Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Beautiful Blogger Awards

April kindly nominated me to carry this post on - can i just emphasis again how much I love this girl's blog and as I'm a bit of a lazy blogger,  I'm flattered to be on her blogroll! :) 

Part 1 of the deal is I get to divulge 7 random facts about me:
1. I'm both fascinated and terrified by croc/alligators. This month I plan to get some alligator tail and cook it using one of my recipes from Jamie Olliver.
2. The only country I've visited thus far is Japan. While I would love to see the rest of the world, my ideal holiday right now is cruising... to nowhere in particular.
3. I am a youngest sibling (one older sister) thus am used to getting pushed around a a bit, but never getting blamed for anything, lol. 
4. I am a crazy cat lady, I have two but would have more if I could. I'd like dogs next (never had one before) and am worried I'll end up with a farm eventually! I want to get a pug and call it McBain. 
5. I love training shoulders and am getting quite strong. But when I first started training, I used ~5kg dumbells for pressings and side laterals etc and could not even do the movement for rear laterals with the smallest baby weights! 
6. I still eat ~ 1-1.5kg vegies a day (spread out over a lot of meals). I know I don't have to but I can't help it.
7. I am a closet popstar. I got singstar for Christmas to add to my collection of karaoke DVDs and CDs. I don't need alcohol to get up and sing either!

This is Cookie - she had four baby boys and we kept one of the gingers and named him Tiger.

Part 2 - I will nominate 7 more beautiful bloggers:
I nominate:

Don't feel as though you have to carry it on, but do know that you're beautiful! :O

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

2009 a year in pictures :)

Wow, another year has come and almost gone. The biggest highlights of 2009 for me were competing in my first figure comp (of course!!) and scoring my permanent position at work - thank goodness that was earlier in the year before prep started!
I turned 24, Ali turned 27, we celebrated our 4th anniversary together and our 2nd anniversary of living in the home we purchased together.
... Now for some pics! 

POSING! below L-R 
First ever progress shot when we first went to see our coach Jon (June 2008 - 101ml @ 62kg)
First posing tutorial with Jo Rogers
10 weeks out, posing is getting easier

below L-R
the fun really began at 6 weeks out, no more cheat meals and a bit of HIIT
published in Oxygen! (pic also taken at 6 weeks out)
Dallas Olsen shoot at 4 weeks out

below L-R
8 weeks out, suit fitting with Jo
Finding out just how high my suit would have to be - thanks hips!
Jo promised it would out work on the day ... if I got into shape!

night before
show day
morning after

I hope you all had a successful and memorable year and I look forward to continuing to read comment and post in blogland in 2010!

Friday, December 18, 2009


Thanks heaps to all who commented on my last post, they really made my day :)

Chelle asked me how many kilos were lost and found throughout the journey – in the ‘before’ pic I was about 66kg. This is a little heavier than I what I used to maintain, we had just come back from a cruise and were heading into Christmas, need I say more?! I competed at about 50kg (dry) and am currently maintaining between 54-55kg. As I’ve mentioned before, even though I’ve gained this weight reasonably slowly over the last 3 months, you get so used to be a certain way that feeling the fat creep on definitely plays with your head! However, I must remember that once upon a time, I never dreamed I’d comfortably maintain this weight! I starved and cardio’d my way down to 57kg once before when I was about 19 before promptly rebounding! I have to make a huge effort to stay positive and continually remind myself that I am slim and healthy.

A couple of you mentioned how much healthier we look in the ‘after’ shot, which I think is much more apparent from that choice of photo from the comp. I chose it because it is one of the few Ali and I have together AND it is offstage and after the night show, not as glamorous as those taken onstage so you can see how we really look. Ali had won his division so competed for the overall and ended up being dyhydrated for a lot longer than me.

So is competing unhealthy? You could definately argue the point either way.

