Showing posts with label Exercise. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Exercise. Show all posts

Wednesday, 4 April 2012

Just do it...

You know when you used to have homework lurking? And you used to forget all about it, or at least try to, and then on Sunday night you'd have to do it? And it was awful?

And you wished you had just got on and done it earlier?

Or, you know when you get a toothache and you finally go to see the dentist and it costs a fortune and it's embarrassing because you put it off for too long?

And you wished you had just done it earlier?

Or, you know when you skip a car service in order to save some money? And you leave it so long that your warranty expires? And you kick yourself and wonder why you didn't just get the bloody car serviced when you shoud've done?

And you wished you had just done it earlier?

And you know when you know the dishes are all lurking, needing to be done? And the thought doing the dishes is just so boring and yuk, you just don't wanna?

But then you finally get your rubber gloves on and just get on with it and do it?


You know all those situations.

So do I.

I used to waste so much energy and time and emotion putting weight loss off.

I used to waste so much time worrying about the fact that I wasn't getting any exercise.

I used to waste so much emotional juice by all my negative self talk.

The doing of a thing is so much worse, so much more ick, so much more time consuming that the actual doing of the thing.

If you have something niggling on your mind - just go do it?

Whether it's losing weight, decluttering your home, starting an exercise plan or fixing a relationship, just do it?

Whether it's drinking more water, going to the dentist, making an awkward phone call - just do it?

Are you putting something off?

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Tuesday, 13 December 2011

Don’t motivate – DEDICATE!

Today's guest post comes from Rhianon, who is a blogger I have know for ages, both in the blogesphere and in the realm of parenting forums. She is a uni student, carer, housekeeper and busy mother of a 4yr old boy and a 7 month old gir,l just trying to slim down, tone up and generally feel good about herself.  Find her at Scone On  Diet,  and on!/sconeonamission .

Recently, I’ve made the effort to really step up my exercise regime, by adding an extra class to my week, becasue what I was doing at the gym is not paying off.

I, after seeing some photos taken on a weekend camping trip, decided to bite the bullet and get a Personal Trainer. While this is another dent in the budget, some days, finding the motivation to step out my front door is hard.

During my meeting and assessment with the personal trainer, I realised this is really going to be really hard work. I love going to classes, as I can be up the back where no one can see me trying my hardest but can’t judge me on technique. With a personal trainer, I am all he sees. ALL of me. Big legs, big butt, jelly belly wobbling. He will be correcting me, making sure I do everything properly as to not injure myself. However, one of the bad things (other than my self conscious panicking about what he’s thinking while he watches the wobble) is that by doing it right – it’s going to hurt more.

Not motivating.

After speaking to a friend who had a baby at the same time as me (nearly eight months ago!) and seeing her fantastic transformation – she’s lost 15 kg in about 6 months! – she has instilled in me a new philosophy. Continue my gym classes and see my personal trainer, but don’t just motivate yourself to weight loss: Dedicate yourself.

Motivation is about psyching yourself up to do something you don’t necessarily want to do, where dedication is committing yourself to a worthwhile cause – YOU! Your ultimate goal is to be the very best you you can be. It’s not a hard task, or something you’ll just get around to. It’s your goal. Wouldn’t you rather be who you want to be sooner, rather than plod along slightly outside your comfort zone?

So. Don’t motivate – dedicate yourself to your weight loss / fitness challenge, and see your change sooner!


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Thursday, 8 December 2011

The Lost and Found of Pregancy Weight...

Today's guest post comes from Zoey, from Good Googs. I have met Zoey a couple of times now. She is a star. And her blog is gorgeous. And I thank her for sharing here.

I hated being pregnant, both times. I love babies. I could just soak up in the baby stage for years and be quite happy and content there. But I hate being pregnant. And I more than ate for two during both pregnancies, I comfort ate. And I can't really say I regret it. Because whatever got me from the beginning of that pregnancy to the end of it was worth it. And I'm planning to be pregnant again so I'll probably go through the whole thing again.

