"If your dreams don't scare you, they aren't big enough."
Lots of plans, lots of changes. I feel like my life is going through a bit of transitional phase.
While my goals and what I want from life haven't particularly changed, nor the way I live - doing only what I love and what pushes me towards what I'm passionate about - I've found that in the last few months, weeks even, my aspirations are starting to take a more particular shape.
And its scary. The goals I'm setting are daunting AF! They're huge and intimidating and I am so, so excited about them. I get this burning, tingling feeling in my chest just thinking about it! And that's how I know I've found my fire and I'm on the right track.
I want to do SO MUCH!
I want to inspire people to be their best selves, I want to be a coach, create a brand, design a clothing line, push my physique to it's potential, grow a business that ignites this feeling in others... I want to make a difference!
I'm still working out how all these diverse objectives will interplay, but I'm not giving up on any of them... and they're finally starting to combine into a single objective - possibly from sheer force of will!
I think part of this clarity I'm gaining is due in part to the people I've surrounded myself with... the whole "your vibe attracts your tribe" thing is definitely ringing true for me. Since moving into the fitness industry and fully putting myself in a place where I can do what I'm passionate about, I've found I've started to attract like-minded people who are helping push me to my potential.
Coaches, friends, family and colleagues have continually supported and inspired.
My life/business coach Danielle has helped me define my personal values and to work out what is truly important to me. She's pushed me to discover exactly how I want to impact those around me.
My PT Ross has helped me revolutionise my training. I'm stronger than I've ever been, I'm crushing challenges that I thought would take three times as long to achieve (100kg deadlifts, chin ups, monkey bars and more) giving me such a sense of accomplishment. Not to mention helping me be in the best shape of my life!
My colleagues at FF have taught me so much about business strategy, leadership and managing professional relationships. They've helped me immensely in my professional growth and have been unbelievably supportive as I take steps towards new, larger objectives.
While my family doesn't always know exactly what I'm doing - fashion design, personal training, marketing, illustrating and being a receptionist - their trust in me and my choices means the world.
I've even found a partner-in-crime who I have so much in common with... a fellow gym-junkie who shares my motivation for fitness, work, creativity, the outdoors and avocados. Equally ambitious and superiorly generous.
Every day Matt inspires me with his incredible dedication and unwavering kindness, it's the biggest motivation to be the best version of myself. Whether it's meal prepping for Whole30, spotting me for a bench press PB, encouraging me on a run, talking about our business ideas or bringing me food when I'm hangry, it feels amazing to know someone's got my back.
Knowing I've got this amazing community around me, and looking back at what I've already accomplished in the last few years, I know I'm in the best place I can be to tackle what's coming... and I'm so excited for the months to come.
So many BIG things.
I've just finished uni for the trimester, we've got ten days of Whole30 to go, I'm getting stuck into my PT certificates, I've got tickets to Europe (first real holiday in YEARS), an awesome internship lined up, a new career pathway taking shape and the possibility of a fitness comp next year.
So yes my dreams scare the shit out of me, and it's the first time they really have. It's a lot.
It's a lot of goals and a lot of challenges.
Bring. It. On.
If you've been following me on Instagram or Facebook, you'll know that I've decided to re-do the Whole 30 this month.
I guess the first point to address is 'why?'
Six months ago when I first did the Whole 30 - nourishing my body with pure, whole, natural foods and eliminating grains, legumes, sugar/sugar substitutes, dairy, alcohol and any chemical nasties - I came to feel the best I ever have physically and mentally. By the end of the 30 days I was in control of my cravings, never overeating (as my body knew when it was full), my skin was clear, I'd lost body fat, I was strong, happy and had this overwhelming feeling that I could achieve anything and everything (this is true :P), people said I was 'glowing', I was more motivated to achieve my goals and doing so was easier.
All from the fact that for 30 days I only consumed food that was 100%, unquestionably GOOD FOR ME.
This year has been incredibly hectic. I've got commitments and projects all over the place and at times I've found myself stretched pretty thing, not seeing the results I want due to stress and neglect for my own wellbeing and recently my diet has gone a bit slack. I've gained a little fat (along with a lot of muscle - so not all bad) and my skin and sinuses are not having a good time...
So I figured it's time for a reset. I want to get back to that incredible energetic, happy, fit feeling and taking on a 30 day detox/reset diet is a way I know I'll definitely get there.
