A Quick Fix – Are You Looking For One?

 Quick Fix Are You Looking for One?

A Quick Fix- Are You Looking For One?

A quick fix? We ALL want one don’t we? Whatever the problem.

And if you’re like me, you want it for a good price and a solution that lasts.

I don’t know about a quick fix, but that’s ONE BIG ASK.

The Definition of a Quick Fix

Out of interest I looked up the definition of a quick fix on good old Google.  I found this.

“Quick fix: an expedient usually temporary or inadequate solution to a problem”

Mmmm.  But I want long lasting results. Not a temporary solution.  More often than not, anyway.  Pinning up my flapping hem with a safety pin until I can sew it – that’s quick fix I’d go for to save me tripping over my own trousers and falling base over apex in the street. But I’d fix it properly as soon as I could.

 

 

Many of the women that send me questions or approach me to work with them want a quick fix.

And I totally get it. I’d love a quick fix to shed this menopausal extra 10lbs I’m carrying by tomorrow too. I really would.

But is there such a thing as a quick fix? When it comes to health, wellness, hormone balance and fertility, I mean.  Here’s what I think… as I embark on tackling my own meno muffin top!

 

Quick Fix Questions?

Many of the quick fix questions I’m asked are along the lines of “I’ve read that if I take X (insert some powder, potion, supplement, superfood) it will really help me with my Y (insert health condition, life stage, challenge, goal).

As an example “I’ve read that if I take maca powder it will boost my fertility”.

And that’s a good question. I get some really good questions. And I do love getting your questions. Keep them coming. Please.

 

Quick Fix Answers

My responses are usually structured in similar ways.

I give the skinny on the supplement, herb, remedy or superfood – what it is, what I’ve learned, how I use it (if I use it), what the benefits are, what risk factors I know.   I’m totally honest with women. All good you might think.

Then, I usually end by saying something like, BUT on it’s own it’s probably not going to help you greatly in the short term: combining that with a hormone/fertility friendly diet and lifestyle is probably a better option to reaching your goal. Quicker.

Because it’s often a combo of a lot of little things that make a difference.

And that’s the truth.

The women who have already made some changes to take control of their health and hormones get it.

Some women get curious and want to know more about how they can help themselves get healthier, have more balance and boost fertility.  No-one teaches us this stuff, remember? I’m back in my  “broken record” groove *winks*

Occasionally, some don’t. And that’s okay.  No judgement.

Some people want instant gratification. They want whatever it is fixed and right now. Without any effort.

And I get that. I’d love the muffin top to disappear overnight. With a wave of some magic muffin-top-marmalising wand. But I learned already that life isn’t like that. I’d have to go and have it hacked off or sucked out by a Plastic Surgeon if I wanted “magic wand”.

 

There ARE “Quick Fixes”

So plastic surgery would be my best quick fix.  Aha, there ARE quick fixes, Kathy!

Obviously there are situations where surgery is necessary. Life saving even.  And massive hurrah for that.

In many ways conventional medicine offers a quick fix.  Again, I’m not knocking ALL medications, procedures or treatments. Some are totally necessary. Sometimes they are the only option or every other possible option has been exhausted.

But they are not always the only option. And they are sometimes given when other options haven’t been explored fully.

And that’s when I feel a bit icky about the “quick fix”, personally.

But, it’s personal choice, as ever.

I’m NOT considering HRT  (Hormone Replacement Therapy) during menopause, because there are lots of steps I can take through food, supplements, lifestyle and complementary therapies that I’d much prefer to use.  HRT could be my quick fix, but I’m not going there.

And not just because I feel I’m managing my symptoms just fine.

 

The Potential Downsides of a Quick Fix

No.  I wouldn’t consider any quick fix without knowing the risks as well as potential benefits.

Let’s go back to my example of  HRT for my menopause symptoms.

Artificial hormones rob the body of nutrients …leading to other symptoms.  Side effects include bloating, breast tenderness, swelling, leg cramps, headaches, nausea. Not to mention increased cancer, blood clot and heart disease risks.

Plenty of possible downsides to weigh up.  It’s not for me.

And they tackle the symptoms not the cause.  It’s just my view, but in my example, it’s not even a disease; it’s a life transition.

Plus HRT can be made from pregnant mares’ urine. And I just plain don’t like the sound of that.

So my point isn’t don’t take medicines or have procedures, it’s make an informed choice based on info from different sources.

It’s that a quick fix might come with baggage.

 

The Long Quick Fix

So when is a quick fix, not a quick fix? But IS in fact a quick fix? Confused?

What I mean is, we often think something is too hard, too boring and will take too long, but is it really?

My 10lbs has crept on over about 18 months…sure partly menopausal, but also because I wasn’t very well at the start of 2016 and back, neck and shoulder problems meant exercise was off the agenda for a while. No excuses. I am where I am. And I’m tackling it.

So it crept on over 18 months: it won’t take 18 months to get rid of it with some persistent effort. I reckon that it will take 3 months maybe?

Now that seems like a pretty quick fix for a medium term challenge to me.

