Weight loss is easy – stop making it so hard!

Ok, so to be Kim Kardashian or JLo might take some effort, but honestly, it’s not complicated or hard work to feel healthier and fitter – even if that means losing weight.

Even if you have struggled with losing weight in the past!

Even if you have tried every diet under the sun!

Even if you are older or struggling with a health condition!

Please watch this video on what it is that you actually need and how easy it is ….

Yes, you do need to make a firm decision that this is what you want.

And it might change your personality and priorities a bit.

And it might take a little while for that ‘new you’ to get completely locked in.

But your body has all the wisdom you need to be able to do it and it can guide you to the right combination of nutrition and exercise that will work for you and remind you to drink more water.

It’s not about ‘hard work’, it’s about feeling amazing in your body and listening to what nurtures it and makes it feel wonderful – it’s just a matter of following your intuition and pleasure!

If you’d like help to get healthier, fitter and slimmer and know more about my ‘Body Reboot’ program click here.  But if not, don’t worry – I wish you well and would like to remind you that you really deserve to feel healthier and fitter, plus it’s in everyone’s best interests that you DO take care of yourself <3

Why Complaining, Bitching & Blaming won’t get you anywhere

This is part of my ‘Magic Switch’ course, which you can access for free in my facebook group ‘#MUMMYWHISPERER Tips’ – it’s aim is to help you literally wave a Magic Wand on your life!

It’s a bit of a tough talk to start off the course – but it WILL help you, and that’s what matters to me ….

When life is tough, often the people around us are stressed as well and the atmosphere becomes yucky (technical term!). So this is one you might want to share with the rest of the family!

Now don’t take this the wrong way, but I’d like you to spend the next 2 weeks making a concerted effort to do the following. Only because it will make you feel better, not because you are <insert whatever judgemental term you think I’m thinking>:

1) No Complaining:
I know life is tough, and certainly chat to a friend about it. But generally, try to hold off about complaining about your health, lack of weight loss, financial troubles, job etc.
If someone asks, don’t say ‘Fine’ – that unmistakable fake answer us British give. But say something like ‘Up and down’ or ‘On the up’ or ‘Getting easier’.

2) No Bitching:
I’m not suggesting you are a bitch. But when we are stressed it can be easy to end up complaining about people.
Yes, if you have a situation with someone, you might want to chat it over with a friend. But keep it factual, and stay away from guessing their motivations etc.

3) No Blame:
I’m not talking about big issues and saying people shouldn’t take responsibility for their actions. Just that sometimes finger pointing in the family doesn’t get us anywhere. Sometimes, we have to have reasonable expectations of our kids/partners and where they are at. Sometimes there isn’t anyone to blame, however much we would like there to be, because it would explain why it happened.
Shit happens.
Kids are kid.
Teenagers are sometimes!
Puppies chew sofas (well mine did last week – ugh!)
None of us are perfect and we all make mistakes.

 

Here is a video to go into more depth about why complaining about life, bitching about other people and always trying to find someone or something to blame, won’t help you:

 

The aim is to reduce the negative, spiky energy around you – so we can start to add a lighter one.  I promise it will help!

Why it’s important to look after yourself in the summer holidays!

Don’t make the mistake of putting yourself last this summer!

It’s so easy to do – and I have totally been there.

But come September there are loads of mums who have put their health, happiness and businesses on hold and end up feeling frazzled, disgruntled and sad at the lack of happy memories.

Don’t get me wrong, spending great fun times with the kids this summer, is something I am massively looking forward to!  I’m planning on creating a huge number of happy memories.

But not at the cost of my health, fitness and business.

No I’m not going to do work that is unnecessary.  But neither am I planning on losing my momentum.  Plus my health is so much better, I have bit fitness goals for this summer!

Watch this video to encourage yourself and help you think through what is important to you this summer!

Plus there are a few options/offers available to you ….

– Have a few pounds to lose? – QUICK – join my facebook  group #MUMMYWHISPERER Tips and you can still get access to my [Reboot] 3 day detox program.  Sorry, if you are reading this after July 23rd – it’s no longer free!  But it is available to buy here:
https://mummywhisperer.com/rebootdetox/

– Have some big health, fitness and weight loss goals?  QUICK – I am just reopening the doors to my ‘Be Healthy, fit & slim for life program’.  If you check out this page, there is more information on the program and a look inside.
https://mummywhisperer.com/be-healthy-course/

Plus here is a video explaining exactly why you would want to work with me (or not, as the case may be!).

– Have a business that needs a kickstart or boost? – message me – I have a new program about to start, with an amazing offer, that makes the summer holiday lull no problem from a time and financial perspective – but when I open the doors on it, it will be very limited, so make sure you don’t miss out!

– Remember there is my FREE ‘Magic Switch’ course in my facebook group #MUMMYWHISPERER Tips – this will definitely help keep you sane when the kids go feral LOL!

Very big hugs and remember that you deserve to have a wonderful summer holidays AND be happy AND be healthy AND have a successful business!

Accept who you are and the pace of change that suits you!

