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Well, hello there

Author photo
Welcome to the new-look Women’s Fitness website! Why not stay a while and have a look around? You’ll find tips and advice on fitness, food, beauty, travel, fashion and much, much more. And if you like it, feel free to make this a regular hangout. We’d love to see your pretty face again, soon.

body love

Recipe: Gingersnap & oat biscuits

We’ve given the Anzac biscuit a healthy makeover so you can still enjoy this delish Aussie treat

Makes 20 biscuits

Ingredients
1 cups  (175g) rolled oats

cup (40g) desiccated coconut

- 1 tsp ground ginger, depending on your taste cup (60g) flaked or chopped almonds

2 tbsp melted butter (or your choice of macadamia nut oil or cold-pressed coconut oil)
2 tbsp Manuka honey
1 tsp vanilla extract (or tsp vanilla bean paste)

40g crystallised ginger, sliced
1-2 tbsp water to mix

Method
1. Combine oats, coconut, ginger and almonds into a food processor. Add the butter, honey and vanilla.

Process well for about 15 seconds or until combined.
Add the ginger.
2. Add the water and process again. The addition of water will help the cookie mixture stick together.

3. Form 20 small cookies and place them onto a baking sheet lined with baking paper.
Flatten down with enough room around each cookie. Bake for 20-30 minutes in a low 150°C oven or until golden brown.

4. Allow to cool before eating. Store in an airtight container for 5 days.

The lowdown (per serve)
375kJ; 1.7g protein; 8.1g carbs; 1.2g fibre: 5.7g total fat 1.7g (sat fat)

Recipe: Gingersnap & oat biscuits
We’ve given the Anzac biscuit a healthy makeover so you can still enjoy this delish Aussie treat
Makes 20 biscuitsIngredients1 cups  (175g) rolled oats
cup (40g) desiccated coconut
- 1 tsp ground ginger, depending on your taste cup (60g) flaked or chopped almonds
2 tbsp melted butter (or your choice of macadamia nut oil or cold-pressed coconut oil)2 tbsp Manuka honey 1 tsp vanilla extract (or tsp vanilla bean paste)
40g crystallised ginger, sliced1-2 tbsp water to mixMethod1. Combine oats, coconut, ginger and almonds into a food processor. Add the butter, honey and vanilla.
Process well for about 15 seconds or until combined.
Add the ginger. 2. Add the water and process again. The addition of water will help the cookie mixture stick together.
3. Form 20 small cookies and place them onto a baking sheet lined with baking paper.
Flatten down with enough room around each cookie. Bake for 20-30 minutes in a low 150°C oven or until golden brown.
4. Allow to cool before eating. Store in an airtight container for 5 days.The lowdown (per serve)375kJ; 1.7g protein; 8.1g carbs; 1.2g fibre: 5.7g total fat 1.7g (sat fat)

Why you need to visit Moreton Island

By Rachel Sharp, Editor

Have you ever stumbled across a place right on your doorstep so amazing you wonder how on earth it’s escaped your radar for so long?

That’s exactly how I felt after a day on Moreton Island, just a short hop from Brisbane. My better half and I spent eight hours there during a four-day P&O Cruise from Sydney recently and what was meant to be a laid back expedition to dry land ended up with me ticking a handful of amazing stuff off my bucket list (more on those below…). Moreton’s the third largest sand island in the world (trivia, tick!) and one of the only places in Australia you’re allowed to hand feed wild dolphins, which we did. Not that this place would boast about it.

That’s what I found most lovely about the island – it’s so understated and laid back (and so typically Queensland) I arrived with no expectations, just to check it out, but left with a long list of why I’d go back. (It’s always the quiet ones…)

Firstly, it’s beautiful, in a rustic, natural, typically Aussie kind of way. More than 95 per cent National Park, there are hardly any roads and no public transport or taxis, but there are still plenty of creature comforts at its epicentre, Tangalooma Island Resort, if you’d prefer a roof over your head to a tent fly. Most of the fun leisure stuff happens at or next to the resort, so you never have far to walk, and the vibe around the main beachfront is fun and social – there are cafes, bars, live music and market stalls to fill the time between watersport and leisure treats.