While i've enjoyed being a bit more relaxed in the foods I eat (I was definitely getting consumed with the numbers - macros, calories, etc.) my body is now letting me know it's time to get back on track.
I'm particularly excited about taking on the challenge again as this time I've managed to inspire/convince/coerce a group of people to do it with me.
While doing the Whole 30 alone is definitely doable, I'm finding that the process is far easier with the support of other people - and I'm only two days in! Having friends, family or coworkers to bounce meal ideas off, ask questions on allowed foods/replacement food ideas and for moral support is definitely a huge help... not to mention an extra hand for meal prepping!
So here we go... before pics are taken, team is assembled, meal prep has begun and we're two days in.
I had an enormous weekend - Friday uni, dinner in the city and watching a rugby game, all day Saturday spent working with Muscle Republic at the Sydney Fitness Expo followed by dropping in at two parties, work, soccer and dinner out on Sunday then to be up for work 4:30am Monday - I'm exhausted, my skin is appalling and today is DEFINITELY a rest day.
But already I'm feeling better in other ways... I feel proud and content knowing I'm taking steps to improve my health and my bloating (which has been pretty bad lately) has completely vanished :)
I'm excited to start seeing the results to come!
Some lessons I learnt from the November Whole 30....
The hardest part of the Whole 30 is when you get caught off-guard - out and about with nothing Paleo friendly to eat. Then the hangries set in and it's no fun for anyone. Yesterday I did a HUGE meal prep to prepare for the week. Snacks, lunches and work meals ready to go - healthy, macro friendly AND delicious.
There's a lot that get's cut out of your diet when you do the Whole 30, and some substitutes - like paleo bread, slices, cakes etc - are not allowed, but there are some great options to help make the diet a little easier.
Coconut products - these are a lifesaver if you just need something creamy! Coconut yoghurt (just check the ingredients to make sure they don't use sweeteners or have flours as thickeners), coconut cream and milk for sauces, curries and dressings. The high fat (good fat!) content adds heaps of flavour and is very beneficial for your body!
Potato - both regular and sweet potato are fantastic for getting more carbs into the diet, while doing so in a more nutrient dense, gut-friendly way. Roasted, mashed, fried (in approved oils/fats of course), baked etc etc. Super flexible veggies.
Cauliflower - something I didn't try last time, but included in my meal prep (and will again and again in the future) is CAULIFLOWER RICE. This low carb, low calories, super healthy veggie is a perfect replacement for rice or cous cous. It's so easy to make as well - just blend it up to your desired consistency then pan fry in a little olive oil and salt. Perfect to go with a stew, curry or to bulk out any other meal. My new fave.
TELL PEOPLE WHAT YOU'RE DOING
Let the people around you know that you're doing the Whole 30. While some will question your sanity and possibly give you a hard time, I've found most people to be incredibly interested and supportive. And the more I've talked about it the more support I've gained. People will surprise you, some may even want to join in.
And I don't blame them... 30 days to feel the best you ever have? Definitely worthwhile!
If anyone else wants to join in, I'm 100% up for being here for support and accountability - it's only for 30 days and it's never to late to start!!
I'll be posting regularly on Instagram and FB throughout the next month to keep anyone who's interested up to date with the effects and results of the program :) Please don't hesitate to get in touch if you have any questions or are tempted to try it!
"You know you're hooked when taking a rest day takes more discipline than working out." I came across this quote on Instagram today and it pretty well sums up what I've been struggling with over the last few weeks.
While I hate for anything to get between me and my goals, and until last week was firmly of the hustle-'til-it-happens mindset, I have come to learn - the hard way - the immense importance of rest and recovery.
I know I'm not the only one who over-commits and tries to do too much, so I thought I'd share this experience to try and prevent some walls from being hit.
I'm a go-getter. I'm ambitious and driven and a little bit obsessive... I have trouble saying no to opportunities and over the last few months I've had a lot on my plate.
I've been attempting to balance a full time work week with a 6 day training program, a uni subject, a couple of days of looking after my sister AND studying my personal training certificates. I was also planning my 21st.
None of these things do I not enjoy or not want to be doing. So no problem, right?
I burnt out, I crashed, I hit the wall - hard.
I went from feeling and looking the best I have (possibly ever) to exhausted, self-destructive and completely unmotivated. Maybe I hadn't been sleeping quite enough, but my training was good? My diet was fine? My workload had definitely been higher?
