Distorted Expectations – Regaining my Figure after Pregnancy

By Rebbecca Hemmings aka Becks 

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When I discovered I was pregnant in August 2012, I was so excited at the prospect of challenging myself to lose the weight afterwards. At that time I was at a great weight, I felt wonderful and looked fabulous. I was confident that I could repeat this success.

However, after gaining 4 stones during pregnancy, growing out of all my clothes and losing my muscles tone (due to being banned from most forms of exercise whilst pregnant because I was classed at ‘high risk’), all that optimism dwindled like a falling leaf.  

The funny thing is, I did not binge eat whilst pregnant. Yes, I ate more than I normally did but not a significant amount. I was always very conscious of over-doing it, yet I promised myself I would not feel guilty for what I ate as I was nourishing my baby.

So, my beautiful daughter was born in May 2013. Though sore from a C-section, I was generally quite blissful, glad to have my body back and ready to get into my pre-pregnancy clothes. Yes, I knew I wouldn’t get into them straight away but I honestly didn’t think it would take a year! I mean I started exercising (albeit slowly) 6 weeks after giving birth. I started teaching 2 classes a week at 12 weeks.

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I remember in the early days I would take weekly photos of my belly as it reduced in size. I shared this information with my sister. I was met with raucous laughter and the comment: ‘Weekly? You’d better start taking them monthly at the very least!’ Was she really saying that it would take months for my stomach to get back to normal? Yes she was!

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At that point I did stop taking the weekly pictures because deep down I knew she was right. I could feel it! This getting back to normal stuff was going to take some time. Secretly I was tired of putting on my clothes and feeling rubbish because I looked ridiculous in them. I took to wearing a swimming costume when teaching Zumba, as I couldn’t fathom the embarrassment I would feel if my post-pregnant belly popped out. Plus, I hated the feeling of the extra jiggle when I did my then defunct signature pump.  I was get really paranoid when teaching my classes. Especially if new people came and didn’t know I had had a baby. I took every chance I could to mention it. I felt every one’s eyes on my stomach and I imagined they were saying ‘Oh, it’s a bit bigger than I thought it would be by now!’


Then I realised, that these thoughts were perceptions of my reality and that I was free to change them. In fact if I did change them to more positive points of view, I might have a better experience. So I did! I stopped expecting my poor body to fit back into my old clothes and bought new ones that complimented my new shape. I kept wearing my swimming costume and other support garments (guilt –free), until I felt confident enough to not wear them. I told myself that the women in my class all know I’ve just had a baby and they actually admire the fact that I am up and running and working towards my goals just as they are. These new thoughts really changed my experience, I was able to relax and think about other stuff. It made no sense worrying, I was doing all I could to lose the extra baggage.


So in one year what have I done to lose the extra weight? Well in the first two months, I taught two classes a week (I started out very gently). I ate what I liked within reason but I was careful not to over-do it. Then in month 8 I began teaching 6 classes a week, plus I did a 7 week weight loss programme (remember when I wanted to lose a stone for my birthday?) I lost 12 lbs.


Now? Well we have just celebrated Jasmine’s 1st birthday and one friend commented that ‘You look smaller now than before you were pregnant’. The scales say I have lost the 4 stones I gained. I notice my hips are the narrowest they have been in years. I put that down to me doing a lot of SO Dancehall classes (as we do a lot of lower leg work) and I’ve also included a lot more squats and lunges into my Zumba classes. But the more important thing is that I am really happy with my body and its progress. Once I let go of unrealistic expectations, everything literally has fallen into place. It feels great!

Now, the question I keep getting asked is: so when are you going to have the next one? Well err.. despite the progress I have made, I would like to hang on to my new shape a little while longer so erm.. we’ll see. :-)



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Increase your ‘Get You’ Factor, Attend the Wales Weekender


I have been fortunate enough to be asked to deliver SO Dancehall Fitness and Boxing fitness sessions on the Unity Dance Fitness Wales Fitness Weekend in Mid-Wales in March 2014. It is going to be a weekend I know I’ll remember for years to come. Why? Because it is fun-packed like crazy! Not only have they arranged themed parties such as Disney Magic and The High Society Ball (can you see the photos already?) but more importantly the weekend is jam packed full of a massive variety of fitness classes to get down and dirty in. Other classes include: Vibe Cycle, Stiletto Workout, Boxing Fitness, Zumba, Kettlebells, Powerhoops, Burlesque Chair Dance, aqua, yoga, Bounce in Boots, Swiss Balls and so much more.

