Archive | April, 2011

Project Tighten Up: The Dreaded “Before” Photo…

30 Apr

Well, this is kind of an “after” picture really, but I think it will serve me better as a “before” picture given this journey to toned, tight and terrific land that I’ve just embarked on!

This has been the most nerve-wracking blog post ever. It’s played on my mind all week. I kept thinking, “Do I really want to put myself out there, jiggly bits and all, for the world to see?”, “Oh my sweet lord, people from my WORK read my blog!” and “What if people laugh or say cruel and nasty things?!”. But I love a good transformation story too much and I get so revved up when I see other people’s before and after pictures that I knew I had to have my own. So please be kind, k? Thanx. :)

Me, the last time I was photographed in a bikini, 2007:

Me, 12 months ago:

Me, today, 68kg and ready to tighten this shit RIGHT up:

As you can see although I have come a long way, I still have a good deal of work to do, particularly in the legs and booty regions which have been my most stubborn areas. Curse you, pear shape! Curse you to hell!

Argh. Okay – so there it is. It’s done. I’ve done it. It’s good for documentation purposes, right? Right?? Yes. This will be good to look back on. Alright, I’m off now to go vomit in sheer, utter nervousness. Cheerio!

Project Tighten Up: Update 1

29 Apr

Hey Team Tighten Up!

How is your week going so far?

My week has been going very well and I am just a couple of measly 100 grams away from pre-Easter weight. I’ve gone hard with my training the last 3 days and my eating has been 100% clean. I am going to a mexican restaurant tonight though for a friend’s birthday but they have salads with chicken and pork so I’ll be having one of those (served in a crisp tortilla bowl mind you – may need restraints applied to me so that I don’t eat it! Nom Nom Nom).

One thing I have found with the meal plan I posted in my last entry is that it may be a tad low in calories and a tad low in carbs too as I have been quite tired and headachey over the last few days. And as my trainer has said, my workouts have been fucking rubbish. Eep.

So, I’ve been scouring Bodybuilding.com’s Plans & Programs section for advice. This site is a fantastic resource full of FREE personalised plans that are not only for body builders but for people looking to lose weight too. There’s also incredible transformation stories that you can read which, I don’t know about you, get me so amped up and inspired that I want to drop whatever it is I am doing and smash out a workout right then and there. Truth be told, I have been known to save an incredible transformation image on my phone and set it as my screen saver. What an exercise GEEK.

I spent a long time reading Jamie Eason’s plan. I find her so inspiring – at one point she was leading a fairly sedentary and unhealthy lifestyle but a cancer scare prompted her to transform her body, her health and her life. It’s women like this that I think young women should look up to as role models rather than stick thin celebrities and supermodels who maintain their figures by taking illicit substances, chain-smoking and sipping on coffees all day.

The incredibly inspirtational, fit and toned Jamie Eason

Now all of that has been said I am modifying my meal plan based on Jamie’s (and my super-trainer’s) recommendations. Because, as Nat says, if you want the shapes, you’ve got to feed the shapes. And no, not Pizza Shapes.

Now remember! This is MY meal plan. You will need to get your own so that it is tailored to your needs! ;-)

The Diet

Calories: 1600 – 1700

Fat: 35g

Protein: 170g

Carbs: 170g

Fibre: 35g

Meal 1

Double Barrel Nutrition Protein Powder, raw oat, rice milk and honey smoothie

Meal 2

Green apple with natural peanut butter

Meal 3

Chicken breast, brown rice, steamed vegetables and olive oil

Meal 4

Chicken breast, spinach, chia seeds and olive oil

Meal 5

Chicken, fish or lean pork, beef or lamb with sweet potato, steamed vegetables and olive oil

So much food. So much better. So very excited.

The official start date for Project Tighten Up is Monday the 2nd of May. I’ll be adding some discussion boards on my Facebook page so we can all discuss our progress, our hurdles and our triumphs!

