for whom the bell tolls | fitspiration friday

I love working out with Kettlebells. They make you feel warrior strong!

Here are my top 5 kettlebell moves:

  1. Kettlebell Swing – the ultimate in total core workout
  2. Kettlebell Sumo Squats – the king of the squat!
  3. The Kettlebell Snatch – power & strength
  4. The Kettlebell Windmill – a little tricky to master but great back, shoulder & core move
  5. Kettlebell Halo – core & upper body strength

Doing a 15 minute kettlebell workout at the end of your run or power walk is a fantastic way to insert that intensity that burns fat.

Or feel free to do a full body kettlebell interval workout using a Gymboss timer to keep you structured and fast-paced meaning you’ll get a cardio & strength session in one. 

Apologies for not explaining all of those moves, but it’s too difficult to put it down in words.  They say a picture paints a thousand words so here are a couple of Youtube clips I found to give you a good understanding of what your form should look like when you’re using kettlebells.

Happy Friday!

obstacles | wednesday workout

A couple of week’s ago I lost my Polar heartrate strap. It literally blew out the kitchen window never to be seen again (I live on the 10th story of a large apartment block, so it is literally lost forever). I’ve been feeling weird working out without my Polar tracking my heartrate and calories. It’s like I have no evidence!

Yesterday’s workout was sparring in the park with Jay. 

  • 1km jog warm-up
  • 3 x 150-count fast punches; straights, hooks, uppers
  • 5 minutes random number call-out combos
  • 7 sets x step-ups with high knees & ascending/descending punches (20/40/60/80/60/40/20 reps)
  • 5 mins reactive sparring (blocking and punching 
  • 7 sets x push shoulder block combined with ascending/descending punches (20/40/60/80/60/40/20 reps)
  • Abs
  • Bear crawls


the day before

My Saturday started with a 7am airport run to drop my BFF Gracie off for her trip to Yackandandah for her sister’s 30th/engagement party.

Jay continuously makes me laugh (lucky I married him)!

No husband, I didn’t pick these from ‘the side of the road’. We don’t live on the hillsides of Switzerland!

After brekkie we caught the light-rail into the city to pick up our event packs for the Bridge Run which is part of the Blackmores Sydney Running Festival.

I haven’t actually run a full 9kms (5.6 miles) without stopping before….and I’m nursing a foot/knee injury, so I’ll take it easy and see if I can jog the whole thing! 

event pack

Nothing too special in the event pack with the exception of the Mrs May’s Trio natural bars which are to die for! In Australia you can buy them from Coles, Woolworths & IGA. From the event stand I bought a deflatable water bottle and shoe money/key/ID holder which are totes awesome!

Run start (bottom of the grass area) at Milsons Point


the north side of the Sydney Harbour Bridge (Sydney CBD in the distance)


the Bridge is closed down from 4am-11am for the runners


I’m excited about running tomorrow because it was one of my 12WBT 4 week goals; to do a fun run! Tick!

While we were in the city we did a bit of shopping in Pitt St Mall & had lunch in  Westfield. I blew invested my allowance at Sportsgirl, Forecast & Myer on some colour block pieces, before we had a delicious & nutritious lunch at Iku Wholefood which I am completely obsessed with!

shopping & tweeting isn’t recommended!
Cobalt Forecast Blazer, Chartreuse Sportsgirl Peplum Top & Trent Nathan Orange Enamel Cuff
Lunch – brown rice, pickled cabbage, leafy greens, white beans & Mediterranean couscous with tahini vinegarette (vegan)
It would appear I am also obsessed with Twitter…

I bought some extra brown rice & white bean salad to have with grilled chicken for dinner tonight. We’ve got a quiet night in with an early bedtime as it’s race day tomorrow!!!

Saturday 14th September 2012 sunset over Blackwattle Bay/ANZAC Bridge – view from my loungroom

Hope you’re all having a great weekend!

changing lives

Yesterday I attended the RIDBC Changing Lives Luncheon with special guest speaker Michelle Bridges, in my hometown of Newcastle for an amazing charity organisation.

