Tag Archives: iammagazine

Life is what you make it…

Life is good! Life is so very very good!

I spent the long weekend exploring the many natural wonders of the NSW Southern Highlands. From forest bathing to rainforests to rock jumping when the path became a little wet, I really came across all of the wonderful gifts our natural world has on offer.

Illawarra Lookout via the Barren Grounds – worth the muddy trek to get there.
Minnamurra Rainforest – the hike is a little steep but the surroundings are sublime
Jamberoo – you had me at ‘oo’ Truly one of the most beautiful landscapes NSW has to offer.




“She apparently works from home”…


So, you say you want a ‘work from home’ job?

If you ask 3 out of 4 members of my household, they will tell you I either don’t work or they are not sure what I do for work. The confusion generally stems from the fact that I am a full time mum, maid and chef. According to most, people who do that simply “do not work”.

Like most work from home mums my career holds very little value against my partners. Daddy goes to work at set hours every day – mummy doesn’t. Daddy sometimes works 6 days a week – mummy doesn’t. Sound familiar? Sadly, I am not surprised.

Errands, housework, school, shopping, cooking – the list goes on and on. These are all tasks handed to the stay at home person … let’s now just totally drop the “work” from that sentence.

How on earth do stay at home working mums manage to contribute to the financial stability of the household, if they do not work? This is a question that has always baffled me. Ask a ‘working’ member of the household and you may, if you are lucky, get a shoulder shrug. The truth is, people still believe making an income from home is ‘make believe’. And, for one simple reason … they can’t do it!

I personally believe a wonderful work life balance is available to everybody – absolutely everybody.

However! One must first understand and embrace the word COMPROMISE.

Lower your outgoings and find the right industry, and you may just be on your way to earning a perfectly adequate income from home.

Buyer beware! It’s not as glamorous as you may think.

Written by a stay at home mummy who would kill for a few peaceful productive hours in an office – or a phone box. I’m not fussy.

Do you work from home? Please let us know any tips or comments you have on this topic in the feedback box below…


Keep calm…we had a baby!

As you may have noticed, we have been a little quiet of late. It turns out, looking after a newborn is one extremely time consuming task – you think I would have known this being that baby Jaxson is baby #3.

Somehow though, it completely slipped my mind. We do however plan to be back with regular Health, Fitness and Lifestyle posts very soon. I AM Magazine ISSUE 22 is right on schedule for release in October 2015. If you have an interesting or inspirational story to share with our readers, please drop us a line over at the email address listed below.

Email iammagazine@live.com.au

Meet the newest I AM team member, Jaxson Houston.


See you soon,
Samantha Jane
sj freelance blogger graphic copy

As seen in I AM Magazine…

“Telling someone with obesity to eat less is like telling someone with depression to cheer up”. ~ Dr Arya Sharma.

The health and wellness industry, of which the fitness industry is a huge part, is a multi-million dollar industry world wide. And here in Australia, we have personal trainers and gyms popping up like mushrooms all over the country. There is literally one on every corner it seems.

So, one would think that Australians embracing the need to make their health a priority would begin to eat away at the large percentage of overweight and obese population – yet as a nation, we are getting fatter. Rates of overweight and obesity are continuing to rise in Australia.

Based on measured height and weight from the Australian Bureau of Statistics Australian Health Survey to calculate BMI (I know the BMI doesn’t take into account lots of variables, but bear with me) … Almost 2 in 3 adults are overweight or obese (63%); 1 in 4 Australian children (25%) are overweight or obese; 15% more people living in outer regional and remote areas are overweight or obese than people living in major cities and being overweight or obese is the second highest contributor to burden of disease, after dietary risks [with smoking being the third highest].

This means the cost to our national health care system is ENORMOUS!

So why is our health as a nation on the decline while the fitness industry is still in a booming bubble?

It’s complicated, and I certainly don’t have all the answers, however here are some points we may all need to take into consideration …

  • Simply training hard and eating well is not always the immediate solution. It is however a fabulous maintenance plan once all other aspects have been addressed and the individual is not deemed as being at risk of relapsing.
  • Psychology is an important part of weight loss and health. I send the majority of my weight loss clients to a psychologist as part of their long term treatment plan. Finding out how they ended up needing to lose weight in the first place is extremely important, or the roller coaster ride will continue.
  • GP’s can play an important role in referring their patients out to the appropriate support network (psychologists, highly qualified and experienced personal trainers or movement specialists, and nutritionists).
  • Nutritionists are the other key to successful long term weight loss – as personal trainers, many of us are not qualified to provide nutritional advice to high risk clients. We are able to provide general advice, but unless we have studied nutrition at a higher education level, what we find off the internet or “from our own experience” simply isn’t good enough.

