Saturday, October 30

I've been "Developing My Foundations"...

No...this is not me! :P

I just came across a recent blog post from Robertson Training Systems, and it when I read it, it was like...BHAM! Hey...that describes the year for me, and all this time what I thought was struggle, in fact was time being spent on "developing my foundations"...

Here's an excerpt from that blog, and you'll get what I mean...

"In architecture, we all know that a building is only as sound as the foundation it’s built upon.

You could have the most beautiful building known to man, but if it was built upon a poor foundation, it’s always at risk.

I would contend that this is true in almost every aspect of our lives, and today, I’m going to give you some real-world examples.

Let me begin by telling you a quick story.
This past year has been crazy. You guys know about me – I own two businesses (IFAST and RTS), I train consistently myself, and just have a ton of things going on in general.

So why has this year been harder than usual? I couldn’t figure it out until the other day, when it almost literally slapped me in the face!

The answer was simple – this year has been difficult because I’ve been rebuilding my foundation in all of these areas of my life."

You see...even though it has been a struggle, I have in fact made progress in relation to my injuries. I've overcome that initial hip injury (even though the degeneration and spur will always be there), and my muscular problems have definitely improved along with my hip/pelvis stability.

So when I look at it this way, I've come to realise that what I've done this year has been necessary and important for me to get right. I've had to go back to basics and rebuild (and I'm still doing that).

I've experimented in terms of what I thought I wanted to do, and found out what is inherently 'me' and how I do 'me' best.

So now I am in a great position, and have an idea of what I want to do next year and what I want to achieve (I've had a bit of chat to Liz, which has helped sort out the stuff I had going around in my head). My body from a structural point of view, is the best it's been for since I don't know when. And I now have a solid base once again to begin the next leg of my fitness journey.

So I'll end off with the finish of Mike Robertson's blog post. And here's to finishing strong in 2010 and starting stronger in 2011!

"At the end of the day, you’re only as strong as your foundation. I want to continue to grow both of my businesses; without ensuring the foundation was strong and stable, there’s no way I could achieve this.

These concepts apply to training as well. I still have goals and numbers I want to achieve. Going back to square one to fix things up isn’t the most exciting brand of training, but it’s absolutely necessary with the long-term goal in mind.

If you’re seeing success in training and in life, awesome! Don’t let the momentum slip between your fingers. Keep it rolling as long as you can.

But if you’re stuck, in a rut, or simply not seeing the progress you would like, critically evaluate your foundation. Chances are you may need to take a step back, and either fill in some cracks, or complete a major overhaul.

When it comes to foundational work, not only is it hard, but also it doesn’t feel like you’re accomplishing much. After all, in a lot of regards, you’ve already been there and done that!

But when it’s all said and done, you’ll be setting yourself up for long-term success."

Monday, October 25

How's That Workin' for Ya?

"Awareness without action is worthless!"
- Dr Phil McGraw

That's the last thing that popped into my head last night as it hit the pillow, and I'd been thinking of the year I'd had with all its' challenges..."How's that workin' for you?"

In a didn't.

It would have been nice though to realise that much earlier in the year, but that's part of journey and figuring it all out. And here's another Dr Phil quote to explain what I mean...
Life is a marathon, it's not a sprint."

So without the experience of hindsight, I would not have known that it wasn't working for me. I don't mean the year so much, but the goals I wanted at the start of the year. There was plenty of action, but not always in the right places.

At the start of the year it was all about Crossfit, and what amazing things I was going to achieve in doing it. I was actually starting to go okay until my hip gave me curry and I discovered the start of degeneration in the RHS hip socket and a bone spur in RHS ball (femoral head). That put an end to Crossfit. I mean...I could have persevered, but I would have to have changed the W.O.D (workout of the day) so much and constantly, it would have been too difficult and self-defeating after a while. Sometimes we just have to accept our limitations. And as much as I loved Crossfit and how it pushed me to my physical and mental limits, I knew in my heart that my body could not sustain the punishment long-term.

