Month: February 2014

Saying Less

The past two sessions have been absolutely crazy. I LOVE IT!

Yesterday:
Bike – 30secs on and 30secs off
Bike – 1min on 30secs off
Dumbell row and over-head press
Walking lunges and 30secs of steps
Finished with 4mins of 20secs on 10secs off on the rowing machine

Tonight:
DEADLIFTS (my fav) – Worked my way up to 120kgs. Did 2 sets x4 and x3
Barbell rows – 40kgs 5 sets of 10
Seated row – not sure how much weight but it was heavy. 3 sets of 8
Single arm row – 25kg dumbells 5 sets of 8

DEAD! But SOOOOOO happy! My fitness seems to be reaching a new level. Which is awesome. I have a love/hate relationship with intervals, but the fitter I seem to be getting, the more I seem to love it. And tonight I loved it.

So as you all know I’ve been working very closely with the amazing Amelia (verde-health.com) who has been helping with my diet. One of the things I’ve really been working on is being conscious of my eating – enjoying the food and really enjoying each new dish I’m eating. I’m actually really enjoying eating new foods and trying new things – it’s a big step for me.

I’ve made some YUMMY things – paleo bread, quiche, green smoothies, chicken dishes, chickpea fritters, shepherds pie with cauliflower mash on top… I’m loving it!

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But one thing I do still struggle with is turning down yummy stuff. Candy, biscuits, anything on the “you shouldn’t eat this” list. So I’ve learned a new trick, and it’s working out pretty well. Learn to say less.

So how does “saying less” work? WELL. Previously when I’ve been eating healthy (or on a diet) I’ll live by the principle of saying NO to everything that doesn’t “fit” in the diet, I’ll say no over and over and over again until I can’t do it anymore and I’ll end up eating well over what I should. So now, I’m saying less. Still enjoying those treats but learning to say less and be satisfied with it! We had biscuits in the office the other day, and normally I would say no, no, no, no, ohhhhhhhhh ok…grab a couple, and then suddenly I’ve eaten most of them. But now, I just say less. Have one, enjoy it (thoroughly) and then be done with it. It’s a step in the direction of self-control.

Now self-control is a difficult one, and something I REALLY struggle with. It’s like a switch in my brain just turns off and I just eat everything yummy. Everything I can see. I think by “saying less” I can set myself a limit and enjoy it. Binge eating was a regular event for me… like I’ve said before I would eat every time I felt some sort of emotion: happy, sad, angry, bored… looking back I’m quite impressed at how much I could eat (read emotional eating part 1 and part 2)

Today was pretty hard and it was the first time I felt those food emotions flood back. I had quite a stressful morning which turned into a rather stressful day. My yummy food brain clicked into over drive and I wanted food. Bad food. Now. BUT 100 points to me coz I worked my way through it and rewarded myself with deadlifts. BEST REWARD EVER.

So let’s continue with the “saying less” – eat less, weigh less, live more!

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The Girl Who Lifts

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Turn that negative to positive!

Today I thought I’d get a little bit personal, as it’s been playing on my mind quite a bit lately. Negative influences and their impact on your health journey. I was looking at photos from a few years ago the other day– when I was at my biggest and I actually have to pat myself on the back at how far I’ve come. Both mentally and physically. I’ve still got a long way to go – but man I’ve done well. I mainly look at my mental health – I was pretty low back then. I’m not sure why I didn’t just do what I’m doing now – I know my mother tried and tried and I even think to some extent I WANTED to – but just didn’t. I much preferred drinking and eating (and guys) to mask any sadness and self-loathing. There always seemed to be a drama going on as well. With friends, uni, guys, and my body – I would find every excuse under the sun.

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The first step into a healthier life was to get rid of the negative energy surrounding me. It’s amazing how fresh you feel once you walk away from any negativity and fill your life with positive influences. And here is the scary part: Yes – this may mean you will walk away from some friendships, and do you know what – that’s ok! If that friendship, no matter how long you’ve known each other or what you’ve been through together, is a negative influence, take a deep breath and walk away. Your body and your mind will thank you for it. This was a really tough one for me to realise, as friends are a massive part of my life. As someone who was bullied pretty badly in highschool, having lots of “friends” was important to me. It made me feel important. WOAH, this was wrong. Right now, I have the most amazing network of positive friends who support me through every step of the way – no negativity at all!

I read this the other day and it really stuck with me

 “Working out is hard; being overweight is hard. Which hard would you prefer?”

Being overweight is hard, trust me. Not being able to find clothes that fit, constantly thinking “I wish I could wear that”, not to mention that health issues. But once you take that step out of that “overweight” box, you won’t want to step back in. I’m still overweight (according to my doctor) but the difference is, now I THINK healthy, I EAT healthy, I AM healthy.

