Health Expert Series 4

Welcome to the 4th edition of the Health Series!

This month we are going to hear from MY VERY OWN BOXERCISE INSTRUCTOR Marie! She has quite similar views on health to mine, so I was very excited to read her answers! I hope you will be too.

Here we go:


Name, age, occupation: Marie Zena Barton, 36, Head Coach at HIITme Health & Fitness

What does health mean to you?

It may sound a bit silly but to me personally it’s about feeling alive and functioning physically and mentally with good energy. I want to wake up feeling good in the morning not tired and just getting up and going through the motions. I want to wake up with purpose and feel motivated.

For me if I am feeling like this most of the time then my health is in pretty good form. As a Group fitness coach & PT trainer I want and need to have good health and energy. I think there is nothing worse as a client to turn up to a class or PT session where the instructor has no energy or enthusiasm about them.

How do you achieve this level of healthy?

It’s not always easy we all live increasingly busy stressful lives. For it to work for me I need to plan organise and execute!:o). I find it easier if I make a plan and stick to it, which is easier said than done, but when you do that, it works and it is then my routine. I always work better at everything if I make it part of my daily/weekly routine

Why is it important to be and live healthily?

Wow that’s a big question………. it’s so important for so many different reasons!:o)……. I don’t think a lot of people really know what good health means or how much it affects everything in your life when you are not feeling on good form and in good health.

A lot of people think that if they are not ill then that must mean that they are healthy, well no I don’t think so……. bear with me here I don’t mean to sound patronising, I just think that so many people are running on autopilot trying to get through the day and get all the tasks done that need to be done and never putting themselves and their health at the top of that to do list. It is my personal opinion and experience if you improve your health through exercise and good nutrition it massively impacts your life in so many more good ways than you expected.

Imagine doing everything that you need to get done with a lot more energy, enthusiasm and happiness, wouldn’t it be so much easier and enjoyable? That’s why I think living and being healthy is so important, it makes such a difference to how you feel.

Why are you an expert?

hhhhmm “expert” another big word that can mean many different things to people:o) Can I change that question to What makes you good at your Job?

Well once you get past being qualified of course then it’s about the fact I really like my job and I want people to really feel the benefits of exercise. I like to keep up to date with what is going on in the health and fitness world. I think it is a very interesting time, slowly more and more people are becoming aware of the importance of exercise for more than just the purpose to loose weight which is an important factor. I love to see the change and progress in people and see how much better they feel about themselves.

What is your top health tip?

Exercise of course!:o) There is more to health than just exercise but I think it such an important part as that is often one of the first steps that people take in their aim to improve their health and that first step is the most important…..

…. But don’t just find any exercise, find an exercise that you genuinely like. There is no use taking up running just because you want to improve your health and fitness if you hate running…….we all know how that’s going to end. Don’t be afraid to try some different exercises before you find what you really like….. and find an exercise in a group format, it is more fun and makes you much more likely to stick with it if you are accountable to other people too:o)


So? What do you think?

Do you agree with her definition of “being healthy?”. I certainly do 🙂 I too want to wake up with purpose and feel motivated.

Can you find that exercise routine that you will stick to? Is group fitness classes your thing? Or do you prefer going to the gym or for a run? Maybe a personal trainer is what you need?

Tell us in the comments below!

Get in touch with Marie here and visit her website here. She can also be found on Facebook; JessBoxing, Bootcamp and Kettlercise – all group fitness classes you MUST try!

ACTUALLY, all her classes start THIS WEEK and you can try out a class for FREE! I really urge you to try one of them, they are GREAT!! Just EMAIL Marie now! 😉

Health Expert Series 2

Welcome to the second edition of my health series! If you haven’t read the first edition, then please click here. This month I wanted to pick the brains of my friend, Bertil. He is a passionate runner, father of a beautiful little girl, has run several (understatement) marathons and next to his full-time job also teaches a stretching course.

I hope you will enjoy reading this interview and please join the discussion in the comments  below. 


Here we go:


Name, age, occupation: Bertil Muller, 36, Brandmanager Volkswagen

What does health mean to you?

To me, as a runner, health means being able to pull out the maximum power and endurance from my body, ideally at any time. This should be on a background of feeling balanced on a day to day basis. The mental balance is as important as the physical one, but for me, mind cannot work properly without the body.  

 How do you achieve this level of healthy?

Beside a regular 40h/week job, a life partner and a daughter I run approximatively 100km a week. I probably  exercise too much if I only consider my physical health, but for me this is part of being healthy.

To achieve and more important, stay healthy I try to eat high-quality food. I start the day with fresh orange juice and rolled oats with nuts and honey. I do not eat too much meat, especially not every day and close the gaps between meals with fruits and nuts. Then during the week I try to get min. 7 hours sleep a night (if my daughter doesn’t wake me up earlier 😉).

At the beginning it could feel like time management and self-discipline, but when you begin to feel healthy and strong it becomes your normal way of life, your way to happiness. In addition, mental health comes from time spent with my family and my friends.

 Why is it important to be and live healthily?

For me it is essential to feel good and strong in my body. Being healthy is the key to my happiness and balanced life. How could one fully enjoy life without being as healthy as possible?

 Why are you an expert?

