Archive | September, 2010

It’s a New Day

30 Sep

Right. Frustration post over and done with. I don’t need that crap in my life! It’s time to move on. Today is a new day.

One thing I didn’t mention yesterday is that I am totally OVER eating the same things EVERY DAY. I need some excitement in my life! I have eaten the same things for breakfast, lunch and snacks for the past 4 weeks or more and it has officially gotten old. So today I am giving my body what it craves – change.

It is with great pleasure that I introduce to you *drum roll please* today’s breakfast!

Low fat ricotta, avocado, slices of fresh tomato and a boiled egg on rye toast – fricken amazing

I washed the awesomeness down with a nice cold mineral water. I’m really digging mineral water lately and it is packed with health benefits (you know I love a good health benefit!).

Lunch will be a salad of some sort. I don’t know what it is yet – I’m gonna live on the edge! Fly by the seat of my pants! See what tickles my fancy! Woah! The feeling is exhilarating! 😉

I’m really sore from yesterdays PT session. I love a good deadlift and we did LOTS. I was thinking of running to soccer tonight however I’m postponing the run to sometime this weekend. I’ve got a monster session at the beach tomorrow at sparrow’s fart (6am!) so I think doing the 8km run tonight will only hinder my performance.

Right. I’m on track. I’m planning things, I’m mixing things up, I’m getting shit done. Watch this space.

I’ll leave you with my FAVOURITE song right now – Asher Roth – G.R.I.N.D (Get Ready It’s a New Day).  Fitting, yes?

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Finally Facing Frustration…

29 Sep

I’m frustrated. When I get frustrated I get cranky. When I get cranky I don’t want to talk to people. When I don’t talk to people, they ask me “What’s wrong? Are you okay?”. When I get asked that I want to bite peoples faces off. This post might sound a bit schizophrenic but I’m going to let it ALL out. Hold on – it’s going to be scary.

After writing the post on being mindful of your emotions I discovered that I am not *really* happy with my progress right now. I had a long chat to my Super Trainer today about what could be troubling me because I knew something was wrong but really wasn’t quite sure what. How could I not be happy? I have a great partner, great friends, great family, great workplace, great lifestyle… everything should be just great great great! But it’s not. Something is just out of place and I have finally recognised it as frustration.

I should know this feeling well but I have so much going on right now that I have seemed to ignore it. Or I have avoided it. But here it is, staring me in the face, like a big black cloud just waiting to pour down – frustration. Chatting to Nat today just made me realise I am not really happy with how far I have come because I keep focusing on how much further I have to go. Okay, maybe I’ve worded that wrong. Of course I am HAPPY with how far I have come but that happiness is overshadowed with thinking that I have so much more work to do. I just said to her, “I just want this weight loss part to be over. I don’t want to have to worry about this anymore. I know I will keep up exercise and eating right when I get to my goal weight, I just want this part to be over.”

I have spent all year working hard at myself physically and mentally and I am not nearly where I wanted to be at this stage. And I’ve hit plateau AGAIN. I loathe how my body works – why must this change take so long? Yes, I know that the slower the weight comes off the more likely it is to stay off, I accept how my body works, I know I’m doing this safely and healthily but still… frustration mounts. I’m only human you know!

But what makes me different is I will not SETTLE for being frustrated. I have got to come up with a plan to beat this. I don’t need motivation – I have it by the bucketful. I don’t need discipline – I can out discipline the toughest sensei. I don’t need knowledge – I know what I need to do. But I do need… something. I’m not sure what it is yet but I’m hoping the following goals will help me realise it.

Personal Goals:

  • Stop even THINKING about what other people are doing. I don’t NEED to care about them.  I have my own stuff to focus on and worry about. I find myself being overly compassionate at times when I just need to learn to back off and worry about myself.
  • Aim for more ‘me’ time. I need to start doing more for myself – beauty treatments, hair cuts and colours, massages, minx nails!  I don’t do this enough and I need to focus more on myself rather than just being in machine mode all the time.  I need to take time to celebrate and appreciate my successes. I also need to ensure I have times of proper recovery. I really don’t do this enough. So I have taken Friday off, booked into the hair salon and treated myself to an extra long weekend.
  • Start living more in the moment. I’ve got to let go of the past and stop looking ahead into the future all the time. I need to start thinking about the here and now and what I need to do to be the best I can be TODAY.

