Tuesday, March 31, 2009

What have I achieved today?

1. I got up early to water the garden.

2. I was at the gym right after dropping kids at school, and had a great upper body workout.

3. I needed a snack while I was out, so instead of buying an expensive and artificial additive-filled protein bar, I nicked into the fruit shop and bought a banana. I'll make up for the lack of protein later.

4. I've been indulging my plant addiction and now instead of sitting on my butt here, I'm off to get all dirty. :o)


Bye!!

Monday, March 30, 2009

The Eighth Dwarf



That's me today, the little-known eighth dwarf: Shitty.

I've had four pretty major nosebleeds in the past three days, and as a result slept very badly last night. When I can't breathe through my clogged-up nose - which I can't blow for fear of starting another bleed - I just don't sleep well.

On top of that (because of that?) nutrition was completely off yesterday, which of course resulted in the usual puffer-fish-syndrome this morning.

Add to that a big dose of Mondayitis and it was not a great way to start my day.

Thanks to our well-stocked fridge, I survived, but all I can say is: Bring on tomorrow!

Edit:

I may not have Snow White's sunny disposition, but as
Linda pointed out in her comment, the weather really HAS been awesome. I haven't been sitting around bitching and moaning all weekend, I've been outdoors taking advantage of it.

Saturday, March 28, 2009

Refreshed



"Sometimes the most urgent thing you can possibly do is take a complete rest"


My sleep more and rest more strategy seems to have worked. After a week of extra sleep and next to no cardio, I'm feeling a lot more energised. Stating the obvious, much?

I'll be back to normal from next week as far as training goes, but I'll aim to keep up the extra sleep. Not surprisingly, weight hasn't moved downwards, but it's holding pretty steady. Given the decreased activity, I'm happy with that.

Got lots to do this afternoon - first some online work, then some chores outdoors. The outdoor furniture needs sanding and oiling and I desperately need to get my back garden started. Or maybe I'll go visit the nursery today, and do the outdoor work tomorrow. Decisions, decisions....

Friday, March 27, 2009

Recipe alert - the cherry lover's edition



I'm having a cherry obsession today, and created two new recipes. For something simple and quick, check out my Cherry Ripe pudding. Or if you want something a bit fancier - and you could absolutely serve this up to dinner guests for dessert - then try my individual cherry clafoutis recipe.

Ah....sweet, delicious and healthy - now that's what I'm talking about!

Thursday, March 26, 2009

The fruitcake phenomenon



KatieP's post yesterday reminded me of something that's been bouncing around in my brain for a few weeks now.

Anyone who reads this blog regularly should be in no doubt about my philosophy on healthy eating. I believe that eating well and enjoying what you eat are not mutually exclusive. That any nutrition plan you adopt should be sustainable as a lifelong thing. And that achieving a top-notch physique doesn't require 100% adherence to any “clean” eating plan.

Lately, I’ve read more and more magazine articles, blogs and “celebrity” stories that promote the idea that if you want to achieve a fantastic body, you have to exist in a constant state of deprivation. I see body transformation contest winners, fitness models, bodybuilding competitors and just ordinary people seeking to improve their physique, who are trying to live on punishing diets. And when they inevitably fall off the “clean eating” wagon, they bombard themselves with criticism and self-loathing for failing to be perfect.

There’s one supposed fitness guru in particular who’s getting a lot of publicity at the moment. She definitely has a super-hot physique, and not surprisingly, many bloggers seem to want to emulate her. She claims to eat 100% clean all the time. (My mind boggles at the thought….) She also claims that she is always in perfect shape, shredded and ready to step in front of a camera at a moment’s notice.

Seriously? Who wants to live like that? My honest opinion: she’s a fruitcake.

Here’s my take on the idea of being in “perfect condition” year-round: It’s stupid. It’s unhealthy. It’s not a nice way to live. It’ll eventually make you a) sick or b) crazy.

First of all, think about the physical side of things. Get your body fat really, really low and all kinds of funky things begin to happen. Keep it there for any length of time and problems begin to show. Your reproductive system shuts down. You may think that’s not a big deal if, say, you never want to have kids, but there’s more to it than that. When your hormones get screwed up, you suffer some nasty physical and emotional symptoms. Dry skin, hair loss, decreased ability to cope with life, depression…and those are just a few of the possible side effects.

Bone density can be affected, your energy levels will probably suffer and your poor deprived brain will attempt some damage control and send in the troops, in the form of hunger and cravings. And it’s not just reproductive hormones that are affected – other glands can go haywire too, including thyroid and adrenals. Those, you don’t want to mess with. There’s a lot more that can go wrong, but you get the idea.

Getting really lean is fine. But regaining a few kgs of fat, post-competition, is important. It allows your body to recover and restore normal functions with no lasting damage. Obviously, you don’t want to be yo-yoing all the time, losing and gaining large amounts of weight – but 4 or 5kg, or even a little more, is a sensible amount of wiggle-room for most people.

As well as the effects on your body, think about your life and how it would be if you never, ever ate off-plan from your freaky protein-and-veggies diet. Imagine eating out. Fussing over the menu, grilling the waiter over how the fish is cooked. Sending back your salad because it contains egg yolk. Then sitting there while your companions eat their potato wedges and risottos and pastas….and their desserts. And wine.

Picture yourself at a friend’s house for dinner. You bring your own food in a Tupperware container. Not just for the few weeks leading up to a competition, but all the time. Or you insist that your friends cook you a separate meal. They’ll be whispering: “drama queen” behind your back. Eventually, they’re gonna stop inviting you, because you’re just too high maintenance. And no fun any more.

Imagine never tasting a piece of chocolate again. No Baskin-Robbins choc-peanut butter ice cream. No pizza. No brie accompanied by those funny, pointy lavash crackers. No birthday cake. I’m almost hyperventilating at the thought.

My point is: WHY do it, when it isn’t necessary? Why spend your life feeling deprived and miserable, when you can eat well without being a total freak about it? Me, I’m continuing to dirty up my meals with chocolate, peanut butter, ice cream, jam, cheese and whatever else I fancy. I know that as long as I keep the amounts small and obtain 90% or so of my nutrition from the good stuff, I’ll get to where I’m going.

And most importantly, I’ll arrive with my physical and mental health intact.

“When we are tired, we are attacked by ideas we conquered long ago”

That there is a bit of genius from Friedrich Nietzsche to start your day.



I'm completely and utterly fed up with feeling exhausted. So I took some drastic action - I stayed in bed this morning and skipped training. That's twice this week. Unheard-of! If I can get away from the office early this afternoon, and I'm not feeling half-dead by then, I'll front up for RPM at 6:00pm. If not....well, I'll see what eventuates. I'm not about to get all guilt-stricken about it.

As good old Nietzsche pointed out, being this tired is a dangerous state to be in when you need your focus to be razor-sharp. Thoughts and emotions start bombarding you, most of them completely irrational, and if you don't deal with the actual problem (the need for rest and sleep), then everything goes all to hell very, very quickly.

So, extra sleep is still on the agenda. Meanwhile, I'm getting more coffee.....


Ex-haust-ed v: Extremely or completely tired. Spent.

***************

To pre-empt the usual helpful advice, most of which would be completely irrelevant, I offer the following:

- My iron levels are FINE.
- So are all my blood count thingummies, my haemoglobin, my serum ferritin; Iron studies all good too - I get the works as far as iron studies go, twice a year.
- My thyroid function is perfectly normal.
- My liver function is normal(ish).
- ALL my other health screening tests, which I never, ever miss are also fine. I'm my doctor's model patient....
- My nutrition has been spot-on - apart from the odd moment
- I'm not overdoing the training. (Huh, I wish! That would be easy to fix)
- I don't take supplements that contain stimulants. I'm down to two coffees a day. I drink zero, zilch, nada soft drinks, sports drinks or other caffeine-containing drinks.
- The only thing I'm not consistently getting right is sleep. Working on that.

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Recipe alert!

Shelley generously gave permission for me to publish her creamy chicken and bacon fettucine recipe. So go check it out.

Eat this all the time and you'll end up with abs like these. Seriously:

This and that

Trixie asked whether I have the recipes on my food blog for the meals I mentioned in my last post. The beef stroganoff is here, and the apple-cinnamon pancakes are just a variation of any of my standard pancake recipes. Try this one, take out the blueberries and add a small grated apple and a good shake of ground cinnamon. I actually did a much simpler version today, but don't have time to type it out - maybe later.

The chicken recipe is one that the lovely Shelley sent me, so I'm not posting that without asking her first.....

