Reflections – A lot can happen in a year

Funny how a year can fly by without you realising. It has been almost 12 months since I started writing this blog. Initially I thought I might write every few weeks. At that stage I was going through some turbulent times and trying to figure out how I fit in the world. Putting things down in writing seemed to help.

My last post was a few months ago now and life has been very busy. I am working full time as a Senior Advisor, HR for the Department of Conservation. I get to travel around our beautiful country on a regular basis. That has its good and bad points. But overall, I enjoy the work and the people are amazing. We have common values and motives for wanting to make NZ a better place for the future.

I coach Crossfit at a great wee box called FRF in Lyall Bay, Wellington. I really enjoy doing this. And the other day I realised that being a coach has helped me in my work life too – I am not so freaked out about standing up in front of a group of people anymore. I still like to make sure I know what I am speaking about, but I no longer have dripping armpits when I do (sorry for the visuals there).

Yesterday I ran my first workout for women only. I had to write the programme i.e. figure out what I was going to coach. This was a little hard, as I didn’t know how many ladies I would be coaching. So I came up with a scheme that would work for both a small class and a very big class. Luckily the total class was 17 ladies. I think everyone had a good time. I know that I enjoyed coaching them. They knew that what they put in was what they got out. Hopefully their bodies aren’t too sore today and they will come back again next month.

My last post spoke about the nutrition programme I run. Since then I have had 12 clients complete my eight-week programme. There have been some great successes and I check in occasionally to see how they are doing. Most have managed to keep to the program overall and have said it is the easiest to follow with the best results. But we all know that changing or initiating a new habit takes a lot of effort. We all fall off the wagon and have to give ourselves a good talking to and try again. Me included! Hubby and I have a trip planned for Bali in a few weeks and I am going to wear a bikini, so I am more aware of what I am putting in my body than normal.

I have enjoyed reading some interesting books in the last few months and two have stood out for very different reasons. One was called “Sorry I am late – I didn’t want to come’ by Jessica Pan. It was a book about an introvert trying out extrovert things for a year. And boy did she put herself out there – Improv, meeting random strangers, to see if they would become friends. She did it because she realised that her friends were all around the world and she had no one in London. As I am mainly an extrovert, I purchased the book as I wanted some insight into what the world is like for an introvert. It was a great read and made me realise that maybe I am not that much of an extrovert after all?

The other book was by Dr Paul Wood called ‘How to escape from prison’. It is an inspiring read of a boy who became a man while in prison and turned his life around. He is very lucky he is alive to write the book really. Some of the book can be quite confronting, but the five principles to get you our of your own mental model and how you view the world are thought provoking.

I highly recommend both books, but for very different reasons.

The year had it’s ups and downs, and I wouldn’t want to do some of it again, but it has made me stronger and more confident in myself. I am a better person for the experiences. Onwards and upwards I say!

What’s been happening?

Over the last seven weeks I have been running my first health, wellness and nutrition programme. It’s not a big group, which has worked out well, as I am able to tailor the programme, to a small degree, to suit the goals of the individuals.

We have been following the low carb, healthy fat way of eating. Feedback so far has been that it is the easiest way of eating the group have done. Most of us have tried every diet under the sun, and not been able to make it stick. This one fits into your life, so if you have a life event, a birthday, wedding etc then you can have that piece of cake, that glass of bubbles and not feel guilty. Of the 21 meals per week, we are allowed if we wish, to indulge in food that would not normally be in our diets. This way we don’t feel like we are missing out and can still achieve our goals.

In addition to what food we eat, I have also introduced some habits for the group to work on and hopefully use for the rest of their lives. These are very simple in theory but can be quite difficult to implement. They are eating slowly and mindfully, eating to 80% full, regular exercise and setting good sleep habits.

To track progress, I asked each member to fill in a sheet of measurements, which they completed again halfway through and will complete again next week, at the end of the programme. I was very happy to see some amazing results, even halfway through, with one lady losing 35cm and another 24cm. I can’t wait to see their results next week!

Fortnightly catch up calls with me and regular posts on a closed Facebook page completed the programme and ensured that the members felt heard and had someone to be accountable to. And they knew that there were others that were in the same boat and could share experiences.

I will be starting another group up in the next few weeks or so, if the above sounds like it would help you achieve your health, wellbeing and nutrition goals, then please get in touch. I would love to help you, either as part of a group or one-on-one.

A new you?

It’s a new year, as if you didn’t know, and maybe you have been thinking about treating yourself better? Eating the best for you? Maybe you have over indulged in the last few weeks, months, years? Now you want to do something about it? Well, I have just the thing for you! How about an eight week programme that is going to help you make some great changes, not only to how you view what you put in your body, but with a group of like minded individuals all looking for the same thing?

The eight weeks will include one on one coaching from me, a new ‘habit’ each week, a closed Facebook group where you can share your stories, highlights, and not so great times with others going through the same programme.

There will be guidance on what you should or could be eating for you. An individual one on one call with me each fortnight and if you are not completely satisfied then I will give you your money back. But you need to want to make some changes, and you will need to check in with me regularly, otherwise I can’t help you succeed.

