This is me…

It’s time I shared the REAL story. 

Exercise saved my life. 

I thought I’d fill you all in on the full story of my past. The dirty dark side because it shaped me to be the strong and powerful woman you see here today. 

I wasn’t born into a fit and healthy family. I had quite a challenging childhood in fact. To say it wasn’t easy would be an understatement. At the time I didn’t know any different of course but when I share stories of my life I often get strange looks, and when I hear stories about others, I came to the conclusion that my life was a little different. This is not a sob story, but one of strength and power to overcome the hand I’d been dealt.

My father was/is an alcoholic and when I was young he sexually abused me. Many times. It got to a point that when we were at school we learned about sexual abuse and learnt how to yell NO. I still remember this class very clearly. The next time it happened, I yelled NO. And it stopped. At that moment I saved myself from the immediate threat, but it lead to an adolescence filled with escapism and self loathing. 

I didn’t tell anybody at the time because you just don’t, you feel ashamed and somehow like it’s your fault and think that nobody will believe you anyway, so I lived with it hidden for many years. I would have nightmares as a child, I was accused of not concentrating at school or of being a day dreamer as my teachers would write in my report cards. I was never diagnosed with anything but with what I know now, I think that I may have been suffering from some kind of PTSD or depression or both? 

In my 20’s I found relief……….in drugs. It started out as what you would consider just being a party girl. I lived every week planning the next party and survived through the week on a cocktail of cigarettes, and Redbull. I loved drugs because they made me feel free. They gave me confidence, strength, they made me feel happy and they made me forget about everything painful. I felt calm. I felt at ease. I loved nothing more than getting wasted, then all of a sudden Saturday nights turned into Sunday mornings and they turned into Sunday nights. Then Fridays too and then Wednesdays, because I couldn’t wait all week. 

It got to the point where the high was never enough and I would keep climbing, keep going for days because I didn’t want to face my life. On the outside I was always bubbly, happy, making jokes but on the inside I was hurting. I hated who I was, I just wanted to be the happy, confident and free Hayley, and drugs gave me that feeling. 

So I took more and more until one day I was hospitalised for a reaction to a pill. I had been up for so many days and had taken so many drugs that I started fitting, until my friend took me to hospital and they filled me up with enough valium to sink a ship, until I finally stopped fitting and then slept for a long time. Days in fact. I was in hospital for the week until they let me out. Wake up call? Not yet…. I wasn’t done. 

The definition of addiction – addiction is a condition in which a person engages in use of a substance or in a behavior for which the rewarding effects provide a compelling incentive to repeatedly pursue the behavior despite detrimental consequences. 

So I guess I was an addict? 

The very next weekend I did it all again, and again, and again. Until one day a friend came to visit me and we went out for the weekend. When she got home she told me that she had cried for 2 hours on the way home because she was so worried about me. Then I changed. I saw the effect it had on my friend and thought ‘I must be fucked up’. To change, you need to feel ashamed, you need to feel somewhat disgusted at what you’ve become, you need to feel the pain of staying the same, and I finally did. 

I took myself away from Sydney and everything that would tempt me to take drugs. I even then took myself overseas to finally travel, something I’d wanted to do for years. I then lived and worked overseas for 5 years and in that time I found fitness and became a PT. I have no doubt that I used exercise as a new addiction in the beginning, something to take the pain away and something to give me a high, but it also changed my life. 

I had finally found something that made me stronger, that made me walk taller, that made me feel amazing and that built my mental strength as much as physical. 

Over the 10 years since I found fitness I have built myself up, everyday. I still have days and weeks where life is tough, we all do. But there are less and less of these. Every week you get stronger, you get better, you can handle more, and it hurts less until it doesn’t hurt at all.

Training to me is something that brings out the best in you, it certainly brings up some shit along the way that’s for sure, but if I didn’t find fitness I honestly don’t know where I’d be. 

I am no longer ashamed to tell you this as I am so incredibly proud of how far I have come in my life and I am proud of how many obstacles that I have faced along the way. I just felt so compelled to tell you all this finally, because if it inspires one person to face their demons then my work is done. I feel like I have just stripped naked in front of you, bearing it all but I still wanted to show you. 

This is me. 

How Jordana lost 40kg and found her identity again

First can you describe yourself before you started on your health journey?

