November 2020 – The Little Things

And there it is, month eleven of 2020 is done and dusted and what a rollercoaster of a month it’s been, pretty much the same as every other month of 2020!

When the second lockdown was announced I decided to do a lockdown challenge to keep me focused on doing something daily to help me get through this period of time when I know at time I might struggle mentally.

In the most part this worked, it gave me a focus and other people seemed to enjoy me posting daily and taking part too, thank you to anyone who liked, commented and shared my posts! It helped me to feel part of something. There were days when I felt incredibly down, tears flowed and I felt raw and broken, on these days I made a real effort to think about all the goods things in my life & know that the next day is a new one and will be different. I believe it’s important to acknowledge and accept your feelings as they express themselves as doing this often takes some of the energy out of them and they soon pass!

When I’m struggling mentally I have to remind myself to focus on the little things, do small actions that move you away from your worry/anxiety! Actually I believe in life it is always about the little things! When it comes to helping people improve their health and wellbeing I talk about making small changes, slight shifts in diet and mindset and over time these changes really do make a BIG difference.

Work has continued to flow in which is fabulous from a turnover point of view, however, I did think I might have some time to do some business planning and development for 2021, this is something I put off/avoid as I find it hard to do, as I’ve probably said before I’m a big world thinker & struggle with translating this big world view into smaller visions that are then manageable and do-able, I also find it quite strange/funny that is some areas of my life I can do this, I see the end goal & then break it down into daily actions! I’m determined that I will crack this and make my business sustainable in one or another. I know this time last year I was saying something completely different but every time I feel like giving up on my dream the universe seems to give me that glimmer of hope that maybe just maybe I can make it work!

With the lockdown enforced at the beginning of the month it meant gyms were closed and the return to home workouts, which I love! I like just getting up in the morning, getting my kit on and getting moving really before my brain wakes up to argue against doing it!! My gym very kindly lent out equipment again and I opted for a rowing machine & 20kg kettlebell. Having this extra kit allowed me to do a bigger variety of movements/exercise which meant I could do some fun workouts. I also loved exercising by the light of the moonlight and watching the day dawn.

Sometimes good things come to an end and this is the story with the guy I was seeing, having been apart for 6 weeks due to lockdown and restrictions it turns out that it wasn’t meant to be, although this is upsetting and there have been tears (mainly from my bruised ego), it has taught be a few valuable life lessons and has given me some fond memories to treasure.

One more month of 2020 and some might say good riddance to it but I do believe all these bumps in the road are there for a reason and we have to accept sometimes life is cruel and dark but the sun will rise again.

Until the next time, stay safe and well.

Rachel xxx

October 2020 – Make Hay while the Sun Shines

Can we put the brakes on this year!! I know it has been a crappy one for most but wow the days are whizzing by or maybe that’s just me!?!

October has been much the same as September with work coming in from all angles which makes me very happy, at times I struggle to keep up with requests so try to calm my chaotic mind by making lists and using stationery to help me make sure I don’t miss anything.

When I want something in life I can be quite laser focused on it and often the thing I want most doesn’t come to me, I read lots of books and follow people who talk about the Universe and vibrational energy and they all say that if you try to force something to happen then you tend to do the opposite and push it away (vibrationally speaking) and I know that in the past I’ve been guilty of this! However, now it feels like I have other focuses and the work is flowing to me naturally which feels greats.

I’ve never found a diary that does all that I need so a few years ago I created my own yearly & monthly sheets. The yearly sheet I put on my wall by my desk, I use it for when I need to find dates in the past or to come and I cross off each day as it goes by.

The monthly sheets I have on my desk and use this as a calendar if it’s not written on these sheets, it doesn’t happen, I do use my outlook calendar too that syncs with my phone so that I can make appointments when I’m out and about, I know having two calendars is dangerous as appointments could be miss, however, I have got into the habit of cross-referencing them to ensure nothing is missed on a daily basis.

