Tuesday, 28 April 2015

Reprogramming, Reconditioning and Non Surgical Butt-lifts

Having completed my pre-transformation questionnaire and having had a pre-training briefing with my lovely trainer (early) this morning, it became quite clear to me that I shall be undergoing some kind of reprogramming, on a couple of different levels. I wonder if I might be requested to remove, upgrade and replace a micro-chip, and pop it back in at the end of the 12 weeks, newly formulated and VOILA! 

Let me explain.

The purpose of the nutritional element of this transformation is to re-programme the metabolism. Think about it this way, how often have we said or heard the words "I have a slow metabolism" or "You're so lucky, you burn off your food easily and never seem to gain weight". Well, I know I have anyway, more times than I can remember. Well, it seems that by learning to eat the right type of foods, at the right time of day, depending on (my) exercise routine, I can re-programme my metabolism to work at its optimum level at all times. Forever. I certainly like the sound of this. 

This sounds very logical and oh so simple, however, there must be so much more to it, otherwise, why don't we all do this naturally? 

So, to re-programme one thing, I need to re-programme another, and that 'other' would be my brain and how my brain views food in general. Food is to be viewed as a fuel for my body to perform at it's best. (Makes sense really, after all, you wouldn't put diesel in a petrol car or vice-versa and expect it to run smoothly, if at all, would you?). I have to pretty much 'un-know' all the things about food and consumption that I've based my eating habits on for most of my adult life. Forget about counting calories or grams of fat or carbs., ignore little gimmicky food snacks sold as 'healthy options' in the food aisles. Back to basics. Make it real! 

In theory, this shouldn't be overly difficult. I eat a healthy, fresh, well-balanced diet as it is. I treat 'junk food' for what it is (junk) and enjoy the sweet-treats now and then. However, when you've spent a lifetime, as I have, reading labels & counting numbers, it really is quite alien to think that I won't have to do this anymore. Refreshing, but alien. Thus, by following the eating guidelines (which is neither a diet nor food plan), simply eating the right types of food, at the relevant times of the day, I will be reprogrammed.

Which brings me to reconditioning. The training element. 
I have, over the years, conditioned my body to train for cardio endurance (running). The training plan I will be following, will, in essence, be the polar opposite of that. I will be focusing on gaining strength to increase muscle mass. Something that doesn't bode well with endurance cardio training, which certainly helps to towards losing body fat, but doesn't do much for muscle tone in general. I am told that with my newly reconditioned body at the end of the 12wks, I will be able to run 'lighter' and more efficiently, however, I will have to build the distances up gradually once again. I think my dodgy calf will be more than grateful for that.

And so the last note for today goes to non-surgical butt-lifts.
Who (at least female and over the age of say 25) doesn't want a tighter, more lifted, toned butt? I know mine has been the bane of my life for as long as I can remember - I've been 'literally' running away from it for years, but the damn thing just keeps on following me around! I was once told that from the age of 25 the buttocks start dropping, about millimetre a year. Now if this is true, by the age of 45, One's Buttocks would be 2cm lower than where it started out. Taking a backward glance in the mirror, I actually believe this to be true. What good are those saddlebags of gloop that sit below the crease-line? They serve no purpose what-so-ever, yet they appear from nowhere and stubbornly remain, refusing to be tucked in neatly to even the most expensive pair of jeans. I, for one, have never quite cared for the idea of going under the knife and having it all sucked out, only for it to grow back again when least expected. It's time to take charge and tell those saddlebags where to go! Thankfully, I now have it on good-authority that this reprogrammed brain together with the reconditioned body will perform the self miracle of a non-surgical butt-lift!

Sunday, 26 April 2015

To be in, or not to be in the comfort zone - that, is the question.

Having enjoyed a very pleasant Saturday evening of my 'should include foods' (refer to previous entry for details), I decided it was time for a visit to the gym this morning. After all, I can't possibly start my new program on a back-foot. Whilst there I saw a very interesting quote on the board. It went (something) like this
"If you want something you've never had before, you have to do something you've never done before"
This got me thinking about my upcoming program; What is it I do now? What do I hope to achieve/gain from it? And yes, what is it really that I want that I've not had before?

There's this part of me, a minuscule little grain of thought that lurks deep within the maze of pathways that make up the brain), that wonders just how much more my body is capable of. I know in my heart of hearts, that although I always put my full efforts into achieving any of my goals, there is always a teeny part of me that wonders if I could've added just little bit extra, worked that little bit harder, run that little bit faster, pushed that little bit harder….

