Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Give this cardio workout a go

We had a great session in the park this morning - check out how everyone went and record your own time:


500 meter run
Suicides (set out four cones - run from the 1st to the 2nd, back to the 1st then to the third, back to the first then to the fourth)
10 Burpees
50 Step ups (25 each leg)
15 Jumping Jacks

Record your time for one circuit
Complete three times aiming to stay at the same speed or better your time

This is how the girls went:

Name Circuit 1 Circuit 2 Circuit 3

Bridgette 5'48" 5'31" 6'15"
Renee 4'45" 4'44" 4'15"
Colette 5'30" 5' 5'36"
Michelle 5'21" 5'31" 5'36"
Katya 5'10" 5'34" 5'48"
Anabella 5'10" 4'53" 5'16"
Antonina 6'28" 6'04" 6'29"
Kim 6'30" 6'04" 6'29"
Rachel 5'10" 5'34" 6"

This was a great session and everyone worked really hard - nice work girls!!!

Until next time enjoy :)

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

This weeks cardio workout

I am running cardio sessions on a Monday morning in Centennial Park so I have decided to bring to you what we did for this week then if you missed the session or are doing your own cardio at the moment you can try it out and mix things up a little. Here it is:

Steps and laps

We used the steps near the children's playground at the Oxford Street (Paddington) gates in Centennial Park. If you are not in this area or these steps are not convenient find a decent set of steps you can run up and down.

Run up the steps hitting every step each time
Run up the steps hitting every other step each time

Alternate as above doing each exercise five times

Time yourself as you run a lap of about 500m, run at a pace you can sustain for both laps. Make sure you run the second lap as quickly as the first - use your watch.

Complete the above circuits 3 times. Steps then laps is one circuit - this should take you about 30-35 minutes.

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Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Royal Hospital for Women Foundation

I have just arrived home from a meeting with Penelope Hess who is CEO of the Royal Hospital for Women Foundation. From the moment I arrived at the hospital, retracing the steps I took as a pregnant women experiencing labour, about to deliver her first child. The steps, or shuffles, many women have taken before me and many more will do in the future, I felt something special but sad all at the same time. As I walked down the corridor past the delivery suite I saw from the window a helicopter preparing for flight and hospital trolley with a humidicrib on board no doubt the home to a beautiful baby, some one's baby son or daughter that, already, at such a young age is fighting for their survival.

Now, I don't have a tragic story of loss and I haven't fought the battle of my life to have my son with me today. I have a happy and healthy almost one year old. But when I hear these stories of the tragedy and challenges some people have overcome and had to endure it becomes so apparent how precious life is and how quickly this seemingly perfect situation can change. It tears my heart out to imagine tiny tiny babies fighting for their lives, parents unable to do anything to help when as a parent that is all you want to do for your child.

Penelope told me some wonderful stories of the ways in which the Foundation has helped save the lives of little babies that otherwise probably wouldn't have been so lucky. And to know that those children are now healthy and thriving is such a wonderful feeling. I honestly spent the majority of my 60 minutes with her with a lump in my throat and tears in my eyes. You can read about the work the RHWF do in their newsletters by clicking here

I want to help these babies and I would love your support. Whether you would like to join me on race day and be part of our team, offer sponsorship to help us reach our fund raising target or raise awareness in your own way your contributions will be most appreciated.

Click here to head to my sponsorship page or you can contact me at

I look forward to hearing from you

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Body Composition one year on

Hey all,

I have just returned from a trip to see Jarrod at body composition to get a 'one year' update on what is going on on the inside.

For comparison I though I would give you results from September 2007 (pre-pregnancy), September 2008 (post-pregnancy) and now, July 2009 (one year on). Here goes:

September 07 (pre-pregnancy)

Body Fat 20.2%
Total Body weight 53.9kg
Fat mass 10.9kg
Lean Body Mass 40.6kg

September 08 (post-pregnancy)

Body Fat 27.2%
Total body weight 58.6kg
Fat mass 15.9kg
Lean Body Mass 40.4kg

July 09 (NOW - one year on)

Body Fat 21.3%
Total body weight 55.5kg
Fat mass 11.8kg
Lean Body Mass 41.3kg

You might look at that and say, well she's not back to her original pre-baby weight and you would be correct BUT if you look closely, and this is where we need to talk about body composition and not just body 'weight'. You will see that with the correct diet and exercise I now have an extra kilo of muscle than I did before I fell pregnant with Marley, this would therefore make it difficult for me to reach that original 53.9kg without becoming extremely lean or losing muscle.

I am carrying 1% and 1kg of body fat more than I would like so from here my goal weight will be around 54.5kg with a body fat percentage of 20. Hopefully with my goal to run the half marathon and the increase in cardiovascular activity it might just be the kick I need to get there. I will however need to watch my protein intake and given that I am going to have to drop a weights session in the gym to accommodate the extra cardio I may lose a little muscle.

I will be back with a post marathon body composition so we can check it out and see what the change in training does to my body - stay tuned.

Monday, July 13, 2009

Body Beyond Baby is running to save a baby in the Sydney Running Festival

I have always wanted to run a half marathon. The crazy thought crossed my mind pretty much this time last year when I was preparing to give birth to my son (who is gong to be one on Friday - how time flies) . I came to my senses mind you, given the run was eight weeks after his birth it probably wouldn't have been the wisest move.

