Blog

best-happy-new-year-wallpaper-2015

NEW YEAR, NU-TRICIAN!


Posted: December 31, 2014 at 8:00 pm


The average Australian gained 0.8 — 1.5kg over Christmas.
And our #1 New Year’s resolution is to lose weight.

While exercise is important, as a World Champion Bikini athlete, I’ve learned we “Can’t Compete with What We Eat”. The top 3 nutrition principles that I use to get competition ready are:

1. HAVE A PLAN:
Everything unfamiliar is easier with a plan. To lose weight, keep “calories in” (eaten) less than “calories out” (burned). “Calories out” is also called Total Daily Energy Expenditure (TDEE) and is personal. To calculate your TDEE, try www.iifym.com/iifym-calculator/

To lose body fat, simply put less calories in your mouth than your body burns each day (note that this is simple, but is definitely not easy!).

For more tips, LIKE my facebook page at www.facebook.com/JQIIX

2. TRACK YOUR PROGRESS:
Research shows that those who successfully lose weight and keep it off measure three things: Bodyweight, Food intake and Exercise. Tracking is how you know you’re sticking to plan. Yes, it takes work, but don’t most things that are worthwhile?

To track easily and consistently, I recommend a few tools:
1) Bathroom scales;
2) Kitchen scales;
3) A watch, pedometer or heart rate monitor; and
4) A good smartphone app.

To learn more, follow me on Instagram @JQIIX.

3. LEARN THE SUPERMARKET SECRETS:
Food companies are in business to make money – not to make you healthy. The supermarket bombards us with confusing and conflicting messages designed to make us spend more (not weigh less!).

The best options are “1-Ingredient Foods”: fruit and vegetables, lean meat, fish, eggs, and unrefined grains. At the checkout, run your eye over your trolley: if it’s mostly 1-ingredient foods, you’re winning!

To learn how to avoid supermarket traps including secrets I Iearned working at a global convenience retailer, ask me a question at jqiix@jacquiialexander.com.au

Indulge - p8 - 201412-16

HAPPY CHRISTMAS!


Posted: December 16, 2014 at 6:21 am


Like most of us, I like to the festive Christmas New Year period with friends and family. After months of strictly monitoring my nutrition for competitions as a Bikini Professional, I definitely indulge in a few treats at this time of year. But its important not to let a few treats turn into a month of overindulgence and holiday weight gain. Nobody wants to spend January afraid of the beach and dreading their swimsuit! My top tips for keeping things in check at this time of year are:

1. Bump up the Water
Alcohol is dehydrating, and also high in calories (120 per glass of champagne). Alternating alcoholic drinks with water will limit the calorie load, and help keep you hydrated.

2. Beware Bar Snacks
Bar snacks, canapés and fried nibbles are really high in calories and salt – both of which will pile on festive season weight. A better option is raw veggies (I like carrot, celery, mushrooms and snow peas) with some low fat dip and raw unsalted pumpkin seeds and mixed nuts… just watch the portion sizes!

3. Fresh Desserts
Christmas cakes, Puddings and Mince pies are loaded with saturated fat – and that’s before we add ice-cream! A better option is a fresh fruit or berry salad. Berries are full of antioxidants, fiber and Vitamin C – and they’re all in season right now! Serve with my clean cherry-ripe ice-cream for a real crowd pleaser!

4. Get Moving
Walking 30–45 mins burns around 200 calories, which done daily will help keep your metabolism revved up and those excess kg at bay. Make the most of long summer days by setting the alarm 30 minutes earlier and take the kids or dog for a walk before breakfast… and again before dinner.

5. Be kind to yourself
If you slip up, don’t beat yourself up. Staying in shape is a lifestyle, and we all over-indulge from time to time. Even me! The important thing is to be accountable, reset, and get right back on track… today, not tomorrow!

JACQUII’S CLEAN CHERRY-RIPE ICE CREAM
My favorite healthy dessert recipe takes 2 minutes to make and is a great option for ice-cream lovers who want
to avoid the fat, chemicals and refined sugar in most commercial brands. Cottage cheese is high in casein,
which is a slow-release protein, so this dessert will fuel your muscles and make your taste buds sing! Its
especially delicious served with fresh blueberries, strawberries and blackberries.

