Check in. Boost my immunity! 16 weeks.

Life with pneumonia is annoying.

I decided I was well enough to go back to work and to my training clients. Unfortunately… The Frozen Island decided to throw me a MINUS TWO DEGREE day to celebrate the first day of winter. I didn’t do so well with breathing and had to cancel my afternoon clients to come back inside. Grrr.

But, as fate would have it, I didn’t start to die until after check-in.

So (keeping in mind I’ve literally been couch-bound all week) here it is!

Weight: – 200 grams down
Tricep: 19mm (down .4mm)
Supra Iliac: 24mm (down .3mm)
Quad: 24.2mm (same)

So overall, I’m pretty happy. I would have been happy with maintaining so any drops are welcome.

And in the glowing words of Coach Adam:

Down is still down. That’s all that matters.

Word. Somebody pat me on the head dammit!

Adam has also reworked my diet. Partially because I’m sick of kangaroo sausages, but also because while I’m sick I won’t be training much at all so I need to reduce my energy intake to match.

Also, we had a good chat today about boosting my immune system. As lots of you know, I’ve had autoimmune issues in the past. I also work with children. And have children of my own. One of whom is in his first year of kinder. I am essentially a giant walking germ-trap!

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Like me, Adam feels that a balanced diet from good food choices is the first point. But I’m doing that. So we are adding in a multivitamin in case I’m missing something unknowingly. And vitamin D. And Vitamin C. And garlic supplements.

I’d really like to be bulletproof by next week with all of that going on!

I’ve had a message during the week about what I’m eating – so in its bare-bones form – here it is!

Breakfast:
Coffee
Vitamin D3, Vitamin C, Garlic, Multi Vitamin
3 x Eggs
Vegies

Mid Morning Snack:
Almonds

Lunch:
Half my sweet potato
Turkey mince
Vegies

Afternoon Snack:
Protein Powder

Dinner:
Half my sweet potato
Beef mince
2 x eggs
Vegies

After Dinner:
Protein Powder
Coconut Oil
Vitamin D3, Vitamin C, Garlic

So that’s me. For another week. See you soon!
Bella

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Whose afraid of the big bad scales?

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Okay, for most of my readers,  it’s now the day after Christmas and home of the epic food ( and maybe booze ) hangover.

Whether you have gone into full tummy shock and had black coffee and guilt for every meal since or if you’re choosing the ‘bury my head in the cheesecake’ route  – there’s something I need you to know.

It’s okay.

Christmas with family, friends and people we love is important. There is a good chance in ten years time you’ll remember something special about this holiday. It probably won’t have anything to do with the protein/fat/carb/calorie content of what you ate. Life is important. Celebrate it.

If you’ve dared venture onto the scales today, you might be a little horrified, but this post from PauloSportz (if you don’t follow him on facebook you should) sums up my thoughts on it pretty precisely 🙂

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So, when you choose to bring yourself back to your normal shape or return to your health adventure, what can you do?

Step One;
Stop eating. I’m not being silly, of course I still want you to eat – but maybe pack away the ‘Christmas foods’. Freeze, toss away or feed to others any leftovers, onward gift sealed items and make a resolve that holiday eating is marvellous but done.

Step Two;
To help with the extra water your body accumulated in dealing with more carbs than normal – get stuck into drinking water. At least 2.5 litres each day, more if you are larger/overweight, if it is hot or if you are training.  This will help regulate your fluid levels and fight the fluid retention.

Step Three;
Move it! Chances are that either you, your kids, your partner, your dog or your neighbour received a gift that involves the outdoors and/or moving. These public holidays are a GREAT time to get out there using them. Moving will help get over that sluggish feeling we get when we eat more or differently than  normal. Aim for an hour minimum of active movement each day. Plus it’s awesome. This is where our memories are made!

Step Four;
Get snoozing! Did you know that much of our recovery, weight loss, muscle repair and growth all happen while we are sleeping? Between midnight gift-wrapping and 5am gift-wrap-tearings we are all a bit sleep deprived. Getting at least 8 hours sleep will speed up your journey back to the pre-Christmas body.

