Archive for Fitness


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Fitness Update: Cupping For Pain Relief?

1 March 2018

Remedial Massage and Cupping Ok so this isn’t really a fitness update!

I hurt my lower back/hip a while ago. I ignored it for a while, and I stopped exercising for about 3 weeks.

The pain got SO BAD… that I finally decided to get a remedial massage, mainly because I was given a gift voucher. Plus, I’ve had remedial massages in the past and they have always worked for me!

Since the session didn’t cost me anything, the massage lady kind of talked me into trying “cupping therapy”.

I’d never done it before. I knew what it was.

It didn’t sound so bad. Ah why not?

The lady even showed me AFTER photos on her phone, so I would fully understand what I was in for. Omg I was willing to give anything a go!

The lady sterilised and heated up 8 glass cups (they looked like they were straight from The Reject Shop Outdoor Lighting Section) and placed them ALL OVER MY BARE BOTTOM.

I looked like a… firefly?

I coughed. And my bum wobbled a bit and made all the glasses clink-clink together like a cheers boomerang haha.

The massage was 60 minutes. It felt awesome. It hurt so freaking much as she manipulated all the muscles in my lower back and hip and I almost cried.

The cupping was 15 minutes. It felt awkward.

Overall, I didn’t like the feel of it. It felt too tight across the surface of my skin and the “pulling” effect didn’t seem to go into the deep tissue (where the pain was).

But worst of all, I had deep, dark, and I mean really DAAAARKKK beetroot red-purple-almost black dots on my bum. I looked like a ladybug!

(Yes yes, I saw the photos, I knew what I was in for.)

They were painless, but SOOOooooOOOooooo dark and red.

I was quite embarrassed by them. I didn’t want to wear shorts, swimsuits, or low rise anything that would exposed my hip… in case they would peek out from under my clothes.

For 7 days I was TERRIFIED that I would have the dotty marks on my skin FOREVER, and that I had TOTALLY RUINED my chances of a swimwear modelling career (only kidding) and that I had permanently ruptured all the capillaries in my butt.

After 10 days they all disappeared – thank goodness!

I did take a photo of the marks/bruises (on my bottom), but they were definitely NOT for appropriate for sharing!

I know cupping is an ancient, alternative therapy… unfortunately I didn’t feel much benefit from it. While it didn’t hurt, I felt that the subsequent bruises were too inconvenient and stressful for me… so I won’t be doing it again!


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Fitness Update: Twilight Running

11 January 2018

Sunset Running

Ahh I loooove the long days of summer.

And I loooove running at twilight.

This has been our evening schedule:

My husband usually comes home from work at 6pm. By then I’ll have dinner cooked and I’ll head out the door for my run. My husband will eat dinner with the kids and take them to the park too.

At the moment the sun sets at 7:30pm, so I have a delicious golden hour to enjoy my run.

The best thing about running in the evenings:

I DON’T have to wear sunscreen all over my arms, shoulders, neck and chest!

I really hate putting so much sunscreen on myself when I run, because I get SO hot and SO sweaty… and by the end of my run, I feel greasy, sticky and so so so gross.

I just wear sunscreen on my face, even at 6pm. This might be unnecessary, but to me it’s like a moisturiser, so sun protection is just a bonus really.

Also, the temperature in the evenings is perfect for running. I could wake up at 4:30am for a run to get a similar perfect twilight and temperature, but that’s not going to happen!

Here’s my fitness schedule for the past week or so:

Sunday – Run

Monday – Weight Training (at night)

Tuesday – Yoga

Wednesday – Date night!

Thursday – HIIT Workout + Run

Friday – Nothing

Saturday – Yoga

My husband also does some kind of activity / exercise everyday. But he does more cycling, weights and walks.

I wouldn’t say we’re exercise buddies, and we are definitely not hardcore fitness freaks (haha!), but we keep each other in check, which is a great thing!

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Ending the Year with Hot Yoga

31 December 2017

Hot Yoga on New Years Eve

I ate soooo much over the Christmas break. So much ham. So much chicken.

And like every good new year cliche, I decided to end the year doing something positive – rather than ending up a food coma!

It’s been 9 months (I think) since I’ve been to a hot yoga class. I was very surprised that I could keep up with the instructor. I did quite well! So happy!

But I forgot about all the sweat. Omg the sweat!

Imagine someone using a water spray bottle and squirting it into your armpits, until the water is dripping – no trickling – like a little stream, down your body, puddling in your bra strap. It’s such a weird sensation.

And who would have thought that sweat was so salty?!

It was pouring down my face, dripping into the corners of my mouth (Bleh! I was drinking my own sweat! You can’t really spit on the ground in class! Gotta sip it up! Eeew!). And my eyes too. I was wincing in pain from the salt stinging my eyes, making my vision blurry. I tried to wipe my eyes with my shoulder, but my shoulder, my forearm, the back of my hands were all soaking wet.

I was pretty much having a shower in my own sweat.

But you know, it all isn’t that bad.

The ultimate gross-ness is AFTER the class: It’s when I am returning my borrowed foam block to the back of the studio hall, walking across the floor and stepping in the puddles of OTHER PEOPLE’S SWEAT. Then dragging the collective sweat around the floor and stepping in other people’s collective sweat + feet sweat, which has been there for a a bit longer, so it’s slightly colder sweat.

Haha it’s sooooo gross!!

But thankfully I had a shower and I felt that beeeaaaautiful glow all over my body that reminded me why I love it so much. Kinda!

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Keeping on top of my fitness during the holidays

16 December 2017

Park Running

Wow it’s not even Christmas yet and I’ve been eating eating EATING!

Brunch with girlfriends. Lunch with my parents. Evening BBQs with friends. Dinner parties with family.

It’s such a blessing to be surrounded by good people and good food all the time….

Buuuut, I have to keep on top of my exercise, or I’ll feel absolutely terrible, lethargic, moody and have poor sleep. Not to mention, I’ll probably gain 5kgs with all the eating.

Here’s a rough look at my routine at the moment.

Sunday – Run 5km

Monday – Yoga

Tuesday – Walk

Wednesday – Run 5km

Thursday – Yoga or Strength

Friday – Nothing!

Saturday – Nothing!

For my strength exercises, I’ve been doing a bit of Kayla Itsines’ Bikini Body Workout (not that I’m aiming for a bikini body) I’m just looking for exercise routines.

I pulled a muscle in my neck a while ago, which rendered me useless for a few weeks. It was so frustrating to get into a good exercise momentum, get so far in my strength, then have to go back to square one. Sigh.

But hey, we have to look after our bodies right? I can only do what I can with what I have.

All the best for your exercise routine during the holidays!


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Fitness Update: Gentle Nudges

5 November 2017

Cycling Nov 2017

Hello hello! As I mentioned last week, I’ve been trying to increase my exercise routine.

If I were to describe my fitness routine – I’d say MINIMAL.

In one week, I do a bit of running, an occasional class, some workouts at home. But that’s about it.

I think about how fit, healthy and strong I was 3-4 years ago and I sigh at how poor my routine is right now.

Cycling Nov 2017But every day that goes by, with me complaining about where I used to be, is just one more day of me doing nothing and getting nowhere!

So yep, no more excuses, I just have to do it.

I don’t have to be an elite athlete. I don’t have to run marathons. I just have to start getting beyond MINIMAL!

I’ve been cycling again. The weather has just been lovely for outdoor activity.

I’ve completed a few 5km – 10km cycles around the river.

