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Archive for January 27, 2013

Have You Got A Hot Body In All The Wrong Ways? 7 Signs of Inflammation + What To Do About It

We all want a hot body, right?

We want rock-hard abs; a beach-volleyball player’s butt; energy to dance all night and still get up the next morning.

But what’s going on under the surface?

Could your internal fire be the reason you’re not looking or feeling as hot as you’d like?
This internal heat is known as inflammation and one way or another it will get your attention.

Inflammation is kinda like your body’s pet puppy:
When your puppy is happy and well trained, it will behave and only bark at the door to alert you to a possible danger.
But if you neglect your puppy and let the local ginger tom into the house, cutesy turns into crazy-commando-dog and will destroy all in its path in its quest to catch the cat!

Let’s take a look at our two puppies in turn:

Happy Puppy is inflammation that knows exactly what its role is. You trip over in the snow and sprain your ankle and inflammation reacts by swelling up the area to protect it and alert your body’s healing mechanisms that they have work to do.

Neglected Puppy gets fed all kinds of junk each day, doesn’t get walked or cleaned, which eventually makes it cranky and confused until it bites us to get our attention!

Chronic Inflammation is your body’s neglected puppy – if peeing on the couch doesn’t work, it will bite to get your attention! [Click To Tweet]

Our modern lifestyles mean we constantly bombard our bodies with things that trigger inflammation responses. Eventually this chronic inflammation in our body will bite to get our attention. But sometimes we don’t even realise what’s biting us.

If you have any of the following conditions, you have a hot bod in all the wrong ways, and it’s trying to get your attention:

  • Overweight/excess belly fat
  • Stomach problems – IBS, reflux, constipation, diarrhea, heartburn, gas, etc
  • Unexplained Fatigue and/or Brain Fog – inc. PVFS, CFS/ME, Fibromyalgia, etc
  • High cholesterol/High blood pressure
  • Type 2 Diabetes/pre-diabetes
  • Skin problems – eczma, psoriasis, acne, etc
  • Chronic pain – joint pains, regular headaches, migraines, etc

And beware, because if you don’t pay attention now, your body will bark louder and bite harder.

So, if you’ve figured out that your body is barking at you, I guess you’re wondering what happened to make your bod all hot and bothered. There are many causes of inflammation, and modern living means most of us will probably tick more than one of these boxes:

  • Poor diet—too much sugar, processed food, trans fats, etc
  • Lack of exercise
  • Stress
  • Hidden allergens such as gluten or dairy
  • Hidden infections with viruses, bacteria, yeast, or parasites
  • Toxins such as mercury or pesticides
  • Molds—mycotoxins, black mold, etc

If you think that your body has a slightly crazy inflammation puppy running around it, and you have an idea of what turned the cutesy into commando, what do you do?
Do you need to call the Body Dog Whisperer?

The really simple solution to getting rid of chronic inflammation is:

  1. Treat any underlying infections (with care)
  2. Take out the stuff that’s causing inflammation
  3. Put in stuff that reduces and heals inflammation

Here’s How:

  1. Deal with infections
    While your first port of call will most likely be your doctor, be mindful that tests for infections, toxins or food allergies are often not top of the list of offerings. You may need to go equipped with your own research and a clear picture of what you want.
  2. Take out the bad, put in the good
    Many of us get stuck on this part… what is good and what is bad??? They may not be what you first think!
    This Infographic can help you make healthy choices. Pin it to your board, put it in your purse or stick it on your fridge to remind you to make healthier decisions…

You will see that some of the causes on the list are lifestyle choices. These are often the most difficult changes to make. Working with a professional such as a health coach, to create and implement lifestyle changes can really keep you on track and make sustainable improvements. 

Contact Me if you would like to arrange a no-obligation Health Breakthrough Session (It’s Free)

If you have a problem, please take this advice and deal with it NOW. I work with clients at various points on the inflammation scale, from fatigue problems to medicated diabetes. Believe me, it is much easier for my clients to reverse health problems lower down on the scale!

If you are popping antacids or painkillers on a regular basis, having trouble sustaining energy for your normal life or looking in the mirror wondering where that belly fat came from, you are at the perfect time to take positive steps to reduce your inflammation and recover health before it turns into something more serious.

Comment Below and tell me what part of your body you think may be barking to get your attention.
Please SHARE to help your friends pay attention to their barking body!

