I'm procrastinating...I'm up to a really hard part in the book - 'Our Story' - that I'm writing with my Father. I admit, I'm not looking forward to this part, but it is this journey coupled with how things have been in the past couple of years that have made me realize the importance of 'Self Care!' - not just the physical, the mental too!
Sometimes you have to find it within yourself to be selfish - which is not easy when you have a lot of people relying on you! You have to find it within yourself, to look after your health and sanity and make sure that you're all together, so you can be the best person that you can for the crowds who need you most. I'm grateful to have a Father who admonishes me when I don't take enough rest, or I don't eat properly, or I stress too much!
So recently I've been on a quest to better self care. I was probably the healthiest I'd been in a long time while living in NYC. I had my live-in Chef/s, we always ate well, we lived on spinach which really made a huge difference to me...I always ate oatmeal for breakfast which is awesome for losing weight, and I walked up to five hours a day! I came home and sat down to write and I've not been as diligent since coming back to Australia almost six months ago. I can't believe I've been home as long as I was gone...well almost...I'm loving it! I adore where I live but I am not as motivated to walk because I have a vehicle to get me places, which we didn't have in New York. I'm not carrying home groceries anymore, I'm not pushing a stroller for miles each day, through snow (which is bloody hard going) and I'm not walking up and down a million flights of stairs of week on the subway! So...
So...I had to change my thinking since coming home... I don't love walking....but I learned to like it. So we do laps around the Lake and I'm grateful there are at least four different routes I could go... But I'm not dedicated to it like I was, so I've had to change the tempo of my life. It's far too easy to become sedentary - especially since moving, running my PR biz and going flat out with our new clients... working on my books, and catching up on all the shows I missed, I have definitely chilled out. Which is really hard when I am so focused and so motivated usually. So in knowing something had to give, I joined a Facebook group for exercise motivation...and I downloaded some apps on my iphone 6. One of my faves is the '7 minute work out' - and if you think 7 minutes is nothin', then you ain't seen nothin' til you've gone hard (or gone home) on this one... it's a bloody killer! But I am loving it. I've also decided to take up dancing again, because walking is no longer cutting it for me, and I am just not excited by the thought of running but...admit I am going to give it a go!
Getting fit is not just about a healthy body, it's about a healthy mind. When you can pour yourself into that cute little dress, svelte figure-hugging stuff, when you are proud of your shape and happy with who you are it goes a long way towards confidence and mental health. When I gained a little bit of weight I was reading an article about a fitness nut/gym junkie who was basically telling all the fat chicks to get off the couch - coz (she says) you have NO excuses! But I know it's easy to make excuses. I would have surely made them in Brooklyn if my brother hadn't said to me 'If you don't walk you get nothing done and you'll be stuck in the apartment. You won't see anyone and you won't do anything!' And I was determined not to live in NYC and just see it from an apartment window! I knew I had to progress...and I did and felt amazing for it... And nobody wants to hear 'Get off the couch fat chick!' Am I right?
Now I'm talking to myself in a different way to establish and reflect my change in routine! And now that I have a full length mirror again that certainly motivates me A LOT! I have it facing the bedroom door so that every time I enter the room I can't help but catch a glimpse and it motivates me to sculpt and change my shape...regularly!
Now that I'm on the slopier side of 40....smiling at almost 46 and can barely believe it... I'm starting to think about an altogether different version of '50 shades of Grey!'... or my '50 Shades of 50!'... as men that are 50 plus now want to date me and I think 'Wow, I'm too young for them...' and then I realize - 'Honey you're not that much younger than them!' I catch myself in the crossfire of the dream... And while I'd LOVE to still think I'm 20... the mirror tells a different story (sighhhhh) and as you age everything slows down.... after ten babies, my body has taken a bit of a beating (not that I mind, I chose to have them and that's how it goes!). I proudly tell people I have ten children and they proceed to tell me how great I look for my age and having had sooooo many babies...and then I tell them I'm a Nanna... and thanks to my new friend Jade for labelling me 'the hot Nanna' the other day - I shall wear that badge with pride... just call me Glamma - not Grandma! But all of that said, if I don't look after myself the crown will surely slip!
