Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Zoom!! Is that half the year gone already?

Wow I cannot believe half the year has gone already so I'm going to do a bit of a mini report card.

Below was my tentative plan for the first half of the year...'

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

It's really funny that most of what I planned didn't eventuate at all or look like eventuating.

What I did do:
I did do
Leanness Lifestyle Bootcamp 11 - this was the second Leanness Lifestyle Bootcamp I've done and it was one of the best learning experiences I've ever had - I learnt so much about the reasons we humans have so much trouble with eating/weight etc and all sorts of life strategies that have been really useful. There is another one running in September 2009 if anyone is interested in checking it out.

I did go to Sydney - but instead of swimming I went to
FILEX and stayed/played with Kerryn and Selina and got to meet Casey and Alanna. This was a thoroughly enjoyable weekend and our evenings at Bluefish Restaurant stirred the beginnings of one big Calamari bender in me...yum yum yum!

My shoulders have improved out of sight, see stories of smashing iron below, I must remain a work in progress though.

I didn't do any running or cycling in January and I didn't look like going anywhere near a triathlon, let alone a half marathon in May! Although I made plans and ordered a bikini, I didn't compete either.

In fact May and June were months where I made a lot of decisions about what was right for me. During this time I have reaffirmed and strengthened a friendship with someone who is dear to me, I have begun dismantling my live PT business at FF, started dissolving a business partnership , and started being more assertive in setting a few boundaries both professionally and personally and started getting more sleep. Did I mention that I started eating more calamari as well(lol!)?

In fact I started doing a bit more of what
DG told me to do and what I've passed onto my clients as well - more self honouring. Part of this has been training with "Miss Muscles" Shelley twice a week. There is nothing better than absolutely thrashing yourself in the gym with someone who you know has the same agenda as you - to be getting really really strong - and there's nothing better than seeing yourselves improve!
Today I punched out 8 dips unassisted - I can't recall ever doing that many in a row (thought that doesn't mean I'm ready for Crossfit,
Lisa !)and we're both improving with all the weights we lifted. In fact, we were sitting on the FF couch polishing off our post workout oats today and I had a real feeling of contentment wash over me - I feel relaxed, happy and at peace with myself and the world around me.

So I may not have achieved what I set out to so far this year, but plans are meant to be broken sometimes - there's been quite a bit of mental angst and challenge for me, I've certainly not been perfect and had plenty of down times but tonight I'm quietly celebrating that I think I'm winning!

Saturday, June 27, 2009

Joining the Slug Club!

Wow, I'm looking back on this week's training and can safely say I gave it a good whack this week.  This morning, I am in a world of pain!  I was grateful that we did no lower body work yesterday otherwise RPM would not have been a pretty picture.  That said I gave it everything I could muster this morning and actually started gaining a second wind on the second "Track 7".
Playlist this morning was:
"I Could Have Loved You More" RPM 42
"Hot and Cold" RPM 43
"Rocking for Myself" RPM 19
"Human" RPM 42
"Painkiller"  RPM 36
"Going Wrong" RPM 42
"Blood is Pumpin" RPM 20
"Inspiration" RPM 33
"Heaven" RPM 40
"Every Little Step" RPM 36
"Long and Winding Road" RPM 19

I know I'm having a grizzle about training, but not so secretly, I'm enjoying the push and reconnecting with what I love after a few tumultuous weeks of deciding where my life was going.

I'm also setting myself a little challenge and trying to plan ALL of my food out for a week - I have never been successful at this and I'm looking to do this more from a fiscal point of view than anything else.  Hubs and I just looked at the budget and we were blown away by the amount of money we've been spending on groceries per week.  I would be really keen to hear from everyone else what you spend on groceries.  This family of four eats $350 worth a week.  My aim is to get it down to $300.  Is this an insane amount or am I on the money and no, I won't be offended if you tell me I'm insane.

Friday, June 26, 2009

Heart went Boom and Triceps Left Town!

