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There is a big misconception going around about lifting weights. The notion is that women will get bulky the instant that they start weight lifting, but this couldn’t be farther from the truth. The truth is that weight lifting and strength training will help you get that toned, slim look you are wanting!

Here’s the deal: the more muscle you have, the less fat you will have. Lifting weights will make you stronger and help your body burn fat quicker! As women, we are just not built to get Hulk-like muscle without steroids or crazy supplements. Women don’t have the testosterone levels to build muscle to the level that men do. Isn’t that a relief?!

Now that we’ve debunked the rumour that weight lifting makes you bulky, let’s chat more about the benefits of weight lifting and strength training, so you can see how this can truly transform your body and up your fitness level.

One of the best reasons to lift weights, is that weight lifting helps you lose body fat. Lifting gives you more muscle, and muscles are more metabolically active. And when your metabolism is more active, you burn a lot more calories.

With cardio, you can burn say 500 calories in one hour, whereas when you’ve lifted, you can burn DOUBLE that over 24hrs. Yes, strength training does double duty – working for you long after your workout is done.

Weight lifting helps you gain strength. And trust me, there is not better feeling than feeling capable and strong. Getting stronger means you’re able to go through your daily routine with ease. Climbing stairs, lifting things at work, picking up your kids/nephews/puppies, even being able to help push a broken down van to the mechanic.. Yeah, I did that on my birthday last year. All the mechanics couldn’t believe I was the one pushing it. Happy Birthday to me 🙂  Basically, life becomes easier when you are lifting weights! And you become even more bad ass. /puts sunnies on/

Lifting weights also helps reduce your risk of injury. With strong muscles, you can protect your surrounding bones & joints. Not only that, you can also improve your posture, reduce body aches & pain, and reduce stress!

So now that you know all of the amazing benefits of weight lifting, and that there’s no way it will make you turn into the Hulk…are you ready to try it?! Take that step out of your comfort zone and try it out the next time you’re in the gym. Even if you start simple, by grabbing a heavier kettlebell/band/plate/etc. Just remember, everyone starts somewhere—and it will give you so much more compared to spending an hour on the treadmill will.

Deanna

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My training journey to my first City to Bay

Week 1:

Run 1: This is awesome. I ran faster and further than I thought I would!

Sun 8am. Fartlek – 4km in 33mins

Run 2: Probably chatted a little too much during  the run. Didn’t push, but was happy to just get moving.

Tues 6am. Fartlek – 4km in 33mins.

Run 3: (Pre run) I’m tired. I can’t be assed getting up.

(Post run) I wouldn’t have gone without my ladies being there. It was a tougher run than the others. Tried to pace with Bel- hard but worth it. Feeling great. Definitely need to foam roll my shins!

Thurs 6am. 30:30 intervals – 4km in 28mins 54sec.

Week 2

Run 4: Had a two day boxing course – didn’t run. The other ladies did!

Sun AM.

Run 5: Decided to take my dog. My run is not fast enough so she was dragging me everywhere. Nearly fell on my face three times. Turned into a much shorter walk.

Tues 6am. 1.5km walk

Run 6: Wow, feeling great! Started a little early and did a lone run for some distance- very happy with it! Definitely need to get my shin looked at.

Thurs 6am. Ran 2km, walked 1km, ran 1km. 4km in 33mins.

Week 3

Run 7: Had a wedding the night before. Three wines plus 6hrs sleep = very sluggish Deanna. Felt the run was abnormally hard, struggled with my breathing. Walked way more than I had planned. Was very surprised to see that we ran so much faster than before and smashed our times! (Got my shin looked at by my coach yesterday- zero pain today!)

Sun 8.20ish am. Ran 1km, jog/walked intervals for 3kms. 4kms in 29mins 45sec.

Run 8: Ran solo today. Run felt hard again, but I ran a better time. Maybe I need to adjust my expectations. Feeling a bit niggly in my knees today. Possibly from time of the month hormones.

Tues 5.30am. Ran 2km, fartlek 1km, ran 1km. 4km in 29mins 15sec.

