Thursday, 25 August 2011

Let's Detox!

To continue my health kick and take it just that little bit further, I last week embarked on an Urban Remedy Juice Cleanse over three days. I’d heard about it from friends of friends who raved about how they felt after three days of juice and soups, and when Urban Remedy approached me to give it a whirl for three days I could hardly turn it down.
As someone who has to try everything once, this seemed like a good way to get my body back to zen mode and attempt to curb my sugar addiction.
I ordered it all really easily through the Urban Remedy website – a three day detox program at Level 1 (that’s the best level for us novice detoxers). The afternoon before my detox started I had a delivery of the juices I would need for the next three days. Six juices per day delivered in neat little cooler bags.
See? Detoxing is easy so far.
I start the first day of detox with a Power Plate session before work. I figure that if the detox goes pear-shaped and I feel woosy, at least I’ll have already exercised. Good girl.
The juices are yum. Like, really yum. I started the day with a Mixed Berry, Acai Berry, Orange and Banana smoothie, then moved onto a fat-busting Pineapple, Apple and Mint juice for morning tea.
So far I’ve experienced none of the potential detox symptoms listed by Urban Remedy (headache, nausea, diarrhea), and I’m really not hungry, which I thought I most certainly would be. However my brain is wandering slightly. It has taken me an entire morning to do something that would usually take me 30 minutes. The detox also tells you to drink one glass of water or herbal tea for each juice, which means I am running to the bathroom every half an hour to wee.
Lunch is a soup of broccoli, asparagus, leek, green peas, raw cashews, cumin and sea salt. I can’t help thinking how nicely it would go down with a bread roll, so I email the guys at Urban Remedy and ask for the recipe. I can make it myself and have my bread roll once I’ve done my detox.
Afternoon tea is a fresh juice concoction of apple, cucumber, celery, cos lettuce, silverbeet, parsley, and lemon. Afternoon tea time also brings slight delusion and a lot of giggles – I find everything in the office funny. Olivia eats yoghurt and all of a sudden I think yoghurt is hilarious. Amanda is talking about vibrations on the phone to a client and I feel that she’s never said anything funnier. My bosses are laughing at me. I laugh back.
I’m surprised that I’m still not hungry (and yes, I do think it’s funny), and after a bus trip home it’s time for dinner. Dinner is a metabolism booster juice that can be drunk hot or cold and contains lemon, water, cayenne pepper, and agave nectar. I choose to have this one cold. The microwave is just too hilarious to use.
There is even a dessert smoothie to finish off day one, and it’s a yum one. Raw cacao, raw cashews, brown rice milk, and agave nectar. You can also choose to have this one hot or cold, and I decide to brave the microwave’s hilarity and have it warm instead of my usual cup of tea. It’s delicious. I bask in its warm milkiness and plan to have a bath after I finish drinking it.
However I’m now falling asleep on the lounge. My energy seems to have deteriorated rapidly since the carnival ride that was my afternoon. I throw in the idea of a bath and head straight up to bed. Day one complete.
Day two brings with it a whole heap of surprises. I actually feel energised when I wake up, and I’m up and in the shower before my alarm even goes off. The detox juice menu is the same for each of the three days, and I’m happy to tuck into my berry smoothie once I’m at work.
I do a quick Power Plate session of only massage and stretching to get my lymphatic system in check to remove the toxins from my body. I bounce back from the 30 minutes of Power Plate massage with renewed vigour. I will be detoxed and fabulous!
Unfortunately with my day two lunchtime soup comes a headache. And boy, is it a doozy. I push through the afternoon but after dinner I can’t possibly go on without taking something for it. I eventually settle on some paracetamol and take myself to bed. I think I got through a page of my book before falling asleep.
Urban Remedy Detox JuicesDay three starts with a bit of apprehension – I don’t want a repeat of yesterday’s headache debacle but I’m determined not to give up on the final day of detox. It’s now Saturday, so in preparation for day 3 I’ve booked myself in for a facial and a massage and when I get there I fall asleep on the massage table. Oops.
But the headaches stay away and I feel quite energised for the entire day. I revisit my bath, and I even manage to stay awake later than 8pm (woo!). My skin and my eyes are clearer, I’m not feeling lethargic, and despite only having liquids for three days I’m still not hungry.
All in all, the detox was great. It was a really straight-forward program and everything was provided for me so it didn’t require any thought. The guys at Urban Remedy were really supportive – I got encouraging emails each day and then on Day 3 received an email outlining how to ease back into my normal life after detox without undoing all of the good work I’d just done.
Whether you’re a newbie to the world of detox like me or a seasoned detoxer, Urban Remedy have programs for every level of detoxperience. You can check out their range at – they deliver to a number of locations around Australia so be sure to check their website for more information.
As for me, I’m actually feeling great. I’d certainly recommend an Urban Remedy detox to anyone looking to kick-start a healthy lifestyle or give their body a new lease on life. Next time I think I’ll order enough for the whole office to do it – I’m sure there’ll be an awful lot of giggling on day one to get us through!
Until next time,
Elise x

