Thursday, December 31

Beautiful Blogger Award


Okay...I've been tagged by the lovely Raechelle! I have to share 7 things about myself. And I have to tag seven others. Here goes...

  1. I was AW's martial arts instructor when I met him originally (when he was only 18).
  2. I was adopted at birth, and I had to be moved around PNG and finally brought to Australia, so my tribal people could not find me.
  3. I can speak basic Mandarin Chinese.
  4. My joints are hypermobile (I'm very flexible), or what people called 'double-jointed'.
  5. My nickname at school was 'Piggy'. Firstly because my maiden name was Piggott, but also because I've always loved my food...lol...
  6. I played netball (and softball) right through primary school and high school and represented Brisbane for a short stint.
  7. My first boyfriend I ever had, was when I was 21 and he was 18yrs my senior.

And here are seven fellow bloggers that I am tagging...

  • Carolyn
  • Tracey (W)
  • Rachel (P)
  • LizN (just saw you've already been tagged!)
  • Em
  • Sue
  • Nicole

Have a fantastic New Years everyone and bring on 2010...Year of the Sexy Bitches! :P

Tuesday, December 29

Holy Crap!



Bracket Creep: Slowly moving into higher weight bracket as one's food intake rises to keep up with festive appetite.


Thanks to Tracey, who approached me to become her ' training buddy' to keep her accountable as she starts her new training and nutrition program. Unbeknownst to her, I am just as grateful that I too can be accountable.








Today I begin a new program to get back on track as part of Operation Sexy Bitch 2010. I did my photos this morning, my weight and measurements. If you look closely at my above photos you can see how softer I'm looking, and also the fat around my stomach, hips, and especially the thighs is quite noticable. It's amazing how quickly the fat starts to accumulate around the tummy and thighs. My boobs are feeling and looking fuller too and my measurements show a big increase in around my chest. Needless to say, I'm not liking how I'm feeling at present.



(click to enlarge)

Since mid-October when I returned from Kapooka, I've gradually put on about 5kgs. I was 57kg when I got back home. As of today I am 62.23kg! It's the largest gain I've had since I started my Ideal Bodies Online programs back in July 2008.

I'm pretty happy I'd managed to maintain my happy weight of around 58kg since January 2008. Kapooka (Army Reserve Basic Training) was the culmination of everything I'd worked towards and I was pretty exhausted. I needed a change and just wanted to rest when I got back. I also wanted a change from training hard constantly for over 12 months with small breaks in-between programs. To be honest, I was over it all. It took all of my physical and mental energy to get me that far and alot of discipline. But I'm glad I did it, and I know what I'm capable of.


So you could say that upon my return I crashed for about 3 weeks and did sweet F'All. I also ate everything in sight. I then reined in the food again for a little while. But the problem was, I hadn't defined any new major goals. I knew what I wanted, but it was floating around in my head for awhile. I've now set some goals for 2010, but as yet haven't really put any measureable goals in place, apart from a weight goal. With our beach holiday and Christmas looming I just wanted to relax, take it easy and enjoy the time away from my previous schedule. Having injuries to deal with upon my return, also made a little too easy to kick back. But there comes a time where enough is enough, and you start to get complacent with your training and your food. I've now over the complacency and need to get back into some serious training.


It's going to be a little different this time round, as physically, my training won't be as 'static'. It'll be a mixed bag, and until I've had about 6 months of Crossfit training (it will probably take this long to learn all the skills and relevant weights for lifting), the parameters of what's achievable for me as far as goals won't be able to be determined. Crossfit is like nothing I've done before, and it's not like your standard gym program where you basically plan to do the same exercises for a period of time, and then re-write the program after your results begin to plateau.


In Crossfit, you don't know what you're going to be doing from one session to the next, as the session exercises are planned by Matt (the owner of CF Brisbane). All you know is that you're going to be going as hard as you can until you feel like you're ready to puke - when you have that feeling, you know you've put everything you have into your session. Of course, I'll be recording my session results, so I will be able to make comparisons along the way of how I'm performing, depending on my results. If I've lifted heavier on deadlifts the next time I do them, then I've improved and/or increased my strength, etc, etc. If I can do a type of session, like 'Fran' and cut down my time the next time I do it, then I've improved. This is how you can tell if you're making progress. And of course, if things are becoming easier as far as my regular Army fitness assessments and PT sessions and cutting down my running times, then I know I'm getting fitter.


I also have the added challenge of not being able to go to a conventional gym. That means that on days that I'm not going to formal Crossfit sessions, then I have to be motivated enough to conduct my own training, i.e. circuits, running, martial arts, etc. It also means that on days like today (where it's pelting down rain), I have to become a little creative in order to get in a workout.

Thanks to Tracey, I will be posting my weekly results. I'll post measurements and updated photos every six weeks, as previously done with my IBO programs.

So there you have it...warts and all! I'll be reposting my goals for 'Operation Sexy Bitch 2010' on the 1st January. Have a great week everyone. :)

Sunday, December 27

Real Life Heroes...2009 Reflections


"Be the Change you wish to see in the World"
- Ghandi

Wednesday was the last training night of the year for Wing Chun. The academy had it's yearly photo and then training straight after. It felt weird being back there again. It had been 7 years since I last did any formal martial arts training (in Wing Chun), but it only felt like yesterday. When you've done martial arts over many years, your body doesn't forget how to move and it's been really enjoyable to be able to slip back in and pick up where I left off (albeit a little rusty). It was a different kind of session to end off the year, and we finished off with some mitt work and in a ball of sweat...I loved it! Oh how I've missed martial arts and I've realised lately just why I love it so much! I'm so looking forward to next year and what lies ahead as far as my martial arts strength and technique.

So what does that have to do with heroes? Well, Sifu was playing some Chinese music during our session (which he doesn't normally do), and he played the theme music from Once Upon a Time in China. It brought back so many memories of China, and my earlier days training in Shaolin Kung Fu and I happened to make this comment to Sifu about how it reminded me of my hero - Jet Li. To which he replied..."Oh, I thought I was your hero!" So as not to disappoint him, I mentioned that Jet Li (actually Wong Fei Hong, his character) was my fantasy hero.

