Saturday, December 1, 2012

It's Time to Move On...

My entire perspective on life, my body, my nutrition and health has certainly changed since I first started this blog in 2007. Looking back now, I was so unfit and unhealthy but I made a decision to make my first few steps back into the land of fitness.

Nutritionally, I tried many different things in the last 5 years including Weight Watchers (hated that!) and Michelle Bridge's 12WBT, where I essentially starved myself down to 68kg while doing insane amounts of cardio workouts on a daily or multiple times per day basis! But I was still unhealthy. I was still eating foods that my body did not approve of and I felt sluggish and horrible after eating them, even though they fit into my 'allocated calories' for the day. Sure, it worked and got me to be really thin, but thin doesn't necessarily mean healthy. I was 'skinny fat'.

And then I discovered Paleo. I've done several posts on it now and the transition was gradual. For the past few weeks I have been 100% Paleo and I am never going back. My body is full of energy ALL the time with no fluctuations in blood sugar levels, so I never have my 3pm crash every day. I can eat and immediately train and I am never bloated. The food that I put into my body is healthy and nutritious and fuels my training well. I no longer count calories or weigh foods or fuss about anything other than whether I have had enough protein to support my muscles. And yet, I am losing body fat and gaining muscle like I never have before.

A huge part of that is from CrossFit and lifting heavy weights. From the moment I walked into the Box on my first day, I felt like I had come home. There is no other place I would rather be and on a daily basis I feel like I have trained harder in 20 minutes than I ever did doing 3 consecutive hours of cardio. I love being around like-minded people that don't look at me strangely when we discuss nutrition and training. On top of that, my body is changing and I love it! I am so much stronger and on a daily basis I am discovering things that my body is able to do that I never thought possible.

So for me, it feels like my journey to this point is at a close. My blog titled, "Get Off The Couch" speaks a lot about where I was 5 years ago when I went for that first run, scoring only 3.3 on the Beep Test! I am not sorry that it has taken me this long to discover this lifestyle, because I think the journey has made me into the person I am today. But I don't feel the need to write on this blog. It just isn't me anymore.

I have started a new blog about my journey into CrossFit and Paleo and I will continue to track my progress there.Thank you to everyone who supported me up to this point. I wish you all the best in your journeys.

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Why Didn't I Do This Years Ago?!!!

I wish I had've known about Paleo lifestyle years ago. I feel absolutely incredible right now and have all the energy in the world to do whatever I want! I no longer feel flat and tired after I eat - I could go for a run even after a filling meal. On top of all of that, the food is just amazing - so fresh and delicious! I'm tasting things like it's the first time foods have ever passed my lips! I am eating foods that I never used to like and all my favourite fresh foods taste even more amazing than they used to.

I am eating to satiate my hunger - no more calorie counting and yet my fat percentage is dropping like nothing else while my lean body mass continues to grow. I am no longer training for hours at a time (chronic cardio!!), instead I am doing short under 45 minute sessions and my progress is amazing! 3 days ago I couldn't hold myself up on a chin-up bar and today I held myself with my chin over the bar for 10 seconds!

I am absolutely hooked on this lifestyle. I have told my friends and family and they have all been supportive. I don't even have ANY desire to touch non-Paleo food anymore. Even when I bake cookies or brownies for work (yes, I still bake because I enjoy it!), I don't even lick my fingers when a smear of cookie batter gets on them!

So the next step? I am really keen to do power lifting (squats/chest press/dead lift) and I've found a PT near me who also runs a CrossFit Box. I am going to book in to have a few 1-on-1 sessions with him to get my technique 100% before I start lifting heavy, with a view to join his Box in the near future. I am so excited! It's time to get STRONG! 

Saturday, November 3, 2012

Paleo Heaven

This is dinner tonight...

Sustainable fished, wild caught Travali with a cucumber, lime and mango salsa, and a prawn, mango and walnut rocket salad.

It tastes sooooo gooooood!!

Lifting Heavy Makes Me Happy

It has taken me a lonnnnnnnng time to come to the realisation that my long distance running career is pretty much over. I have mourned the loss and really struggled for the most part of this year. A couple of weeks ago, I decided that I needed to find a new focus and I started looking into weight training. I've always loved BodyPump classes and I liked the sound of CrossFit and I'm now heading in that direction.

My lounge room now looks more like a gym than a place to invite visitors (unless of course they want to lift heavy things, too!). I have a chin-up bar, a barbell, dumbbells all ready and waiting when I get home from work! I absolutely LOVE weights training now and although it's not as good as a stress reliever, I love the feeling of really pushing through the pain and playing that mental game.  

I discovered there's a CrossFit gym near my house, but I really want to work on developing my upper body strength before I start going. My pushups are really terrible but they are coming along SO fast now that I am focusing on it. 

Since cutting out the majority of my cardio training, I have been putting on the muscle like nothing else! I've been noticing that I am able to keep upping my weights every week, whereas I used to be stuck at the same level for months at a time. The results I've been getting are fantastic! Beyond what I would've thought I could achieve in such a short time. 

My BodyPump weights are now (not including bar weight):
Squats: 20-25kg
Chest: 10kg 
Back: 12.5kg 
Triceps: 10kg 
Biceps: 12.5kg
Lunges: 15kg (due to knee pain)
Shoulders: FINALLY using a 2.5kg plate in each arm! For SO long I was struggling with 1.25kg! 

My lean body mass is now 60kg!! My measurements are the same as I was when I was 77.7kg in 2011, yet I weigh 83.2kg now! The difference is amazing! Given that I've only just started weight training, I am excited to think how much muscle mass I can gain and how high my lean body mass will get to! 

I think it's all largely due to my diet and the shift of focus from "losing weight" to just focusing on getting stronger. I'm now only really losing fat and gaining muscle, whereas last year and during 12WBT I was always losing fat AND muscle. It might be a slower road from a physical perspective (I don't know!?), but it's certainly much faster from a performance perspective. So what have I been doing? I have gone Paleo!

