Just Do You – a guide to being selfish

Just Do You. One of the most important things I’ve been told lately, because adding a bit of selfish to your life can make everything a whole lot easier.

Growing up – we were told not to be selfish. To put others before ourselves. Not to keep things for ourselves. But when did we suddenly take all this too far? When did making other people happy, get put in front of our own happiness? It is IMPOSSIBLE to keep everyone happy. Really. No matter how hard you try.

“Must keep work happy”

“Must keep *insert person’s name here* happy”

“I’ve been friends with them for years so I have to go”

Have you ever found yourself saying these, followed by a sigh of dread? Don’t worry – so have I.
Recently I’ve been trying to steer away from these comments, and instead putting ME in those.

“Must keep ME happy” coz really, isn’t this the most important thing? And by being happier myself, making other people happy just came so much easier. Now there is a big difference between thinking about yourself all the time, and putting yourself first when it’s needed. I’m talking about the latter.

I had a coffee with an old friend last week (which actually turned into a cider) and we both were living a life very similar – we were just being us. And what was magical was that our lives were intertwining with each other because we were JUST BEING US. We’re both busy girls, and we’re both deeply proud of what each other has accomplished, which is why when we come together it’s our selfish time.

Why do you need to put some selfish into your life?

Here are a few reasons:

Mental and Physical Health
My training ultimately comes first, it has to. But by being selfish and putting my training first it leaves me in a better mood and a sharper mind. My gym time is sacred and is often the first thing I plan in my day. It’s non-negotiable. Do I always love it? No. But I do it.

I also like to put away some time for meditation and soul thinking. It helps me process the day, calm my inner voice, and let go of any demons – making me an overall happier gal.

Better relationships
By putting ME first (oooooo so selfish) – one of the first things I found myself saying was “No.” Do you know that you DON’T have to do everything anyone asks you? I know! Who would’ve thought! Ultimately, you decide who you spend your time with, and who fills your head. Make it count. Make it special.

Personal development
Have you ever wanted to learn the piano? Or learn a new language? Or start a sport? DO IT. Please don’t say you don’t have time, coz I’ll just tell you to find it. Personal development gives you a sense of accomplishment, success, pride, happiness, something else to add to your CV – the list goes on.

No Bullshit – Just Do You.
This is my most favourite one of all. No bullshit. Absolutely none. I take pride in my life, who is in it, and what I do. Quite often we focus on self-judgment rather than self-compassion. Be gentle and realize you’re enough. Me? I have a job that I LOVE. A husband who fills my life with every ounce of happiness. Friends who I would do absolutely anything for, and them for me. But best of all, I have a person who I can look in the mirror and say “Wow, you are awesome”.

 

The Girl Who Lifts

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Why you should let go of losing weight and train because you love it

About 5 years ago, my sole purpose to go the gym was to lose weight. Why? Because it would make me happier of course. I would find a boyfriend, get a better job and become that person I always wanted to be. My gym sessions were slow and horrible. I would run on the treadmill, get bored. Go on the bike, get bored. Try the elliptical, get bored. Go home. And because I didn’t have a purpose, I would eat and drink shit….and of course my weight would stay the same. I hated it.

Being stuck in a world of “weight loss” wasn’t helping my confidence. If I didn’t like how I looked, I wasn’t going to portray a very comfortable person, and ultimately, the people I surrounded myself with treated me the same way.

My social media was filled with size 0 models, “how to lose weight” guides, skinny teas and detox guides. My pantry was filled with “treats” I would promise myself to only eat on my cheat meal, but really would gorge into as soon as I got home from work.

Get the picture?

Enter powerlifting.

When I started lifting, I still had the obsession with losing weight, it wasn’t an overnight fix. Weights were then becoming the “fat blaster” fad, and my tiny 2kg dumbells were meant to be the answer to everything. Boy was I wrong. When my coach started teaching me the motions and technique behind the squat, bench and deadlift my goals made a shift from weight lost, to weight I could move.

