Finding my sense of style. Check!

Are you a fan of the show Offspring?

I wasn’t really a fan as such, until recently when I had the flu and was in desperate need of a television fix.   There was nothing on at all so I turned to catch-up television online.   All I wanted was something to watch to dull the flu symptoms, and so it was at this time that I stumbled across a couple of episodes of Offspring.  While I don’t race to watch it when its on, I have since decided that I really like the main character Nina’s quirky personality.  I also like her funky sense of style.

Between you and me, I think I have found my desired sense of style – minus the scarves – I am not really a scarf person at all. They  look great on others but I don’t really like anything hanging around my neck.

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Finding a style when you don’t feel your optimum self is difficult at the best of times, then winter hits, and you feel so cold you allow it to dictate your ability to get out and exercise despite all your good intentions.  This year, winter has not been my friend.  I don’t remember winter on the coast ever being so cold, its been a rude shock to my system this year.

While I know about the gym membership concept,  I prefer to take advantage of the beautiful surroundings of the Sunshine Coast.   You can walk for miles if your up for the challenge.  I, am not a fan of the gym atmosphere.  Sure they have impressive fitness classes and machines, but I don’t like the  loud bouncy music, or the fit people walking around using these machines so effortlessly.   By the way, I understand the gym membership experience was never created as a relaxing day spa experience!

Exercise plays an important role in our personal health plan.   There are so many benefits to why we need to exercise, but I am an awkward exerciser,  outside of walking, that is.  Running isn’t at all comfortable – due to tummy issues, and because of these same tummy issues I am limited in many of the fitness classes.  I must admit that some times it all feels too hard.   However, I am looking into a few ideas a physio friend has suggested to me recently.   🙂

I have been  continuing my research over the last few months on how important it is to get the food relationship side of our health plan mostly right – something I’ve always known, and after all, why bother exercising if you’re going to ruin your efforts by food choices.  If exercise equates to 20% of the equation for healthy living,  this means that 80% of our plan must be around the idea of what we are consuming.  This ratio doesn’t take into consideration the need for sleep –  Chris Kesser says that you need sleep to function, but also for your overall health and vitality, even weight loss is stunted when we don’t consistently get enough sleep.

My biggest pet peeve in life is when you exercise regularly, you are under the impression your eating the right foods, but your not getting the results.   I know this frustration personally.  This is part of the reason why I put exercise on hold for a time.  A temporary arrangement so that I could really get my head into gear – and get myself a clear plan of action.   I needed to know where I was going wrong.

So, after a lot of reading, and watching of a number of nutrition documentaries online,  listening to webinars and podcasts, I feel as though my eyes are as big as saucers. Information over load to the max – but I was determined to understand, and as I learn I find myself changing my habits.  I like Tony Robbins idea of linking foods I shouldn’t eat with a negative association.   For example, when I eat bread, my tummy feels bloated, or if I eat chocolate, I get headaches and feel generally unwell.   I’m coming to realise that understanding food, is as simple as saying, avoid the chemicals, avoid processed and packaged foods, don’t eat foods high in fructose, always read labels – find out how much sugar is in each product per serving, eat as organically as possible, know how the animals you plan to eat are fed, eat good fats and lots of vegetables.  All while keeping it simple, and realise the big food companies don’t really care about us as people or families – they are more interested in the money they will be taking from us as consumers.

One of the worst feelings in the world is the feeling of making the exercise efforts, but failing in the kitchen because of lack of knowledge.   These two aspects have to romance one another, you need good quality food to have energy, and you need to burn the energy your producing by exercising.  Its about quality – not quantity.

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So here we are – the third day of August, just under a month away from Spring – my favourite time of the year, and I must admit that while I felt cold and completely unmotivated, the start of the last month of winter really brings warmth to my heart – we are almost out of the forest.   It feels great to know that we are on the end of the winter season, and soon, before we know it, we will be in my happy time of the year – SPRING!

There must be something in the air at the moment, because I am starting to feel Spring coming our way, its been quite a cold day here on the Coast, but I think the realisation that Spring is just around the corner is bringing a new sense of optimism and motivation?   Taking time out to get myself together was a good plan, but the next part of the plan needs action.   Knowledge is wasted if its not used.

One of the simplest ways to get yourself back into gear, and to give your health plan a kick in the rear end is to literally take the bull by the horns.   If you want to succeed – You MUST have a plan.  A step by step guide to achieving a goal.

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Here is my plan.   I want my plan to be over the top simple.  Why?  I have four kids, a husband, a household to run and a very strong desire in my heart to have time to focus on my personal projects.   I need to be organised.  I don’t want the ‘not knowing of what, how or when’ to get in my way of achieving my personal health goals, or time that I have for my special projects.

So, I printed out a calendar for August, September and October.   Each month has relatively large boxes for each day.     I have gone through my diary and penned in when I have standing commitments.   I have also penned in on each day what main meal we will be having and on four days of each week when I will be exercising. I have also created a list of activities we can do as a family on weekends.

At this time, walking is my main form of exercise.  I also want to take advantage of our wii fit plus and xbox fitness games – as bonus activities that I can do – especially if it rains.  I have a couple of yoga dvd’s that I would like to take advantage of as well.  My new yoga mat is ready for some activity, I have reset my ‘map my fitness’ and ‘map my walk’ apps, and I have set myself an official bedtime – even on weekends.

What I like most about adding our meal plan to the calendar is that for the next three months – I don’t have to think about what we are having for dinner.  I just have to do the shopping for the plan.   This means that I’ll be less stressed (deciding on what to have for dinner each day has always been a bug bear for me!), and hopefully have more time to do other things.   Fingers crossed!  🙂

Its nice to know that I can now make educated decisions on what I need to eat more of, and the foods I need to eat less of – and why.   Along the way, I realised how much I didn’t know, and while it was a scary moment, I realised how good it was that I had begun this journey of understanding.  Its nice to finally understand how to manage portion sizes, and to read a product nutritional box – this always confused me before!   I feel as though my goal is now actually manageable.   I had to find a plan that suited me and my life style rather than trying to make someone else’s plan work for me.

I feel as though my fresh new style goals – ‘the Nina Proudman’ look (Offspring) is actually achievable now.   I am not going to lie to you – Its going to take time, but its from little things big things grow.  Or shrink in this case!  🙂

I’d love to hear how you manage the work, life balance to include exercise and meal planning?

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