Self care is such an important part of the journey because it means maintaining your health for as long as you can. Thinking about what you put into your mouth makes all the difference. I've become very good at depriving myself. I can be in the supermarket and the chocolate will be calling my name and I'll refuse to purchase it. I won't head for the soda or the ice cream. I've given up eating potato chips (although I adore them and I ate them A LOT in NYC and didn't gain a kilo.... which goes to show if you exercise regularly you can pretty much indulge a bit!) In NY I fell in love with and I mean IN LOVE with Black and White cookies from 'Starbucks' or 'Waldbaums'. If I could have brought home a zillion truckloads I would have... that and the brownie brittle I found... OMG! How I didn't come home the size of 3 houses I don't know... but we ate well, carefully, and we kept moving!
I am also a firm believer that your health comes down to self love as well! It's easy to sabotage your health by drinking...over eating...or neglect. When we don't love and nurture ourselves we don't perform at our best. I subscribe to the theory that how we feel inside our minds correlates with how we feel inside our bodies. I believe we get sick if we are stressed or not in tune with who we are, if we are filled with self-loathing and negativity, if we are bitter or anxious... I don't believe it's exclusive. People get sick for all kinds of reasons - from where they live, to what they ingest, to genetics, and a million other reasons we don't even understand yet. Many may not agree with me. But I know for myself that the more stressed I am, the sicker I become. I know exactly what symptoms I'll have and how to treat them and I know why they arrive. I know from watching friends and family why they suffer the way they do. Lifestyle is a clear indicator when it comes down to our health! No, of course not for everyone. There are people out there who take amazing care of themselves, have great healthy attitudes and yet their body still ails.
I do know from fighting depression and anxiety that I have to do things to take care of my mind as well as my body! So I take breaks from social media...I read, I meditate, I watch movies and I listen to music (sometimes really loud music - and I love music with a story/message or a goal... I especially love Taylor Swift's 1989 Album! I love that she responds to the media and the negative way they sometimes paint a picture of her through her music and lyrics. It resonates with me so strongly!) Instead of shirking from the malevolent she responds in the most artistic and positive way! And the world responds with understanding and gratitude - we just get her! Well I get her, and from what I'm reading in the tabloids this week a lot of other people get her too!
This week, Chester 'Chet' Hanks (son of Tom Hanks & Rita Wilson), has come out and admitted to a long battle with a cocaine and alcohol addiction - he thumbed his nose at the media by posting on Instagram about his 50 day journey into sobriety, and the fact that he's been clean that long too! I'm so impressed with his strength of character and the wisdom to beat them to it. The press were about to launch a 'tell-all' campaign, when he took the sting out of the scorpion's tale! Woman's Day reported on his Instagram announcement and how happy they are he's seeking rehab help! Good for him... I tweeted it because although he doesn't care what the media think, when someone enters into a battle like this, they can never have too much support. Everybody needs to know they have a bunch of people behind them when they are wielding the big stick against the demon that put them there in the first place. Everybody needs to know they are loved and everybody is worthy of that and deserves to be! In life though, through it all, we need to be our own best friend first! 'Self care' needs to always always be the number one priority! When we feel well...and confident...we can take on the whole damn world!
This week in my online reading I came across the following Blog Posts and article in the quest for 'Self Care!'
Things I repeatedly do to stay sane and happy when life sucks!
Katrina Chambers comments on Sarah Wilson's attitude that self hatred makes us all sick!
and last but not least -
Seven Cherubs Blog owner, Naomi Ellis, talks about being selfish in order to create a healthier life!
She's also got a post here - When are you going to stop trying and start actually doing!
Visit Louise Hay - You can Heal Your life, about how and why we manifest illness and what to do about it.
Visit Eckhart Tolle - For more insightful reading in 'a new earth' and more!