Category: Workouts

Thankfulness vs Pridefulness

Hi all,

I’ve been thinking on this topic a little of late, so thought I’d share some thoughts with you.

I first started really thinking on this due to the 30day squat challenge I’m currently doing.  I’m on day 29, so basically finished, but I said in my insta post today that I was ‘quite proud of myself’ for having reached this point and having done EVERY day’s set amount of squats.  As I said in the post, I really did wonder if I’d give the tick that I’d done the amount for that day, when maybe I hadn’t quite done the total.

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I thought this, not out of a fear of laziness on my part, but the fact that when, on day 1, and only 50 squats were required,  I’d look forward to those big numbers of over 100 for most days, & wonder if I’d achieve that every single day.

To be where I am now, one day from the end, and having achieved every day’s amount is quite amazing to me.  I’m blown away by what my body has achieved.

As I’ve said before, I do love accountability… it drives me, keeps me focused and on track…  so these types of challenges are really great for me…. and making them public just cements my desire to achieve it.  But not so that I can hear ‘well done’ from others… but so that they can maybe see themselves doing the same, achieving similar benefits etc.

So, this is what lead me to the train of though in regards to accomplishment.. and whether being proud of your achievements is showing a lack of humility.

We know that being humble is a BIG BIG BIG part of being a follower of Christ.  In order to become a Christian, we need to be humble enough to admit we’re a sinner, die to self, love our neighbour as ourselves.. and heaven forbid (🤣) , love our enemies.    It’s hard to do those things if you are prideful.

When we think, and being right in that thought, that being prideful is a sin… then what do we do in a situation where we feel proud of an accomplishment?  I think the key is to constantly remember that we only achieve the things we do, in and through the strength of our Saviour.  Several days of this squat challenge I remember verbally thanking Jesus for giving me the strength to actually do some 200+ squats, as there have been days when I simply could not have done it on my own strength.

I particularly think of a day late last week when I had a bad head cold.  I am still amazed, looking back, that I still did the amount for that day.  Thankfully though, the absolute worst day of the head cold did happen to be a rest day in the challenge (Praise Jesus !).

Another important distinction is that having DElIGHT in your achievements is not being prideful… knowing that your work will result in further good things is something to delight in.  Delighting in the fact that your body has achieved something you doubted , or didn’t know, it could do, is also recognising the amazing God created body that you are blesssed to have.  The fine line though would be if you are delighting in others NOTICING your achievements.

“So I saw that there is nothing better than that a man should rejoice in his work, for that is his lot,” (Ecc. 3:22).

To clarify, we need to pull that apart a little, as if we enjoy others raving about our achievements simply because we like others to think well of us, than that’s pride right there.. but if others can gain by witnessing our accomplishments, than that is furthering God’s work through us.

Another big thing .. and one that seems to be a very notable point with me, is the difference between Thankfulness and entitlement.  I’m not entitled to a strong, healthy body that allows me to achieve these things… I am THANKFUL to have a strong healthy body that can achieve these things.  Constantly finding the path that leads back to Jesus is your sure fire way to stay humble.

“Naked I came from my mother’s womb, and naked shall I return. The LORD gave, and the LORD has taken away; blessed be the name of the LORD,” (Job 1:21).

Blessings peeps

Respect the temple

xox

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Ageing smarter !!

Evening all !!

Quite a bit recently, I’ve been thinking about age…. as in the actual number that is the count we’re up to in years on planet earth.   It’s 42 (& a half) for me right now.. and what I’m finding interesting.. and encouraging.. is that I continue to not have any concern about how ‘old’ I am.  While others I know actually get depressed about their birthday coming around each year… I continue to just love every birthday…. as it’s always brought many many blessings in the year leading up to it.  Also, there’s pretty much always things to look forward to in the year ahead.

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I think back on when I was my daughters age, (she’s just turned 18), I honestly thought of my parents and their friends as ‘middle aged’.  My grandparents were ‘old’, but my parents… being the age I am now…  were middle aged in my reckoning, and I thought that there was no way that when I got to their age, I’d still feel remotely ‘young’.

