Friday, October 31, 2008

Recipe alert!

I had a hankering for lamb tonight and invented these Greek-style lamb burgers. They turned out bloody delicious, and even got the thumbs-up from Bike Boy and Number One Son.

Too good to be true?

Being a total attention whore*, I emailed a couple of comp photos and a brief message to the office staff magazine, asking if they'd be interested in a sports story with a difference for one of their lightweight "look what our people are up to" stories. They were - one of the writers rang to interview me a few days later.

When I arrived at work on Monday, I noticed a few sideways glances and kind of sizing-up looks and checked to see if I had toilet paper stuck to my shoe or something. Then I remembered...oh yeah. Monday is the day the staff mag gets emailed to all 29,000-odd staff. I actually got a lot of positive comments and curious questions, plus a number of emails, mostly from people I've never met, and all along the lines of "wow - congratulations, well done".

I also got a lot of puzzled looks and "where have you been hiding those muscles?" kind of questions. Just shows that most people can't see what's in front of their noses....


Today, Bike Boy was approached by someone in his area - yes, we work for the same stodgey government department, just different locations - who asked "is that your wife in the magazine this week?" He replied that yes, it was. (This is the point where I informed him that the correct response would have been "Yes, that's my totally HOT wife" :p) So this guy, who goes to the gym regularly and has ambitions of getting huge, starts asking questions. Guess what the first one was?

Does she take supplements? *sigh* The usual quest for the magic pill.... Bike Boy replies in the affirmative and adds: fish oil and vitamin C. Huh. Not the answer he was looking for, I bet. Where's the creatine stack, the bucket of mega-mass-gainer, the nitric oxide, the fat-burners? LOL.

Next question: How often does she train? Reply: 6 days a week.
So, for how many hours a day? Bike Boy must have been having trouble hiding his smirk by now as he tells the guy: An hour, sometimes less.

I wonder if he even believed any of it? It does sound too good to be true. At least, if you get your training and nutritional advice from the blokey bodybuilding mags anyway. Might have given him cause to go back and take a look at his nutrition and training though.

.....Nah, probably not.


*The real reason I did the story was to show people that even if you're a fat, unfit public servant who's never exercised in your life, it really is never too late to change.

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Flat out!

Gah! I'd like more time for blogging, but I'm barely finding enough hours for sleeping at the moment. Here's where I'm at:

Training - all good. I'm adjusting to the different pace and torturing my thoracic region with lots of mobilisation work. Ouch! I've not trained at the gym once since my comp, it's all been at-home training. Go, the spin bike! :o) Oh wait - I did do ONE tready workout last week....

Nutrition - after a bumpy couple of weeks, I'm travelling just fine. Weight spiked in a BIG way, which was totally expected, due to the amounts of chocolate, ice cream, wine and toast that I was shovelling into my gob. The stress levels have dropped quite a bit, I've adjusted my attitude to maximum Total Badass setting, and these past 4 days have seen a Wow! Look at that! drop of 2.3kg on the scales. Much better....

Everything else - the house is moving along FAST, and we should have our handover in just over two weeks. We hope. Number One Son turns 21 on Monday and I have a party to organise. Better do something about that.... Cup Week is looming and I actually have my outfit organised for the Oaks. AND, after a killer attack of PMS on Sunday/Monday (something that rarely bothers me), my sanity has returned and I'm no longer homicidal. Much to the relief of my family.

That's me updated - now I have to get one child to school, one to the orthodontist, go pay the rent (for the last time, I hope!) and get myself to the office. Last day till after Cup Week - I start leave today. Whoopee!!

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

House update

I've spent the past few weeks worrying about whether the feature wall colours I picked were going to look great, or utterly horrible.... I vote for great.

Master bedroom. The colour is barberry, which is a dull, soft olive green:

No feature wall here, but I love the retreat window so much I had to take a picture now it's all stained and painted...

Family room. This is Castle Keep. Bold? You bet! The end wall with the long window is getting the same treatment:

My studio. The feature wall is Indian Turquoise - yes, it IS bright, and I love it! The plan is to cover the beige wall on the right with full-length mirrors. Our ceilings are two-point-three-something metres high (2390?), so we'll see what the cost comes out to before I get too excited about that idea....

The boys' rooms might be getting feature walls too, thanks to our very accommodating painter, who loves his work. :o) He's busy talking me into a metallic effect paint in a dark colour. We'll see...

Kids' bathroom. The photo's a bit dark (couldn't be arsed fiddling with exposure settings to compensate for the light coming through the window....sorry).

