Monday, 28 October 2013

Cheap work out clothing

I know every blogger and his or her dog has done a 'where to find affordable workout clothing' post but here I am about to do one. Sorry not sorry! I had planned on writing a post about my first Cross Fit experience that I had yesterday but I need more time to research it, because I care about my readers and would hate to give out false or misleading information. (For the record- I loved it!)

So I find that I tend to search for long periods of time online and in stores on where to find quality yet non costly workout attire. It's a hit and miss endeavour and one that can be frustrating at times. I don't want to read about where certain 'famous' bloggers get their workout clothing as I know that said blogger has been sponsored by a particular brand, or a brand sends them free clothing to review or they just earn a lot more money than me and you know they're not buying from the Target clearance rack. I sound jealous and that's because I am. I wish I could afford every new item of Lululemon or Lorna Jane but I can't. I'm a student. I work part time. And I have bills and rent to pay.

I look HARD when I'm searching for workout clothes. Some deals are one day only offers and you have to be quick while stocks last.

Catch of the Day, for Aussie readers, is a great one for snap sales. They usually have top brands (Asics, Nike, Reebok etc) at a fraction of the cost. But as I said be quick or you will miss out on those mint colored Nike Free Runs *sigh*.

Budget stores such as Cotton On , Target and Big W are also good stores to find fashionable gear. They are very much 'on trend' with fitness clothing and will cater to a range of exercise needs. Here are a few of my current faves from Cotton On:

Active Wristband (source)

'Inspired' Active Tank (source)

'The Body Down Under' Shortie (source)

Active Ankle Socks (source)

'Work It' water bottle (source)

Lastly you can always search the big brand stores. My favorites include Running Bare, Rebel Sport and The Iconic. Some of them have online only sales which is great for plebs like me who live out in the sticks and can't run to the nearest store at the drop of a hat. Their return policies however may not cover online purchases, so always check before you buy. I'm sure they're fine but I'd hate for anyone to be stuck and unsatisfied with their new purchase.
So there you have it. A quick and current blog post on how to get the most bang for your buck when shopping for workout clothing. I hope to include many posts like this for those reader who, like me, are on budgets, or for those that are just thrifty in general. Hope it helped!

-Tahlia XO

P.S I was not sponsored by Cotton On to do this post I just really really love their clothes. Really. 

Wednesday, 23 October 2013

Professionalism and Social Media

Hello again readers!

Before I was here writing this post, I was having my post workout morning coffee and doing the usual social media check. Its a little morning ritual that I have going on and helps me keep in touch with the people in my life and to see if there are any breaking news stories that I should be paying attention to (My thoughts are with the firefighters in New South Wales <3).

I'm sure most of you reading this have an Instagram account. Its a social media outlet that lets users share pictures and videos of just about anything. Mostly food, Starbucks lattes, hot bodies and cute animals. I follow a few accounts that focus on eating healthy and exercise. These accounts are run by women who share with us their daily workouts, eats, motivation and inspiring images that might help to motivate us, their followers and fellow Instagram users.

While mostly the pictures are just pure fluff about their daily smoothie or an exercise they show via video, sometimes there is a picture thrown in there that makes me think 'probably not the best place to share that thought...'
I will give you an example. One well known, local South Australian trainer had the following picture:

And then she proceeded to describe one of her clients in a negative way. She didn't name the client but the fact that she was talking negatively about someone who has placed their whole trust in her sends out a warning flag to me. Number one rule in personal training is YOU DON'T TALK ABOUT YOUR CLIENTS. She may have been using her client as an example about what not to do to other potential clients. And I get that. You want people to understand that you're dedicated to helping them, and that you're knowledgeable. I feel that the trainer could have presented this in a better light, without mentioning her 'askhole' of a client. As a professional trainer you are going to get clients who want to get fitter, stronger and healthier. You are going to get some clients that are in a pretty desperate time in their life. They have come to you to loose weight and improve their self esteem. It comes as no surprise that they might do some pretty shocking things to try and loose weight such as doing a 'detox', taking diet pills, taking laxatives, drinking only diet shakes and drinking special 'weight loss' or 'metabolism booster' teas. They will do whatever it takes despite warning from yourself and health professionals telling them not to. All you can do is warn them of the dangers and refer them to professional help if you feel that they are struggling with these behaviors. 

