Monday, 27 July 2020

Nothing is forever, and we shouldn’t take the opportunities we are given for granted. Right now, I’m facing a decision that will no doubt impact my life in more ways than I can consider at this moment. It’s emotional, I’m full of mixed feelings, but I know I’m blessed to have the support of the Fitcover Fit-Fam (which includes you) through this journey.

Almost ten years ago, I had breast augmentation surgery. Looking back, and knowing what I know about life now, I’m not sure that I’d make the same decision again. I actually had great natural breasts, but at the time I felt they would be better with more. Back then, I felt this need to be ‘sexy’ all of the time. And it’s definitely a feeling that a lot of women can relate to.

The thing is, I now have two beautiful children and plans to grow my family so I can’t help but think about the possible long-term consequences of leaving them in. My perspective on ‘sexy’ has changed too, and I’m confident in my relationships in different ways as well as seeing my body entirely differently after having babies.

I also have a type of implant that has been recalled due to health concerns and it’s been playing on my mind.

I’ve made the decision to have my breast implants removed. It's called an explant!

I know it’s going to be an emotional rollercoaster for me, so I want to share the experience with you and hope that hearing my story can help you tackle a difficult decision in your life. As today (July 28, 2020) is the day of my explant surgery, I’m probably already in recovery when you read this.

After you watch the first Vlog, please keep reading for more of the health and technical things that I didn’t squeeze into the video:

Breast implants - what are they?

“Fake boobs” are usually silicone or saline-filled pockets that are implanted into the breast to make them look fuller, higher and more symmetrical. They’re available in different shapes and sizes depending on the aesthetic goals. Breast implants don’t last forever and should be replaced every ten to twenty years (depending on the manufacturer).

What happens during breast implant surgery?

A plastic surgeon handles breast implant surgeries. This is usually done while you’re under a general anaesthetic and you’ll likely get to go home the same day.

The surgeon will make incisions below the lower curve of the breast and place the implant either underneath or just above the chest muscle. There are many reasons why each style will be used, but the most common reasons for the above-muscle type is either to achieve a more round and prominent shape or to reduce disruption to the chest muscle in athletes.

Other incisions are made around the areola (coloured area around the nipple) and in the armpit area to help sit the implant correctly and to make sure the nipples sit naturally (and symmetrically) after the surgery.

The cuts usually heal well and are barely noticeable because they sit in the natural crease under the breast, are hidden in the edge of the areola or are in a hidden area like the armpit.



What are the alternatives to breast implants?

If you want to change the appearance of your chest, there are other options besides getting a boob job, each with different pros and cons. Things like breast lift surgery and fat transplants; but, they don’t offer the kind of dramatic size increase that traditional implants do.

Exercise can also dramatically change your chest area but will usually result in smaller, firmer breasts as body fat reduces and muscle mass increases.

Why would someone choose to get a boob job?

I know from experience that the reasons many women decide to get a boob job are complex—maybe even more complicated than mine. These can range from wanting to create more symmetry between the breasts (if one is smaller or a different shape to the other or the upper body is less curvy than the lower) through to fixing up aesthetic issues from prior breast surgeries.

And I can confidently say that having them or not having them is a decision none of us takes lightly! Even though I’m having mine removed, I really want to stress that each and every one of us deserves respect to make that decision on our own terms.

Are you considering getting a boob job or having explant surgery?

If you’re at the beginning of your journey to making the decision, either way, my only advice is that you do your research, so you’re making a really informed decision. As with anything, consider the known risks, but also remember there are a lot of women who don’t have any issues and you have to make the decision that you’re most comfortable with and honours your body and who you are in the best way you can.


The possible complications of breast augmentation surgery.

Around six years ago, the area around my left implant started swelling up and felt really hot and started making me really sick. Any kind of side effects or illnesses after breast augmentation is called Breast Implant Illness, or BII.

My surgeon ended up taking the implant out, took a biopsy of the surrounded tissue, cleaned the area and put a new implant in. In the lab, he tested to see if anything would grow from the biopsy and came back with no results.

I got better with the new implant, but we were left really not knowing what had caused the BII symptoms to begin with.

The links between cancer and breast implants.