Here are the sheets for 2021 (with UK bank holidays highlighted), you are welcome to use them and adapt them for your own use.

Exercise wise has also been a bit up and down, I haven’t managed to get to the gym as much as I would like as I’ve been working some days in a client’s business which means if I want to go in the mornings before work I have to be super organised with everything to makes sure I get to work on time!! Sometimes I can do this and other times all the rushing about stresses me out so I give the gym a miss. I never feel guilty or get upset about missing a workout as I know that when the time is available I’ll get to workout.

Things are still going well with the guy I’m seeing, we’ve squeezed in a few more dates which have been fun, we get on well and although we are very different we have a very similar outlook on life and enjoy some of the same hobbies, I can’t convince him to try Crossfit though and he hasn’t convinced me to try a triathlon (I’m not getting on a bike for no-one!!). We are as mad as each other so encourage each other to do things, the picture below is a cold windy day at Anderby Creek (Lincolnshire) where we thought it would be fun to go sea swimming, I haven’t laughed so much in ages and yes the North Sea was bloody freezing but we got ourselves dry and warm and got a delicious lunch at The North Sea Observatory and went for a walk along the coast path to work it off! It was a proper day off from work for me which is something I haven’t done in probably 10 years!

So hopefully things will continue to develop!!

As the month ended we were given the news that England was going to go into another lockdown to stop the spread of Coronavirus (Covid-19) from Thurs 5th Nov until Wed 2nd and while watching the news briefing on TV I shed some tears about the current situation as I’ll admit I’m scared for the future. As much as I like being at home on my own and find ways to keep myself busy I worry about my ability to make a living (as I’m sure millions of other people are too) as well as not being able to see my family and friends.

This being said I want to make sure I use this time to work on the business, it’s something I always plan to do but often paid work takes priority and the business development work slips down the to-do and never gets done, I’m determined that this will stop and that during this time when work might be quieter I can get into a routine/habit of doing business development to move the business forward. I started doing this a few months ago then work came flooding in so it stop dead, time to pick it up again and run with it.

So I decided that I was going to do a lockdown challenge during this period to help me stay focused on looking for the positives each day!

As October came to an end I reminded myself that I HAVE the strength within me to overcome anything this world throws at me and to make the most of each day!!

Stay safe, stay well and see you on the other side.

Lockdown 2.0 Challenge

As we head into another national lockdown which will be challenging for everyone in their own way, I had the idea of doing a challenge during this time, I’m mainly doing this for myself really, however, if you want to join in too then that would be fab.

This is a saying I’ve said to lots of people over the past few months as I do believe we individuals we are all dealing with stuff the best we can so being nonjudgmental and supportive is never more important than it is right now.

We often have seen monthly challenges and this will be similar with a range of daily activities to keep myself focus and positive over the coming days and weeks.

Each day I’ll be sharing my activity on social media (mainly Instagram Stories) and will be posting the activity as a post if you want to join in. I will also be looking for the positive in each day and as I often say not letting my excuses be bigger than my goals.

There is no pressure to do it but for me it’s about getting into a routine to stop my mind going off on one!! Together we can and will get through this.





September 2020 – Falling into place

September has a been a strange kind of month with not a lot to report really, it has seemed to whizz by but I’m sure I say that every month!!

Late August I decided to attempt to find someone to share my life with so for the umpteenth time I download Tinder onto my phone!! Now if you’ve been lucky enough to find love the traditional way then you won’t really know how challenging online dating can be!! As I don’t feel that I’m that photogenic even though I do feel more comfortable in my own skin now and am more than just what I look like, I loathe the fact that I’m simply being judged on my looks in the first instance with the whole swipe right for yes I like you and swipe for not for me!!

However, saying that I kind of stumbled upon a good’un well so far so good anyway so will keep you posted, it is still early days but things seem to be going along swimmingly. In fact, our first date was an open water swim!! He does triathlon so suggested and I thought why not, if he wants to go on a second date after seeing me in a wetsuit and that after swimming look then I’m on to a winner!! Since then we’ve been on a few dates which have been lots of fun & really enjoyable. We both like the outdoors and cooking so have been doing this together which is lovely.