I have cut out all grains/dairy/legumes and most processed foods. I don't drink alcohol or eat anything loaded with sugar. And the result is that I feel AMAZING. I never crave sugary foods, never feel like binging on crap and I don't miss anything! I realise now that pasta/bread/potato was making me feel really heavy and gross even if it was a really small serving. Without it, I no longer feel like a complete sloth after I've had a meal! Paleo definitely agrees with me. 

So that's where I am at the moment. I am about to get a personal trainer to start powerlifting. I can't wait!!! 

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

It's always a Tuesday

Something I've noticed from writing in my diary every meal is that I always struggle with my nutrition on Tuesdays!

Every week without fail, it's always a Tuesday night that I am wandering around the kitchen looking for 'second dinner'. The good part is that I am now recognising that it's a Tuesday thing and making sure that I am super-busy on Tuesday nights!!

And on that note - it's workout time!

Monday, October 29, 2012

Sunday, October 28, 2012

Woo! They fit me again!

It's been a while since I've posted, I apologise. I'm now writing daily in a paper diary (so old school!) before every meal instead of writing much on my blog. I find that it really helps me with my mindset and working out whether I am actually hungry or whether I am reaching for food out of boredom or stress.

On the weight-loss front, I can tell you that if you purely looked at my weight, you'd probably think that I had gone backwards! I've posted about this before - where the numbers just don't show the whole picture.

I currently weigh 84.2kg but I'm the same size as I was when I was under 80kg. I fit into my size 12 pants (woohooo!!!) and I feel great! I still have a long way to go, but I am trying not to base things around weight - more on body fat percentage and measurements. I still want to lose about 6-8% body fat, so I have a little way to go yet.

My lean body mass is now at 58.7kg (up from ~56kg)! I have really put on the muscle in the last month - I have been doing BodyPump daily or second daily and the results have been fantastic! I increased my squat weight by 5kg yesterday and coped fine! Any heavier and I'm going to have trouble getting the weight onto my shoulders by myself!!! My chest/triceps/biceps have all gone up by 2.5kg. And my core is SO much stronger than it has been! It's all paying off. The definition in my arms particularly, are really coming back! I love it!

I still have the odd slip-up with my nutrition, but with my diary I am finding that I am making better choices and really analysing things. I do allow myself to eat a 'taste' of something if I want something sugary, but I don't go overboard and I'm finding this helps me feel less 'restricted'.

Meanwhile, I am looking forward to summer and Christmas! The holiday season (without much of a holiday - thanks work!)

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

On knowing when to stop...

Only once have I ever stopped a gym session without finishing. I was sick and was dizzy and just couldn't keep going. Today was my second.

I was apprehensive when I got out of bed this morning to go to the gym. I felt tired, despite a good night's sleep and I was doubting whether I should go to the gym. Thinking that I would regret it if I didn't go, I got in my car and headed off to spin class.

I should've listened to my body. 

I was burnt out. My legs had exploded after just a warm-up and I just had NOTHING left in the tank to give. I attempted the hill climb track - but again - I felt like I was riding up a vertical hill even though I had very little resistance on my dial. I thought I'd give myself a break and just took it easy the next two tracks but soon realised it was futile. I needed a break. So, for the first time ever, I got up from my spin bike and left mid-class.

At first I was embarrassed and felt that I might offend the instructor, but I knew that I had to do the right thing for me. I've been pushing really hard and I don't think my nutrition has been good enough to sustain it. I have been counting my calories in retrospect and some days I was only getting 700-odd calories in! Woops!

So today I'm resting. Tomorrow I will do BodyPump (going easy on the leg tracks) and BodyBalance and then I'm taking Friday AND Saturday off. I need a break.

Monday, October 8, 2012


I returned to BodyPump last week, after many months off and after the initial DOMS, I am now recovering really well after each session. I'm going twice per week to BodyPump, with cardio sessions the rest of the 4-5 days in the week.

Today, I felt I really achieved something though - I upped my chest, triceps and biceps weights! Amazingly I did really well with the weights. Of course, it was painful, but I still managed to finish the tracks. It makes me wonder how long I've been selling myself short for! Better now than never, I guess!

Meanwhile, I've been on holidays and obviously became distracted and not updated the blog. I have increased my training and my intake has been faaaaaairly good, with a few issues here and there. In the last week or so I've really become determined to get my body and my life back in order and the weight is falling off! Best of all, I feel fantastic.

I hope everyone else is travelling well. Remember - two steps forward, one step back still gets you to your destination.

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Week 4 - Wednesday Weigh-in

Hmm... Well what happened there?! Let's just go straight into the numbers -

Weight: 81.6kg
Loss: 0.00kg
Total loss: -3.4kg

Uhmmm??!!!! No loss?! When I initially jumped on the scales and saw that number, I was PISSED! A whole week of eating well and exercising and no change at all?!! Instead of being angry, I decided I should analyse what happened. There are a few reasons that could've contributed...

1. Hydration
I have been really dehydrated recently, particularly on night shift. I would work all night and not drink anything and then come home and sleep. So I was essentially getting maybe a cup or two of water into my body for days on end. I just came off night shift and have just rehydrated, so it's possible my body has just held onto all that water!

2. Not eating enough?????
On nightshift, I was eating... well... not much! I think I would eat about 500-600cals per 24 hours! It's similar to the hydration story - I would eat before I went to work, have a snack or two overnight and then I would just go straight to bed without eating. I wonder whether I slowed my metabolism to zip?!

So that's where I'm at. It's disappointing, but I won't let it get to me - I just have to keep on going!

I've lost 3.4kg so far and 32cm! I'm really happy with that and I feel so much better than I did 4 weeks ago. It's unfortunate I didn't meet my goal of getting to 80kg, but that's okay. It's not the end of the world! I'll just have to be super-clean this week!

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Week 3 - Weigh-in Wednesday!

Wahh! I am SO excited! This past week, I have been so focused and determined and the weight is falling off so fast! I feel amazing, having spent the whole week eating cleanly!

