Monday, August 31, 2009
I work in a pharmacy (as a pharmacist) every Monday and even though I dispense a lot of drugs, I'm personally more a preventative health kinda gal. Charlotte was discussing this in her blog post this evening, interesting stuff about elevated LDLs - I also have borderline blood cholesterol issues (but my HDL:LDL ratios are excellent) so it will be really interesting to see the results of my next lot of tests - as I'm really continuing to pick up my dietary act. I was feeling a little bit blue about the prospect of another 8 hour day on my feet and making up this rainbow of colours really lifted my spirits.
On the menu today:
Breakfast: oats (rich in beta glucan which can help control blood cholesterol), protein powder and added fibre.
Morning tea: Googie egg on slice of spelt toast. I start work at 10am and don't get to eat lunch until 2pm and this really kept me full and on top of my game.
Lunch: Prawn, coriander and vegetable stirfry with chilli and a smidge of brown rice (experimenting with more starchy carb to keep me feeling full)
Afternoon tea: Tuna salad with balsamic vinegar
Pre dinner: Pumpkin Soup (Homemade) with Cracked Pepper.
Munched on a couple of strawberries as well.
Dinner: Angus fillet steak, small corn cob, steamed greens, blueberries mixed with a little Metabolic Drive.
Looking forward now to seven days pharmacy free and hitting the training hard tomorrow.
Sunday, August 30, 2009
Wednesday, August 26, 2009
I know many fitness enthuiasts love DOMS, but I am not one of them. Being sore makes me cranky, frustrated and irritable. Plus when you have to teach RPM and Bodystep when your legs are shrieking with DOMS, it's just not pretty (I wondered if glutamine acts any faster if you snort it?) . In fact training my legs, isn't up there on favourite fitness things to do. However, I do want to be stronger all over and even though it's not my favourite, I'm glad I made the commitment.
I'm lucky that I've been genetically blessed with powerful legs - looked down on the poor ol' swollen pins and I've got some massive RPM quads going on there. Now to get the glutes to match up!
In other news, the slab for our new house got poured yesterday and today the builders are there with all of the framing. It is amazing to see it coming together so fast - which reminds me that I must get my camera out to take some shots.
Tuesday, August 25, 2009
Anyway had this yesterday with some poached chicken breast which was quite nice but today's serving just tasted terrible, so bitter and twisted that I was seriously eyeing off the sausage rolls in the freezer at Coles on the way home and stroking the bottles of Diet Coke in the fridge near the checkouts (they must be there for a reason!) , thinking that the whole organic lifestyle thing just sucks! But on further reading, it seems that once kale is picked you have to eat it fairly quickly, otherwise it will go bitter. I'm going to try another recipe tonight that's designed for kids (I figure if kids will eat it, then it should be a cinch for adults) - Crispy Kale - I will report back on that one. The quinoa wasn't much better tasting either - it's not bad, but it's not as tasty as a serve of brown rice! It's probably all in the cooking!
The upside of all of this better eating and drinking is that I'm drinking a lot more water than I was. I even have special stainless steel bottle (1L) and my goal is to get through three of these a day.
Training with Mrs Biologica was awesome today - improved in the bench press doing 4 x 4 of 45kg with good technique which is wonderful for a little whippersnapper like me as well as some pretty nasty pronated grip rows, trap raises and then 4 cycles of vomit worthy HIIT cardio on the elliptical. I hate the elliptical at the best of times and here was Mrs B telling me not to be a pussy and to bring it (thank you BTW!). Then it was my turn..."c'mon you little piss ant!" (it's the only fun I can have telling someone that deadlifts 120kg without batting an eyelid..). Had a great post workout meal and chat and then it was back home to shoulder the chains of learning Step choreo.
Vera decided to complain again about the kale ("surely those Anzac biscuits in the freezer look good") but I've told her to take a hike by slapping her down with a spear of organic asparagus..thwack!!!
Sunday, August 23, 2009
Instructions: Copy this onto your blog. Look at the list and put an 'x' after those you have read. Tag people if you like...I'm too lazy....
