FitMUM of the Month Transformation

I love a transformation story and this is a great one……

For those that don’t receive our FitM.U.M & IronDAD monthly newsletter (which you can sign up for here), I am featuring a FitM.U.M of the month in each edition. I would love to introduce you to this months FitM.U.M Emma. Please read her story as I believe it will resonate with others and hopefully inspire you. It has taken a lot for Emma to put herself out there, this is a big part of her journey and I am so proud of how far she has come!! Please show her the respect, encouragement and FitMummy love that she absolutely deserves! Let’s hear from Emma about her health and fitness journey so far….

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“My name is Emma and I have been training with Kelly for about 3 months now. As a mum to two young girls (3yo and 1yo) I found myself to be in a bit of a rut while on my last lot of maternity leave. I was lacking energy and in turn lacking motivation to do any exercise and was eating pretty poorly. I was also struggling to accept my post pregnancy body which resulted in a degree of social anxiety and isolation. After realising I needed to do something for myself I treated myself to a bit of a shopping spree and commenced training with Kelly. I started with two PT sessions a week, where I was put through my paces, constantly challenged by Kelly and supported by my 1yo daughter! After two months I returned to work (as a school teacher) and have cut back to 1 PT session a week, with the aim to also get to 1 group class a week. Kelly also encouraged me to join the FitM.U.M 12 Week Challenge, which I did and it has helped keep me accountable.

Reflecting upon the last 3 months, I’m amazed and very proud of the changes I have seen in myself. Obviously with the amount of training I have been doing the physical benefits have been many. I have lost some weight, feel stronger and more importantly have much more energy to get through each day (which is vital at times when running on limited sleep). Kelly has also helped me assess and modify my eating habits. I’m now more aware of what I am and should be eating and can honestly say I feel much better for it. However for me the most important changes I have experienced are the psychological ones. I am much more pleasant to be around, have a lot more confidence in myself and am far more patient with my loved ones. Kelly has taught me the importance of looking after myself and not feeling guilty about it, making small achievable changes so as to not set myself up for failure and to enjoy the challenge of training (which I do…..most of the time)”

 

I love nothing more than seeing my FitMummies become happier, healthier and prioritising their health and fitness! It is the most rewarding part of what I do and I will never get tired of it. I hope you loved reading Emma’s story and maybe it resonated with you or gave you a little spark of motivation and inspiration to start your journey or to keep going…. you are most definitely worth it!

Kel xx

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Final wrap up of Cassie’s 8 week program – Determination, strength and long term changes

This is, sadly, the last blog post to wrap up the final session and results of Cassie’s journey, our 8 week Summer Body Program winner . Cassie not only completed the 8 weeks, she totally smashed it and always did whatever was asked of her and more. Over the 8 weeks Cassie learnt a lot about fitness, nutrition and lifestyle but she mainly learnt about her personal strength and how much she is capable of achieving. She freely and openly admits that when she found out she won, she actually wasn’t sure if she wanted to even start. Cassie has battled with anxiety and depression and she has realised how important it is to listen to your body and your mind and how important mental health and wellbeing is, as well as physical fitness.

cassie week 8 exercise

During the 8 weeks, I gave Cassie a new program every Sunday night for the following week. These were hard programs and she even said once that she actually thought I was trying to kill her. The reason for this is so she would see progression each week and learn to push herself out of her comfort zone to complete all of the workouts. She only had 1 scheduled rest day each week and she had a double session on a Monday (morning and afternoon). We also worked on her nutrition and I went through a 3 day food diary with her to analyse what she was eating and drinking in a typical day. We discussed her diet and made a few changes including increasing how much she was eating for breakfast and the importance of healthy snacks during the day. I actually told Cassie she could increase the amount she was eating during the day. We also minimised the amount of added sugar (mainly to tea and coffee). These were simple changes that she could make and it fit in with her busy lifestyle (she is a working mum of 4 young children). Cassie’s entire family were so supportive of her new lifestyle changes and her husband and kids were encouraging her during her exercise and also enjoying the new food they were eating.

I met with Cassie 3 times during the program for training sessions. We  discussed how she was finding the exercise sessions, whether she was on track with her healthy eating and most importantly how she was feeling, physically and mentally. The most important lesson to come from our 8 week training program is that in a short timeframe such as 8 weeks, it is not only about weight loss and numbers on the scales. Cassie is the perfect example of how much balance exercise and fitness can bring to your life. She felt stronger and more positive after working out and even on the days she might have not been feeling great she still pushed herself to do her workouts and she always felt better afterwards. When you do something that makes you feel better mentally, it carries over into all areas of your life and Cassie also felt like a better wife and mother. The mental benefits are huge. What an awesome role model for her children! Our children are always watching what we are doing.

cassie and son

Another awesome example of Cassie really pushing herself out of her comfort zone and proving once again how strong she is and how far she has come, was when she joined our FitM.U.M Mount Lofty Walking Group one weekend. For those that aren’t aware, Mount Lofty is a steep and fairly long hike up a mountain in Adelaide… it is definitely tough! I was so pleased that Cassie came and she never once gave up even when her mind might have been telling her to stop or when panic may have set in. Her husband came with her to support her and she overcome a massive mental barrier that day and should be very proud of her efforts.

