Tuesday, October 27, 2009

time to slow down

I don’t know why but I’m just in the mood for some funny pictures today- tributes to the two best clean eating foods in my opinion! ;) The baby one is cute but grosses me out a little! haha, stole it from this awesome competitor's blog. I found the oatmeal one at this great foodie's blog. These are the only two blogs written by gals from the States that I regularly read- Ali and I love all things American, I highly recommend both!
I haven’t blogged in ages and everytime I get a good idea for a post I can’t get onto blogger dammit. Ah well so its just a random hello and ramble from me today J

Have just ticked over the four weeks post comp mark and have hit that point I’ve been waiting for where I (really) don’t want to get any softer :S Ali and I got our callipers in the mail and took our skin folds over 9 sites on Saturday and I was sitting at 53mm which I was pretty happy with. I said I would like to ideally maintain in the 50-60 range. Even though I’m feeling quite soft and missing the super lean “only near comp look” I remember when I got down in this range during prep and I started to really like how I was looking in clothes etc … for the first time in my life! The other night when we went to bed I was lying on my side and I said to Ali, wow I feel so much more comfortable in bed than I have in ages…. Yay for seeing all the upsides of extra padding- Lol!

Still doing a realistic amount of cardio most mornings which I really enjoy now (…now that is optional?) I either get out for some fresh air or make good use of our treadmill + plasma + foxtel J I’ve become the hugest fan of cooking shows and watch lifestyle food a fair bit. I used to worry that I was ‘obsessed’ with food but I now think, if its something positive in your life that brings you joy, then who cares? Better than the love/hate relationship with food that I used to have!

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

So many questions but the same answers

Photo courtesy of Dallas Olsen
If we know diets don’t work, why do we keep doing them?

Because we (particularly us girls) are very emotional creatures and I am yet to meet someone who doesn’t have some kind of emotional attachment to food/eating. That is, whether positive or negative emotions no one (in developed countries where food is freely available) eats purely for fuel/survival 100% of the time.

We’re also really, really impatient :P I remembering feeling overweight and uncomfortable and getting to the point where I would think “I just want this weight off NOW” which led to, thoughts such as ‘well what can I do to jumpstart this weight loss?’…. ‘I know, I won’t eat much this week and do heaps of cardio!” Does this sound familiar?

It seems that these days whenever someone (having noticed my weight loss) engages me in conversation about what I'm eating or asks me for some advice, I’m bound to hear similar things:

Firstly, the question – “what exactly do you eat in a day”? (Or, they might say “tell me what to eat”).

PLEASE use some common sense. You know that you should eat more vegetables drink more water and eat crap less often - if you concentrated only on these you would probably do quite well! Don’t pretend that this is news to you or rocket science.

Sometimes I make the mistake of going into too much detail about my own eating habits eg, even as far as I eat six small meals a day, protein at each meal. Which leads me to my second pet peeve comment – “Oh I could never be that disciplined and/or I love food too much/ I go out too much” etc.

Somehow the notions of discipline, consistency, gradual weight loss and self-control don’t seem as attractive as saying that “I drank three chocolate milkshakes a day and the weight fell off in two weeks”. I could get very sarcastic here about how much I hate tasty food and love bland fish and broccoli but there’s really no need! As for discipline, its not like you either are or you aren’t- its a case of whether you are willing to keep at it. Do you want this badly enough? If so you will find a way, even if you do go out a lot. Its not any easier for me than it is for you. Right now I would really like to dive into a jar of peanut butter or walk outside my building and into any one of the dozens of fast food outlets that are within 50m… but I choose not to, LOL. Most people aren’t wiling to do what it takes to stay in good shape and that is fine, just don’t deny it!

Lastly, there always seems to be a deadline, 10-12 weeks at most to get in the best shape of your life. I know that it can be very motivating to be working toward a specific event and its conducive to setting goals to have timeframes, be accountable etc but how is that for pressure?! And the fact that it seems to imply that you only have to eat well up until this point.. what then? Temporary changes = temporary results!

Yes, you need to have a rough plan of what you’ll eat in a typical day, be prepared and keep an eye on the amount of dining out/extras that creep in. But you don’t need to count calories and get all obsessive about everything. This just leads to a sense of failure as soon as you don’t comply with your own rules.