And on the weekend, I managed to do a 21km cycle.

It didn’t even hurt. I felt great!

Baby steps are the best way to go!

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Keeping Fit with Workout Videos at Home

30 October 2017

Working Out with Sudio Regent

I’ve been getting back into a routine of doing video workouts at home!

Usually I have a list of sets to do, such as 10 x jump squats, 10 x jack knives, 20 x pushups.

But sometimes I want to MIX IT UP and I need some ideas on things to do.

So I really enjoy doing video workouts on Youtube, because they are quick and easy (28 minutes and you’re done!), convenient, easy to set up, I don’t have to drive anywhere, I can squeeze them in anytime, and I can just wear my crappy gym clothes haha!

It’s an easy way to get my heart rate up, sweat a bit, and get my endorphins going.

But it does take some discipline to MAKE time and COMMIT to them, as I can get easily distracted at home haha.

I like using videos from the Nike Training Club, Fitness Blender and Blogilaties.

Working Out with Sudio Regent

I also enjoy doing my workouts with wireless headphones, because I can just do it quietly in the front room and no one will bother me.

I can just ZONE OUT AND GET ON WITH IT, without my kids wandering in and going — “What are you doing mum? Can I join in mum? What’s a caterpillar pose? Am I doing it right? This is stupid mum!”

Last month, I shared an in-depth review of my on-ear wireless headphones by Sudio Sweden. I went through the sound quality, material quality, style and price, pros and cons.

Anyway, the lovely team at Sudio Sweden have given me a 15% off discount to share with my readers.

Simply use the coupon code “KARENLYCHENG” at the checkout. Express Shipping is FREE worldwide.

These headphones are called “Regent” and come in black and white.

I’m also wearing Yoga Top from Lululemon and leggings by Leggings by Varley.



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Fitness Update: Maintenance Mode

4 May 2017

Fitness Update

In the last few weeks, my fitness has become less of a “fun activity” and more of a “chore that has to be done”.

I still go to a yoga class once a week.

I still run 5km once or twice a week.

I still do HIIT sessions at home.

But I don’t love it.

I don’t hate it either.

I just do it. Because I know if I don’t, I’ll feel like crap.

Exercise, (even just a gentle walk in the park) releases endorphins that make me feel better and sleep better.

It’s just maintenance for my body and mind.

I don’t know that’s a good thing or a bad thing!

It’s just where I am right now and I’m cool with it.

(PS. I’m still loving my Adidas by Stella McCartney sneakers – so proud and slightly embarrassing that I can keep them so white by religiously cleaning them every time I use them haha!)

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Swimming for Fitness

27 March 2017

Brought to you by Next Gen Health and Lifestyle Clubs

Swimming for Fitness at Next Gen

Hi everyone!

I recently joined Next Gen Health and Lifestyle Club in Kings Park, and I am loving the aquatic facilities there.

I do one swim per week, which, admittedly, knocks me out for a few days, because I’m not used to all the swimming haha!

It has been fantastic for my cardio fitness, building muscle, burning calories – it’s a whole body workout for me.

The freestyle stroke has been particularly good for working out my upper body, and my arms feel stronger and more toned. It has definitely helped me build up my overall exercise stamina – yay!

Swimming for Fitness at Next Gen

Admittedly, I’m not great at swimming.

I used to be a pretty good swimmer – I was in the swim team in Primary School! And before kids, I used to swim in the ocean, go snorkelling and scuba diving.

But in the last 10 or so years, I think I would go for a swim about once a year – oops!

Anyway, I’m slowly trying to change that. I believe that doing a wide variety of fitness activities is good for the soul… and it opens your mind and body up to new learning experiences and new brain connections.

Swimming for Fitness at Next Gen

For relaxation, I like to use the outside pool.

I don’t do any fast swimming there. I like to have a slow breaststroke swim, so I can soak in the view and just enjoy the moment of moving through water in the sunshine. It’s like a gentle meditation!

Then I like to wind down in the spa and sauna.

Swimming for Fitness at Next Gen

And then to finish off my afternoon, I like to enjoy a soy coffee and banana cake in the Club’s café before rushing off to pick up my kids.

If you’re keen to check out any one of their clubs in Australia or New Zealand, pop over to their website to find out more!

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Discovering The Gym Life Again

13 March 2017

Brought to you by Next Gen Health and Lifestyle Clubs

In the last 6 years I have been a member of 3 gyms in total.

Each gym had their pros and cons. And overall, each gym fulfilled a very particular fitness need I had at the time. So I enjoyed all of them!

My decision whether or not to join or leave a gym is always based on my personal circumstances at the time and where I am on my fitness journey – and I’m sure everyone makes decisions about gyms this way.

This last month, I have been collaborating with Next Gen Health and Lifestyle Clubs, to see what I think and to share with my readers!

It’s a very different approach to how I usually choose a gym, but I’ve tried my best to give honest and objective opinions about all the facilities, how those opinions came about and why I was practically falling over myself to try it!

Check out the rooftop pool!

Next Gen Kings Park Review

Oh hey, I joined a gym and it’s a bit awesome haha!

Next Gen have clubs all around Australia, and they have two gyms in Perth: one in Kings Park and one in Bibra Lake.

I jumped / squealed / gasped in shock at this opportunity to try out the Kings Park Club, because… it was my HOLY GRAIL of gyms!

Next Gen in Kings Park has been running for 10 years. They also run the Royal Kings Park Tennis Club, which has been going for almost 120 years, so the whole place is FULL of rich, local history in community fitness and luxurious, active lifestyle.

Basically, everyone in Perth knows about the tennis club and gym at Kings Park. It’s like a local institution! I’ve known about it for YEARS, I’ve heard so many good things about it, I’ve always wanted to try it, and omg this is the first time I have stepped inside – woohoo!

So am I being a bit biased? I have 10 years of fanciful dreaming… so, possibly!

Next Gen Kings Park Review
Me about to start a RPM class!

First Impressions
This place is not just a gym. It’s like an established country club. They call it a Health and Lifestyle Club. It is presented very well, is very spacious, very well looked after, slick, polished and clean.

The place is 4 storeys high, filled with big windows, lots of natural light and amazing views of Kings Park and the Perth city skyline.

Most gyms around the 10-year mark look a bit run down. Carpets, handrails, door catches, and tiles tend to look a bit old, worn and unkempt. But this place looks fantastic.

Everything from the training machines and RPM bikes, to the steam and sauna rooms, to the lounge chairs and tables, to the hairdryers in the change rooms – all look new and ultra modern. I believe the place has been newly renovated.

Everything seems to run super efficiently. The staff are well organised, very helpful and friendly. Every time I ask someone a question, they all know exactly what to do, who to call, how to make it happen and will follow it up with a phone call or email. Love that customer service.

Overall, it doesn’t feel TOO posh or TOO over-the-top fancy – which is an aspect I like. I’ve been in super-fancy hotel gyms, where you get the impression that they are not serious about fitness and gym functionality at all, just how cool and luxurious it all looks!

In terms of the other members, well I can’t say for certain, but during the times I’ve been at the club, I’ve seen a wide range of ages – young and old, in every beautiful shape and size!

So I don’t feel out of place or intimidated at all – which is also another important factor for me.

Next Gen Kings Park Review
Boxing time!

The Gym and Fitness Area
The gym covers a huge area and it is outstanding!

Again, there is lots of natural light; it’s all very spacious, new and clean.

