Month: August 2015

Online Fitness Course Starting September 2015

Róisín’s Story

  Click here to read success stories 

I have been working hard on the online plan for the past few weeks and am delighted to share the details.

Please read the following carefully before deciding whether this plan is suitable for you. Places will be limited and will be given on a first come first serve basis. Your place can only be confirmed once payment has been received.

Start Date: Mon 21st Sept 2015.

The information that you need to prepare for the start date will be emailed to you in the week prior to the start date so that you can do your first food shop.

Duration: 12 weeks

Cost: €100

What is included?

– A weekly exercise plan will be provided. There will be two different workout routines each week and a video demonstration of all exercises including teaching and safety points will be included. Each participant will be sent an email weekly with a Dropbox link to the video. Each routine is 20-30 minutes in duration and I will be advising that you exercise 4-6 times per week. There will be layered levels of exercise intensity demonstrated for different fitness levels.

– A food plan which includes real food choices for the real world. This is not a diet but rather a healthy eating plan. A template will be provided for planning your weekly meals and your shopping list. A clear explanation of your food options will be provided to help educate you on making better food choices.

– A Facebook support group that will allow course members to interact, share tips, and encourage each other. Support and accountability are very important when undertaking a plan like this and your group, as well as myself, will help to provide these things.

– Daily contact with me through the support group. I will be logging on every day to answer any questions you might have as well as giving motivational advice throughout the course.

What do I need?

– New mothers will need to have had their post-pregnancy check-up and have received medical clearance to exercise. If you have any specific post-pregnancy concerns you can contact me to discuss before committing.

– All participants will need to read the relevant terms, conditions, statements, and screening procedures. In order to proceed with the online course all participants will have to confirm via email that they have read the relevant paperwork and have medical clearance (further details will be provided should you choose to partake).

– All routines can be completed without equipment however a mat, dynaband and a weight of approximately 5-12kg are recommended to help you achieve the best results. The routines can be performed in your own home, indoors or outdoors, but if you are already a gym member you can do them there either.

– I recommend that you take your body measurements and a video demonstration of how to do so will be provided. For accountability all measurements can be posted to the support page or privately by email to myself and photographs included if you are comfortable to do so.

In addition I encourage all participants to chose an item of clothing that is currently too tight but which they would like to be able to fit comfortably into by Christmas and share this with the group if they wish. Weighing yourself on a scales is not recommended but is a personal choice.

Who is this plan not suitable for?

– Anyone with a disability, impairment or ailment which prevents them from engaging in active or passive exercise that is detrimental to heart, safety or comfort.

– Unfortunately at this time the plan does not take into account specific dietary requirements eg. If you are vegetarian, vegan, coeliac, diabetic

– Pregnant women (however please note that should you fall pregnant during the 12 weeks an alternative routine can be provided once medical permission to exercise has been received.)

The response to this course has been unbelievable. I’m very excited about helping you all to achieve your goals. If you have any other questions please don’t hesitate to contact me.

Please make sure that you have notified me of your intention to join this course before making payment.

You can make your payment here

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Please choose a category and click the Buy Now button below. The cost is €100.



The Fit Bride’s Breakfast

FBB

From the day I got engaged to the day I walked down the aisle I was obsessed with all things bridal and wedding (I probably still am actually but I think that’s obvious). I loved finding any excuse to have a day out with my bridal party in the build up to the big day. Days like dress shopping, bridal shows, venue hunting, an impromptu trip down to Bride of Franc’s café and shop in Cork and even a ‘for the hell of it’ overnight trip to London. None of our trips were of the fit and healthy nature however and that got me thinking about organising a bridal experience with a difference for brides-to-be. When I ran my idea past some soon-to-be brides that I know (and as a 29 year old woman that is MANY) they loved it and so The Fit Bride’s Breakfast was born.

BREAKFAST FIT WITH BRID TUBE

After a lot of planning and preparation to get my lovely venue up to bridal standard the day began to take shape. A clear out of my own bridal bits and pieces, a couple (ok four!) trips to IKEA and a stop off at Moss Cottage in Dundrum and I had what I needed to transform. I was amazed at the response to it. Originally I had planned on keeping the numbers very small but relented because I’m not very good at saying no. And so we had a lovely sized group together for our first event. The morning kicked off with tea and coffee and a light, healthy breakfast which included fruit from Keelings, yoghurt from Glenisk and the tastiest yoghurt toppers from Wyldsson (who personalised their tubes for me!)
DOES EATING LESSWHOLE GROUP

Now I’m fairly well used to standing in front of big crowds when I’m teaching my classes but this time there were no burpees or loud music to hide behind. My lovely group were seated and all eyes were on me so you could say I was a little nervous. We discussed the common myths and misconceptions when it comes to healthy eating and fitness, including how often you should exercise and what are the best things to do as well as what are the best food choices. We looked at the different wedding dress shapes and styles that brides chose and the body parts that they are often conscious of when wearing these dresses. I was just starting to relax when my time was up and I handed over to the next speaker.