Last week I spoke to so many Mums who were being really harsh on themselves, that I wanted to chat to you about being more accepting of who you are – it’s certainly something I’ve had to do over the past year.

Some big news for me – and why it’s OK if your progress is slow!

Last weekend I made a huge breakthrough in my fitness, and managed something I never thought I’d be able to do again frankly.

I’m just so chuffed, so I wanted to encourage any of you who are judging your progress in health, fitness, emotional health, finances or business to just keep going.  It doesn’t matter if our progress is slow.  For me it’s not an option to not be healthier than ever before – so really when I’m 90 looking back, I won’t care that it took me a couple of extra years.  The same goes for anything.

I’ve managed it by tuning into my body, so that I could work out when to push and when to pull back, and what it would love to do.  Which leads me onto ….

Embrace who you are

Stop telling yourself that there is something about you that is wrong.

It won’t help to try to ignore or cut that part of you off and guilt just creates a tonne of brain noise, that means you can’t find a way to make a new choice or work around it.

Instead work with it:

– So maybe you are limited physically and have to pace like me – but perhaps that is just opening up your eyes to new ways of being, like doing yoga instead of marathon running? My progress has been unbelievably slow, but to be able to run, for however short a time was something I never thought I’d be able to do!

– Perhaps you have anxiety – to be honest, you might always be that kind of person, so the coping mechanisms that you put in place right now, you will always need. Like going to an exercise class to physically move the anxiety out of your body or have quiet time regularly – whatever it is, that’s OK.

– Perhaps there are things in your past that make you less sure of yourself – that’s fine, you might just need a constant friend or coach for a while to help build you back up. Know yourself and accept it – find a way to do it.

– Perhaps you’ve had depression – that doesn’t make you weak or wrong you know, it’s just an experience and part of who you are. So the fact that you might need certain things to keep you going or to avoid certain scenarios for self care is fine.

– Perhaps you are overweight? Doesn’t mean you aren’t beautiful! Doesn’t mean you aren’t an amazing person! You could even be very fit! Feeling guilty about it, will just make listening to your body and what’s going on harder. Losing weight is not about cutting out the person who loves food, it’s just about persuading them to love a slightly different type and maybe a little less. It’s not about removing all the pleasure in your life (not my way anyway!), because that’s not sustainable. It’s about becoming MORE of who you are, not less.

I’m not saying we can’t make a choice to change some of our habits.

But it’s about working WITH who you are, not trying to force yourself to be someone different – your neighbour, or that other Mum who ‘seems’ to have her shit together, or that business woman who gives the impression she is more successful than you, or your friend who is skinnier than you.

Anyone who joins any of my programs will become MORE of who they are in their hearts and learn to adapt what I teach them to suit them perfectly. Wether it’s my mastermind groups, or law of attraction courses or my 6 month membership to lose weight – it’s all about empowering you to be able to love yourself more and take over the reigns in your own life.

Just wanted to let you all know that you are perfect and don’t try to be anyone else ?

*****************************************

For anyone looking to lose weight, the doors to my 6 month membership program ‘Be healthy, fit and slim’ are now open and there are 2 great limited number offers:

1) Join with a friend ???and share the bill, making it only £7.50 a week! I love accountability – so this will give you a big accountability boost!

2) Join on your own ??? and get 1 month’s free Deluxe membership upgrade for only £15 per week – so that you have daily text and voice access to me and a 1to1 to boost your start.

I’ve updated my website to include videos that go into LOADS of depth about the program, you even get to see inside the content:
https://mummywhisperer.com/be-healthy-course/
(But message me before booking, for special links to purchase the offers)

If you’d like to get a feel for how I work, join my group #MUMMYWHISPERER Tips and check out the 3 day [reboot] detox – it’s great for giving you a chance to stop and rethink some of your habits (and boosting your weight loss if you need it).

Any questions just message, I’m happy to answer.

How to invest in yourself!

So back at Radio Verulam today with the Gorgeous Danny Smith and I was inspired to chat about ‘investments’ by Curly Headed Boy.

It’s spring time, maybe you need a fresh look at your life and a bit of an overhaul?

The question is how to invest in yourself?

Money Saving.

Money Saving Tips
Money

We are quite strict that even from pocket money, our kids have to put something aside.  It’s just so that it becomes second nature to them and eventually when they start to earn money, they naturally expect to be putting a minimum of 10% away.  Otherwise, his head will be automatically working out how he can spend every penny.  Instead, he will automatically assume that some money goes into savings.

It’s not about how much money you earn.

Its about the amount of value that you get from it.

And how much money is left at the end of your month!

As he looks like he would prefer a creative career, he is going to definitely have to manage his money really well to weather the highs and lows, as it’s unlikely to be consistent.

Yes, he might be really successful, but it might not be long term, or he might get one big windfall, that he could blow through really quickly.  In fact we had an award system, where he earn’t quite a lot of money, and what inspired this post was that he agreed to put 50% of it away into savings.