It’s kinda like when I speak to women about preconception care. I recommend getting baby-fit for at least 3-4 months before starting to try to conceive. Many look aghast.  I get that it seems ages if you have planned a baby later in life.  But it’s not long where time is on your side.

And that few months of improving health to boost fertility just might save months of peeing on sticks and negative tests later. We just don’t know. I’m all for stacking odds in our own favour.

 

The Voice of My Mother

As I’m here typing, I’m also hearing the voice of my Mother in my head.  And that’s a good thing. I think, anyway.

I’m hearing …

“Anything worth having is worth working for Kathleen”.  Er yes, Kathleen is my full on, Sunday, getting-a-disapproving-look name.

And “If something looks too good to be true, it probably is”.

Of course, whether you buy into those depends on your personal values. We know we INHERIT some of these from our parents and guardians.

Me? I believe in the first one.  In working towards what I desire. Taking responsibility.  Managing the things in my life I can control.  Doing the best I can at the time. Not making lame excuses for myself. That’s one of my values.

The second one is a bit trickier. I don’t believe there’s some miracle cure for my extra 10lbs.  But I DO believe there are miracles in the universe. I mean, I am one.  10lbs extra or not.

 

What do you think?   Is there such a thing as a quick fix? Tell me in a comment.

 

Love, Kathy x

 

Don’t Bury Your Head in The Sand Thirty and Forty Somethings

Don't Bury Your HeadDon’t Bury Your Head in The Sand Thirty and Forty Somethings.

30s? 40s? Do you bury your head in the sand?

I have a feeling.

A feeling that there an AWFUL lot of fabulous 30 and 40 Somethings out there are IN FEAR.

 

Fear. Me?

In fear, that their misspent youth is long gone and old age is around the corner. Menopause. Nice cup of tea. Incontinence pants. The Woman’s Weekly.   Wow, that’ll be some party, eh?

That’s there’s a huge and horrible hole after our fun and funky 20s and early 30s where we are dragged, kicking and screaming into the wilderness years of – God Forbid – our 50s and beyond.

Some are in fear that their body is changing. And there might be something really wrong with them.

BUT they don’t want to talk about their periods of biblical flood proportions. Not to their partner, Mum or friends. And the doctor didn’t help that much. They bury their head in the sand.

Or what about the monumental mood swings and chronic PMS.

And the food cravings…we keep schtum about snarfing our body weight in Chocolate Chip Cookies.

Let’s not mention the breakouts of big old zits.

Or the glow/perspiration/Sweaty Betty moments.

Gloss over the ever-expanding waist that no diet seems to touch.

They fear that they are no longer so attractive.  Not that their sex drive is firing on all cylinders anyway.

Or that they’re becoming like their mother/grandmother/Aunt Maureen and they don’t like it. Worse still they feel like they’re becoming some raddled old hag. You’re so NOT.

Well, let’s reassure you 30 and 40 somethings  … let’s have some truth bombs.

 

Truth Bombs

#1 You’re not old, until you think old and behave old.  There are some pretty old 20 year old and some very young 70 year olds.   There’s more to age than the date on your birth certificate.

#2 You are still attractive. To your partner. To prospective new partners.  Other people aren’t looking at you and snickering or rolling their eyes – that’s all in our own heads. Trust me.  Being comfortable in your own skin, not giving a shizzle and smiling are very attractive.

#3 You’re probably not menopausal in your 30s and 40s (although some women experience menopause earlier than late 40s/early 50s).  Menopause is when your periods have stopped for a year or more.

#4 Menopause needn’t be that bad anyway. It’s certainly not all about crumbling bones, crimpolene and crochet.  I’m menopausal – no crimpolene, hip replacement or yarn here. And my face doesn’t look like the road map of Great Britain yet at 49.

#5 Changes DO start happening in your mid to late 30s and 40s. It’s often called pre menopause or perimenopause.   I call it your 30s and 40s! It’s NOT menopause. No-one tells you about this. Sometimes signs sneak up on you, sometimes they smack you straight between the eyes.

Do NOT ignore these signs. Do not bury your head in the sand. Whether  you still want babies or not.

Deal with it now and you’ll feel better and look better. AND much more likely to have an easier time when menopause comes along. Menopause will be the next rites of passage, instead of an “illness to be cured”.

 

Changes in Your 30s and 40s

So what signs was symptoms might you see, hot and happening 30s and 40s?

Here’s some common ones…

  • Weight gain, even if you’re eating the same and exercising the same.
  • PMS with sore, lumpy breasts.
  • Irregular periods and heavy periods.
  • Lower sex drive.
  • Dry hair and skin or skin breakouts.
  • Mood changes – especially becoming more irritable and mardy. OR brain fog and forgetful. OR low and depressed.
  • Low energy.
  • Changes to body temperature.
  • Hormone related issues like fibroids, endometriosis.

 

And hormone imbalance can be at the root of these – although not aways. Get your doctor’s opinion and some tests. And then decide what to do.

 

I Recognise That List…

First of all don’t panic. No more head burying. Reassure yourself with a trip to the doctors.

If they recommends medications or procedures, think long and hard.

I’m not saying don’t ever take them or have procedures – that’s not my job or place.

