GETFOXFIT | IFBB Bikini Fitness Athlete & Kidney Cancer Survivor Lisanne Keir

Contest Prep | Weight Training | Fitness Motivation | Nutrition & Healthy Living Inspiration


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4 weeks out (Bikini Competition Prep) – Focus, Self Control, Discipline and the Marshmallow Experiment

IFBB athlete's - Lisanne and Maarten Vos (www.getfoxfit)

Stats:

Lisanne

Weight: 52kg

Body fat: 12.5%

Maarten

Weight: 87kg

Body fat: 6.1%

 

A new month, new beginnings and a new focus.  

And with a new focus comes increased drive, motivation and determination.

With both my husband and I at 4 weeks out of our upcoming competition (Enercup) it is time to really step up our game, focus on our goals for this contest and bring the best physique and “package” that we possibly can.

We are both blessed to share a love of bodybuilding and compete together.  5 years ago, when Maarten started developing an interest in bodybuilding, I really wasn’t that into working out, fitness or food.  I would go to the gym, but that was about it.  I was physically at the gym and doing something, but it wasn’t training in the slightest, it was basically just moving and having the feeling that I ‘did something’.  He, on the other hand, would push himself.  It was his drive and motivation that really inspired me – seeing how he trained and how he was extremely conscious of what he ate.  He was strict and I could see the progress he was making… that’s when the switch changed in my head – ‘If he can change his body through weight trainings and food, then I wonder what I could do’.

The rest is history as they say.

Back to the here and now.  

A learning for me these past few weeks has been that I really thrive on having a ‘focus’.  I’ve found “maintenance mode” quite difficult in the sense that I don’t just like to drift.  I want to work, and I want to work hard.  I want to push myself as much as I see my husband push himself.  And maintenance mode, as nice and easy as that sounds, can take a toll on you emotionally.

After my weekly check in with The Boss / Coach, Jerry Koolhoven, last week, we set new goals and this gave me a clear focus.  I was ready to put in the hard work.  At 4/5 weeks out it was time to push further and really give it that extra.

My goal is to stand on that stage and know that I have done ALL that I can – whether that means sticking to my food, or putting in the time at the gym (every single minute of cardio, every single bead of sweat, every single rep with weights), or making sure I get enough rest.

No one can do the work for you – all you can do is make your own decisions, do it yourself and do your best.  As much as I am accountable to my coach, I am accountable to myself, and I don’t want to let either down.

This week has been one of my favourites so far.  The stage is clearly in sight, things are getting real, I know what I have to do and had more motivation and determination this week than any others over the past months.

It may sound weird, but I love the ‘struggle’ you sometimes have to go through – especially when it comes to nutrition and food.  Staying on point and having that wonderful fulfilled feeling of going to bed at the end of the day knowing that you stuck to the plan.

The struggle shows you just how much strength, self control and willpower you can have if you set your mind to it, which leads me to something that has come across my path a few times this past week – the Stanford Marshmallow Experiment.

This study, conducted in the 1960s, gave nursery school kids a treat (marshmallow, pretzel or cookie) and offered them the following deal – 1) eat it straight away or 2) wait 15 mins and get an extra treat.  The conclusion from this experiment was that the kids who had shown the ability to wait got better grades, were healthier, enjoyed greater professional success, and proved better at relationships.

I find it so interesting that this characteristic can be found in early childhood, but I do believe self control (and making the conscious decision to be self controlled) can take place at any age.  Believe me, I wasn’t always that disciplined to only snack on 6 walnuts, and not eat half the packet HAHA.

It’s definitely this willpower, self control and discipline that you learn through bodybuilding and the magical thing is that you can take this into all other areas of your life, and that learning, and experience, is invaluable.

So, onto the next week of prep – small and big goals are set, the focus is clear and the only thing to do is Do It.

IFBB athlete's - Lisanne and Maarten Vos (www.getfoxfit)

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5 weeks out (Bikini Competition Prep) Are We Ever Satisfied?

"Are we ever satisfied?" #bikinicompetitor #contestprep #bikinicompetitionprep #5weeksout - Lisanne Vos (getfoxfit)

Current stats:

Weight: 52kg

Body fat: 12.5%

 

One question I’ve been thinking a lot about this week: “Are we ever satisfied?”