Moreton’s weather is a pretty weighty draw-card too – the mercury sits anywhere from 21 to 29C in summer, and the water temperature is almost as warm as the air. The coolest it tends to drop even in winter is a lovely 20C.

But the best part (well, for aqua-obsessed me, anyways): this place is water activity heaven! You can try outrigger canoeing, ocean kayaking, catamaran cruises, parasailing, whale watching expeditions, and snorkeling tours of 15 local shipwrecks that almost sit bow to stern. In fact, this unassuming giant sand bar is one of the only places in the world you can cross paths with wild dolphins, dugongs, turtles, stingrays, wobbegong sharks (I saw four out of five of these during my visit). On land, there’s fishing, island exploration outings, oyster farm or quad biking tours, bush tucker, desert or Segway safaris, volleyball and even bird-spotting. Or you could just laze on a sun lounger and Zzzzzz…

How do you get there? Most common way is a 75-minute ferry ride from Brisbane, but the more glam mode of arrive would be via cruise liner, as we did. Moreton Island is a tender port, meaning we were transported from ship to shore on a smaller boat – a 30-minute ride with amazing views.

I was spoiled for sporting choice there, but here are three things I loved most about my brief affair with Moreton:

1. We snorkeled 15 wrecks in 50 minutes
I’ve been scuba diving since I was 16 and seen loads of stunning under-ocean things, but never cruised 15 (yes 15!) shallow shipwrecks in less than an hour. We spotted a giant turtle, a tiny woebegone shark, gentle rays and a bazillion beautiful fish during that time too. I’m told people roam from far and wide to see the famous Tangalooma Wrecks – between 1963 and 1984 the Queensland government sank 15 ships almost tip-to-toe on the shallow Eastern coast of the island, just five-minutes-walk down the beach from the Tangalooma Resort, turning it into snorkeling and diving nirvana No wonder almost 200 species of marine life have taken up residence. It’s a pretty snazzy part of the ocean, trust me.

2. We got back to nature
Sure, Segways, parasailing and quad bikes are crazy fun (and usually my go-to resort-offer activities given the choice) but it was lovely to take a moment away from the adrenaline and be driven half way around the island’s beachfront by a guide who knew everything about its history and eco-system – fascinating. (Mother Nature, you’re a clever, pretty thing.)

3. Wild dolphins literally dined from my hand
The piece de resistance: just me, my hubby, thigh-deep water and two fully-grown wild bottlenose dolphins (erm, and about 100 witnesses standing on the jetty next to us) at dusk – the setting was worlds away from hand-feeding a meek, captive theme-park creature. You’d be amazed at how thrilling, surreal and a touch frightening this experience can be (we were fully briefed by staff beforehand that while friendly, these beautiful creatures aren’t tame, so you never truly know what they’re going to do). There are up to 10 dolphins that regularly drop into the resort for snacks and socials, the second generation to swing by since 1992. While there’s a cap on the number of people who can pay to do it each day, a Marine Education and Conservation Centre staff member standing with you the whole time, and strict rules of engagement (you have to wash off any sunscreen and perfume, be sure you’re not sick or carrying germs, disinfect your hands, and approach the dolphins a certain way) you soon learn everything is for the dolphin’s safety, and nothing takes away from the once-in-a-lifetime experience. Go see for yourself!

Rachel travelled as a guest of P&O Cruises. Fares for P&O Pacific Jewel’s four-night SeaBreak cruise to Moreton Island from Sydney start from $439 per person quad share, including accommodation, main meals and onboard entertainment. Enjoy the cool, fitness-focused new P&O Edge activities on this ship. Subject to availability and conditions apply. For more info, visit P&O Cruises or call 13 24 94.

