Vulnerability and how its changed my life

I got this idea from Fit Foodie Finds

This is a Weight watchers post.


“vulnerability – the state of being vulnerable or exposed; “his vulnerability to litigation”; “his exposure to ridicule” Definition from

Everything in life you are vulnerable to. Such as your job and your lifestyle.

As office workers, we are prone to more vulnerability. Here we have lots of sweet foods, the food court and stressful things that we need to take care of. We also need to look after our family. We are time poor and sometimes we stay back until late.

The food court was my soft spot. Here I could happily binge on whatever I wanted. It didn’t really matter. Hence this is why I put on a bit of weight.

“vulnerability – susceptibility to injury or attack

weakness – the property of lacking physical or mental strength; liability to failure under pressure or stress or strain; “his weakness increased as he became older”; “the weakness of the span was overlooked until it collapsed” Another definition from

In 2015 when I first stepped into the gym I was vulnerable. I did not know what I was doing as I was a new member. I also was too serious and took myself too seriously. At that time I was a food blogger and putting on too much weight. I also had an unhealthy relationship with food

Like most people, at first I was scared of going and I quit. But then after doing my first half marathon I realized it wasn’t all that bad

Then I rejoined in 2017 and had made some amazing friends who I can rely on to help me with my studies if need be. Now I want to work at my gym and help out those who are scared of going to not be so scared. I also have a much better relationship with food and exercise.

Once I became a marathoner I understood how important food was. Once I started learning PN’s nutrition coaching system I understood the feeling between eating certain food and how vulnerable we can be to that food. For example, someone who is autistic might like to have chips and coke all the time as their preferential food.

Someone who is autistic might not like to go to the gym and try new things and new ways of doing that thing.

But in the end, I got over it and love trying new things and ways. This is how we learn. We learn by doing and experiencing stuff. It doesn’t matter whether we are right or wrong.

12 week challenges and why they don’t work

We talk about twelve week challenges and why they don’t work for most people.

I got the idea from Mind Body Miko who talks about the fact that they are not sustainable in the long term.


January and September are busy times for gyms particularly my one in the city. Most people want to lose those “extra” pounds by then.

Online there are about 255000000 12 week challenges that you can do. Most of them come at a cost and they have some sort of cash prize that you can win at the end if you do really well.

The twelve-week challenges for most people seem too rigid.  After the twelve weeks, most people go back to where they have started and would love to just pig out. They would forget their new habits.

These clients would have to take before and after shots and post them online. Some of them are self-conscious about this.

For the first two weeks of the challenge, you’ll start to see some changes and then for the rest of the time you plateau. Ubershape says that at this time you’ll lose all motivation and your results will slow down.

New habits take ages to learn and master. You need to want to change. I did a few of those challenges only to revert back to old ways after the season ended and I did not win anything.

After 12 weeks there is no one to weigh you or hold you accountable to your goals. Hence this is why people stop going to the gym after March. You’ll regain the weight as your body was in starvation and restriction mode during the challenge. Your body can’t tell when it is going towards the next famine or fad diet.

Also the long term dieting and cycling affects your moods and your hormones. If you are a lady you might have disordered periods. Also your skin will be deprived of nutrients and will become dull and dry.

Calories in vs out.

This is a very simple formula for people to follow. This seems to work better for most people and for most people they can use a free calorie tracker such as myfitnesspal which also takes exercise into account. You can have a few hump (treat days) if you like, but you shouldn’t go overboard with them. Stick to one or two days a week.

For women, the average is 2000 calories per day and for men its 2500 calories a day.

If you want to lose weight you need to consume less food and drink than the energy that you are expending (unless of course, you are a marathoner!)

Weight watchers is another useful one where you have to track your points and go to your weekly meetings. These weekly meetings are a good chance to socialize.

My suggestion would be doing yearly one. It could be something like running a marathon or learning basic nutrition. Or becoming a health coach. Then that way you would learn some habits that you can keep for life.

