28 May 2013

Things to start doing for YOURSELF....

Remember today, for it is the beginning.
Today marks the start of a brave new future.

The vibe I get from all social media platforms is that we are just too busy and important. We have a job and house to look after, kids, the shopping, the cleaning, trying to fit in exercise whether it is yoga or balance, body attack or just a walk around the block.  Yes. Everyone. Is. Busy and we definitely are all very important - we say that, but do we really look after ourselves?

I understand that some days can go to shit, and by lunchtime you seriously want to run away screaming. Yes it is hard, life is hard, shit gets thrown at you (sometimes literally) you have deadlines, things to do, bills to pay, three kids under five (seriously NO TV in your house?) and you really just want to be here:

But there is one person you have to remember to look after - YOU. If you are ragged, running around you aren't looking after yourself, the people around you suffer too. You need to be selfish. You need plan time (even if it is only 15-20mins a day) to have some solid YOU time. 

Here are some things to start doing for YOURSELF:

1. Spend time ALONE - reading, having a quick coffee break, a walk, gym time, massage, having a bath - no excuses make it happen. Even if for only 30mins a day.

2. Surround yourself with positive happy people. Trust me your mood and outlook will change.  Spend less around those who upset or make you angry (sometimes you cannot totally ignore those family members or work colleagues).

3. Are you being yourself? Truly you? Do you go to bed happy with who you are as person? If not write down what changes need to happen.  You are the only person that can truly look after YOU. Stop the blame. Stop the guilt. Just DO IT (sorry Nike, great line).

4. We learn from mistakes and move on, are you living in the past or the present. LET GO. Be accountable, be responsible. Live your life.

5. Are you challenging yourself, do you have a mini bucket list? Plan out things you want to achieve (indoor rock climbing, to finish a book, to write a book, to take a course for fun, to play more with your kids, to spend more time with your partner, to get a cat from the pound... whatever). 

6. LAUGH for gods sake. Shit happens everyday, you have a job, kids, partner... you wanted them all right? No-one held a gun to your head and made you an adult. Laugh, spend more time laughing. Turn off the TV, Internet and have a games night with the family. Invite your friends, have wine. Spill wine... live life. LET GO

7. Be kind to yourself. People treat you how you treat yourself. Self respect. You deserve respect from not only yourself but your friends, family and others.

8. Make your OWN happiness.  Do not rely on others to complete you. People in your life add to your happiness, not complete it. Get out there & seek new things. Travel, take a different route to work, walk to work, swim to work... you get the drift. Change things up.

9. Stop competing against your previous self - this one rings so true to me. Be comfortable of who you are now. If you want to achieve the same things, have you really learnt anything? Grow, be wise, learn from the achievements and move onto new things.

10. Don't wait for things to happen. Notice the greatness in everyday occurrences. The changing of the leaves on the trees, the puddles you can walk through in your new wellies, be a kid again, take in your surroundings and smile.

11. Don't wait for PERFECT. There is no such thing.

You deserve to smile everyday. To be happy everyday. Life isn't a big burden, it is how you make it. How you deal with the stuff that comes your way - if you don't like the song being played, change the music. Dance to a different tune, even if it is just a couple times a week.

27 May 2013

Greens greens & more greeens......

I like to track what food I eat most days, gives me a good indication of how much I am eating of what exactly.  Am I eating too much sugar, not enough protein, too much carbs over fats etc.  Fuelling my body with the best fuel ensures that my body functions well under the stress it is put under (either at work or the gym).

I was reading a few health blogs on the weekend and realised that I don't really eat enough greens, I have slipped.  I do love broccoli for breakfast some mornings and have the occasional salad for lunch and veggies with dinner, but not CUPS of the stuff.

There is the new fad going around about "green smoothies".  I think they can be a great idea if you are running out the door and need a nutritious breakfast (better than those up and go things or a slim shake or muesli bar) I like the idea of chewing my food most of the time, you know getting the digestive juices and system functioning properly. Eating on the go all the time cannot be good for us.

