Positive body image with the AnyBODY girls Georgia Gibbs & Kate Wasley

 

We talk positive body image and its relationship to good health with cover models and founders of AnyBODY, Georgia Gibbs, and Kate Wasley.

 

Far from a biological predisposition, our modern tendency to criticise parts of our own body is instead an ugly by-product of a media-saturated world. Something that this month’s cover models and founders of body-love movement, AnyBODY, are on a mission to change.

Our exclusive 6-page cover model interview talks about their personal experiences, how AnyBODY came about and the impact positive body image has on your health. 

While we don’t want to give too much away, here’s a little sneak peek of their approach to exercise, healthy eating and inspiration. 

ON EXERCISE

Wasley: I love to get out and go for long coast walks and jogs when I’m home in Perth. Honestly, it’s beautiful. But when I travel I hit the gym. I love boxing and lifting weights, but it depends on how I feel and where I am. Some weeks I need a group cardio class to help motivate me, other times I like to zone out listening to music and lift as heavy as I can.

Gibbs: I train every day as part of my wellness routine. KX Pilates and boxing are regular favourites, along with daily walks outside or on the treadmill.

ON DIET

Wasley: My everyday nutrition is generally good. I’m not going to lie: I have days where I eat poorly because I feel down or hormonal. But, overall, it’s good – I used to study nutrition so I know the science and what works for me! I love my carbs, lots of leafy greens and fish.

Gibbs: I absolutely love food. I drink lots of green smoothies, and some of my daily favourites include avo on spelt bread, and quinoa and spinach salads with feta and salmon. I love to have blueberries and apples as a snack. I also enjoy a glass of red wine and some dark chocolate now and again!

ON A DAY-IN-THE-LIFE-OF

Wasley: A typical work day would find me up at 6am. I shower and eat my oats, throw on whatever clothes I find and head to the studio, where hair and make-up artists turn me from zombie to model! A day off consists of catching up on my social media accounts and replying to messages, seeing my friends and going to the gym in the evening.

Gibbs: An average day for me would be shooting for 10 to 12 hours, usually flying interstate, and trying to squeeze in a healthy balance of exercise and sleep – so life can get a little hectic! But I love what I do because it has so much variety. On my off days, I like to nurture my physical and mental health, take myself to the beach and have some alone time, and exercise as much as possible.

ON PERSONALITY

Wasley: I’m a very caring and compassionate person regardless of who I’m around. If I’m meeting new people, I tend to be very introverted and not say much unless I have to stand up for something I’m passionate about. If I’m around my close friends, I can be loud and opinionated, and I love telling stories and making people laugh.

Gibbs: For people who know me, I think they would say I’m a big ball of love, to anyone and everyone. At the same time, I’m very ambitious and extremely driven, while simultaneously a homebody; I love nothing more than being surrounded by family and my partner.

ON ROLE MODELS

Wasley: My biggest role models in my day-to-day life are my parents. Not once have I heard my mum put herself down or my dad ever speak badly about somebody’s weight; they’re extremely hardworking and the most generous people I know. My celebrity role model would have to be Ashley Graham for her work on body positivity, or Ellen DeGeneres for her work and advocacy for LGBT rights.

Gibbs: My role model would have to be Emma Watson. She’s inspired me for many years, and seeing her evolution from actress to ambassador and spokeswomen is enough to kick my butt into gear whenever I doubt or have a bad day! She’s my absolute idol.

Grab the October 2017 edition of WH&F for their full cover model story!

Photography by: Cotton On Body.

 

 

 

Breakfast coconut & protein chia recipe

Channel the healthy Sunday brunch vibes with this delicious chia bowl by the team at 360Health.

Ingredients (serves 4)

  • 250 ml light coconut milk
  • Chai tea, 4 tea bags
  • 1 scoop 360Health Protein (vanilla protein works well)
  • 500 ml light soy milk or almond milk
  • 2 tbsp honey, plus optional extra to serve
  • ½ cup white chia seeds
  • Fat free natural yoghurt, chopped pistachios and fig or fresh berries to serve

Method

1. Bring the coconut milk and tea bags to the boil in a saucepan. Reduce heat and simmer gentle for 2 minutes.

2. Add vanilla protein (shaken with a bit of soy milk).

3. Add the remaining soy milk, honey and chia seeds.

4. Mix thoroughly to combine, then refrigerate for 30 minutes.

5. Stir again and divide the mixture into four small cups or glasses.

6. Refrigerate again until you wish to serve. Top with a dollop of yoghurt, ½ tbsp nuts and a few berries.

NEXT: Looking for more breakfast ideas? Try these easy breakfast bars.

