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!!!!!!



  1. Aww Jen excellent post just what I really needed to hear..sometimes we loose that little spark. There is a real cool quote that says "Motivation is what gets you started. Habit is what keeps you going" This is just too true ( exactly like you said).
    Well done to all those ladies in your stories that is true desire and motivation.
    Love this there gonna be more?

  2. Great quote!

    Yes, there may just be more, to keep you all on track ;) x

  3. A heart warming start to the year. I am hoping to get fitter this year and lose a few kilos.
    You are an inspiration!! xx

  4. What I needed to hear too. Every week since having my baby I have been making excuses as to why I can't go to go to the gym. He's 3 months now - enough of the excuses and time to do something!

  5. What an truely inspirational post.
    And this is why you an inspiration to me...
    A true motivator...
    I hope people read this and feel motivated to achieve what I have... It can be done!!! I did it!!
    Definately bring on a fitter and fabber New Year!!!


  6. Bec (Marr) I had three months off from the gym after both my girls but by the end of that i was ITCHING to get back into, you will feel FAB when you do, just remember that the first time back is the worst, don't get put off!!

    Bek, YOU were the inspiration for this whole post!
    Well done sweetie, you look amazing but more importantly I bet you FEEL amazing too ;)

  7. HI Jen, so glad to have been tagged in the same post as you tonight, because it means I found your blog! LOVED reading this post and loved that you included your mum! ALSO love the design, of course :) Look forward to reading more! Stace x

  8. Stace, I am a huge fan of yours so very humbled that you enjoyed this post, thank you :)

  9. Great post. I hope to start a routine this year even if it is just walking as i don't really have any babysitters. I am sick of feeling tired. Here's to a healthy 2011!

  10. Thanks Jen!!
    I feel awesome!!!
    And I'm keen to share my new love of exercise.
    I'm looking at doing a Personal Training Course this year.
    I wanna help other new Mums...


  11. You'd be great at it sweetie - DO IT! xxx

  12. Jen..... I LOVE this post! Thanks for being so motivativating!