Amanda's Challenge

Thursday, November 24, 2005

New program on the way....

Hey Everyone,

Well - sorry for the lapse inbetween blogs.... busy little life at the moment!

Will be starting my new program with Sue in the next couple of weeks... very excited. Sue is planning to make the most of what I can do around not being able to use my arm (it is actually becoming worse, even without use??... spoken with the physio - looks like a cortisone injection is going to be the answer - youchy!!)... anyway, have gained back a kilo over the last week and have been so lethargic and slack.... very keen to get back to being accountable to someone/something!

So - look forward to the next phase of my journey... it is coming!! Some new and some continuing ideals are about to step back under the spotlight......

Quote for today:
Ideals are like stars; you will not succeed in touching them with your hands, but like the seafaring man on the desert of waters, you choose them as your guides, and following them, you reach your destiny. - Carl Schurz

Tuesday, November 15, 2005

What I learned in my first 12 weeks....


Thought I would share what I sent through to Sue for my post 12 week speil...

I commenced my challenge with the goal of it being not a one off event but the beginning a life long commitment.

As a recovering perfectionist, I decided that this couldn't be about racing headlong down the treacherous path of trying to capture my ideal body beautiful within12 weeks. I knew that at 12 weeks and 1 day, if I hadn't reached what I perceived as the "perfect body" I would fall of the wagon and regress ten fold.

This challenge had to be about commencing a purposeful (and lifelong) stride toward a fit and well body, mind and soul - create a body "horizon" to have in view at all times. As any boating enthusiast would attest - you can never go wrong if you know where you are in relation to the horizon!

At 31, and the Mother of a 2 year old daughter and 5 month old son, I want to illustrate on a daily basis the importance of a positive and healthy attitude toward body image and general well being.

As a young person, I was very fit and active. During my teens & early twenties, for various reasons, I developed an inaccurate self image, and so started my friendship with emotional eating/fasting and other unsafe habits with regard to food and exercise. This ebbed and flowed in its intensity, however I never really "let it go".

I have long struggled with hormonal problems (weight fluctuations, mood swings etc). Three years ago I was diagnosed with Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome and Endometriosis. Advised my chances of having children were slim, with the aid of fertility treatment, I was very fortunate to conceive two children close together. These drugs and the close succession of my children contributed to a significant baby bulge and the loss of muscle and tone.

My son was one month old. I felt fat, unhealthy and unhappy. I didn't want to entertain bad habits again, and decided to start on the road to build the person I wanted to be. I remembered reading an article in Women's Fitness and Health about an online personal trainer - I blew the dust off my fitness equipment cupboard, dug out the WFH issue and emailed IBO.

Program in hand, I was off with a cracking start! As with any worthy journey I faced some rocky patches, which at times, threatened my resolve to continue. My daughter had a chronic illness that resulted in minimal sleep for me most nights, and with the added challenge of a newborn, I was exhausted most days. I had to dig deep and remind myself of how important this was to me.

My own health fluctuated with a diagnosis of mild post natal depression and a battle with recurring bronchitis. The most difficult was five weeks prior to the end of my challenge I developed a significant case of tendonitis in my elbow and couldn't (and still can't!) do any upper resistance training.

Where there's a will, there's a way - I kept picturing my horizon!

Along with achieving a body I am happy with, and keen to continue improving, I have found a community of like minded people online who have been a great support team, particularly Sue and Rae who have been the lighthouses in the storm! I have kicked some long term and destructive habits, and replaced them with invigorating healthy ones, which is the achievement I am most happy about.

The horizon is looking better everyday!

(I could write so much more, but tried to limit to the 500 words!!)

Success Tips

· Make sure you have a visual representation of your goal near you at all times. Whether that be a picture of the body you aspire to, post-it notes with motivational quotes about reaching your goal or a journal that "keeps you honest" - this is the best way to remind yourself of where you are going - you cannot find your way, unless you know where you're headed!

· Prepare, prepare, prepare!!!!! There will always be challenging environment, party or excuse to deviate. Well intending friends and family will also unintentionally sometimes try to sabotage your efforts. If you have your food planned, prepared and packed ready, you are less likely to be tempted!

