Month: April 2014

Skinny vs Healthy

Thegirlwholifts lost her mojo this past week. I don’t know where it went, but I struggled to get it back. My weight was getting me down and I lost sight of what was really important. My brain keeps coming back to weight loss, and I’m becoming quite fixated on it, which isn’t good. When I get depressed about it, it seems my whole body follows pretty quickly. I got tired and run down, I forgot the basics of what I was doing, which sets off my emotional eating, which sets off the guilt, which sets off another round of depression – it’s a vicious cycle. A vicious cycle that came at terrible timing – Easter DID NOT help things. WAY too much chocolate was consumed. The good thing is that I’ve kept up with my training – THAT I am proud of. I’m pretty lucky to have Mark from Top Health PT pushing me along – we got through it pretty well actually. I manage to squat out 5 sets of 5: 60kg, 65kg and 67.5kg squats. Impressive for a bad week, if I may say so myself!

I found myself staring at my vision board this morning, trying to find the motivation that it gave me a few weeks ago. I stared at the photos, remembering the feeling I had when they were taken, and what they mean to me, I read my goals, I read my key words – words like strength, happy, love, family, friends, exercise, sunshine (things that mean something to me) – and I realised there was a word missing from it – SKINNY. Not once, has this mission been about being skinny, it was always been about my health, and getting to a healthy, happy place.

I’ve always been a big girl, but I’ve always hated it. I got teased, called fat, told by doctors that all of my PCOS issues and endometriosis would be magically cured if I just lost a few kgs. I’ve always wanted to be skinny. But skinny isn’t the answer – healthy is. And I need to remind myself of this. Everyday. Yes, I have a goal weight, but does this translate to being skinny? In my mind maybe…but to the rest of the world probably not.  Healthy to me is quite easy to put into words, skinny is just an image in my mind. A girl wrote a beautiful article on Stuff.co.nz today that brought me to tears because of how true it rung to me. You can read it here.

In the world of the internet, skinny has some pretty bad connotations – anorexic, unhealthy, ugly…so why is it something so many of us “big” girls strive for?

This leads me to my next question – What stipulates healthy? A “normal” BMI? A size 6? Being able to run 10k? Being happy?

Here’s what it means to me

–        Getting off metformin, which I’m on for my PCOS
–        Getting my hormones back to a normal balance
–        Getting down to 80kgs
–        Being happy
–        Being content

Mia (my food angel) has got me taking B vitamins, and I think they kicked in today as well. Coz I found my mojo. I’ve never been a vitamin taker and I wish that I’d gotten on this train earlier. B vitamins help with relieving stress, supporting the body through physical and mental health, energy, healthy nervous and cardiovascular system. MY GOSH they have helped. I had my buzz back today, and it was magical.

So skinny vs healthy… what do you prefer?

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The Girl Who Lifts

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Resetting the goals

So last week I booked tickets for me and my boyfriend for a 10 day holiday in New Zealand.  Bit of time in Christchurch catching up with the family and my friends, then heading down to Wanaka for a few nights. When I left NZ 2 years ago, never did I think that I would end up here. Happy, completely in love and on my way to compete in my first powerlifting comp.

Leaving NZ was a bit of a spur of the moment decision. I came over to Oz for a holiday in November 2011, had the most amazing time – then January 1st 2013 I bought the ticket and 6 weeks later I was here. I spent a month down at my Dad’s sorting my life out, deciding what I was going to do, then it was up to Sydney, job interviews and then apartment, friends and a new life. I’m not going to lie, I may have been running – from what I’m not sure, life I think. Christchurch was rough at the time. Aftershocks after the earthquake were still running hard and we were all trying to come to terms with what our new post-earthquake life meant. I was stuck in some pretty toxic friendships, and they were bringing me down pretty bad. I saw Australia as a pretty drastic way of leaving them all behind. Was one of the best decisions I’ve ever made.

Moving countries is something I suggest to everyone – at least once. I’ve done it twice. England and then Australia. It’s liberating. Scary, but liberating. It certainly wasn’t a walk in the park either. I made some stupid decisions, moved house 3 times in about 6 months, and definitely thought about moving back to NZ once or twice. But I made it through and now I’m here… loving life, living it huge and ready for the next challenge.

With 8 weeks to go till NZ (and counting) I thought I’d better set some goals to help me through. I’ve discovered that the old “eat no crap and drink no alcohol” type of goals don’t work for me. I don’t know how they work for anyone. I LIKE FOOD. I need to set goals that are realistic, but that will help me still reach my major goal.
Mark and I have also started on a new training program. We change it up quite frequently, which is GREAT for someone like me. We’re really working towards the big lifts and I’ve hit a new PB for my deadlift… 145kgs BOOM!

The smile on my face that day was pretty huge, and MAN it felt good. The reaction from the guys in the gym made it even better.

So here we go with the goals…

  1. Choose wisely – ask myself if what I’m going to eat is going nourish me.
  2. Exercise – training 3 times a week with Mark, plus Tuesday and a weekend day.
  3. Breeeeeeeeeeeath – everyday
  4. Look after my liver – that’s my big one at the moment. Lots of dandelion tea, lots of water and limit my alcohol

That’s it. Four basic, easy goals that will help keep my focused and on track.

Let’s do it 🙂

Check out the guns!

The Girl Who Lifts

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Growing strong

Thursday was a good day – a strong day, and I LOVE these days.

 

My strong days are the ones where I leave the gym with nothing except a big smile on my face, when I struggle to walk to the train station, and when I end up sitting in my seat going over what just happened. A strong day is when I remember why I’m doing all of this – the commute, the training, the eating, everything. A strong day is where I LOVE every second of it. A strong day is when I know I’m doing exactly the right thing. Strong days feel accomplished.

