Tuesday, September 30, 2008

It's here, it's HERE!!

The postie just delivered my bikini and OMG.....it is gorgeous!! And Jo is a total genius - it makes me look good, somehow transforming even my less-than stunning bits into something acceptable. :o)

Little sneaky peek:

It's probably the prettiest thing I've ever owned.....

The final countdown

4 days to go, and while my head is full of things I need to do, I'm feeling good, almost relaxed actually. Like Charlotte, I'm happily ticking off all the "lasts" in terms of training: last leg workout was completed yesterday, and in a few minutes I'm heading off for my last back/shoulder/tri workout. (I'm trying not to think about cardio... that's going to be fairly ugly today.)

The obsessive list-making is in full swing. I have food planned, printed and stuck on the fridge, shopping lists, to-do lists, and I'll be putting together my own personal running sheets for Friday-Saturday-Sunday. Don't want to leave anything to chance!

Sara arrives tomorrow, and I'm more excited about that than anything at the moment. I just realised that it's over 2 years since we saw each other: Phat Camp, March 06, to be precise. Unfortunately, this week I'm not up for a foodie tour of Melbourne, darnit! But no doubt we'll make up for it after Sunday's comp. I'm thinking a trip to Koko Black might be in order. It's perfectly normal to have chocolate for dinner, right? ;o)


The Nestle diet desserts come in a twin pack, and while I enjoyed my treat yesterday, I really didn't want to have an extra one sitting in the fridge. I'm aiming for unprocessed and fairly simple food this week - I just don't have time or inclination for fussing around right now.

So Bike Boy valiantly disposed of it for me last night. He's not a huge fan of dark chocolate though, being more a caramel or white choc kind of guy. So here's how I made it more to his liking:

1. Spoon contents of tub into a serving bowl
2. Chop 2 or 3 segments of the Fathers' Day Toblerone that's still in the pantry, and scatter over the top
3. Add some nice thick cream
4. Grab a spoon!

Monday, September 29, 2008

Look what I just discovered:

Soooo.... guess what I added to my chocolate souffle this morning? :p

Oops, I did it again

It turns out that in spite of eating masses of good food (and getting my chocolate souffles in every day), AND having a big treat meal the previous night, the old carb depletion thing snuck up on me again yesterday. I got Bike Boy to snap some progress pics first thing in the morning and couldn't believe how awful I looked. Flat, saggy (not to mention the grumpy face!) and just generally horrible. I did more pics later in the day, and those were better, but I still wasn't happy.

The clues were all there: I'd been getting mighty cranky in the afternoon and evening for several days and had just put it down to being tired. Or hungry. Or having an annoying family. LOL.

At 6:00pm yesterday, when dinner was still an hour away, and I was feeling really, really, cold, the penny dropped. So I ran through my mental carb-depletion checklist:

- Am I having severe carb/sugar cravings? Check!
- Is the air temperature fine, but I'm freezing my arse off anyway? Check!
- Do I have homicidal thoughts about anyone who so much as breathes too loudly? Check!
- Am I feeling exhausted and emotionally flat? Check!
- Does my physique look like crap? Check!
- Have the veins in my arms disappeared? Check!

This time I knew what to do.... no waiting for dinner, this needed urgent action! So I grabbed a bowl and tipped in muesli, some Crunch, yoghurt and honey and scoffed that. I also upped my rice portion with dinner. I felt better, but a couple of hours later was starving and feeling a bit crap again, so I added some raisin toast to my day's tally.

Of course, this morning there's a totally expected weight jump, but I'd far rather this happened at this point than later in the week. I'll be keeping things nice and tight the rest of the week, and should hopefully get through to the weekend without a major crash.

The plus side of a big carb-fest last night? I did look totally awesome at the gym this morning! :p

Sunday, September 28, 2008

I'm building this body on chocolate souffles

Think I'm kidding? Nuh-uh! (Well, if you read my food blog, you KNOW I'm not kidding.)

Beats Herbalife or Sure Slim or any of that shite, that's for sure!

I train like a girl

See what you get when you bust your arse at the gym on a regular basis and eat like a sane person?

6 days to go.....

Ugh. I need a haircut. And a tan.

Saturday, September 27, 2008


My bikini is finished!! Yippee!

I cannot wait to see it! I can barely remember the colour, and as for the bling, I gave Jo permission to pretty much do whatever, so it's going to be a lovely surprise.

I'm going to be haunting the letterbox again for the next few days. :o)

The real deal

I felt bad about the crappy Google images I posted earlier. So before we ate, I whipped out the camera so y'all can feast your eyes on the feast:

That's a HUGE plate, in case you're thinking I don't eat much....

My dinner - chicken sagwaala, raita, salad, mango chutney, asparagus, papadum and, hiding behind the enormous mound of rice there, tandoori lamb. Asparagus may not be traditional Indian food (I dunno...is it?), but hey: I love it, it's cheap and I had some in the fridge.

And I had second helpings of the lamb, the salad and a teensy spoonful more of chicken. :p

I'm feeling comfortably replete now, thanks.

And the winner is......

Congratulations, Jen! IFBB Fitness Olympia champ once again. She was in awesome condition and I bet her routine was the most entertaining of the lot.

I'm off to find some video footage on the net now....

1 week to go

I thought that at this point, I'd be a mess of nerves, panicking about every little thing, hardly sleeping and stressed to the max. Not so. I'm relaxed, I sleep like a log (and still no sign of the old comp nightmares), I'm pretty well organised, and I'm feeling confident that everything will come together.

