Category: Uncategorized

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

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Competition day! A rundown of the Christchurch Champs.

On Sunday I competed in my first comp for the year – the Shoreline 3 lift competition held under GPC NZ. Since moving back to New Zealand, I have been so excited to be involved with GPC New Zealand, there is definitely a big sense of family within the federation and I am SO stoked to be here.

We (GPC NZ) are blessed with our President/Competition runner, so I knew it was going to be a good day. Not having a coach for the past year has somewhat hindered my progress (there are only so many youtube videos are girl can watch to try get some help with technique) but I stuck to what I know and managed to get a good 12 weeks of training in. As my work is still picking up, I’ve had HEAPS more time to train, and man it’s made a difference. I was less stressed, less rushed, and had so much more energy to put into training. Long may it continue! My squat and deadlift were feeling pretty good, but my bench has been really lacking due to a crappy shoulder.

The comp itself was run so smoothly. There was an awesome bunch of lifters, all supporting and cheering each other through each lift. If you’re thinking about competing, I would definitely suggest it.

Most Federations will run Novice Competitions – where you can wear your normal gym gear (no sexy softsuits), and learn the rules/regulations for competitions, and I promise you will get addicted to the buzz of a good lift. The feeling of new PBs, 3 white lights and just knowing you’ve given 110% is incredible, and something I would encourage any lifter to try. As this was a mixed competition of both novice and regular competitors, it was so awesome to see so many new faces on competition day, and even more awesome to see them all smash their lifts. There were also lots of familiar faces, and it was bum grabs (thanks Rachel) and high fives all round.

So what makes a good competition? For me – good spotter/loaders, good judges, a patient handler, a loud crowd, along with some epic lifts, all combine to make a damn good day.

  • Spotter/loaders: load the bar with the correct weight, and set up the gear for you to lift. They’ll also catch any missed lifts or slips
  • Judges: 2 side and 1 head. They’ll mark your lifts a good or bad lift. 2 white lights = good lift!
  • Handler: your sidekick/assistant for the day. They’ll fetch your drinks, get your gear ready, psych you up and give you high fives and bum taps when needed.

Ok – so down to the day. Shoreline provided an AWESOME spot for comp. Lots of room to warm up, good room to hold the lifting, and the guys there are great. I was feeling pretty confident going in, and apart from some greedy attempts, I was left pretty happy with my lifts. I walked away with a new PB and New Zealand record, and overall Top Female lifter.

Post comp smiles

My numbers:
Squat
– 1st attempt: 175kg
– 2nd attempt: 185kg
– 3rd attempt: 201kg (no lift)

Bench
– 1st attempt: 65kg
– 2nd attempt: 77.5kg
-3rd attempt: 87.5kg (no lift)

Deadlift
– 1st attempt: 175kg
– 2nd attempt: 180kg
– 3rd attempt: 185kg
– 4th attempt: 190kg (New Personal Best, new NZ record)

I start with a new coach this week, so I am looking forward to really getting my technique sorted and then smashing some big numbers at Nationals in July!

Bring it on!

 

The Girl Who Lifts

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Setting the routine to get you going

So you’ve decided to start. You’ve decided to add some exercise into your daily life, and become the healthiest you. What now? Let’s find that routine!

CONGRATS! You’ve made the best decision. It doesn’t matter if it’s a gym, or you’re wanting to get active in your neighbourhood – whatever it is, you’ve done it.

My Motto

At the end of last year, hubby and I packed up our lives and moved back to my hometown of Christchurch, New Zealand.  The move was a big step towards our goals and was absolutely so exciting to get back with my family and friends. We quit our jobs (and I said goodbye to my 5 hour commute) sold/gave away and dumped about 85% of our things, said some very tearful goodbyes and started a brand new life in New Zealand.

Routine was something I relied on very much back in Aussie. I would be on the train at 5am to go to work, get home from work at 7.30, and go straight to the gym, and then home for dinner and bed. Monday – Friday this was my routine. It wasn’t the best way to live, but it was what was needed to get to NZ, and get to our goals.

I think for any gym/life/body goals to be met, routine needs to be in place. Routines give a purpose, keep your driven and help YOU know when and how these goals will be met.

So what happens when you need to start a routine – what do you do? How do you put one in place that you know you will stick to?

Since moving to NZ my routine has been very, ummm, relaxed (to say the least). My husband and I are very much enjoying the unemployed life, and having been taking each day as it comes (to be honest I wasn’t actually sure what day it even was this morning).

But, this can’t last for ever and very soon we will both be back in the working life, and a routine will need to be set. I’ve got some pretty big goals I wanna hit this year with my lifting (helllooooooo World Championships) so I need to be hitting my training.

These are my main suggestions for starting a routine that you CAN and WILL stick too.

  1. Decide the best time each day to work out. You don’t HAVE to be up at 6am on a Monday morning to workout, if you know that doesn’t work for you. Maybe you finish work at 3pm on a Tuesday and don’t have to pick the kids up until 5.30. Maybe you meet your friend across the road from a park for brunch every Saturday and you’re always meaning to go for a walk before brunch each week. Find your spaces each day and write in your workout dates – and don’t think it needs to be a 7 day thing – work in your rest days as well, if Wednesday is your busiest day, don’t force in a pump class at 4am if that’s not your thing.
  2. Unfortunately, this is the hard one. DO IT. It will be hard, and some days you will feel like you’re forcing yourself to do it, but think about that end goal and get out there!
  3. Don’t beat yourself up! Life is busy sometimes – family stuff, work, friends, parties – it will all get in the way, the most important this is to not let one missed workout ruin the routine.
  4. The first few weeks are the hardest – find your support crew, find the people who are going to keep you accountable – and let them help.
  5. Enjoy it. This is such an exciting time, and keep some variety in your life! Try out that spin class, try run for a few moments during your walk, or increase your weights. Just make sure you are enjoying it!
Just. Do. It.

Pretty soon, it will all be as normal as your morning coffee!

What is your best way to keep your routine going?

The Girl Who Lifts
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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
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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.

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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?

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Me and my number 1

 

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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.

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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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