturday, March 22, 2008

It's another Take 5 - on Saturday

I'm going to follow Leslie's lead and post another Take 5 momentarily but first a quick catch up. We had a pretty quiet Good Friday and this morning, it was business as usual as I taught my weekly Hi Performance RPM. I had a full room which was nice and I felt really good throughout the entire workout. I arrived at Fitness First about 30 minutes early and did 30 minutes of low intensity/drill work before I started and I think that made a huge difference. As we are going away next week for a family holiday, it made me realize that I only have two more RPM Hi Perfomrance classes to teach before my surgery, which I must admit is rather nerve wracking. I'm planning on really caning these next three weeks in terms of exercise - I will run, swim and play tennis whilst we're away and then I'm going for two weeks of grunt before I go into self imposed slugdom for the next few months. I'm not looking forward to this at all as exercise to me is as essential as brushing my teeth, but from what I've read, going back too soon just extends the healing process further.

Here I go...TAKE FIVE:

FIVE Favourite Snack Foods:

1) apples
2) hummus dip and veggies
3) Slim Secrets bars - my favourite being the Rev Up or the Afternoon Snack Attack
4) My Crunchola Recovery meal
5) nectarines, peaches etc with natural yoghurt

FIVE Favourite Quotes:

1) "The heart has reasons the head knows nothing of" Blaise Pascal
2) "Nobody can make you feel inferior without your consent" Eleanor Roosevelt
3) "I have run the great race, I have finished the course, I have kept the faith." St Paul in Timothy 4:7-8
4)"Anyone can do something when they WANT to do it. Really successful people do things when they don't want to do it" .- Dr. Phil
5)"Whether you think you can or think you can’t, you’re right" .- Henry Ford

FIVE Things you love about your job:

1) I get to make a difference in people's lives
2) I get to connect with like minded people with the backdrop of awesome music on a regular basis
3) I get to learn about what makes people tick
4) I see a whole spectrum of emotions in my job and share successes and pick people up when they are feeling down
5) It keeps me feeling young!

FIVE Places I would like to live

1) Oregon, USA
2) Vancouver, Canada
3) Sunshine Coast, Australia
4) Perth, Australia
5) Northern Beaches, Sydney Australia

FIVE Things I love about blogging:

1) I've met some fantastic people blogging
2) I can write about all sorts of dribble whenever I feel like it
3) I have experienced all sorts of perspectives from different bloggers that I really appreciate!
4) It's a way of escaping and connecting with myself.
5) I can practice writing.

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Show Me The Money!

This is a little story about extrinsic and intrinsic motivation. Anyone who has studied sports psychology will be familiar with these terms - if you're intrinsically motivated, your focus is internal, within yourself (which you have 100% control of) and when you're extrinsically motivated, it's because your focus is external, that is something where the outcome is not 100% controllable by yourself. Preparing for a Figure Competition is a perfect example of this - you cannot control the conditions on the day and who takes home first place, but you can use the date as an external means to achieve motivation. Most psychologists stress the importance of goal setting as a means of achieving mastery and competence in many situations. It does seem to become murkier though when setting an internal goal, such as living a lean and fit lifestyle because that's part of WHO you are - much harder to quantify and where so many people have difficulty in the maintenance phase after weight loss.
Once you learn to believe that you are internally, rather than externally controlled, is when the penny drops and you can learn to become at ease with yourself in any situation.
However the story for me today is back to using an extrinsic motivator as an aid towards achieving a goal. I have done a lot of internal work learning to maintain, but at the beginning of this year found my weight beginning to wander up into the 61s which I wasn't entirely thrilled about. I had been dropping and gaining the same kilo of weight for a few months when I decided I wanted to get serious again and get a bit leaner, in prep for the surgery and just because I like to look good.
So...I borrowed something from David Greenwalt (Leanness Lifestyle) and used something he coins "reverse risk leveraging", that is putting up something of high value against your goal and being prepared to lose it if you didn't meet your goals within the parameters you and an external source had set. I used reverse risk leveraging on a Bootcamp I did with him in 2005 where I had to send a cheque for 250.00 (bank cheque) made payable to a charity in the US which he would mail if I failed to reach my goal. It worked a treat - I exceeded my goal and then some.
A few weeks ago, I decided to leverage again, so I had a money order created to the tune of $750 and made it payable to somebody who I really don't care for. I drew up an agreement with Miss S and signed it, setting sub 59kg as my target to reach by 19th March, 2008. If I didn't meet the goal, Miss S was to send the money order to this particular person.

