Archive for the ‘Fitness’ Category

So it’s Summer in Australia and I know now why I loved living in London so much. Summer in London is generally pretty nice. People lay around in parks and swan about wearing flippy dresses and their hair stays basically like it was when they left the house. Sure, the Tube is about 100 degrees celsius but you can’t have everything.  Here in Oz, however, people don’t lay around in parks because between 11am and 3pm the UV rays will basically burn your skin to smithereens and give you skin cancer, and that flippy dress you’re wearing clings to you in all the wrong places because you’re so sweaty. And don’t even mention the constant hair frizz due to humidity.

Yes, you could say I am not a fan of the extreme heat of the Southern Hemisphere. And this year, I’ve confronted something that I’ve been avoiding since I was probably about 18 years old: I hate exercising in hot weather. Absolutely detest is. Every year since I arrived back in Oz at the end of 2010, I have attempted to force, cajole, and even bargain with myself (“Go to the gym, Lisa. You can have an ice cream afterwards”) but this year, I have become reconciled to the fact that actually, if it’s above 32 degrees, the gym just ain’t happening. And instead of beating myself up with the guilts, I just go with it.too hot You know how most people put on weight in Winter, what with the heavier food, and moving less, etc? Well I am entirely the opposite – I lose weight in the cooler months because I exercise more and eat less ice cream, and in Summer I pack it on. So this year I will be sitting on the couch watching Making A Murderer (a documentary series which is my current Netflix obsession – DO NOT click on the link if you want to watch it, it contains spoilers), Cornetto in hand, not giving a damn about my abs.

 

What season do you find yourself more motivated to exercise? Is anyone with me in hating to exercise in Summer?

Stay fit & well,
Lisa x

The 2015 Fitness & Health Expo was on at Olympic Park, Sydney a couple of weeks ago, and I made a day of it with a friend. We had a great time looking around the exhibition hall – stall holders covered a lot of bases, from organic ‘healthy’ chocolate companies, to body-building protein and supplement stalls.

But by far the highlights were discovering a ridiculously low calorie alternative to noodles or pasta, and watching Commando in action on the CrossFit stage.

Unfortunately I didn’t take any photos of Commando doing his thing and working out on the main stage, but I do have this very grainy shot of Michelle Bridges. She answered lots of questions about everything from recovering from training injuries to the benefits of going vegetarian to lose weight (her advice – don’t do it just to lose weight!). Heavily pregnant, I was amazed she could stay standing up as long as she did, but that’s one of the benefits of being incredibly fit to begin with!michelle bridges

Commando also chatted on the Healthy Living Stage, and gave great advice about functional movement, and increasing your range of movement so you don’t get injured in the first place (think stretching, foam rolling and regular massage).

There were loads of product stalls, but the one that really stood out for me was the Slendier stall. Slendier make a range of pasta and noodle alternatives, made from the Chinese konjac vegetable, which are low in calories and high in fibre. We tried a sample of the spaghetti with sauce and it honestly didn’t taste much different to pasta, with only a softer or silkier texture. I was sold, and bought several packets. They’re also available in Coles and Woolworths.

konjac konjac noodles

We tried lots of energy juices, low-carb bread and protein bars, and it was really interesting seeing the range of products on show, and it was a healthy and fun day out. I’m already looking forward to next year’s show…

Stay Fit & Well,
Lisa x

I’m not going to beat around the bush here – motherhood sure isn’t easy. And it can be a rude awakening to find out that being a new mum doesn’t mean just staring lovingly at your adoring baby while they sleep. No no no – housework still needs to be done, you need to eat, and also – babies often don’t sleep! Or sleep for only a few hours at a time. Hello sleep deprivation for new parents! Here are some things I have been doing regularly since Harrison was born, and I really found they helped me initially, and still help me now, to feel like myself again as well as being ‘Mama’.