1 Pride and Prejudice - Jane Austen x
2 The Lord of the Rings - JRR Tolkien x
3 Jane Eyre - Charlotte Bronte x
4 Harry Potter series - JK Rowling x
5 To Kill a Mockingbird - Harper Lee
6 The Bible – x (some of)
7 Wuthering Heights - Emily Bronte x
8 Nineteen Eighty Four - George Orwell x
9 His Dark Materials - Philip Pullman
10 Great Expectations - Charles Dickens x
11 Little Women - Louisa M Alcott x
12 Tess of the D’Urbervilles - Thomas Hardy x
13 Catch 22 - Joseph Heller
14 Complete Works of Shakespeare x
15 Rebecca - Daphne Du Maurier x
16 The Hobbit - JRR Tolkien x
17 Birdsong - Sebastian Faulk
18 Catcher in the Rye - JD Salinger x
19 The Time Traveler’s Wife - Audrey Niffenegger
20 Middlemarch - George Eliot
21 Gone With The Wind - Margaret Mitchell x
22 The Great Gatsby - F Scott Fitzgerald x
23 Bleak House - Charles Dickens
24 War and Peace - Leo Tolstoy
25 The Hitch Hiker’s Guide to the Galaxy - Douglas Adams x
26 Brideshead Revisited - Evelyn Waugh
27 Crime and Punishment - Fyodor Dostoyevsky
28 Grapes of Wrath - John Steinbeck x
29 Alice in Wonderland - Lewis Carroll x
30 The Wind in the Willows - Kenneth Grahame
31 Anna Karenina - Leo Tolstoy x
32 David Copperfield - Charles Dickens
33 Chronicles of Narnia - CS Lewis x
34 Emma-Jane Austen x
35 Persuasion - Jane Austen
36 The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe - CS Lewis x
37 The Kite Runner - Khaled Hossein
38 Captain Corelli’s Mandolin - Louis De Bernieres
39 Memoirs of a Geisha - Arthur Golden
40 Winnie the Pooh - AA Milne x
41 Animal Farm - George Orwell x
42 The Da Vinci Code - Dan Brown
43 One Hundred Years of Solitude - Gabriel Garcia Marquez
44 A Prayer for Owen Meaney - John Irving
45 The Woman in White - Wilkie Collins
46 Anne of Green Gables - LM Montgomery x
47 Far From The Madding Crowd - Thomas Hardy
48 The Handmaid’s Tale - Margaret Atwood
49 Lord of the Flies - William Golding
50 Atonement - Ian McEwan
51 Life of Pi - Yann Martel
52 Dune - Frank Herbert
53 Cold Comfort Farm - Stella Gibbons
54 Sense and Sensibility - Jane Austen x
55 A Suitable Boy - Vikram Seth
56 The Shadow of the Wind - Carlos Ruiz Zafon
57 A Tale Of Two Cities - Charles Dickens
58 Brave New World - Aldous Huxley
59 The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night - Mark Haddon
60 Love In The Time Of Cholera - Gabriel Garcia Marquez
61 Of Mice and Men - John Steinbeck
62 Lolita - Vladimir Nabokov
63 The Secret History - Donna Tartt
64 The Lovely Bones - Alice Sebold
65 Count of Monte Cristo - Alexandre Dumas
66 On The Road - Jack Kerouac
67 Jude the Obscure - Thomas Hardy
68 Bridget Jones’s Diary - Helen Fielding x
69 Midnight’s Children - Salman Rushdie
70 Moby Dick - Herman Melville
71 Oliver Twist - Charles Dickens x
72 Dracula - Bram Stoker
73 The Secret Garden - Frances Hodgson Burnett x
74 Notes From A Small Island - Bill Bryson
75 Ulysses - James Joyce
76 The Inferno – Dante
77 Swallows and Amazons - Arthur Ransome
78 Germinal - Emile Zola
79 Vanity Fair - William Makepeace Thackeray
80 Possession - AS Byatt
81 A Christmas Carol - Charles Dickens
82 Cloud Atlas - David Mitchell
83 The Color Purple - Alice Walker
84 The Remains of the Day - Kazuo Ishiguro
85 Madame Bovary - Gustave Flaubert
86 A Fine Balance - Rohinton Mistry
87 Charlotte’s Web - EB White x
88 The Five People You Meet In Heaven - Mitch Albom
89 Adventures of Sherlock Holmes - Sir Arthur Conan Doyle x
90 The Faraway Tree Collection - Enid Blyton x
91 Heart of Darkness - Joseph Conrad x
92 The Little Prince - Antoine De Saint-Exupery
93 The Wasp Factory - Iain Banks
94 Watership Down - Richard Adams
96 A Town Like Alice - Nevil Shute x
97 The Three Musketeers - Alexandre Dumas
98 Hamlet - William Shakespeare x
99 Charlie and the Chocolate Factory - Roald Dahl x
100 Les Miserables - Victor Hugo
36...could be much worse. Looks like I have a few books to catch up on!