But get info from different sources on the benefits, risks, side effects, what affect they have on you nutrition status (drugs rob nutrients), how long you need to take them, the alternatives and self help.  Weigh it all up for yourself. Then decide.

 

Self Help is where I come in.  I teach women how to eat, live and how to care for themselves naturally. And I practice a few complementary therapies too. And it can make a MAHOOSIVE difference. Trust me.

Read my own story, for one example.

So 30s and 40s women, do not be afraid. But don’t bury your head in the sand either.

Love, Kathy x

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Moment of Truth – When I Decided To Change

The Moment of Truth - When I Decided To Change

The Moment of Truth –  When I Decided To Change.

In my life I have had many truth bomb moments.

Some have been about health. Some about life. Some about happiness.

AND I remember one biggie.  Tthe moment of truth when I decided to get my sorry ass into gear.

The moment of truth when I decided to change.  For the better.

 

Happy Holidays?

Rewind to Summer 2008.  Mr P and our year old Labradoodle – Django – go to Northumberland for a cottage holiday. To catch up with my ‘rents and my bro and his family.

There’s sun, sea and sand.  The sun does shine in the North East, honest. And the beaches are peachy.

There’s real ale, fish and chips and ice cream.

There’s fun, love and laughter.

Then there’s the holiday photos, of course. Capturing lovely moments. Like Django rolling in a dead fish.  Mr P making a chip buttie as big as his head.  And me walking on the beach.

MASSIVE. WAKE UP. CALL.

Moment of truth.

 

THE Moment of Truth

In the photos….

There’s my bloated face, belly overhang and fat bottom.

There’s my straw hair, eye bags and spotty chin.

And that’s what you can SEE.

 

What you can’t see is the creaking joints, rumbling tum and neck pain.

The haywire hormones, fibroids and period problems.

The tiredness. The stress. The burning my candle at both ends.

 

EVEN after having left my full time job about 9 months before. To finish my anatomy and physiology and homeopathy courses without having a  breakdown. To protect our home life and my health.

Well my home life was better – with one person at home more, life was easier for both of us.

But my health?

I had an osteopath for the joints and neck.

My own homeopath was very helpful.

A nutritional therapist was trying to sort out my digestive issues.

The moment of truth?

What was I DOING?

Answer: not enough. Not enough self-help. Not enough self-care. I wasn’t taking responsibility. I wasn’t owning my own shizzle (one of my fave sayings now).

 

Owning My Own Shizzle

THAT was the moment of truth when I started owning it.  Surely, a busy job hadn’t helped my health?  Was it in the genes?  What more should my doctor be doing?

BUT really who or what was to blame?

Nothing? No-one? Me? I had choices. I still have. We all do.

So I started making different choices.

And I learned much more about health and hormones and natural therapies.

I still had help from my super support team. I needed that and still do.  No man is an island and this gal isn’t one either.  People guide me, support me, challenge, heal me, help me.

But it started with me.  It always starts with yourself, I think.

 

Fast Forward

8 years and life has changed. I changed. I CHANGED ME. 

Through better diet. Good lifestyle choices. Avoiding toxins. Reducing stress. Changing my outlook.

Living a healthy, hormone-friendly life at leasts 80% of the time. Heck, no-one wants sackcloth and ashes and never eating cake again, right?

All this is the stuff I made it my mission to teach to other women.

I never pretended I’m a Goddess – body beautiful, brimming with health and vitality all the time. No, I’m a pretty darned healthy 49 year old who weighs over 2.5 stones less than I did, who eats well, looks after myself and navigates through menopause as best I can.  I look and feel better than I did 8 years ago, despite being menopausal. I kid you not.

AND I know a canny thing or two about hormones.

 

Is This YOUR Moment of Truth?

So, I’m wondering when is your moment of truth? What will trigger it? How will you start making changes? Who will help YOU?

If you want that Cheerleader and Wellbeing Fairy Godmother to be me, let me know.

I’ve been there. Seen it. Done that. Got the t shirt.

Love, Kathy x

 

 

 

 

 

Christmas Is Coming – Do You STILL Want to Look and Feel This Way?

Christmas IS coming

Christmas Is Coming – Do You STILL Want to Look and Feel This Way?

Christmas IS coming.

Have you noticed the nip in the air?

Most people have had their summer holidays.

Kids are going back to school and college.

Blackberries are ripening in the hedgerows.

My house is filled with loads of spiders – if I charged them rent I’d be a gazillionnaire!

It’s about 18 weeks until Christmas.  Christmas IS coming. Sorry NOT sorry. For mentioning the C word.

 

How Was Your Summer?

So how was your summer?

Were you one of the women posting a-m-a-z-i-n-g pictures on social media?

Glowing with health. Brimming with energy.

Looking and feeling your best self.

Swimming. Walking. Cycling.  Having fun.

Or NOT?

Maybe you were blotchy and bloated.

Hiding a multitude of sins under baggy t shirts and massive sunglasses.

Slumped on the sofa eating Ben and Jerrys – damn the cravings!  And the tiredness.

Hugging the fan due to flushes and night sweats.

