Thursday, September 30, 2010

Early morning run

Wow, what a busy day - I am absolutely exhausted and really should be in bed by now, its almost 10pm and Ive been on the go all day so I am going to keep it short and sweet.  My day started with an early morning run as my mum who is here form England and staying just next door agreed to come in at 6am to be with Marley and India while I went out for a a little while.  I must make the most of it while she is here as my husband is away and soon mum will be gone and it will be back to trying to fit exercise around the kids or taking them with me.  I am totally aware how much of a luxury exercise alone can be so I intend on doing it as much as I can before she leaves.  Thank you mum for getting out of bed so early so I could get out and do something for myself - it is much appreciated.

So I Pod in hand, runners on a headed out of the door - I find running gives me such a great head space, its almost like the world opens up and although i am feeling quite a lot heavier at the moment whilst running there is still a sense of lightness and free movement.  Don't get me wrong it is tough at the moment, really tough especially if there is even the slightest of inclines but it feels so good to be moving in that way again, getting my heart rate up and working hard.  I get to think or not think which is awesome in itself and if I need inspiration I find running around streets that I know have really beautiful big houses spurs me on and motivates me to expand and work on my business.  One of my personal goals is to buy a home in the Eastern suburbs with a garden for the children to enjoy while they are still children and can appreciate it, run around in it and have an outdoor space to play freely in. 

Okay, its now 10pm and I really must get to bed, I have a 7.15am appointment with the gym in the morning

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Why is Body Composition so important?

If you don't know where you are starting how will you know how to get there or even when you are there?  It is important to set goals (I will share mine with you over the next few days) and then it is important to record your base mark or starting point and have a good reliable way of tracking yourself and your progress. Not only is it important but it certainly makes us feel good when we can see things changing and when things stop or go backwards, you can't argue with it and you can promptly give yourself a kick up the bum to address any roadblocks.

Many people I speak to weigh themselves a few times a week, many are even stepping on the scales every single day hoping for that number to drop even just a little.  I am not saying this is a bad thing because if you have weight to loose ultimately you want to see that number on the scales getting smaller BUT if you are training well and eating right and the scales still aren't moving could there be something more to it?  You may very well be in a period of gaining muscles and loosing fat in such a way that the scales are barely moving yet you get so disheartened by the perceived inactivity that you throw in the towel and revert back to your old ways - if only you have been able to look at yourself on the inside to REALLY know what was going on.

It can work the other way too - the numbers on the scales can be falling but you could be losing  muscle.  Many people who decide to loose weight will cut their food intake and start doing or up their cardiovascular activity.  This will prompt their body to burn an energy source but due to the fact that they are doing nothing to preserve their muscle mass (i.e. resistance exercise) it is likely that that energy source is coming from muscle as well as or rather than fat.  When you lose muscle mass you slow the speed at which you body burns energy at rest, hence lowering your metabolism and your bodies ability to efficiently burn fat.  You may lose 'weight' and the number on the scales may be going down but without performing some other test you won't know if you are burning muscle or fat and whichever you are burning can leave you with either long term benefits or with a long term disadvantage.

I checked in with Jarrod at Body Composition and this is what he had to say about the service I use for keeping track of my progress:

"DEXA scans have been providing Jen and clients of Body Beyond Baby with a sneak peek into their post baby body composition. A concise and accurate measure of body composition allows for the measurement of your ideal weight. This insight allows you to set more appropriate goals over the course of your training program. Getting back into your training post pregnancy is not easy with the pregnancy leaving the body with gains in fat mass.  However, part of the overall weight increase is also due to gains in lean (muscle) mass. Hanging a 3-4kg weight off your tummy changes your centre of mass and the back musculature has to respond by increasing muscle side and strength of the erector spinae muscle group and other back muscles. In fact, following Jen’s last scan we noticed a decrease in muscle tissue from the trunk even though Jen had been training post pregnancy. This is just one adjustment of many by the body as it returns back to “normal”."

