These 3 things always work.

We’ve just introduced something at home with the kids to help them learn about the concept of healthy boundaries, self-control & discipline.

It’s Strong Mondays.

It all came about from Tony chatting with Gen about becoming stronger on the Monkey Bars.

I’m sure she is a monkey from a past-life and between home, school and gymnastics, she monkey bars multiple times each day.

At first she was determined to hang on.

And then she was determined to move forward.

And then it was how many rungs can she do….and now it’s, “Hey Mum, watch me go backwards!”

The whole time she has been implementing (without realising) the scientific principle of progressive overload (getting stronger by doing a little more each time), and the life principle of – never give up!

If you want something bad enough, you have to work at it and be prepared to suck at first. And only after you’ve worked hard at it, will you master something.

So the Strong Monday conversation started with Tony….

“Hey Gen, you know how you have chocolate after dinner each night as a treat….?”

“Yes Daddy…”

“Well why don’t you have a night without chocolate?”

But I love chocolate Daddy!” There was slight fear in her eyes at the thought, but she was listening…and I was mildly amused where this conversation might go.

“I know you do Gen, but sometimes it’s good to not always have treats because then it’s not a treat!”

“Ummmm” Gen had no idea what to say.

Gen, you want to get stronger on the monkey bars and you know chocolate is a treat, so if you don’t have chocolate one night, you’ll definitely get stronger and be able to do more monkey bars.”

The Master Head Coach had struck again and delivered his first lesson to his daughter – the art of self control.

“But I really, really love chocolate Daddy…”

“Of course you do Gen, it’s up to you, just thought it was a good idea to help you get stronger.”

Reverse psychology.

BAM!

She pondered….“Ok Daddy, I’ll do it.”

“Great Gen, which day of the week do you want to choose?”

Tony was now applying the principle of specificity. Getting specific about the action she’d have to take based on what she’d now promised herself.

“I think Monday’s Daddy, so that it’s over with at the beginning of the week, and I can have chocolate all the other nights!”

“That sounds like a great idea Gen. Why don’t we call it Strong Mondays. And you know what Gen, I’ll do it with you, I won’t have any Wine on Mondays ok?”

WTF did he just say? No Wine? Was he going to drag me into this as well?

“Mummy, did you hear that? We are going to have Strong Mondays and Gen is not going to have any chocolate and I’m not going to have any Wine…. Did you want to join us?”

Check-mate Jodie.

“Of course – that sounds like a great idea!” There were possibly daggers thrown at Tony at that point in my mind.

So Strong Mondays it is, and I have to confess it’s a good thing, despite the loathing and cursing on the first one.

It’s been weeks now of Strong Monday’s in the Hebrard House, and it has really reminded of these 3 timeless principles that always work…..

1. Set your intentions small.  One out of seven days to abstain from a treat is doable. Go small so you can keep it going after the honeymoon period is over. The mental battle is small so you can win at it on the days you couldn’t be f****d. The mental strength you’ll gain far outweighs any physical benefit from just one day.

2. Support Works By having Strong Mondays as a family we can support and nurture each other with words of encouragement and affirmation of the big picture – getting stronger for whatever is important to you. Find your support crew & get them on board!

3. Make it Fun & Empowering. We gave our “thing” a name. It’s a positive name to affirm what we are gaining, rather than any reference to what we are abstaining from. We could have named it, “Treat free night” but Strong Mondays is so much more empowering for your mind.

So that’s the latest update fromGen Monkey Bars the Hebrard Household. I’ve love to hear if you implement anything at home….Drop me a line :)

Jods x

P.S. Here is our monkey doing her thing!

A massive risk to take

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It dawned on me over the weekend that I’d “done it.”

Taken a huge risk and it’s now paying off.

9 months ago I remember thinking to myself…

What if no one thinks it’s a good idea? What if it’s a flop and I just get rejected?”

Everyone hates rejection right?

But sometimes you just got to have a crack and back yourself.

And sometimes, like this time, it pays off and in a big way!

