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Project Tighten Up: Update 5

9 Jun

It’s been a little while since my last Project TU update. I’ve still been following the plan but life has gotten in the way of updating this blog as often as I would like!

Two of the things that have gotten in the way lately are I’ve started studying to become a personal trainer and I’m also apart of a joint-venture in starting a weight loss directory called Weight Loss Pages (don’t forget to ‘like’ our Facebook page!).

I’m overjoyed to be following my passion and making steps to change my career. I think something that will set me apart from the rest as a trainer is that I have been in my clients shoes – I’ve lost weight and done the hard yards so will be able to give solid advice to them based on things that have worked for me. Would you let me train you? ;)

There was a small speed-bump in my Project TU journey though – I got sick on Monday and had to take additional rest days. So, I haven’t trained since last Saturday. That’s 4 days! Woe is me! But thank god, my awesomeness is almost at 100% capacity again and I’m smashing out a session with my trainer today (yay! She’s back! She’s back!).

I feel like my body is really changing now. There’s new definition and shape appearing every week and it’s so exciting! The best thing about this plan is that I get to eat a lot. I’m a hungry, hungry beast most of the time so this appeals to my interests greatly.

I’ve changed the meal plan slightly (as I do every 3-4 weeks anyway) as oats have turned on me. I had a hunch they would. I became very bloated and uncomfortable. I do miss them because I love porridge but I don’t miss that awful feeling.

I’ve also substituted the brown rice with quinoa as I’m concerned about the GI value of the brown rice. Some reports say it is high GI other say low. Personally, I don’t want to risk it.

Meal 1:

Gluten Free Muesli

 

I love this muesli! One thing though, the puffed rice and rice bran in it is not low GI but it is paired with other low GI items so that brings the overall GI of the meal down.

AND two scrambled egg whites with light cheese and chilli flakes (thanks Cooper – this is now my favourite part of the day!)

Meal 2:

Green apple and natural peanut butter

Meal 3:

Lean protein, quinoa and steamed broccoli

Turkey Larb - recipe coming soon!

Meal 4:

Double Barrel Nutrition WPI with skim milk, teaspoon of instant decaf coffee and a few drops of vanilla extract

Meal 5:

Lean protein, steamed vegetables and sweet potato

So, how is everyone else doing?  Still going hard?  I sure hope so! :)

Crossfit Mayhem!

31 May

I mentioned in a previous post that my trainer went on holidays for 2 weeks.  To Bali.  Without me.  Yes, truth be told, I cried myself to sleep when she told me.  But that’s okay, she’s bringing me back presents and my love for her will be restored.  Temporarily, until she gets me to do kettlebell swings again!

So, whilst she has been gone I have been trialling Crossfit on top of my usual routine and let me tell you, I LOVE IT.  I’m trying as hard as I can, though, not to become a ‘Crossfit Douche’.  Example:

I went for my introduction session last Monday at Crossfit Kensington.  Troy, the owner, was incredibly helpful and showed me all the correct techniques for the exercises and we tried quite a few so he could check my form.

Boy oh boy, I didn’t know my own name by the end of it let alone the names of all the exercises!  We learnt the clean and jerk, the snatch, the deadlift, the sumo deadlift, the push press, the clean and press, kipping, strict pull ups, wall balls, jump boxes, double unders (don’t even get me started on these) and loads more.

Then there’s the acronyms – AMRAP, KTE, 1RM, oh my! But you get used to them pretty quickly, plus Troy puts the WOD (workout of the day, yep another acronym) on the website so that you can prepare yourself and look up on YouTube any exercises you are not sure on.  And of course he demonstrates and helps you when you are there too.  Thank god for that!

Once the introductory session was over I was keen to get stuck into a real class so I went along the next night.

Wah wah wee wah.  What a doozy of a session!  Here’s a run down:

Clean and Jerk
Test your 3RM (3 rep maximum – i.e. 3 reps of the heaviest weight you can do with perfect form)
Then
2 reps x 5 sets 80% 3RM

………………………………………

10 MU (muscle ups http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FX29MMoK2Tg)
20 box jumps 60/45cm
30 lunges 20/10kg overhead
500m run
5 MU
15 box jumps
25 lunges
400m run
10 box jumps
20 lunges
300m run
5 box jumps
15 lunges
200m run
10 lunges
100m run
5 lunges

We needed to complete everything below the line whilst timing ourselves.  It was a really good, highly sweaty workout which was not all that different to my usual workouts with Nat, minus the muscle ups and heavy bar work.  My entire body was sore the next day and I loved it. :)

Crossfit will definitely become apart of my regular routine.  Crossfit girls have a strong and athletic physique that I admire so hopefully, on top of my regular sessions with Nat, I will soon achieve this physique!  Oh pardon me, not hopefully, I WILL soon achieve this physique! ;)

Are you a Crossfit girl or guy?  Are you keen to give it a go?

