My Post Pregnancy Journey! Part 1

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[alert_yellow] 39 weeks pregnant, taken 3 days before Leo was born!
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Wow, nothing can prepare you for motherhood, the first weeks are definitely very challenging. Not only is your body healing but you are also coping with hormones, breast feeding, sleep deprivation and learning how to be a mummy. It is a day by day learning process and one that you have to be super patient with. I didn’t get out of the house much in the first week and there were a lot of tears. When my milk came in it was a very testing time, not only were my nipples sooooo sore but I was also coping with the hormones that would see me cry at anything. Babies need there mummies so much at the start, I know that Matt has felt a tad helpless at times as there is nothing he can do to help me. In saying that he has been a huge support and is such a great daddy, I love watching him with Leo, it warms my heart to the core.

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[alert_yellow] Here I am 4 days after the birth of our beautiful bubba Leo
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I am still very swollen, fluidy and sore here but had already dropped a significant amount of weight just from giving birth. The day after Leo was born I lost 7 kgs alone. I gained around 14kgs during my pregnancy.. During my pregnancy I trained as much as I could and ate well but also was a lot more relaxed with my food and ate more of the things I wouldn’t have prior. I enjoyed my pregnancy and embraced the changes to my body. I was lucky to end up with no abdominal separation or stretch marks. My belly is very soft here and squishy and my core is very weak but that does not phase me in the slightest. I am more proud of my body here just knowing what it went through to bring our baby into this world. Women’s bodies are truly amazing 🙂

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[alert_yellow] Here I am 10 days Post Partum [/alert_yellow]

In the first 10 days I have managed a few 10 min slow walks to the cafe with Matt and we have had a few outings as a family, this is all I could manage at this stage and am in NO way in any rush to get back into the gym. My body is still sore and healing slowly, I will see out the 6 weeks before I start up with my training again, I want to let my body heal properly. I have been eating as healthy as I can but have had a few treats cos I freakin’ deserve them 😉 I am being super kind to myself during this time as should all new mummies, I am not watching what I am eating as such, but I am keeping things balanced and as healthy as I can. Here my tummy is slowly contracting back but still very soft and squishy as to be expected! I am 4 kgs off my starting weight already but of course my body composition is so different as I lost a lot of muscle during my pregnancy.

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[alert_yellow] 17 days post partum and rocking my jeans 🙂[/alert_yellow]

We are slowly getting into our groove now, it has been a bit of a blur the past few weeks but I am getting my head around it all now. I have managed a few more walks and outings with Matt and my mum who is here from NZ to help out.

I have set myself some pretty big goals for this year, not just physical ones but career ones also and I am excited to see how the year pans out. I have sourced out a fantastic trainer who I will go and see after my 6 weeks is up and start to rebuild my body under her guidance. I am not looking to jump up on stage, I just want to gain back the muscle that I have lost and be as fit and as healthy as I can. I will book in a photo shoot so that I will be kept accountable during that time and will have some photo’s to show off at the end of the 10 weeks.

I am excited to share this journey with you all and to let you all in on what is happening throughout the year as it rolls out 🙂

Juzzy xx

1. They Don’t Waste Time Feeling Sorry for Themselves

Mentally strong people don’t sit around feeling sorry about their circumstances or how others have treated them. Instead, they take responsibility for their role in life and understand that life isn’t always easy or fair.

2. They Don’t Give Away Their Power

They don’t allow others to control them, and they don’t give someone else power over them. They don’t say things like, “My boss makes me feel bad,” because they understand that they are in control over their own emotions and they have a choice in how they respond.

3. They Don’t Shy Away from Change

Mentally strong people don’t try to avoid change. Instead, they welcome positive change and are willing to be flexible. They understand that change is inevitable and believe in their abilities to adapt.

4. They Don’t Waste Energy on Things They Can’t Control

You won’t hear a mentally strong person complaining over lost luggage or traffic jams. Instead, they focus on what they can control in their lives. They recognise that sometimes, the only thing they can control is their attitude.

5. They Don’t Worry About Pleasing Everyone

Mentally strong people recognise that they don’t need to please everyone all the time. They’re not afraid to say no or speak up when necessary. They strive to be kind and fair, but can handle other people being upset if they didn’t make them happy.

