Protein powder, the advantages and who should use it and when.

Protein powder, the advantages and who should use it and when.

    These days more and more people go to the gym, everyone is after better health and a better body. This may be a fashion it may be in response to the rise of pseudo celebrities or may be that people are taking their long term health more seriously. Whatever the reason you will have heard of protein powder and protein shakes. There are all sorts of supplements available and they are getting more and more popular as a supplement across a wide spectrum of people.

    You can get protein powder from a multitude of sports shops, health food shops and on various supplement stores online. You can get powders, liquids and tablets. But what are they? What are they used for? And who do they benefit?

    Well we can answer those questions one at a time.

    What Are Protein Powders?

    Well in a nutshell protein powder is an easy way to get protein into your body. When you are training regularly protein is important to help build and maintain muscle. The most popular types of protein powder you can get are Whey and protein blends often incorporating Soy Isolate, Calcium Caseinate (casein), Whey Hydrolosate, Milk Protein isolate and now Beef Protein Isolate or Hydrolosate too.

    Whey is by far the most popular of all protein powder, it mixes easy in water so it is easy to shake and take, it is a complete protein so includes the 9 amino acids a human needs in their diet and its widely available and can be cost effective.

    When you look around at all the protein powders available you will see a huge range both in product and price. Some will have specific uses or types of athlete and if you are one of these types then you should go for the specific one that suits your circumstances. However the vast majority of users are just general keep fitters and they have no need for products with specific benefits.

    So when do you need to take protein powder?

    Well you can use them any time when you are looking to build and maintain muscle, but a balanced diet with lots of meat and fish is also very important but for convenience, vegetarians or those who lack much appetite then they are definitely a good way to go.

    If you have competitions coming up and are increasing your levels of exercise, if you are growing still (thinking teens here mainly), if you are increasing your normal program or starting a new regime or maybe if you are on the way to recovery from an injury then these would all be situations where you could benefit from extra protein.

    If you are going vegetarian or vegan especially then it is more difficult to get the required protein from your diet so a protein powder supplement may be a great idea to bolster your protein input.

    Warning

    So let’s look at what your body needs;

    As an average athlete who just exercises recreationally you needs at least 0.5 grams per pound of body weight. If you are competitive that goes up to circa 1.0 grams, the same as you need as a teenager and still growing. If you’re goals are purely building muscle then 1.5 grams per pound of body weight is our recommendation.

    So the trick is to calculate your average weekly intake and then work out what you need and if there is a shortfall then protein powder might be for you. You can usually tell as you are tired and you feel week when lifting weights or carrying out other forms of exercise.

    We would recommend taking a protein supplement before or straight after exercise due to you breaking down muscle tissue during intense exercise, this is what lifting does to your muscles, breaks the tissues (hence the pain in the following days!), only for the body to repair these tissues making them thicker – this is where the size comes from, and what is needed for making these fibres thicker? Amino Acids which come from where? Protein!

    Extreme Whey is a high quality protein powder.

    There are many different kinds of protein powder, this is Extreme Whey by Extreme Nutrition.

Training Progress from IFBB Pro Hunni Glanville

Hello everyone, I wanted to give you all a training progress update as to what’s been happening since my last showing at the IFBB Toronto Pro 2014 where I placed 13th.

I have continued to train hard and keep to a decent off season body weight as I want to try and slip into the 212 class this year. After Toronto I had two weeks off training then went straight back to 3 cardio sessions per week and prioritising my week areas which were

  • Upper leg development
  • More detail in the midsection with the added benefit of controlling it between poses as this was picked up during one of my guest spots.
  • More calf development

With these goals in mind I remained focused on trying to achieve my goal of qualifying for the Mr. Olympia 2015.

Since the start of my diet in December 2014 I have taken regular training progress pictures every four weeks to see the changes as I go along and makes me stay focus on targeting the week points. I am also back to keeping a training progress diary this year like I did when living in Scotland.

With how has the training progress has gone so far, I feel I am I on target.

Having increased my calories this time round and using food as a major tool to build muscle and stay fuller as opposed to looking flat at my current body weight. I feel I have a very different look this year and am very confident going into this this years pro shows.

