Jun 18

Exquisite Fitness and Reaching Goals – An Inspirational Story

Exquisite Fitness and Reaching Goals – An Inspirational Story

Well the following blog was written by one on my clients, who has chosen to remain anonymous and go by the name “KJ”…

Reading this blog still makes me teary and gives me goose-bumps every time I read it! It was written towards the end of my comp-prep, as you will see from the last few paragraphs but I wanted to wait until the right time to share it with everyone.

It’s quite a lengthy read but I urge you all to take the time to read it through, as I am sure it will resonate strongly with so many of you.

KJ has been with me and Exquisite Fitness since I pretty much started out. I remember her first training session like it was yesterday…She explained to me that she used to be a very competitive and fierce sports-woman (pre-babies) and was feeling really down on herself, despised the way she looked and was so disheartened by the fact that she was unfit and had to start from the beginning again.

But the key with KJ was that she stuck to it, she listened to everything I told her, especially the fact that I believed in her and that SHE COULD DO IT!

Slowly as each week went by, KJ completely transformed and she started challenging my fittest girls and visibly shrinking! But most of all, she had a sparkle in her eye, her confidence back and a huge smile at the beginning of each training session.

Seeing transformation stories like KJ’s makes my heart fill with pride and I could not be more proud of this girl! I am sure her story will really touch many of you as I know that there are so many women who struggle with these feelings post-bub.

The camaraderie and friendships that are formed amongst the girls at Exquisite is so wonderful and everyone gets involved in other’s goals and their achievements. It is such a community atmosphere and I am so honoured to be working with each and every one of these clients.

Remember everyone – THIS COULD BE YOU! And by the way KJ, I see your muscles popping ALL OF THE TIME! 🙂 Enjoy the read…..



The Trainer, the devil inside & the little chug that could!

An insight into a client’s journey with Nerida.

“Why eat right for the rest of the day, I’ve now consumed 240 calories from a mini caramel tart. I will just continue eating all of my favourite indulgent foods for the rest of this week & I can just start next week” thinks the devil inside.

“Don’t make excuses for tomorrow, start doing it today” advises the trainer with her perfectly toned legs & arms that we all dream of (and get slightly jealous of)….

But came that day when the little chug that could had to get the engines rolling. I stopped making excuses & I decided I could stop the devil inside taking over, throw some gas into the tank & train like an athlete could (maybe)…. but the first step was to turn up to the training class with this insanely fit trainer from Exquisite Fitness.

1st session: Well, with my size 14 leggings & my double layered singlet, I set off to conquer the most exciting, terrifying & totally inspiring day of my adult life…..aside from my Wedding & children’s births of course.

Filled with regret from all of the exercise I hadn’t done, all the tastefully harmful food I had been consuming over the past few years & 2 water bottles, I embarked on a journey that would quite literally change my life, body & soul. I met Nerida this first day & felt immediately at ease and a warm heart from her. She was yet to meet the devil inside me with such built up inner resentment towards fitness in general that I have harboured with so much regret from a life I used to lead prior to my children.

Perhaps Nerida in all her education, training & wisdom could sense this, or was it so painful I couldn’t hide it??  I held it so tight in a vault far at the back of my mind, very few knew of this devil’s existence. Not even I, the carrier of such disappointment & self loathing knew of this total paralyzing effect it was having on my mind & my body.

I explained to Nerida that I was once incredibly dedicated & committed to my sports of choice & my body. That back in the day I was ripped with muscle & had little fat to speak of, and who hasn’t been in those days, right? In her kindness, I could tell she was feeling I had some unfinished business with myself that needed to be exposed in order to get a change from me. I completed the session, vomited in my mouth a few times, was dizzy, out of breath & nearly fainted once or twice, but it was done & it was finished. Nerida asked how it was? Some of us, still catching the little breath we had, replied “good”.

The 2nd session was booked in, 2 days after the 1st session. I was sore & feeling every muscle in my body in a good way, but the fear of the first session had gone & there was a slight excitement building to get back to the next session. Nerida’s enthusiasm & passion for fitness is contagious. It oozes from her toned muscles & you just feel like you need to get on the journey with her. This is not something you feel at a gym extensively as you can with Nerida in a group session. It’s all women so you can say it like it is. They’ve all been there or we’re all still there. Sleepless nights, holding your legs together when you sneeze just in case, teething babies, exhaustion or dare we say it, post natal depression or at least, post baby blues or just the day to day life experiences of being a mum.

As the sessions went by week to week, we all got to know each other better. Strengths, weakness, likes, dislikes and those burpees that we truly despise. We also got to understand Nerida & who she was. A mother of 2, often rising before the sun with a less than 6 month old baby & toddler ,she was a totally dedicated woman to her fitness. She doesn’t have time to go to the gym 4 hours a day like you see on those fitness shows. Nerida doesn’t have a chef, or a cleaner or an in-house nanny. She is a mother like all of us, with the same daily routine & the same motherly issues we all struggle with day to day; she makes time to get fit, she runs up her stairs 20 times, she carries babies up & down the street running backwards, you name it, she’s done it. Her passion & a driving will in her blood to help each and every one of her fitness clients to reach their full potential is unmistakable.

There is a motto I’ve seen on a school bus “nurturing god given potential”. We are often not born with quick feet, nor are we born with perfectly toned bodies. We create that, we nurture that passion & we quite literally run with it! It’s incredibly hard to do that mentally with out the help & support of those around us. It’s even harder, virtually impossible, without the mental toughness internally from ourselves. When we have been someone or something in the past, we automatically expect we can pick up where we left off. Even if it was 15 years ago & 3 children later. But we can’t. We are not that person any more.

However, you can make new history & make a new body for yourself. It’s not meant to be the same as 15 years ago. It can be even better if we work for it!!!