So when people wanting to lose weight yesterday are very interested in my calorie input, macronutrient split or how much cardio I do, I would rather advise them:

Don’t start any more diets or 12 week challenges

Don’t ask someone else what they eat and try to copy it - trying to change too many things at once doesn’t work.

Create a logical plan that reforms eating behaviours sensibly and progressively over time. Start with breakfast!

Get support/help with planning meals, staying accountable- whatever you require.

Be as positive as you can and accept that you are in this for the long haul!

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Embracing the pale soft skin

and trying not to hate it!! haha. let's face it, its difficult to go from seeing your dark, rock hard physique on comp day and knowing how hard it was to get, to watching it slowly fade... at least it has been slow otherwise I can't imagine how I would feel! I feel like going to get a spray tan to wake up and see it really aint all that bad haha. I've been trying my best to put the brakes on gaining this weight which I know is necessary to get back up to a healthy offseason size. I've fallen down a few times now but refuse to feel guilty because I'm not on a diet and guilt/beating yourself up just starts that 'all or nothing' cycle of binging that I refuse to return to.

As you can see, Ali and I received our professional pics from genius photographer Dallas Olsen- this is my favourite one :) They were taken 4 weeks out from comp so while I probably wouldn't be able to maintain this condition, getting these really boosted my motivation to lead a healthy 'offseason' lifestyle and stay relatively lean because of it. Will share more next time.

I am enjoying clean healthy foods that were eliminated from comp prep diet! Hell, yesterday I had sushi for morning tea and tandoori chicken for dinner! yummo! I love it that I actually prefer the healthiest choices from any takeaway place. It's the portion size that I have to watch! lol. I can use Ali as a guide there and depending what it is, I'll have 1/3 to 2/3 what he eats- how unfair is that! Eg with sushi rolls, he had 5, I had 3. We got a whole tandoori bird, I had 1/3 he had 2/3. I only had half a portion of rice and bulked up the rest of the meal with vegies :)
A friend asked me yesterday how many carbs I have in my post workout meal... I don't know! I could jump on calorieking program we bought recently to find out but I've let go of analysing numbers to that degree. Thanks to the program I know roughly what calories I want to average to maintain a certain weight and make sure the macro split is appropriate but other than that I know what is a reasonable portion of a certain food for me now.

Training is going very well! I usually train on my own but recently found a new training partner who happens to be a glamour model and is competing in the miss indy comp from this weekend! (it changed names but i can't remember the new one, Supa GP something or other??) Now I have absolutely no idea about these kind of comps but she was showing me the 10 day schedule and let me tell you these girls work hard! every single day there are appearances, photoshoots etc from 6am-8pm or later at night. There is probably a lot of divas but most girls work very hard and are quite career focussed- I think they should be paid!! While I would not compete myself I learnt a good lesson in not judging something you really don't know a lot about. 

Hope you're having a great sunday and enjoying life! x

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Since comp!

Hehe the first pic here makes me laugh, it was taken the day after the comp and yes Im eating broccoli! Ali and I came home that night and spent about an hour in the shower scrubbing ourselves and eachother so I was left with a decent tan for a little while compared to my natural white-ness!

After the show we went out in search of a meal with both sides of our family; I had planned on getting a Big Chief burger but it was 8:30pm and they had just closed... no matter, (I would have thought I'd freak out!) we all ended up getting a katsu curry (Japanese chicken curry) from the place next door. The flavour was intense! Even the cokezero we shared with it tasted so STRONG having not had that for a while.

The next day I thought I would have liked to go out for brekkie, my favourite meal of the day, but I felt like oats! Ah, there's just nothing better is there? no wonder we all love them! Had some family members back over for lunch which I was saving my appetite for- we wanted a no fuss banquet so enjoyed hot bbq chickens on crusty breadrolls with heaps of salads and I was in my element as 'condiment queen' blissfully using tomato sauce/dressings as I pleased! haha, simple pleasures. I made dessert- chocolate pizzas with a scoop of icecream on top! I filled up suprisingly fast! 