Or the toilet with horrible, heavy periods.

Blaming the heat for your moods and mardiness.

Wishing it was Winter already to wear legging, boots and oversized tunics … with a huge hat …and a duffle coat.

 

Christmas IS Coming But Are The Winds of Change?

Well, Winter will be here sooner than you think.  Christmas is coming.

And sure, we could all hide our belly under jumpers and eyebags under Touche Eclat.

 

BUT there’d still be the mood swings, the cravings, the period problems, the terrible skin, the “tropical moments”…

 

Yes, you could spend December eating your body weight in Cadburys Roses (replacing the tin a few times, because you keep eating them).  Damn the cravings.

Huddled on the sofa because a) you don’t want to be seen and b) you are totally knackered anyway.

Dreading Crimbo parties because nothing fits and your skin and hair look rubbish.

STILL with the fan going as well as the central heating – ahh that rollercoaster of flush and freezing.

Wondering if your super sized sanitary towel is visible through your skinny jeans.

Falling out with family before The Big Day because you’re angry, ansty and anxious. Always.

Hoping no-one kisses you under the mistletoe and brushes the stray hairs on your chin.

 

…unless we do something about it.

 

Christmas is coming. But it DOESN’T have to be like that.

Take action.  On it like a car bonnet.  Make positive changes.

It’s about 18 weeks to Christmas as I type. PLENTY of time to tame hormone havoc. A good while – really – to get a grip on modern life madness.

If we start NOW. And take baby steps. With support. And encouragement. And a positive attitude.

 

NOW is a GOOD Time

And now is good time.

Well, ANY time is a good time to make positive change but September is great.

You most likely had your holiday.

BBQ and Pimms and ice cream season is pretty much over.

The kids are back to school and college.

It’s time for YOU my lovely. Because you’re worth it.

 

How Can I Help?

I have been there, seen it, done it, got the T shirt.  I’m a Menopausal Maven now.

I know some top tips and helpful hints that can improve health, balance hormones and help YOU look and feel like your best self. Naturally.

Not by the Bootcamp of Extreme Measures either.

By sensible, steady changes.

You’ll find a wealth of support in my blogs, classes, courses and coaching.  I’m your Wellbeing Fairy Godmother.

 

 

Let’s all have Hot, Happening and less Hormonal Christmases. From September.

Love, Kathy x

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

How To FEEL Better About Menopause

How To FEEL Better About MENOPAUSE

How To FEEL Better About Menopause.

Or How To Have a Better Menopause Mindset.

(By Susanne Erricker, Head Girl at The Academy For Grown Up Girls).

 

Ok, I’m guessing you don’t believe it is possible to feel better about being Menopausal?  To have a better menopause mindset?

Just in case you think I might not understand, please be assured I DO.

I have been suffering from the side effects of perimenopause, the weight gain, hot flushes, mood swings. When it all started I really struggled with the thought of “that’s me done then’ I always thought that menopause happened to old women, but now I am there (I’m 49) and I don’t feel old at all.

As menopausal women we feel invisible, lack confidence, get lost in worry and anxiety about everything and anything, feel like our lives are over, right? Well, No! actually, absolutely not right! And this is why I have written this post for you today.

I am now going to make a statement that will probably cause you to ask …

“Who is this woman?”

‘What planet is she on?”

I’m actually hoping it will inspire you too and help you to look at things in a slightly different way… a slightly better menopause mindset…

 

‘As a Menopausal (or Perimenopausal) woman you are in the Prime of your Life’

Here are some reasons why…

  • You have oodles of life experience to draw upon
  • Due to changing hormone levels, you start to lose some of the all encompassing maternal instincts and you will find yourself starting to want to focus on what’s next for you (no guilty feelings here please!)
  • You are (or will be) mentally and emotionally stronger than you have ever been
  • If you are in midlife and beyond, as you move away from ‘hands on’ parenting/caring or other family issues, career building, home nesting you will have more time, freedom and choice as to what you want to do for the rest of your life

Yes, lovely lady – the REST of your life. In fact, if you are a similar age to me, you still have at least 25 quality years ahead of you – I am actually banking on more like 30 -35, but I thought I would be conservative with the numbers just there.

It never used to be this way.

In our grandmother’s day, once she reached the menopause it was time to reach for the knitting and the rocking chair and to a certain degree it is the same for our parents.

But for us, well it is different and so the menopause signals the start of embracing with open arms the next chapter of our lives.

So how do we do that? This is a big question that actually only requires a small shift in menopause mindset. Here are some pointers for you:

 

Work on changing your thinking style:

Are you a glass half full or a glass half empty kinda girl? Do you focus on what you don’t want rather than what you do want?

If you are the glass half empty type and know what you don’t want more than what you do want, then you are not alone, but you may want to consider a change.

Research shows that negative thoughts programme your brain to do a specific action (like run from danger) but at the same time narrow your mind and focus your thoughts on that one thing. The brain will then start to believe that thing to be true and guess what, so will the rest of you and this is when you start to feel anxiety and worry all the more.

 

Try changing your attitude to age:

Do you feel old? Do you consider yourself ‘Past it’ ? Have you lost touch with the youthful you? Is it too late ‘to change’?