Mind you, I have to put in some serious routine practice time this week. I know the moves, but not having a handy wall of mirrors in my house, I have no idea whether I look elegant and graceful, or completely dorky. I suspect completely dorky. This week after my training, I shall make a point of heading into the cardio room at the gym while it's unused and running through my routine there.

My other important task is to make some lists. What I need to do between now and next Saturday, plus what I need to take on the day. I figure if I write it all down, then Bike Boy can take over being my brain ....and once Sara gets here, she can help. :o)


Training today was excellent - it's been a bit of a mixed bag this week, but this morning I was firing on all cylinders. So chest and biceps got a good thrashing, then it was home to jump on the spin bike for some cardio, and to grab the stability ball for some core torture. Then posing practice.... I would have liked a nap after that, but had some preparatory work to do for one of my favourite clients, who's coming to see me Monday for a full Precision Nutrition and GeneElite makeover. I'm so excited for her.... :o)

My expected weight loss has been a bit stalled, but seems to be happening again now. Food has been enjoyable, creative and filling, so I'm not struggling there. And tonight I have my treat meal to look forward to:

Tandoori lamb, chicken sagwaala (you just knew I'd have that, didn't you Liz?), plenty of rice and a salad. And maybe a pappadum and a spoonful of raita. The only thing missing is a nice glass or three of wine with it, but I can hang out for a bit longer....

Now I'm off for a walk. Or maybe I'll go join Bike Boy, who's snoozing on the couch....

Friday, September 26, 2008

Recipe alert!

I tizzied-up my choc souffle omelette today, for a heavenly afternoon snack. How could I improve on the original, you ask? Try chocolate, peanut butter and banana.....

God, I'm glad I'm not on a diet!

The old balancing act

Spring is really here. How do I know this? Because my email inbox is full of enquiries about online training and my phone hasn't stopped ringing either....

Which is all good, but I need to do some serious scheduling so that I still have time for ME. Balance.... hmm, something that a lot of personal trainers struggle with. *looks at Selina and Liz*

I have a few techniques I use to stay on top of things. This is one - it's stupidly simple, but it makes a big difference:

Take your diary (one of those day-to-a-page ones) and rule a vertical line down the middle of the page. The left-hand column is for appointments. Clients, personal stuff like hairdresser, physio, etc, business meetings like the accountant, suppliers, networking stuff, seminars - anything that's got to happen at a set time. This column is also for MY training, and guess what goes in first? :o) Everything else fits around my training times, those are not negotiable.

The right-hand column is for my to-do list. Reminders for phone calls I need to make, letters to send, bills to pay, shopping lists (not groceries, but pretty much everything else), client programs I need to write and so on.

And because I'm not only a list-maker, but a bit of a visual type too, I like to physically cross things OFF my list as I do them. It's always satisfying to get to the end of the day and see a nice long list of items, all with lines ruled through them.

Another thing I've learned to do - and I still struggle with this one at this time of year - is to rule a line at 7:30 or 8:00pm on weeknights, and around 3:00pm Saturdays. Those are my deadlines - after that, no more work for Kek! On Sundays - I aim not to work at all. Everyone needs a day off.

If I don't do these things, the lines get blurred between work and personal/family time. And/or I begin to go short on sleep. And that's when things always get ugly.

I don't always get it right, but hopefully I've learned from my past mistakes and won't find myself in a padded cell a few weeks down the track.

Thursday, September 25, 2008

That day in September

No, not that silly game where grown men run around on grass chasing a ball...who cares about stupid football grand finals, when this weekend sees something REALLY important going on?

Yes, it's the 2008 Olympia!

All the best to the gorgeous and very sweet Jen Hendershott, who came out of retirement (I knew she would!) to have another go at the Fitness title. She has some tough competition, but I'd love to see her back in the number one spot this year.

Send her some positive vibes, people!



Holy moley! Jen is SO ready! Go check out her blog and get a load of those abs!

Off to a good start

Bike Boy's back from the wild, wild west, the kids are on holidays and today is my last day of the *yawn* old office grind for a couple of weeks. The sun is shining and it's going to be 24C today. Training is done, food is organised and I almost got enough sleep last night. Oh - and thanks to some osteopathic magic, I did not wake once during the night with a dead arm and at this very moment, I am pain-free.

The scales have stopped being stupid and are now being RIDICULOUS, but.... the dodgy BF% readings, which I usually ignore, are beginning to do some interesting things. After consistently telling me I had 20%-ish body fat for weeks now (which just made me laugh out loud), this week the numbers have plummetted to between 13 and 15. And last night I got a 12-point-something.

Now that's more like it!

The diminishing numbers on my countdown gadget over on the sidebar there though - those are starting to scare me.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Eek! 9 days to go!

Yes, my countdown has clicked over into single figures. Yikes! I'm keeping things as tight as tight can be this week, and yet....the scales are just being S.T.U.P.I.D. There's not a lot I can do about that, when I'm already eating and training exactly to plan. I'm just blaming DOMS and getting on with things.

A few people have asked for details of the comps I'm doing. Here you go:

Saturday 4th October - INBA Victorian Natural Physique Titles
Camberwell Centre, Riversdale Rd Camberwell.
Show starts at 6:00pm, prejudging is at 12:00 noon.

Sunday, 5th October - ANB Victorian Championships
Union Hall, La Trobe University, Bundoora
Starts at 12:00 noon (one show format)

Tickets for both shows will be available at the door.....

If you come along, be sure to find me in one of the breaks and say hi!

