Killing with Kindness

killing with kindness

Tuesday 10th December, 2013 – Killing with Kindness……

 I was having a conversation with a friend on the weekend about tattoos and that when I get back to my goal weight of 63kg I want a Phoenix tattoo to commemorate my achievement (you know, rising from the ashes and all that), which opened up the whole “but you’re not fat” topic.

 Now before anyone starts down this path, I know the figure on the scale is insignificant (well at the size I am it is because I’m holding a lot more fat, when I am leaner yes, physical size and measurements matter more than scale weight)……..

 Now, I love my friends (I’m sure they are probably reading this hoping I’m not talking about them) I truly love them and know that they are looking out for my best interest and simply loving and supporting me.

 But look, I know I’m not fat to look at so to speak. Well beauty is in the eye of the beholder so I firmly believe that some people out there may differ in opinion on this. But in general and to a certain extent, yes I agree with my friend, I’m not fat. Truthfully, in my eyes I’m bigger than I’m use to being and people are use to seeing. But yes, I’m not standing out from the crowd here.

 BUT I AM OVERWEIGHT !!! My body fat % is well over 30%, well over !! OK it’s closer to 40% but I don’t like admitting it. My visceral fat is a level 5/5 on the old composition scales. That is the highest level !!!. My bio age is 50 !!! 15 years older than me !!! My poor poor organs are choking on fat. CHOKING…..

 It is unhealthy !!! Right now I am unhealthy !!!! and saying “but you look fine as you are” is sweet, but also enabling and endorsing being unhealthy !!! You want me to be unhealthy ?????  I do need to get the weight off (in a healthy way of course or I’ll do even more damage). I cannot stay like this. I am opening myself up to many issues like heart disease and diabetes. Two sides of that compliment coin hey ???

 So please, next time you want to lay some love on someone who wants to lose some weight but is not (in your eyes) fat, think outside the box a little, there may just be more to the story than simply looks. Maybe just be encouraging and say something positive in a sense of “go you”, “can’t wait to see your reach your goals”….. It’s a lot better than starting the whole annoying defensive conversation of “Oh no you misunderstood, don’t get me wrong, I know I’m not fat but……….”

 And yes, some people really do just want to hear you say “you look fine as you are”, I get that. I’m just saying maybe give it some thought ?? Being overweight is more than looks. It kills people. Do you want to be an enabler of unhealthy habits ?? or do you want to be a part of something bigger and help someone move towards a lifestyle where they may just have a few more years added on to spend with their loved ones ??

Where I am right now………

Screen-Shot-2013-11-08-at-8_37_09-AM

Thursday December 5th, 2013 – What has AF meant for me ????

 It has meant and means my lifestyle needs changes, from small to large;

  •  I was told I could no longer train in the way that I had for as long as I could remember. No more runs, wicked weight sessions, HIIT sessions, Super Saturday Sessions – nothing, except breathing exercises and 30min of either cleaning, gardening, walking or dancing around the house (which doc called “crazy dance”). All I was allowed to do was these to a point of “panting” plus a small list of stretches to do daily. MORTIFIED. So as soon as my on again off again training regime came to a stop (about 6 weeks ago) the weight piled on at a rate of about 1kg a week, I’m proud to say it’s down to about half that a week now, but we aren’t quite in a balanced state yet as the body is still storing and I’m not spending enough energy. Last week I started introducing some “proper” gym sessions. It wiped me out completely and I struggled. So that push last week made me crash again this week and it is tonight (so 3 missed days plus the weekend) that I’ve done what I consider to be nothing. I mean mowing lawns to me is a chore not an exercise. So it’s a fine line which I’m still working on. I’m doing much much better than some of the case studies I’ve read where people have suffered for up to 10 years. Screw that !!!!

