Category: Body Image

Winter: Basic Rules for Living Happy

Winter. Cold, grey and the perfect breading ground for goals going out the window. Recently, a good friend of mine made a call out for a winter challenge to keep our heart, soul and mind warm over the next few cold months. Those damn winter blues are a killer, and it is so easy to fall into a couch filled, comfort food frenzy. Winter suuuuucks (unless you’re a ski/snowboard fuelled person). And those grey, cold days can play havoc on your happy summer brain. But – we can make it through!

Here are a few tips and tricks to help push through the next winter months.

  • Keep active. Probably the most important one to keep a fresh mind. A gym membership can be so helpful if you can’t get outside on those rainy days, but if the gym ain’t your thing, get active inside. You can find some GREAT workouts on youtube – 30mins daily is all you need.
  • Get outside. On those brief moments you have some clear skies – take advantage and get outside. Some fresh air and open space is all your body craves sometimes!
Get outside when you can!
  • Stretch and breeeeeath. I have found so much solitude in regular stretch and breath sessions. Once again youtube is totally your friend to find some motivation and ideas from some beginner yoga. Or just go with your body, move where it wants to move and find your winter zen flow.
  • Speak! Keep up regular contact with those people that fill your soul. Talk out any blues your feeling and laugh laugh laugh!
  • Be warm. Don’t suffer being cold. My house is pretty chilly, but all it takes is a few blankets and a hot water bottle and I am toasty warm. Nothing beats snuggling up with a good movie on the couch on a winter evening. Warm toes means a warm heart – so keep your tootsies toasty!
  • Keep up with your affirmations. If you’ve been slipping with telling yourself how wonderful you are – write it down and stick it on your bathroom mirror! Even on those cold mornings you’ll find that burst of happiness.
  • Food. Ohhhh it’s so easy to eat all of the comfort food to help warm your cold cold toes through winter. But it’s not gonna help in the long run. Keep up your veges, your healthy snacks and regular eating…and then when you do indulge – enjoy every minute of it.
Stay warm, stay happy!

Winter doesn’t have to be dreary and cold – you can still make HUGE progress on your goals. So don’t give up!

What are your tips for getting through the winter months?

The Girl Who Lifts

xxx

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

xx

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

xx

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
x

 

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
x

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.

10993431_631869400278271_4990290908847222546_n
Front squats!
10950421_683014151809498_2108915784_n
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!

10979515_1595091107369087_503388489_n
ProRaw7

 

Reach for those dreams!

The Girl Who Lifts

x

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.

10948936_735399236557711_547017245_n
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?

10727678_927692603959626_1900644653_n
Me and my number 1

 

10950599_1408242126139146_1593320125_n
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

x

 

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.

10787995_589833227810954_1729881366_n
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.

10426679_10154859167010344_2753069301715209203_n
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.

10838537_1519097335043620_369716585_n
Sweaty post workout selfie!

The Girl Who Lifts

x

Sick sick sick

As you may have gathered, I love lifting. I’m pretty sure I’m addicted. It makes me happy, and I think this is the most dedicated and focussed I’ve ever been. The next comp at PTC Sydney is just over 6 weeks away and I am AMPED. I’m working towards some big numbers for the next comp, and I’m feeling pretty good about it. At least a 180kg deadlift, 130kg squat and a 70/75kg bench. A total of at least 380kgs. There are no holidays booked, no reasons for me not to have 6 weeks of solid prep, (or so I thought). I have a brand new pink powerlifting belt and it is giving me superpowers (or so I like to think). Mark and I have been working really hard on getting my body working properly and I was feeling good!! Enter illness…..

926259_954788061237237_1812739962_n
Brand new pink belt! Pink power!!

