polkadotsi

March 30, 2018
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Post Partum Fitness is BIG business. In this episode we chat about returning to exercise after birth, what a diastasis is, prolapse, incontinence and the good, the bad and the ugly of post partum body image.

We chat about how important it is for women to get back into the sports and exercises that they enjoy, and the benefits of movement for mental health.

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March 24, 2018
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Was your sex education in high school sadly lacking? Mine was.

We weren’t taught about consent, we weren’t taught about sex positivity, or pleasure.

We spent a great deal of time inflating condoms and watching hideous slides of STIs.

In this episode I chat about all of the things I WISH I was taught in sex education.

Wouldn’t it be great if we raised a generation of young adults who understood safety, respect and consent? Wouldn’t it be wonderful if people understood that sex was meant to be pleasurable?!

 

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March 19, 2018
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In this episode, I chat about how we’ve relegated women to the cardio section of the gym and encouraged them to use tiny weights, with the promise it will make them look like fitness models.

This is SUCH a bug bear of mine, women DESERVE to be strong, we DESERVE to feel amazing and independent, and we’re simply not going to manage that with 2kg dumbbells.

You’re welcome in the weight room! And you will BENEFIT from being there.

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March 12, 2018

One of the most common fears I hear women express with regards to their exercise is that they’ll “bulk up.”

They’ll look “unfeminine” or suddenly sprout muscles like a body builder. I’d like to take the time to explore this a little, it seems that the fear of muscle is a money making industry, and we’re all hopping along for the ride.

Women’s fitness is BIG business, with female protein powders (usually low carb, usually labelled as a fat burner), women’s resistance bands, pink, tiny kettle-bells and dumbbells and all manner of pink washed, lighter, and much less useful equipment.

Now, don’t get me wrong, I’m a sucker for pink branding – look at my logo… it’s ALL the pink, but when it comes to making women feel smaller, weaker, and less capable in the gym, I take real issue.

We’ve Pink Washed Fitness

Women definitely respond to exercise differently to men, oestrogen is an interesting hormone, but that doesn’t mean that we’re to be relegated to the cardio machines and the tiny weights.

I see it in the gym all the time, dozens of women vying for the treadmills and cross trainers while the free weights and machines are occupied by our sweaty, male counterparts.

Having chatted to some women who hang out on the cardi-no (sorry, not sorry) machines I discovered a few things:

  • They are afraid of bulking up too much.
  • They believe that cardio is the best way to lose weight.
  • They find the guys a bit intimidating, and don’t feel welcomed in the free weights area
  • They don’t know how to use the machines
  • Their trainers have advised them to do HIIT and cardio

We’re Not Making Women Feel Welcome in the Weight Room

By casual observation it seems that we’re not making a welcoming space for women in the weight’s room. While there are women’s only gyms, like Curves for example, they seem to come complete with “girly” machines and a distinct lack of free weights.

And while there is definitely a need to welcome women into the gym, and welcome them to movement, I strongly feel that we’re selling women short if they’re lifting 2kg weights, playing with resistance bands, only to go home and lift 20kg toddlers, and haul in their shopping.

While it’s encouraging to see companies listen to what women want, become more aware of pelvic health, and the impact of female hormones, it’s only half of the story.

Basically, I think we can tell the women we work with a much more empowering story.

Is this a Beauty Problem or a Fitness Problem

So who’s fault is it?

This ties deeply into body image and the marketing around women’s beauty. According to those who write the magazines, and ultimately  those who tell us what beauty looks like; women are meant to be:

  • Small
  • Hairless
  • Pre-pubescent
  • Soft
  • Large breasted
  • Tiny waisted
  • Delicate

When in actual fact, while there are some women who enjoy and uphold that image, and that’s absolutely fine, there are billions of others who do not, and cannot fit into the very narrow stereotypes of women’s beauty and fitness.

There are trans women, gender queer folk, and a whole spectrum of people who can benefit from strength training but don’t fit into the mould of beauty.

Women are not only capable of strength training with heavy weights, but benefit from it greatly. Strength training helps us stave off osteoporosis, it builds lean muscle mass and has great benefits in preventing cardiovascular diseases.

We don’t bulk up, we get strong. And frankly, we NEED to be strong.

Not to mention the strength – we shouldn’t overlook the strength

We aren’t delicate petals that need to be kept in glass houses, our day to day lives see us manage larger weights than are assigned to us in the average women’s gym and fitness class and we haul them around without thought only to go to the gym to pickup the tiny pink dumbbell.

So some truth bombs

Remember how I mentioned that our hormones had an interesting effect on our bodies and our training? Well they do. The lack of testosterone in the female body means that it’s nigh impossible to “bulk up” without the help of synthetic hormones.

Female bodies are cyclical, and we have to be aware of the impact our cycles have on our  training, including joint laxity, issues like pelvic health, and our bone mineral density-  but virtually all women can benefit from strength training. Strong muscles can provide a stable body that is less prone to injury.

You’re welcome in the weight room. You always have been. You’ve got as much right to be there as anyone else.

Strength training helps us build up that bone mineral density that prevents brittle bones, and if we missed that window, strength and balance helps us prevent falls and recover faster if they do happen.

I also mentioned our sweaty male counterparts… I spoke with them too:

Basically, the feedback I received from the men in the gym was they were pretty busy with their own workouts to notice anything much else going on in the gym.

You’re welcome in the weight room. You always have been. You’ve got as much right to be there as anyone else.

All good and well, but what’s actually wrong with my tiny pink dumbbell

Generally we can’t achieve very much strength with a 2kg dumbbell.  We need to be strategically challenged to build up our strength.

We don’t bulk up, we get strong. And frankly, we NEED to be strong.


March 7, 2018
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Hey girl. Are you eating right, werking it out at the gym and taking good care of your body? High-fives for you! But there is one more thing you can do to improve your health…

An orgasm a day (or two, who’s counting?) may not be entirely enough to keep the doctor away, but it does offer some fantastic health benefits. Plus, you know – orgasms are pretty rad, so who doesn’t want more of them?

#AllTheOrgasms Can…

Help Relieve Stress

This one is pretty well known, and for good reason. When you orgasm, your brain releases oxytocin – the pleasure hormone – which relieves tension and stimulates feelings of warmth and relaxation.

Protect You From the Common Cold

Regular sex has been linked to the production of higher levels of antibody immunoglobin A, which boosts and immune system.

Help You Sleep

Finding it tricky to turn your brain off at night? Researchers suggest the release of neurochemicals like endorphins can have a sedative effect, so if you’re struggling with insomnia, an orgasm may help you catch some much-needed Zs.

Alleviate Pain

If you have a headache, turning down an evening of passionate lovemaking with your partner might not be the best move. Those feel-good endorphins and oxytocin also have pain-relieving qualities, which can help ease headaches, menstrual cramps and other discomforts.

Help Cure the Blues

Sex hormones have been shown to help lower rates of depression and anxiety, making them great for your mental health. Thank you endorphins!

Help Tone Up Your Pelvic Floor

The big O uses the pubocoxygeal muscle, the same muscle you need to use to stay continent. Rubbin’ one out can actually help stop incontinence by activating your pelvic floor!

Make You Smarter

Okay, smarter might be a bit of a stretch, but orgasms have been proven (through studies where female subjects had their brains monitored by an MRI machine while masturbating) to increase blood flow and the delivery of oxygen and nutrients to all parts of the brain.

Make You Look Younger

Again, a stretch, but the science is there to support this claim! A British psychologist spent a decade researching the effect of sex on people’s appearance, and claimed those participants who had more orgasms looked younger. His theory is supported by the fact that sex releases the human growth hormone;  DHEA (Dehydroepiandrosterone), which helps to make skin look more elastic.

Seriously. Go get some.

Originally published on March 24, 2014.

 

 


February 5, 2018
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In this episode I chat with Anna Hearn from Haven Wellness Anna is in the middle of launching her own fitness studio; a unique mirror free space to encourage women to FEEL how they move and enjoy movement for the sake of pleasure, not for changing their shape and size.

Anna has come from a place of overcoming body dysphoria and her fitness journey has led her  to fall in love with the skin she’s in.

She ​believes ​that ​honouring ​the ​body ​we’re ​in ​now, ​learning ​to ​respect ​& ​nourish ​it ​from ​within ​(rather ​than
externally ​consulting ​a ​diet ​book) ​and ​moving ​for ​pleasure ​& ​health ​(rather ​than ​to ​force ​it ​to ​look ​a ​certain ​way)
gives ​our ​body ​the ​freedom ​it ​needs ​to ​regulate ​it’s ​own ​weight ​and ​caloric ​needs ​- ​and ​is ​a ​much ​kinder ​and
more ​fun ​way ​to ​live!

All in all, Anna is a fun and bubbly person to chat to, and I’m really excited about the projects she’s working on.

