How is your next holiday looking?

So….you ate too much chocolate at Easter??  The chocolate distracted you from looking after yourself?  ‘It was a gift – I had to eat it!’  ‘Can’t let it go to waste’. Blahblahblah – who has heard some of those excuses out of their own mouth or someone close to you’s mouth in the last few days?  They could be seen as excuses or for the sake of this blog, lets call them distractions to your healthy lifestyle.

We all have distractions in life – they may look different for different people, but they are there, lurking around.  They might be well meaning edible gifts from family and friends or they might be in the shape of cute small people, who take up the much of your time.  Or it may really bother you how people on your ‘newsfeed’ persistently post their ‘perfect’ posts – it doesn’t matter what it is, there will always be distractions!

It is how we manage these distractions that matters!!  Do you know what yours are?  Do you know the distractions that stand between you and your healthy lifestyle?  There also lies the question, can we afford to be distracted from our own health??  Personally, I don’t think so, what’s your thoughts?

On that note, you know what I find strange, is that most people will spend longer planning their next holiday than deliberately taking time to look after their own health??  Are you guilty of this??

WARNING – I’m pretty sure I have said this in a previous blog and I will continue using this line because it is so simple yet so valuable. – self-care is not selfish. 

Self-care includes knowing what your distractions are so you can find an achievable and sustainable solution or compromise for them!  Obviously, some distractions are part of life eg. like those small cute people I referred to in the second paragraph – we love them dearly AND they don’t have to be a distraction!  For example – include those said small people in your healthy lifestyle – be a role model to them – show them that exercise and eating well is fabulous or that having a go at something new can be lots of fun.  Solutions will come at you, if that’s what you focus on – how much do you want to be healthy??

I guess the message is – distractions are always there, but they are only distracting if you let them be!

Advertisements

THAT fire.

I have had a couple of different conversations with various people this week about how the scales aren’t reflecting how good they (the beautiful people I have been speaking to) are feeling… I truly wanted to shout “THE NUMBER ON THE SCALES DOESN’T DEFINE YOU!!”  In the interest of social etiquette (and for them not to think I was a little crazy), I didn’t shout and I didn’t even say those words.  I said something more along the lines of ‘…as long as you are feeling good, that’s what matters…and…take some measurements, I think you will be surprised!’

Here’s 4 things I know about weight not coming close as a measure of wellness:

  1.  THAT number definitely doesn’t reflect how hard you have been trying to balance everything that you have going on right now, or that you have made some awesome positive choices for your long-term health in the previous weeks.
  2. THAT number matters less and less when your focus is wellness, rather than skinniness.
  3. Alexx Stuart (Low Tox Life) was way ahead of the game in 2013 when she quoted ‘The conversation is no longer about skinniness.  Its about wellness.  A much more exciting conversation to have.’  By the way, that quote is the background on my computer, that is how much it shouts out me.
  4. A weight can form part of objective data that is compared.  If you have a burning desire to look at numbers, and some people do, you could do some body measurements and partake in some fitness tests!  Go right ahead!

So obviously, I think what matters is not THAT number but rather, THAT fire in YOUR belly… Do you know what stokes the fire in your belly?  Can you remember the last time you felt so energised and determined about YOUR life, you could actually feel THAT fire?  If you can, you can clearly understand that wellness is about a feeling, not any number.

So here’s an idea – the next time you are in a conversation that includes THAT number, do yourself a favour and change the topic to THAT fire!

 

The Bus Ride

To follow on from my post last week’s about strong women on International Women’s Day, I think today I will write more about the invaluable support friends bring to our lives.  Yep, that’s what I will do – spend a whole blog writing about the support of friends in wellness, weight management and just life in general.

And not just any friends, the type of friends in the words of Oprah Winfrey ‘…who would take the bus with you when your limo breaks down…..’  It is my sincere hope that everyone has some of these friends.  You know the ones who it is totally acceptable for them to tell you all the details of why they don’t like your outfit or the ones who are more than ok with coming around to your house to have a nap.  They are the ones.

When it comes to wellness, these friends know they hold incredible power to you guiding on the road to thriving.  They would go out with you when you were having ‘me’ time or stay home with your children (or dog) while you went and had that said ‘me’ time.  Other things they might do is notice when you are doing it tough and actually do something about it, not wait until you lose your s#%t before they take action to help you.

While some of the supports might be the same as wellness, weight loss and gaining  health can also be ably assisted by friends.  They might question if you really need that second piece of cake, or they might gently (!) persuade you to go for a walk or a quick fun run with them – even if your idea of fun is different to theirs!  Regardless of the differences, true friends wholeheartedly want to see you succeed.  And how good is that feeling that someone has your back?!

The friends who you know, without question, want you to succeed are the ones you choose to do life with.  At risk of sounding old, I can absolutely say the value of dear friends is amplified as you get busier, and older!!  These are the friends who you make time for and they make time for you.  I can’t tell you how many times I’ve ‘phoned a friend’ to share when I was having a bad time.  I didn’t want them to provide solutions, I just knew they wouldn’t question my position and would 100% support me.

The love of a dear friend can be what you need most, even when you don’t know you do.  Or their support might just be the difference between you moving forward or you staying exactly where you are.  Or just that their support kindly points out the funny side of a situation, even if it wasn’t even remotely close to your humour radar!

I’ll finish with a disclaimer – having friends won’t make you immune to tough times, but it will definately make the bus trip of life much more delightful, gratifying and treasured!

Challenge accepted??

