Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Christa - Find Your Summer Body Week 3

Three weeks of the challenge have passed and I fit into my skinny jeans again! OK, they are still more like compression tights but I can actually button them up.

The weigh in last week showed a kilo more than at the initial assessment.  Even knowing that you probably gain weight when muscles are built up, I was a little bit disappointed in myself. Training four times a week (and a hill session surely counts as double) and keeping a close eye on what I eat hasn’t done quite the trick..... yet.  Later that day though Jen texted to let me know that I lost 2.5cm of my waist and 5mm of tummy fat. That was exactly what I needed to hear and a big motivator.

The exercise sessions are still great and I finally got myself and my baby, Alex, into a routine so it doesn’t feel I have to leave the house in a rush before every session.  I pack everything the night before and I changed his napping time to right after the classes. I know it sounds a bit harsh for a 6 month old to follow my routine rather his but I do believe he will be a happier kid if I am healthy and happy with myself.  After all, I put him in the playpen with the nannies and he doesn’t even look back once (not to mention that he naps for 2-3 hours rather than half an hour after playing his heart out in the fresh air, hooraaahh)

My eating is my biggest enemy at the moment.  I definitely think about what I eat and don’t have massive portions anymore. (except last weekend after a visit to the Austrian Club where they served Austrian beer and Schnitzel hanging over the edges of the plate..... I am still paying for that)   However, after Alex is in bed the chocolate devil is haunting me and I get this sugar craving.  I am still going strong, normally satisfying it with a pack of blueberries but I am wondering if there will be a time where I don’t think, dream, smell chocolate everywhere.

In the meantime I'm really into exercising again.  My other half wanted to go away for the weekend and I instantly thought but what about the Sunday steps session?!  So, we decided to do that after the 8 weeks and I also signed up for an extra session in the Friday boxercise class.  It is officially back; the feeling of missing out on something if you are not working out….and that’s good as I still have a long way to go!

Cathy - Find Your Summer Body Week 3

Here we are at week 3 and I feel like the scales are moving like an old rusty gate in the right direction. It's all just happening SO s.l.o.w.l.y.....

I am starting to feel a little frustrated when I should really be happy with my efforts.  I am putting in all the training hours and my diet is being watched...but I just don't FEEL any different. I also can't SEE a difference but I just have to trust that it will all come together.  In fact it just highlights how much further I have to go on this journey which makes me mad at myself for letting it get to this stage. 8 weeks will just be scratching the surface but it's a great start to a new way of life.  I'm feeling flat but my motivation and determination are still there.

What I have learned so far is that it really helps to be prepared and to plan ahead. I take snacks with me when I am out like almonds and apples or rice cakes with ABC spread to keep me going.  I have emptied the whole house of unhealthy foods so I won't be tempted and if I am working then I pack a lunch of a turkey and salad wrap for something similar.  I'm definitely not going hungry, but there is a certain amount of discipline in the preparation and forward planning.

The training is all going well and having my four sessions per week locked in really keep things on track, the other days I use my resistance band at home for a work out (but of course training by yourself you never really push yourself as hard as you would in a group).

We are already one quarter of the way into this challenge and I know there is no quick fix but I am anxious to start seeing obvious results. I think I might need to work on my patience as well....

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Guest blog - Deciphering food labels by Nutritionist Marieke Rodenstein

Food labels are intended to help you eat healthier but this premise only works if you know what to look for and what to avoid and then make the appropriate choice. Unfortunately many of us focus purely on the nutrition table (which is often inaccurate) and base our choices on which products have fewer calories and fat. As a result we often neglect to see the real dangers lurking in our foods and continue to make poor choices.

