Monday, 10 December 2012

Sunday 10: 10 must haves for your workout wardrobe

Now I know when you're working out you're getting sweaty and gross, but that's no excuse not to look good doing it! Going to the gym feeling good about yourself means you're going to get more out of your session, and if all that stands between you and feeling great before you even get there is an awesome pair of tights, then what are you waiting for?

10) Headband. Whether your hair is long or short, a headband not only keeps it out of your eyes, but will also keep the sweat out of your eyes! It can also keep your ears warm in winter, and keep those headphones from falling out when you run!

Whatever motivates you!
Maybe even make your own?
9) Inspirational Tee or Singlet. Sometimes you're not going to feel great heading into the gym no matter what you're wearing. Try wearing your favourite inspirational shirt - mine is an old Nike one that says "Lazy but Talented" and I don't know why but for some reason I feel like I have to prove the first part wrong! Lorna Jane and Nike always have great slogan tees.

8) Sweatbands and/or cycling gloves. Now if you're like me and you tend to get really sweaty hands, you may have noticed it's a bit difficult when it comes to push ups and other things that require your hands to be on the floor - yoga for instance. Fingerless cycling gloves are perfect for getting around this embarrassing problem. They allow you the dexterity of your fingers by leaving them exposed, but soak up the sweat from your palms, plus allow you to properly grip the floor. You can even get ones with a handy little towel patch to wipe the sweat from your brow. For those who don't have sweaty palm problems, wrist sweat bands are great for keeping the sweat from rolling down your arms and getting to your hands. Plus you can use them to wipe off your face.

My fave Lorna pants. Sad to be
shrinkingout of them!
7) Compression garments. You probably know these as skins, but they have come a long way in the last 5 years! Compression garments aid in muscle recovery, and reduce soreness post workout so you don't have to worry about being too sore for tomorrows workout! My favourite pair are actually from Lorna and have a python print - much nicer than my old bright red and grey skins pair! You can get them in short, 3/4 and long so there is something for everyone. You can even get them for just your calves, and you can get a vest form for the upper body.

6) A great hat or three. If you're working out in the sun, particularly in the summer months, you should never leave the house without a hat! Now while the best kind of hat for sun protection is without a doubt the sombrero, it's not exactly practical! I have different hats for different things. I have a straw wide brimmed hat for walking with the pram which is great because it covers my shoulders a bit too. I look a little like Eliza Doolittle meets Jane Fonda, but it brings a little class to the ensemble I like to think! For more active things, like climbing up Castle Hill, I have trucker style cap with a wide and long brim. This keeps the sun off my face, and the top of my head but still gives a little breathability. For water sports like aqua aerobics, I have my visor with the same kind of brim, but I always remember to put some spray sunscreen on any exposed parts of my scalp.

A must have for your tootsies!
5) The right socks. Now you might not think socks make a huge difference, but for some people they really do. Select the right sock for your activity. Running, circuit work, and high intensity sports mean your feet need to breathe, so look for a coolmax sock with a wicking capability. If hiking is your style, choose the right sock for the season, and your boot style. For summer hiking, you cannot go past Injinji bamboo liners with seperated toes. The natural fibre allows your feet to breathe, and wicks away moisture avoiding nasty conditions like athletes foot, and the toe segregation helps avoid blisters and painful rubbing. When hiking in Borneo these were all I wore with my boots, but they can also be worn as a liner under warmer socks in the cooler months, and they save you having to bother with wool between your toes! They are also great for sports that require you have a lot of 'feel' available in your feet like rock climbing, and can be used under swimfins to avoid rubbing. If you have sweaty feet to go with your sweaty palms, Injinji socks are great for yoga so you don't lose your grip on the earth!

4) The right shoe. Now that you have the right sock, you need to make sure you have the right shoe for the job! Getting fitted for the right shoe is imperative, but you also need to be able to tell your shoe guy what you will be using it for. It took me so long to find the right shoe I think Tim and Troy from Athlete's foot at Willows deserve trophies! I ended up in a men's shoe to get the best fit possible, but they are the most comfortable shoe I have ever worn for sports, and they are MUCH more aesthetically pleasing than the ladies version of the same make! I do still wear different shoes for different things, obviously my hiking boots for hiking, and I have a pair of Nike Free Runs for using my recumbent cycle when I just really need something to grip the pedals more than anything else. Getting fitted properly is a must, and like doctors, if you're having a lot of trouble get more than one opinion. Remember as well that you should be replacing your sneakers after 6 months.

Intimo's Contour sports bra, perfect
for getting sweaty but looking
and feeling groovy!
3) A great sports bra. Speaking of other things that must be fitted properly, ladies you must have those under shoulder boulders in the right sized holder. This goes beyond comfort, because breast tissue can be severely damaged if left to bounce too much. Sports bras come in 2 types: underwire, and wire free. Underwire does not automatically mean more supportive, and for some ladies myself included, wire free bras are more comfortable and supportive than their wired counterparts. When looking for a great sports bra, look for features such as a coolmax style fabric for the band to allow breathability, wide straps with a little padding to help absorb bounce, the option to cross straps at the back for high impact workouts, a minimum of 3 clips at the back, and of course the right cup and band size. At Initimo we have both underwire and wire free sports bras, so why not have a sneaky peak at the catalog! Like your sneakers, your bra will have a life of about 6 months, and you should also be refitted every 6 months to account for changes to your body, especially during weight loss, pregnancy, or weight gain.

2) Flattering tights/pants. The last thing you want is to feel self conscious when you work out. You become to concerned with whether your tummy is jiggling, or your shorts are bunching up, that your workout may suffer! But, a great pair of flattering tights or shorts that make you feel good can solve this problem! I have a pair of Lorna fold down half length tights that always make me feel a million dollars. They hold my tummy in and stop it from jiggling, which means I'm not concerned about the top I'm wearing either and I can just get on with it. I can fold them right up under my bra too if I'm having a real bad "fat" day. It might be the cut, it might be an awesome colour, it might be shorts with tights built in underneath to take away that bunching feeling, but a flattering pair of workout pants is a must to fend off using a fat day as an excuse not to work out!

1) Heart Rate Monitor. Your HRM will be your best friend when you work out - especially if you're like me and need a number to hit before you'll let yourself stop! Polar make these babies in all different colours too, so they need not be an eye sore! Keep track of your calories, how long you've been working out, and of course your heart rate to make sure you're not over doing it. You will feel great when you look down at the end of a session and see evidence of your hard work!

So there you go, a little fashion, a little fitness! Still brainstorming on what to do next week, but maybe it's a nice to have surprises coming up to Christmas!