 

Hormone check: why you may not be losing stubborn fat in problem areas

 

How do your hormones affect your ability to move stubborn fat? We turned to head trainer Alexa Towersey for her insight.

 

Why we store fat where we do is a product of our hormones and their interaction with the environment – a combination of nature and nurture. Our hormones either work for us or against us, and when even one is out of balance, it has a domino effect on the rest.  Any kind of hormonal imbalance can make losing weight an uphill struggle.

Hormones are in constant fluctuality and are affected by all our training, nutrition and lifestyle choices: how long and how hard we train, what we put in or on our bodies, when we go to sleep, how much water we drink and how much we stress. Hormones can explain why some women have slender stomachs but thunder thighs, and why getting older often requires different tactics.

The three most common female ‘problem areas’ are the stomach, the hips and the thighs.

1. Belly: cortisol

This is correlated to high levels of the stress hormone cortisol over a prolonged period of time. Cortisol is essentially responsible for our fight or flight response, but is only designed to be secreted over a short period of time. Any excess cortisol circulating in the body is converted to fat. The majority of our cortisol receptors are in the abdomen, hence this becomes the primary storage area. Stressful situations are not just emotional but include food intolerances, digestive issues, malnourishment, poor sleep, dehydration, overtraining and under-recovery. For the stress puppy, a solid plan of attack would be a periodised strength and hypertrophy weights program, HIIT, minimal caffeine and sugar, and a huge emphasis on stress management practices (yoga, meditation and massage).

2. Thighs: oestrogen

Oestrogen balance is essential for achieving and maintaining fat loss, but too much causes toxic fat gain, water retention, bloating and a host of other health issues.  There are two ways to accumulate excess oestrogen in the body: we either produce too much of it on our own (endogenous) or acquire it from our environment (exogenous). We are constantly exposed to oestrogen-like compounds such as plastics, pesticides and parabens. These are toxins and toxins are stored in fat cells, with the majority of female fat cells in the thighs. Women with oestrogen dominance tend to have success with training protocols that involve high volume and low rest with a focus on weight training for the lower body; a nutrition plan high in fibre and green cruciferous vegetables and a heavy emphasis on detoxification strategies (infrared sauna, Epsom salt baths, lymphatic drainage massage and acupuncture).

3. Hips: insulin

An excess of body fat around the hips suggests issues with insulin resistance, carbohydrate tolerance and blood sugar management. When we eat, the sugar in our blood stimulates the secretion of insulin from the pancreas. Insulin binds to cell membranes and when there is too much insulin in the blood, the cell body becomes stressed and the insulin receptors are shut off. The excess sugar in the blood is stored as fat. Essentially this is your nutrition site and fixing the problem is all about eating the right foods at the right time in the right amounts.

Ultimately our bodies are very clever, and by learning to listen to what they have to say, we are able to develop personalised long-term strategies for successful fat loss.

 

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Success, career and lifestyle with Sophie Guidolin

 

To celebrate our #bosslady awards featured in the magazine, we caught up with boss babe Sophie Guidolin to chat about her success, career and life secrets.

 

ON CAREER

After discovering my passion for health and fitness, and realising how amazing my body could feel given the right tools, I wanted to help as many women feel this way as possible.

After having my two boys, I was left really unhealthy and overweight: my mission was to get my energy and health back for them. I started with exercise, which was something incredibly foreign to me. In school, I would sit out of PE class – I didn’t enjoy working out and had never stepped foot in a gym! With my nutrition, I experimented in the kitchen with different recipes and started a scrapbook. When my friends started begging me for them, I created a digital book and, fast forward a year, my first release hard copy book has sold over 15,000 copies. I have since released numerous other recipe book titles, all with as much passion as the first!