In terms of the business, I made the decision to run my conference again this year as an online event, the date had already been set (08/10/2020) and I kind of had an idea of how I wanted it to pan out, so I set about starting to market it and had a good response to it with a handful of bookings in the first few days of it going live.

Other work has come in thick and fast too which meant at times this month I’ve been working well over 70 hours a week, including doing some work for a fantastic small food manufacturer local to me who I’m helping with food technical support.

I don’t have a problem doing this as I’ve said before as I love all aspects of what I do, however, it does take a toll on my physically and mentally so am still in the process of figuring out what my future looks like.

With all the working, exercise is always the first thing to get knocked off the to-do list, this does annoy me somewhat, however, I have to remember that it’s only for a short period of time and that I know how to get back into the swing of it when time allows and I don’t ever berate myself for noting doing exercise as that’s life sometimes.

All this work does feeling like things are falling into place for me a little despite all that is going on in the world, this year has definitely taught me about patience and not to force things…something I’ve been guilty of in the past.

Something else has occurred to me this year is what true friendship looks like, from a young age I feel that girls get taught to be “people pleasers” and that friends are forever but as I become even more comfortable in my own skin and with who I am as a person I’ve realised that sometimes people will come and go out your life and that’s ok, not everyone will like you or get you!! Picking the right tribe is something that you have to consciously do as an adult.

So as we move into the last quarter of 2020, it times to start looking to the future but being mindful of enjoying the now too so you don’t miss the little things in life that make life so magical.

Until next time, stay safe, stay well and be kind xx

August 2020 – Leap of Faith

August has been a month of two halves really, as some of you will have seen the first 14 days were all about me completing #75Hard then the rest of the month was all about resting and reflecting on this achievement.

I had some amazing comments and feedback to my challenge, so thank you if you took the time to send me a message, like my picture & read the post they mean the world to me.

I am keen to take the learnings from this challenge to move some areas of my life forward.

I guess I do these things to prove to myself that I’m good enough, that I’m succeeding in this thing we call life and I hope that in some way me being honest about my life helps others to get through challenges and tricky situations.

In some ways, I wish I didn’t have to keep trying to prove to myself that I’m a valid person, however, personal development is a life long journey and there are plenty of deeply held beliefs that I’m still finding ways to deal with. We are all a bit like an onion, that over our lifetime we gain layers and layers of beliefs and thoughts, some are positive/helpful but some are negative/destructive and when you recognise this and work on peeling back the layers to re-assess/reframe these negative thoughts/behaviours then another layer is exposed.

The first few days after the challenge finished I did feel quite lost, I missed the routine and structure of it all, it gave me a purpose to get up and get on with tasks, something I’ve lost my way with recently. I have so many ideas/dreams/goals that I want to achieve yet I get overwhelmed with the enormity of these plans!! I’m a big world thinker and as I sit here and type this I have a massive piece of flipchart on the wall above my desk which is my vision for the business (Yes I know what I said last year about pausing it and getting a job) but there is still fire in my belly for it which I just can’t ignore!!

Over the last few months as a global collective, we’ve been grappling with this pandemic, how to deal with it and what life will be like in the future. Although this has added an extra level of complexity to the above vision and my life in general, I feel very privileged that my knowledge of health, nutrition and wellbeing might help others to retain or improve their health. In a sense, it has reaffirmed why I followed the path I have, in fact, it’s made that fire in my belly burn brighter than ever, I just now need to figure out how I can make this turn into a sustainable income, which still seems to elude me.

