Category Archives: Self Development

Fitness and Fashion

When I met Natasha Musson I knew instantly she must exercise regularly because she exudes health, energy and confidence (and looks great too) so it was no surprise to find out she runs in the mornings with her dog ‘Fizz” – what a fab name!

The reason she doesn’t come to our early morning Zest Bootcamp classes is purely because she lives in Somerset so not very convenient at 6.30am.

It seemed a great combination to mix fitness and fashion so we held a style event for some of the “zesties” after one of our members had had a great 1-1 session with Natasha.

The Sip, Style & Swap Style Event is a format Natasha devised 7 years ago when she started her business, with the aim of bringing fashion into the front room in a relaxed environment. To inspire, to teach and to show women on trend styles, new fashion tips through demonstration and open conversation. No selling, just talking creative concepts of how to produce new looks.

The evening kicked off with Natasha doing a presentation  once everyone was furnished with a  glass of fizz and  some of the common questions and dilemmas many women had were addressed such as, ‘What is smart casual?; ‘What trends can we wear that are age appropriate?’  ‘How do I wear modern clothing without feeling like mutton dressed as lamb’.

Natasha had connected with 3 shops in Bath to enhance her offering… Anthropologie, Hobbs and Instant Vintage. Displaying a series of looks on her mannequin, first up was ‘how to wear glamorous jackets with chinos and t-shirts’.

Next up was this seasons prints from Hobbs and then we discussed a tricky orange shirtdress with sleeve ties around the waist – yes for real!.

After a good hour of demos, inspired looks, everyone was in full fashion swing on the sofa, chatting, buzzing from fizz and fashion.

The final part of the evening was for the Swap and Style Advise. Natasha had asked everyone attending  to bring something for the swapping rail (one person junk is another’s treasure). They also had to bring a garment that they didn’t wear and needed Style Advise on.

Learning how to wear a bikers jacket over the age of 60 and look great

This was such an interesting part of the evening as everyone openly decided that the ‘one to ones’ be conducted in front of the whole group. The feeling was, they wanted to learn style advise from the feedback she gave to each individual so, one by one, all 15 individually stepped into the ‘circle of style’. We had huge fun encouraging each member how to wear the garments that had been siting in the back of their wardrobes.

From suede mini skirts, designer red coats, fringed cotton striped skirts, black biker jackets, old work dresses and new designer blouses. Garments that had arrived with a big question mark ‘will I ever wear this?’ finally got a big  ‘yes, great I’m wearing that next week’ .The room was a buzz with excitement and confidence – a bit like some sessions at Bootcamp (except everyone was looking a bit more glam 🙂

The swapping part of the evening was very relaxed, ladies having to get off the sofa after a few glasses of fizz to try on clothes that others had brought in. They all went home with a goodie bag, a smile on their face and lots of ideas to try at home as well as several of them with someone else’s “unwanted” items that turned into treasure 🙂 Infact I indirectly ended up with a lovely Desigual dress which I “swapped” for a Zest Bootcamp T shirt!

It was a fun and informative evening and if you have a group of people I highly recommend it as something different to do socially.  Thank you to our lovely host Laurie for not only offering her house but also the delicious nibbles which ended with very spectacular white chocolate mini cheesecakes -totally non-bootcamp friendly but SO good!

Natasha is offering £50 voucher off her styling services to bootcamp clients or anyone reading this blog if you mention my name.

Style parties can be organized at £25 per head with a minium of 10 attending

You find out more on Natasha’s website at www.natashamusson.co.uk

If you’d like to feel more confident in your clothes then why not join us for a trial week at our friendly, fresh-air fitness classes in Bath – click here for more information.

You can also find out more about what we do at Zest Bootcamp, including lots of videos so you can see what it’s really all about on our Facebook page here.

I won Product of the Year

zita-maximise-winner

I’m delighted to have won an award at Maximise 2016 annual conference and awards organised by Women’s Business Club.

The day was held in the beautiful Pittville Pump rooms in Cheltenham and was packed with all kinds of businesses who had stands, alongside a variety of speakers, a fashion show and then the award ceremony at the end.

I had a stand to share my cookbooks and the Total Body Shape up Plan as Zest Bootcamp classes and 1-1 personal training is location dependant and people came to the event from all over the country.

Stand at Maximise

One of the talks I went to was about Mindfulness, something I know I need to practice more of so spent a lovely 10 mins calming my thoughts and learning some great tips.

