and finding the motivation & balance to get me there

Monday, 28 March 2011

relationship health

I found this story while browsing the Prevention newsletter, which got me thinking about relationship health and how, for me, it really can be the little things that keep our relationship bonded together. So I thought I'd add the article here on my health blog so I can easily pop back in to read it again, for inspiration and to remind myself, on those days when I need it, that relationships need a good work out every now and then too. Good relationships need to be worked at. They don't just happen.

The original article can be found here at Prevention - Love Actually.

1. Focus on the little things … often

Two weeks ago, Dad emerged from the backyard and gave Mum a flower he’d picked while pottering around. The gesture lasted only a few seconds, and he made it without fanfare or fuss, but you could see the appreciation on Mum’s face. From this and other exchanges I’ve witnessed countless times before, I’ve learned to anticipate my own partner’s needs and remember the little things. One of the best ways to communicate love is by making considerate predictions about what your loved one appreciates (a latte at 3 pm on a Sunday, for example) and making a mental note to take care of whatever that may be. It’s about simple signs of caring and thoughtfulness.

2. Have the courage to spend time apart

Although Mum and Dad really enjoy each other’s company, they have never avoided time apart. One year, Dad travelled to Scotland for three months with my grandfather. Another time, Mum moved to another country (six months before my dad joined her) to take up a new job. When they have the odd week or weekend apart, it’s not a problem. The thing that impresses me most is that they’ve always chosen to do this and that their marriage doesn’t mean being permanently joined at the hip. In fact, I’ve found that making decisions like this brings my wife and I closer together. We do what we need to do. We trust ourselves to deal with it. And when we come back together, it feels great.

3. Take an interest in each other’s interests

My mum loves oil painting and local government. For my dad, it’s astronomy and the bagpipes. I’ve noticed that they consistently value and support each other’s hobbies and try to learn something from them. Importantly, whenever one’s passions have dominated the other’s (such as when Mum was a city councillor), they found a way to restore balance and practise some give and take. Occasionally, they’ve even found ways to merge their interests—like the time Mum painted the Milky Way for Dad! When we genuinely pay attention to our partners’ interests, it sends a powerful message that we respect who they are and care about what makes them happy.
Manage Your Expectations

Although a mountain of evidence confirms the beneficial effects of being the offspring of happily married parents, there’s at least one important potential downside: it can lead you to believe that you’re somehow fated to have a happy marriage, too. If so, you may dramatically underestimate what’s required to build a successful marriage. And yep, you can guess the rest! I’ve learned two basic things about love and marriage. First, a good match is important, so you need to share basics, such as core values and life aspirations. Second, successful relationships are made, not found, which means they require effort. And often, that’s just little stuff that says, “I’m here, and you’re loved”.

Wednesday, 16 March 2011

recipe for happiness

I have been neglecting this blog of mine - horribly neglecting it. So you can only imagine how I've been neglecting my health...yes indeed...horribly so. A swift kick up the beehind is much needed.

So again, I must turn the corner and try, try, try again to improve my health and fitness. It's a constant battle, a constant challenge - but a battle worth fighting for sure and plus...what is life without a few challenges thrown in for good measure?

Here we go again, another new start....and I don't think I could have come up with a more appropriate header...a recipe for happiness. Health and happiness go hand in hand, right.

I spotted this whilst browsing the online newspapers...recipe for happiness...

Ten foods to lift your mood -
grain bread
red meat
green tea
dark chocolate

all favourites of mine!! Yeehaaa!! 


Thursday, 4 November 2010

Food pyramid alternative

3D Personal Training food pyramid

I've just discovered the new food pyramid or food pyramid alternative as seen on the 3D Personal Training website. What I like most about this food pyramid is the back to basics approach. Seems pretty easy to follow, which is good for me as it means I'm more likely to stick to it! I really love the 'Don't forget to get - plenty of sunshine, plenty of rest & relaxation and plenty of water'.

You can follow Craig from 3D on Twitter and on Facebook or on his website. I check in every other day for some great tips on reaching your health and fitness goals. *Thanks Craig, your guidance and support for Matthew has been invaluable - which in turn has been great for me too!! : )


Friday, 29 October 2010

an ok kind of week

So not a great week, an ok kind of week, but not a great week...but decided not to be to hard on myself and have to remember to just try again next week, so go a little slower. It's been a bad week with killer headaches, aka migraines. So just scraped through the week with getting all the day to day stuff done - put the exercise on the back burner. Did manage to get a little bit in though, especially some stretching and walking when we had sunny days.  

Meals were ok, not great, but ok - had to feed my migraine some comfort food! Monday was take away, as we were home late. Tuesday was baked chicken with white beans and veggies, also had a mixed berry crumble for pudding with custard - it's this chilly Autumn weather - it gets me every time! Wednesday was turkey meatballs in a tomato sauce with onions, garlic and spaghetti. Thursday was yummo (I guess that means it was not good for the diet) - spaghetti pasta with potatoes, peas, bacon, garlic and chilli* - the migraine loved it - almost gone this morning (thank god) and now I'm wishing there was left over’s from last night for breakfast!  *this recipe was modified from here.  Dinner tonight will be something like baked chicken and veggies with a green salad on the side.