Ate clean during the week and then last weekend enjoyed another meal out when I went with my sister to Draculas to celebrate her bday. It was SO nice to be able to go down to surfers paradise and stay the night! I still took quite a few meals with me and still got up and went for a walk the next morning but just to know that its OK if you go for longer than a few hours without eating, or if I didn't end up eating all that I had brought the world wouldn't end!! you know? pressure is off! I am eating well and training now because I love it and it makes me feel good!!!  Have cut weight training back to a 4 day split and cut cardio in half which feels like a breeze now!! Overall, dieting for comp has really made us appreciate so many simple pleasures such as sleeping in, free time etc etc far more.

I've had some really difficult days too (re food)- sometimes it is very tempting to just go nuts. I get this especially after having a bit of a treat, I get that old 'all or nothing' thinking trying to reemerge and turn a treat into a binge. A couple of times I have gone a little overboard but how I am handling this now is so different than I would have in the past. I refuse to feel so guilty and 'punish' myself by restricting my food for the rest of the day or the next day for example, or try to exercise it away. Nope, I just jump straight back on track with the next meal and eat a truckload of vegies!

The second pic of me above was taken at about 6 weeks out from comp and is my profile pic in an article of the current issue of Oxygen! If you have the magazine, check out the training article on building a great butt- I don't think I have ever gotten training ideas from a mag before but I decided to try something new and so far have done the squat and lunge routines with the varied foot placements/stances AND I have done the 'hills' (incline) treadmill workout.... ouch!! 

Beautiful Deb competed today in the WNBF- I am still hanging out for news!! better go and check facebook.. :)

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Introducing Michelle

I’d like you to meet my friend Michelle who has just begun a new blog in relation to her fitness goals, please click on this paragraph to head over and make her feel welcome to blogland! J

Even though we go to the same gym here in Brisbane, I only met Michelle a couple of months ago, when she was about 6 weeks out from the INBA state show and I about 8 weeks out from the ANB state show. How glad am I that I happened to comment on her jacket and introduce myself in the locker room, we immediately became friends and were able to support eachother through furious text messages of encouragement the rest of the way to our respective shows J

Best of luck to you in your journey and I hope you find as much support and friendship through blogging as I have been blessed to receive. My best advice is to be kind to yourself, always find a way rather than an excuse and of course to never give up on your dreams!

Sunday, October 4, 2009

"Offseason" Goals

I like having goals, whether they are short, medium or long term- I like knowing where I want to go in certain areas of my life and not feel like I'm just spinning my wheels. I don't put a lot of pressure on myself, I go at my own pace etc but when I achieve something I have been working toward for a awhile- it feels amazing! I like to live with purpose, to feel like my contributions to work, training, eating well etc each day are all adding up to better health, lifestyle and a happier me! No need to question yourself, no need to overthink or overanalyse. 

People have been asking us when we intend to compete again and of course whether we will be at the ANB Nationals comp in Sydney, having both qualified. I'm happy to say that even though we decided against competing in a way due to financial reasons, we are both satisfied with our achievement to date and don't feel as though we are missing out on anything. 

Rather, we are excited about training again and of course, growing bigger and denser muscles!! To me, I would be disappointed to compete regularly only to present a similar physique. I am also happy to say that Im at a point with my eating habits that I know longer fear 'blowing out' and the need to continually be dieting. Do not get me wrong it has not been easy but so far I have been rather sensible with my eats post comp and am on my way to slowly gaining about 4-5kg to maintain over the weight I competed at. Coach told me that if I continue to eat 'functionally' that this would occur in a controlled manner. Have felt (brain trying to justify) that perhaps Im being a little strict on myself at times however,  as the comp tan faded away along with my conditioning and I become 'softer', pacing myself with meals out and treats has made coping so much easier than throwing all my good habits in and feeling disgusting- not worth it! So thats it, I might have a list in my brain of things im dying to try, places I want to visit I just have to be patient and spread them out, with heaps of clean eats and hard training imbetween. Ahh, have finally learned balance :)

I am in no hurry and am focussed in on areas on my physique that I know I would like to improve. Looking back over my pics, I was quite happy with my back and shoulders. In addition to a general goal of greater overall thickness and muscle size I would particularly like to prioritise my glutes and abs. Abs in particular were my weakest pose- I did my best to hide this by favouring my obliques pose (see pic). Having more lean muscle next time I compete will also allow me to come in with lower skinfold measurements (without looking like I may break!)

