Keeping it light ...

It's coming up to that time of year again when every weekend brings yet another Christmas function. Friends, family, work .. some may even consider it just an excuse to get together to eat, drink and be merry!

Speaking of eating, drinking and being merry .. it's also that time of year when a few extra kilos "just appear" .. as if from nowhere ...


This weekend just gone we attended the first party on our social calendar. It was a really enjoyable day with extended family .. lunching, barefoot bowls and some delicious desserts! Even though I didn't feel that I ate too much, I still had that not hungry feeling in the evening.  Needless to say dinner consisted of a boiled egg on toast .. just enough to get me through until breakfast.

Multiply the extra calories consumed by another dozen or so functions between now and Christmas and there's a chance that my Christmas frocks may start to hug a little in places they are not supposed to!!

Starting this week I am going to keep it light. This will require a little extra forethought, but nothing that we shouldn't already be doing.  I will be keeping my diet nice and lean during the week, however I won't be forgoing proper nutrition.

When an outing rolls around, I will use my willpower and practice moderation.  If this means a few less glasses of champagne and a few less choices from the cheese and crackers or dessert plates, then so be it.  I'm not going to sacrifice my health and hard work.  I'm going to enjoy my health, hard work  .... and the festivities that go along with the season rapidly approaching.

Don't forget that it is you who is able to make the choice ... no one will be forcing you. 

If I feel like I have indulged a little too much, I will be ensuring that I spend the next day keeping my diet light and lightening the load on my body.  Again, I certainly won't be sacrificing proper nutrition.
For me, today's lunch was a nice light chicken and corn soup.  Satisfying ... 


I'm going to pay close attention to my training program too.  No excuses for missing a training session.  Every session will count and every session will be enjoyed.  A couple of extra light runs might need to be added here and there ... don't forget there are still those party frocks that we must fit into!  It really is all about the fashion!

Remember, you can enjoy everything .. in moderation!

Fit Mum x   

Honey and Coconut Muesli Slice

On a usual Saturday morning we are up early for swimming lessons and squad training. This means the miniature athletes in my family need a filling breakfast. I can do that.

Home from swimming and, of course, it's time for their second breakfast. Swimming does that to you.

I foresee what's going to happen next ... Give it an hour or two and they will be hungry again. This is where my endless hours of baking snacks for the kids come in. This morning I've done a favourite of theirs ... Muesli slice.  Kind of like the muesli bars you buy at the shops .. only cheaper and .. well I made them. Give them a go for your hungry miniature athletes .. or yourself cos they are pretty yummy!

Honey & Coconut Muesli Slice  
2 1/2 cups rolled oats                                           
1 cup rice bubbles / rice puffs
1/2 cup shredded coconut
1/2 cup slivered almonds
1 tbspn honey
1 tin (395g / 14oz ) sweetened
condensed milk

What you have to do with it ...

1. Preheat oven to 160C / 325F. Grease 23x32cm ( 9" x 13" ) Swiss roll pan, line base with baking paper, letting the paper hang over the long sides.

2. Combine oats, rice bubbles, coconut, nuts, honey and condensed milk in a large bowl. Press mixture firmly into the pan.

3. Bake about 40 minutes or until browned lightly. Cool slice in the pan before cutting.

4. Optional ..I drizzle some melted chocolate creatively over the top after it has cooled and before slicing!


Fit Mum x   

It's rest time ...

You know those people that go to the gym every day who look intent on building a muscle right then and there ... or they do a high intensity class and then head out to the treadmill for another 45 minutes sweat session? I sometimes wonder if these people are really achieving what they want from their training sessions.

Do they ever have time off or do they slog away day after day without missing a beat? Are they really enjoying what they are doing or has it become a chore and they feel if they miss a session the world will end?

I've been that person ..
I've ticked off those weight training sessions and calculated those cardio calories.
I must make sure that I can cross those training sessions off the calendar.

But then I started getting tired. And not just tired that you feel at the end of the day or end of the week. Tired that I felt that I just couldn't keep going without having some sort of nap. 
I would get through the rest of the day and head to bed at the usual time, wake up at the usual time and start again.
As usual I would train after work .. come home for lunch and nap again before starting the afternoon taxiing with the kids.  I was exhausted.  After a few weeks of this I just didn't feel like training.  After a few days off I would start the cycle again.

I got to the point when I finally realised that this is not what I want .. I was not enjoying it anymore.
I had to do something different.  Something that would let me do what I wanted and actually keep up some sort of routine.  I love being fit and strong and doing exercise .. But I do not like feeling exhausted all the time.  I still have work, my family and a life that I want to keep up with.

