Saturday, January 28, 2012

FYSB Before and After - Christa

Many of you will remember Christa - Christa shared her Body Beyond Baby - Find Your Summer Body 8 Week Challenge journey with us.  Despite spraining her ankle towards the end of her challenge Christa made some fantastic progress and achieved wonderful results.

Along with the before and after pics you see below Christa improved her push-ups from 23 on her knees at the start of the challenge to 8 on her toes come the end.  She also improved her beep test from 4.9 to 8.3.  Always a pleasure to train, putting her head down and working hard Christa is coming back for Round 2 and I m excited at what she will achieve next - keep up the great work Christa.

Friday, January 20, 2012

FYSB Before and After AND Q&A with our winner Sarah

Today we chat to Sarah - overall winner of our first ever Find Your Summer Body - 8 Week Challenge.

What initially made you sign up to the 8 Week Challenge?

I wanted to lose the weight I had put on during my pregnancy.  I felt this was a good way to do it as the sessions are aimed at post-pregnancy.  I wanted to kick start my exercising again and the challenge looked like a great way to do that.

What were your initial goals and did you think you would reach them?

These were my goals as I emailed to Jen prior to the challenge:
Goal 1 - Currently weighing in at 76.9kg, my aim is to lose 1kg a week to get to a weight of 68.9kg.  This is close to my pre-pregnancy weight of 66kg, which I plan to continue to achieve after the 8 week challenge.

Goal 2 - To fit into my pre-pregnancy jeans, currently they just go over my hips but don't go anywhere near zipping up. They are a size 12. This is important to me because it is a very good indication that I have my figure back from before I had Harry.

Goal 3 - At the test I was able to do 13 push-ups on my knees, by the end of the 8 weeks I would like to be able to do at least 10 on my toes. This is important to me as it is an indication of strength I have built up over the 8 week period.  I have never been very good at push-ups so whilst this isn't a great number it will be an achievement for me.

Goal 4 - To be able to perform the exercises using the correct technique.  I am not very co-ordinated and am not very good at balance and using the correct technique in the exercises.  At the final test at the end of the challenge, I would like to be able to perform the exercises without making any mistakes.  This is important to me as it will give me confidence to go on after the challenge and perform these exercises on my own without the guidance of a trainer.

I felt the goals I set myself were achievable as long as I remained committed to the challenge until the end, attended all the sessions and ate healthily.
What were the easiest and most challenging aspects? 

Easiest – I adjusted to the healthy eating easily, mainly because of the support from my husband who ate what I ate and didn’t tempt me with foods I was trying to avoid (cakes, ice cream, etc)

Most Challenging – going to the Sunday steps session every week, it got to about Wednesday every week and I would start to dread the steps session coming up that weekend! Even though they are the most challenging, they are also the most rewarding once I had finished, I went home on such a high afterwards and felt really good, I also felt they had the most impact on my weight loss.

What were your favorite and least favorite bits? 

Favorite – I liked the feeling at the end of a session, particularly the weekend sessions, when I knew my exercise was done for the day and I would race home to see Harry and Paul (my husband), it was such a good feeling. In terms of the sessions themselves; I liked the Saturday sessions which were a bit different to the weekday ones. One week we played stuck in the mud, which was fun, and also I liked working on the benches and running around the trees.

Least favorite – was doing the sessions in the cold and rain. There was one Saturday session where it rained heavily, which actually turned out quite fun, but there were a few sessions where as well as being wet it was windy and cold, and I wasn’t a big fan of those sessions - but we conquered them anyway!

How many sessions per week did you exercise to achieve your goals?

Four times a week, two during the week and the weekend sessions, I attended every session I had booked into throughout the challenge.

Did you have to change your diet a lot?

In some ways, yes but not in others. Yes because Harry was only 2 months when the challenge started so I was still eating for two! I really had to cut down my portion sizes and this was the biggest change for me. Initially I found this hard, as I was breastfeeding and had to increase my calorie intake to allow for that.  I didn’t have to change the kind of foods I ate too much though, as we already ate a lot of wholemeal foods, bread, pasta, rice and fruits and veggies, so I knew what I had to do.

I used foodlog for the first few weeks to ensure I was on the right track.

Do you feel like your diet and exercise changes were sustainable?

To a certain degree – yes. Exercising 4 times a week worked well – because you pretty much have every other day off which is easy to put into a long term plan.

With the diet I cut out all bad things except I allowed myself a meal off a week, I didn’t always stick to this but for the main part I did, and so some of my favorite things did not get eaten or drank. For example, no ice cream or no smoothies! I don’t want to cut these out completely long term, however, I do know not to go mad on these types of things!