So you ask… who is the Devil inside??? That devil lives in all of us. The voice that over-powers us to stop running & walk because it hurts a little, it’s cake time now because it’s easier to eat than get fitter & stronger. Well enter “the trainer”, she then becomes the voice in your head, she is then the angel on your treadmill telling you just a little further, because you can do it! That voice is Nerida. The voice of change & reason in my life.

As I entered my journey at a standard size 14, baby weight left over, a muffin top & very low self esteem & high reliance to finding my own passion & inner harmony, I now have a new pathway on my journey, with much thanks to Nerida. She found that inner voice & changed the broken record that played over & over. I can’t be the athlete I was, but I can set new goals & make changes to suit who I am & want to become here & now.

It wasn’t easy, but Nerida eats broccoli & organic chicken for months on end to be her best & at her prime fitness so her body is ready to parade around on the Catwalk in just a few weeks. She didn’t get there easily, we’ve seen her carb-less, desperate for one more bite of a sneaky vegemite sandwich. When everyone around her piles their sauce & gravy on hot chips, she’s enjoying 125.2 grams of kangaroo mince from an organic meat farm in goodness knows where, with a spoonful of pride right on top.

If you’re not convinced you need to come to Nerida’s classes by now, well you’re probably never going to be. But my journey has come to here…. the “cross roads”. The defining moment, I’ve overcome the inner demons & I continue to fight them off. I want to be stronger & fitter, but I now know it’s not easy, but it is just such an amazing feeling of accomplishment doing it. The feeling of exercise endorphins rushing through your blood & then you feel that need to win, to go further, to go harder. These days, I still vomit a little in my mouth during sessions from time to time. NOT because I’m unfit or unhealthy, but because I so desperately want to be better & make sure every little muscle to the core is worked.

The next chapter begins with a strong, leaner & toned woman. A size 10 in most clothing (and for the first time today in 5 years a size 9, yes that’s right size 9 Jeans, that I no longer have to tuck my muffin top into to hide!) I’m also fairly sure some of my toned muscles pop out occasionally. The devil inside has now become my driving force; I like to uppercut & roundhouse kick that devil now. I don’t wear 2 singlets to training anymore, just one & it’s smaller!

The trainer (Nerida) remains in my heart forever, with her constant encouragement & her ability to so selflessly apply everything she has learnt & everything she knows to our personal situations. It is a constant reminder of who I can be, not what I was. And the little chug that could, I guess that little chug lives inside all of us just like the devil. You just have to think you can, think you can, know you can, know you can & just do it, no excuses, and no reasons why not!

With the dedication & the passion to which Nerida has served us, it is only fitting that we honour that commitment she gives us every session by improving our fitness, our body & our minds & give the passion & total body & soul into every training day, as you know your totally getting that in return from Nerida!


Jun 03

My Journey to the Stage – THE FINAL CHAPTER!!

My Journey to the Stage – THE FINAL CHAPTER!!

I DID IT! Last Sunday, on the 26th May I competed in the INBA Brisbane physique titles in the largest bodybuilding show in Australian history!

To say I was exited was an under-statement – The feeling of achieving quite a difficult and challenging goal was AMAZING and all of the hard-work, sweat and carb lows (although they were fairly few) was more than worth it!

For my final blog on this topic, I thought I would make a list of things I didn’t know (and you may not have known) prior to competing as well as other interesting tid-bits from my journey;

  • The competitors were ALL absolutely amazing, gorgeous specimens who put in hours upon hours of training in the gym and meal planning and prepping just for a few minutes on stage; so whether bodybuilding on any level is your thing or not, you have to admire the dedication, commitment and drive these people have;


  • I religiously kept a photo log of my progress so that on those days where I felt like progress just wasn’t happening, or wasn’t happening fast enough, I could look at how far I had come (Also, now I know why fitness fanatics get a little obsessed with ‘selfies’ – time to go and unclog my phone!). If you are on your own journey, make sure you take ‘beginning photos’ as you will be amazed when you look back;


  • Big goals take sacrifice – There is no way around it. If you want to achieve something you never have before, you must be willing to make sacrifices – the bigger the goal, the higher the sacrifices. As you would have read early on, I had to decline many invitations to outings I would have loved to go to. Even something as simple as an invitation to pop over to a friend’s house on a Friday afternoon had to be declined because I was either going to the gym, or I didn’t want to place myself in a position where I may be tempted to de-rail myself.


  • I didn’t realise how many extra bits of tiny morsels of food I consumed each day. As I said, prior to the competition, I was a really healthy eater and often already weighed my food to keep portion sizes in check, however I exercised hard and allowed myself the odd little thing as I knew I would be burning it off. I had to say good-bye to those little crusts, cups of tea (unless, of course, it was green tea), those little sneaky mouthfuls of snacks from the kids’ packets etc and that’s when I realised those little extras can be quite plentiful!


  • Support people who encourage you, understand when you have to say no and never let you lose sight of your goal are crucial. On that note, I absolutely 1000% dedicate my stage appearance to my amazing hubby, Nick. When someone is prepping for a comp like this, everyone in the house-hold has to make sacrifices. It meant eating separate meals, saying no to that very odd time when we were child-free to a lovely lunch out together, listening incessantly to talk of the comp, taking progress photos, constantly being badgered to look at my latest selfie to see if my delts were growing or my abs were showing more, etc etc etc. I had a motivational poster on my fridge with pictures and quotes to spur me on throughout the comp. Whenever I was having a weak moment, Nick would either lead me over to the fridge to look at the poster, or read me the inspirational quotes so I didn’t lose sight of that goal. These times were rare as I was very focused, however there were times when I questioned what on earth I was doing this for! Sooooo, thanks so much Nick, you were my rock and I couldn’t have asked for a more supportive person;


  • “Dialling in” in the final phase does not mean for pizza;


  • Our lives, activities and social plans nearly ALWAYS revolve around food – “Shall we go out for dinner”, “Should we do a picnic in the park”, “Do you want to meet for morning tea” If you think about it, we are almost always driven by when we are going to eat/meet for a meal etc etc


  • This type of comp makes you realise how mentally strong you can be. I cannot stress enough to anyone, no matter what type of health or fitness goal they have, your biggest challenge will be your mind. You can physically do almost anything you put your mind to, it’s your mind that will give up first. “Come on, you have done enough on the treadmill, you can stop”, “That one little piece of bread won’t hurt you” etc etc etc….If you can fight back against your own thoughts, you WILL succeed. Push them away, remember your goals, don’t let that little devil sitting on your shoulder win. Don’t stop or finish until you are DONE!


