Tag: Nutrition

Just Do You – a guide to being selfish

Just Do You. One of the most important things I’ve been told lately, because adding a bit of selfish to your life can make everything a whole lot easier.

Growing up – we were told not to be selfish. To put others before ourselves. Not to keep things for ourselves. But when did we suddenly take all this too far? When did making other people happy, get put in front of our own happiness? It is IMPOSSIBLE to keep everyone happy. Really. No matter how hard you try.

“Must keep work happy”

“Must keep *insert person’s name here* happy”

“I’ve been friends with them for years so I have to go”

Have you ever found yourself saying these, followed by a sigh of dread? Don’t worry – so have I.
Recently I’ve been trying to steer away from these comments, and instead putting ME in those.

“Must keep ME happy” coz really, isn’t this the most important thing? And by being happier myself, making other people happy just came so much easier. Now there is a big difference between thinking about yourself all the time, and putting yourself first when it’s needed. I’m talking about the latter.

I had a coffee with an old friend last week (which actually turned into a cider) and we both were living a life very similar – we were just being us. And what was magical was that our lives were intertwining with each other because we were JUST BEING US. We’re both busy girls, and we’re both deeply proud of what each other has accomplished, which is why when we come together it’s our selfish time.

Why do you need to put some selfish into your life?

Here are a few reasons:

Mental and Physical Health
My training ultimately comes first, it has to. But by being selfish and putting my training first it leaves me in a better mood and a sharper mind. My gym time is sacred and is often the first thing I plan in my day. It’s non-negotiable. Do I always love it? No. But I do it.

I also like to put away some time for meditation and soul thinking. It helps me process the day, calm my inner voice, and let go of any demons – making me an overall happier gal.

Better relationships
By putting ME first (oooooo so selfish) – one of the first things I found myself saying was “No.” Do you know that you DON’T have to do everything anyone asks you? I know! Who would’ve thought! Ultimately, you decide who you spend your time with, and who fills your head. Make it count. Make it special.

Personal development
Have you ever wanted to learn the piano? Or learn a new language? Or start a sport? DO IT. Please don’t say you don’t have time, coz I’ll just tell you to find it. Personal development gives you a sense of accomplishment, success, pride, happiness, something else to add to your CV – the list goes on.

No Bullshit – Just Do You.
This is my most favourite one of all. No bullshit. Absolutely none. I take pride in my life, who is in it, and what I do. Quite often we focus on self-judgment rather than self-compassion. Be gentle and realize you’re enough. Me? I have a job that I LOVE. A husband who fills my life with every ounce of happiness. Friends who I would do absolutely anything for, and them for me. But best of all, I have a person who I can look in the mirror and say “Wow, you are awesome”.

 

The Girl Who Lifts

xx

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

xx

The importance of sleep!

There comes a time when you really just have to say enough. For the last year and a half I have been doing a very insane commute, 2.5hrs into work and then 2.5hrs back home again. Many have called me insane. But in about 7 weeks’ time that is all going to change, I have handed in my notice and it’s time to get back to a normal lifestyle. A new job and hopefully 8 hours sleep at night.

This morning I realised just how desperate I am for sleep. Normally I have an alarm that wakes me up just before my train stop in the morning. This morning I slept right through it. I went all the way to the end of the line – which is about another 4 stops past mine, and then came back into the city. I woke up just before the train was pulling into my station again. I was absolutely out to it. Didn’t hear a thing.

I am SO looking forward to not being tired. I’m so looking forward to being able to get up in the morning and go for a walk, and then eat breakfast at home. I’m looking forward to having some ME time that isn’t surrounded by 20 odd strangers. I’m looking forward to spending some more time with my fiancé. SO MUCH to look forward to!

Not enough sleep has a TERRIBLE impact on the body. For me, the biggest impact has been on my adrenal system. Cortisol is the stress hormone, it looks after your bodies reactions to everyday stresses. You cortisol is at its highest in the morning, when you wake up, to get you started for the day. There is an increase of up to 50% 20 – 30mins after wakening – this is known as the “cortisol wakening response” As you go through your day your cortisol naturally decreases, allowing you to keep a regular sleeping pattern and fall asleep at night.

When you are stressed, your adrenal glands secrete cortisol which can result in a rise in blood pressure, glucose levels, heart rate etc and you are meant to return back to normal after a period of time. When you are in Adrenal fatigue, your body is constantly secreting cortisol in a state of stress, and never really returns to normal. And after a while, your body can’t produce enough cortisol – bringing on fatigue, lack of enthusiasm and a general “burnt out” feeling.

You can imagine what this can do for someone who is trying to also lose weight. NOT MUCH.

One of the major signs adrenal fatigue which I have really noticed, is at night. I am SO sleepy in the afternoons, I wake up enough to smash through my training sessions, and then I head home. I get home pretty tired, cook dinner, and then BOOM 11pm hits and I am AWAKE. Getting to sleep is a mission, and then it all starts over again the next day. It’s rough. So get your sleep people.