Saturday, August 22, 2009
After feeling rather tired yesterday, I was disappointed to wake up still feeling a bit wiped out and seriously considered asking someone else to teach my Hi Performance class this morning but didn't think any of my RPM mates would enjoy a phone call at 5.30am so decided to press on instead.
I have a pretty ingrained Saturday morning routine - get up at 5am, turn on the computer and organize my mix of music for the morning's classes and review the choreography and think of how I'm going to present the class. Usually I will "theme" it and choose groups of similar or very diverse tracks depending on how I am feeling. Today's workout was all about "escalating strength" (I chose the slower, gruntier tracks for my hill climbs today). I slurp up a cup of tea and this morning made myself down a truckload of water as well. After I organize my RPM stuff, I have a big bowl of oats (but I've now seen a very interesting looking brown rice recipe that may just make a splendid breakfast) and some protein powder and read part of the Saturday papers. Then it is off to Fitness First, to teach my class. All of my classes are special to me in one way or another, but this one is my sentimental favourite.
I'm so glad I decided to teach this morning - up on stage it felt magic and my motivational cues revolved around the fact that a roof panel was missing "you're all riding so well, you're raising the roof! How are your beliefs limiting your potential? (I am a sucker for all of this stuff in a class, and in training) - 63 minutes of pure sweaty blissful endorphins. Aaah!
Got home and had my planned meal. Don't think that fellow even touched the sides. Waited fifteen minutes and still hungry. So I had a yummy piece of spelt toast with some vegemite which hit the spot perfectly. Wasn't on my plan for the day, but here's the thing - your body does not always agree with the plans you have for it. Besides if your hunger is purely physical, there is nothing to regret about fulfilling your needs no matter what you think your plan is.
Friday, August 21, 2009
Today's workout included push presses, pull ups (with a little band lovin'), push ups and one armed rows. I've mentioned it before that the beauty of having a great training partner is that they often have more confidence in your ability to lift heavy weights than you do. I honestly thought that I wouldn't squeak out any more than a 17.5kg row, but I was pushed to 20kg and surprised myself with 5 reps (getting a tad sloppy towards the end though!). Then we reflected on how such simple exercises, when executed with good technique, such as cable external shoulder rotations and side BOSU planks could make two strong girls cry!
So, here I am, bathing in a sea of blissful endorphins waiting for my friend, "Mr Doms" (or "Domsy" for short) to arrive. I'm sure that I'll be feeling the effects of this workout tomorrow morning! In my state of bliss, I'm reflecting now on what makes being a fitness junkie so much fun.
After teaching a cracker RPM class in the CBD yesterday as well as Bodystep at Indro (which I felt was also quite good), I decided that what I love about teaching so much and fitness in general is that you never stop improving, that every workout you do is a chance to be better, fitter, faster or stronger - or even just mentally tougher (I'm thinking of Track Six, "Lbby Haba" yesterday!). After today's strength training session, I'm feeling that same enjoyment and the improvements we're making are translating into small changes in our physiques - I was blown away by how Shelley's back was looking on Tuesday and I felt that my shoulders were looking like two little boulders today... Weird, even though I look at myself whilst I'm training, I don't look closely.
