Tuesday, December 30

Throwing off the Shackles

I've been catching up on a few blogs, and reading SH's blog about New Year's resolutions and how many Aussies actually make them, only to break them within a short period of time. I made a comment about how liberated I felt, because for the first time in a veeeery long time, I won't need to make any New Year's resolutions - especially when it comes to anything diet related.

Here I am, feeling pretty good, having lost a little over 13kg's now, in a size 10, which I can't ever remember being. Maybe when I was about 17 or 18yrs of age.

I feel liberated, because I made the decision to do something about not only my weight, but about where I was heading. I knew that if I did something about my health and self-image, that other positive things would happen as a consequence. So many things have happened, I can't begin to even describe how my life has changed. The great lesson for me in doing the IBO program, is now I know that what I have said I would do - I have done, so I know that from here on in, whatever I set myself I can achieve. In the last 8 years or so, I haven't really believed I'd achieve what I said I would, but now I am making promises and decisions and seeing them through.

That's why it's taking me a while to nut out my goals for 2009. I really want to make sure that what I set down is really what I want, not just something that sounds good, but something that is achievable for me. Of course, there's stuff in my head I probably won't put down, but I keep it safe in my head - I think they're more 2 year health goals, but that won't stop me from aiming for them - in fact they motivate me right now.

So I've thrown off the shackles and now I am experiencing such clarity in my life. Life is good - happy, striving yet content, full of wonder at the possibilities, blessed by family, friends and other weird and wonderful people that make it all the more interesting!

Ciao for now...Kerry :)

Saturday, December 27

1 Wk of Indulgences = 4 Wks Hard Work...Blown!

At week 8, one of my 2 week program goals was to hit 58kg. Last week I was 58.3kg. This week?...

59.4kg! Holy Dooly...a gain of 1.1kg! My first ever weight gain in a little over 5 months!

It wasn't actually a whole week of indulgences. I had a couple of free meals over a couple of days, and did pop some extra little things into my mouth leading up to Christmas. And it probably wasn't so much, how much I ate, but what I ate. High fat and sugar content. It's the sugar that really stuffs me up, and know I need to avoid it like the plague (chocolate and sweet desserts). Cheese and fatty preserved meats are the other foods I need to avoid to maintain a healthy, lean body.

On a positive note...I have lost 1kg in a week before, so I've got 2 weeks to drop 1.4kg. So my aim is still reach 58kg over the next 2 weeks. My meals have been clean since Christmas Day, and I have no plans for New Years eve, so my indulgences are now officially over!

Okay...head down...bum up!

Ciao for now...Kerry :)

Wednesday, December 24

Christmas Reflections

Above is a picture of our humble Christmas Tree. I love it though, and the picture doesn't do it service. Philomena helped me hang the baubles this year and put on the bows. She doesn't quite have the finger dexterity yet to put them on, but she handed them to me. Next year she should be able to put them on herself.

Well, it's the night before Christmas, and not long ago not a creature was stirring, not even Philomena, who is sound asleep. She knows tomorrow is Christmas and its' Jesus' birthday. She also knows she gets to open her presents tomorrow and 'eat cake', as she aptly reminded me this afternoon.

It's so quiet and peaceful, and it really has been stress-free and quite relaxing. After a full morning visiting the physio and then off to my last gym session for a couple of days, I came home, had lunch and had a little snooze on the recliner. That is, until Philomena shouted rather loudly into my ear..."wake up mummy!". Anthony had already cooked up a batch of Chocolate Brownies, and returned to the kitchen this afternoon to whip up a batch of Lemon Meringue Slice. Sadly, these are gifts for my mother and sister, though I have requested a brownie for tomorrow's free meal. It's really the Chocolate ganache (on the brownies) that I love. Can't wait to eat it! He did offer to make Profiteroles just for me, but I think the brownie will suffice. I doooo want to be controlled tomorrow and not go berserko.

Anyway...this afternoon I was sitting out the back patio, and it was lovely and cool, and being Christmas, just about everyone in the complex has gone away (we live in a unit complex), so it was also very, very quiet....hmmmm....lovely! It was just devine to enjoy the atmosphere and watch and listen to Philomena play on her little playground.

I was thinking what a wonderful end to the year, because I have a beautiful little girl and a wonderful husband and we live in our own home which we are really quite content in. Even if we bought another home, we'd stay here (for the moment anyway). I don't think I have felt this content for many a years. We also have very supportive family and friends who live close by, and friends here in the complex (it's a very community-minded, friendly complex of people). We are healthy and fit; we eat well; I am at my ideal weight and feel the best I have for years. And we have definite plans for the future, but on the same token, we realise that life doesn't always go exactly to plan, so we try to go with the flow and be thankful for what we have. We enjoy a simple life, but one which offers depth, variety and quality.

What more could I want?

Merry Christmas and may your Christmas be as content, peaceful, happy and cherished as ours!

Ciao...Kerry :)

Monday, December 22

Updated Training Program

Just a quick post tonight, as I have promised myself to get earlier nights...

Started my updated program tonight (back/biceps/calves), and it's great! Went really well, and felt good. Was 2.5 hrs at the gym, by the time I got through the program, had a chat with a couple of women who said they wanted to look like me, esp. my shoulders (was I chuffed or what?), and add in my new physio exercises along with stretches.

I'm working through my niggles with the help of my physio who I go back to see on Wednesday. I'm hoping the soreness in my glutes, hammies and lower back sensitivity will ease up soon with the new program and more recovery, i.e. sleep.

On that note...nitey-nite and sweet dreams...

Ciao for now...Kerry :)

Tuesday, December 16

Christmas Food...5 more sleeps...

Yeah...I know...it's more than five sleeps...but not for me!

We are fortunate, in that every Christmas, we celebrate with Anthony's family on the eve of Christmas (which is a Swedish tradition), and then with my family on Christmas Day. So there's no stress with running around trying to appease both sides of the family. Makes for a more relaxing and enjoyable time.

Yes...I know...that's still more than 5 sleeps...but not this year. Not all family members can make it on time on the eve of Christmas, due to work, so we've decided to have our Swedish christmas eve on Sunday instead. No rushing, and we can all begin eating around noon, starting with cheese, garlic and herb ciabata grilled with melted cheese on top...take our time...and leisurely graze right into the evening, where we'll finish off with a cheese platter and coffees. Perrrrfect!