That doesn’t mean your personal trainer, gym or exercise group doesn’t have an important role to play. We do! We just need to know what it is.

So from my end, here is what our role is as a PT:

  • Refer out to other professionals within our network where appropriate.
  • Provide outstanding movement coaching and training services appropriate to the physical needs of the client.
  • Support other service providers by encouraging the client to follow the nutritional plan, take medications where prescribed, and continue with follow up appointments in relation to mental health.
  • Ultimately we are the exercise cog in the wheel.

As a client here are some of the things you should be asking your PT for:

  • Safe exercise prescription under supervision plus a simple exercise plan that you can follow unsupervised between PT visits.
  • Referrals to other network providers.
  • Ongoing support through the highs and the lows.

Some people can certainly turn their health and well being around simply by exercising regularly and maintaining a healthy fresh food diet well balanced in proteins, complex carbohydrates, rich in vitamins and minerals. However, many can’t. Its about more than that and a great personal trainer will understand that. Next time you meet with your personal trainer, or if you are considering employing the services of one, consider it a great addition to your current health care plan. A good PT will pay for themselves a thousand times over when your health has improved and your risk of disease decreases. Being overweight or obese is a contributing factor to the majority of lifestyle (preventable) diseases. Top up your insurance premiums by using the services of a PT to their full capacity and you won’t be sorry you did.

 Here is my 3 month movement plan for anyone suffering from obesity that, in conjunction with other health professionals, would like to change that …

WEEKS 1-4 – I walk with my clients on a flat surface. Sometimes every single day. It might take hours, but as the days go by the distance stays the same and the time gets faster. The days that I am not with them I ask them to … walk!

WEEKS 5-8 – Continue walking 5-7 days a week plus add 2-3 30 minute bodyweight and primary movement pattern sessions. The aim is for the client not to experience major muscle soreness so they are able to continue exercising daily.

WEEKS 9-12 – Continue walking 5-7 days weekly, increase the supervised movement sessions to 45-60 minutes and introduce other training methods of slightly higher intensity.

In all this time we still haven’t lifted a weight (that comes soon), the client hasn’t experienced major muscle soreness and it is a pattern they are able to continue with long term for the rest of their life!


With his permission, I can share with you that using the above method, combined with a medically based nutritional plan and ongoing work on thought patterns, Brad [pictured above] managed to lose 22kg from September to December last year. He set the goal of losing enough weight to go skydiving for his 30th birthday – nailed it! It wasn’t complicated, but it wasn’t easy having to undo years and years of damage, negative thinking and the abuse of food. It doesn’t make me great, all I did was walk with him, talk with him, prescribe appropriate and safe exercise, and made sure he followed the nutritional plan in place that was right for him. I want to wish him all the very best for continued weight loss and a long and healthy future of daily exercise that he enjoys.

My theory when it comes to exercising for weight loss is, “begin with the end in mind”. If you can’t keep it up for a sustained period of time, it’s unlikely you will keep your weight at a healthy level for a sustained period of time either.

-Emma Pilcher- http://www.emmapilcher.com.au

emma pilcher

Chase your dreams, do what you have to do to make it a reality.

Is there a half marathon or even an ultra marathon on your bucket list – but, you can barely run a kilometre? Find inspiration in 41 year old Tanya’s incredible journey, from struggling through an initial 800 metre run to killing it on THE BIG RED RUN!

Fear of failure, and pain, is the best motivator to get me up, out of bed, and running. I wanted to know I could, I wanted to prove to myself that the old me didn’t exist anymore and I wanted to do something to make my family and especially my son proud.


Chase your dreams do what you have to do to make it a reality. Chase it, commit to it, and sacrifice for it. For the first time in my life that old saying ‘You can do anything you want’ rings true. And trust me, it is so worth it, the pride of my family, my pride in myself and the confidence it has given me more than outweigh the struggle to get there. I’m not the fastest, the strongest, or the fittest, when its all said and done I’m pretty ordinary but I’ve just done it, 6 days 250 ks in the desert, and I can honestly say it was fun!



#loveyourwork – No seriously … LOVE IT!

A very colourful brochure job for Suicide Risk Assessment Aust.
A very colourful brochure job for Suicide Risk Assessment Aust.

Outside of putting together an insanely cool issue of I AM magazine every quarter, I also dabble in a little graphic design work and content/freelance writing for other sites. I absolutely LOVE what I do! Every aspect of every job I receive, from the initial sourcing of ideas to the transformation of a customers vision into a finished graphic, file or story. When you work in the creative industry you are exercising, stretching and exploring some of the most beautiful parts of your brain. You are giving your imagination permission to step outside and show you exactly what it can do.

How many jobs or bosses allow you to do that?!!!