All happy on the nutrition front as well, inspired by Katie, I've ditched the Diet Coke as well. I go through phases with this - sometimes I don't drink it at all for a bit, but when I start again, it soon escalates into more than a can a day - so out it goes. Plus with the next house payment due any day it's something I can ill afford anyway.
Thursday, August 20, 2009
I was having a conversation with myself yesterday that went along the lines of:
"Why not have a mouthful of *insert name of any crap here* just like everyone else. Other people can eat treats so why can't you?"
"Living a fit lifestyle means eating to fuel a fit lifestyle. I don't see where *insert name of any processed crap* fits into the equation."
Needless to say, Vera Sluttinski is looking for a new home somewhere else with her mate Inner Gollum.
Anyone wanting to take on a boarder?
Living fit in the long term is really a lifestyle choice. I'm proud to honour myself with nutritious fare that keeps me on the top of my game!
Training today: Just taught an awesome Step class and now off to teach RPM!
Tuesday, August 18, 2009
I'm back from a week's holiday and I've hit the ground running! So excited to be training again, I've attached one of my "Bionic Woman" shots - trained with Mrs Biologica this morning and I'm still on such a high from a good solid pasting with this new program including 5 sets of bench presses, neutral grip incline DB presses, pronated grip seated rows and posterior trap raises. We also got into some core work and both of us were pleasantly surprised by how easy we found our side bridges (have to remember that all of that heavy sh*t we lift has a strengthening effect on the core!)
I've also really been enjoying my chow - as I blogged previously chicken thighs have been on the menu as well as a yummy prawn stirfry with lots of vegetables and a few nuts sprinkled on top. When I was in Byron I stocked up on fresh seafood (the local seafood place is amazing) and bought fresh Yellowfin tuna, bream, trevally and local prawns. The best part is taking these amazing meals to work - I get several comments on them from the staff and think that there is nothing nicer than this beautiful healthy food I'm eating. Don't get me wrong, I still like the odd bit of Dirty Diana, but a Dirty Diana treat for me now is creamy natural yoghurt with Metabolic Drive and freshly sliced strawberries and the occasional Horley's Carbless Crunch bar.
I'm amazed by my shift in thinking as I used to think of Paleolithic eating as a prison sentence - but I can see how much more clearly I seem to be able to think and how much calmer I feel and know there's definitely advantages in the "eating cleaner" pathway for me.
Friday, August 14, 2009
Our responses to stressors are often learned. I know that when I was a child, the last thing that I felt when I was stressed or anxious, was hungry. I learned the behaviour through seeing patterns in my family and in others - "eat something and you'll feel better". So naturally, some event happened, I ate to "feel better" and off I went. I would feel stressed, tired and anxious on coming home from work, so I ate something to feel better. Eventually I just used to come home from work tired and not particularly stressed - what would I do - eat something! And although a stressor was the initial driver, the habit still remained. Do it over and over again for long enough and it becomes an ingrained habit. Get anxious? Eat! Get bored? Eat!
This behaviour peaked after my second daughter was born. When she was nearly two I started to change my lifestyle for the better. I lost the weight, I did three Figure Comps , and yes, I worked on the mental side of things on the way down. And yes, for the most part, I've done pretty well with maintenance.
However my experiences this year are a potent reminder that "life is managed, not cured" - you don't just lose the weight and be done - you spend your life literally being a continual work in progress. My own experiences with both internal and external stressors this year have seen some habits that I thought I had seen the last of, return with a vengeance. It's been a reminder to focus on what I want, not what I don't want.
One habit that I'm reacquainting myself is mindfulness - it's impossible to be mindful and savour your food when you're in the grip of an emotional eating experience. In an emotional eating experience, "hunger" is immediate and insistent whereas if nature takes it's course, true hunger builds gradually and it's easier to go for nutritious food rather than crap that doesn't do you any good.