They’ve now established a link between the type of implants I have and lymphoma cancer. There are also other makes of implants that have been linked to similar issues.

Any breast implants that have shown to have a higher than the normal range of side effects end up being recalled, just like mine have. They stop being produced, and any women that has them are monitored and should undergo implant replacements at around the ten-year mark even if they’ve been perfectly healthy with them.

Lymphoma cancer doesn’t just go away, and despite my history of BII, I’ve tested 100% clear of the lymphoma. My surgeon, Dr Rodey Cooter, has confirmed that what I experienced, even if we aren’t sure what it was, it wasn’t related to cancer.


Breast implants can cause other issues.

My experience with BII is not isolated. Some estimate that at least 1% of women are experiencing complications linked to their implants at any given time. These complications can range from the incisions from the surgery not healing well, damage or rupture to the implants, through to severe issues like toxic shock syndrome (which can cause death).

All of the possible complications have symptoms that you should be on the lookout for and seek medical attention if you notice them; including:

- Lumps in the breast or armpit area
- Swelling or fluid retention
- Changes in the appearance, symmetry or shape
- Changes in the texture or firmness
- Skin rashes, discolouration and irritation

Many women have had no complications and may never experience any.

It's essential to make sure you’re listening to your body, taking care of yourself and seeking medical advice when things aren’t right. And that goes for all of us—get checked if something doesn’t seem right regardless of if you’ve had plastic surgery or not!


What to do when you experience BII symptoms.

The first thing is you should do is try and keep calm and not panic. There are so many possibilities that are not life-threatening. Also, even if it’s lymphoma, it’s typically a very treatable condition, especially if it’s caught early (because you’re taking care of yourself).

You shouldn’t ever feel you have to tackle these things alone! Seek the love and support from your friends and family- even those that weren’t supportive of your surgery in the beginning because they probably only felt that way because they care about you.

And this goes without saying, but I’m going to say it! You need to make an appointment with your surgeon to find out what’s going on and get the best recommendations for you.
Options women have when they experience breast implant complications.

It’s so important to talk to your doctor because you might only need antibiotics and rest to help the healing process. But, if it does turn out to be something more severe or persistent and you’re considering surgery again, you do have options that you can discuss with your surgeon.

While I’ve chosen to have mine removed and not replaced, it’s not the only option. Depending on your situation, your doctor might suggest:

- Replacing your implants with a lower risk alternative
- Breast lift with implant replacement
- Breast lift with implant removal
- Removal with natural fat transplant (from available fat on other parts of your body)

The point is, you’ve got choices. And, if you make a choice and then later down the track it doesn’t feel right for you, you CAN change your mind and try something else.



My story moving forward - breast explant surgery.

It’s been almost ten years, and I’m due to have my current implants are at the end of their lifespan. I have considered having them replaced with new implants that have no known risks. But, my life-perspective has changed in the past decade, and the possible dangers of having foreign items permanently in my body outweigh the benefits of keeping my chest augmented.

If you’re facing this decision, there are two ways breast implant removal can be done- either removing just the implant and leaving the capsule in or removing the capsule with the implant.

The capsule is a shell of scar tissue that forms around the implant. This is often the tissue that complications can originate.

For some women, removing the capsule must be done to reduce/eliminate the risk of further complications. The trade-off is that this can cause the natural breast left behind to collapse and look hollow. However, if the capsule is left in, it can help the chest to remain more full and shapely, even though the implant is gone.

For me, there isn’t any evidence of lymphoma present in the tissues surrounding my implants, so I’ll be able to leave the capsule in, but my implants are going!

There is some risk that the capsule contains leeched chemicals from my implants, but under the circumstances, I feel comfortable about leaving the capsule in as long as the implants are removed.

Another really important thing to consider is your age and the condition of your body. I’m lucky that the prognosis for me is that in my natural state, the appearance of my breasts should still be what I think is beautiful. My doctor has confirmed that I haven’t lost tone and elasticity despite having two children and breastfeeding.

But, every woman is different, so you really do need to talk to your surgeon about what your options are and consider their advice when deciding what’s best for you.



Will my body feel like it belongs to a stranger?

