Mind

   

DISENGAGE THE AUTOPILOT

PULL BACK ON THE AUTO PILOT
16 October 2017
Do you get in the car, drive and then all of a sudden realise… I’ve arrived?  That’s autopilot, you don’t remember the taking the turns that it took to get there or how it happened.  We’ve all got these habits.  What you do when you wake up, get home from work, after you worked out, after dinner?  Habits like eating 2 pieces of chocolate after dinner, having a piece of fruit after lunch, eating a sweet treat at the 3pm slump or cheese and wine while cooking dinner.  We’re on autopilot and responding to the habit we’ve created.

Imagine if you wanted to make a new habit of getting up and doing a workout every morning without thinking about it and be on autopilot just like eating those 2 pieces of chocolate after dinner.

Habits are actions that you do automatically based on a trigger that you’ve established in your life. You get up and automatically brush your teeth or put on your seat belt when you get in the car.  These are triggers and habits you’ve created in your daily routine.

What’s happened is the brain has a developed a connection to the trigger, in these cases waking up and getting in a car.  The trigger can be a location or a time of day as we’ve seen here.  The third part of the habit is the reward, like having fresh breathe and being safe and not getting booked.

The key is to link a new healthier habit to an existing habit, something that you already do.  In the instance of creating a new habit of working out each morning, you could add this to your brushing your teeth habit.  I get up, brush my teeth, workout or head to the gym.

Find the reason why adding this new habit is important to you.  Just like Ann, who took up the challenge of writing out her 50 reasons.   She has a real connection to her reason, her motivator.

You’ve probably heard that it takes 21 days to form a habit that is not true.  A study published in the European Journal of Social Psychology had 100 volunteers work on building habits for 12 weeks.  What is found was the habit became more automatic at an average of 66 days.  The researchers wrote that consistency was key to building the new habit.

Once you have the connection with your reason why this is important to you, the next stage is to write down the steps it will take to get there.  Breaking it down step-by-step is essential to get you thinking about it more.  You could start by walking around the block after you wake up, gone to the bathroom, changed your clothes and cleaned your teeth (your steps).   After a week, you might then change the steps to include 2 walks around the block.

Remember your reward, or motivation like Ann.  What are the benefits you will see?  You might also add something tangible like fitting into a piece of clothing.

Your habits will always be there, so if you have a bad habit you are trying to override it with a new one.  The old one will still be there, but a new habit can come in and take precedence over it.  It’s like exercising a muscle, whatever habit you exercise most gets the strongest.


   

THE THOUGHT COMES FIRST, THEN THE ROUTINE

THE THOUGHT COMES FIRST, THEN THE ROUTINE

I was reading an article this week and came across this quote. “Doubt kills more dreams than failure ever will."  Working with women each week I see the doubt that creeps in when we are challenged outside of our normal.  We dare not believe that we can.  I know that most of us want to live a long, healthy, happy life.  That will mean something different to each of us.  One of the most motivating factors in living our best life comes from understanding “what it actually does mean to each of us”.  This is where it can get quite tricky.  One of the steps in this process that I encourage my clients is to write out 5 reasons each day for 10 days.  That’s a lot of reasons, but a lot of motivation and connection to “what it means to you”.

The thought happens, we make the decision to live a healthy life, you are ready then… life has a way of stopping us and putting obstacles in our way. There’s the parties, the nightly wine and cheese, the catch up with the girls, too much to do at work, the family commitments… How do you get started when life is throwing everything at you?

Firstly, what you want your life to look like in 5 years, 10 years, 20 years, sit down and figure it out.

Secondly, start believing that you can, dare to dream.  Plan a new routine that takes into account some of life’s up and downs.

Thirdly and the most important of all, is get some help.  The greatest success does not happen alone.  You only need to look at Richard Branson or Mark Zuckerberg, they had help. Having accountability is a critical part of making change. 

Last, but not least, your journey starts with a single step towards the destination. 


   

MY MIND TAKES ME OFF TRACK

02 October 2017

I was talking with a friend this week and asked if she had exercised or walked.  She said “I’m not motivated”.  The reality is motivation is not reliable it comes and goes. You always need to rely on your routine, your habits.  Allocate the time that works for you best, even if it is 5 minutes and do it each and every day.  When we are relying on motivation there are many reasons the mind can find to take us off track, today I have three for you.