If you answered ‘yes’ to any of the above, it’s time to change your attitude to age and accept that age is a state of mind. Average life expectancy for women who are 50 now is 86, so you have a good 30 – 40 years of your life ahead of you. Time to start planning for the next act otherwise you’re going to have a long wait ahead of you before you hang up your handbag.

 

Be kind to yourself:

What would you think if your own best friend started putting you down and telling you that YOU are hopeless, that there’s no way YOU can do something, or worse be cruel about your body image? My guess is that you would go and find another friend who is more encouraging and supportive of you and ditch this one

So why is it then that we are so cruel to ourselves and continue to be so?

Try these 3 things instead and practise them on a daily basis

  • Be more aware of what you are thinking or saying to yourself, are you being self destructive rather than compassionate?
  • Be grateful to your body for allowing you to walk, see, hear………. and give it what it needs in the form of good nutrition and hydration when you can. (Kathy has some great tips in her own blogs, social media and courses)
  • Learn to be a little bit selfish and set aside some time each day just for you

 

Here’s to a happy and healthy 2nd half to your life!  With a marvellous menopause mindset.

Love, Susanne x

Susanne is Head Girl at ‘The Academy for Grown up Girls’ and a Personal Development and  NLP Coach for Women in Midlife. The Mission of ‘The Academy’ is to bring inspiration, motivation and confidence to the lives of women who have been or are going through a life event that has knocked them off track. Through online teaching and coaching programmes she helps women ‘reinvent’ themselves and adjust to new roles in their lives, giving them confidence, self belief and clarity to enjoy the next chapter.

Being Stuck Sucks

 Being STUCK Sucks

Being Stuck Sucks is a guest blog by the super-amazing teacher and coach on practical spirituality – Kate Spencer. Kate is also a highly successful author best known for the Twelve Lessons series.  Must reads!

I’m very grateful to have her write a piece especially for my crowd of wonderful women.

I hope you love it as much as I do.   Don’t stay stuck.

Love,

Kathy x

 

Being Stuck Sucks

Being stuck sucks because when you are stuck, you feel the stuckness in a big way.

Nothing you do gains traction or helps you to change direction. Things feel a bit pointless, and people around you seem to be so sorted and together and happy that it’s beyond irritating. Then you look back at your own life and wonder what happened. This is not what you signed up for, but it’s what you’ve got. And that makes you feel even worse!

The thing is that you are not alone.

Many of us feel this way from time to time, and no one really talks about it. We adopt the attitude of “getting on with it”, even though we crave an entire life upgrade or at the very least a change. And its so hard to see the wood for the proverbial trees because when you feel stuck, the Law of Attraction hears “I AM stuck!”. We know the result, and the irony of course but we just can’t seem to change anything.

I’ve felt this way recently and I have learned some things that might help you.

When you feel stuck it’s no good focusing on your big plan. It’s likely to feel impossible and like pissing in the wind!

Ask yourself instead what you could do today to help yourself to make progress. Pick one thing, or maybe two but definitely no more. Do this every day for a week, and make it something that will inch you out of the place you are in and move you one step closer to awesome. Even if it’s tiny.

Check your self talk. When you feel stuck and fed up you are likely to be beating up on yourself. This will make you feel worse and send more energy to the feeling of stuck. Become aware of your internal dialogue – what are you saying to yourself? And if you are saying things that are sabotaging or unhelpful then think of 3 affirmations that are the opposite and start to use them instead.

Change your state. Get happy – find something on You Tube that is hilarious and make yourself watch it. Suggestions include Simons Cat and Walmart Advert. Get a happy song on You Tube or your ipad and dance and sing. Moving around will change your physiology and you will feel better.

Help someone else. There is nothing like the feeling of gratitude for lifting your spirits and soothing the soul. When we focus on what is good we are telling the universe “My life is filled with great stuff”, and we get sent more experiences that align to this. What can you do today to help someone else? And know that by helping them you are also helping you.

Oh and read Twelve Lessons….just kidding!

I hope this helps and I send you lots of love.

Kate x

 

Kate Spencer

Practical Spirituality Coach and Author of the life-changing Twelve Lessons book series

www.kate-spencer.com

Facebook www.facebook.com/thelightworkersacademy

Twitter @RealKateSpencer

I Hate Exercise And I’m a Health Coach.

I Hate Exercise And I’m a Health Coach.

I HATE Exercise and I'm A Health Coach

 

I Hate Exercise And I’m a Health Coach.

Regular readers will know I hate the “E” word. I hate EXERCISE.

 

EXERCISE sounds like such a boring chore.  Snoresville.   Hard work.  It’s like that word “medicine” …straight away I don’t want to take any.

 

Well, I don’t want to take exercise either. There I said it.  I hate exercise.

 

I can be persuaded to do “activities” though – now that sounds so much more me…a lark even. It implies I could join in with other people.  Or do it on my own. I can get busy. It has the ring of productivity and energy about it.  Activities are FUN. “Exercise” just doesn’t have that.