First I noticed that my training wasn't showing the same results. No one knows your body better than you do, and I felt like I was starting to go backwards - less definition, more aches, less energy. I even lost the desire to train - a completely foreign notion as for the last few months training was probably my highest priority (see the opening quote).
So I didn't want to train, I'd started craving chocolate and carbs, and I wanted to go out and party for the entire weekend. Even when I trained I felt the endorphins and the buzz in my body, but my mind was not on board.
For someone who's go to fix for anything is a work out, I was lost.
I'd had a few concerned colleagues suggest taking some time out, but it took a couple of different situations to show me what is now obvious. The biggest of these was a PT/coaching seminar I attended the other week.
The presenters told us about the importance of managing our clients recovery and about cumulative stress.
In order to progress positively you need to allow recovery from all stresses placed on the body - not just training. This hit home. While I was allowing recovery from my training, I was blatantly ignoring the effect all my other commitments had on my body and stress levels.
When I left the seminar and only made it through half of my squat program I admitted defeat. I needed to step back.
It's not fun to say you're not invincible, that you need time out. It's hard to admit you can't do it all. But I was at the point where I didn't recognise myself and the way I was feeling so I made some changes.
I switched back to a fully Paleo diet for a few days to help my body reset and I promised myself that for the next week I would get an extra hour of sleep per night - at least (compared to the previous week). I also de-loaded my training for the week: I cut out the excess cardio, dropped the weights listened to my body.
The results were incredible, and I think the sleep played the biggest part. After making these changes for just five days I felt myself again: energetic, motivated and ready for anything and everything.
On Saturday I got a new squat PB, on Sunday I worked, trained and played an awesome game of soccer. Yesterday I was sore and didn't have much time to train, but told myself that is okay and spent the evening relaxing with my family.
Today I hit a couple more PBs on deadlifts and hip-thrusters.
I'm still doing everything I need and want to be doing, I've just learnt the importance of listening to what my body needs, and knowing that just because my program says I should be doing x number of reps on a certain day, if my body's not up for that I need to be accepting.
I've learnt that turning my phone off and getting that extra hour makes all the difference, that I can do a workout in an hour if that's all the time I have, that a cheat meal can be used as fuel instead of 'I need to burn that off'.
If I need to do the school pick-up, or finish an assignment I can be angry that I'm going to miss a session or I can be grateful for the rest my muscles will get, and use that as motivation to go hard tomorrow.
I've still got a way to go to work out the perfect balance, but I have more respect for my body than ever. I hope this has helped a few of you in some way, whether to inspire some downtime, or to show that we all have our little challenges and that's completely fine - as long as you can grow from them.
This was a setback but it's one more lesson learned. I've got my fire back and there's goals that need chasing! So watch this space!
With any progression, be it a career path, an education course, an overseas adventure or - as in my case - a health and fitness journey, I think it is important to take snapshots now and then of where you are on that path.
Visual, written or just self-reflective, to see what you have achieved, where you currently are and how far you have to go (though the last one is fluid, I believe there should never be a finish line, only an ever-changing set of goals).
Based on this I feel like it's time to take note of where I'm at, physically, mentally and holistically... some of this is numerical, while some is unquantifiable yet equally as important. We are not defined by numbers, though they can be a useful tool in tracking progress...
So here's a summary of me and my life, at the moment.
I currently weigh around 71kg. A while ago this would have bothered me, but a few weeks ago Jo and I went to MeasureUp in the city to get a DEXA scan.
A DEXA scan uses radiation (lower levels than what we're exposed to walking around every day - so no risk there) to analyse your body's composition - bone density, lean muscle mass and fat percentage. It is a tool that helps you set healthier goals than just looking at a number on a scale, which is purely a sum of these factors.
I've included a picture of my scan (looks a bit funny 'cause I'm lying down any everything gets squished) to show how it works... So cool to see where all the fat/muscle sits - something that will be completely different for everyone.
So of my 71kg, nearly 56kg is lean mass. That means muscle (and organs). Pretty cool... as it makes my previous 'low weight' goals seem a bit superficial - I would just be losing strength and muscle mass if I were to lose too much.
There's only about 13kg of fat in my body (thanks bum and thighs), putting me at 18% body fat and within the "athlete" range. Honestly I was pretty surprised with this result, I know I work out a lot and eat well, but this was a really nice surprise.
