31Mar/17
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How Wiggly Are You?

Mental health problems affect millions of women around the world.

I’ve had my share – anorexia, depression, and times of danger and darkness running so deep I was hospitalised more than once, for months at a time.

Mental health issues are still a taboo issue, but that needs to change if sufferers are to accept their situation and seek help, as well as for others around them to recognise signs and be able to help.

One woman is doing her (very big) part in sharing her own story of battles with her head, as well as many inspiring stories from women around the globe.

Carly Jennings is nothing short of a fighter, and, a fitness professional by trade, is now helping support and inspire women to embrace who they are, low days and all.

And what sets these women apart is how, far from letting mental health issues hold them back, strength, courage and empowerment can come out of challenging times.

How I overcame anorexia to become stronger than ever – read my story on the Wiggly Girl blog here.

Oh and in case you were wondering a ‘wiggle score’ is a way of assessing how you’re feeling that day, with the aim being an on top of the world 10/10 more days than not.

15Mar/17
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Advice on Protein For Women

Are the recommendations on protein for women the same as for men?

Do most women need more protein need more protein than they’re currently eating?

Why? And if so, what’s the best way to get that protein?

The Huffington Post asked me if, and why, I use protein shakes.

I love (quality) protein powders – tasty, convenient, and yes, healthy!

Here’s the article where you can find out how to add protein powder into your diet:

Here’s Why More Women Are Increasing Protein In Their Diets, And The Right Way To Do It

02Mar/17
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My Eating Disorder Recovery Story

Since my Eating Disorder recovery videos went viral and I was invited to speak on Sky News, I’ve been able to reach out and  offer support and encouragement to other sufferers and their families.

I remember the first day I was admitted to hospital – one day, when I was strong enough, I would give back and help others.

It was a long, tough journey, one I nearly didn’t make it though.

But I did it, and you can overcome an emotional relationship with food too.

This time well known Registered Dietician Priya Tew published my story on her blog as she works with eating disorder patients.

Loving and respecting your body is so important. If you can do that, the healthy eating bit becomes easy, because you want to look after yourself.

Priya says:

“When I heard Polly’s eating disorder recover story I knew I had to share it. Working in the field of eating disorders can be frankly hard work. It is a long road to recovery and a battle. It takes dedication, support from others and challenging yourself at every meal time. However it is possibly and it is worth it. I hope sharing this inspires others.”

Click Here to read my story on Priya’s blog, where you will also find other nutrition related articles, recipes, and contact details if you need guidance from a Registered Dietician.

01Feb/17
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Ann Summers founder loves The Fit Mum Formula

Ann Summers and I have something in common, and no it’s not about sex burning calories.

 

We’re both here to boost your confidence, and in ways that are much more interrelated than you might think!

 

Lingerie store Ann Summers was founded in 1972 and later taken over by it’s current CEO Jacqueline Gold, who is passionate about women’s rights, equality and empowerment both in the boardroom and the bedroom, supporting a number of female business initiatives and charities alongside her work.

 

Read this too – Fitness Fanatics Have Higher Sex Drives

 

Body Confidence is something that unfortunately so many women are lacking, and it’s not always about body size.

 

When you look after your body, treat it well, nourish it and train it to be strong and healthy, the weight will take care of itself, but you’ll also feel a sense of achievement and pride that no quick fix detox can ever give you.

You’ll also have more energy, better mental health and mood, and a better hormone profile which means yes, a higher sex drive too.

It’s a whole body and mind transformation, which gives you the confidence to be yourself and have pride in the body you have.

 

Read it over on Jacqueline’s website where it was originally published here. 

 

Or here’s my story of why I decided to help Mums like you:

Like many women entrepreneurs my business stemmed from not wanting to go back to full time employment after having children.  I had no way of channelling my drive and passions and wanted something that was ‘me’ outside of washing and toddler groups. The Fit Mum Formula was launched in 2013 when my younger daughter was just 7 months old, and never for a moment did I imagine it would grow to be as big as it is now.

I’m actually still primarily a stay at home Mum, since Bella is only in nursery three mornings.  That’s very much why my business is a membership site with members paying on a monthly ongoing basis until they are confident enough to trust themselves to eat well and exercise without me looking over their shoulder! The portal can be accessed anytime, 24/7, and members get support from me through a private Facebook group, meaning it fits around their personal lives and schedules as well as mine. 

Many years ago, and before children, I was a dancer, as well as a beauty and holistic therapist and nutritionist at a 5 star spa.  I’ve always loved health, fitness and wellness, and I realised once I had babies that there was sadly virtually no resources and support for Mums like myself who couldn’t find the time or childcare to go to the gym, and that most diets were unsustainable, unhealthy, and incompatible with family life and meals.

My entire ethos is that everything I do, say and encourage has to be totally doable and realistic for even the most time poor, sleep deprived Mum. This is whilst giving them maximum energy, minimising hunger, creating long lasting healthier habits, and of course giving them back their body and their body confidence!

