Friday, June 4, 2010

Hot and cold

As usual I'm talking about food :) Chefs go on about the texture of food being really important well, I’ve decided that next to taste, temperature is very important to me!

I like my food and tea/coffee piping hot. Its become a real problem, I’ll serve up my meat and veggies on my plate straight from the pan but then give it a minute in the microwave before I eat it. I eat fairly slowly too and have been known to get up halfway through and nuke it again….

I really like hot and cold combinations. For example when I eat salad, I like to not only heat up my chicken before I put it on top but I also have some hot beans and red onion (stirfried in garlic and soy sauce) in the mix. Beautiful with avocado as well!

It works the other way too. When I have a hot bowl of meat and veggies and/or potato, I like to mix through some iceburg lettuce. When you mix it through the hot food it wilts but stays crunchy, its amazing! Apparently stir frying lettuce is a very popular in Asian dishes.

I would have to say my all time favourite desserts would involve the hot and cold combination as well – think apple crumble with custard or sticky date pudding with icecream….

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Live in the present moment

"The secret of health for both mind and body is not to mourn for the past, not to worry about the future nor to anticipate troubles, but to live in the present moment wisely and earnestly.” – Buddha.

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Welcome winter

Do you think winter and the colder weather has any impact on your nutrition and training? At the moment I’m loving the cooler mornings and not raising a sweat on the treadmill BUT it is harder to get up when it is still dark! I have to stay motivated enough to keep doing cardio at this time because I’ve never gone back to doing any at the gym – gym time is for weights! I’ve heard a lot of people say they tend to eat more in winter but I don’t really notice a difference, I’m not any hungrier than usual or crave anything different…. Maybe because I work in climate controlled office so am mostly oblivious to the elements outside….

So after a very good week foodwise last week, I had my planned cheat/treat at Sizzler for breakfast on Sunday. I totally did eat more than an acceptable amount but didn’t suffer the associated guilt afterward, so that’s great! No “stuff it, I might as well keep going” or binging behaviour. I also noticed how tired I was on Monday as a result, so had no trouble getting back to the clean eats - I call that a “food hangover”.

I think having finally made steps regarding my hormonal issues has helped my stress levels immensely – I couldn’t get my next specialist appointment until mid july but I still feel relieved rather than pointlessly worrying about it until then. There’s a saying about going toward whatever frightens you - I think it’s a Buddhist principle?

I am bummered to have missed the ANB Asia Pacific Show, sounds like it was a HUGE night! Congratulations to all the lovely blogland competitors, I am still catching up on all the news and checking out all the photos.

Friday, May 28, 2010

I'm not stressing

Well I did get some answers healthwise today and although they were not the answers I desired at least I’m on the path to sorting out my hormonal imbalances and preventing further problems. You just can’t ignore health issues as they can tend to grow while you have your head in the sand. Unfortunately for me, I am and always have been most reluctant (scared shitless) to see doctors so just endeavoring to get to the bottom of things has been a huge challenge. The last thing I wanted was more referrals!

So I’m feeling a bit sorry for myself right now. Its funny how trivial things will make me want to give up, cry and dive headfirst into a bag of sugar but I can actually be quite strong in the midst of real problems. I’ve mentioned before that I don’t think stress is so much linked to my food issues as self esteem. Ie. when I feel good about myself, I WANT to eat well which is sooo much easier than eating well because you SHOULD. I’m looking for opportunities rather than excuses and am keen not to waste any more time. I just have to make sure that my all or nothing thinking doesn’t kick in and that its more a case of balance. I have eaten well all week and have just been invited to go to Sizzler for breakfast this weekend (remember how I love Sizzler and I love breakfast? Double threat hehe!) so I’ll be looking at this as my ‘cheat meal’ however, that does not give me permission to eat myself silly. Relax, enjoy, no guilt. Have a great weekend.

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Some like it hot

I’m still a lazy blogger - tsk tsk!
I’ve been nice and motivated since last weekend’s INBA show in Brisbane. Ali and I went to cheer on Lisa whom he has coached over the last 20 weeks for the sportsmodel comp. She looked fantastic and placed third out of an impressive lineup of eleven - I couldn’t have been prouder of both of them for their dedication! While there I also had the pleasure of catching up with Chelle, Hanni, Selina, Shannon and Leisel. I wish I could have stayed longer, we could probably all chat for hours!

I’m slowly getting my confidence back in relation to trusting myself to consistently make the right choices and feeling good about food again. I’ve learnt that you have to respect food in the way that you respect yourself and your body and I’m learning to love it again.

We have foxtel and I’m a bit obsessed with the food channel – I could seriously watch cooking shows for hours. A co-worker gave me some fresh chillies from her garden today so I think dinner tonight will be HOT! I’ve been feeling a lot less tired lately as well which is a direct result of plenty of fresh REAL food. I don’t think you have to do much to clean foods to make them taste great but I do think you have to get creative in order to eat them every single day and not get cravings. It could be as simple as grating fresh ginger onto your fish before cooking it… yum!

As much as I love food and cooking I could never be a chef – do you watch Masterchef? Last night the 15 contestants helped one of the judges George relaunch his restaurant in Sydney. The stress and pressure in a commercial kitchen seems incredible but working under these conditions and succeeding left them all (even the losing team) with such pride and sense of achievement. I know you have to get uncomfortable and push yourself in order to grow but I can’t imagine surviving that stress every day – you’d have to be a bit of an adrenaline junky!

In other news, I’ve finally been a little more proactive in chasing down a diagnosis for my ongoing amenorrhea (seeing as how it has been MIA since June 2008 now). I have finally found a good doctor, taken another series of blood tests and ultrasounds and have an appt tomorrow to hopefully get some answers and/or at least rule out PCOS. As tempted as I was by the INBA show, its quite illogical for me to think of competing again until I get my mind and body back in the right place. Time to put my health first.