Well…  surprise surprise…  I honestly don’t feel much different than when I was 24 and having my first baby.  When talking to my Mum about this, she says that’s exactly how she felt at my age… and she did, in fact, ride a pushbike up & down half the Queensland coast at my age.. a round trip distance of about 1000kms.  She says that she didn’t really begin to feel any ‘age’ until her 50s…  so here’s my challenge….  to keep on track with my fitness journey with as fierce a conviction as I have had for 3+yrs now.   I want to ‘push out’ this ‘feeling of age’ as long as I possibly can.  But… there’s more to the story…

Sadly, it’s true, as a person ages, we’ll experience a decline in our maximum exercise capacity. Our capacity to recover quickly from long or intense bouts of physical activity will also decline.

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Our maximum heart rate declines, and our maximum oxygen uptake also declines by about 1% per year. Oxygen uptake is crucial, as all our muscle energy is made by combining oxygen with the fuel in our body (carbs, and fat). The faster you transport and use oxygen, the faster you can go, and the longer you can keep going for.  (interesting facts don’t you think !!)

Sound a little dreary ? Well, it can be.. but in fact, this info prominently speaks to those operating at their maximum fitness level, which, let’s face it… most of us are not.   I consider myself a very active person, who is very health and fitness conscious, but I also know that I am in no way operating at my maximum capacity.  And, to be honest, I don’t really desire to.

As a person operating at my kinda level… It’s very encouraging to know that with the right types and amount of training (including recovery and nutrition) we can actually gain back more fitness than time takes away from us!  Sounds good, right !!

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Another great thing about getting older is that we have wisdom on our side. We are far more likely to ‘respect the temple’, as well as taking better care of the recovery side of the athletic equation.  (this is mostly due to common sense, as we KNOW that we pay for it if we don’t.) We’re also more likely to approach training and exercise a little smarter and more sensibly than our younger selves.

A lot of this comes down to a drop off in our lack of interest in training, and staying fit as we get older..  whether that’s about laziness, lack of motivation, time or knowledge… it’s fairly common that we age quicker than is biologically necessary.  We see it all the time…  older men and women, appearing to defy age… but when they’re questioned about it…. it’s nearly ALWAYS the fact that they remain active in their everyday lives.   In other words, ‘Use it or lose it’ isn’t just a saying…  it’s a legit thing.

I personally think the lack of knowledge one is extremely prevalent.. and sadly it’s not just about people not seeking the knowledge… it’s a lack of care for it.  I am ‘up against a brick wall’ with a lot of those I know and care deeply about.

I can speak very personally about how I KNOW that my chosen diet of nutrient dense meals keeps me healthier in general.  I hardly ever get sick, as in general colds/flus etc.  Sadly, I do experience a LOT of unpleasant symptoms due to my cycle…  but hopefully that will be sorted out soon.  (Sidenote… I have seen a great improvement in some of the symptoms by including Maca powder in my smoothies.)  But when it comes to general health and wellbeing, I know that the food & drink I choose to fuel my body with, as well as the amount of physical activity I do each day, improves my life immeasurably.

But these things don’t seem to factor in with a lot of people.  I suspect they resent the idea of the effort required…. only thing is, if they simply started… they’d find they enjoy the benefits so much, and begin to enjoy the physical exertion so much, that the effort required becomes a great enjoyment in their lives.

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No judgement here tho, as I was ever so slightly like this in previous years.  I do firmly believe that each person needs their own conviction, of ‘light bulb’ moment. I don’t believe, other than in a dangerous health situation, that a person can be TOLD to care about their general health to a degree that would greatly improve their lives.

I believe that those of us who do strongly feel the conviction to respect our temples to the best of our ability need to lean on the knowledge that God will use us as an example to others, and work through that.  Which, less face it, is going to be far more effective than anything we can say or do in the natural.

For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.  Jeremiah 29:11

So, as we wrap up this weekend, and prepare ourselves for the week ahead, let’s go forward in the knowledge that God’s plans are abundantly, amazingly, above and beyond anything we could even imagine… that’s a pretty big deal… a huge reason to go forward in confidence, expectancy and excitement !!

