Quit “Clowning” Around Penny!

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I’ve joined the Circus! No, really, I have!

If you are a fan or follower of mine on social media you will have seen the excitement at my latest adventure! I have gone back to school, to study performing circus arts at the National Institute of Circus Arts(NICA). Can you believe there is actually a university for clowns?

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My new home! NICA acrobatic studio.

My first semester is Tumbling, which includes, but I have discovered is not limited to: handstands, cartwheels, rolls(rollie pollies!) trampoline, tumble run, somersaults, round offs and backflips. My second semester I will do hula hooping and juggling. Sounds like a whole heap of fun hey?

The feedback I’ve received from most people is joy! Everyone that knows me knows that this is right up my alley. I really don’t need an excuse to clown around, pun intended, in fact its probably a great way for me to let off some energy as I cant seem to sit still these days. But a few people have asked “Why?!” I answer why not. We live in this world of regiment and seriousness…..snore! I wanna have fun. Being a certified circus performer has been on my goals list for 4years, getting pushed to the bottom, so I made the call, now or never. And who knows where it could lead, thats the beauty of it I suppose.

It could take me a few years to get the qualifications I want and I may have to re-sit some semesters but I am excited and willing to give it everything and progress. I am loving my weight training now and always, but a part of me has left figure competing behind and focusing on a new “sport” where I can do levels, exams, be active and strong, improve and certify is a great new journey that can replace my love of competing.

What better way to add to my fitness resume, meet new people, get out of my comfort zone and learn how to do a backflip!

What’s on your goals list that you keep on putting off?

Yours in Health, Hormones & Happiness

Pen xxx

 

26 Reasons Why You’re Not Losing Weight

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Losing bodyfat is a simple calorie in calorie out equation right? Wrong! There are many factors that can stall your progress, most of all it comes down to keeping our hormones and metabolism happy to compliment the process but here is my list of hurdles you may be facing, and as usual, I am straight to the point and brutally honest.

1. You aren’t actually eating healthy
“Healthy” can be anything nowadays. Look through magazines and newspapers, online and peoples’ opinions healthy means something different to all. I actually saw a recipe in newspaper labeled healthy because it was a beef and potato pie made with lower GI white potato and wholemeal flour. Come on guys, healthy is absolutely squeaky clean in my book. If you are eating anything from a packet then you are eating empty dead food. Your diet should be primal: clean, natural, organic where possible, alive and unprocessed. It should of come straight from the animal or ground to your plate: not taken through a warehouse and mushed into a “low carb” “wholemeal” loaf or cured and processed into “chicken in a can”.

2. You haven’t even started to tweak your diet
This I come across a lot. People email me “Ive tried EVERYTHING! But cant lose bodyfat!” I then see their food diary and it’s a sham. By joining the gym and changing your breakfast to oats instead of keloggs Super K does not a sexy body make. If you have been eating the same for many years and make a slight change, yes, good on you, this is a start well done. But to achieve a physique you have never had before you must DO something you have never done before.

3.    You’re lacking enthusiasm
This I can completely relate to. I always train, I always eat clean, this I consider is a requirement of my lifestyle and career. But sometimes I fall off the enthusiasm wagon and feel very unmotivated. Sometimes I consider this to be healthy and I may need a break for a week. But other times I just need to keep going, remembering what I am aiming for or my goals. You may be lacking in motivation because you have no guidance (see point 21) or because you do not love what you are training and eating. I find I am unenthused if I am bored with my food and training – so reevaluate, get a new program and spend a creative day in the kitchen.

4.    You’re already at a healthy weight
This is a common problem I see, especially in this industry and esp in females. Let me get this straight: Female weren’t supposed to super lean, we should be sitting at a heavier bodyfat than men and we also find it harder to get leaner, why? Because we aren’t supposed to be! An average bodyfat range for females is between 18%-22%. My opinion is that a very active and healthy female can happily sit around 15%BF. Now BF figures aside, you may be trying to push a cart up a hill by trying to get lean when your body is sat at its happy homeostasis. Consider that you may already be at your bodies ideal weight.

5.    You’re cardio obsessed
You’re the chick on the treadmill aren’t you? Ever looked at the people in your gym on the cardio equipment? Well I guarantee you that this time next year they will all look the same. Of course low level movement can be beneficial for fat loss, but there is a fine line. Too much cardio can be detrimental to your strong and lean physique goals. So if you are doing 1-2 short HIIT sessions a week great, if you are doing more or god forbid doing endurance cardio forget about loosing body fat and maintaining muscle.

