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Why this ‘breastercising’ picture has caused such a fuss

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Breastfeeding while exercising – is it possible and even necessary?

This photo of a mum 'breastercising' has caused quite a stir on Facebook.

The picture shows mum-of-6 Sharny Kieser doing lunges while breastfeeding her 2-week-old son Magnus.


“I caught Sharny multitasking today. In public. #‎breastercising,” her husband Julius, an Australian personal trainer, wrote sharing the picture on Facebook.

But the fitness-loving couple couldn't have predicted the reaction to the post would be so divided.

"You are one super mum - go on you," one supporter commented.

"I guess when you are a busy mum you have to make every minute count. I have done a lot of crazy things whilst breastfeeding like gone to the toilet, cooking and grocery shopping," another who could see the benefits of multitasking added.

But others accused Sharny's breastercising of not being necessary at all.

"Really! Breastfeeding while exercising? I breastfed my 3 children and felt that they deserved all my time and energy whether it be in public or private.

"Don't have an issue with breastfeeding at all, I think it's wonderful, but for the little time you have them as tiny tots could you cut the multitasking crap for 10 mins and enjoy the one on one time with your child?

"We are/were all busy mums but I think our children deserve us to be completely in the moment with them," one mum commented.

"I honestly don't understand why it's necessary to exercise whilst breastfeeding? Is it even comfortable? Can you concentrate on doing the exercise properly?" another questioned the practice.

But fitness fanatic Sharny didn't take the comments to heart and responded to the negativity by posting another picture.

"Sometimes when I'm #breastercising, I live dangerously and do a really deep squat like this," she commented.

The 35-year-old, who's also a fitness trainer, decided to get fitter than ever after her 4th child. And after losing 52lb she hasn't looked back.

Explaining the controversial breastercising pictures, she said: "A lot of people think it’s gross or strange or that I should be bonding with Magnus, but I feed 6 times a day, I’m not exercising every time and when I do I’m also watching the kids ride around on their scooters and play outside."

"It’s not like I’m running or leg pressing or doing weights, I’m doing squats and lunges as they are the easiest things to do while feeding," she told Daily Mail Australia. "Then at night we sit quietly and feed.

FitDad Article in MMH Magazine

I'm in a men's magazine!  Check it out:

MMH Article FitDad Julius Kieser

I shaved my head and grew a beard. I wore black T-shirts and bigger hoodies. Then I took my first progress photo (I didn't want to). I looked at it for ages, all the while battling with the excuses and denial running through my head. "I'm busy with work" "I'll start next week," "nobody really notices," "it's not THAT bad..."

But it was bad, I was taking your run-of-the-mill, everyday dad issues and eating them. Along with a lot of other calories. I'd eat until I was sufficiently stretched to be satisfied, then be too tired (and full) to exercise. So I'd eat some more. Then I'd decide that I would start tomorrow.

In order to start tomorrow I would have to eat everything that I would miss, just in case I would "feel like it" tomorrow. “Get it out of the system" I'd tell myself. But I couldn't. Because the system is always hungry. Always telling me "one more, and you'll quit junk forever."

One day I put the kids in the car and they screamed the whole way home for an icecream. Or pizza, or bikkies. Because I didn't spend as much time with them as mum did, I had been buying them off with food. Then using them as the excuse for me to eat the pizza, the bikkies or the icecream.

They had become like me. Eating to satisfy an emotional need. I wasn't depressed; just stressed. No time, no energy. Always angry. Always on edge. Food took the edge off… But only temporarily.

Then I took the photo. Looking at it, I realised that I needed to be a better father. I was acting and dressing tough to cover my insecurities. Me, the big patriarch was at the complete mercy of food. I would take a bullet for any of my kids, no question. But I couldn’t put down a chocolate bar for them.

I had become food's bitch. But I denied it vehemently. "I am a man,” I’d argue with myself. “I can't be an emotional eater! Men don't do that! If anything I eat more junk when I'm happy."

But happy is an emotion too. I was stressed, but like every guy, I gloss it with a sheen of playfulness. And my 'fun' side was to eat. A LOT!

Fitdad article in MMH Julius Kieser page 99

Then I said to myself, "It's just not fair to burden my children with my food issues. I created mine through laziness. I can't create theirs through MY laziness. At least give them a chance..."