I got busy - I started to be more particular about what I was eating and returned to logging my meals. Every time I was tempted to pick at something or do some baking I would ask myself whether the indiscretion would be worth that amount of money. Things were looking good - spent most of last week in the 59.somethings but then disaster struck. Somehow my weight spiked to 61kg on Sunday (DOMS) and then 60.4kg on Monday. My RPM class commented on how lean I was looking but I was beginning to feel sick that I wouldn't reach the goal, even though I'd done everything right! Yesterday was more encouraging at 59.3kg - I went semi Paleo on Monday and yesterday and kept it tight, but not insane. I drank heaps of water.
Today I weighed in at 58.8kg. Goal reached. Phew!
I'm not only relieved, I feel a fantastic sense of mastery over nailing this little sucker. The main focus for me is internal, but external motivation in the form of leveraging can work well too when you need a bit of a shove in the patootie. Plus I'm wearing one of my smaller sized skirts today - that's a nice feeling!

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Training Update

Pretty busy day here - I had the opportunity to teach Bodystep today. I haven't done a Bodystep fill in ages and I had a lot of fun practising and teaching the new release. Apart from that I've been focusing on eating well and reaching my goal of 59kg by tomorrow for my appointment. I weighed in at 59.3kg this morning.

I'm amazed at how different I look now that I've shed a little more body fat. It's nowhere near my figure best of course, but I certainly have changed shape. I think that's the best part of training really - you maintain for a long while and focus on adding muscle and getting stronger and then you get an opportunity to lean out a little and delight in the changes!

I must admit I'm now officially nervous about this next consult.

More tomorrow

Monday, March 17, 2008

Open Wide, Sunshine..and the rest

It's been a pretty higgledy piggledy weekend for me here which started off with little sleep on Friday and a stinker RPM class on Saturday morning, which I'm sorry to say was not my best effort. It felt like every muscle fibre throughout my body was against me with every pedal stroke I took and I've been sore to the touch nearly everywhere all weekend. I've been drinking buckets of water and taking it easy. It's those less than perfect classes that make me question why I teach group fitness sometimes - however I used my "stinker class" experience to work out how I could improve things for my next effort. I took pen to paper and I journalled about all the things that were playing on my mind - the upcoming surgery, meeting my weight loss deadline, getting more organized and all the other minor stuff such as "what's for dinner?" which is like a shot of potent poison to any tired woman, mother or not.

Today I really paced myself during class as I am still feeling sore and joints are rather reactive. This helped me focus on my teaching a bit more, except in Track Six where I felt a lump in my throat and quickly swallowed it way. Turns out that one of my teeth had cracked and part of it had chipped off and I had swallowed it. This was a tooth that had a previous problem, luckily - so all plans on getting on top of client emails before dinner were shelved and it was off to the dentist. My mouth is still numb from the huge local my dentist gave me. He explained how my mouth doesn't take too well to anaesthetic and wanted to be safe rather than have me in pain. It hurt like blazes going in and now I'm feeling quite swollen and woozy.

In other news, it turns out I purchased the wrong post augmentation bras - which I need for the surgeon on Wednesday. This new round of suckers is quite scary -- I could easily fit in a tennis ball into the B Cup and a rather large orange into the C number. Just goes to prove that you see yourself differently to how you really are - I hadn't realized how much I'd shrunk over the years.

Friday, March 14, 2008

Five for Friday

I've been inspired by Leslie ( ) and her Take 5 Tuesday, but because I forgot to do this on Tuesday (typical me) I've decided on "Five for Friday instead".

5 Names You Love:

- Sarah
- Georgia
- Julia (that would have been child number 3 if she had eventuated)
- Darcy
- Emma

5 Favourite Breakfasts:

- oats, Vanilla Whey and skim milk
- fruitsalad and ricotta
- pancakes
- bagels with cream cheese and smoked salmon
- omelettes with heaps of veggies

5 Favourite Stores (and why):

- Lorna Jane (I love the clothes!)
- (I can lose myself browsing here for hours!)
- Borders (see "Amazon")
- Toowong Village Fruit Shop and Deli - (always get the yummiest fruit and veggies here)
- Officeworks (I'm a stationary tragic)

5 Jobs you've had (and 5 you wish you had)
I've had...
-checkout chick at Woollies
- nightfill diva at Woollies
- prawn deveiner and kitchenhand for a Japanese restaurant
- pharmacist
- Group Fitness Instructor

Wish I had...
- travel compere for Getaway
- travel writer
- journalist reviewing concerts, movies and new products
- gone all the way and become a GP (though no regrets now)
- been a fashion designer...