80kg Deadlift

I remember my first goal of an 80kg deadlift. It seemed impossible when I was only lifting 40kgs, but that was the goal. Each session I would go in, do my program and leave feeling like I had succeeded. It was a brand new feeling.  My coach really encouraged me to stop weighing myself. To stop obsessing over THAT number. It was a very calming break. I started reading self-love guides instead of weight loss guides. I started really talking to myself and telling myself that I was actually OK.

There is a sense of achievement from powerlifting that I had never felt before, and it’s something I’m now addicted to. I STRIVE to be a better lifter. But how does that differ from an addiction to weight loss? Honestly, I had no idea what I was doing before. The idea of “weight loss” seemed so unreachable and mind boggling. I had no idea HOW to get there, or even WHY. The treadmill certainly wasn’t doing it.

My goals are ever-changing. Once I hit that 80kg deadlift – I wanted 100kg. Once I hit 100? 140! And so far I’ve hit every single goal. Just last week I hit my current goal of 190kg deadlift – and that goal has once again increased. It’s the same for squat and bench as well – once you hit that number, celebrate and start again. Bigger and better, every single day.

Oh, and not only am I no longer bored – I have a husband, an awesome job, and found that person I was looking for. And it had nothing to do with losing weight.

 

The Girl Who Lifts

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Competition day! A rundown of the Christchurch Champs.

On Sunday I competed in my first comp for the year – the Shoreline 3 lift competition held under GPC NZ. Since moving back to New Zealand, I have been so excited to be involved with GPC New Zealand, there is definitely a big sense of family within the federation and I am SO stoked to be here.

We (GPC NZ) are blessed with our President/Competition runner, so I knew it was going to be a good day. Not having a coach for the past year has somewhat hindered my progress (there are only so many youtube videos are girl can watch to try get some help with technique) but I stuck to what I know and managed to get a good 12 weeks of training in. As my work is still picking up, I’ve had HEAPS more time to train, and man it’s made a difference. I was less stressed, less rushed, and had so much more energy to put into training. Long may it continue! My squat and deadlift were feeling pretty good, but my bench has been really lacking due to a crappy shoulder.

The comp itself was run so smoothly. There was an awesome bunch of lifters, all supporting and cheering each other through each lift. If you’re thinking about competing, I would definitely suggest it.

Most Federations will run Novice Competitions – where you can wear your normal gym gear (no sexy softsuits), and learn the rules/regulations for competitions, and I promise you will get addicted to the buzz of a good lift. The feeling of new PBs, 3 white lights and just knowing you’ve given 110% is incredible, and something I would encourage any lifter to try. As this was a mixed competition of both novice and regular competitors, it was so awesome to see so many new faces on competition day, and even more awesome to see them all smash their lifts. There were also lots of familiar faces, and it was bum grabs (thanks Rachel) and high fives all round.

So what makes a good competition? For me – good spotter/loaders, good judges, a patient handler, a loud crowd, along with some epic lifts, all combine to make a damn good day.

  • Spotter/loaders: load the bar with the correct weight, and set up the gear for you to lift. They’ll also catch any missed lifts or slips
  • Judges: 2 side and 1 head. They’ll mark your lifts a good or bad lift. 2 white lights = good lift!
  • Handler: your sidekick/assistant for the day. They’ll fetch your drinks, get your gear ready, psych you up and give you high fives and bum taps when needed.

Ok – so down to the day. Shoreline provided an AWESOME spot for comp. Lots of room to warm up, good room to hold the lifting, and the guys there are great. I was feeling pretty confident going in, and apart from some greedy attempts, I was left pretty happy with my lifts. I walked away with a new PB and New Zealand record, and overall Top Female lifter.

Post comp smiles

My numbers:
Squat
– 1st attempt: 175kg
– 2nd attempt: 185kg
– 3rd attempt: 201kg (no lift)

Bench
– 1st attempt: 65kg
– 2nd attempt: 77.5kg
-3rd attempt: 87.5kg (no lift)

Deadlift
– 1st attempt: 175kg
– 2nd attempt: 180kg
– 3rd attempt: 185kg
– 4th attempt: 190kg (New Personal Best, new NZ record)

I start with a new coach this week, so I am looking forward to really getting my technique sorted and then smashing some big numbers at Nationals in July!