When Piper was born she was 2.8kgs and I'd put on about 20kgs and that's not counting the 10kgs of stress eating I'd put on while trying to conceive. None of that matters of course. I would have put on a tonne if it meant I got her at the end of it. She was worth every gram I put on, every pregnancy discomfort, months and months of unrelenting heartburnx and nausea that rendered me incapable of anything beyond the fetal position.

I'll admit that I was spoiled with Riley. I lost all my pregnancy weight plus 10 more kilos just by breastfeeding. And I didn't have to do anything, it just fell off. And then Piper came along and she wasn't a comfort feeder like Riley and I lost approximately zero weight. I was devastated. Breastfeeding was my kind of weight loss regime.

So all of a sudden I had to find another way to lose the weight. And as I'm still breastfeeding, I didn't really want to heavily cut back on what I was eating either, which left me one option - the gym. The 24 hour gym actually. Because that allowed me to sneak off when Piper was sleeping, work out and be back before she needed another breastfeed.

In my pre-child days I enjoyed the challenge of the run. I used to run about 8kms every morning in an hour. And that was when I still smoked a packet of cigarettes. So to start with that was my goal. Not the cigarettes part. I am a very happy non-smoker now. But the 8kms in an hour part. I started with all that I could handle which was about 400 metres of running followed by about 100 metres of walking and I did that for an hour.

I made myself increase the running by about 50 metres each time I went and soon I was doing about 1 km of running to 100 metres of walking and it was at that point that I thought I'm not really pushing myself here. I must have had a good night sleep because I decided to go for 2.5kms without stopping which meant only having two walking breaks in the hour. And although I had that moment after about 30 minutes where I thought 'there is no way I can do this', somehow I pushed through. And then a week later, I decided to go for only one walking break and the week after that I did my 8kms without a break.

Since then I increase the speed every time I go. My new goal is to be able to run at 10km/h for the hour. And now I'm about 4 kgs away from my pre-pregnancy weight. I still have more to lose after that to get back to a weight that I'm comfortable with. Where I feel comfortable in my skin, but slowly I can see the shape of my body returning.

And I still eat pizza, cupcakes and have indulgent coffee-type drinks every week. That is a key part of my lifestyle and I don't see that changing anytime soon. But running is also part of my lifestyle now too. Something that I'm proud of. Running helps me to love my body. Every time I finish a workout I'm somewhat surprised that my body could do it, especially with my mind telling my body that it can't half of the time.

I did a pregnancy test today because I've been having some weird symptoms. And when it was negative I felt a twinge of sadness. I don't want to be pregnant right now (give me another year and I will!) I want to be able to go to New York next year with my husband next year, without the kids and most definitely not be pregnant. But I think after having my two babies there is nothing abstract about being pregnant and not being pregnant so even though I was relieved there was sorrow there as well. But when I am pregnant in a year or so I will be so happy that this baby will get a kick-ass place to grow and thrive. Because running gave me more strength than I thought it ever could.


Zoey is the mother of one preschooler (the googy) and one baby (the squishy). In her former life she bought lots of handbags and wore a vast array of high heels. She also did lots of things alone - she went to the movies alone, ate alone and even enjoyed having a quiet drink alone. Now she does nothing alone. She lives in regional Australia and loves it, but still misses her shoes. Zoey is a reformed perfectionist, writer, parent adventurer, chaos manager, tiny dictator lover, baby snuggler, photographer and social media addict. She blogs in words and pictures at Good Googs. You can find her on Twitter and on Facebook.

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Tuesday, 6 December 2011

Michelle arms...

Today I have Sarah from Ah the Possibilities guest posting for me. Sarah is my friend, and despite being amazingly busy, she always steps into help me out with a lovely guest post whenever I am snowed under. So I thank her; and give you her post - which I know you'll all enjoy!

Do you remember when Barack Obama bounced into our consciousness and everyone was caught up in this amazing, charismatic man? Not me. Nope. Even I who am known as a political junkie was distracted by something far more interesting.

His wife’s AMAZING arms.