Healthy habits over weight loss any day. Be happy with who you are not about how you look!

If you want to do it, do it for learning and adapting to new habits. Not for weight loss.

How to deal with setbacks

Dealing with setbacks is an important part of life and its an important part of marathon training. We deal with setbacks a lot and we give some advice here.

american back view burial cemetery

Photo by Pixabay on

In life and at work you will face some setbacks. But its how we deal with them. Inside Success says that people should expect setbacks from time to time. Engage Coach agrees with this statement.

Working in the weight loss and health industry people don’t always expect a plateau with weight loss but it does happen. And they blame the trainer for it or their hormones. And both are not good. Most failures according to Pereira are opportunities to get back on your feet and start afresh.

This week I didn’t run so well and had to figure out why. Normally I’d get around 160-175 beats per minute but I think it was a bit cold this week. So the intensity was not there.

But then I bounced back on Friday and Sunday and got up to 337 intensity minutes which is double the 150 minutes that we’re supposed to get. I learned that I should get the potassium levels a bit higher and wear more clothes for the run. I don’t run so well in the cold.

Oh, and I was also battling a little busted leg in a couple of weeks before that.

But then how do you deal with the setback? Pereira says to expect it. For me, I just brush it aside and start afresh. But for others, they dwell on the past and it’s bad for their stress levels.

And then when my period came there was another setback. It was raining that day at the end of the long run and I only did 262 minutes of running that week. Fortunately, though it was sunny the following week and I was able to recover.

The Subtle Art of Fuck mentions having a positive attitude. Divyblog also mentions this and mentions joining a group of like-minded people.

According to Tiny Buddha we should eliminate blame and move on. Inside Success says that we should think about what happened and learn from it. We should also challenge ourselves moving forward. Tiny Buddha also suggests meditation as a way of dealing with things. The Subtle Art of Fuck also talks about challenging yourself and moving on.

So bloggers how do you deal with setbacks as it comes?

Do you ignore them or do you learn from it?



The benefits of walking for older people

I got this idea from Macy Michelle.

Walking has a lot of benefits for older people. We are supposed to exercise even in old age.


Did you know that walking has a lot of health benefits? I was reading a book by the American College of Sports Medicine where they say that walking is good for older people.

I have seen lots of older people around the park where I live. In fact, I live near the elderly nursing home which is a five-minute drive away. At the nursing home, many elderly uses a walking frame.

Even on the tram, they do that too and they find it hard to balance.

Low injury risks

Walking is less jarring to the joints! As older people, we are more susceptible to arthritis and osteoporosis.

Last year the Physical Activities Advisory Guidelines committee presented their report to the Department of Human and Health services and they recommended walking as a low-risk exercise.

Decrease stress

Seeing nature relaxes you. Moving the body also helps to destress you. It helps to limit the stress hormone called cortisol.

You get to explore everywhere. You can walk the dog. Seeing dogs relaxes some people.

There are lots of nice places to explore. In fact, you could go down to the beach or to the park.

Save money

Walking is free. Gym membership costs around $50-$70 per fortnight. Over a year you would save about $1000-$1600 in fees. You only need a pair of shoes

Get a better nights sleep

We need about 7-8 hours of sleep and exercise helps us sleep. Exercise releases serotonin a happy hormone! People who walk have better sleep quality.

Keep active

Keep happy and have a healthy brain. All types of exercise help to offset dementia and other brain problems. Older people have the risk of getting Alzheimers and dementia. Walking helps to increase cognitive function which is important for old age.

Walking helps you do that. And you can socialize with friends too.

Keep balance

Older people have trouble with their flexibility and balance. Walking helps with keeping balance.

Boosts immune function

Did you know that walking 20 mins or more 5 times per week helps to boost immune function? Next time you complain about getting a cold, try walking. About 43% of us walks and then we don’t get sick.

Get vitamin d.

Walking helps us do just that. We walk in the sunshine! We are supposed to be out in the sun for at least half an hour per day

Get up there and walk.