Friday, 7 December 2012

Rest in Peace, Daniel

Today, 9 years ago, Daniel Morcombe disappeared from a bus stop on Queensland's Sunshine coast. Today 9 years ago, I was the same age as Daniel, walking from the caravan park at Cotton Tree, to Sunshine Plaza with two younger children in my care, on the Sunshine Coast. That day was the day it all changed. I remember the fear in my parent's voices, even Dad's, when he told me to get the others and wait, and that my friend's Dad would be picking us up and we were not to walk home, because a boy had been taken. I remember looking for Daniel for weeks after. I remember the years passing by, I remember wondering how his family was doing, and I remember the day they found him. I look forward to remembering the day they lock the scum who did this to him away for life without parole, as we all do.
And I will remember today, the day that Bruce and Denise, and Daniel's brothers, friends, and family get to lay their boy to rest, deliver him into the arms of the angels, and to finally say goodbye.

Today my heart is with the Morcombes and their friends, on a day that they not only say goodbye, but also celebrate the life of a sweet boy who in life bought so much light to everyone's day, and in death moves us all to teach our children to be safe. Australia will never forget you, Daniel. In this land you are immortal. 

Daniel would be so proud of his Mum and Dad, and I know that because what kid wouldn't be? Bruce and Denise, you have strived to make something good come of your own personal tragedy, and succeeded. We are all proud of you, and as a nation we thank you from the bottom of our hearts. Without your tireless efforts to educate us all on the issue of child safety, who knows how many other families may have had to carry the same burden that you have done all these years. There is an old Irish saying, and that is "I wish you enough hellos to get you through the final goodbye" and that is what I wish for you today.

As sad as today has the potential to be, the girls and I will be going for a walk in our red shirts, with our giant red pram, and with smiles on our faces knowing that today is the day that Daniel finds peace, and that his death has not been in vain thanks to the tireless efforts of his wonderful and strong family. They have helped to build a safer Australia for my children to grow up in, and for that I am eternally grateful. 

Goodbye Daniel, you are forever loved, and will never be forgotten. Rest in peace, darling angel.

Bruce and Denise have asked that today we all wear red and a smile in memory of their sweet boy, so please don a red shirt, pants, whatever you have, and show you are there in heart for this brave family.


Wednesday, 5 December 2012

Food Tude II: The Associative Phase

So you've come through the cognitive phase of building and learning positive food tude, but it's not quite at the point where you just do it out of habit. What is this limbo zone?

Welcome to the associative phase! During this phase you are probably finding that while you don't have to think out every tiny little bit of every action, you still find yourself having to put a little thought into it. It is called the associative phase, because instead of actively thinking about each action (like weighing out ingredients, and constant calorie counting) you are thinking more of how the actions apply to the greater picture, thus associating the components of the skill - being portion size, healthy eating, and total calories - with the overall goal, in this case, weight loss.

This is the phase where I currently find myself. For me, this phase means I don't need to look up recipes anymore because I know the ingredients and the process, and also that I don't need to necessarily plan my meals out. I still need to count my calories but I can do it on the go a bit better, and I can choose what to have based on where my calories are at for the day - and I'm comfortable doing it. I think about my choices more in the context of how this will effect my weeks results, more than how many calories this meal will leave me for the rest of the day.
But do I trust myself in a food court yet? Not entirely. Do I still need to remind myself to stick to the right portion size, and to ask myself whether or not I am hungry in my gut, or hungry in my head? Of course.

The associative phase is when you are at your most vulnerable. It can be easy to get your teenager hat on, assume you know everything, and make mistakes. It is make it and graduate to the next level, or break it and go back to square one, and if you do break, you have nobody to blame but yourself. The cognitive phase taught you to say no to temptations, count your calories, think about everything you are putting in your mouth and to get comfortable with the idea of dieting, so do you know what that means? You should know better by now! Any mistakes you make are on you. If you've made it to that phase, you can say no, and you can make the right choices, so you need to keep going.

This is the longest phase, the phase where you are most vulnerable to relapse, the phase where you have to prove to yourself you can do this, and to be serious with yourself that you want this.

But keep going! It will be so worth it, because when you get to stage 3, you are homeward bound!

To be continued!


Monday, 3 December 2012

Sorry for going MIA last week...

Hello my lovlies!

I am so sorry for going MIA the last week! I had a very bad week health wise, my iron took a big crash and then I thought Thursday it was fine so I climbed up Castle Hill with the Townsville 12WBT crew, but that only made it worse come Friday morning! I spent almost all of yesterday passed out in bed because I couldn't even summon the strength to sit up! But I have been to the doctor this morning, she gave me a few shots, and sent me for some more tests to make sure everything is okay. It should be fine, it's likely to do with the Townsville heat really ramping up and hubby having been away stressing me out just being all a bit too much for my body, even if my mind didn't think so!

Another update is that I have signed up to become an Intimo stylist here in the Burdekin! I have been looking for another way to help women feel good about themselves, and Intimo shares my passion for making women feel confident and beautiful, so I took the plunge and joined the family! SO you will now also see yet ANOTHER tab up the top for my Intimo business, where you can click on, see all the new releases, hostess promotions and more! You can also order and book a party (Burdekin region only) through that tab where you will find my Intimo contact details. I can take orders from Australia and New Zealand, but I am still working out the details for international sales :)

As a result of all the crazy nonsense of the last week or two, I'll be postponing Tubesday this week to be Thursday, just to give myself some time to catch up and organise myself for what I am going to say! I will be addressing the very hot issue of "real women" in magazines, in particular Cleo, and pointing out a key flaw in the argument of both sides of the battle. Also, part two of my Food Tude series, the associative phase, will be up this week, as well as my first recipe in the Food Tude tab so stay tuned!


Monday, 26 November 2012

Sunday 10: What the fashion industry could do to make our lives easier!

So while I do love fashion, there are many things that really do annoy me sometimes, and it goes beyond the fact that it's all so expensive here in Australia! These are those things!

10) Stop bringing back things from the 80s. Everyone says they have such bad fashion memories from the 80s, such bad hair, bad acid wash denim, etc, etc, and this includes designers and fashion experts. So why are you bringing it back?! Leave the 80s in the 80s people.

9) Stop telling us we can't put things in the dryer. Jigs up, we've all put something in that wasn't supposed to go in and it was fine 9/10 times. 

8) Stop trying to make androgyny cool. It's not. It's never going to be, so move on. We live in an age where we as women need to be proud of our bodies, not try and make them look like they cold pass for either male or female. 

7) Nobody likes ironing. Nobody likes to iron, and we know there are plenty of fabrics out there that don't require ironing. We're also pretty sure you could develop all of the others to follow suit!