Frankly, Michelle Obama has some of the hottest looking arms I have ever seen. Except for possibly Michelle Bridges which are also pretty spanking fantastic. Now right now I am in the throes of the Michelle Bridges 12WBT programme and exercise is one of its key features.

And I am here to share something with you. Those arms Michelle Obama has? The awesome ones that look great in every outfit? Well girlfriend works her butt off to have them. How do I know this?

Because one of the things I wanted to work on during this programme was my arms. After twenty years of hunching over and hiding my broad shoulders after a bitchy school mate told me my shoulders were “too wide” I got over my fear. Those shoulders made me a champion swimmer. They’ve nestled and soothed lots of children. They’re actually pretty awesome, and I’ve learned that I can’t let the negativity of others hold me back from achieving my goal or working towards being the best version of me I can. So this summer I am going to showcase said shoulders and arms.

I have been working out on my whole body. I don’t think spot training works, but I do think upping the ante on a certain area can help to improve it, if it is done in conjunction with an overall fitness focus.

But in order to do so I have had to work on getting them toned and taut. And trust me when I say it is A LOT of work. Lots of weights, reps and “I don’t want to.” But the results are starting to show and this summer I will rock the frock. The sleeveless frock ;)

What area are you working on for summer?


Sarah writes a lovely blog over at Ah, the Possibilities. If you don't already follow her, you should. You can also find her on Twitter and Facebook.

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Thursday, 17 November 2011

I burned 600 calories and what I got was my brain...

Today I have Suz guest posting for me. Suz is a blogger and Twitterer who I met at a blogging conference last year. We clicked. We had dinner with one another and I suspect I fell a little in love with her. She is brave and she is very cool. She is beautiful and she is getting really healthy - mentally and physically she is a strong strong woman, and I am very glad to know her...please welcome her and leave her come comment love?

Since I began to lose weight, I have thought lots about the process of doing it, the benefits, the challenges, all of it. It’s a narrative that plays in my mind pretty constantly. It’s not like it’s become an obsession but I am most certainly much more mindful about my nutrition, my exercise, my well being.

And the work and thought is paying a dividend. Almost 15 kilograms has come off my frame since April this year. I can’t begin to tell you how much better I feel.

Yesterday though, I got the message of the greatest impact this big change of life and looking after me has had.
I woke up at 7am, tired, flat, with “Mondayitis” in the extreme. I felt crotchety, teary, cranky and ready to pick an argument with whoever crossed my path (Sorry to my beloved Captain). It was an ugly way to begin the week. I would even go so far as to say I was feeling a bit depressed. Ahead of me was a day filled with my son’s autism therapy, visiting grandparents, a busy and active two year old and much more.

What I had up my sleeve was my regular Monday morning gym circuit class (with child care included). I’m not quite sure how I did, but somehow I got my gym clothes on and I got myself and the kids there. And I did this:

I spent the rest of the day feeling more peaceful, more patient and more able to be in the moment with my two boys. The day was still hectic. There were annoyances and road blocks. But my mind was calm, the anxious, jittery creature of the morning banished. It was the exercise that did it.

It’s a simple equation. Exercise = feel good.


I am not saying it is easy to do, oh no, sometimes as mums of young children creating time to exercise can be so very hard. The equation itself though is simple. I burned 600 calories and what I got was my brain, at peace.

A simple equation. The impact, immeasurable.


Segovia Dreams

I am finding my way through life, motherhood and the strange world we live in. I’m most often looking for dreams, reality and inspiration along the everyday footpath. I’m the partner of the loveliest of men and mama of two gorgeous boys.

I blog about my dreams, reality and inspiration at Segovia. I also blogs about our family adventure with autism at The I Love You Song. You can follow me on Twitter or Facebook here

I am also currently involved in a fundraising initiative for Learning for Life Autism Centre. Each year we raise funds through a big Ball. It is held at Leonda in Melbourne. Leonda have just agreed to donate $1 for every Facebook liker, Twitter follower and LinkedIn connection they get until the end of November. Generous! So, Lucy and I would adore you forever if you clicked over and showed Leonda some follow like connect love! THANK YOU!

