PLAY in the Sheets: Overcoming Sexual Issues in your Marriage

“Couples who play together, stay together!”

As a married couple living together, you are now officially each others life-long PLAY mates. How cool is that! Set PLAY goals early on and create a culture of PLAY that becomes the norm rather than the exception. Have PLAY dates, adventure weekends, try each others hobbies and set a physical challenge to conquer together. This will ensure that together you thrive at your health as individuals and also nurture your marriage. Have FUN with it.

Sex Begins in the Kitchen

sexualFirst, while men focus on sex, women focus on relationship. In fact, women often find it very difficult to be interested in sex after an argument. Ironically, men often think that sex will solve whatever relationship problems exist. Realistically, after an argument, apologies and forgiveness should come before the experience of ‘making love’. Another reality for many women is that sex begins in the kitchen, not in the bedroom.

In other words, if you’ve taken the time to understand and speak each others love languages and your husband speaks your love language of acts of service by washing the dishes and taking out the garbage, this may be a sexual turn-on for you. Similarly, if words of affirmation are your love language, complimenting you on a meal or on how beautiful you look will stir the desire for intimacy. Communicate with your husband about whatever makes you feel special and bedroom-ready since it’s all a learning experience for both parties who genuinely desire to please each other.

Fabulous Foreplay

The second difference is that, to most women, the warm up is more important than the act of intercourse itself. It is the tender touches and kisses of foreplay that bring her to the point of desiring sex.

It’s Not Meant to be Like the Movies

Third, mutual sexual satisfaction does not require simultaneous climax. Contrary to modern movies, couples rarely have a simultaneous climax.

More Than Just Physical

What a happy and holy fashion it isFourth, sex is more than intercourse. It is the union of male and female in body, soul, and spirit. Sex is so much more than just a physical act. It is designed to be an exclusive bonding experience that unites a lifelong intimate relationship. Cultivate an emotionally healthy marriage and you’ll cultivate a healthy physical marriage too. Bring on the horizontal PLAY.

Communication is Key

Fifth, communication is the key that unlocks sexual fulfillment. Listening to your husband with empathy helps you to discover what he’s thinking and feeling and how to best serve him in the act of horizontal PLAY.

Name The Past

The sixth thing that’s important to know is that the past never remains in the past. As much as rehashing ‘old territory’ is not advisable on a regular basis, I believe it’s important to share your sexual history with your fiancé or husband. If knowing the truth about past sexual experiences is difficult for either party, then work through these issues together until you come to a place of healing and acceptance. Don’t hesitate to seek the support of a counselor.

Transformation Task

Discuss the six areas listed above with your partner and consider how it affects your horizontal PLAY. If you’re after quality resources on the topic check out: ‘Sheet Music: Uncovering the secrets of sexual intimacy in marriage’ – Kevin Leman or ‘The Gift of Sex: A guide to sexual fulfilment’ by Clifford and Joyce Penner.

If you’re after more of this juicy LOVE stuff, not just the food and fitness stuff, then consider Bridalicious Bootcamp to get you wedding AND marriage ready. Join our team today.

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Kick Off Your Marriage with A Healthy Honeymoon!

Research has proven that couples who play together are happier together! People who regularly exercise together found that they feel closer and experience more positive emotions. In the lead up to your wedding, it’s worth thinking about your newly married life and how you can simply shift the healthy lifestyle habits you’re creating in the Bridalicious Bootcamp across to become a fit wife for life. Most new wives gain around 3kgs on their honeymoon and 1 in 4 go on to gain 10kgs by their first wedding anniversary. If you don’t want to undo all the hard work you’ve put in to get your wedding dress body, then read on to see how you can sustain your healthy habits beyond your wedding day.

Option One: YOHO (You Only Honeymoon Once)

It’s your honeymoon and the plan is that you’ll only be doing this once so let your hair loose! Have a blast! Sit on your bum! Drink cocktails! Master the art of buffet eating!

There is nothing wrong with this option but be aware that you could start your marriage 3kgs heavier! It is totally up to you!

Option 2: Keep Rocking That Bridalicious Bod!