I've since changed my training to include a few extra rest days and changed the intensity of some of my sessions. God forbid!!!!

In reality I know the necessity and benefits of including rest days in a training program.  I need to remind myself of the importance of resting my body .. particularly after a hard training session.

Including rest days will help me to

*  recover for my next training session
*  reduce my risk of overtraining
*  improve my strength and fitness
*  build muscle, rather than beat it down
*  keep me sane for the family ( should this one be at the top of the list? )

Don't get me wrong .. I still train hard when I have to ... or want to ... but my training program, including rest days allows me to do this.

Please feel free to come and tell me how you totally smashed your last session, or how many calories you caned on the tready the other day!  I will be just as excited as you are, but I'm going to be just as excited when you tell me that your training program includes a few recovery days and these days off make you feel re-energised and ready to face up to your next session.  Just don't tell me that you smashed yourself and you are so exhausted you just can't face anything for a week ...

Speaking of rest, it's the end of the week and I'm looking forward to a few days off!

Have a fabulous weekend everyone!

Stay focused,  Stay strong
Fit Mum x   

The weekly shop ...

I know it's not everyone's favourite exercise ... and there are days when I certainly don't feel like getting out there and doing it.  But in order to maintain a healthy lifestyle, it's kind of one of the most important exercises there is ...

Grocery shopping.  Love it or hate it, it's just got to be done ...

Today is my day.  Monday.  It's my day off so I try to get it done in a relaxed fashion, you know, without the kids. 

I am going to admit something now .. please don't hold it against me ... I actually don't mind doing the grocery shopping.  Don't get me wrong, there are days when I just don't want to do it .. but I would get hungry and I would get really annoyed with the kids whinging about being hungry too.
I've even considered ordering online and having it delivered.  I know heaps of people that do this and absolutely rave about it.  One day I'll give it a go.  But for now, I quite enjoy wandering up and down the aisles ( well, mostly I go really fast so I'm not late for school pick up! )  and checking out what is around.  I'm always game to try something new.  Mr Fit Mum was given the grocery shopping duties a while ago as my schedule was a bit hectic and it wasn't quite fitting in so I didn't get to check out all the new things!  Oh, and I get to use the Woolies app on the phone .. I love it! 

One of the reasons why the weekly grocery shop is more than bearable for me is because I get to come home with this ...

I love having the fridge stocked with fresh fruit and vegies.   It gets me all inspired to eat yummy healthy meals and snacks.  After this last weekend's festivities ( Mr Fit Mum's birthday, party and all! ) I am craving some fruit and veg. 

That leads me to my next thing ... I must go and prep the beef and onion kebabs and salad for dinner!

Stay focused,  Stay strong
Fit Mum x   

Who said I was old?

I'm getting older. Every day.

This last week I have had cause to think about getting older and the myriad of illnesses and conditions that can affect us as we get older. It's really kind of scary, particularly for a person who likes to be in control and I guess that's why I choose not to think about it.

In this case someone very close to me has had something happen that has literally stopped them in their tracks and they have no choice but to lie flat out for the next week or so. The doctors have advised that there is nothing that could have been done to prevent this .. It's age related.

On the positive side, it's got me thinking about what I can and can't control with relation to my own health .. clearly I can't control everything. But, there are heaps of things I can control and by doing so will help me be able to "live" with the aging process!  I know I'm not going to win the aging argument so I'm not going to beat myself up trying .. but I'm going to do my best to age in the best possible way ...

According to Coco Chanel "A woman has the age she deserves" .. I want to deserve to be as young as I can be!

We all "know" what we are supposed to do to look after our bodies .. But do we always practice them? I'm going to start making more of an effort to look after my body in the best way I can ...

Starting with the obvious ... Eating healthy, nutritious foods that fuel my body for optimum performance. Well maybe not optimum performance as I'm no elite athlete .. but I certainly need to keep up with the kids, day to day life, exercise and all the added extras that make life fun! I will be making sure that the fun foods are in moderation because we all know what it feels like to overindulge ...

Exercise also plays a huge part in staying healthy.  Make sure there is a balance of cardio, weight training, flexibility and relaxation.  I have found in the last month that doing different exercise to those that I usually do has made it much more enjoyable, especially in those times when motivation was lacking!

I'm going to start listening to my body a bit more often.  I am pretty conscious of what my body is doing and I do listen to what it's telling me, however there are times when I probably should listen a little more closely. When my body tells me it's time to take a rest, I'll take a rest. I'll challenge myself but I won't be pushing myself to the point of exhaustion where I'm unable to keep up with a regular routine. Yes, I have done this in the past ...