Body Composition Australia is located in Darlinghurst and has been operating for the past 5 years as the only provider of DEXA scans by a specialist Exercise Physiologist in the area of body composition.

If you can get to see Jarrod it would be fantastic but if not you can also do things like skin fold tests - although this is a less accurate form of assessing body composition and results will often vary from assessor to assessor if you always use the same test performed by the same person you will get a good gauge of whether you are losing fat or muscle.  Same goes for some of the body fat sales out there.

Measurements are also a good way of keeping track of your progress although alone they will only tell you that you are getting smaller rather than what type of mass you are losing but it is a much better test than just stepping on those scales alone.

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Monday, September 27, 2010

Kick off, Body Composition and measurements

Here I am - India is 9 weeks old and I am mentally ready to kick off and commit to getting my body back in shape and do something for myself.  I am well aware this time around that it might not be as easy as the first time - there are a lot more logistical challenges and part of my planning and making sure I can stay in track is exactly that: planning.

Last night whilst feeding India I started to jot down on a piece of paper what my ideal week would look like and I have started to put together my 'perfect week'.  Now again, with two children in tow I know this won't always go to plan but I have much more chance of it happening than if I didn't plan it at all.  I also struggle at times to juggle children and work, keeping our home in a half presentable state, planning and preparing meals and everything else that i am sure you are all too familiar with so organising my week in such a structured manner will hopefully help with that also. So my first piece of advice to you - if you want to reclaim your body, look and feel great you must plan for it - put it into your week as you do a hair cut or your child's swimming lessons and then commit to it - I'm guessing you wouldn't be likely to cancel their swimming lesson to catch up with a friend or if you just didn't feel like it - you commit to your children so you must commit to yourself.  You deserve it and only that way will you stay on track with your health and fitness goals.
It is also important to document where you start so you can track your progress - let's have a look at my updated body composition scan and measurements.

Body Composition - this will be done every four weeks and is a true representation of my progress

Latest scan 23rd September 2010
Body Fat % = 30%
Total Body Weight = 61.8kg
Fat Mass = 18.5kg
Lean Body Mass = 40.9kg

5th August 2010 (first post baby scan)
Body Fat % = 30.5%
Total Body Weight = 64.1kg
Fat Mass = 19.5kg
Lean Body Mass = 42.1kg

Measurements and weight on MY home scales - this will be done weekly on a Monday to track more regular progress

27th September 2010
Weight = 60.1kg
Chest = 97.8cm
Waist (the smallest part) = 77.3cm
UM (the bit around the belly button and where we store lots of fat) = 89.3cm
Hips = 99.2cm
Right Thigh = 54.1cm
Left Thigh = 54.7cm

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Jenny Dugard's Body Beyond Baby journey

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Move for your mind

Wow - how time flies and what a roller coaster ride the last few weeks have been.  Totally up and down adjusting to life with a much more vocal little baby than the first time around - they really are individuals and this really is a new experience.  It may be second time around which many say is easier than the first but I am actually finding it much more difficult - I am more tired, more emotional and busier.  Just getting to the finish line some days feels huge especially when it becomes ever elusive with settling and patting and rocking and..... you know the drill. This little angel is keeping me on my toes and continually challenging my mummy skills (which I often feel are incredibly lacking) how can a person so small have such a big impact?

Exercise exercise exercise - over the last two weeks has been my savior.   That and having my mum arrive from the UK - timed perfectly with a two year old with a broken leg...poor little man and poor mummy - these things often impact most on their carers and make life that extra bit of a challenge.  Back to it!  If you are feeling low you must break the downward cycle that makes you want to move less and less.  That sees life with a newborn become blurry through your tears and the tired fog.  I know that my body is made to move and those overwhelming fist few weeks of non exercise took its toll - I need to move to feel good.  So for the next 5 weeks that my mum is here I am out exercising everyday - it will save my sanity and get me on track for my body beyond baby journey.