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Sunday, June 26, 2011

Dexa scan excitement!

DISCLAIMER: This blog is in NO WAY pointed at any one particular person!! So, if you think you may fit into the doubting category -- Before you get your knickers in a knot and decide never to talk to me again -- Be aware -- MOST people had this same opinion!! It is meant to be FUNNY people - not offensive!! LOL! So relax! Have a laugh.

Fast twitch vs slow twitch : opposite goals??

My goals for this year are to do the marathon (at least the half - undecided about the full), and get to my 10 chin ups... Soooo many people thought I was silly for choosing opposite goals!! "Don't you need your muscles to do totally opposite things for these goals??"  "You will not be able to do that because all that running is going to strip your muscle!"  "You really should focus on one or the other -- the training you do for both is very different!"

I have lots of fast twitch muscle fibres. Suited to sprints and weights. However, you can actually teach fast twitch muscle fibres to act like slow twitch. My idea (which I did mention to a few people - who laughed!) was to get the upper body fast twitch functioning more efficiently as fast twitch and the lower body fast twitch muscles to function more like a slow twitch muscle. People would look at me really weird when I told them this... I got various responses and strange looks... "Have you actually thought about that?" "Can you actually do that??" through to ... "I really don't think it works like that!"

I have never been one to do what is expected or what is considered to be normal behaviour. I have always just done things which others consider in your face, offensive or merely against the mould of what I really *should* be doing... I actually really am quite used to doing things differently to the way others think they should be done!! Bit of an odd ball I am!! LOL! It has gotten me into trouble many times -- not like that has bothered me greatly! Hahaha!! (Perhaps it should!) I still remember asking a teacher at high school why she was such a bit#$ all the time -- to which she replied she was not there to make friends... ... Fair enough!! LOL! Poor lady. Not the usual question students and teachers in high school though!! Haha!

Anyways, so after a few months I was curious to know which way it had gone!! Has my cardio stripped my muscle?? Have I been able to do distance running and still build up some muscle?? I got a dexa scan done and have actually gone UP in muscle and DOWN in fat!! And - I am up to 3 chin ups unassisted and 20km of running non-stop (in an average time too: as opposed to really slow!) and still working my way up....

This blog really is not a very humble blog at all -- because I am writing it to say -- BITE ME!!! Bahahaha!!! Seems to me like I *can* use my lower body for endurance activities and my upper body for resistance training, power and strength!! Seems to me I *can* train my lower body muscles to act as slow twitch and my upper body muscles to act more efficiently as fast twitch!! I have done a little video for all you guys who doubted!! Sooo immature of me -- I know!! -- BITE -- BITE -- BITE!!  

Wednesday, June 22, 2011


By figuring out what triggers our eating, we can start to use more appropriate techniques to manage it! Some triggers include:

1. Social.
Eating is SUCH a social thing!! How much of our catching up with people revolves around food!! Going out for a meal, having people over, meeting up for coffee, going to a party...
Plan in advance where you are going - look at what is on the menu in advance so you can have some idea of the healthy options!! Eat something healthy BEFORE you go to a party so you are not starving when you get there! Take something healthy to eat when you meet someone for coffee and eat that while you catch up!

2. Emotional.
75% of overeating is caused by emotions. We eat when we are bored... we eat when we are stressed.... we eat when we are tired... we eat when we are angry... we eat when we are anxious... we eat when we are depressed... You Get The Picture!!! LOL
Do something else instead of eat!!! Sounds easier than it is -- but it IS possable! LOL! Do something with your hands that takes some thought! Go out for a walk! Call up a friend! The wave of "hunger" (that is not really hunger) will pass!

3. Situational.
We often associate eating with certain activities... It could be watching T.V, going to a particular sporting event or even when we have a coffee we eat a biscuit!
Recognise these times and plan to do something differently - than you will just need to excerise a little willpower and follow it through! Either that - or change what you do and do something differently!