Monday, May 17, 2010

Chocoholics anonymous

I finally succumbed to the avalanche of media interest in Jessica Watson today, and of course as impressive as her solo sailing journey has been, I must say the thing that stood out in my mind from the article in the courier mail was that she ate 576 chocolate bars in the 7 months she was at sea…. Did she foresee requiring this amount of chocolate prior to the trip or did she do a stock take and count the empty wrappers afterward? LOL!

Another online article reported that she consumed:

32 cans of spam, 64 cans of tuna, 32 cans of pineapple, 576 chocolate bars and 290 freeze dried ready meals.

High on her list of priorities now on dry land were eating some fresh fruit and…. Eating a chocolate bar that hasn’t been melted and then re-set!

I seriously hope she was also taking a good multi-vitamin!

Are you a chocoholic or do you know one? I definitely think the more you have, the more you crave it.

I recall I used to be a chocolate fiend in my uni days – although at worst I would buy perhaps two or three bars per week to get me through 2 hour law lectures (that’s a max of 84 in 7 months!) Snickers, Twix or KitKat Crunchy’s were my faves. These days I’m happy getting a somewhat regular chocolate fix from the sprinkles on top of cappuccinos and when I do eat chocolate I prefer dark chocolate with nuts – oh no, I think my tastebuds are growing up!

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Sugar, free food and being happy

I haven’t had much to say lately because a) it seems as though my effort to lose weight has resulted in me being able to stabilize it….. which I’ve decided is much better than trying to maintain and gaining weight! b) I don’t think my life is very exciting right now but I’ve decided – screw it – im going to blog about random crap if I feel like it and stop worrying whether it is boring/has a point – haha! Sure most of it might be to do with food, but that’s ok, I’ve realized I’m not the only one who is a little obsessed with it!

I love good food and coffee and after a little rebound from strict dieting for so long I am re-learning to enjoy what I like in moderation. I’ve decided to be happy and put an end to self imposed misery and if you read the link in my last post – my attitude has been purely narcissistic! Skwigg put it beautifully in this post about focusing on behaviours rather than numbers. If I am happy, I will make good choices, enjoy training and my weight will settle naturally.

So, back to food ;P I work in the city and instead of browsing around at clothes like other normal girls, I went to check out the newly refurbished Coles that people are raving about. I even served myself when I bought a pkt of Nescafe cappuccino sachets. I figured I would save some money and sugar/milk by drinking them instead of buying cappuccino’s – addict!!

On my way back to work I got handed a free sample of Sultana Bran ‘crunch’. I’m such a sucker for free stuff and I used to LOVE Sultana Bran in high school But I checked the label and would you believe its 28% sugar!!? A whopping 12.8g per measly 45g serve. Think I’ll stick to my oats, where I can make 30g go a long way :)

Gone is the fat free craze and the focus is well and truly on sugar, keeping your blood sugar and insulin levels stable and using the energy from carbohydrates more wisely. Life is a lot simpler when you eat mostly unprocessed food I think, and don't have to worry about reading food labels and added sugar. At first I thought that artificial sweetener was a god send but lately I have made an effort to cut back on the amount of Splenda I’ve been using on my oats and on natural yoghurt and have noticed that when its not super sweet how much more satisfying it is, ie you don’t feel like you could immediately eat another bowl! Perhaps there is some truth to those theories that artificial sweetener can cause you to overeat (if you are not conscious and careful!)

Do you agree that you can ‘decide to be happy’? I know a lot of people who are chasing happiness or will be happy when they lose x kg, get a new job etc …. Why wait? We all have a lot to be grateful for and happy about RIGHT NOW.

Monday, May 10, 2010

Interesting read

I love a good rant

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

A balanced diet

What’s your definition of a balanced diet?

Does it have to be perfectly balanced every single day… or the average of a weekly intake? I’m starting to doubt it. What if some days all I felt like was cereal, milk and fruit whereas other days I ate meat and vege?

After over thinking it for ages I’ve decided to define it simply as a variety of whole foods from all the food groups. I figure that this (+ a good quality multi vitamin) is the best way to maximize your chances of hitting your required levels of vitamins and minerals and stay healthy. Its so sad that many diseases acquired later and life can be attributed to nutritional deficiency over time (B vitamins are a common one) but are just accepted as a normal part of growing old!

I’ve enjoy reading some blogs lately (eg Skwigg, KellyO, Chelle) about letting go of diet rules. I can certainly relate to that! Eg I would say that for at least a few years now I have religiously eaten a protein meal every 2 to 4 hours. This rule sounds fairly straightforward but in practice takes a lot of planning and discipline and has a habit of getting in the way of life! I think the ultimate goal for all of us would be to easily and intuitively choose the foods that meet our bodies’ requirements and help us to get strong and stay lean – without stress! Ah, we can dream. I like the recognition coming through that a one size fits all approach is never going to cut it for long term results.

I’m certainly not in a place where I can throw all of my ‘rules’ away. The idea is intriguing but freaks me out. But having said that, being a perfectionist means that having a plan to follow and then not following it 80% let alone 100% of the time drives me crazy! Its like setting yourself up to fail. Previously, posts about ‘finding out what works for you’ meant little to me and I actually found that advice really frustrating. A lot of people want to be told exactly what to eat and when and so did I. In my opinion, this is the only way to prepare for a figure competition. But now I understand that this process is absolutely necessary to maintain a healthy mind and body.

I guess the key as always comes back to balance between the results you want, health and maintaining peace of mind. I’m never going to get as lean as I’d like to without a bit of diet stress. To be honest, sometimes I wish I didn’t know what it feels like to be that lean. So while I’d still like to trim down I need to think about what is and isn’t working FOR ME and what I can happily live with.