6)  Stop bringing in styles that are literally flattering on nobody, then telling us all we must have it. The prime example of this was "the sack dress" that was hot to trot in the mid-late 2000s. If you were flat chested it made you look more flat chested, if you had big ta-tas it made you look like you were wearing a circus tent, and in general, it gave nobody anywhere any shape without the addition of a waist belt, yet was constantly designed to be worn without the belt. Another similar look is high waisted "mum" jeans, that we are seeing coming in again this season. The number of people that these flatter is so tiny that I don't even know how they're turning a profit on it. There is a gorgeous would be supermodel lady that regularly goes to the same coffee shop as me and my friends, and she is built like Kate Moss and she can't even pull off those pants. 

5) Market appropriate collections to appropriate age groups. Mid-riff tops for 10 year olds are not cool! Mid-riff tops for 18 year olds (while tacky) are at least fairly age appropriate. Marketing the same clothes to women in between the ages of 40-60 as you would to those aged 65-85 is also not appropriate. It's insulting. 

4) Realise that humans come in all sizes and that includes their height. Be you male or female, you may or may not have encountered the problem of pants being too long or too short, or sleeves that don't quite reach and vice verser. The fashion industry needs to realise that people are just as varying in height as they are in general shape and size. The US has this fairly well covered with jeans available in many different cuts, sizes, and leg lengths. In Australia, the leg lengths are there but very generic. A short leg on me is too short, but regular is too long, and not just by a fraction, to the point that to take them up would lose the cut. It's not a big ask. This goes for shape wear as well.

3) See that big breasted women deserve pretty bras too, and not all of them are a size 14+. I have a few friends who are very well endowed in the boob department, and a common complaint they have is that the only bra's they can get are ugly nanna bras. For some, who are small in size but big in boob, they find simply finding any bra difficult. Big breasted women need bras more than any of us, so why do they struggle so much to find something that fits both their size, age group, and personality? There is a clear hole in the market so why hasn't someone outside the industry of party plans filled it yet? 

2) Design collections intended for the high street with the average size woman in mind. So many collections in department stores and alike really do not cater for the average size woman. Be it the cuts, fabric, or even just the size availability, I am seeing less and less of it in this age where we are supposedly glorifying the "real woman." I wanted to buy a Cue dress from Myer here and I needed a 14 but they only stock sizes 6-12, even though Cue make them up to a 16. Why? When the average Australian woman IS a size 14, do they not provide for her? On top of all of thise you find things that are available in bigger sizes that have no business being available in that size because either a) they are the things from number 9 and flatter nobody, or b) nobody in their right mind who was that size would wear it anyway. Enough is enough. 

1) Introduce uniformed sizing. I find it interesting that in some stores I'm a size 10, and in others I'm a 16. Some places I'm an XS, and others an XL. Why is there not a uniformed size for women? Men are lucky, its all inches/centimetres, an 87 is an 87 no matter where you go, and it almost seems like even the shirt sizes of S,M,L are all the same across the board too, but not for us ladies. As a mother who lugs a double pram wherever I go, I often don't get time to try anything on, or I can't fit my pram in the change room to do it anyway. If I could go into a store, and buy a skirt in the right cut for me, just by looking at the tag and knowing it would be the right size, my life would be SO much easier.

Some of them are trivial but annoy me to the ends of the earth, others are a real issue, but I wish someone would address them all anyway!


Wednesday, 21 November 2012

What every military family wants civilians to understand

Last night I posted a link up to an incredibly honest and important blog post entitled "Dear Civilians: What Every Military Wife Wants You To Know." It is however written from an American military perspective, and while they have it harder than us in the aspects of open ended deployment, Australian military families do it just as tough because we don't get most of the perks people think we do.

As a military spouse, I constantly feel like I don't belong. I feel that I am somehow neither a married or single parent. I feel that I have no real home, and I can't get attached to this house that I bought my babies home to because I will have to leave it all too soon. I don't get to put height markers on doors, or paint my childrens' bedroom. When I was pregnant I didn't get to nest like everyone else. I don't get to chose where I live. My job interviews get wrapped up as soon as the perspective employer finds out what my husband does for a living. I am scared to put down roots anywhere, because I know that at any point I need to be able to dig them up and move, and pretend that it's all okay.

I'm like a water lily, beautiful and strong on the surface, carrying the weight of many frogs on my leaves, and the rain gliding off me like it's nothing, but underneath I am a mess of tangled, unanchored roots, reaching down into the depths longing for the substrate, and constantly floating along wondering when the water will get shallow enough for me to finally reach.

So here are some additions to the article from an Australian military perspective on not only deployments, but how different our life really is to yours. These things are on top of the struggles with employment, babysitting, and support that spouses and families deal with.

"Bush Trips"

Also known as "going out bush" "going out field" or "going on exercise", this is basically when the serving member goes off for a number of days, weeks, sometimes even months, to the middle of nowhere for a simulated training exercise. For most of us, this means days, weeks, and for the very unlucky, months, of absolutely 100% no contact at all. Sometimes you might get a lucky sneaky sat phone call, but most of the time you're on your own. The other wonderful thing about these trips is that the dates are never set in stone, and even if the unit tells you they are, a seasoned military wife knows they're lying (because they can't even be sure the higher ups wont change their minds), and to expect their partner home when he's home. I have gone 6 and a half weeks at the longest without hearing hide nor hair from my husband, looking after teething twin terrors, trying to keep the house clean, keep us all fed, fixing broken appliances, and generally feeling trapped by my own circumstances, and longing for Thursday coffee walks so I can have another adult to talk to.

For my friend Sian who is currently pregnant, her husband is almost never there for ultrasounds, antenatal classes, and test results. She is constantly told "he will be home tomorrow" but tomorrow means Tuesday next week when today is Wednesday, and so often Tuesday comes, and Tuesday goes and she is still alone and waiting.

A bush trip is like a mini deployment. For me, my husband's job is just as dangerous on home turf as it is in the Middle East, if not more so because they actually fire the guns here more often. That call to say something has gone wrong is just as real with a bush trip as it is with a deployment, the only saving grace is that the time frame passes much quicker.

You would think in the information age they could send out a text message with 24 hours notice of when they are due home, but apparently even so much as a "Private Smith is due to return from exercise in the next 24 hours" is too much to ask.

Things not to ask/say to an ADF spouse even during a bush trip include: "When is he due back?", "He's away again?", "At least it's not the Middle East", and "My partner went on a business trip to Sydney for 3 weeks once, I know how you feel."


People think we get free housing, free medical, great pay, and a whole bunch of other ridiculous free things. Not true.