4. Physiological.
Skipping meals can lead to excessive hunger so we end up eating anything and everything in sight!! LOL. People also eat to cure headaches and other pains too. (I know chocolate helps my headaches!! lol)
Eat regularly enough that you do NOT get so starving you eat everything you can get your hands on... LOL.. Learn other ways to relax and buy some panadol for your headaches! Haha!

Binge eating is also called compulsive overeating. People with this sort of food addicition use food as a way of gaining a temporary release from stress through an addictive high -- because their is an abnormality of endorphin metabolism in the brain! For the compulsive overeater, eating all the food triggers a release of serotonin; which is why abstinence from the food causes them withdrawal symptoms!! There may actually be higher levels of depression and anxiety due to the decreased levels of serotonin. I read an awesome quote recently - "when you are addicted to drugs you put the tiger in the cage to recover; when you are addicted to food you put the tiger in the cage, but take it out three times a day for a walk."
Eating disorders often stem from emotional struggles that should be resolved in order for the sufferer to not fall back into old habits.

Tips for emotional eaters:
1. Be aware of your feelings. Know when you want to eat because you feel crap.
2. Distract yourself from eating. Do something that keeps your hands busy!
3. Find an emotional eating buddy. Use them when you feel like eating! Call them up for support!


Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Body Step Weekend - a positive spin.

Ok, so now I have had a couple of days to recover - I am able to look back and laugh at a few things! The last post was a little on the dark side (for one of my posts!) LOL.. So, I thought I'd share a couple of funny moments!!

The case of the never ending Burpee
We had a step challenge on the second day. 4 stations - 1 min at each one. 3 times around with speed step in between. The most intense moves from the release were chosen and put at each station. There were moonwalk/shuffles, burpees, pushup/mountain climbers, knee lift jumps, box jumps holding a 5kg plate, turn steps, over the tops, and jump squats on the step!! Each 4 min we stopped and did a speed step thing for 2 minutes. (1 min high knees). SERIOUSLY INSANE!! Especially since, when she stopped to correct someone's technique she stopped timing!!! Hahaha!! I got stuck doing burpees FOREVER.. OMGosh! FOREVER I tell you!! Whoever that was who could not get the technique right - I WILL KILL YOU!!! LOL.

4 min of push ups on the toes interspersed with mountain climbers... Actually, it was longer than 4 min because I got stuck on that too while someone's technique got corrected!! I was seriously face down in someone else's sweat too which was grossing me out -- haha!! I dropped to my knees for just a second - and what do you know - she SEES ME!!! Typical! She comes over and is on my back to "harden up" and "how much do I want this" ... blah blah blah... If I wasn't almost DEAD - I would have killed HER!! LOL.  But instead, it was easier to get back on the toes and keep push up-ing.
Jumping music.
When we presented our tracks for the first time, we were kicked out of the group exercise room and into the creche room... so we had a dodgy CD player which kept skipping... Soooo funny - she took a video of us teaching the track... BAHAHAH!!! The CD player skipped a whole line in my track which meant I ended up totally on the wrong side on the step - - it was hilarious to watch on the video!! Not so funny at the time but funny now! LOL!

Lead with the girls.
I know I have bad posture - I am working on it with doing lots of back weight training and stretching the pecs.... So much of the Les Mills stuff is all about good posture though -- so apparently I need to practice leading with the girls!! Chest up, shoulders back and down! LOL! Lead with the girls!! I can practice that! (Hope it does not get me into any trouble!) Haha..

I was working in sales on monday night and they had a step class on. Just hearing the music had me mentally cringing! Then when I had to tour someone and I SAW the step class -- I seriously cringed - My claves actually twinged!!
I can only just tolerate hearing the music and thinking about the step now... Haha! Perhaps in a couple of days I will get back on one. LOL!
Anyway, so while is was one of the hardest things I have ever done -- Call me insane, because I *did* enjoy it... in some kind of mentally bizaar way.. lol.