Ps. Weight stayed the same during ‘week 11’ of OSB :)

Tuesday, April 20, 2010


I’m putting a positive spin on ‘ho hum’ daily routines or things I frequently do by renaming them as ‘rituals’. What do you think? Do you have them and are they beneficial to you? Or do you prefer to be less predictable and more spontaneous?

We are all creatures of habit to some extent. One ‘ritual’ I enjoy is:
- if we train on a Saturday, we’ll go to garden city first, have a teriyaki chicken for lunch followed by Gloria Jeans at Borders while we read the magazines. Training is so much better after the combo of carbs, caffeine and a boost of motivation by reading oxygen!

Rituals also help us get through things that we don’t do because they are enjoyable but because they simply need to be done. I have an obsessive habit about doing as much as possible in advance. For example, I can’t sit down of a night time to eat dinner until I’ve prepped everything for work the following day – I feel like once I relax, it won’t happen!

I think the problem is that we are all a little pressed for time and the weekends are too darn short.

I’m usually stuffed on a Friday night, Saturday mornings are devoted to sleeping in and cleaning and Sunday afternoons I’m usually cooking up a storm for the week ahead. All of that leaves a small window where I decide to either go out and be sociable or flop on the couch with a dvd. I feel like Homer Simpson when he said, “I used to rock all night and party every day… then it was every other day… now I'm lucky if I can find half an hour a week in which to get funky”.

Monday, April 19, 2010


First things first, ‘Week 12’ saw me lose 300g on the scales. Initially, I think the process is just a case of ‘reining it in’ because stopping the weight gain was the first hurdle! Set realistic goals and you shall prosper, lol! Week 11 is going moderately well so although painstakingly slow I should get these three kilos off eventually!

I’ve decided that boredom is a huge factor holding me back at the moment. Boredom is of course entirely all our own fault. But what do you do when you’re in a comfy rut but don’t have much to look forward to?

I’m also scared and acutely aware of BEING boring. I think I’m having a bit of an identity crisis… people tend to define themselves according to an aspect of their lives eg job, family duties, sport. I think the problem is that I don’t feel passionate about much at the moment. Training used to be a good distraction but now its more just a part of the routine.

The good news about training is that I met Steph at our gym last week and trained back with her, which was great. We were both on the look out for a training partner so hopefully we can do more sessions on a semi regular basis and learn from eachother. Steph has a great muscle base by the way, not knowing who she was, I had admired her biceps the previous week hehe!

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Treat yourself

Tuesday has become ‘sushi day’ for Ali and I lately :) If you’re a fan and live in Brisbane you may have heard of the place in the CBD called ‘R Sushi’ that is so good, people will queue out the door and around the corner!

I’m rediscovering the importance of incorporating healthy off plan meals into the week as options when out and about or when we need a little break from cooking. My favourite healthy off plan/convenient meals are sushi rolls, subway, Nando's chicken salad, teriyaki chicken with rice and (at home)... scrambled eggs on Burgen or Helgas toast! Nothing fancy. Although it’s a wonderfully nerdy idea, I don’t have off plan meals at set times/days of the week but having them as options, say up to 4 meals per week (10% meals) keeps me satisfied and gives me a break from eating exactly the same thing everyday. What are your ideas?

Also, due to the generosity and flexibility of my meal plan, I don’t need to plan out a cheat/treat meal anymore but I can assume that one may inevitably occur, so allow once per week. So when ‘someone’ suggested a Maccas run late on Friday night last week I joined in, guilt free. While I did enjoy it, afterward it felt like a bit of a waste of a treat meal though – going to hold out for something better this week!

The fabulous Chelle is helping me look at the next 12 weeks not as a diet or challenge but simply a means to get back on track to eating in a balanced and healthy manner in REAL LIFE. I realized today that even though I haven’t been on a diet for some time, my head has still been in ‘diet mode’. This means that eating in a less than ‘perfect’ way has been resulting in incredible guilt and fueling the restrict/binge cycle. No more!

Making a start is always the most difficult part. Its scary to make a commitment to yourself, let alone publicly to change purely for fear of failure. I’m feeling a lot more light hearted about everything, like a load has been lifted off my shoulders. You’re only truly a failure if you stop trying. I’m not any physically different yet but the attitude adjustment is already doing wonders for my self esteem. When I look in the mirror I’m starting to be able to see the positive things first, rather than focusing in on flaws.

Fern put it very well in her comment on my last post, a healthy lifestyle is all about having respect for yourself :)

Monday, April 12, 2010

Week 12 wrap up and my 'inner fat person'

Well I finally took the plunge and weighed self and I’ve put on about 3kg since I last weighed in… I am now sitting at about 9kg over “comp weight”. Now I know that doesn’t sound like too drastic a situation - the real issue has been that I came off a diet, started gaining weight healthily but then just couldn’t stop…

As I’ve mentioned, its not so much the looks aspect but that my sense of feeling in control, disciplined and motivated had disappeared. I honestly reached such a low point mentally over the past few months that I was afraid that I COULD eventually end up obese if I didn’t drastically alter my headspace. I’m not trying to be dramatic. I think most people who have never had weight issues may look at obese people and wonder how they came to be that way/how they let themselves go that far. Physically, it’s a case of poor habits and eating excess calories over a prolonged time. Mentally, its feeling powerless to change. I know that my 4 months and few kg’s has the potential to turn into ten years and forty kg if I don’t consciously work at this.

Now that I’m thinking clearly again and am back on board the OSB train, I know that it is all up to me. I can observe negative thoughts and let them pass and if I slip it doesn't matter, I'll just keep going – how did week 12 go? It was far from perfect… which I’m actually happy about! I stuck to my plan (which is not too restrictive) four days out of seven, I had one treat meal and three healthy off plan meals. The off plan stuff was all Fri- Sunday so it felt like a nice relaxed weekend of eating. This was a test though, to my all or nothing attitude and propensity to binge once I get going…. I passed! I realise weight loss may be slow on this kind of approach but mental health is definitely more important J Babysteps.

