Archive for July, 2013

I turn 32 tomorrow, and this year I’ll be in London for my birthday. I don’t make a huge deal about my birthday, as it’s never really meant that much to me. But it’s always nice to do something, and before I turned 30 that something would have been anything that involved me getting very, very drunk. Since turning 30, however, my birthday celebrations have been much more civilised (with the exception of my 30th which involved several friends and I drinking champagne in my bed at 9am on a Sunday after being out until 5am. That was memorable for many reasons, one of which was the 2 day hangover).

30th birthday champage & orange juice

Yep, this happened. Champagne & orange juice for breakfast.

This birthday pizza probably takes the award for the best birthday ‘cake’ I’ve ever had (and there’s been many), thanks to my friends organising it with the local pizza place on a holiday in the Cinque Terre region of Italy. Three of us shared a birthday, so they could only fit our first initials onto the pizza. Pesto never tasted so good…

Birthday pizza!

For my 29th birthday… birthday pizza!

Last year Rob took me to Bells at Killcare where we had an amazing lunch before getting massages in the day spa. This year we’ll be staying in a fancy hotel in London and going for dinner at a French restaurant recommended by a friend.

But enough about restaurants and birthday pizza.

What I really wanted to write about was how it feels to be turning 32, but it kind of doesn’t feel any different than 31. 30 was a bit of a doozy, it threw me a bit, and involved a mini existential crisis (don’t worry, it only lasted a week) which I guess was prompted by the realisation that when I was 18, 30 seemed SO OLD. Oh poor, innocent, young me. Ha. Little did I know that the whole marriage/kids/mortgage scenario was one I would steer well clear of in my 20s. I still plan on doing 2 of the 3 (buying property in Sydney?! You’ve got to be kidding) but my god I am glad I met the love of my life in my late 20s. Looking back, if I’d married my first serious boyfriend, chances are we’d be divorced by now. And for good reason.

Ain't that the truth ...

Ain’t that the truth …

I can’t speak for everyone but I changed from a timid little 20 year old mouse who hardly ventured from the area I grew up in, to a crazy-arse 25 year old hot mess living in London, and now I feel like I’ve emerged as a put-together adult who is way better able to cope with life. And the person I was in my early 20s is miles apart from my current self. In a good way.

I’m pretty proud of the fact my parents have never had to bail me out of financial messes (only emotional ones), that I finished uni, achieved my career goals by 28 (still haven’t thought of new ones yet), am debt free (unless you count that uni debt I am still struggling with. But who counts that?) and I’m very lucky to have met an awesome man to share my good fortune and hard work with.

So really, 32 feels pretty freaking good πŸ™‚

32 feels great actually!

Stay Fit & Well,
Lisa x

So I’m no angel, I mean who is?! And I’ve realised lately I’ve been doing some things that people may term ‘bad’ for you, but these things actually make me feel awesome. And I thought I might share, because I’m kinda tired of the guilt and beating myself up over it. So I’m gonna own it, I’m gonna be proud, and there will be no more negative self-talk thank you very much.

Negative self-talk - ain't nobody got time fo dat!

Negative self-talk – ain’t nobody got time fo dat!

Here goes…

  • Eating chocolate every single day – That’s right, every goddamn day and I’m proud of it. BUT, I have a few squares a night of dark chocolate which is meant to be good for you, right? With the occasional blow-out on a KitKat Chunky which anyone who knows me knows is my weakness. And you know what – months of eating chocolate most nights has resulted in zero weight gain (in fact the exact opposite) and it just makes me feel good.
Kit Kat Chunky

My treat of choice…

  • Reading when I could be doing something productive – So there are a million useful and very adult things I could be doing in the evening or on a weekend at home, like cleaning, vacuuming, writing blog posts, researching the business I want to start up, calling my Nan, cleaning out my wardrobe, the list is bloody endless! But instead I will often find myself saying I’ll just read for 10 minutes, and 2 hours later half the afternoon has passed or it’s time for bed. If I’m reading a great book I really find it so difficult to drag myself away from it. But reading IS productive. It produces happiness in me πŸ™‚
This is how I read.

This is how I read.

