Category Archives: 12WBT

…it’s all about the Michelle Bridges program

changing lives

Yesterday I attended the RIDBC Changing Lives Luncheon with special guest speaker Michelle Bridges, in my hometown of Newcastle for an amazing charity organisation.

My BFF Grace McLean is RIDBC’s Community Relationships Manager in the Hunter which basically means she builds & sustains relationships and community partnerships with individuals and businesses in the area that help support (through charitable foundation) the core work that the
Royal Institute of Deaf & Blind Children do (inc childhood education and socialisation through face-to-face and technology-driven schooling, family support and new technology development for things like iPad Apps to support communication).

Gracie secured Michelle Bridges, my fitness mentor through the 12WBT program, as the special guest speaker. (I’d like to think that I had a tiny part to play in getting her since she dropped my details about my 12WBT journey when sending the request!!!).

Neen & I drove up from Sydney and arrived just in time for the 12.30 lunch. The weather fortunately didn’t get the “winter” memo because the sun was shining, it was 28°C and the vast glistening Pacific ocean stretched out the blue horizon in front of the Merewether Surfhouse. It was beautiful.

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Mike Rabbitt, a local TV sports reporter MC’d the event. He was commanding, genuine, engaging and funny. The CEO of RIDBC Chris Rehn gave a short overview of the organisation’s history, values and the work they do in the Australian community.

Mike Rabbitt (Far Left) with the NBN News anchors

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Gracie & CEO Chris Rehn

After settling into our meal of either salmon with beans & cauliflower mash or roast chicken with vegetables, the first speaker was a beautiful woman and mother of four (!!!) Rachel Cooper, who spoke of her son that has a hearing impairment. Their daily lives have been significantly changed for the better through the work that RIDBC do. It was an interesting and heartfelt story.

Mish Bridges talking while sitting because of her hamstring surgery last week. She’s a machine!

I’m not sure how long Mish actually spoke for but time seemed to stop. This is a woman I am influenced by every.single.day…I am following her workouts or cooking her recipes or watching her videos or reading her Facebook posts or tweets. I’ve seen her a few times; at 12WBT workouts and events and at the Fairfax office when I was doing a project there, but to be so close to her was just awesome! It’s strange though how you can know someone and they don’t have a clue who you are! She directly impacts my life and she doesn’t even know it! Also, just so I seem a tad more stalker-ish, Mish and I share the exact same birthday, which I of course told her!

Her talk was about things I’ve heard before through the program, but she’s so engaging, relaxed, funny and inspiring that it was like hearing it for the first time. Her message and her words found a renewed resonance with me. She spoke about how she detests this generation of self-hate. How women (and men) seem to relish putting themselves down. How does that behavior achieve our goals in life; whether its fitness, weightloss or career driven? It’s not OK to tell someone else that they’re a useless disgusting fat pig, so why is it acceptable to talk to ourselves like that (she was using an example of one of the 12WBT clients who had a blog site called ‘bigfatchick’). Mish went on to say our bodies are “perfect”. They react perfectly to the signals and messages that we give them.  If we are giving our bodies messages of high-sugar, over-processed, high-fat food with little exercise it will respond perfectly to that message; it will bloat, retain salt & water, breakout, pack on weight & cellulite. But if we give it messages of wholesome, natural foods with daily exercise, then it will flourish to that message with good intestines, clear skin, optimum weight.

What a perfect message!

[Michelle Bridges via

With Mish’s help, the MC announced the silent auctions, raffle and lucky door prizes which were all donated by amazing Newcastle businesses;

National Australia Bank (NAB) (major sponsor), Merewether Surfhouse (major sponsor), Hearts on Fire, Matthews Jewellers, PeopleFusion, AFRM, Carla Swimwear, Subo, Gorgeous Gowns, Newcastle Herald, Hot Yoga, Natalie Baker Styling, Collette Dinnegan Baby, Endota Spa, Kokum Hair, Sprout Dining, Hot Rock Catering, Intimo, Newcastle Cosmetic Medicine Centre, Fernwood, The Essential Ingredient, ACP Magazines, ActionCOACH, The Greater, The Good Property Girls, ABC Orthodontics, De Lorenzo, Organic Temptations & Bioline Skincare.  