My workouts have improved too. I trained shoulders yesterday, they feel like I have been wrestling and am all bruised …! I did DB shoulder press, side laterals and supersetted hammer strength rear laterals with front raises using a plate. Later in the week I will do military press and DB rear laterals (extra focus at the moment).

In other news, my sister and I went to see ‘Kick Ass’ on Friday night. I had no expectations but from the ad I had seen assumed it would be quite a ‘silly funny’ movie aimed at kids… um.. no! It was REALLY violent… so actually much better than I anticipated – haha!

Thursday, April 8, 2010

Week 12 (counting backward)

Thanks guys, I feel lucky and spoilt that I can neglect blogland for ages then jump right back in and get the same great level of support as ever. Lauren’s right when she says that at times we have to ‘dig ourselves out of the holes we’ve created’. That’s exactly it feels! In my ups and downs I always spend the first few days of a new plan feeling so guilty for the fact that the reason I have to diet again now is for all the indulging I’ve done - all my own fault, can’t blame anything or anyone. But at some point you have to shake off this mindset and get on with it, the quicker the better! Continuing to beat yourself up over it only makes the job harder. I actually woke up this morning excited about the changes I’m going to make. (My picture's title is 'get excited about life' Ive posted it before, makes me laugh every time)

I haven’t even weighed myself (yet) and Im not sure if I want or need to do the whole ‘before’ photo thing. I already have that photo from June 2008 and when I look at it I get upset because I thought that I didn’t know that person anymore. Its distressing that since the ‘high’ of comp, in only 6 months I am the most uncomfortable with what I see in the mirror than I have been since June 2008. But scarier than that is the loss of my sense of control over my habits and ability to change my body. So I’m concentrating on getting that back by putting an end to complacency. I’ve been ‘eating intuitively’ for the last 4 months but it ain’t working for me. The quest to find a nice balance between intuitive eating and the “all or nothing” dieting continues. My colour coded calendar is a nice shade of “compliant” yellow so far, but my measure of success is no longer that I had a ‘perfect’ day but that I was satisfied with the choices I made. Because off season life involves dining out sometimes and also having to use portion control when you haven’t carefully weighed out whatever you’re eating!

So week 1 is going well, all things considered. I’ll try my best to blog regularly even where there is nothing good to report. Every now and then I get extremely self conscious about the fact that I blog openly about such personal issues and I feel like I’m opening up my diary for anyone to read. But at the end of the day, this is me and the support we give eachother is more important than a fear of being judged.

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Redefine yourself - as you wish!

Its been just over 6 months since the comp, as you know I’ve been struggling immensely for about the last 4. I wanted to be able to continue to eat well just for me, rather than to meet a goal but as we know this is easier said than done.

So after many false starts, I am joining in with Chelle on part 2 of her twelve week challenge which started on Monday. We discussed how breaking the twelve weeks up into three x four week blocks may help make it seem more manageable. I’ve got my own colour coded calendar and everything, lol! What happens after the twelve weeks? Well maybe thats an excuse to pause, celebrate how far we've come and then just keep going... maybe the key is to have a never ending goal, broken up into segments....! It reminds me of when personal trainers/group fitness leaders saying five more reps when they really mean ten. Its amazing what the body can do when the mind is convinced.

I spent some time rereading over some of my old posts and I’ve realized that the best thing about being in shape is the way you feel inside. The person I want to be (who has been MIA lately) is proud, confident, calm and inspiring. This person also advised readers NOT to go on diets or 12 week challenges! So over the next 12 weeks I will be continuing to work on personal challenges and rebuilding that self belief rather than just watching what goes in my mouth! :)

Tuesday, March 9, 2010


I love questions! A few came through following publication of my email addy in the last Oxygen magazine but not as many as I'd hoped! I certainly don't pretend to be an expert and have all the answers but I know how helpful asking questions was when I first got started and I always feel very humbled when someone is motivated enough to want my opinion.

This one's very general but I thought I'd share:

My name is Sarah* and I'm 23 years old. I've been doing some bodyscuplting training, it must be about 6 weeks since i started, and i'm not getting as much defination as I thought I would have by now. I play alot of sport, so that is my cardio work. I have just started weight training 3 days a week, as I have sport the other days and Saturday as is my rest day and I play sport on Sundays.

I would just like to know how you go about training and diet?



Hi Sarah,

Thanks very much for your email. So you say that you have been training with weights three times per week for about six weeks now? I think that’s a good place to start and over time you may want to increase this to four sessions per week to pay more attention to each muscle group. I currently do a four day weights split and would increase this to five days when preparing for a competition.

How much definition you can see depends both on how much muscle you have and your body fat percentage. If you started a diet to lean down, over time you would see more lines and definition coming though and separation between the muscle groups. It sounds like you are doing plenty of cardio, so perhaps turning your attention to your diet and making sure its mostly clean, unprocessed foods would certainly help you drop some excess body fat and make you feel more confident about the progress you are making with your training.

Try not to be too impatient though, unfortunately us girls are significantly disadvantaged as compared to men in the hormone department to grow big muscles or lean down.
Really enjoy your training, lift as heavy as you can with good form, train all muscle groups and be really consistent. When you see any woman with noticeable muscle definition you can be sure she has worked long and hard for it (or has incredible genetics… bitch! Haha).

