The Struggle Is Real: Body Image Issues

I'm going to hazard a guess and say (according to a recent Nat Carter bureau of statistic's poll: 90% of us have body image issues, then the leftover 3% are supermodels (ugh!) and 7% of women are actually lying about the fact that they don't have body image issues.

We have issues, face it. The struggle, gals, is real!

Tall, short, fat, skinny, round, square, disabled, able bodied, vision impaired, scarred, tattooed, pretty, blue eyed, brown skinned, pasty, freckled, belly rolls, 6 packs, muscles, broken, big butted, small butted, red hair, blonde hair, no hair and it goes on and on and on....

As a former fat girl (FFG), the full story is here if you care to read it, I was/am the queen of body image issues. My most common issue- not seeing the size I really am, forever unable to see what other people (including other women) see. It's happening both ways for me. I was bulging out of a size 16 jeans before I realised I was 3 sizes too big for my clothes. I also don't really register my shrinkage into smaller sizes. I often don't think a size 10 will even go anywhere near my body, even though it does. The struggle is unending. I say that with a true honesty, even given my profession in the fitness industry. You can think that whenever you accomplish a certain weight loss goal your life immediately turns into the thing you've always hoped it to be: Skinny and pretty and amazing. The reality is NOT THAT. So many women, myself including find it hard to get their heads around their new bodies and then the general upkeep of that said body.

Why do we have such weirded out body image? Well, is it just us being over thinkers, perfectionists, stressy weirdos or is the media, other women around us or is it men? I don't know really. I probably believe it's a combo of all of those really. I do totally believe that because body image is something passed down through family generations that unless you really foster an awesome, positive, soul building body image in your children, you will in fact repeat the "mistakes" of your parent/grandparent and so on.

How can we get past our body image issues? There's definitely no quick fix and I truly believe no set protocol. It's like when I train 2 girls, one responds to the bossy/stand over tactics I dish out and the other may need more of a gentle/easy does it/hold my hand approach. I'm 100% sure you need to come to terms with your body issues and why they've infiltrated your life for so long. I also feel:

Talking about them with other females helps. Literally turn to the person next to you right now and strike up a body conversation. I can tell you, you'll find common ground with each other, no matter how different your body types.

Take Action. Put down the cake, lace up your shoes. The impact of a healthy diet and exercise on body image is massive! All you need to focus on is busting the anxiety. Don't focus on your body at all (i.e leave the physical goals for a while). On the flip side, if you are a fitness freak, maniac exerciser- just stop. Try yoga or meditation. Just do very little. It can totally work wonders for you. Then as you feel the anxiety lessening, increase your workload- try new things and have regular downtime and recovery.

Embrace and see past our flaws. Ask yourself if it really matters that you have different sized boobs or a belly roll or that you are taller than all of your friends? I mean isn't it great to just be here, to be in the game of life.

Give back. Take yourself and your body out of the equation. Give back to a charity, or friend in need or complete stranger. Even just engaging in positive acts of kindness will help in seeing the bigger picture.

The take home message? A little bit of love goes a long way. Start small, see the beauty in your imperfections and embrace them. Change what you feel comfortable with (that's with non drastic measures) and be happy with being a "work in progress".

Let's start a conversation....where do your body image issues stem from? What is the main cause for your concern?

Join Nat in Sydney for her Learn, Laugh, Burn fitness workshop

Further reading:
10 Ways To Make Exercise Not Feel Like Exercise


The Do Anywhere Workout

Yep, you read correctly. Do. Anywhere. Workout.

Full body and guaranteed to get you hot, sweaty and a little bit sexy too, maybe even reallllll sexy. Don't blame me though

I love these style of workouts because they are easy to do anywhere (hence the name!) and get rid of most excuses. They are a fun challenge and you can try it on holiday: on sand, in your hotel room or outdoors like me.