What I'm trying to say is professionalism matters. As a personal trainer you are SELLING yourself. You are selling your body, the way you look, how you present yourself and how you conduct yourself in a public setting. The above example is just one of MANY I see daily on Instagram that reflects poor conduct of the user posting it. You have to remember that with so many people having instant access to social media then there will be a few feathers ruffled if you say something with seemingly good intentions but it comes out completely the wrong way. 

 If I was looking for someone to train me, personally, I would want someone who is encouraging, positive and would keep all sessions private and confidential.  It doesn't matter that in the above example there were no names of clients mentioned as the post came off judgmental and negative. If it were me and I saw that posted on a popular Instagram account I would be mortified that my trainer thought of me in that way. And I would promptly fire her. Some people might think that I'm 'butt hurt' and have over reacted to something that on the surface seems harmless and may be beneficial to some. But guarantee there are more people like me who would get offended. I'm all for stirring the pot and opening up somewhat controversial topics to debate, but not at the expense of another person.

Think before you post, as you don't want to put off potential clients or loose current clients over something as silly as a picture posted onto Instagram.

-Tahlia XO

Tuesday, 22 October 2013

Why I Do Pilates

Hello again friends!
Thanks for stopping by at Puppies and Pilates. I really appreciate anyone who takes the time to read what I have to say, even if its for a couple of sentences until you realize you couldn't find the answer you originally searched for on Google. We've all been there. Its OK :)

So I'm writing this before my workout of the day. I don't usually plan my pilates workouts I just pick something from the Blogilates YouTube channel and go from there. Even though I really should practice composing my own routine, I just want to put something on and follow instructions. And have something to swear at when it gets too difficult. 

Cassey I love you, but sometimes you are MEAN!

It occurred to be last night before bed that I haven't really talked about why I do pilates as my major exercise. I have touched on the fact that pilates has helped my back issues but there is a lot more to it than just improving my posture. 

For anyone who has no idea what pilates is and how it works, I'm going to enlist the help of the Better Health Channel. This website is very informative and factual so you don't have to worry about it being completely bogus *cough Wikipedia cough* (no offence, Wikipedia) 

A lot of people confuse Yoga and Pilates. Which is understandable. There's a mat, you bend and twist your body into poses, controlled breathing and often there is some sort of music involved. They both have their similarities and they both have their differences.

This diagram illustrates the similarities and differences of yoga and pilates

Pilates focuses on all major muscles groups and aims to help lengthen and stretch your muscles, using your body weight to tone them at the same time. There are two types:

Mat based exercises

or the Reformer:
I promise these are not torture devices!

It was actually invented in the 1920s by a man called Joseph Pilates (hence the name!). He used it to help bed ridden patients gain muscular strength by attaching pulleys and ropes to their bed and manipulating their limbs. He also became popular in New York by training ballet dancers (source).
Each movement is precise, based from the core of the body and performed in conjunction with controlled breathing in order to execute each move. For example in a crunch, you would breath out while exerting the force and breath in when you relax. Doing pilates doesn't mean that you will grow a few inches and become a lean and toned supermodel, but it will help with your posture and make you stand taller. 

Yoga on the other hand, while very similar in the aspect that it help to tone and lengthen your muscles and makes you more flexible, its more of a mind and body practice. Some people describe it as a lifestyle- incorporating breathing, meditation and various asanas (poses) of increasing difficulty to help relieve stress and connect yourself to your body. 

There are quite a few different types of yoga classes such as Bikram and Ashtanga, each with their own properties. Benefits of yoga, in general, range from cardiovascular, to digestive and nervous (source). 

