Hello 2017

I am back from my mini hiatus and will be resuming my fitness journey here on my blog.

Whilst I was away, I have kept my diet somewhat clean and have continued lifting heavy and keeping up with my cardio sessions. I’ve also kept on eating healthy throughout Christmas and New Years. All that hot weather helped with suppressing my appetite too.

So what have I been up to since the New Year:

  • 3rd January – Had my initial catch up with my comp prep coach. We’ve discussed and decided it is best for me to start my prep with ketogenic diet with plans to transition into cyclical ketogenic diet in the next couple of weeks.
  • Long story short, it means I will be cutting all forms of carbs and sugar out of my diet. I am on a 80% fat and 20% protein diet at the moment. I am also fasting between by last meal and the first meal of the day for 16 hours daily.
  • 10th January – Today is Day 7 of keto diet (started on the 4th Jan – 22% body fat) and I have lost 2.8kg thus far. I believe most of the weight I’ve lost are water weight and my goal is to lose 1% body fat a week.
  • I’ve been reading up heaps about keto diet (something I’ve previously researched about a year ago) and surprisingly find that a diet without carbs and sugar ain’t all that bad. Due to the high fat content I’m consuming, I find that my skin is slightly oilier and my cuticle are well moisturised and my nails are growing quicker. Hopefully my hair would grow out quicker too.
  • I got into ketosis within 24 hours of starting of the diet (usually takes 3 days) and surprisingly managed to stay in ketosis mode for the past 7 days. I’ve been tracking my ketosis readings via keto-stix that can be easily found in pharmacies.
  • Along with being in ketosis; I experience keto flu about day 3 into keto diet, it lasted about 2-3 days and I now have energy to last the day without feeling sleepy/tired/lethargic.
  • I do however noticed that I have been weaker at the gym. I have only been able to lift 80% of my usual weight. Right now as my body is transitioning into the new diet and burning fat as a source of energy instead of the usual glucose, my routine is focusing on less rest in between sets and focusing in moderate weight + higher rep sets.
  • With the new diet, I’m also currently laying off most of my usual supplement except for the super greens and creatine only.
  • I’ve got my first INBA posing class booked in next week and I can’t wait to get amongst it.
  • My comp heels are ready and itching for some training.

All in all, I am hopeful with what I am capable of bringing on stage and can’t wait for May 2017, it’ll be a life changing month for me.

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Dermalogica Facial & My current fav products

Recently I had an amazing personalised skin treatment at Dermalogica counter David Jones Bourke St, Melbourne. Basically, if you head to the store to purchase a gift, stock up on your Dermalogica supplies and spend above a certain amount, you’ll be able to qualify for a FREE facial.

Of which, you’ll get access to professional strength Dermalogica skincare products and if you were lucky like me, you’ll get the magic hands of Jo who managed to put me into a deep sleep despite us being in the middle of a buzzing shopping centre.

dermalogica-age-reversal-eye-complex-15ml

While you are there, do check out Dermalogica Age Reversal Eye Complex (RRP AUD$94.50, 15ml) from their Age Smart range. It’s my current go-to eye cream and I am definitely pro eye cream as I do believe in giving that little bit of extra care for the eye area.

This one has retinol microspheres that reduces visible dark circles, improves hydration and smoothes away signs of ageing. Especially good when you are looking to prevent first sign of ageing.

ind_phyto-replenish-oil-bottle

Additionally, there’s also a newly launched face oil – Dermalogica Phyto Replenish Oil (RRP AUD$120, 30ml). This facial oil is feather light and absorbs into the skin rapidly. It forms a layer of protective shield all over face and neck area to help restore , smooth and lock in hydration. Perfect for daily use on normal to dry skin.

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Soak Society Rose Wellness Soak

When it comes to bath, I used to love them bubbly. The more the better but overtime I do find them quite drying for the skin as sometimes hair too. These days, I love mine hot and full of minerals/oils. It is no secret most of my favourite bath products are from Japan.

Soak Society is made in Australia and their wellness soak combines all natural ingredients like real rose petals, rose oils, pink kaolin clay, himalayan pink salts to soften, enrich, tone and smooth skin and promote detoxification.

soak-society

I had one of these sachet thingy to trial. So I tipped the entire bag into my bath and to be honest it wasn’t as luxurious as I’d imagine it to be (barely any rose petals), the content of the soak didn’t dissolve very well in my hot water bath and after soaking, it left a residue ring all around my bath tub which I then had to scrub hard for it to come off.

It did however smell good and left my skin feeling smooth and soft to touch after.

If you are interested, it is available to purchase online here 

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Chapter 12 – Take a Break

Date: 4th December 2016
Weight: 53.2kg
Weeks out: 23 weeks out
Comp date: 7th May 2017, Sunday (INBA)

I took an entire week of gym last week. Simply because I wasn’t 100% for gym and also had heaps of lunches/dinner and Christmas parties to attend to. Having said that, I felt like it was my last hurrah before getting my shit together.