A perfect example of this was in the completion of my previous challenge (aforementioned Michelle Bridges 12wk Transformation).  I entered this wholeheartedly, with my main aim at the time being to lose weight. I set a goal to lose a minimum of 5kg but was really (secretly) aiming for 8-10kg. Over the 12wks, I did lose 10kg's. Yay, goal achieved! *jumps off chair and does the happy dance*. Much of this was down to organised food planning and following a weekly meal plan of the correct portion sizes and proportions. However, exercise (not surprisingly) also played a large part in this. With that particular program there are a lot of different exercise programs to choose from, making it dynamic and suitable for anyone. I started off signing up to the "Advanced Lean & Fit" category, which gave ample videos and workouts suitable for both home, gym and even an outdoor fitness regime, to be completed 6 days a week. I followed this for about 2, possibly 3 weeks, at which point I decided that it wasn't really the program for me and switched to a running program. I chose the 'Run a Half-Marathon' option as I had previously (a few years previously) run a half-marathon or two and decided that was where I wanted to get back to. I followed the program almost to the letter, ran my half-marathon at the end of the 12wks (with a PB), lost my weight and felt fabulous, very proud and super satisfied with my efforts. 

Until (yes, there's always an 'until') that little part of my brain wondered where I would be at physically had I followed and completed my original choice of program. 

I'd achieved everything I'd set out to do, but somehow (strange as it may sound), I had still managed to stay within my comfort zone. Choosing to do something I knew I would not fail at.

This time around my goal is not weight-loss. Neither is it to run (another) half-marathon. (Possibly a full marathon down the track but that'll be a whole other story!)

Two years on, that seed of thought has grown enough for me to finally embrace what I really want, and that is to become whatever it is I can become when I'm really pushed out of my comfort zone.

Image courtesy of Google Images

Thursday, 23 April 2015

The Arrival of The Manual

Today I received my MP Transformation System 'manual'. Honestly, if you were to see the size of this thing, you would seriously be questioning my sanity at starting such a project! If you've ever been to a conference or training course, you can perhaps imagine what I'm talking about. An A4 size FAT binder, complete with chapter tabs, all overflowing with information for me to read, learn and digest. Luckily I don't get tested at the end of the 12wks. Well, at least I don't think I do!!!

In true to me style, I immediately started flicking through, first looking over interesting (and might I add delicious looking recipes), then I started to glance over some of the text. At this point, it all looked a bit like this
"Metabolic Precision muscle mass exercise holistic process long term success fats % carbs % protein % fast & delicious no gimmicks, special diets or counting calories eat 6 meals per day you should drink red wine eat chocolate and coffee is good for you chunky red wine beef stew vanilla creme dessert" 
Wait!! Back up a minute there. What was that? I can eat 6 meals a day? Not only am I allowed, but I should be including red wine, chocolate (ok, dark chocolate but that's fine for me) and coffee in my diet? Plus there's an entire section devoted to desserts? This, my friends, is surely a program written just for me! (If, you read my article I previously posted, you might see a bit of a pattern/theme here).

Undoubtedly, there is a whole lot more to it than that, after all, that's not a great deal different to my usual diet. Plus, as mentioned, it is a BIG book and it does take 12wks to complete the course.

I did manage to read through the first chapter, and my guess was correct. This is a course that teaches you (me in this case) how to exercise, what and when to eat, in order for your (my) body to function at its optimum/peak metabolic rate. Permanently.

I can hardly wait to learn more.  So I'm going to abandon you lovely people for today, I've got stuff to read!

Tuesday, 21 April 2015

Power of The Mindset: Pre-season

If there's one thing I learnt from my previous 'challenge', it was the importance of getting your mindset right before the onset.

2-years ago I embarked on the first epic journey into weight loss and a healthier, fitter me. I joined the Michelle Bridges 12wk Body Transformation Program. (I'm actually rather surprised to realise that it was 2-yrs ago already!)

I had mumbled and muttered for far too long about not being 'what' I wanted to be. I was fed-up with looking at photos of myself and not seeing the same image that I had in my head. Even the mirror was lying to me on a daily basis. Funny how we so often see ourselves as something different. I knew I was fairly fit as I was running regularly and could jog out a 10km when I put my mind to it, but it wasn't quite enough.

I'd flirted with various websites about weight loss "all new fitter you" type pages, and even glanced over the Michelle Bridges Facebook page (oh the power of advertising!). I must have randomly 'liked' it. But took it no further. A couple of weeks later a very good friend of mine asked if I was doing the Michelle Bridges 12wk Challenge as she'd seen me listed on the FB page. She also mentioned that she was thinking about doing it herself. At the time, I simply answered "No, I was just looking", but a couple of days of thinking later I changed my mind. The clincher for me was that this particular friend was already fit and sporty, and I certainly didn't think she had a weight challenge, but, if she felt that she could get something out of it, then, well, maybe I could too. So I signed up. There and then.

As it was only 10-days or so until the start of the Challenge, I immediately started receiving emails about this so called 'Pre-Season'. There were daily tips & video messages about getting your mind in the right place, clearing out the cupboards - ruthlessly - of junk and unnecessary packets of processed food, filling the fruit bowl with lots of fresh fruit etc. None of it was rocket science, and none of it was in reality anything I didn't already know. But it got me thinking, prepared and excited about what was to come.