For true weight lossAt Bridalicious Bootcamp I want you to find your flow with a healthy lifestyle that’s easy to sustain after your wedding day. You should be totally equipped to stick to your guns and EAT, PLAY, LOVE and PAMPER like you’ve been doing leading up to your wedding.

You’ll keep feeling good, looking hot and have heaps of energy to burn outdoors and indoors 😉

Option 3: EAT, PLAY, LOVE, PAMPER and Treat!

The third option is that you take option 2 and mix it with a bit of option 1. You EAT loads of the good stuff, treat yourself with some special foods, enjoy PLAY time, rest and rejuvenation, LOVE yourself and your new husband and find some PAMPER time in there too!

By maintaining your habits on your healthy honeymoon, you’ll still feel great and your PLAY sessions should help you to maintain your wedding dress body.

Honeymoon PLAY time

healthy honeymoonIt’s completely your choice which of these three options will work for you on your honeymoon and into your marriage!

If you want to keep up your regular PLAY while you’re honeymooning, think ahead and research some fun PLAY-grounds or activities at your holiday destination. Guys really do love going on adventures with their girl so how about paddle boarding? Kayaking around a tropical island? Going for a hike? Or play some tennis together? Remember, maintaining a healthy lifestyle is much easier if it’s fun!

Transformation Task

Research and think of 3-5 PLAY activities you and your new husband could enjoy together on your healthy honeymoon!

Look and feel AMAZING in your honeymoon bikini with my 4 week Express or 12 week Bridalicious Bootcamp. Join today

“Couples who play together, stay together!”

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Healthy Life, Happy Wife! How to Make Your Bridal Makeover Last

So, you’ve decided to lose weight for your wedding and get in the best shape of your life! AWESOME! But I want you to take it one step further! How can the healthy habits that you’re developing in your bridal makeover become your life as a wife? Your looming wedding day gives you a heap of motivation but the decision that you’ve made to get fit could SO EASILY transfer over into you being a fit wife for life! The real test lies in what you do after your wedding day so I’m going to share with you some simple ways you can make sure your hard work really lasts!

  1. Begin as You Wish to Continue

When you’re making a healthy lifestyle change, make sure you can sustain it! Don’t eat boiled chicken breast and broccoli every night if you hate it. Find ways to make healthy food tasty! Find fun ways to move your body so you’ll looking forward to your workout, going hiking or playing basketball. If you enjoy it, you won’t have to ‘stick to it’, so make sure you can see yourself doing it in 6 months or 6 years from now when you’re a fit wife for life.

  1. Form Habits, Not To-do Lists

fit wife for lifeTo-do lists are always prioritised and if your workout is on that list, it’s probably gonna go when life gets busy. Try to make healthy living a habit so that you automatically choose the option that’s good for you! Wake up, workout, eat breakfast and then start your day, every day or get used to cooking up leftovers to freeze so when you’re home late from work you’ve got an alternative to take-away.

  1. Celebrate Your Achievements

Recognising how far you’ve come will make you appreciate your hard work. Once you’ve finally got your wedding dress body, VALUE IT! If you’ve learnt to do a push-up, squat your bodyweight or run 10kms, enjoy the feeling of being fit and strong! It’ll make it that much harder to just let it go.

  1. Weigh up the Pros and Cons

After your wedding day what are the benefits and costs of sustaining your healthy lifestyle? You’ve already done the hard work so now’s the time to fully consider your lifestyle choices. Here’s a few questions to get you started:

  • Pros:
    • For true weight loss, form healthy habitsWhat are the benefits of sticking with healthy eating and exercise?
    • Who will you be if you sustain this healthy lifestyle?
    • What could you attract into your life by staying fit and healthy?
    • Can you see/hear/feel the life you’d be living as a fit wife?
    • What will you miss about your old lifestyle?
  • Cons:
    • How will it affect you if you let your healthy bridal makeover habits slide?
    • How will you feel if you go back to where you were?
    • What’s stopping you from committing to be healthy for life?
    • If you do nothing what will happen?
    • What will you miss about giving up your healthy lifestyle?

Transformation Task

Sit down with a coffee and answer the questions above to see how choosing to be a fit wife for life would impact your life.

Another GREAT tool to support you to stick to your healthy habits is setting Goals and an Action plan monthly or every 90 days. Grab your free copy of your Goal Setting here.