Weight: 81.6kg
Loss: -1.5kg!
Total loss: -3.4kg!!


Meanwhile, my fears about night shift haven't been realised and I am kicking butt! Bring on week 4!

Monday, September 10, 2012


This week has been a challenging one! It has been a little bit of a roller-coaster ride but I've ended up on top.

My body is shrinking and I am starting to really notice it! It's very exciting and really gives me the focus to keep going with what I'm doing! There have been a few 'issues' with food lately, but with that has come a lot of light bulb moments! I realised this week that I don't enjoy sugary foods! I tried (one bite of) a piece of cake this week and I was underwhelmed. I bought some Skinny Cow ice-cream sundaes that I used to love.. Again... Underwhelming. And then when I have a Cruskit with avocado and tomato, my taste buds have a massive party!!!!!! I cannot describe how good it tastes!!!!!!!! It's incredible! So why eat all that sugary food?! I have absolutely no desire to eat it any more. It tastes boring, is full of calories and has absolutely no nutrition. So I have completely cut it all out of my life. Gone!

Yesterday I took a trip to Sydney and realised that so much has changed for me. This past 8 months has been an interesting time and I have realise now that I was not happy. My personality changed, I felt pretty down most of the time, my self-worth was pretty low and I was really struggling with a lot of things. After 2 weeks back on the program, exercising again, eating cleanly and just focusing on myself, I am SO happy! Even though I haven't lost that much weight, my mindset has completely changed and is back at where I was at my goal weight! It has made me realise that I don't have to be slim to feel good about myself - it was the lifestyle that was making me happy, not my size. I have woken from my coma and finally living my life again!

This week is going to be the biggest challenge I've ever had with this process. From tonight, I start 10-hour night shifts for 7 nights straight. A lot of things have been going through my mind - when do I exercise, when do I eat, how will I cope? But I guess I will just have to have a really good plan and just stick to it.

So, I will exercise at the gym before work and go for a walk when I get home before going to sleep. I will eat dinner before work, lunch in the middle of the night and a very light breakfast before I go to sleep, if I'm hungry. It's going to be a big challenge, because night shift at the hospital seems to mean sugary, salty, crappy food time! Every ward I go to will have packets of chips, biscuits, cakes just lying around. I am very thankful that I had my realisation about not enjoying this food before I started my nights! Otherwise I think it would be a different story!

Wish me luck!

Thursday, September 6, 2012

Weigh-in Wednesday - Week 2

I can't believe it's week 2 already! Time flies!

Things have been going mostly well, with a few hiccups here and there. My exercise has been fairly tame in terms of intensity but still burning >500cals/day. Pleasantly, when I tried to have a piece of chocolate the other day, it actually tasted pretty average! I'm craving fruits and vegetables again, so it's a nice change! Stupidly though, when I make a poor choice and have something sweet to eat and it doesn't taste very satisfying, I go for another thinking that the second will taste better! Of course it doesn't... I think I need to wake up to the fact that my taste buds have changed and that I am not going to get ANY satisfaction from eating processed or sugary foods. Another lesson learned.

So my weigh-in...

Weight: 83.1kg
Loss: -1.6kg
Total loss: -1.9kg

Happy days!

Thursday, August 30, 2012

Weigh-in Wednesday - Week 1

Things are going well so far! 

It has only been a few days but the weight is coming off already! Unfortunately I am really sick this week but I haven't stopped exercising - I have just dialled the intensity right down to 6km walks. Today though I am home from work and am having trouble moving around the house without getting breathless, so I daresay I will be taking today as my rest day.

My nutrition on the other hand has been spot on! I have not had a single chocolate or sugar-filled-processed-anything since the start of the program! I feel amazing! Why I started eating that crap again, I have no idea but I've woken up to it and am now reaping the benefits of eating cleanly.

Now to the nitty gritty... My start weight...


Ouch! The shame!

I don't know if I have ever weighed that much, maybe as a teen but certainly not in the last 10 years or so. I put on SO much weight since Christmas through poor choices and not prioritising myself. I just ate absolute crap and did no exercise whatsoever. It's pretty shameful given how much I learned last year, but as I said in a previous post, I don't think I learned why I over-eat or why I eat crappy foods until now. There have been some hard lessons and I am only now making really good progress from a mindset perspective.

So my goals for this round of 12WBT are mostly weight-based and nutrition based. My fitness is mostly where I want it to be and although I know I can still improve in terms of running pace, I am still injured and I have to be really careful about pushing too hard. My goals are listed below.

Week 1 Weigh-in: 84.7kg
Loss: -0.3kg
Total loss: -0.3kg

Week 1-4: 27 August 2012 - 23 September 2012   
  • Goal weight: 81kg 
  • Exercise 5 days per week at least 500cals/session 
  • Do 5 full toe push-ups in a row  
How will I get there?
12WBT Round 3
Stick to 1200cals/day 
Stay away from refined sugar and processed foods

Reward: Haircut!  

Week 5-8: 24 September 2012 - 21 October 2012 
  • Goal weight: 77kg
  • Exercise 6 days per week at least 500cals/session 
  • Do 10 full toe push-ups in a row 
How will I get there?
Continue 12WBT
Stick to 1200cals/day 
Stay away from refined sugar and processed foods

Reward: New running shoes

Week 9-12: 22 October 2012 - 18 November 2012 
  • Goal weight: 73kg 
  • Exercise 6 days per week at least 500cals/session 
  • Do 15 full toe push-ups in a row 
How will I get there?
Continue 12WBT
Stay away from refined sugar and processed foods
Reward: TBA   

Monday, August 27, 2012

Day 1, Week 1, Round 3 2012


Today was a success! I feel fantastic and am hungry for more!

My day started with a 5km walk with my dogs, followed by a 1.5-hour gym session. It was the first time I had been in a gym for many weeks and it felt great. My fitness has dropped but not too much. I'm trying out a new local gym now and the people are so friendly! No queues for equipment either. I think it'll be a winner!

