Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Tough Mums do the Spartan Sprint

Written by Body Beyond Baby - Tough Mum Team member and latest addition to our PT team here at BBB, Sally gives an overview of our day at the Spartan Sprint.

After months of anticipation, hardcore training sessions, rope burns and countless burpees, Spartan Sprint finally arrived in Sydney!  And the Body Beyond Baby Tough Mums were ready!
…As were our previously rope burned shins which we prepped with layers of gauze, bandages and electrical tape!  

At the starting line, we all agreed to really push as hard as we could for this race, and see what we were capable of.  Because of course… We Are Spartans!

There were some big teams around, but our bright orange Tough Mum tops really stood out, and we had many people approach to say hi, give their encouragement and support. 

But of course we did not look bright and pretty for long.  While this race may have been shorter in distance than others, this was one of the biggest challenges any of the Tough Mums have faced.  There were no gentle obstacles to ease us in… we were thrown into the deep end literally, with some big swims and running hard core hills.  But what fun we had!

There were mountains of mud to climb and slide over, 10 foot walls, barbed wire, spear throws, wall traverses, tunnels, hurdles, monkey bars, and a cargo net rigged up at a scary height with gaps big enough for us to fall through!

There was also lots of swimming.  Not quite as refreshing as you would think, with murky muddy (and sometimes smelly) water, and Race Supervisors reminding us not to swallow any.  We didn’t actually see any cows self-consciously squatting for a poop by the river bank, but I wouldn’t have been too surprised.  We did some marvellous demonstrations of breaststroke and sidestroke, and even an occasional paddle on a rubber tyre.   But don’t be fooled by our occasional leisurely paddling.  The feats of BBB Tough Mums were amazing…

Special mention to Celine for smashing every obstacle and going so hard that she vomited twice along the course without barely slowing her stride (although she vomited for a photo… what a poser!)
And Lauren (one of our team paramedics) who we lost for a moment, but she reappeared telling us she had stopped on the hill to relocate a man’s injured knee.

Danette who quickly marched up the hill carrying her sandbag on her shoulders, overtaking puffing competitors… whilst still able to maintain a steady flow of conversation.  Yes, Tough Mums can indeed multi task! 

And not to forget our team captain and trainer, Jen, who completed the course without a single burpee and came in in 21st place.

We could mention everyone - all the Tough Mum team gave an amazing performance throughout the race, without too many burpees having to be performed! And without doubt, the Spartan Sprint finished as hard as it had started.

There was a final kilometre of running and sliding through a muddy creek lined with thorny bushes, which you couldn’t help but grab each time you slipped.  Then a seemingly endless length of barbed wire to roll under until you came out and had to dizzily leap over a fire pit.  Finally a group of muscular Spartans to fight through before crossing the finish line. ….perhaps our ladies didn’t try too hard to run away from those fine specimens…

All in all, an awesome day and amazing effort from all our BBB Tough Mum Team.  We were indeed the Dirty Dozen by the end of the race, but the muddy faces just made our big smiles more dazzling!
So Tough Mums, lets wear our cuts and bruises with pride… and get ready for the next Spartan! Aroo!

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Lamb and Roasted Beetroot Salad

Ingredients (Serves 2)

300g lamb backstrap
1 fresh beetroot
1 tsp olive oil
4 spears of asparagus, steamed
1/2 red onion, sliced
2 cups baby spinach
handful parsely chopped
1 tbsp toasted pine nuts

Tzaziki dressing 
1/2 lebanese cucumber, grated
1/2 cup Greek yoghurt
1/2 clove garlic, crushed
handful mint leaves, chopped
1/2 lemon, squeezed

  • Preheat oven to 180 degrees
  • Peel and slice beetroot, toss in olive oil and season with salt and pepper
  • Place on a baking tray and roast in the oven for 45min to an hour
  • To make the dressing, squeeze all liquid out of cucumber after grating
  • Add all other dressing ingredients and season with salt and pepper to taste
  • Refrigerate until ready to serve
  • Heat non-stick frypan or griddle pan
  • Cook lamb backstrap for a few minutes either side depending on thickness
  • Allow to rest while arranging salad ingredients on your plates
  • Add roasted beetroot, sliced lamb and top with the pine nuts
  • Serve with your tzaziki dressing
  • Enjoy

Monday, March 18, 2013

Mum of The Moment - Meet Della

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 we would like you to meet our Mum of the Moment for March - Della.  

