From duck booty to duck head

From duck booty to duck head

Firstly, thank you all for your kind comments and messages on my last post. I think I may have slightly overreacted at the prospect of leaning up but it was really only because I didn’t want to hamper my progress by cutting too soon, not because I’m afraid of dieting – because I’m not!

I’m now really excited to begin the process and see how my body responds. I just had my ‘last meal’: my amazing delicious pasta bolognaise. Definitely a good way to say goodbye to carbs for a while!

Yesterday I went to the chiropractor for advice about my tight muscles and related tension headaches. Sorry to disappoint those who suggested I might be better off visiting a physio: my problems are definitely structural, rather than muscular.

I have what is called ‘forward neck posture’ (or what Rob kindly refers to as a ‘duck head’), which means my head sticks out too far forward, by about two centimetres. It is actually one of the most common postural alignment problems. Because I sit at a desk all day (seriously, I think I just need to change careers!) I’m only making the problem worse by looking forward even more to look at my computer screen. Doing so puts a large amount of stress on my traps, which then travels up into my neck. He described it like holding a heavy dumbbell: holding it against your chest is easy, but holding it out in front of you fatigues your muscles much faster.

Like this, only less extreme... I hope!

My right leg is also 1.5 centimetres shorter than my left, which is causing the right side of my pelvis to tilt up. I used to have a ‘duck booty’ (anterior pelvic tilt) in my dancing days and now I have one that tilts sideways. Grr. And I have a small arch in my lower spine, which he said is common among dancers. He also said my posture is in fact too straight, which is making my head jut forward even further.

The chiro did a whole bunch of tests on me over an entire hour. He said I had better flexibility than 99 per cent of people (woohoo!) and extremely strong legs. However, my left shoulder apparently feels like concrete and the right side of my neck is missing all the springy ligaments it should have.

The good news is that he said weight lifting will help fix my alignment, combined with some manual treatments to activate my fast-twich muscle fibres. There was no need for me to worry that weight lifting had caused any problems, as he said it was linked to computer use only. I wish I had gone to the chiro months ago, as I’ve already found so much information about the condition. In fact, if you sit at a computer and have pain in your neck, shoulders or upper back I would highly recommend reading this article.

Unfortunately, the massages I’ve been getting are essentially a waste of money. Although they do prevent migraines from coming on, they’re really just providing a bandaid effect.

Always number one in my eyes!

I know I haven’t mentioned anything about Olympia yet, but I’ve had to take the last week to recover from the fact that Erin Stern didn’t win. I’ve also been too busy watching the fitness routines!

In Australia, ‘fitness’ is not a serious category at all. The competition I went to in May just lumped all the bikini competitors in the same category as the so-called ‘fitness’ competitors, and they all had to perform ‘routines’. Of course, it was the most popular category with about 25 entrants. But all of them – minus maybe one or two – looked like they had gotten drunk the night before and decided it would be fun to enter a contest for a laugh.

In fact, many of them looked like they were still drunk during their routines! To be honest, it was watching this category that made me decide I want to compete. I knew I could have seriously just gotten out of my chair, in the unprepared condition I was in, and improvised a routine right there that would have beaten them all. I wish I was just being cocky!

I knew the American version would be better, but wow! Watching the fitness routines during Olympia actually made me want to change my goals and move to the US. Here is Oksana Grishina, who has a dancing background and had an injured foot during this performance:

This is my favourite video of her:

So, yeah. How can I make Australia realise this is what fitness competing is?!

PS. As I mentioned in my last post, my mother-in-law arrives in 36 hours so I may be too busy checking out all the tourist sites in Sydney to blog as often as usual, but I’ll do my best!

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