11 weeks postpartum – time to get back to reality

My grand plans of blogging my weekly return to fitness glory have been somewhat side tracked! Between juggling Results in Motion, PD4PTs, life and Charlie, it’s difficult to sit down to write a blog. So this piece from me, is actually a culmination of the last 4 weeks – I literally started writing this, taking pics and measurements etc. when I was 8 weeks postpartum, somehow I seem to have lost the last 4 weeks of my life! Doesn’t matter though, as the main thing is progression and progress and I’m pleased to report, we have success in that departments!

Last time I touched base, I was feeling like recovery was the slowest thing out there, at 5 weeks postpartum, really, I was only able to walk around the streets – max an hour. Well good news is, that has improved MASSIVELY! I’m proud to report that I’m back training, swinging my kettlebells around and loving life. Week 10 I headed back to the studio and completed a strength session – light weights, full body movements and had a great time using Charlie as a push up target. Super low impact and nothing too strenuous but MAN I WAS SORE! Like difficulty sitting on the toilet sore! Charlie was right at home in the Waverley studio and was a good boy, sleeping in his capsule while I ripped off the bandaid and started my exercise return.

That week, my Mother’s Group and I committed to weekly PT sessions in the park with our babies. So in the sunshine, we kicked off the first ever Mums & Bubs Training session and have now done this consistently for a couple of weeks 🙂

From a Training & Fitness angle here’s where I’m at:

  • Week One (week 10 postpartum) completed 2X strength and conditioning workouts
  • Week Two (week 11 postpartum) completed 3X strength and conditioning workout – started to add a tiny bit of high intensity and plyometric (jumping) stuff in
  • This week, and thereafter, I’m committing to 4X workouts per week – the plan is to keep it low impact and strength based for another couple of weeks, and then gradually move into some cardio / impact work

Perhaps the biggest motivator this week has been the decision to sign into Boot Camp. Results in Motion Spring Boot Camp kicked off today, and yep you guessed it, I’m IN!! I need to the support of a group, the motivation of a time deadline and something to focus my nutrition.  100% the hardest thing for me is finding the motivation to pull my eating back into alignment – late nights feeds, tiredness, coffee catch ups and being home are all the reasons I cannot seem to get my shizzle together in the food department. I’m hoping that Boot Camp encourages a change here. Measurement and weight wise I’m fairly happy – some achievements in this area include:

  • 1.3kg drop (66.7kg down to 65.4kg)
  • 19cm drop
  • 10cm alone off my hips
  • 5cm off my tummy

But looking at the images below (4 weeks postpartum TOP and 8 weeks postpartum bottom) you can see I’ve still got a lot of work to do. 

For those coming back from pregnancy, my tip would be stay focused, go slow and try and improve just a little each week. Slow progress is better than no progress and make sure you set realistic goals – my ultimate goal that I’m working toward is:

BE IN SHAPE (back to pre-pregnancy) for my birthday this year – December 5th

I’ll keep you in the loop with my progress and RIM clients, get ready to see me in action at the studio and in the training sessions from now until then!

5 Weeks Postpartum – Recovery Is Slow!

I’m not exactly sure where the last 5 weeks have gone, the days seem long sometimes (when Charlie is kicking off!) but the time genuinely has flown! Life for me as a Baby Mumma has been both enjoyable and stressful as I try to balance work + Charlie time – possibly the worst day ever was attempting to do my Quarter 4 BAS for Results in Motion and PD4PTs (so 6 months of profit & loss statements as opposed to 3) all in one day when Charlie decided to refused to settle. Worst. Day. Ever. Since that horrific day, I’ve tried to pull back on the work front and accepted that I can only do so much with a permanently attached small human!

Charlie and I also have opposing goals on the Health and Fitness front, he’s in a bulking phase and I’m hopefully on the path back to my Health & Fitness glory days. Guess what – it’s a LONG path for me!! ha ha 🙂 Check Charlies bulking action though, he’s definitely getting some quick results! What a legend!