We can always do better right?

If you are into body building, fitness and sports you will constantly be trying to strive for the best – the best physique, the best results, the best performance etc.

I have come to appreciate bodybuilding as an art and you can be as creative as you want to be.  Everyone has their own visions and ideas of what beauty is AND, as the creator of your physique, you are constantly looking at how you can improve, design and make the best work of art you can.

Whether you are competing or not, I am sure that all the guys and girls in the gym critically look in the mirror and think about which body parts they want to change or build, whilst evaluate how they can create the best physique they possibly can.

Whether that means more muscle mass, 100% symmetry, lower body fat, more vascularity, bigger quads, more defined abs, more tone and cuts… whatever.  We are always striving to progress, grow and make gains.

Even though you reach a goal that you set out – like gain muscle mass, x % body fat, definition etc. there is always room for improvement, and that’s what keeps it interesting.  Like I have said before, bodybuilding is not just a physical sport but a psychological one too.  It can be a bit of an emotional roller coaster at times.  There are highs and lows.  Happiness and frustration.  Confidence and insecurity.

If I see the progress and changes my body has been through over the past year, yes I am happy – but I’m not content… I can do more and I can be more.

Like most, I would like to have achieved my goal yesterday (even if I just made the goal right now), but that’s just not the way it works.  The only thing to do is set a goal, make a plan and execute that plan Every Single Day.  Slowly but surely there will be progress and during these times you need to keep the faith and keep the focus, whilst surround yourself with people who lift you up, can give honest opinions and who support you in reaching your goal.

Bodybuilding is a never ending journey.  A lifestyle I am happy and grateful to live and, like the wise words say, it’s all about the journey, not the destination – so as much as we may have times when we are not be satisfied let’s enjoy this awesome ride.

5 weeks out baby – the game plan has been set, it’s time to focus and put in the hard work needed to reach that goal.


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6 weeks out (Bikini Competition Prep) 5 learnings from this week…

6 week out (Bikini Competition Prep Blog) - 5 learnings from this week.. (@getfoxfit)

Today marks 6 weeks out.  Exciting times, just 42 days until the Enercup.  I find every week has different learnings and wanted to share this weeks on today’s competition prep blogpost.  So without further ado, here are the Top 5.

1. Trust your coach 

This past week ‘The Boss’ (coach Jerry Koolhoven) put me on a 2 day pre contest carb loading practice run.  Did someone say more carbs?  No complaints from me.  Of course there are moments when you hope things will go the way they are supposed to, but he has a plan and I trust him 100% so was comfortable to do what he asked and see how it would affect my physique.  Suffice to say he was happy with the result.  I’m very grateful to have a coach who puts me at ease, has a master plan and who I can trust throughout the whole contest prep.  If you are looking to do a competition or contest, finding yourself a reputable coach who you ‘click with’ and trust is something I would recommend.

2. Meal planning

Meal prep really helped me this week as there were days when we were out and about.  With 6 weeks until the competition food has to be on point and I have come to realise that the only way to stick to the program is to plan in advance, prep and take food with you when you are out of the house.

3. Take the time to appreciate your progress

All to often we want to reach the end goal yesterday… but you need to appreciate how far you have come – the changes you have made, how you have grown as a person, what you have learned and how you can take all of those things to propel yourself further.  So even although you want to be at XX body fat, or XX kgs, or lift XX pounds in the gym.  Take a moment to consider how far you have come already.

4. If in doubt, go work out

Yes there are times you are tired, or just want to stay home, however it’s Game Time – every training counts and every training will help you reach that goal you have set.  I know full well that if I even miss one training I’ll regret it later.  One of the best ways of getting myself to exercise and workout is to get my sports gear on, works each and every time :)  In need of fitness tips?  Click here for my Top 5.

5. Set short term goals

To keep things interesting and keep you focussed I’ve found it very beneficial to set short term goals.  Be it a daily goal – meet all your nutritional needs for the day, or reach a new PR, or go for a morning bike ride. etc.  Or a weekly goal – cook 3 clean vegetarian dinners, workout 3 times a week etc.  Think of ways that you can make these goals fun to help keep you motivated.