Another great whacker of a workout with Miss Shelley this morning, with photographic evidence of some of the pain and suffering I went through! You can check out Shelley's blog to see her "evidence" as well!
Here's how it went down:
Woke up this morning feeling very positive about life and ready to train hard. Got to the gym at about 9.45am (I'm loving these leisurely starts!) and did 30 minutes of intervals on the treadmill which just flew by (I was listening to some of my favourite RPM tracks and they always get me going). Then Shelley turned up, also full of beans and it was game on.
"Do you want to smash it!"
"Do you want to get better?"
"Do you want to get f***ing huge"
"Hell yeah!!!"
So with these thoughts in mind it was off to do our band pull ups - I improved from 4 x 6 last week to 4 x 8 and Shelley improved in overall consistency on this lift. Then onto barbell bent over rows where I'm just blown out of the water here by Shelley, but still lifted more weight never the less. Feeling pasted, we move on to some wide grip lat pull downs - we're following an 8-10-12 protocol and by the last set my mind was telling me that I couldn't - but I looked at Shelley and thought "there's no way I'm giving in!". So safely through that one.
Then it was tricep time - I'm proud to say that I smashed out 6 unassisteds first go and Shelley got one as well. Go team. At some point there I was completely cactus and I said I can't do any more. Shelley said "is it your shoulder or are you just f**ked?" "Just f**ked" I reply - "oh," she said, "if I'd known that I would have just made you keep going!"
"Yikes," I thought..."Close call!"
We finished off with tricep push ups (me) and close grip bench (Shelley). By the time we'd finished, we were both pretty pasted and we marvelled at how we hear about others going for a few hard rounds of cardio after they finish their strength training. I know I got an incidental cardio workout after going so hard on the weights!
I left the gym feeling elated that we'd pushed each other so hard and we'd both improved on last week's effort. That is the wonderful thing about having a good training partner, they won't let you wig out on anything and achievement and improvement (as well as fun) is the aim of my game.
Had to make a hard right out of the car park to head home - wondered why I'd applied pressure to the steering wheel and the car wasn't moving - ah that was my arms so fatigued I was only imagining I was moving them! Yikes!
DOMS has been the theme of this week - I've done my usual roll out of bed in the mornings this past week going..."I'm so sore!".
Must be a slug after RPM this weekend and rest, because all the good stuff (change) happens when you allow your body time out to repair and rest.

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Love, Pain and the Whole Crazy Thing

Thank you to Keith Urban for the title inspiration.

Today's post is about what happens when you get a Birthday Girl and a PMSing PT, add some Surge and heavy iron.

Yes, Shelley and I trained lower body yesterday and although I was scared of starting, I was elated to get through the workout feeling so good! We did conventional deadlifts, squats, and hamstring ball bridges, polished off some bear-crawl planky things - I need a name for these and then I suggested cardio.

"Aren't you forgetting something?" said Shelley.
"What?" I replied, thinking "I'm already pasted, do you mean there's more?"
"What about shoulders, remember we spoke of training shoulders on Friday?"

What can I say, Shelley has a fantastic memory. So we grabbed two benches and grabbed 10kg weights and did a rather comfortable set of military presses.
"Phew, " I thought. "I'll get through this just fine."

"Now do you want me to spot you?" smiles Shelley.
Spotting? Uh oh, looks like this is going to get tough!

"OK, let's go".
So I grabbed the 12.5kg dumbbells. Start off well. Come on, you can do it. Six reps, looking strong. Seven or eight reps..."oh oh, I'm in trouble".
"C'mon" says Shelley.
"Grunt" says me.
"Nine" says Shelley.
"Expletive deleted....Hooooooowwwwwwwl!!!!!!!!" says I .

My turn to give her the same treatment. I'm yelling at the poor woman telling her to bring it. Then I realize that I'm really making a lot of noise in a very quiet gym and sounding like Ray "Rabbit" Warren. We had a good laugh about that!

Must have worked because I'm so sore this morning - in order, shoulders, glutes and quads. The shoulders have kicked in first but I can feel the glutes coming, especially after teaching another cracker RPM class.

Gosh training is fun!

Saturday, June 20, 2009

Power To The People!