******************

Today's menu, for the morbidly food-obsessed:

1) Oats, vanilla whey, skim milk, chopped walnuts, black coffee
2) Apple-cinnamon pancakes, green tea
3) Creamy chicken & bacon fettucine (this has mushrooms, asparagus, spinach and capsicum in it, so my veggie quota is looking good)
4) Cottage cheese, ricotta, raspberries, more walnuts
5) Beef stroganoff with lots of broccoli
6) Fresh fruit salad

******************

Sleep report: I woke once during the night around 4:30am, because it was PELTING with rain. :o)

The steel decked section of roof at the front of our house and the odd-shaped downpipe that runs off it can be a bit noisy when the rain really gets going. Not complaining.....

*****************

In spite of thrashing my legs twice weekly, and changing sets/reps every couple of weeks, I'm not getting severe DOMS at the moment. Just some mild glute soreness mainly. I'm wondering if the Xtend plus L-glutamine I'm chugging down during and after my workout are the reason?

*****************

I'm all set for the day, and I'm packing some serious hardware, with plenty of spare ammo.

Locked and loaded, Baby!

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

"To be prepared is half the victory"



I made good use of an hour tonight, and unleashed my inner domestic goddess, chopping and measuring and stir-frying, and ending up with six serves each of beef stroganoff and creamy chicken fettucine. Tomorrow, while my breakfast oats are simmering, I'll whip up a batch of apple-cinnamon pancakes as well, and with some fruit, nuts and other goodies on hand, I'll be set for the rest of the week.

Given that my mojo is a bit transient just now, and that my energy levels seem to ebb and flow a bit too, seizing the moment to do some meal preparation is not only useful, it's bloody essential. Having healthy and tasty meals at hand definitely makes life easier.

More importantly, I'm far less likely to fall victim to the battalion of rebel commandos who live inside my head, and who constantly try to lead me astray for one flimsy reason or another. These past couple of days, they've ganged up and mounted guerilla attacks on me while my defences were a bit weakened, and I'm still limping from some minor wounds.....

Big on the war analogies tonight, aren't I? That's because I'm going into battle, guns a-blazing, and I'm taking those mofos DOWN.

Could be better

Consciousness: that annoying time between naps.

~Author Unknown


Sleep last night? Not bad. Not great either. It was a bit on the cold side when I went to bed, so I wore some warm pjs. Then I woke up feeling hot and ditched the hoodie. Woke up some time later, hot again, and tossed the long pants as well.

I did manage not to wake at 5:30 or 6:00 though. Consciousness returned just a few minutes before the alarm went off at 7:00am.

I have coffee and my oats are bubbling away on the stove. That's always a good start to the day.

Monday, March 23, 2009

Where did SHE come from?



This morning, I had a tussle with my inner diva. The past few days I've been allowing molehills to turn into mountains and had just about reached my can't cope point.

So today I was planning on an extra rest day and a nice little sleep-in, thinking that would get me through the day. Unfortunately the domestic schedule had other ideas. Bike Boy had an early flight to catch and, in spite of doing his best to be as quiet as a mouse, I was awake before 6:00am and didn't manage to get back to sleep.

There was a fair bit of stomping around, plus some sighing and feeling generally hard done by. Facing the traffic was not very attractive. Dealing with squabbling teenagers wasn't thrilling me either. Being a solo parent for a few days? Bah! My inner diva was getting ready to launch into full-blown drama queen mode, when I had a lightbulb moment and realised that 99% of my problem was lack of sleep. I've had maybe two decent uninterrupted nights in the past six weeks or so.

As I've noted before, lack of sleep makes me irrational, cranky, sends my appetite out of control and makes it impossible for me to deal with stuff that ordinarily would just make me roll my eyes and get on with it.

I don't have insomnia - I can sleep soundly if I'm allowed to. If I was the paranoid type though, I'd be thinking that there's some kind of conspiracy going on to drive me insane through sleep deprivation. If it's not Bike Boy snoring or twitching, it's Number One Son tiptoeing in on his elephant feet at 3:00am. Or the garbos crashing down the street at 5:15am. Or my stupid nose deciding to stage a major bleed at midnight. Or something.

So, my plan is to do everything I possibly can to ensure a good night's sleep, then repeat as required till I feel better. Otherwise, my inner diva is going to end up throwing a full-blown prima donna tantrum, and that never ends well. Unless of course, you actually have a large entourage who are paid well enough to put up with your shit. Sadly, not the case here.

Instead, this is my simple plan:

1. No coffee after 6:00pm
2. Bedtime at 9:30pm (not tonight though, have to go pick up The Middle Child from work at 10:00)
3. Arrange my training schedule so that I can sleep till 6:00 most days
4. Take my ZMA
5. Pack the kids off to their rooms when I go to bed. No TV noise and no stomping around the house. That's going to go down well....

Let's hope that does the job. If things don't improve in a few days, it may not be safe to be around me. Besides, I need to get things DONE. I don't have time for this drama stuff.

Over it

I'm bored with doing daily reports - knew that wouldn't last long. So I'm going back to weekly updates (or whenever I feel like it).



I have a busy week ahead anyway, and I'll need to organise my time carefully to fit everything in. I'm also fed up with being constantly sleep-deprived, so some early nights are required.

The plan overall is less blogging, more doing. An extra three or four hours in each day would be lovely...

Sunday, March 22, 2009

Cheese and marshmallows? Together?

This morning, I had the pleasure of hanging out with Marshmallow, of Do you have an extra-large in this? fame. She's having a short and relaxing holiday here in Melbourne, and willingly got up early to make the trek from her hotel all the way out to the far-flung outer suburbs - where we may not have beaches, nightclubs, trendy bars and cafes, but we have our own (peculiar) way of entertaining overseas visitors.

I met her at the railway station and we headed off on our first mission: a spot of roo-spotting. It was no challenge at all today. Only two or three kms from the station, we found two roos in a bit of parkland between two schools, then three more around the corner in someone's front yard, and a couple more on some undeveloped land nearby. We didn't bother getting out the cameras though, because I knew where there were plenty more....

Our main destination was the parkland near home, where I parked the car and we set off on foot to visit the local kangaroos. There were maybe fifty or so today, just hanging about.





I hope I didn't freak Marshy out too much when I casually mentioned that it was probably a bit cool at this time of year to be worrying about snakes....

Next on the itinerary was a quick tour of the house and then it was down to the serious business: food. First we headed off for brunch at my favourite nursery-cafe. It was close call between the pancakes, the French toast and the 17 egg dishes, but eggs won the toss for both of us.


Waiting patiently for her eggs (and trying not to melt in the blazing sun)

Then a short drive north to a local orchard, where nothing much appealed. The berries are finished, the drought hasn't done their plums any favours, and while 5kg of apples were selling for a bargain price, I don't really need that many.

So, we continued on to the fabulous Donnybrook Farmhouse, where we tasted more cheese than you can poke a stick at - all of it good, too. I came home with some brie, some chilli pecorino, a generous wedge of Maasdam (a mellow Swiss-style), two tubs of my favourite ricotta, their wonderful fresh cream and a kilo of yoghurt. And a loaf of Turkish bread. I was tempted by the goat's cheese and the washed rind harvarti too, but we're going to have our work cut out getting through that lot. Bike Boy is going to have to help me. ;o)

Last on the agenda before heading back to the station was a stop at Baskin Robbins for a single scoop of lovely ice cream. I waved her bye-bye at the station, and I believe she was planning to stop by Haigh's on her way back to her hotel. As you would....

I love spending time with bloggers who appreciate good food. And who don't find anything odd about doing a tour of the fruit and veg shop. I mean, who doesn't find dates, berries, mushrooms and broccoli fascinating?

Saturday, March 21, 2009

I'm not here for your entertainment

Weight: 58.2 Up 300g.

Yep, that'll be last night's two scoops of caramel swirl ice cream with smooshed-up Violet Crumble on top. *Flexes and admires carbed-up muscles*

Training: Legs. I threw in a change today, just because. I did my RDLs and one-legged glute bridging, and moved over to the squat rack - where, OF COURSE, some meat-head had left the bar loaded with dozens of 20-kg plates. *sigh*

As I was unloading plates so I could reposition the bar, my rebellious brain decided that squats were off the menu today. I felt the need to get all grunty with some deadlifts, just as a one-off. Yeah. As it must be all of six months since I last did deadlifts, I was a bit cautious about weight, but I was pretty happy with a warm-up set, then two sets of six reps @ 60kg. It was hard, but I seriously didn't expect to be able to lift that much. 60-65kg was about my limit last year and I'm way out of practice.

My legs are feeling it now and I'm expecting some pretty serious DOMS tomorrow. Back to normal from next workout - sometimes you just feel like a change. :o)

Nutrition: Last night I played my treat meal card, just felt like a completely decadent indulgence. I kept it fairly small though, and only went 200 Cals over my usual, with carbs still coming in at around 40%.

