Monday, December 29, 2008

Feats of Awesomeness (training update)

Little weenie training update:
Boxing Day: Run and pulling work, swim 1500m - shoulder a bit cranky - may have to leave swimming a few months.
27th - teach a fabulous RPM Hi Performance class ..yeah me
28th - Cathe Hardcore Extreme - High/Low Extreme - Yowsas, I had forgotten how hard Imax 3 was - Interval 7...say no more! Cathe Cardio Fusion - love, love love LIC - though anything is special after IMAX3.
29th - walk 60min, teach RPM @ Toowong (a little crappy as mic was not working).

Nutrition Update:
Nutrition has been all over the shop, quite a few splurge meals in there, but hey, it's Christmas! I am slowly and steadily getting back to normal. I'm still carrying my extra 2kg of bloat.. hopefully shall be on it's way out by tomorrow!

Tomorrow I plan to smash the weights and visit some friends - should be fun :)

Sunday, December 28, 2008

Grrrr to mediocrity!

I have had a fantastic 2008 but I'm ready for an even better 2009! Whilst it is impossible to completely map out and plan your life my one big goal for the year is to perform every task I set my mind to without exception. I don't want to live "average", I want to be exceptional. I want to challenge my boundaries and become a better person for it. I want to push the edge and see where it takes me. I don't want to "settle" for a state of being because that's what "everyone else does".

Why all the hoopla? I witnessed an amazing conversation on Christmas Day - between my brothers-in-law and their brothers - you see all of them used to be amazing waterskiiers and avid sportsmen. Yet, here they were sitting, all pretty overweight and out of shape, discussing how one of them tried waterskiing on holidays and was so exhausted that he couldn't actually take all of the runs he had purchased. Then they started talking about age and how they'd let themselves go over the years and I felt sad as I feel this theme running through general society. I didn't think it was the time to say that I was feeling as fit as ever nearing 40 as I was when I was younger. In certain cases, I'd actually bet that I'm fitter.

The good news is that over the years I have read so many great stories about people who came to love fitness in their 40s and beyond and the amazing things they have achieved. The bodybuilding and figure world is full of them. So is the multi-sports world - in the last triathlon I did, I shared the run with a 76 year old tri veteran and she was awesome.

So if anyone is reading this blog feeling like things can't change, take heart - THEY CAN ....YOU CAN....if you're prepared to put in some work and apply some discipline. THe process can be painful (I'm thinking of the few weeks of Paleo I have done) but you feel so awesome for nailing it (on the paleo front, I've reintroduced dairy products back in but ditched the diet drinks altogether).

Who wants to be normal when you can be awesome?

Friday, December 26, 2008


Had a very enjoyable Christmas Day and ate, drank and was very Merry! The peeps at Precision Nutrition would call it a "refeed day", I simply call it Christmas cheer - and yes, the cheesecake was delicious! Got on the scales this morning and had a 2.5kg increase - yipes - luckily I know it's just carbs and water!

Santa and the family were very kind to me - I got some great loot - an IPod from Hubs, earrings from Miss S and a teapot from Miss G as well as money from both my parents and inlaws. This morning, I hit the road on my new road bike (thanks Amanda) and discovered that there is hardly any transference from RPM to the road and as everywhere around our place is hilly, it was quite a challenge! Then I went to the gym (yes, open on Boxing Day) and did a run and some back training (50 mins total). Came home and watched the beginning of the Sydney to Hobart with Hubs and now think it may be time for a little kip.

Hope everyone enjoyed their Christmas and all are enjoying a bit of R and R.

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Spinning Those Wheels!

I am sitting here thanking the good Lord for my excellent ability to be able to recover from repeated sessions of torture - that is teaching THREE RPM classes in the last 24 hours. I had a lovely hot shower afterwards and enjoyed the chocolate bar that Shelley gave me as part of her Christmas present to me yesterday - tasted just as good on the inside as it looked on the outside. I also shouted myself Phuc Viet before tackling the crowds at Woollies doing final preparations for Christmas. I am lucky in that Christmas lunch this year is at my sister-in-law's place - so all I have to contribute is a salad, bread rolls and some chocolate - hardly any cooking required at all.