Ingredients
200g low fat creamed cottage cheese
100g frozen cherries
10g grated coconut
teaspoon dark cocoa powder
sweetener to taste (I don’t use any)
Blend all ingredients in a food processor. Serve immediately or pop in the freezer for up to 20 mins

FAW 14 Bikini Pro Top 5

Officially a Fitness Universe Bikini Professional!


Posted: November 22, 2014 at 6:38 am


I couldn’t be more proud to be able to officially call myself a Fitness Universe Bikini Professional.

This weekend I competed at my third Fitness America Weekend in Las Vegas. And after winning Ms Bikini America Classic (over 35 years old) for the past two years, this year I fulfilled my dream of lining up with the best in the world as a Bikini Professional. And by competing in my first Professional event, I officially became a Professional Bikini Athlete. And as an added bonus, I finished in 5th place!

What I’m even more proud of than my trophy (which I cherish), is that I did it the same week that I turned 40. What a great birthday present. And what a great reminder that age is just a number.

It was an honour to stand among the other Fitness Universe Bikini Professionals. Women who I am lucky enough to count as my inspiration, as my role models, and as my friends.


WHEN THE CELEBRATION IS OVER


Posted: August 1, 2014 at 6:50 am


Ms Bikini UniverseLike most of us, I like to share special moments with friends and family and winning Ms. Bikini Universe was a great reason to celebrate! After months of strictly weighing and measuring my food, I definitely indulged in a few treats in the days following the competition. That’s an important part of balance, and of living, but its also critical to get back on track after an indulgent celebration period. My top tips for how I’ll be getting my winning physique back on track in this post competition recovery phase are:

• Bump up the Water
Salt exacerbates post-indulgence weight gain. One restaurant meal can easily have more than a full day’s recommended sodium, which is hugely dehydrating. Drinking 2-3L water daily restores hydration and flushes excess salt.

• Focus on fiber
Fiber stimulates digestion to ditch that sluggish feeling. Eat a high fiber brekkie and five daily serves of fruit and veggies. I prefer whole food to juiced, so I don’t throw the fiber away.

• Get Moving
Studies show those who walk 45 mins a day add 18 years to their life. I’ll be walking an extra bus stop or two, and taking the stairs instead of the lift this week. Even better, I’ll walk the 20 mins to and from gym.

• Be kind to yourself
If you slip up and over indulge once in a while, never beat yourself up. Staying in shape is a lifestyle, and we all over-indulge from time to time. Even me! The important thing is to reset and get back on track.

If you want to pick up daily motivation and tips, follow me on Instagram (@JQIIX), Twitter (@JQIIX) and Facebook (www.facebook/JQIIX).

See it, Land it!


MuscleMania Italy!


Posted: April 9, 2014 at 7:28 am


POSTER - Musclemania Rimini 2014 Poster - lo resI couldn’t be more excited to share the poster for the upcoming FitnessUniverse / MuscleMania event in Rimini, Italy.

Thanks to everyone at Fitness Universe for the opportunity to be one of the faces of such a great federation, and event. The MuscleMania / Fitness Universe tour is my choice to compete for lots of reasons. All events are for natural athletes only. They follow the World-Anti Doping Agency code, and competitors are tested. The show format is family-friendly and classy — think a bikini show that you’d be proud for your Granny or 6 year old niece to watch, and the show is all about the athletes and their inspirational stories and journeys.

I’m feeling grateful and all the more inspired to bring my very best physique to my next stage outing in Fort Lauderdale in June. Fitness Universe… I’m coming!

Rescued in Miami

PLANES, TRAINS & AUTOMOBILES


Posted: March 25, 2014 at 7:28 am


I am always on the road for work and competitions, and for adventure too! Trying new food is a great part of the travel experience, but leading up to a competition, I have to be vigilant. Work travel is often so rushed that its fast food on the go and not good local cuisine, so it is a great time to stay in control.

My top tips for looking bikini-ready straight off the plane, are:

1. Pack a lunchbox
Avoid airline food by taking that day’s meals in a lunchbox or cooler. This is a great defense against poor choices when tired or jetlagged or there are no healthy options.

2. Pack Snacks
Pack snacks like rice cakes and cans of tuna in checked luggage. I carry enough for my trip and slip one of each along with a piece of fruit from the breakfast buffet in my handbag each day I’m away.