Here is what I’ve done for a healthier, positive life

–        Remove the negativity – people included. This is hard and may take some time, but it’s
worth it. Surround yourself with positivity!
–        Be thankful  – every morning take the time to be thankful for the good things in your life
–        Laugh everyday and SMILE!
–        Be an optimist – see the best in every situation.
–        Realise that happiness is a choice! YOU can decide to be happy! YOU can decide to be positive!

This week is hard. I have had a ridiculous headache all week which has put me in a very mad mood. I’m pretty sure it’s sugar withdrawls, and it sucks. I’ve been reading lots about it, but seriously body – get over it. I caved a little in the afternoon on Monday and got myself a skim chai latte, and what a difference it made…I managed to get through the afternoon at least. It’s weird though, I’m not craving candy, not at all – the thought of a bag of candy right now actually makes me feel a little queasy, but obviously my subconscious still things it’s a great idea. How I managed to get through bags of candy at a time and not feel anything really baffles me! I just have to think positive! This will get easier!

Anyways, Monday night was legs – which I love. I love how strong my thighs are (read Thunder Thighs regarding my love for my thighs) and I love how far I can push myself. Tonight I even felt strong enough to do some squats which was very exciting – we only did up to 60kgs (50kgs less than my max) but after a few sets of 10 I was feeling it. We followed these up with some single legpress (100kg thanks very much) some stair running with weights and some intervals – I was wrecked!! I love sessions like this – I’m so exhausted I can’t talk, all I can do is concentrate on the next breath and making sure I don’t face plant. I’ve finished off on such a buzz, and my headache magically went. Well done exercise, well done.

On Saturday I night I cooked possible one of the yummiest things ever. My boyfriend had invited his mate over for dinner and we cooked Kumara (or 1922607_296265870527721_1625302943_nsweet potatoe) Pizza. Recipe thanks to Mia at verde-health. Slice kumara up into thin slices and cover a pizza tin as the base. Roast in oven for about 15mins, then cover with toppings. We put on some tomato paste, chicken, baby spinach, capsicum and onion and then cooked in the oven. When it came out we put on some avocado and this delicious mayo type sauce made from cashew nuts and coconut cream and then we ate it all. It was amazing. It went down an absolute treat and I’m pretty sure it will be a regular dish! What I’m starting to get my head around is integrating this new lifestyle into my old life…a merger. Like I’ve said before – I like to go out and socialise, it’s just now a matter of trying to still stick to my healthy eating plan, while keeping social. It’s ok to meet a friend for lunch and bring my salad in a container – no one is going to look at my strange! Although there are situations where this isn’t possible. On Saturday I was taken out for lunch by my bosses with one of our agents from Sweden – it was a buffet restaurant so I took a deep breath and loaded up on salads and chicken – it was tasty and satisfying and I didn’t leave with this horrid feeling of regret after stuffing my face with food I didn’t need. This is doable – I just have to do it!

 

Hakuna Matata!

The Girl Who Lifts

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Motivation – how to find it

I am back in the deadlift arena!! Had another epic session tonight and Jake and I thought we Being a noodle after trainingwould see how I went with some very low weight and just moved up from there. They felt AMAZING. Tight, strong and no pain (in my back that is – there was pain everywhere else) I’ve really missed them! We got up to about 70kgs and just did sets of 8-10 reps. They felt good… We followed this with some pull ups – now, these really aren’t my favourite thing to do. They never have been. I try and I try – but they just never get easier. I’m hoping that as I get lighter they will (as there will be less of my ass to pull up) but we will see.  As I did with my deadlifts when I first started – just have to push on through.

 

My wonderful nutritionist has been sending me some amazing recipes, and I am really really really getting into my cooking. For anyone that knows me – the furthest my cooking skills ever went was boiling an egg (although I struggled with that at 5am this morning), BUT last night I cooked myself absolutely delicious Kumara and Pumpkin fritters (with only a little bit of help from my chef boyfriend) and they were yummmmmmmmmmy. The fact that they are actually tasting good is making me more and more excited about cooking more things… I really should start taking photos of my skills (I know my mother would need a photo to actually believe I cooked anything)

I am also feeling quite blessed about the messages people are sending me – you all know who you are, but your support and love is so very much appreciated.

A lot of people have been asking me about my motivation, how I get it and where I seem to find it. So here are my thoughts…

I believe you create your own motivation – only YOU know what gets you going and what gets you excited. You need to find these things, and DO THEM.

I like treats – whether it be getting my nails done, a new pair of shoes, getting a massage or my hair done…I like to treat myself. So this week I made myself a motivation tip jar. The rules are simple – every time I have a good workout, or stick to my meal plan, reach a new PB or just feel happy with my results – I put a gold coin in the jar. When I’ve reached my first goal weight…I get to treat myself, with whatever I want (obviously this won’t be food related as I’m really trying not to reward myself with food) and I know I will have EARNED it.

