I prefer to cover my knees ...

I was reading a column in this month's Women's Running magazine about what your favourite "shorts" are for running and it made me think about my own preferences when it comes to exercise attire in a more broad sense.

Working in a gym I get to see quite the range of exercise attire .. and yes I have seen pyjamas .. oh, and the full body suit .. in baby pink ...

We all remember these outfits ...

The majority of girls seem to prefer to workout in some kind of tights that come just below the knee or shorts.  Not short, shorts but more conservative.  Although I have seen the short, shorts too .. it's not good when bending over to stretch.  And let's not even go to the male version!

My personal preference when training in the gym or a class is for tights that sit just below the knee .. because I don't think anyone needs to see my knees.  But then when I'm running on the treadmill I pull my tights up over my knees .. oh dear, I may have a problem.
My preference on top is a tight-ish singlet.  Not so tight that you can see every jiggly bit, but not so baggy that it gets in the way or gets heavy when I sweat.  Because I do sweat, I'm afraid.  It's not pretty. Oh, and I can't wear t-shirts at the gym ... it feels weird.  

Today's training gear ... no I haven't showered yet ...

When I'm running outside there are many variables to be considered.  When, where, who .. you know, all of the important issues must be taken into account. 

Running in summer I'll usually sport a pair of shorts.  However, if I'm running anything over 5km I'll switch to a pair of tights that sit just above my knees.  Shorts and I don't seem to get along very well if my run is longer than the 5km .. I'm not fond of chaffing, nor the uncomfortable bunch of shorts in my crotch.  It's not really pretty for oncoming traffic either .. enough said.

Winter running and I'm pulling out the longer tights and long sleeve jacket or shirt.  Just below the knee or if it's really cold .. like now .. and yes, it's cold in Brisbane .. I wear a full length tight.  And a cap,  I'm unsure if I can actually physically run without my cap ( summer or winter version ) ...  

Now tell me, what's your favourite gym get up? 
All stories of fluoro g-string leotards and leg warmers will be gladly accepted and giggled at later ...

PS .. I've just re-read what I wrote and have discovered that I may have some "quirks" when it comes to my training gear ...

Vicki x

Tell me why do you exercise?

Why do you exercise?
Do you love it? Does it make you feel good, look good?
Do you exercise to lose weight, or are you training for a specific goal?

Ooooops! I didn't hear that ...
I was talking with one of my clients about keeping up motivation to keep going and her comments to me were that it was easy for me because I love exercise. Yes, she is right, I love to exercise .. But there are times when I don't love it so much.

If I don't love it all the time then why do I keep it up?

I exercise for all of the things I have mentioned above. 
I feel good after finishing a workout or achieving my goal.
Yes, exercise has helped me change my body shape .. I'm still working on it but I'm pretty happy with where I am right now.
Yes, I have used exercise to help me lose weight ... I could probably do a bit more about my diet ... well, let's leave that there shall we!
Yes, I have trained for a specific goal .. In my younger years I completed quite a number of triathlons and last year I completed my 6th half marathon.  

My current reason for keeping up my exercise routine ...

Number one .. my health and fitness.  I want to set an example for my kids and my clients.  At the moment my focus at training is to do what I enjoy and will help me maintain or improve both my health and fitness. 
Next up, I really do enjoy it and how it makes me feel.  If I haven't exercised for a week or so I start to feel a bit cramped and stiff and well, blah.

So, tell me, why do you exercise? 
Is it one of the reasons I listed above or have you got your own reasons?

Vicki x

Weekly FitMum Update ...

And again, I find myself late with my update!  Not sure whether it's the busy, busy end of the week or the busy, busy Saturday morning of sport that is my current undoing ...

Mr Fit Mum was away this week, so it does slow things down a little bit at home.  I just can't be in two places at once with kids in tow.  And to top it off I don't sleep well, the old eye and ear open all night makes me a little weary. 
Ooops, sorry about that, enough of the whinging!  I really didn't have too bad a week .. here's what I did get up to ...