First of all, we do get reduced rent but we still have to pay for our housing. We also get to deal with DHA, who are far from competent at their job although it isn't entirely their fault. Would you like to have a property manager who was managing half of the houses in town? Millions of houses across the country? They are going to slip up constantly just because it's such a huge job. It took me 8 months to fix a hole in our roof that had been there for 12 months already, and took one roof tile and approximately 10min to fix. Also unlike regular property management companies who you can threaten to sue if they don't hold up their end of the bargain, DHA is a federally run company and as such is protected by the crown, meaning we can't touch them. We also pay for much more water than we use as it is taken out of our pay, not billed to us like electricity.

Second, we don't get free medical. We haven't done for many years now. The serving member gets free medical treatment, however they cannot simply request to see a physiotherapist or chiropractor like the rest of us without a referral from the doctor, who can refuse to give such a referral, in which case they have to pay like everyone else. My husband was told by the orthopedic surgeon he was referred to that a knee reconstruction would be the best solution, but the military doctors said to make it cheaper, so he had an arthroscopy and lateral release instead, and less than 12 months later the problem was right back to square one. We do have access to Defence Health which is a private health insurance fund, but we have to pay for our health insurance just like the rest of you, and it does not come cheap. 

Thirdly, most defence members do not get paid very well. My husband is lucky to clear $50Kpa and we have to support 4 people on that because there is no support here to help me find a job. Some jobs in the military get paid better than others, and some people, like tradies (plumbers, electricians, mechanics) take side jobs to make extra money. To me, good pay is $70Kpa, and great pay is over $100Kpa. There are very, very, few military members who are on great pay, and they worked long and hard for years, perhaps even decades to get there, so don't let the television ads fool you. The only time the pay is "great" is on deployment, and it's hazard pay all the way. Oh, and if he gets injured and comes home early, you start getting taxed on an income you estimated you wouldn't have been, so you end up in trouble with Centrelink, and end up sometimes tens of thousands of dollars out of pocket.

We do get 10% off at JB HiFi, and Athletes Foot, and a few other retailers about town, but really, so do seniors so you'll all get that discount too one day.

Things not to say regarding entitlements: "Yeah but medical is all free for you guys so what do you care anyway?" "Can't he get that done through work?" "What do you mean your rent has gone up?"

So read the above blog I linked to, remember what I've just told you, and don't believe the things you see on Army Wives, or rumours you hear, or stories that your grandparents even tell you because things have changed since the 1940s.


Tuesday, 20 November 2012

TUBESDAY: A conversation with a man about women

I had a chat to my brother-from-another-mother Cyprian about what he thinks as a bloke, of the way women see themselves. Turns out that men and women see women very differently! Normally I am a very logical person, but it would appear it really goes out the window when it comes to my body image. So what pearls of wisdom did Cyp have for me? Well they were as pearly as anyone could expect from a bloke but that doesn't mean they aren't important!

So there you have it! There's someone in there worth loving, so dig a little deeper and learn to love them too. You will think you're just a beautiful as everyone else does when you do.

As also promised, here is the link to Facebook where you can follow the BID:

Another thing that I forgot to mention in the video is the new tab that you will all soon see at the top of the page. I have decided to share some of my good food tude meals - not 12WBT ones, that would be very naughty of me! - but some that I've made up myself that are tasty and good for you at the same time!


Monday, 19 November 2012

Learning positive "food tude" I: The cognitive phase

Food, food, glorious food! I love food, obviously, I didn't become overweight by hating food! I have the attitude towards food that we need to eat to sustain life, so why not enjoy it! This has gotten me into trouble though, which is why I joined the 12WBT, to learn to change my "food 'tude" and make it a bit healthier.

Having good food tude is something the 12WBT has taught me, though I am still mastering the skill. Athletes and coaches are all familiar with the concept of the three phases of skill learning: cognitive, associative, and autonomous. In physical education and skill training, we apply these to a gross or fine motor skill, but they can also be applied to a thought process, or an attitude towards a particular activity. Today I'll be addressing the first phase of learning, the cognitive phase.

Exhibit A: A common phase one mistake in learning good
food tude!
The cognitive understanding phase (as it is fully known), is the first stage in which you find yourself having to concentrate and contemplate every particular part of the skill. As an example, say you are learning to juggle. In the cognitive phase of learning to juggle, you will find yourself actively thinking about what direction to toss the ball, with which hand, where you need to put the catching hand, and how long you have to do all of that. It's the phase where it's all a bit daunting and sometimes frustrating, and you'll probably struggle more often than not, and even make more than a few mistakes, but that's normal! The mistake I made far more often that I'm really willing to admit was, like our friend in the burger meme, rewarding myself with bad food for doing good things. Word to the wise: don't do that.

So how does this apply to new attitudes? Well it's no different to learning a physical skill. In the first few weeks of a new health or lifestyle regime, you will find yourself thinking about everything that goes in your mouth, you will find yourself needing to plan out your meals, track your eating, and actively stop yourself from making mistakes in the form of bad food choices.

In the first few weeks of my first round of 12WBT, I was obsessed with food and what was going in my mouth. I was obsessed with logging my calories in My Fitness Pal, and hitting that 500cal/day exercise goal. I would actively have to fight my 'inner teenager' on a daily basis to stop myself from turning into McDonald's or not grabbing that iced coffee from the dairy aisle in Coles. I would also have to force myself to stop at one serve, or stick to the allocated serving size, and of course to stop eating once I had spent all my daily calories. My obsession and inner struggles then began to result in, well, results! This meant my understanding of the process and how it was working had increased, and with practice I found myself needing to think less about the tiny little details of each and every meal, and not having to fight so hard, then before I knew it I found myself in phase 2.

The cognitive phase is imperative in learning, not only so you can learn the motions, but also so you can get a proper understanding of why they work to put the overall skill together, and why the skill is worth learning. Speeding through this first phase of learning is an easy way to shoot yourself in the foot, and while it may seem to take forever for some, one day you will wake up and move onto phase 2 without even realising, and it will make the entire journey that much easier. 

So if you're in phase one at the moment, be patient and give it time, and you will be grateful to yourself in the end. Then you'll be ready for phase two, which I'll discuss next week!

To be continued!


Sunday, 18 November 2012

Sunday 10: Style Icons of the Moment

Everyone has their style icons. People they look to for the latest trends, and stars who maybe have the same body shape as us who we can look to for tips to flatter our frame.

These are my top 10 style icons of the moment!

10) Jennifer Lawrence. A girl who wears what she wants and works it! Jennifer always has stunning make-up, so she is one of my make up go to girls. She also goes from soft looks to edgy in the blink of an eye and isn't afraid to take risks with her look - plus she's just so freaking humble and cute!

