Saturday, February 28, 2009

I Could have Loved You More...

Today's post title comes from Track One of the new RPM release: "I Could Have Loved You More" by Lighthouse family. As it was a "soft" launch at Fitness First (ie no Launch Weekend), I got to teach the latest RPM release by myself which was a little bit weird. I liked this one upon first listening - it has Billy Idol ("New Future Weapon" - classic Billy, if I do say so myself) and the Killers latest (which I blogged about a few days ago).

After being so swollen and fatigued yesterday, I woke to a better day and rode so well this morning that I seriously considered staying behind and doing the RPM double - there are two classes on a Saturday morning - but instead I went and attacked my back which can always do with a bit more work.

It was off then to do some food shopping with the girls and prep for the next week of Bootcamp. I hit my target of 57.9kg on Thursday before the swelling kicked in, so I'm focused on getting in plenty of water, lots of vegetables and lean protein and keeping the nutrition tight. I am going out to a 40th tonight where I'll enjoy what ever is served in moderation - after all a gal has to have a little Dirty Diana in her life and then stick to Paleo for the rest of the week. I am trying to eliminate any potential nutritional cause for the swelling by eating this way and reevaluate towards the end of the week. Luckily I love vegetables - I think I had a record 500g vegetables at lunchtime today...just felt like them!

Best be off now, vegetables to prep (though if I keep eating them at that rate, I'll have to hire a personal chef!) and some writing to do...

Friday, February 27, 2009

Testing times

Argh, have woken up again with hideous swelling in my extremities again. Looks like I'm off for more testing. I have more blood work to do next Tuesday, but in the meantime, I'm just going to try and take it easy today - have taught RPM this morning which was a bit tough on the old cankles and drove back to Indro thinking that I'd cruise in and have a shower. I was told on arrival at the gym that there was a plumbing problem and there was no water. I ducked into the shower regardless and got the last few spurts of water from the shower, thank goodness! Have four clients today and am rather relieved that I'm not stinky....

Thursday, February 26, 2009

My Last Post

Disclaimer: I've just edited my last post - I realized a few hours after I had written that it sounded like that everyone who designed a training protocol or plan didn't know what they were talking about - I was having a laugh at the concept of elaborately named training plans - whether they are positive or negative , well that is up to your own critical evaluation. I am poking fun at myself because I have come up with elaborately named plans...I've even done idiotic plans, such as The Bootcamp Boogie.

This post was not intended to offend anyone or prove a point, simply it was me being amazed at how words/language can be interpreted - and I'm one of the worst offenders in this regard. My blog is about my thoughts and feelings and it's not my modus operandi to use it to offend.

If you're thinking by this stage I'm becoming unhinged, then you can rest assured that is probably the case - I'm sore, tired, mentally exhausted and feel like I'm going to lose the plot. So on that note, I'm off to bed.

Word Play

I love the English language - I love "playing on words" and unusual quotes or use of language - I love words that sound like they actually are like caterwauling and cathartic. I love language that is sometimes used out of context, I love how language can be so emotive in both the written and spoken words and wonder "how did they come up with that?" My hubby and I are always giggling at stupid words and have been known to stay up cackling all night about some idiotic word or phrase. I also love "c" words, well not all of them, but you get the drift.

This morning as I dragged my weary body to Bodystep I remembered a conversation I had with Mike last week and that was about how fitness professionals love to use big words and phrases, regardless of whether or not they were appropriate or not. Charles Poliquin and the peeps at Precision Nutrition love the word protocol - and let's face it, what's not to love about this word - I reckon it conjures up images of "program grandeur" - that even if your program (or should I say "regime" (that's my own personal favourite)) is poorly planned and executed it, every time you write about it, it sounds like it's the best thing since Vegemite on toast........

which maybe it's not. Who it just "words" or is it "training gold"??

Again, as I alluded to yesterday, adding to the soup of "I'm better than you" that, most of the time, very innocently floats around the blogging world. I have to admit, I'm guilty as charged over some of my big words and phrases - as I mentioned, "regime" would have to be right up there. I remember in my student days, my exercise physiology lecturer talking about a particular regime and thought how much sexier it sounded than a plain old plan. We give our workouts names (as all of my clients know - "Reverse Psychology Intervals" sound so much more intriguing than "train your butt off until you puke". I get even drier and call my workouts A, B, C and D - and wondered why I'm so orderly when in so many other parts of my life I'm rather, uh, random.