Are you waiting for the perfect moment to make a change in your life?  I’ll start my healthy lifestyle when I have more time.  When the kids are off my hands.  When work settles down… The reality is there is no perfect time, you will never be 100% ready to make that switch.  Even if you start tomorrow and then go off track the following day, you’ve achieved something.  Celebrate that one day, that win.

Are you continuing to blame yourself for every mistake and failure that you’ve made?  Then say to yourself “it didn’t work in the past, so why would it now?”  Stop beating yourself up and change the way you look at your mistakes and failures.  What did you learn from them and how can you be grateful for this lesson?

Are you being true to how you are feeling or are you hiding it from others?  When someone asks us how we are, we go on auto pilot and say “well thanks and you?”  In fact, we might be feeling tired, exhausted, sad, stressed, unhappy, angry… We are not taking care of ourselves by hiding how we feel, the pain inside.  It is important that we express who we are and how we feel.

   

IT’S NOT MY MIND, IT’S ONLY MENOPAUSE

25 September 2017

Oh no, it’s menopause.  As someone on the other side of this equation and been through the worst of it I totally understand how life can feel out of balance.

You’re just sitting there and then all of a sudden you are bright red, with droplets of sweat sitting poised on your skin ready to explode.  It'S like sitting in a sauna on a 40 degree day.  Of course, you cannot pick when it might hit you either just to add another level of discomfort.

The hot flushes and sweating always happen at the most inconvenient time.  You are about to walk into a first time meeting and your makeup is disintegrating like you are in a horror movie.

Or then there is the other end of the day, when you are about to hit the pillow totally exhausted, you fall asleep for what feels likes hours and then the night sweats start, you look at the clock and you see it’s only been an hour.   Then the hourly wake ups start and you walk around like a zombie for the next 2 years whilst these delightful symptoms finally pass.  I felt like I was losing my mind and would never get a good night’s sleep again.

Then one evening, Paul came home with a bag and handed it to me and said I got you a present.  I opened it and looked at the box and it was a natural herb for menopause.  He said I feel so sorry for you and wanted to do something that might help.  So I tried them out and I started sleeping a little better.

As the saying goes, I wish I knew then what I know now.  I discovered the 28 day transformation and balancing hormones was just part of what this program does.  If my eating habits have a little bit of a splurge you can guarantee I will get hot flushes.  The good thing is I now know what my triggers are.

What happens during menopause we produce less estrogen and progesterone which is what causes the hot flushes.  So why don’t some women get these symptoms?

Scientists have found that there is a "backup hormone generator" and that is your adrenal glands.  Even before menopause, your adrenals help your body produce small amounts of estrogen and progesterone.

When your life goes into chaos, your stress levels increase creating hard work on the adrenal glands and increasing the stress-hormone cortisol and increasing hot flushes.   It’s time to create a plan to get your stress under control and relax more.  Feed your adrenals with loads of leafy green veggies.  Why? They are high in nutrients like B vitamins, vitamin C and magnesium.

Your adrenals are responsible for producing close to a dozen hormones your body depends on. That requires a lot of nutrients to get the job done right, like the Leafy green veggies are rich in these.

Getting your hormones in check and right with exercise and a wholefood diet can help with your mood, energy and that all so important belly fat area.

So I wasn’t losing my mind at all, it was just lack of sleep that made me feel like I was having an outer body experience.


   

I'VE BEEN GOOD, SO THEREFORE...

I’VE BEEN GOOD, SO THEREFORE…
18 September 2017

Have you ever thought about making some type of change or commitment in your life?  The first thought that pops into your mind is “will this work for me”.

What happens in our brain is the minute we make a decision to change something about our life, we are starting to wonder if it will work.

Your brain is wandering back to previous experiences to work out if you failed or succeeded in the past.  If you’ve failed in the past, or at least if you your brain believes you have failed in the past, it is sending you all of the reasons that you will not be successful.  Your mind is sabotaging you, giving you reasons to not even bother.

Whereas if you’ve succeeded, then you brain is saying to you “yes, you can do this”. 

The greatest difference between success and failure is how much you really want that change.  We all want to live the best life we can.