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

I know, I KNOW!

Before I get a billion emails telling me that the links on my FitBodies website aren't working.... I'm aware of it. If you're on a Mac, no problemo. If you have a PC and are using Safari or a browser other than Internet Explorer, everything should work just fine. And if you're using IE with any version of Windows prior to Vista, then I think it should be OK.

It seems to be an issue with Windows Vista and IE not liking the Mac-based program thingie we've used to produce the pretty new site.

And since tech support has buggered off to Perth for a few days, it'll be a while before we can sort it out. So....apologies to anyone who can't access sections of the site in the meantime. :o(

If there's something you want info on and you can't get to the page on the website, feel free to email me.

Q & A time

I've had a few questions over the past couple of weeks, but haven't had a chance to answer them. So while I'm taking a break from answering client emails, I thought I'd reply to one.

Jacque asked: Just wondering how you make your oats and pro / powder concoction?? Do you mix in then cook or after?? Also have you got a few different variations for us to try!!

Also i noticed you have three meals a day and generally two to three snacks. Do you ever eat more than this? How do you time your meals to pre and post work out say if your working out first thing in the morning??

Oats & whey: it varies, but usually I throw 40g of oats (about a loose half-cup) into a pot with one and a half cups of water, bring it to the boil and then turn the heat down and let it gently bubble till cooked. The secret to creamy oats is to stir often. Microwaving just doesn't cut it for me, and I'll never go back to it except in an emergency.

I tip it into a bowl, then add the whey and mix it well. Cooking the whey IN the oats is a bad idea. Unless you like cleaning cement out of your cookware. Once it's mixed, I add skim milk and/or whatever else I'm having with it. Some variations:

- Sliced banana, natural yoghurt, honey
- Grated apple (cook it with the oats), cinnamon, a little skim milk
- Berries, yoghurt, a sprinkling of chopped nuts
- For an indulgent change, you can cook the oats in coconut milk, then add banana or other fruit and some grated coconut, with a little syrup.

Those are just a few ideas. Go nuts!

As for meal timing, that varies depending on my day. My usual routine is to get up and train before my brain creaks into gear and starts asking me what on EARTH I'm doing? Since I often have to be up at 5:00am to fit in training, I'm not about to drag myself out of bed even earlier so I can have breakfast first. Besides, if I'm doing a hard cardio session first-up, I'd probably puke if I tried it straight after eating.

So if there's such a thing as a "normal" day, it would go more or less like this:

5:30-ish - Training
7:00 - Meal 1
10:00 - Meal 2
12:00 - Meal 3 (I can never wait....once the big hand hits the 12, it's lunch time in my mind!)
3:00 - Meal 4
6:00-7:00 Meal 5

If I have calories left over and I'm hungry, I may have an extra snack after dinner, or sometimes if dinner is going to be late, I'll add something small around 5:30.

If it's a day where I can sleep a bit later, I'll keep my meal timing the same, but will do my training at around 8:30. I don't fuss too much about pre- and post-workout meals and perfecting macronutrient ratios based on timing. You can get yourself all tied in knots about small things, when it's more important to just DO your training and EAT your food and THINK a lot less about it all.

Of course, there are some things you can do to tweak results, but I see a lot of people fretting about tiny little details when they haven't even got the big-picture stuff nailed yet.

Right, back to work.....

Monday, September 22, 2008

Monday update

Yuk. Mondays are my least favourite day of the week. I'm sure I'm not on my own there.... But they're always better when you get off to a good start. We went to bed nice and early last night, which made getting up at 5:00am to head to the gym quite a bit easier. So training is done and I can get on with my day.


Bike Boy did the Degani Kinglake ride yesterday - a 120km loop of fairly nasty hills. He was flying to Perth for a business trip this morning, and the idea of sitting in a plane for 4 hours after doing that ride really didn't thrill him. Getting up out of the seat at the other end would probably be an impossible feat. So he was up early too, to fit in a recovery ride on the spin bike before his taxi was due.


At the moment, my days feel like a series of ticking the boxes. Training - tick. Meals prepared - tick. Posing practice done - tick. Drink lots of water - tick. Run through my routine - tick. Get a walk in somewhere - tick. Take my supplements - tick. Run out and pick up a few more things on my comp list - tick. Get a minimum of 7 hours sleep - tick. Oh yeah, and somewhere in there some work has to be done, and I think I have a family....?


My shoulder/arm is not good. It's OK in the mornings, but by evening it's driving me crazy with pain. Wednesday's osteopath session can't come soon enough! I'm training OK though - since I always train early and it's not too bad at that time of day, I manage just fine, with some gentle stretching between sets.


I only have 3 days this week to get through at the office, then I'm on leave for two weeks. I'm very lucky that I have a job with lots of flexibility and a boss who never causes problems when I want time off. I plan on getting lots of extra sleep next week - comp prep is catching up with me and I'm feeling mucho tired lately.

At least the kids are on school holidays from today, so traffic will be lighter and I'm reprieved from doing the school run, finding money for bus fares, helping to locate lost homework and so on for the next couple of weeks. :o) It's almost like having a holiday myself!


Weight's sitting in the high 52s and I'm feeling pretty good. I won't mind regaining a little fat post-comp though - while I love my small size and my muscle definition, some parts of me are looking a bit sad. I know Bike Boy is looking forward to my having some more curves, and even The Baby says I'm too bony to cuddle at the moment. :o(


Better move it - I need to hit the road! My focus is razor-sharp, and I'm going to have a GREAT day! Yeah!