6. They Don’t Fear Taking Calculated Risks

They don’t take reckless or foolish risks, but don’t mind taking calculated risks. Mentally strong people spend time weighing the risks and benefits before making a big decision, and they’re fully informed of the potential downsides before they take action.

7. They Don’t Dwell on the Past

Mentally strong people don’t waste time dwelling on the past and wishing things could be different. They acknowledge their past and can say what they’ve learned from it. However, they don’t constantly relive bad experiences or fantasise about the glory days. Instead, they live for the present and plan for the future.

8. They Don’t Make the Same Mistakes Over and Over

Mentally strong people accept responsibility for their behaviour and learn from their past mistakes. As a result, they don’t keep repeating those mistakes over and over. Instead, they move on and make better decisions in the future.

9. They Don’t Resent Other People’s Success

Mentally strong people can appreciate and celebrate other people’s success in life. They don’t grow jealous or feel cheated when others surpass them. Instead, they recognise recognise recognise recognise recognise recognise recognise with hard work, and they are willing to work hard for their own chance at success.

10. They Don’t Give Up After the First Failure

Mentally strong people don’t view failure as a reason to give up. Instead, they use failure as an opportunity to grow and improve. They are willing to keep trying until they get it right.

11. They Don’t Fear Alone Time

Mentally strong people can tolerate being alone and they don’t fear silence. They aren’t afraid to be alone with their thoughts and they can use downtime to be productive. They enjoy their own company and aren’t dependent on others for companionship and entertainment all the time but instead can be happy alone.

12. They Don’t Feel the World Owes Them Anything

Mentally strong people don’t feel entitled to things in life. They weren’t born with a mentality that others would take care of them or that the world must give them something. Instead, they look for opportunities based on their own merits.

13. They Don’t Expect Immediate Results

Whether they are working on improving their health or getting a new business off the ground, mentally strong people don’t expect immediate results. Instead, they apply their skills and time to the best of their ability and understand that real change takes time.

Reference:

http://www.lifehack.org/articles/communication/13-things-mentally-strong-people-dont.html

I have been on all sorts of diets over the years that have been prescribed to me from various coaches. I was made to believe for a long time that carbs are the enemy and I lived off a high protein, high fat diet. I now know that this was not good for me at all and hope that others do not make the same mistake that I did. I trusted my coach at the time but I do feel that if I had of continued on that path I would have ended up with all sorts of issues.

I have been eating my fair share of carbs lately being pregnant as that is what my body has been needing and I can tell you now I have NOT put on 20kg overnight. I am gaining weight slowly and healthily throughout my pregnancy due to my training not been as intense and I am obviously eating more of the bad carbs, which I am allowing myself to do GUILT FREE for once in my life 😉

You will hear it a lot these days that carbs make you fat!!!! The truth is that they can….but all you need to do is eat the right carbs at the right time and you will never store them as fat, in fact you will use them as fuel!
 

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Here are 3 simple carb timing tricks that you can keep in mind so that you are not eating them at the wrong time and wondering why your belly isn’t budging and you are storing more fat than you would like to!

1) A good time to consume healthy carbs like non-processed 
starches and fruits is first thing in the morning or upon waking.

This is because you have fasted all night while you sleep so your glycogen levels have been somewhat depleted and this leaves extra room for carbs to replenish lower glycogen stores without fat storage. 

Also your metabolic rate runs at its highest during the morning 
hours than it will later in the day so you’ll more likely use these carbs as 
energy. Insulin sensitivity is also higher when you wake up than 
other times of the day, which allows your body to utilize carbs and limit fat storage, this is especially effective if you exercise in the a.m.
 
 
2) An even better time to consume starches and fruits is a few hours before high intensity resistance training (bodyweight circuits, metabolic resistance 
training, etc.) or a heavier weight training session.
 
This will ensure that these carbs are used as energy during and after the workout to avoid fat storage– and provide sustained energy throughout the workout. Better performance equals more fat and calories burned during and after the workout.
 

3) The best time to consume carbs from starches and fruits is in your post workout anabolic window of opportunity, which is anywhere from 1 to 3 hours 
after high intensity training.
  
Regardless if your goal is fat loss, strength, performance, energy, improved health or anything else, it’s critical for you to understand the process of food timing.