This has been such a tough decision to make, and I am keeping an open mind. I know it’s possible that since I’ve known my body as an adult with implants, that I may feel differently about it after the surgery. I’m not ruling out having implants ever again If it’s a year or more down the track and things just don’t feel right my doctor has assured me that I have the option to have implants again.

For now, I promised myself I’d take it day by day and really monitor how I’m feeling and listen to myself, value my thoughts and feelings and act in a way that is best for my family and me.

I’ll definitely keep you updated on my progress through my vlogs. If you have any questions, there’s anything you’d really like to ask about the surgery, any advice you need if you’re going through something similar, please just comment below, follow my vlogs, or DM me on IG, @NovaJaneFit_.

Love ya babes, and thank you for letting me share my journey with you!


XX

Nova Jane

Thursday, 4 June 2020

Hi Babes,

It’s Nova Jane here. I felt it was right to shed some light on what’s going on at the moment.

I know I speak for my whole team when I say that we’re deeply saddened by the events unfolding around the world at the moment. We want to do the right thing; however, we’ve found our actions and non-actions misinterpreted and I want to share with you clearly where we stand.

While we try to make sense of the events we are seeing through social media and news reports with sensitivity, you should know that we do not condone, tolerate or turn a blind eye to hatred, bullying, violence, racism, sexism, cruelty, suppression, discrimination or deprivation of rights of any people or living creatures.

As individuals and as a brand, we are continually trying to inform ourselves about international issues that affect human lives and dignity. However, in times like this, there are beautiful, strong voices ringing loud and clear and those voices should be heard above ours.

Even though our lives in Australia may feel worlds apart from the struggles in the US right now, as a nation we have injustices in our past that we are still working through. We are all human and we stand in solidarity against any kind of hatred and right now our hearts go out to anyone that is suffering and is being mistreated.

Fitcover embraces love, kindness, inspiration, nurturing, supportiveness, equal opportunity, mental-health awareness and living a long and healthy life. But this is not about us, it’s not about who we are as a brand, it’s about all of us in the entire world taking a stand to care about each other more and to treat everyone with respect and dignity.

We care.

Love,
Nova Jane and the Fitcover Fam

Thursday, 28 May 2020

Adding Pump-It-Up Collagen to our Fitcover range felt so normal to me because I’ve been using it myself for such a long time and honestly couldn’t live without it now. 



Like all of our products, we put a lot of thought into the type of collagen we would offer and ensured it was ethically sourced, high quality, pure and with an excellent absorption rate. That’s why we chose hydrolysed collagen peptide and kept it unflavoured and unaltered so it’s undetectable when added to drinks and foods. Plus it fits so neatly into the Fitcover box where we keep fitness and beauty neatly tucked in together.

My love affair with collagen peptides

Collagen made its way into my routine shortly after the birth of my first son, Taj. I suffered from hair loss, hair thinning, skin pigmentation, stretch marks and overall dullness just like so many other mothers do. It’s crazy that one of the best experiences we can have as a woman can leave us feeling so wrecked. After only a few weeks taking collagen, I noticed huge changes in my skin's firmness, reduction in my acne scarring and stretch marks (wow, thought that was for life?), my hair was growing thick and super strong and my overall complexion was so much brighter. I could not believe it!!! 


Is collagen an ancient fountain of youth?

It very well could be and I do love the benefits I’ve seen in my skin! Even though it seems like a new thing, using collagen-rich foods and products for beauty benefits are common in traditional Chinese medicine. But, the rest of us are really only just catching on to their true benefits. With anything, there are always sceptics but the more studies that are done, the more it’s looking like collagen may have widespread health and beauty benefits for lots of different people.


What is collagen and where does the body get it naturally?

It’s dubbed the scaffolding of the body because it’s in literally everything from our bones, connective tissues, muscles, tendons and ligaments. Up to 10% of muscles are made up of collagen and around 75% of the dry weight of our skin.

The body should make the collagen it needs when you consume enough foods rich in protein, vitamin C and iron. For many of us, our bodies can’t make as much collagen as would be optimal because our diet and activity levels don’t match, we’re going through a major physical change (like pregnancy) or natural collagen production has reduced due to ageing. 

