Wednesday, December 28

2012...You Make Me Feel So....

“It does not do to dwell on dreams and forget to live.”
― J.K.Rowling

Only 4 more days until 2012.

I can't believe how the year has gone so quickly.  Reviewing my goals from 2011, I find I achieved a few and some I didn't.  My goal of maintaining 57kgs (or within 1kg of) didn't go to plan, but I maintained that happy weight for 6 months of the year, so I was pretty happy with that.  I intend to hit that weight in January 2012 and again, try to maintain that weight all year round.

For me, 2012 will be a year of consolidation.  I won't be taking on anything new, fitness-wise.  I will be focusing on strength in the first half of the year and then power. 

It should filter through to my army fitness tests.  I did manage to reach my goal of 40 push-ups for my BFA.  I didn't make any real gains as far as my running for my BFA though, so I hope to next year .  If I get the consistency, I should see a marked improvement in my running time.

My plans for 2012 are not sexy but the results should be, provided I stick to training consistently and staying on top of my nutrition.

So it's going to be a rather boring year in 2012.  Nothing new really.  Just hard, consistent training and nutrition throughout the year and building a strong foundation and platform to see me through 2013. I've got a couple of big things happening in my life in 2013 in the way of big changes, so I want to make next year really count. 

Next year's training as well as one particular change in 2013, will lead me into what I've been working toward since my 40th birthday.  It's a 5 year plan and I'm already thinking about what I want and what will take place on my 45th birthday in 2014.

I'll be keeping it under wraps though, so I'm afraid you'll have to stay guessing for awhile.

Anyway...I've noticed a change in my posts for 2011.  Apart from the fact that I've hardly done much in the way of posts, I also haven't had anything really inspiring to say.  I think time for talking was well and truly over, and I've just been focusing on the doing.  I've also been pre-occupied on the domestic front and happy and contented getting quite involved in family and our new home, and making our home life just so peachy!  I love being at home, getting more involved with Philomena's activities; cooking; cleaning; gardening; family and friends; and generally pottering around the yard.  Miss Phil and I call it our 'Secret Place'.  That's for another post coming soon.

Well time to say adieu!  How did you go with your goals for 2011?  Do you have new ones planned for 2012, and do they Make You Feel So?  I hope they do, otherwise how will you see them come to fruition if your heart and soul doesn't feel them with utter conviction?

Oh...don't you just love my post pic?  Now that to me depicts sheer athleticism.  If I looked that good in a crop top and shorts then I'd die one happy girl.  Of course, I'm happy now. However, that would be the icing on the cake of my blessed life.

Sunday, December 18

I am Titanium

"I'm bulletproof, nothing to lose
Fire away, fire away
Ricochet, you take your aim
Fire away, fire away
You shoot me down but I won't fall
I am titanium
You shoot me down but I won't fall
I am titanium"

from the lyrics, 'Titanium' by David Guetta (feat Sia)

Wednesday, December 14

What do you Yearn For?

"When she was just a girl
She expected the world
But it flew away from her reach so
She ran away in her sleep and dreamed of Para-para-paradise,
  Para-para-paradise, Para-para-paradise
Every time she closed her eyes"

from 'Paradise', by Coldplay

The definition of Yearning is described as a "tender or urgent longing".  We all long for certain, wealth, fame, family...and the list goes on.   To me, yearning describes something we strive or have striven for over an extended period of time.

Yearning is more complex than just wanting something.  Wanting something seems so much more transitory.  Yearning is something that we feel  with such a great depth of emotion that it drives us with unimaginable energy and takes on a life of its' own.  It's something we want so badly that we will overcome and endure and we accept that maybe it is something that will take a lifetime. 

That something we yearn for is a something which when we awaken, we feel its' presence and it influences our lives and moulds our patterns and behaviours.  What ever that something is which we yearn for, we imagine it so vividly - we can taste it...when we reach out for it, it feels so close we can touch it, and's always just beyond our reach.

Our heart aches, yet we feel hope.  We feel pain, either physically or emotionally, yet we gladly take up its' mantle, in the belief that whatever that something is that we yearn for, will become our reality. 

And I wonder...what do others yearn for and why? 

Monday, December 12

And So It Begins...

5 weeks and counting...and I'm not telling.  Though it won't be hard to figure it out.

Thursday, December 8

A Pick Me Up

Since moving (we've been here 3 months now!) and going away for AR for a few weeks, my training and nutrition has been all over the shop.  I'm also carrying about 4 extra unwanted kilos. Two weeks ago I had a chiropractic adjustment on my return from AR.  I made the mistake of seeing my normal chiropractor's offsider.  I won't be doing that again!  He irritated my disc.  It's been over 12 months since I've had any type of irritation.  I, and even my chiropractor can't remember how long it had been since it was irritated.  That's how much progress I'd made in the last 12-18months.  So you can understand my frustration and annoyance.  And for once, it wasn't self-inflicted.  Up until two weeks ago, I nearly had an injury-free year.

