All it takes is a little bit of fear

What is it you are afraid of?

What is it that stops you from achieving your goals?

Usually there are 3 main things that hold us back:

1 fear of failure

2 no time

3 lack of self-belief

Fear of failure – We all fail at things all the time. It’s how we learn. The challenge is when we thing we REALLY want something (or think that we do) there is that little voice in your head that says ‘what if you fuck it up?’ ‘what if people see you fail?’ ’what will people say/think?’

SO WHAT?? If you don’t make an attempt, you will never know. Maybe what you think you want isn’t for you and when you start working towards it you realise it’s not all it cracked up to be.

I always wanted to teach Body Pump, I went on the course, got out in front of classes to practice, sent in my DVD and failed (I struggle to hear the beat in the music and failed on that).

I tried again half-heartedly (and failed again). I knew I wasn’t very good and in actual fact what I had dreamed it to be the reality didn’t match.

I tried, I failed and moved on to do other things that I love and am gradually becoming more successful at.

No time – really?? You really have no time? How much of your day do you spend on social media? Watching TV? When you want something badly enough you make the time for it. Use a diary or online calendar, schedule your whole day from wake up to bed time and stick to it.

Get organised, use your time productively. Use your commute to work to learn, read, listen to podcasts, make lists, start your plan.

Take social media apps OFF your phone and use an app like Cold Turkey to block specific websites during specific hours of the day.

If you have nights out that write you off the next day, are they actually worth it? One thing I hated when I used to drink was how long it took me to recover, I hated that I lost a whole day feeling bad and sorry for myself and even the day after I wasn’t up to much. For me, my goals and dreams were more important than losing 2 days of my week to a night out that I couldn’t properly remember.

Lack of self-belief – We all have that, one thing I get my Warrior Women (http://freedomintraining.co.uk/warrior-woman-project/) to do is write one thing they are proud of every day. They have quickly built a list of things up that they now realise they do, when before they hadn’t even thought about what they did, they just did it and took for granted their skills.

You have to try things to work out where your strengths and weaknesses are. When you find your weakness, work out a way to use your strengths to improve that weakness. When we work on the weaknesses we strengthen everything, when we only work on our strengths we get stuck.

There will be many times that we doubt ourselves, we need to remember all those times before when we doubted and succeeded – that’s why keeping a journal of things you are proud of is so useful. All those little things make big things.

It’s not going to be easy, but it will be worth it (and reading Feel The Fear And Do It Anyway will give you a wee boost too)

Jen x

You have to fail to succeed

I have been reading about power training recently and that got me thinking about athletes and how driven they are to win, to be the best, they are chasing their dreams.

It made me think about a blog I posted a while ago about goal setting, your plan and contingency plan for success. You can read it here > http://freedomintraining.co.uk/uncategorized/goal-plan-contingency-success-2

There will have been people along the way that tell athletes to give up their dream, get a real job, that they won’t amount to anything – read some of the autobiographies and you will see that repeatedly.

But something stops them from listening to the negativity. Something inside pushes them on, and drives them to competition.

Many fail, but they get up and go again, they don’t give up the fight – Michael Jordan is famously quoted ‘I’ve missed more than 9000 shots in my career. I’ve lost almost 300 games. 26 times, I’ve been trusted to take the game winning shot and missed. I’ve failed over and over and over again in my life. And that is why I succeed.’

Set your goal, make a plan, have a contingency plan, keep trying and you will get your success.

When things go wrong, pick yourself up and try again a different way and keep doing that until you find the way that works for you.

How often do you get back up and try again?

Goal + Plan + Contingency = Success

Have a good day, and get back on the plan even if there is a side step.

Jen x

 

 

 

Take some control

Some days your heart is in the back of your throat, and it feels like you can’t breathe properly and all you want to do is burst in to tears and you don’t really know what is wrong, you just know you’re not alright, not right now.

What you really want is someone to hug you, kiss you on the forehead and tell you it’s going to be ok, and this feeling to disappear.

Then maybe someone says something or you see or read something that helps you breathe a bit better, and your heart slips back to its right place. It was just like they gave you the hug and the kiss, and maybe they don’t even know what they did or how you were feeling.

But you do, and you are grateful to them. The right thing happened at the right time to give you faith and hope that everything is going to be ok.

The feeling might come back some other time but you will know that there are words out there that you can tell yourself, you heard them or read the before, they spoke to your heart and made everything ok.