Where do you like to walk?

Week 5 of Precision Nutrition

This week we learned about energy and the resting metabolic rate. This rate varies from one person to the next.


We learned about kcals and calories. Calories are the energy-dense food and kcals is the food which has the smallest amount of energy such as vegetables and fruits.

This week was also about energy in and energy out. If we burn more than we consume in a day for over a period of days than we lose weight. If we burn less energy than we take in we will get fat.

Also, the timing of the nutrients is important. If you have just protein and fat your body will use that in a singular session. But if you have carbs with the protein your body will absorb that.  Hormonal balances are another thing to consider. For a woman, this is really important as our energy needs vary from week to week.

It is difficult to know how many calories that your body digests because you cannot see this. We excrete calories too. We can use all the calorie trackers in the world but we still cannot count how much we digest. Some of the calorie trackers may be outdated. Also, the soil and growing conditions make it hard for us to track our nutrients properly as they differ depending on climate and where the food was grown. The ripeness of our food matters because the nutrients can change (ie. a tomato eaten in the middle of winter can have fewer nutrients in it).

A product can have many different varieties that can vary with the nutrients and ingredients in them.

To gain lean muscle you need to have enough protein and do some strength training. About 2-3 times a week is enough. And for runners, we need about 100g-150g of protein a day.

We also learned about the law of thermodynamics and the fact that a thin person could be warm and not need to wear a coat or run a heater. NEAT is one way to describe this.

Sleep also uses up some of our energy. The better you sleep the more energy you will use. Your BMR (basal metabolic rate) will go up when you sleep well. Your Basal Metabolic Rate is the minimum amount of energy that you need in a day for your body to function well. For females, this can vary depending on where they are at during their cycle.

The Thermic effect on food is the body’s way of digesting food. Thermogenesis is the process of heat production in the body. Protein has the highest thermic response as it uses more energy to digest them. Fats have the lowest thermic response meaning that your body does not need a lot of energy to digest it.

Total daily energy expenditure can be measured by adding the BMR, Thermic effect of food and physical activity together.

Measuring oxygen and energy helps us to estimate the energy cost and metabolism that our bodies need. For everyone their needs are different. Metabolic rates are also different for everyone as it depends on their lifestyle, gender, age, and other influences.

As a coach, I love to find activities that work best for everyone and what they like.

Camberwell Wellness Trail

This trail was held on Saturday in Camberwell where the city center was really busy. it was held from 11am-2pm and not many people signed up online. This is a new initiative by the City of Boroondara where they wanted to promote some of the wellness businesses. And to promote Health and Wellness at this time of the year where colds are prevalent.

It was a free event. But not a lot turned up until after 12pm. The hub is about a five-minute walk from the train station. Camberwell is such a big suburb which has a lot of wellness businesses. They really care about their residents here.

It was a really nice sunny 19C day where all the dogs and people were at the cafes and out and about.

And they have a passport system. You get a passport and bag with a drink bottle from Anytime Fitness and then you visit participating businesses to get a stamp. It was a pity that there were no water fountains in Camberwell or otherwise I would have filled up my water bottle.  In the bag, there was also a free sweatband. Some of them ran free classes for new people to get them to join a gym.

The sample smoothie bowls from Acai brothers were really good. I enjoyed the refreshing taste of passionfruit in there.

The mandarins from Colvita was really sweet and juicy. Colvita was really hard to find as it’s in a shopping mall just off Burke road. The table was really hard to find.

After the mandarins, I tried Rainbow and Meat’s sausage in bread for $2.50. This was pretty standard and nothing much in there. I would have thought that they would gourmet sausages since they are butcher, but I think they used the cheaper cut.

The curry lentil soup sample from The Bulk filled me up. I would get this $13 jar for my sister as she hates to cook. Everything is in there and it feeds four people.

Some of the places offered free kombucha tastings and I enjoyed trying them all. Kombucha is good for the gut and it helps to clean the digestive system of all the toxins.