Unfortunately the past few weeks I’ve been really struggling with headaches and nausea. I’ve really tried to ignore it and push on through, but then it happened… I got sick. I woke up with no voice, and then it was all downhill from there. Blocked nose, sore throat, irritating cough and just general yuckiness. Two days off work and two missed training sessions, and then when I finally made it out of bed on Saturday, even doing the groceries was exhausting. I was pissed off. My training was thrown off and all I could do was lie in bed and sulk about it. Even when I was back at work a throbbing headache and feeling of puking had me run for the train home. This was NOT like me. I really MISSED training, I missed the feeling of smashing a good deadlift, but I didn’t want to push myself too early.

Tuesday last week I bit the bullet and made my way to my training session after work. To be honest, I really wasn’t in the mood. My muscles felt tight and tired, and I knew it was going to be a shit session, so wanted to avoid it for as long as possible. Being the first session of the week, it was squat night – so I summoned my pink powers and pushed out the “you can’t do this” and went for it.

Well after about 20mins of warming up and struggling through the initial few sets, I wasn’t going well. My body had actually forgotten what to do. I was wobbly and not as solid as I remember I was, at times it was a little scary, but with the guidance (and spotting) of my amazing trainer, I managed to push out 6 sets of 110kgs x 2. A huge effort, and man it felt good to be back.

Wednesday, I was back to feeling shit – so shit I ended up at the doctor. I’ve been dealing with a bit of nausea lately, and way too many headaches, so I needed to get it sorted. My doctor took some blood, which have all come back clear. I’ve been put on migraine and anti-nausea meds until it all gets sorted, but she pretty much just said I am running myself to the ground. My early starts, late nights and training mixed together with some stressful times at work have literally pushed my body to the max, and something needs to be done.

10556406_10154496190305344_2271665627308524854_n
Home sick with my snuggie trying to keep entertained

SO – where does that leave me now?

I hate being sick, I hate missing training and I hate having to catch up again to where I was. So for the next 7 weeks I’m going to be taking VERY good care of myself. I may have missed before that Saturday night before I got sick last week, I had spent the evening at the Bledisloe Cup opener game (I do enjoy my rugby), drinking beer, and in the rain. This combined with being tired and stressed at work and my heavy weight training, left my immune system low and ready for any virus that wanted to do its thing. Not my best decision, but who is going to turn down FREE gold class tickets? Unfortunately, I might just have to next time.

Taking care of myself is unfortunately going to mean being away from my fiancé for a bit. A very good friend of mine is heading away for about 3 weeks next month, so I’m going to trial living in the city for 2-3 nights a week and see what happens. I just can’t survive on the 4-5hrs sleep I’ve been having a night lately, and I need to have more, and I think this is the only way to find these extra hours needed.

Food. Yep, as usual. I had BIG sugar cravings while I was sick and I gave into these cravings badly, and they seem to be sticking around. Good food, healthy food and make sure I’m planning ahead. I have a nasty history of completely throwing in the towel every time something like this happens – but not this time. It’s more important now, than ever, that I’m eating well and giving my body what it needs.

Mind. Deep breathing, taking time to laugh, and not letting my work and life get on top of me. I’m thinking bubble baths, reading back through my goals and reminding myself of WHAT and WHY I’m doing this. This also might include blasting my new fav song and dancing ridiculously round my room (check out It’s all about the Bass by Meghan Trainor – excellent booty shaking song)

Love. Pretty self-explanatory, but this one is really important. I’m so blessed by the amazing people I have in my life, and I need to make sure they know how much I appreciate them.

And if anyone has any natural ways of dealing with chronic headaches, please let me know.

10654864_1454041804876267_1928942199_n

The Girl Who Lifts

x

Acceptance – the happy place

Acceptance. Being happy with where you are, and what you’re doing. Knowing that you are doing EXACTLY what you’re doing. No Ifs or buts or maybes…Sounds easy, but it’s something I’ve really struggled with over the past few years.

Last Sunday I competed in my first ever powerlifting competition at PTC Sydney. I entered the day feeling confident, but worried. I knew what I could lift, but had no idea how it was going to compare to the other competitors. Mark had been drilling us with competing with ourselves and not anyone else, it was me vs me. Josie vs The Girl Who Lifts. But there was still that little voice in my head, worried that my best, was not going to be enough.

