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The Seven Stages Of A Gym Membership

Some annoyingly self-virtuous women in the world actually enjoy eating things like natto, goji berries or dirty old kale. They also take pleasure in 6am morning wake-up calls involving horrible things like burpies and endless sprint sessions. These women also generally bang on about meditation, positive affirmations and the power of positive thinking. They are all extremely ‘Zen’ and have figures TO DIE FOR that around bikini season the rest of us mere mortals (who enjoy sleep-ins, fried food and copious amounts of alcohol) look at for inspiration. For 7 months a year we simply look at these figures with a slight air of annoyance but for the other 5 we suddenly realise !FU*K!, our pale and slightly wobbling bods are going to be NEXT to these freaks of nature goddesses in a matter of weeks! Right, time to join a gym as the old one was cancelled due to having better things to do…  like oh say enjoying Gossip Girl repeats while simultaneously shovelling Doritos down our gobs.

And so begins (yet again) The Seven Stages Of A Gym Membership that we repeat time and time again…

Stage One: Obesity

That moment after a holiday, x-mas or even just as you shed your winter layers, when you finally notice the excess of dimples splashed across your backside and the ‘cute’ roll of flab over your waistband your mum lovingly prodded at. Then you can’t stop noticing, ‘holy shit my cute summery jumpsuit once so loose and ‘boho’ is now stretched across my width like a circus tent.’ The legs so sneakily encased in black and VERY flattering stockings all winter are suddenly looking more plump than pin-tastic. 😦 Cue an onslaught of immense grumpiness as we glare sullenly at the freshly baked chocolate cake perched cheerily on the kitchen counter, warm wafts of heaven breezing up our hungry nostrils.

Stage Two: ACTION

Butt is about to get whipped into shape. Gym memberships are signed and a brand spanking new pair of Asics and Lorna Jane workout wear is purchased because OF COURSE one needs new threads to look the part and motivate them to actually use these incredibly overpriced items. (The threads more so than the shoes, shoes are one thing you should NEVER scrimp out on. Trust me, your feet will thank me later.)

Stage Three: The Honeymoon Phase

This stage is exactly as it sounds. Think about it like a new relationship when everything is new and liberating and fun. You want to spend as much time as possible with your new lover (AKA the gym) and food struggles to make a starring role in your day-to-day life unless it’s green and filled with all types of yucky goodness. You’re so committed that not only are you visiting the gym most afternoons after work, but you’re even getting up earlier to walk to work AND you’re doing a Saturday morning PUMP class! Who wudda thought!

Stage Four: Second Thoughts

This is like after the honeymoon stage in a relationship. Basically food and TV appeal more than certain types of physical activities. Nuff said.

Stage Five: Procrastination

This is the stage where we secretly wish we would sprain our ankle (even going so far as to wear ill-fitting shoes on the treadmill…  or is that just me?) JUST so we have an excuse to sit at home and not attend the gym and ‘comfort’ oneself with pies, peas, mash and gravy. *Watering mouth.

When this stage hits we are suddenly much more interested in things once ignored like cleaning the loo, or catching up with that super annoying girlfriend who uses the term ‘like’ more than she deems it necessary to take a bloody breath.

Stage Six: The Slow-Down

This stage is where our gym visits putter down to once, max twice, a week and we spend the session reading a magazine while peddling uselessly on the old persons bike (you know, the reclining one). OR you flap around in the pool like a retired seal only to be shouted at by a Speedo-clad Fabio furiously free-styling down the pool to ‘get into a slower lane’. Jerk. This stage is generally just a meagre excuse for exercise and really just a cute nod towards the $20+ being deposited into the gyms cheeky little bank balance weekly before you race on home to compete in FIFA with accompanying cheesy garlic bread and jelly shots. (Now if only we applied the same enthusiasm to a year-long exercise routine eh?!)