The gift bags were full of vouchers & samples for the above businesses along with some recent magazines (Madison & Australian Women’s Weekly) and some pens and notepads.

I really really wanted a picture with Mish, but she was getting hounded by the gaggle of girls and her Exec Assistant “the gatekeeper” Gisi, was keeping a protective eye on her (crutches and all) so after the prizes were handed out the lunch started to wrap up with Michelle being ushered out. Fortunately for me Gracie took me along to see her out and I scored a private lift ride, a hug and a photo!!!

It was amazing to see Gracie in action; I’ve been to her office many times, but I got to see her run a meaningful event for 200+ people raising some much needed cash for a worthy cause and it was fantastic. My BFF is an amazing woman!  

I think Neen & I floated down the F3 all the way home!!!

Look out 12WBT Round 3 2012, here I come!

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For more information on RIDBC visit their Facebook page [here].

(All pictures except those sources mentioned otherwise are taken by moi aka Melissa Williams with my htc phone.)

fitspiration friday

Yep, that’s right!
Shake off the guilt of a missed training session or a dirty burger and own today with a killer workout and a day of squeaky clean eating.

Here’s my workouts from the last two days….

Wednesday weights session @ gym

  • 10 mins high intensity on the Xtrainer
  • LegPress – 3 sets x 15 reps (80kgs)
  • LegExtension – 3 sets x 12 reps (25kgs)
  • Standing Glute&Hamstring Extension – 3 sets x 15 reps (25kgs)
  • Single Leg Lunges – 3 sets x 10 reps
  • ShoulderPress – 3 sets x 12 reps (15kgs)
  • LatPullDown – 3 sets x 12 reps (22.5 kgs)
  • BenchPress – 5 sets (overload) x 10 reps (20kg bar, +5kgs, +8kgs)
  • Weighted sit-ups – 2 sets x 50 reps
  • Stretching

Wednesday calorie expenditure

Thursday outdoor cardio session

  • 2km brisk walk
  • HIIT – 6 x 1 min rounds with 30 seconds rest: mountain climbers / side2side basketball jumps / step-ups (repeated)
  • 4 x 100m sprints
  • 2km brisk walk

Thursday calorie expenditure

Booyah baby!
Happy Friday peeps! 

12wbt week 4 | thoughts

Michelle‘s kickoff message for Week 4 of the program, was about self sabotage; whether we perform acts of self sabotage on our fitness and health journey, or whether we just haven’t honed the skills to enable us to reach our goals.

I think at times I may contribute to sabotaging myself; feeling like I may fail so why should I start or procrastinating because I feel like I know everything and can ‘make it up’ later. But on the whole I don’t think I am a self saboteur. I fall into the group of people who just hasn’t learnt to effectively and consistently apply the health, fitness & weightloss skills I am learning.
I often lack discipline in my diet and, if Im honest, I often like food more than the dedication to my goal of being thin. I let instant gratification outweigh future success. I haven’t yet learnt that effective way of socialising without food and alcohol.

As Michelle puts it, these mindset tasks are helping to change our unhealthy habits, both physically and mentally. They are changes for life, not just for 12 weeks… I understand that a transformation takes longer than a couple of weeks to change actions & thinking that have been around for years, but at the same time, I’m so impatient to be there already. I often find myself thinking ‘why aren’t I there yet?’ I know what I should and shouldn’t be doing but patience isn’t one of my intrinsic virtues.

I’m realising that in these moments of pure frustration/exasperation, I need to bring out my internal armour of self worth.
Michelle likens it to a bank; you top up your self worth with positive actions (having a good training session, a day of clean eating, or doing something positive like watching a good movie, listening to my fave music or repeating a personal mantra) and by the same token, you can also deplete your bank of self worth (negative talk, hanging out with people who don’t support you or want to sabotage you, over-analyzing your mistakes etc).