Anyway...apart from maintaining my program (which I've been proudly sticking to), all I've been thinking about is FOOOD...FOOOD...GLORIOUS FOOOD! And I have to tell you...I'm starting to develop some serious cravings for everything I haven't been eating the last 3-5 months. One of those things is Bread (with lashings of butter of course), and the other is....CHEEEESE! All I've been talking about is CHEEESE...all varieties, served with crackers, European smoked sausages (Kransky & Chorizo...yummmm), and a selection of fruit. And in between there somewhere I'll even have a glass or two of alcohol, which I rarely ever have. I especially enjoy a little good quality Port with my main meal. And every year we break out the bottles of sparkling apple juice. I love that stuff!

Okay...now that I have that off my chest...it's just the countdown until Sunday. Hopefully, I won't go berserko, because it's only about 3 weeks until I start depletion, and to get the best results, I need to keep my food really clean (I'm hoping the 2 days of festivities will not make too much of a difference). Fingers crossed!

Have a wonderful Christmas and I hope you enjoy your food as much as I'm going to...Kerry :)

Thursday, December 11

Perfecting your Chosen Art

Above is an image of 'Miyamoto Musashi'. He is considered the sword-saint of Japan - the greatest swordsman Japan has ever had, and he was born in 1584 into a samurai family.

The 'Book of Five Rings', is one of my favourite books, and is an interpretation of Musashi's Classic Book of Strategy. What I love about this interpretation (BTW, I have not read MM'S 'Thirty-five Instructions on Strategy'), is the way the true spirit of martial arts is captured.

Most people think that martial arts is about kicking and punching, and that if you have a black belt you're an expert. Sorry to disappoint you...the black belt thing is just a myth. It's not about the colour of the belt, nor the clothing or appearance. It's not even about what type of martial arts you do and which one is better, because they all have their particular strengths.

Alot boils down to the practitioner, and how proficient they are at 'their' chosen art. Martial arts is a way of life, and encompasses body, mind and spirit, as opposed to 'sports' (i.e. Taekwondo) which is practiced mainly for competition with alot of emphasis placed on the physical aspect (don't get me wrong...Taekwondo has its' place and and I've seen some amazing athletes in this sphere of martial arts). I suppose you could say that true martial arts is more 'esoterical' in its' origin and approach.

"The Way of the Warrior is a Way of life and can never be construed as a hobby unless you are seeking only to impress others with your technique. You must never stop studying the written passages of masters relating to the art you have chosen to practice. Nor should you stop studying other arts that the warrior studies to broaden his horizons. The heart is essential in helping the intellect to understand the spirit."

Most importantly, is the adherence to rules, respect, and courtesy, with the genuine practitioner eager to continue his learning, in the quest to better his skills, knowledge and character (big emphasis on character). There is also the realisation that to develop truly exceptional technique, one requires many years of practice to develop sufficient physical strength and endurance to carry off the technique.

"There can be no let up to your study, regardless of the path you choose, even though you may have mastered a particular level. You must search constantly for still more understanding of your chosen art."

It's very much about how you develop your personal character. The side effects or benefits (character development being one) are much more than people realise. It's not until you really do it and practice for an extended period of time, that you realise how much there is to learn. How much better you can be...there is no end. It is truly an amazing practice that knows no bounds, and changes, as you change and grow as a person - physically, mentally, emotionally, spiritually (but not in a religious sense).

"It must be understood that training is never completed. When the warrior thinks that training is over he will find that the "spirit of the thing itself" he has been studying will elude him and fail to provide him with any future revelations. He must never stop training. In this way the spirit of the warrior will continue to grow."

From a physiological aspect, martial arts (if you choose the right one) involves all muscles of your body, in a complete way, balancing the use of both left and right sides of your body. Even the types of movements you do have a subtle, yet powerful effect on the central nervous system and other internal systems of the body. From the chinese angle (origin of Kung Fu), there is also the same effect on the channels and meridians of the body. Practicing can have a healing effect and cleansing effect, in the form of 'Qi Gong' which utilises your breathing to inhale (good energy) and exhale (bad energy). It also benefits your muscles, bones, posture, eyes, lungs, blood, and much more.

One interesting observation, and what I have found (through teaching martial arts) is that the type of martial arts you choose to practice will have a profound effect on your overall attitude to life in general and your level of flexibility, i.e. the more fluid the type of movement, e.g. Kung Fu, the more flexible are your attitudes and thinking - the more 'stiff' your type of movement, e.g. Karate, the more rigid your attitudes and thinking.

"Your attitude must be such that you can shift into any other mode of combat without having to make a conscious decision. You must be flexible and you must have no particular liking for any particular set of techniques."

So after many years of being lost, I've found my passion for martials arts has been rekindled, and even though I'm now starting all over again, it is with even greater respect and awe of what is possible, that I approach my re-training. Yet starting from a place of deeper understanding, I only now realise how much more there is to achieve, though I am only a beginner. I feel like a child in a lollie shop for the second time!

And as I journey through this program, I've also come to the realisation of how much my training has been influenced by martial arts training. I can see so many correlations. And being exposed to other women in blogworld, I realise that each person who is on a journey, whether they are, or strive to be more healthy and fit...whether they are, or strive to be bodybuilders, weight-lifters, athletes in general...they are all practicing to reach perfection in their chosen art.

"In order to be able to determine the possible outcomes of combat situations you must constantly maintain the proper attitude by practicing diligently. You can only fight the way you practice.

It is important for the warrior to constantly meditate upon these things:

1. Think honestly within yourself in your dealings with all men.

2. Constant training is the only Way to learn strategy.

3. Become familiar with every art you come across.

4. Understand the Way of other disciplines.

5. Know the difference between right and wrong in the matters of men.

6. Strive for inner judgement and an understanding of everything.

7. See that which cannot be seen.

8. Overlook nothing, regardless of its' insignificance.

9. Do not waste time idling or thinking after you have set your goals."

Ciao for now...Kerry :)

Sunday, December 7

Program II, Week 6 Results

Photo 1: Start of Prog. 1 & Now - Week 6, Prog. 2

It's the halfway mark, and I am very pleased with my results. I'm even more excited about the next 6 weeks, and decided this time round to do depletion. With my results, which have been a bit of a surprise, I am hoping that my photos at end of week 12 will be worth all the hard work. My photo shoot is already booked, so I'm now counting down, and hope that last bit of fat from my abs, thighs and hips will go.