And it goes a little something like this,

1. 60 knees on the spot

2. 50 squats

3. 40 sec of plank hold

4. 30 skaters

5. 20 reverse lunges

6. 10 full push ups

Repeat 6-8 times, if you are a total beginner try resting at the end of each set. This will push you.
Glutton for punishment? Add a 400m run at the end of each set


Join Nat in Sydney for her Learn, Laugh, Burn fitness workshop

Further reading:
10 Ways To Make Exercise Not Feel Like Exercise

Outdoor Fitness Training For Women

I seriously can't even believe what I'm about to say! This is my last 6 week Challenge for the year of 2014! What the very farrrrrrrrk? Where did that year go? 

Some people find group training scary and intimidating, not too mention some of those weirdo PT's with their HUGE ego's! New Outlook Fitness, founded by me (Nat Carter), is so not about anything scary! We are kind of one big happy (slightly wacky) family. As long as you listen to Mumma bear (me!) then everything will be fine. I work with people from all walks of life but I especially love those keen to undertake a big transformation to lose more than 5 kilos and basically turn their life upside down and come out fitter, stronger, happier and more confident. 

We do our thing outdoors with weights/kettlebells/ropes/bands/bars/medicine balls/bodyweight, high intensity interval training (an exceptional form of cardio especially for fat loss) and core/postural exercises. It's everything a gym has except in the beautiful fresh air and green surroundings! Sunrises are a regular too.

So let's get into our final challenge for the year- to get you out and about, ready to conquer the beach and your Summer holidays. Confidence city!

You'll work on:

- Fitness, without the need for boring treadmills or yawnifying steady state cardio
- Getting sexy curves and strength where you need it most!
- Confidence and self esteem
- The fear that surrounds weight training for women and busting through it
- Challenging yourself and break through any weight loss plateau's you may be experiencing
- YOU, your own personal goals. Our environment is super friendly, no large groups, egos and it's very safe (injuries/special considerations are cared for).

All you have to do fill out this form below:

Receive information about the next 6 week Challenge NOW

* indicates required

We start on the 4th November until 11th December, perfect for that final party/holiday season boost.

Can't wait to kick your ass! x Nat 

Join Nat in Sydney for her Learn, Laugh, Burn fitness workshop

Further reading:
10 Ways To Make Exercise Not Feel Like Exercise

Time Poor? Get Fit Fast!

A lot of us are crunched for time. We are busy peeps: socialising, ferrying kids around, busting our butts for that promotion or trying to keep a tidy house. In my experience, the first thing to go when we are under the pump, is our workout. I'm all about providing real solutions for real people, not far fetched ideas that you simply will find impossible to implement. Here's a few ways to get fit fast:

1. Stop wasting time on daily ab workouts. Your core will "work" in moves like the deadlift, squat and chin ups. Rather than spending 10 mins on sit ups and crunches after your base workout, include these functional moves (deads, squats and chin ups) and you can leave the abs for once or twice per week

2. Hire a trainer! It's amazing what a quick 30 minute blast can do for your body, mentally and physically. If you just want to put your head down and bum up then hire a PT to do the thinking for you. Leave it up to them to work your whole body, organise all your weights/stations and you can just DO. Sah easy!

3. Swap the long cardio sessions for a quick HIIT session instead. Here's 5 HIIT workouts you can do. You can even do a 4 min Tabata session. Seriously, I'm sure you have 4 mins? Here's a sample Tabata workout 

4. Have a gym setup at home. You don't need to spend loads of money on expensive equipment like the gyms have or will you have to spend time driving to and from the gym. Get yourself a skipping rope, kettlebell and a mat. BOOM instant gym. If you can go a little more luxe, add these: a few sets of different sized dumbbells (3kg, 5kg, 8kg), an olympic bar (20kg plus some 5kg and 10 kg) plates or  few heavier kettlebells, a TRX suspension trainer and a swiss ball. All of this will easily store in your garage or under the bed (if you are a little crowded). Your swiss ball can double as your office chair!

5. If you are a walker, add these 4 exercises along the way and get some resistance in to your routine. You can do the whole thing in 45 minutes or cut it down to 20 if you are pushed for time!

6. Think about a food delivery service. If you simply suck at preparing healthy, lean meals then get someone to do it for you. Yes it's a little more expensive than getting all your groceries and prepping it but it does save time. If you simply don't have that 1-2 hour per week to spend on your food, outsource!  I love Fit Fresh Meals. If you just want meals delivered but are happy to cook, I love My Food Bag.