Since I won #WOW in February 2014 The Fit Mum Formula seems to be becoming a bit of a household name!  I’m regularly featured in National magazines, newspapers, radio and was even invited to talk on Sky News. It’s fantastic as I want to help as many Mums as possible, so media helps me to reach Mums who need me. I love seeing the new WOW winners every week, I always give them a welcome, and have discovered some fantastic women, companies and products as well as joint ventures such as cross promotion and blog swaps. 

For me, the biggest challenge has been time – the business grew unexpectedly fast yet I still didn’t want to put the kids into full time childcare; I love being a Mum too much. However Bella starts school this year so I’ll be ramping up my intake of Mums as I’ll have more time to serve them.

To me being a female among the entrepreneurial world of men doesn’t bother me. I’ll do what I want to do regardless of what anyone else says or thinks, a personality trait that’s got me into trouble but serves me just as well! If there’s one thing I know for sure though from being a health professional, it’s that a strong body and a strong mind go hand in hand.

31Dec/16
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Live SKY TV – Eating Disorder News Feature

Not many eating disorder news stories appear on your TV unless it’s a celebrity being ‘accused’ of starving themselves for a film role or bikini season.

 

Last May I finally came open about my past Eating Disorder and how I suffered and was very ill with Anorexia for years in my late teens and early twenties, being in and out of hospital several times.

(My ‘coming’ out video can be viewed here)

 

I also did another video about my recovery and how now I’m stronger than ever, both emotionally as well as physically – (watch that video here.)

 

I had kept it quiet for years, not because I felt ashamed or that anyone would judge me,

 

Just that I had moved on, put it all behind me and honestly?

 

There are some very dark memories attached to the years I was ill.

 

But I remember the day I was admitted to hospital for the first time.

 

I vowed that one day, when I was recovered and emotionally strong enough I would help other sufferers break free of their demons too.

 

It might seem ironic that I’m now a personal trainer and nutritionist helping Mums lose weight, but actually it’s all the same really.

 

If you do not love and respect yourself, and your body, enough to look after it, then you will..

 

  • Eat junk (or not eat properly) even when you know it’s not serving you
  • Skip exercise because other things seem more important at the time
  • Berate yourself for having no willpower
  • Have no self confidence or self esteem because you ‘can’t stick to a diet’
  • Feel bad about your body, because it doesn’t have enough energy to do the things you need to do to change, let alone look the way you’d like
  • Give up trying because every time you do, you fail

 

And even from an anorexic’s point of view, all of this I understand.

I knew what I had to do, but I couldn’t bring myself to do it.

I felt mentally weak, and stuck, and miserable, but I couldn’t get out of the cycle.

But I learned to love my body and treat it well, and so can you.

 

Anyway what’s this about SKY News?

 

When ‘Beat’ eating disorder charity opened their helplines for the first time on Christmas Day to support sufferers and their families who might be struggling over Christmas,

SKY wanted to cover the story, came across my videos, and were so inspired they invited me to speak live from their studio during the morning Sunrise slot on Christmas Eve!

The video has been placed on the Sky News website – Click Here or on the link below to see it.

http://news.sky.com/video/expert-food-is-just-the-drug-of-choice-10706868

24Dec/16
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Dragon’s Den TV Celeb Award!

When you’re picked up on by a Dragon’s Den investor you know you’re onto a good thing…

Entrepeneur Theo Paphitis awarded The Fit Mum Formula his #SBS (Small Business Sunday) Award on Monday 19th December, making me the final winner of 2016.

 

Talk about ending the year on a bang!

Don’t be mislead by the ‘small’ in #SBS – The army of loyal Mums following The Fit Mum Formula astounds even me,

It’s actually that I’m actually a Mums just like you, I just happen to be running my own fitness & nutrition business and am pretty good at helping Mums like you look and feel their best, even when Mum-life makes that really challenging.

The award will provide publicity and help me reach more Mums like you who need my help.

But BBC Dragon’s Den investor Theo doesn’t choose his winners lightly and it’s because of loyal followers like you that I caught his eye.

So thank you!

I do this for you and will continue to help Mums lose weight and get their body confidence back for as long as you need me!

My profile will be featured on Theo’s website here.

Once again thank you for all your loyal support and here’s to a healthy 2017!

05Dec/16
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Clean Eating – Is it right for you?

Clean eating has been a massive trend for some years now,

But what exactly is it, is it healthy, and is it right for you and your family?

While there’s no official definition of clean eating, most advocators insist on no processed foods, no refined sugar or flour,

And some cut out dairy and gluten and eat only organic food as well, though not everyone is as strict.

It’s not the same as a vegan diet which cuts out animal products – ‘clean eaters’ often still eat meat, fish and eggs, and some dairy.

clean eating

Click Here to read the full article and learn all about clean eating in Just For Families Magazine: http://www.thefitmumformula.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/12/KS-JFF-Clean-Eating.pdf

Have you tried a stricter version of clean eating? Or do you simply try and eat more healthy food and less unhealthy food? Let me know in the comments below.

05Dec/16
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You Should Eat Mince Pies on a Diet

Is it ok to eat mince pies when you’re trying to eat healthily?

What about all the other tasty festive treats we’re surrounded by over Christmas, surely they’re going to ruin your diet?