I set some goals last month to help keep me focused during the lead up to Nationals, and one of those goals was to be in bed by 11pm. Rest is key to recovery and bigger lifts! I’m doing well so far!

Thanks to my amazing coach Mark, I have the most amazing program taking me through into Nationals. I’m actually pretty damn lucky when it comes to trainers. Mark is constantly answering my questions, explaining things over and over again, re writing my eating plans when I don’t understand, and is generally just an awesome human.

Thanks to his expertise, I’m feeling stronger every session, and can really see some massive potential in my lifts. I’ve just gotta put the work in now. No excuses. I’m really working to get a minimum of 5 hours in the gym each week and smashing through my strength sessions. I WANT to be the best. I WANT to lift the heaviest. I KNOW I’ve got it in me.

10993431_631869400278271_4990290908847222546_n
Front squats!
10950421_683014151809498_2108915784_n
A girls gotta flex!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

A lot of people ask me how I do it. How I manage to get myself to the gym every day after work, and where I find the strength to then lift such huge weights. As I’ve said before…passion is a huge part of what gets me through. I LOVE lifting, I LOVE talking about it, watching it, thinking about it. My poor work colleagues get the run down every day after my sessions. I’m not sure I could do what I do without the passion.

This Friday my fiancé and I are heading back to NZ for a holiday. I’ve got 3 weddings over the week, and we are going to take some much needed time out together. We get married in 8 weeks, and still have a bit to organise! I WON’T be taking a break from training. If anything I’ll be training harder than ever as I will have a bit of time! I’m really looking forward to hitting some Christchurch gyms!

Final bit of exciting news for thegirlwholifts. PRORAW7 invite!! ProRaw is a yearly event – where the best of the best compete, and I got an invite. SO SO SO HAPPY!

10979515_1595091107369087_503388489_n
ProRaw7

 

Reach for those dreams!

The Girl Who Lifts

x

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.”

10369415_648275658584775_2007942348_n
Leg Press
10326398_713334998724581_636807732_n
Bench Press
10453717_539631389492149_1039174235_n
Squat Day

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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

The Girl Who Lifts

x

Skinny vs Healthy

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

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

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

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

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

Here’s what it means to me

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

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

So skinny vs healthy… what do you prefer?

65ed4696cf7f11e381140002c9d6c186_8

The Girl Who Lifts

x

Resetting the goals

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

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

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

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

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

So here we go with the goals…

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

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

Let’s do it 🙂

Check out the guns!

The Girl Who Lifts

x

Growing strong

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

 

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

Thursday was one of those days.

This is what I did:

Bench: New PB of 60kg for 2

Squats: 80kgs to failure

Deadlift: 3 sets finishing off at 120kgs for 4

Post session selfie with Mark

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

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

 

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

Fixing the regrowth

Finished product

 

The Girl Who Lifts

x

Dealing with Stress

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

f54a7116bc5511e397fe1232c436b911_8 f436349cbd2011e3bd28125ad814cbdd_8

 

 

 

 

 

 

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

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

55f96548be3211e381ea0002c9c7cd62_8321a4282beff11e380500002c950d182_8

 

The Girl Who Lifts

x

What I’ve learned so far

By the time the weekend hits, I’m pretty buggered, so I like to take some timeout to do some meditation, yoga and reflection. On Saturdays especially, I like to go out for a massive walk, and then come home and cook myself some eggs and a smoothie, sit and enjoy the morning. I can’t help but laugh at how much I have changed over the last month or so. Before, I would literally just eat toast with honey or marmite…all day in the weekends. I would feel depressed, gross and sink deeper into the unhealthy lifestyle. But now…BOOM! There’s no stopping me. I think it’s really important to take time to reflect on what you have learned when you’re going through a change. It makes it easier to realise just how far you have come, notice what you’re finding difficult and make a plan to overcome these difficulties.

Saturday morning walk

For me, my difficulties are when I’m tired, this is when my sugar cravings and fatty food cravings hit the hardest. So this is where being prepared is SO important. With my crazy commute to and from work every day, I’m having to have one night during the week where I cook and get to bed a little later than normal. It’s hard and I get grumpy, but I just have to push on through and remind myself WHY I’m doing it.

This morning I’m sitting down with my avo and cacoa smoothie (Thanks Mia) and having a think about what I’ve learned so far…

Support: There is no way I could do this without the support and love that I have. Don’t try and do it yourself. There is so much knowledge and advice out there, but you need to get out and get it. Ask questions, seek the knowledge and learn. Read my post on Reaching Out for more on this.