So next time you reach for a product on the supermarket shelf or your pantry or refrigerator check the ingredients list rather than just looking at the nutrition table and look out for the following:

•    Sugar, glucose, fructose, dextrose
•    high fructose corn syrup or corn syrup
•    hydrogenated or partially hydrogenated fat
•    artificial sweeteners such as aspartame
•    artificial colours (in particular 102, 104, 110, 122, 123, 124, 127, 129, 133, 150)
•    preservatives (in particular E211, E220, E828)
•    Nitrate & Nitrite preservatives (E249-252)
•    Artificial flavours (E620-635)
•    MSG (E621) – flavour enhancer
•    Hydrolysed vegetable protein (hidden source of MSG)
•    Yeast extract (yes, this includes Vegemite!) – also a hidden source of MSG
•    320 BHA (Buylated Hydroxyanisole) – a synthetic antioxidant
•    soy protein or soy protein isolate

A note on artificial colours: did you know that Australia’s favorite biscuit the Tim Tam contains not only 1 but 5 of the above mentioned artificial colours! These colours have been banned in other countries due to the health effects they have been associated with (hence the fact that they are so exclusive to Australia). So when it comes to biscuits to avoid (particularly for your children) Tim Tams top the list!

Marieke Rodenstein
Dietitian & Nutritionist
The Nutrition Practice
0450 458 549

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Hill session

Hill sessions are always great fun and a great effort - here are a few pics from Tuesday morning....

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Christa - Find Your Summer Body Week 2

Two weeks down and I already feel some changes. Even though the scales showed a kilo more than at the weighing I feel energetic, healthier and overall much better. I guess I am slowly building some muscle again…yeahh

Training is getting more fun every time there are some mini-improvements.  Not being completely exhausted after 2 burpees, slightly better performance at the beep test and an improved time at Coogee’s killer steps feels great.  Those 218 steps are quite something but it is a fairly quick and intense workout. The hardest bit is when I am coming up seeing the end of the steps, then getting there and realising that it is just a plateau and there is still another approximately 100 to go to the top…bugger! But, no pain, no gain I guess. It will be really interesting to see how much we all improve our times by the end of the challenge.

Jen had a few additional spots at Friday’s Boxercise so I went along and really liked the session.  It’s different to the other weekday classes and I was, once again, sore beyond belief.  The major difference is that I had to concentrate quite a bit to get the combinations right. Thanks once more to my patient partner, Cindy, as I was pretty uncoordinated.  Loads of fun though so I am absolutely in again if there are any spots left.

Meanwhile, I figured that my diet is not as healthy as I thought.  Foodlog is a great tool to track what I eat. Yes, it is a bit of an effort to log it all but its made me so much more aware of what I am eating. I had some 'aha' moments about food, thinking it was healthy or low calorie when in fact it is a completely different story. The muesli I always had for breakfast had a whopping 450kcal due to all of the of nuts, dried fruit and granola I used. Also I find that it’s easier to make sure I have less sugar and alcohol.  Those raspberry muffins and Tooheys Extra Dry's aren't appearing so regularly anymore - they give me an instant guilty conscious if I have to record them.

My goal for the remaining weeks is to even put more emphasis on what and how much I eat and to cut out sugar/alcohol completely; surely it can’t be that hard…

Monday, October 17, 2011

Guest blog - Not all Calories are Created Equal - by Nutritionist Marieke Rodenstein

Now that many of us have started tracking our calorie intake on Foodlog I want to reiterate on a very important point that Jen made in our ‘Nutritional Guidelines’ and that is the misconception that “a calorie is just a calorie”.

When it comes to keeping track of our food intake we often get fixated on the calories and forget about the quality of the foods we choose to eat.

As Jen mentioned, a widely accepted concept in mainstream nutrition is that weight loss or weight gain is strictly a matter of calories in versus calories out.  If you "burn" more calories than you take in, you will lose weight and if you eat more calories than you burn off each day, you will gain weight.  In other words, “a calorie is a calorie” whether it comes from protein, fat or carbohydrates.

We now understand, however, that not all calories are created equal and that calories from certain foods (such as fat and protein) can evoke entirely different physiological responses than others (such as carbohydrates).