Tip Jar!

I’m also a visual person – so I’m creating myself a motivation vision board. Bright, colourful, my goals are written loud and proud and I can see them every day. I have photos of things that make me happy, power words and where I want to be.

Self praise – I give myself a high five all the time. YOU KNOW when you’ve done a good job, so congratulate yourself!! Look yourself in the mirror and say “YOU DID AWESOME!” Say it until you actually believe it. This also ties in well with my post about Loving Yourself – if you haven’t read it, do. Loving yourself will give you all the motivation you need.

Keep track of your achievements. Photos, keep a diary, track your progress and your own PBs, once you see what you’ve done, you’ll want to do more.

Find your own cheer squad – people you trust who will help you when you’re feeling down. I am SO blessed to have the people I have around me through this journey. My trainers especially, and my boyfriend and family and friends – all who give me a wee sparkle of motivation when it’s needed.

Just do it. Sometimes it’s just this simple. A trick that I learned was that you give yourself 15mins. If after 15mins you really really don’t want to exercise, stop. Your body obviously needs the rest. But most of the time the endorphins will kick in and you’ll want to keep going and going.

 

The Girl Who Lifts

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Reaching out

The Girl Who Lifts is back in the gym. And man does it feel good

Thursday I had my first session back with Jake and we blasted my arms. I hit a new PB in my bench press of 45kgs which has made my freaking day. We set our first goal for the year – bench press of 60kgs. MASSIVE! But I’m so excited about the process of getting there.

We followed this with some shoulder press and then some skull crushers, followed by some press-ups until I couldn’t press-up any more. I’ve left the gym on such a buzz – I’ve missed this feeling so much!!

I also dropped 2kgs last week. It seems I’m finally doing something right, and my body is thanking me for it. All the deep breathing, vegetables and lack of processed foods is doing my body a good thing – so I’m going to stick with it!

I always find weekends the hardest. I’m at home, out of my routine, and I seem to find a need to snack so much more than ever. I really stepped it up this weekend. I followed my healthy lifestyle eating plan (thanks again to Mia at verde-health), Sunday morning my boyfriend and I went down on the beautiful Werri Beach to do some beach sprints, so I’m feeling pretty chuffed and energised this morning.

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Anyways, today I wanted to share my thoughts on the importance of reaching out for help – especially when you’re on a weight loss mission.

From what I know, most people find making that first step into a healthy lifestyle hard – and even a little bit embarrassing (I know I did), it’s kind of like admitting that you’re doing things wrong. Suddenly going from eating burgers for lunch to a salad wrap is going to draw some attention…but I think it’s about time this embarrassment and secret keeping stopped. Deciding to be healthy is a good thing, and people should be shouting it from the rooftops.

I’ve been in and out of “healthy lifestyles” for years, each time getting a little bit more enthusiastic, until I reached the point I’m out now where I’m making sure every damn person knows about what I’m doing (including all of you). Here are my reasons why.

  1. Accountability – suddenly you have people asking how it’s going, wanting to join in, getting inspired by you to start their own healthy lifestyle mission, giving you praise and encouragement…and suddenly there is an accountability to keep it going.
  2. Support – I have never had so much support in my life than right now. The café girls next to my work are helping me, my workmates are getting in there, my friends, family, trainers, girls I went to high school with, and even people I don’t even know are sending me wishes of support. That in itself keeps me going.
  3. Ideas – There are SO MANY WAYS to go about losing weight, some good, some not so good. But by sharing your adventure you get enlightened into everyone else’s story and how they won (or failed) at their own battle.
  4. Because you shouldn’t be embarrassed – this is a GOOD THING! It’s the BEST THING I’ve ever done for myself, and I’m excited now, because everyone else is excited for me! This excitement is powering me along every day! No one should be embarrassed about making goals to make their life happier and healthier!

All right – rant over. Hopefully you’re feeling a little bit better about starting your own healthy lifestyle adventure.

The Girl Who Lifts
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Drama on the way home

So last night I took the wrong train home and ended up an hour outside of Sydney…in the wrong direction. I don’t know how I managed to go an hour without realising, I don’t even know how I ended up on the wrong train! I was pretty panicked when I realised and automatically I could feel my body going “EAT! YOU NEED TO EAT NOW!”

Before – I would have listened to my body and eaten everything I could see. But I now know, after reading Dr Libby, that this is my body going into survival mode – adrenaline is pumping and thanks to our caveman ancestors thinks that I’m running out of food and I’m going to starve – when actually all I’ve done is a REALLY stupid mistake.

