Your Body, Your Way, No BS

Isn’t it funny how we get stuck doing things for our own health, simply because it’s what “we’re meant to do”?

There are SO many people, companies, commercials, professionals and everyone else telling us what we should be doing every single day in order to be “the best version of ourselves”. Should be helpful right? Truth is, it couldn’t be any less helpful. I don’t know about you but in my time, I have tried every piece of advice, every diet and every exercise and fitness program. Basically, I have listened to everyone…except myself.

The thing is, all the diets and fitness programs I have tried and which are out there for us all to try do actually work, for the right person. The catch is, we are all different, very different and that’s what makes us great! It’s also what makes it a little harder than “they” let on, to be the best version of yourself. We are all bio-individuals, which means we all respond to the same things in different ways; one mans food is another mans poison. So true. I can’t process too much dairy, it turns my body into a heavy-breathing snot machine, but for others, dairy is fine. Same with red meat, I just can’t digest a lot of it (read stomach pains and A LOT of gas), but I know people who find it difficult to function without a decent dose of it weekly.

I am a Health Coach and so I have known this for some time and coach my clients accordingly when it comes to all things nutrition, but recently I have discovered that the same principal applies for fitness and exercise. I have been doing HIIT (high intensity interval training), boxing, running and weights for years and as a PT I recommend all these awesome workouts, they all have amazing benefits and give great results. Funny thing is, I have done all these things for all this time and when I get an injury (always minor, nothing big time), I just put it down to over doing it, going too hard or not giving myself enough rest time. Do I stop? Do I change? Do I sit and listen to my body and reassess? Nope, I just rest a bit until I feel better, do the rehab and get back into it ASAP. Never before have I stopped to ask myself if the little niggling injuries are my body’s way of telling me that something I’m doing just isn’t what it needs/wants. Until now.

I took up yoga just over a year ago when I had an injury, as it was the only thing I was allowed to do. In years past I had tried yoga (my Mum was a yoga teacher) but I didn’t like it at all. I never felt like I was getting a good workout and I just didn’t enjoy it. This time I found a new yoga studio and after the first session, I was hooked. I felt strong, calm, happy and connected, something I had never had from exercise before. So I started doing my yoga twice a week, one Vinyasa Flow and one Yin session, and guess what? No injuries! Yep, my body responded in a way I had never experienced, taking the strength part from the exercise (yes yoga makes you sweat if you’re doing it right), and adding flexibility throughout my muscles and fascia (so decreasing injury) and connection, to myself and to a whole new tribe of like-minded people. OHM-mazing.

Now being me, which is somewhat stubborn, I added this yoga into my regular schedule BUT I kept the other stuff as well, pretty much flogging myself because even though I had found this amazing new way of moving my body, I STILL felt I had to do the other stuff because it’s what “they” said we should be doing. Then last week I came out of a heavenly yoga session feeling strong, calm and happy and had a light-bulb moment. If doing yoga twice a week and adding to that a bit of running, a bit of boxing and maybe some weights/body-weight exercises here and there makes me feel fit, strong, flexible, calm, connected and happy, then why the hell aren’t I just doing that all the time? Eff what “they” say I should be doing, Eff the fact that some peoples perception of a PT should include smashing myself several times a week and Eff anyone who wants to say anything else to me about my body!!! TAH-DAH!

So basically that’s what I have been doing ever since and I tell you, it’s a game changer! Not only am I experiencing all those benefits listed above, but because I am feeling calmer, happier and more connected, I have found I have more patience with my kids (and hubby), less brain fog and sense of overwhelm and have even found the space to pick up my meditation practice more consistently, which on its own increases ALL the said benefits! SO HAPPY!

I guess my point in all this is this. If you want to be happy AND feel fit and healthy AND feel calm and connected AND get the most out of your body and your mind, then STOP listening to all the BS out there and START listening to your own body and your own mind. You might be pleasantly surprised where it takes you.

Love, Holly

 

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A Heartfelt Thank You

You never expect that your child is going to get a fever and within a few days, be in intensive care, and even when that does happen, you never expect it to get to a point where your greatest fears are very close to becoming a reality, and you are facing the possibility of losing your baby. This is the space where my family and I have been living for the last month and the only way I can describe it anywhere close to how it actually feels, is taking a slow walk through hell.