  • Similarly to the above point, everything seems to get a little out of perspective in these comps. OK so I here you saying ‘derrrrr’ but I would only recommend someone do these comps if they were secure in who they were first. By that, I mean it is very dangerous to constantly be comparing yourself to very unrealistic figures.  By about 6 or so weeks out, I really liked the way my figure was looking (apart from my weak points i.e. upper legs and glutes!), felt I had fairly good muscle tone and, if not for the competition, would have been extremely happy with where I was sitting. By comp standards however, I was no-where near ready to compete and this may have the propensity to make you a little bit cray cray in the head if you were that way inclined!


  • At various times throughout the comp prep, I also found myself looking at other girls who were competing and     constantly plastering selfies on face-book with captions like “8 weeks out and still with a HEAP of work to do, off I go to the gym…la la la di la” and you look at these perfect specimens in the photos and think “oh my gosh, if I could look half as good as her by COMP DAY I will be super stoked” hahaha….But what I eventually realised is that:-


  1. Selfies can be deceiving and flexing can make someone look totally different;
  2. This was MY journey and as I say to my own clients, don’t worry about what anyone else is doing, just go at your pace and focus on your OWN journey and goals;
  3. Sometimes the photos are old, or, unfortunately, they are trying to intimidate the competition (believe it or not, some of these girls can get quite competitive 😉 )
  •  Well, I already realised this, but I have AMAZING family, friends, clients and overall supportive network – Love you guys!


  • I would have to slightly dehydrate myself leading up to the comp – NOT one of the better aspects;


  • I didn’t realise I would have quite such a severe reaction to non-organic, totally unprocessed food/drinks post-comp (discovered on the Tuesday night following the comp whilst on a girls get-away!)


  • I can’t re-iterate this enough – prepping for these comps takes a HUGE amount of work, tons of time, incredible amounts of food prep and amazing amounts of organisation.


  • Spray tanning can get really really really dark – I think I stopped people in the streets the day before the comp following my tan application and I was honestly no-where NEAR as tanned as most of the girls on stage;


  • The girls I met at posing classes and on the day were absolutely lovely;


  • Despite being prepared for it, when first walking back-stage I literally stopped dead in my tracks – I had no idea there was so many hundreds of girls around Brisbane and surrounding areas who were so utterly perfect….The gorgeous sequins, the lovely long legs, the perfectly chiselled abs, the flawless hair – There are no words to describe how many goddesses there were at the comp;


  • Similarly, I felt quite saddened for many girls who were visibly upset by not placing – These girls would make you gasp if you saw them on a beach away from the other crazily amazing girls, but for whatever reason, they didn’t place and I hope they can look back and not worry about such a minor detail and be so proud of how incredible they looked on the day.


  • I did fall off the wagon in regards to my diet a few times – As you know from my last blog, I did get sick towards the end so allowed myself some extra carbs and other little things to help me get my energy back. The most important thing to do if you have some slips, is not to let it turn into a bigger thing. Don’t let one little cake or chocolate bar or whatever it is, turn into a day of bad food, or a week of indulgences, or waiting until Monday to start again. This is so important; don’t beat yourself up, just accept it and move on. I still made it to the stage despite these little things and that’s because I never lost sight of my goals.

So that marks the end of my 12 week journey – I want to say a huge thank you to all of the people that have shown me so much support – It has meant so much and you have no idea how each little “like” on my blogs, or each supportive word or comment has helped me get through the difficult times of this journey.

It was my one hope that by sharing my journey with you, you could see that everybody has difficult days when they are trying to reach their goals. What you see on the outside isn’t always an accurate depiction of how people are so if you are on your own journey, and sometimes think how easy it is for others to look a certain way, or to achieve their goals, remember that everyone battles at times to see the light at the end of the tunnel, and it is the people that dust themselves off and push through those times that succeed. I hope that I have inspired some of you to set challenging goals and go and chase them! I believe in you!

Nerida xx

May 22

My Journey to the Stage – Part 6

My Journey to the Stage – Part 6

Well here we are 4 days out from the comp!

It is so surreal now being so close to a goal you have focused on for what feels like an eternity!

The last few weeks have been quite difficult, to say the least. At a time when I thought I would be the most focused and determined, I fell off the wagon a few times.

Firstly, I got a bad bout of gastro and although everyone’s first reaction was “Oh well it just means you lost weight”, in reality it meant loss of water and hard-earned muscle and an incredible lethargy and lack of enthusiasm for training. At a time when I needed to really up my cardio, I could barely summon the energy to get out of bed for about 5 days!

Then just as I recovered from that I was hit with a cold ~ This was fairly inevitable having kiddies in day-care and probably being slightly run-down in general but it is still lingering and combined with the onset of the cold weather, it meant that all I really wanted was to stay indoors with a nice cup of tea and some warm buttery toast!

