Tag Archives: weight

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”.

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

Protein Shake Trial & Measurement Time

15 Nov

I started taking Define Women’s High Protein Powder by Vitalstrength approximately 4 weeks ago now and I have to say I’m really reaping the benefits! I was sceptical at first but the results speak for themselves.

I’m recovering quicker from training sessions and I have decreased muscle soreness (which was becoming a big problem for me!). Teaming the shakes with my already jam packed training schedule and my protein-rich diet seems to be just the thing I was looking for!

I can really notice my body changing and even my husband has been commenting on how my muscles seem to look leaner and more defined. And I can feel abs people! ABS! They are coming back with a vengeance. I can’t seem them just yet but they are coming. Oh, believe me, they ARE coming.

Also, once Chanel is finished her bottle of Hydroxy Liquid Lean I’ll ask her to provide a full report.

With that said, here are my latest measurements results! They aren’t as great as I would have hoped but I did have a week off from training this month and was a little more ‘free’ shall we say with my food intake… And let’s face it – you can’t have killer results EVERY month so that just means next month I’m going to smash it, yeah?

I was really pleased about my knee results though! They are my most loathed part… Damn you knees! I WILL demolish you! But my poor lady lumps… well I guess you can’t have it all! Or can I? Maybe a quick trip to Thailand is in order to get this situation sorted if you know what I’m sayin’!

I’d also like to inform you that it has been 4 days since I last weighed myself (“Hi, my name is Amanda and I’m a scales addict”) and my feet are itching to jump on the scales. This just further confirms that my morning weighing habit was becoming far too obsessive.

Some people commented on my last post that weighing themselves daily is something that keeps them on track and I think that is great! It’s really all about what works for you however for me I knew that my emotions were being affected by the number displayed and I was getting increasingly frantic with bringing that number down. I don’t need that stress in my life and plus I will be doing myself such a service by seeing my results week to week rather than day to day. Besides, the only numbers that should really matter to me are my measurement results and I just have to keep reminding myself of that!

How do you track your weight loss success? Do you track your measurements and weigh and if so, how often?

I’ve Got a Confession to Make…

11 Nov

Remember very early on in my blog when I asked my hubby to hide my scales?  Well, I uh, umm, oh this is so hard and embarrassing to admit… Okay I’ll just spit it out.  I’ve been weighing myself daily again.  DAILY!  How ridiculous!  This goes against EVERYTHING I stand for but I am so obsessed with my end goal (which is SO close) that I can’t seem to think rationally.  I’ve become a monster!  Don’t look at me!  Don’t look at meeeee!

Every morning before I get in the shower I weigh myself, then I look at the number and if it is any bigger I fret.  If it has gotten smaller I rejoice.  But it’s just so ridiculous because I KNOW that day to day how much your weight can fluctuate, I KNOW that muscle takes up less room than fat meaning I can actually be physically smaller and still weigh the same, I KNOW the detrimental mental effects that weighing yourself everyday can cause, I KNOW I am not a number but I just.  Can’t.  Seem.  To.  Stop.

Enough is enough I say!  I will no longer fall victim to a machine!  I’m hiding the scales again and am committing to weekly weigh ins.  I am focusing on reducing in SIZE not in WEIGHT. That is the key! (I’m feeling quite smug with that little phrase!).

Speaking of reducing in size, tomorrow I will have my monthly measurements taken.  I’m worried that my week off from exercise will have a negative effect but I’m not going to focus on that.  I just need to focus on moving forward.  So I will post the results of that plus I will fill you all in on how my protein trial is going!

Are you a scale-a-holic?  Do you focus on your weight more than your size?

Source: weheartit.com

Running like the wind! Part 2

31 Jul

This morning I tackled the long run again that I did a couple of weeks back.

I downloaded the app Map My Run so that I could track the distance and time. Seriously. I don’t know what I’d do without my beloved iPhone. My manager told me about how his wife dropped hers down the toilet and I could have cried for her. Poor thing. I don’t know what I would do! Oh, woops, back to the running!

Turns out that the exact distance is 9.07kms and I completed it in about the same time as last time. I think I was slower on the way there than the last time but on the way back I only stopped briefly twice! I just pushed myself to keep going and got into a rythm. I was blaring my music and then this rush just came over me. My skin began to tingle and I started smiling manically. This must be the endorphin rush I had heard to much about but never really experienced (all I usually experience is pain!). I must have looked like a bloody loon but it felt seriously good.