Even if I decide never to compete again, I would never discourage others from doing so because it was the most challenging, character building time of my life to date and I owe a lot to my personal journey. I love the lifestyle of eating clean foods and training hard. I enjoy seeing the changes I can make to my physique and getting super lean is a fool proof way of seeing just how much (or how little!) muscle you actually have. I’m aware that different coaches have different methods and that some are far more effective and healthier than others. But I would venture to say that pushing through to that level of conditioning, especially for women is not the most healthy thing in the world and doesn’t come without its risks. No one should pretend otherwise. If it were just a matter of time and discipline, why wouldn't some people look stage ready all year?Why do there seem to be so many figure athletes plagued by hormone imbalances and adrenal fatigue?

I justified competing by the fact that the extreme conditioning is merely temporary. However, pushing yourself to such a place can certainly have effects that take longer to rebalance. I would definately advise other competitors to brace themselves for post comp and have a strategy in place for easing into an 'off season'. The body strives to maintain the status quo and doesn't seem to like sharp changes in routine! I think the term is homeostasis - A good example is 'peak week' when competitors water/sodium load then cut it out and deplete then carb up.

I like to see people educate themselves and make informed choices. Decide what your values, priorities and goals are and live accordingly. Decide what you are willing to commit to and whether you can manage any potential risks. Stop talking and act. In other words, whatever you are – be a good one!

ps you might be wondering about my picture... it cracked me up! reminds me not to take life so seriously :P

Monday, December 14, 2009

2 years well spent

Don't you love a good before and after comparison? There is exactly two years between the first photo and the most recent one on the right, which was taken on the weekend. The one in the middle was obviously my show day which was 26 September 09.
The trouble is, how do you know when 'before' is and when have you reached 'after'? I've been waiting til long enough post comp to post these comparisons because competition condition does NOT = after photo! For me, my 'after' photo is all about my new lifestyle and positive relationship with food. Its about finding balance and peace with my weight and body image.
I wish more girls would genuinely embrace the fact that comp condition is not desirable year round. Everyone seems to agree that it is only a temporary state so why pine for it after the show is over? Aren't you just making yourself miserable unnecessarily? For example, a lot of girls seem to pine for their lost abdominals after comp. Don't you remember what you were doing to have them if you were lucky to see them at all? I only saw mine at sub 35ml bodyfat and dehydrated!
Gaining weight after the show is an unpleasant but necessary phase, it has been an interesting new challenge trying to work out my new maintenance level given that I have never successfully maintained a weight that I'm happy with before. I currently weigh myself once per week and would love for one day to do away with the scales completely. Despite how far I have come, I am silently terrified of regaining all the weight I've lost.

Complaining about our bodies is something we girls do very well and it is contagious. It almost feels wrong to be satisfied with yourself just the way you currently are. I do seek continuous improvement and will always have goals but also need to strike a balance between this and being proud of myself the way i am. The offseason is not an excuse to get fat and complacent but please, be kind to yourself and love your offseason body just as much. I know its easier said than done and I loved being rock hard too. When negative self image thoughts come to me I just tell myself- at least the boobs are back :)

Friday, December 11, 2009


I always want to post on my blog but never know what to talk about. I learnt something about cellulite from good old foxtel the other day so I thought I’d share that. Do you know what cellulite actually is and why most women have it and most men don’t?

Its not a special kind of fat that you have to buy expensive creams for, its just normal body fat that gets a dimply appearance when it pushes against the connective tissue in our skin.

Because women’s bodies are designed to be able to be able to transform shape to carry babies, our connective tissue is a lot less dense than men’s, meaning there are far more ‘gaps’ in it. A typical healthy woman’s body fat percentage is also higher than a man’s. Basically when there’s enough fat under the skin pushing against this connective tissue, it will ‘spill through’ the gaps causing the outside to be bumpy rather than smooth. We all know that even very small women who appear slim in clothes can have high percentages of body fat, so they are not immune to cellulite. Don’t hate me, but I seem to be one of the lucky ones who doesn’t tend to get it (unless I squeeze my fat to make it appear… haha) BUT I am prone to stretch marks if I lose/gain weight rapidly so I guess that supports the theory about stronger connective tissue being less flexible.