Step Five;
Breathe. The holidays were worth it. Celebrating with your loved ones was worth it.
Joy is worth it.

We have a whole year of kicking ass ahead of us. I really look forward to having you along for the ride with me.

Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!!

Sailor Vee

What I learned about myself from a DEXA scan…

Sometimes I choose not to blog things. Sometimes because I am too busy to write. Sometimes because I don’t think whatever it is is interesting enough to interrupt people with. And sometimes, it’s simply stuff I don’t want you to know.

Yep. I got secrets. Sorry.

So when I preemptively told the blog-o-sphere that I was having a DEXA scan, I sort of set myself up to NOT be able to do that. Which kinda sucks.

To clarify, the whole reason I wanted the scan was I know that I need to move away from the significant obsession I have with weighing myself at least once a day. I do KNOW it’s a bad idea, not a great reflection of my body composition and can’t really be trusted to give me accurate information. In fact, Cathy knows my level of pain with the scale and tagged me in this post on IG during the DEXA day:

weigh

So I had the scan. I had it done at the University of Tasmania sports science unit. To be fair, the scientist did advise me that it was a very old machine and not capable of the type of information that modern DEXA units are. I still was a little taken aback at the sheer age of the thing. It looked like it was made in the 70’s from a factory conveyer belt and my Grandad’s camera. Fo Realz.

The UTas DEXA is older than this model and not in quite as good condition. Notice the natty computer it runs off.

The UTas DEXA is older than this model and not in quite as good condition. Notice the natty computer it runs off.

Also different is the level of information you get back from a modern DEXA. I was hoping for detailed information about the specific location of body fat held, but sadly this model was only capable of averages per limb and the trunk. You don’t get a print out of the information, but a written summary of what the operator interpreted from the scan. Even my sports scientist wrote though there was some ambiguity in the scan and the results may have been skewed in certain aspects.

But hey, enough blaming the equipment.

I came in at just over 32% bodyfat.

Huh. 32%.

In all honesty – I was expecting 25-26%. I would have been annoyed but understood 27-29% and would have been stoked with anything under 25%.

Nope. The machine in all it’s science-y wisdom says 32.4%.

I waited to feel crushingly sad. I put my polite face on, paid the man and walked to the car in the eerie drizzling rain, wondering if I was going to cry. I sent a message to a friend letting her know what it had come back as and said that I might cry. But I wasn’t crying. Not even close.

I sent a message to The Captain. I had promised him that getting a DEXA would end ‘the crazy’, which is the umbrella term we use for just about anytime I talk about my weight or size based on ridiculous perceptions I have of myself.

Message read:

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Being the awesome husband that he is, he offered to come out and hang out with me for awhile. He knows this stuff can knock me about a bit. But still, I was fine.

Not quite fine enough to leave it alone though…..

I mentioned in my previous post that I have in recent times been using an Inbody scanner to do a electrical bio-impedance measure of weight, muscle mass and body fat. So….

I drove straight to the gym and did another one. To compare apples with apples. As best I could.

On scan 2 months ago exactly I came up as – having 31.6kg muscle mass and 28.7% Body fat.

Yesterday – 33.2kg muscle mass and 23.8% Body fat

So, what did that experiment tell me? That comparing data from the same machine with conditions as similar as I could (same time, similar clothing etc) showed that I was heading in the direction I need to.

AND – because I want a third and independent non-scale reference point – I have an appointment to have my body fat read with calipers next week.

But what did I LEARN from today?

That peace of mind for me in not in the numbers. Not even in the better numbers from the InBody scan. It doesn’t put my soul at rest. It doesn’t make my life easier or even really validate my feelings about the work I put in being worth it. I wish it did. Some part of me really, really wants to cling to data to tell me it’s all okay. Numbers are part of a sport that I really enjoy. Transforming your body in incremental steps is far easier to celebrate when you know the height you need to climb and the progress you make each week. That’s going to be the ongoing struggle.

But at the very end of the day, hanging out at home, I kept coming back to the idea of what I wanted to know from this whole exercise. I wanted a non-scale baseline where I could come back and reference this point in the preparation in three, six, twelve months and know then what I’d been doing for my body.