I ate completely clean today... I may have eaten slightly over 1200cal but it was all whole foods of high nutritional content. I even didn't put sugar in my tea today (and it tasted fine!)

I burned about 800-1000cal today but I can't be sure how much as my HRM is getting a new battery. Hopefully it'll be delivered tomorrow.

One thing I noticed today was after exercise my whole view on the day and of food changes. I am less stressed and I have no desire to graze. Hopefully this continues!

Saturday, August 18, 2012

Crashing Back To Earth

Wow, 12 weeks goes really fast when you lose track of reality! Somewhere between proclaiming my commitment and now, I feel like I've disappeared from the world outside the hospital. I've put my life on hold and with it, lost sight of my health and fitness and in general lost sight of myself!

I have been working 6-7 days, clocking up to 80 hours per week and even though I'm organised by nature, I have not been putting in the effort to organise my food or exercise. Instead, I just eat what is available and  at whenever I have the opportunity, which might mean that I don't eat until 3pm, or that I'm eating dinner at midnight after working 16 hours. I just haven't been able to get into a rhythm and for the most part, 12WBT didn't even cross my mind! It wasn't like I had made an active decision NOT to follow the program, I was just living in a world of work - sleep - work - sleep, so much so that I would wake up and a whole week would have disappeared between weigh-in reminders! On top of that, I have also had to move house and have really struggled to find a new place. I also have TWO injuries and have used that as an excuse for too long. Running is NOT the only type of exercise available!

Things are slowly getting back on track now and after a lot of soul searching over the last few days, I feel like I am ready to put myself as a priority again. At some point in the last couple of days, I realised that if I keep going this way, I could potentially wake up years from now having not achieved anything except work! And as much as I love my job, there is more to life than helping others be healthy enough to live their own.

There are a lot of things that I need to work through and I think I'm finally being realistic about this. I'm finally ready to start answering the tough questions rather than pushing them aside. Even last year when I reached my goal weight, I did not even recognise what I needed to work on! This year with all the stress I've had and all the obstacles thrown into my life, those issues have really exposed themselves and despite all my attempts to bury them again, I have not been able to. I realise now that I have been burying myself at work, hiding myself away from the outside world, trying to escape from the very things I should be facing head-on. I feel like I've been living the last 3 months with my hands over my ears saying, "la la la la la la lahhh!"

But now it's time to be mindful and to deal with those issues and take each day at a time rather than losing weeks at a time. It's time to get more organised and to change my priorities to include my health as well as those of my patients.

So, I've signed up for another round of 12WBT. Week 1 coincides with the first week of my next rotation at work and also coincides with my first full week in my new house. I recognise now that it's not going to be a smooth ride and that it won't be perfect, but that's okay. So, here's a fresh start. My entire kitchen is in boxes at the moment and I threw out most of the food I had in my kitchen, so literally my first shop will be 100% 12WBT!

The next week I will be spending a LOT of time looking at my mindset and my excuses. I have a lot of them - many more than I initially thought. It's interesting that even though I've done this exercise many times before, that it is only now that the real truths are coming out.

From a nutrition stand-point, my goal is to be mindful of what I put in my mouth, try to eat at regular meal times and to drink more water! I am constantly dehydrated with a total intake of about 600mL per day of any liquid! I'll just have to actively force myself to drink, drink, drink while I'm at work (and try to find time to actually get to the bathroom during my shifts!).

Thursday, May 17, 2012

My Commitment...

Task 4 is saying it out loud!

I am committed to getting to 68kg by 26 August 2012 by eating cleanly and exercising 6 days per week.

I am committed to recognising when I'm stressed or emotional and not turning to food to 'soothe' my emotions.

And I am committed to doing everything that I need to, in order to achieve these goals.

This WILL happen. 

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

77.7kg is 77.7kg... Right?


I currently weigh the same as I did back in August last year, before I started 12WBT the first time around. I thought it would be interesting to compare my measurements and photos from back then. The results are very interesting, indeed!

And some photos... (this is the first time I've ever posted photos before! Eek!) 

It's hard to believe I weighed the same in both of these photos! But it just goes to show you that the scales are only one part of the puzzle! 

Weigh-in Wednesday!

I got so excited when I realised it is Wednesday today! I lept out of bed and jumped on the scales...

Weight: 77.7kg 
Loss: 1.1kg 
Total loss: 3.4kg 

Yay! Finally a decent loss! I have been eating SO cleanly - my diet has consisted of salad/veges, lean protein and a few nuts here and there. To be honest I haven't even really been doing formal calorie-counting. I certainly haven't been weighing things - just using my eye to estimate roughly. The only processed foods to cross my lips have been a few sauces (hoisin mostly), salad dressing (low cal), protein powder, milk and my chai lattes. 

I also did measurements today as well. I think I might do that weekly- it's where I seem to be getting most of my results.

Comparing to last week - 

Chest: 91cm (-3cm)
Waist: 73cm (-2cm)
Belly: 81cm (-2cm)
Hips: 102cm (=)
Thighs: 98cm (+2cm)
Right thigh: 58cm (+1cm)
Arm: 31cm (+1cm) 

BMI: 23.2 
Body Fat %: 25.8% (-0.9%)
LBM: 57.6kg (-0.1kg)

Gotta be happy with that! 

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Reflection - How Very Far I've Come!

I was going back into the archives of this blog and was reading about my running escapades back in 2007! At the time I was doing a lot of beep tests and so I have a few records of my VO2 max back then.

And wow - I have certainly come a long way since then!

In March 2007 when I decided to take up running, my VO2 max was 27, which sits in the "poor" range. I hadn't been doing much exercise except for some mountain biking, but I would always really struggle with hills and much preferred Downhilling!

Today my VO2 max at 63 (according to the Polar Fitness Test), which is "elite"! It's funny to think that back in 2007 I thought I was pretty fit. If only that me could see where I am now! It's moments like this that I can see the benefit of blogging!