6.    You’re putting on muscle
Muscle weighs more than fat. Fact.

7.    You’re vegetarian or vegan
Now I know this is going to cause some backlash and controversy, and I cannot debate all the rights and wrongs in such a short article. But I believe you cannot achieve a strong, lean and healthy physique by not eating animal protein. If you are vegetarian because of animal cruelty then I completely understand, but there are ways we can be apart of the food chain in a humanly treated way; source your meat, fish and poultry from RSPCA approved farms, or from your local farmer that you know treat the animals with care. If you are Vego because you read somewhere that it is healthy, or your girlf Suzie is a Vego and she is skinny then think again, I suggest you do your research of the dangers of being vegetarian. A book a recommend to read is The Vegetarian Myth by Lierre Kieth.

8.    You’re stomach flora is rubbish
This is something close to home for me as I am currently rebuilding my gut flora. It is a long process but well worth the effort. Your gut is your center; it is your first line of defense for your immune system. If everything is in check and you still struggle to get lean, your gut flora is the issue. Many factors can disrupt the natural balance of your gut, these include antibiotics, stress, an acidic diet, alcohol, high inflammatory foods, sugar and/or high carb intake, toxic load(heavy metals/pesticides/hormones etc) steroids, and a diet high in fermented or moldy foods. I highly recommend working with a BioSignature Modulation Practitioner (Like Me!) a naturopath or a functional medicine practitioner to resolve any gut issues you may have.

9.    You’re kitchen cupboards are still full of junk
Now you are eating clean and primal! But you still haven’t cleaned out your cupboards of your favorite foods, whether they are your staples or just your fav cheat meals, get them out of the house to eliminate any temptations.

10. You still have bad habits
Having something sweet after dinner, just a protein bar at 3:30ish, its just a couple of glasses of wine on a Friday night, but nuts are healthy….just another handful. Take a look at your daily and weekly schedule and see where you are slipping up on a regular basis, be brutually honest with yourself, if it’s regular then it’s a habit. Explore ways you can swap these slipups for healthier options.

11. You’re eating too much
I am not a fan of the word “calorie”, and I would like to say it doesn’t matter, but unfortunately it does at times. There is a difference between eating enough and just eating too much. I don’t suggest weighing food as it cant create all sorts of problems, but I do suggest taking a look at your food intake and assess. Just because low carb is king, doesn’t mean that you can up you fats and protein and dose everything in coconut milk because it’s primal. Eat until you are 80%full.

12. You’re eating too little
Another one I can relate too! Last year I was competing at the beginning of the year, and after I competed I carried on eating next to very little wondering why I wasn’t getting leaner, I wasn’t even staying lean. In one week I nearly doubled my food and instantly got leaner and gained muscle. Now don’t run off and eat you way through the supermarket! But a good indication that you are not eating enough is how you feel during and after your workout, if you feel flat and the workout is a struggle, or you need a nap post workout the reassess your food intake.

13. You’re Lazy
This is fairly simple. If you are a lazy person you usually know it. Pull your finger out.

14. You’re not eating according to your metabolic type
Are you following a generic diet? one that your friend follows? or one that you got off the internet? Well I guarantee you that that diet only works for a fraction of the population. A diet is a finely tuned, individual and personalized program. We are not all the same. For example I am a carbo type, I metabolize carbs easily. Put me a high fat, high protein, low carb diet and I will gain body fat, feel weak and sluggish and be very, very grumpy! But isn’t high fat low carb what all the rage is about right now? Not for me and for many other people. If you are eating clean and not getting results then you are doing something wrong. Finding out what works for you can take time, or just a very experienced BioSig Practitioner! ;-)

15. You’re stressed
Stress is the cause of most people’s problems. Emotional stress, physical stress, financial stress, and relationship stress can all cause your body to produce cortisol, the fight or flight response that catabolizes muscle, worsens insulin resistance and promotes the storage of fat. Take a look at where you could be reducing or addressing your stress factors and see if they are holding you back.

