Thursday, May 28

Failing Forward

I think this t-shirt is right on the money! Of course, it depends on at which point you are standing on your Life timeline, and whether you are looking forward or looking back along that line. I know for me, when I look back along the timeline, FAILURE was absolute and I took it personally. That was only a short time ago...a matter of years. It's amazing how a few short years can make a difference to viewing FAILURE in the right context. And honestly...that's all it is, I believe. As John Maxwell said, "The difference between average people and achieving people is their perception of and response to Failure."

It reminds me of something Alby said to me just before he left for NZ (and he is doing wonderfully BTW)..."You're not like the younger girls - you don't have any baggage". HA! I had to set him straight on that one, real quick. I replied that it wasn't that I don't have any baggage, because I've had alot of shit happen in my life. It's just that I'm in a place right now where I've come through the worst of it (baggage), and I've finally figured some stuff out. And one of those things that's made the ultimate difference in the quality of my life is my response to failure. Because, I've failed alot. And every time after I failed, when I got back up and I dusted myself off, I would keep asking myself why? Alot of the time, I didn't get it, and kept going back for more, and there I would find myself...flat on the ground...sucker-punched again - not knowing why. Talk about a slow learner!

So how do you view failure? Could it be a reason why you are not moving forward? Are you afraid of failing?

So here I a fantastic place. I know it's not going to be like this all the time. Life has a way of taking your legs from under you when you least expect it. However...I am now better prepared and believe it or not...I now view my failures as something to be proud of, because then I know I'm on the right track and moving in the right direction - forward.

If I'm failing then I know at least I'm having a crack at life and it will be a rich and rewarding one, full of exciting adventures and learnings. It makes me giddy just thinking about the next thing I'm going to have a crack at - and no doubt there'll be alot of failings in-between. But hell...aren't we just so lucky to have the soughts of lives that allow us to pursue whatever goal we aspire to? That, my friends is surely a gift to truly appreciate.

I leave you with an excerpt from the book by John C. Maxwell called 'Failing Forward'...

"It's All in How You Look At It

If you tend to focus on the extremes of success and failure and to fixate on particular events in your life, try to put things into perspective. When you do, you'll be able to share the philosophy of someone such as the apostle Paul, who was able to say, "I have learned in whatever state I am, to be content." And that was saying alot, considering that Paul had been shipwrecked, whipped, beaten, stoned, and imprisoned. Throughout everything, his faith enabled him to maintain perspective. He realised that as long as he was doing what he was supposed to do, this being labeled success or failure by others really didn't matter.

Every person's life is filled with errors and negative experiences. But know this: Errors become mistakes when we perceive them and respond to them incorrectly. Mistakes become failures when we continually respond to them incorrectly.

People who fail forward are able to see errors or negative experiences as a regular part of life, learn from them, and then move on. They persevere in order to achieve their purpose in life.

Washington Irving once commented, "Great minds have purpose; others have wishes. Little minds are subdued by misfortunes; but great minds rise above them."

The terrible truth is that all roads to achievement lead through the land of failure. It has stood firmly between every human being who had a dream and the realisation of that dream. The good news is that anyone can make it through failure. That's why author Rob Parsons maintained that "tomorrow belongs to the failures."

Too many people believe that the process is supposed to be easy. The prolific American inventor Thomas Edison observed that attitude among people. And this is how he responded: Failure is really a matter of conceit. People don't work hard because, in their conceit, they imagine they'll succeed without ever making an effort. Most people believe that they'll wake up some day and find themselves rich. Actually, they've got it half right, because eventually they do wake up.

Each of us has to make a choice. Are we going to sleep life away, avoiding failure at all costs? Or are we going to wake up and realise this: Failure is simply a price we pay to achieve success. If we learn to embrace that new definition of failure, then we are free to start moving ahead - and failing forward."

Have a great day! :)

Wednesday, May 27

"The World is a Wonderful Place..."

by Mr Daydream

The summer sun is shining in the bright blue sky;
The clouds are white as cotton as they float on by…
And the world is a wonderful place to daydream in.

The flowers gently blossom and swallows glide;
The stream is slow and lazy, wandering through the countryside…
For the world is a wonderful place to daydream in.