When you do, you’ll improve your insulin sensitivity dramatically, which will improve your body’s ability to burn ugly fat as fuel on a daily ongoing basis and who doesn’t want that?

These days I think it is crazy that some people will still put alcohol, drugs and toxins into their bodies but they won’t eat some sweet potato or eat fruit!!! This kind of mentality is warped and there is absolutely no logic to it!! This cartoon pic below made me laugh, maybe it isn’t heroin we are asking for ( I would hope) but you kind of get the message behind what I am trying to say.

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Educating yourself on the facts and allowing your body to fuel off the right foods will only benefit you in the long run and help you to live in an energy filled body that won’t burn out!

Be kind to your body, nourish it with the right foods at the right time and aim for a body that is healthy for life and not just lean for a week!!!

Lets all be happy little carb muncher’s together 🙂

Justine xx

I am so glad that when I competed back in 2008 that the fitness industry isn’t what it is today. When I started out on my fitness journey there was no social media and there was definitely not as much ego around as there is today. I had no one to compare myself too and had no one putting me down behind my back as I just did what I needed to do in the gym and in the kitchen and it was no one else’s concern until comp day.

These days it seems that every girl wants to be a fitness model and a lot of girls only want the accolades and titles that go along with being one. Social media has created a monster and given people a platform to be all they ‘perceive’ to be and more. The sad thing is that you can be anyone you want to be in images and you can tell the world what you think they want to hear and you will get people believing you. A lot of what you read can be so mis-leading and give you the wrong impression of what reality actually is. Real life is hurdles, real life is having set backs, real life is experiencing low days, real life is overcoming adversity, real life is not rainbow’s and fluffy white clouds! For people to really get a grasp on reality they need to understand that no one is perfect and no one has the perfect body, perfection is in the eye of the beholder and seeing things for what they really are will help you be able to move forward and become YOUR best and achieve YOUR best body.

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These days I will always tell the truth and call a spade a spade, I have had my fair share of girls latch on to me over the years and now I honestly have no time for it. I will give to those that I actually know and who deserve my time but having had my fair share of girls only want something from me so that they can benefit has left me only to believe and trust in a few.

I believe that what you see isn’t always what is and that unfortunately you can not take things for face value these days. I know that when I was unhappy within myself and seeking validation from the outside world I would preach that my life was amazing when in fact I was covering up to the fact that I didn’t have inner peace and was seeking approval from the public.
At the time I was being genuine and couldn’t see my actions for what they were, this is something that I have now looked back on and realised that I had done. You can put it down to the fact that I am always looking to improve myself and always trying to better who I am and be as honest with not only myself but to the women who follow me. I believe that being vulnerable and sharing my growth with others will hopefully inspire and help women to make better choices and not beat themselves up over the silly little things.

I love social media and know that it has helped me move forward in my career but I also see a huge negative to it in that it isn’t reality and far too many women see images and read statements and buy into them and then they feel insignificant and not good enough as their lives are no where near what they are reading day in day out.

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I don’t want to hear that your life is amazing everyday and that you are loving life, that does not motivate or inspire me one bit. I would love to scream that from the roof tops everyday but it just isn’t necessary, if you are truly content and happy within yourself then why do you need the world to know? Don’t get me wrong, it is fine to share your happiness from time to time with everyone, we all want to see people happy and living their lives to the fullest but when it is a daily external ritual that has to be shared then I question its authenticity!

Being happy doesn’t mean that you need approval or validation from the world, it doesn’t mean that you need everyone to know about it, it means that you are happy within yourself and can just ‘be’, you can live in the moment and be at peace with who you are and where you are at in life.

Far too many women these days are left feeling lost and alone by what they read and it is frustrating for me to see. I am strong enough to not take a lot of what I see on board but I know for a fact that there are a lot of broken women out there who need to know that fitness model’s have bad days and don’t eat organic 24/7. They need to know that those that are in peak condition have shit days and days where they lack motivation and give in to temptation and are just all round NORMAL people!

My respect these days goes out to those that I can see are growing in an industry that is heading down a very fake path, I respect those that can own up to their downfalls and learn from them. Those that are out there telling the TRUTH to people and not sugar coating the bullshit that lies underneath the surface.

