How to manage lapse?

Christmas almost here like literally 2 days away. This would be my last blog for the year.

We all have so many Christmas parties and maybe holidays this time of the year. What do you do when you get so caught up with it like especially when you are eating well and being physical active? Do you let yourself go into lapse and let all your effort gone down to the drain?

This is what I had learn being a Life! Facilitator.

I am going to discuss how we are going to manage lapses. A lapse is a brief and small slip in your efforts to make healthy changes. A lapse might be overeating at parties for a day or two, or skipping your physical activity for a week while on holidays or too busy catching up on Christmas shopping and lunching/coffees with friends. Experiencing a lapse is normal. You should not view them negatively.

To deal with lapses, it is important to be prepared for them. If a lapse is left unchecked, it can sometimes grow into relapse. A relapse is a full-blown return to your previous habits. It usually results from a series of small lapses that snowball into a relapse.

Lapses can sometimes be a trigger to give up on your goals for healthy changes, but they don’t have to be! Lapses can be a chance to learn about yourself and can help you to become stringer in your will to change.

The key to sticking with your new healthy habits is to work out your strengths and weaknesses. You can then learn to identify your lapses early and deal with them before they turn into a relapse. You can also plan for a lapse so you are in control of how often and how much you lapse.

Here is a task to help you make a controlled, pre-planned lapse in eating.

My plan for a lapse:

  • What will you eat that does not belong to your healthy diet?
  • Amount to be eaten?
  • When and where are you likely to lapse?

My own rules for lapses:

  • My future lapses can be
    1. A single occasion eating a pre-planned amount of a favourite food
    2. A special occasion when I can eat whatever I want and how much I want
    3. A day off from lifestyle change that I give myself
    4. Other (be specific)
  • How often can I have such a lapse?
    1. Every second month
    2. Once a month
    3. Every second week
    4. A couple of times a week
    5. Everyday
    6. Several times a day
  • What rules for lapses should I have for holidays or other times when I’m not following my normal daily routines?
  • Ask some questions and know what you’re getting as unlike packaged food, food bought from cafes and restaurants does not have to show nutritional information, so choosing the healthier options may not always be obvious, or easy. Here are some questions you can ask.
    1. What’s in the dish?
    2. Can you swap fries for a healthier side eg. Roast potatoes, salad or vegetables?
    3. Can the dressings and sauces be placed in a separate dish on the side?
    4. Ca you have a smaller portion of meat and larger portion of salad/vegetables?
    5. How is it cooked? Can it be grilled instead of fried?
    6. Can you order an entrée sized meal instead of a main? Or can you share a larger meal with a friend?
    7. Can you add some lemon, lime or orange wedge to add flavour to tap, mineral or sparkling water?

What would you do on the Christmas Day itself? I would suggest go for a long walk before the day start and it’s going to be crazier. Enjoy the day and perhaps go for another walk after the meal. It doesn’t have to be long, 30mins it’s a good to start. I hope this would help you managing the festive season.

Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!!!

Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS)

What is PCOS? And why am I mentioning it?

Let’s define what it is?

This is from the Better Health Channel web:

Polycystic ovary syndrome (or polycystic ovarian syndrome – PCOS) is a complex hormonal condition. Polycystic literally translates as many cysts. This really refers to there being many partially formed follicles on the ovaries, which each contain an egg. These rarely grow to maturity or produce eggs that can be fertilised.

Women with PCOS commonly have high levels of insulin, or male hormones known as ‘androgens’, or both. The cause of this is unclear, but insulin resistance is thought to be the key problem driving this syndrome.

In some women, PCOS runs in the family, whereas for others, the condition only occurs when they are overweight.

PCOS is relatively common, especially in infertile women. It affects 12 to 18 per cent of women of reproductive age (between late adolescence and menopause). Almost 70 per cent of these cases remain undiagnosed.

Up to a third of women may have polycystic ovaries seen on an ultrasound, but they do not all have PCOS. To be diagnosed with PCOS, women need to have polycystic ovaries and the typical symptoms described below.

Symptoms of polycystic ovary syndrome

Women who have PCOS may experience:

  • irregular menstrual cycles menstruation may be less or more frequent due to less frequent ovulation (production of an egg)
  • amenorrhoea (no periods) some women with PCOS do not menstruate, in some cases for many years
  • excessive facial or body hair growth (or both)
  • acne
  • scalp hair loss
  • reduced fertility (difficulty in becoming pregnant) related to less frequent or absent ovulation
  • mood changes including anxiety and depression
  • obesity
  • sleep apnoea.
  • you don’t have to have all of these symptoms to have PCOS

Note: more info:


I personally went through this. It wasn’t very clear to me at the beginning like 10 years back. I was working in Singapore back than and I experienced a very sharp pain at the side of the lower abdominal. So, I went to investigate it a few times with the GPs and they would sent me to get an ultrasound done externally and internally. I wasn’t really sure what they meant and probably I wasn’t paying much attention to it and I can’t remember why I didn’t follow it through.