Now, one year on and I AM running the half marathon. So far it has been a challenge to fit in even a couple of runs each week. I decided to drop one of my weights sessions in the gym from now until the 20th of September (race day) in order to accustom my body to enjoying longer runs. It will be interesting to see what my body composition does with a change in training. I will be visiting Jarrod this week in order to find out what I am looking like on the inside one year after giving birth to my son and I will visit him again on completion on the half marathon.

By running in the Sydney Running Festival, myself, and the Body Beyond Baby team will be aiming to reach our target by raising much needed funds for the Royal Hospital for Women Foundation. A cause which, as parents, is very close to our hearts. The majority of us have beautiful, healthy, thriving babies but life is precious and all of that can change in a heart beat and some babies are born with or even battle critical illness even before birth.

The Foundation do the unbelievable, they fight to save the lives of babies and give them the chance to enjoy what we often take for granted.

I am very much looking forward to doing everything that I can to raise money - see you on race day!

Monday, May 25, 2009

Baby breakfast

I hope you are all enjoying a break in the rain - its been quite warm out there today - perfect weather for a jog in the park!

So, I am forever talking about the benefits of a great breakfast and a few email recently flew around from my own mothers group about what was a good breakfast for our little ones. Marley is often happy with Weetbix and banana but I truly believe both for ourselves and our babies that oats make a great staple.

Check the recipes below for something a little different to tempt your baby in the morning - you may need to make extra for yourselves. For those who recognise them - yes they are straight from the wonderful Annabel Karmel cookbooks and are perfect for these cooler mornings.

My Favorite Porridge

150ml Milk

15g Porridge oats
6 dried apricots
1 large ripe pear pealed

Put the milk, porridge and chopped oats into a small saucepan, bring to the boil then simmer stirring occasionally for 3 minutes. Puree with the chopped pear using a hand blender.


Apple, pear and prunes with oats

2 tbsp porrdige oats
4tbsp unsweetended apple juice
2 tbsp water
1 small apple (sweet like pink lady) - peeled, cored, chopped
2 stoned prunes
1 small ripe pear - peelend cored chopped

Put oats, apple juice and water in saucepan, bring to boil and simmer for two mins. Add the apple, prunes and pear, cover with a lid and simmer for three minutes stirring occasionally. Puree to the desired consistency.

If you are making these meals for yourself its always a good idea to stir in some unflavored protein powder or some protein rich ground nuts or seeds - I enjoy group flaxseed personally.

Remember a great breakfast kickstarts your metabolism and sets you up for the rest of the day - Enjoy!

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Photos of Body Beyond Baby at My Body Studio

Some of our very cute bubs.......

......and mums working hard and looking fantastic - keep it up girls!!!

Saturday, May 9, 2009

Great first week

Body Beyond Baby has enjoyed a great first week in our new winter location. Thank you to all my mums that have made our transition nice and smooth and welcome to those new mums who joined us for the first time last week - I always enjoy seeing a mum who has not only decided to begin exercising but to seeing her actually do it. There is often a big gap in these two steps - just because you decide to do something doesn't mean you will get around to doing it. I'm sure many of us can list off many things that we decided to do but for one reason or another haven't quite got around to doing them.

As for me - I am enjoying my own group training sessions this month, as part of the group rather than running it. My dad is here from the UK and has taken on any necessary early morning babysitting duties while I sneak quietly out of the house at 5.45am. I always was an early morning exerciser until Marley came along and having the opportunity to get back to that for a while is great.

I also cannot recommend training in a group, with a friend or one on one with a trainer enough - even for myself, someone who knows exactly what to do when I head to the park or the gym gains great benefit from varying workouts provided by Troy from Fittabodies and also from being able to push harder in a group situation. Its the end of my first week and I am a little sore but I feel fantastic! If your not doing it already what are you waiting for???

For an update on my current group sessions click here

And if you are an early riser and like the idea of joining Troy at 6am for his group sessions click here


Tuesday, May 5, 2009

We have moved indoors to My Body Studio

My son is now nine months old - time flies when your having fun! and I've been a little off the planet with keeping you updated with how I'm going - my apologies for that. One of the main reasons has been the building of my Body Beyond Baby group training sessions - group exercise with nannies. We have been training in Sydney's Centennial Park, but, as of the start of May have moved inside to a warm and dry venue for the winter. For anyone who is interested in joining these sessions we have a fantastic group of women currently training. Everyone is keen, motivated and all in the same boat; trying to juggle motherhood and a million other things whilst aiming to maintain or regain a level of fitness - which in turn leads to looking and feeling fantastic.

Some days our group is filled with little devils and other times it is as if we have brought along our own choir of angels - the most important thing being that we are flexible, easygoing and aim to create a relaxed environment, go with the flow and enable you to get through your workout in whatever shape or form it will take for that day. Many of our mums wouldn't get through ANY workout if they weren't training with us - therefore they have made a great decision in their commitment in joining us.

My aim is to get as many mums back into the world of exercise, knowing that a little bit of effort now will ultimately improve their quality of life, health and wellness in the long run. Its also fantastic to know we are introducing these special little people to a healthy way of life at such an early age.

