Friday, April 22

Evolutionary Defining Moments

"If you want to know your past - look into your present conditions. If you want to know your future - look into your present actions."

- Chinese Proverb

The definition of a Defining Moment is stated as "a point at which the essential nature or character of a person, group, etc., is revealed or identified."

I don't consider myself someone who has achieved anything extraordinary compared to those who are more well known for great achievements in their given fields of expertise. However, I do not belittle my life or my journey, nor think myself any lesser a person. How can you say that your life is no less ordinary than anothers', or that it is worth any less or any more? Especially when you look beyond the physical being of a person and look into their hearts. It is what it is...different.

I do however strive to create more evolutionary defining moments in my life. Meaning...creating defining moments which signify a continual, and progressive change toward not only a better life, but a life for us which typifies our own unique genius. And in doing so, I hope to achieve a life that embodies what it means for me to be extraordinary (a better version of myself).

Defining moments can either hinder or help your progress, and we all experience both of these types of moments. If we look closely enough, and are honest with ourselves, I'm sure we can say which moments we tend to focus on more readily. However, which ones we focus on currently, we can probably assume are a reflection of our current state of mind and reality.

Personally...and this is just my opinion...defining moments to me, signify that a single action, or collection of actions has taken place. It's at this particular point, that we determine whether an action (or non-action, which is still a type of action) will be one which 'hinders' our evolution or puts us on the path of progress. If we continually create actions which hinder our evolution, then that creates defining moments that over the medium to long-term, will result in lives that continually disappoint. On the other hand - if we continually create actions which are progressive in nature, then we should see the quality of our lives improve, and our ability to exponentially create extraordinary lives (whatever that means to us).

Now remember, it's okay to create defining moments that hinder our evolution every so often. That's part of the process of making mistakes and experiencing failures. It's only when we continually create actions that hinder over an indefinite period of time, that it then robs us of our true potential and our ability to create evolutionary defining moments, and hence, our ability to lead extraordinary lives.

Lastly, to finish off what I am trying to relation to actions, this is where alot of us can fall down. It's the notion of 'never giving up' that to me, really determines whether an action or collection of actions will create the success you seek.

To best describe what I mean, I will give you an example in relation to training, which is the best way I know how.

When you set goals, it's important to look at the bigger goals or the bigger picture to keep you focused on the why. To achieve your goals, it's not only in the planning, but in the executing. The execution of your plan is where all the actions are, and it's where you create your defining moments. The quality of your action at that point in time, i.e. hindering or progressive, will determine the type and quality of your defining moment. And over time, the better the quality, the better the result. The more progressive, the more you will contribute to your evolution, and the more likely your life to be one which is extraordinary.

In that one action, that one defining moment...that one that you're in right now (relative to training/exercise, though it can relate to anything), whether you give up or not, will determine, over time, whether you will create the life you have always wanted and dreamt of...or not. Nothing more...nothing less.

However, in saying that, for those people whose many defining moments have been negatively influenced and outside of their control, and who have suffered physically and/or emotionally as a result, I cannot speak for and do not purport to know the answer. The only thing that I can surmise is that regardless of actions forced upon that person, the defining moment is in their ability to determine whether that or those moments control their present and future actions, and their ability to create their own evolutionary defining moments, as to whether they can still lead a happy and deeply meaningful life.

Now back to the training scenario...If you're on that treadmill, for example, and you have set your goal to run for 30 minutes at a speed of 9, and you know it's a realistic goal to go for, but you find that you've hit 25 minutes and you're struggling - it's at this point, this defining moment which will determine what your future is going to look like.

You see, it's what you do at this moment which defines who you are.'s a pretty tough call, but let me finish. You can do one of two things. You can:

1) Stop...give up right now, because it's too hard, or...

2) You can still complete your goal, but change the parameters to ensure that you abide by your rule of 'never giving up'. An example would be, to decrease your speed for the last 5 minutes.

You see, by changing the parameters, you're still going to hit your goal. Maybe not today. But if you increase the length of time you run at the speed of 9, by 30 seconds or 1 minute, every time you hop on that treadmill - over time you will achieve your complete goal of running at the speed of 9 for 30 minutes. When you hit that goal, does it really matter how long it took you to get there? The point've arrived. You can then keep changing the goal posts and making progress. Maybe next time, you can then increase the speed or incline, and then increase the time until you hit the 30 minute mark again, or you can just increase the time. It's all up to you!