9) Zooey Deschanel. The queen of quirky geek chic. I love how everything she throws on looks so effortless and cute, and she makes being a nerd cool which wins her big points in my book! She does bold colours really, really well too and seeing as it's such a huge trend this summer she is one to watch.

8) Sofia Vergara. I give Sofia props for knowing what works and not being afraid to stick with it! She cops some flack for seeming to just wear the same cut in different colours but if it ain't broke, don't fix it!

7) Audrey Hepburn. Audrey is always in my top 10, regardless of current trends, or who else is around.  I love the way she would put together the cutest outfits, and how I can look at things she wore in the 60s and still see how I could wear that now. Her mastery of tailoring and clean cut lines is my favourite thing about her style, and the easy way she bought it all together. She's my forever icon. 

6) Kelly Osbourne. As host of E! show Fashion Police, Kelly has to be on the ball with the latest trends, but she always brings a quirky twist to it, and isn't afraid to admit she shops at the mall like the rest of us! She has a great knack for making sure all her garments flatter her shape and are tailored properly. I also admire how hard she has worked for the body that she has, and she is not only a fashion inspiration to me, but also an inspiration when it comes to my weight loss journey and bettering my health.

5) Khloe Kardashian Odom. So you may be wondering why just Khloe, why not Kim and Kourtney too? The thing I love about Khloe is that she is a tall curvy girl who doesn't let her height stop her from looking fabulous. So many tall girls shy away from great heels because it will make them look too tall - newsflash, you're tall anyway so just go with it! Or they shy away from bright colours thinking it will draw too much attention, or make them look bigger, but she goes there with no fear, and looks great every time. She also knows what colours and cuts suit her and flatter her shape, unlike Kim and Kourtney who seem to forget that things like thigh high boots, capes, and swamping big boobs in fabric are not going to do us shorties any favours, so bravo Mrs. Odom!

4) Emma Stone. I could not love this girl's style more if I tried! I look to Emma because we have the same colouring, so in particular for colour palettes for both clothing and make up, I have a look at her latest look and test it out on myself! We also have a similar face shape, so when it comes to hair cut styles she's always in my top 3 choices.

3) Nicole Richie. As a designer herself she has a lot of fashion know how, but I look to her for her use of texture and colour, as well as when I want a simple chic look. Nicole is not afraid to push boundaries when it comes to colour, and different textures like lace, velvet, and leather, and she is always at the forefront of the next big thing in fashion. 

2) Christina Hendricks. This woman knows how to work her body right! With boobs like that you know it's not easy, but by channelling her inner pin-up girl, she never disappoints. The epitome of sex kitten and not afraid to be sexy, Christina does her thing, and dresses for her body. Even if it's not bang on trend, she makes it look amazing anyway and that is why I love her, and look up to her for that courage to go against the grain when I need to.

1) Blake Lively. Hands down the most fashionable young woman in Hollywood right now. I don't think there is anything this girl can do wrong. She has a hand in everything she wears, including all of the costumes for her character on Gossip Girl, and does not have a stylist! She knows what works, she knows what shoes go with what dress and what hair goes with which cut - maybe it's all lessons from her pal Karl Lagerfeld I don't know, but whatever "it" is, she has it. My absolute favourite thing about her though? She has cellulite, and wears her cute swimsuits anyway, not giving a rats who sees it - and that includes hubby Ryan Reynolds! Ladies, if he doesn't care about a little cellulite, chances are your bloke won't either. Embrace your wobbly bits, everyone has some somewhere!

So there you have it! My top 10 of the moment. Some have been on this list for years, others only a few months, but they all have given me inspiration in some way to change my look, or do what I need to do to look great.

Next week: 10 ways the fashion industry could make our lives easier!


Saturday, 17 November 2012

Congratulations Sailor Vee!

So the results are in and the wonderful Bella (a.k.a. Sailor Vee) is the Round 3 blogger champion! For anyone who hasn't been to my links page and found their way to her blog, please do take the time to pop by and read it. It is so wonderfully witty, and funny, and makes me think "Oh my god I do that too!" or similar things and it always makes me smile. Her writing style is so effortless and easy to read and you will find yourselves in stitches I promise you, so please pop over to Sailor Vee and do yourself a favour and have a read!

Of course I would have loved to win, but I was just humbled and honoured to be nominated in such good company. All of the Round 3 blogger nominees deserve a huge pat on the back for keeping up blogging and putting it all out there for the world to see this round. I hope whether or not we are doing Round 4, we all keep blogging, and keep sharing, because I think the more everyone shares their ups and downs, their wins, their losses, and their hang ups and insecurities, we can change the way people think, change society's thoughts on health and body image, and maybe even change lives, so keep blogging everybody!

Once again, huge congratulations Bella, well deserved indeed! And everyone check out Bella's blog RIGHT HERE!


Thursday, 15 November 2012

"Curvy" and plus-sized are two VERY different things!

So this is something that pisses me off beyond belief - the notion that 'curvy' and being 'plus sized' are synonymous. I am telling you right now they are NOT.

Team Curvy: Kardashian and Hendricks

Kim Kardashian is curvy. Kim Kardashian is not plus sized or overweight. Oprah is curvy. Oprah is plus sized, and has been overweight and healthy weight, retaining her curves regardless of her size. Christina Hendricks is curvy, but clearly a bigger size than Kimmie K yet smaller than Queen O, but they are all still curvy. You see what I'm saying?

"Curvy" is having a bust and hips that measure significantly bigger than your waist, and which are obviously larger than your waist to look at. "Curvy" is a shape. Not a size, or a category for anyone who doesn't fall under the category of "super model." It is also independent of age, Helen Mirren at age 63 has rocking curves that I will never have, but that is how she was made.

Brick/Apple shaped Kesha just doesn't
have the same shape as hourglass Kim.

Conversely, I am plus sized, but my hips are, have been, and always will be, smaller than my waist. I am not curvy, but I am plus-sized...for now. Plus sized or not, I have never been curvy, I never will be curvy, it's just not the shape of cookie cutter the universe used when it cut me from the dough.

Kesha is not curvy, when she's thin or not, she's just not curvy because that's not her shape. Just like me. Shailene Woodley is a gorgeous slim girl, but she's also got that athletic build that just doesn't lend itself to curves. Not being curvy doesn't mean we don't have a waist, it just means it's only very slight when compared to our more hourglassy friends.

My point is that "curvy" should not be used as a nice way of saying someone is overweight or plus sized because not everyone who is overweight or plus sized is curvy, and vice verser. How would you feel if you were Blake Lively with your cute little waist and bountiful hips, getting lumped in with a pre-weight loss Dawn French? Wouldn't feel good would it?