I know I should do exercise

I know it’s better for my health – my heart, my bones and joints, my immune system, my digestion, my weight and reduces risk of diseases. And it’s good for my happiness and mental health.

But, I WANT to do activities!  When can I start?  Where do I sign up?

And I know I’m making light of it, but there is an important message here. I almost said “serious” but that’s snoresville as well.

Now you know why I hate exercise, let’s look at activities and how you can sneak in activities into your day, week, month and year.

 

Modern Life – A Daily Journey From Desk Jockey To Coach Potato

For many people, the most activity they do each day is walking from the drivers seat in the carpark to their destination – a work desk, a cinema seat, a bar stool, home sofa, whatever ….

Our daily journey seems to be from bed to various chairs and then back to bed. I’m exaggerating slightly to make my point.

Fewer people walk or cycle places than in our grandparents or great-grandparents day.  We don’t even need to climb many stairs due to lifts and escalators.

There are so many labour saving devices for food prep, housework, gardening and diy jobs.  Some people even employ others to do those chores.

I’m not knocking any of that, by the way.

It’s a fact of modern life. It’s ironic that we drive to gyms that we pay for, to do a hours exercise, yet drive everwhere and use labour-saving devices as much as we possibly can.

I contrast that with my own childhood. My folks cooked with pots, pans, bowls, spoons and whisks. To make a cake, took a whole heap of vigorous whisking. Meringues were a real work-out.

Washing day was a test of endurance. Scrubbing shirt collars and grass stains out of trousers, before lifting washing into the twin tub and then out again – heavy and dripping.

The vacuum cleaner weighed a ton. We didn’t have steam cleaners- if you wanted your floor to shine you got out a scrubbing brush, a mop, a bucket of soapy water and some elbow grease.

Gardening was really heavy work. The lawnmower weighed TWO tonnes.

DIY was tough.  No electric screwdrivers.

We walked to school and a lot of other places … back in the day.

Physical activity just isn’t part of everyday life, as it once was.   So maybe it’s not all about the exercise; it’s about making sure we do more physical activities every day. Remember,  I hate exercise *winks*.

 

Everyday Activities

I’m not suggesting we go back to the days of squeezing wet clothes through a mangle, but there are lots of things we can do to build more activity into our day…

  • Take the stairs
  • Walk to the shop or around the block at lunchtime for 10-15 minutes
  • Do some deskercise– yes that’s a REAL thing
  • Do housework and laundry
  • Garden
  • Wash your car by hand
  • Play active games including with children – even if it’s wii fit!
  • Spend family time outdoors walking or playing

It soon builds up – 10 minutes here and there, throughout the day can really help our health and wellbeing.   And it gets jobs done too.  No need to hate exercise after all.

 

Play hopscotch

 

More “Organised”Activities

Of course, it would be even better for health, hormones and happiness to do EVEN more activity.

I’m not going to mention work/life balance because it doesn’t exist.  There’s only such a thing as work/life BLENDING. You have to make your work and life fit comfortably for you. We can all include more activity if we really want to.

To avoid it being a snore inducing chore:-

 

  1. Choose activities that you actually enjoy – dancing, ten pin bowling, geocaching…
  2. Listen to music or watch TV whilst doing your activities – for example out walking or when doing wii fit.
  3. Fit them in with the rest of your priorities and do them at times that suit you best.
  4. Set goals or choose activity involving others if that is more fun and helps motivation – like games or team sports or get an activity buddy.
  5. Vary activities to spice things up a little and for different benefits – aerobic for fat burning, weight bearing for muscle building, core strength work for strength and flexibility…
  6. Build up slowly – no coach potato should try to become a marathon runner overnight.

 

But it would be good for health, if more of us moved off the couch instead of simply moving from bed to car to desk and back again each day.

So BOO to exercise (do you hate exercise?) and YAY to more activity in our lives * wanders off to do the European Ironing Mountain*

Love, Kathy x

 

 

Should I be doing a January Detox?

Should I be doing a January Detox?

Should I be doing a January detox?

It’s January and detox is a hot topic.  Both with supporters and critics.

I even saw a local bar promoting drinking gin to RETOX this January.  And follow Tryanuary  (trying a new drink) instead of Dry January.  *face palm*

Detox. A small word that can provoke BIG reactions and start heated debates.

So what’s my take here at KPHQ?

 

Why Might I Need A Detox?

There are many people who think our bodies can become overloaded with toxins.  I’m one of those people.

Toxins are poisonous substances, which are often man-made.

They could come from:-

  • poor diet
  • pollution
  • cigarette smoke
  • pesticides
  • food additives/preservatives,
  • alcohol and caffeine
  • street drugs, over-the-counter and prescribed meds

They impact our health and our hormones.

If I handed you that list, what would you say? Most of you would agree that reducing some of these things make sense for good health.  Especially after Christmas and New Year.  And at any time.

Our organs that deal with “waste” in the body have to work hard to get rid of harmful and unwanted substances. Especially our liver. So loving your liver is a good idea. For the skinny on how to love up your liver, take a look at this fab blog . It talks about liver and hormone health.

Make sure your digestive system is working well too.  You want to be able to er em “get rid” of the unwanted substances i.e. pooping them out.  Steps 1 to 4 in the list below will help A LOT.