However – despite these things, and the fact that I can’t shake the last of this cold, I fought back and kept as focused as possible, never allowing myself to give up or think that I was not going to get to that stage. I kept reminding myself why I set this goal, and the fact that I didn’t have to win the competition, I just had to get myself to the point where I could compete without standing out like a sore thumb (in a bad way!) and without people gasping in horror when I did that 3rd quarter-turn to the back! Lol (Problem areas are a topic for another blog!)…

So I gave myself a break and had the odd bit of food that would see other competitors faint in horror so close to the competition, if it meant that I could mentally get through the last couple of weeks, and if it meant mustering that last bit of energy needed to get to the gym, and most importantly for my family, get healthy and well.

In amongst all of these things, I also managed to get myself along to a couple of posing classes with some of the other competitors. I went along with a little bit of trepidation, knowing that I would be confronted with hundreds of leggy, gorgeous girls but also with a determined mind-set that I would make it a point not to compare myself to anyone else. This journey was not about other people, but about my own goals. And surprisingly, I came away feeling really pleased, focused, giggling a little at the hilarity of the posing and with aching shoulder blades for days from holding those positions for so long!!!

No matter what happens on Sunday, I can safely say that I am really really proud of myself and my achievements over the 12 weeks – I looked back on my start photos the other day and put my current photos next to them and there is a MASSIVE difference and this made me want to jump and shout! All of the sacrifices, the meal prep, the sweat was totally worth it when I see the positive changes in my body.

If you are thinking of starting some sort of lifestyle change and you have been reading my blog, I bet you look ahead at 12 weeks and think that it just seems so long and will take forever but I can guarantee you that in hindsight, you don’t remember all of those times you said ‘no’ to an outing, or the hundreds of head shakes when offered some tasty morsel…..the time will fly and at the end of it, the feeling you get when you reach a really difficult goal is better than any other feeling!

And so the next few days will be a great reward for my journey as I get to totally beautiful myself with trips to the hair salon, nail salon, tanning salon etc etc etc…..YAY!

I will write another blog after my show and hopefully put some piccies up but until then, thank you to everyone who has followed my blog and for all of the support I have received from so many different sources – It has helped more than you know! I hope that perhaps I have also inspired just a few of you to start up your own challenge! Nerida xx

Apr 28

My Journey to the Stage – Reality Check!

My Journey to the Stage – Reality Check!

It all started on a beautiful sunny Thursday – I woke up to the birds singing, I had slept well and I was feeling positive about my training and looking forward to my standard oats for breakfast….

Then…. BANG…out of no-where….two things happened in succession without warning…..

  1. A phone call – “Nerida, I need you for a final bikini fitting…..”
  2. An email – “We have you registered in the bikini diva division…..you will need to personally register in the next two weeks….posing classes will be on at this time…….”

Boom – this just got real!!! My stomach dropped, my palms got slightly sweaty and I had instant butterflies………

The competition always seemed so far away in my mind and it was this big goal I was striving for but I was so focused on my training and nutrition that the actual act of competing hadn’t taken up much of my head space.

All of a sudden, the competition is less than 4 weeks away and there is no room for error: no slip-ups to be had, no training session can be completed without 110% effort;  Focus, drive and determination are the ONLY things that are going to get me there….

The last 8 weeks (in hindsight of course) have actually flown by….They have been filled with hard-work, sweat, sacrifices, contentment after a cheat meal, self-doubt at times and huge amounts of broccoli……

But D-Day is very quickly approaching now and the reality of having to get up on a stage in sky-high stripper heels (and trying to walk without falling over whilst still looking sexy is a topic for a whole different article) dressed in nothing but a Brazilian cut bikini is somewhat daunting to say the least.

I am so happy with my progress and proud of my efforts during this journey but there is still the reality that I just won’t quite make the ‘cut’, so to speak, and be ready physically to get up on that stage. In a competition such as this, where you are surrounded by beautiful sparkly and flawless goddesses, there is just no room for ‘good enough’ – You are either ready or you’re not. And the fact that I haven’t ever been through this process before means that I have no idea how my body will adapt in these last few weeks.

But I have come this far and there is only ONE way to find out! 110% complete focus and determination because I have to know that, whether I am ready in time to hit that stage or not, I have given my absolute all to accomplish this goal.

And I do mean all….For the next two weeks I have to cut out the precious little carbs I was having in an attempt to lean down that extra little bit….Oh wait, I lie, I can still get my carbs through broccoli….Did I mention that sometimes I feel like I can’t look at another piece of broccoli!

I have actually really really enjoyed this journey….I have always loved a good challenge and I have enjoyed proving to myself what I can do physically and mentally….And therein lies the key for any health or fitness related journey….It all comes down to your mind…..Mental strength is paramount….You will notice when you are in the path of temptation or when you just don’t think you can keep going on that treadmill, that your mind is the first to go…..It will whisper sweet little excuses into your head as to why you can stop, or justify why you deserve to have that chocolate bar….DON’T LISTEN TO IT!!  You are stronger than that….have some positive affirmations ready to counter those thoughts….. “I can keep going”….”I am strong”…..”I will achieve my goals”……..

And on that note, I’m off to bring myself one step closer to my goal….Go hard everyone and I will be updating you with my progress soon 🙂

Apr 19

My Journey to the Stage – My Mum’s Insight into My Character!

My Journey to the Stage – My Mum’s Insight into My Character!

Well here is the next blog for my journey! This one has been kindly written by my dear Mum, who volunteered to write the next chapter and give you all an insight into my character…. Well Mum is even more biased than my sister so proceed with caution – and my twitching fingers have not edited it at all! Hope you enjoy and any other volunteers to keep writing my blog for me are most welcome! hahaha

I thought I might jump on the blogging bandwagon to help Nerida out as she heads towards her goal of entering the fitness modelling.  It must be quite difficult for her to come up with an interesting read week after week, when the routine is pretty well established by the middle of the preparation.

