Back to the real world

I arrived back in Sydney around 3pm this afternoon, and am heading back to work tomorrow.


I’ve started setting myself mini challenges – the first of these was to cut out my afternoon coffee habit. I’m fairly confident I can do this and have really cut down over the past month or so, and I’m sleeping better and feeling better for it. I guess the next 3 days back at work will show me whether I managed to do this or not.


My next challenge has been to get into better habits in the evenings. This doesn’t just affect my eating, but my overall wellbeing.

Since moving to Sydney by myself in March 2010, I’ve had a bad habit of going to the gym almost every night (whether teaching or not) then coming home and almost passing out in front of the computer, and end up going to bed many nights either not eating dinner at all, or not eating anything nutritious as I’m too tired to prepare something or even defrost something in the microwave. BAD BAD BAD and it doesn’t bode well for recovery at all.


Tonight, and from now on, I had some skim milk immediately after leaving the gym. This meant I didn’t get home absolutely exhausted, I felt hungry for more and I felt well enough to prepare a PROPER dinner – well, I had some beef in the freezer which I defrosted and cooked, chopped up some cucumbers and carrots and prepared some vermicelli noodles, and had this wrapped up in lettuce. It was messy, but it was quick AND tasty. Now I’m just finishing off my blog entry and then it will be a quick check in on Facebook to make my commitment to attending 6am body attack tomorrow then BED.


Once I get my night time routine sorted and the afternoon caffeine fixes sorted, I’ll also be imposing a strict bedtime and clean up schedule for weekday evenings.


Baby steps!


So long, 2011

Tonight I’ll be celebrating at my close friend Kelly’s house with a few drinks and some great friends!

I arrived back in Perth with Mum and Dad on Wednesday night, and I’ve very much enjoyed the sunshine and catching up.

2011 has been a good year, with the biggest highlights being purchasing my first apartment and being chosen from AIM 2 to shadow bodybalance at quarterlies. Looking back, 2010 was a big year of stepping out of my comfort zone, and all the hard work paid off this year. I’m looking forward to unleashing in 2012 and my goal for the year is to work on fulfilling my potential in every aspect of my life.

Taking a break

I’ve taken my body through the ringer over nearly the last 26 years, and have done a few things I regret in the pursuit of excellence and perfectionism. After quitting rhythmic gymnastics, I promised myself that I wouldn’t let myself hurt physically like I did in those years.

Since 2003, I’ve been pretty good. I’ve been an avid gym goer since then, only taking a break when I was travelling overseas. I still managed to get my bodyjam fixes though, looking up local rec centres in the UK with the program. Safe to say, I was obsessed.

At camp in 2007, I injured my left elbow when I slammed into the wall of a swimming pool the wrong way. I had surgery in October 2007. On Friday, I was trying to figure out the last time I went more than two days without exercising. I’m pretty sure the last time that happened was in the week after surgery… as soon as the plaster was off, I was back in the gym despite not being able to go full bore for another 4 months.

I haven’t been honest with myself and my elbow has been a little sore… over the last two months, and a LOT sore in the last week or so. My entire body also aches.

I’m taking that as a sign, along with the fact that both my classes aren’t on for the next two weeks due to the public holidays, to TAKE A BREAK. I’m off to the gym on Thursday night to team-teach Sh’bam – if it wasn’t the last opportunity I’ll get before February when all classes are back on the timetable, I’d give it a miss. I’m also taking some time out from balance until I return to my classes on January 8th, along with anything that will aggravate the injury.

Hope it all pays off and I can start 2012 ready and raring to go!

12WBT – the next challenge

I’ve been pondering both whether to do Michelle Bridges 12WBT and what my next challenge is going to be for quite some time, and I believe I’ve just killed two birds with one stone. I’d best not get too smug though.

I saw on the facebook page this morning that sign ups were open – pre season doesn’t start until 16th of Jan, and the actual challenge doesn’t start until 13th of Feb… not sure how I feel about that.