Now going to wrap presents with the girls - Miss G buying her Dad some "Toffee Caramel Biscuits" from Woolies because "Dad likes caramel" - so sweet - I, meanwhile, had been trying to convince her of how much Dad would like Lindor balls but she wasn't buying - so in went the $1.99 bikkies instead!

We're going up to Mass and Carols at our local church tonight - we're wondering what this year's one will be like as last year they did this role play about this Russian girl who got killed on Christmas Day during the First World War -that one went down like the proverbial lead balloon...shocker.

I'm not usually one to mention religion on my blog but I'm interested in how and why everyone believes what they do, I find that often the kindest and most giving people aren't of any fixed religious beliefs as one example. I have also found that the basic message (or Greatest Commandment - Love One Another As I Have Loved You) has been muddied by humanity - just within our local Catholic Church, I feel that it is run by power hungry opportunists and that there is absolutely no hint of anyone loving anyone else. To me, religion expresses how you "think, move and have your being" - how you live your life on a day to day basis, it's the small things, the small gestures which are so important in creating that momentum that makes the world a better place.

Wow, that was deep! Better return to our regularly scheduled training and nutrition updates. I'm really looking forward to two days of rest before coming back and teaching Hi Performance on Saturday - what we all tend to forget is that rest and recovery is just as important as the kick butt training.

Hope everyone has a peaceful and joyous Christmas and that Santa brings you lots of presents.

Monday, December 22, 2008

Just love showing off my clients!

Here is the gorgeous Selina looking gorgeous and fit with a great pair of RPM legs going on - check out that right quad! We've been working together for quite a few months and transforming from endurance runner (which I may add, she's pretty darn good at) to bringing back the strength training and watching those muscles pop out everywhere....wahoo! I love photos, especially when they're of everyday people doing extraordinary things.

Ripped out a good running session this morning - did the "Tredder Shredder" run that many clients would have received this week. That is one sick little puppy by the 10th interval! I also got in a really good back and shoulder workout, the highlight of the day being that I used 4kg for lateral raises - it was only a few weeks ago that I was lamenting to Shelley that I could barely lift the piss-ant 1kg dumbbells. I also did some decline push ups off the step with a plate on my back - 3 sets of 10. I am strong, hear me roar!!! This may not be the case tomorrow after I do my final 6-12-25 leg workout - I've been following Lisa in her 6-12-25 journey and as I mentioned previously we're staking out a piece of floor at Fitness First to call our own near the squat rack! The thought of actually doing this workout makes me feel sick, but in order to change anything, you do actually need to have some "fear" inside you before you start your training session. If you're feeling completely comfortable, time to up the ante somewhat!

Saturday, December 20, 2008

Reflection, Balance, Harmony!

Recently somebody asked me what my goals were for 2009 and I remembered thinking, "how did I go in 2008?" and went back in my blog to see what my goals were - to cook from the Precision Nutrition Cookbook (tick! My favourites are the PN Mixed Nut bars and the Tuna Flax Burgers) , to maintaining (and improving ) my fitness (pretty good), having the abdominal surgery (done and very glad I made the decision) and also to become a published author. I had mentioned something about writing a book - I didn't quite get there on the book but I collaborated with Lindy and have an article coming out in January Ultrafit Magazine called "Deconstructing the Squat". The model in it is none other than the lovely Tara.

In Women's Health and Fitness magazine this month we have two workout articles, "Boost Your Bust" and "Cane Those Calves" - so have a looky out for us next time you are at the newsagent.

I continued to do my coaching and turned out some lovely, not to mention well conditioned Figure Athletes this year and look forward to what next year is going to bring in this area.

Interestingly my weight is about the same though I did jump into the 50s today. A few people in RPM commented about how lean I was. That surprised me a bit because my definition of being lean is around the 57kg mark. A girl can dream that she's gained muscle (yes, I want MRs butt!) - in reality though , I doubt it - after not picking up any serious iron until about 5 weeks ago and being pretty lax about PWO meals, creatine and the like. I must admit developing a fondness for salmon - anything to avoid taking those fish oil pills.

2009 heralds my 40th birthday and not withstanding injury/illness, I plan to have a big year. I'm hoping that some of my fellow FHMFs will oblige me and join me in a team.

This is my tentative plan:
Jan/Feb: Aerobase workouts - swim/transition work /bike drill work etc. Get shoulders evened up.
February: Leanness Lifestyle Bootcamp 11
March: Sydney open water harbour swim with the FHMF girls
March: One Night In Vegas adventure race (any Brisbane girls want to put up with a big bad boss?)
April: Mooloolaba Triathlon
May: Brisbane Marathon or other event in Qld
July: Gold Coast Half Marathon
October: Brisbane to GC 100k bike ride
October: Noosa Triathlon.

It's looking a bit light in November, December and August so am hunting around for some mad event to enter. Anyway should be enough to keep me going there for awhile.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Surgical Reflections and Leg DOMS

Firstly, I just have to shout this out - "I have the worst glute DOMS ever and can hardly move!" - aah that's better. I'm sure the RPM and Bodystep classes didn't help today either but there you go.

I've been meaning to write this post for a little while and give a post surgical update. It seems like a million years ago since I had my abdominoplasty and breast augmentation but in reality tomorrow is my 8 month anniversary and whilst recovery hasn't always been easy I'm thrilled to report that I'm back into almost everything (some abdominal exercises feel plain weird and pull, so I'm careful with that) with a vengeance - that I squatted 40kg with good technique and minor stability issues, well that is a breakthrough that I'm extremely proud of.

Looks wise, the abdo has given me a bit of a weird looking belly button - as the surgeon cuts around the original, pulls the skin down and cuts a new hole for your bb and stitches it back into place and I've still got patches of residual swelling on my belly and a few patches of hardness along the scar which I am sure will resolve over time - but I couldn't be happier to get rid of that excess skin and have my diastasis repaired. The one thing I noticed that when I did gain a little weight it went straight to my butt. Not pretty! However now that I'm leaning out again nicely I'm starting to see a bit of definition in my abs when I'm not having a swollen day - I don't swell up much any more (this is a side effect of the surgery) but with this hot weather we are having I do feel a bit fluidy sometimes.

The new boobs have opened up a whole new world - firstly I had never been able to wear those really nice T Shirt Bras that are around, even in an A cup and stuffing them with tissues or any other padding just looked ridiculous. Today I am a perfect 12C and they just look and feel amazing. I didn't have any idea at the time just how pleased I would be to have done this as I'd never really been into the idea of "boob jobs" as such but I am a converted woman that is for sure.

Would I have the surgery done again?
In a heartbeat!

Tuesday, December 16, 2008


Boy oh boy - have a big case of the big ol' fat bovines today, undoubtedly not helped by a rather nasty dose of TOM. Occasionally my post surgery tummy will swell, tummy tuck veterans call it "swell hell" and I have been visibly puffy today.

In the middle of it all remembered that it was legs day - I gotta admit, they're my least favourite body part to work - except if I'm teaching RPM - the music, company and atmosphere always gets me through. As I helped Lisa cane her legs yesterday using the 6-12-25 method, I thought that I should do the same. Whilst I did not get near her squat or deadlift weight (I squatted and deadlifted 40/50kg respectively), I managed to match the other weights that she had used -hurt like hell too! I finished the session absolutely shattered - we're both developing a really nice relationship with the floor around the squat rack at the moment and as I sit here typing I've got some serious DOMs going on in the glute/hamstring region. I did a nice slow walk to finish off (no cardio today, this workout was my cardio!)

I'm looking forward to seeing two x Amandas tomorrow for RPM in the morning - and testing out Amanda's road bike - I am really hoping that we match up well size wise. Am also teaching Bodystep, so if I thought I was lacking in the cardio department, I shall more than make up for it tomorrow! Think I'm going to wear one of those cute little workout skirts tomorrow...step princess here I come!

Monday, December 15, 2008

The Wolf

In a native American folk tale, a grandfather explains to his grandson that he has two wolves inside him. One wolf fills him with hope and reminds him how wonderful his life is and the other fills him with doubt and convinces him that nothing is worth the effort. The grandson asks, concerned for his grandfather, "Which wolf will win?" The grandfather replies, "Whichever one I feed."

Which wolf are you going to feed today?