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Body Step Weekend.

Absolutely shattered... In every conceivable way! I would have to say I have just experienced the most HARDEST weekend in my entire life. (And I have had some pretty hard ones!)

Physically: I spent around 10 hours on a step jumping away this weekend, and I burnt around 5000 calories on it. I did this with a TOTAL of 9 hours sleep. Not to mention the other 15 hours of theory/observing that I did. Or the drive to the place which was an hour away each day!!

Mentally: I was THAT exhausted that I was weaving backwards and forwards while I was standing still. But, I had to pull something from somewhere and keep on jumping, burpee-ing and pushup-ing!! I have done 8 hour boot camps before - this was harder than THOSE! It took pretty much everything I had.

Emotionally: I was tempted to give up after the first day, but gritted my teeth and pushed on with it. I was so freaked out and overwhelmed -- I actually cried after the first day!! But, I got back up and kept on getting back up and I did not give up! I was determined to give it everything. But, I still have to go back another day and present my track again which has me pretty gutted...

I need to work on my posture (chest up / shoulders back and down!) and practice my technique on a few moves -- I am too bouncy!! LOL. I love to jump -- unfortunately my track is not a bouncy one! NO BOUNCING!! I know the choreography (can do it fine by myself lol) but I got messed up a couple of times telling people how to do it, what to do and when to do-- it was another thing going in the hardest things I have done basket -- especially when I get the song and choreography on the Saturday and have to teach on the Sunday!! It was all too much for me! LOL.. But I did not give up and I did pretty much EVERYTHING I could; my absolute best -- I could not have done ANY more!! So, I am happy with that. I just need to go another day and present my track again. I actually have it to practice now so I will be fine next time around. LOL!!

I was THAT exhausted I fell off the step and twisted my ankle ... but sucked it up and jumped on it for another few hours.. Now, IT HURTS!! It is on the opposite side to my knee which I screwed running the other day.. And, I landed on my coxicx again - which still was sore from when I fell of the 24inch box!! Hahaha!! I feel like a disaster zone!!

Well, THAT is going down as one of THE most memorable experiences of my life. I don't think I have EVER pushed myself the way I did this weekend. Seriously, the hardest weekend of my entire life... In every way. BUT, I will be prepared for next time!! (And THAT I like!)

Saturday, June 11, 2011

Exam #2. Labile Blood pressure.

I have been told before that I have Labile Blood Pressure. I was pregnant and as you do when you are pregnant -- I was feeling a little emotional and upset about something..  (a little precious.. lol)! I went in for my check up - I had a headache and was feeling lousy but apart from that, nothing unusual. Sat down, had them take my blood pressure ... 180/110. Bahaha!! Let's just say, I have NEVER seen people move that fast! I was on my back on a bed with needles hanging out me and being wheeled up to the birthing suite before I could count to 10!! Once I got there though, they took it again and it was 130/70. BAHAHA!!! Labile Blood Pressure.

Labile meaning "ever-changing" and in labile hypertension, blood pressure fluctuates far more than usual. Your blood pressure might soar from 119/76 mm Hg at 10 a.m. to 170/104 mm Hg at 4 p.m. These fluctuations can spring from a variety of sources, such as too much caffeine, anxiety attacks, or stress overload. Traditional blood pressure treatments often have little effect, while anti anxiety treatments including anxiety management may be helpful for controlling and keeping an ideal blood pressure.

Needless to say... as I mentioned in my previous post - Exams have me STRESSED!! Add to that the fact that I can NEVER get the right reading when it comes to the stupid blood pressure machine. And no people, it is NOT just a push the button one - I think even I could manage that!! It's one of those ones like the doctors use - with the stethoscope and sphygmomanometer (dare you to say that 5 times fast!). I could not even get it right during the PRACTICE - not a single chance in the exam! Haha..