As a comparison, the standard healthy range for women is 20-25kg of fat, very healthy is 15-20kg and professional athletes 10-15kg. The recommended body fat percentage is 21-33% for women. Lean muscle should be 35-40kg depending on height... strong is the new skinny ;)
**Source, MeasureUP, Gallagher et al., American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, Vol.72, Sept. 2000**
So numerically I'm at a pretty good point, but I've got some pretty high goals set for myself...
I'm coming into my 'peak' years and want to see how far I can push myself, to be the absolute best (and let's be honest, hottest) version of myself. My current goal is to get to 14-15% body fat, which sits in the middle of the "fitness model" range. Something attainable and not at the unhealthy levels required for some competition etc.
I plan to get another DEXA in about 4 months - enough time to put in some serious work and hopefully see a some good changes (muscle up/fat down).
My DEXA also told me my resting metabolic rate - RMR - (how many calories I'd burn if I didn't move all day), this is worked out on the bodies composition (muscle requires more energy to maintain - a great reason to build muscle as it'll burn calories just by being there!).
My RMR is 1778 calories/day. To maintain my current composition I'd need to be eating around 2200 calories/day. I
As my goal is to maintain muscle and cut fat, the calories stay low (17-1800) but I have very high protein goals (150g per day). The rest is split between fats and carbs - all as natural and unprocessed as possible.
The only supplements I take are pure whey protein isolate (from Bare Blends - very clean and natural), magnesium for muscle recovery and occasionally a green
My training is predominantly resistance training, with hypertrophy - muscle retention/development, and toning - shredding ;), being the goals. I train with my PT Ross once a week, he helps so much with form and technique, as well as pushing me right to my limits. He also wrote the rest of my program that I do for the rest of the week. This makes it really easy to stay motivated and to know what I need to achieve each day.
I do two upper body days, two lower body and one full body circuit day. I try and add some cardio (ew) on to the end of each of these sessions, either a half hour on a cardio machine or walking/running outside, or a 15 minute HIIT (high intensity interval training) session. The cardio is mostly there to burn the extra calories...the resistance is the important part.
The sixth day is mostly mobility work - stretching and mobilising my muscles to help with recovery and performance - and some core work. I try and do some foam rolling and mobility every day as I find I get very locked up and sore if I don't.
I like to do yoga when I can, it helps me so much mentally and forces me to relax and stop for an hour!
So that's the numbers stuff, pretty useful yeah?
THE CHALLENGES/OTHER NEWS
A few quick life things... my bestie Ella is back from adventuring in America for a few months, so stoked to have her back! I've just registered for my 14th season of soccer, can't wait for the new season as I'm feeling much more in shape than previous years. Can't wait to see the team again!
My Fitbit got drowned in the shower (oops) and I had severe withdrawal so got the new Charge 2. I looovee it!
I'm struggling to stay still... I think it's the extra training, but it definitely helps with my goal of watching less TV - I can barely sit through one episode of anything anymore!
While I'm feeling pretty fantastic with my training, there are some things I'm struggling with at the moment...
I injured my back about six months ago on a trampoline (yes it was doing something stupid), and while the injury has gone the muscles around the site are super locked up and can be quite painful. I've been seeing my amazing chiro Andrew Callister (look him up if you need one!!!) every couple of weeks and seen some great results. But I've found out that I've been standing wrong my whole life... Too straight apparently (just trying to do what mum said!)... so need to constantly focus on engaging my core and creating a currently absent curve in my spine. This also affects the way I have to lift at the gym. Fun. Necessary.
I work a lot. I have trouble slowing down.
Balancing work and training, social life and other commitments has been tough but is definitely improving - there's benefits to working in management and being able to control your own hours ;) I love my work/training community, I really feel a part of something positive when I'm there.
I'm at a good point now, but (drumroll please).... I've just enrolled to do my Personal Training course at AIPT, studying predominantly online. This is something I'm so excited about, I'm a bit of a sponge for health/fitness knowledge at the moment and I can't wait to learn even more, and to be able to share this knowledge with more people!
Paying for this has left me rather poor, so budgeting finances is a new challenge I'm working on
I also go back to uni in a couple of weeks, and am in the middle of planning my 21st, coordinating a split family and supporting my beautiful mum and sister as they make a big transition.