So don't do it. Curvy is not another word for plus sized, or overweight, or fat. It means curvy, it is a shape, and a completely separate concept!


Wednesday, 14 November 2012

12WBT Round 3 2012 is done! But what about my Round 4 commitments?

So today is of course our final weigh in for Round 3 of the Michelle Bridges 12WBT and what a transformation it has been!

  • I have lost 40.6 centimetres - for good outside of future pregnancies if I have any say in the matter - and 17.9 of them were off my waistline alone!
  • I have lost 10% of my initial body weight
  • I am 8kg lighter.
  • I am almost completely free of back pain 

...and lord only knows what my fitness test will show me I have achieved! I had aimed to get into the 60-69kg bracket but I think I did pretty awesome - only 1.1kg away and to be honest, if I work hard I might even get there yet before the start of Round 4!

I feel like it's year 12 graduation all over again, and that all this time of studying, learning, and applying is finally culminating - until Sunday that is! I have seen physical results but nothing compares to what I have learnt. The things that at the beginning were so hard that are now just autonomous habits. Like having to fight the urge to drive past a McDonald's when now after 12 weeks I hardly even notice if there's a Macca's there! Getting used to tracking my calories and actually thinking about what I'm doing before I fill my face. Saying no to my husband when he offers me some of his potato chips - being able to have potato chips in the house and ignore them! All of these things were just a dream to me 12 weeks ago.

Looking back to my preseason tasks from Round 3, my commitment was to get into a routine of healthy eating and regular exercise, which I am proud to say is a commitment that I have kept with. So what is my commitment for Round 4?

Firstly to keep with the routine I have fallen into during Round 3, but also to push myself a bit harder with my workouts. To be honest I did get to a point of going through the motions with my workouts towards the end of this round, and I want to be more gung-ho about it, and I know I will get better results if I can manage that.

So there you go, a simple commitment to give my workouts a bit more oopmf!

I am a person who tends to not trust anything, to lose faith quickly both in others and myself, and who to be honest tends to be a bit lazy more often than not, and yet here I am after 12 weeks with proof that putting my trust in Mish's program, and putting a good amount of stock in myself and my own abilities really is worth it.

This program works, but you have to work for it in return. 

Anyone who is considering signing up for Round 4, or wants more information about the 12WBT visit  and check it out. The great thing about it is that you can participate anywhere in the world if you have an internet connection which is all of you out there reading this! It's not just for weight loss too, if you want to be fitter, stronger, or eat cleaner, this program will work for you too, so please everyone check it out!

Now, hit me with your best shot Round 4, I am ready and stoked!


Tuesday, 13 November 2012

TUBESDAY: Kids and Body Image

So my second ever vlog is of course as promised, about talking to and teaching your kids about body image. Now I'm not an expert, so this is coming from my personal experiences and the things I wish my mother would have done for me to make my life easier. Teenagers are going through enough without being cut down or made to feel worse or more conflicted about their bodies by their parents. A parent is a teacher, a cheerleader, and a safety net to catch them when they fall, not the one that pushes them. Also, I apologise for the animal noises courtesy of my dogs and cat, and the constant clanging of my bangle on the table - next week I'll remember to take it off!

So there you have it, my advice on kids and body image. As with all advice, take nothing as a must and everything as an option, the only person who knows what's best for your kid is you.

Next week: my conversation with a man about women!


Monday, 12 November 2012

The history of beauty: putting it all in perspective

You've probably heard people say "beauty is in the eye of the beholder" and other things along the same line of thought. In the last 40-50 years though, it seems that beauty has been in the eye of the editor, the designer, or the film and television studio. Today I want to remind everyone that this was not always the case.

Rembrandt's Bathsheba
Prior to the late 50s early 60s, to be thin was not a good thing. For thousands of years, the bigger you were, the more beautiful you were. In many primitive cultures, a thin woman was seen as an ineligible mate because her body did not show she was fit for child bearing, and was thus undesirable. In ancient Rome, a big woman was a symbol of sexiness, health, and wealth - the bigger you were the more money you had, the more food and better access to medicine you had, so the healthier you were. In Han dynasty China, big women were celebrated and adored, lusted over, and the ideal picture of beauty. Moving forward into the Renaissance, artists like Da Vinci, Rembrandt, Raphael, and Michelangelo all painted full figured women, finding beauty in their soft feminine curves. The Mona Lisa, if you look at her, would at least be a modern day size 14, and she is still recognised years later as a great beauty, same with the Venus in a Shell.

The dangerous curves of the late Jayne
Towards the turn of the 20th Century even, it was more about the shape of a woman than her size that dictated attractiveness. The curve of the waist, big child bearing hips and ample bosom - all accentuated by corsets of the time - were all markers of a sexy lady, whether she was a size 8, or a size 28. The 40s bought tailored suits for women, accentuating and creating curves in a more modern way, and by the 50s the emergence of the pin-up girl solidified the hourglass shape as being sexy, regardless of the size of the hourglass. 

The waif herself, Kate Moss
However it all began to turn in the 60s with the discovery of models like Twiggy, and suddenly thin was in.   It began with the designers and the fashion world, but soon because hip clothes were being made to look good on thinner frames, many women found themselves unable to keep up with the latest trends, starting the thought process that you had to be thin to be beautiful, to fit into the beautiful clothes that were coming out of Paris and Milan. This notion was reinforced again in the 90s with the waif look of Kate Moss taking catwalks by storm. Women had gained independence from men, and had made steps into becoming equal with men, but as soon as one battle was over another had begun - the battle of body image. With the growth of visual media women were being bombarded with images of thin being beautiful, desirable, the be all and end all of being woman. 

It is now inescapable. It is everywhere, billboards, TV, movies, magazines, catalogs, and of course the big bad web. Half the ads on the television are for diets, diet products, exercise machines and other weight loss aids, and many fashion looks are almost impossible for the everyday woman to pull off without some temporary nipping and tucking by their handy dandy shape wear.

What I want to point out here is that the ideal beach body now has only been the ideal for 50 years. 50 years, versus 5,000 years. I'm not saying thin isn't beautiful, I am saying that women are beautiful, no matter what their size. Historically speaking there is no reason why a size 18 woman should be regarded as any less beautiful than a size 8 woman, because for thousands of years she was beautiful already, so why should that have changed? I want the 21st century to fix the mistakes of the 20th, and remember that big women have always been beautiful, and realise that thin women are beautiful too. 