At least I know everyone is
trained in CPR now - we did
First Aid a couple of weeks ago!

So, I have labile blood pressure (which I know) and I am stressed! I KNOW I am going to LOOK like I need to be taken to hospital, on my back on a bed, with needles hanging out of me. Been there - Done that! And I KNOW I am going to get told to go see a doctor and take it seriously... Been there - Done that!! And guess what! Surprise - Surprise... It was 120/80 at the doctors. Perfect! Perhaps I should take the doctor to TAFE with me!! Haha..  hmmm... Now that might just WORK! Because as expected : for the exam 145/110 !! WOO - go me. I was actually impressed -- thought it may have been at LEAST 160/110 !! Of course, I'd like to think that it was my awesome powers of relaxation and distraction which had the top number down a little... LOL..   

Anyways, now after the latest "you need to take this seriously" looks... I am stressed about having a heart attack... and will probably go back to the doctors; who will reassure me I am not going to have a heart attack... until next time we do blood pressures at TAFE... when I will get stressed again... and go back to the doctors again... etc.. etc... etc... LOL!!

Really I think the moral of THIS story is -- STOP TAKING BLOOD PRESSURE AT TAFE!!!

Would be interested in hearing from anyone else who has this kind of blood pressure!! Feel free to message me!!

C'mon... I am not this bad! lol

Now, it really wouldn't be my exam without the blond moments.. nor my blog without sharing those blond moments...  Hehehe..

Teacher : So, when you are doing the shoulder press, what is the scapula doing...
Me: Umm, Going up??
Teacher: Yeah, which is??
Me: Umm, Opposite to depression??
Teacher: Yeah, which is??
Me: Hmmm... Give up - don't know! lol

And, I am SO not this bad!

Teacher: That would be ELEVATION...
(Yep, I knew that.. NOT!)

Doing the hip flexor stretch...
Teacher: So, what are we stretching here??
Me: Hip flexors!!
Teacher: Yeah, what muscle are we stretching??
Teacher: Umm... the muscle??
Me: Hmm.. Hip flexors?? ?? Don't know!! lol
Teacher: Rectus Femorus (big quad muscle)
Me: Seriously?? Never heard that before!! (That's my story and I'm sticking with it!!)

Despite all that, I managed to pass.. .. Onwards we go. 2 out of 3 down. 1 to go!! YAY! Loving my Fitness Course! (And I didn't have to talk about my nipples in this exam either!!) Haha..

Labile BP references.

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Comparing yourself leads to failure

Comparison usually involves a negative appraisal of yourself in relation to others. Stay away from it! Comparison is hazardous to your self-confidence and performance health. When you compare yourself with other people you set yourself up to feel badly about yourself and fail. Comparison is a losing game because you'll always manage to find someone better than you. You will only succeed in setting yourself up for a very big fall into a pit of low self-esteem. Low self-esteem will only cloud your own belief in yourself, cause you to doubt yourself and lead to a lot of mental and emotional misery. Your mind can be your greatest ally or your worst nightmare. Thoughts of self-doubt, fear, anxiety, or confusion can quickly strip you of energy and send you to the couch instead of taking action on your dreams.

There's a benefit to seeing someone much better than you perform and modelling your style or technique after them. Admiring others without comparing is perfectly natural and healthy. This is the only positive way to focus on someone else.

When you compare yourself, it takes energy away from focusing on YOUR dreams. Keep your focus on YOU. Measure yourself against yourself. Living a life with a firm belief in yourself, of empowerment, is absolutely the key and goes hand-in-hand with making your dreams the focus of your fulfilling life.

What usually stops us from reaching our goals and dreams is ourselves and our minds. When you believe in yourself, nothing can stop you. Focus on YOU and keep a positive attitude. Where the mind goes - the body will follow.

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Shit happens. Death sucks.