The Priceline sampling was pretty good and most of Priceline has is also here in the city. Here we sampled protein balls and bars and I enjoyed the strawberry flavored bars. I would buy these brands in the city and they were brands like Protein INC and Define.

Many thanks to the Camberwell Wellness collective for putting this on for us and its something that I would recommend that all the councils do to promote Health and Wellness. I would suggest that next time they have a water fountain where people can fill up their water bottles.

Week four of Precision Nutrition

This week is about protein and energy synthesis.

woman jogging in green grass covered hill slope

Photo by Frank Cone on

It is about how we produce and transfer energy in the body. ATP is the body’s “energy currency”. It helps with almost every function in the body. We get energy from our food and nutrients that have been absorbed from food.

The body processes nutrients by oxidizing them for energy, using them to build the body’s components (ie muscle tissue), store them for later or excrete them. We don’t really produce energy according to the law of thermodynamics. The law of thermodynamics are the principles that govern energy exchange, including heat exchange and the performance of work

So how is energy transferred?

Energy moves around from one component of the body to the next one. ATP is the body’s energy currency and we need that for the body to work and for food to digest properly. For the ATP to work we need nutrients constantly. The ATP needs a nutrient called Triglycerides (fatty acids) and glycogen which is a carbohydrate.

For example if we were to have a chicken salad with avocado, the chicken would broken down into amino acids, the fats from the avocado and chicken would be fatty acids and there would be some glucose that would go to our liver and be converted to glycogen.

How the ATP makes energy

It makes it by breaking the molecules that releases energy such as your fats, carbohydrates and proteins.

The body just makes what it needs and when it needs it.

Are fat burning supplements really necessary?

The answer’s no, for a normal person it has a lot of caffeine in there and we really don’t need that much caffeine to function. For some people, too much caffeine can mean no sleep.

We normally burn fat from exercise and other body processes such as fat oxidation.

Should we have low or high carbs?

The answer’s partly yes. We need some dietary carbs to help us burn fat. We need enough glucose for our body to function. And then we talk about the Krebs cycle which is a major metabolic pathway that involves a series of enzymatic reactions that convert pyruvic acid from food into energy.

So what does that mean for the client?

They should be on a moderate to high or even a low carb diet for the Krebs activity cycle to decrease. But then again everyone is different. No two people are the same. It depends on their activity levels. Most people’s bodies are best at fat adaptation and changes in their diet.

So how do we get fat?

It’s easy to say that people overeat and that’s true to an extent. But also genes play a part. If we eat more than we burn we gain fat. Other factors can also affect our body processes nutrients.

These are:

  1. Exercise and daily movement- how much do we do and when. Are we doing 10000 steps a day
  2. Hormones- hormones play a part in how we sleep, eat, breathe, think and for females plays a part in menstruation
  3. Age- the older you are the less BMR you have. Because the older you are the more muscle you lose
  4. Genetic programming
  5. The type of food we eat- do we eat good food or do we eat junk food
  6. Body composition- are we fat, thin or skinny

Online fitness coaching scams

People, would you like to lose weight?

Don’t have the time to go to the gym? Then online fitness coaching might be for you. But beware there may be some scams going on.

man holding round black dumbells

Photo by Philbert Pembani on

According to Americans spent about $64 billion in the weight loss industry in 2014. And that number is rapidly growing. In the last year alone the FTC caught more than 80 companies making false claims. According to Smartcompany Australians spent about $6.6 billion in 2013.

These days some of the personal trainers don’t have qualifications and you could hurt yourself and then you might not have the protection. Having watched some of the Singapore Crime episodes I would love to remind you about this scam.

These scams take consumers money with the false promise of I’ll help you get fit and they don’t. Some of these websites sell illegal drugs. The online fitness industry is unregulated.

Similarly, these coaches run their wellness competitions and they always post the same posts of themselves online and never about their food or training methods. Or they repost other people’s pictures and training mottos.