You understand that you have control over your thoughts and feelings and sometimes there will be sadness but always have something to hope for and there will always be light at the end of your tunnel. #wisewords #warriorwomanproject #freedomintraining

 

Eat, sleep, sweat and laugh

First thing. How did you go yesterday changing the way you wrote your To Do Lists? I powered through mine I was stoked at how much I got done. Every day the lists are getting done in the same way.

All too often you go to the doctor and walk out with a fist full of prescriptions to fix problems that the cause has not been identified.

2 years ago now, I had more visits to the doctor and hospital than I have had in my entire life.

My first visit they weren’t really sure what was wrong with me so gave me a 5 day course of antibiotics while I waited for blood tests.

Results came back that I had helicobacter pylori and was given another 7 days triple strength antibiotics along with anti-nausea and heartburn medication for the side effects of the antibiotics. That little cocktail knocked me out for 2 weeks.

3 months later I went through the similar symptoms, this time there was lymph nodes inflamed so more tests were done, this time nothing was showing up in the tests so was referred to haematology.

At no point did any of the Dr’s from my initial consultations ask me about my eating , sleeping, or lifestyle. It was only when I got to the consultant at the hospital (which was by that point 6 months down the line) that they asked.

Turns out my symptoms were all brought on by stress.

I wasn’t eating right. I wasn’t sleeping. I was doing too much exercise and having no down time with friends or family.

My prescription from the consultant?

Take some time off and have fun. Get good decent food in me and get 8 hours sleep a night.

What happened when I took that on board?

Lymph glands went down, helicobacter went dormant, dizziness and nausea stopped and I had energy to do stuff.

My body seems to work with the seasons. During these summer months I only get about 6 hours sleep a night but I don’t wake up exhausted.

In the winter I easily get 10hours if I don’t have a class to get up for.

When I am eating right everything works great. When I get lazy (because I am human and sometimes just can’t be bothered cooking) if it goes on for too long the helicobacter rears its head to remind me I need to get back on track.

Learning to listen to your body is so important to keep you healthy.

A few of my clients have taken on the 7 days no sugar challenge and the thing they have all come back to me with is how they notice the difference in their energy levels and mood.

When they were off the sugar they had loads of energy and there moods were pretty level. The first time they had some sugar the week after they felt lethargic and a bit depressed.

Most of us live in that cycle of lethargy and mood swings and how often do we reach for something sweet to get a boost of energy or when we are feeling down?

They are now at a point that if they are out and there are cake’s or desert they don’t feel that they need to have some just because they are there. They are quite happy to leave it, or if they feel like they do fancy a wee scone or desert they can take one and know that it’s not going to have a massive impact.

It is important to find out why it is you want certain foods and how to deal with situations and make changes to have a positive attitude and healthy relationship with food. It’s not easy, its hard work that just keeps on going. Every day and every week as you learn more about yourself it gets easier.

It’s about making lifestyle changes and understanding what is important to you. Do you want to be fat and unhealthy because you think you want cake or do you want to be healthy and happy knowing that you can have a bit of cake when you actually want it?

So in my humble opinion, exercise, food, sleep and laughter are the best medicines (not necessarily in that order).

Eat well, rest well, laugh a lot and sweat a bit to visit the doctor or the chemist less.

Jen x

Got myself all organised and not overwhelmed

Do you write a To Do List on Monday? How does that go for you?

Did you jump out of bed every morning tackling it head on? Or…

Eat well, exercise, work, study, shopping, housework, sort bills, have a social life, personal development, career development, generally be amazing…. Blah, blah, blah.

It never stops, there are not enough hours in the day.

Possibly you don’t even know where to start with your list it’s so overwhelming, so you fanny about on social media (you are sitting at a computer so you must be working, but really you are kidding yourself on that you are busy and getting nothing done).

Before you know it hours have gone past, nothing has been ticked off, and then it’s time for bed… If you are like me you promise yourself that you will make a proper start tomorrow, you won’t open Facebook until everything is done.

I’m going to guess that your list has your head thinking that these are all humongous tasks and it’s all a bit overwhelming.

I came across a nice wee way of changing how I wrote my list so that I actually get shit done, from that I take out things that are/should be daily routine (like eating and housework) and select 4 that are going to make me the happiest that I have actually completed them.

Change the way you word your list.

