Introduction to Melinda Nicci’s Energy Rules
There is a choice you make in everything you do, and you must always keep in mind that the choice you make - makes you! (Anonymous)
What we choose shapes our lives. Whether an active choice or passive choice, where we just don’t say ‘no’, who we are and what we do is determined by all the small decisions we make every day. Melinda Nicci is a post-natal personal trainer, and believes that if we begin by making just a few positive choices, then we can take back control over the shape of our lives and be healthier as a result. It’s this idea of constant choices that Melinda applies to managing our nutritional needs after baby, and her hope is that once we make the right, positive choices to get our figures back, we could be free from dieting for the rest of our lives.
Everyone develops bad habits, bombarded as we are with advertising and exposure to things that are not always the best for our bodies: Fast food, fad diets, highly processed food, sweet treats and an abundance of easy to eat snacks. We are also shown constant images of skinny models, and society’s obsession with youth and vanity is all too evident – easy to forget that these images are often touched up!
The truth is that our choices are already limited - we all have a predetermined genetic make up, a fixed canvas of looks, metabolism and body type. Your genetic makeup determines if your metabolism is naturally slow or fast, how easy or difficult it is for you to lose weight and maintain muscle. Whilst there is nothing we can do about our genetic makeup, Melinda has looked into many ways in which we can do to make the best of what we have.
To get to the bottom of how we optimise our own body’s energy levels, Melinda suggests we begin by looking at our muscles. Muscles use far more energy than fat (muscles are active and fat inactive) therefore, by increasing the muscle mass on your body you will be decreasing the amount of fat. In this way you will also be increasing your lean muscle mass, which in turn increases your base metabolic rate. This base metabolic rate is the speed and efficiency of your metabolism, so by increasing muscle you affect how fast you burn energy.
Increasing the muscle in your body should be your first step in increasing your energy levels, and exchanging fat for muscle could help you look better, be more efficient at burning energy and as a result make you feel better! And it has to be said that toned muscles do look a lot nicer than flabby bits of excess fat!
So where do us new mums sign up? Remember Melinda’s choices? Here’s where the responsibility lies with you, knowing your body and your energy levels after the birth of baby, to start an exercise regime which is realistic and give yourself attainable goals. Know how much time you have to dedicate to exercising, choose to commit to a plan of exercise and don’t aim to lose lots of weight immediately. Melinda believes this planning is the key to building towards a healthy and fit body, and hopefully a happier life.
The idea is to take what you have, improve on all the best bits and try and fix the bad bits. There is only so much that you can fix with exercise and nutrition and therefore you must set your goals at a realistic and achievable level.
If you set your sights on having a nymph-like size 8 body when you are a size 18, or on getting your pre-pregnancy figure back within six weeks, you will be setting yourself up for failure and despair. Decide what you feel is realistic for a 6 month project and then focus on your new lifestyle. It helps too if one of your goals is simply to feel healthy, strong and fit.
Once you’ve chosen your goals, Melinda’s next item on your agenda would be the food you eat, and how to approach each day in relation to your new diet. She believes every day is a chance to make the right, smart choice that will enable you to live the life you want: there is no better time than right now to make those choices.
And the opposite is also true - one bad or wrong choice does not mean that there is no hope - you should look at it as a way of moving forward in a positive way. Don’t spend hours regretting eating that big piece of chocolate cake. Forget about it and make your next choice of food the right one. Once you decide that you want to improve your body and get or stay in shape, choose the programme, start the programme and stay on track. Keeping a food diary from the beginning may help keep you focused.
Next month, Melinda’s 10 rules of energy will show you how to begin making changes to your day. By changing a few things each day and making the right decisions Melinda will encourage you through the small changes that you can then build on.
See you next month!