I was a new mum , wondering why my clothes just didn’t fit. I was tired all the time and had no energy to do anything.I was in denial about how much weight I had gained and automatically assumed as soon as my belly went down everything would fit. I couldn’t even get my size 12 shorts over my knees.

1. You have lost an incredible 40kg, how did you get started?

I started googling fad diets, after realising that I was never going to stick to any of them. I stumbled across food swapping I just made better choices I had swapped hot chips to sweet potato, coke to water, white rice to brown ect. At this stage I tried to take my son for a walk in the pram he would scream the entire time. So I decided not to focus on exercise but what I ate instead.

2. What was your WHY? Why did you want to lose weight and start a healthy life?

I felt like I had lost my identity, all of a sudden I was this first time mum stuck at home all the time, I felt isolated and felt like I had no control over anything. I didn’t want to have a weight problem at 21. I wanted to feel happy , confident and set an example for my son. The idea of him learning my eating habits and having a weight problem terrifies me. It’s a road that I’ll try my hardest for him to never go down.

3. What did you begin to notice as you lost weight? Physically or mentally?

It’s most definitely a physical thing nothing made me more excited then fitting back into old clothes.

4. Did you fail or have bumps in the road? Fall off the plan? Feel like giving up?

So many bumps in the road! It took me a long time to lose all that weight but each time I fell off the plan, the next time I was always more informed and more prepared. I think it’s important to make small goals it helps to keep the motivation going.

5. How did you find HAIL Fitness?

I was actually lucky enough to find H.A.I.L Fitness on Facebook where I won a competition where I received 8 weeks of personal training!

6. Why did you ask us to help you?

I just wanted to be happy. I loved the fact that H.A.I.L Fitness wasn’t promoting a quick fix but they were teaching you the tools you need to carry on a healthy lifestyle long after you have finished training with them.

7. What was an obstacle or belief that stopped you from hiring a PT sooner?

As a parent I’ve always spent any spare cash on my child , I’ve always felt guilty for spending money on myself. So I loved the fact I could spilt the cost with my friend to make personal training more affordable for me.

8. Did you notice any changes or improvements after starting with us?

My first 8 weeks with H.A.I.L Fitness I lost 7% body fat and my second, I lost 5kgs which was 29cm in my measurements! For the first time in my life I actually have some stomach definition!! I’m not tired all the time and I feel more confident in myself.

9. What specific feature did you enjoy about training with HAIL Fitness?

Everything was tailored to my needs. I wanted to be able to eat well but not spend hours doing meal prep .I wanted to make the most of my workouts but not feel like I needed to go to the gym every day to see progress. Personal training 2x a week was all I needed.

10. What would be 3 benefits of starting training with us?

  1. Proven results
  2. Programs tailored to your individual needs
  3. Being able to spilt the cost with your friends and have someone to share the journey with you

11. What would you say to someone who has a long way to go or is considering hiring H.A.I.L Fitness to help them?

‘You will not be disappointed. Hayley and Ash have changed my life for the better. Probably more then they will never know . I’ve had so much help and support to keep me going. I know I would of given up without them. H.A.I.L fitness has given me the tools to be able to lead a healthy lifestyle by helping me understand exercise and the importance of making good food choices not only for myself but for my family too.

If you have a long way to go, just keep going .Be realistic about your goals. If I can lose 40kgs anyone can. It’s going to be tough and you probably will get off track but as long as each time you learn from your mistakes you’re always going to do better. You can not put a price on your health and H.A.I.L Fitness is most definitely worth every cent.’

Staying FIT & STRONG through stress

I just wanted to touch base with you all in regards to the busy end of year period. It seems that the busy times are hitting us early this year and everyones bosses are expecting more from them and pushing them harder, or businesses are picking up and it may be taking it’s toll on you physically or mentally.

The most important person you can look after now is YOU and it is even more important to make sure you are getting enough of these following things to keep up with the pace

Training throughout these times is still as essential as it always is, BUT you need to listen to your body. If my clients turn up to a session i can normally tell if they’re up for a biggie or not, i’ve got a sixth sense, but i always encourage them to tell me if their body isn’t feeling it anyway and i will always adjust the training sessions to accommodate. This isn’t slacking off! It’s simply learning the all important lesson of using what you have and doing what you can. Pushing yourself in a hard session on top of pushing yourself in every other area of your life will indeed get you sick, more tired than you already are and you may even drop off training because you can’t cope! Cortisol is a wonderful hormone, when we stress it is used, also when we train it is used, if we run out and the body can’t keep up with your demands, you will soon learn what adrenal fatigue is and will have to take time out from training, work and possibly even stress your loved ones due to you being an emotional wreck. So back off your training on days when the stress levels are high, then you can come back and kick butt on the other days to come! It doesn’t mean you have to do nothing, i sometimes still do the same sessions, just using lighter weights, less reps or less sets. This will decrease the physical load on the body and won’t demand too much of your energy. 

