CHAPTER THIRTEEN: If you’re anxious and you know it…

The blog is rapidly approaching real-time.

The buffer that I created of a month between my real-world happenings and when the corresponding post goes live has all but eroded.

And I think I’m going to be okay with it. I think I’m mostly doing okay.

In case I wasn’t clear, I was having some real issues with anxiety for all of the early part of this pregnancy. That over-whelming worry that something was wrong, or would go wrong was just, well … over-whelming me.

Anxiety Girl - able to jump to the worst conclusion in a single bound!

Anxiety is a bitch. And unless you’ve really experienced it, is super hard to explain. Here’s a tip; being told to ‘calm down’ is not calming. Being told ‘everything will be okay’ does not actually reassure the person with anxiety. And telling them to ‘just breathe’ may very well result in you ‘just being throat-punched’.

People who suffer anxiety are most certainly not dumb. We understand and are usually more frustrated and upset with ourselves than you could ever possibly imagine because sometimes we aren’t capable of just breathing, calming down or being confident that everything will be okay.

But we are working on it. All. The. Time.

For me, the constant worrying has dropped back to a totally normal level of pregnant-mum concern. Stuff may still go wrong, but it probably won’t.

Today I am nearly 19 weeks pregnant. That’s nearly half way. Blueberry kicks, and wriggles and has been perfect on all of the scans we’ve had. I am healthy and happy and still doing all the things I did before.

I am okay. But not everyone is. Be kind. Always. Because you never know what other people have going on.

xx

Bella

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CHAPTER TWELVE: Pregnant or Fat? Or Pregnant AND Fat?

I made a mental decision a while back that me being pregnant wasn’t going to be about my weight, or my body or any sort of struggle around those things.

For a health and fitness blogger, I just really don’t care that much in the scheme of growing a human.

I do absolutely respect people who maintain their super athletic bodies during pregnancy. I love people who continue to train and be bad-ass heavy-lifting, marathon-running gym girls right up until the day their little human/s arrive.

But it’s not the be-all and end-all of my life, and certainly won’t be of this pregnancy. Here’s the low-down of what I’ll find acceptable for myself during this pregnancy:

  • I’m going to gain weight. I have already. I’m okay with it.
  • I aim to eat well, and healthfully, in a balanced way during this pregnancy.
  • I aim to stay training for the whole pregnancy IN SOME FORM. I aim to adapt that as I go and be fluid and gentle in my approach.
  • I’m going to come back to training IN SOME FORM as soon as I can after the birth of Blueberry. I aim to be understanding of my body and gentle in my approach.

And let’s be honest, it’s my third baby. I have a history of previously being obese – my body is pretty darn keen to puff back out and chill in the chubby-zone. These first few month, there has been a lot of this:

pregnantorfat

Ergh.

I can’t say that it makes me happy. But it doesn’t worry me.

I have a meeting with a nutritionist this week just to chat about changes I can make to my pre-pregnancy diet that may better suit the changes in my body and hormone profile at this time in my life.

I’m still training, but at the moment that comprises two Spin/RPM classes a week and 2 small weights sessions with my weights dropped back considerably. And I’m okay with that at the moment.

So hey, if your following my blog hoping to see a girl stay super-lean, super small and bad-ass strong during a pregnancy – I apologise in advance. I’m just me. Doing my thing. As best as I can for the Blueberry and myself. And if it’s not pretty, or lean, or even particularly motivating as a fitness goal – I’m totally okay with that. You can catch me on the flipside when I get to work earning it all back with my three little people in tow.

But if you are keen to stick around, I’ll let you know how it all goes in the real world.

Thanks as always,

B

Decide to be lucky

I have a friend who is working through a divorce at the moment. I say ‘working through’ rather than going through. Because it is and has been, an amicable separation and now legal divorce. No yelling, no hating, no ugliness. When I heard them speak about it though, they mentioned how lucky they are to have things work out so well.

I agree and I don’t.

In many situations in life, we make choices that affect our ‘luck’. In that particular end of a marriage, there are two people who are making choices about their behaviour, their mindset and about working together. So it’s ‘lucky’ that they both feel the same way about it, but not that it’s actually coming together this way.

I often tell myself that I am so lucky to have met The Captain and to have a lovely husband and a strong marriage. But that luck in meeting him was totally steered by the fact I had no desire to hang out with guys who were less than good people. The fact was that I was purposefully aloof and would always prefer to be single than the girlfriend of some ass. Even if they weren’t an ass all the time. So when I met The Captain, and time after time he demonstrated his amazing character not just about or to me, just the way he thinks and the little glimpses into his moral compass, it was no surprise that I fell madly in love. So yes, it was luck that this meeting happened when I was so young, but not that I married someone with the same values that I have. It’s not at all perfect, but we mark thirteen years together and ten years married next week, and it is amazing.

