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Oh, hi there!

Hello! I feel like I have started every post lately with an apology for being so lazy with blogging. This post is no different! I really don’t have an excuse other than the motivation seems to have left me in the last few months. If I wasn’t sick in bed right now, this post may not have happened either. I’ve still been chipping away at my goals, but the blogging side of things seems to have taken a step back. Hopefully the motivation will return soon ūüôā

Anyway, a little update…

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Infographic: Ultimate guide to fitness nutrition

In case you haven’t figured it out by now, I really like infographics. And I love this one by Greatist, which has some great information about fitness nutrition and what you should be eating before and after your workouts.

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Inspiration: Some of my favourite fitness Instagrams

I really love Instagram. It’s such a great source of inspiration and creativity and I can definitely say I use it a lot more than Facebook, particularly as a tool to motivate me to get out of bed in the morning when I feel like just sleeping in instead of working out. While we all know the big companies like Women’s Health¬†and Lorna Jane have some great fitness inspiration, below are just a few of my favourite Instagram accounts featuring real life and (mostly) unretouched fitspo…

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

@mshelllll – Michelle Davis

I love people with a great sense of humour and a simple desire to be badass. Michelle is definitely one of those people. Her dedication and attitude have made her one of the better known faces around Instagram and the fitness world.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

@sugarandspice РGeorgina

Georgina is an Optimum Nutrition sponsored athlete who posts loads of great workout videos and tips.

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Recent Instagram Snaphots

Oh gosh, it’s been a while since Ive done one of these posts. Below is actually a few months worth of posts. Eeeek!

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Setting goals + my 2 year gymiversary!

Oh, hey there! Even though I’ve been absent from writing of late, I am still working away at becoming the best possible version of myself.

While I was at the gym today, I realised I missed my two year anniversary of joining the gym and overhauling my lifestyle! April 10th, 2010 was the day I decided enough was enough and that I was tired of being overweight (I was just over 82kg!) and hating the way I looked and felt. I never thought it would become such a hobby/interest for me, but I am so glad it has.

In light of what I have dubbed my gymiversary, I think it’s time to sort out my goals for the year and get my online presence back on track!

Goals – this year

A few things I want to achieve within the next 8 months (2014):

  1. Reach 200kg 0n the leg press – I actually broke my personal best for the plated/sled leg press today and am currently sitting at 160kg for 10 reps.
  2. Get a dexa scan – This is something I really should have done a long time ago.
  3. Complete Run Newcastle, 30/11/2014 – In an ideal world, I’d be able to run the 12km, but I am aiming to at least run the 6km track.
  4. Practice yoga and meditation more regularly (yoga at least once a fortnight)
  5. Try at least 3 new workout types – time to branch outside of outdoor circuits and and the gym!
  6. Read at least 3 nutrition books
  7. Be able to do 5 unassisted pull-ups with good form – I am terrible at pull-ups. Time for improvement!

I’m sure I’ll think of more to add to this list soon, and I’ve really got to get some updated photos up, but for now, adi√≥s!

Regular updates and photos can be found on my Facebook page, so be sure to stop by! x

Recent Snapshots: February – March 2014

Even though my posts have been few and far between lately, I’ve still been making progress and making the most of the time I have. Below are some of my latest snapshots, in random order! For non-fitness/heath shots, check out my instagram.

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Some recent snapshots and stories!

Since moving to Newcastle, I’ve stepped out of my comfort zone in a heap of ways. I’ve tried plenty of new things and my training style is so much more varied and challenging now. Here’s just a few of the great things I’ve done recently…

Started Yoga

Doing yoga at a professional studio is something I’ve always wanted to do, though locations were limited on the Coast. Now that I am closer to a city like Newcastle, there are a few places around to choose from. I have to say that though I was originally sceptic about doing hot yoga (I’m not generally great with hot temperatures), it was super cleansing and refreshing. I’ve now attended classes a few times and plan to keep doing it once I have stable employment.

If you’re interested in starting hot yoga and are a local, you can get a 10 day unlimited trial for $20 at yogabodyworks on King Street in Newcastle.

