I’m lying awake in bed at 2:30am thinking tick tock tick tock about how I have been up 4 times to wee already, I am tired though tossing and turning wondering about when bub will arrive, will we need to be induced early and then thinking about my PT clients I have early morning and then I felt this overwhelm to share my thoughts as the biggest thing with this pregnancy it has given me more compassion for women, especially how and why so many don’t share their journey with fear of judgement, more compassion for women that feel that they have to be strong & simply suck it up because millions of mums daily are giving birth to babies, it’s just what women do, my goodness we are amazing, WOMEN! I’ve had many people say, you look amazing, your glowing and I do feel more beautiful than ever though this pregnancy has not been a cruisy ride, I wanted to keep it real by sharing the ride, the challenges, the gifts, its perfect example of any big adventure in life, life can life, just simply stop, embrace each challenge, trust in love, choose to see the gift and choose to move forward.
The love story of how it started with myself and Blase ‘When asking each other what’s one dream in life that we haven’t experience yet, we slept on the question and “came together” the next day, & on the count of three we both replied…. “having a bubba”. Our hearts open we trusted the universe would gift us a child when it was meant to be. No other time than the present moment we received our greatest adventure yet. We are both full of gratitude and excited to announce we are expecting a baby boy March 2018. To live, to love, to learn, to evolve, to make mistakes, bring it all on, we are super pumped and ready to embrace all that is ahead of us’
Now being 37 weeks pregnant, what a journey it has already been, the biggest constant lesson of surrendering to the uncontrollable. Let me take you on my journey, not anyone else’s, just mine, the fears and challenges that have popped up along the way. It started with first the pressure if I can conceive, the ‘fear’ in the back of the head, what if I can’t, what if it takes a year, what if I need to have IVF like many other friends (more and more common these days). Though ‘we’ chose to trust in Love and simply be open to receive the gift of life when it was meant to be and boom it happened. Then oh my, don’t tell anyone until 12 weeks, so fear based driven, because the risk of miscarried or early detection, this was something myself and Blase chose to share with people that loved and cared for us, my moto is to do everything from love, not fear, so if I trusted in love, no matter how that looked, I knew that I would want loved ones for support around me and also during those first 12 weeks the pressure of being ‘ok’ when the hormone in-balances were going nuts, one moment being amazing, the next moment crying because my partner cooked lamb shanks and I don’t like meat on bones. The extreme tiredness and fatigue that was so real. I am grateful I had support during that time, I couldn’t imagine having morning sickness on top of that pressure and ‘trying’ to hide it all from clients/friends/family. I feel if more woman reached out, they would feel more supported, more loved, not alone and especially if something did happen like a miscarried they didn’t have to do it alone and also the partners too, they need support during that time too.
Life, business, pregnancy, I tried to do it all as the pressure I put on myself daily to be my best is simply what I do and well, didn’t my body tell me otherwise, surrender, surrender, surrender, I got two lots of ‘cold/flu’ sickness that lasted 2-3 weeks both times, I lost my voice and just getting out of bed was a challenge, I felt weak as I don’t get sick ‘was my expectation’ and I couldn’t train how I wanted to, I was super prepared with my training since being a health/fitness/wellness professional and qualified in pre & postnatal pregnancy, my obstetrician was very supportive of me doing the training my body was so use to, just back a notch etc, this being the general rule. The first trimester I did listen to my body though, even though I wanted to train in my mind, I took it back when I needed to, I had simply surrender and adapt the sail and just take one day at a time. Then to spice the first trimester up a little more, my body reminded me of its previous surgery, bowel obstruction and liver laceration which resulted in a scar approx. 25cm long vertically down my midline of my tummy and with scar tissues comes adhesions which I am very familiar with, well two mini bowel obstructions from the adhesions in the first trimester put my level of fear up for what lies ahead and instantly reinforce to stay away from ‘food’ that stirs it up like ‘bread, steak, heavy food’ I had to stay true in my belief of trust in love and not stress as for me, when my body stresses the first place that holds it, is my tummy. The constant stretching of the scar hasn’t tickled though reminds me daily the gift of life.