So ladies, next time you look in the mirror and question your body, criticise your body, or think you're not beautiful because of your size, remember that somewhere, at some point in time, no matter how big or small you are, there would have been someone at your feet begging to hit that!


Thursday, 8 November 2012

To do, or not to do

We are in week 11 of round 3 of the Michelle Bridges 12WBT for 2012. I have been debating with myself whether to sign up for round 4 or go it myself given it's a lot of money coming up to Christmas. My parents visited for my birthday last weekend and I was offered a loan from the bank of Mum if I wanted to do round 4. I think this is her strange way of telling me she's proud of me!

Yet still there's umming and ahhing. Not because the program doesn't work, or because I think I can't do it, just because I wonder if I need to, surely I've learnt enough to go it alone - oh and then of course there's money and Christmas!

That was until today when the universe appeared to give me an epiphany day. This morning when walking to the coffee shop with my friends they all complimented me on how good I was looking, and openly admitted to checking out my bum (you cheeky buggers!). Then Heidi said she was thinking of signing up for round 1 next year. Then I went and got my hair done, and my hairdresser noticed the change in my shape and even my hair. I went home to find a message from a friend from high school saying she'd been following my progress and had signed up for round 4. Finally my chiropractor and his receptionist (who haven't seen me in 6 weeks) both remarked how good I was looking, my chiropractor even saying how much he can see this has helped with my back pain. 

Of course, Fiona has already signed up for round 4, and I know she wants a training buddy (which I already said I would do because I intend to follow the program, signed up or not!) but I think this was a pretty big hint from the powers that be, that I should take my mum up on her offer and JFDI.

I think I owe it to myself, and to the people around me who I seem to have inspired to keep going on this journey, and to do so in an official capacity.

Oh, and the round 4 finale is in my hometown, while hubby will be away in Sydney, so that's a nice little incentive too!


Tuesday, 6 November 2012

TUBESDAY!: Getting in the picture

FINALLY! I made a video and managed to upload it!

This week I really want to talk about why it's important to put your body hang ups aside and get in the photo. Fiona shared a great link on her Facebook to Allison Tate's blog where she discusses this topic, and I thought it was so fitting for my first vlog. You can find the link to Allison's blog here.

So there you have it, that's me! I'm not perfect, I'm not thin, I'm blind as a bat without my glasses, and I'm boring enough to spend over 6 hours (and 1500 calories!) cleaning my house! I promise you next time that I will look a bit more presentable, but I thought it fitting to be my hives and all self for a vlog about not giving a damn what you look like in photos and on film.

Next vlog will be about why you should talk to your kids about body image, and do everything you can to help them see the good in the mirror.


Thursday, 1 November 2012

You get by with a little help from your friends

So I wanted to take the time today to tell you about an amazing group of women who I have recently had the pleasure and good fortune to come in contact with. Black Milk Clothing is one of my favourite fashion brands, and they are based in my home town, Brisbane, so it's nice to keep supporting my old community when I shop with them. They make amazing leggings, swimsuits, bodysuits, skirts, and dresses, and they also attract some amazing fans from all across the globe. The Black Milk Mummies group are a bunch of women brought together by our love of one fashion house, and our amazing feat of bringing another life or lives into this world.

We are often inundated by one another's photo bombs, photos of our favourite pieces, outfits of the day, our children, random funny things, and yesterday, baby bumps. Today however, was a day for sharing our post-baby bellies, for sharing the good, the bad, and what so many of us would call the ugly. It has been such an amazing show of women supporting women, love sharing, and a celebration of the female form. We put aside our body hang ups, posting photos of our stretch marks, scars, belly flab, and over hang, in a show of support for each other. It has been amazing to learn that I'm not alone, I'm not the only one who can pick up her belly and fap it against itself and make a noise, or who's covered in stretch marks like some kind of strange albino zebra. 

I am so proud to be a part of such a hands down awesome group of women from all over the globe, all ages, and all walks of life. Thank you to all of my fellow BM milfies for being so purely wonderful, brave, beautiful, and for not judging my horrifying belly photos! You have all given me a place that I feel safe to share my hang ups in, and for putting a smile on my face every day. We may not all be perfect, we may not all be sane, but we are all beautiful.

And for the first time ever here, I'll post a picture of my mummy tummy. I hate the way it looks, but I would never change the reason why it's there. 


Tuesday, 30 October 2012

Shout out to my US readers!

So I just want to do a quick shout out to my readers in the US in the midst of the storm. I hope anyone in the effected area is staying safe, has enough food and water to get through the next few days, and most of all has a storm kit and a safe place to bunker down! 

The photos and footage coming out of this event are both beautiful and terrifying, so for anyone who has family or friends in the Tri-state area, know I am thinking of you all and have my fingers and toes all crossed that they get through this safely.

Here is one of the more beautiful pictures I've seen from today. Mother Nature is as fragile and beautiful as she is vengeful and strong, and not even one of the greatest cities on earth is immune.

Stay safe, be smart, and see you when the sun comes out again.


Sunday, 28 October 2012

The Sunday 10: Summer must haves 2012/13

I wanted to write this one sooner but I also wanted to suss out what was on trend at the grand opening of Myer Townsville this week! I went to the VIP night Wednesday and braved Stockland again yesterday to catch a glimpse of Jennifer Hawkins - oh and to double check my notes! I am so over the moon to see Peter Alexander, Veronika Maine, Collette, and of course Myer finally in Townsville! Maybe now we finally can shake our status as the town where fashion goes to die!

Brace yourself, summer is coming! There are SO many trends happening this summer, and so I thought I would post the absolute must haves. Not all of them are for everyone though, so make sure you pick and chose what is right for you!

10) Pastels. I want to start out by saying pastels are not for everyone, and most people will not suit all pastel colours. I have seen these in lovely floaty chiffon tops and other light ethereal fabrics. Ice-cream colours like lavender, mint, powder blue, and baby pink are all over the place, everywhere from Myer to Cue, and Rockmans to Ice. 

9) Capris. Once again, this style is not for everyone - particularly the short of stature or leg. But for our average height ladies or those with legs up to their arm pits, these tight fitting, leg slimming beauties are for you! The great thing is that capris are suitable for all ages in the right cut, so get out there and try them on. Pair them with espadrills and a nautical striped blouse for a seaside look, or pumps, a sheer collar shirt, and statement necklace for something with a bit more edge.  

8) Tribal Prints. Tribal prints seem to be making a come back in all sorts of colours and styles. Don't get this confused with animal print! Find a fab tribal maxi and you'll be bang on trend. The great thing about tribal prints is they are often flattering on all shapes and sizes, so get in touch with your wild side! There are also some funky bold feather accessories out there to really add more texture and pop to tribal looks. 

