Category: Motivation

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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Sydney Cup – the rundown

Apologies for the silence. It’s been a solid month and I am SO excited to finally sit down and write about it all.

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The guns are out!

Sunday the 12th October I competed in the GPC Sydney cup at PTC Sydney and WHAT a day it was. This was my first professional comp, so leading into it, I was pretty nervous…and questioning my own capabilities. What if I just wasn’t tough enough? I seem to expect a lot of myself with my lifting – which isn’t really something I’ve done with anything else…ever. I REALLY want to be able to be the best I can be. It’s a drive I’ve never had before, and I really, really love it. But, of course, doubt was playing up – what if I hadn’t trained enough, what if I fall over (seriously a big worry of mine) what if it’s just not good enough? Lucky for me I have a pretty good sidekick who keeps me on the straight – my fiancé. Every time I would start questioning myself this guy reminds me WHY I’m doing this – coz I LOVE it. It’s got nothing to do with how much, or how good…I just love it. Both he and my coach are constantly reminding me to “have fun with it” which seems to kick me back to where I need to be, and when I’m having fun, I get the drive to lift heavier – so LOVE it I will!

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My main squeeze!

In the weeks leading up, I had a few technical issues with my squats. They just weren’t deep enough. Now for those that don’t know the rules of powerlifting: in a squat the crease of your hips when you squat down need to be just below your knees – and for short chubby legs like mine, I was having issues. But a few technical changes a few days out managed to sort it and I went in feeling pretty confident.

 

The day itself flew through. PTC really know how to organise a comp. It flowed so well, and the spotters were epic. Big thanks to the guys there.

First up was squat – I opened with 125kgs – which was already 10kgs up from my last comp pb. Powered through. 2nd attempt was 130kgs, which I smashed and I finished up with final squat and new pb of 140kgs. The day was starting off well.

Bench – not my strongest, but I am certainly getting there. I had a number (70kgs) I wanted to hit in comp and I just had my mind on that. 1st lift was 67.5 (5kg up from last comp pb), 2nd lift was 72.5kg – which I smashed (well not really, but I got it up) 3rd attempt was a 75kg, which I was red lighted (failed) Just didn’t have the strength.

Deadlift – was not my strongest deadlifting day. Had a few technical difficulties which I’ve never really come across – but overall I’m happy with my lifts. My best lift was 175kgs (5kgs up from last comp pb). My 3rd attempt was 185 but was red lighted due to technicalities – but I got it up, so I know I’ve got the strength, just gotta work on technique a bit more (BOOM)

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175kg deadlift

Over all I finished with a total of 385.5 which put me in 1st place in my weight range – and best of all…7th in Australia under GPC.

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First gold medal!

Yep – that’s right. 7th . In. Australia. How does that even happen??? Oh yeah…hard work and a whole heap of determination!

So what now? Rest, reassess, and start the prep for the next comp. I’m hooked on this – completely. Once again – big thanks to my coach Mark Nino at El Nino Strength and Fitness. Such a superstar. By the looks of things, I’ll be competing again in December at the GPC push/pull comp, which is bench and deadlift only. So lots and lots of work on my bench over the next 6 weeks – definitely got my eye on the 80kgs. Deadlift – 200kgs is next. I can feel it in my bones.

During this process, it’s really thrown me back to a time when I was convinced NOTHING like this would ever be possible. I’ve been riddled with back injuries since a very young age. At 12 years old, I was tripped up playing rugby and that was that. I was told sport was completely out of the question until the stress fracture I had endured had healed – before then I was a very keen netball and basketball player (I don’t know if I was very good, but I enjoyed it) and then that was it – over. Over my years at highschool I was in and out of physio trying to find an answer to the crippling pain I seemed to have. At 17, I was hit by a car and broke my femur – and this just threw me back to square one. After a lot of physio I’d think it was fine, get back into some exercise and it would all come crashing down. In the end I just gave up. I was even told it was in my head, and I just needed to toughen up. Turns out all I needed to do was start lifting  I’ve never felt as strong as what I do now. A good coach is seriously the best thing you can get when recovering from injury. I am SO unbelievably lucky to have the support I do – from all over the world. My fam back home in NZ, my best mate over in London and my fam here all can’t believe how far I’ve come since those days. I know my Dad is stoked – I don’t think his facebook has ever been updated so much as when I’m competing.

It’s a nice feeling being proud of yourself – like actually 100% freaking STOKED. Let’s get more of this going around!