If you made it look something like this so it’s not so intimidating:

Prepare 3 healthy meals today

Get to class before work/at lunchtime, if I can’t make it do my 15min at home workout.

Order shopping online to be delivered

Spend 30mins (max) cleaning/tidying (at least 1 room)

Spend 30mins reading (whatever is relevant to improve you as a person).

Call 3 studios to ask about availability and rental rates.

Write tomorrow’s email and preload 2 days blogs.

Prepare class session plan for tomorrow’s class.

Set up direct debits to pay bills (or whatever needs to be done)

Just changing the way you write your list, breaking things down and being more specific, especially with your time and set a timer so you don’t go over.

You can see straight away what are the daily tasks and what are the important moving you forward tasks.

By setting time limits or only a small number to be completed you straight away make everything more manageable and you might actually get it all (or more) done AND have time to waste on social media.

I felt a bit confused (and guilty) when I get everything done then have time to chill out, things are now getting done, progress is being made, the stairs still need hovered but that can wait.

Look at your list, re-write it, set some time limits and prioritise it.

Let me know how you get on.

Jen x

 

 

 

I was way off balance

Oh how times have changed for me, I remember the last day of my Commonwealth Games events, very busy day; Early morning netball, home to inhale some food, do some work and write some emails. Then shower, get changed and scoff dinner (in the car) on the way to pick Kirsty up to go to the athletics…

THEN I was meeting another group of friends to go out clubbing – on a school night!

I am not going to lie, when I was dropping Kirsty off after the event I was so tempted to just go home. Watching athletes all day is exhausting.

I decided to go, just for an hour… but I stayed till 2am…

I was driving and I don’t drink anyway, so a hangover wasn’t going to be an issue. I had such a good night… I even wrote a work email on the dancefloor because I hadn’t had time before I left the house.

We had an amazing night. We laughed lots. We danced. I drank loads of water while everyone else was getting wrecked and I left just after 2am.

Sometimes even on a school night you need to let your hair down, blow away the cobwebs and have a dance.

I find with my friends that we are all so busy and work different hours that we hardly get to see each other.

It’s important to make time for fun in your life.

I was a workaholic, 7 days a week, 18hr days, working and studying, and missing out on fun times.

It’s all changed now, I am all about the work life balance, fun time gets scheduled in, nights out, lunch or coffee with friends, family dinners, gym time, classes for me, cinema visits, museums, meet-ups, even my meditation gets scheduled in.

It might seem a bit anal that it’s all in my calendar and I am pretty much fully booked every week but I am much less stressed. I feel happier. I still work and I still learn but now I also take time for me and fun.

What things in your life do you need to change to get a better balance? What stopped you from making those changes? What would it take for you to find that balance?

It took me a year of poor health, moodiness (wanting to be on my own all the time), Dr visits, blood tests and a referral to haematology to realise that I had it all wrong…I don’t recommend waiting that long.

Act now. Be less stressed. Get some balance. So many people that I meet these days tell me all they want is more fun in their life, the long slow journey to work, other people first, forgetting about yourself can be reversed in one simple decision. That decision is just to do something for you.

It really is that easy, even if it’s only starting with 10mins of you time a day to enjoy a coffee or view or read a chapter of a book.

That first tiny step really will turn it round for you.

Have a fab day

Jen x

Wrong side of the bed?

When you wake up what is the first thought that crosses your mind?

‘oh no, here we go again’

‘what’s the weather like?’

‘yus, new day, can’t wait’

The first thoughts that go through your head are usually going to set your mood for the rest of the day.

I am lucky that when I get up 4 out of my 7 days it’s to go and teach my indoor cycling (spin) class and I have 16-20 maddies that all get up to join me for their morning class.

At that time in the morning I have been called the devil, smiling assassin and I can hear the swearing under their breath, but they get up for it, and I love delivering the class.

My point is though, when you wake up you want to be thinking about something that make you happy to put a smile on your wee face and have you looking forward to the day.

Sometimes your dreams will have an impact on how you feel when you first wake, if you are sad or distressed it is important to find a way to change that mood as quickly as possible. I find talking to people about them trying to work out the meaning helps because often the dreams don’t mean the literal sense they are delivered in.

If you can’t find anything to look forward to other than getting home to get back to bed I would seriously advise a career change or join Warrior Woman Project to get some direction and perspective (http://www.meetup.com/Warrior-Woman-Project-Weekly-Meet-Up/ ).