Why you need to visit Moreton Island
By Rachel Sharp, EditorHave you ever stumbled across a place right on your doorstep so amazing you wonder how on earth it’s escaped your radar for so long?That’s exactly how I felt after a day on Moreton Island, just a short hop from Brisbane. My better half and I spent eight hours there during a four-day P&O Cruise from Sydney recently and what was meant to be a laid back expedition to dry land ended up with me ticking a handful of amazing stuff off my bucket list (more on those below…). Moreton’s the third largest sand island in the world (trivia, tick!) and one of the only places in Australia you’re allowed to hand feed wild dolphins, which we did. Not that this place would boast about it.That’s what I found most lovely about the island – it’s so understated and laid back (and so typically Queensland) I arrived with no expectations, just to check it out, but left with a long list of why I’d go back. (It’s always the quiet ones…)

Firstly, it’s beautiful, in a rustic, natural, typically Aussie kind of way. More than 95 per cent National Park, there are hardly any roads and no public transport or taxis, but there are still plenty of creature comforts at its epicentre, Tangalooma Island Resort, if you’d prefer a roof over your head to a tent fly. Most of the fun leisure stuff happens at or next to the resort, so you never have far to walk, and the vibe around the main beachfront is fun and social – there are cafes, bars, live music and market stalls to fill the time between watersport and leisure treats.Moreton’s weather is a pretty weighty draw-card too – the mercury sits anywhere from 21 to 29C in summer, and the water temperature is almost as warm as the air. The coolest it tends to drop even in winter is a lovely 20C.
But the best part (well, for aqua-obsessed me, anyways): this place is water activity heaven! You can try outrigger canoeing, ocean kayaking, catamaran cruises, parasailing, whale watching expeditions, and snorkeling tours of 15 local shipwrecks that almost sit bow to stern. In fact, this unassuming giant sand bar is one of the only places in the world you can cross paths with wild dolphins, dugongs, turtles, stingrays, wobbegong sharks (I saw four out of five of these during my visit). On land, there’s fishing, island exploration outings, oyster farm or quad biking tours, bush tucker, desert or Segway safaris, volleyball and even bird-spotting. Or you could just laze on a sun lounger and Zzzzzz…

How do you get there? Most common way is a 75-minute ferry ride from Brisbane, but the more glam mode of arrive would be via cruise liner, as we did. Moreton Island is a tender port, meaning we were transported from ship to shore on a smaller boat – a 30-minute ride with amazing views.I was spoiled for sporting choice there, but here are three things I loved most about my brief affair with Moreton:1. We snorkeled 15 wrecks in 50 minutesI’ve been scuba diving since I was 16 and seen loads of stunning under-ocean things, but never cruised 15 (yes 15!) shallow shipwrecks in less than an hour. We spotted a giant turtle, a tiny woebegone shark, gentle rays and a bazillion beautiful fish during that time too. I’m told people roam from far and wide to see the famous Tangalooma Wrecks – between 1963 and 1984 the Queensland government sank 15 ships almost tip-to-toe on the shallow Eastern coast of the island, just five-minutes-walk down the beach from the Tangalooma Resort, turning it into snorkeling and diving nirvana No wonder almost 200 species of marine life have taken up residence. It’s a pretty snazzy part of the ocean, trust me. 

2. We got back to natureSure, Segways, parasailing and quad bikes are crazy fun (and usually my go-to resort-offer activities given the choice) but it was lovely to take a moment away from the adrenaline and be driven half way around the island’s beachfront by a guide who knew everything about its history and eco-system – fascinating. (Mother Nature, you’re a clever, pretty thing.)3. Wild dolphins literally dined from my handThe piece de resistance: just me, my hubby, thigh-deep water and two fully-grown wild bottlenose dolphins (erm, and about 100 witnesses standing on the jetty next to us) at dusk – the setting was worlds away from hand-feeding a meek, captive theme-park creature. You’d be amazed at how thrilling, surreal and a touch frightening this experience can be (we were fully briefed by staff beforehand that while friendly, these beautiful creatures aren’t tame, so you never truly know what they’re going to do). There are up to 10 dolphins that regularly drop into the resort for snacks and socials, the second generation to swing by since 1992. While there’s a cap on the number of people who can pay to do it each day, a Marine Education and Conservation Centre staff member standing with you the whole time, and strict rules of engagement (you have to wash off any sunscreen and perfume, be sure you’re not sick or carrying germs, disinfect your hands, and approach the dolphins a certain way) you soon learn everything is for the dolphin’s safety, and nothing takes away from the once-in-a-lifetime experience. Go see for yourself! 