As far as my goals go, I'm only 900g off my goal weight of 58kg, and I've passed my body fat % goal of 15%. I'm now curious as to how low I can go, as I am still losing weight, and am pretty confident I am retaining muscle.

Even though I've dropped the number of cardio sessions and lowered the intensity slightly, it hasn't affected the rate at which I am losing weight. In fact, I think it has assisted the weight loss as well as aided my recovery. I don't think the extra carbs during recovery and my holiday hurt either (quietly).

I am due for a program update, though I think another couple of weeks on the existing program would be preferable, due to the interruptions.

Anyway...I'm so motivated now (though apprehensive about depletion week...eek!) and am now just curious as to how my body will change, especially around the lower abs, which is my sticking, stubborn area that won't budge (along with thighs and hips).

Ciao for now...Kerry :)

Wednesday, December 3

Gotta Love my Metabolism

Here I am last week on holidays, quietly savouring the taste of italian sausage, bocconcini, mozzarella, sun-dried tomato, pine nuts, and herbs on pizza bread with Pachelbel's 'Canon' swooning in my head. Meanwhile in the deep, dark, recesses of my brain, a voice suddenly screams out..."Fat! Ba..aa..aa..d Fat! You'll get FAT! ... OMG Kerry...you've just lumped on 3kgs and blown your 2nd program out of the water!...and then Acca Dacca's 'Ball Breaker', rudely interrupts my classical interlude! SH*te!#%$%^ "GO AWAY good-for-nothin' guilt trip...you're not hijacking this pizza party!"

And you know...that little party pooper never returned for the rest of week, so I could enjoy the remainder of my little holiday indulgences, and I did!

So...the moment of truth...my weigh-in...

59.5kg......I lost 1kg! OMG!

What the hell was I so worried about?

Damn...I'm loving my metabolism right now! It's like a well-oiled machine...burning the midnight fat while I sleep...

Hmmm...can't wait to do my measurements come end of the week...week 6...the official half-way mark! And I'm only 1.5kg from my weight goal. So excited...hee...hee..

Ciao for now...Kerry :)

Saturday, November 29

Back from Holidays

Photo 1: Anthony & Phil - chocolate ice-cream - Australia Zoo
Photo 2: Kerry & Phil - Elephant feeding at Aussie Zoo
Photo 3: Petah Lynch & Kerry - coffee at 'Sister', Palmwoods
Photo 4: Family pic - near King's Beach, Caloundra
Photo 5: Beautiful flame trees - Montville town centre
Photo 6: Philomena & Kerry - just after my morning swim, King's Beach
Photo 7: Philomena's smiling for the camera, Montville
Photo 8: Scenic shot - King's beach looking North

Yes...it's just like I never left. Only one week (actually, only 5 days really. 1 day getting there and unpacking, and 1 day packing and going home)...oh how the time goes so quickly.

But...our holiday was great! The best one yet. And talk about getting the most out of the week and weather. We had 3 great days at the beach. The first day was spent at Bulcock Beach, and the other two days we had at Kings Beach. We loved it there, and Philomena had a ball!

We rose early and walked to King's Beach before breakfast, and while Anthony took Philomena to the playground, I went for a morning swim in the surf. It's the first time I've been game enough to do it. I'm a real cold frog, but braved the first morning, and then after that...I was hooked!

On our return to the unit, we had breakfast, and then headed off down to the beach again. We'd come back just before lunch...shower...have lunch...Phil would have a snooze...Anthony relaxed in front of the cricket, and I'd head off into town and scour the shops (lots of op shops!). Found some great bargains on labels and the best thing is, they have lots of surfwear at bargain prices! Little tops and boardies and casual wear. My best buy was a pair of boardies that fit and look pretty good and great for the beach. To my surprise and wonder, when I went to slip them on, found the size label...size 8!...woohoo...wasn't I excited!

We spent a day at Australia Zoo; a day in Montville and visited the Maleny Cheese factory, from which we brought home a variety of cheeses for our Christmas platter...Tuscan...Chevres Des Alpes (hard goat cheese)...Heidi Gruyere...Gorgonzola (blue vein)...Camembert...can't wait to try these delectable treats!

Tuesday night, I caught 'Quantum of Solace' at the local cinemas, and even took Meal 5 with me so I wouldn't snack on crap. I love going to the movies by myself. It's such a treat!

On the exercise front, I had planned to do 3 weights sessions. I ended up doing only two. Monday night was back/biceps and Thursday did legs/shoulders. I had planned to do them on Wednesday, but that was the day we went to Australia Zoo, and I was buggered walking around all day with a dawdling toddler who refused to get in her stroller, and wanted to walk!

Food...well...I had two not-so-good days. It started with Australia Zoo...greek salad and some hot chips (not many), a large (humungous actually) chicken and salad roll, and the day finished with yummy Tuscan pizza (half-a-pizza that is). Next day started with a Chai Latte (full cream milk); two sultana scones with jam and cream...then lots of cheese tastings...and lastly a two-scoop ice-cream made up with 'Violet Crumble' and 'Macadamia Nut' ice-cream in a waffle cone. And the next day finished off my treats with a large cup (called 'Big Bertha') of Chai Latte from Gourmet & More....
of course, I did eat my plan meals in-between. But let me tell ya...the gas....lol...my tummy finally settled this morning!

So this morning, I was very glad to get back onto my program nutrition plan, and look forward to getting back into some serious training come Monday! Week 6 is nearly here, and that means the half-way mark...which means measurements and photos at the end of the week.

Oh! A couple of disappointments...that shop in Bulcock Street that I said we bought chocolate brownies from...well it closed! Though Anthony did end up getting his brownie...we found one just like the one in Caloundra, up at 'Sisters' Organic coffee shop in Palmwoods, where we had a coffee and a great chat with Petah (one of the Sunshine Coast girls from the IBO forum). And the day we went into Montville, Montville Patisserie was closed too (wedding on apparently), and the cafe next door...well...the scones were okay, but disappointing to say the least! We will have to wait another year to taste their mouth-melting scones with jam and looooads of cream.