You might know someone who has lost the same 3 or 5 kilos over and over again, or maybe that resonates with you.  We might be really diligent for a few weeks and then all of a sudden we are back to where we started or even more. 

What happened?  The reason to stay on track wasn’t strong enough.  The mind took control and started throwing a myriad of reasons (loopholes) at us. 

I watched a show on the SBS on Monday evening on obesity and straight after each session with her doctor one of the patients met up with a friend and had a cheat day.  Now cheating is ok, as long as you have a good set of guidelines around what you will and will not allow.  Cheating isn’t about totally going off the principles of healthy wholesome eating.  It is about allowing yourself 1 lovely meal or 2 lovely snacks. 

This reason (loophole) is known as Moral Licence and can totally undo all of the good work that you have just done.  I’ve been good, so therefore I deserve something bad.

  • I worked out today, so I deserve my 2 glasses of wine.
  • I’ve eaten healthy all week, so I can go away for the weekend and live it up.

There are many other sabotaging reasons (loopholes) your brain will send you.

So how do you shut down a loophole?

Step one is to realise that you are doing it.

Step two is to understand that it is not about being good or bad.

Step three is to have a strong connection and reason to change and to make that commitment to yourself.  For you, not for others, but for you.

As the example I talked about is to do with exercise and eating healthy, these are not two separate sides to your success, they work together, and they are part of the overall plan.  They are components to your reaching your goal.  Set rules and guidelines around what you will and won’t do and make sure those around you are clear on what they are.

Step 4 is to decide that you are that person who sets actions around your goals. Accept that your mind will throw a reason “not to” at you, but understand that you are not bad. It is about consistency. 


   

THE BATHROOM TRIGGER

11 September 2017

Sam recently shared this post with us. “Hello SHW and fellow-mojoers. I just wanted to say that I really found success with last month's 5 minutes goals. I've adopted the squats and bench push-ups every time I go to the loo. Plus I added drinking a glass of water then too. I feel like it's something I can keep up with and it is becoming a habit. I work from home, so it's a relatively easy one for me to do. Thanks, SHW!”

Starting a new program and creating a new habit is difficult for most of us.  The minute we decide on doing something new, our minds are already looking for ways to get out of the new commitment.   I am a massive fan of piggy-backing a new habit to an existing habit.  It works.  Sam has now been at this new habit for over a month and keeping it up.  The reason is the trigger for the new the habit is going to the bathroom.  This is something you know you will be doing daily.  There is a specific time associated with the trigger, right after I go to the bathroom or prior to (this choice is yours).  It is totally logically approach to moving more, because you are getting up and moving already you are adding some actual exercises to the visit.  The bonus and reward is you are making a habit of exercising daily which means your endorphins are happy and you are having a more positive feeling to your day.

If you are that person who says I am going to exercise and never gets started or starts and doesn’t keep it up.  Try this out, you might be pleasantly surprised. 


   

NO MORE RUSHING, ENJOY YOUR MOMENTS


04 September 2017

Are you getting home after a full day and just too tired to do anything else?  We all have days like this.  We wake up on a Monday morning and feel like the weekend was just a big blur.  You might have had a few social engagements you attended and feel bloated from all of the overeating, staying up too late and your energy is at an all-time low.  Sounding familiar?

You are driving home, you look at the petrol gauge and realise you need to stop and fill up.  Just another thing to do before you stop off and get the groceries, but you have no idea what you need.  Do you think to yourself, I have a little petrol in the tank so I’ll do it tomorrow morning?  Those 10 minutes you save now what will they mean to you tomorrow? 

Not only does the mechanics of your car benefit from you filling it up and not letting it run down.  But the fresh air on your face whilst you filled the car up has woken you up a little.  While you stopped you looked up at the night sky and notice the moon and the stars and were reminded of how beautiful the evening is.  Instead of now putting pressure on the start of your day tomorrow.   You have the freedom to get to your destination without stopping to fill up.  This might mean an extra 10 minutes in bed, a 10 minute workout or 10 minutes with the family.  But certainly a nicer way than starting the day by rushing around.

Finding the time to stop and engage at everyday life events makes such a difference to freeing your mind.

My advice to you is not to go with that “women are great at multi-tasking” mentality and avoid this way of thinking.  You cannot truly engage in the activity you are working on right now while your thoughts are all over the place and being shared with multiple tasks.  Focus on one task and finish it or get it to the stage where you can move to another.

