Categorized as: Jill’s Journey

Jill’s Journey – Food & Training Days 20-25

Food & Training – The last week.

Wow what a week.  Dramas everywhere we turn from a mother in hospital,  serious staff problems and ATO threats (“yes we granted you an extension but not till when you asked for ….. didn’t we mention that?”  No they didn’t.).  It got better with lost superannuation payments,  sick animals, Molly knocking herself near unconscious, cancelled flights and non-refundable accommodation issues and more stuff that I can’t be bothered mentioning.  I’d like to personally thank CASA and Air Asia at this point in time – so kind of you to give us less than 2 weeks notice that our flights are cancelled without replacement.   It’s possible that some deity of an unknown denomination is messing with us this week.  But life goes on eh?

This would hands down be the worst week of food, sleep and over training  for the entire journey.  Without my general guidelines to bring me back on track, it could have been so much worse.

Food & Training Day 21 (Monday)

Training:  Biggest day yet with 4 classes …. 30 Minute high intensity circuit with an amazing group, followed immediately by 45 minute Step class.    A blurry 3 hours of gym admin, heated discussions with the ATO and we’re backing it up with BodyPump and some Power Yoga to finish .   My brand new Ipod is dodgy and wiped the content of my  playlists right as I was walking in for the evening classes.   Nothing like some last minute stress and having to revise your whole class on the fly …..

Food:   I’ve been slack this week so I’m working from memory.   I remember that Monday was pure survival ….

8:30 Coffee with milk (out of cream), cinnamon and sugar

11am 1 Bowl of Coconut, Peanut butter porridge

2:30pm  Vital Greens with milk, water & yoghurt

4pm  There was something substantial here.   I don’t know what it was.  Possibly soup and chicken followed by coffee & a biscuit.

9:30pm  Pad Thai noodle stir fry with beef and spinach.  1 x Beer.

Food & Training Day 22 (Tuesday)

Training:  I was shattered from Monday.  My back was sore from all the jumping around and carrying the baby in between.   I finally recovered by the evening, felt great after Zumba and cranked out my KettleBell Swing / Turkish Get up combo for 5 rounds.   I put the weight up in my Turkish Get Up and if  someone can supervise my next round I might go up again.   There’s a slight risk of me dropping 20kg on my head.

Food:   Hmm.  To put a positive spin on it I would claim that I’m doing intermittent fasting.   The reality is that it all fell apart today.   Late start with breakfast,  no Daz to help with the bubs since he’s stuck at the gym from 6-2, a baby on a growth spurt (ie. feeding all the time) and meals are a struggle with no eggs, veggies or food in general left in the house.

10:30am   Coffee with milk, cinnamon & sugar

12pm  Sprout Bread with peanut butter and cottage cheese,  another coffee.

4:00 Vegetable Tangine Soup with yoghurt & mushrooms

9:30  Rice & Chicken curry with mushrooms, yoghurt & tomato

Food & Training Day 23 (Wednesday)

Training:  Lunchtime Pump class,  5:30 step class immediately followed by taking a high intensity GRIT strength workout.  I did just a few kettlebell swings after my last class but it was fairly half hearted.  Sometimes enough is enough.     Wednesday was when the  avalanche of crap started to really pile up….. it started well and then went downhill fast.   It’s hard to get motivated to exercise when you are stressed/tired and/or depressed but it nearly always makes me feel better.   I was pleasantly surprised with how my legs felt tonight.  It could have been a lot worse.


8:30 Coffee with cream and sugar

11:30 1.5 bowls Coconut Porridge with Peanut butter

2:30pm   Semilina Porridge with some flowers and crap on it (Kettle Blacks).   Molly ate my strawberries.  It was meh.

4:30 Coffee with 2 chocolate biscuits

9:30pm  Steak with spinach, tomato and mushrooms

Food & Training Day 24 (Thursday)

Training:  I carried the baby a lot today.  Does that count?   It’s as if she knew that stuff was going on so she was extra grizzly to take my mind off things.    The avalanche of crap continued.    And there was a Pump class somewhere in there …. for all of 4 people.   Fortunately they were awesome people.  We talked about nipples and gimp suits.   Everyone else was enjoying the sunshine and drinking champagne at the pub.  At least that’s what me and my 4 awesome pumpers decided.

Food:  I had icecream for dinner today.  with popcorn.  I had a hamburger with the lot and potato cakes for lunch.  Does that make me a bad person?

9am  Coffee with cream, sugar and cinnamon

11am Coconut Porridge with Peanut butter

3pm  Hamburger with the lot and 1 potato cake.  Molly and Chelsea both misbehaved till the food was cold – because greasy food always tastes better when it’s stone cold.  Not.    It was eeough but I ate it anyway.

5pm Coffee and 4 x Guiyan chocolates.  Damn it the sugar isn’t helping ….

9:30pm  1/2 Tub Ben & Jerry’s Strawberry Cheesecake icecream with buttered popcorn.   And no the answer wasn’t at the bottom of the tub.  Shame.

Food & Training Day 25 (Friday)

Training:  I took another inspiring group High Intensity Cardio & core workout today.   They were fabulous and gave it 110 percent.   I love training people and wouldn’t want to do anything else for a living (even though I could get paid a truckload more money and never have to get up at 5am again….).  I was mostly just instructing the group so I was suprised to find myself sweating buckets and shaking just from demonstrating the moves.  If it wasn’t the last day of my Journey I would definitely have taken the hint and scheduled a rest day or two.

When we finally got home to Benalla in the evening I did a guilt driven workout that Daz suggested for mobility.   Just bodyweight – 1 Turkish Getup, roll over,  1 Pushup.  Roll over and repeat 50 times.    It felt pretty good actually – I thought I was gonna burn out at around the 30 mark but got into a rhythm and in the end completed all pushups on my toes.    This being fit thing is great and I love that I’m surprising myself now with what I can achieve.

Food:  This is the day where I should be strict with my food.    Low salt,  cut back on the water and just light snacks to ensure I look my best tomorrow for final progress pic.    Instead I had potato chips and a 600ml Big M for lunch and a giant 10pm dinner with chocolate.   I did say that this was gonna be “real world” …..

9:30am  Coffee with cream, cinnamon & sugar

11am  1.5 bowls Coconut Peanut Butter Porridge and another coffee.

4:30pm    100g Pack of Kettle Chips with a 600ml Egg Flip Big M (Thanks to Euroa Service station)

6:30pm  Coffee with cream, sugar & cinnamon and some buttered popcorn

10pm  Giant serve of Slow roasted lamb shoulder with Spinach, Parmesan & Feta Salad (Stir fried in olive oil)

10:30pm  1/2  Cherry Ripe Bar

11pm  Vital Greens with water.  I haven’t had this in Melbourne this week and have missed it badly.

Day 26 (Saturday) Final Weigh in and Progress Pics

Training:  Some kettlebell swings, pushups and squats to get the blood flowing before the final progress pic.

Getting the final pictures was a major exercise.  We wanted to have Molly in the shot – she’s my ‘newspaper’ to prove that it’s all within the stated timeline.  Molly didn’t want to be in any photos without her dolly pram, a biscuit for each hand,  her water bottle, bangles etc etc. This would have been ok except Daz said “No” a bit too firmly as she demanded her 5th biscuit (while still holding the other four).    From that point Molly would not stop screaming and burying her head in between my legs, rendering any further attempt at photos impossible.     So are the photos perfectly matched?   Not exactly but they’re the best ones we’ve got and they definitely show the change.