Bring it on!

 

The Girl Who Lifts

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How to get through a bad session – a guide to the big fail

I hate the word fail – but sometimes that’s exactly what happens. Today’s session did not go to plan at all. My squats were feeling off, the bar was sitting weird and I would go down, but wouldn’t get back up – the ultimate fail. A weight that would normally move very easy, was suddenly a huge grind and I was NOT happy. And do you know what was going through my head? “FAIL FAIL FAIL”

The failed squat

If you’re anything like me, a bad session can turn even worse very quickly. A few swear words, a few dirty glances in the mirror, talking and thinking yourself down until you grab your things and head for the door. Working through a fail session can sometimes feel harder than the session itself.

So how do you get through it?

First of all, take a deep breath. So much of a fail session is mental, so try not to be too down on yourself. Have a think about what’s going on – outside stresses? Have you eaten properly today? Drunk enough water? So many factors can affect what goes on in the gym, so try and clear your head. Don’t over analyse the fail.

DON’T leave the gym – you’ll let the fail win. You’re there and that’s awesome, so don’t leave on a bad note. If you’re not feeling it, move onto something else. Take the weight down, get your accessory work done, or go for a walk on the treadmill but whatever you do, don’t leave!

A little bit of self belief can go a long way

Ask for a spot. If it’s a confidence thing, sometimes having someone there to catch you/the weight can make all the difference. Most people are pretty keen to help out, so ask someone working out close by, or ask one of the gym staff.

Remember the big picture. Remember what bought you here in the first place. That dress you want to fit into? That holiday that’s coming up? Whatever the reason, get it back in your head and focus on it. For me – it’s my comp in 6 weeks, no bad session is going to stop me pushing towards that goal!

Let it go when you leave the gym. Don’t hold onto it and turn the next session into a bad one as well. Congratulate yourself on what you got through and have a laugh about the bad stuff. Next time you will nail it!

What are your tips for getting through a fail session?

The Girl Who Lifts
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Setting the routine to get you going

So you’ve decided to start. You’ve decided to add some exercise into your daily life, and become the healthiest you. What now? Let’s find that routine!

CONGRATS! You’ve made the best decision. It doesn’t matter if it’s a gym, or you’re wanting to get active in your neighbourhood – whatever it is, you’ve done it.

My Motto

At the end of last year, hubby and I packed up our lives and moved back to my hometown of Christchurch, New Zealand.  The move was a big step towards our goals and was absolutely so exciting to get back with my family and friends. We quit our jobs (and I said goodbye to my 5 hour commute) sold/gave away and dumped about 85% of our things, said some very tearful goodbyes and started a brand new life in New Zealand.

Routine was something I relied on very much back in Aussie. I would be on the train at 5am to go to work, get home from work at 7.30, and go straight to the gym, and then home for dinner and bed. Monday – Friday this was my routine. It wasn’t the best way to live, but it was what was needed to get to NZ, and get to our goals.

I think for any gym/life/body goals to be met, routine needs to be in place. Routines give a purpose, keep your driven and help YOU know when and how these goals will be met.

So what happens when you need to start a routine – what do you do? How do you put one in place that you know you will stick to?

Since moving to NZ my routine has been very, ummm, relaxed (to say the least). My husband and I are very much enjoying the unemployed life, and having been taking each day as it comes (to be honest I wasn’t actually sure what day it even was this morning).

But, this can’t last for ever and very soon we will both be back in the working life, and a routine will need to be set. I’ve got some pretty big goals I wanna hit this year with my lifting (helllooooooo World Championships) so I need to be hitting my training.

These are my main suggestions for starting a routine that you CAN and WILL stick too.

