Sunday, May 20, 2012

Living FIT


"While you're exercising, you're NOT eating !" - Lee Janogly

Exercise works on so many levels, it's worth understanding why. Right now, your body is probably not working at peak fat-burning efficiency - just a guess, of course! You could well have perfected the art of fat-storing thought. The KEY to turning this around is to RAISE YOUR METABOLIC RATE.

Everyone has a 'basal metabolic rate (BMR)'. This is the measure of how many calories your body needs in order to maintain its vital functions when you are doing nothing. Efficiency is based on how much muscle you have in your body - that is, skeletal muscle in your arms and legs, not organ muscle like your heart and intestines. Muscles contain special components called mitochondria, which are responsible for converting calories to heat and water. This is why you get hot and sweaty when you exercise - which makes it worth doing!

Working your muscles against some form of resistance causes more amino acids to collect in the muscle cells, making them denser rather than larger. Denser muscles contain more mitochondria so they burn up more calories. Therefore the more muscle you have, the more more you can eat without gaining weight. [Please remember - muscles are heavy, so if you're in the process of developing muscles and burning off fat, you will initially gain weight rather then loose it BUT you WILL loose inches - Ms B] Fat uses very few calories, so the more fat you have the slower your metabolic rate will be. Clearly then, it is in your best interest to lose the fat and gain more muscle.

Strength, Suppleness & Stamina

These are the 3 different ways to be fit - the 3 S's. You really need a bit of each for optimum fitness.


You acquire strength by increasing your muscle power throught working with weights [Note : the weight of your own body is a 'weight' - Ms B], OR against resistance by using machines in the gym. NO, you will not develop bulging muscles from basic resistance training. The more toned your muscles, the more shapely you will looks - as apposed to flabby - BUT working on the machines to the exclusion of all other exercise will not get rid of fat.


Suppleness - being able to reach for the biscuit tin without putting your back out - will not burn fat on its own. However, it is an essential part of general fitness. Your body was made to move, so some bending and  stretching is vitally important to keep you joints flexible and your muscles long and lean. Yoga, Pilates, t'ai chi and DANCE all achieve this and are useful for giving you a 'body awareness' [Note : that's when we look at ourselves in the mirror while performing a movement and notice a spare tire popping out somewhere - Ms B] that will help to keep you on track food-wise. After a lovely stretch session you are unlikely to come home and dive into a bag of chips.


The only type of exercise that burns up the fat and increases your stamina is AEROBIC EXERCISE, which is fast walking or jogging, cycling, rowing or DANCE.

Aerobic means 'with oxygen'. Fat burns in the presence of oxygen. Continuous body movements makes you breathe harder so more oxygen enters your bloodstream. This engages your muscles to use stored carbohydrate called glycogen as energy. Once all the glycogen is used up, you body looks for another source of energy. It can't break down your muscle tissue because you are using it at the moment, so it turns to the fat. Your fat cells are designed to store fat and release it when it is needed for energy.

Once your lipolytic (fat burning) enzymes have been stimulated enough by exercise to grudgingly release a little bit of fat into your bloodstream, this gets directed towards your muscles. There it is grabbed by the mitochondria in the muscle cells and burned up as heat & energy. [Note : i hope you're following all this - Ms B]

Hence, the more muscle yo have, the more fat you will burn. Exercise increases the amount of muscle, which in turn increases the efficiency of fat-burning mitochondria in the muscle cells. This also make your heart stronger while increasing the efficiency and capacity of your lungs.

Isn't exercise GREAT ?!?!?!?!?!?!

The Feel Good Factor

Exercise can lift depression and make you feel better about yourself because of chemical hormones called endorphins which are released in the bloodstream. Endorphins act on the brain rather like morphine, which explains why you don't feel any aches and pains while you are actually doing the exercise - it's the following day when you may feel a bit stiff and achy.

However, for all that to happen, you must be doing continuous - not vigorous - movement. People who don't exercise assume that aerobic exercise is frantic movement that you do until you collapse [Go on, admit that you did, yes? - Ms B] It's just the opposite, in fact. Vigorous exercise such as tennis, football and squash are known as 'anaerobic' (without oxygen). Although it tones the muscles and stimulates the metabolism, it doesn't produce the steady and continuous increase in the heart rate and breathing rate, so it won't burn fat in the same way.

The minute you get out of breath, you are no longer burning fat - you have gone beyond what is alarmingly knows as your 'cardio-endurance' level. This simply means that if you are puffing and panting and red in the face, you are 'without oxygen' and should slow down a bit to 'catch your breath'. Therefore, to burn fat, the exercise you do shouldn't be too fast or too slow, but moderate & continuous.

[This is why I created Cardio Dance, to supplement your regular dance classes and is known as 'conditioning class' - Ms B]

How Much Exercise do I Need?