Today, however, I have some mind games going on. My Inner Fat Girl is being very persuasive, telling me I need more carbs: toast, bbq shapes, ice cream, whatever. I've caved a little, but can still pull things back on track without any real drama. No binges, just a few nibbles....

I suspect sleep deprivation is partly responsible for my increased appetite. I've had disturbed nights all week, due to one thing and another - last night's interruption was a nosebleed at 4:30am. That allowed me only fitful sleep till the alarm went off at 6:00. Gah!

It could also be a sign that I need to up the starch for a day. Forgot about that. Hmm. Perhaps a bowl of oats and whey is the answer, rather than picking at this and that.

Then again, maybe I'm just being a greedy-guts. :p

We have fish planned for dinner tonight - I think it needs to be something special, to avoid the deprivation mindset taking over. Bike Boy has been scouring recipe books, so I'm sure he'll come up with something that's perfect.

I'm taking myself out for the afternoon - away from the pantry!

Friday, March 20, 2009

Recipe alert!

Shauna guessed right.... No, it's not a stir-fry. It's a Cherry Ripe souffle omelette.

*licks spoon*



For winning the guessing game, DG, you get..... the honour of having lunch with me. You just have to fly the 70-squillion miles from Edinburgh to claim your prize. I might even throw in an actual Cherry Ripe.

I know you'll do just about anything for a true-blue Aussie chocolate bar

;o)

Think I better dance now....

Weight: 57.9. Right on target. Wait, I've exceeded this week's target.... *does a celebratory happy dance*

Here's a thing - while daily weighing shows my weight going up, down and all around, as Aretha would say, my Thursday numbers are consistently dropping, a few hundred grams at a time. There's often a spike on Monday after my routine changes on the weekend, but by Thursday, everything is falling back into line. Hmm. Interesting.

Training: Upper body. Supersets. Haaaaaard.

It was just me and two beefy blokes at the gym at 8:30 this morning, so no problems doing my supersets. My tennis elbow has been giving me hell the past couple of days, and it really didn't like decline pushups one little bit. Think I'd better get some ice onto that forearm. Once I can lift my arms high enough to reach the freezer anyway.

Cardio will get done later - I may take my 3:30 client over to the park and do something with her.

Nutrition: I'm keeping it creative. If you can't throw in a few squares of chocolate somewhere, what's the point, right? I'm about to go get those cherries and chocolate and see what I can come up with.

Recipe coming up later.


I've always loved Tom Jones' souled-up version of Kiss (cannot stand that pretentious little wanker, Prince). I was loving this on my iPod at the gym this morning. I always get a smile out of the few bars of the theme from Peter Gunn that sneaks in there.

Think I better dance now....



How does she DO that?


I've had a few incredulous looks when I've mentioned (bragged) about the hamburger-with-the-lot that I had last night. So how do you fit something like that into a healthy eating plan? Pfft. easy...

First, make your own hamburger - none of those mass-produced, full of who-knows-what patties you can buy from the supermarket. Ugh. I bought some heart-smart premium beef mince, took about 120g, added a little chopped onion and a dash each of soy sauce and Worcestershire sauce. You could add garlic, Tabasco, herbs or whatever. Squish it into a patty and cook on the ol' George Foreman grill.

Cook a couple of pieces of that 97% fat free bacon - it's not quite as good as the real thing, but you get the lovely bacony taste without too many extra calories, so shut up complaining. Cook some sliced onion in a non-stick pan with a little olive oil and when that's done, "fry" up an egg.

Next, get a fresh multigrain roll (not a giant-sized one...) and cut about a third off the bottom. Give the rest to your husband to eat with honey or PB later on.... Toast the piece of roll if you like, throw it on a plate and add a big handful of mixed salad leaves, some sliced tomato, and top with the hamburger, bacon, egg and onion. A squirt of BBQ sauce, some salt and pepper and you're done.

Yes, you need a knife and fork to eat it, due to it not having any bread on top, but so what?

The great thing about this is, the rest of the family can have hamburgers too - I just give them "proper" hamburger buns and normal bacon (that reduced fat stuff is EXPENSIVE!). They get a slice of cheese too, which I chose to skip. And I have extra salad on the side - gotta cram in those veggies! I get what seems like a decadent meal, but really isn't, and my husband and sons are all extremely happy.

:o)

If I wasn't restricting calories, I'd add some spicy wedges on the side. As it was, my dinner came in at 383 Calories. 40g of protein, 24g of carbs and 14g of fat. Not bad.

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Life is a bowl of cherries. Or something like that.



I have morello cherries, I have coconut, I have some cherry-flavoured yoghurt - and I have some Lindt 85% chocolate.

Now you have to guess what I'm making tomorrow.


After that big build-up, I sure hope it actually turns out edible....

Walk this way

Weight: 58.1 - down 300g. Yeah, keep going....

Training: Spinervals Enter the Red Zone. What was I thinking? This was a big ask today, after a bad night's sleep. Tired and feeling a bit crappy isn't the best way to start this killer workout. Add in sore glutes from yesterday's leg workout and it was never going to be a top effort. Oh, and I struggled to get out of bed, so didn't actually have 58 minutes to do the whole thing anyway. I plodded through two sets and decided it was breakfast time.

Nutrition: This week I've gone back to planning all my meals at night for the next day. That way I never get to the end of the day and think Oh crap! I only have 200 Cals left for dinner... Plus I can prepare most of my food ahead, then all my meals just become no-brainers. I don't always do this, and usually it's not a problem, but I'm determined to hit that sub-57 goal within four weeks, so I'm leaving nothing up to chance.

No treat meal today, because there's not even a hint of Thursdayitis. I have plans for brunch on Sunday anyway, so I'll wait.

Choc-banana-peanut butter cookies for morning tea today - yum!

Liz posted a "what I ate today" entry for the curious, and it's remarkably like my meals at the moment, heavy on the veggies. I whipped up a chicken stir-fry last night, and threw in:

A bunch of bok choy
A biggish head of broccoli
An onion
Half a red capsicum
About one-and-a-half cups of mixed frozen veg
A big handful of chopped coriander

Some ginger, garlic and chilli topped it off. Oh, and a splash of soy sauce, for salty goodness. :p That made two serves....

Apart from 40g of oats and a small potato, all the rest of my carbs came from fruit and veg - and a little yoghurt. And I hit 38% - would have been more, but I'm going heavyish on the fats just now, so things have to balance out.

It's definitely nice to be eating so much food in terms of volume and still sticking to around 1500 calories. And watching the numbers go down on the scale.

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Getting my freak on

Weight: 58.4 Down 1.0kg. Ah, sanity returns.

Training: Legs. I hit 'em hard this morning. I added some extra weight to my squats and RDLs, and after warming up my creaky joints in my first set, squatted below parallel on every rep.

Nutrition: The past two days I took my Calories back to 1500-ish, and went all straight-up PN-style with my food. Note the fluid drop overnight.....

Mindset: Today's post title is in honour of the late inspirational BFL champ Julie Whitt, who was fond of the expression. My inner sloth briefly surfaced at the gym this morning and tried to convince me that I should skip my final superset of squats/RDLs. My legs were all shaky and tired and time was marching on....

Luckily Julie's face popped into my mind, and I felt rightly ashamed of myself. After all, if she could drag an oxygen tank around while she got her workout done, then I could do one more set. Perspective is a good thing.

If you don't know Julie's story, you need to see this. She may not have had an amazing physique, but her spirit was legendary, and still lives on.

*******************

Yesterday I noticed the huge bunch of spinach in the fridge was looking a little past its best, so a yummy batch of chicken sagwaala was whipped up for dinner. It may not be Irish, but it's green...I'm sure St Paddy would approve.

*******************

Turns out my cruddy mood yesterday had more to it then I thought. Seems I had some weird kind of infection thingy going on..... in my face. What seemed to be the beginning of a stye in my left eye soon extended to a sore scalp on that side, and then travelled down my nose and cheek until the whole left side of my head hurt.

THEN, around lunchtime, I began to feel like I had a really nasty cold - only without the snot and cough. You know, just that my head doesn't feel good kind of effect. Add in swollen neck glands and I was feeling oh-so-crappy by dinner time.

This morning, apart from a slightly sore eye, I'm OK. *shrugs* Onwards.....

