Monday 26 December 2011

A Challenge of some sort

This time it's not the muscles... it's the head. And what a challenge THAT is!

When I eventually got me degree in computer science I promised myself to never EVER do an exam again. Well, here I am... having enrolled into personal trainer school and chickening out whenever I can. So far I can claim that I learned the practical side of it by volunteering in the gym... and I did learn an awful lot, but now I really have to sit down and hammer weird names of bones and muscles into my head. I have to do two courses, a quarter of a year each, and one quarter already has passed... ouch!

It's a weird thing that in the mornings I am determined to get everything done by end March and in the evenings I am never quite sure as another day has passed without feeling successful... Maybe I should not talk so much about my plans as Derek Sivers in his  TED talk suggests. 

Determination and guts is not the only thing needed, a bit of brain would be nice, too. I never was good in learning stuff by heart, but man: having an old brain sucks! There are quite a many books about how to utilise your brain better to learn more efficiently like Tony Buzan's mind mapping... Crux is: I don't have enough time left to learn how to learn... It would be nice to get the exam done before I fall into complete senile dementia and the subject being personal trainer kind of implies the availability of some sort of physical capability, too.

So darlings,  would you please again cross your fingers for me and wish me luck for the new year. I might go a bit silent on Facebook and the blogs, but I surely will read and appreciate your messages. 

Thanks a bunch and always yours

Wednesday 15 June 2011

a little wrap up!

Hi Dears,

just to let you know that I had an article published in our company online magazine about my competition. In there I am asking people to become my guinea pigs for learning how to train people. In a few weeks time my training to become Personal Trainer will start and I will need practice, won't I? 

So I had to get official permission from the gym board to do such a thing and they not only agreed, but asked me to provide a poster. Yay!

In doing so I have been digging through some pictures and I thought I share the outcome with you.

So firstly here is a proper picture of my trophy

Then there is me fat and frumpy in 2004, featuring a size 12 upper and 14-16 bottom

These jeans are rather fortunate, even, as they are very very stretchy thick fabric, keeping things in nicely in place

And then there is me in 2011

... am now starting to look forward to November, for the N.A.B.B.A Novice Finals

But first things first: I had fantastic feedback from the article and may have found two clients already, and in a good weeks time I am off to my dream holiday in Sumatra, which is a bit of a challenge in itself - spiders, insects... and such. 

So see you then around mid July with updates on my training, the school and what else might crop up!

Ta ta!

Wednesday 8 June 2011

It's over... for now!

Oh my goodness me, what a day that was. So, during the 5th of June 2011, I actually was quite cool. We collected my fan club and made our way to Great Yarmouth, a one and a half hours,  with two cars. The driving was fun and went well and leisurely dressed with a bag full of shoes, makeup, towels and bikini I arrived well in time before the show started.

yep, didn't forget to put the bikini on
After all the make-up tests I had decided to finish my face and hair but would leave the body untanned to avoid patches from clothes rubbing it off. The fake tan description said put it on an hour before, on arrival we were told: 'You can get into the changing room 20 minutes before, plenty of time!' Duh?

So my dear makeup girl Imola and I found ourselves in the freezing cold ladies toilet to paint a lady with something that looks like shoe polish.And then things went very quickly.

We were called into the wardrobe and it turned out that I was the only contestant in my category, as was the lady in the toned figure class. We were happy to find out that we knew each other from the gym I had been working out previously, and hence the atmosphere was rather chatty; still not nervous. Tan looked good, bikini got glued to the rear, and off we went back stage, me with Imola in tow who was holding my shoes.

With a quick run through I still was quite calm until the toned figure started her bit... Panic kicking in!

All of a sudden my name was called, and I felt moving like a robot, the music started, I remember the first few moves and then it all became a bit of an outer body experience. I thought I had messed it up, having trouble remembering what's next at least on three occasions.