Daydreaming…daydreaming…Daydreaming the Days away

The autumn leaves are tumbling down from sleeping trees;
The fields are brown and empty in the autumn breeze…
And the world is a wonderful place to daydream in.

The harvesting is over and the birds have flown;
The dark of early evening and the log fires in the home…
For the world is a wonderful place to daydream in.

Daydreaming…daydreaming…Daydreaming the Days away

The winter snow is drifting and the world is white;
The trees are frozen statues and the stars shine bright at night…
And the world is a wonderful place to daydream in.

The children are all waiting for this Christmas time;
The holly and the ivy and the church bells’ merry chime…
For the world is a wonderful place to daydream in.

Daydreaming…daydreaming…Daydreaming the Days away

The grass comes out to see why the spring’s called spring;
The daffodil, the crocus and the spring is happening…
And the world is a wonderful place to daydream in.

The new life is awakening in the pale new sun;
The flowers show their petals and the spiders’ web is spun…
For the world is a wonderful place to daydream in.

Daydreaming…daydreaming…Daydreaming the Days away


Feeling great today. Enjoy your day...Little Miss Sunshine. :)

Tuesday, May 26

And the Word on the Street is....

******F R U S T R A T I O N****** probably guessed it, going by the image! Today has been so far, one of those days. The worst part about the frustration I am feeling, is that the reasons are not self-induced, i.e. they do not stem from something I've failed to do. I've put in everything I have. It's frustration due to things that are no longer in my control, and the parties who do have control on the end result, are too numerous to guarantee 100% compliance.

What am I talking about? What else? army reserve application.

Now, technically, nothing is wrong. All my tests and reports last week were all thumbs up. But that was all verbal, and until all my reports are actually received by the Defence Force and the doctors have had time to review the results...well, I can't proceed to the next step, which is my pre-enlistment fitness test.

I rang the EN&T specialist today, because they didn't call me back on Friday with my final balance test results. I gave specific instructions to URGENTLY fax off the results and report to the Defence Force, and this morning I rang to find the bloody specialist has gone on leave...grrrr.... The receptionist did tell me all the results were 'normal' and that would it make any difference if she faxed off the results directly? I just said "I hope so". But being as anal as the Defence Force are, that probably won't be good enough, and they'll need a detailed report from the specialist himself. He's not back until Tuesday next week!! Of course, they failed to tell me that on Friday (that he was going on leave). I rang my contact in the DF, to advise her the results were being faxed through. She just said it would take a couple of days for the doctors to review the reports and if there was anything else they needed they would let me know! Anything else? F*%K ME...what the hell else do they want? heart on a platter?...grrrrr....'s not often I feel like this, but when I do, I really just need to vent. I know I'll feel much better tonight after my workout, where I can train out my frustrations in the gym.

I was so bloody sore on Sunday, I didn't end up doing anything, as my body really needed to recuperate. I know I shouldn't have done a Superset session after my powercircuit, but I'd missed a couple of days during the week, and didn't want to miss anymore. Anyway...I just did a cardio session last night, and will hit the weights again tonight. I'm still a little sore in the chest, and my traps are as tight as hell, but hopefully tonight's workout and stretching will help alleviate the tightness. I might have to go a bit lighter on the bench press too, or skip it altogether. Another couple of days should see the chest DOMS disappear altogether. that I've got that off my chest, I'm feeling slightly better. When it all comes down to it - looking at the bigger picture and being totally honest with's not that I haven't succeeded in my application. It's the possibility that I won't succeed due to something so incomprehensively minute, as to disregard all other facets and areas of my application...that is...small picture thinking and beauracratic BS! I feel like a Telstra a recent ex-Telstra customer intimated on talkback radio last week, "Telstra has the ability to turn a quite sane person into a RAVING PSYCHOPATH!"....or words to that effect.

And while I'm being honest with myself (and you)...I must admit that I have not planned anything else. I have planned to succeed, and have convinced myself that this a given (the army reserves). I can't stand the thought of the possibility that I may have to go back and work in a bank...that would be absolutely soul-destroying for me, with the word MEDIOCRITY coming to mind.

I've made alot of plans, based on the this premise, and I haven't formulated a PLAN B. Oh well...there's just no time for 'stinkin-thinkin', so I just need to focus on PLAN A and expect the best. Whatever else happens, I will just need to deal with it as it comes.