The signs of low collagen production can include:

  • Wrinkles;
  • Skin lacking elasticity;
  • Loose, thin skin;
  • Dry skin;
  • Muscle wastage;
  • Joint pain; and,
  • Bone health issues.

Some foods contain good levels of natural collagen, including chicken skins and bone broth, but I don’t like the sound of eating those every day and maybe you don’t either! A collagen supplement is such a great alternative as it can be added to almost any food or drink without affecting the texture, smell or adding any weird flavours as it is completely tasteless.

Do collagen supplements work?

Studies into the same collagen we use in our Pump-It-Up Collagen show positive outcomes, including:
  • Assisting in muscle recovery by delivering 18 amino acids;
  • Firming and tightening skin that lacks elasticity and tone;
  • Preventing and reducing the appearance of cellulite and stretch marks;
  • Assisting smooth-moving joints and reducing joint damage and pain;
  • Encouraging fast-growing strong hair and nails;
  • Reducing appetite by providing a low-cal full-feeling; and,
  • Promoting gut health and energy levels.

That’s a pretty impressive list right? The recommendations to get these kinds of results actually vary from 2.5g to 30g per day. We recommend a 10g daily dose in combination with a balanced, whole food diet as a great starting point.


How I take my Pump-It-Up Collagen

I add 1 tablespoon (about 10g) of Collagen to my protein shake every morning and another tablespoon to a glass of water or juice every night, usually around 10 mins before bed. This has become such a routine for me that if I go to bed without taking it I will get back up to make it because I know how amazing it makes me feel every day.

My Favourite Pump-It-Up Collagen Recipe 

Ingredients:

  • 300mls cold water
  • 1x scoop Macro Mike protein powder ( It doesn't matter which one as I love them all) 
  • 1x frozen banana
  • 1 handful of berries
  • 30g oats
  • Half teaspoon coconut oil
  • 1 Tablespoon Collagen 

Blend and serve. Easy.

Yes! I’m a sucker for the simple smoothie but who isn’t these days? I’ve also been known to add it to my coffee, into my cooked oats, mixed in with my cereal or yoghurt and just about any other way I can think to have it! Pump-It-Up Collagen is so versatile and doesn’t go strange during cooking as some other protein powders do.


Fountain of youth or an essential fitness and beauty sup? You be the judge!

Seriously, Pump-It-Up Collagen is one of those things you need to try for yourself. It has literally changed how I feel about beauty supplements and has helped my body rejuvenate after pregnancy. I could challenge you to so many fitnessy things that are tough to do and take genuine effort but taking a simple scoop of powder once or twice a day is pretty damn simple. 

So, you choose: are you going to do the 100 burpees or try our Pump-It-Up Collagen?

Xx
Nova Jane

Sunday, 10 May 2020

Wow, it's that time of year again, where we remind ourselves that being a fierce-female means we should be taking care of our health too! I've said it before, I'm a fitness addict, but I've also had times where my health wasn't on point.

I'm also the first to admit that sometimes I forget that to give the best to my children, my fiance and my Fitcover team I need to make sure I'm 100%. 

And this Women's Health Week 2020 (May 11-17) I'm challenging all of you Boss-Babe's out there to take stock of your health. I've put together one little women's health reminder or activity for you do each day this week.


Monday - DRINK UP

Drink more water. I know, boring! But there is wine later down the list so hear me out! Despite that well-known 2L recommendation, many of us aren't even hitting that each day.

From my sporting background, I can tell you that 2L actually doesn't cut it when you're exercising a lot. You probably need more because first of all, you're sweating more. But there's a more important reason.

When you exercise, and during recovery from exercise, there's more going on in the body at a cellular level. All of these micro-changes in the body need water as a catalyst and to transport the waste products for recycling or for flushing out of the body.

Keep it easy and start by increasing your water intake by a glass or two per day for a week, then up it from there.

Tuesday - YOGA

Take a few minutes to stretch and do some yoga moves. Focus on your breathing and feeling connected with your body. Put your headphones on with gentle music and close your eyes if you need to block out distractions.

If you're down with meditation, pick the habit back up! It's perfect to finish of a stretching session with a few minutes of silent stillness.