  1. Decide the best time each day to work out. You don’t HAVE to be up at 6am on a Monday morning to workout, if you know that doesn’t work for you. Maybe you finish work at 3pm on a Tuesday and don’t have to pick the kids up until 5.30. Maybe you meet your friend across the road from a park for brunch every Saturday and you’re always meaning to go for a walk before brunch each week. Find your spaces each day and write in your workout dates – and don’t think it needs to be a 7 day thing – work in your rest days as well, if Wednesday is your busiest day, don’t force in a pump class at 4am if that’s not your thing.
  2. Unfortunately, this is the hard one. DO IT. It will be hard, and some days you will feel like you’re forcing yourself to do it, but think about that end goal and get out there!
  3. Don’t beat yourself up! Life is busy sometimes – family stuff, work, friends, parties – it will all get in the way, the most important this is to not let one missed workout ruin the routine.
  4. The first few weeks are the hardest – find your support crew, find the people who are going to keep you accountable – and let them help.
  5. Enjoy it. This is such an exciting time, and keep some variety in your life! Try out that spin class, try run for a few moments during your walk, or increase your weights. Just make sure you are enjoying it!
Just. Do. It.

Pretty soon, it will all be as normal as your morning coffee!

What is your best way to keep your routine going?

The Girl Who Lifts
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Joining the Gym – a guide for beginners!

Ahhhhh January, the time for New Years resolutions, revised life outlooks and promises for the best year ever! If joining the gym was one of your New Year resolutions, but you are yet to put it into motion –  this will help you find a gym you will LOVE to go!

Personally, I love the gym. I love the atmosphere, and I love (most) of the people. But there was a time when I was petrified of the gym. I felt intimidated and was never sure of what to do, or what the equipment was – I would end up just walking on a treadmill in the corner for 30mins, and would then leave. Sound familiar?

The very first gym I ever joined was here in Christchurch, and I remember walking round like a lost puppy for a good 2 weeks, with absolutely NO idea what I was doing. Lucky for me, an old friend was primary school was one of the trainers there so I started up with here twice a week, and gained so much confidence. Back then my training goals were very different to what they are now, but the basics will never go away.

Trial
I always suggest trialling a gym first. Most gyms will offer a free trial period – so make sure you take advantage of that! Go in, have a chat to the staff and have a walk around with them – let them show you where the equipment is and see if they offer a free PT session if you join! Make sure you feel comfortable, you’re going to be spending a lot of time there!

If you can, during your trial days, make sure you go when you will be going once you’ve joined. If you know you work from 9 – 5 and you’ll probably go in the evening – don’t do your trial at 6am each morning, as you won’t get a proper representation of what the gym will be like. For me, I’m all about the atmosphere, I need a fun place to train. I like being able to chat to people, and have people chat to me. Maybe you like to put your headphones on and be in a world of your own – make sure you think about these things when you’re there.

Have in your head what YOU want from the gym. Good cardio? Step machine? Good tunes? Bit relaxed on shoe wearing? (another big one for me), good classes that match your timetable? Have a list and tick the things off.

PT or orientation
Once you’ve decided on a gym, make sure you use any free PT sessions, or orientations they are offering, but have a clear idea of what you want help with! Most will be able to set you up with a program and show you how to do each exercise. Maybe you want to include some weights! Ask!

A good squat rack is very important!

Don’t be afraid to ask for help. Seriously! I get VERY excited when someone asks me for help with technique, or show them what I’m doing. Or, if you don’t want to interrupt someone’s session, ask the staff at the gym – that’s what they’re there for. Don’t shy away and get back into the habit of treadmilling in the back corner.

 

 

 


Just do it!
Like most things, sometimes you just have to get in there and do it. Get some new gym gear, have a big smile and hold your head up high!

My current gym <3

Find a buddy!
Remember that there will be other people who have just joined as well, and are probably just as freaked out as you! So smile! Say hi to people! A few of my bestest friends I met at the gym (mostly through Instagram stalking) and meeting them was one of the highlights of my time in Aussie. We only became friends because we plucked up the courage to talk to eachother. There can be a lot of misconception about regular gym goers!

