Let me tell you a story… Lauren’s Story

Healthfix success Broadway North Sydney Physio Personal Training Dietitian Exercise Physiologist Massage

Let Me Tell You A Story… Lauren’s Story

I’m greeted by Lauren with her usual beaming smile at 7:30am, showered from her morning workout having slotted me before her 9am work meeting where she works as a Director of Marketing in financial services. “I still hate the morning training sessions,” the 26-week pregnant Lauren tells me, but she long ago made the commitment to become more selfish so that she could concentrate more on her health and mornings are the time that works. But it wasn’t always this way and this is what Lauren’s story is all about- a transition from a non-stop, sporty teen into a hard working traveller who lost sight of the state of her health but later regained her health conscience and is smashing opponents in the ring as well as hitting work goals.

Transformation has been defined as “a marked change in form, nature or appearance” which is what we’ll talk about in this story, hopefully steering you away from the muddied word it has become in the health industry as a pure weight loss challenge or a parting of one’s previous self to transform into a different person.

Healthfix success Broadway North Sydney Physio Personal Training Dietitian Exercise Physiologist Massage rugbyLauren grew up in a small town of 4,000 people, a few hours north of Canada’s capital city of Ottawa.

“What sports did you play,” I ask.

“Oh, everything,” is Lauren’s reply.

Being active outdoors by the local river or playing school sport was all she knew until a move to Kingston (in Canada) for university which Lauren describes as “the best 4-years of my life.” It was a different scene of socialising and studying hard and on reflection her health wasn’t being looked after fantastically but she was still playing regular social tennis and somewhat unaware of the impact of this change. Landing her first marketing job in Toronto only pushed her more away from regular activity with long commutes and working hard to make an impression at her company. She was aware of her health declining but says, “I was a little bit blind to it all to be honest”.

Lauren’s perfectionism, attention to detail and hard work ethic saw her excel and enjoy her work and helped her to land a job in Australia only 4 years after starting her career in the year 2000.

Healthfix success Broadway North Sydney Physio Personal Training Dietitian Exercise Physiologist Massage partyLooking to re-establish herself in a new country with her then partner, Lauren wound up working long hours and socialising to meet new mates with only with sporadic bouts of exercise on the tennis court which lead to significant weight gain, unhealthy habits and more than a few injuries. Her relationship of 6-years also fell apart a number of years after arriving in Australia. Lauren recalls, “It was a huge knock on my confidence and self-esteem. With the ending of that relationship and the aftermath, I really put on another big chunk of weight. I felt unappreciated, deeply hurt and betrayed and my self-confidence was pretty low so emotional eating continued.”

She had transformed. From an active, non-stop young lady, she instead became the selfless reliable friend, a keen solo traveller and the diligent worker who always went the extra mile. Lauren says there were series of reflective moments where she realises now that she could’ve started taking better care of herself but that her stubbornness and defensiveness combined with a very busy lifestyle meant she would rarely take on board the signs that her health was on the decline.

Healthfix success Broadway North Sydney Physio Personal Training Dietitian Exercise Physiologist Massage tennisPivotal reflective moments about her health that Lauren recalls were fracturing her leg and succumbing to a DVT, developing the early warning signs for fatty liver, knee pain that had been keeping her off the tennis court for a year and persistent low back pain that started whilst travelling the world. Lauren recognised these things were connected to her career, lifestyle and her weight gain but the most telling push to an action for change came from her dad in what Lauren now refers to as “the car chat”. “My dad was a super quiet guy and hated confrontation and serious chats,” Lauren tells me but he felt the need to tell her that he and her mom were worried about her and where she was heading whilst driving her back to the airport after a trip home to Canada. Lauren absolutely adored her dad, with their similar personalities and shared passion for playing and watching sport, but remembers just feeling hurt by the chat and couldn’t help but be defensive. This would be one of the last times that Lauren spoke to her father face to face as the fit and active man, without any warning signs, passed away when heading out to take the dog for a walk at only 66, only months after his mother had passed away of old age in her 90’s.