The most important action or defining moment is in the never giving up. The most important action is completing your task in that given moment, even if it means changing the parameters a little (as long as you're being honest and not short-changing yourself, i.e. you're honouring yourself).

Because, if you create more and more of these types of actions...these defining moments, that mindset of never giving up and giving it your all...that there is how to create extraordinary. That there is your "essential nature or character", and what you will be known's part of your character-building and reputation.

We have all done this. Pushed ourselves when we thought we had nothing left. And when we did it, we felt liberated and empowered! We then believed that whatever it was that we were striving toward was possible. It fuelled our confidence, our belief in ourselves and our motivation.

Create enough of these defining moments and our lives can be transformed.

So remember...break it up into chunks of action, and never give up on that action...right now. Because that action in that very moment is all that counts. And it's your mindset of always finishing and finishing strong that will set you up for a life of extraordinary, aka a better version of you!

Sunday, April 17

Changes, Bloggie Friends & Spastic Fingers

Liz & Me - 7th April, 2011

A comp pose Liz had me do. Notice the spastic fingers!

OMG I felt so stupid doing this I am clueless!

Liz was trying to be artistic I think.

Crikey! Me on 30th November 2010 Bloggie Friends
The week just gone, I caught up with some bloggie friends. Namely Vicki M and Liz (aka coach), and also the lovely Carolyn Gertz who is one of the original and famous Ideal Bodies Online success stories.

Carolyn was my inspiration to start my IBO program. It was her interview on Today Tonight that originally inspired me to pick up the phone and check Ideal Bodies Online out and start my health and fitness comeback. I haven't looked back.

And it was through Carolyn that I met Liz. Liz reminded me on Saturday that it was at one of the BB comps down at the Gold Coast that I met her, when she was coaching Carolyn for comp. And it was that comp that Carolyn put me onto Slim Secrets protein bars.

Carolyn was down from Darwin and I decided to join her for Liz's RPM class on Saturday morning, so that I could catch up with her, as I hadn't seen her since that comp, nearly 2 years ago. Carolyn is looking AWESOME, just quietly and she is happy and contented. Now, RPM was a killer and true to form, Liz flogged us. I burnt a whopping 497 calories! It was a tough one. I suspect that having both Carolyn and I there, along with the multitude of RPM enthusiasts, inspired her kick arse session.

So it was off for a quick coffee afterward, and we were joined by Vicki who was pumping some serious weights while we were pedalling madly away. Carolyn had to fly (literally, to catch a plane), so we parted ways and then I met up with Vicki again for lunch down at Southbank.

It was the first time to meet Vicki, and to be quite honest, I didn't know much about her until a couple of weeks ago (I decided to read up on her blog and check out her you do). We've been FB friends for a little while, but you know how it is? Lots of FB and bloggie friends, but not all of them you get to meet face-to-face. So it was AWESOME meeting Vicki! Her energy and enthusiasm for all things fitness is truly inspiring. Not only does she train hard in the gym (and outside and around Kangaroo Point) and compete in figure comps, but she throws in boxing and ballet in amongst the mix!

I felt like I had known Vicki all my life - she is so easy-peasy friendly and go-with-the-flow kinda gal (which I love). Luckily, because I asked her heaps of questions about comps and training and different stuff to do with body building and her goals, etc. I have to admit that I have a fascination with the BB world and the people within it. And I most of all admire their dedication and how hard they train.

Writing this blog and thinking about all the people I've met since the start of my IBO journey, the words...'from little things, big things grow', comes to mind. It especially says alot about the friendships I've come to make, and how they've changed my life so significantly. Some of those friendships and acquaintances have grown into something bigger...some never really develop, and others, well, they just drop by the wayside. The funny thing is, they don't always develop at the same time. It's where chance takes you I suppose.

Changes & Spastic Fingers

When I met up with Liz last week to review my program, she happened to have her camera with her and so we had our photo taken together (aren't we looking trim and terrific...hee...hee)? Liz also took some shots of me and was trying to instruct me on some posing. I have to admit that I felt like a real goose. Especially the 'gun' (bicep) In the back shot (whatever they call it in the BB world), you can see my spastic fingers. I am physically incapable of straightening them, as I have hypermobile joints. So no...I don't have arthritis!