Food:   I had my regular coffee before the photo was taken but nothing else.   Did I go nuts after it was taken? …. no.   Smoothie for breakfast,  lamb & salad for lunch and a meatloaf with salad roll for dinner.     The best thing about never being on a diet is that I never missed out on anything.    So no cravings,  no big changes scheduled and with a little bit of planning I can keep going till I’m truly back to my pre baby state.    Just gotta stock the fridge and keep saying no …. though not to Molly of course.  Unless I want a screaming, snotty face buried in my crotch 😉

Where it all began:  Jill’s Journey

Read about my approach to Training

Read about my approach to Nutrition

See the Before and After Photos:  3 Weeks not 3 months


Jill’s Journey Final Word – 3 weeks not 3 months


My name is Jill and 25 days ago I got sick of excuses.  My own and hearing other people’s day in day  out.  I had more legitimate excuses than most.   Not to harp on but let’s recap where I started:

  • Jill 26th Jan 201514 weeks post partum (that means I had a 14 week old baby!).  I also have a 25 month old who likes to keep me extra busy.
  • I was very sick at the end of my pregnancy, had birth complications ending with a not so great emergency c-section …. one of those where you can feel everything while they are cutting you open and they find stuff that they weren’t expecting.   My scar got infected and didn’t fully close for more than 7 weeks.   Suffice to say it was all crap and hurt a lot.
  • I’m still breastfeeding a hungry vampire who feeds every 3 hours.  Sometimes more.  And from last week I’m back juggling 10 + classes.  Starvation was not gonna work. 
  • My job is lifting heavy objects and jumping up and down. 

I couldn’t work for 4+ months.  I was (still am a little) financially, physically and emotionally stressed up to the eyeballs and running on less than 5 hours of sleep per day.  

That is the last time I am ever going to go through those excuses.  Ever.   The last 3 weeks (and 4 days) surprised even me.   Not so much around ‘weight loss’ – I could have done much more if that was all I was after.   

Read more Gory details about Food, Training & Life in the final week of Jill’s Journey

Food –  Real people live in the real world.

Video Tutorial of Jill’s Coconut, Peanut Butter ‘Porridge’.  Filmed day 11 of Journey … I look different!


This was no starvation marathon and I am no saint.   It’s been a really really crappy week – I’m starting to think that maybe there is a god and he is very unhappy with us:  So here’s my confession!  Over the past 25 days I have ….

Eaten Macdonalds including chips,  scoffed down chocolate biscuits, enjoyed a hamburger with the lot with potato cakes,  shared an indian feast with beer,  had a dinner of icecream and popcorn,  had a lunch consisting of 100g pack of kettle chips with a 600ml Big M (that was yesterday fyi),   Obliterated 1/2 a pizza with the lot (plus beer, cake & chocolate milk),  dined on Pad  Thai noodles regularly, snacked on Buttered popcorn and continued my religion of 2 coffees per day with sugar & cream.

I’m not saying that I eat nothing but crap however I live in the real world and sometimes sh*t happens.   It’s the rest of the time that will make you fat.   A little bit of planning can keep the “bad” days to a controllable number.

Exercise –  Lets see if I can piss someone off.

Exercise alone will not make you lose weight.   If you are overeating, it *might* stop you putting on weight.   Too much exercise can  set you up to be fatter than ever when you stop.   Exercising for long periods just to burn calories is a waste of time.  Time is the biggest excuse people use to avoid exercise.

Exercise should make you feel good.   The right kind of exercise will make you healthier and help you eat less.   You should look forward to exercising or you won’t do it.   Find something you love and do it regularly.

Strength training and short, sharp workouts will give you the best results.   5 minutes can be enough.  30 minutes is plenty!   The best part:  short workouts (done the right way) give you more benefits with less of the bad stuff.  No more post exercise slumps,  reduced muscle soreness,  less fatigue, no huge time commitments etc etc.

A good PT is a great investment!

A good PT is a great investment!

Even a Personal Trainer needs personal training.  A good trainer will help you do things you couldn’t do for yourself.  They will teach you new skills, keep you safe from injury  AND help you stay motivated.   You can have an AMAZING PT session in 30 minutes.   More than this is just doing stuff for the sake of it and spending your $$ for no result.   If a trainer tells you that you need longer than this (excluding skills based learning), then either a) they don’t know what they are doing or b) are just after your money.   There are a lot of PT’s in the industry who don’t know what they are doing (IMHO).

I’m gonna say this here – Daz is an unbelievably good trainer.   Seriously one of the best in the business and I was lucky to have his input with my strength & kettelbell technique work.   He truly knows his stuff and cares 100% about the person in front of him.   You won’t hear him big note himself but he’s been doing this for 20+ years, is an amazing athlete himself and never stops researching how to get more for his clients.  Thank you Dazza and I’m very sorry for all the swearing and name calling.



Kettlebells are Awesome.    PS Gab you are an inspiration!

Kettlebells are Awesome. PS Gab you are an inspiration!

Kettlebells are truly incredible devices.   I love them now more than ever.   They have been a key tool in my workout routine and had a huge impact on my results:

  • Kettlebells helped my my core – thanks Turkish Get up! 
  • Kettlebells improved my posture  – add some two handed swings
  • Kettlebells made an immediate reduction in my back pain

I needed help with getting my movement right – it’s hard to see and correct yourself with these.   They are not something you can just ‘get’ from the internet if you want to do them right.  If you want all these benefits and more you absolutely must! must! must! check out our KettleBell Technique Pack. Book in today because these balls of steel will change your life.

Deadlifts, Boxing and 30 min HIT training were my other secret weapons. Things anyone can easily and cheaply include into their training 1-2 times per week for big changes in body composition and fitness.


The Proof is in the pudding (or lack therof)

No tricks or last minute dieting.   I had a hearty dinner the night before after a less than healthy lunch.   I drank lots of water and while I did apply one coat of fake tan, most of it was washed off after an ‘incident’ in the sandpit with Molly.   If I wanted to fudge the results, I know how to starve, dehydrate and coat myself in layers of brown goo.   I didn’t want to do that.

Click on the photos for larger picture and you are right.  Molly really didn’t want to be there.

Before and After.  Not bad for 25 days of moderate effort.

Before and After. Not bad for 25 days of moderate effort.


Start Weight  27/1/2015:  68.4kg

End Weight 21/2/2015:  62.4Kg

Wow.  Not 3 months.  3… bloody…weeks.

If I’m super critical ….  There’s still backfat and the midsection could seriously tighten up. But perhaps I need to get real.  There was a human being in there only 17.5 weeks ago.  I’ll give myself another 3  weeks and a spray tan before entering the Miss Universe pageant 😉




Kettle bells.  Nuff said.

Kettle bells. Nuff said.

Summary of physical changes:

No one but me cares about this bit – I know you all went straight for the pictures 😉    I FEEL INCREDIBLE!     For the first time in almost 3 years I’m starting to feeling fit and strong again.    I can do real pushups (chest to floor) on my toes.   I can do deadlifts at a respectable weight.  I can swing a kettlebell without fear.  I can do boxing without wanting to throw up.  And I’m just getting started!   Why didn’t I do this sooner (and without the internet and blogging???)?

Most importantly, I can pick up the baby without fear of getting stuck halfway.   My back isn’t perfect yet but it’s much better than it was.   A well structured exercise routine really is the cheapest, safest and most permanent way to get your body painfree and moving at it’s best.

Would you like to make a responsible change to your body and fitness?

If you are serious about making a change in your life, why not ask for some help?   I’m finally back doing what I love so contact me if you want to make this kind of change in your life.   Personal Training,  Small Group,  Pre & Post natal, Yoga or even remotely there are many cost effective ways that you could get someone working in your corner to make the change.   Don’t just train in a gym for no benefit – get some help and feel some real results!