Finally, I'm going to do what makes me happy.  Do what I enjoy.  I'm going to spend time with family and friends and enjoy it .. not take it for granted.

I'm going to look after my health and not take it for granted.

I've worked hard to get what I have and I'm going to work just as hard to keep it!

Stay focused,  Stay strong
Fit Mum x   

More thinking ... and a bit more doing!

As I have alerted you to recently I have been a little less than committed about setting goals and I've applied the same commitment to acting upon my "goals".  I've done a lot of thinking, however I'm still not exactly sure exactly what I want to do or even why I want to do it. Well that's not exactly right .. I have a picture in my mind of what I want my body to be like ( don't we all? ). One day I am going to get a bit closer to what I think it is that I want.  It's not that I'm not happy with my body or my health or fitness levels .. There's just a few changes alterations that I would like to make.

Enough talk .. It's time that I set some goals on paper .. Well I'll put them out there in cyber world to float around anyway. Hopefully having them out there for all to see is going to keep me honest.  And before you ask ... No I am not going to show before pics or stats, not my thing I'm afraid! Sorry 'bout that!

As I have mentioned previously, my training schedule in September was a little less than regular. In my defense I kind of planned this. My goal for September was to just stay a little bit active .. nothing structured, whatever I felt like doing as long as I did something at least 3 - 4 days per week. This time has actually helped me work out what I want to do training wise for the next few months. Roll in October ...

This is the month that I am going to get back to running.  I found out that I "sort of" miss going for a run .. a chance to blow out some cobwebs! The other thing I found out was that I have lost a lot of my running fitness .. this is particularly annoying as it takes so long to build up!! So October for me is back to basics .. running 101 .. No high heart rates and lots of run / walk intervals at the moment! This is going to be great base training and will set me up for when I start training for the Half Marathon again next year.

My next line of thinking leads me back to my sugar free month .. Yes, I survived a month without sugar.  Since then I have not used quite the same discretion in my diet. Not without the lack of ( again ) thinking about it.  I think about it .. what I don't do, however, is ignore the thought. I am being a little, let's say, liberal with my extra curricular food choices.
New goal, and not just for October .. It's back to sugar free for me! Don't fret, I'm not going completely crazy.  I'll be setting up for dessert once or twice a week and I may partake of the occasional piece of chocolate .. I just need to tighten it up a bit.

Lastly, I'm starting work on changing my body composition. Well, not really starting .. It's something that I'm conscious of keeping within the healthy ranges at all times. A big incentive for me is that I am a role model to my clients and members every day.
I'm going to track the changes by keeping an eye on the measurements I haven taken in the past. The scales will also reflect a little change but I think for me it's going to be more about how I look rather than the number.
Maintaining my muscle mass and losing an extra kilo or two of body fat will get me pretty close to the leaner look that I am after. I don't plan on getting to the stunning fitness model look ( don't tell me you wouldn't want to look like that! ) but I'll keep working on it! Besides, I really love the feeling of being strong and having muscles that I can see a little bit!

Ultimately, my goals are to maintain my health, get my cardio fitness levels back to where they were a few months ago, and maintain my strength and lean muscle mass. Overall, I'm after a balanced, fit, and healthy lifestyle.

Wow, I just realised how long this is .. even for me!

Now that I have put this out there I'm looking forward to having my cyber friends keep an eye on me too .. This may make me a bit scared too!

Stay focused,  Stay strong
Fit Mum x   

meh. that is all

This week has been an interesting one.  The kids are back at school and in the uninterruptedness ( ?? ) I've got a few things crossed off the list.  

On the sugar free and exercise front .. I've done a fair amount of NOTHING!!  Unless you count a boxing circuit, balance class and doing a few push ups and squats with my clients as I'm training them .. you know, I don't want them to feel they are the only ones doing anything!

To follow up on the sugar free and exercise front .. I've also done a fair amount of thinking about it. 

Now that it's been a week since my sugar free challenge finished, my brain has clearly taken this into consideration and should there be a chocolate in the house I've been known to make it disappear .. via my stomach ... yes, I'm now confessing to possibly overindulging in sugar laden treats.  This, however, was not my original intention. 

Clearly I'm having a motivation and commitment issue that may will need to be addressed in the near future.  I've read blogs, articles etc all about losing weight and I love it!  Geez, it's my job too!  But I just haven't been able to shake the "meh" virus, you know, the "blah" bug. 

meh. that is all
This afternoon I was catching up on some blog reading .. health and fitness blogs of course ... and for some reason Jogaholic's blog post today sparked some action!!  Check her out here ...