Imagine if you’d put aside all that money since you were a kid?  At 45, I’d have a lot more going on!  Women need to be especially aware of the fact that we have a tendency to not prioritise our pensions ahead of the needs of our relationships or families.

If you would like to start, but can’t afford 10%, just work towards it.  £5 is enough, as it’s a step in the right direction.

Try to create 2 different savings options:

1) Savings forever (not to be touched apart from investing in houses/education)

2) Savings for fun (don’t pay for Christmas and holidays afterwards when the fun is over)

Check out the rest of my money saving tips here.  I have no doubt that they’ll help you out of a financial hole, make sure that you have more value from the money that you spend, and help you to be financially healthier.

 

Your Health

green and red healthy food

This should actually come first in my opinion.  There’s no point in saving money if you don’t have a good quality or long enough life.

I know that things happen, and we can’t plan for everything.  But there is no doubt that your quality of life will be better if you drink water, eat healthily, and exercise.

I like to focus on being HEALTHY, then FIT (no point in being fit without health), and STRONG (which means toned and tends towards slimmer).  Check out all my tips on how to get healthy without dieting or killing yourself with exercise.  It’s so easy to try to go for a quick fix, but we all know THEY DON’T WORK!

Then you need to remember that everyone needs downtime, otherwise the levels of cortisol (stress) just get higher and higher and higher.  That affects your immune system and leaves you open to illnesses and diseases, like my Fibromyalgia.  I know you will get stressed again.  But there will have been a dip, and that is what is important.

Remember, that it’s not selfish to take care of yourself!

 

Your Mind

Great books for mums
Books, books, books …

Have you heard the theory that if you spend 15mins extra a day learning something, then you will overtake your 99% of your peers within a couple of years?

That’s how I did so well in IT.  I wasn’t a natural at it, but I studied every night, and within a few years they’d forgotten my initial struggles.  Eventually I became a global guru – crazy!

You see it at school every day with kids.  The teachers nag parents to read once a night with their children, just for 5-10 mins.  It sounds like so little, that it’s easy to drop.  However, 3-4 years down the line, it’s really obvious which children did or didn’t get that time.  (I know that parents are often busy and it’s not always easy to fit in time with the kids).

However, as old readers will know, I’m not sure about the idea of pushing yourself to pay for a private education, as I’m not convinced it always pays off.  Hence we moved Curly Headed Boy from private back into the state sector.  So don’t assume that education has to cost lots.  Mind you, him being so keen on dancing is a bit of an investment!

I see it as an employer all the time.  Those in my team with a passion for learning are on Youtube and keeping up to date and improving constantly.  The others are just fine, but they don’t do as well and naturally don’t attract as many customers.

It doesn’t have to be a huge amount of time.  Just lots of little consistent bits, is what adds up eventually.

 

Your Community

Charity Shop Finds
Butterfly Sparkles!

I must admit that I believe that what you give out you get back.  If I smile at people, I tend to mainly get smiles back.  There are a few grumpy people, but the smiles I get back cheer me up.  It’s not any extra pressure on my day to make this little effort, and I get rewarded in bucket loads.

The same goes for ‘paying it forward’.  I don’t believe it’s right to be a martyr, or give so much of yourself that you damage your health and family.  But our community is important, and there are always things that you can do , however little.

Maybe it’s in helping to spread the word about a new small business on Facebook?  A simple share of one of my posts for Espiritu, is amazingly helpful.  I have lovely clients who regularly mention us whenever someone asks for a local hair/beauty salon or Spa.  I’m really lucky, so I like to help out other businesses where I can.

Perhaps you support the local charity shop where you can by buying from there and giving them things that you are finished with.  I’ve made amazing purchases in charity shops in the past, and my kids love them.  There was a really interesting post though over on a friend of mine’s blog, where she was feeling guilty about wanting to sell some more expensive items.  No you should never feel guilty – it’s not right to put yourself in trouble.

Or maybe it’s helping out at your kids school a couple of hours a week if you have the flexibility?

Remember, you don’t have to solve a WHOLE problem – that’s what often stops people from helping out, donating or volunteering.  Just help a little – and all the little bits add up.

 

What else?

What do you think that you should invest in?
What have I missed out?
Friendships? – I kind of fit that in with community, but many invest much more in their friendships.
Clothes? – I recently bought some clothes, as there is an expectation that I look a certain way for work, but I’ve never bought anything outrageously expensive, as I’m way too tight fisted.
Relationships? – So difficult to juggle with a family and kids, but they can last a lifetime, so worth investing in.
Houses? – With all the changes in our economy, maybe it isn’t a priority anymore to invest in bricks and mortar?
Watching TV – there is social side to this, where you can feel left out if you don’t know what’s going on!
Time to stop for a while

Meditation for stressed out beginners with little time who can’t Ohm!

Time to stop for a while
Pause

 

All cudos to those who can ’empty their minds’ or sit in a corner and ‘ohm’ for 30 minutes a day, but I just can’t do it.

I’ve tried ‘guided meditations’ too, but all that jingly jangly music irritates me, and I tend to already be swimming in the sea by the time they have stepped their first step on the sand!