This unexpected and devastating event had a profound effect on Lauren. After months of grieving where her weight continued to climb, she says, “it took something as big as that life moment to do something about myself. He had nothing wrong with him so I kept wondering how that could have happened to him and it made me think about my health”. She continues by saying that she knew she needed to look after her health in the past but now she actually wanted to.

Healthfix success Broadway North Sydney Physio Personal Training Dietitian Exercise Physiologist Massage boxingLauren’s strong mindedness put her into action. She had dabbled with starting exercise in the past but it didn’t stick. She puts this down largely to herself in that she would go and exercise but didn’t change much else about her lifestyle. This time she decided to do it all again with a program that was geared towards creating long term healthy habits of diet and exercise with a personal trainer and a dietitian. As Lauren describes it, she set big goals, “to get back on the tennis court (check), gain more self-confidence (check), be healthier and stronger (check), and get into a relationship (check)”.

The change was also a significant one for her work with Lauren feeling that looking after her health could affect her career progression. “I used to do intense, intense hours,” she begins, “people at work are still rewarded working less hours but learning that balance with a large and busy team isn’t always easy”. Lauren says that her career actually hasn’t suffered, as her title would suggest, but she has learnt to become more efficient with her time and curb the unnecessary late nights so that it doesn’t affect her training routine. And her work team members have been incredibly supportive, even joining her on lunch time training runs to get her ready for her first 5k fun run and cheering her on at her first ever boxing match as part of Corporate Fighter.

The relationship goal set at the time of starting her training has an uncanny serendipity of putting something out there to the universe and getting a response. Mike, a tinder date that she met the same week she started her personal trainer and diet regime, is now going to be the father of her first child. This synchronicity of looking after herself and meeting her new love would mean that Mike met this new Lauren, who is a re-incarnation of the teenager Lauren, and this helps to keep her on track.  As she has moved through her pregnancy, Mike has joined her in the gym, which makes for some interesting 6am training banter with personal trainer.

Now well on track to where she wants to be I ask Lauren to comment on how she made that start and has stuck to it. “I’m a very goal driven person so if I want to do it I’m going to do it, it’s my mum’s work ethic in me,” she tells me. She felt that falling pregnant so easily at 40 has come down to all the hard work she has put into becoming fit and healthy. Being pregnant has had its challenges already of seeing weight go up and reaching for those favourite comfort foods but Lauren is already setting small goals to keep her on track, even if they are far from the running, tennis and boxing goals that she was setting only months prior. It’s also presents the challenges of getting general admission tickets to the Foo Fighters and feeling tired after the first 4 songs!

On her future Lauren laughs as she tells me, “I totally going to be a soccer mum ferrying my daughter around to her different activities and I can’t wait to get back onto a tennis court”. At the same time, she still has ambitious career goals and has aspirations to take her marketing career to a new level after her maternity leave. But most importantly, she simply wants to be around for a long time so she can be an active participant in her partner’s, families’ and friend’s lives, whilst also making sure that her own personal goals don’t get overlooked at the cost of her health.  “This past couple of years have represented a huge period of transformation, full of blood, sweat and tears, but also a renewed sense of self. I wish more than anything that my Dad could see what I’ve achieved, but I have to trust that he knows in some form. I know that when my daughter arrives, a whole new cycle is going to begin, and it’s not always going to be easy, but I’m looking forward to navigating that crazy adventure, ensuring we are a happy and healthy family. And it’s nice to know I’ve got my supportive team of health professionals behind me every step of the way”.

Healthfix success Broadway North Sydney Physio Personal Training Dietitian Exercise Physiologist Massage happy family

Adventure Club March Update

Adventure club 2018 Healthfix North Sydney Broadway Training Physio Massage ExerciseAdventure Club Nepal 2018

Their boots have been bought and the group are selecting the specific kit they need as everyone ramps up for their final preparations to climb Mt Everest in late April!
 We have seen a great bond developed amongst the Adventure Club team. To date that have completed 6 weekly training sessions including stair climbs, hill climbing training in Moore Park, long walks from Bondi to Coogee and Spit to Manly, and did we mention stair climbs?
Our team of 15 plus Mark are overcoming their own personal challenges – both physical and psychological to make it up to base camp with each having their own intrinsic motivation to climb Mt Everest. The post workout coffees and brunches as well as their private Facebook group page has helped to forge a close connection with the team. Parker and Oi have also helped with this tight bond as well, being nominated a the club’s furry friend mascots for the training sessions!
The next update will be of the team finishing their training program and boarding the plane to Nepal so keep them in mind of their grueling but rewarding training each weekend!