Today I have officially decided to rename my workouts. Today I did "Workout W" , that is "WHY the hell did you decide to train your legs on Tuesday when you knew you were teaching 3 RPMs on Wednesday and a Bodystep on Thursday" . Tonight is going to be a special "P Protocol" - that is the "pass out on my couch at 7pm tonight because I'm so tired routine". Tomorrow's exercise is going to be "M" - maybe, or maybe not! I tell a lie, another RPM class to smash (though with my legs so sore right now it may be a false hope..but sounds good anyway) in the morning.

It all goes with the territory of the human condition I guess - I was heartened to read that many other bloggers have "sideways issues" - even today as I was training a client, I looked over at a woman with a fabulous physique and had to say to myself, "looks fab, but keep training!"

I heard another interesting thought today - we don't see the world as it is, we see the world as we are - follows on nicely from my last post.

I am in the thick of learning new choreography for Step and RPM - I love the new RPM release and I love how the lyrics can be so emotive and move you. We are such meaning seeking creatures - is the meaning actually there or do we give things meaning? My favourite so far is "Human" by The Killers.

Here are part of the lyrics:

"I did my best to notice
when the call came down the line
up to the platform of surrender,
I was brought, but I was kind
and sometimes I get nervous
when I see an open door

Close your eyes, clear your heart
cut the cord

Are we human, or are we dancers?
My signs are vital,
my hands are cold
and I'm on my knees looking for the answers
Are we human, or are we dancers?"

Edited to add content..

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Important vs Not So Important

I'm sure that I've blogged about this before, but a weakness I possess is a definite lack of organization - luckily for me this week's Bootcamp assignment was all about time management and prioritization - what's the most important thing? Dave spoke about making yourself number one priority (ie if you make yourself number one, then you're freer to give to others, especially the most important people in your life eg life partner, children etc). I've been treating life like an octopus in a string bag (no doubt, any mother would have heard about this in relation to kids) - I think I have something sorted and then, bang, out pops a tentacle!

I've definitely been guilty of spending too much time on the internet, Facebook etc and I've spoken to others about how "reading blogs does one's head in". I'm going to quote Elizabeth Waterstraat, who is a triathlon coach in the US who wrote almost word for word, what I think about reading too many blogs. Must make mention here that it is all to do with the perspective you read them from - if you're feeling vulnerable or fragile, sometimes reading about how fantastic life is for everyone else can be downright depressing. I also wish to mention that if things are going swimmingly for any of you that are reading this, then I am genuinely pleased for you - really I am - but I need to work on time management and prioritization. I enjoyed this in the context of "Important vs Not So Important" very much:

"getting caught up in comparing themselves to everyone else out there who always seems to be having a much better go of things, doing everything faster, better, stronger....

Isn't that always the case?

Reader Beware: You can get caught up in the web of blogs, Facebook and twitting. Everybody is
always nailing their workout, going 2 minutes per mile faster than us and doing it all on nothing but a saltine. Awesome! Sign me up for that training plan. Makes the rest of us feel like complete slugs as we slog away at 12mph in our basement while keeping up with the Kardashian's.

Nothing so awesome about that.

But that's just the way a lot of that stuff reads. Everyone is doing more than us, doing it more often, doing it faster, doing it better, doing it sexier than anyone else. I look at Facebook and even I feel like a slug. 20 x 2 minutes at FTP? Jeez! If you want to scare me fill a paper bag with air and pop it in front of my face. No need to include the letters FTP in that. I'm trashed, I'm killing myself, I'm blah blah...what it all really boils down to in our heads is:

I'm better than you. Even though that's not what they're saying. But I bet that's how it makes some people feel.

" In life we are limited by two things: time and energy. Spend both wisely. And only read, affiliate with or engage in things that keep you moving in a forward direction. Know that you don't have to turn your head. You can keep your eyes forward, look at the road ahead, know where you are going and focus intently on the task of getting there.