Detox promoters also tell us that detox can help us lose weight, reduce cellulite, improve skin, reduce bloating and make us feel like a million dollars.

Er, I’d like a pint of that please.  NO – make that TWO.

I’m not sure those things can be guaranteed.  I DO know (from my own and client experiences) that living “cleaner” can have big impacts on health, happiness and hormones.

But I’m not sure you need to resort to extremes to gain health benefits.

Goodbye juice fasts and coffee enemas and hello real food and sensible self-care. Although I do like a good juice myself.  But my version of a January detox doesn’t rely on extreme measures.

 

The KP Version of a “January Detox”

1. Eat a diet rich in vegetables and fruits, wholegrains, lean and healthy proteins and good fats.  Choose unsprayed and organic where possible.  Personally, I prefer to reduce dairy (mucus forming), wheat (bloating) and red meat.

 

2. Drink plenty of filtered water.  Also herbal teas like nettle, fennel or peppermint.

 

3. Avoid or reduce alcohol, street drugs, caffeine, refined sugar, saturated fats, processed foods and those with additives , preservatives and GMOs.

 

4. Take regular, gentle exercise.  Think dog walking or dancing not necessarily training for an “Iron Woman” event.

Dancing is good regular, gentle exercise

 

5. Reduce stress.  Only you know the most effective ways for you. Make changes at home/work to remove or reduce stress? Use coping strategises like exercise, relaxation or meditation? 

 

6. Reduce exposure to chemicals or toxins at work or at home/in the garden.  Think cleaning products, toiletries, pet products like flea collars, garden weedkillers and pesticides.

 

7. Identify and tackle any underlying health issues, if you suspect any.  See experts, gets tests, look at options for addressing any problems and make an informed choice. 

 

Is Detox Safe?

There is nothing in my list that is dangerous or harmful.  I can’t say the same about others. And it does depend on the state of your health beforehand.

If you’re not sure, you have a medical condition or you are taking prescribed meds, please check with your own doctor before making major changes.

It’s not rocket science to change to healthier habits, generally.  But if it’s easier said than done, check out my fab blog on how to change habits and reach goals.

 

Do I Need Any Magic Potions?

So what about all the special drinks, supplements and the like that are advertised for detoxing?   Do I actually need any magic potions?

I’d be careful.  I wouldn’t start taking anything without guidance from someone who knows what they’re talking about.   Or checking with a doctor first.

With my VIP clients, I use certain supplements to help them remove any toxic metals found through hair mineral tests (as part of a Foresight programme). I sometimes choose  herbal tinctures for example,  Milk Thistle for liver support. I’ve also recommended  homeopathic remedies for liver and other organ support.

 

But I think we can all “cleanse” our bodies without some extreme January detox.  Just choose healthy foods and a huge dollop of extreme self-care instead.  You’ll have gone from detox to ME-ROCKS or even BE-FOX in no time. Hehe. *groans at own puns*

Love, Kathy x

 

Ten Top Tips For Changing Habits & Meeting Goals

Ten Top Tips For Changing Habits & Meeting GoalsChanging Habits

It’s that time of year.  January.  Full of hope and promise.

Many of us are full of good intentions after getting full of turkey, chocolates and too much booze in December.  And in some cases, maybe having a belly full of our nearest and dearest *winks*?

Intentions to improve ourselves, our lives, our health, our relationships, our careers, our impact on the world. Intentions to start changing habits.

Lots of us are making New Year’s Resolutions to start doing some things and stop doing others.

Have you ever made a New’s Years Resolution?

Ever stuck with it?

Has it ever become a new and improved way of life for ever and ever *ahem*?

 

MY OWN ATTEMPTS AT CHANGING HABITS

I have to admit to many failed attempts myself at losing weight, getting fit, keeping a journal, de-stressing, giving up all manner of vices and all that shizzle.

I used the word FAILED.  And that’s okay. I learned so much from those First Attempts In Learning (FAIL – geddit?).

And I’ve succeeded since. Lost weight, learned to eat for nutrition, taken up yoga, adopted a much more positive mindset and much much more. Habits that have stuck.

One of the first things I learned was don’t make a resolution in January, just because it’s January.  It might be a NEW YEAR, but if you’re not ready to be a NEW YOU, it’s just not going to happen. You’re not setting yourself up for success.

 

So what’s my advice to my clients and other lovely ladies who want to start changing habits?  Or have a big goal?

Here are my top tips.. …whether it’s losing that little bit of podge around the middle, protecting your bones, updating your image, improving your dull and dry skin, changing career or something else.

 

Top Ten Tips For Changing Habits and Meeting Goals

1. CHOOSE YOUR GOAL

Start with a blank page. The ideal outcome.  Dream big.  Don’t put obstacles in your way before you even start.

You can always scale back to what is practical and achievable for you right now.  BUT don’t be tempted to be too easy on yourself either.

Make your goal stretching. You are a resourceful, creative person and you can work out HOW to make things happen, when you put your mind right to it.

2. DITCH AIRY-FAIRY

Be specific. No airy-fairy, vague aims.