Nutrition as always this is number 1! If your body isn’t fuelled correctly, it won’t work to the peak performance demands that you are making. Now sometimes you might think that you are eating healthy, but signs that you’re not eating enough of right for your body type would be, looking for sugar or sweet foods, needing more caffeine especially in the afternoon, tired, can’t train well, aren’t sleeping, feeling bloated, aren’t waking up rested etc etc. You can be eating healthy foods but not the right macronutrients for your body type, if any of the above symptoms sound familiar i am happy to help you find your answer to nutrition for you. 

Sleep is so important. You might think that alcohol is your favourite thing in the world, lol, but go without sleep for a few nights and you will soon learn how lack of sleep affects everything. A lack of a good nights sleep will affect your hormones dramatically. Gaining more weight around your middle? I can guarantee that if you aren’t getting a good quality nights sleep this is one of the causes of that fat gain. Again this is due to the hormones, they want to replenish the stores and reset in the evening, and if you’re not resting and getting a good sleep your hormones won’t replenish. Leaving you feeling tired, emotional and not feeling on top of things in your daily activities. This leads to perhaps increasing your carbs and particularly sugar. Again another of my first questions that i ask my clients is, are you sleeping well, if not we put in some healthy sleep plans in place to make sure they are feeling their best. I know, you probably don’t think your pt would give you a bed time but i do, 10pm is the goal!! 

Fill your cup, this is something that is a MUST and should be booked into your week every week! Find some time to laugh, be with loved ones and just muck around, go to the beach or a little self love. This itself, will decrease stress and make you feel like you again. Something that i am still working on as i tend to be a bit of a workaholic but i am learning this one from my clients. I try to book in some self love or time with friends every week. So a massage, getting my nails done or the likes of. When you’re a mum or a business person or someone who gives a lot, it’s important to find some time to fill your own cup. You can’t help anybody else unless you keep your own cup full and work on yourself first. 

I hope this helps some of you get through these next few months ahead!! Lets finish 2016 FIT and STRONG! 

Hayley xx

‘Phew… something that makes sense and works’

Hail Fitness client, Maeve Heaney, tells us about her experiences with us and also talks about her challenges faced in her journey and how she continues to overcome them.

1. How would you describe yourself before you started training with Hayley? 

Very busy – with what feels like quite a stressful workload – although love what I do:)! Physically, I was unsatisfied with my attempts to keep a balance: while never overweight, strictly speaking, I felt heavier than I was comfortable with, despite having quite a healthy diet and more exercise in my life than in previous years. 

Shifting that weight and staying fit has been a challenge in recent years.

2. Were you already training and what results were you getting or not getting?

For the last 5 years, I have been running 1-2 times a week (depending on work, mainly). But I have not seen the effects I wanted to: I enjoyed it, but thought it would help in weight control, which it really did not, or not as much as I felt it should…

3. Were there any injuries etc to work around or exercise barriers?

Time for exercise was (and at times is) still a barrier – although as much mental as actual. I work in academia – and that implies lots of time writing, preparing classes, chasing publishing deadlines… Not a very body-aware occupation! Finding a rhythm of exercise that suited me and sticking to it was difficult. Perhaps especially when I felt it was not really achieving what I hoped it would.

4. What results have you received?

Two things have shifted quite radically:
I have learned stuff about my own diet needs, and daily rhythm, and on what suits my body-type that I was completely unaware of. That has made weight control much easier,
And I have got into the rhythm of a form of exercise that is actually affecting my overall fitness and body – both in how healthy and supple I feel, and in losing the weight that over the past years I had got used to having. It’s such a pleasure to be able to wear my old clothes and feel comfortable with how I feel. 

We academics work a lot with our minds – and it can seem like the body is not important. That’s false. I teach aesthetics. How we look and feel is not superficial… it is part of our whole sense of self. It’s important to like how you look and feel. 