The Blitz Does It Again

North Sydney Broadway Healthfix Blitz Personal Training Weight Fat Loss Strength Goals

Are you ready to get your diet and exercise back on track?

March 2018 Blitz Update

Week 2 of the BLITZ now coming to an end. Our goals are set, we are training hard and we are sticking to our dietary plans. These plans are set to forge long term, sustainable habits that our current members can stick to! Base recommendations for physical activity from the most recent WHO study indicates we should perform-

  • 2.5 – 5 hours of moderate intensity exercise or
  • 1.25 – 2.5 hours of vigorous intensity exercise or
  • An equivalent combination of these
  • 2 days of strength work

The BLITZ content so far has touched on positive self talk and reinforcement, goal setting, how results really happen (in order) and nutrition for weight loss.

Early success stories so far

Deb: exercise, dietary and sleep compliance. Regaining her strength and mobility that is giving her the confidence to attempt daily tasks that were previously too hard like walking up the stairs. Deb has had an incredible story to reach this point that we’d hope to share with you one day.

Darren: Alcohol reduction, Re-established a healthy dietary approach, while adhering to his exercise plan, resulting in 3kg weight loss already.

Milly Clark’s Thoughts On Yoghurt

Milly Clark’s thoughts on yogurt

healthfix north sydney and broadway dietitian yogurt story milly clarkYoghurt is a fantastic source of high-quality protein and a calcium powerhouse. It is a nutrient rich superfood, and a stellar standout because it is a cultured product, made by adding ‘friendly’ or ‘good’ bacteria called probiotics.

Colonies of ‘good’ bacteria live in our digestive tract – they nourish a healthy immune system and support digestive health. Not all yoghurts are created equal however. A vast majority of yoghurts found in supermarkets contain large amounts of added sugar, artificial sweeteners and thickening agents. These nasties counteract many healthy benefits of the ‘good’ bacteria, making it much harder to absorb the quality protein, minerals and vitamins in your tub of yoghurt.

Whether you have a sensitive tummy, are trying to build lean muscle mass, lose weight or improve your digestive health – there’s a yoghurt out there for you! To help you make a choice that matches your goals, here is a summary of some wonderful yoghurt options to include as part of your daily routine (information is per 200g serve):





Greek Yoghurt (Plain, full-fat)





Goat Yoghurt





Sheep Yoghurt





Coconut Yoghurt





Let Me Tell You A Story… Andrew’s Story

Let me tell you a story… Andrew’s Story

From being advised to never run again to now being on track for the UTC 50km trail run, here’s Andrew’s story…

 “Unless you absolutely commit yourself to achieving it [your goal], it won’t happen. That’s why you’ve got to have an exercise goal”.


This is what Andrew tells me very early in our interview for our latest story. The reason why I wanted to interview Andrew and share it with everyone was so that I could find out what was behind his drive and determination to achieve exercise feats in the face of all the time challenges life can throw at you. Andrew is doing long treks, climbing mountains, learning to surf and running distance trail runs in his 40′s and 50′s with each conquered challenge leading to the next. The bit I really wanted to capture from Andrew was a look into his determination to do all the things he loves – his family, his work and his exercise regime.