On a practical level I took a big bottle of water with me to have at the stand so I knew I could stay hydrated as well as some healthy snacks as wasn’t sure what kind of food would be on offer – planning is key to eat healthily. (hopefully you spotted the water in the photo)

montage-max1

The fashion show included some lovely hats and other designer accessories from Tricia Designs.

I caught up briefly with Sheryl Andrews who has just launched her book “Managing your Critic” as well as Carol of Pink and Green skincare products – infact I was having a nice cup of tea and chatting to Carol when I suddenly realised they were calling my name as I had won an award!

Total Body Shape Up Plan won best “Product of the Year” award and here I am with Angela De Souza, founder of Women’s Business Club , the Mayoress and singing coach Amy Box.

15288460_370396159973314_3138429223957290456_o

It was great to see all the winners of other awards and lovely for Jennifer Hall, aka The Life Buddy to win an award for speaker of the Year – Jen previously hosted the Bath Women’s Business Club which I now host once a month. If you are reading this and based in or near Bath why not come next Wednesday to our special #shoplocal Christmas market event where you can either just shop between 11-12 noon and then go or you can book the networking business lunch and get a free table beforehand so you can showcase your goodies and make some festive sales. The meeting is held at beautiful Bailbrook house and you can book here 

It seems wearing my pink dress was a hit again as I had endless compliments about it and I kept  telling people that it is because I had my colours done by House of Colour so I knew that the colour suited me and therefore had the confidence to wear such a bright dress. If I had time alongside the health & fitness I would train as an image consultant and help others discover what colours suit them best as I am really passionate about it but in the meantime I can point you in the direction of Gilly who is a local Bath/Bristol stylist who I’m sure would love to help you.

Back to feeling healthy, if any of you would like to get a plan in place for the start of 2017 and focus on eating healthier and putting your health back on track I’d love to share the shape up plan with you as it is a simple way to eat good food to nourish your body.

There are shopping lists of what to buy each week and what to eat each day/week plus recipes and I guarantee you will love the food.

I’m going to offer you a special price of £57 for this 8 week plan if you buy it before 10 December (after that it will be going back to the £77 full price).

Sorry the discounted link has now expired, however you can still purchase the 8 week plan by clicking here 

You can read more details about the Shape Up Plan by clicking here  but really all your need to know is that once you receive your manual you follow it, along with being supported in the private Facebook group, and the result is that you will look and feel fantastic just like a few of these people before you.

”My energy levels are SO much better”

“It has reduced sweet cravings associated with sugar lows”

“I am sleeping better despite menopausal night sweats”

”I’m going out on my bike for longer and can manage it due to better eating”

”I’ve lost inches and feel good – even though I’ve not followed the plan exactly as I am a vegetarian – happily recommend it”

montage-max2

 Invest in what matters most …. YOU


15230690_1369427923075684_1762838739709852587_n

Body Confidence

Ladies if you are struggling with how you feel about your body then I’d love to help you.  I share some of my health & wellbeing tips during this interview I did with sought after Dating coach Ane Auret who, just like me, is passionate about helping women to feel their best.

Body confidence

Click the link below to listen to the podcast and find out how you can easily do something about the way you feel.

Proven Strategies for Body Confidence Interview

Enjoy!

Zita x

ps You can also get a free copy of my cookbook if you click the interview link 🙂

 

We won the Bath Independent Awards

I don’t make a habit of bursting into tears but recently I just couldn’t help myself!

Many people don’t know that at the start of this year I had an emotional and financial setback at Zest Bootcamp that has taken a lot of energy and determination to get over.

So on Wednesday when I was waiting to find out whether we had won the Health & Fitness category of the first ever Bath Independent Business Awards I was a little nervous/excited/scared who knows.

All I can remember is that I kept refreshing the Twitter feed to see what the next category was to be announced.

After about 10 mins into the awards I looked down and saw….

the words Zest Bootcamp and I burst into tears (think I even started to hyperventilate a bit!)

Yes we won!!!

I didn’t realise how much it meant to me until I realised that we had won.

12033186_10156077861960384_5796018832412282190_n

All the hard work, the pain, the sleepless nights, the worry, the knockbacks and well everything that has gone into the last 6 years, especially the last 8 months has been worth it.