The Scans…. the 14-week scan detected early bilobed placenta praevia (shaped like a butterfly) right over my cervix (blob each side) and a short cervix so this changed a few things, increased chance of c-section, so on top of being told NO, you cannot attend the active meditation, no you cannot eat this, eat that, no, you cannot fly to India (what an entire new blog this gift). I was now told, no you cannot run, no you cannot have sexual intercourse (YEP), no you cannot do a starjump, no you cannot lift weights, basically all the things I loved and kept me sane. So as soon as I got my head around that and simply focused on what I could do, I could still climb (gently walk) up mountains, kayak, walk, lower level body weigh exercises, yoga etc though this was a massive awareness of my own expectations/challenges I put on myself and also driven from comparing to others, how their pregnancy looked. I had people look at me weird, why would you want to even want to ‘jog’ or have ‘sex’ and then from the other scale hearing of others doing the ‘jogging’ and raving about their sex drive during pregnancy etc So the lesson for me, was to take away all expectations, and simply take a day at a time, stop comparing to others and look for the gifts. It forced me to be gentler on myself, it forced myself and my partner to connect other ways.
My 18 & 24-week scan checking the placenta and cervix was still the same though on a positive the cervix was no shorter. Though let’s spice it up at 25 weeks with Gestational Diabetes, yep apparently, it’s genetic, nan had diabetes, great nan plus mum’s brother. After going WTF, I am one of the healthiest people I know, how/why, though I trusted it was an opportunity to learn, after a torture talk I had to listen to that QLD diabetes put on for a group of pregnant women with guidelines of what to eat was an entire awareness unlocked, how messed up the system is, lets educate people to eat low fat, high sugar food because this yogurt with fruit is better than this one, or this rice is better than this one, oh wait, when I suggested cauliflower is a great substitute instead of rice, I was shut down and said that was a bit extreme. I believe if the nutrition information that is out there these days were updated with the organisations that people ‘Trust’ and ‘Listen to’ then less people would need to have insulin to manage levels or at least lesser dosage etc. I was able to manage my sugar levels testing them 4 times a day, doing my food diary and simply staying away from starchy carbs which I live by anyway, high protein, good fat, real food diet. Though I was ‘stressing’ my morning fasting reading was all over the place, so then I advised to go for a walk after dinner, ekkkkkk this was challenging considering I was up at 5am, active day as it was and then ‘more’ though I did it, around 7:30pm most nights with swollen sore feet which resulted in tears many evenings, some mornings my readings were ok, some were not ok, some nights my dinner was too early, some were too late, my scan showed that bub was larger around his tummy so the next action was insulin in the evenings only a small dose 4units. Two size scans since and bub is still bigger than they like though levels are managed and awaiting instructions this week if induction will be early pending the size of bub. The biggest gift with gestational diabetes has been reinforcement as to why I choose to eat ‘healthy’ yes, I am human and love my dinners out and treats though when it can affect the health of my baby, doesn’t that put ‘health’ into a different perspective. It also reinforces why I encourage my clients to eat ‘healthy’ real food, stay away from packet food, yes, we all have some genetics we cannot dodge though we can totally look after ourselves and sugar is one of the biggest issues in today’s diet. STOP EATING CRAP PEOPLES!
Another gift of the GD, brings me to I have I express a little milk (Colostrum) before bub arrives if I can, I tried it last night for the first time and that was an interesting experience. Though seriously women? How much pressure/expectations are there to breastfeed, daily I get different opinions based on people’s own experience, some saying, persist, don’t give up, breast feeding is a must, then others saying, it’s too hard, don’t bother, then others saying express, it makes life so much easier, talk about confusion…. And then on top of that, what if milk doesn’t come in etc, once again fear comes up from pressure/expectations, reminder this is my journey, it will be what it will be, I have intention to breast feed and will go day by day. I simply want to ride this wave and support other mums to do the same.
The gift of surrender, after surrendering to the likelihood of my birth to be a c-section with my placenta praevia, I was over the moon my 32-week scan showed that my butterfly shaped placenta had moved, OMG what a surprise, ‘unexpected’ we instantly booked in for calm birth class with the possibility of a natural birth. I am so glad that I did let go of all my expectations around this and totally surrendered, my surprise showed me how much I did surrender and then funnily enough raised new expectations when talking about the birth ‘preferences’ with my partner, he wanted to say no drugs etc, I shared how putting that restriction creates more pressure, I have intention though as below I mention ‘no attachment’ I want do embrace the wave I am riding and have power with my choice in each moment. Trust Trust Trust. It’s funny though how many people pretty much laughed at us with doing calm birthing classes, which just is cementing where the belief systems come from, so fear based, yes it will be painful, though having tools to embrace it instead of fight it and tense up more seems like an awesome investment.
