Tuesday, December 30, 2008

It's the Why that matters

Do you ever wonder why it is that some people achieve their goals, and others don't? Do you ever wonder why you find yourself back at the same place in December of each year saying "next year will be the year that I finally do xx?", and then somehow during the year the list you wrote became less and less important or seemed silly?

I have a confession to make and that is that I am in a very similar place in one aspect of my life that I was in 12 months ago despite my desire to change those circumstances. I certainly had a great 2008, however I am lagging in one of the spheres of my life. This "failure" has lead me to do a lot of soul searching, reading, watching inspiring videos over the past month looking for the answers. Naturally no answer jumped out at me, and I now realise that I need to go back and do all my goal setting again, however I have had 2 very important revelations in my month of searching. I would like to be able to tell you that I was clever enough to have realised these myself, but they came from an "American success manual" that I resorted to buying to get me past this block.

So it seems that I may have been missing a couple of small yet very important steps in the process. To put it very simply I had planned the "how" I was going to achieve this particular goal, even noting down the actions and time frames but I failed to really understand why I wanted it. As the "why" was not so strong every month I let actions and dates slip by as there was no compelling reason to do them, there was no internal driver or consequence attached to completing each task. Therefore I didn't end up where I wanted to be.

So not having a clearly defined "why" I wanted to achieve a goal made me really question whether or not it was something I wanted to have in my life. This question lead me to one of beliefs and the need to examine the things I say are important these days, and the actions that I do to support those beliefs. Am I walking the walk?

I am still contemplating my navel over a few of these areas, but the lesson here for me is that significant changes to lifestyle don't lie in your ability to map out a project plan. They rest with how you balance all the aspects of your life and your values.


Monday, December 29, 2008

Home Sweet Home

After a wonderful 5 day break at the beach I am home this morning. It was a great break with plenty of sun, surf and Xmas food and joy.

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Supplement Holiday

This afternoon we are off to the beach for a week or so holiday. I have no real plans other than reading, swimming, walking on the beach and training. Well of course there is Xmas lunch tomorrow and I guess some form of celebration around New Year and catching up with friends, but it will be very low key and relaxed.

While I am away for 10 days I am also going to take break from my current supplement protocol. Naturally this doesn't include my core supps of fish oil, multi, magnesium and glutamine, but the others will stay at home as I have been on my current protocol for about 6 weeks. When I get home I will assess my new requirements and will be likely to change things up a bit. I rotate my fish oils and mult's regularly to ensure effectiveness and less chance of developing sensitivities using the same product over and over.

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Reflections & looking behind the goals

One of the great things about having a blog is the ability to go back and re read what was happening both in your head and in your life over the past period of time. I see that quite a few people have started to list their objectives for 2009, and like them I have gone back to what I posted 12 months ago about my goals for this year just passed. On paper I did very well, and have ticked off some great success in achieving both my powerlifting life and my health and fitness life. But then that is no surprise really as I am pretty good at achieving and always have been.

You can name it whatever you like but as the classic "high achiever" I have a collection of achievements and experiences that look pretty good all lined up on the shelf, and people often ask me what motivates me to achieve. I am sure it is not an uncommon question and I guess the answer varies for each person like me, and this post is not about what drives us. In fact it is kinda the opposite.

One of the big learning experiences from the past 12 months has been about quality of life. I have learnt from many fitness industry leaders that our food and lifestyles are killing us, and it is impossible to separate the mind from the body. Despite their vehement dismissals of each others methods and theories in both nutrition and training, they all agree on these 2 points. So this year rather than purposely add to my trophy cabinet, I am going to make sure my air is clean, my life is stress free and my family and friends are close.

This year I have a goal that is going to be my most difficult. My goal is to "stop and smell the roses" (although my favourite flowers are tulips).


Saturday, December 20, 2008

PMS - Which type are you?

I guess there are a lot of ways to categorise things, and many different approaches to handling issues so this post is certainly not a definitive on PMS, just the Biosignature approach. Below I have listed a few different types of PMS and some protocols that may help you through.

PMS D - Depression
Use Evening Primrose oil, borage oil or Fish oil with high DHA all month.

PMS A - Anger
Perform a liver detox last 5 days of every month, using liver herbs

PMS H - Water gain
Use Vitamin E, taurine and magnesium

PMS O - All symptoms
This can be addressed by looking at diet as well as the supps listed above.

I have also recently found that Wild Yam is very effective in managing the physical symptoms of swelling and water gain.


Friday, December 19, 2008

A few tips for Xmas from Joseph Coyne
Joseph is a colleague of mine and runs a very successful business out of the Gold Coast, Coyne Conditioning.

One of his recent newsletters captured one of my favourite topic in wellness - the importance of breakfast. Enjoy!

Hi All

No doubt we all have a busy silly season coming up. Enter the realm of food, food and (you guessed it) food. Unfortunately for all of us except the marathon runner (who could not put on weight if they tried); more salt, more sugar, more deep fried food equals more body fat. Now we all want to enjoy ourselves so what can we do?

The best idea is to simply make sure you start your day off with a large high protein breakfast. This will ensure more stable blood insulin and sugar levels throughout the day. By controlling insulin and blood sugar levels, we are helping to control our appetite and stopping our body’s going into fat storage mode. Basically this means you will be less likely to be doing multiple relay legs at world record pace between the sausage rolls and the chocolate eclairs come the afternoon BBQ.

Examples of breakfasts for Christmas champions include a vegetable omelet with strawberries; a whey protein smoothie containing flaxseeds, natural almond butter, frozen blueberries and a dash of cinnamon; or smoked salmon with avocado and sliced peppers. Another breakfast that will also do the trick nicely (although slightly lower in protein content) is oats with yoghurt, fresh fruit and silvered almonds. The reason is that oats contain a nice little compound called beta-glucans which help stabilize blood sugar.



Thursday, December 18, 2008

Ah, that's better...

I give quite a bit of advise to people with busy lives about managing stress, sleep and finding balance. It is only in the past 12 months that I truly listened that advise myself, mainly because I have a bit of an addiction to running around with my hair on fire.

I found myself and stressed earlier this week, and I am sure I am not alone given the time of year, so I took myself off line and relaxed for 3 days (I didn't even train). I still occasionally fight some feelings if guilty when I do this, but I am getting better at pushing those thoughts away.

So I am fresh, about to hit the gym and looking forward to a wonderful Xmas period with my family.

Have a wonderful day!


Sunday, December 14, 2008

If anyone has read the Celestine Prophecy the line "there are no coincides" will ring true. So after just having a coincidence that would otherwise be described as an opportunity I am inspired to blog....

Last night I saw the movie Twilight - teenage love, angst, Vampire movie. It was fun and there should have been nothing more to it, however I left feeling like something had reverberated deeply with me and all last night I could not put my finger on it. I actually felt a little disturbed at the emotion that had been swelling in my gut. This morning on the Precision Nutrition forum I read a post by one of the members about a T-shirt designed for Krista and her training partner Renee - the image above. Danger is dangerous! Adrenalin!

It is dangerous. It is also exciting, fulfilling, and it is the part of life that makes us feel alive. It is that feeling of warmth that rises from the pit of our stomach and rises to our head, standing hairs on end and instantly raising our temperature a few degrees to the point that our hands sweat and faces flush. How incredible is it that we can experience such a huge physical reaction to a thought - a reaction that we could never replicate by exercise.

I really don't believe in coincidences and the timing of these 2 things are making me look at some decisions I am making. It is so easy to accept that safe option; the option that doesn't raise the blood pressure, the option that ensures the mortgage is paid every month, the option of regrets. At 41 I am close to half way through my life, I look at my colleagues, family and friends of the same age and I wonder who is being safe and who is being dangerous? We are told by our parents and teachers when we are young to go to Uni, get a degree, something to fall back on. We are then our counselled to invest in a home, property, set yourself up for the future. What future? What does a Uni degree and 2 investment houses do for our souls? What do we do everyday that sets our adrenalin pumping? We end up releasing cortisol all day every day and then work ourselves into a unhappy and unfulfilling lives because we are too scared of danger.

I know that feeling. Every time I stand by the platform in my knee wraps and squat suit before my first competition squat, that feeling is so strong I almost want to be physically sick. When I walk back from that first successful lift that feeling is amplified and I am on top of the world.

I don't need to own things, I need to do things.


Friday, December 12, 2008

Stressed and tired? Working long hours? No energy to look after yourself? Overweight? Unhappy with how you look?

Want some balance and a better body?

Lifestyle & Balance Program

Your initial month involves 2 face to face consultations (or phone discussions in the case of distance clients), and your first month’s supply of vitamins and minerals.