Sunday, May 13, 2012

Weekly Training Summary - 07/05/12 - 13/05/12 (Week 1 Pre-Season)

What a week! I had a goal in mind this week - to reach a PB of number of calories burned in a week. The number? 6,000! And I did it! :)

Here's what the week looked like -

Lots of walking, Pump, CxWorx (love this class!!) and spin!

I felt like I had a bit of an injury coming on at the beginning of the week, so I put in a rest day on Wednesday and took it easy on Thursday. Everything feels good now and I am back in the groove!

Total calories burned: 6,224 calories
Total food: 8,860 calories
Weekly BMR: 11,270 calories
Total deficit: 8,634 calories

Friday, May 11, 2012

Leaning to Train, Not Strain

As you've probably noticed from my previous posts about exercise, you can probably tell that I am a bit addicted to exercise! It's my favourite part of the day and once I get started, I really struggle to know when to stop (marathon runner in the making?!!). 

The problem with that is that I don't listen to my body when it says it needs a break. I push too hard sometimes and I end up injured.  

Cue a few days ago when I smashed out about 3,200 calories over Monday and Tuesday. By Wednesday I knew I had done something to my knee after developing posterior (back of) knee pain at work. I could barely walk on my leg! So I swapped out my rest days and took it easy on Wednesday. Yesterday I was still a bit sore, so again I didn't go to my usual spin class and instead just used my night at dog training doing short explosive sprints (the only running I allow myself) as my own training session. 

And yeah okay, I probably could've gone to the gym and done some upper body weight work, but on the flipside, I think I just need to learn when to take it easy! Which brings us to today where instead of the 2.5 hour session I had planned I just did 1 hour. I left the gym wanting more and boy was it a struggle to walk out of there! I just have to tell myself it's for the best, so I can bring it harder for tomorrow's SSS. 

Thursday, May 10, 2012

How I Love a Good Goal-Setting Session!

I woke up this morning to find Task 2 waiting for me! It was time to set some goals! I LOVE goal-setting! I feel so inspired and excited about the future. It's such a fun task!

This time has been a bit of a challenge for me, because in the past running goals have been my focus. Since my injury I haven't been able to do any running and it doesn't look like I'll be able to start again any time soon. While the injury itself has largely settled down, it does flare-up from time-to-time even with walking and I am under strict instructions not to run until I get my orthotics. I haven't even been fitted for them yet and it takes about a month for them to get made, I believe. So I will just have to focus on different goals until then! Regardless of that, my ultimate goals are still mostly running-based, but I have added a few different goals in just in case that's not realistic.

My two big running goals are to complete a Half-Marathon in 2012 and then to complete a Trail Half-Marathon in 2013. 

Here are my goals!

7 May 2012 - 3 June 2012 (pre-season)  
  • Goal weight: 76kg
  • Body fat: 24%
  • Exercise 6 days per week at least 500cals/session 
  • Do 10 full toe push-ups in a row    
  • Absolutely zero binging 
How will I get there?
Commence 12WBT Round 2, 2012
Train with BodyPump, Boxing, Weights, Rowing, CxWorx, Cycling
Increase BodyPump weights by 2.5kg
30 push-ups per day (sets of 10)   
Stick to 1200cals/day 
Stay away from refined sugar and processed foods
Pay attention to emotions and stress levels 

4 June 2012 - 1 July 2012 (12 WBT - 4 weeks) 
  • Goal weight: 74kg
  • Body fat: 20%   
  • Exercise 6 days per week at least 500cals/session 
  • Do 15 full toe push-ups in a row  
  • Zero binging!   
  • Fit size 10 pants 
How will I get there?
12WBT Round 2
Train with BodyPump, Boxing, Weights, Rowing, Cycling
?Commence half-marathon training program (if cleared to run)
45 push-ups per day (sets of 15) 
Stick to 1200cals/day 
Stay away from refined sugar and processed foods
Pay attention to emotions and stress levels 

Reward: TBA 

2 July 2012 - 29 July 2012 (12WBT - 8 weeks) 
  • Goal weight: 70kg
  • Body fat: 17%  
  • Exercise 6 days per week at least 500cals/session 
  • Do 25 full toe push-ups in a row 
  • Zero binging! 
  • Recovered from injury and returning to running training  
How will I get there?
Continue 12WBT Round 2, 2012
?Commence half-marathon training program (if cleared to run)
50 push-ups per day 
Stick to 1200cals/day 
Stay away from refined sugar and processed foods
Pay attention to emotions and stress levels  

Reward: Polar GPS for my HRM

30 July 2012 - 26 August 2012 (12WBT - 12 weeks) 
  • Goal weight: 68kg 
  • Body fat: 15%
  • Exercise 6 days per week at least 500cals/session 
  • Do 30 full toe push-ups in a row 
  • 1 body-weight chin-up 
  • Zero binging! 
  • Fit into my Country Road size 8 pants
  • 1km in under 4-minutes  
  • Lake Mac Half-Marathon (August 2012)

How will I get there?
Continue 12WBT Round 2, 2012
Continue half-marathon training program  
Stay away from refined sugar and processed foods
Daily pushups
Pay attention to emotions and stress levels
Reward: New runners! 

27 August 2012 - 4 December 2012 (6 month goals) 

How will I get there?
Stay away from refined sugar  
?Commence 12WBT Round 3, 2012 
Continue half-marathon training program 
Interval training 
Daily push-ups
Increase upper-body weights 
Enter running events 

Reward: TBA
5 December 2012 - 4 June 2013 (12 month goals) 
  • Maintain ~15% body fat 
  • Do 10 chin-ups!!!
  • Do 50 full toe push-ups in a row 
  • Glow Worm Tunnel Trail Half-Marathon
How will I get there?
Stay away from refined sugar  
Increase trail running training 
Interval training 
Daily push-ups
Increase upper-body weights 

Reward: TBA

2013 Events 
  • June 2013 - Glow Worm Tunnel Trail Half-Marathon 
  • June 2013 - Bay to Bay Half-Marathon 
  • August 2013 - Lake Macquarie Half-Marathon 
  • August 2013 - City2Surf 
  • September 2013 - Tough Mudder 
  • September 2013 - Bridge Run 9km 
  • October 2013 - Pink Triathlon 
  • November 2013 - Central Coast Half-Marathon
  • November 2013 - The Stampede 10km 
  • November 2013 - Run4Fun 10km 
  • December 2013 - Mud Run

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Weigh-in Wednesday... How do you measure progress?