Sunday, September 21, 2008

It's new! And improved!

We've been working on a long overdue update for my FitBodies website, and although it's not quite finished, I'm more than happy with the new and improved version.

There's some minor editing required - and a few glitches to work out with the way it displays in some versions of IE. And there will be some updated photos coming very soon, I promise. But the new version has gone live anyway, and we'll take care of those little details over the next couple of weeks.

Go take a look!

P.S. Miss Shelley, you may recognise someone there......

And for my next trick....

I've been giving some thought to post-competition goals. I always have to have a goal, something to work towards. If I try to just go along, training and eating without a specific purpose in mind, I tend to find that after a while the wheels fall off and I'm skipping training sessions, eating far too many treats and just not achieving anything. Mmm, that would be because I don't know what it IS I'm supposed to be achieving....

Anyway. My long-term goal is going to be to gain more muscle where I need it. For one thing, I want some more junk in my trunk..... in a good way, of course. Pancake-butt syndrome is NOT a good look, and I see it way too often on women in their 50s or older. I plan on reaching my 50th birthday with some serious booty!

I will probably compete again next year, and the muscle-gaining thing is all part of that.

Meanwhile, I need some short-term goals to keep me focused. I don't love running, but I do like to do the odd fun run, as long as I stick to nice short distances. 4-5 km is perfect for me. So I'm thinking that maybe the Sussan Womens' Fun Run on Sunday 7th December would be a good one to aim for.

But then there's that new bike in the garage that I've barely been out on, thanks to the stinky weather. And the SUB Women's Cycle Classic on Saturday 6th December.....

I suppose doing both the same weekend would be a bit much? Hmm....

Not NOW!

Apart from having infrequent odd moments of being, as Sara pointed out, completely mental, I'm maintaining my emotional equilibrium at the moment. I'm feeling fairly well-prepared, I'm happy with how my physique is coming along, and excitement is beginning to take over.

On the "oh crap!" front, my long-term overuse injury has once again flared up and is giving me hell. My right arm is painful, a bit numb, and next to useless for a lot of things, all the way from neck to fingers. Yesterday I developed some lovely stabbing pains in the back of my shoulder, which seriously ruined my bike cardio session, since I just couldn't find a position that didn't aggravate it.

So, early yesterday afternoon, I FINALLY called to make an appointment with my osteopath. And the receptionist informs me that she's leaving, and that it's her last day at the clinic. And of course, no, she can't fit me in. Aargh! I had the most brilliant osteopath, up until a few months ago, when she left. I tried a couple of others before finding this girl, and now she's leaving.

I know I'm a challenge, with my short leg, crooked hips, dodgy SIJ, tight hamstrings, stiff thoracic-everything and various issues with shoulders and neck, but seriously - am I THAT scary that they have to keep running away?

*sigh* I have an appointment with one of the other girls (who's far too tentative for my liking).... but not till Wednesday. I foresee lots of time spent with my heat pack, ice pack and many doses of paracetamol between now and then.

Saturday, September 20, 2008

Right on target

My weight dropped back into the 52s this morning, after yesterday's treat meal-induced minor spike. Nice start to the day.

Then someone at the gym told me I look "fantastic". Now THAT made my day!

Just for Sara, here's a (slightly fuzzy) bicep pose:

Hmm, must squeeze those babies harder. I know they're bigger than that...

Friday, September 19, 2008

2 weeks out

'Scuse the small and slightly fuzzy photos - I had to get The Baby to take progress photos for me, since there was nobody else available.

Still room for improvement, but I have two weeks......

Thursday, September 18, 2008

And another thing...

I have the weirdest, most vivid dreams of anybody I know. Bike Boy is constantly amused by my relating my latest bizarre nightly in-my-head adventure.

So how come I haven't had a single competition freak-out dream yet?

Recipe alert!

I've blogged a staple meal of ours.... an easy and tasty stir-fry.

16 days to go

I was in the newsagent today and browsed through the latest issue of Women's Health & Fitness. To my surprise, there was an article featuring interviews with 3 girls who are figure competitors, where they discussed their training and nutrition and the highs and lows of competing. The magazine is usually a bit too "fluffy" for any kind of bodybuilding story.

Of course, there was the obligatory box listing a "typical day's food" for a couple of the girls. I ran my eye over it and wasn't surprised to see chicken, chicken, more chicken, green veggies, protein shakes, and not much else.

I rolled my eyes and smiled to myself. 2 weeks and 2 days out from my comp, this is what I ate today:

Breakfast: Oats, vanilla whey, skim milk
Snack: Blueberry buttermilk pancakes
Lunch: Chicken, baked potato, braised fennel, broccoli, spinach
Snack: Yoghurt, berries, Protein Crunch, Crunchola
Dinner: Omelette with feta, tomato, onion, mushrooms, basil and spinach
Snack (treat meal): Chocolate cake, sandwiched with dark chocolate, then warmed till all melty, with a dark choc/cream sauce poured over the top.

And weight is tracking downwards nicely, thanks. I saw 52 on the scale this morning. Also, my muscles? Those are really starting to POP. Every time I catch sight of my reflection, I get a shock at the sight of my arms.

So guess who I'd rather be: Me? Or the starved and carb-deprived magazine girlie? Mmm, tough decision.....

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Chocolate cake anyone?

I've come up with the perfect thing for the kids' lunchboxes, and as a snack for me, it's got everything I could want: chocolate, moist cake texture, veggies.....yes, that's what I said: veggies.