Write Your OWN Oscar Speech to Set Health + Happiness Goals

write you own oscar speech and increase happinessCelebrating yourself and practising gratitude can increase happiness, motivation and help you set goals.

As the nominations for this year’s Academy Awards are revealed today, think about this:

When was the last time you prepared an acceptance speech?
Ooh, what was that?
“Can’t remember”?
“I never win anything!”?
Or maybe “I have my lottery winner press conference all figured out!”

Well it’s true that unless you’re Meryl Streep you probably don’t have a mantelpiece heaving with gongs (your parents spare room still decorated with your childhood swimming certificates don’t count, sorry). Not so many opportunities for us regular joes to take the spotlight and acknowledge the people who have helped us reach such lofty heights.

But I think there’s an opportunity being missed here…
As we launch ourselves into this fresh new year, maybe filled with energy for our resolutions, perhaps not so much, I encourage you to take a break and think about this:
You ARE a winner. You are here right now in 2013, doing your thing. And if you’re reading my blog, you most likely have an interest in making this year even better than all the ones you’ve lived so far.
So, how about writing your own acceptance speech for your life? Your life so far, right up to this point of existence.
How about giving thanks and acknowledgement for everyone who has played a part in where you are right now?

Think about the archetypal Oscar speech. Our celluloid heroes take the opportunity to thank the people who have helped them and who collectively deserve recognition in their achievement.
And although our own speech may not include our Hollywood agent, we are all people having a life experience of other people.
It is possible to achieve some things on our own, but most of us have been blessed at some point with the support/inspiration/example of another person.

Can you run a scan of your life and pinpoint those people?
The ones you remember and think “yeah, a part of me exists today because of that experience”.

Go on, take a moment and write a list…

I feel lucky that my own list is long. Here is just an excerpt (what can I say, I’m going through my glittery pen phase):

my oscar thankyou list

I am so happy that I have had the honour of adding my clients to this year’s list.
Being a part of the power of people working together to overcome chronic fatigue, reverse type2 diabetes, manage stress, begin exercising regularly, get their dream job, increase their confidence, regain their cognition, eradicate PMT, etc, has been truly amazing. It also shows that being of service to others deserves just as much space on your list, because by helping others we help ourselves.

So, back to your list and the people on it:
what is/was it about them that had such a profound effect on you?
Sometimes the reason is hard to pin down, but somehow we were able to relate to that person, connect with them, bounce off them, trust them.
They were also probably in exactly the right place at the right time for you.

Most of us possess enough knowledge and skills to complete a task, but we work better with people around us. In our corner. On our side.

This was exactly my experience during my health coaching training.
Technically, I had the skills and the resources to complete the course on my own. But even if I had been able to muster the motivation with only myself to be accountable to, it would not have been the enriching, life changing experience that it was without my health coach and my fellow students to support me and keep me on track.

When we think about the people who have helped us become who we are today, very often what they did was give you a safe space and provided the right tools for you to step into your own power.
They didn’t do it for you. They empowered you to do it for your self in your own unique way.

So, you’ve taken the time for an energising gratitude practise. What happens next?
This is the really exciting bit – the BIG BANG ACTION STEP to move you forward.
It’s a brand new year with fresh new goals. Keeping in mind the lesson that we people are connected to each other through our experiences, who will feature in the goals you want to achieve this year? Who do you need in your life to help you achieve those goals? Who will be in your speech this time next year?

  • It could be a career advisor to help you get that job you know you can shine in.
  • A friendship that could develop into a linchpin of support for both of you.
  • A health coach to give you that safe space and the tools to achieve your health and happiness dreams.

Get proactive in your search for the people who will become your collaborators in the life you really want to lead!

Leave a comment below about who you want on your list! Or post some gratitude about who is on your list right now. Studies show that writing notes of gratitude increases our own happiness, promotes quality sleep and helps us reach our goals.

If you want to give yourself the gift of some space to explore the possibilities for your health and happiness in this fresh new year, contact me to arrange a free, no obligation Health Breakthrough Session and see how the power of partnership can transform you!

I’ll leave you with a fab video that shows how expressing gratitude in your own unique way can make everyone in the room (including you) feel amazing!

4 Steps to Help Overcome That Fear and Achieve Your Goals

We can overcome our prehistoric genes, swim through those scarey moments and reach our goals.

overcome your fears

I could taste the saltiness in my throat as my breathing quickened, magnified and menacing through my snorkel.
I thought about the magnitude of what I was doing. For me, that is: a lifelong underwater phobic with an ironic obsession for coral reefs.
Others around me were swimming and diving with carefree ease. I was surrounded by water babies whereas I felt like a cat that had fallen into the fish pond!