It was never going to tell me if I was happy with myself. Only I can do that.

So I did. Stripped down, no make-up, at the end of the day with 4 litres of water and 1900 calories in my belly – this is me.

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This is me. At 32.4% Body Fat. Or 23.8%, depending on who you ask. Look at that smile and ask me if I care 🙂

And if this is 32.4% body fat, or 23.8% body fat or 40% body fat – I’m pretty darn okay with where I am.

Yes, I want to grow and develop and be lean and have a physique that others aspire to. But feck it – I’m strong, happy and healthy and capable of doing anything I want.

And I want to continue on this fun-filled adventure of eating lots and well, lifting heavy things and generally living life like a boss without guilt or shame or feeling like I am supposed to be anything other than where I am.

So yes, I’m going to change. I’m happy to be open and honest with you about the road and the fact it’s not going to be easy, and sometimes not pretty. And yes, there will be more scans, and tests, and weigh-ins.

But what did I actually LEARN from the DEXA. I learned that I’m okay. I’m better than okay, I’m good. And that I don’t need a machine to tell me that.

Beep. Boop. Beep.

Night all!
SV

Tomorrow is DEXA Day!

So we are coming to the end of my year off. Balance achieved, muscle growing nicely and health is finally back on track.

Which means… it’s time to think about the next goal.

I make no secret of the fact that I still struggle with having an accurate perception of my body. I freely admit also that I am a lot heavier than when I competed last week – about 10kg above that stage weight actually!

I am known for throwing massive tantrums, some angry, some in tears, because I want to be super lean again. As much as I know this time off was needed, it hasn’t been easy. I get crabby at The Captain because he is naturally slim and can’t possibly understand. I don’t believe him when he tells me I am not “fatty-fat-fat” as I may have ranted. He reminds me that I am healthy, stronger than I was a year ago, with more muscle and for the most part – less crazy. Not right at that moment. But mostly.

I hate the scales. Which is funny, ‘cos I’m pretty sure they hate me back.

Measurements are good but if they go down is it because I’m losing muscle? Or should I look at an increase in size as new muscle under my body fat and not get too worked up about it? And where the hell did I measure my ‘waist’ at again last time anyway?!

Honestly, I like hard numbers. When I was initially losing weight all that mattered was the number on the scale. When I was competing it was still largely about the number on the scale, but also about measurements and being calipered. Calipers…urgh.

Urgh. Don't touch my fat!
Urgh. Don’t touch my fat

So tomorrow, I’m having a DEXA scan.

What’s a DEXA? It’s a groovy machine! DEXA stands for Dual energy x-ray absorptiometry (DEXA). It assesses total body bone mineral density and highly accurate measures of the body’s soft tissue composition (muscle mass and fat mass). By measuring my body’s muscle mass, fat mass, and bone mineral density, it can determine the total body fat percentage, and changes in regional body composition. So, HOW MUCH fat I have and WHERE the fat is hiding.

Woohoo. Or yikes. Depending on how mentally prepared I am for the outcome.

Last time I had a DEXA was when I was at a ‘goal weight’ for weight loss but before I had really dreamed much of training heavily with weights or cared about much more than my BMI. I came in at just under 30% body fat then and coming from obesity (I estimate I had been 40-45% at my heaviest) I was pretty happy.

I didn’t have any DEXA scans while I was competing last but did have my body fat percentage tested by someone very experienced in it each week. In the week of my last ever show I came in at a fraction under 14%. There is a lot of literature about DEXA readings coming up higher than caliper readings as a DEXA also includes the fats in your body NOT held in your skin (so internal fats around your organs etc aren’t reflected in a caliper). So it can’t be a direct comparision.

I do sometimes use the InBody scanner at my gym which is a bio-electrical impedence type (like a VERY expensive version of bathroom scales that do body fat) and it had me back at about 28% a few months ago.

