Wednesday, 3 July 2013

Week 8: Still Going Strong!

Ahh my poor little blog, it's been a little neglected lately!

But nevermind, my nutrition, training and mindset are all spot on, and after feeling a little deflated last week, I'm well and truly back on top... and I have the pic to prove it!

Now this pic isn't really my "before" picture from the start of 12WBT.  This pic is from April this year when I was jetting off on holiday, and the weeks leading up to it, I worked my bum off to feel AMAZING wearing this gorgeous yellow bikini!  This was the absolute best I've felt about my body, I was SO proud of myself. But being on holiday, and in a strange country, eating different food and without gym access for more than half of it, I fell off the wagon a little, and came back 3.5kg heavier, and feeling very bloated.

Last week I was feeling a little discouraged, as after I put on weight at my weigh in on Wednesday (even though this is expected for Lean & Strong, as we build muscle), I was worried I still didn't look as good as I did when I was going away! I really thought I hadn't changed that much, especially since the scales have only gone down about a kilo between these shots! But when I was these two pictures side by side, I was so pleased :) I can definitely see a change through my stomach and thighs, even my hips - WOOOHOOO! :D

So my lovely 12wbters, it's weigh in Wednesday! And Week 8, a "Mini Milestone" week! How are you going?

And if you are feeling discouraged, do a before/after pic comparison! Really shows the progress so much better than the scales can :)

Hang in there! 4 weeks until the end of this 12 week program, and the start of the rest of your life as a happier, healthier and fitter version of yourself ;)

Friday, 7 June 2013

Challenge Your Tastebuds!

This week's challenge was an interesting one, to try new foods, and to re-try foods you previously filed under "blergh". Haha!

I have to say, I am the FUSSIEST eater.  I am getting better, but any member of my family will tell you "she doesn't like anything". Oops. I am getting better though. I have learnt that what I hated when I was younger, I might no neccessarily hate now, and that you can learn to love a lot of things (especially fruit and veggies!).

My past hates have included mushrooms and bananas. Used to flat out refuse to eat both of these... Now I absolutely love them! Especially bananas! (And especially when peanut butter is involved! hehe).

So trying new foods, and re-trying past dislikes is something I have consciously been trying to do not only since starting 12WBT, but also just in my personal quest to be a healthier, happier person.

Fish is one I am still working on.  This year I just decided I was going to learn to love (or at least tolerate) fish.  Fish is probably my biggest "hated" food.  For as long as I can remember I've never eaten fish. My mum always used to try and trick me into thinking we were having chicken for dinner, when actually it was fish! Sometimes this worked. Sometimes it didn't! But I want to broaden my "foodie" horizons, and I usually feel a little restricted when eating out anyway, so I thought fish was definitely something I should try to love.  When isn't there a healthy piece of grilled fish on the menu at a nice restaurant?!  I have learnt I like fish most when its paired with something acidic, like lemon juice, vinegar, tomatoes, even chillies. I've found I can also tolerate tuna (OMG!) from a can (OMGG!!) if its in one of these flavours (and the calories aren't too bad), on top of some vitawheat multigrain crackers. In fact, its becoming a snack I look forward to having! And its a great one because you don't need a fridge, can just chuck it in the car or handbag for food emergencies, and keep in your desk draw for "Sh*t I forgot my lunch" days.  If you told me a year ago I would like eating tuna I would have bet BIG money that you were wrong!

Quinoa is a new food I'm in love with after this week.  I hope everyone tried the Banana Quinoa Porridge for brekky one day! If you didn't, this is what you missed out on;

I am totally in LOVE with the brekky! Its super yummy and filling I thought! A little on the expensive side yes, especially if there's been a storm in Queensland making the banana price sky rocket, but I think its worth it. YUMMO.

I also revisited my hatred of bean shoots, mostly used in Asian cooking, I just don't really like their flavour. I had them in the Vietnamese Beef Soup (or Pho) for lunch today, and they weren't horrible, but I was definitely wishing they weren't there.  I will continue to make the effort in eating them every now and again though. Baked beans is another food I'm not particularly fond of, and always wish I was having tinned spaghetti instead, haha. But I tried it on the Avocado Toast for brekky this week, and whoa, that combo is a winner! Could definitely eat that again.  It might not make it into the rotation as much as the Quinoa (and the Berry Bruschetta, my current favourtite), but it has all the excellent components of a good breaky; good carbs, protein, good fats and fibre, win win win!

What did you challenge yourself to try this week? And new loves? And what will be staying off the menu?

Variety is the spice of life as they say ;)

Wednesday, 29 May 2013

Week 2: Overcoming Obstacles

My second week of the 12wbt was my week of 'overcoming obstacles'. Not major ones, but definitely ones that crop up every now and again, so I thought I'd share how I overcame them. Remember, just because you have a 'slip up' it doesn't mean you have to throw in the towel! 