Is it your goal to compete in a bodysculpting competition? Its not for anyone to say how long someone should train for before they do this because everyone is different and makes progress at different paces. I can only use myself as an example, I had been consistently training with weights for about three years before I started my competition preparation (diet) to compete in bodysculpting. I believe this gave me a good foundation and enough definition to compete successfully in the novice category however, I would I need quite a bit more muscular size in order to be competitive in higher categories. When it comes to natural competitions, the women in their 40's look the best because they have been training for so long and have the muscle thickness and maturity that only comes with time. While conditioning is very important to your success, novice competitors run the risk of dieting down to waif like proportions! The key there is to find the balance that looks right on you. Judging in Figure (bodysculpting) can be very subjective and depends on a person's overall look.

*Name changed for privacy

So have you all had a good look at the results and pics from the 2010 Arnold Classic? I agree with Ali's commentary which you can read at You have to laugh at the paint edits too.

That's why my picture is of second place winner Erin Stern I know everyone has a different opinion about what a figure competitor should look like nowadays - for me, this girl doesn't have a great degree of muscle size but I like her shape, conditioning is great (see the lines in the quads) and I like her overall look - its always going to come back to this!!

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Slow start

My name is Stephanie and I’m a sugar addict! Haha, that’s what my withdrawal symptoms over the first few days told me.. Its not like I was ever gorging myself on chocolate bars however, a sudden switch over to a super clean regime (NO processed food) caused my sweet tooth to go ballistic!

There’s also a lot of head games at the beginning (when you’ve reached the point where you know you need to tighten things up). I knew the first few days would be difficult coming to terms with being on any kind of meal plan. Its like I have an inner child that’s trying to rebel against any kind of rules and I have to drag her kicking and screaming through it. I am distracting her as much as possible and placating with promise of a treat meal at the end of the week! (This works for me)

The good news is time passes and it gets easier. I have always found that once the momentum gets going you a) know you can do it and b) realise its well worth the effort.

I’d like to reach a ‘happy skins place’ in about eight weeks. I can’t wait to get this first week done so I can report some good results!

Following that, its crack number two at the maintenance game. Everyone is agreeing that this is the difficult part -You can relax a little … but nowhere near as much as you’d like to! So I’ll keep food journaling and blog as much as I can. I know that to be as lean as I’d like to be I’ll need to monitor things. I don’t want to come across as being obsessed with my weight, I just want to do what it takes! Hell, if I had an i-phone and more time on my hands I’d totally be one of those bloggers who posts little pictures of their meals. Its amusing how we’re all fascinated by what others are eating- lol!

Kate is also right about ‘square one’. I may be frighteningly close to the body fat I was at the beginning of my journey but I have so much more experience under my belt! Back then I thought I couldn’t possibly get any leaner because I was already doing enough exercise and didn’t know how to manipulate my meal plan.

I’m going to be a little tough on myself during these eight weeks just in order to get the job done. I really appreciate the comments that the weight gain was not my fault however, I am the one whose been overeating so I take responsibility for that. The depression was not my fault but I need to keep working on ways to deal with my emotions rather than turning to food, however extreme. Sugar and caffeine might produce an instant rush of feeling good but eating well and training is what makes us feel better ALL the time J

Monday, February 22, 2010

Square one

Wow, I was overwhelmed by the awesome comments to my last post. You guys are the BEST! I knew a lot of you would know exactly why a comment like that would get me going due to all the underlying emotions and sensitivity! So I’m glad I put my raw feelings there.

Wouldn’t it be so great if we could be as kind to ourselves as we are to each other? People often refer to there being a lot of pressure out there on certain groups like women, young people, working mothers etc but it is nothing compared to the pressure we put on ourselves. The problem for me is, the more negative feelings I have like feeling overwhelmed by pressure, expectation, guilt and so on, the less productive and more rebellious I become! (Self-sabotage?) Frustrating pattern.

Anyway, as April puts it, ‘extra fluff’ got to the point where I couldn’t ignore it anymore so I had a long overdue date with Mr calipers yesterday to find out I’m a hairsbreath away from SQUARE ONE. I did ok immediately post comp but seemed to drop the ball just prior to Christmas and a month off work. I knew maintenance would be a different kind of hard work from dieting and I had a lot of trouble staying focused. I also went through a patch of depression where I didn’t care enough to treat myself well and watch what I was eating.

So the calipers’ reading was sufficient to shock me back into some kind of plan of attack to strip off some of the excess and start to feel more confident again. Sometimes the ‘numbers’ are a good way to take the emotion out of the equation. I know what to do, its just a case of doing it and watching the numbers come down. On Saturday I wrote and began a plan and realized that it was exactly 20 weeks from INBA’s All Females comp in July this year (which I plan on attending). Its extremely tempting to jump in and think great, I will compete in that and there’s my motivation – easy.

What I’m struggling with is that without a goal like competing, it seems extremely difficult right now to muster any sort of positive motivation. My motivation is more from discomfort and a sense of disappoint with myself. This will work fine to get me going but what happens when I start to feel good again? How do we avoid the self-sabotage then? I'm going to have to work very hard at this.

I will give myself a goal with a timeframe to get back to a ‘happy place’. But I think I need to accept that this is a journey without an ending. I did get to a place where I felt very confident with my habits and discipline and I can get there again. But I have to be aware that staying in such a frame of mind requires a lot of attention. We all fall down sometimes and it can be a slippery slope. Thanks for helping me up!

Friday, February 19, 2010

Public Property

Warning: the post below could be described as an emotional venting over reaction… but I’m going to go right ahead anyway.

I just ran into someone at work that I hadn’t seen since last year. I don’t even know this person and to be honest, never really liked them either – you know how you just speak to some people to be polite? Well this was our brief conversation today:

Her: “Hey are you still doing your running thing?”
Me: “Um I don’t run…. I just go to the gym and do weights”
Her: “Weren’t you training for some race or something?”
Me: “Oh no, I was dieting for a figure/body sculpting competition last year… it was in September”.
*She pauses to look me up and down*
Her: “Well wow, you look really different now. Aren’t you training anymore?”