I've been putting off taking the updated stats for a while now ( it's been 12 months ) ... maybe lazy, maybe a bit scared they have changed for the worse!  And the pics ... well, I really don't like having my photo taken at the best of times!! Let alone getting in a bikini for those shots that just are not flattering!

Well, I did it ... the pics have been taken and measurements done and I'm pleased to say that there has not been a change for the worse!  Phew!! 

 In the last 12 months I've actually lost a few centimetres ...
 well then, I must have done something right!!                                              

We are supposed to say something positive about bodies and do the best with what we've got so I'm even going to do that ...
I think I'm doing pretty darn good for an almost 40 ( I still have 5 and a half months to go ) mother of 2!! Yay me!!

Now to sit down and plan how I'm going to make a few more changes.  Not drastic ones, just some changes to body fat %.  I'll be happy with a kilo or two.

I could possibly be getting a bit excited about setting some new goals!! After my home made pizza and red wine for dinner ... gotta keep it real hey!

Stay focused,  Stay strong
Fit Mum x


Sugar Free September wrap up ...

It's been a few days since the end of my Sugar Free September Challenge and I haven't yet sat down to wrap up what the month was really like.  I've also had numerous questions from people amazed that I could go a whole month without sugar. 

" Do you feel different? "
" What are you going to do now? "
"How hard was it giving up sugar? "

Over the last week of the challenge, I found that I was starting to look forward to being able to have a treat .. dessert, a chocolate, biscuit etc.  Is this a sign that I am addicted?  I can't be .. I've barely noticed not having these things for a month and I certainly haven't looked for them or felt deprived that I haven't had them ... Must have been the excitement of being able to have something that I "enjoy" ...

I've also spent a little bit of time thinking about the questions that people had been asking me .. not because they were asked, but because I had thought of them myself first!

" Do I feel different? " ... No, I didn't feel that I had withdrawal from not having sugar or lollies, or cakes, or chocolate ... I had no miraculous bursts of energy ( when you find out how this happens, please forward this information to me immediately!! )

" Was it hard giving up sugar? " ... It didn't feel hard, like I said, no withdrawal ... I was just really conscious of the added / hidden sugars in foods ... they are EVERYWHERE!!! It's rather annoying actually ... I recommend, as I always do, eat whole, unprocessed foods .. as close to nature as possible and it's easier to avoid the added / hidden sugars.

" What am I going to do now? " ... The answer to this one actually came to me over the weekend .. after the challenge had finished ... 


There was no marching band or procession over the weekend.  Nothing special to signify the end of Sugar Free September ... nothing except the opportunity to have a few pieces of chocolate .. and a slice of cheesecake for dessert on Saturday night.  Wow!  I'm thinking about how fabulous it is to be able to choose that I can have chocolates and not feel guilty that I'm cheating myself ...

I had a few chocolates to celebrate on Saturday and I had that slice of cheesecake for dessert on Saturday night .. what you will be pleased to know is that I felt a bit bleh after the chocolates and the cheesecake pushed me right to the edge ... my belly was churning!!  So much for not feeling guilty .. I just felt ill!!

Sunday, I didn't fare much better .. Grandfinal night here and the boys desperately needed to watch the football, drink beer and eat hotdogs and drumsticks ... 

I didn't watch the football .. I didn't need to I could hear them screaming everything at the TV ...
I didn't drink beer .. the 2 small glasses of champagne the night before gave me a headache ( I know, clearly I have lost all fitness in this area ... )
I ate hotdogs ... yep, processed meat, must stop writing .. stomach churning again ...
I ate a Drumstick .. I knew as soon as I started unwrapping it that it was going to be a mistake ... 

I'm not going to elaborate any further .. needless to say, I feel worse now than I have for the last 4 weeks!!  I've even made the confessional phone call to my girlfriend ..  

MAKE THE BAD FOOD GO AWAY !!!! Shannon, I'm in sympathy with you here ....

So, all that being said ... " What am I going to do now? "

The verdict for me ... I will still use sugar at home .. in the baking, however I will be using alternatives when and where I can.  I'm going back to sugar free ... modified version ... I'm going to have a chocolate or dessert occasionally.  Oh, and I'm going to have that glass of wine, champagne or vodka, lime and soda .. of course, these will be celebratory only .. like the end of the week celebration!  No, I'm not going to be doing Ocsober!!

Why not give sugar free a go .. even a modified version .. say for a week .. you never know how it will make you feel!

Fit Mum x