Training has gone really well and my split looks like this

Monday am fasted cardio 45 minutes – PM Upper leg 40 minutes cardio

Tuesday am fasted cardio 45 minutes – PM Shoulders and calves 30 minutes HIIT

Wednesday am fasted cardio 60 minutes – PM core 45 minutes cardio

Thursday am 30 minutes HIIT – PM back and triceps 30 HIIT

Friday am 45 minutes fasted cardio – PM Hamstring n calves 40 minutes cardio

Saturday am 45 minutes fasted cardio – PM chest n biceps 40 minutes cardio

Sunday am 60 minutes fasted cardio

My current body weight is 16st 12lb with two weeks to go for a photo shoot that I booked last year.

HunniG-1545

Following this shoot I will be at Body Power with Extreme Nutrition then it will be contest time. This is why I have started dieting this far out as well to be able to be used by Extreme for guest appearances ans seminars.

Keep following me to see my nutrition plan for this year and my Training Progress through my contest prep I am doing for this year.

IFBB Pro Hunni Glanville.

Where has Lynsey Beattie been for the past nine months?

After placing 5th at the Bodypower Pro Bodybuilding Contest looking the best I ever have with more muscle mass, better shape and condition, I was on a roll to get back to the gym and look at doing my next comp.  But anyone who knows Lynsey Beattie will know I don’t have the best luck in world, and literally after coming off stage fell pregnant within weeks – not sure how really as I had no bloody estrogen in my body, but like I said my luck.  

Pregnancy was not on my mind at all with having 3 kids already I really didn’t want to put myself through another one, plus I was in the process of moving from Liverpool to Northamptonshire to start my new life with Aarron Lambert. Now that was a big step in its self moving in with Aarron, to then have a baby Lambo is maybe a bit much! Anyway we decided that we should take the step and the growing belly began.

My plans were simple really eat well, train all the way up and enjoy the journey,  hmmmm enjoy the journey, well it was a journey that was for sure.  Before I knew I was pregnant I fell down the stairs and ripped my glute muscle and I was mm from a broken back I also had to have 2 x-rays, which you shouldn’t have if your pregnant but obviously I didn’t no I was. I was also booked in for my routine smear test which again is something else you shouldn’t have done if your pregnant.  So the first couple of months were a bit risky, then I moved to the sickness part of the pregnancy, although I wasn’t sick I had the nauseous feeling and smells made me queasy but I prefer that to having my head down the loo.  I was feeling fine and dandy and was still training pretty hard, I no my limits and adjusted my training accordingly to suit my condition.

Stresses of moving to a new house, in a new county, moving the kids to a new house and school, and being pregnant and hormonal was bad enough then living with Aarron was a whole new stress in itself.  But that’s a new blog altogether!

I trained till about 5 months then I started to feel not so secure lifting weights and a condition I had with the twins came back with this one, where the hormones in the body produce a hormone called relaxing and this causes the ligaments to loosen up and sometimes they relax too much and with me my pelvis split which was quite debilitating, as time goes on this progressively gets worse to the point were u are unable to walk properly get up and down stairs, in and out of cars, just everyday things are difficult.

IFBB Pro Lynsey Beattie

Lynsey Beattie Extreme Reload

Lynsey posing with 2 pistols for an Extreme Reload advert

3 weeks to the BDFPA British finals…..Jo Stanger (NABBA Miss Britain/Power Lifter)

So, on Sunday it was 3 weeks until I compete in the BDFPA British finals and today was my last heavy set of deadlifts.

I have been thinking about this training session all week, thinking I was going to struggle with the weight I was expected to lift, I need to learn to psych myself up not

    out

as I do sometimes.

Anyway today’s dead lifts were;

1 x 2 @ 120kg

1 × 1 @ 130kg,

1 × 1 @ 145kg,

1 × 1 @ 152.5kg

1 × 5 @ 130kg

I’m wanting to lift 160kg at the finals, I think this is achievable I just need to remember to use my legs more and to keep my chest up during my lifts.