The ensuite...both bathrooms are the same pale green colour, and have the same tiles except for the splashbacks

The most expensive tile item was these glass feature tiles in the kids' bathroom (below). Good thing we only needed four of them. They've come up a bit beige and bland in the end, which is disappointing - they're actually a pale translucent green. Maybe once the mirror's installed and my darker green glass accessories added, that will change the look a bit.

I'm loving the taps though - I couldn't actually remember what they looked like, it was so long ago that we chose them.

Shower (obviously). Ours is bigger and will have a massive dumper shower head, coming from the ceiling. Same tiles though.

Shower feature tiles:

The painter was doing some work on the outside today, and the render colour should be applied sometime this week. This is how it looked last weekend, all unpainted:

The plasterers were back today to fix their dodgy work, so it looks like the painter won't be finishing the interior today. Hopefully the plumbing and electrical fit-offs will be done by the end of the week though, then the final bits and pieces and touch-up painting can be done next week.

Fingers crossed.

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Because you asked....

To save me answering the numerous "when's the house going to be finished?" questions I keep getting, I've added a countdown gadget under my blog header, just so y'all know where things are at.

Of course, that number may go UP instead of down, the way things are going.... *Harrumph!*

Here's a very quick update:

Tiling is all done. Staining of timber doors and windows is all done. Interior painting should be finished today (yes, many tradies actually work on Sundays) and the painter is a gem - one of the few tradesmen we've had who gives a shit about his work. My colour selections look completely awesome - can't wait to see the feature walls. They're not what you'd call shy colours.... :o) Exterior painting will probably be done tomorrow - there's not a lot, some render, some weatherboard, some small areas of eaves, a beam or two and a few trims. The electrician and plumber are booked for this week to do the fit-offs. Shower screens, mirrors and the glass kitchen splashback should be measured up and ordered about now. I think.

On the downside, some of the plaster isn't up to scratch - now that it's been painted, the dodgy areas really show up - so that will be pointed out at the site meeting we're having in the morning. And the interior finish of the garage leaves a LOT to be desired.... There are a few other odds and ends that need doing/fixing/replacing, but it's getting there.

We might be in by the end of November, but then again, maybe not. And I'm being as relaxed as I possibly can about the whole thing. Que sera, sera and all that.

Saturday, October 25, 2008

Recipe alert!

This was dinner quite a few days ago, but I've only just got around to blogging it... been busy, you know!

Thai Beef Salad. Mmm-mmm!

Oops! Where did that ball go?

The past week has been a mix of a couple of good days, a couple of OK days .....and then there are the days I'd just prefer to forget. I seem to have had this Jekyll/Hyde thing going on when it comes to food. And just a smidge with training too.

Yesterday was a new low. I mean, toast for lunch and chocolate and cookies for snacks? What kind of insanity is THAT? Breakfast and dinner were the only redeeming meals of the day - and dinner was only a good choice because I didn't choose it, I left it up to Bike Boy.

My biggest issue seems to be exhaustion. I just cannot shake this extreme tiredness - and it's not just physical. My brain is tired too. I can't figure it out. Sure, there's a lot going on right now, but what's new about that? It's messing with my head and seriously disrupting my eating plans too.

So, I've decided to quit trying to work out the why and just get on with things. Sometimes thinking just makes everything more complicated and you can analyse a situation to death, tie yourself in knots over it worrying, getting all anxious and guilt-laden, and STILL be no better off.

My main priority at the moment is sleep: lovely, lovely sleep. Last night, I managed an uninterrupted seven-and a half hours (...bliss). I got out of bed at 6:30 with a new just get it done attitude, ate my standard brekky of oats and vanilla whey and headed off to train a client outdoors. Today we were training over at Westerfolds Park, which I love - there's plenty of play equipment, benches and the like to use, plus the scenery is breathtaking. And if you're lucky, you might glimpse a roo or two.

I was finished by 9:00am, and took advantage of being outdoors to get my run out of the way before it warmed up. It was great to be running somewhere different. I only got distracted once by the view - I had to stop to check out the 'rapids', which were a little disappointing. With Melbourne's current level of rainfall, the old Yarra isn't all that rapid. :o( Anyway, it was a good run - apart from the one bit I walked, because a mountain goat, I am NOT. That hill leading up to the old manor house is a DOOZY.

So, training is done, food is organised for most of the day and I'm feeling..... well, a lot better. I plan to do a little work, some cleaning up around here, go check on the painter over at our house, and maybe squeeze in a nap. Then I think a walk before dinner.....

