Tag Archives: fat loss

Your Questions Answered, Part 2

31 Jan

I’ve just launched myself into comp prep.  This is day two.   My friend asked me earlier, “How is the chickening coming along?” to which I responded, “So far, so chicken.  I mean so far, so good”.   Mmm chicken, vegetables and rice.  My new best mates.  They will be with me throughout this whole journey and they are with me right now as I type this post.

I wonder when I am going to get sick of eating this?  One week?  Two?  Will I be able to switch off that part of my brain entirely and just man up and eat it every day without complaint?  Time will tell, my pretties, time will tell.

So, onto the next instalment of Your Questions Answered.  I am still so surprised at all the questions that cropped up!  You know, it is so incredibly humbling to have so many people behind me throughout all of this.  The continued support I get from my online followers is nothing short of astounding.  I feel as if I know many of you personally now and have formed great bonds and friendships!  You guys rock!  And I won’t let you down.  🙂

12 weeks out from first comp!

@monstar1984 asked:

Any insights you can share on the positives will help my motivation!

The positives I have found from losing weight are endless.  It’s really not just about physicality – sure I get a kick out of looking better, wearing nice clothes, feeling more comfortable in a bikini and so on and so forth but it’s the absolute mental clarity that I have experienced that has been the biggest positive for me.

I think once you push yourself to succeed in anything in life you get an enormous sense of self-worth.  You begin to realise that you are actually worth something, that you can do anything you put your mind to.   And from that you gain a lot of respect for yourself and your inner-strength begins to shine through.

I now feel more positive, more focused and more at peace with myself.  There’s no more internal battles in my mind about feeling uncomfortable in my own skin.  Yes, I do have my moments with self-doubt but they are not hanging over me every waking moment of the day like they used to.

It has taken the better part of 2 years for me to get this far, but it has been worth it.  I am beginning to love who I am, which is not something that I have ever felt before.  It’s  a good thing.  🙂

@IndianaHolley asked:

Would love to know whether you struggled with PMT/hormones during this time and how you over came that?

I think pretty much the whole time I was losing weight I struggled with hormones due to my PCOS.  The weight loss was PAINFULLY slow and it was hard to envision the slender light at the end of the fat tunnel!

There was not much I could really do about that.  I could take the pills the Dr gave me that made me feel nauseous, I could whinge, cry and complain and insist that I’ll be fat forever OR I could basically put some belief into myself and tell myself that I can and WILL do it.  Which option do you think I went with?  😉

It was hard work (still is) and at times I felt like I had to work harder than anyone else to lose weight.  But I never gave up.  I visualised the end result – the healthier, fitter, smaller version of me and I never lost sight of that image.  It’s quite easy to re-route your thinking once you get in the habit of it!  Even if you don’t believe yourself at first, you eventually will.   The mind is a very tricky and powerful thing!

@jadegrrrl asked:

Was there a turning point diet wise when you started eating clean or was it gradual?  Did you have slip ups?  I’m struggling.

If you go back over my blog and through the recipes and meal plans, you can see my eating habits gradually change to be cleaner and cleaner.  I first started with just counting calories and not paying too much mind to being “clean” exactly, but rather just trying to be as healthy as possible.  Every time I would plateau, maybe every 4 – 6 weeks, I would change up the diet and make adjustments.

Eventually I found the most success with just being as clean as possible – no additives, no sugar, no artificial flavours or colourings – just fresh, whole, natural produce.  I actually LOVE eating this way.  It tastes so much better!

Yep, I’ve had slip ups – definitely!  I’m no saint, I guarantee you!  There have been times where I have found myself shovelling junk food into my face with careless abandon and I would fall into a deep depression after that, scolding myself for letting my resolve drop for those few moments.  But afterwards I would always simply dust myself off and start again.

Those moments then became few and far between as I noticed more and more changes within myself and the respect for myself grew.  I didn’t want to disappoint myself!  If I failed, I only had myself to blame.  And there was no way I was going to fail!  That’s how I feel to this day, especially as comp time draws near – failure is not an option!

I’m not saying that people need to eat like a body builder to get results.  But I do advocate eating a healthy, clean and balanced diet at least 90% of the time.  Don’t deprive yourself of a treat now and then!  You really appreciate them when you don’t have them so often.  Keep up your exercise, fuel your body with nutritious and whole foods, switch it up when results lag and just give it TIME.  It WILL happen if you work hard at it.

