So, there's this thing called "life"

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So, there's this thing called "life"

life

life

My mum gave me some good advice the other day (mothers are generally quite good at that), and I'm going to share her wise words with you.

"Make sure you're not missing opportunities to live and experience by focusing too much on the future."

The context of this was that I was feeling a little overwhelmed with how much I had on my plate with work, study and blogging and I felt like I was losing touch with my hobbies, friends and general spontaneity. I had been so focused on everything that is working towards my future that I had forgotten to think about the present.

It's pretty normal to prioritise work and/or study - it's what enables us to have a life. The important thing to remember is that you should experience that life, not just exist within it.

Sometimes, it's important to grasp an opportunity, say "yes" rather than "no", be spontaneous, selfish even. Your work will get done, you will finish those assignments, you will manage to write another blog post. Key word: Manage. Shuffle your priorities so that nurturing your relationships and interests is level with everything else you "need" to do, and manage your time appropriately (ie, if you need to finish an assignment, don't watch a re-run of Dance Moms just because you can't be bothered moving from the couch after you've enjoyed an episode of MasterChef with your partner/family/dog/ferret).

All the cool stuff that makes you happy and that you want to talk about with your friends? That's the stuff that happens outside of your boring ol' routine. That, my friends, is life.

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Opinion: The Toxic Mindset

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Opinion: The Toxic Mindset

you look really good today

 

The other day, one of my good friends told me an interesting snippet about someone we both know. Let's call her Miss Perception.

See, Miss Perception is a slender, attractive young woman. She has always been skilled when it comes to athletics - great runner. But, my friends, Miss Perception is not happy with herself.

My friend bumped into Miss Perception on her way home from a tough Les Mills workout. My friend had pushed herself, keeps a clean diet and a healthy mind, knowing it's okay to indulge in the tastier things in life every now and then. All of her small efforts come together and she looks positively bangin' as a result. She was pretty chuffed with her workout - riding the endorphin wave - when suddenly a dark cloud of toxic self-esteem came rolling in.

"Oh you just did x workout?," Miss Perception said. "I do two workouts a day. I have so much weight to lose!"

...

Now, it's not the two-a-days I have a problem with. It's Miss Perception's wonky self-esteem that I call the toxic mindset.

Before I continue, here are my quick thoughts on two-a-days...Working out should be part of everyone's routine, just like doing your laundry, going to work, brushing your teeth. Working out should NOT be your life - life is everything that happens outside of our routine and comfort zone. If you can maintain your health, happiness and relationships while doing two-a-days, you're doing them right. If any of those fall out of balance, you're putting too much pressure on yourself to exercise the crap out of your day.

Anyway, I digress.

Why is it that some people believe they must do everything in their power to 'lose weight', otherwise they will not be happy? By doing so, their mindsets and perceptions of themselves are slowly becoming covered in thick, toxic sludge that becomes harder to shake off the more they think this way.

I understand that there are diseases and mental illnesses that cause some people to think so poorly, but I will not accept that as the cause of more and more people becoming toxic thinkers these days.

By having a toxic mindset about herself, Miss Perception is putting pressure on herself to do hours of difficult workouts every day. I'm intrigued, but also slightly frightened, to see what she eats.

Toxic thinkers have unattainable and unrealistic goals and expectations. They are the ones who think they must never stray from their regime and the ones who look down on those of us who are living balanced lives (don't get me started on the ones who actually verbalise their disapproval). They have a strange, ironic way of internally putting themselves on a pedestal above others by thinking they work harder than anyone else, while constantly putting themselves down by feeling unhappy with who they are at present.

Instead of facing each day thinking "I must do everything I can to lose weight" (...especially if you're already in a healthy body fat range), why don't we approach each day with the mindset of "Today I'm going to make good decisions, eat well and do a kick-ass workout, in between grasping the opportunities the day presents and enjoying the things that make me happy"?

Do you know someone with a toxic mindset? Or have YOU noticed you're starting to get some of that toxic mind-sludge?

Don't forget that being healthy isn't just about diet and fitness, but your mental state as well. Spend just one day away from your physical workouts (go on, I dare ya!) and give your self-esteem a workout instead. Say positive affirmations, write a list of the things you like about yourself, treat yourself to a beauty treatment and get out into nature.

Nobody likes a wet blanket.

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Opinion: The Numbers Game

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Opinion: The Numbers Game

love yourself

Read this article if you meet any of the following criteria:

  • You've gone on/are on a diet
  • You've lost/are trying to lose weight
  • You use a set of bathroom scales

I'll take a wild guess and say that's most women.

Here's a great piece of advice you might not want to hear: get off the damn scales and forget how much you weigh.

I don't understand why people torment themselves on a daily basis by letting a number on a machine the size of a dinner plate dictate how they feel about themselves on that particular day. So what if you've gained 100 grams overnight - your knickers are no longer cutting into your hip flesh and your body con dress no longer makes you look like an over-filled sausage!

Hell, I've gained an entire kilo overnight, but that's not going to make me panic that I've miraculously put on a kilo of that blasphemous word...FAT (gasp, shock horror etc)! It's not even possible, folks.

I agree that having a goal, a realistic goal, is a great motivator when you're making changes in your lifestyle to improve your health and/or self-esteem. That's why my goals look a little like this:

  • Increase the weights I lift each week
  • Drop a dress size
  • Feel confident in a bikini

Instead of being depressed that you've only lost a few hundred grams in a week, or even put weight on (building lean mass, ladies), forget what a battery-operated mood-buster is telling you and find things you can celebrate instead. Maybe you don't have to jump around your bedroom to get your jeans on anymore, maybe you need to use the next set of hooks on your bra, maybe you no longer stick your head forward in photos to avoid the disastrous double chin.

Here's some food for thought - these women are all 69kg (154lbs). Everyone carries weight differently, and you are not an exception to the rule.