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Addendum

Training was not bad. Although I was obviously still half-asleep, because:

a) I walked into the gym at 8:30, all yawning and bleary-eyed, and the guy at the front desk commented that I must need more coffee (now, there's a good idea...); and

b) I set up a barbell in the rack for my bent over rows and went off to do my first set of bench presses (supersetting, ya know). I was halfway through set #2 when my brain came to life and began to wonder why I was doing a leg exercise on upper body day. And I realised I was doing Romanian deadlifts instead of rows. D'oh! Pay attention!

Anyway, apart from that, it all went OK. I only did 10 minutes of incline walking after my weights workout because my rebellious inner sloth was trying to talk me out of cardio altogether. When I'm tired and crabby, my resistance is low and I know that if I try to do something super-high-intensity, I'll crack the sads and just quit after a few minutes. So I'm taking the sneaky approach....A little bit here, a little bit there and before you know it, you've done 30 or 40 minutes of some kind of cardio, which is way better than 5 minutes of a grumpy half-arsed effort. I'll squeeze some more walking in later, and maybe even get on the bike for a set of Aero Base Builder.

As for the scales and the bloating and the whole hideous PMS thing, I have a plan. I'm going to do at least a few days of strict Precision Nutrition. Well, as strict as I ever get anyway. I love my starch, and my body usually loves it too. I know from past experience that I simply can't cope on prolonged periods of low-starch eating, without ending up all carb-depleted. But I should be able to handle it for the rest of the week. So it'll be oats for brekky, then all my carbs have to come from veggies, fruit and dairy. I reserve the right to add a potato to my dinner if I so desire though.

The idea is that some of the fluid I'm holding will disappear, and FAST. That'll make me feel better. And if I feel better, I train better. If I'm training better, I eat better. Then I feel better, and on it goes. Good thing I understand my own not-so-complicated psychology. :o)

In honour of that decision, I just made a batch of fruity pancakes.

**************

On the whole PMS thing - I've had disgusting oily skin the past two days, and a lovely big pimple is brewing on the side of my nose. The positive side of that is that for several months my skin was dry, scaley and I kept having eruptions of eczema. Upping the fat in my meals, and remembering to take my fish oil, plus adding some evening primrose oil, has turned that around.

Sure, I get the overactive oily thing happening every few weeks, but at least that tells me that my hormones are behaving normally once again. That's a relief.

The stye in my left eye that I've woken up with this morning though? That, I can't explain.

So, so what?

Stoooooopid scales: 59.4. Still. Hmmph.

Training: Upper body. Supposed to be legs, but that sore hamstring is still niggling a bit and I'm not taking any chances. Cardio? Don't know, don't care... Maybe I'll feel more inspired once I get to the gym.

I did not get up early this morning. I was grumpy as hell, on top of tired. There was no laughing at the scales today - instead, I muttered: You've gotta be kidding me.... And it's COLD this morning. I don't DO cold very well.

Right now, I feel like a bloated, fat blob.

Is that you, PMS? *sigh* Again?

Somebody call me when today's over.

Monday, March 16, 2009

Recipe alert!

In an idle moment at work last week, I invented a couple of new recipes and tonight I finally had a chance to test out my healthy take on an old classic: Beef Stroganoff.

It got the thumbs-up from Bike Boy, with nary a jibe about weird-arse bodybuilding food. That's about equal to getting five Michelin stars, you know.

Why do I feel this party's over?

Weight: 59.4 No change. Oh Yeah? Watch out tomorrow - you're going DOWN, sister!

Training: Kenpo-X. This was a disappointing effort. Thanks to a very sore right hamstring (no idea what's up with that), I pulled the pin halfway through.

Other stuff: Yesterday's training didn't happen. I fell asleep on the couch.....for four hours. The rest of the day passed with me being all sluggish and can't-be-bothered. So the party is definitely over for me and Mr Alcohol. Sorry, mate, you're banished again.

I'm planning another four-week block with not a drop passing my lips. Just a little doesn't work all that well for me, so I'm practising a zero-tolerance approach again.

This morning I feel as though I need a billion more hours sleep, but I'll just have to survive on the seven hours I got. *sigh* Tired, sore, half-arsed training effort.....nice start to the week.

Where's the positive? Things can only get better.

Sunday, March 15, 2009

P.S.

If anybody's keen to give it a try, the recipe I used for the puddings was in this month's Super Food Ideas, on p.86. It was chocalicious and everyone loved it.

I'm thinking that once Easter eggs aren't easily available, it'd work quite well with Lindor Balls....or a chunky square of Caramello...

Nobody's Fault But Mine

Weight: 59.4 ....Up 1.0kg. Impressive.

Training: Not yet. I plan to get myself to the gym a bit later, when the little guy with the tiny hammer stops tap-tap-tapping inside my skull.

We had a fantastic meal last night. Bike Boy outdid himself, starting us off with oysters with three different toppings. Then it was Atlantic salmon with a preserved lemon and roasted walnut salsa. Of course, I made a nice green salad to go with it - gotta get my veggies in, even when I'm indulging a little.

Then I got to do what I do best: make a fabulous dessert. I found a recipe in one of those supermarket food magazines and gave it a whirl - individual soft-centred chocolate puddings. The soft centre was actually a small caramel-filled Easter egg. It was easy, delicious, and impressive and it looked something like this:



Good food, good company, and just a little too much good wine.... No regrets though, except for the headache. And perhaps the out-of-tune singing of some old songs that had the kids rolling their eyes. Parents are soooo embarrassing.

Today I plan on drinking plenty of water, getting my upper body workout in, and maybe having a little nap later this afternoon.

Last night was a lovely break from routine, but it's back to my usual schedule now. And I know the scales will fall into line again, probably within a few days.

Saturday, March 14, 2009

Bah! Yay! Yum!

So, two of my clients have cancelled on me this morning - both for good reasons - but now I'm out of pocket and feeling used and unappreciated. *sulks for a minute*

On the plus side, I have extra time to clean my house and make it all shiny. Hate housework, love a clean house - how do you reconcile those things?

****************

I am VERY excited about Filex - it's shaping up to be a really fun weekend. I have a roomie now and it's none other than Coach Liz. Yay! I'm also making dinner plans and have lots of friends to catch up with while I'm in Sydney. So far on my list are Selina, Amanda and Jay B. There are a few others I want to see too, better get emailing....

No really, it's all about the serious work stuff...... *tries to keep a straight face*

***************

Shelley asked for a recipe for last night's pizza - this is all I did:

Grab a wholemeal pita (too lazy to make pizza bases), spread a couple of tablespoons of Paul Newman's sauce over it. Sprinkle a little grated light mozzarella on top, then slice up and add the following:

2-3 baby bocconcini
A large mushroom (or a few small ones)
Red capsicum
Green capsicum
Thinly sliced onion
Sundried tomatoes
Olives

Stick it in a hot oven for 5 minutes or so, then add about 150g of cooked chicken breast, a couple of teaspoons of BBQ sauce and a sprinkling of parmesan. Back in the oven for another 5 minutes or so and you're all set.

I cut mine into four, finished the last piece and then thought: Hmm, should have stopped at two or three slices. Oops.

Bad Influence

Weight: No change at 58.4.

That's OK, considering I made myself a 700-Calorie BBQ chicken pizza for dinner last night. Yum!

Training: I'm tossing up whether to push training back to tomorrow. I'm going to get to the gym extra-late (got clients this morning) and I'm sure all the meat-heads will be hogging the lat pull-down machines and bench press stations, so supersetting is likely to be tricky. Sunday mornings are always quiet....

I'll be getting a walk in this morning with a client, so that's a bonus. It won't be a spanking pace, but we're tackling a big hill.

Nutrition: We have friends coming for dinner tonight, so oysters and Atlantic salmon fresh from the Vic Market are on the menu. That's no drama - I can handle a gourmet dinner. But I will be making some kind of dessert, and my self-imposed four-week prohibition period is ending a day early so that I can enjoy a nice glass of wine. Or two.

Watch this space....

Friday, March 13, 2009

Go baby, go, go!

Legs. Leeeeeeeggggggsssss. I love training legs. Today, as I may have told a few people already, I was out to give them a good shellacking.

So, supersets again. OK, great. I just have one question: What kind of evil, sadistic torturer would devise a program that has you doing a three-minute plank at the end of your leg training session. A leg session that - did I mention? WAS ALL SUPERSETS????

I can handle a three minute plank, sure. But when my legs are already TOAST, it adds an extra degree of difficulty. Abs? No drama. Quads? Those started to shake and quiver at the 45-second mark. I hung on grimly though, muttering out loud, You can do it! At the two-minute mark, I knew I was going to make it. By then, my calves, glutes and arms were also shaking. Pfft. Only a minute to go.

After lying face-down on the floor for several minutes, wondering if my legs were actually paralysed, I then had to face the stairs to the cardio area. *sob* Why STAIRS???