I mentioned last blog that I’m going to be setting some really solid goals and targets for myself, well that will be after my OB check up at the 6 week mark. I’ve decided to do the right thing, allow proper C-section recovery and not push anything on that front. However, in the interim, I’ve made some positive Health and Fitness, nutrition and lifestyle changes over the last 12 days, that I’ll detail out below.

Training and Fitness

  • Daily walks – this has now increased to an hour per day minimum, I’m hoping that as my recovery keeps improving, i can pick up the pace, include more hills and turn these from a stroll in the sun into a workout. 12 days ago I could barely make it around the block, so can definitely feel some improvement on these! Image below of my mega sunshine walk the other day 🙂
  • Mini strength session – these has been a little tougher as I need to be so careful with jumping into this too early – it’s not much of a routine, but every 2-3 days I’m trying to complete the following:
    • 50 dips
    • 50 calf raises
    • 50 squats (mixture of wide sumo and regular)
    • 20 incline push ups (being VERY careful of angle etc. and stomach control

From the nutrition angle, I’ve been super relaxed with my diet + eating and have no intention of jumping on to a strict plan yet. I’m quickly learning to accept that I’ll never eat a piping hot meal again and that sometimes I have to eat whatever I can lay my hands on – so scrambled eggs on dense nutritious bread for breakky has been replaced with 3 weetbix & milk simply for convenience (i.e. I can make and eat this in 4 min as opposed to 15!) My changes over the last fortnight include:

  • Committing to drinking 1.5L of water daily
  • Making sure that I’m having 1 meal per day with a stack of veggies
  • Enjoying equivalent to 1 piece of fruit

Wellness and Lifestyle

Perhaps the most important thing at the moment, at 5 weeks postpartum is the “wellness and lifestyle” component. There’s a huge focus on this at all my maternal health check ups – avoiding post natal depression, mum’s mental health etc. Whilst I’m a happy and task driven person, I can 100% see how this whole motherhood thing can get lonely, frustrating, boring so it’s important for me at least to keep to a routine, give myself daily goals and just go with the flow. Some things I’ve implemented that I’ve found of use include the following:

  • Set up daily tasks and goals on a whiteboard and mark them off as they are completed (avoids the day in day out feeling)
  • Make sure that whatever happens I have a shower, eat all my meals, put on make up, keep up to date with social media, log into work – this normality helps!
  • Take time to get hair dyed, brows done, nails done – you need to feel human!
  • EAT THE CAKE IF I WANT IT! Some days you’ve just got to have a cupcake peeps!

Next week is a big one for us, my 6 week OB appointment, Charlie’s vaccines, me back driving around! Hopefully I’ll be able to utilise the time to set some real goals and get back into the zone!

 

Return to Fitness Glory – The Hard Truth

Wow – I’m 23 days postpartum and I barely recognise myself in the mirror! There is absolutely nothing glam about C-section recovery, looking after a newborn and the physical deconditioning that I’m feeling right now! 10 days ago, I decided that it was time to move into a “health and fitness” mindset, and indeed I’ve started to make the changes to commence the “Return to Fitness Glory” journey – but let me stress- they’re SMALL and SLOW behavioural changes. I’m not cutting hours of laps around the block, counting my macros and being ridiculous, I’m enjoying my new phase as a baby mumma and will take my time in getting back on track.

As with any client setting a Health and Fitness goal, I have spent a bit of time this week clarifying what my end targets are, what it is that I want to achieve – I will nut these out in more detail in a later blog post as some of them will be determined by my 6 week assessment with the OB. E.g. can I return to high impact training? Do I have diastasis recti (abdominal separation)? It’s important to have an end point, something to aim for, but I think it’s equally important to establish a baseline. This week involved a weigh in, measurements and some “before” pics – well postpartum photos but they are my official “hard truth” – this is where I’m at size wise, weight wise and aesthetic wise. It’s too early for me to test myself out on a fitness capactiy, but I know from how difficult it was to walk around the block, exactly where I’m at!