Blessings peeps !!

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In a great headspace !!

As I was walking Cooper this afternoon for his normal late afternoon walk, it occurred to me, that other than the sometimes yuckiness of life….  hormonal teenage outbursts, middle aged husband emotions (😂),  continuing to grieve my Dad, the still unreconciled extended family situation, plus normal ‘life’ stuggles…  my life is in a really fantastic place.  I know that this is all because of Jesus, our ultimate peacemaker.

 Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid. John 14:27

I‘m very blessed to have pretty much always had a very strong surety when it comes to my faith.  I don’t struggle with doubt, or unbelief in any areas…  and I KNOW, beyond a shadow of doubt, that this strength in my faith is what places me in this great place in life.  If I made the mistake of looking at things logically, maybe I’d struggle to not get depressed about it.  BUT, I know that God’s plans are the BEST plans, so even when something doesn’t happen, or not happen, when I think it should….  or something doesn’t come together that I wished had…. or God pushes me down a pathway I was hesitant (understatement) to go…  I have the confidence in knowing that God’s got this !!  

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What I was most thinking about when this came to me on my walk this afternoon was my health and fitness journey.  I know I covered this in the last blog, but I’m really finding the social media outlets not only a tool of accountability, but a great encouragement.

I had to buy 3 major pieces of equipment in order to dive into this ministry that God has for me….  when the 2nd arrived a couple of days ago, I said to my husband… “This is getting real, when the 3rd package arrives, I actually have to do this.”  Like I said in the last blog.. exciting, but scary !!  🖥📸💜🏃🏽‍♀️

Another thing that had me pondering where I’m at, is the people that we’re surrounded by.  It’s a no brainer that we do our best when championed on by loved ones and friends.

As iron sharpens iron, so one person sharpens another.  Proverbs 27:17

I’m very blessed to have really wonderful people around me, but like most people, I also have those around me that are kinda hoping I fail….  those that think this is just a faze.. and I’ll just go back to the unhealthy weight and food choices that were my life 3+years ago.  I also have people in my life who choose to see something about me that simply isn’t me.   All I can say about that is…hey… haters gonna hate.  Move on, but pray for them like crazy.. coz happy people want the best for others… unhappy, or damaged people… do not.  So, whatever way you look at it, those that maybe don’t champion you on in your life….  or worse, outright speak negatively about you..  need our prayers more than anyone else.  

 

Back to the possibility of back tracking in fitness… even if solely for physical comfort, I’d need to stay off dairy and big amounts of meat intake…..  which is a BIG part of having a healthy body…. so even if I were to let the physical exercise go, I’d still be far healthier than I was previously.  Having said that, I kinda LOVE my walks, my workouts, my clothes (😂), so I can’t see me going away from this healthy lifestyle.

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In order to keep it real, I’m not saying I never get down… coz man, I do !  I was in a real funk a couple of days ago for an evening and a day… and I just couldn’t explain it… It was near the anniversary of my Dad going Home to the Lord, but I really didn’t think it was that.. it was different….  and low and beyond.. the dreaded monthlies arrived today… so waa laa… explanation found !!  🤔

On this front, I actually received a letter with a surgery date for my much dreaded Hysterectomy, but as it was going to clash with my daughter’s 18th b’day & party, I had to let them know I couldn’t do that date… so back onto the waitlist I go.  Heartbroken?? NOT

As it’s Easter Saturday (is that actually an offical thing?? I don’t think so.. but anyway)… so in just 17mins… it’ll be the time my Dad went Home on Easter Saturday 2017.  Last year, it was rough, as easter fell BEFORE the date of the anniversary, but his year, it’s already passed, so it seems a lot easier.  However, I”m choosing to not dwell on it, so there’s that.

In regards to my blog pages, I’ll just let you all know that I will be consolidating my two pages.  I’m halfway through blogging my Europe trip with my sister last year, so I’ll finish that off before wrapping the page up… but after that, this will be my main blog page, so as to best facilitate this new health, wellness and fitness ministry.