We had our first session in our new winter location this morning. Everything went without too much of a hitch and the rain pouring outside re-confirmed my decision to move us indoors for the winter months. We can now look forward to lots of challenging and exciting workouts without the threat of getting ourselves and or little ones wet and cold.

Well done to everyone who made it.

My Body Studio is a fantastic set up on Belmore Road in Randwick. It is a collaboration by three Eastern suburbs trainers and we now have the privileged of joining them for our Body Beyond Baby group sessions - thanks for having us guys!

For more information about the studio click here and for a more detailed map of the location click here

Here is a run down of Body Beyond Baby sessions that are currently up and running:

  • Tuesday 9.15-10.15am - Very full class - may be some spaces available towards the end of the month.
  • Tuesday 10.30-11.30am - Spaces available
  • Thursday 9-10am - A few spaces available
  • Thursday 10.15-11.15am - Spaces available
To find out more about our training sessions just head to our FAQ page or contact us with any questions or to register your details.

I look forward to you training with us,

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Rain rain go away.....

I know we need the rain but really, so much in such a short period of time!!! I had to do one of things I hate doing most and cancel a training session this morning. There seems to be no break in sight with this down pour and even if the sun did appear through the clouds soggy, slippy ground is a recipe for disaster add little babies to the mix and we have some unhappy people.

We might not be able to get to the park this morning but we can still get moving. Hopefully all my girls will be logging on to check out their in house workout and if you happen to be on here maybe you can try it out too. Girls, use the comments section to let me know how you go.

You will need a stop watch or at least a clock or watch with a seconds hand.
Start with the warm up and stretches.
Perform each exercise for the time listed before moving on to the next one without resting. Its a good idea to read through a familiarise yourself with each exercise before starting the circuit.
Once you have completed all the exercises rest for 1-2 minutes grab a drink of water and start again.
I have put pointers next to each exercise but if you are unsure head to Google and type in the exercise - their are some fantastic video demonstrations on line.

Jog on spot for 1 minute, 20 jumping jacks x 5

Stretch - I always like to work from the lower body to upper body. Hold each stretch for 20-30 seconds.
  • Hip Flexor stretch - kneeling on one knee, make sure you knee is directly below you hip, tilt the pelvis forward and squeeze the glutes to feel a stretch at your hip flexor.
  • Quad stretch - standing on one leg bend the other up behind you holding your ankle. Keep knees together and tummy switched on.
  • Hamstring stretch - stand on one leg and bring the other knee up towards your chest. Hold at the knee.
  • Calf stretch - Bend on knee and extend the other leg out in front, rest you hands on your bent knee for support.
  • Chest stretch - join your hands behind your body and squeeze the shoulder blades together whilst sticking your chest out.
  • Triceps stretch - Take one arm over the top of your head so your elbow is by your ear, bend that arm so your hand drops to your shoulder. Use the other arm to gently pull at the raised elbow to increase the stretch.
  • Back stretch - hold onto a fixed object (holding each handle of an open door may work) bend at the knees and lean backwards feeling a stretch through your upper back.
Now for your circuit:

Squats - 30 seconds
Feet hip width apart, weight through your heels, bend at the knee, stick your bum out, keep your chest up and TUMMY TIGHT - 30 seconds

Push-ups - 30 seconds
On your toes or knees, hands should be level with your chest, keep your tummy tight and shoulders down. Chest to floor.

Jumping Jacks - 1 minute

Sumo squat - 30 seconds
Feet wider apart, toes turned out, bend at the knees, tip a little at the hips as if you were picking something up off the ground, keep your back straight, relax the shoulders and tummy tight.

Triceps dips - 30 seconds
Use the edge of the couch or a chair, hands by your hips, fingers facing forwards, slide your bum off the bench keeping the chest up and shoulders down bend at the elbows then push back up to your starting position.

Jogging on the spot with high knees - 1 minute

Lunges - 30 seconds
Alternating one leg then the other. Feet hip width apart take a step forwards and bend both knees (as if you were going to kneel down) keep the weight through the heel of your front foot and activate the glute to bring yo up to your starting position. Ensure your knee doesn't go over your toe when you bend.

Row (if you have an elastic or resistance band) OR cobra - 30 seconds
Row - wrap your resistance band around a table leg, sit up straight with legs slightly bent out in front, switch on your tummy. Arms start stretched out in front, draw your shoulder blades back then bend your arms to pull you hands into your lower ribs. Slowly release.

Cobra - Lying face down, arms by your sides, palms facing downwards. Draw your shoulder blades back and down and raise your head, chest and shoulders slightly of the floor, turn your thumbs up to the sky and squeeze between the shoulder blades.

Jogging on the spot kicking your bum - 1 minute

Bicep curls- 30 seconds
(with dumb bells or you can use cans of baked beans or two full water bottles) Start with your hands by your sides, slight bend in your knees. Bend at the elbows bringing the hands up towards your chest, slowly lower down.

Shoulder Press - 30 seconds
(with the same weight as above) - Feet hip width apart, slight bend in your knees. Arms are our to the side and bent at a 90 degree angle with hands facing forwards. Push the weights up to the sky and join the hands in the middle. - Tummy tight!!!

Jumping jacks - 1 minute

Sit-ups - 30 seconds

Bicycles - 30 seconds
opposite elbow to knee

Jogging on the spot, normal legs - 1 minute

Repeat the circuit 2 or 3 times (20 or 30 mins)

Go through the stretches above to cool down


Monday, March 30, 2009

Bec's Wedding Photo!

