Saturday, August 30, 2008

Lizzy Trickett - Gold in my own right!

Tomorrow sees me doing the Sunday morning RPM launch at Toowong. We have to dress as our favourite Olympic Athlete so I am morphing into "Lizzy, not Libby, Trickett" for the morning complete with goggles, gold medal and megawatt smile. I can't wait as I haven't trained since Wednesday. My cough is still giving me what for though and I cannot believe how much you use your belly when you hack away - so I have been going to bed with a swelly belly...ugh

I've got a pretty busy week ahead of me. I have to fit in all the clients that I missed out on last week and prep all the vegetables I bought today. I am firmly sticking the paddle in this week and have even blocked off time every day this week for my own workouts. When I think of my goals, I know that to be successful that I need to prioritize them. I haven't had any long term goals in mind due to the surgery and the shoulder injury (which reminds me that I need to book a visit to the physio this week) - I do know that I want to start swimming again (I haven't done this in ages and I think I'd enjoy the change) and decide what my "going into retirement" figure competition will be! I would love to do an ANB show as the 2007 show was the most fun I've ever had at a bodybuilding show. I'm also developing a yearning to finally buy another road bike and have a more serious crack at some cycling or triathlons. Decisions, decisions!

In other news I have also committed to doing some work with a Lifestyle Coach to help me manage my time issues/training/goal setting etc etc. I have the habit of letting myself get seriously out of kilter (as Shelley well knows - I have this nasty habit of unpacking my entire Fitness First bag and repacking it to find my car keys, phone, lunch you name it), and I am biting the bullet and enlisting in a bit of help to tame my wayward ways. It is expensive, but you know you've made the right decision when you wake up feeling relieved, rather than "crap, that's too much money!" I may not be blogging or replying to comments as much as I learn to be better but know that I am with you all in spirit

Thursday, August 28, 2008

I lose my breath and I find my answers....

This week has been a rollercoaster ride so to speak - it started off pretty sanely but by yesterday I had become ensconced in the grip of the dreaded lurgy. I've been battling what I call a "potential cold" - bit sniffly for the past few weeks and then "bang!" - it hit me with a vengeance on Wednesday morning. I struggled through RPM and luckily most of the participants were closer to the back because by Track 7 I was starting to become a bit of a "dial faker" (and we all know that RPMers hate to fake that dial) - so things were starting to get a bit touch and go by then. I've spent yesterday and today being breathless and coughing at the same time (not a pretty look) , and I've caught up with a bit of admin, though I am likely to take tomorrow off as well.

I've also had an interesting week in what I've learned about life. Hmmm, what have I learned ? a)Sometimes the way you receive your answers to pressing questions is in the way you least expect, but you still get your answers!
b)How much talent there is out there if you put it out there - yesterday I learnt that our Erica is a Myer Briggs Type Facilator/Educator. I've written about how much I've gotten out of the Myer Briggs test and I was able to bombard Erica with all sorts of questions - my clients are continually teaching me..THANKS ERICA!!!
c)Trust your intuition, tread your own path!! (essential for all NF types)
d) That there are others out there that love Star Wars as much as I do. Yes, I could sit and watch Yoda speak for hours!
e) That sometimes things are difficult, they are hard, but it doesn't mean they are wrong (I got that gem from pulling up a pew!) So keep on keeping on!
f) That those who are the leaders in their field are abundant in their sharing of knowledge and love of what they do - today I am singling out Alwyn Cosgrove, Eric Cressey and Mike Robertson. I have just picked up Eric Cressey's "Maximum Strength" and it's almost (kidding!) as good as his newsletters.
g) Pumpkin soup is wonderful when you're feeling under the weather.

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Results in One Session?

I have been so lucky to have the pleasure of seeing Katie these past few days - on the quest to become massive, we decided to meet up in Brisbane after the All Females with the other members of team FHMF (Shelley and Shannon(who has the same dreaded lurgy I have)). I have been training Shelley face to face now for the past few weeks and I was lucky enough to have the pleasure of training Katie twice whilst she was here (and also luring her into RPM HiPerformance).