I like blogs, I like blogland and keeping a blog has been a positive experience for me. But sometimes it is good to step away and fill your head with something else. Read your own story. Write your own ending. Be that girl. And get obsessed with yourself.

You can read the full post here

Inadvertently, I've found myself swimming sideways. It's not actual content of blog per se, it is the amount of time that I've frittered away reading blogs when I could have been moving forward onto other stuff, which is the scary part.

I've made a start to reorganizing my blog - I've been inspired by Lia and may even try Wordpress. I've deleted all the dead links from my blogs - bloggers who have removed their blogs or haven't posted in over six months and tried to get rid of stuff that is just cluttering everything up.

In the spirit of making it all about me, I've done some good training in these past two days - Upper Body yesterday (and yes, I'm in a world of DOMS today) and Legs today - just three exercises - squats, RDLs and pull throughs were quite enough for me today - didn't lift particularly heavy weights, but am really feeling it tonight. I have three RPM classes to teach tomorrow, so I've factored that into my nutrition for tomorrow - yes, spending more time with myself means focusing more on nutrition. The mechanical part of Bootcamp is going surprisingly well (down to low 58s now and dropping - it's definitely a different body shape that is presenting itself in this phase of action. Someone at the gym told me I looked "rangy". A case to do more resistance training if there was one! I have some old photos from last Bootcamp, so am going to try and put some progress shots side by side and maybe post them, if I'm feeling brave!

Will leave tonight with another cracker of a quote from fellow bodybuilder and LL Coach, Mary Leach:

"The past and future live only in our mind, and we hold no power with those. The immense power that we have to change our lives, to chart our course to success, will always exist only in THIS moment, THIS decision to act in a way that brings us closer to what we desire."

Sunday, February 22, 2009

Checking in and Catching Up

Can't believe it's been a week since I posted - I had thought that with a week off I would be blogging everyday - but I decided that I needed a holiday from blogging as well, so I've laid low.

Let's see.. Monday was spent doing the usual, programs, catch up on emails, bills and about five loads of washing that somehow had gone by the wayside (training that day was doing the boogie with the iron).

Tuesday..a lot of the same - got to practice some of the new Bodystep and went out for dinner with Mike Robertson, who is in Australia presenting an excellent seminar on lower back care. I've been fortunate enough to have worked with Mike in 2007 and the early part of 2008 before my surgery and as I am nearly a year post op,will be looking to take my strength training to a higher level again this year. It was fantastic to be able to meet Mike in person and we had an excellent dinner talking about various training philosophies and his training facility etc.

Wednesday - Picked up latest copy of Australian Women's Health and Fitness magazine - this month Lindy and I have an article about resistance band training in there, so check it out.

Thursday: Taught Bodystep class and then raced off to help Mike and Paul set up for Mike's Seminar. I am loving the Thursday morning Bodystep class and having so much fun. Mike's seminar was fantastic - really solidified a lot of the stuff I teach my clients. Organized a workout for him at Fitness First. Then met Carolyn and shared a fabulous upper body workout including some bicep work that made us both want to cry - I had guessed we'd make 8 reps of said protocol - we were both screaming for mercy as we got to rep 4 - I've been telling her that my biceps now hate her and that her Jedi mind tricks won't work on me anymore...sheesh I'm glad she appreciates Star Wars as much as I do. AFter a great Vietnamese dinner I collapsed into bed.
Friday: Day of complete rest and food shopping.
Saturday: Taught RPM Hi Performance - nearly full class and the focus being on "strategy" - 100% effort @ 15seconds is different to 100% at 1:30 - nearly killed myself in the process but all good. Did 2-3 hours of Bootcamp telecasts on time management and prioritization of what matters in the afternoon.
Sunday: Went for a walk and took Miss G to two birthday parties, ate Boervors with hubs and have chilled out for the rest of the day.

I'm looking forward to a good workout tomorrow and getting ready to have another battery of tests done - still numb in fingers and toes but thankfully most of the swelling has gone down and I'm back to being a badass!

Monday, February 16, 2009

Ditch the Diva!

I've written quite a few posts about this in the past - I am talking about the "All or Nothing Continuum" - that is you're either "on" or "off" with no happy medium in between.