The internet is and isn’t a good place to find out about things health wise. Using cellulite as an example, try to find out anything factual, all you get is sales pitches for remedies from creams to pills to vibrating treatments. Just like anything I guess, playing on body image issues and overcomplicating stuff sells products and makes money. Once more the simple answer we don’t want to hear is that all eat well and exercise. With good circulation, healthy skin and body fat levels you might still have some cellulite but only then can you start blaming mum for your genes!

Friday, December 4, 2009


We've been sooo slack and still haven't put up any photos from comp around the house so I hadn't looked over them in a while. Bit of a shock when you haven't seen them for a while! Especially now that I'm used to my rounder face again, hehe! I know that my conditioning was as good as it could have been but damn- can I have some more muscle for Christmas please?

These are the pics I like:

However, some of the other shots are a little scary! Particularly my posing and symmetry shots from the side- my waist looked nice and small but I think I look very fragile and wouldn't have wanted a strong wind to blow! Ah such is the life of a natural female competitor.

One of the most important things I learnt from the stage experience was DO NOT RELAX for one second! Several people will get photos of you doing so and obviously the difference is quite incredible! I didn't find myself getting too sore onstage thankfully but I remember telling myself before going out- you have worked for this for 18 months, 5 more minutes won't kill you! Its definately a shame when you see posing or a lack of confidence let a competitor down. The pose I would be working on a lot for next time is my chest pose.  Having quite long arms, I tried to tweak it by adjusting the position of my hands but I obviously didn't spend enough time practicing it without a mirror ended up looking a little bizarre, lol!

So its now been 10 weeks since comp and hopefully the muscle building has been going well! We took one week off training after comp and have been training consistently four times per week since. Will take another week off over the Christmas/New Year break since the gym will be closed a few of those days anyway. I'll definately be keeping up with my walking though cos I'm sure there'll be some trifle and other goodies in there! Sounds a bit of a random food choice doesn't it? I just remembered that's what I went nuts on last year, probably because its not something you see often...

Less than 3 weeks to go now! Here's to enjoying an indulgent meal or two with family but not having to start 2010 with "lose weight" as a resolution xx

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

How popular are you?

Time for a non figure/food related post! I've been thinking a lot lately about the 'sort of person' i aspire to be. During comp prep it was necessary to focus on myself and my own needs. In fact, this was a beneficial lesson for me in asserting myself. However, I found I lost touch with what was going on in other people’s lives and I still feel like I have a lot of catching up to do so I've been doing a lot more listening and asking questions than talking these days. It feels good. What is also beneficial is giving my mind a break from all things fitness and finding out more about what other people are interested in.

Think about a really ‘popular’ person you know. I mean popular in the genuine sense, not the high school bitch routine. Someone who everyone likes to be around.

How do you feel when you talk to them? Listened to? Good about yourself?

Here are some traits or skills that I think popular people have in common:
Active listening skills. Genuine interest in people and what they have to say. They also seem to remember things people tell them.
They don’t seem to worry about what other people think of them… they don’t really have to! There is less fear of offending anyone, overreacting to things... less drama!
They react when you tell them things rather than just wait until they can talk again. You feel comfortable sharing information because they're non judgmental and don't tend to gossip.

I guess true popularity has nothing whatsoever to do with how people look, their job, how much they earn, how nice their house is etc.

Unfortunately I think these people are few and far between these days. How good are you at giving someone your full attention (not interrupting etc) especially if they are talking about something you have absolutely zero interest in?

My friend at work is a volunteer for the Lifeline call centre and told me that many people call who are simply lonely and need someone to listen. Notice I said ‘listen’ not ‘talk to’. Part of the training to do this role is that the volunteer is not allowed to give any advice. Think about how difficult that would be at first! It is with the best intentions usually that we jump in with our advice and opinions on other people’s situations when all they really need is an ear.

I'm not saying that I am going to try to be all things to all people or please everyone all of the time because that's simply not possible or healthy! I just think if you’d like to be more popular, it helps to start paying attention to other people and stop trying to impress them. I’ve realized that the only person I need to impress is myself.

For incredible info, advice and support- get involved!