Last Month I Wanted to Give Up. This Month I Never Want to Give Up.

Welcome to the rollercoaster that is running your own business.

The best advice I received last month was ‘Hold Your Nerve’ and that I did.

I never expected it to be as hard as this, I have had my own business before and it was never this tough.

10 months in and I have put everything I thought possible into making it a success. It’s been a long waiting game, a game that involves educating organisations on best practice and then hoping this can be communicated properly back to the powers that be. Then you wait, hoping you get their buy in and a green light. So much riding on it, more than they will ever know or need to know.

When dealing with white collar businesses in the early stages of new business development it can take many layers of decision makers to get anything approved and it takes time… time that keeps your cash flow not flowing and your business not moving forward.

It’s a learning curve, a process. One where you have to re-evaluate, re-assess and develop new strategies to ensure you are covering all bases. You need to be willing to change and be open to new and different opportunities. You have to grow, adapt and learn what works and what doesn't.

You ride the rollercoaster through its ups and downs. Sometimes you just want to scream and jump off and sometimes you just feel sick, sick with worry and stress. Then you’re faced with a harsh inner critic who takes charge of you, self — doubt creeps in and tries to sabotage your positive and optimistic outlook. But you can’t let it win. You have to stay strong, believe in what you’re doing and what lies ahead.

The key to this is mindset, once you shift this and your energy, we re-gain control and great things start to happen.

And then, you feel it, you see it and you know it’s going to work. There is light at the end of the tunnel and the blood sweat and tears you’ve invested finally come to fruition.

Last month I wanted to throw the towel in, I had lost faith, faith in myself and faith in my future. It was a long dark tunnel that stunk of fear and disbelief, one I now know was part of the inevitable journey you have to go through with a new business.

It doesn't come easy, so when you finally see and feel the light you fully appreciate it and feel worthy of your success. You’ve fought for it, it’s consumed you, haunted you and pushed you to the edge, to the brink of giving up.

But when we let go, let go of fear, something incredible happens.

A Note To Working Mums: Please Be Kind To Yourself

I used to feel guilty about putting myself first but not anymore. As a mum and especially as a working mum, we have to balance our own needs with everyone else around us. If we’re not ok, then things around us can quickly fall apart.

As working mums we can over commit, over schedule and often do too much. The reasoning behind this is often to make up for the fact that we feel guilty that we are not there enough for our kids and we feel guilty for not working longer hours in the office, so we over compensate and over function. It’s a battle we fight day in day out. The lesson is, we need to learn to say NO more. We don’t have to do everything and be everything to everyone.

Our health and well-being must be a priority, self care and preservation is paramount for our mental and physical health. We need to create boundaries and balance in our lives at home and at work. Be mindful when it is time to re-fuel, re-energise, re-charge, restore, relax and do it guilt free.

Working mums are on the go from the moment we wake up, breakfast, packed lunch, get kids ready for school, school run, go to work, work work work, pick up from school, make dinner, clean house, help with homework, put kids to bed and then we sit down and hopefully relax before we go to bed and then do it all again.

We are running on adrenalin most of the day and this is why restorative practice is so important for us, allowing ourselves time to breathe and reconnect, telling the body it’s ok, we’re not in danger, a reminder that this is just a day in the life of a working supermum.

To balance the craziness, we must slow down when we can, treat ourselves to a massage once a month or a pedicure, acupuncture, a facial, schedule time in your family calendar for yourself to go to yoga, go to the gym, go for a walk with a friend, girls nights out, date night, do more of what makes YOU happy. Happy Mum, Happy Home, Happy Life.

If you simplify your life and prioritise what’s important it will become less over whelming. Meditation can be an amazing way of taking time out, allowing yourself some downtime, focusing on your breath and practicing self care. It can help us with clarity and decision making, when we are strung out, tired and wired, we don’t make good decisions.

We must be kinder to ourselves, practice self-compassion and gratitude. We must put ourselves first before anyone else, so we can be the best version we can be. We deserve to thrive and flourish not just function for those around us.

De-Railing Yourself, It’s So Easy!

I am a creature of habit, love a routine and when I am out of one, I can very easily de-rail myself.

How do I do it? Simple, I get on the slippy fun downslide and find it hard to get off. My sense of balance tips the wrong way and my 80/20 rule does a see-saw switch. I know I am not alone and only human but when will I learn?