Connect with Anna:

Haven Wellness Women’s Fitness & Yoga Studio, Summer Hill, Sydney

www.havenwellness.com.au | anna@havenwellness.com.au | 

https://www.facebook.com/havenwellnessstudio

A special, body-positive, non-diet space designed to help women cultivate a peaceful relationship with their bodies through fitness, yoga & pilates and self-compassion.​ 

Upcoming Haven events: www.havenwellness.com.au/events 
  • Yoga for All Bodies Workshop – Sat 24th Feb 
  • Honour ​- a ​women’s-only ​retreat ​focusing on body respect & self-compassion. Yoga, walking, fitness meditation & self-reflection. April 20-22nd 2018, Kenthurst, NSW 
  • Embrace– The Body Image Movement documentary screening March 5th, Dendy, Newtown Sydney 
  • Eating ​& ​Body ​Image ​Reboot ​5-Week ​Course ​- March 12th 2018

 


February 1, 2018
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Every so often on Polkadotsi I have a guest who I just have to invite back on the podcast because their ideas are so fantastically mindblowing.

Alex and Shane Harvey from Muscle Potentiation were one of those guests.

It’s uncomfortable being challenged on ideas you hold as truth, and being put into a position where you have to investigate, break down, and question everything.

Coming out of the other side of our interview, I was really excited to explore perhaps WHY a quadriceps stretch isn’t so fantastic…. what are we actually doing when we stretch our hamstrings, and why is it most gym-goers have such a short lifespan in the gym.

If you’re anything like me, you’ll want to get in touch with Shane and Alex. As a trainer, or as a client who wants to work on pain management.


January 27, 2018
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Allow me to introduce Emily Smith, Personal Trainer, Mum to 2 children and a Mums Mindset coach. Her journey in fitness really only started when she had her first child. She was never into sport and was always the girl in high school who made excuses during PE.

She was exercising in her early 20s for aesthetic reasons – she wanted a 6 pack. Then once Emily had her daughter she realised she needed exercise for her mental health, and didn’t give a damn about the 6 pack any longer.

Rock the mum tum: Emily Smith

In this episode, I chat to Emily about her journey from aesthetic workout junkie to body positive personal trainer and mum of two.

Emily is a breath of fresh air in our industry, and works with her clients to help them make movement as much of a habit as brushing their teeth.

You can get in touch with Emily here:


October 22, 2017
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In this episode I chat to a woman who has truly walked the talk in terms of self love revolution!

Emma Polette is The Body Love Coach. She is a 44-year-old health coach, personal trainer & yoga teacher. Her clients call her a real woman for real women.

She has run her business Blue Sky Vitality for over 4 years. After spending most of her life thinking a flat tummy would solve all her problems, things changed in early 2017 when she had a hysterectomy to treat her Stage 4 endometriosis. Emma decided her body had been punished enough and has made it her mission to help women live bright & energetic lives free from calorie counting and flogging themselves at the gym.

We chat about how self compassion and the internal work we need to do around body positivity is just as important as the physical work.

You can get in contact with Emma here:

facebook is @blueskyvitalitycoach
and insta is @blueskyvitality

 

How much more brain power would we have if we stopped worrying about how we look

Podcast Episode 16: Evolving from self loathing to self love with Emma Polette

October 15, 2017
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In this episode I chat to the hilarious and incredible Bernetta Billing!

Bernetta is the instructor for Kangatraining Sandgate & Redcliffe. She introduced Kangatraining to NZ as the Country Leader for New Zealand and the Instructor in the Taranaki region.

She loves sharing Kangatraining with the Mums of Sandgate and Redcliffe. Body positivity is something she feels very strongly about focusing on moving for enjoyment and celebrating what your body is capable of instead of what it looks like.

Her other passion is pelvic floor health, after experiencing pelvic organ prolapse after the birth of her first child, Bernetta is an advocate for pelvic floor awareness, education and not being ashamed of having a vagina.

We giggle about jiggly bellies, wibbly wobbly bums, plucking wedgies, and how to choose swimwear that is practical for post natal bodies.

I loved this interview because Bernetta is so real, approachable and down to earth about body positivity and motherhood.

Bernetta self identifies as the friend who asks about her  friend’s pelvic floors after they’ve had their babies. She is a beautiful example of how as women we can change the conversation around birth and recovery, and how we need to talk about prolapse and pelvic floors.

You can get in contact with Bernetta here:

Website : https://www.kangatraining.info/instructor/BernettaBilling/1191

Facebook : www.facebook.com/kangatrainingSandgate

Instagram : Kangatraining.Sandgate