7. Ditch the machine weights and opt for dumbbell exercises. Lots of you waste time at the gym waiting around for people to finish their sets on the weighted gym equpiment. Let me give you the heads up, the dude that says he is finishing up is still going to be aaaages! Virtually every exercise is transferable or you can try something new. Look here, lady:

Leg Press or ext machine: Squat or step ups with dumbbells
Lat pull down: Pullover or one arm row with dumbbells on a bench or swiss ball
Leg curl: Reverse lunges or hip thrusts
Chest press or bench: Flyes with dumbbells or chest press with dumbbell
Ab crunch machine: Swiss ball roll outs or planks

If you workout from home, get yourself  a TRX trainer and workout your whole body with one suspension system. They are awesome. More details here

8. Listen up, I know it's my job to kick your butt with workouts and exercise but did you know if you focused your attention on your diet you'd be doing more than half the work? Yep, you heard right, your diet and the changes or pigging out you do really affects your results in the long run. So, when you are time crunched if you tighten the reins on your diet so to speak you should lessen the impact of the kilos creeping on.

9. See a workout in all locations. Seriously, I'm not a freak but I can see a workout in any location. Beach- soft sand running. Water- swimming. Gym- Well gym (weights and the like). Park- outdoor circuit. Hills- Hill sprints. Kids Playground- core and arms circuit. Hotel room- chair workout. Home- resistance band workout and so on. There are endless possibilities just don't be tied down to only working out in a gym!

10. Multi-tasking! The thing us women do best. So you don't want to wet your pants or dribble when you workout do you? Now you may wince but the reality is, loads of women have really weak pelvic floor muscles and suffer incontinence. Don't for one minute believe you need to spend your life in Tena lady pads. No, no, no. You will strengthen those weak muscles and then go about your life with confidence and poise (not sponsored LOL). Your pelvic floor muscles can be weakened through pregnancy, childbirth, menopause, being overweight, heavy lifting, back pain or just naturally weak from early age. Training your pelvic floor will help you strength those muscles and also improve bladder and bowel control. See your doctor if your problem are persistent even after undertaking strengthening exercises. Next time you are sitting in the car driving or standing in line try this Kegel exercises:

Imagine your pelvic floor as an elevator shaft. It sits on the ground floor completely relaxed, then it goes to level one (squeeze and hold for a few seconds), keep the tension and go to level 2 hold again and keep moving up the "floors. Try 5-6 floors and then rest. 

Join Nat in Sydney for her Learn, Laugh, Burn fitness workshop

Further reading:
10 Ways To Make Exercise Not Feel Like Exercise

No Bake Protein Bars

Well logs really

Ok, so they do look like poos BUT I assure you they taste amazing!

I was inspire to create these bad boys after a TERRIBLE protein bar eating experience. I'm not here to name and shame but I can simply guarantee you I will NEVER eat another package protein bar in my life! They are so not my thing anyway but you know, it was lying around, I nibbled. I regretted it.

I also can't stress the importance of GOOD QUALITY PROTEIN POWDER. Mine is vegan (not because I'm a vegan), dairy free (I'm so over whey protein!), gluten free, non GMO, sugar free and so tasty even mixed with water.

These little logs are super easy to prepare and will make about 8, you need these in your life around 3pm or even as a little mid morning pick me up.


Generous Tbsp each of Peanut butter and cacao & peanut butter spread (both Mayvers brand)
Slurp of coconut water
2 scoops of Vanilla Nuzest protein powder or similar non dairy protein powder
4 tbsp Oats
1 tbsp Rice Malt Syrup (Pureharvest brand)
Coconut shreds to decorate
1Tbsp Dark Choc finely grated (I used Willie's Cacao 100% cacao, I got this aaaages ago form a speciality imported foods store but pretty sure it's available in Australia now)

Using a food processor thing (where the blender attachment just inserts in the top) whizz till everything except the coconut water. It'll look like a crumb base. When this happens add a tiny splash of coconut water and blend again. The texture should change and start to become more sticky looking, a little like cookie dough. I added a few slurps of coconut water before I was happy with my texture. Just test it out and see if you can roll it and it holds its shape. Less is more at the end of the day, go easy tiger!