Your program will include recommendations, review, and analysis of:

  • Nutrition, and vitamin support
  • Sleep
  • Exercise program review
  • Comprehensive Biosignature report
  • Precision Nutrition plan
  • Recovery and relaxation methods

Initial month $590 (includes core pack vitamins and minerals)

Ongoing monthly fee $220

Contact lisa@lisastokes.com.au

All prices are Inc GST

Thursday, December 11, 2008

photo by Dallas Olsen

Time for a bit of gym talk....

Over the past couple of months I have been posting a lot about vitamins, supplements, nutrition, de stressing our lives and any other topic that I believe is important to the basics of living a healthy life. However today it is definitely time to talk about the Strength part of Strength and Beauty, and a little grrr to my blog.

After I returned from the States I had a few weeks off, and went to the gym maybe twice a week mainly to keep my squat technique fresh. So about 3 1/2 weeks ago I decided it was time to get a plan together and get back to doing what I love. The question was, what was I going to do? My next Powerlifitng competition is not until July next year, and despite a couple of interesting competitions earlier than that I am sticking my to plan of having 6 months rest from the pressure.
I needed to find an objective; training is like anything else in life, you need to plan and program for success. So the following jumped out as obvious objectives;
  1. Lean down from my off season so I will be at competition weight before I go back to my next powerlifting cycle
  2. Grow some size in my upper body so I get close to my 100kg bench press dream.
To achieve my first goal I needed to look at doing high lactate training, higher rep ranges (10+ for me), with minimum rest. To achieve more upper body size a hypertrophy training range of 8-12 is needed, and as I don't normally do a lot of direct upper body training (shoulders - what are they) simply adding these into my program is going to cause muscle growth.

I decided that the leaning down goal was no 1, so I have hit myself with the Poliqiun 6-12-25 on legs weekly and arms bi-weekly to shock my body to adapt. Each of the other 4 days has 2 focus muscles and is in the 8-10 rep range with minimum rest. The best way to lean down is to do resistance training, so other then 1 RPM class on a Saturday with "the gang" I am not doing any cardio.

In 2 weeks time I will change the program again and remove the 6-12-25 and focus more on getting those shoulders I am after!

I am loving my training right now, and enjoying the freedom of having so many choices......well, I am off to the gym.

Stay Strong


Wednesday, December 10, 2008

'Life is too short to wake up in
the morning with regrets,
so love the people who treat you right,
forget about the ones who don't,
and believe that everything
happens for a reason.
If you get a Chance, take it.
If it changes your life, let it.
Nobody said life would be easy,
they just promised it would be worth it.'

In my practise I use a combination of Precision Nutrition and Biosignature Modulation to assist my clients achieve their life balance requirements, which is why my main service is called "Life Balance". I find that this combination provides a great framework for people to easily create new habits that are sustainable and effective for long term health.

For those of you who are not familiar with Precision Nutrition here are the 10 rules of good nutrition.
  1. Eat every 2-3 hours
  2. Consume complete, lean protein at every feeding.
  3. Eat vegetables every time you eat
  4. Eat complex carbs only when you deserve to
  5. Learn to love healthy fats
  6. Ditch the calorie containing drinks
  7. Focus on whole foods
  8. Treat yourself 10% of the time
  9. Develop food preparation strategies
  10. Balance daily food choices with healthy variety.

I wonder if it is the time of year and people are tired from long hours and the expectation of Christmas is upon them, but I am seeing a rather large increase in toxic activity and some days I feel like I am surrounded by Toxic Angels rather than Christmas Angels.

Tuesday, December 09, 2008

I have recently done one of those "right/left brain" test and it turns out I am only slightly more one than the other. So while I tend to live by the big picture method, today it is time to get onto a to do list and use the systematic side of my brain. I find that my productivity goes out the window when I have so much to do and I get swamped and I end up doing bits of everything and finishing nothing. I have been really spoilt in the past few years at Hitachi and gorgeous Rosie has always been there to keep me on track....maybe I can bribe her somehow!!!!


Monday, December 08, 2008

What is your poison?

I know I can be a bit of a herb and supplement junkie, and I am always on about fish oil, magnesium, multi's etc, however I though it was time to post about another of my must haves; herbal tonics.

I prescribe tonics for most of my clients, and have them go to a Naturopath to get specialised tonic made for them. I have to admit they don't taste the best and most of my client's refer to them as "poison".