Here's some pointers to help you out:
  • Feel the mind connecting with the toes and fingertips.
  • Feel your muscles as they contract and relax.
  • Feel the tightness pull and then release.
  • Listen to the sound of your breath.
  • Feel the air fill your lungs then leave your chest.

The point is, you need to be alone with yourself, and reconnect your mind with your body. Yoga, stretching, meditation and mindfulness are powerful for de-stressing and for health. And the best part you should feel the positive impact straight away.






Wednesday - BE SUPERGREEN

Be more conscious about eating your greens. Why? They make you look younger and more vibrant, help you feel fuller, they boost immunity, aid in digestive health (which is also linked to mental health) and have been linked with preventing cancer.

For most of us, we should be aiming for 5-7 serves per day which looks like 2-3 plates per day that have around 50% green vegetables. I know that seems like a lot! Really it does! 

If you're a long way from hitting that level of green then start by adding an extra serving of greens to your lunch and dinner or using some fresh herbs to flavour your meals, like rosemary potatoes. Yum!

I love to add a handful of spinach leaves, a scoop of spirulina, 1/4 of an avocado or some chunks of cucumber to my smoothies.

Thursday - REFLECTION

Take a moment to look deeply at yourself. If you're like me, the mirror has become this place where you get moments of 'work' done. Putting your makeup on, a quick stray eyelash check while you're washing your hands or a survey of those worry-lines.

Today, I want you to stare differently and deeply into your reflection:
  • See the shape, colour and beauty of your eyes.
  • Recognise the facial features you share with your parents, grandparents, siblings and precious children.
  • Cherish the memories that gave you your smile lines.
  • Acknowledge (but don't judge) the changes in your body that came with adulthood, with stress, with childbirth and with age.

Then, thank your body for being the unbreakable vessel that it is, tell her how much you love her, and make a promise to consider her needs more often.

Friday - GLAM IT

Make those cheekbones pop, those lips look plump and moist and those eyes look alluring. Also, stilettos to get those calves popping and admire all that leg work you've been doing.

Plan a drink with the girls. If you can't physically see them, you need to make a zoom date with a bottle of wine and a sassy Spotify playlist and tear up your lounge-room floor. 

Why? Because sitting at home in our athleisurewear doesn't remind us how heavenly our femininity is or help us feel connected. For mental health, we need to remind our womanly selves that we are goddesses at every stage of our lives, and spend some time with our BFF babes to giggle and cry.


Saturday - ROMANCE

Mmmhmmm you know what I'm talking about! You need to romance yourself girl. Run a salt-crystal bath, light those scented candles, put on some Barry White, pour that glass of wine and prepare your silk robe.

Don't forget to lock that door (or leave it open if you'd welcome the intrusion)...

How many roles do you play each day? Tick all that apply:
  • partner
  • girlfriend
  • wife
  • mother
  • step-mother
  • grandmother
  • daughter
  • sister
  • aunt
  • boss

You ticked a few, right? The thing is, playing all of those roles is pretty damn demanding. You need to give yourself a little lurve to recharge. Today you're going to take a moment away from all those titles, and give yourself a little romance, babes!

Sunday - KICK THAT GOAL

Today's the day you're going to take action. Start that new fitness program, enrol in that course, de-clutter the garage, start that meal-prep plan. Pick something from that list of things you were always "gonna" do, and just do it.

Even better, make an Insta announcement! You can tag me too, @novajanefit_, and challenge your friends to announce their goals too! The more of you that are in it, the more chance you've got to kick that goal!

Are you ready? This week is about you, it's about your health, and it's about being the fiercest, strongest, and bravest version of you BECAUSE you've set yourself up for success.

PS. If you have some special Women's Health Week ideas you want to share then comment below. What are you waiting for? Get off your phone and start DOING.