So greens.  Luckily for me I love them.  Bulking up my omelette's, stir fries, savoury mince with lots of zucchini, bok choy, green beans (i eat these raw), spinach, broccoli etc.  I have rediscovered my love of eating raw green beans... so crunchy and sweet - delicious, I have them for afternoon tea and for my lunch!

Today I tried a new smoothie.  I went out for a wander after a stressful morning thinking I would just get a coffee when I remembered a new "health shop" that had opened up. So I jaywalked across the street and purchased a kale, banana and pineapple smoothie. So. Delicious. Sweet and I am so full.  No need for coffee this afternoon, just some almonds with my smoothie and I am all done.

I am looking forward to trying a few green smoothies in the next couple days, just because I can (homemade, $6.80 a pop brought) I can experiment with the food I have in the crisper and probably save most of it going off from not using it ALL.

Mixing up the bulking of greens in my meals and the odd green smoothie to keep things interesting is my challenge this week.  I am on top of the exercise regime and eating quite well (made beef & guinness mini pies on the weekend, scrumptious)!  My family would be proud. To be sure.

Will try and find some bizarre recipes also of adding greens that dosen't taste all that bad (mm green pancakes?) Will keep you posted. 

Will get some inspiration and ideas from here: http://www.abeautifulmess.com/2012/04/green-smoothie-challenge.html

23 May 2013

Am I a control freak, have A.D.D or hyperactive?

Watching Offspring last night I was thinking, I am so glad I am not like Nina’s character!!  I am so glad I am not that much of a control freak like Nina, but am I?  I like things to be done in a certain order & my way and if they don’t get done I do get a little anxious, isn’t that just how a normal busy person goes about his or her day?

I  have post-it notes in certain places at work reminding me of the things I need to do individually, posted around the place, my to-do list is never enough and I always seem to get flustered and re-write my to-do list (I mean who DOES that).  I get overwhelmed if I am running late, miss a meeting or completely miss a catch-up with a friend (example of my alarm being set the wrong day last week, a stranded close friend at a cafĂ©).  This kind of stuff makes me feel sick.  Wonder how some people are wired like that and some not?

I have always been like this though, it hasn’t been something that has progressed as my life got busier, hectic from living in bigger cities (I grew up in a small little red dusty mining town) – I have always been GO GO GO get things done. I am hyperactive – have always been, I NEED to know what is going on and be in control of pretty much everything.  I am super nosey (I mean I was born TWO MONTHS early) I was destined to get out and see what on earth was going on around me, I started walking and no surprise to anyone, started talking earlier than I should, not bad for a sick premmy baby with asthma hey (all those steroids perhaps)? 

I don’t dictate to others around me what I require done (even though some managers have told me they are scared of me), I mean what is that? I am a perfectionist; I take my tasks seriously most days and find it uber frustrating when people just do not seem to do things properly the first time. Oh dear.   The one thing I don’t do is critise myself for NOT completing a task (ie If I don’t get this contract done I will get fired), I don’t micromanage others to make me happy or point out what people do wrong at every opportunity, so maybe just a mild control freak in my own lunchbox? 

I find I do jump at any opportunity to assist people; does that make me controlling or just helpful? I think sometimes both.   I react better in extreme emergencies but sometimes small little insignificant things drive me mental (forgetting to buy bus pass, remembering only whilst on the pre-pay bus). I see it as being organised, not controlling, or is that the same thing?  I suppose I am only responsible for me so as long as I am doing that it isn’t really affecting anyone else?

From a young age exercise has helped me control my hyperactivity. I think tapping into our adrenalin stores daily is a healthy thing, it assists the body with stress, reduces stress hormones build up and generally gives a sense of well-being, homeopathy.  The “fight” or “flight” mechanism spurred by adrenaline and used by man for survival is still part of modern life really.  Helps us all in sport or social situations, interviews (nerves much).  I suppose nowadays we don’t use the adrenaline surge as much as we used to (think primitive times running away from wild animals) and this gets stored and can cause the body to have such conditions as premature aging, hyperactivity (ahem which is where I come in) and ADD.

