Horses for Courses

For nearly 40 years of my weight training journey my diet consisted of approximately 30% fats, 35% protein and 35% carbohydrates during the off season and when in pre-contest mode that changed 20% fats 35% carbohydrates and 45% protein. I consumed most of my fats and carbs before midday and then more or less existed on protein.

Tough Titties

At the best of times my food was bland and at times unbearably boring but got even blander during the the pre-contest phase. Needless to say this was an extremely tough way to live for 4 months of the year but it bought results and as an athlete results are what count.

I learned to switch off my taste buds during the week, avoiding shopping centers and then rewarded myself with an anything goes “reward meal” and I mean anything, often gorging to the point of throwing up. Once I ate 12 Krispy Kreme donuts after spending the previous 3 hours at a Greek restaurant.

The morning after was torture as I returned to the blandness of my food but heh "tough titties" you want the accolades be prepared to pay the price I reasoned.

When preparing for a contest, as my body fat wasted away so did my mind to the point that for the last 4-6 weeks before a show I struggled to function normally. I became quiet, I felt as bad as I looked with my clothes on, I had the odd tantrum and even struggled to drive home on most nights. 

I made a point of not taking any new clients on during this 6-week period prior to a show because I basically lived on auto pilot.

6 days prior to contest date I carb depleted and by that I mean only consumed protein for 3 days. By day 3 of carb depletion I was and wanted to be in a zombie like state barely able to string a sentence together and on day 4 I started filling up on carbs until show time.

But like I said it worked and I have a cabinets full of trophies to prove it.

Sleeping with the enemy

BUT in October 2014 I did a massive U-turn because I’d finally had enough, 40 years of this shit had finally taken it’s toll.

I still wanted to continue competing but I knew down deep I could not continue to eat or exist this way and the mere thought of another 4 months of excruciating contest prep made me nauseous so I decided to experiment.

I turfed out the carbohydrates and replaced them with fats.

Yes, the dreaded FATS!

For me that was a massive decision, it was akin to sleeping with the enemy, or changing sides and by that I mean supporting Carlton instead of Collingwood which in this part of the world it’s just not done, it’s seen as treason.

However, I did it and I’m glad I had the internal fortitude to open my horizons and listen to a new reasoning because it’s given me a new lease of life and quite frankly I’ve never felt better.

I now eat Pork & Beef fillets without trimming the fat, beef and chicken thighs, cheese and whole eggs

What I did was simply change the source of where I was getting my energy.

I replaced most of my carbohydrate intake with fat!

Whereas previously my off season diet consisted of 30% fats, 35% protein and 35% carbohydrates I replaced it with 10% carbohydrates, 40% protein & 50% fats.

I ditched the oats for breakfast and replaced them with bacon & eggs or full cream Greek yoghurt, the basmati rice and sweet potato was turfed and in it’s place came veggies or salad with as much oil as my heart desired.

I now eat Pork & Beef fillets without trimming the fat, beef and chicken thighs instead of chicken breast and in the rare case that I do eat chicken breast it is with the skin on. I munch on whole eggs and cheese for snacks. 

Previously I viewed fats as the deadly enemy now they are my beloved trusted friends. 

Why the change?

Mainly because of the way I felt.

Thinking of lean, carb laden food made me feel sick, I was sick of oats for breakfast, rice and sweet potato with chicken breast or tuna for lunch, egg whites or chicken breast with salad of greens for dinner with the minimum amount of oil.

40 plus years of living like this and I’d had enough of those flavours.

After my carb breakfast and lunch I always felt lethargic and sleepy and I thought nothing of it.

The first thing I noticed when I switched was that not only did I have a much wider variety of foods I could choose from but the major revelation was that I had heaps more energy and the sleepiness after breakfast and lunch was gone – I was buzzing.

I must admit my biggest concern about consuming all the supposedly deadly fat was my skinfolds but instead of ballooning I found it harder to gain fat even though I was eating all that fat with every meal.

Horses for Courses

After 12 months of experimenting on myself I now offer an alternative eating plan to my clients stressing there isn’t a right or wrong. 

Some take to it like a fish to water and others are skeptical but I’ve come to realise that it’s a case of “horses for courses” and that all roads lead to Rome provided you have the require discipline to follow the path you have chosen.

IMPORTANT TO NOTE THAT BOTH EATING STYLES WORK.