Sleep is something I'm definitely not getting enough of, feeling quite drained and in need of naps...
So a lot on my plate that I need to prioritise and balance, but I'm sure I'm up for the challenge.
Passion and determination are definitely on my side with everything that's going on... so let's see where this takes me!
Over the last few months I've made a series of choices and decisions - some small, some larger - all of which have pushed me to where I currently am health, training and lifestyle-wise. From leaving hospitality and taking a job at a Fitness First, to changes in training, diet and discipline... choosing to do the Whole 30 was one of the most pivotal.
It was back in November that I decided to challenge myself to do the Whole30. I'd seen it online and read a few reviews (seen the before and after pics of course), and it didn't strike me as a 'fad diet' or marketing scheme - particularly as all the information is available free and online!
Though do I highly recommend reading 'It Starts with Food' by Dallas and Melissa Hartwig as it goes into all the detail about WHY you do these 'insane' things to your diet! ...Friends I have the e-book and pdf if you want it :)
So what is it?
The Whole30 is a short term (30 day) full-body dietary cleanse plan very similar to the Paleo diet.
It is designed to cleanse your body, reset your gut and other body systems, to re-teach your body to burn fat as an energy source (this ability can become inhibited by eating the wrong foods) and to help diagnose the causes of constant ailments we suffer from as individuals (and often don't even realise).
For me this is chronic allergies/hay-fever/sinusitis, though for you it could be joint pain, acne, diabetes, poor quality sleep or the inability to lose weight etc.
For those who don't know, the Paleo diet is what humans ate in the Paleolithic era, pre-agriculture, and the use of it in the Whole30 is on a basis that our DNA and dietary needs haven't changed that much since then. The 'cave-man diet'. Agriculture brought grains into our diets, and enabled societies to be formed and remain in one place. Grain provided a reliable and convenient source of energy - but that doesn't make it an optimal source of nutrition!
In the Whole30 grains (all of them, not just the gluten-y ones) get cut out, along with sugar and sugar substitutes, legumes, dairy and alcohol... but ONLY for 30 days!
"What can you eat???" was the question I got asked most... basically nothing processed - fruit, veggies, meat, eggs and some nuts and seeds (though I didn't have much of these last two due to intolerances/allergies).
It seems pretty daunting at first, particularly if you're one to rely on grain-based carbs and have a cheese obsession, but I found that by telling myself it's only 30 days, and not a permanent change, it made the cleanse a whole lot easier.
The Whole30 made it hard to go out for meals, and made prepping meals pretty essential. I did sometimes feel like I was inconveniencing others... But the benefits FAR outweighed any negatives or challenges.
I learnt way more about nutrition, and discovered the sorts of foods (and macros) that my body thrives on.
I worked out how to feel full and satiated without being bloated and physically full of food - I was able to stop myself over-eating. My allergies/hay-fever vanished within the first week, my skin cleared up.
I felt better - positive, accomplished, stronger.
Weight loss wasn't a goal and while most people who do the Whole30 do lose weight, mine stayed nearly the same. However, I definitely lost fat, and probably gained muscle. I looked better in the mirror, and felt better in myself - and that is far more important than a number on the scale!
After the 30 days I slowly re-introduced the banned food groups into my diet - to see what triggered my allergies/perpetual runny nose - I dealt reasonably well with each food group, but noticed minor reactions to most: I got bloated after eating legumes, gluten caused my skin to break out (I only noticed this as my skin had cleared up so much), dairy blocked my nose up, though no way near as much as the combination of sugar and dairy which was even worse with gluten in the mix.
I took a couple of weeks before I drank alcohol again, and my reaction to it was probably the worst. My once pretty decent tolerance (thanks bar work) had completely evaporated, and I could feel the alcohol hit me halfway through a cocktail!
I was out with some girlfriends drinking cocktails and while I didn't get drunk, or messy in any way, I could feel the effects of the alcohol so much more strongly ...actually every group added back post-whole 30 I could physically feel my body reacting to in some way. A change in the system.
While I felt the alcohol sooner, the effects also wore off more quickly. I was completely sober by the time I got home, yet started to feel unwell. I was so nauseous I couldn't get to sleep for TWO HOURS.
The next morning there was no hangover, just an incredibly negative feeling and heaps of grogginess - not fun.