Luckily my fan club as well as the video confirmed that this wasn't the case. Nevertheless, my first reaction when coming off stage: 'Never, ever again!' Whereas my toned show mate was all cheery and wanted to go back on stage instantly... hmmmm?!?

Despite lack of competitors I had to do the compulsory poses... in heels! Should have practiced that a bit. I love my heels and can walk them very well, but posing in heels I find a bit surreal and very wobbly.

However, I received my trophy from the lady who won last year and who I had feared so much. Gosh was I glad that I didn't have to compete with her, but it was nice that she did the presentation. Eventually I could relax a bit and I started to enjoy the show.

We all were a bit exhausted, so we didn't wait for the show to end and made our way home, but not without a stop-over at a restaurant. A bit of an after party was well deserved and after an entire day of plain rice and water the pasta dish was quite a treat.

Back at the changing room
Miss Toned and Miss Trained Figure

I stayed true to my 'Never, ever again!" exclamation until I had a closer look at the sheet of paper that goes with the trophy. An invite to the N.A.B.B.A (the official amateur association) Novice National Finals in November in Birmingham...

I mean, ... I am almost there... a lot of the work is done already... and 5 month time...

... and so the story goes on!

I will compete again. I will be more confident in my routine, and I eventually will have my legs!

Until then: 'Happy lifting!'

Enjoy the show!

Please find more pictures at my Picasa Web

Friday 3 June 2011

It's Time!

Wish me luck, dear friends! I will need it! You all have been a wonderful support and encouragement. Only less then 48 hours to go and I am feeling in a weird state of nervousness, wanting to be on this stage, and wanting to get it done and over with. I have done everything I could do, the shape won't change anymore and I will have to live with those last wobbles, and I have practiced my posing as much as I could. I still see a thousand and one flaws in this last video, but I am hoping that Adrenalin will do the rest. So here are the last 5 takes of 'Thus spoke Zarathustra'... I have a hunch that after Sunday I do not wish to hear it ever again...

Stay tuned for the report of the event!

Ta ta!

Friday 27 May 2011

The Last...

Yep, the countdown is on! Today was the last 'chest and back' day, tomorrow will be the last leg day before the competition, and now the focus has completely moved to 'POSING'.

Two days ago it was the first time that I felt I nailed it, didn't forget anything and was pretty well timed to the music.Hubby saw it and was impressed, so 'YAY!'

But still a lot to do. Today my friend Imola saw it for the first time and approved of it... although she mentioned that I do look a bit grumpy... Acknowledged! Although I don't want to smile, I surely don't want to look grumpy.

And I took the video camera for the first time. I have to see myself from the back, and I have to practice different directions of the room. That is so weird, as soon as I am turning round I keep forgetting my routine. It now is essential that I learn and feel it from my point on stage and not from what I see in the mirror and the context of the room. Due to lack of trainer, I have a hunch that the camera will be my best friend during the next week.

Here is my first video. It was meant to happen a bit differently, though. I had brought a bikini and decided to set up the camera first before changing. By the time that was done I was so knackered that I couldn't get the routine straight anymore.


The footage is good enough, though, to see where all the major flaws are. There is definitely attitude and confidence missing; because I am usually controlling myself in the mirror I am not always posing into the optimal direction because I am trying to get a good look rather then to feel (especially on the triceps, which is one of my best muscles); some arm and hand positions are not well aligned; I have to calm it down, there is too much wiggling going on, and legs definitely need work but I will focus on those when I will have footage in a bikini.

Oh my, one week to go. But as I said before, a week ago I could hardly remember the moves, and now I at least know how to train. Wish me luck!

PS: I am doing this challenge as a fund raiser for my favourite charity Orangutan Land Trust. Please consider sponsoring me for 1 year of hard work, sweat and worries - well, and maybe for seeing me on stage in a bikini with horrible sticky fake tan and oil, trying to remember my routine. And here is a currency converter for all my non-UK friends  ;o)

Wednesday 18 May 2011

Less than 3 weeks now!