  • I had to give up all stimulants. Besides the obvious like pre-workouts and energy drinks I also am not to have coffee, black or even green tea, diet soft drinks or chocolate (it contains caffeine). That sucks and I’ll tell you the first week I though I was going to die. I’m much better now but still have chai tea and decaf coffee. Decaf coffee is actually still just as bad as coffee so I have it as a treat. This website explains the pros and cons of decaf nicely >>>http://teeccino.com/building_optimal_health/39183/Decaf-Coffee-And-Health.html
  • No alcohol – OK so this one I’m struggling to behave with as it is the season to be merry and I’ve been rather social. I pay for it dearly and if I have a big Saturday then Sunday I’m a couch spud sipping water.
  • No foods that could potentially cause allergic reactions no matter how minor eg dairy, gluten and wheat. I’ve not had any intolerances to foods but assure you that I do feel better cutting these out. I’m not extreme about it, but I avoid it if I can without causing a scene.
  • I salt my water and food. The body needs salt. Gone are the days (I think it was the 90’s) that salt was the worst thing in the world and will cause massive heart problems. The body needs it, it helps keep fluids in the right concentration, reduces adrenalin spikes, aids blood sugar balance and sleep (well supposedly if you suck some salt before bed it helps you sleep, not proven with me), plus I drink a lot of water and drain my body of it. There is a risk to those with high blood pressure of course, but in general it’s actually good for you. I go for Himalayan Rock Salt as it has trace minerals that help my recovery over processed table salt. Check out this website for 12 reason why salt is beneficial to your body >>>>>>http://empoweredsustenance.com/salt-is-good-for-you/
  • I eat a very caveman like diet as much as possible. If it hasn’t grown or once had a face (had to borrow that from a friend, love it) I don’t eat it. I am not over zealous about this and don’t freak out when I go out to dinner or lunch with friends, but stick to this plan at all opportunities. I feel a lot more balanced and with less mood swings doing this but I’m still gaining weight which is rather irritating.
  • I blend green juices every day and have a minimum of 2 a day as my snacks (with my portion of protein and carbs). It’s a very convenient way to get the minerals and benefits of specific veggies that support adrenal glands and general well being without sitting down to a salad. I add in some “Raw Greenz” to help alkalize the body too. PS regarding Raw Greenz link, This company does some really great scrumptious foods that are gluten, wheat and everything free, be warned not the get the choc granola as you’ll eat a whole bag in the blink of an eye as it is seriously the yummiest thing I’ve come across !!!!
  • I take a lot of supplement vitamins and minerals to support areas that will be lacking due to poor adrenal performance or simply they aid better body function and overall well being which in turn will take pressure of my adrenals trying to balance my body.
  • I meditate up to 5 times a day. It lowers the heart rate (lowering the flight or fight response (sympathetic nerve system)) and helps stimulate the parasympathetic nerve system helping get to a rested state. It’s worked wonders. I thought it was all a load of crap. But seriously, it has brought so many benefits into my life that even when I’ve completely recovered I will always make time to slow down and really feel what’s going on inside and rest my mind. I love an app called “Buddhify”. Can be used at home, travelling and even at the gym. 10 minutes a day would help EVERYONE !!!!!

Fun ride ! I certainly feel a hell of a lot better over these past  weeks instilling these actions, tips and tasks into my lifestyle and understand it’s not going to be a quick fix transformation back into the energy ball I was but I have learnt (very painfully) to look at this as my latest challenge, and probably my most important. It hasn’t been easy but it has breathed new life into me and I want to help others and am now determined to get my qualifications to legally help others J . The immediate future is a challenge but jeez it looks bright !!!

What is it ????

curious

Tuesday 3rd December – What is Adrenal Fatigue ???

Well where do I start….. Adrenal fatigue is generally not recognised by the medical community, it is thought that the adrenal glands (which are little walnut sized glands located on the top of each of your kidneys) have been exhausted and cannot control the correct amount of hormones in the body. These hormones include pinephrine, cortisol, progesterone, DHEA, estrogen, and testosterone. Changes occur in your carbohydrate, protein and fat metabolism, fluid and electrolyte balance, heart and cardiovascular system, and even sex drive. Many other alterations take place at the biochemical and cellular levels in response to and to compensate for the decrease in adrenal hormones that occurs with adrenal fatigue.