Their challenges run from 8 -12 weeks and most of them promise unrealistic results. In the weight loss industry, we cannot lose weight in this short amount of time. Most people want to lose somewhere between 30kgs and 50kgs. It takes months even years to lose this weight.

How to protect yourself from this scam:

  • Check their credentials- did they do a course on Personal training? Are they registered?
  • Check the Fitness Australia site and read up on the rules of how they should behave
  • If they have a Facebook page see what other people say about them
  • Do they have an Instagram page where you can follow them and see their videos? Many good trainers are happy to post videos of their workouts so that you can get a feel for them!
  • Ask about their eating and training habits in the first consultation and don’t forget to ask for pictures of their meals.
  • Ask them what is their actual motto
  • Do try and see if you can have a face to face meeting every now and then. Ask to meet them in a gym and go with a friend or a family member for a second opinion. If you can’t see if you can Skype them with your friend or family.
  • And don’t sign up to those online challenges. Rather sign up for them in person and many gyms run challenges which are legitimate
  • Ask about their rates- if they are too cheap then chances are they are no good. $40-$50 or more is reasonable.
  • Never give them your bank details, always ask to do it as Paypal or transfer through your bank’s app.

Happy training and do drop us a comment if you have been scammed. Also remember that you can always contact your country’s scam watch or police for assistance. You can also give feedback to Facebook, Instagram and Google as well.

My first week on Precision nutrition course

The first week of this course is all about nutrition. It is an online course talking about everything and attitudes towards food. Here we signed up for free and don’t have to pay until two months later. The fee is $79 USD.

This week we learned about food and the fact that there is no one diet that suits someone. Diet is such a dirty word as it means to cut out certain food groups and when you do that it can cause an eating disorder. Everyone is different. We all do different things. There is not one nutrition philosophy that suits us.

What is good nutrition? For me, it’s about including everything in my diet. It controls energy balance. It controls how we feel and how we perform as athletes.  We need vitamins and minerals in order for the diet to be balanced. Food is more than fuel, it is about sending messages as well as feelings to our brain. Eating food helps us to release hormones and do everything else that our body needs.

Food in my eyes is about culture. I’m from Australia and Australians enjoy food. I love all sorts of food.

This week I enjoyed homemade sliders and homemade Japanese food. The sliders were bought from Coles and we used the leftover chicken schnitzel. This week was also the beginning of Autism awareness month and for that, I had chips like autistic people would to put myself in their shoes. As a coach, I would need to do that sometimes.

As coaches, we should have empathy and a good listening ear.



Dineamic is a place in South Yarra that does home cooked meals. They are a stone’s throw away from the train station on Toorak road which also means that they are close to the tram stop.

They open early in the morning until 8pm. They open for dinner as well as lunch and breakfast and people can relax in here with tea/coffee/healthy sodas as well as their meals. They also do have meals that time poor people can take home.

I have been there for tea and dinner and liked the service. The service is pretty friendly and it’s a surprise that they are not busy at dinnertime when I visited in the week. Most other places around there are.

The meals cost between $10-$16 and you can take them home and heat it up. Or they can do that here if you prefer to sit in and enjoy. They are freshly made by the chef. The meals are small, but I guess that they want people to eat healthily and mindfully. Their meals don’t have salt added to them but you can add it yourself.

On the back of each package, they have their nutritional information. They also sell a wide range of meals and soups.

Oh, and you can also buy rice and pasta to take home for a mere $3-$9.

They also do smoothies here that I’m yet to try. But I did like their non-sugary lemonade which is actually healthier for you. Oh, and I loved their teas which were to die for! They were relaxing and calming to the mind.

The only thing I would suggest is to stop serving coffees but focus on the great meals and teas and healthy drinks. Drinking too much coffee is bad for you. They should leave the coffee making to the other great cafes like what Lentils in St Kilda did and focus on just the food and the healthy drinks.

Do come by when you have a chance!