I don’t think people realise how devastating they can be. I still weight train just as often, I’m just doing less cardio and not dieting anymore!

I’m so tired of discussing it. I’m tired of talking about why I’m eating salad, why I’m eating cake, why I’ve lost weight, why I’ve gained weight – tired of my eating habits and weight being judged and commented on… I’m tired of my a$$ being public property!

I’m obviously feeling quite self conscious right now. I know most people don’t really understand the sport. I know a lot of the judgement is probably in my head. At the end of the day no one gives a shit if I’m on a diet or not so why comment? I wish I could have a thicker skin. I feel like on a diet I have to be apologetic for being too thin and not joining in with food and off a diet I have to feel guilty for all of a sudden not having the ‘iron discipline’ I seemed to have before! Thinking about this too much is doing my head in and it turns me off the idea of competing again. I feel like if I did, I’d flatly refuse to discuss it at all – If they were really interested I could just direct them here to my blog!

I’m sick of politely answering questions such as the one above. I know she didn’t mean to be rude but… poor little sensitive me obviously took offence. So what is the best way to fob off such remarks? What would your reaction have been?

Public Property

Warning: the post below could be described as an emotional venting over reaction… but I’m going to go right ahead anyway.

I just ran into someone at work that I hadn’t seen since last year. I don’t even know this person and to be honest, never really liked them either – you know how you just speak to some people to be polite? Well this was our brief conversation today:

Her: “Hey are you still doing your running thing?”
Me: “Um I don’t run…. I just go to the gym and do weights”
Her: “Weren’t you training for some race or something?”
Me: “Oh no, I was dieting for a figure/body sculpting competition last year… it was in September”.
*She pauses to look me up and down*
Her: “Well wow, you look really different now. Aren’t you training anymore?”

I don’t think people realise how devastating they can be. I still weight train just as often, I’m just doing less cardio and not dieting anymore!

I’m so tired of discussing it. I’m tired of talking about why I’m eating salad, why I’m eating cake, why I’ve lost weight, why I’ve gained weight – tired of my eating habits and weight being judged and commented on… I’m tired of my a$$ being public property!

I’m obviously feeling quite self conscious right now. I know most people don’t really understand the sport. I know a lot of the judgement is probably in my head. At the end of the day no one gives a shit if I’m on a diet or not so why comment? I wish I could have a thicker skin. I feel like on a diet I have to be apologetic for being too thin and not joining in with food and off a diet I have to feel guilty for all of a sudden not having the ‘iron discipline’ I seemed to have before! Thinking about this too much is doing my head in and it turns me off the idea of competing again. I feel like if I did, I’d flatly refuse to discuss it at all – If they were really interested I could just direct them here to my blog!

I’m sick of politely answering questions such as the one above. I know she didn’t mean to be rude but… poor little sensitive me obviously took offence. So what is the best way to fob off such remarks? What would your reaction have been?

Thursday, February 11, 2010


Have you ever been on a detox program? I’m curious to hear about people’s understanding of this term and experiences with it.

My experience to date has been limited and negative. About ten years ago ( I was 14) my mum and I embarked on a popular ‘liver cleansing’ detox which basically involved eating no solid food for at least a week, rather to consume vegetable juice and various herbal teas.

Not really knowing much about it I jumped on the bandwagon and did not consume any food for seven days, I think on the seventh day I vomited purple (beetroot juice) all over our carpet… mmm! Now, I’ve read a lot of testimonies from people who claim to have cured themselves from various diseases, even cancer by going on such detoxes. However, for a healthy 14 year old girl what do you think was the greatest attraction? Yep, I lost 5kg in that week (mostly water and some muscle no doubt). Its so sad, I distinctly remember looking at myself in the mirror and thinking wow, I’ll never eat again! Cue the yo yo dieting that commenced a few years later!

My mum’s biggest hobby is researching and spending lots of money on natural/alternative remedies and although I wouldn’t call her a ‘hypochondriac’ I don’t think I’ve ever asked her how she was and heard her reply ‘good or well’. (A “Bloody fantastic!” would be even better …one day perhaps!) She was a registered nurse for many years so is no stranger to conventional medicine but I guess prefers to use drugs etc as a last resort. I spoke to her recently and she was about to go on another liver cleansing program (she has probably done it a few times over the last decade) and insists that it is a great way to give the internal organs a break/recover from the stress we put on them.

I challenged this idea with the notion that, instead of bombarding our bodies with toxins such as sugar and alcohol and then periodically fasting; shouldn’t we seek to limit the amount of punishment we inflict on our livers/kidneys etc in the first place? When is starving yourself ever a good idea?

Most of the more general detox diets seem to require no caffeine, sugar or alcohol, less dairy, red meat, more vegetables etc for a certain period of time. Is this just code for a healthy diet? I guess I don’t like the way that detoxes imply a temporary change in eating habits rather than encouraging people to eat this way as consistently as possible. Its also a subjective term I guess as each person may need to 'detox' from something different than the next person. I would say my biggest challenges are caffeine and oversized portions when eating off plan/something I haven’t pre-prepared.

Friday, February 5, 2010

Being grateful

Hi all
Hope you’re all out there training hard, eating well and doing whatever else it is that makes you happy! I was back at work all of 5 seconds when I got struck down with a tummy virus for almost a week. Today is my first day back at work and although I often complain about my desk job it feels sooo good to feel normal and do something productive! Never never never take your health for granted! It’s one of the simple things most of us can usually be grateful for almost everyday.