It is such a fantastic feeling when you know that you are making a connection with your client in terms of what you want to teach them. We've had some great discussions about personality typing (Katie is an "NT" type - "the inventor" who wants to know the how and why of what works) - and it was really great to see Katie clicking in to what I wanted her to know and then being able to immediately change her position and movement patterns to focus on the area that we were targeting. We spent our first training session learning how to squat and do Romanian deadlifts and learning how to activate the glutes and today's lesson was about learning to engage the muscles of the back and shoulders effectively in upper body workouts.

Shelley also came and trained this morning - we worked on progression to front squats and for those of who struggle with squats, Shelley has developed the skills to be able to be able to take her glutes lower than knee line and still maintain perfect upper body alignment. Today's lesson was all about deadlifting technique and it was awesome to see it coming together over the course of the training session.

The type of sessions where I see visible results within one session are definitely my favourites1. Speaking of training sessions, I will try and keep a day free after the comps in Melbourne as I am coming down then. If you want a training session and need to learn something specific, let me know.

Monday, August 25, 2008

Eaty poos

This is what my intake looks like when I'm back in the land of sanity. Veggies ahoy!

Breakfast: oats, protein powder, milk, Melbourne Brekky tea :), 1/2 banana
Snack: One of Lindy's Musashi the peanut butter flavour, V8 veggie juice
Lunch: Sumo Salad (Tandoori Chicken) + Naan bread (post workout), Diet Coke (oh the shock, oh the horror!)
Snack: mixed veggies, cottage cheese, yoghurt and Slim Secrets bar (yeah, I was hungry)
Dinner: chicken and Asian veggie stir fry (about 300g veggies), topped with a few crushed pecans
Snack: actually not hungry tonight.

Plenty of water :)

Training today: Teach absolute thrasher of an RPM class :)
Hmm sanity is good!

Sunday, August 24, 2008

Are You Mutilating Your Lifestyle into a Diet?

This is the story of how "The Coach" got it wrong.

I have always enjoyed the process of scientific enquiry - that is to develop an experiment - ie develop a method and parameters for said experiment and to then record and analyze the results. I then draw conclusions about the results and compare them with previous studies that are similar in nature. Then I go out and apply them "in the field". This is called "evidence based" reasoning.

When I studies Human Movements I spent all of my free time applying all of the exercise physiology principles we learnt to myself. I participated in as many scientific studies as I could. I did endurance related studies (I did a study relating endurance based performance and iron consumption) and I did a strength training study, studying fibre type distribution and change with a powerlifting type protocol. When I was pregnant, I kept records and sent them to a professor in the US who was studying pregnancy and exercise. In other words, my experiences went directly into a bank of information that was being developed about certain protocols, performance etc.

After a great afternoon at Lindy's Bodytune workshop, a highlight for me was discussing how everyone is different in what works for them.

It has been the same for me with nutrition and after my Biosignature analysis( which showed my carb tolerance to be moderate ), I decided to give carb cycling a go. Now, for a bit of background, there is a big bank of evidence and studies that have been done that suggest in certain situations that carb cycling can be very beneficial, so I'd like to point out that I'm not knocking anyone that uses this method and enjoys it, I'm just having a chat about my experiences.

For a bit more background, as most of you who read this blog know, I am in maintenance mode, I'm not prepping for a competition, I'm focusing on recovery from surgery and getting my fitness levels back. When I prepare for a competition and my clients prepare for a competition, I'm averse to a low carb regime unless a) dietary fat is higher and b) said client is feeling fantastic with this type of regime. In my own preparations, I have never dropped my carbs below 35% of my intake.

Right now I am doing more endurance based exercise than strength work, due to injury,surgery eetc. I typically teach 4 RPM classes a week and run twice a week. I also am doing a fair bit of rehab and mobilization work and am now beginning to piece some strength training in.

So, off I went, low carb,high fat for 4 days and then a higher carb day. By day 3 I had turned into a raving, depleted lunatic. By the end of day 3, I was engaging in behaviours that I thought I had left behind years ago (eg head in the biscuit barrel, followed by sugary cereal, peanut butter and bread crusts...charming). Emotionally I have been a wreck.

Then it occurred to me that I have been mutilating my normal healthy lifestyle into "diet mentality".

What went so wrong?

