This Christmas, be human. Make Contact.

So it’s Christmas Eve.

Another year, another frantic scramble to have things ready. I know I’m rushing around like a crazy person. So much to do, so much to do!!

I saw this clip a couple of months ago and even without the crazed pregnancy hormones, it was enough to make me weep.

Have a watch:

See? So sweet.

But here’s a tip. There are people you KNOW, people that you LOVE that might not be feeling that love (or any love) at the moment. For whatever reason.

Here’s what I’d like you to do.

MAKE CONTACT – Seriously, grab your people (I mean whoever is close. Kids/dogs/cats/flatmates/weirdo neighbour Phil), grab your phone, take a silly photo of yourselves and send it with a personalised, individual message to the people in your contacts list that you hope have a lovely, happy and safe Christmas and holidays. It doesn’t need to be an essay, just a “Hey, from all of us, have an amazing Christmas and thanks for being an important part of my life”

For the older people in your life, pick up the damn phone and call them. I know our whole generation HATES making phone calls, but guess what? For the generations older than us, it can be a life line. There just isn’t an app for that. JUST PICK UP THE PHONE.

Put a card in your neighbour’s letterboxes. It’s okay if you don’t know their names, or even if you don’t want to give them yours. A nice “Have a great Christmas and New Year Neighbours! From the crew at Number Seventeen” is sweet, and for all you know may be the only message of joy they get this year.

The thing that makes us human is our relationships. All around us, we are seeing a breakdown in how we relate to each other, how we interact and how we communicate. Let’s be more human this coming year.

Merry Christmas Eve Peeps, you really are an important part of my life and I value you. More than you can possibly know.

With Love,

Bella

CHAPTER THREE: I need to stop peeing on things.

21st of July, 2015

pee on sticks

I need to stop peeing on things.

Okay. So not things. Sticks. I need to stop peeing on sticks.

Trying to conceive has truly turned a corner into crazy. I knew it was starting when I found the ovulation prediction kits and peed on those. I think I got the information I needed out of them. And I think it made me feel a little bit less helpless.

But now that I’m in that awful wait where I may or may not be pregnant, I’ve started almost obsessively doing pregnancy tests. NOW, contrary to my actions, I’m not an idiot. I realise that this is the first month of us trying to have a baby. And that even really good pregnancy tests couldn’t pick up a positive yet. AND that realistically there is very little chance that I will be pregnant. It makes me feel slightly more in control.

I may or may not have peed on all the pregnancy tests I have. There were a lot.

They are all negative.

And that’s okay.

I’m okay.

There is always another month. I can pee on things next month.

Eww. And sorry,

Bella

Things I’m Loving: Cheeta Recovery Tights

Sooo, it’s not much of a secret that I live in gym tights. Between my own training, working in schools doing physical activities with children and training adult clients – it’s literally the only wardrobe choice that makes sense.

I did a wardrobe clean-out the other day and sorted my clothes. NINETEEN pairs of tights. Crikey. And how many of those went in the to-donate pile? One.

I clearly have a problem.

But you see, I’m fussy. Because I wear them A LOT, I need tights to be dependable. I have basic pre-requisites for my tights. These are normally:

  • Not insanely expensive. I pay for good fabrics but I swear some brands think their tights are made of unicorn skin.
  • LONG or 3/4. Being 5’10, most “full length” tights are 7/8th pants on me and I’ve learned to deal but I love my ankles covered if I can. I won’t even start on the 3/4 tights that are the weird knee-shorts length. Urgh.
  • Versatile. I break this rule OFTEN. Every time I’m buying tights I think, “I should buy tights that I can wear with everything so I don’t need to bother matching anything”. And then I get distracted by WHOA, tiger print, YEE-HAA, giant roses, HEYHEY funky graffiti. So yes, this is a rule but one I will break for the right tight.
  • The sheer-butt issue. This is pretty much a blog post in itself but I’ll keep it short. I’m a PT, whether I like it or not when I am supervising, spotting, coaching clients, I see a lot of tights and know which ones are likely to go see-through. No-one likes it. It’s a pain in the clearly-visible ass.

SOOOO, when Jon from https://www.cheetarecovery.com.au/ emailed me asking if I’d be interested in trying a pair of their tights – I ran it through the checklist.

  • Pricing – If I was buying a pair, the full length tights are currently $60. That compared really well to other brands I had been looking at.
  • I wouldn’t know the length until I tried them on but the measurements looked promising. The models used didn’t look like teen-tiny humans which is always a clue.
  • They are all black, with a simple small logo on one quad. Super versatile right?
  • Sheer-butt issue – the great unknown. There have been tights from GREAT brands, that I paid A BOMB for that have still gone sheer when I squat or bend. But for a road-test – I was prepared to risk it.

So I agreed, and Jon sent me a pair of these:

Cheetarecovery

When they arrived I did the usual gasp – SO FREAKING SMALL. But they are a compression pant so unstretched and especially new, they looked tiny. The fabric is super soft but matte-finish which I like.

