Monday, May 28, 2012

Establishing a healthy relationship with yourself, your body, your food......

What is a healthy relationship? 

A relationship is "created" and doesn't exist until two people unite in a common purpose. The common purpose in this relationship is overall HEALTH.  Healthy food choices will always back you 100%. They will provide you with the essential nutrients, vitamins and essential fats & proteins that your body requires to function like a well oiled Ferrari. 

Learning and understanding the characteristics of the relationship will assist you in building a healthy relationship with healthy food/food choices.  In a healthy relationship both sides are willing to see the opportunity to give, to change, admit to making mistakes, being open, having trust.  

Give YOURSELF the opportunity to be healthy, change the way you currently think about food and your current food choices, admit that you have made mistakes in the past (grapefruit diet anyone), be open to new healthy foods and choices, trust that your choices will work for you and your body.

If you chose to enter this new relationship with healthy foods be prepared for a few teething/adjusting problems,  ups and downs,  BUT nuture this new partner and focus on the big picture "eating healthy food and making healthy food choices 90% of the time",  will give you the healthy partner you require to achieve many things - health, energy, longevity, freedom, no more calorie counting, confidence, love, power, lower disease risks, speed, endurance... the list goes on.

Like any good solid relationship, you have to work at it and ensure that you do not deviate from this relationship with other unhealthy processed, unhealthy food options, you will feel guilty if you frequent this path.  Compare this relationship with your current personal relationships, do you have mostly positive people around you and have weeded out the negative, energy drainers? Same idea goes with food, keep it positive and the relationship will blossom!

Now as we know, no relationship starts of easily. You have to make small sacrifices, compromises and changes to the way you currently do things to NOTICE the difference. 

Once you are in a successful relationship with eating healthy & making smart & healthy food choices, you will notice how much more you respect yourself and your body.   You will feel energetic, alive, mentally alert, sleep better, body will function more efficiently and as a result your **body composition will change . Your moods will improve if you suffer hormone imbalances. Digestive system will be consistent, your immune system will be boosted. 

Fewer sick days, less fatigue, no more mood swings, reduce weight gain, reduced anxiety & frustration.  Why would you NOT want to start a successful relationship with healthy eating?  

So HOW do you start this beautiful relationship I hear you ask?  Simple. Take the following foods out of your diet 90% of the time (100% for the first couple weeks will have a bigger impact on the continuing 90% going forward)!

** Sugar
** Dairy (even soy)
** Grains (breads, cereals, pasta, gluten free products)
** Legumes/beans
** Alcohol
**Processed foods (soft drinks, packed/frozen foods)

Eat fresh fruit, vegetables, eggs, lean meats, nuts, seeds and ensure you have good fats everyday (avocado, nuts, olive oil)! 

I am on Day 12 of the #Whole30 plan and I have had a couple hiccups with chocolate & red wine (yup apparently I am HUMAN) but I can honestly say that I have been following this plan 98% and I am noticing BIG changes.

Start your new relationship now! Your body & most importantly your MIND will thank you for it.  

 ** Body Composition is the technical term used to describe the different body compartments (lean mass, fat mass, body water and bone mass) that make up a person’s body weight.

Friday, May 25, 2012

There is no such thing as a weekend....

You have worked hard all week, you have done 3 spin classes, a couple pump classes,  and have eaten well, so why not treat yourself this weekend, because, well you know, it is the weekend and you deserve it right? You had a busy, manic, crazy week....

You probably have worked hard and most of us do get rewarded with a two day break off work (some of you peeps have to keep the country supplied with coffee and other life saving services).  But, you want to feel healthy, fit and lean, so why do you let yourself un-do all the great work you have done during the week?    It is a pattern, a habit and society doesn't really help us with this either (long brunches, great deals at restaurants, happy hours, 2for 1deals).  YOU have to set the standard for the weekend and be in control.

I challenge you this weekend. To change your patterns. Don't think of it as the weekend, it is just another day of the week, that you happen NOT to be at work, ooh exciting.  Move around your regular routine (god forbid) a little... try a different class, train at a different time, different gym or meet up with a friend and do something sporty, indoor climbing, that nice 10km walk you have been meaning to do since 2010 (Bondi to Bronte comes to mind).  Change where you do your fresh food shopping, try the new market that you keep driving/walking/skating past promising yourself that you will go, when you get time.  Time - you have it, you just need to re-evaluate how you spend it.

