why you should drink more H2O | week of health & fitness

Can you remember the lines (aka nagging) your Mum constantly repeated when you were growing up?
Anytime my brother & I opened the fridge, like some kind of fridge-sensor, my Mum would yell from somewhere in the house “Have a glass of water”!

The average adult human body is 50-65% water,
so it only makes sense that we drink up!


glowing skin¹

Water facilitates filtration in our system. It assists the kidneys to do what they do best and transport all the toxins out of our body. Top up your hydration with at least 1.5 litres of water a day (that’s 50 oz) and you’ll see the improvements in your biggest organ; your skin!

faster weightloss²

Weight-loss studies the world over agree that people who drink more water lose weight faster. This is probably because you’re filling that ‘hunger’ gap with zero-calorie fluid and not peanut butter cookies! Try drinking two (500ml or 16 ounces) glasses of water before breakfast, lunch, and dinner and you may get away with eating 75 to 90 fewer calories during each meal. Win!

it regulates body temperature³

After chasing birds & playing fetch for hours, Harley will find a nice puddle of mud or body of water to sink himself into to cool down. Pigs also wallow in mud to regulate their temperature. Much like our beloved pets and tasty animals (!) everyone knows that if you’re overheated, it’s important to drink water “but did you know that it’s even more important to drink it when your body is freezing? The risk of dehydration is actually higher in cold weather because your body is working harder to stay warm. Water regulates your body temperature while hydrating it.

say buh-bye to headaches

If I haven’t drank enough water throughout the day, by mid-afternoon I get a cranking headache and start to feel tired and crabby. Avoiding that feeling (and me if I was you!) is reason enough to hydrate! If you find yourself getting a lot of headaches, dehydration may be to blame. People who don’t consume enough water are more likely to suffer from cramps and other aches as well.

dotox your body

I’ve tried juice cleanses and the Lemon Detox Diet and not only do they make you ravenously hungry, they also mess up your digestive system while making you feel like shit. There really isn’t a need to take such extreme gimmicky measures if you’re eating cleanly (small portions, no refined sugar or starch and heaps of green leafy veggies) and drinking heaps of water. Can’t deal with litre upon litre of H20? Then add fresh lemon or green tea to your water. Help your liver flush out those toxins!

get things running smoothly

It’s not a topic most people like talking about, but I’m fine with discussing bowel movements! Lack of hydration leads to constipation which can lead to a whole host of uncomfortable situations (piles anyone?!). Consume enough water to keep things flowing smoothly.


So how much water do you really need?

As a guide I think 1.5 –  2.5 litres (<0.7 gallon) is enough unless you’re exercising heavily or live in a really hot, humid climate. My brother who lives in Perth (where it’s on average it’s 32°C in summer) works outdoors and he drinks 6+ litres a day! But if you want something more scientific, here is a little calculator


tasty & detoxifying
tasty & detoxifying

¹[while there are no published scientific studies backing up these claims, there are ‘before-after’ studies to support this]

12wbt | week 3 in review

Hells to the yeah people! Week 3 done & dusted!

Monday (day15)

Monday workout calories burnt

5km walk/run with Harley & Jay.

Tuesday (day16)

Tuesday workout calories burnt

Uber workout at the gym:

  • 5 min warmup on the Xtrainer
  • 5 sets x 15 reps Legpress 60Kgs
  • 3 sets (per leg) single leg lunges x 15 reps holding 15kg barbell
  • 3 sets (per leg) single hamstring/glute extenders x 15 reps 25kgs
  • 3 sets x 15 reps chest press 20kgs
  • 3 sets x 15 reps overhead shoulder press 7.5kgs
  • 3 sets x 20 reps bicep curls 17.5kgs3 sets x 20 reps tricep dips
  • 3 sets x 15 reps back rows 25kgs
  • Abs
  • stretching & roller

Wednesday (day17)

Wednesday workout calories burnt

Boxing workout in the park with Jay as my trainer! (boxing drills, foot work, head movement, pyramid circuit, combos & sparring.)

our boxing tree

Thursday (day18)

Thursday workout calories burnt

I enjoyed our boxing workout from the day before so much I dragged Jay to the park to let me use him as a punching bag my boxing trainer again!