  • Baking cookies, cakes and slices – This year I’ve taken small steps along the Domestic Goddess route. And I do mean small steps. Tiny. Like cooking more new recipes rather than relying on the dishes I’ve been cooking since I first moved out of home. I even attempted a roast and didn’t stuff it up. Hooray! I discovered this amazing book of awesomeness and there is not a healthy recipe in sight. Β The downside of all this cooking is I end up eating a lot of what I bake. But it makes me feel pretty proud knowing I made something that tastes damn good all by myself.
Snickerish

My personal fave from the No Bake Makery cookbook – Snickerish. This little baby contains an amazing ingredient called Marshmallow Fluff. Yep, as bad for you as it sounds πŸ™‚

  • Hiding away from the world – Well, I prefer to call it hibernating but whatevs. It’s winter here in Oz and I have been well and truly taking advantage of the colder nights to stay in, cook, eat, drink red wine and watch films. This could be misconstrued by my friends as being anti-social, and occasionally I feel a little bit of guilt for not making more of an effort, but you know what? This is probably the thing I love the most. As I head into my early 30s I care less for the impression I’m making on other people, and way more about what feels comfortable for me. And staying in, especially with Rob, makes me deliriously happy. And it also makes it way easier to get up on a weekend and do something rather than lay in bed with a hangover and regrets. And believe me, I spent my 20s doing that, I think I’m done now.
Staying in is the new going out

Staying in is the new going out

  • Not going to the gym very much – I’ll let you in on a secret: ever since I had a week off the gym to rest, I have only been going 2-3 times a week. I used to be at the gym 4 times a week minimum, but you know since I’ve eased off I’ve got more people asking me if I’ve lost weight than ever before. I haven’t lost weight. At least I don’t think I have. I think I probably just look more relaxed. Dare I say healthier? Truth is I don’t need to lose any weight, and I REALLY don’t want to, so I’m just eating healthy and exercising when I want to. The benefit of working your arse off for over a year, making sure your metabolism is chugging along nicely, and not over-doing it. I still love exercise, I’m just going through a period of taking it easy and it’s working for me right now. The moment it doesn’t work, I’ll change it up.

Rock hard abs

So I guess everything in this post comes down to balance. 4 squares of chocolate a day is not a block of chocolate a day; exercising 3 times a week is way better than not exercising at all; and reading is just ace all-round πŸ™‚

Anyone else care to share the ‘bad’ things they’re doing that make them feel great?

Stay Fit & Well,
Lisa x

One day soon I’ll post about my favourite bloggers in the food and fitness industry, but as a sneak peek I want you to meet Lau (aka Fierce For Life) – one awesome lady who inspires me on a regular basis. I was fortunate to work with Lau before she took the plunge and started working on Fierce For Life full time, and now she’s living the dream in Thailand, working on what she loves and making everyone she knows jealous.

I personally followed Lau’s 8 week program to get a Bangin’ Body and if you’re interested in fitness, want to change it up or get a new program you should definitely check it out. Lau even has a free guide you can download, and who doesn’t like free?!

I asked Lau to answer a couple of questions and I hope they inspire you as much as they did me.

Lau from Fierce For Life

The gorgeous Lau. What a stunner!

You’re the founder of Fierce For Life, a fitness business that incorporates personal training and coaching. What made you decide to branch out on your own?
I had always really wanted to get out of the 9-5 grind, but hadn’t been able to figure out how to do it. One day in early 2012, my husband (aka The Bearded One), who had recently struck out on his own, suggested I start building a health company that catered to women like me. Women who want to be fit and healthy and sexy and strong, but who either a) don’t know where to begin, or b) don’t want to kill themselves going on extreme fad diets or workout regimes. The idea stuck and within a few months we had created the company and started building a little group of loyal followers. At the end of January 2013, I left my day job, and ramped up everything I was offering through Fierce For Life. We’ve since moved to Thailand, which is exactly the kind of freedom I’d been looking for.

What’s your personal fitness philosophy?
Do what you love. Experiment, and do what makes your body feel and look its best. Don’t worry about what everyone else is doing, because their body is different to yours. Focus on reaching your goals, your desires and appreciating your body for the amazing tool it is.

Who are your health & fitness role models?
Let’s see… Molly Galbraith has rocketed to the top of the list in the last couple of weeks for her recent honesty and vulnerability: she has written some visceral, painful stuff on body image, perception and the constant pressure to look a certain way, and I really respect her for that. Jen Comas Keck is another – she’s always doing stuff that just seems fun and challenging to her, and I love that attitude. Krista from Stumptuous.com is frickin’ hilarious and I wish I was as smart and abrasive as she is.

What three things would you take with you if you were stranded on a desert island?
Does a person count as a thing? First would be The Bearded One, because obviously he’s a babe, and he’s also the closest I’ve ever come to a real-life MacGyver. Next up would be some sort of water-distillation tool, because YAY water. Finally, a machete because a) I like to say machete with a Mexican accent and 2) it would solve a lot of problems, like building shelter, getting firewood, killing dinner and opening the inevitable bounty of coconuts the island would give us.