Love your work! Whatever it is you decide to fill your days with, do everything you can to love, at a minimum, 80% of your jobs requirement.

Otherwise, what’s the point?



sj freelance blogger graphic copy

John Coutis, the man with half a body, leads a very FULL life.

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The ‘Rolling Success’ John Coutis is a man on a motivational mission to prove that, “if he can…you can!”

How does a man born with a severe disability that left this country boys parents thinking they would have to bury their son in a shoebox become one of the world’s top motivators, sharing a stage with some of the most influential people, like the great Nelson Mandela…

One month before his 18th Birthday John made the courageous decision to have his legs surgically removed. From birth, John’s legs were rendered useless, they simply did not work. He could feel touch only when he saw his legs being touched, otherwise their was nothing. After that surgery John says so many things ran through his head, one of them being, “how much is my life worth?” He asks the thousands of people that pack the stands at his motivational talks, how much they believe their life is worth. Some look at him with a blank face really not knowing the answer. He says the answer is simple, “Your life is PRICELESS! You have to start spending it that way. DON’T WASTE YOUR LIFE. Write down your goals, because GOALS give you purpose and direction.” John states that one of his goals everyday is to have fun and enjoy himself.

John puts his success down to the taunts and bullying he experienced as a child. He learnt from a very young age that if he was going to get somewhere, anywhere in life, he would need to block out the voices telling him he wasn’t good enough. He quotes on his website rollingsuccess.com, “Blocking out the negatives has been a full time job for me. My focus has been on achieving and doing what most said I could not do.”

John classes himself as ‘a lucky one’ due to his disability being visible. He believes that everybody has a disability – everybody – for most people however, it is their heart, attitude and the way they treat others and themselves. One of life’s biggest battles, according to John, is loving who you are.

“I don’t want to be sitting in a nursing home at 80 years of age thinking would my life have been different if I had done what I wanted to do. The trick is to get up off your bum and get into life, because you get one chance to do your very best – one chance! How lucky are we today.”

“No matter how screwed up you think your life is it can always be straightened out.”

A final word from John; “Let me tell you that you are not ‘JUST’ anything. You, like me, are a human being, talented, special and an individual. You are not ‘JUST’ anyone you are someone.”

Watch the Inside Story special on John Coutis tonight on Channel 9.

For more information on John please visit his website at rollingsuccess.com.au and be inspired by the video links below.

Your Fitness Fashion – is it making you FAT???

activewear market

Can your workout wear have a psychological effect on how you perform at the gym, or in fact whether you even go at all?

According to a 2012 study, it most certainly can.

The study, coined ‘enclothed cognition’, was performed by two lads inspired by a Simpson’s episode – no that is not a typo. The researchers wanted to know whether the clothes you wore had an effect on your performance whilst undertaking certain activities.

The study revealed that yes you will perform a task more successfully if what you are wearing is providing you with the confidence to undertake the task.

In summary, if your workout wear gives you confidence, you are more likely to not only work harder at the gym, it has an impact on the motivation, you sometimes need, to go to the gym.

Think about the last time you bought a new pair of runners or workout tights. Were you looking forward to getting them into action or did you just want to put them on and sit on the couch?

And here’s a bonus, if you are seeking the positive psychological side effects of wearing activewear that makes you feel ‘ready to go’, you don’t have to spend a bomb! Kmart and Big W both stock a huge range of activewear that is not only a good fit, it will take you from inside the gym to outside without the feeling of looking out of place.

Hell, who doesn’t wear their gym gear all day long. The versatility that has been injected into this clothing item is the reason why the industry is up 6% on general apparel.

My gym pants are my party pants!!!

workout party

A little image share from my FIT friends over at Plus Fitness Taren Point!

I LOVE this statement!

I think there is a definite stigma when it comes to the perception of those who ‘work out’. Now, I am not referring to the folk who choose to exercise regularly – my reference is more towards those crazzzy fit folks with a focus on reaching their ultimate FIT potential, rating their daily workout as important as brushing their teeth or combing their hair.

While onlookers might consider the gals and dudes, pumping weights 5-6 days a week, turning down a Saturday night binge or Sunday afternoon cocktail as a side effect of their obsession with how they look – I am here to set the record straight.

A ‘healthy’ obsession with FITness is the by-product of how GOOD it makes you FEEL. Those who exercise at a high intensity regularly are feeling the benefits, and I say this with my hand on my heart and with absolute honesty, a FOCUSED workout, whether it’s cardio, strength training or pilates, has the ability to give a euphoric feeling like no other! And, when you start to experience ‘that feeling’ it’s extremely easy to dodge that Sunday morning hangover – besides, you can’t hit the gym early on a Sunday with a roaring headache can you? *wink*


Samantha Jane


sj freelance blogger graphic copy