Proper form is really important with this movement, there is too much that can potentially go wrong with this one to try and be gung ho so training with strict for is important as that is what you should automatically fall into during the competition.

My diet is clean, it always is, I don’t believe in getting fat to have to try and diet any time I want to wear a nice dress or have something to go to like a wedding. I have kept my cardio going all the way through my strength training for the British Finals, I believe it helps me recover better and also keeps me fit too which may not be important to some but it is to me.

I will taking my usual Extreme Nutrition, Pro-6, Build & Recover, Krevolution-X, BCA-311 and Glutamine Complex.

I will be training at my regular House of Pain, Pro Strength in Swindon and with my regular training partner Worlds Strongest Man Finalist Laurence Shahlaei. Pro Strength is the Mecca for strength athletes of all disciplines, power lifting, body building and strongman, with many very good strength athletes and champion body builders calling Pro Strength home.

Jo Stanger

Last heavy squat session – Jo Stanger (NABBA Miss Britain/BDFPA Champion)

OK so I’ve just finished my last heavy squat session before the BDFPA British finals a week on Saturday I’m feeling strong and positive. I’m quite surprised in many ways because I am also focusing on getting lean too (for FIBO), as will be working on the booth with Extreme Nutrition for 4 days AND staying strong is looking more achievable than I thought it may be!

Here’s how it went:
Warm up & mobility stretches then….

1 Set x 10 with just the Olympic bar to warm up and get into the groove of the movement
1 Set x 8 @ 40kg
1 Set x 4 @ 60kg
1 Set x 2 @ 80kg
1 Set x 2 @ 100kg
1 Set x 1 @ 102.5kg
Then it should have been 1 x 1 @ 105kg heavy squat, but instead I did 2 reps the first one felt easy so why not go for a second?

I followed this by some assistance / speed work to drill in the explosive movements needed for the big day.  My assistance work included leg press,  deadlifts, pull throughs, leg extensions followed by leg curl, oh and not to forget a weighted plank too for core strength and ancillary muscles which will help with stability and balance.

IMG_8268

I am still doing cardio, not really a done thing on the run in to a power lifting contest, but as I said I need to be in shape to allow to look good in a crop top and booty shorts for FIBO. So right now I’m stronger than I’ve ever been and my fitness has not suffered – if anything it is better than it has been for a while so I am feeling confident and happy with the way my preparation has gone so far.

And, I am pleased the way I am looking considering I’m dieting but still eating enough to give me enough energy to push myself in the gym.

It just goes to show you can do anything with the proper planning.

Jo Stanger.
NABBA Miss Britain
BDFPA British Champion

Supplements Used by me and Why I Use Them

Supplements used by me and why I use them is not an information sheet or an analysis of each product or supplement – there are loads more advantages to using them than I have listed here. This is a very personal blog and I am focusing on the reasons I use them myself. You may use them for different reasons, or not use them for different reasons!

I am quite unique as I have Inflammatory Bowel Disease and a suppressed immune system. At the moment I cannot exercise much due to complications with my health, but the regime below barely changes at all when I am training.

  1. Extreme Nutrition Pure L-Glutamine

I have listed this first, because I consider this to be my number one all round essential supplement. L-Glutamine is an amino acid that has been proven to reduce IBD symptoms (amongst other things). It aids in the repair of damaged cells within your intestine, and is a precursor for synthesis of certain antioxidants which appear to play a role in protecting intestinal cells from inflammation. I take it by adding a teaspoon and a half of powder to protein shakes or fresh vegetable or fruit juices, 3 times a day. It really doesn’t taste of anything in a protein shake.

The other reason I take glutamine is because over 65% of human muscle tissue is made up of glutamine. It seems absurd to me NOT to take it! It’s many advantages for bodybuilders and those who train to build muscle, or train in endurance and take part in long bouts of training can be seen under the product description at www.extremenutrition.co.uk.

During recent months when the conditions within my body have been essentially catabolic, especially during the time I was taking corticosteroids, I continued to take L-Glutamine and while I see some muscle loss from illness, I have seen less than expected.

L-Glutamine could be the most important amino acid to humans.

L-Glutamine makes up 65% of skeletal muscle and also forms your stomach lining.