Be Happy: This is one of the most important lessons I have learned. You need to be happy, you need to enjoy what you are doing. Find what you enjoy and stick with it. For me – it’s my weight lifting. People actually think I’m crazy when they learn how much I lift, but for me, nothing beats that feeling I get after a big weights session. I think this is so important in all aspects of your life – have a hobby! Whether it’s scrapbooking, or collecting shells, doing puzzles or gardening, have something that is just yours, and makes your soul happy when you do it. Take time out each day to be grateful for what you have. It may feel lame, but after a while it just feels like part of your routine. Every morning when I’m having my cup of hot water and apple cider vinegar I sit, smile and be thankful. It sets me up for a good day every day. Read further about being happy here.

Life only comes around once, so do whatever makes you happy, and be with whoever makes you smile.

Learn: Take time each week to do some research. There are so many different ideas, diets, fads, success stories and things to try. RESEARCH RESEARCH RESEARCH. Know what you’re doing before you do it. I’m very lucky to be working with a holistic nutritionist who I am learning SO much from and I love it.

Plan and be prepared: I can’t say this enough, PLAN PLAN PLAN. I read once that if you don’t plan you plan for failure. Man this is true! Use an afternoon in the weekend to plan and prepare your meals. Lately, I’ve also taken much pleasure in cooking my meals. It’s a real feeling of success when you look in the fridge and see healthy food that I’ve cooked. Be prepared for those moments when you want something extra – this really eliminates any chance of going to the crap food.

Find your motivation: I feel there are two sorts of motivation – external and internal. External being the people around you – for me it’s my trainers, my boyfriend, my parents, my friends and my nutritionist. Internal being the small things you have that you do just for you – I have my inspiration board, my tip jar, and the little bit of happiness that I get when I know that I’ve worked my hardest. I’ve written more on this here.

Breath: I never knew the importance of this until recently. Take a few minutes every hour or so to take 10 deeps breaths. That’s all you need to do – trust me, you’ll notice the difference.

Enjoy the process: Enjoy it, learn from it, live it.

I’ve also hit a massive PB on my squats – 120kgs x5. Weapon

Hot and sweaty after a gym session

The Girl Who Lifts

x

Saying Less

The past two sessions have been absolutely crazy. I LOVE IT!

Yesterday:
Bike – 30secs on and 30secs off
Bike – 1min on 30secs off
Dumbell row and over-head press
Walking lunges and 30secs of steps
Finished with 4mins of 20secs on 10secs off on the rowing machine

Tonight:
DEADLIFTS (my fav) – Worked my way up to 120kgs. Did 2 sets x4 and x3
Barbell rows – 40kgs 5 sets of 10
Seated row – not sure how much weight but it was heavy. 3 sets of 8
Single arm row – 25kg dumbells 5 sets of 8

DEAD! But SOOOOOO happy! My fitness seems to be reaching a new level. Which is awesome. I have a love/hate relationship with intervals, but the fitter I seem to be getting, the more I seem to love it. And tonight I loved it.

So as you all know I’ve been working very closely with the amazing Amelia (verde-health.com) who has been helping with my diet. One of the things I’ve really been working on is being conscious of my eating – enjoying the food and really enjoying each new dish I’m eating. I’m actually really enjoying eating new foods and trying new things – it’s a big step for me.

I’ve made some YUMMY things – paleo bread, quiche, green smoothies, chicken dishes, chickpea fritters, shepherds pie with cauliflower mash on top… I’m loving it!

a6d35b10915811e393ba0ed58683ea0d_8 39c46b509cfb11e3a7950e1d51678712_8

But one thing I do still struggle with is turning down yummy stuff. Candy, biscuits, anything on the “you shouldn’t eat this” list. So I’ve learned a new trick, and it’s working out pretty well. Learn to say less.

So how does “saying less” work? WELL. Previously when I’ve been eating healthy (or on a diet) I’ll live by the principle of saying NO to everything that doesn’t “fit” in the diet, I’ll say no over and over and over again until I can’t do it anymore and I’ll end up eating well over what I should. So now, I’m saying less. Still enjoying those treats but learning to say less and be satisfied with it! We had biscuits in the office the other day, and normally I would say no, no, no, no, ohhhhhhhhh ok…grab a couple, and then suddenly I’ve eaten most of them. But now, I just say less. Have one, enjoy it (thoroughly) and then be done with it. It’s a step in the direction of self-control.

Now self-control is a difficult one, and something I REALLY struggle with. It’s like a switch in my brain just turns off and I just eat everything yummy. Everything I can see. I think by “saying less” I can set myself a limit and enjoy it. Binge eating was a regular event for me… like I’ve said before I would eat every time I felt some sort of emotion: happy, sad, angry, bored… looking back I’m quite impressed at how much I could eat (read emotional eating part 1 and part 2)

Today was pretty hard and it was the first time I felt those food emotions flood back. I had quite a stressful morning which turned into a rather stressful day. My yummy food brain clicked into over drive and I wanted food. Bad food. Now. BUT 100 points to me coz I worked my way through it and rewarded myself with deadlifts. BEST REWARD EVER.

So let’s continue with the “saying less” – eat less, weigh less, live more!

1623404_440160642782482_1343511904_n

The Girl Who Lifts

x