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All smiles after a good day of lifting!

Watch this space – dreaming big!

The Girl Who Lifts

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Balance

If someone tried telling me 12 months ago that I would go to the gym and deadlift 153kgs through 5 sets of 3 reps, I would have laughed hysterically in their face. But last week – I did it. Actually. It was actually the hardest thing I have ever done in my life (I’m not even exaggerating) but the feeling of satisfaction afterwards was totally worth it. Tonight, I did 10 sets of 10 at 95kgs.

My dad txt me this after my monster session last week…

”The pain will go, but the medals will stay”

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153kg pull

And he’s totally right (but don’t ever tell him that). All the pain, sore muscles and sweat will all go away…but those PBs, feeling of satisfaction (and hopefully one day medals) will be mine for ever.

My Dad is one of my mentors. He’s really put my mind on the straight and narrow about deciding what I want from life. Not what I think I should want, what I actually want. He’s part of the reason this blog is even here. He’s been helping me quite a bit on the work/life/fun balance, which is something that I struggle with daily. How much is too much? Of any of them?

My life at the moment consists of 5 things. On the train to work, at work, at the gym, on the train home from work and then going to bed. That’s it, and unfortunately something had to give otherwise I was going to go crazy. I don’t consider this life a good balance, and it was really getting to me. So starting last week I’m now spending 3 nights a week in the city. Not only do I not have to get up at 4.30am, but I have a bit more time for me. I don’t have to rush off after the gym, I can cook a nice dinner, and hopefully set up some skype sessions with my best friend in London. And my gosh it has made a difference. My headaches have gone, I’m less stressed, that foggy run down feeling has gone, and I’m just generally feeling better. My doctor was actually at the point of putting me on a low dose of an anti-depressant to help with the headaches, so I’m SO glad I’ve found a cure. It also meant that I got more quality time with my lovely fiancé over the weekend, coz we weren’t so caught up on catching up on sleep. Saturday was such a lovely day out and about – our date days are very important to me. We went to the driving range, went for a beautiful drive down the coast, and had a lovely pub lunch, and then home to watch our favourite tv show. A perfect day.

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Saturday golf

For me, balance is SO important for a good mental state. I read a hilarious article the other day about how life should be lived with a “F*ck Yes!” attitude – and it’s something I’ve really taken on. Pretty much, unless you have a total F*CK YES! attitude about something, don’t do it. This article was based on sex and relationships, but really it can be put into everyday life. At the moment, I’m in a bit of a F*ck NO! state about my commuting, so I’m gonna change it. Staying in the city 3 nights a week? F*ck YES!

My friends are also a huge part of my life, and unfortunately seeing them has become a rare event. Luckily for me I have hugely understanding friends who still love me loads, but seeing them a bit more will be amazing. I’ve set my first dinner date on Wednesday night and I am SO looking forward to it (after I’ve had a morning session of course). It’s with a beautiful girl I met through work last year, and she’s one of those friends who we can pick up from exactly where we left off – no matter how long it’s been.

Balance is also all about what is important to you. Going to the gym is SO important to me, so I’m going to make that a priority, it’s also all about what you can manage. I would LOVE to go to the gym twice a day 2-3 times a week, but that’s just not going to create a healthy balance. I’ve really had to sit down and work out what is important…my love, friends and family, the gym, and being healthy. So that is where I began. Working out the best way to create a balance between all of them.

What about a healthy balance with food? Now, I’m learning everyday about what my body needs and wants with food (I’m also learning the difference between the two) and I’m trying not to be too hard on myself. I am constantly reminding myself I don’t NEED that chocolate bar, I just WANT it. There is a difference. I made a decision a very long time ago I was never going to stop eating things. I just needed to learn how to do things in moderation. Yes this may make my process a bit longer, but at least it’ll be a happy one. Self-control is not a strong point of mine, but I’m learning.

So – my top tips for finding balance in your life
1. Decide what is important to YOU. Whether it’s 3 things, 5 things, or 10 things – write them down and work on them. Start at the top and work your way down.
2. Have a F*ck YES! attitude about what you do – if you don’t like it, change it
3. Have someone to talk through your changes with, a fresh set of eyes on a problem solving always helps
4. LOVE YOUR LIFE!

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Date Day!

The Girl Who Lifts
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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…..

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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.

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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.