Friday (day19)

Friday workout calories burnt

Keeping it low-key before Sunday’s race day with a 5km walk with my buddy Harley.

Friday morning on the habour

Saturday (day20)

Rest day!

Sunday (day21)

Sunday workout calories burnt

Blackmores body+soul 9km Bridge Run was tough but so much fun!

   Monday (day15)

Monday food

Brekkie: cereal with peaches & skim milk
Lunch: chicken stirfry with rice & an apple
Dinner: BBQ chicken with veggies & salad

Tuesday (day16)

Tuesday food

Brekkie: quinoa & linseed sourdough with avocado
Lunch: salad
Dinner: BBQ chicken with salad & rye bread

Wednesday (day17)

Wednesday food

Brekkie: avocado, rocket & egg on toast
Lunch (not pictured): Cafe grilled chicken burger
Dinner: grilled chicken, corn & zucchini with lettuce

Thursday (day18)

Thursday food

Brekkie: the best protein smoothie with mango & banana
Lunch: wok noodles
Dinner (not pictured): homemade 12WBT spaghetti bolognese (beef & lentils) 

*regretting this carb overload!!!

Friday (day19)

Friday food

Brekkie: another awesome smoothie (whey protein, mango, banana & skim milk)
Lunch: salad & chicken
Dinner (not pictured): out with friends bar snack food + 3 glasses of wine

Saturday (day20)

Saturday food

Brekkie: rye bread with Promite & Laughing Cow cream cheese
Lunch: the awesomest vegan salads from Iku Wholefoods (obsessed!)
Dinner (not pictured): a little indulgent treat meal from Grill’d Burger

Sunday (day21)

Sunday food

Brekkie (not pictured): banana
Lunch: grilled chicken, veggies & salad
Dinner: low-calorie Tandoori pizza (looks good for 300 cals doesnt it!?!?)


Looking forward to the upcoming Week4 fitness tests & measurements!

12wbt week 4 | thoughts

Michelle‘s kickoff message for Week 4 of the program, was about self sabotage; whether we perform acts of self sabotage on our fitness and health journey, or whether we just haven’t honed the skills to enable us to reach our goals.

I think at times I may contribute to sabotaging myself; feeling like I may fail so why should I start or procrastinating because I feel like I know everything and can ‘make it up’ later. But on the whole I don’t think I am a self saboteur. I fall into the group of people who just hasn’t learnt to effectively and consistently apply the health, fitness & weightloss skills I am learning.
I often lack discipline in my diet and, if Im honest, I often like food more than the dedication to my goal of being thin. I let instant gratification outweigh future success. I haven’t yet learnt that effective way of socialising without food and alcohol.

As Michelle puts it, these mindset tasks are helping to change our unhealthy habits, both physically and mentally. They are changes for life, not just for 12 weeks… I understand that a transformation takes longer than a couple of weeks to change actions & thinking that have been around for years, but at the same time, I’m so impatient to be there already. I often find myself thinking ‘why aren’t I there yet?’ I know what I should and shouldn’t be doing but patience isn’t one of my intrinsic virtues.

I’m realising that in these moments of pure frustration/exasperation, I need to bring out my internal armour of self worth.
Michelle likens it to a bank; you top up your self worth with positive actions (having a good training session, a day of clean eating, or doing something positive like watching a good movie, listening to my fave music or repeating a personal mantra) and by the same token, you can also deplete your bank of self worth (negative talk, hanging out with people who don’t support you or want to sabotage you, over-analyzing your mistakes etc).

So to help encourage myself, I’m going to refer more to my inspiration board and repeat this personal mantra…


Tonight at the gym I started my workout thinking ‘I just want to be finished already’. My head wasn’t in it; I was already thinking about picking Harley up, seeing Jay and preparing dinner. My unfinished work to-do list was playing over in my mind. Then I thought up this mantra; “I can do this. I am strong enough. I am dedicated and determined. Quitting is not an option.” And then I felt all of those things. My mind cleared and I became focused. I completed a great workout (just over 600 cals burnt) in 55 minutes and now I feel proud of myself. 

So here’s to turning the tide on any negativity. I’m going to own this shit!

12wbt | week 2 roundup

Disclosure: For all my non-12WBT or fitness blog friends, please read at your own peril!

In terms of my 12WBT journey, my second week was tragic.

Being in Melbourne for just over a week was not good for my nutrition and exercise. I spent the successful first week of 12WBT stressing over the fact that I was going to be outside of my comfort zone (ie: not cooking, not knowing what the hotel gym would be like, turning into “holiday mode”) and then resolving myself to being a warrior while I was away.

Well, the first 4 days went to plan, the last 4 days went to hell in a hand basket.

I am an emotional eater. I eat when I’m bored. I eat when I’m happy. When I’m excited, when I see pictures of awesome food, when I’m lonely….you get the picture. This is a fact that I’m trying to change through Michelle Bridges’ 12WBT program.

Michelle spends a lot of time on the psychology of our health; our emotional connection to food and exercise, and lessons on how to change our bad habits for healthier ones.  These are what our preseason tasks and the weekly videos and live chats are about. Addressing our obvious issues with nutrition and exercise (as well as providing motivation & inspiration!).

For me, the exercise isn’t a problem. I like doing it, I’m actually pretty fit and strong and determined. But I lack discipline with my nutrition. And for the moment, I need regularity and structure when it comes to eating healthily and training hard. Not that that is an excuse.

After getting home on the weekend, I’m re-evaluating my goals and behaviour. After re-watching a few of Mish’s videos these are my thoughts:

  • I am going to be accountable and responsible. What I put in my mouth & eat is my responsibility.
  • How consistent and intense my training is up to be me. I have the power and the ability to respond how I want to every situation. There are no excuses. I have to be my word.
  • I want this for myself so I need to make it happen. And I can’t measure my success against others.

Week 2 Food in review

Eating out for 3 meals a day is pretty heavy on the calories. I did try and keep my portions small, although I could tell they were creeping up towards the end of the week.

breakfast was in the hotel with a small bowl of fruit, a small tub of yoghurt and then a piece of toast with a coffee.

lunch was basically Japanese every day except three days when I had a Mexican fajita, a burger & chips and Korean BBQ (over 3 different days, not all at once!).

dinner was my downfall. I failed with control. I ate fish, pasta, steak and pizza. And drank wine.

I generally didn’t snack except over the long weekend where we had a Saturday afternoon beer at a pub, a cupcake and coffee on Sunday and chocolate bullets & popcorn at the movies on Monday. That’s enough to send me into a shame spiral.

summary – I indulged too much. I went over my 1200 calorie quota every day I was away. No doubt about it.

Week 2 Exercise in review

Friday – So I missed my mammoth PT session last Friday as I was flying out (this is a session where I usually burn 750+ calories). On the 12WBT program Friday is supposed to be a stretching day so I did yoga poses for 20 minutes when I got settled at the hotel.

Saturday – a session in the gym. PodRunner & weights.

Super Saturday Session

Sunday – another session in the gym. PodRunner and floor work.


Monday – gym again. PodRunner & weights.


Tuesday – Friday: no workouts. I did do a lot of walking around the city though; meeting Jay for lunch, walking from my office, shopping, going out at night. But it was still completely slack of me.

Sunday – we got home and due to the rain I delayed my Super Saturday Session  til Sunday so I could workout in the park.


summary – I started off well but didn’t end well. Basically I was just lazy (slept in, rushed to get brekkie, then went out at night). At least I had a few good workouts.


So there you have it. My gut-wretchingly honest account of my week 2 failure. Let’s not let it happen again shall we.


I started hump day (& 12wbt weigh in day, 0.3kg gone) with a killer workout:

Boxing & stair-running in the park with Jay. He really put me through my paces – I’m actually really sore today! On another note, tomorrow morning we start with our new Personal Trainer Joe at the gym. He told us to get ready since he’s going to smash us CrossFit style!!!

Wednesday calorie expenditure

What I ate;

brekkie green smoothie

Breakfast green smoothie made with Kale, apple, honeydew, celery & cucumber (how cool is my reusable takeaway cup!).

salad for lunch

Salad at my desk; mixed lettuce, cucumber, cherry tomato, roast pumpkin & boiled egg.

Moroccan lamb with couscous for dinner

Slow cooked lamb with carrots, onions, tomatoes & Moroccan spices served with couscous and a sprinkling of walnuts.

After dinner we watched last year’s remake of Three Musketeers. It was pretty funny and starred a bunch of actors who look like other more famous actors! With the exception of Milla Jovovich (kickarse action woman!) and Orlando Bloom (who was good as a baddie) and D’Artagnan is played by ‘Percy Jackson’ hottie Logan Lerman.

new year goals

The first post of the year, across millions of personal blogs the world over, are generally chock-full of resolutions; promises usually include weight-loss, quit smoking, drink less, exercise more, eat better, yada yada yada! They’re all good of course but you ask people in February how their resolutions are going and it’s usually an excuse or two of why they’re already fallen off the wagon.

My online personal trainer extraordinaire Michelle Bridges recently emailed a newsletter about making your resolutions (or as I like to refer to them; my goals) “SMART”.

For those not familiar with this term, SMART stands for Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic & Time-based.

I’ve fallen prey to the generalised new year’s resolutions many a time. So this year I thought long & hard about what I wanted to achieve come 31st December 2012. Here they are:

  1. Continue on my fitness & weight-loss journey with committing to all 3 rounds of Mish’s 12WBT for 2012. I’ve already signed up for Round 1 which starts on the 16th January, but I will continue all year. I’m aiming to reach my goal weight of 70kgs by July 2012 and will then focus on shaping my body into awesomeness (!) for the latter-half of the year.
  2. Pay off 2 credit cards in 2012. This equals to around $14,000….so much money I know. We just finished paying off a store card (one of those interest free blah blah blah cards) just prior to Christmas so this year two will bite the dust. That also means closing the accounts. I’ve already cut up the cards.
  3. Learn a new skill that will help me during the [_____] apocalypse. (you can insert your version of ‘the end of the world‘ here, but for me it’s either going to be apocalypse by zombie or rage virus) I’m thinking I’ll learn either crossbow/compound-bow or pistol-shooting. I’m tending towards the compound-bow.
  4. To not swear/cuss so much. I am a lady. And I need to talk like a lady. Not like a sailor.

So there you have it. My specific and realistic goals for 2012!

How are you going with your 2012 goals?

pic credits:

Fitspiration Friday | Greatist

This week’s Fitspiration Friday is brought to you by Greatist Blog.

They are informative, educational, inspirational & generally entertaining. A wonderful one stop blog for fitness, health & nutrition!
Brought to you by Greatist.

Remember when Jerry McGuire wrote a manifesto & then changed his world?! Well, this is their manifesto.
Maybe it’ll change your world!

12WBT | week 12 in review

It’s the final week baby!

I’ve been at this twelve whole weeks. It doesn’t seem that long but at the same time it seems like I’ve been doing this forever.

Something I read this week really resonated with me; 

There’s a difference between interest and commitment. When you’re interested in doing something you only do it when circumstances permit. When you’re committed to something, you accept no excuses, only results.

Last week I strayed a little off track with my nutrition. Fortunately my exercise cancelled out my few indiscretions but I didn’t feel good; I didn’t feel like I was keeping my word. I felt my integrity sliding and old habits creeping back in. I want to finish with a bang so I make sure I do 7 days of workouts.



Brekkie: egg & spinach roll
Lunch: pasta with chicken, fennel & pinenuts
Dinner: grilled steak with broccolini & left over pasta


Today I did a double; morning workout at the gym doing cardo & circuit weights and then an afternoon walk with Harley. Total calories expended 886.



Brekkie: cereal with mango & banana
Lunch: chicken, feta & pinenut salad


I put all my weights up at Body Pump class. Leah, one of the trainee instructors talks to me after the class and says that she thinks I’m doing so well and asks if I’ll be at the gym in 2 weeks as she’s filming the class for her final assessment! I do 25kg on the squat track – booyah! 532 calories expended.



Lunch: tomato & rocket pita pizza
Hard Rock Burger & Chips

Dinner Club for November is at Hard Rock Cafe in Darling Harbour. Jay hears that it’s “the best burgers in Sydney”. Pft! I’ll be the judge of that. They fail. Epic fail. Potentially the worst burger I’ve ever had.


Outdoor morning walk with Harley. I’m not really feeling it this morning and just walk (no running). 265 calorie expended.



Brekkie: mango, banana & protein smoothie
Dinner: grilled pork, sweet potato & green beans


The sun is out so after work it’s a run with Harley then a kettlebell workout in the back yard. 450 calories smashed out in 57 minutes.



Brekkie: blueberries, mango & natural yogurt with muesli
Dinner: chicken, salad & focaccia


Body Balance class at the gym after work. I love Balance and I find out that my body is much better prepared & rested for Super Saturday if I do Balance on Friday night. 207 calories expended.



Brekkie: Berry Bruschetta

I love Berry Bruschetta. Made with low-fat ricotta cheese, strawberries and blueberries.

Dinner: Nandos chicken with homemade coleslaw & gherkins

Take-away chicken from Nandos with homemade coleslaw and gherkins. 530 calories for a treat meal!


The final SSS for the round included my fitness tests, followed by 2km run and then a kettlebell workout in the backyard. My fitness test stats are as follows:

  1. 1km run time trial: 5 mins 42 secs
  2. Sit-up level 4 out of 5
  3. Sit & Reach Test: 15cm
  4. Push-Ups: 18 full push-ups in 1 min, followed by another 36 push-ups on my knees in 1 min
  5. Wall Sit: 3:00 mins
3rd December SSS calorie expenditure



Cafe brekkie: French toast with rhubarb compote


Casual walk with Harley around the Bay. 213 cals expended.


Week 12 Polar Workout Summary

Week’s Totals:

  • Total Calories Expended: 3317
  • Total Time Working Out:  7 hrs 51 mins
  • Total Week’s Weightloss: nil (stayed the same from week 11)

12 Week Stats:


Well, that’s the end of my 12 week body transformation for 2011!

  • I am 11.4kgs (25lbs) lighter.
  • I am almost 30cm smaller.
  • I am a full dress size smaller.
  • I can run 1km without stopping – actually I can run just over 2kms (1.2 miles) without stopping!

I’ll be writing a general post on my lessons learnt and overall details around my achievements. I am doing the program again in 2012; preseason kicks off on 16th January. Thanks for your encouragement and support over the last 3 months!

12WBT | week 10 in review

It’s week 10 and I’m doing fantastically with my running. Apart from Tuesday’s Pump session, I run every day. I think I over did it a little because I’m so tight and sore from not stretching enough (I didn’t attend Friday’s Body Balance because I run in the morning instead). I take Thursday as my rest day.

Food-wise, I’m a little off. I eat out three times which is too many calories but I am making healthier choices and I don’t let my exercise slip. Surprisingly I still have a solid week on the scales with a loss of 1.2kgs.


This is what I ate:

Dinner: lamb cutlets with minted peas, feta & spinach

This is how I worked out:

4.7km walk/run: 2.7km brisk walk, 2km run


This is what I ate:

Dinner: leftovers; grilled chicken, veggies & salad

This is how I worked out:

Body Pump class at the gym. LOVE IT!


This is what I ate:

Lunch: Japanese Bento

This is how I worked out:

4.7km walk/run: 2.7km brisk walk, 2km run

Wednesday calorie expenditure


This is what I ate:

Dinner: proscuitto wrapped chicken with salsa (bearnaise on the side which I didnt eat)

This is how I worked out:

rest day


This is what I ate:

Lunch: grilled asparagus & cherry tomatoes with smoked salmon & baguette


4.4km walk/run: 2.2km brisk walk & 2km run


This is what I ate:

Big breakkie: eggs, beans, turkey, tomato & spinach

This is how I worked out:

SSS is 3 classes at the gym. Yep, THREE! Body Pump (7.30am), Body Balance (8.30am) & Body Combat (9.30am).

Saturday calorie expenditure


This is what I ate:

Lunch: sweet potato, cucumber, feta & pinenut salad

Apart from the above salad, I ate so poorly on Sunday – it was the Glebe street fair. I ate a pretzel, a spinach & feta gozleme and a chip on a stick (potato spiral cut and deep fried). Michelle would be mortified. I am mortified admitting that I ate a chip-on-a-stick. The only good thing is that I had cereal for brekkie and all that junk was lunch & dinner. Let’s move on.

This is how I worked out:

4.7km brisk walk.


Total Workout Time: 8 hours, 8 minutes
Total Calories Expended: 3253
Weekly Weight Loss:  1.2kgs

I’ve now broken the 10kg+ weight loss mark!!! Booyah!!!