I still tried to eat relatively clean when I could and the also kept alcohol intake to a minimum when possible.

ponikuta fitness

Still felt relatively lean though. (Mom will probably freak out to see this pic on the internet)

Physique update:

comp prep

Front – Yikes, this was taken post Xmas party drinks the night before. LOL at my fringe.

female comp prep

Back – Same old!

bikini comp prep

Side – Think I really need to up the cardio sesh.

Changes this week:

  • Catching up with heaps of rest and sleep.
  • Eat, drink and be merry – sometimes we just got to live a little.
  • I feel full recharged for the shredding season lies ahead.

 

Read all about my weekly progress here:

First 10 weeks: 

Week 1, Week  2, Week 3, Week 4, Week 5, Week 6, Week 7, Week 8Week 9, Week 10

Week 11 

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Chapter 11 – Amazed at yourself

Date: 27th November 2016
Weight: 53.2kg – Does it even matter? 🙂
Weeks out: 24 weeks out
Comp date: 7th May 2017, Sunday @ INBA VIC

ponikuta progress

I have to admit, whilst my training has been consistent at 4-5 sessions a week and cardio has been incorporated in most ofmy  sessions; my diet on the other hand hasn’t. I’ve been struggling in getting the right macros and keeping within my macros. I really need to clean up my diet and keep food intake as clean as I possibly can moving forward. This will be my focus for the next week weeks.

ponikuta fitness

Last week’s exercise routine:

  • Legs, glutes, cardio
  • Abs, cardio
  • Shoulders, tris, cardio
  • Cardio – long walk (40 mins)
  • Back, bis

I’m trying to incorporate as much cardio into my routine as possible. Including walks after dinner and days I don’t make it to the gym so I can keep things moving along and keep the heart rate going.

Physique update:

ponikuta weightlifting tips

Front – Feeling leaner than before even though I’m am due for the time of the month in about 3-4 days. Usually I’d feel bloated and carries a stupid amount of water retention with me.

ponikuta fit girl

Back – My arms are slowly filling out and also hit my PR of barbell curls 30kg this week.

ponikuta bodybuilding

Side – Slowly but surely have seen a more defined shoulders. Hopefully this will continue to grow and shape!

Changes this week:

  • This week I’m feeling weaker than usual with a shorter amount of stamina. As a result, lifting has been focused on higher rep and lower intensity. I’ve also switched up my rest time to a minimum so that I can push for the pump.
  • Been cutting out strawberries from my morning smoothie but still taking some other form of fruits (banana, blueberries, apples). So far so good, I feel less bloated already.new nike focus
  • Got myself a new pair of Nike. This is their latest Nike Focus / Free from their rose gold collection. You can’t really see it in this pic but there are specks of rose gold all over it. It’s love and is designed to be a training shoe too!
  • My cheat meal this past week has mostly consist of either dairy products that I should be taking (ice cream, matcha latte, yogurt, etc) and I should really cut down my recent venture into soft drinks (coke zero! yikes no more!).

 

Read all about my weekly progress here:

First 10 weeks: 

Week 1, Week  2, Week 3, Week 4, Week 5, Week 6, Week 7, Week 8Week 9, Week 10

 

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Bioderma Sensibio Range

Have sensitive skin? Read on!

Many of us don’t realise we have sensitive skin, sometimes it can be reactive (to products, treatments, lifestyle, diet) and sometimes it can just eventuate from build up of poor skincare/lifestyle routine. For those of you who are unaware of Bioderma, here’s 3 things for you to get up to speed.

  1. Made in France
  2. Famous for their cleansing water
  3. Great, afforable skincare that works!

Bioderma Sensibio range

For those with sensitive skin, rejoice! Bioderma has a range dedicated for the sensitive skin folks with active ingredients to prevent skin sensitivity, skin redness and strengthens skin overtime.

  • Sensibio Cleansing Milk (RRP AUD$32.99)
    • This doubles as a non rinse gentle makeup remover and cleanser. The emulsion milk formula is good for full face including eye, lips and face area. Helps with skin sensitivity and strengthen skin overtime to become more resilient and less reactive.
  • Sensibio Toning Lotion (RRP AUD$32.99) 
    • Toning Lotion doubles as a double cleanse and to prep skin before moisturiser steap to soothe, decongest and keep skin feeling supple and fresh. Additionally, you can keep this in the fridge during warmer months for a refreshing treat to skin/soothing eye mask.
  • Sensibio AR BB Cream (RRP AUD$43.99)
    • Unfotunately for me, the “light” version of this cream was too dark for my skintone. This anti-redness BB cream has broad spectrum skin protection of SPF30+ and delivers a radiant, velvety finish.