 “Before embarking upon (or continuing) a health habit, ask yourself the question, ‘can I see myself doing this in 6 weeks, 6 months or 6 years’ time?’. If the honest answer is no, them don’t start in the first place as you’re setting yourself up for inevitable failure down the track” – Dr George Blair-West.

3 Tips to Make Sure Your Wedding Workouts Stay Injury Free!

As your wedding approaches, the frequency and intensity of your workouts are going to increase. Although a ball gown wedding dress is the perfect clothing choice to hide a full leg cast, we want to get you to your wedding day injury free! Being active should improve your enjoyment of life, not leave you a broken mess of aches and pains. Use these 3 tips to reduce the chance of getting injured and make sure that your wedding workouts keep you in top shape!

  1. Core Strengthening

Your core muscles are the deep muscles close to your spine that help to stabilise movement and keep your spine safe. Almost all of your movements are initiated by your core and strengthening these muscles can significantly reduce your chance of hurting your back. Try to consciously engage your core by thinking of ‘holding a wee’ and drawing your belly button towards your spine. Yoga and pilates are also great ways to strengthen your tummy!

  1. wedding workoutsProgressive Overload

When you start your wedding workouts, they will involve more basic movements at a lower intensity. Just like you get better at anything you practice, as your body gets stronger and fitter, you’ll naturally be able to introduce more complex exercises, add more weight and increase how fast you’re moving. Gradually increasing the volume and intensity of your PLAY, instead of jumping straight in the deep end, will reduce your chance of injury. Slow and steady wins the wedding race!

  1. Stretching

Using dynamic stretches before your workout pushes blood into your muscles, warming them up and making them more elastic so they’re less likely to get injured. After your workout, static stretches encourage blood flow to the areas that you’ve used to kick-start the recovery process.

A lot of injuries are actually caused by muscular imbalances from poor posture and incorrect movements. Especially if you spend a lot of time sitting, you may find that the muscles down the front of your body are tight while the muscles at the back are weak. If you exercise without correcting this imbalance, you’re more likely to get injured. Luckily, stretching tight muscles and strengthening the weak ones can fix any imbalances and pain.

If you’ve got any injuries or pain that stop you from moving, don’t go away or get worse then see a physiotherapist or exercise physiologist who will work with you to discover and fix any underlying issues.

Take care of your body, it's the only place you've got to liveTransformation Task

Don’t skip your cool-down sessions! If you do have any pain while you’re doing your wedding workouts, rate it out of 10 and note it in your training journal. For the next week, after you exercise, focus on stretching the muscles around your injured body part, holding each one for 30-60 seconds. After a week, rate your pain again to see if there’s been any progress.

Get your hands on my favourite equipment for preventing or managing injuries – the foam roller, spikey ball and therabands – in my shop

“Take care of your body. It’s the only place you have to live”. – Jim Rohn

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Avoid Becoming a Bridezilla with PLAY!

Yes, exercise is a necessary part of losing weight for your wedding but it should be FUN too! Moving makes you feel good in so many ways and in the lead up to your wedding day, play is one of the best ways to manage your stress and stop you from becoming that dreaded bridezilla! Focus on toning your body with weights and incorporating HIIT into your PLAY so that you can be a fit, happy and captivating bride on your way to becoming a fit wife for life!

4 Ways that Play Helps You Stay a Bridechilla

“Movement is a medicine for creating change in a person’s physical, emotional, and mental states” – Carol Welch

  1. bridezillaExercise is great to improve your self-esteem

    – You’ve chosen to work out and the knowledge that you’re making a healthy decision makes you feel great! You’re also training yourself to be stronger, faster and fitter than you were before and in the process, your body image changes, improving the way you see yourself.

  2. Play gives you time out to relax and reflect

    – Exercising can be a bit of time out, a solitary escape from work, study, traffic and the pressures of a stressful society. It can give you the space and time that you need to think and reflect on your life and things that have happened that day.

  3. Provides an opportunity to socialise

    – Not only can you have fun ‘play dates’ with your friends and partner but exercising also gives you an opportunity to make new friends in the gym, in your bootcamp or through a support group.