And it really got me thinking about Heroes in general. You don't hear the word bandied about much as an adult, because it's something which is usually relegated to the realms of childhood. I've never had alot of heroes in my life to be honest. Not any real life ones anyway. So as an adult, heroes for me were usually fantasy heroes, like Wong Fei Hong (Jet Li). There were alot of people whom I'd admired for their skill, but I could never call them a hero. There would be those who I would be in awe of when I first met them, and then later I would be disappointed when they didn't fit my ideal of a hero. It was usually something they did later as I got to know them which changed my perception of them, and it always had to do with lack of integrity.

For me...integrity is the most important character trait any hero should have.

And you know, this is a real tough call. It's a tough call, because real integrity is very difficult to find. I mean there are alot of wonderful people out there, don't get me wrong, but real integrity takes courage. And sometimes it's the simple things that show who a man (or woman) is, but it's often the hardest to define.

Now what I've learnt, especially this year, is that a hero isn't' necessarily the epitome of perfection. A hero still has flaws, and some more obvious than others. No...a hero is someone who, in spite of their shortcomings, is not afraid to reach for that which others may think impossible or just too hard. They may be considered a little different...a little eccentric even. But regardless of what others think, they are willing to still to be the best person they can be. And in that pursuit, they have touched the lives of maybe one person or a multitude or people, in a way that has improved their lives immeasurably.

However...in saying that, I must stress that regardless of the mistakes that these people may have made along the way, they've still acted with integrity within all their dealings and it came from a place of authenticity.

This for me is the definition of a real hero.

When I look at it this way, I've realised that there a many heroes out there that we come across, just in our every day lives. I know there have been a few I've met this last year, that I honestly didn't think so, at the time. They may have done some amazing things...things that astounded me just with there simple brilliance, or their bravery, or maybe their willingness to endure and still be happy and resolute in the face of adversity.

So I thought more about Sifu's statement, and I didn't tell him, but maybe I will one day, that he was and always has been one of my real life heroes. I've known him for 20 years, and there were alot (of martial artists) who fell by the wayside because they lacked integrity and it cut me up inside with disappointment. But Sifu Ian Protheroe has been one of those rare breed of people who, regardless of whatever has happened, has always acted with integrity.

Believe me when I say that true integrity in martial arts is extremely difficult to find. If you've trained in martial arts for some time, you may already have found this one out.

However, even if you've had a hero, and you've been disappointed, don't let that stop you pursuing something of worthwhile endeavour. And I don't think you're ever too old to believe in heroes. :)



In addition: I forgot to cap on 2009, it's been a big year for me!
  • Body Transformation completed in January 2009 and finished with a photo shoot for my 40th Birthday! Weight: 54.75kgs (after depletion)
  • Completed 4 x Ideal Bodies Online programs, finishing in September 2009
  • Maintenance of Happy Weight of 58kg throughout the year (except the last couple of months leading into Christmas....lol...).
  • Became a 'Personal Success Mentor' for Ideal Bodies Online
  • Joined the Australian Army Reserves in June 2009, and completed 30days Basic Training in Kapooka in September 2009 (Army's Baptism of Fire)
  • Started Crossfit training
  • Formally returned to Martial Arts training (Wing Chun)

Here's to an even better year...2010!


Monday, December 21

Craig Harper...'What I've Learned in 2009'...


If you haven't already read Craig's latest blog post, 'What I've Learned (and re-Learned) in 2009', then I recommend you do so. There's some great lessons in there, and things to think about and contemplate as we get ready for 2010 and put together some goals and plans.

Here's a few of my favourite tidbits from this post -
  • "Things only have the meaning I give them. It’s true; I create my own reality. And so do you. My reality being what happens in that place between my ears. While the good stuff, the bad stuff and the in-between stuff will continue to happen to me and around me, I will continue to choose how I interpret, how I process and how I react to the various situations, circumstances, happenings and events of my world."
  • "We’re all flawed… and that’s okay. I hate the perfection obsession. It’s destructive, painful and largely commercially driven. But then maybe I say that because I’m so flawed. While I’m always asking questions, learning new things, setting goals and exploring my potential, I’m also acutely aware of my overall level of dysfunction. I call it being human. I know you thought I was perfect, so I’m sorry to disappoint you. Fortunately for me, I’m happily dysfunctional. Comfortably weird."
  • "There is one universal goal – happiness – but no single path. The key to life is not knowing what we want (we all want the same thing – happiness) but rather, knowing where we’ll find it. Some people think they’ll find it in a leaner body. Or a reputation. A qualification. A car. A bank balance. An ashram. A church. A synagogue. A career. A relationship. Some will. Some won’t. And some will… for a while. Happiness is elusive and obvious all at the same time. It’s a million miles away and it’s in front of our noses."

And this statement got me thinking about how I view perfection. Something for me to ponder upon....

"Aiming for improvement is healthy. Aiming for perfection is destructive..."

Anyway, I do hope you check it out. You might learn something new. Have a great week peoples! :)

It's All About Perspective



He..he..got a chuckle out of this one. Sometimes it's easy to blame genetics. For me, not so easy, since I don't know my biological parents. I suppose that's good...I can't use it as an excuse.

Anyway, yesterday I woke up grumpy. Funny, considering my last post was all about jumping out of bed and getting excited about life. Well that didn't happen yesterday, I'm sorry to say. I was not a very happy camper. Why? I hadn't had much sleep, and had to get up early (extra early cause Phil woke at 5:15am!). Also, we had our family Christmas celebrations yesterday for AW's family, so I had alot of work ahead of me. And being the perfectionist I am, I stress about getting everything done perfectly (and husbands never do things quickly enough when you ask them to...lol...) I did loosen up eventually, once the place was cleaned and most of the food prepped, and I took a moment to smell the roses.