A few people have said they would love to join in but don’t feel they are at tighten up stage yet. That’s cool – I still think you should formulate your own plan and go hard with us for the 12 weeks and give that fat a good swift kick in the buttocks!

What are your goals over the next 12 weeks?

Project Tighten Up

26 Apr

I’m baaaaaaaaaaack! Did y’all miss me? I had a wonderful Easter break – I ate whatever I felt like for a week (risotto? Yes please. Chocolate mousse? Oh, why not. Pizza? Pass it over brother) and just relaxed. absolutely zero exercise. Let me tell you, I didn’t feel great by the end. I felt so sluggish and bloated so I’m glad I got back into my usual routine today.

Except, it’s NOT my usual routine.

Dun.

Dun.

DUNNNNN.

That’s right people – Project Tighten Up has commenced!

What is Project Tighten Up?

After losing 15kg I am now at a healthy weight of 68kg. And I’m incredibly happy with that, don’t get me wrong, but my body fat is still quite high (around 25 – 26%) and I haven’t hit that size 10 figure that I feel I will be most comfortable at.

So, I’m taking my journey to a whole new level. Over the next 12 weeks I am going to smash the following goals:

- fit into size 10 jeans

- reduce my body fat to 19 – 20%

- enter maintenance stage

It’s all about getting fit and toned all over. I’m not concerned about how much I will weigh at the end of it. I’m all about looking strong yet womanly. And definitely NOT skinny! Skinny is so 2010.

Why am I doing this?

A lot of people may wonder why I am continuing my journey. Maybe they think I should just be happy with how far I’ve come or maybe they think I have severe body issues and will never be happy no matter what size.

Well, I’m going to squash those thoughts before they arise because understand this – I work this hard at my body because there is no high in the world like it. I feel good both physically and mentally (which is so important to me as I have suffered anxiety and depression in the past – we’ll leave that for another post!). This translates to a happy home life and work life. I am also kind of considering figure competing eventually. Maybe. We will see. Have to see what kind of shape I’m in at the end of all this!

What does it involve?

The Diet

Calories: 1300 – 1400

Fat: 40g

Protein: 100 – 120g

Carbs: 110g

Fibre: 30g

Breakfast:

Smoothie with 1 medium banana, 200ml rice milk, 1 tablespoon of LSA and scoop of Double Barrel Nutrition Protein Powder

Morning Snack:

1 tablespoon of Natural Peanut Butter with 1 medium green apple & cup of green tea

Lunch:

300 – 350 cals of chicken and veg soup/stew/stir fry or salad

Afternoon snack:

200g of natural non-fat yoghurt with 1 tablespoon of chia seeds & cup of green tea

Dinner:

300 – 350 cals of chicken and veg soup/stew/stir fry or salad (with or without sweet potato)

The Exercise Plan

Mon – upper body + 8.5km road cycle

Tue – group PT + 8.5km road cycle

Wed – group PT + 8.5km road cycle

Thurs – one on one PT + 8.5km road cycle

Fri – upper body + 8.5km road cycle

Sat – bootcamp

Sun – REST

Want to join Team Tighten Up?

Well, guess what? You can! I’d love you to take this challenge with me. Even my trainer is taking it on!

The Rules:

- Weight training: needs to be performed 4 – 6 days per week. 4 – 5 sets of 10 – 15 reps of weighted exercises of your choice. Work upper body one day and legs the next then back to upper body and so on. Always add core and foam rolling and/or stretches each day.

- Cardio: needs to performed in the morning on at least 2 – 3 mornings of the week at high intensity (running, skipping, plyometrics etc) on an empty stomach.

- Diet: follow a plan similar to what I have outlined above. Do your research and find out what calories and macro-nutrients are right for you.

- Check in: I’ll do a weekly check-in blog post where I will display my results and you can comment and do the same!

- Start date: Official start date is Monday 2nd of May but I’ve already started to kick things off so by all means start now!

I’ll also be posting lots more healthy recipes to help you (and I) along and will even be putting up some workout videos on the blog! That’s new and exciting! Oh… and… uh… a bikini pic is coming (dreading this) so that I can document a proper before and after comparison. No lolz, k?