One area where I do feel true luck is with the conception, pregnancies, birth and beyond of my lovely boys. As someone who had been less-than-healthy in my teens and early twenties, I fully expected to struggle to get pregnant, and maybe that I wouldn’t be able to have children at all. The fact that I did really is luck. I see that Michelle Bridges is ‘being slammed’ (there’s a few irked facebook comments) for saying the healthy lifestyles of herself and her partner Steve contributed to the luck of them falling pregnant at her age (she is 44). In the article (you can read it here) she repeatedly uses the word lucky. Like me, the couple had assumed that a contributing factor in their lives might hamper getting pregnant, they had even gone so far as to book IVF appointments, but with luck, fell pregnant naturally. Had they steered their luck by being uber fit and healthy? Maybe. And when you finally take the plunge to start or extend your family, the constant worry about how things will turn out sometimes make you cling to the choices you CAN make, rather than the flipping of the universe’s coin. Even now, when I think about taking the plunge one day to expand our family, I think I couldn’t possibly be this lucky again.

luck quote

Because realistically, there are people out there who do ALL THE RIGHT THINGS who struggle and even fail to be able to fall pregnant, carry babies to term or have their children born with health or developmental struggles. I was lucky as was Michelle. I truly don’t think her comments are offensive to people who are trying to fall pregnant who aren’t as fit and healthy as she is. Because it was luck. And even if it took her a year, and IVF and sixteen lab-coats, it would still have been luck.

So where I think I’m at with luck is that a lot of what we feel is luck is actually mindset. We choose so much of our future without even realising it’s in the little choices we make all the time. Stick to your goals, and beliefs and the rest really is pure, dumb luck.

Heads or Tails?
Bella

Why would you Even Meal Prep your Food?


So, my life is back to super busy, as I’m sure all of you are experiencing as well!  Whether you’re a student, working, have a family of your own (or knowing lots of you – doing all three!) life is busy and can get stressful.  Eliminate the stress and time factor of having to scrounge to find something appropriate at each lunch-time and having to cook every single night by meal prepping!  It saves you time in the kitchen and helps keep you on track with healthy eating!  You can prep and plan for just dinners, for lunch and dinner, or even all three main meals of the day and snacks too!  The amount of prep you do, depends on how much time you have to dedicate to prepping and your personal preferences.

I prep my lunches for the week, cut up my veggies for snacks, as well as all my dinners for the week.  At different times, I’ve prepped my breakfasts as well but I seem to have a bit more time in the mornings to make it now that the boys are a bit bigger.

So what exactly is meal prepping?  For those of you who are unfamiliar with the term, essentially it is planning and prepping your meals in advance for the week.  This means cooking items in bulk and eating leftovers!  For those of you who just groaned and are turned off to the thought of left overs, listen up, I used to hate left overs when I was younger, well actually up until I was at uni!  Now I rejoice in their existence and you should too!  Left overs are a wondrous time saver!

If prepping and planning can stop you eating off track and keeping you eating good wholesome and nutritious food one extra time each week – that’s a fantastic result and will certainly help you on your way to your goals faster!

And no, I’m not ‘preparing’ for anything special at the moment. Not competing, no shoots booked any time soon. This is just my life. And meal prepping is a life-hack I’ve really grown to enjoy and see the benefits of.

What do you do to keep your weeks prepped and ready to enjoy?

With hugs I prepared earlier,

Bella

7 Steps to achieve your Nutrition & Weight loss Goals

Oh hi there. I’m totally not one for pretending the struggle is simple, but I do believe in breaking things down into tasty, tasty bite-size chunks to make it easier.

Want to live a healthier life but don’t think you’re disciplined enough to stick to a plan to achieve that goal? Don’t worry Poppet! Self-discipline can be learned…

Even the smallest actions are steps in the right direction

Formulate a ‘mission statement’
Ask yourself what you want to accomplish with your eating, overall health and body. Is it to get your pre-baby body back or just tighten up a little? The answers will help you formulate your mission statement. One example might be: “My goal is to reach a healthy weight and feel more confident with my body.”

Develop role models
One excellent strategy for learning how to reach your weight loss goals is to model your behaviour after a successful achiever — someone you know who now has a healthier life, or an athlete with impressive work and training ethic . While you don’t have to follow that person’s exact goals and philosophy, you can match certain elements of their strategy for success that make sense for you and your diet.

Develop an action plan
First, identify and isolate any unhealthy behaviours that keep you from reaching your weight loss goal, then ask yourself how you would act if you had already reached your ideal weight. For example, if you normally stay at the office later than everyone else, you’re probably too tired to go to the gym when you finally do leave. So think about how you might leave the office earlier, in time to get to that 6pm class. Are there meetings you can get out of? Is there work you can delegate? Or can you motivate yourself to exercise at lunch instead?