 So essentially it is a collection of symptoms being extreme fatigue, the inability to sleep, sugar and salt cravings, sore joints, a “foggy head”, poor immunity and taking a long time to get over minor illnesses, never actually feeling re-charged or refreshed after rest, inability to lose weight and a reliance on stimulants such as coffee to get through a day. Now when I say extreme fatigue I don’t mean feeling a bit tired, I mean that you are incapable of minor thought function like simply getting out of bed and having a shower. You are so so tired you don’t know your own name, you get lost driving to somewhere you go everyday like work, you simply cannot comprehend anything at all, but your body is still wired like you’ve had too much coffee and you cannot sleep. All this can lead to severe depression in some subjects which can certainly delay recovery. Many medical professionals do not understand adrenal fatigue (or simply do not believe in it) as most tests done, for example, blood tests, will only pick up the top and bottom 2.5% extremes of cases. So anyone in the middle that is suffering tend to get overlooked. Imagine if your “normal” hormonal levels were close to the bottom 3% and your hormone levels are now closer to the top 3%, that’s a massive change in your body but it will not come up in standard tests….. Most patients suffering from AF get treated for depression and take far longer to actually recover.

 However, AF can be diagnosed using a saliva swab test which will analyse hormone output, particularly cortisol and DHEA. Fluctuations of these hormones can point to poor adrenal function and any changes to normal adrenal activity. But of course it will depend on your medical provider whether they think to do this or treat your symptoms as something else.

I was incredibly lucky that my medical provider saw the symptoms straight away and put me on the right path to recovery. Very lucky.

My symptoms were very obvious and text book. My energy an all time low. I was able to go great guns for about a 5 days then start to struggle then the following week be wiped out or sick. Waking feeling like I had run a marathon and simply crumpling to the floor with exhaustion getting out of bed with my poor mind exploding with overloads of information exhausting me even more as it was like watching 10 tv shows at once with the radio on and reading a book, so I would simply lay on the tiles and try and filter how to a) get up and get to work b) what the hell to do next c) how the hell to do it. If I made it to the shower to get ready for work I would end up leaning against the wall confused as to the process of the shower because I was so exhausted, staring at soap like it was new to the world….. then start crying because I knew something was very wrong but I didn’t have any physical scars, wounds, outward appearance of a problem and how do I relay that I just can’t make it out the door to people that look at me with make up, hair done, clothes pressed and simply looking a little tired from, hey maybe a big night out? It’s very hard to get across to people that something is wrong but I can’t show you, you have to just believe me.

 And food ??? The bodies reaction to utter exhaustion is that it needs fuelling immediately and it wants the most basic forms of fuel being sugars and simple carbs so I did have them, a lot of them as I had to make it through the day plus a few coffees of course to keep going. Essentially making things worse but I know that now after my saviour Doc pointed me in the right direction. I truly am so very lucky that I can move on with recovery now and be a whole lot nicer to myself because I wasn’t failing, I was simply having a poor start J

 Adrenal fatigue can be both chronic (builds up over time) from situations like regular stresses at work, the environment or poor diet or it can be acute from a singular severe stressful situation like an illness, death, or surgery. It can develop from basically anything that stresses the body either physically or emotionally in some way. Some people are born to handle stresses more efficiently than others and they handle a situation or multiple constant stressful situations for a long time then all of a sudden they are “wiped out” and cannot bounce back and others simply cannot handle stressful situation at all and one “push” sends them into a spiral.

 No one is immune to adrenal fatigue.

