We are so lucky to have to opportunity to interview health Coach and Personal Trainer Tess Cejka . Tess has worked in the health and wellness industry for over 12 years and is passionate about helping clients live healthier, happier and sustainable lifestyles.
As a mum herself and a business owner she can relate to everyday struggles of juggling family and work. Our 20 Questions, will give you a little insight on how we can all make changes for a healthier lifestyle.
1. How many hours a week do you exercise, and what type of exercise?
I like to train 3-4 times a week, in an ideal world!
Each session going for no longer than 45 mins – 1 hour. I always train some type of strength program, every week it's focused around squats, deadlifts, pull ups, bench press and accessory work in between.
2. What did you have for breakfast?
Today… cheese and avocado (and butter) on toast! It was quick, easy and on the go as I had my PT session at BAB HQ this morning! So delicious… don’t forget the salt and pepper!
3. Do you eat three meals a day of many smaller meals?
I don’t have a set routine, sometimes it’s 4 large meals with snacks or sometimes it’s two main meals with shakes/snakes throughout. As long as I hit my daily caloric intake for my goals, it doesn’t matter how it’s ‘portioned’ out.
4. What food is your weakness?
Cadbury chocolate and brownies…. Literally have either or every single day!
5. How do you juggle family and work?
To be honest... I haven’t quite mastered this. I place a lot of pressure on myself for things to be ‘just right’ and I need to be everywhere, doing it all - or else I feel guilty.
Thankfully I have a very hard-working husband and team alongside me, who work around the clock to make BAB the way it is today.
However, my number one tip; don’t live in an unnecessary mess! Always pack up, put away and tidy the house. Don’t wake up or come home to a mess or have sh*t everywhere … your environment plays a HUGE part to your mood and wellbeing, make it clear, clean and clutter-free.
6. How long have you been in business and why did you start?
I have been in the fitness industry as a Coach for over 12 years now. We’ve owned our business, Build A Body, for over 5.5 years - Feb 1st will be our 6th Birthday!
We started Build A Body because we absolutely love educating and coaching people how to live healthier, happier and sustainable lifestyles. I could NEVER see myself behind a desk working for somebody – it simply never interested me, so I never even pursued it. I studied Nutrition straight after school, and then went on to get my Fitness qualification. As soon as I was qualified, I worked in a commercial gym for 5 years, whilst still studying, it was a great place to gain experience, further my knowledge and work ‘hands on’ with people. I always knew it was my ‘starting block’ as I had dreamt of opening my own studio implementing our own tailored, system, along with a shake bar! Together with my boyfriend at the time (now my husband) we took our vision and made it reality. With MANY ups and downs, so many tears, laughs, arguments, learning curves, we’re still here, bettering more lives than ever! There are certainly days I just want the 9-5 job, or wish Pete had those hours too, however it’s so much more than a just a job or a gym. We have built an amazing community, achieved incredible results and have our own little fitness hub that will hopefully be handed down to our family one day – that’s why we do, what we do!
7. What are the top three questions mums ask you about health and fitness
- Will lifting weights make me bulky/look too masculine? NO! It makes you STRONG.
- Can I really eat over 1200 calories per day to lose weight? YES, most likely!
- Will I ever have my BODY BACK post kids? You’ll have an even better body back if you embrace your self-worth, inner strength, ‘can do’ mindset and remain consistent to our process.
8. What are great snack options for on the go mums
Personal favourites are;
- Rice paper rolls
- Whey and peanut butter pudding
- Smart protein bars
- Peckish rice crackers and avocado dip
- Rice cakes + cheese + tomato
- Toasties with cheese and chicken
- Chobani Protein Yoghurt
- Cadbury chocolate
9. How can mums stay on top of eating healthy while juggling family life?
Keep it enjoyable! Take guilt away from food and understand the art of balance.
As soon as you get educated on the breakdown of your food, what you’re able to consume and how much of it, it’s so simple. I barely think about my meals, I eat everything, never miss out, I simply keep track of everything I eat and enjoy it. When I need to get stricter for a particular goal or event, I simply pre-organise or pre-pack the night before, to help me stick within my calorie targets for the ‘dieting’ period.
10. What vitamins do you take each day and why ?
Magnesium citrate, zinc piccolate, iodine and off and on a probiotic.
Overall, I take magnesium for optimal recovery and quality of sleep. Iodine to help regulate my thyroid and energy levels. Zinc for immunity, skin health and aiding in hormonal balance. Probiotic off and on, if I've eaten something that hasn't agreed with me, or if I feel a cold coming on!
11. How many hours a night do you sleep?
If Zarah is sleeping through, I can get 8 hours!
However, that can vary and sometimes have 3-4 hour blocks.
12. How do you relax?
Baths with essential oils.
13.How do you make time for your partner?