As they always say, “I’m not telling you it’s going to be easy, I’m telling you it’s going to be worth it”.

Advertisements

Your Questions Answered, Part 1

15 Jan

The other day I sent out a tweet and a Facebook status asking people to send me any questions that they might have in regards to my weight loss journey over the last 2 years and I was blown away by all the questions that came flooding through!  So, I will answer as many as possible over the next few blog posts and you are definitely welcome to keep sending them through!

@enzee17 asked:

I’d love to see an example of a food diary for a day from your old life compared to your new life.

I’ve been thinking about doing a post on this for a while now!  So here it is:

Old me:

Breakfast – would usually be toast with vegemite and margarine or 3 weet-bix with a teaspoon of sugar and milk.

Morning tea – cup of tea with milk and 2 sugars and biscuits from the biscuit jar at work.

Lunch – I used to buy my lunch a lot so I would either get a sandwich, sushi, salad… whatever I could grab really.  I tried to eat healthy where I could but I didn’t really understand nutrition the way that I do now so often my food choices were not the best but I rarely ate fast food so I thought that I was being good!

Afternoon tea – muesli bar, diet yoghurt or a piece of fruit always followed by… more biscuits. 😐

Dinner – I used to use those Masterfoods meal bases a lot or jars of sauces like Kang Tong or Chicken Tonight to make casseroles, pasta dishes and stir fries.  I used to think I was a really good cook when using these things!  A regular Martha Stewart!  I didn’t realise how full of sugar, salt and preservatives they are… Also, my dinner servings would be HUGE and were always washed down with soft drink.  I’d also make buttery mashed potatoes and fatty cuts of meat (pork chops, sausages, lamb cutlets etc) but I would always serve them with salad or vegetables and this made me think that I was being “healthy”.

Dessert – I’d generally always have something sweet after dinner like ice-cream or chocolate.

New me:

I’m not really able to give out my full diet in its exact entirety as my coach has devised it for me and it is her intellectual property but I can say the basics!

I eat a lot of oats, eggs, low fat natural yoghurt, berries, tuna, brown rice, fresh vegetables, fresh salads, fish, chicken, lean cuts of red meat, sweet potato, whey protein, rice cakes, low fat cottage cheese, natural peanut butter, fruit (one piece of low sugar fruit daily)… It’s very varied at the moment!  I don’t know exact calories, I just eat as clean as possible.

I do not have artificial foods or diet soft drinks – everything I eat is as close to its natural state as possible (except cheat meals where anything is fair game)!  This is the way I have been eating for a good 6 months or more now and have gotten great results.

I use flavourings like herbs, spices, chilli, garlic, ginger, tamari and stevia.  Essentially it’s pretty much a typical body builders diet.  In the next week or so it will tighten up A LOT and I will go into a strict comp prep diet that isn’t reasonable for anyone to follow, except if you are competing!

Progress Pic, January 2012

@Addicted_Cloth asked:

I would like to know how you conquered seeing food as a fuel and not pleasure – my BIGGEST problem.

Some time ago I wrote a blog post on this called It’s Time to Disconnect.  I just read it then and I still feel the same way.  Actually, I feel even MORE comfortable with seeing food as fuel because of the results I have gotten from eating clean and the close proximity of my comps!

I guess when you want something SO BADLY all temptation falls away.  I am so intently focused on my goal of rocking it on stage and achieving the best physique that my body is able to give me that I find it easy to switch off the little voice in my head that is begging me for tasty treats when I need to. You just have to make your goal THAT important to you.

But I will be honest here, over the last week or so I have been having more cheat meals scattered throughout the week because I know that in a weeks time I will be going 100% clean so I’m getting any last bits of cravings out of the way now so I can totally switch into machine mode when I need to without feeling like I’ve missed out on something.

I also thrive on routine and repetition.  Knowing that I have all my meals set out for me and ready to grab when I need them is extremely comforting to me and makes me feel really at ease, even if it is the same meals over and over again.  I don’t know exactly why, but I guess it’s because I just don’t have to worry about it and I can focus my mental energy into my training and getting through my day-to-day life.  It’s just one less thing to worry about.  If you make it not an issue, it won’t be an issue.  It really is a mental thing that takes quite some time to figure out, I won’t lie!

Welcome to the Gun Show!