When I coach clients, I ask them to fill out a questionnaire and when I ask clients to describe their relationship with their eating, at least 80% of them will respond with, "I'm an ALL or NOTHING person". When somebody writes to me and tells me that they've had a big binge they will say - "I totally overdid x, y or z - BUT I'm an ALL or NOTHING person". In the meantime, I'm thinking, "so that statement gives you permission to act like a complete doofus then, does it? You'll just shift the blame to some other out there side of your personality.. because you're ALL or NOTHING and you CAN'T do anything about there IT IS". It's the same principle when I hear people tell me that they're ALL or NOTHING with carbohydrates (yes, my poor misaligned macronutrient mate) - they're not intolerant to carbs usually, but their belief system is.

Let me be the first to say that all of these people that I deal with are totally worthwhile human beings - some of them may even be reading this and thinking.."geez Louise, she's being pretty harsh today". Let me also say that whilst I can find the "all or nothing continuum" frustrating, I also get to witness first hand the amazing changes when these beliefs are left at the roadside and as Tony Horton would say, "it's a beautiful thang".

What characterizes the "ALL or NOTHING" type - as I wrote in my post about the Beast yesterday, the AONT (abbreviation people!) breeds off absolutes and negativity in their self talk whether they know about it or not. For example - the statement of "I'm such a failure when I eat carbs, they are all bad for me" would be a classic example - Negativity - "failure" and Absolute - "all". The problem with the AONT is that they stop there - they don't question their Beast - eg "are carbs bad", "what evidence do I have to suggest that I not eat carbohydrate?" , "what does failure and carbohydrate have in common". When an AONT can see how nuts their type of thinking is, then there is the opportunity to learn and grow - for example: " I can see that some types of carbohydrates don't react so well with me - like sweets and cakes - but from doing more research I can see that they don't work well for a lot of people - so I'm not alone - I'm not a failure. I'm going to find out what role carbs play in the body and make an educated decision about my beliefs".

A belief is just that - a belief. It doesn't mean that it is FACT.

As well as self talk, the AONT fears letting go of the dramatic, diva-ish behaviours that come with the territory - is it so AWFUL that the scale goes up 0.5kg overnight, is it so TERRIBLE that Aunty Betty (who you haven't seen in 25 years) invited you for dinner and served you tiramisu, is it a DISASTER that it's raining and you have to change your training plans? The AONT feeds off catastrophe - these issues are minor compared to the disaster in Victoria last week - that really has been tragic.

The AONT may also believe that if they lose the drama, they'll lose the edge. Who said that taking a level headed tack about most things was the same as accepting mediocrity. Being even keeled may seem to good to be true for the AONT, but if it is continually practiced, eventually it becomes second nature - nothing worth fighting for is ever "natural" at first - tennis may be "natural" to Serena Williams but that's after 10 million hours of practice.

Taking a more level headed approach to things can actually bring our goals into razor sharp focus - lose all the drama and what do you have - your goal and a pathway to reach it.

Now it's back to me:
Training today: RPM 42 - learning the new choreo! Meg Chalker, who is an Aussie, is on this DVD - she's a mountain bike expert and a superb rider - look out for Track 7 is all I can say.
Cathe's new STS - Mesocycle One, Disc One - I thought I was really improving on my push ups but Cathe's 16 Bootcamp ones knocked me for six.
Rest: taken
Eating: superb!
Dirty Di: 1 can of Diet Coke

Sunday, February 15, 2009

Fighting with the Beast and my plans...

Everyone has a Beast - Shelley and Katie call theirs "Mad Monkey" and I call mine my "Inner Gollum". Why Gollum? Because Tolkien (author of "Lord of the Rings") has done an amazing job of portraying your subconscious in the character of Gollum - any Lord of the Rings fan will know that Gollum spends most of his time fighting with himself in the book and dealing with a nasty addiction to his "Precious" - the Ring, which in the end takes him to his fiery end.

