Thursday, February 24

The Cost of Being Exceptional...

- Craig Harper

Thanks to Hannah-Lee for the introducing me to Larissa Reis.

Since I've returned from my birthday week and weekend celebrations, and from attending Craig Harper's workshop, things have been cruising along nicely. But, in reality, what I need to do is take things up a notch or two. What I was hoping for was all manner of signs from the universe to suddenly align and I would experience that moment...that sudden epiphany.

Of course, that hasn't happened. Admittedly it did happen late last year and I built up some serious momentum with my training right through Christmas and into the New Year, and was happy with the results.

However, it's been a little bit more difficult to resurrect that same momentum since my recovery period a few weeks ago now. I also knew that once I started back at work, that it would change the way I trained, and would be a matter of readjusting to a new, and even more intuitive training schedule, based around going back to work, and also, new and recent changes based around family.

This week I thought I could start to build some new momentum again, since having a new training program. But I've been fighting some type of infection, which has had me feeling really off and experiencing some light-headedness, feeling strangely similar to my previous BPV (benign positional vertigo) bouts. Nothing serious, just annoying and hindering me from really getting into my training program. I've just had to accept it for what it is and work on ridding myself of whatever it is that's trying to take a hold, and start strong at the beginning of next week. I managed to get in a good training session yesterday, but by last night was feeling rather off once again.

So I admit that I've reached a place where I've been feeling great (apart from this week's small gliche) and starting to feel lean again. I've just become comfortable where I'm at. I'm happy to be here right now.

But you know, I've had that conversation recently with my coach and for the first time since attending CH's workshop, I'm now starting to really think about what it is that I want from my training and fitness journey, and the goals I set at the start of the year.

Do you know what I want? I want to do Kerry, and do Kerry exceptionally!

So the thing is, I have another 2kg's to hit my goal weight of 57kg's. My goal is to get lean and stay lean, all year round. That is goal numero uno. I'm still working on my core strength and stability and rehab - that's a given and that's non-negotiable and will never change.

My other goals are intertwined. I want to build particular muscles, not just because they need development from an 'aesthetic' point of view, but also because in order for me to increase my strength and endurance, my muscles need to work synergistically and be 'functional'. I can't improve my performance if my muscles are not working correctly. It's a slower process, but I'm building better and more solid foundations.

So what really motivates me is my desire to have a great set of legs and a great butt! For some, this might sound shallow. But the reality is, in order to achieve what I want will take alot of hard and consistent training in the gym. And not months, but years of hard work. And what most people fail to realise is that being lean is mostly about nutrition. It takes alot of discipline to get and stay lean, and even though training is really important, the road to exceptional means watching every thing you put into your mouth. It's a simple concept to grasp, but the reality is the harder to apply.

You know, I have no aspirations to do a body building comp, even though I have many friends and acquaintances in that fitness genre. But the one thing that I love about the people in the industry is their work ethic. You don't get to look like the Pauline Nordin's, the Larissa Reis's of the world without a lot of hard work. It's not an easy road and takes alot of dedication.

And even though you see many people in the gym who aspire to be fit, lean and toned, it takes a special kind of obsession to reach the heights of those in the BB industry. There are many people who are extremely fit, but to also 'look' exceptional takes that much more work and discipline, and that's why I have such respect for those in the industry.

If you take a look around, being lean and being muscular is not the norm. You have to be exceptional.

Now...I'll never be a Pauline Nordin or Larissa Reis. I'm not fitness model material. I'm not 22, I'm 42. I don't want to be them. That would be an exercise in futility. To me, they are visual motivational aids.

However, I do want to be the very best me I can be, and use the potential I have, even with the physcial limitations I have.

So, to 'be exceptional', I have to 'do exceptional'. The question is...what's the cost, and am I willing to pay the price?

Monday, February 21

Expecting Perfection = Exercise in Futility

"Strength is taking a look at where you are and, from there, getting to where you want to be, no matter how hard it is or how long it takes to get there."

My weekend was an opportunity to learn some valuable lessons and to remind myself that some lessons are harder to master than others.

Being in the AR has provided some invaluable lessons, of which many I've learnt through the continual exposure to 'out of my comfort zone' experiences. Just when you think you've finally worked it out and have got the hang of how things work, there will inevitably be moments when this false sense of security will be shattered.