Obstacle 1: Forgetting Lunch
Now I know what you're probably thinking. "Ahh, getting up late, forgetting to make lunch, not making time to prepare lunch before work". But no, I didn't forget to make it, on Thursday night I made up the salad, weighed out my hommus and falafel, put it all in containers, cut up my pita bread. I was so excited to eat that lunch! I LOVE falafel. But then I left that all sitting in my lunch bag on the kitchen bench.... and I didn't realise until I'd already arrived at work. Unfortunately it's too far to go back. Siiigh.  I was so annoyed at myself. The negative self talk started a little roar in my head "useless", "trying to fail", "what's the point", "all that time just wasted".  But I pushed it back out. I was determined to stop those stupid voices and dominate the rest of the day.

Now the old Alicia, the 21kg heavier Alicia would have taken this as a major set back and as an excuse to have fast food for lunch. But not this new Alicia, no way! 

I had to think of a back-up plan before the lunch time hunger hit! Because hungry Alicia + no food = eat anything in sight! There isn't a supermarket near my work, the only options are to go upstairs to the cafeteria (think chips, lasagne, fatty sandwiches) or go to a servo nearby. So I found this salad at the servo and a protein bar. I made a couple of modifications (threw out most of the cheese and one of the dressing sachets), and my lunch came to 343 cal.

Servo Salad & Protein Bar
Obstacle 2: Getting Sick
Yep, got the dreaded Flu over the weekend.  I thought I was doing so well, and them BAM it hit me like a tonne of bricks on Friday night.  On Saturday morning I still got up, made myself a healthy breakfast and started to feel a little bit better, so I dosed myself with Cold&Flu tablets to power through my Super Saturday Session with my friends at the park.  During the workout I felt pretty great, and my friend made us a yummy Mish salad for lunch afterwards, but by the time I got back home around 2pm, I was ready for bed. I just felt so weak. And (so unlike me) I had no appetite!

On Sunday morning I woke up ravenous, and usually when I'm sick I kind of give myself a 'free-for-all' pass to eat whatever I feel like. As if that will magically make me feel better. But this time I didn't! I stayed strong, and instead made myself some really yummy Protein Pancakes.

Now this recipe I can share with you! This is from a lovely girl I follow on instagram, her name there is femmefitale, and she also has a blog:

Serves 2
I made a couple of adjustments, I added a ripe banana to the mix (just chuck all ingredients in a blender), and I used whey instead of casein protein, I'm sure any protein powder will work.  Then just cook over medium heat in a non-stick pan.  They cook quite quickly, so keep an eye on them! I served with half a fresh banana and natural yoghurt. So good, especially when I was feeling so yucky.

Come Monday definitely wasn't in a fit state to go to work, or do my Lean & Strong workout. I was devasted. I didn't want to hinder my progress! I still managed to go for a brisk 45min walk, which made me get some fresh air, and really lifted my spirits. So this week I'm starting a day behind (did Monday's workout yesterday), and I will move my Core & Flexibility workout to Sunday instead of having a rest day.

This is a break through for me, because today I'm feeling almost back to myself! Previously I wouldn't have taken the time to recover, I would have pushed myself to go to work, and to go to the gym, and I know I'd still be trying to fight off the flu.  But there is a VERY important lesson I've learnt: recovery is just as important as nutrition and exercise.  By putting my health first, I was able to recover quicker, and get back to the gym, instead of the flu lingering around like a bad smell for the next 10 days.

How did everyone go with Week 2? Did you too have to overcome some obstacles last week?

And how did you go today at Weigh in? I lost 0.2kg, so happy! That might sound like nothing, but this is AWESOME for me! My BMI is 23.5 and I'm back to my pre-holiday weight, woohoo! I am now the lightest I've been since mid-high school

Thursday, 23 May 2013

Week 1 Challenge: What's My Inspiration?

Our first weekly challenge was to make an inspiration board.  I have been wanting to do this for a while, so here is mine;

I actually want to print some of these off and put them around my house, like on my fridge, inside my pantry and around my mirror. I think (and hope) this will help me keep my mindset in the right place. Good positive mindset = awesome results!

What's your inspiration? Did you make an inspiration board for the weekly challenge? Share the link with me!

Tuesday, 21 May 2013

12WBT Week 1: In Review

So its been one whole week of following Michelle Bridges' 12WBT, so I thought what I'd do is post my initial thoughts on the food and the workouts :) First of all, whoa. That went fast! Only 11 more of those to go and I'll be staring at a slimmer, leaner, fitter and happier version of me :D woohoo!

Now, the food. Let me just say, wow, I am so impressed. I thought I was pretty good at deciding what to eat, and keeping this interesting. Yes I was getting a little bored with my food, but hey, I'm trying to lose weight, its not going to be meat pies and pizza is it? Oh wait. Mish blew that out of the water! Haha.