Come on gym time!...a bit of pushing and grunting is in order, me thinks.

Saturday, May 23

Great to feel Shagged!

Here I am again, singing the praises of Kristin's training programs. If you don't know, Kristin is the programs co-ordinator for Ideal Bodies Online, and I just lervvve the programs she writes for me!

My first two programs were mainly focused on weight loss and rehabilitation (amongst other things). My third program, and more particularly, my fourth program has been about preparing for basic military training in Kapooka. It's still probably another couple of months away at least, but I like to be prepared. And this program is by far my favourite. It's completely different from my previous three, because it's much more specific and really leans toward the type of training that I want to continue doing.

Hence, my decision to do begin Crossfit training when I complete this program, and improve on the fitness gains I've made through Ideal Bodies Online. I'm rather excited by the strength and fitness possibilities, and more importantly, I get to learn alot more about 'why' I will do things in a particular way. Everything I've learnt through Ideal Bodies Online has put me in good stead to maintain and improve upon my results of the past 10 months. I'm still blown away by the progress I've made in such a short space of time, and I am so thankful that chance delivered me to Ideal Bodies Online. I really hate to think where I would be now...probably in the same place I was 10 months ago...perish the thought!

Anyway...I did my first Power Circuit on Friday night, and in all honesty, I was packing death all the way to the gym! I'd only got in a few Tabata sessions in my last program before I aggravated, and so I had to say goodbye to those for the time being. I was so disappointed, but had to listen to my body and get back to where I was. So it's taken me about six weeks to feel confident enough to tackle anything as taxing as Tabata.

Introduce Power Circuit - 2 x 2 exercises x One minute stints, followed by 1 minute rest...repeat. Except, there's alot more than Tabata. Some examples of the exercises...skipping, jump squats, box squats, jumping lunges, push-up to plank, hurdles, etc, etc...get my drift? I was doing okay, until I hit the end of the second round, and when I got to the last sets of exercises, my heart was pounding so violently, I thought it was about to explode! I looked at my HR monitor...169BPM!...which for me is probably at 90-95% of my max. HR. It was that feeling of my heart about to burst AND feeling like I was about to puke, when the warning bells came on in my head. So I stopped and took a minutes rest, instead of continuing straight on to the next exercise (good thinking 99), then finished it off.

It was a really weird feeling. I don't think I've pushed myself that hard for a long time. But you know, apart from the sigh of relief of just getting through the program (I suck at jumping lunges BTW), I was just over the moon! Damn it felt good, when all was said and done. It's so addictive...even though you feel like shit when you're right in the middle of it - when you come out the other side, it's like...YEAH! GIMME MORE! (as she beats her chest and let's out an almighty

And the best part was...I had nothing to fear. My body held up brilliantly. No niggles, no strains and I could actually do the exercises. My favourite is definitely box (jump) squats. When I first looked at the aerobics stage (which is what I did them on), I felt a little fearful that I wouldn't be able to jump that high, but I did a couple of test ones, and no problems! That's been another wonderful thing about this journey so far...the surprises that keep happening when I can do something that I've previously had difficulty with. It's so empowering.

Admittedly, I was shagged after and felt heavy and tired this morning, but I followed up this morning with a Superset session. My legs were a little fatigued, but again, my body had more surprises in store. Not only did I have a great workout, but again, no niggles, no fact...I felt stronger and better in body and mind. This week I have felt so fantastic and I am grateful for what I can do physically, because 10 months ago, I was only dreaming about the possibility of doing what I did this week!

Sorry to go on and on and on...but I'm so excited...can you tell?

*Sunday morning...serious case of DOMS! Worst ever...he...he..

Thursday, May 21

Waiting, Waiting, Waiting

The last 3 months have been a waiting game with my Defence Force application. And this week has been another one of waiting...waiting for results...waiting in rooms...waiting for this process to end.

I think I've been through the worst (and the most costly) of it, and now there's only the podiatrist report left on Saturday. There's been a lot of 'firsts' for me during this process, especially when it comes to the medical side of things. I've never been to see an Ear, Nose and Throat specialist, and the appointment was fairly painless. I was told there was nothing wrong and everything was normal. The specialist even questioned why I bothered to admit my couple of bouts of vertigo on my defence force application. I just replied...I have to be honest. I thought is was all over until he said..."now you just need to have a Balance Test(another first)". All I could think of was 'WTF!'...what the hell else is there to come?