AILEEN TALKREMARKABLE BEAUTY LOGOREMARKABLE BEAUTY LAYOUT 2

Aileen Coffey from Remarkable Beauty was next up to talk to the ladies. Aileen is a mobile beauty therapist and offers a wide range of services including skincare, nails, tan and much more. Her speciality is her pamper party which is popular with hen parties, bridal parties and all the other girly events you can think of. She talked to the group about the stages of beauty prep that a bride should consider leading up to her big day. She also showed the group her fabulous mobile tanning booth as well as some of her lovely products. Sometimes a bride can think she knows what she needs to be doing to prepare herself for the big day but an expert like Aileen will always have a few extra handy tips.

MARY KEARNS AT WORK

MARY KEARNS AT WORK 2

Next was Mary Kearns from Mary’s Hair Studio in Rathdowney. Mary is well known for her amazing wedding styles and as a bride-to-be herself (who is admittedly hair obsessed) she knows how important it is to feel confident with both the style you choose and how well it will hold up for the day. This bride can testify that her styles will hold up for the whole weekend if you want them to! Mary works from her really pretty studio but will also travel to a bride’s house or hotel if they wish. She also spoke about caring for your hair in the lead up to the big day as well as how to manage your veil or headpiece later in the night when she’s not around to help.

RUTH MAKEUPRUTH BERGIN IN ACTION

Our final speaker was makeup artist Ruth Bergin. A graduate of LA College of Creative Arts and currently working for Inglot, Ruth showed the group two very different bridal looks, a more natural and the other a bit stronger. One of the biggest concerns for brides-to-be is how to maintain, throughout the day, the flawless look created by a makeup artist in the morning so Ruth gave some advice on products that you should bring with you to your reception.LOVE

As you can see from the pictures our morning was captured elegantly as always by photographer Eddie Kavanagh. I had meant to make a list of the little details that I wanted captured but he didn’t miss a thing.

MARY PLACING SMART FEATHERSMART BRIDES LOGOMARY PLACING SMART VEIL

We were also very lucky to have a selection of veils and headpieces to show off Mary’s hairstyles with and they came from Smart Brides Designer Outlet in Portlaoise. They were also kind enough to send a stunning Jenny Packham dress to show off to the brides too as well as some of the gorgeous jewellery that they sell. I wanted to take everything they sent, particularly the dress, and run for my life!

MARIAN LALOR WINNER FIT WITH BRID MARTINA FINNERTY WINNER MARY'S HAIR

KAREN O'MAHONY WINNER REMARKABLE BEAUTY SARAH MULHALL WINNER EDDIE

Prize winners

We rounded off the morning with some spot prizes which included a goodie bag of Wyldsson topper tubes from myself, a blow-dry from Mary, a full-body tan from Aileen and a voucher for an engagement shoot with Eddie. It was so nice to get such positive feedback from everyone who came and I loved chatting to everyone afterwards. I’m looking forward to having some of the ladies join me on the 12 week online course starting in September and there will definitely be another breakfast in the future.

WIRE HEARTDRESSERLOVE HEARTS

P.S I was getting asked a lot of questions on Snapchat about where I got some of the bits and bobs I used to decorate the venue so here you go:

BuntingFavour Lane

Wire Love Hearts – I can’t remember sorry – but you could try Nook and Cranny in Portlaoise for similar

Wicker Love Hearts – Pennys last year but these are easy enough to get

Miniature Peony ChalkboardsMoss Cottage, Dundrum

All material – IKEA

If there’s anything else that I haven’t included let me know!

Bríd

You CAN have it all…..

Oprah Quote

This is a post to explain the lack of a proper post this week. For the last couple of weeks I’ve been really busy preparing for the Fit Bride’s Breakfast which I held last Sunday. We had a lovely day but it was hard work making everything come together. I’m finished my summer course of bootcamp and Pilates classes and I’m now on what was supposed to be a break for a couple of weeks but there has been so much interest in my online courses that I have had to get stuck into them instead. I want to give them 100% and so the blog will have to come second for this week.