Anyway...that's about it. Had a fab time and for the first time in a very long time, I felt young again. It was such a great feeling to be able to go down to the beach and not feel conscious of being fat, and to be able to get out in the sea and surf and swim again and generally be active and energetic; feel exhilarated about being at the beach! Haven't felt like that for a long, long time...I am so looking forward to getting the most out of summer- like the days of old!


Ciao for now...Kerry :)

P.S. Weigh-in tomorrow morning...I wonder what surprises there are in store for me!

Thursday, November 20

Annual Holiday Sabbatical

It's only 3 sleeps until we leave for our annual family holiday. We always look forward to this time of the year, and making it an annual event somewhere special, makes it even more memorable. Especially when you have children. Each year sees them being able to do more, experience more and the whole experience becomes enjoyable for us as parents, because we get to do more things as our children grow and become more capable. And looking back at photos and seeing the changes is also wonderful!

So it's off to Caloundra on Sunday. We have stayed at the same place for the past 3 yrs, so this is our 4th year. We've stayed at Tranquil Shores pre-pregnancy, during pregnancy and post pregnancy, now moving into the toddler years. And for me personally, that's overweight, overweight during pregnancy, back to overweight, and now....lean and healthy, soon to be fit! :)

Our annual sabbatical is also about special things we do when we're on holidays, that we don't normally do during the course of the year.

The following are some of things we do every year (apart from going to the beach most days)...

* eat pizza for one lunch at a nearby italian restaurant in Bulcock St (can't remember the name, but it's in an arcade)
* spend a day at Australia Zoo
* spend a morning in Montville, and we have devonshire tea with the biggest, most mouth-watering scones loaded with fresh cream and jam, at the patisserie
* we buy a German hand-made christmas bauble from the Cuckoo-clock shop in Montiville. We add it to our Christmas tree as a reminder of our holiday in that year
* visit the cheese factory in Maleny; do lots of tasting and buy gourmet cheeses to take home for Christmas
* we have these most delicious flour-free chocolate brownies from a little health food take-away in Bulcock st. They're a treat because they cost about $3 per slice...but they are to die for!
* I go see an evening movie by myself in the little cinema in Bulcock street...I especially look forward to this part of our holiday!

    From a training point-of-view, now that I've had some recovery-time, I've decided that I will now be training. I'll be continuing my normal weights sessions, as I've only just started back again this week and want to keep progressing with that.

    Since my cardio sessions have nearly halved, and the intensity has been dropped for the time being, I'm just going to do those with our early morning beach walks before brekky. We rise early every morning and go for a brisk walk from Bulcock Beach to Kings Beach and back. Though this year I want to add in a swim in the surf at King's Beach before heading back.

    For my workouts, I found this little boutique gym in Bulcock street over the net. You have to book ahead, because they only allow so many people in the gym at any one time. It's very personalised and most importantly...it's close (a short walk); and the rates are pretty good...$15 casual (which is pretty standard) or $40 for the week - to go as many times as you like. I only intend to do 3 sessions, but if I pay $40 and find I have some time up my sleeve, I might pop in for some more cardio or maybe something else. We'll see...

    Okay...gotta go. I've started my list and need to go and start washing the clothes. Will have to buy a couple of things before we go and start packing tomorrow, as Saturday we're in for a busy day...morning at the gym (both hubby and myself), and social get together in the arvo.

    Talk to you soon...

    Ciao for now...Kerry :)

    Monday, November 17

    Mojo is back!

    Tonight saw my first weights session after a my 3 day complete rest (last week). I was mildly surprised and quite delighted at how well my body responded. No problems at all and I also managed a 13-min med. intensity jog without hip or back repercussions, so I was rather pleased!

    So after my rest and temporary increase in carbs, it was back to the gym on Friday night for a low-intensity 30min cardio session (though I have to admit - low intensity means 'no effort', so I had to raise a bit of a sweat), followed by an hour session of basic martial arts training. It's been such a long time, and even though a little tough, I really enjoyed it and it was good to get to old legs fired up and kicking again! It's amazing how quickly things come back to you, and how your body just doesn't forget. Now I really did work up a sweat, but oh it felt soooo good! Can't wait for this week's session. And then Saturday saw another LI cardio and abs. Rest on Sunday.

    Even though it's back to the gym at a lower intensity, I am starting to feel like I have my mojo back and am once again motivated to continue onward and upward! My imagination has been given a fresh kick-start with dreams of physical grandeur!

    Ciao for now...Kerry :)

    Thursday, November 13

    In the Presence of Greatness

    "To Everything there is a season, and
    a time to every purpose under the heavens"
    Ecclesiastes 3

    This is one of my all-time favourite verses. To me it sums up life as I know it. And the fact is...we don't know it. We don't know what lifes' events and occurrences are going to bring us, and what their ultimate purpose is. We just have to accept that there is a purpose, and that regardless of how we try to plan, change, manipulate, grasp, or decipher it (purpose), that like the seasons which we have no control over, it will determine its' own course and reveal itself in its' own time.

    So I'm sitting here at my computer. It's quiet, it's early (because I'm not at the gym), and I've been surfing the blogs looking for inspiration...and I found some...lots actually.

    You know...some people...some women are quite amazing! Sometimes when you think you've got your S**T together, you then discover that someone else out there, not only has their S**T together, and stacked neatly, but it's packaged in gold wrapping and tied with beautiful big bow!

    I've been reading blogs by women who are competing in body building comps. Not just these women, but other women who I want to be like, and even a bit like I was at the peak of my fitness. When you read about the training they do; what they put their bodies through and what their bodies can do, it's awe-inspiring! It makes me feel like a beginner with my training wheels on, eager to throw them off and ride 2-wheeled with the big girls!

    But you know...not that long ago I would have felt intimidated. Looking where I am at and where they are all now, you could say that I'm in the little league. But I can also say that I'm working my way up and that I cannot deny myself the satisfaction of what I've achieved so far in my fitness comeback quest.

    Who was it that said that to become the person you want to be, that you must first be that person, as if you are living in the image of that person right here, right now...until you are that person. I believe (in my head) I am that person, and I train like I am that person, and will continue to do so, until I look into the mirror and find that image has become reality.

    Everything that has happened so far has brought me to this point in time, and even though my purpose hasn't fully revealed itself, it's given me a glimpse...and for me that's enough to feel contented, because I've seen greatness and I know what possibilties lie ahead.

