Be the Change.

Points to ponder from ‘Embrace’ the documentary

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Be the change.  Last night I watched ‘Embrace’ the documentary – acknowledging body diversity and highlighting the impact of how much less than positive body image affects people, mostly women.

Taryn Brumfitt does a great job – as she describes, she was ‘compelled’ to know more after her ‘not typical before and after’ photos went viral.  They didn’t go viral because she was a smart woman, a loving wife and capable mother of three, but rather because her photos showed that she was at a better point in her life when she was ‘bigger’ rather than when she was at her thinnest.

I won’t say any more, I don’t want to spoil the show, because you should see it, as should every young person, boys included – positive body image isn’t just about the girls in our society.

Taryn, as part of the Body Image Movement is doing lots of amazing stuff, but I believe as the most important component, she has made it her mission to get ‘Embrace’ the documentary into schools.  This is an area we need to help to create positive change in celebrating body diversity and encourage positive body image.

Here’s my top 5 points for you to ponder:

  1. Society is us – you often hear ‘society’ referred to as something that is out of our control, but is it really?  We are the people who shape the lives of those around us – we are society and if we want to see or make a change in ‘society’, it has to start with us!
  2. We need to love our bodies – Taryn words it well – “…our bodies are not ornaments, they are vehicles for our dreams….’  And this takes practice.  How good would it be if we were measured for doing the things that make you happy, being a good role model, creating something that we are proud of or contributing to ‘society’ rather than what we look like.  This is the message we want to send our young people, especially our girls.
  3. Life is too short to compare your body to someone else’s – especially if it’s the excessively photoshopped model you see on the magazine cover.  The unobtainable image is just that, unobtainable.  And you don’t have to look far to realise how fragile life can be – take some time to stop giving yourself a hard time.
  4. Even ‘the perfect girls’ don’t believe they are perfect – what if you did have ‘your perfect body’ and you were miserable?!! Skinny DOES NOT equal happy.
  5. We choose to make either the positive or negative attitudes contagious – Which one will you choose?  Not only choose, but send as a message to our young people?

Our bodies are our friends and our homes – how about you try being as compassionate to ourselves as we are our dear friends, share stories and the message we are all beautiful, just as we are.

#Ihaveembraced

Sleepy?

This morning when I was so rudely woken by my alarm, I seriously felt like I’d been asleep for like 10 minutes!  I hadn’t, I had almost 9 hours sleep, but it set me to thinking about how amazing sleep is!  I have always felt empathy for people who have trouble sleeping, however, never truly understood it!!!

Sleep is a human necessity and the benefits of sleep are truly astonishing!!  Who doesn’t love a good sleep??

Here is some facts I found for you in the ABC’s National Sleep Research Project (in bold)(These are from 2000 – its a little old now, but these facts are ones which won’t change with time.)

  • Seventeen hours of sustained wakefulness leads to a decrease in performance equivalent to a blood alcohol-level of 0.05%.  Being a nurse who has done some shiftwork in her time – I believe this to be true!)
  • Teenagers need as much sleep as small children (about 10 hrs) while those over 65 need the least of all (about six hours). For the average adult aged 25-55, eight hours is considered optimal.  If you have had the pleasure of spending time with an adolescent, you will know sleep is very high on their priority list, and here it is, backed by research!)
  • Experts say one of the most alluring sleep distractions is the 24-hour accessibility of the internet. And further to this, backlit screens actually decrease a person’s melatonin secretion – which is the hormone that helps us sleep.
  • A new baby typically results in 400-750 hours lost sleep for parents in the first year (wow, I’ve not seen it laid out like that, any new parents out there, you are doing awesome, don’t stop reading, I promise to be the bearer of some tips too!)

And this is what I know about sleep:

Good quality sleep is good for weight loss! – Poor sleep has a slowing effect on metabolism, and we know our metabolism needs to be working well if we want to lose weight.

Lack of sleep has been used as a form of torture – prolonged periods of sleep deprivation mess with the entire body’s biological functions and therefore effect mental and physical health.

A sleep routine can actually help you sleep better.  Psst, sleep routines aren’t just for babies!!  Its not about timing how long you sleep for and sleeping for intervals and waking up, its about getting in the ‘sleep zone’ before you even go to bed.  Again, its about creating habits!

icon-sleep

Here are just a couple of things to try:

Try getting up at the same time each day – for people who are particularly fond of their sleep, this might be difficult to start with, but it helps regulate your body’s circadian rhythm.  And when you wake up, get out of bed, so for you serial snoozers, its time to ‘disable’ the snooze function.

Avoiding caffeine after about lunchtime – for obvious reasons, being zinged up on stimulants before bed clearly has detrimental effects on your sleep pattern.

Exercise, especially in the afternoon – physically tiring, but also there is a link to body temperature and it being back to normal by the time bedtime comes around.

I’ve saved the best until last, though perhaps it will be the least popular of all…

Turn off your backlit screens at least one hour before you want to go to sleep.  As mentioned above, the melatonin secretion is affected by that light.  The ‘one last look’ at your social media for bed has got to be a thing of the past if you want to sleep better!

There you have it, Wellness Assist’s sleep tips in a nutshell, have a great, sleep-filled week!

 

“Opportunistic”

Opportunistic

  1. exploiting immediate opportunities, especially regardless of planning or principle.