Sometimes our minds stops us from engaging in what is right in front of us.  My second piece of advice to you this week is to write down everything you want to get done in a day.  Be realistic about the workload and get help if you need it.  By writing down your tasks, you have the opportunity to stop cluttering your mind.  You’re free yourself to be engaged.

My third piece of advice is to drink plenty of water to increase your energy levels.  Squeeze the juice of ½ a lemon into your water to help your digestive system and feel less bloated. 

Time to stop rushing and enjoy some moments.


   

SEE WHAT UNFOLDS

28 August 2017

Being the person behind Strong Healthy Women is one of the most satisfying and yet challenging experiences I have ever faced.  Every day depends on me.  There are so many options available in the health and fitness industry and yet as a nation our statistics continue to rise in regards to our general wellbeing.  This makes me so sad.  With all of the information available to us about moving daily and eating healthy, there are days when I cannot fathom why staying as-is is more rewarding than making one small change. 

We stop ourselves from being our best version.  We listen to that inner voice that allows self-doubt.  We get scared of making a change for the fear of the unknown.

Who would have thought that a pamper session could have highlighted how I was about to be that person…  The one that went with what I knew and enjoyed, instead of trying something different. Unless I had not taken a few moments to think about what I was doing, I wouldn’t have given the power of the mind a second thought.  

My family gave me a pamper session for mother’s day so I decided to use this for my birthday this week.  I looked at what was included and thought umm… I’ll just make a phone call and swap this over to something that I love and have had done before.  I stopped for a moment and re-read the card and thought to myself I wonder what that is, will I like it?  I decided not to make the phone call and instead of going with the familiar, embrace what I don’t know and see what unfolds.  Isn’t that one of the joys of not knowing?   The surprise that you get.   

I walked away at the end of 3 hours having experienced a whole host of new treatments and enjoyed each moment and felt totally satisfied with myself.

Do you spend each day doing the known and not truly engaged in the moment and what possibilities are there for you?

  • Rather than fighting and resisting a new experience.  Accept this is something new that you can learn from.
  • Rather than thinking about the experiences of the past and what has happened, embrace the moment and go with it and see what unfolds.
  • Rather than thinking about the future, set a small goal to work towards.
  • Rather than listening to what others think about something and what you should do.  Take a moment away from the situation and source answers from those who are impartial.  Think about what is right for you.
  • Rather than complaining about something that is not working in your life, think about what is working and how thankful you that it is.
  • Rather than wasting your precious time on tasks that are of no value to your life, start to focus on what is important to you.

    LOVE YOURSELF ENOUGH TO CARE AND LISTEN 

21 August 2017

What is that one thing you head for when you are feeling stressed or unhappy?  Many of us look to alcohol, caffeine or our favourite foods for satisfaction.  The pleasure we get is generally short lived and the satisfaction we feel from our “vice” generally only lasts between 30 and 60 minutes and then we are left wanting more.  Of course, then there’s the guilt we start to suffer from overindulging. 

Challenges in our daily life will always be there.  How we handle these events is what sees us either adapting or calling upon our “vice” to get us through.  Our thoughts and feelings are controlling us, how we see ourselves has such a big impact on our reaction to these emotions and feelings. 

We all have limited beliefs in ourselves. I can’t, I’m not good enough, I don’t, I am not worthy, others will think, just to name a few.  These limiting triggers stop us from connecting with our positive qualities and has us focus on what we cannot…. as opposed to we can….

We will not be successful when we doubt and allow these limiting beliefs to control who we truly are.  Have you ever been on the weight loss journey, lost weight and then gained it again.  We didn’t sustain the loss because we tell ourselves I will get to this weight and then I won’t need to exercise so much or cook my meals, or can have cake and coffee every day.  We give ourselves permission to go backwards because we don’t believe and have the confidence in the person we want to be.

When you believe and love yourself enough you won’t want to eat unhealthy foods that cause your body damage, you won’t want to stop exercising because you want to stay healthy.  You feel confident in who you are.  

It is time to take care of the most important person in your world, time for some self-nurturing and connection with yourself.

I am giving you a challenge for next week.  Look at your schedule and find some time that is just for you.  Tell your family and friends you are not available.  Maybe it is a few hours on the weekend, this is your choice.  I want you to spend time in a place where you can relax and unwind without interruption.  You might head out for a bush walk, a bubble bath, a walk on the beach, book a massage or time to sit and really enjoy a cup of tea.   Whatever it is, this is time for you and your thoughts.  Fill this time with thoughts of your happy life.  No interruptions and most importantly no excuses.  Think about what you want your life to look like.  Spend time thinking about the thoughts and feelings that are holding you back and allow them to drift away. 

We spend far too much time and energy caring for other people and not enough time rejuvenating our own self.   


     

3 WAYS TO BE AN ACTION TAKER

14 August 2017

Are you an action taker, or do you spend a lot of time planning and barely getting anytime for action?  Having a successful health and fitness program that works for you is not about you spending weeks and weeks planning.  It is about a decision and action taking.  I see this all the time, I am working on my plan and then when I check in a month later, they are still working on that same plan.  Plans are great, but at some point you need to take action. 

#1

Why is your health and fitness important to you?  The biggest question of all is why doesn’t it get the time and attention that it deserves?   What is taking up your time?  Is it family, work, fitness, aging parents or friends?  You need to spend time working this out prior to moving to step 2.  Is there something that you can do to free up a little time?  If you have been following me for some time you will know I am a massive fan to linking a new habit to an existing old habit.  My absolute all-time favourite is the bathroom break, exercise each and every time you go to the bathroom.  I have seen clients go from no exercise at all to doing at 100 elevated push ups and 100 squats in a day.  What an impact this small change has had on their life.  More energy.  Energy creates more energy and then the snowball effect takes over.

#2

What does your successful health and fitness program look like to you?  You and not someone else, this is just about you.  What is realistic and how will you get there?  As I mentioned in step 1, if the best you can do at this point is to add exercise to your bathroom break then this is what you do.  Any small plan and action is a great start.

#3

For the next 28 days, what are you going to do to get you where you want to go?  Don’t write down what you have been writing down every time you have done this process.  If you haven’t had success in the past, then the same steps will not get you there this time. 

Each day you decide to be either a planner or an action taker.   Which are you? Every day you should be taking another small step towards your success.  What time wasters can you do away with?  One of the biggest time wasters for me is social media and emails.  I now only log into these at certain times during the day, otherwise it is all about the actions that I am taking towards my success.  Need help, send me an email and share your story. 


   

COMPLETE OTHERS, NOT COMPETE

07 August 2017
 
FFITFlex has launched this week and it has been a joy seeing these ladies working out in such a different format.  We have variations in levels because we are not all the same.  We limit the session size, so we can make sure everyone gets the attention they deserve.  We want you to succeed, get stronger and fitter so your golden years are just the way you want them to be. 

If you are in a gym on a treadmill do you concentrate on what you are doing or are you looking at the person next to you seeing how much they have done?  Sometimes we feel like we are different because we are not doing the same version as others.  Sometimes we might feel like we are not keeping up with others.  Neither of these should be a consideration, because it is not about someone else, it is about you and what you can achieve.  It’s not about competing and keeping up.  It is not about feeling inadequate.  It is just about you, building your strength and progression.

I didn’t grow up in a family where sport or being active was important, in fact quite the opposite, I cannot remember my mother ever going for a walk or exercising.  Although she tells me she walked everywhere pushing my brother in a pram and me walking as she didn’t have a car.   I do remember being encouraged to participate in school sports and being told do your best, give it everything you have and don’t worry about what others are doing.  This lesson has followed me in life. 

Be the best version of you and not someone else. 

  1. Don’t fear failure, because you are chasing what you want. When you fail you are in great company, Richard Branson, Bill Gates, Michael Jordon all failed and learnt lessons and went onto succeed.
  2. Don’t spend time comparing and criticising others because you spend all of your valuable energy on the negative and not the positive. Spend your energy on you.
  3. Don’t chase perfection, because you will spend all your time planning rather than doing.  
  4. Don’t spend time competing with those around you, compete with yourself. Improve and be your best version of you.
  5. Finally, complete others rather than competing with them. Build them up and support them on their journey.