Every time I've had a night out since - none large or over-the-top, always home sober - I've had a similar reaction. And while it's something a lot of my friends/colleagues struggle to accept, and respect even, I really don't enjoy drinking anymore. I don't like the idea of going out bar-hopping, or spending a night at Wharfy or the Steyne, as everything at these places revolves around the consumption of alcohol. Even when I go out with people who respect my decision (while sober) to drink minimally, as soon as they drink there is suddenly this overwhelming pressure placed on me to keep up, have a glass in my hand and not be 'boring'.
The last few years of my life have been spent as a cocktail bartender, and working through a number of the best bars in Manly, so believe me I know how fun it can be. But after cutting it out I've realised how damaging alcohol can be, even in small doses.
I do love a good cocktail, but now I'd rather have one (okay maybe two) with a nice meal in good company, on a special occasion.
You do you and I'll do me, all I ask is that if someone doesn't want to drink, saying no should be enough. They shouldn't have to justify that decision to you.
While now I eat a bit of chocolate, love my avo on a piece of sourdough and a margarita is a serious treat, my diet and knowledge of food has vastly improved and I feel so much better for it.
The Whole30 is now something I recommend to everyone, at least to read a bit about it as the theory is so fascinating - you may have bad eating habits that you actually believe to be healthy, that are preventing you from losing weight and your body functioning at it's optimal level. Check out the overview here, and please feel free to message me with any questions about it!
I've included some pics of the food I ate (it was all delicious, I don't believe in food that isn't yummy), as well as my before, halfway, and after pictures - not a dramatic change, but noticeable to me, and the changes felt were far greater.
Hopefully a bit of inspiration... if not to do the Whole30, but to make some little change to your lifestyle for a long-term benefit.
Welcome to my new personal blog!
I guess the first thing to address is why I've started this... here goes.
While fashion and illustration are no less a passion of mine than they have been over the last couple of years, there are sooo many other things I'm doing, and probably equally passionate about that have come into play recently (though they've always had a place), and I've had a sudden urge to record them.
I haven't had the same time to put towards my art - regretful in one view - though I'm pretty proud of the other things I've been working on, which wouldn't have happened if my priorities hadn't shuffled a bit.
Health and fitness/training are the main ones, and I feel that they're going to feature strongly, along with life events, uni, work, challenges, thoughts and whatever else I feel like putting in...
I'll still post on my fashion / illustration blog, but I wanted somewhere where I could record anything and everything I wanted to write about.
This blog may not be everyone's (or anyone's) cup of tea, but really, it's for me. To record this stage of my life, to have a new creative outlet - and something to keep me away from Netflix and my phone - and to share that with whoever wants to know. If you're interested, please read on, if not, get back to looking at the art! :)
2016 was a big one, though maybe not in the ways I expected. I accomplished a fair bit and I'm proud of what I achieved, as well as grateful for all the experiences and opportunities (both good and rather bad) that I gained and learned from.
I completed two trimesters of university, travelled (only interstate, though it was quite an eye-opener), made some incredible new, like-minded friends - like Jo in the cocktail pic, who I'm not sure what I did without before - got my motorcycle licence, saved for and bought a motorcycle, got my bike Ps, my first fine, juggled three jobs, uni, a training program AND an internship, and realised that was a bit much!
My friends and family supported me through a whole lot of big and often inconvenient decisions (going Paleo for 30 days) and helped make 2016 such a valuable year.
I got a new job at Fitness First, and finally made a gradual exit out of the hospitality industry and bar scene (which I will always love, respect and value immensely). This job was a bigger blessing than I could have expected, I was offered a management position, where I've been able to develop incredibly valuable skills, make my own hours and experience the many challenges of coordinating a team.
With the now regular 4:30am starts I've been able to realise my immense passion for fitness, training and health. I'm surrounded everyday by like-minded people who value their physical being and welfare, who want to strengthen and nourish and develop their bodies and help others do the same. This is the environment that has pushed me to try and be my best self, and take the best care possible of the only body I'll ever have.
The Christmas/New Year period messed everything up a little bit, but after eating to much, battling fatigue and a few too many desserts I'm coming out of a tough week on a really high note.
I've pretty much cut out alcohol since doing the Whole30 back in November, as I find I react quite badly to it now... my stomach saying 'No, thank you! What have you done?' So the few drinks and extra sugar and calories etc over the last couple of weeks hit home this week, in combination with the changes in schedule.