Lately many of my posts have been running to a theme lately, namely that of self analysis and decision making, yes, it's been "all about me" this week which has been rather nice.  The reduced workload has already been making a positive impact and I've done things this week that I haven't done for ages (like potter my way through Woollies for an hour an a half, usually I'm a "smash and grab" type of shopper because I've been so darn busy).

This morning I woke up with some pretty amazing DOMS (thanks Shelley) and it occurred to me how much life can be enhanced by the presence of other people and how much inspiration I draw from the many people I cross paths with and how thankful I am for that inspiration.

 Today I taught my usual RPM Hi Performance class - I've been teaching this time slot for the last couple of years and I often wonder what brings the same members back time and time again without me totally boring them senseless.  To combat this, I have various "themes" I play on during class, for example, one week I may focus on slower climbing tracks, other weeks I really focus on speed work.  Today I spoke about "mental toughness" and maintaining tenacity and focus, even if you were having a moment where you thought your fatigue was going to win over the desire to complete the track strong etc.  I would never have been so inspired if I hadn't read Lisa's post about failure and selling yourself short.   I would never have been inspired if I hadn't trained back and triceps with Shelley yesterday and nailed those unassisted tricep dips (ie until I actually tried, I didn't have the belief that I could do it).

This afternoon as I had a look at various furniture stores for a potential dining table for our new home I was reminded of Kerryn's journey to her new home and on having a good potter around "Taste for the Love of Cooking",  I was inspired by Carolyn's creativity in the kitchen.

I am so glad I've had the opportunity to meet so many people through blogging and in the online world in general and would like to thank everyone who reads this blog and cares enough to leave a comment, and thank those who have complimented me on my photos.   To know that someone cares about what I write is fantastic, even if you don't all agree with me at times.  How cool do you think blogging is?

Sometimes it's all too easy to think that you can do it on your own - and yes, I guess you can climb the mountain solo if you want to - but heck I think I like the idea of sharing the view when I reach the top!

Friday, June 19, 2009

Two girls, a rubberband,a glove and a funky tattoo!

(I feel like there should be "da na da na da na da na, da na da na da na da na...Batmannnnn!!!" music to match this photo)

Today I moved from being speedy to being strong (well in my own eyes!) and had the pleasure of training with Shelley today at FF, Jinders. I can't remember the last time I actually trained with someone (rather than training them) and it was awesome fun.

Now you might all be wondering how all the above ingredients figure into the mix - Shelley bought her Powerbands (I also have some, unopened from Filex) which we used to do assisted chin ups. I contributed one training glove to today's effort rather than two - anyone who knows me well knows I'm hopeless with keeping a pair of anything together and I got to see Shelley's tattoo update in the flesh - love the "strength" symbol!

We started off with 4 x 6 assisted chins - I was amazed by how well the Powerbands worked though after 4 sets things were starting to get dodgy - then it was onto 8/10/12 reps of Bent Over Barbell row - here Shelley whipped my butt, lifting 30 kg for the entire exercise with me giving in at 27.5kg (from memory)...I'm such a wuss bag! Then it was onto wide grip pull downs and by the third set of these suckers a tinge of nausea had started to set in.

"I'm actually feeling sick, " I said, grinning to Shelley.

Then after a quick water break it was onto unassisted tricep dips and out came my Inner Tiger - I nailed four unassisted (does the "I can't believe it" dance) but close grip bench presses were a different story, Shelley excelling at these whilst I sat and wept - I got to do narrow stance push ups instead - only managed two sets because by that stage my triceps had left the building and Shelley was left to pull me up by my saggy sorry butt.

We steathily found the Jinders FF microwave, heated up our respective post workout snacks and headed downstairs for a bit of a catch up. I had Paleo Pumpkin Cajun Spiced Beef and Shelley had this fantastic prawn, whiting and vegetable stirfry - hers looked so good that I was inspired to buy a kilo of prawns when I went to Woollies and a bucketload of calamari for dinner tonight - seafood and eat it!

I'm already to feel a bit of DOMS in the building, I'm just grateful that it wasn't legs with RPM and all in the morning!