So to help encourage myself, I’m going to refer more to my inspiration board and repeat this personal mantra…

 

Tonight at the gym I started my workout thinking ‘I just want to be finished already’. My head wasn’t in it; I was already thinking about picking Harley up, seeing Jay and preparing dinner. My unfinished work to-do list was playing over in my mind. Then I thought up this mantra; “I can do this. I am strong enough. I am dedicated and determined. Quitting is not an option.” And then I felt all of those things. My mind cleared and I became focused. I completed a great workout (just over 600 cals burnt) in 55 minutes and now I feel proud of myself. 

So here’s to turning the tide on any negativity. I’m going to own this shit!

hump day

I generally don’t like Wednesdays because I have a lot of project reporting due.

But I woke up feeling full of energy today, weighed in (exactly the same as before I went to Melbourne, so that is OK I guess, as I expected a gain), did a great outdoor work-out with Jay & Harley, decided to wear red lipstick (which is totally out of the ordinary for me – only the second time I’ve ever worn bright lips and the first time I’ve ever worn it to work! Feeling self conscious!), made yummy oats for the whole family (including Harley the dog who loves them) and had a good lunch of 12WBT Thai Pumpkin Soup. 

This arvo will fly past since I’ll be having a meeting with my customer (not naming names but it’s Australia’s Central Bank) in their secure data centre which has retinal and finger print scanning! So cool. I’m such an geek.

Wednesday workout

Quaker Oats with skim milk, honey & cinnamon for brekkie

Melly’s red lips (MAC Russian Red)

12WBT Thai Pumpkin Soup for lunch at my desk

lunchtime dessert Yoplait yoghurt

Happy hump day all!

12wbt | week 2 roundup

Disclosure: For all my non-12WBT or fitness blog friends, please read at your own peril!

In terms of my 12WBT journey, my second week was tragic.

Being in Melbourne for just over a week was not good for my nutrition and exercise. I spent the successful first week of 12WBT stressing over the fact that I was going to be outside of my comfort zone (ie: not cooking, not knowing what the hotel gym would be like, turning into “holiday mode”) and then resolving myself to being a warrior while I was away.

Well, the first 4 days went to plan, the last 4 days went to hell in a hand basket.

I am an emotional eater. I eat when I’m bored. I eat when I’m happy. When I’m excited, when I see pictures of awesome food, when I’m lonely….you get the picture. This is a fact that I’m trying to change through Michelle Bridges’ 12WBT program.

Michelle spends a lot of time on the psychology of our health; our emotional connection to food and exercise, and lessons on how to change our bad habits for healthier ones.  These are what our preseason tasks and the weekly videos and live chats are about. Addressing our obvious issues with nutrition and exercise (as well as providing motivation & inspiration!).

For me, the exercise isn’t a problem. I like doing it, I’m actually pretty fit and strong and determined. But I lack discipline with my nutrition. And for the moment, I need regularity and structure when it comes to eating healthily and training hard. Not that that is an excuse.

After getting home on the weekend, I’m re-evaluating my goals and behaviour. After re-watching a few of Mish’s videos these are my thoughts:

  • I am going to be accountable and responsible. What I put in my mouth & eat is my responsibility.
  • How consistent and intense my training is up to be me. I have the power and the ability to respond how I want to every situation. There are no excuses. I have to be my word.
  • I want this for myself so I need to make it happen. And I can’t measure my success against others.

Week 2 Food in review

Eating out for 3 meals a day is pretty heavy on the calories. I did try and keep my portions small, although I could tell they were creeping up towards the end of the week.

breakfast was in the hotel with a small bowl of fruit, a small tub of yoghurt and then a piece of toast with a coffee.

lunch was basically Japanese every day except three days when I had a Mexican fajita, a burger & chips and Korean BBQ (over 3 different days, not all at once!).

dinner was my downfall. I failed with control. I ate fish, pasta, steak and pizza. And drank wine.