3. Get Off the Menu
Get comfortable ordering “off the menu”. I like steamed or grilled chicken, fish and vegetables. Ask for meals cooked without butter or oil, and choose salads without bacon, croutons, cheese or dressing.

4. Water, Water, Water
Water is even more important when travelling. Dehydration compounds jetlag (and fluid retention!), so I aim to drink 3L of bottled water on travel days. If I struggle, I supplement with warm herbal tea.

See it, Land it!

Flying-the-flag-with-logo

January reset!


Posted: January 26, 2014 at 6:41 pm


Happy Australia Day!

In my mind, Australia Day marks a high point of summer. By January 26th, most of us have had time off work, upped our Vitamin D by spending time outside, and enjoyed everything that comes with longer days and warmer weather.

For a focused few, the weeks between New Years resolution setting and the summer long-weekend have also cemented new habits to drive delivery of 2014 goals. If you’re in that group – good job. You’re on your way to a year of happiness and achievement. Keep going!

If not, and if these past three weeks have seen you false start, postpone or give up, I have a proposal… Let’s use Australia Day as a time to reset and start again. Before January ends, lets dust off those resolutions, take a look at what got in the way these past few weeks, learn, and do better the second time around.

If we recommit now, we can launch into February with a successful week under our belts, and be right back on track. So here are my top tips for regaining motivation and putting yourself back on track this Australia Day:

1. Write it Down: Evidence shows that those who write down their goals achieve more than those who don’t. I suggest writing in positive words in the present tense “eg I am a non-smoker”, “I am a healthy 60kg” and putting it somewhere where you will read it everyday like the fridge door or bathroom mirror.

2. Reconnect with the Whys: Increasing the emotional connection with your goal will help it stick. I use two “Why?” questions: First, “Why is this important?” (looking for the feeling success will bring), and “Why now?” (looking for a sense of urgency). Then I write the answers under the goal statement where they’ll be visible every day.

3. Set three 5-minute steps: Build daily momentum by noting three 5-minute actions to complete today, tomorrow, and the day after – before 11am. If the step will take more than 5 minutes, ratchet it down. The idea is to build momentum, and move closer to the goal with a positive (“I will…” vs. “I won’t…”) action – every single day. One I use to get me to exercise is “Put your feet on the floor, and your shoes on your feet”. Its simple, and once my shoes are on, I’m on my way.

4. Allow yourself to “Fail better”: Go for improvement, not perfection. Embrace a Growth Mindset, and know that you don’t need to be perfect today, because you can, and will, do better tomorrow. If you have a bad day, tell the critical voice in your head to be quiet, while you go back to step 1.

See it, Land it!

FitnessFirst Magazine feature hero

Change for the BEST!


Posted: January 23, 2014 at 2:01 am


I could not be more proud to be featured in the first edition of the brand new FitnessFirst Magazine. Most fitness enthusiasts would know that Barbarella herself, Jane Fonda was in Australia to help FitnessFirst launch a new look this week — and all I can say is “Wow!”

Think new logo, new classes, more equipment, more benefits for members (like free wifi), longer opening hours and a fresh new look for all the clubs. At FitnessFirst Kings Cross where I train, there are new functional training zones and enough new equipment to have me feeling like a kid in a candy store… and a sore one at that!

In addition, the FitnessFirst magazine has been been redesigned. Its sportier, more vibrant and an awesome read. I am thrilled to be part of it.

You can read my story on page 82 of the print version (available in FitnessFirst gyms and free to members) or in the digital version, which can be downloaded free from iTunes.

Happy Reading!

2013

How was 2013? You decide!


Posted: December 31, 2013 at 4:05 am


Life is what you decide it is. And never is this more true than in how you choose to reflect on the year that was, and the year that can be.

In 2013 I broke my foot, and had major injuries in my Biceps and Achilles tendons. I fell short in the only Australian Fitness model Competition that I entered, missed out on two promotions, and received brutal feedback at work. I had to retrench someone I consider to be not just an employee, but a friend. And my “Granny” and my 18 year old cat George, both died.

But there’s no way that’s the list I’m going to use to reflect on this year.