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Taking Me Up to the Next Level...

of running speed that is!
This morning I surprised myself by jumping on the treadmill and running 11.4km in an hour. I did a mixture of intervals to come out at this number but I surprised myself with my speediness!
I'm going to pimp a few of my photos from Dallas today - I can't believe how many great shots I got and there are a few surprise shots in there that just might become my favourites. I'm really glad I had the photos done, the biggest surprise to me is how much I've 'aged' in the last three years. Although I'm nearly forty, I don't feel a stitch over 18, I don't have many photos taken, so it was a real surprise to see all these 'lines of expression', lol! However, that's not a bad thing I guess, it's all part of the journey.
In other news, we turned the first soil on our land today - we're having a swimming pool put in and the excavation started today. I think I'm going to start another blog just related to the house at some point and I'm still keen on my Wordpress project now that I've got some fantastic new photos that more accurately portray where I'm at right now.

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Choosing Power!!

Do you ever have moments of revelation at the most unusual times? I was driving to the gym this morning, ready to teach my regular RPM class when it occurred to me that I would like to post a mid year update at the end of June. Then I thought about it some more and realized that none of the plans I have made have come to fruition, not one. As someone who wants to plan her life more, I'm strangely OK with this and actually sat at the traffic lights at one point and had a good giggle. "You make plans and God laughs" - so true!

That said, I've made a career out of changing course lately out of a need to focus on what I really want to do with my life RIGHT now and in the turbulence of all of the changes, I'm moving on, I'm making plans, I am POWERING up!

Taking control and making decisions, even if they're unpleasant at the time is really invigorating and living my personal truth is a fantastic feeling even if things don't always go to plan. That's OK. Taking full ownership and responsibility for your actions truly puts the power where it belongs.

As well as the major biggie of winding up the PT business, I've also stopped teaching Bodystep/Core (due to my whacko pelvis) and I've decided never to compete again either. As a sport (if you could call it that), I hate that it's based on comparion of looks rather than the performance involved in getting up on stage. A few years ago, I would never have had that opinion, I certainly have no regrets about competing but I've well and truly moved on. Instead I've made the decision to honour myself by being lean, loving life and looking awesome just because I deserve to. I don't need to base my worth on a couple of pudgy balding men (complete with requisite bodybuilding hip pack) judging my "symmetry".

I been reading of a few post comp struggles and struggles with bingeing and destructive behaviours around food and my pearl of wisdom for today is to POWER UP. Often overeating is borne of a belief that we're powerless to control our relationship with food and powerless to control our Inner Gollum/binge monster or whatever. Set your boundaries and be definite - stop treating it and yourself as some scary entity that won't like you any more if you apply a little discipline . Shut your demons up and put them back in the darkness where they belong. Give your Gollum a good whack...with your paddle!

Speaking of which, I have been taking my own advice and am now feeling (and looking!) so much better!

Sunday, June 14, 2009

Honour vs Indulgence?

One of the main things I have been taught by DG during my own coaching stint has been the concept of honouring yourself so that you can focus on what is most important.  For example, making sure I get enough "me" time so that I can be fully present for things that are most important (eg relationship with hubs, girls etc).  If I do not honour myself, then how can I possibly help anyone else?   My decision to quit live PT is a classic example of this.  Tomorrow, I do not have to be up at the crack of dawn and I have already planned to walk with the girls to school.  Then I have one client and then I am planning a workout at Fitness First at Jindalee.   To me that's a better use of my time - time doing what is most important and time to honour my body with a workout that I enjoy.

Something that I have been reminded of this week is that there is a big difference between indulgence and honouring.  I've wandered off track with my eating this week, old Gollum grumbling to me all the way and telling me that I deserved treats, I deserved not to deprive myself, because I was falling down on other fronts, why not go ahead and have a big party in my mouth to make me feel better?  Why not have a holiday from the scale whilst I was at it?  