The risk I took was reaching out and seeing if 5 other women (who didn’t know each other) wanted to join me on a crazy adventure in New Zealand.

5 days of trekking carrying our own packs and food whilst dealing with the elements.

I knew a few women would be interested, but getting a total of 5 committed was a little daunting.

Fast forward to today and different personalities, stages of life, work commitments and lifestyles have all blended into an eclectic mix of women, that seems to be working for us!

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Fear can be such a strong emotion and the more I’ve felt it in my life, the more I’ve grown to respect it.

And the older I get, the more I realise fear will never go away – it will always be there especially when I want to try something new, or do something again, that I couldn’t do the first time.

It’s a real thing.

But you can’t let it stop you – life is way too short.

Feel the fear and do things anyway, I say.

You never know where it will take you.

Jods x

I made a mistake…

homer

It occurred to me last week my training plan has a fatal omission.

Seriously.

It’s only 4 weeks til I fly out to New Zealand and without this one thing, I’m in big trouble without it.

How could I have missed this in my planning?!

This thing – that’s super important and (apparently) life threatening is my Yonder Goal.

Huh?

My Yonder Goal.

The goal after I’ve done this….the next thing for me to focus on when I get back.

I know from past experience that it is super easy to work hard towards something, rock up to race day, event day or fitness testing day and complete the challenge I had set for myself and then get lost in the busyness of life.

Weeks go by.

A few months pass.

And I’m sorta training.

Kinda.

Hit and miss and a wandering fool.

For me, having a Yonder Goal gives me clarify and focus.

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It’s not something I have to work on now or worry about, but it’s planting the seed so that when I fly back into Australia, I’ll know how much down time to have, and then get back on the horse again.

I haven’t come up with my Yonder Goal yet and will let you know when I do…but I’m glad I realised it now with 4 weeks to go and not 4 weeks after I get back!

And one last thing.

I know that not everyone is not wired like me, so this will either resonate with you or it won’t.

Take what works for you and discard the rest.

Happy Training!

Jods x

The honeymoon is over

Every Friday night without fail I start dreading it.

Thinking of ways to get around it or avoid it.

I’m talking about my 4:30am alarm on my Saturday morning to get me up and Trek Training at Mt Cootha.

The honeymoon lasted about 2 weeks and then the reality set in.

We all experience that honeymoon phase when we start something new and mine went something like this…

“Oh, I think I might do a Trek in New Zealand and invite some other ladies along and we’ll all lugg around 16kg each on our backs, carry and cook our own food, NOT have showers at the end of the day and do this 5 days in a row.  That sounds like fun!”

I’m deep in trek training at the moment with 5 weeks to go.

Saturday mornings are the day we do a group hike at Mt Cootha and it’s the toughest session of the week, with our backpacks getting heavier and heavier every week to get our bodies and minds conditioned for what’s about to unfold.

It’s hot, it’s hard and it’s gruelling.

It’s mentally draining after a big week of business, babies and not seeing my Husband that much.

But I know it’s part of the deal.Jodie trekking

I know it’s what I signed up for.

The honeymoon has well and truly left the harbour.

I’m totally motivating you right now aren’t I? (note sarcasm)

Here’s the thing.

It doesn’t matter how old you are, how fit, unfit or how strong or weak you are.

The honeymoon always ends.

Learn to accept that.

After the honeymoon there’s always “work,” just like night follows day.

It always has and always will.

If you are waking up, finishing work or getting to the weekend and aren’t feeling motivated – welcome to the club.

My name is Jodie, nice to meet you :)

Jods x

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3 little words….

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I had the pleasure of catching up with a wonderful woman and her children on New Years Day for a play in the park, and our conversation quickly turned to the new year, resolutions and goals in general.

She shared something with me that left me utterly intrigued and me wanting to leave right then and there, so I could go do it myself.

She shared with me that she doesn’t do the “normal” write down your goals thing, but she sits down and asks of herself; “What 3 words do I want to FEEL MORE of this year?”