Hence I didn’t do it.

 

 

Mistake on several accounts:

You don’t have to empty your mind or spend hours doing it.

It’s more like pressing [PAUSE] for a moment before you reboot your system.

Meditation is not a ‘nice to do’ thing, but a ‘have to do’ in our busy stressful worlds.

It reduces stress and saves time on packed busy days because fire fighting invariably leads to more fires.

It reduces pressure on the body and thus helps protect you from illnesses like my  Fibromyalgia.

It’s important for weight loss!

 

I’m going to give you several ideas for quickly taking a pause in your day, and you can then proudly say that you ‘meditate’ every day!

 

3 Rules For All Options

1) Breathe in through your nose (it calms you) and out through your mouth

2) Breathe into your abdomen/tummy – you want it coming out as the air goes in, and then flattening as the air goes out.

3) If a thought pops into your head, don’t worry about it, just stop thinking about it and go back to the exercise

 

A Quick Reconnect Option

Can't sleep during full moon
Nature is a great grounder

This can be from 30 seconds to 3 minutes.

Follow the rules while standing, sitting or lieing down, whatever works.

Imagine that there are roots coming out of your feet and going down into the ground.

Imagine that as you breathe in and out there is energy coming up to your from the ground and all your stress is going back down into the earth.

Imagine a string from the top of your head up into the sky.

Imagine that as you breathe in and out there is healing coming down from the ‘universe’ (or whatever you like to think as out there) and all your pains and worries are leaving as you breathe out.

Keep breathing a little longer now with energy coming into you from both the earth and the sky and your stresses and worries going out.

 

Making a Cuppa, Showering or Brushing Your Teeth Or Anything

Chance for a cuppa
Cup Of Tea and a chat is good for the soul

Make a habit of taking a pause and being really PRESENT (i.e. not worrying about what happened or what is to happen) during one of your normal daily routines.  You are going to focus on just that exercise for the next 1-3 minutes.

Follow the rules above.

Focus on the SIGHTS, SOUNDS, SMELLS, TASTE and TOUCH only.

Obviously this is tricky when the kids are in the room and it can be difficult in the early months to get any time without a child – do what you can and adapt the idea.  It can even be done with children e.g. while cuddling a child to sleep or feeding them.

For example:

Making tea – the sound of your feet moving across the kitchen, the sound of the water going in the kettle, the heaviness of the kettle as the water goes in it, the slight coldness of the water splashing, the click of the kettle going back on it’s stand, the boiling of the water, the smells wafting out of the fridge as you open it to get the milk etc etc

Showering – the feel of the water (this is great for imagining it washing away all your stress), the temperature in the room as it warms up and gets steamy, the smell of the soap, the look of the water dropping down, the shinyness of the taps, the sound of the water dropping etc etc

Brushing your teeth – the sensation of the toothpaste hitting your tongue, the sound of the brushing in your head,  the different areas of your teeth, the sound of the water, the taste of it when you swill your mouth out, the coldness of the tap etc etc.

Lieing next to a child as they fall asleep – this is a great exercise because calming yourself will calm them more quickly.  Focus on hearing their breathing, maybe the feel of their skin if they need you to stroke them, the temperature in the room and feel of the bed, then REALLY notice their hair, eyes, ears and hands.

 

During Walking Or Exercising

Running Tips
Running can be a great meditation

Anything from 5-30mins.

If you get a chance to go for a walk or a run, cycle or even a swim on your own, then you can extend the exercises above.

Start with a quick reconnect (you can do this on the move once you’ve practiced it a few times).

Use the 3 rules.

Plus be present by focussing on the SIGHTS, SOUNDS, SMELLS, TASTE and TOUCH.

If you can be out in nature that is ideal as it is grounding, but needs must and a treadmill or pool will also work.

You will find that as it is probably a longer period of time that thoughts will start to pop into your head more often.  I find it particularly difficult to do with without ideas for blog posts to pop in (I ask them to come back later!).  You have 2 options on how to deal with these thoughts:

1) Notice what the thought was about, don’t beat yourself up, and move on to focussing on being present again.

2) Notice the thought and rather than ‘thinking’ about it, keep noticing it.
This is more tricky, but what you are aiming to do is to be ‘present’ with the thought or worry or stress.  So don’t try to fix it, don’t think about it and don’t worry about it.  Just notice it.  How strong is it?  Where does it affect your body?  How strong is the effect?  You are basically saying ‘yes, hello worry, you don’t need to worry, I’ve seen you’.  Over time it should lessen it’s hold on you, a bit like an insistent toddler or dog that nags and nags until it knows you’ve seen it.

 

So there you have it, 3 different ways to add ‘meditation’ into your day as easy as pie.  They follow the concepts behind Zen or Mindfulness meditations, but from the perspective of a busy mum, who hasn’t got time to study anything really complicated!

If I get a chance I’ll do a blog post soon about Shamanic meditation and the ways that you can use meditation to actually ‘answer’ questions or help you make decisions.  It’s pretty cool!