  1. Extreme Nutrition Pro-6

I have used this protein powder now since 2011 when I first started training. It is really essential for me and my diet, especially at the moment, as it allows me to consume protein in an easy to digest form when I’m not feeling too well. I absolutely love the fact that Pro 6 leaves you feeling full up all day; making it great for dieting. I would not have been able to achieve what I did before without it! I have lost 15lbs recently (healthily) and have used Pro 6 throughout. It also helps to keep me on track during times of cravings as it tastes so good! It can be drank as a shake with water, and also tastes great with almond milk. I also freeze mine into ice moulds, or blend it in a jug blender with loads of ice- it tastes amazing! It also means things never get boring. I also find this blend excellent for cooking with due to it’s flavour and it isn’t full of rubbish and thickeners. This was the first protein powder I had tried in many years that did not make me feel ill. I am a massive fan of it and I cannot recommend it enough. I also use Pro 6 before I go to bed. It is easy on my stomach, it settles straight away and never causes bloating or gas. You can read the nutritional information and ingredients on the website which only add to why I love it so much!

Extreme Nutrition Pro-6

Extreme Pro-6 is a blend of 6 different protein sources which make a high protein shake,

  1. Extreme Nutrition Whey

This is my essential morning supplement, as it is a quick release protein. The Extreme Nutrition Whey is a blend of 3 different whey protein sources which gives it a superior amino acid profile. As outlined above, this product also tastes great and I love it for cooking with. It is a little more expansive when cooking, so I only use it in certain recipes. I find that Extreme Whey is really easy to digest, and at the moment I sometime use whey throughout the day too if I need to boost up my calories.

Extreme Nutrition Extreme Whey

The Best tasting and easiest mixing shake available.

  1. Extreme BCA-311 (BCAA’s)

I take Extreme Aminos all year round. I found them great during dieting to prevent muscle loss, and find that they are essential for me when I am suffering a relapse too. Extreme BCA-311 also helps assist in protein synthesis, and I am doing my best to help my body in any way I can! Extreme BCA-311 taken in free form tablet like the ones I take are rapidly absorbed into the bloodstream and do not stress the digestive system. Branch Chain Amino Acids are the building blocks of protein, so it makes total sense to me to improve the amino acid profile of my food by taking supplements.

    Extreme BCA-311 are an excellent source of branched chain amino acids

    Branched chain amino acids are an anti catabolic amino acid.

  1. Build and Recover

I absolutely love my post workout shake! Extreme Build & Recover makes training worthwhile, and saves messing about with working out how many sugars and how much protein I need in separate foods or drinks. I also use this product because it doesn’t just contain protein and carbohydrates- it contains KR-Evolution which I use anyway, and HMB which promotes muscle growth. Not only that but HMB is actually used to treat some medical conditions, to treat weakness, and aid in weight loss. I use this product post workout, after weight training.

    Extreme Build & Recover

    Extreme Build & Recover is the perfect post excercise recovery drink.

  1. Extreme CLA

This cheap and cheerful supplement is brilliant. Anyone who follows me on Facebook or twitter will note that I struggled a couple of months back with weight gain due to being unwell… but I am sure that taking CLA has prevented fat gain. It is shown to help regulate blood sugar levels which is another reason why I use it.

    Extreme CLA is great for weight management

    Conjugated Linoleic Acid has been proven to aid weight loss.

  1. Krevolution-X

I spent the majority of my adult life to date being a hater of creatine. This is due to a massive lack of understanding, and a bad experience. I use Krevolution-X because kre-alkalyn is a PH neutral creatine, and I have found that it has NO side effects! No bloating, no cramps, and there is no need for cycling or loading. I also take this all year round when I am training.

    The benefits of creatine without the downside.

    Extreme Krevolution-X is the side effect free creatine.

  1. Vitamin C

Due to my medication my immune system is quite frankly on the floor. I am susceptible to all sorts of illnesses and infections, so I take a Vitamin C supplement. I take quite a high dose and take it all year round. Vitamin C is antioxidant, which I also consider of paramount importance in my diet. A lot of clients I work with are deficient in Vitamin C or suffer the symptoms of Vitamin C deficiency and find massive improvements when they add it into their supplement regime.