Project Tighten Up: Update 4 – Progress Photos

28 May

It’s been a crazy four weeks full of training and eating clean and it is now time to see what progress I have made! A lot of you have commented that I am brave for doing this but I read something interesting recently about motivation – if you do not put your goals out for others to see then you will most likely fail.  Letting others know that you are serious about your goals makes you want harder, because let’s face it, nobody wants to fail in front of an audience. I’m just doing it on a larger scale partly to spur myself on but also to show others that it can be done.  Yes, it’s hard, but it can be done.  :)

I wasn’t expecting spectacular results in the first four weeks as I am still getting into the swing of the new training regime and diet plan but I am quite happy with the progress.

I can see new definition in certain areas, particularly my back (hello line down my back – you weren’t there before!) and my abs, but my legs are still letting team awesome down.  But that’s okay - I realise I may never have the toned and perfect legs of my dreams, I just need to keep working hard and see where they end up!

One thing on the diet plan I am thinking of changing is my morning oats – I do love them and they are a great source of energy but they may be what is causing me bloating and discomfort…  For instance, I had an egg white omelette today instead of oats and have had no discomfort.  Win.  So, I will probably go back to quinoa porridge this week and see how that goes.

Apologies about the photo quality – I have been taking them on my phone and then used Paint to put them side-by-side.  Next time I’ll use photoshop for better quality! (Oh and I still don’t know how to ‘pose’ so you will have to put up with my awkwardness!)

 

Before - 4 weeks in

 

Before - 4 weeks in

 

Before - 4 weeks in

 

Before - 4 weeks in

Who’s still with me on Project Tighten Up?  Share your stories below in the comments! 

Project Tighten Up: Update 2 & Measurement Results

17 May

It’s been 2 weeks since Project Tighten Up officially started and I have been going strong!  I’m lifting heavier already and I’m loving the extra carbs (oh brown rice, oh oats, how I’ve missed you!).  My energy levels are soaring higher and higher and my workouts are benefiting!  I’m feeling tighter already!  Giddy up!

I’ve made some adjustments to my exercise plan though and am currently only cycling 3 – 4 times per week.  I don’t want to put added pressure on my hip flexors which are giving me grief at the moment.  Will see how I go and will amend as necessary (click here and here and you will find some AWESOME exercises devised especially for Project TU by Natalie Carter).

Have also made a couple of small changes to my diet (mainly because the weather is cooler and I want a hot breakfast) but am sticking to the same principles as outlined here):

Meal 1

½ a cup of oats with rice milk, cinnamon, sprinkle of LSA and honey + 1 boiled egg

Meal 2

Green apple with natural peanut butter

Meal 3

Chicken breast or turkey mince, brown rice, steamed vegetables and olive oil

Meal 4

Double Barrel Nutrition Protein Powder, skim milk and vanilla extract shake

Meal 5

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

Time for measurements!  I wasn’t expecting miraculous results this month – I had a solid week off from training and ate whatever I pleased.  So I was surprised I had any losses at all really considering my weight went up and down like a yoyo all month!  Oh, but a 3.5cm GAIN on my mid thigh?  Possibly incorrect.  I think we may have measured in the wrong spot.  Will see what it says next month though!

Okay, over to you guys!  How have you been going?  Don’t forget to join the discussion boards on my Facebook page!  Let us discuss issues relevant to our interests!

Cleo Shoot: How He Really Feels When You Lose Weight

16 May

I was lucky enough recently to be asked by Cleo magazine if they could do an article on Justin and I about how men really feel when their wife or girlfriend loses weight.  It was such an amazing experience – I felt confident and happy with what they had chosen for me to wear, my hair and makeup was perfection and I was definitely less nervous having Justin there with me.

We interviewed with the lovely Bec Whish and she sent us the questions in advance to mull over.  Now, Justin and I had never really talked about how or if my weight loss impacted our relationship, so this was an interesting experience!

We chatted about the questions for a few days (it took a few days because, let’s face it, you can’t expect a man to talk about his “feelings” for more than 15 minutes) and it was kind of like a little lesson in communication for us.  At first it was difficult for him to really put into words how he felt about it all but eventually he told me how proud he was of me, how much more confidence he sees in me and how much I inspire him to be a healthier person.  Naw.  My heart.  She swells.  ;)

So, this post is dedicated to Justin – your constant and unwavering love and support has been invaluable to me.  You’ve stood by me even when I made the stupidest of decisions and you’ve picked me up when I’ve felt the lowest of lows resulting from those decisions.  You’re my rock and I thank you for everything.  Say it with me now – nawwwwwwww.

Here’s a copy of the article (thanks Bec) but do make sure you go out and get the mag (not just because I’m in it, but because Cleo is AWESOME).  It hits the stands today! :)



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! 

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!

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