From the outset, for Andrew’s sake, I’ll let you know that he was reluctant for me to interview him about finding the cliché work-life balance that allows him to set challenges and achieve them, but I was only able to convince him by assuring him that is it a struggle for a lot of us to get the balance right and that therefore his insights would be valuable. I met Andrew around 2012 and have always known him to honest, kind and never one to force an opinion on people and I believe that is why sharing his thoughts with an audience was confronting. When reflecting upon that time in life when he was busy with work, 3 kids and trying to keep fit, Andrew says, “It was easy to be good at one thing but I didn’t want my family to suffer because of work. I had to become good at managing more than one thing because life requires you to do so.” I then shared some of the common challenges that our clients at Healthfix face to which Andrew quickly interjects with, “I would be the last person to criticise anyone because finding that balance in life is absolutely the hardest thing”. no running healthfix physio

In his 40′s Andrew decided to take up climbing as a way of being active with his son Liam and felt he needed to get fitter so that he could climb. He chose running as a time efficient way to get fit even though he says that then he “hated it, [and it] felt awful”. When some low back pain arose from the running he wound up meeting a physio whose professional opinion was that everyone gets told to give up running at some point in their lives and that his had, unfortunately, come a bit early. Andrew wasn’t too fussed, he wasn’t enjoying running and chiropractors and osteopaths he had seen as a child had also steered him away from athletic due to compressed discs in his back as Andrew reports.

So he stopped for 2 years until barefoot running intrigued him. He tried it out and limped for the next 5 days because his calves were so sore. But his intrigue was spiked so he wasn’t going to give up that easy.

Me, “Do you think you’re a bit obsessive?”

Andrew, “Yeah probably, so I’ve been told.”

He developed some momentum with his running and started to think he would be able to run 5km. At the same time, he engaged with a personal trainer for strength and conditioning and was referred to see a different physio to more proactively manage his niggles. He had a natural scepticism about seeing another physio from his past experience and because he felt a lot were geared to over service but in Andrew’s words, “I’m an analyst so I get used to dissecting the reality from the hyperbole”.

What he got this time around was an integrated approach – Physio, Massage and Personal Training – and a plan. The thing he like the most about this physio was that he told him he would help him coordinate a program so that at the end of it he would never need to see him again. During the process Andrew recalls that he learnt “What was pain he could work through and what was pain that meant you had to stop and change your approach”.

With this new structure in place, Andrew set his sights on the Roseville 10km. He surprised himself but beating some mates across the line who had been running for years. He went onto the City to Surf (14km if you don’t count the zig-zags). Tick. Next challenge. Rafferty’s 35km trail run. Andrew didn’t mind the road but loved being outdoors on a track. “There’s too many fun things to do outdoors,” he tells me. Oh, that’s right, in the midst of all this he also climbed some pretty tall mountains in Patagonia, Argentina. This time at Rafferty’s he counted the zig-zags and he ran 37km to complete it. For Andrew, he believes most people have a marathon on their bucket list and he considered Rafferty’s to be his.healthfix north sydney and broadway no running story

He is now in training for the 6ft track trail run (45km) to be followed up by the UTA 50km trail run, both to be completed this year.

I kept bringing Andrew back to what gives him that drive to keep pushing these exercise feats when training is time-consuming and he loves his family time and has a demanding job. And it was hard to get a straight answer. Probably because there isn’t an easy one to define. What I did get was that Andrew places self-belief towards the top end of his importance scale. He feels that he was also ok with going against the grain and could find a way to check his emotions when it was decision time.

healthfix broadway and north sydney no running storyNow being more performance focused Andrew is considering engaging a run coach so he can correct his technique flaws. He says what he learnt through his training and physio work was how to become more body aware, how to manage his training loads over weeks and months in preparation for an event as well as understanding how to manage particular pain structures differently – “Understanding tendons was integral, that was incredible,” he recalls.

Everyone’s story on how they conquered a challenge is always uniquely exciting and I love seeing all the common threads. A belief that you can do it is a fundamental block. Having a plan and sticking to it matters. Knowing your body well enough so you can respond to its needs is imperative. Seeking help when you need it and that actually works can make a big difference.

I hope you like the story and I’m looking forward to the next one already!

Blitz Results Are In

Results Are In

Our Blitz participants work together and share a closed Facebook group to keep the motivation levels high! Here is a sneak peak at the “winners” post by our head of personal trainer and group fitness Bladen.

Firstly, a very big well done to all our 28-Day ‘Reset’ BLITZ participants! We have seen some awesome body composition results and have witnessed many of you overhaul your lifestyle in a positive way, and hope this program will be the catalyst for your future success.