So here I am in the pouring rain in Brisbane city yesterday, with my MIL and 3yo child in tow, heading off to make an appointment to have yet another test. Luckily, the lord was looking down upon me (through the pelting rain), because they happened to have an available appointment within fifteen minutes of my arrival at the front desk. So it was back through the pouring rain to MIL's car (thankfully she suggested that she go back and sit in the car with 3yo child and play and read books), to get my defence force contacts for the medical person, because now they needed the results of my hearing test before they could complete my balance test (OMG...what else is there?). I got drenched on the way back...the rain was going sideways at that stage!

An hour and half later it was all done and even though the audiologist couldn't give me a diagnosis (you know the usual spiel...sorry, I'm not in a position to give you definite results...blah, blah, blah), he did mention there wasn't anything 'abnormal' or to be concerned about.

I saw my doctor today to get the results of my cholesterol test. I don't know much about these things either. I've never had one before. He requested that, plus a blood sugar count, red/white blood cell count, etc, etc. Everything came back normal and my cholesterol was 3.9. Again, I have no idea what this means. My doc did say that is was 'better than normal'. So that's all I wanted to hear - that I got a pass!

So for anyone thinking about joining the defence forces, make sure you have plenty of money to pay for all of these tests. I nearly fell over when I went to pay the account for the balance test...listen to this...$350 bucks! I'd just forked out for the EN&T specialist. I know I can still claim some back on medicare, but it's still not cheap! So there's my whinge for the day.

On the training front, all went well. It's been a difficult week so far with fitting in all my training, with AW being away, and with all the rain, I haven't been able to use public transport. Luckily, I have a couple of people who I can rely on, so I can get to the gym. And trying to do any exercise at night with a 3yo in tow is next to impossible!

I had a great weights session on Monday night, and have noticed how much compound exercises have improved my core and lower back stability, to the point that there are no sensations whatsoever. The feeling is really extraordinary for me, and the effects are immediate. I just love it! Swimming is another thing which I've found where my back feels absolutely wonderful afterwards and my mobility and range of movement is so much better. In the future, I plan to incorporate more compound exercises into my weight training. I would love to learn the basics with correct technique...squats, deadlifts, bench press. It's something I'm looking forward too. I am also leaning toward 'Crossfit' training, as a way of improving my strength and overall fitness. It's a little while away yet, but I am excited by all the possibilities and choices, once I've finished my military training.

Okay...I'm having an early night tonight so nitey nite. Have a great weekend and if you live in SE Qld - stay safe and dry! :)

Monday, May 18

INBA Titles & other stuff

Yesterday was my second body building comp that I attended, and I went mainly to support Michaela (pictured above) who has successfully completed an Ideal Bodies Online program and is doing exceptionally well (as you can see). It was her first comp and she was in Figure Masters 40+. And doesn't she look gorgeous?

I was surprised at how calm she was, considering it was her first time and her backstage person hadn't arrived (she got lost) and didn't know what was going on. But everything turned out well, and even though Michaela didn't place, she's still a winner in my eyes for even going through the process required to get up there on stage. It's not for the faint-hearted, and what these women (and men) put themselves through to achieve this physical state is nothing short of amazing (or crazy).

I was asked whether I'd do comp, and I flat out said "NO". It's just not a burning desire for me, though I have to admit at one brief moment, I thought about the possibility, thinking..."shit, I could do this". I think I was hungry when this thought emerged, so I was obviously suffering from a momentary lapse of reasoning from lack of

It was nice to see people I hadn't seen since last years October titles, and put a more human face to names and people that I had been reading about in blogs, such as KatieP, Shelley, and Selina, to name a few. It was also great to catch up with Hilary from IBO, and LizN. This time, I also had the opportunity to talk with Lindy Olsen. I think I said this somewhere before, maybe facebook, but Lindy just exudes such strength and confidence, and she is quite down-to-earth and willing to share stuff about herself that normally you wouldn't on a first encounter. She's a person you could learn alot from. It is obvious why she is so successful at what she does, with such a wonderful attitude.