One could argue that Pilates is a lifestyle too, and I have definitely incorporated it into my own. It depends on what you put into it in regards to effort, and what you want to get out of it. Some people want a toned beach body. Some just want to walk around without suffering chronic pain issues. Some people might even do it for the social aspect and go to classes with their friends. There are so many reasons that I could list. Pilates has helped me become more connected and in tune with my body. I'm more focused on how each muscle moves, how I stand and walk and even what I put into my body. When you're more connected to your body you don't want to do it harm by excessively drinking or eating too many bad foods. I'm not obsessive (as seen in my previous post) but I'm more mindful of what I do and don't do to my body. I appreciate what it does for me every day. *self hug * 

As you can see there are benefits to both Yoga and Pilates. I choose pilates because it focuses on improving your core strength and posture, thus improving the pain issues I had with my back. I never thought that it would impact me so much and that I would be in fact writing a blog post about how much it has changed my life. I encourage everyone to incorporate these type of exercises into their workout routine as not only will it make you fitter, stronger and more flexible, you may find yourself being more intuitive towards your body and letting it speak to you. That's some pretty deep shit right there and if you knew me in real life you would think 'who is this person and what have you done with the cynical, snarky Tahlia that we love'. Trust me in that if you let it, Pilates (and Yoga) can change your life. 

-Tahlia XO

Sunday, 20 October 2013

Clean Eating

*sheepishly pokes head in*

'Sup guys.
You know how I promised that I would post about my job, like, the day after I announced it. Yea. I know. I suck. The good news is I have a more 'meaty' post you you today that you will thank me for and lavish me with flowers and chocolate. The last bit was optional but ya know, feel free to. Or whatever.

Anyways, MY NEW JOB GUYZZZZZ!!! OMG!!! LOL!!!11!!
I'm a little bit excited. The actual job itself its not that exciting. And I wouldn't call it a 'career'. But it will help to pay the bills and doesn't make me feel like I'm just lounging around the house being fanned with palm leaves while a tanned, muscly man feeds me peeled grapes. 

Basically, I now stack shelves at the supermarket. Its something that wont give me a massive head fuck (hello previous hospitality job) and its all at night which leaves my day free to do important things like walking the dogs, chores and what have you (I adore that expression, it needs to be said ALL THE TIME)
I have my work training session this week, as well as my two practical classes and online assignments so it might take a while for me to figure out a system on how I'm going to juggle that after being so long out of regular employment. I'm sure I'll be fine, but it will probably frustrate me that I can no longer work out whenever I feel like it or have a leisurely morning in bed (I know, so lazy, so privileged). 

I wanted to focus on today the concept of clean eating.

 Its something that has probably been around for longer than it seems, but with the help of social media such as Pinterest and Instagram it has really EXPLODED all of a sudden. It seems like everyone is eating 'clean' or 'raw' or 'vegan' or 'paleo'. And here's me just finishing half a bag of corn chips and salsa for lunch. 

What do I think of this concept? I think its great from a nutritional standpoint. People are more aware of what they are putting into their bodies, they're moving more, feeling great etc. Do I think its good to follow this strictly day to day? No. If you want to eat clean 7 days a week, 365 days a year then good for you. I'm jealous that you have found something that you love to do and its pretty damn good for you. Speaking from a mental point of view, I think that if I tried to follow a 'clean' diet every day then it would make me go insane. If you follow any regular clean eaters on Instagram you know what I'm talking about. They're the ones with the gorgeous, colorful meals and inspirational words. Meanwhile I've just polished off a bowl of ice cream (it happens more often than you would think).

 I think you can live this lifestyle every single day, but I tend to go by the 80:20 rule. If you're moving your body regularly and trying to include many fruits, veggies, lean proteins and grains into your diet then you can have that cheeseburger you've been craving. And I mean a REAL cheeseburger. Not one made out of flax seed and quiona. I'm talking ones that you can get in a drive through a-la McDonalds. Depriving yourself is not healthy. Its your body telling you that you need something, that you're lacking in something. 

Like I said before if eating clean 100% of the time makes you incredibly happy and healthy then I applaud your life choices. If you find that you have to continuously justify that glass of wine or serving of fries, then maybe you have to evaluate the choices you're making in regards to being healthy.

That's just my two cents and if anyone wants to chime in with their own opinions feel free-I would LOVE to hear them.