16. Your eating for comfort not for fuel
We have an emotional connection with food, and that is fine, eating is primal enjoyment at its best. But instead of looking at your food as yummy, think of it as fuel. Fuel for the fire; fire that is your workout, your health, your sleep, your hormones, your gut. A couple of slices of fruit toast with jam may taste delicious, but does your body really NEED that? No, it needs clean protein, carbs and fats in balance to function at its optimal.

17. You’re not getting enough sleep
Sleep is a huge factor in body fat loss! If you are getting under 7hrs a night, walking up to an alarm, waking up before 7am AND loosing weight then you are very lucky! Chronic levels of sleep deprivation cause the release of cortisol and the biggest spike in HGH occurs in sleep so try to get to bed before 10pm and have 8hrs sleep a night.

18. You’re eating Neolithic foods
Now a lot of you know that I am a primal eater, paleo, hunter gather, caveman – call it what you like, its clean. And I encourage all of my clients to eat the same, but I understand that not everyone does or wants to and that’s cool with me. But I would like you to take a look at your diet and instead of being stuck and stubborn with what you believe, maybe try taking out some of your staples that may be holding you back. These pitfalls can be dairy, gluten, wheat & grains, processed foods, over consumption of fruit, table salt, and legumes. Some Paleo people eat diary because they can tolerate it and they still get results, but this isn’t the case for everyone. For a comprehensive collection of primal recipes and meal plans you can purchase my eBook cookbook “Pennys Primal Plate” from here:

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19. You’re not doing strength training……at all
You are active yes, you train yes, but I don’t consider a walk around the park and a bodyattack class serious training. To get better results I highly recommend regular weight training in the gym.

20. You’re constantly trying to loose weight
This can tie in with point #4 but it can also be that you are constantly on a weight loss or fat loss plan. You are always trying to burn fat. What’s the rush? Take a step back; sit at a maintenance phase for a few months then try again.

21. You have no guidance in your journey
I truly believe that everybody should have a personal trainer, even if you’re the best there is, I believe you should always be learning from someone better and more knowledgeable than you. I have a trainer and I have plenty of physicians I work with that contribute to my health and fitness. That way whatever I am going through I have a support network to ask questions or to take me to the next level. It is very important to invest in quality people to guide you and rely on strong life mentors. I honestly believe that I would be stuck without these people in my life to guide me (Thanks guys, you know who you are!) Finding a Practitioner that can support you through fitness, diet, health, lifestyle, mental, emotionally and spiritually is key.

22. You’re lacking something
Imagine a car. A car with a missing wheel, with no petrol, with the wrong driver or with a faulty engine. How on earth is it going to get you to where you need to be? Your body is a finely tuned machine that requires the finest care and nutrients which you may be missing. See above point to employ a person that can assess your health and areas you need to work on.

23. You haven’t changed your training program
Have you been following the same program for a while now? Well if you train the same, you stay the same! All of my clients and my own programs are periodised and change every 4-6weeks. This is crucial to get results. Without a program you really are aiming blind.

24. You’re training like a girl
Come on guys, if you can check you facebook newsfeed in between a set your not working hard enough. I want sweat, blood and lots of tears on the gym floor.

25. You have a hormone imbalance
This is a huge factor that I cant really delve into without this ending in  another blog. But lets just say that next to your gut flora, hormonal balance is everything!

26. You’re making excuses
They only person accountable for your progress is you. Not your coach, or trainer, or partner, or boss, or friend, or training partner, or the weather, or a rough week. Take responsibility for your actions.

Well there you have it, when i started writing this blog i had titled it the Top Ten pitfalls, but as you can see once i got going i couldn’t stop! If you have any extras that you feel are holding you back i would love to hear from you. Good luck with your journey.

Yours in health, hormones and happiness,

Pen

xxx

About the Author

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Penny Lomas is an Australian Health and Fitness Writer based in Melbourne. With extensive years in the Fitness Industry Penny is a Fitness Model and Athlete, Personal Trainer and Registered BioSignature Modulation Practitioner. As a Health and Fitness Magazine Columnist, Penny is a positive role model to many empowered females. Penny is also a 3xOxygen Magazine Cover-girl and Ambassador. She is renowned for her never-ending smile, positive attitude and passion to help others achieve their best life.

 

 

Health, Hormones & Happiness Is Live!

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Well it has finally arrived! Some of you have been wondering where i had disappeared to for the last month: I have been head down bum up working on my new website and my first book! So this urged me to talk today about why i have launched Health Hormones and Happiness, also branding, labels, identity, and new directions.

