Thursday, November 29, 2007

Great Body. Pity About the Rest.

Another pearl of wisdom from Craig Harper:

Myth: Getting in shape is essentially a physical process.
Reality: Getting in shape (that is creating forever physical change) is more of an emotional and psychological journey than anything else. The physical change is a consequence of that journey. If we don't change emotionally and psychologically, we will never create lasting physical change.

Great Body. Pity About the Rest.

From the same post:

Working hard to be in good physical shape is a good thing; a healthy goal. But not when it's to the exclusion of developing 'all' of us. Not when it distracts us from who we really are, who we might become and what we might achieve beyond a six-pack and some perfect teeth. And not when it turns us into unbalanced, self-absorbed, insecure obsessives.

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

45 Weeks to Go

Phew, have been really busy with work this week. Have two jobs on the go at the moment.

Not last weekend but the weekend before I tried a move in yoga I hadn't done for a while and ended up overstretching the illiacus muscle in my hip. Luckily I have a resident myotherapist (my lovely husband) so he was able to get me sorted out pretty quickly. It meant I missed a leg workout on Tuesday last week though as I was still pretty stiff and sore.

Apart from that, things have been going really well. My weights/reps are all still going up, and I feel like I'm eating enough now to fuel my workouts and grow some muscle. I'm getting more sleep and I think that's really helping too.

Goals for this week:
Mon Upper Body + cardio done
Tue Lower Body + cardio done
Wed walk dog/yoga done
Thu Upper Body + cardio done
Fri Lower Body + cardio; plan meals for the following week done
Sat walk dog/yoga; food shopping done
Sun prepare lunches for the week had extras left from previous weeks, so no need, yay!

Every day I must also:
Journal my eating yes
Go to technical failure in the gym yes
Get at least 8 hours sleep ahem

Sunday, November 25, 2007

Tagged Again!

Thanks Ali :-)

Five things you probably don't know about me:

1. My husband and I met in a gym! We got married on our 10th anniversary and have now been together 13.5 years.

2. I have worked as a fitness instructor (weights) and started a nutrition degree but didn't finish it. I'd like to complete it one day, but at the moment I'm just enjoying reading nutrition articles to find out how they can help me rather than understanding all the biochemical reactions involved.

3. I work from home - going to the gym each day gets me out of the house and gives me the opportunity to socialise with other people.

4. I first tried to prepare for a competition about 12 years ago, back when no-fat diets were all the rage. I got lean real fast (probably the leanest my legs have ever been) but had no energy, and ended up sleeping most of the time that I wasn't training (I was only working part time then). I also had upset stomachs from all the protein I was eating. It wasn't until I started working for myself about three years ago that I decided to give it another try.

5. I'm not genetically cut out to do bodybuilding, but I do it because I love it.

I tag Deb, Di, Magda, Tara & Ursula

Thursday, November 22, 2007

Keep It Simple, Stupid

I have a tendency to make things difficult for myself. I overanalyze things. I found the perfect way to decribe this the other day: paralysis by analysis. I give myself too many choices then can't decide what to do. This is a problem at the moment with my food. I keep thinking about what to eat, how much to eat etc. It's taking up way too much of my time - time that should be spent working or sleeping. I just need to remember that as long as I'm consistently eating clean I'll be fine:

'Before you go psycho trying to figure out your post workout meal or order the latest supplements, realize that if you can just consistently exercise and eat clean then the rest of this stuff just does not matter. While you are busy losing your mind and eating bad because you don't have everything right, your neighbor is steadily 'out-dieting' you by eating "some" good things "most" of the time!' (Jodi Jones, Cathy Savage Fitness)

Not that I'm eating bad, but I do feel like I'm 'sweating the small stuff' too much sometimes.

Wednesday, November 21, 2007


The lie: Motivation will get you there.
The truth: It won't, motivation comes and goes. It's about commitment - that's what keeps us going when the motivation is absent. It's about being totally emotionally invested into that endeavour so that even when you don't 'feel like it', you're still doing what you need to do to create your desired outcomes. When most people have thrown in the towel, you persevere.

Monday, November 19, 2007

46 Weeks to Go

Got all my workouts in last week, just! And had at at least eight hours sleep every night except two, so that's one better than the week before. Once I've gone a week with at least eight hours sleep every night I'm going to reward myself with a trip to the hairdresser. My hair really needs it so I better start getting some more early nights! Weights sessions are going really well, making small improvements in weight or reps each time. I'm making a real effort to go to failure with each set - my husband would be proud of me, LOL. That's one thing he always used to hassle me about when we trained together - stopping when I got to the required number of reps instead of when I couldn't continue with good form.