1) Based on what I'm currently doing, there is no strong scientific rationale that suggests that carb cycling is a good thing for me right now.
2) I tried this at the wrong time (maintenance)
3) I tried it with the wrong training (mainly endurance based)

After having another session of overdoing it on the really high carb, high fat processed foods that don't do anyone any favours and feeling like a dog's breakfast because I was feeling like "I'd failed" I realized that I had unknowingly and unwittingly morphed my healthy balanced ways into a diet.

To conclude - things to look out for so that you don't mutilate (as Dave Greenwalt would say) your Lifestyle into a Diet.
You know you've mutilated your lifestyle into a diet when:
* you know you cannot sustain this way of eating for the rest of your life
*you cut out food groups with no valid reason (eg allergy or intolerance)
*you cannot involve your family in your way of eating (I rarely ate differently to my family when I comp prepped - my motto being, if you can't be balanced and be proud to do it in front of impressionable kids, especially my daughters, it is not good).
*there are all or nothing rigid rules - there is never any middle ground. For example, it's pretty obvious that eating a lot of artificial sweetener is no good for you. I like a can of Diet Coke or Pepsi Max once a day - I feel deprived if I don't have this.
*you feel deprived and look at other's food plates and wish you could have what they were eating
*you've turned into a tired, emotional lunatic who'd commit homicide for a piece of toast
*you feel like a failure every time you fall - you have to consider then that rather than you failing the plan has failed you.
*the shakes, supplements, pills and potions that are required cost more than your grocery bill
*you can never experience again the joy of eating...the odd croissant, confit of duck get the picture.

Me, I'm back to my normal way of eating and about to put the paddle in to get rid of the weight I gained during my little experiment. I was almost embarrassed to blog about it, but having things not go your way is one of the best learning tools out there!

The other think I want to do, ala KatieP is to turn off the anonymous comments feature and invite any lurkers to delurk and say "hi". I switched my anonymous features content back on due to the marketing material I was receiving for all sorts of unrelated products, so we shall see.

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Moving at the Speed of Light!

This week has certainly been a bit of a whirlwind, but not as stressful as last week - I think I'm starting to get used to the earlier starts and the combination of familiarity and the reminder to continue to honour myself first is helping a lot. When I say "honour myself", that is to ensure that I get my training in, eat well and make sure I take recovery when I need it. Today I taught RPM and was marvelling at how much my strength has improved on the bike since returning to teaching and I had a 30 minute window of opportunity to squeeze in a leg workout - goal is to be more committed to my strength training - I had a very productive session of box squatting and front plate step ups - doesn't sound like much, but I'm feeling that nice DOMsy sensation in my glutes already! With everyone else suffering from glute DOMS, I didn't want to miss out on the party. Recovery wise, I sat down for an hour and read the paper from cover to cover and had a nice cup of tea :)

Tomorrow I will squeeze in a run and some upper body work including deep neck flexor work, rotator cuff work and some gentle push and pull work. The neck work I have learnt from my physio - we had a minor breakthrough on Tuesday - my breathing patterns are activating my superficial neck muscles and giving me a lot of "tone" where I don't need it. I am working on my breathing!

Nutrition is going well - had a "I want to bake because secretly I'm after some sugar/fat" moment and realized that I couldn't have a moment like this because I had no suspect ingredients in the house to bake with and I couldn't be bothered to drive to the store. That's a round won to Liz and not the monsta Sugar Fairy.

Sunday, August 17, 2008

What's going on?

Posting an update before I go to bed tonight - taught RPM this morning which was fantastic - had 37 (must be lucky number Shar!) in class this morning - I have been really focusing on this class - my goal being to get to know all of my participants by name which can be a tough ask when you're teaching four to five classes a week. However, taking the time to do this has really paid off as there is such an infectious energy in the room every Sunday and they're all getting pretty rowdy which is an awful lot of fun. Even though Group Fitness does not pay much, I have gained so much more from it than just some extra cash - I get a thrill from seeing everyone improve and look genuinely happy (except I thought I was about to pass out with exhaustion after Track 7).

Have got a lot of my online work out of the way and I'm ready to hit the ground running this week. I've got a busy one planned which includes meeting some of the girls on Saturday and giving them a Liz Style thrashing and catching up with Lisa for lunch in the middle of the week - a girl's gotta have some recreation you know :)

Saturday, August 16, 2008

All about me!

