Nobbling my bobbles

5 May

Wednesday was a good day.  The boys and I walked to school with the dogs in glorious sunshine.  No one complained about tired legs and we all got a few miles exercise in first thing.  Has anyone seen ‘Losing it with Jillian Michaels’ on Style TV?  She’s the USA Biggest Loser trainer and in this show she moves in for a week with families that need help to change their lifestyles.  It’s quite emotional and I think pretty educational too.  I heart Jillian!

Breakfast was a sandwich thin smeared with peanut butter and covered in banana slices all served up with a mug of joe. Hit the spot.

I met my Mum in the office of the church she attends, to design the advert for the classes I am starting there next week.  There are going to be Zumba classes for church, family and friends.  The folk at St Mary’s are always up for a good time so I am really looking forward to it.  Caroline reminded me that Steve and I taught line dancing there many years ago – I had completely forgotten about that!

A good friend of mine is suffering with a sore arm at the moment and is frustrated at not being able to train as hard as she normally likes to. We met at the gym before our lunchtime Fitball class, to do a lower body workout.  I spent about 20 minutes on the recumbent bike and then we did some barbell squats.  That exercise makes me feel powerful.  Following lots of other exercises (performed by my friend not me) we headed up to class.  I’ve only been going to this class for about a month and in fact only started it because I wanted to learn more exercises on the ball for my own personal training clients.  However I have fallen in love with it.  It is challenging and peaceful all at the same time and I love the precision element of it. A little water and lunch break in the clubs garden followed and then I was off to Winchester to teach aerobics to upper 5th and 6th girls at a private school.  I forgot to take pics of lunch but it consisted of a houmous and salad wrap with a big bag of baby carrots and icy soda water.

I gave the girls an option in class – circuits or Zumba.  They chose Zumba – result! They all had grins on their faces during the class and skipped merrily off afterwards – they had fun and so did I! 

A quick nip home to pick up my children and then back to the gym for kids multisports (for them) and a gas with a friend (for me). The sun was still shining but boy was it cold!  Another quick nip home to make dinner for the binlids and then I was off out to Running Club.  My ladies surpassed my expectations this time – we ran a new route and they ran for a total of 16 1/2 minutes out of 30! They have been running with me for about 6 weeks now and this is a real progression. Flippin’ marvellous girls – well done!

Home again, home again, jiggity jig and time for dinner, finally. Thai rice noodles, chicken, broccoli and hoisin sauce topped with spring onions.  Oh my word, perfection on a plate. Followed by two Nobbly Bobblys – my other guilty secret! A busy, perfect, Potter family day.



Seedy love

5 May

A day late due to general busyness but here nonetheless – I did find time to take photographs though!!!

I had an early Combat class (to attend not teach) and needed to fuel properly for it.  If there is one class I go to where I can tell when I don’t eat some good carbs beforehand, it is this one.  This is a breakfast bowl of holy yumminess and would urge you to give it a try:-)

Crunchy peanut butter, banana, old fashioned oats and sunflower seeds.

After a sweaty class I came home with Claire and she practiced her NLP (neuro-linguistic programming), time-line  and hypnotherapy techniques on me. It was a really interesting experience and as always I was pretty sceptical going into it as I am known for not liking anything remotely ‘hokey’. I found the hypnotherapy lovely and relaxing and I’m sure Claire has planted a few seeds of wisdom in my unconscious mind!

We enjoyed tuna salads for lunch and then I had an hour to myself before going off to work.

The hour to myself was when I decided that I needed a snack and didn’t want to wait to take a photo of it – whoops. I had two sandwich thins.  One half with garlic soft cheese and the other three smeared with nutella. I felt a bit guilty about this and then realised that it was just lunch dessert! Each sandwich thin has 100 calories and I knew I was teaching for a couple of hours later on and wouldn’t eat dinner until much later. Guilt assuaged!

I went off to a local secondary school to teach 2 Zumba classes.  One for the 15/16 year old girls and one for the school staff.  Unfortunately the girls class was cancelled at the last minute but the class for the teachers was a hoot.  They are all willing to give anything a go and they are all up for a good time. After a quick trip home to pick up and feed my children and I was then off to take part in Helena’s Zumba class ( I needed to drop off lots of paperwork to her too).  H’s classes are always immense fun. Her choices of music are brilliant and she just knows how to get everyone going.  I know she has been teaching for a long time now and I also know that my classes are pretty darn good too, but as a relative newbie to the fitness profession I do look up to Helena as a role model and example of how to teach bloody brilliant classes:-) .