The reason why I’ve chosen it?

I need a kick up the bum… despite my love of group fitness, I don’t enjoy hard training, I’m not a natural athlete. Me, I live to move! I enjoy the social aspect of group fitness, I enjoy the music, I enjoy moving TO music.

If I want to walk the talk as an instructor, if I want to keep doing this, if I want to keep myself lean LONG-TERM, if I want to be the best role-model I can be for my participants and for other instructors, I need to train purposefully.

Ideally, I would like to achieve –

1. Some better nutritional habits – no more fries for dinner (or at any other time)

2. To feel confident in a pair of size 6 lululemon speed shorts (they fit, just aren’t appropriate to wear in class right now)

3. To feel confident in a gorgeous dress my mum bought in the UK last year – again, it fits, but I don’t feel confident wearing it out.

4. Consistent weight training – 3 x week, a year from now.

5. Start to knock bad habits  – one at a time – like drinking too much caffeine!

Shoot for the moon…

and if you miss, you’ll land among the stars.

This quote always used to piss me off, and I don’t think I ever fully understood it.

3 years ago, I thought that getting through my first Les Mills module was a huge achievement, and that if I ever taught a full class, it was a bonus. I never thought that I could actually achieve anything beyond that, and so never really set any goals. Partly because it’s hard to quantify improvements in teaching, but mostly because I really didn’t believe I could.

Bizarre the way things turn out.

I’m pleased and proud that I got the opportunity, but it’s slightly embarrassing to hear from really experienced instructors who I admire and respect, tell me, ‘oh, you must be really good’, without ever having seen me teach. I’m not anything special – I just walked out of module training and kept improving.

I’m not sure what my future has in store for me but the only guarantee I have is that I’ll keep working and keep improving and to always be open to feedback. Almost everything else isn’t under my control, so I’ll just take it as it comes.

The long lost blog

Oh, hello blog!


I secretly (or not so secretly) want to be a blogger. I really enjoy reading the plethora of ‘healthy living’ blogs on the internet, mostly written by those at a similar life stage to me – young, professional women who are balancing the challenges of career, relationships, personal life and healthy living. Sadly for me, most of these amazing women are in the US. I love finding out about different foods from them, but I would love some local role models and networks as well.

One of my worst habits is if I can’t do something perfectly, I won’t do it at all. This is where I fall off the wagon, and this needs to stop. There are so many experiences that I want to write down and have a record of, it doesn’t matter if it’s not perfect – it is what it is.


The reason why I have chosen to post today? I want to capture the way I feel right at this moment, and be able to look back on this.

Tomorrow at 9am, I’m shadowing BODYBALANCE at our Les Mills Quarterlies – I’ll be up on stage, in front of my fellow instructors.

Since completing AIM 2 in June, it has been a pretty wild ride. I went in simply hoping to give myself longevity in my teaching and to find out how I could continue to develop myself as instructor. I knew I had a long way to go as an instructor, but kept beating myself up for this – not realising it didn’t mean that I was a bad instructor, but just that I had the potential to keep improving. I was floored at the feedback I received and the words I got at the end of the training.


At the moment, this is as far as it goes – I get to shadow as a reward for doing well at the training – I would love to end up on the presenting team further down the track but if not, I’ve already achieved so much more than I EVER thought I could. After all, all I set out to do at my training was to get out my comfort zone and teach a class. Anything else was just a cherry on top.


Shadowing is a big cherry, but my participants are an even bigger, and more important cherry.


I’m going to  have fun and CELEBRATE tomorrow – it’s exactly 8 years to the day since I first set foot in the gym at Zest and signed a contract to join (well, mum signed it for me as I was still underage), & 3 years since I grabbed a microphone for the first time – again, to the day.


“Only you could manage something like that”

I have a number of hidden talents.

#1 on that list is doing stupid things that give other people a laugh at my expense.