I'd remembered my runners, since I planned to do a nice easy steady-state jog for 20 minutes for today's cardio. But of course, all the treadmills were taken. And all the ellipticals. I briefly considered the stepmill, but only for a nano-second. All that was left were bikes. I have a bike at home - I wanted to do something different. My inner two-year-old was already beginning to pout and stamp her foot.

But I figured I could jump on a spin bike and just pedal with light resistance for a while, to let my poor legs recover a bit, then grab whatever machine became vacant first. Oh, great - it's the elliptical.

That was it - all thoughts of a steady state workout went out the window. 20 minutes of steady state on an elliptical? I'd rather do my tax return. So, again, I came up with something on the spur of the moment:

Bike, easy pedalling 3 minutes (sheer relief!)
Elliptical 3 minutes, keeping RPM to around 70. Don't want my legs to give out. Yet.
Jump off and do 20 fast body weight squats, making sure to break parallel.
Switch to walking lunges x 20. Ouch.
Back on the elliptical for 3 minutes. Heart rate is tipping 170, drop RPM to 65 and let it recover a bit.
Jump off and do 10 push ups, then 12 pop squats (I was planning on 20 pop squats, but my legs had other ideas)
Back on the elliptical for 3 minutes, still keeping RPM at 65-ish.
Jump off and do 10 jump squats. Ouch. OUCH!
Crank out a set of Russian twists - don't bother about a weight, get feet off the floor, and just do 15 reps.
Hooray! A treadmill is free! Set the incline to 4 and walk for 10 minutes.

Total time: 24 minutes
Max HR: 174
Ave HR: 142

Not exactly an "easy" steady-state workout, but at least the boredom factor was zero.

****************

Apart from one runner, every single person occupying a machine this morning was plodding along, not even raising a sweat. OK, maybe they all did a killer workout yesterday. Or maybe they're just afraid to push themselves a little.

The guy on the elliptical next to me (who STANK, by the way - Buddy, ever heard of deodorant??? *gags*) was practically stationary, at under 30 RPM. And sure he was a big guy, he's probably unfit and not yet capable of a speed-of-light workout, BUT he wasn't even puffing a little. And halfway through he answered his freaking PHONE and had a 10-minute conversation while his RPM dropped to around 15.....

Apart from providing entertainment value (bet my workout was far more interesting than anything Kerri-Anne was blabbing on about on the gym TVs), I hope that maybe I've inspired one of the plodders to step a little way out of their comfort zone.

Probably not though.

Gimme some lovin'

Weight: Up 100g to 58.4. No lovin' here today....

Training: Haven't done it yet - today's FRIDAY (hooray!), so I get to take the kids to school, then head to the gym. Legs are on the menu today.

The expected DOMS from yesterday's cardio didn't eventuate, just a little teensy bit of soreness that's barely noticeable - which I'm fine with. So no excuses, I'm going for it!

Other stuff: Woke up STARVING this morning. I was attempting to stay in bed till 7:00, but the hunger drove me into the kitchen around 6:20. Oh well, that still beats a 5:30 start. I always think that waking up with gnawing hunger pangs is a good sign that my metabolism is chugging along nicely. Or maybe it's just that I'm a pig. Meh. Whatever.

My experiment with higher calories is looking like a bit of a bust. Weight is hovering around the same numbers - hmm, smells like maintenance to me. I'll persevere till the end of the week (Sunday) and analyse things then. If I have to go back to 1500 Calories to ditch this last kilogram, so be it. It's not exactly starvation rations.

I've been doing some thinking and have come to the conclusion that comparing yourself to others is a bad thing - well, we all know that when it comes to physique, but it applies to calories as well. Each of us is unique and can't expect to eat the same amount of food as someone else and get the same results. I'm insanely jealous of girls who can stuff down 2500 Calories a day and maintain their weight. But I have to remind myself that I'm a compact little thang, so I'm not likely to have the same fuel needs as somebody 6 inches taller and 6-7kg heavier. Dammit.

There's also the fact that I spend a lot of my time sitting on my arse. For a personal trainer, I'm not actually all that active. I sit in an office three days a week, and even when I am PT-ing, a lot of my work is with online clients, so once again - sitting on my arse. Training one-on-one clients isn't exactly a workout for me most of the time either. I have my own training agenda, so I'm not about to do several other people's workouts with them. I'll do a set or two with a client, or jog a lap of the park, but I'm not nutty enough to run through each of those sessions in it's entirety - after all, it's their workout, not mine.

If I was a group fitness instructor (Eek! An unco's worst nightmare....), and was doing 3 classes a day on top of my own training, then maybe I'd have a need for an extra 200-500 Cals. Not so though....

I won't be disappointed if my experiment fails; it's all just fact gathering. I've been reminding myself that on the Calorie front, I've come a long way. Back in 2003, even though I was a heifer at 85kg or so, and was shocking my body with unaccustomed exercise, I'd really wound my poor old metabolism down to snail's pace, thanks to years of yo-yo dieting and being completely sedentary. My muscle mass was minimal (sometimes I wonder how I even stayed upright....). I had to diet HARD to shift the fat. I've done some rough calculations, and I was existing on a stingy 1100 Calories a day. Yikes!

1500 for weight loss suddenly sounds pretty attractive.


Be back with a training report later....

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Report Card - Term 1

Name: Kek

Period: January – March 2009

Subject: How to be a Fitness Goddess 101

Unit 1 - Training:

All weights sessions completed as required and mostly with enthusiasm. Noticeable improvement in strength. A+

Cardio commitments began poorly. The student is far too easily distracted from the task at hand. Recent performance is very pleasing however, with all planned cardio sessions completed and some really good efforts amongst them. Nice to see a positive change. B+

Needs to do more walking. Rain is not an excuse! Can do better. C

Overall grade for this unit: A

Unit 2 - Nutrition:

Has stayed within calorie limits, and managed to hit macro targets most of the time. Again, efforts were a bit lacklustre at first, but improvement in recent weeks has been marked. Overall, a good effort. Has demonstrated a sound understanding of all principles, including the correct application of the highly specialised elective unit, the Dirty Diana Approach, as taught by Professor Nelson.

Needs to remember that M & Ms are not a suitable carb portion.

Grade: A

Unit 3 - Sleep:

Knows what’s required, but consistently fails to deliver. Very disappointing effort from a promising student. Must try harder.

Grade: D

Unit 4 - Attitude:

Got off to a shaky start, and created some concern when she initially got in with the wrong crowd. Had to be separated from Inner Fat Girl, Sooky Sue and Bingeing Bronwyn. The period following the unfortunate expulsion of Wino Wendy was a difficult time, but the decision has been fully justified, as improvements have come on in leaps and bounds.

A serious attitude realignment and some new, more suitable friends have created a much better environment. Gratifying to see Athlete Annie, Gym-Junkie Geraldine and Can-do Connie amongst her frequent associates.

A pleasing turnaround. Keep up the good work.

Grade: A

Your love is like a see-saw

Weight: Down 100g to 58.3.

...Like a see-saw Baby,
Your love is like a see-saw,
Goin' up, down, all around,
You're like a see-saw.

Training: It's Thursday, so it must be CARDIO day.

No dragging my butt off to the gym today. It's an office day, so I give myself a break and train at home. Today's effort:

Spinervals Aero Base Builder V - Set 1, 20 minutes. (ugh, sweaty!). Followed that up with Amy Bento's Hi-Lo Dome Challenge - just the BOSU section, I'm not completely nuts.

My butt is going to hurt tomorrow - and it's legs day....

Nutrition: Food's all packed and ready to go. Today's lot includes raisin toast with ricotta and strawberries (yum!) and my choc-raspberry delight for snacks, plus a chicken and mango salad for lunch.

Dinner to be decided...I was planning on making a BBQ chicken pizza, but I think that might be pushing things with calories and carbs, so perhaps I'll have that tomorrow instead.


Mindset: Today's mission: To not to eat all my food early because I'm bored out of my brain.

That's what happened yesterday, I'd scoffed everything by 2:00pm - so by the time I was on my (long) drive home, I was hungry and those M & Ms were just calling my name. It was a conscious decision, my choice, and I'm happy that I bought a 50g pack, not the giant bloody family-economy size.... And I pulled carbs back in, having steak and veggies for dinner, so it all turned out OK in the end. Still, not ideal.

Repeat after me: Food is NOT entertainment. If I get bored, I'll go for a walk, browse all the fitness mags in the local newsagent, try all the cosmetic samples at Priceline, phone a friend, something.

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Recipe alert!

Tomorrow's morning snack is ready to go: Choc-Raspberry Delight, anyone?

Of course, it has the Dirty Diana touch...