Run 9: I run SO much better with my ladies next to me (and talking the whole time to distract myself hahaha). Running is starting to feel like more of a flow. Also feeling good about myself in general. Self esteem and confidence are very high as of late. However my body and mind are exhausted. Time for a big sleep!

Thurs 6am. Ran 2km, Fartlek 2km – minimal walking. 4km in 30mins 15sec.

Week 4

Run 10: Man I love Bel. She doesn’t leave my side and has no idea how much she keeps me going when I want to stop. Run was good, apart from my shin being on fire most of the time. My coach thinks its blood flow issues and what I’m feeling is the burn of muscle death… Not fun.

Sun 7am. Ran 2km, fartlek 1km, ran 1km. 4km in 29mins 37sec.

Run 11: Holy crap! We just ran the whole 4kms! Not sure where that came from but I’m SO flippin happy!! Emma joined us, please come back 🙂 oh, and Bel, you are legit my homegirl.

Tues 6am. Ran 4km in 29mins 23 sec.

Run 12: I saw my osteo last night. He released the tightness in my shoulder/neck and also my shin without touching any of them… #Magician. Then ripped the inners out of my shoes and told me to stop running when I fatigued or anything hurt so that I keep my new range of motion and won’t return to rubbish patterns. Run felt great but stopped to walk a fair bit more than I would have liked. Learning to trust the process and listen.

Thurs 6am. Ran 1km, Fartlek 3km. 4km in 32mins 18sec.

Week 5

Run 13: Everyone ran separately today. Was a bit nervous to not have Bel next to me. Turns out that I ran my best times. Must have been the Spanish beats in my ear haha. Shin started to play up, probably ignored it a little too much. One more run until second osteo appt.

Sun 8am. Ran 2km, fartlek 2km. 4km in 28mins 19sec.

Run 14: Omg it literally rained sideways into our faces. Wind was so strong we had to lean so far forward. SO COLD! Not funny at the time. Hilarious now.

Wed 6am. Ran 2km. Fartlek 2km. 4km in 32mins 8sec.

Run 15: Forgot to write about it afterwards. Essentially; ran, walked lots because shin still sucks, ran again.

Thurs 6am. Ran 2km. Fartlek 2km. 4km in 30mins 11sec.

Run 16: Did an extra run as I will be away this weekend. Best run to date. Taped my shin, changed my shoes and changed my laces. Shin had about 15% of the normal pain. Smashed my times. Weeeeeow.

Fri 6am. Ran 4km in 28mins 25sec.

Week 6 – was in Melb most of the week

Run 17: Ran. Fast. (And also forgot to write about run afterwards so can’t remember haha)

Tues 6am. Ran 4km in 27mins 54sec.

Week 7 – was in Sydney most of the week

Run 18: Just a sneaky 5km… Lol let’s be honest, it was my first ever non stop 5km run. Feeling like I’ve got some rhythm here. Now to get the pace back up! Zero shin pain, WIN!!!

Tues 6am. Ran 5kms in 37mins 8sec.

Week 8

Run 19: Ran alone. Planned to run 5km, didn’t happen. Strong wind and started raining. Period pain. Excuses. Did a fair bit of walking. And only 4km. Oh well.

Sun 9am. Ran/walked 4kms in 28mins 57secs.

Run 20: Ran 5km. Somehow. Almost gave up at least 5 times. Bel is literally my rock. My running rock.

Tues 6am. Ran 5km in 36mins 5sec.

Run 21: Ran 5km again. Started to actually enjoy it! Or maybe I just enjoy running with Bel haha.

Thurs 6am. Ran 5km in 35mins 28sec.

Week 9

Run 22: Holy crap, ran 5km! Was 2mins late and Bel wanted me to play catch up. LOL. Just turned around when I saw Bel. Really good run considering I’d been crook over the weekend.

Wed 6am. Ran 5km in 35mins 8sec.

Week 10

Run 23: I just ran 8km!!!! I am wonder woman.

Sun 8.30am. Ran 8km in 55mins 19sec.

Run 24: Body wasn’t 100%- tight hammies and calves, and my left side was kind of lagging behind- so I didn’t push for a good time. I am starting to really feel like a runner as most of the time I run on autopilot. Win! 3 weeks out!! Eeeek.

Tues 6am. Ran 5km in 35mins 32sec.

