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Passion and the rabbit hole

I’ve been making a list of the topics that I want to write about on this site and each week I think that I will write about one of them and then as I start to type something else pops into my head that is relevant for me on the day. Today is no different.

I mentioned in my first post about my plans to get a qualification in the health and wellbeing area. I am pleased to say that I have started that journey and I am studying with Precision Nutrition (PN) on how to be a nutrition coach. This course ticks quite a few of the items that I am interested in. It is about being client centric – meaning, I won’t be forcing my views on my client (as I have done in the past). But rather helping my client gain an understanding of what is good for them, nutritionally, holistically and exercise wise. Then helping my client make small improvements to a better healthier person.

I have finished the first chapter already and I am waiting for the text book to arrive from Canada. The tracking system informs me that it will be on the 10th October. In the meantime, they have generously provided chapter two on-line, and I can’t wait to get started on that.

One of the articles I have read from PN talks about following your passion. In fact, it said ‘go down the rabbit hole’. This was written by one of the founders of PN, and he talks about the advice he received from career counsellors that said he was mad to want to work with sports teams and athletes to help them eat, move and live better. Every counsellor he went to said the same thing – you should go to medical school instead.

They in affect squashed his dream. So, he went to medical school, but every moment he had, he volunteered to help sports teams, he attended seminars and he read everything he could get is hands on the topics he was interested in.

He graduated with a pre-med degree, but other doors had opened for him in the areas he was passionate about. He followed his passion and went down the rabbit hole. And that is what I am doing too. It has taken me a lot longer than him to realise what rabbit hole I wanted to go down. But as the Mainland cheese advert says, “Good things take time”.

I have really enjoyed reading the articles and text so far with PN. It has not felt like a chore to take time in my day to read and take notes. The information resonates with me, so I know that I have made the right choice. I can’t wait to put it all into practice and I am lucky that I already have a client that I am working with to help her achieve her goals.

If you are interested to hear more information about how I can help you achieve your health and wellbeing goals, please get in contact.

Rabbit hole

Stress

Hopefully the title got your attention?

Do you know when you are stressed? Do you identify with any of the below?

Cognitive symptoms   Physical symptoms
  • Memory problems
  • Inability to concentrate
  • Poor judgement
  • Seeing only the negative
  • Anxious or racing thoughts
  • Constant worrying

 

  • Aches and pains
  • Diarrhoea or constipation
  • Nausea, dizziness
  • Chest pain, rapid heart rate
  • Loss of sex drive
  • Frequent colds or flu
 
Emotional symptoms   Behavioural symptoms
  • Depression or general unhappiness
  • Anxiety and agitation
  • Moodiness, irritability, or anger
  • Feeling overwhelmed
  • Loneliness and isolation
  • Other mental or emotional health problems
  • Eating more or less
  • Sleeping too much or too little
  • Withdrawing from others
  • Procrastinating or neglecting responsibilities
  • Using alcohol, cigarettes or drugs to relax
  • Nervous habits (e.g. nail biting, pacing)

I know that there have been many times in my life when I have had one or more of the above symptoms. However, at the time, I never thought that I was stressed. It wasn’t until the thing that was causing the stress had gone away or been dealt with that I could look back and think ‘Boy, was I stressed then!’.

I mentioned in an earlier blog about my first marriage breaking up. Surprise, surprise, I was stressed, but I couldn’t see it. Funnily enough a girlfriend gave me a little book called ‘The little book of calm’. I wondered why she gave me the book. I thought I was acting normally and well in control. It’s not till reflecting on my behaviour over that time that I realise now I was showing quite a number of the above symptoms.

The Holmes and Rahe Stress Scale list the top ten stressful life events that contribute to illness. They are

  1. Death of a spouse
  2. Divorce
  3. Marriage separation
  4. Imprisonment
  5. Death of a close family member
  6. Injury or illness
  7. Marriage
  8. Job loss
  9. Marriage reconciliation
  10. Retirement

However, what stresses you can be something completely different, and just because it is not on the top ten list, doesn’t mean you are not stressed.