What to focus on? Well I can’t go wrong if I try to cast some light on the incredible focus and determination that are key traits of Nerida’s character. (I hope those traits don’t result in this blog being heavily edited. )

When Nerida arrived in this world, the world that was to be her oyster, she arrived with no fuss and began to forge her identity in the world.   Christmas’s were always huge and when she was 3 years old, there were only two things she had on her Santa list-they were a pair of thongs and a big bag.  Santa was good to her that year, and she was lucky enough to receive a multitude of presents, but true to her wishes, she had only two things that even remotely interested her-the tiny red thongs and the over-sized colourful bag.  Try to take the thongs off her and you were dead meat!!!  As for the bag, it did not leave her hot little hands all day and sported a huge hole in the bottom by Christmas nightfall, from being dragged around all day. She was a happy little vegemite.

Her big brother-all of 17months older, was the bane of her existence at times. They had a love/hate relationship common to most siblings, and Nerida quickly learnt strategies to cope with this. One day he wanted to borrow a toy that she owned.  He asked if he could and with her hard taskmaster ethics, she said he must ask her by saying please, which he promptly did, then pretty please, then pretty please darling Nerida, then pretty please darling, beautiful Nerida! He complied with all this, only to be flatly told at the end-sorry, no you still can’t have it!  ( True Story) Today Exquisite Fitness girls, that converts to, “you can stop after 10 more burpees,  no you can stop after 10 more burpees and 10 sumo squats, no you can stop after 10 more burpees , 10 more sumo squats and 10 lunges! No you can’t stop at all-do it all again 10 times!!!!!!

Unfortunately Nerida had to go to hospital when she was very young. She was very ill and missed her mother so much. She would cry when I left and fretted for me when I wasn’t there. The nurses apparently reprimanded her and one particular day I went in and she was completely dry-eyed. She told me in all of her important 4 year old determined voice that she was not staying there one more day and I was not going home without her.  True to her word, that day I left with Nerida in tow and her doll dragging along behind her.  She was not doing anything she didn’t want to and that is still her operating mechanism today. You fitness girls will do what she wants you to do too, come hell or high water, and that is why you are all making excellent progress.

Young children are often asked by well-meaning adults what they want to be when they grow up. The answers are the usual predictable ones of a nurse, a fireman, a policeman, a mummy etc. One day, when Nerida was all of 10 years old, her reply to the person that put it to her was an unequivocal and resounding “ I want to be a lawyer”.  I was privy to that conversation and whirled around wondering where on earth did that come from.  Not once in all the ensuing years did Nerida ever waver from that statement and sure enough, she graduated as a lawyer many years later. When she had to do her work experience in the latter years of high school, I said, “well I guess you will find a spot in a law firm”. But no, in typical Nerida fashion, she stated that she knew she wanted to be a lawyer, so she would try journalism just so she knew she didn’t want anything to do with that. That, of course, is exactly what happened. Our Nerida knows exactly what she wants and exactly how to get it.  Are you surprised her business is such a thriving success?  And let me assure you girls, she wants you to be lean, strong and fit women and by golly by gosh, you will be!!!!!  Scary isn’t it?

Along with her wish to be a lawyer was another Christmas wish when she was 10 years old, for a desk from Santa.  It was hidden until the last in the kitchen and her acute disappointment when she thought it hadn’t been delivered was only matched by her incredible excitement when she found it. A modest little white melamine desk that was the one she used all her primary, secondary and university years, as well as many years in her own home.   Material things are not important to Nerida and she will make do, to make sure she has what is important in life.  Of course, this does not include her love of glamorous bling, and pretty makeup, Lorna Jane work out gear and the odd spray tan!!!!  Thank goodness for that because without those trademarks, she just wouldn’t be the girl we all love to bits and cherish.  When sunbaking became entirely unacceptable, as did tanning beds, Nerida was determined that no matter what, she would still have that sun-kissed skin and spray tans are part of her daily wear.  Where there is a will there is a way.

As a mother, I do worry that Nerida’s latest venture to compete in the fitness modelling will be too much strain on her seemingly endless energy and motivation, and that sheer tiredness will overcome her. However, I know that whether she makes it or otherwise, she will give it all she has, it will be a gutsy effort and full of the determination and motivation that drives her every day.   No matter how hard it is, she will give it her best shot and what more can you ask of anyone. I would love to see her accomplish this goal as I know it means so much to her, but at the end of the day, she is a winner all round. A brilliant mother, a devoted wife, a loving daughter, a caring sister, a talented piano player, a wonderful homemaker, a clever fitness teacher, a formidable lawyer, a wonderful friend!

If you are lucky enough to be part of her life, to have been blessed with that infectious laugh, to be gently manipulated by that determined nature, you will know that this is one very determined and highly motivated human being.  Good Luck and may your fitness journey be what you want it to be my dear.





Apr 08

My Journey to the Stage – From the Perspective of My Sister!

My Journey to the Stage – From the Perspective of My Sister!

The following blog was kindly written by my sister – Suffering from a severe case of writer’s block (probably caused by insufficient carbs!) and not wanting to bore my readers with more talk of chicken and broccoli, I enlisted the help of my sister and best friend – She is a tad biased so it is to be taken with a grain of salt but it is quite funny and unfortunately, the Vegemite sandwich incident did occur! Hope you enjoy 🙂


The support person

“I’m going in a bikini modelling fitness competition” – many thoughts fire through the mind at this point.

–          What the hell does that mean?

–          Shit, that sounds really full-on, exhausting and scary!

–          Wow, I wish I had the motivation and desire to do something like that.

–          Am I going to be dragged into this?

–          I hope she doesn’t overdo it

–          She’s going to look so hot (in an envious tone J – normal for everyone I’m sure!)

So here we are at week 6 of the preparation. What a breeze it’s been! Winery tour in Melbourne, relaxing with one or three glasses of wine or cider or both, a feed of prawns with generous amount of delicious and slightly salty seafood sauce. Yum!