A study featured in the International Journal of Obesity, for example, found that people who consumed eggs rather that bagels for breakfast felt more satisfied and ate fewer calories at the following meal.   Also, compared to the subjects who ate a bagel breakfast, men and women who ate eggs lost more weight and reported higher energy levels, this despite the fact that the egg and bagel breakfasts provided exactly the same amount of calories!

So which calories are more likely to make you gain weight?  Surprisingly it is not necessarily the calories from so called ‘evil’ saturated fats but the calories from grains and fructose that are the real problem.

More on this later!

Marieke Rodenstein
Dietitian & Nutritionist
The Nutrition Practice
0450 458 549

To read a little more on this very important topic you can also check out a past blog post of mine from back in 2008 - click here

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Sunday Steps

Well done to everyone who made it to the steps this morning - it's always a great workout.  Being our second week everyone knew what time they had to beat which is always great motivation; some previous times were absolutely smashed!  Can't wait to look back on week 1 come week 8.  Check out all the improvements below......

Name        Week 1              Week 2          Extra        Improvement
Abi                                   x4 = 19'03"      
Amy          x5 = 21'45"     x5 = 20'14"    x6 = 24'48"     1'31"
Angela       x3 = 26'18"     x3 = 23'37"                           2'41"
Annie                                x3 = 19'02"      
Bek           x5 = 25'22"      x5 = 23'24                            1'58"
Belinda                              x5 = 23'11      
Cathy         x3 = 19'15"     x3 = 18'54"                           21"
Celine         x3 = 17'45"     x3 = 15'49"    x4 = 22'29"    1'56"
Christa        x4 = 23'17"     x4 = 21'26"                          1'51"
Cindy          x3 = 22'19"     x3 = 20'50"                          1'29"
Debbie                               x3 = 19'31"
Elaina                                 x4 = 22'10"      
Frederique  x4 = 21'04"     x4 = 19'27"    x5 = 25'50"    1'37"
Jude            x4 = 23'10"    x4 = 21'41                            1'29"
Kirstie         x4 = 23'23"      
Marieke      x5 = 23'51"    x5 = 21'46"                          2'05"
Nicole         x4 = 21'28"      
Paula           x3 = 18'26"    x3 = 17'36"    x4 = 24'19"    50"
Sarah          x4 = 23'44"    x4 = 21'10"                          2'34"
Suzi             x4 = 19'51"    x4 = 19'15"    x5 = 25'38"    36"
Tracey         x4 = 23'29"    x4 = 22'23"                          1'06"
Virginia        x4 = 20'23"      
Yvette          x4 = 22'07"    x4 = 21'27"                          40"

And the winner of our spot prize for most improved time this week goes to Angela - with a MASSIVE time improvement of 2 minutes 41 seconds!!! Well done Angela - fantastic effort.  Enjoy your beautiful candle from Ambrosia Luxury Scented Candles

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Christa - Find Your Summer Body Week 1

When I signed up for the challenge I was looking forward to it but wasn’t really sure what to expect.  

We started off measuring, weighing and recording the status quo. Once again, I got reminded why I am doing this… The fitness test revealed what I already knew and worse - I am in such an unfit state it’s incredible. But this also means big improvements can be made.....

On Tuesday and Thursday Alex has been with the Body Beyond Baby nannies.  We don’t have any relatives close by and had never been looked after by anybody else other than Karl or myself so leaving him was initially a bit weird.  He was perfectly fine though and very much enjoyed playing with all the kids and nannies.  When I picked him up the girls gave me an account of what he had done, if he had eaten and slept.  It makes such a difference to be able to completely focus on my training, knowing my bub is well looked after.  The hardest bit is to be organised in the morning and actually make it to the session in time…

I very much like the group we have going and was quite impressed on how many mums actually have been training with Jen for a while.  Seeing in what great shape some of them are in really motivated me.

We started with one warm up run around the oval which was enough to have me going bright red and Burpees are something I am not sure I will ever take a liking to. Jen made sure that I was all of the exercises correctly and took the time to check on people individually.  A few times I was actually clock watching to see when the session is over. Not because I didn’t like it but because I was so tired!!