The ‘problem’ with these foods is that they are usually high in sugar and fat, making them high calorie (which adds up to weight gain), and very tasty, so easy to overeat and not stop at just one.

But here’s the thing – being a healthy weight is not the only thing that matters in life.

Not only is eating tasty treats occasionally not going to hurt in the long run, living a life of restriction and deprivation every day of the year does not make for a happy existence.

Of course there’s a balance to be had, and the reason most people who preach about ‘moderation’ is because their idea of balance and moderation is a little skewed.

But I’ll certainly be enjoying the odd mince pie this Christmas, and when PT Magazine asked me to write about why I was happy to encourage others to relax a little too.

mince pies

Click Here to read the Article PDF on why it’s more than ok to eat mince pies this Christmas! http://www.thefitmumformula.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/12/pt-mag-mince-pies.pdf

Do you enjoy mince pies, yule log or any other Christmas treat? Do you still eat them when trying to lose weight?

17Nov/16
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Extra income as a Personal Trainer

Secondary spend brings welcome additional revenue for operators – so what’s the best way to approach this? Katherine Selby spoke to me and a selection of other operators that have come up with a successful formula to monetise health-conscious members

Read the article on the site here.

Gymbag gives fitness professionals their own e-commerce store stocked with supplements, fitness equipment and apparel. It soft-launched with personal trainers and is now set to supply bigger leisure operators.

Pollyanna Hale, weight loss and fitness coach at thefitmumformula.com, was one of the first personal trainers to try Gymbag. She explains: “I wanted an online store to help my clients and earn some secondary income, but the logistics were a real barrier. But Gymbag does it all for me – I simply point clients towards the product they need, the order goes through and I get paid.

“I market it via a private Facebook group, where I can give advice and clients can comment and make recommendations too.

“My clients get a discount code to use at Gymbag and I send out gift vouchers and rewards. Occasionally I’ll surprise them with little samples like protein bars or shake sachets, which makes them smile, keeps them motivated and sparks fresh orders.

“It’s a no brainer: the cost is low, the site is set up for you, the range is comprehensive, it adds value to my service and I make 20 per cent profits when I sell the products online. I’d definitely recommend Gymbag and can really see its potential for operators looking for a quick way to generate income from secondary spend.”
“It’s a no brainer: the cost is low, the site is set up for you and the range is comprehensive” – Pollyanna Hale

Visit http://gymbag.co/ to find out how to get your own store.

15Nov/16
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Hustle and Juggle With Pollyanna Hale

What is it like juggling a business you love with kids you love more (but in a different way)?

That’s what I was asked by Devenia Besant of deveniabesant.com , a site dedicated to supporting women in business who are juggling family life at the same time.

You can read the interview where is was originally published on her website here. 

How long have you been doing the Hustle and Juggle?

3 1/2 years

What is the Juggle to your Hustle?

I’ve never been able to sit still and do nothing, and even wrote and published a full length diet & weight loss book on my laptop whilst breastfeeding my first born!But it was when my 2nd daughter Bella was 7 months old that my soon-to-be business partner approached me with the idea of partnering up to create an online weight loss solution for busy Mums who can’t get to the gym or classes.

I always wanted to be a stay at home Mum and only put my kids in nursery because it was right for them, I’m lucky in that I have that option. Bella (now 4) does 3 mornings only, so fitting work in happens very early morning, often as early as 4am! Then during nursery hours, in the evening, while they’re having their tea, and of course from my phone at every opportunity! That last bit I feel guilty about – but otherwise those little jobs would eat into better quality time with them playing at home, so I guess it’s the better choice of the two.

Tell me more about your business?

I help tired, overworked and frustrated Mums look and feel like their old selves again. My members get both their body and their body confidence back, with a system that not only really works well but can be done within the confines of even the busiest schedule, because it’s all online, open 24/7.

I’m not into quick fixes or cookie cutter plans. That’s not to say my Mums don’t get quick results, but they’re not at the expense of long term ones. What works for one won’t work for another, so I work with each Mum so they learn how to nourish their body in a way that’s perfect for them.

What is your Hustle and Juggle story?

Well for starters I’m typing this from my bed when I’m supposed to be recovering from a nasty stomach bug! I’ve *almost* finished today’s *essential* tasks ha ha.

I think when you want something bad enough, you find a way. I’ve pulled all nighters to get websites launched, conducted live interviews with National radio stations in the loo, and I’m sure I’m not the only one who’s answered a call with ‘can we schedule a chat for this afternoon, I’m just in a meeting’ when you’re actually at toddler group!

The hardest was my longest ever trip away to America – 4 days including travelling. The kids weren’t bothered at all, in fact they were just really chuffed that Grandma had decided all meals must involve sweets….!

What’s your message to anyone reading this to inspire them to keep going and remain visible?

Always know your ‘why’. Why are you doing what you do? What’s the passion behind it? When you have a meaning and message that can help people, you just want to get it out there.

Also importantly, are you enjoying it? Because life is short and if you’re not happy, do something else. Usually this is very short term; some nights I’m just like, sod it, those email replies can be done tomorrow, it’s time hubby and I indulged in a bit of trashy Netflix before my brain explodes!