There are lots and lots of cardio, resistance and training equipment. There are free weights, kettlebells, medicine balls, Swiss balls, training zones, step-up platforms, cable things, boxing, ropes – everything is SUPER MODERN.

There is a huge variety of classes too, including Body Pump, Body Balance, Pilates, Yoga, Barre, HIIT Core and Metafit workouts, Bootcamp, RPM, Spin, Zumba, Aqua Cardio and more.

Most of the classes run back to back and sometimes 3 classes run at the same time. A few times I’ve stayed and completed 2 classes, one after the other.

I really like the variety of the classes being offered, as it stops me from getting bored and keeps my fitness motivation high. That’s always a good aspect about joining a gym.

The trainers are lovely, friendly and professional.

I love the fact that while there is a receptionist at the front of the whole building, there is also a “reception” for the gym area.

Someone is always manning the front of the gym, so I can ask him or her anything gym or workout related. They are not busy with other clients, or leading a class, or cleaning equipment. I don’t feel like I’m interrupting them, thus they are always approachable and helpful.

If I had to point out a down side, I felt the treadmill was so advanced that I got a bit flustered trying to work it. Basically you can do things like load your own TV series from a USB, surf the internet (online shopping anyone?), or you can choose running routes which comes with moving scenery so you can feel like you’re running in the Canadian mountains…. Or something like that!

(Thankfully the lovely trainer on duty showed me how to use the simple run function!)

Next Gen Kings Park Review
Starting my day with a slow and steady swim.

The Pool and Aquatics
Next Gen Kings Park has a 20m indoor pool (heated to 28C) and a 20m outdoor rooftop pool (heated to 23C). It also has a therapeutic spa, steam room and sauna.

Oh hey, I’ve decided that I want to take some adult swimming lessons!

I’d like to do a triathlon some time in the future, and while my running and cycling are both ok, I’d like some tips on how to improve my strokes and swim better.

Haven’t started them yet. Will let you know how I go.

In the meantime, I’ve been building up my swimming stamina by doing slow laps in the pool.

The indoor pool is gorgeously warm. Perfect for a slow and steady pace. I usually get really cold in regular pools, so I try to swim faster, but my strokes get sloppy and I end up making myself tired and dizzy! I just don’t last very long. I’m hoping to improve that.

The outdoor pool is amazing because you can swim with the incredible view looking out over the city! Plus the lounge chairs are great for relaxing and soaking up a bit of sun.

They also run aqua aerobics classes and kids swimming lessons.

Next Gen Kings Park Review
After a swim, hot shower and blow dried hair!

The Members Lounge
Oh my gosh. This did not disappoint. The Members Lounge is like a very classy, very modern, business class airline lounge. There is a mixture of big, lush lounge chairs with low café tables for relaxing and reading a newspaper; and a more upmarket café-style seating area for eating meals or working on a laptop.

The adjoining café serves breakfast, lunch, dinner, snacks, coffee, juices and is a licenced bar. There is also free wifi and a business zone with computers available for use.

I think the Members Lounge is the heart of the Next Gen, which sets it apart from all the other gyms that I’ve been to.

It has a very relaxed, inviting atmosphere to hang out, stay, eat, work, talk, be active, and enjoy life. It feels very positive and holistic.

I love it’s understated vibe, the effortless atmosphere, the quiet buzz of individuals, the welcoming comfort, and the luxury of the facilities.

It is a very nice place to chill after a workout, read a book, have a coffee, or whip out my laptop and catch up on emails before I get on with the rest of my day.

Tennis Courts
As I mentioned earlier, Next Generation runs the Royal Kings Park Tennis Club, with 22 outdoor grass courts, 6 outdoor non-cushioned courts, 2 synthetic courts, lighted courts, professional coaching and group programmes.

I’m not a tennis player, but I do plan to take my kids along to smash some tennis balls for a fun workout.

We might even try a game of squash in their indoor squash courts.

Next Gen Kings Park Review
Ready for a yoga class!

Family Activities

The whole place is quite family friendly. There’s a crèche, fitness classes for kids, swimming lessons for kids, tennis coaching, holiday activities, children’s parties and kids are welcomed in the pool areas.

Initially, this didn’t really appeal to me, because I like to keep my “gym time” separate to “kids time”. But it made me realise this fact:

During the school holidays, and particularly during the Christmas and New Year break, my attendance to the gym significantly decreases. Sometimes I would go 3-4 weeks without going to the gym! And it pains me to think of all the money I wasted.

So with such a family focused gym, I could take the kids swimming during the school holidays, put them in tennis or swimming lessons while I did a workout, or use the crèche, or sign them up for the school holiday programmes or just hang out with them in the pool or tennis courts and take a walk through Kings Park.

I guess if I could afford it, this would seem like an incredible way to keep up my gym activities during the school holidays!

In terms of pricing, there are so many membership options, levels, variations and time lengths available, so you just have to find one that suits your needs and lifestyle.

The best way to get connected is to pop over to the Next Gen website to make an enquiry.

I’d say, looking at the prime location, the premium facilities, the historic tennis club, all the amazing services, the member’s lounge, the luxurious atmosphere and café… it is probably not for everyone and you will get what you pay for, but you might be surprised at the same time.

In Conclusion…
This has been my best gym experience by far!

I still have 2 more months of my 3-month membership to go. And I’m whole-heartedly looking forward to using it as much as I can.

So the big question is: Would I actually choose to sign up for a full membership?

My answer: YES, but not at the moment. I have my heart set on doing a triathlon (or two) in the next few years, so I am hoping to do a lot more outdoor running and cycling. This doesn’t go very well with a gym membership. So for me, the timing is not quite right.

Special Offer to Try 10 days for $20!

Next Gen are offering all my readers a super special offer: Try 10 days for $20!

This applies to ANY Next Gen Club around Australia and New Zealand! But it’s only available until Tuesday 21st March.

This is such an amazing deal! Even if you come in to take a peek, go for a pilates class, try out some weight machines, use the change rooms to change into your bathers, take a swim in the outside pool, sit on the lounge and soak up a bit of sun, pop down to the cafe to have a coffee and banana bread – that would take about 2-3 hours and definitely worth more than $20.

Anyway, head over to this page to find out more and sign up for a trial!

Still to Come
As I mentioned before, I’m going to take a few adult swim classes and let you know how I go!

Thanks for reading and have a fantastic week!

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Grana Activewear Review

8 March 2017

Brought to you by Grana

Grana Move Activewear

The kind folk at Grana sent me a box of goodies to review, featuring a subject I’m very interested about – ACTIVEWEAR!!

I have loooots of activewear, all different brands, different prices, different fabrics, and different features. I’m not an ambassador for any particular brand, or anything like that, so I’m not particularly biased or loyal. I just like buying different stuff.

I asked the Grana Team to send a variety of sizes to try, so I could get my sizing right and try out a few different comfort levels.

OK here we go!

First of all, what kind of prices are we talking about?

Grana in general seem to focus on excellent quality fabrics at an affordable price. Considering that their silks are pretty awesome… you can get a nice silk button down shirt for AU$77 – that’s pretty good value! So they seem to be true to their word.

Grana have pitched their activewear at a mid-level price point and claim to have not compromised with the quality of their technical fabrics. Tops/crop tops are AU$36 – $42, leggings are between AU$56 – $65.

How’s the quality? 

