Tag: healthy lifestyle

The truth about being kind to yourself

The truth about being kind to yourself

Being kind to yourself is hardly a new idea. The idea of loving-kindness is a central concept in mindfulness. Many of the latest trends in psychology (both genuine theories and woo-woo pop fads) also look at this idea of being kind to yourself.

A few months ago I had a chat with a close friend about just this topic. It came about because we spontaneously met for a cup of coffee.

[Side-note: this friend has uncanny timing. She called me up for said cuppa moments after I received discouraging news. Then, as I started writing the draft for this post, she got in contact again. Gotta be a sign?! Anyway, back to my point…]

We met at a new artisan cafe where they have a baker’s table that offers the most delectable teatime treats. Warning: smugness approaching… Our order did not feature any of these said delights, even though I have a sweet tooth to rival the best of ’em. She too was on a campaign to start eating healthily. It felt like an accomplishment – and for me, it was – to walk out of there without having dived into a sugary moment of deliciousness.

Our conscious effort to spurn the baker’s table got us talking. When we talk about being kind to ourselves it often involves something unhealthy – taking a rest from gym, ordering that slice of cake, enjoying just one more GnT in the evening, and so on. But really, when you stop to think about it, that’s being pretty unkind to yourself. Not only are you doing something that is physically unhealthy, but you are undermining your efforts to achieve your goals, to stay motivated, to stay on track, and to enjoy the results of your efforts.

I think that being kind to yourself is really about motivating yourself to stick to your goals, rather than allowing yourself the ‘treat’ of having a break from them. It just sets up the mindset that a reward consists of cheating on your goals, no matter what they are. If you want to boost your motivation, feelings of accomplishment, etc, then your reward should be something that is in line with your goals – something that will enable you to reap the results of your efforts to create a fulfilling life.

It’s all rather too easy to sit down and type this out. Tomorrow I’m going back to the same cafe… and I can already feel my motivation waning. After all, lemon meringue pie is my personal weakness. So I might find myself at this time tomorrow having to eat a slice of humble pie. Oh dear…

I’d love to know – what is your take on the idea of being kind to yourself?

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It’s time to ‘fess up

It’s time to ‘fess up

I have a confession. I’m becoming one of those people. The people who make you sigh, grimace, and roll your eyes. I’ve been sucked into the world of leading an organic and natural lifestyle. If you know what ACV is without referring to Google, then you’re one of us. And there’s no way out!

Coconut oil is a fad that might actually be worth all the fuss…

Just to be clear: this does not mean that I’m becoming some sort of woo-woo hippie who doesn’t adhere to modern hygiene. I shower daily and wash my hair regularly (more on ‘no poo’ later).

It all started innocently enough. Well, as innocent as it can be with Pinterest. As far as I can tell, only women suffer from this addiction.

Pinterest addiction

Beware: I have heard that men can adopt the tough love delete-your-app approach. But I think this only applies if you have a DIY Project board. Something about the words ‘but it shows you how on Pinterest – it’s so quick and easy’ is akin to an evil curse.

In our household the wording is more along the lines of ‘but I found it on Pinterest and it’s natural and doesn’t have chemicals’

This latest compulsive sage started when I happened across a few posts about natural alternatives to chemical detergents. I thought it was worth trying out. They sucked me in! It was the gateway drug of all things natural and organic. I read a few articles about the ingredients in ‘conventional’ detergents and toiletries and then there was no going back. (What’s worse, I’m not only guilty of addiction, I’m also guilty of dealing – leading to others’ Pinterest addictions.)

And then it snowballed: from detergents, to all sorts of products. In this way, Pinterest has an unfair advantage over those of us with a compulsive streak. Pinterest led me to Thank Your Body. Google led me to Faithful to Nature – and they courier the stuff to you. It’s all too easy and available. One kitchen cupboard is now dedicated to my stash.

Not that I’m a die-hard organic-or-nothing gal. I mean seriously, could they not have come up with a better term for ‘no poo’? It sounds like a constipated toddler rather than an alternative to chemical shampoo. Terms aside, I still believe in the aim of all things natural.

My aim from the beginning has been to eliminate as many chemical toxins from our home as possible. And I feel good about that. But it got me thinking about the broader meaning of toxicity. Make sure you read my next post about emotional toxicity and how it’s everywhere and needs to be eradicated (just like those carcinogenic germs)…

I’d love to hear from you. What’s your take on going the organic and natural route?

The best time to adopt a better lifestyle

The best time to adopt a better lifestyle

I have this theory that the timers on cardio machines were developed in Hell. They operate slowly in order to extend your torture and agony. There is no way that twenty minutes on a treadmill is the same as twenty minutes in real time. It’s some sort of Hellish cosmic joke where we’re all victims of this never-ending hoax. And then, to add insult to injury, we keep on returning to gym.

Sometimes I get the better of the hoax and avoid the gym. But then I get sucked in again. And the agony is always worse once you return after a break.

You know that feeling when you are sweating it out and you need to distract yourself from what you are enduring? I was on the rowing machine at gym, looking out the large glass windows at the trees on the surrounding hills. The beautiful colour of the changing colours of Autumnal leaves captured my attention.

There was one tree that really caught my eye. The changing colours were incredible. Perhaps it stood out so predominantly because the forest behind it was still green. Even in Nature, things grow and develop at different times.

So it was okay that I was only on the rowing machine in May, my first real attempt to kick-start what should have been New Year’s resolutions. If trees can adapt to the seasons at different rates, so can we.

I had been beating myself up (not literally – that would be too excessive even for me) about the fact that it had taken several months for me to get my A into G. I realised that ‘should’ often involves undue criticism. We worry about what we should be doing, what we should look like, what we should be earning, and when we should achieve all this.

But that just focuses on the negative and fosters criticism of ourselves and others. It’s not about a specific date. It doesn’t matter when you start. So what if I only got back on track with a healthy lifestyle in May? The point is that I have. Who cares when I will get to the level of fitness that I once reached? The point is that I will at some point. Hell, I might even surpass it.

healthy lifestyle

So when is the best time to adopt a better lifestyle? It’s not about when. It’s not even really about how. It’s about developing a habit organically because you enjoy the process. And that is what my next post is all about: the truth about developing new habits.

When did you do something later than you ‘should’ have, only to realise the irrelevance of the timing and your self-criticism?