Instead, 2013 goes down as the year I won two world titles, became the first Aussie ever to win “back to back” Ms Bikini America titles, and the year I captained Team Australia to the inaugural Fitness America Team Championship. Its the year my dad won the Melbourne to Hobart Yacht Race, the year I launched my website and my JQIIX brand, and the year I became an international magazine cover model and published feature author. In 2013 I made new and incredible friends, travelled internationally four times and turned our Paddington terrace into a beautiful home.

2013 is the year I discovered my Growth Mindset.

Thanks 2013. And farewell.

Jacquii Alexander as "The Phoenix"

The Phoenix


Posted: December 13, 2013 at 12:28 am


Back-to-Back. These words have been front of my mind all year. Winning Ms. Bikini America, Classic Tall in 2012 was amazing. And ever since I held that trophy, I have wanted to win Back-to-Back. My goal was to be the first Australian to win her Ms Bikini America division twice – in a row. To win the title Back-to-Back.

Things were going well until Tuesday August 6th. That morning, running down a flight of stairs, late for an important work meeting, I twisted my ankle and fell. I heard a sickening crack and fell down in real pain. I knew straight away that it was really, really bad. I had broken two bones and torn three ligaments in my left foot. My foot may have broken, but my dream had not. I still wanted to be Back-to-Back champion.

A reality of life is that things go wrong. Challenges present themselves. Bad luck happens. We can’t always control what happens to us, but we can control how we respond. So on crutches, in a cast, and with a broken foot, I continued to work towards my goal. I modified my workouts, took out everything that required standing, substituted out weight bearing cardio, for time in the pool, and worked harder and longer on my nutrition plan than I’ve ever done before. It seemed such a long shot that I’d even be able to stand in heels by competition day, but I refused to give up my Ms. Bikini America title without a fight.

I took inspiration, hope, strength, and belief from the Phoenix. The Phoenix is a mythical bird that dies in flames before being reborn. It rises from the ashes of its predecessor to be stronger and more beautiful than ever. I couldn’t think of a better theme to represent my journey from broken foot, back to the Ms. Bikini America stage. And so my theme-wear was set.

Less than two months after my foot came out of a cast, and dressed as a Phoenix, I won Ms Bikini America, Classic Tall for the second year straight. I am grateful, thrilled, delighted, and just a little bit proud that I didn’t give up, and I can now claim to be the first Aussie Back-to-Back Ms. Bikini America Champion.

Sometimes life throws obstacles between you and your dreams. Remember the Phoenix.

Dare to Dream. See it, Land it!

Summer Shape-Up

Summer Shape Up!


Posted: October 5, 2013 at 2:08 am


With the longer days, the changing of the clocks, the warmer weather and the end of the football season, there’s no doubt that Spring is upon us and Summer is not far behind. So it’s a perfect time to “Spring Clean” your health and fitness regime so that you’ll bounce into summer, feeling energized and looking your best.

To help get you in the mood, I’ve pulled together my Top Tips for a Summer Shape Up!

• Set a Goal and a Deadline: To shape up for summer, define your target (eg. lose 2kg, be fit enough to run 5km) and set a date. I suggest 30-November. 6 – 8 weeks is long enough to make a real difference, short enough to stay focused, and soon enough to have you looking awesome when those Christmas parties start rolling around. Let’s go!
• Drink Water: Hydration is important year round, and never more than as the weather heats up. Drinking 2L a day is scientifically proven to assist weight loss, make our skin look younger, relieve headaches, and increase productivity. My dentist tells me it even helps dental hygiene! Carry a water bottle to meetings as a visible reminder to drink more.
• Cut the Salt: Most people feel and look much better if they follow the Heart Foundation’s recommendation to keep salt intake <2,300mg /day. An easy way to reduce salt is to check food labels and choose those with sodium 120mg/100g or less. You’ll be amazed how much sodium is in food (before we add any at the table!). I have seen lots of people lose over 2kg of “water weight” in 2-3 days just by reducing sodium.
• Sleep: One of my favorite weight loss tricks is sleep. There’s lots of scientific evidence to show that lack of sleep slows your metabolism, and increases cravings for sugary snacks. Double disaster! According to a study in the British Medical Journal, getting a good night’s sleep actually makes you look healthier and more attractive. Perfect!