Oh right, hang on my sister is doing the hard slog – probably not the quickest or easiest 6 weeks of her life to date. At the end of the day however, I know she will look back at the preparation and feel that it wasn’t an eternity, it did actually fly by despite the fact it felt like trekking through molasses at times, and the results were DEFINITELY worth it.

I want to give you my perspective and share some of the views that Nerida may not have yet.

– It’s not easy

– Murphy’s law says that if you are ‘not allowed’ to have something, you immediately want it more than anything you’ve ever wanted in your life

– There’s nothing as exciting as seeing the measurements (muscle mass, weight, circumferences etc  etc) all going in the right direction

– It’s time-consuming

– It becomes a bit of an obsession (so does drinking alcohol for some people, or working, or smoking, or watching My Kitchen Rules —I know which obsession will likely keep you healthiest and the happiest in the long run!)

It’s not easy

Despite the amazing, seemingly never-ending enthusiasm for this project, Nez has needed some encouragement at times like everybody does in the roller-coaster of life. It feels natural to immediately make an exception here: well except [insert someone powerful and strong and seemingly faultless here], they never have down moments, they are amazing! That is just not true. You would be amazed at the number of high-flying, famous and ‘powerful’ people who have had a ‘down’ moment. What I’m getting at is that no-one is immune to the pressures of life, the pressures of expectations, and the pressures of striving to achieve a goal. That’s what makes your support person/people so important 😉

Murphy’s Law

Whoever took a Vegemite sandwich for granted (not me, in non-Aussie style, I think it smells really bad and have never had it…. My fussy sister however LOVES it 🙂 ) ?

So the nature of this fitness modelling beast (if I only get dragged into writing a blog I think I’ve got off very lightly!) is that she would naturally beat herself up (and go to the gym an extra one or two times in a day (a DAY people, not a week or month!)) because the evil little devil took over and made her eat a Vegemite sandwich. In her bedroom. While the hubby watches TV blissfully unaware of the sins going on in the bedroom, until she comes and sheepishly confesses. ‘I had a Vegemite sandwich Nick!’ And the phone call- ‘oh no I have to tell you something’. So on the other end of the phone my immediate thought is- ‘shit Nez you should see what I’ve eaten by midday most days!’. But then of course my inner support person kicks my dimply butt out of the way and says – of course it’s not the end of the world and of course this isn’t going to mean that you can no longer take the stage on ‘D-day’. Who doesn’t look at some of those fitness models up there and think- ‘Geez that girl could do with some more vitamin B12, why didn’t she sneak some Vegemite into the diet somewhere!?!’

On the one hand Nezzy needs gentle encouragement, guidance and support to stay on the right track. And of course I want to say- ‘you are beautiful, inside and out; you are fit, healthy and strong; and you are already an inspiration to so many people out there wanting to strive for a goal, fitness-related or otherwise’. But I was lined up at the start of this as the Commando if need be. Nezzy asked me to refrain from assuring her that it’s ok if she doesn’t make it and people won’t be judgmental if she doesn’t get ready in time (and of course we all know this to be true).  But refrain I did and she now knows that if she has another Vegemite sandwich in the next 6 weeks she will NOT be coming on our luxury girls weekend away on the Sunshine Coast after the comp 😉

The measurements

In short, Nezzy is going in the right direction and she is doing amazingly J Don’t be disheartened by a slower change in your measurements or progress towards the goal, this is a super-intense program intended for short bursts only—every goal and journey towards it is INDIVIDUAL. Take away the helpful points and don’t compare your progress with others; if you find looking at photos of super fit people is more discouraging than encouraging, don’t do it.


I have been meaning to call my accountant for approximately 2 weeks. I had not found the opportunity until this morning when I forbid myself to do anything else until the call was made (ok so I had to finish breakfast, do a couple of jobs, emails etc first and then make the call). The call took about 5 minutes. Where is the mathematics in that!?

Nez has two small children and a husband (3 children?? Kidding Nick!). Where in the world does she find the energy and time to do what she does on top of that! For me personally (currently on holidays, swanning about and doing errands), looking after 3 people would be constant preparation for a bikini modelling competition (or super-mum comp at the very least). I mean, holy shit, you mothers, fathers and workers are BUSY!!

Can you remember the time when it was hard to find time to call the accountant for a period of 2 weeks? The relationship is exponential it seems, the more you have to get done, the more you get done. If anyone is an example of this it is Nerida. She has an incredible amount of energy which seems to keep growing in direct proportion to the amount of energy she expends. This wasn’t always the case; she might kill me but I remember the time when Max was just born and an amazing sleeper during the day- she had so much time on her hands that it was difficult to find the ‘time’ (motivation or energy) to take out the rubbish! I guess I’m saying that perhaps if you are time-poor and wonder how on earth you could fit anything else into the day, it might be an idea to start with a small walk during the day- you’ll be amazed at how much energy you have and how much MORE you can get done once the walk is done (it’s the solution to the age-old problem of ‘there’s just not enough hours in the day’!).

So there’s hard times, there’s encouraging moments, there’s the joy once it’s over and the pride in what has been achieved. Keep up the great work Nez and stay away from the Vegemite 😉 xxx



Mar 19

My Journey to the Stage – Part 3: De-Loading & De-Socialising

My Journey to the Stage – Part 3: De-Loading & De-Socialising

Well I’m now in week 3 of my comp prep and less than 10 to go; or I’m over 2/12 of the way in; or I’ve completed 1/6 of the journey; or the last week doesn’t really count so I have less than 9 weeks to go…..These are all the different spins I put on it when I am feeling that the road ahead seems quite long….Have you ever found yourself doing this when counting down to something??

I was watching the Biggest Loser last night and I got to thinking –It must be very difficult mentally for these people because they have so much weight to lose and that road must just seem insurmountable at times…whereas I only have less than 10 weeks to go on this particular journey so I should just enjoy the ride!