As a family we are loving these cold Autumn evenings - Fridays we love especially as we settle down with some TV shows from home - at the moment we are watching 'The Block', snug inside with a baked dinner and a pudding with custard...mmmm. Not sure it's great for the diet, but it's great for the soul and that's got to be good for you! 
Here's the link to my favourite baked chicken dish - sorry Jamie couldn't find it on your website.


Friday, 22 October 2010

a good start

i feel like i got off to a good start this week. i really made an effort and i'm proud of myself. it all started out well and i tried to keep up the momentum. i made a conscientious effort to cut out the CRAP and in doing so i had a couple of wine free nights, and when i did indulge it was only a glass or 2 of red with dinner (in my mind i'm thinking ''Mediterranean way of life'' whenever I have my glass of red with dinner) . meals were pretty well thought out with chicken 1 night so far, fish two nights, beef one night and all accompanied by lots of fresh leafy green salads. i've cut back on the caffeine, only had one or 2 coffees but need to reassess the tea intake (i do so love a nice cuppa, especially when someone else makes it for you).

wednesday i took a bit of a breather exercise-wise and decided to call it a mental health day. thursday, even though it was only 3°c, took a brisk 30min walk which got the blood pumping! today back downstairs with the same exercise routine i started on monday. 

next week i'm going to have a closer look at meal planning and keeping track of what i eat, and increasing the exercise by upping the repetitions and adding in some weight bearing exercises. 

dinners this week, so far, have been 

*chicken with white beans, cherry toms and red peppers
*tuna pasta salad (only a small amount of pasta for me)
*''bavarian meatballs'' with red wine gravy
*tuna patties with salad
*baked chicken with baked veggies

all meals included a nice big leafy green salad (love my leafy greens) with a splash of olive oil and a splash of balsamic. i need to increase the amount of fish and decrease the red meat. need to work on that. 

also this week i stared some vitamin infusions with my homeopathic ENT. now that winter is setting in and the kids are coming home from school with colds, i thought it would be a good idea to start boosting my immune system. plus good news...lost a kilo! 

feeling good! 


Wednesday, 20 October 2010

mental health day

having a mental health day today. and don't we all need those some days. yes sireeee we do.  my german tutor and friend petra came for a visit this morning. we hadn't seen each other since july. a whole season has passed. that's the longest we've been apart since I arrived here 2 and a bit years ago. i've missed her. we had so much to catch up on. so many stories to share. it was wonderful. so no stretching or exercising has been done today. but i have had a great mental health day and that does wonders for the body and soul.


Tuesday, 19 October 2010

Did it again and the motivation for it

Yep, did it again. Pulled on the trackies after a bit of morning blog reading and headed downstairs to the 'room of doom'. So here I am again, pretty happy with myself! Just have to remember to go easy, baby steps and all that.

There have been times in my life where I have embraced exercise and diet with that all or nothing kind of gusto. Only for a short time though. A few weeks later I'd be tired, sore and grumpy and would easily fall back to into the arms of my bad old habits. Mmmm, it was comfy there. Yo-yo diet and exerciser, yes that's me. 

But now that I'm older and wiser (well older anyway, i know this because my knees hurt a lot after doing about 3 lunges) I have learnt from my previous attempts and this time I'm really (really) going to try to give it a serious go. This time it's going to be a far more gentle approach and with the thought of it as a 'new way of eating' and not just a 'diet'. My focus will be more on on my health this time around, not just weight loss like it was back in the old days in my 20's & 30's. 2 kids on and a chronic inflammatory disease in my lungs has changed my view on life.  Now it's time to actually get serious about things and pull myself out of a 10 year rut!

So today, back downstairs I plodded. Did 5 mins stretching, 10 mins on xtrainer thingy, 5 mins on rower and then another 10 mins stretching including some girly pushups, hip extensions, squats and some extra stretching for the lower back (had a bit of a sore back last night). Basically I follow the exercises in this video put together by James Duigan (Elles personal trainer) from here. Then back upstairs to have a protein shake to wash down a vast array of vitamin tabs! Also included some Total Greens in my shake. 

I managed to avoid chocolate & vino yesterday, it was hard but I did it. No coffee but quite a few teas and one really naughty cuppa was when the kids came home from school and we had some afternoon tea. Naughty me had a cookie or 2. But I promise to faithfully improve on this afternoon tea addiction, in time. Well, try to anyway (my sweet tooth is a killer!). 

Dinner was pretty good, I thought, baked chicken with white beans, cherry toms and red peppers with a mixed leafy green salad. Followed dinner with a mandarin and then later a 'sleepy time' tea (peppermint, camomile and fennel) to help me sleep. 

Dinner tonight is tuna pasta salad. 

So, all in all I think I'm off to a good start. Will see how we go tomorrow.

** just wanted to mention where my motivation came from yesterday. I like to read through my favourite blogs in the mornings (because I can). And 2 really stood out yesterday. Both totally different blogs, but both written from the heart. The Clea Salavert Library, dedicated to the memory of one very special little girl. I find so much inspiration in this one little blog. 

**And on the health and fitness side of things, DaniV from Health and Fitness Mum has been a bit of an inspiration for me since stumbling upon her blog.  I really liked her body love post and it got me thinking about my own body and which bits i like (might join in the body love blog, but a bit scared to) and which bits i don't ie. the bits I need to change. So I've made a start on those bits. Thanks for a kick start to my motivation.