I called my boyfriend in tears and he REALLY calmed me down. I did some deep breaths and we focused on working out what on earth we were going to do. We decided that I would get on the next train back to Sydney, and he would start driving towards Sydney (we live 2.5hrs south of Sydney, I was and hour north) and then I would catch the train towards where we live and we would meet half way. DRAMA!

Luckerly I had my dinner with me (due to my new healthy eating plan) so I slowly ate that and tried to work out how this had happened. I still haven’t answered this – I think it will remain one of life’s great mysteries.

Anyways, when I finally got to where I was meeting my boyfriend, I stepped off the train and there it was…chocolate.
My brain went crazy – so I slowed down and asked myself some very important questions.
Will this nourish me? – YES
Will this make me happy? – YES
Will I feel better after eating it? – YES

So I bought it. And I enjoyed and loved every small bite. And man I felt good afterwards.

The Girl Who Lifts (aka The Girl Who Can’t Use Her Brain)

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Healthy Eating

Monday was the first day of my new healthy eating plan. Thanks to the amazing Amelia at verde-health.com – you can read her blog here – I was feeling organised and excited! I had been grocery shopping on Sunday and bought pretty much everything I need for the week, and had then come home and cooked up a storm – I LOVED IT! I normally don’t really enjoy cooking, but I turned up the tunes, took my time and really really took care in what I was doing.

The first day went well – Breakfast: YUM! (chia seeds, almond milk, ground LSA – linseeds, sunflower seeds and almonds mixed with blueberries and apples)
Lunch: double YUM! (Rocket, kumara, tomatoes, avocado, cucumber and red pepper with some chicken drumsticks)
Dinner: woah baby YUMMM (Kale and egg muffins – with some sneaky sundried tomatoes and basil dropped in. Don’t knock them till you try) AMAZING. I snacked on carrot sticks with hummus and overall I was satisfied and feeling good.

Salad mmmmmmmmm

It wasn’t a walk in the park though. I’m breaking years of bad habits at the moment and it’s HARD! I just need to keep reminding myself WHY I’m doing this and hopefully it’ll get easier.

Coffee – Whether it’s habit, or I’m addicted… I LOVE my morning coffee. I only have one a day and it really makes me happy. That was until I read Dr Libby’s book, and learned what it does to my cortisol levels and how that affects my body so I was going to try my hardest to give this up. I tried having a herbal tea instead, to see if it was just the hot drink I was craving.

Nope. It’s most definitely coffee. Tasty tasty coffee.

Amelia has suggested I do day on/day off with coffee and slowly stretch that out till I don’t need one at all…will see how that goes.

Sugar – I’m craving sugar. Or a “treat”. I think this is pointing towards me rewarding myself with food. I’m not hungry, I just want something more. Back once more to the emotional eating. It’s something I’m really struggling with, as I seem to find every excuse as to why I deserve that chocolate bar, or bag of candy.  I don’t deserve it, I don’t need it, it’s completely unnecessary. I’m going to make myself a tip jar, so that when I’ve had a good eating day, or a good workout or I’ve reached a new PB with my lifting I’ll put a gold coin in the jar. Then I can reward myself monthly with a massage or something. Just need to find a new way to reward myself that isn’t with sugary goodness.

Organisation – It’s HARD being organised. I get home late and then I need to get everything ready for the next day. Fill up containers with salad, workout what is for breakfast, lunch and dinner – getting stuff precooked on sunday definitely helped, and this is something I will DEFINITELY keep doing.

One day of eating

I have a wedding (not mine unfortunately) in 6 weeks – so that’s given me a goal to work towards.

Today I had lunch with Mark from Top Health PT (my old trainer) and although Mark doesn’t train me anymore, he is still one of my biggest sources of motivation and making sure I’m Making It Happen. It was so good just to sit down and chat out my plan, and keep my motivation high while I’m out of training.

I read this yesterday – and it definitely sums up how I’m feeling right now

Do your absolute best to shift your thinking to see life as an adventure, a journey and a gift, full of opportunity, a process through which we can contribute.

This is an adventure…and I’m so glad I get to share it with all of you

The Girl Who Lifts

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Dinner for one

Tonight is a big night for me. I actually went to the supermarket, bought ingredients and made myself dinner and MAN do I feel good.

My creation? Baked chicken drumsticks seasoned with cajun, cinnamon and black pepper, Kumara chips and salad made up of rocket, tomatoes, red pepper, cucumber and avocado.

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It’s a very proud moment for me, as I NEVER cook dinner for myself…but this is a new chapter and this was one of those changes that needed to happen. I’ve been looking through recipes sent to me by a wonderful girl who has come into my life and I’ve written out a MASSIVE shopping list so I can get my food for the week organised tomorrow. Look at me go!

Back is feeling better, so I might take myself out for a slow walk tomorrow down the beach.

The Girl Who Lifts x