I talked to you about keeping a gratitude diary, 3 things every night before you go to sleep that were good that day. Finish the day on a positive note.

How is that going? Are you still keeping it up? Have you noticed any difference in your day? We were talking about looking for positives and proud moments in your day at Warrior Woman the other day and Sheila has noticed a positive difference about how she feels each day.

I find myself taking note of things through the day and actually looking for them so I can add them to my list at the end of the day, the same with my 1 new thing every day, getting a break from your daily routine shows you how much you actually do in a day so you don’t drift through life in that haze.

I am a pretty positive person anyway (to the point that I think some people get annoyed with my happiness and positivity but they can kiss my ass), but finding the good in things just makes the day go better.  Just for the record, not every day is a happy day, bad shit does happen, the difference is the bounce back and refusal to wallow in gloom.

When the day goes better I feel you less stressed. That is a GOOD thing not just for your mood, but for the people around you, for your waist line and for your sleep.

Have a happy day

Jen x

 

 

 

Perfectly Imperfect

You are perfect.

Everyone is.

Perfectly imperfect.

We all have those things that we see in ourselves that we hate (I will fill you in on some of mine in a minute), but if someone else was to look at you it is probably not something they notice.

It’s time to embrace your imperfections and make them your own.

How free would you feel if you weren’t judging yourself and thinking negatively about you?

Now I am not saying ditch healthy eating and exercise plans and embrace what you are not happy about. But forgive yourself when you make mistakes, its ok to be perfectly imperfect.  I had a couple of croissants, some biscuits, cake and not enough veggies in the last couple of days. My tummy is bloated and skin has broken out with dry and sore eczema patches because of it. I know why my skin broke out and I know how to fix it (eat better and drink more water), but I enjoyed those treats when I had them and understood what the consequences of eating them would be – I don’t hate myself, I just wonder did I really need as much as I ate or was I just being greedy?!

Mistakes, faults, imperfections are what makes us strong and will continue to make us even stronger. I know the next time I want to have a ‘treat’ not to eat as much and I won’t have as bad a breakout. I will have a stronger reason of Why I want to eat right for my body (my face bloody hurts and the dry skin round my eyes makes me look old!).

Why is it that we feel we need to put up a front, wear a mask, hide our imperfections? We pretend to be someone we are not.  We hide who we really are and put on a show of perfection, mistake free and invincible.

This show of perfection is put on for everyone, friends, family, workmates, people in the street, ourselves.

Thing is, that’s not real, we are being fake to everyone including ourselves. We are letting ourselves down by not being true to what is really going on inside. We know it inside, and you would be surprised how many people around you know that it is an act that you are putting on too. Very few people are that good at acting, and if you are you should be getting paid the big money for it.

‘True beauty comes from being honest and authentic’ – Heidi Powell.

Don’t get me wrong it’s not easy to do. For most of us, there will be the genuine you who is professional and the genuine you for your personal life. I have my professional head on most of the time. It’s safe there, I am genuinely happy when I am doing my job but I sometimes forget to switch that version of me off. It’s scary to think you are going to show a vulnerable side (you don’t need to reveal everything to everyone) but be honest with yourself first.

It is a feeling of total freedom when you are just genuine and drop the act. I am lucky to have a couple of friends who know me well enough that they see straight through my wall and I don’t pretend with at all. There is no need, there is 100% trust there.

So to share with you some of my imperfections:

  1. I am a perfectionist (which I am working on).
  2. When I smile my eyes disappear in to wee slits.
  3. When I get professional photo’s taken I go all Chandler Bing, Juliebee spends more time telling me to lose the fear face than she does telling me to smile.
  4. I have food issues.
  5. So many times I want to cheat at my workouts because it hurts.
  6. I am a control freak (which is something else I am working on too lol).
  7. I am scared of failing (even though I have failed at many, many things and survived and I am wiser for it).
  8. Even when I straighten my hair I wake up looking like I have been dragged through a bush.
  9. I have fell down the stairs twice last year and my elbow is not right, I can’t lean on it and I didn’t go to the hospital to get it checked out.

So how do we get past this fear of people seeing our imperfections?

We need to stop being so serious, learn to laugh at ourselves, not be embarrassed or scared and ask for help (or seek medical attention when you have injured yourself).

