& Crosstitchery Grows.

IMG_0755There’s a pretty good reason for the lack of anything creative / fitness / life related over the last few weeks …

The Crosstitchery family is growing by ONE! :)

I’m currently 13 weeks along and have experienced no morning sickness but a lot of fatigue in the last few weeks, which is why very little crafting / posting has been occurring.

I’ve just started to get back into settling on the couch in the evenings to do some cross stitching, as I have my last. ever. Harry Potter to stitch! Whilst I love this pattern, I quite honestly cannot stitch it anymore. It takes weeks upon weeks to finish one, and my recent fatigue has made stitching for long periods quite hard.

I’m aiming to keep healthy and active during my pregnancy, especially when it comes to fitness. Whilst I’m putting absolutely no pressure on myself to maintain any kind of ‘lifestyle,’ exercise is such a great mental release for me and from everything I’ve read so far, keeping up exercise whilst pregnant is great in the long term for that final hurdle of labour! :)

I was just over 4 weeks along when I took the first test (and then proceeded to take 2 straight after just to confirm!), and up until that time I had been in the middle of BBG 2.0. I tried to continue with BBG after having our pregnancy confirmed, however our doctor recommended I try not to overheat, or  get my heart rate up too high .. and as any BBG gal knows, this is just not possible with BBG haha!

I did 3 BBG workouts after finding out we are expecting, and for a few weeks was only doing bootcamp twice a week. Thankfully I stumbled across Diary of a Fit Mommy (DoFM) pre-natal workouts which are suitable for expecting or postnatal mothers. I absolutely love these workouts as they’re pregnancy friendly; no high heart rates or overheating for me! The workouts still provide me with the great routine that BBG did, and I just add additional reps or ankle weights if I want to crank it up a notch.

So for the moment, BBG is on pause for me as I focus on staying as healthy as possible for our baby. We are due at the end of October and will be keeping the sex a surprise – so in the meantime, stay tuned for some Crosstitchery creations that are just for me! :) :)

 

Advertisements

& Crosstitchery Completes First Triathlon!

I completed my first triathlon yesterday, and let me tell you, it was an AMAZING experience! I had been training for about 3-4 weeks doing laps in the pool, 2 ocean swims, and several bike / run sessions, but nothing could’ve prepared me for all the different feelings yesterday.

The distances I did were a 300m ocean swim, a 7km bike ride, and a 3km run. I know this doesn’t sound like a lot, but it was the perfect distance for me in hindsight – enough of a challenge to get my heart pumping, but small enough to not make me swear off  doing another one ever again.

It started with a 4:30am wake up as the venue was about an hour’s drive from our house. Mr A was amazing and woke up with me as he said he wanted to be at the finish line to support me – he’s not a morning person so that was a big ask for him haha! We arrived at about 5:30am, and I waited for a couple of my friends to get there so we could all put our bikes into transition together.

Other women had started to arrive by this stage also, and I realised that my bike was not at all suitable – I had a mountain bike with fat, spiky tyres, and others had slim, lightweight bikes with very thin tyres, but it was too late and I figured what the hell!

IMG_0486A group of ladies from our boot camp all participated, some doing the mini and some doing the long version – it was so lovely to have a group of girlfriends doing this with me!

This is us before we started – we’d all transitioned our bikes and were awaiting our briefing for each of our races.

 

 

 

 

4 of my girlfriends did the same distance as me, and because we registered as a group we all started in the same wave. Luckily the ocean was relatively flat in the morning and before we knew it the horn sounded and we were off on the swim.

I knew the swim was going to be the hardest leg for me going in, and by goly it certainly was. There was about 70 people in our wave start so feet and hands were going everywhere. No one intentionally hit anyone else, but it was impossible not to make contact with others. The swim was in a rectangle, so 125m swim out to a right hand turn at the buoy, then 50m across with a right hand turn at the buoy, and then 125m swim into the shore. The last 125m felt like it too SO long, and I was so thankful to have the shore under my feet by the end. I definitely expelled a lot of energy during the swim trying to find my own space to effectively get into my stroke.