.....although not quite as dirty as the 50g bag of peanut M & Ms that somehow acidentally fell into my mouth this afternoon while I was paying for my petrol.

*sigh* No potato for YOU! *stands in the naughty corner*

Get up offa that thing

I'm using song lyrics and titles for this week's training/progress post headings. Just for fun.

Training: Upper bod today....using supersets, just like legs yesterday. Hard. Fast. I like.

My biceps still had residual DOMS from Sunday's effort. ?????? Ah well, no wimping out allowed - just drop the weight back a bit and go for it.

Cardio will not be happening today (no time), but a walk is on the cards tonight.


Weight: Up another 100g to 58.4. Hmm. So what? I'm feeling lean and mean.


Oh My God moment: Getting up just after 5:30am so I could fit in my prehab stuff before I headed out the door. *sigh* No matter how long I've been doing early starts, I still hate 'em.

Yeah, baby! moment: Turning to pick up a weight and seeing the light hit my chest in juuuust the right way to show my pecs. No flexing required. Huh. Who needs boobs anyway?

Restocking the shelves

I made the trek down to Richmond yesterday, to visit ASN's Swan Street store, since they were very generously offering bodybuilding competitors a hefty discount on supplements. I'm all signed up now and the very helpful Matt made sure I had everything I needed.

As a bonus, I also got to meet Gabriela Cioban in person - she's two weeks out from the IFBB Elite Championships in Perth and was looking goooood.

I came home with a 3kg tub of vanilla whey, a BCAA powder to try - no calories, and it's a fruit-flavoured drink - plus a couple of gels and a pre-workout formula for Bike Boy to try.

I'm tossing up whether to drag out the tub of creatine monohydrate I have in the cupboard ....I've used it before, although not for a long while, and my training goal is muscle gain. But I'm really happy keeping my supplement regime nice and simple at the moment.

Hmm. Yes? No? Maybe.....

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Make it up as you go along

Today's cardio:

Jump on spin bike after leg workout, get a feel for the bike for a couple of minutes (legs are already warmed up plenty!) then add a little resistance and belt out some Tabatas. Legs don't like that at all. I struggle to get my heart rate past 150.

OK, switch to standing hill climbs. One minute standing, big load, and really trying to run on the pedals (Legs aren't co-operating with these either) and one minute recovery.

*sigh* At the 16-minute mark, get OFF the bike and walk on a treadmill for ten minutes.

Some days you've got it, some days you don't. The days when you just trained legs with supersets? It's probably asking a bit much to expect to follow that up with a killer cardio workout....

At least cardio got done. :o)

Legs and boobs

I have legs on my training schedule for today. I thought that after yesterday's crazy cardio I'd be struggling to walk, so I was all prepared to play switcharoo with my plans, but....nope. I do have a bit of DOMS right through my legs, mostly in my hip flexors, but not enough to stop me from training.

So, legs it is! I might go easy on cardio today though, perhaps just a walk. I'll see how I feel.

Weight's up 300g today: 58.1

I've been experimenting with higher calories the past week and a half, and seem to be successfully dropping fat on more food - you've gotta love that! I averaged 1650 Calories a day last week, much more fun than a skimpy 1500. I'm keeping a close eye on things though, and will shave a bit off if weight starts to consistently head in the wrong direction.

The mirror and my clothes are giving me positive feedback. I'm definitely leaner - to the point where I'm going to have to downsize my bras again. *sigh* I know that's always a good sign of fat loss with me, but why does it have to go from there? It's not the size that I have issues with, I couldn't care less about that. It's the loss of shape. And stay-uppiness (that is so a word....)

Oh well, if that's my biggest (smallest?) problem, I'm not doing so badly.

Monday, March 09, 2009

Goals, goals, goals

To accomplish great things, we must not only act, but also dream; not only plan, but also believe.
- Anatole France

I know I meant to write about my goals for this year, but somehow I didn't get around to doing it. Better late than never, so here they are:

1. The Big Goal: Competing again in October. I briefly thought about doing a competition earlier in the year (the All-Female Classic in July has a certain appeal), but I know that I need to add quite a bit of muscle in some areas, so the longer I give myself to do that, the better. My aim after all, is to be bigger and badder, not skinnier and scrawnier.

I'll decide on exactly which comp I'll enter closer to the time.

2. My health goal: Continuing the work I've been doing on my recalcitrant thoracic area....and my wonky hips. I've made some huge leaps here, but there's still plenty of room for improvement.

One thing I've noticed is a big difference in my posing, and I'm crediting that entirely to the boring old mobility/flexibility work that's gone on over previous months.

3. My short-term mini-goal: The Mothers Day Classic - only the 4km run; I know my limitations and I have no desire to do any event longer than 5km again.

I'm also not actually fussed about time, because having done this run three times already, I know that it's next to impossible to maintain a decent pace, due to the sheer number of entrants. I'll be happy just to participate and to do my bit to raise some funds for the Breast Cancer Foundation.

4. My lifestyle goal: To eat well, train hard and enjoy the process. Not just in the lead-up to an event, but all the time, even while maintaining.


That's it. A short list of mostly simple things I plan to achieve. No big, dramatic stuff in there, but this year is all about consolidating. My overriding plan is to accomplish these things and not land back in the deep, dark pit I've stumbled and fallen into in the past.

This balance thing is harder than it looks.

Smashed it!



Public holidays are the bee's knees. While I was eating my breakfast oats and whey, I pondered my cardio options. I could do a DVD or some other workout here at home. Or I could take it outdoors and have some fun at the park. OR I could wander off to the gym at 9:00am and do something there.

The gym won. No need to squeeze something in before work, I had plenty of time.....

So then I just had to decide exactly what I was going to do. It turned out to be a crazy-arse fusion of one of my favourite Liz Nelson specials, some of my own work and some other stuff I just made up as I went along.

Here's how it went:

Warm up on elliptical, then push resistance and pace up a little (not too much, don't want to run out of go right at the start). Go for 3 minutes, then hop off.
Get down on the floor and make everyone's eyebrows shoot off their faces with 50 plank jacks, then back on the machine for 3 minutes.
Jump off again for 30 mountain climbers, then another 3 minutes on the blasted elliptical.
Off again, and struggle through 10 squat-thrusts (ugh!). Ignore the looks.

Grab a resistance band and do 10 x-band walks in each direction twice.

Jump on the only vacant treadmill and walk at a nice brisk pace (ahhh!). Increase the incline by 1% every minute till it gets to 8%. Back to zero incline and do 3 x 1-minute jog/walk intervals. Add some pace and sprint for one minute....well, what passes for a sprint with me, anyway. Walk for 3 minutes to cool down.

Get down on the floor and do: plank 1 minute/clams x 12 right side/plank 1 minute/clams x 12 left side.

Stretch and all done! Not much more than 30 minutes and I was totally smashed. Max HR 199 (damn! I can do better than that!) and average HR 146. Mmm, not bad....


Also? The scales are behaving sensibly today: 57.8. Yeah. That sub-57 goal should be only a couple of weeks away.

Sunday, March 08, 2009

Sundays rock!

Weight: 57.9

Oh yeah. Show me some scale lerve, Baby!

Training: Straight out of bed and out the door for a short run; just a 16-minute loop of the estate. No sweat (Literally - it's very cool this morning!). After breakfast, my boring old prehab routine at home, then off to the gym for upper body.

The run was pretty easy; not bad, considering I've done bugger-all outdoor running for months. As for weights, I now have tremors in every muscle in my upper body. Good stuff.

Nutrition: Since the day's just begun, nothing much to report here... Except that I created a new pancake for brekky. Choc-hazelnut. Mmm-mmm. All it needed was a layer of Nutella on top.... :p

Might skip my morning snack - breakfast was a bit later than usual, and it came in at a fairly hefty 461 Cals. Probably just as well I didn't have any Nutella in the house....

Mindset: Freaking awesome.

Saturday, March 07, 2009

Struggle Street or Easy-Peasey Avenue?

Sometimes eating well is just a breeze. Then there are the days where almost every meal is a struggle. My Inner Fat Girl constantly whispers in my ear that I need extra calories, extra carbs, or a treat meal. On my worst days, she just says the hell with it and tells me it won't hurt to have those M & Ms. And if you're eating those, you may as well have that leftover cake. And some toast.

Funny, she never urges me to eat a tasty piece of chicken breast. Or veggies.

Lately, it's been mostly easy to stick to my nutrition guidelines. There are a few reasons for that, and I thought I'd share them:

1. I'm not trying to exist on starvation rations. I've been down that road before and trust me, it's a dead end. If I eat only slightly less than my body needs most days, I don't begin to lose the plot and dream of pizza. Sure, it's a slow process, no dramatic losses here to attract a crowd of ooh-ing and ah-ing admirers, but do I care? I'd rather do it slowly and keep my sanity, thanks.