You can follow more contest prep photos and videos via Instagram and Facebook which we are updating daily.


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How far have you come in a year?

Lisanne Vos (getfoxfit)

Have you ever taken the time to think back to where you were 1 year ago today?

Too often we get caught up in our day and week that we seldomly think about and, more importantly, appreciate how far we have come.

I have done it myself throughout the years – focusing on wanting things immediately (or yesterday) and not taking the time to realise what you have been though in the last year and what you have achieved.

A quote that speaks to me today, more than ever, is the following:

 

Take pride in how far you have come and have faith in how far you can go.

 

Especially as I look at the date and remember that 1 year ago today I was in the hospital having surgery for renal cell carcinoma or, more simply put, kidney cancer.  I remember it like yesterday, as pictured above – walking to the hospital with Mr Fox, Universal gym bag on my shoulder in my sweat pants and Nike Free’s and an “Athlete” mentality.

No matter the pain or what my body had to go through that day I would recover as best as I could with this new found athlete way of thinking – from this day out, after the Surgeon had ‘cleaned’ my body I would respect it as best as I could through the proper nutrition, exercise and mentality, and as an extra bonus work towards getting myself on stage and compete in my first IFBB competition.

So, how far have we come?  Well – 1 year ago I couldn’t walk, or even sit up in bed.  Even with the epidural and endless pain medications my body felt like it had been ran over by a bull dozer and any movements I made felt like an internal thunder and lightening storm.  Just crazy.

No words will ever say how grateful I am to my Surgeon who saved my life, as well as all the Dr’s, nurses and specialists who diagnosed me and got me ‘back on my feet’.  As weird as it sounds the Maasstad Ziekenhuis holds a very special place in my heart, and it’s always a pleasure to go there every 3 months for my check ups and tests – I have safe in the knowledge that I’m in the best of hands there.  (If ever you are in need I would highly recommend this hospital!).

The conclusion of my little story… take a moment and think about where you were this time last year.  What has changed, what have you achieved?  Take that knowledge and think about how far you would like to go.  Where would you like to be 1 year from now?  Set yourself goals and execute them day by day.

Wishing you all a wonderful day, make magic happen!


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7 weeks out (Bikini Competition Prep)

Lisanne Vos & Jerry Koolhoven (Team JK)

“Sometimes the best way to appreciate something is to be without it for a while.”

Word.  I would like to thank my coach Jerry Koolhoven for taking away some of my usual carbs and fats on my “Rest and Shred” days, as I have lovingly called them.  He is The Boss, so I went with his plan.

It wasn’t until I got through 1 of these days that I fully appreciated my peanut butter, rye bread and oats.  Yup, you don’t know what you got til it’s gone!

I have so much respect for every single athlete in this sport – no matter which division or category or league they are in.  This is a tough sport, but one that has so very many empowering and precious moments.  Those times that you get to the end of the day and can go to bed proud with the knowledge that you did Every Single Thing possible to stick to your plan.  Pretty empowering moments that make you think and realise what is possible if you put your mind to it and ‘Just Do It’.

Like everyone else, I’ve had to deal with challenges but in the past either tried to avoid them or just ‘get through them’.  However I’ve come to realise, and appreciate, that so much is down to your attitude – how you react and respond to the challenge (or problem), and how you can actually turn them into opportunities.  It’s all up to you in how you see it and how you tackle it.

So, what’s new for this upcoming week?  A new nutrition plan to see how my body reacts and what will change.  Exciting stuff and I am always up for the challenge.  The best advice I have had since starting contest prep is “Listen to your coach and do what he says the first time” and that’s exactly what we’ll be doing this week.

Game On :)


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8 weeks out (Bikini Competition Prep) “Change”

8 weeks out bikini competition diary (www.getfoxfit.com)

Stats:

Body fat: 12.3%

Weight: 52.5 kg

 

“We cannot become what we want to be by remaining what we are.” Max DePree

Not a truer word spoken and a quote that has stuck with me for the past 7 days.