Keeping a food log and recording my weight regularly has also shown me some interesting things. I train in the mornings and tend to be hungry the rest of the day, and am then lighter the next morning. On a nontraining day I'm not so hungry, and am heavier the next morning. Common sense really, but something I didn't really think about until I started recording my numbers. This week I'm increasing my cals a touch again, with a little extra on training days to see if I can fix the hunger.

Eating has been going really well. After being restricted with my diet for so long I've found having heaps of variety is keeping me pretty satisfied. I didn't end up having a treat last week. I had thought about a few things I wanted at the start of the week, but the week went by so fast and by last night I realised that that I hadn't had any of them - I didn't feel like I was missing out on anything though. Am sure there will be plenty of opportunities for treat foods over the next few weeks.

Goals for this week:
Tue Upper Body + cardio done
Wed Lower Body + cardio no, overstretched hip muscle doing yoga on Sun, and was still too sore to do legs today
Thu walk dog & do yoga walked dog but didn't do yoga
Fri Upper Body + cardio; plan meals for the following week done
Sat Lower Body + cardio; food shopping done
Sun walk dog & do yoga walked dog but didn't do yoga
Mon prepare lunches for the week did on Sun!

Every day I must also:
Journal my eating yes
Go to technical failure in the gym yes
Get at least 8 hours sleep no, stayed up late one night

Braised lamb shanks with polenta

For Di :-)

2 tbsp cumin seeds
3 tbsp coriander seeds
1 tsp sea salt
4 lamb shanks, about 250g each
2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
1 onion, finely chopped
1 carrot, peeled and finely diced
2 small sticks celery, trimmed and finely diced
4 cloves garlic, peeled and sliced
1 400g tin tomatoes, drained and roughly chopped
200mL dry red wine
200mL port
1 litre beef stock

1 litre chicken stock
200g instant polenta
Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

Green beans for serving

Preheat the oven to 140C.

Using a mortar and pestle, roughly crush the cumin and coriander seeds until fragrant. Add the salt and mix well. Sprinkle over the lamb shanks and press on to coat. In a large, deep, heavy-based ovenproof dish, heat the oil over medium heat and brown the lamb shanks well. Remove the meat and set aside.

Place the onion, carrot and celery in the same dish and saute over medium heat until soft. Add the garlic and tomatoes and stir. Pour in the wine and port, stir, then add the beef stock. Bring to the boil then turn off the heat. Return the lamb shanks to the pan, cover with aluminium foil and place in the oven for 3 hours, until the meat almost falls off the bone.

Remove from the oven and lift out the shanks. Set aside and keep warm.

Skim as much fat as you can off the surface of the cooking liquid, and return to the stovetop over medium heat to simmer and reduce to a slightly syrupy consistency while you cook the polenta.

To make the polenta: In a medium saucepan, bring the stock to the boil. Pour in the polenta in a slow, steady stream, stirring constantly. Turn down the heat to low and stir for 5-10 minutes, or until thick. Season to taste.

To serve: Divide the polenta among four plates and place a lamb shank next to it. Strain the cooking liquid and spoon over the meat (you may not need all of it).

Serve with steamed beans

This is a Luke Mangan recipe.

Graham Schnell's garlic chicken

For Em :-)

4 chicken breasts

6 cloves garlic
1 tbsp black peppercorns
2 tsps salt
4 whole plants of fresh coriander (I take this to mean 4 bundles joined by roots in a bunch, rather than 4 bunches)
4 Tbsps lemon juice

Crush garlic and coarsely crush peppercorns (can use a mortar and pestle or blender for the pepper but I tend to take the lazy option and just use my pepper grinder, until I have about a Tbsp's worth.)

Wash coriander and finely chop the lot, roots, stems and leaves.

Mix all marinade ingredients together and rub well into the chicken (I usually just chuck everything together into a large snaplock bag and roll it all around).

Cover and refrigerate for at least one hour - overnight if possible.

Grill or BBQ chicken pieces. Serve with a simple salad of cucumbers, tomatoes, a small red onion and red or green capsicums. Dress with a little vinaigrette.