Well, there’s 2 questions answered!  I’ve got a whole heap more coming up!  This has been fun actually and has helped me get my blogging mojo back!  Looking forward to what else you guys come up with and I hope this helps.  🙂

Dexa Scan – Follow Up

28 Dec

Way back in August I went for my first dexa scan.  When I left Jarrod at MeaureUp that first time I vowed that I would reach my goals of achieving 23% body fat and having between 10kg and 15kg of fat mass in 12 weeks.  I went back to Jarrod recently, about 16 weeks later, and here is how I went!

August Results

Body fat percentage: 27.6%

Fat mass: 18.5kg

Lean muscle mass: 45.8kg

Body Part Breakdown:

Each arm: approx 1kg fat mass; 2.2kg muscle mass
Trunk: approx 6kg fat mass; 23kg muscle mass
Each leg: approx 4.5kg fat mass; 7.8kg muscle mass

December Results

Body fat percentage: 21.9% (5.7% drop GOAL REACHED)

Fat mass: 13.8kg (4.7kg drop GOAL REACHED)

Lean muscle mass: 46.4kg (600g gain)

Body Part Breakdown:

Each arm: approx 700g fat mass; 2.4kg muscle mass (a drop of 200g in fat and a gain of 200g in muscle in each arm)
Trunk: approx 4kg fat mass; 23kg muscle mass (a drop of 2kg in fat and a small increase in muscle)
Each leg: approx 3.5kg fat mass; 7.5kg muscle mass (a drop of 1kg in fat and a small decrease in muscle in each leg)

December Scan

I’m extremely pleased with my results!  I now have no doubt in my mind that I will be stage ready in 4 months (YES!  4 months!  More on my comp in an upcoming post!).

To be in a good position for comp I need to lose another 4kg of fat.  I think that is very doable seeing that I just lost that amount in 4 months and I wasn’t even on a hard cutting diet!  Nor was I very strict with my cardio either.

I am extremely excited to see what changes my body is going to make over the next few months and can’t wait to share it all with you guys!  Stay tuned! 🙂

Video Update – Progress & Exciting News!

10 Nov

I’ll TRY to get better at these… I promise.  But for now you will have to endure my akward rambling, hair touching and sweaty appearance.  Enjoy!

 

An Interview With ANOTHER Inspiration!

1 Nov

Just as I was lucky enough to meet the lovely Charlotte via the glorious interwebs (I love you interwebs, yes, I’m a closet dweeb), I also have met the amazing Amber.  Well, not in real life, just internetz chatz, you know?  But I have no doubt that we will eventually meet on the comp circuit next year!

Amber’s story was particularly inspirational to me as she has come from where I was and is currently at where I want to be.   Her approach to health and fitness is very similar to mine, I almost felt like I had wrote the interview myself (and she said she often thinks the same of my blog posts!).   Also, her amazing dedication and commitment is something you don’t often come across and what’s more wonderful is she has done it all with her loving partner by her side, literally, every step of the way.

Here is her story.  I hope you enjoy it as much as I did!

You weren’t always in the top-notch shape you are in today, what were you at your heaviest and what made you decide to change your shape?

I was never small – in fact I always considered myself to be heavy set and big boned – and at my heaviest I would have weighed in at around 80kgs (possibly a few more). I was never into sport (or very good at it) – I’m a professional musician, so during my younger years I was always practicing, rehearsing, having lessons. Physical activity was limited to PE at school, and stints at swimming clubs and ballet classes.

For years I had been trying/wanting/wishing to do something about my weight. Different diets and forms of exercise – you name it and I probably tried it! I’d usually lose a little bit of weight, or see some change in my body shape but never anything really significant. I’d often get discouraged by the lack of results, give up for a while and find myself back to where I started if not even heavier. As well as physically detrimental, it was also quite a negative emotional experience. While I ate quite well most of the time, I’d easily turn to food and comfort eating and my portion sizes were more than likely way too big!

After getting engaged in 2009, with our wedding booked for April 2011, I somehow got the drive and determination to get professional help to achieve my goals. I signed up for a 12 week “Get fit from within” program with Michelle Nazaroff and I had some sort of ‘light globe’ moment where sticking to my nutrition and training plans was easy. I was extremely dedicated and began to see results almost immediately – I’d grow in confidence every month as I saw my body change (as well as the number on the scales drop) and it would keep me motivated. Having to be accountable to Michelle every week also helped as I wasn’t only cheating myself if I swayed off the plan, but her as well!

Progress photos - from Aug 10 to Dec 10

Progress Photos - from Aug 10 to Dec 10

Why did you decide to compete in bodybuilding/sports model?