I will be putting all these tips into practice myself in the coming weeks as I prepare to defend my title as the reigning Ms. Bikini America, in Las Vegas in November. You can follow my journey here, and on Facebook (www.facebook.com/JQIIX).

The warmest winter onesie ever!

Its not winter, its Spring pre-season!


Posted: July 31, 2013 at 3:24 am


Winter is well and truly here. The woollies are out, snow season is in full swing, football teams are looking towards the finals, and umbrellas have taken over from sunglasses as the most important item to grab on the way out of the door.

As the sun rises later and sets earlier, it can be hard to find the motivation to exercise. Rain on windows has us hiding under the doona in the mornings, and creamy chocolate drinks and rich, heavy comfort foods can seem irresistibly tempting.

As a former Brand and Advertising Manager, I can’t help thinking this time of year could benefit from a little bit of rebranding…

Its not winter, its Spring Pre-Season!”

It may not feel like it now, but it’s only 6 more weeks to spring. Commit to shaping up for the next 6 weeks and you’ll be looking your best when beach weather rolls around. To help you shape up your spring pre-season plan, here are my top 4 tips:

• Set a Fitness Goal: Training through winter is much easier when you have a goal. I really like www.runningcalendar.com.au – just select your state, pick an event, and you’re on your way. If you’re in Sydney, join me in the Sydney Running Festival on 22nd September!

• Keep up with the Water: In winter it’s often tempting to grab an extra coffee instead of water. If you’re struggling to drink your 8 glasses, try herbal tea. I like Black Adder Liquorice tea from the supermarket health food aisle. It is deliciously sweet and has no calories.

• Make your own Soup: Hot soup in winter can be warming, but store brands can be high in calories, preservatives and sodium. Make your own by boiling chopped veggies (I like carrots) in plain water, then whizzing it all in a blender. Shake the salt & pepper and delicious veggie soup is ready with less than 100 calories in a serving!

• Rug up and get outside: There are lots of great things to do outside in the winter time – from snowboarding, skiing and ice-skating, to enjoying runs, walks and family time in less crowded parks and beaches. Dress well, layer up, and get outside! And if you want a bit of fun, try heading out in a Onesie from OnePiece — Sydney’s newest couture trend for a comfy slacker life!

So let pre-season begin!

See it, Land it!

Fitness Model Universe (Classic) Champion, 2013 - Jacquii Alexander

Fitness Model Universe Champion 2013!


Posted: June 29, 2013 at 2:37 am


I could not be more proud as an Australian Fitness Model, to have been named Fitness Model Universe (Classic) Champion for 2013. Competing for the second consecutive year in the prestigious, globally recognized, Fitness Universe Event, I also placed a very close second in Ms Bikini Universe (Classic Tall) in Miami Beach, Florida, USA.

I am humbled yet again to place so highly in this tough competition. At the same time, I have never felt so proud. Winning at this level for the second year running proves that I am a genuine contender at the global level and spotlights me and my fellow Australians competing on the world stage. Holding the highest rankings ever achieved by an Australian Fitness model gives me a unique platform to share the health and fitness lifestyle that I love so much, with others, both at home and overseas. That is a challenge and an opportunity that excites me beyond words.

The Fitness Universe / Musclemania competition is part of natural bodybuilding, where steroid use is tested and banned. In my mind, it represents the epitome of women’s fitness. More than just a display of physical athleticism, it incorporates beauty, poise and elegance.

If you’re interested in learning more, and in joining me on stage, mark your calendars for 18–19 October for the MuscleMania Australia event.

See it, Land it!

Pretty Flamingos of South Beach, Miami!

Miami!


Posted: June 25, 2013 at 8:33 pm


Touchdown Miami! Its three days out from the biggest event of my Bikini competition history to date. And what could be bigger? Its the Fitness Universe Weekend in Miami!

More than 400 other athletes will join me here in South Beach, Miami this week ahead of the event this weekend. The weekend promises to be an incredible spectacle, with everyone vying to take home a MuscleMania Universe, Ms Figure Universe, Ms Bikini Universe or Model Universe title. Me among them!

Between now and taking the stage, I’m enjoying Miami’s wonderful tropical heat, the beautiful beaches, a touch of shopping, and awesome workouts at the Crunch Gym in the heart of “SoBe” (the local term for South Beach).