Dinner at 9.30 was a case of finding something quick and healthy.  Microwaved sweet potatoes, and oven roasted spiced chicken breast with roasted broccoli, butternut squash and red onion. I don’t know if you have ever tried roasting broccoli in a high oven for 10-15 minutes but if not please give it a go.  Steve and I have been eating it that way for about 6 months now and can’t imagine going back to boiling or steaming it, none of our kids like broccoli. The picture was an blurry fail but it gives you an idea of the portion size and colours on my plate (it in fact looks a bit burnt but it wasn’t!).

I also enjoyed a glass of cold white wine with my dinner.  Pretty good day all in all.

Nat x

Mmm mm

2 May

Happy bank holiday everyone! I hope you have all had a lovely, relaxing, long weekend?  We have had a great time. My hubby turned 40 on Friday and so the Potter house was doubly pleased about having the day off.  We spent the day enjoying lots of  bubbly, cake and the company of our family.

I worked on both Saturday and Sunday but because I love what I do it wasn’t a chore!! As always, the atmosphere at Zumba class on Saturday was brilliant and we all got a sweat on. My running ladies are all brilliant and they have all made so much progress. Whether they are running fast up hills or performing agility on a field, they always give it their all.  They make me smile. I have a few new Zumba classes starting over the next couple of weeks, business is booming and that makes me smile too!

Now, to business.  I intend to post photographs of all my meals and snacks for the next few days.  By doing this I hope to feel accountable  and therefore make good choices.  So here goes:

Breakfast was yummy – caramel yoghurt with chopped fresh strawberries and banana, mmm mm.

We toddled into town this morning, in an attempt to buy both of our boys new school shoes.  They are incredibly tough on their shoes and a pair often doesn’t last to the end of a term.  Fingers crossed the latest ones make it to the summer hols;-) After finishing our shopping, we decided to pop into Beechdown for a little drink.  The boys got to play while we sat in the sun and chatted.  Leo is becoming increasingly frustrated at not being allowed to run around – it is hard to explain to a 9-year-old full-of-beans boy who even though he feels fine, mustn’t take part in anything too active for 2-3 weeks!

We left the club earlier than planned as it seemed rather unfair to make Leo watch all the other kids play on the trampoline.  We came home and had lunch – flatbreads for everyone else, salad for me. I haven’t had a tuna salad in so long and it was really good.

Caught up on my guilty pleasure this afternoon.  The Real Housewives of Orange County is currently my fave trash TV.  The munchies attacked around 3pm and I had a huge clementine (from Costco) and a fruit and nut granola bar (and yes, that is the housewives on my TV set!).

Lots of work in the boys bedroom resulted in piles of junk to be thrown out, hooray, and tummies that were hungry for some dinner. Having forgotten to take any meat out of the freezer this morning it had to be of the store-cupboard variety. Passata, peppers, mushrooms, onion & garlic fried off with a bag of frozen quorn mince, served over pasta for the kids and with roasted broccoli and sweet potato for Steve and I. Quick, easy, delicious.

The only things that missed the camera were a lemon ice lolly and a homemade iced coffee.  All in all a day with which I am pleased – roll on tomorrow:-)

Hi! Running club news, GOAL! and general update…

30 Mar

I know I have been absent from blogland for ages and I’m sorry that I haven’t kept you up to date with my exciting (!) adventures in the fitness industry. The last month has really passed me by in a bit of a blur, the only things having my focus being essential tasks (kids etc), work and study.  Now however, my course has finished and I am pleased to announce that I have passed my Personal Trainer qualification. Hooray!

I have thoroughly enjoyed the study and the workshop weekends especially, but it has been a real brain-drain!!!  I’d like to study for the GP referrals qualification next but not until I’ve had a chance to grow some extra brain cells ;-p

Running Club

OK, news on the running scene – Nat’s Runners has grown! I now have the following groups running and everyone is welcome, whatever their ability, so please let me know if you’d like more information:

INTERMEDIATE LEVEL – Saturdays, Vyne School Car Park, 10.30am

Sundays, Memorial Park Car Park, 9am

BEGINNER LEVEL – suitable for complete beginners as well as those able to run for up to 10 minutes

Saturdays, Vyne School Car Park, 11.30am

Sundays, Memorial Park Car Park, 9.45am

MIXED ABILITY – from complete beginners to intermediate level – so everyone!

Wednesdays, Asda Car Park, 8pm (venue to change very soon)

Tuesdays, Eastrop Park Car Park, 8pm (starting 5th April 2011)


Goal Setting

Have you started to think about any goals that you would like to achieve before the beautiful British summer arrives? How about toning up for those sleeveless T-shirts and revealing clothing? Improving your fitness level to keep up with the kids during the long summer hols? Losing a few pounds to give you an extra boost of confidence?