Stage Seven: I Give Up

#authorsselfportrait

This is the moment when we realise we haven’t visited the gym since the last season of the Kardashians aired… Yet the bastards still insolently sneak our hard earned $$ (well…$$ anyway) month after month as we continue to sit on our ass.  So we dutifully make our way to the gym (head hanging with shame) and once the reason for our visit is explained to the chirpy 17yo receptionist, her expression changes and you are taken to ‘the room’. It is here that an immensely fit and gorgeous male/female (depending on your guessed sexual preference) will sit you down while giving you a slightly condescending ‘concerned’ interrogation. ‘Why would you choose NOT to live a healthy lifestyle and continue working towards a healthier you with us’? ‘I don’t know White Goodman, is it true that steroids shrink your dick?’ And so as we meekly schlep out of the gym for the last time the horrible obesity pattern sets in again and soon enough the whole bloody process will be set in motion yet again. So long ‘quest for an ass smaller than Miranda Kerrs’, you have been overshadowed by yet another round of Oreo eating and general lack of interest in looking in the mirror too closely.

Do you fall into this pattern also? 

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I would like to note that this article was written ‘tongue-in-cheek’ and I have the utmost of respect for women living the lifestyle I have poked fun at.  

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Michelle Jenneke: Hurdling Just Got Cute

 

This 19-year-old is quite possibly THE most adorably dorky babe EVER.

What. A. Cutie. 

 

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Beauty From The Inside Out

You know how after a night out your skin looks shit? Or even after a night in, but one that involves an entire packet of sour straps and your own equivalent weight in cookie dough? Yep, that’s because you’ve put crap into your body and everything is released through your bloodstream and subsequently all your pores creating dull and grotty skin. So apart from treating your skin on the OUTSIDE (cleansers, serums etc) lets look at a lovely new way to clear and treat your skin from the INSIDE with Aspect Core Beauty Juice; a delicious drink concentrate jam-packed with a powerful cocktail of antioxidants, to help you look and feel healthy from the inside out!

A potent blend of 24 different antioxidants including, Coffee (Arabica) Extract, Acai Berry and Goji Berry Extracts, Aloe Barbadensis Leaf Juice, Blueberries, Raspberries, Wild Bilberries, Strawberries, Cranberries, Cherries, Green Tea, Resveratrol and Pomegranate Extract; this juice adds nutrition to the skin which improves its overall skin health.

Usage: Mix up 30mls (one capful) of juice in 100mls of water and sip throughout the day. Now you can just sit back and watch your skin become more radiant by the day!

Who da skin baws now betches!

RRP $33 (1L). Available at selected skin rejuvenation centres nationally from mid August. For stockists telephone 1800 648 851. 

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Savoury Spring Salad

I highly advise you all cook/prepare this dish for din din tonight…

I call it the ‘Amaze-Balls Salad’. Because it is.

Ingredients

  • Small pumpkin
  • Feta cheese
  • Semi sun-dried tomatoes
  • Baby spinach leaves
  • Rocket leaves
  • Cashews
  • Barbecued chicken breast

Method

  • Chop the cheeky pumpkin into little bite-sized morsels before cooking in microwave for 5mins on high. Place on oven tray, sprinkle a touch of sea salt and drizzle some extra virgin olive oil over them. Leave for 30mins.
  • Wash and toss salad leaves.
  • Chop feta and sun-dried tomatoes (the naughty little minx’s) and mix in with leaves.
  • Pull chicken breast into small slivers and toss into the salad mix.
  • Let the flavours mix and sit.
  • Crush cashews into a sprinkable mix (I suggest a mallet).
  • Stir in now slightly crunchy pumpkin pieces before lightly drizzling olive oil over the whole salad.
  • Divide into bowls and garnish with desired amount of cashew nuts.
YUM!

Oh and I’ll post about my trip later in the week. Don’t you worry your pretty little fluffy heads, It’s coming! 🙂

 

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Get An Amazing Massage In Sydney

I like it rough. Really rough.

I like to be pummeled and prodded until I’m close to tears and inwardly thinking ‘fffffuuuuuu******kkkkk meeeeeeee thhhiiissss issss sooooooo ouchyyyyyy yetttt soooooo goooooddddd’. I love it when certain spots are pushed so hard in a way that feels SO good I’m screaming out ‘YES YES – DON’T STOP – YES’.

But get your minds out of the gutter  you dirty dirty peeps, I’m talking about a good massage. So clearly screaming ‘YES’ only occurs in my head. Otherwise I may have an AVO put out against me by all masseuses.