Habits take a little while to change. If you keep everything the same, you will slide back into your not-so-good-for-you habits easily. Plan ahead a little, know roughly that you are going to be eating out for however many meals this weekend, and know, that 3-4 bad choices/meals can be enough to un-do many weeks work of eating well & training **hard. It doesn't have to be HARD. Be realistic, set small goals and timeframes. Make better, smart & wise choices.  Work out exactly what you have on, get the chores done, plan the gym, plan the nutrition. Plan Plan Plan.

Nutrition TIP - Have snacks in your bag (fresh fruit, almonds/nuts, tuna, homemade protein balls) keep water with you, don't drink five flat whites a day (sugar sugar sugar). Be the responsible driver and enjoy A glass of red with dinner.  Have your treat meal (one meal). Make it a great one (as suggested here by the fabulous Women Incredible).  Shock your body with the cheat meal, treat. Get it flowing get it WORKING!

Don't just SEE how you go on the weekend, you have put so much time, energy and effort into being healthy and making excellent lifestyle choices to keep you feeling healthy to stop the roller coaster now, stop the "whatever fad diet", stop the "I will start again tomorrow" just make healthy choices everyday. Be aware of what you put in your mouth and you won't HATE Monday's. 

I love Monday's. I love a new week, I feel invigorated to keep going with my healthy eating lifestyle and training program. So should you.  Get out of the negative mindset. You attach so many emotions with certain days of the week, it is time to change that.  Because emotions lead to emotional eating, drinking etc and the patterns/habits stay the same. You will never change, you will never achieve your fit & healthy goals.  yes have that Friday drink if you FEEL like it, not just because it is Friday and you think you should because it was a mad week. Learn the difference between want and need.  What do you really WANT? What are you willing to change to achieve your goals? 

Take time out this weekend and write down the following:

* what are you grateful for
* who looks after you, do you have positive people around you?
* when is your next rest day, holiday, massage
* what have you changed in your life in the last 6 months? was it your choice?
* what are your short term goals?
* are you stuck in a rut, what do you want to change?

I know I am not perfect, and I have given up trying to be "perfect" I just enjoy making healthy and fit choices, and feel the difference. I am happier in LIFE generally, I enjoy work, I enjoy the gym, spending time with loved ones and have so much energy. I don't stress about the little things as much, I embrace life and stop to smell the roses often.  Balance. Embrace life.

You have to have balance. If you have "tried" to do something for what seems like an eternity, with no results, you need to re-evaluate.... Don't be afraid to try, fall on your ass and get back up again, because that is how you learn, grow & achieve. 

** Training hard - varies between individuals, when I say hard, I mean your level of intensity, whether you did a spin class, weights, a run, a relaxing yoga class or a swim - still training, getting your body moving differently and will help to get your body into a state of homeostasis. Don't undo that balance.

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Common Sense. Smart eating. Move your body.

So my eating habits get lots of attention, and of course people ask questions.  I like questions, you always should ask I was taught, I am happy to answer questions, BASED ON MY EXPERIENCE & KNOWLEDGE ONLY. I am also asked for advice on what "diet" they should do, how much exercise etc also. AM always happy to discuss nutrition and exercise. I am not a doctor and don't know all the answers, I only know what I know.  And day by day I learn something new about the body and mind.  Especially mine.

Working in the corporate world with a shared kitchen for morning/lunch/afternoon food prep always sparks discussions about diet, nutrition and exercise.  Who is doing what diet, race etc. There is always some new buzz trending from South Beach, to gluten free, no sugar, Michelle Bridges 12WBT, half marathon training, City to Surf... the list goes on.  As people stand around waiting for the kettle to boil, the coffee machine to brew coffee or the microwave to re-heat leftovers there is always discussions about food.  My food always gets a mention, it is kind of like "ooh what is the strange lady eating now", "are you having meat for breakfast", "isn't eating eggs everyday bad for you".

Most people know I don't dig diets. I don't agree with starving or restricting yourself energy wise.  You need to eat real food to fuel yourself period. No fads, gimmicks, pills, shakes or what not.  Yes, I have tried a few of them and wish I hadn't of.  Silly silly silly marketing ploys.

Common Sense. Smart eating. Move your body.