So the top pics were taken on the 7th April and the bottom pics I took for Liz in November 2010, when we brought nutrition into the program. Huge difference! I'd forgotten about these photos until Saturday, when Liz brought in a printout of those November pics. OMG...I nearly choked when I saw them!

I started my program on Monday 30th November, and weighed in at 63.73kgs. At the moment I'm sitting at my maintenance weight of 57kg's, so that's a 6.73kg's difference. It doesn't sound like alot, considering it took me around 3 months to lose. But the photos speak for themselves.

Needless to say, I'm pleased as punch! :)

Friday, April 15

These Are MY Winter Work Clothes...

Maxim Long Sleeve Tee

Core Stability Boot Leg

I have to kind of agree with Liz about shopping at Lorna Jane. They can tend to be a little 'overpriced' at times for what they are. However, in spite of cost, I have to admit that of all the gym wear that I buy, LJ has given me the most bang-for-my-buck, over the years. I don't tend to buy LJ gear that often. Simply because it's alot of money to spend. My purchases are usually mulled over for some time before I'll fork out the dollars. But they are good quality and they've lasted the longest and continue to hold their shape and colour, even after washing and putting through the dryer (I's not recommended, but I do Mind you, my best pieces are mostly spandex and cotton and they're more flattering to the derriere.

Today I bought myself a couple of LJ pieces to add to my winter work wear. For some people, a normal J.O.B is justification for spending dollars on uniforms. And that's how I see buying these pieces. They're my uniform. Well...that's what I tell myself.

I tend to spend 2-3 hours of my day at the gym, on average, 5 days a week. Now I don't work out the whole time. I always do a quick warm-up and then before I start, I complete all my dynamic stretches and activation work, followed with weights (most workout days), cardio and the post-stretches. So, I like to have a variety of different outfits, depending on what I'm doing. Mind you, I do have other brand names, and I commit the ultimate sin of mixing and matching them!

The above photos from the LJ site are part of the new LJ Excel, high-tech/performance range. Not that it really means anything, but I do like good quality-wear. I chose these two pieces mainly because I will be choofing off to Albury/Wodonga for my AA employment training in a few weeks, and it's going to be bloody cold!

I detest the cold, but 2 whole weeks without exercise is just too distressing to contemplate. And this time around, there will not be a repeat of putting on 2kg's in 2 weeks! The last time the days and nights were so jam packed that I only had time to go to the gym in the first week. So, if I can get in some gym time in the first week I'll be happy. But that means a 10-15min walk to the gym...brrrrr...I think I'll be jogging to keep warm! I'm trying to prepare myself as well as I can, and psyche myself up to endure the cold.

In as far as nutrition, the last time I went (September last year), I also had dessert every night after dinner (ice cream usually with apple or apricot danish), followed by those snack packets of beer nuts and potato chips at the boozer (AA speak for 'pub'). Hence, my remarkable ability to gain 2kg's, which incidentally took me many months to remove.

This time around, I've been given strict instructions...NO DESSERT!...whilst down there. Not even once!? How hard is that going to be? This will definitely test my resolve.

I've also started planning my 'in-between' meals down there so that I don't fall prey to my trigger foods, like...potato chips, beer nuts (and nuts in general), etc. I've already worked out that as soon as I arrive, I'm going into town to make some food purchases so that I can organise those meals, as we only get three meals a day at the mess (and it's the smorgasboard, all-you-can eat variety). The evenings are the hardest, when it's time to relax and unwind. So this is where I need to plan well.

Anyway...back to the work clothes.

Others spend money on junk food, jewellry, normal clothes, shoes, handbags, alcohol. I'm pretty boring. I don't drink or smoke, and I'm not a 'girly-girl', so fashion isn't one of my things, and wearing jewellry is a pain in the derriere, because you have to constantly remove it!

No...gym wear (and everything that revolves around keeping me fit) is my downfall. Oh the shame!

Saturday, April 9

The Pauline Project

Thanks to Liz for putting a name to the next leg of my fitness journey. After reviewing my program, progress and technique form last week, Liz is about to create a new training program for me. My instructions before our program review was to look at my goals that I had set at the start of the year and extend them. Easier said than done.

I've been in limbo since hitting my goal weight of 57kg's. I reviewed those goals. And this is what I had down for 2011:

  • reach 57kg's in weight...TICK

  • maintain within 1kg-2kg's of 57kg's the entire year

  • run 2.4km's in under 12mins on my Army BFA (basic fitness assessment)

  • do 40 push-ups on my BFA...TICK

  • complete CFA in June (15km timed forced pack march, carrying approx. 30kg pack)

  • complete Army RDJ (run-dodge-jump) in June within time limit

  • grade to levels 5 & 6 in Wing Chun
....and injury-free!