So overall, I enjoyed the day and got to catch up with Lesley and her daughter Emily. Lesley has done an IBO program as well, and made contact with me via the forum. So it was nice to see her again, which reminds's my turn to shout for lunch!

It's another busy week ahead getting all my medical report stuff completed. So hopefully this time next week I can be given the official all clear, and then it's only the pre-enlistment fitness test to be done, which I am not concerned about.

On the program front...I did manage to finally get back to my 'happy weight', and weighed in end of last week at 57.7kg. Start weight was 59.1kg. My body fat% is 15.3%. A bit of a shock, as at the 6 week mark of program 3, I was 11.6%. The difference being this time, I now have a different person doing my measurements who is very experienced and precise (and has competed in BB comps). So my BF% was obviously higher than I thought. The upside of this is that I can improve from here, and have set my sights on achieving 12% body fat. It's good to have a goal. It's not a necessity, but I'm hoping with the current exercise and nutrition program, I will most likely drop the fat anyway....fingers crossed XX

It was a great week nutrition-wise...100%! So I am very happy I've been able to get back onto a clean diet without any hesitation. Though I have been hungry. Exercise-wise, I missed one weight session and one ab session, but got in all my cardio. This week is an unpredictable and busy week, so my main aim is to get in all 3 weights sessions (they are full-body workouts), a swim and running session, and at least another cardio session. I was a bit tired and had a few niggles, which I anticipated may happen due to the increased intensity, which I haven't seen for about a month or so now. So overall, I was happy with how my week went.

Thats about it for now. Have a great week! :)

Wednesday, May 13

It's So Close I can Taste it!

I was really washed out yesterday from my ADF interview and medical. I read a few blogs, but I was so tuckered out and had a huge headache from such a long day, I decided to have an early night (no gym). There's been quite a hive of activity in blogland lately, and at the moment I haven't had much time to keep up-to-date with everything - just the bare essentials.

Judy, I remembered to get a photo of me in my interview gear, though it was really quick, as I had to head out the door to catch the train. As you can see, nothing spectacular. I figured that going by the Army uniform, I should keep my attire fairly conservative (except the colour...I'm into red/shades of, at the moment).

AND THE VERDICT IS?....My job interview was SUCCESSFUL!

HOWEVER....yes, there's a catch...

Before I am official, I have to submit the following:

* Podiatrist Report
* EN&T (Ear, Nose & Throat) Specialist report
* Cholesterol test

I have orthotics which I use for exercise only, but ADF require a report to ensure I have no 'significant disabling abnormalities'. I had two occurrences of 'Benign Positional Vertigo' in mid-2008 and 2007. I haven't had any re-occurrence since. I had a CT scan done which showed up nothing and everything was normal, but, the ADF want a 'specialist opinion'. And lastly...because I am over 35, I have to have a cholesterol test. I asked the doctor why it was assumed you had higher cholesterol because you are over 35. He didn't know...he just said "Exactly!". He had me do 3 push-ups and 5 sit-ups, and just remarked that I would put alot of the young men to shame. Hell...there must be some really unfit guys out there, if they couldn't manage that! Oh... he also asked me to squat down (I am in my undies and bra) and waddle on the floor like a duck. I asked hubby what this accomplished and he said "he wanted to see you do something stupid so he could get a laugh"! Thanks AW for your expert

So yesterday I was feeling rather annoyed and frustrated, as this process has just been so long and drawn out, and I've had to push and be on their case constantly to ensure things were moving along. I thought that yesterday would be it, and that I could happily say "I'm in", and then to say...well nearly...was just a bit of a let down for me.

Today, I'm feeling better. I have nothing to be concerned about. These are just formalities. Yesterday I booked my podiatrist appointment for 23rd May, and I've already been to see my doctor this morning who booked my EN&T appointment while there and organised my pathology test. So tomorrow morning I'll have the cholesterol test done (nothing to eat or drink except water before the test), and my EN&T appointment is booked for 20th May!

I am tentatively booked in for my Ceremony in Brisbane on the 23rd June, so once my reports are in, it's the pre- fitness test. So it's all good! I then start work at Enoggera in my new job, before going to Kapooka!

Ciao for now and have a great week! :)

Sunday, May 10

Defining Moments

The last week has been full of these...defining moments.