What I also found with Crossfit, is that I couldn't physically do anything else BUT Crossfit. There was just not enough juice left in the tank to do the others things I wanted to do, and I needed all that extra recovery time just to be able to get through the next session. I came to the realisation that as much as I wanted to do Crossfit, it wasn't completely aligned with what I wanted to achieve in other areas of my life. From my perspective, and this is just my opinion, it was either Crossfit OR nothing else, and I wasn't prepared to make that sacrifice. But you know, I'm proud of myself for having a go and trying my best. Otherwise I would have been left wondering.

Getting back into martial arts was one of my goals for 2010. Crossfit just took so much out of me that I couldn't do that, as well as martial arts. My body was just too fatigued. As it worked out, I haven't been able to get very far in my martial arts training this year. I've only just been able to maintain my skills and only because I've been doing it for so long. But I haven't been able to make progress. It wasn't entirely due to injury, but also to changed circumstances where I just couldn't get to training because AW is now travelling more often.

Army PT also played havoc with my injuries and with all of these things in the mix...Crossfit, martial arts, body just wasn't getting the necessary recovery time to get over the hip injury. So I had to make some tough decisions.

Firstly, I had to admit that I'm not invincible. Secondly I had to fess up about the fact I was physically hurting. Now that was the hardest thing, because I have a bit of an ego when it comes to pushing myself. I've had this 'stop being a wuss' mentality and just sucked it up! Well that wasn't working for me either (because I would keep re-injuring), so I had to put my tail in-between my legs and admit I was in fact hurting and that in order for me to get over the injury and get stronger, I needed to give my body a break from the punishment.

From the army point of view it was hard, because I didn't want to jeopardise my medical class and be known as someone who 'jacked' on their mates. Yes...the army indoctrination is alive and well, and that's why it works as good as it does when things come to the crunch.

But in the end, it wasn't as bad as I imagined it to be. I basically had a medical and described my problem and requested abstaining from certain activities for a period of time to allow my hip injury to heal. It didn't adversely affect my medical class. And after everytihng was said and done, the break did allow just that, and I was able to continue with my normal PT sessions after a period of time. I'm still very cautious though and have a long way to go, but it's better now, and I bought some time.

I like the above illustration because it shows that the core doesn't just involve your abdominals, but takes into account the muscles of legs and back. It's more about 'mid-section' stability, rather than just the core of your body, i.e. as though you were sliced in half at the waist and looking down from above at the inner and outer layers, starting from skin, then working toward the centre, and looking at the muscles and ligaments surrounding the spine, and then the spine itself.

It's important to have a strong mid-section, but it can't remain that way unless we develop strong legs, including the quads, thighs, hamstrings, glutes and also a strong back. They all work together to maintain a strong mid-section. When one part fails to do it's job, the adverse flow-on affect to other parts of the body can be detrimental to your physical health and long-term well-being.

So this is what I've discovered. The only way around is to create stability in the mid-section as well as strength. And I've been pondering upon this lately as my goals begin to change. I've discovered that stability and flexibility, when it comes to the core are quite different things indeed, and depending on what we want to achieve, one is better than the other.

I've realised that in order to overcome my injuries, stability is my no. 1 priority! In fact, it is not only mine, but I believe that it should also be the priority of most people, especially as we get older.

When I have core stability, it will allow me to improve my core strength and I then will have the ability to incrementally progress towards flexibility. Anyway, that's what I hope I can achieve.

I say this, because I've realised that what was previously working for me in relation to my exercise program, may not completely work for me right now. My life, compared to when I did my Ideal Bodies Online programs is vastly different, and I can't expect that 'exactly' the same program will deliver the same results.

Well, would if I could stick to it as I did back in 2008, but my life, now that I'm in the army, and I'm back training in martial arts, and my rehab focus is different, determines that I need a different approach.

