I’m taking my health back. It’s high time. I know what health and wellness is about because I’ve spent more than half my adult life in the health and wellness industry. Yet I’m 46-years old and I’ve let myself go.
I’ve slipped into bad habits.
- Barely exercising
- Eating comfort foods and unhealthy snacks
- Crazy Sleeping Habits
- Drinking more coffee and wine than water
- Little or no self-care
- No downtime
- Digital Addictions at an all-time high
Oh, I have my reasons, I have plenty
- Who has the time to exercise when you’re running 3 websites, a household and running after a 5-year-old?
- How can I say no to a second helping of my hubby’s food when it tastes so good?
- How will I get everything done if I don’t wake up at midnight and work until 3 am?
- Limit my coffee intake? Noooo… Everyone knows coffee is the fuel that drives Moms.
- Drop my evening glass of wine? Nooooo… that’s how I transition from Mommy to wife.
- Huh? What’s self-care?
- Where do I find 20 minutes in my day to meditate or journal?
- How can a Mom Blogger NOT be on her phone and laptop all the time? Digital Marketing is my life. And my livelihood.
But those are not reasons. They are excuses.
They are an illusion, my mind playing tricks on me.
There is another way. And it’s time to find it because I can see what years of neglect is doing to me.
The Effects of Poor Habits over Time
Not paying attention to health and wellness has changed the way I look, the way I feel and the way I feel about me. And if I continue on this path, it could have much more serious effects.
That Frumpy Housewife Look
Bottom-line: I’m indoors, on my bottom, blogging more often than I’m not.
And it’s showing on my bottom. And on my hips and waist-line. And even in my face. Ugh. My face looks fat in pictures. I don’t recognise me.
I’m getting frumpy. I’m looking more and more like a housewife every day.
My hair is frizzy. My skin is lacklustre. My fingernails are chipped. I have that unkempt look.
And it’s showing up in niggly little health problems.
Getting coughs and colds more often than I should, followed by fever blisters. Ouch.
A funny, constricted feeling in my throat when I eat chocolate, bread or pastries. Food allergies are mounting.
Lethargy. My son asks me to jump on the trampoline with him and sometimes I just can’t. All I want to do is lie on the couch for a while.
Bloated tummy and constipation leading to piles every now and then. (Did I say that out loud?)
Pain in my fingers.
When I get up it sometimes, it feels like my back can’t straighten properly anymore, like I’m walking arched over.
And my back aches. And sometimes my hips.
I climb out the car and it feels like I’ve put my back out. I can’t walk for a couple of minutes, the pain is so intense.
Headaches on the increase. And the occasional debilitating migraine.
Loss of Control
It’s also showing up in my mood, my frame of my mind. I’m not myself.
I’m increasingly irritable, short-tempered and I shout a lot.
I jump from one task to the next. I’m easily distracted. I forget things.
Poor Health Creeps Up On You Slowly
Does this sound familiar? Or is it just me? These little health challenges start creeping up on you, don’t they?
We call it ageing. We say it’s normal. But it’s not. It’s a bunch of poor lifestyle choices piled up that slowly start eroding our vibrancy.
I remember reading somewhere that what happens as we age is we become less and less active. As our lives become more sedentary, we start packing on the kilos. Very slowly. So slowly we barely notice.
If we pack on a mere 1kg a year, that adds up to 10kg’s a decade.
Which explains why when you’re in your 20’s you can be lovely and slim and still get away with it in your 30’s.
But in your 40’s and 50’s you’re now 30 or 40 kilos heavier than you were in your 20’s and feeling it.
And what if you’re putting on 2 or 3kg’s a year?
So, Take Back Control Slowly
So in January this year, I started taking back control, gently.
Tackling issues that were bothering me, one at a time.
Choosing new, positive health habits I could incorporate into my life.
I started saying Yes more often to my son when he asked if I would jump on the trampoline with him.
I invite him out for walks more often.
I park further away from his School so we can do a short hill-climb on the way in. Little changes.
Adding Healthy Food Choices
I mentioned my food intolerances to my friend, Lucy and she told me she had started juicing celery and it had cleared up her allergies and she was feeling better in her clothes.
I figured that would be really easy to incorporate into my everyday life. Juicing veggies is not new to me but I’d never juiced celery before as it’s not one of my favourite veggies.
So I make my veg juices with celery as a base and add pineapple, carrots, ginger and beetroot, depending what’s in the house. A few times, I’ve added spinach or cucumbers into the mix too.
Drinking my veggie juice out of a wine glass dupes me into thinking I’m having a glass of wine. And most of my mixes taste better than wine (some combinations have been a bit yuck, I must confess).
Eliminating Foods that Harm
I’ve been weaning myself off bread and pastries for a good few months and I decided it was time to cut out gluten altogether.
Chocolates were the next thing to go.
Because I felt these were the things that were making me feel bad (the bloating and that horrible, constricted throat thing).
Then I noticed that most sweets made me feel yuck too, so I gave up most of them too.