When I think of Miami and Florida, I think of Pink Flamingos. So I was absolutely thrilled when I ran into this fellow on my way to gym yesterday. And I was equally stoked that my gorgeous training meets beach outfit from my amazing friends at Funkita matched his gorgeous pink feathers so well. Aren’t we a cute couple?

Lots to do before the main event in a couple of days. As always, for me its about visualising the outcome of my dreams, and then following that vision all the way.

See it. Land it!

tomato soda

Let food be thy medicine


Posted: April 20, 2013 at 8:39 am


It’s a snack that people all over the Western world consume without thinking on a daily basis. Its tasty, convenient and you can pick it up anywhere. It’s a small packet of chocolate candy and a bottle of orange soft drink. And its sitting on my desk.

The candy is essentially sugar, but they’re mixed with cocoa mass and butter, milk and vegetable fat, starch, and something called soya lecithin.

There are five different E numbers in there – one I know causes dermatitis and is banned in the USA and Norway. Carnauba wax, which I’m told is used to wax cars, is also inside.

The label of the drink lists acacia gum, potassium sorbate, sodium citrate and glycerol esters of wood rosins. What are they? There are also three sweeteners in the bottle: two have been linked with cancer and the third with dizziness and migranes.

Consumption of food additives is frightening. The simple fact is that each one of us will eat, on average, between six and seven kilograms of food additives this year.

In 2000, the food industry spent around $20 billion making food last longer, look, taste and smell better. And as a result, our food lasts longer, looks, tastes and smells better. And we’re getting fatter. And we’re also getting sicker.

Since the 4th century BC, medical leaders have recognized that the path to health is through sensible diet. The Hippocratic Oath, is still a rite of passage for doctors when they start practicing medicine. The first element of the oath is:

I will apply dietetic measures for the benefit of the sick according to my ability and judgment. Or as its more commonly phrased: “Let thy food be thy medicine, and thy medicine be thy food”

So as I think about the snack sitting on my desk, I’m left wondering… If food is our medicine, who’s prescribing this?

If you want to make a change for the better, I suggest viewing these “snacks” for what they are… commercial temptations designed to make money for corporations at the expense of your health and fitness goals.

If you want to feel great, live longer, set a good example for your kids and loved ones, and look the best you can, go for “1 ingredient” foods – if you can’t pronounce, or easily picture, where anything on the label came from, stay away.

See it. Land it!

Look the best you can!

Look the best you can.


Posted: April 14, 2013 at 6:53 am


I’ve had lots of people ask me about the amazing looking group of guys in this photo – and how I came to be the lucky girl in the shower with them. Lucky, lucky, lucky!

This photo was taken at the DNA Pool Party at the Ivy in Sydney, where the boys and I were representing Lqd skin care.

I am incredibly proud of my association with Lqd. Founded by my dear friend Anthony McDonough, Lqd is an honest line of skin care designed specifically for men who want the best possible products in a uniquely masculine way. It’s a no-nonsense brand, built on science and designed for men who care about how they look and feel.

The Lqd strapline says it all: Look the Best You Can.

I love this notion. Its real, its achievable, and it inspires action rather than hopelessness. We can’t all look like Miranda Kerr or Chris Hemsworth. But we can all take steps to make the most of what we have.

Healthy nutrition, physical exercise, sound sleep, and good skin care are a great start. Look the best you can.

See it. Land it!

Fight it.

Fight it with rest.


Posted: April 7, 2013 at 2:39 am


This week has been tough. I started feeling sick on my last day of Easter break and by the time I was back in Sydney I was feeling really rotten. So began 4 days of not getting out of bed at all. Struck down with a virus. Sigh.

Years ago, 10 weeks out from a Fitness Model Competition, this would have really thrown me. I probably would have pushed through it and “soldiered on” to work and gym, drugged up on over-the-counter remedies. And set myself back weeks of hard work in the process.

These days I take a different approach. I listen to my body and give it what it needs. And last week, that was rest. And sleep. And good nutrition.