You NEED a minimum of 30 minutes of aerobic exercise each time for your workout to be effective. It takes that long for your heart rate to gradually increase and stabilize at the higher rate for the duration of the exercise until you cool down. This is what increases your metabolic rate to burn up the food you eat rather then storing it as fat. When you rev up your metabolism, it stays in that raised state for several hours after you have put your trainers away and got on with your life. You need 30 continuous minutes to achieve the necessary physiological effect that will keep your metabolism chugging away for the rest of the day. For this to happen you need a concentrated, regular programme of exercise.

You need to focus on exercise that uses the large group of muscles with minimal strain on any ligaments, bones and joints. The more muscles used, the greater the number of calories burned; the lower the perceived exertion, the longer and harder you can keep going. The best fat-burning exercise allows you to either - burn a lot of calories in a short time, or to ensure that the movements are easy enough on the body to keep burning calories over a longer period.

Living SLIM


I do know what it's like to overeat - regularly and continuously. I do understand that whenever you overeat, you are not consciously choosing to be fat. The last thing you want to be is fat. What you ARE choosing is to be MINDLESS - separating your mind from your body.

At the moment of reaching for the food, you are not connecting what you are eating with the shape of your body. All you know is that you want - or need - to eat something, and you are choosing to ignore the fact that it will make you fat. Intellectually you know this but you are CHOOSING to disconnect as the impulse to eat over-rides the intellect. Then you profess not to understand why your excess weight won't shift !

1.  Using Food as a Reward

You often reward yourself with food. You wait until you're tired, hungry, depressed, weak, sleepy or anxious before allowing yourself to eat. Then you 'reward' yourself with fatty, sugary food.

In most aspects of your life, you plan in advance. You wouldn't wait until your car was completely empty before filling it with petrol, right? When it comes to eating, however, many of us don't bother planning ahead. Eating can easily become something we do to respond to the moment.

Your brain naturally craves foods to meet specific needs, such as to make hormones and neurotransmitters, replace spent fuel stores or rebuild damaged muscles. By the time you crave nutrients to meet those needs, you have already suffered a deficiency. Your body signals you with urgent warnings that force you to over-correct, which means overeat. So by neglecting to feed your brain and body with what it needs before it starts a craving, you set yourself up to eat too much.

2.  Self-esteem & Bingeing

In the fat war, there are no victims - only volunteers. The fat didn't just happen. YOU created the shape of your body internally, by how you feel about yourself and the things you say to yourself, and externally by the food choices you make. If you are always criticizing yourself, putting yourself down, telling yourself how awful you look, how greedy and disgusting you are, you will NEVER lose weight PERMANENTLY. No one ever lost weight by being humiliated (this is SOOOO true, so please don't attempt to humiliate a loved one or someone you care about into loosing weight. Choose to encourage instead).

Bingers - people who use food in response to emotions rather than hunger.

Bingers live with this continual low-grade preoccupation with food. Regardless of their weight, many women feel uncomfortable about some aspect of their body. They dislike the body they live in and, as a result, end up disliking the person who lives there.

Most bingers are aware of the fact that their weight is creeping up, but, they tend to deny that this is happening. They refuse to admit that they eat anything fattening and live in a state of permanent denial. You only confront the issue when forced to by a medical examination. But suppose it happened overnight? Suppose you went to bed weighing 55 kgs and woke up the next morning weighing 80 kgs, fat & bloated?! You would be horrified & panic stricken, wondering what sort of disease you had contracted overnight, right?

The disease is EATING THE WRONG FOOD !!!

That 'couple of biscuits' multiplied 20 times over, day after day, week after week. That's what you've been doing to yourself. The fact that it might have taken years rather than happened overnight is beside the point.

"If the way you are behaving now is keeping you fat, you have to decide to behave 
in a different way" - Lee Janogly


If you wish to view the video's of your class progress or routines, please view them here :

Closed groups* have been created on Facebook for competitive groups / individuals and can be viewed here :

Latin :

Freestyle :

Boys Brigade :

* Please note that you have to be authorized to view videos on the closed groups.

Sunday, May 13, 2012

Happy Mother's Day to all the mothers at The Dance Habitat. I hope your children, grandchildren, godchildren & spouse spoil you silly today because you all so deserve to be. Take full advantage and have a blast !

Ms B xoxoxoxo

Sunday, May 6, 2012

Living FIT

Have You Got Time NOT to Exercise ???

If your excuse is that you haven't got time to exercise, what exactly are you saying here? Will you have time in the future to deal with the growing list of medical conditions that exercise is known to prevent? Can you take the time to recover from your heart bypass operation or the pain associated with your stiff back, hips or knees? If you don't exercise you are making a decision to compromise the quality of your life now and in the future. So don't say you haven't got time. You just haven't MADE the time - yet.

Fact : if you want to lose the fat on your body, you have to make the necessary changes to shift your metabolism into fat-burning mode. Very-low-calorie diets, missing meals, leaving long gaps between meals (we're ALL guilty of the afore mentioned), detox regimes, foods containing refined sugar - all encourage your body to store fat. The only way to reverse this is to eat healthy food at regular intervals during the day and incorporate some sort of physical activity into your life. 'Bor-r-r-ing!!!' NO - it doesn't have to be. It is a matter of deciding what is important to you and what you are prepared to do to achieve it.