If, you just want to chill and relax, you can do that too in this luxurious 4* Hotel Metropole Hotel and Spa situated in the beautiful Welsh countryside. All I have to say is: look at that pool!


What’s particularly great about this event is that the costs are designed for all budgets. If funds are tight, why not just buy a weekend pass for the classes only? These start at just £65. Or you can get the whole shebang for a very generous £255. This includes: 

•  Bed & breakfast 

•  Lunch 

•  Dinner (silver service) 

•  All fitness & salsa workshops 

•  All 3 fantastic parties 

•  Health club, gym, sauna, Jacuzzi, swimming pool, steam room

So are you itching to know how to book? It’s simple, just visit this website and download a booking form TODAY: http://ufdance.co.uk/events/unity_wales_2014.shtml (don’t wait as the longer you do, the more you have to pay). Or, you can come as part of my party and I will do all the paperwork. Get in touch by emailing me at: admin@rhemmings.com 

I can’t wait to make some happy with fitness party memories with you all. This is going to be off the hook!

Becks xxx


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Pump with a Pumpkin – Shok Out Dance Fitness

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So, how are we going to have fun with Halloween this year (other than performing the Thriller dance)? I thought it would be nice to do something fun and incorporate it with our Zumba workouts. Therefore, I would love you all to bring in a small pumpkin, not to eat, not to carve but to add resistance to our Zumba workouts on:

Monday 28th at Streetly Community Centre

Tuesday 29th at St. Matthew’s Church

Thursday 31st at Streetly Community Centre

(For class details click here)

Do note that this is for the ZUMBA CLASSES ONLY. Please get a pumpkin that is fairly light but heavy enough to challenge yourself and we will use them instead of our toning sticks on our toning tracks. Also, get dressed up for Halloween in something that will scare the living daylights out of anyone looking in our classes. Or at the very least wear something orange and black. I’ll make sure we take lots of pictures!

Aren’t you excited? I am!

Becks xxx


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I Confess, I was a Hater!


Years ago when I was a member of a  gym/health club I used to look in on the exercise sessions. Classes that particularly caught my eyes were the boxing based ones. They always were jam-packed with eager beavers and the floor seemed to be literally jumping with energy. But I was such a hater…

I’d look at the people in there and I’d say things to myself like:

“Well I don’t want to do that because as a woman I will bulk up and I don’t want to look like a man.” Can you believe I said this even though the majority of women in the classes looked toned, healthy and very feminine?.

“I ain’t going in there to get my teeth knocked out!” Have you ever heard of anyone getting their teeth knocked out in a boxing class? It’s a fitness class not a boxing ring.

“The people in there must be professional boxers; I wouldn’t stand a chance amongst them!” This was so untrue, the class participants were just ordinary club members just like I was.

The truth was that I was hating because I was curious but very afraid. I was afraid because the classes looked fun but they looked extremely challenging. I was worried that I might start the class and then die of embarrassment as my body collapsed under all that hard work and I would have to be taken out on a stretcher.


But low and behold one day I did get the courage to try a class and I was slapped with the truth that yes the classes were damn hard, I sweated buckets but they were so much fun! Not only that but they were such a stress reliever. After having a hard day, I would don a pair of boxing gloves and punch out every last nodule of pressure and frustration. In addition the calorie burn in those classes is amazing, depending on how hard you work you can burn up to 700 calories in an hour. Plus because boxing is a high intensity workout and demands more of your body than straight forward cardio session, your muscles continue to burn energy (calories) hours AFTER your workout!


So, my message to you is, don’t be a hater like me. Try our Boxing Bootcamp class on a Monday at St. Matthew’s Church with personal trainer Theo. If your goal is to tone up as well as lose weight, then this is our best classes for these goals. Plus, Shok Out Dance Fitness’ ethos is all about enjoying yourself whilst doing challenging workouts. We don’t do boring, so expect to have a lot of fun! Classes start on Monday 2nd September 2013. Oh and if you come to this first class you will enjoy 50% off the price (you pay £2.50) of a normal class if you mention the title of this blog!