Let’s get this out of the way. The leggings are NOT like Lululemon, in terms of their luxury stretch fit, super soft to touch, amazing hugging and butt lifting properties. (However Lululemon leggings start at AU$119 a pop.)

In my opinion, the Grana technical fabric is a pretty good, “middle of the range” quality.

The fabric is soft yet firm. It is not too plasticky or scratchy. (I’d say some of the inner seam stitching is a tiny bit scratchy though). The outside of the fabric is soft to touch, like jersey. But the inside is smooth and slightly slippery/spandexy like regular activewear.

The fabric feels nicer, stronger (and will probably last longer) than gear I’ve bought from BigW, Target, Kmart, Cotton On, Jeanswest, Sportsgirl.

Another nice thing: No logos whatsoever. Nice simple, minimal, clean designs. Love that.

Style: Because of this clean and minimal design, the Grana range has a very subtle, simple and understated style, which I like. Whereas Lorna Jane and some other brands are a bit loud, bold, electric and girl powerish… these Grana styles have quite the opposite vibe.

Grana Move Activewear

Many months ago, I saw a girl in my hot yoga class wearing a light pink (blush) bra top with cool cross-back straps. I wanted to get something similar and I looked the world over but couldn’t find anything like it (which I thought to be strange considering blush colours are all the rage now)… lo and behold, Grana have got that colour and I was SUUUPER excited to try!!

1) Active Crossback Sports Bra – Vintage Rose

I am so in LOVE with this style. It has bra hooks at the back. It gives your chest a nice lift. It has boob padding for a bit of extra shape and lift. I think it suits women with smallish boobs. But who knows, it might look amazing for women with bigger boobs too.

I definitely want this style in a grey or black!

The top stretched diagonally across my body and shoulders due to the cross back straps (which makes it feel slightly differently to a regular bra top). So I wouldn’t want to wear a smaller size or I think it would be uncomfortable and I might pop out during a work out??

Sizing: I am a very standard AUS /UK Size 6. This is a size SMALL. It fit me perfectly. As I said, I wouldn’t want to go smaller. It also comes in size XXS and XS. Which totally confused me, because ALL my other Grana clothes are size XXS or XS. So make sure you read the sizing info carefully before you buy.

Are they worth it? I’d say yes, for the price. But it’s more of a fashion choice. Do you need a hot looking bra top? Probably not haha.

2) Active 3/4 Leggings – Vintage Rose

When I got back from my UK trip I was about 48kgs, I struggled to put on these leggings, and when I did, they were so tight that they showed my panty line at both my hip and bum, they pinched at my leg crease and made my legs look horrible and lumpy. UGH!

Then I lost 2.5kgs and was back to my normal weight and now they fit beautifully! No lumpy legs!

Sizing: These are XS. They feel tight and like true compression tights. Great for working out in. If I wanted a more relaxed fit, I’d definitely buy S instead. I don’t think I’d be very comfortable lounging around in these XS all day.

I honestly didn’t feel any specific, ergonomic contouring or butt lifting. But they feel nice so that’s ok.

I like this style because it fits me in the leg length. No need to turn it up or bunch it up at my ankles.

I might get these in the Port colour too, because I can team it up with my black tops and they’ll look great.

Are they worth it? AU$56 for middle of the range quality 3/4 active tights, I’d say YES.


Grana Move Activewear

3) Active Racerfront Crop Top – Port

Oh wow, I really like this top style. It’s my second favourite item of the lot.

They are designed for low impact activities like yoga and pilates. They have no padding. They are SUPER comfy. And they look great!

That Port colour is divine!

Sizing: I’m wearing Size S, which feels perfect on me. It doesn’t feel too loose. Just comfortable. I wouldn’t want to go smaller with this style, again because I’m afraid I would POP OUT during a downward dog.

Are they worth it? Yes! Again, do you really need another cute yoga top? Probably not. But if you go through so many cheap Target activewear tops, this might be a good option to try next. For AU$36 you can’t really go wrong!

I definitely want this top in a black and grey too!

4) Active Full Length Leggings – Port

As i mentioned earlier, when I got back from my UK trip I was about 48kgs; I put these leggings on and they fit really well and were lovely and comfy (although they were too long in the leg).

But after I lost about 2.5kgs, they are a bit loose for me now.

Sizing: This is a Size S and like I said, I think they are too big for me. They are definitely too long in the leg and I will have to get them altered (which will cost about $15). They are actually really comfortable AROUND my legs. It’s like a hugged feeling, rather than a tight compression, and I actually prefer this level of compression on my legs.

But they are too loose on my tummy, hips, bottom and waist… and after a bit of walking around they slide down a bit.

They felt lovely and comfy, and I could definitely wear them all day around the house.

Are they worth it? Hmm. Personally I’d say no, because I’m short and the full length means I have to spend more money to alter it to my size. However, if I was taller and I got the Size XS, they would definitely be great value activewear at AU$65.

NOTE: I managed to tweak the fit by scrunching up the leg and folding over the waist (see below) and I made the leggings fit really well – so I kind of made 2 styles out of the 1 item. That might be a reason to buy a size up?


Grana Move Activewear

So these leggings are the SAME as the ones above!

4) Active Full Length Leggings – Port

As I said, I just scrunched up the length of the legs at my knees and folded the tummy part down. Looks and feels much better. It’s a much more relaxed fit for me. I could hang around all day in these leggings.

Are they worth it? Not for me. I’d rather buy the 3/4 leggings in a size XS for compression, and S for relaxed fit.

5) Active Structured Sports Bra – Grey

A very, very simple, standard bra top with racer-back design.

The fabric is nice, soft, yet strong.

It has some inner, mesh lining with a tiny bit of moulded boob padding.

Overall, I really liked this bra top.

The grey colour is nice too. It’s not marle grey. It’s more of a grey with faint dark grey stripe to add a bit of texture.

Sizing: This top is sized XS (while all the other tops I tried were Size S) and they felt a bit too tight for me. I struggled to put it on over my head. I’d feel better in a Size S.

Are they worth it? Yes! If you like a cleanly designed, super simple, comfortable bra top, with no logos or mesh panels or reflective random stuff, and with a tiny bit of lift and padding – this is a good one for AU$42.

Would I buy one? Er, probably not because I have so many sport bra tops. But hey, I might buy when my old ones eventually wear out.


Get 10% for New Customers

If you’re a new Grana customer, I have a special code for you to use to receive 10% off and free worldwide shipping! Simply enter the code “karenxgrana” at the checkout! Valid until the end of March 2017.


Hope you enjoy my review. Enjoy!


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Everyday Cycling for Fitness

1 March 2017

Brought to you by Reid Cycles

Everyday Cycling for Fitness with Reid Cycles

(Photo: Me with my new Reid Women’s Urban X1, a hybrid bike from Reid Cycles)

5 years ago, I was an avid cyclist.

I had an ultra-lightweight road bike, the whole cycling kit, the lycra outfit and I used to go on 80km – 100km bike rides once a week. I really loved it and I was super-duper lean and fit!

BUT after 2 years, I seriously burned out… so I started to get into running, weight training, strength exercises and yoga instead.

And NOW after 3 years, I’ve been thinking about starting to cycle for fitness again!

First things first – I needed a new bike.

My husband took over my old road bike, which was great, because I didn’t want a new road bike.

I decided that road bikes are not for me because: It’s for a particular kind of road cycling that involved a hunched over position, high centre of balance, cleats (clip on shoes which cost $100+), very fast speeds (I’m afraid of crashing!) and wearing padded pants haha.