Read more details about Food, Training & Life in the final week of Jill’s Journey

Go back to the beginning of Jill’s Journey

Read about my approach to nutrition

Read about my approach to training



Jill’s Journey – Food & Training Days 15-20

Jill’s Journey – Food & Training Days 15 ….20

It feels very self absorbed publishing details about my food intake and life in general.   In fact this week I’ve been self conscious about posts on our facebook and held back on publishing blog posts.   There could be such a thing as too much Jill 😉      So as always feel free not to read, but if you do have requests or questions pop them in the comments below or via our facebook page and I’ll respond as best I can. This journey was about helping others and not just a narcissistic need to post photos of my scantily clad self on the internet.  I figure there are enough of those (and of much prettier people!) already!

One question that I have had …. Shouldn’t a breast feeding fitness instructor lose weight more easily than the rest of us?

Day 15 (Tuesday) Food & Training

Training:   I caught up with another new mum today which was lovely (thanks Mish!).  We had a long lunch, chat, exchanged bubs and just generally enjoyed some adult company.    Good thing I had a Zumba class to take @ 6:45pm or I would have happily had a very slack day.   So high energy Zumba class followed by 5 minutes of KettleBells.   5 rounds of two arm swings x 10,  1 Turkish Get up each side.   I’m road testing my theory on this combo for kettlebells.  So far whenever I do this my back is %1000 better for the next 24 hours which is awesome!

Food:   10am  Coconut Peanut Butter plus Coffee with cream, sugar & cinnamon

11:30   Buttered Popcorn x 2 handfuls

2:00pm   Thai Beef Mince, Salad with Fried Thai Pancake (BIG serve.  Awesome)

3:30  Coffee with sugar,     4:30  Chai Latte    6pm  2 handfuls of buttered popcorn

9pm  Small bowl of Vegetable Tangine Soup with Yoghurt     11pm  2 tspn Vital Greens with Water, milk, natural yoghurt

Day 16 (Wednesday) Food & Training

Training:  Low on energy.   12:15 Pump Class,  5:30 Step Class followed by my 5 minute Kettlebell combo.   It’s still working.  Back was great over night which I wasn’t expecting …..

Food:  We’re out of food in the fridge and my brain is a bit foggy.   Today was the first time I just took a chocolate biscuit from Dazza without even thinking about it.   The dangers of auto pilot and fatigue.   You lose touch with what you actually need.    I think I’m suffering from not getting any protein in at ‘dinner time’.   Time to get my lazy arse down to the supermarket.

11am Coffee with Coconut Peanut Butter Porridge  (12:15 Pump Class)

2pm  Vital greens with water, yoghurt, milk and 2tspn Milo.   I was craving chocolate ….

2:30pm   Big bowl of beef mince with pasta salad,  beetroot dip & hummas

4pm  Coffee with cream, sugar & cinnamon plus chocolate biscuit

(5:30pm  Step Class  6:30  Short Kettlebell workout)

9pm  Vegetable tangine soup – a tiny tiny amount 🙁 with yoghurt

11pm  1/2 stale croissant.  Vital greens with water, yoghurt, milk and 2tspn Milo

Day 17 (Thursday) Food & Training

Training:  Caught up with another new mum today (Thanks Em!) – this is an awesome week.   I don’t get to socialise very much outside the gym and it’s easy to lose perspective on the realities of motherhood.  You start just beating yourself up instead of accepting that we all share the same challenges and young bubbas are never just “easy”.    There’s a reason for all those stereo types!   I totally intended to do some Yoga and deadlifts today.   That didn’t happen.    Just a lazy pump class at 6:15pm.   It was hard.

Food:   Dazza went to supermarket today.  Thanks Daz …. I needed my mushrooms and spinach,  life wasn’t the same without them.   This is where I think my PMS cravings started to really kick in.    Too many classes,  not enough food plus hormones = a seriously hungry me.   The big change has been adding in the extra energy to my vital greens – milk, yoghurt plus some milo to head off the chocolate cravings.

10:45  Long Black with sugar

1pm  1.5 bowls of Coconut Peanut porridge.  Yes I broke my own rule and suffered for it.   I should have eaten much earlier.

3:30  Hot roast chicken ripped straight from the bag.  Buttered Popcorn.  Vital greens with water, yoghurt, milk & Milo.

5:15  Coffee with cream, sugar & cinnamon plus another chocolate biscuit.

8:45pm:  Vegetable Tangine Soup with roast chicken, spinach, yoghurt and mushrooms.   Ahhh.

Day 18 (Friday) Food & Training

Training:   Not much today.   I took a small group of dedicated folks through a GRIT style workout which does involve some workout factor but it was about them not me.   They were awesome.   I was super tired today – again probably hormone related.

Food:  Oh oh…… PMS combined with Bread in the house.   I don’t usually eat a lot of bread.   It makes me feel kinda like I’ve drunk a bottle of clag (you know that glue that you had in kindergarten?).   Molly (2 year old) *loves* bread.   Can’t get enough of it and likes to self serve herself straight from the bag.    So when we do buy bread it’s Burgen’s Digestive Rye – it makes you do poo.   And looks the same coming out as it does going in.    It still makes me feel like I’ve eaten inflatable clag.

9:30am  Coffee with cream, sugar & cinnamon

11:45 1 slice Burgens Rye with avocado, tomato and roast chicken.

12pm Vital greens with water, yoghurt, milk & Milo.  1/3 stale croissant.   Still having serious chocolate cravings…

4:30 White bread roll with ham, gherkin, mustard and avocado.  I don’t even remember eating this?  Coffee.

8:30  1 slice Burgens Rye with avocado, tomato and roast chicken.   Molly’s left over vegetable soup with yoghurt.

10pm  Vital Greens with water & milk & yoghurt

Day 19 (Saturday) Food & Training

Training:   Strength Training.  A leisurely walk around the Botanical gardens during the day.   My PMS fuelled cheat day feeding frenzy in the afternoon followed by the urge to do some DEADLIFTS!    It’s been 10 days since I last did them but I was much stronger.  2 warm up sets of 5 reps.  Workout: 5 x 5 deadlifts with plenty of recovery between sets alternated with 5 x 5 Bench Press.    Felt good and soaked up some of that Pizza 🙂

Food:    You’ve probably read about my fat crazy bitch transformation.   Today was the day I realised why I’d been feeling so flat.   I had a pretty standard breakfast and then just relaxed and rolled with the day.    I needed to not think and my body just wanted some high density food to take away the cravings.   It was great and I feel no guilt.

11:30am  1.5 bowls Coconut Peanut butter porridge & coffee with cream, sugar & cinnamon

1pm  Vital greens with milk, yoghurt & water

3:30 Coffee & Vanilla slice

7pm  4 Slices of Pizza with the lot with a beer.  Salt,  fat and cheese …… so good.

8pm  Banana Almond Cream cake with chocolate milk.   BIG slice and nothing health about it.  I finally felt a little full.

9pm  Workout

10pm Vital Greens with Water.

Day 20 (Sunday) Food & Training

Training:  Big plans but no dazza, unscheduled family visits, a pooping dog, work problems and children all put an effective a stop to this.    Walk to and from Botanical Gardens and 1.5 hours of carrying a baby.  That was all.  That was enough.

Food:   Still trying to relax a little today and just roll with it.  Beautiful day and some great company (thanks Cam!).

11am  Coffee and coconut peanut butter porridge

4:30pm  Beer & too many Tamari Almonds (Soy based sauce.  Salty and yummy).   You just can’t stop.

8:30  Soup, Chicken,  Mushrooms & Yoghurt

10:30  1/2 an almond croissant and a glass of milk.   Hmmm.   Cheat meals done.  Return to normal as of now!

If anyone is still reading at this point you need to get out more 😉   But hopefully it shows that being in charge of your body doesn’t mean being a saint.    You’ll have ups and downs depending on life, hormones and other stuff beyond your control.  You don’t have to be ‘perfect’ to stay on the track to health & fitness.

