Two Years – Freedom is a cool thing

Can you believe it’s been two years since I sold my company, ventured into the wider, happier world and started this blog?

I’d love to say that I don’t remember that girl from two years ago. The one who felt bullied and devalued and nervous almost all the time. The one whose stomach rolled at the email notification sound on her phone because it was probably not good. The one who felt guilty for spending time with her family? For having a family! But I do. I remember her.

I also remember though, the strange and uncharacteristic moment where I said one sentence that changed the course of my future. Where I (before I believed or even understood it myself) dared to suggest that my worth was not able to be defined by a single other person. That indeed, I even had worth.

But I did. And I do. And I always will.

And two years on – I still have that hard-won freedom. I use it well. I live, love and grow with my family. We travel and laugh. I work – both in the gym as a trainer and in a community centre helping at-risk children and their families with health and wellness – because I love it and it enriches my life.

Life is good.

If you recognise any part of the old me, that girl from two years ago I have just one piece of advice;

Stand up. It may just be the best thing you ever do for yourself and the ones you love.

Peace Out,

SV

freedom

Balance is Harder than it Looks.

I try to be honest in that my motivation to be hard-core and strict has waned since last year.

After the mammoth weight loss and then going straight into competing –  I burned out. I wanted to enjoy my life and eat meals with my family that weren’t broccoli and chicken from Tupperware. I wanted to actually spend some time with my kids, rather than picking them up from school/child-care only to drive them to the gym to put them in more child-care while I trained. I wanted to be able to train because I enjoy it and the way it makes me feel, not because of a terrifying deadline looming. I wanted to be able to see my food as something more enjoyable than it’s breakdown of calories/carbs/fats/proteins and to be able to look at my body and not see my weight or my body fat percentage.

So I changed how I eat and how/when I trained. This wasn’t as much of a conscious decision as it sounds. Just a lot of small choices about my priorities right now.

The upside of this is that I am SO MUCH HAPPIER than I was in September. I’m more relaxed about everything which  makes me a better mum, a better wife and generally much less of a psycho to live with.

The downside of course, is that my body doesn’t look the way I like it to.

And that’s where I’m at right now. Happy with my life, happy with my quality time with my kids and husband but not entirely thrilled (or particularly upset) with the way that I look. I’m working on the physical side of my life but am dedicated to finding balance. As much as I enjoy competing, and enjoy the bit of a lark when I can be uber-thin – I love feeling like a happy healthy human being who can interact fully in society more. I’ve had a birthday recently and I feel like I’m old enough now to accept that anything that asks me to give up and lose more than I can hope to gain isn’t going to make me happy.

I’m having a great time working on health and wellness for children in disadvantaged areas and I do sometimes wonder what on my death-bed (in my very old age) I’ll look back on and wish I did more of. What about you?

meaningful

For me at the moment, it all comes down to balance. I KNOW that I can achieve what I want without giving up what I love. I just need to make it happen.

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Happy Saturday,

SV

If It Fits my …. What?

I wrote a while ago about finding my food religion. If you’ve forgotten you can see the rambling thought-process here.

About the time of writing that post I started looking into IIFYM (If It Fits Your Macros). For a really quick run-down of what that means, see below:

What Is It?

IIFYM simply means eating a diet that meets your macronutrient needs.

To break it down and start from the beginning, macronutrients are the three main food groups – proteins, carbohydrates and fats. Each macronutrient has its own role to play, and is needed in different quantities depending on your goals, metabolism, training history, and many other factors.

IIFYM eating flies in the face of conventional dieting, and the notion that anyone who wants to get in shape has to eat a stringent diet, composed of a limited number of so-called “clean foods,” needs to eat at precise times throughout the day, must have certain types of food pre and post workout, and that any deviation from this strict structure is breaking the rules of dieting.

The idea of IIFYM is simple – you eat whatever foods you like the fill your allotment of proteins, carbs and fats.

AND

That is the basic idea behind IIFYM.
There is more to it but it really is quite simple.
1. Know how many calories your body burns throughout an average day (your TDEE)
2. Eat 15-20% less calories every day than that number
3. Split those calories up between fat, protein and carbs in an ratio that is most beneficial for muscle preservation, fat loss, without a drop in daily energy.

