Oxygen – Fitness & Fun!

I picked up a copy of Oxygen women’s fitness magazine yesterday and to my delight there were four of my clients in the magazine! The covergirl competition drew many entries from Australia and NZ and my girls all entered. The girls lucky enough to have their photos published were Karen Reedman (Sydney), Brooke Carmichael (Perth), Ruth Rowe (Adelaide) and Ali McPherson (Adelaide).

I also featured some beautiful photos of Gemma Dawson and Karen Reedman in my advertisement. And to top it off I was featured in a two page profile about my training and contest history, which was an absolute honour.

Living Beauty Team September 2010

One of my fave articles this issue of Oxygen is by Jill Edmonds called “No One can do the push ups for you!”. This was great and I totally agree that we have to take responsibility for our own decisions to eat, drink and exercise for our own wellbeing.

I have not eaten cake at a birthday at my office for years as I have a big team of people and it would just be too often. I will indulge if it is a friend of family birthday on the weekend, but during the week I prefer to be strict and avoid the sugar. It will only lead to an energy slump and then I could barely get through my work day. When I go to work I have my water bottle and food ready and packed for the day, so I never get hungry as all my clean food is pre-packed and ready to eat.

Another topic Jill talked about is getting to the gym. This time of year my work is very busy and I get tired as I sometimes work from 8:30am until 6:30pm, this is where I adapt my training schedule to work for me. I train every day from 6am – 7am and this way it is done and I can go home after a busy work day and cook my dinner and rest. My training changes every few weeks to keep shocking my body, and I also have a periodised training scedule so it changes with frequency and intensity, time and the type of training, depening on timing of the year and pre-contest.

We all need to stop waiting for the perfect time to change our habits – the perfect time is now! It is hard work to stay fit and lean but once you start to enjoy the process and get into the habit you will feel amazing and it will be as natural as any part of your schedule like brushing your teeth.

So, remember no matter how great your meal and exercise plan is – you are wasting your money if you do not follow it. No one can do the work for you.

Today I would like to share the story of Sasha Patsakios, my client from Adelaide. She has done a great job this past season and has followed her Living Beauty plans to the letter and the results paid off. Well done Sasha.

Sasha’s Story

From the very first time I watched a body building competition, I was captivated. I knew then and there I wanted to step foot on the stage. So on May 10th 2010, my journey from an inspired audience member to Sports Model competitor began.

From the get go I knew I could do it. It was something I was extremely passionate about. It gave me butterflies when I thought of the feeling I’d get reaching my biggest goal. The support I received from my boyfriend, family, friends and co-workers was incredible and I thank every single one of them! Being surrounded by people you love who accept your passion for a sport like this is so much a part of your success.

Having one of my best friends, Sarah Cowan, beside me the whole way and sharing the experience was fantastic. We got eachother through days where we felt as though we didn’t even have the energy to talk let alone train, shared some laughs and confided in eachother about any fears, emotions, the lot!

But, my success, my journey and my wellbeing stemmed from one amazing mentor – Amelia Ricci. From day one Amelia knew how to bring out the best in me, in all 5 of our lovely Living Beauty team, and she expected nothing less than just that – the best.

In the 5 months I spent under Amelia’s wing I learnt two important things – to trust and listen to her without hesitation! I have always been in control of everything I eat, every bit of exercise I do, every bit of weight gained or lost so putting the fate of every one of those aspects of my life in the hands of someone else was a little scary to start with but, I can honestly say, it was one of the BEST decisions I have ever made! Not once did I have to think about what to eat at my next meal, what exercises to do in my workouts, what supplements would be most beneficial to my recovery and growth, none of that! All I had to do was focus on my massive goal and follow the guidance of Amelia.

The first few months I found really quite enjoyable. The food was sufficient, workouts were enjoyable, I found I had more energy and I was just happy! Every week brought great results from all the hard work put in. The last couple of months saw me experience some pretty nasty mood swings, emotions more up and down than a yo yo and plenty of unexplainable tears! Nothing out of the ordinary really, being fragile was normal by then! But, not once did I ever doubt I’d be up on stage –  it was going to happen!

When walking classes and weekly catchups began, I was to meet 3 more increadible ladies. Every week I looked forward to seeing their faces, sharing our experiences and getting that much closer to the big events! Being part of a little team was invaluable and we continue to keep in touch today.

WNBF and INBA both arrived before we knew it! Two of the best days of my life which I will NEVER forget. Tan, makeup, hair, lashes, shoes, bikinis, jewellery, outfits, backstage nerves (oh, and jelly beans 😉 ) – the lot! Living Beauty was ready to rock it! I placed 3rd in WNBF and 4th in INBA. I was on such a high!

After the competitions I did experience ‘post comp blues’. With such a massive goal in sight and then having achieved it and being on such a high I suddenly felt a sense of emptiness. For a few weeks I was stuck wondering what I was going to do with myself from here on out. What else could possibly fulfill me the way competing did?

At just the right time, I was given a promotion at work and from a casual I became the Retail Store Manager. It was great to have a new focus, something to keep my occupied. I also confided in one of my inspirations, Emma Verlato as well as the other Living Beauty girls and came to realise what I felt was normal and I wasn’t alone.

Life now is all about balance. Eating the foods your body deserves as well as those that satisfy the mind, sometimes. Exercising for pleasure and because I know I’d feel lost without it! Spending more quality time with family and friends, all of that.

I have taken away so much from my journey and cherish everything I’ve learnt. People ask me if I’ll compete again in the future, my reaction? Hell yes! As hard as it can get at times, I have never been so proud of myself for achieving such a massive goal. I met 4 beautiful new friends, learnt things about myself, about food, about exercise that I never knew, saw my body change from lots of hard work and was rewarded at the end of it all. I have no regrets, none at all, just an increased knowledge of how to power through the journey and survive the aftermath! For now my body needs a rest but next time will be bigger and better.

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