Week 11

Run 25: Haven’t run in about 10days. Wet weather plus laziness took over. Took it easy. And my knee hurts. WAAAA not now!!

Thurs 6am. Ran 5km in 36mins 35sec.

Week 12

Run 26: My knee has been very sore after the last two runs. Chose to rest instead. Today did our final run before the race on Sunday – Eeeeeek! Excited. Nervous.

Tues 6am. Ran 5km in 37mins 16sec.

City to Bay

1-3km. This sucks. This is so much harder than I thought it would be. I just want to walk. If Bel wasn’t next to me, I’d probably just start walking home lol

3-5km. This sucks slightly less. Omg water!!

6km. Halfway. I’ve totally got this.

7-9km. This is easy. I mean, I cant feel my kneecap anymore but it’s mentally easy now. Running on autopilot. Started collecting as many high 5s as I could.

10-12km. Home stretch baby. Knee is on fire. This is not good. But could run faster if I wanted to. All of Coach Waynes tips helped so much!!

Finish line: OMG we did it!! Holy hell that freaking hurt so bad WHY do people do this!! I’m relieved and so so damn happy. What a morning! I cannot believe we just ran 12km. THE. WHOLE. TWELVE. KILOMETRES. Amazing. Absolutely amazing. Where are those free bananas???

 

 

Looking back now, I’d totally do that again. Next time I would prepare better and definitely plan my recovery. I had no idea how much my knees would hurt afterwards. However, the pain passed pretty quickly.

Our post race refuel was on point. We all went to a cafe and ate LOADS. It was delicious and I pretty much scoffed an entire bowl of communal sweet potato fries, before the meals even arrived. My bad ladies!

Now to keep moving and slowly get back into regular training (I’m taking a week or two off from running) while my body let’s go of the inflammation and begins healing.

 

I want to relive the race over and over.

I achieved one of my new year’s resolutions.

I got to run side by side with my homie.

My wonderful man came to watch me cross the finish line.

We all got to have a huge refeed together.

Now it’s time that we set our sights on achieving MORE goals.

2017, I’m not done with you yet.

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How to practice gratitude and thankfulness..

In the chaos of everyday life, it can be easy to get swept up and become overwhelmed with getting everything we need to get done, or getting to the next appointment, or checking the next task of the to-do list. We get so concerned with moving onto the next thing that we forget to stop and take a minute to truly appreciate the moment we’re in.

In this article, I want to share my tips for practicing gratitude, and how creating a practice of gratitude has transformed my life. If you create your own version and adopt an attitude of gratitude, you can experience the benefits too!

I first learned about the idea of practicing gratitude in a clip from Tony Robbins. In this video, he talks about being present in the moment, and feeling truly thankful for even the smallest things happening in your everyday life. Then I had a business coach that had a huge focus on mindset and gratitude (shout out to you Kellie!). She asked me to simply journal out my thoughts.

The final piece that inspired me to add being thankful into me day was an audio book called A Bug Free Mind. I listen to this audio book in the car 90% of the time while I’m driving. Now, each morning, I wake up and write in a journal all of my goals and all of the things I am grateful for.

It could be that you are thankful for the sun shining or that you have a bed to lay in. The important part is that you FEEL the feelings of being thankful. I like to do this by just closing my eyes, and saying what I am thankful for in my head. After I do that, I write it down in my journal.

I love starting my mornings like this. It really sets me up in a great mood before my day even starts.

Don’t want to get up early to do this? That’s cool. You could type straight into the notes app on your phone, write on a whiteboard, or journal at night. Whichever way you choose, be sure you are really feeling grateful— just let it flow! Even for something as simple as being grateful that your body is capable of so many cool things!

While this might feel forced at first, you’ll start to notice the difference on the days you do this. Personally, it has helped me stop stressing about unimportant rubbish and given me a more peaceful mindset.

Ever since I started, I have felt an overall increase in my happiness, and I feel mentally balanced.

Have you ever tried a gratitude practice? How did it feel? Try it and let me know what you think. See if starting a daily practice of gratitude helps you live in the moment, and really appreciate the little things.

Whatever you can find to be grateful for, write it down like I do.

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