I am still very busy:) – that will not change any day soon! And every now and again have to be careful about work eating up my exercise regime, but having someone to keep that in check a bit is also helpful. I travel a lot for work, but I touch base with Hayley when back – which just helps me keep the momentum going and take the next step. 

5. Was it easy to follow the advice given? 

Yes – because I was given the rationale behind it and it made sense. I have a sixth sense for people who know what they’re doing and are good at it, so that makes following instructions easier. Also, with the exercise regime – Hayley took it step by step, and feeling myself improve as we went along was great. 

6. What would you say to someone who was thinking of starting a health journey with HAIL Fitness? 

I would completely recommend it. The main reasons being they are good at what they do, and in my experience are not giving general advice or seeking to make everyone do the same, or sign up for something, but to help you learn what you need to know about your lifestyle, body, rhythm, diet and exercise needs to be healthy and achieve the results you are after. 

7. How would you describe yourself and your knowledge now? 

Clichéd as it may sound: “phew…”finally: something that makes sense and works for me”. Am still learning and getting getting into that rhythm… but really happy about having gone down this route! 

This year it’s my year!

THIS YEAR IT’S YOUR TIME TO SHINE! 

It’s wonderful to see so many people on January 1st excited to kick themselves in the butt and reach their goal of health and happiness in 2016!. Goals are set, motivation is high and if you’re in Australia, the weather is just perfect to get out and sweat your little heart out. But…..

 yes here it is, only 10% of people actually stick to a new health and fitness routine, 10 PERCENT!!! I know it’s sad isn’t it? Well i’m going to give you some tips to assist you to stick to your goals and this time stay there! Going from couch potato to training 5 times a week is physically demanding, mentally challenging and going to take up more time than you think. I’m not saying don’t exercise, but think about your goals and make a REALISTIC plan first. Too often i see clients train up to 5 times in the first week (despite my advice to start slow), then the next week, POOF they disappear, gone. Sound familiar? As a health coach, i’m here to guide you to success, long term, not to just train you once per week and who cares what you do in the rest of your week.

I hope these tips help you stay on track this time. 

  1. First have a realistic goal. Losing 2kg a week is unrealistic for the average person. At HAIL Fitness we don’t do fad diets or quick fixes. Long term results and healthy and happy lifestyles is our specialty. Fast fat losses are more than likely going to give you metabolic damage, which means your metabolism will slow down and you will gain MORE FAT than you began with. Realistically, that fat mass took time to increase, so it’s going to take time to make new habits and stick to them. 
  2. Find something that makes you want to get out and do it! Yes of course there are better ways of doing things for better results, but will you do it? Find something that you enjoy doing, if you’re having fun you are more likely to stick to it. Then change it up so you don’t get bored. Think about swimming, tennis, paddle boarding, hiking, gym, the list is endless!! 
  3. Be realistic and don’t cut out food groups. So often I hear “I’ve cut out all carbs because I lost 5kg in a week last time”. Ok maybe you did, but what happened after that week of no carb motivation wore off? It gets boring and you give up and your body is lacking CARBS or energy!! Never cut out a whole food group, unless it’s a medical reason or you’ve been advised by a nutritionist or health professional. If you are eating well 80% of your week, and enjoying LIFE with a cheeky treat or lunch out with friends once in a while, you’re more likely to stick to that and get the results you’re after, LONG TERM, which is what you really want, don’t you? 
  4. Don’t take on too many intense training sessions in one week. Believe it or not but you don’t have to train like a beast EVERYDAY to get results. Alternate sessions from full body resistance training one day, to light walking or yoga the next, then HIIT (high intensity interval training) the next. Training too hard everyday will only put too much stress on your body and hormonal system and eventually burn you out. You want to have the energy to enjoy your life too as well as get results. 
  5. Too much time spent training – I never recommend anybody train intensly for more than one hour a day. Training can be too much of a good thing too and you will burn out as mentioned above.
  6. Get expert advice. As trainers and health coaches we know how to get you to a goal, and keep you there through our coaching programs. So if time is an issue, we know how to make a plan thats 30 minutes long with great returns. We don’t just train you physically, but mentally too.
  7. Find friends and family to support you. This one is hard and sometimes some people in your life don’t want you to change, I have experienced this first hand. You need support, the top 5 people you spend time with will determine your success! Think about it. Who are they and do they support you? If not, join a fitness group with similar people to you. It’s an easier road with support.
  8. Change one thing at a time – this one is tough as everybody just wants to wake up and automatically crave green smoothies and long fitness sessions. Changing just one thing at a time will greatly improve your chances of success. I know you want to be able to do it all NOW, but really, did it work for you when you tried that last time? Be gentle on yourself and take one step at a time.
  9. Accept that you will fail sometimes. This one is where the magic happens. Failure is a part of change and success. If you’re not failing, your not learning. It’s not about throwing the towel in when you fall, it’s about wiping the sweat from your face with that towel and getting back up and trying again.