Our baby girl went to the edge and back and only she will ever know what that really meant, but for us, it meant 4 weeks of living out of a suitcase, going between emergency accommodation at the Royal Children’s Hospital in Melbourne, the hotel at the hospital and our families homes. It meant dragging our poor son everywhere but home, spending hours in waiting rooms, hospital rooms, hotel rooms, ICU rooms and in a weird sort of daydream that no matter where we were or how tired we were, we could not escape. It meant living all day every day with that hideous lump of fear in our guts and eyes that were sore from lack of sleep and endless tears. It meant praying to every god, person, sun, moon and universe to make our little girl be okay and feeling guilty for asking, when we never practice any sort of religion in our normal lives.

ICU

In the end our baby girl did pull through and she amazed every doctor, nurse, specialist and consultant at the RCH by coming out of her 8 day induced sleep with no loss of her cognitive function and all of the zest for life she has always had. My girl is the bravest, strongest, most amazing person I know, she is literally my hero. We still have a long road to travel in the journey to get Soph back to her strong, monkey-bar swinging, gymnast, tree climbing self but we are on our way and feel truly blessed just to have her in our arms and our lives each day.

MamaCuddles WheelchairWalk

So I’m making a heart-felt thanks as it’s all I can do, even though “thank you” seems far too small for what I feel.

Thank you to all our friends, far and wide, who sent us messages of love, light and support and offered everything from cleaning, picking Will up from school, cooking and places to stay, to cuddles, a shoulder to cry on and a safe place to vent our worries.

Thank you to the AMAZING doctors and specialists at the Monash Children’s Hospital and especially the Royal Children’s Hospital for literally saving our daughters life. For not leaving a single stone unturned, for fighting for her like any parent would and not letting her go.

Thank you to the beautiful nurses at RCH ICU who watched over our baby when it was too much for us to be there, for attending to every beep, alarm and need Soph had.  For patiently answering our millions of questions every day, even when they were the same ones as the day or even hour before, and for being careful, kind and loving to our baby when she needed it the most.

Thank you to every single person who prayed for Sophie, to those whom we have never even met but felt it in their hearts to go to church and light candles, to pray, to meditate and send light for a little girl they only knew through a friend or family member of ours.

And lastly, thank you to our family. For the unwavering love and support they gave us, for holding me whilst I literally screamed in pain and anguish, for forcing me to eat and drink and for distracting me with small talk during those painful hour-long minutes, waiting for phone calls with news and updates during the worst times. Thank you for letting us cry without inhibition, to swear and yell and be silent when we needed to be and thank you for loving us the way only a family can.GoingHome

This experience has changed us all forever and in a funny way has shown us some things we may have needed a reminder of. I will no longer sweat the small stuff as much as I used to, I will remember always the most important things in life are not stuff, and I will cherish each and every moment I have with those I love.

Thank you, a million times over.

Holly xxx

Your Big WHY

Good morning peeps, I hope you’re all having a beautiful Tuesday 🙂

This week I’ve been thinking about why we do things and why we feel the way we feel about things and it’s an interesting subject.

Why

I was taught a long time ago that no matter what the topic, issue or area you’re focusing on, if you don’t know WHY you’re doing it, you’ll not get the results or resolution you’re after. I was also taught a really helpful little exercise you can do to get to the bottom of these questions and really work out what your big WHY is, creating space and clarity to move forward toward your goals. It’s pretty simple but can be quite confronting, depending on the question you’re trying to answer. Here’s how it works. Using the example of someone who wants to lose weight and is having trouble, you start by getting into a little Q & A session with yourself. It’d look something like this.

Q. Why do I want to lose weight?
A. Because I don’t like the way my body looks
Q. Why don’t I like the way my body looks?
A. Because it looks fat/unattractive.
Q. Why do I think my body looks fat/unattractive?
A. Because I’m not a size 10.
Q. Why do I need to be size 10 to be attractive?
A. Because that’s what all the attractive girls looks like.
Q. Why do I feel I need to look like all the other girls?
A. So I fit in.

As you can see, this little exercise can get quite heavy and make you really look at yourself and your situation quite closely. It may force you to ask and answer certain questions you don’t want to BUT, if you keep going until you literally can’t answer any more, you WILL have your answer and this can be very liberating and effective in creating that space and clarity you need to move forward, push through that fear and feel happy.