  1. Go for a coffee – While that first time leaving the house along with bub may feel like it’s never going to happen (it may take an hour to get everything ready, then the baby poops right before you leave the house. Just warning you), you HAVE to get out of the house and also: COFFEE. Take your mum, your friend, your partner, your neighbour and just go to the closest and easiest place you can find. Cafes without change tables are a no-no, so do your homework before you go. You’ll feel revived, you will have gotten some fresh air and a bonus could be that your baby sleeps in the pram the whole time you’re there.I need sleep but I'll settle for coffee
  2. Make time for exercise – This is hard. There just never feels like there’s any time for you when you have a newborn baby (umm, make that any sort of child of any age actually), especially if you’re breastfeeding on demand. But do what you have to do to make exercise happen – check out YouTube for workouts you can do from the comfort of your living room, walk around the block 5 times every morning with bub in a baby carrier or pram, go swimming once a week while your partner looks after the baby. Anything is better than nothing, and your body and brain will thank you for the stress relief and endorphins. make time to workout
  3. Spend at least a few hours away from your adorable family per week – I know, I know – they can’t be without you. As soon as you leave the house, the baby will cry, daddy will cry because he can’t figure out what’s wrong, with the baby and even the dog will cry from all the noise! Trust me – this will not happen. Or if it does – I’m sorry, you’ve married the wrong person. Joking! Sort of. But seriously, getting back some ‘me’ time really does make you feel so much better it’s not funny. Some mums I know take Saturday morning to sleep in until 10am while their partners take care of the kids, other mums have monthly massages, weekly manicures or brunch dates with friends. Whatever it is, take the time to do it and you will feel better, your family will be happier with a happier Mama, and it will save a lot of resentment from building up. relax
  4. Join a Mother’s Group – This REALLY saved my sanity. Not only was it great to talk to other mums who were new to the Mama game, but we could all ask each other “Is it normal that he’s waking up every 4hrs?”, “Do all formula-fed babies have poos like that?” and “Will we ever lose the baby weight and be normal again?”. I have laughed with, cried with, supported and been humbled by every one of the mums in my Mother’s Group and I wouldn’t be without them. After you leave the hospital, the local community health nurse should call you and set you up with a Mother’s Group and honestly, it may feel like a drag to go along to that first meeting, but go. You’ll meet some amazing women who will inspire and comfort you like no other friends you have!mothers group
  5. Date nights – do them! – It will take planning, it will take preparation, it may take using a breast pump if you’re breastfeeding, but please, please, please – for the sake of your relationship, go on dates with your partner. You may often end up talking mainly about the baby, but you’ll also be able to enjoy nice food not cooked by one of you, no washing up, maybe a glass or two of wine, and a bit of quiet time to actually talk to each other about how you’re feeling. Checking in with your partner is the number one thing you can do to maintain a good relationship. If your main relationship with your significant other isn’t strong, how can you expect to build a strong and loving family unit? It’s an investment that is worth it’s weight in gold. And it’s fun 🙂

Date night when you're a parent I’d love to hear any other tips from Mamas out there – what do you do on a regular basis to keep your sanity intact as a mum? Stay Fit & Well, Lisa x

No matter who you are – runner, rugby player, pilates lover, regular gym goer, or if you’re looking for inspiration to start a new fitness routine then head along to the Fitness & Health Expo, held at Sydney Olympic Park from 16-18 October.

There’ll be top fitness brands with all the latest gear and gadgets for sale, the best personal trainers from Michelle Bridges to Commando Steve, powerlifting shows, and more!

And now the most exciting news: I have 3 doubles passes to give away!!

The passes are valued at $60 per double and will give the winner access on one day of the Expo (Friday Oct 16, Saturday Oct 17 OR Sunday Oct 18).

For your chance to win, all you have to do is ‘Like’ my Facebook page, and ‘Like’ the competition post. Easy!

Entries close midnight 30 September, and winners will be notified by DM on Facebook.

Fitness and Health Expo Sydney 2015

Before I became a mum, I remember wondering what stay-at-home mothers did all day. Now I know. Granted, not all SAHM’s are studying full-time online and working part-time from home, but I thought I’d give you a little glimpse into my life. Buckle your seat belts, here we go…

motherhood is an experiment

7.30am – Harrison wakes up. Therefore Mummy & Daddy wake up too. I know, I know, we are VERY lucky he’s sleeping in this late, but it’s a pretty recent thing. A few weeks ago he was waking up between 6am & 6.30am so I think we’ve earnt 7.30am. There are cuddles in bed and then we start the breakfast routine. I get dressed, put makeup on and eat my breakfast while Rob’s there.

8.15am – Rob leaves for work. The book reading begins. Currently Harrison just wants to read the same book over and over again. I have to tell you I think Spot could really be improved upon in terms of personality. And his manners could do with some work. But I digress…Harrison usually comes and gets his shoes and gives them to me and says “ball” over and over again, indicating that he wants to go outside and play with the ball.

8.30-9am – Mummy makes herself a coffee (thank god for Nespresso!), puts the washing on, washes up, dresses Harrison and feeds him morning tea. The current favourite morning tea is an apple, which he insists on holding and eating like an adult (only with tiny, mouse-like bites taken out of it) or an entire Lebanese cucumber. That’s right, an entire cucumber. This kid is in no danger of wasting away that’s for sure!

9am – We leave the house and drive to Gymbaroo. Gymbaroo is a class for babies, where the teacher does different activities while each parent & child sit there and participate. This week we played with balls, sang songs, lifted a massive parachute up and down over the babies heads, and then the kids had ‘free play’ time where they wander aimlessly around the ‘gym’ which is filled with trampolines, wooden ladders, steps for babies to practice walking or crawling up and tunnels to crawl through. In Harrison’s case, once he had hold of a ball, all he wanted to do was go in the opposite direction of everybody else. All the other babies sat there happily while bubbles were blown at them, marvelling at the pretty colours, etc. Harrison took one look at the bubbles, clearly thought “well this is boring!” and ran off in the other direction shouting “Ball, ball ball” and kicking the ball. I’m beginning to think Gymbaroo is wasted on us.