What else did you gain from your challenge experience (apart from diet and exercise)?

I felt like I got my body back.  Before, I had lent it to Harry and now it is mine again! The challenge was also good to have an hour to myself to be 'Sarah' again rather than 'Mummy', whilst still having Harry close by.

I also made some good friends who were also doing the challenge with me, which really helped me along the way, and was good motivation.

What would your advice be to a new mum thinking about doing the challenge? 

I would definitely advise them to do the challenge.  I would advise them to try and commit themselves 100%, I was lucky with Harry because he is such a good boy.  I have had very few sleepless nights, although he always seemed to know when the steps session was as he would wake more that night! I would say to remember that it is only 8 weeks, but could be an opportunity to get yourself in a much healthier routine that is maintainable after the challenge is over.

Sum up your challenge experience for us

I signed up to the challenge thinking that it would be a kick start to my weight loss and getting my figure back. I never thought I would exceed my weight loss goal and I am amazed at my before and after photos, I can’t believe how different I look. I am really pleased I took up the challenge, and feel really good.

And here are Sarah's before and after pics:

 A HUGE congratulations to Sarah and thank you for sharing your thoughts and experience with us - I am very much looking forward to what Sarah will achieve in Round 2!

Thursday, January 19, 2012

FYSB Before and After - Nicole

Nicole came to us with a large separation and little abdominal strength - as well as losing body fat you can see from these before and after images that all her effort and Transverse abdominal retraining has dramatically helped to reduce her 'mummy tummy'.

Testament to this is that at the start of the challenge Nicole could do her prone hold on her knees only and we really had to watch and feel what was happening to her stomach during this exercise. A prone hold can be a very strong and difficult exercise for those with abdominal separation - you must be very aware of how to properly recruit your TVA and not allow any 'bulge' or 'peaking' through the gap.  If you are unsure or it doesn't feel right please go back to basics and train to your weakest link.

Congratulations Nicole on achieving these great before and after shots AND a prone hold of 2'45" on your toes at the end of the 8 weeks.  Keep up your fantastic work.

Monday, January 16, 2012

FYSB Before and After - Cindy

Well done Cindy on achieving some fantastic results during our first ever Find Your Summer Body - 8 Week Challenge.

Cindy would like everyone to know that this is her 'work in progress' she is coming back for Round 2 of our 8 Week Challenge - has more goals to kick and can;t wait for you to see what she can achieve next!

Friday, January 13, 2012

BE the one in two that succeeds with your Fitness Goals in 2012

Did you know in 2011 a survey commissioned by a breakfast cereal found that one in two Australian women made a new years resolution to diet and only 10% of them stuck to it beyond the first week.  The same goes for many new years fitness goals and if those stats are correct that means that many of you that are reading this now are already off track for 2012.

I can help - if you have spent any time on my website, blog and facebook page you will know that I am extremely passionate about helping mums to look and feel fantastic.  I know that you don't have to settle for second best and that it is possible to find a way to put your needs first and start to feel good about yourself again (and look great too) so it is my mission through Body Beyond Baby to give you the tools you need to make this happen.

After the success and amazing results we had with Round 1 of our Find Your Summer Body - 8 week Challenge we are back with Round 2.  Kicking off on the 6th of Feb you will launch into 2012 with all the tools that you need to make a real difference to yourself both inside and out.  And don't worry, if you have done the challenge before we have made a few changes so you will continue to be challenged and gain results.

ALSO we are adding a few more sessions to our timetable - from 6th Feb you will be able to train on a Wednesday at 9.15 & 10.30 along with a Tuesday morning in our brand new 6am Early Risers session (there are no nannies at this session).

To top it off if you are a new BBB mum and you sign up for the challenge now and do some pre-challenge sessions between now  and the 6th of Feb you will get  complementary Saturday sessions to really warm you up.

I am more than happy to answer any questions you may have about sessions and the challenge and I very much look forward to having you on board!

Click on the above image to sign up now

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

My top 5 motivating tunes for 2012

I don't know about you but a great song played loud in the car or on my iPod at the gym can really make a difference to my head space and my day.  This year, for me, is about positivity, getting stuck in and moving forwards so I am going to carry these songs with me.   I hope you enjoy them too.

And the last one I am trying to track down on YouTube so I'll bring it to you asap!