We all adapt to ever changing circumstances as we move through life: we grow, we learn, we establish who we are as a person, we become clearer of what our purpose is and what we believe, focused on what we are about, our beliefs and philosophies, and in business it is exactly the same, especially when your passion in life and business are so closely connected like mine.

I have been in the fitness industry for many, many years. The fitness industry is like any industry: you must show resilience and excellence to go far.

After my holiday at Xmas I came back to Melbourne refreshed after brainstorming “who penny lomas is”. I thought this was going to be hard but no way! I thought about WHOM I am personally, and what I LOVE in my industry. I am happy and healthy, I love learning about hormones and BioSignature, personally and professionally I love helping people achieve happiness, optimal health and hormonal balance. I also had to think about companies that I would like to be connected with and companies that I represent that support me and have the same beliefs and drive. I was finding my professional identity, again. And also letting go

It was also about this time that my coach Mark (shout out to Maximus Mark Ottobre!) had a much needed pep talk with me about labelling. So i let go of a few labels I and others had assigned myself and moved forward. I thought about me, my brand and what i want to be known for. Change is good, it is growth.

So then came “Penny Lomas. Health. Hormones. Happiness”

My new website, my new business, my new branding, and my new love.

Health, Hormones and Happiness are the three things in my life that I am passionate about. You can take a look through the article archive which will continue to grow and grow and sign up to updates so when I upload videos, photos, articles, recipes and top tips you get them straight to your email!

Along with my new website is my new eBook Cookbook. Penny’s Primal Plate.

This is very exciting and I can say it was super fun putting it together for you. Nom nom nom. It is a collection of my staples and favourite primal and Paleo recipes from my very own kitchen, complete with meal plans to get you in shape whilst still eating clean and creative. It’s dieting without dieting! Yum. You can purchase my new eBook in my website store.

I hope you enjoy the new direction I’m heading towards, and remember this website and what i do as a fitness (role) model is for you! So I would love your feedback, drop me an email!

Yours in Health, Hormones & Happiness

Pen

xxx

 

How to be Tigger and Mr Funny

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You ‘perform’, you exceed boundaries, you push yourself to your limits. But how do we battle the pressure of today’s media, society and peers when the biggest battle is within?

When I started writing this blog, it was titled ‘The Negative Mind’, half way through I renamed it the Happy Mind but by the end of writing it I had renamed it How to be Tigger and Mr Funny. I really enjoyed writing this article so I hope you love it. You will see why……..

I have suffered from my fair share of body image car crashs, eating disorders and epic post show rebounds to end all rebounds, I have had my heart ripped into shreds, I didn’t have a Mary Poppins upbringing and I have been at rock bottom at a couple of times in my life. And everytime I have risen to the top again, out of despair, and I have dragged my sorry arse with me. So before you judge me with “Your life, body, mind and spirit is perfect what do you know about being unhappy?” Take a step back and stop playing the victim. Every suffering we experience is all-relative. And it is all reality. Whether you know this yet or not your: your perceived self, including feelings, are reality. Now maybe your thinking this is yet another fluffy blog or article on positive thought and the power behind it, well in research I have read numerous if not hundreds of websites and books to find out the secret behind positive thought, and they all seem to tell us the same thing, “Just goal set, think positive and it will all be better” I even stumbled across a article that said “if you still feel unhappy after goal setting go to visit you GP” are you kidding me? Seriously. So he can pump you full of antidepressants when all he really needs to do is measure your vitamin D to see why you are depressed.

Well I’m afraid it’s not that easy. We are not all machines, and we cannot simply flick a switch by reading yet another generic article on goal setting. So instead I am going to give you my version to being happy. The uncut version.

Ok so rant over. So how do we do it?

Call me old fashioned but it just takes hard work, retraining your mind if you will. You simply become what you believe. If you believe you are unhappy and negative, and everything you think and see and hear and feel is negative then of course you are going to be the friend everyone hates hanging out with.

How do we become negative?

  • Negativity can breed negativity; if have had someone or a group of people that have constantly had a negative influence in your life it can bring you down. Or if you have been brought up in a negative family environment.
  • Bad luck; if you are always experiencing bad fortune.
  • Low self esteem
  • Depression/Anxiety/Eating disorder or body dismorphia
  • Environmental influences.

