Thursday, September 20, 2012

Mum of The Moment - Meet Sarah

Without our wonderful mums and bubs Body Beyond Baby just would not be.  Each month we like to celebrate your achievements and recognise the hard work that you put into your training and life as a mum.  This month I would like you to meet our Mum of the Moment for September - Sarah and her 3 children Wilbur (5 1/2), Archer (22m) and Tabitha (5m).  Sarah joined Body Beyond Baby with her mothers group after Archer was born and has now come back with a vengeance after Tabitha.  An inspiration especially given Sarah is single parenting for months on end - I'll let Sarah tell you more.
As a thank you to our Mum of the Moment and a congratulations for all of her hard work Sarah will receive a voucher for Plenty Kitchen and Tableware in Bondi Junction

Tell us a bit about yourself?

I’m 31 and I’m from Scotland but have been living in Australia for four years and I am now officially Aussie as I passed my citizenship test last week! I’ve been married to my Husband, Matt, for 7 years. We have three children. Wilbur, Archer and Tabitha. As many of you know, and the main reason I was voted for as Mum of the Moment, my husband is in the Army and is currently serving with the Mentoring Task Force in Afghanistan. He left on the 1st of June when Tabitha was only 5 weeks old. It’s been hard but I am so glad I got into the routine of Body Beyond Baby training sessions just after he left. It’s made the weeks go a lot faster and all the goals and achievements I have made since joining, not to mention the wonderful mums and bubs at the sessions have kept me positive and upbeat and distracted me for several hours a week from worrying!

What made you join Body Beyond Baby?

I joined Body Beyond Baby after my son, Archer's birth for a while before falling pregnant with Tabitha and when I started training again this time my youngest was only 8 weeks old so I really didn’t think I’d be capable of very much at the sessions but I really wanted to start feeling fitter again – Double strollers are heavy! Having trained with Jen before I knew I’d be in safe hands and that I wouldn’t be doing anything detrimental to my body. I have to say that my motivation was really strong for two reasons. Firstly as I knew that Tabitha was my last child I felt that all the hard work I knew I had to put into rebuilding my body on the inside wasn’t going to be undone again with another pregnancy and that I could really focus long term on getting back into, if not better shape than my pre pregnancy self. Secondly, I wanted to do something for me that got me out the house. With three children most of my spare time is filled up with children centric activities like the school run, swimming lessons, play group, music class, sports lessons and when I’m done with them my energy and motivation to put me first or do something for me is at the bottom of the ‘ Things I never get round to doing’ list, usually below cleaning the veggie drawer in the fridge and tackling the hand-wash only laundry! I was conscious that with my husband away for 6 months that I needed to do something for me that didn’t only involve slumping on the sofa with a glass of wine, choccie biscuits and the foxtel remote after a long day. So I signed up for Body Beyond Baby two mornings a week. That was 12 weeks ago and I’m loving it. I have also taken on a one on one training session each week with Jen which really keeps momentum going.
What has been your Body Beyond Baby highlight so far?

Definitely the improvement in my timed run! Although I wasn’t on the challenge I still joined in with the fitness testing in some of the sessions and in 8 weeks I went from taking 5.05 to run twice round the oval to 3.36. It was really amazing to see my progress especially as I hadn’t noticed myself that my cardio had improved. I’d say it was the highlight over my other achievements because it just crept up on me and wasn’t something I had expected to improve at or had been consciously working on. It was a nice surprise and made me feel proud of myself.
What has been your greatest challenge?

Push ups! I have never in my life been able to do a push up. I actually thought it was unachievable and I had a total mental block to believing that I could do one. Breaking through not only the physical barrier but the mental one was my biggest challenge. Even in the sessions after 6 weeks of training I was still struggling with them. It took a big mind shift for me but I can now do 8 on my toes! At home now, sometimes when I’m walking around the house I just stop and do a push up just because I can - it still seems unbelievable to me that I have managed to do it! But I did and I can!
What has inspired you to sign up to our Find Your Summer Body 8 Week Challenge?

When I came back to Body Beyond Baby the Watch Your Winter Waistline challenge was two weeks in and although Jen said it wasn’t too late to sign up for it I just felt that it was too much for me. I thought it was a fantastic idea but I really didn’t think I could meet any of my physical fitness targets and I wasn’t ready to confront how unfit I had become and how much a third pregnancy had altered my body. I remembered the days when I could hold an on toes prone position for 3 minutes and now my core was shaking trying to do one on my knees for 10 seconds! However after training with all the amazing women in the groups throughout the Winter Waistline journey I am now up for a challenge rather than scared of one! The other mums at the training sessions and the increased confidence in my self because my training sessions were my inspiration to join up for the summer challenge.
Do you have anything else to add?

I feel really flattered to have been voted Mum of the Moment, but I think we are all Mum’s of the Moment. For every moment that we all choose the park over the sofa, for those moments when you are already late and think you are never going to get out the house without another nappy change or tantrum but push the ‘It’s just too difficult’ excuse back onto the naughty spot, ignore it and keep on going to get to our classes, we all deserve a round of applause and a mini Mexican wave to remind us of what we are accomplishing. Well done to all of us.

Mum of the Moment is proudly sponsored by
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Monday, September 17, 2012

Baked Fish with Cherry Tomatoes, Olives & Basil - by BBB trainer Amy Adamson

4 x 150g white fish fillets
1 punnet of cherry tomatoes, halved
8 pitted olives, roughly chopped
½ cup basil, roughly chopped
1 clove garlic, chopped
Drizzle of olive oil
Salt and pepper
1 bunch broccolini
1 bunch asparagus

•    Preheat oven to 180°C
•    Place fish, cherry tomatoes, olives, basil and garlic in a baking dish
•    Drizzle with olive oil, salt and pepper
•    Bake for 15min or until fish is cooked through
•    Steam broccolini and asparagus
•    Serve fish with the lovely pan juices and steamed greens
•    Garnish with a squeeze of lemon

(Serves 4)

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Watch Your Winter Waistline - Before and After photos and Q&A with one of our winners Sally

Today we chat with Sally - joint overall winner of our first ever Watch Your Winter Waistline - 12 Week Challenge

What initially made you sign up to the 12 Week Challenge? 

I received regular emails from body beyond baby regarding challenges, events and newsletters after enquiring about training approx 4 yrs ago when my first child was born. I kept putting the initial sign up off, always coming up with a reason not to do it, it just seemed too hard in so many ways! After my first child I put on 10kgs and never got it off. I then fell pregnant with baby number 2, I put on another 10kgs. Over the last 12 months I probably gained another 5kg. So therefore I was now approx 25 kilos above my pre pregnancy weight. It finally kicked in that I drastically had to do something about this. I was overweight, lazy, cranky and not very happy within myself. That’s when an email came through from Body Beyond Baby regarding the 12 week winter challenge. I discussed with my husband that we needed to change our routine so as to allow me to take on this challenge. It was perfect timing. It was starting that following Monday, no excuses I rang Jen and signed up!

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

When I started at Body Beyond Baby, I couldn’t do a push up, not even on my knees. My goal was to be able to do 10 (on my knees) by the end of challenge. I achieved this I did 12!

Another goal was to be able to run! I didn’t really have a goal as to how far, before the challenge, I could barely run the 400m oval without stopping, today I can run a loop around Centennial park. And lastly of course I had a weight loss goal. I set a target of 1kg a week so total 12kgs. I made it, I lost a total 12 kilos over the challenge.

What were the easiest and most challenging aspects?

The easiest part of the challenge was getting to training. I was motivated to get there and my two boys (4year old Oscar and 2 year old Hamish) loved going to play with all the other kids, and having the nannies allowed me to have a full hour to focus on myself and the training.
The most challenging for me was the diet.

What were your favorite and least favorite bits?

One of my favorite parts of the challenge was the fitness testing at the 4 week and 8 week check ins. I could see my weight loss, my fitness improvement and my goals being reached. This kept me motivated to keep going.

My least favorite part of the challenge was the cold wintery days. Although add a couple of layers of clothing and start to run and it was more than bearable.

How many sessions per week did you exercise to achieve your goal?
I did 2 weekday group training classes and the Saturday morning class with Body Beyond Baby. I would also do a 3-4km run once a week on my own.
Did you have to change your diet a lot?

I know I should have but I didn’t! I do regret not changing my diet as I lost 12kgs with pure exercise. If I had improved my diet I now realize what I could have achieved over the 12 weeks.

Do you feel like your diet and exercise changes were sustainable?
My exercise is certainly sustainable, I now miss training the days that I am not there. I am back at work at the moment so juggling kids and a husband around “me time” is a challenge, it just means I get up before the kids to go for a run.
The diet – well that’s still a work in progress!!

What else did you gain from your challenge experience (apart from diet and exercise)?
I gained the incredible support from the mums at training. Everyone was so positive and encouraging it made turning up to training that much easier.

I have gained confidence and energy within myself, I am a happier and more fun loving mum for my husband and two very active little boys.

What would your advice be to a new mum thinking about doing the challenge?
Do it, it’s the best thing you will ever do for yourself - you will not regret it! Do it after your first child don’t wait to start after your second.

Sum up your challenge experience for us

Thanks to Jen and the team at Body Beyond Baby, that with their support, motivation, guidance and of course training that I have changed for the better. I feel I am only half through my weight loss journey, I know I have a challenge within myself now to lose the next 13kgs! Can’t wait for the summer challenge to begin!

Here are Sally's before and after photos:

For being one of our overall winners Sally receives a Revive Me Spa package from Sheraton on the Park

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

I had a run in with my son's kindy.....

I had a run in with my son's kindy last week and now I am going to get on my soap box - join me for a while if you please.  I'll set the scene; Marley goes to a really great little kindy, wonderfully caring staff who, in general, listen.  I have helped them to remove all the unnecessary sugars from their menu and their new manager has made great steps in changing the food the children eat on a daily basis.  Outside of this they have been extremely understanding of my preferences for Marley's nutrition on a daily basis...basically, if it's got sugar, he doesn't get it.  He is now four and understanding about birthday cakes and 'sometimes' foods and in general understands why mummy and daddy want to feed him the best food they can for his growing body.  From day one his teachers have called me if there was birthday cake or some other treat food being given (mostly I would say no) and he was happy with an alternative as it was just about him having 'something' not the specific food.  More recently, Marley will now ask his teachers to call myself or my husband to ask if he can have a little bit of birthday cake when it is brought in.  He is now allowed a very small piece and he knows that's it.

I should also say now that I also do not believe in giving food to children as a reward.

I arrived at kindy last week to be told they had had a treasure hunt and that there were MINI CHOCOLATE BARS in the treasure box.  These chocolate bars had then been taken off the children and put on the side and left to parents discretion as to whether their child got to take one home or not.   Tick for the treasure hunt - kids love things like that,  tick for not feeding the chocolate to them there and then but HUGE fail for rewarding them with chocolate in the first place!  Surely some stickers from a $2 store, balloons to blow up and play with or some other fun little token item in the treasure chest would have been a much better option.  

Needless to say we didn't take a chocolate bar and Marley was a little sad but after lots of conversation on the way home we discovered he wasn't sad about the chocolate but about not being able to take something from the treasure box.  We even discussed mummy giving his teachers a healthy option for next time which he was completely satisfied with so long as he got something out of the box.

This whole scenario gets me going BUT its what I was told next that really drove me nuts!  There has been recent debate about birthday cakes being brought in for sharing and that there were too many and the children were getting too much crap food (parents after my own heart).  We have also removed deserts such as jelly and ice cream from the menu.  BUT apparently some parents are now complaining that there are NO treat foods on the menu!!! so in trying to please everyone the chocolate treasure hunt had taken place.