  1. Omega 3’s

I consider this another one of my most essential supplements along with glutamine. Most people take in more omega 6’s than omega 3’s: which can be pro inflammatory in an incorrect balance. I take them to reduce inflammation, to reduce joint pain and arthritis symptoms, to reduce depression symptoms and to help reduce cortisol levels in my body.

  1. Calcium with Vitamin D

I don’t take much dairy in my diet, because I am simply intolerant of it. I eat goats cheese, and make my own yoghurt which I find I also tolerate. However, I still take extra calcium to assist with my hormonal balance and prevent fat storage, amongst other reasons.

  1. B Vitamin Complex

I am often deficient in Vitamin B and sometimes I have to have injections at the doctors for it. Day to day, I take a B Complex tablet. Each B Vitamin has its own benefit: including easing stress, depression, increasing energy levels, and assisting protein metabolism. These are all ticking the boxes that are essential for my personal goals!

There are another couple of other supplements used by me that won’t really be relevant to most people, such as slippery elm and green capsules (for micronutrients). I have outlined the bulk of what I take above however, and if anyone wants to get in touch then feel free.

~Elle Mac~

The Supplements I use author

Author of “The Supplements I use”

Congratulations to Team Extreme!

So, what did you all get up to at the weekend?

I went to meet and greet the beautiful Team Extreme ladies, Jo Fairbairn, Joanne Stanger and Rachael Lyons after they completed a 26.2 mile trek to raise funds for a great cause, the Macmillan Nurses.

For anyone who doesn’t know what McMillan Nurses do, they look after Cancer sufferers and their families by offering support, care, help, advice and generally anything they can do to help the victim and their family in any way they can, many people forget it’s not just the person who has cancer that needs help. Their families and friends suffer massively too.

They trekked from Stonehenge to Avebury. I was planning to take part but due to recent health complications I had to settle for shouting at them to run the last few metres along with Extreme Nutrition’s Liam Armstrong!

I did the trek last year (it rained then too!) and let me tell you, it is not for the faint hearted. You are not running on a lovely clean, flat road: think uphill stints through grass and mud, rambling paths and even a few cows and rabbits along the way too – it is quite an adventure!

Team Extreme completed the trek in just over 8 hours, which was a really good time and raised money for an excellent cause. Team Extreme, McMillan Nurses and those who they help would like to thank you and to everyone else who made a contribution to anyone taking part in the walk and also to and to Discover Adventure who made the event possible.

The girls ran the last part of the trek – I captured it on video so watch out, it might be appearing very soon! Congratulations ladies, you did yourselves and the cause you were raising money for proud. A wonderful achievement and congratulations to everyone else who took part.

~Elle Mac~

Who you aspire to be.

We all have people that we admire or who you aspire to be like, but do you ever take a step back to appreciate what YOU can achieve?

Would you rather be a sheep and follow the crowd, or would you rather lead by your own example? Originality is a beautiful thing, so dare to be different!

Many of the people who the masses who you aspire to be are admirable because they are different! They are quirky, cool and adventurous, Kai Greene, Dana Linn Bailey and even Lady Gaga spring to mind! They are all unique, daring and appealing because they appear to live their lives in a way that they truly desire.

Plus, many inspirational people suffered because of their drive. MMA sensation Rhonda Rousey, the world champion female cage fighter was homeless for a long time and lived in her car so she could follow her dreams.

Ronda Rousey - who do you aspire to be?

UFC women’s bantamweight champion Ronda Rousey battles Liz Carmouche during their UFC 157 match at the Honda Center in Anaheim, CA Saturday, February 23, 2013. Rousey beat Carmouche via first round submission. (Hans Gutknecht/Staff Photographer)

Another example of who you aspire to be for many, is Kai Greene. Kai was a natural world champion and professional bodybuilder but could not make ends meet through his earnings as natural pro so turned to non tested bodybuilding. After becoming an IFBB professional he had to indulge in performance enhancing drugs so he could attain a physique that would allow him to earn enough to follow his career choice.