One of the things that people ask me most often is where do I get my energy from? The answer is usually from eating a balanced diet and exercising regularly but some weeks those things are just not enough. Sometimes I just don’t have the energy to do everything and this week is one of them. I can only stretch myself so far and I think I’ve reached my limit. On top of the work I have to do I have a teething, sleepless baby on my hands and I really want to be there to cuddle him and make him feel better when he needs me. 

Some of the posts I  do need a lot of time and research. When you’re advising pregnant and post pregnant mothers about exercising you have to have your facts right and not just throw up your own opinion. 

I’m sure I’m not the only woman who is guilty of taking on too much. To all the other brilliant women out there juggling so many things at once try and keep this quote from Oprah in mind. We all have things we want to achieve, big or small, but sometimes we need to cut ourselves some slack and remember that we can only do our best.

Bríd x

Pregnancy Health & Fitness Part 1

When I found out I was pregnant at the start of December 2013 I was ecstatic but also nervous. I had taken redundancy from the “good pensionable job” (aka the bank) a couple of months beforehand to run my fitness business full time and to study. The early weeks of pregnancy are a scary time for every mother-to-be but when your job is as physical as mine is it can be even more worrying. I had built up a great business over the previous 6 years and didn’t want to lose any of it yet didn’t want to put my baby in jeopardy either. I also didn’t want to have to stop exercising for my own health, fitness and enjoyment either and strongly believed that it was possible that I didn’t have to. So I started to research it during my pregnancy. After having Frankie I then went back to college to do a fitness related degree. Part of my studies during the past year have included further research into pregnancy fitness. So you could say I’m slightly obsessed with it and a little bit annoying to get into a conversation about it with.

 

2014-07-28 19.48.26

Guidelines

I would strongly recommend that any pregnant woman who wants to continue to exercise safely during pregnancy reads the guidelines attached from both the American College of Sports Medicine and the American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists.

https://www.acsm.org/docs/current-comments/exerciseduringpregnancy.pdf

http://www.acog.org/Resources-And-Publications/Committee-Opinions/Committee-on-Obstetric-Practice/Exercise-During-Pregnancy-and-the-Postpartum-Period

These two are my bibles when it comes to what is and isn’t safe. The general advice is that once you have received medical clearance to exercise (which will usually require that you have a normal, healthy pregnancy with no complications) then exercise is both safe and beneficial to you and your baby. Both guidelines advise that your exercise intensity should not exceed that of pre-pregnancy levels. A proper balance of nutrition, hydration, exercise and rest is essential. Imbalance in any one of these areas can result in safety concerns for both mother and baby.

Both advise that you should avoid the following:

  • Sports that are likely to involve contact e.g. hockey, soccer, basketball
  • Recreational activities that involve a high risk of falling e.g. horse riding, gymnastics
  • Anything that increases the risk for decompression sickness e.g. scuba diving
  • Physical activity at high altitudes (above 6,000 ft)
  • Exercising in the supine position (on your back) after the first trimester

Talking to your Medical Team

During my pregnancy I received mixed messages from the different doctors and nurses I met at my medical appointments. One would tell me it was good to keep exercising, another would be very cautious. The most frustrating part was that every time I asked why I couldn’t do something I was told it was just better, just safer. I’m the type of person that needs real, factual answers when it comes to diet and exercise and I can’t just be happy with generalisations and being told ‘because that’s how it’s done’. Obviously you should take your GP or practitioner’s advice very seriously but if you’re unsure as to why they are advising something then ask them why and look for a real answer. If you have a normal, healthy pregnancy then it would be unusual for them to tell you that you couldn’t continue to exercise at some level. From my experience there is a lack of confidence amongst pregnancy practitioners as to what exercise pregnant women should and shouldn’t do. It’s understandable as they fear litigation if something goes wrong but I see a day coming when the litigation will be for the advice not to exercise rather than to continue. I would love to see Ireland streamline the pregnancy exercise advice it gives to expectant mothers and really encourage pregnancy health and fitness.

2014-04-24 19.14.09-1

So what can you do?

The guidelines advise the following (in addition to getting medical clearance):

  • Previously active women with no complications can remain active during pregnancy and modify their exercise routine as medically indicated.
  • Previously active women with a history of complications during pregnancy should reduce their activity in the second and third trimester.
  • Previously inactive women and those with medical/obstetric complications should be medically evaluated before commencing an exercise program (but can exercise if cleared).

