Nutrition is about living life to the fullest

Nutrition is about living life to the fullest

Nutrition is not low fat. It is not low calorie. It is not being hungry and feeling deprived. It’s nourishing your body with real, whole foods so that you are constantly satisfied and energised to live life to the fullest.

Long term deprivation can lead to fear of food and brings you nothing but misery in the long run. Nutrition is here to be enjoyed, and you can’t escape the fact that you need it to survive. It’s okay to cut back for a short time to achieve a specific goal, but the balance needs to come back once you’ve reached it.

Eat all the food groups, balance your macros so you FEEL good, be consistent and patient, and the results will come. Make sure you’re eating enough to fuel your day-to-day activities as well as your training.

No matter what you do, deprivation and starvation are not going to bring you the same results as balance and health will

Strength Training isn’t Just About Getting A Bikini Body

Strength Training isn’t Just About Getting A Bikini Body

Strength training isn’t just about getting a bikini body. When I began lifting weights I was focused only on physical goals but it wasn’t long after I started that I realised how diverse the benefits really were!

Curves, improved body composition and muscle tone are all amazing benefits but there are so many others, like how your confidence improves with muscle and nervous system adaptations regardless of body composition changes, or the benefits to your health in mobility, posture, circulation, bone density, immunity and mentality.

Becoming a stronger woman physically helps you become a more powerful woman internally and over time it teaches you that you can do anything you set your mind to.

You don’t have to be an athlete to begin weight training, you just need to be committed to the idea of becoming a stronger, healthier and more powerful version of you

Embrace Your Body, Even if it Takes you a Lifetime to get There

Embrace Your Body, Even if it Takes you a Lifetime to get There

Although its been a long time coming, I have finally learned to embrace my body and its feminine characteristics, after spending so many of my younger years trying to ‘get rid’ of them. I used to consider curves to be annoying and there was a time where I would have done ANYTHING, no matter how unhealthy, to achieve the ‘perfect’ physique.

After a long struggle getting my body healthy again I learned a very valuable lesson – that ‘perfection’ doesn’t exist and nothing feels (or looks) better than optimal health. Being skinnier doesn’t make you happier and ‘aesthetics’ don’t matter if your obsession with it impacts your life negatively. We are not all meant to be super-lean. Health comes first and it looks different on everyone. Strength and personal power are reflected in what you do, not what you look like and you’re success comes from embracing everything about yourself wholeheartedly, not from rejecting it

Sometimes as a woman you have to separate yourself from societies insane beauty standards and honor your own individual journey to become the happiest and healthiest version of you 💜

Body Positivity

Body Positivity

Stop hating your body. Reject all the negative thoughts because they have no right to define you. Build yourself up because you deserve it. You are more than a number, a goal, or disease. You are stronger than any perception anyone has ever had about you. You are unique.  

The most interesting thing I experience when working in this industry with women every day is how they perceive their own bodies.

Each woman looks at the others and tells me how beautiful they are; how they envy their shape, muscularity, height, hair, legs, abs, etc. But the funny thing is, the women they are talking about are saying the same thing about them.

The fitness industry, just like the beauty industry, is flooded with images of the ‘perfect’ body. But who defines what is perfect?? What is perfect to me is a woman who embraces her own body for all of its ‘imperfections’ (if you even want to call them that).

It’s astounding to see how many women approach their health and fitness journey in an attempt to be someone else, or to look like someone else. But consider this – if we all looked the same would it still be considered beautiful?? Or would it then become plain and boring?

It is hard to develop or maintain a healthy body image in a world that has so much exposure to media which is DESIGNED to make you feel inadequate, even I struggle with it at times. But in my experience as a ‘gym junkie’ and as a personal trainer, lifting weights is one of the most empowering things a woman can do. It not only gives us some control over the shape of our bodies, but it strengthens the mind and increases your overall confidence.

Eating nourishing foods to fuel your body will also allow you to think more clearly. The benefits aren’t only physical. You will be surprised how much poor food choices drain your body’s energy and cloud your perception.

So if you struggle with your own body image do yourself a favour and change the way you look at yourself. Try and embrace the things that make you different from the women around you.

We all have the ability to turn our bodies into our own masterpiece. I actually consider myself to be so lucky, as I get to see this happen every day.

Anyways I could write about this all day but the point is that loving yourself, and your own body is what is beautiful.

So stay positive 🙂

9 Benefits to Bodybuilding That Are Rarely Talked About

9 Benefits to Bodybuilding That Are Rarely Talked About

Quite often i read posts that complain about bodybuilding competitions, usually from ex-competitors who didn’t enjoy it for one reason or another, or from people who don’t have much knowledge or experience in the sport. Recently I saw a study connecting it to Narcissism! Whilst this is true for some people, its far from true for the women i work with.

Personally I love bodybuilding and I think much can be gained and learned in the process of stepping onstage. So, I thought it was about time to put out some of the GREAT things about competing. When done properly the benefits far outweigh the ‘negatives’. So these are the reasons I love training women for competition;

1/ It can help to improve your body image and self-esteem 

This one is massive, which is why i put it first. Truth be told, it could flip either way, but that completely depends on your mindset. If you compete with the intention of seeing what you are capable of, and bringing YOUR best body forward, you will walk away feeling pretty amazing about your achievements. Going into it with the intention of winning, or looking like someone else will leave you feeling completely the opposite. Competing can be a really great way of learning to love and appreciate your body for what it is, in a whole new way.