Now that Pre-Season has started, I guess it's time to do a bit of a summary of the last few weeks since I've really knuckled down and gone back to my healthy lifestyle.

There have been lots of changes, but interestingly not much of it has been "weight loss". I have only lost a few kilos, but I'm slimmer, my body fat percentage has gone down and my lean body mass has increased. It's  funny - we are so focused on the scales and at the moment they really aren't giving me much! If I was only looking at the scales I think I would be really disappointed! 

Comparing to 21st March 2012 (7 weeks)...

Weight: 78.8kg (-2.3kg) 
Lean Body Mass: 57.7kg (+4.7kg) 
Body Fat Percentage: 26.8% (6.9%) 

And my measurements...

Chest: 94cm (-9cm)
Waist: 75cm (-9cm)
Belly button: 82cm (-12cm) 
Thighs: 96cm (-6cm) 
Right/left arm: 30cm (=)

That's a total of 36cm lost!!!!! 

Overall I am extremely happy with my results!!! In 7 weeks to lose almost 7% of my body fat is pretty amazing! And yet I've only lost 2.3kg. :)  

This brings me back to my goals. I need to really reconsider my goals and how I am going to track my progress. I worked out that if I aimed for a goal weight of 65kg, at my current lean body mass that would mean that I would be just above 10% body fat, which is NOT healthy for a woman! I should be aiming for a minimum of 15% body fat, which at my current LBM would make me weigh-in at 67.8kg. So that's my new goal, but instead of weight I think I will just track my progress in body fat %.

Meanwhile I am in a world of pain today! My gluts and quads have some serious DOMS going on from spin class and BodyPump so I'll be swapping out today's hard training session for a rest day instead. I've trained so hard the last two days and my body is telling me that it needs a break. I know that if I went today, I wouldn't be able to put in 100% and I would be pushing myself to the edge. I've burned 3383 calories in two days. I need to stop and give my body time to recover. I may go to BodyPump later this morning if I'm feeling up to it, but the Cycle class I had planned for today is definitely out. 

Tuesday, May 8, 2012


My favourite jeans fit* me again!!!!!!

That is all. :)

*Ok, so they're a little tight around my thighs (they were swimming on me in December 2011), but I can actually do up the button and wear them comfortably! 

Excuses and Taking Responsibility

Yesterday was the first day of Pre-Season for 12WBT Round 2, 2012. 

I sat down and watched Mish talk about excuses. It's interesting how even though I've watched the same video many times before, new things struck a light in my head.

When I moved house and changed jobs and basically uprooted my entire life, I did not cope well. I didn't want to admit it at the time, although I looked fine on the outside, on the inside I was an absolute mess. I was stressed and didn't acknowledge it and instead, I started using food to soothe myself. I wasn't training either and the amount of food I was eating was disgraceful! Needless to say I put on a lot of weight from all the binging and kept doing it even though I felt heavy, sluggish and disgusting. None of my regular clothes fit and I was spiralling out of control.

The problem was, I now realise that I wasn't taking responsibility for my actions. I would tell myself that it didn't matter... That I could 'work it off later'. The thing is, the 'later' never happened and instead I spent my time eating more food! I've always struggled with  stress by binge eating, but I'd set a new precedent. I was expecting things to resolve themselves and for things to magically return back to normal! Of course they didn't... But one morning I woke up and realised that I was being immature and stupid and that no one was going to fix this for me. I had to step up to the plate and change things for myself. 

I made a shrine in my kitchen, put up post-it notes to remind myself of how I was going to make healthy decisions for the future. I put up photos of myself at my peak and I made conscious decisions throughout the day to make sure that I did not revert back to binging. Don't get me wrong, it was an absolute struggle at times... Often fighting with myself in and out of the kitchen about decisions that I had made just 5 minutes prior! "No, you don't need to eat that yoghurt, you just had dinner"... Five minutes later I'd find myself back in the kitchen staring into the fridge, wondering how I'd got there. I would snap myself out of it and distract myself with something productive. There were many set backs, but with every step back, I made two steps forward.

Which brings me to where I am now.

I am in control. 
I make smart and healthy decisions about my food intake on a subconscious level.
I fill my body with nutrients and the energy it needs. 
I rarely eat any processed food. 
I can't remember the last time I ate something that had sugar as one of the top ingredients.
I don't "need" sugary foods anymore. I don't even think about it.  
I am training 6-7 days per week. 
I don't let anything get in the way of my training plans. 
I plan ahead with food and pack healthy snacks and meals when I am away from home.
I am in control. 

In saying that, my weight loss since then has been very different to when I did Round 3, 2011. I was dropping 1-2kg per week during that round, but recently I've been lucky to lose 0.5kg per week, though my body is shrinking at an astronomical rate! My body fat percentage is shrinking, yet my weight is fairly consistent! I am building muscle under all this fat and I feel stronger than ever

Tomorrow is weigh-in day, but today I got out my tape measure to see what my body was doing because I feel smaller.

Chest: 94cm (-5cm)
Waist: 75cm (-3cm)
Belly button: 83cm (-4cm)
Hips: 102cm (-2cm)
Thigh: 57cm (=)
Thighs together: 96cm (=)
Arm: 30cm (+0.5cm)
Weight: 78.8kg (-0.2kg since last measurements)
Lean Body Mass: 57.7kg (+1.7kg)
Body Fat: 26.8% (-2.4%) 

Go figure!

Monday, May 7, 2012

SSS and a new calorie record!

It's 3pm and I am fading fast! I absolutely SMASHED myself this morning and I think I might need to go take a nap!!!

It all started with a 615am wake-up call and the dogs and I were out on our walk by 630am! We trekked our way around the neighbourhood until it was time to go to the gym. 7.5km later we were done!