Infact what really matters is the people I help every day to feel happier and healthier but this was an important milestone to me to show that despite the bumpy road that life and business can bring, if you believe in yourself then you can and will achieve great things.

And….

I didn’t care one bit that I was in a busy pub crying my eyes out – I was happy!

I’m still smiling ….. what will you do that is uncomfortable but you know is the right thing to do?

“If it doesn’t challenge you – it won’t change you”

have a great weekend

Zita “crying with happiness” Alves

Ps I’m actually still overwhelmed with the emails, texts, messages and support I have had from everyone in the last 24 hours – thank you all. If you’d like to find out more about Zest Bootcamp click here 

Giving up sugar for Lent

I saw this Chinese Proverb this week which I love….

“The teacher opens the doors, but your must enter by yourself”

Screen Shot 2015-02-20 at 14.32.28

Can’t argue with that!

Much as sometimes my clients would love me to do their burpees and press ups, that wouldn’t actually get them the results they desire 🙂

Anyway, hope you enjoyed pancake day – maybe they were topped with nutella or golden syrup, and maybe now you have given up sugar for Lent.

Ofcourse I think giving up sugar is a great move towards better health, teeth and weight loss but I have a different challenge for you over the next 6 weeks.

Instead of giving something up why not add something good in every day.

Here are a few ideas to start you off:

1. An extra glass of water every day

2. Say hello (or at least smile) to someone in the street

3. Add in an extra portion of green vegetables to your dinner

4. Let a car out at a junction if you are driving

5. Phone a friend you’ve not spoken to for a while

6. Try a new healthy food you have never had before

7. Skin brush before you shower

8. Make your lunch to take to work instead of buying the same old thing

9. Meditate for 10 minutes

10. Go for a walk during your lunch hour to get some fresh air

The possibilities are endless!

Which is really exciting – are you in?

Zita “glass half full” Alves

ps If you want the Zest Bootcamp “teachers” to open the door so you can go through it (and get the energy, fitness, health and weight loss results your desire) then I recommend joining our next trial week which starts soon – Click here to grab your place ready for 2nd March

Comfort zone

So last weekend was my birthday and all the fun I had has crept up on me 🙁

birthday cake

We went out for a lovely dinner on the Saturday (and plenty of wine) and I had fish starter and main course so on Sunday I really fancied some meat.

There is a place called Grillstock that I had yet to visit so I had my mind set on going there for lunch. We walked around the harbour in Bristol for over an hour to work up our appetite ……we climbed a hill and finally found the restaurant (which is pretty small in Bristol)

We walked in (and raised the average age by at least 15 years!) and I checked that Mr Z was happy to sit at the communal bench type table (that’s all there is there) and he wasn’t very keen and I realised he wanted to walk straight back out 🙁

BUT I had been really looking forward to it so I stuck to my guns and we sat down.

To cut a long story short he actually loved it and wants to go the Bath one soon!

So why am I telling you this?

Well the moral of this story is that getting out of our COMFORT ZONE is not something we really like to do but it can open exciting opportunities and adventures that we hadn’t expected.

Last week I also did my ever live webinar which REALLY got me out of my comfort zone but I’m glad I did it as I learnt from some of my mistakes and next time it will be easier.

Another example is when people, who don’t think they will like bootcamp, bite the bullet and sign up for a trial week and then several months or years later are still with us.

I recently had a lovely testimonial from one of our very long term members who came for a month and 50 months later is still doing it!

Anyway having almost eaten a days calories in one meal of ribs, chips and coleslaw washed down with a cider, I’ve got back to my regular exercise and better eating the last few days so that this coming Monday I won’t feel bloated, uncomfortable and lethargic like I did last Monday.

What could you do to get out of your comfort zone?

Life is no dress rehearsal so make the most of it…..

10858555_10155181969370384_4621715984249897701_n

If you are in Bath and would like to (maybe) get out of your comfort zone a little, it could be time to have a go at some outdoor fitness with supportive, like minded people at Zest Bootcamp.

 

Small Business Saturday

Did you know today is Small Business Saturday –  to inspire, support and promote small businesses in UK on 6th December.

It reminded me that looking after your health and fitness is a bit like running a small business.

Weekend Magazine Feature

{ This was an article in Bath Chronicle Weekend Magazine a few months ago.}

IMAGINE if when we started Zest Bootcamp almost 6 years ago, we just did an initial advert and then no promotion at all in the time after that – not sure many people would know about us.