    Ciao for now...Kerry :)

    Wednesday, November 12

    Superwoman is Out to Lunch

    It's official...Superwoman is out to (a long) lunch, and won't be back for at least 3 days!

    Yes...after a little bit of deliberation, and honestly looking at where I was at...tired, not feeling refreshed after sleep; strained muscles and snowballing niggles; muscles just not responding to training, I re-evaluated my situation, and decided that training through this, just wasn't going to give me the best outcome.

    So I sent out an S.O.S to my (online) PT with express request for H.E.L.P!

    Sure enough...a speedy reply came back saying...R.E.S.T!

    The diagnosis?.... OVERTRAINING...derrrrrr! So, my life as a super hero (in my dreams) will be totally on hold with the following instructions....next 3 days...complete rest...carbs at every meal...ditch the fat burners...in with the Vit B...re-evaluate. And...upon my return from my long lunch...only 3 L.I. cardio sessions to begin with (in addition to weights), and increasing this when my body feels like it's got its' mojo back.

    I do have to admit...I was rather excited about the carbs at every meal! And even more sad... I can't wait to have some chicken soup with chinese veges, shitake mushrooms, and rice tonight for dinner...yum. I've even hired out some DVD's (Anthony is away) to watch over the next couple of nights
    so I can vege out in front of the box!

    Hell...I know how to relax, along with the best of 'em! Goes to show...this is a sad reflection of how dull my life is according to the 'norm' (who wants to be normal anyway?)...booorrrring...yawn...

    Ciao for now...Kerry :)

    Monday, November 10

    Did Superwoman ever hit a Plateau?

    OMG...I think I've hit my first wall in my program! Yes girls...it's very hard for me to admit...I'm no Superwoman, regardless of what the boys at the gym call me.
    It happened last Friday night. I even remember when...my cardio session after weights, doing interval...10 min medium resistance - 2.5 min maximum resistance (and I upped the x-trainer to level 6 and went like the clappers...saying to my fat..."Burn you bastard...Burn!") - 5 min light resistance...repeat for 30 minutes..then I died.
    Saturday I struggled to get to the gym, and once there struggled to get through my program, and I just made it! I had even planned to start some martial arts basic training in an extra arvo session, but knew that sure as hell wasn't going to happen. Needless to say, I was a walking Zombie all day Saturday; slept like a rock that night, and Sunday...well...more Zombie-like behaviour and a cat-nap in the afternoon.
    I usually recover by Monday, but today I felt so flat! Arrrgh..this can't be happening! Not to me! Sob...sob...sob...
    I mean...I still got through my workout tonight...still pushed myself hard, but my head space is definitely 'out there' somewhere. Okay...now if I was coaching (martial arts), what would I tell someone who was experiencing this (whatever it is)? I would tell them they have hit a Plateau, and my best advice would be...."train through the Plateau".
    And it's not just training...I've been soooo hungry, I could eat the crotch out of a rag doll! I've been dreaming about FOOD...food...glorious foooood! Hot chips...pizza...cheese and herb garlic bread toasted under the grill with grated cheese...melting...stringy...mmmmm. I cooked meat balls strogonoff last night for dinner for hubby and Phil and the smell of those meat balls frying was so tantalising. But...I was strong. I resisted!
    Then it's the training...I really want a change...do some Les Mills classes...some Body Jam, Body Balance...maybe a couple of Fit Box classes. You know...something a little different, a little more fun and just...mix it up a little?
    But you know...I will take my own advice...I'll train through the Plateau. I'll do it, because as a coach, I knew that if you didn't ride it out, you ended up exiting before the next ride. And besides...we go to Caloundra in a couple of weeks for our yearly 'beach sabbatical'.
    So you know what? I'm not going to the gym to workout! (I had already thought about booking this great boutique gym so I didn't have to miss my normal workout - how freaky am I?). I'm going to have a (real) holiday!
    Some R&R...early morning walks to Kings Beach in the mornings and hit the surf before heading back for breakfast. Then it'll be back to the beach for some family time with Philomena and Anthony...kick back...relax...soak up the sun...more swimming...head back for lunch...more swimming in the arvo...afternoon nap time for all...dinner...veg out in front of the TV (once Phil is asleep)...maybe catch a movie at the cinema a couple of nights...Australia Zoo outing one day...hopefully catch up for a coffee with the IBO 'Sunshine Coast Girls'...a FREE CHOICE MEAL (how exciting! hmmmm...don't know whether it will be fish and chips on the beach, or pizza) and just chill! What do you think?
    Damn it...I think I deserve it! Even Superwoman's gotta have a break sometime!
    Ciao for now...Kerry :)

    Thursday, November 6

    Killer Abs & other bits!

    Killer Abs...mmmmm...I dream about them, and how a nice set would look on me.
    I wish we had shops where you could just walk in and try on a nice pair of abs, or possibly, some fab shoulders...oh! can I have the striated look with that?...and a nicely curved, tight butt (as shown above...sorry about the words, but I didn't pay for this picky). You know...the kind of butt that makes your man wanna grab you - pull you in close, tightly cupping those nice, firm, (butt) cheeks into his hands...and the rest...well...you know what happens after that?!
    Arghhhh....Heavy Sigh....Bugger!...oh well...for now, until they invent this quick 'n' easy method of body transformation, I'll just have to settle for working my butt off (literally!) at the gym!
    Ciao for now...'Killer-Abs-Elect' - Kerry :)

    Monday, November 3

    New Program - New Goals

    (click to enlarge)

    I've had one week on my new training program. I think one more week and I'll have my technique downpat, and I'll know the weights I need in order to start challenging myself. I like my new program and am really excited by the possibilities, 2nd time round!

    Another 4-6 weeks and I think I'll have a fair idea of how close my program is aligned with my goals that I formulated. My nutrition plan is pretty much the same. The only change being that more carbs have been introduced on my weight training days. I don't even look at my nutrition program anymore - don't need to. I know it backwards and am quite comfortable eating the same foods. Dinnertime is when I tend to change the meals to give me some variety.

    So here are my new goals...