2. I'm eating food that's delicious. Choking down unappealing or repetitive meals for more than a day or two will take me down Lose The Plot Street too. I'm thankful that I have a few cooking skills, a bit of imagination and the willingness to experiment. Gee, just imagine if the souffle omelette had never been born.... *breaks out in a cold sweat at the thought*

3. Thanks to Liz's influence, I've learned to be a Dirty Diana. I know that a teaspoon of jam or cocoa, an extra egg yolk, some smoked trout or a handful of breakfast cereal added to a meal isn't going to instantly attach itself to my arse. It will, however contribute to yummy meals (see #2 above).



4. I don't do free days. Oh yeah, I learned this one the hard way.... I'm not very good at stopping when I've had enough (Hi, my name is Kerryn, and I'm a binge eater). Hell, it's even taken me years to learn to put my knife and fork down now and then, stop eating and come up for air. So a free day is a licence to go completely crazy, eat seventeen squillion Calories - all made up of total crap, of course - and then wonder why I'm not seeing progress. *smacks head on desk*

5. I DO do planned treat meals. Or sometimes unplanned. But I work them into my daily Calories, with an allowance for some extra food once or twice a week. Who wants to live without chocolate, wine, or a meal out that isn't chicken salad?

6. I don't compile lists of foods that I can't have. Nothing is banned. Some things are rationed, sure, or eaten infrequently, but if I really want it, I can have it. #5 lets me work those things in, no problem at all. The Ooh, no: I'm not allowed to eat that mindset is 100% guaranteed to have me circling said "banned" food like a crazed vulture, and eventually I'm going to snap and eat it. Most likely a lot of it. Knowing that I'm in control of my food choices, that it IS a choice, makes a huge difference and ensures that the resentful "it's not fair" sulky, sooky attitude doesn't make an appearance.

7. I eat frequently, like most figure athletes do - but I'm not going to stress about missing a meal, or about my meal timing being slightly off now and then. If I actually get to sleep in on a weekend, and therefore have less hours in my day, then I might only have four meals. That's OK, I get to make them bigger. If I simply can't eat due to unusual circumstances - like yesterday, when I had to visit the dentist: couldn't eat beforehand because brushing my teeth was problematic, and I couldn't eat for an hour after - then so be it. Going 6 hours between breakfast and lunch isn't ideal, but it isn't going to kill me. I have the ability to make adjustments: more or less food, as required.

That's pretty much my approach to nutrition. It isn't brain surgery, and I get to have a life.

If my Inner Fat Girl shows her ugly face, I can usually deal with her. On the odd day that she gets the better of me, it's usually because I've deviated from my approach. I've under-eaten, gone too low on carbs, or been too busy/lazy to prepare decent food and I'm B.O.R.E.D.

Sometimes it's an emotional thing, sure. But I can even use this approach to deal with those moments too. I just need to throw in a treat meal, dirty things up a bit, or have some extra calories that day....there's almost always a solution.

***************

Tonight Bike Boy cooked us roast beef, with roast potatoes, veggies, gravy and Yorkshire puddings. Yum! No way was I missing out on THAT. No need to throw in a treat meal though, I just made it fit within my daily plan.

Easy, see?

Shakin' and a-movin'

Who doesn't love a long weekend? I have clients this morning, my workout to get done, then some online work to finish this afternoon, but after that, my time is mine, all mine, Baby!

I'll be staying tuned to the Arnold Classic coverage too - the figure and fitness divisions anyway, the others don't do it for me.... Jen H is competing for the fitness title again, and I have no doubt she'll put on a fantastic show. She always does.

**************

Scales are up 500g this morning. Like I said yesterday, interesting... I'm fairly sure they'll be back down by Monday.

*************

Is anyone else having a problem with their blog links not updating? I thought everyone was awfully quiet last night....then this morning I checked Google Reader and there were eleventy-gajillion posts to get through. Still nothing showing in my sidebar thingy. Hmm.

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Apparently there was an earthquake last night, somewhere over near Korumburra. It was felt all over Melbourne, including in suburbs north and south of us, only.....we missed it. WTF? We were sitting on the couch watching a movie and felt nothing. No glasses rattling, no floor shaking, not a single teeny-tiny tremor.

I didn't think we had the sound up that loud. Or maybe our house really IS solid and just didn't move....?

Dammit, I miss all the good stuff.

Friday, March 06, 2009

Another reason to be happy



It's hardly stopped raining since Tuesday. :o)

Unless you've lived through years of drought, and with NO rain at all for the past three months, you can have no idea what this feels like. Sure, it's messing with my training plans, but there's always the spin bike, my DVDs or the gym.

I'm not complaining.

Whoosh!

Scales this morning are showing 58.0. Down another 600g from yesterday, and a whopping 1.3kg from the day before. Interesting, because I went a bit Dirty Diana the past couple of days too, and pushed calories up quite a bit.

Last night after a perfectly adequate dinner, I felt the need for chunky rice cakes with honey. I had that Uh-oh, I need fast-acting carbs NOW feeling, no doubt as a result of burning mega-calories during RPM. The day before, a chocolate bar snuck in, for no particular reason other than I just felt like it.

Of course, there's also been plenty of protein and veggies eaten, including my usual quota of asparagus. Also, PMS seems to have finally left the building.

I like daily weighing - it's always interesting..... 57s, here I come. Almost back where I ought to be, yay!

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I got my Filex bookings all sorted. Registration is done - although because I had some internet issues the other day and quit trying in disgust, when I finally got back to completing my form online, a couple of the sessions I wanted to do were full. Grrrr!

Airfares and hotel are booked too, so I'm all set. Selina's coming, and we're doing a heap of sessions together (although Boo! that she got into the outdoor prac one and I didn't). With fourteen sessions booked, and only seven required to get our CEC quota, there's plenty of opportunity for wagging and going shopping instead.

:o)

Thursday, March 05, 2009

Across the line

I usually have a client Thursdays at 7:00, but she rang me yesterday and swapped this week's session to Saturday. Cool, thinks I. A night off!

Then I had a very cranky day today. Lots of little things pissed me off. I was also having little pinpricks of guilt over skipping cardio this morning. So how do you resolve mega-crankiness plus feeling like a slackarse? Easy. I left work early, came home and made two-minute noodles for The Baby (shush!), got changed and headed out to do my sister-in-law's RPM class at 6:00pm.

Feel muuuch better now. I may have got off to a slow start, but I made it in the end.



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I also made the discovery that doing sprints with insufficient oxygen doesn't work all that well. Must remember my Ventolin next time...

Idiot.

Oh yeah? Take THAT!



Me: So, imagine I was an X-man (woman, whatever...)

Bike Boy: Mmm?

Me: What would my mutant super-power be?

Bike Boy: Farting

Me: ...........

*sigh*

Yesterday was going well (apart from the nosebleed which made me late for work) until the late afternoon, when I had a pretty nasty flare-up of agonising belly pain. Ugh. No idea what triggered that this time.

So, my plan to do cardio last night went out the window. Along with my plans to eat dinner.... I took some peppermint oil, had a cup of peppermint tea and put myself to bed early. And I actually slept well - apart from waking at 3:00am with TWO dead arms.

This morning I was tired and still had tummy grumblings going on, so I opted to stay in bed a while longer and bring my rest day forward. Or maybe I'll train tonight - I'll wait and see how I feel.

Scales were down to 58.6. Whatever.

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On the good news front, I somehow managed to completely forget that Monday is a public holiday. Yesterday when I realised, it was like getting a surprise birthday present. Yippee!! Long weekend......

I'm also excited because Shauna, of Dietgirl fame, is coming home to Oz for a visit, and she'll be making a side-trip to Melbourne. Can't wait to meet her in the flesh! :o) Shauna's was the first blog I ever came across and I've been a reader and a fan for a long time. Now I count her as a cyber-friend, but I can still act like a star-struck idiot and get her to sign my copy of her book, right?

Wednesday, March 04, 2009

Full steam ahead

Got a bit distracted yesterday by the nutty weather and my hilarious youngest son (that child is a) smart and b) really, really funny. I asked Bike Boy last night if he thinks The Baby will grow up to use his powers for good or evil....?).

Anyway, back to training, nutrition and all that stuff....