If you find yourself struck down with a virus like I was this week, my advice is to follow two rules:

1. Sleep, sleep, sleep
Being out of the gym can feel wrong. But when you’re sick, your body needs rest. Wait until the day you wake up feeling great. Then take that day off from exercise and go back the next day. Waiting won’t kill your progress: Studies have shown that you won’t lose muscle for a solid two weeks or so without training. But try to train when you’re ill and you just prolong your agony. Sleep.

2. Stick to your nutrition plan.
I attribute >80% of success to nutrition. If you have to choose to lose control over your nutrition or training, give up the training every time. “You can’t compete with what you eat”.

So relax, rest up, drink water and snuggle with a friend. And fight it with rest.

See it. Land it!

Happy Easter!

Easter: Rebirth or more chocolate?


Posted: March 31, 2013 at 6:01 am


When did Easter become the holiday of chocolate, gluttony and sugary treats?

Growing up, I learned about Easter at Sunday School. I was taught that Easter Sunday is a day of celebration, marking the end of a period of sacrifice and a time of new beginnings. Easter as I understand it, is a celebration of rebirth.

As a former Marketing Manager for one of the world’s biggest brands, I understand the power of imagery and symbolism. And so the egg as an Easter symbol of rebirth makes sense to me. As does the cross on the Easter Bun. But beyond that, I’m lost…

Somehow the meaning of Easter has been lost within a world of sugary treats. Sacrifice and gratitude and rebirth and renewal have been pushed aside in favor of chocolate eggs, chickens, and bunnies. Perhaps we’ve followed one too many white rabbits down a deep, sugary hole. Where did the rabbit come from, anyway?

I’d like to see us embrace Easter as a time to think about rebirth and renewal. How about using this period to define what we each want to leave behind on Good Friday and emerge as on Easter Sunday? It could be a time to reinvigorate a New Year’s Goal that has fallen off track. Or just a time to define who we want to be for the rest of 2013.

For me, that’s about being the best and most positive healthy living role model that I can be. And I’m thrilled to have been given the best Easter present ever. It wasn’t made of chocolate, nor shaped like an egg, nor a rabbit, nor a chicken. It wasn’t even a sugary bun with a cross on top. It was a poster for the new MuscleMania Australia show, which will debut in October 2013, and I can’t think of a more perfect symbol of the renewal that I hope for in 2013.

I hope that you find your rebirth too. Happy Easter!

Rhythm

Find Your Rhythm


Posted: March 21, 2013 at 7:16 am


This week marked what is starting to feel to me like an annual transition point in Australian pop culture. This week, our nightly fix of reality TV moved from fine dining and the preparation of 3-Hat Good Food Guide worthy multiple-course menus, to the dangers of obesity, and restoring health to morbidly obese Australians.

Farewell Masterchef: Make way for The Biggest Loser.

It seems to me that these programs are polar extremes. In the Masterchef kitchen, taste trumps everything else. In my observation, contestants usually prevail when they combine high-sugar / high-fat, or high-salt / high-fat, or high-salt / high-sugar / high-fat. And a meal is somehow incomplete if it’s less than three courses and without a hefty serve of pudding for a sweet ending. But in the Biggest Loser house, contestants are told they need to avoid those very behaviours, and portions, and salt-fat-sugar combinations, or risk an early grave.

No wonder Australians are confused.

My advice to people is keep it simple. Find your rhythm in the middle-ground and try to avoid the extremes. Like indulging endlessly at Christmas and Easter and dieting madly in between. To maintain a healthy body your best bet is to aim for a consistent healthy lifestyle. Base your nutrition on whole, natural foods and keep it pretty much the same year round. One of my favorite tips is to base your nurition on “one ingredient” foods – if you can’t pronounce, or easily picture, where anything on the label came from, stay away. And give it time.

Photograph by Jordan Samuel Photography

With a Growth Mindset


Posted: March 10, 2013 at 8:32 am


This week I’ve been thinking a lot about growth. I was lucky enough to have face time with two very inspirational businesspeople. First, a breakfast meeting with the Vice CEO of American Express. The next day, a breakfast meeting with executive mentor to some of Australia’s leading CEOs, Rosemary Warnock.

What struck me about both these incredibly successful individuals was their unwavering commitment to being better today than they were yesterday. Despite seeming to know it all (and having resumes to back that up), they both talked about coming away from every interaction with a lesson or a perspective that they didn’t already have. Having a Growth Mindset.

