Tag: healthy living

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

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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
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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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Wedding and Nationals!

Sorry it’s been such a long time. Time has slipped away pretty fast over the past few months, with some BIG changes. I got married, quit my job, and competed at the GPC Nationals. So where to start?

Having such big things happen all within a few weeks of each other was a big decision, one I didn’t take lightly. But, in the end – why not? New beginnings and new goals? Fresh start? All things that can make change a VERY exciting time.

Leaving my job was a hard one – I loved my job. I loved the people I met, I loved the people I work with, and I loved the challenges it brought. But unfortunately the 5hr per day commute was not agreeing with me – my weight had ballooned, I was tired, and wanted some balance back in my life. My soon to be husband and I talked about it, and decided we wanted to stay where we were living, so leaving my job was the only thing to do. It was sad, and there were tears, but I’m looking forward to putting the same love into a new career.

Marriage. The most exciting one. Such an incredible day, and one that I wish I could re-live over and over. It was such a special time having all of my family and friends all together in one room. We laughed, we cried (happy tears of course), we danced, and we drunk. All the best things life can bring. Best day of my life.

First dance
First dance
Married!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Through all of this – I was counting down the days to Nationals. My biggest comp to date. It was 3 weeks after my wedding, but I knew I would regret it big time if I didn’t go. So, after a very short discussion with my soon to be (and incredibly supportive) husband, we arranged our honeymoon to ensure we were at Nationals. Wow I was a lucky girl! My coach, my Dad (one of my biggest fans) and husband all provided me all the support I needed to get through the crazy month that was about to take place.

My gorgeous bridesmaids, page boys and very happy Dad!
My gorgeous bridesmaids, page boys and very happy Dad!

Once I committed myself to this – everything else came easy. Training was my way to keep my brain sane, so during the wedding planning process it was very much needed. All I needed to do was ensure I got each lift in each week – Squat, bench and deadlift. And I needed to give 150% at each session. Once I wasn’t working my sleep time increased, and man I saw a difference.

My husband and I left for our honeymoon a week after the wedding, and had a very blissful 10 day roadtrip up to the Gold Coast. We had no plan, and rarely knew where we were sleeping each night – part of the adventure we were on.

I had one session on the road, and man it was a big one. But the rest was doing me well, as I absolutely nailed it. Confidence was on point, and my body was feeling VERY relaxed. I had a minor freakout when I *thought* I was failing my bench. I was nowhere my max, but it really wasn’t happening. Turns out my holiday brain had me load at extra 10kgs onto what I was meant to be doing! Crisis over!

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Repping the custom made hoodie at Summer Bay!

Nationals. Words can’t actually explain how incredible of a day Nationals was. Mind blowing? Amazing?

The people – It was so nice to meet the girls who I had friended on FB from all over Australia, who all had a love for the same sport. If there is one thing I learned, this is in no way an individual sport. Yes – you are competing against each other, but you wouldn’t know by the amount of love and support everyone gives each other. We warmed up together, high fived each other, celebrated the PBs and hugged out the missed weights. Incredible.

I couldn’t have asked for a better day of lifting. My goal going in was 160kg+ Squat, 80kg Bench and 180kg+ Deadlift. I hit every single one.

Squat – 165kgs (12.5kg increase in PB)
Bench – 80kgs (5kg increase in PB)
Deadlift – 182.5kgs (5kg increase in PB)

Total – 427.5kgs (22.5kg increase since last comp) and 5th place at the comp.

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That squat face!
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182.5kg deadlift!

Happy? Stoked? They don’t even explain the complete elation I was feeling after.

Now for the cool part (if that’s not cool enough) – I am ranked 7th in Australia in the ALL TIME rankings for Global Powerlifting Committee. 7th best lifter. Ever. Now for someone that’s never been ranked anywhere for anything – this is COOL. I’m happy, and I’m proud. And I think I’m allowed to be.

So what’s next for The Girl Who Lifts? ProRaw 7 in November. The BIG BIG one. This is invitation only, the best of the best – and after a lot of hard work and determination – I’m one of them.

Let’s do this.

The Girl Who Lifts

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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.

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Front squats!
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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!

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ProRaw7

 

Reach for those dreams!

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

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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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