Really?  There are about three children that are in that kindy that attend five days per week so there is plenty of time for 'treat' foods to be given at home. And surely we send our children to places such as these for them to enjoy and be educated for future life - to me this also includes education on healthy foods.  If you want your children to eat crap feed it to them in your own time don't enforce it upon other children.  Every child in that center is under five years old and only knows what we teach them - these children trust us as grown ups to raise them and feed them in the best most nutritious way for their growing bodies and to instil in them great practices and habits - and its not just about the sugar, have you read all of the other crap we find in junk foods??

So, to the teachers; guide these children and do the right thing.  You are exactly that, their teachers, and it is your job to teach them what is best and ideal.  You wouldn't change the academic or play that you teach to something that is substandard because a parent complained.  You are educated and have a responsibility to pass on this education to the children AND their parents where necessary.

To the parents; get educated, these children are our futures and we have an obesity epidemic. We are heading towards a time where our children may not outlive their parents due to poor nutritional choices and sedentary disease.  You had a child, now you have a responsibility to educate yourself in the best practices in every aspect of their lives.  And to put it simply, sometimes foods are just that, sometimes..... not every Wednesday and Friday on the kindy menu.

I truly believe that our children are the key to our future health and there has never been a better time to educate mothers (and fathers) in the impact that their own health and fitness beliefs have on their children.

I love to hear your thoughts so please feel free to comment if you wish and if you have enjoyed my rant and would like to hear more from me just hit the 'subscribe' button on my Face Book page and you won't miss anything I have to say.  

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Watch Your Winter Waistline Before and After and Q&A with one of our winners Jasmin

Today we chat with Jasmin - joint overall winner of our first ever Watch Your Winter Waistline - 12 Week Challenge.

What initially made you sign up to the 12 Week Challenge? 

I have always struggled with my weight.  I've been heavier and lighter but rarely where I wanted to be. I was very careful when pregnant, trained regularly, ate well and hardly put on any weight.  When maternity leave came around, I developed bad habits and ate to combat exhaustion and sleep deprivation.  As the months back at work crept by, I realised that I wasn't getting any smaller and my weight was having a negative effect on my mental health.  I had been intrigued by last Summer's challenges but wasn't ready. When Watch Your Winter Waistline came around I was ready (physically, mentally and emotionally).  I needed to do this in order to get myself back on track - body and mind.

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

Overall my goal was weight loss. I thought 1/2kg per week was achievable but it would be a tough slog based on past attempts to control my weight.  I am still in shock as to how successful I have been and how much weight I have lost.  As a plus, I have also managed to improve my fitness and prove to myself that ANYTHING is possible!

What were the easiest and most challenging aspects?

Easiest was diet (ha!). I love to cook and loved the opportunity to experiment with new foods and cooking techniques.  I took it as a mini challenge and committed myself to ensuring that my food would be a tool to achieving my aims.  There was no way I could have maintained my good dietary choices with boring foods.
The most challenging was getting to training. I did a lot of juggling, calling in babysitting favours and dragging my little girl along to sessions.  My husband, family and friends all got behind me to ensure I could have the time to dedicate to training.

What were your favorite and least favorite bits?

My favorite bit was meeting new friends and working together as a team.  I have dieted and trained individually but never as a group.  Having others along for the ride made training interesting and fun.
My least favorite bit was running and the stairs.  It's definitely my weakest link. I am learning to not listen to the voice in my head that says "Stop! You hate this and can't do it".

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

I generally did 4-5 sessions a week.  This included the advanced studio session every week, Saturday's in the park, Sunday steps (I only missed three due to no babysitting) plus one more.  The extra session was either early risers or an at home session.  We also live close to Bondi Junction so I would walk with the pram to and from the shops with the pram on at least 4 days a week.
Did you have to change your diet a lot?