For me, nothing is worse than settling down eagerly on one of those massage table thingys just waiting in urgent anticipation to have the twisted up knots in your back eased away. Then some little girl who weighs as much as my leg softly starts caressing my shoulders with less strength than a newborns greedy clench. Not good.

I want pain dammit! I want you to press so hard on my back that the air is whooshed out of my lungs! I want to be bruised the next day and I want to walk away feeling more stoned than any greenery will ever provide. But until now, this seems to be near impossible to find. Any friend who does it as hard as I want can usually only do it for a few mere seconds before their hands give out (pussys) and massage therapists do not seem to understand the concept of ‘harder harder’.

Granted whenever I show someone how hard I like it they usually squeal with pain as soon as my bony fingers barely touch them but sheesh, I give them massage’s for hours without getting tired. (However most people seem to like a sensation on par with an ant nestling into their shoulder blades.)

So imagine my surprise and delight when I found someone who performed my massage in a way I had only ever dreamed about.

I went in my lunch break yesterday to get my fortnightly massage, and sick of paying $40 a pop for something that isn’t satisfying me, had a stern talking to with the girl on reception. “The last one was too soft” I told the pleasantly plump girl of an asian background, “can you do it super hard”? “I really need someone to get in there”….

She looked at me with a look usually reserved only from the Russian Mafia and told me to lie down. I did as I was told. This chick could break me like a twig.

And then it started. Oh the pain, oh the heaven. What followed was 40mins of pure blissfully sadistic massaging hard enough for me to hear a few ribs move in and out of place. I want to marry her.

So if you like a good, hard massage come see my girl Lydia. (I don’t know how happy she was about the fact that I informed her I would be seeing her every fortnight from now on.) She is the bestest!

Call (02) 9211 3889 to book an appointment with her (she’s available WED-SUN). Located in The Broadway Shopping Centre 10 mins from central.

 

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Healthy Vegetarian Recipes EVERYONE Will Love

I get asked a lot ‘what do I actually eat’. You see people hear and see my strangeness and fussiness when it comes to food and wonder exactly what I eat that keeps me from being hooked up to an IV. The truth is, I do eat a lot a bad stuff, I love savoury food (hello grain waves) and I have a penchant for energy drinks. BUT I also love veggies and what a lot of people fail to realise is that bar ordering in most of the time (which is what I do seem to do), there is HEAPS of deliciously mouth watering meals that I prepare that give me everything I need PLUS taste amaze-balls.

So here are 2 meal examples for vegetarians who make the term ‘fussy’ the understatement of the year…

Breakfast

I love love LOVE this! It’s so yummy and it’s something that I actually look forward to when I wake up in the morning. (Usually the idea of breakfast makes me want to vom.)

I mix a few dollops of my fave natural gourmet yogurt with muesli, which I make with oats, quinoa, barley, sunflower seeds, pepitas, linseeds and buckwheat. YUM. I then add in berries and passionfruit. Carbs, protein and anti-oxidants. Best. Breakfast. Ever.

Lunch

This sounds a touch dull but it isn’t I swear. I mix cooked brown rice with half cooked veggies (completely cooking veggies kills heaps of the nutrients). For flavour and protein I add a dollop of cottage cheese and a spoonful of crushed cashews and pumpkin. Add a touch of chilli flakes and pepper and delish!

OOOO! And for my healthy dinner option check out my must-try homemade pizzas. 🙂

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Get Fit & Fab This Spring

For many of us, Spring brings around a joyous essence of happiness at the impending weekends spent pool/beach side cocktail in tow; whilst also bringing an undertow of dread as we realise we cannot hide underneath our layers anymore.

Now for those of you with a few measly bottom dimples and an extra inch of fat around your middle, never fear as you can rid this in a week or so. Simply cut back on stodgy winter food, up the ante on the exercise AKA do some, and get a fake tan STAT! You will look and feel a bigillion times better when your pale dale pins are all gisele glowing and gorgeous.