Mainly I think I just need to be braver! I regularly read articles in magazines or see posts on Social Media and think I could have written that and yet I don’t do either enough!! I feel like such a contradiction as part of me are brave beyond measure and do things without even thinking about it, like the challenge I did in previous months or be willing to explore painful past experiences to grow as a person and then other times I allow my fears to take over and I’m paralysed by it!! And I get so frustrated with myself for this part of me as there is no rhyme or reason for this fear!! I know my stuff, I work hard to maintain my knowledge and many people have benefitted from this knowledge over the years and have paid me for it so I really don’t understand what this fear is all about – maybe it’s the fear of being judged/rejected which are areas I’m still working on from a personal point of view.

As we move in the last few months of 2020 I feel that I now need to take a massive leap of faith and know that I have the strength within me to succeed in whatever I choose to do, don’t get me wrong this won’t be easy and I may stumble along the way but I’ve stumbled before so know what I need to do to pick myself up and get on with it.

 

 

Slow and steady wins the day

I’ve been a qualified nutritionist for over 12 years and a personal trainer for 18 years, this was way before social media, fitpros and influencers existed as we know them today. 

The principles and values I stand by today around food, fitness and health are the same as the ones I had even before I entered the health and wellbeing world.

For me, it’s all about HEALTH & how food and exercise make you feel!!

Over the years most of the time, I’ve embodied these values and practised what I preach.

However, in 2019 I got distracted by other stuff and allowed my health and wellbeing to suffer both physically and mentally, at the end of 2019 I decided that 2020 was the year that I got back on track and committed to myself that my health and wellbeing were going to be my number one focus, for the first five months of 2020 (01.01.2020 – 31.05.2020) I focused on upping the amount of activity I was doing as well as being more mindful about the food I was eating, 

Have I…

  • Counted calories – No
  • Tracked my macros – No
  • Skipped meals – No
  • Restricted my food intake – No
  • Denied myself the food I want to eat – No
  • Focused on weight – No
  • Focused on measurements – No

All I’ve done to monitor my progress is simply to take pictures of myself in the same bikini each month, look at my health stats (mainly resting heart rate) and log how I feel generally.

This approach is the way I suggest to any of my clients, it’s slow and subtle but I feel leads to long-term sustainable health benefits. 

Then during mid-May a friend mentioned something called #75Hard, it was created by a guy called Andy Frisella, after doing a bit of research I decided that I was going to give it a go, like with most things these days there are fans and critics and I can see both sides of the argument for this programme, let’s just say it’s not for the faint-hearted and if you are new to exercise I would recommend that you consult your GP to ensure it is safe for you to do.

The idea is that it builds:

The programme in itself is pretty simple, do a number of prescribed activities for 75 days, no deviation from these activities and if you don’t do any of the listed activities by bedtime then the following day you have to start on day one again!! The idea behind the programme is to build mental toughness and resilience!! It’s meant to be uncomfortable and inconvenient and that is what builds the strength of mind.

So the programme is:

  • Eat a health diet – no specific diet was given but suggested that you eat based on the outcomes you want
  • No alcohol or cheat/treats
  • Drink 1 gallon water (4 litres)
  • Do 2 x 45 minutes workouts (1 being outside)
  • Read 10 pages of a personal development book (Does not include audiobooks)
  • Take a progress picture

So for the diet I decided that I was going to cut out cake, sweet biscuits, chocolate, fried crisps (tyrrells crisps), sweets & ice cream, now none of these are inherently bad for you when eating as part of a well-balanced diet and I don’t eat these things very often, however, I just wanted to see if I could go without!

If this wasn’t enough I also added in to meditate for at least 15 minutes each day.

I started it on 1st June 2020, at the moment my level of work has been cut by about 70%, I felt like it was now or never to try something like this!! If I couldn’t make time in my day to do these things then I needed to have a very hard look at how I fill my days!!

I created my own tick sheet to mark off each activity each day and to track progress, seeing the boxes slowly but surely crossed off with no gaps was so motivating.

Was it hard? Yes, however, the things I thought I would struggle with were not the things I found hard.