The photos have arrived and I actually like them!! I'm so happy about it and it sure makes all the sweating and food diaries seem like a small price to pay. So I have posted one on here for anyone who is interested, and for a bit of comparison. I can't beleive what a difference there is and how a bub really did change my shape (or lack thereof), but thankfully it wasn't forever. Thanks Jen!!!!

Saturday, March 14, 2009

#9. Turn it off

The TV I mean......and the car.......and the lift.................the golf buggy.............the escalators...........the list could go on. We spend more time in front of televisions and computers using motor cars and machinery to make our lives easier than we ever have done before. Adding a few unnecessary kilos to our frames at the same time.

Do yourself a favor and do it for your children. They have enough examples of sedentary convenience in their lives without you enforcing it also. Turn off the TV and play a game with your kids. Teach them to take the stairs instead of the lift, walk to the shops rather than taking the car and you might just feel better for it yourself.

Simple as that!

Good luck to Bec for your wedding day tomorrow - I am so looking forward to seeing pictures and posting one up here for everyone to see how amazing you look. Well done for all your hard work and commitment, it really goes to show that when you put your mind to something you can achieve your goals. That little extra planning with a baby is worth its weight in gold when you come out the other end feeling and looking like a more healthy, happy and wonderful you.

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Three Days Untill Bec's Wedding

OMG it’s three days away. Wow, whoever thought it was a good idea to plan a wedding with a baby (me) was a lunatic! Never the less, all is going ahead relatively smoothly and I’m at the stage where I’ve decided whatever isn’t done must not be that important.

Today was my last day at the Body Beyond Baby training before the wedding and having everyone wish me luck and ask to see pictures was really nice. It’s become like a mothers group with purpose for me, and I realised I’ve made some friends while I’ve been getting fit which is a huge bonus.

As of last Saturday I’d lost six and a bit kilos, over the last nine weeks, and I’m now waiting until after the big day to do a final check-in. I’m really happy with how my dress looks and right now I just want to be happy with that and not be two focused on the number. My aim was to loose eight kilos in the ten weeks so I will report next week and rest assured that I’ll be continuing to work hard to lose whatever is left over, even after the wedding.

Well that’s it for now, I’m off to do about a million wedding things but I just thought I’d say to anyone reading this who is keen to get back to track, be it to loose baby weight, get fitter, or even to be the best most healthy version of yourself, I really recommend getting involved with a group or a trainer. It really helps to motivate you, and the benefits of having a professional guiding your training can’t be underestimated. To help me get ready for the wedding I’ve done both and I’m really glad. I feel great and exercise is now a firmly established part of my life… which is great for me, and sets a great example for my little one as he gets bigger.

Thursday, March 5, 2009

# 8. Exercise everyday

Years ago people did manual work for a living, walked to get water, worked in fields and washed clothes by hand. Now we turn on the tap for water, go to the supermarket for food (or get it home delivered) and have machines to wash our clothes. We sit at desks to work and more and more children are driven to school rather than walking. Add to that the growing popularity of computer games, DVD's and home delivery food and no wonder we are a population that is growing in size.

It is important to plan exercise into your daily routine and to make it a normal part of your child's life.

For you:
  • Find a gym with a creche and hit the weights or the treadmill a couple of times a week.
  • Got a running pram? Head to a park (with a smooth road especially if they are young) and do a few laps - if you live in the Eastern suburbs of Sydney Centennial Park is a favorite location of mine.
  • If you don't have a running pram take a brisk walk to the park, find some grass, park the pram and do a few interval runs over a distance of about 50m - if you are with a friend you could take it in turns while one of you stays with your babies.
  • Find a friend and do a baby swap - you go for an hour, they go for an hour.
  • Come and join our Body Beyond Baby group training sessions - we have nannies that will look after your little one while you train close by. Click here for more information.
For your child:
  • Take them to the park - when they are young it is as simple as that, they will love to be outdoors and it will be all you can do to keep up with them for a while!
  • As they get older play games with them; a ball game or Frisbee in the park of on the beach - not only will they get some exercise but you will too.
  • Walk them to school if its close or drive them a block or two away and get them to walk the rest - use the excuse that its too busy around the school to park closer if you need to.
  • Make a family walk part of your weekend.
  • Limit TV time and encourage them to get outside where possible.
  • Do fun activities like swimming, bike riding and roller skating.
The lists are endless - just make it fun and do it everyday from a very young age.

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

#7. Reverse your pyramid

Think back to yesterday........ Did you have breakfast?................. Did you have dinner?............... Which was your largest meal? I'd bet out of those of people who ate breakfast and dinner the majority ate the largest meal for dinner, and those who skipped breakfast still ate dinner.

You get up in the morning after having fasted through the night, your body needs food to start the day and kick start your metabolism. You have a whole day ahead of you so you also need the energy to get into your day.

Reversing your food pyramid means eating your biggest meals first thing in the morning and your smallest of an evening. Taper your calories "Eat breakfast like a king, lunch like a prince and dinner like a pauper". This way you have much less of a chance of storing the early meal as fat because you have been fasting over night and you have the day ahead to burn it off. Whereas a heavy evening meal is much more likely to be stored as fat because you burn fewer calories at night and your metabolism is naturally much slower.