I've been a little lost actually, trying to decide how to extend those goals. The other goals which I didn't list, but I'd set nonetheless were:

  • increase glute size & strength

  • increase core strength & stability, especially in relation to hip/pelvis

    • So here's my reviewed and updated goal list for 2011...

      • maintain within 1kg of 57kg's all year round (allowing for rebound weight)

      • complete CFA in June

      • complete RDJ in June

      • grade to level 5 in Wing Chun in August

      • run 2.4kms in 12mins on BFA

      • do 45 push-ups on BFA

      • increase glute size & strength

      • increase quad size & strength

      • increase ab size

      • increase core strength & stability

      • progress to lateral movement exercises
      As you can see, there's not a lot of difference between my original 2011 and the revised ones. I've just added the visual and functional goals, which Liz has confirmed, go hand-in-hand, i.e. size and strength. I've also realised that I'm capable of more physically, so I've added in the 'lateral movement' goal, which is a big step for me. It will test those gains in the core stability area. With my lower back injuries of previous, this will be new ground I'll be breaking. So it's exciting to think that I'll be ready for this.

      Now...writing the revised goals took about 15mins. So what's been the thing I've been finding it difficult to get my head around?

      Maintenance, and the whole headspace thing.

      Even though I've lost the weight before, this is a new feeling and place for me. I've added a little muscle and I look as lean now as when I did my photo shoot at 54.75kg's with depletion back in January '09. Though I have just a little more bodyfat on my outside thighs that I didn't have at my shoot.

      I'm also injury-free. I'm stronger and aerobically fitter, and I've made huge gains just in the last 6-9 months. So much so, I'm continually surprising myself at what I can now do and how much further I can push myself.

      I've come to the realisation that I now have no excuses to achieve the goals that I only dreamed about nearly 3 years ago now. There's nothing to stop me. I have no injuries holding me back. I now have the knowledge and experience I need when it comes to training and nutrition, so I can't use ignorance as an excuse.

      Now, it's about belief and what's possible. And it's about hard, consistent training. It's about a whole new existence. A whole new paradigm and the way I live maintenance. Looking into the future, it's scary, because this doesn't end next month or next year. It's now the way I do life. This is my lifestyle. Am I prepared to accept that this is how it will be from here on in?

      The door is closing on the relationship I had with food and exercise (and I think in general I have a pretty good relationship with both and I'm fairly disciplined). Another door is opening, and it's time to step through to the other side.

      That doesn't mean that I'm going to be super obsessive. I can't maintain something which is too restrictive. It won't work. It must allow for the ebbs and flows in my life. So far, with the help of Liz, it's worked fantastically...intuitive training and nutrition. Who'd of thought?

      However, intuitive doesn't mean losing control. It means looking at those ebbs and flows, understanding your mind and body and planning accordingly so that you are always in control, even when external events present themselves. And they always do. Now that is something you can bank on happening!

      Now...The Pauline Project... Ok, let's be realistic here. To get a Pauline butt is literallly a 5 year project, and hard, consistent training. That's alot of deadlifting and squatting!

      For me to stay focused, I need new goals. I need something with a date attached. Something tangible to work toward. So this year I'll be concentrating on the above goals I've set. But to achieve my ultimate goal, will take a number of timelines. Those timelines will all be part of The Pauline Project. I haven't quite worked out a deadline date for the first timeline, but should have one soon. There's still a little redefining required and adjustment.

      Why Pauline? She rocks! Some might think her physique and technique a little extreme, but regardless of what you think of her, you can't mistake her results and her determination. She's all about action. She's a no BS type of gal. She walks the talk. And though I've seen quite a few fitness models and body building athletes, for me, she's the epitomy of the type of body I admire and aspire toward...lean, muscular, athletic, gritty, sexy, and still feminine.

      For those of us who like muscular, apparently we are a minority. So be it!

      Sunday, April 3

      Whatever Happens I Will Be Grateful...

      "He is a wise man who does not grieve for the things which he has not, but rejoices for those which he has." - Epictetus

      For today's post about Gratitude, please hop on over to my other blog...Recipes in Richness.


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