And there you have it. It's all in the mindset. 

So, this week, officially marks my 'pre-season' to my new challenge. I have to admit that I haven't cleared the cupboards out but I do know that my willpower is strong when I put my mind to it. Instead of walking past the fruit bowl to get to the pantry to open up a convenience snack 'muesli bar' (read: high sugar bar), I know that I can stop at aforementioned fruit bowl and choose and apple or mandarin instead. I might even give myself a little pat on the shoulder for doing so ;)

Monday, 20 April 2015

I walk, I drink red wine, but I do not run

To give you an idea of where I've come from (physically) to where I am today, I'd like to share with you this article that I wrote back in 2004.

I originally wrote this for VRR (Victorian Road Runners) Magazine, shortly after I started my running thing/hobby/journey. On a whim I sent it to Runner's World Magazine. I never heard anything back from them, until one day, whilst flicking through Patrick's copy of the magazine, I saw this article entitled "Wine, woman and …" - sounds interesting I thought (it mentioned wine in a running magazine, so it must be interesting), and low and behold, there it was, my article, published!
The reason I didn't recognise it was because they'd changed the title.

Sunday, 19 April 2015

Why "Metabolic Precision" and what the heck is it really?

"Metabolic Precision 12 Week Transformation Program" ….

Hmmm. Well it certainly sounds very fancy! I must admit, my curiosity about it was tickled when I saw sexy ad's for it at my local gym, at which, I have a very on-off relationship. I've walked past the posters, glanced over the blurb and thought, "that sounds good, for those 'super-committed-muscle-flexing-Paleo eating-gym types', but I didn't really put myself in that category.

Let me paint a picture of myself. Don't get me wrong, I do like to keep fit. I am a pretty active person, not so good at sitting still, always needing some kind of project to fulfil or goal to reach. Just not usually at the gym. Over a period of years, I have created a pretty good relationship with my runners. These I can pop on at any given time that suits me, and run a distance that I have time for, at that moment. I don't have to plan around gym timetables, which coincidentally almost never fit my availability (or perhaps I just have a reason to be busy then?). My argument is always that I could have run around the block (figuratively speaking), got home, showered and changed all in a nick of the time it would take me to get to the gym (5-mins drive away), do my workout, plus add in some cardio and get back home again etc., etc.. So, when I do go to the gym, it's usually because I've a) put my back out and have to start working on my core all over again or b) completed my running goal for that time/season and need a change of scenery for a couple of weeks. Yep, not really what you'd call committed.

I've been given training programs plenty of times, with me, at the time, being oh-so-certain about what I want to achieve and what I will and won't do. These plans I wholeheartedly complete with gusto about 3-4 times per week for two, maybe three weeks. Then, little by little, I start to do a bit of my own thing, "to stop me from getting bored". This 'little of my own thing' very soon becomes almost nothing like the training plan I've been given, I get no results and fall back in love with my runners all over again.

So, why on earth have I signed up to this apparently very full-on 12wk Transformation Program when quite clearly I really don't know exactly what the heck it is and historically I really haven't really proven my gym-worthiness?

Answer, in short... I have a calf-injury that is not behaving nor healing in the manor to which I would prefer. I've had to set-aside my running goals for the next few months. (After many years of putting it off, I decided that this year would be the one that I would run my first full marathon (42.2km) in July on the Gold Coast. Part of this training was to be the Great Ocean Road Half Marathon, 4-wks from now. Even though I had trained up to 20km before my injury, it's now been almost four weeks and I'm still unable to run more than 1-2km's without trouble.) Common-sense got the better of me and I decided to pull-out of both events and do as my physiotherapist told me to and "DON'T RUN" until it's completely healed.

Which of course, left me goalless.

My husband has recently been training with the very fabulous Felicity O'Meara, Owner of Vikara Body Transformations, who does Metabolic Precision (I'll be calling it MP from now on). Of all people, my husband knows all too well how easily lethargic and irritable I get when I don't have a goal (plus I think he got fed up with me feeling a bit sorry for myself post injury). So he simply asked me what I had on at 6.30am on Tuesday and Thursday mornings for the next three months, confirmed that I had nothing planned, (certainly no other gym classes I could attend at that time ;) ) and booked me in. 

So, my transformation begins 2-wks from now, on Tuesday 5th May, yes, at 6.30am, at a place I've never been to, at least 20-mins drive away from here, with a trainer I've only ever admired from a distance and never thought for a second I would train with. She will, no doubt, kick-my-butt. Hopefully into a better shape than it currently is in. What do I know about MP? - still not much. My 'educated' guess is that it has something to do with training & eating in such a way to get your body to perform at it's peak metabolic rate. 

Bring it on!