So here you have it people – my before measurements – this is the heaviest that I’ve been in my life and definitely the biggest measurement wise.

Below are my regular measurements and a more normal weight for me – overall it looks like I need to lose about 10kg and something like 63cm. MASSIVE goals!! But achievable with slow, steady focused training and nutrition

Numbers are numbers but what I think is perhaps more confronting are the postpartum images I took the other day – it’s certainly not what I expected to be 23 days out from the birth, but perhaps my expectations were a little unrealistic. My tummy is swollen and squishy and yes, it still feels like my insides are going to fall out at any given moment. There will 100% be no proper training until this feeling disappears – only basic Pilates movements, walks around the block and slow controlled body weight compound exercises like dips and squats (after OB clearance).

Here I am in all my postpartum glory – ready to commence my return to fitness and happy to have you along for the journey! 🙂

14 Days To A Better Butt

Workout Days 1-3

Squat Jumps X50

Squat Kicks X40

Walking Lunges X30

Squat Pulse X80

Sumo Squat Jumps X50

Workout Days 4-6

In & out Squat Jumps X40

Hip Raises with Legs Elevated X40

Repeat X30, X20, X10

Deep “Ass to Grass” Squat (find something to touch) X50

Squat Hold 1min

Repeat X30 – 45sec hold, X15 – 30sec hold

Lunges (left / right) – focus on booty drop X40 (each leg)

Workout Days 7 – 9

All on one leg:

Lunges 1 leg up on step X40

Lunges Kicks X40

Stationary lunge jumps X40

Repeat X20 then swap legs

Hip Raise X40 + Skater Jumps X40

Repeat X 30, X20, X10

Workout Days 10-12

All on one leg:

Single Leg Squats off Bench X40

Lunge kicks X20

Stationary Lunge Jumps X40

Repeat X20 then swap legs

Step Ups all on one leg X40 then Lunges 1 leg up X40

Repeat X 20 then swap legs

Wide sump squat jumps X30 + pulse squat 1min

Repeat

Workout Days 13-14

All on one leg:

Step Ups all on one leg with knee lift X20

Single leg squats off bench X 20

Hold bench and single leg squat hop X 40

Repeat on the same leg then swap

All on one leg:

Single leg sit to stand X20

Lunge kick X20

Repeat same leg then swap

Wide walking lunges to end of the room – 40 squat jumps

ALL X3

 

 

 

 

Apple Pie Morning Oats – SO GOOD!

INGREDIENTS
  • 1cup 2 percent milk
  • 1/2medium apple, cored and chopped
  • 1/3cup rolled oats
  • 1teaspoon maple syrup
  • 1/4teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1pinch cinnamon
  • 1pinch salt
  • 20almonds, chopped
DIRECTIONS
  1. In a small pot, combine milk and chopped apple. Bring to a boil, then reduce to a simmer and cook, stirring occasionally, until apple starts to soften, about 5 minutes.
  2. Add oats, syrup, vanilla, cinnamon, and salt. Bring to a boil, then reduce to a simmer and cook until oats are plump, 5 to 7 minutes more.
  3. Top with chopped almonds.

NUTRITION PER SERVING

413 calories
18 g fat (4 g saturated)
49 g carbs
25 g sugar
7 g fiber
17 g protein

LOW CARB – Indian Lamb & Spinach Curry (CSIRO)

Looking for a low carb option that packed full of protein and iron – try this tasty curry!