I have not been one for writing about personal life dramas on this blog -- especially those unrelated to health and fitness!! I figure nobody wants to listen to my sob stories and whinging; and quite frankly neither do I!! LOL. But you know what, it's my blog and I can do what I like. So today's post is rather unusual, and possibly may be the only of its kind. I am thinking about why bad shit happens to good people. (I don't normally swear on this blog either - another first - possibly only). My brother was an awesome person; one of those tough on the outside, marshmallow on the inside kind of blokes. ALWAYS went out of his way to help people and put others first. Was really generous with his both time and money. Seriously friendly and easy going - always happy to give new things a try. He really was an awesome person. And like ALL of us - he did some stupid things. Unfortunately his stupid thing got him killed.

So, my question is - why does shit like that happen to such kind-hearted, nice people.

The religious answer to that is something along the lines of the fact that none of us are good and we do things which go against what God wants us to do. God merely gives us over to these actions and consequently we reap the consequences of either our (or someone elses actions)... ie. we live in a sinful world so shit happens. Some might even say that God allows these things to happen because he has a bigger picture which involves some sort of good coming out of the shit.

Some might try and refer to karma. Karma is not punishment or retribution but simply a consequence of natural acts. Humans act with free will and create their own destiny. My brother sped, drove recklessly and put other in danger many times - so this was merely a consequence of his own shit actions.

Others just accept that it the way it is; shit happens - move on. I just saw some posts replying to the question "why do people have to die":

No need to look for a reason when there is none. There is no purpose to life or death except what you make of it. 
That's the goal of life, all life dies whether its your pet kitty or the flower in your garden.  Its natural. 

We die because we live.

If people didn't die, there would really be no point to live life to the fullest. since there is a limit on the amount of time we have, we do the things we want to while we still can.

Death is necessary to keep the natural balance. Just imagine if we could live forever. There would be no space for everybody

And yet many would think that it was an injustice that someone as warm hearted as him and someone who had so much to give the world died so young - before he got a chance to do any of it.

Just some thoughts.... Even though I might think I have it figured out intellectually - it is still shit. I miss my bro.

Feel free to message me your thoughts.

Friday, June 3, 2011

Mental Toughness. A few thoughts.

Even though we know how to train the body to achieve results, we also need to train the mind to support exercise/weight loss success. It's not always your physical or technical expertise that stops you from getting where you want to be -- but your mental toughness. To be extraordinary you have to hold your nerve, get uncomfortable, and consistently do the hard work even when you don't feel at your best.

Having a physiological edge that enables you to be consistent, confident, focused, and determined during high pressure situations in order to perform at maximum potential despite difficulty or consequences - to never, never quit; period.

The things which are going to determine how mentally tough you are:

1. Confidence -

Confidence is a positive state of mind and a belief that you can achieve the challenge you have set for yourself. If you believe you are able to succeed you are preparing yourself for success. Setting goals really can boost confidence. They need to be challenging but realistic. Seeing in black and white where you have come from and where you are going is very encouraging! When someone is confident they are more likely to persevere even when things are not going to plan, show enthusiasm, and be positive!!

2. Focus -

When you cannot stay focused; you will easily collapse in high pressure situations. Being able to block everything out and focus on what you are doing is going to increase your performance heaps, because you will be tunnel visioned to where you want to go and determined to get there. Visualization and Self-talk are a couple of great ways to help you stay focused in a positive manner on what you need to do. “Speak to yourself in the second person with statements such as, ‘You are going to give this every- thing you have,’” “Before you even step under the bar for a squat or pick up a dumbbell,” says Joe Stankowski, C.P.T., a former powerlifting and strongman competitor, “your set should be mentally done.” Imagine the steps you’ll take to get into position and the way your body will look performing the movement, and rehearse each repetition in your mind
The post I wrote on tips of beginning runners has some of these ideas in it -- I didn't even realise what I was doing -- I just knew it made running easier!! LOL

3. Control -
Emotional control is a prerequisite to getting into the "zone" when it come to performing in sports and running. Anxiety comes in two forms - Physical (butterflies, sweating, nausea, needing the toilet) and Mental (worry, negative thoughts, confusion, lack of concentration). Relaxation techniques and concentrating on breathing are great things to practise to help get control and be able to focus when under pressure. When you can manage your emotions you can perform at your best.