Started outdoor workouts

While I was commuting to Sydney, I didn’t really have the option to work out outdoors since it was dark when I left for work and dark when I got home. Now that I have more time on my hands, I’ve been taking my training outdoors with some lovely ladies. It is much more of a challenge for me than hitting the gym, but I’m loving it. There’s nothing like working out while watching the sun rise.

Juice Mania

Not this this is particularly¬†out of my comfort zone (in fact, quite the opposite!), but I have been loving my new juicer. I’ve been going crazy with different combinations of fresh fruit and vegetables. My favourite so far is a detox juice which I should have the recipe for up by the end of the week.

And so 2014 begins…

And what a big week it’s been! Now that the holiday season is over, I am getting back into routine and eating healthy. In terms of workouts, I’ve been doing my usual 6-day split of weights plus at least 15 minutes of HIIT/sprint intervals. I’m also back to tracking macros and making better food choices (no more trifle or pavlova!).

Until the last few weeks, I had been getting pretty lazy with cardio and doing almost none at all. I know it’s a necessary evil for my body type, but it’s something I don’t really enjoy doing. It definitely does pay off through. Apart from having the worst DOMS I’ve had in a while, I can already see I am getting leaner while still building muscle. I’ve also started putting more effort and attention towards my biceps, which are definitely my weakest muscle group.

I set aside some time over the last week to create some comparison images. It’s something I’ve put off for a long time as I was afraid the changes wouldn’t be as drastic as I wanted, but I’ve come to realise the changes are obvious, and the mental strength I’ve gained along the way is huge. I’m not sure I’m ready to share the actual body ones just yet, but here’s a face one I shared on my blog Facebook page a few days ago.

Face - Before and After Weight Loss

Neither of these are particularly flattering photos but that’s the point. Raw and unedited, but the difference is clear.

Apart from working on my own body, I’ve also been trying to motivate my family to make better food choices and made some awesome mini crustless quiches for snacks rather than chips. Not sure how great my motivational skills are, but we shall see!

Here’s a few posts from my instagram over the last few weeks. More are up on my instagram page here.

I’ve got a few posts in the works over the next few days, so stay tuned! x

Looking forward to 2014

It’s been so long since I’ve written anything on this blog I’ve almost forgotten how to start!

First up, Happy New Year to anyone who reads this. Hopefully you’re already having a great 2014!

2013 was a huge year for me, and while a lot as happened I have mixed feelings about how successful the year was. During the last few months of the year, I went through some huge personal challenges and changes including health issues (still trying to sort those out), uprooting/moving the life I had known for most of my lifetime and more. I think I changed a lot as a person and am certainly not as afraid of change as I used to be.

On a health and fitness level, I have a confession to make that may somewhat explain my absence from blog writing. I feel like with everything that happened towards the end of last year, a little bit of my passion and fire went out. I have reignited the spark over the last few weeks and am feeling pretty good now, but for a little while I had to put myself into robot mode and go work out because I needed to, regardless of motivation. While I was moving my diet suffered a lot and it’s only really now that I’ve sorted out a routine and gotten back to eating healthier. I think a big part of my motivation drop was because of my lack of progress. 2013 was a year of great transformations for many people, and as I saw their progress over much shorter lengths of time than my own, I couldn’t help but compare myself to others and feel very much disheartened. I know comparing myself to others is a big no-no, but I think we can all admit it is something we still do sometimes. It feels as though I am running into a brick wall and not changing at all, despite the hard work I have been putting in. It’s incredibly frustrating, and I’m sure I’m not alone. It’s not that I am not incredibly happy for anyone who has had an amazing transformation. In fact, I am totally inspired by others’ transformations. It’s just that I had always hoped that after a year and a half of working out and making better food choices, I would no longer feel and look overweight and would be proud to show off my body.

This all brings me to the health issues I mentioned above. I don’t really feel like I need to go into too much detail, but I am still trying to get to the bottom of a few things that may, once diagnosed or solved, may explain why my exercise and diet efforts seem to give lacklustre results. There’s a chance you might be thinking I’m doing something wrong with my diet or workouts that would lead me to this point, but I assure you, I have done the research, tried many different workout plans and tried to be as healthy as possible. It’s not an issue of getting enough vitamins, and hopefully I’ll have some more answers soon. Maybe once I know what’s stopping my progress I’ll write about it a little more.