References

Adrenal Fatigue: The 21st Century Stress Syndrome – Dr James Wilson

http://www.adrenalfatigue.org/what-is-adrenal-fatigue

http://www.bodyandsoul.com.au/health/health+az/adrenal+fatigue,11579

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Adrenal_fatigue

I’m back…..

moving forward

Monday 2nd December 2013

So it’s been a very long time since my last post. Well……. After continual stop starts, awesome weeks then crashing weeks, I saw my Dr a few times to find out why I wasn’t able to maintain what seemed so easy to me over the last few years. Full time job, lots of exercise, healthy and nutritious food, no cravings or binges, lots of energy and just a normal energetic person…….. why couldn’t I keep doing this, why have I changed, what was wrong with me !!!!!!!

Turns out, I burned myself out. Yeah I was a bit “are you for real?, that really happens?” myself…… But turns out that I overworked my poor adrenal glands which, turns out, are rather important for a hell of a lot of basic human functions. I will get into the nitty gritty of it all over time as I don’t want to overload on the first day back J

So basically it all boils down to some simple things a) no hard core training allowed b) very specific nutrition c) no cure, no pill, no potion fixes it, it’s all lifestyle choices and being in tune with myself and what my body is doing. It’s quite interesting now that I actually realise when my adrenalin is absolutely pumping for absolutely no reason. Like simply lying in bed to go to sleep and whoah off we go with the flight for fight mode and I have to get up and try to calm down. Fun times. Hard to believe I use to just lay there thinking “why can’t I sleep, why am I so awake, why am I so worked up?”

So it’s all about recovery for me right now. I have to suck up the fact that I cannot focus on getting my bikini body back just yet, I have to focus on getting my body back to simple and basic health so we can play on an even playing field, then maybe I can start thinking about getting back into my favourite shape.

So come along for a fun ride of recovery if you wish as adrenal fatigue syndrome is actually quite prevalent in our society. It comes in all forms and sizes and can happen to anyone. So if you feel like you want to start feeling generally better, or have similar symptoms that I will share with you then I will be sharing it all – my tips, triumphs and well, hopefully, only a couple of setbacks, with you. Don’t ignore warning signs as the longer you fatigue yourself the harder it is to come back and let me tell you. This sucks !!!!

Early Mornings….. maybe

early mornings

Thursday 19th September 2013 (Day 46)

Today I set the alarm to get up early and get my workout done before work….. then promptly reset it and went back to sleep after 40min of telling myself to get up, which left about 20min extra sleep before I actually had to get up for work…… grrooooaaaannnnnnn

I have no idea why I’m so determined to get back to training first thing in the morning before the sun comes up, the birds wake and the bats go to bed. I know there are many benefits like;

  • It builds consistency
  • You generally don’t have to wait for machines or weights
  • It helps increase your metabolism
  • You feel more energized for the day
  • It increases self discipline
  • It clears your mind for the day and increases focus
  • Burns more fat as you have no “food energy” to burn before your fat stores
  • It can help regulate your appetite
  • Regulation of your circadian rhythms (click here for more info)
  • Daily life is less likely to get in the way eg working back late
  • You seriously have less excuses, or none !
  • I’ve been told you sleep better as well…..

BUT, even with all these amazing benefits I think the main reason I want to train early mornings again is I just want to go back to the way I use to be. Bouncing out of bed, sipping a coffee on the way to the gym to pump out some tunes to an awesome workout then do an internal self high five for being awesome and cooking up a fantastic breakfast to fuel the rest of the day.

Geez it sounds awesome writing it like that !!!!

So, even though I’m finding anytime between 4am – 6am a ridiculous time to train I’m going to do it. I’m so bloody doggedly determined to get back into that early morning rhythm and feeling fantastic. Watch this space.

Quick update – 21 days of healthy habits going rather well. I had some wine Friday night, but it wasn’t excessive and within my rules. OK on date night I could have ordered something much better than chicken and chips (which was awesome) but believe me, although I enjoyed eating it I felt so very sick after and the next day I felt like I’d gained a good 15kg from that one meal so I’m not doing that again. I’m definitely finding being healthy so much easier without all my added pressure of being at certain weights, measurements, km’s etc in short time frames. I feel like this is turning into a lifestyle (which is what I want) instead of yet another transformation. More on my changes from transforming to transforming a lifestyle another day.