Eeeekk. There hasn’t been a particular routine or ‘date night’ set ever since having Zarah, then moving business locations. It’s honestly been crazy – busy. Pete leaves the house every morning at 4 or 4:15am, gets home at 8:30-9pm and I work the nights Pete doesn’t work and Saturdays. I don’t recommend it – for any relationship… however I guess we have to keep faith in things will get easier once debt is payed off and we can take a small step back in the crazy hours we work. Sometimes we do Friday night dinner, the three of us of course, and we like to make Sundays jam-packed with ‘family activity’ but honestly… between life events, renovating a gym, putting together Ikea flat packs, clients needs, making time for family/friends – it can be tough to get any time with just the two of us.
It will also be nice once Zarah is a little older and sleeps through the night, so we can possibly arrange a dinner out/night away!
14. What is Zara’s favourite drink and food?
Is this a trick question? Literally EVERYTHING and ANYTHING!
I thought all babies must eat everything all day long, like she does, but apparently this isn’t the case for most! There isn’t a food that Zarah hasn’t eaten yet or turned her nose up to.
She claps her hands over scrambled egg, mandarins, and coconut water!
If she’s being ‘tanty’ like, she demands food by hitting her highchair tray, because I’m not preparing or feeding her 4-course dinner fast enough.
15. How much has life changed since having a baby ?
As much as I’d like to say Zarah has fit in well with OUR life, there are certainly weeks where I question how long its been since I’ve washed my hair, or again, ask myself when was the last time me and Pete ate a meal together!
16. For women trying to lose weight , what is a nice goal each week to lose weight and keep it off .
This depends on a few personal factors/variables of the client. However any ‘loss’ is GREAT and we shouldn’t be putting such a huge emphasis on the scales, as sometimes the positives or progress for that week were things like; better sleep, heavier lifts/PBs in the gym, better moods, hitting required calorie intake for 7 days in a row, achieving 10k steps every day.
Keeping weight off is simple, stick to a calorie deficit and choose a type of movement or exercise you enjoy doing daily.
17. Are carbohydrates the devil?
No! Anything can be the ‘devil’ if over consumed or eaten excessively. We need to stop blaming macros for our weight issues and start taking ownership of our behaviour or what you’re CHOOSING to prioritise.
18. As a mum of three, I speak on behalf of many mums, what exercise should I do to help with pelvic floor?
Pelvic floor exercises can certainly be missed, especially in every day-busy-mum life. However, if you fail to program pelvic floor exercises it can lead to incontinence/bladder weakness and embarrassment - especially post baby. First and foremost, I recommend seeing a pelvic floor physio, even prior to pregnancy, during, after and even months-years after, if you feel there are any ongoing issues, as it’s not normal to have any uncontrolled leakage of urine. Personally, I like my clients focusing on proper form, understanding their breathing and pelvic floor ‘contracting’ during strength training, prior to even falling pregnant.
If we build a solid foundation with the client first, chances are they understand how to actually ‘switch on’ pelvic floor and perform exercises with proper form. Moving on, take 10 mins at the end of every session to focus on repeatedly ‘contractions’ and relaxing the muscles that form part of the pelvic floor. Time your ‘holds’, relax and repeat. Improve this daily or weekly, the goal is to just make time for it and work on progress/improvement.
19.What is the importance of gut health and what can we do to improve it .
I believe we can tend to over complicate ‘gut health’ and many years ago, I was guilty of this. I took so many potions, pills and avoided many things, which I found actually made me worse! I’m a believer that our food is our greatest medicine, we really need to be putting more emphasis on micronutrients, consuming REAL greens, hitting daily fibre targets, consuming a good variety of carbohydrates, proteins and fats. Studying something no-one can really teach you – YOUR OWN BODY LANGUAGE. If you feel sensitive, lethargic, bloated or uncomfortable in the stomach after eating a particular food, then avoid it, it’s that simple… maybe pop a decent prebiotic or probiotic, and drink plenty of water.
My rule is 80% of our diet should come from wholesome/whole food sources (like Cadbury chocolate… 😉) and there should always be room in the diet for ‘living’ (like brownies) – keep the 80/20 rule consistent, hit your fibre targets as strictly as your protein targets, drink plenty of fluid and you’ll have yourself a good gut!
20. As mums we struggle to find time for ourselves, especially when our kids are little. What are some exercises you recommend mums can do at home to get started on their fitness?
Struggling to find time to train, especially after having kids is certainly real, priorities seem to shift and your motherly instinct can be quite powerful, sometimes too powerful - putting ourselves last and therefore not MAKING the time for our own health and happiness.
My biggest recommendation is;
priorities; if you love the feeling an exercise routine gives you, you will make the time for it... everyone's busy, its what you prioritise.
Simply 'SHOW UP' we have busy mums, working mums, busy people in general, that I'm sure have a 956 things to do on their 'to-do' list however, as soon as they conquer showing up, they are mentally and physically better off. Start by - just putting your runners on and even showing up outside your front door, ready for a morning walk - daily steps can play a huge positive impact to ones health.
We encourage all mums to come along into the gym, especially if your kiddies are at a self-contained age, or wee little ones that like 'down time/snooze time' in their prams... however, there's nothing like some 'you time' either, drop them off to a loved one for 45 minutes, that's all you need!
You can find Tess at @buildab0dy and @tessabond
Build A Body
7/242 New Line Rd,
Dural NSW 2158
(02) 9651 6230
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