After seeing great results over my 12 week program, I still wasn’t at my goal – the program and lifestyle changes we’d made however meant we could still stick to it, and I continued to see results every month. I was losing fat, and was noticing massive changes in my muscular definition. I must admit, it’s slightly addictive to see such positive changes in your body!! By the time the wedding came around I had lost about 24kgs and was loving my new, lean look!

I had never intended to compete, but seeing how my body had reacted to the change in diet and training, and being someone who likes a challenge, I started to consider it. I did speak to lots of people about the positive/negative experiences they had had whilst preparing for competitions to work out if it was something I could do mentally as well as physically. Many people seem to go up and down like yoyos, emotionally during comp prep, and physically as well (especially afterwards) and that was something I didn’t think I could cope with. Michelle’s approach to nutrition and training means this isn’t likely to happen, and I was reassured that my experience would be a positive one.

We decided that initially I’d compete in the sports model category – I wasn’t quite big enough to compete in figure, and it would also allow me to gain some experience on stage. I did two competitions this year – NABBA/WFF and IFBB. While I didn’t place anywhere in either competition, I had a great time and really enjoyed it. It has motivated me even more, and made me excited about training harder, working on my physique and competing in novice figure this year.

On Stage - Courtesy FTL Photography

Lady in Red! Courtesy FTL Photography

How do you stay motivated and do you have a good support network?

Our diet and training is more just a way of life now and I enjoy the time spent in the gym – while I’m not 100% in to it every day, I know it’s just something I have to do! While I admit there are days I might not feel like it, ill put as much as I can in to training and will leave the gym happy that I actually did it! I think I’d feel worse if I didn’t.

I’m motivated when I see the changes in my body – more muscle definition etc, and having a 6 pack! I’d never have thought that possible! To have other bodybuilders compliment your physique is a huge buzz – especially considering where I came from.

In terms of food, there are times when I wish I could just eat mountains of junk… I don’t let myself though. I’d rather know I was maintaining what I’ve worked so hard for than filling myself up on rubbish – most of which ends up being completely unsatisfying! I’ve become really good at saying no when people offer me food. Unless I know it’s going to be absolutely amazing, I usually won’t touch it…

I have an amazing support network too – my husband, Gary, has stuck to the program with me since we started, eating the same kind of diet and doing the training with me. Without his support, it would have been a whole lot more difficult – especially in terms of food! He has been training at a gym for many years, and surfs and played cricket until recently, so was always in good shape – he’s in the best shape of his life now though and loves his 6 pack! We’ll both be competing next year.

The support I’ve received from Michelle has also been amazing – her and her husband David are so committed to their sport and lifestyle, and ensuring their clients are looked after. Their encouragement makes you want to do well and be dedicated to the food and training programs they’ve written for you.

Amber with her equally buff hubby Gary!

What’s your typical days food like at the moment?

We eat lots of fresh, unprocessed foods – fruit, vegies (especially green ones!), lean protein, good fats (nuts, chia oil etc) and some starchy carbs from oats, brown rice and sweet potato. We also have a protein powder to use for shakes.

My comp prep diet was fantastic -while I ate the same food every day, it was been incredibly tasty and I didn’t get bored of it. I was never hungry! We liked the food so much that we went back to it pretty much straight after the competitions. It is completely sustainable – it isn’t calorie restrictive, or lacking in certain food groups. I like knowing that I’ll be able to continue to see results while eating this way – it was designed to help me build muscle while keeping fat off, which it did! I need to continue to work on my muscle development if I’m going to compete in Figure next year so we may tweak my diet a little to ensure this happens. It’ll probably involve adding more food – it’ll be very clean food, incorporating lots of “RAW” food and “green” smoothies.

We stick to a clean eating plan 6 days a week and have a cheat day for one day a week. This is really beneficial – it makes the clean eating easier, and also gives your metabolism a boost with the extra calories. During my comp prep I was restricted to a cheat meal, but we still enjoyed great food – it would usually involve 3 courses at a nice restaurant!

What’s your training regime currently like?

My comp prep training wasn’t hugely different to what I was doing before. We started with a four day split, and changed to a five day split after a month. We had different workouts every week. This was different to how I’d trained previously – we usually stuck to a program for a month which allowed to see an increase in strength. By doing different workouts every week we were constantly giving our bodies a shock! I found I’d push myself as I knew I wouldn’t be doing the same workout again, so couldn’t “do it better” next time.

We’ve stuck to a five day split since finishing competitions, but will do each weeks program for a month so we can see our strength increase.