After receiving my new food plan from my coach and trainer Jerry Koolhoven last Sunday I thought, “OK, now the hard work begins.”  Like the quote says – if you want to make (and see) progress, in any area of your life, you need to change something.  So changes had to be made…in the form of nutrition.

As mentioned on previous blogs, I love the science of bodybuilding – feeling and witnessing the changes and progress and how your body reacts to even the smallest of changes in food and trainings.  The outcome of the changes we made last week has been awesome – down in body fat and into the 12% mark – woo hoo.

Yes, there were times that I didn’t have the energy to train, yes there were times that I wanted to eat differently, but I stuck to the programme and, most importantly, listened to my coach.  And it’s clear to see that the changes he put into place are reflected in not only body changes but also in the stats.  Cool stuff!

It’s an interesting lesson to have – this whole change business.  If you keep doing what you always do, then things will remain the same.  There won’t be progress.  So, whatever your goal, or whatever you want to achieve, change will be necessary to reach it.

In all honesty I’m not such a big fan of change.  I’m a creature of habit and routine.  I like to plan and stick to it, so when Jerry handed me the new schedule I had to first and foremost change my mental attitude – see it as a challenge and… you got it… make a new plan for myself.  Note to self – change isn’t so scary as long as you can find a way to implement these changes.

Fail to plan, plan to fail :)

An attitude of “You Can Do This” had to happen.   Like the sayings – ‘The Body Achieves What the Mind Believes’ and ‘Your Body Won’t Go Where Your Mind Doesn’t Push It’.  Not only for trainings but particularly for the nutrition part, especially when you (and your body) are used to eating certain foods and certain ways.

So, here we are at 8 weeks out of the Enercup.  Every day, every training and every meal counts.

Today’s afternoon at Fitness Boulevard was great.  Always such a pleasure to meet with our coach, train, practice posing routines, hang out with the crew and shoot a few photos and videos in between.

Be sure to check out fellow Team JK athletes Gregori Braxhoofden and Souroush Moosavi who are in the photos above, and also in contest prep.

If you want to see more photos and videos be sure to follow our Instagram where we’re posting daily contest prep updates.

 


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To Mark the 1 Year Anniversary of being told ‘You have Cancer’ – Here are the 22 Things Cancer Taught Me

22 Things Cancer Taught Me (www.getfoxfit.com)

1 year ago today, 5th August 2013, it was a warm, sunny, bright and beautiful summers day when I heard those 3 words no one ever wants to hear, “You have cancer”.

A whole year ago – crazy.  It seems like yesterday that I felt the ball in my abdomen and went to the hospital for an ultrasound, that lead to a CT scan, that lead to being told by the Urologist I had a massive tumor and it was kidney cancer AND it wasn’t looking too good for me.  If you are interested in reading how the events of those first days happened you can read my story and ‘diary’ here.

So 365 days.  How fast you have gone by but how amazingly pertinent you have all been.  Those days before, during and after surgery and all of the days since have been filled with more change than I could have ever imagined.

I can certainly say the last year has been one of growth, acceptance, new experiences and a whole lot of change.

To mark the 1 year anniversary I wanted to share with you the 22 things cancer has taught me:

1. Be honest

Especially with yourself

2. Worrying won’t change the outcome 

So be happy and positive instead

3. Evaluate what really makes you happy

Those things (big or small) will be the essence of your life and the things that precious memories are made of

4. Communicate with your loved ones

Plain and simple, even better relationships can be built through unforeseen and challenging times

5. Let go

Thoughts of I wish I did this, or I wish I said that, or I wish I made a different decision… well it’s all in the past, let it go

6. Slow down

Stop rushing through your food, savour the moment and the taste.  Breath deeply and slowly when you write an email.  Enjoy the ‘ride’ and journey of getting somewhere. Life is not a race.  Enjoy it and be in the moment – yes, even when you are doing the dishes or folding your washing, there are joys in these little things, it just takes a different attitude to see and appreciate them.  Do things with love.  Enjoy the gift that is the present

7. Don’t concern yourself with what others think

The only person you need to impress is yourself

8. Ask yourself

Are you a better person than you were yesterday? Do at least one thing every day that your future self will thank you for