For me, it's been where a whole lot of events have come together all around the same time. Trying to describe it, is the difficult part. It's where life changing events have come full circle, culminating in a string of epiphanies, which these events have triggered (sorry to talk in riddles).

My life changing events?...loss of my martial arts club and 'family'...loss of my health, fitness and confidence...the birth of Philomena.

My defining moments?...the realisation that 'martial arts' alone does not define who I am, and that I am once again living my recent physical transformation - the person I see in the mirror now matches the image in my head.

As far as the birth of Philomena, I suppose there have been alot of defining moments since her arrival. And no doubt, there will be many more. However, only recently my defining moment, was reversing out my MIL's driveway. I was on my way to a MMA (mixed martial arts) event down the coast yesterday, and was saying my good bye's. Philomena was standing at the front screen door waving, and saying to me "have a fun time Mummy...goodbye...". I said thank you and goodbye, and as I reversed out of the drive, and started to accelerate down the road, she was still standing there at the door waving and saying "goodbye Mummy, goodbye". I got all choked up watching her, watching me and saying her goodbyes. I got choked up, because it was then that I thought of how I am going to feel, when the day comes very soon when she will be waving goodbye to me at the airport, as I leave for Kapooka. I was choked up thinking how damn hard it's going to be, to say goodbye and leave my only child and not see her beautiful face or hear her voice...her giggles...feel her hugs and kisses... for 28 days! What made it worse, was that AW told me that when I left she was rather sombre and asked him, "is Mummy coming back?".

I've also taken it upon myself to organise a school reunion. 2010 will be 25 years for the class of 85 for Springwood State High School. It's been two weeks since I've started to contact people, and I've been amazed at the positive responses and excitement.

I've recently made contact with past (martial arts) students and friends.

I've been trawling through all my old photos throughout my life, reminiscing and thinking about all the changes that have taken place. Making contact with people from high school has been an amazing experience as well, as well as catching up with those people who were such a big part of my martial arts life. Something I haven't been able to bring myself to do until recently (as in the last 6 months), was to revisit what happened in the past (my martial arts past) and come to terms with it. And then finally feel acceptance for everything that has happened. So rather than look at all the bad things that happened, and continually focus on the regrets, I've been able to find closure and open my heart and mind to new opportunites and learnings.

I once again have the heart, mind and enthusiasm of a 'beginner'. I'm an open book with blank pages, ready for a new chapter in my life to be written.

Tuesday, May 5

What a Load of Crap! Great Class though...

Well I was going to start out this post telling you about how great I felt tonight doing 'Body Combat', and then browsing the net for a suitable pic, I saw the above one, and nearly puked on my keyboard!

It's not so much the picture, but the slogan 'HEROES MADE HERE'...what a load of BS! I really hate some of the marketing and sensationalism that is sold, when it comes to this sort of stuff. I'm sorry...I mean...I do enjoy doing the classes (when I get to do them in between programs), but really...come oooonnnn...who are they kidding?

I know it's meant to be motivational and all, and it's meant to inspire, but I think the term 'hero' is taking it to the extreme, from my point of view.

Okay...enough said!

I did a body combat class tonight and I have to admit I thoroughly enjoyed it! I was a rather good girl and didn't stop to critique the instructor on her (lack of) martial arts skills, as I know that these are trainers and gym instructors, not martial artists. I am always impressed though by the fitness level of instructors who take these classes.

Now it wasn't easy aerobically mind you. I worked hard, and I kept up and followed the routine, and was mildly surprised and elated to find out how fit I was. Here I am thinking that because my training intensity has dropped somewhat in the last 2-4 weeks, that I would struggle. But no...I had no problem and even on the squat jumps found it surprisingly easy, whereas, 9 months ago, there's no way I would have been able to squat, jump and lift my knees to my chest. I jumped so high, I caught myself completely by surprise. Of course I kept a calm and collected face during all of this, but on the inside I was jumping for joy!

I jumped for joy (on the inside) because I realised that all the training I've been doing all these months has really made me so much stronger physically, and it was great to be able to do everything with so much ease, because I have stronger legs, stronger abs, stronger upper body, better balance and control, and stronger lungs!

It just blew me away at how my IBO programs have had such a profound impact on my health and fitness, and my hopes and dreams of returning to the fit person I was. It's the best feeling in the world! I've still got a ways to go in relation to my fitness aspirations, and I've still got work to do on my muscular imbalances, but it's a far cry from the pathetic, debilitated, hope-less person I was 12 months ago.