This exercise can be used for all areas of your life, from weight loss, as I’ve already illustrated, to relationships (i.e. why am I staying in this relationship), career (i.e. why aren’t I happy at my current job), right through to the really big stuff like “why aren’t I happy with my life”.

Why2

Once you have the answer/s to your Big WHY/S, you can start to put steps into place to alter the path you are on and change your life for the better. For example, if you’re not happy in your job and you do this exercise revealing you are not happy because your current job is not fulfilling your creativity, you can then begin to look into what you may like to do that would give you this fulfillment, and start on the path toward that change. Even just doing that much, without actually changing anything or quitting your job, can be a game changer in how happy you feel. If you have clarity and know the direction you’d like to go, just having that knowledge can increase your happiness levels.

Try doing this for every WHY you have and watch your life start to change for the better.

Love and laughter

Holly xx

Come On, Get Happy!

It has come to my attention that there are a lot of unhappy people around. I don’t think it has always been this bad or perhaps it is just reported on more now, but Australia, we have a problem! Not only do we have our usual stream of generally unhappy men and women but we now have an unprecedented number of teenagers and even primary school children being treated for severe depression and anxiety and other mood disorders. Children are on drugs for these things, children aged 6 years old! Now I don’t know about you, but that’s not okay by me.

Some people have disorders which need to be treated with medication, absolutely, but some others I truly believe need to simply choose to be happy. Think I am mad? Sure, I probably am but trust me, this works. I have had my fair share of anxiety, low level depression and prolonged phases of general unhappiness and IT SUCKS! The problem for me was when I was in one of those phases, all I could see were the reasons I had to be unhappy. All the bad stuff I thought about my life, my family, my whole self was all I could see and so got 100% of my focus.

You are not only what you eat but YOU ARE WHAT YOU THINK! So you can see how giving these thoughts, as unintentional as that was, 100% of my focus was highly likely contributing to my unhappiness, and perhaps I was even making myself unhappy by manifesting these thoughts and situations into my life.

Leading on from this, if we can manifest unhappiness then we can most certainly manifest happiness and thus we can choose to be happy! The most simple way of getting started with this is to make it the first thing you think of when you awake each day. Instead of opening your eyes, sighing and thinking to yourself “great, another day, more work, stress, blah blah blah” and then getting up into that day, try changing the conversation right from the beginning, even if you feel sucky when you first wake up. Try saying “it’s a new day, a new start, a new opportunity to be happy” or something like that, whatever resonates for you personally. Then get up into that day and see how different you feel from the day before when you didn’t use this start up method.

Some other cool ways of choosing to be happy (and these have been proven with many many studies around the world) are;

  1. Choosing a mantra word for the day and repeat it as needed throughout your day. This should be a word to manifest the day you want to have i.e. POSITIVE
  2. Keep a gratitude diary. Write down three things you are grateful for each morning.
  3. Practice meditation.
  4. Practice mindfulness and being in the NOW, not looking back or too far forward.
  5. Work on having real connections with other people.
  6. Keep a pet
  7. Practice self-care (massages, hot baths, self pamper treatments, time out for yourself, get a hobby)
  8. Exercise regularly
  9. Eat clean, nutritious food and limit toxins like caffeine and alcohol
  10. Be kind to yourself, know you are not meant to be perfect and be willing to laugh at yourself

All these things are really helpful to living a happier, more content life and I practice them as often as I can as well and get my children to practice them.

Sometimes we need professional help and that’s okay, but just remember, you are in control of your own body and mind and you can make things happen just by choosing it, so try and choose happy every day.

Love Holly

 

 

AUGUST ABS OF STEEL!

Yes it’s that time of year again. Time to ramp up your health and fitness regime, time to get yourself ready for Summer, time to get ABS OF STEEL!

We had some awesome results with this challenge last year, including fat loss around the stomach and stronger, visibly defined abs!

It’s 100% FREE so no excuses not to give it a try.  Just a few minutes each day is all it takes, do it in addition to your daily workout routine and I KNOW you’ll get results.

Print out the schedule below, stick it on your fridge and punch out the little routines every day, you can do it on front of the TV even, it’s that quick and easy!

Included below are little pics of some of the moves you may not know, but if you are unsure at all or have any other questions, please email me (info@livingfitpt.com.au) or message me on Facebook and I’ll pop up a video to show you exactly what it looks like in action.