For more information please contact me at or if you want to talk to me on 021 036 4848.


If you are on social media at all, or even just living, you will notice that a lot of people are talking about New Years resolutions. At our Crossfit box this morning the ice breaker question was “what is your resolution?” Over two thirds of the responses were, I don’t have one. There weren’t any reasons given for why the individual didn’t have one. So I’m going to take a guess at some of the reasons why….

  • I’ve tried before and never succeeded, and I don’t want to fail again.
  • I don’t want to share with you as you will hold me to it
  • My resolution might sound silly compared to others
  • If your reason isn’t above then put your own reason in here…….

As we know, the normal resolutions are, lose weight, give up smoking, drink less or not at all, exercise more, spend more time with the family, be kinder to myself, eat less cake, achieve more at the gym etc, etc..

According to Wikipedia (the source of all truth – not quite, but will do for this blog) …

“The most common reason for participants failing their New Years’ Resolutions was setting themselves unrealistic goals (35%), while 33% didn’t keep track of their progress and a further 23% forgot about it. About one in 10 respondents claimed they made too many resolutions.

I would like to propose some questions to you on why you fail. Did you choose wisely? Is it something that you can do? Have you chunked it out into smaller goals? Are you invested in yourself to achieve? Have you removed all the roadblocks that could stop you achieving? Have you a support crew that will help you achieve? Why did you choose that goal? i.e. was it for you or for someone else? Do you really need to achieve it – will the world stop if you don’t? What could happen if you did achieve it? How would your life be different from now? Food for thought eh? Some of these might be why you have failed, or there might be other reasons?

I remember a few years ago the only New Years resolution I made was to be happy. Sounds simple doesn’t it? At the time being happy was very hard to do. That year was difficult, but my resolution was important to me, no one wants to be sad. Try and find something each day that makes you smile. It can be the simplest of things, but it just needs to make you smile.

The year 2019 is literally just around the corner. It may seem like a hurdle to get over 2018. Some of us have had a bad 365 days, some of us have limped over the line, others have sprinted to the finish line, we have lost family and friends and we have gained family and friends. Sometimes it is good to look back and realise what we have gone through and know that it has made us stronger. Hindsight is a fabulous thing, we all have something we wish we had done different. But if we hadn’t gone through it we wouldn’t be the people we are today.

So onwards to 2019, even if you haven’t made a goal, I am sure there are some things you want to achieve? Be that more travel, a pull up (my goal – same one for the last five years), make nutritious choices for ourselves, keep in touch with friends and family and be happy.

On that note, I wish you and yours a great 2019 and thanks for reading my blog. See you in the New Year.

My 2018 journey

Just before Christmas last year I signed up with a coach to guide me on my health and wellness journey. I could have chosen a three month program, or a six month program, but I decided to go all in and I signed up for12 months! I am so glad I did!

The program was a mixture of fortnightly phone calls with my coach and daily emails from Precision Nutrition’s pro coach system. Each fortnight I was given a new ‘habit’ to follow. The food habits were:

  • Eat to 80% – harder than you think
  • Eat mindfully and slowly – even harder. I used an app to start with.
  • Eat mostly whole foods
  • Drink only calorie free beverages – also a tough one, especially with beautiful hot chocolate available
  • Eat five servings of colourful vegetables
  • Eat lean protein at each meal
  • Make smart carb choices
  • Eat healthy fats
  • Plan and prep your meals

Pretty basic stuff eh?

But the programme wasn’t just about what you put into your body, it also covered:

  • Setting good sleep habits
  • Working out a good recovery habit
  • Try to fit in 20 minutes of something that de-stressed you each day
  • And some others…

The eat to 80% full and slowly and mindfully habits stayed each week and you added and subtracted the others. Most of them I have continued with, just not to the same level as when I was in that fortnight. I didn’t always succeed with the habits, but I found that quite a few of them I was doing anyway.

 The whole premise wasn’t to achieve 100% every day, but to do a little better each day, say 1%.

I went into the program with the same mindset that I did every other weight loss program that I have tried over the years. And believe me there have been so many, anything that was a fad at the time. Some of those worked, but most of them I put the weight back on. What happened this time is I learnt to have a healthier attitude to looking after me. Also, that it doesn’t matter that I don’t have a model’s physique, that I have cellulite and quite a few of my bits wobble, a LOT! In fact, I gained more than I lost – what I mean is a healthier attitude. The scales don’t really matter now. I didn’t lose a lot ofweight, but then I didn’t gain weight either. To me that is a success.

One of the things you do at the beginning is take some photos, in your underwear – not pretty, but they give you a benchmark. You also take your measurements.  And recently one of my habits was to prepare for a photo shoot, to celebrate what I had achieved. I knew that I wasn’t going to do those in my underwear, especially as I asked a good friend to take them for me.

Yes, it is a heavy tire!

What I wanted to celebrate with the photos was how much I had gained through the year. That was my attitude to myself and some gains at the gym. I hope you like the results as much as I do. And if you would like the photographer’s details give me a shout. Here is a link to all the other photos – 

Finally I would like to say a big thank you to my coach, you know who you are. We had some difficult conversations, some enlightening conversations and you helped me through some pretty shitty times this year.