You ARE what you eat. Eat crap, you will look and feel like crap. Your body will be a mess of hormones and sugar high's, lows... etc. Not fun! Simple. 
90% of you will comfort eat at least 2-3 times a week. This is a HABIT. Like HEROIN. Get off it now. Get the crap out of your house and your shopping trolley.  Your kids will just have to eat good food too.  They won't starve... they will eat when hungry. Trust me, it worked in my house when growing up.

If you cannot pronounce an ingredient in a product, DON'T eat it. It isn't natural and won't do you any favours. I don't care if you think it tastes good. Bin it. 

Take responsibility for yourself. Your actions and your health. Do you want to live a healthy, fit and LONG life without complications? Then watch was goes into your mouth.  If you want diabetes, stroke, heart disease then continue shovelling crap into your gob. Just don't whinge to me about being tired, sick and run down all the time.  Stop being the victim. You can REDUCE risk.

Get regular check ups, get your cholesterol checked, make sure you understand your body and how it works, don't just think all will be ok. Go to the dentist, healthy teeth = healthy heart!! Did you know that? Most people have no IDEA.  You get your car checked and harp on about your kids being fit and healthy and worry about your family? The same mentality should go for YOU also.

My remedy for success is quite easy.  STOP TALKING ABOUT LOSING WEIGHT. Start talking about getting fit & healthy... weight will come off as a result. 

Eat more clean healthy foods than processed foods, DROP SUGAR, experiment with cooking yummy healthy foods, your taste buds WILL adapt.  Habits take time.  Move your body, I don't care if you are 85 years old, you are never to old to take yourself for a walk, swim or try a new class. DO IT.

Check out this women - 86 years old..only hobbling she is doing is from DOMS after a weights session. My kinda lady.  
This women is 72 years young....

You might not want muscles, but I bet you want to feel alive when you are in your 70's? Am I right?  What you do NOW will help you in the years to come.

My challenge to you. Give yourself 4 weeks. Stick to your plan. Prepare your week. Prepare mentally what foods you CAN eat and HOW you are going to get your heart rate up 3 x a week.

What do you have to gain?  Lots.  What do you have to lose? HABITS, BODYFAT.

Be prepared for people to sabotage you, offer you cake because it is Fred's sisters cats birthday.... or Harry's birthday drinks and YOU must drink with him because it is his birthday.  Only have positive people around you. People who will support your decisions even if they don't fully understand WHY. 

So, diary out, starting tomorrow. GO.

Monday, May 21, 2012

Survived the weekend.......

Trying to be "good" on the weekends can be hard for some of us. Why should we have to "try"? Why can't we just "do"?

I have been there, been really good with nutrition all week just to let a few  bad choices on the weekend un-do all that hard work.  The usual excuses pop-up, "I have been good all week", "I have trained hard" "I deserve this fourth glass of red to wash down this cheese" etc.  Since when do we deserve to eat bad **crappy food as a treat for a good week? Irish much?  

I ask myself - Dons, what are you trying to achieve? Do you want to be fit and healthy and live longer, have more energy, sleep well, be sick less, tired and run down less? Of course the answer is YES. 

Simple question really and the answer is even easier, eat good healthy foods 80-90% of the time and move your body a few times a week. Enjoy a glass of red, or two, have some chocolate...  just don't binge eat on weekends or anytime as a reward or punishment. I know I am healthy at least 70-80% of the time and need to up the ante.

On the food front, why do we feel the need to justify why we are being good/bad (I am very guilty of this one). Not labelling foods good or bad will also help you be healthier, without the guilt, you should not feel guilty for eating or drinking something. Ever. Eating is fuel, your body doesn't want chocolate, your mind does. Your sub conscious knows your habits and has already sent those "craving" messages before you even decide if you want chocolate. Why? Because that is what you normally do, you have a habit and because you crave it you think you need it. You don't. You need to control your sugar levels and eat to fuel your body, not your mind.  I know what fuel makes my body functions better on and I steer MYSELF towards ingesting more of that, it makes me happier in the long run.  

Ok, so,  this weekend was Day 3 & 4 on the #Whole30 plan - update for those who aren't sure what that is..... eliminating dairy, grains, processed foods etc out of the diet and eating fresh healthy foods instead went very well.  I made excellent food choices & was prepared mentally for the weekend ahead.  I did food prep.  I made a chicken curry with veggies and brought eggs and bacon/spinach to cook omelette on Sunday.  Had almonds in my bag and some fresh fruit. So easy, too easy really. No excuses not to eat healthy just because you don't have any food available. You are tired and run down because you aren't eating well and when you are tired and rundown you pick the easiest option, which is 99% of the time, NOT the best option. And on continues the pattern.