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Tuesday, 13 September 2011

Lovely lady arms...

I am slow to post today - apologies.

But the truth of the matter is that I can barely type.

I can barely move my arms, let alone raise my fingers to the keyboard.

Driving the kids to school and kindy this morning was excruciating.

All in my quest for lovely lady arms. Like Michelle Obama's. I aspire to arms like hers - they are the perfect combination of lean and toned without looking like they belong to a body builder, don't you think?

Anyway, when I was nearly 40kg heavier than I am today, the tops of my arms, were, quite frankly, like two pale fat slugs. Huge. Wobbly. Fat. Gross.

I have lost a lot of weight from the tops of my arms, and thankfully the skin here has snapped back. But I am still on a mission to get them from lardy to toned..

And, if the way my arms are feeling today is any guide, the exercises I am doing are evidently working!

Using 5kg dumbbells, I have been doing circuit sets of the following:
  • Overhead press
  • Overhead extension
  • Curls
  • Lateral raise
And if all that is double dutch to you, all it really means is lifting these in varying fashions:

My arms are aching like I do not know what.

But worth it to see my arms change from this:

To this:

How about you? Are you comfy going sleeveless?

Any tips for me?

Thursday, 18 August 2011

At Home Circuit Training

The other day, a lovely blogger and loyal commenter made a remark about home circuit training.

Which I have been meaning to write a post about for a while.

So I pounced upon her straight away and asked for a guest post...

The lovely Jodi of The Scribble Den indulged me - so read on for a brilliant way to work out free, to work out well, to work out conveniently:

When Lucy asked me to guest post today I was very honoured indeed, and then as I read on and realised I was to be guest posting on my personal at home circuit training I had a bit of a chuckle.

 You see, I am a very haphazard exercise junkie meaning that I love to exercise and keep fit but can never stick to anything for very long. I get bored, tired or just plain lazy really. Also I hate the gym. The idea of working out, sweating all over exercise equipment, feeling like I have to keep pace with the long, lean freak on the treadmill next to me whilst others perv glance around the room just makes me nauseous. So I have learned to be an ‘at home’ exercise junkie.

I have a fabulous collection of tragic wonderful DVD’s including Aerobics Oz Style, Denise Austin, Tracy Anderson, Windsor Pilate's, 10 minute trainer (yes I get sucked into late night TV shopping), and even a Paula Abdul dance DVD. (?)

But, my favourite type of exercise and the one I always come back to is Circuit Training. Why?

  • It's challenging, but fun
  • It works every muscle in your body, including your heart
  • You can change the routine each day[Soft Break]
  • You can adjust time limits at each station to suit how you feel each day
  • You don’t need any ‘special’ equipment
  • You don’t the latest, tight fitting exercise clothing: just trackies & a T-shirt

 So here is my At Home Circuit Training for Dummies Mummies.

What you need:

 Light hand weights, (soup or dog food cans will do), an exercise mat (or carpet area), a skipping rope (any rope will do), stairs or steps, some space, a clock (preferably with a second hand) and your favourite music. And a water bottle to keep hydrated – very important.

Set up 5 stations as follows:

 1.Hand weights (works arm & shoulder muscles)

 2.Sit ups/crunches (works abs, core strength & that pelvic floor)

 3.Skipping area. Make sure you have enough room to actually skip without knocking over the crystal. (works heart and aerobic capacity)

 4.Lunges & leg work (works on toning legs & butt)

 5.Stairs or steps (works legs and heart/lungs)

Now set your music to your favourite CD or play list. You will be doing each station for one minute to begin with so keep an eye on the clock or better still you can set up an iPhone app to alert you at each interval.

Decide how long you will do the circuit for: 20 minutes is a good starting point.

It is always good to start with a short warm up of some light stretching of the major muscle groups to prevent injury and warm up the muscles ready for the onslaught.

 When you are warmed up GET STARTED! Simple as that. Work at your own pace, you don’t need to be going ‘hell for leather’ at each station. Do what you can and your own speed. The challenge is to push yourself a little further each time you revisit a station.