Yes and No.  I already had a fairly healthy diet having adopted a low GI eating style 6 years ago when diagnosed as being insulin resistant (pre cursor to diabetes).  Through diet and exercise I had stabilised by insulin levels and no longer needed medication before falling pregnant.  I decided to adopt the 'no sugar guidelines" from day one.  I figured that the challenge was only 12 weeks and I wanted to give it everything I had. From week seven I also went grain free.  No sugar and no grains were huge adjustments but I credit the change to my success.
Do you feel like your diet and exercise changes were sustainable?

For sure! I am the lightest, fittest and strongest I have EVER been.  Diet and exercise got me here.  I won't be going back.  I know that I have a sugar addiction and if I give in even a little bit, the whole thing will come undone.  I can eat bag of lollies and blocks of chocolate in each sitting.  I struggle to walk past the junk aisle in the supermarket. I know my weakness and can't go there.

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

Physically, I had a huge win.  I have stuggled with psoriasis for 20 years on my scalp, arms, legs and ears. Having tried creams and drugs for years, I was shocked to find that giving up wheat has resulted in my psoriasis being cured. The pain and ugliness of the illness are now behind me.

Mentally, I have struggled with motherhood for a range of reason. I didn't like the person I had become. The challenge has helped me refocus my mind, like what I see in th mirror and motivate me to address other issues in my life. The challenge was the kick in the bum I needed!

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

You have nothing to lose. You will know when the time is right but know that this is a unique opportunity to find yourself again. You will have the most amazing resources at your fingertips that can't be found elsewhere. Even if you don't get to your ideal weight or desired fitness level, you will make an improvement and be able to build from there.  The period of the challenge is really very short in the scheme of things.  Jump in with both feet and see how fantastic you can be!

Sum up your challenge experience for us

The challenge was beyond my wildest expectations.  I found the body I had yearned for, the fitness I desired and ultimately the person I wanted to be.  I will be eternally indebted to Body Beyond Baby for providing me with this opportunity.

Here are Jasmine's before and after pics:

 For being one of our overall winners Jasmine receives a Revive me Spa Package from 

Saturday, September 1, 2012

Thank you to all of our Body Beyond Baby partners and sponsors

We are currently busy finalising all of our awards for tonight's end of challenge party and I would like to say a big thank you to all of our partners and sponsors that make it possible for us to bring you such a great challenge experience and to enable us to recognise all of your hard work.  It is a great privileged to be associated with these fantastic brands that share our values and acknowledge the importance of ensuring mum is well looked after.  See you all this evening!


Introducing Fashion Parté

We are very excited to announce our most recent partnership with Fashion Parté.  All of our challenge mums are overhauling their bodies therefore there is a natural relationship in providing the opportunity to overhaul wardrobes,  looks or gain a few tips and tricks from the experts.  

Jennifer Austin is the founder, director and head stylist of Fashion Parté. She is a Mother, Fashion Personal Stylist and Wardrobe Image Consultant.
Fashion Parté is a diverse event and fashion styling company that was established to assist women in helping them find their own personal style.  The company aims to achieve this through personal fashion consulting, clothing, make up, beauty and fashion styling workshop events. 

Jennifer, is an ex international catwalk model and has over 20 years experience in the fashion industry. Her background in the fashion world enabled her to start the business which focuses on giving the average woman personal attention when it came to styling. Jennifer also assists in consulting woman regarding fashion, wardrobe maintenance, colour schemes and overall confidence to re-create a personal style that is suitable to the individual.  She is a member of International Image Consultant International.

Jennifer has styled over 200 women in the past year, women of different sizes, ages and shapes. Her philosophy with her clients is “be true to yourself”. This means embracing what works best for their body and personality. She teaches them the skills to dress fashionably in clothes that suit their shape, size and lifestyle and also how to dress to a budget.

Call Jennifer on 0416 222 343
or check out her website and  facebook page  for more info