Lifestyle

A Great Start

April 2, 2016

What does your week look like?

Do you ever find yourself beginning a week lacking all positivity, motivation & stability?
(YES!)

Well, I know exactly how you feel.

As a dancer most of my life, I learnt the motto ‘It’s 100% or 0%’ (can be a good & bad principle).
We were taught that you give your all, EVERY time! Whether you’re stepping onto a stage for a performance or into a classroom for rehearsal, you need to give it all you’ve got.

When I think about this, I realise how fantastic this principle is for dancers but how much damage this is actually doing to the way I start my week in everyday life.
Because if Monday hits & I haven’t accomplished my 40 dot point to do list, I collapse in a heap & decide I’ll try again next week as I’ve already failed (how awful that I think like that!)
But don’t we all sometimes think like this?

BUT! … There is good news!

Every single day, is a new day! Every hour is a new hour & every minute is a chance to start again.

Why should we wait another week & sideline this one over such silly thoughts?
What opportunities might we miss because we have a warped perception that we have already failed?

I don’t know about you, but I like the thought that I have the opportunity to start again WHENEVER I want to!
Why?
Because we are blessed to live every day that we do, because there is always something to be thankful for & because sometimes we have to fight to find our joy.

So how do we do this?

For me, I’ve found a few, super simple ways, that I feel help kick-start my week or day to be on it’s way to a great one!
Doing these few things really help to keep me centered, relaxed, thankful, focused, positive & motivated.
Some of these you might find totally useless & others really helpful, either way, let’s look at them together! And I would love to hear what kinds of things you all do too!
So be sure to leave me a comment below or contact me on the contact page so we can share with one another.

Let’s get into it!

Exercise + Meditation

Exercise + Meditation

Everyone is totally different with this….
For me? I have always loved Pilates & Yoga as a form of exercise (besides dancing of course).

What I love about Pilates is what it’s created to do.
It strengthens & lengthens your muscles, helps you discover a core you didn’t know you had, develops a lean, stable physique & can aid hugely in muscle recovery/injury prevention.
I have been doing pilates ever since I was a teenager & as a dancer I believe it’s been the most incredible way I have been able to achieve the strength & control in my dancing that I have needed, in order to perform at my very best.

And add Yoga into the mix? HEAVEN!
Yoga involves a strong technique in deep breathing, meditation – to help find your centre, it increases flexibility & helps with overall wellness of the body.

At the moment for me (being pregnant with bubby) my physio has me doing some pregnancy pilates exercises, mostly with a yoga ball to help with back stability & strength. I’m excited to start doing these everyday to see if they make a difference to my back pain as they are quite different to the ones I am used to doing!

I’ve linked a couple of sites/videos/apps that I have loved & used over the years with regards to pilates/yoga & exercise in general.

Sweaty Betty – free online workout videos! I love them & you will too!
They have some awesome videos for pilates & yoga but also fun dance style work outs to get your heart pumping too.
You can also find some of their videos on their Youtube Channel which I sometimes find a little easier to navigate through.

Equinox – these are not videos you can follow to do at home but a great motivation to see how Yoga (with other forms of exercise) can transform your body into a controlled, strong & flexible state see more from Briny Smyth (qualified instructor) here – Inspirational Yoga video & another here
Equinox is such a great site with so many interesting & valuable reads on health/fitness/nutrition & all things life, so be sure to check out their site!

Youtube  have some great at home Yoga/Pilates videos for you to try, alternatively you can search for some local classes for your chosen level within your community.

Apps – thank goodness for smartphones! I have a few apps I love to use for workouts on my phone.
For Yoga & Pilates there are soooo many options you have, along with online forums or subscriptions you can sign up for that have their own app so you can do one of their programs wherever you are.
For me? I like to use the 7 Minute Workout app or the Nike + Training Club app to warm myself up before completing some Pilates or yoga, or if it is a nice day outside I will go for a walk & track my progress with the Nike Running app.