Gym buddies are the best – maybe you have a friend who goes to the gym regularly, let them know about your goals and set some gym dates with them! You don’t need to be doing the exact same workout, but having a friendly face in a sometimes terrifying place, will definitely help with making you feel at home!

And most of all – have fun!

The Girl Who Lifts
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Wedding and Nationals!

Sorry it’s been such a long time. Time has slipped away pretty fast over the past few months, with some BIG changes. I got married, quit my job, and competed at the GPC Nationals. So where to start?

Having such big things happen all within a few weeks of each other was a big decision, one I didn’t take lightly. But, in the end – why not? New beginnings and new goals? Fresh start? All things that can make change a VERY exciting time.

Leaving my job was a hard one – I loved my job. I loved the people I met, I loved the people I work with, and I loved the challenges it brought. But unfortunately the 5hr per day commute was not agreeing with me – my weight had ballooned, I was tired, and wanted some balance back in my life. My soon to be husband and I talked about it, and decided we wanted to stay where we were living, so leaving my job was the only thing to do. It was sad, and there were tears, but I’m looking forward to putting the same love into a new career.

Marriage. The most exciting one. Such an incredible day, and one that I wish I could re-live over and over. It was such a special time having all of my family and friends all together in one room. We laughed, we cried (happy tears of course), we danced, and we drunk. All the best things life can bring. Best day of my life.

First dance
First dance
Married!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Through all of this – I was counting down the days to Nationals. My biggest comp to date. It was 3 weeks after my wedding, but I knew I would regret it big time if I didn’t go. So, after a very short discussion with my soon to be (and incredibly supportive) husband, we arranged our honeymoon to ensure we were at Nationals. Wow I was a lucky girl! My coach, my Dad (one of my biggest fans) and husband all provided me all the support I needed to get through the crazy month that was about to take place.

My gorgeous bridesmaids, page boys and very happy Dad!
My gorgeous bridesmaids, page boys and very happy Dad!

Once I committed myself to this – everything else came easy. Training was my way to keep my brain sane, so during the wedding planning process it was very much needed. All I needed to do was ensure I got each lift in each week – Squat, bench and deadlift. And I needed to give 150% at each session. Once I wasn’t working my sleep time increased, and man I saw a difference.

My husband and I left for our honeymoon a week after the wedding, and had a very blissful 10 day roadtrip up to the Gold Coast. We had no plan, and rarely knew where we were sleeping each night – part of the adventure we were on.

I had one session on the road, and man it was a big one. But the rest was doing me well, as I absolutely nailed it. Confidence was on point, and my body was feeling VERY relaxed. I had a minor freakout when I *thought* I was failing my bench. I was nowhere my max, but it really wasn’t happening. Turns out my holiday brain had me load at extra 10kgs onto what I was meant to be doing! Crisis over!

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Repping the custom made hoodie at Summer Bay!

Nationals. Words can’t actually explain how incredible of a day Nationals was. Mind blowing? Amazing?

The people – It was so nice to meet the girls who I had friended on FB from all over Australia, who all had a love for the same sport. If there is one thing I learned, this is in no way an individual sport. Yes – you are competing against each other, but you wouldn’t know by the amount of love and support everyone gives each other. We warmed up together, high fived each other, celebrated the PBs and hugged out the missed weights. Incredible.

I couldn’t have asked for a better day of lifting. My goal going in was 160kg+ Squat, 80kg Bench and 180kg+ Deadlift. I hit every single one.

Squat – 165kgs (12.5kg increase in PB)
Bench – 80kgs (5kg increase in PB)
Deadlift – 182.5kgs (5kg increase in PB)

Total – 427.5kgs (22.5kg increase since last comp) and 5th place at the comp.

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That squat face!
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182.5kg deadlift!

Happy? Stoked? They don’t even explain the complete elation I was feeling after.

Now for the cool part (if that’s not cool enough) – I am ranked 7th in Australia in the ALL TIME rankings for Global Powerlifting Committee. 7th best lifter. Ever. Now for someone that’s never been ranked anywhere for anything – this is COOL. I’m happy, and I’m proud. And I think I’m allowed to be.