Balance is a funny thing - you may achieve it for a while, but everyone goes through times when one or more things get a bit off-kilter. Competition prep invariably means dedicating a LOT of time and attention to food and training, so other things in your life have to take a secondary position. That's a conscious choice that competitive athletes make, at least if they're really serious. But once the comp is over, things have to be adjusted - and it takes some time to do that.

It's natural to have nutrition and/or training slip to second, third (or last) place on your priority list for a while, while you dedicate more time to family, social activities or even neglected housework. But at some point you have to pull it back into line and find your balance again. It's kind of like a juggling act. You can drop one or two balls for a while, but eventually you have to get them all back into play, otherwise you're not really juggling, are you? Tossing one or two balls around haphazardly is something else entirely.

Today, my nutrition ball is staying up in the air.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

And... I'm going to bed, nice and early. So nighty-night, and thanks for all the support.

A bit of blog lerve always makes you feel better. :o)

Winning, not whining

Rather than dwell on the fact that right now is the first time today I've been able to do something I want to do, rather than the million and one things I needed to do, or that my eyes are hanging out of my head (and it's only a bit after 9:30pm) here's my "win list" for the day:

1. Food has been totally on-track. Well, there was that one triangle of Toblerone, but that tiny amount hardly even counts, right?

2. I woke up feeling dog-tired this morning, AND it was raining. I could have used that as an excuse to blow off my run, but instead I muttered "it's not raining at the GYM". I then hauled my butt out of bed at 5:15am and trekked off to do it on the tready.

3. I had time up my sleeve when I finished my intervals, so did some brisk incline walking for a bonus 15 minutes.

4. Through a series of coincidences, I have the opportunity to help a woman who's in dire need of some assistance with mindset and motivation. It's one of those "meant to be" stories: she saw an article in a magazine that she never usually buys, about a woman who lost weight with the help of a fantastic online trainer ...who happened to be my good friend Debbie Rossi. She contacted Debs, who saw that she was from Melbourne and rang me to check if I was able to do some one-on-one work with her. After getting the woman's permission to pass her details onto me, I read her email and discovered that she works for the same employer as me. In the same building. On the same floor. I'm really looking forward to giving her a hand up on her journey - she has a few challenges ahead, but I'm sure she'll make it. :o)

5. Even though I was feeling under pressure, I made a tasty dinner tonight, packed the leftovers for Bike Boy's lunch tomorrow, plus threw together some pancakes for one of my snacks tomorrow, AND a batch of mini frittatas for future meals. And I have all my food packed, ready to toss in my "lunchbox" in the morning. I love it when I'm well organised.

6. I took my supplements! Hallelujah! Haven't done that in a while.....

7. Even though I procrastinated madly, I actually did get my Pilates workout done.

8. Tomorrow I'm having a chocolate souffle for breakfast. :o)

A not-post

I'm just grabbing a few seconds to not update my blog. Which really makes no sense...

I'm sleep-deprived, overworked and seriously struggling and I prefer not to blog when life gets like this. I hate whiney posts, and I'm not about to indulge in a big old fun-suck. I can't even stand myself, so I'm not about to inflict my sucky outlook on the internet. Let my poor family suffer alone. :o)

I'll be back when I catch up on some sleep and my attitude turns around. Let's hope that's sooner rather than later.

Saturday, October 18, 2008

Duck, drinking and DOMS

Last night's dinner was a lovely experiment - I had a pomegranate in the fridge and didn't quite know what to do with it till I came across a recipe for a warm duck salad. I didn't have any duck, but I figured it would go well with lamb. So I give you: warm LAMB salad with pomegranate and baby beetroot


Living on the edge of the Yarra Valley has its advantages. Tomorrow I'm off to tour the Open Cellars of Nillumbik. I've been to a few of these wineries, but sadly, there are several I drive past regularly and have never crossed the threshold. I should be really ought to support local businesses, after all.

I shan't be misbehaving - I volunteered to drive my sister and my mother, so they are free to drink as much as they like. I shall virtuously adopt the sip-and-spit approach.

Bike Boy is off to do the Around the Bay ride, and so is my brother in law, so we womenfolk need to keep ourselves occupied. :o) Actually, I'll be on my bike in the morning, getting in some training before I head off for some R & R. I'm not doing anything insane like 250km though. Maybe 20km.....


This week's training has involved several spin workouts, some mobility work and Amy Bento's Bootcamp. I've enjoyed being back in the groove, and the changes have been very welcome. I always love new workouts!