So I started fresh. I did things differently. I prepared meals. I ate proactively, not reactively. I ate simple food with my kids and spoke about what good it does. I cut down on the bullshit and "flavour," I found simple was easy and easy food beats complex food and variety every time.

I cut out all my "trigger food" and learned everything I could about the mathematics and science of fat loss. I didn't trust 'concepts' or fads. Paleo, vegan, juicing were all concepts I’d tried and failed at. The concepts were too broad; they didn’t account for my appetite.

I needed to know that what I was doing would produce an exact result. I learned to calculate my fat loss in advance so that I would not be living in hope, I'd be living practically, mathematically and logically. I calculated calories and macros and ate the same food every day. I didn’t trust waiting for another Monday. If I messed up, I was back on the wagon the very next day.

I then set about repairing my relationship with my kids. The only times they had seen me happy was when I was in a food coma. I had selfishly linked joy to food for them. I had to show them another way. All children learn more from what their father does than what he says. So I began doing things that made me happy.

It started off simple. Taking them for walks and teaching them things. Growing up, I used to love teaching younger kids. I would spend hours teaching my cousins to tie their laces or to throw a ball. I started doing this with my kids and they flourished. Most dads do this. I knew to do this and I wanted to do this, but in the pursuit of financial security I had forgotten about it.

Not any more.

Fitdad article in MMH Julius Kieser page 100

I started working out in front of my kids. Simple things, like pushups, burpees, squats, sit-ups and lunges. Anything that gave me the endorphin rush. I didn’t have much time, so I just went as fast as I could. I was unfit and fat, so most days I’d only work out for 2-10 minutes before I was on the floor, completely exhausted with a smile from ear to ear as my kids giggled and jumped all over me.

Pretty soon, they wanted to join in, so I started throwing them in the air and swinging them. They climbed on my back while I did pushups and I carried them while I did lunges. I got stronger. I got fitter. And with my pre calculated nutrition, my body changed fast.

It didn’t stop there.

What I thought would take years to repair had only taken a few weeks. I hadn’t heard the kids scream or cry for junk food since I started exercising with them. They did, however begin screaming and crying if I stopped exercising before they were finished having their fun. I didn’t mind. Through their persistence, they pushed me further physically than I had ever done myself. I only stopped working out when I was completely, absolutely exhausted.

Kids are the most amazing personal trainers. They refuse to believe your excuses, they throw tantrums and even try to lift you off the ground by your hair if they think you’re not done.

My kids have saved my life, they’ve showed me what’s important and it is my hope that every dad gets to link joy with exercise for their kids. Be that for their kids. So one day, they grow up and credit you as the reason they find it so easy to be healthy in this messed up world of greed and gluttony.

Since transforming his own life, Julius has launched a global program for dads who want to get fit too.  For more information, visit

MMH cover with Fitdad article

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Healthy Junk Christmas Presents

Save yourself the hassle this christmas with a Done For You christmas present from Sharny and Julius.

Simply buy a set of Healthy Junk hard copies, and we will wrap and ship them anywhere in Australia for only $60.  You get free shipping and free gift wrapping.

We'll do it all for you!​

both cookbooks  gift wrapped, then bubble wrapped and delivered anywhere in Aus!

Both Healthy Junk Cookbooks, gift wrapped (FREE), then bubble wrapped (FREE) and shipped anywhere in Australia (FREE!​)

Carb Cycling Calculator

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Healthy Food Pyramid Is Making You Fat

The Food Guide Pyramid has come under some harsh criticism in recent years by many scientists, nutritionists and medical researchers. They say it is outdated, gives misinformation, and at worst, can lead to obesity and health problems. How can this be? What is so wrong with this once highly-acclaimed food pyramid?

According to Harvard scientist Dr. Walter Willett, the food pyramid is not up-to-date with current nutritional research. He states the food pyramid is misleading us and adding to the growing obesity epidemic.

Dr Willett’s first observation was that the food pyramid suggests how to plan a healthy diet, but does not mention four other key parts of maintaining a healthy body:

  • the importance of not gaining weight,
  • the necessity of daily exercise,
  • the potential health benefits of a daily alcoholic drink, and
  • what you can gain by taking a daily multivitamin.