Yes, it's all about perspective. There were moments AW told me to relax. I did manage eventually to change my persective. I realised I just needed to stop and come up for air, and look around. So I made myself a cuppa, and sat out back. It was raining, so I sat under the roof thing-a-me-jig on the outdoor chair and soaked in the sights, sounds and smells. It brought everything back into perspective. Mind you, that didn't happen until the early afternoon.

So I've been thinking about perspective, and how some people see the glass half-empty, and others see the glass half-full. I mean, we're not always going to see the glass half-full. There are days when we're going to feel less than our normal selves. It's when we have that glass half-empty feeling on a regular basis that we probably then need to be asking ourselves why.



Recently, I was talking about how I didn't want to cut down our beautiful tree out front. Well I took some photos (above). It's in full flower (I still don't know the name of this tree), as you can see from the photos, and I just love it! The whole place becomes blanketed in the flowers and it's like carpet. I love watching the flowers drop. As Philomena says..."Mum, it's raining flowers!". I agree...she loves them as much as I do. She was even out there gathering them all up, throwing them up in the air and running through them - it's that thick at the moment. I really enjoyed watching the delight in her face.

What I find interesting, are the comments I've received about the flowers. Our next door neighbour on one side hates them! The flowers also happen to drop on his side and also onto his boat, which does have a cover, and which he's been hosing off every morning. Needless to say he's been very GRUMPY since it's been flowering. And of course, the Koel has still been singing out at 3am most mornings and sits in this same tree. So he's really hating our tree at present.

And we had a body corporate meeting last week, and a couple of committee members were saying how they just loved the tree and the blossoms and how beautiful it was. They especially loved how it just blanketed the ground! Yet the remaining committee member said she thought it looked messy. He...he...well I suppose it does, if that's your perspective. I love that 'rustic' look...the not-so-perfect look.













I think that little children have the monopoly when it comes to perspective. Take Phil for instance. As you can see from the above photos, she was out playing in the rain yesterday. She was picking AW's tomatoes, and generally running about in the rain. She loves playing in the rain, and her favourite pastime is 'splashing in muddy puddles' (when there's mud of course). I did enjoy watching her play in the rain. If I wasn't so busy yesterday, I would have loved to have joined her.

Come to think of it, I can't remember the last time I actually played in the rain. My favourite part is turning my face up to the sky and feeling the rain drops on my face. Hmmm....maybe I need to do that more often. When was the last time you played in the rain, or experienced some childsplay? I think it's good for us to enjoy simple pleasures like this. We're never too old. I find the simplest way for me to indulge in childsplay, is swinging on the playground swings, and just generally joining in with your own children in the park or playground. I love slippery slides too. Of course, you just need to make sure the equipment is able to handle your size and weight. ;)

Well that's about it. It's only 4 days until Christmas Day, and even though I enjoy the food at this time, I have to say, I'm looking forward to that part being over, so I can get on with my health and fitness goals. Have a great week!

Saturday, December 19

One of my Secrets to Staying Motivated...





No...it's not dancing, though this is how I feel when I listen to MUSIC that gets me pumped! This is what gets me started EVERY DAY, and helps to keep me motivated. I make sure I 'shoot up' on this stuff on a regular basis - it keeps me on a constant high! My fave music ATM is Hilltop Hoods, and my favourite song is 'Chris Farley'.

So...what gets you started EVERY DAY and ready to take on the world with gusto? What makes you want to jump out of bed? Because if there isn't anything that gets you excited about life (and I don't mean the music), maybe it's time to start looking!



Thursday, December 17

Monday, December 14

Are you Practicing the Fundamentals?



Yep...it's that simple...WORK! You have to work hard if you want to succeed at your goals - or anything for that matter. However, just working hard alone is not enough...YOU HAVE TO WORK SMART. I'm a big believer in Fundamentals. It's what sets you apart from the crowd, and turns average into extraordinary. It's all about how you DO FUNDAMENTALS.

Have you ever heard the adage..."Practice makes Perfect"? Well, I don't agree. I believe "Practice with Perfection makes Perfect". You can practice/train in something over and over again, but it's the quality of your practice and technique that determines the outcome and the difference to being just good or being outstanding.


I love the way Michael Jordan explains Fundamentals....


"Fundamentals were the most crucial part of my game in the NBA. Everything I did, everything I achieved, can be traced back to the way I approached the fundamentals and how I applied them to my abilities.


They really are the basic building blocks or principles that make everything work. I don't care what you're doing or what you're trying to accomplish; you can't skip fundamentals if you want to be the best. There are plenty of people with great abilities, but if they don't know how to apply those skills to a particular situation, then what good are they? So what if you can jump out of the gym. Can you shoot well enough to score if you're not in position to dunk? So what if you can memorize an entire book for the test. Did you learn anything?


But some guys don't want to deal with that. They're looking for instant gratification, so maybe they skip a few steps. Maybe they don't practice ballhandling because they don't handle the ball that much. Maybe they don't develop proper shooting techniques because they rely on their size to score. You can get away with it through the early stages, but it's going to catch up with you eventually.


It's like they're so focused on composing a masterpirece that they never master the scales. And you can't do one without the other. The minute you get away from fundamentals - whether it's proper technique, work ethic, or preparation - the bottom can fall out of your game, your schoolwork, your job, whatever you're doing."


"That's what made Larry Bird such a great player. He essentially mastered the fundamentals to the point that he overcame any physical limitations he might have had. It sounds easy, but it isn't. You have to monitor your fundamentals constantly because the only thing that changes will be your attention to them. The fundamentals will never change.


It comes down to a very simple saying: There is a right way and a wrong way to do things. You can practice shooting eight hours a day, but if your technique is wrong, then all you become is very good at shooting the wrong way.


Get the fundamentals down and the level of everything you do will rise."


- from the book, "I Can't Accept Not Trying" by Michael Jordan






So whatever it is that you're trying to achieve, do you have the fundamentals down pat?