So who’s in? :D

Fat Clothes For Charity

19 Apr

Nat came up with a great idea not so long ago - she asked all her clients to handover their fat clothes to her which she would then donate to charity.  No, not to some poor fat stripper named Charity, more like the St Vinnies type of charity.  Ya dig?

I didn’t think I would have that much to give but I ended up with 2 and a half garbage bags full of clothes that no longer fit.  Liberating!  And scary.  I have pretty much an empty closet now.  All the better to shop for my friends, all the better to shop. 

So, I thought I would share with you what I found!

Firstly, I came across this ugly denim skirt that I have hung on to for SEVEN YEARS in the hopes of fitting into it again.  Seven years!  People get less for murder! I remember at the beginning of last year I could not pull it up past my thighs.  Now it hangs off my hips.  But I can’t wear it now because of it’s incredible dag factor.  So off to the clothing bin it goes.  I don’t think the homeless care too much about what’s in fashion right now… right? 

Mind the mess in the background...

It USED to be cool! I promise!

Scary huh?

Well, it’s about to get a whole lot scarier!

This is me at my hens night 4 years ago.

Haaaaaayyyyy!

This is me trying on the same dress the other night. 

 

It literally would not stay up.

Yeah… That’s my bra… what of it?
 
So, now the fun part begins!  Building back up my closet!  Yay!  (I can hear Justin groaning already…)
 
On an unrelated note, I will be MIA for a few days.  Don’t worry, I’ll be back!  Just popping down the coast for a bit of a getaway.  When I get back I will unleash the full fury of Project Tighten Up *said in the movie guy voice*What is it?  What is it??  Oh, you will soon find out my friends! 
 
Until then, remember – strong is the new skinny!  Have a great Easter! 

What’s In My Fridge?

15 Apr

Happy Fridge Day Dudes & Dudettes!  Oops, I mean Friday! ;-)

The most important part of losing weight is nutrition so I always make sure my fridge is stocked with lots of  goodness so I can quickly and easily prepare healthy meals.  So, I thought I would do a short post on what you can usually find lurking in my fridge! 

This is riveting business people, strap in your seatbelts and feel the G’s!  Or is that the cheese?  I’m never quite sure…

Top shelf - butter, lindt dark chocolate

Second shelf - ham, salad I prepared for lunch, parmesan, light tasty cheese, pre-made quinoa g

Third shelf - apples, strawberries, margarine (Justin’s!), fresh ginger & garlic, mini frittatas

Fourth shelf - grapes, cucumber, tomatoes, bag of lettuce, fresh thyme, cherry tomatoes

Crisper - oh god, where to begin… asparagus, more lettuce, baby spinach, carrots, capsicum, avocado, sweet potato, pumpkin, plums, zucchini, oranges, broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage, beetroot… Just a whole bunch of fresh fruit and veg!

Fridge door - olive tapenade, low-fat whole egg mayonnaise, horseradish, dijon mustard, hot english mustard, wholegrain mustard, capers, bottles of low alcohol sparkling wine (I bought a whole box about 6 months ago and I have barely made a dent in it!), flaxseed oil, lemon juice, jam, pizza sauce, satay sauce, rice milk, sparkling water, still water

Freezer - chicken breast, chicken thigh, chicken tenderloins, lean cuts of pork, beef and lamb, lean mince, frozen soups, frozen berries, puff pastry

What are your healthy fridge staples?

Mini Frittatas

13 Apr

Although I am still loving soup for lunch, I have been thinking about what else I can make ahead of time for lunch during the week.  Then it came to me – mini frittatas!

These are so easy to make and are absolutely delicious!  When I texted Justin to ask him what he thought of them (I packed them for his lunch too!), he texted one word back – “Beautiful”.  God I’m a good cook!  Sometimes I just don’t know WHAT to do with myself!  ;-)

I’m not going to lie, these have a fair amount of fat in them so next time I will be using 12 egg whites and maybe 4 or 5 yolks.  You could also add to them mushroom, zucchini, corn or whatever floats your boat!

