Shredded AF…

Around the start of the sugar cane crushing season I started training back at Tweak Fitness – the only place to be… with Louise Doughty and phoh! does she push me hard or what! But that’s what I want, I don’t want to be this nice piece of ass (for a lack of a better phrase). I want to be strong! I want to get shredded and create a piece of art.

It’s incredible what you can achieve with your body if you put your mind to it. Before my accident I didn’t take much notice, half the time I couldn’t keep track of my period – but now I have educated myself through the internet and reading and have started living consciously… with everything.

The other day I wore bikinis for the first time since I was 17! And you know what – my body looks better than what it did at 17! I am so incredibly proud of myself – This hasn’t been a year long adventure for me, it has taken five years. FIVE YEARS – People usually get to ten months and give up. What can I say – The only reason I’m still here is because I have a bloody HARD head!

It is the best feeling deep down FINALLY being happy in my own skin.

Today I am not in a very good head space, and that reflected in my workout. Louise pushes me hard, but I want to be pushed hard. At the moment, I am trying to be the most positive person that I can be but that is all slipping away very fast with everything that’s going on. Working out is the only thing, I feel, that keeps my mind from going back to dark places. BUT – that will be a forever journey for me living with a brain injury. Thankfully, we are about four weeks away from the end of the sugar cane crushing season -alleluia! This season was hard, for everybody, it’s definitely not like it was 10 or 20 years ago – the sugar is just not there, lack of diversification etc.

Today was one of those days where we finish all of our sets, but I didn’t want to stop, I had so much built up anger that I could have pumped out another three hours – I didn’t want it to end. Louise is helping me create a machine – and you know why I want to do this, I will prove all those chaps wrong, the people that say “there’s no way she can’t do it!” I told Louise, that I will be her little guinea pig and we are going to create something awesome! This is the only thing, that I feel, is for me at the moment, the only thing that keeps me from going bat shit crazy.

Since having my accident, I have proven everyone wrong, with everything and it makes me feel powerful – NOT invincible. The reason I push so hard is because there is always somebody worse off! Check out this video of Andy, this bloke is incredible!

Here are some other articles I have written in the past about this topic:-

Body image – the female perspective

How I rebuilt myself – Aquo 2.0

I’ll keep you all posted – you DEFINITELY haven’t heard thee last from me regarding this topic.

Until next time…

Aquo Xx

Sleep trackers – good or bad?…

The other morning I was watching Sunrise, one of the very few times I get to because in our house, Blippi is life… Long story, hopefully you NEVER have to find out! They were talking about the different sleep trackers out there and when I first started my fitness journey I thought the Fitbit Charge and Charge 2 were the bee’s knees… how wrong I was. This segment caught my attention because sleep has become very important to me! And I will do everything in my power to protect it!

High tech wrist watches and smartphone apps have been developed to help monitor our sleep patterns. These trackers promise a lot, with some saying they measure the time you spend in each stage of sleep. Although, it might be fun to pore over data you have collected about yourself, it is important to keep the pros and cons in mind when using these new sleep tracker technologies.

Most sleep tracker apps and watches use a device built into most smartphones that senses movement. This device measures how much movement you make during your sleep and this data is then used in an ‘algorithm’ to estimate sleep time and quality. How sensitive each device is to movement and the algorithm used varies between products. This can greatly affect their accuracy.

Popular trackers, such as the Fitbit Charge, include a sleep mode that aims to provide sleep time and restlessness.

Some wrist sleep trackers claim to also estimate sleep stages – the Jawbone UP breaks down sleep time into deep and light stages. The new Jawbone UP3 has added sensors for measuring skin and room temperature to help indicate deep and REM sleep. The Basis B1 estimates REM sleep in addition to deep and light sleep stages by measuring heart rate.

Sleep trackers that only use an accelerometer (such as smartphone apps) cannot accurately measure sleep stages. That’s because an accelerometer only monitors movement, and there is little difference in movement between the sleep stages. You move a similar amount in deep sleep and lighter stages of sleep.

While most trackers can estimate fairly well when a person is awake -v- asleep, they are not very accurate and most likely, something will go wrong. For example, you could be lying still but be awake. In the case of the phone apps Sleep Cycle or Sleep As AnDroid, your partner, child or even your dog could impact the amount of movement and noise detected by the device, changing the sleep data.
Research on some of these sleep trackers suggests that they provide a general estimate of sleep but that they can give misleading information.


A 2012 study data with adults who wore an older version of the Fitbit tracker found that it overestimated sleep time by an average of 67 minutes. Another study in 2014 found the opposite effect in children. The Fitbit One underestimated the children’s sleep by 105 minutes.