Vague aims are not our friends.

So your goal is to spend more quality time with your family?  What exactly does that look like? What precisely do you mean?

Eat dinner together every night? Help the children with their homework twice a week? Do a different family activity each Sunday? Get away for a short break together at least every  three months? Plan a “date night”with your partner once a month?

Get into the nitty gritty.

Which leads me nicely to …

3. KNOW YOUR ‘WHY’

How much do you really care about this goal?

Be clear WHY you are setting it.

Take, for example, losing weight.  WHY do you want to lose weight?

Improved health? Clothes fit better? Energy to run around playing with the kids? Reduce risk of chronic disease? For a big event?

They are moving you towards a big positive. If your goal is simply “Lose 20lbs” it’s moving away from a negative and sounds like torture… to me anyway.

Imagine what things will look like and feel like when you reach that goal. Really know, see, hear, touch, speak that WHY.

Don’t change because someone else thinks you should. You’re not going to be committed to that.  In fact, you may end up trying to have those helpful folk committed instead.

4. COMMIT

Commitment is a tricky one.  A step not to be missed.

Ask yourself how important the goal really is to you.  What sacrifices are you willing to make to achieve it?

Often, we have to make tough choices when setting goals.

For example, if you’re goal is to get fitter, are you really going to get up earlier/leave work earlier/compromise on family or social time etc to do it?

What actions can you take to make any compromises easier? Maybe exercising in your lunch break could work? Or doing an activity your family and friends could do with you?

Where there is a will, there is a way. Brainstorm your options. Discuss them with people affected.

And check in with yourself.  On a scale of 1-10 how committed am I really? Aim for a 10! If your motivation is at 2, you’re not going to be changing habits, are you?

You’re not setting up for success saying you’re going to eat spinach every night, if you loathe green leafy veggies with a passion.  Choose goals and actions you can commit to.

5. SET THE DATE

Another toughie.

So you’re going to finally write that book you’ve been banging on about for years?

BY WHEN? By the end of this year? Be reasonable and realistic, but be stretching.  Not many books are a lifetime in the writing. Not many are cranked out in a weekend either.

It is okay to revise target dates.  Sometimes things happen beyond your control.

Some actions towards your goal may be timed – daily/weekly/monthly etc.   Monitoring progress helps keep you on track and give you a  sense of achievement.

6. WRITE DOWN YOUR GOAL

Yep, simple as.

Writing it down makes it clear where you’re heading. It makes it real. It’s easier to make decisions because you have a clear destination. You’re much more likely to be successful changing habits.

Pin it on the fridge.  Have it as your screensaver.  Scribble it in your journal.  Places you can see it and other people can see it, if it helps keep you determined.

Make things happen

7. TAKE SMALL STEPS

If you’re anything like me you get totally OVERWHELMED by “all or nothing”. So break your goal down into small steps.

Heard of the hare and tortoise? Yes, slow and steady wins the race.  One small step at a time.  Do tortoises “step”? I digress.

So if you want to start eating for nutrition and health, start with ONE small change per week maybe?   Add in other small steps when you’re ready and able. It would be a big ask to turn from a “standard” diet to super dooper healthy overnight.

If you feel a little wobbly, focus on the current step rather than risk convincing yourself the overall goal is too big and too hairy.

It’s all a process.  Changing habits to reach your big goal.

8. FIND A CHEERLEADER/BUTTKICKER

I’m often the cheerleader/buttkicker with my clients.

As a Health Coach, I help them set goals, monitor progress, see and identify obstacles and smash their targets.

I spur people on and support them to challenge themselves.   Find out more about my health coaching packages HERE.

But if you’re not in a place to seek professional coaching, find a friend or accountability buddy.

Someone you can trust to share your goal and who will both encourage you to succeed and tell you the truth if you’re making excuses. A person who will help you see and overcome issues. Someone with no judgement.

9. MEASURE AND CELEBRATE ACHIEVEMENT

You need to decide how you will know you’ve succeeded.  How will you measure your progress and success?

Measure trends towards goals – journalling, Lab test results, energy levels, new achievements, feedback from family and friends, whatever works for you and is relevant to your goal.

Celebrate success.

Even reward yourself with something special and appropriate. Better not to reward yourself with a double cheeseburger and large fries washed down with a gallon of cola if you’re trying to manage weight or adopt healthier eating habits.

Be creative with your rewards – they needn’t cost an arm and a leg.

10. Rinse and Repeat

You’ve got this. Practice goal setting, monitoring  and mastering your goals and you’re in the elite of the world’s population!  Yay.

You can use the process to change habits or change anything you want really.

You can even have more than one goal at a time. Just be careful that achieving one doesn’t come at the expense of another.  Going for a big promotion at work whilst spending more quality time with your family might need especially careful planning.

 

So you go girl.  Go NOW if you’re ready and steady to go.  Or gather your thoughts and make your goal and plans in good time.  Don’t be pressurised because it’s January.

Using these steps leaves less to chance and increases your chance of changing habits and smashing goals.

I wish you every success.

Love,

Kathy x

 

 

 

Love, Kathy x