Is it ok For a Christian Woman to Want a Lean Body?

Holly Brownlie

Some may be judgemental towards a Christian woman pursuing fitness, saying it’s selfish, superficial or not important. However I disagree and here’s why. In the same way that it’s ok for a Christian to want to make their house look stylish, make their garden beautiful, keep their car clean and in good condition or wear makeup and colour their hair, I believe it is ok for a Christian woman to want to look good in their swimsuit. The only two reasons I think there is a problem is if your motives are sinful, or if this desire is taking the place of more important things in your life.

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How to Maintain a Healthy Lifestyle with a Newborn

This is me off on my first walk after having my baby. It was only three days after giving birth so I only went for a 10 minute walk around the block. I remember mentally it felt unbelievably good to stretch the legs and get some sunshine and fresh air. Since having my baby it has changed my perception and motivation to exercise/ Now one of the primary reasons I exercise is to feel good and to keep healthy.

This is me off on my first walk after having my baby. It was only three days after giving birth so I just went for a 10 minute walk around the block. I remember mentally it felt unbelievably good to stretch the legs and get some sunshine and fresh air.

This post is not going to state the obvious such as exercise daily, eat a healthy diet and get as much sleep as possible. You already know all that. The problem is it’s hard to actually do those things with a newborn. In this article I hope to share simple life hacks to show you how to implement the aforementioned habits. I found when I had my newborn I had far less free time than I ever imagined so here are some practical tips that helped me.

  1. Prepare your ingredients for dinner when bubs is sleeping. By simply laying out all the ingredients for dinner and maybe doing some chopping you will be less likely in your exhausted state to skip cooking in favour of ordering a pizza when 5pm rolls around.
  2. When working out, use a video monitor and ban your phone from the room to stop interruptions. I started doing some gentle workouts focusing on restoring my core within a few days of giving birth. I used a guide from a post-natal specialist personal trainer ‘Fit Mammas‘. Until I bought a monitor I found it hard to relax and enjoy my ‘me time’ because I was constantly ducking out the room to check my baby was ok and couldn’t have any music going in case I didn’t hear my baby wake.
  3. Get your bub used to a baby carrier and a pram from a young age so you can walk most days of the week.
  4. If your hospital offers a post-natal exercise class seize this opportunity. Despite mine being a 35 minute drive away it was so worth it! There were volunteers who would pick up and cuddle your baby if they started to get upset.
  5. When serving out dinner also serve out lunch the next day. It’s so handy to be able to just grab a container of food out the fridge and pop it in the microwave for lunch.
  6. Save your caffeine for pre-workout. If you’re like me and you try to limit your caffeine intake to only a few coffees and teas a day, plan to have one of those just before your workout to give you a boost. You’ll feel so good afterwards so it’s worth having that caffeine to help you make it through!
  7. Keep massive bottles of water at your feeding stations. A glass of water is not enough, you will go through that in one feed! I bought a pack of 1.5L water bottles from Coles and had them in my nursery. A bottle would last a few days which was handy because you don’t have the time to be constantly filling up a glass or even a smaller size bottle.
  8. Supplement where necessary. I knew my diet was not optimal, plus I had just been through the major experience of pregnancy and childbirth so I took women’s multivitamins every day. I also finished the iron and vitamin D tablets I had been taking during my pregnancy as these were nutrients that my blood tests had identified I was deficient in.

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My Birth Story

Summer Rose Brownlie 9 days new. Photo by Barebright Photography.

Summer Rose Brownlie 9 days new. Photo by Barebright Photography.

Well, my little girl is now two months old so I thought it would be a nice time to reflect on my birth experience and write it down so I can look  back on it in the future. I personally love reading people’s birth stories, so I hope some of you do, too! If not, feel free to skip this post as it’s a small deviation from my usual focus on wellbeing and fitness.

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Positive Birth Mantras

36 weeks pregnant here

36 weeks pregnant here

Hi everyone!

It’s less than three weeks until my due date! Eek very exciting times! I can’t wait to hold my baby. I can’t wait to dress my baby in all the cute tiny clothes I have for it! I can’t wait to find out if it’s a boy or a girl. I can’t wait to go for walks with the pram. And I can’t wait to not be pregnant anymore. But first, I have to get through labour. After reading extensively about all the side effects and risks associated with medical intervention and drugs, I am aiming for a drug-free, natural water birth in a birth centre, under the care of an experienced midwife. I understand that anything can happen during birth and things rarely go to plan or the way you imagine them, but as long as I end up with a healthy baby it’s all good! 🙂

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How to Create a Vision Board

my vision board

A vision board is a visual representation of what you’re aiming for in life. Your goals, your dreams, who you want to be, what you want to have, what you’re working towards and what sort of life you want to live. I really enjoy how taking the time to make a vision board gives you an opportunity to think deeply about these things. You can reflect on if how you’re living your life is heading you in the direction you want to be going.

For a very simple vision board, you could simply stick pictures of anything that inspires you and what you’re aiming for in life. If you google ‘vision board’ on pinterest you’ll see lots of beautiful boards. I am a more structured person and have a slightly more ‘ordered’ way of doing my board, so thought I would share with you my approach. I like to re-do my vision board about once a year, or whenever I’ve been through a period of considerable inspiration and growing.

Here’s how I do it:

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My Second Trimester of Pregnancy

My Second Trimester of Pregnancy

Well, this week is the fourth week of my third trimester! Exciting times! So, I thought I would write a reflection of my experience going through my second trimester of pregnancy, that is, weeks 13 to 27 – the longest trimester of the three. Some changes and occurrences were expected and some were not! Pregnancy really is so different for every single woman and every single baby.

The first trimester morning sickness may not stop immediately

I threw up a few times in the early weeks of my second trimester. It was interesting because I wouldn’t feel nauseous like in the first trimester (where I felt sick but never actually was sick). After eating breakfast, I would just suddenly be like, ‘Whoa! I need to throw up now!’ Then, 10 minutes after throwing up, I would feel fantastic.

The first time I threw up I was staying with all my husband's family in a holiday house and I'm pretty sure everyone heard me! #embarresing

The first time I threw up I was staying with all my husband’s family in a holiday house and I’m pretty sure everyone heard me! #embarrassing

Nasal congestion

This is one pregnancy symptom I had never heard of! Every morning I would wake up with a stuffy and/or blocked nose, similar to a cold. Early in the second trimester it was at its worst and I would wake with a very dry throat because I couldn’t breathe through my nose! The reason for nasal congestion in pregnancy is the much higher oestrogen levels in the body which cause an increased blood volume everywhere, including the membranes in your nose.

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