The fundamentals are the simple things...the basic things, repeated day-in, day-out. But if you don't focus on these things, you'll stray off course - it's inevitable - don't kid yourself, it's only a matter of time.


For me, I've learnt the following FUNDAMENTALS, to achieve fat loss and improve my health and fitness levels:


  1. Have a detailed plan of how you are going to achieve your goals, and assign a time period or date to achieve it by. This is the first step (once you've set your goals of course).

  2. Record everything in a journal! The longer I do this, the more I understand that this is one of the most important keys to not just achieving your initial goals, but maintaining and staying on-track. This one habit alone works to keep you focused throughout the day, every day. I've made note of the periods when I've diligently recorded my training and nutrition in my diary and when I haven't, and rest assured, the periods where I haven't recorded everything in my diary, is when I get off track in both training and nutrition. It's a must! (says Kerry, as a current reminder that she's gotten off track a little...lol...)

  3. Beat your best, every time you Train. This one alone will see you achieve things others haven't. This is where you will see real change. It's great to be training regularly and consistently, but if you're not putting your heart and soul into it....not giving it your all, you're selling yourself short. In the earlier days (of my Ideal Bodies Online programs), I used perceived exertion until I could afford a heart-rate monitor. My HRM told me how it was in black and white. But deep down, you know if you're giving it your all. If you do 10 push-ups in one session, aim to improve it by 1, the next session, and the next, etc. You don't need a HRM to know if you're giving it everything you've got!

  4. Plan & Allow for Recovery. I found this out the hard way when I overtrained and ended up having to taking a couple of weeks off from pure exhaustion. I know I said give it everything you've got - well that includes rest and recovery too. If you don't, you're body is going to give out, and you'll end up being forced to take time off. And if you do so under duress, then you're not going to perform as well. This includes taking time off for sickness and injuries. If you're sick, it's also a sign your body is not functioning at 100%, and that something is wrong. So listen to your body, and give it the nurturing and care it needs, when it needs it! It will reward you tenfold with improved energy, performance and longevity. Of course, once you've overcome these hiccups, then don't waste any time getting straight back onto the saddle (so to speak).

  5. Dream Big...that's where all the fun is! Dreaming big is about where you see yourself 6 months, 12 months, 2 years from now. It's about seeing the possibilities, not about being realistic. And I don't mean realistic in the sense of the technicalities of how you train, because you have to set small, realistic goals along the way to achieve your bigger goals. I mean seeing something...a vision of your ultimate self! It can be crazy, out-of-this world, superhero sought of stuff. Because quite frankly, anything less won't get you out of bed or excite you when the going gets tough. Anything less won't keep you motivated weeks, months, years from now. And this vision doesn't have to remain static...it can change as you change and your belief grows as you start to realise that what you didn't think possible, over time, becomes the possible. This is also about setting and renewing your goals on a regular basis. You must strive for something bigger than yourself right now! It's like you never reach your goal, but you keep looking back and seeing the changes, and then you look forward and it excites you still, about what you can achieve next.

Hope this helps any of you struggling out there. So remember...work on your FUNDAMENTALS and dream big you SEXY BITCHES! :P

Friday, December 11

Walking the Talk


"The itching sensation that some people mistake
for ambition is merely the inflammation of the wishbone."

He...he...couldn't resist this demotivational poster above.

But in all honesty, this is how I've felt at times in the last couple of months. The rest has been great mind you. I think I've needed it. However, there comes a time when we have to face reality, and realise that in order to achieve our goals, talking about it and looking at all those wonderful, motivational pictures of ripped women just isn't gonna cut it.

You get to that stage where the weight starts to creep on and you're just starting to feel a little uncomfortable in your clothes. You know then that it's time to pull your finger out of your butt and get your body moving again, and that the time to do it is NOW!

There's only so long you can shove food in your mouth, do sweet FA, before you start looking like a remnant of your fat past. And I so don't want to go there. I've finally started moving my body and reigning in on the food.






I quite liked Frankie's poster (above). You get to a stage where what you think is your AWESOMENESS begins to take on a life of it's own, to the extent it then begins to warp your sense of reality. Don't get me wrong, it's great to dream big and have big plans, but I think we're all guilty of thinking we're hot shit, when we're not (eh..hem...yep...that means me too)...lol...

Today is day 2 after my Crossfit session, and boy am I out of condition! Yesterday I had glute doms and my traps were a little sore. Well today I feel like an old woman, to put it mildly. Bending over is very embarassing (it hurts), and I can't feel the glute doms alone anymore. Hammie, adductors, and quads have decided to join the DOMS party big time. But you know - I love it! I love that feeling because it means that I pushed myself. I now need to do that on a regular basis and start to increase my workload and get used to pushing myself hard again.

There's only two weeks until Christmas so I'm fitting in as much Wing Chun and Crossfit as I can before everyone breaks for a week. Then 'Operation Sexy Bitch' will begin, come the first week of January, and it will be game on. My training regularity and intensity will begin in earnest, as well as 100% nutrition as per my Ideal Bodies Online nutrition plan (to begin with). It has to be this way...all or nothing. That's the only thing that works for me. No wishy-washy decisions or actions. I either do it or I don't.

The only thing I haven't done is split my year into increments. I'll do that come the start of January, and schedule my training into 3 monthly increments, to be revised at the six week mark. I don't know how my body will respond to 3 x Crossfit sessions per week to begin, so I need to gauge this and tweak my program if required.

If my current DOMS is any gauge, my glutes and quads should get a nice workout this year with some serious Crossfit training, so I'm hoping for some definition around this area. So all-in-all, I'm very excited about 2010 and what possibilities lie ahead for both my fitness and bodyshape.

Anyway, the sooner I can get rid of this extra layer of bodyfat, the better. I have a confession to make...I love all the attention I get when I look lean and muscular! Hell - that's part of my motivation. Who wants to look like everyone else? I like different.

And I love what Pauline Nordin said in one of her most recent blogs posts...