As a team, we had a difficult time deciding on a singular winner, struggling to separate those two who would become our inaugural winners of the 28-Day ‘Reset’ BLITZ. From everyone here at Healthfix, congratulations to Mel and Chris!


Mel joined the 28-Day ‘Reset’ BLITZ as a platform to create a positive long term lifestyle change. Fighting a plethora of injury concerns, Mel developed the confidence and knowledge to train independently once again, while overhauling her nutritional approach, leading to 4kg weight loss and 9.5cm off her girth measurements. To add the icing on the cake, Mel also utilised the BLITZ as a constructive way to kick smoking for good.

Significant results
• Quit smoking
• 9.5cm and 4kg lost
• 50% improvement in aerobic fitness
• 15% increase in lower limb strength


Initially presenting at Healthfix for post surgery rehabilitation, Chris viewed the 28-Day ‘Reset’ BLITZ as the next logical step to improve his quality of life and the ability to remain active through his entire lifespan. With a positive new approach to his health and fitness goals, Chris lost 5.6kg and 24cm from his girth measurements. While his weight loss results cannot be understated, the joy from fitting into a shirt that was once not possible, will be a significant motivator for further success.

Significant results
• A shirt that has never fit, now fits
• 24cm and 5.6kg lost
• Improvement aerobic fitness
• Reduction CV risk factors

If you’re interested in participating in a Blitz in order to get your health goals on track through diet and exercise, please contact Bladen at bladen@healthfix.com.au.



Farewell Linelle

Farewell Linelle

Farewell to one of the best people you could ever meet.

Life is what happens when you’re busy making other plans so they say. Linelle decided to come to the big smoke for a stint from the country always knowing she would end up settling down back home. So whilst Linelle has made plans to move back home, Healthfix got to enjoy almost 7 years of its life with her. And what a great time it has been!

Of the many accomplishments that Healthfix has made, having a superstar like Linelle around for that long ranks among one of the highest.

I know a lot of people have already said their farewells in their own way or have plans to do so but here are some insights I am sure Linelle won’t mind me sharing.

First, it was opportunistic that we met, Linelle a passionate barrista whose cafe had just closed and Healthfix in need of some admin help. Linelle loved being a barrista and liked admin work. We set out to see if she could love her work at Healthfix by how we connected with people through health and not just coffee! By the end, I am sure most felt her love and the pride that she took in her work.

We all know that Linelle really ran the show and I was more the team mascot but I’m not sure how many would know how quickly she took over. In the first few weeks of her starting, I would be inundated with patients, only surfacing for short periods of times to ask for things that the practice needed. It never mattered how big the list was it would be done by lunch. I could never write a list long enough.

Also in these early weeks we got some new and more fancy business cards made up. They looked fancy and also had the fancy price tag. I simply said to Linelle that we couldn’t afford that and off she went to tell the provider who immediately gave her the price she wanted. He took it upon himself to call the practice to talk to me and ask where did I find this girl!

And he wasn’t to be the first poacher that came along. Over the years there have been many. This is due to her no fuss approach to just get things done. Fair but firm. Smart and practical. Able to hear your problems and offer a great solution. There just isn’t another Linelle out there!

Have fun saying your own farewells to Linelle in your own way!

Thank you and sorry

Thank You and Sorry

What a year it has been. We grew by a whole other clinic in Broadway (but later merged the 2 North Sydney practices leaving us with 2 clinics in total again!) and by default our wonderful team grew too. Now with more dedicated team members and spreading our reach across to the other side of the bridge it is timely to say thank you to everyone who has supported our growth to this stage and apologise to those where we may have missed the mark.

Healthfix has had a clear purpose to empower individuals towards their health goals rather than join the chorus of problem focused health care practices that can sap individuals of their time, effort and money. With a firm understanding of what is going on and a belief that the solution is in your hands then you can truly go on to achieve many wonderful things. 

And wow-wee, didn’t we see some wonderful things this year:

- Our next success story will be on a man who was advised not to run again but went on to complete a 37km trail run this year.

