Tuesday, 4 October 2011

'Tis the season muscular and ripped physiques come out to play...

Yes, the bodybuilding competition season is in full swing, an exciting time for those who have spent weeks and months preparing. Many knock this sport, as a vain, selfish sport. I agree it can be very selfish, especially near competition time, when every meal, training session and day counts, and every box must be ticked. I do also agree though, that it is a wonderful personal journey in transforming a physique. It shows how the accurate manipulation of training and exercise styles, perfect nutrition and supplementation, and most importantly the discipline to carry it all off, can all work together to produce a fabulous result. 
Yes, we could go on a 'diet', lose some weight and feel good about it.  But I occasionally like to take things to the next level, and thats why this sport fascinates me.  Its not just about losing weight.  Its also about building and sculpting muscle, and then revealing it by losing bodyfat in a controlled manner.
And its taking all these things and putting them into a package and displaying it.  We put on layer upon layer of fake tan, a glitzy sparkling bikini, some serious bling and a pair of 6inch heels, and strut the stage. That part can be considered vain, and it is for some, and that certainly isn't me, but I like the idea of being proud of what you've achieved.
So it is a massive motivation for myself, to go along and watch these shows, as an up and coming figure competitor, to see and admire the physiques onstage I one day hope to stand next to. 
I had a change of living circumstances recently, and life was turned upside down for a short while, and I took a month or so off my training, to take a break and find my path again, improve my health etc. Although the improving health part usually comes with training also.  The bodybuilding shows came at the perfect time to spur on my training, so I reassessed my nutrition, supplements and training programme, and have come up with a new formula to help with more muscle gain for the next few months, then begin a competition prep around February, as I intend to step on stage around May/June 2012! :)

Sunday, 10 July 2011

A healthy tummy is a happy tummy...

Due to some setbacks with my health, I have had to postpone some of my fitness goals for this year, look at achieving them a bit later than planned.  These setbacks involved my digestive health, and associated issues, and I discovered how important it is to be aware and listen to your body.  I found the problem with digestive health, is that it can slowly worsen over time, without you even realising what’s going on.  Feeling a bit yuck after meals, I put this down to having eaten too much.  Lactose intolerance graduated to protein intolerance, and general gastric upsets, bloating and stomach cramps.  For someone who follows a very natural diet, limited in processed foods, this is pretty frustrating when you think you’re doing everything right by yourself nutritionally.  I began taking enzymes and other extracts to help process my food, which helped, but this is no way to live! Remembering to take 3 pills before you eat anything isn’t convenient, especially if you want to eat out, or do things unplanned, and I’m not a believer in using pills to fix an issue, not initially anyway.  For me, stress was the trigger, and it was chronic, I never realised it was there.  It turns out that your digestive system is one of the first places to suffer, if you are experiencing any kind of stress.  Of course stress can affect many areas of our health, but our digestive system is one that I believe gets taken for granted, we assume our body will just process the food and we’ll be alright.  I’ll admit I was guilty of that myself, I’ve never been allergic or intolerant to anything in my life, and believed I’d stay that way.  It goes further than your digestion too... I ended up with ‘unexplained’ hormonal and emotional problems, somewhat connected!  If you can’t digest your food properly, you’re not absorbing the necessary nutrients, and your body depends on those nutrients to operate properly – that’s where we tend to recognise a problem, when we suffer in other ways from that, but fail to look back at where it can start.  If we also look at where nutrients start in our body, rather than only where they end up, we might have a better chance at keeping on top of things. 

Something we should all use, regardless of diet, is probiotics, either in a capsule or powder.  Just a daily dose of these friendly bacteria can keep our guts healthy.  If you have a stressful lifestyle, watch what and how you eat.  If you can be stressed, eat lighter foods, and eat slower, chew your food well.  This is much easier on your stomach.  

Happy eating! :) 

Saturday, 25 June 2011

New beginnings...

As encouraged by my sister, I have started this blog to use as a place for my own updates on training and progress, and also a place for people to learn more about nutrition, health and anything related, for their own wellbeing and health.  I will provide tips and information to apply to your own diet and exercise regimes. One of many blogs like this I'm sure, but I learn something new with every blog I read, so its worth it!
I have recently had a few 'setbacks' with my goals for this year, with regards to my health and sport, and am getting back on track now.  I'm going to use this as a way to explore new beginnings for myself and my goals.