Go back to the start of Jill’s Journey

Shouldn’t a breast feeding fitness instructor lose weight more easily than the rest of us?

Jill’s Journey Part 7 – Crazy Woman in the house

Jill’s Journey Part 7 – Crazy, Moody Bitch in the house


My name is Jill and I’m a personal trainer (and a fat, moody bitch today).   I started a 21 day diary of my approach to getting my body back while juggling a 15 week old baby, a messed up birth & recovery, a 2 year old and a business.   It’s not about weight on the scales – it’s about showing the amazing physical changes that can be achieved with some small tweaks and a tiny bit of effort.    It’s about less is more. But there was one thing I hadn’t factored in ……

‘She’s’ Back ….

Why are there so many decisions to be made today?  How have I not noticed before that Dazza is SUCH a useless Tool?   I’m sooooo hungry,  like a bottomless pit of sooky sooky la-la.  Can’t the baby just shut up!!  doesn’t she know that my head is exploding and I could really use a nap.     Don’t get me started on weight loss.  I mean who gives a crap anyway and at the end of the day I’ll still be a big fat pig …….. in fact I think I’m gonna cry.

Hmmm.  What is happening to me???    I’ll let the female readers figure it out for themselves.   I didn’t figure it out because it’s been a while.    It all made sense when ‘she’ arrived with 15 months worth of baggage.

PS.  There was a bonus post last week that I didn’t promote.   Just in case anyone was thinking it 😉   It deals with the important question:   Isn’t it easier for a breast feeding Fitness Instructor to lose weight than a normal person?   Read if you are wondering…

So what to do when you aren’t feeling like the Perfect You?

Well here’s what I did anyway ….

1.  Accept what is happening.   Being a grumpy, frumpy, bitch face is ok sometimes and apparently biologically necessary.

2. Get off the couch, get some Vitamin D and live a little (or a lot if needs be).    For me this was a lovely  walk through the Botanical Gardens including sitting down for coffee & cake 🙂  Home to 4 slices of Pizza with the lot 😀 a beer,  more cake and some chocolate milk.     *Aaaahh.  Burp.  repeat*

3.  You will probably feel much better for doing this and there is actually some science behind it!**  If you have been eating ‘responsibly’ for a while, your body can start to get too efficient at running on less.   Throwing in a “cheat day” here and there ramps up your Thyroid function,  helps you re-focus on your healthy habits,  and resets your hormone levels (Leptin is the big one here).   Want more info?  I like the detail level in this article Cheat Days Explained.

4.  Don’t weigh yourself anywhere around, before or after your ‘special day’ if you can help it.    Seriously, just don’t go near the stupid scales for the whole stupid week.  It’s all water (and somewhere underneath the tears, you do know that), but it will mess with your head.

5.  Maybe avoid tight jeans,  swimsuits and mirrors as well.  Especially if you are in tight jeans or a swimsuit!

**NB – If you were already eating crap and sitting around being lazy this “cheat day” won’t help.   It will possibly make you more grumpy and depressed at your own poor eating choices.  Sorry.

Ummm.  I need an extension just till the weekend …

I’m kinda stuck working in Melbourne without my scales or ability to do the final progress pic (I’d hate to be accused of being a different person again.  I don’t think my nose could handle it 😉   Bad planning indeed.  In fact, many things have not gone to plan lately but that’s a separate issue.  So Final Weigh in and Pics will be up on the weekend.  For now, here’s where me and my stupid hormones are at:

Day 21 Weigh in:  64.4 Kgs*

(*taking into account the ‘issues’ above and using the gym scales with some clothes on for modesty)

Weight Loss since day 14:  1.2kgs (in 9 days)

Total Weight loss so far:  4kgs (in 21 days)

Want the gory details of my food & training for the last 5 days? It’s pretty boring reading …

Go back to the beginning of Jill’s Journey

Read about my approach to Training

Read about my approach to Nutrition

Check out the bonus post on whether it’s easier to lose weight as a breast feeding Fitness Instructor than a normal person ….

Jill’s Journey Part 6 – A serious question + Day 12 13 & 14

Part 6 – Isn’t it easy for a breast feeding fitness instructor to lose weight?

(Note:  This is a self indulgent post but I’ve had some comments on how “it’s easier for me” because I workout for a living.  So feel free to not read.  I just wanted to clear this one up in case you were all secretly thinking it ……  You can always skip down the page for just the food & training detail)

I'm a breast feeding aerobics instructor.  Why aren't I skinny?

I’m a breast feeding aerobics instructor so where is my 6 pack?


Go Back to the Start – What is Jill’s Journey anyway?

Read about Jill’s approach to Training

Read about Jill’s approach to Nutrition

The short answer to this very sensible question is:  No.   The long answer may cause controversy and rub the odd person up the wrong way.  So here goes.

Group Fitness classes are AWESOME.   They are a great way to enjoy exercise and can produce amazing results.   I’m not bagging group classes and I have a huge amount of respect for the Les Mills programs I teach AND I LOVE TEACHING!!!  However ….. doing group fitness classes vs professionally teaching group fitness classes for a living are a very different kettle of fish.

Breast feeding a baby is also pretty damn cool.  It doesn’t help your bikini body though.

 Are you saying you don’t work as hard when you’re teaching??

Nope.  I work harder than 99.9% of my participants.  Guaranteed.   I sweat buckets and am often completely shattered at the end of a class.    I also do the class on less oxygen which makes it harder again.  It’s like altitude training!    That being said it is irresponsible to push yourself to the limit throughout the whole class – you are there to provide a safe & enjoyable workout for others.  You can’t do that if you are too smashed to be aware of the people in front of you.

So why wouldn’t you lose tons of weight teaching lots of classes?

When you first start teaching you probably lose some weight and feel improvements in your personal fitness.   It’s down the track when you are taking 6-16 classes per week it can go a little pear shaped (literally).  Here’s some of the reasons why:

1.  Your body acclimatises to that volume and intensity of training.   To put it simply your body gets more efficient at using less energy.  In fact your body now expects you to take 3 classes a day.  If you don’t it slows down and you probably put on weight!

2.   You have to fuel the fire if you’re gonna do the equivalent of a marathon 3+ days every week.   A professional athlete would plan out their meals & training to achieve peak performance,  body condition and energy levels. A professional fitness instructor doesn’t have that luxury.    You take back to back classes, help a participant with a problem and then go straight into taking PT sessions (and possibly another class).  All of a sudden it’s 4 hours later and you haven’t eaten.  This messes with your energy & blood sugar levels.  Your metabolism slows to a crawl,  you feel exhausted and are more likely to get serious food cravings later in the day/evening (mmmm coffeee ….. just one more coffee….).

3. Professional Fitness Instructors work crappy hours.  Early mornings through to late evenings.  You’re exercising into the night,  you don’t get to eat until late and chances are you are too wired to go to bed so you only get 5 hours sleep (less if you have a baby in the house).   Sleep is important to keeping hormone levels balanced. Sleep is when your body burns the MOST fat.  Sleep is when you recover enough to be able to do it all over again.

4.  Lots of high volume training and High Intensity Training can cause big increases in blood cortisol levels.   Cortisol is an important hormone in the body and does some great stuff (it’s a bit unfair that it’s been labelled the “Stress Hormone”).  However, consistently elevated Cortisol levels can lead to metabolism and health issues.   Muscle breakdown, fatigue,  sugar cravings,  poor sleep quality and inability to lose fat (or even inexplicable weight gain) can be side effects of ‘overtraining’.  I’ve been here before, experienced how bad it can be and don’t want to go back (See Jill’s Journey Part 3 – Here Before). 

5.  You are so exhausted from all those classes that the last thing you want to do at the end of the day is your own workout of any kind. 