My BFF Grace McLean is RIDBC’s Community Relationships Manager in the Hunter which basically means she builds & sustains relationships and community partnerships with individuals and businesses in the area that help support (through charitable foundation) the core work that the
Royal Institute of Deaf & Blind Children do (inc childhood education and socialisation through face-to-face and technology-driven schooling, family support and new technology development for things like iPad Apps to support communication).

Gracie secured Michelle Bridges, my fitness mentor through the 12WBT program, as the special guest speaker. (I’d like to think that I had a tiny part to play in getting her since she dropped my details about my 12WBT journey when sending the request!!!).

Neen & I drove up from Sydney and arrived just in time for the 12.30 lunch. The weather fortunately didn’t get the “winter” memo because the sun was shining, it was 28°C and the vast glistening Pacific ocean stretched out the blue horizon in front of the Merewether Surfhouse. It was beautiful.


Mike Rabbitt, a local TV sports reporter MC’d the event. He was commanding, genuine, engaging and funny. The CEO of RIDBC Chris Rehn gave a short overview of the organisation’s history, values and the work they do in the Australian community.

Mike Rabbitt (Far Left) with the NBN News anchors


Gracie & CEO Chris Rehn

After settling into our meal of either salmon with beans & cauliflower mash or roast chicken with vegetables, the first speaker was a beautiful woman and mother of four (!!!) Rachel Cooper, who spoke of her son that has a hearing impairment. Their daily lives have been significantly changed for the better through the work that RIDBC do. It was an interesting and heartfelt story.

Mish Bridges talking while sitting because of her hamstring surgery last week. She’s a machine!

I’m not sure how long Mish actually spoke for but time seemed to stop. This is a woman I am influenced by…I am following her workouts or cooking her recipes or watching her videos or reading her Facebook posts or tweets. I’ve seen her a few times; at 12WBT workouts and events and at the Fairfax office when I was doing a project there, but to be so close to her was just awesome! It’s strange though how you can know someone and they don’t have a clue who you are! She directly impacts my life and she doesn’t even know it! Also, just so I seem a tad more stalker-ish, Mish and I share the exact same birthday, which I of course told her!

Her talk was about things I’ve heard before through the program, but she’s so engaging, relaxed, funny and inspiring that it was like hearing it for the first time. Her message and her words found a renewed resonance with me. She spoke about how she detests this generation of self-hate. How women (and men) seem to relish putting themselves down. How does that behavior achieve our goals in life; whether its fitness, weightloss or career driven? It’s not OK to tell someone else that they’re a useless disgusting fat pig, so why is it acceptable to talk to ourselves like that (she was using an example of one of the 12WBT clients who had a blog site called ‘bigfatchick’). Mish went on to say our bodies are “perfect”. They react perfectly to the signals and messages that we give them.  If we are giving our bodies messages of high-sugar, over-processed, high-fat food with little exercise it will respond perfectly to that message; it will bloat, retain salt & water, breakout, pack on weight & cellulite. But if we give it messages of wholesome, natural foods with daily exercise, then it will flourish to that message with good intestines, clear skin, optimum weight.

What a perfect message!

[Michelle Bridges via

With Mish’s help, the MC announced the silent auctions, raffle and lucky door prizes which were all donated by amazing Newcastle businesses;

National Australia Bank (NAB) (major sponsor), Merewether Surfhouse (major sponsor), Hearts on Fire, Matthews Jewellers, PeopleFusion, AFRM, Carla Swimwear, Subo, Gorgeous Gowns, Newcastle Herald, Hot Yoga, Natalie Baker Styling, Collette Dinnegan Baby, Endota Spa, Kokum Hair, Sprout Dining, Hot Rock Catering, Intimo, Newcastle Cosmetic Medicine Centre, Fernwood, The Essential Ingredient, ACP Magazines, ActionCOACH, The Greater, The Good Property Girls, ABC Orthodontics, De Lorenzo, Organic Temptations & Bioline Skincare.  

