Recovering from Surgery. Five Things I Learned.

The biggest source of growth comes from the challenges we face. In this post I reflect on what I learnt through the process of surgery and medical intervention.

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During 2017 I faced a number of health challenges. When I found out I was due to have surgery it felt like a big deal. It was serious, it was invasive and it meant that I would have to take some time off all movement.

When the doctor gave me the news I felt a sense of dread but was surprised to feel a mix of euphoria and gratefulness too.  One of my greatest fears was in front of me and yet I was still standing. What’s more, I knew deep down that I could deal with what would come next.

The week before my surgery I bowed down at my meditation altar and opened myself up to the events that were about to unfold. I knew that this surgery was a test and a challenge. A chance for me to face up to things that terrified me and to come out the other side a stronger woman.

And do you know what? I was right! Although this was one of the greatest trials in my life I came through the process stronger, wiser, more resilient and have learned so many lessons.

Here are my top five:

Continue reading “Recovering from Surgery. Five Things I Learned.”

Time to give up the scales? Why weighing yourself may be bad for your health.

Many swear by their week weigh-ins but chances are, your scales are causing you more stress than you think. Find out how to ditch the scales today!

Following the seemingly obligatory Christmas binge, many people are working hard this January to shed the post-festive bulge. I too indulged somewhat over the holidays but I am enjoying getting back into the swing of my everyday routine.

A lot of my clients ask me what I think their ‘ideal’ weight is if and I can help them shed ‘X’ amount. Of course, I am happy and willing to support clients lose weight and tone up but I will never weigh them as part of the process nor will I encourage them to weigh themselves.

A few weeks ago, at the gym when I overheard a saddening conversation. A young girl aged around 9 of average height and build weighed herself on the communal scale and told her female caregiver her weight.

The ladies reply was along the lines of:

 ”Oh no you’ve put on weight! OK, that’s fine for now, but you have to be careful not to put on any more weight too quickly”

It disturbed me deeply that a growing girl (who was not overweight) putting on some size was a topic of discussion. I will admit I had to grit my teeth and mind my own business.

I would imagine that most women in the Western world have been concerned by the numbers displayed on a set of scales at one point or another. Most of us are able to maintain a somewhat healthy relationship with our weighing machines but for others, it can becomes a fixation with daily weigh-ins taking place.

Personally, I think that these apparatus play a very dangerous role in the lives of women often creating a yo-yo set of emotions depending on the digits displayed.

My mother didn’t keep scales in our house and so I remember my first time getting weighed quite distinctively. A doctor took my vitals and declared that I was ‘overweight’. I was flabbergasted, particularly as I was teaching four fitness classes per week and also doing my own workouts.

“Do I look overweight to you?” I asked, my temper flaring.

“Well… no” the doctor replied. “Actually you don’t, but the BMI chart says you are so I’ve got to advise you to do more exercise and to eat less”

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Me aged 20 #tbt #fashionfail

After that, I vowed never to step on a pair of scales again and I nearly succeeded until the months before my wedding when I wanted to get as fit as possible for my big day.

Continue reading “Time to give up the scales? Why weighing yourself may be bad for your health.”

Does Fitness Belong On Facebook?

With the explosion of social media more and more people are taking their workouts online. But, is this a good thing?

The fitness game has changed! Gone are the solo woodland runs. Now, it’s all about integrated fitness apps and GPS running trackers. Our fitness regimes are more social than ever and now our workouts can be shared with hundreds of people in the click of a button.

Along with this sudden techno-fitness phenomenon came the inevitable amalgamation of fitness and social media. Initially, I loved this new development. It brought me closer to some of my favourite fitness professionals and gave me loads of new ideas for my classes and indeed my own workouts. In addition, I loved the idea that these pages could inspire people to take up sporting activities they may have otherwise not tried.

Sadly, over the years these images and videos have become less genuine and much more of a masquerade. Gone are the days of a shaky camera set up to film a good old-fashioned sweaty workout. Cue pictures of perfectly made up #postgymselfies and perfectly positioned #leanandcleanmeals. The arena in which I find it most difficult to stomach is within the discipline of Yoga, a complex and extensive spiritual practice which thanks to modern media has been simplified to sexualized images of slim super bendy women doing super bendy poses in exotic locations.

I worry that in contrast to earlier years this staged imagery is no longer inspiring people but isolating them if they are not as skinny/bendy/ripped as the depictions we see. I myself have had moments of low self-esteem looking at these pages. Should I look like them, post like them, work out like them, be like them? Of course, the answer is always no..I should be nothing other than myself.  But, when you’re bombarded with unrealistic and inaccurate images of health doubt does start to creep in. Continue reading “Does Fitness Belong On Facebook?”