Ingredients

    • 2 tablespoons olive oil
    • 2 onions, sliced
    • 2 cloves garlic, crushed
    • 1/2 teaspoon cardamom seeds
    • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
    • 1 tablespoon garam masala
    • 2 teaspoons turmeric
    • 800 g lamb leg, cubed
    • 1/2 cup low-fat natural yoghurt
    • 1 x 400 g tin chopped tomatoes
    • 1 x 250 g packet frozen spinach
    • 1 cup water
    • 2 tablespoons shredded mint
         1/2 cup coriander

Directions

Heat oil and add onions and garlic and cook until onion is golden. Add spices and lamb, mix well and cook until lamb begins to cook and change color. Stir through yoghurt, then tomato. Add spinach and water, then reduce heat to medium and cook for 40 minutes or until meat is tender.
Stir through mint and coriander and serve with rice.

Serving Size: Serves 4 for dinner

Number of Servings: 4

Nutritional Info
  • Servings Per Recipe: 4
  • Amount Per Serving
  • Calories: 416.1
  • Total Fat: 18.4 g
  • Total Carbs: 16.1 g
  • Cholesterol: 130.0 mg
  • Sodium: 327.1 mg
  • Total Carbs: 16.1 g
  • Dietary Fiber: 4.4 g
  • Protein: 45.8 g

Why Train Outdoors?

There are a number of viable reasons why people choose to take their exercise to an outdoor environment and a large number of studies that advocate getting out and about and active in the fresh air. These days, almost a third of the world’s population is inactive (31.1% according to Global Physical Activity Level study) – this has come about through progressions in both the agricultural and industrial sectors, as well as the digital age that’s currently evolving in our work and private lives. Every second person is on their phone, sitting at a desk at a computer, ordering UberEats via an app and generally engaged in what would be classified as sedentary behaviour. To further compound this inactivity, most of these digital actions happen indoors! As a population, whilst we can applaud our advances in automation and technology we are certainly making it tough to get outside and get moving. This is reflected in the growing incidents of physical disability and disease, mental health issue and of course, our expanding waistlines!

For many people, moving their training outdoors reflects a need to get some fresh air, get outside of the office and return to nature. Some people find the gym environment intimidating, over-crowded, stuffy and just not for them. Navigating your way through free-weights, cardio machines, battling at the gym lockers and sharing showers might not appealing for everyone! For others, training outdoors can simply be an exercise preference – the strong cardiovascular aspect of running around outdoors can be attractive after sitting still at your desk all day, and then there are others that don’t particularly enjoy heavy strength training. The underlying implication that heavy strength training leads to “bulking-up”, can often be a motivator to get people out of the gym and into the fresh air. As personal trainers, of course we know that weights = bulk is a fallacy, however, it’s undeniable that it’s still a common thread in the general public perception.

There have been many scientific, researched backed studies that support and advocate training in an outdoor environment. The Benefits of Outdoor Exercise found “most trials showed an improvement in mental well-being: compared with exercising indoors, exercising in natural environments was associated with greater feelings of revitalisation, increased energy and positive engagement, together with decreases in tension, confusion, anger and depression. Participants also reported greater enjoyment and satisfaction with outdoor activity and stated that they were more likely to repeat the activity at a later date” (The Peninsula College of Medicine and Dentistry, 2011)

Other reviews show people experience greater mental well-being immediately following exercise in nature which is not seen replicated when they perform the same exercise indoors – must be all the fresh air and sunshine!

So whether it’s a movement towards the great outdoors to improve mood, self-esteem and overall health, or a movement away from the computer and sedentary indoor lifestyle, it cannot be denied that Outdoor Training is on the rise. This Winter, get yourself outdoors and into the fresh air and reap the benefits!

Easter Life Hacks – Don’t Gain Kgs This April

Oh yes! Oh yes! We can all feel it coming – that Easter public holiday run is within our reach! YAY for Good Friday and Easter Monday – BRING ON the long weekend hey? Can you believe that we are already celebrating Easter (I am aware that Woolworths and Coles have been stocking shelves with hot cross buns since Jan 1st but STILL!)?!  Extra days off work and holidays aside, Easter tends to illicit complete and utter panic in personal trainers and can be a complete undoing of all your good work to date of you’re not mindful of sugar/calorie intake.  In our experience, Easter can sometimes be a more devastating time than Christmas for falling off the bandwagon. At least with Christmas you are having lots of scrumptious meals – cold cut meats, exquisite salads, roasts, vegetable and general abundance of varying food groups…. Easter- not so much. To me, Easter screams hot cross buns, chocolate eggs, chocolate bunnies, more hot cross buns and definitely even more chocolate eggs!  High sugar, high fat combined with potential high alcohol intake = FULL SCALE EASTER CHUBBIES!!!