     

I CAN'T DO THAT

31 July 2017

Last weekend we had our 1 day retreat focusing on Meet and Move, Mind and Menu, what drives us, unravelling our thoughts and how they can stop us from leading our best life healthy, happy, strong & fit and making an action plan moving forward. Yes, I’ve said it before and will say it again today, we are our thoughts. 

We started our meet at Kangaroo Point and went straight into the move component, by heading across to south bank and into the botanical gardens.  It was such a beautiful winter’s morning, the sun was shining, the birds were chirping and we have a lovely conversation getting to know one another a little more. 

When we got to other side of the gardens, I stopped and said we are going to do some fundamentals and heading up here.  There were a set of stairs a little ahead of us and Rhonda said I’ll use the stairs, I can't do that because I will slide down.  I told Rhonda that she wouldn’t slide down and you and I will do this together.  Turn around, look out at the water and how calming it is.  We are not going to put the pressure on your knees because walking backwards has less range of motion on your knees and is great if you have any knee concerns.   Walking backwards mixes it up more, helps with lower back pain, improves hamstring flexibility, balance and makes you think and look more, it even burns a few more calories.

I can’t do it is a common thinking error that we talked about. Because the task ahead of us seems like it might be too hard we think we cannot do it so we stick with what we know.  We don’t believe we can do it or make a change in our life.  Think about those that have succeeded before you, are they any more capable than you?  No, they are exactly the same, they simply believed they could and they did.

To change I can’t to… I can, firstly recognise this is an excuse, make it a conscience not sub-conscience and therefore you can make a decision to either do it or not.  If you choose to not do it, this is ok because you have made the decision rather than accepting your initial belief “I can’t”.  Think about how you felt having made the decision and learn from the experience.


   

LESSONS FROM THE CHILDREN


24 July 2017

Have you ever watched your children or grandchildren and how they just keep going, full of energy and they don’t give up.  They get knocked down, get back up, try again and keep smiling.  We lose this ability to be childlike and have this kind of resilience.  But we don’t have to, we just need to relearn the lessons from the children.

Celebrate Your Wins

I am a big fan of celebrating achievements no matter how small.  When you celebrate any everyday accomplishment, no matter how big or small, it activates the reward system in our brains. This releases chemicals that make us feel extremely happy with accomplishments.  Promise yourself you will celebrate your wins.

Keep At It

If you keep doing it the better we get at it, don’t give up.  Remember when you first learnt to skip when you were a child, you just kept at it.  The more we keep practising the better we will get out it.  I didn’t take up skiing until I was in my forties and was so scared of falling down, but each day I kept on trying and got better at it.  After 7 days I was skiing blue runs (that is intermediate if you are not a skier).  We decided to head to the US 6 months later and went skiing again where I conquered a black run (that’s advanced tracks).  When I think back, I could have easily said I’m no good at this, but I was persistent.  What is it that you are working on and practicing daily?  Keep at it.

It’s About Me

A child is confident and focused on what is happening right now.  Engrossed in the moment and loving their life.  As adults we start to believe those negative thoughts about ourselves and lose the confidence we once had.  Remember it is about you, what you say to yourself and how you react to situations.  Focus on you and the right now, feel happier and more energetic because you are living for you.


    I’LL GET MY MIND RIGHT,
THEN I’LL…

17 July 2017

Our mind is the most powerful aspect of the human body.  You only need look at supreme athletes and the support team they have around them in regards to their daily life.  They have coaches for strength and conditioning, their chosen field, nutrition and physiologists helping keep them in top physical and mental order.

Yet we, tell ourselves I’ll get my mind right, then I’ll… lose weight, workout daily, stop over eating, work harder, stop eating chocolates, the list goes on…  We think we can do this alone and yet it takes a support team to keep one person at the top of their game.  We have a resistance to asking for help.  We know we need to move daily, eat wholesome balanced meals, drink water for our body and mind to function at its peak and yet we forget about the power of the mind.  If the mind is willing, the body is able.

I remember back in March this year at our Weekend Retreat working with women who were from very different walks of life and yet had one common goal to live a happy and healthy life.  That looked different for each of them.  The first step in getting your mind in the right place is to understand why women put themselves last on their to do list and why we resist change.  Once you know this, the next step to identify how far you’ve come on this journey and why making this change is important to you and then putting a plan in place.  And if all of this seems so simple, it isn’t.  Because all of our actions and reactions come down to what we have learnt during our life.  This is why we spend time looking at your beliefs, values and habits to help you uncover how to get your mind working for you and not against you.