I've realised that I need a more flexible approach, and one that is more intuitive. But I'm finding it difficult to do that. I know what I want to achieve in 2011, but can I have it all? I love a program that everything is set out for of days doing weights and what body of sets and reps and of cardio sessions. Nothing is left to chance.

I don't know how to bridge that gap between the want of being 'anal' about my programs and having everything set out for me to follow without straying from the program, to listening to my body and making the adjustments intuitively, depending on what my body is telling me at the time.

I know I can get results doing it the way I know best, and it's hard for me at the moment, because I'm grappling with this situation. But I know things have to change, and I can't just use the same formula, because my life has changed so dramatically. But I don't know how to get from where I am to where I want to be, and it's driving me crazy. I don't know how to formulate a plan for where I am right now. Thankfully, I will be talking to the divine Miss Liz to help me formulate an updated plan and give me a bit of a slap around the chops and set me straight. I just wanted to share what's going on in my head at the moment though. So hopefully this time next week I'll not only be much clearer about my plans for 2011, but more importantly, how I'll be able to achieve them. :)

I've been at a crossroad, because I'm not that person I was when I started my Ideal Bodies Online journey two years ago. What worked for me then, I've only just realised, will not work for me now, and it's not saying anything less about IBO, because I still strongly believe in them and the principles of the program. Otherwise I wouldn't be a Personal Success Mentor for them now. I know it works! I understand the principles and I endeavour to live those principles as best as I can. Hell...I'm still following my IBO nutrition plan (though I've been a naughty girl for a few months That's how I've been able to mostly maintain the results two years after first starting. It's a testament to the program!

However, there comes a time when we grow and it's time to move on. Don't worry...I'm not going to quit IBO! There are still alot of people who need my help and I really enjoy being able to help, motivate and inspire them. It also keeps me on my toes and is a constant reminder to be vigilant!

It's just a different phase of my life I'm about to enter. It's an exciting one, because I can see possibilities and those dreams I've been harbouring for so long, I'm beginning to see that just maybe, I can achieve them. I've proven to myself I can overcome, and I can find solutions. I've found that regardless of what your dreams and goals are, even if you may not be able to achieve them to the full extent of your desires, you can still achieve them. Regardless of how slowly you're making progress, remember that YOU ARE MOVING FORWARD. You are a winner, because you've had the courage to begin and to keep persevering through the challenges!

So ask what you're doing working for you? Because if it isn't, maybe you need to find out what does!

Of course, I'd recommend you make sure you give the tree a good shake before you decide to move on and try another tree. It's important you understand the difference between making a change because it isn't working for you OR making a change just because you have a habit of not finishing what you start (a bad habit) and you're a lazy SOB who is into quick fixes!
So I'll finish of with my last Dr Phil quote...

“Are you doing what you're doing today because you want to do it, or because it's what you were doing yesterday?”

Tuesday, October 19

Shakin' that Ass!

Pauline Nordin

Pauline Nordin

"I see you baby...shakin' that ass!"

...and I'm over it! Shaken' my ass, that is.

At the moment, this is my inner dialogue..."I'm ass is huge..." Every time I walk past a window or a mirror and see my reflection. From the front it's not so bad, but when I turn around, I can see where my size 10's are currentlly straining in my gym shorts. I wore my 'daggy, fat gym clothes' today as punishment! I have all my beautiful Lorna Jane gym clothes hanging up in my cupboard, and I refuse to wear them until I'm at least 58kg! That will be my reward. :)

I'm about 4-5kg over my happy weight (I think I'm about 62-63kgs) and it's all gone to my ass, hips and stomach. I don't know my exact weight because my stupid scales decided to go spastic, and it seems I have to take them back. But do you think I can find the warranty and receipt? HELL NO! ****Word of Warning: Don't buy HoMedics scales - they're crap!

This is the heaviest I've weighed since my initial weight loss and second Ideal Bodies Online program, back in October 2008. So I've managed to maintain a pretty good weight for 2 years until recently.