Monday, 8 August 2011

Week 6: Do I Measure Up?

Week six and it's time for weigh in! I've been filled with a bit of dread but loads of excitement this week to see what I've managed to achieve with the Power Plate training so far.

I've abandoned the scales - my weight seems to fluctuate depending on the amount of water I've drunk, where in the month it happens to be, how much sleep I got the night before... not overly encouraging. So I gave up the scales since I last wrote about it and am relying heavily on centimetres lost. I'm feeling good.

So my old measurements, taken on 28 June 2011, were as follows:
Arm:  Left - 31cm
           Right - 32cm
Stomach (from belly button): 91cm
Hips:  94.5cm
Thigh:  Left - 66.5cm
             Right - 66cm

My new measurements, taken on 3 August 2011, are now:

Arm:  Left - 31cm
           Right - 31.5cm
Stomach (from belly button): 88cm
Hips:  95cm
Thigh:  Left - 65.5cm
             Right - 65.5cm

As you can see, there's been a good shift in stomach fat (I've lost 3cm) and my thighs do seem smaller (I've lost approx 1cm from each). It's a positive step forward and I'm actually really happy with it.

The thing I seem to have noticed the most though is that my body seems to be changing shape - I feel smaller, and my clothes don't fit the way they used to. I'm still persevering, but this blog was an opportunity for me to share with you what you can achieve in six weeks of Power Plate training.

I hope you've got something out of it - whether it was a new Power Plate program, a new diet diary, or just a curious look inside someone else's head, I hope there was something for everyone. I'll continue to keep you posted on my progress - perhaps not weekly, but I'll certainly let you all know my next measurements in another six weeks. By then it will also be Spring... perhaps the bikini might come out of the drawer early this year!

Elise xx

Friday, 29 July 2011

Week 5: Why Giving Up Isn't an Option

I saw my mum for the first time in a month over the weekend and she said "Have you lost weight?"
Why yes I have mum, thanks for asking! However now that I've actually been asked by someone, I'm dangling dangerously on the edge of the "I've made a difference - I can give up now" category.
I've been in this category before. I lose a few kilos, start to look good, but once someone comments on how I've lost weight or am looking thinner, I privately have a little victory dance then head straight to the Cadbury's Family-Sized block of Top Deck chocolate to celebrate.
Despite the urge to throw in the towel, I've still been training regularly throughout the week. I'm not motivated by it, and I all of a sudden don't think it's fun, but it's now a habit... and that's awesome. They say it takes 21 days to form a habit and it looks as though I've well and truly formed it, whether I feel like pumping out 60sec sumo squats or not.
This week I'd like some input from you all - does everyone experience the 'I can give up now' phenomenon? How do you get over it?

Friday, 22 July 2011

Week 4: The week of THAT workout

I'm now 2kg down and am noticing small changes in my body - my clothes fit a little better and there doesn't seem to be as much of me when I look in the mirror. I'm still doing Power Plate workouts 3 times per week, only for half an hour,  but I'm feeling better than I have in a long time.