Now, in saying that, luckily it was only a minor irritation.  But that's not the point.  It's set me back.  Not only in my training, but it really affected my headspace.  I've become quite used to basically doing anything physical without having to concern myself I would incur any injury.  It's been such a liberating feeling.  So it was much to my chagrin that for the first time in a long time I had lower back pain.  Just bloody annoying!

Since returning from Wide Bay, I set myself up to get in consistent training and get back on top of my nutrition.  So with the irritation it put a spanner in the works because I really wanted to get in some decent training before Christmas.

I've been training, but without the normal intensity I usually train with.  And I had to give it a break to allow the spasm to settle down in my lower back. That has done nothing for my headspace.  I made the most of a bad situation though, and used that time to put the Christmas tree up (luckily it's a small one) and spend some time decorating and cleaning (without exercerbating the back) and generally getting into the Christmas feel.

Yesterday it started raining.  What a mixed up day with school swimming carnival and its' last minute cancellation, and so I ended up on the recliner watching a DVD. Something I haven't done for months.  Can't even remember the last DVD I watched at home.  It was actually quite nice, though I felt a bit strange sitting for so long and relaxing.  But it was also dangerous, and by the end of the day my headspace was really suffering for lack of activity during a week day.

Today I woke up cranky and a little down.  So unlike me.

Luckily for me, I met up with Liz for an update on my training program.  It was just the pick-up I needed!  Thank you Liz. :)

I knew I needed to re-focus, regain my motivation and accountability built around my training and nutrition.  For me, having a coach to help me has been invaluable.

I know for some, having a PT or a coach of some sort is seen as a luxury and unnecessary, but I beg to differ.  If you find the right person to help you progress, then it's money well spent.  I have forgone many-a-trifling thing so that I have money to pay my coach.  My health and fitness is a priority, and coaching fees I see as part of that investment in my health. 

I know many people who go to the gym regularly.  They all have their goals and many have niggling injuries and concerns, are trying to lose weight or just to feel and be healthier.  However, there are few people who I see regularly who make any real and lasting progress. 

There are some who make outstanding progress, especially when it comes to weight loss and I think that is just amazing!  My hope is that they don't stop there and continue on, bettering their health and positively influencing others around them.   There are a handful who I talk to, who do see professionals to help them in their health and fitness endeavours and I know and see the change it brings about in them and you know that those type of people will always find a better way of doing things - they're solution-orientated!   And there are many who I know in the Bodybuilding arena, who receive regular coaching and make great progress through hard work and consistency over time.  I really admire their ability to remain so focused over such a long period of time.

But the majority go to the gym day-in day-out, doing the same old thing.  They may begin, make some really quick progress, but then they stall and plateau.  They either continue on just doing the same thing, or many just stop training altogether because they no longer feel it challenging enough or they're not willing to take their training to the next level in order to keep progressing.  And many do just go to the gym to do classes because they enjoy them and the social aspect.  Each to their own.  It's what makes life interesting and I think gym-watching is a most interesting pastime! :)

Very few people put much thought into their long term goals, and many people are harbouring injuries or weaknesses they're unaware of.  They often don't have the education or understanding that they could in fact, become better if they had access to the right knowledge, advice and assistance.  So many people flounder and lose interest and hope.  And for others, the prospect of sticking at something long enough to see results is just too hard.

That's why I think that someone (and it must be the right someone) with the right knowledge can make the world of difference to making substantial improvements to your health and fitness gains.  I know it has for me. 

I've learnt so much from Liz and the knowledge she has imparted, and I'm always amazed at the little things that make such a difference.  That even happened today.  Liz gave me a couple of exercises to help alleviate some tension in my RHS glutes and LHS psoas.  Really simple, yet effective exercises that not even my physio has given me to help with the tension from the disc irritation.  In fact, my physio has used some of Liz's exercises in the past to give to me instead of his own, he was so impressed with how well they had worked for me.  

The last 12-18 months I've made more progress than the last 3 years combined, and that's a great testament to the importance of having a great coach who is aware of your particular goals, injuries, concerns and nuances.  They can individualise a plan specifically for your unique requirements.  It's an organic process and you have the added benefit of someone who can help support you and your goals and give your encouragement as you evolve.  Goals change.  It's nice to have someone who can help give you clarity to your goals through life's ups and downs, and the rollercoaster ride which is our health and fitness journey. And a coach is also someone who can make something seem possible, where before you may have thought it impossible!

So for anyone who feels they aren't where they want to be and has tried a number of things without seeing any type of improvement or results, or where progress is just so slow, I would recommend a good coach. It should be ideally, someone who is aligned with your goals and is on the same wave length. Who not only understands what you need to reach your goals, but knows how to motivate and inspire you by providing enough interest and challenge through their coaching methods!