While all of this makes it seem like I had a bad 2013, I really didn’t. I have learnt more about myself this year than I could have imagined. I have embraced change and taken time out to look after myself. I have finally stopped commuting and can, for the first time in years, put my health first and take time to relax a little. I have started fresh and am enjoying my new surroundings. I have met some great people, and am grateful as always for the people already in my life (especially my family, who have supported me through several tough moments this year).

Now, enough looking back. Onto 2014…

I feel like this year is going to be a good year. I don’t make New Year’s Resolutions as I believe if you have to wait until a certain date to change your life, you don’t want it bad enough, but I do have a few goals I’d like to achieve this year. None of these are particularly new goals, but I think it’ll help to have them down in writing.

2014 Goals

  • Find a new job – Since I moved north, I can no longer keep working in Sydney. I have been using up annual leave since late November, but am on the lookout for a new job. I’m super keen to take on a new challenge, meet new people and learn new skills.
  • Get my health sorted – Hopefully I can get this done over the next few months!
  • Be proud of my own transformation and further it – I have goals of what I want to look like and even with a few hurdles, hopefully I can achieve this goal in 2014. I have already been working hard to get leaner and build muscle, especially over the last few weeks (I’ll probably make a post about how my workouts have changed lately soon!).
  • Do more things outside of my comfort zone – I am a creature of habit and usually a pretty shy person. This year I’m hoping to change that.
  • Care less what others think – I guess this kind of links to several other goals I have for 2014, but it definitely deserves its own point. I have always been the kind of person that gets wrapped up in what other people think of me. I think that in order for me to be proud of myself and love my body, I need to consider more what I think, and less what others think.
  • Blog more – Yeah, I know everyone always says this. But I do want to follow through with my plans to make Zero Steps Back into a fully fledged website and do a giveaway at some point soon.

Thank you for all your support in 2013, and hopefully 2014! xx

“I don’t believe you have to be better than everybody else. I believe you have to be better than you ever thought you could be.” –¬†Ken Venturi

Christmas Gift Guide for Fitness Freaks and Health Nuts!

There are already so many gift guides around, but I’ve decided to do a round-up of some of the products I think would make a great present for the gym junkie or health nut in your life. There have been some awesome new products come out lately as well as some ideas I think have serious good-book potential, so it seems a shame not to showcase them! There are, of course, thousands of other ideas and products out there. I could have added so many more, but then you’d been reading for days (or, more likely, get distracted by cute cat videos on YouTube).

By the way, sorry this is so late! I’ve been having internet dramas!

Quick Links:

Got something to add to the list? Let me know in the comments below.

Over AU$100

Fitbit Flex

Image Source: http://bit.ly/1ecAmSo

Image Source: http://bit.ly/1ecAmSo

While I am holding out for the Force, the Fitbit Flex is currently available in Australia and around the world.¬†It can track your steps, distance travelled, carlories burnt, floors climbed, sleep and more. You can also set custom goals and get access to a Fitbit’s online tools. At AU$129.95, this is a great gift for tech addicts. The simple wristband design uses bluetooth and can wirelessly sync using a range of devices including iPhone and many Android smartphones.

Price: $129.95

Buy it/more info: http://www.fitbit.com/au/flex

Vitamix

Image Source: http://bit.ly/IVlKbE

Image Source: http://bit.ly/IVlKbE

I almost don’t think it’s worth putting this in here as for most of us, it’s a little extravagant for a Christmas gift. But, if you’re looking for a gift for a juice lover or raw food diet follower and have a (very) sizeable budget, look no further. Everywhere you look people seem to be drooling over Vitamix blenders, and while they are pricey, they are super versatile and will get the job done.

Price: RRP AU$995 – AU$1195, depending on model.