  4. Endorphins!

    – Exercising for more than 20 minutes releases those feel-good hormones that everyone loves! Research has shown that because of the mood boost, frequent exercise is more effective in the treatment of depression than psychotherapy or drugs!

The Benefits of Different Types of Play

Different types of exercise will give you different benefits so include all of these things into your weekly wedding weight loss plan:

  • Just 40 minutes of strength training a week canWalking

    – 1,000 steps a day and 30 minutes of walking has the highest compliance rate of any type of exercise

  • Strength training

    – Just 40 minutes each week helps to rebuild muscle fibres and increase muscle mass, making you look toned and boosting your metabolism

  • Flexibility

    – 5 minutes of stretching a day reduces joint injury

  • Core strengthening

    – Your core is the base for all strength training and helps to stabilise your body and keep it safe.

  • Cardiovascular training

    – exercising at 80% of your maximum heart rate for 20 minutes, 3 times per week improves your fitness, heart health, burns calories and makes you feel great!

Transformation Task

For your next workout session, don’t focus on trying to get results or burn calories but use it as a way to manage your pre-wedding stress, banish the bridezilla and enjoy the happy feeling it gives you!

“A man’s health can be judged by which he takes two at a time – pills or stairs” – Joan Welsh

Try out Bridalicious Bootcamp with your risk-free 7 day trial.

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How to HIIT Your Wedding Weight Loss Goals!

HIIT, or high intensity interval training, is a type of exercise that combines short bursts of vigorous ‘huffy puffy’ exercise with rest or low intensity periods. The goal is to be working at or near your MAX capacity for intervals with a rest in between to allow your heart rate slow down before repeating again. HIIT training allows you to push harder than if you were working at a steady-state and is one of the best ways to improve your fitness and burn calories. If all of that wedding planning has left you short on time, HIIT is the perfect way to turbo-charge your workouts and reach your wedding weight loss goals in a short amount of time.

HIITThe Science Behind HIIT

By encouraging your heart rate to fluctuate up and down HIIT has been shown to:

  • Burn up to 9 times more fat

    than steady state training by boosting your metabolism and creating an ‘after burn’ where your body continues to burn fat for up to 48 hours after you’ve finished exercising; and

  • Increase your fitness and strength in less time

    than steady state cardio. 30 minutes of HIIT 3 times per week has been shown to increase your aerobic and anaerobic fitness the same amount that completing 60 minutes of steady state cardio 5 times a week

How to HIIT

Almost any exercise can be incorporated into HIIT workouts but the focus should be on movements that really get your heart rate elevated such as sprinting, jump lunges or burpees. Try these different HIIT formats:

  1. Tabata

    – Tabata training is a very short and INTENSE 4-minute workout protocol that involves 20 seconds of HARD work followed by 10 seconds of rest for a total of 8 rounds. It is great if you are really fit or are very short on time.

  2. The Little Method

    – This 27-minute workout is great for all levels of fitness and involves 60 seconds of high intensity work followed by 75 seconds of low intensity movement for a total of 12 rounds.

  3. Turbulence Training

    – If you want to focus on improving your strength and muscle tone while burning calories try completing 8 rep sets of a weighted exercise with 1-2 minute cardio sets between them for a maximum of 45 minutes.

High intensity interval training is taxing on the body and should be tailored to your own fitness level. The fitter you get, the harder you can push making sure that every HIIT workout gets you one step closer to that wedding dress body!

Transformation Task

This week if you haven’t tried HIIT training before, give one of these methods a go! If you usually train using HIIT principles, then mix it up a bit; step it up a notch with tabata training or try something different like incorporating weights into your routine.

HIIT your Wedding Weight Loss goal with my Bridalicious Bootcamp. Trial the program for $1 for 7 days, you’ve got nothing to lose.

Burn up to 9 time more fat through interval training when compared with steady-state exercise – Study by Quebec University

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WARNING: Strength Training Will Make You One SEXY Bride!

Strong is definitely becoming the new skinny because weight training is one of the best things that you can do to get that fit, wedding dress body!

Did you know that muscle is 40 times more metabolically active that fat? Fat is used AS energy while muscle USES energy and lots of it! That means the more lean muscle you have, the more energy you burn even when you aren’t doing anything at all!

strength trainingIf you want to lose weight for your wedding, make sure you incorporate strength training into your weekly workout plan. You can only burn so many calories through exercise but by increasing how metabolically active your body is the other 95% of the time, achieving your wedding weight loss will be a breeze!

Don’t worry, you won’t suddenly ‘bulk up’ or start looking manly from training with weights. Women aren’t genetically predisposed to adding muscle mass like men are. Lean muscle is actually more compact than fat and is exactly what gives you that tight, toned look. Upping the weights will only make you look smaller, firmer and sexier!

How Often Should You Strength Train?

In the lead up to your wedding you will want to focus on toning your back, chest and arms to look amazing in your dress! You need to be training each of these areas at least twice a week with 3-4 days of rest per muscle group for optimal recovery.

Muscle is 40 times more metabolically activeThe Bridalicious Bootcamp suggests doing three whole-body strength sessions per week and following a nutritious wedding dress diet plan for the best results! By committing 100% to your strength training sessions you will ideally increase your lean muscle mass a little which will help you to burn more fat all around the clock.

Transformation Task

This week get closer to having that toned, wedding dress body by adding extra weight in your strength sessions. Keep the number of reps the same but increase the weight that you are lifting so that you are pushing 9-10/10 in the last set. Let’s get you one step closer to that wedding weight loss goal!

Try my 4 week wedding workout today for just $1 to see the results of strength training for yourself.

“Strong is the new skinny!”

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6 Tips to Squash the ‘I Have No Time’ Excuse!

We all know how important health and fitness is so why is it that as soon as we get busy working out’s the first thing to get dropped? The benefit of being active isn’t immediate so when we miss a day we have nothing except more free time. Skipping a day here and there isn’t a problem until one turns into a week and then later you realise that you only have two months until your wedding day and how on earth are you going to fit your wedding dress?!?

priorityThe reality is, if you’re serious about losing weight for your wedding then you need to make it a priority! We all have the same 24 hours in a day and it’s up to you how you choose to use them. Time is our most precious resource so shouldn’t we should use it in ways that align with our greater vision and purpose? Is being healthy, fit and feeling sexy for your wedding worth a bit of your time every day?

These six tips will help you make sure the only thing that’s getting dropped is your weight!

Begin as You Wish to Continue

Can you see yourself continuing your choice of PLAY in 6 weeks, 6 months or 6 years from now? Be honest with yourself and make sure that the way you choose to move is fun, sociable and sustainable. Here at Bridalicious we don’t want your health and fitness journey to stop on your wedding day but for you to become a fit wife for life!

Set Goals

If exercise was a pillSet yourself meaningful targets and raise your expectations to meet your ideal reality rather than lowering your expectations to meet your current reality. Set at least one PLAY goal that fits with your values, acknowledge obstacles and work out how to overcome them.

Reward Yourself

Break your goals up into smaller targets and set non-food rewards for achieving them. You might want to get a massage, some new workout clothes, see a show or buy the perfect honeymoon bikini!

Book in ‘Dates’ with Your Exercise

Each Sunday set some time aside to schedule your PLAY dates for the week. If you have set aside specific time for your fitness you will be less likely to let it slide. Include at least one active play date with a friend or your fiancé such as going for a bike ride, kayaking to a secluded picnic spot or hiking through the bush.

AM Play

Morning workouts use 300% more energyWorking out first thing in the morning uses 300% more energy and burns more fat than working out at any other time of the day. Even if you aren’t a morning person, scheduling your PLAY sessions before your day starts makes health the priority and will give you those happy hormones to make your day even better!

PM Play

If you struggle with eating too much after work, find yourself really stressed in the evenings or have trouble sleeping then you might want to schedule PLAY sessions straight after work. Morning sessions will be easier to stick to but scheduling some non-negotiable time to ‘work-it-out’ will help you to unwind and sleep better.

Transformation Task

Put into action one of these 6 tips to make your health your priority and throw away the ‘I’ve got no time’ excuse right NOW!

“If exercise was a pill, it would be the most powerful medication known to humans. The only problem is that it is difficult to get busy modern men and women to take that pill every day” – Unknown

Squash that I’ve got no time excuse TODAY by committing to a program that gives you the flexibility to workout from home and when it suits your schedule. Trial Bridalicious Bootcamp for 1 week for just $1.