Those with a Growth Mindset believe failing is not bad, but a necessary step towards improvement and ultimately success and invention… and that the only true failure comes from giving up. They believe that everyone can improve and see other peoples’ success as a lesson to learn, not a statement that they are better. Those with a Growth Mindset accept all feedback and input with a thank you – making it easy for others to provide alternative perspectives that will enrich your thinking and improve your performance.

A Growth Mindset is the opposite of a Fixed Mindset. With a fixed mindset you assume you know enough and that you don’t need to learn anymore (in a given area). You take negative (or disruptive) feedback as criticism and see setbacks as reasons to quit.

I’ve monitored myself for the past few days and have caught myself with a Fixed Mindset more than once. The change is going to take some awareness and practice, but some of the brightest business minds have convinced me that its going to be worth the journey.

Why not try it with me?

JQIIX

What’s in a name?


Posted: March 3, 2013 at 10:21 am


Have you ever wondered what your name would be if you’d chosen it yourself?

I have, and since I was born, my name has been constantly evolving. First, as a very young girl it was shortened from Jacqueline to Jacqui – a fairly predictable change, especially for an Aussie. As a teenager, in an attempt to stand out among many with the same name at my school, I changed the spelling to Jacquii with a double i. Then I was married and it changed again.

And with each of these changes, its started to feel less like something I was given, and more like something I’ve built, shaped, moulded. And its started to feel more… me. And somehow along the way it’s become a representation of so many different parts of my personality and influences.

JQ from my parents and family,
II from my desire to define myself, and
X from my husband and his family.

J Q I I X. I pronounce it “J kicks”. And that’s me.

Tony M Blended2!

Ready please, Mr Music!


Posted: February 20, 2013 at 11:10 pm


If I’m ever lacking motivation in the gym, one of the first things that I do is grab my ipod and choose a favourite track or playlist.

I go for different things to suit my mood, but generally lean towards up-beat pop / dance anthems. They make me smile.  And sing. Just ask the rest of the people training around me, tee hee. You can go for whatever’s going to get you going — or whatever makes you smile.

And if you’re lost for a suggestion, I have one for you!

I am an absolute devotee of DJ Tony M’s Unity playlists

Tony is a musical genius. He releases a new mix each month and they are free to download on iTunes (search iTunes for “Blended 2 – DJ Tony M”, or on Facebook for “Blended 2!”). 

The best workout music imaginable, and a new release every month.  What more could a girl ask for?

Ready please, Mr Music!

edited-2

If you can see it, you can land it.


Posted: February 7, 2013 at 12:15 pm


When I first learned to jump on my snowboard, my teacher gave me this advice. The idea is that you should imagine yourself completing the trick successfully before you attempt it, and certainly before you hit the jump. In other words, visualize the goal that you want to achieve before you try to deliver it. The more clearly you can “see it”, the more likely you are to “land it”.
It’s the best piece of advice I’ve ever been given and applies equally well to goals in career, investing, training, snowboarding… and everywhere else. See it. Land it.

winning_3096

New Year. New Goals.


Posted: January 7, 2013 at 12:17 pm


Welcome to 2013! The start of a new year always brings with it a sense of new beginnings, fresh starts, possibility, hope and optimism. And resolutions.

Many of us have already set ourselves a health and fitness goal or “resolution” for the year ahead. If not, January is a great time to create a vision of where you want to be in 12 months time, to set yourself a plan to get there, and then to resolve to work that plan.

I think the biggest mistake people make when they want to lose weight is expecting to take weight off and keep the lifestyle and habits that put it on. That doesn’t work. It’s all about choices.

As a Fitness Model and Bikini Competitor, I attribute 80% of the success in achieving a stage-ready physique to my nutrition. Ask anybody with a physique that is aspirational to you, and my guess is they’ll give you a similar answer. If I had to lose control over either my nutrition or my training for a year, I’d give up the training every time. You can’t compete with what you eat.

My suggestion for 2013 is to ensure that your physique related goal has a clear nutrition-related component. A good start is increasing consumption of foods in their natural state – what I like to call “1-ingredient foods” – like fruit, vegetables, eggs, nuts, low-fat dairy, brown rice, rolled oats, fish and lean meat.