It seems right that because it is International Women’s Day today, that my topic should somehow be related.  Challenge accepted – it shouldn’t be too hard, I am lucky enough to be currently, and have been in the past, surrounded by many strong women.  Odds are you have been too, perhaps its just that you didn’t know?!!

What does a strong woman look like anyway?

Do they all look the same??

Have you ever asked your female friends about what has made them strong?

Or how they came to be as determined as they are?

Who are the strong women in your life??

I’ve seen a few posts today about strong women, perhaps my favourite ‘…may we be them, may we know them and may we raise them’  I do love this – it simply describes so much about a strong woman.  Not only do strong women need other strong women, but also that we need to show our daughters, nieces, our friends daughters and anyone other young women who look up to you, how to be strong women.

Being strong isn’t just about lifting heavy things.  Being a strong woman living in 2016 and beyond, is about knowing what you are emotionally and physically capable of and putting those capabilities into action.  But it’s contextual – strength most certainly looks different on every single woman.

In my mind, strength is about being relentless and believing in hopes and dreams.  It’s about falling down, but knowing whose hand to ask for and how you need to hold onto it to get back up.  It’s about fully understanding yourself and being aware that you are in control.  And lastly its about firmly keeping a grip of what matters, regardless of what’s going on around you.

Sadly though, regardless of how strong we are , in our society, men and women are not viewed as being as strong as each other.  In fact, the World Economic forum sees true gender equity as something that will not happen in this century???  What the??  I don’t know about you, but that horrifies me and I want to take some definite action!!

The theme for this year’s International Women’s Day is a ‘Pledge for Parity’.  I’ve taken this pledge and this blog is hereby dedicated to inspiring others to do the same – go to http://www.internationalwomensday.com to do your bit!

So you take the pledge, then what?  I tell you what, here’s what I think – the best way forward from here is to continue to respect and value women, celebrate their successes and have your bestie’s back….challenge accepted??

 

 

‘How to’

Do you know about Parkrun?  It is a free, weekly, 5km timed run that happens around the world. A worldwide community who don’t know each other but we have one common interest – running.  It has been my observation that a wonderful sense of connection has emerged through this parkrunning phenomenon. We know that having a sense of connectedness can improve one’s mental health.  So, in a nutshell parkrun has the capacity to improve mental health??  Could it really be that easy??  Follow the ‘how to’ guide below, and let me know!!

Thanks to a beautiful friend, who introduced me to parkrun, I’ve been parkrunning for awhile now.  I love it, and I wanted to share the love!!  I’m super proud to say that I will have clocked up my 50 parkruns by the end of April.  There are some people at my home run who have done more than 100!!  And I did also see a 250 run shirt on the merchandise store – now that is dedicated, isn’t it?!

Parkrun is something that has become a ritual for me now. Each week, something else occurs to me as to why I like it so much. Here’s what I suggest:

  1. Register at http://www.parkrun.com  This involves printing out your barcodes – they give you 6, so no excuses when you lose one, ok!?  I now note you can also get a wristband with your barcode on it, that’s a bit fancy, isn’t it?
  2. So then on Friday night, lay out the clothes you plan to wear, you want to make it easy for yourself!! This includes everything you will need, you don’t want have to search for belongings in the morning.
  3. Set your alarm, even set it to occur weekly as a back up. Sleep well, the alarm will wake you! That’s it’s job!
  4. Bound out of bed, dress in your pre-prepared clothes and remember to take your barcode. It doesn’t matter if you are sleepy eyed, high five yourself for getting up, that’s  the hardest but most important decision you will make for the weekend. Apply sunscreen but only under your eyes, nobody wants sunscreen eyes while running!
  5. Drive there, give yourself plenty of time, you want to arrive with time to spare, like probably 0645. Last week, in my sleepiness I nearly reversed my husband’s car into a unassuming rail.
  6. Proceed to start line, if its your first time, listen the brief, the run directors want you to have fun and come back to enjoy all that is parkrun.
  7. Have a look around, you never know who to might know there.  The running community doesn’t discriminate. People come from all walks of life and for all different reasons. See that’s the cool thing about parkrun, its absolutely not a race, the only competition there is, is against yourself, and being better than YOU were yesterday.
  8. Run!  It doesn’t matter how fast you go, you are still lapping everyone on the couch! Sometimes I run with a watch to see my time and keep me honest, other times I just run, for the fresh air and because it’s my time not to think about anything else (any mum’s reading this will especially know how important this is!)
  9. Notice the people around you, if they are doing it tough, would it hurt to give them a boost? It’s called kindness, sprinkle that everywhere!  Today at another time or on another day, your kindness will be returned.  I tell you, I LOVE that kindness when I’m doing tough at about the 3-4km mark!  That kindness can, and should be applied to yourself!!
  10. Cross the finish line and collect your token.  Now for the part that seems to be an issue everywhere.  Get both your barcode and token scanned.  The barcode is yours to keep and the token belongs to parkrun.  DO NOT TAKE THE TOKEN HOME!!  And that’s it, easy right?!  All Done!
  11. Give yourself some more well deserved praise its, its 8 am and you couldn’t have started the weekend in a much better way!
  12. After you have been a few times a couple of things will then happen.  You start to notice people and people notice your efforts as well.  The other thing that then needs to happen is that you need to volunteer.  Parkrun relies solely on volunteers – speak to your Run Director or other organisers to put your hand up – its an easy job which is very rewarding!
Did you note only one of the steps involves running?!  The park run community is quite a unique and supportive group, why not try it out for yourself?
On behalf of parkrunners everywhere, I would like to say a sincere THANK YOU to all of the Run Directors and the volunteers – not only do you give up your time every week, you also directly contribute to improving the health of hundreds of thousands of people.