Being at your peak physically and mentally requires a support team.  You want those around you who will support you and keep you accountable.  Not the friend who says “come on, you’ve done so well, have another drink you deserve it.  It’s the friend who says “let’s go for a walk by the river today instead of having cake and coffee”. 

Do you have your support team in place? 


   

HOW FAR YOU’VE COME


10 July 2017

Have you ever got to the top of a mountain and looked out at the scenery?  Sometimes I am driving to a destination and the sun is shining in just the right spot or the fog is lifting over the mountains and I am in awe of the spectacular view I am witnessing.  What I am seeing today, will never be repeated tomorrow, it might be similar but not exactly the same. 

When you get to the top of the mountain or vantage point of any climb whether it be stairs or your local hill, you know what it felt like getting there.   You look up and you see the task ahead of you, you think about the distance and take one step at a time, you look back to see how far you’ve come.

When you get there, it is difficult to see the size or shape, you look down and you see dirt or rock beneath your feet and when you look up you see more spectacular mountains and scenery around you.

When the walk, hike, climb is completed you know you have accomplished something that will never be the same again.  You might look at your photos and recall the steps, the moments and the scenery and you capture the feeling as best you can knowing “I did this”. 

It is easy to forget how far you’ve come on your journey to better health and fitness. Some of you are starting out and others are well and truly committed to living your best life, whilst others are returning after injury or life getting in the road.  Just like the memory of that achievement we can fail to see how far we’ve come and where we started.

Take 30 minutes out of your week and think about the timeline of your life. Download your HHSFL (Healthy, Happy, Strong & Fit Life) Journal and write down the answers to these questions on your My Start Page.

When did your health and fitness journey start? 

What have you achieved? 

How far have you come? 

Did you take breaks, what happened during this period?

You might find this difficult to find the answers.  This is the time to get your support team involved.  We are hard on ourselves and those that have been with you during your journey will help you gain perspective on just how far you’ve travelled.

To know where you started, means the next time you are beating yourself up about losing focus you can check in how far you’ve come.

PS: The HHSFL Journal is part of our July Gratitude month.  


   

FIND THE JOY AND EXCITEMENT



03 July 2017

Think back to when you were a child and how you thought everything around you was amazing and magical.  The simplest of things thrilled you.  You saw a butterfly and started chasing it. A bird sang and you thought it was the most beautiful thing you had ever heard. 

Life was full of joy and excitement.

Then we grew up, life happened, we encountered ups and downs, positives and negatives and we forgot about the joy and excitement.  Each little thing thrown at us daily can easily take us off track and bring us down.  When you make the choice to stay focused on thankfulness and happiness, those little things really feel so insignificant.  After all they are just that, small and insignificant.  It’s about finding the amazing joy and magic in our lives.

It makes such a difference to how you feel when you focused on thankfulness, you are much happier and calmer during the day.  Embrace and learn from any negative situation that you find yourself in and be thankful for what you have learned. 

This week in the Better Lifestyle Journey group I set a challenge to stay focused on being positive and thankful.  If we said or thought something that was negative or not nice we needed to find 3 ways to be positive about the negative.   The law of attraction is “like for like”.  The more positive and amazing in your life, the more it will find you.

Join me this month for a month of Gratitude.  Being thankful brings joy to others and makes you feel positive about your life.



   

PATTERNS AND NOT THE DRESS MAKING KIND


26 June 2017

Last week we spoke about Andrea and her 4.00pm relax time and mindlessly eating chocolate as her reward for a great day of hard work.  Searching for why that chocolate was being eaten every day (at least a work day) was not something that happened straight away.  We had a cup of tea and chatted about how her day unfolded and what was the biggest obstacle she had in reaching her goals.  This is when Andrea said it was the sweets.   

The hardest part can be identifying the obstacle and searching for the patterns to uncover the “not so good” habit.  This requires some soul searching and looking deep within to find the answer.  Many times we just follow what others are doing, so if everyone else is eating chocolate, cake or cheese or drinking a glass of wine or whatever it is.  It is easier to follow along, even though deep down we don’t want to. 