My entire homeschooling journey, as well as Master 14s ADHD diagnosis & journey are over on Lovely Shiloh, as well as travel blogs, preparing for and then grieving the loss of my Dad.. and general life.  Feel free to go check them out, but there’s 248 blogs over there as we go live…..  so just a bit of reading for you.  Here is the link.  😀

I’m wondering if there’s a way to make a copy of all blogs…  without literally printing them all out.. if anyone knows of a way, please tell me, as I’d love to do that.

OK..    that’s it for now.

Blessings Peeps.  xox

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Update… and a walking companion

So, it’s 6days later… and I must say, I’m pretty pleased with my motivation / progress.  I’ve still got more to set in motion.. and to be real, I only just today repositioned the workout cage.

I’ve gotten back into daily upper body strength training.. and I’m feeling the tiredness/soreness to prove it. lol.

My daily walking is now far more interesting, with my trusty Cooper pup alongside me. He still has some ‘stranger etiquette’ to learn, but we’re getting there.  Who’d have thought that not everyone loves being licked by a big dog tongue.  ha ha.  🐾

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We got Cooper from the RSPCA, after losing our beloved mini foxie, Mork, to a tumour in late January.  Much to our confusion, Cooper was a stray brought into the pound, with no identification by way of chip etc…..  who on earth would have ever not wanted this particular dog back, I have no clue.  While he’s still very puppyish (at just over 1yr old), he’s extremely well behaved, responsive and teachable.  He appears to be bombproof too… storms, small annoying children, being left alone etc etc.

Basically, it was a God thing for sure !!!  When we went to the shelter on that Saturday morning, the 5 of us prayed together sitting in the car… that if the dog for us was in there, that they would be highlighted to us, with no room for mistake.  From a practical point of view, our heart were broken, shattered into pieces with losing Mork so suddenly… so we could not possibly go thru taking a dog home, for it to not work out… and God knew this !

After a week or so of settling in, Cooper starting joining me on my evening walk n talks with the Hubster.  He took a few nights of training on the lead, but on the whole, he’s been great.  I think the most he’s done would be maybe 4-5kms, so that’s not bad for starters.

I had been getting bored with my walks in my area, and even though I’m doing a lot of the same routes, it seems to have taken on a new appeal for me with Cooper alongside.  Praise the Lord for that, as I was wondering what I was gonna do, other than getting on a train to expand my route options.  (which is actually not something I mind doing anyway).

My absolute FAVE walking option though is along the beach!!! (Vitamin SEA for the win!)

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There’s just something about being by the ocean…. obviously the visual, but also… the sounds, the smells, the people you pass along the way… it’s just an atmosphere that makes you happy…. or happier, depending on the current mood.

This particular spot is an hours drive from our home.. but we do have a gorgeous bay only 20mins from our home which is fantastic to walk along.  There’s an annual fun run each July called the Jetty 2 Jetty.  It really is one of the best fun run events on offer in our city and surrounds, and I think it’s because of all those things listed above.

Still no improvement with the early mornings I must say… but hey, I can continue to hope I’ll achieve it.  It’s a confusing one as to why I’m not super crazy keen to do it really, seeing as the days are still heating up to often uncomfortable temps, so getting those steps in in the early morning cooler temperatures should be really appealing.  If only my bed wasn’t so darn comfy at that hour.

OK…  Blessing Peeps !!

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Maintaining.. but wanting more..

Hi All !!

While I’m super happy with my weight, of course there’s still areas.. mainly my tummy… that I wish were firmer.  Also, if you’ve followed me over on fimum23, you know that I LOVE toned arms.

So, it’s my new plan to up the strength training in these areas.  Yes, I know… I’ve said this before.. and it’s not like I didn’t do any of it… I do.  But I clearly need to do MORE in order to get the specific results I’m after.

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There’s a couple of practical/housekeeping things I’m needing to sort out in order to make these changes as optimally as possible… but that’s in the works.