Oh it's so weird! Eventually I dared measuring myself after realising that my weight had gone down by a good kilo. Well, I seem to have got leaner, except the darn ankles. I actually lost around the biceps although it looks bigger now. All very confusing - I think I will just stop measuring.

At least I did the photo test for the fake tan. Don't laugh please! My nose looks like a sad dog nose. Never put fake tan on in artificial light, and never rush it. I am expecting to get more pictures, but for now those two have to do.

Since we took them the legs actually got a bit leaner... oh well! I was such a harsh critic of others... I will have to take quite a big dose of my own medicine.

The pics are deliberately taken from below as this is where the people will be - oh my!

The difference is actually amazing, now I have to work on hair and makeup

Still working on the posing routine... can't memorise the darn thing to safe my life... So not at a stage to tape it yet, but practicing every day now. Hoping to have something by the weekend...hopefully... cross fingers... break a leg... somebody has a penny and a four leaf clover...?

Gotta go practice now!
Ta ta

Monday 2 May 2011

Oh... My... Goodness!

Firstly a 'Hello' to everybody! I am hoping that you all had a good Easter and spring break. At least England had a lot of free days thanks to the royal wedding. It is back to work now and thus I am duly sitting at my computer reporting the latest developments. So this is where we are at less than 5 weeks to go:

Training: Not as good as I had hoped. Due to dodgy knees and a bad cold the bottom bit is still lacking development. Well, and then I have to admit that I got weak. When I realised that I wouldn't get into the shape that I had hoped for, I let the nutrition part of things slack as well during the holidays.We were out and about every day, shopping, meeting people, and I find it hard to keep up the regime at the best of times, with a dispirited mind the cakes and paninis at Cafe Neros were just too tempting. So now it's back to the gym with a huff and a puff. Let's see what can still be achieved in 5 weeks!

Bikini: Yay! Reconsidered from black to emerald green crushed velvet after I saw the fabric samples which Tracey of Fit for U Bikinis sent me. We are now discussing design of the crystals and I still have to send her the measurements, but I am well on my way.

Tan: That is one part which caused the title of this blog. I ordered tan, glaze (to make it all shiny) and bikini glue from Tracey, and with a bit of luck I will have photo shoot this week to try it out. This stuff is seriously scary! ... and you read correctly: Bikini glue. While in 'Miss Congeniality' Michael Caine was allowed to spray Sandra Bullock's buttocks with hairspray to stop the bikini from riding up, I will be using a much more professional remedy. Cross fingers it works!

Posing routine: This is the other title reference. The music I chose is very dramatic and worthy an Arnold Schwarzenegger, while I am only a rather tiny lady... oh well. I am going to use the theme of '2001: A Space Odyssey' (trailer from approx. 2:08), I have mapped poses to it and now I have to learn it... It's still all over the place, but today I did the first proper session to memorise the movements - will hopefully post photos/video soon.

Fund raising: Another Yay! I have set up my fundraising page for Orangutan Land Trust. I would very much appreciate if you would sponsor me for my challenge. Some of my photographer friends already confirmed that they will come at take pictures, so there will definitely be pictures of me on stage in this horrible brown colour to prove that I really did it! Or you just come to Great Yarmouth and see for yourself.  The fundraising page is absolutely safe as provided by BT and the page and charity registration there is completely free, so every penny goes to the charity. 

What after...?
I decided  to enroll in courses to become a personal trainer. Yep! I eventually came round to it again. I had considered it about four years ago already, but somehow couldn't see myself begging gym owners to allow me to train my clients at their facilities and giving them up to 50% of my income. I am now planning to just do my own thing. Not sure how that business will look like in detail, but I have a plan! First things first, though: With a bit of luck I can get a place in a school at my home town from September on. Will keep you posted. 

