Sunday, January 30, 2011

Tonight's the night

So, we are a month in to 2011 already!

It will probably come as no surprise to you that I am a HUGE Biggest Loser fan so am super excited that it starts tonight :)

Love it or hate it this show CHANGES PEOPLE'S LIVES - for the better!
You may not agree with how they go about it, after all it is a TV show, it isn't real life.
But what is real are the results. 

I'm not talking about how much weight these people lose, I'm talking about what they gain. Self esteem, confidence, self love, healthier bodies AND healthier attitudes.
They can move freely, they can play with their kids/grandkids, they can LIVE THEIR LIFE and probably live for longer too. They get an education on how to live a HEALTHY life and how to make healthy CHOICES. Was it easy? No. Was it worth it? I'm guessing they would all say yes!

If they can do it, so can YOU. You don't need a TV show, you just need the will to want it  and the determination to see it through :)

4 ways to help change your thinking

1) How and what. It would be wrong to say it is as simple as "Move more and eat less". That is the basics of it, but HOW you should move and WHAT you should be eating less of is important. If we are honest most of us know the answers to these. If you don't though - find out! Knowledge is POWER.

2) Be aware and be prepared.  If you have set back don't give up, accept and MOVE ON! It's not going to happen over night, or maybe as fast as it does on the Biggest Loser, because this is life, not a TV show. Is that really a reason not to start though? Or continue on your healthy path?

3) Replace old habits with new healthier ones. You can break OLD habits and form NEW ones to make a POSTIVE change in your life. If you can do this for your health, you will see change in other areas of your life too - for the better.

4) Don't HIDE the treats. This is something that Michelle (one of the Biggest Loser trainers) said last season that has stuck with me. It's one for all us parents. I am big on setting an example for my kids but even this struck a cord with me. 
She talked about how it is important to a lot of us make sure our kids/families eat healthy meals and snacks yet when the kids are in bed, the "treats" come out. The chips, lollies, cakes, chocolate, alcohol etc... She went on to say if you are concerned about healthy eating for your kids and "hide" these treats because you wouldn't want them to eat them, why are YOU?
I saw myself in this. It's certainly not an every night thing but it happens.
There must always be a balance and I believe that these "treats" are fine when they are a "sometimes" food. For me and the kids. My kids now don't have lollies/chocolate during the week and may have a small amount on the weekend. I don't call the treats "bad" or "fattening", it's just a "sometimes" food. You know what, they actually "get" it, they understand. I tend to go on more about all the foods that are really healthy for us - always concentrate on the positive ;)

Last season on Friday evenings as part of the Biggest Loser they had master classes in fitness and in food which were AMAZING!!! I really hope they are part of this season too. The aim was not only to educate the contestants but us home viewers too with great tips for healthy eating/cooking and fitness. If you can't stand the drama of the rest of the show then maybe watch a couple of these episodes as there is a lot to learn :) 

Your life is made by YOUR choices. No one elses.

What will YOU choose?

(I will choose to watch the Biggest Loser tonight! LOL!)


Tuesday, January 25, 2011

my latest logo

I feel so very blessed to be able to work with some really talented people who are just so great in general some great friendships have formed :) This is one of those stories....

I wanted to tell you a bit about my latest logo and the lovely lady that it is for. 

Her name is Deanna Whyte and she is a WONDERFUL photographer here in Perth. 
Below are some of her beautiful images but PLEASE check out some of her work here

This was such a lovely and fun project for me :) When I met Deanna to talk about creating her logo and brand, the story of why she became a photographer "got me".
In 2009, Deanna's niece was born with global brain damage. That was the catalyst...

In her words...
"Documenting her short, beautiful life made me realise that I have something real and important to contribute. Up until that point, I considered photography to be a lot of things ~ fun, hard, interesting, fascinating, consuming, potentially a career. After Alessia was born and then lost, I realised that it was a whole lot more than that. It really is a way to freeze time, keep memories alive ~ and this is especially important when you’re not in a position to decide which things to lock into your memory centres, when those beautiful things you’re terrified you’ll forget are completely tangled up in things so heartbreaking you wish you could block them out, and when the idea of taking photos is the very farthest thing from your mind."
"This is Alessia, and she is my cherished niece, and the reason I am a photographer. Many things started me on this journey, but she put my heart in my viewfinder, and it’s her you sometimes see peeking out from behind the smiling, happy, joyous faces of the people in my photos. "

This passion is so very apparent when you talk to Deanna....and it's contagious!!!

When I asked what Deanna wanted her brand to say, this was her response:

"Beautiful imagery, fun and full of life. Joyful. I tell stories, and what I'm always looking for in a session are the middle moments, those graceful, fleeting things that pop up and disappear in-between the obvious moments. I like the obvious stuff, but it often doesn't tell the whole story; it's the skin on the outside. The unconscious stuff is the flesh and bones of the story, and that's what I chase. And I'm completely in love with love!"

There also HAD to be a butterfly in there somewhere or somehow - to symbolise Alessia.

When I started thinking about all this, the butterfly aspect just seemed to fit sooooo perfectly. Butterflies portray the innocence, the beauty, gracefulness, fleeting, fluttering moments that Deanna loves to capture, to chase.... there is joy in their wings and a freedom that is true.

So it was actually a great base for me start from. 
And this is where we ended up....

I  had in my head that I wanted to try and illustrate the fact that Deanna tells the stories of people's lives, captures moments and creates memories. Life. Faces. Feelings. The butterflies represent the "in between moments" - they fill in the gaps surrounding the silhouettes to wrap the whole thing up in love.....
The extra special thing about this logo is that straight away I thought about the sub branding to go along with it and ended up with these too...