These events are mainly to blame for me slipping out of my normal routine (of course they are just the catalyst not really to blame, that really is my responsibility to take on board), Christmas, New Years, School Holiday’s (far too long), a Wedding (not mine) and a 40th Birthday (mine).

It has been a very busy few months, very fun and very social but I need to check out of the social calendar and check back in with myself for awhile.

Disclaimer: This has not been helped by the school holiday’s where I have worked from home and endured over 2 months with the kids at home, this has really not aided the routine junkie in me. When the kids are out of their routine they become displaced and unmanageable, which then adds even more dysfunction to the situation.

It’s definitely time to get back into healthy habits and routines. This is when I feel at my most happiest and content with life, I can literally do and achieve so much more, which stems I am sure from being a closet control freak.

I love to feel motivated and inspired so I can be the best version of myself, meditating, exercising, yoga, practicing mindfulness and generally being good to myself all help with this. They help restore the balance and the 80/20 rule is back in play.

However, life is to be lived and therefore we should not deprive ourselves of things we enjoy but applying moderation is key. This is the lesson I need to keep reminding myself off the back of not moderating.

I have tried during this festive time to maintain some of the things that I know are good for me and make me feel good, like yoga, meditation and doing my gratitude diary but it’s hard.

Why is it so hard?

It really is a challenge to do something every day and stick to it, you have to be so disciplined. I think I’m actually pretty good at it, when in the zone but I struggle to maintain when I am out of whack and not in a routine.

Solution: I am kick starting my detox from alcohol and social events by doing Feb Fast, bye bye wine (and cheese). We have had a long two months together and I am ready for a break. Hello healthy habits and routine, we’re back on.

What I learnt on a hospital bed

I learnt that I didn’t want to end up in one again anytime soon and that life is precious, really precious. 

I can’t control everything; no matter how hard I try to achieve something or control a situation, I may not get the result I want and that’s ok. Everything really does happen for a reason and there is a lesson/learning from each event and circumstance that we need to consciously acknowledge. Lesson one was to worry less especially about what you can't control or change. 'Don't worry, be happy' (great advice, thanks Bob).

My second lesson was to ‘slow down’. Getting sick forced me to stop and re-evaluate my lifestyle. My stress levels needed to be addressed. I can’t continue to spend my life rushing from one place to another, I need to slow down. Yoga, meditation, breathing (yes just breathing!) and mindfulness have to be an integral part of my lifestyle moving forward.

I learnt to feel immense gratitude for fresh air, sunshine, freedom, health, family, friends, love and life, all the things you crave when lying on a hospital bed. Always be grateful, everyday, even for the smallest things in nature and all that surrounds you. 

I learnt that growing old is confronting, your body begins to fall apart, especially if you don’t look after it when you’re younger. Sickness is everywhere in hospital. It has a smell and an energy that lurks in the wards, feeding on the helpless and weak. Yet the human spirit is strong, some people are fighting just to survive through the night. You can see the courage in some to heal and make it through, there is hope. I leant that doctors and nurses are the most incredible selfless people, living angels on earth.

I am not invincible, a big revelation for me. I am a healthy person, I exercise, eat healthy, don’t smoke, drink here and there and have a good balance in my life. But we still get sick; sometimes it is out of our control. No matter how many green juices, smoothies, kale and other super foods we eat, the body still gets weak and it is not immune to disease and sickness.

I truly believe if you give your body the best chance, if you respect and nourish it, then when you do get sick, you will have a better chance to fight and survive. Your body achieves what your mind believes, we are made up cells, all talking to each other, the power of positivity and belief is what can push you through the other side.

Nothing else really matters other than our health and loved ones…. Life is to be lived and enjoyed, we really don’t know what is going to happen from one day to the next, so make every day count. That doesn’t mean be reckless with your body, it’s the only one you have, love and honour it.

I learnt never to take anything for granted, especially your health and family, they are everything. 

I am SuperWoman

The I am SuperWoman coaching program is for women who do too much and push themselves to their limit. It's for women who are over achievers, hard workers, have a need to prove themselves, struggle with feeling good enough, rush from one thing to another and endure high levels of stress on a daily basis. 

Are you super stressed? Do you suffer from anxiety and mood swings? You may have health implications from stress; exhaustion, sleep problems, relationship issues, chronic fatigue, adrenal fatigue, hormone disruption, bad PMS, polycystic ovaries and you could be potentially heading for a burnout.