DOMS has been fairly rampant, which I don't really mind. I DO mind excruciating calf cramps that wake me from a deep sleep though.... I turned over in bed this morning and stretched my right leg out, only to start screaming in pain. It was THAT kind of cramp. Ugh!


Right, that's me updated. Now it's late and I'm off to bed. The rest of the filing and bookwork that I'm still ploughing through can wait.

Friday, October 17, 2008

Blog.... blog? What's a blog?

I have been a busy little bee - as you all can probably tell from the lack of blogging. Thank goodness my energy levels are back to normal, so I've been able to cope quite well with being back at the office, catching up on my backlog of work here at FitBodies Central (a.k.a. the spare bedroom) and kicking my own butt with training. Not to mention inventing and blogging some new recipes, keeping an eye on the tiler and other tradies over at our almost-completed house, getting through the biggest pile of washing you ever saw, driving kids to school, picking kids up from school, from work etc, and preparing my food each day.

Now that I've written all that down, I'm kind of thinking: hmm, I really HAVE been busy. How do I DO that? Oh, and I've been working madly getting all my records up to date, hunting down interest payments, collecting scrappy receipts and finding that elusive share dividend statement (where did I put that last October?) because....... it's TAX TIME again! Oh joy....

So, the point of this post? Um... excuse me for not fulfilling my daily blog quota?

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Post-comp report

It's been a busy week-and-a-bit since my big moment onstage. The aftermath of competing has been mostly what I expected, with no real fallout, but I suppose it's never entirely smooth sailing. Anyway, it's been interesting....

Being a little relaxed with food turned into being a LOT relaxed as the week went on. I was still enjoying my veggies and a lot of my standard healthy-but-delicious meals, but there were a few too many treats and the odd glass of wine sneaking in. I slacked off on the food tracking front too, just feeling the need to have a break from recording everything for a few days. On Saturday I had several glasses of vino, which (as usual) led to my eating a whole lot of extra food I really didn't need, and left me with a slight hangover on Sunday. That was IT.... I'd had enough!

My Inner Fat Girl was trying to get my attention. I thought I'd buried that biatch! Seems she still had some life left in her and she was really pissing me off.

So I got up Monday morning and stepped on the scales, fully expecting a big jump. And I wasn't disappointed... about 4kg had attached itself to me like magic in only 9 days. OK, not like magic; more like a whole lot of fluid, thanks to too much sugar, too much processed crap and some unaccustomed alcohol.

Did I freak out? Was I upset? Nope, not in the least. Luckily I've learned a lot about how my body reacts to changes in nutrition and I seem to have grasped the fact that the scales are NOT judging me, they're just telling me how much I weigh. Breakthrough, much? I also know that fluid gains disappear almost as quickly as they happen, as long as I eat sensibly and drink plenty of water. No, wine is not an adequate substitute....

The mirror tells me that I look pretty much the same as I did a week ago, just a little puffy around the middle. Not so much that anyone else is likely to notice though. And this morning, I'm down a kilo already. I feel good; no guilt, no regrets, no wailing and gnashing of teeth. It's only a bit of fluid, after all, and maybe a teensy bit of fat.

My new goals are set, I have a new training plan happening, and food is back to normal. I'm aiming to keep it interesting, because otherwise I get bored, my attention wanders and shiny chocolate wrappers beckon. So watch out for more new recipes - I have a swag of ideas I want to ty out.

Today went like this:

Breakfast: Vanilla buckwheat waffles, raspberries, yoghurt and sugar-free syrup
Snack: Steak, potato and a chunk of raw carrot. Yes that was a bit weird...leftovers, you know....
Lunch: Chicken and veggie stir-fry. Masses of veg, with coconut oil and peanut butter and some soy sauce.
Snack: Yoghurt, raspberries, Protein Crunch, Crunchola
Snack: Two big, fat, juicy dates. That dealt with a sweet craving nicely!
Dinner: Thai-style fish cakes, basmati rice, pickled cucumber, big pile of mixed frozen veggies

Tomorrow is all planned and packed too. More waffles, more fish cakes, some of my new cookies...plenty to keep me satisfied. And to make sure my Inner Fat Girl stays well and truly buried.

Recipe alert!

I felt like fish for dinner tonight, but not any old boring fish.... so I invented a Thai-style fish cake. Yummy!

I've also done a variation on my cookie recipe. These are spiced vanilla cookies with cranberries. I haven't taste-tested them yet, so will have to report back on that one tomorrow after I try them out. They smell gooood! Might taste like shite, but I doubt it....