The stress pregnancy has put on my relationship with Blase is another story, plus going into business together at the same time is additional gifts of pressure, it’s easy for the guy to forget the woman is pregnant, they have no idea how the body aches and pains feel, the vulnerability of not being able to do what you normally do and the constant fatigue, and not to mention my own miss independent women ‘story’ that I have created the life I want and now have to put my hand up and say ‘hey, I need some help’ I have had to step into vulnerability and simply adapt to how business now looks, evolving, changing, creating a life for our ‘family’ now. The biggest thing during our journey has been communication, I have to admit, I can suck at communicating, thanks to my mentors Alexi Panos and Preston Smiles for having great tools to help and we also reached out to Shems Heartwell a relationship coach to help us with our stuff to ensure we have tools to help us when bub arrives as its no hidden secret that life will life more when bub arrives. It’s about having courage and not pretending everything is like roses and simply asking for help and support when needed. It’s about taking responsibility that we are doing what we can do to better ourselves as individuals. Relationships are not happiness, relationships are opportunity of growth and about combining your own inner happiness together.
As I am typing this, it reminds me of my carpal tunnel, my aching lower back, and my feet aching as they are down, OUCH, I am actually going to pause my blog and finish off later as my hands are hurting, probably for a month now, I wake and throughout the evening and can’t even grip my body pillow to move it as they are so painful and not functioning.
Back to the blog now after my morning sessions, running my own business, when to stop ‘work’ was the hardest thing to surrender to of all, for starters I love what I do, and secondly to put trust in the amazing trainers I have to look after my long-term clients. Though I am finally surrendering after hitting a wall two weeks ago of burn out because simply I was doing too much, I have physically only two more days left of sessions and then I will manage the business and support from the rest positon as I transition into motherhood. Already the past two weeks from slowing down the feedback has been amazing about my awesome team trainers Belinda & Jodie, the clients love them, they both have unique gifts which make them uniquely awesome trainers. It’s about trusting in life forever changing and now this is my turn to really look after myself. I trust the next part of my journey will create even more passion to inspire ‘all’ to live a happy, healthy, active, adventurous life, LOL I just had a giggle, that’s another entire topic, peoples own experiences and judgements projecting onto me, saying things like ‘you won’t be climbing mountains when bub arrives’ pfffffff well that’s for me to decide, I am so excited about what is coming next, the challenges, the gifts of awareness, the growth, I am so excited for including bub with MAB Personal Training & Adventures and also our sister business Experientia Sunshine Coast, only two weeks ago I took a kayak session with 10 women over to ‘Mel’s Escape Island’ and only last week took a corporate group of 140 through a big beach Olympics, yes life will be different when bub arrives, I am not in denial about that, though it will be my journey to figure out, it’s about being aware of the expectations/pressure on self and also by others and detaching from them, having intention to see what I want to create, is powerful… I feel if more women picked up others and supported others that ‘anything’ is possible it would empower more women, rather than disempowering them with fear. That look that I have been given by so many mums ‘ahhh you have no idea’ hasn’t been very supportive and I will ensure I give more of a look ‘you’ve got this’ to newly mums that I encounter in the future because I have really appreciated that empowered womanhood look by a many mums that I am grateful for. Once again, pregnancy, motherhood, business-hood, life-hood, relationship-hood, is all about our own journey, not anyone else’s.
Well wrapping up this blog as I have some nesting to do, the walls have all been sugar soaped cleaned and now I have a few cupboards I want to clean out, crazy nesting stuff….