The same analogy can be applied to weight loss and physique transformation. Much has been written about "The Beast" and your subconscious in the weight loss arena. Put simply "The Beast" or "Gollum" is part of your subconscious, the internal chatter that goes on in your head all day - after all we spend more time talking to ourselves than we do any other person. For someone who is losing weight and feels they're addicted to certain foods, the Beast can have an absolute field day convincing you that you should have x, y or z to make you feel better. It's easy to become scared of "The Beast" who can get very peevish and say things to you along the lines of "You'll never get to experience anything nice ever again", "you're always going to miss out", "why shouldn't I indulge and treat myself?" amongst other things - AND the kicker is that "The Beast" can become so insistent that we forget that we're the ones who are in control.

I have just listened to an excellent lesson on self talk by Coach David Greenwalt. This is part of his Bootcamp program and I really got a lot out of it. We all have a tendency towards negative self talk - and it is this negative all or nothing/in absolute terms "eg I suck at eating well" (negative and absolute) that allows "The Beast" to sit in for a nice round of cards. So we need to go back to continually practising our positive self talk eg "I may not have the best record in eating well, but I can take this step "blah" to get me on the right track" (honest and positive). In effect, losing weight (as is the case of prepping for a comp or just getting lean) is not the answer. You can lose 2 or 20kg and if you haven't learnt how to deal with this change psychologically (ie you can say with 100% certainty that the outside matches the you're no fly-by night fake living in a hot body) then you are not likely to succeed in the long term.

This week signals TOM week and my Inner Gollum has been having a field day trying to tell me that it is OK to bake some sweet goodies (my trigger). Conversation has gone something like this:
Inner Gollum: "How can it possibly hurt to make one batch of chocolate chip cookies?"
Me: "I don't want the feeling of Monday Morning, ie I wake up with the regret of Sunday in my head and feeling like I have to paddle ferociously just to hold my position in the water."
Inner Gollum: "But you've tidied up the house and you could do with a treat, something you enjoy"
Me: "Whilst I do enjoy baking, I haven't been able to come to a landing yet in terms of it triggering me to eat everything."
Inner Gollum: "The entire family have gone out for the day. You could buy all of the ingredients and spend all afternoon baking and no one would ever know".
Me: " Well I really don't want to pretend I'm hungry for dinner when everyone comes home when I'm stuffed to the gills with fat and sugar".
Inner Gollum: "You are so weak".
Me: "Shut up already, I can't believe I've had you clattering around in my head about this for the last two days. I actually have things to do and I'm done with procrastinating. I know you tell me that I have hopeless time management skills - but that is so negative and absolute. I am improving all the time"

and so on....

Lately I have been wondering about the value of this blog and my contribution to the blogging community. Originally I started this blog to document my journey to compete in two Figure Competitions whilst living in a remote area. These days I wonder what my relevance is to the bodybuilding community in the competitor sense - I'm not sure where I'm headed in that regard - being unwell certainly hasn't helped that - I'm proof positive of the saying - "you make plans and God laughs".

Many coaches keep blogs to help attract business but I don't want my blog to be that - I want a place to write where I can keep it real. Being able to write about what is going on is cathartic for me.

In that spirit, over to me - I mentioned Leanness Lifestyle Bootcamp - I am on the bus for Bootcamp 11 (I did BC-3 last time) and I am now in a strong action phase - my goal to be lean enough to do justice for another photo shoot. Luckily with Lindy and Dallas down the road, hiring an excellent photographer is not a drama.

I have been lucky enough to have the week off work, and am planning on getting plenty of rest and learning the choreography for RPM 42 and BS 75 as well as doing Cathe's STS - Mesocycle 1, as I slowly improve. I taught RPM Hi Performance yesterday and got to meet the delightful Selina. I was nervous that I would be suffering in class but I think the iron is doing its job - all systems go. In between all of that I shall be sleeping and eating really well and practising my positive self talk.

Friday, February 13, 2009


I saw this on Katie's blog and decided to play :)
1. Weight training body part?

The pulling axis. I don't tend to train body parts discretely these days, I group exercises together that need to be done so I move better.

2. Cardio exercise?

I'm a cardio fanatic. I love nothing more than to give the old heart rate a good shake. I love RPM, intervals, long slow distance running, cycling, swimming and everything in between. At the moment I'm having a Bodystep Renaiisance - been teaching 2x week and loving it.