Now you really have no excuse. :-)

ps. Don’t forget to bring your boxing gloves, if you really want to get all the benefits!

Becks xxx


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Dress as an Olympian Day

In the spirit of the London 12 Olympics, I have declared Tuesday 7th August  ‘Dress as an Olympian’ Day. This will take place during the SO Dancehall Fitness (6pm) and Zumba classes (7pm) at St. Matthews Church Centre, Aldridge Road, Grear Barr.

Therefore, when you come to class, do please join in the fun by dressing as an Olympian of your choice. You can choose any event, a particular person, a random athlete, represent any country, where a country’s colours, etc…. The choice really is yours.

There will be a prize for the best dressed person!

Don’t spend loads of money, just get creative!

See you there!

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Weight Loss & the Pain and Pleasure Principle

Weight Loss & the

Pain and Pleasure Principle


“The secret of success is learning how to use pain and pleasure instead of having pain and pleasure use you. If you do that, you’re in control of your life. If you don’t, life controls you.” 

Anthony Robbins

Human beings are wired to seek pleasure and to avoid pain. This is a generally well known fact. However, how often do we use this to our advantage? When it comes to losing weight, many times this fact works towards our disadvantage i.e. a big fat juicy hamburger seems much more pleasurable than going to the gym for an hour. Therefore, many people would rather socialise with their friends and eat that burger than take the time out to burn some serious calories in the gym.

This human instinct can be difficult to overcome if you do not make a conscious effort to make it work for you. How can I utilise the pain and pleasure principle to work in my favour? I hear you ask. Good question, I like good questions. Well, in theory it is simple: find a way of changing your thoughts about something you dislike (but want or need to do) to thoughts that are appealing and attractive. Equally, you have to change the way you think about something that gives you pleasure but is not good for you.

An example of changing something you dislike into something you do like, would be: you hate the idea of jogging. The thought of having to run around in your leggings having your backside bounce up and down in front of strangers sends you heading straight for the settee with a pack of crisps in your hands. You can change this thought by first acknowledging the fact that there is no truth but your perception of the truth. Therefore, your thoughts about people looking at your bottom, is just your opinion and not a fact. So you can tell yourself that people are not looking at your bum. Rather they are admiring this attractive and strong-willed woman who clearly cares about her health and is taking the time out to make herself look more beautiful.

If your love for Cornish pasties is ruling you, you could educate yourself by thinking about the amount of calories they contain. One Cornish pasty has a whopping 467 calories. For the average woman on a healthy eating plan, that is almost one third of her daily calorie intake! They also contain 63.6% fat! Imagine that fat going straight to your hips and stomach. Actually visualise your stomach growing as a result of you eating it.

If you visualise the alternative realities vividly enough, your brain will start to take it on board as the truth. Practise doing this today. Think of something you love to eat but you know will hinder your weight loss journey and turn this into the most hideous thing ever. Close your eyes, visualise it and believe it with all your might. When you start doing this with enough intensity and on a regular basis, you will change your thoughts. Please do not read this and do nothing about it. Put it into practise. Your sexy slimmer version of you is counting on you to do the right thing.

Written by Becks Hemmings

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Day 30 (last day) of my Weight Loss Challenge

My Before and After Photos… all done through healthy eating a serious work out plan.














The final video from this challenge… but as I said in the video this is not the end of my journey.




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Day 29 of My Weight Loss Challenge

It is the night before the final day of my weight loss challenge. In one way it all seems to have gone so quickly and in another I feel I have been doing this for quite a while.

I don’t really want to say too much tonight. I’ll say it all tomorrow when I do my final measurements and weigh-in AND… (drum roll) I will release (for the first time ever) my ‘before pictures.’ I can’t say I’m 100% comfortable with this but I do want to show everone the progress I have made in just 30 days.

So there’s no video today folks, just this picture of me on Day 1 of the challenge. :-)






See you tomorrow.


Becks xxx

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Day 28 of My Weight Loss Challenge

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Day 27 of My Weight Loss Challenge

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