I have always believed that 80-90% of kids who doctors think they have ADD just need to run around more and release the stress in their tiny bodies – stress from society putting more pressure on us, eating take away food etc.  I think this contributes to the “control freak” and increases anxiety in society, which cannot be a good thing.
For me being organised is key, working out my week, my action list, my exercise, eating healthy, spending time with friends, loved ones and enjoying quality sleep and downtime all help the body to be less of a control hyper freak and seem much more in control!




20 May 2013

How is your Monday going, feeling guilty after an indulging weekend? Break those habits......

So, it is Monday, you had a busy weekend, catching up with friends or going out to that dinner party and overindulging and this morning you woke up feeling a bit average and wondering how you are going to survive the day, let alone the entire week?  Thinking "I better head to the gym today to sweat it out", thinking that will rid all the nasties you consumed?  Is Monday groundhog day for you? 

Yikes... no wonder you don't like Mondays! You pledge to "be good" this week, well stop with the excuses and just do it.  Stop eating the crap, stop thinking you NEED chocolate or that glass of wine, start thinking that YOU do actually need to exercise and release stress and encourage endorphins to roam freely around your body.  Breaking the habits one day at a time.

If you have nothing planned for this weekend - keep it that way. Do something different so you don't fall into that trap of just a wine after work or a dinner out with Mary in Surry Hills that turns into copious bottles of wine (yeap have been there, seems like a mighty fine idea at the time).   Keep your diary free and start breaking the bad habits TODAY. 

Sit down tonight and plan the rest of the week - what healthy foods you will eat, go shopping if you can and prep some great salads, soups or foods that are good for you (gosh you might even save money).  RID the house of ALL JUNK FOOD (taking it to work won't help, you will still have access to it).   Work out your exercise for the week - aim for 3 sessions- a walk, swim, dance class, that boxing class in the park you have been wanting to join - DO IT NOW.

Ensure you have dinners ready at home - chicken and vegetable stir fry, omelette's with prawns/chicken and veggies, soup, turkey mince bolognase, YUM! Head to your supermarket,  get some almonds, macadamia, cashew, brazil nuts, Greek yoghurt and strawberries to snack on.  Get into the habit of cooking yummy foods, healthy doesn't mean boring!

Do this for a couple weeks, plan out your week, what you are eating, how you are moving your body and you will feel better, winter won't seem so DRAB and you will keep those pesky germs at bay.

Just take one day at a time, say no to afternoon tea, morning tea, lolly jar..... be organised, bring food to work to eat (lots of colours) and drink lots of water during the day... challenge yourself to 600ml one day and then increase - yes you may pee a little bit more but your body will get used to it.  How many coffee's do you buy/drink a day? Sugar, no sugar? Make smarter choices, try licorice tea or herbal teas (delicious and refreshing, great for cravings).

Just think this time next week you will feel SO much better and hopefully this will inspire you to keep being healthy, organised, prepared and breaking those bad bad habits! So what are you going to do tonight? Sit on the couch feeling sorry for yourself or kick start your weekly planning to be a healthier, happier you?

14 May 2013

Normal people don’t use Twitter…….

Was part of the comment I read the other day on Facebook. Now, I do believe everyone is entitled to their own opinion but I really wish sometimes people would have a little think before they hit post on ANY social media platform.  From memory the discussion was about Twitter and obviously the person posting (postie?) didn’t understand Twitter. Now,  I was always told it is polite to ask if you don’t understand something, instead of just blaring out “I don’t like it”.   Yeah freedom of speech and all that..... you don't HAVE to comment on every single friggin post is all I am saying.

The one thing I cannot spell out enough when it comes to social media is there are ALWAYS going to be new social media tools, you don’t have to keep up with them all you just need to work out which tool suit you for either you personally or for your business.  Hopefully if you don’t really get social media you have someone who does planning your strategy and posts for your business.  The good news is you can pay someone to do the research for you! 