I know the scales don't give you a clear indication of what is really going on in the body but I have dropped 2.5kgs since Thursday last week. A lot of stored carbs but am feeling amazing & this keeps me motivated to strive harder. Sleeping better already, NO food cravings, lots of energy and I am super keen to get back to a leaner weight like picture below taken in August last year.  WHY you ask? Because I felt strong, lean, fit, healthy and I could slide into my jeans without them being tight or restricted.  Technically it is only another 3.5kgs on the scales but I am wanting to drop more bodyfat and gain more muscle, so that number might not change much but my body will be SMALLER, TIGHTER and LEANER!

I remember how it feels and why would you not want to feel like that? I love being in that healthy place, where you eat well, train well and feel amazing. It is just life, how you feel daily. You have a few treats now and then because you fancy it rather than it just being a habit or poor planning - it isn't HARD it is quite simple. Like any other habit, you just do it, you live and breathe it everyday.  
 My top five tips to be the healthier version of you:

1. Surround yourself with positive supportive people, they might not GET it but they should still support your decisions and not sabotage them, you only have to report to YOURSELF.  

2. Be Organised. Plan your week ahead, know what events/outings are coming up and plan plan plan.  Failing to plan, is planning to fail.  Don't use the easy way out as an option. Fight harder.

3.   Ditch SUGAR.  I guarantee you if you stop eating ALL sugar for two weeks you will feel amazing. GO on try it, what do you have to lose? 

4. Move your body - walk, swim, crawl at least 3 x a week. 30-45mins is all you need. No back to back  classes, this stresses your body. You cannot out train a bad diet. 

5.  What are your goals? Write them down.  Losing 5kgs isn't a goal.  What does that mean to you?  Going to gym 3 times this week is a goal, getting into jeans, cooking healthy foods, being able to play sport with your kids without getting out of breath, is a goal.

** Bad crappy food list
Fast food, deep fried foods, wine/beer/shots (more than 2 standard drinks a day), chocolate/cake/lollies/***BANANA BREAD 

***Banana bread goes straight to your ASS. 

Friday, May 18, 2012

I have high cholesterol.....

Well, that is what the print out from the Doctor said!  I had my yearly check-up that I always do, checking all my levels are where they should be, keeping things in check and I was super curious to see if my cholesterol had increased this visit due to following a higher fat diet the last 8 or so months.

I didn't have my usual doctor, which is a shame as she is quite interested in my progress with the primal/paleo diet.  My MUCH younger doctor was "ooh, Miss Martin, your total cholesterol has gone up from 5.2 to 6.2 mmol/L".  I was like oooh show me!! He printed out the results and the first thing I noticed what that my HDL cholesterol had RISEN from 1.7 to 2.4 and my CRF-Cholesterol/Ratio had gone from 3.1 to 2.6!! So I am sure he thought I was MAD as I was like, that is great news doctor, thanks so much. 

The first person I thought about was a friend/doctor/primal follower, Anastasia.  
About a year ago I remember having a coffee catch up her, she was quite keen to start her own blog to discuss & reconcile conventional medical wisdom with primal evolutionary concepts, which I thought was FASCINATING.   Having just commenced a new role in my current job in social media, I was buzzing with tips and pushing her to blog, so glad she did!!

Every instalment that got published I couldn't wait to read it and sometimes would squeal with delight when she discussed fat, high cholesterol etc! 

I use the archive section of her blog quite frequently to refer other people too when they ask me, why are you eating that for breakfast?  Eggs everyday is bad for you etc etc.  Check out a couple blog posts below from Primalmeded.

Reference 1: Framework of Common Sense... why we are so silly sometimes.
Reference 2: My reading choice today, on Day Two of the Whole9 experience myself.

So, where to go from here? I will still get my blood tests done every year and will be interesting to see how they fathom next year.  

Next blog post: My journey so far on the Whole9 30 day challenge.

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

30days Whole9 starts tomorrow....

So after my dexascan yesterday I went on a bit of a binge, sugar binge, don't ask me why!  So I put it down to being human and realised that only I have control of how my body functions & looks, so time to drop the sweets and focus on my goals I have set for myself, get back on the wagon so to speak.