Please keep in mind, I am not a medical professional! So make sure you consult a doctor prior to commencing any new program if you have any health problems that may be affected by this.

Meditation?

There are many different apps you can find depending on the style of meditation you like but one that I love, because I can chose what I am meditating on, is the Calm app for your phone.
It has daily programs you can pick to help with specific areas of meditation.
Or you can use it to play serene music – the sound of rain in a forest, the whistle of beautiful birds over a silent river or the sound of the ocean hitting the shore. It’s just gorgeous!

 

Meal Prep + Planning

 

A Great Start

 

One thing I have found is that the saying ‘fail to prepare & prepare to fail’ can sometimes feel true when it comes to this subject of meal planning/food prep.

The weeks where I don’t start with a fridge & cupboard stocked with groceries & a plan for our weekly meals, are usually the ones I find myself stressed out in – I seem to turn into this crazy woman running around with no idea what I am doing. (I’m sure my hubby can witness to this..)

So making sure the groceries are done the end of the week prior (this is what I do on my day off) & any food prep done at this time, helps start our week off on the right foot! And usually having this written up somewhere we can easily reference to helps the flow of the week as well.

About 12 months ago, I did the 8 week IQS challenge (detoxing your body of sugar to reset it) created by the amazing Sarah Wilson, and I felt absolutely amazing.
Don’t get me wrong – it was hard & their were days where I would feel like sugar had been my life source & I was literally not going to make it through (insert scary music here)
But since this detox, I have found that the more meal prepping I do that centres around the aim of cutting out sugar from our food intake, the healthier & happier we are.
I have 3 of Sarah’s books – I started with the ‘I Quit Sugar’ stage then moved onto the ‘I Quit Sugar for Life’ which is filled with loads of sugar free recipes & have now just grabbed her newest book ‘Simplicious’ which is all about a lifestyle now free from the hold of sugar! And I am loving it!
Do your own research! If you haven’t already, get your hands on one of them (or all of them) & read for yourself the benefits of this lifestyle along with the nasty truths of what sugar does to our body & health.

And then there is a slight problem… I loooooove to bake!
This is of course a lovely thing & possible to do without having sugar BUT I love to bake the naughty stuff, not the oh so good for you stuff 😉
So I’ve also shown you here a Baking book that has all of the ‘My Grandma’s’ recipes for all the baking staples you could need! (side note – thank you to my gorgeous girlfriend Jen for this book)
Yes, all of these recipes include sugar & yes, I don’t have a problem with this as we don’t eat baked cupcakes as a staple in our diet! (wouldn’t that be a wonderful world)

For us – cutting out as much sugar as possible is how we like to think throughout our regular weeks, but when it comes to being out & about or celebrating a birthday or an event… LIVE!
Eat those yummy treats & enjoy every second of it!
I’m so looking forward to grabbing out this gorgeous book & making memories baking with our little one!

 

Pamper + Renew

Whenever your day off is or when you have an our or so to yourself, PAMPER YOU!
Because you deserve it!

As women there’s something about a beauty treatment, spa day, trip to the salon or just sitting at home with a cuppa, a good book & a lit candle that makes our heart happy.
It renews our minds & souls when they need it most.

But why do we leave it so long to do these things? You were fearfully & wonderfully made, so look after yourself! Treat your body with the care it deserves, regularly!

Below is my quick way I pamper & renew, a few of my favourite things – a clay face mask to get rid of nasty’s in my skin, some fake flowers (because I’m rotten at keeping plants alive), a yummy smelling candle, a tea cup to be filled with my favourite tea & an inspiring book.

What would your picture look like? Grab some things out today so it’s ready for you to pick up when you can make some room to have your time 🙂

 

A Great Start

 

These things might not help you in your week like it does in mine, but I do hope it’s even just made you think of things that perhaps will!

Because you know what? Your future is bright! So make the most of it!

Let’s fight for the joy in our week this week.

Big love. X

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