Rachel travelled as a guest of P&O Cruises. Fares for P&O Pacific Jewel’s four-night SeaBreak cruise to Moreton Island from Sydney start from $439 per person quad share, including accommodation, main meals and onboard entertainment. Enjoy the cool, fitness-focused new P&O Edge activities on this ship. Subject to availability and conditions apply. For more info, visit P&O Cruises or call 13 24 94.

Recipe: Paleo pizza

Want a healthy at-home pizza? We went along to a pizza masterclass with Pete Evans and this is one of the recipes he dished up for us using the new Breville Crispy Crust pizza oven.

Meatza (paleo meat crust pizza)

Ingredients – base
200g organic grass fed beef mince
200g organic pasture-raised pork mince
1 organic free-range egg yolk
¼ brown onion, finely diced
1 garlic clove, crushed
1 tbs flat leaf parsley, finely chopped
½ tsp dried oregano
¾ tsp sea salt
¼ tsp freshly cracked pepper

Ingredients – topping
80ml pizza sauce (see recipe below)
8 Kalamata olives, pitted
60g macadamia cheese (see recipe below)
8 cherry tomatoes, halved
6 basil leaves, roughly chopped

1. Preheat pizza oven on PREHEAT setting for 15 minutes.
2. To make the base, combine all the base ingredients in a bowl. Season with salt and freshly cracked pepper and knead together until well combined.
3. Select CLASSIC crust setting.
4. Grease a 30cm (12 inch) pizza pan with oil and line with baking paper.
5. Place the beef mixture onto the pizza pan and using your hands, flatten the meat as thinly as possible to completely cover the pan to form an even base.
6. Transfer the base to the pizza oven and bake for 6-8 minutes or until the meat is cooked through. Drain any excess liquid from the pan after cooking.
7. Select THIN crust setting.
8. Spread the pizza sauce evenly over the base. Add the olives, cherry tomatoes, macadamia cheese and season with salt and freshly cracked pepper.
9. Transfer the pizza back to the oven and cook for a further 5-10 minutes or until lightly brown.
10. Carefully transfer the pizza to a chopping board or plate, cut into wedges, scatter with fresh basil leaves. Serve immediately.
How to make: macadamia cheese
Soak 155g macadamia nuts in 750ml of water for an least one hour (up to four hours). Drain and rinse well. Place in a food processor; add 3 teaspoons lemon juice, ½ teaspoon Himalayan salt or sea salt and a pinch of freshly ground black pepper. Pulse for one minute to combine. Add 60ml of water and continue to process until smooth. Can be stored in the fridge for 5-7 days.

How to make: pizza sauce
Put 420g can diced tomatoes, 2 black peppercorns, pinch of salt and pinch of dried oregano into a blender. Blend until smooth.

About the Breville Crispy Crust pizza oven:
Replicating the cooking environment of a brick oven, this baby delivers freshly baked pizzas in as quick as five minutes. Bonus: the viewing window lets you keep a watchful eye on your pizza without opening the lid and losing heat. Smart! RRP$169.95, breville.com.au.