Della was nominated for Mum of the Moment by a number of other Body Beyond Baby mums who are inspired by how Della makes it to sessions whilst running around after four children!  

As a thank you to our Mum of the Moment and a congratulations for all of her hard work, Della will receive a $65 gift voucher for Inspired Wellbeing.

Meet Della

Tell us a bit about yourself, names of your children, how old they are

I am 45 years old and my partner of 15 years, Nick, is a hard working barrister.  We have four children and we live in Darlinghurst in two small terrace houses stuck together.  My oldest child, Camilla (or “Milly”), is 12 years old and has just started high school this year.  Next is Rory who is nine years old and in year four.  Henry just turned six the other day and he is in year one.  Finally, there is baby Darcy who is turning two at the end of May.  I also have two step children, Sam aged 20 and Eliza aged 19 but they are all grown up now and have left home.

I worked for many years as a commercial litigation lawyer in a large city law firm.   I left during the global financial crisis, thinking I might have some time with my family and return to work at a later stage.  I realised that I no longer wanted to be in the corporate world.  Together with another mum I volunteered to run the after school dance program and that kept me busy. I now have another plan but more about that later.

What made you decide to join our Summer Challenge for the first and then second time?

I was inspired to join the first Summer Challenge last year after speaking to some of the other mums who looked amazingly fit as a result of the Winter Challenge.  I had already been training with Body Beyond Baby for about three months but I soon came to realise how much further I had to go and the discipline of being involved in a group challenge was really motivating and fun. I set higher goals and was thrilled to see that I could run my two laps around the oval a full minute faster than when I first started training with Body Beyond Baby.  Many of the things I started to change as I learned more about nutrition were very surprising. My three skim cappuccinos each day became one delicious satisfying full fat cappuccino and several cups of green tea.  My huge overflowing bowl of low fat yogurt (full of sugar to make up for the lack of fat) became a small bowl of full fat Greek yogurt with some blueberries and chia seeds.  Lean meat and fish, loads of healthy salads and new foods like quinoa and small snacks of almonds and boiled eggs became staples and the effect on my energy levels was amazing.  I found that I could train hard and look after my family with the good fats and the protein keeping me going. I also continued to breastfeed my big one year old baby with no trouble at all.  I enjoyed the camaraderie – all the other mums were very inspiring – and I had great results.  I couldn’t really believe my eyes when I saw the before and after photos.  I realised that I was actually fitter and leaner at 45 than I had ever been in my entire life!

I joined the second Summer Challenge because I still wanted to lose a couple more kilos and because I loved the first Challenge so much.  I am gradually coming to realise that, having come so far, my fitness and my shape is what I should be focussing on rather than my weight.  This Challenge I have finally kicked my terrible diet coke habit for good and I am committed now to making changes for me and for my family for life not just for a few weeks.

What has been your Body Beyond Baby highlight so far?

The highlight for me has been taking part in the Spartan training day with some other mums from BBB.  As I reached the end of six grueling rounds of training covered in dirt and sweat, sun burnt and sore, dehydrated and totally disoriented I felt strangely elated as I was joined by my kids to shake hands with none other than The COMMANDO!

What has been your greatest challenge?

My greatest challenge has been to concentrate on improving my form and technique.  I am still working on that one.  I also want to be able to do an unassisted chin up.  I am working on that one too!  I saw a woman at the gym today doing chin ups with a large weight attached around her middle.  As I stood there with my mouth hanging open in total awe, she told me that it makes doing normal chin ups really easy!  I look forward to experiencing that!

When you started, did you ever think you would be joining our tough mums team in the obstacle events like The Spartan Race?