I generally didn’t snack except over the long weekend where we had a Saturday afternoon beer at a pub, a cupcake and coffee on Sunday and chocolate bullets & popcorn at the movies on Monday. That’s enough to send me into a shame spiral.

summary – I indulged too much. I went over my 1200 calorie quota every day I was away. No doubt about it.

Week 2 Exercise in review

Friday – So I missed my mammoth PT session last Friday as I was flying out (this is a session where I usually burn 750+ calories). On the 12WBT program Friday is supposed to be a stretching day so I did yoga poses for 20 minutes when I got settled at the hotel.

Saturday – a session in the gym. PodRunner & weights.

Super Saturday Session

Sunday – another session in the gym. PodRunner and floor work.

Sunday

Monday – gym again. PodRunner & weights.

Monday

Tuesday – Friday: no workouts. I did do a lot of walking around the city though; meeting Jay for lunch, walking from my office, shopping, going out at night. But it was still completely slack of me.

Sunday - we got home and due to the rain I delayed my Super Saturday Session  til Sunday so I could workout in the park.

Sunday

summary – I started off well but didn’t end well. Basically I was just lazy (slept in, rushed to get brekkie, then went out at night). At least I had a few good workouts.

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So there you have it. My gut-wretchingly honest account of my week 2 failure. Let’s not let it happen again shall we.

fitspiration friday

12WBT Weekly surprise task #2 was to create an inspiration board to help keep ourselves fired up and fierce during those times when our motivation wanes.

I created mine with pictures of women’s bodies that I aspire to look like, a pic of our fearless leader Michelle Bridges  (centre in black Adidas crop top) and quotes that I find inspiring. 

12wbt | week 1 roundup

Workout

Monday

1km interval runs (ie 1km run, 1km walk, repeat; 4kms in total)

Monday workout results

Tuesday

Supposed to be a weights day, but I walked Harley (4kms) and did squats, wall-sit, push-ups & sit-ups.

Tuesday workout results

Wednesday

It was p!ssing down so I slept in and went to the gym after work. Smashed out a workout in 40 minutes!!! Rower (5 mins) / Interval running on treadmill (15 mins) / interval hills on Xtrainer (10 mins) / 60 situps / 20 pushups.

Wednesday workout results

Thursday

Took Harley for a big 4km brisk walk.

Thursday workout results

Friday

Missed my workout because I had to organise Harley, pick up Mum from the station & fly to Melbourne! Did do a lot of walking though…

Saturday

I was freaking out a little about the state of the hotel gym, but it’s good enough for the week! I didn’t quite hit a 1000 calorie workout but I did OK. PodRunner for 40 minutes, then squats, walking lunges & sit-ups.

Saturday workout results

Sunday

Thank goodness for PodRunner on my iPod! I’m doing the ‘couch to 5km’ one at the moment.

Sunday workout results

Nutrition

Note the pics below don’t show all the food for the day. (Im not skipping meals!)

Monday

1113 total calories for Monday

Tuesday

1286 total calories for Tuesday

Wednesday

1159 total calories for Wednesday

Thursday

1151 total calories for Thursday

Friday

about 1500 calories for Friday

Saturday

It’s a little harder to track my calories now that I’m in Melbourne for the week, but I am being conscious of my intake.

about 1500 calories for Saturday

The summary

The first week was actually pretty good considering I was hungry for most of the time! 1200 calories a day is going to take some getting used to as the portion sizes are small.
I love getting back into hard core exercise, which wasn’t a huge stretch as I was still doing 4-5 sessions a week anyway. Stepping up my weekly sessions with my real life personal trainer Joe will be good as he pushes me that extra bit.
Being in Melbourne is a little challenging because I can’t cook for myself (staying at a hotel) and there are so many temptations (hello, Italian food!) but the hotel has an adequate gym that I’m making use of. I am allowing myself some treats because I’m working out in the morning and then walking everywhere about town. I won’t be able to weigh myself on Wednesday though, so I’ll have to do it when I get back next weekend.

make today… | 12wbt

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Today I start Michelle Bridges 12WBT program for the third round.
This is the sitch…

My commitment

♦ 6 days a week training – I’ll do 5.30am morning sessions because I seriously don’t like working out in the evening. Monday/Wednesday running outdoors with my running buddy Harley (the dog), Tuesday weights at the gym, Thursday Pump class, Friday personal training session with Joe and then Super Saturday Session (SSS) which is workout until I burn 1000 calories (usually 1.5 hrs or Combat + running).