There was an incredible turnout at the Saturday session even though the weather was not perfect. Jen had another trainer with her so technique wasn’t compromised and I sweated beyond belief.  My whole body ached for three days afterward and to be honest I thought I might give the Sunday steps session a miss. In the end I dragged myself out of bed and will tell you more about the 218 steps next week….

Cathy: Find Your Summer Body - Week 1-2

So here we are, week 1 completed and just into week 2 of our 8 week challenge and I am feeling totally motivated. The scales are moving in the right direction and I am making some really healthy choices which I want to become permanent lifestyle changes. I am feeling good!

My main focus is on diet which I must admit I need all the step-by-step help I can get so I am following the "Eat Yourself Sexy" diet.  I chose to follow this because I want to retrain my eating habits and learn better portion control, I am also inputting what I have eaten into Foodlog as writing it down also ensures I am staying on the right track. The hardest part so far is being prepared and cooking meals ready for when I need to go out. I have become a bit of a hermit crab and have been avoiding going out socially as I just don't want to sabotage my early efforts, one glass of wine could topple me over right now!

There is scope for improvement but I haven't exercised this much EVER! I did the Sunday stair session for the first time last week and my legs are KILLING me! I really struggled at work today and also trying to do some exercise I can only imaging how much worse it would have been if I hadn't jumped straight into an epsom salt bath after the stairs......

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

FYSB Catergory Sponsor: Essential Stuff

I am really excited to welcome Essential Stuff as our first Find Your Summer Body - 8 Week Challenge category sponsor.  The winner of our "Slim and Sleek - most cm's lost" category will walk away with this fantastic Deluxe Body Package perfect for beautifying, relaxing and indulging that newly toned body! 

Natural, healthy and vibrant

Essential Stuff is the world’s first, naturally based range of skincare products based on nature’s true age defying super fruit - the pomegranate

Pomegranates are…
•    Rich in natural antioxidants and nutrients – to give you healthy glowing skin
•    High in vitamins – to prevent fine lines and signs of dryness
•    A natural protector for your skin – to reverse the effects of sun damage

These effects, combined with Essential Stuff’s unique combination of natural ingredients, have produced a revolutionary skincare range that is non-toxic, age defying and good for you.

Essential Stuff products do not contain any water, toxic chemicals, animal ingredients, artificial colours and fragrances.

Australian made and owned, Essential Stuff’s range of skincare products have been created to give people a natural alternative to the expensive and chemically based products that have dominated the health and beauty industry market for many years.

The Essential Stuff range has been specially produced to prevent the skin damage associated with harsh chemicals around the world by using the wonders of natural ingredients that can soothe, care and protect your skin.

The range includes Pomegranate and Rosewood Hand Cream, Pomegranate and Peppermint Foot Balm, Pomegranate and Lemon Fusion Body Wash and Pomegranate and Citrus Burst Body Butter.

Essential Stuff is accredited with Choose Cruelty Free and 100% vegan.

Visit the Essential Stuff website here

A big thank you to Essential Stuff for supporting and inspiring us through our Find Your Summer Body - 8 Week Challenge
Enhanced by Zemanta

Introducing Christa

Meet Christa, our second Body Beyond Baby mum who has embarked upon our Find Your Summer Body - 8 Week Challenge.  Christa will also be sharing her journey with you over the next 8 weeks.  The first contact I had with Christa was a couple of days before the challenge was about to start, she sent me an SMS and called and left a message to check if there was still space and saying that she had thought she could lose her baby weight herself, it was harder than she had thought and she really wanted to join our challenge.  I love those phone calls where I can hear the persons enthusiasm and determination before I have even met them.  I am definitely looking forward to watching Christa work hard and achieve her goals over the next 8 weeks.  Here she is:

"I am just over it! Six months after the birth of my son Alex I am still 10kg heavier than I was, my thighs look like they have been damaged in a hail storm, my upper body would squash somebody if I accidentally fell on them (as I wouldn't be able to get up in time due to my enlarged backside) and I am still living in my pregnancy jeans.