It took me a few months longer to let go of my evening glass of wine. And I only did it because I found it unfathomable that I could eat no bread, biscuits or chocolates and STILL not shift the weight. My new mantra: wine is for weekends.
Wellness and Weightloss
I was 2 weeks into this new plan: no gluten, no chocolates, no sweets, no wine during the week when an amazing thing happened.
My friend and fellow blogger, Sharon Atkins aka Super Shazzer just completed her Wellness Coaching Course and offered me 12 Weeks of Free Coaching. Woohoo! What a win!
When the student is ready, the Master appears.
Free Wellness Coaching? Bring it on
And Sharon’s Coaching is super gentle and gradual, just the way I like it. Yet the results have been astounding.
I’m only one week in and I’ve already lost 2.2kgs and 0.5cm’s around my waist.
The remarkable thing is that we only made one small change in Week 1.
Reduce Sugar Intake Slowly
Sharon recommended I reduce my sugar intake in my coffee, very gradually, by adding just a few granules less each cup.
I was drinking 2 to 3 cups of coffee with 2 heaped spoons of sugar per cup. I decided it was too complicated to do it that slowly so I just dropped down to 1 spoon of sugar per cup from Day 1.
I’ve been having my coffee with cream instead of milk for a couple of years because I don’t like the taste of milk. I was interested to discover that cream is a better option than milk because it has fewer carbs. Who knew?
I also became aware of how often I was drinking coffee and opted for Rooibos Tea instead of coffee a few times. I don’t drink milk, cream or sugar in my Rooibos so it’s a great substitute.
Real Meal Revolution Diet
Sharon is a Certified Banting Coach through The Real Meal Revolution (RMR) so she introduced me to some of the basics of RMR last week and signed me up on their website.
The Real Meal Revolution is a low-carb diet, similar to the Keto Diet.
They recommend eating meat, healthy fats and veggies and reducing or eliminating starches and grains.
With this awareness, I tried wherever possible last week to skip adding carbs to my meals. I had my bolognese without the pasta, I had my steak and salad without the chips. I even had a burger without the bun when we out for a meal at Roco Mamas on Friday night, I did steal a couple of my hubby’s chips though.
The thing is, I haven’t been that disciplined this week. I really just raised my awareness and decreased my sugar intake and results have been encouraging.
How to Join the Real Meal Revolution
There are 3 ways to join the Real Meal Revolution.
- Join Online via the RMR Website
- Free through Coaching Sessions with an RMR Certified Health Coach (like I did)
- Buy one of the Real Meal Revolution Books.
Real Meal Revolution – Amazon
I’ll keep you posted on my Health Coaching progress and share some more tips and views on Health and Wellness over the next 12 weeks.
Hey Lauren! Your article is one of those that you just want to go in because you saw that catchy headline, but then you end up reading from top to bottom, as I did in here.
Since I am only 25 years old and exercise regularly, I can hardly relate to most of the bad habits above, yet what I want to say is that it is hardly on age alone, since choosing to avoid bad habits and follow good ones is a challenge for any generation. Especially now that we are living on the era of advanced technology in our hands.
I would love it if you would share the results of the program you are following with us, will you?
Hi Heku, thanks for your comments. Hmm, I’m trying to cast my mind back to when I was 25. I think I was way more active then but I was already slipping into some bad habits. Luckily, they weren’t affecting me yet. It takes a while before they sink in. I will definitely be sharing the results of the program in future posts.
I thought you were talking about me for a sec. Just switch mommy to daddy. I have definitely let myself go over the last couple of years and it shows. Went from fit and muscular to straight dad bod in a couple of years. I’ve been in the process of getting it back together, but every time I start a new diet it slows down and I eventually stop.
I like the idea of moving slowly and adjusting instead of just stopping everything at once. That approach is not something I’m used to. I’m all in from the start and like to see results in the beginning. Problem is I always fall off the wagon. As your transition to this new lifestyle been easier than ones in the past, and do you still see results in the very beginning?
Hi David, yes, absolutely. I did see results from the beginning and it encouraged me to stick with the program. And yes, this transition has been easier than anything I tried on my own. I found that having a Coach talking me through each phase has been amazing. I really need to add another post about my progress, so much more to say… Thanks for your great questions.
Wow! At some point I felt like I was reading a novel/poet. Your intro paragraphs in this post is some captivating that you just feel like jumping to the next line (due to impatient) to find out what happens next. Please do consider writing a novel (if you don’t already) on a tragic storyline. Thanks for this beauty. I feel like reading your intro over and over again just to feel entertained.
And yes, there is really a big need to be conscious of our health and get out to exercise as often as possible.
Oh wow, Thanks for that positive feedback. Really happy to hear you enjoyed my writing style so much. I’m super keen to write a book and now feeling very encouraged to do so. THANKS.
Hello! I’m looking forward to see more posts about you, I was in the same situation as you, and now I’m also trying to help people with their lifestyle and such. Now, of course, I don’t know everything, so perhaps you have tips and tricks I don’t know about, and with that you can help me and others. Thanks a lot for helping other people!
Hi Emmanuel, oh brilliant! I’d better check out your website too. Please feel free to leave a link so we can both help more people.
Haha, yup! i can relate to everything you said. Except my kids are older. I’m glad you were able to recognize what was happening and get yourself back on track.
The Real Meal Revolution sounds like a great plan that eases you into healthier habits. I think it’s hard to go from really unhealthy to super healthy in one fell swoop. So for the RMR, they have different coaches available? That’s how it works? Or is it just one coach?
“Wine is for weekends.” UGH, I guess that has to be my new mantra too. lol
Heya Christina, Thanks for your interest in The Real Meal Revolution. The way I understand it, RMR is training up Health and Wellness Coaches through the University of Cape Town. I’ll get more details from my Coach, Sharon Atkins or ask her to comment below.
Good Luck with Wine is for Weekends… hehe. I’ve also switched from my favourite wine, Rosé, to Red Wine because of it’s lower sugar content and anti-ageing properties.
You are absolutely right that there are periods in our life when we just create excuses for ourselves not to live a healthy lifestyle. It was naturally the same with me: as I ’had no time’ for exercises, was not interested what I consumed, etc. But if we sit down for a bit and think it over – that’s why such articles like yours are useful -, we should realize we are doing things against our long and healthy life possibilities. Health IS the most important, it’s better to understand in time before it is too late. If we have a family, it’s something we do also for them! I think sugar is a great enemy in our life! Do you think that sugar should be left out if you want to live healthy?
Hi Agnes, Thanks for your thoughtful comment. Yes, I think sugar has become a real challenge in today’s world because it’s added into so many things that we’ve become dependent on it. Also, I believe that starches and white wine turn to sugar in the body, so that gives us more “hidden sugars” to deal with on a daily basis.
I’m a big fan of healthy sugars, in fruits and veggies – when I add pineapple, carrots and beetroots to my veggie juices I get a great sugar kick. Berries and nuts are also a great source of healthy sugar. I like the idea of replacing unhealthy sugar sources with healthy ones so I don’t feel sugar deprived. I discovered these delicious ginger and cacao bites this week. They are delicious and nutritious and my body has not rejected them. YAY!
Ha Ha, I laughed when I saw that you are suffering from digital addiction. I can totally relate to that one and don’t know what I would do without my internet connection. The other thing I would battle to give up would be my coffee, so I think we must find something else to get rid of first.
Congrats on taking charge of your health, as without our health we have nothing to look forward to or enjoy.
Being close to fifty I have also noticed over the years the weight is climbing, and decided this year that I had to lose about 10 kgs, but am the worlds worst dieter. I have managed about 5 so far (in six months), but at least it has just been to small changes, like eating more salads and cutting out the Milo before bed habit. Gradually I am changing bad habits into better ones, and I am hoping that at least because the weight is coming off slowly it will stay off.
All the best on your own transformation and hope to be reading more on your journey from you soon.
Hi Michel, Thanks so much for sharing your dieting experience. Well done on following a healthy regime and letting go of 5kgs. You’re halfway to your mark in half a year, so you are on target. That’s awesome!
Interestingly, I always thought losing it slowly was the best way to keep it off long-term, but the latest research says there is merit in going fast. I’ll explain it all in my next post about my health and wellness coaching.
At the end of the day, I do believe its whatever works for you and small, gradual changes create lasting habits you can stick to for life. Whatever works. 🙂
PS. Good luck with your digital addiction… we’ll have to tackle that next, huh?
Thank you so much for this beautiful post. It is very insightful and enlightening. Firstly, while reading through the post, I could place myself in your shoes because the stress I go through daily as a result of my 9-5 work combined with the blogs I run have taken every bit of my time. Its been more than three months since I had a proper haircut. Everything just kept on getting complicated and overturned. I’ve tried overturning the circumstance on plenty of occasions, I just kept stopping and giving in back to my busy schedule. Maybe it might finally be the best time to retry hopefully, I will draw courage from you.
Thanks for your comment, Ro. Oh goodness, I know how you feel. I went through a good couple of years where I just didn’t get time to pay attention to any aspect of self-care, so I’ve been there.
There are only so many hours in a day and you can’t focus on EVERYTHING.
I’m sure you will turn things around when the time is right, as long as you keep it back of mind so that it doesn’t slip from your consciousness altogether. All the best to you during this manic time of business building plus 9 to 5.
Hi, I have read your article very carefully. Thanks for sharing this wonderful review about health and wellness. This post is so thorough it opened up my eyes to all sorts of information I should aware off. I think Wellness is an active process of becoming aware of and making choices toward a healthy and fulfilling life. Thanks for sharing your health coaching progress and some tips about that.
Hi Jannatul, Thanks for your comment. I’m happy to hear this opened your eyes to some new information and you picked up some tips in my post. Wishing you all the best with your health and wellness journey.