The cookies were GREAT! I loved the cranberries and cinnamon together. These are a bit soft, and they soften up further if you manage not to eat them all at once, even when cooled properly and stored in an airtight container. I don't mind that - they're more like a brownie in consistency though, so if you're after crunchy cookies, these aren't it.

Monday, October 13, 2008

The difference two years can make

Top: Phat Camp, April 2006 (weight - around 52-53kg). Following the world's most boring diet, carb-depleted, and scrawny.

Bottom: Phat Camp, March 2008 (weight - around 57-58kg). Eating masses of good food, nice condition and definitely carrying more muscle. Lookie! I have shoulders!

Looks like my eat more and train your arse off strategy is working.

Friday, October 10, 2008

Technology - it's great when it works!

The weekend was great, but took up a LOT of my time. Then I was exhausted and useless for most of Monday, and I've had to do quite a bit of running around over the week too. In between, I've been working my butt off, catching up on client emails and programs.

After composing several lengthy messages and spending ages creating some fancy attachments, I discover yesterday that Hotmail (the most paranoid email provider in the universe) has decided to reject Every. Single. One. Of. My. Freaking. Messages. Gah!!

Apparently it's just having a hissy fit and doesn't want to accept anything from my ISP - which, by the way, is a long-established and perfectly respectable internet and email provider. I tried removing attachments and re-sending. Nope. Taking out images. Nope. Using my personal email account. Nope, nope.

After banging my head repeatedly on the desk and sobbing a bit - it was after 11:00pm by this stage - I remembered my old GMail account. But could I recall my login and password? Uh.....

This morning, I suddenly remembered the login details and got into GMail, to discover 523 junk email messages waiting for me. I kid you not.

I think this actually might work. Meanwhile, my ISP better sort this crap out - I have rather a lot of clients and newsletter subscribers who use Hotmail, and this is very inconvenient.

Looks like I'm going to have a busy day......

Thursday, October 09, 2008

Next on the crazy woman's agenda:

I'm more than happy with how I shaped up for my first attempt at competing. I was satisfied with my overall condition - I did NOT want to be one of those women who over-diets and looks all scrawny and stringy. Ugh. I also did not want to be the one with the big fat butt and thighs, about whom everyone in the audience is whispering "Tsk. She shouldn't be up there". Luckily my prep was spot-on and I came up OK. Actually, there was no luck about it - Coach knows what she's doing, and I followed instructions; that's all there is to it.

As expected, I had some droop happening around my rear (HATED doing the rear poses for that reason!), but I'm confident I can improve that with another 12 months of hard work. Some extra muscle ought to give me some lift....

I also have a physiological issue with flared ribs, which I can do very little about. A bit of muscle added to my abs and maybe some tricks with posing might disguise it a bit, but I suspect I'm always going to lose points for looking too "ribby". I'm always being accused of "sucking my gut in" but I'm absolutely not - it's just the way my skeleton is made, so critics: get over it.

The thing that probably let me down the most was my posing. I had only one lesson with
Jo Rogers, and she did her best with me, but there's only so much you can do in one lesson. I practised my arse off, but I had nobody here to help me - I know no competitors who live nearby, and there isn't a posing coach within a reasonable distance (that I'm aware of), who I'd trust to help me. My stiff shoulders and almost fused thoracic spine make it difficult for me to contort my upper body into the required position for the symmetry round. My crooked hips also made it hard for me to judge whether I was standing straight or not - I mostly wasn't.

I'm not disappointed, and I'm not being hard on myself. I'm just assessing my performance as objectively as I can, and figuring out what needs more work. It's all fixable, or at least able to be improved on to some degree.

Onto my new goals. These are the things I'll be concentrating on:

1. Rehab my shoulder issues. I have some mobilisation work to do, rotator cuff strengthening, and I'm backing off the chest training for a bit, since my pecs are tighter than a ....really tight thing. It's not exciting, there are no big weights involved, and I'll look like a retard doing it at the gym with 1-2kg DBs. But that's what's required, so I'll be taking a big dose of Suck It Up Princess and getting on with it.

2. Put some size on my hamstrings, and stre-e-e-e-etch them. They vewwy, vewwy tight!! Also add more size to my glutes. Those, I've improved a lot already, thanks to
Liz's nasty lower body training, but there's more to be done. I'm going to be bootylicious, Baby!

3. Pick a fun run and a bike ride and train for them. Still thinking about these – at the moment I'm leaning towards the
Sussan run in December, but it might end up being early in the New Year before I get on my bike. I have to practice those gear changes, and I'd like to get me some proper shoes and clips. Perhaps Amy's Ride..... And Selina, I do NOT swim (unless it’s with my head above water and a cocktail in one hand), so I definitely won't be doing a triathlon.