Monday morning I was lucky as Mr Fit Mum didn't have to leave for the airport until 6.30am so I still managed a run / walk in the morning.  Cold, dark, the usual but I crossed it off the list!
Rather than backing out of all training last week, I decided to use it as a bit of a refresher week ... no more running until the weekend.  Instead, I popped a DVD in and did some yoga with the kids in the afternoons.  Another reminder that I love yoga and should do it more often!

I did attend my usual PT session on Thursday, and yes I was not disappointed by this session.  Let's just say my legs were still feeling rather heavy 2 days later on my Saturday morning run!

Friday, I exercised my power of listening and communicating at lunch with the girls!  I may have eaten a little too much ... and then followed it up with dinner out with the family on Friday night.  Yes I needed the run on Saturday!

In between all the fun stuff I spent a lot of time in the car ferrying kids around ...

then it was time to relax on Saturday night.  I may or may not have spent a little too much time shopping ... online ... drinking champagne ... 

As you may have noticed I've made a few little changes to the blog .. still not sure what I'm doing but I'll keep working on it!  I've added a Follow by Email link if you would like to sign up and I'll appear in your inbox every so often!  You know I love to chat!

I trust everyone has had a great weekend! 

Vicki x

Vegetable and Bean Soup ...

The weather is certainly starting to cool off so what better reason to add a soup to the week's meal plan.  This week I'm adding this one.  It has heaps of veggies and the kids eat it with a minimum of fuss!  Especially if I serve it up with some crusty bread!

What you need ...

1 tablespoon olive oil
1 leek, finely chopped
125g 97% fat-free bacon, chopped
2 garlic cloves, crushed
2 carrots, peeled, chopped
1 parsnip, peeled, chopped
1 celery stick, chopped
2 small zucchini, chopped
6 cups reduced-salt vegetable stock ( sometimes I use beef stock )
400ml can tomato puree
400g red kidney beans 
1/2 cup dried risoni pasta (or small shell pasta )

What you do ...

Heat oil in a large saucepan over medium-high heat. Add onion, bacon and garlic. Cook, stirring, for 5 minutes or until soft. Add carrot, parsnip, celery and zucchini. Cook, stirring, for 5 minutes.

Add stock and tomatoe puree. Stir to combine. Bring to the boil. Reduce heat to low. Cover. Simmer, stirring occasionally, for 45 minutes or until vegetables are soft.  

Stir in risoni and beans. Cook for 12 to 15 minutes or until risoni is tender. Season with salt and pepper if necessary.

I like to have my soup with some fresh, preferably crusty bread!

Enjoy!  Let me know what you think.

Vicki x

Have you planned your week?

Lots of exercise gurus talk about writing down your workouts in your diary .. an appointment with yourself.
I know that I'm not the only one who has to plan their workout around various "obstacles" so I do like this idea .. planning your week so that you know what's going on when.

This quote really brings some clarity to why you should be planning your workouts ...

"Planning is bringing the future into the present so that you can do something about it now."  
Alan Lakein

You want the end result don't you?  Plan it, do something about it now!

If you're not a planner, would you be willing to give it a go?

Have a great week!

Vicki x

Weekly workout update ...

I've been a bit slack with my updates of late .. busy, not enough sleep ... no excuses really ...

This week's training really was my usual.  I'm certainly no athlete training for an hour or more each day.  I'm just an everyday person who manages a workout between running after the kids, working .. and the cold dark mornings!  Good thing I don't train mornings much or it would never get done!

Monday is my day to run with my friend.  This is my cold, dark morning.  We head out at 5.45am so that we get back in time to beg the children to get ready for school in time, all while getting ready for work.  My fingers were frozen this morning, even after the run I could barely move them!