When I fell pregnant with Alex I was 33, incredibly active, fit and felt on top of the world. Sounds self confident? I was.  I played tennis four times a week plus competitions on the weekends as well as other regular activities from rock climbing to kite surfing.

Karl and I were over the moon about having a baby and I had a great pregnancy.  I even played tennis until I was 6 months pregnant until my bump slowed me down and I didn't feel comfortable playing anymore.  From that day on I felt like I was putting on weight just by looking at food. At the time I told myself that it didn't matter as I was pregnant and supposed to be getting bigger.  In hindsight and to be completely truthful I enjoyed being lazy, my portions got bigger and bigger and if Karl didn't finish his dinner I finished that as well. A bag of salt and vinegar crisps accompanied by a whole bar of marzipan chocolate became my regular desert - I was getting big anyway so I could indulge right?   

By the end of my pregnancy I had put on around 20 kg.  I told myself Alex must be a heavy baby; he turned out to be 2.9kg (not heavy at all!)  I left the hospital very proud and happy but looking pretty much the same as I checked in!  Everybody told me; "don’t worry the weight will just drop of when you are breastfeeding" or "It takes 9 months to put it on, it will take the same  time to get rid of it" Hmmm.....

When Alex was 7 weeks old we moved from the UK to Australia, this was exciting but also stressful, once more I had an excuse to eat, eat, eat!  When I look back now, I can’t believe that I actually thought I'd lose weight whilst filling myself up with sugar and carbs.  I kept moaning about my body, especially after arriving in Sydney and seeing all these good looking people who exercised and were obviously very healthy (I found this to be very different in the UK) However I still ate a whole chocolate bar and told myself that I’d start trying to lose the weight tomorrow…. I walked everywhere but my meals were HUGE..... nothing really happened.

Knowing I had to change something I went with a friend to a personal trainer twice,  it felt really good to be moving but with Alex in the pram close by I couldn’t completely tune into the session, he got bored quite quickly and I knew it wasn't going to work for me in the long term.

In late August I flew to Austria to be a bridesmaid at my best friends wedding. We wore all the same dress which didn't  flatter my body shape at all.  Austrians tend to be very direct and my dad along with a handful other people told me that it’s probably time to start exercising again! The final straw was seeing pictures of me in that dress, I burst into tears, I looked hideous and swore as soon as I was back in Australia I would start to do something.

I came across Body Beyond Baby on Ella’s list I thought, "This is it". Karl, (the sole breadwinner at the moment) was happy to spend the money as he was long over me whinging but not doing anything.

The 8 week challenge has now started and I couldn't wait to get going. My goals are set and if you want to know if I am able to fight my weaker self and give it all, watch this space. I will try and do a weekly diary on my ups and downs…

Goals in a glimpse:
-    Loose 10kg
-    Loose the flabby and huge midriff
-    Get toned again
-    Feel confident and good about myself again
-    Feel comfortable again wearing a bikini
-    Coming close to 100% attendance"

Stay tuned for more on Christa's journey to Find her Summer Body!

Monday, October 10, 2011

Introducing Cathy

We have embarked upon our 8 week challenge - we have 54 dedicated women who have all made the decision to put their health and fitness at the top of their agenda for at least the next 8 weeks.  I have invited a couple of these inspiring mums to share their journey with you, first up I'd like to introduce you to Cathy.

Cathy has been training with Body Beyond Baby for the last couple of  months and jumped at the opportunity to join the challenge.  It is obvious to see Cathy is on a personal mission - she is determined to make changes to her body and get back in shape.   She is strong and has a sound base on which to build.  Cathy also has a great sense of humor and often has me giggling at her comments and remarks during sessions.  I am very much looking forward to what Cathy will achieve over the coming weeks.  Here's a little intro from the woman herself:

 "I had a great pregnancy but the whole idea freaked me out so much. The life I had been living up until that point was about to change dramatically.  To cope, I totally indulged myself but figured it took nine months to get that big that I'd give myself nine months to lose it. No problem! (How wrong could I be?)