The purpose of this article is not to persuade you to change and I can’t stress that enough, because both work equally as well,

Yes, you have to pick sides and you can’t switch sides depending on your mood because that’s when you will stuff up.

DON’T BELIEVE THE HYPE that both sides push, use your brain.

FAT’S OR CARB’S for fuel the choice is yours.

 

 

 

 

 

Posted on June 8, 2016 .

Let's discuss Relationships

 

Yep you got it, re-la-tion-ships.

Those that know me are now thinking that I’m the last person that’s qualified to offer advice about relationships as my track record does not auger well to be taking on a subject of this magnitude.

But hold on keep reading because I'm about to take myself to a very dark place!  

As you've already figured I'm not about to offer advice how to improve your relationship with your partner, your kids, your family or friends. What I'm about to talk to you about is your relationship with food and drink because the success in your Health and Fitness endeavours will depend entirely on your relationship with with Food & Drink and of Training.

What most of you don’t know and I am about to fess up about one of the most intimate and tempestuous relationships of my 59year life.

The one near fatal attraction that threatened to derail my whole life into absolute misery if I continued on that disastrous path my tempestuous mistress was leading me to.

This is my story of Fatal Attraction proportions but unfortunately unlike the movie there is no good looking woman in sight.

This is my story about my fatal attraction with food and drink and more so a SeductiveTemptress named Sugar which since my early day’s has had me by the “Curly Joes” and still refuses to let go.

I reckon Sugar seduced me whilst I was still in the womb and continued her illicit affair with me my entire life.

As many of you are aware I’ve come from a family that has lived to eat.

Until her dying days mum considered sugar a staple part of a healthy diet  and used copious amounts of the sweet white crystal drug in everything from our breakfast which often consisted of Kellog's Cornflakes or Coco Pops with 3-4 tablespoons, yes you read it correctly “tablespoons” of sugar and for a treat or dessert we’d often have toast with butter and you guessed it sugar on top.

That is if we ran out of biscuits which wasn't too often in our household because Mum worked in a Biscuit factory and listen to this Dad even had a stint working for Nestle in Campbellfield, now we’re talking about Kit-Kats and Peppermint Crisps in abundance.

Needless to say we were the most popular kids in our street.

I grew up drinking sugar laden soft drinks instead of water, even my knick name was Tarax for f**k sake because as a teenager I worked for the Soft Drink company which founded Solo Lemon Squash.   

And then as I entered my late teens I got exposed to alcohol and for a number of year’s excessive amounts of this liquid ruled my life.

Until one day I woke up to myself albeit a little battered and bruised and came to terms that as much a I thought I was a funny drunk others didn't, hence the cuts and bruises on my body.

Like in any tempestuous relationship the high’s are monstrous and the best thing feeling ever.

But the lows on the other hand are the exact opposite and there’s no make up sex to make them worthwhile.

So eventually you come to a point when you have to decide whether the euphoric feelings of a sugar or alcohol high are worth the excruciating pain of the lows that follow and tell me honestly who has never vowed never to drink again?

Personally they are not worth the trouble and many years ago I made the painful admission that I was a Junk Food & Drink (alcohol) Addict and in order to realise my sporting dreams I had to make changes to combat these my addictions. I had to find a way of keeping them in check realising that eliminating them totally was not an option for me.

Alcohol was easy, I stopped going to night clubs, I matured, got myself in a relationship so I didn't have the need to go clubbing to pick up and drove to restaurants which meant I couldn’t Drink and drive.

Junk food on the other hand and sugar in particular is another beast in itself because it’s in our faces all the time just like that destructive lover who always seems to brings out the worst in us.

Junk food is invasive us and dominates all our senses. It's in our faces all the time, it's transmitted into our homes in the form of electronic and print media and our streetscapes are littered with junk food advertising.  

The first thing you notice when you enter food stores are the high carb, sugary products and it’s not only in the supermarkets even your local fruit & veg and convenient stores are guilty of this practice.

Have you noticed the sweet stuff, (fruit), lollies, chocolates at the front of the store as you enter and look at the setup of your favourite bakery, what’s in the front counter as you pay?

Yes, donuts, coffee scrolls, vanilla slices, chocolate éclair’s and why is that you might ask?

 

Well let me tell you why.

It's all about the mighty dollar'$$$$$$$$$$ 

 

Because sugar is the most addictive drug known to man and it’s also very cheap to produce with high profit margins but more importantly sugar makes you want to eat more!!!!.