Users should not expect these devices to recognise change between sleep stages. This is because they rely on movements, whereas sleep stages are defined by brain wave activity and other body indicators (eye movements etc.) measured in a laboratory sleep test.

The Basis B1 is one of the few trackers on the market that says it can track REM sleep in addition to light and deep sleep. The device claims it can do this because it includes a heart rate monitor in addition to an accelerometer. However the research on what this claim is based has not been published yet and so cannot be properly assessed.

For most people, using a monitor to track sleep isn’t going to be a problem. In fact, it might help some people understand and review their sleep and wake patterns, and this may ultimately improve their sleep. For example, noticing a pattern of repeatedly going to bed late and sleeping less than required may help the user adjust their sleep habits to allow for longer sleep.

In general the sleep tracker apps and devices will give you a good overview of how long you sleep but they can only tell you so much. You have to use the data to figure out what’s working for you and what isn’t. If you think there is a problem, regardless of what the sleep tracker data is telling you, talk to your GP.

These devices raise awareness of sleep health and sleep issues. Over time they could show if you are getting less or more disturbed sleep that you might expect. This might lead you to seek treatment or change lifestyle habits. See Understanding and Helping Poor Sleep as a good starting point.

Ok, so summing up, always remember the following… These are consumer products, and most have not undergone scientific evaluation. Don’t put too much trust in these devices to accurately monitor sleep. A single night is not always a very accurate reflection of your general sleep; one night’s “data” shouldn’t be cause for alarm. If you tend to worry about your sleep then it might be best for you to avoid sleep trackers, or only look at the data occasionally. Have fun! Collecting data about yourself can be very interesting. But just remember sleep trackers tend to point to general trends in your sleep as a whole.

Aquo Xx

The day your walk turns into a run…

So today, 06/08/2019 – After telling myself this morning I was going to have a lazy day after my night last night… and the few before that. I’ve had to share my bed with not one, but two little germ infested poo poo platters that are my sons. The big one has been running scary temperatures and has a cold and the baby is so congested! Poor thing – I’ll say that because he’s currently asleep, haha!

OK SQUIRREL

So today, my walk, turned into a run! OMG! Even if it was just three 100mish bursts on my 3kmish walk around town pushing a pram. People are still unsure about my dedication to my healthy lifestyle, even though I’m now a size 14 from a size 18/20. After my first child i weighed 102kg. 102kg! I will never forget that number as it’s the same weight as the biggest barramundi I caught. I slip up every so often and have something naughty.

I vow to never, ever, ever return to looking like this again!

Me in the 80kg category. (don’t have any pics of me at 102kg)

I was once told “It is ok for you to stray from the path of a healthy lifestyle, but you can’t loose site of your goals and you have to be able to return to a healthy lifestyle.” For me – I WANT IT SO BAD! I want to transform into a sexy, tight assed, fitness model to prove to the world that it is possible to look like that, it just takes a magnitude of self-motivation and dedication. You have to be extremely disciplined! And more – you have to want to do it for yourself rather than your husband, boyfriend etc. My husband constantly tells me that I don’t have to do it for him, he loves me the way I am. I reply – “Pfft I’m not doing it for you, i’m doing it for myself, to better me.

And with that – people will be waiting for you to fail, so they can say I told you so in a snide way. You need to lose that want for acceptance of others, you don’t need it. I’m on my way there and it feels great!

I would like to aim to create something like the following. These are just a few ideas that come to mind.

NEW YORK, NY – AUGUST 21: Model Bridget Malcolm attends call backs for the 2017 Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show in Midtown on August 21, 2017 in New York City. (Photo by Gotham/GC Images)
Kayla Itsines – top Australian fitness model
An advocate for something i’m passionate about = I just haven’t put my finger on it yet.

Anywho – Just a quick little blurb about my exciting experience today, I’m off to start baking lunch snacks.

Aquo Xx

How I rebuilt my body – Aquo 2.0…

How I rebuilt my body – Aquo 2.0…

So there was this one day back in early 2015 where I was so down on myself while still in recovery from my accident. I had come leaps and bounds since that fateful day, but I was the biggest fat ass! As my brain was still healing, I slept a lot, most of the time with Sons of Anarchy in the background to drown out the outside noise. Because of my impulse post accident, I would fixate on certain things that would attract me, my 2 biggest – hot guys, mostly NQ farmers with dark features andddddd Sons of Anarchy!

I got up to the larger size of an 18 which is the biggest I have ever been in my life and I was so unhappy. At the time I was living at mum and dads and had a lot of time on my hands as I was still in the recovery process of my journey. I decided it was time to do something about my weight and how I felt about myself, because no one can change that but you, you have to want it, and I wanted it so bad!