These issues can also affect serial gym junkies and hard core runners.   The key is to listed to what your body needs and balance intensity with recovery.    Easy said, but seriously hard to do.

But I’ve heard that Breast Feeding helps you lose weight faster?

Sorry but this is well and truly myth busted.     It’s a nice marketing ploy for breast feeding advocates but this is not the reason to be breastfeeding.   In fact some studies have shown the opposite – that the hormones and extra fat cells laid down for milk production mean that breastfeeding mothers are on average ‘fatter’ for the first 12 months, before it evens out between breastfeeding and non-breast feeding mothers.

Breastfeeding mothers get less sleep since they can’t offload feeds to other people (see point 3 for fitness instructors above. Sleep is important for weight management),  and are more subject to serious food cravings to prevent mineral deficiencies.    Sugar & salt cravings are the most common as the body communicates via food you know – it’s unlikely you will crave spinach even though you probably need calcium & magnesium!  More likely that you’ll crave chocolate …. very helpful.

Breast feeding and non breast feeding mums alike are all over the shop with when they can eat. which totally messes with their metabolism (see point 2 for fitness instructors above).   We’re also often dehydrated due to the vampire sucking the life out of us every 3 hours.    Dehydration is also a total metabolism killer.

Finally cortisol levels are biologically elevated during and after pregnancy (See point 4 for fitness instructors above).   The theory is that you wanna be permanently alert to hear your baby when she cries or know when a tiger is near by.    It’s more important for evolution that we are wired and slightly stressed than being skinny and svelt.   So in part us new mums need to accept that weight loss is never gonna be easy without some help and some compromise.   Easy to say…. hard to truly accept when you can’t fit into any of your clothes.

Lastly you are just tired.  All the time.   See point 5 for fitness instructors above.

Food & Training Details – Day 12, 13 & 14

Day 12 (Saturday)

Training:   Morning:  15 minute boxing session in the morning @ 9:30am.   10 x 1 minute rounds with 30 seconds recovery between each one.     I think Dazza went a little easy on me.   Evening 10 minute Kettlebell workout:   (10 x two handed kettlebell swing + 1 Turkish getup) x 10 repeats.   Both these sessions would have been a lot easier without the Molly factor.  And the dog.  And the baby.    But mostly Molly & the dog who both seemed very intent to be between my legs the whole time.

Food:  I’m feeling out of control with my food for the last couple of days.   I feel like I need more structure back around the when and what I’m eating throughout the day.  And maybe some more crunchy food as well – everything feels soggy and unsatisfying.   It’s time to re-stock the fridge and get back on the horse.   More food earlier in the day I think and dare I say it:  less coffee.

10:30am Coconut & Peanut butter porridge (post workout)

11:30 Coffee with cream, sugar & cinnamon

3:30pm  Handful of buttered popcorn

4:30pm  Coffee & 1/2 cup smoothie

8:30pm  BBQ Chicken stir fried with Spinach, tomato, zuchini, avocado,  parmesan & feta cheese with olive oil & 1/2 white bread roll.  This particular combo was just a little too mushy.  I possibly shouldn’t have put the stuffing into the stirfry as well …. Big serve.

11:30 Vital Greens with water

Day 13 (Sunday)

Training:  No workout.   I really wanted to do another short Boxing session today and a GRIT workout to measure my fitness but neither of them happened.   Bummer because it looks like another big week for classes which will take away from my workouts.  It was totally my fault too – I didn’t set a clear intention at the start of the day (my W.H.A.T do I need today), so it was all too easy for time to slip away, especially when you factor in a 2.5 hour trip to Melbourne.  Bad Jill.  Ah well.


10am Coffee with 1 sugar, cream & cinnamon

11am  Coconut & Peanut butter porridge – well what Molly left me of it.   Plus 1 cup of Dazza’s amazing smoothie.

1pm  Some buttered popcorn

4:30pm Left over BBQ Chicken, cheese & Spinach salad.

5:30pm  Coffee before drive to Melbourne.

10pm  1/2 bowl Vegetable tangine soup with natural yoghurt.  I missed my extra vegies 🙁

11:30pm  Vital Greens with water

Day 14 (The dreaded Monday)

Training:   It’s that day of the week again.   Our new timetable came back and majorly bit me in the backside.    Lunchtime: 45 Min Step Class.   5:45pm BodyPump  6:45pm 1 hour Yoga class.    It’s hard to explain but this volume really won’t help with my weight loss.  In fact I have a suspicion that last weeks 9 classes were responsible for my slower weight loss on the scales.  It’s not exactly that I’m putting on muscle – better to say that my muscles are ‘reactivating’ as they remember what I used to do before (right up till 36 weeks pregnant when I collapsed in a puddle of snot & swine flu.  argggg).

Food:  I have a hunch  I need more salt in my diet – I was like a melting icy pole in Step today and I’ve been peeing like a racehorse (too much information??).   Yes salt can cause dehydration & water retention but it is also a vital nutrient in the right dose to KEEP you hydrated and physically performing.  Confusing yes – negotiable no.   So I sweat *a lot* AND I’m breastfeeding a baby.   Therefore I drink copious amounts of  water but also need to replenish the salt & minerals that I lose as well.   Hmmm salt.

8:30am  Coffee with cream, 1 sugar & cinnamon

11am  1.5 bowls of Coconut & Peanut Butter Porridge.   I’m trying to up my daytime food intake …. it’s quite hard with all the interruptions.

(Step Class)

2:30pm  1/2 Cup of Dazza’s Amazing Smoothie with water & 2 tsps of Vital Greens

3:30pm A Bowl of beef Mince with veggies

4:45pm   Coffee with small Coconut & White chocolate florentine cookie.   Not that nice 🙁

(Pump & Yoga)

9:15  Beef Mince, Chicken Curry with 1/2 bowl of rice, tomato, spinach, yoghurt & some hummus.   I’m out of mushrooms and it’s killing me!!!   Oh yeah – I had a sip of Dazza’s beer too 😉

Jill’s Journey Part 5 – Progress pic. We’re all a little nuts.

Jill’s Journey Part 5 – Progress pic. We’re all a little nuts.

I weighed myself today and I have to admit, it made depressed.   I feel lighter,  my clothes fit better and I know I should be happy with that.   I would still have liked a bigger number.     And that’s the problem – we are never happy.    Lose all the weight you want but you’ll still focus on your (insert personal insecurity item here) every time you look in the mirror.     So I made Daz take another photo.    I feel a bit better now.

12 days in.   Better than the scales.

12 days in. A picture tells it best.


  Starting Weight:  68.4 Kg

  Day 4 Weigh in:  66.3 (-2.1Kg in 4 days)

  Day 12 Weigh in:  65.7 (-.6Kg in 7 days )

  Comment:  No I wasn’t sticking my tummy out in the first one (I thought I was pulling it in a little …. that was a nasty shock).  And no I wasn’t sucking it in in the second one – you’d be able to tell by my back. I should also be happy with losing nearly 100g per day since the last weigh in ….. but personal trainers can be nutty too you know.   Don’t get me started on that one!




Food & Training Day 11

Training:  No workout.   I’m completely shattered.   I went to bed at the same time as Molly and still slept in the next day.   You can push your body only so far before it will demand recovery.   I definitely pushed mine this week and that is the downside of all those classes:  extra energy needed (ie. food) and more fatigue.  Hard to manage when you’re already juggling a breastfeeding baby and a 2 year old.

Food:  I ate MacDonalds today.    It had to be done.    All the planning in the world won’t help you when you’re stuck in traffic,  45kms into a 200km drive with a screaming hungry toddler in the car.   You can feel your tummy rumbling and your blood pressure rising,  conversations with your partner get tense as his blood sugar drops.   If you want your relationship to survive you eat whatever is available.

9:30AM:  Coffee with cream, sugar & cinnamon

10:30am  Cup of Dazza’s amazing smoothie

12:30pm  Bowl of left over Beef, Noodle & spinach salad

3:30pm  1/2 Cup of Smoothie

5:30pm  MacDonalds Rump Steak BBQ Wrap & small fries.   It was expensive, salty and didn’t look at all like the picture but overall it tasted pretty good.   Maybe I was just VERY hungry.

8:30pm  1/2 Cheese & Bacon Omlette with 1/2 white bread roll.   Not the best choice but I was so brain dead that sharing Molly’s dinner seemed like the only option before collapsing into bed.   Fatigue and an empty fridge are never your friends.

8:45pm:  Vital Greens with water

Go back to the start of Jill’s Journey

Read about my Fitness Approach

Read about my approach to Nutrition

Food & Training Diary Days 8,9 & 10

Food & Training Diary Days 8,9 & 10

Read about my approach to training here

Read about my approach to nutrition here.

Day 8 – Tuesday 

Training:   I pulled up remarkably well in the morning from Mondays 3 Class effort.   It was a nice surprise.  I took a 7pm Zumba class which got me warm and sweaty but not worn out.   So I tacked on my first set of Deadlifts in a LONG time.   I had a mental block about deadlifts – I think I was scared of just how weak I would be.   I was happy to comfortably manage my 5 x 5 set workout at a reasonable weight.   10 minutes max,  60% effort and it felt Good.   YEAH!

Food:   Bad day for food.   Didn’t eat enough in the morning,  bullied by mother in-law into eating pasta for lunch which combined to leave me in a total fog in late arvo.  Totally wanted a nanna nap which was never gonna happen.  Bad Jill.

8:30 Coffee with 1 sugar, cinnamon, cream

11am 1/2 Cup of Dazza’s Awesome Smoothie

1:30pm  Cream of Cauliflower soup (home made) + Spagetti Bolonaise

3:30  Handful of buttered popcorn … mostly off the floor (thanks Molly)

4:30pm  Gluten free pancake with cottage cheese and home made apricot jam + coffee.  I totally didn’t enjoy this by the way – it was very disappointing 🙁  I think I even tipped 1/2 my coffee down the sink.

9pm  Big Bowl Chicken broth with lentils, spinach, mushrooms, zuchini and yoghurt added.

11pm Vital Greens with 1 cup full cream milk & water

Day 9 – Wednesday

Training:  I was disappointed to pick up an extra pump class today on top of step in the afternoon.   It’s not that I didn’t enjoy taking the class (I love what I do!),  but I had to shelve the 10 minute KettleBell workout that I was looking forward to.   Pump at lunchtime followed by a 5:30pm step.    I have to admit it was hard – my legs weren’t up for that combo after Monday & Tuesdays efforts.   Ah well.  It sounds bad to complain about exercising for a living – but as a trainer I can’t rely on classes to make me fit.   I need to get enough recovery and other training in to be fit to take the classes, otherwise I’m on a slow but certain path to injury.

Food:   Not a great day again.   I just couldn’t face food this morning so tried to get some calories and liquid in to keep up the bubba’s milk supply and get me through Pump.   Then I had to really force myself not to cave and order Pizza tonight – just feeling very tired, flat and a bit upset about some stuff.  The emotional eating urges were strong!

10am  Coffee with 1 sugar, cinnamon & cream

11:45  2 tsp vital greens with 1 cup full cream milk & 1 cup water

(Pump class)

2:15  2+ handfuls buttered popcorn

4pm  Tuna with spinach, mushrooms, zuchini, parmesan cheese and yoghurt

(evening Step class)

9:30pm   Fillet steak with stir fried salad of lentils, spinach, tomato, mushroom and parmesan cheese all cooked in coconut oil

10pm 5 x Cherries

11:30 2 tsp Vital Greens with Water

Day 10

Training:   Umm.  Another ‘bonus’ pump class today (ie. unscheduled).   No other workout as I can feel that my body is at it’s limit.  In a perfect world I would have done some gentle yoga or mobility work but it just wasn’t happening today.  On the upside the pump class didn’t feel as hard as I expected given it was my 3rd day in a row of step / pump lunges …. I also felt inspired to do some of the pushups on my toes which was another positive.  Maybe I’ve lost weight 😉

Food:  There was some serious pressure to have Pizza tonight when we got home from work.   Tough day and I’m super proud of myself that I overcame and made a reasonably healthy steak & noodle stir fry instead.   Go me.

10am  Coffee with 1 sugar cinnamon & cream

10:30 Egg & Coconut ‘porridge’ with peanut butter

11:30 2+ handfuls of buttered popcorn

2:30 1/2 Cup Dazza’s amazing smoothie + more popcorn

4pm Bowl of rice & chicken curry (aldi packet meal) with spinach, tomato, mushroom & yoghurt added

5pm Coffee plus 2 chocolate coated biscuits (aldi brand)

(6pm Pump Class)

9pm Fillet steak & salad stir fry (see last night’s dinner) with rice noodles added

12am  Vital Greens with Water

Weigh in for tomorrow is looking shaky as the scales are broken.  Might have to wait for Saturday morning from Benalla.  Ahhh the anticipation.

Jill’s Journey Part 4 – Sh*t Happens and an Eating Plan

Jills Journey Part 4 – Sh*t happens and an Eating Plan



  Day 11 Weigh In:   No scales 🙁 Check back tomorrow.

  Weight Loss so far:  As Above

  Skip to Food & Training for Days 8,9 & 10

  Start at the beginning:  Jill’s Journey Part One

  Read about my approach to training.

  Skip to Jill’s Journey Part 5 and a progress pic


Some days Sh*t happens.   It comes out of no-where and knocks you down.   You don’t know why,  you weren’t expecting it and even though you can’t change it now….. you keep going over and over the events in your head hoping for a different outcome.  It leaves you with an empty, hurting spot inside that only chocolate, twisties or alcohol can fix.   Since you can’t stop thinking about it you obviously need more chocolate/ twisties / alcohol to numb the pain etc etc

Some days nothing happens.  Food becomes a pleasant distraction to break up the monotony.  Or having another coffee of course.

Some days you’re so tired that you disconnect from your digestive system.   You don’t know if you are hungry or not and food becomes a tool to keep your eyes open.   With coffee of course 😉

I was having a fair few days from the list above.   I was snacking more than I realised.  When people came to see the new bubba it always seemed to involve food.   Food that wasn’t what I would normally eat.   Bad food.    Bad for Jill.   I couldn’t break the cycle.   I needed a plan…

Just Say No – Nutrition Plan

Just Say No ....

Just Say No ….



Food can be yummy.    Food is highly accessible in this day and age.   Food exists primarily to fuel the body.

I was eating for all the wrong reasons.  Much of the time I was only eating food when someone offered it to me.   I was taking no ownership of what my body needed,  then guzzling down whatever was put in front of me.    It’s a survival tactic when you’re  stressed or have just had a new baby – but at some stage it needs to stop or bad things will happen.    So here are my guidelines:



  1. I eat ‘breakfast’ by 11am at the latest.  Any later and the rest of the day gets fuzzy.
  2. If I’m hungry I eat.   I stock up on easy and reasonably healthy options that are quick (see below)
  3. I eat at least every 5 hours throughout the day – to head off crazy cravings.
  4. If someone offers me food/coffee I say no.  I am 100% responsible for what I put in my body & when.
  5. If we plan to eat out or I’m visiting a friends & family,  I eat what is on offer.  I’m not on a ‘diet’.
  6. I say no to food that’s ‘just there’ ( toddler left overs,  chips off the floor,  biscuits your well meaning mother bought over 😉 ) I eat left overs as part of my meal that I am eating because I am hungry.  
  7. I keep a bottle filled with water and drink lots.   Dehydration = brain fog & crazy cravings
  8. When junk food urges hit because I’m feeling tired/cranky/lazy/ hormonal/ whatever, I make the fastest, easiest thing I can to get some food into me.   Possibly with cheese on top.