 I started competing in bikini competitions and fell in love with the stage: I have competed over 15 times, walking away with numerous national and state titles. In early 2017 (one year after giving birth to the twins) I went on to win my IFBB Bikini title at the Arnold Classic Australia. Going on to create an online community, THE BOD, has allowed me to connect with women all over the globe and see them progress in their own health and fitness journeys.

In 2014 my husband and I opened our own training facility on the Gold Coast. We now have six coaches who work under the Hold Your Own banner assisting thousands of men and women to be the best versions of themselves. Being a mum of four children has meant learning to juggle business, parenthood and my own personal goals all at once.

ON MY DEFINITION OF SUCCESS

Success isn’t a ‘one size fits all’ achievement. For my life, success is spending every day living my dream, loving my job, working with incredible, inspiring people and having happy, healthy children and a healthy relationship. I don’t believe success should be measured with assets or wealth – I know a lot of people who are very well off and are incredibly unhappy, and vice versa.

ON MY TOP THREE SUCCESS TIPS

  1. Decision making: success starts with you, and every decision that you make. It could be as simple as what you’re going to eat for breakfast or how you will react to a situation. Remember you are always in charge of your life and where you want to be.
  2. Organisation: we have a ‘family’ diary where we write everyone’s day-to-day tasks, activities, work hours, kids sport, meals for the week and more. It allows us to plan out the day ahead. 
  3. Mantras: I am a huge believer in the fact that we subconsciously create our own success with our thoughts. Every night before bed, I read mantras. It allows me to clear my mind and really allow my mind to be at peace before I go to bed.

ON MY MENTOR

I kind of fly solo. I live life to the beat of my own drum and believe that everyone will have a different path and a different perspective for every situation.  

 

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7 tips to create the perfect home office for productivity

 

Your workspace plays a huge role in your productivity and concentration. Transform your desk space with co-founder and head of interior design at Designbx, Kerena Berry’s tips for creating your ultimate home office space.

 

1. Choose the right interior design style: find a style that complements your personality. Pinterest is great for collecting images that resonate with you. Or you can create a mood board by cutting out images of colours, textures, furniture and layouts from magazines and arranging them on a flat surface.

2. De-clutter: try the ‘office in a box’ approach. The digital era allows us to have less physical items to work with, so try to fit all of your business necessities into one box or basket – making your office portable too!

3. Bring the outdoors, in: indoor plants can bring life to an office and add natural purification to what might otherwise look like a commercial space. You can also hang ferns on walls and from the ceiling if you like the natural look.

4. Lighting: this can vary depending on your profession but having the right lighting for you is important. For example, programmers require darker spaces to ease strain on the eyes whereas designers prefer natural light to view colours and graphics.

5. Scents: place vaporisers around the office for a fresh and invigorating smell to stimulate productivity and creativity, and to keep spirits high throughout the day.

6. Tap into your creature comforts: design your space to suit your creature habits. If you get inspired in a relaxed environment, try setting oversized beanbags with lap trays in the room to help get your creative juices flowing.

7. Treat yourself: a signature piece such as a vintage rug or a designer chair to use for brainstorming can make the space feel special to you. Williams agrees that adding a comfortable armchair to your office to think and reflect, or a day bed for a power nap, is a great way to take a break from your desk. Studies show that 20-minute power naps when the afternoon slump hits can increase productivity going forward.

 

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Fig and cashew paleo bars

Looking for healthy snacks on the go? Try these delicious fig and cashew paleo-friendly bars by our friends at Flannerys. They’re also vegan, gluten free, dairy and egg free, so you know you’re in good hands.

  • Ingredients
  • 1 ¼ cup Flannerys Own Organic Figs (stemless)
  • 2 cups Flannerys Own Organic Raw Cashews, plus extra for topping
  • 1 cup Flannerys Own Coconut Chips, plus extra for topping
  • 2 tsp pure vanilla extract
  • ¼ tsp sea salt, plus extra for topping
  • 1/3 cup Flannerys Own Coconut Oil
  • 1 tbsp Flannerys Own Cacao Powder

Method

1. Place figs, cashews, coconut, vanilla and sea salt in a food processor and blend until mixed well, but not pureed

2. Pour mixture into a lined baking dish and press down with a fork until mixture is flat

3. Mix the coconut oil, cacao powder and vanilla together in a small saucepan over a low heat until melted, then pour over the fig and cashew mixture evenly

4. Sprinkle extra coconut, cashews and sea salt over the top of the icing and place in the fridge for 2-3 hours or until hardened.