So what’s next for The Girl Who Lifts? ProRaw 7 in November. The BIG BIG one. This is invitation only, the best of the best – and after a lot of hard work and determination – I’m one of them.

Let’s do this.

The Girl Who Lifts

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The importance of sleep!

There comes a time when you really just have to say enough. For the last year and a half I have been doing a very insane commute, 2.5hrs into work and then 2.5hrs back home again. Many have called me insane. But in about 7 weeks’ time that is all going to change, I have handed in my notice and it’s time to get back to a normal lifestyle. A new job and hopefully 8 hours sleep at night.

This morning I realised just how desperate I am for sleep. Normally I have an alarm that wakes me up just before my train stop in the morning. This morning I slept right through it. I went all the way to the end of the line – which is about another 4 stops past mine, and then came back into the city. I woke up just before the train was pulling into my station again. I was absolutely out to it. Didn’t hear a thing.

I am SO looking forward to not being tired. I’m so looking forward to being able to get up in the morning and go for a walk, and then eat breakfast at home. I’m looking forward to having some ME time that isn’t surrounded by 20 odd strangers. I’m looking forward to spending some more time with my fiancé. SO MUCH to look forward to!

Not enough sleep has a TERRIBLE impact on the body. For me, the biggest impact has been on my adrenal system. Cortisol is the stress hormone, it looks after your bodies reactions to everyday stresses. You cortisol is at its highest in the morning, when you wake up, to get you started for the day. There is an increase of up to 50% 20 – 30mins after wakening – this is known as the “cortisol wakening response” As you go through your day your cortisol naturally decreases, allowing you to keep a regular sleeping pattern and fall asleep at night.

When you are stressed, your adrenal glands secrete cortisol which can result in a rise in blood pressure, glucose levels, heart rate etc and you are meant to return back to normal after a period of time. When you are in Adrenal fatigue, your body is constantly secreting cortisol in a state of stress, and never really returns to normal. And after a while, your body can’t produce enough cortisol – bringing on fatigue, lack of enthusiasm and a general “burnt out” feeling.

You can imagine what this can do for someone who is trying to also lose weight. NOT MUCH.

One of the major signs adrenal fatigue which I have really noticed, is at night. I am SO sleepy in the afternoons, I wake up enough to smash through my training sessions, and then I head home. I get home pretty tired, cook dinner, and then BOOM 11pm hits and I am AWAKE. Getting to sleep is a mission, and then it all starts over again the next day. It’s rough. So get your sleep people.

I set some goals last month to help keep me focused during the lead up to Nationals, and one of those goals was to be in bed by 11pm. Rest is key to recovery and bigger lifts! I’m doing well so far!

Thanks to my amazing coach Mark, I have the most amazing program taking me through into Nationals. I’m actually pretty damn lucky when it comes to trainers. Mark is constantly answering my questions, explaining things over and over again, re writing my eating plans when I don’t understand, and is generally just an awesome human.

Thanks to his expertise, I’m feeling stronger every session, and can really see some massive potential in my lifts. I’ve just gotta put the work in now. No excuses. I’m really working to get a minimum of 5 hours in the gym each week and smashing through my strength sessions. I WANT to be the best. I WANT to lift the heaviest. I KNOW I’ve got it in me.

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Front squats!
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A girls gotta flex!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

A lot of people ask me how I do it. How I manage to get myself to the gym every day after work, and where I find the strength to then lift such huge weights. As I’ve said before…passion is a huge part of what gets me through. I LOVE lifting, I LOVE talking about it, watching it, thinking about it. My poor work colleagues get the run down every day after my sessions. I’m not sure I could do what I do without the passion.

This Friday my fiancé and I are heading back to NZ for a holiday. I’ve got 3 weddings over the week, and we are going to take some much needed time out together. We get married in 8 weeks, and still have a bit to organise! I WON’T be taking a break from training. If anything I’ll be training harder than ever as I will have a bit of time! I’m really looking forward to hitting some Christchurch gyms!