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The Girl Who Lifts

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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

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Holidays and Proposals

Apologies to my readers for being so quiet lately…It’s been a crazy month that has truly been life changing.

So last month I spent the most magical 9 days in my home country of New Zealand. I took my boyfriend over and we spent 4 days in Christchurch and then 4 days traveling round the South Island visiting some absolutely amazing sights. I had forgotten how amazing my country is, and it was so exciting to show my boyfriend where I’m from and the beautiful country which is just across the ditch.

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Devils Punchbowl Falls
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One of the many beautiful lakes

It was really nice to have a chat to a few of my followers in NZ and find out what makes you tick. I really love all the support and really wouldn’t be getting this far without it.

I love to travel – always have and always will. I’ve always done it alone as well, so having someone to share it with now makes it all so much more special. Our trip, was incredible. We drove from Christchurch to Franz Joseph Glacier, through Arthur’s Pass (which is a very special place to me) had a night at one of the most magical places ever, it’s called The Rainforest Retreat – and if you are ever in Franz Joseph I definitely suggest a night here…quiet, calm, and surrounded by forestry. Just magical.

 

After visiting Franz Joseph Glacier we travelled over the Haast Pass and through the Mt Aspring National Park – never in my life have I seen such incredibly beautiful views. We took our time taking photos at every possible moment, till we finally reached Wanaka, where we were staying for two nights.

 

The next morning we made our way into Queenstown where my boyfriend and I were going to take one of the biggest leaps of faith – the Nevis Swing. A 70m free fall, into a 300m arc swing. I’m not sure why I decided to do it – I just knew I needed to. I’m not much of a daredevil, and a year ago I would have felt too “fat” to do such a thing. I think this was a way to show myself how far I have come.

 

But to make the jump even more spectacular, my boyfriend proposed. Yeah that’s right, my boyfriend is now my fiancé. Most absolute scariest, fun filled, adrenaline fuelled moment of my life. I am now officially the happiest girl alive.

There is a photo I took just after the proposal which really cements just how happy I am to share this moment in my life. And yep, those big red numbers written on my hand is my weight. A big happy 93 kilos, with a big happy diamond on my hand.

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Big ring and numbers – and I couldn’t be happier

 

Then it was back in the real world – 4.30am start, work and training. God it was good to be back in the gym. I had a few training sessions while I was away – all light work so god it was good to be lifting heavy. It’s been a massive couple of weeks of training. My first ever comp is on Sunday and I am SO excited to see what I can hit.

This is where I’m sitting…
Deadlift – 160kg (YEAH!!!) See the video here
Bench – 65kg
Squat – 110kg

I am STOKED with those numbers, and it’s full credit to my trainer Mark for getting me here.

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After one of my light sessions back home

I can’t wait to fill you all in after Sunday.

The Girl Who Lifts

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The Jeans That Fit

Training is going awesome. Prep for comp is going incredible, my strength is skyrocketing, and each week I’m feeling stronger and stronger, fitter and fitter (and looking leaner and leaner).

Tonight I managed to smash out 5 sets of 5 130kg deadlifts. The felt strong and clean, which is an excellent feeling. But the thing that is surprising me the most is my bench. Each week they seem to be getting stronger and this week I managed to grind out sets of 60kg. Who would’ve thought? Oh..AND my squat is back, after my epic fail it’s taken me a while to get back into the grind. I just couldn’t get my confidence back up – even though I know I can do it. But then this week, it all came back and I made my way through 95kg sets. Boom!

Deadlift determination!
Becoming my happy place

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Tomorrow my boyfriend and I set off for a holiday in New Zealand. Apart from some friend and family time, I’m looking forward to hitting some NZ gyms and spreading some girlwholifts love! We’re spending 4 days in Christchurch and then 4 days doing a bit of travel around the South Island. We’re having a night at Franz Joseph Glacier, then two nights in Wanaka. It’s going to be amazing. I’m so looking forward to getting back to my home country – I do miss it sometimes. I miss my friends, and family…and it’s going to be REALLY nice to just spend some time with my man. With all my commuting and crazy hours, we don’t really get to see much of each other during the week, so it’s nice when we can get away together.

Now for the story of the day…for the first time in about 5 years, I bought jeans. Actual jeans – black skinny jeans to be precise. But even better, they’re jeans that fit. They fit my thighs, they fit my stomach, they fit my bum – they feel perfect.