That's it for now. I am wishing you a good work week with a lot of sunshine!
Ta ta

Thursday 7 April 2011

Bikini Decission Taken

I got the following feedback from my bikini poll

Dark green velvet:
  • 2 'possible maybe, don't know, can't really tell'
  • 1 'definitely not'

Black velvet:
  • 1 definitely, plain
  • 1 definitely, sparkly
Since the sparkly supporter is paying and I like sparkly, too, I will go for black velvet with sparkles!
And I will order a bottle of fake tan for practice... ojojojoj... black and orange with sparkles ... what a sight that must be!

All that is missing then is the posing routine... unfortunately can't buy that...

Monday 4 April 2011

Bikini Decission Needed

Time is flying and I need to order my bikini. There are not too many options, and since I might only be doing this once I wasn't keen on paying too much money. To my delight 'Fit for U Bikinis' has a standard model on offer which cost only 40 quid. And then the sizing page didn't work.

Finding myself in a mode of desperation by now, I decided to write an email and pointing out the fault... and... oh well, as I am on it... I might want to ask for the cost of a bikini with a bit of a sparkle as well. Turns out that it is affordable and really rather pretty.

pix courtesy to Tracey, Fit for U Bikinis
without deco - pretty

... and with deco
- very pretty -

It makes quite a difference. With the sparkle it feels more like a stage costume rather than a bikini, but that might just be me.

So, Dears!

It is decided that this woman is going to get herself some crystals for the show. It is a once in a lifetime event after all, lets just have it with a nice, big Bang! 

Now the question of colour arises. I instantly fell in love with the blue pictures Tracy sent me. So vibrant and elegant. But I have to be reasonable - blue is the colour that suits me least. On the other hand I will be fake tanned like hell, so skin tone will not make any difference.

One should not forget however, that I own a head full of rather fiercly red hair which might go well with  green velvet. Unfortunately on the screen, the sample colour of the website looks rather dark, and green in general is not a vibrant colour unless it is of the 'swimming pool lining' variety.

I am confused!

I am herewith summoning my supporters for advice. Shall I use velvet or some other material? Which colour is best? Tell me, tell me... !

Now I have to go and measure myself .

Ta ta!

Tuesday 22 March 2011

New Pix

Eventually, I have a few new pictures. I had another photo shoot in which Barry, the photographer, wanted to do a few experiments with the light. It then turned out that my back is rather well suited for this purpose and thus I came to get hold of some new shots. I am hoping to do another proper Bodybuilding shoot some time in April, but for now have a look at the 'artistic' stuff.

By: Barry 'Baz' Crabtree

By: Barry 'Baz' Crabtree

By: Barry 'Baz' Crabtree

By: Barry 'Baz' Crabtree

By: Barry 'Baz' Crabtree
By: Barry 'Baz' Crabtree

By: Barry 'Baz' Crabtree

More Pictures of the shoot:

Friday 25 February 2011

Awww.... Happy Bunny

Just to let you know that I had a fantastic workout this morning despite having been grumpy since a few days. Had skipped shoulders and arms this week due to migraine and still feeling under the weather the legs went down swimmingly today. Yuppie!

Additionally I am getting nicely lean now and am closer to 'My Legs' than I ever was. So yes! It's going well.

Have a photo shoot lined up for 25th March. Let's see how much leg I dare revealing by then.

Wishing you a lovely weekend
Ta ta

Tuesday 1 February 2011

Wednesday 26 January 2011

Food things

Three and a half weeks without alcohol, sugar and white bread: I am feeling very smug. And I actually can be, I can see the fat peeling off. I definitely am back to the best phase that I had before Christmas.

So it actually only is starting now. And there is the first hicki: I am getting a bit bored with my food! Because I wanted to get back to my starting point quickly I stayed with the foods of which I know the calories and then tried to balance around 1800 cals. It worked perfectly fine, but it means:
  • my own bread - which is nice as it has a lot of nuts and seeds, 
  • mince meat loaf, 
  • eggs, and 
  • bananas, 
  • topped up with the occasional voluptuous lettuce, the pasta version
  • Well, and the infamous protein shakes

That's it!