7) Sleeveless collared shirts. These are everywhere! Be careful, if you have an ample bust stay away unless you are willing to add a waist belt. If you are also particularly short in the kneck or broad shouldered, this style may also swamp you in fabric and make you look broader/shorter than necessary. Small breasted girls have at this one and don't be afraid to button right up to the top and add a heavy, bold statement necklace tucked in under the collar like a sexy, blinging, tie.

6) Sheer. Sheer is hot, hot, hot this summer. Many people freak out at the thought of sheer but it really is very easy and a lot less scandalous than you might think! I picked up a sheer asymmetrical hem skirt from The Iconic, it has a shorter black lining skirt underneath with the main structure and flow of the skirt in black chiffon over the top. The aforementioned pastels and collar shirts are also coming out in these flowy sheer fabrics, so try teaming it with a tank underneath if you're not ready to go the fully Miley Cyrus and just go for the bra and sheer top. 

5) Maxi skirts and dresses. A summer favourite for decades. If you can find an awesome sheer fabric maxi you will be smokin'. The 'mullet' hemline is also still around for us shorties who have to take a foot off the hem of every maxi we buy. Don't be afraid to twist a mullet skirt around a little to create an asymmetrical hemline and create a whole new look in the process.

4) The Clash. Colour clashing is big again this season. Smashing your pinks, oranges, and blues all together might sound horrendous but if you do it right then it gives a fresh twist to old favourites. If you're just starting out, or are not sure where to start, I find clashing with the small things like accessories is a great way to test the waters.

3) Bold colours. It's all about the pop of colour! Oranges, pinks, lime green, it is a rainbow of colour in the fashion world this summer! Not everyone might be comfortable with stepping out in head to toe tangerine, but you can get your pop with a bold lip. While the smokey eye can be hard for us less adept in makeup application, bold lips are all about colouring in the lines with a quality lipstick and liner. Particularly hot are bold out there colours, bright red, orange, and hot pink. With all these colours is it important to make sure you find the right shade for your skin tone. 

2) Lace. Lace is a wonderful way to add a touch of femininity and charm to any outfit - of course it can also add a pinch of sex and seduction too, and that is what is so hot about it! Lace detailing is very prominent this summer, from lace shorts, to lace collars, and it is perfect to go from day to night, or from work to play.

1) Neon. I love it and I hate it, but above all I have to have it this summer! The stores are awash with neon! It is very hard to do right, and also takes a lot of confidence to pull off. While there are lots of neon dresses emerging, if you are new to neon I strongly urge you to start small with accessories - nails, shoes, earrings, and bags - and work your way up from there. My favourite thing at the moment is my China Glaze Shocking Pink nail polish, it's just the right amount of neon for me, though I would DIE for a pair of neon Louboutin's! 

There you have it, the trends to watch out for this summer! What I really love about this year's trends is that they really are all about colour and that means that being trendy won't cost you the earth. You can find great coloured shorts and tees cheap as chips from Target, Kmart and Big W, and Equip, Diva, and  Famous Footwear all have us girls on a budget covered. Also, don't be afraid to hit your local habby and customise basic pieces. Add a little lace detail to your favourite shirt or shorts from seasons past and breathe new life into your existing wardrobe.


Friday, 26 October 2012

Day for Daniel 2012

Today of course is Day for Daniel here in Australia, and the first DFD that the Morcombe family has some form of closure regarding their sweet boy. For my international readers who may not be familiar with the story, in December 2003 a boy called Daniel Morcombe was abducted from a bus stop on the Sunshine Coast in Queensland. After 8 years of searching and heartache for his family, his remains were finally found in August last year, and a man charged with his murder. His parents, Denise and Bruce have since founded the Daniel Morcombe foundation, which raises awareness for child safety through in school programs, and public events such as Day for Daniel.

I remember the day Daniel was taken very vividly, as I was in the same area at the time. I was the same age as Daniel, and I too was out and about without a parent - in fact I was looking after three younger children as we walked to Sunshine Plaza from the camping ground where we stayed every Christmas. I remember my parents calling me and telling me that my friends' father would come and get us and that we were not to walk home because a boy had been taken. We saw it on the news that night, and I remember looking for Daniel constantly that summer, and many after that. 

Daniel was also a twin, which for me now as a twin parent, makes me think of him all the more often. It was only a few days after my girls were born that his remains were discovered, and I remember looking at them in their crib and promising them that I would protect them from horrible people who look to hurt children.

Daniel's story is a solemn reminder that the world is not as safe as we once thought it was. I wish I could send my kids to the local store by themselves, or not worry about sending them out trick-or-treating, but that is not the world we live in. Unfortunately it took the life of one happy, smiling, loving boy to show us that. Child abduction, and child safety is a real threat, and something to be taken seriously, yet it is important to find the medium between wrapping our children in cotton wool, and protecting them from the dangers of the world. 

The Daniel Morcombe Foundation works tirelessly year round to help us educate our children on safety and risk, and welcome donations no matter how small the amount, to help them in their quest to make a safer, better world for our kids. Please give generously if you can and visit their website to read about all the wonderful initiatives they are currently undertaking in the name of child safety. Bruce and Denise are determined to see a positive outcome from their tragic loss, and through our support they can make it happen.


Tuesday, 16 October 2012

I love my Chiball!

So you might remember a few weeks ago, I won a Chiball pack in the 12WBT blogging challenge. Well after a month of using my Chiball regularly I can honestly say that I freaking love it!

Chiballs are specially coloured and scented to promote a certain mood, and are used in exercises that combine Chinese yoga, pilates, dance, and Tai Chi. There are many different DVDs and 10 different colour scent balls. I have the Awaken Your Spine DVD, and the silver Eucalyptus ball which stimulates creativity and increases mental clarity.

Since I started using my Chiball with the DVD, my back pain has lessened, and my abs are actually sore after a workout, so I know they're working. My chiropractor has even noticed the change and has  looked into Chiball for himself! I always feel super relaxed by the end of the workout - which lasts about an hour - and my head actually does feel clearer.

This is a great low intensity exercise for when you're injured - particularly if it's the lower body. It's also great if you're feeling a bit tired, stiff, like you don't have the energy, or if you just feel restless and don't know what else to do. It's a workout you might not feel working at the time, but believe me, when you wake up in the morning you'll know all about it!

So for anyone who is a bit over their usual core strengthening routine, or over your regular yoga and pilates, Chiball is definitely worth a go. Chiball products can be purchased in Australia through the Mind and Body School of Management, but for international sales, and for more information about Chiball and the Chiball method, visit the official website, You can also like Chiball on Facebook for all the latest updates and products.