I wanted a very simple, lightweight bicycle for everyday fitness!

I wanted to hop on it – while wearing my normal activewear – be able to go for a quick ride around my neighbourhood, get my heart rate up and burn some calories. I also wanted something simple so I could ride alongside my kids.

Last year, I started doing some research and I looked around for a new bike. This year, the stars in the blogosphere aligned and I had the opportunity to collaborate with Reid Cycles!

Reid Cycles are an Australian bicycle brand! They are a family owned business, specialising in best value bikes (they sell direct from the manufacturer), with stores all around Australia and international distribution too.

I like that they are a large store with lots of stock, great warranty, and free delivery.

Their prices are surprisingly amazing too.

And I’m pretty impressed with the look of their bikes. They have a nice range of bike styles specially designed for women, and the styles come in lots of sizes, which means I’ll be able to find a bike that fit me.

Everyday Cycling for Fitness with Reid Cycles

In my case, my option was a “hybrid” or a “city” bike.

The team at Reid Cycles recommended me this Reid Women’s Urban X1.

They also had this gorgeous looking, lightweight, vintage-style city bike: Ladies Sports Vintage Esprit Bike, which was very tempting because it looked so stylish!

In the end I chose the Urban X1 because it looked sporty, tough, sleek black, sexy and a bit badass!

I went online, chose the bike according to my height, put in my online order, then went into the store to pick it up, and to make sure it fit me.

Everyday Cycling for Fitness with Reid Cycles

It was perfect! It was lightweight, with a sleek, simple design. It looked great and felt great.

It was even the right size for a shortie like me!

I could easily take off the front tyre, put it into the back of my car and take it places.

It wasn’t huge and cumbersome.

It gave me a smooth ride, with easy to change gears. Seat was comfortable, my back wasn’t hunched over, I felt balanced and my knees didn’t hurt.

Everyday Cycling for Fitness with Reid Cycles

I’ve done a few short rides and one long ride on it already. It’s such a fantastic way to get some fresh air and a quick workout, despite my busy life.

I’ve kind of fallen in love with it!

I think the only problem is now I’d like to put on a bike computer on it, a saddlebag and a water bottle carrier on it too.

In fact, I feel so comfortable on this bike I might even try to do a 80km distance on it some time. I will be stepping up my distances and building up my stamina and strength. Hopefully I’ll get back to my 80-100km distances soon!

Everyday Cycling for Fitness with Reid Cycles

Happy cycling!


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Fitness Update: First Time Doing Reformer Pilates

24 February 2017

Reformer Pilates

I’ve heard so many people talk about Reformer Pilates.

It seems to be really popular and I know lots of people who do it and love it.

The other day, on a whim, I signed myself up for one class, just to give it a go.

I don’t know that much about it, only that it’s supposed to be good for your core, muscle sculpting and toning… and it uses a machine with a sliding table that looks like a torture device haha!

What did I think?

It’s really good for targeted muscle toning!

It’s really low impact. It’s great for strength. It feels a lot like using weight / resistance machines. I don’t have a weak back or hips or anything, but I imagine it would be really good for people with those problems.

However I am very susceptible to motion sickness… so I got really dizzy on the sliding table thing (lying on my back and bouncing horizontally) and I felt like throwing up. Omg I was so embarrassed. I just had to lay still and let the waves of nausea pass over me!

I lost a lot of muscle strength over the Christmas-New year period and while I was in London for 4 weeks. So I felt a bit weak and couldn’t keep up with some of the exercises. I could only do 5 bicep curls?!

I might try it a few more times. I would like to get to a stage where it feels like a good work for me. I’m sure my abs would love it.

Hopefully I won’t throw up though!

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London Diaries: Running in 4°C

6 February 2017

London Running

You know how it goes. You take your running shoes on holiday, always with good intentions to smash out a run, only to be met with the old “Hmm yeah, maybe not today”.

But for me, 4 weeks in London was just a bit too long to be INACTIVE.

So I brought my running gear and here I am, going down the lift, taking a pre-run selfie, about to smash out that run, even though it’s somewhere between 2°C – 5°C outside.

In the end, the run went well.

In fact I did THREE 10km runs over my 4 week stay. So I consider that a WIN.


Things I Learned About Running in London in Winter

– I like running in the cold! Once my body warmed up, I felt great! I’d go so far to say that I prefer winter running now.

– Running in a new city is so much fun! I must say that I had such an incredible time running along the River Thames, through the city, along the narrow streets, the cobblestone footpaths, past all the posh housing and renovated warehouses. I did about 10kms and I covered a lot of ground. It was so interesting and exciting!

I felt pretty safe, because it was a Sunday and there were tonnes of other runners using the same track.

– I need to wear gloves. My thumbs and the back of my hands got a bit numb. It was distracting.

My hands got SO cold that I started to look for the possibility of finding someone’s discarded beanie/scarf on the ground so I could wrap my hands around it – and lo and behold, I did find a beanie, I couldn’t believe my luck! But it was in a puddle and it looked a bit disgusting, so I decided not to do it after all.

I thought about stopping to take off my socks and use them to keep my hands warm, but I decided I’d rather have cold hands than blistered feet. These are the things I think about during my runs haha.

– I need to wear ear warmers. Especially on really cold days. My inner ears and jaw got so cold, numb and painful that I had to just stop running.

– Smartphone Maps are a life saver! I ran 10km through back streets and small paths… and I would have been completely lost without my phone!


My Running Dreams for the Future.

So. I enjoyed the running sooooo much, that I’ve decided on some new #LifeGoals.

When my kids have grown up, when I’m old and retired, I think I’d like to spend my holidays running through Europe in Winter, exploring and discovering the countryside, cities and streets… and of course, stopping for a coffee.

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New Year, New Gear

8 January 2017

Fitness Gear and Workouts 2017

Hey hey!

So I’m back from our family holiday… and I wish I could say that I had a few days to recover and settle down, but I’ve been running around like crazy trying to GET SHIT DONE before my trip to the UK.

I did manage to squeeze in a proper run one evening (yay me!) and I tested out some new gear too.

1) Zayn Reversible Puffer Vest from Betty Basic

I’m sooo happy with this vest. I’ve been looking for one for ages.

It’s lightweight, fits really well, soft, practical, good quality, good material, it’s not too shiny (or plastic looking) and it’s not too fashiony with buckles, zips, fur and pull ties. It’s nice and simple, I like it.

2) Sun Salutation Bra Top by Free People.

I am loving the activewear styles by Free People (via Revolve). These days, a lot of active wear feels tight and are made from compression, swimsuity material. But Free People seem to do softer, jersey fabrics, without the “specialist yoga” price tag.

I loooove the back of this this bra top.

Fitness Gear and Workouts 2017

3) Hotty Hot Shorts from Lululemon

Ok aside from the ridiculous name, these running shorts are pretty awesome.

I have a few pairs of runnings shorts, and they are made from that lightweight, parachute material (or whatever it’s called). Basically they are really noisy and they go SHH SHH SHH SHH whenever I run, so much so I have to turn up my music, so the noise doesn’t irritate the hell outta me.

I’m happy to report that these Lululemon shorts are nice and quiet. Super comfy too.

4) Sonic Sneakers by Adidas x Stella McCartney

After being a bit precious with these sneakers – only wearing them indoors – I finally took these babies outdoors for an actual run. They were fantastic! However I have to admit that I didn’t run on grass, sand, or any dirt whatsoever haha!