The reason I chose Liz was mainly because of her particular expertise in Exercise Physiology, specialising in Rehab.  Also, because she has a thorough knowledge of nutrition.  For me, she's a 'one-stop-shop' (hope you don't mind that description Liz).

After today I'm reinvigorated, because I know Liz is going to give me a swift kick until I'm back up and gunning it.  I won't need the accountability factor forever, but I just happen to need it right now until I find my mojo again.  Once I'm there then just let me loose! 

Today we revised my deadlift and squat and did some tweaking.  With Liz's newfound knowledge I was able to squat much deeper and use my glutes more, and it felt really good.  My deadlifts felt much easier as well, so it was a positive session.  So for the time being and into the new year I'll be concentrating on developing strength.  I'm looking forward to the change in my weights program built around lower reps with good form and technique and increasing the weight gradually as I get stronger.

I'll be reigning in the nutrition and re-focusing on ensuring I have variety in the diet, as this is a bit of weakness for me.  I tend to, once I've got the recipes downpat, only use the ones that are quick and easy, limiting my palate.  I then get bored because I have too few recipes and I eat the same thing day-in-day-out.  I just need to take some time to plan my meals again and re-introduce some recipes from my existing collection, as well as some new recipes.  And I'll be tracking my meals again just to get back on track and get me focused on my nutrition until I've got the hang of it and I'm on a roll.

It's amazing isnt' it, that just by talking to the right person how you can regain focus and motivation?!

Have a great Friday and weekend!  I'm off tomorrow with AW to the Gold Coast for an overnight stay - just the two of us.  We haven't had much 'us time' since my return, so this is just a quick get-away to get in before the craziness of Christmas is upon us.  And then I'll be so ready to start my new program next week!  Bring it on! :P

Friday, December 2

More BANG for your Buck!

"Come gather 'round people

Wherever you roam

And admit that the waters

Around you have grown

And accept it that soon

You'll be drenched to the bone

If your time to you

Is worth savin'

Then you better start swimmin'

Or you'll sink like a stone

For the times they are a-changin'."

- Bob Dylan, 'The Times they are A-Changin''

It was back in the not-to-distant past that I swore I'd never do a cycle class.  I'd been to one and that didn't really excite me much.  It wasn't until I found the right instructor that I actually enjoyed it.  Well...enjoyed it, as much as I wanted to throw up. :P

Now things have definitely changed, and I really love cycle/RPM classes!  Not in the sense that I'm jumping for joy while I'm on the back.  Quite the contrary - I still manage to find myself rather shagged by the end of the class and my lungs and legs screaming for relief!

For reasons I've just discovered,  I find these classes physically gruelling.  The reason being of course is that I'm always trying to improve on my efforts.  Regardless of how I feel before I go into a class, I can't but not push myself to the limit.  You'll know who I am.  I sit at the front and within 5 mins, sweat is dripping from my body and I'm grunting and gasping for air in the bid to coax my legs to keep going.

If my instructor says increase my load - I increase my load!  I know if I'm cheating myself and I just can't do that.  If I'm not physically spent by the end then I haven't done my best. 

I probably have improved my performance.  Actually...I know I have.  I've always been terrible at pace work, but I'm improved in leaps and bounds.  It's still my weakest area, but it's getting better.  I've also learnt to work my gears much better too.  I've learnt when doing pace work not to load my gears too heavy to maintain speed, but heavy enough to have resistance.

You see, I love the hills! I love getting out of the saddle and pushing hard.  So I tend to do much better on those.  But I've learnt to enjoy pace work now because I'm getting better.

When my HRM was working (battery is flat), I found that cycling/RPM burned more calories (apart from x-trainer) that any other exercise in the gym within the same period of time. I love cycling because I get more bang for my buck!

But there's just one problem.  I get so frickin' sore (down below) that I need at least a few days in-between to recover, which is really annoying (and off-limits for poor hubby, but you know - you've got to get your priorities right, and exercise comes first).  I bought a gel seat and I've adjusted the seat height to try and compensate, it doesn't work.  I have to get out of the saddle during recovery just to alleviate the discomfort.   Pace work is the most excrutiating by the end of the session as I have to move forward in the saddle, both my backside and also forward on my handle bars. 

Is there is anyone who can suggest a way to alleviate this????

Oh...BTW...that initial instructor hasnt' been around for about 3 months, and even though I loved his classes and they still don't have regular cycle/RPM instructors which I find annoying, I've realised that's it's been a good thing. 

Why?  Having instructors constantly changing has meant that no two classes are the same.  It means my body is constantly having to adapt to different styles.  I didn't think cycle/RPM classes could differ so much.  But they do.  And it's good, because it keeps me challenged and keeps me from getting comfortable with the same routine.

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