4. Do a LOT of work on my posing. I need to pop my shoulders up and my lats way, way out in the symmetry round. My rear double bicep pose needs work too. Gah! There’s so much to work on there, let’s just move along…. The shoulder stuff (see #1 above) should help a lot with posing anyway. Also, I'll grab any opportunity I can to get some professional help.

5. Stretch more in general. Muscles are not meant to impersonate steel bands.

6. Gear up in June/July to begin prep for another September or October comp. This time I want seriously scary ab definition, and a tighter bottom half, so I'll probably need to be a little bit leaner. With more muscle, that ought to work out just fine. Note to self: There is no trophy for "Most Emaciated".

That should keep me busy! Oh, and along the way, I'll be moving house, setting up my personal training studio and working on taking the business in some new directions. I might have time to breathe around November 2009.


Right now, I'm madly working to catch up on a backlog of emails and programs - I'm getting through them and expect to be all up to date by tomorrow, guys, so don't panic if you're still waiting to hear from me....

The inside goss

For those of you who've ever wondered what it's like to be a backstage slapper, Sara spills the beans over on her blog.

Wednesday, October 08, 2008

I busted my arse and all I got was this lousy trophy

I'm's a pretty nice trophy!

I also got a tub of instant oats with whey in apple-cinnamon flavour (keep forgetting to try those!) and a heeooooge t-shirt. It might fit Bike Boy.....

The ANB provided a pretty nice t-shirt, plus sample bags with a few goodies. And I got a medal. Now all I need is a chest to pin it on.


Tuesday, October 07, 2008


Progress is a funny thing. Sometimes we all lose sight of the big picture.

This is my reminder to myself of how far I've come:

Back to normal

I'm sure I must have shrunk a dress size after scrubbing off all the layers of Dream Tan. We started off a bit tentative on Saturday, but went nuts with the stuff on Sunday. The end result was good - next time there'll be no pussy-footing around, I'll trowel it on.

I had a nice relaxed day yesterday, eating mostly normally, with some chocolate and champagne thrown in - a girl's gotta celebrate! I had two tiny morsels from Koko Black that were left from Saturday, and after dinner, I got into some M & Ms. Pretty restrained, really. Today I just feel like eating well - my body seems to want veggies, so that's what it's going to get. There may be a chocolate souffle on the menu too though. :p

Bike Boy's running off to Brisbane today. Or Sydney. Or somewhere.... can't really remember. My attention span has been a little short lately. Anyway, he'll be back tomorrow night. The kids are back at school, and I'm planning to catch up on some work, and some sleep. The washing machine is working overtime, and the weekend is beginning to seem like a distant memory.

This is a funny thing - I posted some photos from the comps on my Facebook profile and I'm suddenly being bombarded with friend requests from men that I've never heard of. Hmm.....

I'm about to go give Coach a call and see what she's up to. She threatened me with a one on one training session while she's in town, and after slobbing around yesterday, I just feel like a good old-fashioned thrashing in the gym.

Thanks to all of you for your lovely comments - there's nothing quite like a bit of blog lurve. :o)

Monday, October 06, 2008

INBA Figure Masters: routines and presentation

For those who couldn't be there, here's some video footage Bike Boy shot on Saturday night.

PLEASE excuse my deer-in-the-headlights expression during my routine. I was bloody terrified!!

Comp photos

There's so much to say about the weekend, but I know everyone's waiting for photos, so I'll get some up now and be back later with a full report.

I do have to say a HUGE thank you to a few people though. Without such a great team behind me, I couldn't have got up on that stage looking as presentable as I did.

First, to Sara and Jase, not only for their sponsorship and for providing me with awesome Sana Direct products, but for coming all the way from Christchurch, just to support little old me. Jase took some (several hundred) amazing photos and Sara was the BEST backstage slapper any competitor could want. She now has totally mad skills with applying Dream Tan. :o) She also refrained from rolling her eyes (too much) at my ridiculous paranoia about being late, which resulted in my demanding that everything be done 3 hours ahead of time... LOL.

Then of course, there's Coach - Liz Nelson, who prepares athletes for competition the SANE way. I could never in a million years have followed the restrictive diets and crazy training schedules that many competitors sign up for. Well, maybe I could have, but it would have been at the expense of my mental health, and probably my family's too. When I decided to compete, I knew that Liz was the only coach I was prepared to put my trust in, and my judgement was spot-on. Seriously - when your comp prep nutrition plan has room for Indian food, chocolate souffles, Tim Tam Cornettos and Lindor Balls, how could you not love it? And it was fantastic to have Ms Lizzy there in person on Sunday to tell me my muscles were still a bit flat and I needed to eat MORE CHOCOLATE. Yeah!