But this post isn't about my feelings. It's about the workout that's still got me aching two days after that I'm feeling the need to share with you this week. I can guarantee that it'll get your heart rate up, make your arms ache, and give your legs reason to buckle. We can thank trainer Cameron for this one. I might even consider speaking to him today if I can bring myself to get over it...

So let's go. Print this workout off and give it a go on your own Power Plate machine or the one at your gym. It's a whole new level of pain fun.

Warm Up
Double Hamstring Stretch

Hip Flexor (both sides)

Dynamic Squats (45 sec - 2 sets)


Single leg 'scrapes'
(Be sure to bend the front knee
enough to scrape your foot on the floor)

Front plank ( 60 sec - 2 sets)

Push Ups (60 sec - 2 sets)

Single leg lunges (45 sec - 2 sets)
Add another dimension and do bicep
curls with some 3-4kg weights.

Tricep Dips (2 sets - one dynamic
and one static)

These next exercises I don't have images for - you'll have to bear with my dreadful explanation skills. Please note that these are done on the new Power Plate pro6 machines. Try adding weight for resistance if you have a model without the proMOTION cables.
  • Standing Row
    Try this one off the Plate... set the cable resistance to the highest setting available and perform 2 sets of 60 seconds. Also set your machine to HIGH. Face the machine and standing on the floor, bend your knees slightly and lean forward. Keep back straight. Using a neutral grip, pull to the sides of your body, focusing on squeezing your shoulder blades together. Return arms to the extended position with shoulders stretched forward. Repeat for the 60 seconds.
    On the second set, alternate your arms so that you are working one side with each pull. Try not to rotate your hips - only rotate your upper body.
  • Squat & Shoulder Press
    Back on the Plate now. Set the cable resistance to your preferred resistance and set your machine back to LOW. Face the machine and stand on the platform with your knees slightly bent. Hold the handles at chin level with arms close to the body. Pull upwards until arms are fully extended above the head. Return arms to start position and repeat.
  • Biceps Curl
    Stand on the floor facing the machine. Use an underhand grip on the straps and extend your arms downwards. Keeping the upper arms close to the torso, bend your elbow and raise the hand grips until the palms face your shoulders. Return arms and repeat. Try this for 2 sets of 45 seconds if you did bicep curls with your lunges... otherwise aim for 2 sets of 60 seconds.
Glute Bridge (3 sets - 60 sec)
Stay static in the first set. In the
2nd set, lift your toes to the ceiling.
In the 3rd set, lift one leg and hold
for 15 seconds, then switch to the
other leg. Repeat for duration of
the exercise.

Massage & Relax
Hamstring massage

Quad Massage

Abductor Massage
(both sides)

Upper Arm Massage
(both sides)

Good luck!

Wednesday, 13 July 2011

Week 3: We're All in This Together...

It's all getting a bit like routine now. I've not yet bailed out of any of my Power Plate sessions and the chocolate hasn't managed to creep back in to my kitchen cupboard. I no longer ache, and I no longer crave sugar with the ferocity I'm used to.
It may be the calm before the storm (you know, the storm where I start eating brown sugar from the packet because there's no other sugary treats in the house) but I'm pottering along (Harry Potter not included) and I do feel better for it.
It actually reminds me a bit of that Sex and the City episode where Miranda makes herself brownies and becomes addicted to cake. Only I've now gotten over the eating-cake-from-the-bin  phase and am now up to the pour-dishwashing-liquid-all-over-it stage.