Ingredients (makes 15)

12 eggs, lightly whisked (or 12 eggs whites & 4 – 5 yolks)

60g of light tasty cheese, grated

50g of reduced fat feta, crumbled

50g lean leg ham, diced

Handful of baby spinach, roughly chopped

Small handful of flat-leaf parsley, roughly chopped

Olive oil spray

Salt & pepper

Pre-heat oven to 180 degrees.  In a bowl, combine all ingredients.  Spray non-stick muffin trays lightly with olive oil.  Spoon egg mixture into muffin trays so that they are 3/4 of the way filled.  Place the trays into the oven and bake for about 15 minutes.  Keep your eye on them as they tend to puff up a little!

Once the frittatas are firm, take them out of the oven and leave to cool.  Use a knife to loosen them around the edges and then pop them out.

One serving equals 3 frittatas and they are perfect with a little side salad.  They would also be handy as an on-the-run breakfast option and can be enjoyed cold or warm.  And apparently they freeze well too!  Haven’t tried that yet… but google tells me they do!

Nutritional info per serve: 290 cals; 24g protein; 20g fat; 8g sat fat; 100g calcium

What’s your favourite frittata combination?

LuckyYou Juice Cleanse

11 Apr

Last year I wrote a post about detoxing. The reason I wrote that post is because I wanted people to understand that many of those detox diets that we see on TV or read about in magazines are marketed at people as quick weight loss solutions. One diet, for example, asks you to consume nothing but a water, lemon and cayenne pepper drink for a certain period of time in order to shed kilos. Ths is an unhealthy and dangerous approach to weight loss. Do we know this? Good.

But not all are like that which is why I was initially attracted to LuckyYou. LuckyYou is a juice cleanse program that claims to:

Rebalance the body
Oxygenate
Alkalize the system
Give digestion a rest
Remove acidic build – up in the colon, to encourage proper nutrient absorption
Re-hydrate the system
Create better eating habits

For about 3 weeks now I have hit the weight loss game hard. I have trained like a demon and I have eaten a diet rich in protein but probably lacking on the fruit and vegetable front. I have definitely felt the strain of this (fatigued, dry skin, bloated… blocked up *cough*) and wanted to do something special for myself, take a bit of time out, pump some goodness into my body and veg out – you know, lay like vegetables, be still like broccoli (10 points if you guess the movie quote!).

LuckYou’s juices are live (meaning raw and un-pasteurised) – they retain MORE vitamins and minerals, and contain enzymes. This ensures that you are drinking a product packed with power versus just another liquid.

Most of the juices are chunky and thick (not to mention delicious) so it definitely does not feel like some crazy liquid fast. LuckyYou also encourages you to CHEW your juices like you would food as chewing is what begins the digestive process.

I chose to do just a one day mini cleanse but I will definitely be following LuckyYou’s recommendations of slowly introducing meat, dairy and grains after the cleanse is over. Tomorrow I’ll stick to luscious, seasonal fruit and colourful vegetable salads. The next day I will start adding grains like quinoa and brown rice. The following day I will be adding back animal products like chicken, fish and dairy.

I’m really looking forward to feeling the benefits of this cleanse which include feeling clear, light and full of energy. Many people experience physical and mental rejuvenation, clearer skin, restful sleep, elevated mood and sex drive. Wink wink. Grrrr.

Here’s how the day went down:

8:30am - I wake up. I go downstairs and have a class of water followed by a warm glass of water with the juice of one lemon. I resolve then and there that I will be doing this when I wake up every morning from now onwards as it immediately makes me feel hydrated and awake.

9:00am - I take my aloe vera shot. This is supposed to help cleanse the colon and blood stream.

10:00am - I have my first juice which is a delightfully thick and filling green smoothie.