My boys gave this healthy chocolate cake the thumbs-up and they had NO idea it's stuffed full of zucchini. Tee-hee.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Fat feet

The past few weeks I've realised that my shoes are all a bit loose on me. I expected my rings to get loose, and I've not been able to wear them for a while now. So they're securely locked away in the bank's safe till I regain a bit of fat.

But who knew that when you lose weight, you lose it from your feet?

Choice: pizza or progress?

We went out last night to celebrate Bike Boy's birthday. We wanted to go somewhere local, and somewhere that would cater to the kids' tastes as well. So we ended up at..... a pizza place! Hmm, what does a figure competitor eat at a pizza place?

Well, I vetoed the pizza, but I studied the menu and found a chicken breast stuffed with spinach and camembert and served with an asparagus sauce. I ordered it with salad (no chips), and shared a small amount of the bruschetta that Bike Boy ordered for an entree. It worked out well - I drank mineral water and followed that up with a long black, and I actually left some of my chicken when I put my knife and fork down between bites and realised that I was feeling satisfied.

I passed on dessert, even though they had chocolate pizza on the menu. (Yes, chocolate pizza - it's actually a calzone stuffed with Nutella and strawberries. Don't knock it if you haven't tried it!)

It was no hardship to sit amongst my pizza-eating family, because I was having something that was really enjoyable, and not like "diet" food at all. After all, DIET is a four-letter-word.

And this morning, the scales have dropped another 300g.


Monday, September 15, 2008


I am suffering. I have the worst leg DOMS I've had in a while, thanks to some nasty sprint intervals on Saturday, then a dose of P90X Core Synergistics yesterday (ouch! those lunge thingies huuuuuurt!).

So I was really thrilled when I woke up wincing in pain this morning to realise that today was LEGS DAY. I even grabbed my schedule when I got up at 5:00am to check I had it right, even though I'd already checked it yesterday. Just in case, you know, the words on the paper might have magically changed overnight. But nope, it still said: leg workout, followed by a tready run. *sigh*

I was extra-thrilled when I got to the gym to realise that I'd forgotten my water bottle. I really begrudge spending $2.50 on a piddly 600ml bottle of water, when I can get any amount I want free (well, OK not free exactly, but you know what I mean) out of the kitchen tap.

I got through training, pulling some pretty funny faces during my squat sets. And the run was more of a walk/run/walk/run, but I did it. There's no room for slacking off at this late stage!


My weight's been doing some odd stuff again, but is coming down nicely these past few days. And in spite of what number is showing on the scales on any given day, I can see more and more muscle definition, so I know that stubborn fat is melting away.

Let's hope my legs really start to show some changes this week, because....18 days to go. *blinks*

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Fail to plan.... and you know what happens

Bike Boy and I took a much-needed break from training, housework, kids, work and house-building worries, and spent the afternoon at the cinema. We used the gift vouchers that were the boys' joint Fathers' Day present to their Dad, and went Gold Class.

We saw Taken (which was pretty good, better than your average action film. The dead body count was fairly high though.....) Bike Boy had a beer and a glass of wine, while I had a mineral water and a coffee. And we ate lunch before going, then just shared an entree plate of wedges as a snack. I deliberately kept my carbs a little low in my early meals today, because I wanted to be able to have something while we were out, and I just knew the available choices would be high in carbs. It all balanced out pretty well in the end.

With a little planning, you can manage just about any situation, even when you're following a fat-loss nutrition plan. No need to be a hermit. :o)

Tomorrow night we'll be out for dinner to celebrate my husband's birthday, so that'll be another minor challenge for me. I'm up to it, no problem at all.

No, I'm not kidding!

So .....what if you could have dessert for breakfast? Something sweet, delicious and decadent....but at the same time high protein. And it still fits with your fat loss/competition preparation nutrition plan?

Do I hear you scoff? Think I'm dreaming? Behold! My post-workout meal: chocolate souffle omelette with strawberry-ricotta filling.

I am a genius!

Saturday, September 13, 2008

Because I'm that kind of gal

On the subject of cheesecakes, I just found a great recipe site, Eggs on Sunday. And what led me there was this divine (and cute) recipe for little lemony ricotta cheesecakes.

Just thought I'd share.

Now I'm going back to browsing. And drooling.

Caffeine + dessert = heaven!

I'm on a culinary creative streak at the moment, and was idly wondering what a coffee cheesecake would turn out like. According to Bike Boy, it turned out excellent!

I took it out of the oven, put it down on the sink and there he was, spoon in hand, ready to tuck into it. He looked a little disappointed when I pointed out that it really needed to cool down first....

Friday, September 12, 2008

Progress - at last!

So, the house has been at a standstill for weeks now. There's been stuff happening, but it's pretty much been fixing up things that were done wrong in the first place and we were getting nowhere. It's a long and tedious story and I won't bore you with the details, but a couple of weeks ago, Bike Boy emailed the big boss of the building company and complained and made sure to mention the phrase: Building Commission. And lo! Things are happening.

Of course, we're three or four months behind schedule, which was not exactly factored into our financial plans. Add that to the three-month delay in releasing the land and another two-month delay in getting the building permit, thanks to bureucracy (stupidity?), and we're actually 9 months behind the timeframe we were originally working to.

Anyway, we have been promised that things will be moving from now on, and I expect to see battalions of tradesmen in and out of the place over the next couple of weeks. The end result should see this:

transformed into this:

And this:

to this:

And this:

to this (and yes, we're hoping somebody comes along and adds a pool outside.... Hey, I can dream!):


to this:

I'll be watching closely - those tradies are going to be sick of the sight of me.