Monday, May 4

Results & Learnings - Program 3

No big surprises here, considering the tumultuous last 2 weeks I've had on the program. A gain of 2.25kg from my start weight of 57.55kg. My finish weight was 59.8kg, and that's mainly due to my erratic eating in the last two weeks of the program, and need I say it...carbs!

I have to be honest in saying that this program was the first one where I've had some real challenges. Apart from having to have a forced break of 3 days due to overtraining in program 2, the first 6 months I was a machine. I also lost weight consistently just about every week for 6 months. So you could say that I had a dream run.

With Program 3, mentally I struggled a little for the first time. Last week I was also out of action from a bad head cold for a few days, and it was the first time I've officially been sick in 9 months. It was also the first time I would see my weight yo-yo from week to week. And my training wasn't as consistent either, mainly in the last 4 weeks due to a muscular niggle which saw me having to cut back on intensity. So things sought of fizzled towards the end. Though my attitude has been fairly stable which I am happy about. I haven't been fretting about the weight increase, because I know why it happened, and I only have myself to blame.

But you's no biggie.

I learnt alot this time round. More than the first two programs. I learnt about what my body best responds to in relation to both nutrition and exercise, and how to 'tweak' my nutrition if my training changes. I needed to learn this so I know how to maintain my best results. And now I know. I don't freak when I see my weight anymore. It's just a indication of where I am at, and a reminder of what I need to do and what adjustments I need to make to help me maintain my 'ideal body' for me. So overall, I'm quite happy.

I'll be spending the next week maintaining my current exercise program and enjoying some changes, like doing some Les Mills classes, and also getting back to a clean diet. All of this is preparation to start program 4 and I also want to 'feel lean', refreshed and relaxed going into my medical examination/interview on Tuesday. Then it will be full steam ahead, and I'm eager to start program 4 with the same focus and intensity I started my first program!

As you can see in the front and back shots which are before and afters for this program, there's not a great deal of change. Measurement-wise, there's some slight increases on my hips and waist, but no surprise there either. I expect my BF% will be up again too, and I have a different person doing my measurements this time, so I'm not too sure what to expect. My overall goal for the year is to be between 10-12% bodyfat. I've never reached 10% anyway, and don't expect that would ever happen unless I decided to do comp (which I have no intention of doing).

The first pic is a full body shot at week 8. I just like this pic (apart from the 'just woke up' hair) as it shows how my definition is coming along, mainly in my quads and the 'look' is getting closer to what I aspire towards.

Program 3 & 4 were never going to be about weight loss, but I know as long as I continue to train in the same manner and follow my nutrition plan consistently, I don't see why I can't maintain a 'lean' look all year round. Of course, it's important to plan recovery periods in-between. Even on these programs I have still managed to increase my muscle mass, and getting bigger isn't a goal for me anyway. I figure that will happen gradually as long as I keep challenging myself and continue along a similar path to the one I've followed in the last 9 months.

And of course, I still have in mind to lose that bodyfat on my hips, bum and tummy. I may never completely get rid of it. I've figured that genetically it just may not be possible, but hey...that doesn't mean I should stop trying! Another two years of training and who knows how my body will change over that period.'s the journey that's the fun part, and I'm so excited about the future and excited about what training variations I'll be experiencing. There's just so much to choose from isn't there?

So it's ciao for now and hope everyone has a great week! :)

Saturday, May 2

Going with the Flow, and other Ponderings

Well I'm back from my 'mini-break' and I rather enjoyed pottering around Brisbane city and doing some things I seldom have the opportunity to do. It was a real mixed bag as far as what I did, and the time didn't go fast at all. I managed to get in the things I wanted to do, and all at a leisurely pace.

The first pic is the view from the 30th floor (top floor) of the Sofitel Brisbane. It also happens to be the gym. I was rather proud of myself for working out during my little stay, and I managed to fit in two weights sessions while there. Though I had to change some of my exercises, as there wasn't a great array of machines. The view is of post office square, and ANZAC square is at the bottom of the pic. You can just see the top of the ANZAC Memorial.