Have been reading about the Whole9 approach and I am going to follow it for the next 30days, not a lot different than following paleo (when I do follow that a little better than I have been) yes it is a simple detox for 30days, by simple I mean by eliminating processed food, sugars etc out of my diet. I will make the HUGE changes I want to my fitness, my body and most importantly my mind.  I have come so far, and only fallen a little, don't they say those who fall reap the benefits.  Why does it have to be a fall, I call it a wee stumble. The path of life that keeps us learning and moving on, I love it. So this isn't a "start again" it is a continuation.

So looking forward to using the fabulous tools the WHole9 site will give me. I can read forum posts, articles, recipes and lots of goodies to keep me motivated to stick to this challenge. 

Knowing how quickly my body responds to eating super clean, healthy & fresh foods, I am sure it won't be too long until I notice the difference.  My skin, sleep patterns, bodyfat falling off me! 

So friends, colleagues and online readers - tomorrow will be Day One. I know I can do it, I have done it before. Have achieved so many great things in the last year and this is just a little rock in my aweosme path!  Challenge is on.
No sugar, no dairy, no grains, no processed food.  Red wine is going to be my challenge but will indulge in a glass from time to time, because I like it.  

Will blog my journey, the ups and downs, the challenges and the triumphs (remember the umphs) 15th June is end date.

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Dexascan results are in......... big fat drum roll please.....

Ok, straight to the fat -  I knew I would of put on at least 5kg bodyfat - I mean I see myself naked often (a bit too much for my liking) and some of my clothes are a little snug in a couple areas (hips/thighs/ass).  Funnily enough this is where I have put on most of the bodyfat.... shock horror, NOT! 

So the dexascan gives you a complete body breakdown. I can see exactly where I have lost and gained bodyfat, muscle and also bone density. It is a true reflection showing my weaknesses in my body and shows that even though I am strong on my R side (especially upper body) my R leg has reduced muscle/density drastically compared to the left - this is due to my left knee being injured for the last couple months.  

It is great to know exactly what is going on in the body, I find this works for me, mentally I know exactly what I have to do and which numbers are important to see changes and increases/decreases. What I notice this time is my body shape is completely different. I have put on nearly half a kilo of muscle in the last few months and that is without me really trying - just shows that you can maintain muscle and increase but you can also get complacent and still store fat.  

Bone density is still good, so happy about that, a little reduced in some areas but nothing too drastic! Just a reflection that the muscles and the bones haven't been pulling on each other as much the last few months. Have noticed that the density around pelvis and lower spine has increased, awesome, no hip replacements just yet!!

So overall, the news for me is brilliant. Yes I knew my bf% had gone up, I have been a little relaxed on food intake/nutrition, BUT I have kept muscle and even increased it a little. Happy Days. Since May 2011 I have put on 2.4kg of muscle. Whoot.

10-week goal
Decrease bodyfat by 5%
Increase muscle by 600g (minimum)

Let the clean eating and #smashitup training commence. 

Nine months since last dexascan........

To measure my progress NOT JUST ON THE SCALE whilst completing the Michelle Bridges 12 week program last year, I had regular dexascan's to show my total body composition.  For me this is a much more scientific way to see how MY body is made up. To show total  body fat, muscle mass and most importantly bone density.

I am a big believer that the scales make you miserable, period. The scales do not give you an accurate breakdown of muscle v fat.  Society is obsessed with the scales, we have an ideal number in our head instead of having a clear cut goal ie I would like to lose 5% bodyfat and increase muscle by 2kgs...  this could mean your weight on the scale doesn't budge but you will look smaller and leaner (not toned, remember that word does NOT exist)! 

You can be the same weight and be in smaller clothes, look leaner and you will be healthier/fitter and happier too! Isn't that what we all want, to be healthy and happy?  

My goal last year was to enter the Oxygen cover competition - I was so happy with my training and results I got a photo shoot done and also managed to have a little snippet of me in the Oxygen Magazine.  Just entering was a HUGE goal for me.

So in about an hours time, I will get my new numbers to see where I am at.  To see what my starting point is for the next 9 weeks.  I know I will have increased bodyfat, but am keen to see where.  I really want to know how my muscle mass is and to ensure my bone density is the same or higher.  

Watch this space.... figures to come.