Following on from my last post on "balance", what is really hitting home hard for me is the notion that I have to put myself first with all this work. Shannon, who is having a tough time with her long hours, and I have been saying that we have to make it "all about me". On Friday, I did make it "all about me" and did my training as soon as the gym opened as I had no early Friday morning appointments and I think I'm going to keep this slot permanently booked for myself. I did a run, some elliptical intervals and then managed a 20 minute simple lower body workout and felt good for it. Then I hit the steam room and worked on loosening up my shoulder with my "muscle mate". I started the day feeling more positive about everything and as a consequence was able to put more into the clients that I saw. My other challenge is not wanting to gnaw my arm off when I get home - I'm tired, hungry, cranky and starving which is no good for any gal staying on the straight and narrow with her nutrition so my plan is to have a decent sized snack, sit down and cup of tea on arrival before attending to online clients, housekeeping and cooking dinner.

Next week is looking pretty busy - have a fair bit to do and knock over (including thinking about other ways I can fry Shelley's glutes! ) . I also have another physio appointment. Louise (physio) thought that shoulder had improved overall but it is sure taking it's sweet time getting better. In that department I am soldiering on - it's difficult demonstrating any pushing movements but I will get there. I forgot to mention that I have some training (or recovery protocols) planned for every day next week! (see, still all about me!)

Hmm, what else? Met with a house designer today who has drawn up some preliminary plans of what our house may look like when it's finished. This took a couple of hours and was actually pretty helpful. When it comes to all things spatial, I'm, shall we say in the nicest possible way, "limited" (aka "thick as a brick"). Walking through an example display home and seeing the actual dimensions really helped.

Thursday, August 14, 2008


I must say that this last week has been a baptism of fire for me in the art of adaptation - balancing work and downtime has been much harder than I had ever anticipated and I'm only a week into the live one on one training!

Firstly there has been the early morning starts - most days I need to be at the gym before 6am to prepare for the day ahead - this, mixed with late nights watching the Olympics (my excuse being that it only comes around four times a year) has not been conducive to me feeling good, so I have learned the hard way and fallen into bed at 8pm the last few nights, sleeping through until 8.30am on our Public Holiday. My RPM class on Wednesday suffered and I've got uncharacteristic DOMs today - lesson learned - it's all about me - make sure you get enough sleep!

Secondly there has been the demonstration of exercises for me at what I call about 10% of my normal capacity - demonstrating any core stuff has been dicey and any sort of pushing movement is very difficult due to my shoulder - on the whole, the shoulder is much better but I'm still thinking another cortisone may be required - otherwise off to the orthopod.

Thirdly there is the actual getting back into the groove of teaching clients face to face - sometimes I feel that I communicate much better via the pen, so it's taken a bit of practice to start feeling more at home with the one on one option.

Fourthly there is that feeling of neglecting my own training - I've been pretty particular about getting my own stuff in and I'm hoping that Louise (physio) gives me more clearance for some strength training to balance out the 4 RPMs and two runs I am doing right now. Cardio queen indeedy :)

I've been really embracing a recovery protocol post RPM and yesterday enjoyed sauna, steam and Monsoon shower. I feel so much better when I take the time just to chill out by myself. I believe they call it "restoration for introverts".

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Coming up for air

What a week - seems that the combo of the One on One PT and the Online stuff I am doing is leaving me a little short on time. Plus trying to squeak in my Olympics viewing is making me one tired pussy cat.

Have the day off tomorrow apart from my 10.10am RPM and hopefully can write something meaningful then.

Thursday, August 07, 2008

Notes on Maintenance and the Offseason

I've had quite a few discussions with some of my clients lately about why maintenance is so challenging so I thought I would share a few thoughts on the subject.

From a client:
Why is maintenance so hard?

Maintenance can be perceived as hard initially because we are learning a new skill set. When you initially began the weight loss journey you probably thought that it was difficult at first but as you progressed you found you began to master the process and thus achieve the goal you had set. When viewed as the opportunity to learn a new skill which takes practice (all great crafts require practice!)