♦ 1200 calories a day nutrition quota – I’ll follow the 12wbt meal plan pretty closely which means virtually no socialising over food the next 3 months. Its a sacrifice Im willing to make to reach my goals

♦ I will be organised and execute my training and nutrition plan successfully (with thought and determination) and if there are any hiccups along the way I won’t fall off the wagon.

“Small deeds done are better than great deeds planned.” – Peter Marshall

♦ I’m going to do a weekly summary blog including my workouts, food, etc. (aren’t you just thrilled?!?!?!)

MY goals

♦ I am going to lose 12 kgs (26 lbs).

♦ I am going to start training for the Sydney Running Festival in Sept (9kms over the Harbour Bridge and through the city).

♦ I am going to go skydiving as my reward.

salad all in one

I am obsessed with this salad. OBSESSED!

It doesn’t matter that Jay walks around singing The Simpsons “you don’t make friends with salad” song when I give this to him in his work lunchbox, because with a salad this yummy you won’t need friends!

my lunchbox salad

Melly’s all-in-one autumn lunchbox salad

  • Baby spinach; 1 cup
  • Green beans; 100g, blanched, cooled & sliced length-ways
  • Broccoli; 1/2 cup florets, blanched & cooled
  • Cherry tomatoes; 4 cut in half
  • Baby beetroot; tinned, 1/2 a serve (40g or about 5) sliced
  • Egg; 1 boiled egg, shelled & cut in quarters
  • Bocconcini cheese; Traditional type (larger than the cherry bocconicini) x 2 pieces roughly torn
  • Salad nuts/seeds (I use the pinenut/sunflower/pumpkin seed mix); 1 tbs

Layer the salad and serve! Makes 1 serve of 363 calories.

*You could skip the nuts/seeds in lieu of 1/2 cup cooked pumpkin. Yum!

halfway through lunch at my desk!

upping my training

Now that 12WBT round 1 has finished (and round 2 doesn’t kickoff for another few weeks), I thought it would be a good time to enroll a Personal Trainer from my gym to kick my butt and up my training on a weekly basis.

Joe is a trainer at my gym (ITAC); he’s a total machine – huge muscles, super fit and best of all is Samoan (just like my beautiful hubby!). Neen introduced me to him one day when we were working out together on a Xtrainer and since then we’ve had a chat on passing.

Personal Trainer Joe (left in black tshirt) with the other ITAC Trainers

Jay & I are now doing a weekly 1 hour session with him (Friday mornings 6am) which started last week.

Friday workout calorie expenditure

Our first session included the following:

  • 10 mins warm-up on the Xtrainer on Arm Blast program
  • 6 sets x 12 reps of over head press weights
  • 10 sets of 30 secs side-2-side squats
  • 10 sets of 30 secs jump squats
  • 3 x 300m rowing blasts
  • various upper body arm weights (sorry, I dont know all of the names of the machines!!!)
  • 5 mins walking on incline
  • 3 x 30 sec ab planks
  • 3 x 20 reps various ab
  • stretching

Saturday workout calorie expenditure

Because the gym is closed for renovations this coming, (even though we were so sore from Friday’s training) we had this week’s PT session the following day.

The session included;

  • 10 min run to the gym
  • 5 min walking on 12° incline treadmill
  • 6 sets x rowing vs clean & press; 1 set consists of rowing to 300m as fast as possible, then running over to the clean & press station and doing 12 reps
  • 5 min Xtrainer on Butt Blast program
  • outdoor stair running and boxing for 20 mins (OMG pain!!!)
  • 2 x 2 min ab plank holds
  • stretching
  • 15 min walk home

I’m loving it!