The fabulous Jo Rogers, of Style On Stage worked some kind of magic with my bikini. That tiny piece of clothing transformed my sad flat chest and not-so-tight butt into something pretty acceptable. Plus it's just gorgeous. And beautifully made. She also did a great job with my routine (which I sooooo did not do justice to!), and taught me the basics of posing. Next time, I'm going to make sure to spend a lot more time with Jo, working on my posing, even if I have to fly to the Gold Coast to manage that.

And finally, I was very lucky to have Bike Boy behind me, taking care of things at home, cooking me good food, and just generally supporting me. Not to mention helping me with my routine on Friday night when my poor exhausted and slightly carb-depleted brain simply would NOT remember the moves. OK, so it was more like bossing me around and MAKING me go over and over the whole thing....but that was exactly what I needed. And then he turned up to both shows and sat through them, even though I know he finds them excruciatingly boring. Now that is true love.

So, thanks to Team Kek for everything - you guys are the best support crew anyone could want.

Enough's some photos:

Saturday (INBA)

It was a tough position, being placed next to Karen muscles look positively puny next to her.

I was really happy with my front double bicep pose. I knew my biceps were a strong point, but look at those quads! Spin bikes rock!

Side tricep - not too shabby.

Abs & thighs was the pose I was least confident about, but something just "clicked" while I was practicing backstage. Not too bad at all.

Sunday (ANB)

Some backstage shots:

With Coach. LOL - I look like I'm made of chocolate. Perhaps I overdid the Kit Kats and Lindor Balls......

Pumping up

The photo's a bit small and a bit dark, but I have seriously scary shoulder veins. LOVE 'em!

You know you're working hard when you start pulling ugly faces....

My muscles came in fuller and I was overall looking better on Sunday, except for the fact that my slightly sensitive digestive system staged a major objection to the sugar overload and I had some pain and bloating - that gave me a slightly distended tummy and smoothed out my abs, which was not the look I was going for, dammit! Legs and upper body looked awesome though. :o)

The lineup - there were 7 of us altogether, and some tough competition:

The girl in black won first place. The woman next to her, in red, was 58 years old!

There you go - I'm off now; going to jump in the shower to scrub off the remaining Dream Tan (that stuff sticks like superglue!!), wash all the hairspray out of my hair, and then finish washing all my clothes. Then I may have a nap.... two 1:30am nights in a row are way too much for this girl!

Sunday, October 05, 2008

Day 2 begins

The INBAs was a great experience - I hate, hate, HATE the split show format though. We had to register at 10:00am and my division was scheduled to be onstage for prejudging at 2:45, and THEN we had to hang about to front up again at 9:00pm. That's a very long and tiring day! Especially when you've been awake since 5:30am.

So what did I do in between? Well, we went out for an afternoon snack, and I found a place that served breakfast till 4:00pm. Anyone who knows me, knows how much I love breakfast! So I had 3 slices of raisin toast, with butter and jam plus a hot chocolate with marshmallows. Some real food went down very nicely. Then after a quick call from Coach, I got permission to pay a visit to Koko Black - yeah, Baby! So three delicious little treats were eaten. Those were very welcome after nothing but rice cakes with honey and bloody jelly snakes since 9:30am.

Then we still had about 3 hours to fill in till I needed to get ready for the show. It's just a bit too far to go home and come back again, so Bike Boy, Sara, Jase and I went to the movies. I thought about snuggling down in the comfy seat and grabbing a quick nap, but The Bank Job was pretty good and held my interest.

The routine round, which had been freaking me out for weeks, went well - on Friday night I wasn't confident I even knew the thing, so decided to run through it....and went completely blank. I seriously could NOT remember large chunks of it. Gah! Bike Boy got me to rehearse small sections at a time and I eventually felt as though I knew it. In the end, once I got onstage, I had no trouble with it - still could have performed it better, but I didn't stumble or forget anything. And it was a relief to discover that even international champion Karen Flaherty gets stage fright over the routine round.

The other competitors were fantastic, offering advice, lending each other things, and one lovely lady who had some hairdressing skills even did my hair for me. Sara was an awesome "backstage slapper", and did a fab job on my tan and makeup and with just generally preventing me from hyperventilating over every little thing.