 Here’s what to do at each station:

 1.Hand weights:
Here simply lift those weights. You can do bicep curls, triceps, shoulder raises. Sets of eight on each arm at a time.

  2.Sit up/crunches.:
Use this minute to tone those abs with a combination of crunches/curls and side twists to work both lower, upper and side abs. Traditional crunches lifting your head and shoulders off the ground and back down. You can then do the opposite and keep your shoulders down, put your legs in the air and raise your butt off the ground a little by squeezing your abs. You can then do a combo of both the upper lift and bottom lift together. Then works side abs by lifting shoulders off the ground and twisting left and right. Remember to breath in when you are contracting your muscles and out when you relax.

Yes just like at school. Grab the rope and skip to whatever level you feel comfortable. It might be a running skip, a double jump or a fast single jump or a combination.

 4.Stairs or steps:
If you have stairs run up to the top and back down for the entire minute. If you only have a few steps, use them like a step class. Alternate a gentle step up and down for ten seconds, followed by ten seconds of running up and down.

The good old lunge & squat. Start with both legs together then step the left leg forward as you lunge down. Try not to over extend your knee and keep upright lunging down till your knee is close but not touching the floor, return to standing position and repeat with the right leg. Alternate five times and then do some simple standing squats, leg together and squatting up and down as if you are about to sit on a chair.

 Once you have done the circuit and are back to the beginning, push yourself a little further for the next time around. When you are nearing your time allocation of time use the last circuit as a bit of a cool down and take it a little easier.

 Remember that this is all done at your own pace, there is no one there to impress or judge you. If you need a break for a minute – take it. If you need to just walk around the room for a minute do it. If you feel crap, stop and try again tomorrow.

 Also it is best to check with your doctor before beginning any exercise regime and if you feel feint or light headed during the workout please stop. (Disclaimer courtesy of the many exercise DVD’s I own!)

 Oh and one word of advice don’t try and out do yourself on the first attempt. I did and could barely use my calf muscles for three days! Not. Worth. It. But all the other benefits ARE worth it!

 Jodi is a passionate blogger, freelance writer and aspiring author. Jodi loves sharing business inspiration, social media & online marketing tips from her business background and is also studying graphic design. A loving wife and also mum to 4 girls, Jodi is cycling mad, loves travel, music, drama, theatre, crazy dancing and people who have the courage to be real and follow their dreams.



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Tuesday, 9 August 2011

When resistance is not futile...

I ache.

Not through lust or flu, this ache comes but can I tell you how badly my muscles are crying out today?

Really, I ache. So badly.

I can barely type at the keyboard, and I am fretting over how I am ever going to be able to raise my arms to drive the kids to school.

When you have worked out on resistance strength training for an hour in the gym: you know if you have done a good job or not by the ache you get the next day.

Resistance exercise feels quite hard at the time, but not impossible.

I am not lifting olympic sized weights here. Just a few 6kg weights, and then just using my bodies own weight to create resistance and the push pull and lift has worked my muscles in a different way.

Squats, lunges, crunches, sit ups. Push ups and butt lifts. Jumping jacks and a little cardio at the end.

And whilst I do really really ache? It feels great...

Resistance exercise helps to prevent osteoporosis. Resistance training helps to maintain good flexibility. Resistance training also provides functional benefits. Stronger muscles improve posture, provide better support for joints, and reduce the risk of injury from everyday activities. Resistance training makes your body toned and you look better.

What's not to like?! Resistance is not futile...

Do you do any strength or resistance or weight training? Tell me what works for you?

Monday, 20 June 2011

And, stretch...

Source: via Lucy on Pinterest

Monday mornings.
I work out at 6am. Every. Single. Monday.Morning. Without. Fail.
The winter air is freezing, literally, at 5am, when I wake up and sip my coffee.
It is so tempting to curl back into my husbands back and snooze for another two hours.
But the coffee and the blogging before I creep out of the house at 6am is just enough of an incentive.
And at the other end of my workout - the incentive is the stretch at the end.
At 6.55am, when, over the last beats of loud music, someone calls "And......stretch..."
That is my bliss point.
It's during a stretch, when pleasure and pain combine, that I exhale, relived to be done, relived to have stirred at 5am, relived to have worked hard for nearly an hour, relieved to release those hormones. Relieved to have created a good start to the week.
The weekend sins absolved, a week of promise ahead.
Tell me, how you start your week?