A few weeks ago as I stood in the pouring rain for over an hour before the start of the Kings of The Sand Race at Cronulla, I reflected on how it was almost surreal that I felt fit enough and brave enough to enter a sand race with obstacles with a whole lot of other much younger mums!  It’s a whole new fun world – a very exhilarating way to spend time – learning to climb ropes and swing on monkey bars and to get all dirty and muddy without so much as blinking an eyelid.  I can almost hear Jen telling me to “toughen up” right now!

What has been your family’s reaction to your new fitness regime?

My family are thrilled at my new found enthusiasm for fitness.  Every Sunday during the first Summer Challenge my six year old son would wait for me ready to jump on me the moment I got home from Steps to ask me if my time had improved.  Some things have taken a little getting used to though – Henry still asks when we will be having white rice again and often begs me to get Nutrigrain for breakfast one more last time! Hopefully their memories will fade.  My very “Eastern Suburbs” daughter’s reaction when she saw me after the Spartan training was also pretty funny – she kept saying “Mum you look terrible - what is all that dirt in your hair?”

Do you have anything else to add?

I am currently training to become a qualified personal trainer so that I can one day train mums with Body Beyond Baby.  I have a lot of work to do, including hours of observation and practical training before this happens but I am feeling happy about the direction my life has taken.  I was a bit lost for a few years particularly as I grappled with the private pain and heartache associated with repeated miscarriages in my quest (some would say a rather misguided quest in my early forties!) to have another baby.  When baby Darcy finally came along it was a bit of a shock (a nice shock though) and it took me a while to pick up the pieces and get on with life.  BBB has played a big part in my journey to move forward.  I can’t wait to inspire other mums to do their very best, the way I have been inspired by Jen and Amy and all the other friends I have made at Body Beyond Baby over the past year.    

Mum of The Moment is proudly sponsored by 

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

My response to SMH article "Exercise guru labels outdoor fitness groups 'embarrassing"

Given SMH used a Body Beyond Baby pic at the head of a comeback video on todays article 'Exercise guru labels outdoor fitness groups 'embarrassing' I thought it only right that I throw my two cents into the equation - and you know how I like to have my say!

When I first read the title of the article I thought Gary Egger was going to fire off about the technique that is sometimes used, or should I say not used within a group fitness environment and I would have been only too happy to put my hand up and agree with him. Many of you already know my stance on this - that there are way too many trainers 'just cruising', especially within a group fitness environment. But, on the same note there are also many, many outdoor group exercise businesses that have fantastic and credible personal trainers running them. Trainers that are encouraging and inspiring our inactive and overweight population to get off their backsides and get moving.

Egger said that "councils should crack down on trainers who monopolise beaches" - I guess that depends on whether they have permission to be there or not. I am sure you will find that any trainer running a legitimate business that they pour time, energy and money into that they plan to run in a council area they will most certainly have that permit. The trainers that we want on our streets are fully qualified, registered, insured and carrying their permits. Waverley Council meeting to discuss a crackdown on trainers flouting the rules should be seen as a positive. There are always some bad eggs and this crackdown will help to weed them out, leaving more land and space for those abiding by the rules.

As for the comments:

"there are obviously people who do it because it does send a statement and make them look good"

A contradiction to their later comment where they tell of other people being embarrassed or put off exercising. I can assure you that you don't choose to run group exercise sessions to look good. When you make the commitment to stand outside rain, hail or shine you are certainly not feeling glamorous or worrying about how you look. Especially come winter - have you stood outside in the cold and the rain and maintained your energy, motivation and encouragement for the people in your groups lately? Standing warm and dry in a gym with no wind and rain is much more about 'look' than outdoor training will ever be!  

"trainers are interfering with other peoples right to common recreational grounds" 

If there is a true interference and unwillingness to obey any rules set in place and these trainers are really in the way then move them along. Keep in mind that the majority of outdoor group training programs (especially around Bondi where this article seems to concentrate) are ran before 7.30am in the morning (if not earlier) and pretty much the only other people out in recreational areas at that time are others exercising in some shape or form - there are certainly no family picnics to interrupt at that time of the morning.

"personal training is an 'elite approach' to fitness and a very middle class thing to do"

Firstly, there is a discrepancy in this comment, the article is discussing group exercise, which, from my experience is a lower cost option which makes it MORE accessible to general population.