1.  I need to sell my X-trainer as I literally NEVER use it.  I used to really enjoy it, but now… not so much.  I know that it’s probably a seasonal (kinda) thing and I may come back around… as is proven by my now LOVE of my treadmill, which I did once detest the idea of getting on.  There’s also the undeniable aspect that the X trainer gives a full body workout.. and seeing I’m wanting to improve my upper arms, it would seem like a great plan to actually use it regularly, but the fact of the matter is, if you don’t enjoy being on there.. you simply won’t get on there.  (proven by the fact that I haven’t stepped on the darn thing in like 6mths). It’s also a rather bulky item to have in your rumpus room being unused.  At present it sits kinda under the workout cage, making it not 100% useable itself.  So….  that is a MUST DO item for next weeks ‘to do list’.  Advertise X Trainer !!

Achieving #1 will make #2 actually happen.  Using my workout cage to it’s full capabilities.  I absolutely LOVE doing weighted squats…. they just make me feel crazy strong (LOL).  I used to do them with my PT all the time (because it’s obviously way easier when someone can hand it to you…. or better still, place it across the top of your shoulders). But, doing them on your own is harder… and throw in the element of me having rather garbage balance due to my eyesight… basically impossible.. or at most… a rather bad idea.   Having the added safety of being able to pick up your bar at your optimal height and place it back in that same position…  just so great.

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It’s hard to see in this image, (as this isn’t actually my cage), but there are holes top to bottom, so you can place your bars at whatever height suits.   This is super handy in my house seeing I share with my son, who is 194cm tall.  😂

Another thing I’m yet to achieve, and REALLY want to, is early morning workouts…  As much as I try… I just love sleeping in the morning too much.  I also KNEW that this was going to get even harder as the mornings got cooler, so I really wanted to have achieved this BEFORE winter.  I do still have time for this, so I”m being optimistic and saying I’ll reach the goal.

I’m still loving my smoothies…. to the point where I am pretty bummed that I actually didn’t have one today.  (I mean seriously.. look at just a couple of smoothies I’ve concocted … pretty darn appealing)   I made my son the Healthy Mummy chia choc chip pancakes a couple of months ago, and he LOVES them…. so that’s what was on the brekky menu for today.  Then, of course, I had a healthy hamburger craving at lunch…  so there’s that… and then for dinner… I did actually have a smoothie, but just a simple meal replacement one, as I was crazy busy making stovetop lasagna for the fam, so needed to down my dinner before it was too late.

I absolutely LOVE (yeah, I know.. I capitalise a LOT) (See what I did there? 😂) finding different ways to get extra nutrients in by way of staying hydrated.  I’ve started making both cucumber water (which I actually fell in love with onboard Pacific Aria last March), and also Celery juice.

When I went to make the Celery juice for the first time, I was bummed to realise that I needed a nutbag to strain, but I’ve found that my Norwex dish cloth does a fantastic job.  (Yes, a shameless Norwex plug.. I have re-activiated my account too.  LOL)

OK… just a quick update for now….  I’ll make an effort to blog more in the days to come.. as I have soooo much info to share.  My niece has just given me two apparently fantastic books to read….  ‘Diet for a new America’ by John Robbins (I’ll just read ‘Australia’ every time it says America..lol.. and ‘Food for life’ by Neal Barnard, MD.  I”m super bummed to get into them as they do seem packed with great info, even just by flicking through briefly so far.

Continuing to #respectthetemple peeps !!

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Back in the blogosphere

Hi all.. yes, it’s pretty darn embarrassing that I haven’t written a blog since the end of July… and not only embarrassing, but confronting, as it’s an actual ministry calling I’ve been ignoring.  Not cool, not cool at all.

So, as always….  repent, forgive yourself.. and move on with every intention to do better.

I’m still powering on in the healthy body stakes and am pretty much just maintaining my weight now.  I’ve become a 42yr old since I last blogged.  A lot of people seem to be bothered by the number, but it seriously does not bother me at all.  If anything, I actually feel pretty happy with where I’m at as a 42yr old.  I don’t only mean physically, but mentally and spiritually too.  Of course, it goes without saying that there’s ALWAYS room for growth & learning in all of those areas, but just keeping on walking forwards is always a great plan.