Many years later, I didn’t experience any pain or whatsoever at all until one day few years back now, I had abdominal cramped and I took Panadol and it didn’t go away overnight. My former partner back than took me to see a local GP first thing on a Sunday morning. He had no idea what is wrong and referred me to the hospital. So, we went to the Cabrini Hospital and did a few test like the ultrasound. They rang up a gynaecologist and he came to see me and he wasn’t sure what it is as the result wasn’t cleared. So, they scheduled me for an operation. When I woke up, he was saying I had a burst cyst and had internal bleeding and he managed to rescue the ovary. He also said this thing happens and it will go away when you have a child.

Few years later after that incident, I had no episode and I had a child and he is now almost 2.5 years old. My thought was so I won’t experience that pain anymore? Not really it came back 1.5 years ago and I had an episode of an intermittent bleeding between menstrual. A very unusual for me because I know my body and I know this is wrong. With that pain, this time I want to make sure to investigate it properly. I went to see my GP and she done and organised all these tests for me. It turned out nothing wrong with it. So, she organised me to see a gynaecologist from the Women’s Hospital and I was rejected because I am not living in the zone. My thought was so nothing wrong with me and I was being rejected and I just let it go.

I think later a had some pain again, so I went to see a different GP at my other work place area. He suggested I might need to start taking oral contraceptive pills which I am against it. Who knows what it will do to your body. Anyway, he has referred me to see a private gynaecologist which I went. The gynae said I had too many cysts in the follicles and they are really angry. He suggested to take contraceptive pills and to take probiotics. I only take probiotics and keeping an eye on it. I was alright I guess until one day I received a letter from the Northern Hospital and I wasn’t sure what was it about and I attended the appointment and then I realised my initial GP has done another referral for me.

After the initial consult with this gynae from the hospital, he has sent me to get the ultrasound done again. The second consultation, he has diagnosed that I has polycystic minus the syndrome and suggested to take the contraceptive pills. I was really reluctant but I did.  He also suggested doing an endometrial test and I did. The result came back all cleared. He suggested doing another ultrasound again in 3-months and I did. Finally, with the last ultrasound, he said the cyst has grown bigger from the last scan and he suggested to do a hysteroscopy and polypectomy. This whole thing went on for almost 1.5 years. I wasn’t really keen but the thing he said to me if I don’t remove it and it might leads to cancer. BANG!!! I was concerned and scared and so I went to have all these done last week. I’m still waiting for the result.

Exercise, Fit and Healthy

What I wanted to say here is, both gynaecologists were very surprised that I don’t have any of the symptoms and I managed to have a baby. I have seen many female patients from the GPs referral under the EPC Plan for all these years. Each patient came in with most of the symptoms and they all shared a same goal to have a family and to be healthy as they can’t conceive easily.

In my opinion, I have been blessed with a beautiful boy and looking after myself being fit and healthy for all these years. Exercise and being healthy has been part of my life.

Kinetic Link Training

What’s the difference between my method of training and other trainers? This is the question I have been asked all the time from new clienteles.

2-years ago, I attended this workshop runs by Wayne Rogers, a sports physiotherapist. In the workshop, it covered:

* The very latest strength and conditioning principles in relation to functional resistance training.

* Development of functional training programs for all clients: rehabilitation, occupational conditioning or sports performance.

* Training movement patterns, not individual muscles (including KLT’s 22 essential, distinct movement patterns).

* A fully balanced functional strength and conditioning programs by using a proven and precise system of training.

So, what is Kinetic Link Training (KLT – Functional Strength and Conditioning)?

“Whilst isolation training is incredibly popular in traditional gym training programs and has a legitimate role to play in the rehabilitation of an inhibited muscle, KLT, which utilises full body integrated movement patterns, is a more efficient and highly effective approach to strengthening…”

It’s a revolutionise approach to functional strength training and core conditioning. High quality rehabilitation and resistance training should stimulate adaptation in both the local (inner unit) and global (outer unit) muscle systems…Comeford, Mottram, Hodges, Vleeming & Lee.

Muscles of the entire body must integrate together for efficient normal function and optimal core control.



Abdominal Separation or Diastasis Recti

A good read up.

I am very lucky I don’t have this after having my lil one. An Accredited Exercise Physiologist or a Women’s Health Physiotherapist could help you to regain your fitness and strength through safe exercise.


What is an Exercise Physiologist?

What is the difference between an Exercise Physiologist vs. Physiotherapist vs. Personal Trainer?

This is a common question that I have been constantly asked by the patients and in general for people who wanted to know.

According to Exercise & Sports Science Australia (ESSA):

Exercise physiology and physiotherapy are both recognised allied health professions. Exercise physiologists primarily treat patients using clinical exercise interventions as their main modality. There is also a strong focus on behavioural change and self-management concepts. Physiotherapists are health care professionals who assess, diagnose, treat and manage acute injury, disability and pain through physical techniques such as manipulation, massage and exercise.