Enjoy and please let me know how you go, I LOVE the feedback you all give me.

Holly 🙂

Ps. Take a pic of yourself in bathers/bra and undies/shorts and crop top before you start and then again at the end so you can clearly SEE your efforts.

August_Abs

Sit-ups/Crunches

Sit-ups/Crunches

Bicycle Crunch

Bicycle Crunch

Cowboy Crunches

Cowboy Crunches

Superman

Superman

Double Leg Raises

Double Leg Raises

V-Crunches

V-Crunches

Knee-to-Elbow Plank

Knee-to-Elbow Plank

Roll & Hold Crunches

Roll & Hold Crunches

Alternating Leg Extension

Alternating Leg Extension

Sky-Reacher Crunches

Sky-Reacher Crunches

Side-Plank Lifts

Side-Plank Lifts

Counting Calories – Working it all out for efficient weight loss

Calories

Okay so straight off the bat I am going to say that I am not a big fan of counting calories in general. I believe that much of the time people become obsessed with the numbers and it can not only start to take over your life, but can lead to a negative relationship with food. That being said, sometimes it’s necessary, especially if you are grossly overweight and you need to lose weight for your health.

My advice to you is that if you are going to count calories, do it for a month or so only. That way what should happen is that you become roughly aware of how many calories the foods and beverages you eat contain, and you start to eat and drink more consciously without literally having to count every calorie and take notes at every meal you eat.

If you are counting your calories, do it properly. Know how many calories you personally need every day and work it out around that, so you aren’t going to all that trouble for nothing. How do you do that? It’s not too hard, just a few quick calculations and you’re on your way. Here’s what you do…

Work out your Basal Metabolic Rate (BMR) – This is this the energy you use no matter what you are doing, even when you are sleeping. To work this out, follow the below formula;

Women: BMR = 655 + (9.6 x weight in kilos) + (1.8 x height in cm) – (4.7 x age in years)

Men: BMR = 66 + (13.7 x weight in kilos) + (5 x height in cm) – (6.8 x age in years)

Hate maths? No worries! If you can’t be fagged working that out yourself, head over to this BMR Calculator, pop in your details and it’ll work it out for you.

2. Next calculate your Active Metabolic Rate (AMR) – This calculates the number of calories you need to stay at your current weight. Once you know this you can work out what you need to do if you want to lose weight.

Choose your level of activity and do your calculations based on that.

Sedentary (little or no exercise) – your AMR = BMR x 1.2
Lightly active (light exercise/work 1-3 days per week) – your AMR = BMR x 1.375
Moderately active (moderate exercise/work 3-5 days per week) – your AMR = BMR x 1.55
Very active (hard exercise/work 6-7 days a week) – your AMR = BMR x 1.725
Extra active (very hard exercise/work 6-7 days a week) – your AMR = BMR x 1.9

So for example, my current BMR is 1,340 and I am very active, so my AMR is 1,340*1.725 = 2,311.5 calories per day to maintain my current weight.

3. Now you know how many calories you need to live and maintain your current weight at your current activity level, it’s time to work out how many calories you should be consuming in order to lose weight each week. Depending on how quickly or slowly you want to lose weight, you can use the following calculations:

1kg of body fat = (roughly) 7,700 calories
If you divide that into 7 days it = 1100 calories

If you want to lose 1kg a week then reduce or burn by 1100 calories per day
If you want to lose 500g a week then reduce or burn by 550 calories per day
If you wan to lose 250g a week then reduce or burn by 225 calories per day

Using me as an example, that would mean that if I wanted to lose 1kg a week, my daily calorie intake would now be 1211.5 I highly recommend not taking your calories below 1200 per day as that doesn’t take into account your activity, so if your calculations take you to less than that, reduce the amount you want to lose per week to accommodate that

Studies have shown that losing around 500g per week is much easier to maintain over a long period than anything much higher than that, and those who lose that amount of weight keep it off for longer. Plus it’s not so scary and strict to actually do, so I recommend aiming for around 500g weight loss per week.