    • Goal weight: 58kg
    • Body fat % (callipers): 15-16%
    • Tighten/strengthen abdominals (lower/deep)
    • Say goodbye to the fat off my hips, thighs & stomach
    • Tone up my abs (especially lower abs)
    • Maintain jog on treadmill for 30 mins without any stiffening/pain to hips/joints
    • Increase upper body, glute, and hip flexor strength

    Ciao for now...Kerry :)

    Thursday, October 30

    Gym Soapies (Girls only)

    You know...I can't think of any soapies that revolve around 'life in the gym'. I'm not just talking about what happens between the staff, but what happens between the staff and members, and members and other members. And I'd love to know what other people are thinking in the gym! How cool would that be? A bit like that movie with Mel Gibson...What Women Want.

    The reason I wonder is because I know all the stuff that goes through my head - if people only knew they'd think I'm insane. I mean, I'm so focused at the gym. I'm also courteous and polite. If anyone smiles or says hallo - I smile back. But on the whole, I look like I shut everything out and I am a little intense. I mean, I concentrate on what I'm doing. That's why I get results. But there is such a thing as 'peripheral vision' and 'peripheral hearing', and it's something I'm very good at.

    Firstly girls...you'll know what I mean when I say...eye candy. Hell, plenty of that on offer! I mean, you can't help but look can you? Even if it's a quick, shifty, side glance to get an overall impression, and then just a few more quick shots to really assess the best bits, and lastly... filling up with more of the good stuff I reckon...hot damn...heh...heh...

    And then there comes the critiquing...hmmm...nice butt...great upper body but shame about the chicken legs (do some squats why don't you)...biceps like boulders, perfect pecs, and a ....what the hell? ...beergut? ah..ah..not a good look!

    Oh! And what about males stroking eachother's egos. You know...like the cool (so they think), secret, rappy, handshakes and the "how's it goin' bro?"..."how dem delts doin bro?"..."dats nuttin - f***in hit me in the f***in guts man. It ain't gonna hurt". Too many a dose rap music clips me thinks...LOL...
    And talking about rap music...those I-Tune clips should be classified 'x-rated', or at least 'soft porn'. I've never seen so many near-naked, black, booty gyrating women being ogled by black, rappy, illiterate (with songs like Dance Wiv Me, is it any wonder), sex-starved, chest-pounding males. Don't get me wrong, I love the music - gets me pumped during my workouts - let me tell ya! Oh well...who said I was looking for intelligence...I'm just looking.

    OMG...I hate to think what men are saying about the women. Especially the ones with the big t**s and tight clothes, swaggering their little behinds. It's funny watching the men...their heads moving and following the swagger. Reminds me of those circus sideshow clowns that move their heads like the mexican wave, with their gobs open. Hey...at least women are a little more discreet.

    And then there's the women's gym fashions, or should I say...fashion faux pas...so to speak...I can't get over some of the women with the tight, tight, little tops and bike pants, sporting those 'overhangs' and wearing highly visible lingerie bras that are meant for 'seduction' not 'sport', with their t***s saying "how do you do?". Or they bend over, with their g-strings playing the same tune.

    Lastly...there's the aromas..."mmmm...he smells so good I could I eat him"..."she's wearing Dove tanning glow" ( I know cause I wear it and it smells good)..."he's wearing Lynx"..."he's wearing Hugo Boss (I know cause my hubby wears it), and I want to stick my nose in his chest and soak him up!"..."she smells like coconuts". And I don't want to talk about the unpleasant smells...we won't go there. Too nasty...enough to make me heave!

    Well lucky for me, we don't know what people are thinking at the gym. Hmmm...I've had a few fantasies myself and it's nothing I would disclose...but...maybe I could become a 'Mills and Boons' novelist (or a porn film director...ha...ha...ha!).

    Ciao for now...Kerry :)

    Saturday, October 25

    Sharpening the Saw

    "Sometimes when I consider what tremendous consequences come from little things...
    I am tempted to think...there are no little things." Bruce Barton

    It's been brewing for days (my thoughts and feelings). You've probably heard that expresssion, 'sharpening the saw'. I use it often and have ever since reading Stephen Covey's book, 'The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People'. It's one of those books you never throw away and I come back to it time and time again. Though I have to admit it's been a little while since I've read it. I usually read it when I'm in 'business person' mode or role, which hasn't been for awhile.

    If you haven't read his book, 'Sharpening the Saw' basically means taking time out to put perspective back into your life. To look at all areas of your life...physical, mental, spiritual and social (as Stephen puts it) and re-assess where you are at in all these areas. Making sure there is balance in all four areas of your life...Balance being the key word.

    It's difficult to do as we seem to get more busy as we get older. I think generally I'm going in the opposite direction. For me, less busy is better. Simple is better. Less is more. It's taken me many years and deliberate planning to get to this stage. It doesn't happen by chance. You have to plan it that way.

    If my life starts to get a little crazy, the warning bells sound in my head..."Kerry...slow down...think...where are you going...what are you doing...you're doing too much...cut back...simplify". Because I've been there - done that...stressed, too busy, working too hard and too long. Life was crazy for a long time. Crazy is not good. Running around like a chook with your head cut off is not heroic....it's...it's...INSANE!

    In order to have a simpler life I've had to forgo some things and let go of things. In some ways it's harder. But in the long run it actually makes life more enjoyable, because I have the time to observe; to be involved; to do things better; to think and ponder about life; to appreciate the finer moments and savour everything that life has to offer. I have the luxury of thinking about things on a deeper level...and it's something I like to do (think). Life is so interesting...people are so interesting and how their lives twist and turn is all so fascinating.

    But in order to have the time to do this, you have to make the time and plan your life accordingly. I could lead you into believing that I have 'Pollyanna Syndrome'. I wish it were true and some days...yes...I am a bit of a Pollyanna, but hey...at least I'm happy. And the longer I'm on this earth, the less I care if other people don't share my enthusiasm and zest for life. Hell...that's their problem, not mine. Get a life damn it (and make it a good one)!

    Anyway...digressing again...what the hell am I going on about? Balance...Why? Because at the moment my quiet, simple, less is more...life...a balanced life...is being jeopardised. My 'physical' life is starting to unbalance other areas of my life.

    Yes...I am talking about doing the IBO program, because initially it takes time to change your lifestyle...your exercise (or no exercise) and dietary habits. But honestly...I don't have to think about that anymore. I know my nutrition plan back to front. I don't have to consult my plan anymore. And I'm in the routine of going to the gym. Hail, rain or shine...I'm there.

    How do I say this?...doing this program has changed me. It's like opening Pandora's box. The genie is out of the bottle. It's like opening the door to my past. And my past was majorly 'physical'. What I mean by physical, is 'physical activity'. That was my life prior to having a child and husband. If I wasn't working, I was training, or involved in some way with something physically active.