Most days, particularly during the week, I feel great: Positive, energetic & not tempted to divert from my track at all…But I am human and I do have days (particularly weekends) where I feel weaker and I start to question why on earth I am putting myself through this…. but quitting is not an option for me….I chase away the negative thoughts in my head, read my motivational poster and remind myself of why I am doing this….I have also seen some really great results after this short time and that has spurred me on and made me determined to stay focused…

So….the highlight of this week (apart from, of course, my always anticipated cheat meal) is that I am in week 3 of my first 4 week phase which marks “de-load” week in my weights training….It really is the small things at the moment!

Basically this means that instead of doing my usual 5 sets of each exercise, I get to go down to just 3 sets….Given that my average rest time between sets is about 15 seconds, this is pretty awesome, especially on the days I am training predominantly legs….The idea behind this is that you are giving your body a little bit of much-needed rest to allow it to recover….

Rest is very important to the body…If you don’t get the appropriate rest, you may find that you are stagnating in terms of your fitness/strength gains/weight loss or whatever it is that your goal is….So instead of walking out of the gym on shaky legs, I have been walking out this week with a spring in my step = Winning!

Whilst I am enjoying the de-load aspect this week, I must say that I am not really enjoying the “de-socialising” aspect of my journey….

The nutritional aspect of this comp prep is so strict in regards to what I have to eat, when I have to eat and the portions that I have to eat that it is not possible for me to go out for lunch or a coffee or to a dinner party and just make a healthy choice, as I ordinarily would….It’s not like I can ring a friend who has invited me around and ask them to please accommodate my need for a certain amount of grams of protein, accompanied with a certain amount of broccoli and please ensure not to add any flavour but just the right amount of bland – oh and please ensure that dinner is on the table at 7pm exactly!!

So although I’m sure a lot of seasoned pros still continue on with their daily life and have ways around this dilemma, this is my first time in preparing for such a comp and I am so determined to stay focused on my goal that I feel OK about having to make some sacrifices if it keeps me out of temptation’s eye….I am very lucky I have understanding and supportive friends who will still be there at the end of the 12 weeks to have a girl’s lunch, a girl’s night out or simply pop over for a glass of red on a Friday afternoon….

In sharing my journey, I wanted everyone who read my story who may be on their own health and fitness journey, to take heart from the fact that everyone has to make sacrifices, everyone has bad days where they struggle to find motivation and it’s not always fun & easy. BUT it is so important to stay focused on that goal; Do not let quitting even be an option and when the going gets really tough, have a read of this quote which is my favourite one on my motivational board: I LOVE it – it signifies everything about my journey and always hardens my resolve when needed…

“It will hurt, it will take time;

It will require dedication;

It requires will-power;

You will need to make healthy choices;

It requires sacrifice;

You will need to push your body to its’ limits;

There will be temptation;

But I promise you, when you reach your goal, it will be WORTH IT!”

Mar 11

My Count-Down to the Stage – Part 2 “Cheat Meals & Accountability”

My Count-Down to the Stage – Part 2 “Cheat Meals & Accountability”

So I’m now in my second week of comp prep and I’m feeling strong, focused and determined!

By far the biggest highlight of my week was my “cheat meal” – Once a week I am allowed to have one meal comprised of whatever I choose to eat – The theory behind the cheat or treat meal is two-fold:

  • First off, it is important psychologically to allow yourself a treat once a week so that you still feel a little human and also so that you don’t go crazy from deprivation of certain foods and end up bingeing on the foods you are not supposed to be eating; and
  • For your metabolism – the way this was explained to me is that by eating your 5 meals a day of very clean, and easily digestible food, your metabolism starts getting used to this and may start slowing down as it doesn’t have to work as hard. By eating a cheat meal once a week, you basically “spike” your metabolism as your body has to go into over-drive again to process this foreign food, setting you up for the following week….This only works if you have been SUPER strict all week…

Now if this makes you a little sceptical let me tell you my story from the weekend….I had thought long and hard and salivated in anticipation of when I would schedule my cheat meal and eventually I decided that Saturday night was as good a time as any….I decided to do a really high intensity Body Attack class on Saturday afternoon to burn as many calories as possible so I could really feel that I had well and truly earned this cheat meal….I burnt 750 calories in that class so my mission was accomplished!

Now usually by meal 2 I’m not really ready to eat again and it is a bit of a trial to shove more food into my mouth but I can honestly tell you that on Sunday I got busy mowing the lawn and was about 10 minutes over my scheduled meal time and I was STARVING! I even started to get that queasy feeling you get when you desperately need to eat and as soon as I ate I felt better.  I have also definitely continued to process my meals way faster since that cheat meal and rather than dreading putting more food in my mouth as I usually do, I’m now watching the time for when I can eat again!! Isn’t the body an amazing machine???

Moving onto one of the other big discoveries of the week is that a fantastic way to keep you focused on your goal is to make yourself accountable for it….While many people have aspirations to generally lose weight or get fit, there is no consequence to them if they don’t succeed so their conviction and will-power often declines quite rapidly when temptation crosses their path….

As this goal is so big in terms of what I have to do and how strict I have to be, I had to find a way to make myself accountable to it….The ways I did this were:

–          I entered and paid for the competition;

–          I told people close to me;

–          I put my goal on social media by blogging about it.

And if all of the above wasn’t enough, every time I feel any type of wavering, I remind myself that in less than 11 weeks I have to stand on a stage in front of hundreds of people in a tiny scrap of material!!!

If you are setting out on a weight-loss or health journey, start by setting yourself goals….(Check out my blog on how to set effective goals – http://exquisitefitnessbrisbane.com/goal-setting-for-mums/).

Once you have set your goal, find ways to make yourself accountable to it…It could be signing up for some event or competition,  telling your friends and family or thinking of a really awesome reward you can have once that goal is accomplished….