Fitness Goals:

  • 2kg loss by the end of October. No ifs, ands or buts.  I need to get into shorts for summer!
  • Intensity needs to be increased. I need to give 100% to every session. I know I can go harder so I just gotta do it!
  • Reassess eating plan for optimal FAT BURNING. I will be changing my food plan AGAIN (sigh) but when the plateau strikes you have to change it up!

I’ll post up my new food plan once I have figured it out with my trainer so ya’ll can have a sticky beak. Until then, wish me luck! I’m going through a rough patch and I’d love to have your support. J

What are your sure-fire tips to break through a weight loss plateau?

Embrace the ‘Blah’!

27 Sep

"I'm so EMOtional"

Mindfulness in Everday Life

Today is a ‘blah’ day. They don’t come around as often for me as they used to… Definitely used to feel ‘blah’ more often than not! But it is a ‘blah’ day nonetheless and I am totally okay with that.

In my journey of self-discovery this year I thought that I should force myself out of bad moods. I was trying to push all negative feelings aside and only experience positive emotions. I thought that being upbeat and perky all the time was a quality that I would like to have (those who know me would scoff at the idea! Amanda! Upbeat and perky! Pfft!). I quickly learnt that this is a fast-track way to emotional suppression, definitely not a cool thing.

A lot of people are brought up to believe that experiencing anger or feelings of sadness are wrong. We are told as children (especially teenagers) to “Snap out of it”, “Cheer up!” and “Stop moping around!”. Suppressing negative emotions rather than dealing with them as they arise doesn’t make them go away it just makes them sink deeper down within you. Eventually you will have so much negative emotion built up within you that you will not know how to deal with it and that can result in depression and other health complaints.

I read in a magazine article recently about mindfulness. Mindfulness is about being aware of what is happening in the present on a moment by moment basis, while not making judgements about whether we like or don’t like what we find. It’s about recognising and accepting our emotions so that we able to be aware of what causes us to feel a certain way and how we can deal with it.

Rather than pushing aside feelings of sadness we should recognise our sadness and understand it. We can only experience true happiness if we truly know what sadness is. Rather than suppressing anger we should allow that anger to be felt so that we can rid it from our system (as long as we are not hurting ourselves or others in the process). Every emotion has its place and we should allow each to be felt equally.

So today is a ‘blah’ day. And I know that once the feeling of ‘blah’ is over tomorrow will feel even more awesome because of it.

Do you often suppress your feelings of sadness, anger or frustration?

You Are What You Think

23 Sep

Source: stock.xchng

This is a lesson for me as much as it is for you. So let’s learn it together, shall we? Alright class, now let’s begin.

I’m going to talk about today about how you can free yourself from negative self-talk and gain confidence in what you do. I’m reading a great book at the moment called “Ultimate Confidence” by Marissa Peer and am gaining quite a lot out of it!

So many of the things that she says not to do are things that I either have done or still do when it comes to self-talk. For example, using overly descriptive words. How many of you have been in a difficult situation and have thought to yourself, “This is hell”?  I know I have. The situation is probably only just slightly uncomfortable so in order to turn this thought into a confident thought we need to change our internal dialogue.

When we use such overly exaggerated words our minds begins to believe them. If we think we’re in hell then the mind will truly believe we are in hell and our body will respond in turn – sweaty palms, erratic heartbeat, quivering. So we need to reassess – “Is this really hell or am I overreacting?”. Chances are it’s just something like a job interview, which is something you would need confidence for, so recognise that you can turn that thought around and your mind and body will follow suit. Change the negative thought into a positive – “This is a little difficult but I will get trough this” – and your outer confidence will shine.

This can be applied to many situations in our day to day life…

Exercise

“This is so hard. I’m dying. I’m never going to get through this! When will it end??? Oh god, I’m going to pass out.”

Change to:

“This is challenging but I will finish this and when I do I am going to feel awesome.”

Work

“I hate coming to this hell hole everyday. I dread waking up. Kill me now.”

Change to:

“Work can be difficult at times but no matter, I will pull through and do the best that I can.”

(If you can’t bring yourself to say this it might be time to get a new job!)

Flying

“I’m surely going to die. What’s that noise?! This is terrifying. Why are we dipping downwards?! Oh god no, we are seriously all going to die!.” (This is an excerpt from my own brain when flying)

Change to:

“I’m slightly nervous but I have confidence in my pilot and when I land I’m going to enjoy the best damn holiday ever.”

See how easy it is? All you need to do is catch yourself thinking those negative and overly exaggarated thoughts and turn them around. Once you are able to do this you will become a more confident person and be able to take on the world! Nothing will be too hard for you ever again! Awesomely confident to the extreme! Just don’t become an overly confident a-hole, alright?

In what kind of situations do you find your confidence lacking?

Chicken & White Bean Stuffed Capsicums

21 Sep

This Mexican inspired dish has all the flavour without the guilt! Even my husband really enjoyed this (although he had his on bread…). I made 5 servings so I could take some for lunch today. 🙂

I found this recipe on http://www.skinnytaste.com/ and adapted it to my taste.

At just over 300 calories a serving I think you will love these too! Serve with a side salad or some steamed veggies and you have a perfectly balanced meal.

Ingredients (serves 5)

1 brown onion (diced)
4 cloves of garlic (minced)
Chili to taste (paste, powder or fresh)
1/4 cup of fresh parsley (chopped)
Olive oil
Ground cumin (about a teaspoon or to taste)
1 BBQ chicken (skin removed, breast flesh only, shredded or you can diced and pan fry 2 raw breasts)
1 can of cannellini beans
1 cup of salt reduced chicken stock
5 red capsicums (halved and deseeded)
Light tasty cheese (shredded)
Salt and pepper

Preheat oven to 200 degrees celsius.

Heat a little olive oil in a pan and sauté the onion, garlic, chili and parlsey over a medium heat until translucent.

Add the chicken and beans and stir until combined.

Add cumin and stock and simmer until liquid is reduced. Taste. Add more cumin if needed. Season with salt and pepper.

Spoon the mixture into the capsicum halves and put them in a baking tray in the oven for 10 – 20 minutes or until flesh has softened.

Top each with a little cheese and bake for a further 5 minutes or until cheese is melted.

They are now ready for you to enjoy! Yum!

I Did It!

20 Sep

I had been nervously looking forward to the Blackmore’s Sydney Running Festival Bridge Run for a few weeks.  Yesterday, after the race, I couldn’t believe it was over.   I kind of wanted it to be longer!  Crazy huh?  But nevertheless I felt an overwhelming sense of pride and accomplishment.

The night before I went to a 30th birthday party stone-cold sober.  At first, this was quite difficult as everyone around me was quite tipsy (okay, some were a whole lot more than tipsy!) and I so badly wanted to chill with my friends and enjoy a couple of light beers (because that’s how I roll now, remember?).  But as the night wore on I realised that I could have the same amount of fun being sober and the feeling of waking up fresh and ready for my race in the morning was going to be so worth it.

My alarm went off at the disgusting time of 6am.  I remembered a time not so long ago when I would only just be getting home at that hour!  The thought now makes me cringe.  I showered, got dressed and packed some peanut  butter on multi-grain toast to take with me to eat on my way to the start line.  Yep – cold toast.  It was as unappealing as it sounds.

We got to the start line pretty early but there was still an overwhelming amount of people there!  People EVERYWHERE.  Stretching, limbering up, checking their iPods and going for last minute nervous toilet stops (I went twice!).  As we waited for the gun to go off the electricity in the air was palpable.

My Super Trainer & my Uncle / Surrogate Dad

Bang!  The gun finally went off and thousands of people all pushed past the start line.  I was really surprised at how quickly the crowd thinned out!  My trainer and my uncle both took off ahead of me.  They are both better runners than I and I had a fleeting sense of panic that I would not be able to keep up with them.  But then I realised that this was about me doing MY best, not somebody else’s best so I concentrated on finding my rhythm.

As usual, the first 2 or 3km were hell.  So many things went through my mind during those first couple of kms:

“Oh my god, I’m dying”

“That old man/child/larger lady is so much faster than me”

“Wait… what’s that?  Is my ankle hurting?  Oh god, no, please stop hurting”

“I don’t think I can do this… awesome, there’s an ambulance.  Fake an injury.  You’re out of your element here, find a way out”

“I can’t breath.  I can’t breath… oh shit, I can’t breath…”

“Okay get your rhythm, just shut the hell up and find your rhythm”

“You’ve done this distance before!  You did 8km on Thursday, for goodness-sakes! Stop being a baby!”

“OMG! I LOVE this song!  Yeahhh *sings* I wish I was a little bit taller, I wish I was a baller…”

“Alright, alright, this is okay.  I’m okay.  I CAN breath, my ankle is NOT hurting.  I’ve found my rhythm.  Let’s just enjoy the ride”

I think I have runner’s schizophrenia.

I pushed on and as I passed 4km I realised I was almost certainly going to pee my pants.  I KNEW I should have gone for a 3rd nervous pee.  I saw a lady with a large bulge in the back of her pants… pretty sure it was an adult nappy.  But since this option was not available to me, I was going to have to find a toilet and QUICK.  Luckily there were some just up ahead with not too much of line so I quickly got in there, did my business and busted out of the door running.

A great song came on my iPod at about this time, I got a massive endorphin rush (love that tingly feeling!) and I found a great rhythm.  I was really starting to enjoy myself.  Time just flew by.  I glanced at my iPod at one stage and I had been going for 50 minutes.  Wow!  I couldn’t believe I was so close to the end!

The end was in sight and there was a slight decline so I picked up my pace and bolted to the finish line.  The Opera House was in sight and I started to feel really emotional!  Music was blaring, people were cheering us on and I was grinning like a maniac.  I crossed the finish line giving a massive double thumbs up.  I hope the camera got it!  The photos aren’t up yet but when they are I’ll post the picture here.

I finished the race in 61 minutes which I was really happy with as I wanted to do under an hour and 15 minutes.

4 weeks ago I did 7.58mins/km so I was extremely pleased with this result!

Grinning with medal - school kid style

The Medal

Passed out on the grass afterwards... still wearing medal

I’m still wearing the medal today at work.  Haha, no, I joke, I joke… I wanted to but it didn’t go with my outfit.  😉

All in all it was such a great experience and I can’t wait til the 10km Run4Fun event in November!

It’s coming… Am I ready?

17 Sep

On Sunday I will be taking part in The Sunday Telegraph’s Body + Soul 9km Bridge Run.  Am I ready?  Yeah.  I think I am.  I was worried yesterday that I wouldn’t be though so the following transpired:

Me: “I know!  I’ll RUN to soccer tonight!  It’s only* 8km and that way I will have a bit of a practice run before Sunday!  And then I’ll play 40 minutes of soccer!  Yeah!  I am AWESOME!”

Trainer: “Yeah!  Do it!  You’re AWESOME!”

Husband: “You’re out of your mind”

* Yes, only.  It’s crazy to think that mere months ago I couldn’t run for more than 2 minutes at a time and now I call 8km “only”…
The hubby had a point.  Maybe I was out of my mind.  So I thought I would at least run half way and see how I feel.  I popped my iPod in my ears, strapped my backpack on my back and I set off.

I got to the halfway mark and thought, well, it’s not really THAT far away now… I’ll just keep going and if I need to stop, I will and I’ll catch a bus.

Then I got to the point where it was only another 10 minutes away and thought it would be crazy to stop now.  So I ran the whole way and did it in under 60 minutes.  I felt so proud of myself.  I was grinning like a bloody idiot when I ran the last few metres.

Then I burst through the doors of the indoor soccer courts and announced to my horrified team mates that I ran there! “Yes!  I RAN HERE!  Look at me!  I run now! Weeee!”.

My face was bright red and I had that dried saliva mouth going on but I was delirious by that stage and immediately launched into a stretch session to rival all other sessions whilst my team mates looked on and surely thought I was out of my damn mind.

I decided it would be in everyone’s best interests if I play goal keeper for the first half because if I ran right on to the court I would have probably had far too much energy and caused some damage to myself or others.   Especially others.  I was fired up.

For those 20 minutes in goals I was a machine (in my mind anyway – the reality was we were playing one of the best teams in the comp and they kicked our arses).   The bell went off for half time and it was time for me to go on the field.  This is when I started to really feel the affects of the run but I persisted and we actually played pretty well.  Instead of the usual 21 points they score against us, they only scored 17.  Yeah suck on that!!!  😉

I got home just after 9pm, made some toast for dinner, had a hot shower and crawled into bed.  I looked at the clock.  10:30pm.  Hmmm.  I was not tired.  Crap.  I tried to sleep and I think it worked for a while and then WHAM!  2:30am!  I’m AWAKE!  HELLO WORLD!!!  Urgh…   Awful.  I knew I had a Personal Training session in 5 hours so I just lay there very still hoping that sleep would take me.  Eventually it did… some hours later.

So, I got to training feeling like a wreck after my 4 or 5 hours sleep but I still managed a pretty good session and got the adrenalin rush again.  Showered, dressed and ready for work, I downed a piece of toast and a boiled egg and a decaf coffee (I don’t handle caffeine too well!) and was ready to face the day.  But I won’t be surprised if someone comes by my desk later today and finds me like this:

Except I’m pretty sure I’ll still be a woman.  I hope so anyway…