Cookies...... *drools a little*

Chocolate, peanut butter and banana. In a cookie. And yes, it's healthy.....

What are you waiting for? Go check it out!

Thursday, September 11, 2008

"Bad" food?

I've had quite a few WTF? moments over recent months, when I've posted a recipe and have received a comment along the lines of: Yum! I'm definitely trying that after my comp. So I go back and look at the recipe and puzzle over which of the ingredients could possibly be considered "bad" for someone in the middle of prepping for a show.

And of course, there isn't anything bad there at all - after all I'm eating it, and I'm prepping for a show. Er.... Something isn't adding up here.

It seems that a lot of people consider the following foods as not being kosher in the bodybuilding world:

Whole eggs
Bread of any kind
Butter or oil
....and the list goes on.

One reason that I shied away from competing last year was that every bodybuilding coach or trainer I knew anything about seemed to prescribe punishing "diets". It appeared to me that there was no other way, and knowing that I've had a tendency in the past to binge, I was really reluctant to subject myself to ridiculous restrictions. Especially after having already done it pretty hard for 16 weeks in 2006, in my quest to improve my physique - and I wasn't even competing back then!

Then I had the good luck to "meet" Miss Lizzy. I read her blog and forum posts, we exchanged a few emails, spoke on the phone once or twice and I began to hope that it was possible to actually eat like a sane person and still achieve my goal of standing on stage in a teeny-weeny bikini.

Looking back, it really was a case of doubting what I already knew to be a proven method. I'd allowed myself to be influenced by what "most people" said, and overlooked the evidence of my own experience with Body-for-LIFE - which advocates the good old 40/40/20 macronutrient split. For Pete's sake! I transformed myself from flabulous to fabulous using that method! It was only when I began to mess with it that I had difficulties. D'oh!

So, I did what my head and heart told me was right and put myself in Liz's capable hands. And I've loved my nutrition plan - it gives me heaps of flexibility, it's something that I can follow forever and ever, Amen, AND I get to have raisin toast, juicy dates, potatoes, and even the odd caramel slice. Plus I can eat out without having a meltdown over what I'll order.

You know the best thing? I've barely even given a thought to how I'll cope after the comp. Because I don't expect to eat any differently to the way I'm eating now, except for increasing my calories over a period of weeks. I'm not fantasising about giant pizza pig-outs, or scoffing my own weight in cheesecake, or swimming in chocolate (well, OK, maybe that last one....but that's always been my fantasy! LOL). I look forward to my meals right now. Every. Single. Day.

I think where many people go wrong in the long term is that they know intellectually that they need to embrace a healthy eating plan FOR LIFE, but they don't actually accept it deep down. Every day is a constant struggle for them between what they think they should eat and what they want to eat. Lucky for me, those two things are identical most of the time. And when I want something that's not going to win the prize for world's healthiest food? I just eat it in moderation, enjoy it and then move on.

I'm sure I'll have a post-comp celebration, but then it will be back to my usual meals, like: Eggs with smoked trout and toast, linguine marinara, Arabic lamb salad, chicken curries, pancakes, sticky date muffins and so on. Most likely with some chocolate and wine thrown in once a week or so. We'll see; I may be completely wrong about this (I doubt it), but I'm having NO freakouts at all about nutrition. I have more important things to worry about right now - like learning my routine (Gah! Stupid, stupid un-co brain!).


Here's what I call a sane meal plan, 3-and-a-bit weeks out. This is today's lot:

Brekky: Porridge with banana, vanilla whey, yoghurt, honey
Snack: Buckwheat pancake stack
Lunch: Omelette with mushrooms, capsicum, sundried tomatoes, spinach, feta
Snack: Cheesecake with strawberries (new recipe, go check it out!)
Dinner: Chicken sagwaala, basmati rice
Snack: Fruit salad of banana, grapes and passionfruit

1449 Calories, made up of unprocessed, wholesome ingredients, minimal sugar or artificial stuff, lots of veggies and fruit and enough starch that I won't morph into my psycho alter-ego, Mrs Bitchy-Pants or her twin, Mrs Can't Cope With Anything.

Dammit!! I was EATING that!

Having Osler's Disease is not a big deal most of the time. I mean, there are plenty far, FAR worse conditions you can have. But I really hate it when I'm enjoying my breakfast of oats, vanilla whey, yoghurt and banana (with a little honey), and one of my more violent spontaneous nosebleeds decides to start without notice. Right into my bowl of porridge.

I was looking forward to those last few mouthfuls too.


Tuesday, September 09, 2008

Scales and reality

I was playing around with my various physique photos the other night, and pulled up some old shots from back in late March 2006. I thought it would be interesting to compare them to my recent progress pics, so here they are....

In the picture on the left, I'd just completed 12 weeks of a pretty gruelling diet. I ate mostly protein and veggies, with carbs restricted to one serve of oats, one piece of fruit and one serve of natural yoghurt each day. Man, I was sick of chicken by the end of those 12 weeks! I was also following a fairly heavy weights program, with cardio strictly limited to walking ONLY. Over that time I'd lost 10 or 11kg, and weighed in on this particular day at 50.8kg (about 112 pounds, for those who don't speak Metric).

The picture on the right was taken just over a week ago, 5 weeks out from my comp. This time I've gradually lost weight over a longer period, and have stuck pretty closely to 40% carbs, 40% protein and 20% fat - with a wide variety of foods included, as anyone who reads this blog would know.