Breaking down exercise into the categories above here is some advice on safe and effective ways to exercise:

Previously active women

This is the category I fell under and it is probably the most complicated one. This will really depend on what level of activity you were doing previously. If you were a person who exercised moderately then you should be fine to continue as normal. However if you were exercising to a high intensity you may need to make some modifications.

While many women are now choosing to continue to lift heavy weights it’s important to consider the impact that they may have on your muscles and joints due to the fact that the relaxin hormone is released during pregnancy to allow the pelvis to widen for birth.

Running is very popular now and while I personally continued to run until late into my pregnancy it’s important to consider your pelvic floor muscles and the pressure that running and impact in general can have on them and your pelvis.

I talked about my post pregnancy shoulder injury in a previous post and acknowledged that I believe my high intensity exercise program during pregnancy may have contributed to the injury. However I know of other women who exercised to the same or higher intensity than I did and they had no problems at all so it’s such an individual experience. I think it’s very important to talk to someone in the know if you find out that you are pregnant and want to continue to exercise. That might be a physiotherapist or an instructor who has experience and education in working with pregnant clients.

Previous active women with a history of complications

I won’t offer advice in this category as only a doctor can really know a woman’s medical history and how it will impact her exercise choices.

Previously inactive women

For previously inactive women who have medical clearance and even for previously active women who want to reduce their intensity there are still lots of options.

Pregnancy Pilates & Yoga – great choices for core strength, resistance exercise in general, flexibility and relaxation. Some experienced instructors with a pregnancy exercise certification may also allow you to join a mainstream class and give you specific modifications.

Swimming & Water Aerobics – the low impact nature of both can make them good choices for pregnant women seeking aerobic exercise.

Walking – we’ve kind of forgotten all about walking with the current running craze but it is still a very beneficial form of exercise particularly for pregnant women. Just make sure that if you are looking to get the cardiovascular benefits then you need to be walking at a pace that makes holding a conversation a little hard. You should always be able to talk when exercising during pregnancy but if you’re able to regale your walking partner with the full Eastenders storyline then you are possibly not walking fast enough to get the goods.

Soup Salad Bread

Diet & Weight Gain

Exercising during pregnancy wasn’t all about looking good for me nor is it for many women. It’s about staying fit and healthy, keeping your baby healthy and not having to struggle with a lot of weight gain afterwards. Some weight gain is normal and necessary during pregnancy. However a lot of women mistakenly believe that they need to ‘eat for two’ during pregnancy. No doubt this is part of the reason many women put on too much weight during their pregnancy and then struggle with it afterwards.

Sorry to be the bearer of bad news but the truth is that the average pregnant woman will only need about 200-300 extra calories per day on top of the recommended 2000 calories. (1 tablespoon of peanut butter is 100 calories so that’s not a lot!) If you were consuming more than the recommended amount before pregnancy, which can often be the case, then no extra is required at all.

On the flip side it’s important to remember that if you decide to remain physically active during pregnancy you may need to increase your intake of calories to meet the energy output. Eating regularly as well as an hour before and straight after physical activity will help to keep your blood sugar regulated and help you to avoid getting dizzy or even worse fainting. Pregnancy really is a time to try and follow a diet that is as healthy and balanced as possible so that your baby gets all the nutrients it needs. Believe me you are most definitely not going to be at your dietary best in the weeks post pregnancy so during is the time to keep it in check!

Most Importantly

If you are going to exercise during your pregnancy be sure that you are 100% comfortable with your decision. If you have your medical clearance and you exercise safely then there should be no reason why it would have an adverse affect on you, your pregnancy or your baby. However if you are not fully confident of your decision and something very unfortunate does happen you don’t want to end up with feelings of guilt.

This post was really hard to write as there is so much I want to tell you about. However I realised that nobody wants to read a post as long as it would have been so I will be adding to this post in the coming weeks.

Please feel free to contact me through my facebook page if you have any questions at all and I’d be happy to help you.

My Post Pregnancy Story

Disclaimer: This is just my story, not advice and certainly not intended to make anyone feel bad.

I gave birth to my first baby, Frankie, in July 2014. If you’ve read My Fit Pregnancy blog you’ll know that I exercised to a fairly high degree right up until the end of my pregnancy. I had a lovely pregnancy with no major problems at all and my total weight gain was 1.5 stones or 9.5kg. I had a very fast labour and other than having an episiotomy and stitches I had no complications afterwards.