Towards the end of our program Cassie and I had a very honest discussion about the medication she is on for her anxiety and that it makes weight loss very difficult but that it was important that she remain on it to feel her best and not impact on her life. This program was about a complete change of lifestyle and it simply can not be all about one area only. To be successful and make any form of long term changes , it needed to be manageable and maintainable and that is exactly what we did. Cassie lost 2kg and at least 1-2cms from her waist, hips, arms and legs. But best of all she feels so much better and is managing her anxiety and depression and she has shown herself how much strength she has and that she can do anything!

Enough from me, let’s hear from Cassie now that she has finished the program….

Well my 8 week challenge has come to an end. I have learnt so much from Kelly and also about myself over the past 8 weeks.

At the beginning I wasn’t sure if I would make it to the end. I was at a pretty low point mentally and not sure if I was up for the challenge. BUT I did it!

I feel so proud to say I have done almost every workout Kelly has given me.

However, I haven’t lost much weight, only 2kg. And this has been so hard to come to terms with, when I’ve been working my butt off. I haven’t lost any weight due to my depression and anxiety medication and I probably won’t lose much while I’m still on it.

But I have gained so much physically and definitely mentally. I have pushed myself out of my comfort zone too many times to count. I never thought I was this strong, not just physically (don’t get me wrong I did 100 push-ups today when I couldn’t even do one in the beginning), mentally I am so much stronger now than when I began. My depression has decreased and I have the motivation and determination to continue pushing myself.

Just because my 8 week challenge is finished, I’m not finished with exercising. I’ve changed my lifestyle now and Yes I still have my low days but the benefits of the new lifestyle are definitely worth the effort.

Thanks for following my journey and all of the support you have all given me along the way. Xx

cassie and kel

Cassie was such a deserving winner and I am so grateful that I met her and could help her to incorporate exercise and diet changes into her life. She is an amazingly strong woman and a fantastic wife and mother. Never underestimate yourself Cass, you are a champion who should be very proud of what you achieved over the 8 weeks and how much you have changed! I am proud of you and feel as if I made a friend in the process! Keep up the great work FitMumma!!  xx

Healthy Banana Oat Muesli Bars

This is our go-to, easy and delicious muesli bar recipe, which is great for healthy snacks, lunch boxes and even for a yummy evening treat with a cup of tea.

They are perfect for using up any bananas that are a bit too ripe. You can add anything you like really. We like ours packed with fruit, nuts and seeds so that’s how we came up with this recipe, but you can adjust quantities to your taste.

healthy muesli bar 1

Ingredients

3-4 ripe bananas

2 1/2  cups of traditional rolled oats

1/4 cup shredded coconut

1/4 cup finely chopped dried dates

1/4 cup diced dried apricots

1/4 cup dried cranberries

1/4 cup almonds, finely chopped

2-3 TBS pepitas

2 TBS chia seeds

1 tsp vanilla extract

1 tsp ground cinnamon (optional)

3 TBS Rice Malt Syrup (optional) or you could use natural honey or maple syrup

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 160-180 degrees. Grease a square slice tin and line with baking paper.
  2. Mash bananas until smooth. Add all other ingredients (ensure your almonds, dates, apricots are finely chopped). Stir well and mix until well combined. Spoon into prepared slice pan and use back of spoon to press down firmly in pan (this ensure it slices well once cooked).
  3. Bake for 30 to 35 minutes or until golden. Allow slice to cool before cutting into small bars (sometimes we can’t wait that long and slice it anyway as we like our first piece still warm hehe). Serve.
  4. Store in airtight container in the fridge.

healthy muesli bar

Enjoy xx

FitM.U.M 8 Week Summer Body Transformation Check-In

The lucky winner of our FitM.U.M 8 Week Summer Body Transformation, Cassie is just about to start week 4 and will be half way through this 8 week program. However, knowing Cassie and the amazing changes she has made and the way she has embraced the exercise and nutrition changes, this will just be the start of a whole new lifestyle for her. I am so impressed with her motivation and determination to work hard no matter what. She is a  wife and a busy mum of 4 and works part time while trying to juggle everything else that a busy life entails. She has previously suffered anxiety and depression and I am so glad that she entered this competition and made the commitment to do something for herself and start her journey towards a healthier, happier and more active life (for her and her family!!). What a fantastic role model for her children!

As well as seeing Cassie’s physical strength improve and fitness increase, one of the best things as a Trainer is to actually to witness her confidence and self belief grow. She is changing her life and becoming a much stronger and happier person because of it. The workouts I have given her have been HARD but she has done every single one of them with no excuses!