The differences are probably a bit subtle for most people to pick up, but I have quite a lot more muscle on me now, and there's a real difference in my legs and my formerly flat butt. Yes, it's still a bit small, but hey - I'm a work in progress!

So, take a guess at how much I weigh in photo B.....(scroll down for the answer, but go on - take a guess first!)

Photo A _____ Photo B

Answer: I was sitting at 54.4kg in Photo B....about 120 pounds. Funny thing, in spite of the 8-pound difference, the same clothes fit me now as fit me back then (except for being less baggy in the bum - hurrah!). And my measurements are within 1-2cm of where I was over 2 years ago. But this time, I think I look a lot better. My skin is tighter, my muscles are fuller and I don't look depleted and exhausted. Not to mention that I can run 5km easily, and get through a tough spin workout without dying. I hated the loss of my CV fitness, and will never EVER be convinced to do that "walk only" thing again!

I know I feel a lot better. And if anyone suggests to me in future that I should follow a diet that restricts me to chicken, (occasional) beef or tuna, oats, protein shakes, 4 fruits and about 7 or 8 veggies, I will run screaming from the room.

Life without pancakes just isn't worth living. :p


P.S. Thanks to Coach for proving to me that I had the right idea all along with my training and nutrition. I really should learn to trust my own judgement.

Monday, September 08, 2008

Mission accomplished

I've made it to bedtime and have left no corpses in my wake. What's more, nutrition has remained right on-track. And I snuck in a nana nap this afternoon.

I'd call that success.

Personality #17

Yesterday another of my multiple personalities took over. Not Inner Fat Girl, that's for sure (although she was whispering in my ear that I needed chocolate. Bugger that at this late stage - I told her to sod off.). And my Inner Athlete was nowhere to be found. THIS persona was.... hmm.... let's call her my Inner Irrational Psycho-Bitch.

I had been blaming lack of sleep, since I'd had a couple of disturbed nights and was feeling remarkably tired. But this morning, in spite of sticking to plan all weekend, I've got a major fluid thing going on and the scales have swung up by over 1kg. So now I'm thinking maybe it's hormones....

Whatever. Food is organised, training is done and now I just have to get through the day without killing anyone. *sigh* Onward!

Saturday, September 06, 2008

Culinary tip

If you use red cabbage in a dish such as a stir-fry, best not to do it when you're going to have leftovers to reheat the next day.

Purple chicken is just plain WRONG.

What's for lunch?

How about spiced chicken salad?

This was a case of: what's in the fridge that needs to be used up? Bike Boy did the shopping this morning, and I found these things that weren't going to last much longer:

Some rocket leaves
Half a bag of baby spinach
The remains of a piece of feta I bought the other day
Part of a bunch of purple basil
Quarter of a green capsicum
And in the fruit bowl was an orange that was beginning to look a bit tired....

I was also given a heap of freshly picked lemons by a client, so I came up with something that would use all of those things, plus give me just the right amount of protein, carbs, fats and plenty of veggies.

The result was fan-bloody-tastic!

53.2 and dropping....

I've done a complete about-face from the messed-up emotional trainwreck I was a couple of weeks ago. I mean seriously, looking back, I was completely mental. But since my little carb-fest late last week (and the time off and extra sleep I allowed myself) I've gone ahead in leaps and bounds. Oh, and I threw in another Chocolate Dream as my treat meal this week....plus we went out for Thai food last weekend. Who says comp prep has to involve total deprivation?

All this week I've had energy to burn, I've felt calm and confident and there's been nary a glimpse of the usual 3:00pm nod-off-at-your-desk slump. Training is rocking, and I'm not starving at all - in fact, I'm trying some new recipes and enjoying my food. On top of all that, weight has dropped steadily, and OH MY LORD, I can see changes in my body almost from day to day! Last night, while doing posing practice, I kept stopping to admire the emerging muscles in my legs (I heart my spin bike soooooo much!).

And if I do feel a bit stressed, or sad, or have a momentary I can't do this thought, then I just slide my hand under my t-shirt and feel my abs. That always cheers me right up.

What? Everybody does that, don't they?

Thursday, September 04, 2008

My inner athlete?

The alarm goes off at 5:00am. Ugh. I hit snooze, turn over and try to grab an extra few minutes sleep. Mmm.... that's not happening, my mind is already off and running, turning over and over various things that need to be considered/done/figured out.

But it's COLD. And DARK. And I. Do. Not. Want. To. Get. Up.

I lie there and run through my legs program in my head. Then someone says out loud: Come, on time to go and kick some arse! Huh? Oh, that was me....

At 5:10am, I'm driving out of the garage. It's good to know that I can usually rely on one of the many people who live inside my head to motivate me. Not sure who that one actually was, but at least it wasn't IFG (Inner Fat Girl). She would have insisted on staying in bed and skipping training altogether. And probably having chocolate for breakfast.

Tuesday, September 02, 2008

Q & A

Krissie asked a question in the comments on my veggie tally post:

..... here is what I'd love to know: HOW do you do it? And no, this is not a "how" which is awe-struck or amazed or has its jaw on the floor or anything of the kind. It's a practical, efficient, busy "how" which wants to duplicate your success and learn. Don't say: "just chop/slice/shred the veg" and add it to your food.

The how wants to know: how does your grocery list look like? do you plan which and how many (and how much) veg you'll eat over the next week, or do you work with what you have in the house?