References

http://au.askmen.com/top_10/fitness_top_ten/10_fitness_list.html

http://www.bodybuilding.com/fun/mielke25.htm

http://www.boxingscene.com/exercise/1312.php

Mythbusting Kez Style !!!

myth bust
Friday 13th September, 2013 (Day 33 ??? keep losing where I’m up to)
Well being Friday the 13th had be thinking about myths and urban legends so I thought I’d have a look at this closer. There are soooo  many fitness myths that we’ve all heard that it’s seriously laughable. These are my top 10.
1)  I’m a girl, I don’t want to do weights because I’ll look like Arnie – You won’t, end of story, you do not have the same amount of testosterone rolling around in your body like men (who have between 10-30% more). If you start looking like Arnie, call me, I want to know how you did it !!!
2)  Carbs are bad Your body needs carbs to function, they are your primary source of energy…. But this does not include an entire loaf of garlic bread with a giant side of pasta an hour before you’re going to bed :(, simple carbs aren’t a very good choice here. Good complex carbs (oats, grains, nuts) of low GI take longer for the body to break down and give you a more even release of energy over a longer period of time (and keep you fuller longer). Unlike simple carbs like sugar, pasta, refined white bread and rice, they do not make your insulin levels take a giant spike and then a giant fall making you want more more more !!!
3)  Spot reducing (like doing lower body weights only to reduce the booty) – Think about it. No matter what you do your body will do it’s own thing and take fat from where ever it feels to convert it to energy to support your exercise, no matter what exercise…running, weights, step, pump, walking, squats etc etc doesn’t matter, body needs energy, it will burn what it needs.
4)  I weighed a kilo more this week, it must be muscle !!! – Well this does certainly change per person as a lot of factors like genetics, type of training, diet, gender and age have a play in this. Some people can notice gains quite quickly, others a lot longer, but generally it takes a relatively long time to build significant muscle like a kilo and it takes proper muscle building training and nutrition as well to facilitate major gains in a short period. With targeted exercise you could generally expect to see some changes in a 6-8 week period again depending on your body type. One website I visited (aworkoutroutine.com) has written an average up (the person writing the article that I read had 10+ years first hand experience (and observations) and has spoken with trainers/coaches) and they published the following guide for an average expectation of how quick you could gain muscle (and in my personal experience I think it’s about right, well for my personal story any way).

Average Natural MAN: between 113grams – 226grams of muscle per week (or about 450gms –     900gms of muscle gained per month).
Average Natural WOMAN: between 54grams – 113grams of muscle per week (or about 226grams –  450grams of muscle gained per month).

5)  Fresh Fruit/Veg is better than frozen – With shipping and storage, fresh fruit can often sit around for as long as two weeks before it hits your supermarket. In contrast, frozen fruit is often picked and frozen at the peak of freshness.
6)  I want abs so I’ll do heaps of crunches – Good ole crunches (or any other forms of ab exercises) will in fact help you build mean muscly abs….. but you will not actually see them if you aren’t lean enough. I know when I first started weights I could literally feel how hard my abs were, but they were well hidden under fat and it was only after I started to lean up that I could actually see them and the leaning up had nothing to do with doing ab exercises in particular, it was my overall nutrition and varied training.
7)  I need to take supplements to get into shape – As the name implies, they are to supplement your nutrition. To pick you up in areas that may be lacking, like protein for bodybuilders as an example when they need to up their intake, or you may not be able to eat fish and can’t get enough Omega-3’s from other avenues…. But you do not need to just have shakes, pills and powders because you are now getting into shape…. They have their place to help you and you should seek advice on what would be best for you or beneficial to you.
8)  I ate crap food, but it’s ok I’ll train longer – One of my favourite sayings, ‘you can’t out-train bad nutrition”. It’s not just the energy in and energy out, all the ingredients can have their part to play, for example the fact that sugar is the ultimate enemy for stopping weight/fat loss. Your body will burn that sugar BEFORE anything else. So dig into your chocolate, and then the first hour or so of training (the more you’ve had obviously the longer you have to train) is WASTED burning off that sugar instead of your stored fat….
9)  I need to basically live on lettuce leaves and starve to lose weight – The idea is a balanced, healthy and proportionate nutrition plan. You do not have to starve or be a rabbit. The reason most educated people reach for the salad bag when they are serious about losing weight and starting a healthy lifestyle is that you can have an entire bag of mixed veggies or salad leaves which will have more nutritional bang for your energy (calorie/kilojoules) buck than say a quarter of a mars bar. Your tummy will be fuller longer from the fibre…. Geez there are so many reasons for reaching for some greens when you want to lead a more healthy lifestyle and starving is not one of them. Yes you do need to lower your energy input to lose weight, but this shouldn’t mean that you have air for snacks instead of good wholesome food. Basically you can fit a bucket load of healthy choice food on your plate for the same calories as a small amount crap food.