Lets take a look at the common inner thoughts:

Doubt

Excuses

Hate

Critiscism

Pressure/Stress

Fear

But the ironic factor is that WE are the only ones in charge of our thoughts, sure people can make us feel a certain way or we can react a certain way, but our thoughts are the product of ourselves. So therefore it is up to us to pick ourselves up.

The good angel vs the bad angel

The negative and positive minds are powerful influence’s and understanding how they work as one is a powerful tool in itself. Now before I go any further I should point out here that the negative mind and positive mind should be in balance. What we are striving for here is equal input from both. We cannot walk around all day, everyday, like Mr Happy and Mr Cheerful on Prozac, you are allowed to have a bad day, and you are definitely supposed to be Mr Grumpy sometimes, if not a little Mr Silly all the time.

Sometimes it feels like you may be fighting a loosing battle inside, the good angel and the bad angel sit on your shoulders having a snipe whenever possible. You have to remember that negative thoughts are supposed to happen, it is like a seesaw they must be balance.  Very similar to the Buddhist way of thinking I believe. Unhappiness is ok. It is ok to have negative thoughts, but as long as your seesaw is not onesided.

“You can only hold one thought at a time, so why choose a bad one.” This is quite possibly the best advice I have ever received and then lived by! If you take away anything from this blog, take away this tip. Whenever you have a negative thought, simply replace it with a positive one, even if it only lasts a few seconds, if you retrain your brain it will get easier and easier to hold onto a positive thought for longer. Another great tip is whenever you say something negative, straight away back it up with a positive statement. “Argh I hate my thighs in this skirt” – “but I love the way my arms look today!”

Mr Funny.

Laugh. Laugh as much as you can. Laugh at everything. Laugh at everyone. Laugh at yourself. Laughter is the best medicine. Take a laughter class(yes they do exist, they are held in your local communities and they are free!) The amount of times I’ve woken up and wanted to curl up under the covers and not speak to anyone, then I crawl into work, paint a smile on my face and laugh with my clients, within 10minutes I have forgotten whatever I was sad about.

I am a Reflection of my Surroundings.

This I believe is pretty simple. If you surround yourself with negative people then you mirror what you see. I’ve read this many times in articles on happiness but how many times do we act on it?

One of my biggest pet peeves is negative people, they are drainers of my energy. So I simply choose to either not have them in my life, or limit my interaction with them. Also, in my line of work I come across a lot of people who are negative about themselves or their goals, it is a fine line between ‘saving’ people and stepping back to let them save themselves. One trick my mum taught me when I was young was to ‘block’ negative peoples energy, I am an utter skeptic but also a complete hippie believer, but I honestly believe it works. So next time you have a negative person talking to you, simply fold your arms across your chest.  Either it stops them zapping your positive energy, or stops their negativity rubbing off on you, a little hippy weirdo I know but maybe it works!

Tigger

Who watches Winnie the Pooh? Hell yeah! Who’s your favorite character? Mine is, yeah you guessed it, Tigger! If you ever meet me, which I sincerely hope you do one day. I am Tigger. I am annoying. I am fun. I laugh at everything, I deep belly laugh that I’m not ashamed to bellow. I have dimples the size of craters. I am happy. I am bright. And why is that? Because everyday I wake up I CHOOSE to be Tigger. I wake up and I say “hell yeah, I am grateful, and I love my life and I love myself and happiness” I choose to bounce around on my tail all day, because why be any other way!

Positivity is a Choice, it is a way of life. As soon as you grasp this you will BE a happy person.

Are you Eeyore?

Do you wake up and hate life. Are you negative? Do you have negativity running through your veins? Do you drag your feet in life? And say “why me?” Do you always think the worst of a situation? Do you put people  and yourself down? Well stop being an Eeyore!

Everybody when they wake up every morning has the choice to be either an Eeyore or Tigger that day. Who do you choose?

Homework

So my take home message is choose to be happy. Be Tigger and be Mr Funny. And if this doesn’t work, just do some goal setting(Just kidding!)

You are not a victim. You are your own creator. You could be in worse situations. You are lucky and grateful. Tomorrow you will wake up and be Tigger.

In my life I surround myself with people I believe will love, support and encourage me. Choose your friends wisely, spend your time with happy, positive, driven people and you will be sure to be lifted and enthused.

Yours, in health, hormones and happiness,

Tigger xxx