And, if you too would like a healthier better attitude to yourself and food and lose some weight, get in contact. I won’t be using the pro coach system, but I have learnt some good stuff, and gained so much more.

Love to rope climb, now I know how!

Life is not a quick fix

For the last eleven months, nearly a year, I have been working through my own health and wellbeing journey with a coach. It has been a great year of self-discovery, and I would recommend it to anyone who is wanting to get a healthier perspective on food, exercise and general well-being.

I have had some highs throughout this year, but I have also had some deep lows. If I hadn’t had my coach and others there to listen and to help me get balance, then I am sure I would have been comfort eating for the majority of the year. There were times where I was tempted by the quick fix of products. You know the ones.  Where someone has lost an astonishing amount of weigh in a short amount of time.  I was very tempted.  I discussed the pros and cons with my coach, googled the product and really gave a good amount of thought to it. What I discovered is that it was a product that you had to take forever, otherwise the weight would come back on. It was also quite expensive and was sold through a pyramid type of scheme.  What it didn’t do was cover the basics, like slow mindful eating, eating till you were 80% full and what a portion size should be.

Just in case you are wondering, portion sizes are very easy to remember when you use your hand as the guide. A serving of protein is your palm, fat is your thumb, vegetables are fist sized and carbohydrate dense foods a cupped hand. Easy isn’t it?

But being healthy isn’t just about the food we put into our bodies, it is also about our mindset and attitude. And sometimes that is the hardest thing to control. I am sure you all know that what we think is what we are. I covered some of this in earlier posts, but to recap briefly. If you are telling yourself that you are amazing, then you are. On the flip side if you are telling yourself negative things, then of course it’s not going to be a good day. Flip that coin over and start thinking positively. It’s a very hard thing to do if you are in a downward spiral, but worth it for your own wellbeing.

If you love yourself, then you are more likely to make the right choices, including what food to fuel your body. For me, I have discovered that dairy is not my friend, neither is a lot of alcohol. Sometimes I fall off the wagon, but now I don’t beat myself up about it. I just acknowledge that my choices may not have been the best for me and move on.

I was speaking to a good friend yesterday and we were discussing how some diets and the people running them can be very negative, but that when you have someone in your camp wanting you to do well there is only room for positive speaking.  What I mean by this is, if you are finding things challenging, you don’t beat yourself up, look for the wins, be they small or big. What did you do well in the last day, week, month? Find those small wins and celebrate them. Don’t dwell on the number on the scale or something that can’t be undone. Move on.

As I am nearly finished my year with my coach and I am over halfway through my coaching certificate with Precision Nutrition, I am now looking forward to helping others achieve their goals. If you are looking for someone to help you, let me know and we can have a chat.

Tigger and life

A very simple plot

I started a new job a few weeks ago with the Department of Conservation ( and yesterday I travelled to Auckland and back to help a manager. Their office is based on North Head, near Devonport. It has the most amazing views of Auckland city and the surrounding Hauraki Gulf Islands.

Hauraki Gulf Islands

(the red X is approximately where North Head is)

I couldn’t help but say how beautiful it was to those I was meeting with. The answer from the people I was with was, ‘oh yeah, I suppose we forget how beautiful it is’. This made me think about how often we take things for granted. What a beautiful country we live in. The amazing flora and fauna that we have. The wonderful friends and family that we have. The ability to move our bodies and eat and drink yummy things.

Anyway, I spent most of the day travelling to and from Auckland. My hubby dropped me off in the car, I caught a flight, then the Skybus and lastly the ferry from downtown Auckland to Devonport. Then did all that in reverse after my meeting. Had a slightly extended stay in Auckland due to flight disrupts around the county, but I did make it home to Wellington. One of the lucky ones to get to where I wanted to go. In Wellington there were quite a number of people waiting for flights. I bumped into an old friend and his wife who had been waiting since 8am for their flight to go to Auckland and then on to Brisbane. Not sure if they managed to get there or not, but that’s nature upsetting the plans of humans.

Then this morning I was scrolling through my Facebook feed and stumbled upon this and it hit home how much humans have disrupted the lives of many beautiful creatures. Have a watch and make sure you share it. I hope that it will make you rethink the creature comforts that we have and what we are taking from nature and it can’t defend itself. Very sobering.

So, anyway where was I going with all that? Good question, what started this post was a quote from a book that I picked up in Auckland airport. It is from Eric Idle’s, Sortabiography titled ‘Always look on the bright side of life’. The quote is:

‘Life has a very simple plot,

First you’re here

And then you’re not’

Made me stop and think, and also made me want to buy the book. Which while on the aircraft I laughed out loud while reading. I think I got some funny looks, but you know life is far to short too care about what other people think. And you know, I hope I made them smile.

Make the most of the ‘First you’re here’ bit. Do something each day that scares the pants off you. Apparently, that is good for you and will help you live longer. I suppose that depends on how much you scare yourself? I myself don’t want to get to the ‘and then you’re not’, with any regrets. Or wishes that I had done more, seen more, and loved more.

Get out there, explore and make the most of everyday I say!

View from North Head

View from North Head to Auckland City.