Weight: Hmm. I think Liz's wrong way dickhead leprechaun paid me a visit too - my weight jumped another 500g Monday morning. Wait...was it Tuesday? I get my days all mixed up sometimes. Today, that invisible bugger is still standing on my scales. 59.3 is NOT exactly where I planned to be. BUT....I feel good and I'm doing all the right stuff, so no need to panic yet. Besides, I was looking HOT at the gym this morning. :o)

Training: I backed the weight off for yesterday's leg workout. I figured that Saturday's lower back pain had something to do with my training on Friday. I noticed that my right knee was doing this funky kind of inward wobble thing on the concentric phase of my squats - no doubt due to my leg length discrepancy or something related. So I figured I'd go back to squatting just the bar and really watch my technique.

I don't have any serious DOMS today, just a twinge in my glutes, but at least I'm not crippled either.

Today was upper body and it was.....OK. I'm a bit tired and PMS is still on the scene, so maybe that's the reason. Anyway, I figure every single workout can't be a total badass experience. You gotta have some so-so sessions, and even the odd one that really sucks. Then you have no trouble recognising the ones where you're on fire, Baby!

That's my theory anyway.

Nutrition: No dramas there. I'm eating well and loving my food. I'm thinking of reducing starch for a few days and upping the veggie quota to get my carbs in. I'll see what the scales do over the next day or so before I change anything. I won't be cutting out my breakfast oats though - no way, no how.

Mindset: I'm doing a bit of visualisation and it's helping me stay focused. You gotta know where you're going if you want to have any hope of getting there.....


Ah, Wednesday....the end of the week is in sight!

Tuesday, March 03, 2009

Beam me up

The Baby: So, Mum...what are you going to Sydney for?

Me: For the fitness convention.

The Baby: A fitness convention, hmm?

The Baby: *puts on dweeby voice* So, I'll swap you this medicine ball action figure for that dumbbell action figure....

Me: Bwahahaha!

Welcome to the wild, wild....south?

We're expecting a day of wild weather here in Melbourne. Great. The warnings have been coming thick and fast: extreme fire danger, winds equalling a day in April last year, when roofs blew off and goodness-knows-what else.

The BoM and the CFA have both been talking gloom and doom, and first thing yesterday I got a text from The Baby's school to say that an excursion planned for today wasn't going ahead, due to the expected weather conditions. Seems some schools and child care centres will be closed altogether - those in fire danger areas where evacuation may be an issue. We even got several emails at work warning us to take care, stay indoors if possible and if anyone needed to be home due to school closures etc, to speak to their manager.

So all of that was a bit extraordinary, but then yesterday afternoon, mobile phones started going nuts all around the office. EVERYONE was getting text messages. It turned out to be a message from Vic Police, making sure everyone who wasn't living in a cave knew about the forecast conditions.

Thanks guys. Now I'm really nervous.

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I got up at 6:30am, even though I don't need to be at the gym till later on, because this morning has one of the weekly two-hour windows when we're allowed to water the garden. So I haul out the hose and get started.....and it starts to rain.

I stayed out there and did it anyway, even though it was just about bucketing down. I know how this goes - it pours for about 15 minutes, then nothing. The soil is still as dry as a bone and you've wasted your only opportunity to avoid hauling buckets full of bath water around.

I was hoping to be proven wrong. The wind might still howl, but at least a good soaking would reduce the fire danger. Not looking good so far - the rain's just stopped.

Monday, March 02, 2009

In a spin

It's Monday again already? That means it's cardio day.....

I haven't exactly ticked all the boxes on the cardio front this past week. My new weights program is taking quite a bit longer than those I've done recently, and since I only have an hour for training most days, I can't do a quick 20-30 minutes of cardio afterwards. I could go back to getting up at 5:00am and head over to Skankytown to train.... but nah! I like my little gym five minutes down the road. Pity about the late 6:00am opening.

So this week I'll just have to rearrange my time to make sure I get it done. Mondays and Thursday are easy - those are cardio-only days. Today I got on the spin bike and now I'm feeling the lurve..... Oh wait. I think that's pain and exhaustion.

The scales are playing bouncey-bouncey today. Possibly because of the orange & almond cake thingie I had yesterday arvo (mmm-mmm!). Or possibly something else altogether. Whatever, that 500g I lost yesterday found me again today. So that puts my progress in that department at zero for the week.

Time to paddle a little harder - doing my damn cardio might help. D'oh!

Sunday, March 01, 2009

Recipe alert! - Passionate about this one.



One of my favourite summer fruits is the good old passionfruit. Every time I eat one, I think of my maternal grandmother. Her big backyard, with the steel Hill's Hoist taking pride of place in the middle of the lush green lawn, the bungalow down the back where a string of single male boarders resided, the verandah where we played when it was raining, the outdoor dunny with the fragrant tea rose Lady Hillingdon climbing up the trellissed entrance, and the rambling passionfruit vine on the north-facing side fence.

I can feel the warmth of the sunshine, smell freshly cut grass, hear the clean washing flapping in the breeze and can almost reach out and touch Prince, the black and white Cocker Spaniel. Then I hear Grandma yelling from the kitchen door "Get off my clothesline, you buggers! I'll bloody skin you if I catch you doing it again!" Geez, just when we thought she wasn't looking and were having a little spin, seeing who could hold on the longest. I swear, that woman had eyes that could see through walls - maybe the milk-bottle glasses she wore gave her x-ray vision or something....

Anyway, the reason for all this reminiscing is that I just tested out Carolyn's passionfruit version of my souffle omelette and it was OH MY GOD deliciously good. I've blogged the recipe, of course, so if you're as passionate about passionfruit as I am, give it a try.

Holy bulging biceps, Batman!

That was one awesome workout! A big bowl of oats 'n whey as fuel, a good dose of caffeine to get me going, plus just the right mindset, and I was rocking it!

Today was one of those days when I felt big, bad and knew before I started that I was going to have a great workout. I glanced in the mirror once while I was doing those excruciatingly sloooow lat pulldowns and thought Wow! I LOOK like an athlete today!

As my Dad used to say: If I was any fitter, I'd be dangerous! ;o)

I maybe looked a bit less like an athlete and more like a lunatic in between my pushup sets, when I was having a little boogie to Sex Machine on my iPod.

Training arms always makes me happy, but today I was only halfway through my first set of bicep ladders when those babies started to feel tight and pumped, like they might just explode. So of course, I couldn't resist striking a few front double bicep poses between arm supersets.

Modesty.....hmm *looks around* ....I'm sure I used to have some of that somewhere.....Nah, can't find it.


Tipping the scales

Today's weight: 58.3 Down 500g.

Yesterday was a rest day, not even a walk, thanks to my old SIJ deciding to play games with me. I woke up with some pretty extraordinary lower back pain, so shelved training altogether. Some stretching of my tight hamstrings did not much at all, and in the evening, when the pain was beginning to really drag me down, I resorted to some tennis ball therapy. That helped quite a lot, and some drugs got me through the rest of the night.

Nutrition was fine - although a few crackers with light Philly and tomato, and about 40g of leftover dark chocolate from my cookie-baking the other day ended up being eaten late in the evening, on top of my usual meals.

So with a few extra calories, no exercise and some inflammation, I wasn't expecting any joy from the scales this morning. Just shows that sometimes changing things up gets unexpected results. *scratches head*

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Thanks to Carolyn, I have a passionfruit version of my souffle omelette to test out. Yum!! Might do that this afternoon - if so, I'll blog it.

I love it when somebody takes one of my recipes and experiments with it. :o)

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Linda left a comment yesterday on my scales post that reminded me of something that peeves me. She said:

scales at the gym ask for age and height. Whooohooo- if I put my age in much younger I have much less body fat apparently!! oh to be 25 again!@ lol You gotta take these instruments with a dash of salt!

When I did the setup on my scales for my stats, I hesitated over the age entry. It always annoys the crap out of me that your age is even factored into these things. There is an assumption amongst health experts that it's "normal" to get fatter as you get older. It may be normal, in terms of what most people experience because they allow it to happen, but it is not inevitable.

Now, if these machines are so accurate, *snort* then why do they even need to know your age? Surely the contraption can measure your fat, muscle and water without knowing if you're 20 or 70? I've always known that age is factored into the calculations the scales make in some way. So they clearly take some measurements, from some areas, then based on whether you're male or female, and how old you are, they make some breath-taking assumptions about how much fat etc you have in parts of your body that aren't measured....not to mention assumptions about things like bone density.

I've often wondered what would happen if I lied about my age..... Now I know. Thanks, Linda!

Might go change those settings, just for fun. Let's see.....I feel about 30. Hmm.

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Right now I'm off to the gym to do the workout that didn't get done yesterday. Upper body, thank goodness - my back's feeling quite a bit better, and should cope OK with that.

I was planning a short run too, but perhaps I'll switch to the bike instead. 20 minutes of jarring force on my spine is maybe not such a great idea.