I don't think Loretta would mind me using her as a little motivating comparison for myself through the pics above, she inspired me! I know she has quite a few more years of training up her sleeve so I am patient, dedicated to training for the long term and excited about the improvements the future holds for me!

Friday, October 2, 2009

Show Day - Finals

Now where did I leave us? Oh yes, the wait for the finals (routine + awards presentation) due to the 2 show format! Of course Ali and I were both wondering how we went but the hardest part about the big break between shows was continuing to hold out on water! Not so much the food, although the chips with gravy at the RSL did smell pretty good! We took the opportunity to relax with family and catchup with Ali’s friends who had kindly come to the show to support him.

I am not all that competitive by nature and certainly never went into this journey with any expectations (other than to be my best) but the callouts in the pre-judging had put the hope in my mind of a placing.... top 5 would qualify for Nationals but I was daring to dream of top 3. I knew how important it is with a two show format not to let your conditioning go imbetween shows and not to allow anything that has already occurred to affect your efforts for your second round onstage as the judges may not have cemented their decisions. I also think it’s a little unprofessional to guts it imbetween shows and turn up with a bloated belly onstage- I didn’t even think of this but apparently it happens?

So it was at this point I started to get a little nervous about my routine…! Especially after forgetting to move my hair in pre-judging I knew it should be up for the routine. I didn’t have a nice hair clip to use unfortunately but made do with a side ponytail! I didn’t mind it with the fringe so left it like this for the awards/posedown just for a change. Jon’s other figure novice competitor Loretta (dark hair, burgendy suit) and I took turns practicing our routines in the limited space we had backstage. We pumped up together and were instructed what to eat and when to try to bring out pump and vascularity. Loretta was so generous, she kindly shared her resistance bands (mine were too strong!) and supplies including Lindt chocolate with me!

Waiting backstage with the other girls to do the routines was a fun atmosphere. I went on third, just after Kristin whom I watched from stage right wing and (not so silently) cheered on! Seeing her having so much fun out there to an uptempo song helped calm my nerves and replace them with excitement for my turn. I had chosen Lady Gaga- Paparazzi for the 60 second posing solo and was very concerned about missing the fast moves at the beginning! I did make a couple of mistakes but improvised a little, covered them well and had heaps of fun! Robert Powell even said at the end of my routine that I had great presentation, wow! So after months of angst about it I’m glad the ANB requires routines and that I got to do a one afterall.

After going backstage, putting the stripper heels on again and the rest of the routines ran through we all filed back out onstage in a long line up once more. The announcement was that if you’re number was called, to please move toward the back of the stage…. Mine was called first…(family told me they were nervously wondering at the time whether or not this was a good sign!?) followed by four other numbers. We were the top 5 competitors in the class, I acknowledged and congratulated all the other girls as they left the stage. 5th place was announced … followed by 4th and these girls were presented with their trophies. All that was going through my head was my number #48 and knowing that the longer I didn’t hear it, the better- haha! So When it was announced that I had won third place, for one split second I thought ‘damn’, but then it caught up with me and I realised wait, I came THIRD in this impressive lineup? Awesome!!

Second placegetter (blonde hair, blue suit) had the most amazing set of legs and shoulders- I watched her win her novice tall class at the INBA comp the week previous to ours. Which made Loretta the winner- I couldn’t have been happier for her- in the few short days we had known eachother we had really come through a lot! She looked even harder and more vascular when she got onstage for the overalls and took that out too, Amazing achievement!

When Ali’s class came back onstage I honestly had no doubt in my mind that he would be the winner. I had to be careful so many times during our prep not to put too much pressure on him by always saying that he was bound to do well as a novice with his years of hard training, commitment and potential. He had been thinking of competing for the last couple of years and Im so happy that we experienced the journey as novices together and that I was there to see my champion take it out! Although the poor fella then had to hold on a bit longer to compete in the overalls for which he was also a strong contender. We were both so exhausted by this stage and when he came offstage I had his water and electrolytes ready to go for him- after a big kiss of course! ;)

Next issue- after the comp! (duh!) including what I ate post the show and have up to since!

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