It is a good diet, it has everything I need, but a bit boring so I have been browsing through my recipes and found the Weird Cheesecake, a brilliant protein bomb and simple to make. No idea why I forgot about it. So that is my new favourite for now.

Now I am looking forward to Saturday. The day of truth: 4 weeks in and measurements are to be taken.

Until then: Happy lifting!

Monday 17 January 2011

Best workouts happen in the brain

What a wonderful mooorning... what a beautiful daaahahaay! This is me trying to sing...

I am a happy bunny because I eventually turned a corner. When I was in the gym I had a floating moment... which actually shouldn't happen there..., but this time I started thinking about my workout schedule and realised that I am still attached to other people instead of doing my thing. I had fixed my gym times but very much in accordance to constraints which were not mine.

I like to work out in the mornings but that is when I go to work, I do not like to work out in the evenings, but that is when my training partner goes. In this case partner is husband and we are not training together to focus on my goal but to do something together. Sorry hubby, for the next four and a half month we will have to find something else. Training wise I am out. If I need a spotter, I will find one.

And work: I am working flexible hours anyway. I can work out in the mornings and work in the afternoons and even the evenings.

During this gym session I decided that nothing is more important than my training and until the competition I will train in the mornings. If people want to join me: Fine! If not: Fine, too!

Be prepared for regular updates now. ASN, the guys organising the competition have started sending out newsletters with info about Protein intake, fat loss, and so on. Should you be interested, have a look at their website and sign up for the newsletters. I now will work my way through those and I will make myself a plan for those good 4 month.

Happy lifting!

20 weeks to go!

Wednesday 5 January 2011


Oh my goodness! Who would have thought that with just three sessions per week and a bit of cardio one could overtrain.

Well, I had been training with rather heavy weights quite intensely, but each muscle only once a week. I didn't think it possible that way, today however I got proof. Let me turn the story back a bit, though.

I had encountered the phenomenon of overtraining before: at that time I was training heaviest weights, in 3-5 sets with less than 8 reps each, twice a week. Then I learned about High Intensity Training, where each muscle is only trained once the week, the weight is reduced to about 70 %, the sets reduced to maximum of 2, repetitions raised to 10-12, the exercise executed very slowly and possibly weights are ripped at the end or half reps are done. It kicked in like mad, the number of injuries went down and I looked better than ever.

I however didn't have an aim at that time and so I always had phases when I trained less  intense or took breaks altogether, hence I never had problems. Now I had decided to do the competition and religiously went to the gym week after week. Then I realised that I got a persistent muscle ache from the slightest endurance session, I felt tired, I couldn't concentrate and the muscles felt flat. Those were exactly the same symptoms as last time, but  I still thought that it could not be and that I maybe coming down with something.

Well, eventually I caught a cold and took a break, but the next session still felt not right. And now we had the Christmas break. I felt rather grumpy about all the days the gym was closed, it however turned out to be the best thing that could happen to me. The reduced training during the weeks before and now another two weeks off gave proof that the reason for the whole moaning was overtraining.

Today I went back to the gym for the first time. And although I still feel some leftovers of the cold I had a really good training session. Got through the whole thing without feeling hungry or sleepy, although the gym was stuffed and oxygen scarce. I lifted max weight with max reps and it felt good. And then I remembered a blog about overtraining which I had read some years ago, confirming all the symptoms.

So it seems that I am back now, and it seems that I have to organise my training and my sleep even better. I will have to take down times with smaller weights and just pumping some reps, without actually exhausting the muscle and I will have to use those down times for posing training.

The task now is to count backwards from the 5th June - Competition Day - and to make a proper plan. Yay! I get to write another list.

Will keep you posted!