Buy it/more info: http://www.vitamix.com.au

Polar Heart Rate Monitor – FT7

Image Source: http://bit.ly/19L2btA

Image Source: http://bit.ly/19L2btA

I’ve featured the FT7 model here as it’s the model I have and love. Unlike the Fitbit Flex mentioned above, the Polar FT7 is designed to track your workout details including time, calories, heart rate and fitness vs fat burn time. As your body details are entered into the watch and you wear a chest strap when using it, the data is super accurate and can be synced with your computer if you have the Polar FlowLink (RRP $79).

Price: RRP AU$169

Buy it/more info: http://www.polar.com/au-en/products/get_active/fitness_crosstraining/FT7

AU$51 – $100

Gaiam “Yoga For Beginners” Kit

Image Source: http://bit.ly/1dCTbJY

Image Source: http://bit.ly/1dCTbJY

Gaiam have a reputation for being a great source of yoga information, tutorials and videos. If you’ve got an aspiring yogi to buy for, the “Yoga For Beginners” kit is perfect. In the kit you’ll find a yoga mat,¬†a yoga block, D-ring yoga strap and a DVD with equipment guides and a full-length workout.

Price: AU$59.99

Buy it/more info: http://www.gaiam.com.au/Product_Detail.aspx?ParentCategoryID=47&CategoryID=79&ProductID=13582

“Coco” 1/2 gym tights/pants

Image Source: http://bit.ly/1cI1Tbn

Image Source: http://bit.ly/1cI1Tbn

I am in love with these “Coco” 1/2 tights from Running Bare. The choices for tights are endless and these are just one example of a pair I love. Keep in mind prices can vary depending on style, length and brand.

Price: AU$69.99 
Buy it/more info: http://www.rebelsport.com.au/Product/Running-Bare-Women-s-Coco-1-2-Tights/44320006


Under AU$50

T2 Tea – “20 Times To Shine” gift box

Image Source: http://bit.ly/JnbU2O

Image Source: http://bit.ly/JnbU2O

T2 make amazing tea, and their gift packs are great for tea lovers. The pack features 20 individually wrapped teabags in 11 varieties including China Jasmine, Melbourne Breakfast and Chai.

Price: AU$20

Buy it/more info: http://www.t2tea.com/top-gifts/a-little-something/20-times-to-shine-3/

T2 Tea – “Mirror Mirror” gift packs

Image Source: http://bit.ly/1gzDYy9

Image Source: http://bit.ly/1gzDYy9

A little further up the price scale are these “Mirror Mirror” packs from T2 which include 50g of tea, a teacup, an infuser and a silicone scoop all packaged in a gorgeous box. There are four packs available – “Gone Surfing”, “Strawberries and Cream” (my personal favourite), “French Earl Grey” and “Green Rose”.

Price: AU$45

Buy it/more info: http://www.t2tea.com/top-gifts/t2-what-s-new/mirror-mirror-2/

Water Bottle

Image Source: http://bit.ly/19J3RE7

Image Source: http://bit.ly/19J3RE7

These water bottles are a simple, affordable gift idea that I have actually purchased this year. The bottles are 1.25L and have a handle. Several designs are quotes are available.

Price: AU$12.95 

Buy it/more info: http://shop.cottonon.com/search/?q=1.25LTR+bottle

Puma Workout Grip Gym Bag

Image Source: http://bit.ly/195eCGm

Image Source: http://bit.ly/195eCGm

This was my very first gym bag. I still have it and despite me being particularly clumsy and not very good at packing, it has no tears or issues. For such a cheap price, this is a great gift and super useful for any gym-goers. On a sidenote, I have the bag in hot pink, which now seems to be unavailable. It could possibly still be available from certain stores (or eBay) if you want something a little brighter than grey, black or navy.

Price: AU$24.99

Buy it/more info: http://www.amartsports.com.au/Product/Puma-Workout-Grip-Bag/45260901

Still stuck?

If you still really can’t decide, gift cards may be the answer. I know, I know, they always give off the impression that you forgot until the last minute or that you didn’t want to make an effort, but I actually don’t mind getting gift cards at all. Aim for something a little more special than a Coles card, such as a Rebel Sport or even a brand such as Nike, Lorna Jane or Lululemon.

Good luck, and Merry Christmas! x

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