So you buy more than you can eat and you end up eating the lot because sugar is an appetite enhancer which means that it stymie’s the signals of fullness that your stomach sends to your brain.

And the same applies to the live fresh sugar treats called F R U I T, yes fruit which has fructose and what is fructose it’s a sugar of the hexose class found especially in honey and fruit.

Hold on!

Isn't fruit meant to be healthy?

Yes it's healthy all right, healthy for the fruit producers pockets.

There's not one day in my life that I haven't craved sugar!

As we know change does not come easy no matter how strong willed you are and personally I’m only a Donut or a grape away from my next binge and from losing the plot!

But I have acknowledged that and have come to terms with my addictions (s) and only when I admitted that I was an addict only then did I find a way to resist and realise my sporting dreams.

How did I do it?

I did that by finding a way of switching On and Off my tastebuds, that’s where will power and keeping your eyes on the prize comes into it.

As an addict you can't afford to relax for a single moment nor take your eyes off that prize!

In the beginning it was not easy and I had many lapses and like in most tempestuous relationships the threat of falling back into the arms of your destructive lover is forever present but down deep you know the temptations must be fought and eventually you end up winning more than you lose.

in all honesty I would never have been remotely successful in Bodybuilding if I continued consuming the shit that I was putting into my body, it’s simple as that!

I’ve conditioned myself to Eat to Live, that's my secret!

There you go I’ve been totally honest with you, now it’s your turn, do you Eat to Live or Live to Eat?

The difference is simple.

Eating to live means that you eat to sustain yourself, Protein for tissue repair, fat of carbs for energy mixed with greens for wellbeing.

When you are hungry you ask yourself what food groups do I need to eat to sustain myself? 

And forget about appeasing your taste buds.

On the other hand, Living to Eat you are constantly looking to please your taste buds and tend to throw common sense out the window.

I call this Taste Bud Slavery :)

You get the message?

Posted on March 30, 2016 .

It gives me great pleasure to announce 2016 as the year of NO BULLSHIT

Warning: If you are of a sensitive or easily offended nature please DO NOT continue reading this. :)

Over the years as a Personal Trainer I've just about heard every excuse in the book about why people have failed in their quest for a healthier version or not achieved what they initially set out to do with regards to their health and fitness, so with a tad of tongue in cheek I've decided to compile my Bullshit List and declare 2016 as the "Year of NO BULLSHIT".

I sincerely hope you forget all your Bullshit excuses and make this Your Year, the year where you look back in 12 months time, pat yourself on the back and say "Yep I did it"

So without further ado lets get to
The  BULLSHIT and NO BULLSHIT lists

  • I'm big boned - Bullshit you're fat (tongue in cheek)
  • I've got bad genetics - Bullshit
  • I haven't got time - Bullshit, have you got time to get sick?
  • I'm too old - Bullshit over 40 is not old
  • Everything in moderation - Bullshit if that were true why don't you use ice in moderation
  • Food has to be fun - Bullshit food is primarily a substance for our existence - want fun? Try S*X
  • I'm having a bad day - Bullshit try being poor in a 3rd World country
  • I'll Start tomorrow - Bullshit if it's important start NOW
  • I've got my period - Just another bullshit excuse
  • I'm tired - Bullshit you're lazy
  • I'm Hungover - Bullshit just suck it up and pay the price for your stupidity princess
  • I'm Trying - Bullshit try harder - most people work well within their true capacity
  • Health Food is expensive - Bullshit, cigarettes, alcohol and junk food is expensive 
  • Fruit is a health food -Bullshit fruit is full of Fructose - Fructose is a sugar


And now for the NO BULLSHIT

  • Sugar is a drug - True
  • No Pain No Gain - True  
  • Your attitude will determine your altitude - True is mostly between the ears

Well that's it for now folks
Until next time stay safe and I'll see you in the Gym

Posted on January 21, 2016 .

9/9 BUT THIS ONE WAS DONE TOTALLY DIFFERENT

 

Two weeks prior to winning my 8th consecutive INBA masters title last year I decided that once that prep was done and dusted I’d throw the book out and experiment with a totally new approach to eating.
After 8 consecutive years of competition I was so spent both mentally and physically to even contemplate doing it for a ninth year, I needed change in order to rejuvenate and prolong my winning streak.