So, how do I deal with stress, you might ask? Well, exercise is great, in two ways. One, you have time in your day when you don’t have to worry or stress about what is going on – you just workout. Two, it helps raise endorphins (if you don’t know what they are, they are similar to the effect of morphine on your body. In other words, you feel really positive about life and this also enhances good feelings).

As mentioned in earlier blogs, other ways that I deal with stress are gratitude, positive thinking and remembering that this time is just some ‘road works’ and it is up to me to make the choice to work my way through it.

One of my pet hates is people who moan and groan about what is going on in their lives and then don’t do anything about it. We all have choices and you have to live with the choices you have made.

There are numerous articles on stress on the internet, and this blog is not the be all and end all to how to identify or deal with stress. Stress is a very personal experience and if you are feeling stressed or showing any of the above symptoms, make sure you talk to someone who can help you understand and work your way through whatever it is that is stressing you. And/or make the choice to deal with what is making you stressed.

Gratitude

I’ve seen a lot lately in my social media feeds on gratitude, and I am not sure if it is just me or others have too. It has made me think and question ‘what is gratitude?’. Why is it relevant to me, right now, and for the future?

I do know that when life is tough it is hard to think beyond the horribleness that is happening in your life. Remember my earlier blog about road works? Where only you can change that lollipop sign? It helps to try and put things in perspective. By this I mean, I am better off than a lot of other people. I have a loving husband, a roof over my head and my health, and much more. Although sometimes the stress of everything affects your health. This week my back decided that it had had enough. I couldn’t walk without pain, let alone dry my toes after my shower. I took some time out to relax, give thought to the why of my back playing up. I even took a couple of days off CrossFit. Those that know me well, know that for me to take some time off CrossFit, something big must have happened.

It has done me the world of good and today is a great day. I am thankful that the sun is shining, that I can touch and dry my toes again and that all is not hopeless.

I found this great little journal type book from kikki.K called “Today was a good day”. It has a list of things that you can tick off as being grateful for. Some of these are:

  • I smiled today
  • I made someone smile today
  • I moved my body
  • I stayed hydrated today
  • I said the words ‘I love you’ today
  • I learnt something new today
  • I got outside today

I think you get the general idea. It is not just that you are grateful, but that you helped someone else have a great day too. I like the thought that I have helped someone else have a good day, even if my day is not going that well.

My hubby and I have tried to remember to ask each other each day what we are grateful for – we normally do this at dinner time or just before turning the light out at night. It is a nice practice and helps us appreciate each other and what is good about being alive.

I dare you to have a go at writing some things down that you are grateful for! They don’t have to be big ticket items, just the fact you got out of bed and faced the day can be enough. And you don’t need a cute little book to write them in, use a post it note to put on your mirror or just do what my hubby and I do.

I hope that you and yours have had a grateful day today and that the sun comes up again for us all in the morning.

Gratitude

Positive thinking

In my last blog I mentioned a few books that I have used recently – ‘Chaos to calm’, ‘Get your shit together’ and ‘What would unicorn do?’. One that I didn’t mention, and I am sure most of you have heard of, or maybe even seen the movie, is ‘The Secret’.

The Secret, if you are not aware of it, is based on the law of attraction. It claims that your thoughts can change the world directly. This is a big claim you might say. Read on and I’ll tell you how it helped me.

This book came into my life during another period of ‘road works’ that I was going through in 2010. I was between jobs and wondering if HR was the right career path for me. I retrained and got qualified to be a massage therapist. I loved massaging but found that it was very demanding on me physically and mentally.  It also didn’t pay enough to cover the bills. Eventually I found another HR job and I did the occasional massage at nights or on the weekends.

Anyway, I digress, you may be wondering why I am mentioning ‘The Secret’? One of the things I took from this book is that your mind is indeed a very powerful tool, that everyone is able to tap into. If you are always thinking that everything is going bad for you, then it likely is. Some people would probably call that karma, you reap what you sow.