Kinda cool if you ask me.

She spent some time on New Years Eve putting pen to paper and came up with her 3 words that are meaningful and motivating – for her.

And that’s the interesting thing, is that Humans (that’s you and me), are motivated by feelings.

We all want to do stuff, see stuff, get stuff, but ultimately all of this “stuff” in our lives just gives us the feelings we desire.

You want to lose weight, not because of the number on the set of scales, but because of the feelings that you attach to that number.

You want to feel better, happier, more alive, content – whatever the word is for you.

Makes sense?

So rather than just focusing on writing down the typical I WANT X, Y, Z this year, I wrote some of my own words down and thought I’d share them with you.

Here we go.

Brave.  I want to feel more brave. Take more risks. I want to feel the fear and do things anyway.

Strength.  I want to feel more of my inner-strength that laughs in the face of doubt and is soul-nurturing, (not face-slapping) when I’m tired.

Rich.  I want to enjoy richer relationships with those close to me, connect with new folks and feel rich with amazing memories of laughter, connection and meaningful conversation.

But.

Here’s the thing.

To create these words will take effort.

Things are not going to just “happen” without structure, a plan and implementation.

But, when you’ve got the feeling clear from the get-go, it will make it a whole lot easier to implement when the honeymoon period of New Years is over.

So, what about you?2015

What do you want to feel more of in this brand new spanking Year?

Jods x

The Key to Greatness!

greatnessI was invited to a Women’s Business Christmas Lunch last week and took the opportunity to step out of my sweat clothes, wipe off any Vegemite from the kids and step into my serious pants.

They had a speaker, Jen Harwood, who was a bundle of energy and she spoke passionately about Greatness – and how you can create greatness in your life.

She shared her personal story of breakdown to break-through and her own quest for greatness.

Greatness is such a personal “thing” and there is no right or wrong way to define it. What makes me feel great and super awesome, might be boring as hell for you and vice versa.

My own take on it is; do stuff that you love, do it well and do it passionately – and you are well on your way to greatness and feeling fulfilled in life.

The clincher in her Presentation was on the “HOW-To” bit.

How do you set out and achieve greatness – in x, y, or z part of your life?

And her answer: Get your support system plugged into your goal and with other people’s help – you can create and achieve greatness.

I totally agree and totally squirmed (just a little) when she mentioned this and 3 little words.

“Asking for help….” (and god forbid – accepting help when it’s given!)

If you are anything like me asking for help is un-natural – but something that I have learned ask for helpis highly valuable.

Our egos think we can (and should) do it all on our own, but the reality is Human Beings (that is you and me!) are designed for interaction.

We do not survive as a species without it.

Jen spoke about having different people in your life that fulfil different “Roles” that you can lean on for help when it’s needed.

I’m not going to list all of the “Roles” she spoke about (you can read more here), but here’s the Jodie run-down on who you should have in your support system.

You need critics to challenge your commitment and play the devils-advocate – sometimes the glass does end up half-full.

You need experts to short-cut your learning curve and fast-track your results and save you time, energy and money.

You need BFFs to pick you up, dust you on and send you on your way.  You need hugs, we all need more hugs.

You need role models to instil hope – if it’s possible for me, it’s possible for you kinda thing.

And you need to have the courage and wisdom to open your mouth and repeat after me, “Hey, I need a little help here please?”

If that made you squirm, then you know what you need to do 😉

Jods x

5 Simple Weight Loss Tips

I try hard sometimes to bite my tongue but my brain-to-mouth filter doesn’t always work. :)

weight-loss-pink-sherbert-photography“That is stupid – utterly stupid.” I said shaking my head in disbelief and frustration.

“Why would someone tell her that?!” I continued.

Rewind the conversation and I was chatting with our Trainer, Lyndsay about a new member who just jumped on board and experienced some questionable advice that I clearly disagreed with.

Said Advice, “To lose weight you should eat 900 calories per day.

900 calories is nothing.