Secondly, what is wrong with personal training being at a higher price point? It may be seem to be an elite approach but surely that is only relative to your bank balance. And, if you are working with an experienced personal trainer that can help you specifically with your needs and goals and you choose to spend money on this service then it shouldn't be criticized. Many trainers spend a lot of time and energy researching and becoming the best in their field so that they can look after their chosen target market to an elite level.

"outdoor fitness groups could be embarrassing for other people to watch and could turn others off exercising"

Really? Thats a legitimate argument? I don't know ANYONE who would see someone that had the motivation to get themselves out of bed, get to the beach or the park, rain, hail or shine and work hard with their training group before most people have even gotten out of bed and decide that they are embarrassing to look at and be turned off exercising themselves. They are more likely to be inspired to do the same, to exercise well and to get healthy - it's not supposed to be glamorous. And given we are a nation of obese individuals leading increasingly sedentary lives we should be encouraging people to get out and move regardless of how they look.

In summary, do we need to have more exercise options at varying price points to cater for more of the Australian population and to encourage them to be fitter and healthier? Yes. Do we need to make sure we, as trainers as respectful to people around us, our environment and ensure we have the proper permits and permissions? Yes. But do we need people like Gary Eggar putting down the outdoor group training model as a whole? No way! We need to think of spending our energy thinking of more ways to get more people involved rather than knocking the ones that are out there making a difference to peoples lives.  And 

To read some more responses to this article from other fitness professionals check out below:
Australian Fitness Network
Mike Jarosky

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Thank you to our Challenge Sponsors for 2013!

Our Find Your Summer Body - 8 Week Challenge for 2013 kicked is well underway with over 70 mums excited and on board making changes to their lifestyle, improving their fitness, looking and feeling fantastic!

We know that without our team of mums and the sponsors that support them Body Beyond Baby would not be what it is today. We really appreciate our partners and sponsors in enabling us to reward our Mums for their commitment to themselves and the amazing lifestyle changes they make through our challenge.  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.  So a BIG BIG thank you to all involved!!!

Click on their logo to go straight to the website.


Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Introducing Little Bird Nanny Share

I am really excited to introduce our new partner Little Bird Nanny Share.  Moving forward Little Bird Nanny Share will provide some of their best nannies to look after your little ones during your Body Beyond Baby training sessions in Centennial Park. 

Little Bird Nanny share is owned and operated by mums Vianca and Danijela, let's find out a little more about them  - 


Talking to many mums it was clear that many women feel conflicted about going back to work because of the limited child care options available. While nannies are often the preferred choice, they are out of reach for many families. Spotting the need for an affordable service that parents feel good about using, Little Bird Nanny Share was born.

Vianca Rechtman has always had a love for bringing people together and organising logistics. Having worked across the tourism, entertainment and events industries in Australia and Europe she has many experiences to draw upon to support Little Bird and understand the needs of both Little Bird families and nannies. In recent years, Vianca has been working in the evolving world of digital marketing as an Account Director whilst juggling the wonderful role of motherhood to a now 2 year old girl and new baby. She has been a member of Little Bird for the past 18 months which has given her first- hand knowledge of the great service the agency offers to families needing personalised support and the importance of finding the right Nanny to fit the family and child.

Danijela Iacono has 14 years corporate experience in pr and marketing for national and international brands and fashion houses. She has managed large companies, events, budgets and egos! Working with some very demanding people, Danijela discovered her niche in recruitment and mentoring. Thriving on providing the right environment and the best possible care for staff and clients – whilst juggling a business, client and staff retention and a healthy lifestyle (including a husband) Danijela was drawn to the efficiency and logic of a Nanny Share company. Her own struggle with falling pregnant and 1.5 years on IVF has finally given Danijela and her partner a little baby hence the natural progression into this field. Mountain View Early Childcare Centre was also run in the family for the past 4 years and exceeded in numerous State Awards.

We know we are going to enjoy a great partnership with Vianca, Danijela and Little Bird and we know that you, our valued Body Beyond Baby mums will now have a fantastic resource and go-to business for your nanny needs!