Uncategorized

Exercising and eating well doesn’t make you healthy

 

print-6959

 

Well that is the closest headline to click-bait I have ever written. Who even am I? But I am glad I have your attention. Welcome. Take a seat. Prepare to be shocked.

I am ready to rock your world.

Here it is.

Are you ready?

(Okay suspense in becoming annoying, I get it, I’ll stop now.)

Just because you exercise regularly and eat all of the healthy foods doesn’t make you healthy.

There.

I said it.

Gosh it feels good to get off my chest.

But seriously – it is probably the biggest misconception of the ‘wellness world’ that I am seeing. That if you train your butt hard for hours at a time (or not even, just are consistent) and if you eat a #clean,  #glutenfree, #freeverything diet, then you are officially a healthy person.

I get it. We are bombarded with #fitspo social media stars with ripped abs and thigh gaps who LOOK healthy, sharing their training programs and meal plans with us, and we buy into what they are selling because, well, they are the picture of health right? And we want to look like them, even just a little bit right?

It’s okay to admit this guys, I feel you! I used to feel the exact same! If you are familiar with even HALF my story you will know I was ONE OF THOSE PEOPLE – sharing my ab selfies and meal preps and all of those things.

But, in my time as a wellness coach, I have learned that nutrition and exercise are one SMALL part of overall wellbeing. The challenge is, they are the only part getting the attention and ‘air time’. Why? Probably partly because fitspo is sexy and people buy things off good looking people. And also because exercise and eating well are potentially some of the EASIER health components to understand. Calories in, calories out right? Just don’t eat shit. Exercise heaps. It isn’t rocket science.

There’s a saying in the wellness world: mind, body and soul. Sound familiar? The notion that to feel TRULY well, on all levels, your mind (that is your mental health), body (physical body) and soul (spirituality, life purpose and passions) are all aligned. I truly believe this is the hidden key to wellbeing that isn’t being spoken about enough.

Let’s break the components down a bit for you:

MIND

Our brain is the hub of mental health. If you have experienced a mental illness before, you would understand how powerful the mind is. It can make you believe things that aren’t actually real. Sometimes, when you aren’t looking after your mind, it is hard to ‘turn it off’. Thoughts race, causing physical reactions like chest pain, heart palpitations and shallow breathing – but it all stems back to the MIND.

Some simple tricks for you to get your MIND in shape?

  • Meditation and deep breathing (I use the Insight Timer app)
  • Sleep – literally, you need AT LEAST 7 hours a night. I get between 8 and 9. People DO NOT TAKE THIS SERIOUSLY ENOUGH. I guarantee you that sleep IS as important as your squats and your bulletproof coffee
  • Read. Challenge your mind. Join a book club (like Soul Reads). Stop scrolling before bed
  • Journal. Write your thoughts on paper when they become too much (this is a brilliant technique for anyone experiencing anxiety. If you don’t have a journalling practice, start one. Stat.)
  • Practice gratitude to cultivate more positive and inspiring thoughts in your daily life

There are literally hundreds more things you can do to ‘exercise your mind’ – I am merely illustrating these as things that have worked for me.

BODY

Okay, so we get that we need to be exercising and eating ‘well’. But let’s get down to the nitty gritty – what does eating ‘well’ mean to you? Here is a little fun fact – there is no one ‘right’ way to eat. One person’s food of choice can literally be another person’s poison. Which is why dieting DOES NOT WORK. Well, it does work, for the businesses pushing the latest trend and making money from you. But as a whole, dieting is never in your favour.

Find foods that truly make you FEEL good. Make sure they are organic and whole foods – as close to their natural state as possible. Ditch the processed stuff, say no to refine sugar (this is standard) and then experiment. You might not need to be gluten free. And even if you ARE gluten free, check the labels of the foods you are eating. Be a conscious eater, not someone who jumps on the next bandwagon because it promises weight loss (eat for health people!)

When it comes to exercise, you should be genuinely looking forward to it. If it feels like a chore, it’s time to change it up. Some bodies don’t agree with going for a run or weight training. Just like yoga may bore you to tears. That’s okay! It doesn’t have to be trendy to be good for you. Find what gets you excited and move your body as often as you can.

SOUL

The most underrated wellbeing tool, in my opinion. And also the one that tends to cop the most slack for being a tad ‘woo woo’. Which I really don’t care about anymore. When people ask me what my secret to overall wellness is, I am totally unashamed to say it is spirituality. For you, that could mean going to church on a Sunday. For someone else, it is following their passions and bliss and what lights them up. Realising they have a purpose in life greater than what they do in their 9-5.

For me, my soul lights up when I am helping others – doing the work I get to do in the world. It lights up when I write, when I share my messages, when I have deep conversations with my soul sisters and soul mate. Angel cards are my latest soul hobby – as are crystals and essential oils.

For you, your soul might light up when you sing, or play music, or raise money for a charity close to your heart. Find your soul joy and invest AS MUCH TIME in cultivating spiritual work as you do exercising and eating well.

