Category: Life

Happy happy new year: Exploring my intentions and goals for 2015

2015

Hello gorgeous souls! Welcome to 2015. Iv’e got a really good feeling about this one, its going to be an incredible year. So far the energy for me this year has been of completion, rejuvenation and exploration. I haven’t made a single resolution, because this year I will make change whenever I feel necessary, I’m going to resolve to never make a resolution again, because resolutions are made to be broken. Instead, i’m setting intention filled goals and stepping back to look at the areas of my life where i’m not happy or am feeling unsettled.

Therefore, 2015 has started with a bang, iv’e moved jobs, planned a holiday, enjoyed the company of my mum and sister, have embarked on Kayla Itsines 12 week bikini body challenge, and have really enjoyed living where I live. So often we long for a new place, or think somewhere else will be better, but we forget to explore and enjoy the place we live. My word for 2015 is therefore EXPLORE.

I was lucky enough to stumble upon the beautiful guide by Susannah Conway for Unravelling your year ahead-2015, and her 5 days to developing your 2015 word. If you are feeling a little shaky still about this year, then I urge you to go and visit her enlightening website and get on board your year with mindfulness and creativity.

ExploreMandala2015

 

There are a number of reasons EXPLORE spoke to me, firstly, in the typical sense to explore my surroundings with more open eyes and a present mind. I want to EXPLORE the city I live in (Perth) in more vivid detail, finding new nooks and crannies, and exploring places in Perth I’ve never been. I also want to EXPLORE the wider world, and discover new places overseas. I’m going to start this by a quick Bali trip in February, then next is Japan and hopefully more of Asia.

The next reason I chose EXPLORE, is to explore myself more, the person I have been, and the person I want to become. I want to discover where my true passions lie, where my weaknesses are, and what i’m afraid of. I want to push my limits this year, and EXPLORE the parts of myself I may have hidden in the past. I want to EXPLORE my personality and why I’m an incredible human being.

Another reason I chose explore is to EXPLORE my relationship with my partner. We are headed in the direction of getting engaged/married and I want to learn more about us, and how we can become a better team. With this I hope we can EXPLORE the (physical) world together through a couple of trips and weekends away. For me this is especially important as the last few years have almost solely been dedicated to study and work and I’m feeling its time for a bit of exploration!

Lastly I want to EXPLORE my spiritual and intellectual side, learning more about the world around me, whats going on and opening my mind to new and incredible opportunities. In the past I have done some pretty crazy and exciting things, and over the last few years dedicated to study, I’ve barely touched my spiritual and intellectual side (with the exception of studying nutrition and health). So i’m eager to explore that area of my life more fully.

With all of that I hope to step so far out of my comfort zone this year that I can’t even see it any more. I’m hoping to get some full on life experience and wisdom during 2015, facing my fears, living life to the full and being awesome! So Namaste everyone, I hope your year is as insightful, exciting, and beautiful as mine will be.

Let’s talk about fear, stress and anxiety



A topic that has been on the front of my mind pretty much everyday for the past few months is fear. The reason for this is due to a huge amount of upheaval and change in my life, and my brain is feeling it. I’m not ok, I have had panic attacks, trouble sleeping, and instead of being my usual confident, positive self, iv’e been a negative ball of anxious energy. 

I know that when I live my life in fear of what is coming next I forget about the present. I miss that opportunity to laugh with someone, I miss the gorgeous sunrise, and I miss the everyday miracle of being alive. Its a tough cycle to get out of, I’m still in it. I’m afraid of what will come tomorrow, if I will be good enough, if I will have regrets, or if I will make a difference. Because I so strongly want to make a difference in this world during my life. I want to see a change in the way we deal with healthcare, I want to stand up and be the one to make noise and lead the change. But I can’t do that if I am living in fear. 



So what am I doing about it? Well at the moment I am trying to get through everyday. Uni is the toughest, with assignments coming out my ears, and decisions about where I go next-do I study dietetics, do I wait? And work as well, I have just accepted a fantastic new job which starts next week, and although I am incredibly excited about it, I am also afraid. What if I am not good enough? Then of course there is all the rest-family, friends, money, exercise, health, diet, mental health, spiritual health, goals and finally my car. Its all swirling around in this crazy brain of mine, its terribly hard to get it to stop. 

So if this sounds familiar to you, I urge you to speak up-lets have a conversation about fear, stress and anxiety. Because if you are not ok, you don’t have to deal with it alone. There are so many incredible people in this world, many of which will be feeling the same as you right now. We are brought up to put on a strong face, to pretend we are ok, to not show emotion and to be brave. But it is ok to cry, its ok to feel weak, its ok to not be ok. We are part of this beautiful community of human beings, and I think we need to start acting like a team, supporting and motivating each other to be the best we can. 


So here are my top tips for dealing with fear, anxiety and stress:


1. Breathe


Its simple, but effective. A few weeks ago when I was having a panic attack (It was really scary because I had never had one before) my partner Cam was amazing, he simply told me to breath. It was like my brain had forgotten. And his words guided my to regain control of my breathing, and to allow my brain to be a little clearer. 

2. Exercise


In times of fear and stress going for a walk does wonders. If you don’t have time, its ok, only go for 5 minutes, but the benefits of getting outside in the fresh air, with the grass and the trees will help you to get focused again, and to try to keep cool, calm and collected. If you need to cry, its ok, those trees aren’t going anywhere-and they won’t judge you. 

3. Call a friend


When in doubt, call or catch up with that friend you know will be there for you. Get it all out, talk it through, they will listen, and give you the best honest advice. Sometimes all you need is an ear to listen to your problems. And sometimes, afterwards, they don’t seem so bad. 

4. Let it out


There is no point trying to keep it in. Its too hard, its like air filling a bottle, and the more you try to keep that air in, the more it wants to get out. And if you don’t let it out, it will explode. So cry, scream, break things, stomp around, rip paper, whatever you need to do to physically release the negative, fearful energy. A few plates and cups are worth your mental health. 

5. Pamper


During the last few weeks I have pampered myself more than I have in the past few years. Get your hair done, nails, eyebrows, massage, facial. Tell yourself you are beautiful and strong, and you will get through this. For me this makes me feel like I have it all together, and I know that the better I feel on the outside, the better ill feel on the inside. Treat your body, allow it space and time. YOU ARE A BEAUTIFUL HUMAN. 

6. Nourish


I know when stress, fear and anxiety rise up, its easier just to grab takeout. But seriously, you are not doing yourself any favours by taking the easy option. Instead, put on the slow cooker with a big old stew, curry or soup. That way when you get home from work/uni etc you can easily grab a big, warm, nourishing bowl of goodness. Eat fruit, smoothies, veggies, porridge, yoghurt, and nuts. Don’t go grabbing that packet of biscuits, bar of chocolate or bag of chips. It may ,make you feel better right now, but getting on that road to feeling better comes from the inside. 

7. Rest


Its ok to take a mental health day. You are entitled to sick days, and honestly its just as important to take it for mental health as it is for physical health. Your body will thank you for it, rest, sleep, relax, read a book, walk the dog, go to the beach, watch a movie, binge watch your favourite tv show. And don’t judge yourself for doing so, or feel guilty. This is your body and your mental health. Take control of it, and don’t let anyone make you feel bad. 

8. Write


Sometimes. its helps for me to get it out on paper (or in this case on screen), get that old dusty journal out, and write your heart out. Let out all the thoughts, negative emotions, fears, stresses, anxieties, and anything that has worried you. This is no time for holding back, so be brutally honest with yourself. Allow your self to scribble the pages, fill them up with everything on your mind. Let the pages take you away, and allow you to clear your head from the negative energy, you don’t need to hold onto that stuff. If it helps, once you are done, rip the pages and burn them, physically letting go of the feelings and thoughts. Then, once you are done, write down a purely positive mantra or quote that will take you to a place of clear, positive, beautiful thoughts. 

And most importantly of all, LOVE YOURSELF! You are a beautiful, intelligent, capable human being. 


If you have any tips that have helped you to get through times of fear, anxiety and stress, comment below, you never know who you might be helping. 



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Live below the line: $2 a day

Hi Lovelies!

I will be embarking on “Live below the line” next week, and I wanted to share with you a bit about it, and why i’m doing it. Basically live below the line is an initiative to increase awareness of poverty, and how it affects food choices for the poor. Its also a personal journey to discover what it is like to live on the poverty line. The challenge is to live on $2 a day for food for 5 days. Iv’e taken quite a bit of time to prepare for this, and it’s going to be tough!
I am personally doing it to experience what food choices are like for people with little money. We live in a culture where poverty is around, but we are unaware of it, and the reality of it. I hope to use my experience to help those in need, and to increase awareness. Having studied Nutrition for the last 3 years, I know that the food I will be eating for these 5 days is in now way reaching the recommendation for macro and micro nutrients, there is just no way to get it all in. 
Below is my plan for what I will be eating, I have tried my best to include as many fruit and veg as possible, but what I found was that it was too expensive to fit more in. Also, it was hard to afford protein, I really wanted eggs, but they were too pricey. 

$10 total
Breakfast
Lunch
Dinner
Snacks
Day 1
Oats with grated apple and cinnamon
Chicken meat with rice and pumpkin patties
Chickpea and pumpkin curry with rice
Bone broth, flatbread, carrots
Day 2
Oats with grated apple and cinnamon
Fried rice with chicken, zucchini, carrot and fresh herbs
Mashed pumpkin with sautéed carrot, zucchini and onion
Bone broth, baked potato, carrots
Day 3
Oats with grated apple and cinnamon
Chicken meat with rice and pumpkin patties
Lentil dal with flatbread
Bone broth, carrots, baked potato
Day 4
Oats with grated apple and cinnamon
Carrot noodles with chickpea patties
Chickpea and pumpkin curry with rice
Bone broth, flatbread, carrots
Day 5
Oats with grated apple and cinnamon
Fried rice with chicken, zucchini, carrot and fresh herbs
Lentil dal with flatbread
Bone broth, carrots, baked potato
Shopping list:
Item
Amount
Cost
Item
Amount
Cost
Olive oil
100mL
$19.90/4L = $0.50
Carrot
1kg
$0.99/kg = $0.99
Canned toms
1 can
$0.79
Garlic
1 whole bulb
$0.99 for 6 = $0.165/1 bulb
Oats
200g
$1.28/750g = $0.34/200g
Potato
500g
$0.99/kg = $0.50
Apples
2 small
$2.38/kg = $0.60
Chickpeas
1 ½ cups cooked (1 cup dried) = 250g
$0.304/100g = $0.76
Cinnamon
2 tsp
=$0.10
Curry powder
2 Tbsp
=$0.15
Chicken drumsticks
2-3 small (300g)
$3.99/kg = $1.20
Onion
1 whole 180g
$1.99/kg = $0.35
Rice
6 serves = 3 cups cooked =200g
$0.30/100g =$0.60
Zucchini
1 whole
$0.50
Pumpkin
2kg
$0.69/kg = $1.38
Lentils
½ cup = 120g
$0.63/100g = $0.76
Flour
2 cups= 500g
$0.75/kg = $0.375

 

Iv’e calculated it from mostly things I already have in the cupboard. And I usually buy stuff in bulk, for example I bought a 10kg bag of rice for around $15, and I found pumpkin on special for $0.69/kg (Score!). and olive oil I buy in bulk too, so I was able to put in a little bit more. My local grocery store always has great specials too, so ill keep an eye out for great fruit and veg special next week. 
I am counting fresh herbs from the garden as free, as well a anything else I have grown (I have a single tomato growing!). I should have some greens, to add to the fried rice and curries, and if I will have some fresh mint which I will use for making tea. 
I would love for you to spare a few dollars for the cause, my goal is to raise $300, and so far I have $72. You can donate here: https://www.livebelowtheline.com.au/me/brittany_smith

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10 inspirational women

Today in the health and wellness industry, there are so many incredible and inspiration women. These women have motivated and inspired me to be on the path I am today, and without knowing it, every one of them have had a huge impact on my life, and the way I view myself. 
I’m not one to be inspired by celebrities, instead I am inspired by strong, intelligent, and brilliant women. In no particular order, here are the 10 women I am most inspired by:
 

Jess Ainscough (aka: The Wellness Warrior):

Jess Ainscough was one of the first wellness blogs I started reading when I began my journey a few years ago. She has been through a huge battle with cancer, and has come out the other side with an incredible story to tell, and a complete change in her lifestyle. She went from being a party girl, to being one of the most genuine, knowledgeable and inspirational figures in the industry. 
 

I’ve read her book, and Jess’ story is one to be read-the lessons she has learnt are ones she doesn’t want anyone else to have to learn the way she did. Jess believes that wellness isn’t a destination, but an ongoing relationship with your own body. A loving relationship, built on kindness & respect. And that’s a message I would love everyone to understand. 
 
You can read more about Jess over at her website: The Wellness Warrior
 

Dr. Libby Weaver:

Dr Libby is at the forefront of women’s health. She is a Nutritional Biochemist, and has published an array of best-selling books. I love how Dr Libby is able to take her huge amount of scientific research and turn it into exciting and easily understood ideas for the general public.
Recently I watched a TED talk Dr Libby did on women’s health, and the change from cave-woman times, to the modern day women. She explained how our biochemistry hasn’t changed in that time, and so our busy nature, and multitasking, is ruining our health. She explains how our bodies believe that we are in danger, and that when we slow down, and allow our bodies to be calm and present, we can be our healthiest selves. 
Dr Libby is such an inspiration and I would LOVE to one day be just as inspirational as her. You can read more about Dr Libby over at her website: Dr Libby, and you can watch her TED talk here.
 

Miranda Kerr:

Miranda Kerr is such a gorgeous soul, and her books have inspired me to love who I am. Being a model, she is in the spotlight everyday, but she has kept true to herself, and is a huge health advocate. She is such a great role model for women, and the words she writes in her books resonate with that. 
I just love picking up “Treasure yourself” and randomly picking a page and using the wisdom from that to empower my day. Every time I am feeling down, I can pick up her book and find some true and inspiring words. In a world where image drives everything, Miranda has used her beauty to create happiness for others, and I think that is totally amazing. There are too many celebrities that are terrible role models, but Miranda is just not one of them. 
You can learn more about Miranda at her website: Miranda Kerr, but I would advise you to get a copy of one of her books, they are empowering and inspiring. 
 

Emily Ehlers:

I have had the pleasure of meeting the lovely Emily Ehlers, and she is just awesome! Emily is a lifestyle coach, writer and mother, and spend her days helping and supporting women to be the best versions of themselves. She helps women to rediscover health and happiness, and I would love to one day be doing the same! And she does all this while being mum to Lucy (how cute is she!). 
Emily also helped me to connect with all the other like-minded souls in Perth through a gorgeous networking event last year, and I am eternally grateful for that, as it has given me the courage to be genuine and present in my blog writing, knowing there is a huge support network in my community. 
To get to know Emily, go over and have a read of her blog: Emily Ehlers
 

Dr Amanda Devine:

Dr Amanda Devine has been a huge part of my Nutrition studies, and has inspired me with her passion and knowledge of nutrition. Amanda has been researching bone and calcium disorders for 20 years, and I had the privilege of doing some work experience with this research. 
I just love how passionate Amanda is about her work, and the time and effort she gives to sharing her knowledge. You can read some of the articles Amanda has contributed to here: How Schools are urged to grow community gardens and How humans really are what they eat.
 

Lola Berry:

Lola Berry is a leading Australian Nutritionist, a yoga instructor, and writer. I love Lola’s genuine love for health and well-being, and how every aspect of her life is surrounded in wellness! She has a huge passion for creating good, nourishing food, and has written some amazing books. Find out more about Lola here. 
 

Claire Yates:

Claire is another incredible soul I have had the pleasure of meeting. Claire is in my dream job, a Nutritionist who blogs, writes books and inspires others to lead a healthier life. Her path has inspired me to step out of the box and change my view on Nutrition and Wellness. Her book, Optimal Health the Paleo way is fantastic (You can read my review here), and is an easy way to figure out the Paleo diet and why it works. 
 
Claire is changing the way people think about the Paleo diet, using scientific evidence and sound Nutrition knowledge. It all just makes sense. To learn more about Claire, visit her website. 

 

Zooey Deshanel: 

Now, I know Zooey is a celeb, but she is one of the celebs I am actually inspired by. She’s funny, genuine, authentic and is totally self aware. Its cool that there are still some celebs that arn’t self obessed perfectionists. Zooey helped to found the site Hellogiggles.com,
 

“HelloGiggles is a positive online community for women (although men are always welcome!) covering DIY and crafting projects, beauty, friendship, sex & relationships, pop culture, pets, television & movies, nostalgia, fandom, tips on savvy and stylish living meant to inspire a smile”

And I think anyone that is inspiring women to live a life full of that, is pretty awesome. 
 

Dr. Gillian McKeith:

Dr Gillian McKeith’s book “You are what you eat” was the first nutrition/healthy cookbook that I picked up. I would have been about 12/13 and it just completely changed the way I viewed health. Of course, at that stage I was still an image obsessed pre-teen, but it did start my journey to where I am today. And after watching her TV show, I was further inspired to be healthy. And that was when I started going into health food stores, and trying different foods that people thought were weird. I thank her for her abrupt discussions on food, and scare tactics. Its a totally legit method of getting people t change their habits. Visit Dr Gillian’s website here. 
 

Jo Tastula:

Jo Tastula is a yoga teacher, but her classes are online. I have never actually met her, or spoken to her, but she is the best yoga teacher I have ever had. She has this amazing calm energy about her, and is such an inspiration. I would love to one day be at one of her real-life classes. Without her knowing she has helped me to get passionate about yoga, and inspired me to make it a habit, not just something I do occasionally. Find more about Jo Here.
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Stuff I heart #2

I hope everyone had an amazing Easter weekend, full of rest, relaxation, treats, family and love <3 
I know lots of people are still on holiday until next week, but I’m back in action this week, and I’m ready for the remainder of the Uni semester as well as filling the blog with yummy recipes and nutrition posts. 
So here is my (slightly) overdue stuff I heart post:
 

1. The Paleo diet and Claire Yates cookbook “Optimal health the Paleo way”

I picked up this book from work after months of swooning over it, and I spend Friday morning reading the entire first half, which is full of some fantastic nutrition information. Claire is full of so much wisdom, and I just love her book! If you get a chance, grab a copy. I made the Carrot and sweet potato bites you see on the far left, they were a huge hit at the family BBQ I was at over the weekend. 

See my full review of Claire’s book here. 
 

2. This article full of reasons you should break up with your makeup

I stopped wearing a face full of make up a few years ago, it was mostly because I couldn’t afford it (student life right), but my face has loved me for it! I now can be proud of my own skin, rather than hiding behind a layer of chemicals. My mum also helped me to make the choice to move to natural makeup, so now, I could probably eat everything I put on my face. And our skin is our largest organ, so it absorbs everything! I love not wearing makeup, and I think it should be an everyday trend rather than for a #nomakeupselfie. 
There is also this great website I used for my info on being gorgeous AND green. 
 

3. This article on what your perfect day looks life from This is Lifeblood

On that note, here is what would be my Perfect day: Wake up early, refreshed and energised, next to my man. Then, cuddles and a coffee in bed with a chat. Then off outside to exercise with the sun rising, yoga, walking the dog, or the beach. Next would be a big, gorgeous breakfast full of eggs and veggies. Then work. In a perfect day I would be seeing clients as a Nutritionist, inspiring and educating people to live a fulfilling and empowered life. Lunch would be more veggies and of course a cup of tea. The afternoon would be filled with blogging and creating new recipes, as well as a bit of gardening. Then its time for some more exercise, another walk, or yoga, or some running. I’d then make an exciting, nourishing meal, and share it with my closest friends and loved one. There would be wine, and nibbles and music. And then finally at the very end of the day, I would sit down to read something awesome. 
 
Sounds awesome huh! What does your perfect day look like?
 

4. This incredible Lady: Yuna (Singer/Songwriter)

 
 
I’m in love with her album Nocturnal, I don’t usually post about music, but this is just too good not to share. Its full of lovely sparkly songs and gorgeous lyrics. Its my spring anthem album at the moment, Plus its fantastic to sing along to <3
Find out more about Yuna here.
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Hello happy!

Today is the United Nations International day of Happiness. The day was launched in 2012, and was developed because of the recognition that  the pursuit of happiness is a fundamental human goal. Everyone wants to be happy, and the 3 components of global happiness were defined as social, economic and environmental well-being.

I think thats a pretty cool day to celebrate, and i’m going to spend the day doing all the things that make me happy!

1. Preparing good, healthy food with love, and sharing it with the people around me.
2. Cuddling my fur babies
3. Doing yoga and being mindful and present
4. Educating people about their health and well being
5. Spending time with the love of my life <3

Happy Happiness day!!

I would love to hear all the things that make you happy, or make your own list, and do all of those things today!

 

The one word that can kill your groove

I read an article this morning on mind body green, and it really resonated with me. It was all about one word. And how that word can turn the best intentions of self love into an spiral of anxiety. Its a word I find myself using all the time. Its a word full of expectation of myself imposed on myself by the external environment.

Should. 

Iv’e realized that I have been having some major breakdowns in my want to live a healthy life. Everyday I find myself thinking:
I should exercise more
I should do more study
I should blog more
I should feel happier today
I should eat healthier food today
What i’m doing is comparing myself to the cultural ideal of others. In this case, the ideals of the “wellness” and “health” culture. Everyday I think to myself: “I should be doing X because everyone else in the industry is doing X”. Its a completely viscous cycle. And it got to breaking point last night when I was so anxious about all the things I thought I should be doing, that I couldn’t get to sleep.
The article I read this morning stated:

Since so many people grew up listening to a litany of rules, when the word “should” infiltrates into your own running commentary, you will likely respond to yourself the same way you responded to your well-meaning caregivers and authority figures: with resistance (since no one want to feel controlled).

I am self imposing “rules” which i’m responding to with resistance. Studying Nutrition I am in a constant state of judging exactly what I eat: because I “should” eat healthier today, I automatically resist that.  This negativity creates a cascade of effects, which end up with me feeling anxious about my lack of will power and dedication.

An example of this is ” I should go for a run because I haven’t exercised today”. This is a really common one for me. If I don’t exercise for one day, I feel guilty, worthless and unhealthy. So I force myself to go for a run, even when i’m exhausted. Even when all I feel like doing is curling up with a good book and reading. So what i’m doing is resenting myself for not running, then running, and still resenting myself for going for a forced run. That’s not loving to myself, and defiantly doesn’t do anything for the fact I was exhausted.

Actions derived from “should ‘s” aren’t loving to anyone. To heal from the addiction to should, start to notice how often the word populates your self-talk, and then notice how you feel inside when you fall prey to believing the should statement. When you hear the word should, ask, What would be most loving to myself and others right now?

Then listen closely for the answer.

So instead of doing things because I “should” this week, i’m going to try to do things that are most loving to myself and others. I’m really excited to see the results!

I would love to hear if you have the same issue? Do you self impose external judgement on yourself? How does it make you feel?

Xx Britt

References: http://www.mindbodygreen.com/0-12128/want-more-self-love-eliminate-this-word-from-your-vocabulary.html

Presence

I have something to confess. My blog writing has been coming from a place of fear and I have not been present with you. That’s right, and I feel you all have a right to know. I went along to the wellness warrior tour with Jess Ainsough last night, and it was beautiful, incredible and such a magical and inspiring evening. But one of the themes was presence.

For me, I have done a little bit of self development, and often the main theme is being present. What does that even mean? Well I discovered the meaning while I was in the middle of the New Zealand bush a few years ago. As part of a self development course I had to spend 3 days in the bush by myself. And I found that it was hard to be present with myself. The first day, I hated it, and I just wanted someone to talk to. But on the second day, I started journaling and meditating, and thinking. It was amazing what I learn about myself over those 3 days. I learn to be present with myself. To enjoy my own company.

“The only moment that exists is right now”

On another self development course, I learnt that the only moment that exists is right now. So I try to live my life by that mantra, but its a really hard thing to do. So lately I have found myself living into the future, and letting fear of the unknown dictate my actions and my writing. For this I apologize. But there is a lesson to be learnt from this, and that is that the ONE thing that helps me to be living in the present moment, is yoga and meditation.

When I woke up this morning, I felt so uninspired. I was grumpy, snappy, negative and judgmental of myself, and everyone else. I did a short 30 minute yoga session with 5 minutes of meditation, and BAM! I’m living in the now again.


So I would love you to get a couple of things from this post:
1. Are you living in the present moment, or are you stuck in the past or future?
2. Find your way to start living in the present.
3. Being present is about……?

The last question I would love for you to answer yourself. For me, living in the present means I listen to others, I am totally attentive, I enjoy each moment, I am carefree, I am happy, and I can freely love and express myself. It also means I am free of fear.

Xx Britt

My relationship with food

This one is a very personal story, and one that I have not shared with many other souls. The reason I have not really shared it, is because I am ashamed of how my brain deals with food. And the fact I am still dealing with his today.

This is my story of how I battled with Anorexia and Bulimia.

When I was younger, I was thin. Not abnormally thin, but defiantly on the lower spectrum for girls my age. I had pride in my body weight. I loved the fact I could go into any store and find something that fitted. However, I was prone to jealously, and compared myself to the girls on magazines. It was at the same time boys came onto the scene. So looking good was the most important thing in my life. To top this off I was an utter perfectionist, so getting my body ‘perfect’ was the goal.

Of course, I now know that there is no ‘perfect’ it doesn’t exist. But try telling that to an impressionable 14 year old. I compared myself to my gorgeous friends everyday. And everyday I wasn’t good enough. They were all amazingly beautiful, and who was I to be friends with them. I was fat, and ugly and this is how my thoughts went everyday. It was ultimately destructive and killed all my self esteem. So I pushed myself in other areas, I pushed myself to study harder, eat less, work out more. I got obsessed. And this is where it took a turn.

I discovered the pro-ana sites. And most days I would prowl these site for the inspiration I needed to stop eating. And gradually I forced myself to turn away from food. I would of course, hide it from everyone. I never ate breakfast-being one of 4 kids, no-one noticed. I took lunch, but it just got thrown in the bin. And then dinner time. I would sometimes eat dinner with the family, then go to the bathroom and throw it up. My other ploy was to take my dinner to my bedroom and say I has study to do, then throw it all out. I got very good at this little game.

Over time I got thinner and thinner, and more obsessed with food. I was counting calories, and exercising the ones that I ate off. I was very depressed and found myself thinking suicidal thoughts often. It was a sad existence. I hated my life, even though I was doing very well at school, it was never enough for my perfect ideal of my life. I would cut myself and hurt myself. Then there was the rebellion. Where I snuck out, went out partying, doing things a 15 year old should not be doing. I got myself in some pretty scary situations.

At one point O got down to about 45kgs, which although is not totally anorexic, but I was heading that way. On a sad path to self hate, and full blown anorexia.

One day however, I can’t remember why, but I reached out. To one of my oldest friends. And we talked. And somehow, she changed my mind. That conversation (although she might not know this) completely changed how I dealt with my issues. And to this day I am grateful that she took the time to talk and to listen. After that something changed. I started eating again. It took a long time, but I put the past out of my mind and started to enjoy life again.

Over the past 7 years I have gradually learnt to love my body. For all its quirks and curves. It it mine, and its my temple. The way girls grow up these days, its no wonder that they develop this awful self hate, and low self esteem. With our mothers dieting, and teaching us how to battle with our bodies. The magazines we read, the shows we watch, and the music we listen to plays a role in how we develop. For me I went to hell and back.

After it all happened I put on weight, and since then I have been battling to gt it off again. I have dieted and dieted and tried everything And even though I know and understand now, I still have those thoughts in the very dark places in my mind. Its a hard thing to battle. But through my obsession with food I have created a career and a passion. I have turned something very dark into my life and my love. And my goal is to help others to learn to change their hurtful relationship with food, into a real love for food, and for their bodies.

I was lucky. I got help. Not from a professional, but from someone I trusted, and someone who would listen. There are many girls out there who won’t get help. They, unfortunately will die. And its not just the anorexic girls, its the girls who are overweight. In our society we breed girls who battle and hate their bodies. Its time we change that. As role models for these girls, we can only show them to love their bodies, and nourish them with good food. To learn to love themselves, and to learn to love each other.

Xx Britt

Gratitude

How many of us actually say thank you? When do we stop and consciously show gratitude not only towards one another, but towards our lives? Occasionally we say thank you to the person who held the door open for us, but only out of common courtesy. Lots of research has been done into happiness, and the theme that keeps popping up is people who make a conscious effort to acknowledge and express gratitude. For these people practicing gratitude would be the same as saying a prayer, or meditating.

So with that I am going into the new month with an open heart and mind, with my theme being gratitude. Far too often I take my own life for granted. All of the wonderful gifts and opportunities I have, as well as all the fabulous people around me. Each day my job is filled with joy and healing, in an industry that is filled with love, and I never once have been grateful for that. This month I am going to make a conscious effort to be grateful for at least one thing every single day.

“If the only prayer you said in your whole life was, ‘thank you,’ that would suffice.” – Meister Eckhart.

I am so grateful for each day I get on this beautiful earth. I am grateful for my body, and its ability to acheive amazing things. I am also grateful for my career, and all the wonderful opportunities it presents. I am grateful for this blog, and all of the gorgeous people I have met so far, and all of the ones I am yet to meet. I am thankful for where I live. Perth is such an amazing city, and I never once thought I would be living here. But here I am, and it is one of the best descsions I have ever made.

For the next month, I am going to keep a daily gratitude journal, and I would love for you to do the same. Being thankful for the things we have is a great way to start saying thank you to the universe, and allow ourselves to be open-hearted with others.

I believe the path to happiness is found in showing gratitude for the good things we already have in our lives. What are the benefits of expressing gratitude?

  • We notice what’s good in our life
  • We stop to think about what’s important to us
  • We remember others in our life
  • It connects with others when we say ‘thank you’
  • It heals our emotional wounds
  • We feel a sense of calm and peace

So how exactly can you learn to be grateful? Right now, stop whatever you are doing, and bring yourself to the present moment. Take a big deep breath, right from your belly, and listen. What noises can you hear? Birds? Cars? Talking? Whatever it is, don’t stop to think about it, just let it pass by-like a cloud floating past. Take another deep breath and notice what is around you, just let yourself be within the moment. Now, take another deep breath and remember your day. Is there one thing that pops up for you? Maybe it was simply that your coffee this morning was amazing. Or maybe somebody you had been thinking about had sent you a message. Whatever it is, be grateful. Take the time to thank the universe for that particular thing.

What am I grateful for today?