I recently ran out of my tonic and after about 1 week I was feeling a little flatter than usual. It didn't occur to me at the time that the 2 were connected, however after getting a new concoction made up it was obvious that my tonic does provide that "little bit extra" that I need to get through my life with utmost energy.

My Naturopath changes my tonic every 2 months or when I need different types of support. If I am going through a stressful time she adds adrenal support herbs, and when the need is more physical she pulls out the big guns like tribulus to make me strong.

If you have never tried a tonic, and think you could do with that "little bit extra", I suggest you visit your local health food store and order a tonic!


TV (less) update
It has been about 2 weeks now with no TV, and I am still pleased with my decision. I have found that I can watch the ABC news online plus just about anything else I may need. My home is a little cleaner and I am gradually getting through those things that I have been putting off for a while....like finishing my tax.
Danger, our Siamese fighting fish, has also survived and I have recently been given a second lucky bamboo plant. It is very peaceful.

Friday, December 05, 2008

Fit weekend

This weekend is going to be a fun one, when a bunch of us that hang out at Lindy's forum all attend an RPM class given by Liz Nelson. I think there will be about 12 of us, all with different backgrounds but all with a love for being healthy and in shape. I have had the opportunity to do Liz's classes on a Saturday for about one month now so I have had some practice. So as the only powerlifter in the group I should be able to break the stereo type that we only do cardio under threat of life. Well I hope so, then as soon as I finish I am racing back home to drive away.....

This morning I am jumping in my car to drive to Bundaberg to watch my daughter compete in the QLD State Rowing titles. This is the first time she has competed on the open competition. My sister drove her up last night, so it will be a bit of a family thing - should be fun !

Wednesday, December 03, 2008

Quick Tip - Grateful Log
A recent technique I have learnt to assist with sleep is to keep a grateful log. This is a notepad you keep by your bed, and write all the things you are grateful for at that point in time just before you go to sleep. Now I know this sounds corny or a little "out there", however my personal experience is that is really works. At times when I am travelling or for some reason I don't have my log with my I say the things I am grateful for out loud to myself before I close my eyes.
This won't cost you anything and wont' do you any harm, and I guarantee that you will be surprised by the results. A little more positive thought in our lives can only be a good thing right? Try it and let me know what happens?
Happy sleeping!

It has been pretty hot and humid here making life just that little bit difficult, and I am kinda getting sick of the "humugity". So it is fair to say that I have had the occasional moment of being "Little Miss Cranky Pants" in the past week.
However I had a great moment today, when I saw a distance client of mine for the first time in 5 months. This client is an executive and he has been working with me to slowly bring some balance back into his life, while still performing his stressful job. He has been telling me that he has been making slow progress but feeling pretty good. I almost fell over backwards today when I saw him, not only had he visible dropped many kilograms, he had some biceps going as well.
The great thing about the work we have been doing was that we fitted it into his lifestyle, both family and work. There was no diet or prescribed foods, just suggestions on how to make good choices, exercise guidance and supplementation prescription. While he looked great, the best thing was when he told me that he is going back to play competitive soccer next year as he had been to training regularly of late. This was one of his goals, and no doubt he is well on his way to achieving his other goal; to be able to enjoy quality of life with his children.
I go to sleep happy tonight.

Tuesday, December 02, 2008

A comparison in food

This is my nutrition yesterday (Tuesday).

Wake - green drink with Aminos
Train - back/triceps
M1 - oats, pea protein blueberries, honey
M2 - yoghurt, blueberries, pea protein
M3 - beef and greens beans, nut butter
M4 - chicken salad
M5 - shake w yoghurt & strawberries
M6 - nut butter, tuna and spinach

Monday, December 01, 2008

What I was eating yesterday.
I really don't have an average day of food as it depends on how often I train, what training I do, how I feel, how my energy is, what is in the fridge, what is on special at the organic store and if I eat out. So this was yesterday (from memory).
M1 - oats, pea protein, blueberries, honey
M2 - Shake and grapes
Train - killer session (greens, BCAA's & glutamine)
M3 - shake with aminos and honey
M4 - gluten free toast, egg whites, fruit chutney
M5 - organic full cream yoghurt, blueberries, pea protien
M6 - chicken mince with vegetables
M7 - beef and green beans, nut butter
M8 - nut butter

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