-Tahlia Sobko

Thursday, 17 October 2013

Happy Dance

Oh my god you guys!!!

I got a job!!!! Aw yeaaaaaa boiiiiiii!!!!!

I am so tremendously excited about this. Currently writing this post on my phone as I'm just about to head out for celebration drinks.

I promise to give you the info tomorrow when I get off cloud 9. 

Right now I need to wrap my lips around a very large wine glass and enjoy this well deserved drink.


Tahlia xo

Monday, 14 October 2013

Case of the Blahs

Hello again readers,

Its been a while since my last post. I feel the need to apologize for my lack of posts to anyone who is genuinely interested in my haphazard and unskilled ramblings about pilates, my dogs and my life. Luckily, I don't think anyone is reading regularly and I can continue to amble along in the blog world, posting whenever I feel like it. But I do apologize to anyone who is frustrated over my sporadic posting schedule. I have the time to post more regularly, but I haven't been in the right frame of mind. The no job situation is probably starting to get to me. Although I'm still positive about my future it does suck having to be REALLY tight with my money. A girls gotta have some pocket money to play with right? Shopping withdrawals are a bummer.

 I've had so many job  interviews but haven't  heard back from anything yet *sadface*. Job hunting is a lot more soul sucking and motivation draining than I thought it would be and although I try to keep my thoughts on the happy side, sometimes I just can't be fucked. I sit around. I watch too many You-Tube videos. I procrastinate. I try new hair do's, make up and outfits. I chase the dogs around the yard. I obsessively clean the house. I can't think of anything interesting to post about because my life is so incredibly boring at the moment. 

I'm being honest in saying that because there really is not a lot going on for me right now. And I wouldn't want to bore any readers with the same old posts about my pilates exercise for the day or pictures of my dogs because even though that's the name of the blog, I hope to include more interesting and thought provoking content than 'today I did such and such' posts. So stick with me, invisible readers, and I will really try and keep things more varied. 

So what's new? As I mentioned last time my parents visited and they were very impressed with how clean my house was (I fooled them yeeeesssss). There is not much to see in my town apart from the beach and the botanical gardens so after checking out those two locations my parents went for a ride to the next town over and had a look there while I got some much needed study done at home.

While I haven't gotten into any of the practical side yet  I'm quite enjoying my studies in becoming a qualified personal trainer. It was a tough and $$ decision to make, but I knew that if I didn't make up my mind then and there I would miss the enrollment block and would be regretting it for the next 6-12 months. I'm so glad I did as its something that I'm genuinely interested in and am passionate about. This blog 'aint called puppies and pilates for no reason. The course won't entitle me to become a pilates instructor from the get go but I hope to undertake more training to professionally teach mat classes. One day even pilates reformer classes- those are the classes done on the complicated looking machines. I am currently fascinated by how intimidating they look. 

What the course does qualify me in, as I said in a previous post, is certificate 3 and 4 in fitness. That allows me to be a personal trainer in a gym or similar setting. I am really into boot-camp style fitness at the moment- I love me some burpees, jumping jacks and sprints, so I hope to be able to teach those kinds of classes and to help my clients become faster, stronger and healthier. I love fitness and exercising so much that I want to infect everyone around me with its ability to make you addicted to the burn and those wonderful exercise endorphins that you get after a particularly tough session. Its the best natural high in the world. So far I have dragged my boyfriend along with me, forcing him to do squats and push ups. He says its torture but deep down I known he secretly can't wait until our next session.

For today's workout I was in a legs and bum mood. My butt is pretty flat so I'm constantly trying to get that nice, perky bum look as seen on the girls of Victoria Secret. Or like Jessica Simpson in her Daisy Duke period. Unfortunately I love chocolate and wine a little too much but that doesn't stop me from working out my legs and bum as often as I can. Progress never perfection is a saying that I hear thrown around a lot in the fitness world and that definitely applies to me.

I tried to search "Daisy Duke Gif" and this is the best I could get... (source)

I did the Pop Pilates Butt Blaster and it was an effective 25 minute workout that really blasted my butt. 