There are other products within the Sensibio range so be sure to check them out when you’re in a pharmacy next as I am sure you’ll love it like I do!

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Chapter 10 – What is your destiny?

Date: 20th November 2016
Weight: 53.4kg
Weeks out: 25 weeks out
Comp date: 7th May 2017, Sunday @ INBA VIC

Let’s start this week’s chapter with a quote I’ve came across recently. It is so simple yet the flow from beliefs to destiny is so true. If you want change,  you need to grasp onto a firm belief that it WILL change, no matter what obstacles come your way.

“Your beliefs become your thoughts,
Your thoughts become your words,
Your words become your actions,
Your actions become your habits,
Your habits become your values,
Your values become your destiny.”
Mahatma Gandhi

progress shot

Oct 2015 vs Oct 2016 – Progress probably could be better if I stop loving food so much! 🙂 

Last week’s exercise routine:

  • Shoulders, cardio
  • Quads, hamstrings, glutes, cardio
  • Abs, glutes, cardio
  • Back, Bis, tris, cardio

abs workout

Managed to hit all my sessions relatively heavy this week and ended all my session with cardio. Maximising my current luteal phase to work on lower-intensity cardio and moderate to heavy strength work at the gym. I’m also trying my best to avoid high carb food to avoid crash in serotonin, nauseating, fatigue and exhaustion. These are all common signs when one is going through luteal cycle.

Physique update:

ponikuta abs

Front – Tried to pose with my arms differently, to keep track of my biceps growth too.


ponikuta comp prep

Back – Waiting for my back muscles to lean out….

ponikuta progress shot

Side – Shoulders has been leaning out and I can see more of a definition here.

Changes this week:

body composition scan

  • This week I went and got a body composition scan update at my local Evelyn Faye supplement store. The last time I did such a scan was back in March 2016 at Arnold’s classic. So it was interesting to track how I’ve gone for 8 solid months of training in between. Overall, whilst my body fat has increased but so has my lean mass index. Glad to see that my arms, legs gains has been symmetrical too.
  • I picked up quite a few tips from a seasoned bodybuilder earlier this week. He mentioned about how it takes 4 days for any food to show in our abs. So if I had cheated with a meal on Tuesday, it’ll show on my belly come Saturday. All I can say is, I will never have good abs on Wednesdays as my dedicated cheat meal day is Saturday. LOL
  • With the increase of cardio exercises, hot weather days in Melbourne and lack of sleep (pretty much surviving on 5-6 hrs per day all of last week); I have been breaking out more than usual and is also slightly dehydrated. I’ve been getting peely lips and flaky nose. It goes to show, sleep is super important especially once you’ve past the 30 mark, it definitely takes time to bounce back.
  • Today, I saw a 7 months pregnant woman working out hard at the gym. She went at it with the treadmill, TRX, stretches and leg machines! The image of her working out reminded me of how there shouldn’t be ANY EXCUSES to not to make it to the gym and work for my goals.
  • For some glitchy reason, I lost my Spotify account. As a result, I’ve lost all my workout playlist/tunes. At the moment, I am listening to MarLo, Will Sparks and Eminem on repeat and random whilst working out. Insert sad face.
  • My meals hasn’t changed much since I’ve first documented them. Just slowly reducing fruits one variety at a time and having leaner/cleaner protein – chicken breast instead of thigh, white fish instead of salmon, etc. Cheat meal galore below.

cheat meals

Read all about my weekly progress here:

Week 1, Week  2, Week 3, Week 4, Week 5, Week 6, Week 7, Week 8, Week 9

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Real Techniques Ultimate Base Set

real technique brushes

From the famous Youtuber duo Sam & Nic, these limited edition Real Technique brushes are a must have!

I’ve previously used their previous collection of brushes (circa 2013) and I absolutely loved them and still use them til this day.

real technique brush review

This base set includes their 3 essential base brushes. As these days I focus less on eye makeup, base brushes are what I am most keen on. It also comes with a carrier pouch that has a huge mirror.

This pack comes with:

expert face brush review

Expert Face brush – firm and broad brush for buffing cream or liquid foundation. Or even liquid/cream blush!

deluxe sponge review

Miracle Complexion sponge – rounded side blend larger area of face and precision tip covers imperfections and flat edge helps to contour around eyes and nose.

expert concealer brush review

Deluxe Concealer brush – dense, rounded bristles to blend concealing application especially great for around the nose and eyes area.

Mirror To-Go case – Perfect for touch up and for your brushes on the go with you

Overall, I highly recommend the Real Technique makeup brushes as they are good value for money, performs surprisingly well and holds their shape really well too. They all work really well with wet formulas so any foundation/concealers that has a gel, cream, liquid texture can all be used with these base kit to blend well with.

RRP AUD$45 
Available online here 

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