The gift bags were full of vouchers & samples for the above businesses along with some recent magazines (Madison & Australian Women’s Weekly) and some pens and notepads.

I really really wanted a picture with Mish, but she was getting hounded by the gaggle of girls and her Exec Assistant “the gatekeeper” Gisi, was keeping a protective eye on her (crutches and all) so after the prizes were handed out the lunch started to wrap up with Michelle being ushered out. Fortunately for me Gracie took me along to see her out and I scored a private lift ride, a hug and a photo!!!

It was amazing to see Gracie in action; I’ve been to her office many times, but I got to see her run a meaningful event for 200+ people raising some much needed cash for a worthy cause and it was fantastic. My BFF is an amazing woman!  

I think Neen & I floated down the F3 all the way home!!!

Look out 12WBT Round 3 2012, here I come!


For more information on RIDBC visit their Facebook page [here].

(All pictures except those sources mentioned otherwise are taken by moi aka Melissa Williams with my htc phone.)

kicking back into gear

I’ve posted about my less than stellar workouts and nutrition over the past couple of months, but since moving, settling in and getting back into a proper routine (travel for work, holidays & personal drama aside) I’m getting back into some consistency which feels really good.

If you get a chance, check out my guest post on my lovely Florida friend; Simply Stephanie Blog [here]!!!

This past week was a good week!



I’ve been making some great tasting green smoothies lately with the addition of fresh coconut water (instead of the bottled kind). Pawpaw/papaya & strawberries are my current fruit preference and you can’t go past heirloom tomatoes, low fat ricotta & fresh basil (courtesy of my balcony basil plant) on toast!


Salads, sandwiches & sushi are my staples for lunch (usually eaten at my desk).


Steak, fish, chicken with veggies and Japanese for takeout. The yummiest sauce for meat is a couple of tablespoons of low-fat sour-cream or 98% fat-free cream,  dijon mustard & sliced mushrooms. Delicious & minimal calories! I’ve been making a lot of braised kale and mushrooms which is yum!


workout expenditure
my harbour run route

Running days: It’s disconcerting how quickly you (I mean me) lose your running form & fitness if you don’t run consistently. For my running days, I’ve been alternating with walking and running to get my fitness back up again. My new running track around Pyrmont Bay is beautiful. Harley is having a great time exploring all the nooks & crannies of the wharf, and although he meets a few dogs, I think he misses the Glebe Harbour track as every second person has a dog! It’s not far so I think I’ll need to take him over on that walk on the weekend.

Strength: My strength training has suffered the most and I’m trying to get back into it. During my weekly personal training session with Joe, he puts me through my paces and I can really feel my strength lacking. I’m going to start regular Pump classes again on Tuesday & Thursdays.


How is your training going? Any hiccups or is it routine? And where do you prefer to train (indoors or outdoors)?

fitspiration friday

Yep, that’s right!
Shake off the guilt of a missed training session or a dirty burger and own today with a killer workout and a day of squeaky clean eating.

Here’s my workouts from the last two days….

Wednesday weights session @ gym

  • 10 mins high intensity on the Xtrainer
  • LegPress – 3 sets x 15 reps (80kgs)
  • LegExtension – 3 sets x 12 reps (25kgs)
  • Standing Glute&Hamstring Extension – 3 sets x 15 reps (25kgs)
  • Single Leg Lunges – 3 sets x 10 reps
  • ShoulderPress – 3 sets x 12 reps (15kgs)
  • LatPullDown – 3 sets x 12 reps (22.5 kgs)
  • BenchPress – 5 sets (overload) x 10 reps (20kg bar, +5kgs, +8kgs)
  • Weighted sit-ups – 2 sets x 50 reps
  • Stretching
Wednesday calorie expenditure

Thursday outdoor cardio session

  • 2km brisk walk
  • HIIT – 6 x 1 min rounds with 30 seconds rest: mountain climbers / side2side basketball jumps / step-ups (repeated)
  • 4 x 100m sprints
  • 2km brisk walk
Thursday calorie expenditure

Booyah baby!
Happy Friday peeps!