What’s the one thing that anyone could do tomorrow to make a difference to their health?
Add as many veggies to each meal as possible. The more vegetables you eat, the more satisfied you will be, and the less likely you are to crave unhealthy food. Even if they’re from a freeze-pack, you’re still going to get a tonne of benefits from this.

Fit chicks rock :)

Fit chicks rock πŸ™‚

Follow Fierce For Life on Facebook and Twitter for more inspiration.

Stay Fit & Well,
Lisa x

If you’ve read anything about fitness lately, you will probably have come across the acronym HIIT. It stands forΒ High-Intensity Interval Training and is basically a form of training that encompasses short bursts of intense exercise with even shorter rest periods. The idea behind HIIT is that short, flat-out periods of exercise will very quickly improve your athletic performance, pump up your metabolism and therefore burn fat faster than slower-paced forms of exercise. Think of how a marathon runner looks as opposed to a sprinter – sprinters are all sculpted muscle, marathon runners are lean. I like seeing defined muscles, and I also like exercising for shorter periods of time rather than hours upon hours, so I am a BIG fan of HIIT.

HIIT

I definitely prefer the sprinters body. Looks a lot healthier too!

I’ve been doing HIIT workouts that others have posted online, but I decided to create my own using the exercises I like the most. Well, considering this workout contains burpees, I should probably retract that statement as I categorically hate burpees. But they crank your heart rate up and get the job done, so I included them πŸ™‚ Here it is, complete with links to videos to show you how to do the moves.

Lisa’s HIIT Workout #1

Warm up for 10 minutes – on the treadmill, cross-trainer, bike or a jog around the local park. Whatever floats your boat.

Then 4 rounds of:

5 x burpees
10 x walking lunges
10 x push ups (on your knees if you have to)
20 x squats (go deep)
20 x jumping jacks
10 x mountain climbers
1 x 30 second plank

Then STRETCH.

Rest for 1 minute between each round, and go all out to complete the round in the quickest time possible while still keeping good form.

Well there you go, my first attempt at creating my own HIIT routine. And I’ve personally done it myself and can tell you it works – my inability to sit down without pain the next day will attest to that!

HIIT rocks!

 

Let me know what you think πŸ™‚

Stay Fit & Well,
Lisa x

I’ve posted a lot about food and fitness, but I realised the other day that I’ve sorely neglected one element of this blog: wellbeing.

I was recently forced to look at how I handle stress (due to being under quite a lot of it!) and I realised, like most people I suppose, that I don’t handle it very well at all. On the surface I might, but underneath I am a raging mass of anxiety. The stressful period I’m coming out of at the moment was caused mainly by work, but also by my upcoming trip to the UK. You might groan at that, and think ‘what could be stressful about a holiday?!’ but I tell you, a LOT can. This time I’m away for three & a half weeks, with no one to cover me at work, I have to work a bit while I’m over there, along with meeting all Rob’s family and friends and trying to make a good impression AND catch up with all my own friends. I have been scheduling like mad! I even have a spreadsheet for all the lunch dates, dinner dates, drinks, weddings, planes and trains we have to catch. Yep, I am one of those super-organised control freaks. And I guess that’s one of the reasons why I am a massive stress-head at times.

This cat, it could totally be me. Blank, staring eyes and all.

This cat, it could totally be me. Blank, staring eyes and all.

To be fair to myself, I am rarely super-stressed, which makes it all the stranger when I am. This time I tried eliminating all my commitments for the most stressful week. We’re talking not going to the gym, not going out for dinner or drinks with friends, just working, eating and sleeping. I would say NOT the best idea, as I needed something to occupy my mind that wasn’t the stress.

Stressing out has made me realise some things:

  1. There is no point relying on plans – you can plan all you want, but stuff will always happen to change all your best-laid plans. Think about it – has there ever been a situation you’ve been in EVER that has gone EXACTLY to plan?
  2. It’s ok to talk about what’s stressing you out, but sometimes you don’t want to hear ‘this too shall pass’ – you just want a bloody good whinge!
  3. Wine helps, but only in moderation.
  4. Exercise can help, especially in getting aggression due to stress out.
  5. Not having such high expectations of yourself is a good habit to get into, but a very difficult one to maintain.
  6. Meditating might be a damn fine activity to start implementing into my weekly, if not daily life. I’ll keep you posted on that one.
Let's dance!

I love this SO. MUCH.

I think next time a period of stress comes around, I might just dance.

I’d love to hear how others deal with stress. It’s such a personal thing, but any ideas would be great. How do you deal with stressful times?

Stay Fit & Well,
Lisa x