Interestingly none of this behaviour made me focus on what is most important to me at all.  Rather it had me withdrawing and engaging in navel gazing behaviour (which wasn't exactly self loving...).    Plus it gave me a charming 1.5kg increase in scale weight, which I'm none too thrilled about.  In other words, indulgence is not what it's cracked up to be.  In fact the very concept of indulgence is the opposite of what it implies, it can be life sucking.  Look around next time you're in a Food Court at the local shopping centre.  Look at the results of those who decide to indulge themselves on a regular basis.  Do they look happy?  Probably not.  Healthy?  Unlikely.  Heart attack waiting to happen?  Watch this space.

So it's time to whack the paddle in, watch my intake by logging my meals and focus on eating mindfully.     I have to admit that I had been thinking that I have been deprived, but in reality, I've had to grow up and reframe my definition of what deprivation actually is.  Every time I think of "deprivation" I tell myself, that by indulging, I'm depriving myself of the lean and fit body I've grown to love.    Where is the "deprivation" in looking and feeling like a million bucks?  Where is the deprivation in not worrying that my clothes fit me and that I don't have to worry about what I look like?  Where is the deprivation in knowing that in this condition I'm really kicking butt in the gym and teaching RPM?

There's a bit of tough love in this post but so often we mistakenly get scared of ourselves and our normal biological functions.  What if we said "no" to seconds or "x" food - would this cause us to break out or binge or whatever?   The power to decide is within ourselves.  The trick is realizing when it's your Inner Gollum having a go at you.  It is normal to experience hunger.  But so many of us treat hunger as if it's a disease state.  If you get excessively hungry, it can be annoying but it certainly won't kill you like starvation can.  

When I think of some of the thoughts I have had of being deprived, I am also clearly forgetting that I'm one of the lucky few that live in a first world country.   Next to my fellow humans, I want for nothing.   I'm grateful that I don't really have to worry about where my next meal is coming from.   I  must note here that I don't believe that there is anything wrong with having a treat meal every now and again - but make sure it really is a treat, rather than a trigger for you, eat mindfully and savour each mouthful and be grateful that you can even contemplate a treat in the first place.

Meanwhile I'm off in my old canoe paddling away - I have a date with my best self later in a week or so and I'm looking forward to welcoming her back!

Tuesday, June 09, 2009

Venting my Spleen

There seems to be quite a lot going on in the land of Liz lately, the biggest thing that has been brewing has been a dissatisfaction with work/life balance - so these past few months I've been quietly taking stock of what's been happening and made a few decisions. I have decided doing face to face coaching and personal training is not for me - I have hated every minute of the long hours, the cancellations, the insular nature of the gym for a start. On the positive side, I have had some really terrific clients who I'm sure I will remain good friends with who will consolidate the changes they have made under my tutelage into lifelong results. As of this week I am dismantling my client base and seeing one on one clients only on Wednesdays and Thursdays until my contract expires at the end of July. I'm going to continue my RPM classes and am now going to train at Fitness First at Toowong or Jindalee - whatever takes my fancy on the day. So far, Jindalee is winning out. It's lovely and open and it's nice to see the outside through the big windows - I trained there today.
I'm looking forward to doing the simple things - not making the kids get up at 6am for before school care, being able to care for them when they're sick (Miss S was unwell today) , being able to get more sleep and being able to put my own training before everyone elses.
Now to the title of my post ....Venting My Spleen
I trained at FF Jindalee today and was horrified by the types of moves the PTs there were putting their clients through -
for example...a pregnant lady doing dynamic lunges off a BOSU when it was painfully obvious she couldn't do a normal lunge to save her life.
.....a PT watching her client obviously squat improperly
.....a PT vigorously stretching a pregnant woman's pelvis (ouch, and double ouch!)
.....a PT making an obese client do step ups on a platform twice as high as was necessary to execute the move correctly.
and the list goes on........
I think the basic PT qualifications are not enough - there needs to be more standardization across the board - I know some good trainers who have Cert3/4 and have spent time doing more continuing ed, but for most part, I'd be extremely wary of who I entrusted my health and wellbeing to.
The nutrition/diet industry is even worse. If I see another shake or snake oil marketing scam peddled I'll.......... do nothing and go about my non sexy business of recommending sound evidence based nutrition practices and vent my spleen again on another day.
What else vents my spleen? Phishing emails....I must have got myself on a mailing list...am so sick of them...arhg :)

Sunday, June 07, 2009

little catch up

Aaah, what a busy weekend - taught RPM yesterday morning and smashed it, saw two PT clients and then did an emergency locum at a pharmacy yesterday afternoon as well as working in a pharmacy today (I've taken on a shift once every two weeks). I have forgotten how tiring standing on your feet all day can be and the priority right now is to catch up on sleep.