Tonight I had chicken thighs for dinner with brown rice,broccoli and almonds, inspired by Katie Pirate and Miss Shelley - I've always been a breasts kinda girl and a bit of extra fat has left me feeling full and content. I think Cavewoman Liz is going to have to have a new rule when approaching a chook - eat the legs first!
Thursday, August 13, 2009
I've been on holidays this week in Byron Bay and under the influence of sea, salt, sand and lots of walking have gradually moved from being anxious, cranky city chick to a more chilled sort of gal.
It certainly didn’t start off very rosy on the first day of proceedings where we all decided to walk along the beach towards “The Pass” . We had to walk along a footpath to get to the beach and DH who was adjusting his cap did not see the boot door of a camper trailer that was lifted up and obscuring half of the footpath. He smacked into it with one hell of a bang and immediately fell to the ground clutching his forehead and writhing in pain. There was copious amounts of blood everywhere and a camper trailer full of foreign backpackers that didn’t know a stitch of English. My first aid skills kicked in pretty smartly and soon I’d managed to pad up his scalp and organize a lift to the local hospital, which was conveniently located across the road from our digs. An hour or so later, we left with three stitches and some Panadol and went to a cafe to have a cup of coffee. I’m usually pretty calm under pressure, but after we left I felt increasingly anxious as I watched my family tuck into second breakfast, anxious about the events that had just unfolded and anxious that because I wasn’t hungry, I’d “miss out” later on when everyone else was full and I had eventually become hungry...and these emotions hammered away at me all day (with old Inner Gollum telling me I’d feel better if I ate something), until I decided to journal these thoughts, rationally negate them and tell myself that it was perfectly natural to feel shaken up by the day’s events and just to feel them, rather than eat them.
I have been doing a lot of reading about emotional, or non hungry eating lately - why do we all engage in non hungry eating as well as eating when we are actually hungry? And how is it that some of us can become so disconnected from ourselves that we no longer can read our hunger signals and we’ve equated the sensation of hunger to something so unpleasant we feel it shouldn’t be experienced?
My first aid experience with my husband highlighted that when I open the door to emotional eating, that much of the time, the driving emotion behind such eating is anxiety. My theory is that eat in response to this (or any emotion) enough and you start to form habits which remain long after the emotion has left the building. And habits can be difficult to break. Eat too “artificially” - that is eating to a set schedule, rather than learning to roll with your hunger, banning certain foods (because you’re not “allowed” to have them - and I don’t mean all the highly processed junk out there that I feel honoured not to have) and perpetually trying to lean out 24/7 just amplifies that ‘hunger switch’ even more.
Emotional eating can happen to any of us, but it’s how you deal with it and understand the underlying motives that really make or break you.
A few things that I have practiced this week in response to feeling like I have wanted to eat out of emotion rather than hunger and that may help you if you’re struggling with this right now is:
- listen to your body as you eat - savour every mouthful, eat as slowly as possible. Assess your hunger before you start - take a few mouthfuls, how are you feeling now? My example of this - I’ve just been out for lunch and had pizza. I had two smallish slices and stopped. Why? Even though I was ravenous to begin with, I ate very slowly and mindfully and was amazed that I was pleasantly satisfied after, what is for me when I go out for pizza, a relatively small amount.
- be an observer - just watch what you eat and make some mental notes about what preceded your meal. Did you decide to eat because you were hungry or did you eat for another reason? Be impassive, don’t judge, just watch - soon you will find out the drivers behind what is making you eat for reasons other than hunger.
- once you’ve pinpointed your driver, feel out that emotion a bit more. eg My example - feeling anxious and wanting to eat something actually translated to feeling anxious about wanting to have a catnap after lunch (traditionally I’ve not been a nap type of girl) ----> solution ----> go and lie down with a book and close eyes if it feels good. Must also note that if you’re tired, leptin production drops which biologically drives appetite upwards - so stay rested!
Some may ask that why as a coach, why I would choose to write that sometimes I have trouble dealing with emotional eating and secondly that as a wellness type I’m writing about my cheese laden pizza lunches(on a gluten free base, lol). I think that it’s very important to keep it real. I had so much going on emotionally after my last comp prep (which eventuated in my photo shoot) that habits that I thought I’d killed off a long time ago came galloping back at full force. However, I’m working on it and choosing to win.