From the moment I arrived I was put at ease, everywhere I looked there was a smiling face…everyone sharing their love for lifting. There was no judging, no snobbery, just a love. A love for lifting heavy.

I was unbelievably lucky in that I had so many people there to support me. My Dad and his partner Linley, my lovely fiancé, two of my girls Cleo and Rachel, and of course my loco warriors – Mark, Sean, Abishek and Kris. And then there was the crowd. Never in my life have I been surrounded by so many supportive, loud, happy people. I was ready to smash it.

Loco warrior team!
Me and Mark after winning my 2nd place
Me and Mark after winning my 2nd place

 

First up was squat – I had the number I wanted to hit – 115kgs. I had failed it the week before and there was no way it was going to happen again. I smashed it. No problem.

Bench – this was tough, and definitely something I need to work on. I hit 62.5 ok, but then failed on 70kg.

Deadlift – now it was my time to prove to myself I could do it. I started with 145kgs – easy. 2nd lift was 160kgs – easy. So I thought what the hell and went up to 170kgs. I had the support of the crowd and my crew and there was no way this wasn’t going up. And up it went. I was stoked. Absolutely and utterly stoked…I was exactly where I was supposed to be. For the first time in a very very long time, there was no doubt, no feeling of not being good enough, not skinny enough – I had just smashed a perfect 170kg deadlift and I LOVED it.

110kg squat – nailed!
170kg deadlift – Hulk smash!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I talk a lot about getting rid of the negative things surrounding your life – living happy. But what happens when the negative is in your head?

How many times have you said to yourself “when this fits I can….” “When I’ve lost weight I’ll….” “I’d be so much happier if…..” I know myself that I’ve said these things MANY times to myself, my wardrobe is FILLED with clothes that JUST don’t fit, but yet I hold on to them just in case I’ll fit them again.

Through my journey over the last 7 months one of the things I’ve tried REALLY hard to eliminate from my life is the “when I’ve lost weight I’ll…” So much of my life has been run by this sentence – I felt that somehow, life would open up a whole heap of opportunities once I had lost some weight. And do you know what – it had nothing to do with the weight, I just had to go and find them.

Acceptance of who you are right now is SO hard – trust me I know. One of the best things I ever read was

“you can love your body and change it at the same time”

BOOM! Hits the nail on the head. But what does this mean? To me, it’s all about being the healthiest version of yourself. I love my curves, I love my boobs, I love my bum but I’m going to keep exercising, I’m going to eat clean most of the time (which means I’m going to enjoy those treats to keep my sanity) I’m going to be happy, and I’m going to love and accept myself. Why? To be healthy. The healthiest version of me. Once I changed my thinking to getting healthy not skinny (read about that here) my whole opinion of myself and what I was doing turned SO much more positive. Suddenly I was checking out my guns, rather than measuring my waist. The weight I was lifting, was SO much more important that the weight on the scales.

Acceptance also means being ok with each decision in your life. Food, relationships, work and play. Be happy with every decision you are making, and if your not – change it.

Acceptance is also about being happy with yourself. Have you ever said to yourself “I’d be so much happier if I could fit that dress I saw for the party.” NO! Put on that sexy dress, put on some red lipstick and go rock that dance floor!

So, here are my top 5 tips for you own acceptance

  1. Stop thinking If, When, What if… just think NOW
  2. Get rid of those clothes that you’ll wear “when you lose weight” (I promise I’ll do the same)
  3. Be happy with every decision you make
  4. Accept yourself, as you are, right now
  5. Be the healthiest, happiest version of yourself

This comp has really made me accept that this is EXACTLY where I’m meant to me. I am stronger than I’ve ever been, I’m healthier than I’ve ever been – and best of all…I’m happier than I’ve ever been.

My happy place
My happy place

So go find your happy place.

The Girl Who Lifts

x