Hale – Ditching Perfection

I’m currently completing The Hale Method at Hale Gym + Spa, a new facility in Canberra that is taking fitness to a whole new level! It’s a 12 week training and nutrition program, designed to get you in the best shape of your life!

I’m the chief nutritionist for the program and to put myself in my client’s shoes, I’m following the program and documenting my training and food each day through my Instagram story. You can follow me here: @kfnutrition

I’ve just finished week 1 and here’s what happened:

I didn’t follow the eating plan perfectly.


That may take you by surprise but despite what you may think my life does not go perfectly to plan every day. The reason I’m telling you this is because I want you to understand that you don’t have to follow a meal plan perfectly to get results. You just need to be consistent. The amount of deviation that is acceptable depends on your goals but in the end what you want to achieve and how quickly you want to achieve it is completely up to you.

A deviation may mean a small piece of dark chocolate that you savour after dinner with a cup of tea (1 did that 3 times last week). Consistency means it doesn’t spiral into a whole block of chocolate or you write off the whole day and eat like a bandit because you didn’t get it perfect. See what I mean?

My goal is to build muscle, so I’m following the Muscle Building nutrition plan. This means that I’m eating quite a lot of food and have to hit a calorie target each day. I hit the calorie target by choosing large quantities of whole, minimally processed foods and lots of vegetables! If you’ve followed me for a while, you’ll know how much I love vegetables! I’m also snacking heaps. It’s like I blink and it’s time to eat again!

Other deviations I made was moving food around during the day because of what I was doing, slightly altering snacks or skipping them altogether because I forgot them (it happens). On Saturday I came in way under the calorie target but I was tired of eating and felt satisfied so I just listened to my body and stopped. On Sunday I ate a meat pie at the Fyshwick markets and it was friggin’ good! Everything else stayed on plan and I enjoyed every mouthful!

I’m feeling so good! The last time I did a 12 week challenge many years ago it messed me up! This time not restricting my food means I’m feeling super content in training hard, nourishing myself and just enjoying the journey! I also have plenty of brain capacity to work well. My business is growing rapidly at the moment and the last thing I need is to be hangry because I’m trying to stick to 1200 calories. No thank you!

I did wake up early and make it to every training session

I hate waking up early. I feel like I’ve been hit by a train. However, there’s nothing quite like the accountability of group fitness classes with people expecting you, to get you out of bed at 5am without batting an eyelid. Seriously, my eyes are wide open the whole time.

The Hale Method includes 4x 1 hour sessions per week. It’s realistic, achievable and stimulating enough to get results but it doesn’t smash you, wear you out and make you prone to injury! It’s also a specific mix of strength, aerobic and anaerobic training designed to get your body fit and strong! MyZone heart rate monitors track your progress, with your heart rate up on a screen and it’s a great guide to know how far to push yourself! The science nerd in me loves it!

There have been too many times in the past when I’ve started at a gym only to flog myself in the first week with 5-6 sessions. I often get even more keen and try to do double days with extra runs and kettle bell sessions. I NEVER keep it up and I just get worn out and over it. Again, consistency with training week after week will get you results, not going ‘a bull at a gate’ (what my husband says I do all the time) in the first few weeks and then spending the rest of the year on the couch.

I was determined this time to think long term about building habits into my life and stay consistent with the training. I wasn’t going to don my regular ‘all or nothing’ approach and go nuts with extra exercise. I felt pretty sore (good pain) after the training sessions, so I didn’t really feel like doing much extra anyway. I did, however stick to the regular stuff I do, because it fits really nicely with my life:

  • I did was a gentle 20 minute swim while the kids had their swimming lesson.
  • I did a 1 hour walk while my son rode his bike at the skatepark and my daughter was at ballet. Normally it’s a run, but I scaled it back.
  • I did a Mt Ainslie walk with my lovely friend Ashleigh which we usually do every Sunday morning. It doesn’t feel like exercise because we’re so engrossed in conversation!

My body composition results so far

I measure my body composition using the InBody 570 scanner at The Healthy Eating Hub. I measure myself about once every 6 weeks or so. My last scan was 8 weeks ago and I did another scan on Sunday morning at the end of week 1. After staying the same in my weight and muscle mass all year, 1 week following The Hale Method and I’ve put on 1.3kg muscle and lost 2% body fat! WOW! Can’t wait to see the results as I keep going! It’s not likely to be that dramatic every week but it’s a nice start!

I say it ALL THE TIME: Good nutrition is not about what you DON’T eat. It’s about what you DO eat and if it’s nutritious foods you can eat lots, feel satisfied, have heaps of energy and achieve healthy changes to your body composition. I’ll keep you posted!

Article by Kate Freeman

Registered Nutritionist. Writer. Presenter. Home cook. Mother. Wife. Runner. Hiker. Amateur photographer.