May 2014 banner

Recipe: Paleo pizza
Want a healthy at-home pizza? We went along to a pizza masterclass with Pete Evans and this is one of the recipes he dished up for us using the new Breville Crispy Crust pizza oven.Meatza (paleo meat crust pizza)Ingredients – base200g organic grass fed beef mince200g organic pasture-raised pork mince1 organic free-range egg yolk¼ brown onion, finely diced1 garlic clove, crushed1 tbs flat leaf parsley, finely chopped½ tsp dried oregano¾ tsp sea salt¼ tsp freshly cracked pepperIngredients – topping80ml pizza sauce (see recipe below)8 Kalamata olives, pitted60g macadamia cheese (see recipe below)8 cherry tomatoes, halved6 basil leaves, roughly chopped1. Preheat pizza oven on PREHEAT setting for 15 minutes. 2. To make the base, combine all the base ingredients in a bowl. Season with salt and freshly cracked pepper and knead together until well combined. 3. Select CLASSIC crust setting. 4. Grease a 30cm (12 inch) pizza pan with oil and line with baking paper. 5. Place the beef mixture onto the pizza pan and using your hands, flatten the meat as thinly as possible to completely cover the pan to form an even base. 6. Transfer the base to the pizza oven and bake for 6-8 minutes or until the meat is cooked through. Drain any excess liquid from the pan after cooking. 7. Select THIN crust setting.8. Spread the pizza sauce evenly over the base. Add the olives, cherry tomatoes, macadamia cheese and season with salt and freshly cracked pepper. 9. Transfer the pizza back to the oven and cook for a further 5-10 minutes or until lightly brown. 10. Carefully transfer the pizza to a chopping board or plate, cut into wedges, scatter with fresh basil leaves. Serve immediately. How to make: macadamia cheeseSoak 155g macadamia nuts in 750ml of water for an least one hour (up to four hours). Drain and rinse well. Place in a food processor; add 3 teaspoons lemon juice, ½ teaspoon Himalayan salt or sea salt and a pinch of freshly ground black pepper. Pulse for one minute to combine. Add 60ml of water and continue to process until smooth. Can be stored in the fridge for 5-7 days.How to make: pizza saucePut 420g can diced tomatoes, 2 black peppercorns, pinch of salt and pinch of dried oregano into a blender. Blend until smooth.

About the Breville Crispy Crust pizza oven:Replicating the cooking environment of a brick oven, this baby delivers freshly baked pizzas in as quick as five minutes. Bonus: the viewing window lets you keep a watchful eye on your pizza without opening the lid and losing heat. Smart! RRP$169.95, breville.com.au.

Easter power move: The ab blaster

Eaten a few too many chocolate eggs over the weekend? Burn them up and firm your core with this with this easy tummy sculpter

You’ll need: An exercise mat

Great for: Stomach, core muscles.

Why it works
This exercise targets both your upper and lower abdominals for all-over ab sculpting. Plus, the rest time is minimal, so you get the most out of your workout time.

How to master it

  • Sit with your legs bent, back straight and your hands on the floor by your sides.
  • Lift your feet off the floor, then extend your legs and lean back slightly.
  • Reverse the movement, bringing your upper body forward and your knees in towards your chest.
  • Repeat this for the allotted time, then perform a bicycle movement with your legs, lifting knees to opposing elbows, for the same amount of time. 
  • Reverse the bicycling movement to complete the set. Repeat.


For best results, do it: At least three times a week.

Want to make it harder?
Increase the duration of each set, or slow down the moves to boost intensity.
 
Remember to: Avoid hunching over and stop doing the exercise if you feel any discomfort in your lower back.

Easter power move: The ab blaster
Eaten a few too many chocolate eggs over the weekend? Burn them up and firm your core with this with this easy tummy sculpterYou’ll need: An exercise matGreat for: Stomach, core muscles.Why it worksThis exercise targets both your upper and lower abdominals for all-over ab sculpting. Plus, the rest time is minimal, so you get the most out of your workout time.How to master it

Sit with your legs bent, back straight and your hands on the floor by your sides.
Lift your feet off the floor, then extend your legs and lean back slightly.
Reverse the movement, bringing your upper body forward and your knees in towards your chest.
Repeat this for the allotted time, then perform a bicycle movement with your legs, lifting knees to opposing elbows, for the same amount of time. 
Reverse the bicycling movement to complete the set. Repeat.
For best results, do it: At least three times a week.Want to make it harder?Increase the duration of each set, or slow down the moves to boost intensity. Remember to: Avoid hunching over and stop doing the exercise if you feel any discomfort in your lower back.

Hot Cross Blueberry Muffins

Simple to make, these hot cross muffins are fluffy and delicious, making them the perfect healthy Easter treat. 

Chocolate Crosses

1 tablespoon raw cacao or organic cocoa
1 tablespoon white spelt flour
1/4 teaspoon vanilla powder
1 dessertspoon coconut sugar
3 tablespoons non-dairy milk of choice
1 tablespoon cold pressed macadamia or olive oil

Mix together all ingredients until smooth. Set aside.