11:00am - I take a walk to the fruit and vegetable market to stock up on fresh produce for the next few days. I don’t know why but this makes me EXTREMELY excited. BROCCOLI! PUMPKIN! BEETROOT! OH MY! Note: the excitment subsides as I realise my tummy is grumbling and I’m feeling hungry…

12:00pm - I have my second juice which is labelled Green B. It fills my belly and makes me feel full.

2:00pm – I have my third juice which is a spicy lemonade. It is zingy and refreshing. I do have a bit of a headache by this stage but it’s all good as I’m just chilling on the couch watching back-to-back episodes of American Idol that I have recorded!

4:00pm - I’m really quite hungry now and the headache is full throttle. I slurp (I mean chew) my fourth juice which is vibrant red. It’s delicious and satisfying. The headache starts to ease almost immediately. I decide to have a bath to unwind.

6:00pm – After my bath I am absolutely exhausted and collapse in a heap on the lounge. I think the combination of a very hot bathroom and no food was a bad idea. I make Justin fetch my Green A juice from the fridge and a few sips in I start to feel better again. I CAN get through this!

8:00pm – It’s cashew milk time baby! And my goodness it is delicious. Blended cashews and medjool dates – who knew the combination would be so amazing!

8:45pm – I actually hop into bed. I snuggle up with my pillows and doona and read a book until I doze off at about 9:30pm. I’m hungry but not starving and today has definitely been doable. I’ve surprised myself!

6:15am – I wake up feeling light and relaxed. My tum feels nice and flat and my head is clear. The whites of my eyes are gleaming and my skin looks clear and plump. I’ve been cleansed! Hallelujah!

I’ve really enjoyed the LuckyYou cleanse and would recommend it to anyone. Heidy, the owner, is so helpful and gives you plenty of advice before, during and after the cleanse. They also have a firm focus on being kind to the environment which is an added advantage over other cleanses.

I’ll definitely be doing this again in the future! Thank you LuckYou!

It’s Official!

8 Apr

I’ve lost exactly 15kg since keeping this spreadsheet and a little more than that since training with Nat at New Outlook Fitness.  The road has been long and exhausting but I couldn’t be happier!  And you may be pleased (who am I kidding, you will be ECSTATIC) to know that I am now 68.5kg! “I throw my hands up in the air sometimes, singin’ a-yo, I’m 68 kilossss!” :-)

I’ve had some great loses over the last couple of weeks and I put it all down to nutrition.  You see, it’s all well and good to be training hard and to be eating a certain amount of calories but how important is it to make sure those calories come from the right places?  I’m talking about macro-nutrients people.

There is some debate about how important the distribution of calories is to lose weight.  Some say it’s not important, just as long as you are expending more calories than you consume, whilst others argue that it’s very important.  All I know is since I have paid more mind to the distribution of calories I have seen a huge difference.  That might not be the same for other people but it’s all about finding what works for you.  If you are interested, here’s a great tool to use when calculating macro-nutrients.

Now, don’t think I’m one of those crazy ladies that spends all day calculating everything I put in my mouth.  All I do is plan out my meals for the week and then do a quick check in CalorieKing to make sure I’m on the right track.  Then that’s it – I don’t need to look at it again because I know what I have planned is right.  And I do treat myself weekly so I don’t completely lose my mind!  I’m a food lover!  I’d surely die if I didn’t have some kind of treat!  ;-)

Here’s my measurements graph for the month:

Click Image to Enlarge

I’m getting closer to that size ten goal!  I’ll probably keel over in the change rooms and have a heart attack when I slide on a pair of size ten jeans.  Check the obituaries if you don’t hear from me again!

Speaking of Taio Cruz (at the beginning of this post), I’m going to Supafest tomorrow!  I’m extremely excited – all my favourite artists in one place!  I’m going to marvel and gasp at Ciara’s booty, swoon to the smooth vocals of the Big Snoop Dogg, take my shirt off to T-Pain, break my neck to Busta, shimmy shimmy to Nelly and scream at the top of my lungs to Timbaland!  I don’t think I’ll sleep tonight, I’m so excited!