So, if the first try at your health and fitness goals didn’t quite work out. Don’t give up and change your goal. Just perhaps try a different approach.

New Year New You!! 30 Day Juice Cleanse! 28 Days to a Healthy Body! 4 Week Fat Burning Meal Plan! How to lose weight Fast!!

As we all fire up to reach all of our new years resolutions please be careful of clever marketing and quick unrealistic plans designed to get you to buy a 30day fat loss product that promises the world and guess what it’s EASY!! HA!

I just want to highlight that fat loss or taking on a new healthy life takes longer than 30days or 8 weeks or what ever time frame promised. It takes a lifetime. It takes a conscious decision to change for the better, for a higher purpose than to look good, but for the pure reason that you are sick of staying where you are and feeling like you currently do.

You are tired of feeling tired, you don’t sleep well, you don’t feel happy, you get increased anxiety, increased health problems, muscle and joint pain, you’ve lost CONFIDENCE. That is the number one reason most people sign up for our health coaching programs, believe it or not it’s CONFIDENCE. They might start off saying it’s fat loss but in the first 10 minutes of a consultation i guarantee the underlying reason is to gain confidence. You used to feel happy, in control and feel good to wear what ever you want and do what ever you want. Then over time life took over, or kids or your job, whatever it was but you lost control of your life and choices. 

All of the above things were created over time and they will take time to undo. Sure doing 30days you may feel better for that time and possibly even lose a little size around the middle, but what happens after the 30days? Can you keep it up? If it’s a juice cleanse or shake diet i guarantee you are dangerously cutting your food intake and once you begin to eat again you will gain even more weight than you began with. More about this in another article. And before i get people arguing with me on juice cleanses and their benefits, i do agree some of them are great for liver cleansing or other health reasons IF completed with a nutritionist but for fat loss, no definitely not.

Following a strict 30day plan will not teach you to make educated choices in the future. You may be able to be told what to eat when for a few weeks but you want to be able to make choices for yourself in the future. Learn about what works for you and why it works.

To assist you in making the right decisions this year and in starting 2016 right, one of the best things that you can do is INVEST IN YOURSELF. Hire a trainer and health coach who already leads the healthy happy life that you want to achieve. Or that offers a plan that you can stick to. Interview THEM. Ask them how they would train you, what nutrition guidelines they offer, where they can train you and what available times they have. If you’re a busy mum of 4 kids and the trainer only offers you a one hour session at school drop off time with a chicken, broccoli and brown rice nutrition plan, then thats probably not going to work for you LONG TERM. Oh but i’ll lose weight fast right? Maybe, but what happens after your kids go back to school and you need to prepare healthy meals for the whole family at night? You’re not going to be able to keep it up and then it will take you right back to your starting point. 

If you think you can’t afford a trainer, just ask us. We have many options available for every budget. From $10 group training up to one hour private sessions. Not in our area? We offer online services too. 🙂 

Still want to go it alone? I highly recommend buying a book written by Paul Chek called “How To Eat, Move and Be Healthy.” I call it my bible and refer to it often. Paul Chek is a very well known Holistic Practitioner who i have completed many advanced courses with. Order it online and i guarantee it will be much wiser investment than the 30day cleanse that keeps popping up on facebook. 

So in conclusion please don’t fall for the skinny mint tea adds that keep popping up on facebook or the “One Size Fits All Plan” sold and promoted by the 20year old girl who takes photos of her abs to sell her programs. These are just marketing tools designed to prey on you and get you to sign up to a plan that they know you and millions of others won’t stick to. 80% of people who start a health program won’t finish it. Don’t let that be YOU.