So what can you do to prevent a landslide of epic proportions? I have listed some tips below that help me “keep it semi real” across this time of the year, and also some food facts that you may or may not (or maybe CHOOSE not) to be aware of!

  1. Beware the bunny! The total number of grams in chocolate bunny can be quite disturbing. For example if you consume a medium-large size Cadbury Bunny, you have almost consumed the equivalent of a family block of chocolate.
  2. Even more so…. Beware the mini Egg – 4 mini solid chocolate eggs is equivalent to half a normal chocolate bar #devastation #whaddaymeanIscoffed20!!!!!!
  3. Hot Cross Buns – on average are about 200 calories – if you consume 6 of these in one day you have basically eaten your entire calorie intake.
  4. If you are drinking this Easter, pick one night out of the 4 day period, and enjoy it – keep it decent the other 3
  5. Do NOT overbuy chocolate for friends and family, the last thing you need is to be stuck with a stack of Easter gifts that you didn’t end up giving – you will inadvertently add them to your own stash. Trust me.
  6. Commit to 2 out of the 4 days to train – you will not only burn off some of the excess sugar, but you will also feel better about yourself.

Have a brilliant Easter, but remember it’s not an all access pass to go completely psycho on chocolate!

Bye Bye RIM, it’s been a blast!

I never thought that once I finished my personal training education that I’d be working for such a fantastic company as Results In Motion. I thought I’d be working in some commercial gym, doing only PT sessions and maybe a few groups as time went on. But I’m glad the potential to work for RIM came my way.

Working with RIM has pushed me to step outside of my comfort zones and embrace not only outdoor training and high rep ranges, but also the different types of work including group presentations, posing for photo shoots, working with kids and even writing the e-newsletter each week. I came into my role as such a newbie who needed multiple kicks in the pants to boost my confidence, and now I feel like I could take on just about any role.

Plus the range of clientele I’ve had. I’ve trained children as young as 10 and adults enjoying retirement life. I’ve had a blast training the Huntingtower Senior Swim Squad for 1.5 years, running the Huntingtower VCE classes and getting to know each and every one of them. There’s been countless bootcamps and corporate clients, so many people and has been great to get to know everyone over the years.

Then of course there’s the General Manager Erin and the rest of the staff I’ve worked with and gotten to know over the years. You couldn’t ask for a better boss in this industry than Erin, and as many who work for her will know that she’s always there as support, to boost your confidence, push you to challenge yourself and of course make sure each of her staff are well trained up to provide the best training RIM has to offer. All my coworkers, past and present, have been fantastic and bring so much different knowledge and style to their sessions so I know they’ll keep training you all hard once I’ve finished.


You’re probably reading all this and wondering why would I leave? Partly because I live quite far out from where we run the business and the hours of driving a day has taken it’s toll. But mostly I want to pursue another passion that I was looking into the same time as doing my PT course – working in animal welfare. So I’ll be studying a course in animal studies through the RSPCA and on my way to a new and exciting time in my life where I can help other more fluffy beings!

And finally, thank you to all my clients (pt and group), that I’ve had the pleasure of training during my time at RIM. You’ve all made me laugh, forget counting reps and shared some great stories. It was fantastic to be partly responsible for when you reached your goals, even though you did all the hard work. And mostly as my clients will know, I’ll miss having a giggle when you’re suffering through the exercises (or stretches!) and getting angry at me.

That’s it from me! Keep on working your butts off, and don’t worry I’ll keep training too!

Thanks team,
Michelle