Enjoy!

 

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Cinnamon, pear & date protein porridge recipe

Kick-start your day with this healthy, high protein porridge courtesy of our friends at 360Health.

Ingredients (serves 4)

 

  • 500 ml water
  • 2 pears, cored, peeled and sliced
  • 1 ½ cups multigrain porridge mix (e.g. rolled oats, triticale, barley, rye, rice)
  • ½ cup pitted dates, chopped
  • 1 scoop 360Health Natural Protein
  • 1 scoop 360Health Vanilla Protein
  • ½ tsp cinnamon
  • Skim milk, sugar-free maple syrup and walnuts to serve

Method:

1. In a saucepan, combine water, pears, oats and dates and bring to the boil over a low heat, stirring constantly.

2. Simmer the porridge for about 10 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the pears are tender. Remove from the heat.

3. Stir in the protein powder.

4. Spoon the porridge into 4 serving bowls. Sprinkle with cinnamon and serve with skim milk and honey or maple syrup if desired. A sprinkle of walnuts adds a lovely crunch.

 

NUTRITION (per serve)

Protein: 24g // Fat: 8.5g // Carbs: 47g // Calories: 369

 

Get your hands on the 360Health recipe book for more delicious recipes.

 

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How to improve your performance with visualisation

We take a look at how visualisation can improve your performance when it comes to training.

 

One trip to your local gym and you will probably spot a lycra-clad fit-girl standing at her barbell in deadlift position – but without actually lifting the bar. Chances are she’s not absentmindedly staring into space but instead using cognitive strategies to psych herself up pre-lift, resulting in bigger and better PBs.

The science

Psyching yourself up has been shown to improve performance while training, and involves using all of your senses to create a mental picture of the task you are about to perform. This is backed by a recent literature review published in the Journal of Sports Science and Medicine which concluded that mental imagery was effective in improving tasks that required strength.

The thought

“There are many mental cues you can use to assist with getting into a positive mindset to perform a task. Psyching yourself up can be done through guided imagery, words of positivity, images, phrases, visualisation and more,” says exercise sport scientist, nutritionist and coach Alice Round.

“If the correct mental imagery is employed it helps to clear the mind and to have a better understanding of the task, which will help to focus on the task at hand and improve confidence. The key is to ensure the mental imagery supports the goal and outcome in a positive and realistic way.”

Using such strategies might not work in every scenario but can be adapted to suit your individual situation and the training you are employing. For example, Round recommends utilising mental imagery if you are going for a new one rep max (1RM) or rep PB at the gym. This might involve focusing on the outcomes and thinking about the positive emotions that come with success.

If you’re a sprinter, the mental imagery might be a little different. “I’d advise the athlete to mentally run through the perfect race in their mind before stepping onto the track; imagine the perfect explosive start, complete power, then charging through the finish line in first place,” says Round.

That said, as the great Jim Carey once told Oprah, you can’t just visualise and then go and eat a sandwich – obviously there’s hard work still to be done.

 

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The key to targeting stubborn fat

 

A lot of people have a misconception about what exactly ‘stubborn fat’ is. Vision PT Master Trainer, Daniel Tramontana sets the record straight with his expert insights. 

The term ‘stubborn’ almost creates an unnecessary mental predisposition when it comes to fat loss. Clients are often too quick to assume they have ‘stubborn fat’, when most people simply have more fat to lose before they can start burning fat in those notorious areas, such as the belly and hips.

The average fat loss dieter should not be thinking they can strategically target specific areas of fat. When losing weight, your body wants to save calories, so areas such as the arms, neck, fingers, face and feet tend to lean out quicker than the belly, butt and thighs, as having fat in these areas will burn more calories. The body is always adapting to be more efficient.