Start this habit with your children now, enforce the importance of breakfast. Where possible sit down and share breakfast or at least get them to eat it at the table rather than on the run. Try to make breakfast a family time as most of us do dinner. Give them desert at lunch time rather than getting into the habit of eating it every night before bed. Once they are old enough you can explain why it is good to eat in this way, explain that they need energy to run around and play in the day time but at night they are sleeping so the body won't spend the extra energy and it will turn to fat. Children need to understand these things and the sooner the better. Most of all make sure you lead by example.

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Bec’s regretting alcohol

Hmmm, like the hang over wasn’t enough to remind me why I don’t drink. Then I come on and read Jen’s post about ‘empty calories’! I consumed more than my share of empty calories on the Saturday as I celebrated my last days as a Miss. If being a Mrs. means I never have to feel that way again, I have even more reason to look forward to the big day.

So as you can imagine the weekend wasn’t a great aid in my final bid to lose the last kilos. The only upside is that I felt so unhealthy I only want to put the healthiest and most pure foods I can find in my body to help it get back to feeling as great as I did a week ago. Feeling hung-over and unhealthy was actually a really good reminder about the real benefits of exercising and eating well. I fully appreciate now that taking care of myself makes me feel better, makes me more energetic, and definitely makes me a better Mum.

In a bid to remove the guilt, and any extra calories from the weekend I’ve been adding an hour walk to each day’s exercise on top of what I usually do. When I think about it I usually take Hugo out for a few short walks a day so all I’ve had to do is get out early and walk a bit longer to make sure I get a steady paced aerobic work out.

I’ll let you know if it helps!

Thursday, February 26, 2009

#6. Sugar + Alcohol = FAT

Firstly, its great to have Bec back on board - she has been working hard and take it from me is looking fantastic! Can't wait to post her 'after' pics for all to see. Keep up the hard work Bec - like you say it is all worth it and you will be back on the healthy living track for a long time after the wedding is over.

Now, some foods contain what I like to refer to as 'empty calories'. Two of the number one culprits leading to empty calorie consumption would be sugar and alcohol. When I say empty calories I mean that they offer absolutely no nutritional value to your body at all. In fact 1g of alcohol contains 7 calories so you can imagine how many additional calories those couple of glasses of wine (and the rest) are adding of an evening. Add to that any sugary treats you may consume during the day and you may have blown your calorie quota for the day out of the water at lunch time!

Try and limit the amount of alcohol you drink of an evening, allow your body at least 2-3 nights off and chose a specific time that you would like to indulge in your favorite sweet treat. Make sure its one that is worth while for you and will leave you feeling satisfied. Thoroughly enjoy it and then reach for healthy natural alternatives on a day to day basis.

Your children

Their tastes are guided by what you introduce them to in their early days, give them lots of sugary treats and that is what they will become accustomed to and will prefer to eat. Young children and babies don't know what lollies, chocolate and cake are so why introduce them to them when a healthy piece of fruit will serve as a great nutritious desert or snack instead.

Soon enough your children will discover sugar for themselves and then you can introduce them to your healthy approach; sweet things are treats and mummy and daddy have a treat once or twice a week on a certain day/time - maybe Friday evening is family movie night, homemade pizza and treat night. Mummy and daddy chose a sweet treat and so does little Jack or Jill.

Do your best not to offer food as reward and to avoid making sweets and sugar loaded deserts part of your everyday diet.

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

A post from Bec

Finally, I’m back in the world of the living and internet able. My net connection was down for a few weeks and I also had a bub that was sick and then waking up every hour for the last two months!! I am now pleased to say he sleeps 12 hours a night and I am feeling like a human being again.

It’s now three weeks until the wedding and I am starting to get nervous about it all going smoothly. What I am not nervous about is how I will look and feel on the day. So far I’ve lost five kilos and I am so pleased with how my dress looks! That’s not to say I’m ready to give up yet – I’m still aiming to loose another three kilos. I know this might be difficult but I think it is better to aim high and see how it goes.

To give my body the last little kick it needs I’ve increased the amount of exercise I’m doing (now six times a week) and pushing myself that little bit harder every day. I’m also keeping a food diary and trying to stick to lean proteins and plenty of fruit and veggies. I keep reminding myself that three weeks of hard work will be well worth it considering wedding photos are forever!

Hopefully, I’ll be updating you regularly from now on with good news, but right now I’m off to the beach to take advantage of this beautiful day.

Sunday, February 15, 2009

#5. Think outside of the box

Literally! So much of our diet these days comes out of packets, out of cardboard boxes and plastic wrappers. Processed foods often contain excess sugar, fat and salt. Substances that many of us have way too much of in our diet. Especially important for children, the foods you feed them today will shape their tastes and preferences for tomorrow, so its up to you to give them the best possible start.

Eat as much fresh, unprocessed foods as you can. When you head to the supermarket try to do the majority of your shopping from around the edges rather than down the isles. Think fresh fruit and veg, meats and fish. Only head down the isles if you really have to and learn to read the labels of all packaged food and compare product before piling the trolley high.

Play naming games with your kids - see how many vegetables they can point out and teach them the names of less common produce. Its amazing how many children (and even adults) struggle to put a name to certain veggies. Have fun and you might even discover a few new vegetables for yourself. Enjoy!