"I could have all the money in the world, all the stuff, all the cars, houses, yachts, mansions, properties, still I would still be a soft, out of shape chick unless I busted by butt day in and day out. The strongest status symbol is a super tight and lean body. It has no price tag. You cannot get a good deal on it. It’s never on sale or goes out of style. You invest in it, take care of it, nurture it and it’s yours and yours only.

Nobody can take it away from you. You own it, you deserved it because you worked for it. You and nobody else."

And I agree. You can have all the money in the world, but money alone cannot buy a healthier body or lean, fit, muscular body. Only hard work and persistence, coupled with a strong desire, can do that!

Have a great week everybody, and I hope you're planning big for 2010 all you SEXY BITCHES out there! :P

Sunday, December 6

OPERATION SEXY BITCH 2010!




MISSION: To achieve a high state of physical fitness (for me), and become and stay as lean as possible all year round.


A high state of level of physical fitness for me, means to have superior upper body; core; glute and quad (leg) strength and power, as well as a moderate-to-high level of muscular endurance, and a substantially increased level of aerobic fitness (than I currently have), as per the Crossfit definition of fitness.


By achieving this, my aim is to considerably decrease, if not eliminate altogether, current muscular imbalances pertaining to my RHS gluteals and multifidus muscles. I aim to achieve this and remain injury-free, by ensuring a balanced approach to my physical training, rest and recovery, as well as my nutrition.




MY GOALS:

  1. Obtain and maintain a lean 58kg throughout the year.
  2. Decrease and/or eliminate bodyfat significantly, especially around the abdominals, thighs and hips. I will go on how I look, and the feel of my clothes, rather than using BF% as a guide.
  3. To increase muscle size, concentrating on glutes and quads.
  4. To reach Level 4 in Wing Chun Kung Fu.
  5. To complete 10 full, straight 'Pull-ups' (chin above bar).
  6. To complete 50 straight 'Push-ups' (as per army standard).
  7. To run 2.4km (as per army standard), in:
  • a) 12 mins within 6 mths
  • b) 10 mins by the end of 12 mths


HOW I WILL ACHIEVE MY MISSION & GOALS:

  1. Train in Crossfit for 3 sessions per week min.
  2. Complete 1 x running session per week for time, for 2.4km
  3. Wing Chun training for 2 sessions per week min.
  4. Maintain my stretching, mobility/activation, rehab exercises as part of every training session.
  5. Maintain for the time-being, my current nutrition program for Fat-loss and/or energy, i.e. 5-6 meals p/day - low-carb and/or increased carb meals depending on energy requirments; min. 3ltrs water p/day; 1 cheat meal per week (if I choose). However, the content of my nutrition program and how it is incorporated may change during the course of the year to make further fitness gains.
  6. Use whatever visual stimulation and music to motivate and reinforce my goals, working toward my mission.
  7. Incorporate (Shaolin) Kung Fu training (1 p/w) into my schedule, once the first 3 steps have been achieved on a regular and consistent basis. This is to be self-taught and administered.



END POINTS:

  • My Goals and How I will achieve my Mission and Goals, will be reviewed at the end of June 2010 (6 months).
  • Pauline Nordin is my 'Inspirational Pin-up Girl for 2010', and is a reflection of what I would like to achieve aesthetically. I do not necessarily want to 'become' her, rather, use her example and achievements as a catalyst to achieve my own personal health and fitness goals.

Tuesday, December 1

Stoking the Inspirational Fires


I've been doing alot of contemplation and daydreaming lately. I've started thinking alot about what I want to achieve next year. At the moment there are alot of images floating around in my head, and general ideas. It's probably only the last few days where my ideas are starting to take solid form and direction. Along with that has been the slow build up of motivation and I'm only just starting to feel that burn that has been driving me since starting on my Ideal Bodies Online journey, back in July 2008.

I'm thankful for everything that's happened on that journey so far. But ya know....the excitement about what I can achieve next year is really starting to build. What I originally had dreamt about, I thought that it wasn't possible (due to age, genetics, etc). But I've been immersing myself in 'Pauline Nordin' lately, and reading more about her journey. Then I realised that I've been selling myself short. Anyway...it's all in the striving. It's what I set my mind to, and what I believe possible that's more important. Will I be disappointed if I don't reach an ideal? No...I'll only be disappointed if I don't strive for the ideal. That's where all the fun is, and where the most satisfaction is derived.

"'2010...Year of the Sexy Bitch'....I'm coming...I'm going to kick your ass...be afraid...be very afraid!"

Sunday, November 29

The Not So Mysterious Case of the Jelly Belly






Okay...it's not a muffin-top, but this is how I feel ATM. There's definitely a spare tyre or two there though. Funny how your perception of what you look like can be slightly warped sometimes. I probably don't look fat, but I sure as hell feel like it...lol...and if I don't pull my finger out, my jelly belly will end up looking like a muffin top! Damned if I'm gonna let that happen!

Anyway...our holidays...short and sweet and very restful (except for bloody schoolies on Thursday night...arghh...). We got lots of beach and sun time, so Phil and I are a milk chocolate colour. I got very little exercise (compared to last year) and slept heaps (during the night only though). I didn't go crazy on the food, but I didn't deny myself my usual holiday treats...hot chips (beer-battered of course), ice-cream (double scoops), scones with jam and cream, chai lattes and cake/slices.

I got in one bodyweight circuit and then spent the rest of the week in contemplation about exercise...ha..ha..ha...how slack am I?

Seriously though, I'm already planning my 2010 health and fitness goals, and I'm going to be doing things completely differently next year. With my Ideal Bodies Online nutrition program, I find I no longer need to think about my food, and it works for me. However, I'm going to fine-tune it next year, to see if I can take my fat loss to a new level and also to see how I can increase my energy levels and maintain, as my fitness increases. I'm going to try carb cycling next year and see how it goes (as I've been reading Judy's blog with interest). I mean...I've been reading about this for some time, and I think next year will be a great opportunity for me to get really serious about my fitness, and about getting and staying lean.