- A lady with persistent injuries that had her in the physio rooms for over a year is now managing with a structured exercise and diet routine.

- A marathon runner who was experiencing knee pain at the 5km mark 2 weeks out from the big race went on to complete the race.

- Clients with diabetes or fatty livers who are now managing their modifiable risk factors with exercise and diet solutions.

- All the lovely mummies who we could help with comfortable pregnancies and resilient bodies to handle the early demands of their little angels.

- Helping people regulate energy levels and mood, whether it be a clinically diagnosed issue or a self reported one, so that they can now lead balanced lives and achieve personal and career goals.

This is only a highlight so really thank you to everyone who did invest your time, effort and money with us and above all, allow us the privilege of getting to work with you on your health goals.

On the flip side we will never claim to be perfect and we understand we don’t always hit the mark. We believe in giving you all the tools to manage you conditions but sometime the timing isn’t right or the relevance is not clearly seen. This is when things become unclear and we can look like all the other places trying to get you to come back in “just because”. Integrated health is not really well defined or understood. Marketing types who look at our Healthfix offering will often times report back to me that we’re a physio clinic with an exercise spin on it! We always try to integrate with your other service providers but they may not understand the importance of having everyone on the same page for your benefit. Google a diagnosis or pain and you’ll get plenty of results. Google integrated health care, how to be proactive with my health, injury prevention and health solutions and you’ll get back a fraction of the number of results in comparison.

It will be up to us to define it better and make the message clearer. Awareness is the first step and we will work harder next year to make these things really clear.

Whether your health journey with us is long or short we will continue to strive to meet your needs each and every time so that you’re always progressing towards your goals and you feel the value for your investment of time, effort and money.

Have a safe summer holiday. See you when we’re looking at you.




Let Me Tell You A Story… James’ Story

Let Me Tell You A Story… James’ Story

Know what it feels like to put forward your best efforts but not quite get the result you’re hoping for?

Feel like you’ve tried a bunch of strategies but not quite getting to where you want to go?

Ever been confronted with having to make some fundamental change to your beliefs?

Some of us don’t have to work hard to stay in shape or even have sporting genius but for the vast majority of us, we do. Today I’d like to tell you about James’ story which delves into changing beliefs, what it takes to spring into action, staying motivated in pursuit of your goals and how maintaining new behaviours can be a challenge. James has always considered himself a “bigger lad” who also likes to “take the path of least resistance” which normally led to success falling into his lap. Struggling with his weight since being young, a 6-week bout of exercising led to a cascade of events which would see him trialling for Manchester United years later. But now as James has seen his 40th birthday pass by, his easy successes don’t come so easy anymore which has led to him evaluating how he approaches his health.


Childhood Successes

“I was raised with that typical Asian mentality of you don’t leave the table until the plate was clean, and typically that plate was carb heavy” begins James with his unique and infectious belly laugh when talking about why he thinks he has always found it easy to put on weight. James grew up in London with a brother and a sister with his hard working Malaysian parents working hard to provide for their kids. Good intentions with diet and exercise would often get disrupted by the work schedule and hard work and high weights would eventually result in James’ father succumbing to a stroke at the young age of 38 which James says he never fully recovered from.


After James was left disappointed when failing to make his high school football team his father decided to put all his kids through a 6-week exercise bootcamp over the school holidays. “Lucky for me, this coincided with a growth spurt as well so by the end of the holidays I had gone from 5’5″ to 5’10″ and completed shredded down”, James recalls. It also meant that he went from not making any school football side to captaining the A-team, representing his county and trialling for multiple professional and representative sides. This 6-week family bootcamp had started a juggernaut that rolled on for years where James continued to climb the representative ladders and catch the eye of a number of professional clubs. “I was playing 3 games a week and training 5 days too without a proper training regime like I now know”, James says. This lack of a “proper training regime” as James puts it would result in him picking up a lot of injuries. At an athletics meet at 16 years old he tore his hamstring and it took 7 months to repair and his goals of playing high level football took a large blow.


James says, “I wasn’t worried. I was one of those kids who’s annoying because things would just always seem to work out for me” as he belly laughs again. “But when you don’t have your diet under control and your missing games the weight comes in pretty quickly.”