But for those who have put on a good podgy 5 kilos, get a trainer. They work miracles because they make you work. I don’t care how much self-discipline you THINK you have, you would never make yourself do the sort of messed-up crazy hard shit trainers force us to do. (But it is AWESOME because it WORKS!) Think running with a person dead-weighted to a rope behind you, or working so hard you think your going to pass out then doing ANOTHER set of 50 walking lunges carrying a 15 kilo medicine ball in front of you. Its tough, but pushing your body and feeling the strength you didn’t know is possible is amazing. Not to mention the results.

It’s exactly what I did last spring and not only did my trainer change my body in that point of time, she changed my perception of myself, what I was capable of and what I need to be doing/eating for my body.

This is me on holidays last September – don’t mind the goofy head/pose just check out my toned arms!

And this is a full body shot (I couldn’t find the soft copy sorry) – You can’t really see but you can sorta tell that I was pretty toned and I was SUPER fit!

But enough about me and my experiences, lets look to the expert and the woman herself who transformed me, Nat Carter…

1. What is your no.1 piece of advice for people who want to get into shape for summer?

Just do it, start immediately. Stop waiting around for Monday. The sooner you get cracking the quicker you’ll see results. Be committed to change and be persistent also.

2. What is the biggest mistake you see being made by people exercising?

Just sticking to one type of exercise. A LOT of girls want hot bikini bodies and just focus on cardio. Cardio will NOT change the shape of your body, it’ll definitely make you fitter but you’ll need to pick up some weights and start using them.

3. What is the biggest mistake people make with their food choices?

Choosing low-fat products over full fat, eating too many grains and processed foods (e.g packaged cereals, diet soft drinks, low cal desserts etc). Eat clean, lean and green.

4. How can a personal trainer help you with this? What are the biggest benefits to having a personal trainer?

A  Good PT will be able to assess you, guide you into the right exercises and motivate and encourage you along the way. Your PT should offer the support and guidance you need to succeed on your weight-loss journey

5. How much exercise does a person need to do per week to change their body/start seeing results?

If you start with 3 sessions of weights and HIIT cardio (high intensity interval training) you will see a big difference if you aren’t exercising. If you already are you may need to bump that up to 4 or 5 days. The key is overload. If your workouts get too easy you need to change it up and increase the intensity

6. What are your top 5 favourite exercises?

Deadlifts, overhead squats, planks, swissball prone rollouts, and lunges.

7. Why do you think some people struggle to lose weight and tone up?

Because most people are lazy and don’t push themselves hard enough. Also they don’t listen to fitness experts advice, they choose to believe what they read in glossy mags (celebrities/models etc). Weight loss is not easy but you need to stay committed over a length of time. So many of us are conditioned to believe that weight loss happens quickly, you can’t just take a magic pill.

8. Tell us a bit about one of your most successful clients and how you have helped her transform her body and her relationship with her body?

Amanda was stuck in a body she hated. My goal was to bring her out from her rut, make her feel amazing and change the way she moved, ate and felt about life. She was so successful because she listened to everything I said, and she was committed to the cause. Yes it cost her money and time but now she’s a completely different person.She loves her new body. Like Amanda, you need to leave your old, destructive ways behind and realise health is such an important way of life. She continues to inspire people with her blog.

9. Top tip to get the perfect bikini bod?

Lift weights, perform HIIT cardio, be persistent, and eat clean. (Treat yourself once per week with one cheat meal.) 🙂

10. What is one food item or beverage you think everyone should avoid?

Any food with artificial sweetener in it. It reeks havoc with your body, some studies have correlated many disorders, IBS, even some cancers (read my thoughts here).

WIN a program, designed by Natalie Carter, Personal Trainer & Transformation Coach. Simply like her page, post on her wall “Love That Red sent me” and you will go into the draw to win one of her successful, Full Body Programs. Ends October 15th 2011.

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My First Yum Cha Experience

As the headline suggests, I recently had my first Yum Cha experience. And it was not good. In fact, for a vegetarian the whole notion of ‘Yum Cha’ is ever so slightly horrific. The vision of the lovely lass next to me gnawing away at the gristle of fermented duck will forever be burned into my retinas.  *Shudder.