I don’t know what possessed me to change the winning formula I’d followed successfully for 30 years but it seemed like a good idea at the time plus deep down  I knew that I couldn't put myself through another torturous pre-contest prep.
So I did my research and applied myself to eating fats for energy instead of carbohydrates.

I must admit the thought of befriending fats sent more than one shiver down my spine because all my life I’d been conditioned to view fats as the mortal ENEMY, so just getting my head around the thought that what I once considered a foe was now a friend was as foreign to me as having Coco Pops for breakfast or eating McDonald or KFC for lunch.

The journey that lead to the INBA Australian National Titles in Canberra was akin to walking down a familiar track in the dark and expecting to stumble at any moment

Being the cautious type I decided to give myself 3 months of this new eating regime and then I’d re-evaluate but within the first month I knew this was the way to go, simply because of the way I responded to it.
Not only did this eating plan give me a greater variety of foods but I felt more energised and more importantly my skin folds and my body weight did not balloon.
Furthermore I didn’t feel lethargic after each meal or have the need for at least one power nap during the day.
I was alert and full energy and just as strong at a much lighter weight plus my cravings for flour and sugar products had just about diminished.

I could walk past the bread shop or the confectionary counter at the supermarket without hallucinating or having a nervous breakdown.

My only concern was that no matter how much I ate my body weight refused to go above 92 kg’s when it would normally hover around the 95-98kg mark but the mirror was telling me otherwise I looked bigger at 92kg’s and like I said I felt stronger. 

Then came the crunch when I started dieting 16 weeks (112 days) from the Australian Titles.

Again I tried doing some research on the internet but again I hit a brick wall as there was absolutely no information other than "do what feels right".

It seemed no bodybuilder had prepped with this type of diet.

So I took the most logical approach and that was to reduce my fats to the bare minimum after lunchtime and add fasted cardio to my mornings.

The chicken thighs I was consuming were replaced by Kangaroo patties, changing from chickin to Kangaroo proved to be I believe the most significant change in my prep.

Not only was I getting a higher quality, leaner, organic, non farmed protein that was feeding in natural pastures consuming non chemically enhanced food sources unlike the farmed feathered variety I was used to eating.

The red meat also gave me the benefits of much more iron than in chicken breast. This I believe kept me healthy during the flu infested winter months when my body is usually at it’s weakest. 

The 3rd and final obstacle was to figure out what I’d do the week before the comp when I would normally put myself through the unenviable rigours of carbohydrate depletion which would leave me in a Zombie state barely functioning as a human followed by carbohydrate loading which was designed to fill my cells with energy.

Again my research on the internet left me high and dry, so after experimenting with sweet potato on my reward day which left me bloated and wanting to sleep I dumped the idea.

I decided I would treat the contest as another work out and prep likewise, I changed absolutely nothing and loath and behold I succeeded.

The physique I produced and the Victorian titles was close to my best ever and I knew I still had 2 weeks to improve before the Nationals in Canberra where I believe (as well as many close neutral observers and friends) I was in the best condition of my career, not bad considering I was well into my 58th year. 

In  Canberra I was the leanest and lightest weight at 79kg’s since my first contest in 1984 but my physique looked bigger with full bulging muscle bellies and the most balanced it had ever been.

The work I'd done on my shoulders, outer sweep of my thighs and abdominals stood out 

So not only did I win again but it was the easiest pre-contest prep ever where I managed to function in a normal manner staying productive and strong to the very end.     
 
So now it’s back to the drawing board to plan on how the hell I’ll make it 10/10

 

 

Posted on October 20, 2015 .

No More Excuses

Same old crappy excuses - it's nearly Beach Time
2015 was supposed to be the "YEAR OF NO EXCUSES"  

SO why are you still making them???

I don’t want to hear them, they are old hat, I’ve heard them all before.
They bore me to tears because they are same old ones over and over again only from different people (There must be a book out there).


You know in my 20 plus years as a "FAT FIGHTER" I've heard them all and they never change, work (you don't work 24 hours per 7 days a week), time (do you have time to get sick?), big boned(I've never seen a fat skeleton), blah blah blah!!!

Just visit your local hospital and you'll find wards full of excuse makers! 
Nobody has ever comes up with a novel excuse why they can’t transform their bodies.