IFBB Pro Bodybuilder Kai Greene

Who do you aspire to be? Kai Greene on stage

By not following the pack you do run the risk of ridicule, most likely because people wont understand your desire to be different or to do things differently from others. This is due to most people being conditioned subconsciously from birth to conform and fit in to what we are taught to be acceptable behavior. From the minute we start school we are programmed to follow a certain set of rules and guidelines which have us mostly all thinking, acting and even dressing in a similar fashion.

This has always been an issue for women who train with weights, weight lift, box or compete in martial arts. From childhood we have been conditioned to see this as the realm of men where women, being the gentler sex, should not venture in case they get hurt! Fortunately women of today don’t really care about this, many see it as more reason to partake and break these gender related stereotyping.

As society and attitudes change more women are being accepted in typically “male” sports and pastimes with some being held up as examples before their male counterparts, Ronda Rousey, The Bella Twins in WWE, Venus and Serena Williams in tennis. We now see some women being the face of sports nutrition companies where in years gone by it was always a male bodybuilder.

You can make a choice today to quit comparing yourself to others, to quit behaving like somebody else, or to quit “doing”. We are human “beings”- just BE YOURSELF!

~Elle Mac~

Gym Etiquette

    Gym Etiquette – don’t be “that” person!

This post is for a bit of a giggle – I am sure that the majority of you will be able to relate to at least one of the points on this list when it comes to gym etiquette.

Feel free to share it with your friends- especially if they’re the ones doing these things and you want to give them a subtle hint!

  1. Rerack your weights. One of the things I hate the most is seeing guys go into the gym, loading up the leg press (as an example) with 400kg+, then just walking off. It’s a workout in itself to take off some of those weights! Another annoyance is when people leave their dumbbells or 20kg plates on the floor… people will fall over them, stub their toes, and you’re getting in the way. PUT THEM BACK!
  2. Wipe the machines down if you’re sweating. It might not be “cool” to you to carry a towel, but most gyms have paper towels to accommodate you- wipe your sweat off of the machine and keep it to yourself!
  3. Control your children in the changing rooms. I’m sorry if you are a mother and you find this offensive- but I do not appreciate “little Timmy” climbing all over my clothes and knocking my things on the floor while you’re happily blow drying your hair. Please… if you insist on bringing your children to the gym with you, consider the people around you!
  4. Keep your eyes to yourself. Staring at a another gym member while they work out is NOT a good, if you are “admiring” a member of the opposite sex, quite frankly they will just think you are a creepy pervert. Focus on yourself, and stop staring, or why not try and start a conversation?
  5. Leave your mobile phone behind! If you sit on the machine you are using between sets and are using the phone try to remember, there are people trying to train…who don’t want to listen to your conversation! You should be training hard enough that you can’t chat anyway and if you feel like chatting in the gym it shows you aren’t that serious 😉
  6. Don’t leave ridiculously long rest periods, or hog equipment. I understand that you rest between sets… but I have seen people sit there for 7-8 minutes (sometimes longer), while texting, looking around and seemingly oblivious to the fact that people are waiting to use the equipment.
  7. Wear appropriate clothing. I say no more…
  8. Don’t drop your weights. This is my personal hate… when you are chest pressing and you decide to throw your dumbbells across the floor and you look like you’ve just torn a rotator cuff as a result, you look like an idiot… not like a cool guy/girl who can lift heavy weights. I have had a 20kg dumbbell come dangerously close to my foot and the guy got a serious telling off in front of his friends!
  9. If you are sick, stay at home. Please keep your cold, flu and other ailments to yourself. Coughing sneezing and spluttering all over other people and equipment is no way to make friends!
  10. Wash yourself. There is nothing worse than that horrendous gut wrenching whiff of BO… just get clean and stay clean! There is no excuse!
  11. Don’t talk about other people who are training, mind your own business unless you are going to say something kind and remember not everyone wants advice, no matter how good it is.