And on that note, I will leave you so that I can go and boil some eggs, steam some sweet potato and get some more broccoli into my stomach…

Stay focused and determined on your goals because no-one else can do the hard work for you…..


Mar 07

My Count-Down to the Stage – Part 1

My Count-Down to the Stage – Part 1

Time to set some tough goals!

Time to set some tough goals!



OK so I debated for a while about whether to share my current journey with everyone but I have decided to do so in the hope that everyone out there on any type of health challenge will find some inspiration and realise that no matter what your goal and no matter who you are, EVERYONE has bad days, everyone needs to have lots of will-power and determination and be able to dig deep when the going gets tough

So, my biggest goal this year is to compete in the INBA bikini/sports-model competition in Brisbane on 26th May.

Every year, I like to challenge myself to achieve a goal that is both challenging and different and which forces me to go to new limits of determination and strength. Last year, my goal was to compete and complete Tough Mudder – I successfully did this in Sydney in September and to accomplish such a physically difficult task was one of the best feelings of my life.

You need to find a goal that is attainable for you ~ It doesn’t need to be conquering the world, it just has to be something that will force you to buckle down and put yourself out of your comfort zone….A few years ago, after having my first bub, I made a goal to compete in my first triathlon….I made the goal not long after having bub so I wasn’t fit at all….I therefore decided that the “enticer” was enough of a challenge for me (200m swim, 5km bike ride and 2km ride)….When I completed my first one I felt so emotional as it was a big goal for me at the time and I had achieved it….At the stage of fitness I’m currently at, the enticer would not be enough of a challenge for me, hence the Tough Mudder challenge last year and now, what I believe to be, the toughest one of all!

The reason I believe this is more difficult is because of the strictness of it all – I have a totally new found respect for fitness models who do this year after year….I have always eaten well and fuelled my body with the foods it needs to keep fairly fit but never before have I used kitchen scales to weigh my food, thought about how many macros comprise each meal I eat, had to be so fastidious about what I eat and at what time, had to deny myself a precious cup of tea, had to worry about what carbs I eat pre and post training and never have I had to be so focused and determined in the type of training I do and when….

I never realised (and especially since having kiddies) how many little things you put in your mouth throughout the day – No longer can I put a little teency tiny crust into my mouth that has been cut off my kiddies’ sandwich….No longer can I pop one little chippie in my mouth from the kiddies’ packet….No longer can I take a bite out of hubbie’s sandwich….

So I am now almost one week into my 12 week comp prep and each day is easier and easier….It’s so easy to look at the long road ahead on these plans but it is really important to just take each day at a time and feel your body respond and get stronger and leaner…..I started my official prep on a Sunday as this was the day I traditionally was more relaxed with my diet and allowed myself treats and some proper bread (oh what I would give for a nice juicy crusty sandwich!) but I felt it was important mentally to break this cycle of thinking….Sure enough Sund ay was definitely the hardest day for me and of course your mind tries to work against you and tell you reasons why you don’t need to do this or why a little treat won’t hurt but you have to be strong and remind yourself of the reasons why you have set your goal.

I have a big motivational poster on my fridge which I look at every morning, filled with great quotes, pictures and reasons why I want to accomplish my goal. I have also told people close to me so they can give me the support I need when I wonder if I can fit any more broccoli into my stomach!

The BEST news is that I am seeing great progress after only a few shorts days AND I am nearly due for my weekly “cheat meal” – Life is good…

So I will be doing regular blogs on my journey – I should make it clear that I certainly do not have aspirations to place, the girls that do this regularly are really just incredible goddesses but the idea is just to get to the point where I can compete…..

If anyone else is on any type of fitness/lifestyle journey, please feel free to share your thoughts and your ups and your downs with me on my facebook page… (http://www.facebook.com/exquisitefitnessbrisbane)

And remember everyone – “Nothing worth having comes easily” – stay strong…..

Jan 31

My Top Weight-Loss Tips

My Top Weight-Loss Tips

I thought I would do a blog about what I consider to be the most important tips for losing weight or maintaining your current weight….I understand there are plenty more really great tips and tricks out there but these are the ones that I think are the 15 most important ones!

So, in no particular order of importance, here they are:-

  1. Drink at least 2 – 3 litres of water per day;
  2. Eat regularly – every 2.5 – 3 hours is ideal;
  3. Get a good night’s sleep every night (if possible!);
  4. Try not to stress – it produces a hormone which makes your body store fat, particularly around the stomach region;
  5. Portion control – do not eat huge meals; smaller, more regular meals are far better;
  6. Eat a decent breakfast;
  7. Eat 4 – 6 cups of vegetables every day;
  8. Exercise every day – It can be any form of exercise: be creative and get that body moving;
  9. Be positive-  happy, healthy mind breeds positivity and success;
  10. Set goals, write them down and put them where you can see them. Find what motivates you, this is different for everyone – For me, it is definitely my family;
  11. Try to incorporate some resistance/strength training into your exercise regime – this will help you burn calories at rest – If you need ideas, check out my facebook page where I regularly post workouts which incorporate both cardio and resistance training (http://www.facebook.com/exquisitefitnessbrisbane)
  12. Reward yourself with non-food treats when you reach mini-milestones – new clothes, massage, etc
  13. If you have a blow-out – accept it and move on – Do not let it spiral into an all-day or even all-week binge!
  14. Don’t be hard on yourself – Instead of berating yourself and viewing your body in a negative way, find the positives, congratulate yourself on what you have achieved so far and keep things in perspective – “Rome wasn’t built in a day”;
  15. Do not weigh yourself every day – once a week is plenty if you must; measurements and the fit of your clothes are far more accurate indicators…..

So, there they are! I hope this helps and if you have any questions, please do not hesitate to email me on exquisitefitnessbrisbane@gmail.com.

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