People have been going on about Yum Cha since I first moved to Sydney claiming it as a fave dining experience…. Once again *shudder. If you love greasy Chinese food in the lowest form of quality then I GUESS I can see the appeal. But for anyone with the slightest hint of food snobbery (considering my penchant for greasy gravy laden chips – not me) or people with an aversion to meat (aye), Yum Cha isn’t all its cracks up to be.

 

Consider this;

a)    There is a strange tea served as primary liquid. My repugnance to tea itself and hot liquids means that this does not bode to well with me.

b)   The arrival of tens of tiny plates ALL containing a ‘meat’ (I use the term meat loosely as in all seriousness we could be referring to dog). I am told that even the ‘vegetarian’ options are likely to be laced with prawn residue. Me and my grumbly tummy are NOT happy.

c)    Vego dumplings arrive at the table. As they resemble only what looks like a whales ball sack I pass.

d)   Strange looks are given to the strange girl AKA me who wont touch any of the food. The embarrassment of being THAT girl.

 

Not good. I won’t going back any time soon. 😦

 

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There Is Nothing Fat About A Size Ten

Fifi Box is one of my favourite media personalities; she’s delightful, honest, DTE (down-to-earth) and most importantly to me (in order to be considered ‘my type of gal’) incredibly funny. Although I often don’t get to hear her anecdotes on-air (she is part of the Today FM MON-THURS arvo duo), I look forward to her column in the Sunday Telegraph Magazine like a fat kid looks forward to his next dip in the cookie jar. Usually her self-depreciation infused accounts of her life actually make me burst into laughter over the candid truth to how relevant she is when revealing how she felt about something. One of my all time fave ‘Box Sagas’ was her rendition of the time Patrick Dempsey entered the sauna that she was in while she awkwardly lay naked near him sweating profusely.

But her article yesterday ‘I Won’t Starve In The Name Of Size Zero’ sat very well with me, as an article about her hatred of diets and why she cant stand it when her friends diet. The greatest line in her column was where she stated that ‘people who limit their food intake to diet shakes in the name of size-zero jeans probably can’t afford to restrict the amount of nutrients reaching their brain’.

HA. So true Fifi, so true. 🙂

She then went on to explain how this silly friend of hers actually asks her NOT to order things that she wants in case she is ‘tempted’. Grrrr. Nothing is more annoying than a friend who wants YOU to diet just because she needs help with her idiocy.

 Other annoying ‘girl-related’ eating habits;

  • When you are in a group and everyone but you wants to order grilled salmon and limp lettuce leaves and all you want is a groaning big fat burger. The awkward moment when you realise it would DEFS not be socially acceptable to inhale said burger while your miniscule friends nibble on their rotting fish.
  • The awkward moment when you DO order the side of fries and your friends all deem it acceptable to ‘just have a few’ (because apparently if you didn’t order it the calories don’t count). Cue fire steaming from your ears as your left with a few measly limp old greasy chips lurking in your bowl. Friends note: We fry orderer’s will not be held accountable for stabbing your greedy fingers with our brandishing fork.
  • When someone doesn’t eat ANYTHING at all because anorexia is totes cool (not). Friendships cannot withstand a food lover vs. a food hater. Nothing makes us enjoy food less like a gal sipping on her iced water as she dutifully tells you (not that you asked) why carbs are the devil. (In actually fact a certain Atkins IS the devil and is currently laughing evilly as he sucks the life AKA beauty of all the carbs from the mouths of more size-zero hopefuls).
  • When your girlfriend calls another girl obese who is clearly smaller than you are and you wonder what the f she calls you. Worse is when you are naked and she looks at herself with disgust and pinches non-existent fat calling herself a fat ugly mole. Your thighs are double hers and you wonder what on earth is wrong with her head. Especially if you are anything like me and gaze at your big booty with love wondering why anyone would want a small one…. or is that just me?             `

So I guess this is a message from both Fifi herself and yours truly. Ladies, don’t drag us down with your diets. Some gals love food in all of its glory and some girls don’t WANT to be model thin. Just because you don’t want the bread sticks doesn’t mean WE should go without. And just because YOU find your calorie intake (or lack thereof) fascinating does not mean we do.

Oh and to every one of my friends who has said this and to any girl who has said this in general. I just want to clarify. There is nothing fat about a size ten.

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