Thursday, February 12, 2009

#4. Whats in food?

I recently had dinner with my mother-in-law, a very smart, well educated woman - yet she still confessed that she didn't know what a carbohydrate was - or which foods fell into the carbohydrate category. Given this, I would assume that it may also be confusing as to what foods are proteins and what foods are fats.

I then figured that it may not be uncommon for many people not to know what categories certain foods fall into, its no-ones fault that they don't know. If you have never been taught, how should you know?

I want to change this, I want to educate you so you can educate your children. So, lets get back to basics with putting some common foods into their categories.

Examples of Fibrous Complex Carbohydrates: (ones to eat lots of)

Green Beans..........................Get the picture - all those lovely veggies and salad fruits.

Examples of Natural Simple Carbohydrates (Fruit)

Raspberries........... a good, healthy sweet treat but eaten on their own will not keep your blood sugar steady, they will cause a sudden spike and then a fall (similar to that of lollies and cakes) leaving you hungry like before. Combine with a lean protein to counteract these effects and still reap the benefits of good fresh fruit.

Examples of Starchy Complex Carbohydrates

Sweet Potatoes
Beans, lentils, legumes
Brown Rice
100% whole grain or wholemeal pasta
100% whole grain or wholemeal bread.......................... these foods will give you energy and are best eaten earlier in the day. Eat them too late at night and you won't have time to burn them off before you go to sleep and your body will turn the unused foods to fat.

Examples of Lean Proteins

Chicken breast
Turkey breast
Lean Red Meat
Egg whites
Low or non fat dairy products................................. the building block of your body, protein is necessary to build and repair muscle. Aim to eat protein in every meal or snack, this will keep your blood sugar steady and you will feel fuller for longer.

Examples of Dairy Products

Yogurt...........great for adding calcium to your child's diet but be sure to check the salt contant as it can tend to be quite high.

Examples of Good Fats

Nuts and seeds
Flaxseed oil
Olive oil
Canola oil
100% natural peanut butter
Fish fat.........................................good fats are essential for a healthy diet - cut all fats and you will be in trouble - include some of the above in your diet.

A great idea for teaching kids the different types of food is to make a chat for your wall and ask them to pick out a food from each segment of the chart to include in each meal. Not a bad way to do it yourself either!

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

# 3. Keep your pants on

Or at least keep them fastened!

How many of us remember our parents telling us to make sure we finished everything on our plates? How many of you still live by that rule? And how many of you devour each meal feeling fuller and fuller until you just can't take it anymore - you lean back, hands on tummy and pop! undo your top trouser button and let it all hang out? I bet that the most common meal for this to occur is dinner time - which is a tip in itself, stay tuned for that one.

Lets say it together:

"I don't HAVE to finish everything on my plate" "Its OK to have left overs"

Even better, if you can, make your portion sizes smaller so that you don't need to control how much you eat when its already piled high on your plate.

Finish eating when you are comfortable and when you know you have eaten sufficient food. Don't stuff yourself until you are about to burst and that wonderful, tasty meal you have enjoyed suddenly makes you feel sick.

For our children

Don't make them grow up with the same 'eat it all' mentality that we did. Allow them to leave food on their plate if they feel full. Obviously if you are monitoring what they eat and they are not consuming enough nutritious food for their energy output this needs to be addressed differently. I am not saying let the 6 or 7 year old that doesn't want to eat his veggies that he can leave the table because he says he's full (but still somehow has room for desert). Just that it is not always necessary to EAT IT ALL.

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

#2 Snack, Snack, snack

Now you have breakfast down pat its time to look at the rest of your day. We want to keep your metabolism at it peak, to keep you burning energy all day long and to be giving your body energy to burn on a regular basis. Leaving huge gaps between meals will encourage the storage of fat for the next time that you starve it - it doesn't know that you could head to the fridge at any point all it knows is how to survive and protect itself from starvation.

When you snack regularly you should also down size you meal portions also - you don't want to snack AND eat huge meals as this will just increase you overall calorie intake and excess will be stored as fat.

Now - lets keep it simple for the kids:
  • Eat every 2-3 hours
Breakfast, Morning Tea, Lunch, Afternoon Tea and Dinner. An evening snack is also OK but keep it small and try to eat it at least 2-3 hours before bed.

  • Choose healthy snacks and carry them with you
As parents if you send your child off with healthy snacks for the day they are less likely to reach for fatty and sugary alternatives. This goes for yourself also - keep a healthy snack on hand in your bag, office desk or fridge.

Doesn't sound too hard does it? Remember 'Preparation is the Key' when it comes to healthy eating..

Sunday, February 8, 2009

10 lessons to pass on to your children

I'm still feeling very strongly about yesterdays article about our children in the Telegraph. How can we be getting it so wrong? I am going to share with you over the next ten days some tips on how to eat well and incorporate exercise into your everyday life - master them yourself and then pass them on to your children.

#1 - Fill and THEN go.