Thursday, January 5, 2012

Message from Sophie - Run for Premature Babies

I would like you to meet Sophie - I met Sophie for the first time half way through last year at a launch at the Royal Hospital for Women in Randwick.  I had heard of Sophie previously when Body Beyond baby decided to run in the Blackmores Running Festival and raise money for the care of premature babies at the Royal Hospital for Women.  I was a little overwhelmed when I realised who she was knowing everything she had been through.  Following this initial meeting Sophie started training with Body Beyond Baby, it is wonderful to have her as part of our team of mums and I will always support what she is doing.

I find Sophie to be such an inspiration - to be able to channel her grief and energy into such a positive way, to give back and make a difference to other children and families that are going through similar journey's to hers.  As a mum it also touches and breaks my heart.

Sophie is now recruiting runners for the 2012 SMH Half Marathon - this is her message:

Sophie's son Jasper
"I am starting to recruit runners to my sixth annual SMH Half Marathon team in memory of our premature triplets Henry, Jasper & Evan, and I am hoping it is going to be our biggest and best year ever.  My goal is for a team of OVER 250 RUNNERS, and I am writing to see if could persuade either you or any of your friends or clients to join me.  

Please visit my new website - to find out more about my very special team, which raises money for the Henry, Jasper & Evan Smith Trust to buy life-saving equipment for critically ill premature babies at the Royal Hospital for Women.  To register you just need to complete this quick onlineregistration form 

My team is one of a kind - with five months of weekly training provided free of charge as well as free running kit and lots of social events along the way.  Our aim is to get fit, have fun and help save precious premature babies in memory of my brave little boys."
             Sophie Smith
So if you are up for the challenge and want to make a difference to these tiny bubs PLEASE sign up - you CAN do it and now you have that extra bit of motivation.

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Five FREE healthy apps to keep you on track for 2012

If you're anything like me your iphone is never far away - whether you are checking face book or texting a friend.  Here are a few healthy applications that may help keep you on track towards your health and fitness goals in 2012.

1. MyFitnessPal Calorie Counter 

Cost: Free

It has been proven that those who record what they eat have a better chance of reaching their weight loss goals.  Keep track of what you are putting you mouth when on the run with this handy app.

2. Pedometer 24/7

Cost: Free

Thus handy app turns your phone into a pedometer which can be used 24 hours 7 days a week.  It uses an advanced technology for accurate steps counting and automatic calibration.  Great for walking, jogging and running.

3. Pill Tracker 

Cost: Free

Pill Tracker is an initiative tool to help manage any medication you may be taking.  From vitamins to contraceptive pills and prescription medication.  This could be a great app to recommend to any tech savvy older relatives you might have to help remember wheat medication they should take and when.

4. IMF Lite

Cost: Free

IMF Lite is an iPhone version of the In My Food iPad application.  This great app tells you what is in your food and gives you quick answers whilst you are out and about.  There are over 500 food additives many of which are bad for us and can be very bad for our children.  All you have to do is enter the number code into your phone and it tells you exactly what it is.

5. Easy Meat & Fish Recipes

Cost: Free

Ever find yourself wondering what to cook for dinner?  Easy Meat & Fish recipes features hundreds of flavorful recipes for meat and fish of all kinds.  You can browse this app in the supermarket for inspiration or plan your weekly protein meals - you can also save and share you favorite recipes.

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Body Beyond Baby Full Body Wake-up Workout

We are three days into the new year - have you trained since 2012 rolled on in?  If not now is the time to get back into it - wake up from your post Christmas and New Years overload and start the year how you mean to go on.  Here is a simple yet effective workout that will work your whole body, burn fat and build muscle tone for you to start with.

I have included three levels of difficulty so choose what is right for you and then work up to the more challenging levels as you get fitter and stronger.  Remember to always train to your weakest link and listen to your body.  Know when to push through and know when to rest AND know when to get advice from a health professional.

Ideally you will need an elastic for this workout however you can do the sumo's with no elastic and substitute a lying cobra and an extra set of squats for the squat rows if you don't have one.

You have a certain number of reps of each exercise to complete depending upon your level.
Perform each exercise in a circuit format, one after the other until you fatigue in each exercise - record how many of each exercise you do before moving onto the next.

i.e - round one - 11 x Sumos, 10 x push-up thrusts, 15 x Squat Row, 7 Triceps dips, 5 burpees - you then go back to the beginning for round to an pick up where you left off, same for round 3 etc... until you complete the number of reps from your level.

Level 1 (beginner) - perform 30 reps of each exercise in total
Level 2 (intermediate) - perform 60 reps of each exercise in total
Level 3 (advanced) - perform 100 reps of each exercise in total

If you keep hold of how many rounds it took you to complete this workout today you can then challenge yourself to do more reps and less rounds next time.