I was concerned about the water intake – 4 litres is quite a lot of water, the government guidelines is to consume 2 litres, I was already drinking more than that anyway but 1 gallon just seemed a lot, however, I had a water bottle which holds 1.3 litres so I got into a routine of drinking one of these bottles by mid-day, another in the early afternoon and then the 3rd late afternoon & evening. This gave me 3.9l, the other 100ml was either drank when I first got up or before bed.

For the workouts I decided that one would be my normal workout and the other would be a walk, this mainly around where I live and I found a route that takes roughly 45-50 minutes to walk but doing this walk day in/day out became quite boring and at times I really didn’t want to do it but I just stuck in my earphones & whacked on some of my favourite tunes and got it done.

For the most part of the 75 days, I was doing my workouts at home with minimal equipment (I’ve got some light-ish dumbbells and a skipping rope) and of course my bodyweight. I stuck to Crossfit Witham’s programme where I could and adapted the workouts where I had to. Some days I ended up doing a lot more physical activity due to the current restrictions – for many years I’ve attended Intervals at Crossfit Witham, these are cardio-based workouts that usually have a 35/40 minute time cap, in normal circumstances, I could have just jumped on a piece of cardio kit to top up to the 45 minutes but the set up was that after our booked time slot we had to leave the gym to allow the next group to start, so I would drive home and do more exercise at home.

I decided to record some stats from my Fitbit to see what I achieved over the 75 days.

So on average each day, I did:

  • Steps – 15,341
  • Active minutes – 132
  • Kilometres – 9.85km
  • Floors climbed – 32

Your resting heart rate is often used as an indicator for health, the lower it is (within reason) the more efficient the heart is functioning therefore generally lowers your risk of heart disease and other illnesses. At the beginning of the year, my RHR was around 60 beats per minute, it is now around 54!! 

I’ve also managed to save £187.50 as my Fitbit is linked to my bank account and every time I do over 10,000 steps in a day, my banking app automatically puts £2.50 into a savings pot and I hit this totally every single day for the 75 days!! I’m going to use this money to buy myself some new gym kit as a reward for completing the challenge.

Things I’ve learnt, none of these are new things just things that I choose to not practice/or neglect to recognise in myself:

  • Deep down I already knew that doing something consistently leads to results, if you read about any successful business/individual then this is something that is said time and time again yet it’s something I struggle with even if the activity I’m doing brings we joy/happiness and doing me good. I can do something consistently for years & get a great benefit from it then just like that I stop doing it, yes life just gets in the way, I get caught up in my head with worry and fear, I get distracted!! This is also something I need to apply to my business and the marketing I do as when I look at it’s not surprising that at times it’s been a struggle to make the business work!
  • When I have a clear focus, step by step activities & and endpoint I stick to it, again I know this as it’s just like having SMART goals – something I teach both my business and nutrition clients yet I don’t apply it to myself and my life.
  • I am mentally strong & don’t let things get me down to for too long.
  • When you focus on positive action you get positive results, over the 75 days I’ve had down days, wobbles but none of them felt as bad as they have done in the past.
  • Your mind is both a simple and complex beast – mastering it is a life long journey, which will include painful emotional times but the lessons learnt will make you a better person overall and more able to handle challenging situations.
  • Small actions – lead to be big results.
  • Don’t allow your excuses to become bigger than your goals/vision.

Doing this challenge has been a bit of an experiment to show that you can get results quickly, however, these often aren’t sustainable and actually if you want to improve your health, fitness and wellbeing it’s a life long habit and there will be bumps in the road and as long as you pick yourself up, dust yourself down & carry on then make small changes you will see the benefit! It’s not about all or nothing!! My philosophy is life is for living, food is for eating!!

Here are my progress pictures, as you can see that the most progress I’ve made is the slow and steady 5 months before the challenge! And this is what I’ll go back to doing regular exercise, eating a well-balanced diet with no foods excluded, mediate often & ensure I get plenty of sleep!

I still don’t know how much weight or inches I’ve lost but I do know that I feel A LOT healthier, more comfortable in my own skin and I’m walking talker with more confidence & an inner strength that no kg/cm loss will give you (in my opinion)!! I will weigh myself at some point as I’m just interested.