Tuesday I teach boxing class in the evening so I use this as my workout.  I get out there with the class and do the cardio and strength intervals during the class.  Between that and instructing it's not too bad!  I've been a bit slack lately and haven't been doing yoga in the mornings .. could be something to do with the warm bed ...

Wednesday mornings Mr FitMum and Miss 10 head out for their morning run so I force myself onto a treadmill after work.  This is tough somedays so I try to do something that's fun and I'll get a bit of a bang for my buck so to speak.  Intervals.  Run / walk intervals.  I do end up with a few 200m sprints at the end but by that stage I'm into it so it's all good!

Thursday is PT day.  I haven't trained for 2 weeks so this one was a bit ugly .. and tough.  Let me say that I'm still feeling it 2 days later ..

Friday .. Rest day!

Saturday morning I get out for a run with my friend again.  This morning we managed a 6.5km run through the bush.  We haven't done this one for a while and it was a great feeling!  The feeling in my fingers is gradually returning and my typing is getting a little better!

There you have it, my exercise week.  I'm now heading off to the usual Saturday sport with the kids!

How did your workouts for the week go?  Or have you still got your weekend workouts to fit in?

Have a great weekend whatever you are doing! 

Vicki x

Something to snack about ...

I'm talking snacks today.   This is usually my weakness when it comes to keeping my diet on track and I know that many other people feel the same way.  A wrong choice can throw out your diet for the whole day, but only if you let it.
Some people cut out snacks all together in an effort to cut calories and lose weight.  Yes, this can work, but it's not always the best option.

So, why snack?

A snack can help you make it through to your next meal.   This may even stop you eating too much at that meal if you choose the right snack.
A healthy, balanced snack can help you to stop making a bad snack choice .. you know, an apple over a packet of potato chips or chocolate bar ( OK, I don't mind the chocolate bar but not if I'm trying to watch what I'm eating! ).  You will be more inclined to stay on track if you choose the apple first.
Including regular snacks will also help to not over eat at meal times. you know what I mean, you miss afternoon snack and dinner comes around, you eat a great meal.  Then you find you are still hungry, so you go back for seconds, and then another little "something" because you just can't seem to make the hunger go away.  Then you feel sick or guilty that you've over eaten.

What's your favourite choice for a between meal snack?

These are some of my favourite choices for between meals. They are a great choice when you are keeping an eye on what you are eating.

An apple a day, right?
Fruit ... yep, 2 pieces a day is a good choice.         
Fruit with cottage cheese or some low fat yoghurt. My favourites are apple or berries with cottage cheese. It's OK, I understand, some people just can't stomach that one!
Chopped veg with homemade hommus .. carrots, celery etc

Plain old low fat yoghurt .. watch the flavoured stuff.  It may taste great but it could also have lots of sugar.
Rice thins with toppings like avocado, cheese or hommus with tomato slices.
Nuts and seeds ie trail mix.  Watch out that you don't eat the whole packet, these babies can pack a calorie punch even though they are a great source of nutrition.

Don't go crazy though, these are a snack not a full meal!  I try to keep  my snacks around 100 - 150 calories, I'm not perfect so I do have more sometimes!

The other thing that is important to me when it comes to my snacks .. I need to be able to throw them in my gym bag, handbag or just eat them on the run!  Though I have been known to eat a bowl of berries and cottage cheese driving to kids activities .. sssshhh don't mention this one!

Let me know what your favourite snack is!

Vicki x

Thai Chicken Mince ...

A usual Monday afternoon in our house includes me cooking up a quick and easy dinner while the kids do homework, then we head out to netball training.  This was last nights dinner, so I thought I would share as it is quick, easy and the kids love it!