This infographic isn’t perfect, but is a helpful visual of how different percentages might look. Keep in mind the women pictured are all different ages/heights/builds/poses etc so it is a ROUGH guide:

body-fat-percentage-picture-men-women

I don’t really mind where I land on the body fat percentage tomorrow – I’m just more excited to have firm data as my start point which will allow me to build and shrink in the right ways again in the future.

Wish me luck!

Bella

This is me, say hi!

I get asked a bit for 'before and afters', It's hard because my life didn't stop when I got to my goal weight. In lots of ways, it just started. But, here are the cliff notes! Before, 2 years exactly on stage in a Bikini Bodybuilding show, and my normal 'running around' weight.

I get asked a bit for ‘before and afters’. It’s hard because my life didn’t stop when I got to my goal weight. In lots of ways, it just started. But, here are the cliff notes! Before, 2 years exactly on stage in a Bikini Bodybuilding show, and my normal ‘running around’ weight.

Waitin’ on the Next Big Thing

Let me share with you one of my flaws. It annoys the hell out of me, but at least I know that I do it – and that makes me pretty good at catching myself doing it and spying it in other people.

No, it’s not endlessly complaining about the weather. Or interuppting. Or standing in doorways chatting holding up people trying to get through. People find those things adorable right? Right??

Huh.

It’s my habit of wanting to wait for THE NEXT BIG THING. That shiny new thing that I’m going to see/have/do next. Now, wanting something big and new is not a bad thing. But the trouble is that I sometimes lose focus on the thing I’m doing right now.

Take my nutrition approaches. At the moment, I’m working at gradually leaning down again, managing my food intolerances and still using and enjoying the flexible dieting/IIFYM approach. It’s good. It’s working for me. I’m happy and the weight is coming off, muscle staying on and I’m feeling good. BUT…. buh buh baaaa

next-big-thing-sign

I’m going to a seminar at the end of this month that will be about fat loss in the female figure athletes and competitors and I’m fascinated to hear the approach of the pro’s that are presenting. I find myself second-guessing my planning for TODAY, sneaking a few extra carb macros and losing a bit of my focus on the NOW because “I’ll probably change it all again next week”.

And it doesn’t need to be something as big as a full nutrition change. Sometimes I feel like this when I’ve ordered a new product online and I’m just waiting for it to be delivered. I won’t train legs tonight as my new tights will probably get delivered tomorrow! :p Or when I know I’m coming up to a program change for my gym sessions. Suddenly, my ‘right now’ is less shiny and important that the new whatever-it-is around the corner.

It’s a common issue for my fellow 12wbt alumni and current members for ‘between rounds’. Two weeks off turns into four kilos gained because ‘it hasn’t started yet’.

Grr.

So I can’t give authentic advice here as it’s still very much a glitch in my own journey. I own that couple of days with silly lapses and am right back onto today’s goals and aims. But with each mistake I make, it gets easier to see and feel myself holding out. Making less of today because of the promise of tomorrow.

So do the best you can with everyday – even if tomorrow promises to be bigger, better, bright or even just completely different. Like another of my favourite Roosevelt quotes (from Teddy this time though):


theperfectmoment

Tomorrow is another day, let’s make today awesome first!

Cheers Mateys,
SV

Eleanor on my Mind…

The amazing Eleanor Roosevelt is quoted as saying many very cool things. I get the feeling she was a top chick and I would have liked her very much. One of my favourite quotes of hers is this one:

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So particularly true in my experience.

But the Eleanor quote that it rattling around in my head today is this one:

Eleanor-Roosevelt-Quotes-5

My training has been at a bit of a standstill for a while. Between not competing, being sick, getting better, going overseas, being sick – I just haven’t trained with any sort of intensity in a while. And it shows. I miss having defined legs and great glutes. I miss feeling strong.

So today I go back into training properly. No wimping out, no half-assedness. Just setting goals and lifting things. The way it should be.

This of course scares the hell out of me. I’ve no doubt lost a lot of strength. It’s not going to be pretty. I hate not doing things well from the very beginning. I’m setting myself goals for things which I’m pretty sure I’m no good at. Which brings me to another Eleanor moment:

You Must Do the Thing Resized

 

Dang, she sure was a smart lady.

Have a great day Lovelies,

SV