So, the good news is that my life would be less regimented. So less broccoli and chicken six times a day. The bad news is that as soon as you mention IIFYM to anyone who has prepped the ‘old-school’ way, they immediately think of this:

IIFYM

Okay, I’ll be honest. You can do IIFYM and eat crap foods. It’s the truth. And people do.

It’s not what I’m about. I’ve worked my ass off the hard way to lose 50kg and be the healthiest I’ve ever been. While a big part of my new-found health is just through being lighter, I believe a large part is also just that I don’t eat and drink rubbish foods anymore. I don’t enjoy them, most of them don’t agree with my tummy and up until now they haven’t worked with the diet plans that I have been following. So why change now?

For me, IIFYM is about flexibility and diversity in the way that I eat. It’s my goal for 2014 and beyond that I learn to ‘live lean’. For me that means not having such a huge difference between my ‘on-season’ or show body and my ‘off-season’ body. To achieve that either meant following a comp diet year-round which is restrictive and well, boring. OR follow the rabbit hole to the promised land where I can eat a varied diet comprising of all food groups,  cheat/treats when I want them and still maintain a lean body and muscle mass. And that is where I found IIFYM.

I got some initial advice, stalked a lot of interwebz and made myself a plan. I’m pretty sure it’s wrong, but I’ve been following it and my weight has been coming back down and muscle mass is increasing.

BUT, I’ve been lucky enough now to have been accepted as a team member in the IIFYM Challenge and will be undergoing some one-on-one coaching about my macros and targets to get myself back to that lean and happy place that comp prep got me to but that I couldn’t maintain. The challenge starts off properly in a few days and I’m excited as all get-out to learn more and see how this works for me.

IIFYM Challenge participant

You can find out more about the Challenge, register for future intakes and say thanks to the gorgeous sponsors of the free program HERE.

Until then…

IIFYM Cookies

Talk soon,

SV

Accountability is a Bitch…. But I like her anyway

SO…

I’m home from my epic journey away. It was awesome. There were wedding gowns, tuk-tuks, zoo animals, cocktails, shouting Indian tailors, skimpy swim-wear and monkey backpack that made people cry. No, I wasn’t stuck in a Baz Luhrman movie – it was just a family holiday to Thailand. It was very cool.

BUT…

now I am home. And as always, looking for new goals and adventures.

Adventure One – I am a qualified personal trainer now!! With clients and everything. I’m really excited to be working with people and sharing the epic awesomeness that it is to do something amazing for your own health and fitness.

AND…

Adventure Two – I’m ready to move my own fitness up to the next level. I love being healthy. I love being fit. I like being a healthy weight on the lower end of the BMI scale for my height. But what I really want next is to look FIT. Like, ‘proper fit’. I realise that I sound like a twit trying to explain it and I apologise. I guess I just want to test the boundaries again of what I can achieve.

BECAUSE…

there is a bodybuilding competition in September this year (about 15 weeks away). I’m playing the uncommitted card. I will train my ass off for it and assess if I am ready to compete closer to the date. I want it, but I want to do it well more. If that means I bail and the last moment this year but commit to competing next year I’ll be ready. But the ‘end date’ for my latest challenge will remain show day regardless.

THEREFORE…

I want to show you where I am starting. This is fresh from a holiday where I both ate at a buffet and swam like a kid twice a day. According to my trusty scales, I’ve come home exactly the same weight as I left. Muscle definition is down though so there is a bit of catching up to do. I am carrying an injury so can’t hit upper weights too hard just yet but will train legs as hard as I can and keep up my cardio. Nutrition is wired tight to bring my body weight down a little and make sure I am getting enough protein and goodies to fuel the machine that I am.

Comp prep sepia 300513

ARGH, SHIELD YOUR EYES!

Okay, so it’s certainly not a cover model body yet but I’m excited at the idea of being accountable to all of my invisible interwebz friends (and my mum, I know she reads this!) about how I go each week.

So stay tuned, or flip the channel, but know that I have a bucketful of adventure for the next few months 🙂

Cheers,

Sailor Vee

Who’s your Mama?

It’s the eve of kid#1 turning 6. Six freakin years! Where have they gone?

It makes me think though about him and about our family. What an amazing, funny, unique and charming little character he is and his vital role in our funny little band of sailors. And I think about me. The type of mum I have been, the mum I am now and the mum I want to be in the future.

You have to remember that before I threw myself headfirst into changing and saving my life,  I was weak. And very afraid. Of everything. Being a parent was no different.