You are in the red zone, in flight/fight response, running on adrenalin in survival mode. If this sounds like you... 

You are Superwoman!

But Superwoman can only cope with so much before her superpowers weaken and her health deteriorates. Stress and running on adrenalin has taken control of you and your mental/physical health is suffering.

Do you want to continue to live like this any longer? It may be time to make some simple life changes to your lifestyle to help you take back control and get into the green zone. I can work with you to incorporate some restorative practices into your routine to help achieve some balance in your life again. If you want to jump out of bed in the morning feeling positive, strong, happy and fulfilled then take the first step by taking part in 'I am SuperWoman'. 

Please take part in my free eTest 'I am SuperWoman' to assess where your stress levels are at, enter your details below. 

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My Top 5 Natural Beauty Products

I love luxe good quality beauty products but I don’t love the over kill of chemicals that are in them. So I have reduced down as much as I can and found some fabulous brands that are mineral, chemical free, natural and simply gorgeous.


For your Lips – BITE Beauty lipsticks and lip-glosses are amazing and delicious(you can eat them, totally edible!) My favourite is Cinnamon Lip Shine.

For your Cheeks – BARE MINERALS blushes are really good quality, natural pure mineral based. Packaging is super cool; love everything in their range! Winner!

For your Eyes – BARE MINERALS, again. Lash Domination, LOVE this Mascara, I used to get itchy eyes and allergies from other mascara’s and this one never irritates. A must have in your make up bag.

 For your Face – IN CLINIC, this is such a good foundation mineral powder, it gives you full coverage with a lightweight finish. It’s formulated by Clearskincare clinics. I love this concealer stick from VAPOUR, truly amazing.


5 Steps to a better you

5 Steps to a better you

5 steps to a better you

 

Why you should being aiming for progress, not perfection 

 

It is often said: if you strive for perfection you will ultimately set yourself up to fail. After all, who’s really perfect anyway? In your journey of self-improvement, what’s important is progress: small steps, significant changes and moving closer towards achieving your goals. 

If you focus each day on making one small change to your routine, you will start seeing the benefits. If you try to change too many things all at once, it can become overwhelming, and you are more likely to give up. 

Here are 5 steps to try implementing into your daily routine to help you become a better you. 

Step 1: Set a positive intention for the week

Own it, repeat it, write it down, print it out, stick it up at work and at home; do whatever you need to do to focus on this intention and make it happen. Truly believe in this intention and the power you have to live it out everyday. 

Some examples 

This week I will:

  • Put aside 30 minutes a day for me
  • Try something new
  • Meditate
  • Feel gratitude for something or someone

Step 2: Move more

Go outside, walk, run, breathe fresh air, get in touch with nature. It’s so important that your body moves on a daily basis. 

Find a park nearby to work and take a walk in your lunch hour. Grab a few colleagues and make it a regular break for you all. You will be much more proactive after a break from your computer and some movement. If not, join a gym close to work or home so you can go before or after work, or squeeze in a quick lunch time session. You will feel less tired and much more motivated at work and at home. 

Try something new: Pilates, Yoga, Barre, Dancing, Swimming, running or weights. Find something you enjoy and it will be much easier to do it regularly.

Step 3: Get organised and plan your meals  

Plan your breakfast and lunch for the week – Keep it simple and easy. If you do this, you will eat healthier and not be in the trap of going to food courts or making unhealthy food choices during the day. 

  • Breakfast

Try not to have too much sugar in the morning. Opt for a savory breakfast option, to help lower your sugar intake.  Avoid cereals that are loaded with sugar.  Stick to drinking water rather than fruit juices.  Be mindful that sometimes, even perceived ‘healthy’ options also contain hidden sugars. 

  • Lunch

For lunch, be prepared! The warmer weather is perfect for salad lunches with some protein; tuna, salmon or chicken being good sources, filling you with energy and brainpower for the rest of the day. Grate your own carrot, beetroot or cabbage; add these to salad greens with seeds and simple dressings like olive oil/apple cider vinegar, for a delicious and nutritious boost to your meal! Avoid heavy, fried, carb-loaded lunches, as these will make you sluggish and tired. 

  • Dinner

Dinner is such an important time for family and relationships. When you can, try to eat together at the table and put away mobile phones so you can talk to each other. Choose healthy options with lean proteins, fresh veggies and compliment with brown rice, sweet potatoes, quinoa or potatoes. 

