Month: March 2014

Fight the fatigue

Change is as good as a holiday…or so they say… But change has happened and now it’s time to embrace it. My trainer, Jake, has decided to move on to a different line of work so unfortunately won’t be training me anymore. I’m pretty gutted, as was really enjoying the journey we were on… BUT things aren’t as terrible as they could be, coz I’m back with Mark, my original trainer. We’ve had four sessions so far and they have been awesome. Mark’s dedication to the job and love for what he does is infectious – so it’s hard not to feel really motivated at the moment.

Me and Mark

The sessions are a bit different, lots more attention on my technique which means I’ve had to take the weight down a little bit but I’m still loving it.  I’ve been eating well, drinking loads of water and feeling pretty good. So I’ve made the decision (thanks to a slight push from my darling friend Kate) that it’s time to compete. Actually put my powerlifting into action and see where it can take me. It’s a scary but exciting step, and I know I have an amazing cheer squad who will be behind me every step of the way. The other night we did squats, lots of them, with 30kgs – and this time we went aaaaaaall the way down, instead of the ¾ squats I was doing before. Learning to engage my glutes, which will help so much more in competition.  I am still feeling it today…

Sunday night I caught up with my amazing nutritionist. She really is an incredible person and I feel so blessed to have her watching over me. Anyways, it seems my morning cortisol levels are really low. From what I have read (and please correct me if I’m wrong), cortisol levels rise and fall during a 24hr day, and it is normally at its highest between 6am-8am. Cortisol is produced by the adrenal gland and is often known the “stress” hormone as it is secreted at higher levels during the bodies “fight or flight” response to stress and is responsible for several of the stress related changes in the body. It helps support blood sugar levels and helps metabolism.

With my crazy hours and lack of sleep, my adrenal glands are under huge amounts of stress which is causing adrenal fatigue – hence the low levels of cortisol in the mornings. Adrenal fatigue is normally characterised by the following:

–        Feeling tired for no reason
–        Trouble getting up in the morning
–        Rundown or overwhelmed
–        Difficultly bouncing back from illness or stress
–        Craving sweet and salty snacks
–        More awake, alert and energetic after 6pm

The shocking and hard thing is – I’ve been feeling fatigued like this for a while, but just saw it as quite normal, until now. I’ve been commuting 2.5hrs each way to work for nearly 9 months now, and this tired feeling has slowly snuck up on me. It’s really hard finding a balance between making sure I have my life organised, spending time with my boyfriend and sleeping. I get asked so often how I do it – and I’m not really sure…it’s the choice I have made at this point of my life, so I just need to get it done. Fatigue is different from just being tired…it’s hard to concentrate, “foggy” feeling in the brain, and just a general overall run down feeling.

So what can I do? Apart from try and get more sleep at night (which is going to be difficult) I am now starting that mission to find the answer – will keep you posted.

For now, I’m making sure I’m staying as relaxed as possible, deep breathing, and today at lunch even did some stretching our meeting room floor.

BUT on a happy note my weight is slowly dropping, which is great. It’s such a satisfying feeling knowing I’m treating my body right, and it’s responding in a positive way.

BACK!! Show the guns!

The Girl Who Lifts
x

Proud

Being proud of yourself is a funny one – but I think it’s something everyone should embrace. Even if it’s just looking yourself in the mirror and saying “You did good today” you need to congratulate yourself on the milestones. It feels a little bit weird at first, but stick with it. Being about to look yourself in the eye in the mirror and give a compliment is such a huge part of loving your awesome self. And trust me – you are awesome. Try writing it down on a piece of paper and reading it back to yourself, you won’t be able to wipe the smile off your face.
Today I am so unbelievable proud of what I have achieved.

–        I had a sneaky weigh in this morning and I sat on 88.2 – words cannot even describe how it feels to weigh this. 90kgs has literally stuck with me for months and months, and to see a number under that was incredible. Proud!