3. Intervals or steady state?

Both - they have qualities that I love depending on what I'm doing and where I'm headed with my training.

4. Carbs – friend or foe?
Friend - only become a foe when they get into bed with lots of fat attached to them.

5. Cheat meal?
I don't do cheat meals. I prefer to honour myself daily with choices congruent to my lifestyle and my core values.

6. Treat?

An Indian meal out, good chocolate and pecan pie for dessert :)

7. Protein Powder?

I use Ladybird products but when I want a protein powder treat, it's Biotest Metabolic Drive, hands down!

8. Gym outfit?
Summer: workout skirt + sports bra + Lorna slogan singlet (my favourite - "Never, never, never, give up!"
Winter: Bootleg pants, workout top and Canterbury compression tops.

9. Runners/Shoes?
Brooks Glycerin, Nike Free
Casual/apres gym: Teva

10. Clean or Dirty Diana? (clean healthy food or healthy with naughty extras)
I'm a mainly Dirty Diana chick, but going Clean retunes your taste buds

11. Inspiration?
For my scientific mind: Mike Robertson and Eric Cressey
For a fit body: Sam Stosur....muscle rules! Michelle Bridges... what a career she's had!

12. Fat Loss Philosophy?
If losing fat was just about calories in and calories out we'd all be skinny.

I'm going to add a few more:

13. Favourite Fitness Related Store or Brand:

I am a big fan of Team Estrogen. It's a US based online store which has the best cycle gear, workout shirts, skirts and tops , postage is great and stuff gets here really fast.

14. Last fitness related item you picked up?

April US Oxygen Magazine, from my mail box.

15. Your fitness philosophy?

Enjoy yourself! Play your edge! And be cool...

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Laughing in the face of danger

I'm finally back - what a week it has been!

Firstly my test results came back negative for Ross River and Barmah Forest (sounds spooky!) virus but found out that my iron levels are at big fat zero, so I'm now taking iron tablets to treat the resulting anaemia - it's amazing, here I was at zero and still belting out some pretty intense classes - the power of the mind and what you believe are critical to your success. I am about to do a Teleconference on "The Secret" and basic "Law of Attraction" if you think you can, you probably can!

However, I'm not completely out of the woods with this thing. The swelling has gone down but it looks as if I may be off to a specialist next week for further investigations. I've been given two weeks off work, so I am currently negotiating with the powers that be about contract suspension.

The "laughing" part of this post refers to what the scale is doing. On Wednesday morning I was a tidy 58.5kg. By Saturday I was weighing in at 64kg with no dietary changes (I would call this the mother of all fluid spikes). If I hadn't known any better, I would have been fretting about the scale doing my head in, but when you are logging your food (decided that being accurate was the best defence) and drinking lots of water, you know that you can safely jump on and have a good old cackle at the number that is reflected back at you. By yesterday I was finding the whole fluid retention thing a bit tiresome, but finger swelling dropped right back and I've just nudged under 60kg again. Further proof that whilst the scale is useful, you need to back it up with other tools!

Hopefully, this whole episode has been nothing serious and has given me a bit of a laugh!

Friday, February 06, 2009

OFFLINE (but back soon)

Hi everyone,
Just to let you know that I'm offline until Monday or Tuesday. My hand swelling has become worse and my knees and toes are now joining the party. Have just come back from a round of blood tests and will know more on Tuesday. Dori, you were right -doc is looking at Ross River as the culprit - hopefully if I have it, it's a mild case as I don't have any other symptoms.

Cheers (and as Arnie says - "I'll be back!!!")

Thursday, February 05, 2009

Puffer Meister

Don' t know if it is the weather or something going on with me but I woke up with the most swollen hands, fingers and wrists - both sides - it actually started last night in my middle fingers, so here's hoping it settles down shortly as it is painful. I trained a few clients today and actually had trouble holding the weights! Which meant I had to cancel on Carolyn tonight which is a bit of a bummer as I not only get to train her, I get to socialize afterwards - last time we went to the Bali Grill and tonight we were planning Vietnamese. Grrr!!!

Anyway will be back much later when it doesn't hurt so much to write!