We didn't stay till the end of the show, but got home late anyway and I was cooking myself a frittata/omelette thingie at 11:30pm! I was just hanging out for some real food; something savoury, with carbs and protein and most of all with some veggies!

It was lovely to finally meet Linda in the flesh yesterday - she trekked over to see the pre-judging and made a point of saying hello. We've "known" each other for a few years now, but have never managed to meet before, despite living in the same city. Unfortunately, I was in desperate need of food, so didn't get to chat to her for long. :o(

I'm leaving in a about half an hour to register for today's show, and I'm looking forward to doing it all again. Can't wait to see Miss Lizzy, who flew down from Brissie late last night after the INBA show up there. I'm also looking forward to catching up with Amanda, who's making the trip from Canberra this morning - we haven't clapped eyes on each other since Phat Camp in March and we've both shaped up quite a bit since then. :o)

There are lots of other people I hope to see today too - so if you're there and you spot me in the auditorium, please come and say hi!

Photos WILL be forthcoming, I promise!


Thanks for all your well-wishes - they're much appreciated.

Today went well - I felt pretty good onstage, once I got over the initial nerves, and I had fun with it. My posing still needs a little work, but I feel more confident now about tomorrow. I did bring home a trophy - third place....but there were only three of us in Masters over 40. Still, it's a trophy. :o)

I actually got Coach's permission to pay a visit to Koko Black and had a couple of little treats, with some more in the pantry for tomorrow. :p

Will post photos as soon as I can, but that may be Monday. Tonight I have to get my tired self into bed, and tomorrow night I plan to be out celebrating!

Friday, October 03, 2008

Harsh sentence

It dawned on me yesterday as I was writing the date on something that it was exactly 29 years to the day since Bike Boy and I first clapped eyes on each other.

I pointed out this momentous milestone to him last night, and his reply? Gee, if I'd murdered you, I'd be out by now.

The old romantic!

All set!

This week has been a blur of "stuff to do", but I've somehow made it though to Friday night without any major disasters. I was struggling a bit today though - tired, low on patience, a bit cold. Uh-oh. Classic symptoms of "your crazy carb-tolerant metabolism wants more fuel, PRONTO"

Luckily Coach came to my rescue with some extra rations this arvo, so I stuffed down a banana, gave up trying to work (handicapped by a brain that just would not function) and put myself to bed. Two hours later: muuuuch better thanks! The work got done, dinner got eaten, and I feel as though I'm organised.

If there's anything I've forgotten, I have Sara at my beck and call tomorrow to go get it for me. :o)

Final coats of tan get applied in the morning, my bag is packed, I have my rations of chicken and sweet potato, my rice cakes and honey, my jelly snakes, all prepared and ready to go.

My main mission tomorrow is to forget that there's a Koko Black in Camberwell, just up the road from the venue. I can't even go for a post-comp celebration - don't want to front up looking like a puffer fish on Sunday for comp number two!

The vampire-slayer approach

Hey! Yes, you!

You there, the all-or-nothing type, sitting there eating Tim Tams because you're having a Bad Day. You slept in, missed your workout, then the scales showed a GAIN of 500g, and then the traffic was bad and you were late for work and your day's all gone to hell, and then someone at the office waved the choc biscuits under your nose. *sigh* So you may as well write the whole damn day off and start over tomorrow. Or Monday.

Skwigg posted a totally awesome piece today - you need to read this!

Thursday, October 02, 2008

What was that about balance???

I think I underestimated how busy I was going to be this week. Oops. I did put most of my one-on-one clients on hold (I have one tonight, but she's a special case), but I somehow agreed to take on 4 new onliners, 3 of whom want to start next Monday. That's 3 programs to write, in between my usual work, my training, eating, tanning, practising posing and routine, organising last-minute stuff and generally obsessing over the whole comp thing. Uh....

So I was up answering emails at 6:15am, and this afternoon it'll be head down, bum up while I get the rest of my programs done. If I need to work tomorrow, I will, but I was hoping for a lovely stress-free day off... Oh well. I should take my own advice and learn to say no. LOL.

I'm off to the gym in a tick for my last weights session - a whole-body workout, which should be fun. I also plan to run through my routine while I'm there. Then I have a hair appointment, some business at the post office, a few supplies to pick up at the supermarket, and back home to do some more work before Sara and Jase arrive here this afternoon.

Tonight it's an early dinner before heading out to train my client, then back home for my first coat of Contest Colour.

Reminds me - better make up the bed with the black sheets and put those black towels in the bathroom. And find some black clothes to wear.....