Too many of us rush around of a morning and don't allow ourselves enough time to eat. Imagine you are in too much of a hurry to fill up your car - you jump into the driving seat, hit the accelerator, get one block from home then your car comes to a halt - its runs out of fuel. It might not be quiet so obvious with the human body as we have an amazing ability to keep on going and going. Don't fill up on a regular basis though and one day you will come to that grinding halt. Your body needs re-fueling after a good nights sleep, it needs a good energy source to get through the day. Not only that, eating a good breakfast will speed up your metabolism and you will be much less likely to snack on rubbish throughout the day. This in turn keeping you healthy, lean at at a lower risk of health related disease.

Children have much higher energy requirements than we do. Send them on their way without breakfast and they will find it much harder to be alert throughout the day.

Habits = Health in growing children

Saturday, February 7, 2009

Do it for your children

I am back and with a vengeance! My training is going well, I am happy, healthy and it is fantastic to see all the keen new mums ready to commit to an exercise program and healthy eating - well done.

But its not just about you and I. When you become a parent leading a healthy active life is not just about you and your well being. There is this little person who relies on you from day one. They rely on you for their every need, they learn to trust you and as they grow they want to do as you do. Mum (and dad) are their safety net, their anchor, their introduction to everything new in the world and so we owe it to them to give them the best possible start in life. To show them that healthy eating and exercise are a normal and very important part of their daily routine.

Reading the Daily Telegraph today I felt physically sick, my hands almost feel numb and my heart hurts for what we are doing to our children. How is it possible for children younger than four to be classed as obese? For children and young adults to be suffering from Diabetes, from joint problems due to weight strain and from sleep apnoea? Latest figures reveal one in four children are overweight or obese. What does that say about us? About how we are raising our children? The eduction we are giving them in how to look after themselves?

One pediatrician has even called for obese children to be removed from their parents. These parents need an eduction - removing children in this circumstance is treating the effect, not the problem. Surely we can improve the life of a family, of the parents also, this will then have a knock on effect to the children. If parents refuse to learn and to pass on knowledge to their children then we have a new problem.

I am guessing if you are reading this you have made a commitment or are at least looking for inspiration in regaining your Body Beyond Baby, I congratulate you for that. But as much as we want to look good and feel great it runs so much deeper than that, what you are doing for yourself today you are doing from your children tomorrow. We need to raise children who feel compelled to exercise and take care of themselves, tell them why they need to be active, tell them what happens if they don't. We need to raise children who only know a healthy diet, if they don't know any different they won't question it. If and when they get to an age where they do we treat them as intelligent human beings and tell them why they need to eat well and how good food is essential for their bodies.

If you feel now that you don't have the tools to teach these life skills to your children you need to take it upon yourself to go and get them. Search on the internet, buy yourself a good book on nutrition, go and join your local gym or outdoor fitness session. Take yourself for a walk, a swim, a bike ride and prepare healthy, nutritious foods for the whole family.

Take responsibility. What is happening in this country should not be happening and it is down to us, as adults, to guide our children and to give them the best possible beginning in life.

Monday, January 19, 2009

Power Circuit

Running short of time? Can't get to the gym? Find an outdoor area with a step and try this 20 minute power circuit to inject some movement and energy into your day.

Complete the following exercises for 1 minute each then repeat the circuit twice:

Push ups
Lunge (one leg then the other)
Triceps dips
Step ups
Sit ups
Shuttle run
Reverse Crunch
Star Jumps
Prone Hold

If one minute feels too long to begin with complete for 30 seconds then change exercise - repeat this circuit four times.

Work hard and enjoy!!!!

If you have recently had a baby it is wise to wait until after your six week check up before beginning an exercise program of higher intensity. Be aware of your own limitations especially where jumping is concerned.

Saturday, January 17, 2009

Bec Update.

This week had been pretty horrible for me. The little man is pretty sick and it’s so horrible to watch him feeling bad and not be able to make it go away. I realise now that Mums mean it when they say they’d do anything to make things right for their babies. I’ve been sleeping in his room in the feeding chair so that I can let him sleep upright and make it a bit easier for him to breathe.

I’m checking in to see how I’ve gone this week and I’m pretty happy. I’m on track with food and exercise and looking forward to another good week. Last week I did miss one of the training sessions I’d planned. I didn’t got to BBB training because I don’t want to pass this nasty bug around. All I think I’ve done pretty well, and I’m looking forward to another week of good progress. I’ve got a dress fitting in two weeks so that’s working as a good short term goal to keep me working hard despite the severe sleep deprivation.

Well that’s all for me, I’m off to check on the bub and then I’m into bed to get some well earned rest.

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Food Diary

Hey there! Hows your food diary going? Let's look at mine for the last couple of days;


0700 - Few slices of Veggie luncheon (before the gym)

0830 - Muesli, Cottage Cheese, Yogurt and berries

1130 - Protein bar

1300 - Two wraps with beetroot hummus, veggie luncheon, lettuce and tomatoes

1500 - Two veggie sausages

1900 - Omelet with salad, BBQ sauce

1930 - Jelly


0830 - Muesli, Cottage cheese, yogurt and berries

1030 - Two veggie sausages

1230 - Two wraps with veggie luncheon, beetroot hummus, lettuce and tomato

1500 - Protein bar & few pieces dried mango

1900 - Two veggie sausages and salad, a little low fat cheese (no dressing)

1930 - Jelly

Not a bad couple of days - I think I could have eaten a little more, I have been on the run a lot so I need to really concentrate on consuming enough good healthy food.