Blueberry muffins

60g cacao butter, finely chopped
¼ cup macadamia or cold-pressed olive oil
¾-1 cup coconut sugar
1 cup organic non-dairy milk of your choice
1/2 teaspoon vanilla powder
1/2 cup fine rice bran
2 cups white spelt flour
2 1/2 teaspoons aluminum-free baking powder
1½ cups fresh blueberries
Extra olive oil, for greasing

1. Preheat oven to 180°C and line a muffin tray with some pretty cupcake liners and grease lightly with oil.

2. Melt cacao butter in a large bowl over another bowl of boiling water.

3. Once liquefied remove from heat and add oil, sugar - more or less depending on how sweet you wish them to be - milk, and vanilla, combining well with a large whisk.

4. Add flours, baking powder and whisk again.

5. Lastly, stir in the blueberries then spoon into lined muffin cups.

6.Taking small amounts of Chocolate cross mixture at a time, create chocolate crosses on tops of muffin mixture. Bake for 25-30 minutes. Serve warm or cold.

Makes 12 medium-sized muffins.   

For more healthy dessert recipes check out the Model Chocolate cook book or click here.

Hot Cross Blueberry Muffins
Simple to make, these hot cross muffins are fluffy and delicious, making them the perfect healthy Easter treat. 
Chocolate Crosses
1 tablespoon raw cacao or organic cocoa1 tablespoon white spelt flour1/4 teaspoon vanilla powder1 dessertspoon coconut sugar3 tablespoons non-dairy milk of choice1 tablespoon cold pressed macadamia or olive oil
Mix together all ingredients until smooth. Set aside.
Blueberry muffins
60g cacao butter, finely chopped ¼ cup macadamia or cold-pressed olive oil¾-1 cup coconut sugar1 cup organic non-dairy milk of your choice 1/2 teaspoon vanilla powder 1/2 cup fine rice bran2 cups white spelt flour2 1/2 teaspoons aluminum-free baking powder 1½ cups fresh blueberries Extra olive oil, for greasing
1. Preheat oven to 180°C and line a muffin tray with some pretty cupcake liners and grease lightly with oil.
2. Melt cacao butter in a large bowl over another bowl of boiling water.
3. Once liquefied remove from heat and add oil, sugar - more or less depending on how sweet you wish them to be - milk, and vanilla, combining well with a large whisk.
4. Add flours, baking powder and whisk again.
5. Lastly, stir in the blueberries then spoon into lined muffin cups.
6.Taking small amounts of Chocolate cross mixture at a time, create chocolate crosses on tops of muffin mixture. Bake for 25-30 minutes. Serve warm or cold.
Makes 12 medium-sized muffins.   For more healthy dessert recipes check out the Model Chocolate cook book or click here.

7 reasons to dream big

Got a huge fitness goal? WF’s Lizza Gebilagin wants you to dream big and go after it.

There are some things in life you can’t change, so there’s no point wasting energy wishing it was different. Like I’ve come to accept that I’ll never be able to fill a B-cup (and I ain’t dropping coin on no silicon) or reach the floor from my desk chair without a foot rest (I think I stopped growing in Year 6, which also explains the lack of cleavage). But I do believe everything else is malleable. Especially when it comes to the things that we’ve told ourselves we can’t do.

The little voice in your head

Lately, I’ve been taking on that fearful little voice and doing the opposite of whatever it says. If something scares me, I feel the emotion and just do it anyway. And if it really, really freaks me out, then I know I definitely need to do it. After going sky diving, trying acting classes, and telling a guy I really liked him through a national magazine (a bit extreme, I know), I’ve discovered that everything that holds us back is way bigger in our minds than it turns out to be in real life. Every. Single. Time. And once you get over these fears, your whole world opens up in ways you didn’t even know were possible. (On a side note,  I also learnt that professing your love in a magazine article doesn’t work if the guy doesn’t read it. Oops.)

What do you want to do?

So, if there’s something that you’ve been wanting to do for ages, whether it’s going on a cycling trek in Cambodia to raise money for girls needing an education or even training for your first 5km fun run, go for it! Dream big! You’ll have the whole Women’s Fitness community to support you. As for my big dream, I’m training for my first mixed martial arts fight on August 9! I’m the most scared I’ve ever been, and I regularly leave training with shin bruises (evidence below), but I’m doing it anyway!