There is one particular thought that I use quite a bit, mainly when I think that I might be getting sick. I repeat a little mantra over in my head. “I have perfect health, I have perfect health, I have perfect health, I have perfect health” etc for about 20 times. And every time I have the thought ‘I don’t feel well’, I repeat the mantra. Nine times out of ten the next morning I wake up feeling fine. The idea is that if you think you are getting sick, then you are quite likely going to get sick. Sounds a little unreal eh? I dare you to try it next time you have a niggly sore throat.

I suppose in a nut shell what you are really doing is turning a negative thought into a positive one. Another example is, if you say that you can’t do something, then of course you are less likely to be able to do that. Change the thought to say yes I can do that pull up, or write a blog or achieve whatever it is your heart desires, then you are more likely to achieve it.

Unfortunately, I no longer have my copy of ‘The Secret’ – I loaned it out to someone else who needed it. I hope they got something out of it the way I did.

Bring on the positive thoughts and the world will be a better place.

The secret

Life lessons

Quite a number of years ago I went through a marriage breakup. As you would predict this was quite a turbulent time in my life. I tried counselling, but this was not the best avenue for me and my beliefs. At the same time I had been seeing a lovely lady to help with my back, which had been playing up due to the stress of the breakup.

This lady was not a chiropractor or an osteopath, she works with energies and uses kinesiology to help an individual heal.

There was one session which I have never forgotten, and it resonates with me on a regular basis. I was lying on her table and she said the following:

‘At this time of your life you are going through some road works. There is a person at those road works with a stop go sign. You are that person. You are the only one who can choose whether you will get through those road works or not.’

Whenever I or a friend are going through a hard time I remember this and share the story.

We make choices everyday of our lives. And what we choose determines our next steps. We can’t blame anyone else for the outcome, we must live with the choice.

I was having a discussion with a good friend of mine recently and the topic of the past came up. He said that we shouldn’t dwell on the past but use it to learn and make better choices for the future. I completely agree. Although sometimes it is a hard pill to swallow.

It is interesting when you are going through the ‘road works’ to see what turns up. What I mean by this is, who are your good friends, the ones that you can lean on and will always be there for you. Who will listen, but not make judgement. The books that appear – a few good ones for me lately have been ‘Chaos to Calm’, ‘What would unicorn do?’ and ‘Get your shit together’. Or the opportunities that are available, good workouts, events that you would normally say no to, but you know that you should leave the house.

It is very tempting to hide away from the world and all the chaos that your choices have made. But it is more important to learn from those choices and understand that these road works are temporary. You can get through them, change that stop go sign to go!

Stop go sign

My first blog

Hi,

Blogging is a new thing for me, not even sure I know what to say, or even if it is worth reading but here goes…

I am currently 50 years old and have decided to make a change in my life. You could call it a mid-life crisis, I suppose? For the last 14 years I have worked as an HR professional. Providing advice to managers on any number of issues and helping them achieve their business goals.

A ll during this time and probably earlier, I have enjoyed working out and getting to know my body, how it works and what is good and not good for it. I have also given advice (wanted and unwanted) to friends and family on what is good and not good for them.

I have put my body through countless diets, you name it I have probably done it. This started way back in my teens, from the hip and thigh diet, weight watchers, Jenny Craig, Keto to Paleo etc etc – all to gain back the weight again and again. 

So, what has changed you ask? Good question! I have come to accept my body for what it is. It keeps my bum off the ground, I can lift weights, I can run, swim, do handstands and cartwheels. It’s not a model’s body by any stretch of the imagination and I still don’t like looking at photos of myself (it contorts my internal image of myself). If you understand BMI ranges, then I would be considered overweight, but I am not huge by any stretch of the imagination. All my bits work, and they haven’t always, so I am grateful for that now.

What am I going to do now? I will probably still work in HR for a bit and in the meantime, I am going to gain a qualification that will give me the credentials to back up and enable me to charge for that advice.

In addition to that I earlier this year I gained my Level 1 certificate as a Crossfit trainer. I really enjoyed what I learnt through the study and the weekend of hands on practice. I am currently putting that learning into practice at FRF in Lyall Bay, Wellington.

 So that’s it for now, more to come soon.