But I've worked out that it's not so much the culture of the AA, because I've been in long enough to understand it. It was and is, my decision to expose myself to an environment where 'being comfortable' is for babies. Regardless of the challenges, if you want to make progress as a person, and maintain your sanity, you need to learn how to respond differently to the external stuff that is being thrown at you.

In a nutshell, and we've heard this before..."It's not what happens to us - it's how we respond to what happens."

It's hard for me to accept that in the AA we constantly f*ck up, because we are constantly learning and applying that knowledge in an environment where decisions need to be made quickly.

And what I've discovered from those who have been around a bit longer in the game, is that it's actually pretty normal and that it's actually okay to f*ck up. It's okay because they're not going to let you fail. They're just going to allow you to be exposed to (certain) situations over and over again until you get it! So I have to overcome this fear of not getting things right the first time...or the second time...or..or... Obviously, there are some situations where you can't f*ck up - like when it comes to safety. But you get the jist of what I'm saying.

But in general (and it's harder in reality), it's about accepting that some things we're not the best at, and it will take time to get better at it.

Why am I I telling you this?

I think sometimes that as we get older, we avoid doing things and gaining more experiences, because there's this expectation that we should have it all worked out and have the answers and be wise and all-knowing. But then, we get that confused with doing everything right all the time, and that's not what experience is all about. Experience requires alot of mistakes in order to learn and to grow. And I think as we get older that we fear being seen as someone who makes alot of mistakes, so we deliberately avoid doing different things which put us out of our comfort zone, and we inevitably lose opportunities to make new discoveries and learn valuable skills.

We want to be able to tell people that we're good at what we do. We want to appear from the outside, that we've got our shit together and we're pretty hot shit! But the reality is, if we want to make progress, then we're going to be looking silly and making stupid mistakes...alot.

So the question is...

Do we want to look cool all the time and not make mistakes and miss out on valuable experiences and the opportunity to grow in skill and as a person?


Do we want to live a life being exceptional, by learning to let go; being less than than perfect; knowing very well that we're going to make lots of mistake and look silly alot in order to grow, and be accepting of that?

* P.S. On a different note - on the weekend, I reached one of my 2011 AR fitness test goals of 40 push-ups, and wiped 4 seconds off my running time - all with little sleep and fatigued legs! Sometimes there are positives in our experiences. We just need to look for them. :)

Wednesday, February 16

Loving How I'm Feeling Right Now...

Currently, I'm sitting at 59.45kgs. I'm 2.45kgs off my goal weight, and I haven't set a date yet for that to happen by, because I haven't made the decision. That's what I now need to do.

In spite of that, I'm feeling the best I've felt for 12 months! I think I'm definitely in a better place than I was 12 months ago (I had started Crossfit). Not only am I feeling better energy-wise, but I feel confident again about how I'm looking from an aesthetic point of view, i.e. leaner. And also, the most significant change is that from a physiological perspective, my body is alot stronger and I'm not experiencing all the ailments I was experiencing because of my hip injury. So I'm stronger through the hip/pelvis region and my core stability has improved, as well as I've had increased strength gains in my lower back and glutes.

I have still a long way to go, but I'm happy with how far I've come.

Last Friday, I did something I don't do that often. I went clothes shopping in Maroochydore. Lots of surf shops! I love surf gear. I splurged and bought my first pair of Rusty shorts (photo of me in them in my last post with Nicole and Craig Harper). They're so comfortable. I also bought a perfect fitting pair of little boardies (Baku) to wear with my new Jets monokini. Below is a pic of the style which is very close, though pattern is completely different. Another splurge, and at half-price, I couldn't resist. I've been looking for the right ones for a long time. The back is completely exposed with a tie around the neck and across the back, and there's only a slight cut on both sides into my abs so it shows my muscles coming through, but hides nicely the loose skin that sits at the bottom of my abs, and keeps everything nicely tucked in. I'm not usually one for labels, but I'm sick of buying cheap shit that doesn't last and doesn't look as good on. Of course, I still buy nice little bargains if they look nice on. I love some of Supre's stuff, especially their tops.