I was already quite lean when I started comp prep, so my cardio was quite limited – thank goodness! I did 30 minutes of cardio before breakfast every day, keeping my heart rate between 140-150bpm. We bought a spin bike to make this easier. I want to try and stay around this condition, so will keep doing cardio a few mornings a week.  I’d rather put the effort in continuously than have to work my arse off (literally) when I start preparing for next years comp!!

What advice would you give to women who want to get into shape?

Getting in to shape involves a couple of factors – diet is important. REALLY important! I found that knowing exactly what I was eating, when I was eating it, and having it pre prepared made sticking to my plan so much easier. I didn’t have to think about what to eat, and didn’t have the opportunity to eat off the plan as my food was ready to go. Our freezer is full of portion controlled meat, rice, meals – we prepare as much this way as possible. We also have a fridge full of the fruit and vegies we need so there’s no excuses for not having them! While it may seem hard initially, cutting out the sugar and processed food is so beneficial. It does get easier, and the cravings do go away – I promise! Learn to say “NO!” – you may want that piece of birthday cake in the office staff room, but do you really need it? No one will be offended if you don’t eat it…

Embrace the weights! Resistance work is really the best way to get in to shape, and change your body. Don’t be afraid of lifting heavy weights, your body will thank you for it 🙂 If you get to the end of a set and you could still do a few more repetitions, you need to go heavier – push yourself to your limits, you may surprise yourself!

Stop making excuses! I used to do it, and I’ve heard so many people give me reasons why they couldn’t do what I’ve done. You have to really want something, and be motivated to do it, but you CAN do it if you put your mind (and body) to it. You can make changes immediately – no matter how small – you don’t need to wait til Monday, or next year, or til you’re 30. The time is now!

Courtesy FTL Photography

Clean Eats: Garli, Chilli, Ginger & Soy Barramundi

27 Oct

Haven’t done a recipe post for a while! But I haven’t been very adventurous to be honest. I keep having the same things over and over so when I thought up this baby I was excited to share because it was such a welcome change from the usual!

20111027-081357.jpg

It’s not much of a recipe, really. You know me – add “some” of this, a “pinch” of that! I believe cooking should be to YOUR tastes. Get creative!

So, this is what I did:

I heated the oven to about 190 degrees Celsius. On a baking tray lined with baking paper I placed my fish fillet, face up.

In a bowl I combined chilli, minced garlic, grated ginger, soy sauce (I prefer to use tamari but had none left) and a splash of fish sauce. I mixed this all up to form a watery paste and then drizzled it over the fish, reserving some for the vegetables. Then I baked that sucker for about 15 minutes (until the fish was easily flaked with a fork).

Then, I tossed some vegetables (baby bok choy, mushroom, broccolini, capsicum and zucchini) into a hot pan and poured over the remaining sauce. I stirred them around until they were wilted slightly but still maintained some crunch.

And that was it! Simple, clean, delicious. I think this would work well with chicken or turkey breasts too!

Give it a go and let me know what you think. 🙂

Comp Beauty Prep – Stage 1: Hair Removal

20 Oct

Okay, so when I step on stage next year I have to be hair free.  Every little hair shows up under those harsh stage lights and in the all important official comp photos too!  Hence, I have a dilemma… I’m really hairy.  It’s all blonde hairs though!  But yeah, let’s just say I’m covered in a fine blonde fuzz.

I have heard that after your first couple of waxes the pain is less intense and also the hairs grow back finer.  This appeals to my interests greatly.  So I decided to give arm waxing ago.  By myself.  Oh, hell no, I’m not paying for someone to wax me when I can do that shit myself!  Yes – cheap skate.  Have mentioned this before.  You should not be surprised.

Why not shave or use hair removal creams, you may ask?  Well, because after applying copious amounts of tan it tends to stick to the stubble (especially around the *cough* groin) and that can leave you looking like a spotted freak.   I’m not really looking for that look.  So not hot right now.

So, I bought the wax strips and set about waxing my arms.

And I filmed it.

And here is that footage.

Enjoy!

WARNING: Extreme language ahead! (Come on now, it’s me here…)

Note: Yes, I came *thisclose* to smacking myself in the face on the first rip.

Note 2: Don’t ask me why I ended this video like a phone call.  I was delirious.

Note 3: On my other arm I placed the strip around my arm rather than lengthways up my arm.  Much easier to go in the opposite direction of the arm hair this way.  Noob.