I am not sure I am an expert…but, I have found myself to be a rather respectable runner at the age of 35. Especially considering the fact that I spent my teenage years partying, drinking way too much  and smoking a whole pack of cigarettes a day. I never thought I would be considered a good consultant on health!

I have run 10 marathons with a personal best of 2 hours 39 min, 7 ultra-trails (including 2 victories) and 100s of other running competitions and still feel like I can improve my performance.

Without a healthy lifestyle these results would not be achievable in combination with a job, a family, and other hobbies.

What is your top health tip?

Health is very individual, for some people the physical part is the most important and for others it is the mental aspects. I would advice you to try and find the one thing that gives you the most satisfaction within your body and your life, and spend the most possible/available time on this one thing!

Thank you so much Bertil for this very interesting insight on your views on health. I totally agree that being healthy is very individual and we all have to find out what works for us!

If you want more information, please find Bertil on Facebook. He would love to share his running knowlege with you. He can also help you get started! 


Do you want to be part of my Health Series? Please email me. I would love to hear from you!


Want to know more about healthy living? Download my free mini ebook now. It contains great tips and tricks that have worked for me in my journey. Click here to get it. 

Follow my blog with Bloglovin



Are you keeping it a secret?

You want to lose weight. You decide that tomorrow you will start eating healthy and start exercising. You promise yourself that this time you will stick to it. Finally, you decide not to tell anyone about it. Because “what if I fail…”

Does this sound familiar?

It certainly does to me. I have lain in bed Sunday evening vowing to myself that tomorrow will be the day I will change my life! But I also don’t want to tell anyone about it. I imagine 6 months down the road, showing my new body off to friends and family who are amazed. How did I do that? I’d tell them about all the healthy foods and exercise I had done etc. etc.

Then next day I get up and I live my life exactly as I have until now – no change what so ever!

Why? Why do we try to change our life by ourselves and keep it a secret?

Because we are afraid of failure!

If I didn’t tell anyone about my weight loss challenges then I don’t have to be accountable to anyone!

Now, I have learnt! I have learnt that this does not work. Keeping it to yourself does not work! I need support and you need support!

We are trying to change our life! Not just our shoes or bag. No, our freaking LIFE! That’s a big deal!

Losing weight is not about going on a diet and then returning to old habits when you are done. Losing weight happens when you start to change your life. The weight should stay off; therefore your new habits should stay on.

Please don’t lose weight in secret. Chances are if you want to do it in secret, then there are probably some other issues that you need to work around first. Issues that are perhaps more important than the extra weight you are carrying.


Please order the salad when everyone else is ordering steak. It takes courage, but at the end of the day, whose life are you living, theirs or yours?

Please don’t feel ashamed to reschedule a meet up with a friend because it falls on the same time as your exercise schedule. It’s your body! You have to live with it, not them! And if they are your friends, then they will understand! And hopefully know that you are trying to turn your life around!

Be real with yourself and your surroundings. Don’t be ashamed. After all, you are taking care of the most important person in your life!

Please join my Support group on Facebook. It’s amazing to have a community with like-minded people to support each other. See you there 🙂


Follow my blog with Bloglovin

Just do it!

It’s Sunday morning. Or maybe it’s afternoon. I don’t know and frankly, I don’t care. The sun is up, that means it’s day. I can’t sleep anymore although I went to bed only a few hours ago. I’m so tired and my head is pounding from dehydration. My mouth feels like something died in there. My body aches from top to bottom. I can feel my hair being stuck from yesterdays desperate attempt to put it in a nice bun or something flashy. It hurts… Ouch!

Do I dare looking back at that thing staring at me in the mirror? Black rings under the eyes – it’s not a pretty picture!

Slowly my memory comes flashing back and I remember all the embarrassing things I did the night before. I just want to crawl back under the covers and hide.

Yes, I am hungover! Terribly hungover!


I look outside. The sun is shinning. I should be outside enjoying it.

And then I see them…

I hate them…

I hate them so much…

I see two runners jogging along like it’s the most perfectly normal thing to be doing Sunday morning before anyone else is up (well, before I am up…).

Did I mention I hate them?



I used to hate them!

Today I embrace them. I even cheer them on. Especially the ones that are chubby or plain out fat. It’s such a shame that overweight people are laughed at when they do something good for themselves. I think many “fat” people are too self-conscious to exercise because they worry about what people might think.

Well here is what I think.

I think you are amazing! 💪🏻

Go out an exercise and be happy! Wobbly fat and everything! Who cares? As long as you are doing something good for yourself, then DO IT!! 👏🏻


In my previous life, I hated them. While I was destroying my body week after week with one binge drinking party after the other, they were out getting fresh air and doing something good for themselves. How could I not be jealous? Even worse was that I was medicating myself with gross greasy food while suffering with the never ending GUILT!

Luckily, I got real about how my lifestyle was destroying my body and my life, and I have stopped.

Now I am what I used to hate. I am out jogging (well, not actually, but figuratively) and doing something great for myself! ☺️

The sad news is that I am not sure I would have been able to change had I not been pregnant. I sometimes wish I had changed BEFORE pregnancy, so I could enjoy life in a different way before having children. But hey, I am eternally grateful to my sweet baby-boy, he changed my life! Thank you, Silas!

I really hope that if you can relate to my story that you are able to snap out of it before a major life-changing event like having children.

Enjoy life now!