This blog has been great reflection going into birth any day now to let go of expectations etc, how my birth will look like, yes, I have my intention without attachment to outcome, though my goodness, so much pressure again, natural water birth, no pain medication to c-section etc…. it will be what it will be, ‘CALM is my super power’ as a beautiful friend quoted in my baby shower card that I only re-read yesterday. And then will come the after birth, the pressure/expectations loss of weight gain, getting my body back, SERIOUSLY the crazy shit that goes on in a women’s head, calm my farm, calm your farm if your reading this and simply enjoy each moment that it is, be present, remember this is your journey like this is mine, there is no right or wrong and there is no comparing as everyone’s body is different and everyone’s experience is different, that’s what makes life so interesting.
All of these ‘things’ ‘challenges’ ‘obstacles’ are all that, it’s just part of my journey, and most of them will be gone and a distant memory when my gorgeous bub arrives though what a journey it has been.
Feel free to private message me if you want to share gifts of your journey and women, ladies, chicks, queens, goddesses, stand together raising each other up because we are pretty freaking amazing.
Everywhere we look there seems to be some kind of promise, a secret weapon if you please, to get an amazing body in no time at all and with little effort as possible… Weight loss organisations promise the loss of 10kg for JUST $10!! They claim you just need to follow their ‘easy’ weight loss program including calorie counting and the consumption of up to 25 ingredients (including chemicals) in simple foods. Other diets claim to have you looking like a supermodel in just two weeks! Don’t forget the ab machines… these will transform you from overweight to having 8-pack abs in just a month! All the while working out in front of the TV with a huge smile on your face, gliding from side to side with the greatest of ease, your mascara staying perfectly in tack with not a drop of sweat to be seen! Exercise isn’t for you? Perhaps a weight loss tea will appeal to you more? Just drink five times daily and vola!
Shakes, wraps, teas, diets, machines… promise after promise of quick and easy weight loss or super abs. Gimmicks! At the end of the day, this is all these things are. Sure you may lose some weight with some, maybe all of these weight-loss approaches but for how long? And how healthy are they for your body?
When I began my study in fitness, deep down I was kind of hoping they would give us the ‘secret weapon’ for a better body… A special set/rep you could perform or a magic diet you could follow. Unfortunately this didn’t happen. What I did learn however, were five REAL not-so-secret weapons that you can use to create a healthier you. I’d like to share them with you.
Yes, you need this! This is what keeps you powering up Moffat Hill, holding a weight above your head, when all you want to do is throw it at your trainer and tell her where to go. This is what keeps you doing the minute of push-up rows when burpees are the penalty for stopping.
How determined are you to get to your goal whatever it may be? Ask yourself, do I have the determination? What is getting in my way of achieving my goal? Am I just half determined? Do I give 100% at training or could I give a bit more?
You’ve probably heard time and time again that summer bodies are made in winter. I hate to be blunt but, unless you have been gifted with the genes of a supermodel (and I can guarantee you that they too must work hard to maintain their figure) and can down a burger without gaining a single inch of fat, then you need to work on your ‘summer’ body all year round. Don’t wake up one sunny summer day, having not got up on those cold winter mornings to train, and expect to be beach ready. Sorry but it just won’t happen! Don’t expect to run a marathon without prior dedication to training. Don’t expect to win a INBA competition without the dedication to training, all year round. Anyone in professional sport will tell you that training does not stop in the off season. It requires dedication all year round, every month of the year. Dedicate yourself to your training (and your trainer) and you will achieve your desired goals.
No, I’m not talking about the banana diet or the starvation diet or the shake diet or even the diet where you consume only 1000 calories per day. I’m talking about your everyday diet, that is, the real food you eat from day-to-day, 365 days per year, every year, for the rest of your life. The food you put in your mouth is what fuels your body. Ask yourself what fuel your body deserves. Eat clean people!! That is the secret to a great diet, nothing else but clean, raw, as close to nature as we can. Stay away from food that contains copious amounts of ingredients and ingredients that you can’t pronounce. Stay away from foods that have high sugar and sodium content. Stay away from preservatives and avoid being trick by manufacturers that label foods ‘natural’. Fresh is the way to go. Organic is even better. Ask your local grocer where your fruit and veges come from. Ask your butcher where he gets his meat. Don’t be afraid to ask questions even if they seem silly at the time. I once had a 45 minute discussion with my egg lady about the pros and cons of feeding chickens protein. I now know what she feeds them, when the eggs are laid, and I can even go and pick them out from the farm if I want. It’s your body and you have every right to know exactly what you are fuelling it with.