Have a go and let me know how you do – if you have any questions, just pop them below in your comments.

 

 

I’m not talking about emptying your mind

Muffin Top From Above

A ray of hope for all those excuses for being unhealthy, unfit and over-weight

Muffin Top From Above
Muffin Top

 

Yesterday I asked what I thought was a pretty innocuous question on facebook and twitter ” I’d love all the reasons / excuses why you ended up unhealthy, unfit and overweight?”.

I was just looking to finish a list for my book, and expecting a couple of reasons.  I must have had 100 answers by the end of the day!

I was so inspired by the number of answers that I decided to change what we talked about on Radio Verulam’s drive time show with Danny Smith and discuss this instead.

 

 

Whilst there were the typical ones:

Timing – basically having too much on and being unable to focus on one more thing

Lethargy  and lack of prioritising- not being able to get motivated and never putting themselves first

Circumstances – Financial problems, and lack of support at home or with childcare

There were also a HUGE number of mums with illnesses, diseases, injuries, disabilities, mental health issues, stress, exhaustion etc.

Actually this makes sense.

Giving birth is tough on the body.  It’s also tough on the stress levels and mental health.  So it makes sense that actually there might be more mums struggling with these sorts of challenges.

 

Listen here for the re-run:

 

 

Timing

I totally agree with this.  There is no point adding another stressor to life by feeling guilty when you can’t prioritise getting healthy and fit at the same time as already having an overloaded life.  It would actually be ‘unhealthy’ to add more to your plate.

As long as you know you won’t leave it too long; i.e. no longer than a year or two, I think this is a perfectly reasonable ‘excuse’.

Also it doesn’t have to be so black and white.  Rather than aiming for some image of amazing ‘health’, why not try a couple of things gradually added over a 3 month period?

I would suggest:

1) Drinking more water and being thoughtful about how many cups of coffee you drink

2) Going for a 15-30 minute walk once or twice a week

3) Eating 5 fruit and veg a day

4) Stretch for 5 mins a couple of times per week

I would like to lose half a stone at the moment.  My body is focussed on getting healthier.  I look MUCH healthier, but the weight loss as you can see from my vlogs is going at the amazingly slow pace of 1lb per month argh!  Guess it knows best ;o)

 

Lethargy and Prioritising

We get tired.  We put the family first.  We get more tired.  It’s a vicious circle.

It does seem to get easier when the kids are all at school – you can tell the school mums who’s kids are all school age and who still has little ones by the muffin tops!

Eventually it’s time to break the circle, and luckily I have loads of tips on how to get your head and heart up for losing weight.  It’s an easy mental exercise to link all the things and people you do love to getting healthier, fitter and stronger.

Remember the reason for doing this is not like it was at school; it’s not about being good at sport and winning.  It’s about having some fun, and feeling better in ourselves so that we can enjoy life more.

If you don’t want to use my exercises to sort your motivation out, then hows about trying one of the hypnotherapy apps available for phones (I like Andrew Johnson’s because of the scottish accent!).  Or EFT (tapping on the meridian points while discussing a problem) can be very helpful in breaking down barriers to weight loss.

 

Circumstances

I was surprised that not as many people as I might have expected blamed finances on not being able to afford healthy food.  But it is definitely a problem for example I saw an organic apple was 50p the other day.  So in a family of 4 it would cost £2 per day and £730 per year – that is ridiculous!

Luckily there are all sorts of blogs appearing on a daily basis with hints and tips for feeding a family on a budget (feel free to add yours in the comments).  There are also food banks and options appearing in many cities where you can buy a bowl fool of fruit or veg at massively subsidised prices.  For anyone struggling to buy food I would ask you to put aside any guilt / pride you might have and take all the options available to you.

Luckily walking is free (although if you have an injury you might want a pair of trainers).  Aim for 10,000 steps per day (check out my Fibromyalgia posts for the supplement lists that helped me to manage to walk every day).

Playing with the kids is also free – mine will play tag every day if I offer.

If you have no child care, then it might be that you need to explain to your kids that you are going to exercise for 30 minutes a couple of times a week and they either join you or play on their own for a bit.  You can always steal the kids xBox or Wii and do an exercise game!

 

Illness/Disease/Injury/Disability/Stress/Exhaustion

When the body is stressed it releases sugar into the body – not helpful for weight loss.  It also shuts down all non-neccessary functions e.g. digestion and focusses on what it needs for ‘fight or flight’.  If this goes on for too long, then it can definitely make healthy weight loss more difficult.

So I don’t want to add extra stress by making you feel guilty heh!

But I also don’t want you to stay a ‘victim’ of the problem for the rest of your life.  I totally understand how difficult it can be – I whined about having PCOS for 10yrs before losing the weight, and have certainly been upset about the chronic pain from Fibromyalgia.

So let’s look at it this way:

It may be more difficult.

It may mean working our way around limitations and challenges.

But if we don’t do it, things will only get worse.

So it’s worth the effort?