Okay...photos...after Miss Muffin Top, it's Phil and starfish at Underwater World (which she loved BTW). Phil got kissed by a seal (twice) and has a new friend (stuffed animal) who suspiciously looks like a seal and whom she has named Otter (after seeing the Otter show).

Next is Miss Phil and AW frolicking at Kings Beach. She had a ball, and we spent just about every morning and afternoon at either Kings Beach or Bulcock Beach. Then it's a pic of more of my beautiful roses and gardenias. This is what was waiting for me at home to enjoy when we arrived, compliments of my wonder MIL. After that is a pic of Miss Phil with her new (Vinnie special) dress, ballet shoes (as she likes to call them), new handbag (her very first one) and wearing her grandmother's pink hat. Oh, she's just growing too fast!

Lastly is a pic of myself and Nicole (photo by Miss Phil) at Sister Cafe in Palmwood. We had a great chat on Monday, and we could have chatted for hours. Nicole has some very inspiring goals for next year, and I'm really excited about where her year is heading next year, and can't wait to follow it! She looks FANTASTIC!, and as I said to her, her photos on her blog and FB were not doing her any favours, so I was happy to see her updated pics and as you can see in this photo she looks half the person she used to be - an amazing transformation and a completely different person from the one I imagined, and gleaned from her photos on the net.

Well that's it. Sorry I didn't get much of a chance to check everyone's blogs. I hope you all had a great week. It's only about 4 weeks until Christmas, and even though I'm looking forward to it, I'm more looking forward to getting moving again and starting on my new goals for 2010...The Year of the Sexy Bitch!

Monday, November 23

Are We There Yet?



Hopefully, this will be Phil on the way up the coast (sleeping soundly).

It's not a long drive up the Sunshine Coast, and Philomena is getting better all the time travelling in the car. She loves to talk...and talk....and talk. And luckily, she likes to sleep. Just like I tend to do. It must the a combination of that warm, snug, cocoon feeling and the hum of the car travelling along, but I always fall asleep (as the passenger of course).


Anyway...I've been up since 2am this morning, and thought I'd finally catch up on a few blogs, since I couldn't sleep. There's a bird nesting in the huge tree out front, and it starts 'cawing' from about 2am, and has been for about the last 4-5 mornings (apparently). It doesn't usually bother me, though poor Anthony hasn't been getting much sleep. He is a poor sleeper as it is. But this morning I would have happily dropped back off to sleep, except for the next-door-neighbour. I thought I could hear some 'pinging' noises on our carport roof, and then the sound of a tap being turned on, and realised it was the neighbour trying to move the bird. Anyway, this wasn't working, and next thing I could see light beaming outside, and then doors slamming (glass doors), and next the profanities began...."For F*&KS SAKE!...F&^KING BIRD - I'M GOING TO KILL IT!...I'M GOING TO CUT THAT F*^KIN' TREE DOWN!" It was quite amusing, though I know the bird was driving him crazy! I shouldn't be amused, but he's been asking about cutting this tree down, as it has small leaves and he mentioned that they got into his car air-conditioning. Mind you, it only sheds it's leaves once a year, and also it's flowers once a year. It's a huge, big, beautiful tree, and it gives our unit fantastic shade. And I do love the birds sitting and singing in the tree (though I have to admit that this bird this morning was even driving me a little crazy). I can't bear the thought of having it chopped down, so I keep putting it off. It's alot of work cleaning the roof and gutters, but I think it's worth it. This tree was one of the things I loved about this unit. It has a certain energy about it, and I think it would be a crime to cut it down.





Okay...I'm just babbling now. I've got most of my stuff already packed. Now just for Philomena's things. Have a great week! :)



Saturday, November 21

It's that Time of the Year Again!



Photo 1: Montville, Qld
Photo 2: Caloundra - aerial view
Photo 3: Me - photo by Philomena


My lordy...hasn't this year just flown by? So much has happened, it's hard to get my head around it sometimes. And yes...it's that time of the year again...our annual Beach vacation in Caloundra!


This will be either year 4 or 5 that we'll be returning to the same place...location and accommodation. The place where we are staying at is really affordable, and only 50m from the beach (Bulcock beach) and 50m from the main street of Caloundra. The spot is lovely and quiet, very family orientated (lots of parks and playgrounds) and we can walk everywhere. The walk along the beach foreshore is fantastic and winds all the way around to King's beach where we love to go for the surf. And it's oh so clean!

When the weather is great, we usually start the day with an early morning walk around to King's beach. I usuallly go for a swim in the surf, while AW and Philomena go to the playground. We all then walk back, have breakfast and head back to the beach until about 10am. We usually head back out to the beach or go rock hopping and look for little creatures in the rock pools in the afternoon until dark. In between that of course we are at the playground (usually on our walks to and from). This year, my routine will be changed slightly, as I intend to do a couple of circuits on the beach. They have this little area next to Rolling Surf resort on the beach at King's beach which has exercise equipment to do pull-ups, dips, inverted rows, etc, so I'm going to give this a go before I hit the surf. Last year, Lisa Curry-Kenny was a regular jogger along this route, so I hope I get to catch a glimpse of her again - she's very inspiring.


We always make a point of going up to Montville on one of the days, because I love it up there, and a yearly tradition is to have devonshire tea and scones at the patisserie. They make the most awesome scones with fresh cream and jam! Last year they were closed, so I can't wait for those scones...two years is a long time in-between. We also go to the Maleny Cheese Factory, where we buy our gourmet cheeses to take home to enjoy at Christmas.

Then on one other day we usually go to a theme park. We've been to Australia Zoo now just about every year, so we're having a change this year and going to Underwater World in Mooloolaba. We think Phil will enjoy it, and it's nice for us too, to have a change.


And on Monday, we're meeting up with the ever-so-enlightened Nicole at Sister cafe in Palmwoods! It's always nice to meet fellow IBO'ers face-to-face. I'm really looking forward to it. I'm hoping Petah Lynch can make it too, though she has a hugely busy week and it's her birthday to boot.