I took a moment to tread water, risking being left behind by the group. I glanced back to where our boat was anchored. Both directions felt like a mile away!
I hesitated. At this point I could swim back to the boat and a reassuring dry deck with my panic abated. But I had visualised the experience ahead of me for a whole two years: floating above a coral reef, marvelling at the beauty, the colours, the serenity. At this moment, any available serenity was being drowned out by the din of my panicking lungs!
Another moment: Slow, regular breaths just like my meditation practice, a word to myself that I can do this. I turned away from the boat and started swimming.

And there it was. Everything I had imagined. The colourful corals, the fantasia of fishes elegantly swimming about their watery business, the sun’s rays penetrating the cyan water like the gods were shining a spotlight for us to witness the beauty.
And so I floated, I marvelled, I accepted every emotion. I allowed the fear to be, but not consume. I kept breathing.
And eventually I swam back to the boat buoyant with excitement, gratitude and pride.

Why am I writing this story all about me, me, me?
Because the experience pulled some important life and health lessons into focus.

Whether your goal is to eat healthier, exercise or pursue a more fulfilling career, there will be times when no matter how much you prepare, you will encounter inner resistance. Times when your familiar habits feel so much closer than your desired destination. But those are exactly the times when we need to take a breath and remind ourselves that we wouldn’t have started the journey if we didn’t know that what we are travelling towards is better than where we started from.

Here are some tips to overcome those moments when the leap ahead feels so much farther than the retreat to familiar territory:

  1. Be prepared
    Visualising achieving your goal and how your life will be when that happens actually changes you on a physiological level: your brain can’t tell the difference between a real and imagined action. When you imagine an action, your body produces the same electrical impulses as if you were doing it for real. This strengthens the neural pathways, creating a mental navigation plan for the action. This is why so many athletes use visualisation to gain a competitive edge.
  2. Acknowledge your fear/doubt/panic
    Say hello (or flick your tongue) to your lizard brain! Yes, we have a pre-historic lump near the brain stem that sends out those feelings of fear and resistance. And it isn’t going anywhere any time soon so we may as well make friends with it. Recognise that it’s just a part of you, trying to protect you. But that fear of the unknown need not be your whole story.
    Finding a way to acknowledge this part of our experience without allowing it to take over and hold us back is part of becoming the whole person you want to be.
    The visualisation from step 1 will help you keep the lizard in its cage. And if the lizard gets loose at the point of action, then deep, steady breathing works really well to calm your prehistoric pet.
  3. Take a bite at a time.
    It’s so daunting to look at your end goal, whether it’s life without your love handles or earning the salary you know you are worth. But breaking down your ultimate goal into achievable chunks makes changes much easier to adjust to plus you get to celebrate each step on the way. Take some me-time to figure out the ‘hows’ on the way to your goal.
    And here’s another cool factoid about Step 1 that supports this practice of breaking up your plan into bite size chunks:  There is a part of your brain called the posterior parietal cortex that is responsible for creating a navigation plan for action. It’s a busy bit of brain, gathering information from our skin, internal organs and vision to create these action plans. If we give it too much information at once through visualisation, it gets overloaded and your well-laid mental plans become less effective. Treat your visualisation as a practise. Imagine your end goal vividly to get your creative juices flowing, but also create a plan to visualise each step of your plan as you work through them.
  4. Take Action!
    Imagination is a wonderful gift, but Intention + Action = Miracles
    You have prepared yourself mentally for the steps required. Now it’s time to let those strengthened neural pathways do their job. You have your bite-size steps all ready to execute, so go get ‘em!
    And remember, when the resistance appears, you have the tools and understanding to KEEP. ON. SWIMMING.

Do you have a dream, a goal, an ambition that feels kinda scarey when you think about it? You know, that fluttery, knotty feeling in your stomach or a slight quickening of your breath.
Is your pet lizard flicking it’s tail at the thought of you getting outside your comfort zone?
THAT’S GOOD! That’s the place where the real magic happens.
Tell me what your dream is, what that deep down burning ambition is. Let’s imagine it together.

If you would like to talk through your health and life goals and discuss how you can achieve them, contact me for a FREE Health Breakthrough Session.