PT skit for Nicole P

Thursday, December 11, 2008

The Power Within

Tonight I am planning on watching one of my favourite TV shows, "Heroes" - the gist of the show being about ordinary individuals who possess extraordinary "abilities" eg being able to fly, withstand fire etc etc. I must admit, I'm a real junkie for this type of concept and just love the goofiness of the whole thing - but I find myself getting little nuggets out off all sorts of things on various TV shows which aren't related to social commentary at all.

On last week's episode, one of the characters, Hiro Nakamura, said "a hero follows his true purpose" and like the "dirtbag" quote I mentioned a week or so ago, this really hit home with me. Within ourselves, we can CHOOSE to be extraordinary, we can RISE above the mediocre and we can FLY. It is all in how we choose to live - with intent, purpose and thankfulness for all the good things we already DO have.

This resonated with me because right now I am beginning to FLY on all accounts with my training and nutrition right now- I am progressing nicely on both fronts - shoulder pain is diminishing with every session and I've nearly finished a two week Paleo eating protocol which has seen me lose a bit of bloat and sit me just above my happy weight. I don't usually eat in a Paleo fashion, but intuition was telling me that I'd been a little too dirty of late and that I needed to work on this aspect of my eating. I'm gradually reintroducing a few of the foods I love and have missed, starting with the fantastic Vietnamese dinner I am going to have with Shelley, Katie, Nicole, Shannon and Steph (and anyone else I may have missed). So, I'm planning on wandering down under the 60kg mark in the next week or two and focusing on getting my training sessions in.

Today I did no training except for 5 minutes of bicep work with Miss M (I was training her and trying not to grimace!), but I did have a nice cup of tea, Mrs Nesbitt style :)

Tuesday, December 09, 2008

Look ear!

Look at my early Christmas present from Shelley! She's turning me from a geek into a rebel! Wahoo! The idea of a piercing first came up on the FHMF weekend in Melbourne when Katie decided that she was going to get a tattoo and I mentioned getting a piercing. Well Katie eventually got the tattoo and I haven't thought about the piercing since...except for this morning.

Trained Shelley as usual and then she tells me that she wants to "borrow my body" for half an hour. Thinking that we were taking a leisurely trip to the P.O, I was literally floored when I was informed that I was about to have a piercing. It did hurt but I'm OK now because Shelley bought me a Freddo Frog afterwards.

Thank you Shelley, I'm feeling like the coolest "almost 40 something" around.

Monday, December 08, 2008


Just to let everyone know I will be offline until tomorrow as I am changing ISP providers. If you are waiting for a program, this this the cause of the delay. Sorry for the inconvenience!

Sunday, December 07, 2008

Congratulations to Caryn!

I haven't had any pictures of Caryn to put up winning the INBA Figure Novice Vic Titles, but here she is at last! Caryn and I worked together from 9 weeks out from this show - we stopped the deprivation and got on the better road to leanness. Not to say that you won't get hungry and that occasionally you won't want to put your head in a bucket of hot chips but incorporating a comp prep as part of your lifestyle rather than going on a special "diet" is way easier.

Speaking of food, I've been on a bit of a salmon bender. I've eaten salmon four times over the past three days (with my favourite, asparagus of course) and I love it, especially making the skin go all crispy. Yummo!

I'm enjoying a well deserved day off from the gym. It was funny to see a few members weighing themselves after the Bikram class to see how much fluid they had lost! I was hoping that today that I would nudge under the 61kg mark and closer to my happy weight of 58-59kg but it wasn't to be - 61.0kg exactly! However I must stress that I'm perfectly happy to be where I am right now - my training is improving in leaps and bounds, I'm eating copious quantities of salmon :) and Vietnamese food...yeah, yeah happy as a pig in .....