This is how I approach eating – not what I eat.    Most folks have some idea of what is healthy and what is not.   I have learned (slowly and painfully) that it’s almost impossible to change a person’s core beliefs over what constitutes ‘healthy food’.   You might change a behaviour for a short period of time, but we always revert back.

So if you want to apply my guidelines to your own food go ahead.  For a lot of people this will help them to stop putting weight on.  For some people it will help them lose weight.   If you are a person who thinks that slabs of Coca Cola are a good lifestyle choice you have bigger problems and probably aren’t reading this.  For a full blown body transformation you could certainly go more extreme, but the point of this whole exercise is to demonstrate that you don’t have to – you can get sensational results just by being consistently sensible.

If you want more specifics about my food choices here they are:

  • I don’t eat much bread, pasta, rice or cereal.  I prefer meat, veggies, eggs or soups with stuff added .
  • I eat full fat versions of any dairy or other foods where it is relevant.
  • I like cooking with and adding olive oil, coconut oil, macadamia oil etc to my food.  Lots of it.
  • I’m a big fan of “All in one dish” meals.  Everything into the frypan or the microwave.
  • I don’t eat much fruit but I don’t deliberately avoid it.
  • I have alcohol occasionally.  Approx 1-2 times a week and usually just one drink in the evening
  • I drink water and lots of it.  Sometimes I drink full fat milk but that’s it for everyday drink choices.
  • I have up to 2 coffees per day with 1 sugar & full fat cream. It makes my coffee more satisfying.
  • I don’t exclude sugar, but I find that when I have less of it I don’t crave sugary foods as much.
  • I consciously plan to eat biscuits/cake/ pancakes etc.  I sit down, enjoy my food and am aware when my body has had enough.  It also helps with the crazy cravings – I don’t deny them.  I make them a proper event rather than a drive by binge session.

Still want more detail (I just assume that no-one is reading this far?)    

Sample shopping list of reasonably healthy and seriously quick food staples:

Woolworths Roast Chicken Large – feeds kids, feeds men and lasts a few days in the fridge.  Goes with everything

Hansells Packet soups – I *love* the Vegetable tangine soup and the others are ok too for variety.   $3.99 ea in soup isle @ Woolworths.  These can sit on the shelf and don’t need refridgerating till open.    Great as a base to add other things to inc chicken, tuna, feta, natural yoghurt,  spinach, mushrooms, lentils …..whatever floats your boat.

Hansells Vegetable Tangine Soup.

Hansells Vegetable Tangine Soup. Aldi Natural Yoghurt

 Pre made salads – any kind don’t stress the detail.  Add tuna, chicken or other left over meat to your salad to make it last for more meals and feel more satisfying.  I like warm salads best but that’s just me.

Eggs.   You can do so many amazing things with eggs.  Scrambled eggs are especially good – one whole egg, one bowl,  stir briskly w milk & microwave for 60 seconds.  Stir and give another 30 seconds.   Add coconut flour (1tsp per egg),  peanut butter, cheese,  mushrooms, even bloody coco pops for variation if you need.     It’s also a super cheap option for work lunches if you’re trying to save.

Any pre packed roast meat option – Slow cooked if you can (I know that’s not quick …) but it will be more tender for using left overs over the next 2 days.   The Jamie Oliver options are lovely but expensive.  A big chunk of cooked meat can be sliced, stir fried, even minced in a food processor and added to just about anything.

Zuchini,  Mushrooms, tomato and Baby Spinach (the pre washed bags definitely help with the ‘quick’ part).  I microwave and add these to just about everything.    Adds bulk, vital nutrients and they go well with most things.

Shaved Parmesan Cheese or Feta – add to anything for more kick & flavour.

Cottage Cheese and Natural Yoghurt – these can both be added to just about anything.

Medium sized potatoes.   I microwave one and add stuff or add a little milk and mash it up with butter.  Easy.  Kid friendly (even with tuna) and naturally portion controlled!

Cans of Tuna.  Can add to anything – I never actually think “Yum I want tuna” but whenever I make something with it I always enjoy it.   Tasty and versatile.

Sour cream,  Butter,  Olive oil – I have no issues with fat and think it makes food feel much more satisfying.

Bread Option – Sprout Bread or Burgens Digestive Rye.  These are much more satisfying than normal bread.  1 slice is usually enough,  2 will make you feel really full.   Add lots of topping or grill with cheese!   Peanut butter and cottage cheese is a good sweet option.

Peanut butter / Almond Butter / Any nut butter – when you need something sweet but don’t want to sugar yourself up.  Sometimes a spoon full of peanut butter can totally settle the afternoon biscuit cravings.

Vital Greens (Supplement from Health food shop) – It’s my insurance policy and I swear that it makes me feel better.   I also use it to give me a hit of something sweet in the evening.   It’s not to everyone’s taste but it is a great product to beef up your green leafy vegetable and vital nutrient intake.

Vital Greens. 2tsps with water.

Vital Greens. 2tsps with water.


A2 Full Cream Milk – Other milk gives me a tummy ache.  This one doesn’t.   Glass of milk is great for heading off junk food cravings.

Avocado,  Canned Lentils,  Frozen broad beans,  carrots,  anchovy stuffed olives ……Stuff you can add to anything.

Wow.  If you’ve made it to this part you REALLY like reading about other peoples food!  Do you have any good suggestions to add?  I’d love to get some new ideas.    If anyone really wants some recipes then sing out in the comments and I’ll add a page & link,

Read detailed Training & Food information for Days 8,9 & 10

Jill’s Journey Part 3 – Here before and a Fitness Plan

From Here to There and back again …..again.  A fitness plan.

Skip straight to food & training for days 5,6 & 7

Skip to my plan for healthy food and eating








This was nearly 7 years ago.   I was working full time in IT,  running 2 gyms and commuting between Melbourne and Benalla (192kms from GPO) every week.    The money was great but the lifestyle was literally killing me.  Despite everything I knew about health & fitness I was surviving on no sleep, takeaway meals and super high stress levels. To make matters worse I was taking way too many fitness classes (14 in 4 days was standard).     Rather than doing me good,  the classes were just more stress on my body and my weight was going up and up.

The solution was to stop and allow my body to rest.  I took 4 weeks off everything,  cut the crap out of my eating and pulled back to just twice weekly strength workouts.   Those photos clearly show the result (and how great fake tan can be!).  4 weeks of LESS was all I needed.  Even I was surprised.

Skip forward to 2015 and here we are again.    Plenty of challenges and a body that’s been pushed to it’s limit twice in the last 2 years through childbirth.    4 weeks of complete rest and recovery just isn’t going to happen this time ….

My W.H.A.T do I need Today fitness plan

I need a ‘plan’ that can work with where I’m at right now.   A plan that doesn’t add stress, fatigue or pressure to my life and allows me to be happy with whatever I can fit in on any given day.  I call it my  ‘W.H.A.T do I need Today’ Fitness plan.  Here are my guidelines:

  • Each week contains:
    • 1 x strength based session:  gym equipment or bodyweight – but something that you can measure progress in.
    • 1 x Fitness based session:  something that gets you puffed & warm ie Sprints,  Boxing,  HIT workout, a fitness class, challenging interval program on the bike/rower etc.  It doesn’t have to go for long but you do need to be pushing your upper limits at some stage.
    • 1 x mobility / movement based session:   Stretching,  Yoga,  Pilates,  even technique work for strength training could also fall into this category.
  • A session can be from 3 minutes to 45 minutes duration.
  • I aim for 4-6 ‘workouts’ per week
  • 2 sessions in one day is ok – but in general I try not to go over 60 minutes in total duration
  • Incidental activity wherever I can ….  walk,  play with kids,  clean the house,  take the stairs, ride a bike etc etc
What (and whom) have I got to work with...