"If it's important enough - you will always find a way"

I really don’t want to hear what’s holding you back!
What I want to hear is how committed you are in achieving and what YOU are going to do to make it happen.
 
Remember 85% of success in weight loss or anything is in the mind. It’s achievable provided you WANT to achieve it.
 
Most want to do it but can’t see it.
Sometimes I feel like screaming at the top of my lungs“So stop making excuses and decide to make it happen!”


OK it’s confession time again from someone that WAS the biggest Excuse Maker in history

Yes  – ME

 
The year before I won my first Australian bodybuilding title I placed 2nd and the following year whilst preparing for another crack at the Nationals I was making excuses in my mind why I wouldn’t win.
That’s how much self-belief I lacked but that was nothing new, that lack of confidence stemmed all the way back to my childhood.
 
As a kid I was groomed by my father to realise his dream and become a soccer player. Although I wasn't extremely gifted I made it up with work ethic and commitment to nearly get me to realise my fathers dream. Only problem was I didn't believe in myself and maybe didn't want it bad enough.
 
This is the first time I’m saying it publically “The reason I failed as a soccer player is because I did not believe that I was worthy enough to make it to the top”.
 I was good enough but I was mentally weak, I was plagued by a lack of self-belief!
 
 And that lack of self belief was now threatening to envelope and destroy my bodybuilding dream.
 
After coming 2nd I was more focused on winning than ever, I hit the gym with a vengeance, worked diligently on improving my weaknesses and left no stone unturned in my endeavour to succeed.

BUT (yes there’s always a but isn't there?) half way through my preparation I realised was visualising myself as runner up again, as a loser.
I was even formulating the excuses I was going to use when I lost yet again.
8 weeks away from the show I pulled myself up and like a good Gemini I had a good long hard look at myself followed by a long talk.
 
I asked myself “Why the hell I was training and dieting like a mad man if all I was going to do was lose?”

  •  Why put myself through this hell just to lose? 
  •  Why the hell couldn’t I win? 

And I couldn’t come up with any reasonable answers

  • Was my conqueror bigger than me? No!
  • Was he leaner? No!
  • Was he more symmetrical? No!
  • Could he pose better? Maybe but it could be rectified!

 
So I came to the conclusion that it was my loser attitude that was holding me back.
 
So I went about changing it.

  • I visualised standing on top of the dais holding the 1st place trophy aloft.
  • I visualised my joy, the joy on my kid’s faces when I came home with the winner’s trophy.
  • I visualised the applause and the comments ( I call them What the Fuck comments) from the audience.
  • I even visualised and prepared myself for the back stage mind games that I knew my nemesis would play in order to put me off my game.

I plastered pictures of him all over the place, in my training diary, my desk, my office wall, the fridge you name it his face was everywhere.
 
Then I adopted the following motto “He who dares to face death by a thousand cuts will unseat the emperor”
Again this was plastered everywhere!
 
Once I had all that in place, every time those niggling negative losing thoughts crept into my mind or every time I thought about the competition I automatically blocked them out and repeated my mantra chastising myself for thinking negatively.
 
It took a fair bit of work but when I rocked up at the show I was ready to win and boy did I win - I destroyed him!
 
So it wasn’t until I visualised winning that I actually did!

Since then whenever I visualise myself losing and believe me it does happen at various stages during the arduous dieting phase of a contest preparation, I remind myself of the day that I changed my attitude from "A Loser" to "A winner".
As long as I’m prepared to face death by a thousand cuts – I cannot lose!
 
Since that fateful day in 1998 I have come to realise that I have no control over the judges, so I don’t worry about them.
I’m only concerned about what I have control over and that is my actions and how I go about preparing for a show.
 
Only that will determine whether I win or lose!
 
So there you go "In order to win you must first change your attitude"

Posted on September 6, 2015 .

Confession Time

Confession Time

Last month I touched on MINDSET so this month it’s time to make another little confession.

The last confession I made to this congregation was in Feb when I blurted out that “I DON’T ALWAY’S ENJOY TRAINING”

Trust me that was hard enough but this my dear friends is even harder. 

Posted on July 9, 2015 .

Summer bodies are made in winter

It's 3:30am when the alarm goes. It’s late June and the temperature I’m guessing is hovering around 3 degrees celcius.

I force my tired eyelids to open against their wish one at a time and the first word that escapes my lips starts “F” and ends with “K”.

Posted on April 29, 2015 .