I watched a lot of Oprah during my week on the couch and yesterday saw her interview with the lady who got mauled by her boss’ ‘pet’ chimpanzee. Did you hear about that a little while ago? She wanted to be able to reveal her face on her own terms rather than let the papparazzi get a shot of her. I don’t know if you’ve seen her face but the injuries were horrific and they had to remove her eyes. Our society places such pressure on women to maintain their appearances and it all feels very trivial when you hear about survival stories like this. You might think you'd rather die but when Oprah (very sensitively) posed this kind of question to her it seemed almost offensive. Why would she rather have died when she is now in no pain and has a teenage daughter? On a day when I’m struggling with what to feel grateful for all I need to do is look out the window of my office at the sky.

I also watched a lot of reality type shows on the lifestyle channel such as ‘what not to wear’, ‘how to look good naked’ and ‘extraordinary weight stories’. Major theme being women generally feeling miserable about themselves, their looks and their bodies. Its nice to see attempts being made to make these women see that they are perfectly fine the way they are (perhaps just needing to take a little more pride in choice of clothes etc) rather than selling them stupid creams and ab rollers. I love it when the host says “I don’t want you to just accept your body the way it is, I want you to flaunt it!” lol. Its not about loving being fat, its about having confidence and treating yourself well. No one ever successfully and healthily lost weight by hating themselves.

I’d very much like to rid myself of the mindset ‘never good enough’. It’s a waste of a life.

So what are you grateful for? Right now I'm grateful that I feel well enough again to eat my broccoli without gagging :)

Sunday, January 24, 2010

10 things

...that make me happy :)

April's blog gave me this idea (ps THANKS for your comment girl, but the pic above is still 4 weeks out from comp!! ... still working out what the real me is.... !)  :) :) 

1. Cartoons! particularly the Simpsons.... I am watching it right now haha. My parents were super strict when I was young and we weren't allowed to watch it which resulted in a subsequent obsession with the show. My bedroom was literally full of merchandise, I still have the good stuff ;)

2. Blogland! Even though I tend to read the blogs along the same fitness vein, I love the variety of posts between inspiration, workouts, daily struggles, successes, venting, sharing information and ramble - I love a good ramble!

3. Very simple things.... lol! eg when the chocolate powder on cappuccinos smells like easter eggs (the good stuff!) oh yeah and the caffeine is pretty happy-making too!

4. My two fur babies (cats) and animal antics in general (the title of the bulldog pic is 'hotdog' hehe). Pets are the ultimate in mood lifting. I love it when they find a cool spot on the carpet in our bedroom, sprawl out and let me rub their tummies... awwww!!! I knew I had to get my female cat Cookie spayed after her first litter but breeding cats would be so much fun!

5. Privacy. This is far too much information but I love that Ali and I are able to live in our private house alone and hang about in whatever we want. My mum would whinge at me when I was little because I never wanted to put clothes on.. I guess some things never change... lol!

6. Being a girl and thus being able to wear whatever I want. Every now and then I get stuck in a black and conservative clothes rut, especially at work but I love that I can bust out a colourful summer dress and girl it up too! Being able to get cool costume jewellery cheap from somewhere like Diva just to match an outfit is fun too.

7. Great haircuts and my GHD! I bought this when I was 18 and its probably the best thing I've ever bought. My hair is naturally a curly frizzy mess but is really quick and easy to straighten.

8. My treadmill is a close second (best purchase). Great tip for buying one is to pick it up second hand (ebay, weekend paper) etc. Huge discount from new and let's face it, most of them will be close to brand new. Ours had been used max 5 times... poor neglected beast- We gave it a good home.

9. Cooking. I love using fresh ingredients and finding new ways to spice up our chicken and vegies or fish and salad. I love trying a new recipe, making things from scratch and making up the rules along the way. I especially love trying new combinations and mixing a whole lot of things together! Lately I've taken to stirfrying vegies like beans, red onion and thinly sliced carrots to top cold salads- love the hot/cold combo.

10. A good division between alone time, Ali and me time, family time and girl friends time. When you think about it there are a lot of people that love you. Aww!

I tag you all to try this list! 

Saturday, January 23, 2010

23 days in

How is your 2010 going? I can't complain so far, I haven't been into work yet! :P Our holidays are coming to an end after Australia Day. Operation relax and destress is taking a little longer than I thought but is well underway.

As timing would have it, our ducted air conditioning went on the fritz two days before our break and we'll probably only get it fixed the week we get back to work- so January has been a little bit sweaty! Haven't been up to all that much either, but starting the year in good spirits and remembering my vows to be more grateful, focussing on what I have rather than what I ... want! For example, not having heaps of $ to keep oneself constantly entertained and the negativity that comes with being bored or restless...

Do you find yourself 'bored' if you're not constantly engaged in something? I think you can even be bored when you are doing something that's not actively requiring your full attention. I've been using this word too much lately so am telling myself that it is just a state of mind. I'm working on living more in the present, how can I be calm and relaxed if doing nothing automatically = boredom = irritability/anxiety? I bet all the ladies with children out there are wishing they had nothing to do right now, lol!

I certainly got my wish to get out of routine with this break from work, its been a nice long stretch and I'm finally ready to get into it. 'Finding balance' with settling back into training and clean eating has been challenging at times with so much free time so having to prep my meals in advance for work again and not eating out as much will definately help.

I visited lindy's forum and dallas' website for the first time in ages today - both sites are growing and all the girls seem to be doing well! I was surprised and flattered to see my pics on dallas site alongside some amazing athletes. Its still definately a goal of mine to do another shoot with Dallas in the near future, at a size that I am fit and confidently maintaining.

Looking ahead at the year, another big plan is coming to Melbourne to watch the All Females in July. I've seen a lot of excited posts about either competing or spectating this show!! My Mum lives in Melbourne so I'm already planning when I will book in my next bit of leave. I will never leave it so long between vacations again!