As well as the birthday, I’ve had a rather full-on overseas trip (blog soon to appear over on my life blog site), plus other family events etc that are common ‘full off the healthy wagon’ kinda triggers.  I’m pleased to say that I’ve remained firm in the healthy lifestyle choices, both food & exercise, throughout.

It certainly helps that 1.  It becomes a habit and you full-on crave it.  2.  Your body tends to not like it when you feed it rubbish when it’s been loving goodness.  3.  Loving what you see in the mirror is always a huge motivator to keep going. (once again, not just about the physical).  It’s also a great thing that there is more and more wholefoods cafes popping up, which makes it so enjoyable to head out for a catch up, knowing that you’re having a ‘treat’ and yet still nourishing your body.  This is one of my absolute fave smoothies from Charlies at Clontarf.  If you’re local, here is their website.  Go check them out as they are AMAZING !!  They also double as a little grocery store and they stock all sorts of great stuff.

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It’s very interesting that the body shape or type that was your goal in the beginning quite often isn’t what you desire as you travel further along the journey.  I’ll admit, I started off just wanting to be THIN !!  I wanted to look good in size 10 clothes.. and maintain it.  But I’ve found that a HEALTHY body trumps a THIN body every single time.  This is not just about body shape or size, but skin, hair, nail, posture, overall attitude.

I walk EVERYWHERE, and I also love to squat, so as a result, I have really firm thighs, and they’re not as thin as my original ‘goal’ body.  But I love it that way.  That saying is so true….  ‘Strong is the new sexy’.  ha ha.

Along with physical goals, I set myself some spiritually healthy goals too.  For years, my 1st action every morning was to pick up my phone and look at FB & insta..  I was confronted big-time with the fact that I was allowing my head & heart to be filled with useless chatter, outright garbage, or just nonsense, first thing in the morning… instead of beginning my day immersed in God’s Word.  (PS.. for friends reading this.. your posts are not useless chatter.  LOL )

I would always do the daily bible reading from the You Version app on my phone, but it would be whatever time of day I got to doing it, and I’d just read the one verse/s highlighted, nothing more.  I would get into a plan fairly often, but other than that… it was mainly just the daily bible verse.

My original goal was to do 2 things…  1.  Do not allow myself to look at anything else on my phone in the morning until that bible reading was done.. and 2.  to hit that ‘read full chapter’ button under the verse.  Except for those times that the verse happens to be in Psalm 119 and you realise you’re gonna be late (lol), it’s been so great to read an entire chapter each morning.   Like the food and exercise, it’s also become a ‘craving’ each morning and one that quickly becomes the BEST way to start the day.

I’ve recently set a new goal, which is to use an actual physical bible instead of the app.  While I actually love the idea of doing this as I just love to hold and read a bible (same with a fiction/non fiction book),  the ability to enlarge the font on the phone/tablet and have it set to something that’s really easy for me to see, even without reading glasses, is hard to go past.  But, I’m determined !!  I’m going to push on and I must say, I’m pretty excited to see what I’ll learn from this.  It’s one thing to allow an app to guide you, but to take that responsibility on yourself….  it’s daunting, but exciting.

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On the exercise front, I’ve recently bought a step… sounds riveting right?  Well surprisingly, it actually was.  After the first day of having it, I said to my husband “This is the best $35 with free postage (ebay) I’ve ever spent.  I Youtube searched ‘workouts using a step’ and have found some amazing ones that have quickly become a great part of my week.   Here is one of my favourites at the moment.  It’s a killer, but it’s GREAT !!!  If you can take a good walk, and add in a step workout, you’ve got yourself a great day of moving your body.

I’ve also not long ago bought a booty belt (& no, you’re not seeing a picture of that. lol).  I’m yet to decide if it’s a gimmick or a legit piece of workout equipment.   It definitely does target areas, which is great… but we’ll see.  I’ll keep you updated.