I think a healthy dose of fear is a good thing in a parent. The constant ‘what if’ and reminder that they really are a big piece of your heart running around in the world on their own inspires care and considerations. But I was too afraid of life.

The fear of not doing well, the fear of him not being ‘perfect’, the fear that my own quirks would somehow splash onto him and mark him too…

I was being interviewed recently and talking about my horrendous old eating habits when the interviewer innocently asked if I was the type of mother who made sure my kids ate well but ate badly myself?

Ummm. No.

I was the bad mummy. My children ate better than I did but we still ate ‘treats’ too often, had brunch dates at fast food places and had dessert every night. My weakness with food was a bad habit being passed down.

But as I changed my own life, without a jolt or any yelling or screaming, I without thinking,  changed my children’s lives too.

I was inactive and rose to the challenge of adjusting to an active life. I ate poorly and rose to the challenge of eating well forever. But most importantly, I was timid, easily swayed and therefore made poor decisions but when challenged, I realised and clarified who I am and what I value most in the world.

My whole life changed then.

I train the way I do because I like it. I eat the way I do because I like it and it helps me train the way I like. And I love the Captain and raise the kids the way I do because I couldn’t have done any of it without their love.

Cheers,
SV

Less Thinking, More Doing

I got an email this week from a reader looking for some advice on where to get started. Or maybe some motivation. Some of the highlights of the email were:

Which leads me to the reason I am writing to you today.

I want to feel that same glow but I can’t seem to get past the following that linger in my head:

I can’t do it
It’s too hard
I can’t stick to it
I like food
I’ve got too much to loose
Etc etc etc but you get my drift

I honestly believe my biggest battle is the battle going on in my head but I have no idea how to stop it.

Which brings me to you.


I’m open to any suggestions you might have for me.

This is my reply:

Thanks for your email and sorry for the slow reply.

This is a hard one for me to answer (which is part of the reason it’s taken me so long)!

I totally get the being held back by your mind-set. Realistically it’s why my weight stayed as high as it did so long after I started feeling unhappy about how I looked.

I’ve heard it said that we are often led to believe that our heads need to be 100% in the right space before we can lose weight. That we need to have concrete answers to all of our excuses and know the ‘why’ of everything.

The truth as I know it is that you need to just freaking do it.

Stop waiting until you have all the answers to the objections in your head. Stop waiting until you ‘feel’ like you can. Just do.

I promise you I do LOVE food more than most people. When you start to eat well you’ll realise how much more you enjoy food than when you are shoving things into your mouth or eating random things without considering whether it’s something you really want. I don’t eat a single thing I don’t like. I make a deal with myself that I’ll try new things but if after a couple of attempts/recipes I’m still not a fan, it’s out.

In fact, looking back it’s clear I didn’t LOVE food in the past. I loved that I could use it to numb sensations (lonely when Captain away working? Order a pizza. Nervous at a party? Hover near food tables etc). Food was a weapon.

You need to work through the process of what you REALLY want and what you are prepared to do to get it. I wholeheartedly hated being obese. It made me scared and sad and ashamed. But I was a food addict who did no exercise. In my first round, I made a deal that I would do the best I could and start each day fresh when I inevitably screwed up. That I wouldn’t throw in the towel.

I was probably one of the worst participants they’ve ever had – but it got me moving a little bit, and eating much better and my life started to improve from there. Bit by bit I started implementing more and more healthy aspects into my life.

On a practical note – the very best thing you can do to start and evaluate your nutrition is TRACK EVERYTHING. Literally. I use http://www.myfitnesspal.com and both access it on the web but have the free app on my phone. I weigh in and record that weight EVERY DAY. And everything that I eat or drink is recorded on there. When you see everything laid out it becomes second nature to consider the calories and nutrition of everything you eat. Self awareness is a big and important step.

I hope that helps. Thanks for asking the questions and all the best for less thinking, more doing!!

Sailor Vee

Me + 500 Days – 43kg

I had a busy day. I was at work (yep, back to gainful employment) and then I did a workout and only then did I get a chance to check out my phone.

One of my lovely friends who has been a constant companion on this lose weight/gain life adventure pointed out that we signed up to the 12wbt program 500 days ago today.

It bounced around in my little head for quite a while. And as I was walking, on my own – I recorded a quick note about what 500 days has meant for me.

Love,

SV