I’m not perfect..
I’m fine, just the way I am.
and I feel blessed that I have these opportunities to learn and grow with.
Friday, August 07, 2009
Thursday, August 06, 2009
I've got a day off today as my poor Miss G has the flu - I've been up most of the night trying to drop her temperature down and consequently I'm rather tired as well. It's a good thing actually as I have been having problems with my left ankle and am hoping that I don't have the beginnings of a stress fracture there (I've been giving the old bod a lot more impact than usual) - I had to cancel my appointment with the physio and yesterday started some rather aggressive antiinflammatory drugs and some ice which has settled it down somewhat today. I will have tomorrow off cardio again and fingers and toes are crossed that Georgia will be well enough so that I can train upper body again tomorrow - unfortunately not looking too promising, but that is life.
Plan is to take all of next week off as we are off to Byron Bay for a week's holiday - then it's back to one Bodystep and 3 RPMs a week which will be just perfect for me. I'm also planning some new strength training stuff in my bid to get stronger - a sixteen week program, broken into 4 distinct blocks of effort. Sixteen weeks is a long time to commit to, but if I can break it down into smaller efforts, I think I may just get there. Now that the Step is scaling back to once a week, I should be able to start training my lower bod - not sure if I'm looking forward to that or not!
I've also been thinking a bit about the best way of learning what works for me in terms of staying lean and fit. The only way to find out is to try different approaches - some will work really well, others will be a bit "meh" (thanks Carolyn!) and others will fail spectacularly.
So here's my list:
*eating mostly Paleo style with one serve of grains per day (usually oats, quinoa, rice or potato)
*having a few non Paleo meals across the week - I really love having a protein bar every few days and a bit of natural yoghurt
*high fat, high protein meals are sometimes excellent as a treat meal and keep me feeling full for hours
*high carb meals feel great if I'm carb depleted
*making sure I don't let myself ever get too hungry or too full (achieving this state is a real art)
*staying connected with my emotional state and asking myself before I eat something "is there some other way of dealing with "x problem" that would make me feel better than eating something?"
*positive thinking and reinforcement (I tell myself "good job", every time I make an eating decision that honours my body rather than abuses it).
What doesn't work:
*highly processed wheat based products (I have the swollen joints and skin rash to prove it)
*highly processed sugary/fatty junk food (I am no different to the rest of the human population)
*not keeping my emotions in check
*letting myself get too hungry
*listening to my "Inner Gollum/Vera Sluttinski" rather than my voice of prevaling sanity.
Wednesday, August 05, 2009
Oooh, I'm feeling the DOMS love today. Yesterday Shelley helped me with my training at Fitness First Jindalee and my lats and triceps are on fire today. I'm slowly making more progress across the board with my overall strength - have even progressed to holding a weight between my knees as I do bodyweight tricep dips (see pic ). I did pretty well, knocking out 2 sets of 8 with the weight. I turned to Shelley and said, "how about we just take the weight away for the last set?"
As soon as I had uttered that sentence, I knew that my timing had not been the best.
"There is no negotiation!" she said. Indeed, there wasn't! I managed to power through 4 more reps with weight and then polished myself off quite thoroughly to failure. That is the beauty of having someone to push you when you think you can't possibly get another rep in.
Rolled over in bed this morning, my lats are on fire. It's such a great feeling to be pushing the boundaries in the strength department.
Today though has been all about cardio - taught Bodystep this morning - very enjoyable and I worked really really hard (must be because I haven't done any cardio since last Saturday!) - again, you get so much more out of your workout when you give your body appropriate time to recover.
Monday, August 03, 2009
I think Charlotte is right, it's wheat intolerance, rather than gluten intolerance as such. I'm looking into getting some more allergy testing done. Belly is still full of knots but am doing so much better on vegetables, fruits , lean protein and keeping everything relatively plain.
So hopefully the only "toot" you hear from Queensland will be that of the Queensland Rail...