Now you know how to work out how many calories you should be consuming and/or burning off per day to reach your goals, you need to now track your daily consumption and start learning what your food and drinks are worth. You can get books for this and take it everywhere with you but that’s a massive pain in the neck. The best thing I have come across to help you with this is a little app you can get on your iPhone called Easy Diet Diary. It tracks your calories per day by main meals and snacks and tells you how many you have left to use for the day. If you want to you can even put in your current weight and your weight goal and it’ll tell you how many calories you should consume per day to reach that goal, based on a loss of between 0.5 and 1kg per week. You can offset any exercise you do too and it takes it all into account – easy peasy!

I like to work it out manually to really get clear on my goals as doing it that way takes into account your current activity level more accurately, but the app is great too if you want a quick calculation and it usually works it out pretty close to what you’d get if you worked it all out yourself.

4. Finally, when you work out you want to be doing so at approximately 85% of your maximum heart rate (MHR) for the best results and efficient calorie burn. You can work out what that is like this;

220-your age
Take 85% off that number
= 85% of your MHR

Me as an example looks like this;
I am 37 years old so my MHR is 220-37 = 183
183*.85= 155.5

155.5 is where I should be working my heart during my workouts to get the best results for weight loss. You can take your heart rate higher than that but you’ll find you won’t be able to maintain it for long, so maintaining 85% works brilliantly.

So now you have the knowledge YOU HAVE THE POWER! Set your goals and get going but remember, if you find yourself getting obsessed with the numbers, take a break and see how you go for a few days, you might surprise yourself. You learn pretty quickly what you’re eating so even if you do count and track your calories for a while, it won’t be forever and you’ll be an expert!

Good luck 🙂

Holly xxx

Healthy Living Spaces

Healthy Living Spaces

healthytree

We all know that in order to live as happy and healthy a life as possible we need to be mindful of the food we eat, and how much we move our bodies every single day.

In our current world setting we now have another big issue, one that’s affecting the entire world in terms of health, and that’s our living environment. So many people go out of their way to eat organic food and exercise daily, but are then happy to coat their bodies and homes in copious amounts of dangerous chemicals in the form of household cleaning and personal products. Have you ever looked the ingredients list on the back of your surface cleaner or the shampoo you use? I challenge you to do so and my bet is you’ll find you need a science degree to understand any of it.

Not only are these products harming our environment and the planet we live on, but they are taking a huge toll on our health. There are many more health issues which go unexplained and generally accepted which may be attributed to something as simple as your laundry detergent! Skin problems including eczema, acne, rashes and allergies are very common and relatively tame in the general scheme of life, but what about the more serious things like hormone imbalances, infertility and cancers? Not to mention all the EMF’s floating around mucking with our mental function! Nobody wants any of these things and much can be done in your own homes to help prevent them.

Changing household cleaning and personal products is a good starting place and can be done gradually over time. When you finish a product, replace it with a healthier one.

There are also loads of things which may be contributing to poor health and/or poor sleep in your home which you aren’t even aware of. The linen you use on your bed is often treated with harmful chemicals and you put your face right on it and breathe it in every night! Mould, air-flow, chemicals in our drinking water, even the position of certain items in your home could be making your life more difficult and unhealthier than it needs to be!

If you are reading this feeling totally overwhelmed and in a state of panic at what to do, I understand, I’ve been there! Lucky for us there is help out there and I know just the person to help.
Introducing Narelle McDonald, qualified Building Biologist and Feng Shui Consultant and one of my closest friends.

narelle-mcdonald

Narelle is Founder of Healthy Living Spaces, and is passionate about finding practical solutions and healthy alternatives to empower you to make the right choices for you and your family, to enhance your overall well-being and create environments that nourish and support you.

Narelle provides consultations, advice and solutions to homes, schools and workplaces and has already made a difference in the lives of many people. Over the last few years she has inspired me to change the products I use in my home and on my body and continues to inspire me to help change the health of the world we live in, every single day.

In many cases people who have been feeling unwell, unhappy or just imbalanced and can’t explain why, can be helped with some of the simple changes made in the home and/or workplace.

If you’d like to get started on a healthier home, need advice on how to implement change in your workplace or child’s school or would just like to learn more about all the amazing things Narelle does, head on over to her website and contact her today. Tell her I sent you! You can even purchase select products to help kick start your healthy home directly from Narelle’s website – too easy!
http://www.healthylivingspaces.com.au/

Make a commitment to yourself to change for good health and happiness 🙂

Holly xxx