Stomach

Side facing post preg

From the day after my labour to 12 weeks

When I finally tore myself away from my little man the next day to go the loo I couldn’t get over the feeling and look of my stomach. It was the weirdest thing I’ve ever felt or seen and I wasn’t a bit sorry to see it getting smaller as the days went on. I found breastfeeding really good for shrinking my stomach. I could actually feel everything contracting as I fed. Thankfully I didn’t have a diastasis which is when your abs separate and don’t knit back together straight away and so my stomach recovered pretty quickly. I have no stretch marks (go on hate me; I know I’m very bloody lucky!).  I give total credit of my return to good abs to practising Pilates during my pregnancy.

Food

Granola Tray  Bagged Granola

While breastfeeding I couldn’t go an hour without eating and regularly had to get up during the night for a munch. In the two weeks leading up to Frankie’s arrival I had made granola, flapjacks and other  snacks that I could have to hand so that I wasn’t indulging in bad stuff all of the time. Himself was off for two weeks and was very good for making healthy lunches and dinners. I had asked my friends and family not to bring crap food when they were visiting and they were really good about it. It’s not everyone you’ll feel comfortable saying this to but those who you can say it to will totally understand.  My crew already think I’m a bit mad (they can’t really fathom why anyone would want to exercise and eat like I do) and so a request like this wasn’t even questioned.  It’s hard enough dealing with your post baby body without being surrounded with Forrero Roche and Butler’s chocolates believe me. When you’ve been up half the night with a newborn and are in that new baby zombie state your willpower is NIL and you will overindulge if it’s there. Another thing that I do and have always done is give away, or if needs be, dump anything that you don’t want lying around tempting you. Yep, mad as a March hare, that’s me!

Exercise

Post Preg Ex 2  Post Preg Ex 3

Any pregnant or post pregnant woman reading this should ensure that they get their doctors permission before resuming exercise. I, of course, did not wait for this permission but I did start off very slowly. The reason I chose to exercise before the generally recommended 6 week period is because not exercising seems to have a mental, as well as physical, effect on me. I get even grouchier than I normally am without it and just generally don’t feel as good in myself.

So I started off slowly at about 1 week post labour with some short walks with the buggy. They were never going to be long walks while I was feeding on demand. There was an element of terror in every step I took away from the house as I waited for Frankie to start to scream to be fed but I built up the distance over the next couple of weeks. I also started back with some bodyweight exercises at this stage but I did not go near abdominal exercise until the 6 week mark as you really can do damage if everything has not gone back to its pre-baby state (and everything really hadn’t!).

As the months have progressed I’ve increased my workouts and have had great fun including Frankie. He really enjoys all the jumping around and running we do .

My Injury

Preg Back  Back Inj

8 months pregnant and extremely proud of my back(left) & 4 weeks post labour in a lot of pain(right)

I’ll be honest, throughout my pregnancy I was concerned about how my body would be afterwards. I don’t just mean what it would look like. I was really happy to be pregnant and the more my pregnancy progressed the more grateful I was for how well it was all going.  I’ve always been one of those lucky people who could exercise a lot and not get caught out with injuries. That’s mostly down to the fact that I work out with careful balance between cardio, resistance and flexibility but even people who also balance these things get plagued by pain and injuries. So with this in mind I wondered would the stress of carrying a baby and exercising regularly leave me off kilter afterwards.

Unfortunately I did suffer really badly with a shoulder injury from about 2 weeks post labour. It started with a sharp pain behind my right shoulder blade and by 4 weeks it had spread down my arm. Holding Frankie to feed him was almost impossible and when he was actually feeding the pain shot through to my shoulder as well. I started to notice that my shoulder blade was winging away from my rib cage too. I won’t go into too much detail in this post as I’d like to do another post soon about post pregnancy injuries but needless to say I was really upset. While the pain has eased over the past year I still have winging. I have been diagnosed with palsy of the long thoracic nerve caused by repetitive strain and the medical conclusion is that it was caused by me pulling on the bed handles during labour (the last 5 minutes of labour were not pleasant which I’m sure you had already figured out from the episiotomy part – sorry to my pregnant readers). Not being one to immediately concur with the educated doctors I have questioned my intense workouts during my pregnancy and some specific movements that I did too. I also question whether it was a good idea to paint the garden fence for the two weeks before giving birth too but sure we live and learn don’t we?

In total it took me about 12 weeks to get back to a shape that I was happy with. I lost a lot of muscle when I was pregnant but to be honest I’m ok with that. I’m happier with the post pregnancy version of me and am learning to be nicer to my body too. I’m also lucky to have a very placid baby who has made the whole process a lot easier.

Hope you enjoyed my story. I’ll do a general post-pregnancy advice blog soon too.

Bríd

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