What (and whom) have I got to work with…

Within these guidelines I don’t sweat the small stuff.   It’s more important to enjoy and keep doing it than whether there is a particular order that is ‘most’ effective.     The one exception:  I wouldn’t recommend doing a fitness session on the same day after a big strength workout.   That could increase the risk of injury due to muscle fatigue.

So some time in the morning, as I get an idea of how the day is going to flow and how my body is feeling…. That’s when I’m ready to create my W.H.A.T



W:  When am I going to be able to fit a session in?

H:  How am I going to train today?  Strength, Fitness or mobility

A:  At home or elsewhere?

T:  Time allocated to session?

Once I’ve answered these questions it’s easier to commit to a workout.   It helps with planning WHAT your workout will be since you know the environment and what equipment (if any) you will need or have on hand.

For me there is no point doing it any earlier than on the day.   I just get frustrated when things change and I also don’t know how I’m going to feel on any given day.    Slept badly and woke up with a sore neck?   Not the day for a morning HIT workout.   Up all night with a sick child?   A rest day or some gentle yoga would do me more good than a hard core session.     Deciding on the day allows me to be in touch with my body’s  needs and there’s a higher chance I’ll complete the workout having planned with the most up to date information.    I don’t have time or the energy to beat myself up over ‘failing’ to stick to a schedule.

Example:  I don’t have any help with the kids and can’t get out of the house for the whole day.  I would plan a 3 minute strength session some time in the afternoon when b1 & b2 are asleep.    As many good pushups as I can followed by a “super-strong plank hold” for 10 seconds (more on this move down the track!) .   Repeat 3 times.    Simple, quiet and effective with no equipment required.

Example Two:  I have a busy day with appointments and juggling the kids.  Nothing is going to get done during the day and I take a 45 minute Zumba class at 7pm at the gym.    I plan to do a 5-10 minute Kettlebell circuit straight after class before I head home.    I know the when, I know the how, I know the where and I know how long so when I finish the class I don’t have to think about it.  I just do.

So what do you think?   Next post is on my approach to food but I will come back to this topic and provide sample workouts if there is interest (comment on website / Facebook).   I’m lucky that coming up with workouts is easy for me.  Working in a gym finally has a perk to it 😉

I’m biased,  but I recommend that everyone commencing exercise or trying to get motivated invests in a good personal trainer – even just a couple of sessions to get taught proper exercise technique and perhaps even some short circuits you can do on your own (even at home).     This was the motivation for our Short Course programs –  rather than just getting flogged by a trainer, you come away with skills that you can use on your own forever after (AND  get flogged by a trainer if that’s what you want!)   That’s a damn good $39 investment.   Kettlebells,  Boxing,  Strength Training are all great for short workouts and all available.

Want to read the gory details about my food and training for days 5,6 & 7?

Skip to my plan for healthy food and eating

Go back to the start of Jill’s Journey

Jill’s Journey – Food & Training Days 5,6 & 7

Day 5 (Saturday) Food & Training

Training – No workout.   Long (slow) walk with the Molly monster with lots of climbing up and down the Rocket slide at the park.

Food – I didn’t get nearly enough food during the day which left me feeling pretty flat and hungry throughout the evening.   It was a good reminder that cutting things down too much doesn’t help at all.

Lamb Shoulder with Salad.  Yum!

Lamb Shoulder with Salad. Yum!

9:30am Coffee with 1 sugar, cinnamon and cream

10am  A tiny amount of coconut porridge – Molly was super hungry and ate hers and mine.   1/3 cup of Dazza’s awesome smoothie (see days 2,3 & 4 for details).

1:30 Small bowl Veg Tangine Soup, Roast Chicken, yoghurt with avocado & Mushroom.  The bowl was bigger but again a certain goblin decided to inflict ownership rights and gobbled down the majority.    Molly *loves* avocado, roast chicken and strangely enough the veg soup as well.  She can’t get enough.

5:15 Coffee plus two choc coated peanut biscuits.  Sooooo hungry.

7pm Slow roast lamb shoulder (Jamie Oliver pack from Safeway) with a warm salad of:  Spinach, mushroom, tomato, zuchinni, torn white bread roll gently stirred in pan with olive oil, shaved parmesan cheese, feta & avocado

10pm 1/2 Cup of Dazza’s Smoothie with another Choc Peanut biscuit

11:30  2 tspn Vital Greens with Water

Day 6 (Sunday) Food & Training

Doing the Mum thing at the pool.    Funny how things change.  No bikini's for me!

Doing the Mum thing at the pool. Funny how things change. No bikini’s for me!


Training – 6 laps of the 50m outdoor pool at Benalla Aquatic Centre.   OMG that was hard!   I’m sure I used to do 800m warmups as a kid at school……    I tagged this on to taking the bubbas for a swim to tire them out.  Unfortunately it also left me completely shattered.      Later in the evening I did a 3 minute strength workout:  3 x assisted ring pull ups with a focus on holding a ‘hollow body’ position for core engagement.   Assisted means that poor Dazza did most of the lifting as I was weak as a kitten.



Food:  Trying to eat more food to avoid repeat of the previous day.

10:30  Big bowl of Coconut porridge with cocoa added and a handful of cocoa pops (thanks Molly! you’re such a good helper…)

11:30  Coffee with 1 sugar, cream and cinnamon

12pm   1/2 Cup of Dazza’s awesome smoothie

2:15 Left over Lamb Shoulder & Salad plus a choc coated peanut biscuit

5:30 Coffee with 1 sugar, cream and cinnamon

7:30pm  Chicken & Corn cream soup (packet) with spinach, mushroom, parmesan cheese, yoghurt and 1/2 bread roll added.

11pm  Handful of Buttered Popcorn + 2tsp of Vital Greens with Water

Day 7 (Monday) Food & Training

Training – Ok this is NOT a good example of responsible training.   I was crapping myself about today but this is what I do for a living: 1pm Step Class plus 5:45pm BodyPump Class plus 6:45 Power Yoga class and no we didn’t just lie around on cushions in the yoga class  😉    This is not what I recommend for anyone and doing this would not help you lose weight or feel better.   It *might* in the short term but overall it will just make you more hungry and your body run down.  The worst part is that your body starts to acclimatise to all this long drawn out exercise – so if you stop for any reason (hello swine flu and baby problems!) you pile on the weight.  ‘Nuff said.

Food:  I needed to make sure I was getting enough food and water in throughout the day to fuel my workouts.  Water in particular with enough salt to keep it in my body and replenish all the sweat that I was losing.   I also had to be careful not to have anything too heavy as I didn’t want to crash my blood sugars and fall in a heap.

9:30 Coffee w 1 sugar, cream & cinnamon (and about 3 big glasses of water!)

10am Big bowl of Coconut Porridge

11am 1/2 cup of Dazza’s Awesome Smoothie

2:15  2 tspns Vital greens with 1 cup of full cream milk plus tons of water

3:30 2 handfuls of buttered popcorn

4pm Wonton Soup (packet) with yoghurt, lentils, mushroom, zuchinni added.   1/2 Cup of Dazza’s Awesome Smoothie

8:30pm  Beef Curry with rice, mushroom, zuchinni and yoghurt

11:30pm Vital Greens with 1 cup full cream milk plus water

Well that’s it.  Next update will feature another weigh in and my nutrition thoughts.   As always feel free to comment or ask questions. Thanks for all your support.

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