Another factor that can make maintenance difficult is a sudden lack of direction - all of a sudden the goal has been achieved with little time to think about "what next?", so it is a great idea to think about some new goals. Often focusing on a fitness goal, rather than a "looks" goal can work well. If you have been preparing for a competition, the thought of being nearly naked in front of a great big crowd is leverage enough to keep you on the straight and narrow, but maintenance? Different kettle of fish altogether.

That said, being "under the pump 24/7" isn't necessarily a healthy way to be - rather to be able to wake up and be doing it because you want to is the key. Maintenance is an excellent time to set boundaries (my favourite - don't eat standing up!) and look at your core values in regards to weight, size and fitness. An excessive fear of gaining weight is not healthy and often relates back to one's self worth. When I hear people tell me that "fat is disgusting", what I'm really hearing is "if I get fat, it really shows what a lazy, uncontrolled slob I am with no discipline and people who are undisciplined are disgusting , therefore what I'm really thinking is that I'm worthless and disgusting too". The day that you can wake up and like the reflection you see in the mirror regardless of your weight is the day you pick up one of the keys to the magic combination of maintenance.

Things that carry over from the weight loss journey and can hold you in good stead:

When you lost the weight initially, you probably
eliminated highly processed sugary and fatty foods and foods that were a trigger for you - ie you couldn't stop at just one bite. The same rules still apply in maintenance - put this phrase into your head "No one functions well at all on highly processed package food and when one is maintaining this rule of thumb still applies." ie crap food is still crap food and doesn't do anybody any good regardless of current weight or size, so lose the "I'm missing out because I no longer eat x, y or z ". You're not, honest.

You may have kept a food log to track your calories whilst losing weight. Your food log now can be a good guide to prove to yourself how much you actually can eat, that you're not missing out and to also prove to yourself that you can squeeze in some favourite foods in there (just not the triggery sort) and still come out on top. The food log is very useful if weight creeps up - simply be vigilant with the eating (and maybe drop a few calories here and there) until the weight is back in line with your maintenance range. As soon as you become more confident that things are going right, you can reduce your usage of your log.


I am so scared of maintenance… what happens if one week you do overindulge and put on 2kg? Do you just make it longer until your next treat and try to lose those 2kg again? I know you are no doubt going to teach me all of this, but I am just a bit frightened and overwhelmed by it all! "

This is where you think, "uh oh, weight is creeping up a bit, time to be a bit more careful for the next few days, watch it come down and then re assess whether I feel like having a treat then - I must always remind myself that food is always there - I am telling myself "I can have it if I really want it, but do I really feel like it?"

This balancing act does take practice - I can attest to it taking awhile for myself to get this after years of being on the diet merry go round but if you keep working at it and being positive you will get there.

Monday, August 04, 2008


Whew, I'm tired tonight - I have just realized that I've reached another milestone today - teaching an RPM class three days in a row and pulling up fine! The second injection has also helped my shoulder no end and today I did some heavier seated rows and bent over rows without any issues. Hooray!

Tomorrow begins my foray into the world of live coaching again. I'm feeling a bit overwhelmed by what I have to do but I'm just going to try and cruise as best I can. I have learned over the years that it is better sometimes to let go than to try and do everything. I must remind myself of this post when I'm next tearing my hair out over something I have little control over.

My current project of slapping the sugar fairy down is faring more successfully than last month. I am pleased to report no sugar breakouts though I've been having some rather ridiculous dialogue with my Inner Sugar Beast who keeps telling me that it is imperative that I bake "for the sake of my family". I've been whacking back with "my family are getting more enjoyment out of all the fruit I bought over the weekend. Really, I'm sometimes embarrassed by the what the irrational inner voice says, especially when I put pen to paper.

After a cup of tea and a piece of Koko Black chocolate (I bought myself a stash whilst in Melbourne) I am off to bed :)

Saturday, August 02, 2008

Bit of the ol' Spin Therapy

Today I taught RPM HiPerformance and then followed up with the recovery/cortisol lowering protocols Krista suggested. The best part was having my post workout meal of quinoa flakes and whey. I must admit being pretty non plussed about the taste initially but after a few mouthfuls, it started tasting pretty darn delicious. Even though I missed Miss Shelley, I still had a very enjoyable class and felt so much stronger today. I enjoyed taking my time with recovery as well - DH has taken the girls all weekend so I can get business stuff done, so without further ado, I'm signing off for the weekend.