IN a nutshell, social media is here to stay,  moving forward very quickly for some. There has always been changes, you need to keep an open mind and just allow these processes to happen (as we have always done with technology).  Do you remember DOS?  Do you remember when we went from PC to Laptop? From this to data stored in the “cloud” we are changing daily and my opinion is to keep across some of the bigger changes that affect you and choose which platforms suit you best.

 Back to Twitter.  I personally like Twitter.  I don’t expect it to be as super interactive as Facebook (that does depend on who you follow) but I do view it as a snap shot of what is happening out and about.  I follow the main media news streams so I will find out about breaking news as it happens, and because tweets that are “trending” move so fast, I will know before checking CNN if the tweet is more likely to be true – remember word by mouth,  well word by tweet moves much,  much faster.  I am not by all means saying that all content on Twitter is factual.  I enjoy the quirky little 140 character posts from my array of people I follow… from celebrities to athletes, fitness guru’s, friends… there is always something interesting to read about, links to blogs and ways you can share a little snippet of your body and mind to your followers. 
You have the controls. You choose who you follow on any social media platform. You work out how to change your settings to restrict what others can see.  Don't whinge about Facebook changing it's template AGAIN, they can change it as much as they like, you don't pay for it - change is always good and in the big scheme of things isn't a big deal.  #firstworldproblems



13 May 2013

Am I the biggest hurdle?

This morning as my alarm went off at 5:15am I did my usual "should I get up or go back to sleep" routine in my head. Monday's are hard for me to get out of bed because I tend to have a lateish night finishing off the weekend and the boy has Monday off.  It is cold outside and so warm and snuggly inside. I then go through the process of "I will feel fantastic after" &  "he is going to be asleep in an hour still anyways" and get up and go train, which ends up making me feel fantastic!  But I seem to do this every single Monday!  What happened to the energiser bunny that used to bounce out of bed? 

So I had this ponder on the way to the gym this morning - "are we our biggest hurdle to achieving our goals?" and the answer for me is YES. It is my brain that is my hurdle, over thinking and analysing things instead of just getting up and going.  I am the biggest hurdle.  I know I will train hard and feel better after, it isn't the boy putting pressure on me, he is snoring away happily and doesn't notice half the time that I have even got out of bed and returned! 

I was so pumped going to bed last night about my training this week, I planned out my sessions for this week and also planned out foods to make to keep me going on the clean eating plan.  This works and I think for the last couple weeks I haven't planned as much and really just taken each day as it comes, which for me isn't a good thing as my  brain (my hurdle) doesn't make the right decisions for my health and fitness goals.  Something happens to my brain if it isn't organised properly lol.

So why am I a hurdle I sometimes scale over and then other times cannot be arsed even trying to jump over? Have my priorities changed, or my determination to reach my goals?  Are my goals current to what I really want? Hmm.   This is what I love about goal setting, you can move them around and delete them and add new ones as the paving of the brick road continues before me.  My goals are still the same really I just need to plan a different road, that is my solution.  So have mixed up things this week again, keeping my weight training in three times a week but mixing up the exercises a bit, adding more HIIT and also adding two strength/yoga sessions and a fun cardio dance session.  Will do this for a couple weeks and then mix around again to keep things FRESH.  That is the word I was thinking off, FRESH.. my workouts and food plans were a bit stale...   now I am excited and motivated for the week ahead - still have the same goals but a different way to get to them, building my own road as I go along.

10 May 2013

Cortisol & creatures of habit.....

The last couple days I have had some time to reflect as I was on the couch with a gastro virus. Nasty.  There is something about being sick and craving the foods your mum used to give you, boiled eggs on toast, fruit salad, pots of tea, soup, mash and veggies,  and I feel so much better for it (well partly because the bug has fecked off) but because I only ate little amounts and didn't overload my system with foods I "thought" I needed. 