OK…  I hope you’re all doing fabulously, respecting the temple, and walking alongside our Lord and Saviour, the best PT ever !!!

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Who wants flat abs ? ME !!

Hi all.. I don’t know about y’all, but I’ve found that the most stubborn excess weight to budge is on my tummy.  Now, lots of people will say that if you’ve had kids, you can’t achieve flat abs, but I respectfully, but strongly disagree.  There’s just too many fit healthy Mummas out there with gorgeous, healthy abs to make this ‘theory’ stand up.

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I mean, let’s be real..  our tummy muscles are torn in half with our first pregnancy, and there’s no glueing those babies back together, so if you’re asking if your tummy will get back to looking the same that it did pre-kids.. than the answer is a resounding no.  It’s kinda like your facial features before and after braces.  Structural change creates changes to the surface of our body… ain’t nothin’ gonna make that go back to the way it was before (well, maybe some super fantastic plastic surgeon could achieve it for a price… but hey, I’m not a big advocate for that course of action.😂)

I’ve spend lots of time in recent years doing crunches and sit-ups.. but I’ve gotta say, I’m not too keen on those methods.  I end up with a sore neck/back/butt (I kinda ‘broke’ my tailbone as a kid, so anything where you pivot constantly on your butt isn’t the most comfortable thing to do.)

When I spent a solid year working with a PT 2 times per week in 2016, she had me planking as the predominant core strength exercise.  While it takes a bit to get the knack, and concentration to ensure you continue to use the right form every time etc, it really is the best way to work your core.

While getting into the proper form is straightforward, holding the position takes strength and endurance in your abs, back, and core. The plank is one of the best exercises for core conditioning but it also works your glutes and hamstrings, supports proper posture, and improves balance.

I had started to think it was a little boring, until I discovered, and created, different variations to the exercise.  These not only help to work different muscle’s etc, but keep things more interesting, as well as distract you from the burn.  (yes, it burns, but it’s worth it !!)

Some of my favs are shoulder taps, reaching sideways and front to back with a resistance band, side plank where you reach your hand in the air, single forearm plank reaching alternating arms in front of you, knee to inside elbow plank, knee to outside elbow plank…. I could seriously go on.. but in general, you just need to keep them interesting so you don’t get bored.   YouTube search ‘plank variations’ and you’ll find loads of videos to check out.

Planking is such a versatile move and is best known for working your core, but planks also engage more than 20 muscles, including your shoulders, back, arms, legs, and glutes. To perfect proper form of the good old fashioned basic plank, start with the basic plank. Practice holding that plank, starting on knees to begin with, until you can go up on your toes.. for 30 seconds at a time, adding 15 seconds each time you work out. Once you can hold a basic plank for a minute, move on to more interesting variations … and before you know it, you’ll begin to see real transformation.

Click here to see one of my absolute FAV ab workouts with Danette May.  This chick is 40yrs old, and she’s had 3 kids people… so no excuses.  It just requires commitment and dedication.. and not a whole lot of time each day.  I really love Danette’s principals as she has really practical methods for busy Mums.  We don’t have all the time in the world to be at the gym 5 days per week.  We need quick but effective workouts that will achieve results.   Workouts that don’t require a lot (if any) equipment are also fantastic !!

In general though, I really think the plank was the great base that helped me train myself to hold my core in. Not only for all workout exercises, but also just in general throughout the day.  So, while the planking itself gets results, it’s the flow on effect that helps overall too, as holding in that belly (& tucking ya booty under) makes a subtle but really noticeable difference to your stance.   And let’s face it, it’s subtle improvements like these that make us happy with what we see in the mirror, and happier with how we appear in a photograph etc.

Some people say it’s vanity to want to look good, but it’s important to remember that Ephesians 2:10 tells us that we are God’s handiwork…  as well as in Genesis 1:27, So God created mankind in his own image.  Personally, I want to feel that I’m presenting myself at my best (at HIS BEST).  When it comes down to it… are we respecting the temple He gave us if we don’t ?  Are we reflecting His image if we don’t?

Points to ponder I’m sure.  Until we chat again, happy planking !!

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