At the gym, I started off with RPM and boy, oh boy! What a ripper of a workout it was! Every time I go to Spin classes now, I really feel empowered and aim to finish up with nothing left in the tank! Today the instructor took us through a 'bonus' track, which is always great!

Following RPM, I hit the treadmill while waiting for my next class to start. I fit in 3.5km and a bit of a stretch.

Then it was BodyPump time! I already felt pretty fatigued and my back was tired, but in true 12WBT form, I shut out the voices in my head questioning whether I should do the class. Thankfully I went, because it was a great workout! I used my maximum weights for every track and didn't pike at any point to 'take a quick rest' during the sets. I went HARD and surprisingly, I think it's time to up my weights again!!!

Currently I'm lifting:
Squats: 15kg
Chest: 7.5kg
Back: 12.5kg
Triceps: 7.5kg
Biceps: 7.5kg
Squats: 12.5kg
Shoulders 1.25kg/arm (I know, I know, pretty terrible!)

So how many calories did I burn?

Two-thousand, four-hundred and thirty-one!!!!!!!!



That's a new record for me!

Another record today is this!!! Check that out!! My flexibility is improving so much!!! 

I have refuelled, watched Task 1 of Pre-Season and am about to sit down and write about my excuses. My brain is quite sluggish right now, so I may have to come back to it once I've had a good rest!!!


This is what I ate after the gym... Sooo yum!

Sunday, May 6, 2012

Polar RS300x Review: First Thoughts

Now that I've had several training sessions with my new Polar RS300x heart rate monitor, I thought I would do a quick review comparing to my previous HRM, the Polar RS100. It was only a one-step upgrade from what I am used to and the differences are fantastic!

At first glance, the watch is the same size as the RS100 but 'fancier' looking with the nice decorated background and striped band. It comes in two colours - orange and black. The screen is the same size in both models, however they have improved the use of the screen in the RS300x and seem to fit more detail in.

The watch and more importantly, the chest strap are extremely comfortable. Instead of the long plastic strap of the RS100, the RS300x has a flexible fabric strap, with a detachable transmitter unit in the centre. It feels like you aren't even wearing a HRM! Don't get me wrong, the RS100 strap was comfortable enough, but the fabric strap is pure luxury!

The features are a great improvement on the RS100. I feel like I have much more information available to me and much more flexibility when using the watch. My most favourite feature is being able to get percentages of time spent in each heart rate "sport zone", which really helps to give me an idea of how hard I am working at my maximum HR rather than just getting a single max HR and average HR.

Some other features I have enjoyed using include the option of having calories/hour estimation for my current heart rate and being able to swap into stopwatch mode during my activity.

The option of using the Polar FlowLink USB is absolutely FANTASTIC! The RS100 is not compatible with any of the uploading devices, so I have been manually entering all my data onto! Now with the FlowLink, I just rest the watch down on the device and a few seconds later all my data is online waiting for me! It has saved a lot of time, particularly now that there is so much more data being captured.

So overall, I am definitely glad I upgraded to the RS300x and don't know how I lived without it now! I highly recommend it! Hopefully I'll be able to get back into running and try out the foot pod and when I do, I'll write another review.

Fitness Summary 30/04/2012 - 06/05/2012

Another week of training done and dusted! This is how it went... 

As you can see, lots of spin, walking and Pump! I have worked Thursday to Sunday this week, which is why I've just stuck to walking the dogs. I haven't been burning 500 cals/day over the weekend, but pretty close to it (~400 cals). For the week I ended up burning 5,259cals, which is well above the 3,500 cals required in 12WBT, so I'm not overly fussed about being 100 cals below the daily goal.

I've finished my 'on' shifts for the week now and have a couple of days off, so I'll be back in the gym tomorrow morning for the start of Pre-Season! Tomorrow will be a 4-6km walk with the dogs, heading to the gym for RPM, walk on the treadmill and then BodyPump. I'm looking forward to it!

I'm also really looking forward to Pre-Season starting! Bring it on!!!

Thursday, May 3, 2012

12WBT... Here I come!

I bit the bullet today. I signed up for my second round of 12WBT!

I realised today that I should just stop questioning and just DO! So, I got home from work and immediately signed up for Round 2, 2012. I'm not sure which program I'll be doing considering I don't know if I'll be allowed to run, but I don't have to worry about that for a little while. I may just end up continuing what I'm doing - weights and spin!

My goals for pre-season are:
1. Revisit pre-season tasks

That's it. That's all I care about. If I stop binge eating, the weight loss will look after itself.

Pre-season starts in 4 days... Bring it on!

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Now this is more like it!

When I moved, everything pretty much fell apart. I started my new job, the stress levels went up, I wasn't finding time to exercise, I was eating because of the stress... I gained a heeeap of weight and lost SO much fitness. But I have been working hard at it since then and this morning I had a realisation...

Although I still have a heeeap of weight on me, I have gained my fitness back. And considering I'm essentially carrying around an extra 10kg of weight, I think I'm probably FITTER than I was back in December!

It occurred to me in the middle of the second Cycle class of my back-to-back session, I had my resistance turned SO high that I could hardly start the pedals standing up - and there I was punching out a MASSIVE hill climb. It was like riding in mud, UP a cliff. At that moment, I realised that really - it can't get much harder than this! I had been exercising for 90-minutes and I was absolutely throwing myself into the line of fire and LOVING IT! I had the biggest grin on my face (though I think there was a little bit of a grimace mixed in there!) I went SO hard - it was truly a self-inflicted smash session of a new level entirely! I don't think I've EVER worked so hard in my life but the sheer joy I felt at the end was just amazing! I am absolutely addicted to that uplifting feeling I get after a hard session. It's the highlight of my day!

So from a cardiovascular perspective, I can't WAIT to hit the road and do some running! My quads are practically bursting out of my legs and my heart rate is sitting in the 160's when it would usually be >190! Unfortunately my running shoes are still in semi-retirement.