Trust in yourself, love your imperfections, and understand the lessons from your mistakes and how they have made you stronger. Don’t worry what other people think, as I told one of my clients recently fuck them! It’s no one’s business but yours.

The people who matter in your life will not be bothered about your imperfections, they will love you more for them. If they are bothered then they should have no space in your life, don’t waste time with them.

So what to do with this information?

Make a list of your imperfections, admit them to yourself, understand them then start to show them.

You don’t need to show all to everyone. That would be too much for anyone. But start to let the walls down. Choose wisely who you let in, you still need to protect yourself from people who can unnecessarily hurt you.

I would love to hear what your imperfections are.

Jen x

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Shine a different light

Over the summer I was at a course at Strathclyde Uni, called writing for wellness.

It was about how to write through traumatic events in your life, which has been scientifically proven to be beneficial in getting through the aftermath of the event.

Because it was a one day course it wasn’t about digging in to our deepest worries and fears but to introduce us to different techniques that don’t make problems disappear but help change your perspective of them.

One that I found to benefit me the most in the quickest time (and is pretty easy to do) is the gratitude journal.

If you are an Oprah lover like me then you will already know all about gratitude journals.

Every night before you go to bed write down 3 things you are grateful for from that day and why.

‘I am grateful for _________ because _________’

Some days this might be really hard if you have had a shit day and you might just have been grateful for a cup of tea. Other days you are going to have more than 3.

The more you do this, the more you start to look for things through the day that you are grateful  for then before you know it your head is in a much more positive place.

I get my Warrior Women to write down every day something they are proud of themselves for, this makes them think more about themselves and the things that they achieve on a day to day basis that they maybe didn’t give themselves credit for.

The good news from the feedback is it is working, they are looking for those positive things, they see the way they handle the shit that gets thrown at them on a daily basis. They are recognising how they are growing, where maybe they used to comfort eat, they are now dealing with the crap and feeling better about it.

It’s not easy, we find it hard to praise ourselves, it’s so much easier to beat ourselves up and believe that we can’t cope and live in that cycle of destruction. It’s not a happy place, but it’s easier, or at least that’s what we convince ourselves.

I set you this challenge, 3 things you are grateful for every day and 1 thing you are proud of, notice your mood and how much better things seem when you start to shine a different light on them.

Look out for those things that put a wee smile on your face

Jen x

 

There is no magic diet pill (sorry)

‘Oh wow, you are looking amazing, what diet is it you are on?’

‘just healthy eating’

‘oh L ‘ – confused and disappointed.

This is a conversation that many of my clients and I have had with people.

Why is it that people are disappointed to hear that there is no quick fix or magic pill to get them results that they want?

I know so many people that have followed every diet they can find on the internet and are BIGGER than they were before they started on their quest to lose weight.

How many fad diets need to be tried and failed before you believe that eating healthy meals and snacks is the answer?

Why is it that thinking ‘drop a dress size in a day’ is possible and sustainable when it took much longer than that to go up a dress size?

For years meal replacement shakes have been around. Of course you are going to lose weight when you go on them. You replace 2 meals a day with a 200 calorie drink…

It’s simple maths, eat less calories than you expend and you will lose weight… But the reduction in calories needs to be sustainable so you don’t get those hellish cravings and eat a months’ worth of food in an hour.

When you go on these crazy diets, what happens as soon as you start eating again? You gain weight faster than it came off and then add on a bit more.

Sound familiar?

Why does that happen?

Geek time – when you reduce the calories you eat, your body slows down all your systems so it doesn’t need as much energy to run (it’s really smart like that). Then when you increase your calories back to how you were eating before all your systems are still slow, not using energy so you get fat.

The only way to get round that would be to increase your activity so the pluses and minuses even out.

So, rather than losing 2 meals a day to crappy shakes, why not move more and eat better?

Yes the weight loss might be slower, but you won’t feel hungry, you won’t have to cut out food groups, you won’t have to drink nasty shakes.

We need to keep the focus away from weight loss and being what the media portray as the ideal shape or size.

We are all different.

We all look different.

We are all built different.

One size doesn’t fit all.

Eat for health. Eat what makes you feel good (and by that I mean energised, well, refreshed. Not high for 5 minutes followed by a sleepy slump).

It’s a new week. Get yourself organised. Stick to your plan as much as possible. If you fall don’t give up, restart at the next meal and forgive yourself.

Have a good week

Jen x