Happy running people!


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Sudio Wireless Earphones

19 December 2016

Sudio Sweden

Anyone who knows me in real life, knows I don’t get crazy over gadgets or the latest and greatest new tech.

I try to keep my gadgets as old-school as possible. I like to keep my life simple. I find something that works well, looks good and I stick with it.

SO it was with great surprise that I FELL IN LOVE with these wireless earphones sent to me by the team at Sudio Sweden.

The whole idea of wireless earphones sounds annoyingly gimmicky right!?

But it has literally changed my life for the better, especially because I like to exercise at home with music and I like to workout while listening to YouTube videos.

I can move around so freely now! I can step away from my device without tugging it off its stand!

I can exercise in any room and not disturb the rest of my family!

Also I can work on my computer, listen to my music on my wireless earphones on, stand up walk into the kitchen, make myself a cup of tea and come back to my computer – why didn’t I get these earlier???

These gorgeous pair are the Vasa Blå in Rose Gold White.

The sound quality is great. It pairs up with my phone, my Macbook like a dream. It’s easy to charge, easy use. It’s simple, it works. I love it!

I do have a discount code to share with you all my lovely readers.

Use the code “KARENLYCHENG” at the checkout and get 15% off your order.



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Fitness Update: A Bit Too Busy For Exercise

16 December 2016

Stella McCartney Running Top

During the big sales, I picked out an Adidas by Stella McCartney running top from Revolve.

It was on sale, and it was surprisingly cheaper than any of the Nike running gear I had my eye on. (In fact, some of the Stella McCartney pieces are still on sale, even though the “massive” sale events have ended.)

This one is called the Studio Cool Running Top and I actually did something a bit different — I bought a size bigger than my usual size. Mainly because I want to feel relaxed and comfortable during my long runs. Not tight and suffocated.

The top itself feels amazing. It’s smooth, breathable and light. Love the quality!

I also wanted a high neck running top, because even though I put LAYERS and LAYERS of suncream on my face, neck, shoulders, arms and chest before my runs… my chest seems to be the most sensitive to the UV rays and I get more spots on my chest than anywhere else.

Stella McCartney Running Top

But anyway, haha the truth is… it’s the end of the year and I’ve been trying to finish up a whole lot of projects and freelance jobs before Christmas. I’ve been too busy to exercise!

Yes! That old cliche.

In the last couple of weeks, I haven’t been going to any yoga or pump classes. I’ve just gone for a few runs and lifted a few weights in the evening. That’s it.

I’m not stressed or tense. My schedule is just really, really FULL of family events (graduations! class parties! assemblies! parent meetings!), sitting in front of a computer, meetings, hanging out with my husband and kids, house work, and me time (which involves reading or getting pampered).

I’m balancing it all fine. Just have to get back on track once the busy period is over.

Have an amazing weekend everyone!


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Fitness Update: New Activewear for Yoga

28 November 2016

Activewear from Revolve

Happy Monday!

I kinda, sorta was accidentally talked into signing up for a $49 unlimited Hot Yoga deal recently. So I’ve been doing hot yoga 3 times a week, and regular yoga once a week.

That’s a lot of yoga. And that’s a lot of sweaty active wear!

I thought I would take advantage of all the online sales and pick up some new activewear.


Black activewear. What do you think? It looks hell boring, I know.

I like the idea of cool, funky, colourful prints… I love seeing other girls wear colourful prints… and I have quite a few brightly coloured items myself. But I think in reality I’m just an all-black kind of girl.

I found some black pieces with different detailing and eeeeek, I’m loving them so much!

Activewear from Revolve

Wearing: Free People Moonshadow Bra and Varley Vincent Compression Tights.

So affordable! Not as luxurious and contouring as Lululemon, but still great to wear.

Do have a peek at the Cyber Monday Sale at Revolve, with additional 20% Off Sale Items + Free Express Shipping. Just use the code CYBER20 at the checkout.

Enjoy your week!


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Running Tip: Plan Your Route!

17 October 2016

Stupid 12km Run

I did something so silly on the weekend.

I ran 12km, but it was the stupidest run ever!

When I go running, I have a four, pre-planned routes from my house: 5km, 8km, 10km and 12km.

I had spent weeks plotting these good courses based on sun direction, shade, nice views, lots of water stops, good footpaths, minimal traffic, few small hills, not too secluded and scary, not too many cyclists, not too many driveways, not too many dogs + dog walkers and… simple landmarks that act as mental milestones.

(Yes, I’m a bit fussy. But I like to think that I’m ensuring an outstanding experience for myself – ALL THE TIME haha!)

Anyway, the other day I walked down my driveway and started to run. But something in my brain said, Hey I’m bored of my usual routes. Let’s be spontaneous and do something a bit different! OK!

So I ran 4km… in the full sun, got chased by dogs, almost got hit by a cyclist, got beeped by a car, got a bit lost and I was DYING OF THIRST!!

I tried to change my route to find a park. I considered creeping into someone’s garden and using their tap? I considered jumping a gate? I tried to find a friendly person in their front yard to ask for a glass of water? I even glanced into a bin to look for a discarded bottle of water (but I’m not sure if I would have drunk from it, eeep!)

I was soooo thirsty! I was getting dizzy and faint!

In the end, I found a primary school, ran around the deserted buildings like a CRAZY PERSON IN A MAZE, trying to look for a water fountain. Found one. Drank water.

I was SO ANNOYED at myself for ruining my run!!

And I was determined to finish a 12km distance no matter what. So I ran towards a local shopping centre, which was next to a sports stadium, where I knew there would be more water fountains.

Again, so many cars. So many traffic lights. So many roads to stop and cross. So many pedestrians. No shade. Messed up foot paths, tripping me up. UGH.

Stupidest run ever!!

(Oh well, at least I went for a run?!)

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Fitness Update: Running and Weights (With Kids!)

10 October 2016

Workout Mix

We had a really busy weekend – my niece turned 14 and had a birthday lunch, we had dinner with my parents, then a BBQ with friends and a visit from friends from out of town.

Despite the jam-packed schedule, it was my kids who bugged me to go out for a run with them!

They desperately felt the results of their slow-paced, school holiday routine… and they wanted to get fit for the new school term and the new basketball season.

I plotted a 2.5km course that went in circles around our local park, and we all ran at our own speed. My youngest rode his bike.

They stopped running after 3km and played in the playground. I carried on running around in big circles, until they got bored and wanted to go home. I ended up doing 8kms, which I was very happy about!

Then we all did some weights and workouts at home – haha it was quite cute!

I love my kids!

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Fitness Update: Mixing Running and Yoga

17 September 2016

Road Running

Yippee! After a long break, I think I can officially say that I’m back into my running groove.

For the last few weeks, I’ve been going for a 5km run in the middle of the week and a 10km run on the weekend.

At the back of my mind, I’m keen to reach a regular distance of 15km, and possibly run a 21km distance soon.

But I’m also discovering that… running for me is not about distance anymore. It’s about how I feel.

During my long runs, just for a bit of fun, I like to stop somewhere nice (next to the river, on a hill, under a tree, over-looking the beach) and do a slow yoga stretch routine.

Gosh, it’s so much fun!

Haha it might look a bit silly and it might ruin up my running time; but I do it because I just love it from the tips of my fingers down to the soles of my feet.

It makes me feel amazing and that’s enough of a reason to have a terrible running time!