This also allows us to speak louder with colour throughout the applications.....working on these now...
Thanks for giving me the opportunity to work on this for you Deanna, my aim was to make your logo live up to your stunning photos. Hope I have ;)


Friday, January 7, 2011

A fitter, firmer, fab you in 2011!

Some of you may not know that I have TWO passions. Design is one - which is probably how you found this blog of mine ;)  - and the other is fitness

I am not only a trained graphic designer but also a trained fitness instructor who teaches BodyPump and RPM and used to teach BodyCombat :)

So what's the reason for this post? Well it's that time of year when a lot of us put getting fitter, and perhaps shedding some weight, on our list of resolutions.

This post is not going to give you a 'quick fix' nor is it meant to be a lecture to make anyone feel bad/guilty etc. There are a few tips but more importantly I have three inspirational stories to share with you, to help kick start you on a healthier path, one that I hope you continue on, well past January ;)

The week before Christmas one of my participants, a young mum, came and handed me an envelope. I didn't open it right away. I wish I had though. It was a WONDERFUL, thoughtful present that brought tears to my eyes and made my heart swell with pride.
Over the year I had witnessed this particular participant literally shrink before my very eyes! The card read:
Dear Jen, 
I just wanted to wish you and your family a very Merry Christmas and a Happy and Prosperous New Year.
You have been such an inspiration and motivation for me this year, and for that I can't thank you enough. 
I have, with your help, achieved my weight loss and fitness goal. I am now the fittest and healthiest I have been in over ten years!!!
So again, Thank you!!

Also included were before and after pics that showed her 39 kg loss!!!!!! From 96kg - to 57kg isn't that AWESOME!!!!
THAT is why I do what I do and LOVE it! What a wonderful Christmas present :)

This week saw the return to routine after the festive break which also included the return to the gym for a lot of people.

Coming back is always hard after a break but this week in Perth it was made a particular challenge by our  humid weather conditions. Can anyone say SWEAT?!?!?!

After one of my classes I had two participants, who had both worked extremely hard in the class, come and see me. I knew their faces well but didn't realise that it had been so long since I had seen them both - time flies as they say!
They both expressed how much they loved my class and how much I pushed them to work hard - I'm not know for being particuarly 'kind' when it come to working out ;) 
They both had amazing stories behind why it had been so long since I'd seen them!
One of the ladies had BROKEN her NECK!!!! 
The other had been affected by a blood condition that caused HOLES in her LEGS!!!
Both had a long road to recovery but were just so thankful to be in the class and ABLE to exercise - it SHOWED with the EFFORT they put in....hmmmm and the rest of us were just worried that it was a bit humid and we were getting sweaty....

My Mum is nothing short of amazing :) For many reasons, but the reason I am including her in this post is if that she is one of those people who, up until about 12 years ago, was 'allergic' to exercise and didn't 'do' gyms. 
My Dad had a diabetes scare and he was told to do some exercise and shift some weight. Knowing that he would have a lot better chance of sticking to this if she did it with him, my Mum joined the gym with him....and never looked back.
Now, she is a fit and fabulous nearly 55 year old who lifts heavier weights than me in some tracks and stands front centre of my classes!!  She knows when it's time to put the work in and has done 4 Pump classes and a step class plus a long walk this week to kickstart her 2011 after indulging a little over the festive season. Go Mum!! I am sooooooo proud you!!!

Why did I tell you these stories? Because I wanted to show you that - YES YOU CAN!!!!

In each of these stories there is an example of someone who faced some sort of adversity and made a decision to commit to their well being, to their health, TO THEIR LIFE!
Dramatic? I don't think so. In today's world incidental exercise has all but been eliminated. We have to ACTIVELY FIND the time to fit it in somewhere! When you do, you will benefit in soooooooooooo many ways, it goes far beyond the battle of the bulge. Mental health and mood is seriously improved by a rush of endorphins from exercise. Stress relief. Sleeping better. Better bone density. Flexibity.
the list goes on......

If you've read this far well done, you might be serious about doing something wonderful for yourself ;)

I'll end on a few tips:

#1 FIND EXERCISE THAT WORKS FOR YOU. If you hate it you won't want to do it.  Different people's bodies are suited to different types of exercise so what works for one person may not for another. Try new things :)

#2 MAKE IT ROUTINE. It's the only way. Trust me, once it's habit you will miss it if you can't do it!

#3 CALORIES IN MUST BE LESS THAN CALORIES OUT. If you are trying to lose weight doesn't matter how you do it, this simple rule applies - ACROSS THE BOARD! Do you know how many calories you consume vs use in a day? Find out. I believe knowledge is power with this one!

#4 DOING RESISTANCE AND CARDIO TRAINING GETS YOU FASTER RESULTS. Proven fact. Whether it's a pump class and a step class or a gym session and a run, doing both is the key!

#5 DO IT FOR YOUR KIDS. So you can keep up with them ;) but also I am a big believer in setting an example. Enough said.

# 6 ANYTHING IS BETTER THAN NOTHING. Not up to running a marathon yet? That's cool, go for a walk! Not strong enough to do a push up on your toes? Or your knees? That's cool, do them against a wall! Injured so you can't run? That's cool, swim instead! Anything you do is better than nothing at all :) 

We all have to start somewhere, what are you waiting for? Make 2011 the year that you really DO IT!!!!!!