900 calories is dangerous.

900 calories is the start of poor brain function, screwing up your metabolic rate and is not sustainable long-term.

The poor woman who did follow this advice experienced extreme lethargy and poor workout performance and of course did not stick to it. She’s now frustrated and confused with “How the hell do I lose this weight?!”

Last week I wrote about listening to the “Experts” around you and now I’m going to challenge that and you.

Just because someone has a Title does not mean they are an Expert!

Listen to the advice you are given and if you are unsure – challenge it, question it and get a 2nd opinion.

Have they done it before?

How did it work for them?

Could there be a better, smarter way?

Who else could I ask about this?

If I’ve had the pleasure of chatting with that woman and was asked for my Advice, this is what I would have said.images-16

  1. Eat small meals of unprocessed foods often (every 3-4hrs).  Unprocessed means out of the ground, not out of a packet.   Your metabolism (the rate at which you burn energy), is like a fire, and a fire that is fed regularly burns long and strong.  A fire that is starved and then dumped on, struggles and can sometimes burnout.   And you need a strong fire to burn through your fat stores efficiently.
  2. Do not cut out fat.  Fat is not your enemy – overeating is.  Unnecessary and unhealthy fats should be eliminated (trans-saturated) but healthy fats should remain. (Think nuts, avocados, eggs and meats.)
  3. WEIGHT TRAIN – lift heavy and I mean heavy.  You should get sore – expect it and recover well with appropriate rest so that your next training session is still performed at a high intensity.
  4. You should feel hungry when you are aiming to “lose weight”.  Learn to deal with it and get excited when your tummy rumbles – it means the plan is working!  (Note – you should feel slight hunger, not dizziness or hunger that affects your normal brain function.)
  5. Keep your treats in! My personal philosophy is not to take away the things that you love as chances are you’ll over-do them when you do eat them which is counter-productive to your goals.   So…keep them in, but reduce them.  Remember food is not “bad” it’s the quantity that is consumed that is questionable. 

Crossfit-weights

That’s it!

5 simple tips that work.

Now get to work and check in with me in 3-4 weeks time.

Jods

P.S. And yes that means YOU as well! :)

The Devil is in the Details

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In 4 ½ months time 5 ladies and I will be hitting New Zealand for an amazing 5 Day Trekking Adventure and I can’t wait!

It came about from me wanting another challenge and something to strive for and after a few phone call and emails, the group is now locked in!

The funny thing is since I’ve got the last ladies on board, I’ve started telling more people about it and then I’ve had questions which I have no bloody idea about.

Questions like…

How many kilometers are you trekking?”

“How long are you trekking for each day?”

“16kg doesn’t sound like a lot to carry when it includes food, clothes, cooking equipment….are you sure that’s right?”

I’ve had the same answer for each question.

“I don’t know.”

The people that know me laugh and the people that don’t know me have a puzzled look on their face that says, “Why wouldn’t you know this?!”

Sometimes knowing too much about something is not always a good thing.

Sometimes the more you ask the more you 2nd guess yourself, become unsure and then continue to sit on the fence.NZ_ArthursPass01

It’s not that the detail is unimportant or that I don’t have access to the information, it’s just the detail is not important to me – especially right now.

Knowing WHY I want to do it, is way more important than crossing my i’s and dotting my t’s before I go. (For the detail people, I may have ruffled your feathers here ;))

There’s a syndrome that you can sometimes experience: Analysis Paralysis.

A place where you are frozen and unable to make a decision.

A place that takes you nowhere other than around and around in circles.

You’ll find yourself saying things like, “I’d like too…I want too, but, jeez I’m not too sure now!”

All I know about my adventure is it’s a 5 Day Trek across Arthur’s Pass in the South Island of NZ, and we’ll be sleeping in huts, carrying our own 16kg Packs of clothes, food and cooking equipment – and there will be no showers.

I also know I need to get fitter and the most important thing – I need to listen to the expert here – our Trek Guide.