All Fats are Bad

Only certain fats are bad for you (trans and saturated fats), while others (monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats) provide many benefits to your heart. Some of these good fats are found in nuts, fish, olive oil and wholegrains.

You need to eat a lot of bread, pasta, rice and cereal


The food pyramid recommends six to eleven servings of carbohydrates per day, which is way too much! The pyramid does not differentiate between simple carbohydrates (sugars) and complex carbohydrates (starches). Dr. Willett’s research says that the majority of a person’s carbohydrate intake should come from whole grains (complex carbs), which will make you feel fuller for longer – due to their high fibre content.

Stay away from refined grains, white rice, bread, pasta and potatoes. Instead choose brown rice, whole wheat pasta and oats.

Protein is not that important, and can come from any meat

Protein is a key component of a healthy diet, as it is the building block for muscle. It’s just that some proteins are better for you than others. For example red meats (steak) may have a good amount of protein, but they are also high in cholesterol and saturated fat, which is bad for your heart!</span>

Choose fish, chicken, turkey and pork, as they are lower in saturated fat and have just as much protein. Beans and nuts are great sources of protein as well.

Dairy products are essential

Dr. Willett says that despite the TV and newspaper commercials advertising the need for dairy products to reduce the risk of osteoporosis, you can get your calcium from other sources without the calories. Spinach, broccoli, tofu and oranges have calcium. As stated before, you may be best to take a multivitamin to get all the nutrients and vitamins that you need as the most cost effective strategy.

Eat your potatoes

Potatoes are starches, not vegetables.

A baked potato increases blood sugar levels and insulin faster and to higher levels than an equal amount of calories from pure table sugar

So kids, print out the following food pyramid, take it to school and teach your teacher something!

Eat well, be strong and live long.

Fat Baby – Your Fault

If you have a fat kid, it is your fault. Research has shown that you can start the damage while the child is still in the womb!

Before I explain why, understand this:

you cannot lose fat cells, you can only empty them of fat. Think of fat cells as tiny balloons that fill with fat. So a fat cell is a fat holding cell. Some people have fat cells that are empty, others have fat cells that are full. Very full.

Your fat cells are distributed over your body primarily depending on your gender. That is why a woman stores fat in her butt and thighs, while men store fat in their belly and lower back.

Traditionally, women need enough food (stored as hip fat) to last full term in a pregnancy. Men need enough food (stored as belly fat) to run all day chasing buffalo.

The number of fat cells in the human body are determined in 3 stages of life. The third trimester of pregnancy, the first year of birth, and adolescence. Imagine each of these phases of life as audit time in the body. “Have I got enough fat cells?” being the important question here.

This means that in each of these stages, if your baby is malnourished i.e. you skip meals (naughty, naughty!) or if it (or you) is overfed in each meal, the baby’s body will respond by creating more storage space.

Worst is if you miss meals AND eat big meals!

Solution 1:

Eat regular sized meals, and space them evenly throughout the day.  Do not allow yourself to get hungry, and do not let yourself eat to being too full.  Drinking more water is your friend.  Did you know that quite often, when you feel hungry, you are actually thirsty. Drink a big glass of water and see if the hunger goes away.

Solution 2:

Just because you (or your children) have a lot of storage space (fat cells), doesn’t mean that they need to be filled.  All you need is enough fat to keep you alive for one or two missed meals (in an emergency!). About the size of a small pack of sandwiches is enough to keep you alive for a week of chasing buffalo, so ask yourself: “why are you storing a whole buffet?”

Why You Should Hate The Health Department

A Guest Post...

This post was written by a healthcare boss who is on a one doctor crusade to revolutionise obesity treatment in the world.  Frustrated with too much red tape, she has decided to air the health systems dirty laundry here, in the hopes that we can collectively change the world.

This is her first post...​

So here we go. Another meeting.

We've decided to get out of the office and meet at a coffee shop to make this feel less like work, relax a little and connect as people.

I wanted to suggest we could go for a walk (and talk about the items we need to cover at the meeting) but I know better. Anything that requires physical effort gets shot down in flames, then kicked in the guts and poked in the eye for good measure.

i survived another meeting email

I even thought of a clever word: "lets go on a moving meeting!"...