A good pair of jeans are a staple for any girl’s wardrobe, but for me, they represented a long time fight with myself of where I thought I should be. I gave up on buying a pair of jeans years ago. I’ve literally lived in skirts in summer, and skirts and tights in winter. There was not one pair of jeans that would fit. But then on Saturday, I felt a change. I was doing a bit of shopping and pamper day, new nails, waxing, shopping…and then I wandered over to some jeans. I stood and stared, held some up, put them down, wandered away…and wandered back. I took and breath grabbed my size and went and tried them on. I was expecting disappointment, I was expecting them not to fit… but then suddenly they were on….done up…and damn they looked fantastic. Like they look good!

I did a happy dance and then bought those suckers.

The jeans that fit

 

The jeans finally fit.

 

The Girl Who Lifts

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Create the life you want

I’m a happy person. Period. Yes, I have my down moments (like everyone does) but most of the time – I’m pretty damn happy.

There was a point when I wasn’t, I was miserable. I had this huge idea of what I wanted my life to be, but never seemed to be able to live it. There came a time when suddenly it all got too much, and I was given a choice – sink or swim.

Without getting too much into it – the first few years of High School wasn’t a fun place for me. It was very “Mean Girls” there was a group of girls who didn’t like me, and they made sure I knew it. They stole my backpack, spread some rumours about me and generally made my life horrible. I left when I was 15, and moved High Schools and life started to get a bit better.

Anyways, fast forward a few years and I was stuck in a bit of a rut, I wasn’t sure what I was doing or where I was going and I knew I needed a change. I was living in the past, I had friends who seemed to mirror how these highschool girls treated me. I was fat, unhappy and didn’t know what to do. I blamed everyone but myself, when suddenly, I realised that the only person who could change my life…was me, and only me. Suddenly my tickets to Australia were booked and I was here, jumping into the unknown for a brand new adventure.

Over the last two years, I’ve worked really hard to create the life I wanted. The first realisation – surround yourself with people who support your dreams – not dump on them. Sadly, this meant I have drifted away from a few people, but it also meant that I have the most incredible, amazing group of people who push me to my limits and support me and lift me up every day.

Creating my life, also meant to needed to dream. And dream big I did.

The Girl Who Lifts was started as a way for me to follow my trip down healthy lane, get my story out there and spread the motivational love. And what a journey it’s becoming.

Creating my life involved sitting down and really deciding what I wanted and going straight for it. Unfortunately this meant a few sacrifices…

Finding love for me has been this up and down roundabout rollercoaster, filled with heartbreak and disappointment – until a year ago when I met the one. The one who I know, I’m meant to be with. This meant changing my party girl city life, and I moved two hours out of the city to be with my man. I was already pretty involved with my training and making my life a bit healthier so my social life took a big hit. This was hard, and part of me really misses living in the city but gosh love was worth it. So now much life literally consists of getting up at 5am, on the train by 6, work all day, head to the gym, back on the train for 2.5 hours and then home in bed by about 11pm. And I do this 5 days a week. It’s long and hard – but for the life I want, it’s worth it.

Fortunately, I have some pretty amazing friends that have stuck by me during all of this, and still want to be my friend even though they never see me.

The second realisation was to find happiness. I’m a big believer that this is a choice, a big one. If you want a happy life – have one. Find the people that make you happy, DO the things that MAKE you happy, LIVE the life YOU want. BE HAPPY.

The third – train hard. If this is what I want, I need to give it my all, and lately it’s all been paying off. Tonight I smashed out 2 sets of 5 x 135kgs deadlifts, I’m doing work sets of squats at 95kgs pretty comfortable, and I’m benching 55kgs. Josie “The gun show” Gray…that’s me.

“When you want to succeed as bad as you want to breathe, then you will be successful.”

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Leg Press
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Bench Press
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Squat Day

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

So go out there and get it – create your life.

The Girl Who Lifts

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Coming back from failure

So I had the most shocking session on Monday. It was squat day and I knew before I even got there that it wasn’t going to go well. I was feeling gross, I had a headache and I felt very very bloated (Probably because I ate far too much on Sunday night – lesson learned). But I showed up, and gave it a crack.

I started off slow, and never really picked up. I ended up failing pretty miserably on a 90kg squat. I was on rep number 2, and I went down – but there was no getting back up. There were almost tears, but I did what any self-respecting girl does – held it in till I got to the bathroom. Ha, no but seriously… I was gutted. I made it through the rest of the session with some assistance work, but the damage was done… I had failed.