Thai Chicken Mince

What you need ...         
Olive oil spray
1 large red onion, thinly sliced
500g lean chicken mince
1 bunch coriander
1 tbspn crushed ginger
1/4 cup sweet chilli sauce
2 tbspns fish sauce
2 tbspns lime juice

What you do ...
Spray non stick pan with olive oil. Over a medium heat, cook onion until soft.
Add mince and ginger. Cook for about 10 minutes or until browned, breaking up mince with a wooden spoon.
While mince is cooking cut 5cm from roots of coriander. Wash and finely chop. Remove coriander leaves and set aside. Add chopped coriander to mince with sweet chilli sauce, fish sauce and lime juice. Stir to combine.
Reduce heat to low and cook, stirring occasionally, for about 5 mins or until heated through.

I usually add some extra veggies, last night I added chopped capsicum and grated carrot.  It all depends what's in the fridge, I do like to add greens too.

A couple of options for serving up ...
With Asian greens and some rice
San Choy Bow style in lettuce cups ( my kids would not touch this, but I like it! )

A favourite variation at our house ...
I add Chinese cabbage and grated carrot to the mince mixture and we make up rice paper rolls with finely sliced capsicum and snow peas.

Of course, it's important to serve with your choice of dipping sauce .. I use this ...
1/4 cup sweet chilli sauce
1 tablespoon fish sauce
1 tablespoon lime juice

I hope that you enjoy as much as my family does!

Oh, did I mention that the basic recipe without rice etc, is about 300 cals per serve.  Not bad!

If you try it let me know.  I would love to hear your variations!

Vicki x

Happy Mother's Day...

A day late I know, but I had quite the busy day!

I had been looking forward to this day all week. No, not because I might receive a fabulous gift or two.

I was planning a serious sleep in! No alarms!

I did get woken up earlyish by Mr 6 in bed with us, but he was not interested in Mother's Day. He just came in to let us know he was going down to watch TV.   Priorities I guess.
Miss 10 remembered though and came in for cuddles as soon as she woke up ( at 7.30, I got my sleep in ).
After some careful planning and direction from Miss 10 I was allowed to see some little gifts that the children had for me .. I was a bit lucky! Sorry, nothing fitness related here! Not today, today is girly presents for me!  Here's a couple of my loot ...

This may not be a good idea living on the kitchen bench ...
I may or may not have selected scarf myself ... well, I needed red ..

After a suitable amount of time cuddling ( 30 seconds ) my gorgeous babies headed off to watch more TV .. or so I thought until I heard the coffee machine being heated up!  Oh yeah!  The kids made coffee and toast for a quick breakfast!  We were heading over to my sister's for brunch with mum so we didn't want to spoil our appetites.  Good thing too ... check out this spread!  Yes, I may run an extra few kilometres this week to compensate! 

After quite a bit of sitting around doing nothing other than chatting we headed home.
Mr FitMum's mum was coming over for a light dinner.  Yes, I cooked, but I'm OK with that because I love it. 

I have had such a lovely relaxing day with the family it's sad for it to end.  Well, there's always next year!

How was your mother's day?

Vicki x

Kids run today .. Cross Country

I wrangled a day off work today.  Not a me day though.  A family day if you will.  The kids ran their cross country at school today, so Mr FitMum and I toddled along to cheer them on.

I love the fact that every kid in the school has to run the cross country, even those who have disabilities get the chance to participate. 
Some kids will hate it but that's the experience I guess.  I think it's important that they get out there and participate to the best of their abilities.  There is always something that we don't want to do in life, but that doesn't mean we only give a half assed effort.  I love to see the kids giving it their all. I even tear up, but that's sunglasses are for, right?

The fit little people in my family put in a superb effort! 
Mr 6 actually ran this year rather than chatting to his mates the whole way!  Not sure where he finished, but he stumbled in with a smile on his face somewhere in the first 15 runners.

Miss 10, who hasn't quite put in enough training hours this year, sprinted into 3rd place beaten by her nemisis.  Hmm, not sure how this will go over, I fear her foot injury may provide an excuse for why she couldn't defend her title.  She is off to Regionals to represent the school in a few weeks.

By the time both kids were finished the sun was beating down and we were very proud parents.  Excellent effort by both kids!