Tuesday, 3 May 2011

The incentive to be active...

We have lived in our little village suburb for over four years now.

Our home is at the base of a huge hill called "Black Hill" which is a part of the Mount Lofty Ranges. As we travel to school and around; as we admire the views from our front windows, we are surrounded by the gracious presence of this majestic and ancient hill.

In the years that we have lived here, I have moved from being morbidly obese to a lot lighter and a lot fitter.

My children have grown from three under three, all in nappies, to independent little people.

My lovely husband has hiked up this hill, and solo camped up there, a number of times.

Since losing a bit of weight, I have walked up this hill, and run sections of it, a number of times.

Over Easter, with its glorious long break, we asked the children if they wanted to go for a bush walk to the very top of Black Hill.

The idea was met with much excitement and enthusiasm. To be honest, it surprised me.

When I asked them why they were so keen, so happy at the idea of walking all the way to the top, they all responded in a similar fashion -

Olivia - "That's where you walk isn't it Mummy? I want to walk the long walks, like you do...."

Charlie - "Is that the humongous hill that Daddy goes up, when he goes off with his humongous backpack? Where he does his adventure camping? Can I go too? Can I? If I know the way, I can go with Dad next time? I will be as good a walker as Dad..."

Lexie - " I love doing a big walking thing. 'Specially with my whole flamily. Can we take crunchy apples for a picnic? Mumma, is that where you do your running Mumma? Mumma, can I do running up there with you? Can we all run together? Mumma, I am good runner when I have my pink sneakers on. I like that hill Mumma...."

It made me realise, in a flash, the strength of influence we wield over our children in terms of lifestyle.

They see this active lifestyle as normal and positive and fun. They associate both their father and mother as active people who love nothing better than walking up a great big hill.

They aspire to have habits like ours.

They do as we do. They watch our behaviours and copy it. They cannot wait to replicate the habits of their parents. They instinctively look to us to show them the right way to be.

Thank goodness we do walk, thank goodness we do run, thank goodness we love to hike. Thank goodness they reflect our healthy habits.

Thank goodness I changed my habits from unhealthy to healthy when I did. If children are not the greatest incentive to adopt an active lifestyle, I don't know what is...


Thursday, 14 April 2011

Do you want a better bod?

I have had the pleasure of being guided, over the past three years, by a community fitness trainer by the name of Lynda.

Yesterday was the last day ever that I worked out with her. She is moving on to pastures new, and is taking time out to work on new projects, one of which is a book deal. (I am so jealous!)

She has been instrumental in me turning my health around. I shall miss her a great deal. She has taught me such an incredible amount,  about life, about my vitality, and about how to sustain a healthy lifestyle. For that, I cannot thank her enough.

And so I share with you what she has drummed into me. If you want a better bod, this is what you need to do........

10 Steps to a better bod...

1.Write it down. This is two fold. First of all, write down what you want to achieve. In detail. Be specific.
And then, write down EVERYTHING that you eat and drink. Track it. Calorie King is ideal for this. 1200 calories is all most people need. This level of calories will mean you will lose weight. You do not need to do this forever. Just a few weeks, so that you increase your awareness.

2. Have a plan, get prepared, and be organised. Did you ever wonder why diets that give you a weekly plan are popular? Because then the organisation is done for you. This is helpful at the start of any healthy eating plan. Plan for lots of fruit and vegetables. Plan for lean protein. Plan for low GI foods.

3. Make sure you plan your sleep habits. Get plenty of sleep before midnight in order to lose weight.  This is because the liver needs to rest at  this time of day to create the energy you will use for tomorrow. And also because sitting up late at night instead of sleeping generally encourages high fat snacking.  Go to bed early at least twice a week.