I then moved into the bike transition and had one of my girlfriends just behind me. We were able to find our bikes together, and both had trouble with our shoelaces! I’m not sure if I was just overwhelmed or what, but it took me 3 goes on each foot to try and tie my shoelaces; definitely a bit of time wasted with a 3 and a half minute transition, but that’s what a first time is about I think! I had to pop shorts, sunglasses and my helmet on which was all fine, but I could not for the life of my get my bike off the rack! I had to hang it by the seat and it has a very heavy frame – it took a couple of goes but I finally got there.

I hopped onto my bike after the mount line and straight away could feel it in my quads and hamstrings. There was a slight hill during the course, and on this leg of the triathlon I definitely felt the fact I had completely the wrong bike for the conditions. Everyone whizzed straight past me on their road bikes, whilst I was struggling with all the traction generated from my tyres. If I ever do another triathlon, I will definitely be changing bikes. I used HEAPS of energy during this leg thanks to the type of bike I used. I lost quite a few spots on this section and I really put that down to my bike type.

Once the bike leg was finished I moved into the run transition which was really easy – just put my bike on the rack, took my helmet off and then whizzed through to the run entry. This transition only took about a minute so it was relatively easy.

The run was going to be my second hardest leg I thought, but it actually ended up being the easiest. I think the run portion is all mental stamina – you just tell yourself not to stop and to keep running, and if you zone out you can get into a good pace. There were a lot of people walking at this stage – whether they’d gone flat out in the first 2 legs and were tired, or were just taking short breaks I’m not sure, but I picked up quite a few spots on this leg as I just kept a good pace and would go around people when necessary. Keeping a constant pace is far easier than going fast for a few seconds and then walking a few seconds; I mean that’s basically interval training!

The run felt a lot longer than 3km as it was a very hot day yesterday. Mr A was waiting for me at the finish shoot and gave me a big cheer, along with 2 of my other girls who did the shorter  distance and had finished – it was so so awesome and such a big boost mentally to have people at the end cheering you on.

I ran through the final arch, received a medal, and met with my girlfriend who finished about a minute before me. We waited right at the end for our other 2 girlfriends to finish; we weren’t far apart between finishing at all!

Going in, I had no expectation of time or place or anything, I was honestly just focused on actually finishing for my first one! I was thinking it would take me between 1 hour to 1.25 hours to finish, so I was pleasantly surprised when I turned around and saw 53 mins on the clock!

Once we all finished we grabbed lots of water and some fruit to refuel. One of our girlfriends did the long course, so we all stayed and supported her during her bike and run transition, and cheered her on at the finishing shoot.

It was an amazing day and I’m SO glad I did it – it’s something to tick off my list, and who knows, once I get the correct bike I think I’d like to complete some more!

Here’s some snaps from yesterday.

 

Kayla Itsines // BBG 2.0, Weeks 13-16

I recently completed the first 4 weeks of Kayla Itsines’ BBG 2.0 guide and thought I’d share my thoughts for any of you that have been following along on my BBG journey :)

I started BBG 2.0 straight after finished my second round of BBG 1.0, as I wanted to keep up the momentum and the routine that I’ve set into place over the last 6 months; exercising is a huge release for me, and the structure and routine that BBG offers is perfect for my lifestyle.

Firstly, BBG 2.0 is awesome! There’s a lot more focus on weights rather than cardio, which I really enjoy. A lot of the exercises now have a weight opted, else an increase in weights to ensure you continue to challenge yourself. These kinds of exercises include weighted toe taps, weighted jump lunges, and weighted stationary lunges. Another change is the introduction of pulses exercises, like double pulse jump lunges, and double pulse jump squats and tricep dips. Those double pulses really intensify the exercise! As if jump lunges weren’t evil enough, the additional double pulse just takes it to a totally different level.