No joke, my legs were burning and shaking. I even worked up quite a sweat, which indicated how tough I was working out. I felt strong and motivated during it with Cassey's encouragement and for pilates beginners there are modifications to the exercises so that its not too hard. Any one can do it. Even YOU

That was the only exercise I did today. As soon as my butt hit that mat after the last pose I knew that my legs were like jelly. Probably should have done some cardio first. Ah well lesson learnt. When Cassey says its going to be a tough workout then you better believe it!
I better log off now as I accidentally mentioned going for a walk to the doggies and now they won't stop crying until I take them on one. They sure know how to tug my heart strings those furry little manipulators.

It is unbelievably hard to get these two to sit still enough for me to take their picture. Never work with animals.

-Tahlia XO

Sunday, 6 October 2013

The mothership has landed

My parents are coming to visit! Cue throwing all the clutter around the house into the spare bedroom and shutting the door.

I will try and update on my weekend and happenings on Monday because I don't want to become one of those bloggers that bring their camera everywhere and shove it into people's faces. I want to be in the moment and not thinking 'oh this will make awesome blog content'. Because life is not about doing something to please others. It's taken me a while to realize this but I now can live my life without worrying if it's interesting enough or if it's cooler than someone else's.

Yes I'm broke. And jobless. And my life is pretty boring and not busy at all. But what makes it so special is that it's my life. My own. No one else's.

I am just blessed in knowing that while I love doing exciting and different things I can appreciate the 'down time'. I'm ok with sitting in at home, reading a book and watching crappy TV. I love that just as much as I love going out.

I guess the moral of this post is to live your life the way YOU want to. Not what someone tells you.

Pretty flowers make me happy :-)



Walks with the puppeh also make me very happy

Wednesday, 2 October 2013

Just A Quick Life Update

Hello Friends!

Firstly, I apologise for the blog absence, but things have been BUSY in Tahlia land. This post is going to be short and sweet (you hating on the writing cliches yet?) until I get some time to get further into the details on what has been making my life so busy. 

Did you all see my new blog header? For someone who has no interest or any particular talent in web and graphic design I think I did a pretty banging job if I do say so myself. Created entirely in picmonkey because I'm not throwing away money for photo editing software when I can do it for free online. Sorry not sorry. 

Regarding the job situation. None yet, but I remain hopeful as I have been having interviews and surely someone will hire me in the future. Project optimism and positivity is still in full swing over here.

So what has been taking up so much of my time? As much as I would like to say sleeping, eating and walking my two favorite fur babies it has in fact, been due to me signing up to a PERSONAL TRAINING COURSE. WHAT?!? I know. Its the Fast Track program from the Australian Institute of Personal Trainers. Basically, its a quicker way to get your certificate three and four in fitness, which will ultimately lead me to being qualified to train people in a gym setting or elsewhere. Its legit guys, I did my research. What makes it better than the other programs I looked at was (a) it was done right here in my own town and (b) its a combination of online and practical learning so it can be done at my own pace. You have a whole year to complete it which gives me flexibility on how and when I choose to do my assignments. So far I am loving it as its keeping me motivated and giving me an excuse to plan a schedule which I force myself to stick to. No slacking around will be done in this house!

Where do I want to go with this certification? Having something I love doing as a career is my ultimate goal in life. I get excited shivers down my spine when I think of all the opportunities I will have upon completion of this course. I would like to train clients as a personal trainer and construct workout regimes which will help them achieve their goals. Eventually I would love to become a pilates instructor but I feel like I need a few more years of practise under my belt before I can start teaching my own classes.

That's whats been going on in my life and why I have been absent. I will try to make updates more often as I do really enjoy the process of blogging and putting my thoughts out into the world whether anyone is reading this or not. And if anyone IS reading this then I hope that you will continue reading as I will endeavor to update with interesting things that are happening in my life.

Until next time,

-Tahlia xo

P.S You can see in the header that my much anticipated running bare crop top and booty shorts arrived safe and sound. I am loving them to pieces, probably the most comfortable yoga/pilates attire that I own.