–        I also had a deadlift session tonight. About 12 weeks ago I reached a PB of 140kgs, but after Christmas and then injuring my back I struggled to get back up there. Tonight I made it – 140kgs. We then followed with 4 x 8 100kgs and then 4 x 6 100kgs. It ruined me and MAN it felt good. Proud!

–        I’m also LOVING watching my body change. I have a waist now, my legs are looking amazing and I’m noticing a change in my arms and back. Proud!

 

I think this means an extra $5 in the tip jar 🙂

SO – why are you proud of yourself?

 

The Girl Who Lifts.
x

What I’ve learned so far

By the time the weekend hits, I’m pretty buggered, so I like to take some timeout to do some meditation, yoga and reflection. On Saturdays especially, I like to go out for a massive walk, and then come home and cook myself some eggs and a smoothie, sit and enjoy the morning. I can’t help but laugh at how much I have changed over the last month or so. Before, I would literally just eat toast with honey or marmite…all day in the weekends. I would feel depressed, gross and sink deeper into the unhealthy lifestyle. But now…BOOM! There’s no stopping me. I think it’s really important to take time to reflect on what you have learned when you’re going through a change. It makes it easier to realise just how far you have come, notice what you’re finding difficult and make a plan to overcome these difficulties.

Saturday morning walk

For me, my difficulties are when I’m tired, this is when my sugar cravings and fatty food cravings hit the hardest. So this is where being prepared is SO important. With my crazy commute to and from work every day, I’m having to have one night during the week where I cook and get to bed a little later than normal. It’s hard and I get grumpy, but I just have to push on through and remind myself WHY I’m doing it.

This morning I’m sitting down with my avo and cacoa smoothie (Thanks Mia) and having a think about what I’ve learned so far…

Support: There is no way I could do this without the support and love that I have. Don’t try and do it yourself. There is so much knowledge and advice out there, but you need to get out and get it. Ask questions, seek the knowledge and learn. Read my post on Reaching Out for more on this.

Be Happy: This is one of the most important lessons I have learned. You need to be happy, you need to enjoy what you are doing. Find what you enjoy and stick with it. For me – it’s my weight lifting. People actually think I’m crazy when they learn how much I lift, but for me, nothing beats that feeling I get after a big weights session. I think this is so important in all aspects of your life – have a hobby! Whether it’s scrapbooking, or collecting shells, doing puzzles or gardening, have something that is just yours, and makes your soul happy when you do it. Take time out each day to be grateful for what you have. It may feel lame, but after a while it just feels like part of your routine. Every morning when I’m having my cup of hot water and apple cider vinegar I sit, smile and be thankful. It sets me up for a good day every day. Read further about being happy here.

Life only comes around once, so do whatever makes you happy, and be with whoever makes you smile.

Learn: Take time each week to do some research. There are so many different ideas, diets, fads, success stories and things to try. RESEARCH RESEARCH RESEARCH. Know what you’re doing before you do it. I’m very lucky to be working with a holistic nutritionist who I am learning SO much from and I love it.

Plan and be prepared: I can’t say this enough, PLAN PLAN PLAN. I read once that if you don’t plan you plan for failure. Man this is true! Use an afternoon in the weekend to plan and prepare your meals. Lately, I’ve also taken much pleasure in cooking my meals. It’s a real feeling of success when you look in the fridge and see healthy food that I’ve cooked. Be prepared for those moments when you want something extra – this really eliminates any chance of going to the crap food.

Find your motivation: I feel there are two sorts of motivation – external and internal. External being the people around you – for me it’s my trainers, my boyfriend, my parents, my friends and my nutritionist. Internal being the small things you have that you do just for you – I have my inspiration board, my tip jar, and the little bit of happiness that I get when I know that I’ve worked my hardest. I’ve written more on this here.

Breath: I never knew the importance of this until recently. Take a few minutes every hour or so to take 10 deeps breaths. That’s all you need to do – trust me, you’ll notice the difference.

Enjoy the process: Enjoy it, learn from it, live it.

I’ve also hit a massive PB on my squats – 120kgs x5. Weapon

Hot and sweaty after a gym session

The Girl Who Lifts

x