Source: Oxford dictionary

I believe that what I did yesterday fits this definition perfectly.  I exploited, or took advantage of the fact that my children’s Great Uncle wanted to take them to the motorbike shop and I went for a run.  No children were harmed in this opportunistic act, in fact, they had a fabulous time, so everyone had a win – got to love it when that happens!!

Anyhow, back to my run, it was an unexpected run – such a bonus!  For anyone who is time poor (which is probably most of us at some stage), this is comparative to winning on a scratch-it ticket – not anticipated, but you are grateful anyway!

When I was running I was thinking about both time and change.  They are the two things we have no control over and yet both make a huge difference in our lives. Its how we perceive them that makes all the difference.  For example, five years ago, running definitely wouldn’t have been my chosen opportunistic activity when someone offered to take my child (there was only one then) off my hands and honestly I would have cringed at the thought at all!!  But here we are, 5 years on, running is a chosen past time of mine – and on my opportunistic run it felt was so good it almost seemed a little naughty.  I almost felt like someone was going to tap me on the shoulder and tell me my time was up – now that is a massive change of perspective!

There was certainly nothing pretty about my run, it was slow and I sweated, a lot!  But it was my longest for the year this far and man, knowing I had just smashed out 9km, I can tell you, that felt pretty damn fine!  I also discovered a road I didn’t know existed, which links perfectly to my last blog post about new adventures being good for you!

So time has changed me and I’m proud of that.

I’m a runner now because I believe I am, (but just to set the record straight here and now, I will never be a race winner – but I sure feel like one especially when I walked in the gate and our dog was so pleased to see me, I imagine that’s how elite athletes feel when their fans surround them!

My perception of yesterday’s opportunity was as a way to get closer to my goals and I was ever so grateful for the time.

It is rather ironic, because, as a nurse, normally when I think of opportunistic I think of infection!  Since I’m writing about health, infection is obviously antagonistic to the cause!  However, perhaps just like sneaky infections, we all need to be a little opportunistic sometimes, especially if it meets our needs and gets us closer to our goals!

Disclaimer:  I tried to upload the photo I took just after I got back from said run, enter technical difficulties, hence the use of the happy emoji instead!  My apologies!

Here’s to new adventures!

Today I went to my first group PT session.  Wouldn’t you think that a good couple of years into my gaining health journey, I would have been to one?!  I guess it’s just never lined up with my schedule, or perhaps I have just never made it happen.  But, low and behold, I really enjoyed it, the camaraderie was really something to be relished.

The group was welcoming, not stand-offish, friendly yet not over-familiar and giving it their all, but yet not competitive – some people would say this is tall ask these days!  Everyone was there for their own reasons, and you know what, nobody asked their reasons.  The leader, Marisa, perhaps knew some of their reasons, but it wasn’t important.  What was important, that despite their reasons and motivations, everyone turned up and gave it their all, not to be the best there, but to be better than yesterday.

‘Being better than yesterday’ is another quote I like, it supports the concept of starting from where you are – wherever that may be, as long as its an improvement on the days prior.

If I had not gone to the class today, I wouldn’t have had this new adventure and I wouldn’t be writing about the supportive network of women I encountered today.

There is always room to be better, and I reckon today, I was!  Yay, me!  I was a little proud. Though only a bit, some of the ladies should be even prouder of themselves, they smashed out some impressive fitness test results!!

My conclusion and in support what I have always known – new adventures are ridiculously good for the mind!  Sometimes they require stepping out of your comfort zone, but hey, life begins at the end of that, doesn’t it?!

Have a great week!

Why Wellness Assist in 2016?

I’ve decided 2016 is going to be my year, my year to help people achieve.  No, it wasn’t that I set myself some crazy new year’s resolutions and had to commit to following through with them.  To be honest, it was that I took a look back over the last 5+ years of my life and realised how far I’d come.  Yes, I have a journey, like a lot of people, to some it might not be exciting, but to others its shows personal strength and what the mind and body is capable of.

You see, I’ve lost weight, and I’ve put weight on, and then lost it again. Its not lost, like I’m looking for it, its lost like, I said, good riddance when it ‘disappeared’.

With the ‘losing’ of weight, I’ve gained both physical and mental strength and I can say, with conviction, that I’m not going looking for the ‘lost’ weight any time soon….  With the loss though, came so many gains.  I’ve gained so many things, including health, muscles, confidence, friends, and new experiences – some I continue to use, others I would rather forget – like when I fell off my bike during an enticer triathlon….FYI after a few cracks, I’ve decided triathlon isn’t my sport, though I did try!

So, while you could say I wasn’t enticed by triathlon, I wasn’t discouraged either, I’ve just shifted my focus, to being the best version of myself.  I know that’s a bit cliche’, not sure whose line it was first, but I want to be someone my boys look up to.  Yes, I’m a Mum to two handsome and boisterous boys, and I must say they are part of many of my reasons for making sustainable lifestyle changes.  I’m also a wife, I’ve been lucky enough to be with my awesome husband for almost 10 years now, wow, that makes me feel a little old!  He too, has a journey, but I don’t have his permission to share, so that is for a future blog. The other main hat I fashion is that I’m a Registered Nurse, I wouldn’t say it defines me, but certainly has presented some interesting life experiences since I graduated 13 years ago!!  As we all do, there are other titles I hold dear, though, it wouldn’t leave much to talk about if I spilled them all now, would it?!

So I invite you to join me, join my blog and find out about the cultivating that has gone on since the start of this journey I speak of!  I look forward to sharing and perhaps even helping you achieve!

Bring on 2016!!