Over the next few months, we’ll be posting articles to help you achieve your big dream. So declare what you’re doing and keep us updated on Instagram, Facebook and Twitter by using the hashtag #WFdreambig.

Need more incentive to get going? Here are the coolest reasons to dream big that I’ve discovered so far:

1. Little things don’t stress you as much.

2. You meet new inspiring people (and lots of fit men if you happen to do MMA like me).

3. Failing doesn’t seem like such a big deal anymore. You realise the more you fail, the more you learn, and the closer you get to your goal.

4. Having a big enough goal helps you to stay disciplined. When my alarm goes off at 5.55am and I feel like staying in bed, I just think, do I really want someone to kick my ass in the fight? The answer is no, and I get up to go training.

5. The benefits start to flow into other areas of your life. It’s like what my Bikram yoga teacher used to say, “You start practising yoga for flexibility and you end up leaving your bad relationship.” That kind of deep stuff.

6. It’ll make you happy! More exercise = happier you.

7. You discover you can actually do anything. This one’s my favourite. Hope you learn it, too.

Read more about Lizza’s upcoming MMA fight on page 64 of the May issue of Women’s Fitness.

May 2014 banner

7 reasons to dream big
Got a huge fitness goal? WF’s Lizza Gebilagin wants you to dream big and go after it.
There are some things in life you can’t change, so there’s no point wasting energy wishing it was different. Like I’ve come to accept that I’ll never be able to fill a B-cup (and I ain’t dropping coin on no silicon) or reach the floor from my desk chair without a foot rest (I think I stopped growing in Year 6, which also explains the lack of cleavage). But I do believe everything else is malleable. Especially when it comes to the things that we’ve told ourselves we can’t do.

The little voice in your head
Lately, I’ve been taking on that fearful little voice and doing the opposite of whatever it says. If something scares me, I feel the emotion and just do it anyway. And if it really, really freaks me out, then I know I definitely need to do it. After going sky diving, trying acting classes, and telling a guy I really liked him through a national magazine (a bit extreme, I know), I’ve discovered that everything that holds us back is way bigger in our minds than it turns out to be in real life. Every. Single. Time. And once you get over these fears, your whole world opens up in ways you didn’t even know were possible. (On a side note,  I also learnt that professing your love in a magazine article doesn’t work if the guy doesn’t read it. Oops.)
What do you want to do?
So, if there’s something that you’ve been wanting to do for ages, whether it’s going on a cycling trek in Cambodia to raise money for girls needing an education or even training for your first 5km fun run, go for it! Dream big! You’ll have the whole Women’s Fitness community to support you. As for my big dream, I’m training for my first mixed martial arts fight on August 9! I’m the most scared I’ve ever been, and I regularly leave training with shin bruises (evidence below), but I’m doing it anyway!

Over the next few months, we’ll be posting articles to help you achieve your big dream. So declare what you’re doing and keep us updated on Instagram, Facebook and Twitter by using the hashtag #WFdreambig.
Need more incentive to get going? Here are the coolest reasons to dream big that I’ve discovered so far:
1. Little things don’t stress you as much.
2. You meet new inspiring people (and lots of fit men if you happen to do MMA like me).
3. Failing doesn’t seem like such a big deal anymore. You realise the more you fail, the more you learn, and the closer you get to your goal.
4. Having a big enough goal helps you to stay disciplined. When my alarm goes off at 5.55am and I feel like staying in bed, I just think, do I really want someone to kick my ass in the fight? The answer is no, and I get up to go training.

5. The benefits start to flow into other areas of your life. It’s like what my Bikram yoga teacher used to say, “You start practising yoga for flexibility and you end up leaving your bad relationship.” That kind of deep stuff.
6. It’ll make you happy! More exercise = happier you.
7. You discover you can actually do anything. This one’s my favourite. Hope you learn it, too.
Read more about Lizza’s upcoming MMA fight on page 64 of the May issue of Women’s Fitness.