Final bit of exciting news for thegirlwholifts. PRORAW7 invite!! ProRaw is a yearly event – where the best of the best compete, and I got an invite. SO SO SO HAPPY!

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ProRaw7

 

Reach for those dreams!

The Girl Who Lifts

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Powerlifting into 2015

So 2015 has begun. A new year, new goals, and so many exciting things to look forward too. Lifting, lifting and a little bit more lifting!

I’ve spent a bit of time looking back over 2014, revisiting the goals I made, and feel a big sense of pride at what I have accomplished. Highlights for 2014 were getting engaged (eeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee!!!), placing 2nd at my first ever powerlifting competition, and then gold at my first GPC sanctioned event. No, I didn’t lose the weight I wanted, but I think what I have learned certainly makes up for it. Losing weight isn’t going to happen without knowing how to do it.

So here is a list of things learned during 2014

  1. FOOD is one of the most important things to know about. I’m pretty happy to say that I now feel confident when making decisions about what to eat. Early 2014 I came back in touch with a beautiful girl called Mia, who I went to high school with. Mia has given me so much knowledge about feeding my body the correct things to let it be the best it can be. Check her out here or on instagram @madebymiaxo  I now take vitamins in the morning, eat a healthy breakfast (vegetables included), fill my body with vegetables during the day, water and eat a dinner that will help me grow. I still eat candy, chocolate and treats, but I am learning how to eat in moderation.
  2. Training. Gosh I love it. I go crazy if I don’t do it. Find something you love, and do it. Walking, running, basketball, whatever you love. Do it. For me it’s most definitely Powerlifting.
  3. Celebrate your successes. Seriously. No matter how small. It’s these successes that help you keep on moving.
  4. Don’t stop. You will have days where you feel like a failure, days where you think it isn’t working and days where you could eat a whole chocolate cake. Trust me. But it’s these days that turn into the biggest successes.
  5. If you do find you eat that chocolate cake, eat it, enjoy it, and then get back on the wagon. Maybe go for an extra walk.
  6. Find a trainer that can teach you how to train. For me, it started out being about eliminating injury and knowing how to do the exercises properly. But then it turned into a passion. I’ve been training with Mark from El Nino Strength and Fitness for nearly 3 years. What Mark has taught me during this time has been invaluable. Check him out here  on FB or on insta @elninofitness
  7. Love the shit out of your life. Learn, grow, change, talk, listen. Love everything you do.
  8. Don’t get a leg wax after leg day. Seriously.

So, last weekend I competed in my first comp for 2015 – the NSW powerlifting state title, this was the qualifiers for Nationals. They came around pretty quickly and my training into comp was pretty rushed, but I went in feeling confident and strong. I ended up with new PBs for each lift, and a new PB total, for which I am quite proud. Once again, I was in awe of the incredible ladies I saw on the platform, it’s one thing I LOVE about powerlifting – STRONG WOMEN! BIG thanks to PTC Sydney for an EPIC comp.

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Squat!

My numbers were
Squat 152.5kgs (new PB)
Bench 75kgs (new PB)
Deadlift 177.5 (new PB)
Total 405kgs (new PB)

To be honest, I was pretty gutted with my deadlift. I attempted 185 TWICE, and only just missed it. But it’s only made me more determined to get it next time, maybe even more! I ended up with a gold medal and a place at the Aussie powerlifting Nationals, which is where I am heading next. It was a bit of decision. Nationals are being held 3 weeks after my wedding, and I was unsure whether I wanted to take on planning a wedding AND training for nationals as well as trying to get through everyday life. But after a big discussion with my fiancé, and going through the time frame with my coach, I decided to go for it – you only live once right?

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Me and my number 1

 

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Me and coach – Mark from El Nino Strength and Fitness

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

First up I had to put some SOLID goals in place to get my through the next 12 weeks. 3 nutritional based goals, and 3 training based goals.