    Now I can't stop thinking and planning all the things I'm going to be doing again...martial arts, bushwalking, army reserves and more. But...where do I fit it all in? I can only do so much with raising a child and taking care of my husband's needs as well. My life in the last few years has been about Philomena and Anthony, and now that I have re-connected with my identity again...the new me has grown into a monster! OMG...it's all about me again! Get out of the way...Kerry is back and she's taking no prisoners!

    Ee..eh...ee..eh...sharpen the saw (sounds like a horror movie I've been watching lately)....Balance Kerry...get it together...re-evaluate...renew...relax...go with the flow...Compromise.

    Hmmm...compromise...Rachael you've done it again girl. How do you know the right things to say?

    Okay...time to go...need to sharpen the saw a bit more I think and put the genie on a short leash!

    Ciao for now...Kerry :)

    P.S. Yes...I'm not right in the head...

    Friday, October 24

    Before & After Pics - First 12 Weeks

    My First 12 Week Before & After Photos

    Damn it...Rachael and Fifi have definitely upped the anti...I think I will have to post my photos. Oh how I hate my befores! You are told to look as bad as you can. Well...I had just got out of bed, so no shower, bed hair and horrible underwear! And you're only gonna see my 'front' okay? Arghhhhh...
    I'm aiming for BUFF for my next 12 weeks along with doing 'Depletion Week' and getting professional photos done.
    Ciao for now...Kerry :)

    Training Program - 28/7/08 - 19/10/08

    Click on images to enlarge

    I was checking out Fifi's blog, and thought...what a great idea...a training journal. So I'm going to document my training program and my nutrition plans. My first program went pretty damn good...a near perfect 12 weeks!


    I've posted my excel spreadsheets on what my training program looked like over the first 12 weeks.

    This post is in progress as I work out how to put these images on. The spreadsheets are the originals of what I planned without changes to my schedule along the way. I think it'll be easier to make a notation of the changes, rather than go back and re-do the spreadsheets (too much work!).

    Changes to Schedule...

    1. Week 4...18/8-24/8...changed my rest day around to Friday
    2. Week 7...8/9-14/9.....changed my rest day around to Thursday
    3. Week 12...13/10-19/10...had 2 rest days...Thursday & Sunday

    After going back through, I just realised that I only had one week where I had 2 rest days, and maintained a 6 day training week the first 11 weeks. Quite chuffed!
    *N.B. Powerwalks consisted mainly of 'Treadclimber', which is like walking on sand. If I couldn't get onto the machine, then I mixed it up with combinations of 'Treadclimber', bike, and cross-trainer for 60 minutes.
    Nutrition Program
    Basically, my nutrition program is similar to other IBO members. It's just changed to accommodate different body types, fat loss/goals and workload. Mine consisted of 5 portion-sized meals a day, spaced 3 hours apart. Protein consumed at every meal, and for me, no carbs after meal 3. I had 2 x Free Choice Meals. One in Week 6 (wedding), and one in week 12 (INBA titles), which was my last week.
    Ciao for now...Kerry :)
    * Stay tuned for my next 12 week program schedule (at least the first 6 weeks anyway)...

    Monday, October 20

    My First 12 Week Journey is now complete...

    Yes...yesterday was officially the end of my 12 week IBO (ideal bodies online) program! Yay!

    What a roller-coaster of emotions...mainly highs...what a buzz! I have to admit, last week was probably the toughest one for me mentally, knowing that it was the last week and looking forward to a week off program. But I pushed through, and I was happy with my results! My total weight loss came to 8.8kg (I'm now 62.8kg); body fat loss of 7.6% (body fat is now 22.7%); and total cm's lost was 39cm (mostly off hips, waist).

    I think myself very fortunate indeed, because I basically had a near-perfect 12 weeks! No sickness, no major injury setbacks, full of energy, and maintaining a 6 day p/w training program. I think I did have 2 weeks where I took 2 days off...one because I put my neck out, and one in my last week because I had a body corp meeting, and being the chairperson, I kinda thought I should make an appearance. So I was rather happy with my whole 12 weeks...I was so pumped!

    This week is definitely an R&R week! I put my neck out again on Sunday morning. What a terrible night's sleep after a great day on Saturday evening with the girls from IBO at the INBA titles. Philomena wasn't well, and I ended up lying next to her most of the night, with hardly a wink of sleep. Getting out of her bed I put the neck out. Felt it go...damn it!

    So this morning it was off to the chiropractors for an adjustment. No Body Jam class for me tonight...double damn it! I'll just have to be happy with a cardio session and some gentle stretching . The rest of my week sees more sleep (oh! how I love my sleep), a couple of complete rest days with a bowen therapy session thrown in to put my body and muscles into balance again; a
    Body Balance class, and some more cardio, and more sleep (hopefully). All in time to start my new program on Monday! Can't wait to start...

    My new program includes more advanced weights, and I'll be concentrating on increasing my upper body strength, as well as glute, adductor, hip flexor, and deep abdominal strength. Of course, there's still more body fat to lose, but it won't be at the same rate as the first 12 weeks. I'm definitely aiming for 'BUFF'!
    I won't be posting any before & after pics this time round on my blog. Yeah...I know Rachael...I'm a chicken! I want to save the best for last, and I'm hoping my body will be in good enough shape for some professional photos at the end of this round of programs. Then I'll post it on the blog.

    Well, the INBA titles were very enjoyable. The girls were a blast! Talk about laugh...I mean you really have to admire the competitors for having the guts to get up there and putting their bodies through all that rigour. But at the same time, you have to see the funny side of body building and some of the egos are definitely bigger than Ben Hur!

    What I found fascinating were the 'breast implants'. OMG! One of the female runners-up in the comp had a great body, but all I could look at were those TITS. They defied gravity and personally I think were just a little tooo big for her body. Well, not so big...but how do I explain...really, really round, like separated, perfectly formed balls. Maybe I find it fascinating, because even though I don't have any boobs to boast of, I've never been inclined to try surgery for a better pair. I did ask Carolyn why they insist on having them, and it turns out that they do it to add 'symmetry'.