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PLAY Isn’t JUST For Kids!

Life is meant to be fun and so is movement. Children intuitively know how to play, but as adults we feel we need to “grow up”, take life and ourselves too seriously, and we lose that child-like nature of play. Our bodies are made to move, and by now you should be feeling some of the benefits of working with your body’s physiology rather than against it. Finding your flow is important when it comes to movement. Having experimented with PLAY, these next 4 weeks will be about finding your rhythm. Asking yourself “What are the PLAY activities that bring me the most pleasure?”Play liberates our soul

Your mission is to move in a way that makes you feel happy and alive. You need to find activities, people, and environments that make it easy to get moving because you are having FUN. When you get to the point that you WANT to move, that’s when healthy lifestyle becomes sustainable.

How do you cultivate a healthy lifestyle? Ultimately, the outcome of your health (and life) is a product of your thoughts, attitudes and actions you choose daily. By taking 100% responsibility for your health, it empowers you to change it for the better. Similarly, if you don’t take 100% responsibility for your health but instead blame your genes, schedule, coordination, cooking skills, injury, work, fiancé, family, friends, or whatever you can find, you ultimately give away your power to change it. Instead, drop the stories and excuses and take responsibility for your health. No one can do this for you.

True enjoyment comes from activity of the mindThe World Health Organisation (WHO) recommends we PLAY 30 minutes most days of the week. They may not call it “play,” but we’re going to! Just like taking a shower every day, PLAY should be part of your non-negotiable daily habits. The benefits of daily PLAY have been proven time and time again. Studies have shown that, aside from a healthy diet, movement and play are the best way to combat most known chronic illnesses.

Transformation Task

Schedule in 30 minutes to get moving today. Maybe it’s a walk during your lunch break or a Zumba class you’ve been wanting to try. Just make sure you get in at least 30 minutes.

Give yourself an excuse to PLAY with this 4 week Wedding Workout Program for just $1

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Repeat After Me: “OOOMMMM’

How often do you find yourself saying, “I wish I had the time to do this” or “there are never enough hours in the day?” The best time to relax is when you feel like you don’t have time for it. That sounds so contradictory, doesn’t it? Most of the time we are pushing ourselves to the limit, convincing ourselves that if we can just check off one or two more things before the day ends then we’ll feel accomplished and be able to relax. But when we rush through our busy lives always checking things off, how often do you check off “take care of myself?” Probably never. Taking time out allows for renewed vision and energy which then boosts productivity, creativity and gives clarity to the situation at hand. Things that may have seemed big and overwhelming – like planning a wedding– come into perspective and become much more manageable when you’re able to take a step back and breathe; even if for just a few minutes.

The quieter you become, the more you can hearMeditation is a wonderful way to stop the world chaotically spinning around you, go inside yourself, and refocus. When your focus is on your body, feeling your heart beat in your chest, hearing your breath, feeling your muscles work, becoming aware of the earth under your feet and just being with your thoughts, it’s a powerful place to be. There is a lot of research supporting the benefits of exercise on mental health, reduced stress and depression, improved concentration and boosted productivity. Meditation isn’t always sitting in a quiet room, legs crossed with your thumb and middle finger pressed into an O resting on your knees, and repeating “ommmm” over and over again. Meditation can take many forms, but adding movement to your meditation can heal the mind, spirit, and body.

The practice of yoga allows people to be still in a world consumed with chaos. Yoga is a practice that strengthens and detoxifies the body, awakens the spirit and feeds the mind. Yoga’s deep breathing and meditation practices help foster an inner shift from to-do lists, financial concerns and relational struggles to something a little bit bigger than the issues you face. Yoga helps relieve stress and unclutter the mind. Yoga can be performed at home, in a studio, outdoors, with a huge variety of options available to suit your health goals and needs. Breathing, posing, moving and increasing flexibility happen all together during Yoga, which evokes a new level of discipline in your mind and body.

Transformation Task

Give Yoga or Pilates a try this week.

Download your 2 Yoga Flow Videos to get you started with your movement meditation here