I know that I still have a way to go to get to my goal of being as healthy as I can be and that’s ok like I often say to my clients, slow and steady wins the race in the end!! I know for sure that I WILL NOT do anything that will be detrimental to my mental and physical health just to look a certain way. I’m going to keep taking the monthly pictures for the rest of this year.

So what next… well a rest, a well-earned glass of wine and who knows!! Watch this space is all I can say!!

 

July 2020 – Work in Progress

That’s another month ticked off.

Not much to report really this month, as the title suggests it’s feel like work in progress on all the things I want to do to improve my life and situation.

I guess that in life we are all work in progress be this to be healthier, fitter, move up the career ladder or whatever you want to improve on. I think the challenge with this though is at times to stop and celebrate the progress you’ve made so far, as often it’s easy to look at what’s left to achieve and feel like you’re not making progress, well that’s me anyway.

With all the work I’ve been doing around self-love, I’ve delved deeper into self-acceptance and working out what my true purpose in life is/my gift/what sets my soul on fire, however you want to describe it. I think we all know what this is deep down but often we are distracted by life’s dramas & society’s expectations to do anything about it. Another book a friend suggested I read was Unbound by Nicola Humber

This book has really got me thinking about how I can live a more unbound life.

I’ve always been a person to follow my own path, yes I do conform begrudgingly to some of society’s expectations but reading this book made me realise that I can live a life that feels right for me and to hell to anyone who tells me otherwise, I know that deciding this and then making it happen won’t be easy but as you probably know by now I don’t shy away from challenges!! Not sure what this means but am willing to dig deep and really live by my true self.

Slowly but surely I am falling in love with who I am both physically and mentally, it’s a strange feeling but one that I could get used too!

July was my birthday month, with all that has gone/is going on at the moment I wasn’t really sure how best to celebrate, over the years I’ve struggled and often don’t do anything, just see it as another day! I did have this thought that it might be quite cool to watch the sunrise and as I live not that far from the East Coast then it might be worth having a very early alarm call to do this!! I asked a friend if she fancied coming with me, she was up for it so on Thurs 30th July, we woke up at 4.30am and drive the short way to Anderby Creek (we camped over in a lovely campsite in Anderby), one of my favourite places in Lincolnshire, sat on the beach and watched the sunrise over the horizon!! Leading up the day I was worried that the weather might not be kind to us but for the hour or so we sat waited and watched the weather was just perfect, enough cloud to get these amazing images and still clearly see the sun rising.

Once the sun was fully visible, the cloud came in and the sun disappeared behind it!! We felt truly blessed to have this opportunity to witness this occasion and making the early alarm call all worth it. I finished the day off with the swim at the lake and a catch up with another friend. So as I head into my 44th year, who knows what life has in store for me but I do know that…

Right now I’m just taking each minute, hour and day as it comes and focusing on positive action and mindset.

Until next time, stay safe xxx

 

June 2020 – Raving Fan

Following on from May’s post this month I’ve put a lot of focus on myself and self-love. This is something I’ve struggled with over the years and often feel like it’s selfish, however, I’m learning that if I’m not in the best place then I can’t be there for my friends and family so working on loving your self has long term benefits for your relationships even when you are doing the work to change your views on yourself is hard work and feels quite insular.

Something I’ve decided to do is to become my own biggest raving fan!! We all have businesses/brands that we love and rave about them to friends and family, we are their unpaid salesforce, if I became this to myself and my business who knows where it might lead me, it’s worth a try I feel as what I have I got to lose by doing this, I might get a few people unfollow me but that’s ok as they’re not my people!!

If I’m honest I do feel a little uneasy about it as it’s not something I’m used to doing but like with any new skill, the more you do it the easier and more natural it gets. This is still a work in progress so watch this space!! I know that if I want the business/career/life to grow and prosper I NEED to get over myself & do more self-promotion and shout about my amazing skills and knowledge. I totally believe I am AWESWOME at what I do (that has taken me an age to publically say that), many people have been telling that for years and now I believe them!! And now I need to tell others too so they can benefit from what I do.