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I am all for seeing people achieve their goals, I just wish that with that there were more honesty and more people out there telling it how it actually is so that the general public can feel content and happy with who they are and feel worthy of achieving all they deserve!

Justine xx

IF YOU TRAVEL A LOT THEN THESE EATING TIPS ARE FOR YOU 🙂

I know that many of you out there really struggle with food choices when you have weekends away and are out of your usual routine. That been the case, I thought I would give you a few suggestions on how you can make better choices and not come home from your trip feeling like you’ve gone back to square one.

As you all know I travel loads with work and usually have no choice but to eat out at for every meal.

Here is an outline of the foods I eat while I am travelling.

-For breakfast I always opt for an omelet, if I am not on strict diet mode I will have whole eggs, if I am dieting I will have only egg whites. I like to add mushrooms, spinach and feta to my omlets.

-For snacks I will carry low carb protein bars with me for emergencies and I will also carry some almonds/raw nuts on me at all times. The bars that I feel are the best are Maxine burn bars, they taste yum and are very low in calories and carbs. It is crucial to have these snacks on you so that when you feel peckish and it has been a few hours since your last meal that you have them there to tide you over rather than heading into a 7/11 for a sugar hit. We all know that it is important to eat every 2-3 hours to keep the metabolism in check so keep your snacks as high protein/good fats as you can.

-Lunches and dinners I will always order a chicken salad or chicken and veggies or if I can still order breaky I will have eggs again (at lunch), I always like to eat low carb/high protein. If I need to I’ll ask them to make adjustments to my meal ie dressing on the side, no croutons etc. Restaurants are usually more than happy to make meals that you ask for..Please note I have to be carb sensible if I don’t train in the time that I am away. If you are exercising I would suggest ingesting complex carbs either before or after your training session. In general I don’t like to eat a lot of grains or starchy carbs as they make me feel sluggish and bloated.

-Be sure to buy a 2 ltr of water a day and drink that throughout the day, stay hydrated, even if it means you need a ‘wee’ stop every half hour 😉
Sticking to a strict eating regime can be tough when traveling but only if you aren’t organised and mentally strong to be able to say NO to the foods that are only going to

a) make you feel guilty or
b) take you 2 steps backwards.

-The biggest thing is to watch your alcohol intake as alcohol really does set you back. I still managed to really enjoy my weekend and I didn’t once feel like I was missing out on anything 🙂

Hope this helps you guys when you are travelling xx

I felt it was necessary to write a blog to share my pics of the changes in my physique over the years.

The first pic from 2004 is a body that I am not very proud of. I was living in London then and had a very unhealthy lifestyle. I didn’t even go to the gym at all. My only exercise was walking to the tube stations and dancing on the weekends. At this stage of my life I can admit now that I was not eating very well at all. My staple diet was toast and cereal. You can see how thin I was then and how I had absolutely NO muscle on my body.

The 2nd pic from 2007 is from the stage in my life before I began to do weights. I was a cardio queen and still wasn’t eating properly. I ate a lot of carbs and hardly any protein. I skipped meals and was drinking a lot on the weekends. You can see here that I still had no muscle and was carrying a lot of body fat. Now I am not saying that I am fat or out of shape in this pic, I just look so different to the way I look now. I was uneducated in the training and nutrition department and had no structure to my training. I was unhappy in my job as a dental nurse so my only suffice was drinking and partying on the weekends, it was a vicious cycle that I was in.

The 3rd pic is from my last photo shoot that I did with Dallas Olsen in May 2012 and you can see a HUGE change in my physique. I am now carrying loads more lean mass and look healthy and balanced. Obviously this was from a shoot so I don’t look this lean all year round but it gives you an idea of what education, dedication and commitment can do. I love my life now and I don’t feel like I dont work a day in my life. The changes I put in place back in 2008 have paid off and I am now living the dream. I have what I believe to be balance in my life and I dont need alcohol to have a good time. In fact when I drink these days I feel low and sluggish so I choose to only have a few red wines from time to time when I am not dieting for a shoot.

I wanted to share these pics with you all so you can see that I am just like you and I have had issues in my life that I have had to deal with to end up where I am today. You can live the life you dream of, you just have to believe in yourself and then make it happen!!!

Justine xx