Adult Successes


After falling into a degree in Exercise and Sports science James’ quickly found the social scene in London. He had come to realise his dreams of playing football professionals weren’t going to become a reality so once he was finished his degree he was left with the decision of a coaching job in the college system in the US or a graduate position at the local supermarket he had been working for during university. In typical James fashion, he was confident he was going to be the successful candidate for each so decided he would wait for which offer got sent first. The supermarket came first, the coaching gig come the next day.


From this graduate position James quickly worked his way up into the head office and then off on a transfer to Australia as a Category Manager at a leading supermarket.


Despite his success in his career his health wasn’t following the same pattern of quick wins leading to a snowball of success. “Getting fit to me always meant sports fit but when I realised I wanted to get healthy was when my dad had a stroke, got diabetes and high blood pressure in a very short space of time. I could see a very short, straight path to that,” he says.


Diet plans never considered his lifestyle and personal trainers always pushed the athlete in him but again never could offer a complete solution. “I came to realise the difference between being fit and being healthy. I could always get fit easily but I couldn’t maintain a healthy lifestyle”, says James about this time of trying different gyms and personal trainers. James’ weight would jump up and down and get as high as 144 kgs. James was training the house down and following hugely strict diet regimes but a trip back home for a wedding would change how we was approaching this. “The best part of 14 months training had disappeared in 5 weeks,” James says before adding “I knew I needed something that was going to integrate more with my lifestyle”. Like this 5-week trip, each time he would take a break from his gruelling routine his weight would spring back up and his partner was telling him that the way he was training and eating was unsustainable and whilst he would argue that he needed to do it, he too knew it was unsustainable. “I came to Australia to work to live and I was feeling like I was living to train,” James says of how his effort was always there but the results just weren’t matching these efforts.


The perennially lucky man wound up entering an integrated health clinic when needing some physiotherapy care as his body began to break down from this relentless training. James describes this as a “proper” physio because they would integrate with his trainer so they would manage his injury whilst also helping him on his way to his training goals.

Present Day Successes and The Future


From our conversation James’ key contributing factors to him being healthy boiled down to having an exercise and diet plan that integrated with his lifestyle and a way to prevent injuries.


“The program that I’m on now is set around cause and effect which makes me take ownership. I know that if I don’t eat a meal with good nutritional value that I will feel it in my training session the next day. There’s accountability but it’s not driven by fear, it’s because I want to do it. Before it was too strict to the point that there was no accountability or it would be too loose that I wouldn’t know what to do,” it how James describes the difference of integrated care.


He continues his insights with, “the integration piece for me is that unless you’re that elite sports person where you’re doing it for a living, your lifestyle is always going to have an impact. No matter how virtuous we claim to live we’re never not going to have a drink or bad food so you have to come up with a program that works with your lifestyle so that you have a balance- the right balance. The other part for me was that I didn’t have to worry that if I saw a physio that the PT wasn’t  going to be aware of what to do or that both of them didn’t know the diet plan that I was on- it’s all under one roof. You come in and they know what you’ve done so you don’t have to explain it. When they do ask me questions about what I have done I think it is only for my self-awareness. There’s always an education piece going on”.

From this approach James now is able to self manage and monitor his health for the first time in his adult life. He will still use health professionals but he is now in the driver’s seat and much more aware of his needs that require attention. His weight no longer jumps up and down and he is control of his diet and exercise regimes. He also hasn’t seen a physiotherapist with an injury for quite some time, instead he will have a monthly massage that keeps him on top of any issues.

“For one of the first times in my life I’ve set New Year’s goals that are mentally and physically based on how I want to be when I am older. And now I have the confidence to do it!” James says.