I have a lot of ideas like this stacked in the corner of my brain because I've tried before; huge fails. Imagine if I thought waaaaay out of the square and held the meetings at an indoor rock climbing place or had a meeting/laser tag game. People's heads would explode. But I digress...

The coffee shop.

From the moment we entered the shop the talk turned from work to the cake display.

While we waited at our table for the coffee, my coworker (a clinical psychologist who treats obesity, yet is herself obese) announced excitedly that she had started a diet that day.  Admitting sheepishly that she has packed on the weight and it was time for change.

Her excitement for her new path towards a lifestyle of healthy choices lasted all of thirty seconds. In the same breath she exclaimed "I'm on a diet" she also said "What a stupid day to start!" and gestured at the cakes.


Surely those weren't cracks emerging in her willpower already....?

She asked everyone what they do to keep fit, stay healthy and lose some weight. We covered a range of activities (gym, swimming, walking, cycling). She managed to come up with an excuse why none of them would suit her (too hot, too cold, too wet, too much traffic, too boring, too indoors, too outdoors, too time consuming).

This whole situation painfully paralleled a session I would have with an unmotivated patient, the type of patient she too would work with! Surely she could hear the words come out of her mouth and think; hmm...this seems awfully familiar.

How on earth does someone with such low motivation motivate someone else? It this the absolute best example of the blind leading the blind?

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While we were all listening to her proclamation, the coffees arrived.

Neatly placed on everyone's saucer was a little butter cookie. My tip (from my decade of study and another climbing the grease laden rungs of government healthcare), is to put the cookie under a napkin, where you can't see it.  It's a habit of mine created years ago, and reinforced by thousands of meetings.

fat doctors

Lubricated by caffeine, the conversation flowed, work was getting done, problems were being solved. 

Less than 5 minutes later, mid sentence, my dieting coworker shrugged, let out a short painful sigh and popped her cookie straight into her mouth.

"Its only one," she said to nobody in particular.  

The conversation continued as she systematically worked her way around everyone else's saucer and ate about four more cookies. Her excuse?

"Oh they're only little!"

A senior clinical pshychologist, who spent over two decades talking obese patients into losing weight, lasted only six hours on her "diet".  Watching her dig like a truffle pig through my napkin, I resisted the urge to slap her hand.

Did I say hand?  I meant face.​

After watching her struggle with the concept of activity and then the irresistible cookies, it made me wonder what she ate for breakfast on the first day of her diet...I would like to give her the benefit of the doubt and say a green smoothie but I have a feeling it might have been closer to Macca's pancakes on the way to work.

Back at the Hospital (Obese HQ)

When I got back to my office, I opened my emails and saw the stroke clinic had just celebrate their birthday... with cake. I feel like this obsession with crap food is everywhere! You'd think a health care centre or hospital would be safe-houses where junk food couldn't infiltrate.  Or that people here would know better.  

obese healthycare workers obama facepalm

But that's just the thing... We are the ones who DO know better... but its still not enough.

The research on health workers and expanding waist lines is old news. Its a common "joke" in our work place that nurses smoke (no one jokes that the majority are also overweight, that would be politically incorrect).

They've blamed it on night shift, long hours, poor food choices at the cafeteria and a range of other lame excuses.  Seems like a weak argument but its stuck.

So its now accepted. Its just a fact that those assisting others with their health (not just nurses, but doctors, psychiatrists, psychologists, social workers, occupational therapists, etc) will probably be fat. They'll sit there, barely fitting into the chair and advise the patient on their health care needs, sometimes the advice is to lose weight or consider a better approach to their diet.

I wonder what the patients think? How can they take that advice seriously?  Its like going to a hairdresser with a bad hair cut.

I've seen it go the other way too. I once sat in a room with a patient diagnosed with anorexia and watched the look of terror wash over her while several fat professionals told her to eat more. To be honest, I secretly sided with this patient as I would've dismissed their advice too... Eat more and look like you? No thanks.

Imagine if those of us in the health care industry had to pass fitness tests like the police or the military?  The majority of the workforce would be gone. You would see tumble-weeds roll past the sphygmomanometer and the three staff members that made the cut.

What do you think?​

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