Consider this: “World-class endurance athletes respond to the stress of a race with a reduction in brain-wave activity that’s similar to meditation,” says Rachel Cosgrove, C.S.C.S., a strength and conditioning coach and triathlete. “The average person responds to race stress with an increase in brain-wave activity that borders on panic.” This is a prime example of how getting into the “zone” athletes talk about—the cool-headed state that allows a per- son to perform optimally even under high-pressure conditions—can make all the difference in your performance. Achieving this state and holding on to it despite distractions, pain, and your own instincts to give in for the sake of self-preservation is the essence of mental toughness.

4. Motivation and Commitment -
Finding motivation is not always going to happen... the challenge is staying committed. The challenge is keeping on going even when you are NOT feeling motivated. As Mish says JFDI!! Keep on keeping on till you get to where YOU want to be.

Beginning some Crossfit.

One thing I absolutely LOVE to do is mix things up... I love having a routine -- but I also really enjoy changing things up a bit. Something I have been wanting to do for the last 6 months are KIPPING CHINUPS!! LOL

Now that I can do a couple of proper dead lift ones - I thought it was time to give it a go. So I got the number off a friend for a crossfit PT and took myself along to see what it was all about. Something I love about crossfit is the intensity and plyometric stuff... It really is right where I am at!! All about power, strength and still quite cardio based. AWESOME!! Funny enough, it was also all those things which had me crapping myself.. Bahaha!! All those things really do add up to HARD work - and hard work scares me.. LOL
I gotta tell you though... I have been learning a bunch of stuff the last few weeks and done a few cool things.. (well, I think they are cool anyway.. LOL) Some of them are below:

Kipping pullups.
I can almost do these suckers!! Sooo close -- I can feel it!! LOL. Need to get myself a band to practice with!!

Box jumps.
I jumped up on a 24inch box yesterday!! 24 INCH!! That's about 61cm people!! Bahahaha!! I got up on it and then jumped off funny and landed straight on my BUTT... LOL.. I haven't checked yet - but I am SURE there will be bruises!! I was joking about all the places I end up with bruises, commenting about the fact that my husband is gonna start to wonder things soon.. I dropped the 17.5kg dumbbell on my %^$# when I was doing a dumbbell chest press a while ago. Do not ask me HOW I managed to drop it all the way down there - because this is ME we are talking about!!

Medicine ball throws.
Speaking of co-ordination... I had to do a squat and ball throw -- all the way up to a mark that was on the wall. The ball weighed 6kg and the mark was so far up I could hardly SEE it! Haha.. I had to do a little jump to get the stupid ball all the way up there. Now, those that know me KNOW that this story is not gonna end well. Yep, I smacked myself in the nose with the ball, and just managed to catch it before it hit the ground many times.. Haha.. The PT made a comment about getting me a softer ball next time.. Ummm --- yeah.. good idea!! LOL

Handstand pushups.
Now these I had not heard of before... so when she said to me, "Your homework for this week is to practise standing on your head..." I was a little freaked out. Knowing that if my arms do not support my body weight I was going to break my neck had me a little nervous. As it would. LOL
I had a few pathetic attempts for my "homework" which people laughed at... but when I went back yesterday I was determined to give it a go even if I did break my neck!! Haha.. And I did it!! Stood in my head for 2 lots of 30sec!! Arms were threatening to give out towards the end of the second one -- but I gave them a stern talking to and told them I liked my neck... and they held me up!! WOO!! (PHEW).

Can't wait till I can kip properly -- that will be a long awaited dream and goal come true!! That will be video material for sure!! Can't wait!