The first of these that I can remember (I’m sure that there were earlier incidents, but I was so embarrassed by them before then that I have banished them from my memory) was when I was in year 7 at school.

I had gymnastics training early in the morning, so my mum would make my lunch the night before and leave it for me in the fridge.

This particular day, I was going on an all day excursion, so when I saw the slightly larger cooler sitting on the bench, I thought, ‘Great, Mum’s packed me a special lunch’, picked it up and went on my merry way.

At lunch time, I was rather shocked to find two cans of beer sitting in the cooler, and no lunch. As it turns out, I’d picked up Dad’s leftovers from the night before.  

In the years that have passed since the ‘Beer incident’ not a lot has changed.

As a group fitness instructor, there is the potential for lots of things to go wrong. I was told when I started out, ‘You’re not an instructor until you’ve had stereo issues or had a wardrobe malfunction on stage’. I passed the litmus test for that very quickly, but this was nothing compared to last Thursday night.

I was so incredibly excited to start my class on Thursday night, I came bounding up the stairs ready to go. I panicked a little inside when I saw the pump class before packing up their weights, but stumbled on in, very excitedly.

Something was amiss when the instructor, and ENTIRE CLASS gave me a puzzled look.

It wasn’t until then that I realised that they weren’t actually finished, but packing up for abs and cooldown.


On the eve of my 25th birthday, this is this happiest girl in the world.

I teach…

… for the little girl who came last in every running race and was picked last for every team

… for the kid who dreaded P.E.

… for the shy teenager who discovered in a group fitness class how good it feels to move

… for the uni student who’s escape from life was the group fitness room

… because others convinced me that I could

I teach

… for anyone like me.

I want to follow in the footsteps of my favourite group fitness instructors. I want to make my participants happy, I want them to feel good about themselvs and I want them to enjoy fitness and movement.

Weighing up on the Biggest Loser

I don’t watch a whole lot of TV.

Growing up, my evenings were filled with various active pursuits. I may suck at running and throwing, but I found plenty to do. By the time I got home, it was dinner, homework, then bed time.

Not surprisingly, the routine hasn’t changed entirely. Since I left school, it’s been group fitness, dinner, computer time, bed.

I missed out on TV shows such as Friends. Sometimes I felt left out at school, and wished that I was home to watch them, but I don’t feel I’ve missed out on much. TV still isn’t a very big part of my life. For the first 6 months I lived in Sydney on my own, my TV only got turned on to watch Les Mills DVDs. 

I’ve started switching on the box on a Sunday night though, just for some chill time. I’ve been watching Glee and Gossip Girl on DVD.

Tonight I tuned in for the start of the Biggest Loser.

I’ve watched a handful of episodes in previous seasons, but I’ve found that these reality shows really require you to watch almost all the episodes to really follow what is going on.

Since I’ve moved out (and across the country) of my parents house, I’ve really gained a much better appreciation of the way that they have brought me up.  My mum doesn’t work, so we have been really lucky to have her home to prepare nutritious, great tasting meals… sometimes heavy on the carbs, yes… but with three budding athletes (my sister swims at a high level and my brother is an active with a very slim build) it wasn’t going over the top.

I used to complain that we weren’t normally allowed to eat lollies during the week, and if we did, it was a very special occasion. If we were given lolly bags from parties, they got dished out on Saturday for dessert and we would have great fun arranging a ‘lolly trail’, saving the best for last.

Although I never complained about it, I’m also very appreciative of the fact that my parents put me into sports like swimming, and I did kids aerobics classes for awhile. As mntioned above, I’m terrible at most sports and I can’t run to save my life. I got teased at school for being the slowest runner in the class and because I couldn’t hit a stupid softball, but I’m so glad that I don’t hate physical activity altogether.

Not everyone is so lucky. My upbringing wasn’t perfect, and I’m doing much better at accepting myself, but my parents did the best they knew how to do, and in the whole scheme of things, did a pretty good job.

Thanks Mum & Dad.