Sumo Squat 

Push up Thrust

Squat Row

Triceps Dips

Choose your level of burpee


Sunday, January 1, 2012

Join Me and Be Selfish in 2012

Happy New Year..... and it all begins again.  Take note of where you are right now then think back to where you were this time last year.  Have things in your life changed?  Do you have big ticks beside the goals you made at the start of 2011? 

We talk about new years resolutions and most people have something that they put out there with a desire to make a change in some area of their life.  We begin all pumped and ready for action but as the start to the new year fades so does that enthusiasm and before we know it we have faded back in the day to day.  Back in to the breakfasts and preparing lunches, school runs and kids activities and I know for a lot of mums this means that their personal goals and aspirations take a backseat.

How about this year as mums we all decide to commit to one thing - and I truly believe if you commit to this and remind yourself of it every single day then everything else will fall in to place.  It has to.  I want you to be selfish - to make yourself number one for a whole year.  That doesn't mean to the detriment of your family - quite the opposite.  As mums we are very good at ensuring that everyone else in the family (and often those outside that too) are looked after - that they are where they should be at the right time, wearing the right outfit, and eating the right foods.  We organise the kids, the childcare, the family social life.  We take upon mini (and major) projects; re-decorating the house, researching the best new car or washing machine, organising birthday parties and holidays  - all the while taking care of the home and for many holding down a job too.  Where does mum, as her own person, fit into all this?   It is exhausting and if we don't find time to put our self first then we suffer and when mum suffers the whole family suffers.

Your 'selfish' pact for the 2012:

Take some time out for you to make a list.....conquer this first one and you are on the road to making more 'you' time

Make a list of the things that you REALLY want to achieve this year...... is there a course you have been meaning to do but always put it off as it's never the right time?  Do you have aspirations to make a career change or start your own business?  Do you feel comfortable in your own skin?  Do you look the way your want to?  Are you are strong as you would like to be? Do you want to buy a new home or investment property?

Make a second list of the little things that make you feel happy and nurtured..... is it reading a book?  Sitting down for a cup of tea with no interruptions? (I've been taking a few extra minutes when I'm in the car alone to listen (and often sing very badly) to one of my favorite songs - I feel a little weird doing it, like I should just get out of the car and be on my way but allowing myself to slow down and stop for just a few minutes really helps to re-charge my batteries during the day)  Taking an uninterrupted shower, chatting to a friend on the phone.

Next map out your week - draw up a weekly timetable and put in it everything you do during your week - do it day by day, hour by hour - colour code it if you like giving each family member a colour.  Put in drop offs and pick ups and the time it takes you to do it.  Swimming lessons and gymnastics, meal time preparation, bath time, story time and bed time....... clean cup time at the end of the day.....EVERYTHING.

NOW - look back at your first two lists - look at the goals and desire you have for this year and figure out where you are going to MAKE time to put that into your week.  Where will the YOU time go?  

Start to block out time to make the changes in your life that you want to happen.  Block out time for your exercise and make it NON NEGOTIABLE - make it as important as your child's swimming lesson that you would never dream of cancelling for another appointment.  Block out time to brain storm your business idea and make this as NON NEGOTIABLE as your husbands work meetings.  This is how you will make progress in between now and this time next year.

Then put little re-charge moments into your day - just 5 minutes here and there that allow you to stop, remember who you are and what you like to do and that you are important too and your needs also matter. You have to be smart about these moments - think about where you can put them in - use the TV if you have to.... set the kids up with an activity or give them a bottle of milk and just BE for a moment or two. 

How do I do it?  I am very selfish with my exercise time - when life gets tough and things get busy it would be very easy for me to push it aside and get more things done in my day.  However, I know what kind of a person I turn into - I get short tempered and snappy - I get antsy and need to move, I start to feel sluggish and uncomfortable in my skin.  Mentally I feel like I'm going to explode and I crave that time in the gym or in the park that its just me and my iPod and a few friendly faces to say hi to.  I feel good when I am moving and I feel good when I'm in shape - it's not easy to maintain all of the time but I make it a priority - I make it a NON NEGOTIABLE part of my life.   And little re-charge moments like my ones in the car - I'm working on those ;)

Only you can make this year different and if you make the decision to be selfish, communicate with those around you so they know what is important to you and why, what you need to do to stay sane and make yourself happy and that it will be for the benefit of the whole family and I know you will have a great year ahead.