Apart from that, I just love to potter around Caloundra and visit all the op shops (there's heaps of them). I always come home a few shades darker, my skin is glowing and I feel revitalised! We always sleep so well (we all have a nap in the afternoon before heading back to the beach) while on holiday and the time never goes quickly...it's just perfect. I just love the beach lifestyle!


Well I'd better get moving. Lots to organise (like washing and cleaning) before I head off to Southbank this afternoon to meet fellow army recruits, Helen and Vebica, who shared hell and high water with me in Kapooka. Ve has flown all the way up from Melbourne, and I'm so looking forward to catching up with both girls!

Oh...and the second photo is a 'Philomena Photographic Special'. She's getting very good at taking photos, and knows how to switch between the camera mode and the viewing mode now. Phil took this photo yesterday while I was washing the dishes.


And lastly...my weight this morning was 59.5kg, so no difference there (if you could call 100g anything). Not to worry. Only about 6 weeks now before I start some serious training for 2010 and Year of the Sexy Bitch!

Have a great week all you Sexy Bitches!

Wednesday, November 18

Introducing Chris...


...he's the one on the far right. And currently Chris is training me for my one-on-one Crossfit sessions. Christ Tefft is the owner of Crossfit Cult in Melbourne, and I have to tell you - I wish he was here permanently because he's brilliant!

He's not only very knowledgable, and a great communicator, he sums you up pretty quickly. It amazes me how well he formulates his sessions in a way that challenges me, yet maintains a fine balance in relation to my current injuries/restrictions, while teaching the core basics of CF, and tossing in plenty of variety to boot. And best of all, his enthusiasm is highly motivating and contagious!

Here's what is says on his background...

"I got my start in the health and fitness industry teaching rock climbing to adults at the age of 15. I went on to get my BSc.(Hons) in anatomy and exercise physiology. I spent a year doing medical research but realized my real passion is coaching. I’ve done my time lifting weights and getting “BIG” but I quickly lost interest. I needed to be challenged. I cycle, run, rock climb and play around with acrobatics but I’ve found my favorite sport now...CrossFit. People call me obsessed, CrossFiters call it dedication. When is the last time you weren’t sure that you were going to make it through you’re training session?

CrossFit saved me from the boredom of workouts and taught me what it is to truly push myself. It’s amazing what you can do when get outside of your comfort zone. Results for me honestly use to be how I looked, now all i can think about is doing Fran in under 2 minutes. Looks are just a nice consequence of increased performance now.

CrossFit has changed all of us as coaches in how we think about training. It’s has brought a challenge and a sporting atmosphere to training. CrossFit bonds training partners together and makes you want to train. We want to bring this to our clients.
The question is...
Are you ready to TRAIN?"

When I arrived for my session today my head space wasn't great. After last night's Army PT session (we did a circuit) and little sleep, I was feeling a little seedy, and wasn't looking forward to being punished today. Chris quickly took my focus off the negative and got me moving real quick. It's amazing when you shift your focus, how your energy quickly returns.

So afterwards, my motivation was back up. I felt fantastic again and it was the first time my body has glistened with sweat. And it was pouring off me so much, I had difficulty holding the bar and had to chalk up.

I'm on holiday next week, so I miss a session next week, but I'm hoping the week after Chris is still here in Brissy. He's not sure at this stage, so fingers crossed!

And lastly, on our first session we discussed my goals. Wow...what a difficult one. However, he pointed out some interesting things and quickly summarised what it is at this moment that I really want to achieve....getting back into group sessions (giving it my all) without injury. Nice and simple. That's step 1, and that's what we're concentrating on. But during our discussion about my goals for next year, he said something which really hit home and turned on a light inside my head.

He said something along these lines..."if you concentrate on Crossfit training, all the other goals and training (army and martial arts) will improve exponentially without you even realising. You'll get to a point where you'll be doing your army training/PT sessions, or your martial arts training and realise...'shit - this is just so easy, and I'm not even trying'!"

Now that excites me!

First Bloom of Summer



The time has finally come. I've been waiting since spring, and watching my climbing rose grow. I had 12 buds on my bush before I left for Kapooka, and upon my return found all buds had died. I was so disappointed. After speaking with a friend who is a horticulturist, I learnt that it was due to fungus. So after a good pruning back, fertilising, composting, and spraying the new buds with a fungus killer, I now have a beautiful rose bush once again. This morning I counted 15, including my first rose bloom above! Last year I only had 2, so I'm rather excited! This rose will keep opening up, so I'll post another pick once it's fully opened. It's an old fashioned french rose (Pierre de Ronsard), and has a subtle fragrance. When there's a few more that have bloomed I'll have to take another pic. I can't wait for the whole trellis to be covered, but that probably won't happen until next year.

Of course, Philomena had to get in on the camera action.

Monday, November 16

Update


Weight: 59.6kg
Loss over a week: 1kg

It's one week before I go on our annual beach holiday in Caloundra. I'm looking forward to it, as per usual, and I hope the weather is as hot as it is this week in Brissy. Tomorrow it's supposed to reach 35deg C. Perfect beach weather! Wish we were there this week.

Anyway...somehow I don't think I'll reach my happy weight of 58kg. The main thing is, it's going down and I don't feel so fat - just a little flabby. I don't expect I'm going to lose too much more, as my nutrition has been about 95%. I had pizza on Saturday night for our date. I can't remember the last time I had take out pizza. AW and I guessed it was on our beach holiday last year in November. I also made a zucchini slice on Friday night, so I strayed a little from my perfect nutrition plan. But overall, the eating has been under control...no extras.

Now...I just need to up the ante in the exercise department. I'm coming along verrrry slowly I have to admit. I'm in no rush for the remainder of the year to push myself too hard. However, I know once Christmas is over, I'll be hankering to get back on the horse and go for gold. By then, I'm hoping my body has fully recovered and I've gotten over my injuries and corrected the imbalances.