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Hot Yoga

1 September 2016

Hot Yoga

I’ve been doing HOT YOGA for a few weeks now and I can finally say that I really like it!

I hated it at first.

I found it disgusting (soooo much sweat every where! My sweat and other people’s sweat! SO MANY SWEATY PEOPLE!!! Eeeeeeewwww!!)

I found it hard to breath, hard to focus, and therefore hard to balance. It made me feel very irritated.

But I stuck at it, learned how to cope, learned how to get on with it… and now I like it.

I won’t say that I LOVE IT… because I don’t feel it gives me that spiritual / harmonious / deep energy lift that I usually get from yoga.

After hot yoga, I feel like I’ve had a swim and a full-body workout. It gives my whole body a delicious glow and a great stretch… I like that!

It’s absolutely lovely to do on a cold winter’s day, but once summer kicks in, I can’t imagine doing it during the hot weather?!

We shall see!

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Fitness Update: First 10km in ages!

23 August 2016

Last Saturday, I struggled through my first 5km run in 6 weeks.

So the following day (Sunday), I made myself run another 5km and I felt soooo much better about life!


This week, I decided to do a longer run.

I set aside 1.5 hours and plotted out a 10km run using Gmaps.

The run was great. I started to feel wobbly at the 5km point, but I pushed through and it was all good.

I ran a pace of 6:30min/km and I only stopped to cross roads.

The main problem was that… it rained!

It poured so hard that my shoes filled up with water and my running jacket got absolutely soaked. And when it stopped raining, my wet jacket made me really cold, so I took it off and tied it around my waist.

So there I was, in the middle of winter, running in the rain, wearing a wet singlet and teeny tiny running shorts (also wet), and I was praying that my mother didn’t drive past and see me like this – she would have lectured me to death about getting rheumatism when I’m older?!?!

What is it with Chinese mothers and not getting wet/cold? Haha.

Anyway I ran and I felt AMAZING!!

Planning to do an even longer run next week :)

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Finding My Fitness Class Vibe

16 August 2016

Finding My Fitness Class Vibe

Wearing Abi & Joseph crop (old), Lululemon tights and Hello Parry Cardigan.

Years ago when I was part of a gym, I used to do pilates and yoga classes – I disliked both of them!

(I would rather do a boxing, pump or spin class, because I liked my exercise to be INTENSE and SWEATY!)

After that, I got into long distance cycling for a few years… and now I’m into running.

And lately I’ve discovered the joy of yoga.

In fact, I’ve fallen in love with yoga and what it has done to my body. I breathe better. I stretch better. I relax better. I meditate better. My awareness of my body, my posture, my flexibility and my pose has heightened. I loooove yoga. I never thought I would.

I’m also incredibly frustrated with it, because I want to be better at yoga NOW. I want to be stronger, more flexible, more more balanced NOW. But I’m not. It’s humbling for me. So in that, it has made me listen to my body and be much more patient with it.

(OMG will you listen to all this yogi shit coming out of my mouth!! Who am I??)

Finding My Fitness Class Vibe

Anyway, I thought I would try some pilates again. Who knows, maybe I might fall in love with that too?

Nope. I went to a new class the other day and had a rather poor experience.

The actual pilates movements were OK; I was good at some moves and extremely crappy at others.

I just didn’t connect with the instructor in our style or vibe.

And it made me realise how important it is to find that connection with your class instructor, in terms of learning/teaching styles, what you’re looking for in a class, and what stage you are in your development.

Anyway, enough rambling from me, I’m still going to stick with it and stick with yoga too.

I’m hoping to experiment with a few more Pilates classes and studios in the next few weeks, and hopefully I’ll enjoy it! Wish me luck!




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Fitness Update: Back Into Running

15 August 2016

Running 14 August 2016

On the weekend, I started to run again.

It’s been about 6 weeks since I’ve gone for a run – and it showed.

First run: I set aside 45 minutes and I planned to do a 5km run.

I felt sooooooooooo crappy throughout the whole run! I didn’t go very fast. But I was cursing and swearing the WHOLE way. I felt like absolute and utter shit!! I felt wrong, uncoordinated, slow, aching and heavy. It felt like it was the WORST run I have ever done! It was all wrong. But I did it. My watch ticked over to 5km, I immediately stopped and wanted to cry out with frustration. Ugh!!!

I was soooo pissed off with myself, that I determined to try again tomorrow. I planned to do another run the next day.

Second run:  I set aside 35 minutes and planned to do a 5km run.

OH MY GOD THIS FELT BETTTER. I went pretty slow. My motion was a lot smoother and lighter. I felt good.

At the end of it, I felt that I could have run for longer. I was content and a bit proud at myself.

Next week, I plan to do a longer run. 10km perhaps.

Nothing like a bit of failure to get myself up and kick some ass!

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Sports. Sports. Sports.

9 August 2016

Sports. Sports. Sports. That’s what my children are up to these days.

Doing sports. Watching sports. Training for sports.

My boys are in heaven with the Olympics on tv and a 24/7 broadcast of every sport imaginable!

Lately, they have been doing Athletics at school and they have started to take their at-home training quite seriously; Borrowing my running app, my running watch, my weights, my iPod, casting a glance over my workout print-outs, disappearing to the park for 40 minutes.

They are super motivated! I love it!

However, I have a feeling that they’ll overtake me soon and I’ll be struggling to keep up with them haha.

Cross Country 2016

In other news: My 11 year old came SECOND in his School’s Cross Country Race – which was amazing!

They ran 2kms and his time was 8:24 minutes.

Meaning he was running 4:12 min/kms.

Which is pretty much my sprinting time.


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Fitness Update: Losing 3-4kgs and Muscle Strength

4 August 2016

Yoga Feet

So in one of my previous posts, I mentioned that I had returned from my 3 week holiday, and even though we went on 6 hour walks and climbed mountains… I put on 3kgs.

Usually my weight fluctuates by 1-2kgs, but add 3kgs on top of the fluctuations meant I saw the scales tip to 5kgs over some days!

Ok ok I wasn’t too concerned about the weight gain. I was more annoyed that I lost a lot of muscle mass/toning. I worked soooo hard to tone up! Bah, such first world problems huh?

Anyway, I managed to bring my weight back to normal after a week.

How? I just went back to eating my normal, small-sized portions – instead of my pigging-out-holiday portions!

I just ate mainly vegetables and protein (meat, fish, eggs, nuts).

And I limited the carbs, biscuits, cakes, scones, chips and muffins.

I’ve been testing out some different varieties of organic herbal teas (not the weight-loss, laxative stuff) and it turns out that I drink about 4 cups a day, so I end up being quite full all day and less in the mood for snacking.

As for gaining strength…

I used to be able to do 20 push ups no problems, sometimes 30. Now I get wobbly at 5, and I think I’m going to DIE when I reach 9.

I’ve started doing yoga twice a week (in class and at home).

I’m doing Kayla’s Bikini Body Workout once a week (because I’m slack).

I’m randomly choosing a 28 minute YouTube workout to do once a week (because it’s fun).

I’m doing weights everyday (because it’s simple).

And I haven’t started to run yet (because it’s cold).

I guess you can say that my exercise routine is not surviving through winter very well!

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Fitness Update: My Regular Workout Routine

14 June 2016

Nike Sneakers

Hey hey, how you all doing with your fitness activities?

I thought I’d share my regular workout routine, as a way of writing it down, so I can refer to it and track my progress. Because at the moment, it’s just a jumbled list in my head!