Visualise your goals
Self-disciplined people form images of themselves achieving their goal. As dumb as it sounds, visualising the new healthy you helps the brain convert images into reality. If weight loss is your goal, imagine yourself looking and feeling fantastic in your new wardrobe or looking your best and being comfortable and relaxed at the beach — you’ll find it much easier to stick to a healthy diet and exercise plan with this image in mind.

Search for pleasure as you pursue your goal
Many people find delight, excitement and intense involvement in working towards a healthy goal. Even if the idea of the diet  changes and exercise needed to achieve your goal may not seem instantly gratifying, the overall feeling of accomplishment will be well worth it in the end, so hang in there. Don’t stress about any occasional diet slip ups or if it feels like you’re not changing at all at first – it takes time to reach a goal.

Section up your life
People who achieve weight loss goals have a remarkable capacity to divide up the differing spheres of their lives to stay focused on what they are doing at the moment. You can make continual improvements to your food choices and healthy meal options, for instance, while other aspects of your goal — like stress reduction — may require other strategies. Set aside some time to think about how your can take control of your life and implement these improvements.

Stop making excuses
If you want to reach your goal, concentrate your energies on healthy accomplishments and successes rather than on concocting reasons for what you haven’t done. To avoid this behaviour, write down all the reasons why you are unable to achieve your goal, like all your excuses not to exercise then write down ways you might overcome them. So what if you don’t have the money right now to purchase new workout clothes? Exercise in a t-shirt and shorts.
By following these seven supportive steps you can re-invigorate yourself about your ability to achieve your goals and maintain the healthy life the way you want it.

Let me know what works best for you!!

Making lists and taking names!
Bella

Little plants, Big flavours!

I love cooking with fresh herbs. I’m also cheap. So paying  $5 for a half-dead bunch of basil at the supermarket has always irked me right into buying dried herbs and accepting the less flavorsome option.

Until now – Operation Herbs Gone Wild is go. They’ll live and hopefully thrive in my little balcony space and make me happier and food tastier!

image

Wish us all luck!
Bella

Yes – I’m doing the 12WBT … Yes – I’m happy to talk about it.

Long time, no post. Sorry peeps. Life gets crazy. So… what the heck have I been up to lately? The answer is A LOT.

So much. But for now, this is the news:

I don’t make any secret of the fact that I followed the 12WBT program when I first started losing weight. It worked for me. It worked in baby steps to help me make better food decisions, to move a little more and and to feel more confident.

I had lost about 35kg with the program before I chose to leave some parts of the program so I could follow a ‘bodybuilder’ diet in order to compete. I kept many other parts of the program and in essence, a lot of what I learned I couldn’t forget if I tried. I’d managed to build a new network of friends all over the country who loved and supported my fitness endeavours and supported me in whatever I did.

I’m open about the fact I eat still in an IIFYM manner. IIFYM stands for If It Fits Your Macros. What that means for me is that I track and alter the levels of protein, fats and carbohydrates that my food comes from. I alter those levels depending on what I am trying to achieve. At the moment, I’m really focussing on getting stronger so that’s what I eat towards.

poster

I was asked to take part in the 12WBT 2015 advertising campaign and it was an honour to accept. I do still believe in the program and the way it is delivered. I feel it has improved A LOT since I first became a member in 2011. I appreciate any business that is prepared to constantly evaluate, listen to science and reason and EVOLVE not because they HAVE to (12WBT’s format has remained crazily popular) but because they WANT to keep improving. Which is exactly what they have done.

So, as part of my involvement with the program – I will be a card-carrying member of the February 4th round of the 12 Week Body Transformation. I will do the tasks that are set for all members (yes, even the ghastly running!) and am super happy to be available to chat, support and encourage other members both new and returning. And yes, the new program is so customisable that I will be staying true to my IIFYM beliefs, accommodating my food intolerances AND still training for mega heavy lifting too!

As well as blogging more, I’ve invited more current 12WBT members to come and guest-blog here so you can hear weight-loss and fitness experiences from people other than me. It’s going to be a fun trip!

If you’d like to know more about the program or even join, there are 4 days left until it all kicks-off and you can read about it here -CLICK ME-

So ask me questions. And I will answer them. Honestly.

In case you missed any of them, here are a couple of my pics from the 2015 12WBT campaign too!

Also – to make sure you aren’t missing out on any of my adventure, feel free to follow me on

Leave me a comment if you are on board too!

Much love and let the adventure begin!!

Bella

Bella Bellaafter

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