When you are setting goals there are a few tips that should help you make and achieve SMART goals:

S – Specific – put a value on it – how far do you want to be able to run, how much weight would you like to lose, what dress size do you want to                                                                         reach?

M – Measurable – How will you know when you reach your goal, how will you or measure this? Scales, body measurements, fitness assessments                                           etc

A – Agreed – This is about making your personal goals something that YOU really want. Not what your Personal Trainer, GP, Nutritionist,                                              husband, wife, mum think you should do.

R – Realistic – Be realistic.  Expecting to lose 2 stones in 2 months is unlikely to happen.  Running a marathon 6 weeks after starting                                                            a fitness regime is downright dangerous.  Success breeds success.  Set a goal that is attainable and time appropriate.  Get advice                                      from a professional (fitness, nutrition or other) if you need help with this.

T – Time measured – Set a date by which you would like to have reached your goal. See the realistic notes above regarding choosing your                                                              date. Having a date to aim for has been shown to increase dedication and motivation and means you can then work out a                                                    plan for exactly how you are going to achieve your goal.

Another important consideration is h0w you are going to achieve your goal.  It is more effective to set yourself smaller process goals that support your large end goal.  People who do this are far more likely to achieve success. For example, if your goal lose a specific amount of weight, think about how you could do this.  A good goal would be to monitor your caloric intake daily. You could also have a goal to improve your food intake, increasing protein, reducing refined carbohydrates.  Maybe you could have a goal to train 3 times per week.

Our bodies are fairly unpredictable machines and whilst we may be unable to completely control the the final outcome (as in the example above), we can control the actions we take to attain that goal. If by your chosen date you have not lost the total amount of weight,  you will still  feel successful and positive about the changes  you have made with your smaller, progress goals.  As a result, you will then be far more likely to continue implementing the progress goals and eventually reach GOAL!!!

This is such an important part of making sustainable, lifelong changes and I hope that even if you’ve used the SMART acronym before (I know it is common in many workplaces) that this post has helped you give it a little more thought about how it can help you in your personal life. I hope to share some of my goals with you here on the blog. They need a little more time and thought applied before I’m ready to post them though, so you’ll have to wait for now. With dedication, support and a little SMART planning the sky really is the limit 🙂

Goodbye for now my lovely readers.  I shall be back soon!

Nat x

Hhehehe (she laughs excitedly/nervously)…

26 Feb

Right, I shouldn’t really be on here.  Got a train to catch in half an hour and am yet to shower. BUT, I am so excited to be starting on the practical part of my personal trainer course a little bit later today. Apparantly most of the weekend will be spent learning and performing passive and active fitness assessments. This of course will mean callipers and my lovely friend/tutor Cally informs me that this will entail a fair few bruises :-p

Anyway, need to go and pack a Paleo lunch and snacks then get my bahooty in the shower, whilst Steve tends to our sick little boy. Oh yes, did I mention that Leo has been up violently sick since 4.30am?

Catch ya later with the details of the day. Nx

Armageddon it – Woohoo!

22 Feb

Hi guys. How are you? Been up to anything exciting lately? I have!

For my birthday in December my friends Claire and Sara got me a ticket to Richard Callender’s Armageddon.  A 6 hour fitness extravaganza held in a leisure centre in Harrow.  Can I just say at this point that my friends know me well – this is my idea of the perfect pressie 🙂

Sunday came along and we had arranged to leave at 7am to make sure we got there in plenty of time.  We did. Plenty. So we sat in the cafe suppin’ on coffee and munchin’ on stale nuts (well, only I did that). Once we had registered and got our special T-shirts we prepared ourselves for a beasting.

Throughout the day both Claire and Sara were approached by Biggest Loser fans.  The general consensus seems to be that Claire should not have been kicked out in week 4 (and obviously I completely agree!).  There were several other contestants there both from the current series and the last.  It was an honour to meet Kevin, winner of the last series, who looks really good, and it was great to see how everyone appears to be maintaining their healthy lifestyles.

The first session was Armageddon – basically a massive circuit of traditional and not so traditional exercises.  Plyometric squats and lunges were alternated with tombstones, commandos and zombies (DON’T ASK!), to name but a few. We’d had a short warm-up but nothing could have prepared my body for the pummeling it took  and about 15 minutes in I felt like I was going to puke.  Did I mention the naughty step? No? If the instructors thought you were wimping out they could send you to the naughty step where you had to hold a deep squat whilst holding a folding chair above your head with your arm fully extended. Thankfully none of the three of us had to do this. Phew! Anyway, eventually this session came to an end and we moved onto Zumba.