· Reward yourself for hard work. Allow the luxury of a soak in the bath, time to read a chapter of your favourite book, a massage - anything that make you feel good about you. Don't beat up on yourself if you don't meet your standards all of the time. Just capitalise on what you have done and keep moving toward your goal. There is no point in dwelling on what could have been, it is wasted energy. Focus instead on what will be

· Join an online blog/forum with likeminded people - they will inspire, encourage, motivate and educate you far more than you realise!

· Remember if you think you can or you think you can't - you're right. Determination burns within each one of us. Whether or not it will heat the room or the whole house depends on how much time we spend feeding the fire.

Favourite Recipe

Barbecued Mushrooms with Avocado

Serves: 4 person(s)Preparation Time: 15 mins Cooking Time: 12 mins 4 x large mushrooms
A mushroom dish perfect for brunch or an alfresco lunch!

1 Tbsp olive oil3 cloves garlic, crushed2 small red chilies, finely chopped2 Tbsp thyme leaves4 large flat mushrooms, stalks removed1 salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste1 small avocado, flesh mashed2 Tbsp low fat sour cream

Preheat a barbecue plate or char-grill on medium-high heat. Combine oil, garlic, chilies and thyme in a small container. Brush over both sides of each mushroom. Season mushrooms with salt and pepper. Set aside for 5 minutes. Place mushrooms flat-side down onto barbecue plate or char-grill and cook 3 to 4 minutes on each side or until just tender. Meanwhile, combine avocado, sour cream and salt and pepper in a small bowl. Mix well. Place mushrooms onto serving plates. Top with avocado mixture. Serve immediately.

Wednesday, November 09, 2005

On the road again....

.... I just can't wait to get on the road again... - yes, daggy country music is on my repotoire!!!

I will be starting another program with Sue in the next few weeks, which I am really looking forward to!

I am in the middle of trying to find out/move forward on my elbow pain.... really quite excrutiating now and referring up and down my arm. However, after two major slovenly weeks off, I am back to business now and will keep doing my cardio, and lower/ab resistance till I have some kind of solution that allows me to use my arms!n I must admit I have OD'd on the chocolate and really paid for it (headaches etc) it is amazing how quick my body reacts now! I found an interesting read on reintroducing "binge" foods (for me chocolate and sour sugar coated jellies were it!) - also some other interesting bits and pieces associated with this site - have a look!

Found another worth a read site for those beginning their 12 weeks challenge, or those who are having a bit of a struggle right now (just a couple of pointers you know, however are worth a revisit!):

Just thought I would check in and say hi - will be back regular bloggingg this week!



Tuesday, November 01, 2005

The first 12 weeks of the rest of my life...FRONT

A bit of blurb...

I would have had these up last night, however after spending 2 hours with dramas uploading/accidental deletion etc, I gave up till this morning - and now can't get them in the right order!!!!

Well here they are... the before and after shots!!!

I can't believe 3 months could fly by so quickly - it really doesn't seem that long. I am pleased with the results, given the amount of "challenges" that happened during this time. I am now moving forward and working on sculpting and muscle building - will write a bit more later about what I have learned, some tips and other little bits that may be of interest!

One major thing that I can share right now is.... when having a spray tan that is a new product - DO A PATCH TEST!!! You can't tell from the photo (thank God) however I can out in a full body itchy rash overnight!!!!! Not fun!

So, Kat how're you? Erica where are you at?? And Rae, love to hear how the comp went... will jot some more later!


Monday, October 31, 2005



Sunday, October 23, 2005

The last week of this phase... Continuing journey!

Hey Everyone,

Start weight: 78kgs
Current weight: 70kgs

I am so sorry that I have been a little light on with the chat... been a full week at work this week with additional days and not much time for little else once I get home!

