My Health & Wellness Journey (Part 1)
When I turned 40, I created a list of 40 things I was going to do and experience in my Forties. Looking at the list, I realised quickly that without being healthy and fit I would not be able to attempt half of the items on it. I stared middle age in the face, with a long list of experiences that needed my “best ME” to make them happen.
I was under no illusions that it is was going to take at least 12-18 months months of consistent exercise and healthy food habits to bring back my health and pre-natal body. I say pre-natal, even though my youngest child is now seven years old. For those new to 40 To The Max, here’s the background to the story.
I still don’t know what my new body will look like in a 41 year old shell. When I imagine myself back at my old weight it is with a younger and less stretched and child-worn body.
I now have this photo on my vision board because this is actually what I want to look like.
I find this gorgeous woman’s physique totally sexy. I think it’s HOT!
Why it is such an important image to me is because it represents a total shift from years of me defining my body image in a certain way. The image above has set my negative self-image free.
I used to want to be thin. Now I want to be strong.
I used to want to be 52kgs again.
It was a number that I obsessed over.
Now, I just want to be strong.
I want to be emotionally and physically strong. In strength is power. I want to feel powerful.
To be as strong as this athlete above, I need to eat every 3 hours. I need to eat more than I ever thought I was allowed to because I am feeding an engine that is working hard to be strong and build muscle. Turns out, I have not been eating enough, because I thought I needed to starve my body thin. Decades of disappointment because I was starving my body of nutrients it needed to make me feel energetic and happy.
Since January 2016 I have been losing inches. I am starting to see some muscle definition and that is a real boost!
Here is what I am doing:
- Limiting alcohol intake.
On December 22, 2015 I made decision to stop binge drinking. I stopped partying on weekends and stopped drinking. I was totally sober for 8 weeks. Since then I have managed to stick to the occasional vodka and I drink red wine only by the glass. This has been good for me. And I feel confident to try sobriety again for another 8 weeks and see if over the course of the year, I can make progress on that front. I don’t think I have a weakness to become an alcoholic, but I know that my behavior when intoxicated is problematic.
- Putting great nutrition into my body
I have a thyroid condition and after three gestational diabetic pregnancies, I am blood tested every 3 months to ensure I do not become pre-diabetic. Fortunately, my levels are stable and my doctor is pleased.
My health and wellness coach, Irena Geller, has introduced me to a very effective and sensible eating plan, DownSize Me, that has reprogrammed my hormones, kicked my liver into action and has resulted in my dropping two dress sizes over the past 8 weeks. Irena’s weekly coaching has enabled me to stay on track.
I take a daily multivitamin. I take a Jeunesse Reserve every day. I alternate iron and selenium supplements as I have a problem with metal absorption. And I take Curcumin Tumeric as an anti-inflammatory. I take Omega 3 fish oil a couple of times a day and a magnesium calcium supplement before bed. For those who would say, supplements are pointless and you should be getting your nutrition through food, I would say that not everyone has bodies that work 100%. Mine does not. I have a rare genetic disorder that means my body cannot naturally produce certain things. I need certain vitamins and minerals at a higher dose so I don’t plummet into exhaustion and anxiety.
- Liver detox
I have a genetic sluggish liver. My dad has it too. It means that my liver cannot do the body’s natural detoxification at the level of a healthy liver. I did not know this until recently, but your liver has no nerve endings in it. This means that gunk can build up over years and because you have no feeling in it, you don’t realize just how fatty and blocked it has become. This is unlike the gall bladder where having a stone is incredibly painful.
Interestingly, my new eating regime and the HepaPlus supplement, have seen my triglyceride levels drop from an unhealthy 207 to a very excellent 129. My doctor is delighted. While I was in Koh Samui, I went into an infrared sauna which is supposed to mimic the liver’s detox by raising your body temperature through infrared rays. I felt fantastic after 4 treatments of this and looked slimmer.
- Body structure assessment
This is an interesting one. I have suffered most of my life with hip and lower back pain. My thighs and calves have always been very tight. I found a wonderful physio in Singapore, Michael Yan of Balance Core, who identified that I have developed bad habit with my posture, that has placed undue weight on my lower body. Meaning my hips are bearing all responsibility for holding me up. With some postural changes, a few releases and a very clear understanding of how I should be standing, in a couple of sessions, the pain alleviated drastically. I now think before I stand and walk. I highly recommend Michael to anyone based in Singapore. I am only one of many raving customers. He has worked his magic on hundreds of people who have presented with a range of pain issues.
Exercise is annoying and painful and necessary. And there comes a turning point in all training regimes when you start to enjoy how great you feel, how your mood lifts and when you look in the mirror and start to see results. And like all habits, the more consistently you do it, the more it becomes written into your weekly schedule and you just do it.
Since January I have been training three times a week. A mix of bodybuilding, personal training in a gym and bootcamp. In addition, I walk whenever I can. I try to walk 45 minutes a day. For those who follow me on Instagram, you will have seen my videos from the gym.
Exercise energises me and calms my over-thinking mind down. Exercise, even if it is a half and hour walk in the outdoors if absolutely necessary for women. It builds strong bones and provides a huge dose of calm, especially for women who suffer from anxiety and depression. Regardless of your current physical ability or your disability, there is always a way to adapt exercise to your body. Every body needs to start somewhere. Just get moving.
So that’s it, Maxers. Part 1 of my wellness journey. I will report back quarterly. In the interim, come find me on Instagram for more regular fitness updates.
Is there something special you are doing to improve your fitness? Share it in the 40 To The Max Facebook group. I’d love to hear all about it, so our community can get fit and healthy together.
Love you all.