9.45am – Gymbaroo ends and we head to the shops to do chores – picking up anything we need from the supermarket, going to the pharmacy or bank, etc. Harrison charms everyone he meets by waving at them and giving a big toothy grin. That, or he’s in a bad mood and screams his head off at being confined in the stroller. Either or.

11am – We’re home and out we go to the backyard where Mummy hangs out the washing if it’s a sunny day, and Harrison runs around in his gumboots, playing with the muddy water near the tap, saying hello to the mint, rosemary and basil bushes, trying to find some buzzy bees to say “Bzzz” to, pointing to the sky whenever a bird or a plane flies overhead, playing in the sandpit, and always, always throwing or kicking a ball.

11.30am – We retire inside and I start preparing Harrison’s lunch. In this case it’s leftovers from last night’s dinner – homemade chicken and veg soup – served with toast. Harrison takes about half an hour to eat it as he also needs to attempt to feed himself  – one spoon for Harrison to hold and stab the food with, while I actually feed him. It’s a slow process, compounded by his desire to read a book at the same time, and point to the picture of the cow saying “Mmm” (his version of “Moo”) constantly.

12noon – I have my lunch. Harrison insists on eating from my plate as well, even though he’s already had his own lunch.

12.30pm – Harrison retires to bed, it takes me about 5 minutes to get him to sleep in his cot rubbing his back, and now I have roughly 1hr 30 mins to myself. In this time I do the following:

  • Wash up
  • Sort out the washing
  • Generally tidy up the toys, books and food strewn around the house
  • Prep tonight’s dinner – chopping the veg and assembling all the ingredients ready to go as much as possible
  • Check my email
  • Make myself a cup of tea and start studying – I’m currently studying Counselling full-time online and it’s a struggle to find enough time so as soon as Harrison is down for his nap and I’ve done the house stuff, I’m into it!

sleep when your baby sleeps

2pm – Lord Harrison wakes up and we have afternoon tea. Today it’s a crumpet with honey and a few bites of banana. Then we’re off to the local park, taking a ball of course. We walk to the park and Harrison is off, kicking and throwing the ball while saying “Ball ball ball”, and occasionally climbing the stairs (very slowly, he is only 14 months old after all) and then going down the slippery dip with Mummy. He’s also busy charming everyone who walks by and pointing to the dogs.

3.30pm – We arrive back from the park, and Mummy needs a green tea to get through the afternoon with enough energy! Harrison needs nothing but water. We play inside, reading books and playing with shapes, blocks and toys.

5pm – Dinner commences. Harrison is having steamed carrot, sweet potato, zucchini and broccoli with fish fingers. He wolfs it all down just in time for Daddy to arrive home at about 5.25pm and take over the book reading and ball throwing.

5.30pm– I throw my gym clothes on, jump in the car and head to the gym for a workout and a good stretch on the foam roller. I do this about 2-3 times a week and it really helps my back, as well as being great for relieving the frustration that can sometimes come with trying to argue logically with an illogical midget who has minimal speech skills.

6.45pm – I come home and Rob is bathing Harrison. This is something he does each night that he’s home. It’s a great way for him to spend some extra time with Harrison and also gives me a chance to have a shower and start getting our dinner sorted. Tonight we’re having meatball pasta bake – a family favourite.

7-8pm – Rob puts Harrison to sleep after his bath and bottle and we eat dinner and watch a bit of TV recorded on Foxtel. Current favourites – Wayward Pines or Dating Naked (don’t knock it until you’ve seen it).

8pm – I start working in the dining room while Rob watches TV in the lounge room. I’m working as a social media coordinator for The Healthy VA, a brilliant company that helps people in the health and wellness industries manage their businesses. I currently manage the social media for 7 clients ranging in professions from naturopaths and personal trainers, to health coaches and organic cafes. It’s a brilliant job and works in so well with my life. I work 1-3hrs a day, 5-6 days a week.

9.30pm – I log off for the night, make myself a chamomile tea and try to relax and have no screen time before bed.

10.30pm – The long-awaited bedtime! I fall asleep hoping that Harrison won’t stir in the middle of the night so that we can all have a good night’s sleep.

PHEW, it’s made me exhausted just writing this down!

I have to say I couldn’t live the life I do without taking Iron, Omega 3, Magnesium and Zinc supplements and without regular exercise and sunshine. Cakes and coffee have their place too – I spend my weekends baking. I’m afraid the thing that has had to fall by the wayside in this new life of mine is any sort of social life. But I have discovered that while we’re taught that we can have it all, we really can’t. It’s impossible – at some point you have to compromise and sacrifice and for now, this has been what I’ve let go.

Motherhood

Stay Fit & Well,
Lisa x