Understand what is important to you and why an important element and probably the most important is.  For today however, let’s talk about what we can do to uncover the habit and its pattern just like Andrea did.

  • Identify the biggest obstacle that is sabotaging your Healthy, Happy, Strong & Fit Life. Break it down just one piece in the puzzle.
  • Now you have that Obstacle, why is it important to you to break this habit?
  • Is there a pattern, a time of day or a situation when this habit happens?
  • How does this habit make you feel at the time, what is the reward?
  • How does this habit make you feel afterwards?

Great work, now you have the answers to the question.  How do you change this habit?  Let’s do this.

  • Write down the “not so good” habit
    • Trigger
    • Habit
    • Reward
  • Think about a “healthier” habit you can use instead
  • Move this habit from a mindless and subconscious to mindful and conscience
    • Write down the new habit on a sticky note
    • Put it on your bathroom mirror so you will see it every time you clean your teeth
    • Take a photo of the new habit and make this your screen saving on your phone
  • When you find yourself going for the “not so good” habit, take a deep breath, count to 5 and focus on why this is important to you.
  • If you give in, forgive yourself, don’t beat yourself up and try for better straight away. Do not say I will do better on Monday.  One break in the good habit cycle does not mean the whole day has to be the same way.


   

WHAT IS THR


19 June 2017

Eating something after dinner is a habit.  I am asked regularly how do I stop eating chocolate after dinner, I am good all day and this is my downfall.  Eating after dinner is something we did consistently until eventually we’ve gone on autopilot and continue to repeat this habit.  In other words we are doing it subconsciously.  You may have been doing this almost most of your life so stopping that habit may take some doing.  

The first step to break the cycle is understand what I call THR and that is the Trigger, the Habit and the Reward.  Let me give you an example that I worked through this week with Andrea.  Andrea is good all day and then around 4.00pm she gives in and has some treats.   What we discovered during our time together was she is hectic all day long, you can relate to this, right?  What happens is it becomes quiet around 4.00pm and she didn’t realise she goes into a more relaxed state and her mind says to her you’ve done a great job you deserve a reward.  And that Coach and Critic I talked about last week play out the battle in her head until she gives in.

T – 4.00pm and relaxed state is the trigger

H – Eat chocolate is the habit

R – I’ve worked hard and this is my reward

Learning to break the cycles is a small part of our Day Retreat.  Join me in Meet, Move, Mind and Menu activities.



   

CLEAN, RINSE, REPEAT


12 June 2017

Have you noticed the Mark Twain quote about habits?  There’s a reason for this image.  I asked some clients this week what their biggest obstacle was in regards to staying healthy.  There were quite a lot of responses about prepping, planning, not being able to say no, too much going on and outside influences. 

Have you ever noticed those women who seem to have it all worked out? Have they discovered the secret to life balance, do they know something we don’t know? If you sat down one-on-one with them and asked them how they did it all, you will probably discover "you are your thoughts" and 10 key habits.

Understanding the effects of habits and thoughts and how they can help or stop us from creating the life we want is key to breaking the "Obstacle" cycle.  You can do nothing and tell yourself "that's just the way it is", or you can learn more about habits and thoughts and how they influence us.  Habits are thoughts or activities that we repeat again and again. 

Habits fit into 2 categories – those we want to do and consciously engage in, like doing a Zumba session and breakfast with my workout buddies on a Saturday and those that are automatic and unconsciously engage us like mindlessly eating chocolates until they are all gone. 

We don’t all of a sudden one day think  “I’ll develop an overeating habit.”  This habit just develops itself, by repeating it time and time again, just like Mark Twain’s quote.

Based on this you might be thinking well all I need to do is to “want to” and “consciously engage” to change this habit and yes that would be true, but easier said than done.  Think about how long these habits have taken to form and how often they have been repeated. 

One of my favourite techniques to use another habit to lean on to make changes.  This habit is cleaning my teeth.  We weren’t born cleaning our teeth, we’ve learnt it from repeated behaviour.  Write down the new habit on a post it note and put it on the bathroom mirror, this way you see this new habit every single time you clean your teeth.  Moving this new habit into your conscience.  The next step is to actually make it a “want to” habit and practise it daily and this is another big topic.

Join me for a fun filled day full of Mindset Lessons. 

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