9. Be here, now

Use all of your 5 senses to truly be in the moment.  For example if you are out having coffee/tea take a look around. What is going on around you? (Put your phone away), listen to the soundtrack of where you are (jazz music or energetic chatter), take a moment and really smell that glorious coffee/tea, feel the small expresso cup or gigantic mug in your hands and of course savour the taste.  All too often these things are rushed and we don’t even stop, look around or take in the moment.  These moments create the most memorable memories ;)

10. Mindfulness

Going a few steps further from what I have said above – check out ‘5 tips to bring mindfulness into your everyday life’ here

11. Do those things that niggle at the back of your mind

Like tidying out a kitchen cupboard that is over stacked and annoys you, edit your closet, back up your photos, organise your music files etc.  Believe me if you do that one thing that niggles at the back of your mind you are giving yourself something you cannot buy = freedom and the sense of accomplishment

12. Be accountable for your health and make good choices that feel right for you

Ultimately no one is responsible for your health apart from you.  You are the one who chooses what to eat, whether to exercise or sport, what to put in / on your body, how much stress you put on yourself, whether to see a Dr or specialist and what attitude & mindset to have.  Knowledge is Power.  Trust your instincts.  I have made a promise to my body and mind that I will do all in my power to keep it healthy and cancer free and make confident decisions

13. Do not take life for granted

Once you are faced with the possibility of The End, you quickly learn how to appreciate the little things and the here and now.  Life is precious

14. Help people

Whether it is helping a person pack / carry their shopping, participating in charity, sharing your knowledge or being a ‘listening ear’ for someone, these are the things that make us a better person

15. Be about it 

Definition here

16. You do not have to finish everything immediately

A good friend brought this to my attention as she noticed that I try and get things done (and finished) sooner rather than later, even though they are tasks that don’t need to be finished quickly.  So slow down, appreciate what you are doing and have pleasure in the task at hand.  Don’t rush through things, take your time and enjoy

17. Have fun and find fun

Having fun is essential – what is life if you cannot smile and savour fun activities, moments and things?  So do what makes you happy.  Doing something that you find challenging or mundane? Find the fun in it!  It really does change things around

18. Take a moment to truly see what is happening around you

Too often there are distractions – but just look up and see what’s happening.  It may be people in the train, the kids breakdancing in the house, your significant other doing something funny, nature or beautiful architectural designs in the streets, whatever.  Just check it out.  You may pass a certain house or building every day, but have you really looked at it?  You spend time with your kids and loved ones, but have you taken a moment just to see what they do when they think you aren’t looking?  These are the moments you may miss or not think twice about but they can be the most precious times

19. Make a decision

Be happy with your decision(s).  Feel confident in what you decide on and most important of all JUST MAKE A DECISION.  Too often we don’t make a decision, and I don’t know about you but the time spent deciding on something usually costs a lot of energy.  So be bold, weigh up your options and just make a decision – you will feel a whole lot better after!  AND you can move on. What a wonderful feeling that is

20. Do what you feel like doing

Feel like being arty?  Then paint or pick up that pen and sketch pad.  Feel like dancing in your living room?  Turn your fav tune up loud and do it.  Feel like speaking with a friend? Call them!  Feel like making soup / a cake?  Do it!  Feel like hoovering or rearrange things?  Do it!  SEIZE those moments.  Those are moments of productivity and creativity, so Just Do It… you will thank yourself later

21. Time does heal and things will change

As cliche as it sounds time does heal.  In some cases it doesn’t take the sadness / hurt / pain away completely but it certainly helps.  So have faith that things will (and do) change.  You are NOT stuck in this moment right now forever.  Circumstances change, energy changes and most importantly you will change – your feelings, your outlook and your emotions.  Just keep the faith (as Bon Jovi sang) and have hope

22. All you need is a little change of heart / Love Will Save the Day

In all honesty I have never really been big on listening to specific song for their lyrics (I’ve always been more interested in the music and vibe than the words) but this one does it for me, especially through those roller coaster months.  Whitney sings (and says) it best… so if you need a little uplifting, or just want a little 80’s Awesomeness click here:

Every day is a gift.

Make it count and count your blessings :)

#seizetheday