Same as if you did a month of exercise and healthy eating, got great results and then didn’t carry on those habits – you wouldn’t still have the results you achieved at the start.

IMAGINE if we did exactly the same workouts every month for 6 years at bootcamp – people would get bored.

Same as if you do the same workout every time you go into the gym, or you just go running on the same route every week for same length of time – your body gets bored. You have to challenge your body and mix it up to get results as well as avoid overuse injuries.

IMAGINE if I never did anymore courses, study or self development in the time since starting Zest Bootcamp – I would become stale. In this time I have worked with several coaches on my technical knowledge and skills as well as learning about relevant business aspects to constantly grow and evolve.

Same as if you just rely on what you read in magazines and on TV to get a better body – you may be wasting your time. By hiring a professional to work with you, it’s likely you will not only achieve better results but you will probably get there quicker.

**** You wouldn’t try and fix your car engine if it broke down so why should you expect to know how to fix your body.*****

Having worked crazy hours, under immense pressure for someone else before I changed careers and not looking after my body therefore being overweight, bloated, lethargic and unhealthy, I am super passionate about helping more people run their own “body” businesses better.

So if next year you don’t want to try and run “your own business” alone join us at Zest Bootcamp for a trial week or even our online programme for women called Healthy Mammas.

Running your own business is hard but it does bring benefits. EXACTLY like looking after your own body

Very uncomfortable

So X Factor is back on TV and whilst I don’t mind it, I’m much more of a fan of The Voice which could be the reason I had a singing lesson this week …..

Screen Shot 2014-09-12 at 11.39.01

Yes that’s right – at the age of 43 I had my first ever singing lesson!

It was a taster session to see if I liked it and more importantly the teacher.

I was TOTALLY out of my comfort zone but I just thought what have I got to lose. I didn’t even know anything about vocal chords and realise how the force of the air going through them creates a sound, therefore how vital the breathing and using your lungs and diaphragm properly really is.

Infact, as an asthmatic I am not great at breathing deeply into my lungs as well as I should, tending to do more chest breathing (as do most people anyway, especially when we are stressed).

That’s one of the reasons I thought I’d try out some singing lessons to encourage better breathing, plus my husband subtly emailed me a link to a singing teacher a few weeks ago – nuff said!!

So I have done the taster and booked up some lessons but what is going to make a big difference is doing the homework in between, which at the moment is just doing some basic scales.

I realised how similar this was to my work.

Many people don’t ever start a fitness regime either at the gym, at bootcamp, classes or with a trainer for fear of being out of their comfort zone.

****BREAKING NEWS – if you actually want to make progress and get results then you have to get out of your comfort  zone.****

Infact when I changed careers 16 years ago and retrained to become a personal trainer I was WAY out of my comfort zone. As a previous non-exerciser I sat there at the lecture on day 1, surrounded by a lot of super fit people, not even knowing what the quadriceps muscle was (ps its your thigh but I expect you knew that anyway).

So step 1 is to get out of your comfort zone – that’s why we have taster week at bootcamp.

Step 2 is to do your homework – this is why my 1-1 Personal Training clients have home workouts to do between our session, or boot campers have videos for extra stretches, foam rolling and core work to do between sessions.

Step 3 – Keep going – giving up is a waste of steps 1 & 2 and will get you nowhere.

Right, I’m off to practice my scales whilst driving to my next client!

Have a great weekend

Zita “Watch out Tom Jones” Alves

ps If you are in Bath our next trial week at bootcamp starts on 29th September so you have time to SIGN UP HERE

pps If you a mum who wants to have more energy and eat healthier then grab our collection of breakfast recipes here for f.ree  HERE

 

Happiness

My last few posts seem to have all been about food – mostly chocolate 🙂 so now it’s time for a change.

Gratitude …

When was the last time you felt grateful for something or someone?

Hopefully not too long ago – maybe even today already.

I finally started a gratitude jar to make a note of little things I am grateful for each day. Many people keep a gratitude journal and log some positive events that happened during the day before they go to bed. Another way to do it is each morning to state 2 or 3 things that your are grateful for. This can help set up your brain ready for a positive day. You may have seen on Twitter and Facebook the “100 happy days” challenge where people have been posting pictures of things that make them happy.

gratitude jar

Some days it can be hard to find the positivity we all love and benefit from, infact some weeks, months and even years can seem to bring nothing but “challenges” or you might call them problems.