Clients that have already been training and/or dieting for fat loss from anywhere between eight to 16 weeks and are close to their desired body fat percentage can consider some of their fat as ‘stubborn’. In this case, a little more strategy can be employed.

I find that, for women, the upper body often needs to be almost completely depleted of fat stores before the lower body really becomes active. We store excess energy as fat based on two types of cell receptors: alpha receptors and beta receptors. Alpha promotes fat storage, while beta metabolises fat and makes it available to ‘burn’ as energy. Generally, women have much higher densities of alpha sites in the legs, butt and thighs.

If you want to burn fat from stubborn areas, decreasing alphas and increasing betas is the goal. This could perhaps be related back to our external and internal hormonal environment – basically our oestrogen to progesterone ratios. There is a lot of current research on this matter, and protocols that can help with this hormonal balance include: cutting down on non-organic food and coffee, increasing consumption of cruciferous vegies, drinking lemon water, reducing use of plastics and dry brushing. A useful website is ewg.org and their app Skin Deep, which indicates the toxicity level, effect on the body and potential for harmful additives found in your primary cosmetic and cleaning products.

Another specialised practice that can shed some light on potential imbalances and obstacles to fat loss is Applied Muscle Testing (AMT). Muscle testing works in the same arena as kinesiology, by testing your body for feedback to identify deficiencies in nutrients, problematic foods, potential beneficial supplements and even helping provide information on specific training protocols that may suit you personally.

Three easy things you can do today to expedite stubborn fat loss:

1. Exercise two to three hours after your last meal or on an empty stomach. This may reduce alpha receptor activity. It also causes us to increase catecholamine hormone production (adrenaline/noradrenaline), which may increase beta receptor activity.

2. Train intensely: use compound multi-muscle, multi-joint movements. For lower body, try lunges, squats and deadlifts. Include some type of interval training into your cardio workouts and then cool down with a 30 minute walk: this can assist in dipping further into fat for fuel now it has been released into the blood stream during training.

3. Stay positive: what your mind believes, your body achieves. If you tell yourself you can’t get rid of that last little bit of fat over and over, you’ll convince your subconscious mind that it’s true and it will obey you. Keep an open mind, visualise the results you want and don’t settle for ‘almost there’.   

 

 

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6 ways to manage anxiety

Everybody has moments of anxiety, deep worry and high stress. Here are a few ways and tactics to help manage anxiety.

 

 

Counselling

The good news is that treatment for anxiety – for those that seek it out – is usually successful. Your first port of call is your GP to discuss your options and receive a referral to the best psychologist or counsellor, for your needs, in your area.

“The most recommended psychotherapy for anxiety disorders is cognitive behavioural therapy,” says Rudy Nydegger, psychologist and author of Dealing with Anxiety and Related Disorders. “It is not a template therapy method where each patient and each disorder is treated in a predictable and specific way. Rather CBT is an approach that relies on the use of many different techniques that are designed to deal with each unique situation and individual and focus primarily on the changing of particular behaviours, developing better strategies for managing troublesome situations, and learning how to think about, perceive and interpret circumstances in ways that lead to a healthier adaptation to conditions that are producing the symptoms.”

This could include learning how to self-monitor symptoms, relaxation and breathing retraining, and experimenting with behaviour, visualisations and relapse prevention techniques. While it’s not a quick fix – compared to medication, for instance – it will ultimately produce longer-lasting results.

“Using cognitive rehearsal and imagining how to do things differently help a patient to initiate new behaviours,” says Nydegger. “A technique called reframing is frequently employed to help people learn new ways to think about particular problems or situations.”

Mindfulness

A meditative practice of mindfulness-based stress reduction (MBSR) is increasingly used as part of a holistic approach to the treatment of anxiety, as well as for chronic physical illness and pain.

“Mindfulness is a way of noticing how our attention gets pulled in different directions, and it’s a way of practicing the gentle, persistent art of returning our attention to the present moment,” says Dennis Tirch, cognitive therapist and author of Overcoming Anxiety.