Okay, on a serious note, who pays attention to their macro-nutrients?  I’d love to hear your breakdown and what works for you.

Work It!

6 Apr

I haven’t done a workout post for a while!  The last one was in October and I’ve come a long way, baby!

So, for your viewing pleasure (and my embarrassment), here’s me getting all hot, sweaty, rained-on and dirty!  I seriously can pull some horrendous faces when working out… I really need to concentrate on controlling my troll face.  And these were the “good” photos.  Shudder.

 

This is MY gym

Today’s session involved a lot of running with an assortment of weighted and non-weighted exercises in between each run.

But first, a quick stretch.

Alright, enough standing around!  We’re not here to have a cup of tea you know, as my trainer would say!

We started off with squats and shoulder presses with 5kg dumbells and 20kg sandbag squats, as demonstrated by my lovely training partner, Beth (hai Beth! :)).

Now run!

 

I think we ran the length of this park 50 times today...

We repeated that four times and then swapped over.  My turn with the dreaded frankfurt.


After we completed that four times, it was onto the next set of exercises – squat and twist with 5kg barbells and burpees.

 

Dislike. These. Immensely.

Don’t forget the runs in between each round of reps! (gah) Then hit the ground – it’s push up time!

 

DAYUM – This is thirsty work!

Time for a new set of exercies!  20kg sandbag deadlifts.  My favourite weight-assisted exercise.  Heyyyy, power up that bootay!

Are you looking at my glorious glutes?

Another four rounds of that with runs in between then we are on to three rounds of push-ups, dips and jump squats.

Must learn to relax neck! The strain! The STRAIN!

 

I’d like to just keep jump squatting away from this session…
I’m glad to see you’re having a wonderful time, Miss Carter!
“Is it over yet???”

No, it’s not.  Just a couple of planks to go…

 

One foot stacked on top of the other to make it harder...

And there it is!  Finally, the torture is over.  Until tomorrow anyway!

This is the standard of session that I complete about 4 – 5 times a week.  Are you game? :)

Soup Whore: Chicken, Prosciutto, Tomato & Cannellini Bean

5 Apr

I have a new addiction.  It’s soup.  I just can’t seem to stop making it.  This is the third week in a row… Hi, my name is Amanda and I’m a soup-a-holic.

But it’s not a bad thing!  Soup is super convenient, healthy, cost friendly and delicious.  I love the fact that I have all my lunches ready for the week with zero preparation needed, aside from a quick zap in the microwave.

Soup is also a perfect meal for weight loss as the water content keeps you hydrated and promotes a feeling of fullness. Win!

Now without further adieu, drum roll please…  This week’s soup isssssss:

Chicken, Prosciutto, Tomato & Cannellini Bean Soup (serves 6)

Ingredients

1 onion, diced

2 cloves of garlic, crushed

2 small chillis, or chilli to taste, finely sliced

2 sticks of celery, finely sliced

2 punnets of grape tomatoes

1 bag of baby or English spinach

100g of prosciutto, diced

500g of chicken breast, diced

2 cans of cannellini beans, drained and rinsed

2L of salt reduced chicken stock

Olive oil

Salt & pepper to taste

Heat a little olive oil in a large soup pot.  Add the prosciutto.  Cook until brown and crispy.  Set aside.  Add the onion, chilli, garlic and celery to the pot and cook until softened.

Add the chicken to the pot and cook until flesh has turned white.  Add the cherry tomatoes and cook until soft, breaking them up with the spoon as you stir.  Return the prosciutto to the pot and add the cannellini beans and stock.  Bring to the boil.  Partially cover and simmer for 25 minutes.  Add the spinach and stir through until wilted.

Let the soup cool and then with a hand-held blender blend the soup a few times so that it’s not completely blended and still has some chunkier parts.

The soup is now ready to ladle into containers and freeze!  Or enjoy straight away! :)

Nutritional info per serving: 360 cals; 9.3g fat; 2.5g sat fat; 43g protein; 22.3g carbs

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