5 Phrases I overuse on a regular basis..

- "c'mon!", "let's cane it!" and "awesome" when teaching RPM
- "oh crap" (self explanatory)
- "sumting wong!" ( Self Chinese Speak for "Something's wrong!")
- "Ok, Frost, you're driving!" (from the movie - Aliens - describing DH always driving everywhere)
-"I've checked your Calorie King" (all my clients would know this one!)
- "cheers" and "hugs" when signing off emails ---hang on that's six :)

What are your five for Friday?

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Facts not Feelings

Today has been one of those days where I've needed to stick to facts and avoid feelings. It may sound a bit peculiar coming from someone like me that really values the power of intuition, however being 100% reliant on your feelings isn't such a brilliant idea.

For example, if I had listened to my feelings and not looked at the facts, I would have:

- blown off my workout because I'm feeling lazy and hey I'm maintaining so it doesn't matter..

- eaten some Anzac biscuits with morning tea today because they were there and looked yummy...

- eaten a big bowlful of icecream because I'm really 'craving' it and hey I'm 'maintaining now' so it shouldn't matter...

The facts are that:

- I've eaten very well today, plenty of veggies, lean protein, water and a decent amount of calories - it's even more important to eat well because you're maintaining.

- I've done my training because it's important to me to feel good as well as look half decent

- there's no physiological reason why I need the extra empty calories today, no PMS or TOM or extra heavy training.

- that maintenance requires effort, as does paddling upstream and losing weight....

-AND most importantly that my long term goals are so much more important than short term gratification.

I do have a little goal that is important to me - I want to be 59.0kg on my second consult date and today I am 59.9kg. In my photos I am 63kg - there was about 3kg of TOM bloat hanging around. If I want to achieve this goal, I must paddle a little harder - not be stupid, but paddle nevertheless.

Training: 1/2 Kenpo X Plus (nowhere near as good as the first one), Spinervals 30 min technique clinic.

Sunday, March 09, 2008

Am I fat?

Thought I would post a few photos of what an off season competitor (aka healthy woman!) looks like. Miss S, Andj and I were playing around with the camera ( I was taking some shots of Miss S who is 10 weeks out today) and I asked them to take some photos of me. I wanted to see the effects of the Mike training - would be more obvious if I was in comp shape and I also wanted to post what a healthy weight looks like when you're not competing.

I think many of us fight with the notion of what a realistic off season weight is, especially anyone that has competed in a Figure Competition. We've been very lean in order to step onto that stage and post comp you're placed in an unusual position of having to gain weight. As the size 6s and 8s don't fit anymore, you begin to feel despondent and rather pudgy. Notice I said feel pudgy, not actually become pudgy.

I've been hovering between the high 59s and into the 60kg mark which is 5-6 kilos above my comp weight of 54kg. These photos are taken in the midst of the worst fluid retention due to TOM possible (just to add more normalcy to them). I believe this is a good, realistic off season weight to sit at.

What do you believe? Carrying too much fat or just right?

I also have Mike to thank for this as I think all those deadlifts have added some muscle :)

Friday, March 07, 2008

Weekly Wrap Up and new from Amy

Another busy week done and dusted - I'm really pleased to have squeezed in three strength training sessions and done the one hour and forty minute Spinervals effort in there as well. I enjoyed my at home training session so much that I'm going to tackle something else next week. I'm not sure what I'm going to pull out but with selling all these top notch DVDs, I have no shortage of choice.

Amy Bento is one instructor from the USA whose DVDs I stock. She's just about to release three new workouts - the one above is a kickboxing DVD with 11 different versions of the workout (or Premixes as we call them in the exercise DVD world). At $24.95 it's quite a bargain as you'd be lucky to get a casual visit to a gym for under $15.00 these days and you can pull out a DVD and do it in your PJs and running shoes if you're not up to workout wear. You'll all be relieved to know that I had my cycling kit on for my Spinervals workout!