Saturday, December 06, 2008

Bikram RPM tales

From L-R Bottom Row: Ferny, Me, Lisa S
Left to Right Middle Row: Nicole P, Shelley S
Back Row: Steph D, Dori W, Carolyn G

Wow - had an awesome RPM session this morning with these guys from Blogland. Had decided to get to RPM early to warm up, but upon entering the gym found that the whole concept of warming up was completely unnecessary as the gym's airconditioning system was being replaced. I felt really bad that it was so stinking hot, but then remembered that I was teaching a tough-as-nails powerlifter(Lisa) , a chick that can deadlift 90kg for 4 x8 reps without batting an eyelid (Dori), a Tank(the Fernster), an ex-RPM instructor and Figure Competitor who is "told to have a go" (Shelley) two Figure Competitors (Steph of the great arms and shoulders and Carolyn who owns a beautiful back) and two retired competitors (Nicole and myself, who reminisce about the good old days but don't plan on going back there anytime soon).

"Ha!" I thought, "I'll make these guys toughen up instead!". Well, it turned out to be an awesome ride and everyone's enthusiasm was contagious. I must admit feeling a bit green during Track Nine and checking the countdown timer but there was no way I was giving in, especially with Dori's last blog post about wanting me to train until I puked :) It was so hot, I even broke out of my standard Canterbury RPM clobber and stripped off to my crop top. As you can plainly see, my belly doesn't see the sun..ever!

The plan afterwards was to train Carolyn and then join the others for a Vietnamese Feast at 10.30am. I had issued Carolyn with all these directives and stretches she needed to improve her squats and today I couldn't believe that I was watching the same Carolyn squatting. It felt really awesome to be making a difference and I can't wait to see Carolyn's butt next year (wait, did I just say that?) When Carolyn and I got out of the gym, everyone else was already eating - that's my kind of girlfriends - ladies that like a good feed! I was feeling so depleted by that stage I went bananas and bought a few of those yellow banana lollies we used to have in our childhood. Man, they tasted good!

Then we finally got to have our Vietnamese and some great conversation and then Carolyn and I went downstairs to buy her a pair of Nike Free Shoes for her weight training - I managed to negotiate 10% off and somehow the girl at the counter managed to give us 20% off, so I would say that it was a very positive shopping experience.

Back home now and I'm sitting here taking tea like Mrs Nesbitt - I watch far too many kids you can tell.

Tuesday, December 02, 2008

Crazy Sh$t!

I had quite a memorable training session this morning - after doing 30 minutes of pretty hard elliptical work ( I feel I need to get good and warm before I do anything to my legs), I decided that I needed to bite the bullet and train my legs (which I find the hardest bodypart for me to train).

Yesterday I had the pleasure of watching Lisa suffer through her 6-12-25 protocol for legs and thought "it's been awhile since the ol' posterior chain has had a proper hammering" and decided to do the posterior chain part of the exercise. Well, I grunted and yelled my way through 3 sets of 6-12-25 torture and then because I had a grin from ear to ear when I had finished did 12 x cluster style reps of full deadlifts to finish it off (don't know if I got to 95% of what I could lift but I did 55kg which is pretty tidy for me). Then I grabbed a 15kg and did 2 x 12 1and 1/4 squats to complete the session in just under 25 minutes. It was hilarious talking to one of the other trainers - who said "you guys are doing crazy sh*t" :):)

I must say that for the hours afterwards, I felt like a good lie down and taking tea like Mrs Nesbitt BUT finishing a workout like that makes you feel very accomplished and I only did half - I can only imagine how Lisa felt after ripping both sides of the sucker! I wonder how the DOMS ometer will treat me in the morning.

Monday, December 01, 2008

Eating Frogs and Getting the Job done

As part of my own coaching, I've been giving the task of reading the above mentioned book by Brian Tracy. So far, it's been an excellent read and reminded me of two important issues:
1) the power of planning ahead
2) making the connection by putting pen to paper - this is an interesting one - people who have the greatest success in achieving their goals put their pen to paper. They don't blog about it, they don't use digital media - they put pen to paper. I wonder if this action actually sets up neural pathways in our brain tissue (Liz theory 102...I don't know but sounds good)

In the spirit of eating my frog (and the recommendation is to eat the ugliest one first) I knocked over a few tasks such as completing high school enrolment forms for the girls and sending them off, to banking my tax refund. I also planned out my day's nutrition and training. Today I wrote "bench press" in my diary and today was the first day in many months that I have performed a bench press without pain. I also did a cracking run - Reverse Pyramids - I'm sure my clients will know this one by the end of their training week!