Tuesday, 21 April 2020

Today, April 22, 2020, marks the 50th annual Earth Day. The first Earth Day, hosted in the US in 1970, marked a growing awareness of the link between the health of the Earth and public health.
While we all try to be mindful about climate change and our carbon footprint most of the time, Earth Day is when we unite globally and bring everything Earth-loving together. And, it’s a time where my Fitcover Fam and I work even harder to find ways that we can do more for the Earth.
This year the world is facing its biggest fight for humanity since WW2. With billions of us social distancing in self-isolation, we’re seeing eye-rubbing footage of things on the news and shared on social media.
These are sights like dolphins jumping in harbours, clear waters and tiny fish visible in the canals of Venice and birds returning to suburbs that were too busy, noisy and with poor air quality pre-COVID-19. While National Geographic has confirmed that the reporting of many of these appearances is inaccurate or fake, they do give us a glimpse of what our world could be like with less waste and pollution.
I don’t know about you, but I never imagined that something as simple as people staying at home for a couple of months would make people look at the world with fresh new eyes and imagine, “what if?” It gives me confidence that even the small actions we take to reduce waste and pollution can make a difference, especially if we do them on mass.
So I’d like to take this opportunity to talk about what we are already doing to reduce our carbon footprint and the Earth-loving things in our pipeline. I also invite you to comment below with any ideas you have where we could improve.
Meet our best selling product Active Mineral Powder Foundation

Sweat-proof makeup that is 100% cruelty-free, vegan and natural

Right at the beginning, the idea behind Fitcover was to produce sweat-proof makeup that was good for the skin and good for the environment. Taking natural ingredients and bringing them together in products that promote self-love for Earth-conscious women around the globe.
 Some of our flagship products include:
We love what we do and why we do it, so it’s important to us that when we bring a product to life that it ticks the right boxes. We care about what you think and want you to be confident in our products and what Fitcover stands for.

Biodegradable and reusable packaging

As a society, we’ve come to this age where everything is wrapped in plastic and consumable. We all know that it’s just piling up in landfill, in the ground we grow our food in, polluting our waterways and poisoning living creatures.
At Fitcover, we want to change that. From our products through to packaging for shipping we’re rethinking every aspect. We’re using recycled cardboard boxes already, which is pretty standard. But we want to encourage you to reuse these boxes to store your precious keepsakes and go #KonMari on your storage.
Also, we’ve started using this cute puffy packaging called bio-fill. It’s so natural, made from potato-starch, that you could eat it. But, the real superpowers of these little puffy gems is that you can reuse them and when you’re done, they’ll compost away in your garden.
Some of our upcoming products include:
  • Bio-pouch refills for our Active Mineral Powder Foundation so you can reuse your jar or store in your own jar
  • Bio-pouch refills for our upcoming new product releases
  • Bio-pouch packaging for our upcoming Collagen Powder
  • Biodegradable storage pouch for our upcoming Buff Puff Beauty Blender
If you’re noticing a lot of “bio” I feel like it’s becoming my middle name! But, it’s just one of the ways we’re reducing our carbon footprint.

QR code accessed online flyers and pamphlets

This is a new initiative that we have in the pipelines. In the coming months, you’ll see some changes to what you get inside your order boxes. By taking away these pamphlets and making the information available online, you can get all the product info you need through your devices.
Sounds simple, right? It’s just one of the things we’re doing to reduce the quantity of waste going into landfill.

Nova Jane kissing a jar of Active Mineral Foundation

Reducing our carbon footprint with a remote workspace 

There are a lot of reasons why businesses are going remote from accessing the best workers through to spanning multiple timezones for better customer experience. One of the reasons we love our remote team is that working from home is better for the Earth.
We have one small HQ office, but the majority of our team are 100% remote. Our team doesn’t need to own cars, buy fuel and spend time driving in traffic all while producing carbon emissions along the way. We also don’t need to microwave low-quality plastic-wrapped meals at the office.
It’s a win/win situation. We love catching up through our Zoom meetings and keeping the collaboration channels open while bringing amazing product ideas out to our extended Fitcover Fam- including you!

Tell us about your Earth-conscious skin-loving sweat-ready ideas

I hope you know that we can’t do what we do without your support. At Fitcover, we know what we stand for and what we care about, and like any good friendship, we hope that means you feel the same way as we do.
We’ve got so many ideas we’re developing and new products in the pipeline that I can’t wait to announce. For now, I’ll remind you that we’re always open to ideas that you have, and feedback on the sustainability of our products. You’re a part of the Fitcover Fam and if you have something to share we’re all ears. So email us or fill out the comments form below to have your say.

Love you, babes!

Xoxo
Nova Jane

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