Sunday, November 18, 2007


Four dishes I like to cook:
I love cooking so this one is hard for me. I especially enjoy cooking for other people - it gives me great pleasure to see someone enjoying something I've made.
1. whole fillet of beef marinated overnight with red wine, mustard & garlic - great for dinner parties/BBQs
2. garlic chicken (marinated with garlic, salt, pepper, lemon juice and lots of coriander) - another great BBQ food and great for dieting too.
3. basil beef (Thai stir-fry with beef strips, onion, red capsicum, green beans, red curry paste, lots of garlic, chilli and basil) I love having this when I feel like I'm coming down with a cold - the spicyness helps me sweat it all out, and it tastes great!
4. braised lamb shanks with polenta and green beans. Time consuming but worth it - the meat just falls off the bone.
That's just the savouries, don't get me started on the sweet stuff!

Four qualities I love in people:
1. Good listener
2. Good sense of humour
3. Supportive
4. Optimistic

Four places I have been:
1. Japan
2. Italy
3. Turkey
4. New Zealand

Four things in my bedroom:
1. Queen-size bed that dog and cat also like to sleep on - it can get a bit squashy!
2. Chair that cat sleeps on when he's not on the bed
3. Latest 'Readings' brochure to help me decide what I want to read next.
4. Clothes horse piled up with clothes in various states of cleanliness

Four dirty words I like to use:
1. Sh*t
2. P*ss off
3. Damn
4. Bugger

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

2007 INBA Victorian Figure Novice line-up

5th............1st............2nd.............3rd..........4th (me!)
Thanks to Ursula (the winner of our class) for sending me the photo

47 Weeks to Go

My metabolism appears to have increased after adding more calories. Prior to my show I was eating 0 or 1 complex carb meals per day. I'm now having 4 small carb meals a day, and I still haven't put on much weight. I'm pretty happy with my bodyfat level at the moment, but I'd like to grow some more muscle, so I'll be continuing to slowly increase my calories.

I've finally bought some xylitol, so will be using that instead of Equal in my coffee. That's one less chemical going into my system. I buy the La Ionica chicken, as that's processed without chemicals, and this week I'll be looking into having organic fruit and veges delivered. My other focus this week will be making sure I get enough sleep, as I know how important sleep is to help me grow.

Goals for this week:
Tue Upper Body + cardio no, was behind with my work
Wed Lower Body + cardio did upper body & cardio
Thu walk dog & do yoga; plan meals for the following week did lower body & cardio, walked dog and did yoga; done
Fri Upper Body + cardio rest day
Sat Lower Body + cardio; food shopping did upper body & cardio, shopping and prepared patties for the week - a productive day!
Sun walk dog & do yoga did lower body & cardio
Mon prepare lunches for the week done on Sat! Walked dog and did yoga today

Have one planned treat Things I've thought of so far: shortbread, caramel Magnum (I'd like to try the mint one but am worried it won't be as nice as the caramel one, LOL), swiss cheese

Every day I must also:
Journal my eating
Go to technical failure in the gym
Get at least 8 hours sleep no, was up late Friday & Sunday

Tuesday, November 6, 2007

48 Weeks to Go, LOL

Nothing is particularly hard if you divide it into small jobs. (Henry Ford)

It's been a month now since my show. I trained for about two weeks afterwards, but then decided my body needed a bit of a break. I've done that after every show - kept on going hard then trickled off. Next year I am going to plan a holiday after my show so I have to rest whether I like it or not. Today was my first workout after my break - upper body and a bit of cardio. It's full steam ahead from here!

Goals for this week:
Tue Upper Body + cardio done
Wed Lower Body + cardio done
Thu walk dog & do yoga; plan meals for the following week done
Fri Upper Body + cardio done
Sat Lower Body + cardio; food shopping done; done
Sun walk dog & do yoga; walk yes, yoga no. Aim is to do 1 yoga session a week so it was a bonus if I got this one in.
Mon prepare lunches for the week done

Have one planned treat Maybe another cheese pizza at Amello? The one I had there when Lia, Rae, Combat Girl and I went out for lunch was the best! Plus they do gluten-free meals, so Rob can eat there too. Still haven't had my Snickers dessert at Circa either, but both places are in St Kilda, so will probably be one or the other, depending on if I feel like having savoury or sweet. Didn't feel like going out on Sunday so made a cheese pizza on a gluten-free base, plus had a Snickers bar and a couple of glasses of wine.

Every day I must also:
Journal my eating yes
Have only one coffee with Equal no, two on Tues
Go to technical failure in the gym yes
Get at least 8 hours sleep no, stayed up late working on Tues & Thurs, and Oscar got me up early on Sunday so I decided to stay up and do some work

Don't spend too much time focusing on what not to eat, rather, focus on including loads of great foods in your everyday diet. By eating enough antioxidant-rich fruits and vegies and grains, legumes and pulses full of fibre your body will soon crave better, more wholesome foods and hopefully ward off disease naturally (Amy Pongrass)

Monday, November 5, 2007

Good Luck Claudine!