Oh. My. Word. Hot, sweaty, feel-good, cheesy, dancy, this was superb.  You all know that I teach Zumba and I like to think my classes are intense and fun but this took it to another level.  It was even better than the master classes we had at my training.  Fave track – Rollin’ down the river.

Next up, TKO. This was my absolute favourite session of the day.  Punching, kicking, sweating, fab music, just up my alley. Loved it soo much.

We then moved on to Total Body which seemed to be a mixture of traditional aerobics routine with static exercises thrown in periodically.  Brilliant teacher and strong routine.  We were starting to feel the burn at this point 🙂

Then came URBAN FUNK. This was taught by Richard Callender himself and was great fun.  The routine was really fast which compromised how well you could perform it but Richards presentation skills are second to none.  It was a real treat as an instructor to watch and learn from the masters (that goes for all the presenters throughout the day).

The final session was Soulful Pilates Stretch and even though at this point we all REALLY needed to stretch out, I didn’t enjoy this.  I normally love stretching but for some reason this didn’t float my boat.  It may have been that we were in the far back corner, right next to the speakers and DJ and too far away to see what she was doing but it really missed the mark.  And I definitely didn’t feel like I had stretched properly by the end of it.  I do think though that this had more to do with our positioning than the skill of the presenter.

After it was all over and done with we made our slightly weary and hyper way home.  We all said how amazing it was that we could work out for that long and not feel completely wiped out.  In fact I think we all said if we could have a little rest and a meal we could all have done it over again;-) For me it just reinforced how much exercise has an impact on my state of mind and wellbeing.  I just can’t imagine not being active…

If you fancy giving this marathon training session a go next time, take a look here.

Goodbye for now my lovelies.   I shall be back later in the week to tell you all about the Paleo diet that I am trying!

Nat xx

Secret Project unveiled

15 Feb

So, that project I mentioned way back when, is coming to a bit of a close on 17th Feb 2011.  I think it is now time to give you some of the juicy details.  My two good friends Claire and Sara applied to go on the TV show Biggest Loser last summer.  They got through all the auditions and medical screening and went into the house late last year .  If you haven’t seen any episodes of Biggest Loser, it is a gameshow where contestants compete to lose the largest percentage of their bodyweight through exercise and diet.  They are sequestered in a house and are unable to have any contact with the outside world.  Each week one or two contestants are eliminated. Once eliminated the contestants have to go back to normal life whilst maintaining the diet and exercise.

Sara did incredibly well during her time in the house but was eliminated at week 3.  Claire survived another week but sadly was kicked out in week 4 despite being her teams ‘biggest loser’ that week with a 6lb loss. I have had the priviledge to train with both of these amazing women since they left the house and I have to say THEY ROCK!  Sara has been fitting in working out around her very busy family life and she is an inspriration to all working mums out there.  There is absolutely no doubt that she will maintain her weight loss and fitness.  Claire has devoted all her time to working out and exudes a fabulous positive energy now. I know that she has made a permanent change to her priorities and life.  Their fitness levels are through the roof and they both have this incredibly positive attitude about their new lifestyles.  Whilst we were running a couple of weeks ago Sara commented to me that she couldn’t imagine this (exercise) not being part of her life .  Claire is studying NLP and has taken her Exercise to Music Qualification to teach aerobics.  I am so proud of both of them for their commitment  and achievements. I love you guys x

The finale is due to be recorded on Thursday this week and I get to go!  It’ll be aired in a couple of weeks time, so it is all top secret until then but let me just say I cannot wait to get to that studio and see the amazing transformations  of all the contestants.  I am also a little bit pumped about possibly having the chance to talk to Angie Dowds (ssh, don’t tell, that’s a secret)!

Back to things more mundane now.  We bought a car at the weekend and I get to go pick it up tomorrow.  Anyone that knows me, knows that at the moment I am driving around in an old banger that is more suited to the scrap heap than the local highways and byways.  I am very much looking forward to giving the scrapman a call and asking him to come collect it!  Our new car is a Renault Grand Scenic and is a pretty pearl blue colour. It’s also an automatic and that about rounds up my knowledge of the technical details ;-). Oh and it has a lovely big boot, just right for all my class and PT gear.

Also happening tomorrow is the 2nd stage of a job interview I recently went for.  I am teaching an ‘audition’ Zumba class to a group of teenage girls.  Fingers crossed for me guys, ‘cos I would love to get this job.  I’m also looking into a charity program in the USA called Girls on the Run, which provides running and healthy lifestyle classes to young girls.  Don’t think we will be able to bring it over here to the UK but we may be able to set up something similar of our own.  There are new beginners running clubs starting on 5/6th March in Basingstoke, suitable for complete non-runners. Message me if you’d like some more information. If you can already run for 10-15 minutes then my intermediate classes may be more suitable.

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