I think one of the biggest, difference inclusions in BB 2.0 is the barbell work – the barbell is used for exercises like close leg squats, bench squats and deadlifts. Using the barbell makes me feel like a total badass haha! I feel like I could kick some serious butt! However, I’ve learnt that my form is allll sorts of wrong for the deadlifts – my lower back was continually hurting throughout the exercise and when I posted a video of my workout on Instagram, lots of lovely people commented and mentioned, ‘errr nope, you need to bend your legs / shrug your shoulders back / keep your neck tucked in etc’

THAT is why I love this community! If I kept going the way I was, I’d do some serious damage to my back. Instead thanks to the advice of some BBG sisters, I’ll be looking at videos online to understand what to do, and practicing in a mirror to make sure I’m engaging the right areas.

So far, I love BBG 2.0, possibly more than BBG 1.0 if I’m honest. The addition of the weights gets my heart rate up still whilst doing exercises like burpees and step ups so I don’t feel like I’ve lost anything there.

In my mind, BBG 1.0 = cardio + increasing fitness, and BBG 2.0 = strength training + toning. I think BBG 1.0 is a fantastic way to gradually increase your strength and fitness levels thanks to the focus on plyometric exercises and cardio. I’m really glad I did x2) rounds of BBG 1.0 before I moved on, as weighted burpees really step everything up a notch in BBG 2.0!


I completed Week 16 about 2 weeks and have put a temporary hold on BBG whilst training for my first triathlon. I was trying to incorporate triathlon training into my BBG / boot camp training schedule, but it was just way too much and I was waking up very sore, lethargic and grumpy for over training.

My triathlon training has included ocean swims, pool swims, bike riding and running, and practicing transitioning between these legs like in the actual triathlon to ensure I’m as ready as I can be. The triathlon is this Sunday (how did it come up so fast?!) and I’m looking forward to giving it a red hot crack :) I’m also verrrry nervous, but I just need to remind myself that I am in competition with absolutely no one else; I will be so darn proud if I can just cross the finish line!

Erin1

Kayla Itsines // BBG Round 2, Weeks 9-12

So I have officially completed 2 round of Kayla Itsines’ BBG 1.0 as of yesterday, and let me tell you, it feels pretty darn good!

I forgot that Weeks 9 to 12 starts to focus on particular body areas for each resistance, which was both awesome and SO hard!

Weeks 10 / 12 arms which is known for being one of the most challenging resistances throughout BBG 1.0 was honestly not any easier the second time round. I officially detest spider push ups haha!

I placed particular emphasis on my form over speed this round, and I can definitely tell it has made a huge difference. Ensuring that I engaged my core, contracted my abs, pushes through my heels has done the world of good for both my progress, and my pain after workouts. I’ve noticed this most in the ab worksouts – during my first round I would quite often get a lower sore back whilst doing the exercises. I think I was rushing, trying to get through the reps (partially because they hurt so bad!). This round, I slowed right down and made sure I was engaging my core before I started. If I felt my form going, I was take a few breaths and almost ‘reset’ to make sure I was doing the exercises correctly.

The #bbgvideo on Instagram opened my eyes to the fact I’ve been doing straight leg and bent leg jackknives wrong this whole time! In my first round and the first 9 weeks of this round, I would almost balance on my bottom whilst doing each of the jackknives. I happened to stumble across a video which explained how to correctly do the exercises, and it showed that your back should stay on the ground the whole time – I tried it during my next workout and wowee, what a difference it made!

If you’re just starting out and you’re on Instagram, I would highly recommend checking out that hash tag. Seeing other people do it is so helpful, especially when you’re first starting out. I’ve taken to videoing my form and posting them on Instagram if you’re interested in checking them out – I find videoing my own form to be really helpful, as it means I can see exactly how low (or not low hehe) that I get for my exercises.