Anyhoos...time to go. Lots to do. My apologies for the bedraggled face, but I worked last night, so looking a bit pasty. Oh...another great Zumba class was had this morning, but sadly, not Kath and Kim style. :)

Monday, February 14

Extended Birthday Celebrations

Nicole, Craig Harper & Me - Maroochydore

Leisa, Lee-Ann & Me at Cactus Jacks

Little Miss Phil in her chinese princess get-up

Wendy House (nee Swansson) & Me

Finally, my birthday celebrations are over, and I can begin to concentrate again on my training and (especially) nutrition. Before Friday I finally got in under 59kgs (just). I think it will take me a good week to get back under. Though I was surprised how little I put on over the three days, so maybe it won't take as long as I think.

Last week which officially was my birthday on 3rd February, I met up with Liz for a review of where I was at in my training and to update my program, after coming out of a recovery period which took 3 weeks! Geez! Did I do a good job of smashing myself or what? It kinda took me by surprise. But being the 'all or nothing' kinda gal, I suppose it shouldn't (come as a surprise).

Liz was happy with my progress (I think). Especially in relation to me activating certain muscles, especiallly the glutes. A definite improvement in that area. So now that I've got those firing better, it seems that I now need to work on other areas, in addition to continuing to improve the activation and strengthening of the glutes.

We've ascertained that I'm very hamstring and lower back dominant, hence my hammies and lower back getting very sore and tight when I'm very fatigued. So in this program I'm concentrating heavily on activating the glutes, before recruiting my hamstrings, and relying on my glutes more. I'll also be working on using my quads more too, which don't get stimulated enough due to the dominance of my hamstrings. So I'm quite excited, because I'd love to have bigger quads and have what bodybuilders call a 'sweep'. Eek...I think that's right??? And of course, to use my muscles correctly to improve my overall strength and performance is right up there with my priorities.

Meriza Deguzman

On Friday (4th Feb), it was dinner with my school friends at Cactus Jack at Logan Hyperdome. Wendy came a bit later, and Terasa could only drop in for 5mins due to family health concerns, so it was a little quieter than usual. But life happens, and we ended up skipping the movies, and having a late coffee with Wendy instead, which was lovely.

Oh...before dinner on the Friday, I did coffee and lunch (just me) with Wendy. I haven't seen her for awhile and she was down from Bauple, so we took the opportunity to have a good chin wag. She gave me some great advice on raising girls too. Wendy has made some life changing decisions in the last couple of years and she's rediscovering herself in a big way! I've lent her a couple of books recently, of which one was Fatitude by Craig Harper. She said it had quite a significant effect on her and she started putting things into action.

I find it fascinating how just the little things we do can have such a profound effect on people.

Wendy said that in one of the books I lent her, she found a bookmark which I'd scribbled the website url for Sweet Poison, in relation to the perils of sugar. I was pleasantly surprised to find that Wendy had looked up the site, bought both books and immediately began to apply the recommendations in the second book. She, in a very short period of time lost 10kgs, just by making a small, but significant change to her diet! I was delighted to see how excited she was and what discoveries she had made about her health and what she was capable of achieving through applied knowledge.

And lastly...the weekend just gone, AW and I headed up to Maroochydore on Friday and stayed at Novotel Twin Waters. The weather was glorious, and we managed to get in a quick swim in the surf in the afternoon. We had dinner at the resort, and then I choofed off to have coffee with CH and Nicole. I was surprised to find that hardly anyone showed up, but then again, I realised that people were probably travelling from some distance too. It was nice though to be able to chat in an informal and relaxed atmosphere.

Saturday saw me attending Craig Harper's workshop, 'Stop F*cking Around'. The idea was that it would help me refocus after my recovery and give me some needed inspiration to move me towards my ultimate goal. I needed some 'headspace' therapy in big picture thinking.

I wasn't there about the exercise or nutrition, and it was stuff I knew already. Admittedly, it didn't have the desired effect I was looking for. However, surprisingly it helped me to reflect on other areas of my life and helped clarify what I need to do in those areas, which the byproduct will be more time to concentrate on my training fitness. It did also bring to light areas which I've been in denial about, and that I still need to be a bit more brutal about where and how I spend my time and what are truly my priorities.

And also, the bonus of just a really relaxed weekend of just going with the flow and spending some quality time with AW was just so welcomed. My only regret was that I couldn't spend more time at the beach, though I did manage to fit in a quick swim after the workshop on Saturday at Maroochydore. The weather was spectacular and the waves were calling to me all day, in that conference room overlooking the water. I just had to get in a swim! A refreshing end to a good day.