The weather was absolutely glorious and I got in a bit of walking, and really enjoyed the walk over to Southbank. I caught the new movie 'Defiance' with Daniel Craig, and it was very enjoyable. I did however need my tissues. The 'Buddhas Birthday' celebrations were also in full swing at Southbank and the place was buzzing. I took the opportunity to also lay back under the trees and do some serious contemplation - mainly about martial arts and also about life in general and how I'm spending my time. I've fought hard these last few years to keep life simple, but I also have a tendency to complicate things, rather than leave all well enough alone.

I am rather proud of myself though, and instead of embarking on a 'complication' mission, I decided not to take on any more 'stuff' and accepted the fact that I have made some worthwhile goals this year, and I will stick to those plans and goals.

One of those goals which wasn't listed, because it's not a fitness goal, is to spend more time with Philomena in the 'here and now'. I want to encourage her imagination; her wonderful, delightful love of the theatrical and her enthusiasm to engage with everyone. She really is a delight and leaves such a magical imprint on those whom she comes into contact with. I only came to the realisation that in 1 1/2 years she will be off to prep school, and so, I only have less than two years to really engage with her and be part of the magical world she lives in.

She loves reading and stories and playing make believe with her little 'friends'. I got so excited in the book stores looking at all the classic stories to share with her, and thinking about all the wonderful moments that we can create. Plays to be acted out and dress-ups - things to make and paint and draw - sports and activities we can play outside - interesting things we can do together, like our recent visit to the museum, which she loved. She wanted to see 'T-Rex'...he..he... She loves to sing and dance, and we sing songs together. Sometimes I sing her lullabies still, because she remembers me singing her to sleep. We sing Do-re-mi and Incy Wincy Spider, and she loves reciting her nursery rhymes.
So anyway...I decided I'm spending way too much time on the computer, and not enough time engaging with my daughter. I just don't want to miss any more time.

So you may not see as many bloggings here. And facebook is definitely a bit too contagious I think! I will have to scale down on time spent on FB I'll still update myself on everyone's happenings. I just might not comment so much. We'll see.

Okay...back to my could I leave out this very important factor, as that is all I thought about leading into it. The first morning's breakfast at Sofitel I was a bit of a glutton for punishment, and after that bit of greasy bacon with my sausage, tomato, scrambled egg, and hash brown on toast, my stomach was churning a little. But I soldiered on. I'd already had a bowl of cornflakes topped with some yummy porridy-muesli-like concoction and honey and almond yoghurt. That was followed by croissants, nuts and juice. That's all I could handle. Very disappointed! This morning I decided to skip the bacon and scrambled egg after my cereal, and opted for eggs benedict (a wiser choice), followed by fruit and nuts and I finished off with three plain croissants (I luuuv pastry) and a cup of tea. I didn't feel so bad this morning and decided for the rest of the day (except for the seared chicken burger & fries at Macca's) to make healthier choices. And tonight after my chicken and veges made the decision to polish off my last glass of Brown Brothers Moscato, and start afresh tomorrow! I am not looking forward to my weigh-in tomorrow, but you know what...pffffft! This was my last week of program 3, and it was nice to just enjoy it. I have one week 'off plan' and am eager to start program 4, though I will be getting back to a clean diet as of tomorrow.

I did discover a new little haunt which is ideal for contemplations and ponderings. The 'Sugar'n'Spice' coffee shop opposite and to the right of post office square. A quaint, private, little coffee shop with dark timber decor and big glass windows where you can sit at a timber bench looking out into the street. There's a bus stop just outside, and I had a wonderful time 'people-watching', as all manners of people got on and off the bus.

Oh...the second pic BTW, is me sitting in our room reading my latest book purchase. It was pure bliss to be able to sit and read for however long I wanted to. However, my eyelids starting to get heavy and I ended up having a little nanna nap before we headed out for dinner down at Eagle Street pier (overlooking Brisbane river for those who haven't been to Brissy). The first night we just went to coffee club (we had set a $30 budget per meal for both of us). The second night we ate at a great little place down at the pier after spotting it on our walk along the boardwalk. It's called 'The Groove Train' and the decor and atmosphere was quite Bohemiam, which I love. Wood-fired pizza was the order of the night and it was very scrummy!

Well I'd better toddle off to bed. I've spent too long on here already, and want to get in some reading time before bed. Have a great week all!

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