Archive | August, 2012

It’s time for a 12 week body transformation challenge!

27 Aug


Depending on your friends and who you follow, you may have noticed Facebook and Twitter are abuzz this week with news that celebrity trainer Michelle Bridges’ 12 Week Body Transformation challenge is underway!

It’s the third round for 2012 of Michelle’s uber-successful program. I’ve seen friends (and previous challengers) drop kilos, re-educate themselves about nutrition and emerge from the program fresh-faced, lighter and leaner.

So now it’s my turn to give it a go!

My goal? To drop the stodge, work off weeks of take away (I’ve been lazy, what can I say?) and regain my self-confidence. Also…umm…see that sunshine out there? Yep, another bikini season is nearly upon us. CUE A GREAT BIG GULP!

But I know these thighs aren’t going to stop jiggling on their own. I need to pull on the trainers, put in the work, eat cleanly and break some very hardy habits.

I’ve stocked up on a set of scales, some new workout gear, a lovely lime green pair of dumbbells and Michelle Bridges’ DVDs so I can literally roll out of bed and into my personal gym (aka the living room).

I’ll be blogging about my successes, setbacks (hopefully few!) and results.

Please feel free to ask me questions as I work through the 12 weeks. And if you’re taking part in round 3 of 12WBT, please let me know how you’re going by commenting below. Let’s spur each other on!

Top resources for doing yoga at home

16 Aug

It’s taken me a looong time to discover a handy and helpful yoga studio. A friend recently invited me to a class at the Life & Balance Centre in Glebe.

I trudged along, expecting a sterile studio and hectic class, like the ones I’ve tried in noisy gym rooms. What I discovered, however, was a serene studio and a holistic approach to yoga. The instructor took the time to correct my poses, explain the asanas and their benefits and create a lovely supportive space.

Unfortunately, Glebe is a little out of the way for me to commit to regular classes. Which is why I love my in-home DVD collection. I simply step into the living room, put on a DVD and enjoy an hour-long yoga routine. While the DVDs lack individual instruction, I love not worrying about what’s going on around me.

My faves are the Element collection and Shiva Rea’s range. I also love Tara Stiles’ YouTube channel, one of the many useful online resources for practising yoga at home.

Susana Frioni recently wrote a post on The Wellness Warrior, with her 11 favourite resources for practising yoga at home. Check it out for a fabulous range of resources – some free, some paid.

What yoga DVDs or online resources have you tried? Can you recommend any?

If it is to be, it’s up to me

6 Aug

Last week I was having a long overdue coffee catch-up with a friend. As we sipped our lattes in the  winter chill, she revealed that she’d broken up with her boyfriend after realising she had some things to work on. She’d also bagged a working visa, so she can stay on in Sydney, and moved into her very own studio apartment.

Now if that’s not an advertisement for taking charge of your life, I don’t know what is! My friend refused to sit around and expect the good things to come to her. She realised (and she told me this) that she has to create her own reality, and that if you feel like you’re waiting for something to happen, that’s your gut telling you to make a change. But you have to make that change yourself.

As I mulled over her news and congratulated her on creating a fun new phase in her life, a smiling face appeared beside me. It was a woman, bent down, waving and grinning at me. It took a few moment to place the face, but I realised it was my old hairdresser who had left the salon I went to 14 months ago. As the hairdressers code goes, if a stylist leaves, they can’t take their clients with them (or tell anyone where they’ve gone). So for the past year-and-a-bit, I’ve been struggling with a big mop of badly-coloured, frizzy hair, wishing I knew where my stylist had gone.

As it turned out, she’d opened her own salon a few doors down from the cafe. In the suburb that The Lad (my partner) calls home. When I stay at his place, I pass her new salon without even realising it. I had my hairdresser back!

After I bid goodbye to my friend, I dashed down to the salon to check it out. My stylist greeted me with a big bear hug and showed me around the space she’d recently taken over. Lured by the image of having smooth white-blonde tresses once again, I asked for a few little highlights (just a few, I swear) and we got chatting.

She told me about how she’d bought the salon on a whim. A series of events (similar to my experience that day) had led her to notice the salon was for sale and hand over a sizable deposit.

While she works to build her business and win new clients, she’s downsized from a pricey pad in a trendy part of town, to a granny flat that barely fits her furniture. It’s a sacrifice, an investment in her future. She’s putting in the hard yards because she has a dream to own a successful salon. One day, she said, she’ll have a nice big home.

And I truly believe that she will. Because she has that fighting spirit.

In one morning, I caught up with two inspirational women who have decided that their fate is theirs to guide. They’re taking charge. They’re holding the reins. They’re setting their future, and grinning widely in the process.

“If it is to be, it’s up to me.” Never has this mantra inspired me more!

P.S. If  you crave gorgeous hair at a reasonable price, using organic non-chemical products, skip down to see Erica at Chic Hair in Lane Cove (name to change). Phone (02) 9427 5088.

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