It’s unlikely any of you reading this have not experienced illnesses, deaths, marriage break ups etc of close friends and family, even work colleagues but even during these low points you can still take a moment to notice all the nice things around us.

I’m currently working with someone who has terminal cancer, a brain tumour and the way it manifests physically is similar to symptoms of a stroke survivor (but a bit worse in terms of his speech). I was really saddened to hear how he was treated recently at an upmarket hotel – the staff thought he was drunk and refused him to go into the bar. Imagine how upsetting that was for his family who were with him. We need to be more accepting if people don’t fit the norm, they may be a reason they walk and talk funny.

It’s ok if you think the fact that putting on a few pounds is the end of the world but in reality it probably isn’t, so how about thinking of all the lovely things that make you smile or feel warm inside – they are out there we just need to see them.

It might be the:

Colourful spring flowers

The sea

The pretty pattern on top of a flat white at a coffee shop

The smell of fresh bread baking

The smile from a stranger

A hug from a friend

A car letting you out at a busy junction

Hearing a busker playing some beautiful music

Coming home to someone special after a tough day

An unexpected card saying thank you for something

A beautiful sunrise

The list really is endless…..

The gratitude log, journal or jar can help us take our thoughts to more uplifting experiences.

Did you know the brain is programmed to remember negative things easier than positive ones – this is what helps us realise that when we step out into the road and almost get hit by a car that next time we should look both ways first. It is our self preservation toolkit…. but doesn’t help our mood somedays when all we seem to do is negative brain chatter.

So my challenge to you over the nest few weeks is a daily gratitude log or jar – whatever works for you.

I’m grateful that the Blood Service can accept my blood ( as many people are unable to donate who want to) so a few times a year I give about 45 minutes of my time (the actual donation takes about 10 mins) to donate blood. In fact this week was my 23rd pint! Why not give it a go as you can book an appointment plus there is free tea and biscuits so what’s not to like! You can find out more or book up at a local venue here

ps I am VERY grateful for the fact my body works and allows me to get out and exercise – what is your excuse for not exercising?

168 hours

If you want to sign up for a trial at our bootcamp classes in Bath click here  

Follow the rainbow

Happy New Yeer – better late than never!

I decided not to talk about New Year resolutions as for many people it’s all about taking things out of their lives, such as smoking, sweets, chocolate etc.

Why not think about what we can ADD into our lives in 2014 – (more patience and kindness wouldn’t go amiss from what I see on the streets and roads most days)

Try increasing the amount of:

1. Sleep

2. Water

3. Raw fruits and vegetables

4. Fresh air

5. Movement

Add a little of these everyday and see how much better you feel, maybe on week 1 you focus on getting to bed earlier, once you’ve nailed that add in the water etc. The key is to stick to it for the whole 3-4 weeks for it to become a healthy habit – don’t dip in and out otherwise it won’t be as effective long term.

colours of foods

Nature is pretty clever, crazy how we ignore it and end up eating packaged “dead” , beige food most of the time!

Yesterday I shared this quote on Facebook which seemed to baffle a few people:

“mosquitoes seek the stagnant water, but do not cause the pool to become stagnant” eat properly, hydrate, move, sleep, go outdoors, relax

What is means is that we need to to care of the “pool” our bodies and then the “mosquitos” the bugs, viruses etc will not take hold as we will not be an attractive “host”, instead our immunity will be strong and the invaders will not be able to take hold.

Eating the colourful foods above is a great start.

This week I’ve had some great feedback from women I’ve met which I wanted to share with you.

One busy working mum of 2 was moving house before Christmas (can you imagine the stress of that!) and she started taking Lean Greens to keep up her energy and immunity and it worked much more than she expected.  T

The other lady did my 7 day detox after the New year, lost 8lbs and said she found it easy.

Both of these show how important it is to put the right fuel into our engines, just like our beloved cars.

So if you feel like you need a focus to get back on track with the healthy eating and exercise but don’t know where to start then the online 21 day shape up plan would be perfect for you. In the past people have lost significant amount of weight, inches and felt amazing after doing the programme that you can do anywhere in the world as you don’t need to come to our classes. All the workouts, nutrition, mindset information is laid out plus you get a support group that are going through the programme together. We start on Jan 20th so check out this page to find out more –Click here

Have a great weekend

Zita

ps If not today, when? >>>21 day shape up please<<<