This year I've put the weight back on because I haven't been able to train consistently or intensely, due to a chronic hip injury. What I've found though, is that my discipline in relation to nutrition goes hand-in-hand with my training. If I'm training consistently and with intensity, I stay focused on my nutrition. So the nutrition has definitely slid in the last few months.

What has improved though are my injuries! Since I've been concentrating on basic lifting, i.e. deadlifts and squats, my torso, glute and back strength and stability have improved. And I haven't even had the chance to really do the lifting over any decent length of time with consistency yet. It also has alot to do with the activation exercises that Liz has prescribed, and also the retraining I've had with weights, ensuring I'm activating the correct muscles.

I'm finding that I'm now using my glutes more, rather than my hip flexors, and using my back muscles, rather than my traps. So I've had less pain and tension in both my neck and shoulders, and better stability through the torso and hip and pelvis. For the first time in nearly 10 months, I've been able to run (road) without any stiffness or subsequent pain or discomfort to my RHS hip! spite of the weight gain, I've made progress in the rehab side of things, which I'm understandably very excited about! Even after I recently strained by lower back, from not bracing correctly during the last set of deadlifts, my recovery was alot faster than in previous times, where I've hurt my back. So now I can finally concentrate once again on training consistently and hard! Though, I'm finding that my endurance levels have decreased, so I'm having to build them up again.

I had a look back at my second IBO program to look at my starting weight. It was 61.7kgs and I was at 19.9% body fat. Well, in 3 months I was down to 58kgs and 54.75kgs after depletion and 11.6% body fat. So I know that I'm only ever 3 months away from getting lean!

That's all I need...3 months of consistent, solid work and precise nutrition! So as Kek has mentioned lately, I'm going to finish the year off strong (thanks Kek!). 2011 is going to be an AWESOME YEAR and I intend to get back on top of my game and definitely make it THE year of taking my fitness to the next level, like I had originally planned for 2010.

I already have a name for 2011, but I'll tell you as it gets closer to the end of the year.

I hope you like the pics. They are my idea of great butts! Pauline Nordin of course, has by far, the best butt. Well I think so I'm hoping that I get a better looking butt in 2011, but I know it will take alot of squatting and lifting heavy shit! I'm no where near lifting heavy shit, but who knows what may happen in the future. I've just got to keep working on it. Realistically though, I also know that to get a great, firm and muscular butt will probably take me a number of years to achieve.

So for now I'll just keep shakin' my ass, until the darned thing falls off!

Tuesday, October 12

To Dig Deep, Sometimes You Gotta Hit Rock Bottom...

* Yes, there is a grammatical error for you grammar nazis...Liz, know who you are!

Some of my best posts are hatched in the gym. That's not to say that today's post will be my best post. It just means that alot of my material and thoughts come, when I'm working out and listening to my music and observing people around me.

Today I was thinking about where I am at, right now. It's not where I want to be physically. I want to be right back there in January of 2009 when I had my professional shots done. the moment I want to be there because that's when I felt and looked my best, and I'm not there right now. It's amazing how often we grasp the things we want the most, only to let it slip between our fingers. We get comfortable. We get complacent. We don't realise what we have in our hands.

But you know, when I was there I still wasn't satisfied. When I got there I knew what I was capable of achieving, and then I thought about what I could do better. There's always something we want to do better. I believed at the time that I hadn't reached my potential and that 2010 was about taking it to the next level, to see what was possible physically.

2010 was not to be, and it's been a year of struggle. Injury really sucks and just when I thought I had overcome, something else rears its' ugly head and you have to go back and retrace your steps.

But just because you retrace your steps, that doesn't mean you're starting again. This health and fitness journey is just that...a journey. It's not going to be a straight line from Point A to B. If you accept that from the very beginning, you'll achieve most of your goals.

If you've made a start and you look back, you'll find that you have in fact come a long way from when you did start and you have made progress. So be grateful that you had the courage to begin. If you're like me and you've achieved some success toward your goals, then take that to heart and draw upon your experience and that desire to take you beyond where you are now, to continue moving forward.