Next, with wet hands, start rolling the mixture into log shapes or even balls. When you've done all your logs, cover in coconut. Simply lay out a few tbsps of coconut shreds and roll the logs through.

Place on a non stick plate or in a bpa free container and place in the fridge to firm up slightly.


Join Nat in Sydney for her Learn, Laugh, Burn fitness workshop

Further reading:

Learn, Laugh, Burn Workshop With Nat Carter 2014

Join me, Nat Carter PT & Fitness Expert, for an informative, fun fitness workshop to be help in Sydney at two awesome outdoor locations. You will get to sweat it out with me and I'll also be talking all things fitness & health specifically geared towards women. You will be physically put through your paces throughout the morning and I can guarantee you will love it!

Workshop 1: 8th November 2014, McMahons Point (with Sydney Harbour as our stunning backdrop)

Workshop 2: 15th November 2014, Centennial Park (an iconic green playground in the East of Sydney)

This workshop is about giving you skills to take away to train and workout more effective, break through plateaus and give you real solutions to incorporate into your life once you leave. I want to also give you time to ask about any burning fitness/body/food/confidence questions you may have. This is an intimate event for females only.

I have an extensive background in Fitness and have been a Personal Trainer for over 12 years. I've helped thousands of women change their bodies in a happy and healthy way. This is your chance to train with me and pick my brains and also feel what's it's like to train hard and get closer to your workout goals.

Join me on either the 8th November or 15th November, in our beautiful outdoors locations. The workshop runs from 10am -1pm, plenty of parking and close to public transport. Of course there will be time for snacks and refreshments! This workshop is geared at varying abilities and levels, so anyone can come along. You will be given all the details once you apply!

Tickets are just $79 for the full 3 hr workshop (including your very own New Outlook Fitness Training tank). Numbers are strictly limited, please email your preference of location/date now and this must be finalised by 1st November 2014. Click on the "please email your preference" link above to get your application moving. Are you not in Sydney, enquire here about workshops Interstate

I can't wait to meet you!

Further reading:

Intensify Your Walking Routine Using Bodyweight Exercises

Walking is pretty much the first port of call when we start exercising. It's convenient, cheap (it's free baby!) and there are easy ways to intensify your walking routine when are ready to it up

A daily walk provides mental clarity as well as burning a few calories during your day. You don't have to walk miles and miles but clocking up extra steps in your day adds years to your life and keeps your heart ticking along nicely. I find walking extremely relaxing and I always try to make it part of my day.

Once you have been walking for 2-4 weeks at least 3 times per week, it's time to boost your standard "round the block" routine. I've got 4 body weight exercises that you can incorporate immediately and reap the benefits of adding strengthening to your workout. Just spread this out in between your walk, try walking for 1 kilometre or so and then perform your first exercise. I've popped these moves in an upper/lower body alternating fashion. You could also try them in a circuit style and then continue walking, be creative, nothing is ever set in stone.

1. Tricep dip with leg extended: Use a bench or wall. Have your fingers facing away from your elbows, lock your arms in by your waist. Extend one leg and dip down. See how I'm making right angles (hello maths class!) with my legs and arms- you copy, you good! Butt nice and close to the wall too. Perform 12 and then repeat. Ouchie for the arms and the back

2. Spilt squat: This will keep those leg sin check! You need your rear leg elevated using a wall or bench. Do 12 reps on both legs, keep you hips still, pop your hands on them if you need to balance or hold your arms out to the side. Your front and back leg are nice and wide apart, no tight rope walking please! Repeat so you do each leg twice.

3. Wall push up: #terribleview! Perform a push up on a wall or bench or even on the ground, mind the bindis/prickles at this time of year. Keep your body long and abs tight. Chesticles will get a nice workout as will the arms. 

4. Squat on a rock: The rock (or whatever is handy) provides some feedback for your butt and thighs in the squat movement. Try it now, just do a normal squat up and down, up and down. Now squat the same distance but squat onto something. Different huh? The rock provides that goal for the hips to extend back and really moves your weight into the heel. Try 12 and repeat. Try with hands on shoulders or even on your head.

Further Reading: