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 :)


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