Thursday was one of those days.

This is what I did:

Bench: New PB of 60kg for 2

Squats: 80kgs to failure

Deadlift: 3 sets finishing off at 120kgs for 4

Post session selfie with Mark

Strong days are also days where I am reminded how lucky I am to have the support crew around me. Mark my trainer, the amazing network of team Top Health PT (also known as team Make It Happen), my friends, family, boyfriend…they all help in making me stronger.

“You never know how strong you are until being strong is the only choice you have”

 

Today I went out and had a bit of a pamper day – I like to keep my girly side. I went and had my hair and nails done and feel amazing

Fixing the regrowth

Finished product

 

The Girl Who Lifts

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Dealing with Stress

I’m not normally a very stressed person. Anyone who knows me, normally sees me as pretty cool, calm and collected. So last week, I had a bit of a breakdown and it scared the bejeezes out of me. I was trying to make my antioxidant smoothie bowl, made up of a handful of spinach, a handful of cos lettuce, berries, protein powder, ¼ cup coconut milk, maca powder, cinnamon, coconut oil, ¼ avocado and some ice (thanks to mademymia for the recipe) and my blender wouldn’t blend. So I pushed my hand in to smush the ingredients up and ended up slicing my finger on the blade. Normally this wouldn’t bother me, I’d just have a bit of a “what a dick” moment, but instead on that particular morning I found myself bursting into tears, and this pretty much set me up for the day. I struggled quite a bit last week, I was incredibly tired, stressed from work and it then mixed in with being a bit emotional…it didn’t work well for me.

There were a couple of things that I noticed – I haven’t been hungry, at dinner especially and I’ve been waking up at 4am nearly climbing out of bed before I’ve realised I still have an hour more of sleep to go. Work has been quite busy lately, and I was struggling to see how much longer I can keep going the way I’m going. (I will, coz I love my job, but last week was definitely the hardest so far)

I emailed my darling Mia who gave me some amazing ideas. Stress is such a horrible thing to deal with, and people deal with it in so many different ways. I go as follows: fine fine fine fine fine, not fine and crash. I’ll keep going till the very last possible moment.

I really needed to bring my stress levels down. Stress causes adrenaline, which makes your body think it’s going into survival mode – survival mode = body thinking “hey there’s no food so I better hang onto this fat that’s hanging around” which ain’t good, and this mixed in with adrenal fatigue is a recipe for disaster. You can read more about how I’m dealing with that here. So (thanks to Mia’s advice) I ran out and bought some Rescue Remedy. This stuff is amazing. It actually is instant relief. I left my desk and sat in a quiet room and did some deep breathing for 5 mins and then I was good to go. The tears came pretty freely during the 5 minutes, but man I felt better. I can remember using Rescue Remedy as a child before music exams, but never thought of using it as an adult. This stuff will be staying in my handbag from now on.

The other thing that’s been worrying me is my 4am wakeup. It’s never in a panic, I just kind of wake up and start getting up. Or I’ll wakeup already half getting up, or looking at my phone – that was the worrying bit. Anyways, according to Chinese medicine, certain hours of the evening link to certain emotional or physical issues – and 4am is linked to the liver and to grief/loss. I’ve been a bit homesick lately, and this might be my subconscious way of letting my body know about it. This might take bit of time to deal with, but at least I know what might be causing my interrupted sleep. I’ve also started drinking dandelion tea, which is great for the liver.

By the time Friday came around I was done. I just wanted to go home straight after work and cry in a corner. Technically, I needed to go to the gym, I had only had 2 workouts that week, and there was a tiny part of me that still thought it would be a good idea. But I rebelled. I went home and I think it was the best decision I could ever have made. So what did I do instead? I got home early and sat up with my future mother in law and had few wines and talked about my childhood. She’s a pretty spectacular lady who I’m very blessed to have in my life, she had picked me up from the train station and we had a good old gasbag about everything and anything. My boyfriend came home after work and we watched a movie (well I feel asleep and he watched it) it was perfect.

Saturday morning I woke up with a decision. I was going to take the weekend off – no stressing about food, exercise, weights, work..anything… I was just going to do and eat whatever felt natural.

Saturday my darling boyfriend took me shopping. Yep, he’s one of those boyfriends… He knew I was feeling crappy, and had discovered a new shop that he knew I would love, so Saturday he took me out for a green juice and then to shop. I ended up falling in love with quite a few of the clothes, and my poor credit card took a beating. BUT the best thing about this shopping trip? COMPLIMENTS. SO MANY COMPLIMENTS. The girls in the shop all complimented me on my figure and how good the clothes looked, random strangers told me I looked beautiful and my darling boyfriend made me feel like a million dollars. It’s been a while since I felt like this, and I embraced every second. The shop was called Retrobilia – you can check out their stuff here. I’ve always been quite a fan of the 50s and 60s rockabilly style – and it seems my body is a fan as well. I used to do a bit of burlesque dancing, so it was nice to get close to that again.  Burlesque was a fun time for me, and I would seriously suggest every woman gives it a go. It’s such a great way to become familiar with your body – and you really learn to love all those curves (as well as learn some saucy moves for the bedroom). Anyways, here are a few photos from my shopping trip.

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I also relaxed up a little bit on my food this weekend. This didn’t mean that I ate crap all weekend, and overate during every meal – but I ate what felt and tasted natural, and as it turned out – this was all pretty close to what I would eat normally (plus some cake and icecream). It was just so nice to shut off for the weekend and concentrate on relaxing and rejuvenating.

And now? I’m back in the gym with Mark and shit it felt good. My weight? Hasn’t changed. My mind however feels refreshed and repowered. Ready to hit it hard this week. I can do this, and I will.

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The Girl Who Lifts

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