I initially joined the 12WBT mostly for the workouts, but so far, the food has BLOWN ME AWAY. It is soo good! Healthy does not have to be boring! And there aren't any teeny tiny portions either! But there must be some downside to all this yummy food and losing weight at the same time right? Well yes, there kind of is. Its called meal prep or food prep... aka dreaded cooking! Since I am on this journey with my mum, we can share the cooking. She will make dinner, I usually make breakfast and then we take turns in cooking lunch. Which has been amazing, and has meant I can follow the menu pretty much to exactly what Mish has decided for us. But, that doesn't mean you can't do this on your own! If I was doing this by myself, I'd simply make all my lunches and a couple of back-up dinners each Sunday or Monday night, so I don't feel like I'm constantly in the kitchen. Doing it this way isn't so bad, and getting into a routine of Cooking Sundays can be quite fun. Ok, you won't have as much variety throughout the week, repeating recipes a little more often. But the recipes are so damn good, I don't think you'll mind. I'd eat all of them again for sure!

Let me show you some of my favourites from this week's menu;

Next, the workouts! This is what I was MOST excited for! To have Michelle Bridges as my Personal Trainer. To get f*cking ripped! Haha. So Monday heading into the gym with my workout print out (and a pen!), I did feel a little silly. I had my insecurities, "I'll look silly", "I'm not strong enough", but once I got started, these thoughts floated out of my head as I pictured Mish's awesome shoulder muscles, and how great I'm going to feel with a flatter belly. I pushed my way through the workout, and was introduced to exercises I'd never done before, and also some that I loved. They were well set out, and quite easy to follow.

I did have to look up a couple in Mish's 'Exercise Index' before going along to the gym, so it would be great if there was a little picture on the print out to jog my memory though. Because I am following the 'Advanced Lean & Strong' program, most of my workouts are strength based training, and I do have the option to go to gym classes as well. I did one gym class, and 5 of Mish's workouts. I was quite sore earlier in the week (hello arms!!), but by Saturday I was ready to smash the Super Saturday Session laid out for me. Some of my friends are also doing the 12WBT so we all got together and did the SSS in a park near my house, set up as a circuit. It was great fun and the time definitely went quicker than it would have if I'd been by myself in the gym! 

Lastly, mindset and support. I know what you're thinking, "whatever, I'll gloss over this part". BUT DON'T! This is key. The forums are a great addition to the program, you can post questions or queries there, post about your successes, or a plea for help if you feel yourself slipping. Its great feeling part of a community, and everyone is very positive and supportive of each other. I can see us all getting quite close by the end of 12 weeks, and its great to read other peoples trials and triumphs throughout the week. I think the mindset challenges are awesome. I actually think, besides the yummy food and the wicked workouts, these are going to be what sets this program apart from all the others out there. How many times have you jeopardised yourself with negative thoughts? You know what I'm talking about "I'm not good enough", "Everyone else is so much better than I am", "I can't do this", "This is too hard". I know I have ruined many weight loss attempts with toxic thoughts like this. But Michelle Bridges and the 12WBT gets you to address these thoughts and emotions, the program releases tasks and videos each week to help you master your mind, and enhance your efforts.

The pre-season tasks were particularly awesome in this respect! The goal setting was especially helpful for me. So if you are doing Round 2, and you haven't done your pre-season tasks, what are you waiting for? GO DO THEM! If you're not, start trying to eliminate these negative thoughts the best you can, they really are detrimental to success!

I'd love to hear everyone else's thoughts so far and how they are finding the foods and workouts! Do you feel the same way about mindset and how important it is?

Bring on Week 2!

Friday, 17 May 2013

Weekend Motivation

Here's something to think about, just for a minute or two, I want you to actually visualise what this will feel like:

Now, when you feel tempted to eat something "naughty", or to skip out on your workout, think back to this visualisation :)

Friday, 10 May 2013

12WBT: This is NOT diet food!

One of the pre-season tasks for 12WBT is to thinking about excuses...

One of my silly excuses is: "I'm too tired, I can't be bothered".  You know those days when you're alarm didn't go off, so you rushed to work without make-up on, and the traffic was horrible so you still arrived late, you're boss asked you where that performance report is, the phone won't stop ringing? Finally its hometime and things are looking to improve. so you hit the gym to relive your stress, only to find its so busy your workout takes much longer than usual, and after feeling like the WHOLE WORLD has been against you all day, you finally get home and think to yourself, "I'm too tired and I can't be bothered cooking, and then washing up!" Maybe that is a bit of an exaggeration, but I'm sure you know the feeling?

In an attempt to pre-empt that excuse, and to take advantage of my current excited motivation and "no excuses" #beastmodeactivated mood, I decided to prepare some meals that I could freeze and just wack in the microwave when I'm feeling exhausted.

So I made my first 12WBT recipe! How exciting! I picked the yummiest sounding one that I already had most of the ingredients for - 'Mexican Style Shepard's Pie', and boy, this did NOT disappoint!  I had to triple check I hadn't read the recipe/quantities wrong it tastes so damn good!

This is not 'diet food' people!
I am so impressed! If all the recipes are this full of veggies and taste this amazing; I'm going to be so ripped in 12 weeks! Haha.