2/ It teaches you about what your body needs and how healthy it is

When you compete, it is crucial that you are on a healthy eating plan. IIFYM works for some, but not most women. Your body stores fat out of stress, so if your organs aren’t healthy, if your mindset isn’t right, you will have toxins running through your system and hit a few roadblocks along the way to losing body-fat. This may sound ‘bad’, but overcoming these obstacles will improve your overall health, leaving you with a clean slate to work with in the future once you’re done

3/ It shows you what it feels like to be running on good fuel

When right in the middle of your prep, if you are doing it properly (i.e. not starving yourself or smashing yourself on cardio), then you will reach a point where you feel ridiculously healthy, light, and clear-minded. It really teaches you what optimal health feels like, and it’s pretty eye-opening. It gives you something to strive for in everyday life as you will have a new baseline goal from there-on out.

4/ It teaches you some insane will-power

Competing makes you realise how much of our lives revolve around food and drink. Its your birthday? have some cake. Just got a promotion? Go out for drinks. Feeling sad? Go buy a tub of Ben & Jerry’s and sit in bed eating the whole tub. Getting through these situations without ‘caving in’ gives you a chance to actually reflect on these habits which leaves you feeling strong, empowered and in control.

5/ It brings your vulnerabilities to the surface so you can understand yourself better

Competing also makes you realise how much food and drink is used as a way of stuffing down your emotions. This is a pretty big one. Many women have an emotional connection to food, and when feeling low, we overindulge. When you are competing and you don’t squash your feelings down with food, it forces you to learn to understand yourself better – your patterns, your insecurities, and your vulnerabilities. The more you know yourself, the stronger you will be both inside and out.

6/ When you step off stage, you feel like you could conquer anything 

Usually when you set this goal of competing, you aren’t 100% sure if you will be able to do it. You are also not aware of the challenging journey ahead until you’re right in the middle of it. Once you get off that stage, and you think back about all the obstacles you had to overcome to achieve it, you seriously feel like you can conquer anything.

7/ You get to wear sparkly things and essentially, perform on stage 

This one is superficial but, its one of the reasons I did it. If you have a dance background, you love to perform, and you LOVE going to the gym, this is an awesome way to express yourself and all your hard work in the most feminine way.

8/ You can make great friends

If you find yourself in a great team, you will make friends for life. You share struggles and triumphs and these are the key to building great friendships. Most of the people competing will have the same motivations as you; self-improvements, empowerment, a love for good food and physical fitness. Who doesn’t want friends like that??

9/ It’s practically an art-form – a way of expressing yourself

So this one is why i did it. I am creative by nature and i loved the idea of using the body as a canvas and sculpting it how i wanted it to be. So, it’s art. Weight lifting has countless benefits, and being able to create a shape you love can seriously improve your body-confidence and self-expression.

So there you have it. This isn’t to say that I don’t think there are a lot of things that could be improved, things that could go wrong, or that there aren’t certain things to be considered before you take the leap, but that is a different post altogether. The trick to making it a great experience is to find the right guidance and a good team fit for you. Then you will walk away from the experience a happier, stronger, and more empowered woman

Jen 🙂

Changing those Habits that are Holding you Back

Changing those Habits that are Holding you Back

‘What you resist, persists’ – Carl Jung

Everything that goes on in our life stems from the things that we think about, and every decision we make has more power if it is backed with a positive intention.

Generally when we set out to ‘quit’ something, its because its something that we cannot stop, and we know it is bad for us. So we decide we are going to avoid it at all costs, and in doing that we are setting a negative intention from the start. In the sense of nutrition, saying ‘I will not eat sugar’ or ‘I will resist junk food’ is most often counterproductive as it sets your mind on a cycle of thinking about what you DON’T want.

Over the years I have quit heaps of things from junk food to toxic relationships, negative thinking cycles, drinking and binge eating (as have many other women that I work with), and despite what felt like thousands of attempts to put a stop to these behaviours overnight with a simple ‘I will not’, NONE of those things changed without a positive intention, or a change of behaviour in a positive direction

For example, after over-restricting my calories and training twice a day in an attempt to lose weight, I would then (out of under-nourishment and starvation) hit the shops and purchase ALL the foods (even some that I didn’t really even like), and eat them with absolutely no self-control.

Then what happened after? I felt like a failure, I would get angry at myself, and then eventually I would repeat the cycle. It’s a very negative cycle to be caught up in but I see it all the time with many of the women I work with

So here’s a few things to think about if you’re trying to change your habits for the better; 

1/ Focus your energy on starting the new

Forming new habits, new relationships, and new thoughts. So in the case of junk food, instead of thinking ‘don’t eat sugar’ think about eating nourishing foods instead, and enough of it that you don’t need the junk food 

2/ Try to reflect on the things you are addicted to, and ask yourself ‘why’?

Is it emotional? Are you undernourished? Are you stressed? Most of our addictive behaviours are comforts, or distractions from the struggles of everyday life, and once you pinpoint the reason you can start to work on the root cause, and the result is that the addiction eventually stops. Lack of nutrition is most often the cause of overeating and bingeing 

3/ Once you have put these new habits in place, understand you may go off-track a bit, and it’s completely normal

When it happens, don’t give it any power, understand that everything you have done thus far has been a step in the right direction, further than you have gone before, and get back on track. With positive intentions you will get there a lot faster

It’s always better to focus on the positive, otherwise a lot of energy is being wasted trying to change things that are outside your control, and that’s especially when it comes to food as no matter how much you try and resist something it won’t stop the companies who created it from dropping in right in front of your face (aka advertising). So as the saying says, what you resist, persists. 

In conclusion, If you want to live a healthy and happy life it’s so important to reflect on your addictive behaviours and then make positive changes rather than creating do-or-die scenarios in your head that you struggle to stick to, and leave you feeling like a failure!

Jen ☺

 

 

 

 

 

Transformation is yours for the taking. 

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