As the starting point was looming in my vision I felt so proud of myself. I thought back to the days when I would hyperventilate from running just a short distance to when I ran around my block for the first time without stopping. Every little bit helped me get to where I am today.

Now I look forward to completing this run with only 3 stops or when I complete the run without stopping at all! I look forward to challenging myself to run further and longer.

My trainer/friend said to me, “Don’t you just love running now?”. Hmm, well if running is ready to get into a steady relationship with me, then I might find myself falling for it. The possibility is looking good.

Let’s discuss! What do you love about running?

Complacency bites… hard

11 Jul

(I google image searched “bruised ego” and this monkey came up… it has nothing to do with anything… but look! It’s a monkey with a gun! Hilarious).

The complacent attitude I blogged about not too long ago came back to bite me. Hard. As it inevitably does. It bit me in the form of ho hum measurement results for the month.

I was pretty pleased with having a 2cm loss from the waist and a 1.5cm loss from the thigh but I was less than pleased about the1.5cm gain on my belly (bloated like a sonofabitch) and the no loss at all from everywhere else. Sigh. But I have to face facts – I was not at my best this month and I could have gone harder. I do recognise however that I can’t be programmed to be at my best ALL the time. Everyone has “off” periods. I’m only human (shudder… it hurts to admit that because I often see myself as a turbo-charged robot, highly skilled in the art of being awesome).

In my complacency post I committed to a few goals and I’ve got to be honest – I hardly succeeded with achieving any of them. Yup. That’s right. I’m admitting failure. And god my ego is bruised. Bruised I tell you! I’m not going to make bullshit excuses, I’m simply going to say that what’s done is done. I’ve learnt my lesson and now I’ll move on.

SO. THIS is going to be the week that I restart my awesomeness. I feel I need to be more specific about my goals this week, so here goes:

1. Training – I am committing to hip hop on Monday night, gym circuit on Tuesday, PT on Wednesday, boxing and indoor soccer on Thursday and PT on Friday. I will complete each and every one of these sessions with a go hard or go home attitude (I know my trainer will be reading this and will reinforce this… sweet jesus I feel my ass hurting already).

2. Food – I am committing to eating fresh, wholesome, portion controlled food and no more dessert! This fortnight will be a lot easier in the dessert stakes as hubby will be on his night shift therefore is not home to ask, “Ice-cream my dear?”. Not that I blame him… Remember, it’s no excuses here! … God how I love ice-cream. No. Wait. Who said that??

3. Attitude – I am committing to high energy and high positivity! This does not mean I’m going to start bouncing off the walls gibbering positivity statements (Richard Simmons, I am not), it just means I am getting rid of all negative baggage and feelings. And no more stress. Stress promotes cortisol production which equals fat around the middle. Goodbye 1.5cm!

Right. Thank god that’s over and done with. How cathartic. I feel a weight lifted off my shoulders already… Now if only that weight would come off my ass…

So here goes EVERYTHING!

22 Feb

So if you have read my About page you’ll know that I’m on a quest to lose weight!

This isn’t something new for me – I’ve been at it for some time with varying levels of success but I have gotten serious this year.  Damn serious.  I am determined to get this lard off my body and away for good!

I feel alien in my skin.  I wake up in the morning hoping it was all just a bad dream but alas, the fat remains and another day of exercising and eating right lies ahead.  Borrrrring.  But oh well – if I keep at it, I will eventually see results!  Right?!  Right???!!

Today I had my pump class at lunch time.  I increased my weights… my muscles screamed at me.  I mostly tried to tell them to shut up and bear with it.  Muscles are pretty loud-mouthed like that.  It’s currently 3pm and my shoulders are in a world of hurt.  Probably trying to get me back for the pain I inflicted on them… lousy buggers.

Food wise – I stuck to my oats and banana for breakfast, grapes for morning tea, tuna bean salad for lunch and greek yoghurt and nuts for afternoon tea (soon to be entering my mouth).   For dinner I’ll just grab some sushi as I will be on my way to FAITH NO MORE.  Oh, wait a minute, did I just scream that?  I must be awfully EXCITED.  YES SIREE BOB, I am totally going to see the rock gods Faith No More tonight.  This may mean I will consume a couple of beers but hey, I’ll work them off tonight.  🙂