Cassie enjoying a strength workout

Cassie enjoying a strength workout

Let’s hear from Cassie about her first three weeks of her program:

Wow! What an amazing three weeks it’s been. Kelly has given me a workout plan every week consisting of body weight exercises, weights and cardio. She also provided me with some awesome food advice.

I was totally shocked when I read my first workout plan. I thought there was no way I was going to do it. I had six days of workouts with one rest day and Monday consisted of two workouts!
But I did it! I completed the whole week and I felt amazing.
During week two Kelly came to do a PT session. I was really nervous, but didn’t need to be, she made me feel completely comfortable and didn’t mind helping me to correct my technique and to pick her brain.
It’s now week three and I’ve thoroughly enjoyed the whole process.
Next week I go for my massage I won as part of the competition, can’t wait.
Thanks for reading.
P.S. Thank You everyone for your support and kind words of encouragement, I was in tears reading all of your messages x
Cassie.
I hope this story may help, inspire or motivate someone else who has their own challenges and may be starting their health and fitness journey (or thinking about starting). Set yourself goals and do it for yourself! Today is your day to get started.
Head over and join our wonderful FitM.U.M community on Facebook to stay motivated with other likeminded people!
xx

FitM.U.M Product Review – Polar Loop Activity Tracker

I was lucky enough to be contacted a few weeks ago by the Marketing Coordinator of RunStopShop, a fantastic online fitness store (http://www.runstopshop.com.au/) to be a brand advocate for them and try a few of the awesome products that they stock.

runstopshop logo

This blog post is one of two posts to review the first two products I received. As well as ooohhing and ahhhing over the many, many fitness products, I also spent some time finding out more about the company and I love that their purpose is simple: to provide the products which enable you to get the most out of your active lifestyle, and enable you to reach your goals faster. This is something I’m all for…. as a busy mum of 2, who is not only on my own fitness journey, but who also motivates and trains many mums who are all embarking on regaining their health, fitness and active lifestyle! The timing could not have been more perfect, I was literally in the market for a fitness activity tracker and was researching different brands so when I saw the Polar Loop 24/7 Activity Tracker I knew I had to have it. It looks great, is extremely easy to set up and is very comfy to wear.

Polar Loop from RunStopShop

Polar Loop from RunStopShop

It’s features include:

  • Heart rate (when you are wearing the Polar H7)
  • Calorie expenditure
  • Total steps
  • Time of day
  • Activity Benefit gives feedback about your day, week, month
  • Waterproof

I love that it is simple to use and displays all the important information at the touch of a button but also has a smartphone app and website syncing which provides an accurate insight into your everyday activity and movement & sleep habits. I am definitely someone who is driven by having goals and targets to reach so, in the week that I have been wearing it, I have been so motivated to reach my daily fitness activity goal of 14,000 steps. Another feature I really like is that it tells you how much more activity you need to do to reach your goal (eg. jog for 30 mins or walk for 1hr 15). So far, I have achieved my goal each day.

As a mum of a 10 month old baby, who isn’t the best sleeper, I am up A LOT during the night to breastfeed her, so even though I am aware I am getting a very interrupted nights sleep, it has been good to see how much restful sleep I am getting at night. It accurately shows the times I get up and I find it quite amusing to see the tracking of me walking to her room (blue activity lines) and then sitting in the chair feeding her (grey activity lines) and then walking back to my room again and going back to sleep….. hey, at least I’m getting extra steps in my day. There are 24 usable hours in every day…. it’s no wonder I’m reaching my target.

Polar Loop App - Activity Breakdown

Polar Loop App – Activity Breakdown

So, although I have only been wearing my Polar Loop Activity Tracker for 1 week, I am hooked! I only take it off to charge it and I am much more aware of my movement and activity patterns and I am making sure I am staying active throughout the day. If you are looking for extra motivation to help you on your fitness journey and want to track your daily fitness, activity and sleep then I highly recommend using an activity tracker and, personally, I am loving my Polar Loop. I think it is on sale at the moment and you can shop this awesome product here.

Enjoy xx

Our Healthy & Yummy Roasted Veg & Quinoa Salad

Healthy & Yummy Roasted Vegetable & Quinoa Salad

1 cup cooked quinoa, cooled (depending how many people you are making it for you can easily double the quantity)

2 TBSP Oil (we use Rice Bran Oil)

1 Zucchini (finely chopped into small cubes)

1 Red Onion (finely chopped)

500g Butternut Pumpkin (finely chopped into small cubes)

1 TBSP Moroccan Seasoning

1tsp Cumin

1 tsp Paprika

Salt & Pepper to taste

Roast all the vegetables with seasoning and oil (liberally coated) for about 1 hour.

Cool the vegetables

Stir through the Quinoa

*you can also add ½ cup cooked baby peas to this when you are stirring through the Quinoa (adds a bit of colour)

We have tried this with a few different dressings, two we like the best are:

Olive Oil, squeeze of lemon, crushed garlic, chopped coriander, pinch sea salt & ground pepper

Sticky Balsamic Dressing

quinoa