Saturday night we went to Mooloolaba for dinner, and I had a delicious pizza at some italian restaurant on the esplanade. Sunday we checked out and headed up to Montville and AW and I parked ourselves at Poets Corner for the next three hours. So it was coffee and morning tea over the paper and me reading CH's book, surprisingly titled 'Stop F*cking Around' and reviewing my notes, doing alot of contemplation and making a start to my action plan. We then stayed for lunch, had a bit of wander through the shops, bought some little things for Philomena and headed off again.

AW dropped me off at my Leisa's place in Sandgate where she was having a 'homeware' party, so caught up with the girls again. AW then headed off to do his 'Chocolat' class at Deagon, which was his chrissy present.

The weekend was topped off with picking up Philomena from my besties place (Cheryl). She had had an adventurous weekend herself, as they'd been in Toowoomba over the weekend, and had spent Sunday in Grantham, helping clean mud out of people's houses and doing a bit of visiting. Philomena had a ball, kept everyone entertained and her most memorable recollection of the day was that 'everyone was living in their sheds, and the chooks kept coming in and out as they pleased, because they had no houses (she was talking about the chooks...not the people... :P)'.

Phew! What a weekend!

Today it was back to my new program, and I love starting the week with GoCycle with the awesome Craig. This morning though, I was still feeling a little seedy from the 'not-so-clean' food, and spent alot of the time wondering whether I was going to throw up. I'd jogged to the gym before the cycle class and pushed myself pretty hard. I ended up burning 397 calories in 51mins (less warm-up), which is a record for me! Then it was a 5 min break before throwing some weights around in the gym, and I then walked home. What an awesome start to the week!

So there you have it. If you're wondering about Little Miss Phil's picky, I just threw that one it cause she's cute. :)

Wednesday, February 9

Zumba...Kath & Kim Style

"That's nice, that's different, that's unusual"
- pron. That's ny-oice, that's different, that's un-ewes-yewl
( from Kath and Kim website)

I have to say that today Zumba was AWESOME!

We have the enigmatic Rachael doing all Zumba classes at Go Health Beenleigh, and we had at least 50 women doing Zumba this morning. The atmosphere was electric and there was alot of gyration and woot-woots going on. Rachael just sold her dance school and is now doing Zumba full-time. She's awesome, and I love doing her classes!

What I loved about this mornings class was that not only was it packed and full of energy, but I loved the individuality that was on show. Especially in what people wear. It gets whackier every time I go, and I just shake my head sometimes and wonder 'what the hell were they thinking?'!

But you know, I think it's great! There's definitely some gals who have some confidence!

Okay...the picture above was pretty close to what one woman wore to Zumba. The black bra (not sports bra); shorts...but just imagine aqua blue cotton shorts (firmly fitting!)similar style to the old terry towelling shorts, but without a pile, and black tights. Now this woman was quite voluptuous. Very interesting....

Now the other stand out was a young woman of about 20 or slightly younger wearing bright pink, thin, cotton tights and wearing black undies. She had a yellow sleeveless t-shirt guessed it (as the above photo sought of gives away)...she was wearing long socks over her tights. I can't remember the colour, but it was bright! And she was up front of the class, and after each music segment, her ass would hang out over her tights and she had to keep pulling them up...hilarious (though I didn't laugh of course)!

There are many interesting sights at the gym, and I'm quite enjoying the variety of people we get at our gym. It's just so entertaining!

Sunday, February 6

Kiss Me...Fill Me With Your Poison...


Infect Me with your Love...Fill Me with your Endorphins...

Take me, ta-ta-take me
Wanna be a victim
Ready for abduction

Wednesday, February 2

How Would I Describe It?

I can't even begin to describe how I am feeling right now.

Today is the first moment in a couple of weeks I've....a) had a little time to blog, and b) sought of felt like blogging. Sought of, in the sense that there's alot of things externally moving rapidly around me, but I feel quite calm and centred. I'm not on a high, I'm not on a low. I just am.

I usually blog when I'm at one end of the (emotional) spectrum or the other. I think I may have found the word...Hiatus. Maybe someone can come up with a more apt word.

It's like I'm in the eye of a cyclone (sorry, but cyclone Yasi is foremost in my thoughts at present). There's turmoil all around me, but I'm feeling strangely calm and unaffected.