The rest of the Power Plate team have been so supportive and have taken on their own quests to get more healthy and stop with the naughty mid-afternoon snacks. Greg is bringing his lunch from home now, and keeping it real with lots of fresh green beans, tuna and brown rice. Livvy has been going to the gym during her lunch break and doing Power Plate massages at the end of the day. Cameron has been running in the lead up to City 2 Surf, and even 7-months pregnant Clare has been making beautiful pumpkin soup for her mid-morning snack.
Now that the weather has really cooled down here in Sydney I'm a bit worried that I'll give up too easily. The warm confines of my snuggle-y bed are a hell of a lot more appealing than getting up and exercising before work. Surely other people experience this problem. How do you get over it? How can you maintain your routine when it's cold and blustery outside?
Please discuss... or this is going to be an awfully short weight-loss blog...
E x

Wednesday, 6 July 2011

Week 2 : Ouch. Big ouch.

I ache. Oh boy, do I ache. All of me. My legs and abdominal muscles (who knew I had them?) and shoulders and my arms. My stomach aches from lack of sugar and my head aches for the same reason. Why am I doing this again?

Last week I did two Power Plate sessions and then did some brisk walking on all the other days. I've eaten NO CHOCOLATE (yes, its scary but true) and have been keeping my daily intake at around 1,500 calories. I'm starving... mostly for mountains of white bread with lashings of butter or something as equally un-nutritious.
This week I have done the same - limited calories, only fresh food and loads of vegies, and making an effort to exercise every day. I've been getting off the bus two stops early and walking the rest of the way, which has actually been a great way to get in some exercise while tricking my brain into thinking I'm not doing ANY exercise. That's my brain's favourite type of exercise).
But despite the whinging, I've lost 1kg. That 1kg is the best thing I've ever lost. It may not be a week 1 weight loss like on the Biggest Loser (how can someone lose 15kg+ in one week?) but it's a loss. And I'm thrilled.
Here's an example of what I've eaten daily (I ate this on Monday, actually):

3 x Multigrain Weet Bix with skim milk - 420 calories

Morning Snack
1 x Mandarin - 80 calories

1 x bowl of brown rice, black olives, green peas, low fat fetta, grape tomatoes - 214 calories

Afternoon Snack
1 x apple - 65 calories
5 x dark chocolate coated blueberries - 22 calories
1 x chicken stir fry with capsicum, broccoli, green beans and a little bit of white rice - 235 calories

I also did the following training routine on the Power Plate machine:
- Hamstring stretch (30 sec / 30Hz / low / no reps )
- Hip flexor (30 sec / 30Hz / low / once per side)
- Step ups (60 sec / 35Hz / low / once per side)
- Squat (45 sec / 35Hz / low / 2 reps)
- Plank (45 sec / 35Hz / low / 2 reps)
- Bicep curls on Plate with proMOTION cables  (60 sec / 35Hz / low / 2 reps)
- Side Plank (45 sec / 35Hz / low / 2 reps per side)
- V-sit (45 sec / 35Hz / low / 2 reps)
- Tricep dips (45 sec / 35Hz / low / 2 reps)
Massage... lots of massage... ahhhhhh...
Until next time! Elise x

Thursday, 30 June 2011

Week 1: I'm Getting Thin

It's been a long time coming, but I'm finally going to lose the extra kilos I've accumulated since living in Sydney. Affectionately dubbed by my sister as the "Sydney Spread", I've managed to get comfy in my lifestyle of boozy dinners out with girlfriends alternated with Masterchef marathons on the couch with a box of Ferrero Rocher.

Here's me after the transformation
(being interviewed by Jay Leno.)
However it dawned on me over the weekend that in October of this year (yup, that's only four months away) I need a new Driver's Licence. Which also means a new Driver's Licence photo. Which has sent me into a frenzy of wondering how I can hide my extra chin-baggage under the fluorescent lighting of the Motor Registry.
The problem really has a lot more to do with me. I'm not an athletic type and no matter what people tell me, I'll never really love exercise. I'm known around the office as the casual exerciser - I'll do a great job for a few weeks and then its as though I've used up all my activity points and I'm back to zero.

But its time for me to get serious, and in writing this blog I am inviting you all on my journey to eternal happiness and gorgeous Licence photos. It's also making me accountable. I had my trainer Cameron take my measurements earlier on in the week and its not like I can avoid him if I don't go to training (he sits at the desk opposite me). 
Wish me luck! Elise x