I’m not a professional trainer, I don’t have a certificate in fitness or nutrition. I have NO idea if I’m breaking any sacred fitness rules. But I have been to tonnes of different workout classes in my lifetime, watched enough workout videos, read up about routines… enough to know what I like, what I don’t like and what I’m comfortable with.

So this is just that – a routine that I like.

I don’t like workouts that are too jumpy and cardio-y. If I want a cardio and aerobic workout, I run or do sprints, because they are most efficient for me, time wise. Plus I love running.

With my workouts, I’m more focused on my muscles, toning and strength. I’m not trying to burn masses of energy or lose weight.

This routine is my “comfortable” limit. I don’t sweat too much. I don’t strain myself too much. This is just my personal maintenance.

(Which is why I started the Kayla Itsines Bikini Body Guide a few weeks ago; I was keen to start a bit more of a structured routine to give me an extra push.)

My Regular Workout goes something like this:

2 minutes of yoga stretches – various yoga poses, bending over to touch my toes, lower back stretches, leg stretches.

20 jump squats, 20 push ups, 20 lunges, 20 tricep dips, 20 crunches, 20 weighted lunges (2 x 5kg dumbbells), 20 weighted squat with standing press (raise dumbbells vertically upwards), 20 bicep curls, 20 jack knives (2 x 3kgs), 20 bicycle crunches, then a series of butt exercises (fire hydrant!) and core exercises (planks, commando).

Then I’ll repeat… until I’m tired and can’t do anymore!

Do you have a regular workout? Stuff you make up yourself?

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Fitness: How I Keep Motivated and Active

23 May 2016


This past week, my fitness mojo has been struggling. It’s a real, begrudging, constantly-hitting-snooze kind of struggle.

The weather is now cold, wet and rainy… and the LAST thing I want to do is take off my 3 layers of warm, snuggly clothing, put on my running shorts and go outside – oh god!

But it turned out that my various pseudo-motivation techniques won out and I did manage to get a few workouts done haha.

I’m not a fitness guru, or model, or celebrity, or anyone who has to work out and look good as part of their job.

I’m just a regular, suburban mother of 3 kids… I genuinely love the feeling I get when I exercise, I love when I feel fit and strong, I love being out and about, I love pushing myself, I love the dialogue in my head when I exercise, I love the post-exercise feeling and I love my body being the shape it is.

So here are some ways I keep myself motivated and active!


1) Have fitness buddies.

I don’t actually exercise with them! I just have a few fitness-keen friends, who I chat to over Whatsapp or Messenger… we shoot each other messages now and then, saying “Been to yoga recently?” or “Did you run on the weekend?” or “My bum hurts from my workout!!”

Fortunately for me, I have 2 very keen fitness crazy sons (aged 13 and 11) and they like to keep fit for their sports. So they are always nagging me to go for a run, do a round of workouts, do some weights. It’s awesome.


2) Mix it up.

Yes I get hell bored when I do the same thing over and over.

I always try to mix my fitness up: Yoga. Running. Sprinting. Boxing. Weights. Pilates. Workout routines. High intensity interval training workouts from Youtube.


3) Be flexible.

If I make too many goals or plans, I often break them and feel really annoyed at myself.

So I don’t have a structured routine. I tend to be very flexible with what I do each week.


4) Try something completely new.

I’m about to start Kayla Itsines’ Bikini Body Guide, (not so much because I want rock hard abs like the girls on Instagram) I just want some new routines and a more structured workout.

Rock hard abs maaaaay be a nice side effect, but I doubt it, because I eat too much chocolate and instant noodles.


5) Try a drop in class 

To find new activities and to add a bit of fun and adventure in my life… I’ve been popping into places which offer a free trail.

I tried Hot Yoga class (38C) the other day aaaaand…. it’s not for me. I didn’t really like the sweating and the intense heat. I felt that I could get an equally effective workout doing a regular yoga class or a HIIT workout.

I’m keen to try a barre class, a proper boxing class and do a bit more rock climbing?


6) Buy in bulk.

Buy a pack of 10 class passes to save money.

I’m not a fan of gyms anymore, as they don’t suit my fitness interest, lifestyle and the fact that I get bored easily.

But I appreciate they suit of lot of other people. And I know that “Not Wasting Money” is a good motivator!

Hence if I buy a pack of 10 passes, you can be sure that I’ll be going to all 10 classes dammit.


7) Exercise at night

My kids go to bed around 8-8:30pm. My husband and I will usually head over to the lounge room to relax, chat about our day, turn on the TV or hop on our computers.

I will usually set up my yoga mat and start doing some gentle stretches (because it feels really good at the end of the day)… soon my body warms up and I’ll start to do harder stuff (like crunches), then I’ll get annoyed that I’m doing a workout in my jeans, so I’ll change into my fitness gear and start doing a full workout.

I usually do this every evening. And I feel absolutely fantastic after!


8) Get nice activewear.

Yep I’m pretty vain. I like the nice stuff. I like the quality. I looooove the feeling of amazing tights against my skin. No more Target or Kmart stuff for me.

I get the good stuff so I can make an excuse to wear them every day!


Yep, I think that’s about all the motivational stuff that actually keeps me going.

Hope you find it useful!

Have an amazing week!


day of week

An After-Holiday Fitness Update

9 May 2016

15k Run
Hi everyone!

It was Mother’s Day yesterday… and my husband and kids asked me what I wanted as my Mother’s Day Treat.

I said, “I’d like 2 free hours so I can have a run!”

So after a morning of pancakes and presents, my wonderful husband took all three kids to the city for the day, just so I could have my run. Yay!

I ran around the Swan River, around the 3 Perth Bridges (The Narrows Bridge, the Causeway and the Graham Farmer Freeway).

I think I ran 12km (at a 6:30min/k pace) and walked 3kms, totalling a distance of 15km. I was pretty happy with that. I felt great after. A bit sore and tired though.

I haven’t had a big run in aaaages. The last time I ran 12kms was two months ago. Since then I’ve been doing short 2 – 6 km runs here and there. Then I picked up swimming. Then work got busy. Then I went on holiday.

I’ve slowly started to fill my week:
Sunday – Long Run
Monday – Rest, evening yoga at home
Tuesday – High intensity training workout
Wednesday – Yoga
Thursday – EMS session (I did a review here)
Friday – Yoga
Saturday – Light stretching in the evening

It’s been so nice to get back into the fitness groove again!

day of week

My New Love: Yoga

2 April 2016

Yoga Love

Hi everyone! Hope you all had an amazing weekend :)

I want to share my new love… yoga.

Now I feel like I’m 10 years late in the game. But it’s better late than never!

I’ve been to lots of yoga classes over the years and I’ve never really loved it.

I went to classes at general fitness gyms, community centres, specialised yoga studios, a beachside yoga place, hipster/organic/uber cool studios.

They were nice. They were ok. The workout was meh. It was nothing great. I’d rather do a pilates class. Or a Body Pump class. Or hey, I’d rather just go for a run, because that’s much cheaper!

However I’ve recently joined a yoga class in Perth called Bodyscape Yoga and my mind was blown.

I tried out a few classes… and whenever I did a class, the next day I would wake up feeling freaking AMAZING.

Now, I don’t seem to wake up with an aching back, stiffness and soreness in my muscles and joints.

I seriously feel younger and more energetic. I bounce happily out of bed in the mornings!

It’s a crazy feeling and I love it!

It is definitely something I am adding to my overall fitness activities :)