After a friend gifted me a book called Real Love by Sarhon Salzberg after reading one of my earlier blog post which I had on my Kindle and have been reading a little bit each day, and for those who don’t’ have a kindle what it does is often suggests books to you which are similar to the ones you’ve already got in your library and one evening it suggested another book to me which I devoured over about a week and started to practice some of the things that Kamal had done as they made total sense to me and if they worked for him, they might work for me. I subsequently bought both the follow on book from this and his first novel!

 

The same friend also gifted me a book called I am Enough by Marissa Peer as an audible book and again it really resonated with me

I know most people reading this will have had the feeling of…

  • I’m not good enough
  • I’m not strong enough
  • I’m not pretty enough
  • I’m not brainy enough
  • I’m not brave enough
  • I’m not… (fill in the blank)… enough

I know over the years I’ve felt not good enough and many other “not enough” so again this book is helping to realise that I AM ENOUGH!

One area of my life where I know that putting the hard work in pays dividends for lots of other areas of my life and that’s physical activity when I’m moving more I feel like I can take on the world, my whole outlook gets transformed (There is so much scientific evidence to back this up too!). Some of you might have noticed recently on my social media channels that I’ve up the amount of physical activity I’m doing and I’m absolutely loving it. I’m on a bit of a secret mission/challenge which I will share the details of very soon.

Although my current work/life situation hasn’t changed since the last blog and still in a quite precarious situation (like a lot of other people I know), every day I’m seeing it with new eyes/perspectives that make me believe that ANYTHING is POSSIBLE if I just show myself more love and compassion.

The reason I believe this is that for many years I’ve been following teachers in the world of laws of attraction and the universe which simply put is all about what you give out, reflects back at you (like vibrations), the thoughts you have then create the world you live in. So if I think and feel love and compassion to myself that’s what the universe will give back to me!! This does sound very simple, in practice I still find it quite challenging but I’m getting better and better at it each day.

So until next time, I wish love, health and happiness.

Rachel xx

 

 

 

 

 

 

May 2020 – Stop and stare

Another month has gone by and it’s been quite a transformative month for me and my mindset.

Some of the motivation I get from doing things for others is that I don’t want any of my friends and loved ones to feel like I do sometimes. So just after lockdown started I decided that I was going to post things to people as and when they came to mind over the days/weeks/months of lockdown, I’ve done this for what I think is a selfish reason as I get lots of joy from making others smile & feel loved/cared for.

Eighteen years ago this month I left my job at Unilever and jumped into the fitness sector. Some friends and family thought  I was mad giving up a good stable job for what they saw as a more volatile industry. There have been many times in my life where I’ve made quite large changes in my life and these have come about as something in my gut is telling me that the path I’m on doesn’t feel right and that I need to change, this was one of those times, I remember after a pretty disappointing performance review with my line manager being in the toilets crying not really knowing what I was doing so wrong when a friend suggested that I leave and follow my passion into the fitness industry and that was it, the decision made. Prior to this review, I’d been busy spending my weekends studying to be a personal trainer (I was doing this purely for myself to gain more knowledge when I started the course I had no intentions of using it as a career) and by the time the review happened, I’d done enough of my training to be able to get a job as a fitness instructor which is what I did. I’ve changed path/career/location a couple more times over the years which all have come from my gut telling me things aren’t right you are on the wrong path, you should change and I’ve done it with very little thought or reflection! This has taken me on the colourful path we call life! However, at the moment I feel like I’m stumbling a little on my path and finding it hard to hear/feel what my gut is saying!!