Step 4: Reduce chemicals in your food and body products

We are so overloaded with chemicals in our systems through what we eat, wash ourselves with and clean the house with. 

  • Try to buy earth friendly products for the home. There are some inexpensive options available in supermarkets.
  • Go to a farmers market and get organic fruit and veg that have not been sprayed with harmful fertilisers and pesticides. Shopping at farmers markets are cheaper than at the supermarkets, and the produce is so much fresher.
  • Look for sulfate and paraben-free options when buying creams, body washes and shampoos --- manufacturers are now making chemical-free products for a reason. These chemicals are harmful and disrupt our hormones as well as causing a build up of toxins in our skin. You can now find these products in supermarkets at more affordable prices. 

Step 5: Keep a journal and create a vision board

  • Journal

Writing in a journal can take as little as 5 minutes to start off your morning, and a great practice to help you reflect on your day and unwind before you go to bed. You may opt to write an entry only few times a week instead of updating it daily if you feel that having enough time is an issue --- do whatever works for you. 

Begin each day in a positive way; check in with yourself, express gratitude, write down what you are grateful for and what your intentions are for the day. Set goals, action steps and make time for relaxation, fun and adventure. 

End each day reflecting on how your day went, what worked and what did not. How did you feel? How was your mood and energy levels throughout the day? 

Remember to be kind to yourself and appreciate your efforts. Focus on a loving thought before bed and enjoy happy dreams. 

  • Vision board

What do you want? What does it look like? How would it feel to have it? Close your eyes and imagine yourself doing it/feeling it. Visualize how it looks, take that emotion and hold on to it. Remind yourself of it to keep you focused on your vision. Cut up some magazines, find inspirational content on the Internet and from your surroundings and use that inspiration to create a board to document things you want to achieve, treats you want to reward yourself with, and goals you want to smash. 

Camilla Thompson 

Camilla Thompson is Head Lifestyle Coach at The Lifestylers Co. With a focus on health and lifestyle consulting, Camilla’s passion is helping people and organisations find balance and happiness through nutrition, movement and mindset.

Camilla also writes for her own blog, The Wellness Coach and has an extensive corporate background in digital media advertising. Her inspiration to assist other busy individuals and families comes from juggling her own full time career, raising two growing boys, (plus one growing husband) and studying for the last six years, all the while staying committed to leading a fit and healthy lifestyle. She knows first hand that the strategies, and even her delicious recipes, have to be practical and easy to implement in order to work in creating long term solutions for her clients. You can find Camilla’s blogs and recipes on her website: www.thewellnesscoach.org

- See more at: http://www.asteronlife.com.au/balance/lifestyle/betteryou#sthash.A3ylY6cb.VijJAySw.dpuf

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The Alternative Sugar Debate

This has to be one of the most frustrating and confusing subjects I've ever researched! There is so much conflicting advice on what alternative sugar options are good for you and some are even more damaging than sugar itself. 

Agave nectar is the biggest offender, it sounds healthy, it comes from a plant, so it must be natural?  Wrong, it is massively altered and processed from its original state and it becomes a highly concentrated refined sweetener. We all thought it was a great substitute for sugar and it is suitable for diabetics and vegan's, it is around 1.4 times sweeter than sugar and contains unnatural fructose. High levels of synthesised fructose can cause risk to the heart, liver and contribute to obesity. 

Xylitol is another myth when it comes to a sugar alternative, I have seen people recently posting recipes with it in thinking it is a good substitute but it's not natural and is processed using man made chemicals. 

From what I have learnt and read the only way to go is the natural way when it comes to sweetening, I've compiled a list of safe natural alternatives. 

  • Raw Honey (local if possible)
  • Organic Maple Syrup
  • Date Sugar/Paste
  • Stevia
  • Coconut Syrup/Nectar/Sugar
  • Molasses

I have been using Medjool dates to sweeten anything I make now and sometimes organic coconut nectar/syrup, this seems for now to be the best option. 

What do you use? Please leave your comments below.. love to get some feedback. Thanks

 

Get Me To The Gym.. Help!

gym.jpg

This blog is a self-motivating one - the goal is to get myself pumped up to get back in the gym, and start running again, through blogging about it. Lets hope it works:) 

It is tough getting your ass to the gym sometimes and the more you put it off, the harder it gets. I'm not sure how it happens but it slowly gets easier not to go and the excuses you come up with seem to get better. However it does not take away the nagging feeling you have inside that you are letting yourself down. 

This is my battle and one I struggle with a lot. For me it is a timing issue more than anything (here come my excuses). I find it hard to fit in exercise around full time work, kids and studying. Whatever way I look at it, I feel like I'm letting one side down if I do the other. I feel bad for the kids if I go to the gym after work, I feel guilty for not studying if I'm out and about and I feel bad for my husband having to do more to make it possible for me to go exercise. 

These guilt trips allow me to excuse myself not going to the gym and the time pressures make it easier for me to blame my busy lifestyle for not making time for myself. 

I try to advise other people on ways to fit exercise into their life but seem to find it had to follow my own advice…

I haven’t been to the gym for over 2 weeks. I’ve had a few walks during that time so I've not shut down completely but there has not been any cardio going on for a while. I am planning to go this evening. I have it all worked out - my husband is picking boys up from school and doing dinner and I am going to head to the gym after work and get the endorphins pumping. I need to take this step to get back in the game. 

I know once I am in there I will be inspired again. Watching other people with a mission to keep fit, be healthy and stay in shape, motivates me to try harder and commit more time to myself.

Exercising is an integral part of keeping well and, for me, it is very important part on my path to wellness . I take vitamins and supplements daily as part of my routine and I must now learn to prescribe myself  a walk, a gym session or a run to keep my head healthy and happy too. 

So the plan for me is to set some goals as this is the best way for me to achieve motivation to exercise. My first goal is to start going to the gym regularly again…at least 3 times a week. I find it very hard going after work, as I'm tired and want to get home and see the kids, husband and chill out. So I am going to start getting up earlier, drop one of my boys at school earlier, and go the gym before work. 

I use a system I’ve developed to help me achieve my personal targets -  it’s called GOSS. It’s a way to set goals, and hopefully keep to them, by looking at obstacles, solutions and making a statement of a specific goal (SMART Goal) 

GOAL 1

  • GOAL- Gym 3 times a week
  • OBSTACLE- Going to the gym after work as I'm tired
  • SOLUTION- Go to gym before work and weekends
  • STATEMENT- I am going to go to the gym at least 3 times a week, before work and at weekends, and exercise for at least 30 minutes per session for the next 3 months. 

GOAL 2

  • GOAL- Run City to Surf in 90mins
  • OBSTACLE- Ran it in 1hr 37 mins last year and have not been running much this year
  • SOLUTION- Start training 3 times a week and get back on treadmill and elliptical 
  • STATEMENT- I am going to run city to surf in under 90 minutes this year by training hard and tracking each km I run to a certain time to beat my time from last year.

These are  my two main goals that I’ll focus on for the next few months and I will also do up an exercise plan to help keep me on track and accountable. I will be taking one week at a time to get back into a routine and, once I start feeling those good endorphins in my body and the natural high from exercise comes back, there should be no stopping me.

Fruit When to Eat It and When to Avoid It

I love fruit and eat it everyday but am now learning there are specific times we should eat in relation to how we digest it. When you eat fruit, it enters the stomach and digestive juices as alkaline and the food begins to spoil and does not digest properly. This is why it's important to eat fruit in an order that supports digestion. 

Here are some simple tips on how to eat fruit and digest food efficiently. 

SAY YES TO FRUIT

Eat fruit on an EMPTY stomach. First thing in the morning is best as you absorb all the vitamins. This way, you will avoid digestive problems. 

Give yourself at least 30 minutes after eating fruit before you eat something else. 

Eat fruit 3 times a day. In-between meals is best, so I recommend eating fruit 30 minutes before you eat breakfast, lunch or dinner. 

SAY NO TO FRUIT

DO NOT eat fruit with other foods. Our body uses different enzymes to digest fruit and it needs to process the nutrients and the fiber separately. 

DO NOT eat fruit before you go to bed or after a meal. Sugars will keep you up and ruin the digestion process. 

DO NOT eat fruit right before drinking cold beverages. If you drink COLD water after you eat, it solidifies any oily food you've consumed and slows down digestion. After you eat, it's best to have a warm drink. 

BOTTOM LINE

FRUIT is a natural DETOXIFICATION tool and provides us with natural healthy sugar, so when eaten the right way it will cleanse your body of toxins and help the digestive system.