Most importantly, the how wants to know what happens with the veg, step by step, from the moment they leave the supermarket/market with you. Do they get dumped in the fidge and then scrambled for when you need them? Do they get cleaned, sorted, chopped, stored away in neat containers right after you get home? Do you do a veg washing & chopping session every morning/evening? The how will never ever believe you have the time to clean, peel, chop/slice/shred/whatever 6-10 different vegetables three times a day...

Wow, that’s about the longest question I’ve ever had…..

Um…I was a bit nonplussed by this one at first. I mean, I dunno, I just DO it. It’s what you do when you cook. Isn’t it?

OK, let’s break this down:

Shopping/Grocery list - Ours normally has a few things that we’ve run out of, and maybe some ingredients we want especially for a meal we plan to make. But the rest is just the stuff we always buy. I mean, we always, ALWAYS buy onions, broccoli, carrots, bananas, apples, mushrooms, capsicums, tomatoes, and a whole heap of other things. Then we pick up things that are in season and cheap, or just things that look good or make us go “ah! Parsnips! We’ll do some roasted veggies this weekend!”

So some of what we buy is for regular meals we make. Some is for a specific recipe we don’t make often or a new one that we’ve come across somewhere. And the rest is whatever inspires us at the shops.

Storage. We generally just unpack all the shopping (remember, there are 5 of us, and we shop every two weeks, so it’s a LOT of stuff!) and put it away. Veggies go in the crisper, just as they are. Fruit goes in the fruit bowl or the fridge. That’s it. Uncomplicated.

Preparation. This one varies a lot. It depends on the meal, the day, how much time we have, what’s in the fridge and so on. Probably the best I can do is run through a day like today:

Breakfast – I opened the fridge, got out 2 large mushrooms, a bag of pre-washed baby spinach, a tomato and half an onion that was leftover from the day before. I diced half the tomato and some of the onion, wrapped the rest and put it back in the fridge. I sliced the mushrooms. I grabbed a huge handful of spinach and put the rest back. Then I cooked them, set them aside, added my eggs while my toast cooked and voila! Breakfast in way less than 10 minutes.

Morning tea didn’t include veg today…it was between clients, and eaten on the run, so I was prepared with a cooler bag containing my cottage cheese/yoghurt/diced pear/blueberries and some Protein Crunch. And a spoon. Never forget your spoon. :o)

Lunch – THIS one I did some prep in advance, because I knew I’d be flying in the door starving around 1:00pm after training clients. So last night while I was making dinner, I chopped extra veggies – bok choy, red and green capsicum, red cabbage, some onion (which explains the leftover half onion), some coriander leaves – and put them in a covered container in the fridge. When I got home, I stir-fried some chicken, added the veg, some soy sauce and peanut butter and heated some leftover rice we had. Lunch took maybe 15 minutes to make today. Oh – and I cooked twice as much as I needed, so tomorrow’s lunch is already done, just needs reheating.

Afternoon tea – again, this was leftovers. Some slaw I made the other day, red cabbage, carrot, zucchini. I added a can of tuna and diced half an apple that was in the fridge and threw that in too. That took a minute or two.

Dinner – Fish, with a cauliflower dish I made yesterday (it made a lot), and a salad from ingredients in the fridge – rocket, red onion, orange segments and juice, red basil leaves, pepper. About 10-15 minutes, including cooking the fish.

So today was a mixture of pre-prepared, leftover and freshly made stuff. I always manage to use up leftovers. If you looked in my fridge, you’d often find half a banana, half an apple, half an onion, half a tomato…..those things always get used and sometimes dictate what I’m going to eat, because I hate to waste food.

I do take a few shortcuts – I buy pre-washed bags of salad leaves, and always have some individual packs of frozen veg in the freezer. I keep sundried tomatoes on hand (not the oil-packed ones in jars), and we usually have canned tomatoes, chickpeas, straw mushrooms and baby corn in the pantry. So, even if the fridge is looking grim at the end of the week, we’ll have enough veg to make do.

I honestly don’t see taking a few minutes to chop some veggies as a problem – I mean, you have to cook, and that’s just part of the deal. If you’re smart about it, you can save yourself some time, but if I had to cook every meal from scratch, it wouldn’t be a problem. I’d just approach it using the same rule I always apply for good nutrition, training and getting kids out the door every day with lunches, homework, bus tickets and so on: preparation.

As the saying goes: When you fail to plan, you plan to fail.

P.S. I also took the time while preparing dinner to make a batch of zucchini pancakes, which will be the base for my afternoon snacks for the next two days (served with cottage cheese and a home-made salsa - which I also made today). Grated zucchini & carrot in these....yum!

Monday, September 01, 2008

God, is that the time already?

T-minus 32 days and counting....

I had Bike Boy take some progress photos on the weekend, and when I downloaded them I sat in front of the computer, going hmmm. I was feeling a mild sense of panic, because CRAP, my butt needs to do some shrinking in only 5 weeks. And my posing sucks.

And then of course I had to email them to Sara, with an accompanying paranoid bunch of rantings, and received in return a good dose of common sense, reassurance and support (which is, after all, her duty as friend, sponsor and backstage helper, right?). And, you know what? The more I looked at the photos, the more good things I could see. So right now, I'm actually feeling quietly confident of not disgracing myself onstage. Even the posing has improved overnight - probably because the photos have helped to highlight what I was doing wrong... Curse you, inflexible shoulders and stiff thoracic spine!

I've realised something too: my level of confidence (or lack of it) is directly related to the amount of carbohydrate I've consumed. Must remember that and stick to my nutrition protocols.

Note to self: Low-carb diets really DO make you crazy. ;o)