Have a great week all! :)

Sunday, November 15

Raising Daughters


Currently, I'm reading the above book by Meg Meeker, M.D. 'Strong Fathers, Strong Daughters: 10 Secrets Every Father Should Know'. It was a recent gift to AW from his mother, but I've been reading it as well, and I can't put it down. It's very interesting and well written, and it's from the perspective of a woman, whom as a daughter and a young girl, obviously had the fortune of having a 'strong father'. The author has also had alot of experience in dealing with 'problem kids' and family relationships, and she writes alot about particular cases she's dealt with, and the outcomes.

I'm really enjoying it, because I can see what we're doing, and I believe we're on the right track. I can also see that AW is a strong father and being a wonderful husband, I always knew he would be a wonderful father. My choice of husband has been and is a most wonderful blessing.

Philomena is now 3 1/2 yrs old. She's turning 4 in April. She's at a really delightful age and I love spending time with her. Watching her, I'm very proud of how she's growing into a little person, and how her character is developing. She's engaging, friendly, social, courteous, inquisitive, loving and just a pleasure to be around. And she's always complimented on how lovely she is by everyone.

However, I do realise that the world is such a different place, and as a mother, I have a legitimate concern about the pressures that the world places on our children to conform to ideals that are not in keeping with our beliefs. Society is teaching our children to be more selfish and to value traits that are not conducive to their long-term happiness, health and well-being. It takes a strong individual to resist the continual bombardment and to act with self-confidence, honesty and integrity.

The facts and statistics I read about in this book are quite frightening, so I'm glad that by reading it, I'm aware of what may lie ahead. I know we won't be perfect, however, by having a better understanding of what's required, I can be content in the fact that how we're raising our daughter will stand her in good stead to deal with challenges of the current world.
And to become a person who is content with whom she is, to live a life of hope, happiness, determination, kindness and humility.

So if you have young daughters (whether you're divorced or not), I'd highly recommend this book, not only for yourself, but your husbands/partners as well.

Here's the 10 Secrets Dr. Meg Meeker talks about:
  • "the essential virtues of strong fathers - and how to develop them
  • the cues daughters take from their dads on everything from self-respect to drugs, alcohol, and sex
  • the truth about ground rules (girls do want them, despite their protests)
  • the importance of becoming a hero to your daughter
  • the biggest mistake a dad can make - and the ramifications
  • the fact that girls actually depend on their dads' guidance into adulthood
  • steps fathers can follow to help daughters avoid disastrous decisions and mistakes
  • ways in which a father's faith - or lack thereof - will influence his daughter
  • essential communication strategies for different stages of a girl's life
  • true stories of "prodigal daughters' - and how their fathers helped to bring them back."

I hope you get to read it, and if you do, let me know what you think.

From another angle, I have to say that I'm aware that my current motivations and aspirations regarding the images that I put onto the net, are not necesssarily in line with what I want Miss Phil to think about her body. This is a dilemma for me. The images, which form part of my 'visual motivation', could be giving her the wrong message, so I have to seriously think about this and how it might be influencing her. I don't want her to think that being physically 'perfect' is a goal to be pursued relentlessly at all costs.

Though I had a conversation with her yesterday regarding 'being beautiful'. I was trying on the outfit I wore last night for my date with AW, and she said "mummy, you look beautiful. I want to look beautiful like you too". I thanked her for the lovely compliment and re-assured her that she was indeed beautiful. But then I asked her the question..."but what do you think is more important than being beautiful on the outside?" To my utter surprise, she replied..."people".

I'm becoming more wary, as Philomena is starting to ask about wearing make-up and lipstick, because some of her little friends are allowed to wear make-up, and I will not allow her to at this age. I suppose things will now begin to get more interesting, because she is at an age where she wants to wear pretty things. It's difficult balancing all of this, as I don't want her to become self-absorbed, as I see alot of young girls start to at this age.

Also, Anthony and I were hugging eachother and giving each other little kisses in the kitchen, and Philomena says to me..."are you and Daddy in love again?" (she says this every time to hug and kiss) To which I replied..."yes". Later on, she said to Anthony..."I want to be in love with little boys". Well, Anthony was taken aback and totally unprepared for that, but handled it well. For the time being he was happy telling her that she's too little yet to be in love with little boys, but it's okay to be friends with them. Oh boy! This is the start of some very interesting conversations. Well, I suppose, at least she knows that it's boys she knows she's supposed to like (and I don't care what your sexual preferences are - this is not a personal attack if you're gay - this is my belief and I don't care to be politically correct)!

Wednesday, November 11

Rememberance Day....Lest We Forget




In Flanders Fields


In Flanders fields the poppies blow
Between the crosses, row on row,
That mark our place; and in the sky
The larks, still bravely singing, fly
Scarce heard amid the guns below.

We are the Dead. Short days ago
We lived, felt dawn, saw sunset glow,
Loved and were loved, and now we lie
In Flanders Fields.

Take up our quarrel with the foe:
To you from failing hands we throw
The torch; be yours to hold it high.
If ye break faith with us who die
We shall not sleep, though poppies grow
In Flanders fields.


- Lieutenant Colonel John McCrae
Flanders, 1915
___________________




The Menin Gate Reply


We have not broken faith with you who died
For just today 1,000 cried, when at your Menin Gate
They heard the Last Post's plaintive cry
Where high above the doves of peace did fly
And 90 years on, your ode was heard again so tested and so tried.

We also read the names of those who last felt dawn 90 years ago
And held one minute's silence in that sunset's glow
And tended those loved graves in which you lie
In Flanders fields.

We've also settled that quarrel with your foe
Using the torch your failing hands did throw
And throughout Europe proclaimed a peace on high
To honour the noble cause for which your fought so hard
and died.


So now, you can all deeply sleep - resting in peace - where
poppies grow
in Flanders fields.


- Jonathon King
Flanders, 2008

_________________________


At the 11th hour,

of the 11th day,

of the 11th month...


We will remember them

Lest We Forget



 

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