4. Share. Get on this healthy path with someone else. Join a weight loss forum. Join a weight loss blog hop.  Go to a group exercise session. Walk with a friend. Share the journey - inspire and motivate one another.

5. Exercise every day. Even if it just a walk for 45 minutes - get moving. The endorphins you release will keep you motivated.

6. Eat brekky. Every day. Even if its just a bit of fruit.

7. Fake it till you make it. Act like a fit and active and healthy person acts.

8. Drink loads of water. At least 2 litres a day.  No excuses. If you do not drink lots of water, you weight loss will stall.  Simple as that.

9. Do not deny yourself. If chocolate is your thing, factor chocolate into your daily food plan. Eat it, relish in it. enjoy it, and don't feel guilty.

10. Don't go on a diet. Just change your way of life forever.


Total calories inhaled - 1277 ~ Exercise calories burned - 386 ~ Glasses of water sculled - 8 ~ Hours of glorious sleep - 7 ~ Minutes spent on Twitter - ZERO!

Tuesday, 5 April 2011

Calmer, more centered, and more fully in the present moment?

Total calories inhaled - 1180 ~ Exercise calories burned - 483 ~ Glasses of water sculled - 6
Tupperware parties cancelled - 1 ~ Hours of glorious sleep - 3 

The school holidays are beckoning.
A week or two of chilled out cruiseyness.
No rushing
No uniforms to iron.
No race to be out of the door at 8.15am
No days broken up by school reading, canteen duties and kindy cooking sessions.
No lunchboxes to make.
Oh sweet relief.

No screeching at the kids "get dressed, where's your school bag, have you got your lunchbox, get in the car, no you can't take the dog to school, why didn't you tell me earlier it was show 'n' tell?"

And along with all the chilling, with all that is Easter, with the camping and the extended chunks of time together as a family, my lovely husband and I get to plot next terms exercise.
We share the schedule for next term, and bargain with one another over who scores which sessions and who gets which mornings and who chooses which evenings to run free without children...
I am branching out next term.
Yoga, no less. I have heard wonderful things about its power.


And in a strange (but now unsurprising to me) serendipitous twist, there is a locally acclaimed yoga practitioner operating three doors down from my house. She teaches very small classes and is, apparently, very patient with beginners, which is a group I most certainly belong to.
I have noticed, over the past few months, how my general stretching after exercise, is stagnant. I find myself questioning whether or not I have just got really short arms and legs to make my ability to reach some stretches virtually impossible. I see other, less fit, older women, reaching and gaining stretches that I know I have no hope of managing. I am envious!
I have always avoided any yoga like activity before now, because I have always believed that I was too overweight, too stiff, and that I didn't have the right type of "yoga body". 
But from chatting to others, others who are on a similar journey to wellbeing, who do yoga, I have discovered something they seem to all agree on:

Doing yoga helps them consistently makes better food choices, and these choices come naturally because they are calmer, more centered, and more fully in the present moment.

Calmer, more centered, and more fully in the present moment?

Sounds very similar to a school holidays kind of bring it on.....

Tell me, have you ever done yoga?

PS - the little notes at the top of this post? With the green smiley face? I am trying to be a little more "in the present" with my energy in, energy out awareness. So I am going to try and track it daily.....I may not be perfect, but I will be honest....what do you think?

Monday, 28 February 2011

The eye of the tiger....

And here we go again.

The start of anther week.

Monday - my favourite day.

I feel energised from this weekend.

House cleanish? Check.

Children and husband all happy? Check.

Garden sensational? Check.

Friends all OK? Check.

Diet? Ermmmmmm....bistro meals at the cricket club are not a plate of health.

Exercise? CHECK

And here I am again - group personal training this morning at 6am sharp.

And I know it's cheesy, but when this song comes on my trainer's stereo, I cannot help but work a little bit harder. Run a little bit faster. Lift a little bit heavier.

(This montage is a good one - if you ever need a little inspiration on the fitness stakes, Sly does it for me everytime...)