AEP vs. PT

Accredited Exercise Physiologists (AEPs) are not Personal Trainers. AEPs are allied-health professionals with Medicare Provider numbers and are trained members of the health and medical sector. Fitness professionals (e.g. personal trainers) are members of the sport and recreation sector.

Personal Trainer

* The Personal Fitness Trainer Qualification (Certificate 4) may be completed in less than 6-weeks of training.

* Qualified and insured to design and deliver fitness programs to persons of low risk only (i.e. ‘apparently healthy populations’).

Accredited Exercise Physiologist (AEP)

* Allied Health Provider

* 4-year University Degree qualified and accredited with ESSA.

* Specialise in graded exercise therapy and lifestyle interventions for persons at risk of developing, ot with existing chronic and complex medical conditions and injuries (i.e. ‘specific populations’).

Pelvic Floor and Exercise – Part 2

I have received an email from a physio who specialised in this and pointed out to me some important information about my last week post. I’d the feeling I will hear from her. So, thank you for your feedback.

I just wanted to clarify, the post it’s about me and in general how long it takes to recover. If you have any complications, I would highly recommend you to see a pelvic health physio who specialized in this area. The funny thing is, when I’d my 6-weeks check-up post partum, the GP (not my normal GP) didn’t know what to do. I chose her because she is a female and I get uncomfortable having a male GP to check on me. I don’t think she has any clue on what to look for and she asked me what do you want to know? I suggested to check on the pelvic floor, etc. Weird!!!

The mums and bubs class that I run here, you will required a clearance from your doctor before commencement and I will ask you a few questions before the class (if you are a newbie, therefore, an email or phone call to me would be greatly appreciated as I could go through this prior the class). I wanted to make sure you are ready to start exercising again. if there’s a red flag, I would highly recommend you to see a qualified pelvic health physio as they do internal examination, etc. The class is low impact and cater for all mums with pelvic floor issues, etc as the class is modify based on your status.

So, here is the info the physio who pointed out to me and I would like to share it with you (copy and paste).
…. “I think it’s really important not to generalise all women in this category and say they should avoid high impact exercise for 6 months as this is actually not the case and there are many other variables which affect the pelvic floor and recovery.

Including levator avulsions, etc. Women can exercise with prolapse with a peccary and under the guidance of a qualified pelvic health physio.

….many women have an over active pelvic floor and they cannot relax properly and other women also have no prolapse but have a high risk of pop from their birth history etc… I encourage women (i worked on the post natal ward for many years) to get a 6 week pelvic floor internal Vaginal exam as it’s it only accurate way to give risk factors for PoP and know exactly the state and integrity of the pelvic floor.

…. but GP’s and OB/gynaes rarely do an internal at 6 weeks. They only look at sutures if anything. They don’t assess for prolapse etc..”

As I always said, if you are in doubt, let me know if you have any questions. PM or 0434 221418.

Esther Toh

Pelvic Floor and Exercise – Part 1

I came across most mums would love to start some sort of an exercise regime as soon as they got an all cleared from their GPs, that is at 6-weeks mark. I am one of them. As a mum to a 2-year old and also an aged group triathlete, I can’t wait to get back into training and hope to race again, that is my mind set. However, this took me a while to start to really train properly for the first 3-months as I can’t really run longer distance or jumping especially lateral movement, I was struggling to activate my pelvic floor muscles and sometimes I feel a bit discomfort down there.  Then, roughly about 5-months, I thought I was ok with the pelvic floor until sometimes when I cough or sneeze, I could wet my pants. That was pretty embarrassing especially when I am out and about. Bear in mind that I was doing lots of transverse abdominus (TvA) and pelvic floor activation since my lil one was born. I was amazed it had so much impact on the pelvic floor after. Came 6-months, I felt really good with the pelvic floor and started to train a little bit more. I was really happy with the results and I managed to race a very short distance.
Here are the facts to all the mummies out there and mummies to be:
* Your body needs at least 6-months to recover and longer if you have C-sec and also to be fully restored to pre-pregnancy physiology.
* 6-months is the time to restore the connective tissue support.
* If you are breastfeeding – it takes longer too.
In conclusion, you will need to wait for at least 6-months and start slowly to return to higher intensity exercise. Best is to perform 6-12-weeks of slow impact exercise and rehab your pelvic floor and TvA and if you have recti diastasis, deep abdominal rehab is a MUST.
Clinical exercise prescription and rehabilitation is the best way to return to activity. I am glad that I managed to gain back the pelvic floor strength pretty soon after without any major complications through smart and effective exercises.
I am inviting mummies to the Mums and Bubs Fitness that I run in Paramount on every Thursdays from 10.30 – 11.15am. You get a fully Accredited Exercise Physiologist to train you and also to look after your lil ones.
Or let me help you or show you how – PM or 0434 221418.