Now that I have the rest of the day free, not sure what I'm going to get up to ... I should probably start the housecleaning and washing so I don't have to do it on the weekend ...

Have a great weekend everyone!

Vicki x


What did you get up to today?

Did you write a list of stuff to do for today?

Did you include something for you? What about something that will keep you on track with your health and fitness goal?

Something that you will have a sense of satisfaction having completed it.

Here's my day ...

Work. Been there done that!

Workout. 5km interval training run. I'm all over it!

The usuals. School runs, fruit and veg shop, after school activities, dinner prepped.  I got it going on!

Folding the washing. My one thing that's bugging me.  I'd better get on to that ...
Ok, now it's done, but not yet away .. will work on that.

Later on, after dinner, clean up and lunches are made for tomorrow I might sit down.  Like, just for a little bit to watch Offspring ( I may be obsessed ).

How about you?  Have you had a productive day?

Vicki x

Fit Mum Mother's Day gift ideas ...

I know, I know, I'm a little bit late with this but I thought I might run a quick post on some ideas for Mother's Day for the Fit Mums out there .. or those who are working on it!

My Mother's Day ( or Christmas, or birthday ) wish list is printed in full colour and placed front and centre on the fridge.  I even include the place that these gifts can be sourced. I'm helpful like that.

This list is of course, not exhaustive, it's just a few ideas for the various goodies you may need in your artillery as a fit, healthy and exercising mumma.

Let's start with the basics ...

Everyone needs more exercise gear right?  Why not put in a request for a gift card from your favourite store or from where you have been eyeing something off for a while?

They get a bit gross after a while and it can't hurt to have extra!

PS .. these are not my legs.
 I do not have stick legs ..



One can never have too many pairs of exercise tights .. right?                            

It appears as though I may be a little obsessed with exercise gear ...

Ok, enough of the basics ...

I love my arm band.  Mine is not expensive, in fact I think I found it on eBay for $2.55.  I know you can get basic ones from Big W for less than $20 .. seriously, they do the job.

Either your phone or your tunes, it keeps your hands free and you won't drop your device, which could be nasty.

Fitness DVD.  There are heaps out there.  My advice, work exactly what you want it for then research the different DVDs until you find the one that will suit you.  You may need to go online and check them out as they can be hard to find in the stores sometimes.  I'm rather attached to my yoga DVDs at the moment as I feel I need the extra stretch. 

Why not add a mat to go with the DVD! 

Rebel Sport / Amart $25 - $30 ..

Why not try a magazine subscription for a little extra motivation and information. There are quite a few exclusively women's health and fitness type magazines around.  Look for one that has the type of  information that you are after.  They are not all for everyone!

If you are wanting to get a little more serious, what about a Heart Rate Monitor?  A great tool for working out either indoors or outdoors.  You can get them with GPS type thingies too so you know how far and fast you are walking, running as well as how many calories you are burning.  I am currently using a Garmin but I have had Polar in the past and I love them too!  If you are just starting out you may not want one with all the bells and whistles, just the essentials, as they range in price from around $90 to $600.  Again, research them online or visiting a sports store.  If you are happy with your choice, you may even find it online a bit cheaper.

Garmin Forerunner 70 Women's Heart Rate Monitor
Garmin .. $200
Polar .. $129

A Recipe Book
Sick of thinking of healthy options for dinner?  There are heaps of recipe books out by the super fit people.  I really do like the Michelle Bridges ones though as she offers some seriously down to earth advice too!

Book Cover:  Crunch Time Cookbook: 100 Knockout Recipes For Rapid Weight Loss

Ok, so there's a few ideas to get you started. 

Mums out there, what's on your list for Mother's Day? 

 Do you have any fabulous suggestions we can add to the list?

Vicki x

Monday Motivation ...

 Do you make too many excuses?

We all have rough weeks.  Sometimes things don't exactly go to plan.  

Pinned Image

What matters is that you move on.

Your goal for this week is to try what it is like NOT to make excuses.  Just get on with it.