I just trusted what my body asked for as it needed it and I feel great today, my jeans are fitting better and I have more energy than I did the past two days.  My coffee did not go down well today at all and I am craving pots of earl grey tea... mmmmm think my body is telling me something!  We are such creatures of habit, when something happens we react with a habit that is stored within us. These habits can be changed but sometimes habits can turn against us and cause us to not make the right choices, ie stress, stress can make us either over-eat or under-eat,  both are as bad as each other. 

When I was on the couch I watched Dr Oz.  He is a genius.  He was discussing how cortisol levels are affecting us and causing not just obesity issues but other health concerns. This most of us know but do not fully understand, am I right? Mix high cortisol levels and hormones together and your body is pretty much at war with itself.

Adding  a variety of foods to our nutrition ensures our body isn't creating too much cortisol, that our system will function better and not have too much inbalance with hormones etc.  So including some of the following daily will assist you:

Sweet Potato
Almonds, Pistachios & Walnuts

Green Vegetables (kale, broccoli, leafy greens)
Organic Raw Cacao
Oolong Tea
GTF Chromium

This gives you a good mixture of healthy fats and nutrients (some cortisol blockers).  Obviously sleeping better, exercising regularly and eating well, play a big part in reducing stress and cortisol levels.  Now we do need a healthy level of cortisol to get us moving but not huge levels.  When you have high levels of cortisol in your system, you find your appetite for high calorie foods increases - this is not because your metabolism is firing...

2 May 2013

Having one of those days.....

Ever have one of those days when NOTHING, I MEAN NOTHING makes you feel better? Yup I know you are all on the same page as me… today is one of those days.  I think these days are good in some ways as it makes you appreciate what you have, you cannot have a happy high energy day all the time, you need to have some lower energy vibe days to balance things out, to stop collaborate and listen. I mean re-evaluate.

Feeling very hormonal and achy these last few days, my back is constantly aching, feeling snappy and then also wanting to go a few rounds with a few people (get my drift)! Work is super busy and everyone needs me, suppose being good at ones job is a positive thing, but today seriously you can do your own effing printing, getting coffee etc.  I know it is because I haven’t trained that much in the last week (twice) and if affects how my body reacts to stress.

I know when I eat well, sleep well and train well my body goes through some changes and I think this is one of them.  I can feel that my hips are out of alignment (hence further back pain) and my hormones are fecking all over the shop.  Who invited those pesky feckers anyway? Gessh. Probably a man. Haha.

I had the most bizarre conversation with myself on the bus last night (as you do) in my head, with the “should I go to the gym” or “should I not go to the gym” with my little angel on one shoulder going on with that speech of “you will feel better afterwards” and then the devil chicka (who I love) telling me “nah go home and enjoy the couch & a wheat pack, wine”.   I honestly couldn’t make a decision. I just wanted to curl up and crawl away and hibernate for months.  I got home, kissed my gorgeous fiance who was very comfortable on the couch with a glass of wine, wrestled with my kitty and then decided a quick brisk walk to the shops would help me feel a little better.

On went the ipod, shoes and I pulled myself out the front door in a hissy fit of “I don’t want toooo”!  Walked the 10mins to the IGA, then found some steps and proceeded to run up and down them about 10 times, did some push ups and tricep dips on the bench near me and some shuttle runs in between the yellow barrier along the road, did that three times and then walked home.  Felt slightly better but still needed wheat pack.

Today am still in the same mood. Back hurts and I really don’t give a feck. Patience level is at an all time LOW.  Brought my gym stuff with me thinking a nice sweat session would help me snap out of it. Decided that a proper remedial massage is what I need at my regular haunt the Buddha Bar in Newtown.  My massage I had last week at the new place in the city was crap, my kitty does better when he walks on my back.

So my message from today is that sometimes in life you have a day where things aren’t perfect, and that is perfectly (ha ha) ok.  I know I set myself up for failure some days because I purely set my expectations way higher than I need to.  I knew this week at work was going to be manic, I knew that I was going to be frantic but still managed to set so many personal goals that I do not have time or the brain capacity for. But I will get it done and all will be fine.
Different people deal with things differently. Today I am looking after me and I feel that some holistic time would be best.