Loads can be done purely with nutrition and hydration if you are physically challenged.  You can definitely get to a healthier weight purely using them.

It might be also be worth focussing on the problems causing the exhaustion and stress first, and putting in things to reduce them first.

There are also professionals who can help you with tips on supplements and exercise e.g. health food shops, nutritionists, naturopaths, physiotherapists etc.  This is especially important if you have an illness or medications which actually affect your weight and hunger levels.  But it’s always important to check with your doctor, especially if you are already on medication.  For instance I take 5-htp for my sleep, but it can’t be mixed with certain anti-depressants, and things like epilepsy meds are extremely vulnerable to supplements.

Always listen to your intuition as well.  For instance, my body is NOT the kind that enjoys fasting, in fact ‘boom and bust’ is a bad habit of people with Fibromyalgia.  However one of my best friends felt at her fittest when doing a diet that meant eating less for a couple of days per week.  There is also the concept that come of us are more suited to certain foods, and I think that there maybe something in that: my husband is definitely better with more protein for instance.  Never ignore that small voice inside, but question it if it is suggesting something extreme, fadish or ‘quick fix’.

 

A note:

I am not a nutritionist.  I’m not a personal trainer.  I’m just someone who has struggled with health, fitness and weight for years, and happened to learn the ‘secrets’.

My aim is to help the mums who are ‘under average’ healthy to improve their health; not to make them the healthiest in the world.

Someone rightly mentioned that there are many versions of what is considered ‘healthy’.  My version of what is ‘healthy’ is a well balanced meal, including all food types.  I’m a fan of moderation and balance.  There are MUCH ‘healthier’ options out there.  I just don’t think that they are practical for everyone.  But I’m hoping that some people will learn the basics from me and then go on to learn even more.  Meanwhile the rest of us will be much healthier than the average person on the street, with enough energy and vigour to enjoy being mums.

We have all used excuses/reasons to avoid getting healthier and fitter (apart from a few!) – but we don’t have to do it forever!

Progress

My progress 6 months on from Diagnosis with Fibromyalgia: NEWS!

Progress
Progress

 

I have NEWS – there have been big changes.

Initially it was all rather slow, frustrating and two steps forward and one step back.  My last post was very up and down.

However, it looks like it all accumulates into one big sudden improvement, once you have ticked off a large enough percentage of the changes needed.  (I’m not fooling myself btw, I know there is still lots of work to do).

 

Here are some of the improvements:

I HAVE WALKED the dog every day for a fortnight.  This is amazing.  I tried before to gradually increase my walking and failed.  I can’t tell you what a difference it makes to be able to do it.

I am no longer in constant chronic pain.  I have constant pain, but it’s not unbearable or depressing.

Happy dog
Happy dog

I don’t feel like an 80 year old any more when bending down to putting the washing in the machine or walk down the stairs.

My TMJ (jaw pain) is much reduced.

I seem to have moved on to just get 1 flare per month, rather than 2; which is much more manageable.

Neither of my arms hurt.

I can pick up Little Dimples – what a relief, it was so awful not to be able to carry her when she needed me.

I’ve had some sleep.

I’ve adapted to no longer being competent – heh, who cares if I’m unreliable, ditzy and dis-organised from now on?

I’m beyond fighting it, not identifying myself as the victim of the story of it, and now more in a place where it is a guide for a while until I get the changes really sorted in my life.

I have no doubt that I will have it totally managed in the next 6 months.

I have hope that it’s possible to be free of it.

 

What have I done?

Supplements
Supplements

I was found to be very low on VITAMIN D, despite taking it in a multi-fit (I was 42, it should be 72).  They put me on a big dose of Vit D3 (gell capsules are best).  I now buy my own and take a pill if there is no sunshine on a day.  I’m going to ask to get my levels checked.  This reduced my pain DRAMATICALLY (along with a big dose of sunshine in Lanzarote in the February half-term).

Found 5-htp and magnesium (must take the malate version – it’s gentler on the stomach) to improve my sleep.

CBT from the NHS (cognitive Behavioural therapy) – I need to blog about this some more, it’s helped, but I wonder whether it is a little shallow and only helped because I have a therapy background and could do a lot of homework.  It was very helpful though in highlighting for me what causes a flare (e.g. freezing cold in a motorhome in Brighton will do it, or visitors who don’t help out!).

I’ve also tried EFT (Emotional Freedom Technique) for the discomfort in my back (almost itches and hurts from the inside) from the Adrenals and reduced the pain from 8/10 to 2/10.  I can start to learn EFT myself and use it at home, so it’s a great find. (If you are local, try the lovely Mel at TherapHealing for EFT)

I’ve turned the tide on my weight and am at last working back downwards, if VERY slowly (I had just tipped over into an unhealthy weight).

Come off the drugs – I CONFESS – I realised on the friday of the bank holiday that I had awful Edema, so bad that my legs were ripping.  I knew there was no chance of a Dr’s appointment, so I stopped taking the Amiltriptyline.  That is wrong.  I know.  But I was only on 10mg.  I probably should have cut the pills in half instead.  I had a couple of bad days with headaches and insomnia.  But I’m glad now.

I’ve dropped sugar in my tea, I have the odd cake, but no more biscuits, and found a natural alternative to sugar for my tea.  The horrible, hot burning pain in my hips is dramatically improved from this – if I make a mistake I know it immediately.

The MOST AMAZING change has come from taking Cherry Active concentrated sour cherry juice morning and evening.  This is the reason that I can walk the dog.

Curly Headed Boy says I seem happier and look healthier than I did before I was ill.

 

Continuing with Previous Things:

Continuing with the Pilates – to strengthen my muscles means I don’t have to use as much of them, hence have less pain.

Still taking Omega 3, 6 & 9 (for brain fog), Optibac Probiotics (for IBS) and a good multi-vit.

Stopped taking Floradix – I feel I’m taking enough!

I’m going to a womans group monthly.  We meditate, do something personal-developmenty, chat, drink tea and eat biscuits; it’s perfect!  (If you fancy a supportive, fun, monthly group for women check out Actually Mummy’s review of our ‘Vision Boarding’ get-together),

Still meditating weekly, and a shamanism group monthly, which are great for support.

Warm showers every morning.  Cold if the pain is burning (brrrr, but it works).  Hot flannel for the muscles in my face to relax and if I’m tired, plus a big splash of cold water.

Hot bath with a couple of cup fulls of Epsom Salts and some aromatherapy oil once a week for at least 20 mins.

Aloe Vera Gell for the ‘hip burn’ (it itches and burns from the inside).

 

My Work

6 Steps To A Sparkling You
6 Steps To A Sparkling You

I have a PUBLISHING DEAL!!

This means that edition 2 of “Six Steps To A Sparkling You and Enjoying Being a Mum” will be out in September along with a NEW paperback version.

Plus the first edition of “Get Healthy, Fit and Strong without Diets and Bootcamps” with a paperback version straight away.

How exciting!

And book 3 “Who On Earth Am I?” is brewing nicely – look out for new posts along those lines soon.

I’ve also decided that I will definitely not return to teaching the Demartini Method, when I’m healthier, but instead go back to what I did 13yrs ago doing a mixture of healing and coaching.  It’s a lot easier to fit into life with 2 children, and although less lucrative, it’s less tough on me as well.

This is a HUGE decision as I worked blinking hard, spent many years and a lot of money to get my senior certification, but it’s the right one.  I’ll still use all the philosophies with my coaching.

If you have Fibromyalgia check out my page about my Fibro journey and all the things I have changed or tried.  I’d love to know if there is anything you have tried that has worked?

If you have a relative or friend with Fibromyalgia, please let them know about my page as it’s often very difficult for people to get information about it.

 

Weight Loss Diary: Week 7: How Life Gets In The Way Of The Best Laid Plans

Those of you who can add up can probably see that there was a Week 1, Week2, Hangout in week3, and then week 4, 5 and 6 are missing!

Yep, life totally got in the way!

Check out my video and my small amount of progress weight wise, but lots health wise:

 

I mention in there the progress I have made on my pain levels with Fibromyalgia by cutting out sugar and the research I did into sugar, sweeteners and the natural alternatives.  I was only having 3 teaspoonfuls of sugar a day in a cup of tea, no biscuits, but maybe some chocolate and cake.  The sugar is all gone, and the chocolate is now 1 piece of dark chocolate a day, and the cake just an unusual treat.  I can actually feel the difference if I have a day when I eat too much sugar, which is great because it is proving how much it affects my body.  I really recommend you think about it.

Thank you!

By the way a BIG THANK YOU to whoever nominated me in the Brilliance in Blogging awards 2013 in the video section – I was a bit surprised, but I’m assuming it is because of the stuff I’ve been doing about weight, unless it is because of David Tennant?  I would love some votes, as to be a finalist would be fantastic!

 

More help

If you are a little further along with your weight loss journey, remember that there are more tips here:

On weight loss

On Nutrition

And Exercise.

Or if you realise that you aren’t quite ready because you are too tired and too stressed, then check out my book ‘6 Steps To a Sparkling You And Enjoying Being a Mum‘.

Any questions, pop them in the comments.

 

Join Me Next Time Or Get More Direct Help!

I’m going to do a two more of Google+ hangouts about getting Healthy, Fit and Strong:

My next will be on understanding ourselves, because that is important in order to link our goals to what is important to ourselves.

Then I will do a hangout on the linking exercise to get us (AND ME!!!) motivated!

Fancy joining me?  You can either join in, or watch live and chat us questions, or watch afterwards.

Join my FB page and contact me in my FB group.  You will need a Google account too (here is my profile and page).  I need to know your current weight, goal, and what methods you are using at the moment if you have already started.

Don’t worry I will record the hangouts and put them on my Youtube page and post them here on my blog.

 

Sugar and Sweeteners are they bad for you? What’s the alternative?

This week’s chat with the lovely Danny Smith on his drive time show over at Radio Verulam was about nutrition and a few things that people might not know about SUGAR and SWEETENERS.

The problem is they are HIDDEN in lots of things that we eat and people don’t know.

Plus there are BIG health problems attached to them.

But don’t worry, you know me, I’m not into extremes, so I do have some ideas for alternatives.

If you fancy listening to us, then it’s about 15 minutes including music.  Otherwise, I’ve written it up below with some extra information I found afterwards:

 

 

Sweeteners?

Did you know that sweeteners are bad for you?

They are full of chemicals, that build up in your body and do it no good whatsoever.  There are tonnes of people talking in much more technical terms about this on the internet, so I’m not going to go into lots of biology about it, but basically they are toxins that build up in your body.

They are ironically NOT good for long term balanced weight as the body gets confused by eating something sweet that then has no calories.  Plus as you get more and more of these in the body, they will make weight loss more difficult as the body can’t work as well.

So DO NOT drink diet drinks.  Never ever ever.  Go for full sugar if you have to have a fizzy drink, or find something else or a different alcoholic drink that needs a different mixer.  Water is of course a great alternative!  I also talk about being careful of how much caffeine you drink later on in the day.

Watch out for low fat or low sugar foods.  In fact ANYTHING that LOOKS HEALTHY is probably packed with sweeteners and therefore bad for you!

Watch out for SQUASH because it often has sneaky sweeteners in it.  Instead look for a good fruit juice from concentrate (water it down if you like) or a squash with sugar.

So if you need sweetness I would actually advise sugar, just less of it so that it doesn’t affect your weight, insulin levels or health!

 

Sugar?

Problem is that sugar isn’t too good for you either.

Too much of it (like too much fat) affects the glyceamic index and insulin levels in the body that can aggravate or cause illnesses like Polycystic ovarian syndrome, IBS and Diabetes.

But most of all it is TERRIBLE for the immune system.  Us mums already have the bio weapons of mass destruction bringing every bug known to mankind back from school, and waking us up at night.  We don’t need something else that will literally inflame the insides of our bodies.

So if you need sugar use brown sugar, because that is marginally better for you than the white stuff and CUT out daily sugary treats, instead having a weekly one.

Now earlier on I said don’t drink diet drinks, so what about the others?  Well, be warned, often the healthy ones are packed with sugar especially those ‘water with a hint of something’ drinks that make you feel so self-righteous!

Plus if like Danny you like a can of coke you are looking at about the equivalent of 10 teaspoonfuls of sugar, which is 40g of sugar.  That is A LOT OF SUGAR. Added to that is the caffeine. So if you have any problems with your weight, sleep, emotional/mental health definitely don’t drink any after 4pm and consider finding something else that you like but which is a lot lower.

The NHS recommend the following: 70g for men and 50g for women depending on your height.  That means that 1 can of coke leaves you with very little leeway to have ANYTHING else in the day.  E.g. There could be another 4-5gs in one slice of bread, so if you have a sandwich you are done for the day and can’t add ketchup to your evening meal!

Remember that it is hidden in all sorts of things; always check the INGREDIENTS list.  I was over at Nanny Bets house the other day, helping her look through her cupboards.  The healthy cereal she had picked had added sugar.  The porridge was the ground up easy to put in a microwave stuff with none of the benefits of real porridge.

If you check the labels, the NHS recommends that:

  • more than 15g of total sugars per 100g is high
  • 5g of total sugars or less per 100g is low

 

Alternatives?

I am not saying give up sweet!  Phew, you say!

If you have an immune system disease like me, then I would say that ALL sugar and ALL sweeteners have to go from your diet.

If you tend to be very up and down emotionally or are dealing with depression, then I would warn you to make sure that you always include something that is low in the Glyceamic Index when you have something that is high sugar or high fat, as it will only make things worse.

For the rest of you, it’s about cutting it down the sugar, cake and biscuits instead.

Here are some natural alternatives:

Honey – high GI, but natural and Manuka honey can be great for the immunity

Maple Syrup – comes from trees, rather than our traditional golden syrup, again high GI but natural

Stevia – is a natural sweetener, but I’m not keen because it doesn’t have ANY calories and I think that it will confuse the body

Xylitol – is the one I’m using at the moment for my 3 cups of tea a day.

There are definitely others: always worth a check at your local health food shop and by googling to see if anything new has arrived on the scene.

 

Quitting Sweetness Altogether?

You will find a LOT of stuff on the internet about how sugar, fructose, glucose, sucrose, carbohydrates and anything sweet, starchy or down right yummy is bad for you.

I totally DISAGREE!  What would life be like without a little sweetness?  Why on earth were bees created if not to bring a little pleasure into our lives?

Long term I’m convinced that those low carbohydrate diets are positively unhealthy and damage the body.

Check out this book called ‘I didn’t Quit Sugar‘, it gives some really good advice, lots of technical information and they are about to bring out a recipe book too.

 

So what do you think about sugars and sweeteners?

Have you ever tried to those low carb diets?

Have I given you enough of a kick to try cutting back on your sugar and adding a few other alternatives?