Let Me Tell You A Story… Jess’ Story

Let Me Tell You A Story… Jess’ Story

Competing in combative sport conditions you put up with a certain level of pain where you may never be quite sure if it is a warning sign for a future injury or whether it is just something holding back from performing at your peak. Seeking help is not always received well and so when you’re training over 10 hours a week and competing at high level in Tae Kwon Do (TKD) you want to be sure that you are using a team of health professionals that understand your sporting demands so that they don’t unnecessarily stop you from doing what you love. Deeper understanding of how missing out on your sport can affect your world outside of the sport is highly important too. Please join Jess and I on my next “Let Me Tell You A Story” series where I tell you about Jess who overcame a 3 year old hip injury that allowed her to improve her defence, her striking options and ultimately take her to the next level in her Tae Kwon Do career.


  • Niggling hip flexor pain.
  • Reluctance to seek help due to team perception and poor past experiences.

“Struggling with unknown pain was frustrating as I felt like I could do more if it didn’t hurt so much. My previous experience with physios involved spending half the session explaining the movements, how often and when it hurt was time consuming and I didn’t feel like they understood what and why and received a generic solution. This solution may have worked however I did not have confidence in it due to the lack of clarity during initial sessions. They didn’t understand what I wanted to achieve, lifting twisting and kicking without pain.” This is how Jess sums up her past experiences but I don’t think she is alone, how many people can relate to that?

“It can seem like you’re copping out’” Jess says about seeking care or altering your training to work around injuries in her sport. Jess had been dealing with an off and on again hip injury on her dominant leg that was needed for striking and defending in TKD. “In training we can do 30 kicks in 30 seconds so how many can you do in a 2 hour training session?” she quips when giving me insight into how much work her legs go through in a gruelling training session which are always performed in a Dobok (a traditional thick  suit that doesn’t let much sweat out!) and at some point involves you hitting someone and someone hitting you!

Jess has been competing in TKD for 12 years and is a black belt. It’s a sport that Jess found by chance after a family move meant she no longer had access to a gymnastics club but she stuck with the sport because of the community feel about a sport that many do for decades. Jess had recently moved to Sydney and was one of the more senior members on the team and felt the pressure to lead by example. “If the whole team was stretching then I would stretch too even if it hurt my hip” sums up the pressure Jess was feeling. She continues, “it’s important to set an example for the younger people in the team”. Like a lot of athletes, Jess knew this pain just wasn’t right and in line with setting an example for the younger athletes she knew she would need to start managing it. Jess had previously seen physiotherapists who didn’t understand her sport and as she puts it, she “did not have the time nor money to waste on someone who didn’t know what they were doing”. Jess was learning a more dynamic style of TKD since joining the team and she knew her hip wasn’t going to last much longer.

Jess came to find one of our physiotherapists after her team engaged us to perform a physical screen and set up correctives training. Screening can highlight a potential risk for future injury as well as identify movement patterns that may be suboptimal for sport performance. Correctives training looks to create fundamental movement patterns to assist both with injury prevention and better performance.

Jess says, “the screen was good because it compared us against a standard metric which made it independent. Because the coaches had sourced them, it really felt like the whole process was integrated”. In sport, Jess understands that coaches, managers and senior athletes will all have opinions and personal experiences but that injury management needed to be left to the physiotherapists and exercise specialists. Jess had seen enough to be willing to give our physiotherapy department a try, and she knew what good ones looked like because her previous one was now with the national TKD team.


  • Quick symptom relief.
  • Improved TKD performance.

Being an athlete in tune with her body as well as liking to do her own research, Jess had a good understanding of WHAT was going on but not HOW to fix it. Jess responded well to having a logical and clear plan that took into consideration her ongoing training needs and that she would continue to compete. After the first session Jess recalls thinking “Wow! That didn’t hurt!” upon waking the next morning. After putting up with the hip pain for several years Jess noticed it was present when doing even simple things like getting out of bed and putting on her shoes.

With her pain now gone and the exercise corrections able to take full effect, Jess noticed a sharp improvement in her flexibility and her able to be in control in these ranges- whether it was to do a striking kick or defend a high kick coming at her head! Jess was now able to adapt to this more dynamic style of TKD and consistently perform at this level without any pain. “I can lift my leg so high now it’s crazy” she exclaims. With her senior role in the team she now happy that she can share this positive rehabilitation story and help the younger athletes to manage niggles, rather than feeling that they have to hide it from coaches, so that ultimately their performance improves.