Now THAT is when you will really glow with health.

Standard
Uncategorized

Loving your rock bottom

web_mg_6969

Something I am constantly telling my clients is that this whole ‘self love, personal development, mental health, live your best life’ journey is not a quick fix. Not even close. Hell, my job is to coach you guys on living YOUR best lives, and while I like to think I am pretty good at it, it definitely does not mean I have all my shit figured out. FAR from it.

Stepping into bettering your life is a LIFE-LONG commitment. There will be times you are killing it – your health is thriving, skin is glowing, you are sleeping your 8 hours and loving life. And then BAM one day you wake up on the wrong side of the bed after 5 hours sleep with a hideous break out and feel like you are back to square one.

You feel me?

What is important in these moments is not to judge them, or you, for feeling this way. Because guess what? WE ARE HUMAN. And part of the human existence is things aren’t ALWAYS going to be rainbows and unicorns. Even when we grasp at all angles and do all the ‘right things’. We actually set ourselves up for failure in thinking this way. Sometimes, you are going to wake up on the wrong side of the bed. Sometimes, your anxiety or depression will flare up. Sometimes you will get into an argument with a loved one.

Does that mean all of your hard work has been for nothing?

HELL NO!

In fact, it is in THESE moments that you are really able to STEP UP – put what you have learned into practice, and really grow from the ‘rock bottom moments’ as I like to call them.

I was reminded of this myself just last week.

My theme for February really was: try and fit everything I wanted to do into my life with minimal time for myself ignoring everything I preach and have learned until I verge on a breakdown.

And then last week, the breakdown happened.

What is frustrating is I KNEW it was coming. I spoke about it in my last post. But it was all too late. Even though I had taken my foot off the accelerator, my body was already running on adrenaline. Hi there burnout, old friend, nice to see you again.

Feeling very sorry for myself last weekend (again, I am human, and also just being honest), I started to put into practice all of my learnings. My February theme of grasping at everything, stemmed from a fear of missing out. But in doing so, I was not allowing any room for space – space for the magic to happen, as it has done for me (and as I have shared) in the past.

My body was screaming out at me to STOP. Not even to slow down, literally to slam on the brakes. I had a really symbolic dream last week, where I was driving my car, and while my brakes WERE working, they weren’t working enough to stop when I needed to – at stop signs and traffic lights. So I ended up in danger, even though I was slowing down. Because I wasn’t STOPPING.

(Thanks subconscious!)

So last weekend, I stopped. Luck had it (totally not luck by the way, more divine timing) that the Friday night I attended Sarah Wilson’s book launch for her new book all about the anxious experience: First, we make the beast beautiful. Buy it. Read it. Read it again. Especially if you have anxiety or any kind of mental illness. Or even if you don’t but a loved one does. I spent the entire weekend in old tracksuit pants, devouring the pages between deep naps and some feeling sorry for myself crying. I let myself feel whatever came up. I journalled. And I realised that my frustration was at MYSELF. This was all MY DOING.

So, the coach in me was asking (yelling at me more like it) – WHAT IS THE LESSON?

And the lesson was to create more space in my life.

So…I resigned from the jewellery shop. My sanity depended on it.

While I love the shop and the people, the running theme was that, in filling my life with ‘stuff’ I was burning myself out. Like I have done time and time again. Only this time, I read the warning signs MUCH EARLIER and made a decision. Yes, it felt yucky and I felt guilty and the fear was present (working at the shop is my only source of guaranteed income).

But I also knew I had to practice what I preach. That nothing is worth holding onto if it is only fear holding you there in the first place. I knew that in resigning from the shop, my health would flourish and more importantly, I was creating space for the MAGIC to happen in my life again.

I resigned on Tuesday. It’s Thursday.

Here is the magic that has already happened in that time:

  • I have been offered a panelist position for a Beauty From Within event at MYER next Friday
  • I have been shortlisted for an opportunity to be a features writer for a renowned wellness publication
  • A leading wellness/lifestyle PR agency reached out to meet with me and discuss opportunities
  • I won a double pass to the Taste Of Sydney Festival
  • I booked a promotional gig that dreams are made of – the movie premier of Beauty and the Beast (5 years old me is SCREAMING at the thought)

Literally, all of this in two days.

It’s almost laughable except that I knew this would happen. So did Trent – every time I called him to proclaim a new bit of magic, he wasn’t even shocked. Didn’t bat an eyelid.

Speaking of, my left eye is twitching as I write this. Like a little reminder that my body is still playing catch up.

Cherish your bad days – embrace them. These are the days to put what you have learned into practice – to search for the nuggets of wisdom.

Don’t run from them. Don’t give up. Because they will just become bigger and yuckier and harder to deal with.

Take INSPIRED action. Talk it out with people (remember I am here for that).

And remember that if life is shaking you up, it’s time to pay attention as to WHY.

Standard