Things I hadn’t noticed on the website was the subtle seam-shaping through the butt and legs too. Also liked.

I tried them on and they are indeed super comfortable. I would describe them as a light compression style tight, certainly not the ‘spanx’ feeling that you get with some. Bonus was that you don’t get the squeezy muffin-topping that you can with those.

The waistband does sit higher on me than in the picture, but as a Mum of two with a c-section lower ab jiggle, I love that. The length was surprisingly good too. I won’t say they were super long but absolutely touching my ankle-bones which is a win.

But I can hear the screaming – Do Cheeta Recovery tights go sheer?? Well, do they?

Well, um, yes and no.

The proper answer is no. I am still wearing mine more than a month after receiving them. Happily training in them, wearing them to work and have even been known to layer them with dresses and boots on the odd occasion I was pretending to have clothes other than gym gear. And on all of these occasions, my butt was indeed not sheer.

But yes, while I was brutally testing them after receiving them, I COULD make the butt go sheer. In order to do that though I had to:

  • Pull them up high on my waist.
  • Pull the legs low down on my ankles.
  • Perform a full ass-to-grass squat or low stiff-legged deadlift WHILE
  • wearing patterned and/or coloured undies.

So really, no. Cheeta Recovery tights are not going to go sheer. I’ve seen much more expensive tights be sheer with far less provocation.

BUT – With all brands of tights, the simple steps for not baring your ass are the same.

  • Choose the right size – for me, this meant sizing up so that I chose tights appropriate for my height not my weight.
  • Put them on properly, like pantyhose (bunch them up, then inch them gradually up your legs evenly).
  • Wear solid coloured underwear.

To wrap up – I’m wearing them a lot, I love them and think they represent really good value. I wash mine 1-2 times a week on average and the logo is still intact (I don’t know about you but I hate the look of big peeling X’s on other tights!).

I train with both weights and spin classes in them a lot and haven’t had any issues with slipping or falling down either. They do have a drawstring but I honestly find the compression enough to keep them in place.

Certainly have a look at them and let me know what you think. I love that they have a money-back guarantee as well!

DISCLAIMER – Jon from Cheeta Recovery did indeed send me a free pair in order to have me road-test them but my opinion is definitely mine. If you’d like to snap yourself up a pair, check out https://www.cheetarecovery.com.au/ and feel free to use the promo code SAILORVEE to get 10% off. I don’t get a kick-back for that either – I just like making people happy!

Hope that helps in your shopping adventures!
Bella

The Paleo Problem (or why I’m being a #foodwanker)

We hear it all the time: you should be the hero of your own story. But most days, that’s easier said than done!

Today, take 5 minutes to imagine how you could rewrite the story of your health, starring you as the superhero. What would your hero costume be? Would you have special superpowers? Is there a way to start acting a little more like that hero right now?

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I have chosen to be a super food wanker! Pardon the crass term, but a friend of mine uses it to describe a near-secret faction of healthy-food aficionados and it appeals to me right now.

A #foodwanker puts intense effort into their food. There are clever, health-ful ingredients. There is artsy, fancy plating or presentation ideas. And there is lots of caring about what the #foodwanker is actually eating.

You see, I don’t really care about food. I haven’t for a really long time. If it on my list, I’ll eat it. But sometimes, if it just happens to be on my plate, or the kid’s plates or on a platter at an event but isn’t on my list, I’ll eat it too.

My challenge is to be more of a #foodwanker. Especially as my recent blood tests have indicated that my body is struggling to handle inflammation and insulin and I’m not super keen on being diabetic. Not even a little bit keen to be honest. Diabetes sucks.

So I am doing 30 days of paleo eating and the worry I have about feeling restricted to no dairy, no gluten, no grains, no sugar and no alcohol for a month needs a way to be alleviated or I’ll go nuts. Activated nuts.

So my super power will be to care more deeply about food than I ever have before. Beware the foodporn and ridiculous hashtags!

Of course, the flip side to Paleo and any lifestyle so heavily focussed on organic, leafy, grass-fed, patted-twice-daily, holier-than-thou produce is that you can come across looking a bit, well….. like a smug ass-hat.

I am trying super hard not to do that. Because I am not in anyway smug (or even a foodie) and have already had a laugh that I might ever be considered a #paleofoodwankermum. However, #kid2 stole most of my chia custard and liked it so I gave him one #cleaneatingkids #notoxinsformybabies #bettermumthanyou (oops, perfect example of smug ass-hat moments!)

PS – if you don’t already, come follow me on Instagram. I’m very cleverly registered there as @bellafountain

Chia and Coconut Custard topped with blueberries and Chopped Almonds

Chia and Coconut Custard topped with blueberries and Chopped Almonds

A jar full of salad - tres #foodwanker!

A jar full of salad – tres #foodwanker!

Sorry in advance,

#foodwankerBella

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

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.

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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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