    We really enjoyed the mens division of course. Man... the definition and size in those glutes had Carolyn and I transfixed. Every time they'd 'strike a pose', all we could do was oooh and aaah and sometimes grimace at all the muscles on display. It was really something to see... that separation and to think that those muscles actually exist!

    So a fun time was had by all, and I had my 2nd free choice meal of my program...Chicken Parmisagna with salad and chips...yummo! I did struggle with finishing the meal, and it did repeat on me all night, but it was worth it!

    Well that's about it for me...no d&m stuff. Not alot of contemplation going on in my head, just alot of thinking about doing not much at all...

    Ciao for now...Kerry :)

    Thursday, October 16

    Sense of Belonging

    Why is it when women are approaching 40 and beyond, that they start to re-evaluate their lives? But then again, I suppose we all do when we reach those 'ten year milestones'. You know...when you turn 20 you're no longer a teenager and you're excited about how you're going to make your mark on the world. You think that 40 is OMG...soooo old...and then it's here (almost)...damn...where did those years go?

    You still feel like you're 20 years old, but thank god you've been through most of the crap that life is going to deal you, and you don't want to go back there again. You've got the stretch marks, the worry lines, the saggy boobs (for those of us who have them) and all the other baggage that comes with being on this earth that long, but hey...on the inside you still feel like you're 20. You've still got that zest for life and curiosity about the world and you're excited about the future.

    Now girls...we just want our bodies to match what we looked like 20 years ago (actually, much better)...that's why I'm in this program...how about you?

    So what does that have to do with a sense of belonging? Well...it's part of this 'approaching 40' contemplation on my life up until now. You see...I've never really felt that I've belonged anywhere, even as a child. Why? I didn't find out until I turned 21...but I was adopted at birth. Then the why hit me right between the eyes, and the older I became, the more disconnected I felt, because my parents (adoptive) failed to do one thing. They failed to inform me of my heritage.

    My parents told me because they had no choice. It was either tell me, or be told by my biological father, so they chose to do it themselves. I thought that knowing would help, but it didn't. I was different. I looked different. I felt different. I've struggled with this for a long time. Wanting to be different, but wanting to be accepted. I suppose we all want that to a certain degree.

    Strangers who had lived in PNG (most Australian ex-pats) would come up to me and tell me all about PNG and start talking to me in pidgin english. Hell...I understood a little of the pidgin english, but I just couldn't relate to their stories because I had no connection to the place I was born.

    I left there for Australia when I was 5 years old. Once out of PNG, we no longer spoke pidgin english in our house, nor cantonese (my mother is part chinese). We spoke English (Dad is Australian), even though they could both speak pidgin english. We never mixed with either the PNG or the chinese community. Mum cooked chinese food and a little of her native PNG delicacies.

    But we lived an Australian existence. I spoke perfect English, and had no, and still have no connection whatsoever to PNG. And for most of my life I've had that feeling of being...disconnected. Unless you're adopted, I don't think you would understand. But then again, some people feel disconnected for other reasons.

    It's taken me this long to feel like I belong...but I don't really belong anywhere. I've spent my entire life yearning for experiences, and I would be just as happy living my life in China, Japan, Europe or wherever. It wouldn't matter. Because I know that wherever I was I would embrace the culture of that country and learn and experience as much as possible in the process.

    But I am happy to say that I am content with where I am and who I am for the first time! Doing the IBO program hasn't just been about a physical transformation, it's been a transformation from the inside out (hah! just thought about what you said Rachael in your last email).

    I can now confidently say at the ripe young age of 39, that I have arrived...the 2nd stage of my life is just beginning.

    Ciao for now...Kerry :)

    P.S. I have recently started a quest to locate my biological father. I want to know my heritage for the sake of our daughter, because I don't want her to feel disconnected all her life, and I still want to know where my mother came from, and what was my heritage.
    Cliff...if you happen to be reading this (which I doubt)...I am trying to find you (no malice intended)!

    Tuesday, October 14

    Are you Living your Genius?

    I've asked myself this question periodically. Now is one of those times.

    The question came from my life coach (Peter) about 5 years or so ago, when I had entered another business venture, and life was hectic and stressful. I'd come to a cross-roads...a fork in the road. Life just wasn't cutting it for me, and I didn't really know anymore what success meant for me. I had been chasing what, at the time I thought was success...being wealthy in my own business. I had been chasing what I'd had years before, when I was 'living my genius', as Peter helped me discover...a huge breakthrough for me at the time.

    I, with Peter's help had discovered that when I had my martial arts business/club, that at this period of time, I was actually living my dream...my genius! Wow! At the time I didn't know it, and since then had been seeking the lifestyle I enjoyed while at the pinnacle of my health and fitness, as well as the pinnacle of success of my club.

    You know...I wasn't making alot of money. But it was enough to do what I wanted and when. During the day I would go to the gym and train; maybe do some more training in the park; do my paperwork and admin stuff for the business; do the shopping, cooking and general household chores; go cycling with my dog or take my dog to the park and play, and prepare my lesson plans to teach that night.

    During the nights I would teach martial arts. Weekends were taken up with more teaching, going to tournaments or attending events in which we and our students performed. And then we'd always have a yearly sabbatical and hold a martial arts camp. We had so much fun...especially the kids!

    So what was it that I was chasing?...FREEDOM!

    Freedom to do what I wanted, when I wanted. Keep fit in the process. To do something different...something unique where I felt like I made a difference in someone's life. Something that would inspire people to become the best they could be and influence their lives in ways they never could imagine.

    The best feeling in the world is when you have this person, whether child or adult come through your door. They may not be the most talented, or the most co-ordinated person, and they may not have a lot of self confidence. But they have the right attitude. An attitude of perseverance. It was my job to recognise their strengths, help develop those strengths and bring them to fruition.

    And the most rewarding thing for me was to see the change in them...the way they had grown as a person...become better, stronger, more confident. To see their faces light up when they had achieved something significant for them...however seemingly small (gee...sounds alot like raising my Philomena). That is a feeling worth more than any monetary gain or success I could ever achieve, and is something that not everyone has the privilege of experiencing.

    So, you see...I was living my genius. And now after many mistakes (no doubt I'll make plenty more), I have come to the realisation that for me, as long as I am being the best person I can be...I'm physically strong, healthy and active...my life is filled with the richness of people, experiences, learnings...and I am doing something which I feel is unique...I am in fact living my genius!

    Ciao for today...Kerry :)

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