After my cycle sessions, I decided that I would use BodyPump as a cool-down! In the middle of the class I had ANOTHER epiphany! I was using the same weights as I had been at my peak fitness in December and I was finding some muscle groups EASY! It blows my mind where I will be by the end of the year. I can't wait!

Which brings me to what's on my mind at the moment. To 12WBT or not. Part of me wants to - for the running training programs and for the mindset sessions, but the other part of me knows that I have this. My eating is largely the cleanest it has ever been (aside from a few 'moments') and my exercise - well, clearly I have that down pat.

So what do I do?! Is it worth it just for a few videos and a training program that I am not able to do yet because of my injury? It seems I have some thinking to do...

Weigh-in Wednesday

Another Wednesday, another morning on the scales...

Weight: 78.2kg
Loss: 0.8kg
Total loss: 2.9kg 

Exhausted this morning from a sick dog overnight. But heading to the gym anyway. JFDI!

Tuesday, May 1, 2012


I am having a really 'off' day today. I missed my spin class this morning and ever since I've been in the worst mood. I really don't function well without my morning workout and I only have really lame excuses for not doing something else instead.

The rest of the day has been spent in a depressed, sluggish mood and I absolutely hate it. My food choices in the last 24 hours have been less than ideal and all up I think it'd be best if today was just deleted from existence! I am going out with the girls tonight so hopefully that cheers me up a little before I smash out back-to-back RPM classes tomorrow.

My review of my new HRM is coming... I just haven't had a chance to finish it!

Friday, April 27, 2012

New HRM and VO2 max

Yahoo! My new HRM arrived today! I am extremely excited and will be testing it out tomorrow at Spin and Boxing. My first thoughts are that of LOVE!

One feature of the RS300x that is really handy is a fitness test, which estimates your VO2 max from your resting heart rate. I decided to do the test tonight and I almost laughed when I saw the result! It said "elite".

Me? Elite fitness?

Are you sure?!

But sure enough, my VO2 Mac was 51, just within the elite fitness range for my age and gender (>49). I'm impressed! I certainly don't feel like I have fitness levels that warrant that title. In my mind I'm still quite unfit! I guess my mind needs to catch up to my body.

Meanwhile, I'll blog tomorrow about my thoughts on my new HRM. So far, so good!

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Weigh-in Wednesday and some interesting stats!

I absolutely SMASHED myself this week. Weights galore, high resistance in spin class and lots of calories burned (total 5949 in the week). I ate the cleanest I have ever eaten in my life! I have now cut out all processed foods and feel absolutely amazing! My body feels smaller and I feel stronger and happier!

Yet when I jumped on the scales this morning I was shocked!


Umm... But that's a GAIN of 1.3kg?!!! How is that even possible?!

I decided to think rationally about this and got out my tape measure. Sure enough - the results were there in another form.

Measurements (comparison to last week at 77.7kg)
Chest: 99cm (-3cm) 
Waist: 78cm (-3cm)
Belly button: 87cm (-1cm) 
Hips: 104cm (-1cm)
Thighs: 96cm (-2cm) 
Arm: 29.5cm (-0.5cm) 

And the real kicker...

Body Fat Percentage: 29.2% (-1.8%) 
Lean Body Mass: 56kg (+3.0kg!!!!!) 

So next time you get disappointed about your weight results... Try measuring progress in other ways!

Monday, April 23, 2012

Insane Few Days

What a crazy few days at the gym!

3 days... 4,297 calories burned.

I have to say I'm pretty tired today! I did BodyCombat + BodyPump today (1211 calories gone!). It's now 2pm and I feel like having a nap!

One more workout (RPM tomorrow) at then I get my rest day.

I think I've deserved it. :)

Sunday, April 22, 2012

Hungry for Change and Loving Life!

If I could live at the gym and exercise all day, every day - I would. Man, I feel so good!

I hit the gym this morning, with a goal of 1,000 calories. I rocked up to 45-minute RPM class and really gave it my all today! I absolutely KILLED it! I think I pushed harder during the entire class than I ever have! And the best part was, the instructor offered to continue the class to 1-hour for those who were keen! I had burned 830 calories in the hour and so only had 170 to go!

I jumped on the Elliptical for 10 minutes and voila! 1,000 calories!

Meanwhile, I came across a website this morning called Hungry For Change and I just finished watching the Hungry for Change documentary. It was so profound! If you haven't seen it, I strongly urge you to! For those on 12WBT, it will really resonate and hopefully help you to make even better decisions about what you're putting into your body.

It speaks a lot about processed foods and in particular, sugar and how eating those foods is a recipe for disaster. It's no surprise - how can food that can sit on a shelf for years be good for you? One thing that really stood out to me was the discussion on sugar and how it is addictive. I have personally experienced this and now make a concerted effort to avoid eating any food with added sugar.

"Obesity is not a problem, it is a solution"
Emotional eating is a band-aid solution to the stressors or other issues in our lives. I am an emotional eater and I have really struggled to get away from that. I started a food and thoughts diary and the results were quite shocking, which leads on to the next point.

"If you're upset, don't eat"
If I was feeling stressed, tired or emotional, I would eat HUGE amounts of food in comparison to when I was feeling happy and alive! It's a short term "solution" that puts you into a downward spiral. I have stopped covering my emotions with food and now FEEL them and acknowledge their presence!

I won't spoil the rest of the documentary for those who haven't seen it, but for me, it was the last little push that I needed to make the finer adjustments to what I'm putting into my mouth. It's time to do another kitchen clean-out and get rid of all this man-made processed crap! My diet is already pretty clean and healthy - I eat huge amounts of vegetables every day (2 x massive bowls of salads every day) with lean protein, but now it's time to get rid of all the pasta sauces, the rice crackers, the cereals... It's all full of crap that my body doesn't need. Yes, it may be more convenient, but it's wasted calories with very little nutritional benefit. And when you're eating only 1200 calories per day, you need to make each calorie count! 

Which would you rather eat?


Or this??? 

Just looking at the first picture makes me sick! YUCK!