“Mindfulness training has been demonstrated to be an effective treatment for a range of psychological problems, such as depressive relapse, anxiety and emotion-regulation difficulties. By developing our ability to be mindful, and by learning how to apply mindfulness to more healthy methods of coping with stress, we may become able to change our habitual and unhelpful responses to anxiety.”

Talk to your psychologist about mindfulness training and check out some of the free mindfulness meditation apps available.

Lifestyle changes

Is your lifestyle increasing your vulnerability towards anxiety? For a majority of anxiety sufferers, the answer is a resounding ‘yes’. Perhaps it’s time to de-clutter, delegate and slow down.

“If you feel that your life is spiralling out of control – with too many demands from your work, home, partner, family and friends – maybe it’s time to simplify,” suggests Wendy Green, author of Anxiety – a Self-Help Guide to Feeling Better. “If you regularly feel under pressure and stressed because of a lack of time, try reviewing how you structure your days. Keep a diary for a week to see how you spend your time and then decide which activities you can cut out or reduce to make more time for the things that are most important to you.”

It won’t hurt to be a little selfish, occasionally, for the sake of your mental health.

“Try saying ‘no’ to the non-essential tasks you don’t have time for or just don’t want to do,” says Green. “It’s a little word, but it can dramatically reduce your stress levels. If you find it hard to say ‘no’, then perhaps you need to develop your assertiveness skills.”

Diet

Nutrition can have a powerful impact on anxiety, for better and for worse, and can form an important part of an overall approach to rehabilitation.

“We use a number of therapies to treat anxiety, including exercise physiology, psychology, nutritional, medical and naturopathic support, gut health work and detoxification support for clients dependent on alcohol, medications, illicit drugs, sugar and caffeine, which we see a lot of in people living with anxiety,” says Pettina Stanghon, founder of mental health rehabilitation centre Noosa Confidential.

Dr Malcolm Clark, Melbourne GP and author of Doctor in the House, says that stress and anxiety play a major role in irritable bowel syndrome, both in triggering and worsening symptoms, including bloating, abdominal cramps, flatulence and loose, frequent bowel motions or constipation.

“Sufferers often report the return of their rotten symptoms when they are under increased stress at work or at home,” he says. “Depressed or anxious people seem to suffer from this problem more often than the rest, suggesting these may also be causes.”

To combat ‘gut anxiety’, eat a low GI diet (which also helps regulate blood sugar levels), reduce fatty foods and alcohol, and increase fibre intake.

Exercise

Developing a healthy exercise habit is highly complementary to an overall anti-anxiety approach.

“Exercise is likely the oldest form of self-management of anxiety, although alcohol is a close second,” says Bret Moore, psychologist and author of Taking Control of Anxiety. “Numerous studies have been conducted over recent years showing that exercise alone, or in combination with psychotherapy, is effective in reducing anxiety associated with a variety of anxiety disorders.”

In fact, one study found that regular exercise can be as effective as medication in people with panic disorder.

“Vigorous and sustained physical activity promotes the release of endorphins: neurotransmitters in the brain that promote a sense of euphoria and contentment,” says Moore. “This phenomenon allows joggers to overcome fatigue and pain during long-distance running.”

Medical support

A number of medications are available that provide effective relief – but not a cure – from anxiety. The first option, usually, are SSRI’s (or selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors). Traditionally used to treat clinical depression, and a little slow to kick in from the outset (they can take a couple of weeks to ‘build up’ to the complete benefits) they have proven to be very successful for many people. MAOI’s (monoamine oxidase inhibitors), which inhibit the breakdown of serotonin and norepinephrine in the brain, are a similar option that may be recommended.

The old-school anti-anxiety tranquilliser meds – still used for individual cases – are benzodiazepines; immediate and highly effective, they do come with a catch.

“As effective as tranquillisers can be, they are less frequently prescribed today because they are addictive if taken for a long period of time and at a high enough dose,” says Nydegger “Also, increased tolerance can become an issue, which means a patient needs to continually increase the dosage for it to be effective.”

Beta-blockers may also be used for planned events, such as a speech or presentation, where anxiety can go into overload. They work by calming the heart, reducing hand trembling and may even be helpful with blushing and sweating.

For more information about anxiety and mental health go to mindaustralia.org.au.

 

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