10)  I have to do cardio to lose weight – ALL EXERCISE WILL HELP YOU LOSE WEIGHT, energy in, energy out. Nutrition has a large part to play in your weight loss journey. Simples.

WOW – thinking of 10 was actually harder than I thought, but there are quite a few myths about and all you need to do is listen. We believe so many untruths because a) they are told and say them ourselves time and time again without even checking if it’s true and b) they suit us and make us feel better about ourselves, eg gaining a kilo in a week and telling yourself it’s just muscle is far more acceptable mentally than truthfully looking at your nutrition and exercise or even other reasons like “that time of the month” or water retention etc.   Well I’m all typed out after all that, so stay healthy.

References
http://www.fitnessmagazine.com/workout/tips/strategy/top-10-fitness-myths/
http://www.gymjunkies.com/fitness-myths/
http://well.wvu.edu/articles/10_dieting_myths
http://howtobuildmuscleask.com/how-long-does-it-take-to-build-muscle/
www.livestrong.com/…/213868-how-long-does-it-take-to-gain-lean-muscle-mass/
www.musclebuildingdaily.com/muscle/how-long-does-it-take-to-build-muscle.php
http://www.aworkoutroutine.com/how-much-muscle-can-you-gain/

It’s How You View It !!

this-feeling-sucks

Thursday 12th September, 2013 (Day 32)

Well I was going to post this yesterday but that post by Reembody was just too good not to repost as it’s exactly how I feel about fitsperation pictures right now. If you missed it go back to my post yesterday and take the time to read through. Especially if you’re struggling to reach that “ultimate visual goal”.

NOW speaking of goals, now that I’ve changed my focus to keeping it basic and just making it through 21 days of good habits (yay day 4 and feeling fine…. well except for the silly cold someone shared with me), it’s really made me realise how much negativity I’d injected into my goals.

For example my first month goal was to reach 66kg, under 30% body fat, run 4km and fit a size 12. WHY ?? because a) I feel uncomfortable in my clothes b) I feel unattractive) c) The tropical heat sucks at this size d) I need to buy a new wardrobe and don’t want to have to go up a size…… basically my picture today says it all….

All negative……..

Now getting back to basics my views have changed 360 degrees. I want (not need) that’s right, I want to train and eat healthy because a) I feel “cleaner” b) I feel happier c) My skin is clearer d) My eyes are brighter e) I laugh more f) I have more energy g) I have a brighter outlook on life in general and problems really aren’t that bad.

All positive 🙂

Sometimes just changing the perspective and focussing on the good changes over the poorly constructed “reasons” to reach a goal can make the world of difference.

Also I just want to add I’m pretty freaking happy with myself as I felt so lousy with this cold last night that there was truly no way I was going to be able to run hill sprints and breathe at the same time and instead of just throwing in the towel and telling myself “I need rest for my cold” I did a yoga session instead and although having my head down (why do they use downward dog so much ????) and feeling my cold pulse against my forehead was zero fun, it felt great to still do something when I previously would have accepted an excuse and done nothing. Love the small wins !!!.