Failure is a horrible word when you’re trying to lose weight and get healthy. It leaves the world open to so much disappointment. What makes a fail? A bad meal? Missing the gym? Failing out on a set you smashed the week before? Having two cookies instead of one? I’m sure I’ve felt some level of failure after all of these.

So what now? Crawl up in a ball and cry? Eat myself into a coma and give up completely? NO! I was NOT going to fall back into that trap. This was one minor setback in a whole heap of amazing progress, toughen up and move on.

Are you going to let it defeat you?

I took the day yesterday for some reflection…remind myself why I was doing this. About 6 weeks ago I set myself some goals to get me through the 8 weeks before my holiday

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

It was JUST what I needed to kick me back into shape. I still had a rubbish headache all day, but I took my time reading through each goal, what it meant to ME. I went home early after work and did some work on the foam roller and then crashed out. It was great.

This morning I woke up with a smile, I was feeling better and I was amped to get back into the gym. I put on my fav sneakers, my fav lippy and set about smashing the day. I listened to my fav music on the train ride in – cheesy 90s pop. The cheesier the better. This morning it was S Club 7, judge me if you need to. But it got me going. My session tonight was just what I needed. I smashed the bench with some pretty solid sets of 55kgs, then some incline dumbbell press, some military press and then finished off with some close grip bench. An epic, strong session.

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My fav sneakers
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All smiles after today’s session

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I was back.

 

So how do you bounce back from failure? I’d love your tips.

The Girl Who Lifts.

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Breaking the stereotype

So something that I’ve become ridiculously obsessed with, is breaking the stereotype about what exercise girls “should” do. When you go to the gym, there seems to be this huge divide between the muscle guys by the weights, and the chicks on the cardio equipment – people seem to be stuck in this stereotype of where they should go. Sometimes you’ll see some chicks lifting some light weights – but  there definitely needs to be more chicks lifting big. Ever since I’ve started lifting, I’ve come across some pretty hilarious reactions. Some think its cool, some are impressed, my boss in particular is rather hung up on my lifting. He’s convinced I’m going to hurt myself. My workmates think it’s weird, and I’m forever being told not to get “too big” (I’m already a big girl, so I’m not sure why they think I’ll get bigger). The amount of times that I’ve been asked “Do you really think you should lift that much?”, “Shouldn’t you just do cardio”, “Won’t you hurt yourself?” aha NO! and here’s why.

Squats. Each week on squat day, Mark and I will do speed sets – normally around 5 sets of 10 with a low weight but a bit faster than normal, with a short rest in between – best workout you’ll ever do. It’s proven that squats are one of THE best full body exercises you can do, and if you do enough you will feel it in your soul. Trust me.

Empowerment. Yes this sounds ridiculously cheesy. But never have I felt better about myself, or stronger within myself since I started lifting. You really need to believe in yourself to get those lifts up. My mental strength is the strongest it’s ever been.

It’s FUN. Seriously. FUN! I’ve never found running on a treadmill fun (and this is totally my opinion) but lifting = FUN. I can’t wipe the smile off my face after a big lifting session.

My happy place

You WON’T turn into a guy. I’m pretty girly. I love getting my hair done, I wear skirts every day, I love getting my nails done and I LOVE the colour pink. I just also like to lift heavy shit, and put it back down. Does that make me a guy? I think not!

Getting girly

If you’re on Instagram search #girlswholift, I’ve found most of my inspiration from scrolling through the videos and messages from these girls. They’re strong (both mentally and physically), supportive and crazy beast impressive.

I dare you to give it a go – find a trainer and get them to talk you through the basics. Correct technique is really important, so make sure you’re doing it correctly. Break the stereotype.

 

So the last four weeks I’ve been training pretty hard. Me and my amazing trainer Mark from Top Health PT have been slowly building up the weight and then last night it was time to hit some new records.

I was so incredibly amazed with myself – I am stronger than I ever thought possible and it feels AMAZING.
This is where I’m sitting

Bench – 65kgs
Squat – 110kgs
and the best one of all
Deadlift – 150kgs

If you jump onto my TheGirlWhoLifts fb page, there are some pretty epic videos. Go check them out.

I’m feeling pretty damn good about my squat and deadlift, my bench needs a bit of work. My next phase of training starts on Monday and I am AMPED to step it up another notch. Who knows where this will go – all I know is that I’m definitely on the right path.

The Girl Who Lifts

The Girl Who Lifts

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