While all the Australian shows have finished, Claudine, our French-Canadian friend from Montreal, is still counting down to hers - she's competing in her first show this weekend at the Coupe ProGym - Espoir Qu├ębec.

Here's a sneak peak at her suit

(Claudine's blog is in French, so if you want to read it in English, paste into the Google search engine, then when Miss Fit comes up as the result, click on 'Translate this page'; when the blog loads, scroll down to read the text in English.)

Sunday, November 4, 2007

The Bodybuilding Poem

When you break it down
Bodybuilding is an individual sport

You may have advisors and trainers,
But the bottom line is this:

At the end of the day, you will reap what you sow.

As you prepare to head into the gym~
into the kitchen~
or lie down to sleep,

You are the ultimate controller of your efforts and goals.

No one can make you train harder
No one can make you block the pain
No one can make you eat clean
No one can make you sleep a little longer

You are the manager of your free will.
How you do stack up?

Friday, November 2, 2007

What are you going to do with your off season?

by Jodi Jones, Cathy Savage Fitness

Are you going to waste this time fighting with yourself day in and day out saying the same ole', "I blew it, so now I'm just going to eat blah, blah, blah." Or, are you going to maximize what little time you have and FOCUS for the next season?

My biggest problem is getting everyone to realize how little time there is in the offseason…it is over before you know it. The most effective thing that you can do in the offseason to better manage your competitive career…is goal setting and planning. Decide right now, "If I was to fast forward to next November and look back at the 2008 season, what would *truly* make me happy?" This question is so important and so profound that many of you are going to miss it because of its simplicity. Your answer is going to shape your offseason more than you know. Here is how:

LOWER BODY: My goal for the offseason is to fix my lower body. Ok, you have your work cut out for you. First of all, lower body takes about 18 to 24 mos to "fix". Less time if all you are doing is reducing the size. For most of you, though, you need to increase your upper body size as much as you have to reduce your lower body so you have dual work. DUE DILIGENCE is what I recommend for you. CONSISTENCY. Stick to your workouts like glue, lose the processed food, stop looking for the miracle exercise because there isn't one, stop running, get on a track and run some sprints. Lift so heavy that the big guy in the gym asks YOU for a spot!

LEANNESS: I really want to be super lean next season…Ok, if you are semi lean, looking to get leaner I need two things from you: a clean offseason and an increase in cals. If you think that you can eat your show cals now for weeks on end and get leaner and leaner you are going to ruin your chances of leaning out. (Please note: You cannot be lean, eating 700 to 900 cals, doing oodles of cardio and think you are going get leaner. How can you drop your cals more? Where can you go from there? 3 hours of cardio per day? 600 cals? Smelling your food? You must raise your cals in the offseason and then drop them again to get more out of your body. The trick here though is to raise your cals without gaining any weight. So you do it S-L-O-W- L-Y.) …

MUSCLE: I want to add some muscle. Ok, if you think that you are going to add major size in 8 weeks, it's not going to happen. At best we might get 2 quality pounds of muscle on you. We need way more time than that, we need to stay FOCUSED that whole time AND you need to eat like a pig and sleep like a sloth. Can you stick to it? LMK 'cuz I'm not going to feed you more and send you to bed if you are not going to lift like a psycho and eat as clean as a newbie two weeks out from show. It could get ugly. (Running and hiding as I type!)

…Please. If you do nothing else for the offseason, decide (and stick to it) what you want for your 2008 season.

More Advice on Avoiding the Rebound

From a competitor on the Oxygen website:

I would say the key is to not do anything drastic on either side of the coin. If you are able to keep in cheat meals going into the shows and still drop bodyfat at a comfortable rate, then try it. Since I've done that, I haven't had a three-page grocery list of items I want to eat as soon as I get off stage. I also continue to eat six meals a day even during the off season, and I don't stray from the cardio. Cheat meals/days are scheduled and carefully chosen, and the weight workouts are serious even during off season days.

I also don't mess with diuretics...not even over the counter. I feel those just worsen the rebound effect, which initially is mostly water retention. If your conditioning is on point, then you don't have to drop as much water for the stage.

Continue talking with other competitors. We all go through the same thing of seeing cankles and uni-abs just days after we would have walked naked onto the New York subway with our etched muscles and done it with pride. Take comfort in knowing you aren't alone and see what other competitors do to have a few of the foods they enjoy but keep it in moderation...even when there isn't a show at the end of the goal line.