Jelly is a great dessert. Make sure you buy the low fat low sugar version - Weight Watchers is good. It comes in crystal form and makes 4-5 small tubs. Perfect for that after dinner hit. You can even add a few berries or other fruit depending on the flavor you use. I know it helps me avoiding reaching for the chocolate, well that and the fact that I just don't keep it in the house because it wouldn't last five minutes!!!

Monday, January 12, 2009

New Year, New You

So Bec is back from her holidays and rearing to go - we kicked off with a Body Beyond Baby group training session this morning and it was great to see so many keen mums and their little bubs ready to launch into the New Year with lots of energy and commitment.

I have entered the new year with a one way ticket into the world of purees, sticky fingers and messy floors - our journey into the world of solids has begun. Its so cool to introduce Marley to his first foods and it really instills the need to ensure he has the best and healthiest of options. Why is it as adults we allow these needs to go out of the window? Filling ourselves with second rate foods, some of which have absolutely no nutritional value at all?

I can be guilty of this, sometimes that chocolate bar, bag of lollies or burger seems just too tempting. This is why its always a good idea to pull yourself back in from time to time and what better time than the start of a new year? Pull out that food diary or start one if you've never done it before - record everything that you eat and drink along with when and really look at it to see if you are eating the right foods at the right time.

Tune tomorrow for my food diary.

Sunday, January 11, 2009

Down to business

Back in Sydney safe and sound!! The last few days of our holiday were spent watching a cyclone come through and wondering if we’d ever get home. But here we are and I’m surprised at how happy I am to be back – it’s just so much easier to be at home with the bub and have all his things at hand.

Quick update as follows; exercise was great for last few days, wish the same could be said for food. I’m starting to get palpitations when people talk about how close the wedding is. Thankfully, it’s all motivating. Today I wrote a meal plan for the week and did the groceries…there will be no more treats, cheats or anything of the kind. Being on holidays was great but not so great for the diet.

Plan for the week is as follows:
Monday - Body Beyond Baby Training
Tuesday - Rest day
Wednesday - Body Beyond Baby Training
Thursday - Training at the gym (weights)
Friday - Run with the pram
Sat - Training at the gym (cardio and weights)
Sun - Aim for a run without the pram but we'll see how we go.

Wow! That sounds like a lot, but it's no more than I was doing on holidays while I had constant babysitters. Here's hoping I can keep it up. Training starts up again tomorrow and I’m really looking forward to sweating it out, so I’m off to bed. Hopefully Hugo will allow me some sleep!

Friday, January 2, 2009

Introducing Bec

I'd like to introduce you to Bec. Bec is taking part in her own 12 week challenge to discover her post baby body with the added motivation that she is getting married in March this year. Stay tuned to Bec's ups and down, challenges and achievements and come along for the ride. I will still be adding posts of my own so expect some helpful tips coming your way in 2009.

"So here I am finally writing something for a blog I committed to doing sometime ago. I've been a mum for five months and my little boy Hugo is just pure joy. I got back into training about two months after Hugo was born and I am still shocked at how much the baby carrying thing took out of my body. I've always felt strong and upright and all of a sudden I felt like jelly and my posture was hideous.

The Body Beyond Baby training and some extra sessions here and there has really started to make a difference to how I feel, but I wouldn't say I am where I want to be in terms of fitness and body shape. Jen approached me before Christmas and suggested I take on the twelve week body challenge - its a great thing for anyone to do but considering it also happened to be twelve weeks before my wedding it would have been mad to refuse. So I said yes and felt I was on my way...... if only it was that easy. Here I am ten weeks from the big day and I'm only getting started.

I figure new years day is as good as any day to start, and with Christmas, my birthday, New Years and a bout of mastitis behind me I am rearing to go. So my aim from here on in is to really make the challenge work for me and to use this blog as a tool to keep me motivated and accountable.

I'll keep you posted

Bec xxx"

Too much or too little?

Happy New Year! I hope it was a good one and you are feeling good and positive about the year ahead. Its always good to start the new year with plans of what you intend to do. I challenge you to figure out what you would like to achieve this year. Set you sights high but keep things realistic, goals should be realistic but challenging. Check back in to posts right at the beginning of this blog to discover effective goals setting strategies.

To help you on your way I thought I'd touch upon what quantities we should expect within our packaged foods. Reading nutritional labels can be challenging if you don't really know what you are looking for.

When comparing products:
  • Always read from the per 100g column
  • Check the serving size - some things look like they are 1 serving but are actually 2 or 3, this is how they get away with being low fat or low in sugar
What is a little and what is a lot?

Per 100g of food

Sugar: High= 10g or more Low= 2g or less
Fat: High= 20g or more Low= 3g or less
Saturates: High= 5g or more Low= 1g or less
Fibre: High= 3g or more Low= 0.5g or less
Sodium: High= 0.5g or more Low= 0.1g or less
note Sodium is often listed in mg's 1g =1000mg so 0.5g =500mg & 0.1g=100mg

When you have decided upon which product buy, paid for it, taken it home and are now sitting down to eat it wouldn't do any harm to pull out those kitchen scales and actually measure the recommended serving size. Do this for a couple of weeks and get a true idea of what a serving size of each food looks like before you pile it onto your plate. Many people make the mistake of eating healthy food but eating way too much of it. At the end of the day no matter what you eat if you eat too much your body will store it as fat.