So i went and bought a $99 exercise bike from Big W and as I would watch tv in my room I would get on my bike. I would ride for 20 minutes at a time. I would do this a few times a day and after a few weeks I found my clothes fitting better. I thought “Well this is a nice change, I’ll keep going.”

I set up a little gym on the deck outside of my bedroom with a set of weights, a fit ball, my bike and my walker. I started off doing hour sessions once a day, 7 days a week. I have always been bad at over doing it, but I felt better training 7 days a week, I think it comes down to how your body rests, and at the time all I was doing was training and resting.

I can’t remember exactly how long it took me to drop my first dress size but I remember it taking a while. Once that happened I signed up to Tweak Fitness and trained 3 times a week, sometimes 4 with a Personal Trainer (PT), for 30 minutes at a time. I would push myself almost to the point of being physically sick. When I fell pregnant all my doctors advised I stopped any exercise as they were unsure as to how pregnancy would fit me after a massive accident. It was hard, but I still ate well.

When my son was six weeks old I was back at gym, lucky babies sleep so much! I was also walking 5km after he woke of a morning, every morning, anywhere from 5am to 6am, I was brave enough to do a few sneaky 3am walks, only during the cane season (because at that time there’s heaps of people up going to work). After a few months I turned that walking into running. I eventually would walk a km or so and do a 300m sprint, changing to this made the weight slide off. I would give myself Sunday as a rest day and I gave myself a cheat day once a fortnight, but instead of eating shit for an entire day, I would allow myself one naughty thing. One of my trainers once told me, “If your body has been craving something all day, sleep on it – if you wake up and still want it, have it – don’t feel guilty, then return to living a healthy lifestyle.”

Exercise and nutrition go hand in hand, I slowly slowly changed my eating habits and after I had my son in 2017, I went proper health freak, which at times, gave my husband the shits because of what I wouldn’t cook anymore. But portion control also played a part in me being able to loose so much weight. Before I made a switch, I would easily smash a plate of dinner the size my husband would. I did a lot of research on nutrition and asked my PT a million questions, I attended a few nutrition seminars at my gym (which I loved)! I slowly tried many different approaches (many which failed) but eventually after many months I found what does & doesn’t work for my husband and I.

Changing our eating habits defiantly paid off for me! I lost over 30kg from when I had my son in June 2017 till when I fell pregnant late August 2018 or there abouts. I think the biggest advice I could give to anyone out there (remembering I’m not a PT or anything!) is YOU have to want it more than anything! you wont do it for a partner that tells you your fat (trust me, I’ve been there), you need to want to do it for yourself. My husband would stop me all the time and tell me how he didn’t care what I looked like, and I had the same response every time – “I know. I’m not doing this for you, I’m doing it for me!”

Yes, attending my PT sessions helped me heaps! but you don’t need a gym, or any exercise equipment at all to start living a healthier lifestyle. I read this book – Head First Health Fast by Leanne Hall, it was the kick in the ass I needed to get my head in the game. This was about the time where my husband lost it with the ways I would try to make our favourite meals by substituting certain ingredients with healthier alternatives – like raw sugar with rice malt syrup (my personal fave!) I was getting creative and some things I would make would fail, but the most part is successful. I have always had a passion for cooking, which we will defiantly talk about on a later date.

Things I have resorted to to stay motivated include reading some really awesome books before bed, I will add a list below for your convenience. I wasn’t afraid to message my Personal Trainer and let them (I have had about 5 or 6 from 2015 to present) know I’m finding it hard to stay in the game, I would always receive some inspirational advice, articles etc that would keep me focused. One thing I would not do was team up with anyone for gym or with exercising, if they said ‘not today’, I would cancel and I didn’t want that. Because of my struggles with chronic pain I had to postpone many, many sessions, but I would always make them up. It was so bloody hard but I did it!

You really do have to want to change for yourself, it won’t work if your doing it because anyone tells you your fat, your unhealthy etc. That’s just going to make you feel worse! A massive part is to start by trying to improve your mental state – start changing the way you see things from a negative to a positive and it will help you in a massive way to keep your head in the game.

Pages I follow:-

tweak Fitness

Sharny and Julius

Women’s Health and Fitness

Fitness Education Online

The Healthy Mummy Fitness

Books that have helped keep my head in the game:-

Happy Healthy Strong – by Rachel Finch

Head First Health Fast – by Leanne Hall. This book is amazing! I will so be doing an article on this.

A really awesome book & dvd set – You Can Heal Your Life – by Louise Hay – I will be doing an article on this aswell, it has helped me through so much!

Remember – you need to find systems that work for YOU! If I was able to do it, so can you!

Aquo Xx