Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Frequency is the key

Having a baby or young child can really help with your own discipline in making sure you regularly re-fuel. We wouldn't dream of leaving our little ones for hours on end without feeding them, it is essential to their growth and well being. Babies can feed up to 12 times if not more in 24hours, cutting down to maybe 5-6 feeds as they get older, young children need frequent snacks to keep them going through the day, so when and why did we forget to feed ourselves? Mothers who are looking after children, keeping a house and working, busy people who need energy either neglect their own needs or think that by eating small amounts or forgetting to eat they will lose weight. Maybe you will, but your body will also begin to use muscle as a much needed energy source and ultimately you will slow your metabolism. When you finally get to sit down and relax and indulge "because you deserve it" your body will hang onto every last bit and store fat for the next time you decide to starve yourself. How does your body know that you can head to the fridge whenever you like? It doesn't so it goes into starvation mode.

My recommendation to you is to use your child's eating routine as your own. Begin your day with a healthy breakfast and then aim to eat every 2-3 hours throughout the day. At minimum I would imagine your little one is eating every 3-4 hours so you should never exceed this. Have healthy snacks on hand to eat while you breast feed or while your older child is eating his solids. Seeing mummy (or daddy) eat at the same time can encourage children to eat their lunch. Have some food that you might 'share'; veggie sticks, etc, as we all know mummy and daddy's food taste better than their own food.

Live by the rule -' if you feel your child should be eating then you should be eating', check in with yourself and remember the last time you ate - chances are if you don't use these triggers you may forget or at best end up grabbing a less healthy, convenience snack on the run. Look after number one; happy mummy = happy baby, both inside and outside.

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Festive tips

I don't know about you but since arriving in Perth I feel I have eaten my way through most of December. I hear my own words of advice "Remember - Christmas is only one day" going in one ear and out of the other. The fridge is full, the bar (aka the fridge) is open by just after 4pm everyday, treats and once a year goodies flow freely throughout the day. Now I haven't completely let myself go, after all that hard work there is no way I could put it all to waste so I follow a few little guidelines that I thought I'd share with you;

Always eat a good breakfast: this means a decent sized meal containing proteins and complex carbohydrates. That bowl of fruit may feel like a good healthy start to the day but it won't keep you going for long and you will soon be reaching for those morning mince tarts! Wholemeal toast and a couple of poached eggs is a great start to the day.

Start with the large and end with the small: meaning begin your day with that good sized breakfast and taper your meals accordingly. Eat a medium sized lunch, a smaller dinner and aim to finish eating at least two hours before you head to bed.

Snack: eat every 2-3 hours, if you leave it longer than this you will almost definitely fill up on sweet calorie filled foods.

Keep moving: Holidays for the majority of people mean MORE food and LESS movement - a recipe for trouble if ever I heard one. Try this; leave your car on your driveway with a full tank of petrol all week, don't move it, add 2 liters of petrol every 1-2 hours for the entire week it will soon be overflowing! Do the same to yourself and those jeans might begin to acquire their own overflow. Keep training and keep exercise as part of your daily habit.

Keep healthy snacks on hand: the fridge may be full of tasty treats but make sure your usual healthy snacks are on hand too. Keep them at the front of the fridge and you might just find yourself reaching for one of those instead. If all the healthy food gets shifted out for the summer you will have no choice but to snack on calorie laden foods. Give yourself half a chance.

Use breastfeeding as an excuse: And that's NOT and excuse to eat extra chocolates, cheese and Christmas pudding, but an excuse not to drink so much. Its the perfect excuse to save on extra calories.

Everything in moderation (or maybe a little extra): Try not to go CRAZY, its a fun time of year and we all enjoy extra treats but do it so you feel good, don't make yourself sick - if you are going to indulge savor the moment and make sure you can still move afterwords.

So enjoy Christmas day and I will look forward to sharing lots of healthy happy moments with you in 2009.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008


Hey there, I am back and now have time to scratch myself, its amazing how one little person can add soooooooo much planning a preparation to a trip. He did however sleep for 4 hours of a 5 hour flight, he was an angel! I am now sitting in the lounge room of my in-laws, Marley is tucked up in bed though I am expecting him to wake at any moment and I am reflecting upon the last 12 weeks. I should begin of course with filling you in on my last scan results:

Current as at 12th December 2008

Total Body Weight: 55.3kg

Body Fat : 22.5%

Fat Mass: 12.4kg

Lean Body Mass: 40.6kg

11th November 2008

TBW: 57.2kg

BF: 23.5%

FM: 13.4kg

LBM: 41.4kg

8th October 2008

TBW: 57.7kg

BF: 26.4kg

FM: 15.2kg

LBM: 40.4kg

17th September 2008

TBW: 58.6kg

BF: 27.2kg

FM: 15.9kg

LBM: 40.4kg



BF: 20%

FM: 10kg

LBM: 42.7kg or above

So there you have it – am I happy with where I have ended up? I am both happy and slightly frustrated but having learnt a valuable lesson. You can see that my Total Body Weight has continued to fall – this I am happy with, especially when you can see I have lost Body Fat, HOWEVER at my November scan I had lost BF and gained muscle. I had my eye on my food intake and know I was spot on with what I was eating, when and how much – I made sure I was consuming enough. This month’s scan shows me that having taken my eye off the ball just slightly when it comes to food I have lost muscle mass. I’m not eating crap or doing anything drastically wrong I am just not eating the volume of food required to gain muscle. I had increased my cardio slightly which may be a contributing factor but in general it comes down to the amount of food, especially protein which I need to eat. You know how life gets busy – babies come first and mum’s lunch is sometimes just thrown together. This is a perfect example that preparation is the key and also how hard it can be for women to gain large amounts of muscle and end up looking big and bulky. Yes, it is different for everyone, all or our metabolic rates and ability to build muscle are different but those women out there that all afraid to lift weights in the fear that they will turn into Arnold Schwarzenegger fear not – you have to eat A LOT of food to get that way!!! It is however one of the most effective ways of burning FAT – that IS something most of us want to do – lift some weights and burn that fat.

My Goal – I am still 2% BF, +2kg FM and -2kg of LBM away from my ultimate goal but overall I am happy with where I have got to. It has been a great journey, I have really enjoyed those extra hard sessions with Simon and sharing my journey with you. I also know that for me this is a way of life, I eat well and train hard and because my 12 week challenge has ended doesn’t mean that comes to an end. I will continue just as I will continue to clean my teeth morning and night. I am not going to say goodbye as I am going to keep my blog going and keep sharing healthy facts, recipes, tips and advice with you. I will also soon be introducing you to the first of my Body Beyond Baby Blitz candidates who will share with you her journey – her before and after pics and her body composition results. So keep reading and Ill see you soon.

My own ‘after’ shot will be appearing soon.

Saturday, December 6, 2008

New York New York

Seven days and counting. We had a little Christmas get together for our apartment block this evening, there's not many places in Sydney that neighbors even speak to each other let alone have a get together so I feel very lucky to have bought into that. As the sun went down and the little breeze came up I felt a little chilly. Wandering indoors to change from shorts to jeans I decided to try on a pair which I bought in New York during September last year - to my amazement I pulled them on and..........they fit, not just over the legs they fastened up too - no muffin top in sight - very happy. I then promptly went downstairs to indulge in some lovely soft cheeses - after all that hard work and 9 months of deprivation I'm sure I deserved it.

I am on the look out for my predecessors - strong determined women to come on board and write about their journey. Its all very well my sharing my journey with you but I still feel there's a bit of the "your a trainer so its easy" mentality. Like something just happens to me that doesn't happen to others. Its hard work and I put in the time and the effort. I am lucky that the exercise comes easy, I love getting to the gym and doing my runs - its part of everyday life, like brushing my teeth - it just gets done. Now I want you to experience it for yourself, to see other women taking control and working towards their goals. Writing about it and sharing for others to see. In 2009 I am introducing my Body Beyond Baby Blitz - this is a 12 week plan to get back in shape, to feel great about yourself and build a strong, resilient body, free from injury and complaints. It will take enthusiasm and commitment, time and energy but it will form patterns and habits that hopefully you will take with you forever. Ones that you will introduce your children to, instilling health, fitness and exercise into their lives from an early age. If you are interested or know someone who fits the bill get in touch - challenge yourself in 2009 and be the person you want to be. Otherwise keep updated on this blog page and meet these fantastic women in 2009.

Monday, December 1, 2008

Organic sugar is still sugar

11 days to go - I've enlisted the help of a friend and trainer, to help push me that extra little bit over the next couple of weeks before I head off to Perth - I believe everyone will get more out of their training if they use a trainer whether in a one on one or group situation. Someone to push you that little bit harder and pick up on any technique or postural mistakes; I like to think I have the latter down pat but I ALWAYS work harder when there is someone telling me what to do - no dropping the last rep or two, no slacking off. I had my first session this morning and I am sure I will be sore tomorrow!

I wanted to touch upon a confusion or maybe assumption many people make with organic food. There has been a huge increase of sales of organic foods and produce over the last five years. People are paying more for their groceries in the belief that organic foods are better for your health. Now I am not going to get into the debate as to whether this is true, I have my own theories about organic food, how it is produced and where it comes from and it is your prerogative to do your research and decide what the best food is for your family. I am however going to touch upon the confusion that many people have in assuming that just because something is from an organic supermarket or has the words organic on the packaging that it MUST be good for you.

Any possible benefits of consuming organic products are often overridden by the consumers misunderstanding of basic nutritional concepts. Sugar, no matter whether it displays an organic label or your stock standard home brand label is still sugar and refined sugar is bad for your health. It contains no nutritional value and causes a spike in insulin levels and insulin overload can be blamed for conditions such as high blood pressure, being overweight, diabetes and high blood pressure.

Those organic chocolates and organic cakes - not good for your health, they are still loaded with sugar and if eaten in excess will cause you to gain weight. So next time you're in the organic supermarket or health food store reach for the organic fruit instead of the tempting treats that catch your eye - the fruit IS better for your health, and why not add some almonds or a hard boiled egg to your snack and not only enjoy the sweet taste of fresh organic fruit but enjoy the benefits of combining your carbohydrate with a protein source therefore lowering your insulin levels and causing you to feel fuller for longer.

However keep in mind that even supposedly healthy food can cause weight gain if eaten in excess, more energy in than energy out will always result in an excess and that excess is going to result in fat!