12 months after Milla was born and I was still hiding in loose clothing and feeling so lacklustre it was high time to get my act together.  My body has done everything I have asked of it but I really needed to start taking much better care of it if I was to lead an active life with my new daughter and family.

I love going to yoga and pilates, I would regularly go for long power walks and soft sand shuffles but things weren't shifting in the way I thought they would.

The only way I could see things working was if I dedicated time in my schedule (which as a freelancer there is no real structure) and stuck with it.  Luckily I came across Jen's website, Body Beyond Baby which seemed perfect for me. It was outdoors which I love and had nannies- perfect!

My first session was a huge reality check and I actually, literally almost fainted! My friends know that I'm not a big fan of running so when (for a warm up) we were asked to run around the oval I think my jaw must have hit the floor.  For the next three days my body was sore but I was feeling so motivated and empowered by doing something good for myself that I signed up for more.

So here I am, on the 8 week challenge and I have a few personal goals I'd like to shoot. Obviously weight loss is a high priority for my health but also I want to be able to enjoy exercising more.  The hardest part is just showing up, the rest of the time flies by and I come away feeling great that I have done it and can go on with the rest of my day."

Stay tuned for more of Cathy's "Find Your Summer Body" journey.
Enhanced by Zemanta

Thursday, October 6, 2011

My goals for the next 8 weeks

I am feeling very inspired, excited and motivated from this weeks sessions - sessions are pumping and everyone is there to give it their all.  I am really looking forward to the results that everyone is going to achieve over the next 8 weeks.

So, I figured I should get my own goals down on paper and share them with you.  I always had in my head that I would do my own 8 week challenge and today I booked in some new profile shots (the pregnant ones are a little outdated) so I guess I should get ready for them.  I have this goal to look the best I ever have done after turning 30 and having two children - now is as good a time as ever to make that happen.

Goal 1:

I am going to achieve a VERY toned stomach - I want to have a bit of a V going on (not too much or masculine in anyway just that look).   This is the kind of thing I am talking about.(have you got a goal image??? - I find it really helps to have a picture in mind)

This is important to me because - no matter how lean or how fit I have been in the past my stomach has never quite 'got there'.  I want to feel confident in a bikini this summer and look like I never even had a baby.

Action steps to make this happen
  •  Ditch the sugar - believe it or not I have a massive sweet tooth, in fact right now i am thinking about the fact that it is Thursday night and I like to do the ironing in front of the TV with a bowl of some chocolatey treat to munch on.....gotta break it!
  • Put more core and multi directional abdominal training into my workout 
  • Increase my cardio to 2-3 sessions per week - this has slipped over the last few weeks (months) and I'd be lucky to get even one run happening some weeks.  I will be joining you on Coogee Steps on a Sunday morning for my own workout too - then two more sessions during the week.
Goal 2:

I am going to be able to perform 8 unassisted strict chin ups

This is important to me because I view chin ups as being a really great measure of strength - since my gymnastics days I have never got over 6 - I can do 6 now (on a good day) so that's an increase of 2 overthe next 8 weeks.

Action Steps to make this happen
  • Train chin ups more
  • Ask for people to spot or help me rather than just stopping when I can't do anymore - gotta push through the sticking points to get stronger.
Goal 3:

I am going to reach 20% Body Fat

This is important to me because this is where I was pre Marley - I didn't quite get back there in between pregnancies and give last time around I was pregnant again in a months time I really have no excuses this time. 

Action Steps to make the happen:
  • Ditch the sugar
  • Increase my training to 6 days per week without fail
  • Re asses my diet - look at quantities of macro nutrients and ensure I am consuming enough protein
  • Get more sleep - I need a minimum of 7-8 hours - I need to get to bed earlier (and hope India sleeps all night soon!)
OK - I'm set, I know what I have to do and I'm committed to make it happen..... how are your goals looking???