It’s his job to know everything, know all the details and be across any questions that come his way.

It’s his job to tell me what to do…and it’s my job to do what I’m told!

He’s the expert – I’m not.

Kinda, sort-of, just maybe relates to listening to any expert that you are getting help from.

Kinda like…your Trainer. :)

Learn to use your Experts around you.

Learn to focus on simply following the plan that they give you.

If you need the detail – get down and dirty with your WHY, why you want to do it and why it’s so important to you.

imagesYou’ve heard the saying, “The devil is in the details” and that can work for and against you.

True or not true?

Jods :)

Everything in Moderation

This whole weight loss and fitness journey thing that we thrust upon ourselves can be an evil beast – if you let it.

All consuming, self-depriving and even worse… self-shaming.

I see it happen in real life and a lot on Facebook.

“Eating clean.”

Personally, I didn’t know food could be dirty?

“Cheat days.”

The last I knew cheating happened in school – when you wrote formulas on the back of wooden rulers for Advanced Maths. (Sorry Mum & Dad!)

And even worse, “No [insert banned substance] for 30 days”.

Now you and I both know that abstaining often increases the urge to be an all consuming need, which then results in greater excess consumed than what would have been consumed under “normal” life conditions.

Sometimes I feel like grabbing people and shaking them whilst screaming, “It doesn’t have to be this way!  Have you ever heard of balance?!”

But I guess being balanced doesn’t have the same sexy ring to it…and this whole weight loss thing should be more complicated – right? 7e7596ddacf64449e636c0e5833637c0

Not really…

Not. At. All.

Take the pressure of yourself to change everything overnight and just tweak one small thing.

Commit to always having your “treat” (not cheat) food in small doses – whenever you feel like it. I dare you!

Start moving your body in ways that you love and that feel good for you.

If you’ve been stuck in a place where you’ve adopted the feast or famine mindset than why not take a moment to question how exhausting that can be…

Do you really want to keep going down that path?

I think it’s time for you to blaze a new trail, don’t you think?

Always here to help!

Jods x

Discipline

There is one muscle in our body that will get you the best results of all – if you train it properly.

People ask me about spot-reduction, trimming and toning their but, arms and whatever else and even though doing things the right way is important, knowing this about this muscle in our body trumps any squat workout.

It’s the Kings king, or maybe even the Queen’s, queen. :)

And here’s the catch.

You don’t train this muscle when you are at the Gym.

You train it away from the Gym – when you are at home, at work, out partying.

And like any muscle, the more you train it, the stronger it gets and the easier your next workout will be.

And it’s the most important muscle of all.

And that muscle is your mental discipline.

The flexing, pushing and pulling of following through when you couldn’t give a …..

Yep, that muscle.

We are never taught how to work this muscle to make it stronger, so let me share with you 3 of my flexing exercises for this…

1. Write down your goals (daily) and how good you’ll feel when you get there.

You gotta get past the short term pain in your daily chatter, and start to imagine what it will really feel like to achieve your goal. Without some sort of positive to pull you forward, it’s damn hard to beat that negative nelly in your head!

2. Keep an “evidence journal” of all the good things you did do, obstacles you overcame and opportunities that presented themselves.

This one is all about being mindful and grateful to allow more good things to happen to you.

3. START SMALL. Yes I did just yell at you, and there’s a reason for that. Changing your health is a long term game. You gotta to start chipping away, and start flexing your Discipline Muscle with the right amount of weight for you.

Don’t jump in and start lifting 20kg with the new mental commitment you are going to workout EVERYDAY from now on.

That’s starting way too big – and you and I both know that after Week 3 when life starts to get in the way, you’ll let it.

Start with a 5kg new mental commitment and focus on that.

Run 1kms instead of saying 5kms.

Go to the Gym once a week, instead of saying 5.

Cut alcohol back just one night a week instead of going dry overnight.

Do you get my drift?

Start flexing it a little every day and you’ll feel the power of this muscle for the long haul.

Jods x