So I’ve made time this month to reflect on my life and my situation as I’m sure you and a lot of other people have too and what I’ve come to realise that I’m very good at reading self-help/personal development books, however, I never do any of the practices or actions that they suggest and then I wonder why things never change.  This has started to change…

With this reflection also has brought some past experiences that have been emotionally painful and there have been many tears, this might seem like a weird thing to say but this releasing of emotion has helped me to feel lighter (metaphorically) and remove the power and hold they’ve had on me over the years which have caused me to have mental blocks around certain areas of my life. In doing so I’ve used this ancient Hawaiian prayer to forgive and release the past to create a new future. (more info here). 

I have found this process very healing as I’ve been able to forgive myself and many other people and now few at peace with some of the challenges I’ve faced over the years.

This is a very similar story for my business, so having had a number of conversations with lots of different people I know that I need to change the narrative I use for my business, you might not notice this publicly as it’s the language I use in my head and the way I describe/frame it to myself which ultimately gets projected out into the world. We are a reflection of our inner selves!

I’ve had some lightbulb moments & some real clarity of thought about my path and life I’m living which over the coming months I will share with you.

Until then, stay safe and well.

Big Love R xx

 

 

 

 

 

April 2020 – New way of living

Like I said last month I have been touched by the contact friends and family have made to check-in to see if I’m okay. I’ve also struggled with it too. I’m used to a fairly quiet life and found the constant noise of social media too much when there are so many ways to speak to people now on different platforms and mediums I found it quite stressful.

As I do most Easters I decided to have a social media free weekend, my phone on aeroplane mode & just let the days flow naturally. The weekend seemed to fly by without me really noticing, I took time to read, just sit and be & of course cook myself nice food and take the time to enjoy it. I caught up on some television programmes I’d been meaning to watch for weeks too.

If I’m honest it’s not a new way of living for me, I’ve been distancing myself for years!! Not sure if this has been a conscious decision, however, having limited funds I have to be careful what I do, which leads me to feel like the dullest person in the world as I don’t do much or go places I really don’t have much to talk about other than my challenges and I don’t think this makes me a good person to be around so I’ve avoided social events, distanced myself from social circles as think who would be interested in talking to me!!

I also know that I’m safe at home, I’m not talking about the virus but more from the point of view that if I’m at home I’m not being judged or criticised, in reality, the fact is it’s me who is doing the judging and criticising of myself, I’ve always been my hardest critic and even with lots of work with a therapist over the years this side of me still rears its head quite frequently especially at the moment.

As I’ve said before I feel a little bit lost, I feel like I’m a shadow of who I really am at the moment (another reason for socially distancing myself). I’ve kind of lost my way and lost my sparkle. So this month I have been making the effort to find my sparkle again, this has meant doing work on myself, work that I’ve avoided for years and if you’ve done any of this kind of work yourself you will know it’s painful and emotionally tough, however, I also know that doing the work helps move you forward. Looking back at your past, un-picking it and then putting yourself back together a stronger more knowing person is the ultimate goal. Like everyone else, I have demons that need vanquishing for me to move on and now with more time on my hands than I would like, there aren’t any good enough excuses not to do it. I am determined to come out of this period a different person to who I was when it all started.

Exercise has been a bit hit and miss, for some of April I had the rowing machine which gave me something different to do, I took it back during the month as requested so have been left with my dumbbells and doing mainly bodyweight exercises and running which is just as challenging as using cardio kit, late in April my gym started a challenge where 7 workouts would be posted over seven days, I saw it and thought yep I’m up for that, then saw that these workouts needed to be videoed as proof that you did them. I think in the time I’ve only videoed myself once or twice as it’s just something I don’t want to do and doing these videos recently has really hit home the need to carry on exercising and looking after my health. I watched the first video back and it made me cry at the way I looked and like I said above I know I’m hard on myself but my god it’s a kick up the arse I needed to make sure that my excuses for not bettering myself in all areas of my life are not bigger than my goals which I think they have been in the past but it stops right now.

As we move into May still in lockdown I’m planning on making May the month where great progress is made on both myself and my future whatever that is as that’s still up in the air so until next time, stay safe and stay well.

R xx