Stop sabotaging yourself!!
This is a very important point. When I started training with Mel (about 6-7 years ago) I was training 3-4 times a week. On the floor I was putting everything in, lifting the weight, using great technique, etc. I would physically vomit after some sessions from the amount of effort I was putting in. I was achieving results but not what I should have been achieving… Was this Mel’s fault? Every inch of me wanted to blame her, tell her that she wasn’t giving me the ‘secret weapon’ I was looking for, the short cut that I thought she knew. At the time I remember thinking that she obviously wasn’t doing her job right, she was keeping something from me, not training me right. In reality, I was in denial.
There was no denying I was training hard but… I was also consuming half a carton of full-strength beers a day – yes, that’s right, 12 beers a day! I’d go days without eating and smoke copious amounts of cigarettes. I was really destroying my every chance of obtaining maximum results, not Mel. I was sabotaging myself!! I was not giving myself the respect and health my body deserved. I can guarantee you that if you are not receiving your desired results then you are sabotaging yourself in one way or another. This could include but is not limited to poor diet, alcohol, cigarettes, stress, bad relationships, little water consumption, over-training, under-training, making excuses, not giving 100% in your training session, negative headspace… anything that is working against you in achieving your desired results.
Listen to your trainer.
If your trainer says to rest up, do it. If your trainer says to stop smoking, just do it. If your trainer says to stop eating shit, for the love of God, do it! As a trainer I want to see my clients achieve ultimate results. So does Kim and Mel. We tell you things for a reason, not because we like to hear the sound of our own voices. Every session you do has been tailor made to your specific goals. There’s a reason behind every set, every rep, a method to what sometimes seems like madness. We want to see you succeed, we want you to achieve your goals.
So there you have it. Five ‘not-so-secret’ weapons to a healthier you. If you are not achieving your goals, ask yourself these five things:
- Have I got the determination to achieve my goals?
- Am I dedicated? Do I put in the hard yards?
- Am I fuelling my body with healthy premium foods?
- Am I sabotaging myself? If it’s yes, then how?
- Am I listening to and hearing what my trainer is telling me?
Remember… there is no single secret weapon, no magic pill, no special diet, no fairy dust, no easy way. It’s just one foot in front of the other. One step at a time. Remember that you are all awesome and you deserve awesomeness in your life.
* 1 cup almond meal
* 1 tbls maple syrup
* 1/3 cup coconut oil
* 1/3 cup cacao powder
* 1/2 cup shredded coconut
* 1 serve protein powder (usually around 30g)
Fitness does matter when it allows you to enjoy more adventures in your life. In this issue, we look at kayaking.
There are so many amazing places to kayak on the Sunshine Coast, no matter what level you are.
Imagine this adventure – it’s a gorgeous sunny day and Pumicestone Passage is so glassy you can see your reflection. You and your family and/or friends kayak over to Bribie Island, taking in the sounds of the ocean, the view of the waterways and even spot a few stingrays on the way. You enjoy a packed picnic and then chill out for a while with a swim at the beach or relax and read a book before kayaking back. What an amazing few hours, or why not make it a full day adventure? It’s easy if you have your own kayaks, but also surprisingly inexpensive if you hire them – not to mention it’s great exercise and good for the soul.
Here are some other places on the coast where you can find glassy, calm waters for a kayaking adventure with your friends and family:
- Currimundi Lake
- Noosa River
- Maroochydore River
- Mooloolaba canals
- Kawana Lake
- Pumicestone Passage
So WHY kayak?
- It improves cardiovascular fitness.
- It increases muscle strength, particularly in the back, arms, shoulders and chest (from moving the paddle).
- It increases torso and leg strength, as the strength to power for a kayak comes mainly from rotating the torso and applying pressure with your legs.
- It reduces the risk of wear and tear on joints and tissues, since paddling is a low impact activity.
- Kayaking can be peaceful and meditative or it can be exhilarating, depending on where and how you do it.
- Paddling is a great way to enjoy our waterways.
- It allows you to get your ‘fix’ of nature.
Adventure is addictive. It is contagious, it is fun, it is living. Connect with nature, connect with friends and get fit while doing so.
In the next issue we will take on the adventure of hiking!