What makes YOU work harder?

Wednesday, 23 February 2011

It hurts in a good way...

The Russians have been highly renown for centuries for their athletic prowess, and I'm guessing its not all down to the strength of their vodka.
I have woken up today aching in places I can't reach. In a good way. In that oh my goddess I must have worked my body well because I ache like a bastard kind of way. It hurts in a good way,

And it's all the fault of the Russians.

I've been using Russian Kettlebells, with Russian Squats.

Consider the way that Russians roll when it comes to solving a problem. Back during the “space race,” while the American government spent squillions of dollars to develop a pen that could write in an environment without gravity, the Russians solved the very same problem by just using a pencil that cost mere pennies. In the same way, kettlebell fitness exercises strike me as an amazingly simple "why didn't I think of that" kind of strength and interval method.

A kettlebell is just a weight with a handle on it – nothing less, nothing more. No need to spend a huge amount of money, or mess around with a lot of fancy pants equipment - just pick up one of these balls of iron with its handle and away we go...
Usually, the simplest way to accomplish a goal is the best way.

My goal is lovely lady arms and toned legs. As well as a strengthening my core and increasing my cardio fitness. As well as losing weight and toning the inside of my legs. As well as burning fat. Ummmm. High expectations, much?!

So on Monday I did four minute intervals of:
  • Russian squats 
  • Run
  • Kettlebell swings
  • Run
  • Kettlebell snatches
  • Run
  • Kettlebell presses 
  • Run

 And I shall do it all again today......and no doubt be hurting in a really good way again tomorrow......

Tuesday, 15 February 2011


I am running tonight.

Me and the treadmill.

Loud, loud music in my ears, listening for the interval, listening for the beep.

I find I am revelling in the mindlessness of the treadmill and the monotony of electronic beat.

The treadmill has its flashy electronic numbers.

(I have never taken much notice before. I have generally been too busy trying to not fall off and not have a heart attack.)

I am always starving about an hour after a run.

After I have run, or indeed done any exercise, I have that lovely smug feeling of having done it. Of being moral and healthy. I thrive upon it.

I also bargain with those feelings; unashamedly.

Ohhhh, I ran tonight. So it's probably OK to eat BBQ shapes?

A whole hour of mindless jogging on the treadmill burns off 429 calories.
Mindlessly eating half a box of BBQ Shapes in 10 minutes costs 522 calories.

See the deficit? The numbers just do not equate. The figures just do not stack up well enough.

Note to self - do not do mindless. Do not waste those calories burned...

Wednesday, 9 February 2011

Slimmer, in just twenty minutes....

There are several angles to the feel good factor of exercise.

Whether it be the gym, a walk, a swim or a ride: the benefits are pretty much instant.

My best friend often tells me she feels "like a big fat Umpa Lumpa". She is not. At all. But I guess we all get how uncomfortable that feels.

She then texts me to say "Went for a swim. Feel less fat already."

Now, in the time it took for her to swim, it is doubtful that there is any noticeable change, at all, in her figure. But she feels better. The spring in her step is a little lighter and she is certainly more energetic. Her grin is more smiley. She feels lighter - lighter of heart.

I dare say it is the choice that she has made, the decision to take that swim that has made her feel better. A mental uplift of spirit.

Plus, of course, all of her circulation is pumping. She has got the blood moving. She will feel physically more supple and languid as a result of moving. More comfortable in her skin.

And the hormones - those wonderful energy giving happy hormones - they are released. Into the blood stream, straight to the brain. They are magic.

Run, walk, weights, gym, swim, ride, skip. Whatever works.

Size 26 or a size 8, and everything in between: if you want to feel good, if you want to feel better, just get twenty minutes under your belt, of huffy puffy exercise. Quite simply, it feels good.

My blogging friend Al, and I, had a tweetversation, around this same concept, last night. Her tweets are looking slimmer, just as a result of two trips to the gym.

In twenty minutes, you'll feel trimmer, more shapely. Happier. More energetic. You'll feel better.

If you want to feel slimmer already? Just start.