You have to begin with the attitude that whatever comes your way, you will deal with it and you WILL find a solution. And even more importantly, you will persevere until...
...until you get to the next step, and then the next one. Sometimes you have to step sideways or backwards until you can move forward, as long as you MOVE. As long as you continue striving.

Sometimes you've got to hit rock bottom before you make the decision to do something. For some, rock bottom is a very long way down and for others it's in varying degrees. Everyone's rock bottom is different. But I believe that until you reach that point, you won't dig deep enough to bring about the changes required to reach your goals.

I know for most, the journey of fat loss; weight loss; fitness, and/or health is a difficult one. We compare ourselves to others when we shouldn't be, because we don't know what they've been through or what they've done to get where they are.

You see all sorts of people in the gym and you make judgements, but you don't know their personal journeys or struggles. And guess are going through your own (personal journey and struggles), so that doesn't make you any less of a person, or more of a person than the one standing next to you.

You might think that it's not worth digging deep when you train, because you're just starting out and you're not as fit or you don't look as good as that person standing next to you, so you give it only a half-hearted attempt, instead of a gold medal performance that you're worthy of! heard me right! A GOLD MEDAL PERFORMANCE! Every time you step into your training gear you're working toward an Olympic Gold! If you approached every session with that in mind, how would that change the way you train? How would that change the way you feel? And how would that manifest in your results?

You doesn't matter if your Gold Medal Performance in the gym is only 2 minutes on the cross-trainer or 20 minutes. As long as you dig deep and give it your all for that whole entire time. If you're not doing this, you're cheating yourself of the possibilities that lay ahead. Because before too long, if you have the right attitude and you continue to dig deep, you will be able to turn that 2 minutes into 20 minutes. And if you're doing 20 minutes, then you could turn that into 40 minutes. The point I'm trying to make need to better yourself every time you step into the gym...or whatever it is that you do.

So when you go back to the gym (or where ever you go), why not train like you're going for GOLD? Because 2 months...6 months...2 years down the track, you might just look at that person next to you thinking you'd love to look and be like them and realise that it IS YOU, and what you're looking at is your reflection in the mirror!

Friday, October 8

Lights Will Guide You Home...

by Coldplay

*click on the title above to see the video

When you try your best, but you don't succeed
When you get what you want, but not what you need
When you feel so tired, but you can't sleep
Stuck in reverse

And the tears come streaming down your face
When you lose something you can't replace
When you love someone, but it goes to waste
Could it be worse?

Lights will guide you home
And ignite your bones
And I will try to fix you

And high up above or down below
When you're too in love to let it go
But if you never try you'll never know
Just what you're worth

Lights will guide you home
And ignite your bones
And I will try to fix you

Tears stream down on your face
When you lose something you cannot replace
Tears stream down on your face
And I...

Tears stream down on your face
I promise you I will learn from my mistakes
Tears stream down on your face
And I...

Lights will guide you home
And ignite your bones
And I will try to fix you

I heard this song by Coldplay, watching a youtube video posted on facebook by Selina. It literally moved me to tears. There is just something so ethereal about this song...the words, the feelings it captures...and the soft, haunting voice of Chris Martin.

This song and lyrics, remind me of dark times and times of struggle. To me it's about those 'messy bits' which I talked about in my last post, on the way to reaching for better things. It's about the fact that you may encounter hurt, both physically and emotionally, but you still forge ahead.

And what I love about this song is that it means different things to different people. Regardless of what your hurt and/or struggle is, you can still relate. But best of all, what I love about this song is that it is also about triumph, and that if we can catch just a glimpse of light...of hope, that we can go on. With courage, we can choose to follow that light to guide us through the dark to a better place, until the full dawn of light and hope can bring us to the full realisation of our hopes and dreams.

So if you've stumbled and you're hurting, I truly hope that lights will guide you home and heal your hurt and/or your struggles.

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