I can't believe the first 12 weeks of my lifetime journey are nearly gone! This week (my final week) I am trekking over Cradle Mountain in Tasmania (Freycinet National Park?? I think!) with work.... the Management team are doing a bonding 3 days together - it is 28kms in total and mostly up hill (with 8 of the kms down hill.... don't know how that works!!). Should be beautiful if I can manage to look up from the feet in front of me up the hills!!! *Laugh*

MAN - initially I was really panicked as I thought "not my last week of the challenge when you really step up the pace" however, I have figured it is a really thorough and constant work out for 2.5 days, so I shouldn't lose too much ground!! We are very rationed on our food (as we have 18kg packs to carry as well!!! AAAGGHHH!!!!!!!) so I have a couple of my protein shakes to take. So, of course preparing for my photos will be tricky, however I have managed to cram in a haircut and waxing when I return just in time for photos of the "result"!

Interestingly, the last week has been really tough for me to get any of my physical program completed... and I have also injured my right elbow quiet badly and cannot do any resistance!!! BLOODY HELL!!! Anyway, I have given up freaking out over what I can't do and just concentrating on what I can.

I don't look as great as I had wanted to by the end of my challenge, however, as I have said before, it is a life time commitment that I am happy to not rush if it means creating lasting changes. I am still consistently dropping weight from the scales (not sure how much is body fat) and have not been able to go as hard on my resistance as I wanted to, so am not as toned as hoped, however, when my elbow is mended (currently can't pick up anything heavier than my baby in that arm.... trying to get to the bottom of it with a physio appt next week - probably going to send me for some scans of some sort) I will head back into a massive focus on sculpting!

How is everyone else going... go Kat - haven't resigned with Sue yet, have to save up a bit more!!! Erica what is going on with you?? Rae how did you go??? Well, off to finishing packing the bloody trekking pack (I am So NOT a camper) and organise my family to survive without me for the next 4 days (I know that they will, I just like to feel I am needed!!!) - be back on the blower when I return thursday!

Cheerio, Amanda

Monday, October 17, 2005

Final Countdown - 2 weeks to go!

Hey Guys,

Start weight: 78kgs
Current weight: 71kgs

Well - here we are on the final count down... thanks to Bella for having a very informative and inspirational site (check it out - her blog is Red Beatle -

After having a little hiatus in training with Tara being in hospital etc, I was back running last night and this morning... going well - weight training has been a little tricky with the elbow and finger pain, however not too bad and persevering.

It is interesting, I deviated from my dietary plan over the weekend (for the first time in over 5 weeks) and really paid (gas, diorrehea, stomach pains etc) - my body must really be loving the clean life! Sooo that was great to see/feel as I really don't want to eat crap of any kind anymore (still have the occassional chocolate craving though!!).

I have been reflecting lately, and was a little bummed at myself for not putting in 100% effort for the entire time I have been on this challenge (had some lapses here and there), as I have had good results and could have had GREAT... however, life doesn't stop at the end of 12 weeks and my goal is a life time of healthy happy body image etc, so I know that continuing to work at it will pay off... my aim now is to really focus on building muscle, losing the rest of my body fat to what I would like and really sculpting. I must say, my baby is now 4 months old, and I feel okay about how I look.... I couldn't say that last time - so that is a definite step forward.

Sue's program really is fantastic, and if stuck to 100% will produce the exact results that you're after... I really am amazed at the results I have achieved for not being 100% diligent - so imagine what can happen when you are!!!! Going to have a round 2 - so that should see me more focused and onto it... All of the major issues of illness within my family seem (touch wood) to be on the mend, that really did play havoc with my time and resolve, however, that is life isn't it!! Just gotta go with and make the best of what you have!

I love working out and really miss my run or weights session, which I never thought I would reach! So the healthy happy me has moved in to stay!

Found an interesting site that comments on how to get over the major blocks that we all go through - have a read - this is a generally interesting site too - so have a look!

Have settled back into being at work and managing my food in an easily sabotaged environment (I work in hospitality!) and already with Tara having had her tonsils out, both of my treasures have been sleeping more, which means I have... MAN WHAT A DIFFERENCE an extra hour can make!

So, better be off and do some work... keep it up guys! Well done Kat - glad you sorted the shoe issue!! Erica, how's it going?? AND Bella, you're my next pin up inspiration!! Keep it coming Love!!!

Today's Quote:
Determination burns within each one of us. Whether or not it will heat the room or the whole house depends on how much time we spend feeding the fire.