I had a great training session on Monday - awesome deadlifting session followed by some high intensity, bodyweight leg circuits, but found myself incredibly drained and run down on Tuesday and Wednesday... resulting in 11 hours of sleep on Wednesday night! Rather than feeling guilty for not training I've forced myself to accept that my body needed the rest and to use it as a reset for the rest of the week.
An awesome chiro appointment saw a my back being stuck with a few dry-needles, helping relieve pain from a silly trampolining injury a few months ago - I can't actually do backflips, don't let me try!
Feeling much more myself today (Friday) and I've made great use of my first day off.
I started the morning with a sleep in - 6:15!! Nearly two whole hours :O and a lie in 'til seven, feeling very spoilt!
Back to the gym (they really can't keep me away) to do my first training session with a new Personal Trainer. I'd been looking forward to this session since I booked it in over a week ago, and Ross didn't disappoint!
After taking a few measurements and a warm up we got into a killer upper body program.
Band assisted pull-ups paired with bench press, followed by incline dumbbell presses and bent-over rows. I was feeling muscles I didn't know I had and my forearms have never been so pumped up! Finished off with some rowing intervals. Ouch.
It was fantastic to be pushed to my limits and great to train with someone who understood my goals and I can definitely see getting me there! We've talked programs, both training and nutrition, worked out macros and calorie counts and will keep planning... next week Jo and I are going to get DEXA scans - full body scans that analyse body fat %, muscle %, metabolic rate and so much more. Beyond excited to find out my stats and set some more precise goals.
After training Jo and I headed to Sprout Wholefoods up in Naremburn which is owned by one of our favourite Fitness First members, Joe. Black coffee, eggs, bacon, haloumi, avocado, tomato and a bit of Sourdough definitely hit the spot!
Then a quick stop at Exagym to pick up a rubber band to do some more of those assisted pull-ups.
The rain cleared up in time for me to ride home and finish off a big painting for my step-mum that was meant to be finished for Christmas... then a swim and a bit of sun-baking and reading Game of Thrones (book 2, again) topped off a pretty perfect day.
To improve it even further I've hit all my macros and am just under my calories for the day, pretty proud of that!
Looking forward, here's what I've got in mind for 2017. Not so much resolutions as goals...
The goal I'm most passionate about is health. I want to create a healthy and sustainable training and nutrition program. To train 5 times a week (weights, cardio, yoga etc), hit macros/calories (currently at 1700cal, 150g protein, 70g fats, 130g carbs - though this is tailored for my weight and height and level of training, just included for interests sake). Decrease body fat % while maintaining muscle (this will get more precise after my DEXA) - basically get a lot more lean and toned. Currently at about 69kg but I've been told 62 is an achievable and still healthy weight, so while I care about the fat% let's see how I go!
I want to maintain a healthy, mostly paleo/GF/dairy free diet as I find that works well for me and how I feel best.
A big goal is to watch less TV and use my phone less. I've actually noticed that since upping my training I find it quite hard to sit still for more than one episode (if that) of any show so it's probably more the phone that needs work.
This will free up more time for creativity. I'm aiming to blog once a week, whether it's art or health or lifestyle, I want to be writing and expressing myself. Also get back into creating more art.
Read more books.
When uni starts I want to be fully present and engaged, with a goal to maintain a distinction average and continue to develop my design skills and personal brand.
I'm planning on doing a course or two on advanced motorcycle riding, I think it's important to keep developing my skills and believe you can never be to practiced or informed.
2017 will be the year I turn 21, and the year I finally travel. After working hard since leaving school, and watching so many friends go on incredible adventures overseas I'm desperate for a part of it. USA is the plan, and possibly a bit of South America and Europe depending on time and funds!
Finally, I want to be a better sister and daughter. More helpful and available. More considerate and less selfish.
I want to be available for my mum and sister, while I can't always be with them I want to be as present and supportive of everything they go through in the coming months. They mean the world to me.
That's about it for now. Tonight holds a quiet evening at home, perhaps some drawing and maybe I'll make an inspiration board...
If you've read this far, thank you. I reckon future posts will be shorter (though no promises). Here's to 2017, and the 359 remaining opportunities to improve, grow and create.
If there is only one thing I can achieve in 2017 it is this: do only things that I am passionate about. Be it work, health, relationships, study, travel or anything else. I want to love what I do, and I want to live by that.