Find some sort of activity that you can do (and might even enjoy) on a regular basis and make the commitment to do it. If you intend to exercise during the day, schedule it in your diary. Once it is written down you won't be tempted to make other appointments at that time, so giving yourself a convenient excuse not to do it. Everyone - no matter how busy their schedule might be - can find three, half hour chunks of time during the week, if they want to. YES - only HALF AN HOUR, at the least, only THREE times a week (that's only 1.5 hours a week, for those who are mathematically challenged like me).

Living SLIM

Choosing To Be Fat

Maybe you just enjoy food so much that every meal is a party and you eat more than a body needs to stay slim and healthy. Maybe you put yourself on such stringent diets that you feel deprived and end up bingeing. Maybe you constantly tell yourself how fat and disgusting you are and how much you hate yourself, and use food to blot out the image this presents. Whatever - you are CHOOSING to be fat.

Think carefully about this because I know your natural response will be "How could I be choosing that ?!" I'll tell you :

  • Every time you eat a chocolate biscuit instead of an apple, you are choosing to be fat. No, one biscuit won't make you fat but it will certainly influence what you eat later - and it reinforces that, for you, the choice is always the chocolate rather than the apple.
  • Every time you break off a chunk of cheese from a block in the fridge and pop it into your mouth, you are choosing to be fat. No, cheese is not a calcium-rich, healthy snack. It is a lump of flavoured fat - and saturated fat at that.
  • Every time you drink an extra glass of wine, which might weaken your resolve and influences your choice of food (and you know very well that it does that), you are choosing to be fat.
  • Every time you slump in front of the television on a bright, sunny evening instead of going for a walk, you are choosing to be fat.
So you see, it takes quite a lot of organization to be fat. You have to actively work at it. You are NOT genetically programmed to carry around an excess amount of blubber, forcing your heart to work that much harder to pump blood around your body. Everyone has a natural set-point of how they are meant to look, based on their genes. Although there are some hereditary factors that will influence your shape, such as wide hipbones or thick ankles, you are NOT predisposed to carry VAST amounts of weight around to the detriment of your health.

You can only be fat if you have created an environment that over-rides these factors and supports being overweight. Here's how to tell if you are doing it :

  • You keep a 'chocolate biscuit' cupboard in your house (for the children? Those grown up children who left home five years ago? Or those little children who will eat whatever you give them?)
  • Your desk drawer at work resembles a sweet shop
  • You think low-fat crisps are a healthy option
  • You feel cheated if you don't have dessert in a restaurant
  • You have 'no time' for exercise
  • You get up late and have a chaotic life
  • Your social life is defined by food instead of activity
  • You are too tired after work to cook a healthy meal
  • You are contemplating taking one of those products that stops your body assimilating fat - making it OK to eat that plate of chips because the fat it contains will not be digested (dream on!)
"If you keep cakes in the house, sooner or later you WILL eat them" - Lee Janogly

Living SLIM

Let's face it - it took time for that fat to settle SO comfortably round your waist and hips, it will take time for it to go. However, there's no hurry to loose it quickly, do it gradually as you live your normal life. After all, no one is offering you a contract to pose nude for a Playboy centerfold - are they?

Here are the real deal facts :

1.  Your body shape is the result of your lifestyle choices.

It is the type of food you choose to eat, the quantities you serve for yourself, the exercise you do - or don't do - and the excuses you make for those decisions. All these factors determine what you look like and how you think about yourself.

2.  Losing weight starts in the mind.

If you just focus on the food, all you end up with is the Atkins Diet. The thoughts you put into your mind influence which foods you put into your mouth. E.g. - 'ooh that looks delicious', 'surely a little bit won't hurt', 'i've had a lousy week'.

If you agree with those two statements, you MUST also agree that the reason you are fat is because you are choosing to be. THIS is the most difficult concept to take on board, but let's face it; YOU are the only one who puts food in your mouth. You can't be fat unless you overeat on a regular basis. You probably use food for every occasion - as a celebration when you are happy, as a calming agent when you are stressed, as medication when you feel down, and as companionship when you feel bored or lonely.

For you, food is providing some sort of purpose other than nutrition. You are feeding some need in yourself. As long as that unacknowledged need is there, it won't make any difference which diet you follow or how many times you succeed (temporarily) in losing weight. If you don't know WHY you overeat, then you will never remain permanently slim.

Competition Results !

3rd Seremban Superstar Dancesport Championship 2012 - 28th April 2012

I Vee & Sze Yen took part in their first Latin Beginners event last weekend. They were only ready for the Beginners Cha Cha and were accepted as the only lady pair in the event. They did their very best for a first time and I'm pleased they had the courage to take up the challenge. Bravo girls ♥

Sze Yen took part in the Line Dancing category in the same competition last weekend. She got 2nd place in Advance Open and 3rd place in Crystal.

She showed great determination to complete her many events, worked super hard and managed to bring out a little something more of herself. Every comp, more and more of Sze Yen comes thru her dancing and that's the way a dancer grows. I'm very proud of her efforts and her performance ♥ xxx