An interesting thing I noted about the sleep deprivation program was that when you're sleep deprived you get really hungry. This weekend, I have really been particularly peckish - I have felt that no amount of food would fill the gap. I've sensibly filled up on more vegetables and lean protein, but I have to admit that the intensity of my hunger scared me a little bit this weekend as I've probably consumed almost 50% more than I would on a normal day! Think I'll just chalk that one up to mysterious bodily goings on and keep on keeping on.

Tomorrow is a Public Holiday here and I'll be working on programs and playing with my new Macbook. I have been so time poor lately and looking forward to a time where I can just hang out with myself and no distractions. The relative busyness and lack of sleep have even had me feeling less than enthused about doing any training so my agenda is sleep first, recreational time and then some training.

Thursday, June 04, 2009

Fair Enough

I think it will be fair enough to say that I'm going to have a nasty case of jaw DOMS by the weekend. Today, lunch with Shelley , tonight training with Carolyn and training with Selina , I think I shall be having a very quiet weekend. I haven't stopped talking all day!

Wednesday, June 03, 2009

Do it, do it, do do do it!

Just home from work - two by two, two clients and two classes. I taught the new RPM in its entireity this morning and then teamed up with Miss Janene and tackled Bodystep at 9.20am. Right now I'm feeling on top of the world - best described as that feeling you have after you've finished an exam.

I haven't blogged the past few days because I've been stuck in the big bad bog of procrastination. Yes, I've been marinating in my own bad self trying to force myself to learn the choreo and trying every trick in the book to avoid the task at hand - which included wandering past the fridge, opening it, listening for the BEAST then telling it to shut up as I went back to my choreo. I reckon that I have two weeks of hell trying to learn it all and then when it is done, it is the best feeling in the world.

I got up super early this morning to polish off RPM and being a 6.10am class in a now extremely cold and airconditioned studio didn't relish the thought of training - but I gave myself a stern talking to and did a "pre" warm up before the class actually began and it made such a difference.

So the take home message I'm trying to drum into myself is to "just do it" - I know I feel so much better when faced with a task I'm not thrilled about doing, is to "just do it" and get it over and done with!

ON that note, I'd better go and do some housework... something that I NEVER relish the thought of!

Monday, June 01, 2009

Fitness is a Gift!

Got some training in this morning - a 30 minute easy run, except I had to go a bit slower than my usual pace - it was a reminder to me not to take my fitness for granted. When you've been sick/unwell or had some time off it's hard to forget where you were before, but sometimes it's just best to start over. I also did some weights, left shoulder is still improving but a long way to go still.

I'm slowly making my way back to a consistent place after Friday - yesterday hubs and I went and chose the colour scheme for the house which I thought would be rather stressful, but turned out so much easier than I imagined - once we'd picked out a base colour, the rest just seemed to flow naturally. We didn't finish until 2.30pm and decided on a late lunch which put my nutrition planning out a bit - we ended up eating Indian which was enjoyable but not planned. For a minute I felt a pang of 'oh no I'm going off plan' but then decided that having Indian on a rare date I have alone with my hubby was a far more balanced choice than running all over town trying to find something that fit the bill. So I ate a small serve of everything, enjoying it, reminding myself that it's physiologically impossible to add body fat with a meal that doesn't always meet the requirements we desire.

I'm also working on getting more sleep and feeling better for it - nine hours Saturday and eight and a half hours last night. TOM has also made a visit so I reckon if I keep on the consistent path with everything I'll be feeling super in a day or two. Yahoo!