Let me know how you go ... I'd love to hear how you get on with it!

Vicki x

This week's update ...

On Monday I posted that I needed to make a little bit of an extra effort in the diet and exercise area if I wanted to keep my jeans fitting this winter.
I know that you are all dying to know what I've actually done this week to keep myself on track. 

I started the week off with a blast!  Monday morning started with a 5km jog ( with a little walking in between ).  Still not a fan of early mornings in the dark ...
Then I followed it up with another workout after I finished work.  A 25 minute weights routine that was enough to leave my hamstrings a little tight for the next 2 days!  But on the upside, I felt totally pumped!

Tuesdays I usually leave my workout until I teach the boxing class in the evening.  I make sure that I do the parts of the class that don't involve boxing with a partner, so I do heaps of squats, skipping, push ups etc.  I manage quite the sweat lovely glow by the end of the class!

By Wednesday, I was starting to feel a little stiff from Monday's efforts and followed up by Tuesday's class but my hamstrings were not going to stop me running a quick 3km after I finished training clients.  Well, it wasn't quick, but I ran 3km ... after I beat down at least 8 excuses why I couldn't do it.

Thursday, honestly, after an exhausting morning at work, I was starving and I just didn't feel like it.  This time there was no beating down excuses, I had a rest day.

Friday morning is hubby's morning to run so I stayed in bed until the last possible second.  I was going to run after work this morning but decided to do a fusion style workout instead.  Body weight exercises with cardio mixed in.  I kind of wish I had run instead!  After 35 minutes I had completed 3 rounds of the workout and I was done ... and starving! 

Saturday morning was a leisurely run.  And then it's off to soccer to watch Master 6.  No netball this morning so not as much crazy lady running around! 

This is where things veer a little off track ... All week my diet has been great.  I made my decision that I was going to make changes and I've stuck to it, well until Saturday.
One of my girlfriend's daughter ( who is also friends with my daughter ) invited us out for afternoon tea to celebrate her birthday.  Of course, I don't like to be rude so I had some ice cream!  A few extra treats were also consumed, and looking back it really wasn't that bad, but I feel like I've thrown everything around.  
I will get back to normal programming!

How did you go sticking to your schedule this week?  

Vicki x

Float like a butterfly ...

Do you have a favourite Group Fitness type class?  Group Fitness classes aren't usually my thing.  I prefer to go for a run or train with weights on the gym floor.

That being said, I really do like the boxing circuit type class.  Of course, I teach a boxing class each week!  But that doesn't mean that I don't participate in some of the exercises. 

Boxing type classes are a great, fun way to build up your cardio fitness, strength and endurance .. oh and you might get some nice toned arms in the process .. Bonus! 

So, you've never done a class but are just bouncing out of your skin to try one right?  What can you expect? 

Ok, picture Rocky .. no, just joking, it's not quite that full on .. but I do have "Eye of the Tiger" as one of my tracks ...

First out, you will more than likely be paired up with someone ( well, unless you came to the class with your friend ).  Some classes you may even have punching bags.  One of you gets kitted out with a set of gloves and one of you sets up with some focus pads.  Don't panic, you will get to swap and have a rest while your partner punches you .. I mean, your focus pads!  Once you've warmed up, you are all set to do some boxing .. if you are in my class, there will be a bit lot of jogging, skipping, push ups, star jumps, crunches, squats .. you know, all the fun stuff!

Once you have worked up a pretty decent sweat, your heart is pounding and your arms are getting heavier, you realise that you are only half way through the class!

I know that I have not scared you, right?  Why not step out of your comfort zone and give a boxing class a go.  You've got nothing to lose except a few hundred calories per class!

What is your favourite Group Fitness class?  Why is it your favourite?

PS .. Just a reminder if you have any concerns about the class or if you have any injuries, make sure that you speak to your instructor before the class.  They will be able to modify any of the exercises for you.

Vicki x