I’ve started BBG 2.0 as of today, and can’t wait to get stuck into these new exercises! There’s an emphasis on weights in this guide, which I’m really looking forward to!

This is my progress from Week 1 to Week 24.

Week 1 vs Week 24 Progress

Week 1 vs Week 24 Progress

It might not seem all that different to some people, but to me there’s changes that go deeper than just physical changes. I’ve mentioned in all of my other posts, but I truly mean every word I say – the changes and progress from BBG go faaaar beyond physical; the mental changes that have happened to me over the last 24 weeks are just amazing, and I will forever be happy that I started BBG.

You can check out my other posts about BBG by clicking the link in the side bar >>>>>>>>>.

 Erin1

Kayla Itsines // BBG Round 2, Weeks 1-8

A number of weeks ago I mentioned I would be restarting Kayla Itsines’ BBG 1.0 program, after completing it for the first time just before we left on our trip to Japan. I decided I wouldn’t post as much as I did during my first round, as I wasn’t sure much would change, but I thought I’d do a recap of the first 8 weeks for anyone who is interested – I’ve currently completed 20 weeks of BBG in total.

Let me start by saying, I can no longer imagine NOT doing BBG. I love the routine it provides me, and I really look forward to the workouts each day. During my first round, I began the weeks by completing my workouts in the afternoon, and in the middle of the round I started doing them in the mornings instead, as this meant I wasn’t prone to skipping, and the weather was getting warmer in the afternoons.

Fast forward 20 weeks, and I’m pleased to say 99% of my BBG workouts are done in the morning now! My body clock is so used to the early mornings, it just naturally wakes up at 4:50a and is ready to go – I never thought I would see that day haha! Working out in the mornings for me means I beat the heat (it’s been 31 degrees at 8a before!!), so I’m less prone to skipping a workout due to it being too hot, and it really kicks start my body. A couple of days ago I had a restless night sleep and thought I’d ‘reward’ myself with a lie in and just do my workout in the afternoon – big mistake! I was like a walking zombie the whole day and I solemnly believe it was because I missed my workout that morning.

For anyone who is thinking of redoing BBG 1.0, I would highly recommend it. My experience so far has been great – the exercises are still challenging, they still get my heart pumping and my body sweating (so. much. sweat!!), and I find I’m able to get through a couple of extra reps or rounds each circuit. This round my focus has really been on my form, particularly my abs, as I want to make sure I engage my core throughout all ab exercises to make sure they really get a workout. It’s been awesome so far; I can really feel my abs working and burning, which I didn’t often feel during my first round. I think this down to all areas of my body being a lot stronger 20 weeks later. I’m really glad I’ve repeated BBG 1.0 before moving to 2.0, as I think it’s given me the opportunity to focus on my form, rather than speed, which I think will be crucial for 2.0.

My progress during these 20 weeks has been more than physical. I can’t stress this enough, but BBG is as much (if not more!) about the mental changes that take place. I love exercise, and I love eating well and feeding my body with good stuff to make it go. I have embraced balance and no longer see something that be considered ‘naughty’ as a ‘treat’ – it’s just all in balance. I no longer judge other women, or secretly put them down, or say nice things to their face but think nasty things behind their backs. I’m ashamed to say this was a common occurrence 20 weeks ago. I would say nice things to other women, but secretly judge or be jealous of them – 20 weeks later, I can honestly say everything that I say to others is with positivity only, there’s no more veiled jealousy or judgement. I believe people work dam hard for where they are, and that everyone must start somewhere, so who the hell are we to judge?

I’m looking forward to these last 4 weeks of BBG, as I know it steps up a lot and focuses on individual areas, rather than combined areas. The last week 4 were gruelling for me during the last round, so I’m excited to see just how much I have progressed!

These photos are 4 weeks late, as I haven’t taken any new ones yet, but I can definitely see the physical progress which just further ignites the fire in my belly to live a healthy, balanced lifestyle. No more bingeing out on crap, and then feeling sorry for myself after – balance is key!!