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Day in the life of ...

me! Thanks for the tag Chelle

Well I'm on holidays at the moment but a usual weekday for me is structured like this:

5:30 alarm goes off
5:30-6:30 walk on treadmill while I watch foxtel
6:30-7:30am shower, breakfast (always oats!) which I eat while watching more foxtel - used to watch the morning news programs but now I only do if I want to hear about the weather
7:30-8:30ish commute to the city for work
8:30-4:30 work - I have a coffee (long blk or skinny capp) as soon as I can after getting to work to get the brain juices going. While at the office, I eat meals 2,3 and 4 at work plus copious amounts of water and green tea. Although I'm sitting at my desk all day, getting up to heat meals and go to the bathroom means I'm never stationery for too long!
5-6:30 Train! 
7-9:30pm get home, shower, cook and eat dinner, finish food prep and pack meals for following day. I don't have time to get on the net on a training night during the week, but after a day sitting at a computer its really the last thing I want to do anyway.
9:30pm try to get into bed by this time. Wind down with a book or episode of simpsons, family guy etc. We also eat dessert in bed! Natural yoghurt + vanilla protein powder and splenda if you like it sweet. Freeze this for about 2.5 hrs before serving (so it firms up but is not too hard and it stays creamy) and try it with strawberry diet jelly! :)

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

All over the shop

That's how I would describe the past week with my nutrition. First few days after the 'weigh in' were lean and clean then I had a few treats on outings and dinner + dessert for my Dad's bday thrown in the mix. So I wasn't sure what to expect from mr scales yesterday morning. I actually dropped 1.5kg... so I'm thinking all of that processed crap I ate over xmas and new years had me blown up like a balloon! Certainly wasn't a tight week so I'm not kidding myself- I'm taking the scale readings as a guide and focussing more on how I'm feeling, looking and how well I've been keeping up the good food habits (ie least 80% of the time).

Holidays are a minefield for eating well aren't they! Days when we don't have much on I easily get the cooking done and eat my six clean meals. Other days we eat and here and there and I might end up eating 4 or 5 larger meals in a day. Overall I'm pleased with my attitude to food lately - I haven't binged or felt out of control for a long time. I just overeat from time to time and go back for seconds when I shouldn't....! haha. Obviously there's a lot more social stuff going on atm where you're not eating pre-weighed portions. We are going back to work the day after Australia Day so I am waiting until then to take my skinfolds so I can get an accurate picture of my current condition. 

Training has gone well, doing a new four day split that Ali has written for me with a lower rep range and few more working sets than I've been doing. I'm deadlifting once a fortnight now to build a stronger core and overall thickness - serious stuff :)

I found this pic of me 16 weeks out from the show (end May 2009) where I was 60ml bodyfat over 9 sites. I think this would be an ideal place to maintain to be able to lean down quite easily for a show. We'll find out how far off I am soon! 

Monday, January 4, 2010

Me too!

Can I join in on the year of the sexy bitch? 

I said losing weight wouldn't be one of my new years goals but gosh darnit I had a little bit too much fun so far on my holidays and have gained an impressive amount of weight in a very short time!! ... oops! I think the silliest thing you can do when you know you are being a bit footloose and fancy free with your diet is not weigh yourself... was in a small state of denial and ignoring the inevitable.

The penny really dropped when we went camping at Noosa the last couple of days - I no longer felt at ease with the weight on my stomach when wearing a bikini rather than a tank. This is something I've struggled with since I was very young, I store fat on my tummy so its one of the main areas I judge my progress on.

So after this morning's little shock I will return to weighing myself once a week at the same time. In previous years I would be upset and annoyed with myself. But Ive learnt just how unhelpful that is! So I'm putting into practice what I have learnt and bringing in the reins on all the treats that were increasing in frequency and portions- the meals out, bread, sugary condiments, dairy etc.

The year of the sexy bitch is about working on my confidence. I'm not a failure if I gain weight. Maintaining is something I'm new to and need to practice because its so easy to fall back into habits such as eating out of boredom etc Chelle is one of the most confident gals I know, which is something I really admire - she's going to keep an eye on my progress over the next few weeks.

We are all already sexy bitches. In 2010 we're going to flaunt it!

Friday, January 1, 2010

Happy New Year! Resolutions anyone?

Are you having a relaxing lazy day today!? Hope so! Im a little bored actually! Have some fish in the oven right now that I'm keeping one eye on. 'Diet' has been quite relaxed over Christmas and New Years but with plenty of fish, chicken and vegies in there as well. I think celery and rocky road makes a good combo, don't you? haha. Meanwhile I haven't weighed myself in the last couple of weeks, have been putting that off which is a little dangerous...!

We had a quiet one with friends last night, nice dinner, couple of drinks and played some cards. I'm really not fussed on alcohol anymore, I would really rather eat my calories! ;) I had one and a half lemon ruskies before making the mistake of seeing how much sugar was in them.... i couldn't bring myself to finish it! Meanwhile the icecream biscuits and custard were a treat, once again - EAT your calories and sugar, don't drink them! hehe. 

We have a whole month off and it is BLISS!!! had left it far too long without a break and were absolutely hanging out for it. We are training at our little local 24 hr gym which is nice and quiet. Not too many plans ahead, going camping for a couple of nights at Noosa then staying at the Royal Pines a couple of nights next week. My theory is we'll appreciate the resort all the more after roughing it. I'm not a 'girly girl' but do appreciate creature comforts! Its nice being about to go away and not to have to worry too much about food, but we are packing plenty of canned tuna and protein powder!

So a couple of people have been posting about New Years resolutions. I think its as good a time as any to reflect and consider new goals. I'm keeping mine fairly simple. This year I'd like to:

stress and worry less
not leave clothes all over the bedroom
apply for a new position at my work and upskill
read lots of books
go on a cruise
go to Melbourne - maybe in July to watch all females!
get some more professional photos done
write some more articles


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