Nutrition

  1. Eat dinner as soon as I’m home so I’m not tempted to snack
  2. Plan my food, especially in the weekend, so I know exactly what I’m eating
  3. Eat breakfast in the weekend when I get up so I’m not starving and over eating

Training

  1. Minimum 5 hours training per week
  2. In bed by 11pm
  3. 3 strength session in the gym

It’s gonna be hard road, but one I am SO excited to travel.

 

The Girl Who Lifts

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Chapter 764 – Refresh, cardio…and GO!

Cardio is my friend. Cardio is my friend. Cardio is my friend. *repeat till you believe it*
This journey has been breaking itself down into chapters. Different challenges that have hit, that have changed the direction I’ve moved in, so a bit of a shuffle has been needed. The latest challenge has been one of the toughest.

After the last comp, I was on a bit of a high – I became complacent, and not so strict on things I should’ve been and as a result I found myself in a bit of a funk – the scales were tipping way higher than I want, and it sent me into a bit of an emotional spiral. I TRY so hard not to let my weight get the better of me, and measure my success in other ways, but sometimes it just beats me down.

I don’t like being in a funk. I lose all motivation, and come up with the most incredible excuses as to why continuing the behaviour is ok. The behaviour that started me on this journey in the first place. When I look back at what I’ve done this year – I can’t help but be proud, but this funk was going to let me throw it all away. I missed gym sessions, I was eating takeout again, snacking on candy, and not following my eating plan. And of course – my body responded the only way it knew how.

Enter my trainer Mark, from El Nino Strength and Fitness. He gave me a bit of tough love, a new eating plan and a whole heap of cardio. No no, I’m not converting to running, just low weight/high reps instead of high weight/low reps. The snap back I needed. Get my body thinking right again. I’m really not much of a fan of doing more than 5 reps of anything – so 10 – 15 is a challenge (I know my other loco warriors will understand) but we’re getting there and I am enjoying the new training. I decided to pull out of the push/pull comp – so I won’t be competing again till next year, so there is heaps of time to get things back on track.

FOOD
I don’t like talking much about what I eat. As I’ve said before, I’m a HUGE emotional eater, and always the first to go when I get happy/sad/have feelings. But I thought I’d give you a bit of an insight to what my day consists of.

I always start the day with Magnesium, B vitamins and Omega – helps with the headaches, stress and keeping my body fit and healthy.

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My magic pills

Breakfast – Green smoothie first thing (5.30am), followed by 2 hardboiled eggs when I get to work (8.30am)

Snack – some nuts and a coffee

Lunch – chicken or tuna and salad with ½ avocado

Snack – Banana

Post workout protein shake

Dinner – Salmon and Salad

Solid, and easy to follow. And so far has been pretty good. I’m very lucky to have one of my besties along the ride with me. I would seriously suggest finding a buddy who you can txt/call when you’re feeling like you’re going to crack. This chick has some serious will power, and it’s given me so much motivation watching how mentally strong she is. Together we are fighting through the sugar cravings, and both have some awesome goals we are working towards.

So that’s it. I’ve got my end of the year goal set – and I’m determined to hit it.

My mum came to visit me over the weekend, which was bliss. I must admit, I do miss my mum a bit. She’s a bit crazy, but when it comes down to it has some of the best advice, and with my wedding coming up, I needed some Mum time. We tried on wedding dresses, talked about centre pieces and placemats, and it was perfect. She’s left me in a pretty good place, and I’m looking forward to powering through the rest of this year. We went on some big walks, and talked about where I’m heading with all aspects of my life. It was very very much needed – so thanks Mum.

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Perfect spot for some goal setting with Mum!

SO – with Christmas (and my bday) coming up, I really really have to push myself to stay on track. NO EXCUSES!!

  • Keep up the exercise, don’t lose the motivation or the routine
  • Start each day with a solid breakfast
  • Don’t go overboard! Enjoy the treats, but don’t go crazy!

How are you getting through the silly season? I’d love your tips.

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Sweaty post workout selfie!

The Girl Who Lifts

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