~Elle Mac~

Gym Ettiquette - article author

Author of “Gym Ettiquette – don’t be “that” person”

Body Image

Body image is defined as “an individual’s concept of his own body”. It is highlighted on a daily basis in the media, and the increase in cosmetic surgery referrals, unhealthy eating and the use of drugs to lose weight or become more muscular is ever on the rise.

So where did this begin?

The nephew of Sigmund Freud, Edward Bernays, combined ideas regarding crowd psychology and the psychoanalytical ideas of his uncle to present the world with the PR techniques we see today, using propaganda to literally change the opinion of crowds of people regarding the difference between necessity and desire.

Crowds of people flooded to buy clothes for fashion rather than for practicality, and one of his most famous campaigns was helping the cigarette industry overcome the taboo subject of women smoking in public- he highlighted them as “torches of freedom”, encouraging women to embrace their independence and equality to males. Perhaps more relevant was his campaign which persuaded people that bacon and eggs was the “All American Breakfast”. Why am I telling you this? I will explain.

Everything you do today and the decisions that you make are the result of a thought or mental program that you are running in your mind. This can be a difficult concept to grasp – is it really possible to program your subconscious? Well, from my own experience, YES, it is. Just to bring it back to myself for a moment.

When I was in secondary school, our sports activities were excellent. We had great facilities, and a lot of variety between strength training, indoor and outdoor activity. All my life, I had been congratulated tremendously on my academic ability. I believed it with ALL of my mind, and I was a very high achiever even with very little effort.

That was the program I was running from, because I was using my entire mind (conscious- 5%, and sub-conscious- 95%). I had a distinct belief that I had to be top of the class and the very best at everything. When it came to sports, I wasn’t the fastest runner – and so I stopped, just like that, I gave up. I believed that if I wasn’t my image of “perfect”, then why should I bother? I focused on what I was good at and let the rest fall away into a negative thought program that I couldn’t do it.

My body image became deep rooted and LIMITED – I was an academic, I was not a sports person. I made a decision that I had to look a certain way, be a certain way, and behave a certain way.

And so, I went forward into life, taking on all the other thought programs along the way, absorbing it like a sponge and giving it my full attention. I had no concept of the fact that I was in complete control of my thoughts – I absorbed and absorbed until I was bursting full of negative self body image, distorted beliefs and very low self esteem. My weight varied between 12 stone (+) and 8 stone and I can honestly say I never, ever saw a difference in myself. Although consciously, I could see and feel that my clothes were bigger or smaller, my individual concept of my body was that I had a bad shape, I was running from a negative program which genuinely saw no difference.

So, how did I make a change? I took responsibility. I learned how to use my mind. I am still a work in progress- going through a process of acceptance of ME, of who I am, of my body image, of where I stand in this very moment- only through this acceptance am I embracing the changes I am also making. I know, that if I make a change but I do not truly believe with 100% of my mind that I am there, that my subconscious (95%) will eventually over-rule my conscious decision to be a figure competitor (a decision made using 5% of my mind). If I do not embrace who I am, admire my body type and have self love then I may achieve my goals, but I will not hold them because my sub conscious will eventually kick in.

Looking at myself is the biggest challenge I face – but it is a slow and steady road and not a race, and I know and I truly believe that I am going to achieve my goal, with no doubt. I have days where my conscious takes over and the doubt starts to niggle away at me, the “what if?” and the avoidance of the mirror; but these are the days of growth for me because this is when I feel the fear and sit with it, and then take action steps to face it and overcome it. And with that, my friends, comes a great feeling of contentment and total acceptance.

So in closing, do you know more about your television than you do about your mind? Are your thought patterns a reflection of past experiences? Or are you in control of your life?

You will flick through your thought programs in your head now to come up with an answer. Make a decision and enrol your entire mind into that decision. See yourself there, feel yourself there, hear the sounds, taste the air, use all of your senses to bring that dream to the forefront of your mind and coincidentally to imprint it onto your subconscious. Go to the gym, take control of your diet, purchase those healthy supplements which will help you reach your goal or Body Image.

Whatever you see, make it a reality to your mind, and the rest will follow.

Good Luck to you all, and you are all Beautiful People!

Elle Mac

Joe Cramond posing

Joe Cramond checking his progress in the mirror.

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