I guess what I'm trying to say is, don't let limited (or no) gym access get in the way of your workout. You can really get a great workout from a step, an exercise bike (or wind trainer), bands, dumbells and stability balls. Even though I found not going to gym tough when I lived in Woop Woop, I ended up becoming very good friends with my DVD collection, the local park, strategically placed train sleepers (think intensity ladders, zig zags and the rest) etc etc. I enjoyed my foray back to my DVDs that I'm going back to a weekly appointment :)

I've got an RPM weekend lined up - tomorrow is my regular Hi Performance Class and on Sunday I'm filling in for George over at Toowong. Wahoo!

Wednesday, March 05, 2008

Home on the Range

Today I woke up not feeling like going to the gym - was a bit clogged up in the head this morning and thought I was developing a head cold. I decided to take my workout to home base this morning instead and did Spinervals 25 - Aerobase Builder 5, The Compilation. I think I've mentioned this DVD before - it's basically a workout where you work at about 75% of max heart rate and learn to become aerobically more efficient. It's been a fair while since I've done this, so water bottle and IPOD all connected and Coach Troy's music switched off, I got going. According to my own bad self, 75% max for me is in the 139-145 bpm range and I surprised myself by having to whack on a good bit of load to get my heart rate up which was very challenging. I did 5 out of the 6 working sets - I simply had no more to give to set 6 and 1 hour and 40 very sweaty minutes later, I was done!
Coach Troy says all sorts of interesting things about cycling and technique along the way, including his favourite - "sometimes you have to slow down in order to get faster". Oh so true! Since I've been teaching so much Hi Performance and felt I had a good aerobic base, I've let the concept of aerobic base building slide. It was a good wake up call to remind me of its importance.
Which brings me onto other things - the notion that people are sometimes too accommodating of themselves when trying to reach a goal, myself included. It's the, "this little bit won't hurt me" syndrome. Unfortunately, if you're trying to go anywhere with any sort of resolution, the "this little bit won't hurt me" scenario just doesn't work. I'm talking about not just fitness and eating - it applies to most of life. In order to reach that goal, you need to get rid of the excuses. This is where the concept of balance can get temporarily thrown out and rightly so - has anyone prepped for a competition and kept on top of everything else in life - you can't be good at everything when you're seeking out excellence in ONE thing.
On that note, it's time for a bit of relaxation at Chez Liz :)

Tuesday, March 04, 2008

Daily Goings On

Today has been a rather non descript type of day - got my training in ( one hour of cardio ), go to the dentist, attend to emails and look after the girls.

Except there are other things bubbling away in the background. I have booked my surgery for April 18th and it looks like I'm having both the belly and the boobs tidied up. My goal is obviously to make sure I'm as fit as possible pre surgery and then say my prayers for an uneventful and speedy recovery.

And now on a totally unrelated thought, has anyone ever been to Abu Dhabi?

Saturday, March 01, 2008

Speed Queen!

This photo was taken just as I started teaching RPM Hi Performance this morning. I'm wearing my cool "Team Speed Queen" cycling jersey from . It's funny how you see yourself completely differently to what you actually "are". I knew I had pretty muscular legs but I didn't realize that my calves were so, uh, formidable :)

We had a great class this morning and afterwards Miss S and I met up with client and blogger, Michelle ( ) for a lower body training session and to check out Michelle's technique for moves such as deadlifts and squats. Michelle and I have never met in person and as far I know, Michelle has pretty much taught herself everything she has done in the gym. We did a few tough lower body drills, including suicide runs for Kerryn (I know she'll be pleased to read that we did quite a few sets of the suckers :) ). Then we moved onto BOSU sumo squats (these are great for establishing a strong squatting position), front squats, Romanian deadlifts and traditional deadlifts. I was thrilled to see that Michelle had fantastic technique! It's one of the biggest challenges I face when coaching online - how do I give clients the tools and understanding to be able to develop really good technique, having never met face to face. This is where I've found Mike Robertson to be fantastic - I've learnt a lot about coaching these moves by how he has taught me - I just wish that I had been as lucky as Lisa and had gone to his seminar!

I was also lucky enough to catch up with Lisa for lunch and marvelled at the changes in her physique after making the switch to powerlifting. I briefly dabbled with powerlifting years ago and I am still carrying around the changes I made to my physique, way back when. To make the greatest changes in shape you need to go for big compound moves and great periodization.

That's about all from me for today - hope everyone is having a great weekend.