I'm feeling better than I was two weeks ago. I'm finally feeling rested and even though I'm not back training 100%, energy-wise, I'm feeling good about where I am, and steadily gaining momentum. I haven't touched weights for 2 1/2 weeks, but that's okay. I've needed the rest. I've been mainly doing cardio, pilates/stretching, activation work and resting when I can. However, resting for me is when I get to bed, so getting to bed earlier is when I get to rest.

I'm back under 60kg's and I think that by next week I should get in under 59kg's. Nutrition hasn't been 100% in the last couple of weeks, but I haven't gone stupid either. The rest hasn't had a detrimental affect scale-wise, which is comforting. My crash has stalled things a little, but that's life, and it's now business as usual.

I haven't been on the net much at all. To be honest, I've been too busy. I have to be super organised to get everything done without having to rush around all stressed. I hate that! Being stressed and running around like a chook with its' head cut off, that is.

There have been moments that I've had time to stop for a short while and appreciate things around me. Currently, we have a little family of Blue Wrens living out back amongst all the trees. This week, I've stolen moments to look out into the back patio and watch them flitter around and listen to their beautiful warbles and chatter. The part I love most is watching them flit around in the gardenia bush we have (which is quite large), and then promptly flitter down to the bird bath and flutter in and out, cooling themselves down and taking small sips. They are such busy little bees and they scurry around and flit here and there, all the while churping away so beautifully. I could watch them all day.

Here's what they sound like...just delightful!

The other moments I've been spending with Philomena after school. And it's so nice to be able to walk home and chatter about her day at school, come home and just be with her. I've been determined that while I'm reorganising my life, that I do what I need to do while she is at school, as best I can, so that we can have more relaxed time before and after school. Though, in order to achieve this, it means that I have to be brutal and plan and organise everything down to the nth degree to ensure I have this time.

So at the moment I'm in a good place, and looking forward to February...oops! Just realised that it is And tomorrow is my birthday. I'll be 42, and it's great to be able to say that I'm still Fit-n-Fab-at-42!

And what better way to spend the day on my birthday, reviewing where I'm at, and updating my current training program with my fabulous, effervescent, and vastly talented exercise physiologist, Liz. It's exciting for me to think of the changes I'm bringing about in my body, both from a functional point of view as well as an aesthetic one. I can only dream of what I'm going to feel and look like in another couple of years.

Of course, no birthday would be complete without some indulgence. I've been dreaming about having Vietnamese tomorrow, and I know exactly what I'll be having...Beef and Tripe Noodle Soup! And to continue the celebrations, Friday night I'll be doing coffee and movies with my school friends of some 35 years or so, which I can safely get through without too much of a dent calorie-wise. Oh...and lunch with the lovely Wendy (and old friend Andrew hopefully) on Friday arvo which may not escape the possibility of beer-battered chips (my favourite).

It's just occured to me how many people I've connected with via Blogland, both 'out there in blogosphere' and face-to-face, and continue to connect it!

Now the celebration doesn't stop there though. Next weekend I'll be spending the weekend at Novotel Twin Waters Resort. It'll be just me and AW (Philomena is having a 2 night sleepoever). We head up on Friday, and on Saturday I'll be attending the Craig Harper workshop 'Stop Fu#%ing Around', which I think will be extremely beneficial for my headspace and help me refocus. And I get to meet Craig Harper himself, and catch up with the lovely Nicole I'm looking forward to that! And on Sunday, AW is going to a cooking class in Deagon called 'Chocolat'. He's always wanted to do a chocolate cooking class, so that was his Christmas gift from me and Phil.

So by the end of next weekend, I should be jumping out of my skin and ready for the next phase of my health and fitness journey, after a good rest.

Anyway...gotta go. This took longer than I anticipated. Sorry about the timing. I know that Cyclone Yasi is what is on everyone's minds, including mine, but today was the only time I had a chance to blog.

Lastly...just a bit of an announcement. This week I hung up my Personal Success Mentor boots with Ideal Bodies Online. It's been a wonderful couple of years, and I'm a little sad, because IBO has been such a huge part of my life since 2008. My life has been changed in so many ways in which that I cannot begin to explain. And the opportunities afforded me, as a result, have been and still are, multiplying exponentially. Thank you to Sue Heintze - owner of Ideal Bodies Online, and Kristin Gleeson for all their wonderful help, understanding, encouragement and inspiration! Of course it's not goodbye. It's just that life is taking yet another direction as I continue to grow and move forward.


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